This story has just enough sex to hold your attention but no hard-core action. I love the idea of "what if" and I know everyone has thought about it at least one time in his or her life. I did three endings, pick the one you like, because life isn't black or white, there's many shades of gray out there.
You know, when something doesn't go the way kids think it should; they want a "do over." The foot ball doesn't go far enough, the dice only come up with a five instead of a twelve or you strike out in base ball; all those are "do over's" in a child's eyes. So that brings me to the question that's been going through my mind for the last twenty minutes; if you could go back in time and change any part of your life; would you? Would you, with what you know now, go back and correct all the mistakes you made in the past?
You know, like studying harder in school, choosing a different career path or not letting Lisa Thomas slip through you fingers after seeing what she looked like after losing sixty pounds. Or how about, picking someone else to spend the rest of your life with; a wife for instance.
You see, twenty minutes ago my wife and I hit a cross roads in our marriage. At this point, I don't know just how it's going to turn out, so that's why I'm asking myself that particular question. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself, maybe a little back ground information will explain why I'm asking myself this question right now.
My name is Keith and am currently married to Ann. We've been together for fifteen years and have two kids; David who is fifteen and Candy just turned ten on Saturday. Ann and I met in my senior year at college at a frat kegger. I had gone stag and Ann was with her long time boyfriend. He was getting a little too friendly around the bon fire and Ann told him to knock it off. I guess he didn't want to take no for an answer and got really obnoxious and grabbed her by her long blonde locks.
I was sitting back watching until that point. When he went to slap her I grabbed his arm and said something to the effect that, "a real man doesn't hit a women." He then proceeded to take a swing at me; the stupid shit. In less than a minute it was all over; him on the ground and me leading Ann out to my car. From that day forward, she called me "her knight in shining armor" a title I tried my best to live up to.
Not to bore you with our fairy tale romance, let's just say we fell in lust, Ann got pregnant and we got married; not what you thought right? I was head over heels in love with Ann and I knew she loved me, but I wasn't sure just how much though. She was the girl everyone wanted to possess and me, well I wasn't a dog but I wasn't in her league either. So that's how we started our wonderful life together.
I had just graduated from college and got this great entry position in a major accounting firm. Ann on the other hand had to drop out just before her senior year to give birth to David and I'm sorry to say, she never had the chance to go back and finish her degree.
The first two years were tough, something to do with a small baby and very little money; but we got by. In year three, my parents gave us the money for a down payment and we bought a cozy two-bedroom home; after that we never looked back.
Years four through twelve were finically good but we started to drift apart. By year fourteen our marriage was in the crapper and this year; let's just say I was ready to put it in the coffin and bury it.
How the hell did it get so out of hand; good question. We took care of everyone's needs but our own. We made sure the kids got to football practice, dance recitals and were always fed and clothed in the latest styles; but we stopped talking.
I'd received two promotions and had cut my traveling when Ann went back to work; so we could still have dinner together; but that to went by the wayside. The kids started to get busy and Ann, after five years with her company, took an outside sales job so she was gone two to three nights a week.
Two years ago I had my parents take the kids so we could have a weekend to ourselves. I planned it down to the last romantic detail; you can't imagine how much I was looking forward to it. At the last minute Ann had some type of emergency and had to fly out Friday morning and didn't get back until late Sunday; scratch that weekend. "We'll do it another weekend," Ann told me; but we never did.
Our so-called sex life was all but dead. We use to do it three to four times a week but that was reduced to once or twice a week until it all but stopped. I tried candles, hot oil massages and foot rubs to suggesting a few sexual toys; that didn't go over to big with her.
Finally it came to a head last Friday night. David and my father had taken off on a fishing trip and Candy was at a sleep over; "tonight's the night," I thought. In my mind I set the whole evening up and by the time Ann came home I'd already had the steaks on the grill and the wine open.
I knew soon as she walked through the door I was fucked. "Damm contract revision, I need to have them done by Monday" she fumed as she tossed her briefcase down on the desk. "You want to go out and grab a bite?" she asked.
