Twelve Years and a Wake upbySlirpuff©
After two years of dating and almost ten of marital bliss what did I have to show for it? An insanely over priced home, a mediocre job, a marriage that was on life support and a group of friends that were always trying to out do one another. The only bright spot was our two wonderful kids, David who is eight and a half and Megan who just turned seven this month. If it weren't for them I'd be out of here in a heartbeat but there is no way I would do that to them, well not yet anyway.
Divorce? Not an option. We purchased our home at the peak of the market. We went in debt up to our eyeballs thinking if we didn't jump in immediately we'd never be able to afford a home later, a huge mistake. The house is nice and all, but we're, as they call it, house poor. If we got divorced, neither one of us could afford the payments by themselves. So I stay in this marriage because of the kids and not wanting to live out of the back seat of my car. But for how long is my only question.
It wasn't always like this, but I guess stress and moving in two different directions is what happened. Heather wanted the storybook marriage along with the house with the white picket fence. And me? Well I wanted to marry the love of my life and travel the world in our spare time. Kids have a way of changing those dreams.
Heather ended up pregnant while we were planning our vacation to the South of France. How? She made the mistake of forgetting to take her birth control pills with her on one of our weekend getaways and thought that she'd be ok since it wasn't her fertile time of the month. She always was bad in math and with a bun in the oven our trip to France had to be put on the back burner.
After David, she told me that if we wanted another one we should have it right away so they would be close together in age and we'd be done with diapers and potty training all at once. We didn't count on it taking her longer to get pregnant the second time around. It was loads of fun at first actually trying to make a baby, but after a while it was, 'just put it in and get it over with.' Then with two small ones in the house, there wasn't much traveling anymore and when we did, we needed a travel trailer just to hold everything we thought we might need.
"Dreams never really die; they're just put on hold knowing that they will resurface later when things settle down," I kept telling myself to lift my spirits as I did one mundane task or another. I can't say life was dull with two kids in the house; it just wasn't the kind of excitement I sometimes was looking for.
After eight years we had became the typical suburbia married couple. The kids had sports and other activities and we had a group of friends that were mostly like us, doing their best to live the American Dream. But when we hit nine years my brain woke up and didn't like what it saw any longer.
We were barely scrapping by. The country club dues along with two new car payments were taking their toll. Our kids always needed something and our yearly wage increases just weren't keeping up. We were living way beyond our means.
Heather was a secretary and clerk in a law firm and I was a middle manager in a manufacturing plant. Though our jobs weren't high profile, along with as much overtime I could muster, they just covered our comfortable life style. And Heather and I? Well we both loved the kids anyway.
Dockers and a polo shirt was the normal outfit of the day for me while Heather was always dressed to the nines. As Heather put it, she had to look professional since she was meeting the firms clients. For Christ's sakes, she was a law clerk, not trying cases before the Supreme Court.
The worst part was, after almost ten years of marriage the spark was all but gone. The arguments about money and everything else had thrown bucket after bucket of cold water on our relationship. We were civil to one another, and even still slept in the same bed, but that was about it. We were in it for our kids now.
At our neighborhood get togethers everyone thought we were that happy couple. I never told anyone that we weren't but I could see the looks from the other wives and knew that Heather was opening her big mouth about our home life. I guess it didn't really matter except that I didn't want everyone knowing our business, not that it was going to change anything.
The only good thing that came from these get togethers, was that Heather usually had too much to drink and would come back horny and wanting a little relief. I'd stopped calling it love making a while ago, it was more like a much-needed sexual release. It wasn't an all night session and there usually wasn't much foreplay, just a lot of sucking and fucking to coin a phrase. Then the next day we went back to being the typical Ozzie and Harriet couple. It sucked. We'd only had sex twice in the last month and I was getting tired of asking. Let me rephrase that, I was tired of begging.
I had needs that were in no way being met. Hell I was a guy and guys all wanted to do it every hour on the hour, but per Heather it wasn't going to happen, well not in her lifetime. At first she used the kids as an excuse, then she was tired, and finally she just wasn't in the mood.
