It was 5:00 on Tuesday a couple weeks later and Chad was tired, exhausted actually and he really didn’t want to be there. He sat in the brightly painted waiting room of Dr. Mason’s office and fidgeted uncomfortably in his seat. He had three days left of the Jansen trial and he literally felt like the shit had been kicked out of him. The trial had not been going the way he had wanted at all and his argument and strategy failed more with every step he took. He knew going into this that he had no chance of winning, but he never thought he would lose so badly.
He had texted Nicole first thing that morning to let her know that he would meet her at the appointment. She had responded with a “fine” and “see you at 5:00”. It was the first time he had texted her in three weeks, but with each day it got a little easier to move on and not feel so horrible for what he was doing to Nicole. He still felt bad, but it wasn’t as difficult.
“I’m shocked,” Nicole sneered as she walked off the elevator and walked towards him, “Where the hell have you been? Fall off the face of the earth for three weeks and then you decide that you should show up for a counselling session...How’s Anna?”
Chad’s jaw almost unhinged as it hit the ground. How did she know about Anna, he thought to himself as he ran a nervous hand through his hair. He thought long and hard about how he was going to answer this one when she interrupted his thoughts.
“Don’t worry about how I know,” Nicole stated as sweetly as she could, “I have my sources...You should really be careful about where you are when you embrace someone other than your wife.
“Well if you know, then why are we here?” Chad questioned, knowing instantly that when he spoke those words, they were the wrong words.
“We should at least talk it through, don’t you think?” she shot back, her eyes narrowing as she turned to look at him, “You at least owe me that much. But please, feel free...get up and walk out of here with your cowardly tail between your legs if you like...no skin off my back.”
He watched as Nicole crossed her legs and her arms and sat there staring at the wall across from them. She didn’t say another word to him and it was clear that she had had enough of his bull shit.
He wasn’t expecting this moment to hurt him, but he was so off the mark on this one. Her indifference and her anger hurt him to the core. Chad should have thought this one through more than he had before he went back and started a relationship with Anna. He always knew it was possible that he would get found out, but he didn’t think it would happen that quickly.
“Nic...I’m truly...” Chad stammered, but Nicole stared daggers into his eyes.
“Save it,” she growled, “Don’t you even think about apologizing to me! You had your chance weeks ago!”
“Chad and Nicole,” Dr. Mason called out as she stepped out of her office, interrupting their argument, “So nice to see you both here this time. Glad you could make it Mr. Sanders.”
Chad nodded his head at a smiling Dr. Mason, but he had a feeling that she was as disapproving of him as his wife was.
Chad got up and followed Nicole into Dr. Mason’s office and sat down on the couch beside Nicole, but not too close. Dr. Mason closed the door, turned around and looked at them for a moment before she sat down in her chair and wrote a note in her book. They sat there in silence for a couple minutes before Dr. Mason cleared her throat.
“So, I think I’m going to let Chad start this one,” Dr. Mason stated quietly, “Why has it taken you almost a month to show up to one of our sessions?”
“More like two months,” Nicole mumbled, obviously taking the passive-aggressive route on this one.
“I’m a coward,” Chad answered without hesitation, “I decided about six weeks ago that I still wanted to be with Anna. I have been seeing her and living with her for the last five weeks or so. I was too much of a coward to tell you, but I should have known that you would find out somehow.”
The shock and surprise was written all over Dr. Mason’s face when Chad looked over at her. Clearly, Dr. Mason had not been expecting this confession, in fact, he was pretty sure that she was expecting the opposite of what he had just confessed. Well, if they thought that was shocking and surprising, then they were in for the shock of their lives when he told them his other secret.
Chad looked down at his hands as they all sat in silence. He knew the next piece of information he was about to share would seal his fate. Despite the fact that they were in the doctor’s office, he knew that when he told Nicole what Anna had shared with him a couple days ago, World War III would break out.
2 Days Ago (Sunday)
Chad walked into Anna’s apartment with a duffle bag on his shoulder. It was dimly lit, but the sun was shining in through the blinds in the living room. He had just moved some of his stuff out of Trevor’s house. He had a couple pieces of furniture to move out of his place and a couple more boxes and then he would be completely moved out.
Trevor had made it perfectly clear that he was no longer going to be a part of Chad’s betrayal. Trevor had told Chad that Nicole had shown up at his place a couple times wondering where Chad was and he had also mentioned that she seemed very suspicious. Chad told Trevor not to worry about Nicole and that he would move his stuff out as soon as possible.
It didn’t take a rocket scientist to know that his friendship of 25 years with Trevor was officially over, and it was all Chad’s fault. What he did to Nicole clearly affected Trevor and it didn’t sit well with him. Trevor kicked him to the curb in a matter of seconds when he realized that Chad had no intention of making things right with Nicole.
