The sunlight reflecting off the warm water coupled with periodic splashes as the boat's bow crashed through the waves painted an absolutely beautiful picture. It was about 85 degrees and sunny. The boat's throbbing motor pushed us farther and farther away from land until we could no longer see the shoreline. I leaned over the side to see if I could see any fish through the crystal clear blue waters. A tugging on my arm pulled me back inside the boat and back into the arms of the beautiful woman holding my hand.
Stacy kissed me deeply and when I pulled back refused to let me stop.
"You'll have almost an hour to look at fish, while I'm down there," she said. "Are you embarrassed to kiss me in front of Bob? He already knows we're in love. Besides we're married. We can do whatever we want."
Stacy had always gone in for public displays of affection. Even when we first started dating she was the one who would always just come up to me and kiss me. She often buried her tongue down my throat no matter who was watching. She wanted everyone to know that we were together, and that we belonged exclusively to each other.
Maybe it was because we came from a small town and there weren't that many available singles. Maybe she was just territorial, who knew. While I had never had any shortage of available women to date, I'd also never had a line of hot girls beating down my door to get to me either. Stacy on the other hand was really hot in that sneaky, girl next door kind of way. Okay, Girl next door if you live next to the Playboy mansion. She had long thick brown hair, and huge blue eyes. Boobs that weren't big enough to make her look like a porn star, but also weren't small enough not to be seen. They were perfect, just like the rest of her. I sometimes forgot what I was doing when I watched her walking around in a pair of shorts in the summer. I never did figure out what she saw in me. I was just as average as average could be. But for some reason she seemed to love me. Go figure.
At any rate we were both in our late twenties, and we had a great life. I worked as a design engineer for a large after market auto-parts company, in Michigan. I made a very comfortable living so Stacy didn't need to work. She put all of her energy into making our home perfect for us and the kids we'd be having soon. We took a couple of vacations a year, often on the spur of the moment so neither of us got bored or stressed out. We alternated who got to choose what we did supposedly, but most of the time it seemed like Stacy got to pick.
My interests, like me are more ordinary than Stacy's pursuits. I love cars, so my job of designing after market trim pieces and parts is perfect for me. It also pays off in the discounts and outright freebies I get on parts for my Mustang. Unlike a lot of the guys I know, I'm not a collector. I keep a Stang for 3 or four years and then trade it in on a newer version. Currently I'm rocking a Midnight blue Shelby GT H. The GT H didn't come in Midnight blue. Originally the car was black with gold stripes but I'd gotten the paint job and a few upgrades the day after I took delivery of it.
So for me a dream vacation could be a trip to Las Vegas for the SEMA show. For Stacy it was off to Colorado skiing, or here in Florida for scuba diving. Stacy held my hand as the boat plowed through the water. Her smile could compete with the Florida sun for intensity and light. Up ahead next to the pilot of the boat I'd rented to take us out near a coral reef where the diving was supposed to be perfect, sat Bob. Bob Markam was an acquaintance of ours whom we'd known for about 11 months. We'd met him in diving school where we went to take scuba lessons. We found out that because of an inner ear disorder that I'd been born with that I'd never be able to dive. Stacy had quickly decided to give up the idea of diving as well, but I couldn't let her do it.
Bob seemed to be an Okay guy, he was older than us at 39, and married to his childhood sweetheart. They lived about an hour's drive away from us in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and they had three kids. Bob's wife Susan had no interest in diving. Bob was tall and reasonably good looking, he wasn't a Nordic god but he was Okay looking. He, like me was just a normal guy with a family, so I felt relatively safe with him diving with Stacy.
Not that I worried about Stacy at all. She was the perfect wife and had never given me any reason to suspect anything from her; and believe you me, I'm the suspicious type. She was affectionate, even tempered and always where she was supposed to be. This was really important to me because I grew up living with my dad. I had to witness his slow transformation from relatively attractive and virile regular Dad, to a broken and fucked up shell of a man before he finally died. What had it taken to make that transformation? Was it the rough economy and lack of jobs? Was it the globalization and militarism of the world? It was none of those; it was all the result of one sandy haired skank, who couldn't keep her legs closed.
