For part 3, click here.
For a couple of weeks after Jon's visit, I successfully ignored his emails and calls to my home, but I couldn't avoid him at work. It would have been too obvious, so he made sure he called me every day, at least once a day, even when he had no work related reasons. Sometimes he just made shit up. I remember telling him something ridiculous like that I had given him up for Lent. Secretly his persistence pleased me.
Ror 40 days I pretended to ignore him. I wouldn't answer his calls at my home, and I didn't directly respond to his emails. I would, however, respond to some of his emails with a quote or poem from an angst-filled poetess. Again, hind-sight is 20/20 and now I know I was just playing along with his games.
The Monday after Easter he asked if I would take the next day off work and spend it with him and I agreed. After that, I just stopped pretending that I was anything more than "The Other Woman". I really thought that Jon and I were best friends, we told each other everything. Everything included all the intimate details of his marriage, and I developed an unhealthy hatred toward his wife. More than that, I developed an unhealthy level of what I thought was love for this man that bordered more upon obsession.
When he was in town, I often spent nights in his hotel with him. Listening to him say goodnight to his kids was tough, but having to hear him say "I love you" to his wife would infuriate me. For months the poor woman thought that he was really trying to make things work with her while he was still carrying on with me behind her back. He would make sure he was home in the afternoon on the days that he thought his cell phone bill would come in the mail so she wouldn't find it. It was awful.
I can say it was awful now because I realize that the reason I developed that hatred for her was self-preservation. I took every negative thing he said about her and their marriage and spun it into a way for me to be able to look at myself in the mirror every morning. If I let myself think of her as a human, a wife and a mother who was innocent in all this, the shame would have killed me. I didn't know that shame and self-loathing were eating away at me, anyway - I was just using alcohol more and more as a way of dulling it.
Come summer, we eased up a little bit. It was harder for him to get away, the wife worked at a school so she and the kids were home 24/7 and he didn't have as much free time. Free time that he previously used to call and/or email me. Vacations also kept us away from each other and we used the voice mail system at work to leave messages when we couldn't call each other.
During the summer, he would call me at work on a Friday and kind of put me on alert that "this" might be the weekend when he would come clean and end it with her. For almost 2 months I spent every weekend waiting for him to call me and tell me he was on his way. And for weeks, every Monday morning was a let down. There was always some reason, someone's birthday, an anniversary, something coming up that he didn't want to ruin by leaving his family.
That was the summer of his wife's 40th birthday, when she bravely threw herself a party because he didn't do anything for her. He didn't even buy her a present. I realize now that he was provoking her with hope that she would throw him out again, as he was too passive-aggressive to make a decision on his own and follow through with it. That was the summer they finally started going to counseling together.
As the summer progressed, the Monday morning calls at work were always dreadful, and I would have to sit there listening to his reasoning and excuses without being able to say a word. I was at work, surrounded by people. So he did what he always did best and talked my ear off not caring what I had to say and telling me every little detail of what he and his family did that weekend. "Did I tell you about how my wife was upset about our last counseling session, so while I was mowing the lawn she filled a bucket with water and threw it at me while she was screaming at me on the front lawn?" No, you didn't tell me that part, it sounds awful. "Actually, I found it endearing."
Why the fuck would he tell me that? I don't know if he was intentionally torturing me, but that's what it felt like.
The last time I let it happen that summer was the third weekend in August. I know for certain it was that date because my family reunion is always the third Saturday in August. I left it early because I thought for sure he might be on his way to my house. As I didn't have a cell phone, I didn't want him waiting for me in my driveway for too long before I got home. He had made it pretty clear to me the day before that "this" really was finally the weekend. He was going to do it. There were no more birthdays or anniversaries or anything else in the way, he couldn't pretend with his wife anymore, this was it.
16 hours ago