Or The Road I have Traveled on is Paved with Good Intentions
When Shannon called that day I could tell she was holding something back. She asked if she could stop by my office to talk about something. Of course, in light of my activities that certainly could have been bad but I said "sure, come on over."
I saw her pull up into the parking lot and get out of the car. I could tell she was disturbed and her face was puffy from crying. In an instant I realized I knew that look because I had seen it before.
No, she had not caught me cheating! If that was the case she would have been carrying a baseball bat; I think I have told you Shannon has a wicked temper!
We walked into my office and she began to speak but I knew what the message was even before she began. Shannon had just been to her annual medical exam. What she was now telling me was that her routine mammogram had picked up a spot and that the doctor wanted to have her come back and take a closer look with a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound.
I know Shannon is a hypochondriac, the reason I said I had seen the look before is because she has broken down when a doctor said he needed to remove a mole. But this was serious, cancer runs in her family and I was alarmed.
Shannon is a tough person to deal with because she exudes such confidence and has developed a very corporate aura to her. She has a high need to build emotional walls around her and project herself as a "tough chic" because as our therapist has said "you (she) feel(s) a need to strike before being struck." But in times like this, just like that Dylan song, "she breaks just like a little girl." And who could blame her. At that moment in spite of all that has gone on between us I really just wanted to hold her and make her feel better, she is in fact very easy to adore. But of course I could only sympathize at this point.
So our life would be on a tenuous hold for about a week until she got the ultrasound.
And later that day that guilt I had developed about cheating on my mistress started to ramp up about 10 fold. I realized I was now in John Edwards territory; my wife potentially with cancer and me cheating with two women. I was that dastardly guy on the cover of a Supermarket tabloid; the lowest of the low.
This feeling was further manifested by the fact that Keeley's e-mails over this time continued to be dominated by her worries for her daughter. They too were lining up tests for her. Perhaps it was Chronic Fatigue or Crohn's but regardless it was not what you wanted to be going through with a child who should be a healthy teenager.
I entered a rather reflective time. This Ashley Madison thing that had been so fun for almost a year now was now starting to be a chore and a weight that I was carrying. I started off saying that I always wanted it to be fun and I never wanted to hurt anybody with my actions. Could I now say that this was all true - unfortunately not.
So it was time for some soul searching, perhaps a time to take a step back - a needed break from it. Besides, something new was starting to dominate my time anyway. You see I had started this little Word document on a flash drive at work. It was now up to about four pages and I had labeled it "I am a very regular guy."