tagLoving WivesNo Such Thing as a Little Betrayal

No Such Thing as a Little Betrayal

bymoreandmore©

This flash story resulted from an anon, JoAnne, requesting a particular train of thought. Her selfie convinced me to put her idea into play.

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Bob Seger: "And it went on yesterday and it's going on tonight. Somewhere there's somebody ain't treatin' somebody right."


+ + + +

I'm not a ladies man. Never was. Never will be. As with many of the nerdy successful single men, I had to wait until the great catches had been divvied up. Once those major studs are out of play, quiet nerds with a good income start to look good to the remaining women. Or could it be the other way around too? Once the babes and leg spreaders have been swept off their feet, the remaining women start looking great to the unattached men.

My name is Brice and I married Naomi twenty three years ago. Our first child only took six months but the rest were the standard nine months. My eldest, Denise, is a senior in college. Her brother, Daniel, is a sophomore at the cross state rival. Mikie is the youngest and she heads off to a private college in the fall. She's apparently a lot smarter than the other two as she's on a full ride scholarship. My pocketbook really appreciates that.

Naomi and I met at a business conference. She was handing out registration materials. Apparently I was witty enough for her to track me down at lunch and sit with me. What makes Naomi different from most is that she is significantly overweight. She seems unfazed by it and flirts as if she was a skinny little thing.

What she looks like has never mattered to me. I'm no runway model either. We fell in love based on common beliefs and desires.

Naomi works, but only makes about half of what I do. She an enigma. She's very smart and good looking, but refuses to wear make-up or watch her weight. I try not to pry but I did see her health fair report and it showed two hundred forty. That's not good for a five foot four frame.

I learned early on to never broach the subjects of diet and face paint. We have our spats but I can't say it has ever affected our sex life for more than a day or two. There is nothing exciting about that sex life. Once or twice a week we couple missionary style. I've never wanted to know if Naomi has sexual fantasies and she's never inquired about mine. I guess I'm old-fashioned in that I think those are a slippery slope.

+ + + +

It was my daughter Mikie, the high school senior, who first clued me in.

"Dad, you are so dense I almost wish the milkman was my father. Did mom have lip gloss on when she left for work this morning?"

"How am I supposed to know that?"

"Does she ever put make-up on?"

"Not that I'm aware of."

"So do you think she sweats lip gloss and it magically appears?"

"Probably not. What's your point?"

"Do you think she's putting it on for you?"

My stomach cramped.

"I've been waiting for you to do something. Wander by and see if you can smell perfume."

I walked by, under the premise of filling my glass, and sure as hell, I could smell perfume. I made my way back to Mikie.

"Probably not for me, huh?"

"There might be hope for you yet Clouseau. This has been going on for a few months now. Since when did she start wearing blouses that showcased her cleavage? My guess is that if you check her credit card receipts, you'll find a lot of new clothes purchased recently. If it was me, I'd be getting my finances in order."

I kissed Mikie on her forehead and headed into my study. As predicted, Naomi's purchases at boutiques went from nothing to over two hundred dollars each of the last three months. I called one of the guys I golf with on the weekends. His brother is a divorce lawyer. The attorney had an opening at 4 pm tomorrow.

+ + + +

I've worked my ass off to pay for my kid's education. If I can send them off into the work force, without student loans to repay, then their chances of living the dream are greatly improved. As such, my own personal wealth is not even the prescribed six months of paychecks. If Denise wants to go to grad school then even that will take a hit.

Denise, my college senior, is getting very serious with Richard Denton, the son of the president of the company I work for. They met at a company picnic and have grown up together. Attending the same high school, and then college, the two have become one. Richard is a year older than Denise and is now working as his father's assistant. Denise is a little flustered that talks of marriage are not moving as fast as she was hoping. The cost of a wedding or getting her masters, I'm about to take another financial hit.

Daniel fancies himself a Romeo and I have yet to see him with the same girl twice. Mikie has no use for boys. All the nightmares fathers go through, dreading the constant parade of boys with raging hormones, I have managed to avoid. I should thank someone.

I sulked the evening Mikie pointed out the change in Naomi. You weave what you think is that road to living happily ever after. Seems like that common thread has been pulled a little from the fabric of our marriage.

