That’s it; I was almost certifiably my father now that I was having an affair with Shiraz. An affair… I almost couldn’t believe what Shiraz and I had done that night at my office.. Afterward when I had finally got home and walked in the door Aubergine was busy washing what looked like the dishes from dinner the kids were well asleep for quite some time now. “I made a plate for you, it’s in the fridge.” She called over her shoulder not even looking up but as I tried to answer everything just came out into a stammer.
“Is everything alright Roux?” She asked turning around while drying her hands off. Her face was full of concern and in her eyes I could see the love she had for me. As the full realization of what I had done washed over me as my empty stomach tried to surge up what remained of my lunch. The downstairs bathroom almost wasn’t near enough as I a sprinted towards it. Just barely had enough time to shut the door behind me before my face was in the toilet bowl as the wave of nausea broke forth even stronger than the one before.
Wearily I pushed away from the toilet and sat on the floor reflecting on what I had just done. At the office I had slept with Shiraz. Shiraz my ex, the only girl that had been capable of breaking my heart and like an addict as soon as she was dangled in front of me I leapt without even thinking for a moment until it was over before we awkwardly parted.
Pulling myself up from the floor I washed my face and hands in the sink. As I rinsed away the soap I caught myself in the mirror and for a minute I just stared at my reflection feeling nothing but self-hatred for myself. In a flash the mirror was broken with my fist but no pain even registered from it so I did it again and again until only a few fragments held by the sides of the mirror remained.
“Roux are you ok?” Aubergine’s voice came from the other side of the door as I held my hand while it bled. “Everything is fine.” I replied looking at the shattered mirror as another thing that I had to fix. Though what I said was far from the truth. Everything was not fine, but it could be if I could make it be. It only happened once and that was it, it would never ever happen again.
I told myself trying to rationalize in the best possible light what happened but at the same time it was useless. How the fudge could I have done this to her?
I told myself trying to rationalize in the best possible light what happened but at the same time it was useless. How the fudge could I have done this to her?
But sleep never came to me during the course of that night and I soon found myself driving in the dark of the night to the town homes that I heard Shiraz was staying at.
Surprisingly she let me in, I didn’t know what I was doing there exactly but it felt like the only place that I could turn to in light of what happened earlier. “So what do you want?” Shiraz asked with an edge to her voice. “I don’t know I couldn’t sleep.” I said as I glanced around her living room before settling my eyes on her. “Liar.” She said while rolling her eyes though a small smile was barely hidden on her lips. “Alright fine. I feel incredibly guilty about us sleeping together and still loving you that I couldn’t stand to be around my wife because I thought it was going to drive me insane and there are not enough mirrors in our house that I can break with my hand to get my sanity in place.” I replied while wincing as she gently touched my bandaged hand.
After that I started “working late” most of the week only coming home around the time I knew that everyone would be in bed. Most people that knew me would assume that our relationship or affair was built on a physical side but truthfully Shiraz and I were only together two maybe three times during the course of it. Most of the time I stole away with her it was like we spent it pretending as if none of the years that had gone by in absence of each other had ever happened. Just being able to hold her in my arms as much as it betrayed Aubergine nothing in the world felt as right as it did in those moments.
But sometimes even that isn’t enough, sometimes the love you might have for each other alone won’t make things work out when there are so many variables against it. I knew what I was doing was wrong and I knew that it would hurt Aubergine more than I could ever imagine when she found out. It was a few short weeks this time we had together lasted before I felt the weight it of crushing me. Soon we were almost at each other’s throats with our now constant fighting. She of course wanted me to leave Aubergine and I like a berryhole didn’t. The things we said to each other during these were specifically said to hurt the other in the most damaging way.
“I still love you and I hate that I do. I have a wife that loves me with all of her heart and children that adore me all of which I would never want to hurt in any way. Yet here I am here with you again after spending all day with you running through my mind. I should be with my family but when I am can’t think of anything but how to get back here to spend more time with you and I hate that. I wish you never came back into my life.” I said nastily to her one day after I came home from work with her after getting into an argument.
“You think I wanted to ever become the other woman Roux? This is something that I never in a million years had thought that I would ever do. Oh yes I really want to be in love with a man that is someone else’s and destroy a family. As much as this goings against my grain and as much as I might hate myself in the morning, nothing feels as right as when I am with you. And I know that you feel the same way otherwise you wouldn’t be here with me.” Shiraz replied to me defensively giving me a look that could probably kill if looks did such a thing.
“You’re the ‘Lo to my Lace, my violet in a field of daisies. My greatest love, the best and worst mistake of my life.” I gritted through my teeth at her as I began to grab my keys from her table that I had so causally tossed aside moments earlier before the fight begun.
“Roux I love you and you love me. So what if you are married you can always get divorced. We can be together, get married and have kids of our own.” She said in a pleading voice that made my hand stop right before I reached them, my hand just hovered above them for a moment before I replied “And then what I’d get to see my children part time? What about Aubergine? I’d take her children away from her after I leave her for another woman?”
