I know I don’t love her anymore.
Just look at Han Cheonsa, standing there in front of the stove, resting her weight on her right side while raising her hip, shaking the frying pan until the egg whites harden and whiten.
Look at how she slides them onto your the plate, next to that single strip of bacon, and then brings them to you first before making her own.
Look at how she eats her food, quietly and delicately, holding her fork with proper etiquette and chewing with her mouth closed. Aren’t these things wonderful? These little things you’ve grown to love about her over the years?
I try to recall how all these things used to make me feel. To remember what it was like when I’d noticed them for the first time. When there were still new things for me to learn about her. But the novelty is gone. Has been for a while. And all of these things I used to love about her are now the things that repulse me the most.
She asks if the food is okay. I tell her it’s good. She asks if I slept well last night. I tell her I slept fine. She asks about my day. I tell her it’s just another day. After this, there’s only silence. When we both finish eating, she brings our plates to the sink and I get up to grab my coffee.
As I turn toward the door to leave for work, I realize that I’m happy. Happy to be leaving. To be getting out of the house for a while. Then I realize how unhappy I really am and how unhappy she must be. I know I don’t love her anymore. Have known for some time.
Since before my affair with Kim Raena from work. I think she knows about Raena, but she’s never asked about it. And I think she’s been sleeping with Cho Kyuhyun from her meetings, but I’ve also never asked her.
I think I’m afraid. That we’re both afraid. Afraid of being apart. Of being alone. Of starting over.
Lee Donghae, you’re such a coward. I’m such a coward for Han Cheonsa.
We’ve been together for so long. Seven years this November. We have two kids, both in school, though not yet old enough to notice the tension between us. At least I hope they’re not. What would happen if we got a divorce? Who’d get the kids? Would they ever forgive us? And what of our promise? Till death do us part? I’ve broken promises before, many times.
But this one has held me together, reminding me that I’m still a good husband and father despite my faults. If this one is broken, there won’t be anything left. We will have failed in the eyes of our children and in the eyes of God.
Before leaving for work, I walk over to Cheonsa, still standing at the sink, slowly scrubbing the dishes with a sponge. I put my hand on her shoulder, kiss her cheek lightly and tell her I love her. She says she loves me too. Then I head out the door, get in the car and drive off toward another day.