This was it. I was leaving, and leaving for good. He’d broken my heart just like everyone said he would and I have no one to blame but myself. Stupid self. All these negative thoughts run through my head as I frantically stuff clothes into my bag.
I have two hours to pack up and get out before he comes back, and I want to be long gone by then. To where I have no clue, but leaving is better than staying here and picturing him with her, them. All of them. The thought makes me ill. All the women he has been with throughout the 3 years we have been together. And the thought that all the proof was within arm’s reach the whole time. Hundreds of videos and pictures stored for safe keeping on his iPad document that the man I love is a nymphomaniac.
He has no idea I know, but I’ve left him a letter along with the engagement ring he gave me two months ago. I stare at the letter and think otherwise picking the engagement ring back up and placing it in the side pocket of my purse, if anything it will be collateral damage. Wherever I end up, I’ll pawn it and put the proceeds towards the “Building Sloane Back Up” fund.
I grab the last of my things and shove them into my suitcase. I riffle through his drawers looking for the stash of cash I know he always keeps around for the off chance that the bank machines all stop working. My hand reaches in and I pull out a roll of bills, and with a rough count, I estimate he has about $3,000. That will more than do. I walk to the bedroom door and take one last glance at my life. I wipe away the unwanted tear that escapes my eyes, and turn to leave before I lose the nerve.
I had suspected for months that he was cheating on me, but felt I could never prove it. The one time we argued and it came up he swore on everything he loves that he would never do that to me.
“How could you even think that Sloane!? After everything! Everything we have been through, everything I have done for you, you think I’d betray you like that?”
And then he proposed to me, and like a fool I said yes. Then today I decided to surf the net on his iPad and when I unlocked it the photo album was open and there it was. Everything that I had dreaded for so many months, the truth that I tried so hard to push out of my mind, was right at my fingertips. Hundreds of videos, thousands of pictures, and too many different women, with my fiancé.
I had two stops to make after leaving my apartment. The sexual health clinic and the airport. I take one last look at my letter on the bed beside his iPad and shut the door on the sham of the relationship that has consumed me for 3 years.
After getting tested at the clinic and leaving the number they can reach me at, I catch a cab to the airport. On the way, I call my twin brother to tell him I’m leaving.
“Sloane, what’s up?” Just hearing his voice pushes me over the edge and all the emotions I have been holding in are released. I can see the cabby giving me a terrified look through the rearview mirror.
“I found it. All of it. Pictures. Videos.” The sobs rock through my body and I am unable to complete full sentences. I realize as we near the airport that I need to compose myself.
“Sloane. Proper sentences please. What the fuck happened to you.” I can hear the worry in his voice.
“He cheated on me, Steven. And not just with one woman! I can’t count how many he has been with. I couldn’t even look.” I see the cabby glance at me in the mirror again, eyes still wide with horror. I lower my voice and add, “He had pictures and videos all over his iPad of him and these women.” There is silence on the other end. “Steve?”
“I’m looking for my baseball bat, hold on.” I would think he’s joking but I can hear him ruffling around in his apartment. “I’m going to fuck him up.”
“Don’t bother I’m leaving and I took his emergency money and the engagement ring. And I smashed the shit out of his iPad before leaving.” I flashback to throwing the iPad across the room.
The ruffling stops. “Where are you going?”
“I don’t know yet. Whatever plane is leaving, I’m getting on.” I can see the airport begin to come into view.
“How long?” I can hear the sadness in his voice. These last three years have been the most separated my twin brother and I have been. And now for me to be leaving the country, it’s going to feel like there is a whole world between us.
“I don’t know Steve, but I can’t be here now. Just being in the same city is too much for me. These women, I’ve seen some of them before. Waitresses that have served us at restaurants. The barista at the fucking Starbucks down the street. I will be walking around for months stumbling upon women my ex has fucked while we were together and I can’t.” a sob escapes me. “I can’t stay.” The cab pulls up to the curb at departures and I look for my money to pay the cabby as he places my suitcase on the curb.
I get out of the cab ready to pay the cabby and collect my bags when he turns to me with a hard look on his face.
“If I can add my two cents.” The cabby says in a raspy old voice. “You’re way too beautiful to be treated like that. If I was in my prime and I had me a gal like you, I’d never drop the ball. Hop on that plane honey and forget about that lowlife.” And without waiting for my reply, the cabby hops in his car and drives off leaving me holding my cab fare.