tagLoving WivesSuspicion: The Aftermath

Suspicion: The Aftermath

bythecelt©

This is a continuation of a story submitted by Whiteone Redone called Suspicion and done with his permission. I liked the story but felt that it left too much unresolved. I usually try to finish my stories with some degree of justice and that's what I tried to do here. This is my ending and not his so any negative comments should be directed to me.

The day the divorce was finalized, I was a wreck. I went to the lawyer's office hoping against hope that Paul would be there but he didn't come, and I finally realized that it was really over. 16 years of my life were over and I wept for the loss of them.

With the divorce, I was free to make a life with Karl, but at the cost of the life I lost with Paul. Try as I might, I couldn't get Paul out of my mind. I knew when I decided that I could not let Karl go again after finding him after 18 years I would lose Paul. I knew it would cost me the marriage that I had so loved for the last 16 years, the family that Paul and I had built and the life that we shared with the wonderful children that he and I had brought into the world. I knew it but I couldn't stop it from happening. I even built this fantasy in my mind that I could live a double life: one with Paul and one with Karl. I knew that it was sick even when I proposed that Paul consider it in my letter to him. He never even responded for which I was glad. If he had agreed, it would eventually have shattered his self respect.

I had begun my affair with Karl against the advice of my sister Evelyn and in spite of the guilt from my own conscience. How could I do this to my husband after pledging my love to him when we married? I pledged myself to him and to him only and for 16 years, I kept that pledge. But now I had broken it with Karl and not just once. I knew it was wrong but I couldn't get Karl out of my mind once I had found him again. He was an obsession that never was conquered even though he and I had parted over 20 years ago and I had not heard from him for just as long.

Even harder than losing Paul was the absence of my two children Jason and Christi. That was the only thing Paul did that was cruel. Using my infidelity as a weapon, Paul had forced me into giving him full custody and the courts had agreed on visitation every other weekend. I couldn't even let them see Karl since the conditions of the visitation were that my visits were supervised. Karl had met the children but had not been able to spend much time with them. Their loss hurt deeply but even that loss was not sufficient to stop my obsession with Karl.

Now that the divorce was final, Karl and I were free to spend all our time together. Until the divorce, my lawyer had insisted that I keep my relationship with Karl low key and out of the public so that Paul would have no reason to bring it into the final proceedings. I agreed and Karl and I continued to meet as clandestine lovers at motels and occasionally at his house. I had rented a small apartment that he sometimes visited but because of the problems with Cablenex and his work for them combined with my job in HR, we had to keep our relationship private so that I would not be fired for favoritism and Karl would not lose the assignment he had begun.

Karl finally began to grow tired of all of the restrictions we were under and he asked me to resign my job so that we could live together. I agreed because I was also chaffing under the loss of my family, my home and my children. I resigned and I moved into Karl's house full time. I found a job with a small communications company that needed someone with my experience but at a much lower salary and much less responsibility. Since I had worked so very hard to get to the level I was with Cablenex, I resented the need to give up so much. But, my obsession demanded it and I complied.

My life with Karl at first was much as I had imagined it to be when I dreamed of him as a young woman. He was the one that I had loved first and best and the one that had been ripped from my life by fortune. He was my high school sweetheart, the one that I built my fantasy life around. We would have been so happy if the fates had allowed us to be as we were meant to be. I vowed that I would make that true now that I had Karl back in my life. I would build that wonderful world that we were meant to share and Karl would be by my side.

Sex was wonderful as well. Although Karl was not the considerate, patient lover that Paul had been, Karl was more exciting. He was very aggressive and I found myself carried away on waves of passion and lust that filled my every pore. Of course, the frequency had diminished from those first passion filled months when Karl and I first found each other, but that was to be expected. Passion that high had to subside some or else burn itself out. With Paul and I, our lovemaking had grown as we learned each other and had continued strong even up to our divorce. I expected no less from my Karl but I missed the love and depth of my feelings for Paul. But that would come with time. Paul and I had 16 years: Karl and I were deprived of that time. We would grow together just as I had with Paul.

