Graham Greene’s novel is about a married woman who ended her affair after having made a pact with god to save her lover’s life. If god let him live, rather than allowing him to die during a bombing of his flat in London during World War II, she would not see him again. But faith is not my point today. Today my point is the title of the novel: The End of the Affair.
You see, it finally hit me yesterday. It was as if I was struck with the force of a massive wave, sucked under, dragged across the bottom of the ocean, skin scraping across the sand, holding my breath, clawing my way to the surface. Only to find I’m miles from shore. I’m out here now, treading water, and trying to grasp what just happened. Trying to understand how I ended up miles from the shoreline, when only moments before I was playing in the surf and soaking up the sun.
Mack and I are having an affair. I am the other woman. I had said this to him before. I had dabbled in the idea before. But he told me they were nothing more than roommates, and I let myself believe that. But yesterday when Mack came to my home, he told me he was taking her to a local music festival for her birthday that night. And that he couldn’t see me all next week until the following Tuesday, because he needed to be sure he gave her a nice birthday on Thursday, and he couldn’t see me the Tuesday before because he needed a buffer. What?
And the rogue wave sucked me under, bubbles swirling round my head, the sound roaring in my ears, my vision blurred, my eyes stinging.
I’ve been out here treading water since he left yesterday. Trying to make sense of things. Trying to understand why I didn’t let myself see our relationship for what it was, or wasn’t, before. I’ve been cast aside. My feelings are not the priority. I’m suddenly seeing things with a new clarity, and my heart is breaking. I don’t understand how Mack can do this to me. I don’t understand why he doesn’t see how much it hurts me. Why can’t he see I’m drowning?
He asked me to give him until May. Two more weeks. What’s two more weeks given how much I’ve invested in the relationship already? So I’m out here treading water for two more weeks, and preparing for the end of the affair. Whatever form that takes.