To say we had drifted apart would be an understatement. Our two kids had finished college and found employment half way across the continent. Beth was a teacher in Oklahoma and Jeff worked for a software company in Denver. Our nest was empty.
My wife, Bonnie, had compensated for this by concentrating more on her job. She worked for an advertising firm and had climbed her way up to a good position, and the responsibility that came with it.
I sold cement. There were times when it wasn't that great a job, but construction was booming and there was a shortage of the stuff. My company could guarantee delivery, but it was expensive. Suddenly I was shitting in high clover! I was able to sell almost all I was allotted for the entire year, by the end of spring. I was making more money than I ever had, and working fewer hours. I could spend the rest of the year troubleshooting. I just had to be certain the product was delivered according to the terms of the contract and we were paid.
Since Bonnie had taken to working late several nights a week, I agreed to meet a good client for a meal and a drink. I was to meet him at a nice hotel about an hour from home. It enjoyed an excellent reputation for fine dining. I arrived half an hour early, and as I pulled into the parking lot I saw an Explorer just like Bonnie's. I knew there were about 10 million of them sold every year. It wasn't unusual to see the same exact model around town. Then I saw the yellow arrow on the left rear tire. I had drawn it myself. I had been looking for a leak in the tire and thought I had found it. I made the mark so I could show it to the guy at the tire shop. It turned out to be a bad valve, but the mark remained.
I realized Bonnie could be wining and dining clients, too. I contemplated my options. If she were working with clients, it would probably be best if I stayed away. I knew from my sales experience that the fewer distractions, or additions, to a sales pitch, the better it was.
I went to the dining area and peered in from the side so I was sure to see everyone before I was seen. Bonnie was not in the room. The hostess came up and as I gave her my name, I saw Bonnie and a male coworker step out of the elevator, arm in arm. I had met the guy a few times. I knew he was about my age, married with a couple kids, and balding.
I must have been staring as the loving couple sat at a small booth by the bar. The hostess was tapping my shoulder and asking if I would follow her to my table. When the stars and planets align right, coincidences are endless. I was shown a table very close to where Bonnie and Clyde sat.
There was some fancy trellis crap to separate the dining room from the bar, but it did not prevent conversation from floating through.
"Let's hurry and get something to eat," said the Romeo. "I want to give you another ride before we have to leave."
I remembered his name. He was Robert James, the guy with two first names! He lived in the next town from us. His wife was a mousy woman, about ten years younger than he was. Their kids were quite young. I had met her once at a company Christmas party. Thinking back, I didn't see his wife at the party last Christmas. He had been sort of hanging around Bonnie a little, I now realized. At the time, I was enjoying myself and not playing Sherlock Holmes, although I should have been!
"Bob, you're so horny!" laughed Bonnie. "Where do you get all your energy?"
"I save it all for you. Kathy is always tired. She's quite content to skip sex. In fact, she seems grateful when I get home late and just go to sleep. Does your hubby try to keep you pleased?" he asked.
"Brian hasn't made love to me in weeks. In fact, not since you and I started coming here. Not that he isn't interested, but I have been getting all I need from you. I don't want him to detect any traces of you on me, or in me," she laughed. "I have been too busy and too tired. He is very understanding that way."
"Well, his loss is my gain," chuckled the prick. "I like that you are saving that pussy for me, anyway. See how long you can do that, okay?"
"I will not deny Brian if he insists," answered Bonnie. "He is my husband, after all. I'll just discourage him. He is very considerate and won't force me. I should be able to hold him off for some time."
"That turns me on so much, Bonnie! You save that pussy for me as long as you can. When he does finally get lucky, you tell me all about it, okay?" insisted the miserable bastard.
"You have a deal, Bob. I will practically take notes so I can tell you every single detail," Bonnie agreed.
