On one of the happiest nights of my life, the first night I ever got to go for a party, my first welcome party at the University of Michigan, I met Liam. He was a senior and we talked like old friends. That night, my 18-year-old self got her first kiss from a complete stranger who wasn’t really a stranger anymore.
Two months later, we started going out, we were inseparable, we were seen everywhere together, we went to every party. Bit by bit my wild side surfaced, I loved it, I still love it. Liam was my perfect half, his smile meant everything, our love making was exceptional, he was different from the rest, I loved him.
Years passed, we were going strong, during exams, we studied together, he was the best tutor any young woman in the University would ask for. After teaching me in the library or in the park, he would come to my room and teach me on my bed. He knew what I wanted at the time I wanted it and he gave me everything—care, attention, love, unnecessary sorry(s) even when I clearly started the argument.
I graduated from the University a year after he did, we stayed in Michigan, our love blossomed like flowers during spring. Four years after, we were married, we had a few people at the wedding, our parents and very few of our friends.
Two years after our marriage, we had our first baby, a boy. We named him Link. Soon after a baby girl followed after exactly a year and 3 months, we named her Samantha. None of them looked anything like me, they both took after their dad, only that Link and Sam both have my long red hair.
I came home early from work one day, I entered the house and met Liam, his head in his arms, crying.
“Liam, what’s wrong?” He looked up, his eyes were as red as the sun setting. Immediately I moved closer, sat on the bed and embraced him. “What’s wrong?” I asked again
He said he was fired from work, he shook in my embrace, it was like his whole world was crumbling into my hands. I hugged him tightly and cried with him. All through the night, I consoled him in all the way I could but it still felt like that had no effect on him.
Months passed, Liam was still jobless, he found jobs but “they were not up to his standard” according to him. He stayed home more often, ran errands more often, asked me for money more often, slowly I became the head of the house.
Two years after Liam lost his job, a friend of mine offered to employ him as a senior consultant in a new company he just established. I was so happy that I left work very early to give him the good news. It was quiet odd not to meet the children playing outside the house on a Saturday morning.
They must be playing at John’s house, I thought.
John is our neighbour’s son and my children’s school mate. I opened the door. Quietly, I went upstairs to surprise Liam. I heard loud moans coming from the room,
Liam must have resumed his old habit, I thought to myself with a smile on my face.
I opened the door to our room, I met my Liam, my husband under another woman, giving and getting pleasure. The woman was Martha, Martha, my neighbour’s younger sister. I closed my eyes and opened them to be sure I wasn’t imagining things. I stood there by the door, shocked to the bone, I didn’t move.
Martha walked passed me with dignity, like I was the antagonist in the story. She whispered, “I’m giving him what he doesn’t get often, you should be thankful.”
Instantly, I was numb. It was like her the sentence took away my consciousness. I said nothing and watched her walk past me, down the stairs, when I heard the door and was sure she was out, I was still looking at the direction where I last saw her.
I was surprised and irritated at the same time. Surprised that the girl who sometimes had dinner with my family was my husband’s whore. Irritated that Martha, that small child that just graduated from high school had all the guts to sit and ride on what legally belonged to me, she had all the guts to speak to me in the way that she did.
I was jerked back to reality by Liam’s touch, I looked down and met him on his knees, I walked away from him. I didn’t bother about the news again, he didn’t deserve it. That night, I slept in the children’s room.
Martha seemed to have disappeared, after that day, I didn’t see her again. Months passed, I moved back to the room, we were like strangers in the same house, on the same bed, we only talked when we were with the children.
“Susan, please we need to talk.” I turned, hissed and turned back to my phone, smiling. “Please Susan, please.”
“OK, what is it?” I said as I dropped my phone on the table and sat up on the bed.
“Susan, for the children’s sake, let’s go back to how we were from the beginning,” he said as tears formed in his eyes.
“Alright, no problem as long as it is for the children,” I said, indifferent about the whole situation.
“I love you,” he said, reaching for my right hand.
I withdrew as he almost made contact. “I don’t,” I replied.
He was going to speak but my action shut him up. I turned, my back facing him. I smiled as I took my phone to reply Matt’s message.
“Goodnight baby, I had a nice time today. See you tomorrow, I love you.”
I smiled like a 3-year-old that was handed a packet of chocolate. I replied, “Sure, I’m coming very early and leaving very late, be ready for me, I love you, goodnight.”
I dropped my phone on the table blushing. That night I slept well, knowing the day after was going to be a looooong day.