The affair was quite cold blooded, by all indications.
She conducted her communications through outside agencies. Sent emails from a cyber café, which she used at lunch, with a new email account. Kept a throw away cell phone in her desk at work. Kept a bag of clothes in the locker at the gym where she went to do her workouts. The same gym she'd been using ever since I met her. She got her lover to rent her a car so that the mileage on hers wouldn't change, nor would a GPS tracker pick up any weird movements, and so that there was no paper trail linking her to it. She did not give her home phone number to the guy either. She went for her workouts three times a week after work, same as she had been doing for five years. There was both a front and back parking lot at the gym, so she'd park her own car in the front, go in and go out the back to drive her rental car to her rendezvous point. She kept clothes at her lover's place and came back dressed in the same outfit she left in. That way there would be no unexplained stains on her panties, no lingerie for me to find.
So, with all these precautions, you may be wondering how I found out?
Simple. Somebody told me And, most ironical of all, it was her lover who did it.
My name is Rob Simmons, and I met Rika Lorence three years ago at a bus stop of all places. That's what's so funny about this whole thing, you see. I met her at a bus stop, and I found out about her affair on a bus. How's that for vicious irony?
Well, anyway, I was standing there waiting for the 14 when this absolutely gorgeous creature comes pelting up the sidewalk, hair flying behind her with an oak leaf caught in it, big breasts bouncing and she says: "I didn't miss the 14, did I?"
"No, you still got lots of time," I said back, pretending not to ogle her.
"Oh, good, I just moved here and I don't have a handle on everything yet," she said, brushing a strand of hair off one flushed cheek. "I'm Rika, who are you?"
I introduced myself and by the time the bus showed up in a roar of dragon's breath, we had a date for lunch.
The doors hissed shut behind us and we ended up sitting on opposite ends of the bus because of the number of occupied seats. I went to work, called the garage where my car was being worked on-my reason for being on the bus in the first place-and they told me that I wouldn't have it back for three more days. I sighed and got to work.
We met for lunch that day and the rest of the week. She had moved here to Vancouver from California, just one of many Californians who had begun to infiltrate the pnw like a plague. They came here to get away from the hideously expensive cost of living and the bad traffic, but brought those same things up here ruining the way of life for the rest of us.
I didn't hold her California roots against her though; she was a delightful conversationalist and damned easy on the eyes. And she was scary smart too, as I was to discover. She was a programmer teaching classes over at the community college and she also owned a small company which did some freelance work for some of the big technical firms here and in Portland; some kind of out sourcing thing I never really got a handle on, since i'm no geek. Like I said, scary smart girl. But she wasn't one of those snotty smart ones. You know the kind I mean; they have to rub your nose in how smart they are by spouting esoteric mathematical formulas at the dinner table and look at you funny when you don't get it,. stuff like that. Rika wasn't like that. She was an ordinary girl, but with a brain. And I really liked it.
I was a mere sales manager but she didn't look down on me because of that. I was only average on the intelligence scale, but I could talk about a lot of things with a fair degree of acumen. In short, we had a lot going for us.
When we finally made love it was different than my previous experiences too. Those people who say sex and love can be different sure had it right. Up to that point I had met a few bargirls and sex with them was something like having a single oreo cookie, if you know what I mean. Good, but not all that fulfilling or exciting. With Rika, sex was like having a four course meal, and dessert. And espresso. In short it was wonderful.
I proposed three months after our initial meeting at that bus stop and we moved in together. We had an October wedding amidst the fall leaves and we toasted each other with mugs of hot cider instead of champagne.
I don't want to give you the idea that Our marriage was perfect as a fairy tale, because it wasn't. Some people may think that I am hen pecked and pussy whipped, but I'm really not. The thing is, I think that Rika thought I was, and that is why she did what she did; she thought I'd let her do her thing and not complain. I guess that maybe I did contribute to her way of thinking a bit.
When we got our house, I did not contribute much in the way of ideas for decoration. I just let Rika do her thing, and that is because I just didn't care about stuff like that. If she had come to me and said "Rob dear, I want to paint the dining room purple with a green stripe across the ceiling," I would've said "Yes dear," and kept on doing what I was doing. She picked the cars we drove and I was fine with that too, because the ones she did pick worked well and had good mileage and safety ratings. All I cared about was that it got me from point A to point B without breaking down to often. I got my way on the things that mattered to me. I wanted a cloth recliner instead of a leather one, so when Rika brought home a leather one I didn't say anything but took it back and got it replaced with a cloth one. I wanted a Motorola cell phone and she wanted an Nokia. I got the Motorola.
