tagLoving WivesThe 3 P's

The 3 P's

byErringfoil©

Human emotions and actions can be both funny and extremely fickle. They also say that when you commit to two conflicting emotions at the same time then, in the official terms, you've lost the plot! How can one sane person laugh when they cry and be sad, when they are truly happy?

You see that's the position I find myself in. Have I officially gone mad? Well some people, especially my beloved family would think so. The terms, gone around the bend and mid-life crisis have been banded around and caused them all too hastily surge to my rescue, salvation or at the very least one massive Armageddon showdown!

The place or venue for this showdown, is a rather plush five-star complimentary hotel room in the Mandalay Bay resort and casino. The reason for the onset of panic, or evidence, lay idly on the expensive coffee table in the living room. You see it's my current bank statement and it shows a healthy balance of just over $100'000. Not bad, I hear you all cry, the problem is that a little over five weeks ago, the same account held over $500'000.

What's the popular saying, a fool and his money are easily separated!

Hi, my name is Phil, Phillip Preston, yes one of the three P's in the title. Up until five weeks ago, I lived in the blissful ignorance of a normal idyllic life. I was considered a cautious, sensible and predictable man, second of the three P's. You see I had grown up in somewhat of a goldfish bowl in account of my superstar in waiting twin brother. Davy, well he had the world in his hands from an early age, he was charming, talented and extremely charismatic, and I suppose in comparison to him, well I was the plain one! There you have it, all three of the P's: Plain Predictable Phil!

Despite living under the constant shadow of Davy, life was good. I realised that from an early age, that the only way I was going to succeed was through my own hard work, grit, determination and ultimately, brains! I didn't have the gift of a golden throwing arm so I quickly realised that life wasn't going to allow me any free passes. Like my twin brother, I was a good-looking guy, fairly tall and well built. The main difference was I lacked the overbearing charisma he possessed and I was painfully shy. My wayward brother easily stole the show wherever we were, holding centre stage and lapping up the attention. Me, I was happiest on the side-lines.

However, cupids arrow finally hit and I was able to woo and marry the girl of my dreams. Straight after school I selected a college as far away from my dysfunctional family and brother as I could find, I finally wanted to be away from the spectre constantly on my shoulder. I met Beth in my final year and we just hit it off. We were both I suppose two socially awkward beings trying to make sense of the world.

We dated for the next two years after college until we knew the time was right. Both gainfully employed we held a small and personal service. Two soulmates, forever!

The beginning:

Where to start the tale of my woe?

Bethany and I both lived and worked in LA up until a year ago. The reason for the change of scenery lay mainly with me. I was working for a large corporate bank in the role as a senior trouble shooter. If they had a client in trouble, I was one of the men dispatched to see what could be done. I held the power to save the business or see it go under, the bottom line was always financial. What made the bank the most dollars! It was a shitty role knowing I was playing GOD with people's lives but if afforded us a lavish lifestyle and I was good at it! Conscience, how could I sleep at night knowing what I had done? Well eventually it wore me down and the Iceman as I had become known, cracked!

Hartwood Bakeries was a traditional well run small family business that had expanded too quickly. The problem for them centred on cashflow. They were clients of the bank and were in dire need of a significant injection of cash. I instantly recognised it was a solid business model, they were good at what they did and had just taken on too many orders. They had a solid pipeline but to meet their own demands they needed a little help to tide them over short term. Long term they were a solid investment and I could see no risk for the bank, so I wholeheartedly approved the proposal.

I was over-ruled and without the much-needed injection, the business, 145 hardworking and honest people lost their livelihoods. A couple of things struck me, firstly there was no logical or financial reason to reject this proposal. Secondly, in the seven years at the bank I had NEVER once been over-ruled, in short, the decision stank! It didn't take me long to investigate that the real motivation behind the decision lay with the bakeries premises. They were positioned in desirable locations all around the city and one of the banks senior partners had just picked up the lot for a song! In short, the bank used me to let a viable business fail, just to help them pick up some prime real estate!

