Big Mouth Ch. 02bySlirpuff©
Money or no money I checked into the Super 8 Motel. Heather still was on the "I'm sorry" kick. It didn't cut it with me this time around.
After three days, with my office door basically shut most of the day, my boss Rick walked in and shut the door behind him.
"You okay?" he wondered, leaning with his back against the inside of the door.
"Not really, but I'm here." I wasn't in any mood for small talk and it looked like he wasn't either.
"No. You're not. You may be here physically, but mentally you're somewhere else. You want to talk about it?"
"Not really, Rick. I'm going through a rough patch on the home front and moved out of the house Saturday night. I'm holding it together, barely." I didn't want to give him or anyone else the details. I was too embarrassed.
"Well, our health insurance covers counseling and I highly suggest you take advantage of it. Steve, what you do or don't do around here affects this whole firm and right now, everyone is walking on eggshells around you. I, on the other hand, don't have that luxury." He handed me a slip of paper. "Set up an appointment through H.R. and get your head and ass wired back together. I need the old Steve back, understand?" With that last statement he was gone and the door shut again. So much for thinking I was hiding my problems.
Why did it have to be a damn woman? I should have asked for a guy. Knowing our cheap insurance plan though, I probably wouldn't have been given a choice.
Dr. Reynolds looked to be in her late forties and although she smiled when greeting me, I knew neither one of us would be smiling after the session started.
Our first two sessions mostly brought her up to speed on what happened and where I currently stood on the matter. She didn't agree or disagree, she just let me talk and vent.
"Being a woman I don't think you can fully understand how her words affected me. My damn ego and self respect were trashed, and besides her lying to me all these years, I feel like I've been played from day one."
"I heard you say Heather told you she was just trash talking with the other wives and she didn't mean what she said. Are you not believing her?"
"Yeah, I've heard that explanation a couple of hundred times over. I just don't know what to believe any more. I thought I knew her, now after finding Brian and the other items, it just gives more credence to what I heard her saying. I don't know how I can get past this."
"Do you still love your wife?"
"Dr Reynolds, that's a tough one. I still feel something for her, but she shattered my image of what I thought my marriage to her was. I think I hate her right now more than anything else." I was being truthful.
"Well, Steve, what do you want? Do you want to try and patch things up, start over again, or is your marriage beyond repair in your eyes?" I guess she'd hit the nail on the head, something up until this moment I didn't even want my brain to consider. Did I really want a divorce?
"However, before you make any decisions I highly suggest couples counseling before you take that final step, that is unless you don't even want to try anymore. I propose bringing her in here with you and listening to what she has to say. What do you have to lose at this point?" She was right, we needed to talk, but I wasn't sure if her office was the right place. I sent Heather an e-mail the next morning when I got to work.
"Heather, we need to talk and it can't be at the house with the kids there. I propose meeting at Tony's after work on Wednesday. Midweek it won't be busy and we can get a booth in the back away from everyone else. I want to caution you though, leave the bullshit home or it's going to be an early evening." It was time for some frank discussions.
I was early and was sitting at the bar having already finished my first beer by the time Heather walked in. She looked great, she always did, but she didn't have the same affect on me she'd had months ago. I waved to her and we were seated in the last booth in the back. After ordering and getting our drinks we told the waiter we need a few minutes.
"Heather, you look nice this evening," I said, knowing I needed to set the mood or tone of the conversation. She had probably spent a couple of hours getting dressed and putting on her makeup, everything was flawless.
"Thank you, honey. You look pretty good to me, too." She now had a huge smile plastered across her face, too bad it wouldn't last.
"I've been seeing a counselor the last couple of weeks to somehow try to get a handle on what's happened between us. I've had a chance to look at it in a different light, get her perspective on it, and to think about what I want going forward." Her smile was now gone, replaced with a look of seriousness.
