First Wednesday of the MonthbyPAPATOAD©
There is no sex in this story.
Terry Langford was madly in love with his wife, Jessica. He fell in love with her the first time he saw her and his adoration of her grew everyday. She was smart, pretty and fun to be with. She made him feel like he was a king. He would do anything for her.
Terry and Jessica met a year after both of them finished college. Terry graduated from Penn State and Jessica from Albright College. Both of Jessica's parents died in a car accident when she was in her teens. Jessica had to put herself through college by working and using what was left of the insurance money. She worked hard and made good grades. Terry's background was a little easier then hers but he always respected what Jessica had accomplished.
They met at work and went together for about a year before deciding to get married. They were a good pair, both a little geeky and both a little shy. The nice thing was, they felt comfortable with each other. They had sex before they got married. It was clumsy but fun. They improved with practice and the sex in their married life was great. They would finish each other's sentences. They liked the same movies and types of food. Life was perfect.
Terry would stay awake sometimes at night, watching Jessica sleep. She looked angelic has she lay with her hair gently draping over her face. Occasionally she would mummer things that, most of the time, he could not understand. She always seemed to be smiling when she was talking to herself. He could make out the name, Jason, and a lot of giggling. Terry never worried about it too much. His relationship and his trust in her were too strong for this to bother him. He assumed that Jason was a childhood friend, or a relative he hadn't met. It could possibly be an old boyfriend or someone she worked with, that he didn't know. He never felt it was necessary to ask her who Jason was.
After Jessica's parents died she went to live with her aunt Harriet. Aunt Harriet moved into a retirement home when Jessica was in college. Once a month Jessica goes up to Reading to visit Aunt Harriet. She usually stays most of the day. She always has her work schedule adjusted so she can get the first Wednesday of each month off. Terry never had a second thought about her monthly trips.
A few weeks ago Terry's work took him up that way. He had a little time to kill so he thought he would drop in and meet Aunt Harriet. He had never met her but knew she and Jessica were close. He stopped and got some Jelly Bellies to take along because Jessica always took some with her. Terry found the retirement home with no problem and went to the lobby desk.
"Hi, my names Terry Langford. I'm here to see my wife's aunt, Harriet Eyrich."
The receptionist looked through her listing and asked him to repeat the name. "I'm sorry there is no one here by that name. Let me check the past lists."
He was a little confused and worried. Was Jessica lying to him and if so why? A few moments later the receptionist looked up.
"There was a Harriet Eyrich here last year but I'm sorry to say she passed away about ten months ago."
Now he was worried. Why was Jessica saying that she was coming to see her aunt every month if her aunt was no longer here? He left the bag of candy on the counter and returned to his car.
All the way home he was fighting with himself. He didn't know what to do. His perfect companion had thrown him for a loop. She was deceiving him for some reason. He never felt for a moment that she didn't love him as much as she always did, but why did she feel she had to keep a secret like this from him. Terry never let her feel that she couldn't be open and truthful with him and he was hurt. Did he do something that led her to believe that he couldn't be trusted? Is this his fault? Is he being paranoid about the whole situation? What was she doing here if her aunt had died? Should he confront her?
The last question was the hardest. He just could not bring myself to ask her about it because he really didn't want to know the answer. Terry never mentioned to Jessica that he had been to Reading or to the rest home.
Finally he couldn't stand it anymore. Terry had to get something out in the open somehow. After they finished supper one night he tried to bring up the subject of the marriage without being too obvious. Unfortunately he wasn't too good at it.
"Jessica, are you happy with the way everything is going with the marriage?"
"Why, what exactly do you mean?"
"Well you know, are we getting along ok? Are we keeping each other happy and satisfied? Is either of us doing anything to aggravate the other one? Things like that."
She came over on the couch and sat beside him. She cuddled up to him and looked into his face. She was beautiful.
"Something is bothering you. Tell me what it is." She murmured.
He couldn't do it. Terry trapped himself and now he was scrambling to figure a way out of it. He could confess what he was really worried about, said it was nothing or make something up.
She poked him in the ribs. "Come on, open up"
"I just wanted to make sure that you were happy and that I was doing everything possible to keep you that way. If there is anything at all you want from me that I am not giving you, please let me know. I love you more than anything and it is important for me that you know that."
"You silly goose. You are a great husband and the only one that could ever fill that job. There is only one thing I want and you know what it is. But I am willing to wait till you are ready because I love you more than you love me, and will do what ever you ask." She poked him again.
How could he not believe her? He did love her more than life itself and knowing she cared for him made his existence complete.
"You are talking about the baby right?"
"Of course. I am ready, and as soon as you feel the time is right we should do it. It is mean and cruel of you to tease me this way by making me hold off. " He knew she was joking but there was a hint of seriousness in what she said
He couldn't bring himself to bring up Jason or the trips to Aunt Harriet. He was afraid if he said anything he would hurt her feelings and that was the last thing he wanted to do. He loved her too much but he still had to know.
Terry would have to think of something.
