The Gift of Hope

by SeaWarrior

Tags: Cheating,

Desc: Romantic Story: Sometimes hope is all you have to help you deal with life. Hope is the only way you can survive the catastrophy of love lost.

The first of October was the day that my life as I then knew it ended. I'm not a rocket scientist by any means but I do know this. If you are doing something wrong, keep on doing it and you want to keep it a secret from certain people, you are attempting the impossible. My loving, beautiful, and unfaithful wife has not yet figured that out. It's my misfortune that I have figured it out.

My name is Bill Wright and I'm married to Ginny. We've been married almost fifteen years and have two great children. Margaret, Maggie for short, came first at almost seven pounds and she was followed two years later by Bill Junior who was a hefty nine pounds even.

We have had a good life together. We married young but were so much in love. We both swore undying love and wanted to grow old together. We both worked hard to keep our love alive and for the longest time it seemed to work.

Over the years we did have a few brief rough patches but managed to work through them successfully. Each time seemed to make our marriage even stronger. My wife is a beautiful woman. She is not beauty queen attractive; rather her beauty seems to come from within. She always seems happy with life and happy with herself.

Everyone thinks that I have a tough job. I'm an upper management supervisor in a company that sells a multitude of products. I love my job and I really like the people that I work with. I spent years developing my team and now I mostly just sit back and watch them do all the work. I occasionally come out of my office and walk around the floor just to keep everyone on their toes.

Every now and then, I would just take off out of the office and go browse the used book stores. I just admitted to you my secret passion. I love to read! I'll read most anything that catches my eye, such as, mysteries, westerns, science fiction, and even the occasional chick book. I must admit that Nora Roberts is among my select list of favorite authors along with Louis LaMour.

The only problem with my job is that sometimes I have too much time on my hands. Since it would not look good to sit at my desk and read a paperback book during work, I spend my time just thinking. Mostly it is idle thinking about nothing particular or important.

Today, I sitting here in my office looking out my window but I'm not seeing a thing. It seems that "Virginia" and I have reached another rough patch in our marriage. Just recently my Ginny has decided that I'm no longer allowed to use her nickname. She frostily reminded me that Virginia is her real name and she would prefer that I use that to address her from that point on.

Maybe what came after that statement wouldn't have been so bad except for one unfortunate detail. I just couldn't help it but I was so shocked that I laughed. Well my sweet loving Ginny went from zero to flat out pissed off. She screamed at me, calling me most every name in the book and a few others as well.

"You just take me for granted, you lazy, worthless son of a bitch! Sometimes I just wonder why... ?"

Ginny stopped suddenly probably because she was going to say something that both of us would regret for a long time. Her face was a red as I had ever seen it and her entire body seemed to be wire tight. "Bill, you just never stop being an asshole!" She turned and left the room and the next sound was the bedroom door slamming.

I was shocked and stunned by her ranting and yes, I was also hurt. The venom coming from the mouth of the woman that I love was pure poison to my soul. There was no way that I wanted to share a bed with her that night. I slept fitfully on the couch and early that morning I showered, dressed and left for work before she came out of our bedroom.

Later in the morning, my secretary, Alice let me know that my wife was on line one. Frankly I was not feeling much fondness for my darling bride so my greeting was brief and cold. "Hello." That was it and nothing else. I was still quite bent about her little tiff from last night.

"Good morning Bill." I was amazed at the morning cheer I could plainly hear in her voice! "I'm going to join some of the girls from work for a few drinks at some little place they have been telling me about for some time. I shouldn't be very late but I won't have dinner ready for you." The bile in my throat was making it very difficult to say anything so I said nothing at all.

"Bill? Bill did you hear me?" Now I could hear the irritation in her voice. This was something that was becoming entirely too regular in our conversations. It seemed that lately everything and even nothing that I said seemed to be acceptable to her.

"I heard you and since you didn't stutter much, I even managed to understand you." I hoped she was paying enough attention to hear the sarcasm in my voice. I was getting more pissed off by the minute and was reaching the point where I was ready for a good fight.

"Well good, I was afraid that you weren't paying attention again. See you later tonight." With that, she hung up without another word and I was left to stew in my own anger. This is when I come up short in any argument or discussion with her. When it's all over and done is the time that I think of what I should have said.

Things to say such as "Well you certainly aren't asking so I wonder why you bother to even tell me" or "If you are asking for my permission, do me a favor and stay out as late as you would like since you have been such lousy company."

The fact that I just couldn't seem to win any argument with my wife has always made me angry. The only way I can sometimes get my way is to simply out-stubborn her. This only works on those things that are important enough to me where I'm willing to go through the hell she will make me endure until she eventually gives in.

A classic example would be the time we went shopping for a recliner for me. I had narrowed my selection down to two, yet she didn't like either one and kept arguing with me. She was, again, trying to make me do it her way and was not even beginning to take my wants into consideration.

