Tom and I sat on the balcony of our suite in Mauritius having finished dinner. We were drinking the rest of the wine and I could hear the sound of a steel band playing in the distance. I didn’t want to spoil the mood but there was nagging inside me and I had to address it.
‘Tom, we haven’t talked about Caterina,’ I broke the silence.
‘What? Well we don’t have to, it’s behind us.’
‘It’s not that simple Tom. I want to talk about it.’
‘Lilly, no, I’d rather not talk about it. It meant nothing. Let’s put it behind us. I love YOU!’ he emphasised reaching for my hand.
‘I’m sorry, but it isn’t that simple. I need to talk about it. Let’s just talk honey, please.’
‘Well I don’t want to talk about it.’
‘Well I DOOO! It is hard for me Tom, are you thinking about how I must be feeling?’
‘It’s hard for me Lilly, are you thinking about how I must be feeling? The guilt I’ve been carrying around. Come on! Think about me and try to understand – I feel awful. I haven’t been able to do anything at home. I haven’t been able to work. I can’t eat. I’ve lost weight.’
‘So YOU are feeling bad, wow, I’m sorry Tom. Poor you!’ I said sarcastically.
‘Why are you doing this Lilly? Why? We are having a brilliant time. Let’s keep having a brilliant time. It’s much better now that you know, so let’s move on.’
‘What?? Well, I’m angry now! Because you are telling me it is hard for you. And it’s better now that I know. Better for who Tom? I want to know why you did this and if something needs fixing with us, we can fix it. I can’t understand how you could lie like that to me, over and over. I want to know when you saw her!’
‘Lilly, nothing needs fixing with us, okay. I was an idiot. It happened, it meant nothing. That’s it.’
‘That’s not just it Tom! Seriously, you say it meant nothing but it must have meant something to you! And I want to know how it happened. And where and what you did with her, that stuff, I need to know that.’
‘For Christ sakes Lilly, I don’t want to discuss it! We have had a great few days! Why do you have to spoil it? And bring things up that don’t need bringing up?’
‘Oh, so it’s my fault! You slept with our au pair, now it’s MY fault because I don’t want to bury my head in the sand and pretend it didn’t happen! We can’t do that. I can’t do that. We have to talk about why this happened. Why? And we need to make sure it doesn’t happen again!’
‘Well it won’t happen again, I can tell you that, it won’t! Ever! I’m not going through this again, too stressful!’
Tom grabbed the wine bottle from the ice bucket and filled his glass to the brim and took a big swig and set his glass down loudly. He was looking at me with angry eyes. He was angry because I wasn’t going to let him get his way. Often I did let him get his way; that did make life easier.
Tom continued ‘I’m not doing this Lilly, I’m not analysing this situation. Like you want to. Always wanting to analyse everything. It happened and I am going to forget it and move on.’
‘So I can’t talk about this, because you have DECIDED to move on. Just like that, you have decided? Great that you just decide things without talking to me!’
‘Well you decided to go on this fucking expensive holiday without discussing it with me Lilly, you have blown a huge amount of money. Money that we need for really important things. And you’ve blown it, just like that, because you’re a bit angry!’
‘A BIT ANGRY!?! A BIT ANGRY!? Yes, you could say that I’m a bit angry Tom. You have slept with another woman. What about our marriage vows? What about our children? I’m more than just a BIT angry.’
I stood up, grabbed my wine glass and guzzled the rest of the wine in it, slamming the glass down on the table. I marched inside and went over to the mini-bar, opened the fridge and grabbed several miniatures of gin and vodka and took them outside to the table and loudly dropped them on the table by my plate. I went back to the mini bar and grabbed several bottles of juice, not caring what kind and dropped those by the gin and vodka.
Sitting back down, I opened the vodka and poured the entire contents into my wine glass. I opened an orange juice and poured half in with the vodka. I dipped my hand in the ice bucket and grabbed a few ice cubes, threw them in the glass with a clunk and then drank half the cocktail down.
‘Oh brilliant Lilly, just brilliant, now you’re going to get hammered. Well that’s mature.’
‘Sleeping with our au pair who is half your age, well that’s mature!’ I snapped back.
I took another long sip and opened up another bottle of spirits and poured half of that on top of my drink. I took another long sip and loudly put my glass on the table. I picked up the empty gin miniature and held it up to Tom.
