Out Of The Mouths Of DrunksbyMattblackUK©
It had been a great block party in the communal area that the houses shared. The food had been prepared and brought along by the wives and one or two of the husbands who had at least one signature dish. (Signature dish usually meaning it was the only thing they could cook!)
The drink had flowed, consisting of bottles of store bought beers, wines and spirits and some really good home brewed beers and some home made wines from the nice and jovial retired gay couple who lived on the corner of the street. Steve Bollinger got on well with them. That was really no surprise as Steve got on well with almost everyone that he knew.
Steve was 45, reasonably handsome and more than reasonably successful in his professional life as a business consultant and in his home life. Sandra, his wife was 42 and even more attractive to him now than when they had met in their early 20s. She worked part time illustrating books, using a studio in their home. Life, Steve knew, was good, and probably, he supposed, somewhat complacently, couldn't be any better.
Their 20-year marriage had brought them to a fairly affluent suburb and their neighbors were all pretty much alike, one way and another. With some honourable exceptions. The elderly gay couple were retired university administrators; there were some middle ranking senior cops, some lawyers and one or two management consultants like Steve and some other retirees.
Steve and Sandra's twin were 18, having been born two years into the marriage. They had decided while they were dating that two children would be the perfect number to have, so when the twins were born, tubes were tied and a snip performed. And voilà! They had their perfect family! The two girls, Amanda and Deana were both attending the local college, studying business admin and living on campus.
Steve had been concerned about Sandra that evening. Herb and Malcolm –otherwise known to their neighbors as "the gay couple", but without any derogatory overtones- had brought along a crate of homemade parsnip wine, made to a recipe from Herb's Irish grandmother, they had warned everyone that it went down like silk but had a dangerous and undetectable kick like a mule.
Everyone had heeded their warning. Everyone but a few hardy souls who were now, close to midnight, beginning to pay for their folly! Sandra was one of these.
Steve sighed and grinned as he looked at Sandra. She was in conversation with Jess, the wife of a friend and fellow block resident, an accountant, a few years senior to Steve and Sandra, Bill Janner. Bill was watching both women with a look of mild amusement.
Jess was drunk, but not as drunk as Sandra. Steve was thankful the twins were staying with friends and not at home, he really did not want them to see him having to put their mother to bed, complete with the obligatory bucket by the side of the bed! He shook his head and grinned. He really didn't mind and he could hardly recall the last time his gorgeous wife had gotten so utterly wasted.
Suddenly Sandra noticed him and, despite being drunk, managed to easily get to her feet and walk fairly steadily, over to her husband. She grabbed him and affectionately nuzzled against his neck.
The music that had been playing through a tiny but powerful boombox had long since fallen silent (in a concession to the younger parents who had children in bed) the only sound was the gentle hum of conversation between the remaining dozen or so couples.
Sandra moved back from Steve, took hold of his hand and said, in that oddly loud voice that drunks fondly imagine is an intimate whisper: "Gosh, Steve, let's go home and make love. Why don't you take me home and then you can screw me like Bill does? God! Bill! Well, there's a man who knows how to fuck me good and proper!"
The gentle hum of conversation stopped, as, aghast at this turn of events, everyone looked at Sandra. Steve was in shock. Bill had seemed to cease breathing, Jess seethed in her seat.
"Oh? And when do you and Bill ever fuck, Sandra?" asked Steve, quietly.
"Why, every Thursday, my love! Every Thursday afternoon. We hire a room in the Family Frendlee Motel and we screw like rabbits for, like, oh, like four hours. Three or even four times, if he can get it up again!
"Then we go home to our respective homes and I don't know what Bill does, but I cook dinner and then wait for you to come home from the office to give you some of my loving."
Steve continued with his questions that sounded gentle but were getting answers that were hard for him to take.
"Do you make him use condoms?"
"Oh, no, hun! Why would I bother? My tubes are tied so I like to let him fuck me bareback."
Steve rubbed his chin in a nervous gesture.
"Why? We have been married for 20 years. Why did you need to take a lover?"
