What one spouse sees as being unfaithful, the other sees entirely differently. This is the fifth in this series. Edited by Angel Love as always and includes her suggestions and comments to make a better story for you.
The door opened, admitting a shaft of unwelcome light into the lounge where I was sitting on a Friday afternoon. A tall, bull-like man walked in and looked around the room, noticing me as I raised my hand and motioned him over to the table. He strolled over and slid into the seat across from me with a smile on his face. His real name was Gerald William Cassidy but he liked to wear jeans and a big cowboy hat when he was driving, so, 'Butch' Cassidy. Butch was a short haul driver for my company. We were a baked goods firm and distributed bakery items to the surrounding states. I was the manufacturing manager for the local plant as well as two others in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
I had taken the afternoon off in order to meet with Butch and talk to him about something that had been bothering me. His run was finished for the day since he began long before dawn and finished around early noon. He did the local runs and never had to be away from home much. He and his wife Martha used to be good friends of Delia's and mine, but that was before their divorce, about six months ago.
Butch looked at my face, saw the strain and frowned. "Watcha doin, my friend? I was surprised to get your call. I haven't seen much of you or Delia since my divorce. I thought I was no longer on your 'suitable friends' list."
It was true I hadn't talked much to Butch since he and Martha got divorced. Part of that was because Delia, my wife, hated Butch and blamed him for the problems in their marriage. When I mentioned that Martha was the one that cheated, she just smirked and said it was payback for his fooling around. Since I knew Butch fairly well, I knew that was bullshit, but it didn't seem worth getting Delia steamed up by disagreeing with her. She always seemed to be pissed at me for something or other so why stir up problems.
I waved the waitress over and ordered us a couple of cold ones. Butch eyed her up but didn't follow through, sensing this was not fun and games time and waiting for me to let him know what we were doing here.
"Well, Dee didn't want us to stop being friends with Martha so I just sort of let it go. The fault's mine, though I gotta be honest with you Butch, I don't much care for Martha since the divorce. But that's not the reason I wanted to talk to you. I had some questions to ask you and you're the guy with the answers."
"Sounds interesting. Shoot!"
"What first let you know that Martha was fooling around on you? What were the signs?"
Butch looked at me with a funny expression and then he began to smile. The smile got bigger and bigger as I waited.
"Seems someone else got problems in paradise, don't it? I'll be God Damned! Well, I ain't the least bit surprised, I'll tell you that."
"What do you mean? Do you know something? Something I should know?"
"I don't know nothing, but I have my suspicions. Your wife and my ex spend a lot of time together since my divorce and that means trouble if you ask me. But, what the hell. What'd you want to know?"
"What were the signs, the clues that made you suspicious?"
Butch gave it some thought, mentioned that thinking was thirsty work and waited while I ordered another beer for him and one for me. When they came, he grabbed his and downed a third of it in one swallow.
"OK, what were the signs? First, Marty got real quiet. She always was a talker and she never gave me a minute's peace when I was home. I didn't much care but suddenly, she stopped talking much to me. Oh, she still chattered on and on but nothing like before. Just nonsense stuff, things I couldn't care less about. It seemed like she was somewhere else most of the time."
He stopped to take another drink and stared off into space for a minute before continuing.
"The next thing was she'd pick fights with me over nothin. Nothin at all, that meant anything. She'd just wait till I said something and then jump my ass. Just wanted to fight. Nothin I did made any difference. That's when I first started to think something was up."
I could tell this was still sensitive territory. It had only been five or six months since the divorce was final. I knew Butch well and I knew that he still loved Martha, even now when he knew what she had done. But I also knew he couldn't forgive her. The hard part for Butch was that she didn't care.
"Then, I started to call home during the day when I was at work. I never used to do that and when I started, I would just hang up when she answered. It took about three weeks before I got the pattern. She was usually home every day but Wednesday. On Wednesday, she was gone during the early afternoon, usually until after 3 or 3:30. When I asked her what she did during the day, she said nothing but shopping and chores, like dry cleaning and such."
