I thank my LadyCibelle and Techsan for their patience, proof reading, editing skills and of course encouragement. I'd also like to add that we don't always see eye to eye, so I take full responsibility for all the content and any cock-ups in this story.
Hold on a minute. Nemesis - Dave? Now come on, play the bloody cards right! Nemesis - Victoria. Ah now, that sounds much better. Or maybe this one should be called "He who dares, Wins!" Okay, now read the bloody story.
I'd finally pulled up at my house at three o'clock on the Saturday morning. The traffic had been atrocious on my drive back from Aberdeen to London. It always is on Fridays and there had been a multi-vehicle pile up on the motorway that had delayed me for several hours. I figured Vicky (Victoria), my wife, would have been in bed hours ago, but I was surprised she hadn't left a light on for me.
Extracting my bags and briefcase from my car's boot I just about managed to carry them all at once, I waddled up to the front door. Letting myself in I immediately knew something was very wrong. The house was cold, obviously the heating was turned very low or off. This was unusual because Vicky is a cold old stick; she always has the heating on much too high for my liking.
Putting my bags down, I turned on some lights and was shocked to see that some of our furniture was missing. My mind in some confusion, I rapidly made my way upstairs to our bedroom where, in theory, Vicky should have been in bed asleep. The bed was empty, wardrobe doors and dresser drawers were open, and almost all of Vicki's clothes were gone.
I stood there in shock for a few moments. Just what the fuck was going on here? Thinking that a little shot of something would be a good idea I made my way back to our lounge. I grabbed a bottle of rum from the bar, then collapsed into my recliner to contemplate the position I found myself in. It was plainly apparent that my loving wife had left me. But why?
Vicky and I had been married for almost nineteen years. We had two wonderful eighteen year-old twin girls, who both were in their first year at Bristol University. Er, don't try and do the math bit - Vicky was five months gone when we got married. Look, I'll be honest when Vicky and I were married, I don't think we were head over heels in love with one another. We were just dating and having a good time, but you know how it is, we messed up, big time! Vicky fell pregnant with Susan and Sandra and I did the gentlemanly thing.
Shit, I couldn't do much else; my old man would have killed me if I hadn't. But love is a strange thing; I soon found I was completely smitten with Vicky and my girls. Almost my whole life revolved around them. Anything Vicky wanted I'd break my back to get her. I don't care what anyone says; I'm as devoted to her as any man can be to his wife. And since the girls had been away at Uni, we had been making up for the time we lost when they were children.
Everything wasn't completely roses though. Victoria was a strong willed woman and to be honest I did normally give in to her wishes, just to keep the piece. Generally I was happy with most things in my marriage. But now it looked like I'd been living a lie, or at least Vicky had.
It certainly looked like Vicky had left me. I just couldn't figure out why. She was always telling me how much she loved me. We had discussed the fact that neither of us really thought we would have gotten married to each other had she not become pregnant. But we had both agreed that it was probably the best thing that ever happened to us, and how deeply we had fallen in love with each other since we had married. It looked to me like someone had maybe had second thoughts.
Damn, my emotions took command; I suddenly got angry and jumped up to pace the room. Then I stormed out into the back garden to light up my pipe. Vicky doesn't like the smell of my pipe tobacco in the house so I always go outside to smoke. I was out there for ten minutes before I realised that Vicky wasn't there to complain and it looked like she wouldn't be in the future. Still for some reason I finished my pipe outside.
As I came back through the back door, I noticed the letter lying on the kitchen table. For a moment I stared at it. 'David' it said on the envelope; it was certainly from Vicky and when she wrote it she had been annoyed with me. The only time she ever calls me David is when she is upset with me.
I sat down at the table picked the envelope up and turned it over in my hands. I don't think I really wanted to open it; I knew I wasn't going to like whatever was written inside. Slowly I tore the envelop open, then unfolded the letter that was inside.
