Aesop's amphibian had nothing on me speed-wise. I can go as slow as he ever could. My problem, as one might imagine, is catching up with the hare. Unlike the unconcerned tortoise, I'm concerned. I'm concerned about the hare that's hitting on my wife early and often. As far as fast operators are concerned, he's one helluva rabbit! Me? Not.
A lot of times I'm not near focused enough, and, like I say, sure as hell not quick enough to beat the damn rabbit at his own game, so I have to resort to other means to come out on top, like patience, painful long-suffering patience. Well, they say all's fair in love and war, and this is definitely war! But for some damn reason, I can't seem to get overly excited about it. I know I should be getting excited, but I just can't seem to get the knack of it. Hey, it's my nature.
Garland Wakefield, is not merely always the runner up; he's always, well virtually always, dead last—in everything! And who's Garland Wakefield? Well that's me. Not exactly stupid, not really handsome, not especially talented, not big, and he is not possessed of large scale manliness if you get my meaning; but, I have one characteristic that over the years has more or less made up for my myriad mediocrities: I never, but I mean but never, give up! I'm tempted to at times; I am human, but so far, when it has come to anything meaningful, I haven't.
I work as a short haul delivery driver for a West Madison Building Materials: mostly rock and sand; it pays okay, and I get the usual union benefits.
At any rate, knock me down a hundred times and I'll get up one hundred and one times and beat the loving fuck outta your gasping-for-air ass even if it kills me in the end. That particular characteristic did get me a pass from most of my would be tormentors in my youth, and the same could be said of me and my would be tormentors, at my age fifty, today. Well, except for one of them: my wife Annette.
Annette is a nice looking redhead of forty-three. She's never worked a day in her life until about a year ago when she got a job checking groceries at the B&B supermarket: said she needed to do something with her free time; I'd made no objection, and then it had begun.
Annette's lover? It's Patrick Brand, a tall good looking asshole who has made me, along with the connivance of my wife—until today—an unknowing cuckold. But, now I know. How do I know? Well that's an interesting tale. Just hang in there with me for a little bit, and I shall explain. Anyway, now I have decisions to make.
Dear Patrick is a grocery store owner, the owner of B&B supermarket; how fucking convenient. Mister Brand, too, has a penchant for fucking anything female that's still breathing. In times gone by, he'd been correspondent in at least two divorces that I know of, those apart from his own I should mention; they, the stories of the divorces, had made the papers. Oh, and Patrick's married—again—third time I think. His wife, Gerrie Brand, is a sweet but mousy little thing, afraid of her own shadow. But, that fact might at some point be made to work for me; we'd be seeing about that. We know Gerrie and the asshole from church, First Methodist. Helluva thing huh.
Okay, how do I know I've been made a cuckold? Well, my wonderful spouse told me; that's how. You can imagine my chagrin; when she, Annette, laid it on me, I was floored. Married twenty-five years and now this. Oh, she says she loves me, doesn't want a divorce, hopes I'll understand; it's just sex, she says. What the fuck does that mean, please tell me. Oh yeah, I have decisions to make. Mister Brand will eventually find himself having to dislodge a size seven-and-a-half suppository from his no doubt virgin anus if I can work it!
"Garland, calm down, okay. It's not the end of the world. You'll still get sex whenever you want it. Just calm down. Try to understand, okay." She was really trying to sell me on the idea that what she was telling me was no big deal. Well, it was a helluva big deal to me for fucking damn sure.
"Calm down, Annette! I'll calm down all right. You don't have to worry about me. For the record what about his wife. Is he going to do for her what you've just done for me?" I said.
"Huh? What?" she said.
"You know be good enough to tell her so she won't feel that he is sneaking around on her," I said.
"Anyway, just leave me alone. I really don't want to deal with you right now. I'll be sleeping down here tonight; I'd feel funny sleeping next to you now I know what you think of me," I said.
