Do I Know The Woman I Married?byThe Wanderer©
I thank my LadyCibelle and Techsan for their patience, proof reading, editing skills and of course encouragement they always give me. As I've been known to fiddle with stories, after they've seen it. I take full responsibility for the content and any cock-ups in this story.
While I'm at it, I think from now on I'm going to thank all my friends out there, who write to me and encourage me to continue writing and posting these demented ravings of mine. Your emails are greatly appreciated.
This is not a stroke story, so if you were looking for one of those kind-of tales, I would suggest you'd be better served looking elsewhere.
I looked at my watch for the umpteenth time. "Damn, it was still only ten minutes to eight." My mind calculated. Ten minutes to the end of my life, as I knew it. Or would it be? Would she change her mind and not come? I looked down at the manila envelope I held in my hand. Damn, why, how had it come to this?
Lindsey and I had been married seven years. Hey, was that it? No, it can't be, I thought. It was guys who were supposed to get the seven-year itch, not wives. Life had been good to us, I had a good job but I was home most of the time. We had three lovely children on whom Lindsey appeared to dote. We had no money worries and she hadn't shown any signs that she didn't love me anymore or was getting bored. So why was she doing this? What was her problem?
Let's go back a bit and I'll tell you how this all started. I think I can actually put a date on it: the early part of last January. That was when BT upgraded our local telephone exchange and that enabled us to finally get broadband Internet access. Of course I signed up straight away and spent a good few hours playing around on it. Jesus, what a bleeding change from the old dial-up.
Lindsey sat and watched me for a couple of nights. She had never been into computers but decided she'd better bone up on using it, as the children would soon be at an age where they would want to play on it and use it for study.
"What with all this in the news about weirdos and the like approaching young girls on the Internet, I'd better know my way around so they can't blind me with science!" Lindsey had said.
Lindsey signed up at a local college for a computer starter course. I'm at home with a computer but I've got to admit I'm not much good at teaching other people how to use them. I'm too damned impatient by half, like when the pupil has a problem and I've fixed it before the pupil knows what the hell has happened. "Yeah, great, but what the hell did you do? You did it so fast I couldn't keep up!" The times I heard that one.
I know Lindsey got on great with her computer beginner's course, and she even joined a mothers watchdog group that someone advertised down at the local library. All I ever got to know about the group is that they apparently monitored children's chartrooms looking for dodgy characters and the like. I've got to admit that I never did take much notice.
I remember Lindsey saying that she wasn't going to have too much time to do anything herself for the time being, as those chat-rooms needed monitoring when the kids were home from school. Whilst ours were so young she just wouldn't have the time. But she said there would come a time when the children got a little older when she could do her fair share.
For maybe a month or two Lindsey was on the computer a couple of hours every evening, chatting away to friends she made in this group of hers. I can't say I took too much notice, although I'll admit it did cut into my own computer time. I can remember thinking we'd have to get another set-up if she kept this up. But then the novelty of it appeared to wear off, as quite suddenly Lindsey stopped going on the net and took to having long conversations on the telephone in the kitchen, obviously to other mothers in her awareness group, some of which I knew from the school, others I didn't.
Well, time went on and Lindsey must have started using our home set-up during the day whilst I was at work - Lindsey was a stay-at-home mum - because I rarely saw her use it in the evenings anymore. Well, maybe just on a couple of occasions to write the odd letter and the like.
Now as far as I knew, things were going along just fine with our marriage. Well, that was until just after my birthday in late May. My mum and dad sent me a nice new digital video camera so that I could film the children growing up and send them copies on disk.
Oh, I'd better explain. Once my father had retired, my folks had moved out to New Zealand to live near my brother and sister who had both emigrated with their respective families some years back. No, we didn't emigrate, although I wanted to; Lindsey didn't want to move so far away from her family. I suppose I can't blame her.
