Casualty radius is defined as the radius of a circle about the point of detonation in which it may be expected that 50 percent of exposed troops will become casualties.
Sometimes the effects of infidelity reach beyond those cheating and those being cheated on.
He stopped on the steps of the building to allow his body to adjust to the bright sunlight and heat. He required the time to reacclimatize after two hours in the air conditioned windowless rooms of the police headquarters. As he cleaned the lens of his sunglasses, which had fogged up with temperature change, she came out and stood beside him. He slipped on his sunglasses and commented "I figured it had to be something really bad to drive a man to commit murder suicide."
"You sound like you approve of what he did."
"I do not condone what he did but understand....at least the murder part."
After standing quietly for a few seconds he asked. "Are the kids OK?"
"Yes, they were at a sleepover when it happened though I doubt he would have harmed them. CPS is supposed to be turning them over to my parents today."
After waiting till somebody walked past them she asked "You seem awfully calm about this, are you OK?"
He started walking toward the parking garage and she followed him. The heat radiated off the pavement and sidewalk, the sunlight was reflected off the glass buildings. They had only been outside a few minutes but they had already begun to sweat.
"To be honest I don't have anything left emotionally. While I am on a business trip my best friend, whom I thought had a good marriage kills his wife, your sister, while she is in bed with his boss, he kills his boss and then himself. All this after he found about her committing adultery for at least the past two years. I just spent two hours being questioned by the police to see if I can provide any more information about the situation ."
He stopped at his pickup truck and turned to face her. It would be incorrect to call the shade of the parking garage cooler; less hot would be a better description.
She looks at the ground. "It was not her intent to hurt him and sex is not worth killing somebody or yourself over."
He said nothing but climbed in to his truck. She noted for the first ever he had not bothered to come around to the other side and open the door for her. He started it up but left his door opening. He set the AC to max and let it cool down the interior. She watched him but remained silent. He seemed deep in thought. When the truck had cooled down to his liking he shut the door, put the AC on normal then exited the garage. The drive to their home was made without either of them saying anything.
Their home was a large one, a bit much for just too people but it was what she wanted. The house was cool the only sound was that of the AC working overtime. He headed straight to the kitchen and got himself a beer, not bothering to ask if she wanted anything. He then disappeared into the den. She got herself an ice tea and then followed him in. He was printing something off the computer. She sat on the couch and watched him. He finally turned toward her.
"When is Bill's funeral?"
"Day after tomorrow. Kristy's is ..."
He interrupted her before she could finish "I don't care when the whore's is I won't be going."
"She is my sister and she just made a mistake she did not deserve to die for. You have no business calling her a whore." She paused. "Look I know you are upset but you cannot not go to her funeral. What would people say?"
"I will not be a hypocrite. After finding out the type of person she was I do not morn her passing and all things considered would be best if you didn't attend Bill's."
She decided to change the subject. "I want to talk to you about their kids. I think we should take them in with us. My folks are getting old and we have the room."
"I agree that your parents are getting too old but I think your brother and his wife would be a better choice."
""Why is that? We have the room and they would not have to change schools or move away from their friends. We are their God parents as well."
"I will get to that." He paused for a moment then asked " What was Kristy's intent? Earlier you said that it was not her intent to hurt him. I am just wondering what her intent was then."
She shifted on the leather couch, even with the AC going full blast she was starting to sweat.
"Kristy never wanted to hurt him, he was not supposed to find out. " She paused again. He just stared at her as if waiting for a better explanation. She continued.
"She did not want out to the marriage Bill was working so much she never saw him. I guess she got a little resentful."
He replied, more than a little agitated. "She was not too resentful to spend the money he earned. He worked all those hours to afford the big house with a pool she insisted they have along with the nice car she wanted and those vacation she just had to have. Ironic isn't it how all those extra hours made it easier for her to linkup with his boss?"
"We have this big house and you do not have to work all those hours."
"I made it clear to you that if we got this house there were other things you would have to do without. No country club membership. You drive a Focus instead of a Lexus and we don't go on vacation to Bora-Bora or Hawaii. Kristy took advantage of Bill's love for her, you never have or maybe I just never gave you that opportunity."
She decided to try and explain it further "It was more than that. She felt she was getting older and feeling unattractive. She needed to feel other men still found her attractive. She was getting bored with stay at home mom thing since the kids started school"
"So being a fucking slut made her feel attractive? If she was feeling so bored maybe she should have gotten a job and taken some of the pressure off of her poor old hard working husband." He took a long draw on his beer.
She started grasping at straws. "She was depressed maybe it was something to do with her hormones." She looked down at the coffee table noticing the ring the glass had left.
He took another drink sat back and for the first time since the incident happened a brief smile appeared.
"It is amazing" he said. "A woman has all these things she can hide behind to avoid accountability for her actions; hormones, depression, PMS, postpartum depression, bad hair day, boredom or just feel like they are getting old. Then to fix any slutting around they get caught at they suggest counseling. " He paused to take another drink.