Another swallow of beer and a signal for another bottle. I did the honors.
"The last sign was that sex just slowed down until it stopped. Unless I really raised a fuss, she wouldn't have anything to do with it and when she did, it was like fucking a mannequin. You know, one of those blow up dolls or some such. Used to be she loved sex and we had a good time. Then, it just stopped."
I nodded, remembering the final days of that match. I knew Butch was hurting but I never took the time to ask him why then. I just minded my own business while he slowly died inside. The divorce was hard on him but I still kept my distance. Now, I was sorry. Sorry that I let him down and sorry I didn't pay more attention to what he was going through. Maybe too late, but I told him now how sorry I was. He just shrugged his shoulders and said, "It's OK. It's done now."
"So, how did it end? What did you do?"
"I took a day off and followed her on one of her Wednesday afternoon meetings. I borrowed a friend's car and waited outside the house till she left. I followed her to that motel off Fredrick Street and saw her meet that son of a bitch she was sleeping with. I took my camera and shot pictures of her going in with his arm around her and then coming out with his hand on her ass."
The beer came and he grabbed it and took a big swig. This was bringing back some bad memories. But, I had to know.
"I showed her the pictures that night and she just shrugged her shoulders. She asked me what I was going to do and I told her I wanted a divorce. She didn't even argue, just agreed with me that it was best. She didn't even want to talk about it. To this day, I don't know why. I still don't know why."
I was disappointed with that, I guess. I was going to ask him why she did it but he didn't even know. She divorced him and never even told him what he had done or why she had cheated on him. I wondered how he could survive, not knowing.
"Didn't you ever try to get her to tell you what happened? Why she hurt you that way? I would think you would have to know. Have to know so you could move on."
"Wasn't necessary. After I found out, I could never forgive her anyway. No way I would take back a cheatin whore like her. So, I didn't give a good God Damn. Good riddance to bad rubbish I told her. That's how it ended. She's still fuckin that sob but he went back to his wife and won't leave her. Serves her right. I didn't give her shit in the divorce and I ain't going to neither. She wanted alimony but I told her I'd fuckin quit if she asked for any. I'd give her half of nothin! She got the picture real quick. She wanted quit of me more than she wanted my money."
He finished the second beer and finally sat back, looking at me.
"So, Petey boy, you got problems? Seems like you want to know what to look for in your own marriage huh? No shit! But then, as close as Marty and Dee are, it's not too surprising. I think cheatin's a disease and Dee caught it from Martha. Hot damn! What you gonna to do about it?"
Not surprising that he figured it out. I wasn't intending on keeping it a secret because I wanted his help in finding out for myself what Delia was doing. All the signs he mentioned were there: irritability, silence, time away from the house and no excuse. Our sex life had been almost non-existent for some time now and just a duty fuck from time to time. It was really obvious now that Butch had clarified my thinking.
"Well, I think the writing's on the wall. She's given me all the signs that you mentioned plus a few others. I've racked my brain trying to find some way to catch her but either she's too smart for me or she has help. I just can't seem to find any proof of what she's doing. But, it's damn clear that she is cheating on me and I want to find enough to make sure she can't take me to the cleaners in a divorce."
"Well, you've come to the right place. Let ole Butch help you out. We'll cook up a plan to catch her cheatin ass!"
I would like to say we sat there and made a superior plan to catch my wife in her cheating ways but we actually just got a little buzzed on several more beers. I let myself go now that I had found a partner and someone to unburden myself to. Once I started to talk to Butch, I found I needed to unload this burden and it was close to midnight when I finally found myself trying to unlock the inside garage door with my key. I was having no luck when the door flew open and my loving wife stood there with her hands on her hips and her face showing me a picture of what the wrath of hell was likely to be.
"Well, you finally decided to come home. And drunk too, it seems. What do you have to say for yourself?"
"Well hello, my loving and faithful wife. Have you been here waiting for me, your loving husband? Or did you spend the time with someone else? Huh?"
