how quicklyJuly 10, 2010
I tell her I am going to watch Revolutionary Road over the weekend. Her response, “It’s frightening how quickly it can happen.”
It being adultery. It’s frightening how a martini lunch with a coworker or dancing with a neighbor can unlock the door for adultery.
The conversation, their marital discontent leads me to say to her, “You said ‘for better or for worse. And this part, this is the worse. And you’ll get through it and it will be stronger. It will get back to the better.”
“That’s the thing,” she says through tears. “He only wants me for the better.”
Weeks later, she discovers her husband’s betrayal.
She’s right. It happens so quickly.
It’s one week when he asks me how he’ll know when it’s over. It’s been bad for years, he says.
I tell him relationships are dynamic, not static. They change. This is the bad part. You’ll get through it, and it will get better.
It’s just one week later when he’s grazing his fingers, just barely touching, my hand. He compliments my shoes. Of course, he compliments my shoes. And I tell him, like I would talk to any good-looking man, that the shoes. Stay. On.
A few drinks, a few songs later, and he walks me to my car. We hug and squeeze, fitting together in that way that only people of the right heights can. We hug too long, but don’t let go.
We lean away to say our goodbye and instead of speaking, we kiss. Because it happens that quickly.
But we stop. He looks at me and says, “You little temptress.” And we say goodbye.
Because it’s frightening how quickly it happens, but the decision to stop, the moment in which to change your mind, comes just as rapidly.