Sober Second Thought
Copyright© 2015 by empath
Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - A couple have fallen out of love. They agree to divorce before things go really sour and separate while they're still friends. But despite being the smart thing, it's still not easy to do...
I woke to the alarm, stretched, and plodded to the bathroom.
After performing the basic ablutions, I donned a pair of trunks, a bathrobe and slippers, threw a towel over my shoulder and popped the room key in my robe's pocket, and left my room for the hotel's pool for my morning swim.
After working hard enough on my laps to wake myself up properly, I showered off and returned to my room to dress for the day ahead.
The day that would end our marriage.
A bittersweet ending to a fun and happy time that, sadly, had run its course.
I shook myself as I realized I'd been standing in front of my open closet lost in thought.
I picked a suit that was sombre yet not too sombre, dressed, and called my friend and lawyer Keith to confirm our appointment with the judge in chambers to submit our settlement and finalize the divorce.
I glanced at my ringing phone as I sat on the hallway bench, waiting for everything to happen.
"Ah! It's my mother. Err, have we got time?"
My attorney stopped reviewing his notes and looked at his watch.
"Oh, yeah – we're early, so go ahead and chat."
I answered the call and greeted her. "Hey, mom; how are you doing?"
"Oh good, yeah."
"Yeah, I'll be out there soon, anyways – I can help with that."
"What? Well, you know what today is, so you probably know how I'm feeling."
"Well, there's the rub; I don't know yet – I'm sitting here with Keith waiting for the meeting to start. It was for eleven o'clock – you probably thought ten?"
"Yeah, no problem, she's not here yet, so I can chat with you for a bit."
"No, you know very well that we're still on good terms; I've told you and Carla's told you that we came to the decision together and calmly and rationally."
"No, mother, she's NOT 'a parasitic harpy that's stolen a decade of your son's life' and you KNOW that; you still talk with her all the time, even after I moved out two weeks ago. You're probably on better terms with her than I am, and YES that's saying a lot!"
I sighed and rested my forehead in my free hand.
"Yes, I still love her, and she loves me ... but ... it's ... well, it's just we worked so hard at making the restaurant a success that we kind of let our romance fade away; now that it's well-established and gotten to the point that I don't even need to be in the kitchen every night, or her in the office every day, we just ... well, one day we were sitting on the couch, and looked at each other, almost at a loss for what to do."
"Yeah, I'm sorry I didn't go into all this detail ... and that Carla didn't either."
"Yeah, we can talk about this more when I get out there."
"Yes, I'm coming out to stay with you for a while; it's been too long since we saw you – what was it, two Christmases ago? So yeah ... and part of it is, well, everything here reminds me of her – the museums we visited, the parks, the theatres – even the subway. And if we need be apart, I need to get out of the city to get clear of her."
"No, not because ... no, it's not that the memories make me angry or anything. Maybe a little sad, because I miss her already, but it's that they make me want to get back together with her, and that'd break this agreement with her, and put us right back in the tense situation we were in when we decided to end it."
"Yes, I know – it's sad, but look at it like this; we still love each other, and care for each other, and we can still work together fine, and we've been able to ... to ... oh, what's the word?"
"Amicably," my attorney supplied as he sat next to me.
"Yeah, we're ending the marriage amicably and without anger and spitefulness and ill-will. How rare is that nowadays?"
"Why? Well, the big thing is-"
A shadow passed in front of me, and my soon to be ex-wife and her attorney arrived.
"Oh! Carla's here, mom. I'll call you back after we're done."
I cupped my hand over the phone and looked apologetically at everyone. "Do you wanna say hi?"
Carla grinned and shook her head.
Something occurred to me. "Did you tell here the reason behind all this? The root of it all?"
She shook her head and winced a little. "No, I ... well, I felt you-"
"Oh, okay. No problem." I got back on the phone. "Mom? Still there? Yeah ... it's time to get this done, I hate to cut things off like this but the sooner we start, the sooner we finish. Mom? Mom – I promise I'll call you back as soon as we're done! I swear. Okay, love you mom – this won't take long. I'll call you right back. Okay, bye."
I put my phone away, shifted in my seat, and looked at everyone. "So, shall we get things rolling, so's I can end her suspense all the sooner?" I asked with a chuckle, which everyone matched, and we made our way to the judge's chambers.
"Okay, and then there's the car – a 2008 Cadillac STS? I understand Mr. Baker will take sole custody of that?"
Carla fielded the judge's question. "Yes. I'm staying in the city and we've hardly touched it in all these years; since Nate's moving out west, he'd get more use out of it than I would."
