Chapter Thirty-seven

It occurred to me; upon my confrontation with Wendy after she had revealed having knowledge of my infidelity but denying it had been her who sent the message via MySpace, why hadn’t she pursued the topic further? What I seem to recall is her mentioning how much she “misses” me more than anything else. For whatever reason.

I decided to pursue the topic myself under the duress of this intoxicating wave of honesty that has bestowed itself upon my consciousness after revealing the same information to Sofia.

Dare I go further by inviting Daisy in on this party? No, she and I never shared a bed. Come to think of it we never shared a kiss either. She will then forever stand for the attempt at having three lovers at once, but failing.

I still am baffled at Wendy’s steadfast loyalty towards me despite having such damning evidence to turn the other way. Or, perhaps, it wasn’t her who sent those messages…?

It’s true that Wendy isn’t the brightest bulb in the set; when we had been together she never once confronted me even about the possibility that I had been cheating on her. Its true I went through painstaking efforts to prevent such a thought from arising. We don’t have the same social circle and I made sure to keep who knew her at a minimum. Still, women have their ways when they need it.

To be quite honest Wendy was the perfect test subject because she never asked questions while demanding very little of you. Of course, Wendy didn’t have much to offer in the long-term sense either. The inability to cook stands out as well as her not having any stability. Acting was a risky career choice, one she had entered into with no other skill sets to fall back on. She has yet to finish college and her involvement in my movie, if you want to call it that, is minuscule at best.

A lightbulb.

I still have her friends’ number- the one who actually played in the movie. Since I have deleted Wendy’s number she is the only way of initiating contact. But, do I really want to. Sleeping dogs lie and all that jazz…?

I decided to take the chance. She answered on the third ring. We made small talk which segued into an inquiry on Wendy. A bit of surprising news: the two were no longer on speaking terms. Nevertheless, she had no qualms about giving me her number. My guess as to why she still had it rested on the hope that they would patch things up. I read that women hold grudges for years over the most petty things resulting in friends never speaking again. Wendy is the type to do such a thing, too.

I hung up and immediately dialed Wendy’s number. The phone went to voicemail after several rings. “Hey, uhh, Wendy, it’s Johnathan. Listen, I have a question for you. Can you call me back when you get this? Its sort of important. My number is still the same. Bye.”

She called back fifteen minutes later.

“Johnny! Hi. Wow, its been a while hasn’t it.”
“Yes, umm, it has.” I hadn’t the slightest clue how much time had passed since our last encounter.
“How are you? Is the movie finished?”
“Just about. Couple minor issues is all. Listen, so,”
“That’s great. Its so good to hear your voice.”
“It…is?” This may not go well.
“Yea. To be quite honest I can’t stop thinking about you. I miss you. Lord help me I must be insane.”
She said this whilst laughing. The laughter was accompanied by nervousness. I had to neutralize this quickly.
“Listen, Wendy, about why I called.”
“Oh! Right. Ha ha. Sorry. You said it was important?”

The tone of her voice sounded strained, almost as though she had been fighting back tears. Had this seemingly random call somehow stirred up a hope in her that she felt the need to ramble and confess missing me?

“Yes its very important. Do you remember the last time we saw one another?” I do not doubt that she hasn’t forgotten it.
“How could I forget? You showed up out of the blue and left just as quickly. It was so strange.”
“Strange how?”
“The whole situation. Like, why were you there in the first place?”
“You don’t recall the very brief conversation we had?”
Silence for a moment, then “not really. Is that why you’re calling?”

Just as I suspected. Wendy’s infatuation with me has caused her to block everything else out.

“I wasn’t there by some random chance. Our conversation pertained to a message you sent me via MySpace and your response had been something along the lines of ‘I don’t have a MySpace anymore.’ I burst out of there so quickly because I was confused and frustrated.”
“But why would you be either of those? I’m not a liar.”

No, but you’re also not very bright either.

“What was the content of the messages I allegedly sent you?”
“You claimed to have knowledge of my infidelity.”
“Your…what?”
Please tell me I don’t have to-
“You…were…cheating on…me?”
A long sigh, then, “yes. Not at the beginning. Only until I found a woman suitable to do so with, which came after you and I had broken up the first time.”
“Wait a second….so, that’s why you had initially called me back?”
“Yes.”
“So, you sought me out so that you… why did you reach out to me?”
“You were part of a social experiment I had chosen to conduct. I wanted to see if I could get away with cheating on you. When I had ended things it had been for two reasons.”
“And what might those be?” Her voice was broken. I could hear Wendy choking back tears, fighting hard to keep them to a minimum.
“The first had been because I found a possible third candidate. That never happened.”
“Oh God.” I could tell tears had been falling down her cheeks. “And the second reason?”

Should I really tell her this last part? Yes. Why stop now. The bandage has already been ripped off.

“I had grown bored and tired of you.” She lost it.

Several minutes later she regained some of her composure. “Why are you telling me this, Johnny? You got away with cheating on me- why couldn’t you just let it be.”

A lightbulb.

There was no reason to tell Wendy any of this. Something told me she had no idea any of this had occurred and her reactions are evidence enough. I’m looking in the wrong direction. Wendy isn’t smart enough to uncover a secret as big as this. She didn’t even have any computer savvy friends who could hack their way into my account. Wendy also lacked the cleverness to hide behind a fake profile to do investigative work.

The brightest lightbulb. A flash of memory. Facial recognition. How did I not see this before?!

There was a knock at the door. “Johnny? Johnny, you there? You sonuvabitch, you’re gonna pay for-” Closing the phone shut I got up from my office desk and approached the door.

“I know you’re in there, Johnathan.”

I opened the door. There she was. How could I be so blindsided?

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