I couldn’t bring myself to finish Drowning in Jealousy, so I bring you this plot bunny instead. I got a prompt, and it was one that I hopped on board with straight away.
‘She said her final words and left, there’s no turning back now.’
Be warned guys, this may get a little… lewd.
The rainfall reflected our moods perfectly. The sky outside was gloomy for a summer’s day, and I couldn’t tell where the rain stopped and her tears began. She’d reluctantly come inside, but I assumed she’d only come to pack some of her belongings.
‘I don’t know…what to say,’ I started. It was the first we’d spoken in a week. Kate had gone to her parents’. She looked haggard from the experience, and she hadn’t taken care of herself, that much I could tell.
‘You cheated,’ she replied. That phrase constricted my chest. I hadn’t considered the enormity and the emotions those two words emitted until they were spoken, laid bare for me. It was true – I couldn’t resist. Our marriage had been torn apart by our work schedules and lack of intimacy. I craved even just the verbal affection that she used to give me.
But it changed when I found an artist online. Her name was Elizabeth. Her work spoke to me like no other had done, and I started following, complimenting her work. She didn’t gain much traction, but that was a shame – her paintings were amazing, and better yet that she was local. She seemed to be a newer artist, and she responded that my comments helped her believe that her art was meaningful. She kept on painting, and soon, I was seeing her work in the local cafes, and she had her own exhibit in the art gallery. I was mesmerised by her work, but that’s all it was, or so I thought.
The more I spoke to her, the more I realised we were alike. She was single, though, but wary of relationships. It became common for me to look forward to talking to her and feeling low around Kate.
Kate kept bringing up the possibility of children, but I put it off, claiming to want to have a steady income before children were even a consideration. While that was true, I felt deep down that I didn’t want to have children – with her, anyway.
But on the flip-side, there I was, arranging to meet Elizabeth for coffee dates and discussions about art. I wasn’t an artist myself, but it was a conversation I could slip into – she talked about it so passionately, and I was able to keep up once she had me memorise the terminology. And then somehow, the conversations became more personal, about our lives away from work. Some days, they became heated, talking about our sex lives and what kinks we had. She’d discussed a passion for outdoors sex, something that Kate would never have done.
Kate was conveniently ill on the night of the local gala, and so I went alone. Elizabeth happened to be there, sitting at my table, and the alcohol was flowing beautifully. I’d never forgotten how Elizabeth looked that night – a red dress cut to show her cleavage and a large seam cut to near the top of her thigh, and her hair tied up in an elegant ponytail. After the conversations we’d been having, I’d wanted her that night. After a few drinks, one thing led to another, and I had taken her against the wall around the back of the hotel where the gala was being held. I’d felt guilty over the course of the next week until Elizabeth had proposed we talked it out. But again, that meeting ended with us redressing after another tryst.
I wasn’t sure how we’d made it five months without being caught. Like a classic take of a cheater caught out, Kate came home early from work, to find Elizabeth’s car parked outside, and caught us in the act, with Elizabeth bent over the kitchen table. I hadn’t noticed, only when we’d finished and I found Kate’s wedding ring posted through the letterbox, and she’d blocked me on all of the socials. It was then that I had pieced the scenario together. I was careless, bringing Elizabeth over, but I could not resist at the time.
Now here Kate was, a week later, seemingly ready to have a conversation.
‘Yes, I did cheat. There’s…there’s no excuse.’ I didn’t even bother apologising, it would have been empty. I didn’t have the fight in me to fight for this marriage now, it had gone too far.
‘How long?’ Kate asked, voice shaking. She didn’t want to know, but it was the question that springs to the lips of anyone who has been cheated on.
‘Five months,’ I responded, not willing to lie to her now. She sat on the very edge of the sofa. She was white now, the colour had drained.
‘So all of those “meetings” and “appointments” you had?’ she questioned, air-quoting the necessary words.
‘Why? Why would you do this after all of this time? We’ve been married for five years! Did that mean anything to you?’ she spoke it softly, and that hurt more than if she’d shouted at me. I couldn’t answer. I stood in silence as she stood up and walked up to our bedroom, and I was silently glad that Elizabeth had left just half an hour prior. I could hear the rummaging around our closet and drawers, and then towards our bathroom. Then I saw her, marching down the stairs towards the front door. She stopped for a moment, before digging through her handbag, and dropping off her set of keys. She opened the front door, and I followed her.
We stood outside. I didn’t know why I was trailing her. Thinking about it now, it was probably something to do with the five years we’d been married. It was still raining, so we were both soaked.
‘Adriana will be back for the rest of my things. I’ll only see you during the divorce proceedings. I hope you’ll comply and make this easy,’ she said her final words and left. There’s no turning back now.