You lying, cheating, self-centred bastard, I am leaving you. I thought you loved me, but now I know different. You have been carrying on behind my back with that little tart and I can prove it. I'm going to a solicitor on Monday. I'm going to divorce you and take everything I can get.
I'll teach you to mess around on me. Didn't you at least think about the girls when you were swaning around with that little tart? She can't be much older than the twins?
I'm going to take you for everything I can, you bastard! So you had better look for somewhere else to live, as you won't be able to keep the house when I've finished with you and if I ever see that little slut; you can tell her I'll gouge her bloody eyes out.
"Interesting!" I said out loud to myself, "I wonder just whom this little slut is that Vicky thinks I'm laying? I think there's been a cock up in the intelligence section somewhere along the line."
Look, do I look like the kind of guy who cheats on his wife. That kind of guy would surely have walked away from Vicky when she got pregnant. I'm the kind of guy who appreciates what he has and definitely doesn't want to lose what he's got. Yeah, there have been times when I've been tempted. What guy hasn't? But I've always known which side of the toast has the butter on it and I've always been very careful about what I do. Still, it was apparent that Vicky was convinced I was playing around.
So what do I do? Well, there was only one thing to do really and that was, go to bed. Look, I'd been up since before six Friday morning and now it was four-thirty Saturday Morning. So to bed I went.
Yep, just a calmly as that. Look, I got where I am in business by not letting my emotions get the better of me. Once I knew what the problem was, I could relax a little knowing that I could quickly put Vicky's mind at rest. All I had to do was prove to her that she had got it all wrong and - bingo - crisis over.
But when I got into bed I found I couldn't sleep. Questions came into my head that I didn't expect. If Vicky thought I was cheating on her, why didn't she challenge me about it? Now that was a good point. Could it be because she had expected me to be cheating? But why would she do that? One thing I had learnt over the years was that people expect others to behave as they do. Now hang on a just minute, could Vicky think I was cheating on her because she had been playing around on me and then having got suspicious of me for some reason she had assumed I was cheating on her.
I was out of bed like a shot at that thought. This was serious stuff! Before I knew it I was tearing the bloody house apart looking for anything that would give any hint that Vicky had been unfaithful to me. I turned her sewing room upside down. There wasn't much point in searching her bedroom drawers - they were all empty.
Then I hit the computer. It took me hours to search that. I broke her passwords for her e-mails pretty quickly and then spent hours going through the Internet history files. A complete waste of bloody time, but necessary. I found absolutely nothing besides Vicky's hunt for a divorce lawyer; she had made that on the Thursday. But I could find no sign that she had actually contacted the solicitor she had apparently chosen.
I got a wicked idea; the only way to win a battle is to take the offensive. It was an off chance but I thought I'd give it a try anyway; at just after 9 Am, I e-mailed the people she had obviously chosen asking them to act on my behalf in a divorce case. There was a faint chance that Vicky hadn't actually spoken to them yet. I was lucky; within minutes of my e-mail going off, they replied asking me to come into the office ASAP, so that's what I did.
Just after 10 AM on the Saturday morning, I handed Maria Grant a cheque and she was from that moment on my solicitor. Vicky couldn't have realised that some solicitors work on Saturdays. After I told Maria what I had found at home and showed her the letter, she asked me whether I had ever cheated on my marriage. I told her that I loved my wife and done nothing since we had been married that I thought would put my marriage in jeopardy. Maria told me to sit tight; I should try to find out where Vicky had gone and have a talk to her. Maria thought it was probably just a misunderstanding and that everything could all be sorted out with a little communication between us.
I went back home and started the hunt for Vicky. I called her parents and brother but they both said they had not heard from her and she wasn't with them. Apparently she hadn't told them anything. The same went for her sister, but I had figured she lived much too far away for Vicky to have gone there anyway. Vicki's family, although she had apparently kept them in the dark about having left me, immediately took sides and clamed up on me once I told them why she had left.
