The Perfect Home

February 2003

I had been inside Married Matt's house before – several times, in fact. Now, though, I looked at the place differently because his wife was expecting. Now the perfect couple in the perfect home with the perfect dog would soon have the perfect child who would sleep all through the night in the perfectly-accessorized Pottery Barn Kids nursery. Can you feel the nausea setting in? I know – and I'm not even the one experiencing morning sickness.

I thought Married Matt and Katie had this great marriage. And, for almost three years, I had done a fairly good job of convincing myself that what Matt and I were doing had no bearing on his other life, his real life. Matt and Katie had a marriage. He and I hung out. They had a commitment. He and I were friends who had great sex. Since I never wanted what they had, I continued to justify in my slightly warped head that this whole affair was okay.

All that changed when I was in this house last week. We were having sex, and rather than being 100% focused on that, I kept looking up at the Baby Name Book up on the nightstand. I couldn't remain emotionally detached from this situation any longer.

After we were finished, Married Matt fell asleep. But my brain – or was it my guilt? – wouldn't let me get any rest. I couldn't stop thinking about the baby-to-be. I saw Matt differently. I looked at us differently. My girlfriend's words from a few weeks ago echoed in my head:

"How would you feel if you found out that your Dad was cheating on your Mom when you were conceived?"

She's right; I know it wouldn't matter who Dad was cheating on Mom with or whether that woman wanted to split my parents up. All that would matter was the act of cheating itself.

I didn't want to wake Married Matt up so I went downstairs in the basement, and just cried and cried. To make matters worse, there were photos of his wedding day and framed love blessings everywhere I turned. (I mean, come on, who the heck has wedding photos in their bathrooms?) I was freaking out already and that just made everything worse.

While looking around at this seemingly beautiful home, it started to bother me that I was the only party who couldn't sleep. Why was I the only one who was remotely affected by a conscience? Why was I the only one who was thinking of how to get out of this since a child was on the way?

I guess that's the benefit of living in such a perfect world. There's nothing wrong on the surface, and nothing to be afraid of, and no one ever has to have any real problems. Oh, except the fact that Perfect Married Matt is cheating on his Perfect Wife. Perfect, huh?

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