I talked to him. Up until now I’ve leaned towards the advice that it’s best to give it time and let him tell me things when he is ready, but after SAG’s bombshells I was finally at the point where I couldn’t go on without hearing what he had to say. SAG warned me against saying that I’d heard this on what could be considered a shaky grapevine, and I agreed because I didn’t want it to be about confronting him with gossip and letting him confirm or deny, I wanted to hear his side of the story fresh.
But then it got kind of screwed up because he was there when I got home because his shift ended early. I had been counting on an hour or two of alone time to process everything and come up with my approach, so I was caught off guard to see him sitting on the couch watching soccer (for a change). Then of course he wanted to know where I had been, and, even though I have every right in the world to go for drinks with a girlfriend, I heard myself being defensive. It was partly because if I told him where I had been I would have to tell him all about SAG and that would derail the conversation I needed to have with him.
So I claimed to have been in my favorite coffee shop reading as I didn’t think he’d be home, and he seemed to accept that. I sat on the sofa next to him, and was amazed that he couldn’t hear my heart which was pounding so hard I wondered if it might break a rib. I told him I needed to ask him something and I needed him to be honest with me, even if he thought I might not like the answer. He instantly looked guarded, and put off the TV and turned to face me. I asked if anything had ever happened between him and ABBA Girl.
He burst out laughing.
I repeated the question and asked him to please answer it. Still laughing, he said absolutely not, was I kidding, where did I get such a crazy idea from? I started to mutter something about picking up vibes, but then realized I sounded vague and paranoid, so came clean and told him the story SAG told me. Not the bit about ABBA Girl being the queen b•tch, just that I had heard she had an affair with her friend’s boyfriend and I knew that she was friends with Jenny. I’m sure it wasn’t my imagination that he flinched a bit when I said the name Jenny. He jumped to the conclusion that Hockey Girl told me this, and though I didn’t confirm it, I guess I didn’t deny it either because I wanted to keep the conversation focused.
He said it absolutely wasn’t true. Then he backtracked a little and admitted that he could only confirm he absolutely wasn’t the guy in the story.
He told me that he was cheated on in his early 20s, and it tore him apart and cheating is the one thing he would never, ever, under any circumstances do. I almost held my breath as he finally acknowledged that he existed before he met me, and resisted the urge to confirm that the girl who “tore him apart” was Jenny.
After a while he finally said that it wasn’t totally unreasonable that the story was true. He said that he loved ABBA Girl to death, but she has always had a lively love life, and has done a lot of things he doesn’t exactly approve of, so the idea that she would have an affair with a friend’s boyfriend and tear a friendship group apart is feasible.
It felt like a huge thing for him to be kind of (deservedly) betraying ABBA Girl to me, and although I felt slightly overwhelmed, I took his hand and just listened. Slowly – with all the predicted pauses – he conceded that she was a difficult friend. That he owed her loyalty and he worried about her and loved her, but that sometimes it was a struggle.
We talked all night.