VIII. I'm Not Sorry
“Yeah, Karma's a bitch,” she said.
“And it's digital now.”
“Yeah, right. But the thing is, how dare him!”
“It's the second time he cheated. The first time, I was actually desperate and sad and lonely and fucked up and angry and mad and crazy. I didn't know how to feel. I was deeply hurt and I cried a lot without him knowing it, without him seeing it.”
“Does that give you the right to cheat, too?”
“Yeah, I think so.”
“Why didn't you try to be the better person? Why did you have to cheat too?”
“Loyalty's fucked up. That's so ancient. Women now are as powerful and strong as men. If he did, why can't I?”
“You already did, you cheated. You got fucked by a man and even invested feelings on him, too. Does he know? He doesn't. He's not hurt. You weren't able to crush his male ego.”
“Why not? If he has hurt you, and for the second time he has done it again, why not go and hurt him too?”
“You're getting me confused. You were asking me to be the better person a while ago and now youre asking me to throw stones at him.”
“Now, tell me, Ara, what do you want to happen?”
“I don't know.”
“You should know.”
“All I know is I love the other guy.”
“How about the kids?”
“My kids are the most important people in my life. Without them, i'd die.”
“Now, you know what to do, Ara.”
“What do you mean?”
She looked at herself in the mirror. With her hair messed up and her eyes fluffy, she has been having imaginary conversations with her very own self. She slightly opened the blinds that have been
blocking the sunlight in her room. The sun felt strange on her skin. After days of crying and being a single parent on her kids, she decided that her crying is not going anywhere. Why is she hurt anyway? She's been cheating, but why does she still feel terrible?
She has fixed her kids and sent them to the school bus. She's now alone in her room. Yari has been calling her but she doesn't want to answer. Maybe it's karma, afterall. Does she deserve this?
Her phone started shouting and she lazily dragged herself near it. Upon seeing her mom's name on the screen, she felt nervous. Nervous in a way that she doesn't know what her mom will say.
“Ma,” she said.
“How are you?”
“I'm okay,” she answered.
“I called to verify if you and..”
“Yes,” she cut her off.
“He cheated. I caught him. On our bed, with a different woman,” she explained.
She heard her mother sigh.
“I'm sorry,” she said.
“Sorry for what?”
“For everything, Ara. If it wasn't for me, you would have married Yari, instead of him. You'd have been happier,” her voice regretful.
“Stop blaming yourself, Ma. I have forgiven you. Forgive yourself too. I made a choice when I followed you. There's always blame to share.”
Though she couldn't see her mom, she knows that she's smiling with the thought of forgiveness.
“What do you plan now, Ara?”
“I don't know yet, Ma. I don't know where to start.”
Her mom chuckled.
“What's your job again, Ara?”
Though she thought it's irrelevant, she still answered.
“I work in the corpo world, Ma. Do I really have to be specific?”
“How much do you earn, Ara?”
“60-70K a month,” she answered.
“You got a diploma?”
“Good. You know what to do now. You can raise your kids on your own, send them to good school, feed them with good food and some luxury if money permits. You are strong, remember that we are not built to break.”
She smiled. She felt hope.
“Thank you, Ma.”
“I love you, Ara.”
“I love you too, Ma.”
* * *
“Can we talk? I think I need to explain.”
Those words still echo on her mind. Her husband gave her a call. She instantly felt numb after hearing the latter's voice. She doesn't know what she feels.
“Let's meet at 7pm. After your work, i'd be waiting for you.”
She doesn't need to hear more words from him. She hung up. Time flew fast and it's time for her to go home. She has been in a constant struggle this day on whether to see her husband or not.
“Why don't you see him, ask for an explanation? Or maybe just for a closure?” said Marly, a friend.
Closure. She thought. She got more confused. She wants to have the kids a father as they grow up and it'd be difficult to do it alone. Her kids will surely ask where their father is and this thought kills her.
“Why don't you just kiss and make up?” Marly, added.
Kiss and make up? Does she still want him back? He's got another guy. He doesn't need him anymore.
“Okay, Ara. You're not listening. Listen, now, no matter what your decision is, just think of your kids. Actually, it's not about you anymore, it's about your kids. Do what you think is best for your kids. If you wish to raise them alone, go ahead. If you want them to have a father, bring him back or, get a new one. Just remember that your kids are the best things or people in your life right now.”
She nodded in agreement. She set her mind straight, took a deep breath and decided on how her life with her kids would be.
“Can you do me a favor, Marly?”
“Sure, what's that?”
She whispered something on Marly's ear and the latter got surprised.
“Are you sure?”
“Are you really doing it, Ara?”
“This is for the better, Marly.”
Marly smiled and gave her a kiss on the cheek then headed out of the room.
* * *
Seated in front of her now is her husband. Pale, sleepless and ugly.
“Ara, please forgive me. I know that this isn't the first time I did it and I am truly regretful. Can you give me one more chance?”
“So that's what the vacation's about. So that you and your slut can do things on your own. Without me knowing it.”
“No, it's not that. It's not that. It's an accident, Ara, believe me.”
She raised her eyebrow.
“Ahhh. An accident. So you were walking down the street and fell on a woman with her legs apart, with your dick ready for pumpin? An accident, sounds pretty convincing,” she said sarcastically.
He's crying now. He truly is regretful.
“I know that you are mad. I know that you are no longer in love with me. I know that you are just staying with me for the kids. All i'm asking for is a chance. A chance to make things better, a chance to make things right, a chance to make everything change. Please, Ara.”
She took a sip on her juice.
“How many chances have I given you?”
“A lot,” he answered.
“I have given you a lot of chances to make things better, a lot of chances to make things right and a lot of chances to make everything change. But you wasted it. You wasted everything.”
“That's the only word you could say.”
“Give me a chance, another chance, lsat chance.”
“This time, there'd be no more chances.”
He's crying now. She's emotionless. She's like a tigress that displays no emotions but ready to devour anyone.
“Because I'm done with you.”
She stood up.
“Wait. Wait. Please don't leave.”
“Is there anything left to say?”
“How about the kids?”
She met his eyes.
“The kids will be mine. I am not going to withhold your right on them. You are still the father, after all. If you wish to support them, you know my bank details. You may visit them once in a while.”
He's sobbing again.
“Please take me back, Ara.”
“I have a question,” she said.
“By any chance, did you really love me?”
She suddenly felt sad upon saying her question.
“No, you didn't. You never.”
“It's not that I didn't love you. I loved you, just in a wrong way.”
She tried to hide her sadness upon hearing those words. After years of marriage. It has come to his. Nothing in this world, is really permanent.
She picked herself up, tried hard not to sob, and stood up.
“One last thing, before I leave, I want you to know that I too, have an affair with a married man. The affair began just months ago and I tell you, he's loving me really good. So there, I'm not sorry,” she said.
Before he could say any word, she was gone.
She was now outside waiting for a cab. She got in and sat comfortably. She saw herself crying. The driver was quiet. She found herself feeling intoxicated and dizzy. She got home and went straight to her bed. Her head is spinning. She closed her eyes. Hoping for a better tomorrow.