The Incident
Chapter 1

Caution: This Drama Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Cheating, Slow,

Desc: Drama Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Can a drunken, almost accidental act of adultery destroy a marriage?

I felt some of the tension easing as I sat quietly, sipping an outstanding single malt scotch on the rocks, looking over the azure waters of the Caribbean. There was a slight onshore breeze and the sun had just dipped below the horizon slipping the day into an easy, peaceful evening. Another day gone. Over 300 days gone since I arrived in "paradise."

Despite all that had happened, I felt fairly content. Did it all work out as I had planned? Yeah, it did. Did I feel vindicated, has my bitterness abated, has my vengeance been satisfied? No... yeah... shit, I don't know. Whatever, it's now done and it can't be undone so I'm not going to agonize over it.

Oh yeah. You're wondering who am I. Well... my name is Alexander Seagill. Hmm, Seagill is relatively new. My grandparents had come over from the old country and some good soul on Ellis Island had Americanized their name to Seagill. Hey, I shouldn't complain... Slutski would have been a difficult burden.

I let my mind wander for a moment, remembering my grandfolks. They were my dad's parents, my mother's were still in the old country at the time and she never was able to locate them. She gave up after years of trying. I can still see them, my grandpop's bald head with a white fringe and my grandmom's snow white hair pulled back into a bun. I still feel a warmth remembering their unfailing kindness, not only toward me, their only grandchild, but to everyone with whom they came into contact. They lived with us, but died before I reached my teens. But I digress...

Okay, let me tell you my story. My name... oh, yes. You know my name. I was born in 1964, the only child to Maria and Jake Seagill. (Let's forget about that Slutski crap.) My mother was an elementary schoolteacher and my dad was a cop. At the time of my birth he drove around in a patrol car, but it wasn't long before he moved up to the detective squad. No more uniform, no more squad car. By the way, he eventually retired as a Captain of Detectives with a very nice pension.

I guess that I was a bit of a disappointment to him. You see I was a sickly kid. Shit, I was always coming down with something, from measles to mumps, chicken pox, scarlet fever, so forth and so on. If it was around, I caught it. I was undersized and skinny. My mother was always coddling me which pissed my father off no end. He would storm around muttering..."let the kid grow up, for crissake. Don't make a sissy outa him." He was a big man and when he stomped, the whole damn house shook. My mom would always smile gently and murmur, "There's time for that, Jake. There's time..."

Some kind of miracle began to happen the summer before I entered high school. During that summer I shot up 2 inches and by the end of my freshman year I was well over 6 feet. I joined the swimming team and started to put some muscle on that skinny frame. It didn't take long - between the growth spurt and my swimming I developed into a fairly good looking, well developed kid.

Oh yeah, the bullies. All throughout elementary school and junior high school I was picked on. I never could understand the why of it; maybe it was just because I was a runt. I can be proud of the fact that I never ran and I always tried to fight back. That must have been funny. All of a sudden, in high school the bullies seemed to have disappeared. Who wanted to fuck with the guy I had turned into? It just confirms what I always thought - bullies are basically cowards. But again, I digress... let me continue.

I graduated from high school with decent grades and got a scholarship to the city university -athletic, not academic. While my grades were decent, I had been too lazy to really buckle down. It was in my junior year when it struck me that I had better give some thought to what I wanted to do with my life after graduation. I was a business major, but that could mean anything if you know anything about that curriculum.

I knew that I liked people, liked being around them, bullshitting, laughing, joking with everyone - and I was good at that. I was a likable schmuck; I liked everyone and everyone liked me. So where did that lead me? Marketing and Sales - that's where. I concentrated on that area in school, graduated, had a great job offer even before graduation and started life after school with a bang. I moved out of my folk's house, got a nice apartment downtown and really started to feel like an adult. Like that's all that it takes.

