First off, I want to say thanks for all of the wonderful e-mails I got about last month's Story (Falling in and out of Love). I was really glad to see that a lot of you understood what I was going for. This one is a different animal though. I hope that the story is worth at least what you've paid to read it. For those of you who don't like this one, just e-mail me, tell me what you didn't like and I'll send you a refund. Thanks to the legendary Barney-R for editing this one while on vacation. Any goof ups you find were probably things I changed when i went back over it after he was done. SS06
I heard the buzzing from my cellphone and immediately came awake. I quickly silenced it and left our bedroom to get rid of the call before it awakened my sleeping husband.
I crept through the house and down the stairs to our living room where my voice wouldn't carry back to Steve, even if he did wake up. There on the stairs in my darkened living room, I let out my fury once and for all.
"God damn it Rick," I hissed. "I told you that it was over. Don't you understand English? It was never meant to be a permanent thing. I told you from the very beginning, that as soon as Steve graduated and our life went back to normal, you and I were done! You were there at his graduation last week. I was kind enough to give you one for the road, Monday? Now stop calling me..." I paused to listen to his whining for a second, but my fury only increased. Deep down inside, I was flattered by the way he felt, but I simply didn't return his feelings. I was despite all of the evidence to the contrary, a one man woman. I loved my husband like there was no tomorrow.
"You won't say shit, asshole. You have just as much to lose as I do. You're married too. And Georgia would take you to the cleaners. On some level I will miss it," I said. "Yes Rick you have the biggest dick I've ever had, but you already know that. It's over, don't call me anymore. No not even one more time. It has to end. So I'm ending it!"
I went into shock as the lamp on my living room suddenly flashed on. I looked into the biggest softest brown eyes I had ever seen. I knew every line and fleck of those eyes. Those eyes and the heart connected to them were what made me fall in love with Steve ten years before when I was only twenty years old.
I had been so intent on quickly getting out of bed and out of our room before Steve heard my phone that I hadn't noticed that he was no longer in our bed.
I could hear the sound of Rick pleading with me over the phone as it fell from my fingers and landed on the hardwood floor just below me. The screen of the fragile device cracked, but it still functioned and Rick continued to whine and plead. The ten foot distance between me and the chair my husband sat in suddenly seemed like an unreachable distance.
My heart was beating so loudly in my chest that I was sure he could hear it across the room. My husband's pain was evident in those same soft brown eyes. They seemed to be getting wetter with each passing second, but I knew he wouldn't cry in front of me.
The silence was deafening and it seemed to stretch for hours although I know that only a few seconds had elapsed since the light came on.
"My body takes a while to adjust from the midnight shift," he said. "I couldn't sleep. I didn't want to wake you or keep you up too. I came down here to play some games on my iPad.
His voice was tortured, but as he spoke he gained strength. Those first few words, delivered in a halting cadence were just his way of stalling for time. After ten years together, I knew him. Logic would take over next.
"I have the day off tomorrow," he said. "Actually I have the next two days off. I'm going to throw some clothes on and take my Mustang out for a drive. Maybe I'll stop off for breakfast. Then I'll be home. It's just after midnight. I'll try not to come back before 8am...
"But Steve, Honey, please don't leave we need to talk..." I whined. He held his hand up as if gesturing for me to shut the fuck up.
"I'm not leaving," he spat. "I'm giving you time to pack your shit. When I get back in the morning, I'll be tired, I'll go to sleep ... Just like I do after any other midnight shift. If you're here ... I'll hurt you ... BADLY.
"But Sweetheart, I have to explain this to you," I whined. "I'm sorry. You have to let me explain...
He walked straight to me and for the first time since I had known my sweet and gentle husband, I was afraid. I really believed that he was going to hit me. But he didn't even touch me as he bounded right by me and up the stairs. A few moments later ... barely long enough for me to begin to cry he was rushing past me in the other direction. The front door opened and slammed again and he was gone. I heard the hellish sound of his Mustang's exhaust system growing softer as he drove away.
I collapsed on the stairway and just started crying.
