Kevin Reilly unlocked his front door, kicked off his shoes and walked down the hallway to the kitchen. He had just taken his wife Keri to the airport where she was going to be catching the 8 a.m. commuter flight to the state capital. It was her biweekly three day trip to perform secretarial duties for her boss, Bradley Knox III, or as Kevin always referred to him, Trey. Every time he used that nickname for her boss's pretentious official name Keri would remind him that her boss hated it. Although he never admitted it to his wife, it was one of the reasons that he always found a way to bring the nickname into a conversation. She might think that Bradley Knox III was a great guy, but Kevin didn't really care for him; there was something about him he simply found phony.
He looked at the clock and saw that it was only 7:30 a.m., which left him a lot of time to drive to the shop by nine when it opened. There was time for another cup of coffee, and as he poured it he realized there was also time for him to check his email and maybe do a little surfing around the Internet. He was not big on computers or the Internet, but he did find that email was a good way to keep in touch with some of the guys that he'd been in trade school with. There had been four of them who had stuck through it as a group, learning the intricacies of diesel mechanics together. The other three had all taken jobs away from the city, while he had been fortunate to catch on with one of the major heavy equipment sales and service firms right here in his home town.
At the age of 30 Kevin was now one of three head mechanics and had a crew of five men working under his supervision. Being the head of the group didn't mean that he didn't have to pull wrenches with the rest of them; he still got just as dirty as they did, although he primarily worked on fuel systems. Kevin enjoyed his job even though it could mean unexpected overtime and the occasional need for out of town work. At least he didn't have to travel as much as Keri did with her job.
She had only been at the Crosby and Knox law firm for six months, getting the job the week after she completed the upgrading courses necessary to move from a job as a real estate secretary to a better paid one as a legal secretary. She and Kevin had met at the college while each was learning their craft. That had been over eight years ago, and the two of them had been married for the last six. When they married Kevin had just started at the shop and Keri had been hired as a secretary for a local real estate firm. With the two of them working they had been able to make a down payment on this home they now lived in. Being able to move into their own home had occurred less than two years after they started their respective careers, something they both took pride in.
With his coffee in hand Kevin headed down the hall to the spare bedroom where their computer was set up. He hoped it was still on because he had noticed Keri use it for a few minutes after getting dressed and packed. At least he wouldn't have to wait for it to boot up if she left it on. As he entered the room he could see the picture that they used as a screensaver slowly moving across the screen in its random journey around the face of the monitor.
"Damn, we're a fine looking couple," he said to the empty house as he watched the photo of them move in front of him. They were side-by-side on lounge chairs surrounded by nothing but white sand, with the blue of the Gulf behind them. Both of them were nicely tanned, smiling and wearing the briefest of swimwear. It was one of many pictures they had taken during their vacation to Cancun 18 months earlier.
They both had sunglasses on so you couldn't see his gray eyes or Keri's blue ones, but there was very little left beyond that that you couldn't see. Keri's shoulder length blond hair was lighter than his sun bleached light brown hair, and their tans were almost a matching shade. With the two of them lying back in their chairs you couldn't tell the she was 4 inches shorter than his 6 foot height.
This wasn't the picture that he wanted to use as their screensaver, but Kerry wouldn't let him use one of the photos that had been taken when they spent a day on the nude beach at the resort. She was afraid that her parents, or someone else that she wouldn't want to see the picture, would somehow walk in while it was on the screen. In deference to her fears he had left those pictures in a secure folder, hidden behind a password. Maybe if he had time he would take a quick stroll through that folder before heading out to work so he could pay homage to Keri's luscious 36Cs. Then again, with having to spend the next two nights alone in their bed, he decided that perhaps it wasn't such a good idea.
After watching their photo travel from the right margin diagonally to the top of the screen, he finally moved the mouse to clear the screensaver. The photo and the black background dissolved, and he could see that there was an email on the screen from Keri's email account at Crosby and Knox. He wondered why she left it on the screen, as she had told him their corporate system had to be kept secure for a multitude of legal reasons. She was always paranoid about him seeing her messages when she got onto her corporate account from home.
After a second of thought he glanced to the top of the screen where he could see the familiar hourglass figure hovering over the Logout command. He realized then what had happened: their flaky high-speed modem was acting up again. Every week or so it would quit communicating to the equipment at the cable company, and the only way to get it working again was to cycle power to the modem. This brute force reset would always get it going.
