The world ended twenty-four hours ago.
Okay, I guess that's exaggerating a little bit. I guess I should say, my world ended twenty-four hours ago. Before my world ended, I had the following: an attractive boyfriend, a brand new apartment, an adorable two-year old Golden Labrador, and the potential to finally be promoted from a junior to a senior copywriter. Now, I have: no boyfriend, no apartment, no Golden Labrador, and absolutely, positively no potential for anything.
This can all be blamed on one person: Anthony Tyler Moore. With the fitting initials of ATM, he was, I thought, the perfect boyfriend. Rich, successful (a vice president of his company at twenty-six), drop-dead gorgeous with crew-cut blonde hair, green eyes, and an impressive build, and completely and totally devoted to me. At least, that's what I had thought. We had been dating for three years. And although there was no speak of marriage, we moved in together two weeks ago. The apartment lease was signed under his name—big mistake. I brought with me everything I owned, including my fluffy golden-haired puppy Lola, and sold my apartment—also, a big mistake. I thought everything was perfect. I was twenty-five, in love, and living in a gorgeous apartment. Anthony's father was my boss (that's how I met Anthony in the first place), and I knew moving in with Anthony made me a shoo-in for the promotion to senior copywriter. Seriously, everything was perfect.
Until twenty-four hours ago. If you've forgotten already, twenty-four hours ago was when my world ended. And it was unbelievable how quickly it happened:
I had finished work early and decided to come straight home after lunch. It was a nice day, the air warm and scented with spring's coming flowers. The walk home was short—my apartment only three blocks from where I work. As I rode the elevator to our floor, I thought about making a home-cooked meal for dinner. Anthony and I usually both get home from work late and end up eating take-out or frozen meals. When I got to my front door, I considered turning right back around and running out to the grocery store. Maybe I'd make lemon-mint salmon or pecan-crusted chicken. I was just turning my heel, when I heard it: moaning.
I can't really remember what I was feeling right then. Suspicion, shock, fear? But I put my ear up to the door, and sure enough, I heard the moaning again. I stood frozen. What should I do? Am I jumping to conclusions? Should I just turn around and leave? "Anthony," a woman's voice moaned. Right, then. Probably not jumping to conclusions. I twisted my key in the lock and swung open the door so that it banged against the wall. And then I saw it. A woman riding Anthony, my perfect boyfriend Anthony, on our perfect leather couch, in our perfect living room, with my perfect dog Lola sitting to the side, wagging her tail.
Anthony's head snapped to the side, and while the woman stopped gyrating, she did not get off of him or show any sign of putting on clothes. "Christine."
"Anthony," I responded. I turned to the woman on top of him. "Would you mind dismounting?"
The woman showed no shame, she simply shrugged her shoulders, said "sure," and went to go sit on one of our chairs. Naked.
"Right," I said. "And maybe putting on some clothes? And leaving? Or just leaving, that'd be fine too."
The woman rolled her eyes, but slipped on some underwear, threw a dress over her head, collected the rest of her clothes, and left the apartment. And then it was just me and Anthony.
I felt unbelievably calm considering what had just happened. But I did feel the anger in me start to boil. "Right, then, do you have anything you'd like to say?"
Anthony sat up on the couch, and even in a moment like that, I had to admire his gorgeous body. The thin layer of sweat made every muscle and contour on him glisten. "What would you like me to say?" He responded.
"Who was she?" My voice was taut. The calm was definitely not going to last much longer.
"No one. Right. How do you know this 'no one'? Do you work with her?"
"Does she go to your gym?"
"So, she's just a person you have sex with?"
I couldn't believe how nonchalant he was acting. Like it was no big deal that I just walked in on him cheating on me. "How many times?" I asked. My voice was becoming shaky. I can't believe I had trusted him.
Tears started to fill me eyes, "There was more than one girl?" I screamed. He didn't respond. "How many?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know…"
"You don't even know!" I wiped my hand across my face and smudges of eyeliner and mascara rubbed off. "How long have you been cheating on me? A month? A year?"
"Three," I choked, "Three years. We've only been dating for three years. How could you possibly…what was this to you…I just…"
"I thought you knew." His green eyes caught mine and the lack of emotion in them made me cry even harder.
"Thought I knew? Thought I knew! What woman assumes her boyfriend is cheating on her?"
"I mean, I just assumed you figured it out. All those late nights I took at the office and all those weekends I had to go out of town…"
"I thought you were a hard worker!"I screamed.
He laughed a little, "Like I'd work that hard. Honestly, I thought you knew and just ignored it. I thought our relationship wasn't balanced on exclusivity."
"Right," I said, trying to stop crying. "Right. Well, this is over now. Obviously. I'll be back later to get my stuff." And with that, I shut the door behind me and left my life behind.
And that's how my world ended. And now it's twenty-four hours later. I've called in sick for work. I'm crashing on my baby sister's futon in her college dorm room at NYU. And I have absolutely no fucking clue what to do.