Home » A Wasted Life » Those Who Don’t Know The Value Of Loyalty, Can Never Appreciate The Cost Of Betrayal

Those Who Don’t Know The Value Of Loyalty, Can Never Appreciate The Cost Of Betrayal

I didn’t sleep at all that night.  I went into the den the next morning and just sat on the sofa, looking out the window….no television….no music….just my thoughts.  Why had I been so trusting?  How could I have been so stupid?  How could I have been so blind?
J*** was the only person I had ever completely trusted, without question and without reservation.  I could not conceive of anything dishonorable about him.  He was erudite, charming, sophisticated and although horribly callous at times, I believed that he had unbreakable integrity.  I never thought he would violate the sanctity of our marriage vows.
But he did and he did it without a second thought, I believe.  He knew it was the one thing I would never forgive him for and he didn’t care.
Everything was starting to add up and make sense.  L*****, this young, single woman who had hung out at my house in T**** and then in F******.  The looks I saw between her and J***.  How she was trying to get my children to call her mama “grandma.”  How she was always there anytime he was playing music, standing right in front of him, like an adoring groupie.  Why he left as soon as he got us settled into the house.  How she was the first person he hired.  Why only his name was on the checks.
He had apparently decided that he was going to have a life with her.
He should have just stayed gone.  I should have never given him an ultimatum.  Being frugal, he probably decided that it would be too expensive to leave us, so he came back home.
I had been oblivious to the signs that were right in front of me but when you trust somebody, you don’t look for deception.
I remembered the three dozen roses he brought me after their trip to D.C.  I remembered his mama saying “somebodys’ REALLY sorry.”  I remembered the diamond earrings he had given me for Christmas in T****.  I remembered the diamond eternity wedding band he had given me for our anniversary.  Those were all guilt gifts and there would be more in the years to come.
J*** finally came downstairs and there was no “good morning” from either of us.  There wasn’t even a “hey.”
I looked at him and said “you know, I went to the doctor.”  I didn’t even get to finish what I was going to say before he burst into tears and almost wailed.
I was going to accuse him of giving me chlamydia.  I told him he could have given me AIDS.  He said that he had gone and gotten tested.
That explained his answer when I said that he hadn’t touched me since he had come back home.  He was waiting for the results.
He didn’t give me chlamydia and he didn’t have AIDS but he did have Herpes.  I guess I wasn’t important enough for him to tell me that he had an incurable disease so he decided to keep quiet and pass it on to me without saying a word.
I asked him what he would have done if L***** had gotten pregnant.  He said “she didn’t.”  Maybe she didn’t……..then.
I don’t know when things were officially “over” between J*** and L***** but after a while, she set her sights on someone elses’ husband and did indeed get pregnant.  She successfully destroyed his marriage, too but it happened quickly.
I had to come to grips with the fact that I had Herpes.  I had to look up that disease to understand exactly what it was.  I remembered all the times that I had a sore and had hidden it from him.  I remembered getting rid of all my silk panties and switching to cotton “granny panties” thinking that would help.
The flood of questions started pouring out.  I asked him if he could’ve gotten fired.  He said “yes.”
I asked him how it happened.  He said he didn’t know.  He said that he was drunker than he had ever been in his life and he didn’t know what he was doing.
He wasn’t too drunk to remember that they were in her room.  He wasn’t too drunk to remember that “she was on top.”  He wasn’t too drunk to remember that he didn’t shower after he stumbled back to his room the next morning.
Most importantly, he wasn’t too drunk to consciously think to himself, “this is the one thing she’ll never forgive me for” but he didn’t stop.  Being with her was obviously exciting and he wasn’t thinking about potential consequences.
I asked him if he didn’t think that people saw them going to her room together and he said “nobody who was sober enough to remember.”  I said “well, you were supposedly too drunk to know what you were doing and YOU remember.  You don’t think other people do?”
He told me that it was “only one time.”  He said he “didn’t mean to.”  He said “it didn’t mean anything.”  He offered a plethora of lies.
I told him that I hoped she was worth it.  He said she wasn’t.
I was off that weekend and I spent the whole time on the sofa.  I couldn’t get up or do anything.  J*** didn’t try to talk much.  He just screamed “I’M SORRY!”
Screaming wasn’t an apology.
I made it to work on Monday and as soon as I walked into the bay, everybody knew something wasn’t right.  B****** came in and immediately said “what’s wrong?’
I was falling apart but I managed to work for a while.  Even other county workers who knew me were asking me what was wrong.  I told everybody that I was tired.
My interaction with patients suffered.  My interactions with other crews suffered.  My relationship with my partner suffered.
I couldn’t function.  I was numbly making the gestures associated with living but my heart had been ripped to shreds and I was in the process of grieving myself to death.
The coup-de-gras finally came.  I was driving about ninety miles an hour with an AIDS patient who was literally dying in the back of my ambulance.  All of a sudden, I realized that I couldn’t remember where the hospital was and it scared the hell out of me.  I finally got him there before he died and when I was cleaning up the ambulance I threw a hypodermic needle in the trash instead of the bio-hazard container.  If I or my partner had been stuck with that needle, we could have contracted that horrible disease.  I was lucky that she  saw it, picked it up and disposed of it properly.  That reckless act could have also cost me my job as well as my certification.
I called my boss and told her that I needed to talk to her.
She met me at base and I told her I couldn’t work anymore.  Not only was my life at stake, but so was B******s’, the publics’ and most importantly, the patients’.
She wouldn’t let me quit.  She told me she wanted me to take a leave of absence.  She never asked me what the problem was but she could tell that something was really wrong.  It was December and she told me to take as much time as I needed.  We agreed that I would return the first of February.
I had put up a Christmas tree but hadn’t done anything else.  J*** came down on Christmas morning and said “I got this for you when I thought we were going to have Christmas.”  It was the Band Of Brothers DVD.
Christmas had always been my favorite holiday and now it was ruined.  It took years for me to be able to put up another tree and today, it is almost a non-holiday.  I will never decorate for Christmas or any other holiday again and I will explain why in later posts.
I told him that I was going to call my daughter, B*****, who was “my person.”  He asked me to not tell anybody else.  I called B***** and she said it explained why I was acting the way I was when we were down there in October.  She said “you knew then, didn’t you?”  She cried.
J*** made me call our friend S*** and tell him.  He wouldn’t do it himself.  I think for a minute, that information exceeded S***s’ ability to comprehend that this couple, who he loved, were not the perfect pair he thought they were.
I asked J*** what he was going to tell his parents and he said “I guess I’ll tell them that you got tired of living with somebody who didn’t have a job.”
When he said that, I grew a second vertebrae.  I told him he was NOT going to tell them anything but the truth and he was NOT going to make this my fault.
He waited until January to make the trip to see them.  I didn’t go of course.
When he got back, I asked him how it went.  He said he walked in and R*** asked him how his Christmas went.  He said he told her that we didn’t have Christmas.
He said he told R*** and his daddy “everything” and his daddy sat there and said “not one word.”  The only thing R*** said was “how did P** find out?”  Her main interest was not what J*** had done to me but how I had found out.
A few days later, he got a card in the mail from R***.  He opened it and left it on the counter in the kitchen and I glanced at it.
Why didn’t she just come down, spit in my face, cut me open and laugh while I was bleeding?
The card said:

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