At some point we all wake up from a dream, whether it's good or bad. Guilt has a way of doing that to you. It eats you up, consumes you. When there is still some senses left in you, you give in to that guilt and try to correct the wrong you know you are doing.
One morning I woke up to the fact that no matter how much in love Benjamin and I were, he was still married and had a family and they were his priority. He went back home everyday no matter what it was we did. That was where he belonged. I hated thinking that I was just a "side trip" but the truth boiled down to that fact. I could have him, easily - take him away from Diana and their children. But would I want to be the one to have to wreck little Daniela's heart? I didn't really care about Diana; technically she "stole" Benjamin from me. But my conscience told me Daniela and her two little brothers would bear the hurt if I were to assert myself. No, I told myself I couldn't do that.
How could I move forward if I was still living in the past? It took me long and hard to realize that I belonged to Benjamin's past and he belonged in mine.
Lee had reserved a table at the Palace dining room of the Shang-ri La Hotel in Singapore. We had flown earlier in the morning and he had asked me to find a suitable dress for dinner. I chose a knee-length sheath red haltered dress and accessorized it with a Jackie Kennedy pearl necklace and tiny pearl stud earrings, bare arms and white high heels. As the maitre'd ushered me to our table where Lee sat waiting, two gentleman, sitting in separate tables, stood up and vowed as I passed. Another one sitting at the bar doffed his hat.
"I saw that," Lee whispered with an amused grin as the maitre'd held the chair for me.
"And I saw YOU!" I teased him. "You were like a peacock strutting your stuff."
"I had to make a claim right away!" he laughed. "You are lovely by the way. That's probably why the jerks there couldn't help but admire you."
"I thought we had company, clients perhaps?" I said when we were alone.
"Just us," he said quietly.
Something was up, I sensed it. Expensive trip, expensive hotel, expensive dinner. He's dumping me, I thought. That's when I realized I had been playing fire for too long, that I was actually having two affairs at the same time, with two wonderful men. Was it really possible that one could be in love with two people at the same time? How would I feel about Benjamin if Lee and I were through? Or vice versa?
We ordered our favourite wine, and our appetizer. When he lifted his wine glass, I lifted mine and clinked his glass.
"Spill it, babe," I said with a wry smile. I was pretty sure he was dumping me.
I was wrong. And I was shocked.
"Let's get married," he said and it felt like a bomb.
We would go to the States and he would file a divorce against his wife. Then we would marry. He wanted to make an honest woman out of me. He wanted us to have a life. He wanted to have me exclusively.
"What do you mean exclusively?" I said, pretending I was hurt and insulted.
"I mean just 'us'. You and me." No more Rosaire or the thought of her standing between us. I would bear his name. And his child. If I wanted to have his child.
Only then did I notice the little black velvet box on top of my plate setting. Inside, there was a solitaire ring, a white gold band with very fine feligree etchings and a solitary diamond. He took the ring from the box, took my hand and slipped the ring in my finger.
"Marry me, Cynthia," he said softly.
I stared at the ring in my finger. It was the simplest piece of jewelry that Lee had ever given me in our five years of living together. It was also the most beautiful.
"Why must we fix something that is not broken? Haven't I proved myself to you in all these five years?" I asked. He tightened his grip on my hands. "Why don't we do this step by step, the first of which is for you to divorce Rosaire first, then let's take it from there."
"Was that a 'no'?" I saw the disappointment in his eyes.
"It's not a 'no'. But I will say 'yes' when you are already free to take my yes."
Sunday September 17th, 2017
1 day ago