Here are my latest pieces of writing.
Love & laughter,
Maggie was beautiful, intelligent, and captivating of youthful innocence. Her early years were full of promise; she excelled academically and found comfort in exploring nature and embracing the solace of her backyard reading her favourite novels into the hours of twilight. She dreaded the weekends as she would have to endure sleepless nights comforting her brother as her alcoholic father fought with her mother. Saturday mornings became a routine of her mother yelling endlessly at her father accusing him of infidelity; a temper fuelled by so much resentment and suffering. Every weekend Maggie had to clear away broken furniture, cans of beer and make breakfast for her hung over father who was completely oblivious to his drunken rages.
At age eleven, Maggie’s parents left her in the care of a male relative as they went out to a night club. Maggie fell asleep on the living room couch and awoke startled as she felt the hands of the man touching her body, then his wet lips on her lips. The last image vivid in her mind was seeing him light a cigarette; she closed her eyes fighting back the tears, trying to imagine that everything was going to be alright. He stole her innocence. She told her mother who accused her of lying.
One Saturday morning, Maggie woke to find that her mother and father were nowhere in sight. No empty beer cans and absolute silence. Maggie’s father did not come home from the previous night and her mother was out searching for him. Hours passed and finally her mother barged through the front door “I just caught your dad naked in the bed of another woman”, she said in a voice full of anguish. She ordered Maggie to start packing so they could leave. Maggie looked at her brother as he sat in silence on the sofa, his eyes full of purity and pain. Her father arrived home amidst the packing, the mother grabbed Maggie’s arm and told her to get into the car. Maggie looked for her brother but her mother kept pushing her towards the car. They left. She looked back as they pulled out of the driveway and her brother was yelling out the window for her mother to stop. Maggie begged her to stop. Her mother kept driving.
At age sixteen Maggie met a guy who made her feel wanted. He professed an undying love for her. Maggie, completely naive believed every word he said. She skipped classes, started smoking weed, lied to her parents, lied to herself and began an unhealthy relationship with a guy she barely knew. As Maggie’s world spiralled out of control her parent’s marriage was on the road to recovery. Her father sought help through the church and he gave up drinking. The family moved into a beautiful home in the suburbs. Maggie’s parents became livid when they found out she was failing school. Maggie’s mother beat her and sent her away to another country for three months.
Maggie returned home and completed her last year of high school, she met a guy in her science class, a Mormon who made her laugh. This guy upheld the Christian values that she believed would give her the escape she craved for. He e-mailed Maggie daily quotes of inspiration, wrote her love letters, sang to her on the phone, surprised her with flowers and Oreos, and even won over the approval of her parents. One evening, Maggie was home alone and invited him over. They listened to Babyface and Maxwell, he kissed her and their teenage hormones clouded their judgement. He lay above her and asked if she wanted to make love, she said no. He stopped, put his clothes back on and apologised for getting carried away. The next day he told Maggie that the only way he could continue a relationship with her was if she converted to his religion, she refused and he became distant. Thereafter, it seemed every moment they spent together was of a physically intimate nature. She broke up with him at the end of the high school year. Her mother blamed her for ruining such a ‘good’ relationship.
At age twenty one, Maggie formed a relationship again with the guy she met at age sixteen. He had moved to Australia. She lied to her family including the brother she loved and who today is the only person who has never hurt her, telling them that she would go to Australia for her 21st birthday to visit family. She went to Australia with the intention of being with this man and to never return home again. Maggie saw this as an escape from the painful past she endured. She flew to Australia and within a month she married this man. From the beginning she could sense that he was an angry man, and each day she had to tread carefully to avoid his fury. The first time they were intimate it was far from the concept of making love. He was rough and enforced his bizarre sexual fantasies upon her. The only time he ever touched her was to satisfy his sexual needs. He made her feel worthless, and she fell into an empty and aching abyss.
She called her mother seeking comfort however her mother full of rage yelled at her, “I forbid you to stay with that man, I’ll never accept your relationship and I swear you will never have children. Your marriage is a joke.” The abuse in her marriage escalated, and she fell pregnant. She flew back home, knowing that she could not raise her child in an unloving environment. The first day back home she had a miscarriage. A month later her husband flew in from Australia to be with her. She stayed with him despite his unfaithfulness, and she endured his physical abuse and his unhealthy obsession with porn. Maggie wanted to prove to her parents that she was happy, that she made the right choice in marrying this man. She lived such an empty facade, being the obedient wife, the breadwinner, the used and abused. He would leave her at home alone while he spent entire weekends away. She knew he was out with other women but she couldn’t muster the strength to fight with him. She never yelled at him as her mother had done with her father. She no longer cared about his infidelity, as she preferred that he go and be unfaithful, rather than stay at home and touch or abuse her. Maggie just let him go as he pleased. She became accustomed to nights of having dinner by herself. Alone. This is the life she chose.
They stayed unhappily married for four years. She had a conversation with two of her dear friends who begged her to leave him. Maggie texted her husband saying she no longer wanted to be with him. He text back, “Ok”. She arrived home later that day to see him with another woman, packing his belongings. Three months later his new girlfriend was pregnant and they were engaged. Maggie, battered and torn wondered what she had done to deserve such misery. Her two best friends also left the country leaving Maggie feeling abandoned and searching for purpose.
