The Wife's DebtbyVarode©
The bar was almost, but not quite, a dive. The floor was a bit dirty, the speakers on the jukebox were a bit tinny. The waitress looked a bit long in the tooth. The low-class nature of the place wasn't my idea. I had just started tending bar here one night a week and didn't know the owner well enough to suggest changes. The back of the bar and kitchen area were clean, which is all I cared about.
The rundown nature of the joint made the woman who entered stand out a bit. She was too clean, with what looked like freshly washed hair that had not been teased and hairsprayed into stiffness. Her hair was light brown, which also stood out. Every other woman in the place - all three - was either a bottle blonde or had hair that looked as if it had been dyed with black shoe polish. Her clothes were clean and not eye-catching in any way: just a knee-length black skirt, a pink blouse, and low-heeled shoes. She was about 35, maybe. If she had been around the block a few times, she had done it riding in a nice car.
The woman would have looked totally out of place if she didn't have a beaten expression on her face. She looked like a dog that had been kicked one time too many.
She looked around the bar and her eyes rested on each man there for a few seconds before she moved her gaze on to the next man. The only man she did not look at was the one in the blue denim jacket at the far end of the bar. She also didn't look at me, but I am the bartender and I am used to not getting a second glance from a customer until they want a drink.
I had now seen this same routine six times in the past two weeks in three separate bars. This same woman had come into the bar at about the same time in the evening, 11 p.m. I decided to watch to see if the pattern held.
There were three men sitting at the bar, including the guy in the denim jacket. All three looked to be in their early forties and two of the three had their attention on the TV over the bar that was playing a sports wrap-up show. Denim jacket had his full attention on the beer in front of him.
The woman walked over to the bar and sat down next to the closest guy, on his right. She could have sat on a stool by herself, but she didn't. There is a mirror behind the bar and she stared straight at her own reflection for a minute or two. I put a glass of white wine in front of her. She didn't even notice that I knew what she would order before she ordered it. Like I said, the bartender is just part of the furniture to most people, especially when, like this woman, they seem to have a load on their mind.
She took a sip of wine and then another one. Then she turned to the man sitting next to her and asked how the Yankee game turned out. The surprise on his face showed that he wasn't used to nice-looking women starting conversations with him. He matched the bar: a bit sloppy and a bit frayed around the corners.
She chatted him up a bit. You could tell that she wasn't a real sports fan and that she was just trying to make conversation. At least I could. The man was desperately trying to keep the chat going. He was the poster boy for lame conversation, but he bought her another glass of wine and offered to buy her something stronger. Obviously, his experience told him he would need to get more alcohol into her before he could put any blatant moves on her. Like asking what her name was.
She leaned closer to him and it looked like she was asking a question. He got a surprised look on his face - all right, it was out-and-out shock - and looked down at his lap. From the position of her upper arm, her left hand was on his thigh or in his lap. From the look on his face, it wasn't just laying there.
He nodded at her and she whispered something else to him. Then she got up from her seat and walked to the back of the bar and turned down the little hall that led to the restrooms. There was a small alcove back there with a pay phone and it was poorly lit.
He waited about 10 seconds and got up and followed her. I served another beer to the guy in the denim jacket and made change for a customer who wanted coins for the jukebox. The waitress placed an order from a couple at a table. Two people left the bar and no one came in. No one went toward the back, either to the restrooms or phone.
They were back there about 15 minutes. The woman came back to the bar and chugged down the last of her wine. She dropped a $20 bill on the bar and walked out. She was not smiling. She looked even more beaten than she did when she had walked in.
The man took a good minute or so before he came back into the bar. There is no other way to put it but to say that he looked like a man who had just got some. He had that strut. He missed a step a bit when he noticed that the woman was gone already. Maybe he thought that his lucky streak was still going. Still, he sat down where he had been and watched the last of the sports wrap-up. He tipped me nicely when he left and winked at me like he was some kind of a hotshot. The loser.
Fifteen minutes after the woman left, the man in the denim jacket signaled for me. He settled his tab and got up to leave.
I leaned into towards him and spoke low. "Don't you think this is enough now?"
