Our family was typical, solid middle class. I was a salesman; my territory the north end of our moderate sized city plus several nearby towns to the immediate north. My wife Sandy was a full time mom/part time bookkeeper. She worked for a small real estate brokerage not far from where we lived. We had three kids we adored. Betty, our oldest was 12, going on 30 according to my wife. Then there was Roy at nine and Nina 7 years old and going to be the last.
When we bought our home I was working in the south end and our house laid just outside the city limits to the south. At the time it was a five-minute drive to my office, when I was given the larger territory it tacked another twenty-five minutes on my commute just getting to or from my territory.
It was a good job, working with construction firms. I spent most of my days visiting on construction sites, the balance at the contractor's offices. The job required my hauling product in and out of my truck constantly. It kept me in shape but my favorite was no more ties and suits, at least while I covered my route. It only made sense for me wearing jeans, flannel shirts and boots. I spent a lot less on work clothes and was a hell of a lot more comfortable.
The company furnished a nondescript faded blue van, they paid for its upkeep but I pretty much treated it like it was my personal vehicle. Pay was good for a High School grad with no formal training, too. Hell, I'll be honest; the pay was damned good, period. I'm modest, but I'm also a damn good salesman.
Sandy's job got her home when the kids arrived That meant she spent most mornings at the real estate office and was home by 3:30 at the latest. If something kept her longer she'd made deals with the mom's of our kids friends who lived in our block to police the little dears until she or I got home. She was working to pay for her own clothes, extra spending money and saving for a trip to Europe. She had a fetish for really nice clothes and felt guilty spending the big bucks her outfits cost but hell, she needed it for her job. I teased her about the job, saying I was for it because it kept her off the streets. But I was looking forward to that trip, too.
Because she was a real knockout at a petite, slender 5' 2", with a great head of red hair, she was a real find for her office. They had her sitting up front where everyone coming in the place would see her. I teased her about that too, telling her they had put her on display to lure the men in. The truth? She made visitors feel good with her perky chatter and friendly smile. The guys liked to look at her and her straightforward manner kept the women from feeling threatened. She wasn't a woman who did a lot of flirting though she had a great sense of humor.
Things started into the toilet on a Monday.
I was twenty minutes on my way to my route when the boss called on my cell phone. "Don," he said, my name is Don, "last night we signed a big contract in Lynn." Lynn was a town twenty miles north of my regular territory. "I've arranged for Tony to take over your route this week. I need you spending time with this new company. Your hours are going to be crappy this week and I'm sorry about that. Tell me if you can't make it. If you can't make it I'll come up with something else."
"Yeah, sure," I told myself. "Like I would tell him that."
"These guys won't be available until after 3:30 any day this week. Come into the office and I'll fill you in. Then you go home to that pretty lady of yours."
Grumbling I headed to the main office, got filled in and picked up what I would need tonight to begin getting the new guys up to snuff before heading home. On the way I swung by Sandy's office to let her know I was home this afternoon but wouldn't be there for dinner. Her car wasn't in the lot so I didn't bother stopping. It was early and something probably kept her home late this morning. I'd get to see her at home, maybe I could talk her into being a little later yet.
She wasn't home when I got there, but the kids had all shipped off to their various zoos for the day. Maybe I could catch her for lunch, she usually came home so I figured I'd have lunch waiting when she got home. Then we could put some of my ideas into action. With the kids, work and all we hadn't spent much quality time in bed recently. Embarrassing in a way, but I was feeling damned randy.
I took care of some chores I'd been putting off then knocked off at 11:00 and put together hot soup and sandwiches for lunch. OK, it wasn't a gourmet meal. Bite me! I'm not a gourmet cook. At least it would be hot and she didn't have to make it. Then I sat down and read the paper, first time I'd read the morning paper for months.