I wasn't actually bitter, but I was plenty pissed. Still, slow, go slow, I reminded myself, just go slow. I didn't want to actually lose the numbskull I'm married to. Yes, yes I fully understand that she's cheating, and biggee though it is, it really isn't that all fired a monster of a deal, not to me. Everybody has does dumb things. But, it does have to end. And, there will be punishment, as there always must be when someone transgresses. I guess what I mean is, that unless somebody dies, almost anything can be straightened out and forgiven, even a lapse in one or another's wedding vows. At any rate, the two of them will fuck up soon enough, and I will exact appropriate retribution. They were messing with the wrong cat. I just had to collect all of the rat shit that I could to mess them up when the time came.
The downstairs guest room had one advantage: it would be easy to mark her comings and goings, at least at night.
"Garland, you don't have to do sleep down here. Come to bed with me. I'll make you know that you're still my husband and lover," she said, smiling benevolently at me.
"You mean your husband and 'one' of your lovers, don't you, Annette?" I said.
"Garland, don't be like that. I told you about Patrick so that you would know that I'm not hiding anything from you. I couldn't do that to you anymore," she said. "I love you too much for that."
"Damn nice of you, Annette. How long Annette? And why, if I might ask?" I said.
"It was at the church bazaar last year. You wouldn't go with me, and I was pretty upset about you breaking your promise to go with me. I was the chairperson of the event for goodnesssakes, but I couldn't even get my husband to support me. I was hurt and vulnerable," she said.
"A church event? You chose a church event to fuck me over! How blee-bloody fucked up is that!" I snarled at her. I take back what I said before; I am bitter, bitter as can be.
I stood up and looked down at her. "Continue to do this and we're done, you and me, and not on a friendly basis. Hell, the fact is we may already be done," I said. "And as far as dear 'ole Patrick is concerned. You tell him he best be leaving town: he doesn't want to be running into me by accident," I said.
She actually smiled at that. "Garland, don't do anything, you know, like that. I don't want you to get hurt. Patrick is a very big guy. All of that macho stuff is nonsense anyway. I couldn't forgive myself if he hurt you," she said.
"Oh, but you can forgive yourself for cuckolding me and making a public laughingstock out of me! Have I got that right?" I said.
"Garland, you are not a laughingstock nor are you a cuckold or anything like that. I'm just having a little fling and it'll be over soon enough, and then we'll just forget about it and things will be fine. And, they're fine now Garland. I deny you nothing. I don't let it, our playtime, interfere with our lives, yours and mine. It's just something on the side apart from us, not part of us, of you and me. Okay? Do you understand?" she said.
She stood and came to me. She put her arms around me. Mine hung at my sides. "There, I know you can see that this is nothing to us," she said. She leaned in to kiss me, but I turned my face away from her. "Garland!"
I turned and headed down the hall to the spare bedroom. I plopped down on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. I would go slow, but I would not be idle. Let dear Mr. Brand run with her for a while; I couldn't stop him, them, but there would come a time. I would let him think he had a clear field, believe he was far ahead, that his cuckold was a coward, a wimp, impotent. I wasn't any of those things, I knew; but I was slow, slow and deliberate. The time would come when the error of his thinking would be clear to him. I knew too, that I would be thinking of little else over the next days.
Some things she'd said kinda rankled. "He's a big guy, Garland ... I don't want you to get hurt ... she couldn't forgive herself if..." Yadda, yadda, yadda. Yeah, right, if I got a whippin', she'd be all weepy and upset with her boyfriend. My expressing my conviction that she should warn his boyfriendness to steer clear of me and her reaction had actually brought a smile to her face. Well, there was damn good reason for me to paint a smile on my face.
It'd been some years ago, but I was state golden gloves welterweight champion back in the day, something my wife either forgot or didn't think important enough to worry her or her mister Brand. I still worked out three times a week at Harold's Hole: the local gym for wannabes from the old neighborhood. Thinking about it, I realized my wife never came to the gym anymore. The first few times after we were married she did, but she said it was too stinky in the gym; she never returned. Footspeed? Much reduced. Hand speed, not at all. Mr. Brand really would be well advised to step aside if we should pass each other on the sidewalk. There was damn little doubt that he'd be goin' down. Hell, I'd beat him like a cur dog and piss on his prostrate and comatose form to punctuate the slaughter.
