I don't usually listen in on other people's conversations and have no idea what possessed me to listen in on this one. It was Sunday afternoon and I was in the basement working on the hot water heater when I heard the phone rang. I didn't know what my wife, Janet, was doing at the time and since the basement phone was close I picked it up. Before I could say anything I heard my wife on the upstairs extension.
"Gary you shouldn't have called here. What if John had answered the phone."
"I would have just told him it was work related. Don't be such a worrywart. I just wanted to let you know that everything is set up for tomorrow. We will be at the Deska Motel in room 117. Get there about 1 PM sharp. I'll have a bottle of wine chilling and some fresh strawberries. Don't forget to wear that black silk underwear you said you had."
"Ok, Just so nobody sees us leave work or come back together."
"You sound a little nervous. Are you having second thoughts about this?"
"No, no. Everything is ok. It's just that I am a little scared. I never did anything like this before and it only natural that I should be worried. I am not going to change my mind."
"Everything will be fine, I promise."
"Ok, but if John ever found out about this I would kill myself. I got to go before he overhears something. See you tomorrow at 1 PM sharp. Bye."
I hung up the phone just as they did and sat there for about ten minutes running the whole conversation over and over in my head. Why the hell did I have to pick up that damn phone?
Janet and I had grown up together. We were married a year after we graduated from high school. She was the only girl I ever had sex with and, I assumed, I was the only one she ever had sex with. She was still good looking and still had a nice figure. We had one son, Terry, who was a senior in high school. We didn't have many friends and our whole life was spent with each other. I thought everything was fine between us but apparently I was mistaken.
I decided I didn't need to drain the hot water heater after all. There was some beer in the basement refrigerator. That helped to ease my pain. I figured I had three options. I could confront her straight on and cause a big emotional scene. I didn't like that one. Second, I could drop a few hints or clues or make some remarks that would lead her to believe I was suspicious. That was a little more attractive to me than the first option but I figured that it would just delay things to a later date, when I might not be aware of it happening. The third option was to just let her go through with it. I liked that last one with a slight modification. I decided to let everything happen as planned but at the last minute I would give her an out. If she took it fine, if not, I would have to attack.
There were also three ways she could go. Maybe, if I were lucky, she would just change her mind and back out. I doubted that would happen. The second would be to take advantage of the last chance I would give her. That was a strong maybe. The last option she had was, to go through with it. As much as I hated to admit it, that seemed like the most likely to happen.
Ok, now that I sorted that out, I was ready to plan my attack. It was looking as if I could make a game out of it, and the more I thought about it the more excited I came. After supper I would start some serious plotting. First I had to gather information then get the game plan laid out.
I worked for a security systems firm for almost twenty years. They had been after me for the last year to take over the Huntsville, Alabama office, but Janet did not want to move. Janet worked for an Insurance company for the last ten years. She was doing well but I never liked the guy she worked with, Gary Simmons. I know now, that my suspicions were well founded. Gary was married and his wife seemed nice enough. I was upset that he wanted mine too. The move to Alabama would have been a good one for Terry because he had his heart set on going to Auburn. The resident tuition was a lot more affordable then the nonresident tuition. While we were eating supper I decided that I was going to take the Huntsville position. It didn't matter what the outcome was the next day, I was still going to move. I would be able to file a declaration of domicile when I got there, and there would be enough time so Terry would be able to pay resident tuition when he started school. I didn't feel it was necessary to say anything to Janet at this point but decided to mention something to Terry after supper. I would give notice at work the next morning and could be on my way as soon as I got packed. Having that settled in my mind made the rest of the plans easier.
Terry and I got along fine, and when I explained that I was going to go down to Alabama ahead of the rest of the family, he thought it was a good idea. He agreed not to mention it to his mother. I did not say anything to him about his mother's plans for the next day. I still hadn't figured out exactly what I was going to do, but I was sure everything would come together before the night was over. I told Janet I had to go to Home Depot for some stuff and took off.