I vowed that I would never end up like my dad. The sandy haired skank was of course my mom. The thing about it that made it so fucking tragic was that they loved each other just so God damned much. They'd contact each other after being alone for a while and get back together. They'd be full of "I love you," and "this time it's going to work," ideas. Dad had to of course work to keep a roof over our heads, and while he was at work, sooner or later she'd get an itch that only the mailman, or the garbage man, or some cross eyed circus clown who wandered through town with a carnival, could scratch.
Then inevitably Dad would find out, and though he loved her more than life itself he wasn't going to put up with it, so he'd throw her out on her ass. For a few weeks she'd fuck everything that wasn't nailed down and then she'd just stop fucking, and start crying. It would suddenly dawn on her that she was missing something. That something was my dad, and she'd come running back to him every time. Of course he wouldn't take her back right away. He had too much pride for that. He'd try to date other women, some of whom I really preferred to my mom, but he could never be happy with any of them. He was a one woman man.
And mom was worse, she wouldn't even date anyone other than my dad. She'd fuck them, blow them, and take them into body parts that I still don't want to hear about. But she would never allow herself to be seen in public with any man other than my dad. If it wasn't my life, I'd think it was funny as hell. If it was a movie, I swear I wouldn't watch it.
Anyway, seeing this as I grew up left me with trust issues, and a zero tolerance policy when it came to cheating. I had no intention of ending up in a nut farm, depressed and crazy over any woman, no matter how hot she was. Love is a wonderful thing, but I wasn't about to go crazy for it.
This was the third time that we'd come to Florida to go diving with Bob. We had our own comfortable routine down, and were pretty familiar with each other. I'd rent a boat and we'd go out to an area where the diving was good. I'd read a book or watch some videos or play some games while they dove. They'd take some underwater photos and share them and their stories with me when they came back up. Then we'd go back to our hotel and Stacy would try to screw me to death. Except for the screwing me to death part it wasn't that great for me, but I did it because I love Stacy more than I can ever express. This trip was going to be different though. Stacy didn't know it but I had a surprise for her that would make her trip more fun. It was a little bit expensive but nothing we couldn't afford.
As a matter of fact I'd saved a bit of money by not chartering a first class dive boat this time, so it would cost us about the same as it normally did. I was a little bit worried about our Captain. He seemed like the type who wasn't above doing something slightly underhanded to make a few extra bucks. He wasn't physically imposing but just sneaky.
"What are you smiling about," asked Stacy pulling me out of my thoughts with another of her soul searing kisses. She brushed the front of my shorts and got an instant rise. "Are you thinking of all of the nasty things you're going to make me do with you when we get back?" She leaned over me and I could see her nipples through the material of her bikini top. She was turned on big time. "Do you want to go below deck and have a quickie?" Before I could answer her, the boat stopped and the captain came down and looked over the side to make sure the anchors were set. He threw me the thumbs up sign and went below deck, probably for a nap.
Bob came over and started getting his gear together. "Hey Steve do you know what that thing is that's covered by the tarps in the back of the boat?" he asked.
"Yep that's the surprise I got for you guys," I said, trying to disguise the excitement in my voice.
"What surprise?" asked Stacy, squeezing my arm. "You didn't say anything about a surprise. Are you keeping secrets from your own wife, who loves you?"
The three of us went to the stern of the boat near the diving platform. Once there I started unhooking the tarps covering my surprise. Actually my surprise was two fold and they wouldn't find out the second part of it until they got back from their dive, maybe not until tonight in the hotel. It depended on how well it went, and how I felt.
When I lifted up the tarp their eyes settled on two aqua scooters. I could see from their dubious looks that they were underwhelmed.
