Dark Redemption Ch. 13byBarbraNovac©
I vaguely felt Peter leave my arms in the morning, but I was so filled with contentment, I barely stirred. I had dreamed in the night, and they were still strange dreams, but more along the lines of Peter and I reaching out for each other across deep chasms and raging rivers. Always in my various dreams, we touched our hands, but we were still left with the dilemma of how to get to each other.
And that was what I woke to, about half an hour after Peter had gotten out of bed.
Somehow, we'd reached each other in the night, but what to do now?
It was Saturday. The fourth day after, I'd followed Peter, suspicious for the first time in my entire life, and saw him kissing the woman in the window of the pub. I felt as though I had been through every kind of emotion since then, every roller coaster of the mind. The days leading up to when I followed him had their own kind of misery. I had this grumbling churning feeling in my belly as I realized over several days and several odd moments that Peter may be having an affair with another woman. I was too proud to snoop through his things. I just followed him one day when my intuition was sure. And my suspicions were confirmed.
I felt good about what had gone on between us in the night. I had felt Peter tender, but also wild. The passion was between us again. But I wanted this to be the grounding for something. The place to start from. This wasn't a goodbye between Peter and I. I needed this to be something new.
I still had feelings in me to see Peter suffer, but the feelings that I had for him while we made love, the strength of that moment out weighed what I could see in myself when I ached for his pain. It was confusing. I could not really tell what I wanted. No wonder I was puzzled about what Peter wanted. I imagined he must be very perplexed himself. Nothing about Peter and I, and our connection, was prepared for another person taking either of our bodies, let alone feelings. I had been so sure of him. So sure. A little too sure perhaps.
I could hear the shower going and I saw Peter in my minds eye, lathered, soapy, confused. I glanced over at the clock. Seven-thirty in the morning. Saturday. He was going to do a half-day then the rest of the afternoon was for the kids and us. I thought it might be best if I organized something for all of us to do together. I could plan a great afternoon, and perhaps wear the kids out a little. Peter and I might actually get a nice Saturday night together at home.
I was musing over these ideas when I heard Peter's mobile go off. At seven-thirty in the morning? I glanced over at it by his bed. I always thought twice before I picked up Peter's mobile. We had an unwritten rule that we respected each other's privacy, like diaries and mobiles and e-mails. I loved that rule. For me it showed the depth of trust I placed in him. I had thought a couple of times recently that it would be easy for me to snoop, I had developed such a strong reputation for not snooping. But I did not want to. I loved not being the kind of wife that went through things looking for clues. And I did not want to stop being that wife.
But a phone call on his mobile at seven-thirty was unusual, and I thought I should lean over and just look at the number. I did, and it was the client that he had booked in for nine. I picked up the phone and ran naked to the bathroom, telling Peter that Hanson was on the phone for him. Peter stuck his head out of the shower and grabbed the phone off me. He answered it and had a brief conversation.
I stood there, waiting for the phone like a secretary. When he finished he handed the phone to me.
"God. He is in an emergency. I will get into the office by eight now, and then he wants me at his offices at ten, instead of Monday. I might be a little later darling. He's being stalked by his wife. We have to get on to this, because she's stolen company records."
I looked at him, holding his phone in my hand. Peter had hung up, but in his haste, and being in the shower he had pressed the wrong button, and his in box had come up. The first message in the in box was from someone called "Katrina". I was looking at him, as he stuck his head back into the shower.
"Just leave the phone with my briefcase darling. I will be out in a sec."
It was only three steps to where his briefcase was, with his clothes just outside the bathroom. But by the time I had crossed the floor, I had read the message from Katrina.
"Darling. Sorry we could not do it Thursday. I want our first time to be special anyway. Can do next Friday. Take a half-day. We will need it."
My mind whirled. The shower stopped and I locked the phone on its normal screen and put it on Peter's clothes. I felt so sick. I moved back into the bedroom and climbed into bed. I heard Peter hop out of the shower and start dressing.
