In this situation, every new day brings with it the likelihood of unforeseen blessing or trouble. On this particular day, as Linda approached Mark in the office hallway, he only anticipated good things—more chances to be with her.
But something was wrong; Mark could see a clue of panic in Linda’s face. She slowed just enough to say, "He knows," then walked on. That's when he noticed her husband, Ron, standing at the end of the hall with Mike, a man who knew both them. Mark’s vision tightened and all thoughts fled into hiding except this one: How was he was going to survive this?
Mike approached Mark with a look of concern and he told him that Ron wanted to talk to him. Mark was able to manage a smile. He told Mike that he’ll just need to take care of something at his office and that he’ll meet the both of them in the conference room in 5 minutes.
Everything around him shifted to slightly out of focus as he glided into his office and closed the door. There was no time to find Linda; no time to ask her or to get what should be their stories. His best chance, as he thought, would be to find out precisely what Linda’s husband knew and basically deny everything else, expecting that Linda had not already admitted their affair.
The two men were settled at the table when Mark walked into the conference room. Ron was on the verge of rage and Mike just looked worried.
The allegations started to flow and Mark felt that his world started to crumble. Ron knew too much. Mark is thinking if he was only guessing or did Linda’s husband really know. Despite that, he just listened, trying to find an escape. When it was Mark’s turn to speak, he tried to present a self-assured denial, hoping to call his bluff. That's when Ron stated the evidence.
‘Evidence? How could he have evidence?’ These questions revolve around Mark’s head. He thought that the evidence sounded like something Ron was making up. Apart from that he thinks that they’re too careful. With this, he tried to deny the possibility, but as Ron clarified what he knew and how he knew it, the facts became irrefutable. Mark had put his hand in the cookie jar persuaded that he would never be caught, but Ron had the proof of it.
Mark was stunned and he was silent. Now, he was wondering what will happen.
"People are going to know about this," Ron told him. This news would certainly ruin his career, but that wasn't his concern at the moment. He could only think of one thing: What would this news do to his family?
"Have you told Anne?" Mark asked them. Both of these men knew his wife, but had said nothing to her. "Please let me tell her before you do anything else," he pleaded.
Ron pointed a hard finger in his face and told him "You stay away from Linda." Mike simply looked at Mark with an expression of both allegation and pity as they left the room.
In less than 30 minutes, Mark’s world had been turned on its head. He sat alone, trying to gain some mental and emotional balance, attempting to foresee what might happen next and then he just realized that he was heading into a crisis he could no longer control.
At last, Mark picked up the phone and called home. Anne answered. He hesitated, and then said, "We need to talk."
Telling My Wife
Anne was sitting across the kitchen table and Mark could tell that she was concerned or maybe even scared. He called and told her that they had something important to talk about and had made arrangements for the children to be gone. Whatever she was about to hear from his husband, Anne knew that it was going to be big.
Mark can't remember a word he said, but somehow he was able to tell the main details of his affair: who was involved, what they had done, and how long it had been going on. What he does remember was his complete lack of feeling. Mark just sat there, watching his wife's worry turn to confusion, then sorrow, then rage. Through her turn of sentiments, he felt nothing. Totally nothing.
He remembered thinking, "Show some emotion. Make yourself feel!" For Anne’s sake, he wanted to show that her pain hurt him; that he was sorry for what he had done. But no feeling came and no tear fell from Mark’s eyes. All he felt was coldness.
He probably felt nothing because he was not really sorry. His confession came out of necessity: he had been caught in an affair and had to break the news to his wife before she heard it from anyone else. Mark thinks Anne deserved at least that much.
But for him, what he was sorry for was that he had been caught and that there would be penalties. He had not reached a place of unpretentious sorrow over the affair. That kind of sorrow would have led him to finish the affair even without being caught. That kind of sorrow would have looked different, and it would have been more worthy of trust.
Mark confessed that even he sat there making his confession to Anne, he’s thinking about Linda.
When he was done talking, he endured Anne's rage for a while. Mark knows that his wife needed to express it and that he deserved receiving it. Anne finally told him to leave the house—to escape so she could think. He packed some things, called a friend, and left to spend a few days away from home.
As Mark’s family and friends heard the news, he was asked to explain what had happened and what he was going to do next. But then, he had no idea, but ended up telling people what they wanted to hear. He told them that he loved his wife and he loved his children. He also told them that he wanted to put their family back together again. All of those things he uttered were true, but for him it was only part of the truth. Another part of the truth, he kept them hidden and that was he’s grieving the loss of Linda and wasn't sure if he could keep from seeing her again.