(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.
David and I made love for most of the evening, and had Junior not woken up and demanded for our attention, we probably would have gone on well into the night.
As it were, he was hungry, and so were we, but too lazy to go down to the restaurant, we ordered for room service and had it on our suite’s balcony, looking out over the lake.
Once we were done with our meal, David took charge of Junior, keeping him entertained while I prepared his bath, and when I returned for him a few minutes later, the almost domestic setting of something as simple as David cuddling Junior on his lap, got me feeling sentimental.
“I wish this never had to end,” I remarked wistfully.
“I know we haven’t had enough breaks like this, but I promise we’ll do a lot more from now on.”
I knew David was trying to comfort me, but this time, his promise did not quite cut it. “That’s the thing though David; I don’t want us to have to wait for a holiday away at a fancy resort to be able to have some real quality time together. I mean, isn’t that what the apartment is for?”
“What are you saying?” he asked slowly, his eyebrows raised in surprise, his tone guarded.
“That I want more time with you than just a weekend away.”
“You do have more time with me than just a weekend away! I pass by the apartment every day after work!”
“I know, but how long do you stay for? Not to mention that you’re constantly keeping one eye on the time when you’re there. I want time like this; you, me and Junior just being together without you having to run off after an hour!”
“And what do you suggest I do about Diane? Tell her I’m busy with you and Junior so she shouldn’t wait up for me?” he asked sarcastically, his tone now growing cold and hard, and I was scared I had ruined what had started off as a magical evening.
Because Julie had always been so understanding of my obligations to Diane and my marital home, and the limitations that placed on our time together, I was caught completely off-guard when she began to complain about the amount of time I spent at the apartment.
Feeling under attack, I impulsively went on the defensive, asking her what I should do about Diane a bit more sharply than I meant to.
“You wouldn’t be telling her anything she doesn’t already know! She knows about Junior; so, surely she knows you’ve got to spend time with him too!”
“Where is this coming from? I organized this weekend for us to have a good time together, and we were having a beautiful evening; so, why do you want to ruin it?”
“I don’t want to ruin it; all I’m saying is I miss you and I want us to have more time together, without having to wait for a special weekend away to get that. And I know Junior is just a baby, but he knows who you are, and needs you in his life just as much as your other children do!” “I know, but it’s a lot more complicated than that.”
“You’re the one letting it be more complicated than it needs to be! I know your wife can’t stand the thought of you spending any time with Junior or me, and I understand that and don’t blame her, but at the end of the day, Junior is your son and you need to make your own decisions about your relationship with him. Don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re a grown man, a strong and successful one at that, and you’re letting your wife control you, and it’s that that I don’t understand! I mean what’s the worst she can do? Throw you out of your house? Take away the children who you provide for? She needs you much more than you need her, so you need to stop letting her be the boss!”
This fiery, worked up, and forward version of Julie was one I had not seen before, but despite my shock and surprise, I could not help but see the truth of her words. Furthermore, I was a proud man, and one who as Julie had pointed out, had earned the right to that pride, so the merest suggestion that I was ‘controlled’ by anyone, least of all my wife, was an affront to my ego and sense of manhood, and one that I wasn’t going to let slide.
In that moment, a fire was lit in me, and I was determined to prove not just to her, but to Diane as well, that I was a man not controlled by anyone but myself.
Even though deep down I knew David had lied to me about being at a work retreat, part of me still wanted to be wrong, and needed hard proof to confirm what my heart already knew, so the next morning, I looked up the number of the hotel David had said the ‘retreat’ was going to be at, and called.
“Good morning; I was just calling to enquire about which conference room the telecom managerial retreat is going to be in this morning?”
“Uhm, just a minute madam, let me check that for you,” a polite sounding receptionist answered, and for a split second, I thought I had been wrong after all, and David really was at a retreat, but then she came back on and squashed that hope.
“I’m sorry, we don’t have a retreat scheduled this weekend.”
“Sorry, I must have gotten my dates mixed up, thank you,” I answered, and slowly hung up, my heart breaking.
I had been right, there was no retreat, and David was spending the weekend with her; the question now was, now that I had confirmed that, what was I going to do about it?
I mulled over that for most of the day but no answer came, and I finally settled for just calling David and if nothing else, at least letting him know that I knew he had lied to me.
If he had any sense of shame at all, once he knew that the gig was up, that in itself would be enough to bring him back, I told myself, and when he refused to answer my repeated calls, I texted him: ‘I called your office; I know there is no ‘retreat’.
Half an hour later, the double blue ticks against my message told me he had received and read my message, but he did not reply it, nor did he respond to any of my subsequent ones sent through the rest of the day; ‘Where are you?’, ‘I know you’re with that w**re, aren’t you?’, ‘What kind of husband leaves his injured wife to go and screw his mistress?’, ‘At least, be man enough to answer me!’
Just like the first, each message was received and read. None was replied.