Author's note:Hi folks, this one is a bit darker and those of you who really like happy endings might want to skip it. As usual, if you don't like it. There will be something different next week. I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving. And as usual I really need to give Kudos to mikothebaby for not only editing this story but for suggesting something dark in the first place. So if you like it you should thank her, if you don't then blame me.Thank you for reading it. Without you I'd have no reason to write.
As I'd done thousands of times before, I leaned over and kissed my beautiful wife goodnight. This time was different though. This time I wasn't in the bed with her, I was leaning over it. She was completely naked as usual but I was fully dressed and more. I wore gloves and a full black face mask. The room was completely dark. I'd smeared on Nova Gel, a chemical masking gel that the Navy seals use to make sure that exposed areas of my skin left no DNA traces.
I totally ignored the man slumbering in the bed beside my angel as I pressed my lips to hers for the last time. Unexpectedly, she awoke. Though she wasn't fully conscious, she turned and tried to sit up. "Dale," she slurred, barely conscious. Her brain was fighting to regain awareness. "Dale, I was wrong. I love you, not him. Forgive me," she said. Her voice sounded as if she was confused or drunk, but I knew that she wasn't.
I placed my gloved finger gently on her lips to silence her so we wouldn't awaken her lover. "Shhh, honey, we'll talk about it in the morning," I said. It was all I could do not to cry. "Go to sleep, Sandy. It'll all be better tomorrow." She nodded and settled her head back on the pillow. I tip toed back across the room. Once outside the room, I quickly left the building by the rear stairway. I didn't run into anyone on my way out. All of the security guards that had been hired for the night were in the security office. It was one o'clock in the morning and they only did their rounds in 15 minute intervals. That is, when they actually bothered to do them at all.
As I got into the car I'd rented for the evening, I pulled out my iPhone and launched an app that restarted the hidden Kerosene micro heaters in Sandy's room. No matter what the morning brought, I was glad I'd taken this chance to kiss my angel goodnight one last time.
I quickly drove the three blocks to my house. I slipped in the back and wiped the Nova Gel off with an antiseptic wipe. I took off my clothes and put the sweats that I'd worn before back on and knocked on the bathroom door.
"Hey, are you trying to turn into a prune?" I asked. Naturally she couldn't hear me. The woman reclining in my spa tub had headphones on, cucumber slices over her eyes, a towel wrapped around her long hair and some kind of facial cream all over her face.
I tapped her on the shoulder startling her. She pulled the cucumbers off and removed the headphones and then smiled at me. "Come on, Dale," she pouted. "I haven't been in here for very long. It's only been..."
"It's been a half hour," I said frowning at her. "That's a long time."
"No it isn't, Honey," she said. "I love to soak in the tub. Besides after what you did to me earlier, my little pussy is going to need some major recovery time. And the rest of me will too. "I'll recover a lot faster, this way. Besides we're not going to work tomorrow. I have the day off and you told me that you're taking it off too."
"Yep, sweetie I am," I said. "I do have to go to that meeting with my lawyer about the divorce, but I'm spending the rest of it with you."
"Ooh, then I'm really going to need to soak," she smirked. She started putting her headphones back on but I grabbed her hand and kissed her. I was amazed as her tongue shot into my mouth as she turned the kiss into something far more passionate than I'd intended.
"I know it's very early Dale," she said. "We haven't been together for very long, but I think I could love you."
"I think I'm ready to move on too," I said. "Tomorrow I'm going to tell the lawyers to just go ahead and settle things. I won't try to delay the divorce anymore. It's time for me to move on with my life."
She smiled and leaned her head back and put the cucumbers back over her eyes. I felt really guilty about using Page the way I was. But she was a big girl. She'd get over it. Besides she was the one who usually used guys and then fucked them over. She had a reputation for meeting a guy, giving him the full court press and moving on after she was done with him. Then she talked about them when she'd broken things off.
