Saturday, May 7, 2016

Chapter 12 (5/7/16)

My dad handed me a glass of wine as I stormed in.  “She didn’t tell them,” I growled.  “You didn’t either!”
“I thought she did,” my dad said contritely.  “She said she was going to.”  I rubbed my forehead and sighed, feeling bad about my mini tantrum.  “I’m sorry, Jenna.”
“I am too,” I replied weakly.  “I’m not trying to be a brat, but this is so hard already.  And then to be blindsided like that…It just sucks.”
“I know,” he assured me.  “Here, stir this.”  He handed me a spoon and wandered out of the kitchen, leaving me to mindlessly stir and calm down. 
He returned in a couple minutes, relieving me of stirring duty.  I wandered into the living room, where everyone was watching A Christmas Story.  I sighed in relief and sat down.  I could use a mindlessly funny distraction.  No one said anything to me, and they were all very careful to keep their faces turned towards the TV.  Fine with me. 
Everyone tiptoed around me for about an hour, but finally loosened up at dinner when I cracked a joke.  No one mentioned Kevin or my divorce again.  Once everyone left, my mom looked at me.  “Jenna, I’m sorry,” she said.
“I know,” I said.  “I’m sorry too.  For being a bitch about it.”
She looked as though she was going to say something about my language, then thought better of it.  “Are you angry at me?” she asked instead.
“No, I’m just…tired of feeling shitty,” I admitted.  This was maybe the most honest thing I’d said to anyone since the divorce was finalized.  I quickly realized my mistake when my mom frowned sympathetically.  I’m so uncomfortable with people feeling sorry for me.  “I’m okay, mom,” I said quickly.  She hugged me anyway, and I hugged her back.  “I think I’m going to head to bed,” I told her after we separated.
I had a hard time falling asleep that night, and when I finally did, I was plagued by nightmares.  The worst was the one about the very first day I found out that Kevin cheated on me, long before we ever even thought about getting married.

