I would like to thank GW66 for the kindness shown to a new writer. The suggestions and the alternative thoughts were of great help. Thanks again. I also want to thank my wife. Her insight made this a better story. This story has no sex in it. It is story of lines being crossed, but the question is how far? Please share your likes and dislikes about this story. It will help me to become a better writer. As usual all comments are appreciated.
Someone must think my head is a drum; they keep beating on it. I decide to open my eyes. Where am I? I look around and see that I am in my favorite recliner in my living room. That doesn't make sense because I don't live here anymore. A half full beer bottle is in my left hand. I try to sit up and wish I hadn't as my head goes into hyper drive with the pounding. Maybe I better just sit here and try to remember why I am here and in this condition.
First let's take inventory of my body. Bandaged right hand, left eye swollen shut, both lips cut, and my nose doesn't feel that good either. What the hell? Have I been in a fight, or mugged, or maybe both? I take a drink of the beer and wish I hadn't, it makes my tongue burn. I must have bitten my tongue too. After drinking the beer my brain finally starts to clear and some memories begin to come to my attention. NOW, I remember. My name is John. I was named after my great, great, grandfather. (Not really important, but I like to remember the old guy). He was a nice man. Anyway, I have just turned 32. I am not a martial arts expert and have no special training, but I did grow up in the inner city. As long as there are no rules I can take care of business. I am six feet even and about 195 pounds. I'm not a body builder, but I have a nice six pack and good Pecs. I earned those muscles by working, not lifting weights. My wife is Samantha. (Don't call her Sam, she hates that) She is 30. We are both still young and in good shape. At least I normally am, just not at the moment. Samantha is tall at 5 feet 9 and she is built like an erotic dream. She runs and goes to Jazzercise. Believe me the results make it all worthwhile. She is hot. We met at college but didn't begin dating until a couple of years after school. I was a little older than normal when I started college as I had spent three years in the military. No I wasn't a Green Beret, Ranger or Force Recon. I was just a regular guy serving my country. I decided to take advantage of the G.I. Bill and get an education and I earned my degree in business administration. Samantha majored in sociology. After school I began working in construction, with the idea of starting my own business someday.
Samantha and I met again at a construction site. Our company was building a parking garage for the building she worked in. She and another female worker had come out to eat lunch at the picnic area between the buildings. Jack and Bud, who worked for one of the sub contractors, approached the girls on a Friday. I guess hoping to set up a long weekend. Samantha told these two that she and Julie were not interested. These apes began to get pushy and a little bit nasty with the girls. As Samantha and Julie started to leave, Jack grabbed Samantha by the arm and pulled her to him. She was trying to pull away, told him to let go, and that he was hurting her.
I was walking through the picnic area and heard the discussion and sort of drifted over toward them. I don't like guys who manhandle women; I mean I really don't like that. It's just a thing I have. My sister was beaten by her ex-husband and had to sneak out to get away from him. (By the way, her ex was mugged and ended up in the hospital, imagine that). Any way Jack was going overboard and I thought of my sister and sort of freaked. "Jack, you might want to let the lady go," I suggested to him. "Fuck off John, she don't belong to you" "Don't belong to you either Jack. She asked you to let her alone." "I'm going to teach this little tease a lesson before I let her go," Jack boasted. "Stay out of it. You don't want any part of this John." "Jack, pay attention. Your mouth is writing checks your body can't cash. I will ask you one more time to let her go and leave." He dropped her arm, turned, and began to throw a punch at me. I reacted to the attack and Jack found himself on his back holding his nose. It appeared to be broken. I turned to Bud and asked, "You want some too? No? Get this piece of garbage out of here. I suggest you take him to an ER." As they left, Samantha came over to me and said, "Long time no see John. You are my slightly tarnished knight protector. I'm glad we met again, especially now." "Good to see you Samantha. What's it been two years? Well come on ladies, I will walk you back." We got to their building where Samantha gave me her number and asked me to give her a call sometime. I looked at her nodded my head and said I would.
