Thanks to the Hip and Knee doctor for editing assistance
I guess that my biggest problem has always been my physical appearance. I am not what every woman imagines when she dreams about her 'knight in shining armor.' I am a big 'sucker;' coming in at six foot and three inches, and almost three hundred pounds. Fortunately, there is almost no body fat. My nose is fat and is emphasized by my deep-set, squinty eyes. I have all of my teeth and all of my hair, but that doesn't do anything to improve the overall picture. I work hard as a heavy equipment operator, so I wear my sandy hair in a burr cut. It is easier to keep it clean and it stays out of my face.
With all of my shortcomings, I felt blessed that I had been able to find a woman to marry and spend my life with. Loretta was not an ugly girl, but she was no raving beauty either. As far as I was concerned, there was not a damn thing wrong with her. Of course, compared to me, she was petite, at five foot two inches. She tolerated my grossness and always made fun of it, in a good way. When she teased me, I never felt that I had been insulted or put down. It was nice that I could feel comfortable with her.
We married young and had a son, Brian, who is now sixteen and a daughter, Monica, who is a year younger. Luckily, the kids looked more like their mother more than me. The kids were both smart and well-mannered. I was a proud father as well as a contented, and happy husband.
I worked for my Uncle Sal, as a heavy equipment operator. It was more or less a family business, but Uncle Sal was the one running the show. We all took salaries and worked as many hours as we could. At the end of the year, any profits that were not going into new equipment, were distributed between the family. It was a nice arrangement.
Loretta took a job in a small company that did property appraisals for banks and investment companies. She didn't actually do the appraisals, but took care of all the typing, filing, and data entry stuff. Life was good and I should have left it at that.
It was a small thing that started me thinking. I just happened to notice what appeared to be a hickey on my wife's neck. Normally, I would have teased her about it, but for some reason at this time, I didn't. If it was a hickey, I know that I didn't put it there. It could have been a bug bite, or maybe an ingrown hair. She compounded my anxiety by trying to cover it up with make-up while we were at home. I could understand why she would want to cover it up, if she went out, but why would she bother to do it at home?
If Loretta was seeing anyone else, then she was doing it during the day. She never went out at night when I wasn't along. I was sure that she wasn't meeting anyone at the house. It ate at me for a whole week. Of course, by that time, the love bite was gone, but the memory of it lingered on.
Our sex life was fine. Maybe I wasn't as romantic as I should have been, but I always bought her flowers for no reason, and I never forgot her birthday or our anniversary. We went out to eat on a regular basis and took in a few shows or movies whenever we could. Every year we took a family vacation to someplace special. I appreciated her as a wife and as a companion. Now I was driving myself crazy with doubt about a stupid red spot on her neck.
Things were a little slow at work so Uncle Sal had no trouble giving me a few days off. I had no idea what I was looking for, or what I was going to do. I decided to just to follow her around and see if anything happened. I borrowed a car from one of the guys at work and bought a crossword puzzle book.
Nothing happened for two days. I followed her to work, to lunch and back to home. I was beginning to feel like a fool, until the third day.
Loretta came out of the office for lunch a little earlier than she normally did. She didn't go to her car, but walked around to the side of the building. A white, four- door company car came around from the back of the building, and Loretta got into the passenger's side. Okay, she was going to lunch with somebody from work. A little different than the previous two days, but not that unusual.
I had no trouble at all following them, and then my worst fear was realized. The white car pulled into the parking lot of one of the small, sleazy motels near the Iinterstate ramp. I recognized the guy as one of the appraisers that Loretta worked with: Tom something. He already had a key. They walked into the room as if they had done it a hundred times before. He was a good looking fellow, who was about ten years younger than Loretta. They drew the curtains across the window and closed the blinds.
Unfortunately, I had not thought this far ahead. I had no idea what to do now. I guess the reasonable thing to do would be to wait until Loretta got home that evening and then confront her. Emotions won out over reason. I got out of the car and walked to the motel door.