"Holy shit," said Bob. "What do we do with those? What are they?"
"They're called aqua scooters Bob. Remember last time we came down here? You guys were talking about how you wanted to be able to cover more area and see more things while you were down there. Well these will let you do just that. All you have to do is hang on and squeeze the control handle and it pulls you thought the water way faster than you can swim. The batteries are good for about 45 minutes. You get a warning ping when you're at fifty percent so start back when you hear it. If the batteries run down before you get back just push the purge button and it'll drop all of its ballast and just float to the surface and we'll pick it up later."
Neither of them looked really enthused, but they said they'd try them. I was sure that once they got down there, the speed that they'd be able to get through the water alone would make them appreciate the scooters more. And that after diving with them they'd never want to go without them. But then I also had another thought; speedy vehicles, is really something that I enjoy. I loved doing anything and everything to squeeze every once of horsepower possible out of my Mustangs. But speed isn't something that matters to Stacy. She drives a car that I wouldn't be buried in. Whenever we go to a car show, I'm always embarrassed when my friends tell me about the smoking hot woman that they saw getting out of a Toyota Prius. Maybe Stacy doesn't really care about going fast underwater.
As Bob lowered himself into the water, I took a good look at Stacy. I don't know how it was possible, but she even looked good loaded down with her weight belt and flippers and tank, and mask. Most people look really dorky, in their equipment but somehow Stacy just turned it into another fashion statement. I handed the blue Scooter over the side to Bob. It was relatively heavy, but I knew that once in the water it would be nearly weightless. Stacy came up beside me and wrapped her arms around me and pulled me to her another one of those kisses that always curled my toes. She always kissed me like she'd never see me again before a dive. She did the same thing before we went down a ski run together. I guess it was just her way of saying if anything happens I want you to always remember that I love you.
She smiled, pulled her mask on and gently dropped over the side. I handed her the red scooter, and turned on the power switch for her. "I love you," she said before she went under.
As soon as she was out of sight I ran to the front of the boat and grabbed my iPad from my belongings. I'd been playing games and online shopping on it until we got out of 3G range a couple of miles offshore. Right now it wouldn't get internet access but it would still play games, and other things. I'd recently installed a very special new app on it that was part of my surprise. I love surprising Stacy, she is the most important thing in my life. There were times when I could almost understand how my Dad let himself go through that shit with my mom over and over again. You'll note that I said almost.
It was a truly beautiful day to be out on the boat. The warm temperatures and Ocean breezes were great. I went into the galley and got a sandwich from the cooler, I had about 45 minutes to kill before they'd be back up so a quick snack was definitely in order. After tuning in the frequency I was looking for on the iPad I bit into my sandwich savoring the flavor of Canadian Maple Turkey breast. I took a swig of my Wild Cherry Pepsi, and looked at the screen on my iPad. All of a sudden a bit of the sandwich got lodged in my throat. I coughed as hard as I could and threw up over the side of the boat.
Some of the sandwich and the soda came out through my nose because I had coughed so hard. That feeling that I've heard people describe when they talk about heart attacks or other serious problems that change their lives, was nothing compared to what I was feeling. I grabbed my chest, with both hands and fell to my knees. I started pounding on my chest my both hands, and knocked over a table onto the deck spilling my tray and my soda and sandwich.
The captain ran back up on deck and asked me what was wrong. He looked concerned when he saw me holding my chest.
"Lay down sir, I'll get the first aid kit. We have a defibrillator on board." He said.
"Fuck that shit," I snapped. "Pull up the God damned anchors and get me back to shore, now."
"But sir, your wife and, your friend," he began.
"Throw a dinghy over board for them, they'll be fine." I told him. "The faster you get me back, the bigger your bonus will be." I could tell that he was struggling with the idea of leaving two people out this far in the ocean, but I was right in my assessment of his character. For the right price the man would do anything; especially if he could use his concern for my physical well being to explain his actions.
