Something... Talk About in Tx Ch. 01byTx Tall Tales©
Follow up to Nici's cheating wife story.
This is part one of a two part finish.
I, like most it would seem, have a lot of issues with the original story. The author says that husband and wife are both to blame, and that's her right. The story she wrote says otherwise. The woman was a polygamist, with two families, and didn't care what she did to the first. She abandoned her family, and the wimpy husband sucked it up, and allowed her back in, with everything she wanted except for him.
In her opening comments, she says she's writing about a real-life couple. Not the 'wackos' who are so prevalent in other 'Loving Wives' sagas. How she can see Susan as a 'normal' cheater is beyond me. Saying she wants to have two loves in her life, but he can't. If she doesn't give her what she wants, she'll make him pay, make him suffer. Such love. Sick.
My version of the ending takes into account some things hers never did. Everyone else. Parents, grandparents, children, friends, siblings, co-workers, neighbors, strangers. She wanted her affair hidden, and wanted it to stay that way. I say 'out' the bitch. It starts at the end of Nici's first story, before Jonathan totally wimps out in chapters 2 and 3.
I tried to stay true to the author's characters, including the information from her second and third chapters. I don't know how successful I was, I find it very difficult to understand and empathize with Susan. Maybe it's because I'm a man. My apologies in case she seems too different. There are no murders, no beatings, no violence, but there is a death. There is revenge, but I leave a tiny opening for possible future reconciliation. So shoot me.
I never expected the story to get this long. My BTB first response would be more along the lines of:
She left. Got his Tokarev out of the basement. Loaded the chamber full of 7.62x25mm. Checked the newspaper archives for the accident two years ago. Got a name. Found an address. Burned the house to the ground. Drove over. Caught them in bed. Put four rounds into each of them. Through the bastard's heart. Through her knees and hands. Drove off. Crossed the border into Mexico before dawn. Started a new life. Sent the kids birthday and Christmas cards. The end.
This version might be a little crueler, though less violent.
Jonathan woke with the mother of all headaches.
His marriage was over. His wife was gone, sleeping in the arms of another man, as she had been doing for over a year.
He made it to the bathroom, and climbed under the shower, letting the cold water wake him, until it got warm enough for comfort. He washed, dried off and stood in front of the mirror, appraising himself.
She was at least partially right. His hair, cheaply cut at the barber, was thinning on top and bare on the crown. His belly was bigger than he'd like, wearing a size 42 waist, instead of the 34 he'd graduated with. He looked old and tired, like the middle-aged men he'd laughed at when he was young, sure he'd never let himself go like that. He lifted his arms, powerful still, not the arms of a middle-aged fat man. Manual labor took care of that.
The belly has got to go.
He turned his head, examining his hair from different angles. Searching under the sink, he found the old clippers from when he'd worn a beard for a few months. She'd never liked it, and he'd capitulated, shaving it.
Five minutes later, Jonathan had his razor out and he smiled at his own appearance, half a can of shaving cream making his head a white chia pet. He was new to this, and it took a couple of passes before he got it right.
Better. Not good, but better.
Leaning closer to the mirror, he plucked two stray eyebrow hairs that seemed to have a mind of their own. The little cuticle scissors took care of the nostril hairs that unfortunately grew faster than those on the top of his head.
He was purposefully avoiding any thoughts about what to do about his situation. Would he take her back? Could he stand being married to a woman who had cast their marriage aside so cavalierly? Cuckolded him, for a year, confessed without guilt or remorse, then walked out to do it again? Forget her words; actions speak louder, and hers screamed.
There was no accepting that. None. Maybe a one-time accidental slip up. But an ongoing affair, with a man she claimed she loved? That she threw in his face, insisting that he accept it, or she'd destroy his life.
She wasn't perfect either. She was carrying at least 20 more pounds since the birth of their youngest. Thirty-four years old and her tits were already starting to sag. Her hair wasn't the full shining glorious mane it had once been. She now wore it short, claiming it was easier to take care of. Not that he had any say in the matter. She hadn't cared about his opinion in years. Two, to be precise.
Jonathan rubbed his chin and decided against shaving. He'd always liked his beard. No reason he couldn't wear one now. He examined his wardrobe, mostly older clothing since he didn't like to spend money on himself, when he could spend it on his family. He found the least reprehensible articles he owned, and dressed carefully to face the first day of the rest of his life.
