Shadows of ourselves
by Samantha Hazlewood
You walked straight past me today, like I didn’t exist, like I was nothing. Was it because you were with her? Was it because when “wifey” is around you pretend that everything is a-okay? What happen to the problems? The talk of divorce, was that all a lie?
Your smile surely doesn’t reveal the hurt, pain and agony that your wife gives you. When you lie in my bed and sob and tell me that you want to get out, that you want to build a life with me, what am I to believe?
I stood in awe when you walked right by. You were so close to me, I smelt your cologne, it reminded me of the nights we spent in your guest house, our “special place”, our getaway. I could have brushed you, I could have done so much, but I was shocked, that you didn’t even glance my way.
Am I still the same person, whose body you devour? The person, who listens to you intently, gives you advice and tells you everything is going to be okay? I waited for your call that night, but my phone never rang, I checked my email six times that night, nothing — it were as if you didn’t love me.
I planned how I would approach you when I saw you again, or when you called. I thought long and hard about the perfect thing to say. Attitude was in full force, and I knew that you would be in the doghouse for a while. I knew that I wanted a full explanation. Why were you looking happy with her? Why didn’t you stop and say hi to me? It isn’t like she doesn’t know who I am; I thought you said that you told her about us, that you wanted our relationship to be open and known. I guess I was a fool to believe you.
How could I have fallen for you? How could I have been so silly as to think that you would throw away seven years of marriage, three kids and a mortgage. Clearly, I wasn’t thinking right, I need to get you out of my head. I need to erase you, but how can you erase a man who knows all your dreams, who inspires and is the whole purpose of my existence.
I feel so alone right now, I can’t eat; I dare not sleep, for I know the image of her hands all over you, over my man will come back to me. I need to do something; I need to get to the bottom of this. I dial your number, palms sweating, bated breath I waited for you to pick up. “Hi this is …” I put down the phone before the rest of your voice message plays.
I can’t breathe, the room is spinning, and as the tears run down my honey brown face I am petrified, not for loosing you, but for what I am about to expose, I wipe my tears away with your white linen shirt, the one you left on your last visit. I pick up the phone again, this time, I call your house number, something I promised never to do, as I dial the last digit I am alarmed by a knock on my door, I peep outside, it’s you. I open the door, all of the pain and hurt is gone. Your eyes say you’re sorry, I know you are. You hold me in your arms as I sob, you whisper in my ear, “I love you” and I know right then, you always will.
I pull away from you, I need an explanation. Why were you with her? Why did you look happy? The why’s flowed from my mouth like a fountain — you listened attentively. Held me by my waist and whispered in my ear that it was all a part of the plan. You likened it to chess, that you were making your moves strategically so as not to stale-mate.
So that I would be your queen. I believed you, I knew right then that you loved me. As you lay between my legs, you roosted in your home, your domain, this is where you belonged. I smiled as I slept, because I knew you were mine, no matter what that certificate of marriage said, you were mine.
When I woke up you were gone. No note, no indication that you were even there. I threw on your white linen shirt, the piece of you that stays with me always. I knew what I had to do. Today was the day I had to approach her. Not one for confrontation, but your tactic of handling the situation was not moving as swiftly as I thought it should, I had to hasten the speed.
Sunday, a holy and significant day, one of rest for some, but this Sunday would be one that we’d all remember. I showered, touching myself and caressing my body as I bathed, thinking of you, thinking of how our Sundays will be from next week. We’ll get up, eat breakfast on the balcony, get ready for church, go to lunch, come home and have a relaxing afternoon with a bottle of wine by the beach. Perfect, just like us.
I put on blue, your favourite colour. You always say you love how the blue brings out the colour of my eyes. I got in my car, the one you bought me for my 30th birthday, I remember that day like yesterday, and you spoilt me rotten. You wouldn’t let me lift a finger that day, we picnicked, fine dined and of course the loving was on point. You really rocked and controlled my body.
You didn’t even leave to go home that night, telling me that you were spending forever with me. I believed you, until the next day, your son called, reminding you of the soccer game you had to take him too. I didn’t resent it, because before you left, you gave me the key to my BMW 5 Series.
How could I argue after getting such a surprise? You promised to return that night, so that we could have a moonlit dinner and talk about our goals and plans. I anticipated it, and waited all night, but you never came.
I got in my car, and stopped in front of the church. I saw your vehicle in the carpark, the family car. I entered the church and was greeted by the ushers. All of them expressed how happy they were to see me, and not to stay away so long again. It felt great to be missed.
