Kitty and Cal drifted into eating lunch together most days of the week. He told her about his children, unburdening himself more and more.
“I’m worried that Anita is doing worse in school since we split,” he told Kitty one day. “She got her report card last night and called to tell me she has two C’s and a D.”
“Is that all?” Kitty asked. “Doesn’t she get more than three grades?”
“All the rest are A’s,” he said. “But she’s never had a D.”
“Maybe she’s having trouble in that subject. What is it?” Kitty asked.
“Algebra,” he answered.
“Well then,” Kitty said, “maybe she needs tutoring or something.”
“That’s a good idea. I’ll talk to her about it,” Cal smiled. He looked relieved all of a sudden. Just the thought that he could take some action changed his mood.
“What about Sam?” Kitty asked.
“I don’t know. He’s gotten really moody,” Cal said. “I think he’s angry at his mother but he won’t tell me about it.”
“Oh,” said Kitty and then added, “what would he be angry about? I mean besides the divorce. Or is that the whole thing? I mean I know it’s a big thing but why would he be angry now and not before?”
“Probably because she’s started bringing her lover over to the house at night,” Cal said and his face went into that dark place again.
“I’m sorry, Cal,” said Kitty. “Would you rather not talk about it? We don’t have to.”
Cal poked around at his food for a minute then looked up at her, his eyes looking hurt, his mouth drawn.
“I didn’t tell you everything, Kitty,” he said. “I didn’t tell you who she was having an affair with.”
“Oh,” Kitty said. “Was it someone you know? A friend of yours?”
“No, nothing like that,” Cal said. “It was … ” he stopped. He raised his chin and his head went back and his eyes closed and he took a deep breath. “It was not a friend of mine. It was a friend of hers. Another woman. That’s who I saw her kissing in the car. That’s what had been going on behind my back. She’d been having this affair all along. That woman got her to go out and get her realtor’s license so they could be together on the sly. They’d go to so-called ‘inspect’ (he said this with a sneer) empty houses that were on the market and they’d have sex and party. It had been going on for a year. I think she wanted me to catch her. I think … ” But he stopped then and opened his eyes and looked at Kitty. “Are you disgusted?” he asked.
Kitty was quiet for a long time before she spoke. When she did, she poured out her whole story, all the shame she felt, all the loneliness, the fear and anger. She told him how she finally got up enough courage to go to the library and how she’d left with nothing and met Alva on the bus. She told him about the convent and the boy who she’d raised for her husband and how he had left too. She told him about the family in Kentucky that she didn’t even know anymore and of how she wondered what happened to the boy and to her own family. By the time she finished, their food had grown cold and Cal did not know what to say.