So Fitz had left for Hong Kong and I was back in my hostel room with Karen and I must say it was good to be back with my girlfriend again. Watching movies till dawn, taking strolls on campus, chatting and laughing about everything that has a name…the joys of friendship. The only thing I hated was being woken rudely every morning for Karen’s morning jog ritual. She didn’t care whether we had only caught two or three hours of sleep…it was a must-do. Although I always went with her grudgingly, I always loved the attention I got from the guys jogging past us via their longing looks and stares. It made me feel special even if it was for some brief seconds.
“I feel like my heart is going to pop out of my chest any moment from now,” I panted helplessly as we entered our room.
“You say that every single day but you always live.” My phone beeped continuously for a minute.
“Wow, someone in Hong Kong must really be missing you,” Karen said. I picked the phone up and before I could check myself, a huge smile had settled itself on my face.
“Huh, I have never seen you smile like that reading a text from Fitz.”
I didn’t respond to that since I was busily typing my reply which was clearly a mistake.
“Unless….it is not from Fitz. Are you back with Tony?”
Before I could say no to that, Karen snatched the phone from me.
“Adam? Who’s Adam?” She gave me a puzzled look.
“Just a new friend I made when I went to the mall the other day…” I said, attempting in vain to get my phone back.
“Good morning, beautiful. Hope you slept well last night. I had a sweet dream last night. Guess who I dreamt about,” Karen read out with an arched brow and directed her gaze at me.
“Is there something you’ve forgotten to tell me for God knows how long, Em?”
“Not really. It’s not what you think so don’t bother yourself wrapping your mind around it. He’s such a sweet guy and you know I have a soft spot for such species.” I tried again to get my phone back but failed. I sighed in frustration. The phone beeped again.
“Does he at least know you’re married?”
“And why should that be a necessary-to-share detail?”
“My guess would be a no because no sensible guy would subject the phone of a Mrs. to such beeping inconveniences at 6am! I know you’re being starved of masculine affection and all that but this is crossing the line, Emily. I expected you to be smarter than this,” Karen said, throwing the phone onto my bed.
“I am not sleeping with him,” I said defensively.
“And that makes it okay? The fact that you’re engaged emotionally outside your matrimonial home is bad enough. Sex only complicates the already dire situation.” Oh boy, listening to the voice of reason could be exhausting sometimes.
“We have an early class today, Karen. I suggest we put this conversation on hold and get ready.”
“There’s nothing to put on hold. End it immediately, Em.”
“What are you, my mother?”
“If that’s what it would take for you see reason here, fine.”
“I’m already married to some old dude that sees me as a daughter. I can’t have my best friend treating me as one too.”
“Have you thought that maybe you’re treated like that because most of the times, you act like a child?” My eyes widened at her insulting question.
“Watch it, Karen; you’re treading on dangerous ground right now.”
“I am your best friend and my job is to tell you the truth even if you don’t want to hear it.”
“Your job? What if I release you of that responsibility? You’re fired, Karen!” And with that, I entered the bathroom.
“We’re not done here!” I turned on the shower to drown out her voice. Why doesn’t she see that not everything is as black and white as she thinks? Adam was only a means to an end-to keep my sanity intact. I didn’t want to wither away both physically and psychologically being tied down with a guy like Fitz so Adam was helping me feel as young as I should be (even if he doesn’t know it).
Fitz was my husband and though a part of me regretted that poor decision, he had been there for me in more ways than one and I wasn’t going to cheat on him or at worst, leave him. At least, that moral part of me wasn’t corrupted…yet.