Nicole sat in the spare room with the blankets pulled up to her chin. She hadn't slept in days and she could feel the exhaustion beginning to kick in, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't make herself sleep. She had just been hurt in the worst possible way and she was so angry and sad.
She looked over at the bedside table and groaned in disgust. There were three empty wine bottles and a half emptied bottle of tequila sitting there taunting her. She thought the anger and heartbreak would fade if she drowned it away with alcohol. But it's true, it takes away the pain for a short time before it all comes flooding back to you at break neck speeds and you are powerless to stop it.
She must have been completely consumed with thinking that her marriage was perfect, because she had no idea that her husband had wanted out. He had told her two days prior that he no longer wanted to be married to her, that after eight years of marriage and four years, before that, of dating, he was no longer in love with her. He said he couldn't explain it, but the spark he felt for her had been extinguished and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't get it back.
She knew there was more to the story and she had every intention of finding out what it was as he denied that this sudden change had been provoked by anything else.
She was confused. Up until two weeks ago everything between them had been perfect. There had been no indication that he wanted a divorce, in fact, they had been talking about the possibility of having another child. There was absolutely no sign that their marriage was coming to an abrupt end.
Her heart couldn't take it anymore. She had to try and think about something else and she had no idea how to do that. For the first time in two days she let the angry tears fall from her eyes. She curled up in the fetal position in bed and cried herself to sleep.
Nicole opened her eyes and saw her best friend, Beth sitting on the side of her bed looking down at her. She hadn't talked to Beth since Chad had broken the news to her and she definitely wasn't ready to tell her now. Nicole pulled the blanket over her head and tried to will Beth to leave, but to her dismay, her friend was still sitting there when she peeked over the covers.
"Why was I not invited to your little bender?" Beth asked with a little grin.
"It's not a party I wanted you to be a part of," Nicole mumbled, "I wasn't even expecting the party to take place."
Beth gave Nicole a look that could only be described as the "there is something you aren't telling me and you better tell me soon" look. Nicole propped herself up against the head board and looked her best friend in the eye. She did not want to tell her best friend of 15 years that her husband had given up on her. She had been there when Nicole had first started dating Chad and Beth was her Maid of Honor at their wedding and she was there for the birth of their son Hudson. Beth had been there for all the major life events that her and Chad had celebrated. Now he had taken their marriage and crumpled it up in a ball and lit it on fire.
"Do you know if Chad is having an affair?" Nicole whispered in a voice so quiet that Beth had to crane her neck in order to hear it.
The room went completely quiet and all you could hear was the sound when Beth gasped loudly. She was unable to respond to this.
"Chad wants a divorce," Nicole continued, acting like it wasn't a big deal, "He swears up and down that there is nothing that provoked this except for the fact that he is no longer in love with me. He feels nothing for me, but funny enough, two weeks ago he wanted to try for a second child. I think he is lying to me."
"How are you acting like this news isn't bothering you?" Beth questioned incredulously, "Chad is the love of your life, your soul mate and you are brushing this aside like it never mattered much to you."
Nicole looked at her best friend and then quickly looked away. She had never been one to deal with bad news well, but who does really? Everyone deals with difficult situations in different ways and her way was usually crying until she was numb and getting angry at everyone and everything and hating the world. But clearly, acting cold and unaffected wasn't working for her either. Nicole reached for Beth's hand and looked her in the eye again.
"I was trying to deal with the situation differently Beth," Nicole said quietly, "My heart is broken and I have no idea where this came from. But I thought it wouldn't affect me as much if I acted like this news doesn't phase me at all."
Beth held Nicole's hand and her eyes filled with tears. She pulled Nicole in and hugged her tightly and Nicole wrapped her arms around her best friend. This was the most comfort she had felt in the last two days and she didn't want to let it go.
Beth quickly pulled away from Nicole as if she had been electrocuted. She gave Nicole a quick glance and then got up from the bed.