I started to walk away then I turned and said, "Samantha, when I call you we will talk about old friends and old times for awhile and then I will ask you for a date. Let's cut to the chase. Want to get together tomorrow night?" She just smiled. "If you did call me, we would have talked about old friends and old times and when you asked me out, I would have said yes. I agree, let's cut to the end. Yes I would love to go out with you tomorrow night. Pick me up a 7:00. I'm still at the same place." Samantha turned and entered her building. The next evening I took her to a bar that serves the best burgers in town. We had a few drinks and got to know each other. After that evening we weren't apart, except for work, for the next 6 months. It wasn't love at first sight; we had known each other at school, but it was love at first date. Seven months after meeting again, we were married. Like all new couples, we had an adjustment period. Nothing major, small things like me remembering to put the toilet seat down, Samantha learning how I liked my coffee. Just little things we learned about each other. Also like most new couples we were trying to save money for a house. Children were part of our master plan, but we wanted a real home first. Because of this we both worked and I was putting in some long hours and an occasional Saturday. Most nights I would get home about 7:00. Samantha was working for the state in social services. Samantha was going to school two nights a week trying to get her Masters. She usually got home around 10:00 on those nights. She also went to Jazzercise two nights a week and usually got home 7:30. We didn't have much time together during the week and had to depend on the weekends for our together time.
We had been married just over 3 years when things began to go south. At least they went south for me. Samantha decided to stop after work to socialize with her co-workers on the one night a week we had free. It wasn't every week, but 3 out of 5. At first she would get home around 7:00. She would be too tired to do anything but shower, press her clothes for the next day and go to bed early. Then she started getting home at 9:00, then it stretched to 10:00. One of those nights, about 3 months into the new schedule, she didn't get home until almost midnight.
"Samantha, don't you feel you're going a little overboard with your socializing?" I complained as she came in. "With your school and Jazzercise, we don't have enough time together and I never get to spend any real time with you. You are usually too tired to talk or anything when you get home. Our sex life has taken a huge downturn. Now you are gone the one night we have together. By the way, what the hell are you doing staying out until midnight?"
"I'm the boss of me, not you," she slurred an answer. "I can stay out as late as I want."
"I see you've had more than the glass or two of wine you said you were having. What else are you not telling me?"
"Nothing, I'm sleepy and am going to bed. We can talk tomorrow."
"Tomorrow you have classes," I reminded her. "Are you going to skip those and to go socializing again?" I was being a little sarcastic.
She didn't answer and left the room with all the dignity a drunk can have, stumbling down the hall to our bedroom. "Good night," she yelled at me.
I turned out the lights and followed her to the bedroom. She was stretched out across our bed, still dressed, already dead to the world. Samantha looked like an angle laying there, still the most beautiful girl in the world, at least in my mind. I got ready and joined her in bed. As I lay down she put her arm across my chest and snuggled up to me. She slept, but I didn't very much. My brain was going around in circles, wondering what the hell was going on.
Nothing was said the next morning. I think she felt guilty and embarrassed about her actions last night. I didn't bring it up; it was up to her to make the next move. My concerns had been voiced and rather loudly, last night.
Things improved a little after that. Samantha still "socialized" but cut it back to about every third week or so. She was coming home at 7:30 or so and never again appeared to go overboard on the drinking. Two months into the new schedule, she began to come home later and later. Eventually 9:00, then 10:00 and then 11:00 became the normal time. I confronted her again one evening when she came home at 11:30.
"Samantha what the hell are you doing? After we talked last time we talked, you compromised and didn't go out as much. You also were coming home at a reasonable hour when you did go out. Now you are back to the same old shit, coming home later and later. What are you doing? You get off work at 5:00. What can co-workers have to talk about for five or six hours?"
"I just lost track of time tonight. I'm sorry." "How about the other nights you don't get home for 5 or 6 hours? Did you just lose track of time then too? Samantha, whatever is going on and whatever you are doing is damaging our relationship. I think you need to reconsider your priorities." Samantha looked at me with anger in her eyes. "Are you telling me I can't go out with my friends anymore?" "No Samantha. As you pointed out before, I'm not the boss of you. You are your own person and responsible for your own actions. Remember actions have consequences and you must be responsible for them also. You are starting to skate on thin ice, where our relationship is concerned. You need to stop and think about that."
