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Awakenings Ch. 01

The beginning
I write stories that celebrate the cuckold hot wife life style. I also try to write romantic stories. Despite their alternative lifestyle, my hot wives and their cuckold husbands always have a deep and abiding love for each other.

Every one of us is a unique individual. We enjoy different kinds of music, art, food and recreational activities. We also enjoy a variety of sexual desires and fantasies. These differences are neither good nor bad, they're just different. If you can accept that you might enjoy this story. If sexual desires that vary from your own offend you or make you uncomfortable, I strongly suggest that you find something else to read.

People sometimes get confused and make decisions that they later regret. That of course is part of the ongoing drama of life. It also provides the conflict that makes a story interesting.

Jeanne, my wife of twenty-seven years, and I had just finished doing the supper dishes. We didn't need to wash them by hand, we had a dishwasher. We chose to do it because it was a habit, a pleasant habit. For years Jeanne and I, along with our daughters Jodie and Tricia, had done them every night together.

Jodie and Tricia were now gone. They'd graduated from college, Jodie a year ago and Tricia two years ago. Both of them had good jobs and nice apartments. They were on their own, and Jeanne and I were now on our own.

For Jeanne and me, washing the dishes together was one way to relive the fond memories of the past.

Don't misunderstand what I'm telling you. We weren't wallowing in despair because our daughters were grown and gone. We were both only forty-nine years old and leading full vibrant lives. I ran a small but very successful accounting office, and Jeanne was a legal secretary for one of our city's most prominent law firms. I managed to play eighteen holes of golf three times a week, and Jeanne belonged to a fitness club and worked out almost every day.

Still, we were growing older. I had a middle aged paunch and my hair was thinning. While Jeanne was still a very sexy and beautiful woman, she was starting to find an occasional gray hair and lines and wrinkles were beginning to appear around her eyes and mouth.

After we finished drying and putting the dishes away, we wiped off the counter tops and cleaned the sink. Once that was done, Jeanne turned to me. Taking a deep breath, she said, "Micheal, I'd like to talk to you in the living room."

The serious tone of my wife's voice concerned me. Suddenly worried that something was gravely wrong, I said, "Yes, of course."

We walked quickly into the living room. Expecting that Jeanne would sit next to me, I sat on the couch. She surprised me and sat in the arm chair across from the couch. This heightened my anxiety.

For what seemed like an eternity, but was most likely only a few seconds, Jeanne stared at me. Feeling even more apprehensive, I waited. Finally she began. "Michael, I suspect that what I'm about to say is going to shock you and probably upset you. I'm asking, no begging you to please hear me out before you respond."

Now overwhelmed with alarm and barely managing to maintain my composure, I answered, "All right, I'll try."

"Thank you." Jeanne smiled and then she took a deep breath. "Michael, I'm going to have an affair."

I looked at my wife with a shocked expression and said, "What did you just say?"

Obviously trying to maintain her calm, Jeanne repeated her statement. "I'm planning to have an affair."

"I don't understand? Are you telling me that you're in love with another man?"

Vehemently shaking her head, Jeanne answered, "No absolutely not! It's just going to be sex."

"Just going to be sex? You're telling me that you're planning to start fucking some other guy just for the fun of it?" I was starting to get angry.

Jeanne said, "Michael, try to control your temper. Please listen to me."

"Control my temper! Shit, Jeanne, you're telling me that you're going to cheat on me."

"No, I'm not."

"You just told me that you're going to start fucking another man. That's cheating."

"No it's not. It's only cheating if I do it behind your back."

I stared at my wife for a moment and then, slowly shaking my head, I said, "Jeanne, what's gotten in to you? This is crazy. You're going to tear my heart out if you do this."

"Michael, you're taking this all wrong. I still love you. You're the only man I'll ever love. This is just something that I need to do for myself. When we got married, I was a virgin. You weren't. You've experienced other women. I've never experienced another man. I've decided that's an experience I'd like to have. If it's going to happen, I have to do it now while I'm still young enough to attract another man."

"Jeanne, what are you talking about? You lost your interest in sex at least tens years ago."

"What do you mean?"

"It's been ten years since you've shown any desire to have sex, at least with me."

"Don't be silly, of course I've been interested in sex."