I thought d She said in a small voice as she stared down at the carpet to avoid looking at me. . I might lose the best thing that ever happened to me just so I can spend a few moments with you the way we used to.”
“You think that I didn’t try to move on from you too? I went to school in Chambery, lived there for almost the whole time we were broken up and dated a wonderful guy that I could never give my heart to because you’ve always had it.” Shiraz said bitterly with pain and hurt reflected in her eyes. I sighed as I said before leaving “I know Shiraz. I just need some time to think right now. I’ll see you Monday I guess”
Sometimes it is the little everyday things that make a person realize just how much it means to them. That night I came home to Aubergine reading a story to Wisteria and Porfirio. I watched as she went through the characters changing her tone of voice for each of them while the two of them sat completely enthralled in the story. “More mommy, more!” Porfirio said as she ended the story. With a smile to me Aubergine agreed to one more story before it was time to the two to bed.
“Once upon a time there was a prince who wanted to marry a princess; but she would have to be a real princess. He travelled all over the world to find one, but nowhere could he get what he wanted. There were princesses enough, but it was difficult to find out whether they were real ones. There was always something about them that was not as it should be. So he came home again and was sad, for he would have liked very much to have a real princess.”
As the story began to wind down both of the children were almost asleep. Wisteria sleepily rubbed her eyes while Porfirio yawned as he snuggled close to his mother as she ended the story with “So the prince took her for his wife, for now he knew that he had a real princess; and the pea was put in the museum, where it may still be seen, if no one has stolen it.”
While I helped put the kids to bed I realized just how stupid that I had been all this time. For eternity I’d beg for her forgiveness if she would let me but first I would have to tell her. So I took a leave of absence from my work undetermined if I would even go back and spent the weekend trying to figure a way to be honest with my wife. It didn’t happen until Sunday afternoon, the sun was shining brightly for a January afternoon though there was a slight breeze in the air it was still pleasantly warm outside. Aubergine worked in her garden while I put Starry and Indigo done for a nap while the other two slept through theirs.
So I waited until she was done in the garden, her small sanctuary from the world that in a way connected her with her family back home as she take seeds and seedling trees from her family farm. I watched as she worked out there until she finished up not wanting for a moment to destroy that place of happiness that she had in it. When she finally came back into the house she quietly washed her hands before she started prepared dinner and that’s when I stopped her.
“Aubergine I uh…I need to talk to you about something.” I said while I mustered up the courage to tell her. “What’s that Roux?” She asked as a smile graced her sweet and gentle face. “I…I’ve…” Never before was I so afraid to say something. My heart was pounding in my chest practically begging to give away my secrets if she just listened to it. Knowing fully well that I would crush her gentleness in one fell swoop “I’ve been having an affair.” I finally managed to say as that last word fell like a stone in the room and I saw the muscles in her face momentarily tighten before relaxing as she repressed her emotions. The smile was long gone from her face and was eventually replaced by a emotionless face.
“Is it over between the two of you?” Aubergine asked in a monotone voice as she turned back to preparing dinner. “Yes, it is. It’s done and I swear it will never happen again. I know it means very little to your probably right now but I promise that it won’t ever happen again.” I vowed to her but she just quietly asked “Will you get the children for dinner?”
Dinner was unusually quiet as we all dined together Aubergine barely said a word beyond asking me to pass a side dish. And then she quietly got the kids ready for bed. In our bedroom as we both got ready for bed the silence still hung between us. “Aubergine I’m sorry, I love you.” I whispered to her in the dark to her back after lying awake for some time but I was only met with silence from her hopefully sleeping form.
It was sometime in the middle of the night that I awoke to noise in our room. At first I couldn’t tell what it was when I was roused from my sleep but soon I realized that it was coming from Aubergine’s side of the bed. Her muffled crying barely filled the room with each heartbreaking sob erupted from her making her body shudder. Gathering her up in my arms she asked me over and over “Why Roux? Why?” But I could not answer her with answer that would make her feel any better. Truthfully after all those years I had never stopped loving Shiraz and had it been the other way around I’m sure that I would have cheated on Shiraz with Aubergine.
She buried her head into my chest for a while as she cried as I stroked her hair as gently as I could while I apologize profusely for what I had done. “Aubergine I swear to you that this is something I’ll never do again. If you’ll let me I’ll spend the rest of my life making it up to you.”
“Aubergine…” I started to say before she cut me off as she pushed me away. “No, I don’t want to hear it. I can’t bare to look at you let alone sleep next to you.” She said as she got up and begun to grab her pillow. “No, don’t I’ll go. You stay here.” I said to her as I got up and grabbed my own pillow and headed downstairs to sleep on the couch in the living room.
