Ellie and I were married 16 years ago. I had spent much of that time waiting for the other shoe to fall, as they say. Ellie had been the prettiest girl I had ever seen. Now she was the most beautiful woman I had ever known. She had been three years behind me in school. She was the homecoming queen, the captain of the basketball team and still held school track records in the 400 and 800 meters.
To say she was popular is like saying that an eagle can fly. It just didn't begin to cover the actual fact. Ellie was a walking wet dream for every male that could draw a breath. The only reason she even knew I existed was that I lived across the street from her, and our parents were friends. That gave me the opportunity to spend time with her from the time she was in grade school.
After high school, I attended a trade school to learn carpentry. I had always been pretty handy, but I wanted to be more than a guy with a hammer. I wanted to know the best way to construct whatever I was going to build. When folks looked at a home I built, I wanted them to be know that it had to be the best.
I started working for myself after I graduated. It was a tough haul for the first few years, but the quality of my work gradually became known. Eventually, I hired a helper and then two. I had work scheduled a year in advance by the time I was 25.
Ellie went to college and earned a degree in accounting. Did I mention that she was almost as smart as she was beautiful? She went to work for a firm that took care of all my taxes and helped manage my business accounts. That was when I finally found the nerve to ask her out.
I'm around six foot tall and still weigh around 185. I never was accused of being a matinee idol. I'm pretty much a regular guy. When Ellie agreed to a date with me, I was quite surprised. I knew she had more suitors than Carter has liver pills. I warned myself that she would go out with me once or twice and then move on. I never did figure out why she kept going out with me and eventually agreed to marry me. I did know I was the luckiest guy on the planet, except for one thing.
I was always waiting for that other shoe to fall. She was beautiful, intelligent, athletic, and very personable. How long would it take for her to realize that she could do better than being with me? Even after she gave me the two most wonderful girls ever born, I still feared that it couldn't last. Jen and Audrey were the perfect daughters, at least in my book.
I did the only thing I could think to do, and that was be the best husband and father I could possibly be. I wasn't a pretty boy and I wasn't a rich guy, but I was dedicated to my family and I hoped my efforts would ward off the forces of evil; the inevitable day when Ellie realized she could do better, and resent me for keeping her from her destiny.
I was in the basement on a Sunday morning, working on finishing an entertainment room that the girls could use when their friends came over. We had a laundry chute that went from a large closet off the kitchen down to the basement. It carried any sounds that emanated from the kitchen area quite clearly to the basement.
I heard the doorbell ring and Ellie answer it. The voices were muffled at first, but as they approached the kitchen, I was able to make them out clearly. Our visitor was Helen Drake, Ellie's best friend.
"I can't stay too long, Ellie. I just had to stop in and ask you if you had heard the news. Do you know who moved back to town?" asked Helen.
"O. J. Simpson?" guessed Ellie. "Elvis? Jimmy Hoffa? Bigfoot? Osama Bin Laden? You will let me know if I am getting close, won't you?"
"Now I don't feel like telling you!" laughed Helen. "Your guesses were all pretty good, but wrong. Do you remember Dan Wilkins?"
"I have heard the name, but I can't remember where," answered Ellie. "I am sure you will help my memory."
"Right! You don't remember where you heard that name?" Helen repeated. "Weren't you yelling it the night you lost your cherry? Didn't you date him for the last two years of high school?"
"Now that you mention it, you could be right," chuckled Ellie. "Was he just over six feet tall with blue eyes and the sexiest smile ever seen on a man? Was he the quarterback on the football team? Did he pitch the baseball team to the state title?"
"I think you have the guy," agreed Helen. "I thought I would be able to jog your memory. He is divorced from that rich bitch he married and has moved back to Westbury to open a law practice. I heard that his hairline has receded a tad, but he still looks pretty good!"
"I'm not surprised he got divorced," replied Ellie. "He always had an eye for the ladies. He was the sports star with the great looks. Women were always flocking to him."
