This post is inspired by the following question that appeared on my Twitter timeline:
How do you deal with being cheated on?
My response? Leave.
There are some things that can be forgiven (e.g., forgetting a birthday, anniversary, paying the cable bill on time, etc). Cheating ain’t one of ’em.
For some, the logical decision to leave isn’t so clear-cut.
Trust is a hard thing to gain to begin with. It’s earned, not given by default to any ol’ body.
Once that trust is violated, it’s damn near impossible to get back. I can recall an instance where I knew that he was cheating but my heart wanted to stay.
It can work, I would tell myself. Now matter how hard I tried to make it work, there was no amount of forgiveness to make me forget.
I didn’t believe anything he said anymore. Questioned his whereabouts each time he came home. Raised an eyebrow anytime he used his phone. Made myself anxious worry about him instead of packing to leave. Anxiety is the byproduct of worrying. It wrecks havoc on your well-being. No amount of delusion can fix the damage that has been done.
When trust flees the scene, that’s your cue to leave as well.
All week, I’ve been looking for the perfect opportunity to tell Tim that his woman is cheating on him. Clearly, I failed. Oh well. No use in trying to figure it out now. What’s done is done.
It’s 6:15 Saturday evening. Dinner is at 7. Tim, family members, and I have arrived at the restaurant by shuttle bus. Susan is bringing Ashley to the restaurant between 6:55 and 7:00. Tim and I get everyone into the private dining room and dim the lights. I call Susan to see where she is.
“How far away are you and Ashley?”
“We are waiting for valet now.”
I check my watch. It’s 6:56. She may be a cheater, but she’s always punctual. After waiting for what seemed like forever, I hear the clicking of heels on the marble floor. I signal for everyone to be quiet. When I see their shadows enter the room, I signal for Tim to pull the string holding the net of balloons bouncing on the ceiling.
Ashley’s shocked. Finally, she gathers herself and starts clapping in excitement. Tim walks over to her and kisses her. His lips now looked like they were stained with blackberries. Once the meet and greet was over, everyone sat down for dinner.
“Babe, did you have any idea this was happening?” Tim asks Ashley.
“Hells no!! I thought it was just the four of us.”
The first two courses flowed effortlessly. Guests ate and chatted amongst each other. Tim and I went outside after the main course to smoke cigars.
“Did you see Ashley’s face? I hope the photographer got her reaction.”
I exhaled a vanilla-scented cloud of smoke. “I hope so. All I could see was the flash at one point.”
“I’m so glad I gave you the ring to hold. My nerves are so damn bad man…”
I put my hand on Tim’s shoulder.
“Breathe dude, breathe. Shake off the nerves, grab a shot or four at the bar, and make it happen.”
We finished our cigars and go back into the room. I noticed that Susan had moved into Tim’s seat and was having what appeared to be a deep conversation with Ashley. Once we approached our seats, Susan moved, and the dessert course came out.
Everyone’s having a good time when Ashley suddenly stands up.
“I want to thank everyone for coming. I’m truly at a loss of words…”
Before she could finish, Tim had stood up next to Ashley. This may not go as expected.
“What are we doing?” Ashley asks, placing her head of soft curls on my chest.
Preferring to live in the moment, I say nothing. Instead, I kiss her on the forehead. Derek left to run errands a half hour ago.
I hate that our relationship is comprised of stolen moments.
Frustrated with my response, Ashley moves away from me.
“You can’t keep ignoring the inevitable Susan. We have to come clean.”
She’s right. I turn on my side to look at her.
“You think I don’t know that? ! Exactly how would you like me to break the news?! Hey guys, I’ve been faux dicking Ashley for the past six years. Does that work for you?!”
Ashley’s eyes narrow. The shit has officially hit the fan.
“You know what?! I’ll break the news to Derek and Tim Saturday night at my birthday dinner. Don’t care if that works for you…you don’t have a choice.”
I get out of the bed and start putting my clothes on.
“Do what you have to do. I should have done it a long time ago.”
Ashley snorts. She’s so sexy when she’s mad. I walk over to where Ashley’s standing, zipping up her jeans.
Grabbing her hand, I look into her brown eyes and smile. I can never stay mad at her long. Hand in hand, we walk into the living room together.
“We’re going to do this Saturday night. Together. I promise.”
As soon as I finished the last syllable, I hear the key turning the lock on the front door. Ashley quickly lets go of my hand.
I sashay over to Derek, kissing him on the cheek.
“Hey honey. What do you want for lunch? ”
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