Tonight was the night.
After thinking it over, Stef realized that waiting until after the holiday's was bogus. Not just because she was miserable, but because it wasn't fair to anyone. She'd be unhappy, Christian would still be in the dark, and Sarah would be forced to wait longer, and none of it made sense. Sure, breaking up right before Christmas was right up there with breaking up on Valentine's day, but she was left with very little choice, because she wasn't a timekeeper, and there was no way she saw any of this coming.
So, she stood outside her home, the bag she packed for Napa in hand and took a deep breath. She heard the distant din of some sports game, so she knew for sure that Christian was home. When her Lyft drove away, she stuck her key in the lock and turned, immediately hearing the muting of the television, and Christian's hurried, heavy footsteps her way.
"Where the fuck have you been?" He demands, before she can say anything. "I've called you non stop, texted you. You just up and left? What's wrong with you?"
A great question. Stef sighs and puts her bag down. "I need a drink." Is her only reply, walking past him toward the kitchen, and she can feel the heat of his anger following her. "What the fuck, Stef?" He places a hand on her shoulder to turn her around, and she tenses. "Hey, don't. Just give me a second," With that, he backs off, if only for a moment. She pours herself a glass of wine and then turns to him, staring for just a moment, taking a breath first.
"I needed space. Time. I needed to think. And I did. It was just what I needed." He takes a breath to speak and she holds up her hand. "I should have told you I was leaving, but I didn't. I'm sorry for that. But you need to know, I'm not in this anymore. I'm not happy. I don't think I have been for a while, and I needed that time to figure that out,"
She watches his face twist from confusion, sadness, and then finally to anger. "Who is he?" He demands. "You were away this weekend with some guy. It explains it. You're never here, you're always on your phone. Who the fuck is he?" He closes the space between them. "Give me your phone" He demands, to which Stef rolls her eyes. "No."
He begins to pace in front of her. "You didn't deny it. What the fuck? Who is he? Tell me, I'm going to find out anyway, Stefani." Stef takes a long sip from her wine. "I didn't deny it. But you have it wrong," She doesn't want to tell him anything. In fact, she doesn't want to get Sarah overly involved at all. She has a fierce need to protect the other woman, but how can she now? "It's a woman."
The look on his face is nothing short of dumbfounded. She expected more rage, but instead, he looks embarrassed for a moment. "She'll never take care of you like I can," He all but spits. "I'm going to go get my stuff," With that he shoots her one more gaze. She's not sure what it reads; a promise of revenge, spite, or pure hate.
Either way, she can only expect trouble. But still, she's somehow relieved.