The night that I knew that my wife was cheating was not the nicest of nights.
She vanished from me a long time ago, back in January, when she stopped smiling. The smile that says I love you, the secret shared look that no-one else sees.
The intimate milisecond when eyes might meet and everything you’ve ever shared is there.
She faded out of my life in the last few months, reappearing like a shadow of herself, emotionally somewhere else with someone else, likely staring into his eyes.
And how, I wonder, did the two of them smile?
She came home late night after night, went on trips with flimsy excuses and for a while I thought to myself: Most men would think she was cheating, but M wouldn’t do that, she’d never do that…
Yes, life can be so ironic! And how trusting is a fool.
And now a moment, if I may, to add an extra layer: He’s married. Married, with two young children.
I wish you ill and I wish you well and I don’t know where I am. I wish you’d been less cowardly and ended us in January. And I wish I’d hugged you more, and kissed you more because I won’t, anymore. And I can’t imagine doing so with anyone else.
The words that told me M was in the arms of someone else were conveyed via text: “Staying at a friends house tonight”.
Prosaic, brutal, cold.
But if I was smarter, more intuitive or less human I might have known from the wan smile in the restaurant in January. The one that said, “I’m smiling because I ought to smile but I don’t want to be here with you.”
And now you aren’t here with me, and I’m not smiling, but I can conceive of a time in the far future when I might. Had I done what you have done, I’d feel undeserving of ever curling my lips upward again.
“I can imagine no more comfortable frame of mind for the
conduct of life than a humorous resignation”
~W. Somerset Maugham~