I've been a coal miner for the last thirty years. At fifty-one years old, I've seen it all, or at least an awful lot of it. I worked in the deep mine for twenty years until one day I was trapped in a collapsed mine. After that, I went into strip mining. It was also the end of my marriage of seventeen years. I've been divorced for the last nine years. If it weren't for being trapped in the mine, I never would have known about Brenda cheating on me. I'll tell you a little about it later.
Right now, I want to talk about these idiot college kids that have nothing better to do than to picket our facility. They do it every year to honor Earth Day. We can expect them to start their picketing about a week before Earth Day and be there until the weekend after it ends. They really have no idea what they are doing or why they're doing it. They feel it has something to do with protecting the minerals in the earth.
I headed up to my truck as they were yelling at us miners, calling us all types of obscene names. We're all used to it and don't pay a lot of attention. Some of the younger miners always want to go and argue with the students. We older guys know better. Confrontation is not what our corporations want. They know it will just draw more negativity and the reporters will start showing up. As long as we leave the students be, the less chance of a confrontation with them.
We, that's a few of my miner friends and I, headed over to the local pub for a few beers like we do most nights after work. It's just good to unwind for an hour or so after a hard day's work, and believe me mining is hard work.
We always get into discussions about political issues or things like this Earth Day crap. Don't get me wrong here; we want a nice decent clean earth as much as the next guy does. It's just that we don't think a lot of the young people understand exactly how things work. Them standing out there with a picket sign isn't going to close the whole mining industry and if it ever did, our world would cease to exist like it does today. Talking about third world countries, we'd be a fourth world country.
One of my friends, Mike, wanted to lighten up the conversation so he told us about one of the e-mails he got the day before. It was about what some of the words women use really mean. He pulled the e-mail out of his pocket and began reading it to us.
Here's what Mike told us: It was titled 'Nine Words Women Use'.
(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.
(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don 't Do It!
(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)
(6) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or Faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say, 'you're welcome' ... that will bring on a 'whatever').
(8) Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying F@!K YOU!
(9) Don't worry about it: I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.
We all laughed. The married guys said they lived with the language daily. I was remembering back to when I was married to Brenda. I'd have to say that his word explanations were pretty much on the mark.
After another beer, we all headed to our respective homes. Of course, I headed to my apartment where I've lived for the last nine years. I was used to living alone. Every once in a while I'd go visit one of my daughters. They were both married now and I was a grandpa three times now. Cheryl, my oldest had two kids, and Sue, my youngest had a son.
I guess it's about time to tell you about my mining accident and my cheating wife. I'll go back to when we met. It was quite a few years back. I had just turned twenty-one and a friend of mine said he was going to take me to a wild party for my birthday. Every weekend some of the colleges throw parties. They wanted you to be a student and my friend Jerry was. I had just started working in the deep mine but I was the same age as a lot of the students.
I have to say that this was one wild party. Drinking and loud music were everywhere. I saw a few people smoking a little weed. I tried it once and didn't like it. It gave me a headache. Anyway, the more people drank, the louder and more obnoxious they became. The girls were doing these sexy dances and the guys were doing their best to get some free feels.
As the night rolled on there were a number of couples going to different rooms. I figured it was to have sex. A few did it right there in front of everyone. I was standing there watching a girl giving this guy a blowjob when I was tapped on the shoulder.
"Hi! Are you Rob?" It was a nice looking woman that I had watched getting felt up a little earlier.
"Yes, I'm Rob. What can I do for you?" I smiled.
"Your friend Jerry told me it's your twenty-first birthday today. Is that true?"
"As a matter of fact it is; and who might you be?" I asked.
"I'm Brenda. I'm a senior here at State. I just wanted to wish you a happy birthday."
She leaned over and kissed me. It was then I felt her tongue pressing against my lips and opened my mouth. By instinct, I reached around and put my hands on her ass, and pulled her into me. She was kissing me harder and I was pulling her against my increasing hard-on.
"Come with me, Rob," she said.
I didn't say a word as she took me by the hand and we went upstairs into someone's room. She locked the door, came back, and kissed me again. I reached between us and undid her belt, and unzipped her jeans. I turned her around with her back to me and slid my hand down her tummy and inside of her panties. I continued over a trimmed bush and sank my fingers over a moist pussy. She was lightly moaning.
I was as hard as a rock now pushing up against her ass. I pulled my hand out of her panties and started removing my jeans. At the same time, she stripped down to her bra and panties, a matching pink set.
