Faithfulness of Time

I steeled myself against the moment and just blurted it out:

“Did you fuck her?”

I braced myself for impact and felt like vomiting when he laughed, nervously flicking his eyes to the side and letting his voice fall lower in his throat, like a desperate boy calling up from the well he was caught in.

“No,” he lied to me.

My body tightened. My insides felt like someone was taking a spoon to them and scooping them out, like a cantaloupe.

“LIAR!” roared out of me and my spit landed on his face. I slapped him squarely before he had the chance to wipe it off.

Defeated, he sighed. One small part of me hesitated, wanting to linger in this moment, the last one I’d know of us like this before my husband declared his infidelity true.

I wished it wasn’t. I could have broken my own bones wishing so hard it wasn’t true. Simply though, it was. Our marriage was over and I could tell you the moment it all began slipping sideways. The way he looked at her like he shouldn’t have; the way she looked at him back. The way she moved nervously when she noticed I was watching them.

“You’re right,” he said finally. “I’ve slept with her.”

“You love her,” I told him, the words burning on my tongue as they left my mouth.

“I do,” he said.

Two words. The bookends to our marriage. Those two small words, barely requiring a breath to utter, are still the last of what I can remember. I’ve sat in this cell for three hundred twenty-one days now, and I can’t recall another thing about that night.

Time is on my side. Time is the only thing that’s ever loyal when you think about it. It’s there, constantly churning and ticking by, but never diminishing in quality. It never stops existing, even when we do. By the time it runs out for me, I won’t be in any position to feel betrayed about it.

So I sit in my cell and I think of the time I labored on our marriage. I think of how his betrayal, culminating over months and months, seemed to warp time. I think of the times I spent feeling crazy.

I don’t think about him, though. Not anymore. Why spend your time thinking about someone who has no time left? They tell me I was the one who killed him, and although I don’t remember it, I believe them.

I do.

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