The next call I made I wasn't looking forward to but I knew it was really my best bet. It was to Vicki's friend Chantelle. Chan has been divorced twice, and to be honest I don't blame the guys; Chantelle can be a sweet as a peach one minute but can turn into a complete bitch the next. Vicky and Chan had been friends since their school days. Whenever Chantelle wasn't with one of her many suitors (she was one good-looking man-eater) she would normally be with Vicky.
Vicky and Chan would have a girl's night out every couple of weeks or so and it wasn't unusual for Vicky to call me up, and ask me to pick her up as Chan had scored. Vicky and I would often laugh about it. You see, I had always thought I could trust Vicky. The moment Chantelle found herself a guy, Vicky would call me in as backup.
I dialled Chantelle's number and immediately knew I'd hit pay dirt. Chantelle started sounding off at me the moment she heard my voice. I quietly demanded to speak to Victoria, but Chan denied that she was there. I felt sure she was, as it was the only place left that she could have gone to and Chantelle's rant told me she knew all about Vicky having left me. After about five minutes I gave up and hung up the phone.
The old emotions rose again, so it was outside again for another pipe full. Whilst out there I got myself under control and started thinking again. Vicky was playing games; this running off bit without talking to me was designed to wind me up. Well, it wasn't going to wind me up anymore. I'd done nothing I had to be ashamed of. Right, Vicky, if you wanted to play games; I'll bloody well play games.
I stormed back into the house and phoned the twins. They were totally flabbergasted when I told them that their mother had walked out on me. Of course I told them that I had done nothing that I could think of to cause Vicky to leave me and I'm pretty sure I had them convinced. I also told them that I thought Vicky was staying at Chantelle's and then I said that as far as I was concerned she could stay there. The girls said they thought it was all just a silly misunderstanding and that their mother would soon come to her senses.
I know I really shouldn't have brought the girls in on this. But it was silly games we were playing and I knew they would give their mother a good dressing down over it. Then I went hunting in the garage.
When we bought the house, I had changed the barrels in the outside door locks, for two reasons really. One was we didn't know if we had been given all the keys to the house and the other so that we had a matched set of barrels. All the outside doors had the same key. It saves having lots of keys to carry around. Euro-lock barrel only takes a few minutes to fit. Now I changed all the barrels back to the originals, then disabled the garage door opener and bolted the shutter down.
Vicky wanted out! Well now she was bloody well out now and she couldn't get back in. Whilst I was fiddling with shutter on the garage, old man Blake, my neighbour from across the road, came over to me. He and his Mrs are a nosy pair of buggers, so I guess they'd seen Vicky moving and had come across to see what gossip he could pick up.
He got very little out of me, but I found out that a Ryder's rental truck had appeared Friday morning and two guys and a woman helped Vicky take a lot of stuff from the house. The two guys drove off in the truck and Vicky followed in her Saab. The other woman drove off in a pink VW Beetle. I was right - it was Chantelle! That obnoxious little pink Beetle belonged to her.
That night I drew all the curtains downstairs in the house and closed the blinds in the garage windows. From the outside no one could see in, but I could look out from the upstairs windows, and I could see the front door and drive through the security CCT system. I'd put that in a few years back so Vicky could see who was at the door when I wasn't at home.
Then I called Chantelle again.
"I told you, David! Victoria is not here. I don't know where she is and, if I did, I wouldn't tell you anyway, you cheating bastard."
"That's perfectly all right, Chan, I understand. I just want you to give Vicky a message for me; if you should happen to see her, that is. Tell her that as she has chosen to believe some stupid rumour without even speaking to me, I don't think I want to know where she has gone. In fact I don't think I want to see her again. If by any chance you do hear from her, can you ask her to let me know where I should have my solicitor send the divorce papers? I'm intending to divorce her for desertion. We'll just see who gets the short end of the stick in her little game now."
"You can't do that. She going to divorce you for adultery."
"Before she can do that, Chantelle, I actually have to have committed adultery with someone and as I know I have and haven't done, I think I'm pretty safe on that score. Now don't you go fretting that little head of yours, the divorce will be settled in my favour because Vicky has taken it in her head to desert me. I've got a stupid letter here from her saying she is doing just that. My solicitor tells me that's all I'm going to need."