I handed her a glass of wine and told her that there were steaks on the grill, potatoes in the oven and a salad waiting for her. "I'm not that hungry, but I guess I'd better eat something before I get to work" she announced.
"Can't it wait until tomorrow?" I asked.
"Greg wants to see my revisions by tomorrow night so we can draft up the new proposal by Monday morning and send it to our customer."
I felt like I was eating with a damm stranger. We didn't say more than two words to each other and when she finished Ann announced "she'd see me in a couple of hours."
I read the newspaper, watched a few TV shows and by 10:30 pm I went looking for her. She was in the den on the phone with her boss Greg and just waved to me.
"You almost done?" I asked.
"I'll see you upstairs in about an hour" Ann replied.
"Don't hurry on my account" I said sarcastically and walked out.
Around 12:00 Ann finally came upstairs. I faked sleep because there was no way I was going to talk to her right now; I was way too pissed. I heard her in the bathroom and felt her slip into bed. There was no spooning; that ended about two years ago, as she went to sleep.
Saturday morning I got up early and went to the gym and kicked the shit out of most of the machines. After pounding out nine mile on the treadmill I started to walk and cool down. The lady on the machine next to me spoke up, as I was about finished.
"I can't believe how far you ran, I have a hard time doing two miles," she said with a laugh. "Do you do this every day?" she asked.
"About four times a week lately, it gets rid of all the built up stress," I told her.
"Hell, you sure must have a lot of stress." she told me. " I have other ways of relieving mine that doesn't entail trying to kill my body" she laughed as she introduced herself. "My name is Linda and I just joined last month.
"Hi, my names Keith" I said as I shook her hand. "I started here about three years ago when I noticed my spare tire," I said patting my stomach. "It took me almost a year to get myself back in shape; but it was worth it." We exchanged a few more words and told each other we'd see one another next week. "If I didn't know better, I'd swear she was hitting on me" Keith said to himself as changed out of his wet clothes. We waved to one other as we walked out into the parking lot.
Ann was drinking a cup of coffee and reading the paper when I walked into the kitchen. No greeting, no welcome home kiss just a glance up from her paper to acknowledge my presence. "Any coffee left?" I asked.
"Sure, help yourself" was all she said.
"Finish your report last night?" I asked.
"Not quite, should be done by this afternoon" she replied. "Why?" she asked.
"Just wanted to know if I'll be on my own again tonight," I asked.
"I didn't plan on this" Ann snapped back at me. "It's my job."
"It always something isn't it Ann." "Your gone two to three nights a week and when you are home; you've brought work home with you or your mind is off some where else" I said disgustedly. "I'll find something to do tonight; don't worry about me" I told her as I headed upstairs.
She started to say something but didn't. "Fuck him, this is my job, let him sulk" Ann thought to herself as she went back to her papers.
Ann was talking to Greg, going over the last of the numbers, when she watched Keith walk out the door. "Where in the hell is he going?" she wondered. "Probably going to the store or something," she thought as she went back to what she was doing. When Keith didn't come back she called his cell phone but it went directly to voice mail. "Where in the hell was he?" she fumed.
I was having the time of my life at the local watering hole playing pool, darts and dancing with all the ladies. At about 12:00 I finished my beer and headed out. "Ann's going to be pissed when I get home," I said to myself. "Fuck her, she's put me on the back burner for the last fucking time" I thought as I pulled in the driveway.
"Where in the hell have you been" Ann started in on me.
"At Tony's; why?" I replied.
"You could have at least told me where you were going," she said steaming at me.
"And the reason for doing that would be what?"
"So I knew where the fuck you were god dammit." "Maybe I would have wanted to join you, did you ever think of that?" she screamed.
"Let's be serious Ann, there was no fucking way you were going to join me." "You had your precious report to finish for Greg so let's not shit each other." "So if we're through, I'm going upstairs to bed" I said as I turned my back on her and headed up the stairs.
"Don't think you're going to get any love making tonight," she yelled back at me.
