And I’ve done you so wrong
Treated you bad
Strung you along
Oh shame on myself
I don’t know how I got so tangled.
Tangled, Maroon 5
The next week was stressful, to say the least. Sara spent most of her days lying in bed staring at the ceiling. She would be up and dressed by the time Jason came home from work; then they would go through the motions. They avoided eye contact, and their conversations stayed with small talk. It was obvious that their marriage was over, but it seemed that neither of them had the heart to say the words that would end it.
At the same time, Jason and Kyle’s relationship became strained too. The guilt Jason was carrying around was like a poison. At the office he was depressed and distracted. Kyle had to pull more than his share to cover for Jason’s lack of drive.
He tried to get Jason to talk about what was going on at home more than once, but Jason would either mumble something about how ‘things were fine’ or he would go into a rage about how it was none of Kyle’s business.
After being turned down flat on both Monday and Tuesday for their usual lunchtime rendezvous, Kyle quit asking. Apparently Jason had made up his mind; it seemed to Kyle that Jason had chosen his marriage. He knew he had been a fool to get involved with this guy. He had set himself up to get hurt and now he just had to buck up and deal with it. What surprised him was how hard he had fallen for Jason in such a short time.
So Thursday afternoon Kyle was surprised when Jason stuck his head in the door, “Can I talk to you for a minute?”
Here it comes. He’s going to tell me he is going back to his wife. “Yeah, sure.”
Jason came in, closed the door and took a seat across from Kyle. He took a deep breath while he curled his lips in; obviously trying to work up the courage to say whatever it was he felt needed to be said. “Kyle.”
Kyle stopped him. “Jason, it’s okay. You don’t need to explain. I understand.”
Jason nodded, looking down at his hands in his lap. “It’s not going to last much longer. Neither of us can go on like this. She’s miserable, I’m miserable. Everyday when I get home I am sure she is going to ask me to leave. I’m not sure why she hasn’t. Just wait for me a little longer Kyle. Please.”
Kyle looked up. Wait? “You mean you’re leaving her?”
Jason nodded, “I know I have dragged this out, you are probably sick of me by now. All the drama and angst, having to carry more then your share here at the office, and then all my moping around. But if you still want me when this is over…” he trailed off.
“Jason, I haven’t gone anywhere. I’m still here. I’m still waiting.”
When Jason looked back up at Kyle his eyes were brimming with unshed tears. “Do you think, um, maybe, could we have lunch today?”
Kyle smiled, “Well you know I don’t have anything to feed you.”
That earned him a shy smile. “Why do you put up with me? With all this?”
“Because you are worth it.”
When Jason left the office Friday afternoon, he told Kyle he would try to get away for a few hours so they could get together. Kyle could only nod; he knew the score. Kyle had taken to spending weekends watching DVD’s and catching up on his reading, waiting for the phone to ring.
When Jason got home Sara was sitting in the den. Her eyes were red and puffy from the tears she had shed that afternoon. She was sitting on the sofa; the television was off, as were the lights.
“Sara?” Jason was almost afraid to approach her.
She sighed, and then looking up at him she simply said, “You’re home. Are you hungry?”
He sat down next to her. “No, not really.”
She only nodded. “I think I am going to go up and see Kathy for awhile then.”
“Yeah, that’s fine.”
“Okay then.” Sara stood up and walked out the door. Now it was Jason’s turn to sit and cry in the dark.
When Jason woke the next morning, he was alone in bed. Apparently Sara had stayed the night at Kathy’s. He knew that this had to end. They were doing nothing but tearing each other up. He would tell her today, he had to.
Sara had spent the evening with Kathy but had refused to discuss what was happening in her marriage, no matter how much Kathy pried and pleaded. Talking about it wouldn’t change anything. Once she had made up her mind what she wanted to do she would deal with things. Right now, she was leaning toward trying to reconcile, but part of her wasn’t sure she could forgive so easily. Of course she didn’t know if Jason wanted to try to fix their marriage or not, but he was still living with her, he hadn’t moved out, so maybe he wasn’t ready to give up either. Maybe today she would try to get him to talk and that was what she found so infuriating; they had always been able to talk before, about anything. Now he was so distant, it was like she didn’t even know him anymore. What had happened to the guy she had married?
When she came back down to their apartment, Jason was sitting at the kitchen table nursing a cup of coffee.
“Hey,” she smiled sadly at him.
“Hey. Want some coffee? It’s still fresh.”
“Yeah, thanks.” She poured herself a cup and sat down across from him.
“Sara, we can’t go on like this.” Jason averted his eyes from hers; instead he stared into his coffee as if the script to their lives was written there.
“I know,” she took a sip from her cup. “So, who is she?”
For a moment Jason really didn’t know what she meant. Then it hit him. Sara knew he was having an affair, but of course she assumed it was with a woman. He closed his eyes and chewed on his bottom lip for a second, gathering his courage. Without opening his eyes, he said it. “It’s Kyle.”
Sara creased her brow in confusion. “What?”