Delia was furious but she narrowed her eyes at my comments. I was too drunk to take advantage of it. Now, she bit back a comment and simply turned away, walking down the hall to our bedroom. I managed to make my way inside and pushed the door shut, leaning against it as I tried to make the room stop spinning. After a few minutes, I felt steady enough to lock the door and make my way to the kitchen for a cup of coffee and a cold washcloth. I felt like hell, but also quite relaxed for the first time in a long time.
After a futile attempt to pour a cup of coffee, which was cold anyway, I just dropped into one of the chairs and let my head fall onto my arms on the table. I would just rest a little until I got my strength back and then I would go to bed. I was still resting when I was awakened by a beam of sunshine coming in the kitchen window. I had spent the night right where I had come to rest! That was made clear when I tried to straighten up and the cramp in my lower back reminded me that I was no longer a young man.
I finally got myself up and moved toward the stairs when I heard the voice of my loving wife.
"Well, I see you passed out down here last night. You must have been really drunk to do that. Too bad, you'll pay for that today. I bet you feel really proud of yourself don't you?"
I threw back a comment that she probably didn't even notice I wasn't in her bed as I pushed past, heading in to take a shower and change clothes. I really didn't want to talk to her or discuss anything with her in the condition I was in. I made it to the shower, stripping off my clothes as I went. I let the hot water roll over me and I began to feel strength flow back into my body. My aching back finally loosened up and I was able to stand straight again. I started to feel almost normal. This was more like it. I reminded myself again why I rarely drank. No more!
As I was sobering up, I thought back to what I told Butch. Delia and I had been married for over nine years. We had no children since Delia was unable to conceive and she wasn't yet ready to consider adoption. I wanted kids but she seemed reluctant to make the move. It put a strain on our marriage but I thought we had worked through it. But the last four or five months had been particularly strained. Delia was angry, short with me about almost anything and she had closed herself off to me sexually. We had never had a strong sex life, or not since she found she couldn't conceive, but we did OK.
The last time we made love together was over three months ago and that was not a pleasant experience when I thought about it. Now, I was beginning to think I knew why.
An hour later, I made my way back to the kitchen, looking for that cup of coffee I wanted so badly last night. I smelled it and headed for the pot. A cup of coffee and I would be all the way back to normal. Unfortunately, Delia was also in the kitchen and that put a dark cloud over my mood. Now it would take more than just coffee.
"Just let me get myself a cup of coffee before you start in on me. I need something to wake me up."
"Too bad you had to make a fool out of yourself last night. Maybe if you had been home where you belonged, you wouldn't feel so bad today."
I had to control myself before I said something I would regret. Not regret, rather something I would rather her not know about. At least not yet. I opted to say nothing.
"I'm talking to you, Peter Burke! Where were you last night and who were you with?"
"I was with Butch Cassidy. You know Butch? He's the one that cheating bitch of a friend of yours left for the bastard she's sleeping with."
"You don't know what you're talking about! Martha didn't cheat on him first. He was the one that was cheating. She just got fed up with it and went out on her own. She and Jack were just friends. It was Gerald's fault. He pushed her into it."
I guess it was about time I told her the truth. I had to laugh at her ignorance. Martha had filled her empty head with all kinds of lies and I was in the mood to set her straight.
"Is that what she told you? Butch never cheated on her once in his life. I, and everybody who knows him knew that he loved that woman more than life itself. That was her damn story and she tried to convince everyone of it, but you're the only fool who ever believed her. Everybody else knows what she is. "
"That's not true. She was only trying to get back at him. That's all it was. Before the divorce, she just had sex with that guy once. Just once to make him jealous but then he got so unreasonable that Martha decided to divorce him. She couldn't live with his cheating ways."
"Sorry. Martha had been fucking Jack Mason for over seven months when Butch found out about it. He told her to get the fuck out and she said she was happy to, because Jack was leaving his wife and was going to marry her. She moved out the same day and never even tried to contest the divorce. Never once apologized or tried to explain. Just left. She's still fucking him but he's not leaving his wife. So, she's just a cheap whore."
