This is a piece of autobiographical fiction. Space and time have been rearranged to suit the convenience of the book, and with the exception of public figures, any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental. The opinions expressed are those of the characters and should not be confused with the author’s.
This story is written as an example to anyone who wants to believe that we are more than the patriarchy deems us to be, more than our limitations, and more than our fears.
It’s 8pm and we’re sitting on the couch, watching Netflix. He’s on one end of the couch and I’m on the other.
Marianne is calling again, for the 11th time today.
He goes outside to pick up her phone call. When he comes back in, he said, ” Hey i’m sorry, but I have to turn on skype and let Marianne see what we’re doing. She thinks we might be having sex.”
What? No fucking way – I thought.
“I don’t wanna be on camera though…it’s so weird. We’re just watching netflix.”
“Yeah I know…sorry. It’s just going to be me in the frame.”
Seriously. This was getting out of hand. I grabbed his phone, ran into my room and hid his phone in my bag. Then I came outside to talk to MY husband. The husband that I knew.
“Sit down, Gideon. We have to talk.”
He relents and we sit on the floor facing each other.
“Why do you let her do this to you?”
He ponders for a while and replies “I think that I owe it to her. I lied to her once and now I have to show her that I’ll put in the effort to make up for all the lies I told her”
I can’t register in my mind that he’s lied to her. In just a month?? What kinda lies could he already have raked up?? But it doesn’t matter. It’s not the question I want to ask.
“So….even though she’s your mistress….you would rather put in the energy to appease her and try to keep her around than try to work on our marriage with me?”
“It’s just easier. I know that what I did to you is very unforgiveable. And I know that even if you forgive me, we’re not going to forget this. This will be hanging over our heads forever. I know it’s cowardly of me to do this, but I’d rather take this easy way out.”
There – he said it. There was his answer. He had proven me right.
For the entirety of our marriage, he has been taking the easy way out of his problems. He finds shortcuts and excuses, and he combines them with his apologies and his pitiful eyes to get out of every single mess he’s ever gotten himself into.
This time was no different.
Rather than stand up to Marianne and tell her she’s being unreasonable for asking to put a video camera infront of us while we’re just watching Netflix, he would rather put the burden on me to feel uncomfortable. All because she’s now his new source of admiration. She’s now making him feel everything he once felt with me. I used to make him feel like the top of the world. But now, she does. So of course, he panders to her every will.
Forget that I’m legally married to him. Forget a basic level of empathy that is so clearly lacking in him. Forget the lack of respect for me and my family when she wants to parade around to the world that she’s someone’s mistress and that she’s won because finally! someone loves her enough to leave his marriage. Finally! Someone is choosing her. Finally! Someone is proving their undying love to her. Even if it means she has to put someone else through suffering.
To the both of them – nothing else matters but their own little world. Nothing else matters because they’re soulmates, they’re meant for each other. The world could burn up in flames for all they care. All they want is to be together.
Later on, when she makes a feeble attempt to explain why they obviously lacked any respect at all for me or my family, she says “I’m entitled to my right for posting these photos, they’re my way of storing memories.”
Okay can. You do you. By the way, there’s such a thing called Google drive now, but Instagram is definitely a better way to ‘store memories’…….
I turn back to Gideon and I ask him, “Why didn’t you tell me you had financial difficulties?”
“I thought I could handle it”
“You know I wouldn’t have quit my job if you’d just told me. Why didn’t you?”
Every single time we argue or quarrel, it always ends with this. “I’m sorry”
2 words that could melt any anger I had for him. 2 words that could dissolve all of our grievances.
He knew that I would always try to empathize with him. He knew it, and he used it. Time and time and time again.