I was weary. I wanted us back, too. But I wasn’t sure if we would still be us or if things would remain the same. Liv had tried and failed to control her emotions. I didn’t miss the look of disappointment on her face when I pulled my hand away.
I wanted to know how much she wanted us back and how far she was ready to go. I needed her to answer the questions that hovered between us. Even though she said she was willing to wait till I healed, till I could trust her, I wondered if she understood that the possibility of ever trusting her was fragile.
So I repeated my question, “what if I don’t want you back, Liv?”
She still looked aghast, “I know what I did doesn’t qualify as a mistake. I know I hurt you, but I am not giving you up easily. I’m not giving us up. I know things may not be the same, but I strongly believe it will be better,” she replied.
“I am sorry, Felix, I really am.” She reached out to me, but I pulled my hands away again, not ready for any form of contact. She seemed broken, tears still raining down her face.
I ignored her tears, “sorry, doesn’t cut it Liv. You don’t do something of that gravity and expect me to be okay with it just because you say so or suddenly feel remorseful.”
She nodded as if she understood. Her lips were quivering. I wanted to fuck off from here, but why not get on with it.
“I assume he is still in the picture.” I handed her my handkerchief, unable to act indifferent as if her tears didn’t affect me. It was much safer than pulling her into my arms. Her eyes grew wider at my gesture.
“Thank you,” she whispered.
I nodded, waiting for her to answer.
“No,” she sniffed.
“She is no longer in the picture.” Liv closed her eyes as she took my handkerchief first to her nose, breathed it in and wiped her eyes.
It wasn’t a man, and knowing it was a woman wasn’t any better. I couldn’t believe my ears, and I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know she was into women. I was stunned.
“Who is she?” I asked weakly.
She hesitated as if deciding whether to answer or not, “I don’t think it matters.”
Was she serious? She was going to answer my questions. She owed me that much.
“It’s not about what you think, Liv. I decide what matters or not. You fucking owe me answers!-”
“She is the realtor.” She cut me short.
It took me several seconds for her response to sink in.
“What did you say?”
“The realtor. Laurette James.”
What the fuck! The fucking realtor had been screwing my wife! Right under my nose, how had I missed this? The same realtor had been trying so hard to get his attention. The same realtor who he dismissed but decided to keep on because he wanted to be professional.
“Yes. Laurette James,” she affirmed.
After several seconds of silence, I asked, “how many times?”
“You heard me.”
“You wanted us to talk, to get past this, Liv. You asked for this. You better start answering my damn questions!” I said a little too loud. I was hurt and knew rehashing this wasn’t healthy, yet I couldn’t help but ask. I wanted to know.
“A few times.”
“What the fuck is a few times?”
“I d-don’t know, three,” she replied quietly.
Wow! Son of a gun! Knowing didn’t help. She kept count. I wanted to leave, yet I wanted to know more. Once was a mistake, but twice? I was overwhelmed.
She was hesitant. She swallowed, still rocking her right foot.
“Two months ago.”
I felt myself implode as the pieces began to fall into place.
“It didn’t mean anything. Laurette didn’t mean anything.”
She wasn’t fucking trying to justify herself right now. “Yet you screwed her thrice, Liv! Don’t tell me it meant nothing.”
Fresh tears started pouring down her eyes. She swallowed hard.
I was worse than devastated.
“Honey, please don’t-”
“Fucking answer me!” I said coolly. I was trying to keep it together.
“Twice at her office and once in her house.” Her eyes were raining tears
“You fucked her in her house?” My mouth went dry, and my tongue became heavy. It was too much.
She nodded, “I am so sorry, Felix. She didn’t mean anything, please.”
I wished she could stop apologising and trying to make things lighter, as it only made me feel worse. Liv suddenly felt like a stranger to me. It dawned on me I didn’t know who she was. Had I been married and living with a stranger for six years?
“This tells me I am not good enough for you, and I don’t see how we can work out.”
“No, Liv. You don’t get to call me that.”
“I’m so sorry, hon-Felix. Please-”
Her eyes were red and swollen, and as much as I wanted to comfort her, I just couldn’t.