By 1:00 I was getting worried, no sign of Sandy. I called her office and got the answering machine. That meant she had closed up the reception area and everyone else was out doing what real estate salesmen do. Hopefully, they made some sales; Sandy got a small percentage of every sale. The boss did that to reward her when sales picked up when she started. He couldn't find any reason for the increased income other than Sandy was handling the front desk. He was a square shooter, always seeing his people got rewarded for what they did.
I got in my car at 2:00 to swing by her office, then the mall. It wasn't like her to be gone like this. Or maybe it was, I was never home this time of day. Still, it worried me.
I didn't see her car at any of the usual "suspects" so I headed home again, arriving about quarter to three. I had to get up to Lynn by 3:30 so I left a short note, just telling her I wouldn't be home my usual time and she shouldn't wait dinner on me. When something like this happened I caught a meal at one of the greasy spoons. There was no sense in the kids having their routines disrupted just because daddy was late.
The kids weren't due home by school bus until quarter of four or thereabouts. If my wife weren't going to be home by then she would have let them know ahead of time, notified the school or contacted on of the stay at home moms to be sure the kids were taken care of.
The folks up north were a trial, but fun to be around. I got through just after 10 PM and they took me out to dinner. After dinner we had a couple drinks and I didn't start home until almost midnight. With the drinks in me I made sure I obeyed all the laws, especially the speed limits. As a result a trip that would normally take under forty-five minutes didn't see me home until after 1:00 AM.
Need I say my sleepy head wife was thoroughly zonked by the time I arrived? I didn't get to talk to her about my new schedule for the week but figured we would talk in the morning. Boy, was I wrong.
I didn't wake up until after 8:30 and the kids and Sandy were already gone. She left a note telling me why she hadn't waked me up because she knew I worked late last night and must be planning to sleep in today, kind of comp time.
After fixing myself breakfast I called her office and got some bubble-head on the line. When I asked for Sandy, she was very short, snarling something about Sandy taking the week off. Without listening to what I was trying to say she gave me my home phone number and told me to call her there. Then the bitch hung up. It pissed me off having to deal with a dickhead like that on the phone. Still, I didn't think much of it. The girl was obviously new and didn't know Sandy from one of the agents. She sure wouldn't be there long. But I still hadn't been able to talk to Sandy. I was also beginning to wonder what was keeping her out of the office. The week off was pure bullshit but that was for Sandy and the girl to straighten out.
What did bother me was where my wife had gone? Taking a flier I called Cora, her best friend, to see if Sandy was there. The gal was busy with some kind of household emergency and couldn't spend time on the phone. All she told me was that Sandy should be at the office. If she weren't there she would be home before noon. According to Cora, Sandy was almost never later than 12:30 getting home during the week.
Now I had a sinking feeling. Did I have a reason to worry about Sandy's behavior? Well, no I didn't. Still this was strange. Why hadn't she told me about taking the time off work? If she hadn't taken vacation, and it didn't make sense for her to do it without telling me, then where was she?
I decided to take a swing around our neighborhood and see if I could spot her car. When someone drives a fire-engine-red Camry it's hard to hide it on a city street.
That's how I spent the next three hours, until almost 12:30, driving up and down the streets of our little area. No Sandy! A total waste of time! I swung back to the house to see if she was there, but no luck.
Now I was getting concerned. She had a wide circle of friends, but most of them lived within a mile of our home. Unless we had been playing hopscotch as I searched she wasn't anywhere in the area.
After reconnoitering until almost 2:00 I called the office of the people I was to see that evening. After explaining I had a small family emergency they agreed to meet me at 5:00 or so. I apologized and promised, if we needed more time I'd be up to see them Saturday. Well, Hell! There went my weekend!
Then I sat down to wait.
The kids climbed off the school bus their usual time but instead of coming home they scattered to friends houses. I called my eldest off her madcap stampede and asked where everyone was going.
Betty gave me the, "Use your head Dad," look and answered, "Oh Daddy! Don't you remember?" she said in her best 'talking to a simpleton' manner. "Momtoldusthismorning, she'dbehomebyeight!" After a brief pause she added, "You Know!"
