Authors: Tali Alexander
Tags: #Adult, #Love, #Romance
He yelled at me like a lunatic. "Em, I can't just get up and leave! I have a business to run. I have important meetings to attend. That needs to be my priority right now. It can't always be about you. Money doesn't just get deposited in our account, someone has to make it!"
That was a low blow. I stopped talking to him after he made that degrading comment implying I spent our money frivolously. I wasn't the one buying outrageous homes, cars, boats, expensive watches, and jewelry. That was all him! I never asked him for any of those things. I didn't choose to be a stay-at-home mom. Louis chose that for me. He wanted me home raising our kids. He liked always having me be available for him. Well, I guess as the cliché goes, after almost ten years of marriage our honeymoon was finally over.
I asked myself if it was someone else. When a man has the kind of money that Louis has women are always circling around like hungry vultures. He gets new little realtors in
dresses parading around his office day and night. I never felt like one of those jealous wives. Louis always made me feel young and beautiful. He never looked at any other women; at least not in my presence, anyway.
I thought our sexual appetites were on the same page. I wasn't an
I have a headache
kind of wife. I needed our sexual bond like I needed air. Louis and I had no inhibitions, no limits. I knew what made him hot. He knew which buttons to push to make me squirm. We were never argumentative. My personality was to please and I enjoyed bending to accommodate the love of my life. But how much could I bend before I broke?
It's been three months since we made love. Not due to lack of trying on my part. It was a gradual decline; it started with fast sex. Louis claimed that he was tired and would take care of me later, until he just stopped making promises altogether. On the few occasions we did make love he sometimes couldn't even get himself to come and would just roll over and go to sleep.
Louis hasn't tried to make me come in months. Maybe I don't do it for him anymore! Maybe someone else does. It can't be that at twenty-nine the best sex is behind me. I'm not even middle aged and I can't tell you the last time I had an orgasm in the presence of someone other than me. I know it's not easy to make me climax. I have to be both sexually and mentally aroused, but Louis used to pride himself on being able to make me come repeatedly on a daily basis. We would spend hours kissing and touching and getting each other hot so that once he entered me I could erupt. Now I'd be content with a quickie for the sake of my peace of mind and deteriorating sanity.
I felt him emotionally withdraw from me, from us. When I would start to cry after he couldn't bring himself to have sex with me, he kissed me and told me how much he loved me and that all this was just a temporary hurdle he needed to overcome. He promised that it wasn't me; he was just mentally hung up on work related shit. I ate it all up. It was easier than facing the truth.
t was four days away from our birthdays and Louis and I were still not really talking. I had a horrible dream that night—more like a nightmare—where my husband was fucking another woman and didn't care about someone else fucking me. I tried to talk to him about that dream but he wanted nothing to do with me, and my so-called "stupid dream
" Louis left in a hurry before I got up that morning. Well, I wasn't really sleeping but I had my eyes closed. I needed to just keep my mind from drowning in the what-ifs. I had to fool myself out of a state where all the walls closed in on me.
If it weren't for the plans I'd made with my sister last week and finally being able to drag her to lunch sans baby Renée, I wouldn't have even gotten out of bed. Jenna and I met for a light lunch at the Plaza Hotel. It was early afternoon, and we were sitting at the hotel lobby in plush blue velvet chairs eating little croissant sandwiches and enjoying our afternoon champagne. I wanted to forget about my life's troubles for a few hours and tried to get lost in Jenna and Mike's life as new parents.
I remember first seeing Phillip. I hadn't seen that piece of shit in ten years but I would never forget the image of him. He, on the other hand, probably wouldn't be able to pick me out of a lineup. I was sitting in an oversized wing chair facing the reception area and the elevator banks of the Plaza.
Phillip walked briskly out of one of the elevators. He had his signature repulsive smile that said
I don't give a fuck about anything
and after fixing his unruly hair he walked out of the hotel. My sister was telling me a story about Mike falling asleep with Renée on his bare chest, but once I saw Phillip I blanked out on what she was saying. Seeing Phillip was a momentary slap on the face. I remember that day we almost properly met at his club. It felt like yesterday, not over ten years ago. His words cut me very deep that night. I'm not sure I ever fully let myself recover from them. As soon as Phillip left I was able to take a deep breath again. I pretended I didn't just miss the whole story Jen was rambling about.