"Is he coming over here?" asked Rick's now shrill voice, from the still active phone. "Oh boy, I really fucked up didn't I?" I hung the phone up wondering why I'd answered it in the first place.
I ignored the phone. All I could think about was that my marriage was over. I thought abut trivial things. So many should have, could have and would have scenarios went through my mind as the tears fell.
I should have never cheated on him. I should have let him get me pregnant when he first wanted a baby. If we had kids I'd have an extra hold on him. Steve would never leave his children. He loved kids in general. But our kids ... They would have owned his heart even more than I did.
I could have spent the rest of my life being the best wife possible for him. That had been my intention after all. The fling with Rick ... And that was all it was ... A fling. A momentary scratch for a tiny itch that I could have lived with. It had meant nothing. It had meant less than nothing.
Fuck ... Who was I kidding? The fling with Rick meant that I was lying here on the fucking stairwell crying my eyes out while my husband put as much distance between us as he could. It meant that I had no idea about the future of my marriage.
I wanted to spend the rest of my life loving Steve. I'd already loved him for the past ten years of it. Not a day went by that I didn't thank the gods that he married me. I loved the man with all of my heart and soul. I couldn't so much as look at a picture of him without smiling.
Stevie was my everything. He was tall and slim with a boyish charm that made him seem a lot younger than we were. I had to admit that he carried the years better than I did. We seemed to be total opposites. He had light, dishwater blond hair and beautiful brown eyes to my dark brown hair and light grey eyes. He always talked about my eyes they were his favorite things about me; he claimed. At least that was what he told everyone else. But in private, Steve loved my ass.
That was one of the things that told me he loved me. My body was average at best. I'd had a tough time becoming comfortable in my skin. My boobs are a generous C cup, but it was my ass that drew men to me. Long before I knew what a Kardashian was, I could have been one.
I used to dress in long flowing skirts to hide my ass. It was Steve who told me how sexy it was. I had always noticed that a lot of older men got funny looks on their faces around me, but I'd never known why. I had always hated my ass.
In some ways I blamed my mom. I had her shape. She was happy with it. My daddy couldn't keep his hands off of her. I used to feel sorry for her when I was growing up. I'd come into a room and find them lying on couch, or sitting together and he'd be grabbing and squeezing her ass. As soon as they saw me she'd quickly push him away or he'd look up at me and move his hands.
To be truthful, when I was very young, I was embarrassed by it. None of my friends had parents who were constantly feeling on each other. They all had parents who were polite to each other, but that was it. Their parents were just like the ones in our story books. I was the one who ended up with the crazy parents.
As I got older, I realized that I was the lucky one. My parents, even into my teens, were so in love with each other that they still did things together. They REALLY loved each other.
I on the other hand was an awkward girl. I was uncomfortable with my body. I wanted to be a waifish slip of a girl like a lot of my friends. I also loved that athletic but busty look that a lot of the cheerleaders had.
I met Steve when I was twenty. He was a business major and I was just attending college. I had no idea what I wanted to do. And after two years of wasting my parents' money with barely middling grades, I was still taking a lot of liberal arts classes.
I was sitting at a table at the student center with my best friend Liz when I first saw him. Liz was a tall skinny girl with big glasses and no boobs. But somehow she exuded sex. I think it was because a lot of guys saw her long legs and imagined those legs wrapped around them. The fact that she has no boobs had never occurred to her.
She also had a friendly outgoing nature and a bright, sunny personality. She could get away with things that would mortifying other people. So when she stood up and left me at the table in mid sentence, I was unaware of her plans.
When she returned to our table dragging a man behind her, I was sure that she was in the process of making yet another conquest.
As she forced him into a seat, I laughed. "Ya got another one huh, Lizzie?" I said.
"Nope," she said. "This one is yours."
A shock went through my entire body. I was a healthy, normal 20 year old woman, but other than a terrible incident a year earlier when I lost my virginity to another friend's cousin in a basement sleepover party, I had never had much to do with men. I remember my embarrassment when I heard her brother and the cousin talking the next morning while the girls were all asleep.