Some may wonder why I didn't just go up to dear 'ole Patrick and crush his no doubt smirking ass. I could do that. Then, I'd without a doubt end up in jail and get raped in the divorce. And, quite apart from any of that, my crushing mister Brand would not stop my wife from cheating; it would at best only delay it or slow it down a little. No, I needed to take my time. I had two goals: end her need for assholes like Brand, and get myself back as her one and only true life and love. Like I said, I really do love the stupid broad. Hell, adultery ain't near as bad as voting Republican, and so far she hasn't done the latter.
During those next days I didn't walk out, and I didn't make a big fuss over it all with Annette though my attitude and looks must have been a clue to her, or should have been. She acted—what—patient, I guess. She was condescending to allow me time to come to grips with her intentions and to adjust to them. On a number of occasions over the next few days, she even came on to me. I brushed her off, gently, but firmly. She just smiled and went about her business. I guess she'd decided that she could wait me out. She well understood that I had a very active libido. She believed that at some point, my dick would betray me into her arms. She was going to have a long wait.
About a week after she'd laid it all out for me; she sat me down for another little talk. "Garland, I won't be home till late tonight," She said. "Please don't worry, okay?" I felt my eyes narrow, but I remained silent. I just sat there waiting for her to either get up and leave or say something else. This time I was waiting her out.
"Garland? Are you all right? It's nothing for you to worry about, really. Just a little diversion for me. Maybe tomorrow you'll be in the mood for some fun too," she said. I slowly shook my head from side to side. I thought I noticed a trace of concern in her look, but maybe not. She was certainly sure of herself.
"Okay, Garland, if you won't talk to me. I'm sorry you can't seem to understand that I am trying to make this easy for us. I really am. I love you, but I have needs, and I intend to try and fulfill them, Garland. Just believe me when I say that none of it is intended to hurt you or to make you a laughingstock or a cuckold or any of that silliness," she said.
The "D" word had not been mentioned by me. I still didn't really want to lose her in spite of her betrayal. Yeah, and I know, the "burn the bitch" crew will have a ton of trouble getting their heads around that; but that's just too damn bad.
Call me pussywhipped; I can live with the title; it's just a word. And on the practical side, another reason that I was not into getting a divorce, as I've mentioned earlier on, was the economics. I didn't want to pay for my own screwing by the legal establishment. Still, that was only secondary.
She returned late, after 3:00AM. She slipped into bed beside me, I was still sleeping in the spare bedroom of course; she'd evidently decided that it would be a good idea to join me and to try and snuggle up to me. "No," I said. I heard a muffled sigh, but she slid over to the other side of the bed and I suppose slept. I was more or less surprised that she didn't go back to the master bedroom; it's where all of her stuff was.
I woke up to the smell of bacon and eggs. I showered, dressed, and into the kitchen.
In the kitchen I poured myself a cup of coffee. She kept glancing in my direction as she set the table and put the food out for us. I watched her sit down and pick up a piece of toast to butter.
"Sit down, Garland, and eat," she said.
"Oh, I thought the meal was for your lover," I said. I know, I was being sarcastic; I couldn't help it.
"Garland, please don't be that way. Please," she said.
I put the empty cup into the sink. Took one last look at her, and headed out. "Garland, where are you going? You have to eat. I cooked you breakfast!" she said. I ignored her.
I spent the day checking out cheap apartments. I wanted a place to land in case the shit finally hit the fan and I had no choice but to leave. I wasn't sure if it would actually happen, or if so when it would happen. I just wanted to be ready.
When I got home that night, she was waiting for me. She didn't even mention my walking out on her that morning. "Hi Garland, tonight's our night out," she said. She was smiling to beat the band.
"Our night out," I said.
"Yes, you're taking me dancing. Maybe a little dinner out first if you're hungry," she said. "Okay?"
"No, I don't think so. I'm too tired. I'll just cook me up something from the freezer," I said.
"Huh? You don't want to take me dancing! Garland, you have to get over this snit you're in. I've told you a hundred times that you're my main man. Not anyone else. You need to be my husband and take me dancing and fuck me when we get home and all of the rest of it," she said. She was really putting on the full court press.
"No," I said.
"What?" she said.