He wasn't a wealthy lawyer or a CEO, not some tricky CPA or an ex-navy SEAL. He was a simple man, a diesel mechanic, but a man of action. As such, he drove down to the bank. It didn't take long to withdraw everything they had, not that it amounted to much. The overtime had helped, and they'd managed to accumulate nearly seven grand. Before the overtime started they'd been living little more than paycheck-to-paycheck. His annual bonuses and tax refunds were the only things that ever made improvements in their savings.
He walked across the street and opened a new bank account, putting a thousand dollars in it. They were happy to have his business, and he earned a new toaster oven for his effort.
The next order of business was harder. Jonathan walked into the Caterpillar dealership, and hand wrote his letter of resignation. His boss tried to talk him out of it, but Jonathan was determined. He explained the situation, that his wife was cheating on him, and had been for over a year. He was not about to pay for her life with her new lover. He left with an agreement that if things changed there'd be a place for him.
By the time he'd left, he received a final paycheck, including vacation time. He had changed his health insurance, taking his wife off of it, and cancelled his company life insurance. He could take out an independent policy protecting his children. Nothing for the slut.
With the essentials taken care of, he headed home and started making calls. He cancelled their single credit card. It wasn't difficult, it had a small limit, and they couldn't afford to build up debt, so it was paid off each month.
Another call removed his wife from his cellular plan. Let her get her own. Maybe her boyfriend could pay for it.
He realized he'd missed breakfast and lunch, and was getting hungry. It had been a busy morning.
Looking in the refrigerator, he was struck by the thought that Susan might not have been happy with his beer gut, but she certainly didn't help. There was nothing healthy to eat in the refrigerator. Soda, snacks, cold cuts, bacon, instant dinners. Beer of course. No wonder both of them had put on the pounds. Jonathan scrambled up some eggs, and made a sandwich out of them. Not the healthiest meal ever, but about the best he could do.
The first steps complete, he was at a loss for what to do next. He had been reacting on instinct. Last night, his gut reaction was to get mad and get drunk, wallow in a little self-pity. The morning's reaction was to protect himself, and stop supporting her. Now we wasn't sure what to do. It had been too much to absorb, and his mind was spinning. His wife was a cheating slut, and his marriage was over.
He felt he couldn't handle this alone, and looking toward his family, he headed to his Grandfather's house. Given a choice of talking to his Grandpa Max, or his mother, he would choose the old man. His Mom was a woman, and at that moment, he was afraid she might take the whore's side, for the sake of the family and the kids. Grandpa was a straight-shooter, and would at least give him an honest opinion.
The septuagenarian was surprised to see his grandson on his doorstep. "Jon? What's with the new look?"
Only Grandpa Max called him Jon. Jonathan self-consciously rubbed his smooth dome. "Grandpa, I need advice."
Grandpa Schritter was a throwback, son of German immigrants. His father had carved a ranch out of the wilderness, and Grandpa had expanded it. A no-nonsense man with few friends, those he had were loyal with similar values. Strict with his children, rules were to be followed, or there would be consequences. His mother still talked about the time she wore a skirt that showed part of her knees, and she was whipped to tears. You might call him old-fashioned. His honesty and values were a core part of the ranch's growth and success. In a time of slick-talking lawyers and 50 pages contracts, Max Schritter's bond was his handshake.
Uncle Len, the oldest, had taken over the ranch, and lived in the large rambler about 100 yards from the old homestead. Raised as he was, he maintained his family's legacy of hard work, fairness, honesty, and loyalty to friends.
It only took half an hour to get the story out. The old man had no patience for lying, deceit and trickery. Particularly not where family was involved. "How you going to get rid of her?" was his only question.
"It's not that simple. We have three kids."
"She's a cheating whore. You take the kids and throw her ass out."
Jonathan had to smile. If only it was that easy. "It doesn't work that way anymore, Grandpa. The mothers almost always get the kids, especially since she's the caregiver. She gets half of everything, probably a lot more than that. I'll have to pay child-care for three kids, and maintenance to take care of her, since she can't work."
"Won't work, you mean. Lazy ass cheating cunt."