"Oh, it's not your fault, Steve. You just aren't all that much good in the sack. Oh, don't forget, though, I do love you, I just wish you could fuck me as good as Bill does. Hey. Maybe Bill and me'll invite you to the motel next Thursday? Then he can show you how to do me like I really like it?" She giggled like a teenager.
The conversation was brought to a halt by something that, in the sultry night air, sounded like a pistol going off. It had been Jess' hand connecting with her husband's face. "You bastard!" She screamed at him. She stormed off, followed by Bill who looked to be hurting and not just from the slap. He glanced back at Steve, mouthed: "I am so sorry" and scuttled off after his wife's rapidly receding back.
Herb turned to Malcolm and said in a somewhat forlorn stage whisper: "I knew we should not have brought that damn parsnip wine out!"
Steve looked at Sandra for several long moments and said "Time I got you home."
The next morning Sandra woke up with a feeling that her head was filled with electrified cotton wool balls.
She staggered from the bed into the en suite and sorted herself out. She used her electric toothbrush without turning it on (too noisy!) and took a couple of painkillers. She noticed that Steve hadn't slept in his side of the bed. Shit. If only she could remember what had happened at the party! She was sure something bad had happened, but could not quite recall what it was.
She walked down the back stairs that led directly to the kitchen. As she entered the room, she saw Steve sat at the kitchen table. He hadn't seen her. She watched as he crumpled up, his head slumping onto the table, his shoulders heaving, as he started to sob.
It was then that Sandra's memory of what she had done and said at the block party came back to her in full, dreadful clarity.
Her harsh, stupid words echoed in her head. She knew she had badly damaged and crushed the love of her life. And worse, in front of most of their neighbors and in front of her lover, too! Why? Why had she drunk so much of that homemade wine? Why?
She cautiously approached Steve, stood at the front of the table and said, softly, "Steve? Steve, honey? We have to talk."
He looked up at her. Christ. He looked ghastly. She didn't think he'd slept, probably just sat at the table all night.
"I am sorry, Steve. I should not have said what I said. It was a horrible thing to say and I am very sorry."
Steve looked at her, his eyes dulled with the agonising pain of his wife's betrayal. "Are you sorry about the words you said? Or what you and Bill have done? Are you sorry about your affair?"
"Yes, Steve. I am so sorry about cheating on you. I don't know why I did it, I..."
Steve spoke to her in a tone that, because it was filled with a quiet desperation and an unfathomable depth of misery, cut Susan to her soul: "Don't start lying, Sandra. It's pointless. You already told me why you cheated on me. It's because I am no good in bed. I am useless as a lover, so you had to go out to get a bull to turn me into a cuckold wimp husband."
Sandra shook her head. "Oh, no, Steve! You are not a cuckold. Not really. I don't like to think of what I was doing was making you into a cuckold.
And you are not a wimp. I just needed something... oh... God. There's no way I can say this without causing you more hurt, is there?"
"No, Sandra. Probably not. Can you help me by answering some questions, please?"
"If I can without causing you more pain, I will, Steve."
"No, Sandra. Don't spare me. That will not help me, not now. How long have you been fucking Bill Janner? Do I need to get an STD test done? And, this question is the toughest one for me, are the twins even mine?"
Sandra gave a little shriek. "Oh! Steve! How can you even ask that of me? Of course the twins are yours! How can you even doubt..." Then she looked at the expression on Steve's face and realised the awful truth of what her actions had cost Steve and also her.
"You... you... can no longer trust me, can you? And I caused this!" She gave out a sob.
Steve blinked and said: "From where I am standing I now have to wonder if the whole of our 20 year marriage was nothing but a lie and a sham. Whether your claims of love had any basis in fact. And if they did, when did you stop loving me enough to keep out of other men's beds? How many others were there, besides Bill, Sandra?"
Sandra realised that his questions were backing up, but that they all required truthful answers. "Steve, the affair with Bill has been going on for about six months, every Thursday. We never made love here or at Bill's place, for what it's worth. I wouldn't have felt right to do that to you.
"I don't think you need an STD test, but if your want one, it wouldn't hurt, as it would put your mind at rest. And I have never stopped loving you. Please, please know that. And there have been no other lovers, until I hooked up with Bill. And the twins? Please don't worry. They are definitely yours."
