Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Other Woman

            I started my usual stretches to prepare for my morning jog. I've been doing this every day for a few months now since I wanted to get in better shape. 2 weeks ago I wanted to start getting into better shape and since I knew a lot of people in my apartment building went jogging early in the morning I figured I'd just be one more in the pack. Not to mention we all went out together to make sure none of us got raped or kidnapped while we were out. In my small town both of these crimes were common since so many strangers came and went without a lot of people noticing. It was just something that was easy for people to do since so many people could easily move in and out because of the ski areas without having their faces remembered. It's why no one discovered who had ever taken my daughter a few months ago until her body was found a few thousand miles away in Los Angeles. The case had gone cold on some police officers desk by now I was sure. They get so many cases out there that investigating the death of a little girl from some little hick town they had never heard of wasn't considered a priority. All I got was her body back in a box when their medical examiners office decided they were done looking at it.

            I made sure to call her father informing him that she was dead and what date I had planned the funeral for. Naturally he decided not to come to his youngest daughter's funeral. It wasn't something that I wasn't entirely surprised about it since he was a married man and had 3 other children via his wife to worry about. For about 4 years I had been the other woman and was only there for him to have sex with and that he could use as arm candy when his wife was too sick to attend a function. I was consistently introduced as his sister but I was happy to be there instead of his wife even though I would never be known as his girlfriend or even his mistress. It was when I told him I was pregnant with his child and wanted him to leave his wife to be with me that the relationship finally ended. He claimed I was only there for the sex and he had never wanted a mistress for anything else even if she happened to fall in love with him. When I asked if our daughter would have her real father in her life he laughed and hung up the phone.

            For the 5 years that my daughter was alive she was with just me. There were a few new men that popped up here and there but many of them didn't want the baggage of a woman with a child. More so when that woman revealed that the child was the result of an adulterous relationship and that she would never know who her real father was. I couldn't say I entirely blamed them. Since his name had never been on her birth certificate I had sole custody over her and the only way there would end up being another name with custody over her is if another man agreed to adopt her. My friends had husbands nice enough to do that for another mans child but they also had their children through legitimate relationships and their husbands had died some cruel death somewhere far away from their children. Either that or they were killed in jail. One way or another there was something better than being someone's mistress.

Even now once they figure out how my daughter got here more men leave than stay. So many people see being a mistress leave the woman thinking that they would one day cheat on them with a married man no matter how much they claimed to have been reformed and were looking for single men. I couldn't say I blamed them entirely for leaving me once they found out. Considering I still liked the idea of being a married mans secret woman and the fact that I would leave any man I was with to be with one at the drop of the hat I would leave me, too. It wasn't something that would ever leave me now that I had gotten a taste of what it was like and became so used to being the other woman in someone's life. Not just any other woman either, the other woman that would leave such an intense skeleton in their closet that no one would ever know about my existence or who I was. It had its own version of a mystery novel though it was reasonably less accepted by society.

I finished my stretches and ended my train of thought so I could go on my jog. I knew I couldn't keep thinking and be able to run in a straight line while also keeping up with the group from my apartment. I'd tried that already and it hadn't worked very well and I ended up getting questioned by the police to why I was running around early in the morning in what was considered the bad part of town. There had been a robbery in the area and since I hadn't been with the jogging group I was automatically expected to have committed it. Luckily enough for me their crime scene investigation crew found that there were a few fingerprints that didn't belong to the apartment and also didn't belong to me. As I was leaving the station one of them remembered me from when I reported my daughter missing (he may have even been the one I had spoken to, I was so panicked that night that I honestly didn't remember) and said he was sorry for my loss. I had thanked him as I left.

I met the rest of the group in the lobby and we all did a little talking before we started our route. None of us really spoke all that much and we honestly knew little about our lives. In fact I couldn't say one thing about anyone in the group other than a few names, the fact that we all went jogging in the mornings, and that we all lived in the same building. It wasn't something any of us seemed to want to share despite the fact we were all neighbors. I guess it was just something that happened in the day and age that our neighbors were strangers and that our friends would stab us in the back the second they got a chance. I'd seen that all too often just in my group of friends alone. Someone was always telling someone else that their partner was cheating and had pictures of their infidelity. Luckily enough for me I knew the only man I ever cared for was not only cheating but married. I also knew that whenever I could I would always remain the other woman.