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Today we visit the human condition of betrayal, and how it can affect someone. When reading this story of substance you might identify with it on some level. If not, consider yourself very fortunate!
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It was as much of a part of who they were as a couple as sleeping in the same bed or sharing a bite to eat. At least a few times a week, turn off the phones, turn down the lights, cuddle up cozy and take in a movie. Some were powerful and became instant favorites, while most were average and pretty much good for just one viewing.
They must have watched thousands over their many years together, one of the most special to them being What Dreams May Come. Not only because it was a moving story of substance, but also due to the fact that they shared the same names as the two main characters in the film. Neither Chris nor Annie ever forgot that night when they saw the trailer on TV during that fall of ’99. Their relationship barely six months new, they had just finished showering together (and a little more) and were starting to prepare dinner when the preview caught their eye.
A supernatural drama about soul mates, it indeed compelled. But it was when those two names came up, their names, when they dropped everything and got dressed to head out to the local theatre.
Two months later, it became the theme to their wedding, and every year thereafter, the way in which they ended celebrating their anniversary. Later this year would mark their nineteenth, but Chris felt like revisiting their cinematic treasure tonight, Annie having no idea until she had sat down next to him with a bowl of popcorn.
Normally she would cozy up right beside him, but as of late, for the past two months to be precise, she would sit near but not close, he having to coax her to close the distance. It was little subtle signs like this that he had missed at the beginning, really thinking nothing of it when she had decided she wanted to start working part time at her friend’s new flower shop. After all, he had always thought of himself as a supportive husband, so if she felt she could use a few hours out of the house, why not, late afternoons not really interrupting their dinner and movie time.
But a couple of weeks in and the signs had indeed began to show, whether he had noticed them or not. Looking back, he realized he had, but only on an instinctual level. When once their affection was pretty much fifty-fifty, he now found himself having to initiate their intimacy, both physically and emotionally.
Why so much time on the cellphone now? She had never been one to let such devices consume her, but now she was a screen queen, swiping every chance she got. And why the password? The two lived alone, having no need for such security measures.
“Sometimes at work I leave my cell on a counter or in a drawer. Never know when someone’s gonna pick it up.”
That’s when instinct had finally slapped Chris across the face, suspicion leading him to do something he had never done before, never even thought of doing before. He began to look through her messages. She still had her cell locked, but her facebook remained open on their shared laptop.
An oversight that would change everything.
Scrolling down messages from friends and family, he came upon one from a member with no photo, and as soon as he began to read, his heart not only fell, but plummeted down into his stomach, acid eating away at it…
Where are you babe? Miss you…
I miss you too, babe. Only been cpl dys, but seems lot longer.
The last two in a thread of deceit, betrayal, devastation…
Chris never felt so hurt in his life.
The next week or so was pure anguish. How many days and nights? He wasn’t quite sure, as they were all merging into one long state of torturous hell. Should he confront her, and risk her storming out only to never return? How about going out and trying to even the score? He just couldn’t stop thinking about it, shock never really settling in to become acceptance. How could she be so nonchalant, going about life as if nothing was going on?
“You had to work late again?”
“Yeah, we’re getting a lot of inventory now that it’s spring.”
How could she be so cold-blooded? And lie so blatantly to his face?!
It was at these times, when such pain began to boil into desired self-defense, that he would rack his brain with the thought of finding another. He had no idea how serious the affair was, and the thought of losing her, after devoting himself to her for nearly two decades, was killing him. He had never been one to have suicidal thoughts, but now this dangerous mindset was part of this black plague that had befallen him. At times, ending it all seemed like the only way to end the pain, but then the thought of finding someone to take her place would creep in…
If she could do it, why can’t I? I’ve got looks. Why should I stay in a one-sided relationship? There are plenty of women out there who would appreciate a guy like me.
That’s what he missed most. The intimacy, the willful affection he no longer received. And so he began to scroll the dating sites, contemplating the two famous sayings…
Once a cheater, always a cheater.
The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.
Were they true? If so, didn’t it make perfect sense to find someone new?
Even with such logic he struggled with the thought of placing his own ad. What if they turned out to be liars too? What if it didn’t work out and he lost Annie forever? It was during these bouts of mental anguish when Chris hated being on these sites, wanting nothing more to do with such desperate searches. He already loved a woman, and had only ever thought of her when envisioning growing old with someone.
Oh Annie, why?! I’ve given you nothing but my everything. Why was I not enough?
Then the sickening thought would reappear. Of her and him, of them, together.
Chris and Annie… What happened to them being soul mates, like in the movie? They were supposed to be exclusive, as any married couple was expected to be, knowing each other on an intimate level like no one else. Advanced lovers that would do anything for the other’s pleasure.
The thought of her taking him inside of her disgusted Chris. He had helped coach her in developing the talent of taking him all the way down her throat, and once there to suckle until bliss exploded into euphoria, and how he loved how she would remain there until consuming every last drop, making him feel beyond special.
To take such a carnal bond that represented such a long commitment and so casually do it with another?!
Yes, it was not only the physical giving that hurt Chris so badly, but the emotional as well. Maybe even more so.
Annie was quite surprised when the movie started, not expecting it to be their movie, but she put on a pretty good poker face, choosing to cuddle up a little closer, like back when things were pure between them.
How would Chris tell her he knew? Of the facebook messages, the texts and late night calls, the secret meetings between him and her…
Fuck facebook! He hated it. Knew many would say it was like hating guns, when in reality people kill people, not guns. But Chris wasn’t so sure. The asshole who had come between he and his love had been from her past, and unlike the ‘ol days, when it wasn’t so easy to find/reconnect with someone from one’s past, nowadays a few clicks could end up destroying a marriage. Yeah, facebook could kill!
How would he tell her he knew about it all, yet had still decided to fight for her? How, like in the movie, he would battle the sorrows of hell for her, that he had been battling the sorrows of hell! How he felt she was still his precious Annie, and he her Chris, just like those movie characters, only real. How he had even secretly already started saving for a trip of a lifetime, months ago, for them to take for their big twenty-year wedding anniversary next year. They would jet off to Switzerland, the place where their movie characters had met, and have the time of their lives.
A trip that he now saw as part of their new beginning.
Would she be on board? Would she regret her recent actions and take the necessary steps to right her wrong?
How would he tell her he knew…?
By now Annie’s head was lying on his lap, and Chris got his answer when a tear fell down from his eye and onto her cheek…
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