Typical story; married almost ten years, thought I had a good marriage and then I found out I didn't.
I met Sandi when she was hired and put in the cubicle next to mine. Charlie walked her into my cube and said:
"Rob, this is Sandi Gilpin. It is her first day so you show her around, okay?"
Like I would have said no to the boss, right? If Sandi had been four feet tall, weighed three hundred pounds and had warts all over her face I would have said:
But Sandi wasn't any of those. She was about five foot six and maybe one hundred and twenty well proportioned pounds. She had blond hair and the bluest eyes I had ever seen. I still said, "Sure Charlie" and my mind immediately began making lists of things I could show her that would keep her in my company for the next week. Hell; make that months. No, better yet, years and years. A quick glance at her left hand and I saw that she wasn't wearing a ring and when I looked up at her face I saw a small smile that told me that she had noticed me checking her out.
"Okay then," Charlie said, "Welcome aboard Sandi and I'll leave you in Rob's capable hands" and he walked off and left us.
As soon as he was gone Sandi asked, "Are they?"
"Your hands; are they capable?"
In that instant I knew that I was going to do my absolute best to make her mine and I looked right into her eyes and said:
She gave me a "We will see" smile and I got up from my desk and began showing her around. I asked her to join me for lunch and she accepted and over cheese and onion enchiladas at Los Mesos we got acquainted. She had finished college and then had sent out a bunch of resumes and our company had called her in for an interview, offered her a job and she had accepted. Her fiancée, who wasn't working at the time, told her that no way was he going to move to Colorado so she slipped off her engagement ring, dropped it in her lap and three days later she was in Denver.
"You could drop him that easy?"
"What can I say? We all make mistakes and he was one of mine."
"And you've been in Denver how long?"
"I guess that gives a whole new meaning to my telling Charlie that I would be glad to show you around. How about dinner tonight so we can sit down and map out a plan to show you what this part of the world has going for it."
Sandi and I dated off and on for the next six months. I say off and on because she dated other guys also. I wanted to make it exclusive, but she said no:
"I just got out of a relationship and I don't think I'm ready to tie myself down again, at least not just yet."
We made love on our sixth date and in retrospect I wish that we hadn't. Not because it wasn't good because it was. Sandi was fantastic in bed. That was the problem. If she was doing me she was probably doing her other dates as well and that thought bothered the hell out of me. I didn't know that she was - we didn't talk about things like that - but it followed that if she was doing me she was probably doing them.
It bothered me. It bothered me so much that I started pulling back from her. Where it had been hardly a day went by that I didn't ask her when I could see her again suddenly I wasn't asking. I went three days without saying anything to her and then on Thursday morning she stuck her head in my cube and asked:
"Are we still on for Joan's party Friday?"
I looked up from what I was doing and said, "Oh yeah, Joan's party. Sure, we're still on."
She gave me a strange look and then went back to her cubicle.
Joan's party was fun and for the most part I had a good time. The parts where the time wasn't so good were the parts where Sandi would be talking to other guys. I found myself wondering if any of them were ones that she had dated and if she had taken any of them to her bed. By the time the party was over I had convinced myself that I couldn't live like that. I wanted Sandi, but I couldn't handle the thoughts I was having when I saw her talking to other guys.
When I took her back to her apartment after the party I could tell she was surprised because we usually ended up at my place when we went out. When I walked her to her door at her place she said:
"You're coming in, aren't you?"
"Not tonight" I said and I kissed her on the cheek. "See you at work" and I walked back to my car. As I pulled away I saw her still standing at her door watching me go.
For the next week I saw Sandi at work every day and we shared a coffee break or two and a couple of lunches, but I didn't ask her when we could get together again. That Friday as I was leaving work she called out to me and I waved at her and said:
"Have a nice weekend" and then I stepped into the elevator and the door closed.
I went to a party that night and ran into a girl I used to date. She was there with another guy, but she slipped me a piece of paper and said:
"Call me. Anytime after eight in the morning, but call me" and then her date claimed her and pulled her out onto the dance floor. She had been a fun date and I had enjoyed her company, but we had gotten into an argument over something so damned important that I couldn't even remember what it was, never patched up the quarrel and had drifted apart.