The first purchase was a throw-a-way cell phone with a sixty-minute calling card. I was going to be making lots of calls and some of them I didn't want traced. I stopped by my favorite watering hole to see if I could get some help from old school friends who were less than respectable. It cost me four hundred dollars to buy two big bags of crappy grass. My old school chum Benny told me I was taking a big chance buying that much because I could be charged with dealing. I told him that was exactly what I was counting on. I borrowed a car door jimmy rod before leaving. One of the guys in the bar, that I didn't really know, was Wolf Fraizer. He was a mean son of a bitch and everybody stayed away from him if they could help it. He drove a corvette and I noticed it in the parking lot as I went out. I got a screwdriver from my car and in less than a minute I had Wolfie's license plate. I knew where he worked so I could call him in the morning.
Next came a trip to the Deska Motel. I stopped in the lobby, looked over the rack of tourist attractions and restaurants and took what I needed. The clerk gave me some info about the motel, including a map and the phone numbers for housekeeping and room service. Time to go home.
Janet was watching TV when I got there. I told her I had some work to do in the office and she said she was going to shower and go to bed early because she had a big day tomorrow. While Janet was in the shower I opened her brief case and took out her planner and telephone notebook. I spent the next half hour writing down names and phones numbers. Then came the tedious part. I had to enter all the phone numbers in the speed dial on the throwaway phone and on my own phone. I had a few more numbers to look up in the telephone book before I was done. It looked like I had everything ready when I finally crashed on the couch in the office.
It was a rough night trying to sleep. I kept thinking of what Janet was going to do and wondered what I had done wrong that make her want to do it. By the time I fell asleep I had myself convinced it was my fault and that I had failed somewhere, somehow. Morning came and I had mixed emotions.
I made coffee and set the breakfast table. Janet came down and looked great.
"You look awful good today. Is it a special day at the office?"
"What do you mean? I always look good."
"I know. I was just pulling your chain a little."
We read the paper while we ate. The morning conversation was less than normal but not enough to make a comment about. I couldn't tell if she was nervous or anxious.
"I have a lot of running around to do today. I might be a little late for supper." I said.
"That's OK, I'll make something that will hold till you get home. Is there anything special you might want?"
"No. Whatever is handy will be fine."
It was a pathetic attempt to make small talk on our part. She knew what she was going to be doing and I knew what she was going to be doing and we were both walking on eggs.
I got to work early and made all the arrangements for my transfer to Huntsville. After signing all the proper papers and cleaning out my desk, I stopped by a divorce attorney's office. I got the forms and information I would need to file for the divorce, if my last attempt did not work. I went home and packed all my clothes and loaded them in the car, pulled the hard drive off my computer and took all the files and documents that I felt I might need. Most of our savings and investments had been shifted into valuable coins, which I also took. The banks were open by this time so I cancelled the accounts and credit cards. I realized that I was being premature on a lot of this but didn't have much faith in the possibility of a change of heart on her part. I stopped by a florist and ordered a dozen red roses to be delivered precisely at one fifteen.
All the time this was going on, I had been checking my watch. Timing was going to be important. About half past twelve I went to the motel and got a good parking spot, where I couldn't be seen but would have a clear view of the room. I carefully got everything arranged on the front car seat. Finally, Gary arrived. He got out of his car with a grocery bag that I assumed had the strawberries, bottle of wine and who knows what else. He went straight to the room and then came back out and filled the room ice bucket. As he prepared the room I started my phone calls.
First was Pizza Hut. "Hello I would like one large pepperoni pizza to be delivered to room 117 at the Deska motel. I might be taking a shower so make sure the guy knocks loud and long enough for me to hear him. Twenty minutes is fine. Thanks."
Second, was a call to Papa Johns, followed by Dominos and Godfathers Pizza.
The fifth call went to the Golden Dragon where I order egg rolls and sweet and sour pork.
I assumed that half of these would call back to verify the order, but that was all right because the effect would be the same.
Janet hadn't arrived yet so the next call went to the motel housekeeping, where I requested some additional towels and another ice bucket. I figured it would about fifteen minutes for them to deliver them.
