I knew there was another woman in my husband’s life from the start. I also knew who she was.
The day he was rescued, I was there, waiting. I saw the rescue team lift him out of the rubble. I also saw him look back. He was searching, looking for her–the woman who was with him down there. I saw the look in his eyes when they pulled her out. I saw the smile on his face, the relief.
When he was in the hospital, I saw the look on his face every time he had a visitor–the hopefulness that was quickly dashed when he saw that the visitor wasn’t her. I entertained the possibility that they had been together–been intimate–while they were trapped. He was shirtless when they were rescued, and there was little left of his pants. She was fully clothed, but the rescue team told my father they’d found a sleeping bag down there. Just one. Had my husband slept with that woman down there? Was that why he was so anxious to be reunited with her?
I imagined the two of them in that sleeping bag, making love. I imagined their passion, their hunger for each other. I imagined the things they might have done to each other, and how they had enjoyed it. The thoughts sickened me.
After he recovered, Jamie spent more and more time away from home. I didn’t have to ask where he was spending his time. I didn’t have to have proof. I knew in my heart that my husband was with his lover. Had it just been for physical satisfaction, I would not have blamed him. I haven’t lived up to his expectations in that respect.
But I knew he was in love with her, and I knew I was losing him.