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.
31st December, 2019
I have the best friends.
Over the last few days, they have taken turns to accompany me.
When they first met me, I couldn’t compose myself. All I could do was cry. My world was falling apart, and they could do nothing else to help but just be around to keep my mind off things.
We went out to bars, sang karaoke for 3 hours in a row where I cried and laughed at the same time, they fed me with food and made sure I didn’t die of alcohol poisoning.
Today, we are all going out to celebrate NYE. But not before I meet Gideon for dinner.
We had already planned to have this dinner with our friends two weeks ago, and I asked if he was still okay to go for it. “Yeah, this will be the last dinner we have with them as a couple, so sure why not.”
Our friends have 3 beautiful daughters who each have their own personalities. The eldest one loves to dance and sing, the second one is the sassiest and the youngest is just full of pure joy and always loves eating. Just a few weeks ago, our two families had gone to KL together and spent a holiday together. The youngest one loves riding on Gideon’s shoulders and the second one would always run into our arms whenever we meet. The children love us and I love them too.
Just before we go upstairs for dinner, Gideon and I decided to meet and are sitting down on a bench.
I see that he has cut his hair. He’s wearing a white t-shirt and his usual cap and this time, after hiding his smoking habit from me for who knows how long,he blatantly places a box of cigarettes and a brand new wallet in front of him, between us. He wants me to notice the new wallet – probably a gift from Marianne. To be clear, I never wanted him to quit smoking for me, I just told him that smoking wasn’t a habit I could accept. It could have meant we couldn’t be together, but I never wanted him to change himself or change his life for me. He had always made these decisions himself, in order to be with me. I always thought it meant he loved me so much, he would change his life for me. I never once questioned why, what, should, should not. I just accepted his love for me because I needed that validation.
“Just to be clear, us going to the US together is not a chance for us to work things out. We’re over. Things are over between you and me.” Gideon says, without any sign of remorse for his actions at all.
“Okay, I hear you and really, I’m just going because I want to go to the Mexico. Plus, we need to bring our cats there together. If I don’t go, one of the cats will be left behind.”
I half-lie to him. In my heart, I knew that we were over. But I wanted to go to investigate. I had many questions burning inside of me and I thought that by going to the US, it would give me time to suss him out a little, now that he has dropped all acts of who he really is.
The way that he was acting so casual about leaving our marriage was incredibly suspicious to me. Who was he? Who was this man I married? I didn’t tell him, but I went to the US so I could let him show me more of who he really is.
Throughout dinner, I couldn’t concentrate. I barely ate and of course my friend noticed that something was wrong.
I made some excuses to leave earlier, and later found out that Gideon spent NYE with Marianne and some of her friends. On her instagram, she also posted a photo of them in OUR house. In my marital home.
While I was away, he had brought her back to our house.
Later on, when I asked him if they had slept on our marital bed, he said, “No of course not, that would be disrespectful. We slept together on the couch.”
I had no words. I just stared blankly at him and asked myself over and over again, “How did you let yourself marry this man, Jane?”