She often sat around the employee's lounge at work belittling her conquests with the other secretaries. Her victims were usually the laughing stock of the company until she found her next mark. It would be interesting to see how this one played out.
I went back into my bedroom and bundled up the clothing and the shoes I'd worn for my little escapade. I went out the back door and dropped the entire bundle into the trash can along with the rest of my garbage for the week. Trash pickup was tomorrow morning very early. I went back inside, grabbed a Dos Equis out of the fridge and went into my bedroom. I checked the home management app on my iPhone. The heaters, all four of them were functioning correctly.
I logged into my iTunes account and restored my iPhone to its factory settings. Since the home management app I'd used wasn't an "official" app, my phone had to be jail broken to run it. Restoring my iPhone 4s to its factory settings would remove the app, all of its data and any record of it ever being on my phone.
I stripped down to just my boxers and started to get into bed. As I reached for the switch I paused. As usual I couldn't look, even in passing, at the large framed picture of Sandy without thinking back on all of the memories we'd made together over the past 12 years. I wondered how Page had missed this picture in her quest to remove all things Sandy from my house.
I was 22 years old when I met Sandy. That was a little over twelve years ago. I'd graduated the year before with a degree in business. I had a pretty good job, but my bosses at the company had let me know very quickly that I needed to get my ass back in school. My degree was good but without an MBA there was definitely a ceiling on how high I'd ever be able to rise in the company. They thought I had a lot of potential, but I needed the right credentials along with more experience to realize it.
I walked purposefully into the classroom that first day. I was one of the younger people in my class, but unlike a lot of them, I already had my degree. I also had already begun my career. I had two big ass chunks of my life already taken care of. In my mind, I was head and shoulder above the rest of them.
My confidence faded as soon as she walked into the room. Okay, maybe walked isn't the correct term. She kind of floated in. And just like that she rendered everything thing else in the room, in my life and even in the world, unimportant.
It was one of those surreal moments when everything comes into focus. Writers and artists often describe it as being a moment of destiny or a moment of pristine clarity when all of the stars align.
It was like the instant when Mario Andretti first sat down in a race car, or Leonardo DaVinci first picked up a paint brush. Everything from then on just seemed to make sense.
I gazed in awe, even forgetting to take in or expel oxygen, on her matchless beauty. As she looked around the room for an empty seat our eyes locked together. I saw my entire future outlined in those green eyes. Her angelic face, those eyes, that tiny button nose and those generous lips all speckled with a healthy dose of freckles smiled at me.
I say her face smiled at me because it's true. When Sandy smiles it's not just with her mouth. Her eyes, her cheeks every part of her face is involved in the smile.
Her long curly red hair framed that beautiful face and cascaded down her back like the most perfect waterfall nature ever made. Her slim shoulders gave way to long, thin but beautifully shaped arms. Her hands were tiny but long fingered. Her fingers seem to be a part of the way she communicates. Even today Sandy has a way of saying things with her hands that make words unnecessary. Like the way she'd sometimes just point at her lips, to tell me that she needed to be kissed.
Sandy's breasts could barely be called that. They were more like bee stings. Her friend Kathy used to joke that when God gave out titties, Sandy was stuck in the ass line, going back for seconds.
Sandy's lack of development above the waist was more than made up for below it. Her ass wasn't huge, it was just so perfectly developed and perfectly proportioned that what she could do to a tight skirt was unnatural and what her ass did to jeans should be considered deadly.
Her legs, like her arms were thin and longish, terminating in feet that could convert you if you weren't a foot guy. Before Sandy, I wasn't and even now I'm not. But when it came to Sandy let's face it, from the very first moment I laid eyes on her, I worshipped every part of that woman.
I was sitting there in class that fateful day just after our eyes had locked and I watched her walking straight towards me, carrying her books. She got closer and closer, looking straight into my eyes with every step. My heart seemed to be beating harder with every passing second. Then she got to me and walked right past me. I went into shock. My heart broke in that second.
