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Love's Transition

Love's Transition

From love’s lie to love’s truth.

I felt numb. I needed clean clothes and a shower. I felt.... dirty. I needed to stop seeing Billy entwined with that woman as though their two bodies were one. The harder I tried not to think about it, the more I saw all the details in my head. I could still see her legs lifted across his shoulders. I could still hear the primitive sounds of their passion escaping their throats and her scream as she begged for more. I still smell the rich musky aroma of sex in the air.

I had come home early to surprise Billy. I wanted to start our weekend off with a bang. I hoped to find him relaxing and waiting for me, but what I found was betrayal.

I heard someone call to me as I walked out the front door. My mind shut down and I was just a walking automaton for about an hour before I called Susan, my best and only friend. I used to have more friends before Billy. They weren't my friends; they were our friends, mine and Doug’s. They didn't return my calls after they learned of my deception, after they found out I had left Doug.

I was lucky to reach Susan before she left town. She picked me up in that old white sedan she owned. I don’t remember what I said to her until she asked were Billy was. Then I told her, dispassionately without tears; like I was telling her about a soap opera I had watched. I would have made Sgt. Joe Friday proud, just the facts ma’am.

Susan was sympathetic, but not surprised. I guess she had seen things I didn't. No, she saw things I was unwilling to see. She told me she had to leave. Her flight departed in three hours and Susan wanted to know where to take me. I didn't think, I couldn't think yet. I was still numb inside. I said the only thing I could, like an emotional reflex. I told Susan to take me to my old home.

I didn't say his home but my last home. That is where the only man who ever made me feel safe still lived, my ex had never moved.

Would Doug even let me in?

Ever since the first time my life fell apart when I was 17, Doug was always the one to take care of me. He had always helped me put my life back together, but that is before I had left him for someone else. It was before I had divorced him, before I had betrayed him.

We pulled up to his house. As I was getting out of her car, Susan made me promise not to go back home to Billy tonight. I had loved Billy so much. I had invested so much of my last ten months into what I thought was a growing, loving relationship.

I walked all the way to his front door before realizing I no longer had a key and I wasn't expected. I turned just in time to see Susan’s sedan turning the corner down the street. Now what?

I knocked on the door. I got no response and tried again. I still got nothing. I knocked on the door until my hand hurt, and then I kicked it. "Fuck!" I shouted.

As my shock and numbness receded, I felt the anger begin to rise. I felt the heat of that anger and the embarrassment of having trusted Billy that scum sucking bastard with my heart and with my love. I had given up everything for him. I felt like I was going to explode, filled past my limit with hate. I had a metallic taste in my mouth and then I tasted the bile in my throat.

I screamed! I started kicking and beating at the door until I slipped and fell to my knees. I covered my face with my hands and leaned my head against the door. I began crying. I cried and sobbed until the anger began to rise again.

"Kitten, what is wrong?" Doug stood behind me on the sidewalk. "Are you OK?"

I turned and pressed my back into the door. I wiped my tear stained cheeks. “I’m not OK, not even close."

"Tell me what's wrong, Kitten?" He came up the steps onto his porch too gracefully for a man of his size. At 6’3” tall and 200 pounds, he was a big man, but he moved like a cat, fluid and full of potential.

His shirt was navy blue with long sleeves and a stiff collar. The top two buttons were unbuttoned showing the beginning of his broad chest. The shirt made his blue eyes seem bluer, darker. His pants were black and tight enough to be skin. He was in boots of black leather. He was as handsome as ever and I hated him for it. His dark hair shined in the dying light as the sun was approaching the horizon.

He got down on one knee beside me. He didn't touch me as if he was afraid to. He looked at my hand. I saw he was looking at my new engagement ring. I pulled it from my finger and threw it against the wall. It flew off the wall into the rose bushes next to the porch. "Happy?"

He looked at me. "What’s wrong?"

“Nothing,” I whispered.

"Then why the tears, I've haven’t seen you cry like this since you were seventeen Kitten?" He reached for my cheek with one finger and came away with a single tear. "Kitten, you're scaring me. What is wrong?"