"So Ya got some pussy last night huh, Bobby? I told you, I love it when my sister has these sleepovers. It's like shooting fish in a barrel," said one. I recognized the voice as belonging to the brother of the girl who hosted the party.
"Dude it wasn't that great," said the guy who had just taken my virginity. "She didn't know how to fuck. She just laid there like a rock. I think she cried. Then this morning I noticed that there was blood all over my white silk boxers. I didn't know she was a cherry. Now the bitch will be following me all over town moping about how I belong to her because she gave me such a special fucking gift. And I'm not sure you know this, but dude her ass is HUGE. I was scared to flip her over and try to get some Doggie. I thought I might fall into that ass and without a safety rope and some spotlights, I wasn't sure I could find my way out."
Luckily, they thought that I, like the other girls, was still asleep. As soon as they left, I got dressed, woke the hostess, thanked her for inviting me, and left, citing an early hair appointment. I never went back to her house again. I also stayed as far away from men as I could.
"What do you mean, mine?" I asked Liz.
"Every time I see this guy, he's staring at you," she said.
"Okay, I have a big butt," I said angrily. "I can't help it. I've tried dieting, it doesn't help. It's really rude to..." I suddenly noticed both the mortified look on Steve's face and Lizzie's laughter.
"Shut up, stupid," she smiled. "You're making a fool of yourself. He stares at your face, Dummy," she hissed. "I think he likes you, for real."
I turned and looked at Steve and that was it. Those big, soft brown eyes took over my heart. I was his from that moment on and he had no idea.
"You have the most beautiful gr-gr-gray eyes," he stuttered. "And your hair is always so..."
"Me?" I asked in shock. I thought it was some kind of joke.
He shyly nodded his head.
"Okay, asshole, which fraternity are you pledging?" I asked. He ran away so quickly that Carl Lewis couldn't have caught him.
Needless to say, our first meeting wasn't spectacular. It took a few more meetings before we had our first date, but we got together. And once we were together, it was obvious to everyone around us that we were in love. Things moved so quickly that we were married within a year of that first awkward meeting.
And I blossomed inside of that same year. Somehow, knowing that Steve found me beautiful and sexy, made me feel that way. Knowing that Steve loved my ass, meant good bye to long flowing skirts and hello to short tight skirts that showed it off.
As I look back on it now, with Steve I had become like my mother. Steve was always touching me and I loved it. But, shit, I felt him up too, constantly. Steve is my everything and marriage didn't change it at all.
My parents were always telling me that Steve was a great husband. Anything I wanted he worked his ass off and got for me. That was the problem. Steve was working his ass off but it just wasn't enough. He decided to go back to school and get into some aspect of the medical field to give us more financial stability.
We talked about it and Steve thought that the best way or us to go would be for him to pull some money out of his 401K plan to cover his school and our living expenses while he was in school. That way we wouldn't have a mountain of college loans to pay off when he was done.
Steve worked his ass off and graduated with honors. At his graduation ceremony, while accepting an award for his excellent grades, Steve's speech praised ME for always being there for him and helping him while he struggled learning and adjusting to his new field of study. And now only three weeks after his graduation, we were in trouble.
I barely had the energy to get myself off of the stairs, but I went up and packed a bag. I took several outfits and my makeup and personal items but no more. I was willing to give Steve a couple of days ... Maybe three, to calm down; but no more. We needed to talk about this and there was no way I could be without him for any longer than that.
I drove away into the night. I was only on the freeway for abut five minutes. It was a good thing too. I was nowhere near emotionally stable enough to drive fast. And the last thing I needed at that moment was to wrap my car around a tree. I could just see myself being rolled into my own ER on a gurney.
It would be too embarrassing to have some of my coworkers X-ray me. I could see it now. They would do the normal trauma protocol; a mobile chest X-ray to ensure that my lungs were functioning and that there were no PEs. They could also check for rib fractures and other pathology. They would also do a mobile pelvic X-ray to check for non-extremity lower body injuries. If I had any head trauma, I would be scheduled for a CT of my brain. Then I would be thoroughly checked over and have X-rays of any extremities or other less major injuries.