He was just reaching for the modem so that he could turn it off when a phrase jumped off of the screen from the email that Keri had left showing in her haste that morning. The phrase that caught his eye was 'bra and pantie', and as he stared at it he couldn't quite understand why it was there in an email on her work account. It was at that point that he pulled his hand back from the modem and sat transfixed reading the email that his wife had received that morning from her boss. It wasn't very long but the words went through him like a spear.
Hope I catch you before you leave. I really want you to bring that black bra and pantie set I got you on our last trip; the one with the teal accents. You never had a chance to wear them for me.
My first appointment isn't until 2 p.m. with the Governor, so maybe we'll have enough time for you to put them on and for me to take them off for you this morning.
He reread the message three times, hoping that it would somehow make some sense to him, beyond the obvious. He was left with only the obvious, however; Keri was having an affair with Trey, her boss. Kevin didn't realize it but had there been a witness to him sitting there at the computer, their description of him would have been that he was staring at the screen, intermittently opening and closing his mouth like a goldfish in a bowl.
Finally Kevin shook his head and staggered to his feet, pushing the chair hard enough that it bounced off the wall as he left the room. He knew which black bra and pantie set Trey was talking about; he had seen it in Keri's lingerie drawer when she packed, and it had still been there when she closed and zipped her suitcase. He prayed that it was still there now as it might mean that the email had been a joke, some kind of sick joke. His hand was shaking as he pulled the drawer open, and it was quickly obvious that the black bra and pantie set, the one with the light blue-green bows decorating the front clasp of the bra and the thin ribbons at each side of the pantie, was no longer there. He quickly checked all of her drawers, praying she had simply moved them, but they weren't to be found.
As the realization that his wife had returned to the room and taken the missing lingerie with her sank in, Kevin sat down on the edge of their bed and tried to think of what Keri had told him about them when she had brought them home. Kevin had seen them as she unpacked that day, and had taken them from her hand saying, "For me? I mean, for you to wear for me?" He remembered grinning at her like a fool.
Keri had smiled at him coyly as she took them from his hand and said, "Not for tonight. I wouldn't want you ripping them off me in your haste to get me naked. I got them on a half-price sale at Victoria's Secret, but they were still expensive." He remembered her putting them into the drawer and they hadn't come back to his mind until this very morning. They had made love that night, just as they always did when Keri returned from her biweekly trips. She didn't need sexy lingerie to turn him on; she could always accomplish that by simply being near him.
Kevin sat there for several minutes thinking about the email and the lingerie. He finally decided that it couldn't mean what it seemed to mean. There weren't any of the signs or signals he had always assumed would be present if a wife were cheating on her husband. She was as loving as ever, eager to be with him. He couldn't remember the last time they had a serious disagreement let alone a fight, and if anything their lovemaking was more frequent than when they enjoyed their Mexican vacation. There simply had to be something he was missing that would explain that message.
He returned to the computer and after manipulating the browser stop button, and moving forward and back from screen to screen, he was able to get back to a normal cursor. With any luck her logout command hadn't gotten through, and he would be able to look at her email account to see whether there was anything else there from that bastard. Mentally he crossed his fingers as he reset the modem and waited for the green lights to reappear on it. When they did he took a closer look at her email and the folders displayed on the web page behind it.
After minimizing the lingerie message he looked closely and could see that the only open folder was her Inbox, so he clicked on it and found four other messages. He opened them one by one and discovered that each was related to legal cases that meant nothing to him. He was beginning to fear that perhaps there wouldn't be anything else for him to use in his attempt to figure out what, if anything, was going on between Keri and her boss. It was when he began looking through the titles of her folders that he got lucky. Tucked between folders named for two local businesses was another labeled Personal. He didn't hesitate before clicking on it, hoping it might be the one that he was looking for.
There was a screen full of message headings in the folder, and he could see that about half of them were from her boss. The folder was sorted by date, and he opened the first one apprehensively, scared of what he might find. The first message was very long, and as he read through it the color and emotion drained from his face. He read it a second time, clenching his teeth as he did so. When he finished the second reading he reached over and turned on their printer and printed out the entire email.
