I wanted to see Billy and that’s the honest truth. Had he talked to me face to face, it would have provided much needed closure on my part. But we don’t always get what we want, now do we? Sometimes, you need to roll with the waves and let things settle where they may. But that’s not how I felt then. I really wanted to talk to him face to face.
Now if you and I were sitting across from each other in this very instant, I would reach over and open a nice bottle of wine. Then hand you my phone, so you could just read the messages for yourself. Surely that would be easier than trying to convey the undercurrent of our conversations. I racked my brain over and over reflecting back upon our talks. It’s a fault of mine, but something that I rarely do unless I feel invested in the person. And I felt invested in Billy, to a certain degree. For he caused an immense physical reaction that went unabated for weeks. I just couldn’t walk away from that, knowing how infrequent that occurs in life.
But for the sake of providing more clarity and looking back upon that time, Billy and I talked about a variety of things: mutual friends, vintage cars, memories of when we were younger, work and kids. Not just mine either, but his nieces and nephews.
They lived out of state where his business was located. And each time he flew back, he stayed with them. It was actually quite cute listening to him talk about those kids, with the same amount of love that I have for mine. “We had movie day today,” he wrote while sending me a photo of two gorgeous little girls. “Omg, they are adorable. What are their names? They must love having you as an uncle. I’m sure you spoil them.”
“That’s Maggie, we call her Mads. And Ella, who goes by Ellie.” Smiling, I wrote back, “Is that Maggie in the braids then? Nevermind. Either way both are cute. Glad you stayed over the weekend, it’s obvious the girls adore you.”
Billy answered, “Thank you, and the kids aren’t that bad looking either ;-).”
A little bit of flirting crept into our conversations, which had been growing in length over that time. We always had a fair bit of banter, even when we were young. So this wasn’t unusual for us. I said to Billy that weekend, “Hope you have a nice flight home.” Billy replied, “Sometimes the pilots let me fly, so that’s awesome.” Knowing what a smart ass he was, I volleyed back “So, you get air points for flying and the mile high club? Awesome, good to know…you must be racking up the miles.” Laughing he wrote, “I wish I was a mile high club member!!!”
Not exactly hard core sexual banter, but Billy was never that kind of guy. At least not with me.
The next morning, I volunteered in Viviane’s classroom when my phone suddenly went off. It was Billy messaging me again. “The girls asked if I was going to be home by trick-or-treat time :-(.” I knew he was sad to be leaving his nieces, so I replied, “Ahhh, breaks your heart. Just wait till you have your own. It opens your heart more than you could ever imagine. It is by far my greatest achievement in life.” He replied, “I agree” while I quickly interjected, “and just for the record, I’m an awesome mom.” Billy answered, “I can totally tell…..Urgh, Southwest sucks. Just getting on my flight. Middle seat and the plane is full.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. Billy was over 6′ tall and squeezing him into any seat, coach no less, would be brutal. “Next time, try flirting with the check-in desk. Gotta use those looks before they fade–haha.” Being ever so humble, he replied, “I lost them years ago.”
“Lost them? What are you talking about. You know you’re a good looking guy Billy.” Sensing that I may have made him blush, I followed up with, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.” He replied at the same time, “You’re awesome.”
I think I explained previously that the day Billy first messaged me, my heart didn’t stop racing. And this wasn’t for just a few moments either. All day and all night, I had it. It was really annoying but eventually, I kinda got use to it. It felt as if I was living off of adrenaline with no end in sight. That physical sensation represented something so tangible that I kept thinking, “This has got to mean…he is the one.”
Have you ever walked into a room and caught someone’s eye, only to feel in an instant that there is a real, undeniable chemistry there from the start? Well if you have, then I am sure you can relate. I am not talking about the type of attraction that builds over time. I am talking about an instant reaction that is so tangible, that it literally takes your breathe away. You both feel an incredible pull towards one another. Like magnets I tell you. At the reunion, that is exactly how Billy and I were–like magnets to one another.
So despite Laura and Kara counseling me against starting a relationship with Billy, my heart was telling me otherwise. I spent a few nights tossing and turning, reflecting back upon my marriage. And the following evening after I got the kids to sleep, I uttered four heart breaking words as my husband sat next to me on the edge of our bed.
“I want a divorce.”
No tears were shed. The words were said calmly while I looked into his eyes and explained, “I am old enough to know that people are who they are. I need a husband who is a leader and stronger than me. I know this deep in my heart. No matter what, it comes down to that core issue over and over. The way I see it, I either accept you as you are, or move on and hope I find that dynamic with someone else.”
I wish I could say he was stunned. But the truth is, he wasn’t. We had talked about my desire for him to be the leader in our marriage for many years. His affairs were forgiven. And despite putting my best foot forward and not running away the moment he confessed, I was now deciding that my happiness meant more than his or the kids. I could no longer live for them. I could no longer be defined by my role as mother, wife, volunteer and friend. I wanted to be the sexy woman that I knew I was. The one that had come back to life that fateful night I locked eyes with Billy.
As I turned off the bedside light, I flicked open my iPad and sent Billy a simple message.
“I told him I want a divorce. It’s over.”