WARNING: ADULT CONTENT. MATURE AUDIENCE ONLY
Sighing, Rebecca finished her Coke, paid her tab, and started back up to her room in Atlanta. Patrick had asked that she meet him there. Even though they had been lovers for the most of 35 years, it had been a long time since she had seen him. Rebecca had just escaped to the hotel bar. She hadn’t known Patrick had once again remarried when she agreed to meet him. He had just told her, along with telling her that his wife was a vindictive woman with the capability of harming both of them. Rebecca was quite upset.
She went upstairs and let herself into the room. Patrick was watching television. He didn’t speak as she came in. She put down her purse and sat down in the chair by the window.
“Patrick, can we talk some more?”
“When you left, Becca, I didn’t know if you were coming back. How could you make me feel like that?”
“Patrick, don’t be ridiculous. My luggage and all my stuff is here. Of course you knew I’d be back. I just had to think. You told me some really shocking stuff.”
“So what do you want to know?”
“I want to know more about Wendy, Patrick, since you say she could actually hurt me.”
“I didn’t mean physically hurt you.”
“Why don’t you explain exactly what you do mean, Patrick. You said she went to your ex-wife and told her about the two of you. That is pretty shocking to me since you had three underage children.”
Patrick got out of bed and put on his robe. Rebecca noticed he had obviously been to his room as he had brought some of his stuff over to her room. He sat down in the other chair at the table by the window.
“Becca, she would be likely to do to you just what she did to Elizabeth. She tried to ruin her life. I told you that she is a computer hacker, right?”
“Yes, Patrick, but that is against the law.”
“Becca, hackers are seldom caught.”
“So what would she do, Patrick? Spill it.”
“She might try to hack into your bank accounts and credit cards, Becca. She could clean out your bank accounts and run up your credit cards.”
“There is fraud protection on all of that, Patrick.”
“Yes, but it would be a giant pain for you to take care of it all before real damage was done to your credit. She could also steal your identity through your tax returns or credit records, Becca, and that is much more serious for you.”
“It would also be much more serious for her when I lead the feds right to her.”
“Becca, you wouldn’t do that to me, would you? I’d already be in enough trouble with her if she found out about us.”
Rebecca just sat there and stared at Patrick. Who was this sitting before her? What had Wendy done to him? Was he really married to such a woman? He said he loved Wendy. How could he love someone like that?
“Becca, are you going to walk out on me?”
Rebecca sighed and looked at Patrick. “No, I’ll stay, but Patrick, you really should have told me about Wendy so I could make an informed decision.”
“I knew you wouldn’t come,” Patrick said.
“No, Patrick, you didn’t know that.”
Rebecca got tears in her eyes and her voice sounded choked up as she spoke, “I’ve loved you for so many years. Even these past twelve years, I’ve never stopped loving you. I had to come. I had to see you, to see how you are, to be with you. You knew this. You took advantage of it. You should have thought enough of me to at least tell me that you’re married to a crazy person.”
“She’s not really crazy, Becca. Just insecure,” Patrick said softly.
“OK,” Rebecca said. “Whatever you say. I’m going to bed. If she comes here, don’t let her chop me up in my sleep.”
Rebecca undressed and got into bed. Patrick followed her, turning out lights as he went.
In the dark, he said, “Becca?”
“Do you still love me?”
“I’ve always loved you, Patrick, and probably always will.”
“Do you regret meeting me?”
“Patrick,” Rebecca said, “Don’t you think it’s about 35 years too late to worry about that? To answer your question, no.”
“How could you possibly not regret meeting me? I’ve ruined your life.”
“Patrick, we’ve had this conversation before. You haven’t ruined my life. In many ways, you’ve made my life.”
“Could you tell me what you mean? I know you’ve told me before but I need to hear it again.”
“I can’t ever remember a time when you weren’t good to me, Patrick. We’ve had our fights, but you did your best to be kind under the circumstances. I can’t imagine that any two people could have loved each other more intensely than we’ve loved. You’ve shown me the world, from Europe to the Caribbean to South America to North Africa. I would have never gotten to see any of that without you and you made it as romantic as you could possibly make it. I still think of the nights we spent in those castles in Portugal. You’ve made me laugh more than any other person ever could and love harder than I thought possible. How could I possibly regret knowing you?”
As she talked, Patrick listened. Not the Patrick who had the plan, but the Patrick she met all those years ago. He was the Patrick who had finally been diagnosed with bi-polar syndrome when he was in his 20s. It had plagued him all his life. Rebecca was the only woman who had ever accepted him as he was. They shared some common characteristics. Not his bi-polar tendencies, but they both liked to have fun, take a little risk, and they just seemed to fit. He often wondered why he’d never asked her to marry him.
“I still love you, Becca,” Patrick said. “I always have.”
On the other side of the bed, silent tears slid down Rebecca’s face. She knew that on some level, Patrick meant what he said. She knew he couldn’t sustain any relationship. He’d also loved Elizabeth. In some way, he probably loved Wendy. Not only was his bi-polar condition uncontrolled, but he was a highly intelligent, very complex man with many facets to his personality. The bi-polar syndrome made him very insecure.
“Patrick,” Rebecca said, sobbing, “Surely you know that I would get down on my knees. I would do anything for you.”
Patrick took her in his arms and they began to make their kind of love.
Copyright @2017 Rosemary Carlson