Then she disappeared in a cloud of dust. It took a moment to decipher, but my wife told her before they left for school that she wouldn't be home until 8:00PM. That was the first I heard about it.
Now I was puzzled, and beginning to wonder, not if something had happened to Sandy, but what she was doing. As soon as Sandy discovered I wasn't going to be home until late she made plans to go out. Where? Why? The most troubling question was: Who was she with?
There was less than an hour before I had to head north so no more looking today. My gut hurt and I felt guilty for my suspicious. Still, I left a note on the kitchen table telling her I would be even later getting home tonight and for the rest of the week. I mentioned I would probably have to work Saturday, too. I promised to explain when we got together.
The meeting with the folks in Lynn suddenly started sprinting. Suddenly they understood how to use our gadgets and their questions dried up. We spent the rest of the evening with them "doing things" to get used to the equipment. We were doing so well we didn't knock off until almost one. Then they begged off our planned meeting for the next day, Wednesday. We made plans to get together Thursday evening for a few hours. We expected to complete preparation for them coming on board that Thursday.
That left Wednesday free. I had some thinking to do and maybe some planning. My conscience was bothering me the way I was worrying about what my wife was doing.
I was in bed a little after two after a snack and showering. I set the alarm on what I called my "Buck Rogers" watch and put it under my pillow. I stuck it there so it wouldn't bother Sandy and used the watch instead of resetting the space age clock radio we used. It had alarms for both my and Sandy's hours. If I tried to change mine I always ended up screwing up Sandy's setting too. I'm a light enough sleeper that its little alarm would wake me but under my pillow no one else in the room would hear it. That along with being scared spitless about what was going on with my wife would get me awake.
I spent long hours that night lying there awake beside my wife. First I would be knocking myself around for doubting her the way I was. Then the questions would start again. I couldn't get them out of my mind. The answers ran everywhere from Sandy planning a surprise party for me, though I couldn't figure out why, to her having a full blown affair. The word blown went through my head endlessly, and that didn't help a bit.
One reason it was so bothersome was how randy I was. We hadn't had sex in a bunch of days and I was used to getting my rocks off at least every other day.
I needn't have worried about the alarm. The moment Sandy slid out of bed I was awake. It took will power to just lie there as she showered, dressed, then left the bedroom. We had fallen into a pattern; once my wife was dressed and left to go down to breakfast she wouldn't come back to the bedroom. She was afraid her rummaging around would wake me.
As soon as she was down the stairs I was up quietly brushing my teeth and climbing into my clothes. When she drove out today I would be less than two blocks behind her in the van. Then I sat down fully dressed to wait.
It was hard staying upstairs, listening to the family getting ready for their day while I fretted. I wanted to be downstairs with them. There was no question in my mind that Sandy loved her children. Until Monday it had never occurred to me she might not love me as well. Damn it, I had no real reason to believe she didn't still love me! It felt like I was being a traitor to go trailing after her like this. If she were innocent I would confess my jealousy and what I'd done, then hope she forgave me.
One way to look at it was that I loved her very much. Maybe I loved her too much! Was I turning into a stalker? NO! This was my wife, I wasn't stalking and I didn't want to control her. I just wanted to know she still loved me.
Damn, my imagination was driving me crazy!
If this was just a brain spasm I was sure she would understand.
I hoped she would understand.
Finally the kids were gone and moments later Sandy was getting her coat and walking across our slate entry hall. Before she shut the door I was hustling silently down the stairs.
Swinging through the kitchen I checked. God was in his heaven! She hadn't tossed the last of the coffee she made. She'd turned off Mr. Coffee, but it was still hot.
I grabbed the last cup and pussyfooted out to the van. By the time she had driven to the end of the next block I was following her. When she turned onto the main street a couple blocks further along I was only a block behind her. As nondescript as the old blue van was I had no worry about her recognizing the thing. It looked like half the van's on the streets. It was dirty as hell but what could you expect when it was plowing through construction sites every day?