Chad dropped his bag on the floor in front of the hallway and then made his way into the kitchen. Anna was sitting at the table, a Kleenex box in front of her and a glass of orange juice in her hand. She looked up at Chad who still stood in the doorway to the kitchen, her eyes were red and glistening. Without saying a word, Chad rushed over to her and pulled Anna into his arms. She wrapped her arms around his neck and rested her head on his shoulder.
“Baby, what’s wrong?” Chad asked quietly as he ran a hand through her hair.
After a moment of standing there in each other’s arms, Anna pulled away from him and disappeared down the hall. He was about to follow her when she made her way back into the kitchen and handed him something wrapped in toilet paper. He unwrapped the toilet paper and looked down at the object she had wrapped up in it. He could feel the color drain from his face and he felt like he was going to throw up.
“Shit...” he mumbled as he took a step back and looked at her for a moment, “How...when...have you seen a doctor?
“I went to the walk-in clinic this morning when you were at Trevor’s,” Anna replied quietly, “It came as just as much of a shock to me as it is to you Chad. I swear I didn’t plan this.”
Chad eyed her closely before he pulled out a chair and sat down. He put his head in his hands and took deep breaths to try and calm his pounding heart. He was excited, he was a little doubtful that she didn’t plan this to keep him, and his stomach was in knots. It was all too clear to him now what his decision should be about his marriage and about Anna.
He looked up at Anna and smiled at her. They were having a baby...
Nicole felt the anger boiling up inside of her. She didn’t even feel sad as he told her and Dr. Mason that he had decided to continue his relationship with Anna. In fact, Anna could have him. Nicole’s heart was too damaged and it took too much energy for her to try and save their marriage if it was only going to be one-sided.
She looked at Chad for a moment and she could tell that there was something else. It seemed like he was struggling with whether or not to say what was on his mind.
“How did you find out about me and Anna?” Chad asked, interrupting Nicole’s thoughts.
Nicole gave Dr. Mason a quick look and Dr. Mason nodded her head. Nicole had mentioned Ryan to her at the last appointment about a month ago and at that point nothing had happened between them, but Dr. Mason had reassured her that her spending time with Ryan wasn’t a bad thing.
“Beth saw you guys at her apartment a few weeks ago,” Nicole replied quietly, “And Ryan Wilson saw you two at the courthouse a couple weeks ago. Neither one of them saw fit to keep it from me.”
Chad stared at Nicole in shock and for a moment she swore she saw pain flash in his eyes, but the moment quickly passed. He looked down at the ground for a moment before looking back up.
“You’re seeing Ryan? Don’t you think that’s a little hypocritical?” Chad snarled at her.
“I ran in to him two months ago, two days after you told me you wanted a divorce,” Nicole shot back, “I’m not seeing him. He is my friend and he has been there when I needed him. Nothing has happened between us because unlike you, I feel guilty for even thinking back to when Ryan and I were together. You, on the other hand, have absolutely no issue with abandoning me and your son for my best friend’s whore of a sister.”
Nicole was shaking with rage and it was only a matter of minutes before the damn broke and she lost her mind on the one person she thought she could trust with her life. Nicole was trying to put on a strong front but in actuality, she was crumbling and trying to hold her life and her sanity together. Her family and friends, especially Ryan and Beth, were the only ones helping her keep it together. If it weren’t for them she would definitely have been in a very dark place.
“What else are you hiding from me?” Nicole asked him quietly, “I’ve known you for 12 years and I know when you want to say something but can’t...tell me what it is.”
Nicole looked into Chad’s eyes and she knew that what he had to say was going to blow their relationship into oblivion. As she looked at him, she could no longer see the love that he had had for her in them. The fire, his passion, it had burned out. She knew that Chad was no longer in love with her, but the sad thing was that she didn’t feel the same way for him either.
“Anna’s 12 weeks pregnant,” Chad stated, trying to keep his smile from showing, “I just found out the other day.”
Nicole’s vision went blurry as the tears clouded her vision and all she could see were red and black dots from the anger she felt. She could feel the tension in her chest and it felt like the walls were closing in and she had absolutely nowhere to run. She clenched her fists in her lap and tried to be strong. She no longer wanted to cry in front of Chad. Her tears weren’t worth wasting on him anymore.
She stood up and looked at her husband with disappointment written across her face and anger in her eyes. She grabbed her purse and looked at Dr. Mason quickly.
“I guess we’re done here,” Nicole whispered as she made her way to the door, “I would like to schedule another appointment with you if that’s ok?”
“Absolutely,” Dr. Mason replied with a look of sadness on her face, “I think I have a couple times available next week, just check with reception.”
“Thank you,” Nicole replied with a nod before looking at Chad, “Enjoy your life with Anna. Once your trial is over you can come over and move your stuff out. Text me and I’ll make sure to be out or at work. You will be hearing from my lawyer.”
One single tear fell from her eye as she gave him one last look. She put her purse over her shoulder and walked out of that office without looking back. Her heart hurt and she felt like her whole life was coming to an end, but she knew now, without a shadow of a doubt, that she had to do what was right for her and her son. She had to move on with her life and start a new chapter without him.