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Forgiveness, Just Another F Word


I've been sick to my stomach for the last week, ever since returning from my latest business trip. I didn't have diarrhea or the flu, it was worse, much, much worse than that; I'd stepped out on my wife Linda.

I know what you're going to say, that what kind of low life would cheat on his wife. I've said that and a million other worse things to myself and right now I'm feeling lower than whale shit. I look at her when I come home from work and my stomach tightens into a knot and all I want to do is cry. The worst part about it is that I had unprotected sex and may have passed something on to my wife. How could I have been so fucking stupid?

I could claim that I was drunk, but I wasn't. We'd been drinking for a couple of hours after a long day of boring meetings but I wasn't drunk. When everyone left and if I hadn't decided to have one more for the road I wouldn't be in this pickle. If had just gone back to my room I could be smiling at my wife and enjoying her body; instead I'm sitting on the toilet trying to push out a lung or at least a spleen so I'd feel maybe a little bit better. But whom am I kidding; it's never going to go away.

She sat down on the stool next to me, smiled and ordered herself a drink. Did I pay attention to her? Hell, yes. When a dynamite looking woman sits next to you and then smiles at you, you take notice unless you've already taken your last breath.

She, like me was traveling on business, but unlike me, she wasn't married; or at least wasn't wearing a wedding ring. We started talking innocently at first, then a little flirting and finally when she put her hand on my arm, sparks flew. At that point I should have excused myself and gone back to my room, but I didn't. We kept talking and the flirting became more rampant as I now touched her arm. She was the one who suggested going to the lounge and dancing, not me. I would have been just happy to spend our time talking.

Why did all the songs have to be slow ones? I'm not a good dancer but we weren't moving much at this point anyway. I could feel the beads of sweat dripping down the back of my neck and I felt her hand caress my back as mine moved from her back southward.

One of us suggested a nightcap but I should have been the one to dig in my heels when she mentioned in her room. When we got inside I knew it was wrong for her to kiss me especially when I kissed her back, trading tongues as we both tried to undress the other while standing there with our tongues in each others mouths.

I must have said to myself a hundred times this was wrong but my little brain was in control at this point. To put it bluntly, we kissed, had a lot of mutual oral sex and screwed until we were both exhausted. Finally, finally my big brain kicked in and asked me to explain what I'd just done. That's when the cramps started.

I excused myself, got dressed and went back to my room. My phone was blinking and I listened to the voice message my wife had left. It was too late now to call and what excuse could I give for missing her call anyway.

"I'm sorry, I had my tongue halfway down some strangers throat and couldn't talk when you called," that would go over really big wouldn't you say? So I did what every other cheater probably did, clean away the evidence and try to forget it. That didn't happen.

I called her from the airport and made up some lame excuse and said I'd see her later that night. I spent the entire three hours on the plane praying to God she wouldn't find out and asking for his forgiveness vowing to be the perfect husband from that minute forward, but my cramps didn't go away. I think it was God's way of punishing me.

Linda was all over me when I got home. Being married just seven years, we still were in the honeymoon stage of our relationship. She was what most guys dreamed about having, Five foot five, one hundred and five pounds with cute short blond hair and a killer body; what was I thinking. I tried my best to perform, but just couldn't. All I could see was that other woman every time I looked at my wife. The sex with her hadn't even been that good, it was nothing like what I experienced with Linda, not even close. Well, why in the hell did I do it? That was the question that kept wracking my brain. If I was so happy with Linda, why did I cheat?

I dragged my ass to work but was basically useless. After about a week of this, Linda told me to go to the doctor; thinking it was something serious, and it was. Like I thought, there was nothing physically wrong with me, my brain was making my body pay me back for what I'd done.

Saturday I got her off with a combination of lips, tongue and fingers but couldn't get it up. She was worried and I was scared she'd see right through me and figure it out. After two week more of this I'd decided to come clean and tell her. She thought I had some incurable disease and was dying; she was only half right.