While the message printed he happened to take a glance at the clock and saw that he would be late if he didn't leave immediately for work. There was no way that he was going to be able to concentrate on his job now, so he grabbed his cell phone and called in sick, a statement that was not so very far from the truth. The printer was finished now so he closed the message he had read and printed and went on to the next one. For the next hour he moved mechanically, selecting and reading messages, printing most of them and then forwarding copies of all of them to his own personal email account. By the time he was finished with the messages his eyes were filled with tears, and he knew that his marriage was over.
After taking one last look at Keri's email account at Crosby and Knox and not finding anything else that appeared relevant, he logged her off the corporate web site and went to his own email account. He set up a separate folder and moved all of the forwarded messages into it. The last thing he did was change his password since he couldn't remember if Keri knew what his old one had been. He wanted those emails to remain available in case he needed to print more copies.
After he shut down the computer he picked up the printed messages and his now cold cup of coffee and returned woodenly to the kitchen. He grabbed a beer from the fridge and then sat down at the kitchen table and reread the messages once again. He was surprised by how much they told him, especially when they were placed in context with what he remembered of the past six months and Keri's trips with Trey to the state capital.
Keri had only been at her new job for a week when they told her that she would be required to accompany her boss to the capital to take statements, find and print whatever he might require from their corporate files and generally provide whatever assistance he needed. Their firm was doing some lobbying with the governor's office on behalf of local businesses and business people, as well as making representations at the state court level for other clients. It all seemed so above board when she first told him about it. He could see now that Trey had probably targeted his wife and that some of the trips hadn't really required her presence for business purposes. He could also see that Keri had soon been a willing participant in her encounters with Trey.
Reconstructed from the emails and his memory Kevin knew that it was likely on their second trip that Trey had seduced his wife, although it was not impossible that it had happened on the first trip. The first email in her private folder was a reply from Trey to an email of hers in which she thanked him for the lovely Gucci handbag he had given her and for the lovely supper they had enjoyed together. She also mentioned how much she enjoyed 'everything else', although what that meant wasn't specified in her message. His reply, though, had mentioned their night together, so Kevin knew pretty much what she had been referring to.
That first message also explained the handbag she had suddenly appeared with months ago. When he asked her how she had managed to afford it, she had laughed and called it a $40 knock off she had purchased from a kiosk in the mall. Knowing that her cheating had started so long ago and how easily her lies had come to her sickened him. This didn't seem to be the Keri he remembered and loved.
The emails had continued regularly, usually just before or just after one of their trips. He assumed that between trips they would be speaking in person, with no need for email, or that the messages she had saved were more important to her. There was no way to tell, and in truth, it was irrelevant.
It was in the third or fourth email that he discovered how they hid their trysts from him and the corporate office. They always stayed at the same hotel, and reserved the same two rooms. Kevin hadn't realized it, but every night when he phoned her around 10 o'clock in room 612 of the Hyatt Inn she was only there waiting for his call. After he had called her she would join Trey in his room for the night. It seemed that he had become so predictable that the two of them were able to play him like a trout. Their jokes to the effect that they wished there was a way to get him to phone a little earlier so they could get together quicker had cut him like a razor. He had never seen that side of Keri before, although it fit with his impressions of her boss.
Another email explained the expensive looking diamond earrings that Keri had worn for the Crosby and Knox Christmas party. She had told him they were cubic zirconium, but the email showed him that they were real, a very expensive Christmas gift from her lover. Once again the message in her folder was a reply from Trey to her original message thanking him for the extravagant gift. It seemed to Kevin that she was overdoing the thank you, but it did make him wonder how she thanked him in person. He couldn't believe that the only time they were together was every two weeks for two nights in the Hyatt Inn. He was sure they must be meeting occasionally at other times and finally on his second reading of one of the more recent emails he got a clue when Trey mentioned working at the condo.
After some concentrated thinking Kevin remembered that Keri had told him once that her boss was on the 9th floor of the condo building overlooking the river park. It now seemed likely that the two of them met during the day at his condo, either on the pretext of doing work there, or perhaps meeting there at lunch time. As much as Kevin tried, he couldn't think of a single instance where Keri had seemed freshly fucked. If she was screwing Trey during the week while she was in town, as he was now certain had happened, she was very careful to remove any evidence of it before she came home. Of course it might just have been a case of him fitting into the mold of the blind and trusting cuckolded husband.