Girls? Sure, I had my share in high school and college. Never anyone serious. I played the field, had tons of dates, got laid as frequently as I could and moved on. I guess I could be considered fairly good looking. I have black, wavy hair, gray eyes and an easy, friendly manner. Why no steady? Hmm, not sure I can answer that. Maybe I just wasn't ready, or never met anyone that really meant anything beyond a good time. Whatever...

Okay, let me tell you about the job I accepted. I was a sales rep. for a large wholesale manufacturer of office furniture. You know: desks, chairs, conference tables, credenzas, etc. etc. Sounds pretty mundane, right? You want to know why I accepted that job? M-O-N-E-Y. The base salary was excellent and the commission mind blowing. You would just not believe the mark-up, it was like legal robbery. Just as an aside, the first year there I cleared just over 6 figures. Now you know why I took that job.

Anyway - it was on my very first (that's right, my FIRST) sales call that I met her. Jeez. Casey was an new assistant buyer for a retail office supply chain and I had an appointment to see her. Ohh, her name - it was Mara Casey, but everyone just called her Casey. Why? I don't know why - it's not important.

You know what's really funny? She took pity on me; she thought that I was nervous because I was new to sales. Jeez, that still makes me laugh. Oh, she was right, to a degree. I was nervous alright, I was nervous because she blew me away. She was absolutely, fucking, unbelievably gorgeous. Long blond hair, about 5' 5" and she had a body that most women would die for. You want measurements? Grow up, I never bothered to find out, who gave a shit. To me she was perfect - perfect ass, perfect tits, perfect legs and a face as sweet and innocent as a maiden out of a painting by Botticelli, especially with that hair and sparkling blue eyes. Plus, what was just as important, she was intelligent, educated and a ton of fun to be with.

I later discovered that she had just been hired two months prior and had now been given some purchasing responsibility for one store, probably as a test run. Anyway, we clicked. I gave her good prices and she gave me a small order. I made her look good and I got my first sale. Actually, I got more than that - I got a date. Okay, okay, it was just for lunch, but I was walking on air. I think that I fell in love that day. Shit, I used to laugh at that old bromide - love at first sight, but so help me, it can happen. Shit, was I naive, love at first sight, crissake.

It all happened so fast that it still seems like a dream. We dated, she moved in with me and we got married, all within a year. Talk about whirlwind romances - wow, this sure was one. I was 24, Casey was 22. Getting married so quickly certainly had it's dangers. We didn't have much time to really get to know each other very well, but it worked. Our first kid was an accident, happened one evening when we got too worked up. We named him Adam. Casey quit working to be a stay at home mom. I was making more than enough money to allow that. A little over a year later Emily was born. We had the perfect family. Perfect until it wasn't so perfect anymore.

"Georgie, wanna get me another Laphroaig?" I yelled and held my glass up as the waitress poked her head out of the patio doors. My bar bill was going to bite me in the ass, but fuck it, I was far from broke and I really liked this place. It was within reasonable walking distance from my small place and I loved the name: Rick's Americaine. I laughed my ass off when I saw that. Rick's Americaine, a fairly decent restaurant and lounge that in fact belonged to Charley Coombs, who at 6' 6"and well over 300 pounds, no way resembled Bogie.

"Sure, Alex. Be right back," she said as I admired the way her hips swayed as she walked away. Hey, I may be 44 but I ain't dead.

"Hello, Alex." The voice came from behind me and I turned my head and saw Reggie Charles at my shoulder.

"Reggie, old buddy. Sit down, take a load off," I said jovially, waving my hand at the other chair at my table. It appeared that I was the only one on the patio and I was enjoying the solitude, but Reggie was always welcome. Let me tell you about Reggie, at least the little that I knew.

Reggie was somewhere in his 60s, hair totally gray, but lean and fit. He had a soldier's bearing, but was not a career military man. He had been a resident on the island for about 4 years or so and we had gotten to be friendly. Reggie had given me a short rundown of his past. His wife had passed suddenly, he found work meaningless, cashed in what he had in England and moved here. Short and sweet. He obviously had enough money to live comfortably and it looked like that's exactly what he was doing - living comfortably.