Delia was looking a little shaken. I'm not sure what story Martha had sold her on but it was sure as hell not the truth. I think it was just starting to sink in.
"That marriage was over as soon as Butch found out. He told her he wouldn't ever forgive her and she didn't give a shit. The greedy bitch wanted alimony but he told her if she asked for it, he would quit and go on welfare rather than pay her anything. She'd already spent every dime he made. Since they had nothing but the house, Butch gave it to her along with the mortgage."
Delia was sitting there staring at me as if I had just told her we were being evicted. She was shell shocked! I wanted to laugh so bad but I held it back. Now was the time for the first shot in the war to come.
"Since her asshole lover didn't leave his wife, she had to sell the house to pay her lawyer. But it's OK since her lover will take care of her. I hear he's paying for her apartment now. That apartment you go to all the time? Owned by her lover, paying for his mistress. It's a good deal for him. She gets free rent and he gets free pussy. He writes the apartment and his paid whore off as a business expense."
I laughed at the expression on her face. It was priceless. Marty had really sold her a bill of goods. Not surprising. Now for the slam dunk!
"But I'll tell you that any wife that cheats on her husband is a slut and a fool. If she hasn't the guts to talk to her husband first to get the truth out into the open before doing that, she doesn't deserve to continue to be married to the guy. If she's that angry, then ask for a divorce. But to go fuck another guy, and blame it on him, well that's just crap!"
Now she was really looking sick. I don't know what she was thinking but I was now sure she was guilty. I wanted to push it some more just to make her do something stupid.
"You know my loving wife, if you did that, I'd divorce your ass so fast it would make your head swim. So, if you're thinking of it and trying to find some excuse, understand right now that there is none. No excuse and no second chance!"
I got up, took my cup of coffee that had gone cold again, and walked out of the kitchen and into the garage. I had a small workshop out there with a radio and a small portable TV. I sat down on my stool and took stock.
First, I had delivered the facts to Delia about Martha and it was clear that Martha had sold her a bill of goods. Second, I had let her know how I felt about cheating and what I would do if she did. Third, I put the fear of God into her and now she was trying to decide how to play it. If she had cheated, which I believed she had, she would try to make sure all evidence was hidden so deep I would never find it. Forth, she was on the defensive and I had the upper hand. She didn't think I suspected or knew anything so she would do something soon. That gave me an advantage. Finally, I searched my feelings and my heart and was surprised to find that I really didn't care that my marriage seemed to be over. I guess I had lived with the bitch that Dee had become so long I just didn't care anymore. The love was gone.
I spent the morning out there without interruption and called Butch around ten to ask him to meet me at the corner 7-11 at 1:00 that afternoon. I told him to drive the truck, the one that he had just bought and that no one had seen yet. I wanted to be able to follow Delia if she decided to make a trip. I told him what I was going to do and he thought it was a good plan. We were set.
I went back inside when Dee called me to find lunch made and waiting on the table. This was the first time Dee had made lunch for me in over three months. Makes you think, doesn't it?
"What's this? Lunch? Why now all of a sudden? I thought you were angry with me? If I didn't know better, I'd think you had a guilty conscience. Do you?"
She tried on a sickly smile. "Of course not. You just seemed so tired and washed out; I thought you needed something on your stomach. Probably because of last night."
"Well, whatever the reason, thanks. By the way, I'm going out this afternoon to meet someone. I'll probably be gone most of the afternoon."
"Who are you going to see? It's Saturday, why would you be meeting anyone today?"
"It's just a friend. No one important. Nothing for you to be concerned about."
"It just seems strange that you would have to meet someone on Saturday."
"Well, it just came up. Why are you so concerned? Do you think I'm doing something I'm not supposed to? They say guilty people always suspect everyone else?"
"No, of course not. And I'm not guilty of anything. I just wondered."
"Do you have anything planned? Anywhere to go?"
