We'd been married but three months. During that short time my wife, my new wife Jill, had hauled me around to at least fifty parties and nights out or so it seemed. When I say hauled me around, it was like I was a paid escort hired to drive her, buy her and her friends drinks. Get her coat, and watch her back while she flirted and danced and had a gay old time—with other men. She danced with me too, some, but I had the feeling that while she was with me on the dance floor, while we sat at the bar sipping our drinks, while we were conversing—when indeed she would even talk to me—she was always glancing around surveying the crowd wondering who this or that man was and whether he was with someone or not.
She wasn't cheating on me; I knew that. I was with her every minute of the time. She was rarely if ever out of my sight for more than ten minutes. But it was like I was more of an accessory than a newlywed husband. Frustration was fast becoming my middle name. I had tried to talk to her about my feelings and my needs, but she just blew me off, usually telling me that I was imagining things and just jealous because she was having so much fun. I was hurting real bad.
I had fallen in love with Jill from the first moment I'd set eyes on her. She was prettier than a picture. Billowing auburn hair, full lips, bubble butt, perfect B-cups and the most wonderful freckled smile yet recorded. I still can't believe that she chose me. Me? I'm short at five-six. I still have my hair, but I know I won't always. I am a very viable candidate for nerd of the month. And, apart from my 165 IQ and very large income, I had, in my opinion, little to recommend me to a stunner like Jill.
We'd met at the annual company picnic. We both worked for Randolph Inc. She was an executive secretary for my boss, Howard Millen. I was a computer geek cloistered in the engineering division's clean rooms. For those who don't know, a clean room is, it's where research and development of the most serious kind takes place. We rarely see anyone from the company apart from our own kind, and generally we like it that way. Anyway, at the picnic, I accidentally spilled my beer all over Jill's new sun dress and that had been our inauspicious introduction to each other. Of course I had apologized all over the place and did everything but get down on my knees and beg god to take me for such a sacrilege. She'd just laughed and made me get her a towel to dry off with. I had. We'd talked. We'd dated. And then, six months later we were married. That was three months ago, tonight.
We'd arrived at the club at 8:00PM. We were with two other couples and an eligible girlfriend. All of the women were Jill's friends from the office. We'd settled in and the conversation was animated and loud: the men talking to each other, the women among themselves—little but polite attention was paid to me. Arriving, Jill and I'd danced, once slow once fast. Then, the hunt was on—as usual. Men started arriving at our table asking Jill to dance. She turned none of them down. The others we were with teased me about how popular Jill was: "You'd better keep an eye on that wife of yours, Roger." Or, "Hey Roger, have you seen your wife tonight?" Or, "Hey buddy aren't they dancing a little bit too close?" and the like. It was humiliating.
I had decided that tonight I wasn't going to put up with the usual nonsense. I looked around the table.
"Harriet, care to dance," I said.
Harriet Carter, the only single in our group, looked at me like I was kidding. "Oh Roger, I am so tired. Not right now, okay?" That chilled me, especially when another guy asked her to dance but five minutes later and she'd bounced right up and out onto the floor with him.
"Hi, hon," said Jill returning from the floor followed by a guy who was smiling like a possum.
"Hi, can I have this dance," I said to my wife, as the man helped her into her seat.
"Uh—not right now, Rog. Maybe the next set, okay?" I nodded, I was again totally humiliated.
"Why don't you freshen our drinks," she said. I said okay, and made my way to the bar for the refills.
When I returned, she was again already on the floor dancing with someone else. The rest of our group were at the table sipping their drinks and cracking jokes. It was near 11:00PM, and all of us were feeling the effects of the alcohol. I was quiet, thinking. I felt like a fifth wheel; hell, I was a fifth wheel.
Connie Rice was watching me. "Roger, come on, dance with me," she said. Her husband John looked up from his conversation with Mac and Claire Colby but immediately turned back to them. I hadn't danced since those first two with Jill hours before.
"Okay," I said, trying not to look desperate.
She took me by the hand and pulled me near to where Jill and her gentleman friend were dancing closer together than she had with me.
Connie leaned against me. I could feel my cock react to her presence. "You're a big boy aren't you," said Connie smiling.
I flushed. "Hmm," was all I could manage.
"Rog, don't let her get to you. She's always been a party girl. She'll settle down," said Connie.
I looked at her. She could see she'd embarrassed me. "I'm sorry, Rog, I didn't mean to embarrass you. I noticed you were feeling a little down is all," she said.