"It looks like you're becoming a fixture here, Alex. Still drinking that awful swill?"

"Awful? You're a riot, Reg. Best single malt in the world, comes from the UK and you, a Brit, don't even take pride in it, You should be ashamed of yourself and, don't tell me, you're going to order that rotgut bourbon you call nectar, right?" I laughed.

"Absolutely correct, old sod. Maker's Mark, the one thing that convinced me that you savages have come out of the stone age."

Sure enough, Georgie must have seen Reg at my table because there she came with my scotch and Reggie's bourbon. She quickly and efficiently served us and with a wiggle of her hips, departed.

"Ahhhh," muttered Reg, watching her walk away. "To be young again, and..."

"C'mon, Reg. You're not that old. I'm sure that you don't lack for female companionship. You're far from dead," I chuckled.

He looked at me steadily for a moment. "You're quite correct, Alex. I certainly don't lead a monk's existence here, but..." and he paused and then continued, but carefully, I noted.

"What about you, Alex? You've been here almost a year now and you've yet to make a move on any of the ladies, laddie, and I don't think that you're gay. Don't get your nose out of joint, but you must admit that that is just a bit curious."

I let the silence envelope us for long moments. I finally glanced at him and saw him lazily sipping his drink and looking at me quizzically. I sighed and thought to myself, maybe it would do me good to talk about it to someone. Reggie looked like a good listener.

He continued quietly. "It may not look like it to anyone here, Alex, but you're obviously hurting. I see the way you just sit, for hours at a time, looking out to sea. It may help to talk about it. I am far from a professional mental health counselor, but I am a friend and I think that you can use one right now."

I sat still for long moments. I then nodded. "It's a long story, Reg. It's a very long story," I sighed.

"I've got time, Alex. I have all the time in the world," Reggie replied.

My mind drifted back over the years. "I don't where to begin, Reg... damn, it's been so long... so long ago. I guess It all started about 8 years or so into my marriage. Everything was going so damn great. We were in love, we had two great little kids, I had a great job, making a ton of money..." I had to stop, the familiar pain was back. I took a deep breath.

"We had splurged, bought a really nice house in a great, new community. All young couples, mostly like us, married a few years with kids, etc. etc.

We got friendly with our neighbors, joined the country club, became part of the "in" group. A group of us would get together about once a month to party at someone's house. We took turns, provided the snacks, the beer and liquor... everyone got babysitters and we would party.

"It was never anything extreme, Reg. Just a bunch of us, maybe anywhere from 6 to 8 couples. We would drink, bullshit, dance... " I stopped again to take a breath. "Most of us had pools in the back and we would come with swim suits and splash in the water. It was all so fuckin' innocent. There was no grab ass, or titty feeling. We were too mature for that. Oh, there was some flirting, some joking around, but nothing outlandish."

My mind drifted back to that summer night and I continued. " It was a Saturday, no one had any worries about getting up early the next morning. The few that had to drive home stayed fairly sober, those who could walk to their houses had no such fears and the liquor flowed pretty freely.

"Theresa Bower, our hostess that evening was slowly getting smashed and her husband, Fred, was not far behind her. She had been prancing around, showing off her new bikini and the other wives were just a little pissed off at her. She had a body that most of the girls envied and all of the guys drooled over. I appreciated it but was more than happy with my wife's body, Terry couldn't hold a candle to it, in my opinion.

"Anyway, what she was almost wearing was a bit more, umm, revealing than the crowd was used to. Shit, the two pieces could fit into your shirt pocket with room left over. She had pretty good sized tits and it was obvious that she didn't have any or at least not much pubic hair. So she was showing off and was certainly getting everyone's attention.

