Ch. 29 Affairs Ruin Marriages

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***Beth

The only thing Beth could handle at that moment was some peace and quiet. "Hey, why don't I come over for dinner tomorrow after work and then I will show you the pictures and let you say whatever it is you want to say," she closed her eyes, hoping for a couple of pecks on her cheek and some quick goodbyes.

"What?" Ray whined. She would have continued, but Joyce interrupted by sending her to the kitchen to make tea.

"Beth," her mother said in her now I'm going to lecture you tone, "I'm sorry, but I have to talk to you now. I have been in contact with Brian several times and he is worried out of his mind for your health and safety."

"No, Mother, tell me this is not true."

"It is true and if you ever checked your phone for messages, you would know it is true. He told me he could not get through any of the times he called. He has been frantic and so have I. This kind of irresponsible behavior is simply not acceptable. What were you thinking running off to Hawaii with a man you barely know, who could have done any number of unspeakable horrors to you, while your husband and your mother could not even get you to call them back?"

"Did Brian call you?"

"Yes, after you didn't answer his messages, he called me to ask what on earth was going on. Beth, doesn't it matter to you that your husband couldn't get a hold of you while you were with another man? Listen, he is leaving that lawyer woman. He is prepared to forgive you for this weird little trip you went on and try to make things work between you."

"Uhh......" Where to begin? "Can you just tell me whose side you are on? Because I always thought that as your daughter, you would be more sympathetic to me than the husband that cheated on me, moved out of the house on me and gave me divorce papers with a post-it stuck to them."

"Oh!" yelled Ray, coming out of the kitchen. "I am totally on your side, Beth! That guy is a jerk-a-ramous and if you take him back, I will never talk to you again."

"Thank you, Ray, that means a lot to me. So, Mom?"

"There are no sides in a marriage. I want you to do what is right," her mother said.

"The only reason he was 'in contact' with you was because he found out that I am moving on and will start dating other men. He doesn't want to fix this marriage. He might want it to go back the way it was, which was awful by the way, if for some reason it isn't working out with his law-firm partner."

"He wants you back because he loves you; he told me so himself."

Before going to Hawaii, this statement would have made her waver. She would have doubted her reasons for being angry and hoped that he wanted her. But not now. She might spend the rest of her life alone, but she would never settle for anything less than amazing. "I doubt it. His girlfriend might be boring in the sack or maybe she got tired of him being a jerk and kicked him out, but I promise you, he does not want me back because he loves me; that would mean he has changed. And that will never happen. He can come beg if he wants."

"That's right! Hooo!" Ray cheered.

"Stay out of this, Ray. Bethany Jo, think about the fact that you are married."

"I am not going to try and keep my disastrous marriage together. It is over."

"And that's how you justify running off with some man you hardly know?"

"He is a work colleague. I've known him for two years. We see each other nearly every week day." Oh, no. She would have to face him nearly every day. She would change jobs; she would start looking for a new place the second her mother left.

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