The Scarlet Letter

My wedding rings were taken off my left hand as well.  I had all of them.  His and mine.  I put them together in a box as it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. Henry called me later that afternoon and told me he didn’t really want a divorce but was just so hurt with everything that had transpired and asked to take me to breakfast the following morning so we could talk, to which I agreed.

Henry picked me up and off to breakfast we went.  With tears in our eyes and sad Christmas music in the background, we did out best to talk and eat.  On the drive back to my parent’s, Henry pulled over on the shoulder of the road.

“I’m sorry.” he said, “We should have at least tried to have children.” His eyes welled with tears.

I honestly could not believe what I was hearing. Would a baby have made things better between us? Certainly not, but to hear him say this to me, well, it just crushed me. I had given this up for Henry and here he was apologizing.  I didn’t know whether to cry or scream. Regardless of my emotional response, it didn’t matter.  It was too late.

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The week between Christmas and New Year’s was an emotional roller coaster.  Henry and I made appearances together to see old neighbors and family and to also share with them the fact that our marriage was in trouble and we weren’t quite sure what the outcome was going to be. I have no clue why we were sharing with people at this time and I also did not quite know what part of the story Henry was sharing with his family and friends.  Did he only mention that I had kissed another man?  Did he also forget the mention the years of struggle between us?  I was paraded around our old stomping grounds wearing, what felt like, the scarlet letter.  Whether it is was intended or not on Henry’s part, it was not a pleasant feeling.  I felt as though I were being judge by everyone.

On Christmas Eve we traditionally went to Henry’s parent’s house where his siblings, their spouses, kids, and friends gathered every year.  I was VERY nervous about going.  Truth be told, I didn’t want to go but did anyway.  While I was welcome with open arms, it was turning out to be an emotional night. Drinks were flowing for some and I’ll never forget sitting the front porch talking with one of Henry’s relatives.

“You fucked up, you just fucked up.” She said to me.

“Excuse me?”  I replied.

She then proceeded to tell me, after several cold beers, how I fucked up by cheating on Henry. She cast the first stone and I was NOT pleased.  I told her that I didn’t need to explain myself to her but that our issues stemmed long before I kissed another. I was fuming.  I sent Henry a text message and told him it was time to leave.

He was appalled by her comment and even told me that he told his family to please not talk about it so we could enjoy our night.  Great times had, let me tell you.

This summed up exactly how I knew everyone was looking at me.   I was wearing the scarlet letter.