I started wondering where I'd gone wrong, what I'd done. Suddenly nothing seemed to matter to me anymore. I looked down at my book so no one could see the depth of my disappointment.
Then I felt it, the tiniest little tapping on my shoulder. I turned and there she was sitting down right next to me and smiling. "Lighten up," she said. "I was just fucking with you."
"Whuh," I said. Sandy and I would often comment on the elegance of the first words I said to her.
"Sandy," she said, proudly sticking out her tiny, long fingered hand for me to shake. I just stared at it. "It's about God damned time," she smiled. "Can you feel this?"
"Huh?" I said.
"Us," she said still beaming at me. "It's like bathing in a beam of light. It's all warm and tingly."
I literally had no words. I was saved from further embarrassment by the arrival of our professor.
Throughout my life, I've always been a very good student. I'm relatively smart, though no Mensa candidate. But that first class, even though it was only orientation, was the hardest class I've ever had. The professor seemed to drone on and on for hours talking about God knows what. I don't remember a single word that he said. I was lucky I took every handout he gave us and put them dutifully into my folder to review later. Had I not, I'd have been doomed.
I spent every second of that class, trying my hardest not to stare at the crimson haired angel to my right. Whenever I did cautiously look over at her, she was always smiling and catching me staring at her. A couple of times I did see her taking notes, or so I thought. But that only made me feel worse because I started wondering what she was taking notes on and if I should be writing something down also. Later I took a look at her notebook and was shocked to see that she wasn't taking notes at all. She'd spent most of the class drawing little hearts and angels. I hoped that they were about us.
Then mercifully soon the class ended. I looked at my watch and found out that the three hours of torture I'd just endured, had only been 45 minutes. The professor had ended that first class after going over his syllabus and explaining the rules of his class and how we'd be graded.
All around us, the other students were picking up their belongings and leaving. Sandy turned to me and smiled again.
"You never did tell me your name, Honey," she said. She picked our conversation up as if we'd or actually she'd never stopped talking.
"Dale," I said. "Dale Masters."
"Ooh, I like that," she said. "Put us together and we sound like one of those snooty little towns that don't let just anybody live in them."
"Huh?" I said.
"You know, like Riverdale, or Sunnydale," she smiled. She had a way of making everything seem logical just by punctuating it with that smile. No matter how retarded it sounded, if she smiled when she said it, I went for it.
"Riverdale is the city from the Archie comics," she said. "And Sunnydale is the town that Buffy the vampire slayer lives in. You and me, we'd make Sandydale."
"Oh," I said. "As if I had a clue what the fuck she was talking about.
"Grab your stuff, Honey," she said. "We have to get out of here."
There it was. The first time she ever used her magical powers on me. It was stronger than hypnosis, stronger than a hex or a spell and it would take me years to develop the power to resist it. I'd planned on spending the night after my first class, reading the file on one of my new accounts at work. But when she muttered the magical word "WE", I was powerless to resist her.
As if that wasn't bad enough, she reached out and took my hand. I swear to God, I felt sparks shoot out of my ass as she touched me. From then on, I was hers.
The surprising thing about it was, that though I was sure that she was an angel descended from heaven to reward me for some good deed I'd done in a past life, most of my friends simply weren't that impressed with her.
"She's okay," said most of them, after meeting her. My best friend Tom, who was a security consultant, was kinder. "She's pretty," he said.
The rest of my friend's comments were less kind. "Uhm, how can you see her face under all of those freckles," said one.
"I hate red heads, they're the spawn of the devil," said another.
"She must be the PRESIDENT of the itty bitty titty committee," claimed yet another.
My first ex friend, told me that I should make her walk backwards and bent over so her best feature would show. The fight was brief, but intense, and after it, no one who wanted to remain my friend would dare say anything negative about her in my presence. I think they realized after the fight that I was seriously in love. That didn't mean that they stopped digging at me, but they understood.
Sandy also loved the jokes about us. Like the time they gave me a year's supply of burn ointment for my birthday. The card simply said, "For your dick."