"The evening wore on and the party started to die down. Quite a few couples had already left and I think that there may have been around 6 or 8 of us there, all smashed to one degree or another; all except Casey, my wife. Look, she wasn't an abstainer, and while she did drink she was always careful. She would nurse two or three whatevers throughout the night.

"Of course, I was used to the stuff. Business lunches with clients always included at least a couple of martini's, so I was used to it. Oh, it wasn't as if I craved it or needed it. I just drank for the fun of it, as did almost everyone else there."

I paused, feeling the pain again. I wondered if it would ever leave me. I looked out at the sea again, remembering. "That evening was the beginning of the end, although I didn't really know it at the time.

"As I mentioned, I was three sheets to the wind." I saw the puzzled look in Reggie's eyes and laughed. "I was smashed, Reg. While I was ambulatory, I was still smashed. I remember staggering into the house, through the french doors and into their game room. I had to maneuver past the pool table and I remember wacking myself on the corner of the ping pong table and muttering a curse. I found the bathroom, pulled my trunks down to my knees and with a sigh of relief and let go a stream into the toilet bowl. After a few seconds I finished and shook my dick before I started to pull up my trunks. "

'Wow, what a beautiful piece of man meat, sweetie. Lemme look, ' and a hand pulled me around a bit. 'Wow, you put Freddy to shame.'

"I stood there, my mouth open, looking at Terry in that outrageous swim suit. I just stood there, I had no idea what to do. I made a motion to pull my trunks up, but she stopped me. She sank to her knees and to my utter astonishment, she started to suck me. She took my limp dick in her hand and fed it into her mouth before I could even start to comprehend what the hell was going on.

"Well, I'm as human... and as stupid too I guess, as the next guy, and the old peter didn't take long to get hard. Terry was slobbering over it like a starving bitch and I just stood there enjoying whatever the hell she was doing. All of sudden she stood up, lowered the scrap of material that was the bottom of her suit and propped her ass on the vanity. 'C'mon, sweetie. Feed me that dick, I need it.'

"I looked down between her legs and sure enough, no hair. Her pussy was bare and wet, jeez, she was wet. Like an automaton, I just moved forward. She then grabbed my dick and before I knew it we were fucking. I bucked my hips and slid my cock in and out of her, listening to the slurping noises coming from between us. It didn't take long before I felt myself let go and I staggered as I came. Terry must have enjoyed herself because she was clutching my shoulders, shuddering and wailing like some kind of banshee.

"The door then opened and my life changed. Casey, my wife stood there, staring at us, a look of total disbelief on her face. I just looked at her stupidly and for a moment I had no idea of much trouble I was in. The liquor was still befogging my brain and it was difficult to think. I did take note that Casey quickly turned and strode away and it was at that moment that I knew I had fucked up royally.

"I staggered back, then straightened and pulled my trunks up. Terry giggled and patted my cheek. 'Don't worry, sweetie. She'll get over it, it's no big deal.'

"I felt sick, my stomach roiling. I knew better. I knew Casey and I was sure that my immediate future was not going to be fun. I hurried after my wife, but she was long gone. I steeled myself and began to walk home. It felt like it was the last mile. My steps start to lag as I approached the house. There was a light in the living room and I wondered if she was waiting there for me. With a sigh of resignation I mounted the front stairs and entered my home. Casey was sitting in a chair and looked at me as I came into the room.

"I felt my heart constrict and it was difficult to breath. I swear, Reg, I thought that I was having a heart attack. I was petrified. You see, in the past we had spoken about infidelity and we both agreed that it was wrong, hurtful and virtually impossible for a marriage to survive something like that. Casey would become livid about the subject. I didn't want my marriage to end, Reggie. I loved my wife passionately, I adored my kids, I loved my life. I didn't want it to end, especially over something so stupid, over some careless, drunken fuck that I didn't plan or even anticipate."

