“Come in,” I said when I heard a knock on the door of my office.
“Hey,” Trevor walked in and took a seat at one of the chairs in front of my desk.
“Hey,” I nodded my head. It was awkward between us every since he saw me with Lisa. I get it, I wouldn’t know how to react either.
“So,” he paused, “did you have a chance to talk to Nora?”
“Not yet,” I shook my head, “I couldn’t even sleep last night, man. I feel like I screw up so bad.”
“You have to tell her.”
“I’m not seeing Lisa anymore. Maybe I don’t have to tell her at all. If this whole thing could stay between us, she’d never heave to know.”
“You have to tell her,” Trevor repeated like a broken record.
“Why? It’s over. Are you not listening to me?”
“Because Dakota knows and if you don’t tell Nora, she will,” he blurted.
“What? You told her? Why the hell would you do that.”
“She got it out of me. I can’t lie to her, dude, nor do I want to,” Trevor stood up from his chair and pointed his finger at me angrily, “I don’t know what you’re getting mad at me for. I’m not the one sleeping around behind my wife’s back.”
“What?” I tilted my head, “I’ve never slept with Lisa.”
“Huh? What do you mean?”
“I mean we’ve never slept together. I don’t know what would have happened but we didn’t get that far.”
“So what’s the big deal? You tell Nora, I’ll tell Dakota and we can move on with our lives.”
“I don’t know. I kinda thought it’s still cheating.”
“It’s not that bad, though. Seriously. Tell her tonight, everything will be fine.”
“Alright,” I sighed, leaned back in my chair and rubbed my eyes.
This is a nightmare and I caused it. Now I have to deal with the consequences.
“Mommy, can you help me?” I looked up from my annoying math homework.
“What do we have here,” mom sat next to me at the dining table and started to explain how to solve the problem. She was really smart and always knew how to do my homework when I needed help.
“Daddy,” I screamed and ran to him when he opened the front door. He was working a lot lately. Sometimes I was already in bed when he came home.
“Hi sweetie,” he picked me up and span me around and I laughed.
“Mom is helping me with math,” I informed him.
“Is she?” dad put me down on the floor and l ooked at my mom and then back at me, “honey, can you go do your homework in your room? I need to talk to mommy alone.”
“But I don’t know how to do the homework, daddy. That’s why mom was helping me.”
“Alright. How about I’ll help you when mom and I are done talking.”
“Fine,” I sighed and put my worksheet into my backpack. Dad was really smart, too.
I went upstairs to my room and sat on my bed, waiting for him to come. I don’t know why they need to talk alone. I should be allowed to be there and listed. And I will!
I put one ear on my door. They were downstairs so it was really hard to hear anything. I wished they talked louder but then I changed my mind when they started yelling at each other. I didn’t understand what they were saying but they were mad. I could tell.
I don’t know how long I was listening but it wasn’t too long. Then I heard the door slam and it was quiet after that.
My dad never came to do my homework with me. When I went downstairs to look for him, I found mom sitting on the couch, crying.
“Mommy?,” I stood in front of her, “where is daddy? He said he will help me with math.”
“Oh honey,” she reached out for my hand and I sat next to her, “daddy had to go back to work.”
“Is that why you’re crying?”
Mom chuckled, even though she still had tears rolling down her cheeks, and pulled me closer into a hug.
“How are you feeling, hun?”
Martha was a week past her due date but she was handling it like a champ. I was checking on her couple times a day to make sure everything is fine since her husband, Garret, works quite far away.
“Alright. I just want this to be over, I can’t wait to meet my son.”
“I know. Call me right away when it starts. Day or night, ok?”
“Of course I will. After Garret, you will be the first to know.”
“Good.” I smiled. Martha has always been like a sister to me and now she’s having a baby. I’m about to be an aunt. “I have to go. Trevor is being annoying. Love you.”
I hung up the phone and looked at my husband who was trying to catch my attention, “what?”
“Great news,” he smiled widely, “turns out, Dean is not cheating on Nora.”
“What do you mean? You saw him at the restaurant, right?”
“Well yea, but they never did anything, never slept together. They just hung out, had dinner, talked.”
“And does Nora know?”
“Then it’s still cheating. The man is sneaking around, lying to his wife, sharing intimate feelings with another woman. The fact that they didn’t have sex doesn’t make it ok.”
We argued about this for at least ten minutes until I got fed up and went into our bedroom to calm down. I was furious. I couldn’t believe he would take Dean’s side on this. He may not cheat yet, but who knows what would happen if he didn’t get caught by my husband.
I was glad the kids were at my parents and didn’t hear us argue. My dad will bring them home soon.
“What is he doing here?” I asked, annoyed, when I came back into the living room and saw Dean sitting on the couch.
“Nora threw him out, he has nowhere to go.”
“Oh,” I folded my arms on my chest, “I wonder why.”
“Come on, Dakota, stop it.”
“Stop what? He decided to cheat, he can figure out where to sleep. It’s sure not gonna be in my house.”
I was well aware that Dean can hear every single word, and maybe I was harsh, but I just couldn’t have him under my roof right now and I wanted him to know that.
“Sorry, man,” Trevor turned to him. He knew there is no changing my mind.
“It’s ok,” Dean said and stood up from the couch, “I’ll sleep in my office. Can you give me a ride? I walked here.”
Trevor grabbed his car keys, not looking at me at all, and left with his friend. I was so angry but I had to control myself because right after they left, ma dad’s BMW pulled in. The kids were home.
“Hi guys,” I hugged them one by one, “did you have fun with grandma and grandpa?”
They both nodded and tried to tell me what they did at the same time.
“Hi dad,” I kissed him on the cheek, “do you want to come in?”
“Sure,” he nodded, “just for a minute.”
“Guys go wash up and put your jammies on,” I told the kids and then turned to dad, “did they finish their homework?”
“Of course,” he sat on the stool at the kitchen island, “where is Trevor? Don’t tell me he is still at the shop.”
“No he’s not. Don’t even ask, I’m so mad at him right now.”
“What’s going on?”
“Ugh,” I didn’t know where to start, “ok, let me ask you something. If someone is married and is sneaking around, having dinners with another person, even though they are not sleeping with the other person. Would you say it’s wrong?”
“Of course it is. Are you and Trev having problems?”
“No,” I shook my head, “it’s not about us. It…it’s Dean. He was hanging out with some girl he knows from collage and Trevor is taking his side and, even worse, covering for him. I’m so angry I can’t even look at him.”
“Oh honey,” dad said quietly, “you’re not mad at Trevor.”
“Uhm, trust me. I am!”
“Look,” my father stood up and grabbed my shoulders gently, “you and Trev have always looked at Dean and Nora as an example of the perfect couple. Now, that their marriage is in trouble, you start to wonder, who’s to say yours isn’t next? You’re not angry, sweetie. You’re scared.”
I just stared at him. He was absolutely right. When something like this can happen to them, it can happen to us, too.
It was late and I was laying in bed, staring at the ceiling. Trevor wasn’t home yet, ho probably decided to keep his best friend company during his crisis. I understand him now, I would do the same if it was Nora or Martha.
After midnight, I finally heard the bedroom door open. My husband slid under the blanket carefully, probably thinking I’m asleep.
“Hey,” I turned my head around to look at him.
“Hi,” he whispered back.
“I’m glad you’re home.”
He put his arm around my waist from behind and pulled me closer to him. I placed my hand on his and we fell asleep. Together. We are stronger than this, I know it.