The attorney convinced me to draw up three forms. A separation agreement, a post-nuptial agreement, and a petition for divorce. His suggestion was to find a suitable time and give Naomi her options. The purpose of the separation agreement was to freeze the assets at that point in time. Not so much freeze, but determine what each of our shares were worth on everything we owned. Immediately moving what I could, to individual accounts, was his suggestion.

I fretted about doing this. Maybe this isn't as bad as I'm making it out to be. I didn't have to fret long. Mikie was out somewhere. After dinner, Naomi and I retired to the living room to watch television.

"Brice, since we've saved up a little I'm thinking about getting some Botox injections and a liposuction treatment."

I pondered that statement. What should I think? Is she doing this for me?

"Hold on, let me get something."

I walked into my office and pulled out the three forms. I signed and dated all three.

"Here Naomi, these are for you."

After a few glances "What in the hell is this?"

"I think it's pretty obvious. The first one is a separation agreement. The second one is a post-nuptial agreement. And the third one is a petition for divorce. I've already split the savings account. I'll be back this time tomorrow. If you haven't signed the separation agreement and post-nuptial agreement, I'll have the petition for divorce served legally."

"All because I want to spend some money? You're crazy if you think I want a divorce or to separate."

"What's his name?"

"Whose name?"

"The guy you're getting all of this done for."

"I'm getting it done for me, and you."

"Bullshit. You had twenty three years to get this done for me. Until three months ago, you wouldn't even do this for yourself. What's his name?"

"This is nonsense. There is no other man."

"Is it another woman you're romantically involved with?"

"NO!"

"So it is another man. What's his name?"

"There is no other man."

"Do you remember what you wore when we went out to dinner last Sunday?"

"Not really."

"Did you put on lip gloss and perfume?"

"No."

"But you come home from work every day with lip gloss and perfume on, even though you left the house without it on. Either you give me his name or I skip the separation agreement and file for divorce tomorrow."

The tears could no longer be held back.

"Brice, it's not as bad as you think."

"Let's assume I could believe that, which I don't, you seem to value his personal life more than mine. Last chance Naomi, what's his name?"

The forlorn look and tears didn't sway me. I got up to leave.

"Jim Stevens" in a very quiet voice.

"I'll be back tomorrow. Sign whichever set of forms you want. I'm done with you, you lying piece of shit."

"Brice NO! Don't say that. I didn't let it get that far. Please stay! We need to talk about this."

I went to my bedroom and packed a suitcase. Naomi was sitting quietly with her face in her hands. I hadn't noticed her standing there but Mikie gave me a hug and kiss.

"Proud of you dad. If we're not good enough for her she can go F F F herself."

"How could I have missed all of those signs?"

"Real easy dad. In the college prep class I'm taking, at the community college, we've been studying conformation bias. Basically it means that you interpret and filter out any information that goes against your preexisting beliefs. You believed mom would never cheat on you, so you ignored, or misinterpreted the signs because they didn't fit into your bias. You're far from the first and won't be the last. Politicians use it to their advantage. They'll spout nonsense until they hit a nerve with a voter. That voter ignores all of the things they disagree with because the politician hit on something that matters immensely to them."

"That's amazing Mikie. I'll be back about this time tomorrow kid. Again, thanks for the wake-up call. Love you."

"Love you too dad."

+ + + +

Maybe I should have powered my phone off. Maybe I should have let it go to messages.

"Brice, this post-nuptial agreement is retroactive."

"That's not a problem for me Naomi. Apparently it is for you?"

I counted to three, hung up, and powered my phone off. Not proof, but it certainly made it difficult to sleep after that.

Thinking back on her company picnics and holiday parties, I could not place a Jim Stevens. I was out of town at the last get together a couple of months ago. There were too many results in the internet search to be of any use. Maybe it's not even be his name. Could be she was blowing smoke just to get me to shut up.

Fortunately my day at work was hectic. I didn't even have time for lunch. When I decided to power my phone on, I had messages from all three kids and a good half dozen from Naomi. Mikie had brought Daniel and Denise up to speed on their mother. All three calls, from the kids, were good morale builders for me.

