Why do women cheat on their husbands? I know people will say it is because men cheat on their wives. But if a man doesn't, what then? I don't know the answer, but I may find out after I finish planning what to do about my wife's indiscretions. Yes, she is one of those wives who cheat. I know because I saw her go into the motel with one of her co-workers. I watched the door for two hours until they appeared again. They didn't even keep it hidden from the world either, for she kissed him as she came out ready to get into her car. It was some kiss too. I hadn't received one like that for two years. It might have been longer than that, but after awhile you forget something if it doesn't happen that often.
I own and operate an electronics store and repair shop. The repair section isn't too busy, for most people in today's culture would rather throw something away than have it repaired. That sideline brought about the knowledge that my wife was cheating and would be her downfall. I had an outlet for used computers after I repaired them. They were sent off with a ninety-day warranty to be sold as up to factory standards. I would take the trade-in from customers who were looking to upgrade and I had a deal with the city recycling center to take computers that weren't too obsolete.
To start with, I would boot the recycled computer up if it was possible. Then I would run an anti-virus detection program through the systems to make it safe so no virus would spread. If I got that far, I would see what I could find stored in the hard drive. People are dumb, for they left all sorts of private information on their computers when they traded them in or discarded them. I was even able to tip the police off about five people who were involved in things that were illegal concerning children. Hell if I was crooked, I could have cleaned out some bank accounts and that was up to and including the city's police account. All of this from information I gleaned from these recycled computers.
Four months ago at the agency where my wife works, the owner upgraded and I was able to sell him six new computers. Five old ones had been turned in to be recycled and I asked about the sixth one. I was informed that John Conan had bought the old machine for his personal use. The unusual thing was, three months later when I went to the recycling center, I found a computer with the sticker, Ace Realty Agency on it. It had been recycled. I remembered the ones I had taken in trade from the agency and this one was the same model. In the same position on the tower was the identical sticker as the five from the Ace Realty Agency.
I knew John Conan and had never particularly liked him, as he seemed overly possessive when he was around Betty, my wife. Enough so that I mentioned it to her. She just laughed and said he did it to see if I was a jealous husband and now that he knew, she would tell him to be careful. Apparently it was a private joke, for I saw them talking only once again that day. After that I didn't see them very often together at any of the company functions and it slipped completely from my mind.
I suspected that this computer I had received from the recycling was his machine. It was and John hadn't done a very credible job of removing files. What he had done, made me think he just didn't care, or didn't know. Anyway, it was all there for me to see. I was going to go through this computer and see what was in every file if I had to, not because I expected to find anything, but because I just didn't like him.
When I opened his money file I could see that there were frequent charges for a motel across town. This was a red flag, for he was married and had two kids, the same as Betty and I did. He was six years younger than me and his kids were that much younger than mine. It looked like his salary and commissions about matched what Betty brought home, so no surprises there.
I next went looking for photo files. I was shocked at what I found. The first file I opened showed my bedroom with Betty lying naked on the bed. Hopefully Betty had been alone and taken this by remote and sent it to John. Three photos later and after three different positions Betty had moved into, there was one of John on the bed with her. You know how you have a cut and it scabs over and you keep picking at it? Well the files were my scabs. I just had to keep picking at the photos until I opened all of the files and saw what she did with John Conan. I couldn't stop myself and was actually disappointed when I opened the last one.
I went to the index and found more photos John had installed on this computer. He had some shots of his wife, but most, and the most explicit, were the ones with my wife. Conan was certainly quite a player.
So here I was outside a motel room watching my wife kiss Conan. Make no mistake, she was kissing him. It wasn't time for her to come home from work so they must be going back to Ace Realty. I went home and thought how I was going to handle this. I had my two kids to consider and I didn't want to hurt them unduly. I did want to cause Betty some grief, though.
