“I have nothing to apologize for,” I said, watching our friends through the balcony paned glass; pacing, yelling and arguing. My fault of course, but it had to be done.
Paul gave me a Look, like I had stirred the pot for fun. Like I liked to create drama. “This was none of our business. You should have just kept out of it. You know what happens when you don’t? This is what happens. Uncomfortable scenes. Angry fights. Eventually Lucy is going to be angry at you for telling her because that is just what happens. John is going to be angry for sure for you sticking your nose into his business. So he isn’t a friend. Count on that.”
I scowled. “Yeah, but it had to be addressed. It would fester and fester. I could not leave this unsaid.”
“Yeah, you could have. You just had to stir shit up. You couldn’t let them deal with their own marriage on their own.”
“It wasn’t like that!” I snapped.
“Then tell what was it like?” he asked. I detected some mocking sarcasm in there but chose to ignore it, before two couples were arguing for the price of one.
“When I was younger I was dating this man who was cheating on me. I had hints of it but no proof. Felt so guilty for even thinking it, because he was so sweet and loved me, but why then going out so often without me? Right? Anyway one night I was left at home and he was partying and a friend comes over to the house. Insists I come out too. I had a migraine and really didn’t feel up for it but she said there was something I needed to see. Finally she straight up told me he was cheating on me. Had been for weeks. And they were currently at the bar being all overtly affectionate. Needless to say I went to the bar and caught her sitting in his lap. And even more evidence presented itself. Point is I appreciated her telling me! Who wouldn’t want to know that! That their boyfriend or spouse is lying to them for some time. Cheating on them a hiding it day by day? The sooner you know, the sooner you have the option to leave or fix the problem. You can’t do either if you never find out. And to me that is the worst outcome. Never finding out.”
Paul was thoughtfully silent a moment as he took a few tugs of his beer. I listened as the argument outside downgraded to tears. I had no anticipated Lucy would confront John right there and then. I thought she would wait until they were in private. Or wait until she gathered her own damning evidence. But her personality is a lot more spontaneous than mine.
Paul set his beer down. “Affairs and how people handle them are very private things, Michelle. It is better to let them sort themselves out. No one ever is thanked for getting involved. Except in your specific case, but maybe it was because you needed that confirmation in order to act.”
“You’re wrong. We can debate this all damn night whether it is right or wrong to tell a friend their significant other is cheating on them. Some people would say no. And keep out of it. Some people would say yes, because they themselves would want to fucking know, Paul. I can’t change that my moral compass suggest to me it would be wrong to hide that secret from a friend. That she would suffer for years if she never found out about this affair for a decade. And I would be at fault for that suffering. She deserves the chance to move on or to work on her relationship,” I said. I drained my beer. “Yeah it caused a scene. I maybe should have told her when I knew she was alone. Luce is so unpredictable. But it is in the open and they can handle it however they please. I will not interfere in their marital matters, Paul.”
We watched them for a moment long. “So… should we leave? What is the protocol for awkward situations? Wait it out? sneak out?” Paul asked.
He had a good point. We had been here since the argument began. It was now an hour later. Was their some unwritten rule about this? “I don’t think they are going to be into playing board games at this point. Let’s ditch and give them a call tomorrow.”
We put on our jackets and quietly went to the front door. “If you’d listened to me we could have had a good game night out,” Paul said with a grin.
“If I listened to you advice John could have caught like herpes from his special friends and then spread it to Lucy all because I kept my mouth shut,” I speculated with a smirk.
“You’re an ass.”
“Does that count as an argument?” he asked, lifting one inquisitive brow.
“Yes, I suppose so.”
“Then let’s get home fast and have some make-up sex,” he said with a wide grin and a wink.