Things came to kind of a head after our last neighborhood get together. It was at our house this month and by the time everyone had left, Heather was feeling no pain. I cleaned up most of the basics and the rest could wait until after breakfast on Sunday. I was more than ready for a little relief but by the time I'd made it upstairs, Heather had already showered and was in bed. I snuggled up, kissed her on the neck, but got no response. I let my hands wander and then I heard it. It wasn't loud but unmistakable; she was snoring. She was down for the count. I tried a few things but to no avail. I begrudgingly took a shower, got a little hand relief and went to sleep. I wasn't a happy camper.
I had breakfast going for the kids when she made her way down to the kitchen. Even with a hot skillet of bacon and the other with eggs cooking, there was frost in the air.
"Sorry about last night."
I said nothing.
"It wasn't intentional, I just had too much to drink last night."
My anger must have tripped the stupid switch in my brain as I took it up a notch.
"You now need to be drunk to have sex with me? Be still my heart, I don't need your pity fucks." The look on her face was priceless. "You can keep them because they haven't been worth the wait lately anyway." I said thinking about the last time when I'd grabbed her coming out of the shower. It was like fucking a blowup doll.
As I said it, I'd ratcheted it up more than a couple of notches.
She finally replied. "If you weren't pawing at me all the time maybe I'd be in the mood more often."
"Maybe if I got some more than a couple times a year I wouldn't be pawing at you all the time."
"You're just like a dog in heat, all you're looking to do is get yourself off." I was tired of her holier than though attitude.
"Don't worry I won't be bothering you anymore."
"Good, it'll be a refreshing change not to have to fend you off every time I walk by you."
"Heather, why don't you go fuck yourself?" At that she looked shocked, I'd never spoken to her in that way. "But on second thoughts, you're probably doing that anyway."
I walked away leaving two pans on the stove burning away.
She tried to backtrack a bit that night but I was still angry and was tired of all the excuses. We got into it again and she stormed out of the room and I went to sleep. Well, what I did was turn off the light, lock our bedroom door and try to sleep, which didn't happen. I was almost ready to add our marriage to the growing number of divorce statistic, money or no money.
I think she tried the doorknob around two o'clock in the morning but there was no way I was letting her in the room. Where she ended up sleeping is anyone's guess. With just three bedrooms in the house and all of them being used, that just left the couch in the TV room. It was old and hard as a rock.
At six o'clock I got up, took a shower, got dressed, and finally opened up our bedroom door. I woke up the kids, got them moving, and headed downstairs. Heather came out of the den and shot daggers at me. "Morning to you too," I said walking past her.
A cup of coffee and laying out the kids breakfast is what I did before leaving the house. This was the start of the new polar ice age.
After that we didn't talk. We would say words to one another but we didn't talk. No kisses, hugs, or any shows of affection were exchanged. Heels were dug in and when I told her that I wasn't going to Carol and Tim's BBQ she about had a fit.
"What am I going to tell them?"
"How about the truth? That would be novel idea wouldn't it? But I suppose all the wives already know what an uncaring asshole I already am." I didn't back down and she and the kids walked across the street with her Jell-O mold in hand.
She came back smashed, as usual, but she wasn't looking for any loving this time.
"Everyone asked where you were. I told them you weren't feel well and let it go at that."
"Why didn't you tell them I'm married to a frigid bitch and got tired of begging for it?" She wasn't in the mood or was too drunk to argue at this point. She took a shower, put on one of her normal tee shirts and slid into bed.
When I felt her reach for me, I pulled away. She didn't try again. So our new life went on week by week. I gave myself a little hand relief when it was needed and I think Heather went through a box of batteries. When she went out with a couple of friends on a Friday night I was almost happy to have her out of the house for the night. But when she got home some time after midnight, the look on her face told me we now had an even bigger issue. Even though I didn't want to believe it, I think Heather had taken our problems to a whole new level.
