Caller ID Ch. 11byKathi©
The next few weeks saw Maggie settling back into her old routine. She continued to take her birth control pills because she was anticipating Roberto coming back for one more fling before he was gone forever. Marvin's attitude was bothering her but she couldn't put her finger on it. He seemed upset when he was told that Roberto was back in Miami and that he would not be meeting him any time soon. He avoided sex with her claiming that he had hurt his back playing golf and the one time she insisted on it and practically raped him he had immediately gone into the bathroom and taken a shower when they were through.
Marvin listened to several of her conversations with Roberto through the bathroom medicine cabinet and his daily check of the Caller ID on his phone showed that there was a call from Miami every day at almost exactly one o'clock but no matching Caller ID indicator on the house phones. He had finally figured out that the phones in the house all belonged to the same set and that they did not control the older one in the garage.
Marvin was still not sure what he was going to do but his internal debate was not about whether or not his marriage was over. From his viewpoint it had ended the day he figured she forged the birth control prescription and bought the condoms. His concern was for the girls and he wanted to protect them without him coming off looking like the bad guy. He was afraid that if he confided in them and accused their mother of cheating on the family they would take her side and not look at the facts and the evidence.
The girls also seemed to be at odds with each other. Sixteen year-old Jessica hardly ever left her mother's side and 18-year old Megan was always near him. She frequently told him how much she loved him and she hugged him more often than he remembered her ever doing so.
He spent less and less time at home of if he was home he was busy in his playroom or in the garage. He and Maggie had not had a meaningful conversation in several weeks but she didn't seem to notice. She was preoccupied with something and he knew exactly what it was. The three phone calls he managed to listen in on were all about sex and how soon she and Roberto could get together again since Roberto's father was not letting him go back to Charleston until Thanksgiving break.
Marvin managed to get a peek at Maggie now and then and he took note that she continued to let the hair grow under her arms and she was regularly shaving her pubic hair. She had mentioned that fact in one of the overheard conversations and Marvin knew why and for whom she was doing it.
It was the third week after Roberto left that during Wednesday dinner Maggie announced she had to go to Jacksonville, Florida for a weekend meeting of the Southeast Conference Sports Medicine Specialists. She would be driving down with one of her staff from the college. The meeting was to be held all day Saturday and Sunday morning so she would leave on Friday evening and return on Sunday night. She and Cindy, her staffer, would share a room in the hotel where the conference was being held.
Immediately after dinner Megan jumped up and went to her room without saying anything to anyone. She returned a few minutes later with fire glowing from her eyes in her bright red face.
Walking over to Marvin sitting alongside the pool she sat down next to him and said, "Daddy, can I come into the office tomorrow? One of my braces needs adjusting."
"Here, let me take a look at it," he said and moved to get up.
"No, I'd rather do it tomorrow. It's OK for now and I have some things to do tonight."
Marvin was surprised when Megan showed up at is office shortly after it opened. His nurse told him she was there and brought her into the examining room as soon as he was finished with his first patient.
"You're up early this morning. It must be hurting you," he joked as Megan hugged him and kissed him. "Here sit down and I'll take a look."
"It's not hurting at all. That's not what's wrong with me," she said and started to sob.
Marvin pushed his examining stool over to her and after he helped her sit down she didn't let go of his hand. She held it to her face and he could feel the tears wetting his flesh.
"My God, she's pregnant!" was his first thought.
"What's the matter honey? Tell me."
Megan stood up and wrapped her arms around him.
"Daddy? Do you love mommy?"
"Yes, of course I do," he automatically replied but his thoughts rejected his spoken answer.
"Well," she sobbed. "I don't think she loves you or us anymore!"
Marvin immediately knew what she was talking about. She had found out somehow and it was eating her up. That's why she had seemed so cold and distant the last few weeks.
Pushing her gently away he looked into her face and asked, "Why do you think that, honey?"
He already thought he knew the answer but he didn't want to blurt out something in case he was wrong.
"Daddy!" Megan stared into his eyes through her tears. "She's having an affair!"
Her grip on him tightened and she buried her face in his chest as her body heaved with racking sobs.
