EDIT: This is part two. For part one, click here.
Dr. Wright looked at us. Just stared.
I was about to lose my mind. After I told her everything that happened last night from my point of view, all she has to say is "Interesting"?
Dr. Wright asked us as we plowed in office an hour ago why was there two new additions to her Saturday afternoon session. That's when I told her what went down.
Marisa was bouncing her leg like a furious woman. She sat beside me on one love seat. Across from us, were Robert and Natalie. I haven't said two things to my wife since yesterday. Natalie was almost vacant. Staring out of the window, chewing on her nails, she wasn't involved in the conversation at all, she just told Dr. Wright to ask me what happened.
"Natalie," Dr. Wright finally quizzed, "Is there something that you can add to this?"
Nat huffed. "I don't really have anything to say to that cheater."
I sneered at her. "Cheater? Last night was the FIRST time I've ever stepped out on you! How long have you and Robert been going at it, huh?"
Robert looked at me as if he wanted to hit me. "Hey, don't bring me into this."
Marisa snapped, "Oh, you were already in this, the minute you started with her. So, answer the question, husband. How long have you two been seeing each other behind our backs?"
Dr. Wright looked over at Robert, and waited for an answer.
He wrung his hands together. The look of worry and fear washed over him for a quick second. "Since the first night I met her."
Me and Marisa both dropped our mouths open at the same time.
Robert began. "It was... sudden. She excused herself to the bathroom. And I got that call from the office, remember? I went to the phone area, and called the office back. As soon as I hung up, she walks out of the bathroom, looking... weird. I asked her if she was ok, and she asked me how I could handle you two being friends. I told her that sometimes I couldn't handle it. It always seemed like Marisa was closer to you than me." He looked at me right in my eyes. "She agreed, said that she felt that way sometimes, and that she wished you would talk to her the way you talked to Marisa. So, we exchanged contact information. At first, it was lunch meetings. Then, we started seeing each other after work. One night, about 5 months ago, we just kissed. And since then, we've been seeing each other. I love Natalie." He held her hand. "The same way you love Marisa."
I couldn't hold it any longer. "That's why we've only had one dinner date together?!? Because you two couldn't keep it together while you were around us?!?" I pointed at Natalie. "You. You lied. Told me that we were drifting apart because I didn't understand how hard you had to work. That's the reason we ended up here in the first place-"
Dr. Wright cleared her throat. "I must apologize, but I'm going to cut this short. This is getting out of hand. Also," she looked at Natalie, "you lied to me about why you needed marriage counseling. And that, young lady, I cannot condone. Ladies, gentlemen, you can use the room as long as you like, but I say good day to all of you." And with that, she stood up, and walked out.
I stood up. "So, what now? What are we gonna do?"
Natalie looked at me. "I loved you. Loved you, even though I knew it wasn't going to work between us. Married you, even though I knew you cared for Marisa more than you did me. Tried marriage counseling, even though I knew it was my fault we were breaking down. I love you now. I always will. With that being said, it's a couple of things you might need to know before we end this."
Marisa looks at Natalie. Natalie smirks at her.
"Natalie," Marisa says softly, "don't do this..."
I look at Marisa, then look back at Natalie.
"Robert wasn't the first person I cheated on you with. Marisa was."
The initial shock took my breath away. I stammered. "I....I-I......what?"
Robert had tears in his eyes. He stood up, took off his wedding ring. "Marisa, you can have the house. I just want my stuff and the car. That's it. You'll get everything else. I'll send the papers through my lawyer. Natalie, we are through. I can't be with someone like you. It was.... fun. But it's over." He looks at me, somberly. "I hope that you can make it through this. And I feel for you, I really do. I apologize for putting you through this. Hopefully, you can forgive me. One day." And with that, he places the ring in Marisa's hand, and walks out of the room.
I look at Marisa. I wanted to slap the taste out of her mouth. My face felt hot. I couldn't think properly.
Natalie continued. "It was after our honeymoon. Marisa called you and you guys talked for about 3 hours, laughing and chuckling. And even though the conversation wasn't private, not in the least bit, I still wanted to know what she had that I didn't. So, I called her the next evening. I told her I needed to meet up with her, talk to her about you. She agreed, and we met at her house. Robert wasn't there, he was out. I told her straight up that I wanted to see what you saw in her. She broke it down, told me that you loved me, more than you ever loved anyone else, including her. I asked why did you two seem so close and why couldn't I feel some of that closeness. I wanted to see her love from her point of view. We kissed-"
Marisa yelled, "That's enough, Natalie! Stop, don't do this to him!"
Natalie snapped right back. "Do what? It's already done, and you helped it out. I want my husband back, I want to work it out with him." She looks at me. "I love you. Please, forgive me, let's just work this out, I know we can make it work."
She cried out, "No?!? Why not? Baby-"
"Don't. Don't even think for one second that you can come back... after all of this... you betrayed me, slept with my best friend, slept with her husband... and yet, you think it's something salvageable out of this? Am I supposed to just lay down and forget everything? Go home. Pack your stuff. Get out. Go to your mother's. Go to Diane's. Just go. Don't be there when I get there."
Natalie bursts into tears. She runs from the room.
I stand, back to Marisa, looking out of the window.
She walks up behind me, places her hands on my shoulders.
"Don't touch me. Traitor. How could you do this? To ME?!? I'm supposed to be your best friend. How could you keep this from me? You knew. YOU KNEW. All along, you knew. You knew when I came to you about going to marriage counseling. You knew when I was breaking down, slowly, but surely. You said NOTHING. What do I have left? What did you gain out of this? WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME?!?" I was breathing heavily. Hot tears streaked down my face.
"Because I love you. And I wanted you for myself. I planned it from the beginning. Robert was cheating on me long before he met Natalie. Natalie confided in me that night that she doesn't think it's gonna work between you two, because she doesn't love you enough to spend the rest of her life with you. I slept with Natalie, knowing that she'll do anything to keep that secret from you, including coming to marriage counseling. So, that night she met Robert, Robert played himself to a T. He hit on her when they both disappeared from the table. She fell for it, because she's a sucker for a cute face. Now, it's just me and you. We can finally admit our feelings for each other. Start over, start a relationship, and a family."
I looked at her as if she was possessed by the devil. "You LOVE me? I don't think you even know the meaning of the word. 12 years of friendship, and you throw it away because you were too scared to tell me. Start a relationship? With you? You must be crazy." I walk towards the door. "You ruined my life. I have nothing to go home to but empty drawers and echoing walls. I should slap you, choke you, make you feel all my pain. But I'm not. I'm going to leave you with this: I hope you find someone who truly loves you. Loves you more than anything else in this world. And when you finally decide to spend the rest of your life with him, he leaves you. Just like I am. Good luck, Marisa."
I walk out of the office and head towards the elevator. I hear the sobs come from the other room. Every fiber of my being wants to go console her, tell her I was wrong, that maybe we could work through this, that maybe I can be the one that can be her love forever. But the elevator doors close.