Some stories demand to be told. These are the stories that sit beneath the surface making everything seem artificial and strained until you let them spill out. Or maybe it’s more like an eruption. One that can catch you off guard if you not alert. Be careful of the potential damage of these stories. In my own life there have been a few of these stories, but probably none more like a volcano than the one that sparked my need, my obsession with hearing the story of my now ex’s first affair. Well at least the one that he admits to being his first.
It all started to seep out after a family trip to Yosemite. We were there with a large group from my son’s school, including the family of the woman he was becoming too friendly with. I didn’t know about the under current then, her husband did though. I was the only one in the dark. I did know something was wrong, it had been for years. But it was different. When we got back from the trip I suggested that we go to couples therapy and give it a year. If we didn’t turn it around by the next February we’d call it quits. We both agreed and made an appointment with a counselor. I was feeling restless, like something was going on that I couldn’t trust. So I started searching the computer. The first time in 25 years that I didn’t feel I could trust the surface, so I dug. I’m not proud of myself. I am actually ashamed, but when trust starts to crack it splinters all the way down to the core. The emails were telling. Details of their trysts. Plans to meet up. Erotic whispers in the morning before the day starts and last thing at night. Plans to bring the families together for a group vacation in Hawaii, where she could watch his skin tan and he could enjoy her in her bikini instead of having to be limited to a photo. Him watching her during her pilates class. Peering through the window, fantasizing about the reformer and what they could do with the foot straps. These emails went on and on and had been for months. I read them all. I reread them. I printed out the “best”. I searched the sent files, I recovered deleted files. I read visa bills for clues, and phone bills. I armed myself with all the information I could collect and then I confronted him. And demanded that the story be told.