tagLoving WivesMaking an Honest Woman Ch. 01

Making an Honest Woman Ch. 01

bywendylicker©

This is the first story I've published on the Literotica site, and I'm both looking forward to and anxious about feedback. There's no sex in this part. Speaking of parts, I haven't finished, but wanted to go ahead and publish; I anticipate 3 or 4 installments. This one came pretty quickly; I wrote most of it in one sitting, then edited it for a couple of days. If the rest comes as easily, I should be able to post at a rate of about one per week. Speaking of editing, I looked at the list of editors, and was kind of overwhelmed, so opted to publish this without the help of an editor. If anyone has experience with an editor whose skills seem to match up with the style and faults in my writing, I'd be happy for a recommendation.

*****

I had dinner waiting for Ellen to get home from work. I knew she had plans for the evening, and wanted to talk to her before she left. Our girls, Alyssa (14) and Sophie (10) had set the kitchen table, and were finishing their homework in the dining room, where we rarely ate, and they usually worked. In theory, Ellen and I split cooking and cleanup duties, but it seemed to me that lately I'd been doing more than my share of both. I didn't really mind, since I like cooking, and I think I'm better at it than Ellen. I don't love washing dishes, but again, I think the kitchen is cleaner after I'm finished with it than it is when it's her turn.

I'm Dan: 46 years old, 6 feet, 2 inches tall in my dress shoes, 220 pounds; I have a dad bod. I still have all my hair, which is darkening from blond as I age; green eyes, no facial hair, tattoos, noticeable scars, etc. Since you already have a pretty good idea of where this story is going, I figured you'd want to know, so you can decide whether I deserved what she was doing to me; and I admit, I could have spent an extra hour at the gym a few days every week, like Ellen, but I preferred to see my kids at breakfast, and to be home when they got out of school (my job allows me to arrange my schedule to do that) and help with homework, and, as often as not, make dinner. With Alyssa, who increasingly sought the privacy of her room, rather than hanging around with Sophie and me, I had already started to lose the parent-child intimacy that I so loved; and I knew that Sophie, who follows her sister in all things, wouldn't be far behind. I had figured I could always get back in shape when it was just Ellen and me; but I miscalculated.

Ellen, a few years younger than I am, at 43, is an attractive woman. She's not a raving beauty, but when she goes all out with clothes, hair, and makeup, men definitely notice her. You want her details? 5 feet, 5 inches tall, 140 pounds, chestnut hair, brown eyes. C-cup breasts, which are still pretty perky, and really nice legs, courtesy of good genes and regular exercise.

You probably want to know how often we had sex, too. Like it does for most couples who both work, frequency had slowed down after we had the girls; if I'm honest, I'd have to say once a week, on average, usually Saturday nights. I will say that I always tried to be a generous lover, and that I loved eating her pussy, and could always get her to come that way, and we didn't always do the same things, in the same order. But yes, it had become somewhat routine. Again, if you think that means that I deserved for her to cheat on me, then we'll just have to agree to disagree.

What else? Work, right. I'm a college professor, anthropology. I have tenure at the R1 (that's top-tier research institution, in case you care) university that supports our little college town. I have a couple of books to my name, a long list of articles and conference publications, and, from what I can tell, I'm pretty well regarded in my field, which focuses on the role of language in culture. Ellen has a catering business that she runs, along with her partner, and close friend, Meg. For the first few years it wasn't much more than a hobby; recently, though, she's been making pretty good money.

(Yes, I know I said I think I'm the better cook. Meg might agree; cooking is what she brings to the partnership. Ellen handles the business side of the business, and she's pretty good at it.)

So, as I was saying, I was waiting to talk to Ellen. She arrived in a rush, dropped her coat and bag, kissed the girls, and me, and hurried us all to the table.

"You know I have that thing with Meg and her sister tonight, hon," she said to me. It wasn't really a question.

"Yes," I said.

"I'm sorry to eat and run like this, but I have to shower and change before I go." She ate a few bites, then put down her fork. "And I know I owe you for cleanup. Do you mind?"

"No," I said. "But I need to have a quick word with you before you go."

"OK," she said, "we can talk when I get out of the shower." She was already getting up from the table, making sure to grab her bag on her way out.

