(Continued from last issue)
David and Diane have been married for years; then there is Julie, the young secretary whose axis collides with the couple’s in ways none of them saw coming.
It was a huge help having Diane’s mother around, not just for Diane, but for me too, as ever since she had been discharged, I had begun to feel like more of a nurse than a husband.
Her injuries had been very severe, and although she was much better, she still needed help with almost everything; as her husband, it fell on me to provide that help whenever I was home.
Not that I minded providing the support she needed, but after a long day at work, it would be nice to just relax and put my legs up when I returned home, and I had not been able to do that since Diane’s return. The result was that what was meant to feel like a home, began to feel like a cramped and stifling second workplace – one that I was desperate to escape.
I was still passing by the apartment each evening, and while that did provide some peace and relaxation, because I was mindful that I had to hurry back to Diane, that too was very limited.
Besides, with the amount of time we had together, and the fact that I would find Diane waiting for me the minute I walked through the front door, it was impossible to squeeze in any intimacy with Julie. In her condition, I was not getting any from Diane either, and as a normal, red-blooded male, I was more than ready for some physical release.
The more I thought about it, the more I craved that escape and release; and the more I pondered over it, the more achievable and less impossible it seemed, until finally a few days after the thought had first crossed my mind, I found myself booking a weekend at a lakeside resort an hour out of town.
I knew David was lying when he came home from work on a Wednesday, and announced that he was going to be away for a managerial retreat from Friday to Monday.
For starters, from my past experience in the corporate world, I knew that such retreats were planned weeks in advance, not in two days. Secondly, he would not look me in the eye when he told me about it.
In the past, whenever his office organized one of these retreats, he would tell me all about the planned activities and what he had arranged for his department, even asking for my advice and opinion on different aspects; this time, he just announced he was attending one that weekend, then quickly changed the topic, asking how I was feeling, and complaining that the children – Daniel in particular – had not done any studying since the holiday began.
There was only one reason David would make up a phony work retreat - to go away for a private one; and there were no prizes for guessing who that was with. While I was admitted, I had constantly worried about David continuing his affair with that whore, and it was this fear that had driven me to push so determinedly for my early discharge.
But now that I was home where I could supposedly keep an eye on him, all I had achieved was a confirmation that he was indeed continuing the affair.
Worse still, I was not sure just how to respond to this confirmation; the old me would have thrown a fit, called him every name in the book, cried about how he could do this to me, and then gotten my revenge by making him pay handsomely for his ‘mistake’. That was the old me.
The me before the accident. The new me, the one since the accident, took his infidelity as a reflection on me and my failings. I was still pretty dependent on the people around me for help, and although he didn’t openly complain, I could tell he felt like I was a burden, one whose weight he was clearly beginning to tire of.
Besides, my body was too broken for sex at the moment, and I knew he found my unavailability in that department frustrating as well. If I were brutally honest with myself - which the new me definitely was – it was hardly any surprise that David was carrying on with another woman, for I certainly had nothing to offer.
I had just put Junior down for a nap after his lunch that Friday when my phone rang, and I was surprised to see that it was David calling, for not only did he generally prefer to text, but he also hardly ever got in touch in the middle of a work day.
“Hello,” I answered, my tone nervous and questioning.
“Hi; did I catch you at a bad time?”
“No, I had just put Junior down for his nap; what’s wrong?”
“Nothing; why do you think something’s wrong?”
“Because you’re calling me in the middle of a workday, and you never do that,” I answered candidly.
“What can I say? There’s always a first time,” he laughed. “I was actually calling to tell you to pack a weekend case for you and Junior.”
“What?” I asked, not sure I had heard right.
“Pack a weekend case for you and Junior,” he repeated. “Remember I promised you I’d make it up to you for things being so hectic of late? Well, I’m keeping that promise and whisking you and Junior off for the weekend by the lake.”
I could not believe what I was hearing, and was left speechless, as he went on: “I’ll be there by six; make sure you’re ready so we can set off right away.”
He said it casually, like his announcement was a normal, everyday sort of thing.
“How have you managed to pull this off?” I asked in disbelief and confusion. “Does it matter? We have a weekend
away just for the three of us; so, let’s just enjoy it and make the most of it, and not worry about all the other details, alright?”
I paused for just a second, before answering, “Alright.”
“That’s my girl,” he answered approvingly, then went on briskly: “I’ve got to go; get packed and I’ll see you later.”
He hung up before I could respond.