My ProblembyDaiquiri Girl©
Moving from Oklahoma to be with my widowed father was difficult. On the one hand I was unhappy to leave four close friends behind. On the other, because of my divorce it was not that difficult, particularly when I learned dozens of friends and acquaintances had known about Wyatt's affairs. What hurt even more was that one of those four friends not only knew but had helped her sister hide the affair from Tammy's husband.
The fourteen months after first moving to Oak Hill were filled with loneliness. Beyond a few friends at the office I had no local friends. Between caring for my father and his house and my travels to the field I had little social life. Living with my father had its difficulties and tensions. Our heated disagreements sometimes left me wondering if I did the right thing moving into his home. Yet on many more days I knew he needed help otherwise he would hardly eat well or keep his house clean.
Both voracious readers, Kara and I met at a local book signing. Kara attracted my attention as she was wearing a Sooner Rose Bowl shirt. I introduced myself as my Masters is from OU. She laughed that she had not attended OU but became an OU fan when her and her husband attached themselves to Sooner fans at the Rose Bowl. The warmth and welcoming spirit of the OU fans impressed her. After the reading we moved to the coffee shop.
That Saturday afternoon I had learned Kara and Tim relocated from Illinois eleven months before I moved from Oklahoma. My heart went out to her when I learned she has uterine cancer. That Saturday was her second outing since undergoing a hysterectomy. I guess I connected with Kara as my mother died with the same cancer in 1989.
She learned following my father's hip surgery in May 2002 I relocated to make sure he was keeping himself right. We were two lonely women who befriended each other.
Over the following months Kara and I became fast friends and sharing closely held personal information and anguishes. It was a relief to have a local confidant. She helped me work through my frustration with my father's stubbornness and unwillingness to take early retirement from his banking position. Her wisdom surpasses her years.
She cried with me when I told her about Wyatt's cheating, his uncaring attitude, and my bitterness toward men in general. In 2002 Kara discovered her husband was having an affair. She thought she would leave him, but did not give up on him and their marriage. Tim quietly suffered her anger and her kicking him out of the bedroom. Though the affair ended, their relationship remained tense for months but was slowly rebuilt. Though Tim held full responsibility for the affair, Kara felt she needed to accept some blame. She created the ground for the affair as their sex life had dwindled due to her lack of interest and the discomforts she had dismissed. She bemoaned dismissing the early signals of cancer as just life changes.
One evening I expressed my unending frustrations to get my father out of the house and his lack of interest in dating. He needed someone other than me in his life and to love. Kara just laughed, "that's a hoot Ann. You two are so alike." She was right. I was just not ready to date. I distrusted men. I eased up on my father.
Early last year my father suffered a massive cardiac arrest. I saw my mother's death coming, but not my father's. Kara and Tim were my comfort and encouragement. Seeing I was in an immobilized state, Tim directed the funeral details. He worked with my brother in Missouri on arrangements. As the months passed Tim helped Ben and me find our father's last will and move it to probate. Though Kara and Tim said that they would help me go through my father's personal belongings, Tim did the work as Kara was increasingly becoming fatigued.
I was shaken the Saturday afternoon before Memorial Day when I learned cancer had been detected in Kara's intestines. We cried together as this was far from good news. When Kara fell asleep I found Tim on their deck. He looked like he had not had a good night's sleep in days. He lamented that the mother of his two children and wife was slowly dying. With a wine glass in his hand he mumbled several times he failed Kara terribly; that he has was a terrible husband and was loosing his love before he could do better for her. I assured him Kara thought no such thing. He said I just did not understand. I understood her feelings more than he knew.
Though tempted to tell him that Kara had long forgiven him I remained silent. Such an assurance could only come from her. I could not tell him that Kara understood his libido was as high as ever and she understood why he went looking elsewhere for satisfaction.
I did not tell him that Kara often told me that marrying him was one of her best decisions. They both passionately loved each other but had been not been adequately communicating their feelings and fears.
