It came at me out of the blue. We had just finished dinner and Becky was washing the dishes and I was drying them and putting them away when Becky said:
"Have you ever had an affair or thought of having one?"
How in the hell do you honestly answer a question like that? Had I ever had one? No. Had I ever thought of having one? Many, many times. There was only one answer that I could safely give and so I gave it:
"Of course not. Why in the world would you even ask me a question like that?"
"No reason, just idle curiosity."
"Oh no you don't Rebecca Anne. I know you better than that. You would never ask a question like that without a reason."
"That's all it was, just curiosity. Marge Holbrook told me that she just found out that George had an affair two years ago. Two weeks ago Nancy Neubert told me Tom was having an affair and a month ago one of the girls I work with told me she found out her husband was having an affair. All three of them are in marriages that have lasted over twenty years and I wondered if it was some form of late life seven year itch."
Nothing more was said about the subject and we finished the dishes, watched NCIS, Commander-In-Chief and Boston Legal and then went to bed.
I didn't buy it. Becky and I had been married a little over twenty years and I knew her. I knew her a whole lot better than she thought I did and I could tell that there was more behind her question than she was letting on. But I also knew that since she hadn't been forthcoming during our talk in the kitchen she wouldn't say any more on the subject.
I spent a day or two wondering about it and gradually I forgot about it. For about a week. And then I noticed a subtle change in Becky. It might have been there all along, but I was just noticing it. She dressed just a tad better for work. Not necessarily more sexy or more revealing, but just a little more upscale. She wore her high heels more often, spent a little time on her hair and makeup.
She had always stopped one night a week with the girls from work and she was usually home by eight, but she started coming home later; first nine and then nine-thirty and then ten. And there was a difference when she came home - she was always horny and wanted to make love. I started coming home to find messages on the answering machine telling me she was running a little late.
Then I remembered her question about affairs and the penny dropped. She had asked that question to gauge my response to it. She was trying to get a feel for how I might react and I concluded that Becky was either thinking of having an affair or was already having one. I know that some would call that jumping to a conclusion, but again, I knew Becky a lot better than she thought I did. Plus, I had the benefit of an excellent memory.
Way back when Becky and I first met I'd already had some sexual experience with several different girls while Becky was still a virgin. I made a big mistake one night after we had become engaged in letting Becky talk me into telling her of my past experiences and she got all bent out of shape. She even went so far as to suggest that maybe we shouldn't rush into things, that we should take some time off from each other and see other people and make sure that we were really right for each other.
I may have been dumb enough to tell her of my sexual past, but I wasn't so dumb that I couldn't see what was going on in her head. I wasn't going into our marriage a virgin so why should she? I had no problem with that as long as I was the one she did the deed with, but even back then I knew her better than she thought I did. I'd had sex with five girls before meeting her so she should have sex with five guys so we would go into our marriage even.
I didn't fall for it.
I flat out told her that if she wanted to date other guys then give me back my ring. I told her that once she said yes to my proposal and put on my ring anything she did with another guy I would consider as cheating. She backed down, but I know she always felt like she was short-changed on the deal.
I had no doubt in my mind that she had spent some time during our marriage wondering what another man or two would be like and I don't doubt that she had even wondered what certain specific individuals would be like. Hell, that was just human nature. I'd looked at a lot of ladies during our marriage and wondered what they would have been like, but look and wonder is all I did. I wasn't sure that I could say the same any more about Becky.
I'm a one woman guy and I expect that my significant other will be a one man woman. I'm not the type to share. As much as I loved Becky I would end our marriage in a heartbeat if she stepped out on me. I was not the type to sit and wait for things to happen either. There wasn't an ounce of 'wait and see' in me and not even a smidgen of 'what I don't know won't hurt me.' If Becky was considering an affair I would try to head it off at the pass. If she was already having one we were done.