Steve shook his head. "I think I need time to try to process this, to deal with it. Could you please go stay with your sister for a while?"
"If you think I should, Steve. Are you thinking of a separation?" She felt anxious.
"No, not that, not a separation, just a few days so I can think. I will call you when I am ready."
She kissed his forehead and squeezed his hand. She was worried. He felt cold and clammy. Like he was ill, or something.
Sandra told the girls that their father was upset because of something she'd said and that she was going to stay at their aunt Molly's house for a couple of days.
When she arrived at the home of her sister Molly, Molly was scathing. She was so angry that she mixed her metaphors: "Oh, well, the goose has come back to roost, huh? I told you you were a stupid bitch to cheat on Steve. And with a fucking accountant? God, you make me laugh, sometimes. But I bet Steve isn't laughing, is he?"
"No, Molly. Steve is not laughing. In fact, he spent the whole night sobbing his eyes out, sat at the kitchen table. He is so crushed. And hurt. And it is all my stupid fault."
"Well, how did he find out? Did he hire a Private Eye?"
"No. It's far worse than that. I got drunk at a block party, and right in front of everyone, including Bill and Bill's wife Jess, I spilled my guts. I even told Steve that the reason why I got a lover was because he was no good in bed. And to make it worse, I invited him to watch Bill fucking me, so Steve could learn how to give me a proper fucking!"
Molly looked at her, shock on her face. "You did... what!? Oh, you stupid little fucker! I am surprised Steve did not slap you down, right in front of everyone! Actually, no, I am not surprised. Steve's a good guy, far too good to do that. And maybe that's what you relied on, Sandra? Did you rely on the fact that your husband loved you so much that you could get away with fucking around behind his back and get away with it? But what if he decides to divorce you? What then?"
They spent the next three days, talking things through. Talking about how Sandra might try to repair things. Even if things were repairable at all.
It was day three of Sandra's stay at Molly's home. Bill did not know that was where his lover, or his, he supposed, former lover, was staying. He just knew that she had left Steve and that Steve was all alone in the house.
Bill's wife had made him move into the guest room. That actually made him feel more guilty. He had expected her to throw him out, but she hadn't. Shocked, he realised that her action had made him love her all the more, which made his betrayal cut all the deeper into him.
He sat in his back yard, sipping a cup of tea, wondering how Steve was coping with it. He had always regarded Steve as a good friend, but he knew that friendship was over and that it was all Bill's own, stupid fault.
He suddenly realised that although he had seen Sandra drive off in her car the day before yesterday, he had not seen Steve. He started to worry. Had Steve taken his own life? He knew that he had promised his wife that he would have nothing more to do with Sandra, but this was different, he reasoned. This was about poor, hapless Steve, a buddy who was hurting and who was suffering by himself, alone with some dreadful thoughts.
On an impulse, Bill decided to go over to the house to talk with Steve. He knew Steve may very well punch him in the face, but would that be so bad? Bill was well aware that he deserved that and more.
He rang the bell, then he knocked to door. Although there was no answer, Bill somehow sensed that Steve was in there.
Bill noticed that the side gate was open. He pushed his way through it and went round the side of the house and looked in through the long kitchen window. He saw Steve, slumped at the table. Bill tapped on the window, Steve didn't move.
In something of a panic, Bill ran back to his house. He found Jess in the lounge, reading. "Jess! We have to do something. I just went round to Steve and Sandra's house..."
"Can't get enough of your big-breasted strumpet, huh?" Jess spat out.
"No, it's nothing like that. I saw Sandra take off a few days ago. I went round to check on Steve. Honey, it doesn't look good. He's sat at the kitchen table. He's either very sick or he's dead! And it's all my fucking fault!"
Jess jumped up and put a hand on his arm. "Look, just calm down. I'll dial 911 and we'll get him the help he needs, OK?"
Ten minutes later, the police had forced the door of Steve's house and the EMTs had taken Steve out of the house on a gurney and into the back of an ambulance.
A crowd of neighbors gathered and Bill and Jess stood by the ambulance. They listened to the chatter between the EMTs.
"How are his vitals?"
