Today we tell the story of Stella, who faces her husband’s betrayal and soon discovers that she cannot do anything about it.
Maybe life is like a river that goes to the sea. It didn’t go where intended to go, but it ended up where it needed to be.
Christmas Eve. I remember the cold air in the morning while I was shopping. I wanted the dinner to be perfect in every detail. I would have carefully cooked fish dishes, I would have set the table with golden organza tulle.
Christmas music in the background would have spread notes of family intimacy in the air. The children would have worn the new red and black velvet dresses, running around joyfully and impatiently waiting to unwrap the gifts. Then the tree. I wanted it all with white flowers, really impressive. Everything had been studied in detail. For some time my husband hasn’t been the same. He always returned later in the evening and even on weekends he was often out for hypothetical work commitments.
He no longer looked me in the eyes. Indeed, he escaped my gaze. The conversation centered on the children, the shopping, the home. Never a word about us, about me, about what I felt. And I wanted to. Sometimes I looked at him absorbed in his thoughts. His body was next to mine but his soul was traveling elsewhere. We no longer made love. Little by little the habit of looking for each other under the bed sheets was lost. We lived in two parallel worlds that did not cross except in daily affairs. What still bound us? The mortgage to pay. The children. Years spent together. So many memories. But he was no longer mine. For a long time. Yet I still loved him, I was sure of it. I still wanted it. So, that Christmas Eve, I had decided to take him back.
I would have set up a perfect scene of family happiness to make him understand that his life was with us. Certainly not with the other, whose ghost now populated my sleepless and restless nights. My feminine intuition told me that that was the truth. All the clues pointed to this. There was no doubt. Then I should have tried to use all the weapons to my advantage. I was the wife. And I was the mother of his children. The woman he had shared everything with since we met twenty years earlier.
I would have populated that Christmas Eve with a radiant, sparkling atmosphere, made up of music, lights, colors, family scents. I wanted to make him understand that I didn’t care about his fling (because that’s what it was, I was sure).
A wife will have to forgive some of her husband’s mistakes and then be ready to pick him up in her big arms. The thought of the other bothered me, that yes. But more for her who had slipped subtly into our intimacy, than for him, whom I saw as aprey to her enchanting arts.
In my culture as a simple woman, educated in a farmers’ family, with sound principles and few frills, a woman had to have courage and common sense. Taking him back into my arms and forgiving him seemed like common sense. I imagined the scene at times. He who was crying on my breast invoking my forgiveness. I was crying and kissing him. And then we would have made love. Many times until the morning, when we would find ourselves in the kitchen with a cup of coffee in our hands looking at each other as it once was. As only he knew how to look at me and everything would be as before. Ring at the door. I go to open anxiously. The scene that I had set up as the backdrop for my victory over the other was ready.
Everything was perfect. Except him. Almost bothered by my attentions and the atmosphere with which I had enveloped him. The evening proceeded in a falsely serene atmosphere. The speeches are forced, the smiles painted on puzzled faces. At midnight we open the gifts to the delight of the children who perhaps do not notice the difficult lives of the adults around them. Let’s hope. There comes a time when we find ourselves alone. The time has come to tell him that I still love him and that I don’t care about the other one … But he does it before me.
He says my name like he hasn’t done for a long time. Stella… I have to tell you something. And then the whole truth falls on me like a winter avalanche. After that there is only silence and ice. He tells me he found out he loved a man. It had happened to him before, when he was very young, before we met. The story with me had made him think that this was just a youthful crush. Then came the marriage, the children, the house, the mortgage.
For some time, however, that desire that drowned in our marriage had resurfaced in him. He loved another. He could no longer deny it and pretend a life with me that no longer made sense. He decided to tell me on Christmas Eve … I swallow that truth like a bitter poison. I know I can’t compete with a man taking him away from me. My Christmas present. It’s not easy to walk again after a fall like this. Yet with so much pain, so much effort, today I still prepare Christmas dinner.
The music resounds and the organza tablecloth is still there. My children are grown up but still wait for midnight with the happiness of unwrapping their gifts. Next to me there is another who helps me cook Christmas Eve dinner. Everything will be perfect. I’m sure.
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storia vera, tratta dal blog: http://blog.pianetadonna.it/lestoriediagatha/stella/