When the doctors provided Kara with revised treatment options this past summer she kept asking how will they alter the prognosis and how much time would it likely add to her life. About an extra six months to a year, maybe eighteen months. Kara took herself off most treatments except those that diminished pain or that helped her to sleep. I greatly admire her decision to live and die with dignity.
Kara's energy level continued to decrease month by month. Just before Labor Day I was dispatched to the Gulf Coast to assist in company's damage assessment and restoration effort. Returning October 20th I really noticed Kara had lost about another 11 lbs during the period and her eyes were looking a little gaunt. Her decline was not as great as I would have thought, but she was still declining.
Tim's depression continued to increase through to Christmas. His brave front for their two children was thin. Inside he was anything but a tower of confidence and courage. I noticed a higher number of dirty glasses in the sink or dishwasher. I suspected Tim was drinking more than he would admit to forget his pains.
I frequently stayed with Kara when Tim had to be on the road I often stayed with Kara. Due to her health he spent fewer overnights on the road than before, but all trips could not be left to others. In early November when Tim was on a three night trip to Pittsburgh I called to give him an update. While we talked for close to twenty minutes hour about nothing in particular, I noticed his words were slurred and he rambled.
On November 19th Tim took me to a nice restaurant. He did this periodically as his way of thanking me. Over dinner he had two drinks, likely one or two before as well. As we finished he again made reference to his failure. I told him enough of his cryptic language, tell me or stop it. Acquiescing he outlined the affair. He noted that he still had feelings for this other woman.
In the summer he asked if I thought it was possible for a woman or man to truly love more than one person deeply and truly. We discussed it again in September. He said it was theoretical, but I suspected it was not. I agreed it was possible and gave him my rationale. I think polygamist societies have demonstrated loving more than one spouse is possible. Yet our culture and laws have structures that make us believe such multiple loves cannot happen, and make us feel guilty if it does happen.
Driving home I thought Tim was in a most sorry and sorrowful state. He loved two women, one dying and the relationship with the other had long ended. It was ironic; I was on the opposite, had no one to love and was not thinking about it.
A week before Christmas found me in Springfield visiting my brother Ben and his family. I had driven Dad's car out so that it could become Ben's eldest daughter's when she turned 16 this April.
I could see in how Ben and Pat interacted that they loved each other deeply. They were unaware how their little touches, their little looks and comments proclaimed their love. Ben still opened the doors for Pat and held her hand as they walked along. Wyatt was like this even during the honeymoon. For Wyatt I was a sex partner, a bed warmer, a housekeeper, someone to look good on his arm at his Chamber of Commerce socials and eye candy on his television commercials. When I discovered two months after our sixth anniversary that he had been cheating on me repeatedly I was in shock. Though we had just months before decided to have a baby, fortunately we had not had any children to complicate the divorce.
When my shell of a marriage ended I started receiving a call or two a week inviting me out for dinner. Most of the invitations were men who just wanted to bed me. What disgusted me were the passes made by married men, including two from friends of Wyatt's. I was a piece of ass back on the market. They incorrectly assume a woman craves a cock and is willing to jump into bed to satisfy the craving. They are wrong about women. They are certainly wrong about me. I distrusted men as a result.
Seeing Ben's love for Pat reminded me what I should have expected from a husband and my long repressed dreams. On the evening of the 23rd I awoke to sounds of moaning with Ben and Pat being intimate. I looked at the clock, it was after 11:20. My mind recalled being in Galveston on spring break with a former college boyfriend, and my honeymoon in Wyoming. I missed the feeling of being pleasured. My boobs longed to be touched and suckled. By the final cry of release uttered minutes before midnight, tears filled my eyes. I heard them again Christmas and the night before I flew home. I envied Pat.
I flew home on an early Saturday afternoon flight and retrieved Daiquiri my cat from the neighbors. Entering my home at 8:50 I was overwhelmed. It was New Years Eve and I was alone for New Years Eve for the first time in my life. I hated the feeling. As I consumed a bottle of Chardonnay and cheese I took stock of my life. I need a man to love and who would love me tenderly. I needed a man who was not like Wyatt and his friends. My scientific nature told me to be methodical, not rush it and to lay out in my mind what characteristics I sought in a man.
