May 1, 2000
It is 7 o’clock on a Tuesday night and I’m lying on my back in an ugly light blue hospital room. The doctors aren’t able to give me an exact reason why my water broke 2 weeks early, but they are reassuring me that my baby looks perfectly healthy. I am overjoyed that in a few hours I will be able to see my beautiful baby boy. It almost covered how nervous I am that I might have to deliver this baby without my husband here. My husband’s name is Drew; he works as a college art professor here in San Antonio. He is so devoted to helping his students with their art; he takes so much time to do after school art lessons with his students. Even though I admire how much time he spends with his students I wish tonight of all nights he wasn’t so devoted. He makes a point to turn his phone off during his sessions so now that I am in the hospital I have tried calling my Drew 6 times but it goes straight to voicemail. I am already 9 centimeters which means I will be going into the delivery room any minute now, I really hope my husband gets my messages and comes quickly I really don’t want to do this without him.
June 21, 2003
I don’t understand how people don’t understand that there are certain times of the day that you do not call people. This morning a young lady called at 4 o’clock in the morning asking for Drew. It sounded like she had one too many margaritas. I answered the phone half asleep; she rudely muttered that she wanted to speak to Drew. I told her just a moment as I tried to wake up my peaceful husband and I heard her laughing on the other end of the phone. Not one bit of her calling and disturbing our household at 4 o’clock AM. My husband takes the phone to talk to the crazy young woman and as he takes the phone our son Sebastian appears in the doorway of our room because the phone call woke him up. I grab my white robe off the back of my bathroom door and lead our son down the hallway to his bed room. I lay him down in his little racecar bed with his favorite teddy bear and hold him in my arms till he falls asleep.
September 14, 2004
Tonight was so amazing! It was date night for my husband and I. It was so relaxing and amazing to have a night with just my husband. Thankfully my parents were in town visiting and were able to watch Sebastian for the evening. We went to dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant and went to an art exhibition showing photographs of Eugene Atget. While we were in the gallery my husband thought he saw one of his old students rush out of the door with a tour of kids from her class. He got oddly excited about me potentially meeting one of his old favorite students. So we left the gallery and followed her and her students to the gallery next door for introductions. When we stepped in the building I searched the busy gallery for the girl I saw scurry away at the other gallery, when I found her she was standing very still like a deer in headlights as she was staring at my husband. Why is she so amazed to see him here? He is an art teacher after all, and it is not as if she hasn’t seen him in 10 years. It could have only been a few years since she graduated. “Ah Clemencia! This is Megan.” Drew said (Cisneros79). No other introduction, just those few little words, it’s almost as if she should already know who I am. I suppose she would know a little bit about his personal life she was one of his favorite students. As he made the introduction a big, slightly evil smile appeared on her face as she said “Hello Megan” (Cisneros79). She looked as if she was in pain to see Drew with his wife. Immediately after she said hello she gathered up her kids and disappeared through the gallery as if she couldn’t get away fast enough. Am I crazy to get the feeling that their relationship isn’t as plutonic as it may seem? Why would she look like she was in so much pain just seeing her old teacher and his wife at an art exhibition? Why would she run away so quickly?
November 6, 2009
This weekend there was a little family reunion in Houston at my parent’s house. We had been planning to go to this reunion for months and last minute Drew tells me that he has to work this weekend and that I should take Sebastian to Houston and have a good time with my family.
“Honey, we have been planning this trip since April what could have possibly come up that you are no longer able to come with us?” I said to Drew.
A guilty look appeared on his face as he said “I’m sorry sweetie but this is something that I have to do. I promise after this weekend things are going to be different, I am going to be around more and be here for you and our son.” I look in his eyes and see sincerity but also sadness. I don’t know if I fully believe what he is trying to convince me of. I know that there is something else going on that he hasn’t told me about. I tell him okay and go pack up a small bag for me and Sebastian. An hour later Sebastian and I are on the road and I suddenly couldn’t wait to be at my parents’ house with my sister Maggie so I can talk to her about my suspicions and figure out how I should handle it, she has always been surprisingly good with advice. As I pull in to the very lengthy driveway that leads to my parents large country house I see that my sister is already outside to greet me with a smile, a hug, and thank god a glass of wine. As I get out of the car and get Sebastian I knew she could tell something was wrong, especially with the lack of my husband being in the car with me. After we go inside and get situated my son is already in his bathing suit wanting to go swimming in the heated pool out back, so Maggie and I take this opportunity to sit on the porch swing that sit next to the pool and discuss things about my husband. I tell her about Clemencia; I tell her about the first time we met at the art exhibition, the odd phone call we got very early in the morning and how now I am fairly certain it was her, and last of all the reason my husband couldn’t come with us for the weekend because he “had to work”. Maggie grabs my hand and says, “You have a very good reason to be suspicious as these situations don’t appear to be just the way they look, but I am not sure you should we about it so much quite yet. You haven’t seen anything significant to suggest that he really is cheating on you with this woman. I would from now on pay extra close attention to what he might be doing but be very careful Meg; I don’t want you getting heartbroken in the end.” As I go to sleep that night and spend the rest of the weekend with my family I ponder what she said and try to figure out how I can really uncover is he is cheating on me or not. I really hope the truth comes out soon.
