Tension sat between you and Lee, becoming so tight that you could not breathe. Richard rang and text you every day, asking how you were and all you could do was lie and say everything was fine. Fine. Things were far from fine. You were staying at Lee’s home in upstate New York, not wanting to be alone, and all you could do was replay that haunting memory of kissing him, and it was ripping you apart with guilt and shame. Your need for companionship and intimacy had taken over, temporarily over ruling your love and devotion to Richard. But you had to tell him what had happened between you and Lee. There was no way you could hold it back from him; Richard deserved to know.
The day arrived, seeming to come around with lightning speed, when you were to see Richard back at his apartment. Lee had been kind enough to drive you down to the city, and the whole time you had been silent in the car, watching the buildings and vehicles flash past you in a motion stricken blur. “I’m going to tell him,” you said suddenly, breaking the silence.
“Who?” Lee asked, looking across at you.
You never even looked at Lee as you replied. “Richard. He needs to know what happened. I love him far too much to keep this from him, and if it means he breaks up with me, then so be it. I can’t lie to him and act as though everything is fine.”
“We could both potentially lose him,” Lee said sadly. “He’s a damn good friend to me.”
“And that’s why he needs to know, Lee. We both betrayed him, and I can’t live with myself and this weight.” You began to sob, seeing Richard’s face before your eyes as you closed them from the outside world. “I was stupid and weak, giving in to what I was craving.”
“We both were….”
Lee dropped you off outside Richard’s apartment block, saying his farewells to you. “It’ll all work out how it’s meant to,” he said with a sigh and then gave you a weak smile before helping you with your suitcase from the back of the car and then disappeared down the street.
You walked into the lobby of the apartment block, trying to avert eye contact from the staff there, and head to the elevator.
Your breathing became quicker and your palms sweat as you approached Richard’s apartment door, knowing he was inside. “Please, help me,” you prayed.
Richard’s bright smile greeted you and then he took your hand, gently pulling you inside. You choked back the tears as he took you in his arms, closing the door and then kissed you softly. “I missed you so much,” he whispered, brushing his hand down your face and smiling down at you, his blue eyes alight with so much happiness. You were about to break all of that apart.
“I…missed you, too,” you wept. Then you pulled away.
He whispered your name and wound his arm around your middle, pulling you closer. “What’s the matter, angel?” His face was full of concern for you.
You looked up at him, breaking even further inside. “I kissed Lee,” you said, the words tumbling from your mouth in one stroke.
Richard’s eyes widened, and then his brow furrowed and he looked away, shifting from you. He turned his back to you, his head down.
“I’ll leave,” you said. “I’m sorry.” There was no consolation you could offer to the man you loved after such an act.
As you left the apartment quickly, pulling your suitcase behind you, you never spoke a further word to him, or he to you. But as you closed the door behind you, you jumped at the sudden sound of something smashing inside.
You looked up at the ceiling, feeling the tears flow down your cheeks, and you walked away.
Can we not talk about this? The answer to your query is yes. No actually, I - I want to talk about this! I could let it go but like the cat, it will come back, which I wouldn’t call annoying but there’s no really great way of saying half-annoying. Which it is, a little bit.