"Heather, I'm having a hard time believing you anymore." When she tried to say something, I held up my hand and told her she could speak when I was finished. "I've heard all the excuses, reasons why, and I probably would have believed you if it weren't for what I found in your night table. Frankly, that in itself negated everything you told me." She tried again to speak. I held up my hand telling her again I wasn't done.
"I think I still love you and would love to get back to where we once were, except I'd always have lingering doubts in the back of my mind that I wasn't really doing it for you. I'd like to say love is enough for me—it's not. Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine we'd be at this point, and for the life of me I can't see a way to erase these doubts from my brain. Last Saturday morning I gave you all I had and the best you could come up with was to say you liked it? Liked it! Jesus Christ, you should have loved it! Maybe if you had said that we wouldn't be here talking about what's next for us. I guess from day one I never measured up to Brian. Tell me, was it fair to me to be judged without being told? You could have said something, you never did, and stupid Steve just went on year after year thinking you were happy when you weren't, not really." Her eyes started to well up.
"Steve, I love you."
"No, you don't, Heather. You love the idea of the Steve you created in your mind, not the Steve who found out your dirty little secrets."
"Steve, a lot of women use vibrators."
"But they don't fucking name them after their old boyfriends."
"Steve, no matter what you say, you do satisfy me and always have. I don't have a clue how to get you to believe that."
"Heather, neither do I, and I can't stay married to a woman who can't get off without fantasizing about one of her old boyfriends or someone with a huge cock." Now I was thinking about the huge black dildo I'd found."
"So you're saying you want a divorce? Steve, I haven't cheated on you, I never have," Heather insisted loudly.
"But, you weren't honest with me either."
"I'll never agree to a divorce. You want to break up our happy home because you heard something said in jest and it bruised your ego? What would I tell the children? Daddy heard Mommy joking around and now he doesn't love her anymore. Steve, get a grip." She just didn't get it.
"Heather, how would you feel if I told all my friends that you were a lousy lay and that the only way I could get an erection was to think about one of my old girlfriends? Wouldn't you get a little self conscious?"
"Steve, women's egos aren't connected to our vaginas like guys are to their dicks. Besides, I know you. I can get you all worked up in less than two minutes."
"And you probably still could, except it would be all physical, not mental like it once was. I considered what we did before making love, which is a far cry from what we did the last couple of times. You fuck a whore, you make love to your wife." I'd said it all. I was done.
"So this is it? You're just going to throw away the ten years we've spent together? Christ, I can't believe this is happening. How about if we go to counseling together?" Heather was pleading now.
"What's that going to do?"
"It will at least give me a chance to show you that you're dead wrong about me, about us." She was grasping for any lifeline right now. I thought about it as her eyes reached out to me.
"I may be a damn fool, but okay. Two sessions with the same counselor I've been seeing, although I think it's a waste of time."
When the waiter came back all we ordered were drink refills. I think we'd lost our appetites, well, I know I had.
It was Wednesday at ten till four. I was in the waiting room when Heather came rushing in.
"Sorry I'm late. I got stuck in traffic."
Introductions were made and after a brief statement by Dr. Reynolds, she told Heather to tell her side of what happened. By the time she was finally done we only had fifteen minutes left.
"Steve, it looks like you heard exactly what your wife said. Now the only problem, as I see it, is the fact that you still don't believe her explanation of why she said it." I was at least hoping Dr. Reynolds would say it sounded like a crock of shit to her also, but she didn't. I guess I was still on my own.
"I want you to spend the next week talking to each other. Not just the surface issues but also the deep down problems in your marriage as you both see it. Please, have enough respect for the other to not say exactly what you think the other wants to hear because they'll end up seeing through it. That will only push us further back. I'll hopefully see you both a week from today."
I moved back home, and it was one hell of a long week. I talked and Heather argued telling me I was wrong. She had purchased the toys at various adult girl parties over the last couple of years, reminding me that we'd used the flavored gels on more than one occasion. Naming the silver one Brian was supposed to be a joke. However, I saw no humor in it after dealing with that prick way back when.
