The Day I Told My Best Friend Her Husband Left Her
(Sharon, Ex Ray – Cheryl Robinson)
I picked up the phone to call Sarita as soon as Boone left for work, even though Boone told me not to. He should know that I’m not going to wait until four when he comes home to tell my best friend her husband left her. I only hung up because I can’t tell Sarita something like that over the phone. What am I supposed to say, “Hey girl, what are you doing? Guess what? Your husband got a woman pregnant and moved to Atlanta so he could be with her. Oh, the reason I know before you do is that his punk ass was too afraid to tell you, so he called Boone while he was at Metro. All those clothes that are still in his closet don’t mean anything. He left you, girl, and the woman is ten years older than him, already has a kid, and of course, she’s light-skinned—because we all know that’s Ray’s type—and we know she has blue eyes because Boone met her without knowing she was the other woman. He thought she was just another one of Ray’s cousins. I know you haven’t met any of them, but he has a lot of them. Don’t worry, honey. You’re better off without him.”
No, that’s definitely a face-to-face conversation and one where I need to be buzzed because she’s going to lose it, and my nerves can’t handle that. My nerves can’t handle much of anything anymore. Two miscarriages and a husband constantly reminding you how much he wants to be a father will do that.
What makes it even worse, if anything could, is today is their first anniversary. That fool didn’t even know. Boone had to tell him. Sarita has been planning their anniversary for months. I went to the travel agency on the Avenue of Fashion with her. I sat there, right beside her, while she booked their Hawaii vacation, which was supposed to be a belated surprise honeymoon for Ray. My friend loves her husband with all of her heart and would do almost anything, short of breaking the law, to make him happy. And this is how he did her. She bought first-class plane tickets and booked a suite at a Marriott resort on Waikiki Beach. She’s so excited. Sarita lives for that man. He’s her everything, which goes to show that you can bend over backward for your man, hang on to his every word, do whatever he says, and he can still cheat and leave you for another woman, which is why I do none of the above.
No, I can’t tell my best friend something like that over the phone. I just can’t. I’ve known Sarita since we were a freshman at Georgetown. We were roommates, and we lived in Darnall Hall, so I know her very well, and she’s one sensitive soul. When a novel can make you cry, you’re sensitive, and I’ve watched the girl stain plenty of pages with her tears. I have no idea what this is going to do to her, and I’m to blame. It’s all my fault. Boone and I argued over this. I made him sleep in our guest bedroom for a couple of days all because he didn’t want to introduce Sarita to Ray.
I guess I should’ve listened to him, but I know my friend, and I knew she was ready for a relationship—her first. I thought Ray had changed because he kept saying he had. Boone wasn’t convinced, though.
Why didn’t I listen to Boone? Because I never listen to my husband, that’s why. And also because I was hoping that Ray had changed from the way he was at Cass. But he’s the same guy. We’ve been out of high school for eight years, and he hasn’t changed. He was breaking hearts then, and he’s still breaking them. Only this heart is his wife’s. How do you leave your wife and not tell her? What type of man does that? Ray is Boone’s best friend, and Boone didn’t even want to introduce the two of them. That should have told me something. If a man doesn’t think another man is any good for a woman, then you know he’s not, because men stick together. Even though, Boone’s not like your typical man.
I start putting on my aerobics gear. I don’t feel like going to aerobics, but maybe I need to. Maybe if I exercise, it will help me relieve all this stress.
My phone’s ringing.
“I don’t know what’s happening, but I can’t find Ray.”
It’s Sarita. What am I going to say? I can’t tell her over the phone.
“Sarita, where are you?” I’m trying to sound calm. Like it’s just another day.
“Come over. We really need to talk.”
“Do you know where Ray is?”
I knew she was going to ask me that.
“We need to talk,” I say.
“Where is he?” Sarita asks. Sharon, you can’t tell her, not if you love her, because she’ll never make it back home safely. She may not even make it out of Northland’s parking lot. I can imagine her blinded by her tears, and then her crashing into one of those cement poles.
“I’ll tell you when you get here.”
“No, tell me now! Where is he?” she shouts. “Sharon, where is he?
Please just tell me. Is…is…is he dead?”
Don’t sigh, Sharon. Lie. “He’s here. Now come over.”
“Put him on the phone.”
“He’s too embarrassed to talk. He needs to see you in person.”
“I’m on my way.”
After I hang up, I take a long sigh. I need a glass of wine. It’s not even eleven yet, but I’m gonna drink a glass because I’m not ready to watch someone’s heartbreak.