I had my shirt, shoes and pants off as she turned and got on her knees in front of me. She pulled my briefs down over my hard-on and down my legs. I quickly kicked them off as she grabbed hold of my cock and slipped it between her lips.
What can I say? Getting a blowjob from a good-looking woman was great. She was two years older than me, I found out later. After I came, she told me it was my turn to do her. She lay across the bed and I put my head between her legs. I did my best as she held my head into place. I licked, sucked and tongued her as best I could. She was getting wetter and wetter. She released my head and got up in the middle of the bed.
I mounted her and we began a sexual marathon, for me at least. I must have come four times over the next two hours. We rested a while and then I went looking for my buddy Jerry who was passed out in the living room with his face buried between a brunette's legs.
Brenda, my newfound friend, helped me get Jerry up and out to our car. Luckily, because of all the sex I had, I didn't drink much. I kissed Brenda goodbye and told her I would love to see her again sometime. She told me she usually went to the parties and would keep her eye out for me.
I drove over to Jerry's dorm and helped him in. We both crashed until the following morning. I spent the night in dreamland thinking about Brenda. It was the best sex that I had in my life; at least to that date.
The next morning I thanked Jerry for inviting me along. He told me I could come anytime I wanted. He would let me know when there was a party. I'd have to pay my own way from now on, he laughed.
I asked him about Brenda and he told me she was a really fun girl. They were friends but that he never made it with her. She usually preferred the seniors or at least older guys. She asked him who I was when we had arrived, and when he told her it was my birthday; she took it from there.
I had to work the mines most weekends so I wasn't able to go with Jerry very often. I did get a Saturday off and went my second time. Of course, I looked for Brenda. I saw her sitting on a guy's lap and got just a bit depressed until she looked up and saw me. She got off his lap and came over, and laid a hell of a kiss on me.
"Welcome back, Rob. I looked for you every week but I figured it was just a one-time thing with you. I asked Jerry about you and he told me you were a coal miner; is that true?"
"Yep! I'm in the deep mines and work the late shift. I finally got a weekend off and I had to see you again. You've been on my mind ever since we met."
"Same here," said Brenda.
We spent the night together and had sex the whole night this time. I've been with a few women in my life, but none can even come close to what Brenda and I had together. She did things to me that I only thought happened in movies.
Was it possible to fall in love with someone because of the sex? I never felt this way about any women before. I did make it back to one more party before she graduated. We told each other that maybe we could keep in touch. I found out that she was from a town only twenty-five miles from where I lived. I got her phone number and told her we could see each other once in awhile. She told me she would like that.
I was back working, then on my next Saturday off after her graduation from college I called Brenda. She said she was happy to hear from me and we set up a date. She told me all about herself.
She was twenty-four years old and was now a secretary for a large firm in her town. She was living with her parents but was getting her own apartment very soon. She graduated from high school and went to State College. She said she has had boyfriends in the past but for some reason wasn't ready to settle down.
We had been dating about six months. I talked to her at least every other day and tried to see her at least twice a week. Once she got her apartment, we spent a lot of our free time in her bed. I hadn't been with another woman since we had been seeing each other. She told me she turned down dates and that I was the only one she wanted to be with.
I knew I was falling in love with her. She was in my thoughts every single day. I wanted to ask her to marry me but I was somewhat afraid of her past. I knew she lived a wild life during her college years. Hell, I was part of it. One day after we went to a movie and ended up in bed, she asked me what was the matter. She said she knew something was bothering me.
"Brenda, I'm in love with you but..."
"That's a good thing, isn't it?" she interrupted me. "You see, I'm in love with you too. I have been for quite sometime. So, what's the problem?"
"Honey, it's your past. I know you been with a lot of other guys and..."
"What? And you haven't been with other women? I haven't had sex with any man since we've been together. I sowed my oats, just like you did. It's the twenty-first century. Men and women are supposed to be equal; or don't you feel that way?"
"No, I mean yes, hell I mean no. Damn it. Brenda, I can forget your past as long as it stays your past. I have no desire for any other women. You're the one I want to be with."
" ... and you're the only one I want to be with. We can make this work. I love you, Robert Mathais, and only you."
Shortly after our little talk, we got married. Everything was great. She went off the pill and within the next four years, we had our two beautiful daughters.