Sandy figured it out before I did and she laughed for almost an hour. She was still in tears when she finally explained it to me.
"You know how they call redheads "Fire crotch", she said.
From that first day that we'd met in class, Sandy had been convinced that we were soul mates and would always be together.
"It's about God damned time," she'd told me. Sandy had grown up with two other sisters. She'd watched for years as both of her sisters attracted and married men, but she never seemed to find anyone who wanted a real relationship with her. She could put on a bikini and have guys up and down the beach begging to lick her ass, and even a boyfriend or three. But until she met me she'd never really felt that spark.
"A lot of guys are simply not into redheads," she said. "I tried wearing a wig once and got a bunch of guys. But I want someone who loves me for me. I guess I'm an acquired taste. When I walked into that classroom and saw the way you looked at me and how cute you are, that was it. I just knew in my heart that we were meant to be together. Till death do us part."
To fast forward and cut to the chase, Sandy was right. I went on and got my MBA and married Sandy. She gave up her career as a waitress to take care of me. To say that things moved quickly was an understatement. I'd met Sandy's entire family before we had another session of the class. She'd moved in with me in less than a month and we were engaged before the class ended.
Things between us were as perfect as she thought they'd be. We never argued, which was good because I'd never have won any of them anyway. Each year seemed to find us more in love than the previous ones did. Every night when I got home Sandy was there to take care of me after a hard day of work.
We took several vacations a year and had a great life. That was the way that things went for twelve fucking years. Earlier this year the wheels came off of the train of matrimonial bliss.
Sandy and I were so close that we could sense, like most married couples when something wasn't right. To put it into Star Wars terms, I felt a disturbance in the force. I was sure that it was nothing, maybe I'd forgotten something. Sandy and I had always been honest with each other. I really believed that was part of why our marriage was so successful. So I asked her, what was going on.
I expected her to smile and ask me what the hell I was talking about. She was after all the CEO and managing director of "us." So if she didn't think there was a problem, there probably wasn't.
"I didn't think you'd notice," she said. "I kind of hoped that you wouldn't. Most husbands wouldn't have." She'd said all of this in a very quiet voice. It was so different from her usual loud and brassy delivery that it scared me.
"Notice what?" I snapped. I was afraid for the first time since I'd met her.
"Dale do you remember the first time we met?" she asked. I nodded as I looked at her and she took my hand.
"Do you remember how I told you that I knew as soon as I saw you that you were into me?" she asked.
"Of course, I do," I said. "You told me that you were an acquired taste," I laughed.
Then I noticed that she wasn't laughing. "What happened?" I asked.
"A couple of days ago, when we were at the Miller's party," she began. "We met that new guy. Richard Grayson."
"I remember," I said tersely. I'd hated that motherfucker from sight. He was a real douche bag. He was also a fucking giant. He was 6' 7" and weighed over 240lbs. He was rich as hell and owned several businesses.
I was no slouch. I'd been promoted several times over the past twelve years and was the regional director of sales for our entire corporation. I pulled down a very healthy salary but this guy was a fucking gazillionaire. I drove a very nice customized Mustang Boss 302. He drove a Ferrari GT40.
"When I first saw him at the party," continued Sandy. "Our eyes locked and I knew that he was into me too."
"What did he do?" I yelled. From just her words I was upset and screaming. I snatched my hand away from hers and back away.
"Nothing, Dale," she said. "He didn't do anything. But I could tell from the way that he looked at me that he wants me badly."
"Well, he can't fucking have you," I said. "We're married. You're mine. He can't buy you. He can't borrow you. Case closed."
She just looked up at me, then. It was the most pain I'd ever felt in my life. Sandy and I didn't have kids, but I'd imagine that it felt the way you'd feel if one of your kids dies. I felt my legs nearly give out. I sat down in a chair to compose myself.
"Dale, Honey what's wrong?" she asked.
