Now there was likely to be a confrontation, here in my house. Ruth, my best friend, had come round in distress to tell me that she suspected that her husband, Des, was having an affair. My sister was visiting me at the same time, and she sat sympathising with Ruth as she voiced her suspicions. “You can’t trust a man further than you can throw him,” said my sister. “You should kick him out!” I glared at her. I could say nothing – how could I? She was my sister, and anyway, I didn’t want to upset my best friend Ruth any more than she already was.
I tried to smooth things over a bit by saying maybe Ruth’s suspicions were groundless, but Ruth said she had positive proof. She had seen a text on Des’s phone from a girl called Alex, asking him to meet her in town on Wednesday at Mario’s coffee shop because she couldn’t be without him any more and she needed to see him desperately.
I glared at my sister again, wondering why she had started using her second name she hated so much. I had seen her when she met him in the coffee shop in town the other day. I could tell from their body language that there was chemistry between them, and I knew that there must be something going on. Des, my best friend’s husband and my sister, Jennifer Alex. I felt almost responsible.
Jenny didn’t look at me. She just artfully worked her way around the issue by throwing suspicion elsewhere, as she always did. “Oh, I’m so sorry Ruth, I hate to tell you this, but I feel you ought to know. Marie and I were in town on Wednesday when we saw Des in Mario’s. But he was with a man. We were going to go in and say hello to him, but we could see he was too preoccupied with the other man. They were holding hands, then they kissed each other. I’m afraid it looks like Des has turned gay. Alex must be the man’s name. We were both so shocked that we walked straight on past Mario’s coffee shop and went to Costa Coffee instead. Isn’t that right, Marie?”
I spluttered, choking on the mouthful of coffee I had just taken. How could she stand there telling such a bare-faced lie? What could I say? How could my sister have tried to involve me in her deception? I felt my face reddening as I muttered, “Yes Ruth, I’m afraid it looks like Des has been cheating on you. I’m so sorry.”