Betty was going to be thirty-eight-years-old next month. Jake, our oldest, was seventeen and Lara was almost sixteen. Betty and I had been married eighteen years. I looked back on my life with Betty. We did everything together up until she decided that the kids were old enough to be on their own and then she went to work at Ace Realty. I was happy for her as she was home most evenings after she had worked at the agency long enough to gain seniority--no more evening showings.
Never had there been indication of any unfaithfulness. Sex had been something when either of us had an itch, we obliged each other in scratching. On reflection, it had dropped off in the last couple of years and I didn't need scratching very often. Betty didn't come to me for relief, either. Hell, I knew why now. Betty was getting more than scratched, she was getting screwed. I could take the blame for some of this for not paying attention, but Betty could have come to me and I would have obliged her.
What to do? I didn't want to hurt either her or her lover physically. That wasn't my way, but I still wanted them to pay. It took me almost a week to set up what I planned. In the meantime there was a company picnic at Ace Realty. I escorted my loving wife, Betty, and went around greeting everyone as soon as we arrived. When we came up to John Conan and his wife, Sophia, I introduced myself. "Sophia, you must be John's wife. I'm Bentley Burton, Betty's husband. Didn't I see you in my store looking at CD players the other day?"
"I was in Bentley Electronics store the other day. Oh, I understand, you're the Bentley."
"I am. Did you find what you were looking for?"
"No I didn't, well not what I could afford anyway."
I turned to my wife. "Betty, would you keep John occupied? I want to see if I can help Sophia with a deal. You can talk shop," I paused, "or something. Come Sophia, tell me which model you like. I have been known to give a discount to a pretty woman." I took her arm and headed for a bench that was conveniently near. This left John and Betty puzzling over my words and actions.
As I sat down Sophia looked at me. "I have a feeling you think there is something going on between John and your wife. I can tell you for certain that there is. Are you looking for evidence about them from me?"
"Do you have some?"
"All you should need for a divorce. The question is, do you want a divorce? Once you start the process, it is hard to stop. I mean so far you have just been cheated on. If it gets out they have been shacking up, you almost have to go through with it. A man's ego is a fragile thing and if your friends know she cheated and you don't do something, they are going to think you are a wimp. That would drive you to divorce her whether you wanted to or not."
"What about you? He has cheated on you and you apparently know all about it."
"Oh, I want to hang in there until the kids are older if I can. Of course if you divorce her, I won't be able to. I would be in the same position as you."
"It would affect my two kids as well. They love their mother and I would hate to see them hurt."
"We could scare the crap out of them."
"That might work."
"Any idea how? I mean it would have to be some way that they wouldn't know it was us who did it, but enough so they would always wonder if maybe we were to blame."
"Sophia, I have been thinking of several ways to get even, not physically to cripple them, but to make them damned uncomfortable. It would take quite a sum of money and would mean hiring a couple of people to implement it."
"I can come up with some money. Tell me about it?" We talked and I was just pissed enough at my wife and Sophia's husband to put it into play.
I watched from my car as the two people I had hired, knocked on the motel room, number sixteen. Sophia was in her car directly behind mine. The door was opened and I caught a glimpse of Betty as she let the man and woman enter. Three minutes later the door opened and the woman that had just entered waved. I drove up close to the motel and reached over the seat to open the rear door for them.
Betty was unconscious and the two people quickly boosted her into the back seat. I pulled ahead one car length and the two people and Sophia repeated the same with John. Again quickly, the unnamed woman slid in beside Betty and told me to travel. I could hear her doing some things in the backseat behind me.
I looked in the mirror and I could see Sophia's car right behind mine. Then I glanced into the back seat to see what was happening. Betty had a blindfold on and her hands were cuffed behind her. She was starting to regain consciousness from the stun gun and was waking up. The woman was ready for her. "Drink," she demanded. Betty couldn't help herself from swallowing the way the woman had the bottle positioned and her head tipped way back.