"Nothing," I snapped. "Fuck it. I hope the two of you are very fucking happy together."
"What are you talking about?" she snapped back. She was acting like this was somehow my fault. But I knew that it wasn't.
I grabbed my keys off of the counter and headed for the door. "Dale, where are you going? Dinner is almost ready," she said.
"Out," I said. "I need to clear my head." I was almost out the door before I heard her crying. For once I didn't turn and go back. Less than ten minutes later, I was flying down the freeway. The incredibly loud and raucous exhaust note from my barely legal race car drowned out only by the blast from my retardedly loud stereo. I always liked my music loud but that day it was cranked to the max. My gaze was riveted to the road ahead, though my mind was somewhere else.
Evanescence's song "The only one" was my soundtrack for that mad drive. The roaring guitars and crashing drums created an almost tribal rhythm, counter pointed by very subtle high pitched tinkling of piano keys. It seemed the perfect complement to my mood. My loud roaring car moving at a hundred plus miles an hour down the freeway, trying only to put as much space as possible between me and the source of my pain, while in the background my hopes and dreams for a future with Sandy dribbled impotently away.
I finally went back to the house sometime after midnight. The house was dark. Even the porch lights weren't on. Sandy had to have turned them off, because the security lights and the porch and deck lights were supposed to come on when it got dark.
I opened the door and stepped into my kitchen. Sandy was still there. She was sitting on the floor in the kitchen crying.
I tried to walk right past her and she turned on the lights. I got a good look at her. Her face looked terrible. She'd been crying for a long time because her eyes were red and her entire face was blotchy. She was curled up on the floor with several of our photo albums gathered around her.
"D-d-don't you have anything to say to me?" she asked through her sobs and tears.
"Yep, you can leave whenever you're ready," I snapped.
"Why should I leave?" she asked. "I love you. We were supposed to be together. What the fuck are you talking about?"
"As soon as it happens, you leave," I said. "That's my best offer. Good night."
I went into our bedroom and took off my clothes. I'd just gotten into bed when Sandy came in and took her clothes off too. "Maybe you should sleep in one of the other rooms," I said.
"Fuck you," she snapped. "I haven't done anything. And I can't believe that someone who loves me as much as you've always claimed you do would just give up. Aren't you going to fight for me?"
"Yet," I said. "You haven't done anything yet. Why wait?" She had moved over next to me as she always did when we were in bed. I pulled away from her.
"I do love you," I said. "More than I ever knew I could. I love you more than you'll ever know and far more than I should. When you come to visit me at work have you ever looked at some of those women there?"
"Yes, I have," she hissed. Her jealousy was evident in the tone of her voice.
"Have I ever cheated on you?" I asked.
"Nope," she said. "I'd know."
"But I've had lots of offers and lots of opportunities haven't I?" I said. "Remember a few years ago, when your sister, Meg, made a pass at me?"
"I remember," she said. "You turned her down and told me about it. I already knew, of course. And I watched the whole clumsy stupid thing on the security footage. That really pissed me off because it was my sister. But you're an attractive man and she was lonely. I'm sure you get hit on all the time."
"Have you ever had to fight for me?" I asked.
"No," she said. "There's never been a need to."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because there's never been any kind of threat to what we have," she said. "But this is different."
"How?" I asked. "How the fuck is it different?"
"I don't know," she said. "It just is. And you need to fight for us. Or this may be the end of us."
"No," I said. "Just don't come back when it happens."
"So you're just going to let me go?" she asked sniffling again. "Just like that? You won't even try to fight for me?"
"Number one, I shouldn't have to fight for you," I said coldly. "It should be just like whenever someone went after me. If you love me as much as I love you. There shouldn't be any danger of anyone coming between us. And number two, I'd lose. I can't compete with that guy, he has a big advantage."
"What about all of that shit you tell me about climbing mountains, or swimming seas for me?" she asked.