The whole thing would be too embarrassing. It was easier to just drive slowly. Luckily I was working a lot of midnight shifts, so I knew which places were still open.
I pulled into a small cafe that had the best breakfast menu I knew. I got some coffee and sat down in a booth to watch the world go by.
As I sipped my coffee, I wondered how the hell I got into the situation I was in. What the hell had I done wrong? I couldn't see it happening because Rick was more attractive than I was. Shit, he was over forty with a beer gut and a big assed bald spot. There had to be another reason.
Maybe he was into a bunch of kinky sex shit that blew my vanilla skills out of the water. He probably had Sarah cumming over and over again until she was screaming out his name and begging him to stop.
I guess I should have thought about fighting for my woman and all of those other macho things, but at that moment all I felt was hurt, betrayed and less-than.
"Never saw Ya here this early, Honey," said the waitress refilling my cup. "Going home early to that wife you're always bragging about?"
I was too embarrassed to tell anyone that the wife I was always bragging about was cheating on me. So I just nodded.
"Wow, you look like hell, Honey," she said. "Rough night in the ER?"
"The roughest ever," I lied. "Multi car pile-up. Lots of injuries. I can't wait to get home. I just wanted to stop off and relax a bit first. It's not good to take your work stresses home with you."
"You are a very smart and considerate man," she smiled. "And you're cute too. Your wife is soooooo lucky."
"Yeah," I thought as she stepped away to take care of another customer. She's so lucky that she's cheating on me with my older fatter neighbor.
I left the cafe and decided to drive downtown to the river. I'd never seen the big boats passing at night or in the early morning and I thought it might be calming enough to help me think.
Just as I started the car, my phone rang. Since the Mustang's sync system was linked to my phone, I saw on the console display that it was Sarah. I didn't answer it. I waited for the call to go to voicemail. A few minutes later she called again. Before I had gotten downtown she'd called me three more times. I wasn't interested in anything she had to say.
The downtown area was mostly deserted. I parked on the street and walked over to the River walk. As I watched the river, it had a calming effect on me. My heart wasn't racing despite all of the coffee and I felt a lot calmer.
I breathed in and took in the fresh smell of the river in the early morning. Then I blew out a long breath and just let it go. I tried to let all of my tension and pain go with it.
Then I thought about my situation, and I laughed. It wasn't the end of the world. I was still healthy. I had a great job that I loved. I had my dream car. I wasn't diagnosed with cancer or any other fatal disease. I wasn't going to jail. The woman I had chosen to live with had chosen someone else. Realistically, it had happened at the best possible point in my life.
I was only thirty years old. I could find someone else and I would be choosier next time. There was still time for me to have a family with my next wife. And best of all, at this point in my life, because of the career change we didn't have SHIT!
I smiled evilly just thinking about it. We had barely any savings left. We had no equity in the house because we had taken out an equity loan to help with my college costs. And I had pulled money out of my 401k plan. There was probably only a couple of thousand dollars left in it. If I went for a no fault divorce, I could just write her a check for half of everything and walk away.
I could probably leave my job at the hospital and train at one of the other facilities I'd had clinical rotations at during school. That would make me unemployed, although I could probably get a sign on bonus at most of them to cover my expenses while training for a new job. If it worked out the way I saw it, I could have the whole thing over in a couple of weeks.
It seemed strange to stand there in front of the river planning my exit from a ten year marriage. Sarah had been the woman of my dreams for the past ten years, but I was ready to throw her away that quickly.
Maybe I was in shock. Perhaps a wiser thing to do would be to give this some time. My phone rang yet again as I stood there. She wasn't giving up easily. I smiled. Maybe if she had fought this hard to stay faithful to me, there would still be a future for us.
I knew that I was tired and cranky. It was getting near morning and my body was beginning to tell me that I would need to sleep soon. It was my weekend off and we'd made all kinds of plans including a party Saturday night at the home of one of our neighbors.