Friday night with the kids finally tucked away I sat her down in the living room and told her. Hell, I spilled my guts telling her every sordid detail to finally get it off my chest. I felt better for a whole twenty-two seconds.

A miserable piece of shit is how she started, before moving to cheating bastard and it finally ended with her screaming at me, crying and running up to what used to be our bedroom. I now felt worse if that was possible.

I sat on the couch all night wondering what was next. Did I sleep? Hell, I don't even think I breathed more than a couple of times that night. I wanted to die and I think at this point Linda would have gladly helped me. It would have been kinder to have her find me dead Saturday morning than what happened.

"Leave. Steve, get the hell out of here before I strangle you with my bare hands," she yelled at me. "I never want to see your cheating face ever again, do you hear me?"

I was still stuck on her first word and by the time it sunk in the others that followed had gone in one ear and out the other as she continued yelling other things at me.

"Linda, can we at least talk about it?"

My grandma's crystal platter crashed against my forearm as I put it up when I saw Linda grab it and toss it my way. It didn't shatter but broke into three pieces. It didn't hurt, how could it with my heart racing at twice its normal speed. When she reached for the lamp I moved forward and wrapped my arms around her.

"All right, I'll leave," I said trying to diffuse what was happening but it didn't do much good.

"Take your shit and leave," she screamed through her blood shot eyes as she clenched her fists. "Steve, can't you just fucking leave?" she screamed one more time before starting to cry.

I wanted to grab her and comfort her, but that wasn't going to happen now or any time soon, or maybe ever.

I packed two suitcases and walked down the stairs. Linda glared at me and I slithered under the door and left. There was a Motel 8 about two blocks from where I worked so I checked in there. I got a corporate rate because I told them I wanted it for at least two weeks. I figured after two weeks maybe she'd calm down enough to talk to me. So my exile started.

I called my kids every other day and asked if mommy wanted to talk to me? The answer was always the same. Since Linda didn't work, my checks went automatically into our checking account. When I went to the bank and couldn't get any money I found out that she'd taken out all our money and opened a new account. We didn't have a hell of a lot, but I stopped the automatic deposits the next day.

After two weeks, I stopped at the house after work to try and talk to her. She opened the door and then slammed it in my face. Guess she was still too angry. Every Friday I stopped home after work and every time she refused to talk to me. I saw my kids and they wanted to know when I was coming home and all I could tell them was, soon I hoped.

Word spread through my family and although I was the black sheep everyone hoped that we could work it out, including me. How could we work it out if she wouldn't at least talk to me? I went to see her parents.

I let them tear me a new asshole for the first half hour. I asked, no I pleaded with them to talk to their daughter to at least talk with me. I would go to counseling, hell, I'd crawl on my hands and knees to her if she'd give me five minutes. They said that they'd try but not to get my hopes up.

After a month she called. Not to talk but to rag on me because she was getting low on money.

"I need you to put your paychecks into my checking account. The bills are coming due and I don't have enough money to cover them."

"No," was all I said.

"What do you mean no? I need that money, you owe me," she yelled through the phone.

"Linda I don't owe you anything. I will support my kids, but I don't owe you a thing. I've tried to talk to you for the last couple of months and you've refused. Unless something changes, we'll be divorced by the end of the year. I sure as hell don't want that, but I can't fix our problems by myself." She hung up on me.

Three days later I was served. It wasn't the standard boilerplate terms and conditions, she was claiming adultery as the reason. I was devastated. I took Thursday and Friday off to feel sorry for myself. My parents felt sorry for me but told me in no uncertain terms that it was entirely my fault. When I yelled at them and told them, didn't they think I knew that without everyone reminding me everyday, they asked me to leave.

I guess I lost it when she had a restraining order filed against me. I could not come within two hundred and fifty yards of my house. Now when I called to talk to my kids she refused to let them talk to me.

"When you start depositing your checks again maybe I'll let you talk to them," she told me. I knew I'd fucked up, but this was wrong, this just wasn't right.