I sat two seats behind you and her and your kids. You looked perfect. In your Stacy Adams suit, looking like you stepped right out of a GQ magazine. My body ached for you; I needed to feel your hands on me. I got up and sashayed passed your pew on my way to the washroom. It didn’t take you more than five minutes to be in the washroom behind me. You told me that I looked fantastic, but it was dangerous what I had done.
Saying we had promised not to be seen together, especially not at church, I shrugged that off, pulled his face to mine and kissed him like there was no tomorrow. He broke the kiss, saying he has to go. I didn’t care, because I knew I would be on his mind all through that service.
I left before the end of church; I went to our little restaurant by the coast, hoping that you would get away and join me. You didn’t come; you left me and my thoughts alone. My thoughts that maybe you don’t love me; maybe that what we are doing is totally wrong. The betray of water slipped down my eyes, I had to make a stand.
I can’t do this anymore. I went home, packed all of your things in a box. It didn’t really amount to much, as you were always so careful not to leave things around. My phone rang, it was you. You want me to meet you at our spot and you’ve got great news. I was so excited, could this be it? Was it that you finally told your wife, is that why you were so distant today?
That had to be it. I was overjoyed. I threw on another blue outfit; I made sure that I looked extra special, just how you liked me. I sprayed on your favourite perfume. Tonight was a night for us to celebrate. I cruised to our spot. When I got there, you weren’t there yet. I waited out on the porch, you were sure to be there soon. I waited for over an hour.
When my phone rang again, you were running late, but you were on your way. Don’t leave, the news was fantastic. I couldn’t contain myself and I really couldn’t get mad at you. When I thought of your perfect lips and eyes that saw right through me.
Another hour passed and my passion was fading. I got in my car and started to cruise down the boulevard. How stupid am I, why do I keep falling into your stupid games? I got home and you were there waiting with champagne. You laughed, and said you thought I would never arrive. You had dinner set, a bubble bath drawn and my favourite, strawberries and chocolate syrup.
My body started to respond, I wasn’t even hungry, I wanted dessert! You commanded my body like an officer in charge; you made me moan and stretch like never before. That loving was on point. I knew right then, why I loved you so much, apart from your perfection; you knew how to make my body respect you. I weakened like a child whenever you touched me.
I was so tantalized with the spectacular night; I forgot to ask what the great news was. You hushed me and said it was a surprise and I will see in the morning. My eyes gleamed: “You’re staying?” You laughed: “My love, you will never leave me, and neither will I leave you.” This night was perfect.
You were gone when I woke up, but this time you left a note. “Have fun shopping today, buy something sexy for later!!” and your black card, I was prancing around when the phone rang. I looked at my phone, it wasn’t ringing, but yet this ringing continued, and there it was — your cellphone.
Your prized possession, you never went anywhere without it, so to see it lying between the cushions of my chair I was more than surprised. I looked at the display. The number didn’t look familiar, it wasn’t your home number or wife’s cell, it could be one of your clients.
As I was just about to put the phone done, it rang again, the same number, this time the display picture came up, all that could be seen was a picture of a large breast. I didn’t hesitate when I answered. “Hello…” She didn’t wait to hear long enough to realize I wasn’t you…
“Baby, I miss you, I need you, and after last night I know I can’t go on without you.” I breathed deeply. Again I said hello…
She paused, “James? Why do you sound like that? James?”
“This is not James; may I ask who is calling?”
“Oh, this is Tamisha from the club, I need to reach James urgently, do you know how I can do so?”
The betray had started to fall down my eyes again. I sniffed. “ummm when I see him, I will let him know you called.”
She didn’t even say goodbye. I stood with that phone in my hand for a while; “I didn’t even hear when you entered the room.”
You saw the look in my eye, you grabbed your phone, slapped my face and said don’t ever touch anything belonging to you again.
I stood there weak, shattered, how could you do this to me, how could you cheat on me?
You stood backing me. I barely heard you but I knew it was coming. “It’s over Mark!” You shut the door. I couldn’t breathe. I cringed in the corner … with my cellphone in hand, rocking myself… I’ve hurt too long… The truth must now come out…
I didn’t get to finish my thought because there you were at my door with flowers, saying you were sorry and she meant nothing to you, I was the only one you loved. Would this cycle continue or was it too late. I didn’t flinch when she called your name. You broke out in a cold sweat. I got up and welcomed your wife in. Tonight, right now this would all end.