I called Bryce’s office this morning. Unbelievably, that coward has yet to pick up the phone to notify me of his move to California. The last time I checked, this is my life not All My Children, As The World Turns, or The Young and The Restless.
All morning, while getting ready for work, I kept going over in my head what I would say when Bryce answered the phone. What kind of man abandons his wife and home? His co-workers here knew he was married…I wonder what he is saying about me to them. A few weeks ago, prior to Bryce’s mysterious move, I asked him to meet me so we could talk. Bryce consented to meet me – in a public place near his job. This equated to the Holiday Inn Restaurant across the street – yes, I was pissed. I remember walking into the lobby of The Holiday Inn as though I were meeting a strange man for some clandestine reason. While maintaining my self-confidence, I quickly walked past the lobby attendants. The mere thought of being stopped and asked if I needed assistance was mortifying. How could I explain that I was only there to meet my husband in the hotel restaurant to t-a-l-k. Not sneak upstairs to one of the rooms for wild sex, just talk. Even more embarrassing was the fact that we not only arrived separately, but we would leave separately.
Repeatedly I wondered how Bryce would react when he saw me. Would we hug and kiss? Would he be affectionate towards me? Or would we appear like colleagues or even worse strangers meeting for happy hour after work? What are the rules to this new game that we are playing? At that moment, I entered the restaurant. Looking to the left and to the right I realized there were no familiar faces. He wasn’t here. “Please Lord; don’t let Bryce stand me up. I will fall apart.” Bravely, I allowed myself to be seated by the hostess.
Bryce arrived about 10 minutes later. Though on edge, I was determined to talk to him about our marriage. “Bryce, what can we do to work things out between us? Whatever you may have done, I have the ability to forgive you. Please give us another chance.” I know I was begging, but I couldn’t help myself. Yet he was so uncharacteristically nonchalant about our relationship, our problems, and me that I quickly became infuriated. I was simply unwilling to let go of our marriage without a fight. So I tried another tactic… “What about our friendship and love for one another. We are both God-fearing, so even if you are struggling with the concept of us, what about the vows we made before God. What about honoring the Word of God concerning our marriage?” But it seemed like the more I insisted we work things out the further Bryce pushed me away emotionally. It was becoming more and more difficult by the moment to retain my composure. My voice was beginning to sound hysterical and I found my tone getting higher without notice. Several of the other patrons would attempt to stare at us unnoticed, yet quickly turn away whenever I caught their eye. I didn’t know whether to be embarrassed or indignant.
Paranoia had begun to set in. I started to wonder if Bryce was planning to meet someone else after we left the hotel. Would he really do that? Sit here with me, his wife, and then leave to go on some rendezvous with another woman? Even worse, the woman whom he admittedly was cheating with. Of course not, I rationalized with myself. And yet I worried…we were a couple of months into our separation. We weren’t intimate, sexually or otherwise and I was fearful. Bryce would never confirm nor deny whether he was still seeing her. I was unsure of myself and his coldness increased my fear. So I did what any frightened and insecure, not to mention horny woman would do. I asked him to fuck me. To wit, Bryce immediately refused. It’s crazy, I admit, but at that moment, I determined that Bryce neither could not nor would not ever leave me.
Suddenly Bryce stood up to leave, stating there was nothing left to say. I could do nothing but agree, while secretly deciding to follow him. In my heart, I knew he was about to cheat on me and I was ready to beat that hussy down. Sadly, I remember feeling like one of the guests on that cheesy television show “Cheaters.” After allowing Bryce to pull out of the hotel parking lot in front of me, I followed him. According to the detectives on Law and Order and all of the other police dramas, you are supposed to follow your suspect with at least three or four cars in between. So that’s what I did. I was proud of how well I was doing, especially when I pulled into the parking lot of TGI Friday’s unnoticed. I thought, maybe I could take a part-time job as a private detective to fill up my spare time.
Looking back in hindsight, I should have stayed in the car. But being the person that I am, determined and strong-willed, I boldly entered into the restaurant to see whom Bryce was meeting. Then it happened – he turned on me. “What the hell are you doing here”, he shouted. “I did not invite you here. What are you doing following me? You are pathetic and you need to leave! Leave now!” I was humiliated beyond measure as not only other restaurant patrons turned to stare, so did the group of Bryce’s co-workers who were sitting at the nearby table. Even though they kept telling him to calm down, Bryce kept yelling…”Get out of here! Leave now!” Both broken and defeated, I left.
That was the last time I saw Bryce. I had a new determination, but this time begging him to stay with me was not the goal. I was prepared to cuss him out, unfortunately, I know myself. Whenever I become extremely emotional, I am unable to articulate how I feel and what I am thinking. Therefore, with my speech prepared, I called my “husband.” The receptionist picked up after two rings…
“Hello? May I speak to Bryce?”
“Yes, may I ask who is calling?”
“Absolutely, this is Angel…his wife.” Immediately, the elevator music began, as I waited patiently for Bryce to answer. Suddenly he picked up the phone.
“Hello, you bastard, this is Angel. Exactly when were you planning to tell me you moved across the country? And by the way, how is that whore, you moved away with?” Bryce was stunned; I could hear the shock in his voice.
“How did you get this number?”