The room is silent. She is thinking about what to say and how to justify the last ten years of living a lie.
Twenty four hours ago they were fairly happy. Sex two or three times a week, pizza night on Tuesday, date night every two weeks and game night once a month with friends. They enjoyed their routines, but last night everything changed.
They were happily playing Pictionary when he picked up on an anomaly in something she said, you see she told me, when we first met, that she had lived in Italy for five months.
During the game as Jess, my mates wife, did her best to draw a gondola she asked how she could possibly be expected to know that when she hadn’t even been to Italy before. We were all laughing at the time and it meant nothing to Jess or my mate Len but my ears heard the error and it stayed swimming around in my mind all night.
The next day I had to face my fears. Within minutes her life, and with it our life, was very quickly unravelling.
She never had sailed around the Caribbean, or worked as an air hostess between Gatwick and Australia. Her time campaigning for animal rights never happened in different locations around England, in a tent with only a small battery operated radio for company that often picked up transmissions from the local Police station. She really had been living a lie.
Her life, she informed a shocked and confused me, was going nowhere so she started making stuff up. Adventures and travels that made her sound far more interesting than she believed she was and now there were so many lies she couldn’t remember them all.
She refused to apologise. She never expected us to last never mind get married so she held on to her lies. She made more friends, got invited to more parties and, she believed, enjoyed more opportunities thanks to her lies so she kept on telling them and they got bigger and better.
I wondered if her name was really Zara. She told me it was Jane. I asked her if she had really been born in India and spent five years growing up in South Africa before coming to England. She informed me she was born and grew up in Dudley.
Now she wants know if we can start again.