"Ann, there hasn't been any love making in this house for the last two years" I said as I turned around to face her. "Even the sex we've had has been piss poor at best." "I'm done begging you for sex anymore; hell I use to think that even a mercy fuck was better than no sex at all, now I'm not so sure." "So you can do what and whom ever you want from now on, because I don't care anymore." With that I walked into the guest room, locked the door and went to sleep. Ann knocked on the door and wanted to talk, but I was way too pissed; "fuck her, I've been trying to talk for months and all I got was shit; she can kiss my ass now."
Ann had never seen Keith so angry. "He's just a little drunk, he'll be alright in the morning," she thought; but he wasn't.
I was at the gym by the time Ann rolled out of bed. The gym on a Sunday morning was almost deserted so I had my pick of machines. I was about to head back to the sauna when I saw a familiar face on the treadmills.
"Morning Linda, what brings you to the gym on a Sunday morning?" I asked.
"Hey Keith, I couldn't sleep so I thought instead of just lying in bed, I'd get up and work out; care to join me?"
We walked on the treadmill and talked for the next hour. "You want to go out and grab a bite?" she finally asked. Without even thinking I agreed.
"Let me grab a quick shower and I'll meet you in the lobby in let's say fifteen minutes" I said with a smile.
"See you then" Linda said walking towards the women's locker rooms.
Denny's was always packed on Sunday mornings but we got a small booth in the corner. It was apparent to Linda that something was on my mind as I kept twisting my wedding ring as I tried to make small talk.
"Trouble at home?" Ann finally asked.
I wasn't going to say anything, but once I started talking everything came out. Linda listened quietly without saying anything until I was done. She could tell I was physically and emotionally drained as I sat there looking at my unfinished breakfast.
"My husband died two years ago in a car accident." "We were having a rocky time of it and he took off in a huff, went through a red light and got hit." "Every day I ask myself, if we'd only talked more, kissed more and made love more; maybe we could have worked it out, but we never got the chance." "Try to find a middle ground with your wife, and if you can't, well life's too short to be unhappy" she told me.
"I'd better get my ass in gear, Ann's going to wonder where in the hell I'm at" I told her. "I really enjoyed talking to you Linda, you have a calming effect on me," I said with a smile. "See you at the gym tomorrow?" I asked.
"Wouldn't miss it for the world" she replied.
When we walked out to our cars she gave me a hug. "Things will get better one way or another," she told me as she got into her car.
"She's right, life is too short to be unhappy all the time," I said to myself as I drove home.
It was 10:00 and Ann was pissed; no note, no call, just like last night and she didn't have a clue where her husband was. She hit him with both barrels when he walked through the door.
"Where the fuck have you been?" she yelled.
"Good morning hon, how are you feeling; did you sleep well?" I asked.
"Cut the crap, where have you been all morning?"
"You were sleeping so I went to the gym and then went out for breakfast, that's all" I told her. However, I did however intentionally left out I was with another women. " no use pissing her off even more."
"It's just after last night and all I just wanted to know where you were at, that's all" she replied.
"Did you think I was so distraught that I'd go out and do something to hurt myself?" I said sarcastically. "Don't flatter yourself Ann; I meant ever word I said last night." I told her. "And now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go pick our children up; maybe if your done with your precious report, we can have a family meal for a change" I said dropping my gym bag and heading out to the garage.
I cooked hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill and Ann picked up noodle and potato salads at the store. Thank god the kids were talking a mile a minute or it would have been one quiet meal. Everyone helped with dishes so we could all watch a movie before bed. When that was over, I wrestled with the kids for a bit and told them it was bedtime and to get their butts in gear. "A quick kiss for each of them and I was alone with Ann again.
"You want to talk or are you going to sulk again?" Ann started.
She just didn't get it. It was like everything was my fault and her shit didn't stink. "Ann, I took an inside job a year ago so I wouldn't have to travel out of town any longer; so I could spend nights and weekends with my family." "You on the other hand travel to god knows where every week and we never have time for each other anymore." "I'm afraid, if we don't do something pretty quick, there'll no longer be an us any more and we'll be just like every ex's, fighting who gets the kids, the dog and the house."
"I've worked too hard to get where I'm at." " I'm not like you, I didn't have the opportunity to graduate from college; I had David instead." "So now you want me to give back everything I've gained; I don't think so." Ann said as she stared at me.
