** Based on a true story, but a friend’s experience and not mine.
Before the lock-down he’d been acting funny. And he was on his phone a lot with Linda. But I knew Linda and I wasn’t that worried because she was married and they were friends. But let me be honest. I wondered. I wondered why he was laughing as he texted her, but when I tried to nonchalantly ask, he’d tell me a joke she’d sent or a meme and I’d be pacified. Or at least I’d try to be.
Days before the lock-down was official, we’d just had sex and he went in to take a shower. Sex was always ok with us and we had it about four times a week. While I liked it, I could have probably had it less, but he needed it. He always had. “I’m a highly sexual being,” he used to tell me. He liked to see me in lingerie and would buy me outfits sometimes. He said it spiced things up and because I wanted to please him, I wore them. They weren’t anything bad – just little peek-a-boo bras and panties. Nothing perverse.
Anyway, he went to shower and as I was making up the bed, I heard a text beep and found his phone in the covers. I picked it up and saw the message from Linda. “Showering without you isn’t fun.”
The phone dropped from my hand onto the bed. All at once I couldn’t breathe. My worst fears were confirmed. Otherwise why would she have sent that message?!
Tony was still in the shower. I sat on the bed and tried to open his phone. Fumbling to remember the code, it finally unlocked. Immediately, I went to the message thread with Linda and began to scroll.
What I found was my worst nightmare. Sexting, nude photos, and videos of stuff I couldn’t even click on to watch. Peppered in between those were texts of I miss you‘s and all sorts of ideas for their next “playdate” as I assumed they were calling their trysts.
I felt the throw up come up into my mouth. I was shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t even cry because I was so shocked. How could I have been so naive? How could I have believed him? He lied to me for so long!
I heard the shower stop and my mind went blank. I was sitting on the bed with his phone in front of me laying there open to the messages that I’d just skimmed in disbelief. I was having a hard time breathing. My chest was heaving as I was trying to catch my breath.
When he emerged from the bathroom with a towel wrapped around his waist, I felt rooted to the spot. Unaware that I’d found out his secret, he walked over to our dresser and started pulling out drawers to find his underwear, t-shirt and jeans. He didn’t even notice me and for the life of me, I didn’t know what to say.
He walked back into the bathroom to brush his teeth. I heard the electric toothbrush whirring and when he spit, I knew he’d be returning to the bedroom. Did I really want to confront him now? My mind was going a mile a minute with what I’d just learned. How the hell had this happened and what was I going to do about it?