'It started with those seven little words that send a chill up and down a man's spine:
"Honey; how much do you love me? I mean really really love me?"
You already know that, "Not enough to overlook what you are getting ready to try and sell me" isn't the right answer to that particular question. All you can do is suck it up and say, "You already know I love you deeply" and wait for the zinger.
In my mind I was thinking things like she had an accident and screwed up her car or she bought something hideously expensive that she thought I might not like. It could have been anyone of a hundred different things I could have thought of, but I don't believe that if I lived three lifetimes I would have thought of what she hit me with.
"I may need you to provide me with an alibi for last night."
"Why would you need an alibi for last night? And why would you need it from me? Surely the girls you were playing cards with last night could give you any alibi you would need."
"Well, the fact is that I wasn't really playing cards with the girls last night."
"But you always play cards with the girls on Wednesday night."
Well, not always; just most of the time."
"Maybe you had better just tell me what is going on here."
She looked away from me, then looked back at me and then looked down at the floor as she said:
"I've been bad. Really bad and things kind of got away from me. Then I got mad. Then I got really pissed and did a bad thing."
"Enough of this beating around the bush Cora; just tell me what the hell is going on."
She stared at the floor for several seconds and then looked back at me and said:
'I killed a man last night."
"You have got to be kidding me!"
"I'm not. I shot the son of a bitch three times. Twice in the chest and once in the head."
I sat there looking back at her in disbelief as she told me the story, but before I relate the story she told me I need to give a little background.
I met Cora in our junior year at Eastern Michigan University. I'd seen her around since our freshman year, but had never actually been introduced to her. I liked what I saw, but at the time I was in a relationship with Pauline French who had been my steady girlfriend since the tenth grade at Ypsilanti High School and we planned on being married as soon as we graduated from college.
During the summer vacation between our sophomore and junior year Pauline went back east with her parents for a family reunion and she never came back. I never heard from her again and all her parents would tell me was that she decided that she liked Maine and decided to stay there and finish school there. I was bummed for a while and I really wasn't fit company for the first couple of months of my junior year, but finally convinced myself that it was better being dumped now rather than after we got married.
When I came out of my shell and socializing again I was introduced to Cora at a frat house kegger. I asked her out, she accepted, we seemed to hit it off and we started dating. By the end of our junior year we were pretty much an established couple. Several of my friends tried to warn me off of Cora because, according to them, she was a bit of a 'wild child' and had a reputation. They told me that she had been known to have pulled a train or three at different frat houses and it was rumored that she liked threesomes and foursomes when out on dates. None of that seemed to fit the Cora that I knew so I discounted the information. It took me several dates over the course of six weeks before I managed to get her to make love to me. No way could Cora be like they told me.
Midpoint in our senior year I asked Cora to marry me and she told me that she would love to, but unfortunately she would have to say no. She would love to, but had to say no? I could not let that go without some kind of explanation so I pressed Cora for one.
"I can't marry you because of what I have done since starting school here."
The story I got from her was that she was brought up in a very strict and religious family and they had kept a pretty tight rein on her. She couldn't go out on a date until after her parents met the boy and gave him their stamp of approval. Not many guys wanted to subject themselves to that interrogation and vetting process and as a result Cora didn't date much in high school, so she was a little on the naïve side when she came to college.
She went out on a couple of dates with a guy she liked and one night he took her to a party at a frat house and he or someone else at the party slipped her a date rape drug in one of her drinks and she ended up losing her virginity in a gangbang. When it was over she was hooked on sex. Not only hooked on sex, but sex with multiple partners and so she did a lot of it. She went to the kegger where we met fully expecting to be the evening's entertainment.
"I met you and something inside me told me to behave myself if I ever wanted to see you again."
"If you were all that into sex why did it take me six weeks to get you in bed?"
"I didn't want to scare you off. I was afraid that if I gave it up too easily you would think I was a slut and would eventually drop me and go looking for some other girl and I did not want that to happen. Something told me that you were special and I needed to hang on to you."
"If I'm so special why are you saying no to my proposal? When did I stop being special?"
"You haven't stopped being special. The reason I'm saying no is that I can't put you through what being married to me would do to you."
"That doesn't make sense to me Cora."