"I'm sorry I have to be the one to tell you but I can't keep it in anymore," she said in a voice muffled by his lab smock.
"It's OK sweetheart. I already know about it."
She pulled back and looked at him, "You did? How did you find out? Are you angry? Why didn't you tell me?"
"I overhead some conversations and I found some stuff that made me believe it was true and yes, I'm angry, and hurt and I didn't tell you because I haven't figured out how to do that. You've solved that problem anyway."
"What are we going to do?"
"I don't know sweetheart. I'm so sorry you had to find out. How did you find out?"
"I saw them. You know his name is Roberto don't you?"
Marvin nodded is head.
"I saw him go into her motel room and stay there all night when we were at that tournament."
"Is that what you were arguing about when you came back from that bus trip?"
"Yes, and she lied to me!"
"Honey, she's lied to everybody including herself!"
"Now just go home and try not to be upset. Maybe I'll have a better idea of what I'm going to do when she comes back from her Sports Medicine meeting.
"Daddy! Don't you know?" she wailed. "She's not going to any meeting. I checked with Cindy's...Mrs. Wright's daughter and she told me her family is going to Hilton Head for the weekend. I think she's....she's going to be with him!"
"Oh, sweetheart, I'm sorry, I had no idea. Please calm down. I wish you weren't involved in all of this and I tried to keep it from you to protect you. We'll work things out somehow. Now go home and don't say anything. OK?"
"OK, daddy. I love you. I have to go wash my face first."
There was no call from Roberto when he checked his phone that evening. Something must have happened to disrupt their secret little method of communicating. Marvin was almost happy with the absence of a call and he allowed himself to think that maybe something happened and it was over. He had considered putting a recorder on the phone but he didn't know how to do that and he didn't want to involve anyone else in this mess.
Maggie was reading a book out by the pool when Marvin came out and sat down next to her. Marvin watched her as she read and wondered what goes through someone's mind when they know that they are in the midst of a process that could destroy a family and a way of life.
After a few minutes, she turned a page and looked over at him, "What are you looking at me for?"
"I'm just wondering what you are thinking about?" he replied.
She seemed to tense up for a moment before she answered, "Oh, nothing in particular. Just the story I'm reading."
Marvin continued to look at her in silence.
"Why, what's wrong?" she seemed unnerved.
"Maggie, we've been married for over 20-years now!"
"You don't have to tell me that. I know!" she said and sat up straighter in her chair with a worried look on her face.
"I think we have been relatively happy for most of those years, don't you?"
"Yes. What are you getting at?" she said with a little tremor of nervousness surfacing in her voice.
"The girls are getting to the point where they won't be with us much longer. Megan wants to go away to school and Jessica will be finishing high school a year early so she'll be gone too."
"And?" her voice sounded worried to him.
"Well, maybe we should try and spend some more time together. We are so busy with our other activities we don't have much time as a couple anymore."
"We see each other every day, don't we?" she offered.
"Yes, but that's not what I mean. We don't spend any time doing anything together. It's all about the house or the girls or work or something."
Marvin could see that she was getting agitated. She wasn't sure where he was going with this and he was not going to let her off of the hook.
"Well, if you'd stop playing golf and poker and watching Monday Night Football maybe we would have more time together," she said in her special accusatory tone.
"Yes, I can do that and I will! I'll tell you what. Let's go somewhere for the weekend. Maybe just a hotel in town for a night. Dinner, maybe dancing, do it up right. What do you say?"
She paused for a moment as if considering his offer but in fact her mind was whirling.
"You know I have the sports meeting this weekend."
"Yes, that's what you told me, but it can't be more important than our relationship. Maybe you could skip it and let Cindy fill you in so we can work on our marriage a little."
"Our marriage?" she was angry now. "There's nothing wrong with our marriage! What are you implying?"
"I'm not implying anything. Is there something I should be implying?"
"This is going nowhere! I'm going to bed and I am going to Jacksonville!"
"Well, no one can say I didn't try," he said as she arose from her chair.
"What do you mean by that?" she spat at him.