"Put it against the wall" I told the two guys who carried in the dresser."
I went back to hanging the pictures on the wall. Tom came in with two suitcases and asked me where I wanted them.
"Put them on the floor in front of the bed. When you bring in the stuff on hangers just put them in the closet."
When I finished with the pictures I put the suitcases on the bed and then emptied them into the dresser drawers. Tom and the other two guys – Mike and Phil – brought in the rest of the boxes and I had them put the stuff in the closet. Phil handed me a travel case and said:
"This is the last of it."
I took the case from him and then told the three of them that I'd meet them at Murphy's Tavern in half an hour. I emptied the case and put the items on top of the dresser, arranged them neatly and stepped back to look around. I moved a few items to give things a more uniform appearance and then took a look around the room. Satisfied with what I saw I turned and left and went to meet my buddies at Murphy's.
I was on my second beer when my cell phone went off. I looked at the screen and saw that the call was from my wife. I flipped it open and said:
"Rob? I'm at the house and I can't get in. The garage door opener isn't working and none of my keys will fit into the locks."
"Not surprising Maggie since you don't live there anymore."
"Of course I live here."
"Where are you Maggie?"
"I'm at the house."
"I mean where are you standing right now?"
"On the front porch."
"Look around. You should see a man approaching. His instructions were to wait until he saw you take out your cell phone and make a call before telling you what is going on."
"There is a man coming up the walk right now."
"He will answer all of your questions Maggie. Goodbye."
Five minutes later my cell phone chirped again and again it was my wife.
"Rob? What the hell is this nonsense about divorce?"
"No nonsense Maggie. I just decided that it was time to get rid of a cheating wife."
"Don't be stupid Rob. I have never cheated on you."
"I'm not being stupid Maggie; what I am is no longer stupid and blind. Don't bother calling me again. You have been served and the papers have my attorney's name and phone number on them. Any communication between us from now on will have to go through him. And by the way, I moved all of your things out of the house and moved them over to your lover's place. Goodbye Maggie."
I disconnected, waved over the waitress and ordered us another round.
It started with a phone call from Tom. He asked me to meet him for a drink after work. Tom had been my best friend since the first day of seventh grade. It had been an immediate bond and we had been inseparable all the way through high school. After graduating I went to college and earned a degree in Business Management and Tom joined the Navy. He served his hitch and when he got out we reconnected. We saw each once or twice a week and a month didn't go by that we didn't have a cook out in either his back yard or mine.
I met him at Murphy's Tavern. He was already there seated at a table in the back and I waved at Sally as I walked by the bar and she immediately popped the top on a Coors and handed it to Sherri to bring over to me. I sat down opposite Tom and said:
"It ain't good bud and I'm not going to come off looking too good here so I need to set the stage. Remember how we were in high school? If a girl didn't put out on the first date she didn't get a second one and our philosophy was if she did put out on the first date the first wasn't enough and four was too many?"
"Yeah, but that is ancient history."
"Yes and no. What it did was convince me that sex was entertainment. It was fun. It wasn't to take seriously. You know and I know you know that Barb and I are swingers. We keep it away from the people we know, unless they approach us on it, and just swing with groups from out of town. Barb thinks just like I do. Sex is fun. Sex is meant to be enjoyed. It has nothing to do with love and devotion. I love Barb to death and everyone knows it and it does not bother me to see her enjoy herself with someone else because I know she will be going home with me and will spend her life trying to spoil me rotten"
"What does that have to do with me?"
"I'm getting to it. When I got out of the Navy we didn't chase women like we used to. For one thing I had met Barb and had decided she was the one for me and you were dating Maggie. And then of course there was the fact that we were older and a little more grown up. I married Barb and you married Maggie and the next six years flew happily by until two weeks ago."
"What happened two weeks ago?"
"Two weeks ago you sat here at this very same table and after three or four beers you told me that you felt that there was something wrong in your marriage and then you said, and I quote, "If I didn't know better I would say Maggie is cheating on me." Remember that?"
"Yeah, I do."
"Well Rob, that is what brings me here today. Maggie is cheating on you."
"You've got to be kidding?"
"I'm not. Maggie has been cheating on you."
"You are serious?"
"As serious as death."
"How long have you known?"
"That's a hard question to give a straight answer to."
"Damn it Tom, you brought it up so get to it."
"Okay. I've known for two weeks. She has been cheating on you since before you got married."
"Have you been drinking all day?"
"Of course not. Why the hell would you ask that?"
"Because what you said makes absolutely no sense. You have only known for two weeks, but you know she was cheating before we got married. We got married over six years ago Tom."
"I know what she has been doing since before you were married. But I've only known it was cheating since our talk two weeks ago. This is the part where I don't come off looking too good. Given how much we were alike way back when I just naturally assumed that you were like me; sex was fun, sex was entertainment. Sex wasn't any big deal and it had nothing to do with love, devotion and stuff like that.
"I knew you weren't like me and Barb, but that didn't mean you didn't have your own ways. Some guys like to watch their wives with other men. Some guys like to send the wife out to play and then listen to her talk about it when she gets home. A lot of guys get a kick out of having a slut for a wife and then there are guys who can't keep up with their wives sexually and to keep the peace in the family they let her go out and play. There are guys who don't care what the wife does as long as she always comes home to them. I assumed that you were one of those kinds of guys."
"Why in the hell would you assume something like that?"
"Why wouldn't I? Maggie has been doing it at least twice a week for over six years so how could you not know? I mean come on Rob. I can see hiding cheating for six or maybe eight months, but six years? I assumed you had to know and just like you knew about Barb and me and never mentioned it I never mentioned it to you about what I thought you and Maggie had going. And now comes the "As well as you know me and you can think that about me" am I right?"
I looked at him thoughtfully for a few moments and then said, "No, not at all. If it has been going on as long as you say I can see the reasoning behind your thinking. What I can't believe is that it could have been going on as long as it has and I didn't have a clue. It has only been over the last month or so that I began to feel that something wasn't right. So I guess the obvious questions now are who, when and where."
I listened as Tom told me everything that he knew for sure, everything that he suspected and everything he had heard from others. When he was done I sat there shaken to my very core.
"What are you going to do?" Tom asked.
"Get some proof and then burn the bitch's ass."
As I drove home I thought back to when I'd met Maggie. My brother Jerry and his wife Christina had invited me over for a Sunday afternoon barbecue and I'd no sooner walked in the door than Christina grabbed me by the arm and told me that she had someone she wanted me to meet.
It wasn't the first time Christy had tried playing matchmaker. Whoever the candidate was that day she would be the seventh since my breakup with Marsha. Marsha had been my long term girlfriend (three years worth) until the day she told me that she was going out on a date with another guy on Saturday. She picked a really bad time to do it. I had the ring in my pocket and had intended to propose that night. I just looked at her for several very long seconds and then I said:
"I hope you have a nice time" and I took the ring box out of my pocket, opened it, looked at the ring and then said, "I guess I'll return this tomorrow."
I got up from where I had been sitting and walked away from her as she cried:
"Wait Rob, wait."
She called me two or three times a day for the next two weeks, but I never took her calls and eventually she stopped calling.
Anyway, there was Chrissy trying to set me up with another "girl who is just perfect for you." I'd told her more than once not to do it anymore, but she never listened. She didn't understand that I didn't want another girl in my life at that time. I was still hurting from Marsha. I pulled my arm away from Crissy's hand and said, "No Christina, not this time" and I walked away from her to go find the beer.
.... There is more of this story ...