I Know That I Am His Side Chick
It’s been going on for almost ten months, but I don’t know how much longer I can do this. I have my own friends, my own career, my own life, but when I hear him calling, I keep coming back.
He only wants my attention when she’s gone. It’s like clockwork: she’ll go on one of her many business trips, he’ll get lonely, and he’ll come to me. He needs someone to go out with him, someone to make him dinner, someone to cuddle with on the couch.
But as I sit there with his head in my lap, I can’t help but remember that the sofa I sit on and the home he lives in is paid for by those business trips. While she’s pining for him in a lonely Tucson hotel room, he’s lying at home with his body pressed right up to mine, as if he’ll die without physical contact. And I never say no. I’m weak.
While she’s pining for him in a lonely Tucson hotel room, he’s lying at home with his body pressed right up to mine.
Those brown puppy dog eyes look so innocent one moment and so calculated the next. He has these big ears that would look ridiculous on anyone else. And that hair. It was golden blond when he was younger and although it has faded to a pale yellow interspersed with white, it’s as thick and soft as ever.
I know how he used to look from old photographs around the house, pictures from his old life in Illinois. That’s where he met her. They took the great leap of moving to San Diego together.
I know by now that I will only ever be the other woman. Maybe I always knew that.
After all, she’s had him for more than ten years. They’ve been through it all: school, jobs, buying a home, joy, death, challenges, and triumphs. I knew what I was getting into.
The worst part is that I’m pretty sure I’m not even his second choice. We all run with the same crowd and whenever a certain coworker of hers walks into the room, he just lights up. I am forgotten in an instant.
There comes a time when reality drives a sword through fantasy, no matter how tempting the dream. I know what I am to him. But I won’t dwell on it.
I will cherish our time together, locking our midday walks in my memory. I will carry with me always his look of joy when I set down his dinner. I will recognize every cuddle and nuzzle for the blessing it is. I will even find the beauty and intimacy of picking up his warm poop.
And when she returns, as she always does, I will surrender him.