I fought it, but lost on all counts. It was then that I got angry. I got an injunction to remove all of my belongings from the house. I went there with a moving van and took all my tools, clothes and everything I'd had before we'd gotten married. I had a court-approved list and a sheriff with me so there wouldn't be any problems.

When I took the stereo she wasn't happy, but when the movers loaded up the big screen television and the microwave she got angry. When they took out the bed out of our bedroom she was livid and swearing at me. The sheriff more than once had to tell her to settle down.

"Linda I didn't want it to come to this, but you gave me no choice." She told me to fuck off.

I ended up moving in with my parents out of necessity. The motel was getting too expensive, my lawyer fees were going through the roof and I need to see a friendly face once in a while.

Linda's lawyer went to court and the judge setup temporary spousal and child support payments; it was for almost three quarters of what I was making. My lawyer said we could fight it but it would take time.

"I can't live on what's left, it's not even enough to rent an apartment." He told me to get a second job.

That night I found myself at my house pounding on the front door, asking for Linda to talk to me when the policemen arrived. The kids were crying, looking out the window while the policemen explained that I was in violation of my restraining order.

"Linda, I know you can hear me," I shouted. "Unless you talk to me, I'm quitting my job tomorrow and you'll get nothing, ever; do you hear me? Please, I love you, don't do this to us," I screamed through my tears. I saw her look at me for a split second and then she was gone. I was escorted off the premises.

"Dan, this is my letter of resignation effective today," I said handing it to him. I explained what was going on, and said that Linda had turned her lawyer loose on me and that they wanted more than their pound of flesh.

"Steve, I'm sorry and I don't want to lose you. Let's just say you're quitting for what, three, four months? You'll be off the books but your job will be waiting for you when this all blows over. Take care of the home front and good luck; it looks like your going to need it." I also fired my attorney and cancelled my cell phone. I was now unemployed, living at home with my parents with a total of five hundred dollars to my name.

"What do you mean you quit your job? You loved that job?" Linda screamed at me over my parents phone.

"I loved you more, but it looks like I've lost both."

"You can't do this to me and the kids."

"I've already done it. Call my work and talk to Dan; it's a done deal. We'll probably lose the house and I'm sorry to say both cars will be gone in about two months when we don't make the payments. Tell your pit-bull of a lawyer to send over the papers and I'll sign them, but I've got five hundred dollars left in the world so that's about all he's going to get. You won Linda, you finally broke me; I hope it was worth it." I hung up this time.

The papers never came. My dad asked what my plans were but like I told everyone, I hadn't a clue. I missed my kids and even my wife, or ex-wife, but had reached the point of not caring any longer. I'd fucked up my life and it was time to move on.

"Steve, honey, you've got to eat something, you're losing too much weight," my mom told me. She was right, these last six months had been hard on all of us, especially me.

My dad wasn't so nice. "Son, get your head out of your ass. You can't whine about it forever. Be a fucking man and pick yourself up for Christ's sakes. You're starting to make me sick just looking at what you've become." He was right.

I told Dan that I wasn't coming back. "Linda is divorcing me and refuses to even let me see my kids and the fucking court won't even make her. I'm just tired and it's time to pick up what's left of my life and move on." I shook his hand and he told me to use him as a reference when I eventually figured it out.

Dad said I was running away and mom just said to write wherever I ended up. I had sold my television and everything else and was walking away with a grand in my pocket and two suitcases of clothes. They hadn't picked up my car yet so at eight o'clock in the morning I was on the road. I left a note for my mom and Linda, my wedding ring and my grandfather's pocket watch to be given to my son. I was angry with Linda for taking it this far, but was angrier with myself for starting the whole damn thing.

Two states later I stopped. I needed a job, any job to give me some type of income to live on. For the next three months I did a million shit jobs to pay the rent and put food on the table. I was tending bar when a group of businessmen came it. I'd seen them before and couldn't help but listen to their tale of woe.

"I need someone who can sell snow to an Eskimo and I need him yesterday. My two best salesmen left last month and you can't believe the crap that's out there."

I wrote my current phone number down on an old business card along with Dan's extension.