Karl and I were married after the required 6 months following my divorce. I was still seeing the children on alternate weekends and at other times as arranged between Evelyn and Paul. This became a mixed blessing since every time I saw them, I thought again of my life with Paul and I felt the loss deeply. Karl was also disturbed by the visits since he could not be a part of them and I was gone overnight every other weekend. I continued to ask Evelyn to plead with Paul to allow me to take the children home but she would not listen. I made several phone calls to Paul at his home but he refused to answer any of them. I left messages begging him to reconsider but he never even responded.

To make matters worse, I told Karl that I wanted to reopen the custody conditions and see if I could make the Judge change the order allowing me to have unsupervised visits with the children and to see if I could regain full custody of them. Now that we were married, and I had quit my job at Cablenex, all of Paul's original threats to expose me were no longer valid. But when Karl heard this, he got angry and told me that he didn't want 'Paul's kids' here at the house. I pleaded with him but he flatly refused. I was heartbroken but he wouldn't even talk about it. They were Paul's kids and he didn't want anything to do with them.

I could not communicate directly with Paul since he would not permit it, so I had to arrange everything through Evelyn and even that was becoming very difficult. Since I had destroyed my marriage to Paul by my infidelity, Todd found it hard to forgive me. Evelyn was my sister and she accepted me anyway but not Todd. He blamed me for his loss of friendship with Paul since Paul would no longer spend time with them for fear of seeing me. Paul withdrew from them, seeing them only to drop off and pick up Justin and Christi after my visits. Todd flatly refused to have anything to do with Karl and they never became anything other than nodding acquaintances. Todd and I had finally had words when I spoke with him about his attitude with Karl. The words Todd used to describe me and my betrayal of Paul and the 'slutty' thing I had asked Paul to consider, became too much. I finally left in tears and he and I had not spoken since. When I went to see the kids, Todd found reasons to be absent. Evelyn began to resent my being there but I wouldn't give up my children. Even though my life was not the idyll that I had expected, I continued to work at it and to try to build my dream life. I began to rebuild the trust and affection with Christi that I had lost for a while after the initial separation and during the divorce, but Justin was more of a problem. He understood that I had betrayed his father but he wasn't completely sure why. He accepted my relationship with Karl, but not as a father: only as my new husband and that was still reserved. It was interesting that Christi and Jason were so much different about the whole thing. Justin was a man and Christi was a woman. Maybe that was the difference.

I did find out over time that Paul never once told Justin about my affair during our marriage or that I was the one that forced our marriage to die. He said dad only told him that we had grown apart. That was like Paul. Even after what I did to him, he wouldn't lash out and try to hurt me. He was fair and tried to make the best of it. What he didn't know was that by divorcing me, he had hurt me far more that I had hurt him. He didn't believe me when I told him that I had grown to love him even more than the day I married him but that I couldn't give up Karl. He didn't understand that even though I had chosen Karl over him, my losing him cost me part of my soul. Even Karl didn't understand that, but I knew and I lived with that loss every day of my new life. I expected that it would grow to be tolerable and finally retreat into that place that I had put Karl for so many years, but it didn't.

It was just 16 months after the divorce that I gave birth to my new son. We named him Karl after his father but I gave him the middle name of Warren, unknown to Karl that it was Paul's middle name. He came to be called Jr. of course and Christi just adored him. He was her new baby brother and she asked me what Daddy thought of him. I quickly told her that Daddy didn't know about him but that she could tell him. She was delighted but I noticed Jason talking to her later and they seemed to be arguing. I learned later that Jason told Christi that Paul wouldn't like her talking about Jr. I understood, but Karl didn't when I mentioned it. He resented Jason's attitude and blamed Paul.