He was three quarters of the way through his first year in med school.  It was hard—much harder than I’d anticipated.  I was a junior, on my 2nd major: communications.  I couldn’t seem to figure out what I wanted to do with my life so I figured I could get a fairly generic degree and figure it out later.  That’s what grad school is for, right?  Anyway, Kevin was at the U of M, 2 and a half long hours away.  And he was so busy that even though we were 7 weeks into the semester, I’d only seen him once since winter break. Luckily, we both had spring break the next week, and I was going down to stay with him for the week. I missed him.
It was pretty late on a Wednesday night.  I remember it was Wednesday.  I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.  I was getting ready for bed when my phone rang.  Whoever went to bed first called to say goodnight, so I wasn’t surprised to see it was Kevin.  I quickly finished brushing my teeth and answered as I walked out of the bathroom and back to my room.  “Hey, honey,” I said cheerfully.  “How was your day?”
“It wasn’t good,” he answered, and he sounded weird.
“What do you mean?” I demanded.  “What’s wrong?”
“Jenna, I have to tell you something.  But first I want to say that I’m really, really sorry, and I love you.  I really love you.  A lot.”
“What did you do?” I asked frantically.  My heart was pounding and I felt sick to my stomach.  This was not what I was expecting, and I knew it wasn’t good.  I knew.
“Jenna, baby, I love you.”
“You said that already,” I growled back.  “Tell me what you did.”
He didn’t say anything for several seconds.  And then…did he sniffle?  I couldn’t tell.  Finally, he said, “Jenna, I’ve made some mistakes lately.  Some really bad mistakes.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  I miss you, and it’s hard not to see you, and school is really stressful.”  He stopped and I was so frustrated I almost hung up on him.  Luckily, he continued after a brief pause.  “Baby, I’ve been cheating on you.”
“What?” I asked, confused.  “No.  No, you haven’t.  You wouldn’t.”  I didn’t want to believe him.
“Jenna,” he said softly.  “I’m sorry.”  And then he definitely sniffled.  And then he sniffled again. 
The full weight of what was happening hit me then.  “Fuck you,” I said.  “Oh, fuck you.  You asshole!  You piece of shit!  Is that why you haven’t let me come see you?  Because you’re too busy fucking your sidepiece?  Is she prettier than me?  Is she going to be a doctor too? I hope it was worth it.  I hope she’s a real good fuck, because if you cheated on me for mediocre piece of ass, I swear I will—“
“Jenna,” he cut me off.  “Calm down.”
“Oh no,” I raged.  “You don’t get to tell me to calm down!  You want me calm?  You should have thought about that before you went and stuck your dick in some whore who—“
“Jenna!” he said, louder.  “Seriously, can you even blame me?  Look at the way you’re acting.”
That shut me up really fast.   I collected my thoughts, and then calmly said, “I don’t have anything else to say to you.  Don’t call me back.” Then I hung up.
Of course, he didn’t follow directions.  Within 5 minutes, he’d called me 4 times, texted 12, and left 3 voicemails.  I didn’t read the messages.  I didn’t listen to the voicemails.  Eventually, I turned my phone off. 
In the morning, I read the texts.  I listened to the voicemails.  I’d accrued 28 more texts and 4 more voicemails overnight.  They started out pleading.  Then they moved to angry.  They ended with him crying.  That’s right.  I had an entire 47 second voicemail that consisted only of him crying and begging me to call him back. 
He called me periodically throughout the day.  I ignored each one, sending him to voicemail.  He didn’t leave any more voicemails.  He didn’t send any more texts. 
My roommate left Friday morning for spring break and I used my solitude to wallow and mourn the loss of my boyfriend.  Except then he showed up at my apartment.  I don’t know who I was expecting when I heard the knock at the door, but it wasn’t him. 
He looked awful.  Terrible.  His eyes were bloodshot.  He looked exhausted.  He was pale.  He probably looked worse than me.  “Why are you here?” I asked him, fighting to keep my strong, uncaring façade.  But the truth was that looking at him and seeing his anguish, my resolve to end it all and move on was fading fast.
“Please let me in, Jenna,” he said softly, hanging his head.  “Please.  Just let me talk to you.”
I stared at him for long enough to make him shift his weight uncomfortably and glance awkwardly over my shoulder.  Then I silently stepped aside and let him in.  “How’d you even get in the building?” I asked.
“I saw Amanda coming out, and she let me in,” he said.  Amanda was the girl that lived across the hall.  We hung out occasionally, so she knew Kevin. 
“Oh,” I said.  We went to the couch and I motioned for him to sit.  Then I sat on the opposite end, as far as away from him as I could get.  “Um, do you want some water or something?” I asked.
“No,” he replied.  “I just want to apologize.  I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry.  I was an idiot.  I’ll tell you whatever you want to know.  I’ll do whatever you want me to do.  Jenna, I miss you, and I love you, and I fucked up.  I’m sorry I fucked up.”
I bit my lip, because I missed him and loved him too.  And he looked so distressed and upset and sorry and pathetic.  And then my chin quivered and I tried to swallow, but it was hard.  “Damn it, Kevin,” I managed, before I burst into tears.
It was the first time I’d cried since he confessed, believe it or not, and the floodgates were open.  Once I’d started, I couldn’t stop.  I sobbed, and when he moved to my end of the couch and wrapped his arms around me, I curled into him and buried my face in his chest.  He stroked my hair and my back and whispered, “I’m so sorry, Jenna.  I’m so sorry,” over and over.  And then he cried too.
When I finally stopped crying, I tilted my head up to kiss him, desperate to feel something else.  One thing led to another, and we ended up in my bed.  When we were done, I said, “I don’t know how I’m going to trust you.”
“I’ll do whatever you need me to do,” he assured me.  “I’ll earn your trust back.  You can look through my phone.  I’ll tell you every detail of my day.  I’ll do whatever you want.”
I sucked in a shaky breath and said, “We’ll figure it out.”


  1. Oh this makes my stomach turn! I think it's harder to read knowing he's a serial cheater and it doesn't end here, but still. I feel so bad for her!!

  2. And because of this douchebag, she's going to have trust issues when the next great guy comes along. Cheating sucks. mum

  3. Man oh man, do I hate people like Kevin. I feel so bad for Jenna. She has to feel like such an idiot, honestly. I know that's how I would feel in this situation.

  4. I've heard about reading the first signs into a relationship. They way he went from being sorry, to angry, then desperate it should ahve been a red flag for Jenna. I dislike guys like that lol