"Emmy, can you imagine? She wiggled her way down to his nipple and started sucking."
When she started laughing I joined her without missing a beat. After composing ourselves, my sister from her funny story and me from my disturbing sighting, I lifted my gaze just in time to see my husband walk out of one of the elevators with a beautiful tall brunette by his side. He looked fresh as a cucumber and as gorgeous as ever. He had a huge smile on his face. I hadn't seen a smile like that in months.
He'd left particularly early this morning I didn't even see what he was wearing to work today. It was one of my favorite Etro suits; light gray with blue stripes, fitted single-breasted jacket with a crisp white button down shirt. He had on a coral colored tie. I'd picked out and bought him the whole ensemble he was wearing. The whole effect was right out of the pages of
She was walking by his side, keeping up with his pace. She was stunning! She was wearing a short, white dress that looked molded on her body. Probably my husband's preferred brand, Alaïa, with high-heeled peep-toe nude Louboutins. She had sexy bedroom messy hair that fell down around her shoulders. She looked young, about twenty-five. They looked breathtaking together. Both tall and oozing sex appeal. They looked like they belonged together. They looked like they'd just had sex.
"Emmy! Emmy! Where are you? Did you just fall asleep on me with your eyes open?"
I looked at my sister with shock and then back at Louis and that woman. Jen followed my gaze and turned to look at my field of view. She registered Louis and then I could see her smile fall once she took in his beautiful companion. Louis passed right by us. No sign of recognition. It almost felt like the last ten years of my life were all part of my overactive imagination. He seemed far away from me … untouchable. He walked to the door and held it open for her to pass. I turned my head to the big wall of windows behind me to see them both entering his chauffeured Rolls Royce.
"Emmy, it's not what it looks like. It's not what you think. He was probably showing her an apartment. You know the Plaza has condos that they sell now."
I lifted my empty gaze to meet my sister's panicked eyes. My sweet supportive sister was trying to make excuses for the brother-in-law she adores. I know the Plaza Hotel like the back of my hand and I know that the elevators my husband and his long lost friend Phillip walked out of lead to hotel rooms and not the condos. I also knew that my husband, who runs a billion dollar company, doesn't parade around Manhattan showing condominiums to twenty-five-year-old sluts. Words just wouldn't come together in my brain to form sentences.
Seeing Phillip felt like being slapped on the face. Seeing the person I love and trust above anyone follow him out with a woman by his side was like being shot in the heart. I really believed Louis when he declared he'd cut all ties with his philandering friends. He told me that he and Phillip liked sharing girls before. I guess old habits die hard. What a fool I'd been. I couldn't move. I couldn't speak. Even my tears were too shocked to fall. My life as I knew it just ended. Everything changed and it would never be the same again.
Emily Bruel, I hope you enjoyed the ride … time's up. Please exit on your right and don't let the door hit you on your ass. You stupid girl!
I'd always believed I wouldn't be enough for "The" Louis Bruel. I remember Jenna telling me stories about Louis and his proclivities when she was trying to warn me off him. I was a little stupid girl who fell in love with a fantasy. This day came ten years later than I'd initially anticipated. I was suddenly not Mrs. Emily Bruel but once again Emily Marcus. Out of high school, afraid of the future and wondering what life had in store for her. I was a nobody—a nobody and a fool.
"Emmy, can we talk this out? You're starting to scare me. Emmy, honey, say something!"
"Jen, can you do me a favor?"
"I would do anything for you, you know that. Just say the word."
"I need you to keep an eye on Rose and Eric for me."
My sister looked confused. She wasn't expecting this.
"You have a live-in nanny and a housekeeper. Why would I need to keep an eye on them?"
I took in a breath that felt like fire mixed with acid going down my chest.
