I have cheated on you

Dearest, I have cheated on you.

In moments of quiet reflection, when I was in my own company and you were out laboring to brighten our lives, I rubbished my vows. In these moments, as I trailed a pensive finger over the desk behind which I spent half our marriage, the strings of my commitment came loose, and the pouch that contained much of my restraint split open. In that instant, I forgot that I love you, that I have always loved you, that I promised to love you for all my days.

Her name is Martha. She came unbidden into my mind, stirring first from the murky abyss of my subconscious and then blooming into a constant presence. With a few casual strokes of my wrist, with the easy scratching of pen on paper, I breathed life into her. I gave her mysterious eyes; shrouded and coy. And long hair, falling to her face in waves. Her skin was dark, silky; her limbs long and lithe. She was, in other words, effortlessly beautiful, with an acerbic wit and an easy brilliance. But, most damning, I gave her the exact character perk that clashes so obviously with yours; Martha is, above all else, decisive and unafraid.

I have cheated on you, my love. And I continue to do so. Every other night, after your gentle snoring has blended into the sounds of the night, I steal away into my study and there indulge in my indiscretions. You see, she is glorious, this woman. She lends to my eager fingers an easy pliancy that I have not as yet experienced. She bends and twists to my every need. She knows my every whim and rushes to meet it. I do not know how I got here, but I confess myself lost. She has me fast and her grip is unrelenting.

I have wronged you, I know. Even more than when I asked you to share me with my work. Another woman lies unseen in our bed, at my invitation. And even though others may well dismiss this as the ramblings of a mad writer, you know the truth. You know what I am guilty of.

I will not deliver this letter. I fear that despite the strength of my conviction and the weight of my guilt, I am ultimately incapable of hurting you with the truth. So while much of my noble efforts at a signed confession may not survive the delete button, know that I love you in spite of it all. Mine was a crime of passion. A writer’s passion, if you will.


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