Both those occasions got me cut off for two days because I didn't do what she wanted. I responded by cutting her off for three. I never understood why she did that since she liked sex as much as I did, but hey, whatever turned her crank. After a while she got the idea and stopped using sex as a bribe/weapon.
So yeah, most of the time I let her have her way, because as I said most of the time I just didn't give a fuck about the issue in question. If that makes me pussy whipped or hen pecked, so be it, but I didn't see it that way. Why put up a fight just for the sake of it?
Fast forward three years. My car was once again in the shop and I was taking the bus over to the mall to do some Christmas shopping. I was sitting there making mental lists of our relatives and trying to decide what to get each one when I heard: "Hi there, Rika, I'm looking forward to our next meeting." Pause, "Lunch tomorrow? ... Uh huh, right ... Yeah, I bet it was ... me too, babe. Hubby still not got a clue yet? ... Yeah well, he's a wimp and no doubt about it."
By this time you can be sure I was paying real close attention. Rika isn't all that common a name, after all, and so, judging by the one-sided conversation I was listening to, she was fucking some creepy, scruffy looking guy behind my back. I mean, the guy was seriously a bum, by appearances. Long, greasy looking hair that looked to be falling out haphazardly,, chewed fingernails, scruffy face that looked as though it hadn't seen a razor since the first Clinton Administration. What the fuck did my classy wife see in this asshole, if it was indeed my classy wife?
They had hung up, agreeing on the Mongolian grill out by the mall as their next rendezvous spot. They could be a little less discrete, since as far as Rika knew I would be heading up to Seattle tomorrow. I hadn't had a chance to tell her yet that the client had rescheduled for next week, and now all of a sudden I didn't have such a burning need to let her know either. My original plan had been to surprise her with dinner at the Outback, which was, oddly enough, right by the Mongolian grill, and then take her home to fuck her silly. Now I had serious doubts cast upon the solidity of our marriage, doubts caused by an overheard conversation on a bus, and I wasn't in any hurry to get home now.
I got off the bus at the mall and wandered through, seeing but not appreciated the gaudy Christmas banners or hearing the canned Christmas Carols piped in through the overhead speakers.
I thought we had a good ... no a great marriage. I thought it was something that was going to last forever. But then, maybe I didn't. I was ready, instantly, to believe that my wife was stepping out on me, just by hearing the name Rika on a bus. Did that mean I was an insecure jealous jerk? Maybe so, but I honestly wasn't expecting anything like this to happen.
I sat on a bench watching the fountain in the middle of the mall and examined my feelings. That guy on the bus was butt ugly, no doubt about it. But maybe he had a ten inch cock, or maybe he was filthy rich. Let's face it; I was only a sales manager and I didn't really want to be much higher on the food chain than I already was. Maybe that was the appeal. Maybe this guy dazzled her with lots of money and she saw the chance to trade up. Did that mean I could expect a divorce decree in the near future?
Get a grip, I told myself sternly. I was beating myself over nothing but possibilities and getting nowhere. First thing I had to do was find out exactly what the hell was going on.
I called Rika and told her I had to work late in preparation for the meeting tomorrow and then I called Henry Mansfield, our company attorney.
"Rob, you old bastard," Henry boomed. "How's you and that pretty little wife of yours?" Henry was one of those big guys who didn't have any concept of what my mother used to call an indoor voice. Whether he was dining a client or talking on the phone, he was always loud and booming. I sometimes amused myself with inveinting soliloquies he might use in that booming voice of his while making love to his wife.
"That's what I'm calling about, Hank," I said. "I think she might be stepping out on me." I had no problem telling him this, since anything I said would be protected under client confidentiality.
"You gotta be shittin me!" Henry roared, making me wince and pull the phone away from my ear. "You're crazy, Rob. The hell gave you that idea?"
So I told him about what I'd heard on the bus, and I told him I wanted to know if there was a good PI he could recommend to me so that I could find out the truth. I couldn't be the cliché husband and take time off work to follow her around; I needed the income.
"Well, I could try and convince you that you're insane, that woman would no more step out on you than Elvis would come back to life and dance on the roof of the Empire State Building, but I know it'll eat at you until you know I'm right. SO, I know a guy, Jim Richardson. Best PI in the county. Give him a call in about half an hour, I'll smooth the way for you."
"Thanks, Hank," I said, jotting down the number he gave me. "I hope to god you're right and I'm just tilting at windmills, but I gotta know."
"I Understand, buddy. GO put them fears to rest."
