I waited as the secretary announced my name into her intercom. I was mildly surprised when she looked up at me, smiled and said, "Mr. Foster will see you now, Mr. Kite. Please take the elevator to the fourth floor and then go through the door on the left."
I knew that George Foster was the manager of this Eastern Security franchise, a firm specializing in gathering information, for a fee. I knew from my internet research that the company had over fifty offices throughout eastern United States.
The elevator door opened immediately. Soon I was knocking lightly on a heavy wooden door. Then I turned the knob and entered.
"Mr. Kite!" exclaimed the well-dressed man behind the desk. He quickly rose and came around to greet me. He offered his hand and I felt the strength of his grip as we shook.
"Please have a seat and tell me what Eastern can do for you today," he continued.
I sat in the plush leather chair and formed my words carefully.
"I'm interested in hiring your company to, ah, verify a few things for me, Mr. Foster. To be honest, I thought I'd be doing business with someone a little lower in the corporate food chain. I see from the name on the door that you're a company vice president and manager of this branch.
"I still like to personally handle as many clients as I can, Mr. Kite. It keeps me aware of our services as well as how I might improve our procedures," he replied easily. "Our company prides itself on discreet, professional service. I intend to see this branch maintains the highest standards."
"That's very reassuring," I admitted. "My situation may seem a bit trite to a man in your position, I'm afraid. I want to hire your company to determine if my wife, Monica, is having an affair."
"That's one of the services we provide, Mr. Kite. It certainly doesn't seem trivial to us," stated Foster. "May I ask if you have already determined your wife is unfaithful, if it's a suspicion of yours, or if you are simply worried about her with no solid cause?"
"I guess you do get these problems a lot. I can't prove anything and I may be totally wrong, but Monica seems to be acting differently of late. She's busier and staying later at work and she has to travel more. Even when she's home, she has to go in to work on weekends. She even went to her office for an hour on July Fourth!" I blurted. "I just want to find out what, if anything, is going on. It could be nothing more than an effort to get ahead at work. I need to know for certain."
"I understand your concern," Foster assured me. "We do these things all the time. Sometimes the wife is cheating, but usually the husband has made some erroneous conclusions. Let's hope that's how this situation plays out. I'll need to meet you at your home when your wife isn't there and place some concealed devices to monitor her actions. What would be a good time for you, Mr. Kite?"
"Wow! You're going to come to my place and do your spy thing yourself, Mr. Foster?" I asked in amazement. "Don't you have techs or something you send for that stuff? I wouldn't expect a man in your position to do the hands-on work."
"That's exactly why we are so successful," smiled the man behind the desk. "As I stated, I like to personally handle a few cases. If one of our employees tries to tell me something can't be done, or won't work, I'll know if they're right, or if they're giving me a snow job."
"That makes a lot of sense," I agreed. "I read on your web page that I would get a written report and for a fee, I could get a report on DVD as well. I want to select that option. If there's any cheating, I want to be able to throw it in her face. It would also be more damning in a divorce action, wouldn't it?"
"Yes, provided there's any wrong-doing on the part of your wife, Mr. Kite. I caution you against jumping to conclusions. Let us do what you are paying us to do, please. That's why you came to us, isn't it?" asked Foster.
"Yes, of course. I didn't mean to get ahead of your investigation," I apologized. "It's just that the very thought of Monica having a lover makes me angry and tense. I have to find out the truth before I do, or say, something I'll later regret."
"We'll get right on this case and you'll know the truth shortly, don't worry," promised Foster. "I'll need you to answer a few questions and to sign a few forms giving us permission to place your home under surveillance and to have access to your personal records, such as phone and credit cards."
I spent the next half hour responding to an entire list of questions posed by Foster. I studied him as he wrote my responses down. He was a big man, tanned, and athletic looking. He seemed self-assured and very competent. He seemed to really know his business.
"I'd like to place this on my Visa," I told him when asked about payment.
"We take credit cards, of course, Mr. Kite. The thing you need to consider is whether your wife will see the charge and know you have hired a service to investigate her. Does she have access to the statement for this card?" he queried.
"Technically, she does, but Monica never pays the bills and seldom looks at the statements. This won't be a problem," I replied. "She'll never know about your service until I lower the boom on her! That is, if she's fooling around on me, of course."
After doing all the paper work, we agreed to meet at my house at noon on Friday. Monica had already informed me that she'd be working late that day. At least she called it working. I left Eastern Security feeling like I had accomplished my objective. Foster promised to have a full report, including a DVD, within three weeks. That would fit in perfectly with my plans for Monica.
