My unfaithful wife said to me, «He is my best friend, and you cannot forbid me to talk to him.»But..

Chapter One: The Test

I never thought I’d be the type to spy on my husband, to doubt his every move, but here I was, sitting in my car across the street from our favorite cafe, my hands trembling as I waited for him to show up. He had said he was meeting a friend, just a casual catch-up. But his hesitance, the quick way he’d hidden his phone the other night—it all seemed so suspicious.

My heart pounded as I watched him approach the cafe. He looked around nervously before entering, which only fueled my anxiety. I knew I should confront him, demand the truth, but instead, I had concocted a loyalty test. It was simple: I had asked my best friend, Lara, to flirt with him, to see how he would react. If he flirted back, that would be it. I’d know everything I needed to.

From my car, I couldn’t see inside the cafe, but I didn’t need to. Lara would fill me in later. She had been hesitant at first, but after hearing the desperation in my voice, she agreed to help me out. She understood the torment of uncertainty; after all, she had been through a messy divorce herself not too long ago.

Time ticked by slowly, each minute stretching out endlessly. I tried to distract myself by scrolling through my phone, but my eyes kept darting back to the entrance of the cafe. Finally, after what seemed like hours, Lara emerged. She walked briskly, her face unreadable, and I felt a cold dread settle in my stomach.

I quickly got out of my car and intercepted her on the sidewalk. «Well?» I asked, trying to keep my voice steady.

Lara sighed, avoiding my gaze. «He recognized me instantly, of course. Said you might have put me up to this.»

My heart sank. «And?»

«And… he told me he loved you. He said he was here to meet a colleague, not a friend. He showed me the texts to prove it.»

A wave of relief washed over me, mixed with embarrassment. Had I been so wrong? I felt foolish, paranoid. But Lara grabbed my arm, her expression serious.

«There’s more,» she said softly. «He asked me not to tell you about the meeting. Said he didn’t want to worry you over nothing. He seemed… off.»

Confusion swirled within me. Relief, doubt, and fear mingled together, creating a chaotic storm of emotions. «What do you think I should do?» I asked, feeling lost.

Lara looked at me, her eyes filled with sympathy. «Talk to him, honestly, without tests or games. You won’t find peace until you do.»

I nodded, knowing she was right. I needed to confront this, whatever the outcome. But as I watched her walk away, a part of me dreaded what I might discover when I finally faced the truth head-on. My heart was a tumult of hope and dread, but I knew one thing for certain: I couldn’t live in doubt any longer.

Chapter Two: The Confrontation

Determined to confront the swirling doubts, I decided that tonight would be the night. I could no longer let the shadows of suspicion darken our home. As evening descended, casting a soft glow through the windows, I prepared dinner, my hands shaking slightly with each chop of the vegetables.

He arrived home later than usual, his footsteps hesitant as he entered the kitchen. «Smells great,» he said with a forced smile, hanging his coat.

«Tom, we need to talk,» I said, my voice more steady than I felt. His expression shifted instantly, a mix of wariness and resignation settling in.

«I figured as much,» he replied, taking a seat at the table. I joined him, my heart pounding as I braced for what might come next.

«Is there someone else?» The question came out blunter than I intended, but it hung between us, demanding an answer.

Tom sighed deeply, running a hand through his hair. «Why would you think that?» His voice was low, a hint of frustration seeping through.

«Because you’ve been distant, secretive. And today, Lara saw you at the cafe. You were supposed to meet a colleague, but you seemed… off.»

He frowned, his eyes searching mine. «Lara was there? You sent her to test me?» There was an edge to his words now, a barrier rising between us.

«Yes, I did. I needed to know,» I admitted, feeling both defiant and ashamed.

Tom stood abruptly, his chair scraping against the floor. «I can’t believe this, Sarah. I can’t believe you’d doubt me like this.»

«Then tell me I’m wrong,» I pleaded, my voice breaking. «Tell me there’s nothing to worry about.»

He paced the room, his fingers drumming against his arm. «There’s nothing going on. I swear. But there’s something else, something I’ve been trying to figure out how to tell you.»

The room seemed to contract, the air thick with tension. «What is it?» I demanded, fearing the worst.

«It’s about my job. They’re downsizing, and I might be… at risk.»

The revelation hit me differently than I expected. Relief that it wasn’t an affair, mixed with a new worry. «Why didn’t you just tell me?»

«I didn’t want to worry you until I knew more. I thought I could handle it.»

Just then, the doorbell rang, slicing through our tense bubble. Tom glanced at me, a silent question in his eyes. I nodded, and he went to answer it.

