I’ve been a mistress for almost 20 years. We would meet a few times a week in the condo he bought for us, have a small snack and beer, and then he’d go home to his wife and four children and they’d have dinner together.
They have accepted his late working hours or business meetings after office hours all these years. I am an IT consultant, and my lover has a business of his own.
We never had kids because I chose not to. He’d bring me abroad on many of his trips, and I took it for granted that he’d always be with me, regardless. I never asked him to divorce his wife, because a contract couldn’t make us any closer, stronger and more loving.
Then his wife died suddenly in her sleep. I allowed him as much time to be on his own, not seeing or calling me, so he could grieve for her with no pressure from me. I had the starry-eyed notion we’d pick up from where we left off and start our life—finally.
The days turned to weeks, a month, then two—after which I called to see how he was doing. His phone was off, and my texts to him went unanswered. Then his phone wasn’t even ringing anymore.
Everyone thought that after a decent time of mourning, he’d enjoy his freedom. He had a reputation as a womanizer; but what became of him after his wife’s death didn’t seem to square with the person we knew.
A friend told me he had been inconsolable since her death. He was not sleeping or eating, and stayed mainly in bed. He contracted pneumonia and this got his family terribly worried. Four and a half months to the day after his wife’s death, he himself died.
I was shocked and inconsolable myself. I thought it was me he loved because he told me so. His love for her was stronger, apparently. Turned out he couldn’t live without her.
It’s been said, it sometimes take three to make a marriage work. He must have found something in you he needed and couldn’t find in his wife that made the three of you coexist for 20 years.
And, he must have loved you too—in his own peculiar way.
But, clearly, the shock of her death shook him to the very core. It needed her untimely passing to waken him and realize, in the deepest recesses of his mind and heart, that he belonged to her body and soul.
Everything fell into place; his love, his commitment, his need for her consumed and overwhelmed his entire being. That was the moment he knew his life was over, without her.
With her death, everything he thought was important just fell on the wayside and lost its worth—in one swoop. With her gone, he lost his strength, the joy he took for granted, the assurance she was always just a call away. There was nothing left anymore.
Be glad you had your own time with him, and his affection, and treasure the meaningful, fun times with him. It’s just that fate came and interceded in your plans. Your lover felt he had to come along with her and be with her—wherever she was going.
E-mail the author at marcelo@inquirer. com.ph or firstname.lastname@example.org.