"It's time for you to get up and get cleaned up," Beth stated, "Go to your parents and pick up Hudson. Have a mommy son day and then come over to my place around 5:00 for dinner. I have something I have to do."
"Is everything ok?" Nicole asked in a confused tone, "Did I do something wrong?"
"Absolutely not," Beth replied with a quick smile, "But if I don't go and get this done, then I will never do it. I love you."
"I love you too..." Nicole responded before Beth disappeared out the door.
Nicole was confused and was trying to process what had just happened. Her best friend had never bailed on her before. She assumed that the reason Beth bolted from her room like someone had lit a fire under her ass was pretty important or she wouldn't have left. She tried not to let it bother her as she pushed the covers aside and pulled her tired butt out of bed. She grabbed the bottles from the bedside table and made her way downstairs to the kitchen.
In a matter of 48 hours her life had changed significantly. Her husband went from wanting to have another child to wanting a divorce and she had become an instant alcoholic. Unlike many situations in her life, Nicole had no idea what she was going to do about this one.
Beth slammed the door of her Jeep and leaned against it looking up at the apartment building in front of her. Across the street from her Jeep was parked a brand new navy blue Ford F150. She had hoped and prayed that her hunch was inaccurate as she made her way to her sister's apartment, but the fear and anger came rushing in when she saw that son of a bitch's truck parked in front.
The moment Nicole had said that Chad wanted a divorce and that she felt he was lying when he said he wasn't having an affair, Beth remembered a conversation that her and her sister, Anna, had a couple weeks ago...
"What, or should I say who has got you smiling like an idiot?" Beth asked curiously, pressing her sister for answers, "I haven't seen you this happy in a long time."
"Well, there is someone," Anna replied with a small smile, "But I can't talk about it."
"Why the hell not?" Beth asked, "If there is someone out there that can make the one and only Anna Calbert deliriously happy, it should be announced to the world...unless you're having an affair..."
Anna was quiet for a moment and her smile disappeared. Beth looked disapprovingly at her younger sister, knowing instantly that she was having an affair.
"Anna, you should really think about this before you get in any deeper," Beth said quietly, "You are only going to get hurt."
"Well, that's where you are wrong Beth," Anna shot back, "He told me yesterday that he was in love with me and that he had every intention of calling it quits with his wife. Beth, he loves me. Isn't that reason enough to leave an unhappy marriage?"
"Every person who has an affair says they will leave their spouse, but they never do," Beth replied, "But despite that, what you're doing is still wrong...
Beth crossed the street and used her key to get into her sister's apartment. She was afraid of what she would find, but she knew that she had to confront them both about the horrible situation they were putting Nicole in. Nicole didn't deserve this, no one deserved this kind of treatment.
Beth gave a quick knock on the door before using the key and unlocking her sister's front door. When she opened the door Chad was sitting on the couch in his boxers and Anna was in the kitchen wearing a pair of shorts and her bra. Anna turned and stared at her sister in horror and Chad jumped up with a start.
"You two better explain yourselves," Beth said through gritted teeth, "Because there is a woman who loves you Chad, and she is a mess at home right now. How long has this been going on?"
"How did you figure it out?" Anna asked as she threw on a hoodie, "I didn't give away anything that would make you think it was Chad."
"You didn't have to..." Beth replied angrily, "How could you? I know she wasn't your best friend, but you two were still friends. She trusted you, you were in her bloody wedding for crying out loud. This is how you repay her for her friendship? Stupid girl!"
Anna looked like she had been slapped in the face by her sister, but at that moment Beth didn't care. Beth stormed past her and walked up to Chad. She looked down at him for a moment and then she slapped him as hard as she could across the face.
"And you...I can't believe you!" Beth screamed at him, "Figure it out Chad, or I'll tell her myself!"
Beth glared at both of them for a moment before her anger completely took over and then she stormed out and slammed the apartment door behind her. She had no idea what to do with the information.