It started when my cousin Tom set up a bachelor party for his brother, my cousin James. I was invited and I of course accepted and said I would be there. This did not set well with my wife Doris. Doris had an extremely low opinion of bachelor parties because of what she had seen on her side of the family.
Her brother Sam had attended one, had partaken of the offer made by the hired stripper to 'entertain' anyone with the proper amount of cash and had ended up with a case of VD which he was unable to adequately explain to his wife. Her cousin Ron had left his wife and two children and had run off with the hired entertainment at a bachelor party that he had attended. Her father had gotten drunk at a bachelor party and had wrecked his car and put himself in the hospital for a week. No indeed, Doris was not at all happy with me for accepting the invitation.
I pointed out that she had gone to a bachelorette party or two where they had male strippers come in and she said that was different.
"In what way?"
"There is no way a male stripper can do what a female stripper does at a man's bachelor party."
"Explain that to me please."
"A female stripper can take her panties off, lay back and take on every man there until they are done. So guys are more likely to take advantage of the opportunity. A male stripper at a girl's party can only go once or maybe twice so since they can't all be helped girls tend to behave themselves."
"Do you have any idea of how stupid that sounds?"
"It is a well known fact that women can control themselves and men can't."
"Do you know just how stupid THAT sounds?"
"I don't want to fight over this Frank. I don't want you going to Jim's bachelor party. Take him out to dinner or something, but I don't want you going to that party."
"What you are saying Doris is that you don't trust me. After two years of going together, two years of living together and eight years of marriage you don't know me any better than that? Well I'm going Doris and that's final."
It wasn't of course. There were still nine days to go before the party and Doris used those nine days to do whatever she could to get me not to go. Things were pretty chilly around the house as she pretty much ignored me. Her big gun of course was her control of the little furry patch between her legs. We normally made love three or four times a week, but for nine days all I heard was:
"Not tonight Frank. I'm not feeling well."
There was also the perennial favorite, "Not tonight; I've got a headache."
It was clear to me that if I did go the dry spell could continue long after the party was a memory, but I can be just as stubborn and pig headed as Doris and I was going and that was final. We lived in a state where spousal rape was not a crime and I could have just taken what I wanted, but the aftermath of that wasn't worth contemplating.
I was able to strike back all be it in a limited way. Every Friday night I always – without fail – took Doris out to dinner. Friday when I came home from work Doris was dressed and ready to go out. I went into the bedroom that I had turned into a home office/den, sat down at the desk and turned on the computer. When I didn't come down dressed for dinner Doris came looking for me. She came into the room and said:
"What are you doing? Why aren't you getting ready for dinner?"
"I'm too busy cruising the Internet looking for some good porn sites.
"You are what?"
"Looking for some good porn. I'm horny as hell since you cut me off and I'm looking for some good material that I can use to masturbate to. You can watch if you'd like."
The slamming of the door as she left pretty much told me that she wasn't interested in being a spectator.
Saturday I was up and out of the house before Doris woke up. I had a standing golf date with three friends every Saturday and our tee time was ten after six and Doris wouldn't get up until eight or so. She had a standing appointment at the beauty parlor at eleven and she would usually just be coming home as I got in from my round of golf at Red Ridge. Doris was going to miss her appointment that morning because I took her car instead of my pick up. Her car had an automatic transmission and my truck was a stick and Doris couldn't drive a stick shift. I know it doesn't sound like much in the way of fighting back, but when you are 'game playing' you have to take what you can get.
To say that Doris was pissed off when I got home would be an understatement. I ignored her and got ready to go to Jim's bachelor party. I got one last "Damn it Frank; I told you I don't want you going to that party" and I ignored her as I walked out of the house, got in my truck and headed for the party.
It was your typical bachelor party. There were seventeen guys there and I knew and liked most of them. I say most because Mel Timmonds was there and I didn't like him one little bit. He had always had the hots for Doris and he had tried several times to break us up before we got married.
There were three tables set up for poker. It was nickel, dime, quarter, dealer's choice with a three raise limit so no one was going to get hurt. Two hours into the game (which was being held in Jim's apartment) the doorbell rang and Tom answered it to find two female cops standing there. One said:
"Your neighbors are complaining about the noise. Whose place is this?"
Tom pointed to Jim and the two walked over to Jim and quick as a wink one of them slapped handcuffs on him as she said:
"You are under arrest."