Finally, I said in frustration, "Supposedly this chair is for me and if I can't have what I want, then, I don't want anything at all!" Without waiting for her, I walked out of the store and was sitting in the car when she finally came out.

She was pissed at me for embarrassing her in the store and for not getting her way. I suffered for about two weeks of her cold shoulder and waspish behavior. Shortly after that, one of the chairs I had selected appeared as if by magic in the living room.

Eventually she got over it just like she did from time to time over the years. Sometimes getting my way was painful but in my mind it was worth it.

Finally I quit brooding about my wife and got back to work. I was grateful that something came up that actually needed my attention and spent the remainder of the afternoon working on it. I almost forgot about Ginny and her attitude towards me. My secretary, Alice, reminded me that I was chief cook and bottle washer tonight and if my kids wanted something to eat, I would have to leave for home now.

I made it home in good time and the kids were glad to see me. They were even happier when I informed them that I was taking them out for dinner. We really had a good time that evening. I decided that even though it was a school night, we would go to one of those movies that also offered dining. We saw a good Disney flick and the kids had pizza.

I really love my children. By the time we got home, they were tired and ready to hit the sack. After they were snug in their beds, I kept laughing lightly to myself because I had enjoyed my time with them so much. I realized that my children were the most important thing in my life. I would give my life without hesitation to protect them if necessary.

I was pretty tired myself and was just getting ready to head off to bed when Ginny came in the door. "I'm home", she sang. "Boy, she's in a really good mood" I thought. Seeing her like that gave me hope for a little nookie. "Did you have a good time?"

Ginny stopped in the doorway and smiled, "yes, I really enjoyed getting out. We all had a good time just yakking and stuff." Then without any further comment about her night out, she said "I'm tired. I need a shower to get the smoke out of my hair and I'm going straight to bed."

While I watched her leave, I couldn't help but think that she had not expressed any interest in my or the kid's evening. There was no kiss good night and no mention of her love for me. That had been common for years between us but now was a rare thing indeed. I was trying to remember just when had my wife become so remote and selfish. I spent another couple of hours wrestling with her behavior and how it was affecting our marriage.

I didn't sleep well that night and because of that, I was a little grumpy in the morning. The kids didn't take note of my behavior as they were busy getting breakfast and then out the door for school. I was sitting at the table nursing a second cup of coffee when Ginny finally came down.

It was obvious that she was still in good humor this morning. She hummed and sang as she prepared her breakfast. She was rapidly getting on my last nerve. My mood became darker by the moment as her good cheer grated on me. "Well good morning," she chirped. I didn't respond other than to glare at her over the lip of my cup.

"What's wrong with you? What put you in such a foul mood?" I was unreasonable glad to see that I had put a frown on her face. At that moment I would have given most anything just to shut her up. All I knew at that moment was that I was sick and tired of the treatment that she had been giving me for far too long.

I didn't even bother to respond as I rose and placed my cup in the sink. "Well you certainly know how to ruin my good mood!" she snapped. I just couldn't resist myself. For the first time in our marriage, I just couldn't resist saying "Since when does my mood have to match yours and just so you know, I'm just as happy to see you this morning as you were to see me when you finally came home last night."

Ginny gasped and put her hand to her throat but I just couldn't give a shit about hurting her feelings. I only knew that I was tired of being on the short end of the stick in our relationship. Grabbing my car keys, I went out the door flinging one last remark over my shoulder. "Fuck you very much dear and have a nice day!"

I must have really shocked the shit out of her because I was already backing out of the drive when she came storming out the door. "Bill, get your ass back in here right this minute. You get out of the car or you will regret it, I'm promising you!" Well I figured that the treatment I was getting from her was already bad enough and couldn't get much worse. I waved at her as I drove off and suddenly my sour mood was much brighter.

I couldn't remember the last time I had the last word with Ginny. When I got to work, my good cheer was obvious to everyone and I smiled and spoke to nearly everyone on the way to my office. I couldn't help but wonder a bit about the fact that being rude to my wife could put me in such a good mood. I got busy with the day's work and mostly forgot all about my parting shot towards my wife.

That evening when I arrived home from work, the first thing I saw was my wife. She was standing in the middle of the kitchen with her arms crossed and tapping her toe furiously. Her lips were set in a narrow angry line and her eyes practically smoldered with anger.

It was obvious that she was ready to fight but she wanted me to say the first word. It was a favorite tactic of hers and usually made me want to apologize immediately. Not this time, as I smiled at her and walked past her and out of the room.

I was in the bedroom changing clothes as she stomped in. "Don't you have anything to say to me?" Her tone was sharp and angry. "Nope." I figured that this was a good time to be a man of few words. I also figured that I would be better off making myself scarce. Without any further words, I went down to the basement because it was my only safe place. Ginny hated the basement and wouldn't come down for any reason.