"Really? When was the last time you initiated sex? When was the last time you gave me a blow job? When was the last time you let me eat your pussy? When was the last time we made love in any way other than the missionary position? When was the last time you even let me see you naked?"

My questions struck home. Clearly shaken, Jeanne stared at me. The silence was deafening. Finally, she quietly answered, "I'm sorry, Micheal. I know I haven't been the best wife in this area for a while. I guess that sex for us just grew stale."

"Stale? Who's fault is that Jeanne? How many times have I suggested things we could try that might spice up our lovemaking. I'll tell you how many. Lots of times, I've done it lots of times, and every time I did it, you shot me down."

"Michael, don't you understand? That's what I'm doing now. I'm doing this for us. This is going to rekindle my interest in sex. When this affair is over, I'm going to be your loving wife again and you're going to get more blow jobs than you can possibly imagine."

"But another man is going to get them first, isn't he, Jeanne?"

"Micheal, please understand. I need this."

"You need this. You know what, Jeanne, you're not the only one who could use some extra sex. How about if I go out and get a little on the side too?"

"Don't be silly. Look at you, Michael. You're losing your hair and you have a middle aged paunch. What woman would want you?"

Appalled by that statement, I stood up. "Well then, there we have it. Apparently, I don't do it for you anymore, do I, Jeanne? I think this conversation has come to an end."

I turned and started to walk out of the room, but after a few steps I stopped and turned back to my wife. "Jeanne, when is this affair going to begin?"

Clearly upset and having to work to hold herself together, Jeanne quietly said, "Tomorrow night, I have a date."

"A date, tomorrow night; so you've already selected the lucky guy."

"Yes." Jeanne answered in a whisper.

"So who is he?"

Jeanne stared at me for a moment, and then she shook her head and said, "No, Michael, this has nothing to do with you. This is for me. Who he is is none of your business."

"What! None of my business? Tomorrow night, my wife of twenty-seven years, the mother of my two daughters, is going to cuckold me with another man, and you have the audacity to tell me that his identity is none of my business! Jeanne, I apparently no longer know who you are." On that note, I turned and and stormed out of the room.

Woodworking is one of my passions. I have a shop in my basement. I took refuge there. I was building a coffee table for Jodie, my youngest daughter. I was setting a piece of wood that was going to become a leg into my lathe when I sensed Jeanne's presence. I froze.

In a whisper, she said, "His name is Derek Fisher. He's a lawyer, but he works for a different firm. We've had several lunches together. He's married."

I turned. "He's married?"

"Yes, I think it's better that way. It reduces the chances for emotional involvement on his part."

"It also means that you're not only going to defile our marriage, you're also going to defile his."

"Michael, why can't you understand this?"

"Oh, I do understand. I have a belly and I'm losing my hair. You're not attracted to me anymore."

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that. It came out wrong. Michael, I still find you very attractive. You're the man of my dreams."

"If I'm the man of your dreams, then why are you going to fuck someone else tomorrow night?"

"Please understand, this is an experience I need to have."

"Jeanne, I have been faithful to you for the entire twenty-seven years we've been married and my intention was to remain faithful to you until the day I died. I will never understand what you're doing."

"Michael, I have to do this."

"Then I don't think we have anything more to talk about, because I will never give you my blessing."

Slowly nodding, Jeanne said, "Very well." And then she turned and walked back up the stairs.

The next day was Wednesday. I supposed that Mr. Derek Fisher had to take my wife out on a week night rather than a weekend so that he could tell his wife that he was attending a meeting of some sort.

I'd been much too angry to even consider sharing a bed with Jeanne, so I spent the night in Jodie's old room. As it turned out, I was too agitated to sleep. I tossed and turned all night and finally gave up at 5:00 am. After a quick shower, I dressed and was out of the house by 5:30. I admit I was trying to avoid Jeanne.

My anxiety about what was going to happen that night made it difficult to focus on my work. The minutes crawled by. I was able to pass some of the time by trying to figure out what I was going to do if Jeanne really did carry out her threat to go out on this date. That helped a little.

Unfortunately, I had one account who's file I absolutely had to update that day, so I was forced to try to focus my attention and complete that task.

By the time I was finished updating the file, it was almost 5:30. I didn't really want to see Jeanne before she went out, but I knew that wasn't a choice. If I didn't see her I was going to have to spend the entire evening wondering if she really did do it.

