I couldn't remember my bank account user name the other day, so I guessed, and was prompted to choose a new name, then a new password, and a new safety question as well. It seemed strange, since I went through the same routine already recently, but I played along. Finally, I was into my account.
Only it wasn't my account at all.
It was A~ and K~'s.
If you're a long-time reader of this blog, then you might recall that A~ is my ex-husband, and K~ is the woman he had an affair with, the woman he left me for over a year ago.
I clicked a few links, and soon I found myself staring at the image of a cancelled check with both of their names on it, and an unfamiliar address.
Stunned, I called the bank.
Apparently, this was the same account A~ and I once shared, and since he has his own password, it never occurred to him (nor the bank, apparently) to erase mine.
Though it crossed my mind to mess around with their account, I didn't entertain the idea, nor did I consider keeping the password. I even resisted the urge to poke around in their financial records. I'm a very good girl. But I did jot down their address on a yellow post-it, which I stuck, quite prominently, to my desk.
I don't know why I did it. I like to think A~ is completely out of my life, that I could care less if I ever hear from him again. It feels safer this way. But I keep writing him letters. I never intend to mail them, but I don't throw them away, either.
I can't say it didn't hurt to see those two names lined up so intimately on a single check. I don't like the thought of them sharing a bank account, let alone a life, not to mention a more promising child-bearing future. She is ten years my junior and, my imagination cruelly suggests, probably ten times more fertile. And he is ten years too immature to become a father. He needs the lead time her youth affords.
Let's face it, I pushed for years to get him to think seriously about buying a house. He resisted; he evaded; only to admit, in the midst of our divorce, that he did so consciously. As much as he wanted his own home and land, as much as he enjoyed fantasizing about our dream place, he didn't really want it with me.
Then why did you marry me? I might've screamed. Why did you try to have a child with me?
Which brings us back to all my unmailed letters, and the rest of my unanswered questions. Such as: Does he have any clue how deeply he hurt me? Were our full twelve years based entirely on denial and fear? Was his commitment to me, all along, a big fat lie? Or did we have a basically good thing, torn apart by the miscarriages, the trials of our final year?
The toughest and most compelling questions are the what-ifs. Especially: What if he'd communicated honestly with me? Where would we be now?
Perhaps because I'm a masochist, or perhaps because I'm desperate for clues to a possible future that never came to pass, I found myself typing the address from the yellow post-it into Google Maps, clicking over to satellite view, and zooming in as close as possible.
Not what I was hoping to see.
Again with my cruel imagination: I'm assuming he bought a house, a nice house in a quiet neighborhood. I'm assuming he's happy and prosperous and living the dreams that were once our shared dreams. I even imagine that she is pregnant, that they are engaged or already married. I hope, instead, (okay, maybe I'm not such a very good girl) that he's lost his job and is living with his girlfriend's parents, that his relationship is passionless and dull, or that she is having second thoughts about him, while he still works too much and buries his feelings and secretly wonders if he made a big mistake.
As much as my gut tells me I'm better off without him, and in spite of my deep gratitude for J~, I'm still pained by that niggling possibility: All that happily-ever-after stuff I hate to imagine A~ having with K~ -- it could've been us.
The bottom line is, I want to be done with this. I've tried blocking him out, I've tried focusing solely on my new found happiness, I've tried reminding myself what a loser A~ is and always was. But it's not doing the trick.
Perhaps the solution lies in letting go of any attempt to control the situation, or control myself. Maybe I need to insert a certain stack of unmailed letters into a big manila envelope. Maybe I need to write a few more, for good measure. Maybe I need to put to use a certain address written on a certain yellow post-it. Maybe this computer glitch was not so much curse as it was blessing.
Maybe this part of my story isn't as over as I once thought.
ps. to those of you who had your hopes up for me this cycle (I certainly had mine up): once again, no dice. Next time ovulation comes around, J~ and I will be belated-honeymooning in Costa Rica. Maybe the tropical air will do the trick.
You'll be the first to know.