I have no idea what suddenly made me suspicious. Kimberly and I had been married almost fifteen years and I had never, ever had a reason to doubt her and then all of a sudden, there it was — I believed that my wife was cheating on me.
I can't put a finger on what it was that first made me believe that Kim was unfaithful, but the feeling was there and it just wouldn't go away and yet despite having no real reason for having that feeling it grew stronger each day. I guess maybe it was a lot of little things that finally added up. Like quickly hanging up the phone when I would come into the room, not being there when I got home from work and rushing in with a bag of groceries and saying that she'd gotten hung up. Once maybe, but three times in two weeks? And then there were the 'girl things.' Over the last five years Kim had gone to maybe one, possibly two Tupperware or Avon parties and suddenly she was out two or three nights a week. A Mary Kaye party at Sheila's, an Avon party at Betty's, baby shower for this girl, bridal shower for that one and so on.
It was one of those parties that did Kimberly in.
It was a Tuesday and I'd just gotten home from work. Kim had dinner ready and as we ate she told me that she had to run over to Becky's for a while after dinner.
"We are planning a surprise birthday party for one of the girls and we are going to work on the guest list and the details. I shouldn't be gone long, maybe a couple of hours."
She hadn't been gone an hour when the phone rang and it was her sister. Kim's father was in the hospital following a heart attack and Kim's mother was trying to round up the family. After I got off the phone I grabbed the address book, got Becky's number and gave her a call.
It was ten-thirty when Kim got home.
"Sorry I'm late. It took a little longer than I thought it would."
"Got a lot done did you?"
My tone of voice got her attention.
"Why are you looking at me like that?"
"How am I supposed to look when I find out that my wife is a cheating whore?"
"What! How dare you say that to me!"
"It is pretty easy Kimberly. I take the facts as I know them, process them in my mind and then form the words and say them."
"You are insane Jim if that is what you are thinking."
"Not my fault that you are stupid Kim. If you are going to sneak around you need to make sure that your alibi is on the same page."
"What are you talking about?"
"Your father is in the hospital Kim and your mother was trying to reach you so I called Becky. Imagine my surprise to not only find out that you were not there, but that she hadn't seen you in over two weeks. I thought that was a weird thing for her to say especially since last Thursday you said you were at Becky's for a Mary Kaye party."
Kim's face drained of color and her eyes got big. "I ... I..." and I interrupted her.
"Save it Kimberly. Whatever lie you are getting ready to tell I don't want to hear. Go call your mother. When you are done talking with her don't bother coming to the bedroom. I've moved all your stuff to the spare bedroom; you will be staying there until I figure out what I'm going to do."
"What do you mean by "Figure out what you are going to do?"
"Call your mother Kim" and I left the room.
Half an hour later the bedroom door opened and Kim came into the room.
"I told you that you have been moved to the guest bedroom. I don't want you in here."
"We need to talk."
"No we don't. You might feel the need to talk, but I don't feel the need to listen. What you really need to do is to concentrate on the family that you will still have come next week."
"What does that mean?"
"You can't get a divorce form your mother and father — they will still be around long after I'm gone."
"Divorce? I don't want a divorce."
"I didn't want a cheating wife either, but I got one."
"It isn't what you think Jim."
"Of course it is. I'm sure that you will try to put a nice spin on it, but it is most definitely what I think it is. Just leave Kim. Go worry about your father. Go comfort your mother; just leave me alone."
"Dad is okay. He is resting comfortably and mom is over at my sisters. My biggest problem right now is right here."
"It isn't a problem Kim. Problems are things you work on, try to solve, try to fix. What we have here doesn't fit any of those definitions."
"How do you know that we can't fix it if you won't even talk with me about it?"
"It doesn't matter Kim. You have been sneaking around behind my back. Even if you were to say you were sorry and promise to never do it again you have still already done it. You can't possibly have been with me for over fifteen years and not know how I would behave if you did what you have done and I found out."
"I didn't set out to do it Jim. I love you too much and I think too much of my marriage to you to have done that."
"But you did do that."
"What does that mean?"
"I'm being blackmailed. It is either do what Ben wants or he will send me to jail and not just any jail, but to prison."
"Well I did say you would try and put a nice spin on it."
"It's true Jim, Ben is blackmailing me."
"Who the hell is Ben and what did you do that is so terrible that he can send you to jail?"
"Ben is a cop and I didn't do anything, but that won't matter because Ben says he can make it happen and I believe him."
"I suppose I'd better listen after all. What the hell is going on?"
Kim took a deep breath and then she told me the story.
It had been a legitimate Avon party and she was on her way home. Shannon, one of the girls she knew, had left the party to find that her car battery was dead and Kim was giving her a ride home. The two women were talking and laughing and Kim was not paying attention to her gauges as she drove until the red and blue lights started flashing in her rear view mirror. Her eyes dropped to the speedometer and she saw that she was driving fifteen miles an hour over the limit. She pulled over and when the cop, a large black man, got out of the patrol car she rolled down her window. When he came up he told her why he had stopped her and asked for her license, registration and proof of insurance. He took her paperwork and went back to his car. Several minutes later he came back, told her what he had written her up for, explained everything to her and the handed her the clipboard and asked her to sign the form. As he bent down to hand her the clipboard he suddenly dropped it, stepped back and dropped his hand to the butt of his gun and ordered Shannon and Kim out of the car.
In her rear view she saw the passenger side door of the cop car open and another cop got out and he too had his hand on his gun. Frightened, both women go out of the car and the cop told them to stand off to the side and told his partner to watch them and then he took a long look inside the car with his flashlight. Then he asked who the black leather purse on the front seat belonged to and Shannon said that it was hers.
"You admit that the black leather purse with the plastic envelope containing a grassy looking substance is yours?"
Sharon was confused and she said, "The purse is mine, but there is no plastic envelope in it."
The cop told his partner to walk Shannon over to the passenger side window and look inside and describe what he saw. His partner looked in and said he saw a black purse with a plastic envelope sticking out of it that contained what looked like dried leaves. He had Shannon look in and she said she saw it, but had no idea what it was and that it wasn't hers. The cop had her get the purse out of the car and spread the contents on the hood and Shannon said that none of the contents of the purse were hers. The black cop picked up the wallet, took out the driver's license and compared the picture to Shannon and then he asked who Brenda Zeeman was. Brenda was another of the women at the Avon party and Shannon had grabbed the wrong purse when she left. He had Shannon and Kim make out statements and then he went back to his car for several minutes and when he came back he had the two women sign their statements. He took the plastic baggie and told the girls that they would probably be hearing from an investigating officer the next day and then he let them go.
"That doesn't sound like anything that can send you to prison."
"If that had been all there was to it no, but there is more."
The next day the cop, Ben, has called her and asked her to meet him for coffee. Kim said she didn't think that would be s good idea and he told her if she wanted to stay out of jail she had better be at the IHOP on Sixteenth at noon.
"The local office of the DEA is desperate to get a couple of drug cases going so the office won't be shut down and everyone transferred out. If you don't meet me I'll have to give them your signed confession."
Kim was curious as to how the statement she had signed could be construed as a confession and so she had agreed to meet him. Ben cut right to the chase. He showed her a copy of the statement she had signed only it wasn't the one she had written out. When he had gone back to his car he had rewritten her statement and Sharon's statement in the form of a confession and had given them to the girls to sign. Thinking that they were the ones they had written out they had signed them and handed them back. What they had actually signed was a confession admitting to possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of resale.
.... There is more of this story ...