I could see Betty swallowing to keep from choking. Five minutes later when I looked, Betty was slumped against the side of the seat. The woman spoke to me. "She is sleeping now and will stay that way for two to three hours. This was a good snatch. Pete has had the same good luck as I have. He buzzed me the signal on my cell."
Three days later I answered my phone as I was sitting in my office at the store. "Hello, Bentley here. How may I help you?"
"Oh God, it is so good to hear your voice again. I didn't think I would ever hear it. Bent, tell me you love me. Just say it so I can hear you."
"Whoa, what's the matter Betty? You sound shook up."
"Bentley, I was kidnapped. It was horrible. I didn't think I was ever going to hear your voice again."
"You said that already. Where are you?"
"In a motel. The police said it is a little town outside of Boise, Idaho. I don't know how I got here. I mean I know how, but I don't know why."
"Christ, that is on the other side of the country. You're supposed to be at a seminar in Springfield, Illinois."
"What do you mean, at a seminar? What gave you that idea?"
"A lady who said she was from your office came by the store and told me. I even left to go home and pack you a bag. She went with me and I gave it to her to take to you because you had to catch a plane. Are you alone?"
I knew my wife didn't want to answer this question. Finally, "No I'm not alone. John Conan is with me. He was kidnapped too." I was quiet. "You have to believe me. We don't know why this happened to us, honest."
"What did you do, run off with him and then get cold feet? Or maybe you finally thought about Jake and Lara and concocted this crazy story."
"No, no! It wasn't that way at all. You have to believe me. Christ, I lived in a cage for three days. I had to pee in a tin can in a corner right in front of John. I've never been so embarrassed in my life."
"I suppose John was right there holding the can for you. That must have been fun." I forced a laugh that she could hear.
Betty was crying. I asked, "Where are you staying? I bet good old John is with you. I bet you are in the same motel too?"
"Yes we are, but I don't know how we got here, honest. The last thing we remember was being in a filthy cage and it was so hopeless. I think we were in some kind of big box truck. Someone would put food and water through a hole in the front. It seemed like we were always thirsty. We couldn't see hardly anything and it was hot. The only light was coming in from a little grill in the top of the truck. I think the water they gave us had drugs in it. You have to believe me. Say you love me, please? If I ever get home I'm never going to leave and love you always."
"I thought you did love me always."
"I do. You know what I mean. I'm just going to love you harder and more deeply."
It was time for another question she was not going to want to answer. "Where were you kidnapped from?"
"I'll tell you when I get home. Can you send me some money? Someone took my credit card."
"What about lover boy? Use his."
"He can't. We think someone took it and maxed it out. He has the card, but can't use it. We don't even have enough money for food."
"I don't know, Betty. Something is pretty fishy about this whole thing. How long before you have to check out of your little nest?"
"Don't say it like that, Bent. If you could know what the last three days have been like for me, you'd put me to bed and cuddle me and make love to me so I could forget this horrible ordeal. We are supposed to check out by eleven this morning. That's three hours from now. Please send some money. I'm desperate."
"Well I'll think about it. Let me call Sophia Conan. She is in this too, you know. I want to see how she feels about this. Give me the number there and I will call you back."
"Bentley, don't hang up."
I did though and called Sophia. She had just hung up on John. We were laughing about these two cheaters. "Do you want him back?"
"Yes, but that poor bastard is going to be on a leash almost tight enough to choke him."
"Okay, I'll wire them enough money to get home. You know with all the fun we have had with this, it is almost worth having them cheat on us. Seriously, if we can't work this out with our spouses, may I give you a call?"
"If it doesn't work out, yes, I wish you would."
I called the motel and said I was wiring money, but until it got there I gave them my credit card number for another day and asked the manager to see that they were fed. I then had the call switched to Betty's room. I wasn't ready to let up on her yet either. "Betty, tell me if you were so filthy, how did you get a room at the motel?"
"I don't know. Someone must have given us a bath. We were clean when we woke up and I had my own pajamas on. Did you pack the blue ones?"