I actually stayed down there so long that I fell asleep in an old ratty over-stuffed chair I dragged down a few years ago. I woke up about 2am and went upstairs to bed.

The next morning was Ginny's turn to get the kids off to school so I rose early and scooted out as soon as I was dressed. I don't think she even knew I had left. I stopped at a Denny's close to work and had their Egg Slam breakfast. When I got to work, Alice gave me my first message of the day from Ginny. It simply said "Call me ASAP!"

I looked at Alice and she said that she actually had given me the short edited version of my wife's message. I could easily fill in the blanks. I knew that she was still truly and royally pissed at me. I grinned at my secretary and she grinned back when I told her to hold all my wife's calls since I was either out of the office or in a meeting for the rest of the day.

This was one of those days when I just ran out of things to do at work. My staff was working hard on various tasks but they needed no direction or help from me. So about 3pm I decided to play hooky from work. A casual acquaintance had told me about a used book store in a part of town I rarely visited. He also told me that the book store had an excellent café where I could get a meal and read any new found book.

I told Alice that I would be available by cell phone if they needed me but otherwise I would be gone for the rest of the day. It was Friday and the Ginny's parents had made plans to pick the kids up from school and keep them for the weekend. I was not aware of any plans my wife may have made and I still was pissed at her.

I had just settled in at the book store café with a book and a sandwich when Alice called me. She had a message from Ginny that she would be working a little late and then had plans to go out again with her friends from work. She did not know when she would be home. "I think she is still pretty mad at you."

"No worrys," I said with my fake british accent. "I'm pretty comfortable here with a new book." I told Alice to have a nice weekend and would see her Monday morning.

I had been reading for about an hour when I glanced up just in time to see my wife's car pull up and park across the street. I was only mildly curious when I saw her get out of the car and step up on the sidewalk. Only a moment later another car parked beside hers and a young man, maybe about thirty or so, got out of the car and stepping up to my wife, gave her a very affectionate hug and an even more loving kiss.

Time just stopped! My mind went blank and my skin began to tingle in a most uncomfortable manner. I watched them walk, arm in arm, into the small bar directly in front of them.

It took me several moments to finally have a coherent thought. "Well fuck me to tears, the bitch has a boyfriend!" If you had asked me thirty seconds ago, I would have bet my life that what I just saw was impossible. My adorable, loving wife would never in a million years do something like this.

I didn't know what to do. I was completely stunned by what I had witnessed. I simply sat there for a while doing my imitation of a bump on a log. Maybe a half an hour later, they walked out, again very cozy with each other. They both got into the man's car and he drove off.

Again, I don't know how much longer I sat there before I began to breath again. I didn't realize I was holding my breath until I began to gasp for air. The pain I was feeling was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I had just watched my marriage die and there wasn't anything I could do to save it.

Finally, leaving my book, I walked out of the book store. My mind was numb but my heart was broken. I have loved my wife almost from the day we met. I could only think about how bad my life would be living without her.

There was no one on the street with me. I looked around and saw no one. I casually strolled over to my wife's car and pulling out my small but very sharp pocket knife, proceeded to cut the valve stem on all four tires. Then I went back to my car and drove off.

I had spent most of my adult life very involved with my wife and children. I really had no close friend that I felt comfortable telling what I had just seen. I really had no place to go so I simply went home. When I got there, I went straight to the basement and sat in my ratty old chair.

I had been sitting there for hours, thinking of the pile of shit I used to call a happy marriage. I made and discarded plans and in the end could not decide what to do at this point. It was there that Ginny found me when she finally came home about 10pm. I was surprised to look up and see her standing at the top of the stairs looking down at me.

I could not remember the last time she had come even that far into the basement. I kept it clean but at the same time it was very cluttered. I looked up at her and I could see that she was in a good mood again. No, that was not the correct way to describe her. She looked relaxed and freshly fucked. She had that loose way of standing and her posture was very relaxed.

"Hi honey, did you get my message at work? I tried to get a hold of you a few times today but you were either out or in a meeting." "Good old Alice!" I thought. I was glad to see that she had been successful in keeping my wife from talking to me. "At least something went right today." It was odd how much satisfaction I got from that even though my life was in a shit hole.

I didn't bother to answer her. There wasn't anything I could think of to say other than "fuck off and die you cheating whore" and I wasn't ready for than just yet.

Ginny stood there looking at me with an odd look on her face. I wasn't surprised that there was no mention of the vandalism to her car. She couldn't tell me about it without letting me know where and when it happened.

I decided then that the only way to keep from screaming at her with all the anger and hurt I was feeling was to ignore her. Otherwise, I would simply not be able to control myself. I pointedly looked away from her and stared without seeing into a far corner of the basement.