The cuffs were real and not fake. One of the cops began to read Jim his rights, the "You have the right to remain silent" and all that jazz. Until that point everyone thought the girls were strippers. I could tell from the look on Tom's face that he hadn't been expecting it and a close look at their uniforms seemed to tell that they weren't fake. Everyone was starting to worry about what was happening until the one reading Jim his rights said:
"You have the right to have a hard cock when Missy gives you a lap dance" and as she said that she took a mini cassette recorder out of her pocket and stripper type music began the play as the other lady cop started peeling off her uniform. From that point on it was just the kind of bachelor party that Doris had envisioned. The two girls took on every guy there who wanted to play and a couple of times both girls were doing three at once. I'd heard of 'airtight' and I knew what it was, but I had never seen it. It was wild and I'm not going to say that I wasn't tempted.
But I didn't take it. I just watched the action and allowed myself to get all steamed up even knowing that my only outlet was going to be my right hand when I went home. I was watching Tom, Jim and Mark doing the one named Missy when Mel came up to me and said:
"You aren't going to play?"
"Nope. No way! If I did and Doris found out she would throw me out on my ear. You know, the marriage vow thing and all that."
"Tough luck guy; these are two choice ladies and they know what they are doing. I've never had better."
He went over to the other girl, Donna was her name, and since she had an open hole Mel promptly filled it. As I watched I had to wonder why I didn't just say "To hell with Doris" and join in. I mean I was a man and I needed sex and Doris wouldn't give me any and I was in an apartment with two girls who would. It wouldn't be 'love' and there would be no emotional involvement. It would just be sex for the sake of sex so why not? A couple of times I caught myself reaching for my zipper or belt buckle, but at the last second I stopped myself.
Shortly before the party started breaking up both girls came up to me and Missy said:
"What's the matter honey; don't either of us appeal to you?"
"Just the opposite. I'm dying to take on both of you, but unfortunately I have a character flaw."
"A character flaw?" asked Donna. "What kind of character flaw?"
"There is this silly thing inside my head that says I have to stay faithful to my wife."
"Really" Donna said, "I didn't think there were any good guys left out there. I'm going to have to give you my number in case your wife is ever silly enough to let you get away."
"That goes double for me honey" Missy said, "I would love to have a guy who thinks like that."
Tom and am came up and took them by the arm and led them away and as I watched two delightful asses walk away from me I was thinking, "You do gangbangs at parties and you want a guy like me? Go figure."
The party started breaking up and soon it was down to just Tom, Jim, the two girls and me. I was reasonably sober so I stuck around to help with the clean up. Donna and Missy came up to me and Donna said:
"You have to at least give us a kiss sugar" and Missy giggled and said, "No charge of course." They both kissed me and both of them did slip me a piece of paper with their phone numbers on them. Donna said:
"I meant what I said sugar. If your wife is dumb enough to let you go call me."
The two of them left and Tom, who had been the money collector for the two said:
"I should have been born a sexy looking babe. Those two just spent four hours thoroughly enjoying themselves and they walked out of here with twenty-three hundred dollars to split between them and that doesn't even count the four hundred they got for coming here to do the strip tease. That's almost three hundred and forty dollars an hour."
We cleaned the place up and I left, but the night wasn't over for me yet. When I got outside I found the two girls standing in front of a Ford Focus with the hood up. I walked up and asked:
"Got a problem?"
"It won't start."
I went to my truck, got the flashlight from the glove box and came back to take a look.
"You girls are out of luck tonight" I said. "Your positive battery cable terminal is corroded and split in half. There aren't any parts houses open at this time of night so the car is dead until tomorrow."
"Shit!" Missy said. Now what?"
"We call a cab" Donna said.
"At this time of night? We will be here for hours."
"No you won't" I said. "I'll run you to where you need to go. I don't work tomorrow so I'll hit a parts store, get what is needed to fix it and we can come back and get it going."
"Oh God; you are a life saver sugar" Donna said and we got in my truck and I ran them home.
It turned out that it was Donna's car, but they were roommates so I only had one place to drive to. When I got them to their place I made arrangements to swing by and pick Donna up in the morning at ten.
When I got home I found the bedroom door locked. I remembered a John Wayne movie where his wife had locked him out of the bedroom and he had kicked the door down as he yelled, "There will be no locked doors in this house" and I briefly contemplated doing the same thing, but reason prevailed. If I kicked it in I'd be the one repairing or replacing it and unless I was going to commit spousal rape there wasn't anything on the other side of the door for me except the bed and the living room couch was just as comfortable.
