This was written in July 2016. I don’t know why I didn’t get around to posting it. Or finishing it, for that matter. But I’ve finished it, and here it is …
(Oh, and if you’re wondering what ‘Because I Can’t Write a Novel‘ is all about, click the link to be taken to the start … )
I was drunk seven years ago today. My TimeHop reminded me of that when I woke up this morning. I was drunk and sat in a paddling pool in my friend’s back garden seven years ago. Well, my female friend and her soldier-boy husband. Why? Because I’d learned my soldier-boy husband had cheated on me … again.
I don’t know why they had a paddling pool because they didn’t have any kids. I don’t even really know how I ended up at their house either. I just remember walking out the house in my scruffs, not even stopping to pick up my bag, my cigarettes, phone, anything, and I just kept walking. I hadn’t even known them for very long, but they were people I trusted. They were people – friends – who’d been there for me.
I’ll never forget the surprised look her hubby gave me when I knocked on his door, but as soon as I started crying (for the first time since I heard the news), he threw his arms around me and gave me an awkward hug. He was the big friendly giant, much taller than me but thin and lanky. Quite the opposite to his wife who was a little dumpling. A bit like me at the time really.
I don’t know why or how I ended up at their front door ten minutes down the road, but I did. When they invited me in, I broke down in tears. It was like I’d been numb before, as though I had been on autopilot. I calmly and casually opened my front door, slowly closed it behind me, and kept walking until I found somewhere familiar. I’d been living in Deutschland for not even two years at the time, and I still wasn’t sure where everything was or how to get to places. My sense of direction had never been the greatest. I’m very well known for my ridiculous habit of always getting on the wrong train or bus, usually one that’s heading in totally the wrong direction for an hour.
We’d been married for a year and a half, maybe more. Within three months of moving to Deutschland together, a month or so after we’d gotten married, he cheated on me once. He caught gonorrhoea that time and my 21st birthday was spent in the GUM clinic. Sorry, a foreign GUM clinic with a doctor I didn’t understand, scared as fuck. I’d been put on antibiotics ‘just in case’ so I couldn’t drink and enjoy my birthday. It’s pretty safe to say it’s not the way I’d envisaged spending my 21st. I just sighed really loudly.
This time, seven years ago today, was the third or fourth time I’d learned he’d cheated on me – the Hubby. At this point he’d already punched me in the face too, about six months previously. It was like our entire [already volatile] relationship spiralled out of control the moment we got married and moved abroad together. I no longer had my family to help me when the going got tough, and I had a hard time making friends, especially with the other soldier wives. They took an instant disliking to me and my free and easy ways. I didn’t want to baby-up right after we got married, which instantly made me a weirdo. In fact, I didn’t want to baby-up at all. I wanted to work and party. I was twenty-something. Isn’t that what your twenty-somethings are all about?
I’m not sure why they had a kid’s paddling pool in their yard, or whose idea it was to get it out but we did, and you know what it’s like when you’re trying to fill up a paddling pool … The water only trickled out of the hose pipe in the garden so we spent most of our time filling the pool by hand with pots and pans. Then we just sat in it, drinking wine, enjoying the Deutschland sun, starting at 11am and continuing well on for the rest of the day.
It was later on that afternoon that the Hubby called me. Well, called their home looking for me. He was hungover you see, he needed a nap before he could face the shit storm he created when he spilled the beans on his dirty little secret once again. It was as though he couldn’t live with his own guilt, if he even felt any guilt at all, and whenever he fooled around the truth always came out in the end. One time it was while we were sniffing coke off each other in a portaloo in the middle of the night, and another was after his friends had ratted him out and he realised he couldn’t squirm his way out of it. For the most part, he always told the truth. It might take him a few days, sometimes even a couple of months, but he always told the truth in the end. It was as though by being honest about it, it was okay. I guess I made it that way. I kept standing by him didn’t I? And I did this time too. Once he’d found out where I was (after his nap), he strolled down to come and meet me and, as if nothing had happened, just casually plodded through the door and helped himself to the drinks in their kitchen. The two lads were pretty close until my friend’s hubby realised was a fucking asshole my Hubby was.
When we went back to our own home later on that evening, we were both too drunk and sleepy from drinking in the sun all day, falling asleep on the couch. When we awoke the next morning, we were tangled together. I forgot about my husband cheating on me for a brief moment, the sun beaming on my face, both of us twisted together on our giant couch. It hit me as fast as he bolted out of bed once he’d realised he was going to be late for work. I was already asleep by the time he’d gotten home from his late day, and it was about four days after his admittance before we had any time at all to argue about it. By that point I’d already calmed down. If I was going to lose my shit, I should have done it already. He’d already wormed his way back into my heart.
We didn’t have time. We didn’t fight about his betrayal – his infidelity – because we didn’t have time … ? Work, events, everything else came first. Everything. I was his lowest priority. Even in that one moment where he should have been promising to change, he didn’t. He didn’t even bother. I wasn’t important enough. The fight wasn’t important enough. His betrayal, once again, wasn’t important enough.
So we stayed together. Again. For probably the hundredth time. And he cheated on me again. And he hurt me, physically and mentally, again. There are some leopards who won’t EVER change their spots. I truly believe he’s one of those leopards. He’s nothing to me now though. Just a name. And we will get divorced. I’ve promised myself (again) that 2017 will be the year I finally remove that parasite from my life once and for all. And this time I mean it.
He doesn’t deserve to be married to me.
- Expected word count: 11,669
- Word count today: 1297
- Word count to date: 9,619 (This word count business is harder than you’d think … even with the ‘cheating’!)