We talked sex and I asked her straight out what I was doing that she did or didn't like. She still kept to the same story that she liked everything that I did. I did tell her that her performance at times was lacking in enthusiasm, and it was like I was screwing someone who chose not to be there. Was this when she was thinking about Brian to push her over the edge? We solved nothing. I kind of knew we wouldn't.
I tried—damn, I tried—but the one time we attempted to make love was a total disaster. Both of us were simply afraid to try and do anything out of the norm. What we did do ended up being pitiful at best. I don't think Heather even got off.
She was waiting with Dr. Reynolds when I walked in late the following Wednesday. I'd already made up my mind and figured this meeting was nothing more than a formality. They were talking and Heather was even smiling.
"I understand the two of you made some progress this last week," Dr. Reynolds said, making a few notes on her pad.
"What progress? We couldn't even get it together and make it work the one time we did try. If that's progress, I'd hate to see what failure looks like."
"At least the two of you made an attempt to get together, that should mean something."
Before Dr. Reynolds or Heather could say anything further I spoke up. "Look this just isn't going to work. I know what I heard. She can tell me it's not what she meant until she's blue in the face, I don't think I'll ever believe her."
"Steve, can you really say you don't love me anymore?"
"Heather, I still feel something for you, but I'm damn sure it's no longer love. You and your big mouth killed that, thank you very much. I think we're delaying the inevitable and maybe it's time we face the fact that we're never going to be the happy couple we once were." There, I'd said it out loud.
"Isn't there any way I can prove to you that you're wrong?" Heather asked, almost in tears.
"What in the hell could you possible say or do that would make me believe you again? It's over."
"Steve, there is one way, even though it's not totally accurate a hundred percent of the time." We both looked at Dr. Reynolds.
"Heather could take a lie detector test. As I said, some people don't believe in them, but I'm told there are people out there that swear by them."
"Steve, I'll do it if it means you'll believe me again." I wasn't so sure this was a good idea.
The rest of the hour was spent talking about the what if's and the maybe's. Before we left we got the name of four reputable technicians in our area. I still wasn't sure this was a good idea, but Heather was sold on it and Dr. Reynolds kept asking me what I afraid of was.
"Okay, but Heather you pick the one you want to use." This way if it goes sour she won't be able to blame me for picking the wrong person."
All the way home I thought about how the results would affect my life. On one hand I could get my wife back, and that in itself might be worth it, but on the other hand it could also seal the fate of my marriage. Well, it was going down fast right now, at least I'd finally know the truth.
Luke Morgan was forty-three years old and had been performing lie detector tests for almost seventeen years. He prided himself on having the most up to date equipment and of the four choices he seemed to be the most professional.
"Mr. and Mrs. Moore, just a few points before we go ahead and schedule your appointment. First, it will be just your wife and me in the room when the test is given. I want her to be as calm and stress free as possible. Secondly, the questions must be geared to only yes or no answers. Finally, I will need a couple of hours to analyze the data. The two of you will have the results that afternoon. Do you have any questions?"
"Do I wear anything special for the test?" my wife asked. Leave it to a woman to ask a question like that.
"Just loose fitting clothing. And I do ask that twelve hours in advance there are no arguments or anything else to elevate your emotional levels."
"Can we have sex?" Heather asked.
"If you both agree, I see no reason not to." Like that was going to happen, I thought. "Steve, you will have to give me the questions you want me to ask Heather prior to our session. Remember they have to be able to be answered with a yes or no only."
"I've only a few questions. Heather won't be seeing them until we get here, that way she won't have a chance to think about them and practice her answers."
Luke had seen it all over the last seventeen years, especially if one of the parties had issues with their partner.
"Heather knows basically what I need answers to, but there are a few others I need reassurances on." My wife started looking a bit worried.
Luke continued to clarify the procedure. "I've got a list of standard question I start out with to establish a benchmark, like the color of her hair, her age, and the names of her children, before we get into the ones you want answers to."
We set up the appointment for early Friday morning, that way we'd have the weekend to think about the test results.
