As always special thanks to the editing skill of mikothebaby, for her kind time, and patience in making this story readable. All and any errors are mine.
My wife, Amanda, was trying to hold back her tears as we walked across the campus away from my youngest son's dorm room. We had just got him all moved in, and now Amanda was sniffling, as was our next door neighbor, Kathy, whose boy was rooming with our son.
"I can't believe our boys are all grown up." Our neighbor, Kathy, sighed as she pulled a tissue out of her purse.
My wife, Amanda, accepted one of the tissues. "Yes it is hard to believe," Amanda said, as she dabbed at her eyes. "Now they have to make so many decisions on their own."
My mind was also on my own big decision. I began to have doubts as we made our way to the parking lot. "Should I pull the trigger? My plans were almost a decade in the making. Was the timing right? Did it need to be done at all?"
Amanda made a move to clasp my hand. I avoided this by reaching into my pocket to pull out the car keys, even though we were still quite a distance away from my SUV. I saw our neighbor Kathy give me a puzzled look.
"Mark it's OK." Amanda spoke. "I know how you feel."
"If only you did." I thought, as my mind drifted back to past and the moment that started this all.
I recall Amanda and I had just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary, plus it was an election year. The current crop of crooks for office at that time were trying to tell us how the other side was bigger thieves and liars. I wondered if when these crooked politicians died, did they did need to dig a hole to bury them? Or would they screw right into the ground?
I had grabbed the mail that afternoon, pleased to see a padded envelope among the junk mail and bills. I had been the winning bidder of a bunch of SD cards off eBay, and the delivery was way overdue.
I ripped open the padded envelope from the back, I was dismayed to see another bulging smaller manila envelope.
"Damn!" I muttered, opening up the attached letter. "I hope I did not get burned on this bid. That would ruin my day."
Not only was my current day about to be ruined, but many future days also.
I hope this note finds you in good health and spirits.
I have recently come to grips and admitted my addiction to alcohol. With the help of my higher power and sponsor, I am working the program. I am now clean and sober for 90 days.
As part of my twelve step program, I have made a list of all persons I have harmed, and am trying to make amends to them all.
In your case, I am more than willing to try direct amends, but I don't know how. As I only now, with my newfound sobriety, have come to regret our actions. Yet I do not wish to cause you any emotional injury or strife in your life.
Although I feel cowardly, the best I can do is ask you for forgiveness, and if you wish, promise never to contact you again.
Do with the enclosed what you will. I do not have the courage to destroy them, yet feel I do not have the will to resist the temptation involved with the memories of keeping them.
Warm Regards Always
"What the hell" I said out loud, turning the now ripped padded envelope to look at its front. I now saw it was addressed to my wife Amanda. "Josh? Regret our actions? What actions?"
The only Josh I knew was a neighbor who had moved away a while ago. Josh was one of those losers who lived in his parents basement. Drunk most of the time, he claimed to be running a photography business. Josh was a decade older than Amanda and I. He was what we called a "Slinky", not really good for anything, but brought a smile to your face when falling down the stairs. I recall something about Josh being forced out of the house after his parents passed, not keeping up with property tax or something.
My mind was in such a turmoil, it took me a second to notice I was still holding the smaller manila envelope.
Tossing the padded envelope and letter aside, I tore open the bulging manila envelope. A bunch of 3x5 pictures fell out. The first few pictures showed a decade plus younger Amanda in some tame cheesecake poses. She was dressed in a clingy blouse and shorts. The outfits looked familiar, I flipped over a picture and saw no date.
I walked into my home office and took a framed picture off the collection of family photos on my desk. It was a photo of a sitting Amanda and our first son, who was less than a year old at the time the photo was taken. Amanda had given me the picture as a Christmas gift. In the framed picture Amanda was dressed in the same outfit. Also the lighting was almost identical in the framed picture with my oldest son to the pictures I had received in the mail today. I turned the framed picture over, the date was nine years prior. I now had a date to go with the pictures.