She turned and without another word went into our bedroom, almost slamming the door. I waited a few minutes and decided that was enough for tonight, I was going to bed. The bedroom door was locked. A slow burn started in my chest, as I stood there at the door. I stepped back and thought about putting my boot to the door. Instead I pounded on the door with my fist and didn't wait for an answer. I turned, went to my recliner and flopped down. If I was going to get any sleep, I could do it there. I was up and out of the house the next morning before Samantha got up. I didn't want to see or speak to her right then; I was too mad to be around her. When I walked into the apartment that evening, I could smell dinner cooking. Samantha was at the stove when I came into the kitchen. She turned to me, looking embarrassed and then turned back to the stove. I went into the bedroom, showered and changed clothes as I normally do. Returning to the kitchen, I got a beer and sat at the table. "Home early tonight aren't you? I thought you had Jazzercise tonight." I was being sarcastic. "I skipped it tonight," she answered. She gave no apology or explanation for her actions last night. "I opened the door when you knocked on it, but you never came to be bed. Why?" I looked at her still angry about last night. "You locked the bedroom door. It was obvious you didn't want to be around me, so I slept in my chair," I answered a little sadly.
She put dinner on the table without a comment. I didn't push the issue. Maybe I was afraid of the results if I did. We had dinner, not speaking more than a dozen words to each other. After dinner, we cleaned up the kitchen and sat and watched TV. Around 9:30 Samantha got up and went to bed. She said good night, but nothing more. It was an evening of almost total silence between us.
Around 10:30, I went to bed also. No locked door tonight. Again I was up and gone before Samantha got up the next morning. I sat in my truck at the job site, thinking of all the things that had been done and said between us. Trying to figure out where we or I had gone wrong. What had happened? At the end of the day, I was no closer to a reason or solution than when I started. I drove home and walked into an empty apartment. Samantha wasn't home. The message light on the phone was blinking. The message was from Samantha.
"I'm going out to dinner with Julie. I will be home by 9:30 or so."
I could not fucking believe she had gone out again. After all the shit that had gone down the last week or so, she was still going out. The hell with that, I'll go out also. I called my friends, Bob and Tom, and we decided to meet at Dooley's. This is not a bar we normally go to, but Bob was making a run on a little honey that went there a lot. So to Dooley's we went.
Dooley's is a bar and grill that serves very good food. They have a live band and dancing three nights a week. Nice place I thought, I should bring Samantha here. I was just finishing my meal, when Bob nudged me and pointed to the dance floor.
Samantha had obviously already discovered Dooley's. There was Samantha, Julie and some guy dancing. Now, I normally don't get too worked up about Samantha dancing with another man. It wasn't dancing with another man that pissed me off. She was supposed to be having dinner with Julie not out dancing. That was what pissed me off. The man put his arm around both the girls' shoulders and led them back to a table. There were several women at the table, but he sat down next to Samantha with his arm across the back of her chair. The guy said something that Samantha found very funny. She laughed at him and then put her hand to his cheek. That would definitely not pass the husband test.
Samantha never noticed me sitting across the dance floor. I sat there and watched them dance to a few more songs. Some fast, some slow, some with both Julie and Samantha, some with just my wife and the man. This was already out of hand, if you asked me. Should I go over and say hello? Should I confront her and demand that she leave with me? WHAT? Then I made a mistake. I started to drink.
