(Part two in an ongoing series detailing a young woman’s path to coping with her boyfriend’s infidelity. Read part one here.)

I stayed out late one Wednesday night, opting to have a couple of drinks with a colleague after my late shift. I arrive home…my boyfriend’s not home. And he’s not responding to my texts. Oddly enough, I don’t panic. He’s probably with his boys, I think to myself. We’ve had a few issues with local goons, so I’ve actually encouraged him to crash at a friend’s house instead of coming back here in the past. I assume he’s just sleeping at his buddy’s crib and I go to sleep.

Around 7:30AM, I get a text: “I’m SO sorry. Fell asleep at Mark’s. On my way back.” Now that I’m sober and rested, my bullshit meter is popping. This motherf*cker did something wrong. But I say nothing. A few hours later, Sarah texts him an anecdote about her new job. I decide to respond as him to see if she knew about me: “Oh, that’s funny. My girl used to work right over there.”  She responds almost immediately “Your girl? Is this new?”

I. F*cking. Knew. It. He was lying about this ‘innocent friendship’. I don’t have friends who don’t know he exists.

I reply “I’ve been with her almost a year, you didn’t know that?” Because, of course, if this is an innocent situation…shouldn’t matter, right?

“I thought you said you were single. I’m confused.”

Enough with her. “Have you cheated on me?” 

Yes. Yes, he had. That very morning, with a woman he went home with the night before. Not even the girl from the phone. ANOTHER woman. Some older divorcee broad with a kid. A woman who’s name he didn’t even recall. Not Sarah. He swore up and down nothing happened with her. I cry. I go limp. He tries to hold me, but there is nothing to hold. I tell him I think we’ll be okay, but I’m not sure that I believe it. I take his phone and get both women’s numbers. Why? Not sure, but I needed to talk to them. Because I have a big mouth, I mention this to him before he goes to work.

“Why do you want to call them? It’s not their fault, I’m the one you should be mad at.”

He was absolutely right, but I felt there was a missing piece to the puzzle with Sarah. As for Random Woman From Bar, the story went that he told her he had a girlfriend and she hung out with his crew that night, complaining all the while that she wished he was single. I wanted her to know she was a scumbag whore, just like him. I didn’t think it was okay that she could walk around and bask in the glow of a piece of d*ck, while I had to feel bad. She needed to know that she repulsed me, as did he. That she would never be anything but a nasty, trifling, used up divorcee and that her child should be ashamed to have such a whore for a mother. Ridiculous, right? I knew he was gonna pay, I just felt she should suffer a little bit too. I was a little angry, you see. And I saw myself becoming every terrible, phone-checking, other-woman-cursing-out scorned girlfriend stereotype I thought I would never become.

Don’t think I was easy on my man. I hadn’t yet put together my words for him. I wanted to call Sarah first. You see, considering all that had gone on with us (remember: no sex in months, me not being around as he dealt with all his family issues, etc), I could deal with the one night stand much easier than I could had he been seeing another woman. And I just knew that the friendship with Sarah  was more than what he’d told me. I had to talk to her.

I waited until the end of the workday and as I heard her pickup the phone, I knew I had gone to a dark place. One I thought I would never visit. Maury sh*t.

“Hello? Hi, Sarah. It’s_____’s girlfriend…”

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