"I am not willing to be your 'main' man. I am either your only man or I'm nothing. And, I guess the way you're playing it, I'm nothing," I said. I headed for the kitchen.
She stormed out the room talking to herself. She headed upstairs. I was already dining on a frozen burrito—yes, yes, I microwaved it first—when she came down. She was dressed to the nines. I had to admit it; she looked real good. Especially in the black mini-dress she knew was my favorite. I said so. "You look really great. He'll love it I'm sure," I said.
She ignored my words. "Last chance," she said. I smiled, okay it was a weak smile at best, but I did smile, and shrugged. She turned on her heels—they were four inchers—and headed out.
For the next six weeks, two times each week, Friday and Saturday nights, I got the same question: "Are you taking me dining and dancing, or do I have to have someone else take me? Your choice," she said. I did what I had decided I was always going to do under the circumstances: I smiled and kept silent. Things would soon be coming to a head and it would be over one way or the other, at least I kept telling myself that.
"Your hubby softening his stance any yet?" said Patrick. "It's been months now since you laid it on him."
"No, he's really dug in his heels. I don't know, maybe I was rash trying to get him to come to terms with it all. He's just not a sharing kind of guy when it comes to me. I guess I kinda love him for that, even if he is being an unreasonable asshole," said Annette.
"Well, I can't say I'm feeling any kind of sorry for him. I love it. I mean you and I getting to go out whenever we want and doing whatever we want," said Patrick.
"I don't know, Patrick. I'm thinking of cutting back some. It's like we've been rubbing his nose in it. I know he's hurt. Maybe hurt bad, you know, inside. The more I think about it the more I think I need to take a break and give him time to cool off. I don't know. I just don't know," said Annette.
"Hey, you got me to think about too, you know. I'm the one who's only is getting half a loaf here," he said.
"Yeah, well, I am married to the guy. Or, have you forgotten that little fact," she said.
"No, I haven't forgotten. I just wish it was you and me that was married. I know how to treat a woman of your quality," said Patrick. She smiled up at him and kissed him. Neither of them noticed the man at a table no more than fifteen feet from them snapping pictures. Well, private detectives were supposed to be good at covert surveillance—and photography.
I was up watching a rerun of the Bama-LSU gridiron rivalry when she got home from her latest date. She was early; it was only 9:00PM. I looked at her, but said nothing.
"You in a talking mood?" she said. I was curious. This was the first weekend evening that she'd gotten in before midnight in a long time.
"Whatsamatter, Patrick sick or somethin'?" I said. She ignored my remark.
"I asked if we could talk," she said.
"I guess," I said. She put down her coat and purse and started pacing back and forth. I had the feeling that she had prepared a speech but wasn't sure how to start.
"I shouldn't have been so hard on you," she said. I raised an eyebrow but didn't say anything right away. "I know I hurt you, and I am very-very sorry. It's just—well—just a craving I have, and I have almost no control over it. Can you understand that?"
"Not really," I said. "Either you love me enough to be my wife—my faithful wife—or you don't. That's the way I see it."
"I do love you, Garland. I have never loved anyone else. Not ever," she said. "And, I have to say, having thought about it, that I don't know why you haven't kicked my ass to the proverbial curb. You must have the patience of Job."
"A tortoise," I said.
"A tortoise. Never mind. You say you love me, but apparently not enough to be my faithful wife," I said. She looked down.
"What if—what if I were to turn over a new leaf?" she said. I narrowed my eyes and waited on her. "What if I was to be your faithful wife? I mean faithful forevermore?"
"You mean give up your lover?" I said. "Give up Mr. Patrick Brand?"
"Yes," she said. I sagged back into the couch.
"How do I know you'd keep your word?" I said.
"I don't know, Garland, I'm just telling you that I would be a faithful wife and never have another liaison again," she said.
"Well, I guess we'd be seein' then, wouldn't we," I said. I had to wonder what motivated the one-eighty that my wife was apparently suggesting.
Sloth may be the devil's plaything, but, when it comes to avoiding rash judgments, it becomes like the right choice.
Tomorrow I would be making a call.
"Can we try?" she said. I nodded.
"Don't play me, Annette. If you think I won't find out if you double me up; then, you're way off base."