From that point tracking her was easy. She drives sedately and the roads in our area made it easy for me to guess which roads she would be turning on next. She turned into the Safeway parking lot a couple miles from home. I pulled into a 7/11 lot, parking by the street where I could see Sandy's car. I left the motor running in the beat-up old van, sat and watched.
That was a puzzle I've never solved, why do they build a convenience store next door to a 24-hour supermarket?
Sandy parked near the street, then got out of the car and waited. She was obviously impatient, pacing back and forth, looking at her watch and so on. Just over fifteen minutes later a really nicely restored two-toned blue '57 Chevy pulled in next to her. The driver rolled down his window, leaned out and said something that made Sandy laugh. Then she walked around to the passenger side and climbed in. As she made herself comfortable she patted the driver on the cheek. The man made another remark Sandy laughed at, and the Chevy began rolling.
That's when things went insane!
My attention had been fixed on Sandy and her man. The guy looked awful young from where I sat, not more than sixteen or seventeen but was probably in his mid-twenties. I shifted in my seat, getting ready to follow them when a city patrol car pulled in front of me at an angle, the door opened before I knew what had happened, and the cop had his door open. He was leaning out the car window and his gun was pointing right in my face.
I almost crapped pants.
Matters didn't get better when another vehicle owned by our cities finest pulled in behind me. It was a two man car, and both front doors opened with the two cops jumping out with drawn guns.
Holy Leaping Horntoads! I was so scared I was afraid to move! What in hell was going on here? As I looked back at the cop in front I saw the '57 Chevy carrying my wife pull out into traffic and disappear.
The first cop yelled at me to get out of the car, keeping my hands in sight. For a minute I thought I might have a problem with that. I'd never had someone point a gun at me before, not with real bullets in it, not even when I was in the army.
Somehow I managed to get my legs to work and very slowly eased out of the van. It took a moment to get my legs moving, but you can believe my hands were in plain sight all the time. Once out of the car, one of the cops in the second car grabbed me and had me "assume the position." No problem there, I needed something to help my legs hold me up.
The cops started firing questions at me, asking me how long I'd been there, what I was doing, was I armed, and so forth. They got my drivers license and called in to see if I was wanted anywhere. After I was pulled away from leaning on the van and they had figured out I was harmless, more or less, I asked what was going on. It turned out punks had hit this store twice the week before. Each time they had parked an older blue van next to the street and waited until no one was in the store but the clerk. Then they had walked in with pistols cocked and loaded. When I'd parked in the same place the clerk inside had called the cops. They had me under observation until I shifted around to leave. It so happened the last customer in the store had just left the lot when I moved and the cops were sure I was going in again.
It took a good forty-five minutes to convince them I wasn't their man. They didn't think too well of me for following my wife, but when I asked them what they would have done in the same situation they just looked at me. Then they told me to take off and keep away from this store. I made a solemn promise to them, and myself, that I would never come near this store again.
My big plans were smashed. I'd already spent hours trying to guess where Sandy and her paramour may have gone. Spending more time speculating would just make me crazier.
I spent the balance of the day working on my paperwork and things around the house. About 7:30 I was at the Safeway store, parked in the back of their lot watching Sandy's car. She came in on time, so to speak. I stopped for a meal and then went home. When I was home by 10:30 Sandy was shook. She kept looking at the clock. Turns out she had called my office to find out where I was and Jan, our receptionist filled her in on what my schedule would be like this week. She hadn't been expecting me until midnight or even later.
The next morning was a rehash of Wednesday morning. This time Sandy drove to a large shopping mall. I was not too far behind her, just pulling into a slot parking place on the street, no more 7/11s for me.