“I’m leaving Roux.” Aubergine said after waking me up as she sat down next to me “I’ll be taking the children to my parents’ house in Fondant Fields.” Craning my neck to look behind me I could see a few packed suitcases by the front door. “Will you be back?” I asked her nervously as fear gripped my chest with an iron fist. “I…I don’t know right now. I’ll call you when I do know.” She replied quietly as the children played at the play table blissfully unaware of their world falling to pieces around them. “Aubergine please don’t leave. I’ll do anything you want just stay. We can work this out, I know we can. Please don’t leave me. I pleaded with her “It won’t ever happen again I promise.”
“Roux I think it’s best if the kids and I go to my parents’ house.” She said gently as I felt my eyes begin to burn and like a child I cried not caring what I looked like or who might have saw me. Never before had I felt like I did then to that extreme. I just wanted to lose myself in her lap if it would keep her there while I apologized over and over as I would make promises that I would keep until my dying day if she would just stay. But I y collected myself and I said goodbye to my wife as I kissed our children, then watched as they left.
Never had I felt such despair as I did those following days. What I went through when Shiraz and broke up and then finding out about who my father and his death paled in comparison to this. In hind sight it was smart of me took take leave at work as I barely found the will to do anything besides lay on the couch and attempt to sleep it all away. But unlike life in my house that just seemed to stop the world outside kept going whether I liked it or not.
“Hey what’s up my brother from another mother?” I heard Mars call through the front door as I barely peered over the couch to look after he loudly knocked quite a few times. “Man I see you open up!” Lightly cursing under my breath I answered the door and let him in. “Wow bro you look like…” He began to saw as he followed me in and I slumped back down on the couch as I cut him off “I don’t really care right now.”
“Not that I don’t enjoy getting a phone call from your mother Roux.” Mars gave me a wolfish smile that almost bordered being a leer as he said this “But she is worried about you since Aubergine called her and told her about what happened and that you might need some looking out for. So she called me on my cell to check up on you.” He ended on a cheerful note.
“Well you’ve checked up on me you can go now and leave me alone.” I said darkly not even acknowledging the comments about my mom. “No what I was thinking is that first you get a shower because you’re not looking too fresh right now and then we go into town an’ get a bite to eat. Maybe go find your cousin Candy too while we are at it.”
So I quickly took a shower though I forgo on shaving thinking that the sooner I showed that everything was fine the sooner I would be back to my peaceful seclusion where I could deal with the fact that my wife just left me by myself. After telling Mars that Candy was bartending on the weekends at the bistro’s bar which also served the full menu from the restaurant that is where we headed to eat.
"Just like old times eh?" Mars asked as we were served our first round of drinks. "Yeah sure except I'm married or at least I hope I still am and you are...well what are you again?" I asked him taking a large sip of drink of the ale that was before me by my cousin who gave me a sympathetic smile before she went to serve another customer. "Meh what I am doesn't really matter." Mars replied “Besides one day you might doing to this for me.”
“So uh what’s Candy been up to lately besides tending here? She dating anyone now?” Mars asked me after our food was served to us “Candy eats guys like us for breakfast. As you well know is the kind of girl that would not tolerate any your shenanigans and would kick your berrybum to make you behave.”
“Oh she would, would she? Oh Candy I’ve been a naughty boy Candy…. Candy! Over here! Pay attention to me!” Mars called to her but she only glanced over while she talked to another customer as she tended the bar “Oh never mind. No, no, no you’ve had your chance stay over there if you are going to ignore me but while you’re coming over here bring us another round or two.” Mars said to her from where we sat in front of the bar. With two fresh drinks in hand Candy came over and deposited them in front of us on fresh napkins as she asked “Am I going to have to call a cab for the two of you?”
“Possibly... Maybe... Sort of yes… But really I think this is all just one big rouse for you to get me into bed Candy. To have me drunkenly at your every command and whim for tonight.” Mars managed to say with a serious face and one eyebrow raised. “Right Mars I went through all the trouble of having my bonehead cousin cheat on his wife and possible break up his family just so I could get you to come all the way out here from Briocheporte to serve you mass amounts of nectar in hopes that you would eventually find your way back to my bed instead of one of the barroom flirts.” Candy said sarcastically while she rolled her eyes with a smile. “I knew it! You’ve been wanting to take advantage of me!” Mars exclaimed “Roux you’re my witness to her omission to all of this incase I somehow go missing during the night and she is nowhere to be found.”
"You know what you should do..." I began to say our fourth or fifth round in “Not take advice from someone that cheated on his wife?" Mars replied with a laugh “Exactly!...wait a minute no! Besides I have more experience than you in this sort of thing. I'm married and you're not." I pointed out to him as I took another sip from drink "But for how much longer? Aubergine left you right and went back to her parent's house." Mars said dryly as he finished his drink and signaled Candy to cut us off. "I don't know... Let’s go find out. I know where her parents live man. We could take that cab that Candy was talking about to her parents’ house!"
But things didn’t work out that way because the cab driver instead listened to Candy and took us back to my house where a figure stood patiently waiting outside the front door.