"I guess that answers my question," I said as I started up the stairs.
"Where you going?" "We're not done talking" Ann shouted up at me; but in my mind they were.
It didn't take more than ten minutes to move all my things from their bedroom into the guest room. I'd just brushed my teeth and was washing up when I heard Ann pounding on the door.
"What do you think your doing?" "Your acting like a spoiled child, open up this door" she yelled in a loud voice.
I opened the door; "What Ann, what do you want?"
"Come back to bed with me, you're my husband, I love you?" she said in a lot quieter voice.
"You going to give me some pity sex, maybe a mercy fuck tonight if I do?" "No thank you, I'd get more affection out of a $5.00 whore than what you've given me lately" I told her.
"Fine, suit yourself" Ann said in a huff, went into their bedroom and slammed the door. So the final down fall of our marriage began.
Ann threw herself into her work and was gone at least 3-4 nights per week and one weekend a month. The only time we talked was to discuss the kids schedules and who was doing what. The kids and I were now on our own. We went to all their activities without her and even though we tried to include her, she never came.
I got more and more friendly with Linda and found out she was a customer of our company. She'd fail to mention that she and her husband owned a successful business and with him now gone, she was running it by herself; will wonders never cease. We found ourselves having lunch at least twice a week and when the kids were busy, an evening dinner or two.
After about three months I'd had enough. I contacted an attorney and drew up separation papers. It had been Linda's idea. "Maybe Ann needs a shock to her system to decide if her family and her marriage mean more than her job; at least you'll get her attention" she said with a smirk.
I had her served Tuesday morning at work and that's when all hell broke loose. I was prepared. I told the switchboard not to forward any of her calls and I turned off my cell phone and waited. At about 11:00 our receptionist said there was an irate woman in the front lobby claiming to me my wife who said she wasn't leaving until I spoke with her. I waited another five minutes before walking down to the lobby.
"What the fuck is this?" she screamed at me holding a manila envelope.
"I'm not sure but I think it's separation papers" I said quietly.
"If this is your idea of a fucking joke it isn't funny and I'm not laughing" she shouted in my face.
"Ann, this isn't the time or place to discuss our personal matters; I'll be glad to talk to you when I get home tonight" I told her.
"I'll be waiting," she said as she stormed out.
"That time of the month" I said to the receptionist with a little smile.
I got home a little early but Ann was already there; wine glass in hand. I could see it wasn't her first glass and I knew this discussion was going to go down hill real fast.
What's this shit about a separation, I don't want any god damm separation," she yelled at me.
"I guess maybe your right, I think we should just file for the divorce and get it over with" I told a stunned Ann. "I thought maybe a separation would give us time to work it out, but your probably right; we'll probably end up divorced anyway so why prolong the inevitable."
"I don't want a damm divorce," Ann shouted. "You were the one who moved out of our bedroom not me."
"Very true Ann, but I got tired of being treated like your brother instead of your husband; so what choice did I have." "Look Ann, our marriage is on life support and I'm ready to plug the plug unless you can say something to convince me that I shouldn't" I told her.
"Keith, we're just going through a rough patch right now." "My works is driving me nuts but it should settle down pretty soon hon, I love you and don't want a divorce."
"Ann, this is the way it's going to play out." "I'm moving out for the next 30 days, in this way you can decide if you want to make a go of it; if not, oh well." "Your free to do what ever you need, to find out if you want to try and pick up the pieces of a once great marriage." "We can talk but I'm not going to seek you out, I'm tired of chasing you."
"This is ridicules Keith, we need to be together if we have any chance of making it."
"Ann we've been together and it's not working, aren't you listening?" "I want my wife and best friend back, not a cold business women; don't you understand?" "I'll go pack and be out of your hair as soon as possible" I told her.
As I was packing his kids came into the room. "Are you and mom getting a divorce?" they asked.
"Probably kids, not that I want one, it's just that I don't think your mom loves me any more" "No matter what happens, I will always be your dad, I love you two very much; nothing will change that" I told them as I noticed Ann in the door way.