Dee seemed nervous and agitated, but she tried to hide it by turning her back and puttering in the sink before answering me.
"No. I'll just stay here and finish up some chores. The laundry needs doing." A long pause and then, "Oh, and I'm going out to see that new movie with Marty tonight."
Well, so now we get to it. She must be meeting her lover tonight. That was just great. I wanted to give her a little zinger just to make her sweat a little. But regardless of where she was going, I'd be right behind her.
"Maybe you want me to think you're both going to the movie but I know where she's going. You thinking of a little action yourself?"
"You can go to hell!" Her anger seemed forced to me coupled with the sick look on her face as she turned to me. I saw the guilt clear as day! Her reaction should have been anger, not guilt!
We ate lunch in silence and cleaned up afterwards. I changed into a nice casual shirt and slacks before I left for my 'meeting'. Delia watched me go without a word. I drove away and to the corner convenience store where I had agreed to meet Butch. I knew that I could leave my car there in the back of the store without anybody seeing it. I parked, went inside, got a cold six pack, and got in the truck with Butch.
"OK, now we drive over to Madison St. and watch the house for a while. I want to see if she takes a drive. She said she had nowhere to go so she'd be home. Let's see."
Three minutes later, we were stopped alongside the curb on the street that crossed mine. We could just see the house and could see if Delia pulled out driving that huge SUV of hers. It was a big-assed Ford Expedition. Why she had to have it was beyond me. She didn't work and she didn't have anything to carry so why that big monstrosity?
Butch and I popped a couple of cold ones and just chatted. I told him of my conversation with Delia this morning. He got a big kick out of it and said that she was probably guilty but we had to be sure. As we were talking, I saw Delia pull out of the driveway and start toward us. I grabbed Butch and we both ducked down until she passed. She came to the intersection with Madison, turned our way and drove past us. Butch raised up to watch as she stopped at the intersection of Madison and Main. We waited until we saw her turn left, toward town. Butch pulled out behind her and we followed, staying well back.
After a drive of about ten minutes, Delia pulled into the lot of a diner in a part of town we never frequented. Butch drove past and then pulled into a gas station on the opposite side. From there, we could see her car. She just sat there and waited without doing anything. As I was becoming impatient, I saw a car pull in beside her, but it was on the other side. I couldn't see who it was but I saw Delia get out of her side and walk around to the other side, but because that damn SUV was so big, I couldn't see her. I was about to tell Butch to move the damn truck so I could see her when the car, with her in it, backed out and drove away, going the other direction. By the time we were able to get going and pull out into traffic, the car was gone.
I had no idea what to do now, so I told Butch to take me back to my car. When he asked me what I was going to do, I just shrugged my shoulders and said that I would play it by ear. He clapped me on the shoulder and told me how sorry he was. I told him it was sort of nice to finally know for sure, but inside I was sick to my stomach, just knowing that my marriage was over and my life would never be the same. But, as I thought about it, I reminded myself of what I had been living with and that I would be better off with a clean break.
We made plans to meet later that night and I drove back to the Diner. I sat there for some time before deciding to move the car and park just off to the side. I could see her car, watch the cars entering the parking lot and when I saw them, I would wait until she got in her SUV. Just before she started it up, I would pull up beside her, pause for a moment and then leave. Dramatic as hell, but more importantly, I found that I just wanted this to be over. No more spying, no more following her around, no planting bugs in the house, that sort of shit. Not for me. She had lied to me and was with another man, period. The rest was just common cheating.
It was just over an hour and a half from the time they left until they came back. Must have been time enough to get their rocks off, maybe in the car like a couple of teenagers. Whatever! I did recognize the man in the car as a friend of Jack's. I think they worked together. I started my car as I watched his car pull up beside her SUV and then after a couple of moments to say goodbye and make plans for the next tryst, she walked around the front of his car and watched him drive away before moving to hers.
