I hadn't told anyone what happened, and hadn't seen or spoken to Zach since. He had tried reaching out to me several times, but I ignored all attempts. Aaron had asked me when the next time we'd be hanging out with Zach but I told him some lame excuse of him being super busy with med school. He had followed up with, "I really like him." And I mentally thought, you shouldn't.
I felt incredibly guilty. But, the worst part of my guilt was that I didn't feel guilty for what happened, and THAT is what I felt guilty for.
"What the hell is going on with you?" Sarah demanded more than asked. "I've hardly seen you since our party, and you're really, weirdly quiet."
I sighed, annoyed. This was approximately the 83rd time she'd asked me. "Nothing." I couldn't make eye contact with her.
We were out for coffee because she'd basically been stalking me since the party to get together and I couldn't avoid her any longer.
"Alright, I'm just going to say it, because I know you. I think something happened with Zach. I saw you two disappear and he never came back and I found you passed out on the bathroom floor the next morning. Now stop avoiding me like I'm going to judge you and tell me what happened so we can get you out of whatever this is."
I felt my coldness melting, and I sniffled. I looked down at my hands, wringing. "I made an appointment with my therapist. I go tomorrow."
Sarah's voice softened. "Le, what happened?"
I told her in gory detail what happened, looking around self-consciously making sure no one I knew was close by.
"Well, the good news is you stopped it!"
"That doesn't make me feel any better. And why don't I feel guilty? I think I'd feel better in a way if I felt guilty."
"I don't know. Probably because you have loved Zach forever and you always will. However, I think you now know that you shouldn't be around him unless you plan on ending things with Aaron. Do you want to marry Aaron?"
I do. "Yes, I do. If you had asked me previously if it was possible to be in love with two people, I would have told you no. Now, I think it is. However, I don't think it's healthy. And I can do much better emotionally not having Zach around for sure. I think I need to tell Aaron, though."
"No!" Sarah practically shouted. She quieted her voice. "I mean, tell me what the point of telling him would be."
"Because it's the right thing to do?"
She cocked her head at me. "But is it? I mean, if you're telling him because of your guilt that may be selfish because you'd be assuaging your guilt and that's it. And is it really the right thing to do? I mean, do you think Aaron would leave you if you told him?"
I shook my head no. "I don't think so."
"This was a one time thing. I think if it had been more than 1 time and you hadn't stopped it, and it was a long drawn out affair, you would need to tell him. For a one time mistake that you stopped before it went farther than it did, what good is it going to accomplish in your relationship with Aaron?"
I looked back down at my hands and frowned. "I don't know. To an extent you're right, I think. I would be telling him because of my guilt of a lack of guilt and I feel like I deserve to be berated and yelled at."
"I don't think you should tell him then. If you are ever - God forbid - in this position again, you need to tell him."
"I'm not sure. I'll have to think about that angle."
She nodded, satisfied with that response. Then she reached over and grabbed my hands that were still on the table wringing. "Aleah, you can tell me anything. ALWAYS. Let me be here for you, even during the horrible times."
I nodded my head.
We finished our coffee, conversation much lighter, and headed home.
When I got there, Aaron was making dinner. I called out to him, setting my purse down on the kitchen table. He looked so sexy in a fitted t-shirt and basketball shorts, stirring something on the stove. He looked over and gave me a sad smile.
I did this to him.
I had been cold and standoff-ish with him. Not that everything was ok for me, but I felt a burden lift voicing everything I had been internalizing. And after saying it for the first time, the thought that had tickled the back of my mind for awhile, about loving two people, I knew it was true. I made my choice, though. Now it was time to make that choice actionable.
We hadn't had sex in the two months since the party. I had done a great job of not only being unapproachable, but conveniently busy or not feeling well. Luckily he had been legit busy the first 5 or 6 weeks because of that homicide.
I tentatively walked up behind him and ran my hands from his back around under his arms and tightened them around his muscular body. At first, he tensed up, but then when I laid my head against his back, he relaxed.
I felt the tears falling down my cheeks before I even knew crying was going to happen. Aaron must have felt my body silently shaking from the sobs. He turned around, holding me at arms length. The concern in his eyes finally made the guilt of what happened between Zach and I rise up.
I stared ferociously at his chest and quietly said, "I'm sorry, Aaron."
He pulled me into his body wrapping his arms around my miserable self. "It's okay, sweet girl."
"No. No it isn't. I've been so terrible to you, in more ways than you know."
Before I could continue he leaned down and silenced me with a passionate kiss. "Babe, I could tell you have been going through something. I love you so much and of course want to be here for you in any way I can. You know you can tell me anything. I really want for us to get back to being us. Please tell me you want that, too?"
I nodded my head and muttered another apology. "I love you, too."
He kissed me again, harder this time. After a few minutes he turned the heat off on the stove and we turned the heat on in the bed.