"That's because you aren't looking at things the way I am. I've been had by over a hundred different guys, maybe even two hundred before meeting you. To each and every one I was a slut. An easy piece of ass. You are going to be running into a lot of those guys even after we graduate. You may possibly even end up working with one or two of them. Can you imagine how they are going to look at you and treat you when they find out you are married to EMU's gangbang queen?"
"It won't matter at all to me Cora. All I need to do is look them in the eye and tell them you married me because I could do for you by myself what a bunch of all of them together couldn't get done."
"You really think it will be that easy?"
"I do. Understand me here Cora. I love you. The you that you have been ever since we first started dating. What you did before you met me is none of my business any more than what I did before meeting you should bother you. When we met we both started with a clean slate."
"You mean that? You are really serious?"
Cora and I married three weeks after graduation and had seven very happy years until my three months pregnant wife told me that she needed an alibi because she had killed a man.
"I'll need to know what I'm letting myself in for if I do decide to lie for you Cora. I'll need to whole story. All of it!"
She looked up from the floor and looked at me. She took a deep breath and then said;
"You do know that I love you don't you?"
"What I know is that you give the appearance that you love me, but given your tone of voice in asking the question I'm having to ask myself if you really do."
"Oh God baby, don't doubt it; don't ever doubt it."
"Stop beating around the bush Cora. Out with it. I have to know what you are getting me into. I lie for you and get caught doing it I could end up in jail sitting in the cell next to you. Tell me all of it. Every last little bit."
She was silent for a bit and then said, "Just keep in mind that I DO love you as you hear me out."
I said nothing and just sat there looking at her.
"You know my background; what I was like before I met you right?"
I just sat there silent.
"In all that I did before meeting you there was one thing that I never did. One thing I've always wondered about. None of the guys who had me were black. I've always been curious about sex with a black man. I knew a lot of girls who had been with black guys and they would tell me how great sex was with a black. How they seemed to have lots of endurance and could do it for a long time. They also said that black guys were much bigger than white guys. I used to listen to their stories and wonder, but no black guys ever seemed to be around when I was doing my thing. The curiosity has stayed with me all these years. Whenever I saw a black guy I would always wonder how big he might be and if he could go on for a long time like the girls at school had said."
She looked at me like she was trying to see how I was taking it, but I just sat there and quietly listened.
"Six months ago the company hired Amos Decker and he was assigned to my department. Amos was black and, as always, when he was around the questions were always on my mind. Was he as big as all the girls at school said black men were? Was he great in bed? Amos had been there about a month before he started hitting on me. I know I should have shut him down immediately, but I didn't. For one I liked the attention and for another I thought he might say something or do something that might answer my questions. I had no intension of ever trying to find out first hand. I did flirt with him some to try and keep him interested in me.
"He joined the rest of the group when we stopped after work for a drink or two and he always managed to sit by me at a table or in a booth. I danced with him a time or two when someone would put money in the jukebox. One night when the group broke up Amos walked me to my car and then tried to kiss me. I let him. He gave me some tongues and I gave him some back. I was just teasing him and it didn't mean anything to me. He wanted to get in the car and make out, but I told him that I couldn't because I had to hurry home and get dinner ready for you.
"Two days later I was eating lunch at the diner across from work when Amos came in, saw me sitting alone in a booth and came over to join me. After he had ordered and while we were eating he told me that he had liked the taste of me that he had gotten the other night and asked me when he could get another taste. I told him never and that the only reason I had let him kiss me was because I was curious. He asked me what I was curious about and I told him that I had never been kissed by a black man and I wondered what it would be like. He asked me how he measured up and I told him that it was no different than kisses I'd gotten from other guys. He laughed and said that he would bet that kissing a black man wasn't all that I was curious about and that he was more than willing to help me satisfy my other curiosities. I thanked him for the offer and told him no thanks and that I'd take a pass on his offer. By then I was done with lunch so I got up and left."
As I listened to her tale I was getting pissed because I knew without a doubt where the story was headed.