"This divorce is awful honey. My client and his ex are giving each other such a hard time. I guess in the long run they both still have feelings for each other and you just can't wipe out that kind of history in a short while. But this is a mess. I only agreed to take him on a week ago and now I am deep into all this. I want to go out with you and the kids this afternoon, so I think this will all be over by one or so. I will text or phone and let you know."
I was hearing everything he was saying, but I was frozen.
Peter walked into the bedroom. "Did you hear me babe? I will be back early still. I want to have our afternoon with you and the kids. Are you ok?"
I must have looked like a saw a ghost. I could not think. I wanted him to go again. To just get out. Again, I had to gather my wits and take control of the situation.
"I'm ok honey. Just feeling lazy. Are the kids watching Saturday morning cartoons? I might take advantage and read in bed a little."
Peter looked hard at me. "Is that all?"
"Yes darling. I'm fine. God, I hope this thing goes well for you, and that you are able to deal with it ok. It could just be the early days for them. I am sure when the settle into the divorce they will get control of themselves."
Peter walked over to me in the bed. He leaned down and kissed me on the forehead. "I had a wonderful time last night. It felt so special. I love you Anna."
I kissed him back and smiled faintly. "I love you too Peter."
He stood up and walked out of the room. I heard him potter about and collect things and then he stood at the door, looking dashing in his suit, and blew me a kiss. "See you later beautiful woman." And he was out in the world beyond us.
As soon as I heard him leave, I started to cry. The reality was too much for me. We had this incredible experience in the night and now I am seeing these messages from this horrible woman who was trying to create intimacy with my husband.
I knew that the kids would be happy and busy in front of Saturday cartoons for a couple of hours yet. I got myself up out of bed and made them some breakfast simply to break the cycle of tears. I did not need clouded thinking in this matter, and I had to be more logical.
One of the great things about the text that I had seen was that Peter had not yet slept with this woman. That was positive. Also, I did not know when the text was sent, but Peter had made love to me last night since, so I had that score in my favor. But here I was talking about the situation as if she were my enemy, when it had to be faced, that in this situation Peter was betraying me. Not her. She had made me no promises, nor any to my children. It was Peter who had made those promises and those commitments. She owed me nothing.
And why did I want a man who could do this to me? But maybe, I was with a man who couldn't do this to me. Peter hadn't slept with her yet. But the message had clearly stated that they had a plan to do it next Friday.
I jumped out of bed and raced for the shower. I wanted to get downstairs and check the appointments book. It felt as thought my very life depended upon it. I just felt that if I saw in the appointment book that Peter had scheduled to be out all next Friday that would be a confirmation that he was going to make love with Katrina. She now had a name. Katrina!
I showered fast, but still cleaned and preened my body. All I knew to do was to be ready for anything and my plan was still to hurt Peter. Even though I had challenged that notion, the text message had put me back comfortably into rage. I was doing everything in my power to not get wildly furious with Peter. And I couldn't really tell why I was resisting that either.
I put on a pretty dress that Peter loved and some flat shoes. Then I heard the sound that I was waiting for. Peter pulled out of the driveway in his car. I told the kids that I had to just check on the diary in the office and that I would be back in a second. They barely took their eyes off the television, their little mouths full of toast. I ducked down the main stairs, and ran to the secretary's desk. There was the large diary that she worked the appointments out of. I turned to the next page, which was Sunday, and then the following. Monday. There was my team meeting, scheduled and all the attendees had been confirmed. I flicked through the pages, and then my heart stopped beating. Friday! The day had been blocked out for Peter, and I was scheduled to have the day off. And Under Peter it said:
"All day Hanson client. No mobile access."
It was in Peter's handwriting. He had written that in himself. He did intend to go and sleep with this woman. And he intended for his mobile to be turned off all day as well.
Today was Saturday. My husband was planning to be unfaithful to me in seven days time. And somehow I was a silent witness to the whole thing. As if I were watching my life unfold before me on a stage, everything is happening but I am not actually being a part of it all. It felt surreal. I was flooded with memories of last night and the new cold realisation that dawn had brought.