I had heard about all I wanted to hear, and more. I knew that Bonnie had been preoccupied lately, but I had never suspected she would be unfaithful. I sat there and considered all the ways our lives were entwined. We were financial partners. We had two kids together. She was my confidant and advisor. It never occurred to me that her suggestions and advice were less than sincere, and not with my best interests in mind. We were lovers, or at least we had been. I was going to have to rethink a lot of things.
Luckily, they finished a quick sandwich and headed back to their room before my client arrived. He was a loud fellow and would have given my presence away if Bonnie had still been seated across the trellis.
Even with a dinner and conversation, I was home before Bonnie. I decided not to let her know that I was on to her game. I had to think things through and decide what would be best for me. I realized it was the first time in years I had to make some rather dramatic decisions without Bonnie's advice. It was clear that I had to consider making a life for myself that might not include her. I needed to learn more about myself, and what I needed in order to be happy.
It was almost 10 when Bonnie got home. I was watching TV and feeling lots of self-pity by then. Why should I be sitting around the house while she is getting her brains fucked out, and having an all-around good time? I needed to work on my life.
"Hello, Dear," she greeted me as she gave me a peck on the cheek.
I realized a kiss was as much, more actually, than I wanted from her. I am not the kind of guy to share my woman, at least not willingly. Since she was fucking a different guy, I no longer felt she was mine. I also felt no allegiance or loyalty to her. That bond had been broken. That saddened me, but I could not deny it.
She told me what a tough day she had and went to bed. I sat in front of the television, trying to decide if I should try for revenge, and if so, how?
I mulled it over way into the night. I finally admitted to myself that she had been my wife, partner, and lover too long to try to hurt her. We had two children together. She was their mother. She was taking care of her needs. I needed to concentrate on mine. After years of marriage and raising children, I had become accustomed to placing my needs last. It was now more important that I take care of myself and take steps to make my life what it should be. It was a waste of my effort and time to concentrate on revenge. Living well would be the best payback.
I slept very little that night. I was up early the next day. I left the house before Bonnie was out of bed. I really didn't have the stomach to see or listen to her. The problem was, where should I go? I didn't even know of many places that were open at six in the morning.
As I traveled some different streets, I saw several cars in a parking lot, and it wasn't a doughnut shop! I looked at the sign over the door and saw it was a gym. On a whim, I stopped in looked the place over. The girl told me it was open from five in the morning until eleven at night. I considered how that would give me someplace to go and avoid Bonnie much of the time. I signed up.
I went into work feeling a little better than I had since the moment I had seen Bonnie with dumb-fuck. I had begun my personal journey to the next phase of my life. I heard a few guys talking about their golf game at lunch. I had golfed when I was first married, but raising kids had taken all my spare time and energy. I hadn't golfed in over twenty years, but I joined the conversation and was invited to play a round with them on Saturday.
I left the office early and bought myself some golf clubs. I heard TaylorMades were good, so I forked out almost a thousand bucks for a good set, bag, shoes, umbrella, balls, tees, towels, and anything else that looked like it might be useful. It had been the first time I had shopped for anything extra for myself in years. It felt great.
Then I bought some gym stuff. I decided I would shed a few pounds and maybe add some good years to my life. If I should find myself dating again, I needed to look my best. It was after eight by the time I carried my purchases into the house.
"Golf clubs?" asked Bonnie. "Is that where you were? I was worried when you weren't home when I came in from work."
"Yeah, I am taking up golf again," I admitted. "You usually don't get home till late, so I thought I was allowed to be a little late one time.
"I'm not complaining, Brian. It's good that you have some outlets. You certainly work enough to deserve it," stated Bonnie. "You left early this morning, too. I was simply wondering if something was wrong."
"What could be wrong, Sweetheart? A nice home, two great kids, a loving, faithful wife; these are things every man hopes for and few have," I boasted.
Bonnie gave me a quick look. Apparently she didn't see any indication that I had suspicions about her and she smiled. By the time I had put my purchases away, I realized I was very tired. I had not slept well and gotten up early.
"I'm beat," I told Bonnie. "I'm going to bed. See you tomorrow."
