My Second Nightmare


He played it very cool—"oh hey, how are you? What a nice surprise, remember, I'm Alec, we danced at the Mercedes last week", etc. So Jenny invites him to sit down with her and her friends, and he makes up some bullshit reason why he frequently has lunch in that neighborhood.

That started it, and I'm sure you can guess a lot of the rest. The only real question is how hard or easy it was for him to nail her, and I don't know the answer to that one. If it was hard, if she began all this while still trying to be a faithful wife, then I'm sure he took it real slow and careful: occasional coincidences, then a casual lunch invitation, then another one after a couple of weeks, and so on.

If it was easy—if Jenny gave off vibes of being available, and who the hell knows at this point? I certainly don't—then he probably moved faster, suggesting a lunch in a public spot, then probably somewhere more private; maybe a picnic in a secluded part of the park, maybe lunch in a hotel restaurant (with convenient rooms right upstairs).

In any case, he got in her pants. Was it in three weeks or ten weeks? I don't have any idea, but the result was the same. But I'm betting that what came next was a surprise to Alec: Jenny fell in love with him. Or she thought she did---who the fuck really knows what goes on in her head. I once thought I did....

Anyway, I have no doubt that Alec was thinking of no more than banging an extremely attractive lady he met in a club—and since Jenny is a terrific fuck, it's not surprising that once was not enough and that he kept seeing her.

But for Jenny it became soulmates, hearts-and-flowers, we're-meant-to-be-together, kisses-in-the-moonlight. In fact it was probably that way for her even before she first hopped into bed with him. I don't see Jenny as the type to have a cold-blooded affair just because the guy turned her on and she felt like checking out a strange dick. Though I guess the last few months have shown me how little I knew my own wife, so why should you believe anything I say?

Anyway, they say that for women it's rarely a sexual attraction on its own that can lead them to cheat. And I suspect that Jenny really did fall for his line and decide that she truly loved him before she let him get her panties off.

So it got serious, and emotional, and Jenny got very involved. I don't know what Alec was really saying to her. I have no idea if he thought he loved her too; but in any case he didn't push her away or slow her down. She started seeing him more and more often, arranging long lunches or "doctor's appointments" during work hours so they could ball each other's brains out.

Except for her it wasn't balling—this was sexual communion with the love of her life (pardon me while I puke). And they must have been making plans together: when she'd tell me, when she'd move in with him, all the financial arrangements—everything.

This was the "gradually" part. I never knew a thing, and even looking back on it there was very little I could have picked up on. Jenny was sweet and affectionate at home, we still went out about as much as before (she made sure Alec stayed away from her during our nights out), we were still making love more or less as much as we always had.

One night I came home at dinnertime and Jenny had been crying; I could see it on her face. Of course I was concerned, asked her about it, tried to comfort her. All she would tell me is that a friend at work was very sick—she was kind of vague about it, and I didn't press her. It wasn't until after the roof fell on my head that I thought about it again. Probably Jenny had been planning what she was going to do, and felt guilty about what it would do to me. At least I'd like to think she felt a LITTLE bit guilty.

So that was the "gradually"—you still with me here? The "suddenly" came in the typical way, for the most part. I had a two-day training session in Cleveland, which is nearly four hours away, so I planned to stay overnight.

And then the 6-9 pm session on the first day got canceled, and since I wasn't due back in Cleveland until 10am the next day I decided to surprise Jenny and drive home for the night. It's a lot of driving, but I really loved my wife.

I bought some beautiful flowers in Cleveland and hit the road about 6:30, and I got to my house about 10:15. There was a car out front, but cars park up and down our street and I never thought twice about it.

You can see what's coming, right? Jesus, I hate being in the middle of such an unoriginal story. Though it wouldn't have hurt any more or any less if it had been unique.

Again, most of what I'm telling you is stuff I remembered later, when I went over it time and again, obsessively, unable to get it out of my head—and I recalled all sorts of details I was too stunned to see at the time.

I went into the house and straight up the stairs into our bedroom. The door was wide open, and when I was two steps into the room I stopped dead in my tracks.

