The Other Woman (On Gratitude)

Dear Nikki


At first I hoped you wouldn’t answer. I wasn’t sure what lie ahead if you did. I was nervous. I always am, when it comes to you.

And then when you did answer, I got even more anxious. Should I just relay Nate’s message and leave it at that? Should I bring up our scheduled ‘talk’ if you didn’t? Thankfully, you did.

And when you did all my worries faded away. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to hear your words, to know how you feel, to know I still have a chance.

Even more, I want you to know how elated hearing Nixon’s and Nathaniel’s voices made me. How excited they were to talk to me, to hear from me again, to hopefully see me. How Holden gasped when I told him he could speak to his brother and his sister. All of those things mean more to me than anyone could ever know. They brighten my world.

I know we’ve been through a lot. I slept with your husband and you abandoned your kids and we both held resentment for each other for a long, long time. But speaking on the phone made me feel like we were old friends catching up and that gives me hope.

I know we’ll never be ‘old friends’ again, but I hope we can at least get as close as possible, even if it’s just remaining friendly to each other.

But mostly, I want to thank you.

Thank you for the memories you’ve given me over the years, even though many of them weren’t so great.

Thank you for giving me the time of day after all I’ve put you through. I know many other people may not do the same. I know I probably don’t even deserve it.

Thank you for understanding my desires are not selfish, but for the kids. Of course I want to see them as well, but all I’ve ever really wanted was what’s best for them, and I know you do, too.

Thank you for giving me the chance I’ve longed after for so long. Thank you for letting me give you the chance you may have not even cared about.

Thank you for growing, for maturing, for understanding, and letting me do the same.

Thank you for being honest and kind. Thank you for coming back after all that time. Thank you for taking the time to heal yourself.

I may not be able to fathom leaving my child, but I completely understand needing to fix yourself for them. Thank you for fixing yourself.

Thank you, for everything.

Tempest Rose

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This is the third letter in the ‘Other Woman’ series. Click here for parts one, ‘On Apologies,’ and two, ‘On Forgiveness‘.

If you’ve read all three Other Woman posts, I’d love your input. Should I trust her? Should she trust me? Is it going to take us a long time to get to where we need to be? Have you ever been in a similar situation? Let me know!



I hated him once.

I thought I got over it. I thought.

Every time I see him I’m riddled with anxiety and despair.

Maybe he’s the cause of some of my problems. Maybe.

I hate him again.

For different reasons. Or maybe the same.

I can’t hunt or fish or sleep without his face appearing, without his underwear appearing, without his hand lingering too close.

I want to think of something remarkable to say — to explain the pain, to help others, to get it all out and make you understand. The words don’t come.

I think it’s out of my mind and then a night like this. A night like so many others, when I’m minding my own business and all of a sudden he’s there. Like he was so many other times. He’s running his hands down my arms and across my skin and I have goosebumps and I play it off like he’s just drunk, like I’m just drunk, like it will all go away.

It doesn’t go away.

I want to ask for an apology but I don’t want to upset you any more than he’s already done.

So I sit and I write and I wait for the words to come, the words that will explain what he’s done and what it’s done to me and what it will undoubtedly do to you.

Maybe he will stop. Maybe he will make you happy again and he will stop torturing me in my dreams and maybe everything will be okay. Maybe therapy will help and maybe I’ll get over it, like everyone has told me to do for so long. Maybe I’ll stop hating him again.

Maybe not.

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