It didn't come as a surprise to me because I had been expecting it or at least something like it.
It was a Wednesday and Myra and I were eating dinner when she said, "Don't make any plans for us this weekend. The girls from work and I are going to a spa for the weekend. One of the girls arranged for a group package. It will be a weekend of mud baths, mudpacks manicures, pedicures and the like."
"Okay? That's it? Just okay?"
"What did you expect?"
"I thought that you would want to talk about it."
I looked her right in the eye and said, "You did not say "Honey, would it be all right with you if..." or "Tom would you mind if..."or Babe, the girls at work are planning on a weekend away and would you mind if..." you just told me that you were going and so I said okay."
I put my fork down, wiped my mouth with a napkin and then stood up and headed for the door.
"Where are you going?"
"Down to Bud's Bar to see if there is anyone there I can shoot some pool with while I have a few beers. I may be late so don't bother waiting up."
Actually that wasn't were I was going. I had a friend at work who had a brother who worked for an oil company and who was going on an overseas assignment. He would be gone for a year and was looking for someone to sublet his apartment while he was gone. I was going to meet Sam and go over and take a look at the place. If I liked it I would consider taking it on. Then Myra could enjoy her weekend and then find out that she was living alone when she came home. She wouldn't find someone waiting there to serve her papers or anything like that. She would just find me gone.
I liked Mike's place and I told him that I would take it if my marriage went tits up by the weekend and it was still available. He told me that he had another guy who was interested in the place and that the guy would be there at 10 a.m. on Saturday to look the place over. He told me he would hold the place for me until 9 on Saturday. He wished me luck and then Sam and I did go to Bud's to have a few brews and shoot some pool. Around eleven-thirty I went home and Myra was in bed either sleeping or pretending to be asleep. I just got in bed, turned my back to her and went to sleep.
Why was I setting up to move? Because Myra was setting out to cheat on me (if she hadn't already) and I wasn't going to sit still for it. If I knew for sure that she hadn't yet done it I probably would have gone proactive to try and put a stop to it before it could start, but from what I knew I couldn't be anywhere close to sure and I wouldn't live my life wondering if she had and might do it again.
How did I know what was going on? Because I had good friends. One Wednesday three weeks ago while I was at work Ralph came into my office and asked me to meet him at Barney's Tavern after work. I met him and after we had ordered and taken a pull on our Buds he asked:
"Are you and Myra alright?"
"That's a strange question to ask."
"I'm not happy having to ask it, but I need to know if you and Myra are on the outs or not."
I gave him a long questioning look before saying, "As far as I know we are okay, but I'm starting to think that for some reason you don't think so. What gives Ralph?"
"Try not to shoot the messenger Tom, but Myra seems to be getting involved with a guy she met at the Apollo Lounge during one of her nights out with the girls she works with and I just thought you should know."
I knew what he was talking about. Myra didn't actually have a girl's night out. What she did was stop after work with the girls she worked with for a drink or two before coming home. It was usually on a Tuesday and she was usually home by seven although in the last three weeks it was closer to nine or nine-thirty. Naturally I had to ask Ralph to clarify. I need to point out that Myra didn't know Ralph, but he knew who she was because of the dozen or so pictures I had of her around my office. The take I got from him was that he usually met his brother at the Apollo for drinks on Tuesdays and he had seen Myra come in with some of the girls she worked with. He recognized her right away from her pictures. On Tuesday four weeks ago he had been at the Apollo and saw three guys join the girls at their table. After a bit Myra had gotten up and danced with one of the guys. She danced with him several more times before she got up to leave. The guy she had danced with walked out with her. He came back in about twenty minutes later and one of the other guys at the table gave him a thumbs up with a questioning look and the guy who had walked Myra out had smiled and given a thumbs up.
The next week the guy was already there when Myra arrived and he went right over and joined the girls at their table. He danced with Myra several times and when she got ready to leave he again walked her out only this time he didn't come back in.
"Last night it was the same except Myra only stayed for two drinks before leaving and again the guy walked her out and never came back in. I have no idea what or if anything happened when they left, but I thought you needed to know what was going on."
The following Tuesday I was sitting with Ralph and his brother when Myra and her coworkers came in. I wasn't worried that she would recognize me because I was wearing a fake beard and a ball cap and Ralph, his brother and I were sitting in the darkest corner of the lounge. Maybe ten minutes after we got there three guys came in and Ralph pointed them out and told me that the tall one was the guy that Myra always danced with. The three put three tables together and then sat down and ordered drinks. Five minutes later Myra and her friends came in and went right to the table where the three guys were. Myra took the chair next to the tall guy and leaned over and kissed him.
The group at the table talked for a bit and then one of the guys got up and fed some coins into the jukebox and the dancing started. Myra only danced with the tall guy while the other two took turns dancing with Myra's four coworkers. After about a half hour dancing and a couple or three drinks the dancing turned into what could only be called 'dirty dancing' and at times Myra and the tall guy were so close together that I couldn't have pushed a sheet of paper between them and the tall guys hand were all over her body. She would have slapped my face if I had tried to do that with her in public. At one point he was grinding his cock into her leg and she was and she was pushing back at him.