November 14, 2009
The truth came out today. The past week and a half since my son and I came back from Houston Drew has be oddly loving and prompt; he has not been late coming home from work and when he comes home he leaves work to spend time with his us. It has been wonderful for Sebastian but weirdly unsettling for me, it didn’t feel right; until today when everything started to make sense. As my husband comes in the door he tells me that he had something important he needed to tell me. I tell him that it is going to have to wait until Sebastian is in bed so we could talk privately. Two hours later I check on Sebastian to make sure he is sound asleep before I sit down to talk to my husband. I walk to the dining room and find my husband sitting at the dining room table with his head in his hands. I sit at the other side of the table completely calm as I am fairly certain I know what he is about to tell me. He pulls his head out of his hands as he says, “I have made a terrible mistake. I have been having an affair for quite some time now. But, lately I realized how much I was hurting out family so the weekend you went to Houston with Sebastian I ended my affair with the woman because I love you. I wasn’t going to tell you but the last week and a half I have been hiding the guilt and it was eating me alive.” I just look at him because I don’t know how to respond. I feel anger but I also feel a weird sense of relief. The truth is out, I no longer have to try to figure it out for myself because my husband has just saved me the trouble. What do I do now? What do I say to him? All I wanted to do was hit him or pack a bag, grab my son and leave.
“Can you say something please?” Drew says because apparently it has been ten minutes since he has finished what he was saying and I haven’t made any sort of response. I finally find my words and say, “I have had my suspicions for a while now. I cannot believe that you would do this to our family! I cannot forgive you for what you have done, but I am not sure how I want to handle this. At this point I am not thinking about us or our happiness but the happiness and wellbeing of our son and what this situation will do to him. You will be sleeping in the guest bedroom for the time being. However I do not want Sebastian to know there is something wrong yet so we will be putting up appearances for his sake until I figure out what I want to do.” He just stares at me with a blank look on his face as he nods along to what I am saying. It is almost as if he was expecting me to cry, but I refuse to shed a tear for someone as weak as my husband. I go to our room and start to transfer some things of his to the guest bedroom so he will not have a reason to come into this bedroom except to use the bathroom.
As I lay down I spend the next few hours trying to sleep but can’t because my mind is racing. I put on my robe and go into Drew’s office and start to research what other woman do in my situation. I find an article on Everyday Health that states. “ up to 75% of couples rocked by an affair stay together, according to research by Peggy Vaughan, author of Preventing Affairs: You Can Have a Monogamous Marriage, But Not by Just Assuming You’re Immune (Dialog Press). That so many wronged spouses managed to turn the other cheek is admirable to some.” Do I turn the other cheek? Just ignore the fact that my husband had an affair for years for the sake of my child? After two hours of research I have made the decision stay at the house with Drew for Sebastian’s sake. I go to the guest bedroom to find Drew sitting on the edge of the bed crying. I ignore it and say, “I will never be able to trust you again but I am not leaving this family and neither are you. Sebastian needs both of his parents, so we will be living in this house for him and putting up appearances for him but as far as I am concerned you are no longer my husband. You are not the trustworthy man that I thought I married and you have broken my heart”.
I storm out and head to my bedroom, as I walk in it suddenly seems so empty and it occurs to me that I no longer have my own support system, a husband to lean on and I become enraged. I pick up the closest thing near me and throw it across the room, as it hits the wall a bunch of little thin pieces of wood fall to the floor as I realize that I have thrown the set of Russian nesting dolls Drew got me years ago. I walk to the tiny wooden crime scene on the floor and in the middle of all the pieces of wood I find a single red gummy bear. I don’t know where it came from or when it go there but seeing this single gummy bear, my eyes start to water and I slide to the floor with my head in my hands as i make a river made of my own tears. As I am crying over the failure of my marriage and figuring out how to protect my son all I can think about is how I wish my mom was there to hold me in her arms, stroke my hair and say “ There, there, it’s all right honey. There, there, there” (Cisneros 83).
- Norine Dwrokin-McDaniel. “Why Women Stay With Men Who Cheat.” Everyday Health, 2017, https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living/why-women-stay-with-men-who-cheat/.
- Sandra Cisneros. “Never Marry A Mexican.” Woman Hollering Creek and other stories, Vintage Contemporaries, 1991, pp.68-83.