"I won't go back on my word, Garland. I wish I could make you see that me playing isn't any big deal, but I love you too much to risk us breaking up over Patrick Brand, or any other man. Please forgive me, my husband, and take me upstairs and screw me like you never screwed me before," she said.
She was disrobing as she climbed the stairs. When the panties went, and her naked ass and the dark crease that separated her buns came into view; I lost it. I rushed to carry her into the room and literally tossed her onto the bed. I was so horny after so long a drought that I stayed hard even after I'd fucked her the first time—missionary. I took her twice more before the night was through: doggie the second time, and reverse cowgirl for the finale. I ate her pussy each time and felt wonderful afterwards, and she sucked my cock to near panic soreness after each performance. I wrapped my arms around her tightly as we went to sleep. I was hoping against all hope and logic that my efforts to save us had not been in vain. Did I trust her? No. Did I think I could save the marriage?" It was 70-30 yes. Well, I am a glass-half-fuller.
Two days later I was sitting at the bar when I saw him come in. I waved him over. "How yuh doin' Jacob," I said.
He tendered me a half-hearted smile. "Okay, I guess," he said.
"Garland, I think she loves you, but I don't think she's gonna give up the guy. I was sittin' right over there, maybe ten or twelve feet away from them. I heard it all." Talk about a catch-22, I thought. She loved me but still planned to do me wrong.
"Did you get it recorded?" I said.
"Yeah, and the pictures you wanted too," he said. I shook my head slowly from side to side.
"I kinda figured that you had," I said. "Just the other night she tried to sell me that she was willing to stop her cheating and be faithful. I'd agreed to give her a chance, knowing full well that she might be sandbaggin' me. We actually had sex for the first time in forever; kind of a celebration of her getting her act together. I guess that in my heart I knew she was way too far up the creek to swim back." He shoved the big manila envelope over to me.
"The audio's in there. That's the thing. The pics are just of the two of them sitting at the table, nothing too bad about what they were doin', Garland, but what they were sayin' was not too good," said Jacob.
For the next several weeks things went more or less smoothly around the house. In spite of the recordings, and the kiss that Jacob had captured on film, I was interested to see if there wasn't still some way to save my marriage. We had sex on occasion, but she wasn't pushing it. She had enough sense to realize that I was still pretty steamed.
Dear 'ole Patrick had been thrilled to take her dining and dancing, since I wouldn't, but Patrick had not had to actually live with her and wake up beside her and listen to her talk and all of it. All he had to deal with was the glamour stuff, the fun stuff. He'd had a clear field since I had refused to have anything social to do with my wife if I'd had to share her.
Now, the tables were turned, at least for the moment. I waited to see if there would be a "noticeable" chink in the promises she'd made to me. The chink came on a Friday night some seven weeks after her professed one-eighty.
Her call had informed me that she would be late from work. She didn't really say why, but she must have known what I would think. Evidently, her promise was one of those she just couldn't keep.
I had kind of expected it: her eventually breaking her promise and screwing me over. She'd been acting real funny for the past few days. Still, I knew, but I didn't really know, that is, until I found the evidence that I knew proved my suspicions right.
The morning after her late night was a Saturday. I'd been putting away some clothes that had been left in the dryer and had found her condom supply in her drawer. My heart took a real blow with that one. But, I had a solution; it was time for the tortoise to strike for the finish line. A straight pin pretty much guaranteed the ineffectiveness of the protection she was depending on. I smiled at my own genius.
I had wanted to save the marriage, at almost any cost, but her refusal to keep her sworn word was the final straw. I wondered if she'd be getting an abortion, a good church going girl like her, I mean if he got her preggers.
The next week, same thing. She'd come in late, again, like she said she would, again It was 2:00AM. She saw I was awake on the couch watching an old movie: Humphrey Bogart. I didn't say anything at first. Go slow, was still my modus operandi. "Have fun?" I said.
"Garland, nothing happened. I—we—just went to dinner and a show," she lied. I looked at the clock and smiled. She noticed and didn't smile.
"Hmm, and dinner and a show is the same thing as nothing happening?" I said. Sarcasm was becoming easy for me.