Thanks to the Hip and Knee Doctor for editing assistance.
Janet and I had been married for twelve years. We had been sweethearts since we were ten years old. I was never interested in college, so I got an entry-level job at Desmond Engineering, as a draftsman right out of high school. Janet and I were married a year later and the next year we were the proud parents of twin girls: Bethany and Brittany. Things were rough for the first few years, but we watched our pennies and everything seemed to work out. I was still a draftsman, but at a few grade levels higher than when I started. The money was better, but still tight.
We had managed to save enough to buy a small house, and had two good cars. They weren't new, but they weren't junky. Janet always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, so she never worked. We didn't need the extra money, so that was fine with me.
We were both healthy and in good shape. Janet was a little chunkier than when we married, but not much. She was just over five feet tall and had dark brown hair that she wore with bangs. She looked like a small Marie Osmond. I hadn't changed at all. I played right tackle on the high school football team, so I wasn't on the small side, but I wasn't flabby.
Billy Martin moved to Reading from Lancaster, about a year ago, and got a job at Desmond Engineering as a surveyor. Billy and I used to play football against each other, and we became immediate friends. He married his high school sweetheart also: a redhead named Sarah. Sarah and Janet became instant friends. They didn't have any children yet, but they were perfect baby sitters.
When we weren't at work Billy and I enjoyed each other's company. It was a pleasant break away from the wives. Of course Janet and Sarah were doing the same thing. They would shop together and go to parties and club meetings, while Billy and I watched the girls and the TV. Sarah had also gotten a job as a secretary at Gilbert Engineering, just outside of town.
I started noticing things about six months ago. There used to be one PTA meeting every month and now there was one every week. Sarah didn't have any kids but always went to the meetings with Janet. The frequency of Tupperware and Magic Chef parties seemed to increase monthly, but they never bought anything. They joined a book club, but never seemed to find time to read. On the weekends, they would go shopping for hours, but buy very little. Janet's collection of fancy underwear seemed to be growing, but I never got to enjoy any.
It started to eat at me. I never mentioned anything to Billy because he seemed to be oblivious to it. I didn't want to cause trouble, if there was noting going on.
About an hour after I put the girls to bed, Janet came home from a basket party of some sorts. She took a shower before Sarah picked her up and as soon as she got home, she took another one. That seemed odd to me. While she was in the shower I did a quick hamper check and found a set of black lace underwear. Now, who would wear black lace underwear to a basket party? I am not in the habit of checking my wife's panties, but I did tonight, and found the crouch to be damp and sticky. I put them in my pocket.
I have never gone through my wife's purse or wallet, until tonight. The only thing I was really interested in was her cell phone. Apparently, she felt pretty certain that I would not be snooping, because she had not deleted any calls for the last week. Most of the calls were to Sarah, but a large number of incoming and outgoing calls were to KC, KH, and KW. Of course I had no idea who they were, but quickly deduced that the C stood for cell, the H stood for home, and the W probably stood for work. I checked her address book and Sarah also had three numbers listed Sarah C, Sarah H and Sarah W. I was amazed at how well organized my wife had her phone. I looked at Sarah's work number and noticed it had an extension. I looked at the number for KW and it was the same number as the one for Sarah, but with a different extension.
It wasn't hard to figure out that Janet had been calling and getting calls from someone who worked with Sarah. It also wasn't hard to figure out that Sarah must have been the one that introduced Janet and the mysterious K. Gilbert Engineering was closed right now, so I took Janet's phone and called the KW number.
"Hello. You have reached the desk of Ken Sanders. I am not at my desk right now, but if you leave your name and number, I will get back to you as soon as I can."
I hung up right after the beep. That was far too easy.
"John, are you coming to bed?" Janet just poked her head around the doorway.
"I am near the end of this book. I'll be up as soon as I finish it, if I don't fall asleep on the couch." Of course, I had every intention of sleeping on the couch.