I'd not spent much time debating with myself what it was that I wanted. What I really wanted wasn't possible any more. I obviously wasn't enough for Naomi. How do you mentally recover from that? Did it matter if it was only emotional cheating? Would she choose divorce? Would she take the risk that I wouldn't be able to find out why having the post-nuptial agreement be retroactive was a problem?

I was very hesitant to listen to Naomi's messages. The first message was immediately after I hung up last night.

"Brice, it isn't a problem for me. I was reading more of the agreement when you hung up. Please believe me, it is not a problem to sign this. I didn't have sex with him. I love you. Call me. Please."

An hour later "Brice, come home. Please. I was stupid but you've stopped me from doing something horribly stupid. I love you."

First thing this morning "Good morning Brice. I hope you slept better than I did. I wrote you a letter. It tells you everything. I've signed the separation agreement and post-nuptial agreement. I don't want a divorce Brice. I love you."

About an hour later "Did you really have to get the kids involved? We could have worked this out quietly."

Followed an hour later with "I'm sorry Brice. Mikie told me that she told you what I was doing and that she had also told Daniel and Denise about it as well. We can work this out Brice. I love you."

The shocker came at noon "Brice, I've resigned my position. I filed a complaint against Jim Stevens but I doubt it will go anywhere. See you soon. I love you."

+ + + +

Only Naomi's car was there when I pulled up after work. I could smell lasagna, my favorite, and the dining room table had been cleared and now had two place settings and a candle glowing. I set my stuff in my home office and headed for the kitchen to grab a drink.

The only other time I'd seen Naomi in full blown make-up was on our wedding day "You look nice."

"I had the afternoon off so I went to the beauty parlor and had them do me up. Do you like it?"

"You clean up well. Yes, you look lovely and I like it."

"What can I get you to drink? The signed papers are on your office desk. Can you wait to read the letter until after dinner?"

"Sure, it can all wait."

Dinner was quiet. Delicious, but quiet. I helped clean up afterwards.

"I've moved my things to Denise's old room. You can have our bedroom. I won't deny you anytime you want sex. Let me know when you want to talk."

Naomi disappeared into Denise's room. I retired to my office. The paperwork was signed and dated. We were legally separated. I can't honestly say this is what I wanted. My emotions have been all over the place this week. Happily ever after had blown a tire or two. Could it be fixed?

After downing a three finger shot of scotch, I unfolded Naomi's letter.

'Brice

I won't take the well-traveled road of clichés. I was selfish and preparing to do something I would have always regretted.

It started when Jim Stevens was hired to fill the vacant office manager position. He is a very persuasive person and I was drawn into his web by his constant flirting. As you know, most people don't flirt with me. I soaked up the attention. He suggested I wear lip gloss. I'm ashamed to admit that it was he who chose the colors. Shortly after that he suggested I wear perfume. He bought the first bottle for me.

We did go out to lunch alone and I did play footsie with him. I was drunk on the attention he was giving me. He suggested I wear some more revealing outfits and I bought some for him to enjoy.

Now the tough part. On our way back from lunch, about two weeks ago, he took my hand and placed it in his lap. His cock was hard. I rubbed it a little but pulled back when he suggested more. When we parked, he pulled my head in and I kissed him. He groped my boobs but I pulled back before it went any further.

I declined having lunch with him again that week. I went out to lunch with him twice last week, and again on Monday this week. We kissed again and this time I let him slid his hand under my bra. That's as far as it went. He was pressuring me for more but I didn't give in.

As you probably already know, it was his idea that I get those medical treatments.

I hope you can believe me when I tell you that this is all that happened. I really do love you but my actions certainly don't look that way. I am as sorry as a person can possibly be.

When you accused me, I panicked. I've never gone so wrong as telling lies to you. I thought I'd hidden everything from you. My lying to you may have sealed my fate. I only have myself to blame.

My actions violate the post-nuptial agreement so you are entitled to the assets as spelled out in the document. I will gladly give them up if I get to keep you. If you decide to divorce me, I won't fight it. I was stupid and sometimes stupid has serious consequences. I understand it now, albeit a little late.

