When someone has been missing long enough, life eventually goes back to normal. When that someone is your child, the closest thing you’ll ever get to normal is getting out of bed in the morning. For most people, waking up and going about the day isn’t something you’d give a second thought about. For an unlucky bunch, life is a luxury.
“What about the kids?” Wells would ask, arbitrarily throughout the course of my affair. “Aren’t you worried about them finding out?”
I was married to my first husband, Maxwell, for seven years. The man provided me with two children and not much else. I don’t want to blame him for the divorce. I’d been seeing Wells for several months before even considering serving him. I don’t regret my actions. Without them, I wouldn’t have my two youngest children.
My second husband and I met at a banquet that was being held for a colleague of mine, in celebration of her reception of the Troland Research Award. He was unmarried and childless; I was six years into a loveless marriage, with two young children at home. When Maxwell vanished to the restroom, I was approached by a well-dressed man, tall and brooding.
I’d always promised myself I’d be a loyal wife, a doting mother. I’ve blamed my affair on my loneliness, or my husband’s long absences, or anything else that would distract me from my own mistakes. That’s the thing, though. I don’t think it was a mistake.
“Good evening,” said the well-dressed man when he approached, his dress shoes clinking on the polished floor, “pardon my intrusion; I just couldn’t go on with my night before stopping to tell you how very luminescent you look under these lights.”
I was always impressed with both his calm demeaner and his eloquence. He was so different from Max in that way, and maybe that’s why I let him sweep me off my feet. I couldn’t help it. The man was irresistible.
At the time of my first marriage, I was twenty-one years old. Perhaps in my twenties I was more reckless than I am now, more willing to take chances and roll the dice on a complete stranger. Perhaps that’s just something I tell myself. Wells was nothing like me, cool and headstrong to my brash and impatient. Our children, later on, became carbon copies of each of us. It’s funny how that happens.
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