I Am Not Afraid To Walk Away

Memoirs of Black Women

I love it when they think you’re afraid to walk away
They are usually the last to realise that they’ve given you little reason to stay

Today I celebrate 30 years of marriage to my husband, Jonathan Smith.  As we stood in the beautifully decorated town hall, we were soon lovingly ushered towards an imposing but gorgeously decorated centre table. We were flanked by gold cutlery, flowery-patterned snow white napkins, glistening champagne and wine glasses and a throng of family, friends and well-wishers who turned out in full force to celebrate us reaching another milestone. We suspected that there would be a celebration but never anticipated that it would be on this scale. Our six children came together to create a mini-move comprised of short home videos and photos documenting everything from us helping them with their first baby steps to us playing our part in helping them walk down the aisle. Our grandchildren shared beautiful memories of spending weekends and summer holidays in our family home and our friends and family praised us for staying together for so long. We were showered with so much love and compliments that I almost forgot about the argument that I had with Jonathan earlier. By the time the celebration drew to a close we managed to accumulate gifts in the form of spa-retreat vouchers, beautiful handmade clothing, some valuable pieces of jewellery and even a Caribbean cruise. I marvelled at how much joy we managed to bring to the lives of our children and grandchildren especially given the fact that most of those 30 years of marriage weren’t always pleasant.

On our way back home, like clockwork Jonathan revealed that he would be going out later that night. I raised my hand to halt any possible explanation from him because I knew that it was pointless and often filled with lies anyways. By the time we arrived home, he was ready and out the door in less than 10 minutes. I poured myself a glass of wine and, like many nights before, started to contemplate this farce of a marriage. His typical excuse for staying out each night would be that he will be seeing some friends. However, I knew that he would be spending the night at Gloria’s - a devout church-going heifer who started an affair with my husband 4 months ago shortly after he had a sizeable payout from a lawsuit lodged against his company. I initially found out about the relationship through church gossips but got confirmation through a highly suggestive text message that I saw on his phone. It hinted at things he would do to please this shrivelled relic. Despite my shock, I couldn’t help but burst into laughter when I first read it because I knew that my husband’s third leg hadn’t shown any signs of a resurrection for the last 5 years.

So why was I tolerating this? Gloria joins a long line of women who have had affairs with my husband throughout our marriage. Like the rest of them, she will inevitably fade into oblivion. These affairs are always short-lived but the discovery never grows any less painful or embarrassing with time. So here I was again, facing the prospect of faking another year of joy and bliss to our friends and family while secretly hoping that this would be time enough for this affair to run its natural course. However, something in me was now tired of it all. Would you believe that the argument this morning stemmed from Jonathan having the audacity to suggest  that this ‘holier than thou, highly sanctified’ prostitute attend our anniversary celebration? For the first time, it forced me to have a closer look at the man that I married................................