The Darkness After the Affair
"And no matter how much he tried to soft-pedal what had happened, it was as if he'd told Adrienne not only that Linda was better in every way, but that Adrienne wasn't even worth the time and effort it would take to fix whatever it is he thought was wrong with their relationship." -Nicholas Sparks, Nights in Rodanthe
The First Night
I think I physically felt my heart break. It was a pressure, unlike anything I'd ever experienced. My chest ached, and I could no longer breathe. And my eyes, my eyes started to fill with salt as the tears began to form. The letters and pictures were in one hand, while the other was clutching my chest.
I vaguely heard a knock on the door. But being that I could no longer breathe, I was unable to say anything. Then came another knock. Harder this time. Somehow, I was able to use the hand holding the letters and pictures to unlock the door- but the other one was still stuck in what I now believed was its new, permanent home.
What I saw standing before me, was a man with a confused look on his face. Wondering why did I even lock the door in the first place? But, no words were exchanged, just the contents released from the hand that opened the door, being thrown in his face. "I have to go." I guess that meant I could breathe again. But the pain was still there, in fact it intensified as he tried to grab my arm to keep me from leaving. But his grip was no match for the strength I had at this point. The anger and the hurt had transformed me into a blubbering version of the hulk.
I had to get away. I had to go as far as my feet would carry me, after all, driving in this state probably would have been a bad idea. But I didn't make it too far out of the parking lot before he accosted me again. To me, his words sounded like the adults on Charlie Brown. Nothing made sense. I thought I was still clutching my chest, but when I looked at my hands they were moving frantically, in rhythm with my mouth. Apparently I was yelling. And still crying.
It was as if my body took over, when my mind could no longer handle what was happening in front of me. I can't tell you a single word I said, but I know I was thinking, "How could he do this to me? With her?? Of all people? With her?The so called childhood friend? Who in an effort to trust you, I started to trust her? While you were away, I confided in her; I talked to her; I did her hair!!! And you do this to me?? With her?"
The images kept flashing in my mind. Over and over and over againg. Her on the bed- in a bra and panties. Her on the bed in just a bra. Her on the bed with no bra. The words in the letter replaying themselves repeatedly in my head. "Remember how I spent the night. I don't even think we left the room the whole time I was there." It felt like my head was about to explode. It felt like my body was going to burst into flames. I was so angry. If this had been a cartoon, steam would have been coming from every orifice of my body. But this was real life, so the only thing leaving it was expletives and of course, tears.
As Time Went On
I tried and I tried to move on from what had happened. I even tried to break up with him. But for some stupid reason, unbeknownst to me, I was just unable to move on. My spirit was crushed. The very essence of "Me" was gone. The tension was so heavy, always weighing on me. And all I could do was compare, compare, and compare. She had the body I always dreamed of; look at her face, she's gorgeous; she has that beautiful hair. And she even had the baby he always wanted. Was I really that bad though? Was she really so irresistible to you? Was I not? What did she do that I didn't do? Was it because her brother played basketball with you and mine did not? I just could not fathom it. But still, I stayed.
And he never left me. So somehow in my twisted, distorted mind, I convinced myself that since he did not leave me for her, she must not have been all that she was cracked up to be. Something had to have been wrong with her. But even that, I was not sure of. After all, he had the nerve to want to remain friends with her- which I was sure as hell NOT having- but that brought on a whole new round of comparisons. "Was my personality that bad that you felt the need to keep a mistress as a friend?" Damn.
And all that time, I thought I was being the perfect girl. I really wish he would have told me. Or I really wish he would have just left me if that was the case. Why be with someone who is not satisfying you? I would have been hurt of course, but that would have been NOTHING compared to this.
In the End
Everything has changed. For those who knew us prior to this, we were now new people . The love that was once there just did not seem to sparkle as bright as it used to. It has dimmed immensely- like a candle that flickers and shines bright when first lit; but no matter what, the flame always goes out.