"That's fine," I said. The girls and I finished eating, as we did playing a game we have where we analyze the lyrics of a popular song, and play around with the cultural implications; given the content of most contemporary music, that means talking about sex, but I've never seen any reason to be squeamish when it comes to talking about sex with the girls. I figure they're already talking about it with their friends, anyway. Sophie offered a recent hip hop song that the boys in her class had been sniggering about. Alyssa, I noted, had some pretty good insights; she'd make a good anthropologist.

The girls helped me clear and load the dishwasher; I'm a clean-as-you-go cook, so we had the kitchen looking good before Ellen was out of the shower. I went upstairs to wait for her to come into our bedroom.

She came out of the bathroom looking pink, trailing a cloud of steam that smelled of flowers and coconut oil. Her hair wasn't wet; I guess it would have taken too long to dry it. She really was in a hurry to go to him. I watched as she pulled a matching bra and panty set from her underwear drawer, and put them on. "What did you want to talk about?" she asked.

"I wanted to ask you not to go out tonight," I said.

"What?" She turned around, seeing me for the first time. "Why? I promised Meg. I can't let her down." She turned away to step into her closet.

"Ellen, could you stop what you're doing for a minute, and talk to me?" I said, raising my voice a little, but not enough so that the girls would overhear.

She came back out of the closet holding a blouse I had never seen before; as she put it on, I saw that it showed off her arms and breasts to full effect.

"Sit down," I said, then added, "please." I patted the bed next to where I was sitting on it. She sat, still looking at me.

"If you want to save our marriage, you will stay home tonight, and work on our problem with me. And you have to start by being honest with me. If you can't do that, then I don't see how we can stay together."

"What are you talking about? Dan, honey, what do you need me to be honest about? I tell you everything."

"I need you to be honest about what you're not being honest with me about right now," I said, calmly. "I won't tell you what I know, and what I've guessed, because I need you to tell me of your own accord. I've been waiting for a while for you to do it on your own, but I've lost hope of that happening. This is our last chance. Tell me what you haven't been telling me."

Her face got red. "Are you accusing me of . . . of . . ." I guess she couldn't say it out loud, even now. "How dare you! What right do you have to insinuate that I haven't been honest with you?" She stood up and walked back into her closet.

"I have the right any man has whose wife is keeping secrets from him. Do you deny that you have been?"

"I've been a good wife to you, Dan Tucker, and I resent the suggestion that I have been anything other than honest and faithful to you," she said from inside the closet, her voice faintly muffled. "I think I deserve to know what I'm being accused of. But I'm leaving now; I have to, or I'll be late. We can talk later, when I get home, and you'd better be prepared to give me a full apology!"

I walked to the door of the closet, blocking her exit. "I told you that if you leave, our marriage is over. I'll tell you now that if you make me tell you what I know, without your volunteering anything, then I don't see any more hope of saving it. If I take away this chance from you, what more do you have to give me? I'm asking you for the last time-I won't beg, Ellen, but I will ask you to consider the love we had, and the love we share for our children-please, come clean."

"Get out of my way!" She was shouting now. She pushed past me, shoes in hand, back into the bedroom, and stopped to slip them onto her feet. Four inch heels, and she looked good in them with the short skirt she'd put on. She looked around for her bag.

"All right," I said. "I guess I understand. Here's what I know: you are going to meet Rob Stevens at his apartment, where you will have sex with him." She stopped and looked at me, surprised. I continued. "You have been having sex with him, as far as I can tell, for about six weeks. The affair began not long after you met him at an event you catered. He is 36 years old, a lawyer by profession, and married, with two small children. His wife's name is Ann, and she and the children live in Houston, while Stevens is here for an assignment for his firm. I gather that he has a few more weeks to go before he's finished. I suppose you thought that when he leaves, it would be over, and you'd go back to your life as it was before, with me, and the girls, none the wiser."

She half fell, half sat down on the bed. "How'd you find out?"

