It had only been a short time but when he came home to an empty house I believed the reality began to set in, the house was empty. Did he really think I would be sitting there waiting for him to come home with dinner on the table like nothing had happened? I have to admit he had charmed and gifted his way out of a lot of sticky situations in the past so it is quite possible that is exactly what he thought would happen- I don’t know. The calls and texts started coming in around 5 pm, almost instantly and furiously. I never answered the phone once. Marcy and I were on our way to Andrea’s house by now & the martinis were losing their battle with my adrenaline system, I needed more alcohol stat! Ensconced in the love of my girlfriends we started to come up with a short-term plan. Answering his texts, calls, or pleas was not even within the remote possibility of happening, which I was sure of. I had nothing to say to him and I knew the sound of his voice would send me into a rage. Listening to him claim “you don’t understand, it isn’t what you think” one more time and I would have gone off the deep end!
Finally after a lot of conversation with the girls, even more wine and a sleeping pill I went to bed. When I woke up I had a brief moment of thought
“huh?, that was a strange dream”
That is until I realized it all true, it wasn’t a dream- all the horror was real. My heart sank and a tear rolled down my cheek. I could smell the coffee and hear the girls chatting so I dragged myself out of bed. I had a brief moment of thought- maybe I could just stay here forever and not face any of it. As I walked into the kitchen and I joined the girls at the table Andrea and Marcy looked at me and said, “we need to address a few things, were is your joint money kept? You need to call your family. You need to get your things.” Ugh. It all seemed like so much work. I thought to myself; can’t do it, it is impossible. The girls were all business, in a loving way, and in my mind, I was trying to plan what foreign country I could escape to and start over where no one knows me. When I asked the question our loud “how do I do this?” Marcy looked at me and said “one step at a time that is how you are going to move on, one step at a time.” I took the first few steps, literally, and we walked into town. I knew my husband well and I knew that me leaving, no matter what the reason would make him angry. I was again in a total panic and had no idea what the future held, I just couldn’t wrap my head around the facts. My head was all questions. Was I moving out of my house? Where would I go? Was I single now? OH FUCK, I would have to date!
I headed to the bank first. I took money out of our joint account and started a separate savings account. I didn’t’ know where I was going or what I was doing but I needed padding in order to make decisions. I was in survival mode and my husband had supported me since we moved in together. He paid rent, which in San Francisco is a big chunk of change; bills and we split household expenses. But I had made the mistake I swore I would never make. I had not saved enough to get out if I needed to. Why would I, I was madly in love and never thought I would need to “get out.” Wrong. Sure I had a savings and some investments but no quickly accessible money. I will never make that mistake again!
Next was the phone call I had dreaded more than calling the husband when I found the photos. I needed to call my family; in my heart, I knew they wouldn’t be that surprised- how sad is that? I have the most amazing supportive parents, sister and brother-in- law of anyone I know but the thought of telling them was more than I could deal with in that moment. I had failed at marriage once and now this… I fought so hard to make this marriage happen and now four months in I felt I had already failed. I logically knew that my first marriage wasn’t a “failure” and I had nothing to do with this one ending but if you have ever been through a divorce you know that no matter who does what you feel like you failed. At least that is how I felt.
My family never clicked with my new husband, they never bought into his excuses the way I did. This fact had actually caused a lot of problems between my family and me over the years. He had always kept his distance from my family, skipped out on holidays and vacations- usually waiting until the last moment to do so, which only increased my heartache though he never seemed to care. The straw that broke the camels back for them was the Christmas he and I had decided to stay in San Francisco for the holidays. We wanted to spend Christmas in our new home and we were saving for a wedding. Then it happened. He was called out of town on a last minute business trip to Canada to close a deal around the twenty-first or twenty-second of December but he promised it would only be a one or two-night trip and he would be back in time for Christmas eve. Of course, that is not what happened. He got stuck in a “snow storm” and I spent Christmas Eve crying in my wine with Marcy at our favorite local spot. I had called to talk to my family before we headed out to dinner and my dad couldn’t hold his tongue any longer. “Keylee, something is not right here and you need to find out what it is. No one is working Christmas eve!” Somewhere deep inside I knew he was right. I woke up Christmas morning alone, I had Christmas breakfast with friends and then spent Christmas night with his family- fighting back tears the whole time. Of course, everyone kept saying how horrible it was that he was the one stuck traveling on Christmas Day. I now know that he was with her and her family. Why keep me in San Francisco, away from my family at the holidays? I will never understand his reason.
When I finally went to dial the phone and tell my parents what I had discovered on the internet I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, so I did what I always did when I didn’t know who else to do, I called my sister. After staring at my phone for about an hour while the girls ate brunch… food was not an option for me, I finally dialed my sister.
“Hey sister” she answered. “Hi, I need to tell you something,” I said. “OMG are you pregnant??” She screamed with excitement. “Um not exactly, he has a double life and I just found out. He has been cheating for over 6 years. MY HUSBAND HAS A DOUBLE LIFE!” My sister was silent, I started to really cry for the first time since I yelled at him on the phone. The fact my sister has nothing to say was mind-boggling; she always had something to say. I was on the sidewalk crumbled into a heap. She asked if I had told mom and dad and I said no. “I can’t, you have to tell them. I can’t do it over the phone.” She wasn’t thrilled with the idea but being the amazing person she is, she agreed. I got up, took a deep breath and we all walked back to Andrea’s. Marcy and Andrea had called our forth girlfriend Maggie Ridgeway. She was living north of the city and would be there as soon as she could, in the meantime they drew me a bath. Twenty minutes later my phone rang, it was my dad. I actually debated on answering. He was going to be soooo disappointed in me. Finally, I answered, “so I hear you’ve got a problem kid” was the first thing he said…. I lost it. The tears started flowing. Through the tears, I said, “yep, dad, he has a double life.” Without hesitation, he said, “how soon can you be on a plane.” It was like a bolt of lightening and the first clear thought I had. I needed to get home!
First, I needed to talk to Katy and she would be my next call.