We'd been sitting at the table furthest from the bar having, what any interested spectator would have judged, a spirited conversation. April Mulrooney, my intended had just laid it on me that she had indeed been seeing other men, read screwing them, and that as recently as the night before. Oh, she had assured me that none of them were a threat to our plans, but I was not having any!
We'd had a date that she'd stood me up for. When I'd fortuitously caught her at the Red Light with her stud of the moment; she'd flushed, stammered, and tried to get me to sit down with them. I'd opted to flip them off and cut country instead. But, that was last night. When one hour ago, she'd cornered me here, I'd decided to get the mandatory last conversation with her over with. Well, and so here we were.
"Any chance for us, Finn," she said. I slowly shook my head in the negative. Begging not getting her anywhere, she decided to go on the offensive.
"Finnley Matson, you love me, and I love you. Why can't you understand that! This thing with the others—it's just—well, sex. There is no emotional attachment like I have with you, like you and I have. It's just fun stuff when you're not available."
"Fun stuff? Not available? We had a date last night, April. I was available as hell; actually looking forward to a good time with you! You, on the other hand, stood me the hell up to screw somebody else. And, even though I'd caught you, you still went home with the asshole and fucked him. Explain that if you can, April!"
"I almost didn't go home with him, Finn. But, I'd led him on. And, well, I figured that if you were going to dump me that I might as well go ahead and do it with him. Finnley, if you'd only have stayed and talked it out with us..."
"Talked it out—'with us'! You actually expected me to sit down with the guy you were going to cheat on me with and be okay with it. Tell me, was that what you really thought! You're a trip and a half, woman, a trip and a half for damn sure.
"We're engaged, April, or rather were. And, we are, but three months from graduation, and are—were—only four months from being man and wife," I said. "How do you expect me to level that with you screwing everything on campus with a third leg? No, there is no chance for us, April, not a chance in hell. And, I pity any fool stupid enough to hook up with you. Thank god I found out about you before it was too late. Have a nice life. No don't—I don't want you to be happy. I want you to be as miserable as you've made me!" I stood, turned, and left her sitting there.
I hadn't seen or spoken to April since the blowup. But on grad day I saw her. Oh yeah, I saw her; she was in a huddle with her parents. She noticed me staring at her and flashed me a smile.
My anger had abated some over the three months since Gotterdammerung, but I didn't smile, anger abatement or no. Did I miss her? Hell yes I missed her. Enough to give us another chance? Hell no! At least that's what I kept telling myself.
We were still in our grad suits when she came up to me. I was talking to a few friends and making plans for that evening: basically plans to party hardy!
"Hello, Finn, congratulations," she said. I looked her up and down. She had a sad look about her.
"Hello, April. Congratulations to you too," I said.
"Finn—could I have a word with you? Would that be all right? You know for old time's sake," she said. I stared at her. She was so beautiful. I nodded and stepped away from the group I was with. She walked with me.
"I guess I blew it, huh?" she said.
"We've had this conversation, April, three months ago," I said.
"I've changed, Finn. I haven't slept with another man during that whole time," she said. I remained silent. I had nothing to say.
"Doesn't that make a difference?" she said.
"What do you want me to say, April? You killed my heart. You say you've been celibate for the past three months, but then how do I know that that is so. And, even if it is, how do I know that you won't revert to past habits in the future. And even if you never do do it again, how do I get around the fact that you were hanging horns on me for the entire three years we were going together, the last as each other's intended! Kinda hard to get by that much doubt and anger huh, April," I said.
"Finn, like I said, I blew it. I know it, and I; well, I would like you to give me another chance," she said. I think my jaw must have dropped a yard.
"Another chance? You're serious?" I said.
"As a heart attack," she said. "I will never cheat again, Finn, not ever. I promise you that. You're my main man. None of those others ever meant anything; but, that said, I know that I was in the wrong, crazy in the wrong. I will make it up to you in spades if you just give me half a chance."