I looked up at Reggie and I realized that my eyes were wet. I had to stop to catch my breath. After all those years, it still hurt. I still hurt for all the pain that I had caused, for all the grief I had created.

"Take a break, Alex. Catch your breath," murmured Reggie. "Look, you don't have to tell it all now. Let's just sit for a bit. Try to come back to the present. Clear your head, relax."

I leaned back and rested my head on the back of the chair. I felt exhausted and drained. Bringing up all of the old hurt, all of the pain wasn't easy, and yet it was a bit cathartic, as if some of the weight had lessened. Oh, not much, not much at all - but perhaps a little.

"Enough, Reggie. Enough for now. I can't go on right now. Let's postpone this, okay?"

"Of course, Alex," replied Reggie. "I can imagine how painful this must be for you, but I also believe that perhaps it's doing you a little good. We can always continue this at another time. Why not try to get some rest now, laddie. Go home. Go home and try to get some sleep."

I made it home, staggering a little on the way. I locked the door behind me and sat in the darkened living room which was lit somewhat by the ambient outside light. Someone in an adjacent apartment was playing some soft jazz and a female was singing "Skyliner." I absently noticed that it had started to rain, a soft, gentle sound that was background to the music. I roused myself, went into the bathroom, took a sleeping pill and went to bed. I don't remember if I dreamed.

I woke reasonable early the next morning and with few ill effects from the booze I had consumed the previous evening. Say what you will, really good scotch doesn't come back to haunt you the next day, or at least not terribly.

I smiled a bit wryly as I remembered regaling Reggie with the story of my marriage. Jeez, I really must have been maudlin as well as tanked, but strangely, I wasn't too upset. Reggie's a good guy and talking about it seemed to have relieved at least a tiny bit of the pain. Then suddenly the scene at my house that eventful evening came to mind and I actually cringed.

After all these years, it's still so vivid. It's like a film being repeated again and again in my head. I can still see myself unlocking my front door and walking into the house. The babysitter was gone. Casey sat in the living room, staring at me.

"You rotten, fucking bastard. You can't know how much I loath you right now. You're scum, you're horseshit, you don't deserve a loving family," she literally hissed, spittle flying from her lips. Her eyes were as cold as ice and I saw that there wasn't much color in her face, she looked ashen.

I just stood there. I didn't know what to say. She was right to a degree, but I wanted to defend myself. I wanted to tell her that what she saw wasn't exactly what it appeared. It wasn't planned; she took advantage of me; I had too much to drink. Bullshit - all bullshit. I couldn't defend myself. There wasn't anything that I could think of to say that would mitigate what had happened. I just stood there and let her tear me apart, and she did. She continued to curse me, she used words that I never imagined she even knew.

Strangely, Casey never raised her voice. She kept her voice down, not wanting to wake the kids I imagine. It didn't make any difference. In fact the whisper quiet of her virulence only seemed to magnify the hatred and hurt that she expressed.

"Get out, Alex. Get some of your clothes and whatever, and get the hell out. I don't want to see you, I don't want to talk to you, I don't want to hear from you. NOW, GODDAMN YOU, NOW," and now she was shouting. She quickly looked up the stairs and kept still for a moment, worrying that the kids may have awakened. After a moment of silence, she again turned to me. "Out, out, out. Get the fuck out of this house and out of my life."

I couldn't reply. There was nothing that I could have said. Any excuse that came to my lips would have sounded lame as hell. I turned from her, climbed the stairs and packed a bag. I threw my toiletries in a shaving kit and walked downstairs. Casey will still sitting there, stiffly, in her chair, still staring. I entered the den, scooped up my laptop and returned to the living room. I hesitated... looked at her for a moment, then turned again and left my house. I remember wondering if I would ever be able to return.