I also knew that over the next few weeks I'd have the task of explaining why we broke up to everyone we knew. I wondered if Sarah would show up at the party. I wondered if Rick would.
Just thinking the bastard's name brought my anger back. Rick's wife Georgia would be devastated. They'd been married for so long and they had three kids. Georgia, like me didn't deserve what was happening to her. She had so much invested in her life with Rick. I doubted that she would divorce him. Things would be rough for them for a while, but they had three kids and they had been together for so long. She deserved so much better.
It just seemed so unfair. I had done nothing wrong, but I was the one who ended up losing it all. I had to find a way to make that asshole pay.
As the sun came up, my phone rang yet again. I didn't need to look at the screen to see who it was. The small chirping sound a few moments later told me that I had yet another message waiting for me.
I looked at my watch and saw that I had about an hour left before I could go home. I drove to the Meijer's store near my house. They were open 24 hours so I bought some fresh fruits and vegetables. I needed to make sure that I ate well, since I'd be on my own. I also picked upup few nice steaks that I could throw on the grill some evenings when I got home, instead of cooking.
The shopping had burned up more than the hour and it was well past the time I said I'd be home. As I pulled into my driveway ... I'd thought MY driveway and it suddenly dawned on me that it was MY driveway. It was no longer OURS. There no longer was an US. For the first time in my life I was ALONE.
I grabbed my bags and went into MY house. Once I got onside and started to put away MY food, I noticed two things. The first was that almost everything I had bought was already in the refrigerator. Sarah had clearly bought the exact same fruits and vegetables the previous day. When I checked the freezer, I noticed that she'd even bought steaks.
The second thing I noticed was that the phone was ringing. I picked it up wondering who would be calling me at 8:30 in the fucking morning. Suddenly it dawned on me. Whoever was calling was probably calling for Sarah. I wonder if it was one of her lovers. I wondered how many she had.
"Hello," I said, my voice sounded as if I had died the day before.
"Steve, Baby, I love you, did you read the note yet? Can I pleeeeeeease come home so we can talk? I am sooooooo sorry, you have to let me explain this and..." I hung up the phone while she blathered on.
I grabbed a Honeycrisp Apple from the refrigerator and had it with some of my favorite Canadian MAple turkey breast. I brewed a cup of strong tea and sat down to watch the news on TV. The phone rang again and I picked it up and turned it off. After finishing my snack I got into MY bed. Almost as soon as MY ass hit the sheets, I leaped back out of the bed, staring at it as if it was a vat of acid. How the fuck did I know whether or not that whore had brought any of her legions of lovers over and slept in that fucking bed?
I quickly ran down the hall to the guest room. I almost got into that bed, but at the last second I realized that the bitch was ruthless. She probably knew that I would know that she'd fucked Rick or whomever else she was doing in the house. So she probably figured that I would know if she did it in our bed. So to throw me off the track, she'd fucked them in the guest room. I was sure that I saw cooties multiplying on the seemingly clean sheets and comforter.
I was exhausted as I went down the stairs and into the den. As soon as I looked at the sofa in there, I knew there were cooties there too. I went into the living room and just before I sat down on the sofa in there I saw her note. I left it there, realizing I couldn't sleep on that sofa either.
I thought about taking some pillows and a blanket and sleeping in the bathtub. But as much time as the bitch spent in there, I wouldn't put it past her to have fucked someone in there as well.
I went out to the driveway with a pillow and a blanket and put the seat all the way down in my Mustang. I let the windows down about a third of the way for fresh air and went to sleep. I was exhausted anyway.
When I woke up, it was late afternoon. I felt numb. I got out of my car to find Sarah sitting on the porch while reading a book.
"Steve, Honey, why did you sleep in your car?" she asked.
"I didn't know how many of the beds and sofas in the house that you fucked your lovers on," I spat. She looked as if I had punched her.
She had been trying to appear calm and confident, but seeing what I thought of her had clearly unhinged her.