"I can sell snow to an Eskimo and teach him to sell it to his friends," I said pushing my card over to him. You can check with my ex-boss if you don't believe me," I said now moving over to get a drink for someone else. By the time I got back they were gone but at least they took the card.

When he didn't come back the next week I was sure he'd tossed the card. The following Tuesday he showed up just after five.

"Dan backs up your story and says I'd be a fool to let you slip through my fingers. My only question is if you're that good, why are you working here?" I gave him the short version and I was hired on the spot.

I worked hard. Hell, that's all I did, what else was there to do. I sent my mom fifty percent of my first check to give to Linda but not to tell her where I was; I didn't need her pit-bull of a lawyer fucking up my second chance. I just went to work and gave him a hundred and fifty percent.

When I stopped after work for a drink and a woman sat next to me and said hi; my cramps came back. I left, went back to my small apartment and sent another five hundred dollars to my mom for Linda. The cramps went away.

I'd been gone for almost a year when my mom called me; she was the only one on earth that had my unlisted cell number.

"Linda is asking about you,"

"You didn't?"

"No I didn't tell her where you were, but you'd be easy to find if she hires a private detective. She just wanted to know how you were; I told her you were doing ok under the circumstances."

"She's probably is going to track me down now that I've got a job again. I fucked up but why couldn't she just leave me alone like she told me to do?"

Steve, I don't know, I just thought you should know."

I thanked my mom and told her to give dad my love.

"If I get the year end bonus I think I'm going to get, I'll send you something nice."

"Just come home for the holidays, that would be the best present I could ask for."

"Can't mom, and we both know why not. Just take care, I love you."

The holidays sucked. Hell it was worse than that but I survived. I did get the bonus and sent Linda a little extra along with something special for my parents.

When Fran sat down on the seat next to me at the club I waited for my cramps to start, but they didn't. She was tall, long brown hair and oh so good looking. I bought her a drink and ended up spending the night talking with her. Did I try to get her in the sack? Hell no, wasn't going there again, but did make a date with her for the following Thursday.

She wanted to know everything about me and wasn't shy about asking. When I mentioned that I was separated from my wife she didn't bat an eye but did ask me questions about the who and why.

"Fran, I screwed up one time in my entire life and it cost me everything I had built up to that point. But, my ex made sure I relived my mistake every day until I finally had enough and left."

"Do you still love her?"

"That's a tough one. I guess I kind of do, well, the old Linda anyway not the new bitch she became. I'm sorry, I guess it's still a little raw but after a couple more of these I get numb to it." I said ordering another round.

Dinner was wonderful. She was the type of woman that made you feel relaxed to be with. When she suggested a nightcap at her motel room, I respectively declined; telling her when my divorce became final I'd love to take it a step further but not now. We went out twice more before she said that her project here was done and she had to go back home. I told her next time she came to town to let me know a head of time so I could make some plans. She smiled, gave me a big kiss with enough tongue for me to think twice about not taking her up on her offer.

"I'll see you again," she told me as she pulled out of the restaurant parking lot. After that night I buried the old Steve.

I still worked hard, probably harder than two men put together but I now took time for myself. I ate right, started going to the gym and began running again. My energy level increased and I looked the best I had in a long time. I still sent money home every week, but was at the point in my life to take the next step towards recovery.

"Mom, I want you to have Linda send me the divorce papers. I'll sign them and put an end to my yearlong nightmare. Tell her that I'll be fair but it won't be the seventy-five percent she asked for last time and I want full visitation privileges."

"Steve, are you sure you want to do this?"

"Mom, time to start over, and I can't do it being married to her any longer."

I'd expected the papers the following week, but got a better surprise; Fran called and said she was going to be in town on Tuesday night.

"You got time for dinner?" she asked.

"Just let me know when and where," I said with more than a little excitement in my voice.

We ate at the same restaurant as last time. I ordered a bottle of wine and we had another fantastic evening.

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bySlirpuff© 111 comments/ 208293 views/ 39 favorites

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