"He's richer than I am, he's bigger than I am," I said. "Hell, he's probably smarter than I am too. But none of those matter. I'd probably stupidly throw myself against him until I was dead if I thought that I had even the slightest chance of winning. But his real advantage is something else. That's what let me know that I can't win."
"We've been together for twelve fucking years. You know me better than anyone else. I love you more than anyone or anything in the world," she said.
"And that's why I know I can't win," I said. "I looked into your eyes when you were telling me how much he wanted you, earlier tonight. And what I saw there almost killed me. If I had to fight that bastard, I probably would. But the fact of the matter is that you want him too. So in the end I'd just be fighting both of you. And I'd have no chance of winning. So what's the point?"
Over the next few weeks things only worsened between us. The trust that had always been a hallmark of our relationship was gone. Whenever she left the house, I always wondered where she went and with whom.
I had Tom put a PI that he trusted on her. For the first few days he had nothing to report.
She never left the house while I was at work. She often went out into the yard or sunned herself on the deck, but she never left our house. He did wander over a few times and they talked, but since my guy couldn't hear their conversations, I didn't know what they were about.
It appeared that he was married as well. His wife left the house early every morning and stayed gone all day. From the day of Sandy's first conversation with Grayson, I stopped talking to her. They could have talked about the weather, I had no idea. But she knew how I felt about it.
She tried rolling over near me in bed and I'd roll further away from her. "You're just going to let him have me, aren't you?" she asked.
I didn't answer.
"Dale, I love you. I didn't go looking for this. I can't control it. It's like pheromones or something. Maybe we should just move away?" she said.
"What good would that do?" I asked. "No matter where we move to there'd always be some other guy that you couldn't resist. The only chance we have is if you could just get your hormones in check. It's like that old Olivia Newton John song, "If you love me let me know, if you don't, then let me go."
"Dale, of course I love you. That isn't what this is about at all. There's no question of my love for you," she said.
"Oh lord here it comes," I said. "This is the part where you whip out your copy of the cheating slut's handbook and explain to me how I'm supposed to go along with this because it's only sex. Then you'll tell me that it'll burn itself out after a few times and things will be back to normal for us."
"I'm supposed to believe that this is just some kind of animal magnetism thing that you can't control. You're powerless before his awesome display of masculine energy."
"I didn't say any of that," she said.
"But it's what you're hoping for," I snapped. "Maybe you'll try to get me to do it too. You know like we each give the other a get out of jail free card. We both have a little fling and hope that we get back together. Maybe it would even work."
"Do you think it might?" she asked.
"Would you like to try it?" I asked her. "Just one time?"
"Could we?" she asked.
"As soon as you're ready you can leave," I said.
"What do you mean?" she asked. "I was just answering your questions."
"No Sandy," I said. "We're broken. I didn't know how badly before. But I can see that we're nearing the end."
"No we aren't," she snapped. "I'm going to be married to you for the rest of my life. We'll work this out I swear it to you. I caused this, so I'll fix it. We're not broken and we aren't over by a long shot."
Over the next week things got worse. Sandy's occasional meetings in the yard or on the street with Grayson became more frequent. She had no idea that I knew what was going on. She knew that we had the security system inside of our house so they never came inside. I was sure that there was a similar system inside of Grayson's house as well because they never went there either.
Then came the day that my life and/or my sanity ended. Sandy didn't know that I had the PI on her. I saw the video of Grayson pulling in front of our house and taking Sandy away.
When I got home that night, she was there and she was trying her hardest to pretend that nothing was different. But I knew and deep down inside, I'm sure that she knew that I knew. I waited for her to say something, to admit that she'd ended our marriage.
She tried to engage me in conversation, but I simply wouldn't talk to her. I didn't let her know that I knew or throw her out of the house. Maybe I was weaker than I thought or maybe I loved her more. But a part of me died that day.
The next day the bastard picked her up again, this time my guys followed them so I got video of them going into the room and coming out an hour later.