But, hey, video takes up a damn sight more room on a hard drive than still pictures do, so it called for a bit of an upgrade on my system. Which was going to take the form of a larger hard drive, the maximum memory I could fit on the motherboard and some general tidying up of the computer's installation. You know getting rid of all that junk stuff and programs that you don't really need installed on there. Eventually I decided on a complete reinstall.
Look, I do a bit of writing on the side, so I keep all kinds of junk programs on my computer. Whilst installing the new drive I had to decide what to get rid of, and what to keep. One program that I'd picked up somewhere along the line was a key tracker. Did it work? Well, I didn't have the faintest idea? What use was it to me? Well, I got hold of it in the first place because I thought it would be handy to keep an eye on what the children got up to when they were old enough to get on the computer. You know you hear some bloody funny stories. But in the meantime, the disk had been laying around with all the other junk in my desk draw.
Anyway, before I installed the new hard drive, I figured it wouldn't do any harm to run the key tracking program and a couple of other odd freebies I had lying around, to see if they were any bottle. As I said I was planning a clean install after I'd fitted the new hard drive so it made sense to check out these programs under the old installation. I installed the key tracker and the other programs, then played around with them for a while. The key tracker I left on the system set to run from start up. I'd see what it had done in a few days.
Did I tell Lindsey about the key tracker? Well, no, I didn't, I couldn't see there was much point, as I doubted she would know what a key tracker was anyway.
It was on the following Saturday morning Lindsey had gone out shopping with her mother taking the children along. I figured she'd go round her mother's for lunch; that was her normal Saturday routine and it allowed me to get on the computer and play for a while, without any disturbance.
I went back to the computer to find out whether the bloody key tracker had recorded anything. To be honest I was highly sceptical that it would have recorded anything. "Well, bugger me!" I thought, when I turned the read back function on it had recorded a whole load of crap. Pages and pages of bloody rubbish that I couldn't really make much sense of.
There I was scrolling through an endless list of individual keystrokes, trying to make heads or tails of what I was seeing. Until suddenly I realised that someone had been accessing a strange email account! Well, there was a bloody sign-in name and email address, you know those bloody @ signs stand out like a sore thumb, and then a bleeding password. The email address I didn't recognise but the password definitely rang a bell. HARBEL would mean nothing to most people but it was the first three letters of my wife's father's and mother's Christian names. They'd used it as the name of their canal boat.
But I'm afraid it was the email address firstname.lastname@example.org that had definitely got my undivided attention, a bit on the lively side. The most annoying thing, or maybe it was the thing that caught my eye in the first place, was that name Sexy-legs. That had been one of my older pet names for Lindsey. But I must add I hadn't used it in years ... well, since our first born started repeating things. Funny how you have to change your vocabulary when the kids come along, isn't it?
Pissed off, you bloody bet I was. Lindsey was not only the only other person who used our damned computer, but she was also 33 years old. Take 33 from 2005 and guess what you get? Yeah, you got it; 1972 - the year Lindsey was born. Sexylegs1972! What kind of a bleeding email address is that for a married woman with children to be using?
"Just a bleeding minute," I remember thinking, "just who was Lindsey writing to using a name like that?" I'll give you one guess as to what my next action was. Well, of course I logged on to the email host and did some snooping. Fuck the bleeding key tracker. I didn't need that anymore; I was on the warpath and into that bleeding email account quicker than greased bloody lightning.
Now if there is one thing that Lindsey has always been, then it's a bloody hoarder. A bit like me really, she hadn't deleted a bloody thing, not one bloody email from the Prat, by the look of it. All stored away nicely, were all of her emails to and from email@example.com.
"I'll give the bleeder Dream-fucking-boat!" I thought to myself. I fucking ask you, what kind of a slimy castrated git uses a name like that? Oh, the castrated bit ... well, that's what he was going to be when I got my bloody hands on the bugger.
But there was something that I discovered that I thought very odd at the time. All the emails he sent to her and copies of her replies to him had been forwarded to another address, firstname.lastname@example.org. I wondered what the hell that was all about and why she had done it. The only idea that I could come up with was that she had another on-line friend, most likely a girlfriend who she was sharing the intrigue with.