She was surprised. It was just after nine and I never went to bed before the news. She should be happy, I thought. I was making it easier for her to save herself for Bunghole. I fell asleep immediately and never heard her come to bed. I was up at 4:30 the next morning. I showered and shaved and pulled into the gym a few minutes after five.
I tried all the machines and decided on several that worked the areas I felt I needed the most help. I used a treadmill for a while and was shocked at how soon I tired. I hadn't joined a day too soon!
I was surprised at how many people stopped in to use the facilities so early in the day. I found them to be friendly and helpful. It was like a subculture that shared similar objectives and supported each other's attempt's to reach their goals. I worked up a good sweat, showered again and went into the office.
After work, I stopped at a driving range. I pulled a few of my clubs from my trunk and spent an hour smacking golf balls. I was frustrated at first, but I soon developed a rhythm and hit the ball pretty good. I could see where the improvements in equipment over the last twenty years would help my game. I stopped at a small diner and had a leisurely meal, then headed home. It was not even nine and I went to bed. Bonnie wasn't home, but I realized that she was probably in bed, with Shitwad. That was the last thought I remembered before it was time to get up and go to the gym. Bonnie was sleeping next to me, so she must have made it home at some point.
That afternoon after work, I purchased a membership to a country club. Then I went out and played a round with another guy looking for some company. It was after eight when I got home and Bonnie was irritated.
"Why don't you tell me when you aren't coming home right after work, Brian?" she demanded. "Where do you go so early in the morning?"
"Did you check the answering machine, Bonnie? I left a message, the same as you do for me," I replied. "I go to the gym on Fifth Street in the morning. I was getting too soft."
I could see she felt foolish that she hadn't thought to look for a message. The shoe was on the other foot!
"I should have checked the machine, but you never leave messages like I do," offered Bonnie weakly. "You never said anything about going to a gym. You should have said something to me. I might want to go, too."
"Well, Darling, you are welcome, but it seems like you are already putting in a full day and always tired at night," I responded. "Do you want to get up at 4:30 and go to the gym?"
"Is this a passive aggressive way to get me to have more sex?" Bonnie asked. "That's what you really mean about my being tired at night, isn't it?"
"Actually, it isn't," I answered with a crooked grin. "I'm trying to improve my health, plain and simple. You're welcome to join me."
"You aren't trying to make me feel guilty about sex then?" Bonnie repeated.
"Not in the least, Bonnie. I am considerate, as you well know. You are working hard and under stress. You are exhausted when you get home," I reasoned. "I understand perfectly."
"Well, okay, Brian. I had a pretty good day today and I'm not all that tired tonight, if you know what I mean," she coyly smiled.
The thought of making love to her made me ill. I would much rather go without sex than get her leftovers.
"Well, that's great for you! I got up early, exercised, and golfed a round. I'm really beat tonight. I'm going to hit the sack," I told her.
Bonnie was stunned. In all our years together, she had always determined when we had sex. I had never refused it when offered to me. She had assumed I would be excited about the bone she was going to toss me. I left her standing there, speechless. I felt like I was finally gaining control of my life and it was great.
I started golfing after work whenever the weather would allow. I thought that would please Bonnie. It gave her the chance to stay away from home most nights. I casually wondered if Bob would wear his dick out.
As time went on, my golf improved and I was playing better than a few of the guys that had played steadily for the past twenty years. I attributed some of it to the gym. I was able to walk faster and farther. My stomach, chest, and shoulders strengthened and that helped me smack the shit out of a golf ball.
A woman a couple years younger than I joined the gym shortly after I did. We hit it off immediately and worked out together. We encouraged and joked with each other. The workouts got better and went faster.
Her name was Tiffany and she was a lawyer. She worked for a small firm a few towns away. She eventually told me how she had gone home early from work one day and found her hubby doing the dirty with a married neighbor. She divorced him and moved to her present home a few blocks from the gym. Her two kids were in college and she had decided it was time to improve her life and health.