Since I didn't actually know what time Jeanne was planning to leave, I hurried home. I pulled into our garage at 6:05. I was relieved to see that Jeanne's Honda was still parked in her stall.

I went inside. As I approached our bedroom, I could hear Jeanne bustling about. Not having any desire to watch my wife get ready for a date with another man, I retired to the living room and tried to read the newspaper.

At 6:25, Jeanne emerged from the bedroom. When she walked into the living room and saw me, she stopped. Obviously startled by my presence, she said, "You're home."

"I generally try to come home after work."

"Yes, of course."

Jeanne looked absolutely ravishing. She was wearing a black cocktail dress that I'd never seen before. She'd obviously had her hair done. Her makeup was perfect and she was wearing her favorite string of pearls. They'd been a present from me on our fifteenth wedding anniversary.

"You look very nice tonight."

"Thank you, I tri..." Suddenly realizing that I wasn't likely to appreciate a description of her efforts to look nice for another man, Jeanne stopped herself in mid sentence. After a short pause, she just said, "Thank you."

"Is that a new dress?"

"Yes."

The tone of my wife's voice made it clear that this conversation was making her feel uncomfortable. That didn't bother me at all. What she was doing was making me feel uncomfortable.

Continuing, I said, "I see that you got your hair done."

"Yes, this afternoon."

"You must have left work early."

"I did."

"It's been a long time since you bought a new dress and got your hair done for an evening out with me."

Closing her eyes, Jeanne sighed and said, "Michael, please don't do this. Please don't make a scene."

"What prompted you to say that? Considering the situation, I think I'm being incredibly well behaved."

Jeanne nodded. "Yes, actually you are."

"What time are you going to meet him?"

"I'm not going to meet him. He's picking me up here."

"He's picking you up here! What time?"

"6:30, in just a minute or two."

"Jeanne, it's August. It's still broad daylight outside. What are the neighbors going to think when they see you get into another man's car obviously dressed for a night out on the town. Are you trying to humiliate me?"

A look of absolute horror flooded Jeanne's face. "Michael, I'm sorry. I don't know what I was thinking." Grabbing her purse, she said, "I'll call him on my cell phone."

I glanced out the window. A black BMW was pulling up to the curb in front of our house. "Jeanne, don't bother. It's too late. Your boyfriend just arrived."

"Michael, he's not my boyfriend."

"Well he sure must be something, because It's been years since I've seen you put this much effort into your appearance."

"Michael, I have to go."

"Jeanne, please don't do this."

"Michael, I have to." She turned and started for the front door.

"Jeanne, aren't you going to kiss me good bye?"

My wife froze. Slowly turning back to face me, she said, "I'm sorry Michael. Please forgive me. Of course I'm going to kiss you good bye. I'm just nervous and a little disconcerted right now."

Hurrying back to me, Jeanne kissed me on the lips and said, "Micheal, I love you; I really do." And then she turned and walked quickly back to the front door.

As she opened it, I said, "Jeanne, I won't be here when you get home."

Jeanne stopped. She thought for a moment and then she turned to me and said, "Don't be silly, of course you'll be here when I get home. You're my husband and I'm your wife. You live here with me."

"Wives don't go out with other men."

"Actually, Michael, many of them do. They just don't tell their husbands about it. Now I really do have to go. I'll be late, so don't wait up for me." And then Jeanne turned and hurried out the front door.

I walked over to the window and looked out. Derek Fischer was standing on the curb next to the passenger side door of his BMW. He was a tall man, at least four inches taller than me. He was fit, ruggedly handsome and had a full head of dark wavy hair. It was easy to understand why my wife was attracted to him.

As soon as he saw Jeanne coming down the front steps he opened the passenger door and stepped towards her. When she reached him, he greeted her, and then to my utter amazement, he put his arms around my wife and kissed her full the lips. As I watched Jeanne kiss him back, my heart broke. They held their kiss for several seconds, and then Jeanne suddenly pushed him away and stepped back.

After exchanging a few brief words, Jeanne turned and looked nervously towards the front window. Since it was still broad daylight, I wasn't certain whether or not she could see me. At that moment, I actually didn't care. As far as I was concerned, our marriage had ended with that kiss.

Jeanne stared at the front of our house for a moment and then she turned and slipped into Fischer's car. As soon as she was settled, he closed her door, walked around the car and got in on the drivers side. A second later they pulled away from the curb and disappeared down the street.