"How big a bonus are we talking about sir," he smiled at me.
"That depends on your actions after we get back," I said. "And also on your judgment, and your ability to keep your mouth closed."
"What would you say to 5000 dollars," I asked him.
"I'd say or do anything you want sir. But for now I have to raise the anchor so we can get you safely back to shore. Oh and sir, for my bonus, could we maybe hit an ATM so you could give it to me in cash. Checks are so messy and deposits into accounts can sometimes be noticed under the right circumstances." He smiled again and started bringing up the anchor. "Dinghy," I reminded him.
Almost as an afterthought he threw a small package that looked like a pillow over the side. Before it hit the water he yanked on a cable attached to it and it started to expand and turn into a small rubber boat. He attached a small buoy to it so that it would remain in place and then started the engines and we left quickly without looking back. I started packing up all of my personal gear and Stacy's into the bags we'd brought on board with us. My heart couldn't have stopped because it was beating so loudly that I thought it would rip through my chest. I lay back in a lounge chair on the deck and contemplated the rest of my life.
"Maybe you should walk around sir, to keep the blood pumping through your system. I've heard that until one receives medical care it's best to keep the heart functioning." He said this while he looked at me from the wheelhouse. I think he really believed that I'd had a mild heart attack and out of cowardice wanted to run back to shore; regardless of the fact that I was leaving my beautiful wife and friend to fend for themselves until either he could come back for them, or they'd be rescued by someone else.
I had never heard his theory. From everything I'd been told in case of a heart attack, you should always get medical attention as quickly as possible and keep the victim calm, quiet and lying down. In any case it didn't matter because I hadn't had a fucking heart attack. What happened to me was just as serious, and life altering, but it was an emotional injury, not a medical one.
It had taken us ninety minutes to get to the dive spot. We'd expected to stay there for 2 hours or so. With a ninety minute trip back, we should have gotten back just before 6:00 p.m. in the evening. We'd actually only stayed there for less than half an hour, and were making better time than we expected on the return trip. I took all of this into consideration as I planned my next moves.
Clearly the captain wanted that bonus because he shaved nearly twenty minutes off of the trip back. As soon as we docked he came to me. "Shall I escort you to the nearest hospital sir?" he asked.
"Nope, just to the nearest bank," I replied. He looked puzzled but the word "Bank" stayed with him.
"Now for the second part of earning your bonus," I began.
"I know sir, you want me to return to the area and pick up your wife and friend as quickly as possible. All I need to do is to refuel and I'll be on my way, if you can get to the hospital on your own."
"I've arranged for them to be picked up by someone else," I lied. "All I need you to do is take me to the bank, so I can pay you. Then I need you to forget that you ever saw me or chartered your boat to me." He looked suspicious, and he started to say something, but I guess money won over scruples, so he simply nodded his head and we hit a small bank in the Marina.
An hour later I had checked out of the hotel, and was sitting in the airport awaiting my flight back to Michigan.
I knew I was in trouble as soon as I broke through the surface of water. I looked around and for as far as I could see there were no boats. Not only did I not see our boat, I saw no boats of any kind except for a small rubber life raft maybe fifty yards off.
Behind me Stacy Martin came spluttering up, she spat water out, along with her mouthpiece and looked around. It amazed me that any woman could look that good with a scuba mask on top of her head and her hair plastered around her face, but she did. I hated that bitch with a passion. From her tiny upturned nose and cheerful disposition to those luscious tits and that firm round ass, I loathed every fucking inch of that bitch.
"Hey Bob, where's the boat?" she asked cheerfully.
At that point if I had answered her it would only have led to an argument which would have meant, I had to talk to her more. So I just started swimming for the raft and said nothing. I was tired and my tanks were heavy, and for the third time I wondered where the fucking boat was. Then I heard a sound. Stacy was using her aqua scooter for propulsion; she shot by me, headed for my life raft. I had to admit the bitch was pretty smart, because I hadn't thought of that. I started my scooter and followed her towards the raft.
