Note: This story is copyrighted in the name of Daghda Jim. Hmm! That's a pen name. Can a pen name hold a copyright? Have to look that up in Wikipedia. Later!
This is an adult work of fiction, intended for readers who are at least 50 years of age, unless they have their spouse's permission. In writing.
Anyone between the ages of 21 and 49 reading this without spousal permission will get a visit from Mr. Cheney and his minions.
Anyone below the age of 21 reading this will get permanent acne and may possibly go blind. You have been warned!
My name is Edward L. Humphries. Well, that was my original name, and now I've come full circle and have resumed using it. Today seems like as good a time as any to finally tell my story, if you're willing to listen.
I'm 34, average size and build, nothing special to look at. About the only thing that might stand out about me isn't what I look like; it's what I do. I'm a financial manager and investment counselor. Not bragging, but I'm good at it; I've never had a long-term client lose money, not even close. A good part of the reason for my success is simply this: I'm a dogged researcher and I follow every lead until I get to what I know is the truth. That's how I develop my investments; that bottom line information. I can be stubborn. No, I AM stubborn.
When my story began, I had been at the business for quite a while, and I have to confess, I was getting a little bored by it. It's still hard work, but less and less of a challenge.
My wife Carole was another matter entirely; nothing was ever boring about her. Throughout our entire relationship, from casual college dating through going steady as college sweethearts and right up to fairly recently in our marriage, I could never understand how a woman who looked like that could find me to be so special. That was an endless surprise.
Not that I ever complained, mind you, but I had to put it down as one of life's little mysteries. She's tall, at my eye level in moderate heels, 28, and well-proportioned. She has dark brown hair and I'm not sure what to call her eyes. She insists on hazel, so hazel it is. Kind of a striking yellowish brown.
I drown when I look into her eyes. There were depths there, hidden depths that I longed to penetrate. I was hooked on them from the first day we met. Some men are breast men, others are ass or leg men, Me, the first thing about a woman that really gets to me are her eyes. Life with her has always been exciting. And up until recently, all in a good and pleasurable way.
We've been married about seven years, living in a refurbished old house to the north of Endicott City. I ran my consulting business from an office in Downtown Endicott City, and she worked out in the suburbs on the other side of the city, about 35 miles from our house.
She was a manager at a temp agency, or at least that's what I thought. It never occurred to me to question that or check up or snoop on her. She had her own personal and professional space, just as I had mine, and early on we had agreed to back off and let the other's space alone. That was part of when we were forging our relationship; our life partnership.
As part of that discussion, we talked about children. Briefly. My four year Navy hitch put me behind my college contemporaries. When I found the woman I wanted to spend my life with, I naturally thought of children.
It turned out that I was out ahead of Carole on that. She thought that it was way too soon, that we should explore being a happily—married couple for some years before thinking of that radical a life change.
And I was just starting to establish myself in my business, she said, first as a Financial Management analyst for a firm, then out on my own.
Well, it was obvious that I was more eager to be starting a family than she was, but it was her body that would be more affected by it, so I went along with her. I thought about it often, and brought it up every once in a while, but Carole was not ready, she said. So we went on, working and loving each other.
I had never been to her workplace. She said it was in a run-down building with few amenities, almost a warehouse with partitions. I'd offered to come visit her a few times, maybe meet her coworkers and take her to lunch, but she nixed that idea. She said they were a cold bunch, not that much for socializing.
So I had never been there. Letting her define her space.
On the day when everything began to go to hell, I got a call at my office. Per the Caller ID, it was someone from the Suburban County Hospital. I assumed it was a potential new client.
"Are you Mr. Edward Humphries?" went the voice.
"Yes I am. Were you referred by a client of... ?"
"Mr. Humphries, we got this number from your wife's emergency contact list. She's here in the Suburban County ER for treatment."
I stared at the phone in my hand for a brief moment of shock. "Wha, ... What's wrong? Are you her Doctor? How is she?
"No, I'm in patient intake. My name is Mrs. Rollins. I'm not supposed to release any medical information, that's up to the medical staff. But I can tell you that she's conscious and asking for you. Mr. Humphries. Look, I'm not supposed to tell you anything, but I think you should know before you come over: Your wife was beaten and raped."
I was stunned and unable to speak for a second. "Uh, ... I, ... thank you; I'm on my way."
Suburban Country Hospital is southward, out toward her work address. I got there in twenty minutes and was escorted back to a treatment room. Carole was resting there, but as soon as I came in and called her name she came awake and was sitting up in my embrace despite a tangle of tubes and wires. From my first look at her I could see that someone had done a job on her face; she had bruises, and a blackening eye.
God, I thought, I will find out who did this and I will kill him.
She told me what she had told the police. She was walking through a park on her lunch hour and was attacked by two men in an isolated area concealed by shrubs. They stole her tote bag, beat her into submission, and then took turns raping her.
The doctor came in and took me out in the hallway. He tried to reassure me, saying that the injuries looked worse than they really were. He said she should come out of it with no scarring or facial distortions. He said she'd be as beautiful as ever.
As if I cared about that! I'd love her no matter how she looked.
He also said that experience told him that the mental and emotional problems from her ordeal would probably be more lingering than any physical marks. He said a sexual assault counselor would come by later to see us. She would talk about that aspect of Carole's recovery.
I hadn't noticed at first, but there was a woman sitting in a corner of the room. She was from Carole's office, she said, a small blonde woman with a certain air of authority, named Celia or Christa or something like that.
I was so upset and angry at what those bastards had done to my beloved wife that I wasn't paying that much attention. She said that they were all praying for a quick recovery, but that Carole should take all the time she needed before she even thought about coming back to work.
I thanked her, but I was having other thoughts. Hell, as far as I was concerned, Carole would never go back to work again. I was making enough money for us to live very well.
From her W-2s, she was clearing maybe $22K a year. That would be a very bad month for me, and I had very few bad months. But I knew I would have to be careful how I worked up to that; Carole insisted on making her own decisions and her own way. I had to be careful about intruding on her space. I started mulling some ideas about how Carole could help me in my research work with me and be safe near me instead of away in some office in a dangerous part of town.
They moved her into a semiprivate room after their initial treatment. As I sat with Carole that afternoon and evening, one thing that puzzled me was her apparent reaction to the rapes. Or to be more specific, her lack of reaction. She just didn't seem that affected. It wasn't that she didn't want to talk about it, as in shutting it out It was as if being raped was no big deal.
Which made no sense. Back when we were dating, we had a soul-searching discussion and she had been very forceful about the violation in the act of rape. Where was her outrage?
The patient rape counselor did come by, and Carole was obviously uninterested. Before she left, the woman took me out into the hall and said that many victims act out a form of denial. She said that can last for months, until, generally, something eventually triggers a delayed reaction. She gave me a schedule of meetings for victims of rape and their families.
She said it was something approaching a group therapy session, but very loosely structured. She cautioned me that Carole might be reluctant to engage in sex for some time, possibly up to six months or more. I said I understood.
I went back in the room and talked to Carole. I started to tell her what the counselor had said, but she interrupted me. She said that she was not at all interested in the sessions, and said very firmly that she had no intention of giving up or putting off our sex life. I uttered some conventional words of encouragement, but I was getting increasingly concerned that she was burying her problems. That just didn't seem healthy.
.... There is more of this story ...