Jason finally opened his eyes, but still not able to look at her, he continued to stare at his coffee cup. “It’s not a she, it’s Kyle. I’m gay Sara, and I am in love with Kyle”
Silence. It seemed to go on forever. Finally he looked up into her eyes and was taken back by the hurt and the anger he saw there.
“Get out,” she ground out between her clenched teeth.
Jason nodded and stood to go pack a bag.
“Where are you going?” She spat at him as he started walking out of the kitchen and down the hall.
He turned, “Um, just to get a few clothes.”
“The fuck you are!” she shouted as she rose from the chair. “I said get The. Fuck! Out!” In a moment of private insanity, he thought to himself ‘that’s exactly what I’m doing, Sara - I’m the fuck out’.
The anger in her eyes was enough to cause him to think better of doing anything except what she was requesting. He turned and headed to the door, grabbing his jacket on the way; by the time he reached the doorway tears clouded his vision.
Sara watched the door close behind him. She sat back down at the table. The shock of it all hadn’t really hit her yet. Kyle? He was fucking Kyle? What the fuck? What was she supposed to do with that? Having an affair with another woman was one thing, but with Kyle? Fuck.
She sat there waiting to feel something. But all she felt was numb.
Kyle was lying on his couch that afternoon reading a novel that had been recommended by a friend. It was decent story, but he was having a hard time sympathizing with the main character.
His cell rang. Reaching for it, he saw Jason’s name on the display. Maybe he would be lucky today after all. “Hey Lover.”
“Jason, talk to me. What’s going on?”
Finally, he heard a sob.
“Jason, where are you?”
“I don’t know,” it was only a whisper.
“Sure you do. Come on tell me, where are you?”
“Jason,” Kyle sighed, rubbing his hand over his face. “Come on, tell me where you are. Are you at home?”
“In the park.”
“The park? Across from my building?” He was already putting on his shoes.
“Where at in the park?”
“I don’t know.”
Kyle was out the door and on to the street in no time. He kept trying to get Jason to talk, but he wasn’t getting much more than sobs now. As he entered the park he saw him sitting alone on a bench. He clicked his phone shut as he approached. “I’m here,” he said as he sat down on the bench next to the blond.
Jason continued to stare at his shoes as his shoulders shook with his sobbing. Kyle reached out, putting his arm around Jason’s shoulders and pulling him closer. “You’re freezing. How long have you been sitting here?”
“I don’t know; what time is it?”
Kyle looked at his watch. “A little after two.”
Jason shrugged, “About four hours then.”
“Four hours? Fuck, Jason. Come on; let’s get you up to my apartment.”
Kyle and Jason were sitting on the couch, Jason’s head lying in Kyle’s lap. Jason had finally calmed down enough to get the events of that morning relayed to Kyle.
“She hates me,” he hiccupped.
“No she doesn’t,” Kyle brushed the hair off Jason’s face.
“You didn’t see her eyes, the way she looked at me. I repulsed her.”
“She is just hurt and angry. She doesn’t hate you. I don’t think she could ever hate you.”
“I just left her there. I didn’t know what else to do.”
“You want to call someone? Does she have a girlfriend you could call, you know, to go over there and check on her?”
This was good. Kyle had given him something concrete – an assignment. He could do this; he could make the call. “Yeah, hand me my phone.” Jason sat up and dialed the numbers. “Kathy? Hi, it’s Jason.” …. “Fine. Hey I was wondering. Sara and I, we had a fight and I just wondered if you could go downstairs and check on her. You know, she might need a friend right now.” …. “Okay, thanks.” …. “Yeah, okay. Bye.”
He closed the phone and handed it back to Kyle. “Fuck, Kyle, what have I done?”
“You have been honest with yourself, and with Sara. Come on, we’ll get through this. All of us.”
Jason lay his head back down in Kyle’s lap. “But how?”
At first Sara ignored the knocking. Who ever it was at her door, she didn’t want to see them. When it became obvious that they weren’t giving up that easy, she got up from the sofa and walked into the entryway.
“Go away,” she shouted at the door.
“Sara? Open up. It’s me, Kathy.”
Sara rolled her eyes and sighed, “Kathy, I don’t feel up to company right now.”
“I’m not company, Sara. Open up. Please.”
Sara undid the locks and opened the door. There stood Kathy with a gallon of ice cream in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other, “I come bearing presents.”
“How did you know?” Sara stood in the doorway, not letting Kathy in just yet.
“Jason called me, said you might need a friend.”
Sara sighed. Shit. “Okay, you can come in on one condition.”
“What’s that?” Kathy could guess.
“We are not talking about it.”
“Of course we aren’t, honey. We are just going to eat Rocky Road and drink Bloody Mary’s.”
Sara wrinkled her nose, “Eewwww.” She stepped back letting Kathy in.
Kyle sat flipping through the channels on the TV. Jason had fallen asleep there in Kyle’s lap, he didn’t have the heart to wake him, so he sat there trapped on the couch while Jason slept.