Once Fischer and my wife were gone, I retrieved a suitcase and a garment bag from a storage cabinet in the garage. I brought them up to the bedroom and quickly packed enough clothing for a week. I carried the bags back down to the garage and placed them in the trunk of my Lexus. As soon as that was done, I went back into the house, found a pen and a note pad, sat down at the kitchen table and wrote a note to my wife.

Dear Jeanne,

Thank you for twenty-seven wonderful years and two beautiful daughters.

While I will always love you, I will never agree to share you with another man.

Michael

After I finished the note, I placed it in the middle of the kitchen table and took a long slow walk around the house. As I moved from room to room, I tried to focus on the wonderful memories around me, but I couldn't stop imagining my wife laughing and flirting with Derek Fischer.

Eventually I gave up. Returning to the kitchen, I stared at my note for almost a minute and then, with a sigh, I closed my eyes, took off my wedding ring, set it on the table next to the note and walked deliberately out to the garage. Trying not to think, I got into my car and pushed the button that opened the garage door. As I backed into the street, I took one last look at the house where I'd spent the most important years of my life, and then I shifted my Lexus into drive and accelerated down the street.

I drove to a motel near my office. On the way, I made two stops. The first was at a McDonalds, where I bought a cheese burger and an order of french fries. The second was at a liquor store, where I purchased a liter of very good scotch. I didn't get drunk that night, but I did have three stiff drinks.

The drinks helped. At 10:30 I turned off my cell phone, went to bed and actually fell asleep.

I woke up at 6:30. As soon as I realized where I was and why I was there, I was overwhelmed by a deep sorrow.

I could have easily spent the entire day lying in that motel room bed, wallowing in my misery. I didn't. I knew that it wasn't healthy, and I also understood that I had to go to work. Regardless of how lousy my life was, I still had a business to run.

I willed myself out of that bed and into the shower. The shower and a shave helped. Feeling stronger, I put on a shirt, a necktie and one of my business suits and left for work.

It was still only 7:15. I was hungry, so I stopped at Lyle's cafe to get some breakfast. While I was waiting for my eggs, sausages and toast, I turned on my cell phone. There were three messages. Predictably, they were all from Jeanne.

The first one was left at 12:14. Jeanne had gotten home earlier than I'd expected. I listened to it:

"Michael, please call me. You're taking this much too seriously. My fling with Derek is just for sex. He means nothing to me. You're the only man I love. Now quit being childish and call me. I want you to come home. We belong together."

I moved on to the next one. It was left at 12:40.

"Michael, stop being foolish and call me. If we talk, I'm sure we can work this out. I love you and only you. Baby, please call me."

The third message was left at 1:10. It was clear that Jeanne had waited exactly thirty minutes before she called me again.

"Michael, you're scaring me. Please call. I don't care if it's four in the morning, just call me. We have to talk. I don't want to lose you over something as insignificant as this. It really isn't that important."

I deleted all three messages and shut off my telephone. I wasn't yet ready to talk to Jeanne, and based on her messages, she wasn't ready to talk to me either. Jeanne kept saying that her affair with Derek wasn't a big deal. She was wrong about that. It was a very big deal.

I walked into the reception area of my accounting firm's office at 7:58. My secretary and office manager Ruth Wilkins was already at her desk. Ruth made it a point to always be in the office before her day officially started at 8:00 AM.

When she heard me come in, Ruth looked up at me and smiled. "Good morning Michael."

Smiling back, I said, "Good morning, Ruth."

As I passed by her desk on my way to my office, Ruth said, "Michael, Jeanne just called. She sounded upset. I think you'd better call her."

I stopped. After taking a second to consider what Ruth had just told me, I said, "Ruth, Jeanne and I are in the midst of a major disagreement. For the time being, I would prefer to avoid talking to her. I'm certain that she's going to call again. When she does, I want you to tell her that I'm unavailable."

Ruth stared at me for a moment, but then she nodded and said, "Certainly." Ruth wasn't only a good secretary, she was a close friend.

I went into my office and closed the door. As I was taking off my suit coat, the door opened and Ruth walked in.

"Michael, I've been your secretary for eighteen years. Our families have taken vacations together. Your girls used to babysit for my kids. Jeanne and I are like sisters. If you're having a disagreement with her, you have to try to resolve it. The only way to do that is to talk to her."

