April 19, 2014

Truly...Madly...Lovely: The Fantastic Liar

suburbia interrupted

The day we moved in was an amazing day full of great news and even greater sex. 

Hours before we signed papers on the large but quaint brownstone, I learned my book was on the New York Times Bestseller List. A few hours after walking into our new home, the sound of my voice- begging him for more- was echoing throughout the emptiness.

Everything about that day...that time of our life...was amazing. 

His career was in full swing. Fans wanting his autograph swarmed us wherever we went. Kids wore his jersey. He was King of the city and I was his loyal wife. We slowly climbed the social hierarchy and had been accepted into the exclusive club of elite athletes, businessmen, and entertainers. Egos ran wild. Money was a non-issue. Appearance was everything. Adultery was an ever-present concern no wife ever dared complain about. 

The first few months were hard. I was living in a new city while he was on the road. Most wives inside the elite incubator did not have careers; their days were spent complaining about spouses, spending ridiculous amounts of money, and sleeping with any man who gave them attention. Charity functions and social engagements filled the evenings. For a woman who was not comfortable in the spotlight, this new world of fame and fortune was hard when navigating the egotistical red carpets, mostly alone. You never knew who was a true friend or who was latching on because of your last name. I learned very quickly to not say too much- jealousy and backstabbing was the norm while friendships changed as quickly as the latest fashion craze.

A year after moving in (two years into his career), rumors of his cheating began circulating.

We had met a year before he was drafted. He was hot, sexy, baseball player. I was an English major who loved baseball. I spent my last year in college while he worked his way through the minor league. We married a month after hearing he made it to the big leagues. 

Three years into his career, we now had more money than we knew what to do with. We had bought the brownstone. I experienced unexpected success. He fulfilled every little boys childhood dream- he became a trading card, a professional baseball player. Three years into the fame, nothing (and no one) had yet infiltrated us. We were different from all of the other exclusive club members.

I received the call the morning of Game Four, of the World Series.

As I stood in our bedroom, I surveyed the boxes scattered throughout. He's my everything. He was the guy who bucked at becoming one of those guys. We were the couple who had refused to give into the pressure of fame and money, who stayed loyal to our vows. Now, as I walked through the upstairs hallway, we were the couple who was no different than the rest of the exclusive club members.

I made my way downstairs. The view which had sold us on this home was as magnificent as ever. In the distance I could see the stadium where, in a few hours, I would be dutifully sitting. He had already left for the field. He had no idea about the phone call. He had no idea I knew he was no different from the others. He had no idea that tonight, I would be standing by his side, no longer different from the rest of the good wives club. 

I walked to the large windows and scanned the city in front of me. I could easily leave him. I had a career, a generous prenup, and a new penthouse where the views sucked and the address reeked of fame and fortune. But if I left, I wouldn't have him. I would no longer be part of us, which I loved more than anything in the world. 

I walked into the kitchen where six months earlier, I tried to pry information out of him. I had heard the rumors about him and a blonde model. As much I had tried to ignore them, they were eating at my soul. I brought up another athlete and his impending divorce due to infidelity. He had shaken his head at the news and referred to this guy as an f-ing idiot.

That morning, while pouring him coffee, I hadn't realized just how wonderful a liar he was while staring into the eyes of his wife. 

The doorbell rang and I was immediately jolted from the reality of my life. My husband was an adulterer, a fantastic liar, and a man I truly, madly, loved. I quickly glanced in the mirror and wiped away the few stray tears which had begun to run from my eyes. 

There is no crying in baseball, on or off the field. 

As the movers entered our brownstone, each had a smile on their face. They thought he was here and couldn't wait for a chance to meet him before the big game. The smiles turned to disappointment when they realized he would not be gracing them with his presence. As the loyal, dutiful wife, I handed each of them an autographed picture. A consolation prize to soften the disappointment. God forbid he let down any of his fans.

As the last box was taken from the apartment, I told the guy in charge that someone would be at the building across town to let them in. As the door closed behind him, I scanned the once again empty home. I loved this home; I didn't want to leave it.

I had learned a lot in the short time we were here. Inevitably, views change and the social ladder of fame beckons all. Street addresses mean more than a pretty view. Being one of those guys means more than words repeated in front of family and friends. Truth and reality become blurred lines of hypocrisy and love. 

Does he love me? I hang onto the belief that he does. Does he feel sorry for cheating? I think a lot of things change when you become part of the exclusive club, including morals. Feeling sorry is no longer something one feels. He is the King; one who secretly loves the power, the ego, no rules. And I am now his loyal wife, who no matter what or who, sticks by his side in a loving, dutiful, role-playing kind of way.

I walked back over to the windows and took my iPhone from my purse. I must have a thousand pictures of this view but felt as though I needed one more. I stood in the spot which gave me the best view of the stadium and clicked. I began a text:

Do what you do best tonight. You are the King. Steal that trophy for the city. I love you.  See you soon

I attached the picture to the text and sent it to him. 

A few minutes later, as the door to our first home closed behind me for the last time, he responded:

Come to the clubhouse when you get here. Tonight is going to be magical, I can feel it. It's my night to shine. This is what I have dreamed of my whole life. I love you. Tonight is going to change everything for us. Tonight, the city will see just how awesome their King is.

I climbed into the car and told the driver to bring me to the stadium. Without looking back, we drove off. There was no time to be sad. The King needed his loyal wife. There was a baseball game to be played and like he said, tonight was going to change everything.

I looked down at my phone. The words I know everything still waiting to be sent. My finger hovered over the send button. 

I had fifteen minutes to decide just how much change would occur today...

...fifteen minutes to decide just how loyal of a wife I actually was. 

This piece is a fiction piece in response to the Indie Chick Lit weekly writing prompt. The prompt for this week is: The movers have arrived to pick up the last of your boxes and you take one last walk through your house. Write about that last walk through your home. To read more pieces or participate in this week's prompt, click the link above.