‘It didn’t mean anything, babe. I swear,’ Dave pleads. Tears run down his cheeks. His eyes are red, glassy.
Cathy listens impassively to her husband of five years. Inside, she feels hollow, like a pumpkin with its orange innards scooped out. Her fingers tremble; she closes them into a fist.
‘She kinda threw herself at me babe. I didn’t have a choice.’ his voice croaks with his lie.
Cathy’s eyebrows shoot up. ‘You can’t be serious!’ she spits. Her fists tighten, clenched hard. She wants to pummel him. Hurt him.
‘Well, maybe if you put out more then it might not have even happened,’ Dave continues.
He’s on shaky ground. How dare he expect her to own this…this…she doesn’t even know what to call it. Betrayal isn’t enough. It’s more than a betrayal. It’s torn everything apart. Watching him beg across the table at their local cafe, she looks over his shoulder where a movie of their life plays out on an imaginary screen.
Their first meeting. Only now she notices his eyes were searching the room, as if looking for a better offer. Their first date plays out in her view frame; this time she notices how much he flirted with the waitress, how he slipped her his business card. Their wedding. That mark on his neck…she foolishly believed it was a bruise from his mates while drunk at his buck’s party; she’s an idiot, it was clearly a love-bite. She closes her eyes to shut it all out.
‘Babe,’ he pleads again, interrupting her thoughts. She holds her hand up. Stop.
Dave was never a humble person. His confidence is what initially attracted her to him. How was she to know that eventually, it would be the part of his personality that both terrified and angered her.
Finally, she speaks. ‘I’ll pay the bill here. You head home and start to pack your belongings today. Anything that can’t be taken today, leave a message on my mobile stating when you’re able to get them. I’ll make sure I’m not home.
‘Babe?’ his eyes crinkle in disbelief. ‘We’re done?’