He raised his head a bit and glared at me, but he could not look me in the eye for more than a second. His shoulders dropped a bit. "Yeah. I think so. She paid her debt. I'll see you tomorrow."
I tended the bar until closing time and washed up everything. Just before I locked the place up and went home, I left a resignation note on the owner's desk.
* * * *
The man in the denim jacket came to my office at around 2 p.m. the next day. He was wearing a nice charcoal gray suit with a white shirt and yellow tie. His dark brown hair was neat and combed and he looked like what he was: a lawyer in private practice.
"Mr. Davis," I stood while I greeted him and shook hands. He is an occasional client of my private investigation agency and it always pays to be polite. I am not sure that I want to work for him in the future, not after this case, but I never say never.
Davis sat down across from my desk and looked at the pile of videotapes on my desk. I also had a written report for him, along with an invoice for my services and expenses.
"You can destroy those tapes. I am not even going to look at them," Davis said.
I looked at him gravely and spoke. "Let me give you some professional advice. Take them and destroy them yourself. Don't just erase them. Pull the tapes out of the cases and shred them. Burn them. Physically destroy them. You should not trust me or anyone else to do it. Because if you ever see anyone on the internet who even slightly looks like your wife, you will be coming after me to ask what happened to the tape."
He shrugged and I continued. "You know me and you know my reputation. We have worked together before. I guarantee that no one has seen these tapes but me and that they have not been copied in any way. I am the only person from this agency who knows anything about this case. If it had been up to me, I would never have put in the video surveillance units in the bars. You insisted."
"I wanted proof that she carried out her part. That she had done what she promised," Davis said.
"You wanted proof that you had gotten your revenge."
"She cheated on me. I needed to punish her."
"Davis, your wife had a one-night stand. Hell, it was less than that. She had too much to drink at a party and ended up with her skirt around her waist and him pounding into her. And you caught her."
Davis sighed and said nothing. He was reaching into the breast pocket of his jacket for something when I picked up one of the tapes. I tapped it on the desktop to get his attention.
"I insist that you look at this one tape. I understand your need to see her punished. I just don't understand why you chose this way."
"I don't want to see it," Davis said.
"I think you should see this." I loaded the tape into the VCR under the television behind my desk.
Davis snorted. "Don't make excuses for her. She did what she did and she had to pay for it."
I looked back at him as I hit the play button. "She paid, alright."
The tape started. It had been made earlier in the week, at a different bar from the one where I had worked last night. Although I had managed to be hired as a bartender at three different bars, this tape had been shot on a night when I was not been present because I could not arrange it. The small video unit had been placed in a back hallway of the bar and had been connected to a motion detector. The recorder automatically started taping if anyone entered the area.
The tape was in black and white. Mrs. Davis was again in a black skirt and some sort of light colored knit top. That had been part of her husband's deal. He made her wear clothes similar to the ones she wore the night she got drunk.
On the tape, she came into view and leaned up against the wall waiting. After a minute or so, a man came into the hallway and briskly grabbed her. He was in his late thirties or early forties and looked like he worked construction.
"Hey, baby, I can't believe this. Are we gonna get it on, or what?" he said. He sounded a bit drunk, or maybe just excited.
Mrs. Davis said nothing. She just slowly sank to her knees as the man unzipped his pants and pulled his cock out. It was already half hard. She leaned forward and immediately took it in her mouth and started sucking.
"Take it, bitch. Suck that cock," the man said. "Oh, yeah, you know what I like. A whore like you knows how to do it. I wish my wife would suck me."
The tape only showed the back of Mrs. Davis' head, which was bobbing up and down. She said nothing and made no noise, or if she did, the mike did not pick it up. The man did all the talking.
"Suck me. Use your tongue. Suck me like the whore you are," he said. Her head was moving back and forth on his cock almost mechanically. He was getting into it and put his hands on her head guiding her speed. Her hands went up to his hips to try to slow him down or stop him from going in so deeply, but he didn't notice. She started to make gagging noises.
That's it, gag on my cock. Take it. Take it all. Get it all." He was starting to grunt and increased his speed.
I turned to Davis. "Your wife is choking right now. She is trying to slow him down."