Shaking my head, I looked at Ruth and said, "I don't think this problem can be resolved."

"Of course it can. Everything can be resolved. You just have to try."

"Ruth, last night, Jeanne went out on a date with another man."

Ruth stared at me for a second and then she said, "You mean a business dinner. So what? You sometimes have to entertain female clients."

"No, Ruth, this was a date. They had sex."

"What? I don't believe it. Jeanne wouldn't do that."

"Believe me, she did exactly that."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, her boyfriend picked her up at our house at 6:30 last night. Before they got into his car, he actually kissed Jeanne on the lips in our front yard."

"You saw that?"

"I watched from the front window."

"Why didn't you stop her?

"I tried. I asked her not to go, and when she did go, I told her that I'd be gone when she got home. Ruth, I'm not going to physically restrain Jeanne. She's an adult. She gets to make her own choices, but so do I. If she wants to date other men, she's going to do it without the man she's been married to for twenty-seven years."

"She really did that?"

"Yes."

"When she calls again, can I talk to her?"

"I can't think of any reason that you shouldn't."

"All right; when she calls, how do you want me to handle it for you?

"Do exactly what I instructed you to do earlier, tell her that I'm unavailable."

Ruth returned to her desk. I sat down at mine and tried to work. It was impossible to concentrate. Setting my work aside, I focused my attention on the problem that was monopolizing my thoughts. My wife was sleeping with another man. What was I going to do about it?"

I started my search for solutions by trying to brainstorm possible options. The first of course was to cut all ties with my philandering wife and never talk to her again. That was one extreme. The other was to accept her fling and continue living with her while trying to be oblivious to what she was doing.

I thought about those two choices. The second wasn't an option. There wasn't any possibility that I could sit at home, patiently waiting, while my wife was out having sex with another man.

The first choice wasn't much more palatable. I loved Jeanne. We'd spent twenty-seven wonderful years together. She was the mother of our children. The thought of spending the rest of my life without her was devastating.

There had to be third option. I stared at the wall, thinking. Why was Jeanne doing this? Was she in love with this Derek guy? Was I a dud in bed? Had I been a terrible husband? Had she decided that she didn't love me anymore? Was this some kind of midlife crisis? It could have been any of those reasons and there were probably other explanations too. I didn't know and that disturbed me. Finally I came to the conclusion that I didn't understand. I needed to know more, and there was only one way to get more information, talk to Jeanne.

Just as I was reaching that conclusion Ruth walked back into my office. "Michael, I just finished talking to Jeanne."

I looked at her.

Shaking her head, she said, "I don't know what's gotten into that woman. Somehow she's decided that having sex with another man isn't a big deal."

I sighed. "Now maybe you understand the agony I'm going through."

Ruth nodded. "Yes, I'm sorry. If David started sleeping with another woman, I'd be devastated."

"Thank you."

"What are you going to do?"

Smiling, I said, "Believe it or not, I'm going to try to talk to her."

"You are?"

"Yes, I might be crazy; but before I can do anything I need to try to understand what's happened to our lives."

"Actually, that does make sense." Ruth was slowly nodding. "What can I do to help?"

"Get her on the phone."

"Right now?"

"Can you think of any reason to wait?"

"No I can't. I'll call her."

Ruth left my office. A minute later my phone rang.

I picked it up. It was Ruth. "Michael, I have Jeanne on line one."

I said, "Thank you, Ruth," and then I pushed the button for line one and said, "Hello, Jeanne."

"Michael?"

"Yes Jeanne, it's me."

"Michael, you're blowing this way out of proportion. Now grow up and come home."

I hung up.

A minute later my phone rang again. I picked it up. "Yes, Ruth."

"Jeanne on line one."

"Thank you, Ruth." I pushed the button for line one.

"Michael?"

"Yes, Jeanne."

"How dare you hang up on me."

I hung up again only this time I dialed Ruth's extension. Ruth?"

"Yes, Michael."

"If Jeanne calls again, tell her I'm unavailable."

"I gather you didn't make much progress."

"Nope."

"Gonna try again later?"

"Of course, but she needs a little time to put things into perspective."

I waited. After two hours I called Ruth. "Have you heard from Jeanne?"

Laughing, Ruth said, "Just every ten minutes."

"Sorry about putting you through this."