My wife drove straight to a sleek new silver Corvette parked at the far end of the lot. She parked on the passenger side of the Corvette and was out the door before her engine stopped turning. Before she had reached the side of the 'Vette the driver leaned across and pushed the door open for her. She slid in on her knees, leaned across the console and gave the son of a bitch a big juicy kiss. From where I was sitting it looked like she had her tongue at least half way down his throat. When she pulled away she glanced around guiltily, checking to see if anyone was watching. He gave her just enough time to sit down and fasten her seat belt before pulling smoothly out of the lot.
They had me worried for a minute. If the guy turned toward me I was pointed in the wrong direction to follow. I had to take my eyes off them and scoot down so Sandy wouldn't see me. My worries were groundless, they turned away from me to proceed sedately up the street. I fell in a block or so behind them.
Traffic was moderate and they were on a street with very few places to turn off and lose me. By the time I followed them onto the freeway I was sure they hadn't seen me.
The Corvette was on the freeway for only five miles before exiting. I couldn't believe how sedately the guy driving was, not for a Corvette. When he pulled off he turned immediately into a small motel called The Bide-a-Bit.
I passed the entrance to pull into a Denny's. There I parked facing the Bide-a-Bit and watched to see where they went. They parked in front of room 113 about halfway down.
Backing out of my parking space I swung into the motel lot, drove slowly past the Corvette, parked at the end of the row. They were still in the car in a lip lock when I drove past. It was all I could do not to jump out and try to stop what was happening. Reason prevailed, this was not a first time thing. What I needed were facts.
From my parking place I watched the guy get out and open the motel room door. As soon as it was open Sandy was out of the car and into the room like a shot. The jerk stood there smirking as he watched her act.
My world turned red watching Sandy dragging her fingers over the lump in the man's pants, giving it a squeeze as she ran past him. Before the bastard even shut the door, my wife was all over him.
She didn't even wait until the door was shut!
The woman hadn't treated me with passion like that since Betty came along!
I sat in the van for long minutes, wondering what I had done to deserve this.
Or was I that poor a lover?
Sitting there remembering, blue as I could be, I decided it wasn't my fault. When she was interested we had as varied and exciting a love life as anyone could ever want. And it wasn't just in the past, either. When our schedules allowed, particularly the kids schedules, we were still hot together. But nobody can keep that kind of action going 24/7. Certainly not while taking care of kids, the house, two jobs and all that. Hell the PTA and kids sports alone took at least two additional working days out of our "casual" time together. It would be easy to a couple, three, four times a week or even more. But not if we didn't forget the mortgage, Betty's braces and our son Roy's energetic mischief making, et al.
Was that it? Was she sloughing off her husband and kids for a quickie a couple times a week; kind of like a two or three-hour mini-vacation once or twice every week? It could be a hell of an expensive vacation for her.
"Okay," I thought, gritting my teeth. "I guess that pretty well proves Sandy's not the woman I thought she was."
Sitting and twiddling my thumbs I brooded and let time pass. A couple times I caught myself hammering on the steering wheel. That made no sense; it wasn't the cars fault.
Just sitting there waiting I knew the damage had been done days, weeks, maybe months before; hurrying to interrupt the loving couple wouldn't save her sadly neglected virtue. My stomach was churning a lot, making me glad I hadn't eaten anything this morning. Tears threatened but I wouldn't let them fall. Sometime in the future I could let myself grieve: Not yet, not in the parking lot of the Bide-a-Bit Motel.
Forcing myself, I let the ol' clock take a couple of turns, giving them a half hour alone before making a move. Interrupting them wasn't in the works, not if I was to find out all that was going on. What I did was let them have time to get really into what they were doing. With what I was planning it could be a really messy situation if I were to be caught.
When enough time had passed I nonchalantly left the van to walk to the Corvette, making sure no one was watching. The cars windows had been left open the stupid prick! I looked inside, immediately spotting a small plastic case holding a supply of business cards.
It was on the drivers seat, probably fallen out of his pocket. Not bothering to be selective I grabbed the case, dropping it in my packet.
While pulling my head out of the window I noticed Sandy's clutch purse. It had fallen between the passenger seat and the console. I stretched in again to snag it. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but I couldn't resist.