Comfortable couch or not I was not in a good mood when I got up that morning. Doris was still in bed so I fixed myself some breakfast and I was sitting at the table eating when Doris came into the room. She looked around and then said:
"You haven't fixed it yet" I said as I got up and put my dirty dishes into the dishwasher and headed for the door to the garage.
"Where are you going Frank?
"To pick up Donna and then go over to Jim's place and fix her car."
"Who is Donna?"
"One of the strippers from last night."
"You are going to pick up a stripper? I suppose you fucked her last night huh? Going back for more?" she sneered.
"What do you care? You don't want to give me any so what's it to you?" And then, because I'm male and males can be inherently stupid around females I let my mouth run away. "And it brings up a thought Doris. You like sex as much as I do so you must be hurting just as much as I am. Or are you? Maybe you aren't suffering at all. Maybe you have a boyfriend on the side to keep you happy while you are keeping me miserable. Is that it Doris? You been hanging horns on me?"
I could see the shock on her face as I unloaded and it did my heart good.
"Got to go. Donna expects me at ten."
I headed for the door.
"Frank? You get your ass back here. We need to talk. We need to settle this now."
"The only thing we need Doris is for you to apologize for being an absolute bitch for the last two weeks."
I walked out into the garage and got my cable cutting tool and my cable swagger from my tool box and then went to pick up Donna. We hit a parts store and got the terminal end we needed and then drove over to Jim's place to fix her car.
On the way she asked me why I looked so sour and I was just in the right mood to tell her the entire story.
"So on top of her disliking bachelor parties she thinks you strayed last night?"
"That pretty much sums it up."
"You want me to call her and tell her what actually happened?"
"God no! That would only make it worse. She would figure that I put you up to it and that you were lying for me. As it is she thinks I with you now to have more sex."
"All I can say sugar, is that if things go south between the two of you give me a call." She looked at me for a second or so and then said, "But you won't, will you. I'm just a whore and who wants anything to do with a whore, right?"
"Don't be stupid Donna. You are a lovely woman and you seem likeable. I'm betting that we could be real good friends, but as long as I'm married it can never be any more than that. That includes any split that comes between me and my wife. I will not break my wedding vows as long as I'm still legally married to my wife. If a divorce does happen and you are still around you will be one of the first I call."
She gave me another long look and then said, "I do believe that you mean that."
"I do sweetie; I do."
She leaned over and kissed me. "I haven't met very many really nice guys in my life sugar, but you go to the top of the list of the few that I know."
We got to Jim's and I fixed her car and waited until she started and drove off before heading home. When I got home Doris wasn't there. I went out to the garage and did an oil change on the truck and when Doris still wasn't home I fixed myself some leftovers, ate and then settled down in front of the TV.
Doris came in about seven and didn't say a word as she walked through the house and into the kitchen. I heard her rattling around as she fixed herself something to eat and about twenty minutes later she came into the living room and stood there with her hands on her hips as she said:
"Want to know where I've been?"
I looked over at her and said, "No."
"Maybe I've been out looking for a stud since you have a stripper."
You need to understand my mindset at that moment. She had been a bitch to me for almost two weeks and had cut me off to try and force me to do what she wanted. I was pissed and I'd had enough so I said:
"I doubt that you were looking. Most likely you were just out fucking the guy that you have been fucking ever since you cut me off."
I looked back at the TV as she yelled, "You bastard! How can you think that of me?"
"It is just as easy for me to think that of you as it is for you to think that of me. Besides, didn't you just say you were out looking?"
She turned and left the room and I went back to watching TV. I decided to get to bed early to avoid the locked door again and I was in bed reading when Doris came into the bedroom.
"I don't want you in here with me" she said.
"Tough shit Doris. I slept on the couch last night so if you don't want to be in here with me you can sleep on the couch tonight."
She left the room and slammed the door behind her.
I was up and gone to work before Doris woke up and I rather liked the fact that I could start my day without having more bad words with her.
When I got home from work that evening as I pulled into the drive I saw a bunch of stuff scattered across the front yard. When I got out of the truck I could see that it was my clothes. My clothes!! In fact, it looked like all my clothes were on the lawn. What the fuck was Doris doing now?
