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Well Enough Alone

How a Simple Betrayal Can End It All

By Sherry Lowell-LewisPublished 5 months ago 6 min read
Well Enough Alone
Photo by Ana Frantz on Unsplash


Well, well.

I never would have dreamed, not in a million—

Not from the moment you first kissed me. Not too dry, but not too wet. Perfect. Your head tilted as you put your arms around me, and your mouth came down on mine and—I was gone. I actually swooned, like they describe in the bodice rippers, you know?

And later, when we made love? It cannot be described as screwing. It was a religious experience. I’ve heard women get a little silly when they describe their first time with a new man, but this…this was mine. Maybe that’s what makes it so special. It was mine.

After, we talked until dawn. Frankly, we didn’t leave much time for chatting until dawn, but still. That’s how it was. That’s how I fell in love with you.

You bastard.

I keep rolling my anger around in the scurry of little thoughts in my overwrought mind. Did you do this on purpose? Make me love you and then betray me like that? Did you hold me so close, so sweet—dammit, so tender, while fully cognizant that you would do…that?

Okay, I realize we barely met. We seemed to hit it off. Click. Snap. Smile, chuckle. Hell, I giggled—giggled! Me, serious Susan, the level-headed one. The cautious one. Serious, Sullen Susan who was never going to fall in love again. Is that it? Did you decide to come after me because I was so hard to land? Was I just the biggest fish, the hardest to get? Is that it? Who told you I would be easy if you played it cool, but intense? How did you even do that? That smile that moved from a grin to a smirk and back again. That twinkle in your eyes. Those damned eyes that drilled straight through to my stupid, gullible, vulnerable heart.

You bastard.

The next day, you sent me daisies. Daisies, for Christ’s sake! Like a twelve-year-old with a crush. The card asked me to meet you for lunch. Sure. Anywhere you say. Anytime you suggest will be fine,. Whenever, it would not be soon enough. I didn’t just want in your pants again. I wanted to be around you, with you, to see that stupid cock-eyed grin and that stare, aimed my way. Yeah, get me weak in the knees again. In fact, I may not make it through the day if I don’t get a fix. A fix. A big ol’ shot of You. Now.

What was wrong with me? I’m an adult type person, with a responsible job and friends who love me and a dog who doesn’t eat the furniture in my apartment that I furnished myself. Everyone who sees it says it’s very comfortable and stylish. You said so, yourself. I’m a grown-up, damn you. I pay my bills on time. I’m involved in civic organizations.

Stop. Don’t go there. We’ll never come out of that maelstrom alive.

Politics is what we never discussed. It never seemed to come up, somehow. I don’t recall thinking you were avoiding it. We just never, ever talked about it. Until that night. That horrible afternoon that turned into a more horrible night that left me drained and alone the next morning. No greeting the dawn curled up together. Dreading the dawn. Hating the dawn. Pale and drawn, just like me. Twins! Coffee didn’t help either of us, did it, dawn?

It started off innocently enough. We were watching television. Not watching. The TV was on, and we were necking on the couch. Necking like giddy teenagers. I was giddy, anyway. I don’t know about you. Some newsperson’s voice penetrated the lusty fog that covered me.

“That sonofabitch!” I pulled out of your arms and cursed at the screen across the room. I launched myself from the tasteful yet comfortable sofa and stood, legs akimbo hands on hips, glaring at the television like it could see me.

“Son-of-a-bitch,” I articulated, as if they could hear me in there. “He’s going to take the country down. We’ll all be speaking a foreign language before this is over. There goes the country, you son of a bitch! I hope you’re happy.”

“Well, it’s not as bad as all that.” A quiet voice lapped at my heels, turning my furious storm to gentle rain. I thought I heard the distant rumble of thunder. Another storm was approaching. The first wave shot straight up my spine, turning me around the face My Love.

“Say again?” I was sure I had missed part of what you said.

You reached for your glass of Chardonnay to take a sip. “I said,” and then you took a sip, swallowed and set the glass back on the coffee table. “I mean, you are exaggerating. He’s making adjustments to his strategy for getting us back on track- “

“Back on track?” My fists on my hips ground in and I admit I raised my voice. “This is not an adjustment like driving a car on a sunny day. This is failure to make desperately needed changes, real changes, before our society collapses!”

I didn’t see the train wreck coming. I was too busy spouting off about my views on things. I didn’t really see you morph from “My Love” to “That Schmuck Who Supports HIM.”

Suddenly I saw that grin become a sneer and the twinkling eyes become haughty, superior. I could see that you were managing me, dealing with a hysterical child. I could tell that your plan was to talk me off the ledge of my perspective and drill me with reasoning, the right way to think about things.

Every lovely plan I dreamed dissolved. Not like a seltzer tablet in water. Like from a ray gun in a sci-fi movie. Disintegrated. In a flash. Without conscious thought, I knew we were done. I could not feel my bare feet as they crossed the carpet and onto the polished parquet floors. I navigated toward the front door, which I opened. I was feeling dizzy as I turned back into the room, but I did not falter. You were still seated, turning to follow me as I found my way to that door. Finally, with a certain acceptance, you turned back to face the TV, leaned down to find your shoes and put them on. Resolutely, I watched as you quietly circumvented the side table and the dog who watched us from a short distance.

I felt electricity in the air. It forecast the coming storm, outside and in my apartment. I held off snarling expletives in your face. I held my head high, proud to be myself. Then I became ashamed to know you, to love you as I had, wantonly, without reservation, fully. It gnawed at me.

All my nerves ignited simultaneously as you reached out to take the knob. Your eyes—damn those eyes—took hold of mine. That is when the tide turned. Completely and utterly. For what I saw there was a superior surge of man-pride. You were thinking, “The Little Woman is in a snit over politics. She’s probably hormonal. I’ll call her later and straighten her out.”

I saw that but I didn’t slap your arrogant face. I held your gaze as I slammed the door.


About the Creator

Sherry Lowell-Lewis

Actor, writer, voice-over artist, teacher, author, mother and Grammy of 4. I've done a lot. I grew up in Bolivia, Laos and Taiwan. Married 25 years, widowed. Please read my stuff and leave a comment! Thanks.

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