"There are no lovers," she said sadly. "You know about Rick, and I wouldn't call him a lover. There was no love involved. And I NEVER brought him into our home. I would never risk hurting you, Steve. I love you. I just made a mistake. What kind of woman do you think I am?"
I yawned and looked at her. "Too easy," I said. "Why are you here?"
"Steve we need to talk about this," she said. "If we don't talk it out, we'll never get back together."
"What the fuck makes you think that I want to get back together?" I asked.
"Steve, you love me," she said. "I love you too. We belong together. We can get over this. It's really not what you think. It's pretty stupid and it really doesn't mean anything."
"Yeah, it kind of does," I said. "It means that our marriage is over. It means we won't be growing old together or having kids together. But after our divorce you can do whatever the fuck you want. Actually, I'm done with you now. You can do whatever you want, now."
"You're blowing this whole thing out of proportion," she said. "Can't I just explain it to you?"
"Why?" I asked. "Maybe you need closure or something. I don't. Maybe you need to explain why this happened so you can blame shift it until it's my fault. I don't need to know the hows or the whys. I don't give a bubbly fart about why you cheated on me and destroyed what I thought was a good marriage. The only thing that matters now is that we're done!"
"Well..." she said. "I can see you're still too bitter to talk. I'll be back tomorrow."
"Don't bother," I said. "I'm sure it'll take longer than that."
"Yeah, I'm sure it's going to take a while for you to get over this too," she said.
"I'm not going to get over it," I said. "I was talking about how long it's going to take for me to find a lawyer to start the divorce and get the papers ready."
She started laughing at that. "You're not going to divorce me," she laughed. "You're hurt and angry and confused, but you still love me. And I have to admit that on thinking about it, I was wrong as hell and very selfish. But I love you just as much as you love me and I swear to you that it will never happen again."
I turned to go inside of the house. And she leaned over and kissed the side of my neck. I pushed her away so hard she almost fell off of the porch. Then I closed the door and put the chain on it. The first thing Monday morning I'd get all of the locks changed.
I went up the stairs and took a shower. I dressed in my favorite old cargo shorts and a Mustang Alley T-shirt. I went out in the back onto our deck and looked around at the yard. If Sarah had been here, she'd have been all over my ass about cutting the grass. If she had her way I would probably cut the fuckin' grass every two days. She loved to sit out here on the deck or spend time in the hot tub. She had landscaped the shit out of our yard. Even I had to admit it was beautiful.
We often had breakfast or dinner out on that deck and we were...
"Steve is the hot tub ready? I am definitely going to be taking advantage of that tonight so you and Rick had better get all of your God Damned car talk over before we get in!" screamed a voice over the fence separating my yard from the next one.
I looked over and a head popped up over the six foot privacy fence between our yards. It was Georgia, the wife of the asshole who'd fucked Sarah. Georgia at forty-five years old was probably one of the friendliest, most outgoing women I knew. She was equal parts mom and neighborhood cop, but there was just something about her that was beyond either. Georgia was a miracle on two legs.
She could come over on a day when you just felt like shit and have you end up thinking it was the best day of your life.
"Huh?" I said.
"Remember, this evening is the neighborhood barbecue?" she said. "Sarah volunteered your hot tub for after dinner drop by usage. I will be one of those dropping by for usage."
She looked over at me and just beamed. "Too many midnight shifts Huh, Stevie?" she asked. "I used to be a nurse, remember? I know what it's like. Before you know it you'll have a day shift position. Just hang in there, Honey."
I had forgotten about the barbecue. But the idea of being around people and actually thinking about something other than how pissed I was at Sarah sounded good.
I jumped in my Mustang and drove over to the neighborhood Kroger store. It was closer than Meijers and their prices were better.
I bought a bouquet of roses and a couple of bottles of wine. I drove home, grabbed a couple of nice steaks and then went over to the neighbor across the street's house. Brian and his wife Alicia were really nice. I could smell the meat on the grill before I got into their yard.
As I entered the yard, looking for Brian or Alicia, something flashed across the corner of my eye that caused almost everyone in the yard to howl with laughter. All I heard was the bushes in the yard next door moving and the sounds of someone screaming in pain.