"His offer took root in my mind and sat there next to all those questions that I had. He must have been able to sense that I did have curiosities and he redoubled his efforts to try and get me. The next night that the crew stopped after work he again managed to get the seat beside me. He asked me if I was ready to satisfy my curiosities and I told him that I couldn't. I told him I was married and loved you deeply and that I couldn't. He laughed and said that he didn't want to run away with me; he just wanted a taste. Just a little taste. I asked him why he was interested in a pregnant married woman and he told me that he found pregnant women to be extremely sexy. He asked me to dance and I couldn't refuse him without everyone at the table wondering why since we all danced to the jukebox most times we stopped and I had danced with him before.
As we danced he said, "It is true you know" and I asked him what was true and he said, "Everything you've heard about black men. It is all true." I didn't say anything to that and I guess he took my silence to mean that I was thinking about it. We danced twice more and he kept getting bolder; telling me that I was missing out on a great experience. When the group broke up to go home he again walked me to my car and tried to kiss me and I let him. Just to tease him I gave him a little tongue and we kissed for a couple of minutes and he tried to get me into the car to make out with him. I told him that I couldn't because you would be home soon and would be expecting dinner to be ready.
"The next morning at work Marsha told me that she had seen me kissing Amos and she told me to be careful and not fall into the trap and I asked her what trap. She smiled and said that she had heard that once you go black you would never go back. I knew that she was kidding, but that was another thing that I had previously heard about black guys. One more curiosity planted in my head next to all the others. Anyway, Amos kept working on me and he did eventually get me in the car to make out with him. The harder he tried to hook me the more curious I got and I final reached the point where I just had to satisfy my curiosity. Three weeks ago I called the girls and told them to get a sub for me because I wouldn't be able to play cards that night.
"After work I followed Amos to his house. It was a huge let down. It started out bad. I told him he would have to use a condom and he didn't want to. He said that there was no need since I was already pregnant and I told him that I had no idea what his sexual history was like and I had no intension of taking a little something extra home with me. He grumbled, but I told him no condom, no pussy. He went to the bedside stand got one and put it on. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the evening. He wasn't any bigger than most of the guys I'd done and he didn't have any kind of staying power at all. All in all he wasn't any different than any of the other guys I had been with and in fact he wasn't even as good as most of them. I left his house feeling like an absolute fool. I'd cheated on you to satisfy some stupid curiosities. I felt guilty as hell and I promised myself I'd do my absolute best to spoil you rotten for the rest of our lives to make up for it.
"The problem was that Amos wanted more and he kept pressing me. I kept telling him no and that the first time was a bad mistake on my part and one that I had no intension of repeating. Then he got nasty. He told me that he owned my ass and if I didn't do what he wanted he would send you a copy of the tape he had made of us fucking. I told him that he was full of shit and that there was no video. He laughed at me and said that the clock on his dresser was actually a video camera and that it had captured the entire evening. I again said he was full of shit and he told me that I should come to his place and watch it. I couldn't take the chance that he wasn't lying so I begged off cards last night and followed him home.
"He did have a video tape. He laughed at me and told me that I was his bitch from then on and that I would do whatever he wanted me to do or you would get the tape. He said that he had friends who liked white pussy and that he was going to share me with them and that I was going to learn to love threesomes, foursomes and gangbangs. Then he pulled down the bedcovers and told me to get undressed and get ready to start my life as his bitch.
"The night he fucked me and I made him get a condom he got them out of the bedside stand and when the drawer was open I'd seen a gun in the drawer and I knew just what I was going to do. I undressed and Amos laughed and said that he knew I was going to be a pushover. While he took his clothes of I went to the bedside stand and pulled open the drawer. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was getting a condom. He laughed and said we weren't going to use one. No way was his bitch going to make him wear a raincoat. I told him he would wear it or he could go and fuck himself. I told him if he gave me a disease and I took it home and gave it to you you would know I was cheating and his tape wouldn't be worth diddly-squat.
"When I opened the drawer I saw that the gun was a Smith and Wesson .38 Special. It was the same gun that my dad carried when he was a cop and I was familiar with it. Dad didn't want me to grow up afraid of guns so he used to take me to the range with him and let me practice with it. The way it was lying in the drawer I could see the tips of the bullets in the cylinder so I knew it was loaded. I reached in, pulled it out and pointed it at him. His eyes got big and he asked me what the fuck I was doing. I pulled the hammer back as I told him I was going to put an end to his sorry ass. I put two into the middle of his chest and he fell to the floor. I walked over to him and he was lying on his back looking up at me with disbelieving eyes when I pointed the gun at the middle of his forehead and said, "Goodbye asshole." I pulled the trigger and then got dressed.