"I don't know what happened to put a bug up your ass," Ginny grated, "but I'm tired and I don't feel like putting up with your shit. I'm going to bed and you can come or not because I don't really care right now."

There was no way that I could even consider sleeping in the same bed with her. The sense of revulsion was simply go great. The pain just kept increasing and it made thinking coherently almost impossible. I just sat there in that ratty old chair for the remainder of the night. I could not think but could only feel.

Hours later, I heard her moving around our bedroom. I heard the shower come on and then minutes later stop. About a half hour later I heard her come into the kitchen and moments after that, I could smell coffee and bacon.

For the second time in recent history, Ginny came into the basement, again stopping at the top of the stairs. I looked up at her without saying anything. I just stared as I tried desperately to keep my emotions from showing on my face.

"Do you want any breakfast?" I knew I couldn't eat and I didn't want to leave what had become my sanctuary. "No, I'm not hungry."

She turned without another word and left the basement returning to the kitchen. She must have turned everything off because only moments later, I heard her car start up and pull out of the drive. I just couldn't get the least bit interested in leaving my chair. I was not hungry nor was I thirsty.

Several times throughout the day I heard the phone ringing and then my cell ringing. I just couldn't work up the required energy to answer either. I think I might have dozed a few times. I had no idea of time passing so I was surprised to hear the children coming into the house. They were as usual, talking up a storm about their day. I assumed they were talking to their mother.

I heard the door to the basement open and again Ginny was standing there hipshot and looking at me with concern. "Bill are you okay? Are you sick or something?" The concern in her voice was so sincere that I couldn't stand it. I leaned over the side of my chair and weakly threw up. There was nothing in my stomach so it was just a very clear bile that came up.

Although Ginny was becoming more and more worried about me, she still made no move to come down the stairs. She began to babble and make noises about calling 911 or worse my mother. Suddenly the strength came back to my legs and I stood up and began to climb the stairs. I still had not spoken a word to Ginny.

As I came into the kitchen, my appearance must have shocked my children. Even though they were frightened, they came to me quickly and each gave me hug after hug while trying to reassure themselves that I was really ok.

I went to one knee and told them that Daddy was not feeling very well but that I would be right as rain in no time at all. I hugged them back and then without looking back went into the bedroom where I stripped off my dirty clothing.

Naked, I padded into the bathroom and started the shower. I stood under the water for a while, just letting it run over my body and it began to sooth my soul. I finally soaped and washed and after rinsing, stepped out of the shower and began to briskly towel myself.

The shower must have awakened my brain along with my body. I started to think clearly for the first time in two days. First and foremost in my thoughts were my children. The thought of losing them brought tears to my eyes.

As I began to wipe the tears from my eyes, Ginny walked in. She must have seen me crying almost immediately and she blurted out "Bill are you crying? Why are you crying?"

Gruffly, I replied that I was not crying but had only gotten some soap in my eyes during my shower. I was surprised that I could even speak to her without screaming in anger. She tried to take me into her arms but I pulled away. I quickly dressed and went to the living room where I spent the remainder of the evening playing with Maggie and Bill, Jr.

I ignored Ginny and refused to acknowledge anything that she said to me. A few times I did look at her and the concern and fear on her face made me feel better. I was glad to see that I could at least get that much emotion from her.

Ginny's Story

Guilt! I just can't seem to shake this awful guilt. My name is Virginia and I'm married to a wonderful man called Bill. We have two wonderful children and up until some months ago I thought we had the most wonderful marriage. I'm not sure when it started but I began to realize that I was restless and feeling dissatisfied with my life.

I began to let my feeling affect my relationship with Bill. It didn't seem to affect how I loved him but how I like him. I know that doesn't seem to make sense but it's the best way I have to describe what I was going through.

How I treated my children never changed. I adored them and always enjoyed any time that I could spend with them. They are growing up so fast and have just recently become more involved with their friends and school. Looking back, of course, I can see how I began to change the way I treated my husband.

I began to snap at him for small things. Things that had never bothered me before became irritating. It seemed that he was going out of his way to make me angry. I know in retrospect that he did no such thing. It was entirely me and I could not seem to control my impatience in dealing with him.

I began to avoid him. I would stay longer at work even though it was not really necessary and I began to stop with friends from work at a small local club to have a few drinks and enjoy the music. I even began to dance with some of the guys at the club.

I have to admit that while I enjoyed the attention I was receiving from these men but I didn't let things get out of hand. There was no kissing, holding hands, fondling or other inappropriate behavior. I was married and had no intention of looking elsewhere for love.

Bill tried to talk to me on several occasions about the fact that we seemed to be drawing apart. He said that the connection he had always felt with me was beginning to fade. I told him that he was wrong and he was letting his overactive imagination get the best of him.

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