There were no kids to be hurt if Becky and I divorced. Joan had joined the Army right out of high school and Ryan was in his second year of college (back in my day it would have been just the opposite). They wouldn't be happy about it, but they wouldn't be hurt the way they would have been had they been seven or eight.
The first thing I had to do was find out what was going on. The obvious place to start was with the night she stopped with the girls from work. They always (at least according to Becky) stopped at the Top Hat and it was usually on a Thursday because the Top Hat had a live band Thursday through Saturday. I drove to the place on a Monday and checked it out.
There were several dark corners where you could park yourself and not really be noticed unless someone was looking for you. I never wear a hat and my vision is 20/20 so a ball cap and a pair of reading glasses with the lenses punched out combined with a dark corner should make me unobtrusive. All I had to do was get to the Top Hat early enough on Thursday to see that I got one of the dark corners.
Becky got off work at five-thirty so at five-fifteen I was sitting in a dark corner, the bill of my ball cap pulled down low. Becky and her girlfriends walked in at five thirty-five and pushed three tables together next to the dance floor. When the women sat down they didn't sit together, but were spread out with empty chairs between them and I wondered about that. I got the answer about three minutes later when a bunch of guys came in and took the empty seats. I noticed that after the guys all sat down there was a vacant chair on either side of Becky.
The band came in, set up, and then started playing their first set of the evening. Everyone but Becky got up and moved out onto the dance floor. Becky sat there sipping her drink and watching her co-workers dance. About five minutes after the music started I saw Becky get a huge smile on her face and I looked in the direction she was looking and I saw a man heading for her with a smile on his face as big as the one on hers. When he reached the table he bent down and kissed her and then sat down next to her. There was some animated conversation, some touching, and a lot of smiling and then they got up to dance to a slow number.
He pulled her close to him and they dance so close that you could not have slid a piece of paper between the two of them. When his hands slid down her back and came to rest on Becky's ass and she buried her head in his shoulder the only question I had left was, "Has the affair already been consummated?"
Becky and the man danced several times together and when she excused herself to go to the bathroom I got up and left the bar. I walked through the parking lot until I found Becky's car and then I went and got mine and moved it to where I could sit and watch Becky's. I reached into the back seat and pulled my date for the evening into the front seat with me. I had stopped at an adult bookstore a couple of days previous and had purchased a blow up doll. I'd found a blond wig at the Salvation Army Thrift Store and one of my old sweatshirts completed the costume. I pulled my 'date' close to me and settled in to wait.
At nine-fifteen Becky and the man came out of the bar hand in hand and they walked right past Becky's car and came straight towards me. I pulled my date into a clinch, made like we were necking and hoped that Becky wouldn't recognize my car. If she did it would force a confrontation and I didn't want that yet. I needed more information before I confronted her.
Either she didn't recognize the car or she was too wrapped in the guy to notice, but she walked right by me and the two of them got in the car right next to me. The two of them talked for about five minutes and then they slid together and started to make out. After about ten minutes they broke apart, talked for another few minutes and then Becky got out of his car, walked over to her car and drove away. The man started up and pulled out of the parking lot and I started up and followed him.
Twenty minutes later he pulled into the driveway of a four-bedroom ranch, got out and locked his car and went into the house. I wrote down the address so I could use the library's reverse directories to find out who he was and then I headed home.
When I got there and went in the house I found a worried Becky. "Where were you? I got home and you weren't here and there was no note or message on the answering machine."
I had an unkind thought - was she really worried about me or was she worried about where I might have been and what I might have seen or been trying to find out? I decided to take my first shot at her and see how she responded.
"I was busy helping one of the guys at work. He caught his wife cheating on him and he tossed her worthless ass out of the house. If it was me I'd have sent her to the hospital. I helped him move her stuff out of the house and throw it in the driveway. He was a lot nicer about it than I would have been. I'd have thrown her out without anything. I'd have burned everything of hers before I'd have given it to her."
