“Follow them? Seriously?” I tugged on a strand of hair, pulling it between my lips.
“Stop,” Stacy said, fully aware of all of my nervous habits, “Don’t be a baby. We’re gonna find out where this bitch lives. And you’re gonna get even.”
I put my hands underneath my thighs, trying to keep from looking so nervous. What if he sees us? What do we do?
“How? How am I gonna get even, Stace?” My voice was starting to sound whiny, I hated it.
“… I dunno… But you can’t just sit at home and get cheated on. Come on, you’re better than that. Anyway, it’s his loss, her teeth are totally fucked up,” she laughed as she rolled through a stop sign.
I tried not to smile at Stacy’s comment. Matt turned into a small shopping strip, parked and walked into a Marina Cleaners. Camille didn’t get out. We pulled in, parking a few spaces over, being sure to leave a few cars between us and Matt.
He walked out a few short minutes later carrying several dresses and blouses. He’s picking up her dry cleaning. He never even picked up my dry cleaning. I felt my face get hot.
“She’s got this prick wrapped around her pretty little finger,” Stacy muttered, as she put her car into reverse.
We followed them around for another hour. They went through a Starbucks drive-thru and stopped at a CVS Pharmacy. They finally ended up at what I can only assume was her house. A tiny little house in a less than middle-class neighborhood. It was such a downgrade from what we lived in. I couldn’t believe it.
“My marriage is over. He’s practically married to this woman!” I complained, letting it sink in.
“Maybe, but that doesn’t mean you have to mope around and be miserable,” Good old Stacy, always so motivational, “Get even, girl. Don’t let him win.”
Stacy had a point, I can’t let him win. But how do I even begin to get back at him? It’s not like I can take all of his money. We have hardly nothing left. What’s the worst thing a jealous wife can do? Do I sabotage his relationship with her? Do I make her life a living hell? Should I just be the bigger person and leave? I don’t even have the money to do that. I couldn’t sell the house, its collateral for another loan.
I hate Matt. I absolutely hate him. He ruined my life. I can’t even kick him out of the house because he’ll just stop paying on the loan and I’ll have to give it up. Maybe he’s just as miserable as I am. Maybe he’ll move in with her and let me keep the house while he pays off his debt. Not likely. Maybe I can visit his parents. I could tell them how he got disbarred and drank away all of our savings. I could cry to them about his infidelity. Tell them we were trying to get pregnant. We wanted to give them a grandbaby. But now Matt threw away all of our money. They’d totally side with me. Maybe even give me a loan. That’s what I’ll do, I’ll go to Matt’s parents.
We pulled into Stacy’s driveway and I told her my idea.
“I could blame him for everything,” I said, waiting for her nod of approval, “They’ve been asking for grandkids forever, and now I can tell them that we were trying, but Matt lost his job.”
“I don’t think you should tell them everything,” Stacy said, sounding unsure, “Maybe tell them he’s been out of work and was too embarrassed to ask for help.”
“Say you and Matt really want to start having kids but the money isn’t right. You know work will pick up at the firm, but you don’t want to stop trying for a baby because of this. Say you don’t want to hurt his pride. Maybe they’ll give you some money to help out, and you can ask them not to mention it to him.”
I liked Stacy’s idea better. There’s no need to bring them in on Matt’s affair. Not yet, anyway. We pulled into Stacy’s driveway. It was dark outside. An entire evening wasted chasing around my husband and his mistress. What a life.
I drove home that night, feeling a little more confident in my plan. Maybe I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen. But I knew I wasn’t going to let this be the end of my world. I’m not going to let him ruin me. He can waste our money and throw away his career. He can even cheat on me. But one way or another, I’m going to come out on top.
I got home after Matt, surprisingly. He was in bed already. Flipping through the channels.
“Where’ve you been?” He asked, casually.
“I was at Stacy’s… Just catching up.” I muttered, as I undressed.
“Oh really?” His voice raised a little. I looked up.
“Did Stacy maybe leave a wallet here?”
My heart dropped. I looked around, hoping to come up with some extravagant lie as to why a man’s wallet was on my nightstand.
“I was wondering what you’d been up to, all these evenings while I’m at work…” Matt walked closer to me, “I got home tonight hoping we could talk, I know things have been rough lately.”
I backed away, unsure what was coming next.
“Matt, I don’t – “
“Shut up.” He pushed against the wall.
“I’m out at this fucking dealership, working overtime and you’re fucking someone ELSE?!”
He shoves his forearm into my throat. I’m gasping for air. I see spots. Black spots. Coming in from the corners of my eyes. Matt’s face is red. He’s still yelling, but I can’t hear anything. I’m light-headed, dizzy. Trying to fight him off of me. But I’m so weak. I try to stay awake. But I can’t. I fall to the floor.