Trust or Lack Thereof

“Do you care to explain this?”  R was pointing to the computer screen in our office.  Since we’d both come into the marriage with a personal computer apiece, there were two desks set up on opposite walls, one with his computer, one with mine.  When we both worked in the tiny space that used to be Z’s bedroom, our backs would nearly touch.

He was pointing to my computer. I shook my head, confused.  He never used my computer, and I never used his.  In fact, when R moved in, he’d gotten his own phone line as well; I never answered his phone, even when it was his parents.  There was something about it that just felt like crossing a line.

I looked closer at the screen.  My email account was open, and an email was highlighted.  I knew instantly what he’d done, and what he’d read when he’d done it.   Anger flashed red behind my eyes; the guilt I felt wrapped itself up in it and made it white hot.

The email he had read was from Kyle Vincent, the singer my friends and I had gone to see a few weeks ago.  Sure enough, he’d been attentive and funny during our interactions during the course of the day, leading my girlfriends to make all manner of accusations.  I just laughed, but inside I felt special and attractive.  Which I shouldn’t.  I was married.  But it felt good, and fun, and innocent enough with me married and not looking to change that status.

He’d asked us to come to another show nearby and Dawn and I had made the trek.   By the end of that evening, onlookers had guessed that we were a couple by our easy conversation and comfortable interactions.  He’d sent me a saucy email afterward when he returned home to Los Angeles asking when we would start our affair.  I knew he was joking, mostly, but it still felt fun and a little dangerous to be talked to that way by a good looking man who could have any girl in the room.

I hadn’t told R about any of it other than the fact that we’d gone to a second show while he was in San Diego.  He wasn’t happy about it; he tried to explain that he didn’t like that we were engaging in separate interests, that he didn’t like that something outside of him was bringing me happiness.  I argued that it would be hard for us to have common activities when he was away five days a week.   I hadn’t told him about any of the emails, knowing he would take them absolutely the wrong way.

“Explain what?  The fact that you’ve gone into my email account without asking me first?   I don’t know how to explain that, or understand that.  Why on earth would you do that?”

He looked angry, very angry.  “Because you keep running in here five times a day to go on the computer; I figured that something was going on in there to have you come running in here before you’ve even showered in the mornings.  And I was right.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I countered, indignation oozing from every pore.  But he was right.  I was looking forward to the emails.  That was true, and probably wrong.

“I read the email.  You want to explain what he means by ‘when are we starting our affair’?  Because I for one would also like to know the answer to that question.”

“It’s a joke, R, come on.  You can’t think that he was serious.  It’s just a joke.”  My cheeks were red with fury but also with guilt.  I knew that I should not have enjoyed emailing and talking with this other man so much.  That was why I didn’t tell R about it.  But I did enjoy it.  I knew nothing would come of it, so it seemed harmless.

“He doesn’t seem to think it’s a joke,” R countered, fury still evident in every word.

“OK, you’re delusional.  This is a rock star.  He goes from town to town, singing, getting ogled by beautiful women, probably getting laid wherever he goes.”

“You fail to refute my concerns,” R said icily.

“Come on!  Do you not trust me?  I met him at the shows, we have emailed, we’re friendly.  Emphasis on the word friend.  Are you saying you think I slept with him?  Even if I were someone he was remotely interested in that way, I’m married.  To you!  Hello!  For heaven’s sakes! Do you not know me at all?”

R clicked the X in the top right hand corner of my email browser, revealing the sunny beach on my screensaver.  “I don’t like that you’re emailing him.  You shouldn’t want to email him.  Why do you email him?  Aren’t I enough for you?”

I sighed.  “Of course you are,” I said, but feeling that his anger and accusations were certainly making the statement less true than it should be.  “But am I not allowed to have friends?  Male friends?  Is that a rule now?”

“Not like that.  Not friends who talk about having affairs with you, while I’m two thousand miles away.”

Fair enough.  I had to give him that.  “OK, point taken.  Besides, the tour is over soon, anyway.  I’m sure he’ll forget I exist as soon as it is.”

“We should be so lucky,” R muttered as he walked past me out of the room.

I looked around at the tight space and sighed.  Did everything really have to be this hard?


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