We were both silent for a long time. It was kind of nice, lying next to her, staring at the ceiling, not thinking about anything in particular.
“Do you ever get tired? Of just having sex.” She leaned on my chest. “Have you ever thought about...” She sighed, shaking her head. “Nevermind. It’s stupid.”
“No, what?” I was curious. Up until now I thought there was a mutual agreement that this was sex, and sex only. It never occurred to me that she might start to have feelings for me.
“You say you love Frank more than anything, but here we are. You never even try and stop me. Do you think maybe that’s because you don’t love him as much as you think you do?” She paused, her eyes searching mine. “I guess what I’m saying is, have you ever thought about divorce? Not only because of me, but for any other reason.”
Her question shocked me. To say I hadn’t been expecting it was an understatement. “Marriage isn’t easy. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done... So, yeah. I guess there have been times that I’ve thought about leaving Frank.”
“Do you think there is something between us?” Her eyes searched my face expectantly. I had never seen her like this before. At work she was always professional, and after hours, she just wanted sex. This was a new side of her I didn’t know existed.
It was kind of nice. I shrugged, taking a long puff. “Maybe.”
“Maybe if you didn’t have Frank, you mean.” She sighed, rolling over and staring at the ceiling. “Sooner or later you’re going to have to make a decision. Whether you stay with me or not, it doesn’t matter. I can’t be someone’s mistress for the rest of my life.” She shook her head, “I’m at the age where I want to settle down with someone, get married.”
I didn’t know how to respond. So I stayed quiet. She was right. I couldn’t keep going on lying to Frank. It was either him or her. Frank, the man I’ve loved since I first met him, or Emily, who I barely know. I wasn’t going to lie, I did have feelings for Emily. Whether or not it was because of the sex, I had no idea.
It shouldn’t be this hard. I married Frank because I loved him. He should always be my first choice.
Suddenly, it felt wrong, lying here in this bed with Emily. This bed where Frank and I shared our first time together, shortly after we were married. This woman was an intruder. It killed me knowing that she was starting to feel things for me. I was going to break her heart. But I knew what I had to do. I needed to say no. We couldn’t do this anymore.
And more importantly, I needed to get Frank back. As soon as he was safe and with me again, I knew I needed to tell him everything. He wouldn’t take it very well, but I was tired of lying to him. He deserved to know the truth.
I sighed, turning to face her. She looked up at my expectantly. I could see the sadness in her eyes. She knew what was coming. Maybe she’d always known. “Ems, you’re right. We can’t do this anymore. Frank means everything to me. Everytime we do this, I die a little inside because of what its doing to my marriage. I’m not going to ask you to stay friends, because I understand. But I do wish you'd keep working for me.”
She nodded, a sad smile playing at her lips. “I can do that, Gerard. I love working with you.”
I was a little surprised at her lack of emotion. “You’re not upset?”
She shrugged, standing up. “Yeah, I’m upset. But it’s not the first time this has happened to me. You’re not my first married man, Gerard. You get used to it after a while.”
And without another word, she left the bedroom. It took all my strength not to run after her. I knew this was for the better. I was tired of the lies, the cheating. Frank deserved so much better.
I put out my cigarette before burying my face in my pillows. I could still smell Frank in the sheets, and it just made me miss him even more. More than anything, I wished I knew what happened to him. I needed to know he was okay.
After everything that I’ve done during our relationship, I needed him to be safe. I needed him to come back to me, so I could tell him about all the bad things. Hopefully he could find it in his heart to forgive me. He was my everything. I would die without him.
And I can’t believe I had been stupid enough to cheat in the first place. If I really loved him as much as I said, then I would have never done it. I was disgusted with myself. There was only one thing I could think of to take my mind of everything for a while.
I grabbed a pair of Frank’s pajama bottoms from the dresser, and put them on. They were a little short, and a little tight, but I didn’t care. I walked into the kitchen and searched the freezer, knowing I wouldn't find what I was looking for.
Frank’s father had been an alcoholic, so we never kept anything in the house. I really didn’t feel like leaving the house, so I just sat down on the kitchen floor, my back pressed against the fridge. I wrapped my arms around my chest and just let the tears fall.
Frank was missing. I had no idea if he was okay or not. My worst fear was that the police would find him dead somewhere, the victim of a hate crime. A life without Frank was terrifying to imagine. So I prayed that he would be found, safe.
Then to add to the misery, I finally came to terms with what I was doing behind his back. All the lies and the cheating. He was going to kill me, and to be honest, I deserved all of his hate. I was a terrible human being, and he deserved so much better than me.
As soon as we found him, because we would find him, I would tell him everything. All my secrets. He needed to know, deserved to know. I wasn’t as perfect as he thought I was.