I and both lawyers nodded in agreement.
"So then there's ownership of the corporation – Bistro Holdings #92438; the submitters are to keep equal shares?"
"Yes," I responded.
Judge Tomkins looked at me sardonically. "So you're going to maintain a business relationship, despite ending your personal relationship?"
Carla spoke up at this. "Yes. Your honor, the business was basically the foundation of our relationship, and even if the romance that grew out of it is ... well ... gone, it's no cause to disturb a stable and profitable business."
He regarded the woman before him. "And you're sure staying in contact through these means won't cause distress for either party? Mr. Baker IS leaving the city to get away from you – how do I know you won't use business matters to... 'get at him'?"
If Carla took any offense to Judge Tomkins' implications, she didn't show it. "On the contrary, the company's main holding – the bistro we jointly created – is successful to the point of self-sufficiency. We won't really need to interact much at all. We just feel since we equally put our effort into making the business, it's only fair that we reap the benefits just as equally."
I looked at Carla as she spoke. Her 'cold as ice' persona she usually donned as her tailored suits was melting, she was leaning toward the judge, baring herself with what she said.
Oh, how I still loved her. From her bob cut of jet black hair, to her soft and warm eyes, to that pert little nose that would wriggle like a rabbit's when I tickled her to her soft cheeks that always felt so perfect to peck affectionate kisses on, to-
Everyone was looking at me, seeming to expect a reply. I cleared my throat and blinked a few times.
"I asked if you agree, sir," the judge repeated politely.
"Well. I ... yes, she has a point. If I were to cut myself off completely in every respect, it would be 'cutting the nose off to spite the face.' We've already enjoyed the ... um, fiscal benefits of our labors on the restaurant, and it is a success. I can live elsewhere and still do what little I need to keep the business ticking over smoothly.
"It's ... it's like if we had a child that was full grown at this time," I posed, suddenly feeling uneasy with my analogy. I noticed Carla glanced away. "Um, if we did divorce, there's no immediate reason that either of us would have to end our relationship with our adult offspring, right?"
It made us both uncomfortable, but Carla point's stood; just because I owned part of it didn't mean I had to keep myself directly involved with it. My cooking staff were ticking over like a well-oiled machine, and worked just fine without needing my help. And giving up my fair share of the restaurant's dividends would be more of an unfairness than our joint ownership meaning we would need to keep some level of contact going.
And it wasn't like our marriage had completely soured; we still liked one another. A lot. Indeed the whole reason for our separation was more for how each of us was uncomfortable at the thought of forcing the other person to do something they didn't want. It was just this one thing was ... how did Keith phrase it? "an irreconcilable difference".
I glanced over to Carla again as the judge mulled over what we said; her discomfort was gone, and she was looking at our host. It seemed she felt my gaze and looked my way. And smiled.
We just looked fondly in each others eyes, and we eventually noticed the silence in the room.
"Okay, from what little I've seen of you two personally I tend to take what you say as truth," the judge spoke up. "This isn't the first time I've had a couple in here that weren't practically using my chambers for a battleground. But it always makes me a little sad – as nice as it is not to feel like the referee in a wrestling match – to see two genuinely nice people go their separate ways."
Tomkins looked down at his desk and scanned over our papers. "But that's as maybe. Everything seems in order, and your reasoning has merit. You refused my suggestion of speaking with a counsellor, so there's not much else I can do except let this go ahead." He picked up a pen and signed the divorce papers. "There! It's official; by the power of the State of New York invested in me, I now pronounce you complete strangers; you may kiss your ex!"
We all chuckled, and Carla and I both stood and hugged, a little somberly. I gave her a little 'good-bye' peck on the cheek, and she did the same.
The judge chuckled. "You know I was just joking there, right?"
My now-ex-wife and I shuffled apart in embarrassment, and sat back down so we could finish, and I could finally call my mother back and explain why we had to do all this.
It was over, the marriage was officially ended. Carla was keeping my name – since that's what all her business contacts knew her by for over a decade – but would be "Ms. Carla Baker" instead of "Mrs." Judge Tomkins was to pass the signed divorce papers to the County Recorder, who would then send both of us official copies, but it was done.
Keith gave me a lift to pick up the Caddy, and I returned to the hotel to change into more comfortable and casual clothes, and to pack up my belongings and check out.
Then I returned to our ... well, Carla's condo, to pack my share of our accumulated belongings that would ride with me through the Midwest, and get the remainder sorted for later shipping.