Brenda worked part-time after the birth of the girls. She was a great mother and wife. I continued to work at the mines and my spare time was devoted to my family. We had a lot of family time while the girls were growing up. Of course, a couple of evenings a week Brenda and I had our own fun. We enjoyed our private sex life to the fullest. That was until the girls started high school and Brenda decided to go back to work full time.
I worked the late shift in the deep mines and Brenda worked the day shift at her office job. One of us was always there for the girls but we didn't get to spend much time together. When we were home together, the girls were usually around. We did a lot of kissing and hugging but our sexual togetherness was less than once a month.
To make matters even worse. I was put on a seven to seven shift. I started at seven in the evening till seven in the morning. I also had to work every other Saturday. The money was good but my love life wasn't doing so well. I knew that Brenda wasn't as lovable as she once was either. I figured her work was getting to her too and I didn't want to upset her.
I know she had been going out with her girlfriends more often. I could hardly blame her. Joyce and Ellen were both married also so I didn't think any hanky-panky was going on.
One Saturday evening as I was leaving for work, I kissed the girls goodnight and told them I would see them in the morning. Brenda was getting dressed to go have a couple of drinks with her girlfriends. She had on her matching black panties and bra; she looked sexy sitting there. She told me she would probably be home by eleven. She just needed to get out for a little while. I kissed her goodbye and headed out the door.
There were eight of us guys working this one area of the mine together. We were down in the mine maybe two hours when we heard a sudden roar and a huge cloud of black smoke. An area of the mine had collapsed and we were trapped. The only lights that we had were those on our helmets. We were scared shitless. We looked at each other and I could see a few of the guys were hurt. It was hard to see how bad.
I went to try to stand and fell back down. Either my leg was badly bruised or broken. It hurt like hell. We were stuck in a small area of about eight feet by eight feet. We had our water bucket but we didn't have any food. We did our best to try to assess our condition. Three of us were hurt. Four others said they thought they were okay but scared and pretty shaken up. That's when we saw that Charlie wasn't moving. He was in the door-well when the collapse occurred, and he was struck in the head when one of the rafters fell. We believed he was dead. One of the guys checked for a pulse but there wasn't any.
We knew we had to keep calm and hope that help would soon arrive. Joe, one of the guys, held up our air line, which was severed in the collapse. That meant that we had a very limited amount of air. We spent most of our time just trying to keep calm and wait for help to arrive. We were too far down to be able to work our way out. Besides, we had no idea how bad the mine had collapsed. To the best of our knowledge, we were cut off from the rest of the world.
Let me tell you that your family is the first thing that goes through your mind. Your whole life with them flashes before you. I thought of Brenda and how happy we were when we found out she was pregnant. You think of the times you yelled at your kids and wish you could take them back. Yes, some of us had tears, wondering if we'd ever see our families again.
We were down there about three hours when we heard a noise. Joe thought it might be another collapse. "No, Joe, that's a large drill. My guess is they located us. We just might make it."
The next thing we saw was a large drill coming through an adjacent wall. We could see a large tube being pushed through. We knew someone was going to be pumping air to us. Within another twenty minutes, we could feel the air coming into our porthole of the room. It was another three hours before we were freed from our hole.
The only part of the mine to collapse was the area we were in. They were able to come in the main shaft and build it up, and remove the piles of dirt, rock and coal and make it to us. We were taken out one by one on stretchers. The other two hurt miners were taken up first, followed by Charles who was indeed dead. Then three of the healthy miners were sent up and then Joe told me to go up next and he would come up last. We were the two senior men in our operation.
It was dark except for the lights shining toward the mine entrance. I heard cheering when I was brought up. Everyone's family was there waiting for them. I was taken over to a makeshift dispensary area. My two daughters ran up to me and gave me a big hug. They were both crying. Behind them was my sister, Betty, who brought them to see me. When I asked about Brenda, Betty said they called her cell phone but it was turned off and they didn't know where she was.
All of us miners were transported to the hospital. We were to be kept at least overnight to be checked out. One miner had a broken arm and the other a broken leg. The other four had bruises but were able to clean themselves up and would probably be released in the morning.
As for me, I had some extremely bad bruises on my thigh and shin. My leg was sprained but not broken. The doctor told me I would probably have to stay in the hospital for a couple of days but would be using crutches for a couple of weeks.
Betty and the girls came in to talk to me after my diagnosis and I told them I would see them in the morning. Of course, they told me they loved me and all three kissed me and hugged me. I know that Betty could see I was concerned where Brenda was but knew better than to mention it. After all, I had just escaped death.