It was almost noon when he finished rereading all of the emails and put them aside. He knew he was going to have to decide what to do before Keri came back into town with Trey. She usually got in early in the afternoon on Friday and came directly home by taxi from the airport. Most days she would phone him at work to let him know that she was safely home. As he thought about that, the irony was not lost upon him that the biggest danger had already caught up with her while she was out of town.
Kevin got up slowly from the kitchen table and grabbed two more beers from the fridge before heading into the living room where he sprawled on the sofa with the first of the bottles in his hand. He had noticed that it was already noon and he wondered where the time had gone. It didn't seem possible that almost five hours had passed since he had walked in the door after dropping his wife off to join her lover at the airport. He realized that the two of the must have planned a lot of things carefully because he rarely saw Trey when he walked Keri into the airport. A couple of times he had been visible standing in the departure lounge, but he had always ignored the two of them completely.
By six o'clock that evening Kevin was barely conscious. During the afternoon he had made a number of trips to the bathroom and then back to the kitchen, bringing two more bottles of beer back to the living room each time. His last trip had come up short though, as the fridge was now empty of beer. He paused for a moment to look at the row of empties on the kitchen counter and realized that there were 12 of them, the full contents of the two six packs he had purchased only the day before. They were supposed to last him for at least a couple of weeks and under normal circumstances they would have. Now, having drunk the whole dozen and without having had any food, he was sorely in need of sleep. He managed to make it to the bed before passing out fully dressed on top of the covers.
It was 10:15 when the ringing of the phone stirred Kevin from the place where his mind had taken him when he passed out. It had been a place full of images of Keri and him doing the things they had enjoyed since meeting eight years ago. As he struggled to stand, a glance at the clock told him that it was probably Keri phoning to find out why he hadn't called her at the Hyatt Inn. Everything that he had found out came rushing back to him, and on the spur of the moment he decided to wait until she returned home before confronting her.
The answering machine was just starting to take the call when he picked up the phone and said, "Hello. Is that you Keri?"
"Yes, it is. Why haven't you called? You always call by this time. Is something wrong?" He could tell there was a bit of concern in her voice, and he wondered why.
In his anger he almost said he was sorry for keeping her from getting into Trey's bed on time, but he held back and replied instead, "I'm sorry, Keri. I fell asleep." The hope that the tone of his voice didn't give away his true feelings crossed his mind, but then he wondered why he should even worry about it.
"You've never done that before. What happened?" Her voice betrayed a bit of displeasure with him, and he almost decided to make a reply that would tell her that he knew, but again he decided against it.
Instead he answered as nicely as he could, "I had a couple of beers after work and I guess they knocked me out." He thought he would go on the offensive and asked, "So how was your day? Were you busy this morning? I hope Trey doesn't work you too hard." He almost said ' work your pussy too hard', but had been able to hold himself back.
Keri hesitated for just a moment before she answered with, "No. I wasn't very busy. Why do you ask that? You hardly ever ask me about my work here."
"No reason, just making conversation. Everything here is as good as can be expected. How about you? Are you being good?" He had decided to toss another loaded question her way, just to see what her reaction would be.
She answered very quickly, "What do you mean? Of course I'm being good. Why would you ask me that?" He could tell there was a little bit of concern back in her voice.
He took his time answering, "I'm just kidding you. I know you would never be anything but good. I've trusted you completely, and I know my trust is safe with you."
She was a bit flustered as she answered, "Well, of course it is. I just wonder why you would come out with that. You've never said anything like that before."
"Just forget it. I didn't mean anything by it." He waited a few seconds before continuing, "I should probably go and get to bed. The beer seems to be putting me to sleep."
"OK, Kevin, I will let you go. Be sure you get a good night's sleep. Love you."
There was no way that Kevin was going to repeat those last two words to her, so he said, "OK, I will. Goodbye Keri." He hung up the phone and headed for the bathroom where he rid himself of the last of the beer. He was feeling a little better now after having had a few hours sleep, although he certainly would have been in no condition to drive. He returned to the kitchen and sat beside the phone, waiting stoically for 15 minutes to pass.