"Yes, but I didn't know you were going to be sleeping with that asshole. Is there one bed or two in the room?" She knew I could check so she answered truthfully.
"One, but we didn't do anything."
"I bet. I don't know how you are going to explain all of this, but I guess I can wait until you get home. The money is on the way and will be at the front desk sometime today."
"Oh God, thank you Bentley. I love you, love, love you!"
I called Sophia back again. "You know they are going to have trouble getting on a plane without money behind John's credit card. Do you have any funds to transfer to it?"
"Yes, I have the cash advance I took when I maxed his card."
"Okay, send him enough to get home on. If you need any more, I can transfer some from my account. This would be for you because I don't want to give him anything. He already has my wife."
"You're quite a guy, Bentley Burton. I don't suppose we will be talking again. I'm going to miss that."
"Me too." I hung up.
I did see Betty the next morning at five a.m. Sophia and I were standing outside the air terminal when she and John came out and walked slowly toward us. I thought after the way she talked yesterday, she would come rushing up to me. I hugged her anyway. "I don't know what this is all about, but I'm glad you are home safe. We will have to inform the police of what happened." This is the last thing that Sophia and I wanted, but we had to go through the motions.
John, who had his arm around his wife, spoke up. "I want to just forget the whole thing. Betty and I think it may have been a disgruntled client that did this to us. We have collaborated on several large properties and the sales often fall through. This is the only thing we can think of. You can't believe what the kidnappers said was going to happen to us. They told us we were headed for Mexico and that Betty was to be sold to a whorehouse that serviced some drug cartel. I was going to be sold to a guerrilla band that needed a translator who spoke English and Spanish both. Why did I ever learn Spanish and who knew about it?"
"Do you think you are safe now? I wouldn't want this to come back on my kids?"
"Betty and I talked about that. If whoever did this wanted worse things to happen, they had the perfect chance when they had us. They let us go and when we look back on it, we weren't really treated that terribly, except for being scared and uncomfortable and very dirty. I want to move on and forget it. Betty does to. I'm glad we were together so we could hold onto each other. I couldn't have stood it if we hadn't been locked up together." He and Sophia turned and walked toward their car. I kissed Betty and hugged her to me before doing the same.
We were home in time to get breakfast for the kids. Jake had a job for the summer and was headed for the Colorado School of Mines in the fall. Lara was cute and a smaller version of her mother. She was going to a friend's house after we finished eating. When both had gone, Betty brought coffee into the living room where it was comfortable.
"Bent, I have some things to tell you. It isn't going to make you happy at all. John is probably having this same conversation with Sophia. First, I have been an unfaithful wife to you for awhile. I became interested in someone over a year ago before I finally succumbed. You have probably guessed that it was John Conan. Up until this last week it was just sex. It was nice and it was fun, but I--we knew we could stop anytime. However, I never could have got through our ordeal this week without John. He was there every minute for me. I'm sorry, but I want a divorce and he does too, so we can get married."
"When did you decide this? This is a different line then you handed me when you called yesterday."
"I know, but remember we spent three days trapped when we didn't know if we were going to live or have something much worse happen to us. After you and I talked, we saw each other, not as sex partners, but as someone we wanted to spend the rest of our life with. We just can't give each other up."
"What about the kids? Have you given them any thought?"
"Yes we have. More actually than we have given you and Sophia. Jake and Lara can handle it without any problem, I'm sure. It will be difficult for John Jr. and Linda because they are younger. If Sophia doesn't make too big a stink over the divorce and have the news spread all over, they should understand."
"What about me? Why do you think you can come to me and ask for a divorce and I will just say okay and goodbye?"
"Bentley, think about our life together for the last couple of years. The only time we are involved with each other is with the kids' school activities and at meal times. Sure we have sex, but it isn't that great. We only have that when you feel you ought to, so you can say you still have sex. You are not very inspiring and, sad to say, exciting, either. I just don't know why this happened, but it has. You're still the man I can be comfortable with, but you aren't the man I want to spend the rest of my life with."