It was an older motel and the door and the door frame were wood. Even if it had a safety latch, a good shove would rip the screws right out of the jamb. It had been about ten minutes since they went into the room. I stopped one of the housekeepers and told her to call 911. She looked at me funnily and immediately grabbed her phone. I decided to wait about five more minutes before breaking down the door. My patience only lasted two.
I hit the door full force with my right shoulder. Not only did the safety lock give way, but the hinges came right out of the wall. The door hit the floor flat with a resounding boom, which scared the hell out of Loretta and her lover. They were naked in the bed, and before he could even get off of her, I had him by the neck.
Seeing my wife having sex with another man was more than I could handle. It was his fault because he knew that she was married. It was her fault for the same reason. My fury was unleashed. My wife had never seen it before. Tom what's-his-name, never recovered from the first two blows that broke several ribs. After that, he could not move and he could not catch his breath. I took my time and methodically beat every part of his face and body until it was bloody, bruised, or broken. Loretta was screaming at me to stop and at one point tried to grab me. My elbow caught her on the mouth during a backswing. She went sailing across the room with blood spewing from a split lip. Then everything went black.
When I woke up, I was handcuffed inside the back of a police cruiser. The EMT guys were bringing Tom out on a gurney and Loretta was standing by the ambulance getting her lip treated with a motel sheet wrapped around her body. She looked over at the cruiser, visualized me, and then burst into tears. A female police officer was walking her back into the room, as the police car left the motel parking lot.
I did not contest the charges and did not ask for a lawyer or a trial. Justice was swift. Since I had asked the maid to call 911 before I broke down the door, they called it premeditated. It didn't make a beans difference to me. I got two years of jail time.
My brother Louie was the only one to see me before I left for the state lockup. He promised to come see me after things settled down a little.
I had no trouble at my new home, especially after word got around about why I was there. It was ten days until Louie showed up.
"John, I was going to bring you some cigarettes, but then I remembered that you didn't smoke." He broke the tension with his little quip.
"Cut the crap, Louie. What is happening at home? Nobody told me anything and all I hear in this place is rumors and bullshit."
"It is as bad as it could be. The kids and the family are devastated and Loretta has been hiding in the house since it happened. Brian and Monica have been staying with mom and dad, but they are planning on going back to the house later this week. I don't know anything about Loretta, because she is not speaking to anyone. Her sister, Joyce, went over to the house, but Loretta wouldn't let her in."
"Is Loretta talking to the kids?"
"Nope. They have tried several times, but she refuses to talk to them at all. I don't think she will ever discuss what actually happened with anyone."
"I take it that she is not going to work?"
"Hell, she ain't even going out of the house. She is going to run out of food soon."
"Who is paying the bills?"
"I don't know. I'll ask Brian to see if he can figure something out later in the week. Monica is pretty determined to get back into the house, one way or the other."
"What about the guy?"
"His name is Tom Bostic. He is still in the hospital, and will probably be there a couple of more weeks."
"What the hell? All I did was beat on him a little. Why is he still in the damn hospital?"
"You beat on him a lot, John. Besides the broken ribs and collar bone, he had a lot of damage inside. I couldn't get all the details, but I think it had something to do with his kidneys and spleen. You didn't do his gonads any good either. He has to eat with a straw and something is wrong with one of his eyes."
"I guess I lost my temper."
"It seems that way."
"I think I need to talk to the kids. Can you bring them the next time you come up?"
"I don't see why not."
After Louie left I made a list of things that I felt needed to be taken care of at the house. Of course this was all based on what Louie had told me about Loretta's behavior. I felt some sort of obligation to insure that the household ran properly, at least until the kids finished school.
It was five days later when Brian and Monica showed up. Louie was not with them.
"Where is your uncle?"
"He had to work. I picked up mom's car at her office and we decided to drive up here ourselves." Brian seemed proud of himself.
