When we finally went home, around midnight, the reporters had gone. After I cleared the kitchen counters and locked the doors, I stood in the middle of the house and realized I was exhausted and needed to go upstairs to bed—to the bed I shared with Ted.

I climbed the stairs to our room with mixed emotions. Our bedroom had been our private place, the room devoted to marital intimacy, but now it felt like an empty mockery.

How could I sleep with the man who'd been unfaithful to me? Ted had taken something that was mine alone—the right to physically enjoy his body—and shared it with a so-called escort. A male escort.

I quickly closed the lid on those thoughts; I wasn't ready to consider all the implications. Instead, I slipped into the bathroom to brush my teeth. As I ran the water over my toothbrush, I couldn't avoid my reflection in the mirror. My face looked worn, my eyes empty. All traces of my mascara were long gone, wept away in a flood of tears.

I bent over the sink and rinsed my mouth, then froze as a rogue thought slammed into my mind. What if this man in Denver has AIDS? What if Ted has picked up some other sexually transmitted disease and infected me? How could I face our family doctor and explain that I needed to be tested for AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhea, and whatever other venereal diseases were making the rounds?

The thought made me sick to my stomach.


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