Henry had all kinds of plans. He and John could get an apartment together, and the children and I could stay right where we were in our cozy flat in Cow Hollow, San Francisco. I’d never have to work because they would support me completely. Between their two incomes, they would have more than enough, and Henry had been quite successful in the stock market. They could take the children every other weekend to give me a break, and all three of us could be the proud parents at school functions. On the weekends when I had the children, Henry and John could give lavish dinner parties and go ‘antiquing’ in the foothills. Yes, Henry had thought it all through that afternoon. I felt John stiffen as he listened. My body was already stiff as a board.
I wanted out. At least a walk in the fresh air would clear my head. I hadn’t slept. Leaving JJ and Jo in front of Saturday cartoons, I forced my husband to stay with them. He hated babysitting. With my mind tied in knots, my emotions dulled to depression, my feet drifted down to Fisherman’s Wharf, a site best known for happier times. Though crushed to the marrow of my being, I wanted to be crushed by the throngs. Christmas shoppers mobbed the Wharf, yet the coffee shops pretty much sat empty, so I took a table at a sidewalk café. Strange looks from passers-by made me realize I was crying. I had automatically wiped the tears from my cheeks without recognizing what the gesture meant. What did I care! Let them stare! Their spouses hadn’t confessed last night that they were in love with someone else! What did these gawkers know about pain and suffering? Their worlds hadn’t been exposed as farces! In the name of heaven, how could I compete? If his lover had been a woman, I could have hatched a plan, a scheme to win him back, but I couldn’t become a man. If that’s what he wanted, I could never satisfy him. Even if I had a plan, I’d already given him my best.