Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I stood there, my mouth hanging open in surprise.  Manda's surprise mimicked my own as she looked down at her hand, unbelieving.

"Oh, my god. Oh, god, I'm sorry," she stammered, looking ashamed and startled.

All of my anger melted away and I suddenly felt weak, defeated.  Michael was standing next to his car, seeming unsure of what to say or do.  I glanced over at him and we made eye contact.  He must've seen something in my eyes and rushed over to where Manda and I stood near the front door.

"Manda, I think it's best if you call someone else to come get you.  You're no longer welcome here," Michael said firmly and led me back inside, leaving her standing outside.

He touched my face tenderly and turned it from side to side, staring at the red handprint across my cheek.  He titled my face upwards and leaned in to kiss me.  When I pulled away from him, I was surprised to see tears in his eyes.

"Honey, I'm so sorry.  I should've talked to you first, I shouldn't have let her stay the night without talking to you.  I messed up, I know that.  But I'm telling you, nothing happened between us.  Manda's in a tough spot right now and I was just trying to do the right thing by helping a friend.  Her and I talked a lot while you were living with Kate and she was a good friend to me, I don't know what got into her..." he trailed off.

"Then why didn't you come to bed?  Where did you sleep, the couch?  The guest room with her?"

"What? No! I stayed up too late trying to comfort her and I fell asleep in the living room.  I didn't wake up until this morning!  Manda was already in the kitchen when I woke up so I made us some coffee.  That's it."

I searched his face for answers and saw none.  I felt a weird lack of emotion, a sort of empty feeling and I was oddly okay with that.  I racked my brain for a response, a question, anything.  Finally, I said the only thing I could think to say.

"You're lying."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In Shock

"Michael's a good man and you're treating him poorly.  I know you have a feeling of entitlement and feel like you deserve sympathy or a free pass just because you're pregnant, but you don't.  I know you think he pined over you when you pulled your little stunt, but he didn't.  He turned to me and now I can see why your relationship fell apart in the first place.  You don't deserve him," Manda spat, and turned on her heel.

I stood there, stunned.  A few things became shockingly clear in those few seconds.  One, Michael had been keeping secrets and two, Manda was one of those secrets.  How could I have been so blind?  Did he not expect me to come home last night and catch him with his new plaything?  Did she even have a fiance, or was the "trouble at home" excuse completely fabricated? Was I being totally, completely insane for letting these thoughts run through my mind? Was it all innocent and was I losing my mind?

I raced down the stairs after her. She was quick and I was trying to be careful; the last thing I needed was to slip on the stairs. I caught up with her as she reached the front door. I grabbed her shoulder and spun her to face me. She was a few inches taller than me and her cheeks were flushed with color. I looked up to meet her gaze and couldn't quite tell what was going through her mind.

"I don't know who you think you are, or what you think you know about me, but you are out of line. I couldn't care less if Michael confided in you, because clearly he wants to be with me and anything he may have said then doesn't matter now. Get off your high horse and get the hell out of my house."

The hard slap was beyond shocking.