It was a few days before I cranked up the courage to tell her my situation. She listened and never offered any opinions. She just nodded her head, as if it was an old story.
Bonnie was beginning to complain about my golfing late and going to the gym early. I don't think it really bothered her, except that she worried that I was happy and enjoying my life. She wanted a monopoly on happiness and I think she sensed she was losing control of me.
"We haven't eaten dinner together more then a few times in the last month," she griped one night after I waltzed in after dark. "You spend every night golfing, unless it rains like hell."
"Do you want to eat together every night next week?" I suggested.
"It doesn't have to be every night, Brian," she hedged. "We could just plan on one night. I still have to work nights."
"I see. You want me to take off from golf a night of your choice. Let's plan on Tuesday evening then. Would that work?"
"I never know ahead of time. It varies. I have some important clients I am working with," she pouted.
"Bonnie, you will not commit to any particular night, but you want me to sit around and wait for your schedule to allow a dinner together. My time and hobbies are important to me. I'm not going back to sitting on my hands, waiting for you to find time for me."
"You are playing and I am working," insisted Bonnie. "There is a subtle difference, don't you think?"
She might as well have taken a baseball bat and cracked me over the head! She really believed I was so goddamn dumb that I would feel guilty about her working so hard. She was working at getting herself off with Bob, and I should feel guilty? It was becoming very apparent that I was on the right track when I decided to build a life for myself. I also began to rethink my attitude on revenge.
"Tell you what, Bonnie. Next time it rains like hell and you don't have to work, we'll have dinner," I compromised.
"Well thanks so much! I hate to ruin a good golf night!" she fumed.
"Good girl! We'll do it that way, then," I agreed.
"Are you seeing someone, Brian? You have been behaving strangely, lately," Bonnie pointed out. "Suddenly going to the gym and taking up golf after all these years seems suspicious."
"Bonnie, don't be silly. It is no more suspicious than you suddenly having to work so many evenings after all these years, is it?" I asked. "I haven't complained to you, or accused you of seeing some man, have I?"
Bonnie turned red and stormed from the room.
The next morning I was walking on the treadmill next to Tiffany. We were doing a brisk walk and I never knew anyone else was in the room until I heard my name.
"Brian! Who is your friend?" demanded a voice over the noise of the machines. I stopped my treadmill.
"Hey, Bonnie! Decide to join me?" I greeted her with a big smile.
"No! Goddamn it! I want to know who this woman is!" snarled Bonnie.
Tiffany easily heard Bonnie and stopped her treadmill. She came over to where Bonnie and I stood.
"Hello. I'm Tiffany Blount," replied Tiffany as she extended her hand to Bonnie.
Bonnie was suspicious, but uncertain. She was surprised at Tiffany's forthright manner. A woman having an affair would not be that friendly. Of course, Bonnie should know all about that! She slowly took Tiffany's hand and shook it.
"Hello, Tiffany," answered my wife. "I'm Bonnie, Brian's wife. We've been married 25 years. Do you work with Brian?"
"No, we work out in the same gym, and that's all. I'm a lawyer. I'm not even sure what it is that Brian does. Are you going to join the gym, Bonnie?" asked Tiffany. "It's really very good for you."
"I've been thinking about it, to be honest. I just don't like getting up this early," replied Bonnie reluctantly.
That was just great! Now Bonnie was thinking of intruding into my new life. I saw no way it could be a good thing for me. I was about to protest, but realized that would be a tactical error. Bonnie would never get up that early just to keep an eye on me. Her approach would be to get me to quit. I would be so much easier to keep track of, sleeping in bed.
"So, why are you up this early?" I asked. "Is anything wrong?"
"No, I just had to go in early today, so I thought I would stop in and see what the place was like," offered Bonnie.
I knew that was a lie. She never had to go in two hours early. She had gotten up early to come down to the gym just to check up on me. Well, let her stew about Tiffany! She found me with an attractive woman. Bonnie would read what she wanted into it. If she looked around, she would notice several trim, good-looking women at the gym.