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I never felt an ounce of guilt. In fact, I was almost relieved when it all started. I needed this. The attention, the romance, I missed it all. And before you start judging me, my husband broke a lot of promises before I finally broke. He was supposed to take care of us. He didn’t even originally want me to work. He was the breadwinner who promised I’d never have to worry. And here I am, busting my ass, working full-time so I can afford to eat spaghetti. Spaghetti. All because he couldn’t obey the law. As if getting fired wasn’t enough, he had to pick up an expensive drinking habit. Not only did he stop bringing money in, he then started pouring it out. We were financially drained. So yes, I sought happiness elsewhere.
I think James knew I was married all along. He pretended to be surprised, but he didn’t fool me. Anyway, he didn’t seem to mind when our clothes were off. Having an affair is easy when your husband is an alcoholic. You see, he has to work over-time to support his habit, and once he’s off work, he spends his free time at the nearest bar.
James wasn’t one to beat around the bush. He fixed my “broken” sink, then sat down on my couch and asked for a drink. I can’t stress enough that I didn’t plan to have an affair. We had an innocent conversation about his work… And then what I planned on doing with the rest of my Saturday. Before I knew it, an hour had gone by. But I couldn’t bear to ask him to leave. This was the most conversation I’d had in weeks. Then – he kissed me. I knew I should’ve pulled away, but I couldn’t. I was powerless. And soon enough, James was coming over every Saturday to work on a broken toilet or change out a light fixture. We eventually stopped coming up with excuses for him to come over. And there you have it, I was having an affair.
Aside from my weekly rendezvous with James, I’d laid particularly low lately. What with our financial troubles and my double life, I didn’t have the time or money to entertain my girlfriends. But I was itching for a cocktail when Stacy finally phoned me at work.
“We need to get a drink,” she said, telling me, rather than asking, “I don’t care what your problem is, I’ll buy. You’ve been MIA and I really need to talk to you.”
Stacy was always my favorite. She liked company, regardless of the circumstances. Plus she throws money around like its nothing. As long as you promise to have a conversation with her, she’ll spend all the money in the world. Her husband was a commercial pilot who made more than enough for the both of them. But his work schedule left him working for days at a time and Stacy needed entertainment.
I drove my old Beetle to Stacy’s gated community after work and punched in the code. The gate slowly swung open and I was instantly reminded of how broke I was. I pulled into her driveway and she greeted me in lime green sequined bikini, martini already in hand.
“Ugh, about time. What the hell have you been up to?” She interrogated me.
“Some of us have jobs, Stace,” I rolled my eyes. She handed me a martini glass filled to the brim with a very light pink combination of Belvedere and cranberry juice, “So, what’s up?”
“I needed to talk to you…” Stacy’s voice trailed off, embarrassed to finish her sentence, “People have been talking…”
I stared at her blankly. I didn’t want to give anything up unless she already knew. I knew where this was going. Either someone told her that Matt lost his job or that they’d seen him out at one too many bars lately. We live in a small town, it was only a matter of time before people started to realize our marriage was failing.
“Matt’s cheating on you.”
I almost laughed. This man lost his career, became an alcoholic and cheated on me. All in a matter of months. I wasn’t devastated… Or even surprised, really. I swallowed the last of my martini, and let Stacy tell me everything she knew as she made me another Cosmopolitan.
Her name was Camille. We scrolled though her profile pictures on Facebook, because that’s what a soon-to-be ex-wife does when she finds out about her husband’s mistress. There she was, different from me in every way possible. My long brown hair looked boring compared to her short, curly bob. She had long skinny legs, making mine look short and stubby. I had fair skin, hers was smooth and tan. She couldn’t be more than 25 years old, 105 pounds at most. Every other photo of her was in a bikini top, holding a can of beer. Stacy found out from some guy who works at the car dealership with Matt. Apparently little miss Camille came in to buy a car, in tiny blue jean shorts, a low-cut blouse and wedges. I never stood a chance.
“So, what are you gonna do?” Stacy looked intrigued, interested in my reaction. I debated telling her about James. But I decided to keep it to myself. I trust her. But if I tell her, I’m not the victim anymore. If I tell her, we’re just two unfaithful people. Right now I’m a woman wronged, and I’m going to embrace it.
“I’m not going to confront him – not yet,” I explained, “I want to find out more.”
“Ooooh! Yes! I like that,” Stacy’s voice got all high and squeaky, “Let’s find out where she lives.”
At this point, Stacy just needed some entertainment. So I let her takeover.
We decided to easiest place to start was the car dealership. Matt works until 8pm tomorrow, surely he’ll pay his girlfriend a visit after a long day at work. So we agreed to meet again tomorrow after work. Stacy kissed me on the cheek and walked me to my car.
It was half past 11 when I got home. Matt wasn’t even home yet. Normally I would’ve assumed he was drunk at a bar. But now I know he’s probably in bed with someone else. He’ll show up sooner or later. Sometimes I just wake up and he’s there. I feel the buzz from the martinis creeping up on me, and decide to open a bottle of Sutter Home, the cheap stuff.
