'My wife is back' I thought to myself as she stepped out of the taxi and turned to pay the driver. She was a short, sexy woman, making me the envy of many of my friends which is why I often used to show off with her on my arm. She looked up at the window where I stood and with a shrug of her shoulders marched towards the door, letting her in.
I walked, slowly, downstairs and gazed across at the woman that I had married. She stood, arms folded, looking at me with a resolute expression on her face. "Before I say anything to you look at this email I received and tell me if it's all true." I handed her the print I had made. She stared suspiciously at it, then took and slowly read it. I noticed that she became pale and halfway through it she started to cry.
"Oh my God!" she screamed, "Does he hate me this much?"
My teeth clenched as I realised that, at this point, she wasn't even thinking about me, her thoughts were about the bastard that she had the affair with. I gripped the table until my knuckles turned white and started moaning in anger. I was startled when she spoke calmly to me.
"Yes it is true, except for the part about the six guys. I slept with a guy, yes, but I was drunk, unconscious, and he raped me. Whether or not you believe me is inconsequential." She just stared at me as she spit those words out.
I got up and left the room after that statement because I needed to clear my head. If I hadn't I may have to gotten to know some law enforcement officers too well. I cried in anger and frustration because I knew that if the bastard who raped my wife ever to cross my path he would become intimate with the cricket bat I kept in my car.
I thought long and hard about all of the information she had passed on to me and decided to let the matter rest for now. I knew that eventually I would deal with the guy who had done this. I sighed and returned to the room I had left her in and spoke softly to her.
"I still love you in spite of all of this and I am willing to forgive you this time as long as it does not happen again." I stared at the floor because I couldn't trust myself to look at her for the moment.
The silence stretched on for a while before I heard her take a deep breath and I raised my eyes to look at her. She stared intensely into them as she spoke softly but firmly.
"Let me get this all in the open because I should have done this over six years ago. For a long time now I haven't been in love with you. I married you for the wrong reasons, and I know that now. I liked the idea of being married to my first real lover so I foolishly agreed to marry you. I never really forgave you after your first affair but after the second time I caught you with another woman my heart started to withdraw from you. I stayed after that because I didn't want to start over from scratch with anyone after being with you for over five years. You may wonder why I continued to stay in the relationship after feeling like this but I really can't say myself."
She stared at me as I slipped to the floor in shock. The expression on her face was sympathetic, but just that, sympathy. I hugged myself as the tears slid from my eyes. I could not believe what I was hearing after all the years we spent together. I had loved this woman for over ten years and she had stopped loving me for over half that time.
I had treated her a little badly sometimes but didn't she realise that I always loved her no matter what my actions were? I looked at her again but realised, from her expression and stance, that arguments and pleading would get me nowhere.
If she thought that I was going to just lay back and let her run into the arms of another man she was going to find out just how wrong she was. Wiping my eyes, I rose to my feet slowly. I stared hard into her eyes as I spoke. "I married you for better or for worse. I am not going to let you just walk away from the life we have made together. I realised the error of my ways and I turned over a new leaf and tried my best to show you how sorry I was for those affairs. When you said I do you made a serious commitment for the rest of your life and you owe it to our marriage, for better or for worse, to give it a fair chance."
She turned away from me as she went up the stairs and spoke back over her shoulder, "I also owe it to myself to enjoy the time I have here on earth with the man that I love. That man is no longer you. If you wish to fight the divorce go ahead but know this... I will not remain in this marriage out of obligation or to keep other people happy."
She turned and walked up the stairs to the guest room. I took up the telephone and called my lawyer Frank Lee. When I told him the purpose of the call he was immediately sympathetic but he was clear on one point. "You can fight the divorce if you want but you only delay it. Unless she changes her mind the divorce will take much longer than normal but it will go through."
I kicked the wall in frustration after I hung up the phone. I would fight it and try to save the marriage but I would have to win her heart to do this.
I didn't sleep that night. All I could do was to stare at the wall that I had kicked. My head was jumbled with thoughts. I had to pull myself together so I could call into work and let them know that I was not coming in.
Lucilla walked past me the morning, grunting a hello as she passed. I smiled to myself faintly. She had never been a morning person. She ate a light breakfast then left the house, informing me that she was on her way to speak to her lawyer.