When I got home that night Sandy was sitting in the corner crying again. As I walked past her, I heard her mumbling to herself, "I tried so hard." I just laughed.
I went into the living room and started a fire in the fireplace. I made sure that it was burning really well and walked back into the kitchen. I gathered the photo albums from where Sandy had scattered them and arranged them neatly on the counter.
Sandy came over to me with tears still streaming down her face. "Is there something you want me to look at in one of the albums?" she asked.
I just shook my head. "Can we talk?" she said. "It's been so long since we talked or laughed together. I'd do anything to have someone just hold me."
I started laughing at her and couldn't stop. I picked up the stack of albums and walked out of the kitchen. As I walked into the living room the fire was burning brightly. One after another I put the albums of photos into the fire. I watched them burn. A few minutes later, Sandy came into the living room. "Dale, we have..." she stopped abruptly and started crying yet again as she saw all of the pictures and memories contained in the books going up in the flames.
"Why?" she asked. "Why would you do that?"
"I should be asking you the same thing," I said.
"But how will we show our kids all the things we've done and the places we've been? When we're older and we want to remember some of the special times from early in our marriage, what will we do?" she asked.
"At the way things are going, we're never going to have any kids," I said. "At least not together. And I don't think there's going to be a later in our marriage. You've pretty much sewed that all up. All I have to do now is make myself stronger to get ready for the divorce. And getting rid of things that will only hurt me is a good start."
"But Dale, I love you," she said. "And I'm fighting it as hard as I can. I haven't done anything wrong." Even as she said it, we both felt something change between us. I just nodded my head.
"That's the first time you've ever lied to me," I said. "There's really nothing left for us now." I left the house again. This time with her following me out, screaming after me. As I got ready to get into my car, I looked across the street on a diagonal and saw Grayson's wife. At least I thought it was her. She was a very nice looking older woman. She gave me a very peculiar look.
Sandy was banging on the passenger side window of my car. I lowered the window even as I revved the engine.
"Dale, we have to talk about this. I can't believe that you're going let things between us get any worse. I miss the way things were. We haven't made love in over a month," she said.
"You're getting quite enough sex as it is," I snapped. "If you're half as smart as I think you are you really should have your stuff packed."
"Dale, what are you talking about? I haven't..." she began.
"Sandy, don't lie to me again, or I'll throw you out now," I said. "You can go move in with Mr. Moneybags and his wife."
She looked as if I had slapped her. When she'd got her breath back she just looked at me. "But Dale, that's not what this is all about. We aren't supposed to break up. No! Please don't..."
I couldn't take any more and roared off down the driveway. This time I had a destination in mind. I drove over first to see the PI and second to see the lawyer I'd hired to start my divorce proceedings.
When I got home that night, I found her sifting through what was left of all of our pictures. "Dale, they're all gone," she cried. "All of our memories, our pictures from our beautiful wedding. They're gone."
"So what," I snapped. "You pissed all over the marriage and our relationship. Why the fuck do a few pictures matter?"
I went up the stairs and into the bedroom. I showered and tried to relax. While I was in the bathroom she came in and started getting ready for bed.
"Sandy, you're not sleeping in here, so grab your stuff and move into one of the other rooms," I told her.
"Dale, we haven't slept apart since about three days after we met," she said smiling. "Even when we're pissed at each other, we're together."
"Not anymore," I said. "Sandy, I've loved you since I first saw you, but I think we're done. Over the next couple of days there are going to be big changes around here. I have to do some things on the computer for work. I don't want to keep you awake, so please sleep in one of the other rooms."
"No," she said. "You may want to give up on us but I won't."
"Sandy, don't force me to get ugly. Neither of us wants that to happen. Right now, all I'd have to do is call the police and you'd be at your sister's house or your lover's house and things with us would be over even faster," I said. "All I'm asking you to do is sleep in another room. I'm not asking you to leave or to give up on us yet. You'll know when that happens."
"If I do this, if I sleep in the other room, can we talk about us without you flying off the handle? Will you at least try to understand?" she asked.
