Sheena finally comes clean with Patrick. Unfortunately, somebody was faster.
By the time I got home it was pretty late. After a couple of hours with a friend you seem to be prepared to face what seemed impossible before. I was determined to sit down with Patrick and have a serious talk, willing to admit my own mistakes but also desperate to point out what had to be changed in this relationship on his part.
Only, we never got to that. After I had entered our house, I heard loud voices: the husband and the husband's husband. I made my way into the living room where I found Patrick and Pete engaged in a lively discussion.
"Why don't you wait until she can -" Pete broke off and just stared at me. So did my husband.
And I stared, too. At the wall. Where a huge photo of Joe and I was projected. On the small coffee table in front of the men were a yellow envelope and five bright white cards. One of them was the source of the projection, the others lay around in a mess.
Usually they were used as birthday presents, christmas gifts or even for anniversaries. This usage was new to me.
"I should leave," Pete got up and went past me. Avoiding to look me in the eyes at all costs. This was bad.
When I heard the front door slam shut I was still dumbfounded, standing next to Patrick like an idiot. His eyes were boring into mine like I've never experienced it before. Hurt, anger, despair. Confusion. Who ordered an emo song?
I turned my head towards the projection once again and asked dumbly, "What's that?"
He clicked his tongue and looked in the same direction, "I hoped you could clarify that for me, Sheena."
I glanced at him and only now did I notice the bandage on his right hand. "Patrick, what happened to you?"
"I did a stupid thing." He nodded towards the wall, "Even though, it seems I am not the only one guilty of that."
I sighed. I would have told him about it today anyway. But I really imagined it to be different. That I would be the first one to tell him. That I would be the only one to tell him. That he wouldn't be that hurt.
"I swear I wanted to tell you about that, hon-"
"Don't you dare use a pet name on me now."
I felt my cheeks getting warm and my eyes glazing over. I knew I deserved this but I never knew he could be this cold.
"Patrick, this is not what it looks like. This means nothing. Nothing happened today, I can't believe you think so little of me," I started.
He patted the space next to him on the couch for me to sit down.
Thank God, he was sensible. He would let me explain.
I seated myself in slow motion, wrecking my brain over the right words of explanation. Yet, I had one question.
"Who sent this to you?"
"A friend... But I think you're in no position to ask questions. So tell me, what is THIS," in his left hand he had a laser pointer that he used to indicate Joe's and my intertwined hands that rested on the table, between cups, "about?"
You may have forgotten about our cat Her Highness Hairball but that doesn't mean that she miraculously vanished from our place. Quite the contrary. That very instant she was jumping up the wall, trying to catch the little red spot circling the according part of the projected photo.
The absurdity of the situation caused me to snort in amusement. I am horrible in serious situations sometimes. I manage to make them worse by acting inappropriately.
Patrick said nothing, just grabbed the cat, set her down in front of the living room door and closed it behind her. By the time he sat down next to me again he was anxious for me to reply, "So?!"
"First off, this means really nothing, Patrick," I stared. It was a good start. Point out the insignificance of the evidence and then, after the emotions have settled, tell him about the little accidental kiss. A technique very popular among liars and cheaters. Did I mention that the moment of regret has finally come? Too little, too late.
"We were just having a cup of coffee and talked."
"And held hands," he added.
"Joe was trying to comfort me... How many times did I see Pete with his arm around your shoulder? Did I suspect anything then?" That's the best I could come up with.
He squinted his eyes to make it obvious to me how stupid he found my explanation and grunted disapprovingly. "What did he have to comfort you for? What were you guys talking about? Isn't a wife supposed to come to her husband first when she needs comfort?"
"That's kind of hard when the husband is the source of frustration. Husband," I snapped back.
He didn't comment on that.
"We were talking abou you. You and I," I continued, my voice much calmer again. "This whole situation between us and Kyle. How I feel left alone, responsible for everything that happens in these four walls."
The reply surprised him, I could see it in his expression. But he was not willing to let go yet.
"What about this then?"
He flicked the opened card off the table and picked up another one, opened it. The new projection showed Joe holding the car door open for me, his hand on the small of my back.
He pushed the card off the table and opened the remaining three quickly, giving my eyes only a few seconds to perceive the pictures: Joe and I walking, laughing, my hand on his arm; Joe looking at me, smiling widely; Joe and I on a park bench, my head against his shoulder.
Now, I had to admit that this didn't look right. But it really didn't mean anything. I was just so relieved to be able to open up to him. I felt comfortable around him. And maybe we did flirt a little, the awkwardness of what had happened in the kitchen two weeks before was gone. There was no real tension. It was just... stupid, but meaningless. Patrick had had years to flirt with his thousands of fans, he didn't have to tell me that he didn't do that once in a while.
I'm making up lame excuses.
The conclusion of my previous self-analysis still holds true: I was just projecting my former feelings for Patrick onto somebody who seemed more interested in me than him these days. Never seriously considered running off with Joe. Give me some credit! We're both married.
And did I mention Bridget had been a pro-wrestler before she settled down with Joe?
"Patrick," I breathed in and took his left hand in mine. He let it happen. "You will just have to believe me that these pictures don't prove that I have been unfaithful to you. I swear." My voice was surprisingly stable.
"If this is true, then I have to questions: First, why didn't you answer your phone all day? And second, why did you look so guilty when you came in here and saw the projection on the wall?"
I forgot my cell at home today. It must be in my office," I turned around to point in the direction of the room and spied the bouquet Joe had sent me earlier today. He had sent it to my school. Why was it here?
"Yeah, I was quite surprised, too," Patrick had followed my eyes and turned towards my face. "What's he so sorry about, the Fall Out Boy?"
"I was just about to explain that," I said. "He was sorry about... the fact that we kissed a few days ago. And that's all that ever happened. Or will happen."
His words sounded calm, almost whispered. From the corner of my eye I saw him moving his right hand, probably in an attempt to form a fist. His face contorted in pain. I wanted to touch him and comfort him but I thought better of it.
"What's with your hand, Patrick?"
"Just a contusion. I punched Pete because I thought it was him. Turns out it was Joe."
"Okay... I'm sorry, Patrick. It's just words but I mean it. I was selfish. I wanted to be selfish for once."
"So what's he like?"
I shook my head, "Please, don't go there, Patrick."
He shot up and glared down at me, "I want to know. I want to know if it was worth making me miserable? I hope it was!"
"No," I answered sheepishly. I was close to tears again.
"Too bad for you, Sheena," he headed for the door.
"Please, don't go now. Please, let's talk this over," I pleaded.
He stopped and looked down at the cards that he had blown off the table. He picked up one ofter the other and read them to me, "The Caring Wife # 1... # 2, ... # 3, ... # 4, ...# 5." Then he tore them to shreds, piece by piece.
"Did you send a private eye after me? How did those pictures come about?" I asked. Despite the fact that I had a guilty conscience, and I knew that I was the person who had done more wrong, I felt horribly violated. Somebody had obviously spied on me all afternoon and evening.
"I trusted you. Why would I ever do something like that?" he shot back. "These were sent by Rose Mjoozikesards, I suppose. She made a move on me a few days ago and I told her I was happily married, with a 'caring wife' waiting for me at home... I am so fucking dumb."
Then he left the room. Patrick never swore. I swore more than him.
"Rose fucking Mjoozikesards?! What the hell?" I yelled after him. (See?)
What did I miss here?