The door was locked so I pt my house key in the lock and it wouldn't work. I went around back and tried that door. Same thing. Doris had locked me out of the house. That was it!!! The straw that broke the camel's back. I went back to the truck and got the tire iron from behind the seat and walked back up on the porch. Since it was Doris who was going to have to clean up the mess I used the tire iron on the large picture window and then I went into the house. I grabbed a bunch of garbage bags and went out and gather up all my clothes and put them in the back of the truck.
I went through the house and took everything that I wanted. I had a separate savings account that I put ten percent of my pay into every payday to save money for vacations so before I unhooked the computer I went online and transferred everything out of our savings and checking accounts into the vacation account that Doris didn't have access to. I used the phone to call and cancel all of our credit cards and I only kept the American Express that was in my name only that I used for business travel.
I don't know what Doris thought she was doing, but she should have known that I wouldn't sit still for it. Lock me out of the house will she? Let's just see how she likes living alone with no credit and no money except for what she made at her job.
I drove away from the house and headed for a motel close to work. I was just carrying the last of my stuff into the motel room when my cell phone rang. I looked at the display and saw that it wasn't Doris so I took the call.
"Frank? This is Ray Hendrickson. I may be sticking my nose into something that's none of my business but I thought I'd let you know that Doris is at The Hitching Post with Mel Timmonds and they are being pretty chummy."
"Define chummy for me Ray."
"They are sitting side by side in one of the back booths. Mel has his arm around her and he was nuzzling her neck. She wasn't doing anything to fight him off."
"Thanks for the heads up Ray. I appreciate it."
So the cunt was finally giving Mel what he had always been after. Well fuck her!
When I got to work the next morning Stella, our receptionist, had several messages for me. Three of them were from Doris and I dropped them in the trash without reading them. I told Stella that I didn't want to take calls from Doris and to tell her I was in a meeting or out of the office.
"Then again you can just tell her that I told you that under no circumstances did I want to hear her voice and I told you not to put her through."
"Trouble on the home front?"
"Not for much longer."
About ten o'clock things slowed down enough that I could get on the phone and call a friend who had just gone through a divorce and I got the name of the attorney he used. I called and made an appointment for the next day. I wasn't quite ready for the divorce yet, but I did want to know what I was looking at if push came to shove.
There was a bar across the street from the motel and before going to my room I stopped in and had a few beers and watched the basketball game that was on their TV. I had no interest in either team, but it did give me something to do.
The next day I got the bad news from the attorney. We lived in what was called 'a no fault' state so any divorce was going to result in an even split of assets and since I made almost twice what Doris did I was going to have to pay her alimony. Also, since I would be the one filing I would, along with my attorney's fees be responsible for all court costs. In addition to that if Doris fought the divorce I could, depending on the judge, get hit with having to pay her attorney fees. The only thing I had going for me was that we had no kids.
That information kind of cooled me down. In the long run it would be cheaper to just stay married, but not live together. If Doris didn't like it then she could file and at least then I wouldn't get stuck with court costs and her attorney fees. I left the attorney's office determined to find a reasonable apartment close to work and move on with my life.
"Good morning. Thank you for calling Benton and Associates. How may I direct your call?"
"Dorie? This is Steph."
"Hi Steph. What's up?"
"Is every thing okay with you and Frank?"
"Why do you ask?"
"You know I work in the Marston Building right? This morning I saw Frank coming out of Tucker Davidson's office."
"Why call me about that?"
"Tucker is a divorce attorney."
"Not good huh?"
"Not good at all. I've got six lines blinking so I have to go. Can you meet me for lunch at Maxine's? Say noonish or there about?"
After the waitress had taken their order Doris asked, "Does this Tucker guy do anything else besides divorce?"
"No. His practice is strictly family law and that pretty much means divorces. You and Frank having problems."
"It has to be a little more than "kind of" if Frank is talking to Tucker."
Doris told Steph about what had been going on."
"You have to be kidding me Dorie. As long as you have been with Frank and you don't know him any better than that? Frank would no more take part in something like that than you would pull a train at a frat house.
"But he did. Mel Timmonds called me and told me."
"Mel did what?"
"He called me and told me what Frank did."
"Why would he do that?"
"He was always trying to get with me, but I was with Frank and when I married Frank Mel told me that some day I would be sorry that I picked Frank over him. He called me to gloat. Told me that my so called loving husband was making it with two strippers."
