“Darius, I want you to be honest with me, no matter how painful it’s going to be for both of us.”
He tried to appear calm but his heart was racing. The moment he dreaded was here. “All right.”
“Did you go to the beach this morning?”
“Were you alone?”
“Are you having an affair?”
“No.” He could have left it at that but he had to be honest. “But, I was.”
She felt as if someone had plunged a knife into her heart. The pain of his betrayal made her catch her breath. It took several minutes before she asked, in a trembling voice, “So, you were having an affair?”
“But now it’s over?”
“For her, it is.”
“And-and what about you?” It was taking supreme effort for her to hold it together. The jealousy and pain were almost suffocating her. After eight years of marriage, what she thought would never happen to her had. And it sounded as if he regretted that the affair was over which meant that it was the other woman who had ended it, not him. If she hadn’t, they would still be involved.
“It isn’t over for me.”
“You-you mean you wish you and she were still having the affair.”
“Yes. Vanessa, I’m sorry. I know how hard this must be for you to hear.”
“So, she was the one who ended it. Why?”
“She felt convicted to end it. She’s a Christian.”
“How long did the relationship last for?”
“Is she married too?”
“No, but she has a boyfriend.”
“Does the boyfriend know?”
Vanessa quickly brushed the tear from her cheek. “How did you meet her?”
He told her and watched the different play of emotions on her face. At that moment, he despised himself. “Vanessa, until that morning, I’ve never looked at another woman. The thought of having an affair never entered my mind.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” she demanded. “What was it about this woman that made you decide to jeopardize eight years of marriage?”
“I saw her and I was attracted to her.” He found in Rhoda qualities and traits that he admired and he was bowled over by her looks, her personality and her brain. He wanted to get to know her better, spend time with her and one day, he realized that he was in love with her. He couldn’t imagine his future without her in it.
“What kind of woman is she?”
“Actually, she’s a university student–“
“You were having an affair with a student? How old is she?”
“She turned twenty last month.”
“So, she was nineteen when you met her. Have you grown tired of your thirty-something wife? Is that why you set your sights on a girl half your age?”
“It wasn’t like that at all. I was on my way home from jogging on the track field when I saw her. We talked for a while and then I asked if I could see her again. After some persuasion, she agreed to meet me one evening. We went for a bite to eat.”
“Then, you ended up having an affair with her for six months until she ended it. Are–are you in love with her?” She braced herself for the answer.
Darius watched her, his face drawn. “Vanessa…”
“Answer my question, Darius. Are you in love with this girl?”
He closed his eyes as he admitted, “Yes.”
The tears were falling freely now and she didn’t bother to wipe them away. Her face was pale and anguished. “You said–you said that she’s in university. Which one?”
“Miguel attends Columbia…” Her voice trailed off. “And so does his girlfriend, Rhoda.” She stared at her husband as the horrible realization dawned on her. “Darius, is–is Rhoda…?” she couldn’t even finish the question. She didn’t have to. His face was a dead giveaway. “Dios Mio.” She jumped to her feet. “You and Rhoda?”
“Yes, but, I didn’t know that she was Miguel’s girlfriend.”
It was beginning to make sense. “It was after Miguel introduced her to us that she looked like she was going to pass out.”
“She didn’t know that I’m his uncle.”
“Before he introduced her, I saw the way she looked at you but, I didn’t think anything of it at the time but later, I noticed how the two of you tried to avoid looking at each other. That could only mean one thing but I was afraid to even consider it. But, now, it’s no use kidding myself. You were having an affair with my nephew’s girlfriend and to make matters worse, you’re in love with her. Is she in love with you too?”
“Poor Miguel. He’s going to be really hurt by this.” She picked up a cushion and threw it at Darius, hitting him in the chest. “Damn you!” she cried. “Damn you for doing this to me and to Miguel.”
Darius rose to his feet and tried to hold her but she pushed him away. “I’m sorry, Vanessa. I never meant to hurt you.”
“Did you ever love me?” she demanded.
“Of course, I did. That’s why I married you.”
“And now, after eight years of marital bliss, you’ve fallen out of love with me and in love with someone else. How long were you going to keep this from me? If Miguel hadn’t brought her to my parents’ anniversary dinner, I never would have figured it out.”
“I would have told you.”
“I don’t know, but, I would have.”
“I trusted you and you betrayed me. I want you out of this house right now. I don’t care where you go. I just want you to pack a bag and leave. Right now the sight of you makes me sick.”
He quickly left the room and several minutes later, she heard the front door open and close. After he drove off, she collapsed on the sofa and wept bitterly.
“Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul” – Proverbs 6:32. Adultery is a selfish, senseless and morally corrupt act. It destroys so many lives, including the one who commits it.
This story is the sequel for A Shocking Discovery.