Moral compass finally found, I resigned that very day!

Beth was both surprised but ultimately supportive of my actions. It coincided with a promotion opportunity for her. She worked for a national transportation firm and had been offered the chance to go into management at their head offices. It was a very good move for her. The irony was, I was going back home. The head offices were situated no-more than 20 miles from where I grew up. Well, I couldn't hide from my past forever, could I?

The good luck kept coming. We had chosen our first home with care. A nice, secluded neighbourhood, good schools and close but not too close to the city. The kicker came from the fact that one of the latest movie sensations had just bought a home nearby and houses prices sky rocketed as the world and his wife wanted to move here! We closed for a little over $500'000 once all the tax and charges were deducted. Uncertainty loomed heavily in our future, and not only work wise. Beth knew about my family upbringing and my unease at retuning home! So, we decided to rent for the first year and see how the land lay!

The route of the problem:

It had been eight years since he had left college and joined the Army, but within six months of moving home, my loveable rogue of a brother was back! The prodigal son had returned.

I may be sounding harsh, but in truth Davy had lived a useless charmed existence since he was born those massive 7 minutes after me. The real shame was that he had, yes, I mention Had, a talent. From an early age he was truly blessed and our house become a revolving door of scouts and other important people falling over themselves to get a piece of him. At school he was the star quarterback. He managed to get a full scholarship to a prime college, it was only a short step before fame, glory and untold riches awaited.

A problem arose. His talent was undisputed, however he lacked both the discipline and mental fortitude to take the next step. He had been found out and was either too dumb or naive to do anything about it. The party lifestyle reigned. The final kicker came when he was dropped from the college team and saw his future disappear before his eyes! He surprised us all by dropping out of college and joining the Army. I later found out that the recruiter had filled his head with tales of being a big fish in a small pond and his Army career would be one centred on playing ball! He fell for it and signed up. Well least my parents were proud of the all-American boy, and now it appeared, he was back!

The welcome home party for the returning hero, was the talk of the town and despite my protestations I was ordered to be in attendance. Beth had ensured through her various ways that any work emergency would not fall my way, so I had to suck up the happy family life and re-embrace the glory of living with my brother and his shadow.

Could a leopard change its spots? It's an interesting thought and one that consumed me as I looked upon my twin for the first time in nearly three years. Had he finally grown up, he certainly seemed more mature as he circled around the party. Off course he held centre stage, charming all the invited throng. The women were held spellbound by his tales of war and the Army way. I heard more than a few swoon when he proudly showed off his very own war wound. The king was back, long live the king. As the evening wore on his tales returned to a familiar theme, yes, you've guessed it us. He started to regale to the gathered few about memories and tales of our childhood. Every one of his glories and my failures in classic glorious technicolour.

At some point in the evening we made the move to go home. It was late and only the most ardent of his female supporters still held court. Drunk, he had started maudling about the life and riches that had so cruelly been taken away from him. Spotting me, he spouted out. If I was rich, I would ensure that my family and friends were well looked after. Nothing is more important than family! He was looking directly at me as he said it and I knew in that second that had my answer. No, a leopard doesn't change its spots.

He was trying to bait me, just like when we were at school together. I lost count of the times when I lent him money, never to have it returned. To Davy, having $50 bucks in the bank was equivalent of being a millionaire. I suddenly had a dark thought and before responding to my drunken brother I collected my wife and we exited the party. The drive home was mercifully quiet. Beth swayed by the numerous drinks of the evening fell asleep quickly, leaving me alone to my thoughts.

The raised bet:

The answer came the next day.

At some point in the previous evening the discussion had fallen on property and when we were going to buy here. I had managed to evade the trap set, unfortunately Beth hadn't and had disclosed everything. The fact that we weren't looking yet and that the 500K. YES, the 500K in our bank account, whilst we looked around for our next step.