The next day he made a trip back home from work at noon. He felt like a sneak but he had to do something to ease his mind. Jessica kept a file box with her important papers, birth certificate, passport, and college transcripts. Her college grades were mailed to her house at the end of each semester. The first few years went to her aunt's house but the last year went to a different address. It was addressed to her name in care of Robert Hendrix. He decided that was a good place to start so he wrote down the name and address. He opened up her college yearbook and found a Robert Hendrix, PHD, who was a theology professor at Albright. There was also a Susan Hendrix in the yearbook in the economics department.
The first Wednesday of the month was coming up. Terry arranged to have the day off but did not tell Jessica. He was hoping that he wouldn't make a fool out of himself but it had to be done. He said his goodbyes and left for work as always but instead went to Mickey D's for coffee. After a giving Jessica a good head start he took off for Reading. It was mid morning when he found the house. It was an older stone home near the college in a nice neighborhood, a fitting place for a college professor and his wife. He sat in the car for about five minutes trying to relax. Finally it was time to get it done.
Terry rang the doorbell and looked around nervously waiting for an answer. An attractive, middle age, woman greeted him and smiled.
"Why, Terry what are you doing here? Jessica didn't say you were coming. Robert and I were hoping to meet you for a long time but she said you were always too busy to come with her. I know we've never met but Jessica has shown us your picture so it was easy to recognize you. Come on in. I'll get Robert."
Now I was really freaked out. The whole situation was not what I expected. Robert came up to me smiling and held out his hand.
"It sure is nice to finally meet you, Terry. Jessica talks about you all the time and we were afraid she was hiding you from us. How come you didn't just come up with her today?"
I was stumped. I didn't know what to say or how to approach things. My uneasiness must have been apparent. Robert and Susan looked at each other with troubled expressions on their faces. Finally Susan spoke. "Jessica didn't tell you anything about Jason, did she Terry?"
I was embarrassed. "No, she didn't. I had an idea, but I never ask her and she never brought him up. I don't know anything about Jason. She always told me she was going to see her aunt Harriet. I found out that Harriet died and was wondered where she was going so I followed her. I don't know anything about Jason except that she mentions him in her sleep sometimes."
There was an awkward silence. Robert felt obligated to explain. "Terry, it is not in our place to tell you about Jason. We were under the impression that Jessica had told you everything. She said she was afraid to mention it to you because you would think less of her and she loved you too much. We told her she had to tell you before you found out, but it appears that she just couldn't bring herself to do it."
"I love Jessica very much and I didn't want to ask her any questions that would be difficult for her to answer. It appears that she felt the same way and didn't want to tell me anything that would make me feel uncomfortable. I know that you don't want to be caught in the middle of this but it is pretty clear the two of us will not be able to resolve this without outside help. Please you have to help me out here. I promise I will not be upset with Jessica after you tell me and I will not be angry with you for divulging anything. I do need to know and you have to help me here."
Susan and Robert looked a each other and after a short while Susan smiled. "Promise you would be upset with us or her."
"OK. Jessica is outside with Jason right now. I will tell you a short version of what happened and then you will have to get her to explain it to you in more detail. I don't want either of you to me mad at us. It all started in Jessica's last year of school. She was running out of money to finish and her Aunt Harriet had gotten to the point where it was necessary to put her in a full time care facility. Jessica had no place to live or enough money for tuition and books even though she was working. About that time Robert and I put a notice in the school paper that we were looking for a surrogate mother for our baby. I had good eggs and Robert had good sperm but I was unable to carry to term. We were looking for a girl to carry my egg fertilized with Robert's sperm for us. Jessica was the only one to respond to our request. The three of us got together to reach an agreement. We were willing to pay for her last years tuition and books, let her live here and of course take care of all medical bills if she would carry our baby for us. She agreed to that but insisted on having the option of naming the baby and also being able to see the baby anytime she wanted to. We had a lawyer draw up all the papers and everything was fine till Jessica went to the doctor for her first exam. It seems that she was still a virgin. She had never had sex and her maidenhead was still intact. Since she wasn't going to be able to deliver the baby that way it was decided to go ahead with the procedure. Anyhow, the egg was fertilized and deposited. Everything went fine and nine months later we had a beautiful son that Jessica named Jason."
"Then Jason is Jessica's son?"
"Jessica gave birth to him but he has our DNA. I guess you could say he has three parents that all love him. We can never thank her enough for what she has done for us. Please understand that what she did she did out of love and necessity. I am sure that she didn't tell you because she just couldn't figure out how to explain it without taking the chance of you thinking less of her for doing it. She loves you very much and doesn't want to hurt you. Please give her the same consideration."
I was at a loss for words. I wanted to say something deep and meaningful but nothing came out. I just sat and smiled.
"Are you all right with this?" Roberts asked
"Yes, I think I love her more than I did before, if that is possible. She is a wonderful person and I am proud that she picked me to marry. I am ashamed that I ever had any doubts about her at all. Do you think it would be OK if I got to meet Jason now?"
Susan smiled. "They are down in the yard by the swings. You go down there and Robert and I will bring lunch down for us all shortly."
As I walked down the grassy slope Jessica looked up. She had a small apprehensive smile on her face as if she was glad to see me but worried at the same time. Jason saw me and said something to her. They both smiled again and he ran up to me. I smiled at Jessica to relieve her worry and knew then that it was time. I love my wife more than anything and I know she will have beautiful children.