I don’t think his wife knows about me, not yet. Though I have tried to make myself known. Though I have knowingly called him when he is at home, when his happy wife and happy child are all gathered with him at the dinner table with their happy little feast. When my own unhappiness nags at me like a sore. Though I have sent him gifts in the mail, written my name clearly in print at the bottom of the card.
I don’t know how he does it, honestly. This sidestepping of truth and lies, carefully maneuvering himself between both worlds.
He always promises me he will get a divorce as soon as, “Junior is old enough to handle it.” He promises me we will soon announce to the world our own togetherness. He says this time in-between will only make our love stronger. I just have to be a little more patient. And I have come to despise this Junior whom I have not met, though I have searched his wallet and coat pockets when he is not looking, for some scrap, some picture of him. Nothing. Though I have seen his wife.
He keeps a picture of his wife in a frame on the bookshelf in his office at school, and my best friend tries to comfort me by saying this doesn’t mean anything, that it’s just a formality. But I know better.
She is smiling in the photograph, an attractive woman, more attractive than me. And in some small way, I know that his being with me makes this fact a small victory for me.