I sat comfortably in an old rattan chair, admiring Reggie's bungalow. While I had been there before, I still marveled how an old codger like Reg had the talent to fix the place up so nicely. It was small, only 2 small bedrooms, 1 and a half bathrooms. What I enjoyed was the spacious back, screened in patio, and what was even nicer was the fact that it was on the water. Nothing to break the view of the gentle surf breaking on the white sand beach. The place may have been small, but let's not kid ourselves - anything on the water must have cost a fortune.

"Let's go, Alex. Dinner is ready. Let's... how do you Yanks say it? Let's put the feedbag on?" he chuckled.

Dinner was truly delicious. Damn, the man could cook also. We had poached yellowtail snapper, new potatoes and green beans. Everything cooked to perfection. I tore into the food and thoroughly enjoyed the meal.

"Guess what, Alex. Knowing your poor taste in spirits, I managed to get a bottle of your precious Laphroaig. I'll join you with some true spirits," and he picked up a bottle of his Maker's Mark.

I was astonished. You have no idea what a bottle of that scotch cost. I immediately offered to pay Reg for it, but he waved me off. He took my by the arm and steered me back onto the back porch. "Let's just settle ourselves, laddie. It's a beautiful evening, let's enjoy it."

I smiled a bit to myself. I'm not dense, I knew Reg was trying to make me comfortable. He seemed to have some kind of strange interest in what had happened to me and I wondered why. Did he have some ulterior motive? Nah, not Reggie's style. I guess I would find the why of it sooner or later. Until then, I would enjoy his hospitality.

"Alex, you mentioned children. They must be grown by now; how are they? Do you keep in touch with them?"

I was still for a few moments. I was really conflicted about my kids. I had tried to shield them the fallout, from the shit spinning off the fan. I'm sure though that some of what happened got back to them, yet they never mentioned it to me. All they were concerned about was my well being. God, I love them. They are now the only things that mean anything to me.

"Kids are doing well, Reg. They're both in college now and doing fine. I'm proud of them. We speak on the phone at least once a week."

"That's good, Alex. That's good news, I'm glad to hear that." He smiled a bit sadly. "Margaret and I never had children. That was the one sadness in her life." He sighed and shook his head. "But we managed, laddie. We managed."

We both sat for a bit, sipping our drinks, looking out over the water. It was quite dark now and comfortably silent, the only sound was the surf breaking over the shoreline.

"Laddie, why don't you go on with your story. Tell me what happened after your wife discovered you... ah, flagrante delicto shall we say."

I let out a short, bitter laugh. "You British... always so delicate. You mean after she discovered me screwing Terry." I shrugged and gave him a condensed version of the scene at the house ending with me leaving for a hotel room.

"But you were both able eventually to put that behind you, correct?" he remarked. "I know it must have been dreadful for both of you, but it did eventually work out?"

I sat for a moment, thinking back, remembering. "Reg, for the first six weeks or so she wouldn't speak to me. I would call and she wouldn't answer the phone. She had changed the locks. I would come by and when I approached the house, she would open the door and allow my children to come out and visit with me, but she wouldn't let me enter the house. The kids would cry and try to pull me inside, but she was adamant. She just didn't want to see me or speak with me. I was sure that I was going to be served with divorce papers any day. Then one day she called me - I almost dropped the phone. She called me, but her voice was icy.

'Alex, we have to talk. Do not interrupt me. Against my better judgement, I want you to come by this evening, after the children are asleep. We will sit and we will talk. Actually, to be more accurate, I will talk and you will listen. I will propose a scenario and you will either accept or reject it. That's up to you. I will expect you at 10 p.m.' The line then went dead. She was finished speaking."

I gave Reggie a condensed version of our little talk and then begged off. I was tired, not physically, but again I felt drained, emotionally exhausted. I thanked him for the dinner and the company and slowly strolled home, enjoying the softness of the evening. As I walked, the scene at my house that night came vividly to mind. Not a condensed version, but chapter and verse. That conversation was the beginning of the rest of my life. A life that had been filled with love and laughter was now going to be a lot different.