When the time had elapsed he dialed the Hyatt Inn, the number burned into his memory from the many times he had called her there previously, and asked for room 612. It came as no surprise to him when the phone went unanswered for a dozen rings before he finally hung up. He wondered if they were joking about some new plan to get him to call her earlier in the future, and he also wondered if his failure to call Keri would have a detrimental effect on their screwing tonight. He finally decided that he really didn't give a damn, but then he realized that they would probably be screwing while he sat here thinking about it. That realization brought tears back to his eyes as he stumbled to bed, this time getting undressed before he crawled beneath the covers.
He was surprised the next morning when he didn't feel too badly for his overindulgence of the night before. After he had showered he felt good enough that he was actually able to go in and spend the day working, although his mind was taken up with thoughts of Keri instead of fuel filters, injectors and precision fuel pumps. He went through his tasks robotically, and more than one of the other employees looked at him questioningly when he seemed to misunderstand what they had told him. He was extremely happy when the day was over.
All of his thoughts about Keri and the fact that she was cheating on him with her boss solved nothing for him. On his way home he picked up a couple of burgers and some fries, not the kind of food that he normally would eat. He had no appetite, though, so it didn't really matter what he ate. He washed them down with two beers out of the six pack he had picked up on the way home. He knew he wasn't going to be able to drink a dozen beers every night, and had purposely put back the second six pack he had started taking to the checkout counter.
At eight o'clock he called room 612 at the Hyatt Inn but there was no answer after 10 rings. The emails had suggested to him that Keri was only in the room from about 9:30 to 10, the normal window for his nightly calls. As a test he called the room every half-hour, making the fourth call at 9:25. None of the calls brought an answer and after 10 rings he hung up each time. His last call was at 9:45, and Keri answered on the second ring.
"Hello, Kevin. I guess you didn't fall asleep tonight. You're calling right on time. I was just about to crawl under the covers to get a good night's sleep, but I thought I'd better wait until you phoned." She laughed.
"I'm wide awake tonight, Keri. I've just been watching TV and waiting until it was time to call you. What about you? How did you spend your evening?" He hoped that she wouldn't be suspicious with his question. He knew he had asked her the same type of thing before on more than one occasion, so he didn't think that she would be wondering why he asked.
"I've been doing the same as you, Kevin. Just lying here watching TV. I just turned it down in fact. Before that I had a nice long hot bath." She was being very chatty, and it seemed to Kevin that she wasn't suspicious of him at all.
"That's nice, Keri. You should be well rested for tomorrow night then. We'll have to see what we can do to keep you busy when you get back."
She giggled and said, "So you're making plans already, are you? I can hardly wait."
They talked for another five minutes without really saying anything of importance. Kevin realized she was telling him one lie after another, and he finally said, "I should go. I have a couple of things to do before I get to bed. I'll see you tomorrow. Bye for now."
"Bye, sweetie. I can hardly wait for tomorrow night. Love you."
Kevin hung up the phone without saying anything further to her. Once again he waited 15 minutes, patiently watching the clock before calling room 612 at the Hyatt Inn, and once again the phone went unanswered after 10 rings.
Kevin went in to work at the normal time the next day, but booked off early for the afternoon. He wanted to be at home when Keri arrived from the airport, ready to confront her. He had no idea how that was going to go, but he did know they weren't going to spend the night under the same roof. One of them would be finding a new place to live before nightfall, and it didn't matter to him which of them it was.
He was at home just after 1 p.m. and knew that he would probably have close to an hour's wait before she arrived. Considering how lousy he felt when he discovered what had been going on, he was quite surprised at the way he was patiently waiting for her now. He felt like there was an empty hole inside of his chest, and he knew that the tears weren't too far away, but he willed himself to get through the next couple of hours with his dignity intact. He had spent hours going over their entire life together, and all he could remember were the good things. The emails and what had happened after he found them seemed to belong in another universe. They didn't fit with any of the memories he had of Keri.
He was standing there by the kitchen sink when he heard her open the front door. A moment later he could hear the wheels of her luggage rolling along the hallway, coming closer to him and their final seconds as a couple. As she walked into the kitchen it almost seemed as though she didn't see him there at first.
"Kevin! What are you doing here? Why aren't you at work?" There had been surprise on her face when she had seen him, but now it was replaced with concern.
"I was waiting for you, Keri." He spoke very flatly, without any emotion, his face in the same state as well.
She looked at him with more concern and said, "You were waiting for me. Why?"