"That's what you have to say?" I heard my voice rising, and fought to calm myself. "You just threw away the last chance we had to save our marriage; threw back in my face the chance I so hoped you would take. All you had to do was tell me. But no. All you care about is how I found out about your little secret. Even now, you're hoping that there's some part of it that you can keep from me. Well, rest easy. There's a lot I don't know, and don't want to know. I don't know why. I don't know if you love him. I don't know when you stopped loving me. I don't know what you told yourself so that you could lie to me, and to the girls, and still smile at us and sleep at night. And, like I said, I don't care. I don't need to know those things."

She was crying now. "I'm so sorry," she began. "I never meant to hurt you . . ."

"Shut the fuck up, Ellen," I said, quietly. She recoiled; I had never spoken to her like that, not in 18 years of marriage. "I said I don't care. I love you, but I won't live with a woman who won't be honest with me, and I've seen the lengths you'll go to to guard your secrets. You may as well go out and enjoy what you were planning; staying here isn't going to help anything, and I'm sick of the sight of you. You'd be doing me a favor."

"NO! I'll call him now and tell him I won't ever see him again! I'll do it in front of you, so you'll know it's over." She fished her phone out of her bag, keyed in her code and fiddled with it for a moment, then held it to her face. I just watched.

"Rob . . . no, I'm not coming. He knows . . . yes, it's over. I can't see you anymore. No, I'll be fine. Good-bye, Rob." She dropped the phone back in her bag and looked at me.

"So what?" I said. "What's to stop you from calling him back tomorrow to tell him it's back on, but you have to be extra careful?"

"I wouldn't . . . I want to work on our marriage with you, like you said. I love you, Dan! I know what I did was awful, but I never loved him-I have only ever loved you! You have to believe me! It's really over, and I swear, I'll never-"

"You don't get it. You can't talk your way out of this one," I said. "Nothing you say carries any weight; anything could be a lie, and I have to assume it will turn out to be. All the way from 'We need milk from the store,' to 'Dan, you're the only man I've ever loved.'"

"I do love you!"

"You have one hell of a way of showing it. You certainly don't respect me, and I don't know how you can think you love a man you don't respect."

"I do respect you," she insisted. "You are a wonderful man, a brilliant scholar, the perfect father to the girls, and a better husband than I deserve, I know. What would make you think I don't respect you?"

"The fact that you so easily deceived me for so long. All the time you were smiling at me, kissing me, sharing my bed, figuring that I'd never know . . ."

"NO! I didn't enjoy deceiving you; I hated it. I was weak, and yes, I was unfaithful to you. I told myself that I could have this for a little while, and then it would be over, and we would go back to the way things were."

"Which you were obviously unhappy with," I pointed out. "I don't see any reason to think that, having gotten away with it once, you wouldn't have tried again. Which is what I have to assume you would do if we stayed married, which is why we won't. I don't want to punish you, but I have no intention of punishing myself, either, and being married to you for the rest of my life, wondering who you were fucking, sounds like pure hell to me."

"I wouldn't-" she caught herself, realizing the futility of this line of argument. She put her head down for a moment, then it popped up again. "I know: we can get counseling. We'll find someone who can help us understand what I did, and figure out how you can trust me again."

"I know why you did it," I said. "It's not rocket science. You wanted some good, exciting sex; I was boring."

"No! Well, yes, sort of, but I love making love with you. With Rob it was just-"

"Unh-unh," I grunted, cutting her off. "I said I don't care, and I meant it. Spare me the details of the hot monkey sex you enjoyed with your lover."

"I was just going to say that he never gave me what you do. It was never better with him; only different. And I needed different."

"Every time you open your mouth to speak my bullshit detector goes off. There's really no point. And no point in being married to a woman who might be lying when she swears she didn't fuck the milkman, the pool boy, and the next-door neighbor while you were at work."

"Dan, we don't have a milkman, and we don't have a pool, and our next-door neighbor is 70 years old."

"Duly noted. Cue the yardman, the paper boy, and the pizza delivery guy."

"I'm not a slut!" She was angry now. "Yes, I had sex with another man. One other man, in 18 years of marriage." She relaxed, and her face softened. "Yes, it was wrong, and yes, I know I've hurt you terribly. But you can't mean to throw away everything because of this. We can survive this, I know we can!"

"Ellen, you keep overlooking what I keep saying is the real problem: your lack of honesty. I trusted you once, but I never will again. Do you think it's fair for me to have to live the rest of my life with someone I don't trust? If you really love me, is that the life you'd choose for me?"

