Thursday, February 09, 2006

House Broken: Part 15

“How long?”

He paused. He was deciding whether or not to lie to her. She knew because he hesitated just before he stuck his neck out. The answer did not matter. She simply wanted him to admit it.

“Nothing happened.” He said, his eyes darting, looking at anything, at everything, just so he did not have to look into her eyes.

“I don’t believe you. How long have you been with her? Does she even know that you are married?” Her voice was shaky and her volume was rising. Her patience was already short with him, but finding out that he brought infidelity into her life shortened it even more.

“DOES SHE KNOW?”

“Yes.”

“She’s a real stand up gal you’ve got there. Knowingly fooling around with someone else’s husband. Very respectable. It’s a match made in heaven.” She stared. Not because she wanted to soak in every line of his face like she used to and not because she adored the color of his eyes or the way his mouth curled-she stared because she knew it would make him uncomfortable.

“What do you want me to say?” He said impatiently.

“I want you to admit it. Admit that you had an affair.”

“I’m not admitting that.” He leaned his hand against the wall and crossed his legs.

“You’re a liar.” Her voice was calm, clear and confident.

“ I don’t know how you can call yourself a man. A real man would have done this with dignity. A real man would have talked about things instead of hiding behind a fake depression. A real man would not have touched another woman until things were settled. You have lost all the respect I ever had for you. I admired you. Now you are just a shell of a man, and that's just sad.”

She turned then, and left him leaning on the wall. She thought about the day she painted the very place his hand was resting and was saddened by the thought of how much love and sweat they poured into that house, only to have it be broken.

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