I’d had my suspicions for some time, but I was the kind of guy who buried his head in the sand and hoped it would all just go away. But it didn’t go away and then came the day my wife grabbed me by the nape of my neck, jerked my head up out of the sand and confirmed my suspicions.
We had just finished dinner on a Wednesday evening and it wasn’t “Honey; do you love me” or “We need to talk.” It was a straight out, in your face:
“I’m going to Cancun for a week. I’ll be leaving from work on Friday and should be back a week later on Saturday afternoon.”
“Of course not silly; no one goes to Cancun alone.”
“You don’t know him.”
“When will I be served?”
“Yes dear; when will I be getting the divorce papers?”
“Divorce? Oh no sweetie; there isn’t going to be any divorce. This isn’t going to hurt us. I just felt the need for something a little different. You are and always will be my man. This is just a little fling.”
“A fling is a once or twice thing. More than that and it is an affair and if I’m right it has been going on for at least six months now. It has probably been longer, but six months ago is when I finally got it in my head that you were cheating on me.”
“It has only ben four months and it will be over when I get back from Cancun.”
“Have fun then. I’ll sleep on the couch until you’re gone.”
“Oh no you won’t. I’m going to spend the two nights before I leave thanking you for letting me do this. If I do it right you won’t be able to get out of bed to go to work in the morning.”
“No thank you. Save it for your lover. You need to be fresh and eager for him when you get to Cancun. And besides that we need to get one thing straight here. I’m not ‘letting’ you do anything. You told me what you were going to do; I’m just not putting up a fight. As far as the couch is concerned I’ll be sleeping there because I don’t want to be in bed with you and getting sloppy seconds. I could handle it when I only thought you were cheating, but knowing for sure changes things.”
“I’ve never given you sloppy seconds.”
“Okay; just seconds then. Same thing.”
“You are looking at it all wrong honey; I’m giving him seconds. Look at it this way; I’m giving him your leftovers. Yes I have been going behind your back for a bit, but it hasn’t hurt us. We still make love four or five times a week. I shower you with love and affection and I don’t ever intend to stop. You are my man.”
“Whatever. It doesn’t change anything. Since you have him you no longer have me.”
I got up and got the clothes I would need for work the next day, got a blanket and a pillow and took them out to the couch. Then I turned on the TV and channel hopped until bedtime.
Shayla made one more try. She came out of the bedroom naked except for high heels and said:
“This is yours baby and always has been so stop this foolishness and come to bed.”
“No thanks. It isn’t mine and by your own admission hasn’t been mine for the last four months.”
“Don’t be this way baby; you know I love you.”
“Maybe, but just not enough. At least not enough for me. And one other thing; we haven’t been married three years and you are already finding other cock. That tells me I’m not getting the job done in the bedroom. Knowing that I’d only disappoint you again if I took you up on your offer I’ll take a pass on it.”
“Your fine in the bedroom; I just wanted something a little different.”
“I call bullshit on that. I could maybe, just maybe, buy it if it took place after we’d been married seven or eight years. The seven year itch thing, but after only a little less than three years? No way! Now leave me alone. I need to get some sleep before I go to work in the morning.”
I stripped down to my boxers, turned off the lamp, pulled the blanket over me and turned my back to her. I did not say goodnight.
It was a fitful sleep and I wasn’t really rested when I got up in the morning I got dressed and out of the apartment before Shayla woke was up. It would disrupt our usual morning routine of having breakfast together and kissing each other goodbye as we left for work, but I didn’t care.
I had toast and coffee at a little café close to work and as I sat there I wondered why Shayla thought she could just matter of factly tell me what she was going to do and expect me to say “Yes dear” and just let it go, but as soon as I had the thought I knew the answer. It was because I always gave her what she wanted without any fuss. Whatever she wanted I gave here without question. Why? Because I was pussy whipped and afraid I would lose her if I didn’t keep her happy.
Yes; I was that insecure. I’d never understood why Shayla was with me anyway. She was the “It Girl.” The Prom Queen, The Homecoming Queen, head cheerleader and the most sought after girl in school. Me? Not so much. Not even close. The word that described me was average. Not bad looking, but nothing exceptional. I played all the ball sports – foot, base and basket – but was not a star in any of them. Good enough to make the team, but not a standout in any of them. Just your average player.
I didn’t stand out in the classroom either. I got good grades, but not great ones. A solid B student. Again, just average although I did get straight A’s in History. I was average and I knew it and I accepted it. That was the problem; knowing it and accepting it.
