And I just stood there, speechless, wondering the same thing. “Who am I?”
There I was, staring at the woman who had apparently taken my place by my husband’s side. Did I mention that Trevor had his arm firmly around her waist? Different scenarios played out in my head. Should I risk jail time for the satisfaction of beating the life out of Miss Homewrecker and smashing the bottle of wine in Trevor’s face? Or should I swallow my worst impulses and walk away? As tempting as it was to let the rage take over, I sadly realized that my marriage had truly just ended. It was utterly devastating.
“Didn’t you hear me? Your services are no longer needed, so, adios!” quipped the mistress.
“Yeah, Rachel, save yourself the humiliation, just go. I only married you, because you were a trophy to show off to my friends. And now, I’m done” said the man who promised to love me forever in front of my family and friends. Tears freely flowed on my cheeks, as my world shattered.
“Mummy! What’s happening? Why are you crying? Did Daddy hit you again?” asked a frightened Samuel, my son, as his sister Kui hid behind him.
At that moment I knew what I had to do. I went to my kids and asked them to help me pack some of their clothes, as we were going on a trip. My maternal instincts had fully taken over and all I could focus on was getting my kids out of the house. A couple of minutes later, we were all packed and as I walked out of the house I had called home for so many years, I took off both my engagement and wedding ring.
Placing them on the table, I turned to Trevor and said, “On our wedding day, I vowed to love you, be with you in good times and in bad, to be your best friend and your cheerleader even when life threw its blows at us, I vowed to be your anchor. I did all this because I did love you, despite the pain and humiliation I have suffered, quite literally, at your hands. Thank you for rewarding my love with betrayal of the worst kind. Congratulations on your latest model!” Then, I slammed the door shut and drove off to my parents’ house with my kids sleeping in the backseat.
On the drive over, I kept replaying the scene where Trevor walked in with his latest catch, arms interlinked, as they mocked me. Is this what I get for being a good wife? I stayed in an abusive relationship after years of denying all the red flags that manifested over the course of our marriage, and continued to stick around even when I began to see the situation for what it truly was. But I tried. God knows, I tried, and whatever happened wasn’t my fault.
A few days later, divorce papers were sent to my parents’ house. And, just like that, it became official! We didn’t even have a court hearing!
One simply has to learn when to let go. My kids became my light at the end of the tunnel, I was determined to raise them surrounded by love, true love and not the facade they grew up around. Trevor wasted no time marrying his succubus of a mistress. Meanwhile, I turned increasingly inward. Relationships no longer appealed to me. I would shut down any advances from men who would take notice of me, pouring all my energy into my children, my work, and my journey towards recovery. This carried on for two years.
Until I met Samuel.
Samuel was a widower with ten-year-old twin boys. He gave me hope. He was in his early forties, but, let’s just say, he aged like a fine wine. His wife died three years earlier in a car crash and he was left to raise his sons alone.
We met at a car bazaar where we literally bumped into each other. He smiled at me and apologized before walking away. We met again randomly at a pizza place – was it coincidence? Fate? Divine intervention? A little bit of everything? – and this time, he introduced himself and his sons before joining our table.
We bonded over how both of us found it hard to be vulnerable and give love a second chance, since we both were still grieving. Our children were our main priority and everything else could wait! Six months of play dates and regular family movie nights eventually blossomed into a relationship. This time around, it felt different. More honest. More stable. Safer!
One sunny Friday afternoon, Samuel and I decided to take a walk at the Arboretum. It was then that I came face to face with none other than Trevor! He clearly had seen better days. His hair was long and unkempt, his clothes dishevelled and he was surrounded by a foul odour. He looked at me and for a split second, I felt bad for him. Until I remembered the hell he had put me through.
“Rachel, I’m so sorry for everything. How are the kids? I miss them a lot, I miss you.”
“Sara was an evil person. She poisoned me against you, but I see things clearly now. She was having an affair and tricked me into signing over my properties, shares and savings!”
His words kept echoing in my head but I couldn’t hear him. One only sees this kind of encounter in movies but this was my reality. As Trevor kept talking, I could see Samuel at a distance waiting for me by the car and right then I knew what I had to do.
“Goodbye Trevor, I wish you a good life”
I did not how much weight I was carrying until I felt the freedom. As I walked away from his protests, all I could feel was contentment and optimism, not only for what lay ahead, but for the long anticipated closure I needed after the years of abuse. It was the beginning of a new chapter of my life, and I embraced it with open arms.