Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2010 01:04:13 -0500
Ma and Ba,
I do not want to alarm you. I understand that the tone of my last message may have made it out to be that I was very depressed, but I can assure you that I am past this phase. Please allow me to recount as best I can the events that unfurled over the weekend leading me to where I am now.
The scene is set following our late family conversation time on Saturday evening. After you guys left Alice, Justin, and I to talk, my old friend [DC] tried to call me, and I requested that he send me a message instead. He said that he was in Sugar Land with his girlfriend, that he would like very much to hang out, and I thought it best to give him some of my time as I hadn’t seen him since last year. So I told him that I was okay with his coming to visit me and [V] at my hotel. He said that he would come by and mentioned that he would bring some beers of my choice. When he did arrive, I went to the front of the hotel to usher him and his girlfriend, Sarah, in.
After [V] had spoken to you guys on Skype, she told me that she was leaving the room to walk outside. At the time that [DC] and Sarah came over to my hotel, [V] had not yet returned from her walk, and the two of them were puzzled by her absence. They chided me for letting her go out alone so late at night, telling me that it was unsafe around here, especially in the night. I agreed, and told them that I had tried to call her phone, which was off. I later learned that [V] had walked over to Jamba Juice, just round the corner on Westheimer. I had taken her there earlier during the day, the two of us walking hand in hand in the afternoon air before we went swimming at the Sheraton hotel’s pool.
[DC], Sarah, and I left my room to go to the side of the hotel, where we stood and chatted a while before heading back in. When we returned to my door, I found that it was locked from the inside, and that [V] had returned in our absence. She opened the door and at first did not recognize [DC], so she sought to introduce herself again, much to my amusement. We all three entered the room and sat down.
[DC] and Sarah again launched into their discussion about the dangers of walking outside alone at night, and [V] agreed to what they had to say. She didn’t know any better and we left it at that. Then [V] began to recount some of the things that had occurred over the past day – that situation involving my taking her with me to go pick up my friend [IG], who I went to school with at ISKL, and asked their opinion on this. And then she brought up my taking pictures for [LL], something that [V] had found it very difficult to settle in her mind. I for the most part remained silent while the three of them (mostly [DC] and [V]) discussed..
I felt it growing late, what with the passing of beers as I tried to keep up with [DC]. As it grew closer to midnight, Sarah grew tired and began to nap, and what had begun as a discussion amongst friends developed into a therapy session with [DC] serving to mediate or rather to control the play. He walked outside with me a number of times, and we talked about the events that had transpired between [LL] and I, and whether there was anything that I was hiding from [V]. [V], of course, had been very upset over the pictures that I had taken, and she had thought it possible that I had been conducting an affair behind her back. This I had settled with her before her arrival in Houston. I had told her that nothing had occurred between [LL] and I, which was true at the time I said it.
So what with all of this? From the onset of the questioning I knew that I was hiding something, and that I probably did owe it to [V] to let her know the truth. Sarah left at some point, leaving [DC] on my hands to take care of, to drive back to Sugar Land at some point or other in the night. He had me leave the room a couple of times while he talked with [V]. Now there is an important detail that I am leaving out, that is where I tell [DC] that yes, I have done something terribly wrong, and that yes, I think that [V] should know. He takes it upon himself to tell [V] this, and I agree that it is the truth.
She is upset. I am in the room now, and this is where it gets interesting. All of [DC]’s rehabilitation and therapy had left him with a model of how discussions ought to be, and he told [V] that it was her decision whether to forgive me or not, and whether she wanted to remain with me or not. She said then that this news was something too big for her to accept, and with that our relationship came to a close in her mind. What follows is the most distasteful part of the night for me. It has grown very late, and this time [DC] has been touching [V] in ways that I would not deem appropriate, that I should have stopped had I been in the right mind to do so, and that I am angry with myself for failing to prevent. See, I had given him so much control, granted it to him, so he caressed her feet and inched closer to [V].
We had made some sort of twisted agreement during one of our short talks outside, and now the plan was in motion, and as I sat on a chair in my room, [DC] asked me if he could kiss [V], and I told him yes, and that was all. She initially refused him, and I moved to the bed where I lay down and pretended to fall asleep. I don’t know if what I was thinking was right, and I lay there thinking that this would serve as the greatest test to [V]’s loyalty to me.
She failed my test, reciprocating to [DC]’s kisses, and I witnessed things through my stealthily closed eyes that I felt were intolerable, heard noises of content from her that made me sick to my stomach. I felt my heart grow cold, but for some time I told myself to lay still, yet I couldn’t stand to allow things to go any further than they had already gone. Just as the worst was about to happen, I bolted upright from the bed, and opened the drawer of my nightstand to retrieve a wicked pocketknife given to me by a friend in Tulsa, something that I knew was there in the event that I would need it. On my clumsy feet now, I opened the blade and grabbed [DC], pulling the knife towards his neck while [V] moved forward to stop my hand.
I cut her, cut [DC], both ever so slightly. It was not my desire to cause anyone else greater pain than I had caused myself for allowing these events to unfold, and I grew so consumed by my rage. I, sick to my stomach, went to the wall in my room and pounded the blade into it a number of times. The first time it went clean through, the second perhaps it began to glance off, and on the third thrust the knife, which was not locked, came down and sliced into my own hand. Somewhere before this took place I had succeeded in breaking the pane of glass separating my room from the outside parking lot, and it had come crashing down in so many broken fragments. My hand pounding, blood dripping freely from the wound, I picked up a chair and threw it towards the already broken window, and it clattered to the floor.
We were all still for a moment. I examined my bleeding hand and saw the blood, the open wound. The tip of the knife was twisted now and I discarded it in the trash can. Still angry, I went to the kitchen drawer and extracted my large chef’s knife, and plunged it several times into the mattress of the bed. I hated so much that I had allowed these things to happen, all of it a result of my own infidelity.
We went outside all three of us together and climbed into my car. I had wrapped my hand with a towel from the bathroom so as to slow the bleeding and we drove towards the Memorial Hermann emergency room. I was again for the most part silent, [V] as well, and [DC] spoke, asking if I knew how close I had come to killing him. Later he would remind me that I had told him it was okay to do what he did. In fact he told this many times, and I regretted it deeply because none of this would have happened had I told him simply “No”, that he was not to even touch [V], but instead I allowed this situation to play out and to escalate to the point where I felt like death itself.
By the time I got out of the emergency room, wound fixed with two stitches, I had calmed down slightly and so I drove us to Sugar Land, where we ate breakfast at Denny’s and then I sent [DC] home and wished him well and ignored [V] the rest of the way.
At the end of that traumatic night I had paid for the beers that we drank, the cigarettes smoked, but the greatest price was paid for in my own blood. I felt heartbroken about what I had done and what it had meant for my relationship with [V]. I do care for her deeply, and to trade this valuable relationship for a moment with anyone else was all folly. I had exposed her to a grave threat presented by my friend, and then hated her because she gave in to his exterior kindness. And I don’t blame her, knowing what it must have felt like for her to have received news of my actions. In that moment she would have accepted any scraps of kindness offered to her, and it was then that I thought I could test her.