"I went through his place and took every video tape I could find, stuffed them into a pillow case and then wiped down everything I had touched since getting there and then I left. I stopped at a 7-11 about five miles from his place and tossed the gun and pillow case into their dumpster."
I sat there and looked at my wife dumbfounded. I knew Cora's sexual history so the fact that she was curious about what a black guy would be like didn't come as a surprise, but the she actually went forward with satisfying that curiosity floored me. I thought we were more solid than that. In our seven years of marriage I'd never had any reason to believe that Cora might step out on me. And the way she had coldly described ending a man's life made me understand that I really didn't know my wife as well as I had thought. Her voice pulled me out of my thoughts.
"Well?" she asked.
"Are you going to help me or not?"
I stared at her silently for several seconds before I gave her an honest answer.
"I don't know Cora; I honestly don't know. If I lie for you and get caught doing it I could end up in jail and right now I'm not sure that you are worth my taking the chance. Think on this as you sit there. The only reason I know that you fucked this guy is that you suddenly need my help. Think about the thoughts that you have just planted in my mind. She has cheated on me. Is the guy the first one or just the first one I know about? If this guy isn't the first how many others have there been? Anyone that I know? Someone who looks at me and smiles to himself every time we see each other? And then there is the biggie; the new elephant in the room. If she has cheated with more than this Amos guy is the baby she is carrying even mine?"
She gasped and cried out, "You can't believe that! You can't possibly believe that?"
"Unfortunately Cora I can."
She started bawling and then got up and ran from the room. I finished my coffee and even though I didn't much feel like it I got up and went to work. It was a bad day for me. Even though I managed to get my work done my mind was never far from what Cora had dumped on me that morning. The drives to work and home that afternoon had me thinking on what to do. On the one hand I'd had seven great years with a woman I loved. On the other hand the woman that I loved had cheated on me. She said it was only the one time, but was she telling the truth? I had absolutely no way of knowing. I wouldn't have even known of this Amos guy if Cora hadn't decided that she needed my help so how the hell could I be sure that he was the only one. The sorry fact was that I couldn't. And that brought me back to the question that had sent Cora running from the room crying.
Was the baby mine?
By the time I pulled into the garage and shut off the car the thoughts had all boiled down to a single question. Did I help Cora or not? I was two-thirds decided to say yes and the overriding factor was the baby that Cora was carrying. If it was mine did I want it to come into this world in a prison or a jail cell? But there were still some questions to be asked.
When I entered the house Cora was sitting at the kitchen table with a half empty bottle of wine on the table in front of her and a full glass in her hand.
"That isn't very smart of you Cora. You shouldn't be drinking that heavily while you are pregnant. You could cause problems for the baby."
"What the fuck do you care! You don't think it is yours anyway."
"And I won't know for sure until it is born and I can have a DNA test done, but until then I have to go forward thinking that it is mine. If it is mine I don't want it born behind bars. That means that I am probably going to have to help you stay out of jail. Before I commit to lying for you I need to know some things. One is does anyone else know about you getting together with the guy?
"No one else knows. The people at work have seen me talk to him and dance with him, but all the other girls talked to him and danced with him. Marsha did see me kiss him in the parking lot, but others kissed in the parking lot so my kissing Amos was not unique."
"How about at his place? Did you leave anything there that could show that you had been there?"
"I don't think so. I've watched enough cop shows on TV to know about fingerprints and I went through the place and wiped down everything I might have touched."
"Was this guy a clean and neat sort of person?"
"I guess so. Why do you ask that?"
"You fucked him on his bed and if he didn't wash the sheets they might be able to get some DNA evidence from them."
"They looked clean to me when he pulled down the covers."
"But you can't be sue?"
"No. No, I can't."
"Then the best we can hope for is that the police never suspect you, but if they do come around this is the story we are going to tell. The asshole started hitting on you and you told him you were happily married and weren't interested. He ignored you and kept hitting on you and it pissed you off so you decided to play him, string him along making him think he as getting somewhere, getting his hopes up before laughing at him and telling him he was a chump. Wednesday night you weren't feeling well so you begged off playing cards and stayed home. Same thing for the night you fucked the asshole. You were feeling sickly so you didn't go to your card night, but stayed home. We can use your pregnancy as the reason you haven't been feeling well. Did anyone ask you why this Amos guy didn't show up for work?"
