26th December 2019
Gideon is asleep. I’ve always wondered how he could escape everything so easily. How does his mind let him sleep? Mine doesn’t at least.
I’m sitting on the sofa, nursing a glass of scotch with two ice cubes. Netflix is playing a show, but I’m not paying attention, it’s just noise in the background. I think about what Gideon said, and I check the date on my phone again. It’s the 26th of December, a little less than a week before we fly to the US.
The suspense is killing me. Just days ago, my husband told me he’s in love with another woman. But instead of making the decision and setting me free, he’s letting us hang in the air, as he has done so many times before.
It’s no different than the other times when we meet with problems. He informs me of his problems and waits for me to provide him a solution. It was like this when we were planning our wedding and he said he wanted a Bali wedding. it was like this when he came home with credit card bills that had not been paid for a year. It is like this now when he’s torn between two women and can’t decide.
I couldn’t wait any longer, so I went into the room, unlocked his phone, and opened up Whatsapp.
There it was. The very first conversation. I open it up and I scroll all the way to the beginning. I start reading and reading and the initial flirting as strangers became evidence of them having slept together, it became painful to see him tell her “I love you”.
I feel my heart pounding and for a second glance at him to see if my heartbeat woke him up. They were deafening in my ears, and my entire face become hot. Yet, Gideon is sleeping soundly with his mouth open.
It’s past midnight but I don’t care. I dial the call button. With every ring, my anxiety intensifies. Finally, she picks up the call and I register noise in the background, she’s not asleep yet, that’s good.
“Hi Marianne, I’m Jane. Gideon’s wife.” Immediately, she says “Let me speak with Gideon.” “I just wanted to talk with you, do you have a minute?” I ask. “Yes, but give the phone to Gideon now.”
I don’t know why I obey, but I wake Gideon up and say “Marianne is asking for you” and hands him the phone. The look on his face changed. For a second, I saw his mask fall away. For just a second, I saw a tinge of who he really is. Of course, I didn’t recognize this back then. But just for a moment, I thought to myself, “Who is this man I’ve married?”