THE UNFAITHFUL WIFE: An Epistolary Narrative
THE UNFAITHFUL WIFE
An Epistolary Narrative
Copyright 2017 Mayumi Cruz
All rights reserved
THE UNFAITHFUL WIFE
An Epistolary Narrative
My dear Husband,
I don’t know if words will ever be enough to tell you everything I wanted to say. Or if this, in any way, can assuage my guilt. I just want to get this out of my chest because it pains me so much.
As you read this letter, please believe me, I never meant to hurt you. I love you. I never stopped loving you, even when I was with him.
I’m so sorry I was unfaithful to you. I’m not proud of it. There will never be a logical reason or explanation for my behavior. I won’t even dare rationalize my actions and turn the blame on you. No, you don’t deserve the blame. You, who have been my anchor of strength, my pillar of hope ever since I can remember. You, who have been the kindest to me even when I was not, who accepted me despite my flaws and faults, and gave me security and comfort in life.
I know. I should be cursed. I should be flogged. I should be punished.
But you see, it just happened. I was enjoying my regular cup of coffee in my favorite coffee shop one day, and the next thing I knew, he was there in front of me, smiling his beguiling smile. With his good looks and charm, he was clearly a man who knows his way with women. But it wasn’t that which caught my attention.
It was his genuine interest in me. He wanted to know me. My thoughts, my feelings. Me.
It was a whole new thing for me. Whereas with you, I would hide what I actually feel, he, on the other hand, would urge me to say what's in my heart -- what moves me, what makes me smile or cry, what angers me. He coaxed me to express myself, to be true to what I feel.
With you, my thoughts are often controlled. But with him, he would encourage me to say what’s on my mind, what do I think, what do I observe. And it would often be the start of our discussion on a variety of topics, of good-natured conversations with lots of laugh and friendly banter.
He empowered me. He approved of me. He let me be me.
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you don’t, please don’t ever think that.
But it was so refreshing, so stimulating, to have someone sitting in front of me, look me in the eye and hang on eagerly to every word I’m saying, his face emphatically mirroring all the emotions going through inside me. To actually have someone to engage with in a play of words and exchange of views and opinions with the same wavelength as mine.
Even then, I was asking myself if I was being unfaithful to you. And even then, I kept on denying it.
The first time he touched my hand was fleeting. He pushed my hand away when it would have been scalded by the hot coffee. But that one touch sent a myriad of sensations to my very core, and I knew by the way he looked at me that he felt it too.
Do you know that when he first kissed me, I was thinking of you? I was remembering my promise, my vows to you. Yet I couldn’t help but respond to his lips which set me on fire. . . a fire I haven’t felt with you. It made me feel so guilty that afterwards, I cried unabashedly. And he understood. He just held me in his arms silently and let me weep.
If I could but freeze that moment forever in my mind, I would have. Because it was then that I realized I have fallen in love with him.
I know this will hurt you, but I want to tell you about the first time we made love. It didn’t feel dirty. It didn’t feel forbidden. I felt loved, cherished, and for the very first time, I knew how it felt for my body to be worshipped. It was . . . ethereal, almost divine.
And when it was over, there were tears in his eyes as he confessed he loved me the first time he laid eyes on me. He knew I was no longer free, that you would be angry at him but he was prepared to face your anger and fight for his feelings for me.
When I told him I love him too, he was ecstatic. It gave him hope that we have a chance to be together. He wanted to ask you to grant me my freedom. He begged me to leave you, to go away with him. And the fool that I was, I agreed.
Oh, if only I’d known. . . !
Because all along, you were aware of our relationship. We couldn’t hide it from your knowledge. It was wrong of me to assume that you were ignorant of our trysts.
That’s why you killed him. They said it was a car accident, but I knew it was your wrath. You were furious at my unfaithfulness, for breaking my vows with you. And now I’m locked up in a cage with only the memories of a forbidden love that was gone too soon.
