(This is the fourth and final story in this series. The others, in order, are Rainy Day Rubdown, RDR:Gina's Story and RDR:Cindy's Story. I didn't plan for all this, the characters simply kept clamoring they had more to say. In brief: Gina, a 40's married woman, and Cindy, a 19 year old college student, had a one night stand that has become a passionate affair.
Another writer in a story has the wife make the comment "in a perfect world he (her husband) would never have learned (about her affair)." This isn't a perfect world either, and sometimes things we do have repercussions that can't be fixed in 5 minutes.)
Tom O'Bannion sat in his easy chair. For the tenth time his eyes scanned the anonymous letter he had received in the mail. Just one line long, it was making him sick to his stomach as well as causing him to question his whole world. He looked again and this time read it aloud.
"Find out who your wife spent the weekend with while you were out of town."
He hadn't wondered. Gina had been home when he returned from his visit to another plant. He traveled very rarely, so he had not even thought it was strange she had seemed so happy to see him. He had been overflowing with the news that the performance he had turned in meant a promotion. He had found the letter about 3 days later when he left for work. The mailbox was open, which prompted him to go look.
Was his wife of 24 years having an affair? He refused to believe it. Not that he considered himself the greatest husband or lover in the world but because it just was something he couldn't imagine her doing. He remembered when a couple they had known had divorced after one of them had been caught in bed with someone else. Gina had been furious with the offending woman, a very close friend. She had never spoken to her again.
He wondered, just what did one do when worried about something like this? He knew of stories of husbands making up pretend trips out of town in order to sneak back and spy on their spouses. He vaguely thought of having heard of video cameras and recorders being set up to tape secret meetings. He could do that, he was a gifted electrician. Private eyes did work like this too, he knew.
Angrily, Tom slammed his hand down on the table. NO. This was Gina. This was his wife and the mother of his children. If he could not trust her, he could trust no one and nothing in the world. He walked to the small office they had set up when the youngest child had gone off to college. Turning on the shredder, he fed the letter into it. There. He determinedly forced the thoughts from his mind.
For the next two months all seemed normal. Tom had relaxed, sure that the letter was just some nasty trick. His promotion had led to his being assigned the morning shift rather than evenings. He liked it but didn't like the fact he and Gina were on different schedules now. Still, he thought as he parked his truck, today she was off and they could spend time together.
He came in the back door and hung his keys and coat up. He sat in his easy chair and pulled his work boots off. Where was Gina? Whichever one of them got home first usually made supper. Her car was in the garage so she was here unless she had gone out with a friend. Well, he needed a shower anyway.
He went up the stairs, thinking that it wouldn't be long and they'd have to start looking for a one story house. His knees were getting a little worn to cope with the stairs day after day. He rounded the corner to the master bedroom and froze. There were sounds coming from the bedroom. They were the kind of sounds the letter had hinted at.
Tom walked to the bedroom door and his heart jumped in his throat. Gina was on the bed, on her hands and knees. He could see enough of her face to recognize that she was just reaching an orgasm. His eyes traveled back over her body to her lover. He sagged against the door, completely stunned as he realized it was Gina's friend from work, Cindy.
Cindy was wearing a strapon dildo. Kneeling behind Gina, her hips drove it in and out of his wife's uplifted ass with a force he couldn't believe. Cindy's hands rose and fell on the round cheeks, already red from a spanking. Cindy's high clear voice rose over the grunts and the slaps.
"You like that don't you, Gina? You like being fucked in the ass. You like having a girl take you like this."
Already stunned, Tom couldn't believe his ears. He had met Cindy. She was a wonderful, sweet young woman who had once let Gina stay at her apartment when Gina's car had broken down. Stay at her apartment. Oh damn, he was so stupid! His thoughts were interrupted.
"Yes Cindy, YES. Fuck me like I fuck you." Gina's hips rocked back and forth against Cindy's, meeting each thrust. Her head fell to the pillow and her hand slipped back between her legs. Tom knew she was rubbing her clit. The sounds mounted as both woman reached their orgasms. Screams of excitement and lust rang through the bedroom.
Tom stood there transfixed. He felt empty. He certainly did not feel excited. He wanted to do something, anything at all to break the tableau in front of him. It was broken for him when the two women collapsed and rolled into each others' arms and Gina's eyes focused on the shape in the doorway.
In some other time and place it might have been funny. Gina's eyes opened wide in disbelief. She shook her head as though to make a mirage disappear. She then looked wildly at the clock as if somehow the time was wrong and he wasn't supposed to be there yet. Then she realized it was him and she moaned, "Oh God Tom, no. Oh God Tom, no. Oh God Tom, no," as if it was a magic incantation that would make him go away.
