When Micaela sends her husband off to his Christmas party, she writes him a funny note. But when he gets home, drunk, she finds a reply. Who wrote it? What does it mean?
I don’t get to go to the office Christmas parties where everyone gets drunk and finally tells each other what they really think of each other. Thank God. However, Travis, my husband, wasn’t as lucky. I left him with a note on his chest and sent him on his way.
If you think Travis is too light on booze, don’t judge me.
Since we’ve been married for five years, Travis is easy for us to trust. It was just a joke at first, since I had the marker in my hand while he was getting ready.
I wrote, “This is my husband; touch him, and you’ll pay-M.”
He said, “Micaela,” as he left. “I’m just going to have a few drinks.” “I’ll be home early.”
After Travis left, I started to prepare our living room and put up the Christmas tree because neither of us had time to do it any other way. But Travis dragged himself into the house as I put the stockings on the mantel.
I only had to look at him to know that he was drunk. I led him to our bedroom and got him ready for bed by taking off his clothes. But as I helped him take off his clothes, I saw a response to my scribbled message.
Keep the change, it said.
I just laughed at it without thinking about what was going on. I stayed up late that night to watch old Christmas movies, but the message kept going through my thoughts.
I asked Travis about the party when he woke up the next morning.
He said they began at his office, then went to a bar to sing karaoke, and finally spent a few hours at a club. He looked lost when I asked him about the message.
“One of the guys probably wrote it,” he said. “There was a lot to drink, and you know how the guys get.”
It still bothered me. That’s why I asked my mom for help. It had never come up in the last five years, but I told her about my worries and asked her how to handle them in my marriage.
Mom’s idea was to put a GPS tag in Travis’s car. I don’t usually look around, and I didn’t want to do it. But I needed to get rid of this annoying feeling. That’s why I agreed. I knew Trav would feel so hurt if he ever found it, though.
In any case, I tracked his trips to and from work on my laptop during the last week before Christmas break. However, one night he called me to say he had to stay late to finish some work before leaving for the holidays.
It was easy for me to believe him because I had deadlines too.
I opened the app on my laptop again while he talked, though, and saw that his car was moving. The car was going the wrong way instead of taking me to the neighborhoods where there are big houses and fancy cars.
Of course, I got in my car and followed them, and I also put the tracking app on my phone. I parked across the street from his car in the driveway of a beautiful house. My heart was racing.
While I was in the car, I texted my mom to let her know what I had planned for Friday night. After about two hours, Travis came out of the house with a huge smile on his face. I tried to see better by sitting up a bit straighter.
To my surprise, a woman came right after him. When he turned around to face her, she reached out and grabbed his arm. She hugged him and kissed him on the lips. The source of my unease looked me in the face, and my heart sank. The knots in my stomach finally came loose.
As I tried to make sense of what was happening, the world seemed to stop for a moment. I took some pictures of them together on a whim, because I was so excited. These pictures are the clear proof that my marriage ended.
After going through them on my phone, I knew that sitting in the car wouldn’t help.
When I got close to the house, Travis was the first person to notice me. He was too shocked to say anything. He did nothing but watch me walk toward them.
“So, you’re the woman who left a message on my husband?” I inquired.
I was surprised when her answer wasn’t what I thought it would be. She didn’t back down or deny anything; instead, she stood up and said I deserved better.
“Husbands like this deserve to be treated like spare change,” she said, glancing at Travis.
He yelled, “How dare you!” with a red face from anger and shame.
It didn’t matter, though. The woman shut the door behind her. I ignored Travis as I walked back to my car and left him standing there. When I got back to the car, there was a text message from my mom with a divorce lawyer’s number.
Not the Christmas party I thought we would have, but the sad gift I gave myself for Christmas. I now have a fresh start: a New Year to rebuild, rediscover, and look for happiness in the ways that work best for me.
There’s no doubt that life is uncertain, especially after five years of marriage.
What would you have done?
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