As I said that I saw her eyes widen just a bit and I continued, "I don't know what tomorrow will bring. He's going looking for her lover and plans on putting him in the hospital. I may have to go down and bail him out of jail."
"Why are you letting yourself get involved?"
"Hey, when it comes to wives who are cheating whores us guys have to stick together. Right now he needs all the moral support he can get. Luckily his kids are grown up and out of the house so they won't be too damaged by what's happened. Ready for bed?"
She looked thoughtful and then said, "No, not yet. You go on up. I'll be up in a little bit."
I wondered if I'd reached her. I'd touched a nerve somewhere because on her nights out with the girls she was usually hot to get me in bed when she got home. It wasn't at all like her to let me go to bed alone.
The next morning I went digging through the boxes where I keep the manuals and handbooks that come with the stuff that I buy. I found the instruction book for the telephone answering machine and read it. My memory had been good. I'd thought the machine had a remote feature and I'd been right. I'd never before used it. What you did was call your number and when the machine answered you hit the pound sign and then within two seconds you entered in your remote access code and the machine would play any received messages. I wrote down the preset access code and put it in my wallet.
At lunchtime I went to the downtown branch of the library and using their reverse directories I found out that Becky's boyfriend was Stanley Piltch. A visit to the county courthouse and a quick records search showed that 411 Campbell Street was owned by Stanley and Elaine Piltch. Armed with that information I went back to work. Starting at three-thirty I began calling home every ten minutes and at four-forty the machine played back:
"I'm going to be running a little late tonight honey. I have a report I need to get out by tomorrow and I'm behind on it. Don't wait dinner on me. I love you, bye."
I was parked just down the street from where Becky worked when she came out at five-thirty, got in her car and drove off. I followed her to the Top Hat where she parked in the lot and went inside the bar. Ten minutes later Stan arrived and five minutes after that the two of them were in his car necking again.
After five minutes or so Stan stared up his car and they drove off. I followed along behind then to a Motel 6. They sat outside the office and talked for about five minutes and then Stan got out of the car and went into the office. Several minutes later he came out of the office with a room key in his hand. He got in the car and they drove down and parked in front of room 114. They talked some more and then Stan got out of the car and went to the door of 114 and unlocked it. He looked back toward the car, but Becky hadn't gotten out. He got back in the car and said something and Becky shook her head no. He said something else and again I saw Becky shake her head no. Stan got a disgusted look on his face, got out of the car and tossed the room key through the open door and then got back in the car, started it up and then drove back to the Top Hat.
They sat in the lot and talked for five minutes and then slid together and Stan took her in his arms, kissed her and then they necked for about five more minutes. When Becky got out of Stan's car and headed for hers I took off and hurried home so that I could be there when she got there.
I was sat in the kitchen drinking a beer and thinking about what I had seen. The trip to the motel was self-explanatory, but what did what happened there mean? Was it the first time and at the last minute Becky couldn't go through with it? Or had it been what she regularly did on the nights she was "running late" and for some reason this time she couldn't do it? There was no clear answer to the question and I was still turning it over in my mind when Becky came in the door.
"Have you eaten yet?" she asked.
"No, not yet."
"Good. I know how much you hate making love on a full stomach and I'm horny as hell. We can eat later" and she took my hand and pulled me along behind her to the bedroom.
I have no idea if her horniness was inspired by what she and Stan had almost done or by guilt over what she and Stan had almost done, but the sex that night and for the rest of the week was intense. Becky even let me have her ass, which is something that she rarely does. When I left the house to go to work Monday I was almost glad to get away from her.
Calls to the answering machine on Monday and Tuesday showed no calls from Becky, but at five after five on Wednesday I heard:
"I'm working late tonight honey, don't hold dinner. Love you, bye."
I got the call too late to be outside Becky's workplace when she got off so my only option was to drive over to the Top Hat and see if she was there. I pulled onto the lot just in time to see Stan walk up to the door and go inside. I parked in the back and waited and about half an hour later the two of them came out and got in Becky's car and with the exception of the trip to the motel it was a repeat of the previous Friday. Talk, some necking, more talk and then more necking and then Stan got out of Becky's car, got in his and they both drove off.