"This is a charity dance isn't it, Connie," I said.
"No, not a t all, Rog. I think you're a nice guy. I love to dance, and you're pretty good dancer whether you know it or not," she said.
"Well, not good enough for my wife, I guess," I said, feeling sorry for myself.
"Oh, pooh," said Connie. "Just have fun, and forget about her for a little bit," said Connie. I just shrugged. A couple of minutes later the dance ended; I thanked her, and we returned to the table.
Connie went back to talking with Harriet and Claire, the other female in our group. Her husband Michael, a.k.a Mac, and Connie's John were getting drinks for them. I was outside the loop of the ladies conversation. I couldn't hear what they were saying over the music and the traffic around the table. And, I couldn't be sure, but I thought I detected sidelong glances in my direction as they talked amongst themselves just five feet away. I had an impulse. I was going to insist that Jill stop ignoring me. Just as I made my decision, Jill made her way back to the table. I went for it.
"Jill, let's dance," I said, rising to take her hand. I was acting with far more confidence than I felt. She frowned.
"Next set," she said.
"That's what you said last time," I said, trying not to whine. "That was more than an hour ago. I want to dance."
I couldn't believe it, but just then the man who'd seated her at our table an hour before after having danced with her came to ask her to dance again. She looked at me, wrinkled her brow, and let him lead her onto the floor. The women all stared at me—I guess I had become super wimp in their eyes. I stared after my wife in disbelief. She glanced back at me just as her partner swept her in close to him. I thought I detected a look of concern in her eyes, but then I decided probably not. Well, I'd made my decision. I was already up. I threw a fifty on the table, turned, and walked slowly out.
I was halfway to the door when Connie caught up with me. "Whatcha doin', Rog," she asked knowing full well what I was doing.
"I'm leaving. I don't belong here; that's pretty clear," I said, not slowing down. "Rog, don't be hasty." I kept walking and she fell back into the crowd without saying anything else.
Outside in the parking lot I paused, leaned against a light standard, and started to cry. Okay, I was feeling sorry for myself. I had reason to. I didn't want to go home, not yet; the hurt the humiliation were just too great. I figured someone else could give Jill a ride, maybe one of her many admirers.
I had money. I decided I would find myself a nice quiet piano bar; that was more my style anyway. I smiled to myself. I knew just the place. On the way to the Gilded Lily, I assessed my options. We'd only been married three months, and I was already thinking annulment. I loved her, but I could not put up with the way she was treating me. I had feelings and needs and wants same as her, but she evidently didn't see that, or seeing, didn't care very much.
I learned later that as soon as I'd left, the women abandoned their men and pulled Jill, when she returned to the table, into the ladies room.
"Jill, he's hurt. You've been treating him like shit for quite a while. You're going to lose him," said Connie.
"No way. He loves me," said Jill. "He'll be back in a little while. He has to take me home."
"You didn't see his face when he left," said Claire. "I think he was about to cry."
"He won't be back tonight," said Harriet. "None of us have exactly made it easy for him to become part of our group. It's like he's just here to buy drinks and do for us when we need something—at least Connie danced with him once. Like an asshole, I turned him down. Jesus, I'd like to have that one back; I shoulda danced with him."
"It's just he's—well—kinda nerdie," said Jill. "He's great at home, but in places like this..."
"Then you shouldn't be coming to places like this," said Connie. "You married the guy, and he's a pretty nice catch too. You think any of those assholes that you danced with tonight are gonna ever pay your bills, or could?"
Jill looked at her friends. They'd all of them been partying like this for the past three years. They knew each other's needs, secrets, and dreams. They also knew where each other's skeletons were buried. For the first time she began to worry about how she'd been treating her husband.
I looked around. The piano man was in a mellow mood, and his music reflected it. I'd found my place to hang out. It was midnight; I was good for another two hours before I had to do anything.
I was into my second gin and tonic. "Hi, buy a girl a drink?" a voice behind me said.
I turned to see a tall brunette. She was wearing a black, too short, strapless sheath. I guessed her to be around forty, maybe five years older than me. She looked pretty good.
"You bet," I said. She smiled and slipped into the booth across from me.
"I'm Rachel. You?" she said.
"Well, Roger, all alone on Saturday night?" she said.
"Now I am—was," I said. She looked at me funny. "Don't ask," I said.
She smiled and nodded her understanding. "Me too. My husband abandoned me tonight for a company do, or so he said. We'd planned to make an evening of it, but he'd cancelled us, me, at the last minute to do whatever he does when he does anything without me. I know that sounds—confusing," she said.