When the music stopped they went back to the table and Myra said something to her girlfriends and then she picked up her purse and she and the tall guy left the lounge. Once they were out the door I got up to follow and Ralph said:
"Be cool Tom. Don't do anything stupid and get your ass tossed in jail."
"Not to worry bud. I'm not the violent type. I'm just going to observe. At least for now."
I walked out of the building just in time to see Myra get into a car with the tall guy. They immediately slid together and started necking. I moved to a spot where I wouldn't be noticed and watched the pair. They were going at it hot and heavy and not paying any attention to what was going on around them and I was able to get close enough to hear the sounds. I heard "something better than this" from the guy and from Myra "I want it too, but..." and then a car pulled into the lot and I had to duck down so the car lights wouldn't expose me and so I missed some of the conversation. When I could get back up I heard "This weekend we..." and I had to duck down again, but I'd heard and seen enough. When the people in the car that had just pulled in went into the lounge I made my way to my car and went home. I was in bed when Myra got home and when she came into the bedroom I pretended to be asleep.
The next morning I was in the breakroom at work sipping coffee and looking through an apartment rental guide when Sam sat down with me, saw the guide and asked me why I was looking at apartments. I told him and he told me about his brother.
Thursday at work I spent what free time I had making a list of things to do and a list of what to take with me if I moved out. If? Yes, if. If Myra went through with her weekend I was gone. If she got cold feet and cancelled her little outing I'd sit down with her and have a 'come to Jesus' meeting with her. I'd let her know what I knew and we would take it from there. If she didn't go our marriage might – just might – stand a chance. It would be up to her.
Thursday over dinner Myra dumped it on me that she would be leaving for her weekend right from work on Friday and I didn't say a word. When we finished up eating I got up and went into the living room and turned on the TV. About an hour later Myra came into the room naked except for high heels and said:
"Care to give me enough to hold me until I come home Sunday evening?"
It must have shocked her when I said, "No thanks."
She looked at me for a moment or two and then she said, "Something is bothering you. I can tell."
"You already know what is bothering me Myra."
"What? This weekend thing? Why are you bothered that I'm going to spend a weekend with the girls from work?"
"The girls Myra? If it was a weekend with the girls it probably wouldn't bother me" I said as I got up and headed for the door.
"What? What do you mean y that?"
"You were smart enough to graduate from college with a degree Myra so you should be smart enough to figure it out."
"Where are you going?"
"Get back here Tom. You can't say what you just said and walk away. Get back here and talk to me."
I didn't answer her; I just left the house, got in my car and drove down to Bud's Bar. I drank some beer and shot some pool with a few guys I knew and around eleven I went home. There was a note taped to the door that said, "Wake me when you get home. We need to talk!" Need was underlined.
I went into the house, kicked off my shoes, set the alarm on my watch to wake me up at six and then I sacked out on the couch.
He alarm woke me at six and I got up, put on my shoes and left the house. I would look kind of scruffy when I got to work because I was wearing yesterday's clothes that I'd slept in, but I was high enough up in the food chain that I doubted that anyone would say anything about it.
I stopped for breakfast at a Village Inn and over coffee, pancakes and bacon I planned out my weekend. If Myra was at the house when I got home we would have our 'come to Jesus' meeting and if she wasn't Sam's brother would get a call from me and I would be out of the house and gone when Myra got home from 'her weekend with the girls'.
When I got to work I told Donna, my secretary, that I didn't want any phone calls from Myra put through to me, "And if she wants to leave a message take it, but toss it into the waste basket."
"Trouble in Paradise?"
"Of the worst kind."
I caught a slight smile starting on her face. Donna had flirted with me since the day she was assigned to me, but I knew that it was just 'office fun' since she had a fiancée that she was gaa gaa over.
The day was fairly busy and I spent the morning putting out fires and trying to calm down upset clients. Just before two there was a commotion in the outer office and I heard Donna yell, "You can't go in there." The door to my office opened and Myra came storming in with Donna right behind her.
"I'm sorry boss. I told her you weren't here and that she couldn't go into your office. You want me to call security?"
"No; I'll take care of it."
Donna left and I looked Myra right in the eye and asked, "What the fuck do you want Myra?"
She didn't back off like I expected, but came right back at me.
"What do I want? I want to know what the fuck is wrong with you. First was that shit from last night and then you wouldn't return my calls this morning. I want to know why you didn't wake me up when you got home last night and don't give me any of that "I didn't want to disturb you" garbage. I left a note telling you to wake me up and I want to know why you didn't do it. You knew I wanted to talk to you so I want to know why you got up and left the house before we could talk. That's what the hell I want!"
"You know damned well why I didn't want to talk to you Myra. I didn't want to do or say anything that might ruin your weekend with THE GIRLS!"
"Is that what this is all about? You are in a pissy mood because I'm going to spend a weekend with the girls I work with?"
