Everyone is hiding something. Hiding thoughts in their mind. Hiding smiles behind their hands. Hiding fear in their laughs. Hiding people in their backseats.
Everyone has a secret.
Everyone is scared of being discovered. The child with the smashed tea cup on the floor shivers when he hears someone approach. He pushes the mess behind an unused cupboard with the toe of his takkie. He believes no one will ever find it. But cups are counted, shards get left behind, cupboards are moved. Light falls on everything, that same day or years later.
Married men meet their mistresses secretly on the terraces of expensive, quiet restaurants. They never take their wives there. They choose big white umbrellas to sit under with sunglasses and a newspaper to hide behind. They prefer the business section of the Times. They sip smooth cocktails and secretly stroke their legs against one another whilst glancing at their watches. They fool themselves that no one will come to know.
Everyone comes to know.
They make phone calls in hushed voices in the middle of the night from their bathrooms. Their whispers bouncing off the cold tiles. This increases the urgency, the obsession, the fleetingness of it all. They bluff themselves that they are in love.
A secret love always does sound more romantic.
The secrecy of it leads them to take long drives to far out beaches. They are the men you see racing along deserted beach roads with a hint of a smile visible through their tinted glass panes. There are skilled at spotting a familiar face from a distance, tipping the brim of their sunhats low, grabbing a hand and making their way to the nearest exit.
They know where all the exits are.
The women too. They know how to tie their ponytails in untidy knots so that no one will recognise them from the back. They wear hats with wide brims and change the colour of their nail polish. They lie with incredible skill.
But still, the women are easier to identify. A woman having an affair always wears something eye catching. She can’t help it really. A bright green scarf around her neck, perhaps a red patent leather bag, a certain square earring, a pair of black satin pumps. She is excited and she cannot help subconsciously show it with a careless extravagant accessory. A woman is better at keeping these secrets but if you know how to look, she somehow always unwittingly gives herself away.
Men don’t mean it of course: affairs. They’re just stupid that way. The allure of an ankle, a naughty smile, the awareness of a woman’s shifting bottom on the seat next to his at a meeting. Men are fickle. Most of the time they don’t mean to hurt anyone.
They just dont think.
Of course they regret it. When the woman begins to get clingy, when the passion begins to fade, when the secret’s out. Of course they do. The ones that don’t are the smug ones that drink rich coffee in the morning and like their eggs a tad underdone.
The usual ones however, are honestly shocked at their actions. They are ashamed and they spend nights rubbing the a palm to the sandpaper of their cheeks as they wonder how they got themselves into such a mess.
The women? Not so much.
Women think a lot. They plan. They regret very little, and those that honestly do are the ones to be worried about. Those are the ones that will confuse you, will madden you. The one that you will fall deeply in love with and who will kill all the happiness in your life.
You can hate the bitches. You can’t hate the ones that already hate themselves.