I read through all of the emails in turn, starting from the first ones. I found there were almost one each way every weekday since early March. I discovered from their contents that they'd obviously met in a chat-room somewhere, and I gathered he'd persuaded Lindsey to set up this email address, so they could keep in touch with a little more privacy. Apparently he was using a computer at his office and he had to watch how much time he spent in the chat-room. From what I could make of it, he'd suggested she use the name Sexylegs. Lindsey must have told him that it was one of old my pet names for her in the chat room.
His name - or so he claimed - was Gordon Merit and he was supposed to live about eighty miles away. There was no doubt in my mind what his ultimate intention was, right from the very outset. Of course I had no way of knowing what he had said to Lindsey in that chat-room, or what she had said to him, come to that. In his early emails it looked to all the world like he was a sad guy looking for sympathy.
He said little about her, other than complain about how his wife was treating him so badly. Mind you, he never was what you might call specific about what she was supposed to have done to him. Christ, you know the routine. "My wife doesn't understand me!" He just told Lindsey how he needed someone he could pour his heart out to and it looked like Lindsey, being the softy she was, fell for it, hook, line and bleeding sinker. I must say I liked the nice touch he had of telling Lindsey how lucky she was to have a nice guy like me as a husband. The bleeding arsehole!
But then slowly as the weeks progressed, and Lindsey opened up her heart and soul to him, more and more of our personal details were relayed to him. I noticed a subtle change in what he was saying to her. It appeared that our Mr Gordon Merit was an old hand at this seduction lark. He'd pick out little things that, if taken out of context, could really make me sound like a right arsehole.
Slowly these came to the fore, in the emails and it appeared that with them came a change in Lindsey's attitude towards me, in the emails that is. I had discerned no change in our home life whatsoever. By the time early June came along, if you read those emails you'd have thought Lindsey and I were two steps away from the divorce court. Well, to be honest if what I assumed was going to happen did actually happen, we'd be two steps through the bloody divorce court door.
Sure enough in late June, this Gordon prick had told Lindsey he would probably have to come to our town on business before very long. Now why did I find that so bloody unsurprising? A few days later he said he would be visiting sometime in the middle of July. He even told her what hotel he was going to be staying in and he asked her if she would have lunch with him.
At first she was saying that wasn't a good idea. But he went on about how they could talk about their mutual problems and very slowly at first Lindsey started saying that she might do it.
Christ, I was hopping mad by the time I read that and I had to force myself to read on. Christ, it was lucky Lindsey was out with the kids or I think I would have been up before the Beak in the morning.
Then all of a sudden, there it was. Next Wednesday Lindsey was going to meet him. But not for lunch, but for bloody dinner at seven o'clock in the evening, in the restaurant of his hotel. They were gong to meet and show each other photographs of their respective families, my bleeding arse.
"Fucking hell!" I thought to myself "On that particular Thursday I was due to be at seminar on the south coast." I didn't have those bleeding seminars very often and when I did I'd usually go the day before. It saved me making too early a start on the day of the seminar. Lindsey had worked that one out a bleeding treat. She'd even told me she was going to one of her Mother's watch - or whatever it was called - meetings on the Wednesday.
There it was! It took three hours to read those emails that Saturday morning, three hours for my nice cosy little life to fall apart. "Damn it," I thought to myself, "I knew where Lindsey was going to finish up on Wednesday night - in this arsehole's bed, that I was sure of.
When Lindsey and the children came home that afternoon I had the greatest difficulty in not losing my rag. I still don't know how I didn't confront Lindsey, but one thing I had learnt from my writing and reading of stories on the Internet was that I had to stay ahead in the game; i.e. I had to be the one who got to the solicitor first. I had to move our/my savings into an account that Lindsey couldn't get at before she persuaded some bleeding judge to lock me out of our joint accounts.
Ah, some folks might be asking why didn't I just confront Lindsey; after all, from the emails, nothing untoward had taken place so far. Well, let's just think that one out, to its final conclusion, shall we? I tell Lindsey I know about her cyber boyfriend and their planned liaison on Wednesday evening.