I took the confiscated items back to the van to see what I had. The card case held a dozen cards for a George Johansen. He represented an office supply company headquartered in Gary, Indiana. That must be the pricks name that was screwing my wife.
Sandy's purse was standard issue for what women carry, though a little smaller than women usually carried for everyday use. There was one intriguing item, a purse sized leather folder with an address book tucked in on one side. The other side held a calendar for the year with a page for each of the fifty-two weeks in the year.
I paged through the calendar. There were just a few entries, but every so often there were a day or so marked in the small space available. Most of the few things were standard, like Doctor's appointments and visits to the Dentist. I recognized an entry for an appointment we had with Betty's teacher last spring. But there were several things that didn't make immediate sense. The entries were cryptic, looking like someone's initials or a man's name and a series of letters that probably were shortened words to fit in the space available. I put that aside to puzzle over later.
The address book was a puzzle, too. We kept a family book atop our dresser, which held pretty much all the names of people we knew. This book kept her friends names and phone numbers, along with some of our families. Entries for people Sandy might need to call from work; Really not many names there.
As I was trying to figure out what she had there something caught my eye. I was idly flipping the pages with my thumb when I noticed something strange. Each letter had five leaves, that is there were 10 pages assigned to each letter, well, only two for Q, X, Y and Z. So after the first two or three pages with entries the next seven or eight pages were blank. Pretty standard, except in this book there would be a gap after what I would call the regular addresses. Then after three or four blank Sandy had added entries that seemed to be some kind of code.
It was pure luck that I had noticed them. After the pages used for a letter, who would expect more until the names starting with the following letter of the alphabet. It sounds confusing but everyone has seen it. Each letter in the alphabet had been given more than enough pages to hold all the names of people whose last names began with that letter.
Sandy had entered no more than half a dozen names under any letter which meant only a couple pages had been used. So following the inscribed names would be several blank pages before another letter's list began.
I found names, first names only, in what should have been blank pages. Entries like Earl, Joe, Chris and so on. In only a couple cases were last names listed at all. They all had a ten digit number, sometimes more than one. I assumed they were phone numbers. A few had street addresses. I found an entry for George J. under the Gs with an out of town phone number. After the name were some cryptic letters; cvt bl sl 2wk gt-tng. Well, well!
I speculated, cvt could stand for Corvette, bl because the guy was one of those hunks with blond hair. sl had me stumped, as did gt-tng. 2wk might stand for 2 weeks, but two weeks of what threw me entirely.
Well, that was interesting. It was also depressing if my speculations were right.
There was more business to take care of before I left for home. The lovebirds had been rutting in the motel room for over an hour now. I clambered out of the van again and walked down to the Corvette. I casually made sure no one was watching then stooped out of sight and used my valve-stem wrench to remove the valve-stems from all four tires. I waited until they were all flat before screwing the stems back in. Let his mechanic try to figure out how his tires had all gone flat for no reason.
Well, fuck this pussyfooting around.
Pulling the ball cap low over my face I went to their door and hammered on it. "Hey Jules, let me in," I called in a moderately loud voice, pitching it high and trying for a nasal tone. There was nothing but silence inside. I waited a moment, then hammered harder on the door, "Jules, you motherfucker, open this damn door. We need to talk." It worried me that I had said too much. Sandy had lived with me a long time and I wasn't sure she wouldn't recognize my voice.
My back was to the window when someone moved the drapes aside and looked out while I tried to look stoop shouldered and dumpy. I heard the guy inside tell my wife, "It's some jerk, looks half in the tank. I'll get rid of him, we don't need a scene."
Not giving him time to open the door I hammered on it again. "Jules, you son-a-bitch, you owe me a twenty for just gettin' here. Open the fucking door!"
The words were hardly out before the man had the door open a crack and peeked out. "Go away asshole!" he snarled. "You got the wrong room!"
