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Posts tagged ‘cheating’

I am in a safe place now. I’ll explain later how I got here. But for now, let me try to catch you up on the madness of my recent life.

Shortly after I got Zulya’s address, I went to Boston for a business meeting. I’d told Charlie I was spending two nights there, but I found myself unable to focus and I ended up heading back the next day. As the train clacked back to New York, I refrained from calling to tell him about my change in plans. I made up all sorts of reasons — I didn’t want to disturb him. My cell phone was low on minutes. I might stop for food and couldn’t give a reliable ETA. Of course none of them was the real reason. But why should I have to make excuses to him? Wasn’t he the one who had to account for his behavior?

It was almost eleven when I opened the door to my apartment. The TV was on in the living room and in its glow, Lucia stirred from the bed she’d made on our couch. “Oh, Adrienne. I fell asleep!” She sat up, rubbing the side of her head. “Your meeting is cancelled?”

“I had to come back for something. Where’s Charlie?”

“He asked me to stay. Some customer needs him right away.”

“What time is he coming back?”

“He doesn’t know. Maybe not today.”

This was it then. The room began to pulsate.

Read more »

About halfway through my second glass of iced tea, my beeper went off. It was a call from St. John’s, so I excused myself to use my cell phone. Afraid my voice would carry too loudly even from there, I took the stairs to the second floor. On the first landing, something caught my eye, an eight-by-ten photo framed an hung on the wall. By then, I was already on the phone, and it was a long conversation; one of my patients was scheduled for angioplasty and Naresh didn’t think it was necessary. It’s rare for me to forget the details of a case, but now I could hardly remember enough to make my argument. After I hung up with him, I figured I should check my messages, and as I half-hoped, half-feared, Charlie had called again. Read more »

Dear Adrienne

Dear Adrienne,

Will you forgive me?

I just discovered this website with the story of everything you have gone through in recent months. It took me some time to believe it was you who was writing under this assumed name. I read it with growing shame.

When we first met, I saw myself reflected. Everything I wasn’t, you were: beautiful, light, a healer of hearts. For years I was completed in you. Then one day I woke up to realize you weren’t there anymore.

Somewhere in the diapers and the takeout cartons, we had lost each other’s pulse. I still caught glimpses sometimes of your thoughts as you pulled nylons on in the morning, or I heard your whisper before we said goodnight.

I tried in my clumsy way to get through to you, to find time for us to be alone together. But there was always an appointment at the hospital, a patient, a fundraiser, a deadline that came first. We had become partners in the business of affording good schools, colleagues in putting pizza on the table, coworkers in paying the mortgage, no longer together in nourishing each other.

I got up from our bed one night and stumbled to our computer where a few taps took me out across the globe. There were thousands of women there. And their faces turned to me. When I spoke, Zulya answered. She has nothing on you, Adrienne. Not your poise, not your dedication, not your energy, your power to do good. But she was willing to entertain a conversation, and I needed that all these days and evenings alone.

The night you came to Zulya’s apartment was meant to be our last. I only went there to break up with her, face to face. I should thank you for bringing the children, because I saw in their expressions what I was doing wrong. I realized how much I need them, how much they need us to be together.

But it’s not only them. In these days since you’ve been gone, I’ve realized how much I depend on you. Every day you get up knowing what needs to be done, for your patients, for our kids, for our life. If you didn’t always have the time for me I wanted, it was only because you were using it to save someone else’s life. I should never have held that against you.

I know I’ve said some things in my phone messages that I shouldn’t have said. I was desperate, lost. I know I have no right to expect your forgiveness. But if ever you find the generosity to talk to me again, I will be here waiting.

And I love you.

Charlie

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