Lindsey has two options. She can deny it completely, or she can hold her hands up, beg my forgiveness and swear that she will do nothing like it again.
If she denies it, what proof do I have that she has actually done anything? The emails were no kind of proof, besides I'd compromised that account by hacking into it. I can just imagine what a good divorce barrister would make of me trying to bring those emails up in court.
If she takes the second option and begs forgiveness? What proof do I have that she won't do the same thing again in the future, only being more careful about it the next time? It was only by pure luck that I had discovered her planned liaison this time.
No, I didn't think forgiveness was an option. And I'd need proof that she was an adulteress before I confronted her; otherwise she could just deny that she had done anything wrong.
For the rest of the weekend, I struggled with my temper. I know I was a little short with the children a couple of times. And Lindsey and I had words about it. Now that was handy because it put the kibosh on our normal Saturday night exercise. Yes, we had dropped to one or two nights a week by then, normally because of Lindsey's increasingly frequent headaches.
Monday morning I took a couple of hours off work and went to see a solicitor. The bugger was all for negotiation and suggested that I talked to Lindsey before the main attraction. What kind of a bleeding wimp did he think I was?"
I spent most of rest of the Monday trying to discover who was the best divorce solicitor around and discovered that the woman I needed to see lived in the next town. The trouble was, she couldn't see me until the following Monday, but a cheque in the post secured her services. The rest of the day I spent running errands and getting everything ready.
Monday night at home wasn't as bad as it could have been. I was trying my best not to upset the children or Lindsey. I really didn't want Lindsey getting suspicious that I knew what she had planned for Wednesday evening.
Tuesday I spent most of the day in my office ringing people for the best advice as to what to do with our savings money. Damn, those bloody ISA's; the money Lindsey had in the one in her name, I could do nothing about. But I could shift mine out of the country at a moment's notice; I could do the same with our savings as well. There was nothing much I could do in the short term about my pension fund.
I planned to make the call to set the changes in motion first thing on Thursday morning. I couldn't risk Lindsey using the bloody debit card and the thing being refused.
Wednesday I went to the office in the morning to clear a few things up, I didn't want to leave too many loose ends around for others to sort out. I was figuring that I wouldn't be back into the office for a week or so; besides me, the children were going to be pretty upset once the shit hit the fan that evening and I figured I'd have to spend some time with them.
Then I went back home around lunchtime to get changed for my trip and to pick up my case. I normally left about three in the afternoon, which gave me plenty of time to get down to Bournemouth for dinner. I couldn't see any point in changing my routine and giving Lindsey any hint that I might be suspicious.
Lindsey's mother arrived at the house to collect the children for the night before I left. If Lindsey was just going to one of her mother's union or whatever it was meetings, I would have thought her mother would have just babysat the children. I thought this was really rubbing my face in it a little. Damn it, it was so blatant that I had to say something.
Lindsey actually looked surprised that I had asked why her mother was taking the children home for the evening. Surprisingly it was her mother who came up with some nonsense about Lindsey's father not feeling well and she was taking the children home with her rather than leave him on his own. Yeah, I thought that sounded like bullshit to me as well.
I said something about if her father was sick, surely Lindsey should give her meeting a miss for the evening. Her father wouldn't get much peace with the children around.
Lindsey's mother immediately came right back with some crap about the children taking his mind off of himself.
When the old girl said that, I gave up and left the house. Lindsey gave me a kiss goodbye and told me that she was leaving the house around six-thirty, so could I please call before then.
"I'll do my best." I replied, "if I get hung up in traffic and run late, I'll call you on your mobile."
"No!" Lindsey said quite sharply. Then she caught herself. "Sorry, I didn't mean to sound sharp, but I'm running the meeting tonight and it won't look very good if my mobile rings at the wrong time. You know that as chairman I can't just walk out of the room to talk to you when I feel like it. If you can't call me before seven, I'll call you later. Okay?"