This may be the hardest piece for me to write thus far.
Returned from a house party on campus, I was sitting in front of my laptop scrolling through the photos people had just posted on Facebook. My message box popped up…
He: Hey, I’m not sure if you remember me…
Me: Yes, of course! You are his friend. What’s up?
He: Umm, I think you should know this… it’s really hard for me to say this because I’m his friend and also his roommate, but I just don’t think it’s right. And you have the right to know.
A horrible sinking feeling washed through me. The fear that you know something bad is about to happen.
He: I’m really sorry but I’m afraid that he’s cheating on you.
A mixture of confusion, anger, dread and panic kicked in.
Me: Thank you for telling me… can I ask how you know about this?
He: Well… I live with him, and in the past few months, he’s been bringing the girl home.
Did I really not see it coming?
Could I not tell from the tone he sounded on the phone? The thoughtless Christmas gift?
Perhaps I knew, but I just avoided the confrontation for the fear of what I may find.
I cried, begged and pleaded. I promised to be a more attentive girlfriend and move closer to where he was.
It was already too late.
Watching the grey clouds moving faster with the wind, I sat on the couch, my phone in my laps. Two opposing voices inside my mind threatening to explode my skull…
Me: I kissed him.
A momentary relief sat in. Finally, I’ve told him.
He: What? You’re kidding me! You are telling me this over texts? When I’m on my way to vacation?
Me: I’m so sorry… I’ve been meaning to tell you but I was afraid. You’ve said if this happens, we’d be over. And I just spoke with my mom and that gave me the courage…
He: When did this happen?
Me: A month ago…
He: And you’ve hid this from me all this time? How could you do this to me? Did you not think of me when you did that?
Me: I’m really sorry… I only thought of the pain this would bring you after it had happened. I’m so sorry…
He: Who are you? I can’t believe this. Are you possessed?
The guilt and shame consumed me.
I lost all self-respect and could not trust my own judgement.
All kinds of questions and doubts occupied my head, and all I could content with is the internet.
What is wrong and right?
I despise cheating, but why have I done the very act that I deemed despicable?
Lying in bed, I read through my friend’s string of story about someone she knows…
Me: That was a beautiful love story.
She: Yeah, that takes a lot of courage. I don’t know if I’d be able to do that.
Me: What does?
She: Forgiveness. To forgive someone who has cheated on you. Maybe he could convince himself that she was young and curious, but it still takes a lot of courage to trust again.
Me: I’ve cheated and been cheated.
She: I know, so what do you think?
Me: I think in a relationship where both sides communicate honestly and authentically, cheating has no room. When you can share everything and talk about anything without the fear of being judged, that builds a solid protective wall and… maybe that’s the only way… after all, we can’t stop anyone from doing what they want to do.