"What will it take?" she asked. "Do you want me to quit catering? I will. I'll give you the passwords to my phone and email and Facebook, all of it. I'll let you install tracking software on my phone-"

"Great, so then I get to be your prison guard," I said. "Sounds like loads of fun. I ask you again: do I deserve that? Or do I deserve to live with someone who I won't need to check up on; someone who I can trust because I know she loves me."

"I do love you, Dan, and you know I do!"

"We're just going in circles, now. This is where I say, 'no, Ellen, I don't know it anymore, and I don't see how I ever will, again.'"

She put her head in her hands. "Oh, god, what are we going to do?"

"We're getting a divorce," I said, "just like I told you would happen."

"Why are you in such a rush? Do you hate me that much?"

"It just feels like a rush to you, because you only found out about it tonight," I told her. "I've been living with suspecting for a while, and with knowing for a few days. It's been gradual for me, and don't think I haven't explored all the possibilities. Every road I go down ends up in the same place: you living here, with the girls, and me in a crummy apartment. You getting married again, a year after we divorce, and me suffering the indignities of online dating and setups arranged by wives who are embarrassed by me showing up at their parties alone."

"It doesn't have to be that way. I love you. You say you still love me. We can do it. We can get past this, we can grow old together."

"We could have, if you could only have managed to tell me the truth. If you had just done that, I think we could have made it. It would have been hard, but you would have given me something to hold on to-the belief that, when it really mattered, when you really needed to be, you could find it within yourself to be honest with me. But what I wound up finding out is that you can't. And it hurts-more, even, than the infidelity-but I needed to know it."

"Won't you try counseling with me? Please?" She looked at me, and my resolve withered; I knew it wouldn't work, but I also knew that she needed some time to come to terms with what had happened, and, when the trust issue finally proved to be irremediable, we could use the sessions to do a little "conscious uncoupling. Plus, I figured, we were going to need some help dealing with the girls, when the time came. As mentally prepared as I thought I had been for the way things had gone, I realized there was a lot I hadn't considered, and that I was less likely to make a serious mistake if we slowed things down a bit.

"OK," I said. "You find three names, and I'll choose one. No clergy; graduate degree in psychology or social work only."

"Yes!" she smiled, and I wanted to hold her; with her tear-stained face and suddenly hopeful grimace, she looked like a child. But instead, I stepped back away from her.

I went into my closet to get a suitcase, and laid it on the bed.

"What are you doing?" she asked.

"I'm packing," I replied. "You didn't think I was going to stay here?"

"But why? You don't have to go."

"I'm not sleeping with you, we don't have a spare room, and the sofa's not very comfortable, so what other option is there?"

"I'll sleep on the sofa," she said. "I don't mind. You sleep here. I'll leave you alone. I'll wait until after you've gone tomorrow to come up to get dressed." She went back into her closet and re-emerged wearing only the bra and panty set, then walked over to her dresser. She was so beautiful, and had been giving herself away to a man who couldn't have cared much about her, while betraying a man who had loved her completely. It pissed me off again.

"You look pretty sexy in that lacy underwear," I remarked.

She spun around to face me and smirked at me, hands on her hips. "Do you want to take it off of me?"

"I was just going to say I'd never seen it before. I guess you bought it for him."

She deflated; it was just like someone had sucked all of the air out of her. She hurriedly clawed her way into a t-shirt she'd pulled out of her dresser, then rushed past me to the hall closet.

"The blouse looked new, too. I bet he would have loved to see you in it."

She didn't reply, only pulled a pillow and a blanket from the closet; she came back to the door clutching them, looking even more like a little girl. "Goodnight, Dan. I love you, I'm going to make this right, and I'm going to spend the rest of my life being the best wife any man ever had, I swear to you. You won't be sorry." Then she turned and went downstairs.

I went to check on the girls. I tucked Sophie in, and stuck my head into Alyssa's room; she was listening to music with headphones, and looking at her tablet. I both feared and deplored the absence of books from both my daughters' lives; books had been a mainstay of my childhood, and I believed deeply in their power to train the mind. But I knew that fighting it was a losing proposition.

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