The Phillip I’d been with was not the Phillip I knew. Well, he was and he wasn’t. No, he just seems more intense now. He was everything he had been when we first got married, only to the extreme, and I’d been eating it up, thinking how I had the perfect husband. Except for the fact that he wouldn’t sleep with me.
Guilt about his mistress? That thought makes me want to smack him again. Has this whole week been about making sure I stayed once he found out about the baby? Get me away from everything and trap me in the house he’d been going on and on about? Our dream home.
“You’re trying to take my baby from me, aren’t you? I won’t let you. I’ll run. You can’t keep me prisoner!” I yell right in his face, not caring how loud I am. Fuck my composure. I’m not losing my husband and my little boy.
“You’re not running anywhere, and no one would dare keep that baby from you.” Phillip’s face is starting to turn red, as if my anger is flowing through me and into him. It always feels like that when we touch. It’s like we can feel every emotion in each other.
“Then what was the point, Phillip, if you weren’t trying to keep me around so you and your mistress can have our baby? Just let me go. I won’t keep you from him, but stop putting me through this. I can’t bear it. It feels like you're ripping my heart out again.”
Only this time, it’s worse. I’m losing so much more than I had before. Before, a family was just an idea, something we wanted, but now it’s here at the tips of our fingers and it’s slipping right through them.
“I don’t have a mistress,” he says vehemently. The last word trails off and his eyes fly to Cary. I turn my head to follow his gaze.
Cary backs up a step, then another, putting her hands up and letting the files fall to the floor, the papers littering the plush carpet.
“I can explain. I swear I’ll tell the truth. Just don’t ruin me. It was a mistake.” I can see the fear in her face. Don't ruin her? Phillip does have a reputation for such things. I’ve never seen it before, but it seems he’d hidden things well.
I feel Phillip’s hand come to my face, turning me to look at him.
“Baby, I would never do that to you. I didn’t even know women existed before you.” I always loved how his tone would change whenever he spoke to me. His sweet words make a tear slip down my cheek. The pregnancy hormones are wreaking havoc on me. Phillip leans in, kissing it and stopping it in its tracks. His words remind me of all the things Cindy had said to me that night before I’d come to his office. That it was laughable to think of Phillip having an affair.
“I saw it.” My words come out in a whisper that I’m sure only he can hear. My words are filled with doubt. I never understood how he could do this to us. Maybe my own insecurities led me down this path.
“She was here that night. The night you worked late. The last night you came to the office. Until now,” I hear Cary say, but I keep my gaze fixed on Phillip. I wasn’t sure if he’d seen me. I remember being so relieved when the elevator dinged so quickly. I was afraid he was going to chase me.
“No, she wasn’t. I’d talked to Cindy. She told me Molly planned to come here after they had dinner that night, so I immediately asked the security at the front desk the following day if they’d seen her.”
He’d never seen me. Furthermore, I don’t think Cindy told him why I was coming to the office. Why, I have no idea. Maybe because she just didn't believe it was possible like she’d said, and from the look on Phillip’s face, it ripped him apart that I thought that. Maybe she knew it’d do that. I should have known that. But it seems like we’ve been keeping little parts hidden from each other.
“I talked the night guard into not telling you.” Her words come out with a wobble, and I turn to look back at Cary.
“What?” Phillip yells, rising to his feet, me still in his arms, and making Cary jump back another two feet. Phillip goes to put me on my feet, but I lock my arms around his neck. His fury is coating the room. I’ve never seen him like this. He’s always calm and cool. Tight and controlled.
Except for this last week. He’d seemed to be cracking and a new, more intense Phillip was bleeding out and rising to the surface.
“Don’t let me go,” I half whisper and feel his grip tighten back on me.
“I’d never let you go.” Phillip looks down at me, and I can see a trace of that anger slip away when his eyes come to mine. Like I can cool him. That I have this special power over him. Maybe I do.
“I came to your office. I’d wanted to talk to you about something that was bothering me. I thought you were having an affair…” I trail off because I can’t even believe my own words anymore.
“I would never.” He repeats his words from moments ago, but I cut him off.
“She was naked in your office.” I glance over at Cary, then back to Phillip. “You were on the sofa. Clothes rumpled, shoes off. I thought…” The night flashes back into my mind. I push hard to remember every detail. I’d been avoiding doing that because it was painful to even think about it, let alone try to remember every part of it.
“Get the fuck out of this building,” Phillip says curtly.
“I’m sorry. I just wanted to be with you. I thought we’d be perfect together. I swear, I didn’t know your wife would walk in on us like that. I was going to wake you. Show you how it could be. It was stupid. I see that now. Please don’t let this get out. I just…” Cary stumbles over her words. “I wanted you. I thought if I offered myself…”