"The hell it is, shit bird. Jules just called half an hour ago and gave me the room number. This is it! Where's Jules?" I was having trouble keeping my voice high and nasal. "He owes me and I have the stuff for him. Open up, fuck face!"
The door had been opened as far as the security chain would allow, but when El Jerkoff turned to snicker something to Sandy he involuntarily pushed the door almost closed. I could tell he was no longer holding it and had moved to the side. Not hesitating I leaned back and slammed the sole of my foot into the door with every pound of my 225 and with all my strength behind it. That should snap the chain or yank the catch off the wall.
The door to this cheap by-the-hour motels wasn't even anchored as solidly as I expected and the door slammed open.
Surging inside I saw the door had wrenched the asshole's shoulder and spun him around. The door rebounded off the wall, not giving him time to catch his balance before it slammed into him again on the way back to crash closed. This time it knocked him to the floor. A quick glimpse showed me a well-built, good-looking man wearing only boxer shorts.
Now I'm not a fighter as Sandy would quickly tell you. That doesn't mean I can't fight and certainly not that I won't fight. It means I don't like to fight.
Not finding pleasure in the sport I don't follow any rules when I get into a donnybrook. The man was down on his face and it was easy for me to take a step forward and bury my toe in his short ribs. The wind whooshed out of him with a nice satisfying sound. Before he quite understood what was happening I had stomped his kidneys and landed several more kicks to his ribs. When he curled into a ball to protect his ribs I stepped to the side and buried my number nine in the space just forward of his anus. He screamed then, a peculiar high pitched squeal that did my heart good.
Golly, Mr. Queensbury, ain't that in the rules?
Not 'til then did I look to the bed. It was unoccupied but completely torn up. The couple had been very active on that sporting surface. The sheets were soaked in several places.
The 'light of my life' wasn't ensconced on the bed but there was only one place to hide in that smelly, dingy, cheap motel room. I checked to make sure the door was shut. To my surprise, me after the treatment it had just received, it was completely closed. I moved silently to the bathroom door. Gathering myself I twisted the handle and pushed the door open. The woman inside gave a squeak as a male shape pushed into the room.
She had left the bathroom off, hoping I guess to convince the intruder no one was hiding there. Sandy couldn't see enough to recognize me until I turned on the bathroom light. Then she gasped and began to wail.
"Sorry to interrupt your recreation, my dear. But your family would like to see you at home."
I waited a beat, "NOW!"
After a moments pause I continued, "If you want a ride, my car will be leaving in five minutes. If you aren't there you can call a cab or you can catch a ride with numb-nuts there." We both looked over at the figure on the floor. Since I walked away he had vomited his breakfast plus whatever they had to drink. He was a mess and he lay in a pool of bile green vomit on the already filthy, threadbare carpet. I was glad I didn't have to clean it up. The vomit stink it added to the room melded with the rooms existing miasma. The vomit added a distinct perfume, though in my opinion it didn't make it more obnoxious.
"Be outside in five minutes. If you aren't there I expect to see you home by 1:00PM. If you aren't there by 1:00 I'm calling my attorney. If you are there we can discuss any reason you come up with for why I shouldn't call an attorney."
I waited a little over the five minutes I had given her, but hadn't expected her to be able to make that deadline. She had to find her clothes and get into them first. And I knew this woman, at least superficially, and she wouldn't set foot outside until she had washed her face and at least wiped off most of the sex juice that covered her body. As wiped out as she looked I knew it would take longer than five minutes.
Anyway, I drove home alone. There I debated getting out my bottle of Jack Daniels Black Label and working the level down. Actually, I got the bottle out and stood looking at it for a long time before I put it back. There were three kids to worry about and crawling into a bottle wasn't the way to care for them.