"Nobody even noticed that he wasn't there until around lunch time, but no one asked me anything about him."
"Could be that his body hasn't been found yet so the cops aren't on the case yet. Just act normal at work. Don't give anybody any reason to connect you to the asshole."
I got up and headed for the door and Cora and Cora asked me where I was going.
"You haven't started dinner so I'm going out to get something to eat."
"Are you taking me with you?"
I hesitated a couple of seconds before saying, "I might as well. If I'm going to lie for you folks will need to see us together as a normal couple."
She grabbed her purse and followed me out to the car. The ride to the restaurant was silent as was the meal and most of the ride home. We were several minutes from the house when she said:
"You do know that I love you right? And I want to live my life with you?"
I just paid attention to my driving and stayed silent.
"It was a stupid thing for me to do baby and I promise to spend the rest of my life making it up to you. Just give me a chance. That's all I'm asking for baby; a chance to make things right between us."
"Until the next time you get curious? Do you not realize that what you have done has altered the way I think about you now? You cheated on me Cora and that has changed the way I see you. If you hadn't killed the man I would have never known, but because you needed my help you told me about it. Now I'm asking myself if the guy was the first. You say he was, but how can I believe it? The very act of cheating means that you are not trustworthy so how can I now believe anything that you say? Even if I were to believe you that he was the first do I have any guarantee that he will be the last? You can swear on a stack of bibles that he is, but you are a cheater Cora and that fact makes anything you say to me suspect.
"I'm repeating myself here Cora, but you are untrustworthy now. Anything you say to me I'll be looking at as self-serving. Knowing what you did and why you did it has me wondering. You say it was awful, but I have to ask myself if the curiosity is still there. Are you thinking that maybe Decker was not really representative of black men and so your curiosity will have you trying out another one?"
"My God Walter; how can you think that of me?
"Given the situation we find ourselves in right now how can I not think it? Repeating myself again what you did shows me that I can't trust you."
As I finished speaking I was pulling into the driveway. I parked and got out of the car before Cora ha any chance of replying. In the house I headed for the living room, settled down on the couch and turned on the TV. There wasn't anything that I wanted to watch, but I thought if I looked interested in what was on Cora would leave me alone. I was in no mood to hear any more of her denials and promises. A couple of minutes later she said:
"I'm going up to bed" and I just nodded to acknowledge that I'd heard her and went back to watching TV. I channel jumped for about an hour and then I went upstairs. I went into the bedroom, got the clothes that I would need for the next day, grabbed my pillow off the bed and headed for the door.
"Where are you going?" Cora asked.
"To one of the spare bedrooms."
"Jesus F Christ Cora; are you stupid? You still don't get it do you? You think what you did wasn't any worse than overdrawing the checking account or putting a small dent in the car. What you did has changed our whole relationship. I can't be near you now. I want to wrap my hands around your neck and squeeze while shouting "You stupid cunt! How could you have done this to us?"
She started crying and I left the room.
I was up and gone before Cora woke up. I stopped at a restaurant, had breakfast and then went into work. I managed to get my work done even though the situation I was in was never far from my mind and as I drove home that night I wondered what would be waiting for me at the house. Would asshole's body have been found and would the cops be at the house when I got there? The police were not at the house when I got there, but Cora wasn't there either. I got leftovers out of the fridge and put them in the microwave. I was sitting at the table eating when Cora walked in.
"Sorry I'm late, but Amos struck again."
"No. The project the Amos was working on has a deadline and his not coming in to work has put it way behind. I was drafted to pick up on it and try and meet the deadline."
"That will teach you to go around shooting people."
"It isn't funny. What it is is another way of showing me how stupid I was. Partial punishment for my lapse of good sense."
I made no reply to that and since I had nuked enough leftovers for both of us Car sat down to eat.
"Any talk about the asshole at work?"
"A lot of speculation on why he has been a no call no show. He hadn't missed a day since he came to work there or even been late."
"What did you say about it?"