So he had not slept with her yet, but he intended to still. In the hour he was in the office this morning before he left he had not changed the book. What had happened between us last night had not caused him to rush to make any major changes. I realized all of this was speculation, but I could not help the way that I felt. My feelings were going crazy.
A part of me was tempted to search Peter's computer while he was out, or go through the files to search out who this Katrina woman is. But I still wanted to be the wife that does not snoop. Even though I had seen the text message, even though I had followed my husband earlier in the week, I still felt defined as good because of all the things that I had not done that I could have done. But it was more than goodness. I was proud also. I was too proud to snoop through Peters things like a jealous obsessive wife. Whatever Peter may be able to do to me, he could not reduce me to that.
With a heavy heart I walked back up the stairs to my children. They were still sitting happily in front of the television. And I glanced at the clock. Nine o clock. The time was flying. Peter was due back at around midday or one. I wanted to get us ready to go out then, and I was going to think of us doing something that would wear the children out. Those plans seemed foolish now. Infantile.
But I had to stay focussed. I remembered, I am in control, Peter is not. A lot has happened since Peter received that text message, of that I was sure. And I knew that I had a date. I date to check to see when Peter would be unfaithful to me. I knew that I had a week to win him back. Thoughts of wanting to see him suffer came flying in on me again and thrilled me. I did want to see him suffer. I wanted him to suffer as I am suffering now.
I got myself into action. I phoned our cleaner and asked her if she would come in this afternoon to do the house. It was out of schedule, but she said that she would be happy to. Then I called the marina, and asked if we could hire a boat for the afternoon. I booked it all, as well as a driver, and had the boat stocked with fishing poles. Peter loved to fish, and an afternoon with the kids on a nice big boat, with me prancing about in my bikini would put Peter in an excellent mood. The boat would be ready at two, and we had it till six pm.
I packed the kids up to much wailing and objection and got them into the car. We went down to the supermarket where I bought them a packet of chips each to pay off being taken away from cartoons and I bought lots of nice foods for our hamper. I spoke to the local Japanese restaurant and ordered a dinner for Peter and I at eight, and hired an erotic film that I had always wanted to share with Peter for the night. The kids, god bless them, ran about behind me like little troupers and I felt glad that I had such a great afternoon planned for them. I told them that as soon as Daddy had gotten home we were going out on a very special fun afternoon.
Back home, I got the kids ready for their treat, and did a brief tidy up so that the cleaner would be able to get around the house and do her job without having to move over the top of our stuff. The idea was that we would have a wonderful afternoon on the boat, and that the kids would be worn out. Then we would come home to a clean home and after the kids were in bed, Peter and I would have a romantic dinner, watch a nice film together and then make love.
It all sounded perfect.
Peter sent me a text as he said he would that agreed to meet me at home at one in the afternoon. I told him that I had something special scheduled for two, and that if he were home by one that would be fine. I gave the kids some lunch and let them place their electronic games for an hour.
That was my moment to sit. I had a full hour before Peter was due home and the kids were happy. Our hamper was packed for our late afternoon tea and we were all ready to go.
I escaped quickly into the bedroom, and sat down for just a minute to catch my breath. Tears started to well in my eyes. That was how I felt. Pathetic. Even in all the excitement of the potential of the afternoon.
Peter arrived and the children, keen to know what their big surprise was, jumped up and ran to him, happily leaving electronic games, completely out of character. Peter looked much happier today, and he picked the kids up and hugged them both.
"What is the surprise Daddy?" asked Thomas.
"I don't know. It is Mummy's surprise."
I pulled my spirit high and entered into the spirit of the game I had created as best I could. "Now, I have not told anyone. It is a very special surprise. Daddy has to go and get changed into his shorts and shirt and then we can all go. I will let you know just before we get there what we are doing this afternoon."
Peter rushed into the bedroom with the kids on his heels telling him to hurry. He came out laughing with them, looking dashing and about five years younger than her had the night before when he came home.