The doctor had given me some painkillers and I went to sleep, but not before thinking about where my wife was. The next morning (which was only a few hours later) I awoke and Brenda was sitting in a chair with tears in her eyes. I wasn't sure what to ask her about where she was the night before so I just came out and asked.
"Brenda, where were you last night? Betty and the girls were here but I didn't see you."
"I'm so sorry, Honey. I was out with my girlfriends from work and just lost all track of time. When I got home, I saw the note the girls left and came to the hospital as soon as I could get here. When I arrived, they wouldn't let me up to see you. They said you weren't in intensive care so I couldn't visit with you till this morning. I came as soon as I could. How are you feeling?"
It wasn't over yet. I thought for now that it was best not to argue about it. There are very few places she could have been until four in the morning, and I was going to find out where it was.
"I'm bruised up pretty bad and my ankle is sprained. I'll probably be on crutches for a week or two. Charlie was killed you know. Mel has a broken leg. The other guys are bruised up some. I sure feel bad for Charlie's family. They were all there when Charlie was brought out of the mine. Where were you again that they didn't have a TV on?"
"Rob, forget about me for now. I'm here now for you; that's what counts. We just have to work on getting you well. It's the only thing that is important now." She leaned over and lightly kissed me.
I knew she was hiding something. I needed to know what it was. When I was going to mention it again, my daughters came in to see me. Betty had brought them in. They hugged and kissed me and were crying. They were the sweetest daughters any man could want. I would have to give Brenda credit for the way they were brought up. She was a great mother.
The doctor told me I could go home on Monday and Brenda said she would take the day off to pick me up at the hospital. Betty told her there was no reason for her to miss work. She would be by to pick me up seeing she didn't work outside the home. So, that's what we did. Betty came by and dropped me off at the house, and came in and we talked for a while. She knew something was bothering me. I knew she knew it was me wondering where Brenda was that night.
"Rob, I don't know where Brenda was that night. Just give her the benefit of the doubt. Talk to her, and see what she has to say. Don't let it eat at you this way. Call me if you need anything." After all the advice, Betty went home.
I was on crutches but I wanted to look around the house and see if I could figure anything out myself. It was as though I feared the worst about Brenda not being there for me. I was hobbling around the house and finding that I could move pretty good. The first place I checked was the clothes hamper. I remember reading stories where the women would leave evidence in their hamper.
I remember the bra and panties she wore that evening. I had kissed her goodbye before going to work. When I looked in the hamper there was her bra. It didn't hold any evidence, but where were the matching panties? I looked through the clothes hamper and under the bed. Where were they? I looked in her dresser drawer and there they were; all washed and clean.
I was wondering why a woman would come home and quickly wash out her undies and put them away so soon. They would have to have been soiled. Brenda wasn't in the habit of coming home and washing her lingerie. Even if she was, why didn't she wash her bra also? No, she was covering up something. She had to have washed them out right when she got home from her night with the girls or yesterday after coming home from the hospital after visiting me. My stomach was beginning to get upset.
This wasn't enough to accuse her of being unfaithful. I have to tell you that I really hope to God that I was wrong. I looked at all our phones at the caller ID's. All past messages had been erased except for the calls made yesterday. I felt this sixth sense or something. I made my way down to the basement. It was extremely hard going down the stairs with crutches. Hardly anyone hung out in our basement anymore. It was like a big storage room where we kept all our junk. I remembered that years ago we put a phone down there before we moved the washer and dryer upstairs just in case we were down there when it rang. If I remembered correctly, it had a caller ID also.
I made my way over to it and glance at the ID. Sixty messages, it meant that no one had ever bothered to erase any message we received on it. Once a message was received, it erased the oldest message. It had messages dating back over a month. Whenever we got a call from the same person, it showed the latest and displayed how many times calls came through.
Most of the calls were from family and friends. When I got to last Friday's calls, the day before my accident I noticed a call from a Brian Cooter. It was a cell phone call and it said twelve calls. That meant that this Brian person had called the house twelve times over a period of time. I had no idea when the first call was received but the last one came Friday.
I found another call from Brian and Nancy Cooter. It must have been their home number. It was listed four times. Last one was a week ago. I wondered who Brian and Nancy were. I never remember Brenda ever mentioning their names. I jotted down their numbers and headed back upstairs. Damn it was hard using crutches on the stairway.
Before long, my daughters came in from school and covered me with hug and kisses. I was a lucky father to have such wonderful and caring girls. They told me they had homework to do and usually did it when they first got home. Cheryl brought me a beer from the fridge while Sue gently lifted up my foot and put it on an ottoman. They kissed me one more time and headed in their room to do their homework.