ALL MY LOVE

Naomi'

+ + + +

I sat in my chair for another hour. The only way I was getting to sleep tonight was alcohol induced. The sun seemed a little too bright in the morning. I picked my phone up and saw texts from all three kids.

I did a group reply 'Your mother cheated. Too soon to believe which scenario is the truth. We are officially separated, but still living under the same roof. I'll need time to determine where I go from here. Thanks for your support. This would be quite difficult without it. Love you bunches, Dad'

Naomi was waiting in the kitchen when I finished dressing. The smell of bacon told me the full court press was still on.

"What's your schedule today?"

"Avoiding you."

I did mention that Naomi was smart, didn't I? She knew better than to say anything. I ate in silence then grabbed my briefcase and made towards the door.

"Let me know if you need anything Brice."

"Yeah, one thing comes to mind. Get tested for STDs."

Alright, she's not that smart.

"BRICE! I didn't have sex with him!"

"You've lied every step of the way. What makes you think I should believe you now? I'll never consider touching you without a clean STD panel."

Her defeated look, and more quiet tears, took the place of 'Good bye.'

+ + + +

"I got tested today. It was a waste of money but if that's what you want, you'll have the results in a few days. I'm sorry I snapped at you."

"Whatever. I'm headed out for dinner. Is Mikie around?"

"No, she's avoiding me too."

"Smart kid" as I headed back out.

A few days later Naomi silently handed me a clean STD report.

"I had a really good interview today. It would be a lateral move but I'd be working again. Did you have a plan for paying expenses? Am I giving you money and you pay them all?"

"Hadn't thought that far. I'll go through the checkbook and come up with an estimate."

"Am I still on your health insurance or do I need to get my own?"

"I haven't made any changes. That's not true. I changed my life insurance beneficiaries to the kids."

That brought misty eyes and a tear drop or two.

Life moved slowly. I still didn't know what I wanted. Naomi was pleased with her new job. The kids were too busy with their activities to be bothered with our problems. Days turned into weeks. I made more than a few sarcastic remarks when the opportunity arose.

I had never masturbated in front of Naomi before. I needed relief badly so one night I left my bedroom door open, sat on the edge of the bed, and brought myself to a loud climax. Naomi was watching from the hall.

"Brice, you don't need to do that. I'm more than willing to satisfy your needs."

"Not ready Naomi. I know where my hand has been."

"BRICE! What more can I do? If you want a divorce then quit stalling!"

Stomp, stomp, stomp, and slam. Point made.

+ + + +

Just shy of three months into our co-existence, I turned up the heat. My office holiday party was coming up. I attend, but mostly because I'm upper management. I decided to give Naomi a little payback. I arrived home at my normal time and the smell of cookies baking filled the house. I'd have to change and turn right around to get to the downtown hotel where the festivities were taking place.

"Hi honey. How was work today?"

"About the same. I'm not staying for dinner. It's the company holiday party tonight."

"Oh my! What's the dress code for tonight? Give me a few minutes and I'll be ready."

"I'm sorry Naomi. I'm not taking you. I have a date. I need to get changed."

I didn't have a date. I was taking Mikie. She was there to dance. I rarely wear cologne but tonight I sloshed it on.

"It's at the hotel downtown. If I have too much to drink, or something, I'm just going to get a room. Goodnight Naomi."

The look on Naomi's face told me I was a royal jackass. So be it. Misery loves company. Her turn to deal with emotions you thought you'd never have to deal with.

Very few people inquired about Naomi. Word had spread and everyone knew better. I did enjoy the outright sexual flirting offered up by a few of the single ladies. It would have been very easy to spend a night with a willing partner. I debated whether I should head home tonight. How much pain is enough?

Around 1 am Mikie was ready to leave. Robin Lowry, a divorced thirty something cutie, was drunk. She's in my fold but doesn't report directly to me.

"Brice, I rented a room. I could use some help finding my room."

I caught Robin before she fell. Mark Franklin, who does report to me, grabbed her from the other side. Robin handed her key to Mikie. Mark and I walked Robin to the elevators. We were just shy of her room when she announce "Oh gawd, I'm not feeling so good!"

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