Now for a little surprise. Just as she opened the door, I pulled up beside her and waited for her to notice me. Just before sliding in, she turned to the side and saw me sitting there. When our eyes met, the shock on her face was priceless! Shock, guilt, panic, all rolled into one. I gave her enough time to register me and then I pulled out and drove home without looking back.
I didn't do any of the stereotypical shit like pack a bag, close checking and savings accounts or put her shit in plastic bags. That would have meant some planning and thinking, neither of which I was capable of just then. When a man confirms that his wife is cheating on him, what in the hell would anyone expect? Rationalism? Calm? Thoughtfulness? Hah! All I felt was a deep sadness and slightly sick to my stomach. It's funny that the end of something, even something bad, is sad and upsetting. While I no longer loved Delia, I had been married to her for over nine years, a good part of my life. I was losing that, so yeah, it was sad.
No, what I did do was sit down in the family room and wait. I wanted this to come to an end, a loud and nasty conclusion. I had given her my position that morning and she knew exactly what it was. I told her that there were no excuses for cheating and no second chances. It would be interesting to see what her plan was. Would she deny that anything happened? Deny that she was having an affair? Pretend that she was just friends and that she was trying to get advice? What? Well, time would tell.
As I sat there, I heard the garage door go up and that monstrosity of hers pull in. It was so loud with that huge engine that she needed to haul around a bag of groceries. I always believed that she was just trying to compensate for something. Maybe it was me. Maybe I was too small, too unskilled, and too timid, to suit her and she needed this to make up for her lack of stimulation here at home. That had to be it. Just like the commercial where the person gets pushed aside so they go buy a Hummer! Like that would help! Apparently it hadn't helped her either. She had to go find someone else to do for her what I couldn't.
The door flew open and Delia came in on the run.
"Pete? Where are you?"
She came rushing in the great room and spotted me sitting there. She came to a full stop and just watched me. I think she was waiting for me to attack but I just sat there, not even looking at her. It was her problem, not mine. She fucked up, not me. She was the guilty one and I was the one hurting. Why should I have to say anything? Christ! All I wanted to do was go get drunk. That's what she did to me.
She came into the room, started to sit beside me but stopped when I looked up at her. The look on my face was enough to make her move over to the chair and sit. I settled back on the couch and waited.
"It's not what you think. I don't know how or why you were there, but it's not what you think."
How in the hell would she know what I thought? She didn't know me at all if she could do something like this. If she thought I would ever accept anything like this. I think the trouble she was in had finally hit her. Maybe she thought she was clear and that I wouldn't find out about her cheating, but I had and now she was in deep shit.
"I was there because I followed you there. Butch and I were behind you all the way and we watched you get into that asshole's car and drive away. That's all I needed to see. And what I think is that you are a cheating, lying slut that decided that she needed more excitement in her life and to hell with her husband! That's what I think! Now, tell me I'm wrong."
The tears were flowing now! She was in trouble and she knew it. She was trying to find some way to make me believe it wasn't true.
"You're wrong! None of that is true. It's not what it looked like. I wasn't cheating on you and that's the truth!"
"Sorry! You're trying to give me the same shit that slut of a friend of yours gave Butch. I don't believe you. You're a married woman; you got into a car with another man after telling me that you were staying at home doing the laundry. Your best friend is a fucking whore who cheated on her husband. You've done nothing for the past few months but pick fights with me, making my life a living hell with your bitching and sniping, and you've stopped wanting me to make love to you. It's all clear now. It was just to justify your cheating. You wanted more and you went out and got it."
"That's crazy! None of that is true. You're trying to make me look like I'm cheating, but I'm not! I'm not! I don't want more. I have all I want with you."
"Then what were you doing in another man's car for an hour and a half? Why would you meet a man and lie to me about it? Why have you been so distant with me lately and why did we stop making love? Why? God Damn it! Tell me why! Do you have those answers?"
She was rocking back and forth, holding herself with both arms and her head bent down, looking at the floor. The look of a desperate woman, one who had been found out. She was trying to speak but she was sobbing so hard the words were coming out more like hiccups.