They had TV and a computer in their room and I could hear the music blasting. We had a safer Internet for them so they couldn't go on adult sites. Besides, Brenda checked their Internet history regularly to make sure everything was fine.
I knew Brenda would be home within an hour. I decided to call her friend Joyce's house. She supposedly went out with Brenda on Saturday. Her son Mitchell answered the phone.
"Hello," he said.
"Hi, Mitch. This is Uncle Rob. How are ya doing?" I asked. He called us aunt and uncle since our families were close and it was a way of being respectful.
"Hi, Uncle Rob. How are you doing? Aunt Brenda called here yesterday and told mom all about your accident. Are you okay?"
"I'm a little bruised-up and have a sprained ankle but I'll live," I laughed.
"Uncle Rob, mom and dad aren't home yet. I just got in from school. Do you want me to have them call you back?"
"No, I just called to let you guys know about the accident. I didn't know Brenda called yesterday," I replied.
"We knew about it Saturday, Uncle Rob. Dad and I were watching the news and they were telling all about it. They wouldn't give out the name of the miners until the families were notified. Dad and I saw Cheryl and Sue on the TV. We knew you had to be one of the miners."
"So you figured I was one of them?" I asked.
"Yeah, when mom came in we pointed to Cheryl and Sue in the background to mom. She put her hands over her face and got nervous and started crying."
"Your mom was home, Mitch? What time was that?" I asked.
"I guess it was around eleven thirty. It was right after the sports. After the sports, they went live to the mining site again. We stayed up pretty late but they said it would be a few hours before they would know anything. Me and dad finally went to bed, but we prayed for you, Uncle Rob. Mom stayed up and was making phone calls. I don't know who she was trying to call. She woke me and dad up at six in the morning and said that you were fine but in the hospital."
"Thanks for the prayers, Mitch. I'm sure they helped. Just tell your parents I called to let them know I'm fine."
After I hung up the phone, my stomach was almost cramping. If Joyce was home at eleven thirty, who was Brenda with?
When Brenda got home, she told me I didn't look very good. I told her I didn't feel very good either. She offered to call the doctor and I told her it wasn't the bruises or sprain that hurt. It was the unanswered questions that were working my insides.
She said she had no idea what I was talking about. I told her I needed to talk to her alone where the girls didn't overhear. It was very personal. Brenda looked very nervous. She got up and went to see the girls. They were going over to their girlfriends for a little bit so Brenda and I could talk.
After they left, Brenda asked, "OK, Rob, what is this all about? Me not being at the mine? I told you I was out with the girls and the minute I knew about the accident I went to the hospital and they wouldn't let me in. So what is so unanswered?" she asked.
"For starters, your panties. I watched you get dressed Saturday and you were wearing your black panty set."
She looked at me just a bit nervous. "You went looking for my panties? What is wrong with you? Do you think I was out cheating on you or something? You know I would never do that." She really looked nervous. "The damn panties are in the drawer if you cared to look."
"I saw them there. That's what first bothered me. You washed them. When did you do that?"
"For Christ's sake, Rob. You accuse me for washing my underwear. What's got into you? In case you have to know, I washed clothes Sunday."
"No, you didn't. The hamper is full. Even your matching bra that you wore is still in the dirty clothes. I think you washed your underwear because you had stains in them."
"Go call Joyce. She's my best friend. Go ask her and see what she has to say. I'm really getting fed up with these accusations, Rob. I'm sorry you got hurt, I'm sorry I wasn't there when they dug you out, but I didn't have an affair. We were just out later than usual, that's all. I dropped Joyce off and saw the message when I got home and went to the hospital as soon as I could."
"I called Joyce. She wasn't home so I talked to Mitch. He told me he and his dad were watching the news and saw Cheryl and Sue on TV. They pointed them out to Joyce when she got home at eleven-thirty. Is Mitch lying to me?"
I could see tears kind of forming in the corner of her eyes. "Please, Rob, just let it go. You're getting better and we're together. Isn't that all that matters now?"
"So, you did cheat on me. Who was he? Do I know him? How long has this been going on? You were even going to have Joyce lie for you. How low can you get?"
Brenda was crying now. "It was a mistake, Rob. I didn't realize what was happening. I was flirting and the next thing I know I was like in college again. I'm so sorry, Rob. It was only the one time. Please forgive me and let's put it in the past. I promise you it will never happen again. Please, Rob, if not for me, do it for the girls and our family."
