This is my offering of a conclusion to Agena's story 'A Joke'. If you have not already done so, I strongly suggest you read it before reading this. - POL
I had heard from Alice, the wife of the man who may have cuckolded me, my wife's sister and my daughter regarding how to resolve the issue with my wife, Flo. I knew if I went to our pastor he would expect me to forgive her just as they had suggested. I finally decided I would wait for the results of the lie detector tests before making any final decisions. I speculated that I wouldn't be able to trust the testing results of just my wife took the test, but if both she and Roger were tested it was doubtful that both of them would be able to fool the machine. So that was the condition I imposed.
A couple of days after Flo's sister, Mary, had visited me I received a phone call from her informing me that Flo had agreed to my conditions to a lie detector test and she had gotten Roger to agree to take a test as well. Roger had even agreed to pay for his own test as a way to show his remorse for his part in the joke. Mary also provided me with the name and phone number of the test administrator.
My anger at Flo for participating in the joke had cooled somewhat, but I was still depressed over the fact that she have participated in such a demeaning joke on me even if she hadn't had sex with Roger. I was slowly coming to the conclusion that perhaps her love for me was not as resilient as it had once been despite her strong affirmation of wanting us to remain together. I was so distraught over what Flo and Roger had done to me in the name of a joke, that I wasn't all that certain I even wanted to stay married to Flo even if the polygraph tests proved no sex had taken place.
Flo had tried to call me a number of times but I just hung up when I heard her voice and she soon got the message. After that, all communication between her and I was through her sister, Mary from whom I received daily calls. Those call mostly consisted of how sorry Flo was and how much she wanted to come home. I stuck to my guns however, telling Mary that I would not make any decision until after the lie detector tests results were in my hands.
About the same time our son, Eric, began calling me begging me to forgive his mother and allow her to come home. I tried to explain my reasoning and why I was having such a difficult time concerning his mother's actions, but for some reason he just couldn't relate and kept insisting I was being foolish and to let his mother come home. After chastising him and reminding him that he was the son and I was the father I realized that I might end up in an estranged relationship with my son if it turned out that Flo and I did divorced which saddened me, but it was at least comforting to know that our daughter, Patty, better understood my reasoning and how badly her mother had hurt me and therefore was much more supportive of my position.
After getting the information from Mary that the name of the polygraph test administrator was Jack Harlan, I called some friends in legal and police matters and found out that this Harlan guy was used frequently by the police force and I was assured that he would conduct an impartial test.
Calling, I made an appointment to see Harlan the next day. He informed me that he had already been contacted by Flo and Roger and had scheduled to test both of them in the next three or four days. He also told me that both Flo and Roger had provided him my name as an interested party with authority to review the questions as well as being authorized to receive a copy of the test results.
The next day during our meeting Harlan told me that despite the fact that the State and federal courts do not consider polygraph tests reliable enough to be used as evidence in criminal trials, a number of police departments and the FBI use them during investigations and that numerous attorneys use them in pretrial hearings or to cut deals for their clients.
"Now," Harlan said leaning back in his chair, "A polygraph test measures changes in pulse, blood pressure, breathing rates and other bodily changes that might indicate people are fearful their lie will be detected. So before giving the tests I will clarify that "sexual contact" means intercourse. Although I'll also ask other questions to establish a baseline for evaluating answers, I will not ask any details about sexual relationship."
"To be perfectly honest here Mr. Harlan, I'd really like to know if the two of them have ever done anything together, you know ... like oral, or touching or anything sexual for that matter." I told him.
He paused momentarily and then said, "Well, a single-issue test is the most accurate type of polygraph test. That way you get right to the bottom line. For example, you wouldn't want to ask whether they did it in an apartment or a house, whether it was on Monday or Tuesday, unless that is germane to the bottom line of course. The bottom line here, as I understand it is if your wife had sexual intercourse or not ... and having previously defined the definition of sex to her in no uncertain terms ... well otherwise we could run into a similar definition problem, such as we've seen before when someone in high public office testified before a Senate hearing committee that he had not had sex with that woman. You see the more terms we add to the test the more clear definitions will be required in order to insure accuracy."
"Understanding all that," I persisted, "I'd still like to know if they've done other things together."
"Hmmm..." Harlan contemplated momentarily and then said, "I suppose I could introduce questions concerning other infidelities. I would have to prepare your wife by going over all the questions to be asked before hand, as well as the normal control questions and asking about her medical history and such, and then explaining definitions of all terms to be used during the test. This could be a lengthy preparation I'm afraid considering I'd be asking not only about normal intercourse but, anal penetration and or any other sexual genital contact such as with the mouth, hands, feet, etcetera."
"Lengthy or not that's exactly what I want, and I'd like to see the test questions beforehand if at all possible." I assured him.
"Very well, I'll draft something up this evening and you can come back in the morning and we'll review the test questions I plan on asking." He agreed.