"And you believed him?"
"Frank confirmed it the next morning. He told me he was going to meet one of the strippers and he walked out of the house."
"That doesn't sound like the Frank that I know."
Doris told Steph just how things had gone that morning and Steph said:
"And you didn't give him the benefit of the doubt that what he was telling you was true? That he was just helping some one with a car problem?"
"Why would I after hearing what Mel had to say?"
"So after a phone call you tossed Frank under the bus."
"It was more than a phone call Mel said he had pictures. After Frank left to go to the stripper I met Mel at Denny's and he described the entire evening to me. There were two strippers and Frank did both of them a couple of times. Mel must have believed that I didn't believe him so he told me had pictures and if I would meet him at the Hitching Post the next night he would show them to me."
"Why didn't he show them to you at Denny's?"
"He had put his phone on the charger and didn't have it with him. Frank was home when I got back from seeing Mel and I made Frank wonder if I was late coming home because I was out looking for some one to get even with. I shouldn't have done that because then Frank accused me of cheating on him for weeks. I ended up sleeping on the couch that night and I was so pissed in the morning I tossed all of Frank's clothes out onto the front lawn and then called a locksmith to change the locks on the house."
"How did Frank take that?"
"Not well. He broke a window to get into the house, took everything he wanted and left."
"What did he say to you?"
"I haven't been able to get in touch with him. He won't take my calls. I called a company to come and fix the window and when I paid the man with my credit card he told me it was declined and so I had to write him a check."
"I hope you were smart enough to call the bank before you wrote the check. If Frank was pissed off enough to cancel your credit cards he might have cleaned out the bank accounts too."
"Oh shit! This just keeps getting worse and worse."
"What about Mel's pictures?"
"I met him at the Hitching Post and he showed me two pictures. They showed Frank watching a couple of guys doing the stripper doggie. The only face you could see was Frank's. When I asked him if that was his proof he said no, but he wanted something before he would show me the good stuff."
"Don't tell me; let me guess. He told you that you should let him help you get even with Frank and then he would show you the photos."
"Well yes, I guess that is what he wanted."
"And did you?"
"Good Lord no! I did get a little touchy-feely with him to lead him on and get him to show me the rest of the pictures he had."
"And did he?"
"No. I wouldn't leave with him and go to his place so he wouldn't show them to me."
"Did it not occur to you that he didn't show them to you because he didn't have any more? If he did he would have shown them to you to get you even more pissed off at Frank so that you would want to get even."
"I didn't think of that."
"Did you also not think about what you were doing? The Hitching Post is the hangout for most of Frank's friends. Did you not consider that one of them might see you getting all touchy-feely with Mel and call Frank and tell him? No wonder Frank was seeing Tucker. What it is Dorie is that I think you have managed to toss your marriage into the trash can."
"I can't believe that Frank would do that."
"Dorie honey; I'm not a man so I have no idea how a man would think after going through what you have just told me you've put Frank through, but if it had happened to me I'd be signing the divorce papers even as we speak. If I were you girlfriend I'd be finding some way to get to Frank before things get any more out of hand. Assuming that you want to keep him that is."
The intercom buzzed and I hit the button and said, "Yes?"
"I know you told me not to take messages from your wife or put her through to you" Stella said, "But there has been a development that makes that impossible."
"She is standing here in front of me and she says she isn't leaving until she talks to you."
"Tell her I'm busy and I'm not going to talk to her on company time."
There was a pause and then Stella said, "She said to tell you she brought a book and she will sit here and read it until you are done for the day."
I looked at my watch and saw that it was three hours until quitting time. What I was doing wasn't pressing and I could have gotten away early, but the mood I was in wasn't going to allow me to cut Doris any slack. I did need to take Stella out of the middle of things and I was going to have to talk to Doris sooner or later so I told Stella to tell Doris to enjoy her book.
At four-fifteen I received a phone call from Doris' cousin and best friend Stephanie.
"How are things going Frank?"
"They have been better Steph. What can I do for you?"
"I had lunch with Dorie today Frank and the girl is a mess. She told me what has been going on and while I agree that she has done some stupid shit I don't think it has reached the level of divorce."
"Why do you bring up divorce?"
"I saw you leaving Tucker Davidson's office and divorce is what Tucker does."
"When she told you what has been going on did she mention the cheating part?"
