The Downside of Infidelity
A girl tries to muster the courage to come clean to her boyfriend about her affair.
Written by Gregory Patrick Travers
I left Nick’s house that night and got in my car. I felt a lump in my throat as I checked my phone to see another missed call from John.
This can’t go on, I thought to myself.
I needed to come clean and tell John the truth. Not just for him, but for me, too. Keeping this secret, running around behind his back and covering my tracks…it was utterly exhausting.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when I fell out of love with him, but I can remember the day I first met Nick. He came into the bar by himself; I had never seen him around before. He was shy for someone so cute. Usually, the guys around the bar act as guys do, horny and a little too honest with their desires…Not him, though. He just smiled and watched the sports highlights on the bar screen. Maybe that was the reason I kept coming back to check on him.
He had just moved to the city from Vancouver for work. He did lighting work for movie sets; a job most might find uninteresting, but I loved movies…Lights, make-up, sound, whatever—if it had to do with film, I was all ears. I don’t know if it was the stories about being on set or his blue eyes and dimples, but when I got home that night he was all I could think about.
In all the five years that John and I had been a couple, I never once thought about cheating. When we got together in high school it was this magical thing, like something out of a romantic comedy. He was this funny, quirky guy who everyone seemed to like and I was swept away by him. In the first years, I was thankful every day that I was the one he chose to call his girlfriend. I would get mad when he talked to other girls and I would be on needles all day until he was back home with me, cuddling on the couch and watching Seinfeld, our favorite show. My heart would race when he sent me a text message, even if it was just a smiley face or a “LOL”. The sex was great; we had this connection like we knew exactly what the other person wanted without even saying a word…
But we were young and I suppose we weren’t sure who we really were as individuals. He maintains he did, but I know I didn’t. Back then all I wanted to do was get married, have kids, and live this fairy tale life with the man I loved. College made me mature…or immature. I loosened up and stopped taking life so seriously. The idea of being tied down to one spot with one person sounded more like a prison sentence than a dream. Slowly I began to have subtle resentments towards him. Where once I saw him as sweet, now he was kind of over-sensitive. The sex that had been so magical became routine and left me uninspired and unsatisfied.
At this point, Nick had been coming into the bar more, which always made my night. Every time the front door opened I would prop my head up in hopes to see him walk through the door. I felt like such a goof but, at the same time, the fact that I felt this electric attraction made me feel alive again and I wanted more of it. Lots more.
I found myself getting off shift and, instead of going home to John, staying for a drink with Nick. First, it started out as one, then two, then three…Then came the night he invited me back to his place for the fourth. He laid me and his bed and kissed my neck, his hands were rough but I wanted them on me. I was wet even before he shuffled my jeans off me and threw them to the floor. He made me shake and quiver…He made me cum.
Six months later I was juggling both of them. At first, the affair made me feel dangerous and sexy but when John and I began to fight, I failed to see the reason as to why I was keeping up this charade. I guess I didn’t want to see the hurt in his eyes when I told him there was someone I wanted more than him. Knowing John, he’d probably start crying or something. Maybe in some way, I as well didn’t want to see all those years go to waste…but there was no denying we weren’t the same couple we were in high school.
As I drove home, I heard a Barenaked Ladies song on the radio that John and I used to dance to. That combined with passing by the park we used to hang out at was too much for me. I pulled over and started crying right there on the side of the road.
How could I be such a bitch? I thought. How could I break his heart like this? Maybe if I had told him about my concerns with our relationship, he would try to change, try to compromise…I hadn’t even bothered to try.
I got myself together and wiped my eyes. Be strong, I told myself.
I sat in the underground parking of our building for about fifteen minutes before I mustered up the courage to do what I had to do. As I entered our apartment I heard the Barenaked Ladies playing on our stereo system and was hit in the face with the distinct smell of garlic. I walked into the kitchen to see John setting the dinner table. He looked up at me and smiled, “Hey, babe.”
“You made dinner?”
“Spaghetti and meatballs, your favorite. I wanted to do something nice, I know I’ve been kind of preoccupied lately.” Then he noticed my eyes. “What’s wrong, it looks like you’ve been crying.”
I straightened up, “Oh, no…Nothing. Allergies…”
“Well, it’s almost ready.”
“Okay…I’m just going to get changed.”
I walked to the bathroom and shut the door behind me. Tomorrow, I told myself. You’ll tell him tomorrow…