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A Slip of Trust

She blows the whistle. It resounds softly over the fields, reaching me at an almost mute. I walk over, the game just ending. She says “Hey, how you doing?”
I respond with a ‘fine’ and we start talking. We talk about the next game we have to ref, about all the games we have to ref for the rest of the day. When that has dried up, I ask her about last night. I ask her about the football game. She pauses, hesitates, as if there is something about the night before that she doesn’t want to talk about in the least. Then, she says; “I have something to tell you, and it’s not about Brandon. It’s about April. She made out with another guy last night, she cheated on you.”

An image flashes in my mind, a dream that I had a couple of weeks back; April, holding hands with some guy, some guy who I can’t see. I watch in frustrated paralysis as his other hand slides around her waist, she turns and kisses him. She abruptly starts to laugh at something and the other guy seems to cling to her even more so. I still can’t see this guy, but I know that he isn’t me.

“Nick, Nick, you okay?” No, of course I’m not okay. You just told me that my girlfriend, who has been my life these 61/2 months, just cheated on me last night. That she forgot everything and every time she told me “I love you” and made out with some other guy. Of course I’m not okay.

“I’m fine.”

“Okay, game in twenty minutes. You’re keeping time, I suck at it. Also, you got a game card?”

I mumbled something. I thought of all the happy times we’ve had; all the times I whispered my love to her, and all the times she shouted all her love for me for the entire world to hear. I thought about holding her hand while she weaved through the crowd, trying to find a place where she could hold me tight and kiss my lips, ever so softly. I lapsed into the past, all those beautiful moments flashing through my mind; her slipping through a crowd, dressed in a picturesque gown and smiling that smile that could woo the devil himself. She enveloped me in her arms, I always felt safe there; locked in her arms and feeling her warm breath against my neck, I told her I would never leave her, and she said “Neither will I.”

Another memory races across my mind, it was a dreary day, I had her in my arms and our sadness seemed to hang over us like the clouds over the school. She was going on a trip and I was staying behind, I wasn’t going to see her for over a week. I kissed her lips, long and deep and then I asked her “April, will you marry me?’
“Of course.”
The memory eroded into the bright day. Little kids shrieked, whistles blew and Caroline said “Nick, get the game card. Nick . . . I just told you what she did, well, because, I think that you’ve taken enough crap from her, what with her flirting with other guys and all, I just think that she went too far and that you should know.”
“Thanks . . . did you have to tell me? Couldn’t you have just let me go on being an ignorant little fool, who thought life was just great, that didn’t know about all of this?”
The day washed away into memories; her soft voice and sweet lips, the way she fit into my arms, the endless hugs, and finally, Caroline’s mouth uttering those words, “… she cheated on you.”
Every time I called, the phone rang and rang, and endless recording of my uncertain sorrow. A part of me said; she’s lying, April wouldn’t cheat on you, she loves you. But the logical part of me echoed stronger and louder than my wanting; she’s wild, you knew that, you knew that someday something would happen and you would lose her, you knew that. You always knew that.
Still, I tried calling, hoping she would pick up and tell me that she hadn’t been able to go to the game, something had come up and she couldn’t make it. But I knew she wouldn’t be home today and I was just calling in vain.
The sun freezes in the sky and time stops, my eternal hunger for the truth growled in my soul, I needed to talk to her.
Night came, with only more sorrow. My sorrow seemed to make the night even colder. The shiver that once ran down my spine now rattled throughout my body, shattering the broken pieces of my heart. Finally, as I lose all but the smallest amount of hope, she picks up the phone.
As we talk, I can hear it in her voice, the truth. Her love for me is pure and I feel my shame burning within me, I tell her what I had heard and she laughs, so rich and pleasing, like a thousand kisses breaking into sunshine and pouring into my soul. I laugh at myself, forgetting all my worries and falling farther in love with her. She says those words, “I love you, Nick,” and my world falls into the sweet serenity of perfection.
As we say our goodbyes, I realize all my uncertainties were because I forgot to trust her; I forgot to trust the one who I loved above all. The one who I said I was ready to marry- I didn’t trust her. I forgot my faith in her and so I worried over nothing. I now trust her, as I always should have.





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