At last my loving wife pulled into the parking lot. She went down to the end of the building so her car would not be too conspicuous. She left the car carrying a small over night bag. When she got about twenty feet from the door, I called her on my speed dial.
"Hi honey. It's just me."
"John is something wrong. You don't usually call me at work in the middle of the day."
"I was thinking about you and I just wanted to call and tell you that I love you."
"Oh John, that's sweet. I love you too."
"OK, I'll let you get back to work. I'll see you later. Bye."
"Goodbye John and thanks for the call."
Janet hung up the cell phone, turned around and walked into the motel room. That was her last chance and she made her decision. A tear swelled up in my eye as I resumed my telephone blitz.
Phone call number seven when to the local TV station. "Hi, is this WWCTV? There is something funny going on at the Deska Motel. If you have a truck nearby you might want to swing by and check it out. No, I don't know what it is, but the cops are on the way. Ok Thanks."
Call number eight was coming up as I walked over to Gary's car. Luckily, he had parked in a spot where I wouldn't be noticed as I replaced his license plate with the one from Wolfie's corvette. As I was walking over, I called Janet's office. She had a three o'clock appointment with somebody named Rob Kelly. "Hi, this is Rob Kelly. I had an appointment with Janet Martin for three but I have to move it up. Can you please have her call me as soon as possible at 961-4452? I tried to get her on her cell but it was busy. As soon as possible please." The number was a recorded telephone ad for a law firm that specializes in divorces.
I threw Gary's license plate under his car after I put the new one on. Then I walked down to Janet's car and moved it to the back of the motel. While I was walking back to my car I dialed the next number.
"Hello Mrs. Simmons, your husband ask me to give you a call. He is having car problems and needs you to pick him up right way. He is at the Deska Motel, room 117. You could give him a call on his cell phone or just call the room. The number is 961-7700, extension 117. No, I don't know why he didn't call you. It looks like he is meeting a client, a pretty one too. Bye."
Call ten went to Acme Welding where I ask Wolfie's boss to tell him a white Honda in the Deska Motel parking lot had Wolfie's license plate on it.
The next call went to the police where I reported two kids changing a license plate on a car in the parking lot. I mentioned that something didn't look right and just ask them to check it out. I gave them Wolfie's license number.
The first pizza guy came to the room. It looked like there was an argument but Gary paid him and he left.
Call twelve was to Janet's mother. "Hi Mom, It's John. I don't have a lot of time. Janet is in a motel room having sex with a man she works with. Would you please call her and ask her to reconsider what she is doing. No. I can't talk about it now. You have her cell phone number and if you can't get her there try the motel. It's 961-7700 extension 117. I know, it's a sorry thing, but I have to go. Please make the call now. Bye."
Two more pizza guys showed up at the room, the same time the maid came with more towels. There was a lot of discussion at the door again but after a few minutes they all left.
The next call was to the motel. "This is Mr. Simmons in 117. My bathroom sink is leaking at the bottom of the faucet and the water on the floor is starting to get on the rug. Can you sent someone over right away? Thank you."
A big Harley roared into the parking lot, cruising slowing down the line of cars. Wolfie stopped right behind Gary's car, but before he could do anything a black and white pulled up. The biker and the cop were having a heated discussion as I made my next phone call.
"Mr. Granger, this is John Martin. My wife Janet works for you. Yes, thank you, I am glad she is a good worker, however right now she is at the Deska Motel in room 117 with Gary Simmons, who also works for you. They are there having sex as we speak. Yes, I am sure. You have a company policy against this sort of thing, is that right? I am sure you have their cell phone numbers. Would you please call them to verify or deny this? If you can't get through, call the motel. It is 961-7700 extension 117. I don't want my wife working for your company anymore Mr. Granger and would appreciate if you would let her go. If it is a violation of policy, maybe Mr. Simmons should also be let go. No, I am sorry I had to notify you. Thank you for your time. Bye."
There was an oriental restaurant deliver man at the door to the motel. The cop was going over to the room and Wolfie was waving his arms and yelling as he walked with him.