"Nothing, although I did let everyone know how pissed I was at getting stuck with his project."
"Look on the bright side. If you manage to meet the deadline given that you were suddenly dropped into it you will look like a star to your boss."
"Oh goodie! I can see it now. Project in trouble? Dump it on Cora. I'm not sure that I want to be put in those situations. What if I can't save the project? I can't afford to have a bunch of failures on my record. I'm going to need this job when you leave me."
When she said that she was looking at me and I could tell from her facial expression that she was hoping that I would say "That will never happen" but I kept my mouth shut and didn't say anything. Truth was that I hadn't yet made up my mind as to what I was going to do and leaving her was an option, but I wasn't anywhere near ready to make a decision. When I didn't say anything she said:
"Because of the project being behind I'm going to have to go into work tomorrow. It's a good thing we didn't have any plans for the weekend."
"We have that party at your sister's tomorrow night."
"I'll be home in plenty of time for that. Project in trouble or not I don't intend to spend all of my Saturday at work. If the project doesn't make the deadline I'll blame it on the boss for not getting me involved sooner."
To me that sounded like cutting off your nose to spite your face, but I kept that thought to myself. After dinner I watched some TV until bedtime and I could tell Cora was upset when I again went to the spare bedroom.
I slept in on Saturday and Cora was up and gone when I got out of bed. I drank coffee and read the morning paper for a while and then I went out to the garage, put my golf clubs in the trunk of the car and headed for the driving range at the municipal golf course. I hit a couple of buckets of balls working on my grip and my tendency to lift my head when I hit the ball. I had to keep telling myself "Keep your head down dummy" but it wasn't all that easy to do. A good golf swing requires concentration on the mechanics of it and my concentration was lacking. My head was still full of what Cora had done and the possible outcomes of her actions.
I finally gave up on driving and moved over to the practice putting green. I fared no better there and I finally gave up and headed for the clubhouse to have a beer or three. There were a couple of guys there that I knew so I joined them and killed an hour or so before heading home to get ready to go over to Cora's sister's place. As we got in the car to leave the house Cora asked:
"How are we going to play this?"
"How are we going to act at the party?"
"Like a loving couple. How else?"
"Then you are going to have to act a little warmer toward me that you have for the last couple of days."
"I can handle it" I said and she gave me a long look and then turned to watch the scenery passing by outside the car.
We got through the party okay and on the way home Cora asked, "When are you going to come back to our bed?"
I was in a fairly good mood so instead of going all stony and cold on her I said, "I don't know. I'm still having a hard time coming to grips with what you did and all the thoughts that your actions put into my head."
She was silent after hearing that and didn't speak again until we were home and in the house.
"What do I have to do to prove to you that Amos was my only bit of stupidity?"
"I don't know that there is anything you can do to make that happen."
"When will you at least let me start proving to you that I love you and only you? When will you let me start spoiling you rotten to make up for my stupidity?"
"I don't know Cora. There are still so many unanswered questions."
"What are they?"
"You already know them Cora and on top of all of them I now have a new one that only occurred to me today."
"What is it?"
"You told me how asshole told you he was going to share you with his friends. You said he mentioned threesomes, foursomes and gangbangs. If he did that kind of stuff the chances are pretty good he picked up an STD or two. If so did he give them to you? Did you give them to me?"
"I told you that I insisted on a condom."
"Yeah, but did you check it when he pulled out of you to see if it broke or had a tear in it? Did you little trip down Curiosity Lane include sucking him before fucking him? You can catch a social disease like that you know. Some of those diseases only need a transfer of bodily fluids to spread. You can get HIV from swapping spit in a French kiss with someone who has the virus."
I didn't know if that was true or not, but I was trying to inflict some mental pain. Some to match the mental pain she had given me. She turned pale at what I'd said and I could see on her face that she had never given that possibility any thought.
"I'll get tested first thing Monday" she said.
"I'd probably better get myself tested too."
She looked away from me and I said goodnight and headed up the stairs for the spare bedroom and put myself down for the night.
Sunday I slept in late and then spent the day working around the house. Cora sensed my mood and pretty much stayed out of my way. Around four I knocked off, showered and changed clothes. When I went downstairs Cora asked:
"What are we doing for dinner?"