The room was softly lit by a couple of candles on the night tables. There in our bed were Alec and Jenny, dozing, naked. He was propped up against some pillows on my side, and she was lying with her head on his chest and her arm around him. The room smelled like candles and sex, and they'd obviously been fucking. I never found out if they were in between rounds or done for the night, but it doesn't much matter, does it?

I'm not a quick thinker in situations like this. I tend to freeze, or to move slowly and cautiously, rather than going crazy. The going crazy comes later. So, to my eternal shame, I didn't drag him out of bed and kick him in the balls. I didn't even shout.

I dropped the flowers and said, "what the hell is this?" in a kind of quiet, stunned voice.

Well, their eyes popped open and they looked at me, startled. As for what happened after that first moment, I've been over it and over it—I've replayed the movie in my head a million times. Alec's face got a smirk on it, a self-satisfied "here's the cheated husband, poor fool" look. But I wasn't looking at him, I was looking at Jenny.

And after that first shocked moment, when she grabbed the sheet and pulled it up to cover her tits—from me! her husband!—what I saw on her face was a soft, sympathetic look. Almost pitying.

She said, "Nick! I...I didn't want it to be like this."

Notice what she didn't say! Not "I'm so sorry," or "this means nothing" or "he means nothing" or "please forgive me" or "I love you" or "it was just sex".

No, she just gave me that one sentence, looking so calm and so regretful. And then without any sign of fear or embarrassment, she turned to the asshole and said, "you'd better go, baby. I'll talk to you tomorrow." And smiled at him. She fucking SMILED at him!

And Alec, that cocksucker, gets out of the bed—still smirking—picks up his clothes, and calmly heads out of the room and down the stairs!

What am I doing? I'm still standing in the middle of the room, frozen, shocked, immobile—like Wile E. Coyote when he's run off a cliff and hasn't yet noticed that he's 500 hundred feet up and is about to plunge to the canyon floor.

Neither Jenny nor I moved until we heard the front door open and shut. Then she said, still all calm and sympathetic, "we need to talk, honey. Let me just get a quick shower, and we can talk downstairs, OK?"

And she got out of bed, pulling the sheet around her—WHY? Because I wasn't supposed to see her naked anymore, after four years of marriage? Because she didn't want me to see the body that Alec got to fuck? Because he'd left cum all over her? I have no earthly idea—and went straight out of the room and into the bathroom, closing the door behind her. In a moment I heard the shower running.

There were a number of things I could have done then, and maybe you'll think I was a complete dipshit for not doing any of them. I could have gone into the shower and beaten the shit out of her; or thrown all her clothes out the bedroom window; or set the house on fire with her in it. Or I could have gotten into my car and driven back to Cleveland; or simply driven off to a bar, or to Davis's house, and got myself stinking drunk.

But at the moment, the only one I even considered was driving back to Cleveland. And I realized that if I did that, I wouldn't see Jenny again for another 24 hours. As stunned, as poleaxed as I was, I needed to know what the hell was going on.

I mean, I KNEW what the hell was going on—that matinee-idol dickhead was fucking my wife, in my bed! But I needed to know what it meant—yes, I know, but besides the obvious I needed to know the rest. How long? Why? Who else? What next?

I wasn't angry yet. It just hadn't sunk in. I learned that day that it's actually possible to see something with your own eyes and still not believe it. At least not at first.

So I went downstairs and sat at the kitchen table and stared at the wall, and thought about nothing. For twenty minutes. I don't think I had one coherent thought, until Jenny walked into the room, beautiful, fresh from her shower, wrapped in a yellow terrycloth robe, her wet hair fragrant and glistening.

If I hadn't still been so stunned, that's when I would have started crying, and shouting, and maybe throwing things. Instead, we sat and had the most surreal conversation of my life.

"Nick, I'm so sorry you had to see that. I didn't expect you home until tomorrow, baby—what happened?"

"Does it even matter? They canceled tonight's session and I wanted to surprise you. Nice surprise!" I pointed to the flowers I'd brought her, which were lying forlornly on the kitchen counter.

She looked down for a minute, then back up at me. "I never expected this to happen. I was going to talk to you about it tomorrow night, when you got back from your trip."

"Talk about what? About the fact that you're getting a little dick on the side now, and you wanted to keep me in the loop? That's awfully considerate of you, Jenny."

