I Am No. 2

Fiction by | July 1, 2012

My name is Linda and I am No.2

The last time I saw Jay, I knew it’s going to be the last time, at least the last time that we’re going to be the way we were. It was dawn, that fateful day in August 2008. My then husband came home the evening prior, drunk and unemployed. He just lost his job due to poor attendance. I tried to show him that I was supportive. I joined him in the dining room while he ate his late dinner and tried to ask him subtle questions about his day without magnifying the problem. We had been married for 2 and a half years, we have a daughter who is barely 2 years old, and a son from my first marriage. Yes, Jay is my second husband, and is about to be my second ex.

I don’t remember what I said or he said that night quite clearly, but what I do remember was that the argument escalated to my being (allegedly) controlling and conceited. That he was insulted because I mentioned I needed to sleep because I have to be at work the morning after. What started as a decent and calm conversation turned into a fight. Jay started calling me names too hurtful for a woman of my age and status. He insulted my being a mother, my being a second time wife. I never felt so humiliated and belittled. The man who said would move mountains for me, is now calling me Puta and walanghiya (whore and without shame).

I would have taken that, swallowed my tear back and locked myself in the bathroom. But Jay was different that night. He looked at me in a way I have never seen him do before. There was anger and death in his eyes that made me shiver through my bones. He woke the kids with his shouting and I just have to slap him on the face to make my own point. That was when he lunged at me, he pushed me against the wall so hard my nose bled immediately. Then he held me on my neck until I can barely breathe. I knew Jay could very well kill me, he’s 5’11 and weighs 180 pounds. He was screaming at my face and I can hardly hear him. All I could think of was my children and the light against my eyes, it’s as if it was almost gone.

How that evening ended was unclear to me to this day. I remembered seeing Jay collapsing on the floor. I collected my children and ran out of the house as fast as our naked feet could take us. I never looked back, not once, up until this day. I was living in fear for my children for so long. We went home to my parents and Jay tried several times to talk to me to fix things and work the marriage out. But I couldn’t face him. I can’t. I am still married to Jay until now and he still manages to find ways to abuse me verbally and mentally.

My country is not a place that makes annulment happen easy or cheap. I had to live with that fact every day since then. But I am fine now. The kids are bigger now, and life, as I know it, is so much better.

But something happened to me that evening that changed my life completely. More importantly, it changed the way I perceived love and relationships. I could not point a finger to it exactly. But as much as I am a loving and good mother, and I can honestly say that with God as my witness, I found some sort of ill satisfaction and euphoria in finding love with married men.

Yes. There. I said it. I love being in love with married men. I am not proud of it, but it makes me happy.

At first it was for economic security. I had to find a way to support my children. It was a difficult reality to live with. But after a while, relationships for me became my escape from reality. It was not only convenient for me, but I celebrated on the fact that men still want me, despite my age, the changes in my body and my social status. It was like I became sick, and never really gotten well. Because after each and every relationship, I somehow always manage to find another married man, and another. There was Pete, Evan, Norman, Artie and some others. And I know there will be more.

I find married men convenient. It’s always easy to fit them in between work and parenting. The ‘scheduling” is tricky and hectic but it works for me who wakes up at 3AM to get the house and kids ready and works until 11 PM as an events planner. Mentoring is also a bonus perk. These men treat the “other woman” better than their own wives. They are always interested to what I have to say and are supportive of my ambitions and goals. Unlike my two previous husbands (the other one is dead by the way, God rest his soul), I found that married men are often always on their best behaviors when they’re with me. They always try to look good, smell good and usually spend time and good money to show me a good time. But more importantly, sex with married men is usually fabulous.

But don’t get me wrong. I am not immune to guilt or shame. I honestly fell in love with some. I still recognize the hurt and the pain, knowing that we are nothing more than borrowed time. And that love, no matter how strong, can never be enough. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. But I feel like it has overpowered me and left me unable to fight back. All I know is that I couldn’t help myself the first time I threw myself in it. Confident that I was strong enough and experienced enough to know when and how to get up and walk again and walk away from this bed, this room and away from this life.

After my second husband, I thought I can play. I finally realized, for way too long that I kept my feelings in check, thinking that I didn’t need that kind of deep connection anymore, I always thought I protected myself enough, curbed my brain, heart, sex, love strong enough to protect myself. Maybe because I thought, there was nothing anymore to lose, even if there was.

I am number 2. But I know I deserve to be number 1.

Carosel is a 30-something mother, I.T Sales Manager and 3 year old Blogger looking to belong to an organization that will help boost, develop and hone my creative writing interest.

She is born, raised and bred in Davao City, Philippines

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