When we got to the raft Stacy just dropped her tanks and let them sink to the bottom. She gingerly got herself over the side of the raft and lay down. I dropped my tanks as well. This is a survival situation, her husband is well off, he can afford the insurance penalties for the lost tanks. And he's a really nice guy as well, I thought as I crawled into the raft. Luckily for us the raft was well outfitted and big enough for three or four people. It wasn't spacious by any means, but there was enough room that I didn't have to be close to her, or touch her. At that point in time either of those options would have literally made me vomit.
I started to take stock of our situation. The sun was still relatively high in the sky so we had a few hours before it would begin to get dark. The warm sun also meant that we wouldn't freeze, but if we were stuck on this raft until nightfall it might get relatively chilly. There were pockets along the insides of the raft four of them I decided to see what was in the one closest to me.
"Bob, do you know where the boat is? Or what's going on?" asked Stacy. At that time I was still barely holding my temper in, and not doing a very good job of it.
"How the fuck would I know where the God damned boat is? I was down there with you," I snapped. "Do you want me to pull a boat out of my ass? Can we take a few minutes to breathe and figure out what's going on?"
Stacy simply shook her head and started looking through the pockets that were on her end of the raft, while I looked through the ones on my side. There were four pockets total with 2 of the pockets containing a first aid Kit and a flare gun. Another pocket had three small bottles of water and some dried fruit and meat. The last pocket had a small radio, actually it was more like a walky-talky, but we might be able to use it to contact the boat and get them to come and get us. I was still having trouble figuring this out. This was our third time diving together, we'd never come up very far away from the boat. This time we'd had the scooters and they did take us much farther away from the boat, but I was sure that we'd traced our path back correctly. The GPS homing feature on my watch also confirmed that we were back in our original position, or at least within a few feet. I could only come to 2 possible conclusions. The first was that something had happened to the boat, but if it had sank we have seen some kind of wreckage when we were underwater. The second conclusion was that they had simply left us. That seemed unlikely because as sure as there was a sky above us, Steve loved that conniving bitch he was married to. That poor man would move heaven and earth to make her happy. So if they'd left us it couldn't have been voluntary. Either they'd been attacked possibly by some of those modern day pirates you hear about, or there'd been some kind of emergency aboard that made it necessary for them to go back to shore. This theory was born out by the fact that they'd obviously left us the raft. If they'd been attacked or taken over they wouldn't have been able to leave the raft for us.
I was fairly sure I had figured it out, so now reasonably all I had to do was to wait for them to make it back to shore and send someone back for us. I figured it would take three or four hours for someone to get back to us. The only thing to do was to wait. I noticed a roll tied to the inflated rim of the raft. I untied it and noticed it was a small blanket. I wrapped it around me and tried to take a nap. I was tired from the exertion of diving and all of the stress of our situation.
"What are you doing?" Stacy asked me.
"It'll be at least 3 hours before they can get back here for us," I said, "I'm exhausted and there's really nothing we can do in the meantime so I' going to take a nap."
"What are you talking about Bob, would you like to share your brilliant theory with the rest of the class?" she snapped. "I don't know what crawled up your ass, but we're in this together, so sharing information might be helpful."
"We aren't in shit together, and I don't want to share anything with you," I snapped back at her. "But the way I see it is that they must've had some kind of problem or emergency while we were down there. Something they couldn't wait for us to surface to handle, so they left us the raft. Knowing Steve the way we do, and how fucking crazy he is about you, I'd probably be willing to bet my life that he'll send someone back for you immediately. It took us 90 minutes running time to get here, but we weren't in a hurry. So let's say they do the same speed back. Maybe even an hour or so slower if the problem was mechanical. That means we're looking at a 3 or 4 hour wait; and as I said, I'm tired,"
So I pulled the blanket back over me and tried to sleep again.