We were both feeling anxious waiting for Friday morning to arrive. She kept insisting that this would finally put our troubles behind us. I was hoping she was right. The only thing left was to finalize the questions I wanted answers to, which in itself scared the shit out of me. Every time I looked at my list I got a pain in my gut. Well, at least I'd finally know.
I was too hyped up to eat Friday morning. I forced down a cup of coffee, that was it. Heather got the kids off to school and by eight fifteen we were on our way to Luke's office. She looked relaxed, and I made sure not to do anything to disrupt that, I just wanted it over.
"Steve, you can either wait in the lobby or leave and come back in about an hour, your choice," Luke said, after looking at my list of questions.
"About an hour? That long?" I asked, thinking about the five questions I'd given him.
"I'm not going to rush this, especially after looking at what you need answers to. I will probably ask a few easy non-stressful questions in between to lower your wife's stress level."
Whatever, he was the expert.
I just drove around in an attempt to keep my mind off of what was happening. I kept looking at the digital clock in the car slowly ticking off the minutes. After thirty-four minutes I headed back to the office, my stress level was at an all time high. Maybe they had finished early. They hadn't.
I sat there looking at my copy of the questions I'd given Luke:
1.Do you love me?
2.Have you ever physically cheated on me?
3.Was Brian a better lover than me?
4.Do you ever think about your past lovers when we're making love?
5.Do I sexually satisfy you when we make love?
6.Do you want to stay married to me?
I was sure I already knew the answers to a couple of them, but as long as we were taking it to this level I might as well get some assurances for my peace of mind. Fifteen minutes later Luke and Heather came out of the back office. From the look on their faces I couldn't tell how it had gone.
"Steve, we're done. I need to review the data. I have one other session scheduled this morning. I should have your results in about two or three hours. Do the two of you want to come back in or can I just call you with the results?" I looked at Heather before I answered.
"Why don't I come back in at one o'clock this afternoon?"
"That should give me plenty of time. Give me your cell number just in case I run into any delays." I gave him both Heather's and mine.
"Heather, I've got to go into work to finish up a few items," I told her as we drove back to the house.
"Steve, I was a hundred percent honest to every question, you have to believe that." That told me nothing because I didn't ask her what she'd given for answers. I needed to get away from her until after I heard the results.
On our driveway I got at least three huge kisses and a, "You know I love you," from Heather before she shut the car door. I waved and headed for my office.
I don't know why I even went into work, I was less than useless. I alternated between staring out my office window and my blank computer screen watching the time icon in the upper right hand corner. I was out of there just after noon heading in the direction of Luke's office. I probably should have called because he was out to lunch when I got there. I played on my iPhone until he got back just before one.
"You're early," Luke said with a deadpan look on his face. "Come on in and we'll go over the results."
It didn't take more than twenty minutes to go over them and have answers to all my questions. He was satisfied that the results were accurate and gave me a copy. He told me to take them to some other technician to read for a second opinion if I wanted. No need, they were about what I expected.
I sat in my car with the envelope on my lap until almost three thirty, I didn't have a clue what I was going to do going forward. The only thing I knew for certain was that I had to go home at least for tonight. After that I could decide what I wanted to do next.
It was almost four before I pulled into my garage next to Heather's car. I knew the kids would probably be in the house somewhere, so I would get a little reprieve on talking to my wife until they were down for the night.
I could see my kids in the den watching something on the TV, and Heather? Well, she was probably upstairs doing whatever. I wasn't ready to look for her just yet.
At five Heather appeared casually dressed and asked what everyone wanted for dinner. I could have told her what they wanted, it never changed, pizza. Hungry Howie's was knocking at our door forty minutes later with two large pies.
All through dinner Heather never took her eyes off me. She started to say something a couple of times but stopped just short of it coming out of her mouth. We'd have to talk, I still wasn't sure what I was going to say. As I said before, I had expected a few of the answers. Still it didn't make it any easier to see them in black and white.