With considerable effort I got them all into my car, and off we went with the children badgering me all the way to let them know what was going on.
It felt good to have Peter by my side, looking handsome and relaxed. I wanted to make love to him again. A piece of me gained renewed hope at his mood and I fancied that somehow it meant that he was moving back towards his little family again rather than into the arms of his new lover. He looked me in the eye several times, a little like he used to before I was a mother, and grinned his boyish thrilled grin.
As we came around the corner of the hill, and wound our way down to the town's bay the children saw the marina and started to yell.
"Are we going on a boat Mummy?" Asked Jane breathlessly.
"Yes! We are all fishing this afternoon on the boat. Does that sound like fun?"
There were great cheers went up from everyone in the car, and I was almost happy there in the throws of the pleasure of family life. Almost.
The afternoon was as close to pure bliss as was possible for me on that day. The sun shone high and the children -- all three of them that afternoon -- caught fish. Peter's catch was so large that we all declared it would be Sunday lunch. Thomas and Jane caught little swimmers that we placed in a bucket till it was time to go home and with much ceremony they were tipped back into the ocean with promises and threats of our return.
Peter looked so happy; it was impossible for me to imagine he was actually going to go through with his affair. He played with the children and laughed and made advances toward me in my bikini all afternoon. We had real family time.
But family time was not the thing that I knew would seduce Peter back to me. It was our connection in the darker places inside us. Because we both played our roles as dutiful parents, we were focussed on another kind of link. However, it was not this that made me special for Peter. Peter could have found a loving wife in many women, and he could have raised babies and had a lovely home. I was not essential for that. The thing that made me special, to myself that Peter loved in me, was my darkness. And that was not a thing to be paraded before our children.
With exhausted arms and tired legs, we packed up at the end of the day. We thanked our driver and gave him a tip, and took our belongings back to the marina. Jane and Thomas carried the large fish in a basket between them, and Peter and I staggered behind them with all the belongings that we had taken with us. It was fortunate the trip home in the car was a short one, because the children, still and very quiet, almost fell asleep on the way.
At home I took the kids into the bath while peter made them boiled eggs and toast for dinner. They munched down their light snack of a tea, almost falling asleep in their food. I had them into bed by seven even though they were probably asleep by a quarter to.
I came out into the lounge. The house was immaculate. Peter had cleared away the children's things, and was opening a bottle of wine that I had set aside in the fridge.
"I might be joining them fairly early myself tonight. I didn't realize how tired I was." He jollied as I walked into the room.
"Oh no you don't." I walked toward him looking him directly in the eye. "I have something special planned for us tonight. Our dinner arrives at eight."
"What a day! What are we having?"
Peter poured me a glass of chilled wine. "Well Madame, you had better get yourself into the bath for a wind down, because our food will be here in an hour and I am keen to relax with my lovely wife."
While I was his lovely wife, I wanted to be more that night.
"I'll take a bath. And I rented us a film. I thought that might be a nice way for us to relax tonight."
"Sounds good my darling." Peter was already moving toward the Saturday paper. I guessed I had my work cut out for me if I was going to get him into the place that I wanted him.
"Darling, why don't you have a little rest?" I suggested. I thought if he took a small sleep, I would have better chance of enjoying a night with him if he woke up.
"Oh, I will. I am exhausted. Come and wake me when the food arrives."
Peter went directly to our bedroom and in just five minutes I could hear him snoring.
I went and lay in the hot bath keeping my mind focussed on the evening before me. To be honest, I didn't feel much like creating an erotic atmosphere myself. I was tired and I was hurt. I wanted to confront Peter and cause a huge fight. Mostly because I wanted him to say to me that I was a mad housewife and that I had invented the whole thing. It would fix nothing but my mood, but I just wanted to cause it. Anything, other than this agonizing mind circling. But I only had a week, and I wanted my husband to choose me again. To choose me over every other woman. I had to stay focussed and I had to get him back.