I spent the last ten hours loading and unloading cases and kegs of beer. All I wanted to do was get home, have a nice leisurely supper and relax. It was not to be. My brothers, Bill and Bob, and I owned a small beer distributing company that we inherited from our dad. We set our hours and our salaries. Business was good and all three of us were able to marry and raise our families in comfort.
When I got home, my wife Marsha was dressed to the nines, and ready to party. I let out a small moan as I walked in the door.
“Relax Ben. I left you some lasagna in the microwave.”
“Just curious, but where the hell are you going?”
“Out Ben! Just out. I’ve been cooped up in this house all day doing those damn e-mails and I have to get out and unwind.”
“Okay! Okay! I understand. Give me a few minutes to get ready. I’ll grab something to eat later.”
“No damn it! I am going by myself. I need to get away for a few hours. Between the house and the job and the kids, I am going bananas.”
“Where are the boys by the way?”
“They are at the rec center. I think it is a fly tying class or something like that. They should be home about nine or so.”
Rob and Roy were our sixteen-year-old twins. While most boys their age were into sports, they were more interested in fishing, hunting, and camping. I was fine with that.
“Well, they can take care of themselves. I still don’t understand why you can’t wait a few minutes so I can go with you.”
“I told you. I want to go by myself. I want to enjoy myself, and frankly Ben, you’re no fun.”
I sort of plopped down in my recliner. Her words echoed in my head; You’re no fun; You’re no fun. She was standing by the door with her clutch in hand. I glanced over at her and just waved her on. Without another word, she was out the door.
Marsha ran a computer business from home. She took care of e-mail notifications for small businesses and organizations in the area. It started as a part-time operation but rapidly grew to a full-time endeavor. Between clubs, churches, schools and other organizations, she had eighty-four groups to take care of. I helped her set up the original programs, but she rapidly took it over and made it a success by herself.
I zapped the lasagna and grabbed a Black and Tan. I needed a shower but didn’t feel like going to the effort. A new episode of ‘breaking bad’ was on. After two more beers, I fell asleep in front of the television. The boys came home about ten, said hello and headed for bed. I didn’t move.
You’re no fun! You’re no fun! You’re no fun!
It was just about midnight when the phone woke me up. Oh shit. It must be Marsha. Either she is having trouble with the car or is too drunk to drive.
I was wrong on both guesses.
“Ben! It’s Bill. You got a problem.”
“Bill, it’s midnight. What kind of problem?”
“Marsha just called Janet. I am not sure what is going on, but Janet left the bedroom to talk with her. A couple of minutes later Janet came back and started getting dressed. I asked her what was going on and she said that Marsha had some trouble with the police and she had to go pick her up. She refused to answer any further questions and left.”
“Jesus Christ Bill. Is that all you got?”
“No! No! Relax Ben. I called the station and Mark Stanton was on desk duty. I ask him what was going on and he didn’t want to say anything to me but told me to have you call him as soon as possible. Mark is a pretty straight guy, Ben. I think he will be able to help clarify things.”
“Why didn’t Marsha just call me?”
“That is what I was wondering. That is why I called you. Something is fishy.”
“Thanks, Bill. I’ll give Mark a call.”
Mark Stanton and I went to High School together. We were good friends and still are. He always wanted to be a cop and tried to get me to join with him, but the family business came first.
“Mark, what the hell is going on?”
“It’s bad Ben. I hate to be the one to tell you, but it is going to come out sometime.”