I shuffled through the pictures. The progression of pictures had Amanda going from cheesecake, to topless, to fully nude. As Amanda's apparel dwindled, my blood pressure rose. The last sequence of photos had Amanda with a penis in her mouth and getting fucked in various positions. You could tell some of the pictures were taken by the guy holding the camera, such as a few shot from above, with Amanda looking up into the camera lens, winking, with a dick in her mouth and a smile on her face. Others must have had the camera on a tripod, or been taken remotely, as the pictures of Amanda getting fucked in missionary, doggie and cowgirl style, were off center, and somewhat less in focus.
I dropped into the chair at my desk. I felt faint, it was as if all the blood had left my head.
"How long had Amanda been screwing around on me?" I pondered out loud.
Glancing around at the assortment of pictures on my desk of my family, I tried to see if any more of them had Josh's "imprint". The array showed the evolution of my clan. Amanda on our wedding day, Amanda with my oldest boy as a baby, than Amanda with both our boys as they grew. Aside from the first picture, all the other pictures had the logo of various mall photo shops.
Suddenly a horrible thought crossed my mind. "What if the boys were not mine!"
I grabbed the most recent picture of my "Loving" wife and the two boys. They were dressed in their baseball uniforms from the summer league. I felt a swell of pride that any father feels when he looks at his offspring, but I tried to take a more critical view. Both boys favored their mother Amanda in looks, however, they did seem to have my build and jawline.
Leaning back in the chair, I felt weary. This was not helping. Than a thought flashed in my brain that sent me digging through the desk drawers. I pulled a copy of the medical form my sons had filled out to play baseball this season. In my day, the paperwork was basically who to contact in case of accident. Nowadays the form was almost 6 pages long with food allergies, insurance carriers, waivers, medication, and consent. The treaty to end World War II was on a single sheet of paper. Somehow I found it difficult to believe that my kid's baseball league was more important than the ending of World War II.
It took a while but I found the data on the voluminous form I was looking for, the blood types filled out by our physician. Reaching into my wallet, I pulled out my Red Cross blood donor card. Type "O" the card read. Amanda was the same blood type, we had always joked it was convenient we could donate to each other. My oldest boy's form stated he was also Type "O" I felt a huge relief. I scanned my younger boy's form for his blood type information.
Blood Type: "A Positive" it said in bold black letters.
While not a medical doctor, even a freshman high school biology student knows two Type "O" blood types cannot produce an offspring with type "A" blood
I had thought my world could not shatter twice in the space of an hour, but it had. I stared at the typed letters "A Positive" for almost a full minute, willing the letters to change. But they did not.
"YOU CHEATING BITCH!" I yelled into the empty house, slamming my fist on the desktop.
Wild thoughts ran thru my mind, I would murder Amanda. No, leave Amanda. No murder, THEN leave Amanda, No just take the boys, and leave Amanda. The boys were 9 & 11, I was pretty sure they would choose dear old Dad in a divorce if asked ... or would they, or would they have a choice? These mental gymnastics continued for about an hour and just exhausted me. I found no solutions, just more questions. It got to the point that I was so tired, it took a massive effort just to drag myself up the stairs and drop into bed.
I sat at the kitchen table the next morning staring at my wife's back as she did something in the sink. I had begged off dinner last night when she and the boys had returned from the movies. After a restless night's sleep, I felt a strange calm, almost numb. Everything was the same in the house; Amanda had not changed appearances overnight. But it was as if someone had showed me all the magicians tricks. I was no long in awe, and questioned her every move and motive.
"Amanda do you remember Josh?" I asked.
I could not see Amanda's face, but I swear her body stiffened a moment before answering.
"Josh? Our old neighbor Josh? Wow, I have not heard that name in about a dozen years." Amanda said.
"I was just thinking about Josh and his photography stuff. He was always running around taking pictures of neighborhood kids. You think he was a pedophile or something?"
.... There is more of this story ...