Jonathan was taken aback by the old man's words. He rarely heard the ol' cuss swear. Not like that. Never in front of a woman or kids. Guess Jonathan was no longer a kid. "It's the law, Grandpa. I don't like it, but I suspect she's right about most of that. She figures she has me over a barrel and is gonna force me to take my medicine."
"I don't believe this stack of manure you're spreading." He got up and reached for his old phone. Rotary dialer, built like a tank. Jonathan knew the phone was older than he was.
"Bill? Max here. I need your expert opinion on something. How long before you can get your sorry ass off of that couch, and over here?"
His Grandfather hung up after the short answer. "What's the plan?"
"I want to get rid of the house. Can't afford it. I was hoping the kids and I could stay here. I'm not going to pay for her to live the good life with her son-of-a-bitch lover. Let her find somewhere to live." Jonathan knew they had no equity in the place, not after two years. It hit him. Two fucking years, the same time she started up with the asswipe. Buy her the house she's beggin' for, and she starts an affair. Yeah, she really loved him, didn't she?
His grandfather nodded. "No problem. Still have four empty rooms around here, filled with 50 years of junk. It'll be nice to have young blood around. Who's going to watch them while you're at work?"
"I'm not going to work. Let her get her child-support and alimony from an unemployed man."
"How you gonna get by?"
"I was kind of hoping Uncle Len would let me work on the ranch, under the table. I've got experience, spent enough summers sweating here. He can pay you, and you can make sure the kids don't do without. Maybe I could take a token salary to pay my expenses. I don't figure on needing much, car insurance, food, clothing."
His grandfather glared at him. "No token salary. A man lives under my roof, he works. We'll figure out a way to get around her gettin' any of your money. We'll have to see about some kind of caretaker for your kids."
Jonathan heard the sound of a truck pulling into the driveway, the thump-thump-thump of the big diesel easily heard indoors. He stood to get the door, but Bill Wesley, one of his Grandfather's oldest friends, walked in without knocking.
"What's got your damn panties in a bunch, Max?" the newcomer asked.
Another 20 minutes spent explaining the situation, before Bill had enough. "Mostly true. She's likely to get the kids, and sonny-boy will be expected to pay child-support, keep up the mortgage, and support her cheatin' ass as well. You said her lover gave her the advice? He's a lawyer?"
"Big screw up there. That's not kosher. Could get him disbarred. What do you know about him?"
"Nothing. He's younger, and a divorce lawyer. That's all I've got. That and apparently his wife died in an accident a couple of years ago. He was driving."
"Shit. Can't be many of those around. Let me make a few calls, and see what I can find out." He sat back, apparently concentrating. "What have you done about finances?"
"Emptied the accounts. Quit my job."
"Good. A lot of these new panty-waist lawyers will tell you to only take half. Bullshit. She'll get half eventually, but don't make it easy on the slut. Make her fight for it. Stay in control. Why'd you quit the job?"
"I was working too much overtime. I'll be damned if I'm going to let the courts base their child-support and alimony on 60 hour work-weeks. Can't pay much, if I'm broke and out of work."
"Any chance of you gettin' your boss to fire you, instead of quitting? The courts will look a lot more kindly on that. You quit, they figure what you can afford on back history. You get fired, there's a lot more wiggle room."
Jonathan smiled at the older man's analysis. Judge Bill Wesley had been district court judge longer than he could remember, only retiring a few years back. He'd know how things work, better than anybody.
"Her family's putting up with this crap? Doesn't sound like the Finnegans I know."
"They don't know yet. Nobody knows. She wants us to keep it secret."
"The hell you say! Damn slut thinks she can hide her cheating ways, does she?" He pulled what looked like a ten year old flip-phone out of his pocket, and after searching through his contacts for a minute, he was waiting for the voice on the far end.
"Jimmy. Bill here. Got some hard news for you. I hate to be the one to tell you... No, nothing like that. Your granddaughter, Susan, married to the Schritter, I mean Freemont, kid, she's cheating on him... No, I'm not fuckin' kidding... No, didn't catch her or anything, she came out and told him last night, said she's been doing it for a year... She's not leaving, at least not according to her, she wants him to be good with it, and allow her to keep screwing around... Hell, no! Of course not. You think he's some kind of fucking pussy?... Yeah, I know. Tough to hear. Always was a selfish little bitch... Not sure yet, but it ain't looking good. I thought you should know, sorry to be the messenger... Sure, I'll tell him."