She didn't say a word to me Saturday and made sure not to make any eye contact. Lava was brewing inside me but I was going to make her bring it up, which didn't happen. When she went out twice more and came back looking the same way I finally did something to bring it to a head.
It was Friday night and she was getting dressed to go out with her girlfriends again. Sue was honking for her in the driveway and just as she was giving me the spiel about not waiting up for her I tossed them to her. She caught them and time stopped. It was a three pack of condoms.
"I just want to make sure you don't bring anything back with you that's contagious. There is a ton of shit out there and I don't want my kids picking up anything your lovers might give you." She was dumbstruck but at this point I no longer cared what she thought.
She started to say something but I stopped her dead.
"Your lover is probably waiting for you and you don't want to be late, do you?" I turned around and walked into the kitchen. When I heard the door close, I had my answer.
She was home by eleven. I wasn't sure if she was drunk or not, but it no longer made a difference. I faked being asleep and it took forever for her to come to bed. I was waiting for something, anything to see if there was even a chance to save what we once had but nothing happened.
Saturday morning I think she tried to start to say something to me a couple of times but stopped before anything came out of her mouth. It did shock the hell out of her when I put on my best suit and got ready to go out while she was preparing dinner. I even put on my favorite cologne and sprayed two squirts into the air to make sure Heather would notice.
With a "don't wait up for me," I was out the door and on my way to dinner, alone. I didn't have a date, and I didn't have a clue where I was going, I just wanted to show her she wasn't the only who had someone interested in them.
I went to dinner at Denny's and then went bowling, something I hadn't done in forever. As expected, I was awful. I barely broke a hundred the first game, and by my fourth, my arm and thumb had started hurting, I was using muscles I hadn't used in the last ten years, but I had fun. I joked around with the groups on either side of me and even flirted with a couple of the unescorted ladies. Was it going to go any further? Not really. None of them even remotely interested me and I had enough problems without me also starting an affair. I drove around town for another half hour to make sure I didn't come home before midnight.
It didn't surprise me that she was waiting up for me. I had my suit jacket thrown over my shoulder, and walked by her without even acknowledging her presence; two could play this game.
Heather didn't go out the next Friday night but I was dressed and out the door by seven o'clock on Saturday. I went to see part one of the new Harry Potter movie, had dinner at a Boston Market and hit a comedy club for their ten-thirty adult show. Stopping at a bar for a nightcap, I didn't have to drive around this time, because it was almost one in the morning before I was on my way home.
I'd had fun even by myself. It would have been more fun being with someone else but I was tired of being the odd man out in my own marriage. She was in bed this time and even though she looked like she was asleep I knew she wasn't.
I took a long shower, brushed my teeth, and finally slipped into bed naked as the day I was born. I stayed to my side of the bed and waited for her to say or do something; but like before, nothing.
"Have fun last night?" Heather said at breakfast.
"Yes I did, thanks for asking," I said with a smile. However, that wasn't exactly what she meant by that statement but I wasn't playing her little game and no way was she sucking me into a fight this morning.
By this time the kids were in the kitchen and everyone was settling into what used to be our typical Sunday breakfast.
Kids are usually oblivious to what's happening between adults unless it's loud and or includes them. Since we were no longer fighting or doing much of anything together they saw no reason to worry. I too wasn't worried because I'd basically given up on my marriage and was looking ahead to what life had in store for me. I could have marked time until the kids were older but with her doing what I was sure she was now doing I was done with her. The one thing that did change however was my attitude and the people at work noticed.
"Steve, you've been in such a good mood lately I'm glad the gloom and doom Steve is gone," our office secretary Debbie said when I came in and wished her a good morning with a big smile on my face. I was no longer looking at the clock at the end of the day because I no longer had anyone, other than my two kids, to rush home to. When I took one of the unmarried girls in the office to lunch no one said anything. But when it became a habit over the period of a couple of months people started talking, not to me mind you, but to everyone else.
