“Look at me!” I shouted at him from across the table. It has been a while since he paid any attention to me, looking at him, with a surly frown across my face. He’s on instagram while we’re having dinner. At home! It’s nice that my roast chicken and mashed potatoes served with red wine is becoming a hit over some social media portal but it’s taking him away from me. I’m sitting in all my Sunday fine clothing because this is the only day we have together. We decided on visiting the theatre for a ballet after dinner but I don’t know how many different pieces of him I will have to carry considering he doesn’t realize I’m sitting pretty for him. This being one of the many perks of being married to an actor. No, he isn’t a small time actor from Broadway, he is a proper Hollywood A-list guy. I’m a scientist and we both together is the weirdest coming-together anyone could have imagined.
We both travel too much to have any time left for intimacy. It also means that he has stopped paying much attention to what has been going on at home. His I love you’s trickle down like molasses on a cold January night. It’s quite rare now to see him smile for the little things like cuddling in bed, stolen kisses in the garden or sitting on the porch. I see him changing in front of me, but I’m helpless. He comes home to work and he goes out to work and I’m sitting in silent desperation for him to notice my existence. I dread to find myself in a position where one day, I’m going through his phone and find things that were never meant to be found, especially by me.
Which brings us to our dining table. “Sweetheart, I have to tell you something”, he whispered, without even looking up from his Vine profile. “I don’t want to know, you don’t text me now, don’t even call and then you come up to me, telling me you have to say something! Why should I listen?” I shouted back.
“Because this concerns our future together” he replied
Somehow my heart fell a thousand feet hearing this. “Tell me?”
“I love you and you are the best thing that I have had in my life” he started saying. “I believe you can do so much more in your life, more than what you got from me and I see the brilliance that shines from inside of you. But I had sex with a woman. And it has been going on for a couple of months now. I want you to know that she makes me happy.”
I was shocked by the absolute lack of remorse and his brazenness. I have never stammered or stuttered my whole life and I started fumbling around for words. “Why?” That was all that I could manage to say.
“I would expect you to have left this house by next week. Since we had bought it together, I will transfer your part of the share to your bank. I’m also getting her to live with me now,” he said, coolly, lighting his beloved Havana cigar.
I didn’t cry, I couldn’t cry. I just sat on the chair like a limp, lifeless body waiting to wake up from this reality that I thought was a dream. He was still talking but I managed to filter out the rest of the bullshit that I now knew held for no regard in my life. I slowly pushed back the chair and got up.
“Where are you going?”
I kept walking and started climbing up the stairs. My dress felt so heavy around me. I took it off and left it on the stairs while still walking up. I could hear him crying and asking me to say something. I even forgot I had any legs.
This man had the audacity to leave his own wife, someone he had been married to, for 7 years, for a driveway waitress that he met on one of his tours (my friend later told me about her).
I left with everything, even the small mug that I had gifted him which said “my hero”. I saw no reason for it to be lying by his bed, which was a couple of days ago, our bed. I left everything that he had ever given me. The car, my diamond necklace, my Louis Vuittons, everything. I had enough money and self respect left in me to buy all of those materialistic things back again. I bought a place for myself 3 days after I left that house. It was not home anymore.
All of this had happened exactly 2 years ago. Today, while watching the news, I found out that my ex-husband had been left bankrupt and dead, frothing in his mouth, from an overdose of heroin, cocaine and alcohol. I also found out that his wife, the driveway waitress, had spent all of his money in plastic surgeries for herself and buying diamonds. The house was left in ruins due to her incessant episodes of renovation that she used to see on tv.
I felt a tinge of sadness that our beautiful life had been wasted on some undeserving girl. But then, I called up my ex-husband’s caretaker and arranged to pay for his funeral. I knew he wanted only his parents and sisters for the ceremony. I went to the house to have a talk with his new wife and she was also high on cocaine but she managed to talk to me and abuse me.
The fact that this dead man had meant everything to me in the past, I ended up feeling sad for him.
I now sit with my child, who I gave birth to, exactly a year ago. She is the only evidence of a life I had in the past.