Years later I found out the real secret. The bad secret. Your "best friend" told me. I ran across her in a grocery store. She rushed over and hugged me like she was so very happy to see me. But what she really wanted was to tell me the bad secret. Her fake sadness could not hide the glee bubbling beneath her shallow surface.
You had always denied the affair. The evidence was overwhelming. You and my friend. I walked out and left you everything, except the old 8 track tape player. You got the house, the car, the furniture...all the stuff. Except for the 8-track. You didn't want it. I didn't care.
So, I thought that was the old secret I was about to hear from your old friend...the maid of honor at our wedding. I thought she was going to confirm what, by now, the whole world knew. Boy, was I wrong. I should've known by the look on her face that it was something much, much darker than that. I was so over you. I had erased those 3 years of dating, and 6 years of marriage. We had known each other since I was 9 and you were 8. You were literally the girl next door.
But there I was, in the middle of the old H-E-B store in Beeville. I was just passing through on the way to the beach in Corpus...just stopping for a few supplies. Marianne just happened to be there. It was whatever the opposite of serendipitous is. It was like the god of discord and misery wasn't through with me.
"You do know that Claudia had an abortion?" she said with faux anguish. Her eyebrows arched in an odd direction and the voice just a little too sincere. "When you were gone to New York for training. She flew to California." I couldn't hear anything Marianne said after that, although her mouth was still moving.
You had called me at school. You told me it was a miscarriage. I was devastated.
I had been so excited, knowing in my heart it was a little girl. I could see her. A red-haired little beauty. After all these years, I can still picture what she looked like. Was she mine or his? Would I have ever known?
There it was...in the middle of the grocery store where I had worked in high school...when we were dating. The bad secret. The sad secret. The secret that will haunt me until the day I die.
Created: Jul 19, 2012saintmaker Document Media