I watched as she walked off with the other man. I felt as though I had died. She'd had my heart, my soul, my very being and now—nothing. I had nothing: no heart no soul, no being. I was breathing and that was all—and that was overrated.
Who are we, were we? I'm Rueben Colson, most recently the husband, and, as I thought, the love of Jemima Colson's life. The "most recently" referred to having been but five minutes ago. Five minutes ago, she had come to me, in the dim light of the bar and told me she had fallen for another man, and that she wanted a divorce. Stunned, disbelieving, destroyed: yeah, that was me.
We'd met at the Horse's Head at her request. It was almost next door to where she worked as a receptionist at the local phone company. I had assumed she wanted to have dinner there after she got off—with me. Well, one can imagine my surprise having learned of her real reason for us to meet.
As she spoke, her eyes clouded as she fully realized the devastation she had wrought upon me. And, as indicated, devastated I was.
"I'm sorry, Rueben. I wish, well, I wish that there had been another way," she said. She brought her hand to her lips, touched my cheek with that same hand; then, she had risen from the little table, that separated us in the bistro, turned and left. About halfway to the exit a man had joined her. He took her hand and led her out. The other man? I had no idea, but quite obviously it was the man that she'd decided to dump me for.
For my part I continued to sit and think, well, I thought that I was thinking. But, maybe not. But, I was breathing and therefore technically alive, and well, breathing; I guess there's an upside to everything.
One upshot of having been dumped by my wife was the undeniable truth that my life became infinitely simpler. I no longer had to worry about whether or not I'd left the kitchen clean or the bed made—that had been my job—and as well, most of my weekends were now free to do with as I pleased. Nobody to see. This last mainly because all of our friends were really her friends, and invites to anything would no longer be coming my way.
I was lonely of course. I mean no close friends, no place to go except my favorite bar: The Cloister, which was near to 'my' place of employment. I did have my job. But, as the sole accountant for Peters Distributing Inc. I had no real interaction with the other nineteen employees; all of whom were engaged either in operations of, or the distribution of, the company's produce—primarily dry goods to supermarkets and dry goods outlets around the southern part of the state.
Ralph Peters, my boss and the owner of the company, knew of my marital problems and was empathetic. In sympathy, he doubled my workload. Said it would help me cope. Said he'd been through it and knew the game. I had to allow that he'd been right about that, helping me cope it did. Still, I was more than gassed by each day's end his rightness notwithstanding. I think I was going blind from dealing with all of the little numbers and symbols and legalistic tripe covering the double screen of my state of the art online system. But, as to that, it may in reality have had more to do with the endlessly incipient tears clouding my vision than with the little symbols and bugs on my screens.
I held up my glass for a refill by Phil, Phil Sutter, my friend and head pharmacist at the Cloister.
"Need some more medicinal support big fella?" asked Phil. I nodded.
"Yeah, make this my last, Phil, but make it a double. I'll drink it slow and with feeling," I said. He smirked.
"Yeah, well, just don't start singing again," he said. "I don't deserve that. Okay?"
"Promise," I said. He left and returned with a double shot a Beam Rye and set it down in front of me. I loved this guy. Maybe he'd marry me, I thought. At least, if "he" dumped me I wouldn't give a shit. Hey, there's an upside to everything as I kept telling myself. Problem was, I was having a whole lot of trouble identifying any upside to Jem's dumping me.
I was sipping my rye and silently crying over the spilt milk of my life when Phil returned to my end of the bar. He took a phone call on the back bar and looked to be a little miffed by whatever was said on the other end of the line. Hanging up, he looked over at me sitting maybe four or five feet away.
"Hey, Rueben, feel like becoming a bigger loser than you already are?" he said; he did kinda smile when he said it.
"Huh? What? What are you talking about?" I said.
"We need a sixth," he said. "Randy Dalton just begged off." He nodded toward the phone he'd most recently been speaking into.
Huh? What? A sixth?" I said. Still not getting it.
"Got a game tonight. Some old fashioned poker. Wanna play? It's a hundred dollar buyin and if you lose it all you can't refinance. It's how we manage to keep the game friendly, nobody ever loses their pink slip if you get my drift," he said. I looked up at him standing there.