I looked at her. She was hurting me every time she opened her mouth. I thought to myself, I wish I could find those people that kidnapped you. I would make sure they took you to Mexico. "This asshole you have been screwing must really be something."
"Bent, please don't feel that way. I'm trying to be honest with you. Would you want to keep me around until I hated the sight of you? I do love you, I love our kids, but I love the sex I'm having with someone else. That was then, but now it is more than just sex, it is love for him as well. If I hadn't been kidnapped, I would have gone on lying and cheating on you until you caught me. I want to settle this and I'm really sorry I'm hurting you. Do you want me to move out today?"
I considered. "No. I want you to be glad you are home and to see what you will be giving up if you divorce me. Give yourself a chance to be home awhile before you make a final decision. Call Conan and see what transpired between him and his wife. She seems like a lovely person. I might someday call her and see how she feels about this whole thing. If you decide to go through with it, that would be the time for the attorneys. Please keep it low-key. I don't want to look like a fool in front of the whole world."
"Is that what is bothering you the most--looking like a fool?"
"Isn't that enough? If the cheating was reversed, how would you feel? I have heard it said it is always the spouse that is the last to know. That is when everyone laughs."
"I'm sorry Bentley, but I just don't know how I can make it any easier on you." Betty started crying and went up to the bedroom. I didn't consider the bedroom mine anymore since I saw the photos taken when she and John had played there. Talk about a backfire. Sophia and I had tried to scare the cheaters back into our arms and instead we had driven them more solidly into their own. We sure didn't see this coming! Screw it, I went to the store.
At three o'clock, I received a call from Sophia. "Hi Bentley." She was quiet for a moment and then said, "I'll be damned if I'll call you Bentley. That's an awful name. What's your middle name?"
"It happens to be William. My mother knew a William Bentley when she was young and loved the name, so when I came along I ended up with it. How did your day go?"
"How about I call you Willie? That's a nice unpretentious name. How did my day go? Pretty good considering how our little plan backfired. Since it was mostly your plan you are going to have to make it up to me. Any ideas?"
"Are you saying what I think you are saying?"
"Not really, but it would be one way to get even."
"It would, but I think we both would hate ourselves in the morning."
"Thank you. My husband doesn't understand me, but I think you do. What happened between you and Betty?"
"She admitted to her affair with John and asked for a divorce so they can be married. I didn't agree right away and have asked her to be home for awhile and get settled in again before she makes a final decision."
"You're giving her every chance, aren't you? I'm glad, but I think their decision is already made."
I considered for a minute. "I think so too. We shouldn't be talking, but would you call me next week?"
"Yes I will. Bye Willie."
Friday night at the dinner table Jake asked, "How come you are sleeping on the couch, Dad?"
"Ask your mother."
"Mom, did you and Dad have a fight?"
"No, we are not fighting. Your father is too kind for that. However, I have fallen in love with someone else and shortly I will be asking your dad for a divorce. Under those circumstances we are not sharing a bed any longer."
"Dad, are you going to let Mom do this to us?"
"I don't seem to have much choice. What has happened recently, and without going into details which do not concern you anyway, your mother isn't someone I want to live with anymore. So I'm granting her wish for a divorce. That doesn't mean she is getting a divorce from you two. She loves you both very much just as I do. In a way we will always be family, but not living together anymore."
"Who is he and where did you meet him--and why?"
"Almost enough questions kids. I will say though, your mother was caught in a bad situation and this man helped her get through it. He made it possible for her to come home to you without being injured. Unfortunately, I didn't know about the problem so I wasn't the one that could help her. I don't particularly like it, but I can understand it."
Nothing more was said. I had made it plain it wasn't to be discussed any longer. Later Betty said to me, "That was extremely generous of you. You made it so I could keep the love of Jake and Lara. I appreciate that. Thank you."