I knew what she was getting at. On Sunday we almost always went out to dinner and even though I wasn't at all interested in sitting across a table from Cora I knew that for the sake of appearances I needed to do it. If the cops did come calling they had to find a loving couple and anyone they talked to that knew us had to be saying that we were the perfect loving couple and our relationship was envied by all. I made sure that Cora knew the part she had to play – no sour expressions, smiles only – and then we headed for Tricocci's for dinner. There were several people that we knew there and I'm pretty sure we put on a good show for them.
Cora had taken great care to make herself look gorgeous and sexy and it was clear to me what she was hoping for when we got home, but it didn't work. When bedtime came I headed for the spare bedroom.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were uneventful on the home front; just repeats of the days since the Thursday that Cora asked me to be her alibi. At work Cora's coworkers talked about what might have happened to cause asshole to be a no call no show, but none of them asked Cora if she knew which showed, at least to me, that none of them suspected that she had anything going with Amos.
Wednesday Cora played card with her group and when asked why she had missed the previous Wednesday she blamed it on not feeling well because of her pregnancy and a couple of the other women commiserated with her basically saying "Been there, done that."
Thursday's paper carried the story of a man found dead in his house. His mother, concerned that she hadn't heard from him in almost a week and hadn't answered any of her phone calls, went over to his house and found him dead on his bedroom floor. She told reporters that he had been shot. Police were asking anyone who might have information to please contact them. Over dinner that evening Cora said that assholes murder was the primary subject of conversation at work, but no one seemed to be looking at her and no one asked her if she had any ideas on the subject.
Friday at eleven two detectives showed up at the office and talked to everyone there asking for any information they might have that would help the investigation. According to Cora no one had anything to say. A couple of people did say that the asshole hadn't worked there long enough for anyone to get to know him very well. Before they left the detectives left their cards and asked that anyone who might suddenly remember something to give them a call.
Cora was a nervous wreck all weekend afraid that Marsha might call them and tell them about what she had seen Cora and the asshole doing in the parking lot. Whether it was Marsha or someone else who told them the detectives showed up at Cora's office on Monday to ask her some questions. They wanted to know how well she knew the asshole and inferred that they knew she had been intimate with him. Cora told them that she didn't know him all that well. They told her they had information that she had been very, very friendly with him and she told them they had been misinformed. She had danced with him when he had joined her and her coworkers after work for a drink or two, but she also danced with other male coworkers. Then they asked her if she also kissed her other coworkers in the bar parking lot. She told them that she had on occasion and then before they could ask her another question she had said:
"Let's just cut to the chase here okay? Amos started hitting on me as soon as he started working here. I told him I was happily married and not interested. He ignored what I told him and kept hitting on me even after I'd told him a dozen times I was not interested so I decided to bust his balls. I started teasing him and leading him on letting him think he was getting somewhere only to send him home with a case of blue balls every time. The man was an asshole and even if I was to ever cheat on my husband it would be with a dirt bag like Amos."
Then they wanted to know where she had been on the nights of the sixth, seventh and eighth. She told them that she had been home with me. They thanked her for her cooperation and said they might want to ask her a few more questions as their investigation progressed.
She waited for a half an hour after she had gone and then she called me and told me of their visit and what had been said. I was not surprised when they showed up my office just after lunch. They went straight at it, but not in the way that Cora and I had expected. They told me that they were investigating the death of Amos Decker and would I please tell them where I was on the nights of the sixth, seventh and eighth. Where I was. Not Cora, but me!
"Why are you asking me that? I don't even know an Amos Decker."
"We have information that your wife was intimate with Mr. Decker and our experience has shown that husbands will sometimes get violent when they find out."
"Are you accusing me of murder? Should I get a lawyer before talking to you any farther?"
"We are not accusing you of anything at this point, but you are what we call a 'person of interest' in this case. Our questions are to see if we can remove you from the list of persons of interest."
"Why the three day spread?
"Mr. Decker's body wasn't found until long after he was killed. The body had decomposed to the point where the medical examiner could not pin point the exact time of death. He did estimate that Mr. Decker had been dead for at least five days before his body was discovered. According to his boss he was at work until five on Wednesday. That would indicate that the time of death would have occurred somewhere between Wednesday the sixth and Friday the eighth."