“Honey, we have to talk.”
Not words a loving husband wants to hear at the best of times, less so when he has just walked in after a particularly hard day at work.
I look at her, she has a half empty wine glass in her hand, probably to settle her nerves. Shit, even Ray Charles could see she is more than a little apprehensive.
I take off my boots and head up to the bathroom for a shower without acknowledging she has spoken.
As I shower thoughts are running through my head. I was going to ask her tonight who the wanker was that she had been having her lunch with every day this week and most of last week. I already know who he is and I’m asking myself, is she having an affair, is she leaving me for him? Dried and dressed I head down to see if my world is about to end.
There is an opened beer waiting for me, I sit down and look at her.
“Please don’t be angry.”
I say nothing and pour my beer into a glass.
“Oh god this is not easy.”
I sit quietly waiting for her to get to the point.
“You know I love you.”
“Do I?” I ask.
“Of course I do, it’s just that...”
I look at her, fuck her I’m not going to make it easy on her, no matter where this is headed.
It’s just that...” she hesitates. “There’s this guy at work ... We’ve gotten to be friends, well more than friends.”
Well she’s started now. Will she back track or actually say what she wants, the suspense is killing me.
“I’ve ... we ... umm I’m attracted to him.”
There she has said it. I peer into my glass and watch the rising bubbles.
“I love you Col, so I’m asking if you’d mind, no of course you mind. I suppose I’m asking if I can ... If you ... Christ can you say something.
“Nights are fair drawing in.”
“Oh hell, you know what I mean.”
“Christ now you’re being awkward.”
She looks at me, I can see a strange mix of hopelessness and anger in her eyes.
“Col this man I work with, I want him.” She shouts at me.
I take another sip from my glass. I hear the clock in the hallway ticking.
“I won’t cheat on you Col.”
“I wouldn’t cheat on you either, that’s called commitment. It should follow when people love each other, especially when they are in a committed relationship, such as a marriage. Well that’s cleared up then, what’s for tea.”
“Col you’re being deliberately obstreperous. You know damn well what I’m saying, what I am asking.”
“You’re going to make me say it aren’t you?”
“The clocks change soon don’t they?”
“Jesus Christ will you talk to me properly?”
“If that’s what you want dear, what did you want to talk about?”
“I just told you I am attracted to a bloke at work and that I want to have sex with him.”
“Oh and you want me to reciprocate. Yes dear, I work with a couple of women I find attractive, now there’s one, Jenny. I think she is gorgeous and I must admit I would love to spend a few hours between her thighs and I think, if I were to pursue the matter, she would not be averse to me being there. However, there is the one small drawback. I am married to the woman I love and as I already mentioned, I am committed to that relationship. I would never have thought to jeopardise our relationship for a quick bang just because I could.”
I give her a minute to digest my words then I say. “I certainly would not presume on our relationship and expect you to forgive me for such a transgression.”
I realise my mistake as the words leave my mouth and she seizes her opening.
“What about if I were to give you permission?” She looks at me intently, before I answer she continues. “I mean then it wouldn’t be cheating, would it?”
She refills her glass and passes me another bottle.
“That’s a good question, but even if you gave permission, would that exempt you from feeling hurt, jealous, betrayed even?”
I scored a point there, but I don’t think it will be enough. It takes her a couple of minutes but she comes back.
“But if permission was given, then I would have no right to be jealous, no right to be upset and even if I was, I think I could live with it.”
“Do you? What about if I found that I preferred being with her, what happens if we just click and I don’t know, maybe I find that the sex we have always had just isn’t good enough anymore?”
“That’s ridiculous, we are brilliant together.”
“If we are so good, why are we having this conversation?”
Another point, that one really hit home.
“But a lot of couples do just that, to bring a spark back into their relationship.”
Her answer was quick, too quick, she must have expected that response.”
“So I’m not being sparky enough for you, is that it?”
“No, no, no you are plenty sparky enough, it’s just that...”
“You want to fuck James Hornsby.”
Oops let her know I know about him, worth it just for the look on her face.
“Not only do you want to, but you are willing to make any deal with me so you can do it with a clear conscience, is that right?”
“Yes.” Her voice a whisper.
“Are you already fucking him?”
“God no, I told you I won’t cheat on you.”
“So you don’t think your little romance is cheating. You don’t think your mutual fan club meetings behind my back are untoward in any way?”
“Look you admitted you and Jenny fancy each other, it’s the same thing.”
“No I admitted that I could see myself fancying Jenny and I also admitted that if I chose to chat her up, I think I may be able to get somewhere. We do not seek one another out for clandestine lunchtime liaisons. So no I don’t think it is the same. Tell me did you discuss with your boyfriend that you were going to sandbag me with this tonight?”
“It was his idea.” She confesses.
“Oh great, does he want me to stick his dick into you for him.”
“Don’t be gross.”
“Well sorry, I don’t know what the procedure is to hand my wife over to some contemptuous conniving cunt.”
“He’s not like that. You’re getting angry and you promised you wouldn’t.”
“I did no such thing, whereas you promised to be faithful.”
“Col you’re making this more difficult than it needs to be.”
“Really. So fucking sorry, what do you want me to say, tell you to call him up so you can go on a weekend fuck fest, pick out your lingerie and cheerfully wave bye bye.”
“No, but I hoped you would give it some thought.”
“How long have I got to think on it?”
“Oh I don’t know.”
“Okay, how long have you and arsewipe been having your little romance?”
“How long since you decided you want to fuck him? How long since you have wanted to be more than just friends?”
“Uhh ohh, maybe about three weeks or so.”
“Right, I will think on it for three weeks and before you say anything it’s only fair, you have had three weeks to decide, you should at least give me the same time.”
“Yes I suppose.”
“I have a question Well two, maybe more as I think of them, and I want answers to them and I want them answered before Monday. Are you asking for a relationship or a one off fuck and what happens if I say no, what happens if I say no fucking way?”
“I don’t know, I didn’t think you would say no and no we weren’t thinking of a one off.”
“There you go again, referring to the cunt and yourself as we, the only we in our marriage should be me and you, can’t you see that?”
“Sorry I didn’t mean it like that.”
At least she looks guilty. I fight to control my mounting rage.
“There is also a condition while I am thinking this through. I don’t want you and the arsehole having any more meetings, no lunches, five or ten minutes after work, phone calls, nothing. Will you promise me that. If not I’ll be seeing a solicitor on Monday.”
Ooh, she didn’t expect that. “If you agree to my conditions I will allow you one call to tell him that if he wants to stick himself into your hole then he will also agree.”
“Do you have to be so crude.”
“Oh sorry but where you might see this as some great romantic adventure, I see it as some dirty bastard encroaching on and stealing something precious to me aided and abetted by the one person I never thought would betray me, especially in this manner.”
“Col it’s not like that, it’s not like that at all.”
“Keep telling yourself that.”
That one hit home too, I find myself incredulous. My world has just been turned upside down, this is probably the swansong of my marriage and I am trying to score points. If I had enough disgust left in me I would be disgusted with myself, however the disgust I feel for her and her wannabe paramour is more disgust than I normally have in a day.
“Chops and chips.” She says suddenly.
“You asked what was for tea, chops and chips.”
“Oh, great ... how long?”
I’ll get them going in a minute, I’ll make that call first.
I could have pointed out, that again she was putting him before me but I let it slide. I walked over so I could listen to both sides.
“Pamela darling, how did he take it?”
“Not as well as we hoped, er he...”
.... There is more of this story ...