"Michael, you're a great employer; not just for me, but for everyone who works here. Right now you need some help. I'm just glad that I'm in a position to give it to you."

"Thanks, Ruth, I won't forget this."

"Don't even think about it. You've done plenty for David and me. Hell, you loaned us the down payment for our house. Now, what do you want me to do about Jeanne?"

"The next time she calls, put her through."

"You got it, boss."

Five minutes later my telephone rang. I picked it up. It was Ruth. "Michael, Jeanne's on line one."

I pressed the button for line one. "Michael Nolan."

"Michael, please don't hang up."

"Are you going to keep yelling at me?"

Jeanne yelled, "Are you going to start being reasonable?"

I hung up and immediately dialed Ruth. "Give me another hour."

"She's still not ready to talk?"

"Apparently not."

After an hour my phone rang again. It was Ruth. "Michael, Jeanne's on line one."

"Thanks Ruth, put her through."

When my telephone rang I picked it up and said, "Yes, Jeanne."

"Michael, are we going to talk about this?"

"Whenever you're ready."

"I've been ready for hours. You haven't been willing to talk to me."

"No, Jeanne, you've spent the morning telling me to grow up and accept what you're doing. Clearly, I'm not willing to do that."

There was a moment of silence, and then Jeanne asked, "Why? I've made it clear that I still love you."

"If you still love me, why did you choose to humiliate me in front of the neighbors last night."

"Micheal, I'm sorry about that. I never should have let Derek pick me up at the house. That was wrong. I don't know what I was thinking. I apologize. We've already talked about it. From now on, I'll meet him somewhere else."

"Jeanne, you let him kiss you on our front lawn, and don't try to tell me that it was just a kiss on the cheek. I saw it. He took you in his arms and kissed you like a lover, and you kissed him back."

There was another moment of silence, and then Jeanne asked, "You saw that?"

"Of course I saw it Jeanne. A man came to our house to pick up my wife for a date. Did you think I wouldn't be watching from the front window?"

"No, I... Michael, I don't know what I was thinking."

"Jeanne, you made out with him on our front lawn."

"I'm sorry, Michael. That was another mistake. I was excited, and when Derek kissed me, I kind of lost my cool."

"That wasn't the first time you kissed him like that, was it Jeanne?"

My wife was silent again.

"Jeanne?"

"No." She answered in a barely audible whisper.

"I see. Well, I guess that shouldn't be a surprise. This didn't just come out of the blue."

"Michael, please understand, it's just a silly little fling. It doesn't mean anything."

"Are you trying to tell me that the kiss on our front lawn wasn't romantic?"

"Yes, that's exactly what I'm trying to tell you." Jeanne's voice sounded hopeful.

"Okay, so tell me about your date."

"Michael, it wasn't a date. I keep trying to explain that to you."

"So you just went straight to the motel."

"Well no, of course not. We had to get something to eat first."

"So, where did you go, Denny's?"

"Certainly not, I was all dressed up."

"Yes, I noticed that. You even got your hair done and bought a new dress. It's been a long time since you did that for me, Jeanne."

"Michael!"

"What, Jeanne?"

"Why are you making this so difficult."

"Me making it difficult? You're the one who's dating another man."

"I'm not dating Derek, this is just a harmless fling."

"I don't know, Jeanne. You got your hair done, bought a new dress and he took you out to eat. It sure sounds like a date to me."

"Okay, maybe it was a date, but so what. It wasn't romantic."

"Okay, so it wasn't romantic. If he didn't take you to Denny's then you must have gone to McDonalds."

"Of course not, don't be silly."

"So where did he take you?"

There was a pause. After a moment Jeanne asked, "Why is that important?"

"I think the restaurant he chose says a lot about his intentions."

"That's ridiculous. Derek knows that we're just getting together for a fling."

"If that's the case, why are you hesitating to tell me where you had dinner."

"Okay, if you must know, he took me to the Kensington Grill."

I hadn't expected that. I paused. The Kensington Grill was the fanciest and most romantic restaurant in our city. Jeanne and I went there once a year, but only once a year. It was where we celebrated our wedding anniversary.

After a moment I said, "The Kensington Grill? You and I go there once a year, don't we Jeanne."

Realizing the significance of what she'd just told me, Jeanne quietly answered, "Yes."

"What occasion do we celebrate there?"