And it did. All of a sudden his stomach turned over and he rushed for the hall bathroom. As he was ill, he heard Cindy's wail joining Gina's. He wiped his mouth and staggered back to the bedroom doorway. Both women were frantically getting dressed. When Cindy saw him she scooped up the strapon and held it behind her as though it would erase the image from his mind.
"Tom," Gina lifted her hands toward him. "This isn't what it seems." Realizing how ridiculous that sounded, she faltered. "I mean, yes it is, but you have to understand. I didn't mean for this to go this far."
"Its not her fault, Tom," Cindy added Her words tripping over each other, "It just happened. No one intended for you to get hurt. We didn't mean to fall in love."
Tom was rocked. He never took his eyes from Gina. "Fall in love?" he whispered.
"Yes," Gina almost screamed. If Tom had had more control of himself he might have realized Gina's guilt was making her hysterical. But the deep seated anger rising from the discovery of her betrayal was washing everything before it and he couldn't stop it. "We're in love and you're just going to have to accept that. I won't give her up, not for you, not for anyone."
"You won't have to," Tom almost hissed. Gina recoiled from the rage she had never seen in him before. She tried to reach for him. He stepped back, his face contorted. "GET OUT," he commanded. "Both of you." He spun and ran down the stairs towards his truck. He was deaf to the screamed pleas from the room as he bolted from the house.
He threw one quick look back as he pulled out of the driveway. Gina was stumbling from the front door, half dressed and barefoot. Her hands were outstretched to him. Tears ran down her face as she screamed "NO! I didn't mean that. TOM! Please, for God's sake, Tom. Don't go." He slammed the truck into drive and tires squalled as he drove away without another look.
Hours later when he returned the house was dark. He walked slowly to the bedroom. Gina's things were gone. There was an envelope on the bed. The front read "My Dearest Tom." He turned it over and over in his hands, debating. His hands tightened on the envelope, intending to rip it to pieces unread. His muscles bunched but he found he couldn't make himself do that. He walked back to his easy chair and carefully opened the envelope.
"Tom. I have no idea what to say. I have no idea what to do. I am groping wildly for any words that could somehow explain, somehow take back what you saw and heard. to take back what I said. More than all that, to take back the actions of the last few months that led to this.
"I'm having an affair. This is the first time I have admitted it. I've even lied to myself. I told myself over and over that because I wasn't with another man, it wasn't cheating. I suppose its how we rationalize things that we know are wrong, know are hurtful, know are STUPID.
"Although I certainly don't deserve to think that you will believe a word I write here, I still love you. I can make no excuses for what I have done. The first time perhaps I was overcome by something I had never experienced. But after that, I deliberately went on with it. I want to offer you reasons, feelings, answers; but they would all be meaningless compared to what I've done. You have been the best husband a woman could want and I betrayed you.
"I cling to the thought you are will allow me somehow a chance to make even this up to you. Whatever you demand I will do. Please call me. Gina"
At the bottom was a phone number.
Tom stood and paced around and around the room. Three times he picked up the phone and then set it back down. As hurt, as angry as he was, he kept thinking somehow he could do this. He could talk to her, somehow things could be made right.
A sudden thought struck him. He walked to the refrigerator, where they kept all sorts of notes scribbled. He searched till he found the piece of paper with the notation "Cindy's phone number" in his own handwriting. He compared it to the number in his hand. It was the same.
With one deliberate motion he tore the letter in half and threw it away.
The next weeks were a blur. Gina called, Tom refused to talk to her. Tom decided to sue for divorce on the grounds of "Irreconcilable differences." Gina hired some attorney unknown to him. Their family attorney, Donna, an old and dear friend, had listened to the whole story and recommended he fight it. He refused. He refused to allow her to use the affair in his favor. He wanted it kept quiet, away from the children. The only time he allowed Donna to fight was when Gina's attorney demanded the college funds be part of the community settlement.
It was finally over. He had sold the beach house and liquidated most of their savings to provide Gina's share. He kept the house, but moved into a downstairs bedroom. He heard that Gina and Cindy had moved into an apartment together. The stress of the last two months produced an interesting discovery in himself. He found he had blocked himself off. If he didn't care it didn't hurt.
Tom found two saving graces. The first was his children. They were all basically adults. His attempts to conceal what had happened were futile. They rallied around their father, spending time with him. One of the three always tried to spend Saturday with him and go to church, his other support, with him. Strangely, he had a fight with Doug, his son and the oldest child, over Gina.