Casey opened the door and motioned me in. There was no smile of welcome or greeting. She motioned me to a chair and sat opposite me.

"I want you to just listen. Do not speak, you'll have that opportunity when I'm finished. Just nod if you understand." She waited, I nodded.

"I've come to the conclusion that it would be better for the children if you moved back into the house. The children need their father and I will grant that you have been a good father. But, please understand that our relationship, yours and mine, will be quite different that what it used to be. I will not share my bed with you. You will sleep in the fourth bedroom. All of your things will be in that bedroom. You will continue to support this family as you have been, but you are here as the children's father, not as my husband. Do you understand what I am saying? Do you accept these terms?"

I just sat there and stared at her. I tamped down my anger and resentment, I thought that I didn't have the right to be angry for I was the one who had precipitated all of this. I was looking down at my hands and then I raised my eyes and looked at Casey. I didn't see a warm, caring wife. I saw a stranger.

"Do you hate me that much?" I asked. "Is your anger so great that you can't find forgiveness? Do you really think that the kids won't notice how we react to each other? Is this going to be a facade of a marriage?"

"Those are my terms," she said flatly. "Take it or leave it. If you refuse, I will begin divorce proceedings immediately. Just tell me yes or no."

I knew when I was licked, I had no illusions about what awaited me. I would be a stranger in a strange land with a wife who could barely tolerate me. What kind of life would that be? But I felt that I had no choice, I wanted to be with my kids. I didn't want them to grow up without me. I told her yes.

"You may move back in tomorrow. The bed is already made up and everything of yours that is still here is in that room. I'm sure that the closet there will accommodate all of your things." She stood and then hesitated.

"During meals, we will act natural and be pleasant, but directing our comments to the children. Please do not try to engage me in conversation. I will not return a comment or answer anything you may direct to me. Please remember that."

With that she strode to the front door and opened it. "I will give you a key to the house tomorrow." I left and she closed the door behind me. That was the first day of my new life.

It was a miserable existence. Oh, not so terrible outwardly, our friends knew that we had separated for awhile, although they never really knew the reason for it, but they were pleased that we had "reconciled." We even started to attend the monthly parties again and everyone was tickled pink to see us. They kept clapping me on the back, bubbling over with enthusiasm. Of course we never again went to the Bower's. Sure, everyone noticed that, but no one ever said anything.

To the outside world everything about our family was fine, normal, nothing terribly unusual. I, of course, knew better. The first few months were more than painful. I slept in the guest room and used the hall bathroom. I was told in no uncertain terms that I was never, under any circumstances, to enter Casey's bedroom or bath. I did as she demanded.

I lived by her rules. I lived... no, not lived, I existed in that manner for months. We both tried to keep everything as "normal" as possible for the "sake of the children." They were young enough at that time not to realize that things were far from normal - in fact things were decidedly abnormal.

Casey refused to acknowledge my very existence. The rules that she had imposed, and to which I had agreed, seemed iron clad. She let me know, time after time, that this was the way things were and were going to be.

I did not argue with her. I followed her rules. I lived with massive guilt for I knew that I had destroyed the very things that had been so dear to me. Did I have any right to complain, to become belligerent, to whine at how unfair she was? No, I knew that I was the cause of the destruction of my marriage and I would bear that onus, that responsibility, that burden.

Was I being a wuss? Had I turned into a pussy? Perhaps... perhaps that may seem the case in the eyes of some, that I had indeed become emasculated. But I had made the choice. I could have said no to Casey when she gave me her ultimatum. I could have chosen divorce and estrangement from my children. Let's not kid ourselves, a mother can easily arrange events so that a father has little contact with his children. Visitations cancelled because of illness, because of unexpected trips, because of any number of reasons. As angry as Casey was at the time, I just didn't want to take any chances. I didn't want to lose my kids. I just didn't want to lose my kids.

