This is probably the darkest story I've ever written. There are absolutely no winners in this one. If you don't like my darker stories than steer clear of this one! This is your final warning! Read no further if you are offended by cuckolding, revenge, or violence.
James Talbot Sat back in the driver's seat of his car and inhaled the smoldering fumes of the crack pipe. He was on his way home from work and had pulled into the county park as he normally did each day to feed his habit. He was, in his opinion, a casual recreational user. He kept some lines of coke in his desk at work and maybe once a day when no one was around, he snorted a line. How he'd picked up using the illegal drugs was a work associate had given him his first hit only three months ago. The associate had introduced him to the associate's dealer and Jim began using in earnest. He'd started using to deaden his feeling of loss for his parents who had been killed in a commercial airline crash several months before.
But he could stop at any time. He just enjoyed the rush he got. And no one seemed to be the wiser. His wife didn't seem to notice he'd taken up the drugs. His friends didn't seem to notice. His boss hadn't said anything.
Jim was happy and life was good.
But then things started to go badly wrong, all within a one month period of time.
His boss called him in to do his annual review. Jim expected his normal above average appraisal and a nice raise in salary. As Jim settled into his chair across the desk from his boss he noticed his boss did not return his smile.
His boss looked at him with hard eyes and a humorless face. "Jim, I'm disappointed in you. Your work output has dropped by thirty percent. Your interaction with your fellow employees has become hostile.
I don't know what's going on with you, but it has to stop. If you don't clean up your act in the next ninety days, I'll have to let you go. Consider yourself on a performance improvement plan as of today."
Jim was stunned as his brain spun through questions. What? How? What had caused this? He did the same level work! His boss was being an ass!
Jim fumed and retorted, "Hell, I've busted my ass for this company and now you threaten me with dismissal! I ought to give you my notice and let you bastards hang out to dry trying to replace me!"
His boss eyed him and asked in a calm voice, "Jim, you are NOT doing your job well right now. Can't you see that? Don't be hasty with that giving notice because I might just take you up on it and not try to sort things out with you.
What's bothering you? Are you ill? You got home problems? What is it? Remember, I asked you at least once a week for the last few months what the heck was going on with you and you always blew me off. Well, that stops now. You either fix what's wrong yourself, or tell me and I'll try to help you."
Jim calmed a little as his boss's voice filtered through his mind. He was a little taken back by his boss saying he might accept his resignation with no qualms. Jim needed time to rethink his position. He stammered, "I ... I ... don't know what's wrong. I need time to think. Please give me a chance to straighten out whatever is affecting my work."
His boss replied, "You have ninety days. But I have to see improvement each month, so get professional help if you have to. Take the rest of the week off and get your shit together."
An hour after that awful meeting, Jim now sat in the car taking the last tokes on his pipe. He felt much calmer. He'd could go home now and eat dinner with his family. He checked his watch and was stunned. It was almost ten o'clock! His children would be heading to bed and his wife would be readying the youngest for bed by reading her a story. Where had all of the time gone?
He started his car and quickly drove home. He parked his car in the garage and entered the house through the laundry room. All was quiet downstairs and only the light over the stove was on. A covered plate set on the top of the stove. He raised the cover and saw a slab of meatloaf and potatoes with green beans. He stuck plate in the microwave and nuked its contents piping hot.
He pulled a beer from the refrigerator and sat down at the kitchen table to eat his dinner. He ate alone and after finishing his beer, he put the plate in the dishwasher and threw the empty beer bottle in the trash and got another from the refrigerator. He made his way to the den and flipped on the TV to watch the late news.
His wife Penny came into the room with a concerned look on her face. "Jim, why are you late? You didn't call. I was getting worried. It's not like you not to let me know that you wouldn't be home for dinner."
"Sorry honey. I stopped at the park and time just got away from me."
"You're spending more time at that damned park and less time with your family. What's going on?" Penny questioned in an irritated tone.
"I've just wanted to think. I'm having some problems at work and just wanted some time to myself. Is that asking too much? Quit bitching at me and just let me be." He replied with almost venom in his voice.
Penny was taken back by the unprovoked attack. She responded in her own defense, "I've got every right to want to know where you were. You've been acting like an asshole lately. You don't spend any time with me or the kids. What the hell is wrong with you?"
Jim was tired of hearing people ask him what was wrong. There was nothing wrong for Christ sake. They were all picking on him. He stood up and threw his beer bottle at the far wall. It shattered and a shard hit Penny in her forehead. The blood started to trickle down her face. She was in shock at Jim's actions. She ran to the kitchen for a dish towel to staunch the flow of the blood from the cut. When she came back to the family room on shaky legs she saw that Jim had not moved from the spot where he had thrown the bottle. He appeared to also be stunned by his actions. Penny sobbed as she asked her husband in a very soft voice, "Jim, can you drive me to the emergency room, I think I need stitches."
Penny picked up the phone and dialed their next door neighbors, Allan and Sally Arnold. Sally answered and Penny said, "We had a small accident and Jim needs to take me to the hospital. Could one of you come over and baby sit until we get back?"
Sally was at the door in less than a minute and was shocked to see all of the blood still running down Penny's face. Jim had his car keys in his hand but didn't look like he was in any shape to drive. Sally thought, is Jim drunk? He looks like he's spaced out. I better take Penny to the emergency room. She suggested that to Jim and he actually looked relieved as he replied,"Okay Sally, take care of my girl. I'll stay here."
Penny was shocked again. Jim didn't even want to go with her to the hospital. He didn't seem to care about her any longer.
As Sally drove Penny to the hospital, Penny sobbed and described what had happened, Jim's manner change, his lack of attention in conversations, and his increasing time away from home and family.
Sally didn't say anything. She just listened. She helped her friend from the car and into the E.R. where a nurse took charge of Penny. The nurse took her to an examination bay and cleaned the wound. A doctor arrived and stitched her up, gave the nurse an order for a tetanus shot, and asked Penny how it had happened.
He frowned as Penny tried to make up something about falling and hitting her head. He looked hard into her eyes and said, "Mrs. Talbot that wound could not have been made by a fall. That wound was made by something sharp glancing off your skull.
I know it was glass because I found a tiny piece still in the wound. Having seen many bar room fight injuries come through here, I would say it is a piece of a beer bottle. Now would you like to tell me what really happened?"
Penny sobbed and told the whole story. The doctor frowned some more as he listened to her description of her husbands symptoms.
As she wound down, the doctor offered his opinion, "Mrs. Talbot, I believe your husband is a drug user. I'd say perhaps rock cocaine and maybe doing lines of cocaine. You said he mentioned problems at work, if I'm right his performance has dropped off and his boss is riding him hard to improve.
If I was you I would contact his boss and find out what's going on. You'll have to find his stash and his drug paraphernalia. Once you know for sure he's using, you and your husband's friends will need to perform an intervention and get him into rehab."
Penny was stunned. Jim's using drugs? Why would he do that?
She thanked the doctor and readied to leave. The doctor walked her out and Sally walked up just as the doctor said, "In order to get your husband off drugs, you're going to have to shock him. Seriously shock him. Brutally shock him.
You have to get his attention and make him see he has a problem. That's the only way he'll ever agree to rehab and successfully kick the habit. If you don't shock him enough he may agree to attend rehab just to shut you up but not actually intend to break the habit.
I know his kind. He's a good man who's somehow gotten off track and denies he has a problem. He needs the shock of his life to put him back on track."
As the two women drove home, Sally questioned Penny about what she had heard the doctor say. "Penny, what are you going to do? You know Allan and I will help you any way we can. We love you guys and want only the best for you."
.... There is more of this story ...