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         “We ne-”

         “Don’t say we need to talk,” was her quiet request. She sat beside him, not touching, on the sofa. “I don’t want to know how long; I just want to know was it worth it?”

         He didn’t look at her. He wanted to make it better…….but there was no making it better……not now……not ever. Lyrics of the past echoed in his brain, taunting him in his own voice……

Betrayal, yeah. Stabbed in the back Betrayal, yeah. I’m stretched on the rack Betrayal, yeah. Thrown out of whack She’s thrown out of whack…….

        

         “You don’t deserve- my mess. I should have……”

         “Why did you marry me?”

         He turned to her and spoke honestly.

         “I do love you. It’s just- she’s different.”

         “No, she’s just the path not taken. She holds some kind of fantasy allure over you and you let her.”

         He closed his eyes and slumped back into the couch.

         “That’s not it.”

         “Really? You were…… intrigued by her ways when you were both younger. You always said that she was so ‘cool’ without even trying. You placed her on a pedestal and someone as smart as her could never be wrong, so everything that she said or did was right and ‘meant something’. Then you fell out of her good graces and it hurt you- it broke you….. at least for a while.”

         I will not beg for your love. No matter how much it hurts, I won’t beg.

         “All she did was tell the truth. I wasn’t doing anything with my-”

         “Are you seriously defending her actions to me right now?”

         You’re not dense.

         “So all she has to do is come back to town, make nice, and everything that we’ve worked towards is over?”

         He sat up and turned to her. He wanted to take her hands in his, but he didn’t dare touch her.

         “You asked me a question earlier and I would like to answer it.”

         He looked at the way that she was sitting with her arms crossed, rigid stance and her eyes seemed to be searching his face for something.

         “Nothing is worth hurting you.” He moved to touch the side of her face lightly so that her eyes were back on him from where she’d shifted them in disbelief. “That’s what I told her. She- my past with her is exactly that- My past.”

         “What happens when she decides that she wants you back in her life?”

         “Two people have to want the same thing.”

         “……and you wanted her……you’ve had her.”

         His eyes never wavered, but she did see the sorrow in them.

         “I never meant to hurt you- either of you. You are my wife. I love you.”

         “You love her too……”

         “I……love the her that I knew. She’s changed; I’ve changed. We’ve both mo-”

         “How can you say that? Neither of you have moved on or it wouldn’t have happened,” she sniffed slightly and wiped her nose with the back of her hand. “I can’t be your second choice and I won’t be your obligation. I deserve better.” She stood and wiped her hands on the thigh of her pants, trying to find a place for her eyes to settle. Anywhere would do, just as long as it was on him.

         He’s unfaithful and I feel bad for him? In what world does that make any sense? The women of the world would get together and kick my ass- and they should.

         “If you can’t be honest with yourself, then how can you be honest with me?” Her words were a whisper spoken from a broken heart.

         She left then, letting the door slam behind her.

 

 

The Zon……

         I don’t even drink and yet here I am giving into the cliché.

         She found herself sitting at the bar and holding the drink.

         Getting drunk because of my cheating husband…... Should I get even and screw somebody else too? Would it even matter to him? Did he leave after I did and go to see here?

         “Hey.”

         “Get lost Nick. I don’t need his friends defending him for something so- so- indefensible.”

         “That’s not why I’m here,” the pink spiked haired man said sitting down next to her. “I’m here……for you.”

         She glanced at him sideways, then back at the drink in her hands.

         “Don’t get me wrong, Trent is my friend- I just thought that you could probably use a friend right now.”

         “He called you?”

         “Uh- not exactly.”

         Nick didn’t really want to say that he had seen Daria and Trent leaving the hotel and when he had went by the house and found Trent was a wreck, he could pretty much guess what had happened there.

         “I stopped by the house……”

         She kept her eyes on her drink.

         “You friends with her too?”

         “Doesn’t change things. You’re Trent’s wife.”

         “That’s not what I asked.” She looked at Nick squarely then. “How are they……together?”

         “I don’t-”

         “Was she good for him? Is he better with her?” she asked these things that she had wondered in spite of herself and cursed herself inwardly for doing so.

         “She’s just- different. You make him happy.”

         She nodded as though agreeing.

         “I thought so……but then I never thought that he would betray our commitment to one another. I really thought that he and I were……it.”

         “You don’t want to hear this but maybe this is just a rough patch- something to get through. Things- you guys can work it out.”

         She gave him a weak smile.

         “Right.”

         She pushed the drink forward and stood.

         “Can we talk?”

         She turned to where the voice had come from and knew at first glance that the short woman speaking was who her husband had been coveting all of this time.

         Shit! I better call Trent- or Jesse- hell, these two chicks look like they are gonna go at it. They both look super pissed- can’t blame ‘em though.

         “Bitch you got a lot of nerve,” the newly risen woman said just before lunging for the shorter woman.