I had never thought that my husband would cheat on me one day.
He had an affair with an intern named Dolores Garber who had been working in his department for two months.
Immediately after she walked through my door, she burst into tears and caressed her belly, begging me to step down so the baby on the way could have a complete family.
I found the situation so ridiculous that I laughed. I should be sad but I clenched my fists and only felt angry.
I didn't bother to have a row with so shameless a woman.
I called Jacob Cushen. "A young lady named Dolores Garber came to the house and claimed to be pregnant with your child."
Jacob remained silent for a few seconds and then said something that turned out to be the last draw that made me give up on our two-year marriage. "I'll be back in a minute. I know you're angry but please don't take it out on Dolores," he said.
(Oh, how considerate of you.)
"Then you'd better hurry up. There's no telling what I'll do to the apple of your eye in a fit of pique," I sneered, giving Dolores a sidelong glance. She froze and then covered her belly with her hands protectively.
"Don't you dare, Amy Marlos!" Jacob roared. My eardrums tingled from his blaring voice.
"You'll see if I dare or not," I said fiercely and hung up.
Dolores stopped crying and stared at me warily.
"I'm pregnant with Jacob's child. He'll never forgive you if anything happens to us!" she shrilled. I wondered where that vulnerable girl minutes ago had gone.
"Do you think I need his forgiveness?" I took a step forward. She flinched to keep a distance from me.
"Stop there!" she shouted hysterically, which immediately turned me off making a crack about her.
"Quiet. I won't touch you." I sat on the sofa and started replying to the messages from my bestie Blanche Robinson. She'd had a breakup recently and needed my solace.
Given what was happening, I could use some solace too.
Dolores stared at me motionlessly until she heard the door open.
Taking me by surprise, she flopped to the ground all of a sudden. I lurched to my feet and before I approached her, someone streaked from the door to her side.
"Dolores!" Jacob cradled her in his arms.
"Jacob..." Dolores clutched her abdomen with a pained expression and gasped for air. In an on and off voice, she said, "It hurts... The baby... Our baby..."
"You'll be fine. Our baby will be fine," Jacob soothed her in a soft voice and then looked daggers at me. "I never knew you were so vicious!" he growled.
There was heated hatred in his eyes. I'd never seen that ferocious look on his face before.
At that moment, I realized that he was no longer the man who cared for me and loved me as my husband.
"Believe it or not, I didn't touch her." I looked away and sat back on the sofa.
I exerted myself to keep my countenance and acted like I was totally unfazed by his faithlessness.
Only God knew how much pain I felt.
Dolores' sobbing diverted Jacob's attention. He was too worried about her to quarrel with me and dashed out of the house with her in his arms.
I stared at the open door for a long time and made up my mind. I texted Blanche, "I'll go."
Blanche took me to a nightclub.
When I got out of the car and saw the radiant lights, I instantly regretted my decision.
Blanche saw through my mind. She grabbed my wrist and dragged me into it.
"Don't chicken out!" she said in a loud voice and drew the attention of a bunch of guys not far away.
I looked towards them and saw a familiar face.
It had been twenty years and his features seemed to have become even more chiseled. His slightly raised-at-the-ends brows and smile were exactly how I remembered them to be.
He was Aaron White, my deskmate in ninth grade.
In a brisk suit, he was sitting on a sofa with his legs crossed and a lit cigarette between his fingers. The smoke swirled up and blurred his expression.
I didn't know why he was there and found such an encounter really embarrassing. I pretended not to recognize him and averted my face, following Blanche into the elevator.
Blanche worked as a sales manager and sometimes even came to places like this every day a week. I bet she frequented this club because once we stepped out of the elevator, a waiter greeted her warmly and ushered us into a private room.
Blanche ordered lots of booze of all kinds.
When the waiter brought the booze in, she pulled him closer and said, "Bring me two of the hottest guys you got."
The waiter smiled and replied firmly, "Rest assured, Miss Robinson. We will definitely not fail a distinguished guest like you."
Before long, the door of the room was opened again and two men came in.
Both I and Blanche looked their way. When I met Aaron's derisive eyes, I stiffened and squirmed.
"We'll make sure you have a good time tonight," Aaron said with a smooth smile as if he wasn't bothered by the situation at all.
Blanche didn't know Aaron or my relationship with him.
"Amy, you pick first." She tilted her chin up at the two men in the doorway.
I lowered my head to avoid Aaron's gaze and said in a strained voice, "I'm fine with either of them. You choose."
Blanche thought I was too shy to pick and huffed a laugh. Pointing at the men behind Aaron, she said, "You. Come here."
I felt a stab of despair and would have grabbed my bag and taken it to my heels if Aaron hadn't sat beside me and put his hand on my waist.
I was averse to being touched by strange men, though technically speaking, Aaron didn't count as one.
I tried to move away from him but he pulled me back.
"Don't be so shy, miss," he teased and chuckled.
"Do you want a drink?" Aaron opened the bottle of booze nearest to him and filled a glass for me before I replied.
When he brought the glass to my lips, I gave a start and took it from his hand immediately. "I can help myself."
Aaron cracked a smile and didn't contradict.
Perhaps because I really needed some Dutch courage and was desperate to get rid of the uneasy feeling, I polished off the whole glass of booze in one gulp.
The spicy taste made me cough. Aaron remarked tonelessly, "Wow, you impressed me, Miss Marlos."
That should be a compliment but his half-hearted smile was absolutely implying something else.
I was too tired to figure out what he meant. The booze soon kicked in and made it impossible for me to think straight.
About ten minutes later, I passed out.