"Shitty, but I have seen shittier. Looks to be dehydrated. He's fouled himself, don't think he's moved in days. Could have suffered a stroke, maybe?"
"We'll start treatment, now. A saline drip is all we need do for the moment."
They closed the doors of the ambulance and with lights and sirens running, they sped off to hospital.
Bill was shaking. "Someone should tell his daughters."
Jess nodded: "Sure. I'll get Sue to text the twins." Sue was the eldest of Bill and Jess' three children and of roughly the same age as the twins.
A hour later Sandra got a text from Deana. "Mother. I suggest you get your skanky ho ass down to the General Hospital. Daddy is seriously ill in EMR. You'd better pray he doesn't die, you bitch!"
Seconds later she had a text from Amanda: "I hate you so much!!"
Because Sandra was sobbing and could hardly see, Molly had volunteered to drive her to the hospital.
The twins were already there, in the lobby. They looked at her with hurt and anger. "How could you DO this to daddy? To us? Have you no shame?"
"It's not like that!" Sandra gasped out. "You are young. You don't understand."
"Oh, mother, we understand! You decided to cheat on our daddy with one of his best friends. YOU told us a lie! You said it was something you'd said that had upset him! You failed to say what you said, and what it was about!
"And then you callously left him to rot in his own piss and shit for three fucking days!"
"But he told me to leave. He told me to not contact him. I only did what he asked of me!"
"But mother, you should have cared enough about him to have someone to check up on him, make sure he was eating and stuff. But you didn't, did you? What I find sick is that your own damn fuck buddy cared more about our daddy's health than YOU did! And how fucked up is that?"
Sandra gasped. God! What kind of a monster was she? She had expressed remorse to Steve but, was it real, genuine remorse? Or didn't she really give a fuck about him, any more?
She wanted to see her husband, but was told she couldn't until he was processed and placed in a room.
Suddenly, she felt alone. Molly and the twins had gone off somewhere. She sat down on an uncomfortable bench seat.
A doctor came out of a room to speak with her. He looked young, brown skinned and very, very earnest. When he spoke he had an Indian accent. "Mrs Bollinger? I am Doctor Singh. Your husband appears to have suffered some kind of breakdown. He is very badly dehydrated; we have him on a drip. He has not moved for several days, we fear a stroke, possibly. Has he had a stroke, before?"
She stood up and faced the doctor. "No, Doctor Singh. He has not had a stoke to my knowledge. But you see, recently my husband found out I was having an affair. He took it very badly. I think he had a breakdown because of that. It's all my fault!" She began to sob, again. It seemed to Susan that almost all the time she faced another reminder how badly she had fucked everything up.
Dr Singh nodded. He said: "If you want to, you can see him, in about twenty minutes. He'll be in Room D, Corridor 4, floor 3."
By the time she got there, it was too late. Steve had gone into cardiac arrest. They'd tried to save him, but it transpired there had been an underlying and unknown heart condition that had been dramatically worsened by his lack of fluid over the three days he had sat alone. The medical intervention had been too late to save him.
The funeral had been Hell. The twins had not spoken to her and Steve's elderly mother had slapped Sandra's face at the graveside!
She returned to their home. The door that the police had forced had been repaired, but it was no longer a home. It was not even a house.
She had killed her husband as simply as if she had plunged a knife into his heart.
Her own daughters would have nothing to do with her. Bill would not speak to her, Jess, formerly a good friend, loathed her.
Sandra was alone. She could not face going into the kitchen, so she went into the den to find a bottle of rum and a glass. She knew where the sleeping tablets where. Perhaps she would go and get them and swallow them down with the rest of the rum? Then perhaps she could try to find Steve and apologise to him for hurting him so badly.
NOTE: The starting point for this story is a real life event. The idea came from a proud boast by a woman on a cheater's high five club website, where they go to high five each other for cheating on their hapless spouses.
She crowed how she had got so drunk at a BBQ party that, in front of neighbours, her affair partner and his wife that she had shouted to her husband: "It's a pity that you can't fuck me as good as xxxxx fucks me!"
She was pleased to report that the next morning she was able to convince her husband that she had been joking. (Well, at least until he slaps the divorce papers on her...)
But her story started me thinking. What if...?