The next day went just as well. She managed to find the problem with his back. His muscles had tensed. He had had a fall earlier that week and his muscles hadn’t recovered. They decided that he should return each day and work through a program of exercises to release the tension. Over the next two weeks she massaged him and they went to the gym to work on stretching. One night he asked her whether she would like to join him for dinner. She accepted. The restaurant was Indian. She told her husband that she was going out with a few friends and the spent the next hour wondering what to wear.
When her husband entered the room she tried to look calm but she became distracted by the pained looked on her husbands face. He sat down on the bed the looked at the floor.
“Umm.” She was unsure of what to say.
“Please. Don’t talk. Let me say what I have to say.”
She gasped. He knew? But how?
“You’ve been happier than you have ever been before over the past few weeks. Seeing you that happy made me want to be happy but I knew I couldn’t. Because I knew it wasn’t me who was making you happy. I’ve missed you smile. I must admit that it’s been my fault that you’ve been unhappy…”
“But…” She interrupted.
“Please. Hear me out.” He continued. “We both work much later now the kids can look after themselves. We come home, eat tea and then go to bed. We barely talk. I should have been making more of an effort and I only hope it’s not to late now. This man you’re seeing, the kids seem to think he’s one of your patients. When did you start seeing him?”
She bowed her head. There was no point in lying. He had been honest with her; she had no right to lie anymore.
“Monday, two weeks ago. He booked an appointment to have someone see him about his back. He thought it was a repetitive strain injury.”
“And was it?”
“He’d fallen earlier that week. The second day I saw him I found that his muscles were still in shock after the fall and so over the past two weeks we’ve been working on a series of exercises to loosen his muscles.”
“And this is the first time he’s asked you out.”
“He only asked whether I wanted to go to a restraint tonight. We’ve become good friends over the past weeks and so I said yes.”
“But you have more than just simple friendly feelings towards him.”
She paused. Her head dropped and she whispered.
What he said next shocked her.
“You can go with him. You deserve more than me. But if you stay with me I promise that I will try harder. I love you Louise. I really do, but if you go with him you can never see the kids again. Never.” He stood up and walked out of the room, not once looking back.
She sank down on the bed and cried.