Sighing, Jeanne said, "Our wedding anniversary."

"And you didn't think his restaurant choice was significant?" Starting to get angry, I pressed. "What did you talk about during dinner Jeanne, baseball?"

"No, of course not."

"So what did you talk about?"

"I don't know, I guess our jobs and our families."

"Did you talk about me? Did he talk about his wife?"

"Yes." Jeanne's voice was nearly a whisper.

"Did you hold hands during dinner? You know, like you do with me?" During a fancy dinner my wife loved to hold my hand while we talked.

Again, in a whisper, "Yes."

"And you're telling me that I shouldn't be jealous?"

"Please Michael, you're blowing this way out of proportion."

"Jeanne, I know you think I'm too fat and ugly to ever attract another woman..."

"Michael, I apologized for that."

Ignoring her I continued, "Just for the sake of conversation let's pretend that I could attract another woman. How would you feel if you walked into the Kennsington Grill and saw me sitting at a table holding hands with her?"

"But..."

"How would you feel?"

"It didn't mean anything."

"How would you feel?"

"Damn it, Michael, this isn't fair!"

"How would you feel?"

"Michael, why can't you understand?"

"How would you feel?"

Jeanne screamed, "Fuck you, Michael! Fuck you!" And then she hung up.

Jeanne called back just before five. Ruth put her through.

"Hello, Jeanne."

"Michael, I'm sorry I swore at you earlier."

"Apology accepted."

There was a long pause and then Jeanne asked, "Are you coming home tonight?"

"I hadn't planned on it."

"Please, Michael, we need to talk."

"After last night, I don't think we have anything to talk about anymore."

"Michael, don't say that. We've had twenty-seven wonderful years together. We raised two beautiful daughters together. You're not going to throw all of that away over this, are you?"

"Jeanne..."

"Michael, come home. Let me show you just how much I love you."

"Are you offering me sex?"

"Yes, that's exactly what I'm doing. You're my husband. I'm you're wife."

"Jeanne, it's been at least three years since you've shown any interest in sex with me."

"I know, Michael. I was going through a bad period. The girls didn't need me anymore, I turned forty-five. My breasts started to sag. I felt old and ugly."

"But now you're telling me that's all changed."

"Yes, it has."

"Because of Derek Fischer?"

Jeanne was silent. Finally in a very quiet voice, she said, "He did help me feel more self confident."

"And now you want to have sex with me."

"Yes, Michael, I want to show you just how much I love you."

"Why couldn't you have talked to me about how you felt or gone to a counselor?"

"What do you mean?"

"Last night I watched you stand on our front lawn and make out with another man. Jeanne, I doubt that I'll ever be able to kiss you again without picturing you kissing Derek Fischer."

"No, Michael..."

"And you had sex with him Jeanne. I don't think I'll ever be able to have sex with you again without being afraid that you're comparing me to Derek Fischer and wondering how I stack up against him."

"Michael, you're the only man I love. That's all that matters."

"Is it, Jeanne? He's taller than I am, does he have a bigger cock? Is he better in bed than I am? Do you have more orgasms with him then you had with me?"

"None of that matters. All that matters is that I love you."

"Really, Jeanne? For the past several years, I've obviously bored you in bed. Now you meet this Fischer guy and suddenly your libido wakes up again. I'm guessing he must be a pretty good fuck. Damn it, Jeanne, two nights ago you called me a fat, bald headed old man who could never possibly attract another woman. You talked about feeling old and ugly, how do you think I feel right now."

I paused to take a breath and then I said, "No, Jeanne, I'm not coming home tonight so that we can make love. The way I feel right now, I don't think I'll ever be able to make love to you again."

"Michael, No! Don't say that! You're reading this all wrong."

"Jeanne, last night I think you dealt a fatal blow to our marriage, and I feel very bad about that. I was really looking forward to the freedom we were going to have now that the girls are grown and living on their own."

"Please, Michael, I'll do anything to make this up to you."

"Are you going to stop seeing Fischer?"

There was a moment of silence and then Jeanne said, "I suppose if you really want me to, I could do that."

"If I really want you to, you could do that?" The tone of my voice reflected my anger.

Quickly realizing what she'd said, Jeanne tried to back track. "No! No! Of course I'll stop seeing him. I'll call him today and tell him that we're done."