"What the hell, nobody's invited me to anything since Jem left me. And, a chance to become an even bigger loser than I already am? Hell yes, how can I turn down an opportunity like that. Count me in," I said. "Maybe at game's end I'll be able to interest Guinness with my credentials."
"Yeah maybe," he said. "I'm off at seven; game starts at eight. You can follow me over."
The venue was Cal Westly's place. It was a four bedroom, single story ranch style about a mile from the bar. We were the last to arrive except for Jim Spencer. Jim's shift at Montgomery's Grocery, where he was a clerk, ended at eight straight up.
The other players, Rob Callaway, Clyde Metzler, and of course Cal's wife Angela, were already there when we arrived.
Introductions made, Angela brought in a couple of trays of snacks for the assembled gambleers. One and all were profuse in their thanks to her, especially since she had one helluva rack. I wondered if maybe Angela was Cal's secret weapon in the game. For sure it was pretty darn hard to keep one's eyes focused on the cards while she was meandering around the table.
Seeing Angela, and noting her devotion to her hubby, brought to my mind my soon to be ex-wife's lack of devotion to me. Okay, I was jealous.
The play went on into the wee smalls. When all was said and done, I had a half dozen new friends, and a remainder of twelve dollars and seventy-five cents out of the hundred I'd started with. But, the game had been cathartic at least for the short run. A couple of the guys had stories not unlike my own. All of which did reduce the degree of pain I had been beset with since Jemima had dumped me.
"I think you destroyed him," said Richard—Ricky—Jones; officer jones of our local constabulary as I would later discover. She gave him a hard look, as he continued to undress.
"I'd rather not dwell on it. Okay," said Jemima Colson. She mounted the bed and spread her legs wide for the man just as he kicked his underpants off to the side.
"Okay, okay," he said. "I didn't mean anything by it." She snorted.
"Right," she said. "Just get up here and screw me. I need you inside of me." He smiled and did as she asked.
Mounting her he let his penis slap haphazardly at her slit. He laughed while her expression bespoke impatience.
"Now! she said.
"Okay, okay, just teasing," he said. "Sheesh! Touchy tonight." He pushed into her.
"Ugh!" she said. "Good, that's good. Now screw me."
He lay on top of her seesawing in and out of her for some minutes. She lay passive and submissive as he mastered her.
"Faster," she gasped, she was close and he knew it. He began to pummel her fiercely.
She sputtered little noises and squeaks as she came. Spittle dribbled and bubbled from the side of her mouth as she was caught in the avalanche of a shattering climax.
He stiffened and loomed virtually paralyzed above her as a sea of his semen painted her insides. Finally, he collapsed on top of her, lay still for a brief moment, and rolled off to her right.
Heavy breathing was all that could be heard for the next minutes.
"Good?" he whispered as his breathing normalized.
"Yes. Good," she said. "That's what I needed. Yes." He smiled and let his eyes close. She rolled onto her side away from him, her shapely buttocks and the pussy lips that separated their globes a mess of cum and sweat. They'd shower later and then go out to dinner. It was still early.
Coincidences are not something that I much believe in. But, it seems every time I think such sacrilegious thoughts, I am proven wrong. This was one of those times.
I was sitting behind a pillar in the Horse's Head. The two of them had just come in but did not see me. I was blocked, visually, from them and they from me, but not from hearing them.
The bathrooms were to my right and I knew that there was a back door by which I could escape without being seen, well, it was unlikely that they would see me or recognize me since I would be with my back to them as I moseyed out.
I was just getting up to risk it when I heard my name mentioned. I sank back onto my seat to hear what I could hear. Might be interesting, I mean since I was likely gonna the subject to of the conversation.
"I hear he comes in here sometimes to avoid his friends at the Cloister. Hear tell he's still crying in is beer about you dumping him, and it was starting to get old over there," said Richard Jones.
The waitress interrupted his speech taking their orders. She, the waitress, passed me on the way to the kitchen.
"Yes, well it is what it is," said my not quite yet ex-wife. "If he is crying in his beer, well, that was part of the problem I had with him."
.... There is more of this story ...