I woke up to find myself out of my clothes wrapped in bed sheets. Where was I and what was I doing here? I sat up and rubbed my eyes to help clear my fuzzy head. What was going on? The bathroom door opened and Adam stepped out. My eyes widened with shock and I instinctively drew the sheets closer to my body. He smiled.
“I’m sorry; didn’t want to wake you. You should probably take a shower too. The beach sand can get irritably sticky.”
“Oh no,” I mumbled as I buried my shamed face in my hands.
“Hey…what’s wrong?” He asked softly as he sat beside me. The concern on his face grew when he took my hands away from my face only to find tears streaming down.
“What is it? Did I hurt you?” I shook my head, overwhelmed with guilt.
“Where are my clothes?” I asked, avoiding his gaze.
“I sent them over to the laundry. They were wet and full of sand. The guy promised it would be ready in a few minutes. We did have a great time in the water, remember?” He said, trying to cheer me up.
“Why are you crying? I thought you enjoyed spending time with me.”
“I did…it’s just that…” There was a knock on the door.
“That must be the laundry guy.” Adam got up to open the door. He took my laundered clothes from him and gave him a tip. He closed the door. I got up with the sheets flowing down like some gown…what a shame.
“Give them to me. I have to go.”
“Without taking a shower first?”
“I’ll do so when I get home but I need to leave.”
“Okay,” he said in a disappointed tone, handing me the clothes. I was too distraught to care. I entered the bathroom and shut the door. I couldn’t even bring myself to stare at my face in the mirror. How could I be so stupid? It felt like history repeating itself. Would he also dump me like Tony did? And what about Fitz? He was waiting for me at home whiles I was shamelessly bathing myself in beach sand with Adam. Could I have stooped myself any lower? I guess the saying once bitten, twice shy doesn’t apply to me. I’d rather say twice stupid. I hurriedly dressed and walked out of the bathroom. I took my bag.
“Wait; I think we need to talk.”
“Oh no; I don’t do that. I mean, this was a mistake. I have to go.”
“A mistake? Wait, what is going on? I thought we were both into it.”
“Not now, Adam; I need to go. We’ll talk later,” I said hastily and walked out. I checked my phone when I sat in my car. Five missed calls from Fitz. I was in deep trouble. My mind began racing to put together some sensible lie to tell Fitz. What had I become? A cheating, lying wife! The tears continued to flow down my cheeks. I hated who I had become. But can you really blame me, an unsatisfied, bored-to-death obviously unprepared-to-be-a-wife college girl?
When I arrived at my matrimonial home, I placed my head on the steering wheel to utter a prayer of forgiveness. But how could I expect anyone to forgive me of this grave sin when I couldn’t forgive myself? I entered the house with heavy steps, dreading each one I took.
The house felt quiet and I sighed in relief. I quickly ran up the stairs and entered the bedroom. I screamed in fright when I saw Fitz lying on the bed which also startled him.
“What is it? Is someone after you?”
“No…I’m sorry. The house felt quiet and I assumed you were out. Forgive me.”
“It’s okay; where were you? I called you a number of times but you didn’t pick up.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry; it was in my bag and I was pretty occupied.”
“You look exhausted. Come here,” Fitz said, opening his arms. As if stung by a bee, I coiled away from his embrace. I knew he was hurt by my reaction but I was too ashamed to look him in the face to confirm it.
“I’m sorry; I feel sticky. Let me go take a quick shower and I’ll join you.” He stopped me by the arm.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah. As you said, I’m a bit exhausted.”
“I prepared something special for us.”
“You mean you ordered.”
“It’s the same in my dictionary.” That brought a smile to my face. He cupped my chin, forcing me to look at him.
“I love you, Emily. You mean the world to me.” I bit down hard on my lower lip to stop me from bursting into tears. I could only nod in response.
“I’ll go and take my shower now.”
Immediately the bathroom door closed behind him, I tore the clothes away from me as if they had become infected with some virus. I hopped into the shower and for the first time, I didn’t cringe when the hot water hit my body. I wished it could get even hotter to scald away the filth I had just committed. I scrubbed my body with great effort but the harder I tried, the filthier I felt. I began to cry. I startled when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around and didn’t reject his embrace this time. His every touch scalded my body but I couldn’t react knowing that would look suspicious. So for the many minutes that followed, I had to endure the burning touches and caresses which triggered memories of my time with Adam. I squeezed my eyes shut to make them go away but the harder I tried, the more vivid the images became in my mind.
Later on the bed, I heard Fitz speaking but my mind was far away, wandering nowhere in particular. A kiss on my shoulder jolted me back to reality.
“You’re not here,” he said.
“Your mind is absent from here. Throughout our lovemaking, you were totally oblivious. Did something happen with your friend today?”
“No. we just had a little argument; it’s nothing. I’m sorry about my absent-mindedness. I promise to come around probably after a nap,” I said, holding his cheek. I kissed him and turned around.
“All right, love. Get some rest,” Fitz said and laid down. My phone beeped and I took it.
I’m sorry if I took us too far. I didn’t mean to hurt you. Please talk to me. I can’t stand you being mad at me, the message read. I ignored it and forced myself to sleep, forgetting the torture could only get worse in my dreams.