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Other Betrayals
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“I couldn’t do it again,” Sheila said.

“You could,” Jack answered.

“Well, I wouldn’t do it again,” Sheila said. “It was too scary.”

Sheila didn’t know how far she wanted to take this conversation. If she made it all about her, Jack was sure to leave her. Too self-involved, a heartbreaker, out of touch with his feelings. She’d been listening in Dr. Laramy’s sessions. She just wasn’t sure she had been learning much.

But if she centered Jack’s feelings, she would drown herself out. Muting herself was what had made her do it in the first place, though she knew enough not to say that to Dr. L. Their therapist would chide her: “No person or event can make you do anything. You chose that.”

“Too scary, huh?” Jack asked, probably rhetorically, but Sheila knew she should get in there anyway. She just didn’t know which words would land like weapons and which he would welcome. And whatever the case, which of these words would be right?

“Too scary,” he repeated. “I’m glad you won’t bring another man into our bed because of how it would make you feel. I am so happy to hear that.”

Tread lightly, Sheila’s inner voice warned.

She overrode it. “Glad I make you so happy. I live to make you fucking happy, Jack.”

“I would never cheat on you,” Jack said. “And not because I don’t want nightmares. Because I love you. Because I would not do anything to hurt you.”

Bullshit. Sheila knew Jack was performing. But she could see he had fooled Dr. L. She was buying it. She was taking his side again.

“There are other betrayals, Jack. They don’t always have to involve another person.” She could almost feel Dr. L. rolling her eyes.

“Whatever you have to tell yourself to sleep at night,” Jack said, getting up to leave.

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