I sat in bed with my cheap glass of wine. Suddenly filled with a combination of rage and sadness, I started to cry. I’m going to be divorced. We’re both having an affair. What a joke. What a marriage. I fell asleep watching some documentary on the discovery channel because I was too lazy to change it.
I woke up at 2am because I heard footsteps by the front door. Matt was just getting home. I faked being asleep and listened to him get undressed. He turned off the TV, tossed his jeans on the floor and climbed into bed, careful not to touch me. How romantic.
I woke up at 6am with a pounding headache. Damn Stacy and her martinis. Nothing a little coffee won’t fix. Matt wouldn’t be up for at least another hour. So I dared myself to peek into his MacBook while my coffee brewed. I opened up Safari to find he was still logged into his Facebook account. My first instinct was to search Camille’s name and stalk her some more. But the little red badge on his message icon was much more intriguing. And there she was. Messaging my husband.
C U soon
Thanks for tonite
Keegans was a pub a few miles from the dealership. Kind of a hole in the wall but I guess it was convenient. The messages went back about three months, so at least I know he cheated first. I can blame him if anyone ever finds out. This hurt more than I thought it would.
Don’t get caught!
She won’t even care.
So she knows about me. She knows he’s married. What a slut. Who am I to talk? Whatever.
C U tmrw
I love you
I LOVE YOU. Are you fucking serious? The girl is like 25 years old, they’ve known each other a few months. Give me a break. My face was hot. The bedroom door opened and I slammed the computer shut. I turned around and poured myself a cup of coffee. I started to pour his cup, but I figured that might be suspicious. I hadn’t done anything nice for him in weeks. Why start now? Because I wanted to poison him, that’s why.
Matt walked towards the coffee pot and poured himself a mug. He looked me up and down and I realized that my eyes were probably red because of the pity party I threw myself last night.
“You ok?” He asked, genuinely concerned, “Your eyes are bloodshot, Linds.”
“I’m fine. I think I’m gonna take a sick day.”
“Ok.. Well… Get better, ok?” He kissed my forehead and went to get ready for work.
I crawled back in bed while Matt showered and got dressed. He hollered something about trying to be home early tonight and the front door slammed shut. I debated who to call over. Stacy or James?
Since I’d already made plans with Stacy later, I decided to call James over. He was finishing up a job but could be over around 10. I still wasn’t sure if I liked how available James always was. But right now, it wasn’t bad. I hate being alone.
I took a chance and told James about Matt’s new girlfriend.
“Don’t get too involved, Lindsay,” he said, seemingly worried, “This could end badly. We’re not perfect people either.”
James had a point. We lounged around all day, watching Netflix. I made him lunch and we finished off last night’s bottle of wine. We never went anywhere together, I was always scared someone would see me and tell Matt. But now that I know he’s meeting Camille places, I figured, why not?
We drove down to a little shopping center about 10 minutes away. Just outside of our little town. He bought me a smoothie and we went into a little boutique called Mon Amour. He bought me a tiny bottle of perfume I kept smelling each time I passed the counter. We left right around 4pm, and he grabbed my waist outside of the car. He kissed me, in public… in broad daylight. And for the first time ever, I saw myself in an actual relationship with him.
James left shortly after we got back from shopping. I waited until he drove off to get back in my car and drive to Stacy’s.
“You’re off early!” Stacy exclaimed, obviously still thrilled about the idea of spying on my husband and his new mistress.
“I took the day off. Didn’t feel well this morning.”
She looked disappointed, “We’re still going, right?”
“Yes,” I sighed, “Oh – I found out where they meet.”
Stacy’s eyes became wide with excitement. “How? Did you do some snooping? Where is it? Should we go now?” I wasn’t sure how truthful Matt had been with his work schedule, he was supposed to be working until 8 tonight… But it can’t hurt to drive by, I suppose.
“Sure, let’s check it out. It’s Keegans, over off Belmont.”
Stacy and I took her car, to avoid being recognized. My heart started racing. I was nervous. Sure, I’d been told Matt was cheating, but what would I do when I actually saw it? I never thought I’d be in this position… Driving to a bar to see if my husband is there with another woman.
We drove to this tiny hole in the wall bar, and what do you know? There’s Matt’s Audi, parked right by the front door. I wondered how long he’d been off work. Stacy circled the parking lot, finally finding a discreet spot near some bushes. She backed into the spot so we could see Matt’s car clearly. It was almost 5 o’clock. He could be here all night.
“Should we go in?” Stacy asked, looking nervous. She fiddled with her key fob. We weren’t sure where they were sitting, and I didn’t want to confront him just yet. We’ll be here forever.
Just then, a couple left the bar looking drunk and in love. I couldn’t make out a face, but I recognized the striped t-shirt. It was Matt. They were laughing, holding hands. It looks like neither of us went to work today. Stacy started her car.
“What are you doing?”
“What do you think I’m doing, Linds? We’re going to follow them.”