I was wrong, it was nearly 24 hours before we were rescued. Strangely enough a charter boat from the same company came across us on their way back in. We were severely dehydrated, and sunburned. We'd nearly frozen to death during the night. Sometime after midnight I'd felt Stacy trying to roll over near me for warmth. I'd reacted badly and things kind of went downhill from there.
"Get away from me, bitch! You've got your own fucking blanket so use it," I'd yelled at her. There was no way I wanted that woman anywhere near me.
"Fuck you asshole," she'd yelled back. "This is the last time I'm diving with you."
"I'm glad you finally realized it, because they don't print enough money to pay me to ever see you again." I had screamed in reply. Then a few minutes later I'd found out that she had drank all of the water. So to even the score, I ate all of the food. There wasn't that much just 2 small packets. One contained slivers of dried meats, and the other dried fruit. I felt really stupid about eating all of it at once when morning came and we had nothing to eat or drink. All I could do all that day was sit there and try to avoid looking at the bitch who had cost me my soul, and self respect. I literally hated that woman. The thing that bothered me the most was that she couldn't seem to understand how I felt about her or why. I'm not rich, I'm not outrageously good looking or talented. Hell I'm not even that smart. I'm your average everyday husband and father. There was no way I'd ever be able to bag a chick like her even in my fucking dreams. I don't know how her husband got her. He seemed to be an average Joe just like me, but she loved him like there was no fucking tomorrow. Almost every word out of her mouth was about him. It was just sickening. That bitch simply didn't deserve the guy, as hot as she was. We spent most of the day either ignoring each other or snapping at each other. And until that boat showed up there'd only been 2 thoughts going through my mind for the entire time that we were stuck in that raft together.
Number one was a constant prayer that I'd be able to see my wife and kids again so I could tell them how much I loved them, and spend the rest of my life proving it to them. That was the most intense feeling I had, more intense than hunger or thirst or even dehydration and sunburn.
A close 2nd though in both intensity and duration was the need to wrap my hands around that cunt's throat and just squeeze until I had no strength left. That boat finding us had saved her life in more ways than one.
Once they got us on the boat and we headed for land, Stacy and I quickly got as far away from each other as the boat would allow us. She quickly headed for the bow. and me the stern. She looked as if she intended to jump off the boat as soon as we hit the dock to go and find Steve, and find out what was wrong with him. That was another thing we found out from the captain. Until we spoke to him, we'd both been under the impression that the boat had been sent to rescue us and had gotten lost or been unable to find us. We were shocked to find out that not only were they not sent to find us, but no one even knew we were missing. In fact the captain of the boat we'd chartered had come back in early, yesterday. He brought his boat in and was taking a few days off because he'd gotten lucky at the gambling tables or something. There had been mention of a passenger who'd been suspected of having some kind of heart problem, but the captain had come in and got him back to land so he could get to the hospital. There'd been no word on his condition after the captain got him to the dock. Besides everyone was more interested in finding out where the captain had gotten lucky, and won the money.
For Steve's sake, I hoped that he'd gotten to a hospital that could help him. I'd known all along that the only thing that would take him away from that selfish bitch would be some kind of emergency. Oh well, even the nicest guys can fall for a woman that's just rotten.
As far as Stacy went the best thing she could do for Steve would be to jump off the boat as soon as we docked, hit her head and die instantly. He 'd be hurt for a little while but he'd get over it with his soul and his memories intact.
As for me, I was getting an early flight back to my family and would never ever leave them again.
I have to admit that I was afraid as I stood in the front of the boat waiting to get back. From the captain's gibberish, I gathered that something had happened to my husband. Though I hadn't eaten in over twenty four hours I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach that my life was about to change. "Please God let him be Okay. I'll give anything, just let Steve be Okay," I thought as I scanned the horizon for any sight of land. Though the boat was making good time, it still felt to me that I could get out and swim faster than we were moving. The captain had loaned me a pair of pants that were far too large for me, and a shirt. I was still barefoot but I could probably buy some shoes or sandals of some kind at the hospital. The nightmare of the past twenty four hours was washed away, replaced by a worse one. Anyone can tell you that the only thing worse than going through a life and death situation yourself, is watching a loved one going through one.