I looked her in the eyes. Main man? What did that mean? And did I believe her whatever it meant? I wasn't sure. Would I want to risk making her mine? Frankly, no. And, frankly again, I didn't want to risk having my heart broken a second time. That said, I considered that there might be a way. It was not sure fire, but almost: live together for a year and include a prenup if we made it that far and got married.
We moved in with each other the next day. It was a good day: one filled with promise. But, one thing, one minor downside to her moving in with me, was the massive amount of stuff she brought with her. It was—well—massive!
Things went along well for the next several months. Seven months actually. Then, she laid it on me.
"Finnley, I know we talked about waiting a year, but it's been seven months already. Do you think we might be able to short shank things and get married now," she said.
I looked her in the eye. The look was innocence incarnate. I was more than persuaded that she hadn't doublecrossed me during the months we'd lived together. Could she have and kept it from me? Possible, but not real likely. We were together almost constantly during that time. On the rare occasions that we were not, I had to believe that she was doing whatever she'd said she was doing. She knew the price that she would have to pay if she played behind my back.
All of the aforementioned said, and apart from the fact that we'd had an agreement, I had no good reason not to accede to her request. So, I did. We were married in front of a justice of the peace. And, the prenup? Didn't happen. And, no, not because she'd said anything about it, but because I had come to trust her. That, added to my undeniable love for her, made a prenup a non-happening. And so was launched the family of Finnley and April Matson nee Mulrooney.
The next eleven years weren't good; they were outrageously wonderful! Well, they were for me. And, up until five minutes ago, I had thought that they had been just as good for April. But, five minutes ago, I discovered my wife in our bed with a man, one I had never seen before. The worst of it was that my lovely wife, the light of my life, actually had the brass cajones to assume I'd could be persuaded to be okay with it. I knew that because that's what she told me—five minutes ago.
"Finn, today, this thing that you came upon by accident. Well, it wasn't exactly by accident," she said.
"Huh? What are you saying, April?" I said.
"Finn, I didn't exactly set you up, but I knew that sooner or later you'd come home early and catch me and Roger—well—doing what we were doing," she said. "And, Finn, it's a good thing."
"Fucking! I said. "Cheating! Cuckolding me! That's what you were doing, and now my marriage and my woman are gone, and it's over. Eleven years in the toilet," I said. "And you are actually trying to tell me it's a good thing!"
"Heavens no! I mean yes," she said. "All it does is prove that I love you and only you," she said. I think I was going cross-eyed with something—rage, confusion, something.
"You're insane!" I said. "Looking back, I should have expected it. You just couldn't keep your word to me. Goddamn it, I blame me! I'm the stupid jerk for damn sure. You're just a whore! Stupid is worse!"
"Finn, hear me out. Let me prove to you that my playing is no threat to you," she said. I remained silent. What could one say to the kind of insanity she was selling in any event. Damned if I knew.
"You are a hundred times the man Roger Wilcox is; well, in every way but one. You are at best mediocre in bed. Roger is something else."
"How long," I said.
"Huh?" she sighed. She seemed to lose a little of her self-assurance, but she shook it off and reseized the initiative.
"Two years. I met him at one of the parties we went to. I felt his dick through my dress while we were dancing, and well, I had to have it; and, so I did."
"Two years? Two fucking years!" I all but screamed.
"Calm down, Finnley. Think about it. Two years, and you and I have done great, been great, are great. You have to give me that," she said.
"Yeah, I'll give you that, April. Yeah right! And now it's all ashes. Thanks a helluva a lot.
"No good in bed am I? Well, I am so sorry for disappointing you for so long, I mean the eleven years. I'm happy for you, I mean now that you've found a real man. You know, now that you have found someone who can fulfill your needs.
"I'll be leaving, in the morning. I won't be back. Oh, and I won't be divorcing you. You can have the pleasure of doing that. What I also won't be doing is supporting you anymore.
"So, just do me a favor, okay? Stay the hell away from me," I said.
.... There is more of this story ...