I did all right with the girls I dated. I didn’t have trouble getting dates, but they weren’t the dates I really wanted. There were several I would have loved to date – Shayla being the top of the list – but never asked because I thought they were out of my league. They were the girls who dated he guys who were the teams stars and I never asked any of them for dates because I was just average and they were so far above average that I knew – just knew – they wouldn’t have anything to do with me so I never bothered to ask.
I guess another way to put it was that I lacked confidence in myself.
I’d met Shayla in the eighth grade. My father had gotten a promotion and he moved the family here when he had to relocate to start his new job.
When I first saw Shayla it was love/lust at first sight (at fourteen they were the same) but it was almost instantly that I figured I had no chance with her so for the next five years it was look, want, but take no action.
We knew each other and were friends of a sort. I’m sure you know what I mean when I say “Of a sort.” We talked some since our lockers were right next to each other and we saw each other several times a day as we got something out or put something in the lockers. If the cafeteria was crowded and there was an empty seat at my table she would join me and over the years we were thrown together three times when the teacher assigned a group project and we ended up in the same group. So we saw each other a lot and spoke often, but that was the extent of it.
We graduated and Shayla went off to Michigan State and I doubted that we would ever see each other again.
I went to a community college and learned paint and body repair. When I graduated I found a job at Brady’s Collision and I’d been there just over two years when Shayla came back into my life. I’d just finished a paint job on an83 Mustang and I went up to the office to get my next job. Brady was talking to someone on the other side of the counter and that someone was Shayla. She saw me and said:
“I want more than just a “Hi” she said as she came around the counter and hugged me. Frankly I was at a loss for words. It was the first time that Shayla and I had touched.
“I take it that you two know each other” Brady said.
“Andy and I were classmates in high school.”
She stepped back and looked at me and then stunned me with “I wanted to be more than just classmates, but I could never get the idiot to ask me out.”
Brady laughed and said “Careful of who you call an idiot. He’s the one who will be working on your car.”
Shayla looked at her watch and then asked me what time I got off. I told her five and she said:
“That’s only an hour. I was going to call a cab, but I’ll just wait for you to get off and you can give me a ride home.”
Wait she did once in my truck she asked “Buy a girl a drink?”
I couldn’t believe it. The girl I had spent years wanting actually asked me to have a drink with her.
“Won’t that piss off your husband?”
“I don’t have one of those things. Don’t have a boyfriend either.”
That just didn’t compute. The sexiest girl I’d ever known and she had no significant other? No sir; that just did not compute. I did learn later that she lied to me. She did in fact have a steady boyfriend, but she broke up with him when I started dating here.
I took her to Bud’s Bar and over drinks we caught up on the years since we had last seen each other. She had finished college and had gotten a job as a design engineer. Then she asked if my wife was going to be upset at my stopping for a drink with her. I smiled and sent her own words back to her.
“Don’t have one of those things. Don’t have a girlfriend either.”
Whoa! What was going on here I thought. I actually put both hands under the table and pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t sleeping and it was all a dream. Figuring I had nothing to lose I said:
“You have a form I need to fill out?”
“No; a verbal commitment will work.”
“When is our first date and what will we do?”
“In that case I pick tonight for our first date and we will do dinner at Tres Amigo’s and dancing at Buckskins.”
More whoa! How did she know my favorite restaurant and the place I usually spent my weekends drinking and dancing? I might have been mystified, but I was smart enough to take what I could get.
“Start here or do you need to go home first?”
“I need to go home and change.”
“Then let’s finish our drinks and get out of here.”
She gave me directions and it turned out that her apartment was only three blocks away from mine. She went inside and I hurried home to change out of my work clothes and into what I usually wore to Buckskins. Cowboy boots, Levis, brush popper shirt and a black Stetson.
When I rang Shayla’s doorbell she looked like my twin when she came to the door. Boots, jeans, brush popper shirt and black cowboy hat. The only difference was her shirt was a different color.
“Well are we a pair” she laughed.
On the drive to the restaurant she quizzed me on the dances I knew and I listed them all for her.
“I can do the Cowboy Cha Cha as a line dance” she said, “But I’ve never done it as a couples dance.”
“Then tonight you will get to learn.”
At Tres Amigo’s the surprises kept coming. She ordered first and she ordered three cheese and onion enchiladas with rice and beans which is what I always had when I ate there. After I ordered I asked: