Marianne arrives and Gideon goes down to meet her. I polish off the glass of scotch, by now already diluted with the ice that has melted.
Without thinking, I call my parents. “Mum, Dad, you have to come. Gideon has a mistress and she’s over at our house.” “We’re coming”
I sit on the sofa and my eyes dart up instinctively to the photographs above our television. Our pre-wedding photos. We had flown to Melbourne to take them, and in them we looked beautiful. The photographer definitely did a good job, because even looking at them now, I remember asking myself why I didn’t feel more happy than I thought I would be. I remember wondering, is this it? Is this what real love feels like?
When you have never seen a whale for yourself, it’s hard for anyone else to describe to you.
Now that I have, I know that what Gideon and I had was never love. It was two people full of hollow pits, wanting for someone else to fill them up with something, anything.
Reality interrupts my thoughts when I hear them speaking downstairs. We only live on the third floor and I go to our balcony where I see them smoking downstairs. They’re not touching each other, just sitting side by side, but I see her for the first time. She’s wearing an oversized white shirt and denim shorts, and she has a big tattoo on her thigh. She has long black hair and a rather big bust. She’s not as I imagined her to be. But then again, he never really had a type in terms of appearance.
Later on, I would realize that he did indeed have a type – the empath, the people pleaser, the type with insecurities that he would find out and later use to manipulate them.
He looks up in my direction and I quickly duck away.
Moments later, they enter the door and I greet her with an awkward hug. I was on autopilot. I didn’t know how else to greet my husband’s other woman. “Let’s have a drink shall we?” I suggested. After all, we did have a bar in the house, and boy did I need a drink or three.
He walks towards the bar and begins pouring the both of them scotch, the very same one that I just drank. Turning towards me, he asks, “And what would you like to drink?”
I couldn’t hold my words back. “Seriously? I’ve been with you for 3 years. You met her barely a month ago and you’re asking ME what I want to drink?”
“How would I know? You always change what you want to drink.”
I roll my eyes so hard I could feel them hit the roof of their sockets. “Gin please.” I said. Ain’t no way in hell am I drinking what they’re drinking.
My parents arrive, and they’re clearly confused with the situation.
Suddenly, I regret having called them. Instead of having a 5-way conversation, I take Marianne’s hand and lead her to the master bedroom, leaving Gideon with my parents.
In my master bedroom, we sit on the floor and I can already feel tipsy – must have downed that glass of gin too fast. We talk about things I don’t remember now, but I ask, “Have you two slept together?”
“Oh…..didn’t you know? Didn’t he tell you? I might be pregnant”