Maggie envisioned a man who would love and embrace her for who she was. A man who would wake next to her with a smile on his face, that would make her laugh and fill her life with unconditional love. She craved a sense of belonging, a loving touch, a place she could call home and share with another who would just simply be home for dinner. It happened. Maggie fell in love with a wonderful man. He made her laugh and treated her with so much respect. He made her feel beautiful, and for the first time in her life she felt safe and loved. Every weekend they would go out and enjoy the company of mutual friends. He danced with her and gave her all the loving attention she needed. People would often comment on how they could see and feel that they were in love. Maggie dwelled within his love. He promised to love her and take care of her and said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. His love allowed her to embrace life and enabled her to return to her love of nature.
It seemed Maggie’s life encompassed all that she desired. However, this was short lived. He lied to her. He didn’t look at her the way he used to or compliment her grace and beauty. He didn’t take her out in the weekend. He left her at home as he went out until the early hours of the morning. And, he no longer danced with her. Consumed with a sense of failure, loss of self and no longer having the capacity to cry anymore lonely tears, Maggie ended her life. Alone. All she ever wanted was to be loved.
Curly Miri © 2012
A friend, *Michael is having an affair with a married woman. On the outside looking in he has a promising career, and a beautiful home with a loving wife and children. He lives a facade of joy with a married woman who also has children of her own. His moments of happiness with the other woman are overshadowed by a realistic sense of disloyalty and disdain.
The following interview encompasses only one perspective of a man’s infidelity. I was with an unfaithful spouse in a previous relationship so I was unsure of how I would feel about what Michael had to share, but I still had to ask.
This interview is a curious glance into the life of a man having an affair.
*Names have been changed.
How did you meet the other woman?
*Lisa was my high school sweetheart. At one point we contemplated marriage however my parents didn’t approve of our relationship so we went our separate ways.
When did the affair begin?
Five years ago at a party, I saw Lisa out with our mutual friends. We partied all night together and I ended up in her bed while her husband was out of town. We’ve been seeing each other on and off again for the last five years. In the last two years we’ve seen each other once a month as she lives overseas.
Why are you having an affair?
The feeling of being with another woman gives me a sense of excitement and thrill. My wife and I, we’re complete strangers in our home and we haven’t even slept in the same bed for over a year. I’ve always fantasized about having sex with Lisa from when we were together in high school. It’s not always about sex though, we can talk for hours and we make each other laugh. We share moments like these that are lost with my wife.
Do you ever think about the consequences of the affair?
Yes, of course. I know that I could lose my family, my wife and everything that I own like my house, but I can’t stop. Lisa makes me feel so much of what I don’t ever feel with my wife and at the end of the day she goes back to her life and I go back to mine. It’s a convenient relationship. Lisa works a high profile role in government and if our affair ever became public the implications on her career and her personal life would be drastic.
How do you feel about your wife?
Of course, I would do anything for her and our children but in any relationship there are four important concepts of success: money, sex, compromise and communication. I know that I cheat on my wife because our marriage doesn’t have any of these four aspects, it never has.
What does the future entail for you and Lisa?
I dont’ see a future with Lisa as she has her own career, her husband and children. I could say even though it sounds blunt, that I’m only with her for the sex, the thrill and convenience of the relationship we have together.
Do you feel like you are living two separate lives?
Indeed. It does get tiresome and my stress levels have sky-rocketed as I’m constantly lying to my wife. I do feel a sense of guilt but obviously its not enough to make me stop. I just can’t stop.
Where does your family and her family come into all of this?
Nobody knows about our affair. Lisa and I have discussed ending our affair because we know it’s not right and we both have careers that we need to focus on.
Will you tell your wife about the affair?
Probably not. At times I wish she would just find out so we could get over the fake charade of a marriage that we display to our family and friends.
If you could go back ,would you do anything different?
The problem is, Lisa has always been on my mind since high school. She was the girl I wanted to marry. I look at my wife and I see a stranger and I wonder how long I’ve been living this lie. I know that this affair will cause a lot of damage, but I also know that my relationship with my wife needs to end regardless of this affair because our marriage is unhappy, and unhealthy. However, I know that this does not justify having an affair.
Why are you still with your wife if you are unhappy?
Our marriage is convenient. People look at us and think that we’re the perfect couple, living in a beautiful house with two children and two dogs. I only married my wife because she fell pregnant with our child at the age of eighteen and I felt obligated to be a man and step up to the role of fatherhood. I’ve had a successful career for the past six years and I’ve built a home for my family, and I don’t want divorce to take away all that I’ve worked hard for.
Where to from here, Michael?
I know that my relationship with Lisa has to end. I also know that I can’t keep lying to my wife or stay married to her. I’m meeting Lisa at the end of the month and although I’d like to say that I want to finish our affair, it’s difficult because every time I see Lisa I’m reminded of so many happy memories we’ve shared together. Lisa has asked me to leave my wife and has said that she’ll leave her husband but there is too much at stake. I can’t just throw away the five years we’ve had together. I just can’t let her go.
Love & laughter,