I wonder, if I hadn’t loved him back, would you have spared his life? Would you have allowed him to live, have a family of his own, and be happy? Oh, if only I could turn back the clock!
Yet I don’t hate you. I don’t hold any grudges against you. It’s myself that I hate and resent. For bringing this upon myself. . . upon him. . . upon you.
I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. I know you will. . . in time. . . because you love me too much.
Then, and only then, can I be at peace as I spend the rest of my life in silence inside the four walls of this prison called the convent.
*** Thank you for taking the time to read THE UNFAITHFUL WIFE. If you enjoyed reading it, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review. Shares and reviews are very much appreciated by us authors.
If you have additional extra time, please check out a free Chapter of THE GANGSTER & THE SOCIALITE, my romantic comedy novella with a crime/suspense twist, in the following pages.
THE GANGSTER & THE SOCIALITE
CHAPTER 17: DEATH AT THE DOORSTEP
Richard quickly stood up, placing Megan behind him. Belatedly, he regretted leaving his gun in his room as his only concern that morning was to prevent her from leaving the island. He felt her trembling with fear.
Grandpa Ted walked towards them, swaying, swinging his hand holding a gun, smirking wickedly. He is clearly under the influence of drugs.
“Well, well, well, well, well! Ain’t this fun-nnny! All of you in one place! This is my lucky day!” Grandpa Ted erupted in maniacal laughter.
“And how is my dear granddaughter? Having fun reuniting with your long lost Papa?” His evil grin was sickening.
Megan’s anger was clearly visible when she replied, “I am not your granddaughter! I feel sick to my stomach, thinking I treated you with respect all these years, when you’re not worth it!”
“So your father already spilled the beans that I was adopted?” The old man’s red eyes flashed with such fierceness that it was terrifying.
He bellowed, “Yes! I’m adopted! But I deserve that fortune which I helped build! It’s MINE! My brother denying it to me, over YOU? I can’t, won’t accept that! You should have been the one who died in that car crash! YOU!”
“W-what are you s-saying?” The room was spinning in all directions as the meaning of his words slowly sunk in her mind.
“I never meant for my brother to die! You were supposed to be the one to die in that car crash! And so with that accident in SLEX! You were supposed to be with Fred!”
Megan’s shaking hand went to her throat, trying to hold back the appalling, sickening feeling in her stomach.
Vaguely, she remembered how, on that fateful day a year ago, her grandfather requested her to exchange seats with him in the front passenger seat, instead of her usual place beside Granny at the back. He said he wanted to cuddle his wife who was suffering from migraine.
It proved to be a life-saver for Megan. After the car crash, the entire back of the van was smashed beyond recognition, her grandparents dying on the spot. Only she and Fred survived with minimal wounds.
Her whole body shuddered with fury. “You. . . you had Gramps and Granny killed? You’re. . . you’re evil!”
“Those accidents were meant for you, Megan! My brother should have survived, not you! My poor, poor brother. . .”
There was a brief moment of sanity as his eyes focused for a few seconds, but it was gone in a flash, as he resumed his tirade.
“I cannot do anything about that now! What matters now is that I will get your money, and your father’s fortune too, even if I had to kill off all the members of the Board to get it! And of course, YOU, my dear granddaughter!”
Richard instinctively put his arm on Megan’s shoulder as a protective gesture, using his body to shield her from the old man’s wrath.
“Ah, the meddler!” Grandpa Ted laughed.
“Who is this?” one of the two burly men quietly asked. He was clearly a Mexican, wearing an expensive suit, his head almost balding, with thick brows over deep-set eyes and a dense, bushy moustache over his upper lip. He reminded Megan of a big, bad wolf waiting patiently to eat his prey.
“This, Don Juancho, is the meddler I was telling you about.” Grandpa Ted was having fun making introductions. “You,” speaking to Richard, “should really have minded your own business. You messed with the Don Juancho, the king of all drug lords!”
“And I’ve said it before, Megan is my business. Don’t you forget that!” Richard retorted angrily.
