The story so far:
The thought should have frightened me. I’d spent my entire life dedicated to doing the “right” thing. I’d gotten the right education, joined the right clubs, met the right men, picked one and settled down. I hit all my marks, knew my lines, and followed the script handed to me by… who? It seemed everyone. And I’d thought I was ensuring my comfort and happiness. After all, this is what my mother had done. My parents were still married and closing in on their 40th wedding anniversary. My grandparents had just passed their 60th. The security of sharing my life with Dom, having his warm body in my bed every night and seeing his graying, stubbled face in the morning, had formed the solid frame of my life and my future.
But now, as Dom drove away with his frost-haired tart, I felt that comfort and happiness drain through the soles of my feet and be replaced by rage. I had lived up to my responsibilities. I’d stayed committed to him, supported him when two years ago he gave up the regular paycheck he earned at a Fortune 500 company to start his business. I truly believed that his joy was my joy. And so I did part-time work to earn extra money while he built a client base for his consulting business. I did his books. Answered his phones. And I thought I knew him.
Who was she?
The question made the acid rise in my stomach. I wanted to both forget her and to know everything about her.
Where had he met her? What did she want from him? Where did she live? What did she do? Anything at all? She was so young. Is that what appealed to him? Younger, firmer flesh and adoring eyes? Was he that simple?
The questions whirled around me, making me dizzy. I took a breath. This wasn’t who I was.
I am an intelligent woman. An accomplished woman. A thoughtful, meticulous woman. Dom had always appreciated my attention to detail.
And that was what I had on my side. If I could stay focused and patient, I could put a plan in motion. What I needed to do was pull myself together and get organized.
So I showered, washed my hair for the first time in what seemed like years. I walked through the quiet house to the study and sat before my computer. Then, I thought better of it. Pen and paper. No electronic trail.
I needed to find out who she was and where they were living. So I picked up the phone and dialed.
“Hello?” Dom’s mother answered the phone quickly. He’d always worshipped his mother. For some reason, I’d taken this as a good sign when we married. While he wouldn’t want his mother to think of him as anything less than the perfect son and husband, there’s no way he wouldn’t have given her his new phone number and probably his address as well. I inhaled deeply and pulled all of the angst and sadness of the past couple of months into my voice.
“Mother McHenry? It’s so good to hear your voice. Have you heard from Dom? He’s left. He’s left and I have no idea where he’s gone!”
“Oh, Diane! Calm down. I’ve got his number right here.”
And so I began.