"There's no need for me to try to bargain with you," I said. "But I promise if you let me do what I need to do right now, then tomorrow night I promise to stand or sit right here and listen. I won't say a word until you're done or you stop talking. That's all I can offer," I said, knowing that tomorrow she wouldn't be here.
"Okay," she said. Tears were streaming down her face. "I just don't understand this. You've never minded having me here while you work before."
"Things are different now," I said. "I have to start trying to get over you. And sleeping without you is a big part of that."
"You're never going to get over me," she said. "And we're only sleeping apart for one night."
As soon as she left, I booted up the computer and went not to my company's web site but to our internet banking site. My lawyer had told me to start moving money around to prepare for my divorce. One good thing about it was that Sandy had absolutely no idea of how much money we had. All she cared about was that her credit cards worked when she wanted them to.
I removed my name from all of our joint accounts after transferring most of the money into a new account in my name only. I left her a thousand dollars in her checking account and the same amount in her savings account. The credit card thing was even easier. Her cards were actually duplicate cards from my accounts. I cancelled them. The accounts were still valid and I'd pay them off at my leisure but her cards would no longer work.
Then I did log on to my company website. I needed to in order to remove her from my insurance policies. I found out that I couldn't take her off of my health care until the beginning of the next year. She came back into the room and crept up to me.
"Dale, do you still love me?" she asked from behind me.
"Yes, Sandy. I do. That's why this hurts me so badly."
"Well, no matter what you think, I love you too. And this hurts me so much more than you could ever know. When you get done, could you just come in and kiss me good night. It's been so long since you've even touched me. It won't matter if I'm asleep, just do it, please?" she asked. I nodded and she left.
An hour later I crept silently into the room she'd chosen to sleep in. She looked so beautiful curled up there in one of my old T-shirts. She was clutching something as she slept. It was one of the big framed pictures of us. She'd taken it off the wall.
I leaned over the bed as I'd done so many times before. She was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. I lowered my face to hers and kissed my angel goodnight. At that moment I thought it would be for the last time, but I was wrong.
As I left the room I heard her mumble, "Love you Dale ... always."
The next morning I was out of the house before she woke as had been my norm lately. I wondered what had happened to us over just the span of a few months. Was it only a few weeks ago that we awoke in each other's arms and could barely tolerate being apart?
As soon as I got to my office, I called my lawyer and got the day's first bad news. The divorce papers weren't ready. He also thought that some of the things that I'd done over-night were probably not advisable. I didn't care. Sandy wouldn't need my money. Her lover was crazy rich.
I told him to have the papers ready ASAP or I'd get someone who could. I hung up on him and called the PI. He was, as usual on the job. Sandy hadn't left the house yet, but it was still early. I went down into the company's cafeteria for a cup of coffee.
In the cafeteria I ran into a few of my colleagues who were trying to cheer up one of the younger guys. He'd just been through the company meat grinder. Page Elliot was her name and she'd chewed him up and spit him out, with a great deal of his dignity and self-respect missing.
From what they were saying, he'd basically gotten down on one knee and begged her for another chance and she'd publicly humiliated him and laughed at him. He was considering quitting and finding another job. Apparently, the humiliation in the workplace was more than he thought he could stand.
I didn't know the guy, but I knew the feeling. You put your heart out there, shared your deepest feeling with someone, just to have her shit all over you without even a thought. She may as well have just yelled, "next," when she was done with you. I began to wonder if I was thinking more of him or me.
There was a difference, at least in my mind. He was doing nothing but taking it. I was... ?
I was going to do something. I really was, wasn't I? I mean there was no way I would just take this lying down. I was going to divorce her cheating ass. And I was going to leave her destitute and penniless. But somehow it didn't seem like a fair trade. I lose the love of my life and my self-respect and what does Grayson lose? He doesn't lose anything. In fact he gains Sandy. Why the fuck should he get Sandy?