Enraged, Grandpa Ted pointed his gun at Richard, but Don Juancho put his hand over his, saying in a calm voice, “Now, now, Ted, you don’t want to get your hands dirty, do you? Let my men handle them.”
He turned to the other burly man beside him, who was obviously his bodyguard. “Where is my right-hand man? Is he done taking care of the others?”
Trying to remain strong, Megan held back her tears as she thought of the dead bodies of her father, Miss A, their friends, and all the staff of the island estate. The Don is talking of a massacre as if he’s asking about his breakfast.
“He said he’ll come up here once he’s done, Don Juancho. Here he is,” the man answered, just as an older, taller Caucasian male entered the room dragging a heavily bruised Walter.
Seeing this, Grandpa Ted went to Walter, kicking him many times, cursing him, as he grumbled, “This one’s a meddler too!”
The newcomer just watched him impassively.
The right-hand man of Don Juancho frightened Megan even more. He was also wearing a suit, a tall, formidable man with chiseled features and muscular frame. His face is sullen, surly, expressionless. His hawk-like eyes quickly scanned the room and everyone in it, finally resting on Richard, who returned back his stony gaze for a few seconds.
It was Richard who spoke first, and he directed it at the newcomer.
“I thought it was you. I was not mistaken.”
Megan turned to look at him, feeling her fear escalate at what she just heard, wishing that what her mind is telling her is wrong.
“Richard?” she whispered.
“What is this? Frederick? Do you know this man?” asked Grandpa Ted. He looked confused as well.
The man named Frederick remained silent as he pursed his lips, squinting his steel gray eyes.
Richard spoke once more, still directed at Frederick. “My job’s done. I did what you told me to do. The girl’s dead, but the child lives.”
Megan couldn’t believe what she was hearing. In a haze, she remembered Richard telling her awhile ago that he was a Contractor, and how his face quickly became stern when he said it.
Contractor? A contract killer?
She grabbed his arm, willing him to look at her as she muttered, almost in tears, “Richard, w-what do you mean? Please, please tell me you are not a killer!”
But he just clenched his jaw and refused to turn his head to face her. His expression was callous and cold, his eyes staring steadily at Frederick.
The Don smiled thinly. “Frederick, tell me. . . is this one of your hitmen?”
Slowly, Frederick nodded, his face still unreadable, as he replied, seemingly taking his time, “You could say that, Don Juancho.”
Megan whimpered, her chest heavy with dread. “Oh, Richard. . .”
But Frederick wasn’t finished. He continued to speak softly, ominously, even as he nonchalantly screwed on a silencer to the end of his gun’s barrel.
“But you really shouldn’t have meddled in this affair, boy. You’re an asset to me, true. But this, I cannot allow. It’s time for you to retire.”
Laughing hysterically, Grandpa Ted danced with joy.
“Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! I bet you,” pointing at Megan, “thought he’ll save you, but it turns out he’s as bad as me, maybe bad-der, and now he cannot even save his own life! Don Juancho, I love your man! His loyalty to you is amazing!”
Don Juancho smirked. “That’s why Frederick’s my right-hand man. I have trusted him with my life for five years now. He does all the dirty jobs, and he does it best.”
Appalled at hearing this, Megan at once put herself in front of Richard, arms stretched outward, forceful words rushing out of her mouth,
“No! Please, spare him! I don’t care what he has done, just please don’t kill him! He. . . he was just at the wrong place, at the wrong time! I’m the one Grandpa Ted wants killed, not him! He has no part in this!”
She struggled to catch her breath after her outburst.
It was then that Frederick spoke slowly, thoughtfully.
“You. . . love him.”
Frederick’s somber observation was not a question. It was a statement.
And finally, Megan understood, and acknowledged it.
How ironic that a stranger uttered in one statement that which her heart has been denying and has been afraid of showing. Hearing those words from a stranger confirmed all her fears and confusion. Yet surprisingly, she also felt herself being freed, like a prisoner being released from incarceration. Her heart wanted to burst with joy and pride at this precipitous revelation.