"As I recall, you were flocked a few times yourself, Ellie," laughed Helen. "Does Ted know about you and Dan? How will he take having Dan back in town?"
"He knows that Dan and I dated for a couple years. He knows I wasn't a virgin when he and I started dating after college. We never really asked each other about old flames," admitted Ellie. "It's better to let some things go unmentioned. We don't lie to each other, but we never have asked each other very many questions about the past."
"I wish Stan was like that. He hasn't stopped asking me about old boyfriends since we've been married," complained Helen. "Sometimes he seems jealous and other times he seems to get turned on when I tell him stuff. Now and then I wonder if he is one of those weird guys that wants to watch or something."
"I don't think he'd watch very long before he dug out one of his guns, Helen," Ellie cautioned. "Don't mistake a little curiosity and titillation for wanting you to have a boyfriend. I know Stan and he is from the old school. Shit would hit the fan, big time, if you ever tried it."
"How about you, Ellie?" Helen redirected the conversation. "What happens when you come face to face with Dan? How will you act? Will you hug him, shake his hand, pretend you don't know him, or go to bed with him?"
"I think I would either shake his hand or give him a hug. I haven't seen the guy in almost twenty years. He may not be too impressed with how I've changed over the years," suggested Ellie.
"Yes, you could be right about that," Helen replied sarcastically. "You've gone up a bra size, kept the same size waist, haven't developed a single wrinkle, and your tits still defy gravity! Dan will be so glad he didn't marry you."
That was the last I heard of the conversation as the two women were apparently walking to the front door. I sat down and contemplated what I had heard. I knew Ellie wasn't a virgin when we began dating, and I even suspected that Dan Wilkins was the lucky fellow that had claimed that prize. Now I knew it to be fact and that troubled me for some reason. I was happier not knowing for certain about the men she had slept with.
I also realized that my fear now had a face and a name. Rumor had it that Dan Wilkins was a high-powered corporate lawyer. He had married into a prominent family in Rhode Island and was the poster boy for the "local boy moves on to much bigger and better things" small town propaganda machine. He had become a bit of a local celebrity by doing well and staying away from his roots.
Now he was returning to Westbury to open a law practice. Combine that with being single again and I knew my Waterloo was approaching. I had never been an athlete or a scholar. They never gave out many awards for hard work. It isn't eye catching or even popular. Even though I had always expected something like this to happen, I had no plan to prevent it. Dan was everything I wasn't. You can't change human nature. In the end, I decided to do the only thing I knew, and that was to redouble my effort to be the best husband and father I could. It wasn't much of a plan, but it was all I could come up with.
A short while later, I went upstairs for a soda. Ellie was working in the kitchen.
"Did I hear someone talking with you earlier?" I asked.
"Helen stopped in to chat for a few minutes," admitted Ellie. "She didn't stay long."
There was no mention of the arrival of the studly Dan Wilkins to our town. I considered that omission as I went back to work in the basement. It was big news to Helen and Ellie, yet she never bothered telling me. She wasn't comfortable discussing her first lover, or his return. I had a bad feeling about the guy.
The next couple of weeks were uneventful. I spent every chance I had being a caring dad to my girls and husband to Ellie. I think she wondered about my attentive behavior, but never voiced any suspicions. I worked really hard at being a great lover for her. I made sure she would have a couple orgasms before I even considered finishing. I took her to dinner and took her shopping. If things went south, I wanted to be able to tell myself I had done my best.
Then things began to unravel. Ellie was the chairperson for the local hospital auxiliary. They held events to raise funds for equipment needed to keep our hospital state-of-the-art. She held the position for a few years and did a great job with it. The auxiliary had several fundraisers throughout the year. It was the standard practice to get a local businessman to co-chair an event.
Somehow, I wasn't surprised when Ellie told me that the auxiliary had asked Dan Wilkins to co-chair Casino Night, which was held every spring. I was even less surprised to find out that he had agreed. He would be working closely with Ellie for a few weeks as they put the event together.
.... There is more of this story ...