She grimaced, and shook her head. "No, Nick, it's not like that. It's nothing like that."

She looked at me intently, and even reached across the table to take my hand. She TOOK MY HAND! Even now I can't believe it.

"Nick, I never expected anything like this to happen, you have to believe me.

"Alec and I: we're in love. Really in love. And he's the man I want to spend the rest of my life with. I'm so sorry."

"What?" I looked at her, uncomprehending. "You're in love with somebody else? What the hell are you talking about?"

"I didn't mean for it to happen. I swear to you, baby! But he's everything I have ever wanted in a man." She must have seen the shock and anguish on my face, and she hurried on.

"Oh, honey, don't take it like that! You have been so great for me, so steady and loyal and loving. But our life together is...well, it's ordinary. It's solid, and nice, and dependable.

"But with Alec, it''s magical! He's exciting, and wild, and unpredictable. Every moment feels like a roller-coaster ride. I've never felt this way in my life before.

"Nick, I have to be with him. I'm so sorry. I was going to tell you about this tomorrow night, and move out on Saturday. I guess I should move things up by a day."

"Jenny, I—Jesus Christ, I can't believe this! How did this happen? How long has this fuckhead been banging you?"

"Nick, its not like that!" She spoke sharply, then relaxed again.

"We first met at the Mercedes, about four months ago. We just danced a few times, nothing more. And then we bumped into each other at lunch a couple of times, and.... And we started to have lunch together on our own after that.

"And it was unbelievable. We have so much in common! It's like we were meant to be together, always, since birth. We just hadn't found each other yet."

I stared at her, trying desperately to get my thoughts together. I must have had an IQ of about 72 right then.

"And you're telling me—you're saying you're leaving me for him?"

She nodded, still holding my hand. "Yes, baby. I'm so sorry. I never meant to hurt you."

Then her face took on this fucking exalted look again—I want to bitch-slap her every time I think of it—and she said, "but it's just something that's supposed to happen, Alec and me."

We sat in silence for a while after that. She was probably watching me, all sympathetic, "poor baby, I know I've hurt him"; and I was in some sort of coma. What had just happened to me was so far beyond any unlikely possibility I had ever conceived of, even in a dream, as to render me numb and stupid.

Finally I said, "and the vows we took? You know, 'love, honor, and cherish', 'forsaking all others', that stuff? You were just kidding? You had your fingers crossed?"

Her face took on a pained but patient look, like a mother talking to a difficult toddler. "Nick, I meant every word of that—you know that! I thought we would be together our whole lives. This is—well, it's just as much a shock to me as it must be to you. I didn't plan it, I didn't want it—it just happened.

"And if it makes any difference, I'm very very sorry. Really, I am. This is so unfair to you, I know that."

More silence. I still felt numb, like I wasn't seeing or hearing very well, like my head was full of cotton.

After several minutes I suddenly stood up and got myself a glass of water. Still facing the sink, not looking at her, I said, "I'm going back up to Cleveland. I'd like you and your stuff gone by the time I get back tomorrow."

I suddenly was desperate, even frantic, to be out of the house, out of her sight. I think I must have realized I was about to lose it. I vaguely heard her say, "OK, honey," as I rushed out the door without looking back.

I could only drive about four blocks before the tears came, and I had to pull over. I cried and sobbed and pounded the dashboard and kicked the floor and generally did a great impression of a six-year-old having a tantrum. It lasted about ten minutes, with anger and hurt and sorrow mixed in together; and when it subsided I wiped my face and started the car and drove straight back to Cleveland, which amazingly enough I was able to do without hitting anyone or anything on the way.

It was after 2:30 am when I got there, and I fell straight into bed and managed to fall asleep. Then I sleepwalked through the next day's sessions, though I couldn't tell you a thing about them, and I drove slowly back to Dayton. No point in hurrying....

Her clothes were gone, and her cosmetics and handbags and things. And she'd taken a few of our CDs but not too many, and no furniture or stereo equipment. I assume she was moving in with Alec, though she hadn't said so. And not a single picture—not one of the many pictures of us, the wedding photos and honeymoon pictures and candids of us with our families, that were displayed around the house.