"I'm going to go away for a little bit. I need to make sure you and Mom can be around for my babies while I'm gone. I need to know they're getting love from family and not just the hired help."
"Emmy, where are you going? And what's 'away for a little bit' mean? I don't know what's going on. This is not like you. Can't you just go talk to Louis? Let's call him now."
"Jenna, I didn't tell you but we've been having some problems. It doesn't affect you guys. I don't want you to get involved. I know you care about him and he's a big part of your business. What's happening between us won't affect any of that. I don't know where I'm going or for how long yet. But I need to go. I have a lot on my mind. I need to try and make sense of my life. My world is about to change drastically. I need you to understand. Please make sure my kids are okay. Promise me?"
"Emmy, I promise I will take care of your kids, but you need to work this out with Louis and not take off somewhere."
I nodded, left some money on the table, and walked out before I broke down and died at the Plaza. In hindsight, my nightmare that night was just a pleasant interlude to the real nightmare that just manifested itself for me in full technicolor.
I walked back to my so-called home in a haze. I don't know how long it took me to walk those few blocks to my house. Once I got to the front porch of my townhouse, I just stood there like a pedestrian admiring someone else's beautiful real estate. I finally walked in. I went over to the playroom to see my blonde-haired boy grin from ear to ear.
"Mommy, look what I made. It's a hand puppet. We used Daddy's sock and macawoni for eyes."
"Eric that's very creative. Come here, my baby boy."
"Mommy I'm not a baby. Wenée is a baby, I'm a man."
"Who told you you're a man?"
"Daddy said I'm a man."
I smiled and the tears I'd been holding back since I first saw Louis earlier came flowing down. Whatever happens to us, Louis Bruel loved his kids. He would never abandon them like he did me.
"Mommy don't cwy. I can be your baby if you want." I took Eric in my arms and inhaled his delicious scent. "Don't cwy Mommy," my beautiful sweet boy repeated into my neck as I held him close. At that moment I knew that if eleven years ago someone with a crystal ball had shown up and told me that Louis would break my heart and destroy me, I would still do it all over again. I would still fall for him and love him and marry him. Even knowing it would all end and hurt for the rest of my life. I would do it all over again, just to have my kids.
"Where is Rose?" I asked Marni, the nanny.
"Rosy is watching a movie in her room."
"Eric, Mommy is going on a trip tonight. I'll be back soon. Promise Mommy you'll be a good boy."
"Is Daddy going, too?"
"No baby, just Mommy. Aunt JenJen and Nana Adele will come see you every day. Daddy will be home with you, too."
That seemed to make him happy. He smiled, showing off his cute little dimples. God, he's beautiful just like the man who made him.
I went to see my daughter upstairs. I walked up the stairs feeling like a stranger in my own house.
"Hi Mama, I love camp so much better this year. Almost all the same kids as last year. I was picked first for the dance off group today. And do you know what Jake said to me at lunch today?"
"What did he say?"
Without missing a beat she answered, "He said he wants to kiss me. Eewww Mama, he is so gross. I would never kiss him."
"Good, no kissing boys."
Rose and Eric were both blond like me with different variations of my eye color. They had Louis' features, though; hence, you couldn't mistake who their father was.
"Listen, my love, I wanted to talk to you about something. I'm going away for a little while. I don't have all the details yet. I just know that it's very important that I go. Aunt Jenna and Grandpa and Nana will all be here for you and Eric. Daddy will also be here."
Rose looked at me, seeing right through my pain. I was afraid she'd see how scared and lost I was. I tried as hard as I could to channel all my bravery out make us both believe that I was a strong woman and not a hot mess.
"Mama, are you okay? Do you want me to come with you?"
"Thank you, baby. I need you to be my big girl and help with Eric."
"Why isn't Daddy coming with you? Are you mad at him?"
"Baby, Daddy is very busy. I love you all more than anything and I will come back as soon as I can."
I hugged and kissed my sweet little child. I remember Louis and I bringing her home from the hospital when she was just born and here we were discussing kissing boys, and Louis was leaving me for someone else.