"But! I, you, you were seen..."
I hung up and then pulled the plug on the phone. That little slip of the tongue by Chantelle was all I needed to hear. She had said "I" and then changed her mind and said "You were seen," from that last half a sentence. I figured it was Chantelle who thought she had seen me with another woman somewhere. Now, would Chan tell Vicky exactly what I had said and would that put doubt into Vicki's mind?
I went into the kitchen and made myself a meal. Then after it was completely dark outside I slipped out the back door and walked around the house to make sure that no one could see inside. Vicky wanted to play games, so games we would play. Then I settled myself on the computer to entertain myself until the fun I hoped was going to start actually did.
It was eight thirty when I saw Vicki's Saab pull into the drive on the CCT. Vicky must have had a change of plan. I could see her sitting in the car watching the house for a while. Then Chantelle walked up and joined her in the car. Chantelle must have arrived in her own car and parked it in the street where I couldn't see it; it appeared Vicky was hedging her bets. I hoped she was thinking that maybe she didn't have enough evidence if it came to a court battle or that maybe she had it wrong. In any case I guess she was hoping she was back to stay, if she were living in the house I wouldn't be able to claim she had deserted me.
After waiting about fifteen minutes, Vicky got out of the car and tried to unlock the front door. I realised she had probably been trying to get the garage door to open with the remote control, but had finally given up. Of course her key wouldn't fit the lock. Vicky rang the doorbell a couple of times and even called out to me through the post box. Chantelle got out of the Saab and joined her. I could hear them talking but other than hearing Chantelle say, "Try the other door," nothing else was clear enough.
They both passed out of the CCT's range and shortly I heard them at the kitchen door. Then the patio doors not five feet from me. The next minute they were back at the front door. After trying the front door yet again, Vicky went over and tried to pull up the garage shutter by hand. After giving that up as a bad job, the two of them went back to the Saab and stood by it for sometime having an animated conversation. That ended when Chantelle walked away and Vicky got back into her car.
For the next half an hour, Vicky sat there apparently making repeated calls on her mobile phone. But not actually talking to anyone. I could only assume she was making alternate calls to the house phone, but the line was tied up because I had the computer on the internet, and my mobile phone that I had switched off. Then Chantelle returned carrying a McDonald's bag. She joined Vicky in the Saab and they stayed there until well after midnight when quite suddenly they drove away.
Sticking my head around the curtain I saw that they had left Chantelle's VW parked in the street. So I assumed they planned on coming back the following morning. All day Sunday they sat out there in the drive with Chantelle making numerous trips to Macdonald's, which is not too far away. Once again they left just after midnight but this time they took Chantelle's car as well. I assumed that Chantelle needed it to get to work the following morning.
I was up and out of the house very early on the Monday, just in case Vicky turned up again. I went out to the Motorway service area where I got myself a questionable breakfast. Then I sat reading the daily papers until it was time for me to go to work. Unusually for me, I was the first one in that morning. I figured the game would come to an end today. Vicky was bound to call me at the office. But I figured I'd got some payback for her giving me the fright she had on the Friday night.
Sure enough, five past nine my phone rang.
"David, where the hell have you been?" Vicky demanded, "I've been trying to get into the house all weekend."
This verbal attack upset me again. To be honest I was expecting a very contrite Victoria that morning.
"I wouldn't suggest you try to get into the house again, Vicky. You don't live there anymore, remember, and as the house is much too big for me alone I've rented it out." A lie of course but it had the desired effect. Vicky went loopy.
"Are you mad? You've can't have rented it out. Why the hell would you do that?"
"Now look, Vicky, we've got a very expensive court battle coming up, the rent on the house will help pay for it."
"You've gone bloody crazy."
"No, Vicky, you went bloody crazy when you started all of this! You accused me of cheating on you. You called me all those names in that stupid letter. And you wouldn't talk to me while you were hiding at Chantelle's house."
"David, we have to talk."
"It's a bit late for talk now, Vicky. Talk time was Friday evening. Now it's the lawyers' make money time."
"So that's it. You're not even sorry for what you've done. You're just happy to see the back of me after twenty years?"
"Wow, hold on there, girl. First off I've got nothing to be sorry about; you were the one that did the walking out bit. You were the one who left the stupid note that nearly gave me a bleeding heart attack. And it was you who started talking about divorce. Now I suggest you go and see that solicitor you were so quick to threaten me with and find out what he has to say. Then call me back and give me his details so that I can pass them on to mine. Good bye, Victoria."
I hung up the phone. Was I pushing things too far? Well, yes, I suppose I probably was. But as far as I'm concerned there is only one thing worse than finding your spouse is playing around behind your back and that's when the person you love doesn't have the trust in you that they should have.
I made a couple of telephone calls that I thought were necessary, the first to Ryder's truck rental; there were a couple of things I needed to check out with them. They gave me a number and I had a long conversation with a very contrite little man. I'd meet him once at one of Chantelle's parties; I think I scared the shit out of him. Then I made an international call and covered that angle.
Half an hour later I got a call from Maria Grant. She was a little annoyed with me.
"Mr Polson, we've just had a visit from your wife and I very much suspect that you knew she had intended to retain me today to act on her behalf."
"Well, yes, I did suspect that was what she was planning to do. But as you are the best divorce lawyer around here, I thought it would be much better if you were acting for me instead."
"My clerk has sent her to another practice. I'll warn you they are very good and expensive."
"Maria, no offence intended, but can you tell me of a solicitor who isn't expensive."
"No offence taken David. It's your money; you can say what you like. But why aren't you talking to her and sorting this mess out."
"The answer to that is all in a name. Victoria is calling me David. That means she is angry with me. She would not hear what I say when I tell her I did not have an affair. She doesn't want to believe me. If she did, she would have called me Dave. It's as simple as that. Victoria has never called me David."
"I'm not sure I understand your logic. But I really think you two should get together and talk."
"Well, I am prepared to do that when Victoria is willing to listen. But then I've got some rather important questions to ask her. If I don't get the answers I want, you will be handling our divorce anyway."
"David, do you have reason to believe your wife has been unfaithful to you or something?"
"Not really, but she appears to have been pretty quick to believe that I would be. I've always found that people expect others to behave as they do themselves. I just got to thinking, has Victoria been as faithful to me as she expects me to be to her. She appears to be condemning me very quickly."
"I think I see your logic now. But it's not one I've come across before."
"Well, we will see what happens, shall we? I'll call you later, Maria."
I didn't get much work done for the rest of the morning and it wasn't until going on twelve that Vicky called me back.
"Dave, we have to talk."
Straight away, I came off of the offensive and agreed to meet her at two o'clock in the pub down the road from my office. At first Vicky appeared surprised at what she thought was my sudden capitulation. But when she returned to calling me David, I realised I still had a fight on my hands.
I was sat in a quiet corner when Vicky entered the bar. She came directly over and sat down opposite me although I had left her room in the booth to sit beside me.
"Aren't you going to buy me a drink?" she asked.
"No, you can buy your own bloody drinks. Remember you walked out on me. You don't need me!"
Vicky was taken aback. I think she still thought I had cheated on her and would therefore be the one on the defensive. She got up and went to the bar to buy herself a drink.
"Well, what have you got to say for yourself?" she demanded when she returned.
"Victoria, I haven't got the foggiest idea what has got into you. Just what you think I should be apologising for, I don't know."
"You were in Blackpool last weekend with some little tart. You were seen so don't try to deny it."
"Victoria, last week I was in Edinburgh. You know that, I spoke to you several times."
"I know nothing of the kind. I spoke to you on your mobile phone; you could have been in bloody Timbuktu for all I knew. And I've been told you were in Blackpool with a woman."
"Victoria, I was working. You know my itinerary; it's the same four times a year. Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen. Three days in each. I've been doing the same thing for nearly five years now."
"But you were seen in Blackpool."
"Okay, Victoria, who saw me in Blackpool. Whoever told you they saw me there is either mistaken or lying to you. Why would anyone go to bloody Blackpool at this time of year anyway? It must be bleeding freezing up on that coast at this time of year."
"To see the lights! Chantelle went on a coach trip last weekend to see the Blackpool illuminations and to do some shopping for Christmas. She saw you and the little slut you were staying with. She said you were so engrossed in her that you walked right past her a couple of times and she followed the pair of you up to your room."
"Chantelle. I thought as much. Vicky, how long have I known Chantelle?"
"Since you've known me I suppose."
"And do you think I would not notice Chantelle if I was staying in the same hotel as her for... oh, yes, how long was I supposed to be sharing a hotel with her?"
"The weekend. She went up on a weekend trip. Friday to Monday."
"Where is your logic, Victoria? Chantelle is not my favourite person. But she does have presence. Do you think that any man would not notice those sexy short skirts she wears? Or that pair of Bristols that come around the corner ten minutes before she does."
I think I told you Chantelle was a looker. No guys ever miss Chantelle. Unfortunately quite a few guys have found that out, to their cost.
Victoria looked slightly confused. I think the argument was about over and she was about to capitulate and start apologising, when the door flew open and Chantelle strode into the bar. She made a beeline for our booth and then to my surprise plonked herself in the seat next to me trapping me in. With a look of triumph on her face she produced a small folder of the type they put photographic prints in.
"Right, you bastard, explain this away!" She demanded as she pulled a print out of the folder and shoved it under my nose.
I did a quick double take on the print and then started smiling. I took the print from Chantelle's hand and turned it towards Victoria.
"Oh, didn't you recognise May-Ling, Victoria? Isn't that kind of Chantelle? Look, Victoria, Chantelle has taken some nice photos of May-Ling. I hope you took some of my brother as well Chantelle. Do you know, Chan, I really didn't know they were in the country; did you, Vicky? I suppose their ship must have docked in Liverpool and Philip must have taken May-Ling up to see the Blackpool illuminations as well. You know their ship normally docks in Amsterdam."
My twin brother is married to May-Ling, a beautiful little Chinese girl he met in Singapore some years ago. They live on a container ship where he holds the post of first mate. The ship spends so little time in port that a lot of the married members of the crew have their spouses with them. Oh, and by the way my brother and I are identical twins, just like my daughters. Twins runs in my family, handy that! Vicky was crying then and Chantelle was sitting there with her mouth open. So I continued.
"Did you say hello to Phil, Chantelle? If I remember correctly you had the hots for him at our wedding. But that was a long time ago, wasn't it."
Now both of them were crying. Vicky because she had fucked up big time and Chantelle I supposed because she was upset that she'd dropped Vicky in it. I sat and sipped my beer whilst the two of them regained their composure.
After a little while, they stopped crying, but it was obvious that they had no idea of what to say. Chantelle was the first to pluck up the courage.
"Dave, I'm sorry I forgot all about Phil. I really thought it was you. The pair of you are so alike," Chantelle finally said.
"Well, we would be alike; we are identical twins after all. And I wouldn't worry about not remembering Phil though, Chan. I doubt he would remember a slag like you." That was a little uncalled for, but I was still playing very angry.
"I'm so sorry, Dave!" Vicky now appeared to have regained her courage. "I just didn't think of Phillip. Can you forgive me for being so stupid? You must see how it looked."
"No, I bloody can't!" I said angrily, both girls suddenly had very shocked expressions on their faces. "I've got a question for you, Vicky. Why? Why would you even think that I would cheat on you? We have been married for nineteen years. During that time have I ever given you reason to doubt me?"
"No, Dave, you've been a wonderful husband and a great father to our girls."
"Then, what made you so damn sure I was running around on you? And before you answer that, think; don't go telling me it was because Chantelle had told you. That would mean you trusted her more than you do me. I was your husband, the guy who has clothed you and fed you for the last nineteen years. The guy who came running to find you when you're so called friend here found herself a stud for the evening on your night outs together. Which I have never objected to, by the way."
Vicky sat there and stared at me. Obviously she'd taken in my warning and was thinking before she spoke. I waited for a little while before I continued again.
"Why were you in such a hurry to believe I would cheat on you? Could it be because you have been getting up to things you shouldn't behind my back in the past? You know, people tend to assume that others will behave as they do themselves. You see, the idea had never struck me in the past. I might be dumb or something but it never dawned on me that you would cheat on me when you were out with this slut. Because I could never imagine myself cheating on you, so I always believed you wouldn't cheat on me either.
"But you've moved the goal posts, Vicki, and changed all that now! I'm thinking I was being bloody naïve. Without a second thought, you assumed that I was cheating on you. You never bothered to challenge me or anything. Your friend told you I was cheating and you accepted it as fact, without question.
"Alright, now convince me you have never cheated on me. All those times you came home at two or three in the morning. And the times you stayed over at Chan's place. Come to that, what did you get up to whilst I was away?"
"Oh, god, Dave, I've never cheated on you. Honestly!" Victoria finally exclaimed.
"Oh, so you say. But if that's so who were those two arseholes who drove that bloody Ryder truck on Friday and why did you kiss the little prick."
I saw Vicky literally jump when I said she had kissed the guy.
"They are a couple of guys from Chantelle's office. She asked them to help me."
"Oh, yeah, and how did you pay them for their help when they got your stuff back to Chantelle's house? The same way Chantelle pays for her favours?"
Vicky knew what I was on about. Chan had often told us how she pays to get her car serviced. I'd warned her many times that the garage owner's wife was one tough woman. I saw her in action once. Entertaining but a little demeaning — come on, most guys enjoy a good catfight. I'd never seen the girl she had caught her husband with again.
"No. No! I wouldn't do that, I just gave Mike a little kiss on the cheek to thank him for his help that's all. It was nothing just a little peck."
"Yeah, but that was in public, where the whole world could see you. What did he get in private back at Chantelle's place?"
"Nothing, Dave, you've got to believe me; they just unloaded the van and left. They had to get the van back."
"If that is so, can you explain just why you were surcharged then? That van wasn't returned until ten on Saturday morning. When you book a van over the internet, girl, they send the paperwork back by email. I've read that email; that van was not returned until ten o'clock Saturday morning. So just what really happened? Now I've got to get out of here before I lose my temper. Let me out of here, Chantelle, before I push you out of the bleeding way."
Chantelle stood up and I pushed past her. I turned back to Victoria.
"I'm going to accept nothing but the whole truth from you. I've got plenty of friends out there who go to those same clubs you and the slut here have been going to. You had better decide very quickly whether you wish to try and save our marriage. At the moment, I don't give a damn either way. But if someone comes up with any stories about what you have been up to in the last few years, you had better make sure you have told me about it first. Be at the house tonight at eight tonight. I'll give you an hour to explain anything you need to." Then I walked out of the bar.
Look, I'm not daft and I don't think Victoria is really. Although I had never asked them to, my friends had always kept a very good eye on Vicky and Chantelle when they were on their nights out. Well, they would keep a good eye on Chan; it's common knowledge that she's a slapper. But I had been told that Victoria had got herself a nickname in the clubs. She was known as the Ice Maiden. Vicky was known to be great for a laugh on the dance floor but that was as far as it ever went. Vicky's trouble now was that she didn't know just who all my friends were and what kind of a slant they would put on what they told me. If she had been misbehaving, she would have to tell me herself tonight.
Having taken a late lunch I decided that there wasn't much point in going back to the office so I began to make my way back home. Once home I'd plugged the phone back in before I'd gone out that morning and I was greeted as I entered the house with the answer-phone message light flashing at me. There were a couple of messages early in the day that Vicky had obviously left before she called me at work. They were of the demanding to know where I was and why couldn't she get into the house variety.
Then there was a call from Ricky Morris. Ricky and I had been at school together. We weren't exactly friend's back then, but let's just say that on the quiet, it was with my help he got such good marks for his home work. Ricky liked to play the tough man when he was with his mates. But really he wanted to do well at school and I kind of acted as a private tutor for him.
"Dave! I've been trying to call you all the bleeding weekend. What's the story, mate? Victoria and Chantelle were at the club Friday night. Chantelle was telling everyone that you two have separated. Give me a call will you? I need to know how you want to play things?"
I returned Rick's call, but before I had a chance to say anything he announced he was coming over straight away and hung up on me. Within ten minutes his car pulled into my drive.
As I said Ricky is a hard man who, in his younger days, had gotten into quite a bit of trouble with the police. He'd sorted himself out quite nicely once he joined a good gym where he'd gotten into amateur boxing. That somehow had led to him becoming a bouncer at one of the bigger local nightspots and over time he had finished up as the manager of the place. Some say that he is also part owner of a couple of the local nightspots, which I wouldn't put past him.
Anyway Ricky has a soft spot for me as I said; he has always looked after my interests as far as Vicky was concerned. He would often call me at work or sometimes he'd pop into the pub where I had lunch and without my asking he would subtly tell me just who Vicky had been dancing with and who if anyone had tried to get it on with her. I'm pretty sure that if any guy had ever persuaded her to go outside, Ricky or his bouncers would have had something to say about it. It had been Ricky who had told me that Victoria had the nickname the Ice Maiden.
Rick turned down my offer of beer as he was working later, so we settled for some coffee.
"Right, Dave, what the fuck is going on between you and Vicky? She was in the club Friday and Chantelle was telling every one that the pair of you had separated. She said that you were bonking some little chink bit in Blackpool last weekend or something."
"Don't tell me. Chantelle went up Blackpool last week and apparently Phillip was up there with his misses. Chantelle thought it was me and the bitch told Victoria. I came back from Aberdeen to find that Vicky had moved out on me, without a by your leave."
"Oh, fuck, but you soon put her right, didn't you?"
"Well, not exactly, Rick. Let's just say we are playing mind games at the moment. I got pretty pissed off that Vicky hadn't spoken to me about it first. I was wondering if she has been playing around behind my back."
"Hey, no chance there, man. No one gets into Vicky's pants, I'm 100% on that one. When some of the studs heard there was trouble between you two, they thought they might get lucky Friday night. But from what I heard the ice was a damn sight colder than usual. Vicky and Chan left well before closing time. Oh, and the taxi took the two of them straight home to Chantelle's place. I had a word with the driver; I thought you would want to know."
"Thanks Ricky, it's good to have friends."
"All part of the service, Dave. Hey it's about time you came down to the club anyway. You never come in to see the boys nowadays."
From then on the conversation dropped back into what old friends were up to and that kind of thing. Before we knew, it was almost eight o'clock and Ricky said he had better to get to the club. Ricky was just leaving, when Victoria pulled into the drive.
I saw Victoria do a double take on Ricky as he reversed out. She had a confused look on her face as she had obviously recognised him, but she had no idea that I knew him. I was standing in the doorway as she walked up the steps.
"Wasn't that, Morris, the manager at the Star-light?" she asked. "What was he doing here?"
"Ricky Morris, you mean? Yeah, he's an old friend of mine. He came around to commiserate with me over our upcoming divorce. Come in and sit in the kitchen, I've got some coffee on the go."
I followed Vicky into the kitchen and managed to beat her to the coffee pot. This was my house now and I'd poor the bloody coffee.
"Look, Dave, this is silly. I realise you're annoyed at me, but you're being childish about it. Chantelle was sure it was you she saw. How was she to know that Phillip and May-Ling were in the country? What else would you have thought in my situation?"