The penpal cheater never thought she would find the love letters in his email account. He had been writing his father’s friend in Columbia as “a favor.” Well, actually his father’s student; a woman daddy believed to be a better fit for his son than his current South American girlfriend, my friend. The father was playing matchmaker. What we South Americans call, an “alcahuete” (aka one who meddles).
Meantime, in Paris, his girlfriend reads the emails on their bed, in their apartment. She stumbled on them while searching for a document that she had emailed him a month before. In her hand she had a cup of tea that was slowly spilling onto their mattress soiling the sheets with a green tea hue.
Between gasps of air and frantic speed reading, she discovers that her boyfriend — who she had left the states for–was CORRESPONDING with another woman. A woman who, on a page, could communicate her desires and aspirations to him. A woman who thought it was absolutely fine to pursue a man who was already in a committed relationship. He replied to her with admiration, with soft longing, and a veiled innocence of we can write each other but that’s about it. To which she would respond, but I think I love you. And it continued for more pages.
Oh the written word.
Like Shakespeare teaches us, every word holds many truths and meanings. And my friend was smart enough to read between the lines and see her boyfriend with this Columbian woman swimming in sheets of passion — letters of innocence coated in red ink — stories of family reunions speckled with lust and desire.
It’s only been days, days I can count on one hand and she tells me this through a smile. I can’t tell if it’s pain or relinquishing. What seemed as the perfect love, has become a tortured romance in Paris; he betraying her with words. Words, words, words.
Ay penpal cheater. You forget how powerful they are.
I wish you luck.
Hell hath no fury like a South American woman scorned.
And to my friend, you are more beautiful than he’ll ever understand.