The Long Drive Home

How can I write for only ten minutes about a time a relationship ended? The romantic relationships I’ve had can not be summarized in a small ten-minute blurb. None of my breakups were that concise. Well, maybe they were, but the pain lasted long after the events were an old memory. My relationship with my husband ended in the shredding of his heart and our lives together. On my way home to tell him I was leaving, I got pulled over by a cop for speeding. I was a mess of nerves and tears, which is why I was speeding in the first place, not paying attention. I told the portly policeman that I was on my way home to break the news to my husband of my leaving him, and he let me go. I remember the look of compassion and pity in his eyes. He knew this was not an act to try and get out of a ticket. I had talked to my best friend minutes before, which is another reason I got pulled over. I was on the phone with her as the cop sidled up behind me and turned on his lights. My best friend was my husband’s first wife. We had met through my husband, he introduced us and we were instantly bonded. I was speaking to her during this fateful drive, telling her of my plan to talk to Martin when I got home, to tell him I was leaving. I see now I am avoiding the part of the story when I actually get home, because it’s difficult and sad to remember. I did eventually get home, and went inside. On that fateful drive home, I had texted Martin and told him I needed to talk to him when I got home. He nervously replied, “About what?” I told him we’d talk in person. I was drawn and nervous entering the house, him coming in from the yard behind me. We sat on the couch and I told him I was leaving him. He asked immediately if I had been cheating on him, and I said yes. He asked if it was with someone in particular, and I lied and said no. It was a half-truth. I was in love with someone else that I was having a heavy affair with, but I also had been seeing others, many others. There was Aaron, who was my go-to person when Dave wasn’t available and after he had moved back to Asia. Then there were the minor players, the cocks who I had to distract myself with because I could not be alone with myself in this life I had created with Martin. There was also the random and rare woman. He didn’t especially try to talk me out of it. It would have taken someone thick with denial to have been able to avoid the dysfunction and fragmenting of our marriage over those past months when I first chose to open up OKCupid and look for a girl to cheat on my husband with. The sense of defeat in his body was apparent. He was slumped on the couch. I remember his boot perched on the coffee table and the blue windbreaker fleece he always wore. I regret the pain I caused him.

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