She was dressed just as casually as I was – jeans and a T-shirt. We smiled and introduced ourselves as single people, and as she invited me in, I gave her a friendly peck on the cheek.
Sorting my things didn't take too long, and with the car loaded up, and the rest in boxes ready for the shipping company to pick-up.
We looked at each other, satisfied with another job done well by our teamwork, yet sad about parting, maybe forever. Carla looked at the floor, and I once again studied her beautiful features.
"I still lo-"
We stopped speaking as we realized we were saying the same thing at the same moment. We didn't need to finish, each of us knew what the other was going to say.
I took Carla in my arms and rested our foreheads together. Her hands met naturally in their usual spot at the small of my back.
"Do ... do you want me to stay? To... 'say good-bye' one last time? I could leave in the morning, bright and early and re-"
"Oh, I want you to stay, Nate. I want to take all your stuff out of the car and and then we order cheap take-out and ... but I also want you to go and do what you need to do, and find someone who can give you what I won't-"
"Oh, honey!" I kissed her forehead and hugged her a little tighter. "I ... I'd love to make this the shortest divorce in history, and I'd love to stay ... but I also don't want you anxious about what you just don't want to do – we both know eventually it'd stress us out again – either way, whether I gave up wanting it, or you gave in and did it, the other person would worry; worry about what was sacrificed to keep us together, and whether we'd poison each other over the compromise – I don't want you to find you crying like that again."
Carla brought her hands up to hold my face, and kissed me, firmly and passionately, sucking at my soul as she often would. I'd miss those kisses. "Oh, Nate – you're too good to me. To be so understanding and accepting over what anyone else would think is fine and normal-"
"To do it is fine, but to NOT do it is just as fine," I interrupted. "it's not fair to push you into it-" I broke off when I realized one of my hands had slipped down her back of its own accord, resting on her firm bottom.
We stared into each others' eyes, surprised at what our bodies were doing without our conscious efforts. And suddenly it was as if were were at a middle school dance ... with plenty of room left for Jesus.
"I need to go."
"Oh, yeah – it's..."
We let go of each other, nodded cordially.
"Nate, I'll miss you – hell, I miss you now, already. But I don't want you to give up what you want just to stay with me."
I sighed deeply, fighting back a tear or two. "God, hon ... I just love you all the more that ... oh, it's so weird to think of you pushing me away as a nice thing, but - well, you know."
"Yeah, we're a right pair – like something out of Gift of the Magi or something – each willing to sacrifice their own dreams for the other one." She held her elbow with the other hand ... the meek and awkward posture somehow made me want her even more. Her gaze was on the floor between us again, but as she started to look up to me, she stopped and her eyes bugged out a little.
"Oh! Er, Nate, you really should get on the road ... I..." Suddenly she was studying an end-table off to my right.
I realized where she had been looking, and unconsciously squirmed at my filling penis, glancing down to confirm what I knew, and as MY gaze rose, I was startled to see Carla's nipples straining through the shirt and bra to call out to me.
"Yeah! Um, I-" and then I broke, stepped forward again and gave her a quick half-dozen kisses all over her face. Her hands came to my shoulders, but I couldn't tell if it was to push me away or hold me close.
"I want to, but yes, thank you, love, I'm going to go ... as much as it hurts me- hurts both of us, I'm going to rip this band-aid off."
She sagged and straightened her arms, helping me step back.
"Go. I'll call your mom to let her know you're on your way."
"Yeah, thanks – get us a safe distance apart faster," I agreed with a rueful grin on my face.
"Call her when you crash for the night ... and..." she was fighting back tears, and losing.
"I'll call you too, this evening. I promise."
"Good-bye, Nate. You're right – it's ... it'll be better this way."
And then I turned and left, almost vibrating with resistance to what I was doing.
It wasn't until I was sitting in the car that I realized I'd been holding my breath, and as I forced my lungs to work again, my head dropped onto the steering wheel. After almost sobbing, I managed to bring myself to turn the ignition, change gears and start the car rolling.
My foot slammed on the brakes. My jaw ached as it clenched, my breath was laboured, and my knuckles were white on the wheel. I fought with myself for a few more moments, then pulled my hands off the wheel, scrabbled for the seat belt and strapped myself in, maybe to protect myself from a possible crash from my distracted emotional state, or maybe just to hinder myself from leaping from the car and racing back to her ... and undoing everything both of us were struggling to do.
I took some more deep breaths, put my hands back on the wheel, and lifted my foot from the brake pedal. As the car started forward, a strangled sound escaped from my lips, something somewhere between a sob, a growl and a cry.
I set off, and left my ex-wife.