Day 1, Early:
I'm sure that everyone has received that phone call in the dead of night that has kept them awake for the rest of the night. Well, I received mine the other night. But instead of some drunk or family member calling about a death, it was from my best friend Bill Paxton. Bill and I grew up together and were the very best of friends. I think we met when we were two, but that was a long time ago, so I'm not sure if my memory is perfect. That call the other night was weird and yet it was informative as well. It went like this.
"Hello!" I said angrily as the phone rang at 3:00am waking me from a sound sleep. Since the phone is on my side of the bed I answered.
"Rob, I'm so sorry man, I wish it had never happened, but I have to tell you before I die."
"What is going on why... ?"
"Rob, your wife and I have been having an affair for the last six or seven months and I can't keep it up. I'm so sorry Rob I can't keep up the charade any longer; I had to tell you before I died." And then I heard a shot and then nothing.
By now my wife Brenda is somewhat awake and asked who was on the phone. I said it was nothing, just some drunk. "It kinda sounded like Bill but it couldn't be him. Go back to sleep."
Brenda turned over and then I think she went to sleep, but I just hung up the phone and lay there thinking. What happened six or seven months ago in our lives? Did Brenda really cheat on me with my very best friend? But surely I would have seen something that would have clued me into her cheating. But let me think.
Tonight when I tried to initiate sex, I was shot down again; this was the fifth time in the past six months. Our sex life had taken a nose dive, about a year ago, no reason given, just going from two to three times a week to maybe once a week and then maybe six months ago or maybe more it had dwindled down to maybe once every two weeks or so. The last time was a week and half ago after we came back from dancing at the Tip Top club. Brenda had been really horny that night and I was able to give her several orgasms to my twice. Not bad for a couple of 45 year olds who have been married for almost 23 years had had 2 kids.
Shelly, our daughter, was now married to a real nice guy, a Navy Captain named Scott, and they were expecting their first in about six months. Tommy was just finishing up his junior year at Texas State. Life was good, I thought, but I guess not if what Bill said was true. I wondered if he really shot himself or if this was some kind of joke. Bill was always the joker.
The more I thought of this the more it seemed to correspond to some things I had been seeing lately that now in this new light seemed to take on new meaning. Brenda had been coming home from work late at least once a week. Not always the same night, and sometimes she would tell me the day before, and sometimes she would call at about four and let me know. It was no set pattern, so how could I be sure that it wasn't legit. I mean, the company she worked for had overseas clients, and sometimes they needed to interact with them at odd hours our time.
But was that enough information to go on, plus the lack of sex. I mean when Shelly left home, Tommy was gone a lot and our sex live took a huge turn up. From maybe once a week to almost every night and then when Tommy left for college, it was every night and a wild time on the weekends. Then about a year ago that tapered off to what I was experiencing now.
Ok, anything else; is she spending more money, did she buy sexy underwear, is she dressing nicer for work? No, none of those things was occurring. So was this a prank, or what? I decided that I needed to get some sleep, today was a work day, and I needed some more rest.
I rolled over and went back to sleep. I would pursue this tomorrow, well later today then.
About noon time that day I heard on the radio that a man was found in his home shot in an apparent suicide. The man had been despondent over the death of his wife eighteen months ago and had apparently taken his own life to join her. The name was being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Now that was a jolt. Bill's wife Cindy was killed in an auto accident about eighteen months ago; it couldn't be Bill, right? The description given was the same neighborhood in the city where Bill lived. Oh, wow, this was becoming to sound suspiciously like the victim was Bill. If that was the case, then was what he confessed this morning really true? Were he and my wife having an affair for the last six months? I guess it was going to be an interesting home life tonight when I confronted Brenda with Bill's deathbed confession. Now I wondered if the conversation had been picked up by the answering machine. I had heard it end its spiel when I finally got the phone to my ear last night, well early this morning. Yes it would be a very interesting evening tonight.
I was able to do a few things on the computer at work, and then planned on taking a long lunch today, to move a few things at the bank. I called my family lawyer, and tried to get an appointment for today, or tomorrow. I had an appointment for today at five. At eleven, I rushed home with a pocket recorder, and recorded the phone call from the answering machine, and then erased the message. Then, it was off to the bank to set up a new account in my name only, and I moved most of the money from the checking account to there. I also transferred half of the savings from one account to a new savings account, and took all of our special savings account that we paid for Tommy's college with. I cashed in two of the three CD's we had and added that to the new account. I would give up some of the money and knew it, but I wanted it out of her hands. I didn't want to confront her and find out that I had no access to money to pay bills or anything else. She was the one who cheated, so let her find money to pay a lawyer. I paid all the bills by computer, and was much savvier about computers than Brenda. She used them at work, but was not conversant in all the software like I was, as I needed to be for my job.
With all that accomplished I went back to work and tried to get something done, but I kept going back to that phone call. Had Brenda tried to comfort Bill and things went too far or did she just want to fuck him again. Yeah, again; she and Bill were steadies in high school, and the first couple of years of college, until Bill met Cindy Spurlock, right at the end of our sophomore year at a party that we attended. I was with my girlfriend Alice Holden at the time, but I really wanted Brenda, but from a pinkie swear at thirteen we swore that we would not try to date another's girl, until we knew it was over. A week after that party, Bill broke up with Brenda and she was devastated. Bill and I met Brenda when we started high school in ninth grade. This was just a year after our pinkie swear, and although I was head over heels in love with Brenda she was Bill's girl. Maybe it was only lust but I knew what I wanted. Shortly after starting college I met Alice and we seemed to click nicely, but there was something missing. It was something I could never explain but I just couldn't give my all to Alice. I think she knew it too, even though we did become steadies, just not engaged. After Bill dumped Brenda, she came to me to cry on my shoulder and I think we both knew within a month that something very tangible was there staring us in the face. I tried to let Alice down easy, but I think she saw it coming too and we broke up with no hard feelings for either of us. The next week, Alice was with Charlie Tember and they eventually married.
As for Brenda and me, we took it slow and soon realized that there was someone wonderful in our lives. It took almost a year for Brenda to accept that Bill was truly gone and we could occasionally double date. We had been friends for too long not to work things out between us. Bill and Cindy married a year after graduation and a year later Brenda and I married. I had stayed an extra year in school and gained my MBA. Brenda graduated with a BBA in marketing. When I finally graduated Brenda was already gainfully employed. Brenda worked for Hodges Marketing Research Company. I found a job at Peterson and Associates, a management consultant company. We evaluated different companies to see if we could make them more efficient and more cost effective.
We had Shelly during our first year of marriage and two years later Tommy came along. Because Brenda had such a hard time with Tommy as he was so big, she had her tubes tied after the birth and before she went home. Tommy was 14 pounds and 21" long at birth. Once Tommy started school full time Brenda went back to work at Hodges, pretty much in the same position she had when she got a leave of absence to have Shelly. Things went well for us and I was now a vice president at Peterson, and Brenda was a VP over at Hodges. Both of us traveled a bit over the years but we managed to work it out where both of us were not gone at the same time.
So we fast forward a few years and now both children are out of the house. About then tragedy struck hard in Bill's life when he lost Cindy. Their three kids were all grown and on their own, or in school so it was just the two of them. A drunk driver broadsided Cindy's car at 5:00pm one night as she drove home. The guy hit the driver's door and Cindy was killed instantly by part of the door frame being torn loose and entering her head just in front of her ear.
.... There is more of this story ...