Standing at the door was a woman in her thirties, her eyes anxious. «I’m sorry to come unannounced,» she said, her gaze flicking between us. «I’m Clara, Tom’s colleague. There’s been a development at work we need to discuss.»

Tom looked back at me, his expression apologetic. «Can we talk about this later? This is urgent.»

I nodded, feeling a mix of emotions as I watched him step outside with Clara, their heads bent in close conversation. Who was she, really? And what was this urgent development?

As they disappeared from view, I realized the evening had raised more questions than answers. The shadows had shifted, but they hadn’t cleared. I knew this was far from over.

Chapter Three: Unraveling Threads

After Tom and Clara left, the silence in the house felt oppressive, like it was filled with echoes of the words unspoken and secrets just beneath the surface. I found myself pacing, each step echoing in the empty rooms, my thoughts spinning out of control.

I couldn’t shake the image of them together, their heads close, talking in hushed tones. Who was Clara, really? And what was so urgent that it couldn’t wait until tomorrow? Deciding I needed more than just Tom’s assurances, I grabbed my phone and called Lara.

She picked up on the first ring. «Hey, what’s up? Did you talk to him?»

«Yes, but we were interrupted by his colleague, Clara. He left with her just now,» I explained, my voice tight with frustration.

«Clara? Do you want me to find out about her?» Lara’s voice was laced with concern and a readiness to help that made me feel slightly guilty for dragging her further into my mess.

«No, I’ll handle it. But thanks, Lara,» I said, trying to muster some resolve.

After we hung up, I decided to do a little digging myself. I knew Tom kept his old laptop in his study for emergencies; maybe it was time for one. I powered it on, hesitating only a moment before logging in. The password was the name of our first dog together, a fact that stung with irony under the circumstances.

Chapter Four: The Reveal

I scrolled through Tom’s emails, my fingers trembling slightly as I typed in ‘Clara’ into the search bar. As the loading symbol whirred, I braced myself for what I might find. Yet, when the results populated, they were not at all what I expected. Instead of clandestine messages, I found threads filled with discussions about restructuring plans, potential job losses, and reassuring colleagues. There was a professional tenderness in Tom’s words, a leadership quality that I had always admired.

As I dug deeper, an email from Tom to Clara caught my attention. It was sent late at night, a time stamp that would have usually raised my suspicions. The subject read, «Emergency meeting re: final decisions.» The content was a plea for help in preparing a presentation to save several team members’ jobs, including his own. My eyes welled up as the pieces began to fit together—his secrecy, his late nights, his nerves.

I heard the front door open and close softly, pulling me away from the screen. Tom walked in, looking exhausted but relieved. He paused in the doorway of his study, noticing the open laptop.

«I guess you saw everything?» he asked, his voice weary.

I stood up, nodding. «Yes, I… I’m sorry, Tom. I should have trusted you.»

He came closer, his expression softening. «It’s okay, I understand why you doubted. Things haven’t been right between us, and I should have been more open.»

I reached out, taking his hands. «No, I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions. Tell me, what happened with Clara tonight?»

Tom squeezed my hands gently. «We managed to convince the board to reconsider. It looks like we might have saved most of the jobs, including mine.»

Relief washed over me, mingled with love and remorse. «That’s amazing, Tom. I’m so proud of you.»

He smiled, pulling me into a hug. «I couldn’t have done it without Clara. She’s been an incredible support through this.»

Just then, the doorbell rang. Tom looked at me quizzically, «Expecting anyone?»

«Actually, I might know who it is,» I said, realizing Lara might have taken matters into her own hands despite my request. We walked to the door together, and opening it, we found Lara standing there, an apologetic look on her face.

«Hey, I thought you might need some backup,» Lara said, eyeing both of us with concern.

Tom laughed, the tension finally breaking, «It’s alright, Lara. Turns out I needed all the support I could get.»

Lara stepped inside, her eyes widening slightly as she took in our joined hands and our smiles. «So, everything is okay?» she asked.

«Better than okay,» I said, feeling the weight lift off my shoulders.

As Lara joined us in the living room, Tom shared the good news about his job. We celebrated with drinks, laughter filling the room, overshadowing the shadows of doubt that had loomed so large just hours before.

Later that night, as Lara left and Tom and I prepared for bed, he stopped me with a serious look in his eyes. «Sarah, I promise to be more open in the future. We should never let it get to this point again.»

«I promise too,» I replied, knowing this scare had ultimately brought us closer. We climbed into bed, holding each other a little tighter, the trials of the past days reminding us of what we stood to lose—and what we’d fought so hard to keep.

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