"But you don't really want to do that, and that's what matters."

"No, Michael, I'm upset right now. I'm not thinking clearly. Of course I'll stop seeing Derek."

"Unfortunately, I don't believe you want to stop seeing him, and so every time you're late getting home, every time you have an evening social function and every time you take off to go shopping on a Saturday afternoon, I'll wonder if you're meeting him. You see, Jeanne, last night you not only destroyed our love; you also destroyed my trust."

"Michael, please, you can trust me; you know you can."

"Jeanne, a week ago I don't think I could have imagined not trusting you; but a week ago I couldn't have imagined you doing any of the things you've done during the past forty-eight hours. Frankly, I don't know what to think anymore. I feel like the foundation of my existence has been shattered."

"Michael, no! Don't say that!"

"Jeanne, I asked you not to do it. I begged you not to do it. You ignored my pleas and did it anyway."

"I just wanted a little romance."

"And you didn't feel like you could get it from the man you claim to love. Well, there it is then. I guess there isn't much else to say. I hope your romance with Derek Fischer makes you happy."

"Michael, you're twisting my words. That's not what I meant to say."

"Okay, what were you trying to say?"

"I felt old, ugly and useless."

"And then you met a tall handsome married man who turned on the charm and made you feel young, pretty and needed."

There was a long pause. Finally Jeanne said, "Yes, but when you say that it sounds like Derek was just using me and that's not true at all. He's a fine man. He loves his wife, but after three children she's lost all interest in sex. All we were doing was having a little fun together."

"And how do you think your little bit of fun is going to affect your two marriages?"

"It doesn't have to affect them at all."

"Really? It's already affected ours."

"But it doesn't have to, all you have to do is try to understand that this is just a meaningless affair."

"One that's now made me feel old, ugly and useless." I chuckled. "And the worst part is that, the other night, you made it clear to me that I'm so old ugly and useless that I could never even hope to find a woman who might be interested in having an affair with me."

"Michael, I told you that was a mistake. It just popped out."

"But you did say it, Jeanne, and I have to believe that, at this moment in our lives, it was an accurate declaration of your feelings about me. In your time of need, when you were feeling old and ugly, you didn't seek solace in my arms, you rejected me and sought comfort from a young, handsome man."

"I never rejected you!"

"When was the last time we had sex? When was the last time you asked for sex? How many times have you turned me down when I asked for sex? Jeanne, you've been rejecting me for several years now, and this affair with Derek Fischer is the ultimate rejection."

There was a long pause. Finally Jeanne asked, "Michael, it's obvious that I've hurt you. What can I do to make it up to you?"

"Are you going to keep seeing Fischer?"

There was another long pause and then Jeanne said, "I don't know."

"Then we don't have anything to more talk about. Good bye, Jeanne."

"Michael, wait! Please don't hang up."

"Jeanne, this is too difficult. You're tearing me apart. It's apparent that you've fallen in love with another man. Please just put me out of my misery and let me go. I'm a big boy, it will be difficult; but I will get over it."

"Michael, I'm not in love with Derek, and I don't want to end my marriage with you."

"I'm sorry, Jeanne, right now your actions speak much louder than your words. If you cared about our marriage, you never would have gone out with Fischer."

"Michael!"

"Jeanne, I have to go."

"Can we talk again?"

"If you're going to keep seeing Fischer I don't see the point."

"Michael, I..."

"I can't keep debating this. Jeanne, I'm sorry, but you've worn me out. I have to hang up. Good bye, Jeanne."

"Micheal, please!"

I hung up the telephone. It was after 5:00 pm. Ruth had gone home. The office telephones wouldn't be answered again until 8:00 am the next morning. My cell phone was already turned off. I was incommunicado and at that moment that was exactly what I wanted.

When I left the office, I didn't feel like going back to the motel, so I started walking. After about an hour, I realized I was hungry, so I stopped at a Subway, bought a six inch sub, a bag of chips and a Diet Coke. I noticed a small park a block down the street from the Subway. It was a beautiful August evening, so I ate my dinner there.

After I finished eating, I started walking again. Not wanting to get too far from my car, I walked in the general direction of my office. By the time I reached my car it was almost 8:00.

I was tired. I hadn't slept much the previous night, and the walk had worn me out. I drove back to my motel, took a shower, drank three stiff whiskeys and went to bed.

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