When I was still blind and happy with my marriage, unaware of the warning signs and red flags; I allowed myself to dream of the fairytale stories of a happily ever after. I saw myself in a dream home, with a dream car (actually two), prince charming at my side and of-course our 2 wonderful children (one boy and one girl).
Now that we were married I was already looking forward, and the next step was to buy a second car. A car that would be big and safe for those children we were going to have, a car with 5 doors so it would be easy to put them in and out of their car seats. A car that would be suitable for the family vacations I had already planned out in my mind. A family car!
(August 2008) When my husband wanted to buy himself a motorbike the previous year, I as usual didn’t have a say. It didn’t matter that I thought it was too dangerous, or inconvenient. Or that I actually didn’t see when he would have the time to ride it, or where to, considering we live in a cold and rainy country. But he made up his mind and bought the newest most expensive model, fresh off the production line. It was a black Kawasaki ZX-6R Ninja. In women terms what that means is – sexy bike, made for free-spirited bad-boys who want to show off, take risks and be wild. The bike of-course came with a whole new wardrobe of tight black leather jackets to complete the dangerous bad-boy look. I couldn’t say a word. It was HIS money, and this was the way he wanted to spend it.
(December 2009) When the following year, I decided that I wanted to have a second car for MYSELF, things were not quite as simple. The car became a negotiation game between us. I wanted a new one; he wanted it to be second-hand. I wanted a Peugeot; he would not allow for a French car, or a Japanese one, or even an American for that matter. I wanted a black or silver one (anything but red, which was the color of the first car I owned with which I had a horrible accident in and ever since felt that red was an unlucky car color for me), he wanted anything sexy – red included. I wanted a 5 door car (for the eventual kids), he didn’t seem to mind, a small two-seater sports car would have also been fine. So while the choices became smaller, the compromising (especially on my behalf) became bigger.
(January 2010) Although we searched and searched, went from dealer to dealer and browsed all cars online, we didn’t really seem to agree on anything. Not the model, the year, or the price.
It was somewhere around this that time that I became aware that my husband had cheated, with an employee. A girl who he had brought into our home. A girl I had hosted for New Years Eve dinner! And although he claimed that the affair was over, and we decided to try to rebuild our marriage; not knowing what our future would hold, I decided to put a hold on the car searching.
(End February 2010) One day I sat with my husband at a bar. We were having lunch and drinks; when out of the blue he brings back the car issue. “I want to get a car for MYSELF” he said. I was a bit shocked;” I thought you already had a car and a motorbike” I answered. “Yes but the motorbike is inconvenient, and I found a good car for a good price” he replied.
The car apparently was his mistress’s car, and she was selling, for a discounted price! My immediate response was HELL NO. Not only was her car small, with only 2 doors and RED, it was above all things HERS!!!
I couldn’t understand why he would do this, how he could even consider it? Was he attached to the memories he had there with her? Was he trying to help her out financially? Was she black mailing him? Or could it be that he just couldn’t grasp how unbearably painful it would be for me to see her car everyday and be reminded of the affair?
What ever the case was – my answer was final. I would not have that car; I would not sit in it, or drive in it, or even be made to look at it! I didn’t care if she was giving it for free, or even paying him to take it.
(March 2010) My husband and I resumed the car searching we had started back in December. But two weeks into it, he just turned to me to say he changed his mind, and actually didn’t need a second car.
But once again something felt wrong. It was those feelings in the gut of my stomach telling me that there was something I wasn’t being told, a secret I was being kept away from. So I did what I knew best. I started spying! But when the car was no longer parked where it should be, under her flat apartment, for a couple of days in a row, I smelled something rotten. I drove around the entire city looking for it. Looking for any place I thought she might be at: shopping, work, friends, family. But there were no signs to where it may have disappeared.
That weekend it hit me, the car was no longer there because she no longer owned it. But I hadn’t seen it parked next to our house either. Could she have sold it to someone else? My mind kept telling me not to let it go, that my hunch was right and I was on to something AGAIN! Inside I had a feeling that the car was already ours and parked somewhere where I couldn’t spot it. I know it sounds drastic and unbelievable (like something from a soap opera) but the idea stuck in my head and I couldn’t get rid of it. So after searching once again all over town, Monday morning before work, I decided to drive to the car garage which always did our car maintenance. And there to my total disbelief was her car, parked exactly as I had expected it, bright shiny and red, waiting for its new owners to pick it up.
I straightened myself, looked as confident and self-assured as I could, sucked in a deep breath, walked in the office, and asked if OUR car was ready to be taken home. The mechanic who knows me and my husband for years now, looked at me and without a trace of a doubt said “sure, give me a minute I’ll get your bill and the keys for you.”