They were mailing announcements of Doug's upcoming college graduation. Tom had filled one out for Gina.
"Dad," Doug exclaimed. "I don't want her invited. What if she comes? What if she brings her girlfriend?"
"We'll deal with it," Tom answered. Seeing his son was not convinced he added, "Doug, she's your mother. No matter what has happened she will always be your mother. You need to forgive her."
Doug told him later that he had received a card from Gina. Trying to follow his father's advice he had opened it and read it. He told his father that two things struck him. One was that her address had changed. The second was that among the congratulations was a rather wistful remark that she wished she had known about it.
Almost a year after the divorce Tom was reading one quiet afternoon. He had fallen into a routine. During the week: work, eat supper, watch TV. Saturdays were kept for household work: lawn care, laundry and cleaning. Sundays he went to church and spent the afternoon and evenings in his easy chair with a book. Friends and his children had all urged him to go out, do things, even date. He had refused. "I am a rock," he told himself as he listened to Simon and Garfunkel that afternoon. "I touch no one and no one touches me."
There was a knock on the door. For one minute Tom thought he just didn't have the energy to get up and answer it. But he heaved himself out of the chair, turned down the CD player and went to the door. He opened it and stood completely still.
"Hello, Tom," Gina said.
"God, she's still the most beautiful woman I ever saw in my life," he thought. He said aloud, "Gina, what are you doing here?"
"May I come in Tom?" she asked, hesitation in her voice.
"My God, Gina, are you trying to get me arrested? You know perfectly well the restraining order forbids me to contact you or be within 100 yards of you."
"Restraining order?" Her face was confused. "What are you talking about?"
"The restraining order your lawyer served me with along with the divorce papers. You obtained it because 'you were in fear of bodily injury due to my excessive rage'." Tom quoted the document bitterly.
Gina paled. "Tom, I did no such thing," she protested.
"Of course you didn't." Gina quailed at the sarcasm in his voice. "Glenda the Good Witch brought it without your knowledge." She opened her mouth to protest. Tom cut her off, "Now go away." He slammed the door in her face, locked it and retreated to his chair.
The very next day Donna, his attorney, called to tell him Gina had been by to see her. "I can't talk to her without your permission, of course. I'm not sure what she wants."
"Go ahead and see what it is, Donna, " Tom told her. "I don't really care."
Two days after that Tom got a page at work. Sally, the receptionist at the front desk told him, "Your ex-wife is here to see you." Tom told her he didn't want to be bothered by her. "Good," said Sally, a hard edge on her voice that surprised him. "Maybe she'll argue and I can have Security throw her out."
Then it was Saturday and the back doorbell was ringing. He opened it and before he could say a word Gina thrust a paper into his hands. "This revokes that goddamn restraining order my lawyer put on you Tom. I'm so sorry." He shifted from one foot to the other, not knowing what to say. She stood on the step, her eyes pleading with him.
"Come on in," he mumbled. "Want some coffee?"
"Please." Gina took the cup and looked in it. "Thanks for letting me talk to Donna. She certainly didn't want to. When I walked in the office on Monday, she opened the conversation by asking me what the fuck I wanted. I seem to have found that attitude among all our old friends. Even," she swallowed hard before continuing, "Even from our kids."
"You missed Doug's graduation. We sent an invitation through your lawyer. It was returned with a notice I was violating the restraining order and any further attempts would be reported to the police."
"I found all that out." Gina smiled bitterly. "My attorney wanted to make sure there would be no attempt at reconciliation. It might have damaged his fees. I just found out the settlement was half. Of that I got about a quarter. The rest went to him for 'expenses'. Donna is beginning an investigation into unethical practices by him. Apparently I signed that restraining order when I thought I was signing copies of our agreement."
"Well, well. I didn't realize you were still getting fucked by guys," Tom commented, not caring if the words hurt or not.
Gina shook as though he had slapped her. "Oh God Tom. When did you become so cold and hurtful?"
"June 23rd, last year, When I came home and found out how you were spending your spare time."
With that she fled.
Sunday afternoon the doorbell rang again. "This is getting to be a habit," Tom thought. This time she didn't wait for an invitation as she stormed past him. She entered the family room and spun to him.
"Okay. I deserved that yesterday. But you shouldn't have said it." Tom nodded his head. The first crack had appeared in his shell yesterday when he had been appalled at himself that he could have said such a thing, no matter what hurt he felt. She continued, "I screwed up. I threw my whole life away chasing some fantasy. I've lived the last year either in denial or in regret of what I did. I cut myself off from my family and my friends. And I did it deliberately. Because I knew I had screwed up and I had no idea how to fix it. Now maybe I do."