I said goodbye to him and decided that I couldn't do Christmas shopping in the frame of mind I was in just then. I did make one stop at the Radio Shack on the second level and purchased three voice-activated recorders. They were small enough to fit in my pocket, and I decided to keep them in my basement workshop for the moment. My wife was a very smart girl and I didn't think she would say anything in the house that would give me a clue, but damn it, I had to do something. I would set them up the next time she was gone and hope to hell that I had wasted my money.
I called Richardson while I was waiting for the bus home and he gave me an appointment at four the next afternoon. The prices he gave me over the phone made me gasp for breath, but peace of mind was priceless.
Things were normal as I could make them that night. I explained my tense mood by mentioning some problems at work, and Rika offered me a back massage and a nice dinner to take my mind off things. I gritted my teeth and bore it. I couldn't stand all the suspicion. It was like a bad case of heart burn, eating away at me. Was she or wasn't she? Did she or did she not? Did she ever love me? I couldn't ask her about it. "Hey, are you having an affair?" Like, who ever really answers that question honestly?
Nevertheless I think I did a fair job of acting like everything was ok. We went to bed and there was no sex. It only just occurred to me that there really hadn't been much for the past three months or so. Hmm. More evidence.
The next morning I got a passionate kiss and a "Hurry home lover" from my wife as I headed out the door to the bus stop. I wasn't sure but it didn't seem like she was faking. That was one more thing I had to worry about. How could she act the loving wife to me and still fuck somebody else?
The day passed pretty normally for me. I was able to shove most of my worries to the back of my mind and do the job they paid me to do. I took a client to lunch and signed a contract, got a congratulations from my boss and went to see Richardson after being dismissed early.
I gave him Rika's schedule, a photograph and a check and he told me that he'd give me a call in a week to discuss what he found out.
Meanwhile I was going to do some work on my own. I went to the drugstore, got a ballcap and a disposable camera and set off for the Mongolian Grill. Their rendezvous was set for six, and I was supposed to be out of town so they had no reason to suspect being followed.
I got to the restaurant at about quarter after six and sure enough, there they were, my loving wife and the bum from the bus yesterday, sitting at a table with bowls of rice and veggies in front of them, holding hands and feeding each other bits of broccoli. It was something out of a bad romance book and it told me that their little meetings were far more than just suck and fuck sessions; this was a full blown love affair. She smiled and laughed with him and gave him little touches that only a woman in love gives to a man. And it tore my heart out.
I couldn't go in there just yet though. I needed more information, and If I had gone in, they would've seen me. So all I could do was stand outside and snap pictures through the window as they humiliated me.
After ten minutes I had enough, both in terms of pictures and seeing them together. I was starting to get mad, real mad. How dare she do this to me? It wasn't reasonable maybe, not in this modern age where cheating is almost as casual a thing as getting new shoes, but it meant something to me. She was obviously giving the affection that I thought only belonged to me away to somebody else, and I was pissed off about it.
I took a cab to the Super 8 hotel and paced around the room, fuming. I couldn't go home because I was supposed to be out of town. I couldn't call Rika because I didn't trust myself not to start screaming at her. I considered and rejected the idea of getting drunk, that would only leave me with a hangover and not solve anything.
I pulled out my laptop and distracted myself with the usual financial stuff. I transferred half of our joint savings account into my own account that I'd had before we got married. We didn't have any CD's or investments, so I didn't have to mess with those, and our joint checking account didn't have enough of a balance to bother splitting, so that got left alone. The house was a rental-our savings account was actually our down payment fund for our own house-so that wasn't an issue either. From a purely financial standpoint a divorce would be a slam dunk. And that was depressing all by itself.
Eventually I drifted into a troubled sleep on the dingy hotel mattress, the usual questions rolling around my head like bowling balls. Why did she do it? Was I not good enough for her? What did I do wrong? And all that other stuff. I had nightmares about her riding big cocks in an open field while I was held back by big rubber bands and she just looked over and laughed at me.
I woke up in a cold sweat, got into the shower and stood there for twenty minutes trying to get myself back under control. I had to go back home tonight and pretend that everything was still ok. I was a salesman, and this would be the biggest selling job of my whole life.
It took a week. A whole week of pretending like nothing was wrong and of telling Rika that I loved her and listening to her lie as she told me the same.
When I got to the office a week after I gave Richardson the check, there was a message asking me to call him.
I got hold of Richardson and he said that I could come in at four again and that in the meantime he would try to get more info. I told him to keep at it until the check I gave him ran out. Any leverage I could get would be used in the divorce.