I don't know why she bothered, but she left me a note. One sentence, not even really worth the time it took to write it.

"Nick: I am very sorry—I will always care for you—Jenny"


So—that was my first nightmare. Enough detail for you? I hope so, because there isn't much else I can tell you. Except some of the aftermath—I guess you might be interested in that as well.

My anger came on slowly, and unsteadily, as the shock faded. It began to be slightly more real to me: that my beloved wife, the love of my life, had dumped me, had fallen in love with someone else and gone to be with him.

I knew from the first night that I could never sleep in our bedroom again, after what I'd seen. Without even looking around the room much I moved all my clothes and things into the guest bedroom—the double bed there would be plenty big enough for me.

It wasn't until Sunday afternoon that I went back into the master bedroom and looked around. In my mind I could still see the two of them naked in the bed, the pillows propped against the headboard. I could see the candles on the night-stand, and smell the odor of sex in the air.

All that was gone, of course. Jenny had changed the sheets and re-made the bed, put the candles away, and everything was as if it never happened.

And I went a little nuts at that point. I'm not too proud of what I did next, though I guess it's all part of how I dealt with this. The clean, untouched look of the bedroom infuriated me—I wanted to see it again the way it had been.

I started to get mad—really mad—and I started to cry. I got the candles out and set them on the night tables and lit them. And I pulled the bed open, pulled the top sheet down, and propped the pillows like they'd been.

And then, still crying, still shouting in anger, I stood over the bed and jerked off onto the sheets. It's crazy, I know, but I wanted them covered with cum and smelling of sex. If not their sex, then mine.

When I was done, I just blew out the candles, left the room and shut the door behind me. That's how I created my shrine to my unfaithful bitch of a wife. And over the next couple of weeks I made some additions to the shrine, which I'll tell you about in due course. But after 2-3 weeks the fun went out of the project—or the madness drained out of me, I don't know which. And for more than five months I hadn't opened the door or set foot in the room even once.

How else did I get through the first few weeks? I went to work; I came home. I didn't tell a soul what had happened, except Davis. He came over on Saturday afternoon and I sat him down with a beer and told him the whole story, every word I could remember.

He looked at me in shock, in absolute wonder. All he said was, "Jesus H. Christ" a few times, shaking his head. And when I was done he just kept sitting there, shaking his head some more.

"That...bitch," he said slowly, at last. "And she thinks she's in love with this asshole?"

"That's what she says. He's the love of her life, the one she's been waiting for her whole life, even if she didn't know it before. Whereas I'm...I don't know, Mr. Slow-and-Steady, the dependable but boring one she only thought she loved."

We sat some more, and he said, "I was gonna ask you what you were going to do. But it's way too soon for that—how about we go hit some golf balls?"

And that's how Davis helped me through it. We hit golf balls. We watched football on TV. We sparred. We had some beers, though I never got plastered, strangely enough—I never wanted to. We had a lot of long talks, over the first few weeks, about Jenny and me and what I wanted to do now. Sometimes we talked about him and Kathleen, a woman he was dating casually.

I decided to keep the house—I could swing the mortgage on my salary, and I didn't want to move. But I decided not to file for divorce. Fuck her: if she wanted to marry that asshole, she could file and pay the lawyer's bills. It didn't matter much to me either way. I canceled all the credit cards and got a couple of new ones.

Talking with Davis also helped me understand that I needed to keep busy, needed to find ways not to be sitting at home alone, staring at the walls. I'd been doing karate for years, once or twice a week, and I'd risen to the level of brown belt, but it was just fooling around. Now I got serious about it: I started going to four or five classes a week, and doing extra sparring on my own in the back yard.

Karate was perfect: it made me focus and be disciplined, concentrate on what I was doing and nothing else. The ninety-minute classes were oases without a thought of Jenny in them (well, after a while, anyway).

And, needless to say, what a great outlet for my anger! Getting to punch, kick, hit out at my opponent or even at the empty air—I probably don't need to tell you how many times I imagined Alec's smirking face on the receiving end of my blows. And when I made it to fourth-level black belt (there are twelve levels, but almost nobody makes it all the way to the top) I got to start breaking boards with my hand; that was very satisfying.

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