"She didn't cheat on you Frank. Timmonds told her he had compromising pictures of what you were doing at the stag party and he was trying to convince her that she should get even with you by screwing him. She led him on trying to get him to show her the pictures. She swears she never did anything with him and I believe her. You two need to sit down and talk Frank."
"Maybe Steph, but there is more going on than whatever she might have done with Timmonds and I'm not sure that talking is going to do anything. But you are right; I am going to have to sit down and have it out with her sooner or later. Thanks for the concern Steph, but I'm busy and need to go."
"Bye Frank. Good luck."
At five I saved my work, shut down the computer and went to face Doris. She looked up from her book as I entered the reception area and I noticed the worried look on her face. She stood up and I said:
"I'll meet you at the Hitching Post. We can sit in the same booth where you were making out with Timmonds and have our talk there" and I walked on by her. I stopped at a gas station on the way and filled up so Doris beat me to the bar. She was sitting in one of the back booths and I remembered that Ray said that he had seen Doris and Timmonds in one of the back booths and I wondered if she was in that booth because she took me literally when I said we could talk in the booth where she had been with Mel.
I walked over and sat down opposite Doris and when Alice came over to get our order I ordered a Bud and said:
"Separate checks Alice."
The look on my wife's face when I said that helped make my day. As Alice walked away I said:
"Okay Doris; you called this meeting. Speak your piece."
"Why did you cancel our credit cards and clean out our bank accounts?"
"Oh come on Doris; you aren't stupid. You threw all my stuff out of the house and then had the locks changed to keep me out. That told me that you didn't want me around anymore. I can take a hint so I left and as long as I was going I wasn't going to support you and pay your bills so I cancelled the cards so you couldn't run them up. As for the money in the bank? You threw me out of the house so as far as I was concerned you get to help pay for wherever I end up living. Your share of the cash that was in the bank can help pay for my move.
"Besides, you have the house and it is worth more that what was in the bank. Of course you also get to make the payments on it from now on and also you get to pay all the utilities. Might be tight on what you make, but what the hell, it is what you wanted right?"
"No Frank, it is not what I wanted. I over-reacted to your going off to see that stripper after going to that party that I didn't want you to go to in the first place. It turned out just like I knew it would. A drunken orgy."
"So what does that have to do with me? Just because it happened and I was there does that mean that I had any part of it? How about when you stop for drinks after work with the girls you work with? I know for a fact that Linda Bliss and Joyce Baker go out to the parking lot with guys they meet at the bar and spend time on back seats. Because you are there with them does that mean you do some back seat playing too?"
"No it isn't Doris. You are saying that I am guilty because I was there when it happened so that means that you are guilty if you are there when Linda and Joyce do their thing. I didn't do a damned thing with the two strippers that were there other than give them a ride home when their car wouldn't start. I went back the next day and fixed her car for her. All I got out of it was a kiss on the cheek and a thank you and that was fine with me because it was all I expected. And before you asked I did it because they were in trouble and I was there and could help. I've done the same for other people. Just because they were strippers I should have turned my back on them?"
"Why didn't you explain that to me?"
"Why would I waste my breath Doris? You haven't listened to a word I've said for the last two weeks so why would I expect you to listen to me explain anything to you."
"Okay Frank; I'll eat crow and admit I was wrong to do what I did."
She opened her purse, took out an envelope and slid it across the table to me.
"What is it?"
"A key to the new locks so you can come home."
I pushed it back to her and said, "I don't think so Doris. The bachelor party and the thing with the strippers is only part of the problem. There are other things I am not happy about. One of them is that I'm sick and tired of you withholding sex whenever you want to try and make me bend to your will. Another is that I'm not sure I want to live with a woman who I think cheats on me. I meant what I said Sunday morning. You like sex as much as I do and you didn't seem to be suffering after not giving me any for two weeks so I have to wonder if in fact you were going without. I think I know the answer to that after hearing about you and Mel Timmonds. And I have not forgotten that you strongly hinted at the fact that you were out looking for cock when you came home late Sunday evening and as far as I know you managed to find one before coming home. I really don't see any reason for me to come home Doris."
"Damn it Frank! You should know me better than that. I was pissed at you and I was jerking your chain. I would never cheat on you."
"That's not what I hear. My information is that Mel Timmonds helped you 'get even with me' for what you believed that I had done at the bachelor party."