I called her the next morning around nine and we talked and made a date for that evening. We went to Bogart's for dinner and we talked about what had happened between us and why. We laughed at how stupid it all seemed when we looked back on it and then we went to the Grotto for drinks and dancing.
As we danced I realized that even though she wasn't Sandi she was a very nice armful and quite possibly just the lady I needed at that time to get my life back on track. When I took her home she invited me in and it was like we were never apart. I remembered where she liked to be touched and what she liked to do and we did it and it was good. It was good several times and then we fell asleep together.
The rude awakening came the next morning when I asked her when I could see her again.
"You can't lover. I'm getting married next Saturday and you are my last fling. I can give you the rest of today and all night tonight if you want, but that will be the end of it."
I took what she offered and when I stumbled home Monday morning to shower and dress for work I was exhausted. At ten I was sipping coffee in the break room, trying to get enough caffeine in me to keep me awake the rest of the day when Sandi slid onto the chair across from me. As she added sugar to her coffee she said:
"Have I developed a bad case of body odor or bad breath?"
"Not that I've noticed. Why do you ask?"
"I don't seem to interest you any more and I wondered why."
"Simple. Your lack of interest in me has finally convinced me that I need to put you out of my mind and get on with my life."
"What makes you say that I lack interest in you?"
"Let us just say that it isn't the kind of interest that I want."
"Can you explain that?"
"I'm not interested in being one of many. I'm not interested in asking you out only to be told, "Sorry, but I have a date that night. Maybe next time." And to be perfectly honest about it I'm not interested in possibly sharing what your other dates may have shared with you."
"That's cold Rob; that hurts."
"You wanted to know Sandi. You asked and I answered."
I finished my coffee and got up and went back to work.
I was surprised to find Sandi sitting on the tail gate of my truck when I got off work. "Can we talk" she asked as I walked up.
"Over coffee or over a drink?"
"Neither. Right here is fine. You hurt me Rob. That remark about sharing what my other dates may have shared with me was totally uncalled for. If you have anything of that nature I can guarantee that you did not get it from me."
"You are that sure of the protection you used?"
"There was no need for protection Rob."
"What are you saying Sandi? That with all the dating you do I'm the only guy you have sex with?"
"That is just what I'm saying Rob. I am not a promiscuous slut. If you have anything you got it from someone else. Maybe that woman you were out with Saturday night."
"Wendy? No, I don't think so. How do you know about Wendy?"
"I was there at the Grotto and I saw you."
"What is this all about Sandi? Just what is going on here?"
"I need to clear the air between us Rob. This morning you said that I lacked interest in you and you are wrong. The reason I asked if you had lost interest in me is that I was worried that you had. You haven't tried to be with me for weeks now and then Saturday night I saw you with that woman and I saw how close you danced with her. It was a wake up call for me. This morning I had intended to ask you to come over and have dinner with me, but things didn't go right."
"What do you mean - a wake up call?"
"When I saw you with that woman Saturday night it dawned on me that I could lose you to someone else."
"Lose me? You didn't want me so how could you lose me to someone else? If you wanted me you wouldn't be dating others. You wouldn't be turning me down when I asked you out and if you wanted me you damned sure wouldn't be turning me down and telling me it was because you were seeing others."
"Of course I would. What would it look like if I told you I couldn't go out with you and then you saw me with someone else? I had to be honest about it Rob."
"Sandi, you are not making sense to me here. If you wanted me I would be the only one you would be spending your time with."
"Try to understand me here Rob. When I met Walter I fell head over heels in love with him. He was good looking, intelligent, witty, had a promising career and we had a ton of things in common. He was a perfect fit for me. We dated for nine months and when he proposed to me I felt like I had won the lottery. My life was perfect and then Walter lost his job. He was having trouble finding a new one and soon he was behind on his rent and he had to move out of his apartment.