With the possible exception of Bob transforming himself into an asshole, my ordeal on the high seas hadn't really been that bad. I couldn't figure out why he had repaid our generosity by acting crazy, but it didn't matter now. This would be the last time Bob would ever dive with me. We had paid for his hotel accommodations, his flight, his diving equipment and everything else; not just this time, but the previous two trips as well. All because he seemed like a nice guy and couldn't afford it. Okay there was also the fact that Steve couldn't dive with me, and wouldn't let me dive alone, but I could have easily found another dive partner, and I would. But for now I just needed my husband to be Okay. I love Steve more than anything I could think of. I was praying that his heart condition wasn't related to my diving or us being out on the ocean. It would kill me to think that the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with might die because of something I enjoyed doing.
When we got to the docks I was off of the boat as soon as it stopped moving. The charter company had a doctor there who wanted to look over us but I wouldn't have it. I let him swab me up and down with some kind if cream for my sunburns, and demanded to know which hospital Steve was in. I was told that there was only one hospital in the area so he had to be there, but I should at least go to my hotel and get some clothes first.
Since the hotel was on the way to the hospital I agreed. There at my hotel I got the first of a series of shocks. I went to the front desk and saw the woman who worked there, she smiled at me. "Are you checking back in so soon?" she asked me. She must've been confused, maybe she had mistaken me for someone who looked like me.
"No, I need another key to my room, my husband is in the hospital and I need to get clothes so I can go and see him," I told her.
Then we got into an argument of sorts and finally the manager assured me that Steve had checked out of the hotel yesterday, and had been taken to the airport to fly home. I explained my situation to the manager and he was deeply sympathetic but the only thing he could do for me was to allow me to use a phone. I called Steve's cell phone first. Surprisingly it went to voice mail, I called him again with the same result. Maybe he couldn't answer the phone. With no one left to call I called my parents and asked them to buy me a ticket home so I could sort this all out. The hotel was kind enough to give me a pair of sandals from the gift shop and a ride to the airport. It made sense seeing as how we'd stayed there three times in the past 9 months and always spent a lot of money there.
Another shock came when I got to the airport and was waiting in the lounge for my flight to be called. I had to wait for more than an hour and just before the flight was called Bob showed up. I got up and went to sit near him. I guess I'd chalked his weird behavior up to the stress and fear of our situation, and figured that now that we were safe, he'd be himself again. He wasn't. As I got up to approach him he stood up and moved further away. Fuck him, I had more serious things to consider. My Dad had explained to me that Steve's actions made perfect sense to him. If Steve had heart problems, every second counted if we were going to save his life. Why should he risk his care on some third rate hospital in a small town in Florida, when he could come home and choose between two of the premier hospitals in the world. He could either go to the DMC for their world famous Cardiac Care Center, or the University of Michigan Hospital's similar team. Once dad put it in those terms, I knew 2 things, one was that he was probably right, it did make sense. And the other was the fact that Steve's heart condition was worse than I'd thought.
We boarded the plane and were soon airborne. All during the flight I had trouble relaxing. I felt like I did when I was on the boat as I looked out the window. I was pretty fucking sure that I could get out of the plane and flap my arms and get there faster than we were flying.
As soon as we landed, I looked around for my dad. I finally found him and noticed that he was talking to a man that was vaguely familiar to me. The man had been holding up a sign with my name on it. I thought that maybe he was supposed to take me to the hospital to see Steve. Instead he led me to a conference room just outside of the airline terminal. I'd actually been in this room a few times because Steve's company used the conference suites here to entertain and meet with out of town clients all the time.