Karl and I had been married just over 2 years when trouble began to develop. He had finished the job with Cablenex but he had not kept the schedule they agreed to. It cost him a bonus and he had counted on that bonus to make his profit for the year. It left him bitter and he yelled at me since I was part of the original negotiations with Cablenex. It had been my job to recommend subcontractors and to help with incentives and target dates. He accused me of setting up conditions that no one could meet just to let the company get out of paying. I let him yell since I knew he was worried about the money and the need to let two of his people go. He finally got a new contract and things went back to normal. Money was still a problem but we managed.

As Jason got older, he visited with me less and less. He had never accepted Karl and we never discussed him together. We were still close but he had his friends and they were important to him. When he was with me, he was 'out of the loop' as he termed it and it was embarrassing to have his friends drive out to Evelyn's place to pick him up and drop him off so he began to stay at his home or with Evelyn while Christi continued to come. I missed him but I understood. I noticed the vacuum when Jason didn't come and it seemed to make that ache that never left me just a little worse. It was becoming more noticeable with every passing year. I had expected it to diminish but it did just the opposite.

As Karl Jr. began to grow and demand more of my time, Karl began to complain that I was ignoring his needs. I had gone back to work since we needed the money and it was a drain on me physically. Karl worked late most nights and he did little around the house to help out. He had always said that was 'woman's work'. I tried to be more attentive but I was so tired after a full day of working at my job, picking up Jr. after work and taking care of everyone else when I got home that I was unable to be what Karl expected me to be. When I told him how I felt, he got angry and stormed out of the house. He came home later but that got to be more and more frequent but I couldn't help him. I tried to make it up to him on the weekends but he began to stay out more and come home later. Our love life had decreased to an infrequent thing when Karl would take me and then roll over to go to sleep. I was mostly frustrated and depressed, but I chalked it up to fatigue and worry over money. My fantasy was becoming worn and threadbare, but I fought to keep it alive. After all I had given up I couldn't let it die.

It was late one evening when I had finally gotten Jr. to bed and had some quiet time to myself that Karl came home. He had been drinking and he was being loud and crude. I asked him to be quieter since Jr. had finally fallen asleep after a tiring day but he continued with his loud and abusive language. I finally yelled back and told him to either quiet down or get out. He stopped, and looked at me with a disgusted face.

"You're just like she was. All you want is the kid and that's all you need. You just live for that brat of yours and then the three of you get together and act like a bunch of kids. And that brat of a boy of yours thinks he's too good for me. His own wife doesn't have time for him. A man has to go out to get laid. You're all alike."

With that, Karl left and I didn't see him again for two days.

I knew that Karl had been married to a woman he met in Germany. They were married for just under 5 years and they had two boys. I didn't know the conditions of their divorce but she had full custody of the boys and Karl had never seen them after they parted. When I asked him about them he just shrugged his shoulders and said that they were probably better off without him. When I asked him what that meant, he became angry and said something to the effect that they were the only reason she married him. Just to have kids, was what he said.

Karl came home two days later, looking like he had been run over by a truck. He was unshaven, dirty and smelled of booze. I was so discouraged when I saw him that I said nothing to him for several days. By the end of that week, he was almost normal and he finally apologized. He wouldn't tell me where he had been but he said that he was just sleeping it off with a friend. I let it drop since I didn't want to make him mad again. Things went on that way for two weeks.

It was early on a Monday evening when I was at home, Jr. was in bed and Karl had not come home yet. The phone rang and a woman asked for Karl. I told her he wasn't there.

"Well, tell that son of a bitch to call me when he gets in. I'm late and he better get ready."

"I'm sorry? Late for what? What does he have to do with that?"

"Listen bitch! He knows exactly what I mean so you just tell him when he drags his lazy ass back to wherever you are."

With that, she hung up with a slam. I sat there for an eternity thinking about what I just heard. Karl was cheating on me and the woman he was cheating with was pregnant. She knew about me but apparently didn't care. How could he do this to me? I was here at home taking care of his child, fixing his dinner and working my ass off to help with the expenses and he was out fucking another woman. How dare he? I was furious and would really let him have it when he came home. This was not going to be accepted!

