Chapter 23: Lyin’ Eyes

I’ll be honest: I’ve been a wreck since my last update, and I don’t know what to do about it. Maybe putting my thoughts into words here will help me sort out the mess in my head.

I’m working with a couple of different data points. The first of these is that every man in town seemed to be irrationally concerned that my wife was giving birth to a child. The other point is that Nalani has been visibly upset lately, and seems to be unwilling or unable to talk to me about it.

The Enigma

I’ve given the whole situation an obscene amount of thought, and I keep coming back to the same conclusions. The only reason I can think of that Nalani would be reluctant to talk to me, at the same time other men are completely freaked out at the thought of her having a baby, is…

I can’t even work up the nerve to say it out loud (or, in this case, to type it, I suppose). The conclusion, based on the available evidence, seems obvious to me, but what if I’m wrong? Surely there are other explanations, right? If any of you out there on the other side of this fourth wall I’ve built for myself can think of any alternate possibilities, I’d love to hear them.

In the absence of better ideas, I seem to be left with two options: I can either confront Nalani with my suspicions, or I can stick my head in the sand and pretend nothing’s going on. The former could potentially destroy the relationship between Nalani and I, whether I’m right about what’s been going on or not. If I’m right, then we’re already on shaky ground and I’m not sure where we go from here. If I’m wrong, she’s going to think I don’t trust her — and I suppose right now, I don’t — and that’s bad, too. My other option, though, seems to be to ignore the problem, and that hasn’t been working very well so far.

Boone, The Sleep Eater

It’s also possible that I’m making far too much of this, and just buckling under the stress of having another baby in the house. Maybe my lack of sleep is playing tricks on my mind, and all I need to calm this mental turmoil is a good nap.

No, I need to face this head on. I need to talk to Nalani about this, and I should just do it and get it over with. Now. I’m going to do it right now, before I chicken out. I’ll be back.

Several Hours Later…

Well, that was… bad. My suspicions have been confirmed, and sometimes it’s no fun at all being right.

Nalani, as it turns out, hasn’t been completely faithful. Like, not even close. It turns out there’s been a bit of a revolving floor on the Rex household of late, with Nalani waiting in sexy lingerie on the other side of it. She tells me she feels really guilty about it, but of course she’d say that.

Just how unfaithful has she been? Well, here, let me draw you a picture. Or several pictures, in what I have been told are chronological order.


So, in case you were wondering, I guess Nalani doesn’t really have a type. You’ll recognize several of these guys as men who were freaking out at the hospital, and I’ve finally got confirmation that the reason for that is that any of these guys (or I) could, potentially, be Boone’s biological father.

Yes, seriously. Nalani’s string of serial infidelity took place over the course of a few days, she says, and she’s not sure which of her partners provided half his DNA.

I asked her if this was some kind of mermaid thing. If you know anything about dolphins, you’re probably aware that males are notorious for trying to impale anything that moves; I couldn’t help but wonder if mermaids might be similarly libidinous. It would have been easy for Nilani to make herself look better by blaming it on a quirk of mermaid biology, but she didn’t. This was all her own fault, she said. She made no excuses, and took full responsibility for her infidelity.

This is all horrible, of course, and made even worse by Akira’s appearance as #9 in the lineup. Somehow the thought of Nalani getting it on with strangers isn’t nearly as disturbing as knowing that one of her conquests was my best friend. I suppose one extra stab in the back doesn’t make that much difference when I’ve been stabbed this many times, but it still hurts.

I’m really not sure where we go from here. I feel disappointed and betrayed, of course, but then there are the complications. The kids are an obvious one — if we were to go our separate ways now, things obviously get complicated. As a child of divorce myself, it’s not something I ever wanted for my own kids, and I’m not super thrilled with the concept of not seeing my kids every day. Call me a pushover, but it’s not something I want for Nalani, either.

There’s also one other really annoying wrinkle to this whole thing that makes this much harder. I love Nalani. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been completely blindsided by this, and maybe it just hasn’t sunk in yet, but there’s this tiny little voice in my head telling me to forgive her (with guarantees it won’t happen again, of course). It’s a bit hard to hear that voice over all the screaming going on in inside my head right now, but it’s there.

Nalani says this was something akin to a case of temporary insanity. It hasn’t happened since Simon, and she claims she’s gotten it out of her system and has no intentions of straying again. Strangely, I think she believes that. Though clearly she can withhold the truth when it suits her, I’m pretty sure she’s incapable of outright lying and she doesn’t fake sincerity very well. I didn’t get any sense that she was being anything but honest with me, and where my head is right now, I’m looking for dishonesty everywhere.

She and I obviously have a lot more talking to do. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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