He didn't answer her and instead picked up the stapled sheaf of emails and tossed it onto the table in front of her. She took another glance at him and then reached for the papers. Her look of concern had shifted to one of curiosity, but soon it was replaced with shock. Her face lost its color as she looked from the first sheet through the remaining pages, glancing at each one only for fractions of a second. When she had finished the last of them she tossed them back onto the table and stood there for a few moments while the color slowly returned to her face.
She didn't look at him as she said, "So you know." She hesitated another few moments and continued, "How did you get these? These are from my email at work."
"The modem..." It was all he could get out as he had to stop to get his emotions under control.
Keri caught on quickly though, nodding her head as she said, "The modem crapped out again and my email got left on the screen, didn't it?"
Once he was able to speak with control Kevin said, "Yes. If it wasn't for that I would probably never have known. You've been very good at keeping this whole affair secret."
Keri didn't say anything more and seemed to be thinking before she slowly turned as she took her cell phone out of her purse. In a few seconds she was speaking into the phone, her back to Kevin. "Kevin knows ... It doesn't matter how he found out, does it? ... Yes ... I'll call a taxi ... I'll meet you there ... Bye." She closed her cell phone and turned partly towards Kevin before saying, "I'll leave. I'm so sorry you found out this way. Tomorrow I'll come back for the rest of my things." She turned again to walk away, pulling her travel bag with her.
Kevin looked at her back in disbelief and angrily shouted. "That's it? No explanations? You're only sorry that I found out this way?"
Still facing away from him Keri said, "What is there to explain? I've been with Bradley enough in the last six months that being with him completely should become normal very quickly. He's been so good to me. You can't compete, Kevin. I'm sorry."
The tears that had been close to the surface came out now as Kevin said, "Good to you! What's this about; the money that he's been spending on you? I know about the handbag, earrings and a few other things. Is that what this is about?" He had to stop speaking because he was starting to lose control of his words.
Keri hesitated before answering, "The gifts are only part of it. Bradley does everything first class, and I'm ready to live first class." When she finished speaking she walked down the hall to their bedroom and went inside for almost five minutes while Kevin struggled to control himself. He was having a real problem believing that this was all about what Trey was able to give her. He knew that they were still years away from any semblance of an affluent lifestyle, but the Keri he knew had never complained. Had he misread her that completely?
When she returned from the bedroom she was carrying a garment bag that was filled to capacity. She must have called for her taxi from the bedroom because just as she reached the kitchen there were two short blasts from a car horn in front of the house. Without any further conversation Keri gathered up her travel bag and went out the front door. Kevin followed wordlessly and watched as the cabdriver rushed up the sidewalk to take her luggage. She got into the cab and waited for the driver to pull away before taking a quick look back at Kevin. He wasn't sure, but he thought she might be crying.
As he walked back to the kitchen Kevin said, "What the fuck just happened here?" There was no one there to answer though, so he sat at the kitchen table and tried to make sense of his once loving wife.
The next day, Saturday, Kevin was still in shock and disbelief that Keri had so easily walked away from their marriage, their home and him. Just after noon she phoned to say that she was coming for the rest of her things. When she arrived she was with her father, who had brought their van and some empty boxes. While the two of them took the boxes into the bedroom Kevin walked into the living room and sat quietly on the couch. After a few minutes Keri's father, Joseph Kane, joined Kevin. They sat there quietly for a few minutes before Kevin spoke.
"Has she told you what's going on?" Kevin asked.
Her father seemed a bit embarrassed, but finally answered, "I'm sorry, Kevin. She seems to have made up her mind about this. Her mother and I don't understand why she would want to leave you for her boss. We've never met the man, but he would have to be truly remarkable to be a better choice than you."
Kevin was still confused and said, "It almost seems that it's just about what he can give her. It's all she's said that makes any sense at all, and it doesn't make sense." He looked up at his father-in-law and continued, "I know that doesn't sound right, but it's all I can make of it. She hasn't told me that she loves him, or that she stopped loving me."
Joseph was quiet for a while, but finally said, "Does it really matter?"
Kevin thought about it before replying, "No, I guess not. She's been sleeping with him for months now on a regular basis. I can't forgive that even if it seemed that she wanted me to."
