“Have You Ever Cheated on Someone You’ve Dated?”
“Have you ever cheated on someone you’ve dated?” Melissa asks and then stares at me, awaiting an answer and ideally an honest one. The answer to this question needs to come quick, lacking hesitation and heavy on conviction. Melissa is aware enough to notice any give-away gesture indicating a lie…a, “no,” followed by my quickly changing the subject or a, “no,” while my eyes quickly dart away from hers or a, “no,” while my eyes stay fixated on the television. If she had asked me while I was driving, I could say, “no,” while keeping my eyes on the road as an excuse.
But we’re not in the car, unfortunately. We’re sitting in my backyard on a calm, windless evening in plastic Adirondack-looking chairs. There are no distractions to rob my attention away from Melissa’s question – not even a mosquito to slap against my arm.
It needs to be a resounding, “NO,” on par with the way instructors teach women to yell it in self-defense classes as the guy in the ridiculously-padded suit mock attacks them, which comes in handy if a man with limited mobility ever attacks a woman in real-life.
With every past girlfriend, a “no” would be an honest answer from me…until now. I hesitate to tell the truth because I can’t pass it off as a mistake made five or ten years ago. It was only two years ago that I cheated on Amanda. It’s not like I was unprepared for Melissa’s question. Next to the how many women have you been with question, it’s a relationship inevitability.
Amanda had just gotten out of the hospital where she spent three days with pancreatitis. She was going to come over and then wake-up early to meet-up with her parents. My cell phone vibrated.
Text from Kim: do you want me to come see you?
My phone call to Amanda: Hey, it would make more sense if you stayed at your place tonight since you have to be up early tomorrow, don’t you think?
Amanda: But I want to see you…(she said it in a whiny, baby voice)
Me: I want to see you too, sweetie, but it’s late and you know how finding parking is in Uptown at this hour. I’m just going to go to the gym, anyway. Come over tomorrow afternoon when your parents leave, though.
Amanda: Okay…I’ll be over tomorrow. Bye.
My text to Kim: sure, how soon can you be over?
Kim came over and we had a lot of fun that night and more in the morning. Kim knew I had a girlfriend, so she had no problem being out the door right after she took a shower. I opened every window in my apartment to rid it of Kim’s perfume as quickly as possible. I never believed that one could smell like sex, but I took an extra-long shower regardless. I threw the sheets in the laundry, flipped the mattress and vacuumed the bedroom carpet for some reason. As far as I was concerned, this was a crime scene…move along, move along…nothing to see here.
Amanda came over and after three days of not seeing me, she was more than willing to make-up for it. It’s the first and only time in my life that I felt like a sociopath. The blatant lie of telling her I was going to the gym came so effortlessly. The actual act of infidelity was completely unaccompanied by even the tiniest sliver of guilt or remorse – even to this day. In fact, I remain quite impressed by having sex with two different girls within a 24-hour span.
I tell Melissa all of the above and you know what? She already knew about it. Shortly after it happened, I told my good friend, Jeanine (Melissa’s sister) about what I had done. And being sisters, Jeanine told Melissa…Melissa only asked me to see if I would lie about it.
p.s. – Kim fully approved this post. She even sent me the picture of her you see here. On the chance that Amanda reads this, it’ll be fresh news to her.