"There's more to it than that. You just don't understand. You're wrong!"
"I don't believe you. You've already lied to me and now you're trying to convince me that you're innocent. Well, I don't believe you. If you can lie to me once, you can lie to me again and again. That's what I believe."
Delia had now almost completely collapsed. She was moaning and crying and rocking herself but not saying anything. I think she had run out of things to say and she had not had time to prepare her lies. Without preparation, lies can be difficult to come up with at the last minute.
"I'll pack a bag and be out of here as soon as possible. I'll call Harold Finegold in the morning and start the proceedings. You should get your own lawyer since Harold works for me."
The response was immediate. Her head flew up and she stood, arms waving.
"What do you mean get a lawyer? What do you mean start proceedings? You can't be serious. You don't mean divorce! No! No! You have to let me explain! It's not what you think!"
"Yes, it is!"
"No, God Damn it! No! I'll tell you everything. Just stop this nonsense!"
I really would like to know what I did that forced her into this. Maybe I could take the time to listen to her story. And I believed she would give me a story. Not the truth! Not now, when it was too late. Just a lie that she felt she could convince me with.
"OK. I'll give you five minutes to tell me your 'story'. But, if I hear one single lie, I'm gone and it's over. No more lies. I told you, no second chances."
Dee stood and walked around the room before starting. I could almost hear the wheels in her head spinning, trying to decide how to convince me of her innocence. Not likely with the truth, but it might be fun to watch her try her lies.
"OK. His name is Phillip Tartan. He works with Jack Mason."
As ready as I thought I was, the fact that she and Martha were fucking buddies and she was fucking Jack's pal was more than I could take. My vision clouded and everything turned white. The fury that I felt was almost enough to stagger me. I screamed at her.
"I should have known! Martha fucks Jack and you're fucking Phil! Good friends stick together I see. How long has it been going on? Did Martha fix you up? Well the hell with you!"
I was so angry that I stood up, glared at Dee and turned to go pack my bag. I suddenly didn't want to hear any more. When she reached out to grab my arm, I spun and gave her a look that had her stumbling back. She was afraid of me! For the first time in our nine years of marriage, she was afraid of me and at this point, I didn't blame her.
"I can't listen to this now. I thought I could, but I can't. This is too fucking sick even for me. I have to get out of here. Just don't say anything. Please! Just back away and don't say anything!"
I ran down the long hall to our room and yanked down my overnight bag. I took anything I could grab out of the drawers, threw it in and closed the bag. I went into the bathroom and, grabbing a plastic bag from the vanity, swept my things into it and tied it closed. That would have to do. I was so angry I was shaking. My hands weren't steady but I had to make it out to my car. If I could do that, I would be OK.
Somehow, I managed to do just that. I got to the door, opened it and threw my bag down the three steps and grabbed the railing to keep me upright. Dee was standing at the door and moved aside just in time to avoid being hit with the bag. Her face was a mixture of fear and panic. Afraid of me and yet, not wanting me to leave. Tough shit. I was out of there.
"Pete, please. You don't..."
"I asked you to shut up! Please, shut up! Why can't you just shut the fuck up?"
I stumbled down the three steps to the garage and my car. I threw the bags in the back and got behind the wheel, Dee saying something all the while. I didn't hear her. I refused to hear her as I backed out of the garage and into the street, almost hitting the monstrosity. I spun the wheel and sped away, finally releasing the breath I had been holding all that time.
I calmed enough to see where I was and pulled over to the curb to call Butch. I needed a place to crash and his place would work. He answered, gave me the come ahead and I headed for his place.
I spent the evening telling Butch of my conversation with Delia and he just shrugged, telling me that he expected it might be something like that. He knew the guy she was with and he told me he was Jack's right hand man. Appears they were sharing our wives for their own pleasure. I felt my fury grow as he talked but at some point, it just sort of faded away. I guess it's hard to continue at that level of anger without burning out. I knew it would come back, but for now, beer and talking were helping to keep me sane.