As soon as my husband, Robert, began talking, I knew it wouldn’t be good news. Of all the scenarios I imagined, none came close to the reality. He began by telling me that he didn’t go out of town for business. He went to Chicago for personal business. After his affair, which had lasted one month, he cut ties with the other woman. She had made various attempts to contact him, but he kept ignoring her. Unlike me, he felt bad for his actions and could not sleep with another woman. Regardless of my actions, he was unable to continue his affair.
“About a year ago, she showed up at work,” he paused and stared at me. “She told me that…”
“What?” I asked frustrated. “What did she tell you?”
“I have a daughter, Cassandra.”
My heart dropped to my feet and I could not breathe. I closed my eyes to fight back tears. I didn’t care that he had an affair. I understood and had no right to be upset. I could not even be upset at the secret of it, but to know he had a child and I was clueless was preposterous. “And you are barely telling me? Is this why you don’t want kids anymore?” I stood up and began to yell. I was infuriated, even though I knew I had no right to be. I began to panic and he grabbed my face to calm me down.
“Listen, I didn’t believe her. I used a condom every time. I’ve been fighting her for a DNA test ever since. The results came back yesterday and she was right. Leslie is mine.”
“Leslie?” I laughed at the coincidental name. Leslie was the name of Derrick’s ex-wife. I could not stop laughing. I became hysterical with the news. I was truly hoping to start fresh. I knew a family was still possible, but no matter what the outcome was, things would always be different.
“That’s the other thing,” he said.
“I don’t know if I can take any more, Robbie,” I whispered. “This is too much already.” My voice was faint. I felt weak in the knees. He directed me to sit down and I knew what was coming. He was finally leaving me. He would move and be with his new family.
“Leslie is Leslie’s daughter.” I stared blankly at him. It wasn’t registering. And then I realized what he meant and my eyes widened. “I’m sorry. It was all a part of her game.”
“Leslie? Like as in Mrs. Leslie Friedman, Derrick’s wife? That Leslie?” I stood with anger. I was infuriated. “You slept with Leslie? And you got her pregnant? Leslie Friedman? What’s next? You are going to leave me and have a happily ever after with her? Because if that’s the almighty vengeance plan, then have at it!” Tears began to fall. I could no longer control the excess of emotion.