"Gina, what is it you're trying to say?" Tom asked. He was calmer now, his feelings opening to the sight of the woman who had taken his heart so long ago. "I'm trying to listen, be supportive but I just don't understand what you're driving at."
"Oh God, Tom. I don't want you to be supportive. I want you to scream at me, throw things, act out so that all this isn't so much harder for me than it is. I want you to be mad and hurtful because then I might feel better about myself."
Tom just looked at her with one eyebrow raised.
"Tom," she swallowed. "Tom," her eyes blurred and she turned away from him. He studied her profile as she composed herself. "Tom, I want to come home."
"I beg your pardon?"
"I said I want to come home." She turned back to face him, resolve on her face. "I miss you. I was stupid and let myself get carried away when I mistook infatuation for love. Now that its a thing of the past, I know that I only ever loved one person. You."
"And Cindy?" Tom asked, without malice. He had come to some understanding and thought it was hardly fair to blame that bubbly 20 year old for Gina's actions. While he did not think of her with favor, he had long ago ceased to hate her.
Gina walked past him and looked out the family room window. "Oh god Tom, it was over that day," she said softly. " There was nothing left. All we had was sex. When we finally were out of bed and started living in the same apartment, we discovered that there wasn't anything else. Nothing to talk about, no one we shared. We had no dreams in common. And one ghost haunted us and wouldn't leave me alone." She turned back. "You. I promise you I knew nothing about the restraining order, the threats, the actions of my lawyer. But I knew I had horribly wounded you and the guilt wouldn't leave me alone."
"I moved out."
"Doug, told me your address had changed."
"There wasn't any point in staying with her."
"Incidentally," Gina's mouth turned up in a smile with no mirth in it. "Cindy's getting married. She wants to have children. He's a very nice guy. I met him and I know they're in love. And I think its wonderful. Tom, she really is a sweet girl. Yes, she seduced me. But I'm the adult, I should have stopped it, at least after the first time."
"Had you ever been with another woman before?" When Gina shook her head, Tom continued. "I think I could have forgiven you for that, if it had stopped there."
"I know. I have sat in that empty apartment of mine and thought, and thought, and thought. I loved the thrill of the exploration, the excitement of discovery. I mistook our being comfortable for being dull. Yes, I admit it, the illicit nature of the romance was exciting in itself. But even before I left her, I had come to the knowledge that even had things continued, what I had with her was not what I wanted, what I am as a person."
Gina sat next to him on the couch and took his hands. "Tom, I know that I have done, or caused to be done, things to you that I can barely comprehend I could have ever been responsible for. You may hate me forever. I am praying that somewhere in the man I love is a spark that might let you forgive me and take me back. Tom, can I come home?"
Tom sat silently for a moment. He looked at Gina. Lifting his right hand, still holding hers, he brushed it across her cheek. "No."
With that simple word Gina's face crumpled and she began to sob.
"Gina," Tom took her chin in his hand. "I don't know that the hurt you have caused me is beyond repair. Perhaps it is not. I have never stopped loving you, at least a little. But," he placed a finger over her lips, "Love is not enough. Trust. I don't think I could ever trust you again. What happens the next time you're overcome with 'infatuation'? I couldn't stand it. What wedding vows could you make that wouldn't choke us both when you said them?"
Gina continued to sob. Then she straightened up and calmed herself. Even through her tears she smiled as Tom pulled out a handkerchief and began dabbing her face.
"Tom, I understand that. I can hardly believe you even went as far as to talk to me today, to let me back in the house." She swiped away the tears and her eyes filled with determination. "I understand it but I won't accept it. I will earn your forgiveness. I will earn your trust again. How I don't know. But I will." She leaned over, kissed his cheek and stood up. "Don't you forget, Thomas O'Bannion, I can twice as stubborn as you can."
"I know," he whispered after the door had closed behind her.
For weeks Gina kept coming. She got together with Donna and took her old lawyer to the cleaners. Facing disbarment he was more than eager to cooperate. She was able to recover a great deal of the money he had charged her. Gina took care to insure the bulk of the money went back to Tom. Each time She came to the house, she told him again she was sorry. She cooked and cleaned and mended and ran errands. She made up for the missed times with their children.
The stumbling block in their reconciliation was Tom. No matter how hard, he tried he could not let go of his bitterness. He rarely gave Gina a kind word. He saw the disappointment and sadness in her, and he thought "She deserves it." She refused to give up but it was taking its toll on her.