Libby and John were silent for most of the ride, both shocked and stunned by the session they’d just had with Alyson. When Libby finally spoke, her voice was barely audible – her mind lost to a time long gone by; “I can’t get used to being in a hotel here, for so many years this city was home.”
A look of sadness came into John’s eyes, “I’m sorry this morning was so painful. When Alyson requested we come back to Seattle for these last sessions, instead of using SKYPE, I knew it would be intense, but I had no idea she meant to divulge what she did.”
The Valet opened Libby’s door before she could reply.
Libby stood at the window of their hotel suite; she spoke absently as she gazed out at the city that had once been her home.
“I suspected. After he raped me I let my mind consider the possibility that the abuse he suffered as a child was sexual as well as physical and emotional; my heart breaks for him as it has at least a thousand times before …”
John put his arms around her from behind, cradling her and rocking gently
Libby continued “but to learn his sexuality was violent, how could I not have known? I was married to him for more than twenty years and I never suspected, how is that even possible?”
John turned her gently so she was facing him, he then spoke with purpose and love
“How could you have known? You, perhaps better than anyone, know one’s sexuality can be kept hidden, even from a partner.”
Libby rested her head on John’s chest, drawing strength from his embrace
“Paul was never violent – aside from the events surrounding our affair and his illness, he was always kind and gentle. We rarely spoke of his childhood, or the abuse he suffered, and we never spoke in terms of specifics; I knew he’d been an abused child; I knew his father was an alcoholic and a monster – I knew he beat his wife and children, I even knew he had raped Paul’s mother in front of him, but most of that I knew from Paul’s sister. Paul and I lived our lives as though none of that mattered – maybe we even lived as though none of it actually happened.”
Libby looked up at John and then added, “Paul and I didn’t really talk much – but I didn’t realize that until today.”
“I think Paul was terrified of himself, Libby,” John began. “How could he tell you – the woman he had idolized since ninth grade, the woman he thought of as perfect, that he was not who she believed him to be?”
Libby gave an ironic smile, then shook her head gently
“No John, this has nothing to do with Paul’s adoration of me, or even his one time love for me. We both got exactly what we needed from each other.”