As I headed into the room I was shocked again to see that asshole Bob heading in the same direction. The room we were in wasn't one of the larger rooms in the complex it was so small that Bob and I had to sit at the same table. I guess we both just pretended that the other wasn't there.
My dad sat behind me and that was a good thing; I'd have at least one friendly person here to help me deal with whatever came. Whatever came was a small nerdy looking woman who handed Bob and me manila envelopes and a smaller card was handed to my Dad. "Stacy Martin, you have been served," she said to me.
"Served what?" I asked, "Lunch would be good, I didn't eat much on the plane."
The nerdy woman just rolled her eyes at me and walked off, muttering something under her breath about stupidity and bust size.
Across the table Bob, was upset at the contents of his envelope. He looked at me as if he wanted to kill me but said nothing. Then he hung his head and I wasn't sure but I thought I heard him crying.
My dad looked in his envelope and inside there was the nicest card I've ever seen. Steve must have had the card custom made. The message though very sad was really nice. It talked about how Steve had enjoyed the relationship he shared with my mom and dad. It mentioned that since his own parents were so fucked up that my parents had become a force for stability and family in his life, and they had treated him more like a son than just a son in law. That started me to thinking that maybe this was even worse than I'd thought. Maybe Steve thought he was dying.
I looked in my envelope and there was nothing in it just a bunch of fucking papers. "Why didn't I get a card," I wondered. My Dad looked at the papers and then at me, and started shaking his head. "What's wrong with Steve, dad," I asked him.
"There's nothing wrong with Steve," my Dad said quietly. "He's divorcing you."
"He's what!" I screamed. Just as I got to my feet the man who'd been with my dad at the airport came into the room. I recognized the bastard then. He was the man who'd made me sign that agreement when Steve and I got married. I hated him for that. All of his veiled inferences about what would happen in the event that either of us cheated or wanted a divorce under different circumstances had almost caused us not to get married.
"Stacy, Bob," he began.
"I want to talk to Steve," I shouted, "Right God Damned now."
"I'm sure you're wondering why you're here," the man continued as if he hadn't heard my outburst. "According to my client's wishes we will now watch a short video clip. After watching the video, all my clients recent actions will be clearer. Following the video you will each be given 10 minutes to explain. He may choose to accept your explanations or not. He may accept one explanation and not the other. He may accept both. He may accept neither. He will enter the room after the video begins, but neither of you are to attempt to speak with him or touch him in any way. If either of you does, that is automatic grounds for non acceptance of that party's explanation. Am I clear?"
We both nodded our heads.
"Are there any questions?" he asked.
Bob raised his hand, like a child in school. The man nodded his head and Bob asked his question.
"What happens if he accepts or doesn't accept our explanations?"
"If he accepts your explanation, you go back to your wife and kids and hopefully live happily ever after, If he doesn't a copy of the file you have in your hands and the video tape will be delivered to your wife before you get home." I saw Bob turn several shades whiter despite his sunburn.
The lights dimmed in the room but didn't go out. A flat screen behind the man started showing a video. It showed me, Steve and Bob sitting down at a table toasting something with beers. It showed me and Steve kissing. I recognized all of this, it was taken on our previous trip to Florida. There was nothing special here. Then there was some home video footage of me and Steve, and a little bit of footage of Bob's family when they came to a cookout we'd invited them too. I hate Bob now, but his kids were undeniably fucking cute. I think Steve and I should make some babies too.
Then the video changed it was grainier, and it was underwater footage, but it was familiar. It showed me being pulled along by my aqua scooter. Shit I looked good. The footage though grainy was amazing. The colors were bright, it was almost as if whoever shot the video had been there with us.
"Who shot this video," I asked.
"Bob did," said a voice I recognized as being Steve's. "Bob's aqua scooter was fitted with an underwater camera. I thought that when we grew older you might want to be able to show our kids or our grand kids some of the things we used to do."