When I was eleven, my mother found out that my father was having an affair with his coworker's wife. She found videos of them having sex, receipts for toys for her children, obscene photographs, and she found the evidence on her own, while cleaning out the closet. I've never lived down the shriek and cry that I heard that night. I was on the telephone with a friend, discussing the results of a soccer game I had played that day. I was laughing about how I had kicked my shoe off as I scored a goal. My father had videotaped the soccer game. The tape of my goal probably is somewhere around my house today. Or in a storage somewhere because my father's girlfriend---the coworker's wife--and her family hate me.

After running into the bedroom and seeing tears falling off my mother's face, I went to my room. I could hear her in the living room watching the video. I could hear the moans of pleasure. I could hear the moans of heartbreak. I stuffed my head under my pillow and cried. It was a cold November night. My parents had just had their 15-year anniversary earlier that month.

My parents didn't separate immediately. I couldn't figure out what was keeping them together. They were both miserable and I thought they hated each other. They fought, my mother tried to strangle my father, set the house on fire, and at some point my mother and I spent a couple of nights in a women's home in the city (CASA--Citizens Against Spousal Abuse). In those few months, the only thing I heard at night, laying in bed, was crying and screaming from my mother. I thought she'd never be happy again.

My dad started conversing with women on the internet, making lunch dates with them--saying that he had "two roommates", my mother and I. In the afternoons, I would hear my mother in her bedroom crying, finding these letters.

My mother eventually hid her sadness and laughed again. But every time I heard her laugh, all I could hear was crying. I would sometimes go into her room just to check. I could never understand someone could do such a rotten thing to someone they love.

My parents divorced, as did the coworker and his wife. My father and the newly-divorced paramour began seeing each other behind my back. She would come over and they would have sex. And across the city, I could hear my mother crying.

My father's girlfriend and all three of her children suddenly moved into our two-bedroom house with no warning. I was confused, and I too cried. They made fun of me and stole my belongings. They still do, three years later.

I now see why my mother cried.

Now my father and this woman are engaged. Even if I disregard what a homewrecker this woman is, I still hate her and can't understand why my dad gave up everything he had to be with such an idiotic slut. She's stupid, she's ugly, and she's mean. They want to get married at Niagara Falls this summer and have some Salina (or however her name may be spelled) song played at the wedding. I refuse to attend such an unconvential wedding. Why don't they just go to Las Vegas and have strippers at the wedding too? You know, because I heard Las Vegas weddings are pretty trendy too.

And the woman, why would she want to marry my father? Does she not see that he has cheated on his wife? How can anyone marry someone knowing that? How much devotion can someone have to marry the person they had a lusty office affair with, someone who doesn't even have the heart to see what pain she has caused in several people's lives?

I can see my mother at the wedding, crying.

I never want to be like my father. I never want to cause any long-term pain for someone like he did. My mother still loves my father. My mother still cries. And I can hear her, now halfway across the country.