My throat tightened. I couldn't seem to breathe. The more I tried not to cry, the more the tears flowed from my red swollen eyes. I hugged myself and began sobbing. Doug reached for me and I jerked away from his touch. "Don't touch me!" I felt anger dripping from the words.

"Tonya, tell me what has happened?" He tried to hug me, but I pushed him away.

"I said, don't you fucking touch me."

The more I tried to stop crying, the tears flowed faster. I covered my face with my hands trying to hide my shame. I felt the tears laden with pain flowing down my cheeks into my hands. I stopped sobbing and somehow it felt like a victory though it was a Pyrrhic one.

The tears stopped after a few quite moments. I pulled my hands away from my face and saw the palms were black from mascara. My knuckles were scratched and even bleeding from beating at the door. I was a mess. I held my hands out in front of me like they were diseased. I looked at Doug and felt the energy draining from me. My face was wet and the tears had run along my lips leaving a salty taste. It reminded me that I shared a sin with Lot’s wife.

He reached for my stained hands, his large hands encompassing mine. I tried to pull away, but couldn’t. I did not struggle. “You’ll get it all over you, stop.” He pulled me up so that I was standing and then took me into his arms. “Don’t, it will mess up your clothes.”

“Don’t worry Tonya.” He just held me as dusk arrived.

“It was Billy, wasn't it?”

I nodded with my head on his chest. “Yes.”

I pulled Doug tightly into me. He began running his hand through my hair and was slowly moving in a small side to side rocking motion. He leaned over slightly and placed a kiss on the top of my head and whispered to me, “What did Billy do?”

I took a deep breath trying to stay calm.

“I saw him with another woman. They were on the couch…. She griped his hair…. She made noises…. He was…. Oh God, oh God. He was….”

Doug stopped me with shushing sound then said, “It’s all right Kitten. Everything will be OK.”

I was wrapped in his arms with my face pressed to his chest. I pushed away from him and looked up into his eyes. I saw tears in those deep blue eyes. “No, it’s not OK. It will never be OK again. I’m not a child. Don’t try to make me feel better with a lie.”

“You knew who and what he was. Did you think he would change? Did you think you could tame the wolf in him?”

“Yes.” I replied

Doug’s face tightened and I saw the beginnings of anger in his face and in his voice when he said, “Now who’s lying?”

He took half a step back and stooped over to be eye to eye with me. He held my hands firmly as he almost growled out to me, “He was with two, not one but two woman when you met him. He was cheating on both of them! He dropped them both when you left me! How did you think it would end? Did you think he would change for you? He was a player! Women to him are like this season’s fashions and they go out of style quickly; Don’t they Tonya?”

He stared unflinchingly into my eyes during his entire diatribe. His voice rose steady as he hammered each word into me; yelling the last three words as an accusation and its punishment. It was suddenly quite.

I couldn't say anything. My mind began arguing with Doug how Billy and I had truly loved each other, but all that came out of my mouth was a choking sound. The choking became sobs as I cried and said, “I’m sorry.” I repeated it over and over. I grab and held onto Doug as if he were the last soul on Earth.

I held him and wept. I think something inside of me had broken. I felt like I was crying out little pieces of my soul onto his chest. He was right. I had thrown away everything that mattered to me for a lie. I thought Billy and I would live an exciting and thrilling life together. I had bet my whole life on a loser.

I heard his voice. I think he had been speaking, but I hadn't heard him. He was softly speaking into my hair as he rubbed my back and held me.

I was exhausted. It seemed as if every bit of energy had left me. He picked me up and took me into the house. He carried me to the guest bedroom and placed me on the bed. I felt empty and lightheaded, numb to any pain or feelings. He lay down next to me and pulled me into his embrace. I had stopped crying all the tears were spent.

It was all gone. I had no energy or emotion left. He gently cradled me in his arms. I felt safe as he comforted me.

As I slowly drifted into slumber, my last thought was, ‘What am I going to do?’

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