As I sat there stewing in my own anger, I began to hear a small voice deep down in my soul laughing at me. It was coming from that place where I kept Paul and most recently, Jason. It was that small, empty place that seemed to be big enough to swallow all my misgivings, all of my lost dreams and those parts of my teenage fantasy life that didn't fit with my reality. The place where I kept all of those pieces of my life that didn't fit into the reality I lived with. I thought the laughter was from Paul, looking at the fantasy that I embraced when I left him for Karl. He could see the shattered pieces that kept falling as I watched dream after dream fall to dust.

The irony was almost too much. I had begun my life with Karl by committing adultery and betraying my husband. Now, Karl was doing the same thing to me. The fates had seen fit to return to me the hurt and pain that I had delivered to others. The same weapons I had used to destroy Paul's life were destroying mine. I finally realized what I had lost: what I had given up for a crazy teenage dream that was left unfulfilled for so long that it became an obsession. It was never true; it was never real; and it was never possible. Its time had passed 20 some years ago but I just didn't realize it. I had a new and far better dream that I had lived for 16 years but I never realized it when I had to make a choice. A choice between solid reality with a wonderful husband who loved me, two children that we adored, and a life that lacked nothing or a childhood fantasy. It was a dream that most women searched for their whole life but never found. I had it and I threw it away for a dream that had become a sick obsession. I chose fantasy over reality.

When Karl finally came back, he looked like hell and he smelled like a brewery and he went directly to bed and slept for another day. I let him sleep as I decided what I was going to do. I could fight to save this farce of a marriage with a man that I really didn't even know, or I could just end it now and try to go on with my life as best I could. I really had few choices, but I had finally realized my fantasy was dead.

Karl and I tried to stay together for another two months but it kept getting worse. We argued over money, plans, bills and other things that were not important. I finally told him one night when he came home after drinking for hours with his friends that it was over. I think now that there was a look of relief that passed over him then, even though he said nothing. He simply nodded and went in to bed. We discussed it further the next morning and we agreed to end it without fanfare. When we both looked at our life in the cold light of day, we found there no love, only pretense. I filed soon afterwards and the divorce went smoothly, uncontested. I kept Karl Jr. and Karl agreed to pay some small amount of child support. I really wanted nothing from him but I would need something to help my meager salary. I had never had the chance to advance where I was because of the demands of home and child. Funny, that was never an issue before with Paul.

Almost four years to the day that Paul threw me out of our home, my divorce was final. It was funny that I found Karl again after 20 years of unfulfilled fantasy but the happiest time for me over those 20 years was in a marriage that I threw away. These last four years had been with Karl, my fantasy lover and I could honestly not remember a time I had been truly happy. As I looked back on it, I remembered the birth of Karl Jr. with joy but other than that, only regret and sadness. Part of that was the loss of my children but even when they were with me, it wasn't the same. They belonged to a different world and they were happier away from me.

I moved in with Evelyn and Todd for a while until I could find a place of my own. I spoke with Todd, apologized for what I had done to him and he finally accepted me back. He understood I realized now the mistakes I made and the disaster I had made of my life. He agreed to help me move and anyway, he adored Karl Jr. By now, his three kids were older and he missed that innocence they had at Jr.'s age.

I finally was able to get a job again with Cablenex and with my experience I started with a good salary and was able to afford a small place for Karl Jr. and I. He was now 2 and a half and was bright and energetic. Once I was divorced, Evelyn contacted Paul and he agreed to allow me visitation with Christi unsupervised. She could stay with me at my place over the weekends and the three of us had a great time. Christi was now almost 15 years old and she was becoming a lovely young woman. I was so proud of her and realized that Paul had done a wonderful job raising her and Jason. Jason was 17 and he had been accepted into a well known university for the fall. He had a full scholarship and he wanted to be an engineer like his dad. He had sent me an invitation to his graduation from High School and wanted me to come. I agreed, of course. I wondered idly whether Paul would be there.

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bythecelt© 163 comments/ 158284 views/ 32 favorites

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