You're rich someone had shouted and the genie unbeknown to me was out of the bottle. Of course, it didn't take too long for my brother to hear. If only I had realised then, that my life and my predictable ways were about to change forever.

It was a surprise and not a nice one when I was interceded by my father early the next week. You see Davy had enlisted him to approach me with an unbelievable and un-miss able family opportunity. If I was willing to lend, yes lend not give away and never see again!

My loving brother wanted a mere $50'000 for a money-making venture that simply couldn't fail! Off course my father was totally in favour of this, stating that it would help him find his feet after the many years of service protecting this country! The problem being that he didn't have any money to offer. Off course he mentioned that I would be helping family and that this money of mine, was simply sat in the bank, doing nothing!

Hopefully now you'll realise that I'm not an idiot? Ok, maybe I am slightly as you'll see when the story unfolds, but even I knew that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, then guess what, yes, it's a DUCK!!

My brother had no such business scheme. He just simply saw an opportunity to make some easy money and live the easy life. All he had to do was play the family card. Off course Dad, I responded. I would love to help Davy in any way I can. Why don't we all get together and go through this business plan. If it's as good as he says and providing Beth doesn't object, then I would be happy to help!

Thwarted and he knew it for the idea was never mentioned to me again. In fact, the opposite actually happened as he actually got himself a job. You see in the Army he ended up being a driver. Beth's company always seemed to be advertising for drivers, it seemed a natural fit. Seeing the signs YET? Well, as you can imagine, I didn't.

My ignorance is bliss existence carried on for the next couple of months until one day I decided to drop in and surprise her for lunch. Instead I saw her eating in the cafeteria with Davy, along with another thirty or so people. It didn't look like the first time either as they seemed extremely pally together. My first reaction was that he was working on her support to make another crack at borrowing some money again. Only, when she came home, she never mentioned anything. No lunch, no chat, it was as if nothing ever happened.

Strike two smacked me between the eye's one week later. It was my mum's sister's birthday. It was a special number and so upon pain of death, attendance was ordained as it was a special family gathering. However, in the last-minute Beth's company had an emergency meaning she couldn't attend. Unusual, but not alarming. The shock came when two days before we were due to go, I found out that Davy had managed to excuse himself as well. What's the saying about suspicious minds? Well alarms were sounding.

I did something I never thought I would ever do, I started questioning my wife. Firstly, I started watching her closely, every action, every phone call. I came home early from work so I could root through her things. No fire but plenty of smoke. In one draw I found several sexy items then I hadn't seen before.

Several things hit me immediately. Firstly, I had been sleepwalking through my marriage. Since our move, we were both so committed to prospering at work that we had allowed our personal life to suffer. Our lives were one of routine and predictability. The spark we both shared, had gone.

Without any actually proof, I couldn't shake my thoughts and fears. Action was needed.

I knew I couldn't escape my role of dutiful son, however I could put two plans into action. Firstly, for the next two days I went full charm offensive on my wife. Flowers, surprise dinner and quality time together. Unfortunately, I couldn't reverse her decision to come with us as the emergency at work took precedent! Second plan was to bug the house and her car with camera's and mikes. One of the last jobs I had just undertaken involved the suspicion of an employee stealing. We had to set up the surveillance equipment before we eventually caught him with his hand in the cookie jar. With a little bit of guilt but a lot of determination, I started to place the devices around my loving home.

I had an app that would enable me access to her phone. Her messages, calls and emails. The problem was it took time to load. Her phone was never away from her. The last thing I wanted was to tip of my suspicions so I decided to make the best of what I could.