I looked at her. "Me too," I said. "Well, sorta, anyway. My wife just kinda abandoned me too. I was in the same place as she was, but she paid me no attention, preferring other guys. So, I'm here crying in my gin and tonics."
"You wanna dance," said Rachel. I looked around. Nobody else was dancing, but there was a small dance floor near the piano.
"Yeah, I do," I said, smiling. I offered her my hand and led her onto the floor. The song was mellow and slow and fit my mood perfectly. She melded her body to mine and rested her head on my shoulder; it felt wonderful.
The time passed quickly. We talked and danced and got to know each other. Someone flicked the lights.
"Last call," said Barkeep looking at us. We were one of only three couples still in evidence. We exchanged phone numbers. Neither of us at that moment intended to actually use the numbers. But then..."
I pulled into the driveway of our house about 3:00AM. I sat for some moments dreading going inside. But, I had done some thinking. I was done being a wimp. If the woman I'd married didn't see what was happening, then it was over. For some reason I felt good, safe.
Inside it was dark. I headed into the kitchen. I was thinking about heating some water and making myself some tea. Tea is good thinking stuff. I was about to reach for the teapot when she spoke out of the shadows.
"You left me," she said.
"No, you abandoned me," I said to the voice in the dark. "Anyway, I don't want o talk about it."
"Where'd you go?" she said.
"What difference does it make? You clearly didn't care whether I was around or not. So, I decided to be not," I said.
"I'm sorry. I didn't realize—"
"Then you're the dumbest wife in town. You've been doing it to me almost since we got back from our honeymoon," I said. "You remember our honeymoon. You know, the thing that we did right after we were supposedly married!"
"I really am sorry." She had risen and come to me. She encircled my neck with her arms and I could feel my little fellow rise to the occasion. "I will make it up to you. I promise," she said.
"I've made a decision," I said. "No more parties. No more bars and dance halls. No negotiation. The ball's in your court. It's either me or your wild nights. Since you've decided you wanna talk, tell me what it's going to be." I stopped talking and waited for her to respond. Her arms slipped from my shoulders and I sensed that she was conflicted.
"Can't we talk about this?" she said.
"No need, you just answered me. I'll be moving out tomorrow. I'm going to seek an annulment," I said.
It was so dark, but I could see her better now that my eyes had accustomed themselves to the shadowy environment. She looked terrified.
"Roger, I need you. Please don't do this. We can make it work. I know we can. I've just been a silly girl. I was so unthinking of you and your needs. I can fix that," she said.
"No compromise, Jill, none. Sorry, I know you need, or think you need, your party friends and the thrill of the hunt. I don't. I'm outta here tomorrow; no, make that tonight. I've had it!" I brushed by her. I went into our bedroom and turned on a light. I gathered up my basic stuff. I threw it in the suitcase I used when I had to go to conferences. She watched me sobbing from the doorway.
"I'm sorry," she kept repeating. "I won't do it anymore. I promise."
I stopped, waiting to see what she'd say. "Do what?" I said. I wasn't sure if she meant neglecting me or stopping all of the partying. But she knew what I meant.
"I mean I will be sensitive to your needs," she said. I snickered. I headed for the door. She grabbed me by the arm and tried to physically stop me. I put my bag down and turned to her.
She stood in front of me her hands hanging loose at her sides. "Please, give me a chance," she said.
"No-more-parties-ever!" I said. "I'll call you in a couple of days and we'll talk. Think about what I said. But, if you have any idea of somehow getting me to compromise on this, you can forget it and us. I mean it." I shouldered my way out.
I knew we had to talk when I was calmer. But, I was going to be adamant about the partying. It was over, at least for me. My mother may have raised an idiot but she sure as hell didn't raise no fool!
I drove for some time and found a motel that looked just seedy enough for a one night stay. I went in, paid, and got the key. The room smelled like a whore house. But, frankly, I didn't give a shit. I plopped down on the bed and was asleep in minutes.
The following morning I awoke to bright sunlight filtering through the spaces between the curtains. It was 9:00. The previous night's adventures came flooding back to me. My head and my belly were in full revolt. I headed for the shower. I stripped, turned the water to scalding, and stepped in. Gawd! how much better I felt as the steaming water washed away the dirt and sweat and tears of the night before.
I was toweling off when my cell started ringing. I knew who it was. I answered it.
"Yeah ... I remember exactly what I said ... no ... no ... then fuck you." I hung up.