I was getting ready to make a few changes in my life, no use waiting for the other shoe to drop. When Heather came home late on Thursday the kids had already been fed and were upstairs doing their homework.
When she walked in and our eyes met I fired a broadside.
"Damn he must be great in bed, I haven't seen you with that satisfied a look on your face in years. I hope he was worth it."
"Steve, you don't have clue what you're taking about. You just think you know everything when you don't know shit."
"Anything you say hon," I replied smiling.
"By the way are you going with me to Ken and Pan's BBQ this Saturday?"
"No can do, I'll probably have plans."
"You don't like our friends any more?"
"By now all the wives think I'm some type of asshole and the guys probably think I'm some type of wimp for letting you fuck around on me, so no, I'd rather be gang raped by a group of Hells Angels than accompany you Saturday."
"I'm not screwing around on you!" she screamed back at me.
"Well if you're not getting it from me, you're getting it from someone and frankly I don't give a shit anymore. Besides they won't be my neighbors soon anyway." I'd been saving that one for just the right moment.
"What the hell are you talking about now?"
"Our house goes on the market for sale starting tomorrow."
"Say what? You can't do that without my permission."
"Not going to make much of a difference soon anyway. After the divorce you're not going to be able to afford the house payments and I'm sure as hell not going to make payments on a house so that you and your new lover can shack up at my expense."
"Ours sweetheart, haven't you been listening? I figure we might just make enough off the house to pay off the two cars and most of the credit card bills. This way we'll both be able to start fresh somewhere else. Me, I've got my eye on a little apartment about three blocks from work. I'll be able to save a ton on gas walking to work."
Heather just stood there with her mouth wide open, not believing what was coming out of my mouth.
"You've finally lost it, you know that? You've finally gone off the deep end."
"Maybe, but at least I won't have to deal with a cold hearted bitch much longer."
"Read my lips, I am not cheating on you, understand?"
"Don't really care at this point anymore. What we had is long gone and I don't think an act of God could bring it back. I'm tired of your mood swings, your idiotic games and being married to my hand. I want a normal life with a caring and loving wife; which by the way is anyone but you. So you can go out, fuck anyone you want, and not worry about me, because frankly you haven't anyway in the last couple of years."
I'd said my piece and headed up to my bedroom.
It was still early but I was pretty drained. I read the kids a story, gave them both a kiss and said that their mother would be up soon to tuck them in. After brushing my teeth, I stripped down and went to sleep at nine thirty and surprisingly fell right to sleep. The next day there was a For Sale sign on our lawn.
I figured it was going to be a long weekend so Friday night I picked up two movies the kids might want to watch. Heather was probably going out Friday night, which gave me more than enough alone time with the kids.
When I pulled into the driveway, the For Sale sign was lying by the side of the house in pieces. Didn't really matter, it was on the MLS Listing and that's where everyone looked now a days anyway.
"Dad are we really selling our house?" both kids asked me.
"Yes we are sports, but don't worry, we'll be just fine."
"See I told you we were moving," my son David told his younger sister Megan. They weren't going to like the upcoming changes but they were resilient and would survive.
"You guys really selling the house?" Ken, my next-door neighbor asked me when I took the trashcans to the curb.
"Yup, caught Heather cheating on me and divorcing the bitch," I said it with a smile on my face. He looked a little taken back at my frankness and said that he was sorry and would miss us, walking back to his house. I figured, knowing his wife Pam, in an hour the whole neighborhood would know.
"We're not selling the house," Heather yelled as I walked through the kitchen door. "You can't sell it without my permission and I'm not giving it," she said with her arms crossed in front of her.
"Then we'll get nothing out of the house when it goes into foreclosure. This way if we sold it at least we'll get a few bucks."
"The house is not for sale!"
"Suit yourself." I wasn't going to get into an argument about it. I went upstairs to change.
After hearing two phone calls I could tell it was going to be a loud night. I heard "Jesus Christ" and "he said what?" as I slipped on a pair of shorts and a tee shirt. I waked down the stairs to beard the lioness in her kitchen.