CH. 22: RACHEL
It had been difficult in the beginning, accepting Andrew’s help. She knew life as a single mother would be trying without it, but she was ready to make it work. It wasn’t until her father explained to her how lucky she was to have a man like Andrew that she reconsidered.
Her parents don’t know that Heather is still living with him—that she won’t leave despite Andrew continuously telling her that he isn’t interested in a relationship with her.
Now that she was away from Heather she was able to see her for the terrible person she is: A liar and a manipulator who used and abused her.
She opens her e-mail. Andrew usually takes time on his lunch break to write to her. It’s nice to come home from a long day of school and work to read how her fiancé’s day had gone.
Hello my love,
How was your day? How is my little princess? I’m sure it’s getting cold, so I sent a little extra for her winter clothes. I love the video you sent of her earlier. She’s getting so big!
She will need a little brother or sister soon. It isn’t healthy to be an only child.
I know it’s hard to think about the future when Heather is constantly crying about not having enough money to move out on her own.
It’s getting harder for me to say no to her sexual advances. When can we see each other? I don’t want to cheat on you, but as a man I have needs.
$600 was more than enough this week, I really appreciate it. I can come for Thanksgiving, there isn’t any class. My parents want to know if you’ll be coming for Christmas. We all miss you, especially me.
It isn’t easy for me knowing you are being pressured by her for sex. I understand you have needs, but please don’t do anything with her! She is only doing this to get at me. If you absolutely must, then please find someone who doesn’t mean anything to you and just get it out of your system.
I lost another 10 pounds since the last time you saw me. I’ll attach a pic. I am following the plan you told me about and I’ve been doing a lot of walking at work. I’m wearing a size 7 now. My mom says if I lose anymore I’ll disappear. :D
I love you and can’t wait to see you,
Rachel never thought she’d be okay with sharing someone she was in love with, but she’s since learned from therapy that jealousy and possessiveness are toxic traits. You cannot stop someone from doing something they are going to do, so might as well find a way to be okay with it. Besides, sex doesn’t mean anything to men.
She opens Facebook and ritualistically types Heather’s name into the search bar. Still as fat as ever. She stares at her profile picture, her lips curling at the sight of her latest picture. Bright red lipstick and way too much cleavage.
Did something happen? she wonders. She scrolls past numerous self-pitying quotes about change and moving on, but her relationship status still reports the same: It’s complicated.
She slides her phone onto her night stand and glances to the corner where her six-month-old sleeps in her crib.
She turns the light out and stares at the ceiling. Her heart beats faster than usual as she thinks about Andrew’s e-mail. What if he gives in and has sex with Heather? Would he tell me? She rolls onto her side. Is giving him permission to have sex with a stranger really the only way to avoid it? She had no clear answers. All she knew to do was pray to God and hope for the best.