I might have been wrong, but I was beginning to think that Stan was working hard at getting into Becky's pants, but had not yet succeeded. I gave Becky a half-hour head start and then I headed for the house. On the way I made up my mind as to which way I was going to go. When I got home Becky was waiting for me.
"Where have you been? I was afraid I was going to have to find something to use as a dildo and start without you."
"I had to hold John's hand for a while."
"John? Who is John?"
"The guy I told you about the other night. He threw the cheating whore out, but he still loves her and what she did to him really messed him up. But enough about John. Your live in dildo is here and is eager to be used."
Becky led me into the bedroom and reduced me to a quivering wreck. Again I was asking myself was her ardor caused by guilt over what she was doing with Stan, or was she really glad to be with me and would I ever really know the answer to that question.
The next day was Thursday, Becky's night to stop with the girls from work. From the fact that Becky had met Stan at the Top Hat on Wednesday I deduced that my statements about what I would have done to a cheating wife hadn't registered or given Becky any pause so I resolved to end things one way or another before the evening was over.
I got my disguise and my 'date' ready. At two in the afternoon I made a phone call.
"You don't know me and I'm going to keep it that way, but I felt the need to let you know that Stan is cheating on you."
"That's your choice of course, but you don't have to take my word for it; you can see it for yourself."
"If you will just stop calling me names long enough for me to get a word in I'll tell you how."
"Yes. Be sitting in your car in the Top Hat Lounge parking lot by eight-fifteen tonight. Sometime between then and nine-fifteen Stan will come out of the bar with Becky Alexander and get in either her car or his and then all you have to do is watch them."
"No. Don't go inside the bar because all you will see is them sitting a table with a bunch of other people. They won't do anything until they come out into the parking lot. Wait until then and you can catch them in the act."
"Why? Because Stan screwed the girl I was going to marry and I swore that someday I would get even. Good-bye Mrs. Piltch."
I was sitting in my dark corner, ball cap pulled low, when Becky arrived. Everything happened pretty much as it had the previous Thursday and I watched it all happen from six until eight and then I got up and went out into the parking lot. Stan's car was the farthest back to the rear of the lot and that is where I expected them to go so I got as close to his car as I could. I got my 'date' out of the back seat and settled in to wait.
At eight-twenty a car pulled into the lot and parked in the back row, but no one got out and I hoped that it was Elaine Piltch. At ten to nine Stan and Becky came out of the bar, went to his car and got in. They started talking and a couple of minutes later they slid together and started kissing. In my rear view I saw the interior light of the car in the back row come on and someone got out and headed toward Stan's car. I rolled my window down just a bit so I could listen in on the confrontation. I smiled at the thought of the embarrassment that Becky was about to suffer.
I was not even remotely prepared for what happened next. Stan's wife walked up to the passenger door, opened it, reached inside and grabbed a handful of Becky's hair and jerked. The first jerk separated Stan and Becky and the second jerk had her half way out of the car. Stan's wife slammed Becky's head into the door post while screaming at her:
"You bitch! You miserable fucking whore! That's my husband you are with, my husband you fucking whore!" and she slammed Becky's head into the door post again.
By then Stan was out of the car and pulling his wife off Becky. Elaine kneed him in the balls and when he doubled up and tried to cover up she grabbed his head and slammed it into the side of the car three times. He fell to the ground and she started kicking him and calling him every name in the book. I figured I'd seen enough so I started up my car and drove on home. As I pulled out of the lot I was looking in my rear view and saw Becky staggering toward her car and Elaine still kicking Stan.
It was eleven-thirty when Becky came in the door. She looked terrible. Her left eye was black, her nose was bandaged and she had a large Band-Aid on her forehead. I took one look at her and said: