Her husband had left for work and the kids had been hustled off to school and Cheri was just finishing the breakfast dishes when the doorbell rang. She had no idea of who could be calling this early in the morning and since she was only in her bathrobe she made a quick check to make sure that nothing was showing and then she went to answer the door. She looked through the peephole in the door and saw a large black man. The man backed up a step and rang the doorbell again. She was surprised to see that the man was John Wheaton. John was her husbands boss and she couldn't ever remember John coming to her home, let alone at ten in the morning. She opened the door.
"Good morning Cheri. May I come in?"
Nervously she said, "Sam's not here, he's already left for work."
"I'm not here to see Sam Cheri, it's you I need to talk to."
Cheri clutched her robe tighter around her, "Me? What could you possibly want to talk to me about?"
"It's about Sam Cheri, we need to talk about Sam, and I'd just as soon not do it out here on your front porch.
Cheri hesitated a moment and then she stepped aside to let the short, fat, balding black man into her house.
Cheri led him into the living room and as soon as he was seated on the couch she said, "I'll just run upstairs and put something on. Would you like a cup of coffee while you wait?"
"No, and there is no need for you to go and change. This won't take long, I'll just say what I have to say and if things don't go the way I hope they will I'll be leaving."
Cheri sat down in the easy chair across from the fat black man and waited.
"What kind of woman are you Cheri? Are you a loving wife, a devoted mother, a woman willing to do whatever is necessary to protect her family?"
"What is this all about John?"
"It was a simple enough question Cheri. Are you the kind of woman who will do whatever has to be done to protect her family, or are you one of those women who think only of themselves?"
Cheri stared at him for a moment and then she stood up, "I think you had better leave Mr. Wheaton."
"I think you had better sit down and hear me out Cheri. If I leave now your whole world will go to hell before dark tonight." Something in his tone of voice caused Cheri to look at him and then sit back down. "That's better. I suppose the best way to do this is just lay it out for you. Sam has been stealing from the company."
Cheri stood up, anger on her face, "That's a lie, get out of my house. Get out of here now."
"If I get up and leave now Cheri you can kiss your nice comfortable life goodbye. I have all the proof I need to prove that Sam has stolen from the company and if I get up now and leave the first thing I will do when I get back to my office is call the police. Do you want to have to sell your house to come up with Sam's bail? To get the money to pay the lawyers? With Sam in jail and no paycheck coming in will you be able to feed and clothe your children? You had better sit back down and listen to me Cheri.
"I don't believe you."
"Of course you don't. Sam is your husband and as far as you are concerned he can do no wrong, but he did, and I have all the proof I need to prove it and get him tossed into prison for the next ten years."
"If that's true, why are you here telling me instead of being in your office calling the police?"
"Because I see this as an opportunity."
"An opportunity? I don't understand."
"It is really very simple Cheri. I have wanted you since Sam introduced us at the company picnic and I see this as my one chance at getting you."
Cheri's face lost most of its color as what the fat, balding nigger was saying registered on her. Before she could speak he went on, "We are back to my question about what kind of woman are you. One willing to do what is necessary to protect her family, or not. Here is the deal. It is a one time only offer and it will keep your family together. Sam will be laid off because of the economic downturn and he will be given a glowing letter of recommendation. I will sweep everything under the rug and no charges will be filed. Sam doesn't know he has been discovered and he will think he got away with it. To make things go that way all I want is a few hours of your time. It is up to you Cheri. Sam goes to jail, your comfortable life disappears and your children grow up with the knowledge that their father is a convicted felon and that he is in prison. Or not. It is your choice."
Cheri just sat there stunned, not only by what John said that Sam had done, but also by what she was being asked to do. It was preposterous to think that Sam had stolen from the company, but John said he had the proof. Good God, what if it were true? What would happen to her and the children?
.... There is more of this story ...