I had been having some difficulty keeping my suspicions from Monica. That only thing that had made it even remotely possible was that she had been paying very little attention to me for the past few months. I could have grown a frog on my ass and cut my cock off and she would have never noticed. Now I had a timeframe to work with and I felt I would be able to hang on that long, although with some effort.
That evening Monica was home in time to make dinner, which was unusual. She seemed annoyed when I asked her about it.
"Don't make such a big deal out of it," she warned. "You do everything you can to get advanced at work. There's no reason for you to resent my success, Bill. My work is as important to me as yours is to you."
"I haven't any problem with that, Monica. It's just that you haven't been around much lately," I replied. "I seldom work weekends and never holidays. Time is more important than money, especially when you have enough money. We'll never have enough time."
"Well thanks for spouting your asinine platitudes," snapped Monica. "I bet that's one that fucking Confucius never even considered!"
I realized that my words of infinite wisdom were falling on deaf ears, so I grabbed a beer from the refrigerator and went into the living room to watch the news.
It was the very next day at work that I was called into the company president's office. I was in the middle of the corporate ladder in an advertising agency. I was pretty good at what I did, which pretty much was to dream up bullshit that made products look and sound better than they were.
"We've been watching your work, Kite," boomed the company president and CEO, even as I wondered to myself why the fuck he couldn't address me by my first name. "You've shown yourself to be innovative and independent, yet a team player."
I realized this guy had been in advertising longer than I had. Talk about dishing the shit without saying anything! He was really good at it! That was what I had to look forward to attaining?
"You're being promoted to a vice president position, Kite. Congratulations! You'll be in charge of several of our most lucrative accounts," he continued. "You'll have your own office with a dozen people working under you. I'm making the announcement this afternoon."
I politely thanked the tub of lard for bestowing such an honor on my most unworthy self and left the office with a smile. Things were finally falling into place for me. Too bad Monica had to stray. After twenty-four years of marriage and two kids, she deserved to share in my achievement and the financial rewards that came with it.
True to his promise, the boss announced my promotion and people started kissing my ass by the time I got back from lunch. I shook hands and smiled as men deferred to me. The ladies suddenly found me attractive. How many times had I sucked up to some guy I thought was an asshole after hearing he'd been promoted? Now I was the asshole! It felt great!
Friday found me showing Foster around my home. He placed tiny devices in various areas of the house. He was efficient, yet careful. By 3:00 he was packing his tools away.
"I've just received a nice promotion and I have to be at corporate headquarters in New Jersey next Monday and Tuesday," I explained. "It seems like that would be a likely time for Monica to scratch her itch, if you get my drift."
"Well, if she does any scratching, we'll have it all recorded," grinned Foster.
"Your company has a very good reputation, Mr. Foster," I continued. "You can guarantee as a professional employee of Eastern Security that you'll catch any infidelity by my wife in this house, can't you?"
"I absolutely guarantee that, Mr. Kite. I'm very good at what I do. If your wife strays in your home, we'll have the proof for you. Rest assured of that!" he promised.
"That's exactly what I wanted to hear," I admitted. "Now we'll see if the mouse takes the bait."
"I was named a vice president today at work," I revealed to Monica that evening. "It means a big pay raise. We'll be able to take some nice vacations and buy some things for the house."
"I knew they'd see your talents, Bill," cooed Monica. "I think we should have a party on Saturday, the fifteenth. We'll celebrate our twenty-fifth anniversary and your promotion at the same time! How's that sound?"
"Monica! I'm touched. What a great idea. We'll have your family and a bunch of my relatives over. The kids can come home from school. It'll be an event people will remember for a long time to come!" I proclaimed.
"Don't get too carried away, Bill. It isn't exactly the second coming," grinned Monica, "but it'll be a good time."
Every now and then Monica reverted to the woman I married those many years ago. Those times were fewer and farther between, however. I was mulling my situation over as I drove east on I 80, toward headquarters that Monday. Would Monica betray me while I was away? In my home? My bed? Was she that self-centered and foolish? Did she think I was that dumb? I had the questions and realized I would have the answers in a couple days.
It was three days before our party and Foster was back in my house, removing all his electronic devices. I accompanied him as he went from room to room.
"Are you sure Monica never had any male visitors, made any unusual phone calls, or did anything that could be even slightly construed as cheating?" I asked for the third time.
"Believe me, Mr. Kite," laughed Foster. "Your wife makes Mother Theresa look like an unsavory character. She isn't having an affair!"