“Haven’t you heard?” she whispers.
“Heard what? Tell me!”
“About her…” she leans her head in my direction. I glare fiercely at my book refusing to look up.
“Oh yes! But that’s old news. Everyone knows that they broke up.”
“But did you hear how?” she leans in, salivating over this juicy bit of gossip.
“I thought they were just unhappy together.”
“That’s what she thought too!” she laughs and glances over at me again.
“So there was more to the story?”
“There was a lot more to the story!” She’s really going to drag it out for all it’s worth.
“Come on now! I can’t stand the suspense! Tell me!”
“Well…” She blows on her coffee and takes a careful sip. “Remember how she had never met any of his friends? Or his family?”
“Yes, she said that he was really private about his life. Not one to share much. Ashamed of his friends and family or something like that.”
“It turns out that he was living a double life. He had another girlfriend – you know his ex? Well, she wasn’t his ex. They never broke up.” Now she can’t contain herself anymore. The words shoot out of her like machine gun bullets.
“But he moved out…”
“Oh yes, well, they did go on a break. They decided that they needed a little space and then found that the space was good for the relationship.” Each word finds its mark – the still unhealed wounds from the original revelation.
“So the entire time…”
“Yes. She was nothing more than his mistress. Three years of her life! Can you imagine?” No, you can’t imagine. Even I can’t imagine and I lived through it.
“She’ll never find anyone now. Not at her age.”
“It’s sad, isn’t it? I really feel for her.” She throws a look full of pity and schadenfreude in my direction. I pull my book up higher so that she can’t see my teary eyes. “But then, she was really stupid – I mean surely she should have seen what was going on!”
I press play and music charges through my headphones again cutting me off from the world again.