The following day I explained to my boss that I needed to take some personal time and I drove over to Jack Harlan's office at the appointed time. In detail we went over the questions he intended to ask and he informed me that he would ask the same questions of both Flo and Roger and compare the responses he received and then issue me a final written report. He agreed that having both of them take the same test was the most reliable way to obtain accurate results and providing both test results indicated truthfulness I could be reasonability assured that they had not been involved in any sexual misconduct. If however, the test results proved not to be in agreement with each other then I should consider both tests invalid and it would be impossible to determine fidelity or not. And in the event of the third possibility where the tests results indicate that both Flo and Roger were being deceptive ... well then. He left it off there and I took that to mean I could start divorce proceedings immediately.
The whole thing was a no brainer as far as I was concerned. If both tests did not show truthfulness I didn't know how I would ever be able to trust Flo again, and without trust in a marriage can there be love?
I drove back to work feeling at least assured I would get to the bottom of this with-in the next few days. However, I knew in my heart that some hard decisions could be coming.
Over the next three days I went to work as usual and stayed late to avoid going home to an empty house. I ate my meals at a nearby diner and each night when I got home, I had a scotch and water to unwind and then went to my empty bed. Sleep was hard to come by. I really missed Flo and the warmth and love she had brought to our marriage bed before the joking started.
On Friday I received a call from Jack Harlan and he told me he would mail the test results to me in the morning and I should receive them the next day. He indicated it would be unprofessional to discuss the results over the phone but once I looked over the tests I was welcome to drop by his office and he would be happy to answer any question I might have.
The next day when I got home from work the envelope containing the reports had arrived. I sat down at the kitchen table to open it with mixed feelings. The envelope contained a complete summary report of the tests for both Flo and Roger. The bottom line of the tests indicated that Flo was being deceptive and Roger's results were inconclusive.
The questions were not limited to the normal infidelity questions just as I had requested and when asked about intercourse, or other sexual contacts, limiting the time frame involved during our marriage, my wife failed.
The polygraph equipment indicated that Flo had been unfaithful to me, that deception was strongly indicated, and that the probability of deception was greater than 99%.
So the die was cast.
Then the phone calls started coming in.
First it was Flo. I hung up on her.
Next Mary called and I talked with her. She told me Flo had received a copy of the test results and she insists that she was telling the truth and that she had not had sex with Roger. I told Mary that Flo had agreed to the test and that she knew what my reaction would be if things didn't turn out in her favor, so she should not be surprised.
Then my daughter, Patty, called. Well, Patty begged me as a personal favor to her to talk with Flo for just an hour. Knowing I had already jeopardized my relationship with my son Eric how could I possibly refuse my daughter especially after having been so understanding, and she had asked as a personal favor? I agreed to meet with Flo for one hour, and asked Patty to tell her mother that I would be waiting for her at the house at eight o'clock that night.
At eight that night I was in the living room sitting in my recliner sipping on my third scotch and water when Flo, using her own house key, let herself in and then quickly found me. Before I could say anything she jumped right in, "Jim, you've got to believe me, I didn't do anything with Rodger. Nothing. May God strike me dead if I'm not telling you the truth."
She was wearing what looked like a new V-necked sun dress with delicate spaghetti straps that revealed her long neck, sexy décolletage, ample cleavage, well-toned shoulders and upper back. The dress was knee length and also showed off her well-shaped legs and ankles. Although I had never seen this particular dress before it was very similar to one that was even now hanging up in her closet of which I had remarked on numerous occasions how much I liked her in it.
"Hello Flo," I said ignoring her commentary. "Have a seat. Would like something to drink? Beer? Wine? Scotch perhaps? New dress?"
"Why are you acting this way Jim?" Flo asked. "We've been married for twenty-three years you should know me by now. Please."
"Please sit down Flo." I repeated without answering her question.
She took a seat on the couch and then quickly started to speak again but I waved her off with my hand and said, "You haven't even answered my first question yet Flo. So let's just take this one question at a time, Shall we?"
"Something to drink?" I asked.
She shook her head.
"New dress?" I asked.
"Yes," she responded. "I bought it specifically for tonight. I know how much you liked seeing me in the other one, but because it was here I went out and got this one. I wanted to look as nice as possible for you tonight."
"Well it worked," I complemented her. "You look great."
"Thank you." She said demurely.
"Now, let's see," I said. "You mentioned something about how I should know you after twenty-three years of marriage. Well that's precisely the problem Flo. I really don't know you anymore."
"I..." She started but I interrupted her.
"Just hear me out Flo please. You see, ever since we became friends with Roger and Alice you've changed and I don't like the new you very much. I'm not the man you have fun with anymore. I'm not the man you try to impress anymore. I'm not the man you share little secrets with anymore. I'm not the man you flirt with anymore. Roger is! You've taken those things from me and given them to him Flo. It's almost like you two have this private little club that no one else is allowed join."
"No we..." Flo started to argue but I silenced her once again.