"I didn't do a damned thing with Mel. Well, maybe I did do a few things to lead him on. He said he had pictures of you fucking the girls at the party and asked me if I wanted to see them and I of course said yes."
"And did you see pictures of me fucking some girls?"
"All he had were two pictures of you standing there watching. He said he had some that were a lot more explicit, but I wasn't willing to give him what he wanted to show them to me. I did kiss him twice and I didn't slap his hands away when he copped some feels, but that was all."
"You have any way to prove that Doris?"
She thought for a moment and then said, "I think I do. Your friend Ronny Thomas and his wife were there and I stopped and said hi to them as I was leaving. They can tell you that I left alone and that Mel was still there when I left."
"How do I know that you didn't meet him later? How do I know that you didn't leave alone just to throw my friends off? You know what I'm saying. "I'll leave first Mel so no one sees us leave together. I'll meet you at your place." How do I know that isn't the way it went?"
"God damn it Frank! What do you want? You want me to take a lie detector test? Fine! Set it up and I will do it."
"So tell me Doris; how does it feel to deny that something happened and not be believed?"
"It sucks Frank."
"A minute ago you said that I should know you better than to believe some of what I said. Shouldn't you have known me better also? All the years we have been together and you didn't trust me any more than you did?"
"I'm sorry Frank and looking back from this point I can see that I wasn't being very rational. There was every thing that I knew about the disastrous results that bachelor parties had on people that I knew and I just didn't want you to go. Yes, I should have known you better, but in the back of my mind there was the thought that any man, even a good man, would lose it when exposed to a naked woman willing to take on any one there. When you said that you were going to see that stripper Sunday morning it just confirmed all my fears. All I could think about was Ron leaving his wife and kids and running off with that stripper he met at a bachelor party. I was crushed Frank and you didn't make it any better. When I snapped at you you should have known how I felt. Why didn't you tell me to go with you if I thought you were going to do something wrong? Why didn't you say "Come and see for yourself" instead of taking off and leaving there thinking what I was thinking?"
"So now it is my fault Doris? I'm not buying it. Everything that has happened has been because of your actions. The fact that you pushed and pushed and it finally forced me to get my back up and push back does not make it my fault."
"Can't we just put all this behind us Frank? I love you and I need you with me. Please Frank, take the key and come home" and as she pushed the envelope with the key in it back to me she looked up and said:
I looked back over my shoulder and saw my favorite stripper standing there. She smiled at me and said:
Doris looked from me to Brenda and then back to me and asked, "You two know each other?"
'Yes" I said, "And I take it that you know each other?"
"Brenda works with me. Actually that isn't really true. I work for her since she is the office manager."
I motioned for Brenda to join us and she sat down next to Doris and opposite me.
"I didn't mean to intrude, but when I came in and saw two of my favorite people sitting together I just had to come over and say hi."
"Frank is one of your favorite people? How is it that you know my husband?"
Brenda looked at me in surprise. "You and Dorie?"
I nodded a yes. The "How do you know my husband" hung in the air between us and my mind went into overdrive. Obviously Doris did not know Brenda worked nights as a stripper which told me that Brenda probably didn't want Doris or anyone else in the office to know so how to answer the question? I really didn't know Brenda or enough about Brenda to chance telling a lie that might easily be seen through so I decided that Brenda was going to have to field the question. I looked at Brenda with what I hoped was "Answer the question" on my face and I guess she caught it or had arrived at the same conclusion I had and decided that it was the way to go.
Brenda laughed and said, "I tried to steal Frank from his wife and he wouldn't give me a tumble. Here I am thinking that I'm one of the most beautiful and sexy women in this state and he wouldn't even let me give him my phone number."
"You tried to steal my husband?"
"I didn't know he was your husband. In fact he was wearing gloves so I couldn't see a ring and so I didn't know he was married. What happened was that Marsha and I were in here for drinks and some stupid idiot who had too much to drink decided that he was God's gift to women and me in particular and he kept trying to get me to dance with him. I kept saying no and he finally got verbally abusive. He said a bunch of really upsetting things and I finally got mad enough to throw a drink in his face. He raised his hand to hit me and Frank just happened to be walking by on his way out and he stepped in, grabbed the guy, subdued him and walked him out the door and into the parking lot. I heard him tell the guy that if he tried to come back in he would hurt him and then stuff him in the dumpster.