He snatched up his phone quickly when it rang, before it could wake up Jason.
“Is he there?”
“Is he okay?”
“No, but yeah.”
Kyle had to ask her, “Are you okay?”
She snorted. “No, but yeah,” she parroted back.
More silence. Finally he whispered, “Sara, I’m so, so sorry.”
“Fuck you,” her voice was quiet at first, then she seemed to find her strength. “Just. Fuck. You.” Then she was gone.
Kyle placed the receiver back in its cradle. He rubbed his hand over his face. Shit. This was for real.
The next morning Kyle woke to see Jason curled up next to him. Once Jason had fallen asleep yesterday, he had pretty much slept the rest of the evening and all night. Kyle figured it was a mix of relief at having finally told Sara, and the lack of sleep Jason had been getting for the last few weeks. Right now, Kyle was just happy to have him there, in his bed. Of course that happiness was tainted by thoughts of the pain their love was causing for Sara.
Kyle lay watching his lover sleep until finally those blue eyes opened.
“What are you doing?” Jason snorted.
Kyle smiled, “Same thing I got to do last night, watching you sleep.”
Jason closed his eyes. “Sorry, I guess I’m not very good company right now,” he rolled over snuggling next to Kyle.
“I don’t mind the company at all.”
Jason was quiet for a bit. “Fuck, Kyle. What am I going to do?”
“We are going to get up and have some coffee, a shower, and some breakfast.”
“That’s not what I mean.”
“I know what you mean; but there are no decisions that have to be made right this moment. So, let’s go at least have some coffee before we take on the world’s problems. Okay?”
Jason grinned sheepishly, “Yeah.” He sighed to himself; Kyle would get him through this.
It was almost eleven that morning when the phone rang. Sara looked at the caller id. Seeing Jason’s cell number, she debated whether to answer it. Finally she picked it up.
“How are you?”
She sighed, “Okay, you?”
“About the same. Listen, I need to come get some clothes. Would that be okay?”
“Yeah, give me about an hour.”
She hung up the phone and got up to go take a shower.
Jason knocked on the door to their apartment as he pushed it open. “Sara?”
No answer. He stepped in and looked around. “Sara?” he tried again.
He walked into the kitchen. She wasn’t there. On to their bedroom. She wasn’t home.
He didn’t know if he was relieved or disappointed at her absence. She obviously wasn’t ready to face him.
He took a duffle bag down from the closet and began packing his things.
Sara stood down at the corner watching as Jason entered their building. He was alone. She supposed that was something. She didn’t think she was ready to see him yet, but she knew she wasn’t ready to see him with Kyle. She stood there watching the building after he had entered.
She was so angry, but at whom? If Jason truly was gay it wasn’t his fault. He was born that way. And really, when she thought about it, she really couldn’t even blame him for not coming out and dealing with it when he was younger. Not the way he had been raised. He probably never felt he had any choice but to hide it, suppress it.
But all the reasoning in the world did not make her anger go away. How dare he. How dare he make their whole marriage a lie. How dare he take her world and turn it upside down. How dare he make he feel that everything she knew, everything she believed in was a lie.
She was still standing there watching a few minutes later when Jason emerged from their building with his bags in tow. She stood and watched him walk down to the corner and hail a cab. When the cab was finally out of sight, she finally began walking back to their building.
When she went back into their apartment she stopped and looked around, as if she expected everything to be different; but it all looked the same. She walked into the den; the same pictures were on the walls, the same magazines on the coffee table. She turned and went to the kitchen; again everything looked the same.
Tentatively she made her way down the hall to their bedroom, but even that didn’t look much different; some clothes gone from the closet, but still plenty were hanging there.
Finally she looked in the bathroom. That is when it hit her. His toothbrush, his razor and shaving cream, his shampoo; it was all gone. He wasn’t coming back. She crumbled to the floor as the tears finally began to fall. They were over. Even if the affair with Kyle didn’t work out, Jason wasn’t coming home. There would be no putting their marriage back together, no trying to work things out. Jason was gay.
As she sat there on the floor in the bathroom mourning her marriage she had to laugh at herself. What marriage? They hadn’t been lovers in years. What she had lost was her best friend.
Jason had been in her life, hell, he had been the center of her life, since she was sixteen. She couldn’t imagine him not being there. She wanted him there.
Okay, she couldn’t have him as a lover, as a husband; but she needed him there as her friend.
It would take time, she knew, but she also knew that he meant too much to her to just let him walk out of her life.
She had a lot of healing to do first. She knew that.
The last thing she wanted to do was to lash out at him and say something she could never take back, because that is exactly what she wanted to do. There was a part of her that wanted to hurt him; to cut him as badly as he had cut her; but she knew that it would serve no purpose. She knew that Jason would be beating himself up over this. Look how long he had stayed with her because he was unable to break her heart. She couldn’t help but feel badly for him and the pain she knew he was in.
But right now she was just so angry. Before she could deal with anything else, she had to deal with her anger.