This posting is a continuation of Having An Affair Part 3 which is the story of my friend, Sophia.
“The next day he acted as though nothing unusual had happened. When he leaned to kiss me, I winced at his touch. He asked me if I was sick and that is when I told him that I thought I was pregnant. I felt upside down after the events of the night before and having another child wasn’t at the top of my list of things to do.” Sophia took a slight pause, breathed in deeply and continued.
“As it turned out, I was pregnant with Meredith. Mark insisted on going to every doctor appointment with me. There had been no other explosive or demanding behavior since that dreadful night. My pregnancy was beautiful and I tried hard to concentrate on my health, my son and my unborn daughter. By the time Meredith was born, I had relaxed and the joy of having another baby soothed my troubled heart.”
“Meredith was an easy baby and Mark seemed to enjoy helping me tend to her fussiness in the middle of the night when I felt wiped out. I had actually started to believe that I imagined the whole thing until a pair of red, lace thongs fell out of his suit pants pocket one afternoon while I was doing laundry. An immediate and violent wave of nausea pierced my stomach sending me to vomit continuously for half an hour.”
By now, Sophia didn’t expect me to say anything. She didn’t even check to see if I was on the other end of the line. I could tell by the way she spoke that each word shot her further and further into the past and the feelings that she experienced then were intruding on her life now.
“When I finished vomiting, I started crying. No, I started sobbing,” she continued. “I sobbed until my entire body sobbed. I didn’t believe I could hurt so badly. I thought I was going to die from the pain. The sobs remained even after I finished crying. My face was swollen, red and my head pounded with an overwhelming headache.”
“I had so many emotions warring inside of me. I felt trapped in my body, in my home and in my marriage. I hated him. I loved him. I hated that I loved him. What was I going to do? That is all I could think about for the rest of the afternoon.”
Sophia had become quiet. I felt as though someone had hit me with a baseball bat and knocked all the wind out of me. I was hurting. So often, as a General Manager of a hotel, I had seen the sadness caused by cheating spouses. There were always the frantic calls from the wife. Her voice filled with the agony of the unknown. She would call her husband’s room hoping to receive confirmation that he was safe and reassurance that he was alone. Of course, I couldn’t tell the wife that her husband was in his room with a voluptuous woman and was blatantly ignoring her calls. I couldn’t tell her that before he went up to his room, I had to type a message in the computer that said, “Do not disturb. Do not under any circumstances tell anyone (including his wife) that he is in the room or that you have seen him.”
Sometimes the wives would call all night long…hundreds of times.
The morning would arrive. The very happy husband could often be overheard chatting to his wife. While he ate breakfast, he explained to her that the plane was late, he was out with clients, the phone in his room didn’t work, his cell phone battery died, or he had fallen asleep and didn’t hear the phone. The lies were never ending. No matter how you look at it, cheating hurts people…eventually.
Sophia had started talking again. “When Mark got home at 10:00 p.m. I was awake, sitting on the edge of the bed waiting for him. He was so happy when he walked through the door. He was a handsome man, but now Mark looked so ugly to me.”
“‘Hi Honey!’ he said looking straight into my eyes.”
“I simply opened my hand, held the edge of the thong and let the offending garment dangle between us. For a second there was an unveiled fleeting recollection in his eyes and then it was gone. He turned to go into the bathroom and then stopped. Turning around, all he said was, ‘If you didn’t look like THAT, maybe I wouldn’t need to find anyone else.'”
“As his eyes went up and down my body with a look of utter disgust, I felt ugly. I felt repugnant, appalling, revolting, and completely loathsome. I was completely unwanted and undesirable. I felt that it was all my fault that he found pleasure in another woman’s arms. He deserved the happiness he felt while being consumed in another woman’s beautiful body. I didn’t deserve him.”
I winced. I could hear her crying now. I too knew the pain of blatant rejection in the face of pain. There aren’t any words that give comfort. There is no place to run or hide. The pain just keeps on hurting. I’m not sure that any woman can completely “get over” that deep of a wound.
I sat quietly on the phone listening to her cry for quite awhile. I kept thinking about my mother. So many times I have held her and heard the same hopeless, helpless crying. How many times had I buried my own face in the pillow and sobbed for hours in my lonely room?
Have you known that kind of aching pain?