"What was it doing at the office?"
"It has been there since the day you got arrested. Mom never picked it up. She hasn't driven or even left the house since."
"Is she all right?"
Monica shook her head and looked up. "No. She doesn't talk and just flits around. She won't answer any questions and refuses to take any calls on the phone. The answering machine was full. I tried to answer as many calls as I could, but just the ones from relatives. There were even reporters calling."
"Are you guys going to be all right there, or do you want to stay with your grandparents?"
"I think we will be fine, dad. We just have to get some sort of routine set up." Brian seemed confident and I was glad that my children were taking control of things.
We spent the next hour discussing what they could do and how I might be able to help. I was still drawing my salary, so I suggested that we put all the utility bills on auto-pay. I told Monica to get her mother's ATM card so that they would be able to get cash for other expenses. It also worked as a debit card, which would simplify some other expenses. Brian would take care of the yard work and the motor vehicles, as well as helping Monica with the housekeeping and cooking. Apparently, Loretta was still able to take care of herself, but just lost all desire for socializing. Monica indicated that she was getting a little compulsive about the housecleaning and general home appearance. She was constantly dusting and rearranging things for no reason. I couldn't tell if that was a good or a bad thing.
Before they left, I told Monica to tell her mother that I wanted to talk with her about what happened. Monica did not seem to think Loretta would want to do that, but she promised to try.
Loretta never came to the prison to see me. She never called and she never even wrote. Monica and Brian tried unsuccessfully, and they even got Loretta's sister, Joyce, involved.
Six months passed. Things had settled down, but I still had no clarification or explanation from my wife. Brian, Monica, and Louie came to visit on a regular basis, and a few guys from work took a day off to come and harass me. After that things got a little more interesting.
Within two weeks after Tom Bostic was injured, his wife served him with divorce papers. He didn't have a leg to stand on. He now had two kids to support plus alimony and house payments.
When Tom left the hospital, he was transferred to a rehabilitation facility. His expenses were starting to exceed his insurance, so he decided to file a lawsuit against me. It was complicated as hell and I didn't understand any of it. Uncle Sal came to the rescue. Within a week, the company lawyer filed countersuits against Bostic for alienation of affection, and against the company that Bostic and Loretta worked for. The lawyer was slick and he was noisy. All of a sudden, all of the lawsuits on both sides, evaporated. I didn't get anything, but I didn't have to pay anything either.
Three months later, the situation at home hadn't changed. Brian had completed school and enlisted in the Air Force. He would be leaving in a month. Since Monica now had her driver's license, they didn't believe that his leaving would pose any problem. Loretta was still not taking phone calls and still refused to leave the house. She was not causing any problems for Monica, but the situation could not go on for much longer. Loretta had begun to say "no" to Monica every time she tried to get her to talk to, or to see me. Monica began to come to see me by herself after Brian left. Sometimes, she would come with Louie. Loretta's sister, Joyce, came to see me once, and I never figured out why.
It was almost one year since I started my sentence. My wife had become a recluse and refused to see or talk to me, or anyone else. I spent many hours thinking about the situation. Loretta never apologized to me. She never asked for my forgiveness. She never gave me an explanation as to why she had the affair. She never offered any suggestions as to how we could resolve or correct what went wrong. She never admitted that anything went wrong. It was as if I was of no consequence. It made me feel small and unimportant. The fact that she would not acknowledge my feelings about the situation in any manner indicated to me that she felt that I was not worthy or deserving of her time or consideration. I felt like a bug on her windshield or a piece of dog poop on the bottom of her shoe. Once the problem of John was taken care of, she would never have to concern herself with it again. I would spend hours dwelling on things like this. I found that an inner rage was building up.
Tom Bostic had been released from rehabilitation and was living in an efficiency apartment near his work. Louie told me that he walked with a limp and seemed to have a tic in his right eye. I felt a little sorry for the guy, until Monica gave me some disturbing news.