Davis' face was fixed on the television.
On the screen, the man stopped talking and was now just grunting. Mrs. Davis must have figured out some way to breath when he pulled out because she had dropped her hands from his hips.
The man grunted one last time and his whole body stiffened. He definitely looked like a man who was coming. A few seconds later, he pulled out from her mouth. What he did next made me clench my teeth. He sneered and wiped his cock on Mrs. Davis' pretty face.
"Thanks for the blow job, bitch. Shall I send my friend back here?"
Mrs. Davis shuddered and quietly said no. The man shrugged and zipped himself back into his pants. He swaggered down the hallway and out to the bar.
Davis spoke again. "I don't know why you are making me see this. I told her that she had to give ten strangers blow jobs or that I would leave her and take the children. I know what she did. I was sitting in those bars each and every time."
The tape rolled. The second the man was out of sight, Mrs. Davis slumped over and leaned against the wall, still in a kneeling position. He shoulders started to shake and you could hear her sobs. She sat like that for two or three minutes and then stood up and went down the hall to the women's room. Five minutes after that, she passed by the camera again, with her hair brushed and her skirt straightened and walked out to the bar. I stopped the video.
Davis sat there across from my desk. His lips were pursed and he appeared to be staring at one corner of my desk.
"Mr. Davis, you caught your wife in a compromising position. You are not the first man and you will not be the last to have that happen. Half of my business is getting the goods on unfaithful spouses. But you went further. You insisted that she pay you back in some way for her infidelity and you hired me to help ensure she did it. I chose the bars and set up the video equipment. I also arranged to be on hand most of these past nights in case any real trouble started.
"I didn't want to take this case this far," I told him. "You came to me to set this up after you saw your wife in a compromising position. You asked me to check up on her past activities and I did. To the best of my knowledge, and you know that I am the best private investigator in this state, your wife has never been unfaithful to you except for that one time."
"Once was enough as far as I am concerned. I do not intend to divorce her because she has been an excellent mother to my children and I . . . we . . loved each other," Davis paused to a second. "I just wanted her to know what a slut she was. What she did was the same as what I made her do."
I sighed. "You have said that before and it makes as little sense now as it did then. But something else has come across my desk. Your wife has allergies, right?"
Davis looked at me. "Yes, but what does that matter?"
"Have you ever seen her drunk before? I mean so drunk that she would do something like commit adultery?"
Davis shook his head.
"Your wife may have been the victim of a drug interaction. While I was checking up on her, I found out that she had started a new allergy medication a few weeks ago, a new drug that is just on the market now. It was part of my investigation of her recent activities. I didn't think anything about it, but I mentioned the drug to a friend of mine who is a pharmacist. She told me that she has been hearing that the combination of this new allergy drug and alcohol seriously interferes with judgment. Someone takes this drug and one drink and they act like they have knocked back six or seven shots. They totally lose control."
Davis' face got paler.
"So on the basis of one incident, you decided your wife was a slut and a whore who had to pay you back for what she did. And you forced her to be a bigger slut. But you know the weirdest part of this?"
Davis looked at me. "What?"
"The weirdest thing is that she did it. She followed your instructions to the letter so that you would not divorce her and take your kids away from her. She has never looked at another man twice, except for that one time she unwittingly lost control of herself."
Davis wiped his forehead. His face was still pale. "I am going to go home now. My wife has been begging me to go into counseling with her to help save the marriage. I should never have been so harsh with her."
He looked up at me. "When I caught her, it broke my heart. I didn't listen to her or maybe I would have realized that she wasn't herself when it happened."
I nodded. "I think you broke her heart, too. I just hope you didn't break her spirit."
As I started putting the videos into a shopping bag, Davis pulled my invoice over to his side of my desk. He was reaching for his checkbook as he glanced at invoice, but then he stopped.
"This invoice is just for the cost of the surveillance systems," he said. "What about your time?"
I met his eyes. "I got paid for my shifts as a bartender. I've donated that money to a shelter for abused children. I will not take any money from you for this. You made your wife be a slut for a week. If I took any money because of that, it would make her a whore. You may have wanted to do that to her, but I do not."