I was torn at this point but was holding it together. Could I forgive her? After all, she has been my life. I thought to myself if this was a one-time thing, maybe; but if she had done it before, our marriage would be over. So I needed to know more.
"Rob, say something, please say something," asked Brenda.
"What's his name?" I asked. "You know, the bastard you fucked."
"Please, Rob, let it go. I promise you it will never happen again. Nothing will be gained by bringing other people into this. I was at fault and I'm paying the price right now."
I was looking at a very scared Brenda. I stared at her face for what seemed like minutes but was probably only a few seconds. "Who is Brian Cooter?" I asked.
Brenda turned white and her mouth opened but no sounds were coming out. I figured I just hit home.
"Where ... who ... how ... oh God," she was now crying."
"Are you going to tell me about your friend Brian or do I need to talk to him personally? I have his cell number and his home phone where he lives with his wife Nancy. Which one should I call?"
"Please, Rob, it's over. Don't bring his family into this. I've been seeing Rob for a few months. Last Saturday I ended it with him. It truly is over, Rob."
She went on to tell me the story on how they met up again. Apparently, he was one of her lovers from State and was a salesman for the company she worked for. He just lived in the next town over, about twenty-five miles away.
She pleaded with me to forgive her and made God knows how many promises. I told her I needed time to think and that I would be staying in the spare room for now. I really didn't want to see her or talk to her. I was still on crutches and wasn't the most mobile.
When the girls came home they saw their mom crying and came to talk to me. I told them that their mother and I had a big argument and that we might be separating. It really hurt them. They kept asking me why? And I told them it was up to their mother to explain it to them, but I told them, "Your mother broke her wedding vows."
I might not have mentioned it but I was a quiet man and held most things in. For the next week, Brenda went to work and came home and tried to act normal but it wasn't working. My sister Betty came over and I told her the story and she cried and asked me what I was going to do? I explained to her that I loved Brenda but I could never trust her again and that I was going to get a divorce.
One day Joyce came over to talk with me. She tried to tell me how broken up Brenda was about her mistakes and she really did break it off with Rob. I, in turn, explained to Joyce that if it had been the one time, I just might have been able to get by it, but I knew that it had gone on for months.
Joyce broke down and cried. "I told her she was so stupid but she didn't listen," said Joyce. "She just had to fall into the old college day trap. God, I'm so sorry, Rob. You two were so great together. I know Brenda loves you more than anything, and just made a few stupid mistakes. Please try to forgive her," asked a crying Joyce. "So you know, she really was breaking it off with Brian the day of your accident. I called her as soon as I heard of the accident and tried to get hold of her. She had her cell phone off."
As soon as my leg healed enough to walk on, I moved out. I stayed with my sister Betty for a week while I looked for an apartment close to home. I wanted to be close to my daughters who were the innocents in this sordid affair.
Brenda and the girls cried. They asked me if I was just getting away for a while to think. I explained to the girls that I had filed for a divorce under irreconcilable differences. It would be final in about four months. I knew of no reason why I would change my mind.
The girls were teenagers and Brenda did tell them about her fling and how wrong she was. The girls loved their mom but really hated what she had done. They didn't talk to her unless they had to for months.
I did get my apartment with two bedrooms so the girls could stay if they ever wanted to. I went back to work but decided to work the day shift as well as work the strip mine as opposed to the deep mine. I was glad to get back to work. It really helped to fill the voids in my life. I had my buddies to hang with after work and I always saw my daughters on a regular basis.
The week before my divorce was final, Brenda showed up at my apartment one evening. We hadn't talked much since I left home. I let her in; I loved her but I also hated her.
"Rob, I needed to give it a last shot. I really do love you and I know we can get past this. I promise to be the best wife ever. Please reconsider and let's give it another try."
"Brenda, I love you. I guess they'll always be a place in my heart for you. I could never, ever trust you again. It would be impossible. You cheated on me and then lied over and over about it."
"I was scared and it truly was over. I just wanted to get past..."
"Brenda, you told me you didn't have an affair. Then you got caught and told me it was only the one time. Now I know it went on for months. As I've said, I will never be able to trust you again and I'm not about to put my life through a living hell wondering if you're being honest with me. I'm sorry, but that's the way it is."
Brenda stood up and cried as she left. I had tears in my eyes also. I really did love her and it was seventeen years of marriage down the drain.