This is what betrayal looks like. It is the smiling blonde on your husband's Facebook page and his arm is around her in one, two, three pictures, but there are no pictures of you. It looks like the shifty blue eyes that avoid making contact with yours, the arms that fold across his chest, shutting your out, the hand that pulls away when you reach for it. It looks like the hard set of a mouth that was once soft, the jerky motion of a beer being raised to the lips that no longer kiss you.
This is what betrayal smells like. It smells like coconut mango body lotion, like toothpaste, like the sharp, bleachy smell of chlorine from the pool where you're sure they met. It smells like the astringent tang of chewing tobacco, the alcohol seeping from his pores when you go into the room where he sleeps alone. It smells like the food that you cook but you cannot eat, too heartsick to bear the weight of a full fork, too busy cleaning the house so that he finds it inviting.
This is what betrayal sounds like. It is the chirp of incoming text messages, it is the phone ringing again and again when he does not answer your calls. It sounds like angry words that fly at you, fast and hateful, finding fault in every thing that you do. It is the sound of an empty house that you sit in alone, wondering where he is now.
This is what betrayal feels like. It is a tightness in your chest, ribs constricting, heart pounding with thud after painful thud, your breath coming in panicked, shallow bursts. It feels like tingles running down your arms and the outside of your brain literally hurts. It feels like the scratchy carpet rubbing against your knees as you crawl into the room where your husband sleeps at 5:30 am so that you can snatch his unsuspecting Blackberry, hands trembling, and scroll through calls made and messages sent. You find no hard proof, just an ambiguous message or two and a phone number that comes up once, twice, three times. Betrayal feels like a gut-wrenching certainty that your world is about to be blown wide open.