As I sat there sipping my fourth double Jack Daniels, I thought of the old country song by Gary Stewart. "She's acting single and I'm drinking doubles". That's what is happening. My life has turned into a country western song. I wasn't going to be like the wuss in that song though. I was going to put a stop to this bullshit right now. Me and Jack Daniels have made a decision. Standing up was not the easiest thing for me to do. I was fighting the alcohol for control of my body. I finally got my feet under me and walked across the dance floor to their table. Samantha and the asshole were sitting with their backs to me. As I approached the table, the women sitting facing me became very quite. One gal's mouth formed a big "O" and I heard her say very softly, "Oh shit." Samantha was talking to the girls and saw their reactions to something behind her. She turned around and saw me as I got to the table. Her eyes opened very wide and she went a little pale. She stood up and took my arm and tried to lead me away from the group. "John, what are you doing here?" she asked me. She sounded surprised and a little afraid. I pulled my arm away. "So this is what you call having dinner with Julie, is it? Funny, I don't remember dancing with some guy, who is not your husband by the way, as part of dinner with Julie." The guy stood up and said, "You must be Samantha's husband, John is it? It's nice to meet you. My name is..." "SIT DOWN ASSHOLE. I DON'T CARE WHO YOU ARE," I interrupted him. "I'm not here to make nice, I am here to get my wife. I'm here to stop whatever is going on before it jumps up and bites my marriage in the ass. You never answered my question Samantha. Dinner with Julie consists of drinking and dancing with some other guy? Is that it?" "John calm down. This isn't what it looks like. Julie and I were going out to eat and the other girls suggested we come to Dooley's with them. Jim came with the other girls; he works in their department. We were only dancing." "Yeah, only dancing, but dancing a lot. I counted at least 8 dances. Some very slow ones. Those dances gave you guys a chance to get much closer. I thought a couple of times you two would go get a room." (Now that I'm sober, I must admit I went overboard saying that. Things weren't quite that bad. Have you ever noticed that things said while drunk are not near as witty and profound as you thought they were after you have sobered up?) "I'm ashamed of you John. Behave yourself. There is nothing going on here that should worry you," Samantha stated. "You're ashamed of me? I'm not the one lying to their spouse about where they are going and with whom. I'm not the one making out with someone else. I'm not the one that should be ashamed. That one is on you Samantha. You should remember that you are married and behave yourself." "I have done nothing to be ashamed of John," she said. Now Samantha was beginning to get angry, I could tell by the way she was getting louder. "Samantha, I'm not going to argue with you. Get your coat and come home. This evening's entertainment is ending right now." "I can't leave now. The girls and Jim rode with me and they haven't finished yet. And I won't be ordered around like a child. I will come home when I choose." She was on her high horse. "Samantha do you remember our discussion a few nights ago?" "Yes, I remember you lecturing me about my behavior." "I didn't lecture; I said that actions have consequences and that you're responsible for your actions. This is a consequence of your actions here tonight. Good bye Samantha, have a nice life" I turned to the table and said, "Ladies sorry for the interruption. Don't worry, there won't be any more. Samantha could be a free agent soon, and she can go with you at anytime. Good night ladies." "You can't be serious John" Her eyes began to show alarm and a little fear. "I'm as serious as a heart attack Samantha." "John, please wait. John, John, please," she cried out to me. Ignoring her, I had turned to go back to my table. I barely made it to my chair before my legs gave out. Guess I had more to drink than I thought. "Bob, take me to another bar. I'm in no condition to walk much less drive." Bob and Tom helped me out to my truck. I was put in the passenger side and immediately passed out. I woke up as the guys got me out of the truck and into my place. They put me in my recliner and left. I decided that I hadn't made a big enough dent in the supply of Jack Daniels in this city and walked down to the little saloon on the corner. The next morning I woke up with a head the size of Texas. Someone had removed my boots and spread a blanket over me. I sat up and wished I had done it slower because my head really, really hurt. I smelled coffee and went to the kitchen for a cup. There was a note propped against the coffee pot. It said and I quote, "I am very upset with you. We need to have a long talk when I get home tonight, Samantha." I knew I couldn't function today, so I called in sick to work. (First time in almost 5 years) Samantha was gone so I climbed into bed to sleep some more. That evening, Samantha came home about 6:00. Apparently she skipped Jazzercise again. Of course, with all the dancing the night before she didn't need the exercise. She came into the kitchen and looked at me with a little smile. I must have looked like something dead the cat had carried in. "You didn't get home until about 3:00," she said. "I woke up when you dropped onto your recliner. I waited for you to come to bed and when you didn't I came out to check on you. You were out of it so I pulled off your boots and put a blanket over you." "Thanks, but I don't believe I would have noticed if you hadn't." "Why were you so drunk? You don't usually drink that much." "After I saw you at Dooley's and we had our discussion; the guys brought me back here. They wouldn't take me to another bar so I walked to Jake's Bar on the corner. I really don't remember much after the first one at Jake's. I guess I'm returned here, like a homing pigeon."
"John let me explain, about last night" she began. "Nothing was going on; he is just a guy that works with Julie and me."