"Oh my God," laughed Brian, coming over to shake my hand. "You guys and your practical jokes! Come on Steve. I assume those flowers are for my wife. She's over there."
I handed him the steaks and delivered the flowers to his pretty wife who was holding court in their large gazebo.
"Thank you sooo much, Steve," said Alicia, accepting the flowers. Several of the ladies with her looked on jealously.
"Steve," asked Mary Sue Willis, Alicia and Brian's next door neighbor. "What's the joke? I just don't get it. Actually I'm not sure whether or not to be pissed off or not."
"What Joke?, Ma'am?" I asked politely. Mary Sue was older than most of us so I always called her "Ma'am," and her husband Frank, "Sir," out of politeness.
"We were all sitting here having a great time. Rick was sitting over there talking to his wife Georgia. He's been acting kind of squirrelly since he got here. He kept looking around and looking over his shoulder. As soon as someone said you were coming into the yard, that asshole ran across the lawn and dove over the fence into my God Damned rose bushes. From the way he was screaming, I'll bet he got a bunch of thorns in his fuckin' ass; fuckin' bastard. If he knew how hard it was to get those plants in that kind of shape," she said. Her voice got angrier with each word.
"Mary Sue, I'm very sorry," I said. "You've seen our yard. So you know that we've spent a lot of time with our plants too. I have no idea why Rick did that. I haven't spoken to him in a few days. I've been working a lot of midnight shifts in the ER. I'm not a part of any jokes. But he and I have been working on that project car of his ... Or I've been working on it anyway. Rick doesn't know which end of a wrench is which. He does owe me money for parts, so maybe he was trying to avoid me."
"Well you tell that fucker that I'm gonna bust his ass if he damaged my roses," she said.
"Yes Ma'am," I said. "If I talk to him I'll definitely tell him."
I walked across the yard and sat down next to Georgia, who'd been looking at me the whole time I'd been in the yard.
"Hey, Georgia," I said.
"Hi, Honey. Where's your other half? And what the hell is going on with you and my doofus?" she asked. "You guys aren't playing that squirt pistol assassin thingy again are you? If either one of you gets my hair wet I'll kill both of you?"
"I have no idea what you're talking about," I said. "No games as far as I know."
She looked me up and down as if she could scan me by looking at me. "Where's Sarah?" she asked again.
"She's staying with her parents for a while," I said.
"And it's killing you isn't it?" she asked. "You look miserable."
"I guess I am a little down," I said.
"So go over there and visit her," she smiled. "Turn the hot tub on for me before you leave, okay?"
"Georgia, going over there is the last thing on earth that I want to do," I sighed.
"Ohhh..." she said. "We're arguing are we? Ooooh weeee ... Trouble in paradise. It's about time. You guys have been married for ten years, Honey. It's about time the honeymoon ended. The easy part is over. Now you have to put in the work and turn the romance into a real marriage."
She gently rubbed my shoulder and her touch was like magic. Tears filled my eyes and slowly rolled down my cheeks. Georgia suddenly sneezed very loudly. "Sorry Stevie," she said loudly and then wiped my face with her napkin.
"Get up, put a big smile on your face, excuse yourself and meet me at your place," she whispered to me. I did as she asked. I got up and had a big smile for everyone around us.
"Go get that wife of yours," Georgia said loudly enough for anyone listening to hear her. I just nodded and headed for the gate and out of the yard. I crossed the street, headed for home, realizing that going to the barbecue had been a mistake. Clearly, I wasn't as strong or as unaffected by Sarah's cheating as I had thought. I saw Georgia heading into her house and I went into mine. I sat down at the kitchen table and wondered what I had done wrong.
Before I came up with any answers, someone was gently knocking at my back door.
"What's taking you so long?" asked Georgia. I stepped out onto the deck and she smiled. She pointed at the hot tub. I turned it on and noticed that she had changed into one of those "mom type" swimsuits. It had a long cover-up and was cut very high on the neck with ruffles over her boobs. It was also cut low enough that the bottom looked like it had shorts. There were ruffles around the waist too.
