John is re-admitted to hospital.
None of this was helping me to say what I had to say.
I told Page that I needed a couple of days away by myself to deal with some problems that had come up. I didn't elaborate but told her that they were personal and I needed the time away from her and Penny to deal with them. She, of course, wanted to know why I excluded her from these problems but I told her I couldn't tell her that. I just needed time away by myself. She was becoming upset and I could see tears in her eyes but I had to be firm. I told her that the problems were serious but that I felt it was necessary to be alone to work them out.
She was raising her voice now and she was on the verge of exploding but because of Penny, she held back. She insisted that I tell her what they were but I refused. She got up and ran up the stairs to the bedroom and I heard the door slam shut. I heaved a sigh of relief because this was one of the hardest things I had ever done. I went in to watch Penny play while I picked up the phone and called for reservations at the Holiday Inn Express just off the freeway. It was about 20 minutes away, far enough to feel alone. If Page didn't know where I was, that was all I needed.
Page came back down about an hour later and went about her routine without comment. She seemed to have accepted my intended plans but not happily. She did some laundry and watched Penny take her mid morning juice. She was quiet until she had put Penny down for a nap. It was almost 11:30 and I still had about three hours before I could check in. Page must have decided to try again because she sat down across from me and started. I remember that morning as the first time I made a venture into telling her what I knew.
"What in the world are you doing Jonathan? What is so important that you have to go off by yourself? And what personal issues could you have that don't include me? Is there something you don't want to tell me or something you don't want me to find out about?"
I considered what I was going to say very carefully. I didn't want to really get into this for the reasons I've already mentioned, but why not just a little bump?
"There are some things that I need to decide how best to handle. They are issues that will concern you and Penny but I'm not ready to discuss them with you just yet."
"I don't know what would be so important that you need to wonder how to handle me. That's insulting. Why don't you just say it? Whatever it is? Are you having an affair Jonathan? Is that what this is about?"
"I've never been unfaithful to you in our marriage. I'm not the one that was gone half the time over the past two years. I'm not the one traveling with another man when I was here waiting for you? And I'm not the one that has an apartment in the city for sleepovers."
The look of shock on her face was priceless. This was the first time I had ever mentioned any of those things in a threatening way. This was not something she was prepared for and it caught her by surprise. The look was one of shock and embarrassment, not anger. She sat there, looking at me without saying anything. She was truly at a loss for words. Before she could find the words to rebut me, I walked out of the kitchen and upstairs to pack a bag with enough for about three days. As I closed the bag, she walked in.
"I have to ask you a question and I want a straight answer. Are you accusing me of having an affair with someone? Do you think Harry and I are sleeping together? Is that what this is about?"
"I don't remember accusing you of anything. You asked me if I was having an affair. I just pointed out that you had more opportunity than I did. And what about that phone call from Harry? You talked to him in another room so I couldn't hear? You talked for more than 20 minutes but wouldn't tell me what it was about? If nothing is going on, why couldn't you tell me what it was about?"
"It was personal."
As she said this, the irony of her words came back to catch her.