A Day of Normalcy
There were days when I didn’t think of the affair and our little family was normal again. One Saturday morning Husband showed up in the same work clothes that I had seen him wear time and again. His shorts had red guard, a waterproofing tile tool, on them and his shirt was spattered with small holes.
Husband smiled the grin that he couldn’t hide and spread from ear to ear. He walked in, gave me a kiss on the cheek, and marched to the half done hallway in the half done house of broken promises and empty dreams. Husband slowly and carefully installed the door to the bathroom and also began to put up the bedroom door as well. C. and E. played at his feet as he worked.
E. would pick up the hammer that was way too big for his one and a half-year-old body and bounce it on the floorboards in the bedroom. C. ran around and asked Husband every question under the sun as he would dart in and out of his Lightning McQueen bedroom.
I made sandwiches, the kind Husband liked. There were two of them complete with ham, cheese, mayo, tomatoes, onion, and avocado. I knew not to add pickles or mustard. Anyone in a ten-year relationship with Husband would know that. Did Rachel know that Husband hated pickles and mustard?
Then we had sex. E. was napping and C. was watching Elmo in another room.
On that Saturday night, we went out to dinner as a family. We picked out shoes for E. and C. and we chased the boys around the store. It felt normal and what I was used to. It had been life for so long. Now it was just a glimpse of the past flashing before my eyes.
After shopping, I helped load the boys into Husband’s pickup truck and watched as he drove away with my family.
I came home and opened a bottle of wine.
My Birthday: Diamonds and Chinese Food
I watched the F-150 pull into the driveway at 5:30 pm. Husband emerged in a red polo, khaki shorts, and Nike shoes. His hands were behind his back, and a huge grin was spread across his face. Husband had a surprise. It was my thirty-second birthday, and I was tired.
I was tired of the constant fighting, crying, and stress, but there he was in front of me with roses and a small box.
“Open it,” he said.
I did. I slowly opened the box and saw a heart-shaped necklace. I didn’t know what to say.
“You see those diamonds in the middle,” he said, “those are for celebrations. This is to celebrate your birthday.”
I hugged him. But I wasn’t sure what to do. I wished he would have given these to me on Valentine’s Day when I didn’t know about Rachel or the affair. How could I wear a heart from him now, after all of this? What if we somehow managed to pull through? Then what?
“Thank you,” I said, “It’s really pretty. Thank you for thinking of me.”
“Do you want to go to dinner now?” he asked.
“Actually, I would love Chinese take out at home. I am tired of being home with the kids all day,” was my reply.
We sat as a family, eating Dinner B and Dinner A with a side of shrimp fried rice. C. ate way too much fried chicken, E. screamed and threw his noodles on the floor. And I felt content at the moment to have my family together again.
I accepted the heart necklace and it sits in my jewelry drawer. I have yet to find the strength to wear it.