She got into the tub and the look of bliss that took over her face made me smile. "God that feels good," she moaned. "I wish your buddy wasn't so God Damned cheap. I would definitely have one of these."
"Georgia, my hot tub is your hot tub," I said.
"So what did she do?" she asked in a quiet voice.
"How do you know she did something?" I asked.
"After being married for twenty years, I have a Phd in marital dynamics," she smirked. "If YOU had done something SHE would have thrown YOU out of the house. Did she do something really bad like scratching your car? Or is it something a normal person would get pissed off about?" She looked at me waiting for me to bear my soul, or at least to spill my guts.
"She cheated on me," I said. Georgia sucked in a big gasp and stared at me with eyes as big a dinner plates.
"Oh Honey," she cooed. "I am soooo sorry. I had no idea it was that bad. I thought it was..." She took my hand and started rubbing it. She pulled me over to her and hugged me.
"That asshole I married," she spat. I was shocked. I wondered whether or not Georgia was psychic. I had decided not to tell her. I was in a lot of emotional pain but I didn't want Georgia or her kids hurt.
"Some best friend he is," she spat. "Now it all makes sense. That's why the motherfucker dove into those God damned rose bushes isn't it? He knows that Sarah cheated on you and like a typical man ... He's avoiding you while you're upset. What is it with you men? The two of you spend almost all of your free time together. You're either playing golf of going fishing or working on that car of his that you two are building. And it's mostly you doing the building. Rick can barely change a light bulb.
But like most men he's so afraid of any real emotions that he's avoiding you until you have it under control. Just wait until I get home to his dumb ass." I just nodded. As much as I felt like ratting that bastard out, I couldn't do it. I couldn't hurt Georgia and her kids. She was too nice a lady for that. She deserved better. I would suffer alone to save her.
"Stevie, trust me," she said. "I know that right now you are in a lot of pain. Have you given any thought to how you're going to handle this?"
"Yep," I said. "Monday morning, I'm going to find myself a good lawyer and file for divorce."
She looked shocked. "Stevie are you sure that's your best option?" she asked. "Is this the only time she's ever cheated on you?"
"Shit ... why would there ever be a second time?" I asked in shock.
"Stevie, listen to me," she said. "The two of you are barely thirty. And you're very lucky. The wine and roses stage of your marriage lasted for ten God damned years. That's incredible. The two of you walked around with stars in your eyes for longer than a lot of marriages last. Have you ever heard about the seven year itch? It's real and somehow the two of you managed to just skip it. Again, Honey, that is incredible. Every time I see the two of you together, I get jealous. You two love each other so God damned much."
"Oh yeah," I spat. "She loved me so God damned much that she would do anything for me. Anything except keep other men out of that hole of hers."
"Steve you've got your tenses all screwed up, Honey," she said. "You said that she "LOVED," you. As of yesterday when I last saw her, she still loves you as much as ever. She even told me so. I don't think she got over a love that deep over night. You also said "MEN," do you have any proof that she was with more than one man?"
"Georgia, if she loved me she wouldn't have cheated on me," I said. "And as far as I know there was only one man, but who knows how many times she's done this? For all I know she could have been having gangbangs every time I was out. Why the hell didn't she just ask me for a divorce?"
"Honey, I don't think any of those things are true," she said. "We're human. Sarah is human. Humans make mistakes. Maybe after ten years she just got curious about something or someone else. Maybe she was drunk. But as to the last part ... I can answer that. But you don't have to hear it from me. Go back to the party and ask any woman there who knows Sarah, if she wants to divorce you. They'll laugh you out of the place. Sometimes we women all sit around and talk about stupid things just like you guys do.
We talk about the things we love the most. We talk about the things we want the most and the things we are the proudest of. Sarah loves you more than anything on earth. The thing she wants the most is to grow old with you, dummy. And the thing she is the most proud of is to be YOUR wife. Stevie, you are that girl's whole world and you know it."