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

I know some of you are wondering why I felt the need to call Sarah. I wondered about it myself, but in that moment, I knew that I wasn’t getting the truth from _____ about what happened between them. This man is my best friend, my partner, my love. And yet he had violated me in such a way that I no longer knew if I could continue to hold him to those titles. I needed to know what happened.

As someone who had recieved a phonecall from a girlfriend who I didn’t know existed in the past, I was incredibly hurt to find myself in that position. And yet, here I was.

“Hi Sarah, it’s______’s girlfriend. Can I talk to you for a second?”

She was surprised (not entirely, as she had been made aware of who I was due to our text message exchange earlier), but polite. She hesitated at first, but when I let her know how serious the relationship had been (and I laid it on thick- “I brought him home to meet my parents…we’re talking about getting married“), she came clean. They’d hung out together with mutual friends a few times, had grabbed a bite to eat together once as she gave him a ride home from a party and they’d had sex twice.

You know, as hurt as I was by the one night stand, this was a whole new motherf*cking ballpark. I’d asked about Sarah for a few weeks. I’d given him every opportunity to fess up and he lied over and over again.

Sarah was incredibly guilty. “I don’t want to ruin his life or yours.” I didn’t have much energy to nurse her feelings, but I let her know that she wasn’t the one I had beef with. “I’m sorry that he lied to you. If you didn’t know I existed, then you have nothing to apologize for and even if you did, he was the one who made a promise to me, not you.”

As I made my way over to Starbucks for a little cappuccino therapy, I called _____ for a little levelheaded chat about my new discovery.

“You motherf*cking scumbag b*tch. You piece of sh*t. I don’t know what f*cking gutter I scraped you up out off, but I’m about to send you back, you lying a$s b*tch. B*tch as$ worthless n*gga. F*cking whor3. You walked around like you were better than all these other trifling n*ggas because you ‘don’t cheat’, you looove your girl, right? You sat across the table from my daddy and told him how much you respected me, you lying b*tch motherf*cker…”

Imagine that going on in a quiet, calm voice for about an hour and a half. There was nothing he could really do at that point but allow me to tell him what a b*tch as$ n*gga he is (and, for the record, I never use the N-word, so you know he really took me to a bad place). When I asked him why he hadn’t just admitted this last piece of dirt when we were talking and crying that morning, he said he wanted to but was afraid and had planned to tell me later. Insert a dozen more lying a$s b*tches here.

I went on to work, yelled at a colleague and got sent home early. I came home, informed him of what he had caused me to do and went to sleep, wondering what my next steps should be. He’d moved into to my studio apartment to help me with my bills after I’d lost my job a few weeks prior, so as much as I was tempted to kick him out, my hands were tied. And despite my anger and disappointment, I understood that the challenges in our relationship had created a perfect storm. Did he have an excuse for cheating? No.  But did I understand how it had happened? Yes.

The next few days were a rollercoaster. He was doing everything in his power to be the loving, doting man I had around before we’d started having issues. And we’d have a few hours of happiness before I’d remember what he did and I’d throw it back in his face in the nastiest way I could surmise (“Everytime I’m feeling good for too long, I think about how disappointed and disgusted I am by you.”) I wanted him to hurt, to bleed inside.  I knew I couldn’t keep this up for long if we were to make it, but I was so afraid of letting him off the hook.

This went on for about a week, but each day got a little easier. Then, I went to a book club discussion with one of my girlfriends. Everyone goes around and says their name. The whole crew is Black and Latina, with the exception of one plain looking White woman with long, dark hair. She gets up and introduces herself. It’s Sarah. That Sarah.I am floored. I am motherf*cking Bernadine. I got cheated on with a White woman.

Now, let me say that I’m not one of those women who hates on all interracial couples or who thinks that all Black men who date non-Black women are sellouts or whatever. But getting cheated on with a White chick? That’s some other sh*t right there, and I wasn’t sure I could handle it…

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