“Are you cheating on me?” her eyes were red with tears, her voiced cracked and dry.
“You are gone all the time, you come and go as you please, you never call. The kids cry every night and ask where their Dad is.”
“I’ve been busy.” Why wasn’t I telling her? Earlier I was sure I'd be able to tell her.
“With what? Just tell me what?” Her eyes were pleading; she wanted me to tell her so desperately. I could have said anything and she would have believed it.
“You wouldn’t understand.” I couldn’t do it; my mouth wouldn’t form the words she needed to hear. I knew she would understand, but something wretched in the pit of my stomach that made me stop.
“Help me understand.”
“I can’t. It’s about me, you wouldn’t understand.” Did I think something was wrong with me? Was I afraid of how she’d look at me when she found out what I could do? What I was?
“Either explain or get the hell out of here.”
“Honey, don’t do this.” What a half hearted attempt.
“No, no more, explain yourself or get out.”
I could have fought harder. I should have fought harder. I was just so tired, tired and afraid. I shared my secret with Julie, a complete stranger, but I couldn’t bear to tell my wife. What a chickenshit.
Whether it was the empty look in my eyes or the silence, I’ll never know.
“Just get out, leave us alone.”
I packed a duffle bag full of clothes, kissed my sleeping kids and flew off. I felt numb, I didn’t even cry. That night I blamed her for not understanding, not giving me my space. It wasn’t her though. I was transforming, becoming someone who could never be a husband or father. Shedding my old life in preparation for what was to come next.