"No Myra; I am not in a pissy mood over the weekend over your weekend with THE GIRLS! I'm in a pissy mood over the weekend you have planned with the asshole you spent Tuesday night making out with in the Apollo parking lot.
"What are you talking about?"
"Give it up Myra. The fact that I just told you that I knew what you were doing Tuesday should be enough to tell you that you have been busted. A good friend of mine came to me and told me how you have been behaving on your Tuesday nights. I couldn't bring myself to believe him so I was there Tuesday night and I watched the show you put on with your boyfriend at the table and on the dance floor. When you left the bar with him I followed you out. I saw you get in the car with him and I saw what the two of you did. The two of you were so into it that you didn't even notice me when I moved up next to the car and watched and listened to what was going on."
"You misunderstood what was going on Tom."
"I didn't misunderstand shit Myra. I was right there and I saw and heard everything. And since we are having it out you might as well hear that when you get home from your weekend with THE GIRLS you will find that I have moved out. Now, if you don't mind, I have work to do and you being here is interfering with my doing it."
"Oh no Tom; we still have t..."
"Get the hell out of here Myra."
"I'm not leave..."
I hit the intercom button and told Donna to get security to remove Myra from my office and then I got up and walked out. I took the stairwell up to the fourth floor and then paced back and forth in the hallway until enough time had passed for Myra to have been escorted out of the building. When I got back to my office Donna told me that I might not want to hurry home after work.
"She was pissed boss. She might be waiting for you with a frying pan meaning to decorate your head with it."
The rest of the day passed by without incident and when I got off work, since I had nothing to hurry home to, I hit the bar just down the street from work. I stayed for two beers and then I headed on home to start packing. I was going to be pretty busy for the next couple of days. I wanted to get everything out of the house and into storage except for what I would need at Mike's apartment. I'd need to call him first thing in the morning and tell him I was going to take it. I'd need to get a motel or hotel room for the two weeks until he left for his overseas assignment. I'd need to stop at the bank and take care of the business of separating funds. I'd worry about getting an attorney sometime next week. The important thing for me was to be gone when Myra got home from her weekend.
When I got home I was surprised to find my driveway and the street in front of my house full of parked cars. I had to park on the street two houses away. When I walked in the front door I heard a lot of conversation coming from the living room and when I got to the room I saw nine women sitting there. I recognized some of them from Myra's company Christmas party. All conversation stopped and nine sets of eyes swung toward me. Not having the slightest idea of what was going on I just said "Good evening ladies" and headed for the staircase to the upstairs.
Myra, who apparently had been in the kitchen when I came in, came into the room just as I had put my first foot on the steps and said:
"Wait a minute Tom; we need to talk to you in here."
If it had just been Myra I would have ignored her and gone on up, but the "We need" grabbed my curiosity so I turned and went into the living room. Myra said, "I'm sure you remember Alice and she has something to say to you."
I looked over at Alice and she said, "My husband belongs to the Fraternal Order of Eagles and they have dances once a month. Usually they have drawings for prizes at the dances and two weeks ago my husband won a weekend for two at the Belmont Plaza Spa. He didn't want to go so he told me to find someone to go with me. My problem was who could I ask without upsetting the ones I didn't ask so I called the spa and talked them into giving me a group rate and then I asked all the girls in the office if they wanted to go. The nine of us here and Myra said they wanted to go and we were all set to leave from work tonight when Myra told us of your problem. We are all here to see if we can fix it. According to Myra you believe she is sneaking off to meet some guy and we are all here to tell you that isn't true."
I glanced around the room at the group and then said, "I think it is commendable that you have all rallied around Myra in her hour of need, but it is a misguided attempt on your part. I saw Myra misbehaving with my own eyes and I overheard her making plans to meet with a guy this weekend. She might have been going to go to the spa with you, but she wasn't going to be doing any of the rest of you would be doing. She would be spending her time hanging horns on me with the ass wipe who picked her up at the lounge."
"That isn't true" Beverly March said. "We all knew what she was going to do to George. Myra told us before she ever did her first dance with him what she planned on doing to him."
"What she was going to do to him?"
"George is one of those dickheads who thinks he is God's gift to women. He is always hitting on the girls who come into the lounge. Myra thought it would be a kick to string him along and get him to buy drinks for us. She set him up. She led him along and when we planned our weekend she told him about it and led him to believe he could meet her there and they could have a wild weekend together. We all knew about it because Myra kept us clued in. A couple of us even hinted to him that Myra would hook up with him if he tried hard enough. We told him that she was ready to cheat on you because she found out you were cheating on her so she wanted to get even."
"You expect me to believe this song and dance? I heard her arrange to meet him."
"Yes Tom" Myra said, "You did hear me arrange to meet him, but did you hear where?"
"No. I just heard you say you would meet him this weekend."
Myra walked over toward me and handed me an envelope. "Read this" she said. I opened the envelope, took out a page and read it. It was a letter of confirmation listing all the names of the ten women in the room. I shrugged and said:
"So what? This just says that you are going to be there, but I already knew that. You will be there and he will meet you there."