Call number fifteen went to Janet's sister. "Hello, Nancy. This is John. How are you? Hey, I am having a little problem right now. Janet is in a motel room having sex with a guy she works with, and I am on my way home to get my Ruger. I am going to go back and shot them both but I don't want the police or reporters to find Janet with no clothes on. Could you please call Janet and tell her to get dressed before I get back there. I really would appreciate it. She is at the Deska Motel room 117. If you can't get her on her cell, call the room. By the way I moved her car to the back of the motel. She might not be able to drive. You know, maybe you should just drive over there and pick her up. If you get there before I do, you might want to drive her home. No sorry I can't talk now. Thanks for your help. Call as soon as you can, OK?"
The action at the door of the motel was hot and heavy. The maintenance guy just showed up to fix the sink. The delivery guy was trying to get paid while Wolfie and the cop were talking to Gary. The florist was at the door trying to deliver the roses but wasn't having much luck. It was time for me to leave. My work here was done.
I passed the TV crew as I was leaving.
I still had two bags of grass in the car that I didn't know what to do with. I was going to plant them in Gary's car but had second thoughts about it. I tossed the cell phone and the grass in the river on the way home. I stopped by the house just long enough to say goodbye to Terry. I told him I would keep in touch and not to give his mother a hard time the next couple of days. I would have given anything to know what was going on in that motel room over the last hour.
As I was leaving town I made one more call. I wasn't sure I would get through, but I tried just in case I got lucky. "Hi, Gary Simmons? This is John Martin. Just wanted to let you know, if you lay one hand on my wife, I will rip off your balls and jam them down your throat. Do you understand? " The was a weak answer at the other end. "Yes, I understand." I hung up the phone and hit the interstate.
About eight hours later my cell rang. Caller ID showed it was Janet.
"John, where are you?"
"I'm on I81, just outside of Knoxville. Why?"
"John. What is going on? We have to talk."
"We don't have anything to talk about, Janet."
"Please John, Talk to me."
"Janet I will ask you three questions, OK. Give me straight answers to all three, and then we can talk."
"What did I say to you when I called you on your cell phone today?"
"You said 'I love you.'"
"What did you do after you hung up the cell phone?"
There was a short pause. "I went into the motel room."
"Why did you go in to the motel room?"
There was no answer
"Janet, answer me. For what purpose did you go into the motel room?"
There was another pause. "John, I don't want to answer that."
I hung up the cell phone and turned it off. I wouldn't need it the rest of the trip.
Since the company was picking up all the expenses for moving I got myself a fairly nice motel room and had a great supper. I had to establish residency quickly so I spend the next two days looking for an apartment. It was easy to get something nice and reasonable because I wasn't too particular. New phone service and a mailing address were next. I changed the title on the car and got a new drivers license. I registered to vote and then I filled out the declaration of domicile. I mailed in all the papers to get the divorce started. Things went pretty smooth and I was soon ready to start my new job.
I called Terry and gave him my new cell number. I asked him not to give it to his mother but told him I would understand if she pressured him. He didn't think it would be a problem. He said she had lost her job and was very depressed. I ask if they needed anything and he said they were fine.
Terry was my only real contact with the old place. A few weeks later he said Janet got the divorce papers from the lawyer. She just signed them and sent them back the same day. He didn't think she even read them. She stopped wearing makeup and started to sell off a lot of her clothes and jewelry. She would have a yard sale every other week and was selling anything that wasn't nailed down. I had given the lawyer a power of attorney so that she could sell the house whenever she wanted to. I didn't want anything from the sale. She took a job at a bakery that was close to the house.
Just before Terry finished high school, Janet put the house on the market. She had priced it so low that it sold almost immediately. The sale was conditional on her and Terry staying in the house till Terry graduated. The buyers readily agreed. Janet found an apartment within walking distance of the bakery and gave Terry the car to take with him to college. It was a small second floor flat and any furniture that she didn't need she left with the house. Terry helped her move and then left for Auburn. By this time, she had gotten rid of almost everything that was in the old house. Terry said the apartment was like a monks room in a monastery. While his mother had never denied him anything she was depriving herself of everything. I could tell he was worried about her.