‘I guess you don’t want me drinking these huh?? Because they are too EXPENSIVE!’ I shouted.
‘God Lilly, keep your voice down the kids are asleep. Calm down.’
Tom was looking over the balcony at a couple strolling back to their room below us in the gardens. I knew he cared if someone heard. I didn’t. I picked up my drink and another miniature of spirits and walked into the suite. Tom followed me.
‘I want to know, tell me, what was it like sleeping with her?! What was she like?? Was she like me?!’
‘Of course not, it wasn’t anything like sleeping with you Lilly, I love you. I don’t love her. Entirely different.’
‘Oh so it was just sex then, just sex. No strings attached. Nice. Classy.’ I said.
‘This conversation is over!’ insisted my husband and he walked over to the desk and picked up his phone and came back and sat on the sofa looking at it intently. He was trying to send a signal to me, a signal of ‘I’m done talking’ and he stared at his phone and he was silent. I started to pace back and forth in front of him, feeling like an erupting volcano. I was angry and was starting to feel the effects of the booze.
‘I might just divorce you’ I suddenly blurted out threatening ‘I probably might just do that Tom. You don’t seem to understand how upset I am. I want you to tell me about what you did.’
Tom put his phone down in front of him on the coffee table and looked at me bemused. ‘Oh really Lilly, you might divorce me, really? With three young children and the lifestyle we have, you are going to throw that away? I don’t think so. I think you’re drunk!’
He was mocking me. And he looked like he was rolling his eyes.
‘When was the last time you talked to her? I demanded.
‘I don’t know. A long time.’
‘When?? I want to know whennn?’ I slurred.
‘Lilly, I am not going to be able to remember that but it has been like a year. Over a year.’
Over a year I thought. Really, over a year? That email had said ‘shall we speak’ and I suddenly felt my heart beating through me. He is lying! I looked down at his phone he had set on the table and I walked over and picked it up.
‘So Tom, I guess then if it’s been about a year, I won’t find Caterina on your phone??’ I said, glaring angrily at him and holding his phone up.
‘Give me that!!’ he shouted and stood up looking angry.
‘No!! I am NOT giving it to you. Is she on this phone?!?’
Tom took a step towards me. I stepped backwards.
‘Tom, do NOT get any closer to me! I swear, I with throw this phone right out that balcony door and as far as I can throw it, if you come any closer,’ I took a step towards the balcony and motioned towards the wide open balcony door with my arm holding the phone. I was much closer to it than he was and I could see that he didn’t doubt me.
‘Lilly, right, don’t do that!’ he sat down.
‘Tell meeee!! Is her number on this phone!?!’
‘No, she is not on my phone, NO!!’
He looked wide eyed at me. And it was happening again. I could see the lie coming out between his teeth and the sweat on his forehead. I just knew, I just knew.
‘God damn you Tom, go to hell. I’m going to throw this phone, right now,’ and I darted onto the balcony, holding the phone over the railing.
‘Lilly, come inside.’ Tom hissed.
‘Tell me the truth, RIGHT NOW!’ I screamed.
‘Okay, okay, calm down Lilly, okay, calm down. I’ll tell you. Right, yes, ummm, yes, her number is on that phone. Only because I spoke with her. I had to tell her, that ah, you had found out. So yes, it is on there. I didn’t want to tell you because I knew you’d get upset.’
‘UPSET, you didn’t tell me because…where??’ I looked at the contacts, ‘where is her number??’ I was scrolling through the contacts.
‘It’s ummm, well it’s under Edward. It’s under Edward C.’
I looked and sure enough, there was the name Edward C. I couldn’t believe it. He had hidden Caterina under this bogus name!
With intense anger bubbling inside me, I walked quickly and calmly across the suite and into the bathroom before Tom could stop me. I slammed the door closed, and locked it. I heard Tom’s footsteps across the suite, outside the door, he was shouting.
‘Lilly, what are you doing?? Open the door, open this!’ And he was knocking. I ignored him. I walked over and sat on the edge of the bath, looking at the name and number, Edward C. It had a mobile number I didn’t know, but the familiar country code of Italy before it.
I had no plan of what I would say but I wanted to call her, so I pushed the call button and waited. It took awhile and I heard several rings, before the voice of our former au pair answered with a cheerful ‘Pronto Tom.’
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