Brotherly Love:

To say devastated would be an understatement. The longest weekend of my life mercifully came to the end with the crashing reality that my wife and brother were in fact lovers. I couldn't discern a lot as nothing physical had actually happened at home. The actual assignation had occurred in a local motel. My brother had gone full charm offensive and her walls had simply crumbled down. The messages, talks and kisses between them was full of love, devotion and worst of all, a future together. Exactly how long this had been going on was unclear, but three things immediately hit me. Firstly, she was clearly infatuated with him, maybe even love? I could see her struggles and despite claims of loving me and not wanting to hurt me, she had willingly given herself to him. Secondly, he was making all the noises about marrying her as soon as they could. Here came the irony. We lived in a no-fault state. This meant that half of everything we had together was hers. When she queried a future together the mist cleared. Through her, he got $250'000. She had her job and together he would start a new business. Yes, the fabled business idea from before, only instead of $50'000, he had traded up to quarter of a million. Thirdly as if the first two revelations weren't damaging enough, it appears that my parents were in some way aware of their budding closeness, and had decided to do NOTHING...

How do you three strikes and you're ALL OUT!

I knew and felt my life change in that very moment. Good old dependable Phil, predictable old Phil, plain and stupid Phil, WELL guess what? Not anymore, from this moment on I'm not going to play by those same rules anymore... it was a good thing that Beth's mum had suddenly been taken poorly, requiring Beth to be away all week. I course I knew the real reason, she was too ashamed to face me and to unsure of her true feelings. A week away suited both of us just fine.

Present Day:

My loving wife was first through the door and virtually jumped into my arms. Sweetheart, as she smothered me with a million kisses. Stepping back fearful, as my reaction to her embrace was nothing more than cordial. Second through were my loving parents. By the time my twin brother emerged through the door, I had already turned my back and was walking to the well-stocked bar to replenish my much-needed drink.

Concern, distress and fear was etched across all.

What caused their distress was the final unveiling that I had resigned my job over three weeks ago. My boss who knew the true reason, accidently on purpose bumped into my mother one day and ask after me since I had so suddenly resigned. Confusion, concern, my loving family had still believed that I was working away in Las Vegas for the last few weeks. I had somehow managed to keep up this illusion better than I expected. The problem was it was time to move on.

Las Vegas was a dream. Three weeks of living the high life, parties, gorgeous women and gambling. The problem of course was the gambling and the fact that I was losing. For the first time in my life I was playing without rules and I loved it. Off course I knew this couldn't continue, so I let slip my true whereabouts and employment status. How do you say SHOCK! They were on the first plane out!

My father always held a disapproving frown on his forehead when he was either disappointed or annoyed with me. My mother just didn't know where to look, on the one hand she wanted to rush over and smother me but on the other she had to worry about how it would look towards Davy. Davy just looked around the spacious and decadent room, mouth opened wide.

Why are you here? This was my opening gambit. Not the greatest I agree, but then I had never been in this situation before.

We're all worried son. Mike told us you've resigned from work, left home, fled to Vegas and taken up gambling? I must admit my father sounded sincere. He had obviously been elected chief spokesman.

I was tempted to let their concern and condemnation continue but I realised in a flash that I didn't care anymore and put simply, I had had enough!

STOP! ENOUGH, I've had enough. My voice sounded strange but forceful.

Mother, father you can stop this phoney concern right now. I could see the shock in all four of my companions. I had never spoken to any of them this way before. I think they were expecting to arrive and find a broken man before them.

You see I know everything. I left the word everything hanging out there. I wanted them ALL to know that I knew about their shame. I wanted them all to feel shame.

Mum and Dad, I've decided that I'm going to give you what you always wanted!

They couldn't look at me as my eyes bore into them. I was suddenly standing.

I'm going to give you back 7 minutes. At first, they didn't understand.

I turned and focused on Davy as I said the next part. My loving younger brother by 7 minutes. Mum, Dad take a look at your blue-eyed boy. He was always your favourite, the one who you loved, nurtured and protected. Well my gift to you is him! As of now, I no longer exist to you. That's right, I'm dis-owning you and golden boy here from this moment on, is your ONLY son.

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byErringfoil© 81 comments/ 25039 views/ 17 favorites

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