It was almost 2:00 when Sandy drove her car into the carport. She didn't look like the woman I had lived with all these years. Her make-up was gone, I figured she just said to hell with it and washed it all off. Her complexion was waxy and there was fear in her eyes. I was sorry to see that, I still cared for her. But I hadn't put it there. If anyone was responsible it was herself. For a moment I wondered how she had made it home, I still had her purse with her money, credit cards and drivers license. Somehow I didn't think Mr. Johansen would be willing to fork over anything for her private needs.
Her clothes looked all right, but then she hadn't been wearing them in the motel.
She stopped in the entryway and just looked at me. "Am I too late?" she whispered.
It took me a moment to remember I had threatened calling an attorney at 1:00.
"No, I haven't taken any action yet," I responded. "I'm not sure I want to. Don't know what I want."
"Can I explain?" she asked.
"Well, sure," I answered. "What do you think will explain it?"
"Just a minute," she said then shuffled into the kitchen. She found the coffee I had just made, poured herself a cup, then returned to the living room to sit down on the sofa.
"Don, I don't know why I did this. It just happened. I love you, want to be married to you. You have got to believe that."
"Why in hell do I HAVE to believe that. If you love me you have a hell of a way of showing it. How long has it been going on?"
"Oh, Don! This was the first time!"
"Bull shit! You were out somewhere Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Tell me another, but this time stick closer to the truth. How long has this been going on, weeks, months? Second question, how many other affairs have you had?"
"Don, it's not like that! I've never slept around on you!"
She had the grace to blush when I raised an eyebrow at her.
"W-w-well," she stuttered, first time I've heard her do that. "I met this guy over the Internet. We got along so well he asked to meet me and it just got out of hand after that."
"How long has it been going on?"
"Uhm, only a month. Less I guess," she got out in a little voice.
"Oh, only a month? Gee wife! It feels so good to find out you've only been fucking me over for a month!"
"Well, not really that long. And it was only a couple of times until this week!"
"So you're taking the, "only a little bit pregnant" plea? Is it less of a threat to the marriage if you only fuck one man? Or is it maybe more endangering? What about how often you fuck him: or they? Should I forgive you if you only did it once? Maybe count the times you committed adultery and if it isn't over some magic number I should just ignore it? Do we divide by the number of years we've been married, and then multiply by the number of kids... What number should we use, Sandy? WIFE!"
She sat and looked at me, not saying a word. Finally, "I've not been going behind your back, Don. This was the only time, and it just happened. I didn't want it to, it just did... I don't know, maybe I got bored. We haven't been making love very often recently. Maybe that was part of it."
There was silence for a long while. She couldn't stand it and started again, "It wasn't you, Don. I love you; you know I do. It just happened. I swear it won't happen again. Please Don, we have to find a way to get over this? It's not like I was seeing a bunch of men, or this had been a long time affair!"
That got me steamed again, "Oh, I know! We can count the number of times I've cheated on you. Until you go over that number we can ignore it. Does that make sense?"
A horrified look came over her face, "You've cheated on me? Oh, god! When? Who with? Where did it happen? Why, Don?"
"Well, my dear," I began slowly, "actually I never have. In my job I occasionally meet women hard up enough to try to put moves on me but I've never stepped over the line. Too bad my wife can't say the same."
Silence settled over the room. We sat there looking at one another and for the first time since our first date I didn't feel a connection with the woman sitting before me. Would I ever be able to trust her again? I wasn't even sure I would be able to take her to bed again. I hadn't seen her actually getting plowed by what's his name, but I had seen the mess they made of that bed.
I pulled out the address book I had taken from her purse and began flipping through the pages. "I found this just this morning, my love. I'm not sure I understand what is in here. Maybe you can answer some questions." I looked up and saw the blood had drained from her face. "For instance, there is an entry here for George J and an Indiana phone number. Is that "the" George Johansen? Isn't that the guy you were spending quality hours with in the snuck comfort of the Bide-a-Bit?" I didn't wait for a response, just continued. "And there are some strange letters, kind of grouped together, after his name. Tell me if I'm correct, please. Now, cvt means Corvette, right?"
I looked at her a long time before she gave a little not.