Bill turned to Jonathan, the anger simmering behind his eyes. "Broke her grandpa's heart, the slut did. Nobody wants to think their kids would grow up to be like that. He's sorry, he says."
"Thanks. Damn, this is so hard to believe."
His grandfather spoke up. "You said she might be back today? You need to get home and control things. Make sure you make it damn clear you're not going along with what she's doing. No man in his right mind would."
"I think I've already done that."
"How you going to deal with that monstrosity of a house you bought."
"Figure I'd let the bank take it."
The old judge spoke up. "If her name's on the deed, she can stop you."
"I don't know what else to do."
"For now, I'd say stay in the house. Control your finances, and stop making payments. You never heard it from me, but you can hide your money. Stash cash. Drive up to Oklahoma and 'lose' most of it in the Indian casinos. Take a couple of months, if you can stand it, get your ducks in a row, and get so far behind in your payments, there's no way out. Then you deal with her. You divorce her now, your ass is grass. Play her on your line a bit, set your drag lightly."
His grandfather looked him over. "I hate to be the one to say it, but you've let yourself go, boy. You're going to be back on the market soon. You might take this time to get yourself ready. The stupid bitch thinks you can't get a woman? Her pussy is gold-plated? Shit, there ain't nothin' easier in the world. We'll have you back in the saddle in no-time."
Jonathan was a little sensitive on the subject. "I'm not the only one who let themselves go. She's not perfect."
The old man laughed. "No, but that don't matter none. Decent looking woman willing to spread her legs will always find someone to park between them. There's no denying she's still a fine looking broad. More's the pity. I hope you ain't lookin' for that kind of relationship. Your kids are going to need a real woman. Not some slut."
"I'm not ready to be dating, Grandpa. Besides, I'm still married."
"Not in spirit you're not. She left you. Remember that. you had no choice in the matter. She has a new love now. Whatever you think you had is over. You don't owe her nothin'. Hell, we can sit talking all day, but it ain't gonaa get us nowhere. Head on home. I'll talk to Len about takin' you on. Stop by tomorrow, we'll palaver some and see what Bill finds out."
Jonathan returned home, feeling better. His feelings and reactions to his wife's ambush vindicated by his elders.
There wasn't much to keep him busy, and he missed his family already. He wondered if he hadn't gone a little overboard quitting his job and closing out the accounts so quickly. Too late to worry over spilled milk. At least he felt a little more in control. Not responding to whatever the bitch insisted was her right.
He looked through the refrigerator again, trying to figure out what he was going to eat. He saw the large pile of carryout menus beside the refrigerator and looked at them in disgust. No wonder they had no money, and were out of shape. He threw the TV dinners in the trash, along with the menus. When Susan hadn't called or shown up by 7:00, he drove out to the supermarket and filled the basket with healthier options.
When he got home, Susan was waiting for him.
She looked at him, and stepped back in shock. "Jonathan?" His new appearance was unexpected.
"Susan," he said calmly, taking the half-dozen bags of groceries he was carrying, and heading for the kitchen.
She followed. "I wanted to say I'm sorry for the way things turned out last night. None of that came out the way I wanted it to. I didn't mean to hurt you. Are you calm now? Sober? Can we talk like adults?"
He shrugged. "Didn't matter how you said it. Knowing you'd thrown our marriage away for some young stud was going to hurt no matter what. You get some more great sex last night?"
She scolded herself again. Why had she brought up the sex? She knew that it would hurt him. With men, it was always about the sex. Why couldn't he understand that was the least of their problems?
"Please, Jonathan. I shouldn't have said anything about sex. It was unconscionable. Making love to you is wonderful. That's not the issue."
He laughed. "Not anymore it isn't, that's for sure. I wouldn't touch your cheating cunt with a 10 foot pole. What do you want, Susan?"
His words shocked her. He'd never spoken to her like that. Not in eleven years of marriage. She felt her anger building, but tried to stay calm. She didn't need a repeat of the night before. "I want you to understand what I'm going through. This isn't easy for me. I didn't mean to fall in love with him. I only wanted to help him through a difficult time. It doesn't have to affect us at all. I love you and I'll never leave you."