Somewhat of a breakthrough came a few months after I had moved back into the house. It was a Saturday and we were eating breakfast. Casey was serving Emily some scrambled eggs. She turned to me and, looking somewhere over my head, said, "Alex, are you going to be playing golf today?"

I sat there for a moment, dumbfounded. I wasn't sure if my imagination was playing tricks on me. "Alex?", she repeated and this time she looked directly at me.

"Uhh, I... I guess... I mean I can... it's not really important. I can... ," I stuttered.

"That's okay, Alex. I just wanted to know so that I can take the kids over to my sister's for a visit. She and Ted haven't seen them in awhile and I thought that we could spend a couple of hours there. It's only a 50 minute drive."

I truly didn't know what to say. Was she hinting that she wanted me to accompany her, or was she just making sure that I was going to be out of the way so that she could visit her sister? Shit, I didn't know what to do, so I played dumb. I wanted our conversation to continue.

"Uh, that would be nice. I... I could go with you... that is if you wanted. I mean the golf thing is not important, I can cancel. They could play without me. I mean... I really wouldn't mind missing..."

Casey interrupted me. "No, no, I don't want you to cancel. I just wanted you to know where we will be if we haven't returned. Sunny is dying to see the children."

Sonia, known as Sunny,, was a couple of years older than Casey and was married to a decent enough guy. Ted was an airline pilot and was, unfortunately, away quite a bit of the time. Sunny had accepted these absences and had devoted herself to her job as a social worker, and to volunteering at the local hospice. She couldn't have children. There was a medical reason for that, but we, or at least I, never learned exactly the why of it. Consequently, our kids became hers. She lavished a lot of love and attention on them. I was fearful at first about them getting spoiled, but they're good as well as sensible kids. I think that they just sensed that this was a need in Sunny and they reciprocated.

"Okay... uh, Casey." I almost cringed. This was the first time I had uttered her name since I had been allowed to return home. I waited for a couple of seconds for an icy reply or stare, but... nothing. She continued fussing over Emily.

I pushed my luck. "Please send my love to Sunny and tell Ted hello. Perhaps you can invite them for a cook-out or something one weekend."

I quickly looked down at my plate. I didn't want to meet her eyes. I don't know if I had pushed too far. I just sat and continued to eat, but I could feel the tension. Or perhaps the tension was just in me.

"Perhaps," she said. "Perhaps."

I gave an inward sigh of relief and quickly finished my meal. As I arose, I went to the kids and gave them a quick kiss, telling them to behave for Aunt Sunny and Uncle Ted and to have a good time. I hesitated for just a moment, then I laughed to myself. Oh, no. I'm not that stupid. I just kept the smile on my face and entered the den, got my clubs from the closet, and left to play golf.

And so went the next months and years. Casey and I were pleasant to each other. We had developed a very workable yet formal relationship. We entered into casual conversation, sometimes even when we were alone - until there was a setback.

I made an attempt to have a conversation with Casey about the elephant in the room. I wanted to open my heart and pour out my regret and sorrow at my... ah, indiscretion. I had spent days rehearsing what I wanted to say. I had written a mental script, changed words and phrases countless times until I had it just the way I wanted. I had the words and I memorized them. I wanted to apologize and tell her how much I loved her and of the sorrow and regret I felt.

One evening, after dinner after the kids were asleep, I sat down in the living room, across from my wife. "Casey, I need to say something. I want to tell you how sor..." I didn't even get a chance to finish the word. I saw the ice form in her eyes. She arose quickly and almost ran up the stairs to her room. I heard the lock click. That's something she hadn't done in quite awhile.

Things almost reverted to the way it had been in the weeks after I first moved back in. The atmosphere was frosty to say the least, but finally, after more weeks in the doghouse, things eased and we became more comfortable around each other. So things went. Our relationship improved, we were civil and pleasant and I never, ever attempted to bring that "incident" up again.

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Cheating / Slow /