"I had a small inheritance from my grandmother and that allowed me to have my own apartment while I worked on my degree. Naturally I told Walter that he could move in with me. He did and at first it was like we were newlyweds. Walter couldn't seem to find a job and soon I was supporting both of us. After a month or so I began to notice things. Walter always seemed to be at the apartment no matter what time I got home. He said he spent the day job hunting, but half the time he was unshaven and who goes job hunting needing a shave?
"I always seemed to be picking up after him and he never did anything to help around the apartment. I started missing money from my purse and at first I thought I had miscounted or had been given the wrong change at the store and hadn't caught it. Then one night I stopped at the bank because I had no cash and I took two hundred dollars out of my account. I went straight home from the bank. I knew exactly what I had in my purse; nine twenty dollar bills, one ten and two fives. When I had lunch at the school cafeteria the next day and took my money out to pay the cashier the ten was gone and there was only one five. I counted the money I had and found that I was missing thirty-five dollars and there was only one person besides myself who had access to my purse. I confronted Walter on it that night and he just shrugged and said he was sure I wouldn't mind. After all, it was only thirty-five dollars.
"To shorten the story I was relieved when Walter said there was no way he was going to come to Colorado with me. Remember Rob, Walter was my dream man, my perfect fit, the man meant for me and my Prince Charming. My prince turned out to be a toad. I promised myself I'd be very careful the next time.
"By our sixth date I was pretty sure that you were the one Rob; pretty sure, but don't forget that I was certain with Walter. I was sure enough that I made love with you, but I was still skittish and I decided that it wouldn't hurt for me to date a few others to make sure that I got it right the second time.
"What I did Rob was take you for granted. You wanted me and we were making love so I thought I had you and that you would be there when I was finally certain. But then suddenly you weren't talking to me and asking me out and then I saw you with that other woman and it looked like I was losing you."
"So what is it you are trying to say Sandi?"
"What I'm saying Rob is that I don't want to lose you."
Three months later we were married.
We both agreed that we didn't want children so to eliminate the necessity of messing with condoms, birth control pills and diaphragms I had a vasectomy. With no children to get in the way Sandi and I were able to put our full energies into each other and our careers. The marriage hummed along for eight years with only the minor glitches that every marriage suffers through.
It was two weeks after our eighth anniversary when my brother Tom came to me and asked me to go in with him in a start up company. Sandi and I talked it over and decided that it had great potential and that being in on the ground floor could be very lucrative. Her salary and our savings would carry us until the company was up and running so I took the plunge.
After a year the company caught on and finally took off, but it took a lot of hard work, many late nights and some weekends to make it work. Those late nights and long weekends took a toll on my home life. Sandi was constantly irritable over my lack of attention to her and our love life suffered. We went from three or four nights a week down to two and sometimes only one. No lack of desire on my part; I was just too damned tired and worn out when I got home. I kept promising Sandi that if she would just be patient with me it would get better.
"I'm doing this for our future Sandi."
"I know Rob, but I'm young and I have needs; needs you are supposed to be taking care of."
The hard work finally paid off. The business took off and the late nights ended except for an occasional emergency. Things mellowed around the house and Sandi and I were back to making love three and four times a week again.
Three weeks before our tenth anniversary I was sitting at my desk at work when I received an e-mail from "infospreader" at xxxxx.net. I opened it and what I read turned my world upside down.
"Did you know that while you were busting your ass your wife was giving hers away? Noon to two on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Super 8 Motel on 14th Street. Check it out."
I sat there staring at the screen not wanting to believe it; hoping that it was someone's idea of a joke, but at the same time knowing that it would be so easy to check out and "infospreader" would know that. Still, it could be a sick joke being played by some one who didn't like me - or Sandi. Maybe the asshole was hoping I'd go home, confront Sandi and end up poisoning our relationship. If that is what his plan was it wasn't going to happen. Before I said a word I would have to see it for myself.
I didn't have to work late that night, but I stayed late hoping that Sandi would be in bed asleep when I got home. I knew that if she saw me she would know that something was bothering me and Sandi was the type who would badger me until she found out what it was. I wouldn't tell, but she might read enough into my behavior that if she was doing what the e-mail said she might stop until she felt that the heat was off. She was asleep when I got home and I made sure that I was up and out of the house before she got up in the morning.