The two men continue to sit there in silence until Keri came out and said, "I have everything I want to keep. Anything else you find you can do whatever you want with it; give it away or put it out with the trash." There were tears in her eyes as she took a quick look around the living room before she continued walking outside with one of the boxes. Her father followed her with another before returning for several more trips to take the remaining boxes.
When they were gone Kevin returned to his bedroom and noticed that there were still a few of her clothes in the closet that Keri had used. He pulled open the dresser drawers that had been hers and saw that there were a few items there as well. Her lingerie drawer still contained several of the sets that he recalled having given her for birthdays and Valentine Days past. He picked up one of the bras that he had given her and then threw it back into the drawer in disgust. "She could have at least taken them with her and then thrown them out. It's almost like she wants to rub it in."
He went out to the kitchen and got a couple of green garbage bags. Within minutes he had put the rest of her clothing into the bags and tied them, ready to be dropped off for donation to the needy. Another bag that contained cosmetics and toiletries that she had left behind in the bedroom and bathroom went into the garbage. An hour later those two rooms showed no sign that Keri had ever lived there. He knew he would probably find other items, but for now he felt satisfied with having gotten rid of the last obvious traces of her. He spent the rest of the afternoon lying on the bed they had once shared, thinking of things he should be doing and a variety of revenge scenarios. In the end he realized that even though he was angry he wasn't a violent or vengeful person, and that he'd be better off devoting his energies to simply forgetting about her, as difficult as that was going to be.
The weekend was soon over although Kevin couldn't really remember a whole lot about it. He'd picked up a couple more six packs, and they were all sitting in the trash now, empty of their original contents. He knew it wasn't his style to drink to excess, but it was the only way he felt that he could get through the weekend. Trying to understand why Keri had done what she had done was driving him crazy, and the only solution was to make himself stop asking the question. By Monday morning he felt a bit better, more resigned to the facts of what had happened regardless of whether or not he could explain them.
He was not really with it on Monday or Tuesday at work. On Tuesday he phoned the Crosby and Knox office to get a forwarding address for Keri's mail. They didn't transfer him to her when he asked; instead the receptionist came back a few minutes later with the information that Keri would email him what was needed. Later that night when he checked his email there was one from Keri's work account containing only the forwarding address she was using, an address he recognized as the 9th floor condo where Trey resided.
Wednesday started as a normal day at work for Kevin until he got paged to the office for a phone call at midmorning. It was his bank, anxious that he should do something about the mortgage payment that had just failed to clear his account. After a few minutes of heated discussion with the loans officer at the bank Kevin discovered that both of the bank accounts he and Keri had shared were now showing zero balances. A few more questions revealed the fact that a total of almost $20,000 had been transferred out of the accounts on Monday.
Kevin was now in a bind for money, and although he could scarcely afford to do so he booked off for the time necessary to try and straighten out this mess. His first action was to go directly to the law offices of Crosby and Knox. He was furious with Keri and was going to insist on getting half of the cash back into the accounts. As far as he was concerned she had stolen almost $10,000 from him. He had a full head of steam when he entered the law office, bypassed the receptionist and headed straight for Keri's desk.
She didn't see him coming and looked up in fright when he started talking loudly to her from 10 feet away. "What the hell do you think you're doing clearing out both of our bank accounts? I want half of that money back, now."
Bradley Knox III chose that moment to step out of his office to see what was going on, and as soon as Kevin caught sight of him he made a change of course toward the lawyer in the three-piece suit. Kevin was able to get within 2 feet of him, but was met by the slamming of his office door. He could hear the deadbolt being turned as he rattled the doorknob. Obviously he wasn't going to be getting to speak with Trey anytime soon.
He quickly turned back to Keri just in time to cut her off from leaving her desk. She quickly sat back down again, her face and neck very red and a look of embarrassment on her face.
"Well, where is my money, Keri. What do you think you're doing? Is all of this so much about money that you're willing to take what doesn't belong to you?" Kevin was practically shouting now and there were people throughout the office listening to him and starting to gather discreetly nearby, wanting to see what was going on.
Keri finally found her voice and said, "I'm taking the money and you can have the car, house and furniture." She reached into a pile of envelopes and packages that was awaiting pickup by their courier and pulled out an envelope that she jammed into his hand. "It's all in here, and if you want to argue about it get a lawyer. I'd really hoped you would get this before you found out the money was gone, and I think you'll find out it's actually quite fair."