It was a restless night. I kept trying to figure out what I had done wrong or what I could have done differently. It was a terrible waste of time and mental effort. Every time I redirected my thoughts to what I should be doing, they kept going back to what I should have done. I kept looking at the clock and it wasn't moving. All I knew for sure is that I was not going to accept any guilt for what happened or what was going to happen.
I awoke to the sounds of my two little angels getting their breakfast. Janet encouraged them to take care of themselves, rather than be waited on. It was a good idea and seemed to work. I stretched and scratched as my wife entered the room.
"You better hurry John, or you will be late for work."
"No problem. I am not going to work today."
"Why? You never miss work."
"Too many personal problems." I yawned and staggered towards the bathroom. I needed a shower. Janet looked a little perplexed.
When I got back, the girls had already left for school. I got a cup of coffee and sat across the table from my wife. Reluctantly, she looked up at me as if anticipating something, but not knowing what.
"Tell me about your affair." I didn't feel like beating around the bush, but I pretty much knew she was not just going to open up and bare her soul.
"Get serious, John. Is this why you have been moping around? Do you really think that I am cheating on you?"
"Yes. Now tell me about your affair."
"We have been married for twelve years John, why would you even think such a thing?"
"Janet I have things to do today and I have no intention of sitting here playing games with you. I will ask you one more time. Tell me about your affair."
My loving wife left out an exasperating sigh and leaned towards me. "John. It is all in your head. There is no affair."
"Well, I'd like to thank you for your honesty, but I can't now, can I?"
She leaned back in her chair, and sipped her coffee, as if she had taken control of the situation.
Can you answer a few easy questions for me?"
"Yes John, of course. What would you like to know?"
"Why do you go to PTA meetings every week when the secretary of the PTA says they only have monthly meetings and you haven't been to any for six months?"
"I am not sure what you are talking about?" She was a little less cocky.
"You and Sarah go to non-existing PTA meetings every Tuesday. Now why would you lie about something like that?"
Janet struggled with the question for a moment and then came up with an answer. "I am truly sorry John. Tuesday is lady's night at Rosie's Cantina and Sarah and I have going for the two-for-one margaritas. We didn't want you and Billy to think we were messing around, so we didn't tell you. It was a mistake and I am sorry. From now on, we will tell you."
"Nice try, Janet. You know of course I will be checking that out. I am sure Sarah will back you up, but how about the people at Rosie's?"
"John, you are making more out of this that it is."
"When you go out to your little Tupperware parties and such, why do you take a shower before you go and another one when you come home?"
She took her time again. "A lot of the women smoke at those parties. When I get home, I want to get the smell out of my hair. It's not a big deal, John."
"Why do you wear fancy underwear to go to these parties? You never wear the sexy stuff for me, except when it's a special night. Every evening you spend with these housewives, you wear your best. Why?"
"I don't have a good answer for that. I just want to feel dressed up when I go out sometimes."
I was starting to get the shits about her lies. It was time to end it. I was mad and it was difficult to control.
"These are the panties you wore last night." I tossed them on the table. " The crouch was damp when you came home and covered with something sticky. I know what the hell cum is, and I know it isn't mine. Don't you try and tell me you have a yeast infection or I swear I will hit you."
Janet was squirming in her chair at this point. She was trying not to look at me. No quick answer seemed to be coming.
"Damn it, Janet. Why did you come home wearing cum-stained panties last night? I want an answer."
"Stop it John. Just stop it! I can't take anymore of this. We have been married for twelve years. How can you treat me this way?"
The steady stream of lies and constant denial finally got to me. With all the force I could muster, I heaved my half-filled coffee cup across the room, shattering the front of the microwave oven.
There was no doubt this time that I got Janet's attention. I had never seen that expression on her face before, because she had never seen me mad before.
Leaning across the table I looked directly at her and spoke louder than I had before. "Who the hell is Ken Sanders?"
.... There is more of this story ...