Dave Valerta stared at his wife sitting across the room from him, stunned by what she had said. How could his wife of eighteen years and the mother of his children say something like that to him? "Don't look at me like that Dave. It's your own damned fault.
It had happened the night of Diane's sister's birthday party. At the last minute a problem had come up at the plant and Dave couldn't get away from work until the problem was solved. He had called Diane and told her she would have to go alone and that he would meet her there when he could get away. Diane had gone off on him because she was sure he was making a phony excuse so he could get out of going. It didn't help that he and Diane'' sister couldn't stand each other and did their best to avoid being in the same place at the same time. But there wasn't much Dave could do about it. As production manager he had to be there when there were production problems. It was past midnight when Dave finally left the plant and since he figured that it was way too late to go to Donna's party he went on home. He was not surprised that Diane was not home yet. His parents had taken the kids for the weekend and Diane would stay at the party until the last dog was hung, if for no other reason than to spite Dave. He had gone to bed knowing that Saturday was going to be a bitch even if Diane didn't talk to him. She had a way of turning the house into a huge deep freeze when she was pissed.
When he'd awakened Diane was not in bed with him. He checked the kid's rooms, the spare bedroom and the living room couch and it was apparent that Diane had not come home. He figured that she must have spent the night at Donna's rather than try to drive home with a snoot full. Well, at least that would put off the confrontation a little while longer. He spent the morning changing the oil in his car and rotating the tires. When Diane still wasn't home by two he decided that he better call Donna. Not that he was worried, but because he could already hear what Diane would say if he didn't, "You don't even care enough about me to try and find out if I'm alright." When Donna answered the phone and he'd asked to speak to Diane Donna had laughed at him, "She's not here dickhead."
"What time did she leave?"
"About one last night."
"But she never came home."
"Might not have come home to you, but she went home with somebody. Not bad looking either, and she spent quite a bit of time swapping tongues with him before they left. Face it dickhead, you've been replaced."
Donna's laughter rang in his head as she hung up on him. Diane had left the party with another man at one o'clock? That's the last thing that Dave would have expected from Diane and he had a very bad feeling about where his life was now headed.
It was seven-thirty that evening when Diane's car pulled into the driveway. Dave was sitting in the kitchen eating some left overs that he'd fixed for himself when she walked in. He looked up at her briefly and then took his plate to the sink, rinsed it and put it in the dishwasher. The he took another brief look at Diane and walked out of the room. He went into the living room, turned on the TV and settled in to watch the war news on CNN. Operation Iraqi Freedom seemed to have bogged down in a sandstorm. Diane came into the room and sat down in the easy chair across from him, "Aren't you even going to ask me where I've been?"
Dave hit the mute button on the TV; "I know where you've been. Your pig of a sister couldn't wait to tell me that you left the party with another man at one o'clock last night. Being a fairly intelligent person it wasn't at all hard for me to figure out what you have been doing. The where you did it doesn't really matter, now does it?"