He continued. "Imagine if a man tried to use those excuses. How about if I told you I was banging that young intern in our office because I was feeling old or my testosterone was out of whack? Would you accept that if we just went to some counselor so he could ask me "How does that make me feel?" Would that make everything OK? "
She slammed her hand down on the table and replied with anger and frustration "Alright, how about she just needed more than he was giving her in bed. Maybe he was lousy in bed and she wanted good sex. Is that what you want to hear? Maybe Bill wasn't the Saint you think he was."
"So after all those years of marriage Bill just stopped being good enough? Did she ever try to talk to Bill and work on it together? Could she at least had the decency not to whore herself out to people he knew and worked with. Better still since he wasn't passing muster at divorced him before taking care of her cunt?"
"I told you she did not want a divorce she still loved him. Talking to him would just have ruined his poor little fragile male pride."
"More than likely your whore sister loved the money he brought in. Even with child support and whatever else she could have squeezed out of him her lifestyle would have taken a downturn with a divorce. He was just paycheck to her while she got her sex elsewhere." He stood up and started pacing. "If she really cared about his pride she would not have done the stuff she did to begin with. When all is said and done a man has to have his pride left if nothing else. He has to be able to look at himself in the mirror in the morning. Would you respect a man who did not respect himself? Not for long I bet."
"What you say may be true but it is no reason to take out my sister's action on me or her kids. Those kids are my niece and nephew, we are their God parents and they need a home."
He walked over to his desk; picked the paper he had printed and handed it to her. "Bill sent me an email the night he confronted the slut, your sister. As you can see he gave me the complete details of her actions and yours."
She read the paper "So what? I did not cheat on you. She was my sister and I could not tell Bill or you what she was doing. I tried to get her to stop and warned her about the possible harm she would cause if she got caught but she wouldn't listen. Besides none of this has anything to do with us taking in the kids."
"All what you have said is true except for the "us" part of it. There probably is not going to be an "us" and the kids do not need the added disruption to their lives."
"What do you there is not going to be an us?" She shift on the couch, she was starting to stick to it. She had forgotten about her ice tea the cubes having melted and diluted it down.
"Well that depends on how you can excuse your actions. He told me he found out that Kristy was cheating on him and he was going to confront her. As you can see he had a lot of details. He also seemed to be upset about your part in it. You were your sister's alibi while she was slutting around. You were who she left the house with on your weekly girl's night out. You were both supposedly attending those cooking classes together or on shopping trips. It turns out the nights you went over to keep her company while Bill was working late were really you just babysitting so she could go slutting around. You lied to me as well as Bill. I was without your company two nights a week and part of Saturday so your sister could have an affair."
"I told you I could not betray my sister."
"Let us just say I buy into your excuse that your loyalty to your sister outweighed the loyalty you owed me, Bill or by extension your God children. Your loyalty to your sister did not extend to enabling her to commit her adultery. You did not have to be her alibi. You could have kept silent but also refused to aid her. Your assistance gives the impression that you approved of her activity."
"I told you I tried to talk her out of it."
"But you went ahead and assisted her anyway. That is the first issue we have to deal with there are more problems connected to this besides your lying to me."
"Other problems; what other problems?"
He sat back at his desk and just stared at eh computer screen. "While your sister was slutting around on the nights she was supposed o be out with you or attending class with you I am left wondering what my loyal, faithful wife who would never lie to me was doing. Was she behaving herself or was she getting a little on the side also."
"I am not going to apologize for not betraying my sister. Perhaps I should not have given her cover but I told you I would never cheat on you, isn't that enough?"
"You mean the way you told me that you and her were attending cooking classes or shopping or you were going out together for girl's night s out and you were going to keep her company while Bill was working? Am I supposed to start believing you now?"
"This is crazy. You are just upset by the deaths. There is no reason for you to not believe me just because I helped my sister. I love you and my covering for my sister had nothing to do with that. She was the one cheating not me."
He turned to face her "And I should believe you why? Because you would never lie to me? For at least two years you have been lying to me but even if I decided I could believe you there is one thing I will never be able to forgive or forget."
"What could that possibly be? If you love me enough you should be able to get over all this."
Pointing at the paper in front of her. "That email I got from Bill not only gave the details of Kristy's affairs and your parting them but Bill also implies since you were involved in covering up for her that I might have also known what was going on. My best friend since the fourth grade thought I might have betrayed him because my wife betrayed him. I sent him an email back explaining how I was as much in the dark as he was but I will probably never know if he read it. I have to live with the fact that my best friend maybe went to his grave thinking I was among those who betrayed him thanks to you. For that I will never forgive you."
She was quite, making no attempt at a reply.
"That is why "we" are not going to take custody of the kids. There is not going to be a "we." As one of those who betrayed Bill you should not be at his funeral. I do not plan on filing for a divorce for a couple of months as your parents are going through enough right now and don't need us piling more on. For that reason and that reason only I will attend Kristy's funeral. Until then we can start separating our finances and figure out what we are going to do with the house. You should move into one of the guest rooms today."
He left the room to the sounds of the AC running and her sobbing.