“Yes, I love him!” she thought to herself.
She didn’t care what dreadful things Richard had done. All she wanted was to see him alive and safe.
It also didn’t matter that she had only known him for a short time. The heart knows no time when it meets its match, its better half, its kindred one, which long ago was planned by destiny and then thrust forward by serendipity in ways she had never imagined.
Richard’s eager voice interrupted her musing, and holding her hand, he told her, “Megan, no, please don’t do that. It’s okay.”
Frederick’s voice again filled the room,
“And you love her. Well, I’ll be damned!” but this time, it was accompanied with a mocking laugh.
Megan looked intently at Richard’s eyes and saw the truth of those words. She didn’t believe him when he told her earlier that he loved her. It took a stranger’s taunting remark for her to finally see what had been glaringly obvious. Richard went to extreme lengths just to protect her and risked his life for her numerous times, even now. It gave her a sense of happiness despite the danger they are presently in.
But her happiness at her discovery and her fear for their lives were overshadowed by her indignation at what for her was an insult made by the Don’s right-hand man. How dare this man deride their love for each other, as if it was a joke?
Without thinking, she lashed out at Frederick.
“So what?! Is there anything wrong with that?” her eyes flashing with anger, which all the more flamed with fury when he replied to her with the same derisive chuckle.
“The girl has spunk! No wonder!” He was clearly enjoying himself, laughing hard at her.
Megan took a step toward him, but Richard prevented her, pulling her hand earnestly, a worried look pasted on his face. “Megan, you don’t want to do that. He’s not someone to mess with. Please, stop.”
“I don’t care if he’s the King of England! He’s a malicious, heartless man!”
“Megan, stop. You have no idea what he can do!”
Frederick just laughed harder.
Grandpa Ted too, was having the time of his life, as he joined in the laughter. “This is getting better and better! The ice heiress, finally meeting her match, only to die together! Oh, this one’s an epic!”
Boisterous laughter filled the room for a few minutes. But when Don Juancho cleared his throat, holding up his right hand, all laughter ceased as silence fell.
“Frederick, my friend, I have never seen you this jolly and it’s good, but I’m getting bored. Finish this business so we can begin to plan our next drug shipments with Ted as my new partner. I’d like to recover my business losses.”
“So be it,” said Frederick, his usual stone-cold face in place. “It’s going to be ugly, Don Juancho. Would you like me to take them outside?”
“No need, I’m in a hurry,” the Don said, waving his hand. “Just do what has to be done. Kill the three. Then clean up later.”
Megan’s tears began to fall as the magnitude of their impending tragic death finally caught up with her.
Seeing this, Richard faced her. She sobbed, “I’m sorry I got you into this, Richard. I’m sorry. . .”
He gently cupped her face, and whispering to her in a calm voice, told her, “Look at me. Megan, look at me.”
She met his eyes, and she unabashedly, at last, showed him all the love her heart holds for him.
Locking eyes with hers, he spoke softly, “I love you, Megan. As long as we’re together, that’s all that matters.”
And she believed him, with every fiber of her being.
He took her in his arms, burying her head in his chest, as he murmured, “Just close your eyes. It’ll be over soon.”
She clung to him, squeezing her eyes tight. And finding peace and safety in his love, she welcomed death with open arms.
Then she heard the muffled sound of three gunshots.
***Thank you for reading this sample chapter. If you liked it, you can read the full novella by purchasing THE GANGSTER & THE SOCIALITE for only $ 0.99 cents in Amazon and Shakespir. Again, please consider sharing to your friends and leaving a short review. I will be eternally grateful.
Heavily burdened, her letter revealed her adulterous relationship with another man, detailing their moments together and the feelings he awakened in her. It also spoke of her grief and despair over her lover's death, suspecting that it was her husband who killed him because he knew all along about their relationship. In the end, one question must be answered: Should she be scorned, or pitied?