Two nagging thoughts haunted me as the magic moment of transitioning from one year to another approached. I know such a man, a man who was more like my father and brother in many ways. And he matched many of what was on my mind's list. I had some affection for him. He comforts, affirms and encourages. He makes me feel good about myself. We had similar broad interests. He hates city life and prefers small towns just like me. Yet, I was disturbed by my thoughts. He is married. I would rather remain single than go down that road with Tim.
Mid afternoon New Years day Kara invited me over. The house was quiet. Their eldest child had moved back to Illinois last summer. Their youngest son was out and Tim was upstairs on the computer while Kara and I chatted about our dreams. I told her about the drive to Springfield and being alone last night, except for the thoughts about Tim.
Noticing Tim's third trip to the kitchen, Kara commented that his drinking was becoming a concern. Later I helped Kara bathe and get ready for bed. I was again struck by how much weight she has lost since we first met. Yet, I was pleased that she had gained 8lbs since Thanksgiving.
I found Tim in the den just before 10. I noticed his eyes were moist and soon I was comforting him. Between tears he cried he harmed two women he loved. He told me his love stories from beginning to end in greater detail than ever before. He recalled his life with Kara, their first dates, honeymoon in Niagara Falls and other special moments. He said that though he loved Kara, but the lack of physical intimacy frustrated him that he wondered. I listened quietly about his IMing Rene and how that led to his being unfaithful. He described how his feelings for Rene grew and their trip to St. Louis. I knew how he loved this other woman.
Though they had not seen each other for three years, Tim still had warm feelings for her. When he said "I thought Rene loved me too" I noticed that past tense. Using a counseling skill my mother taught me I replied, "you thought". Tim wondered if he could pick-up again the relationship with Rene. So just before Christmas in somewhat of an intoxicated state he drafted a sad tale to email Rene. He wanted to move her heart but instead changed his mind. Instead he sent an email about what was really happening. Later he sent a second email confessing to her that he almost deceived her. His heart could not allow him to do it or to keep from her what he almost did. Though I could understand why he did it, I thought privately it was fool for sending an email confession. Revealing private struggles and thoughts is not always the best, but likely the alcohol hindered his better judgment.
Rene's reply hinted that she would take a few days to sort through her thoughts but he should expect a warm email around Christmas. With no word by New Years Tim realized his desires in that direction were all but dead. His heart was grieving.
In his somewhat intoxicated state I think Tim went into greater detail than necessary as we sat on the large sofa. He even described some of what they did. It was if he was trying to shock me. Though some things were kinky, I did not condemn and reject him. I have wondered what it would be like to go to a club too so I cannot judge him.
It was enlightening for me. Tim views sex as an emotional and cerebral connection as much as a physical one. I was impressed. He was not like Wyatt who cared little about the feelings of others. In my arms was a man who felt great pain because he loved deeply. Yes he is a cheater. I understood why. He was in a most unfortunate position. That night I became more aware of how my feelings for him were growing. I wished I could just hold him to by bosom and comfort the pains away.
Exhausted and emotionally drained Tim started to fall asleep with his head on my lap as my hand ran through his hair. It was then I quietly told him loves freely, deeply and passionately. Also I whispered that he had put the cart before the horse and lost. Yet, they are problems worth having then not loving at all. He moaned, "what am I going to do?"
In the quiet my mind started to wonder here and there as Tim fell asleep. Thoughts of Ben and Pat, the loneliness felt the prior, the feelings of compassion and concern felt as I listened to Tim all played in my mind. I pulled sofa blanket over us as I found sleep coming upon me as well. Having him now cuddled with me on the large sofa felt good, damn good. I sighed while whispering to myself, "Katherine, what are you going to do? You are falling in love with this guy."
Around 4:30 I was stirred by the sound of someone in the kitchen. I found myself laying beside Tim with the blanket from the spare bedroom over us. While my heart was comforted by being able to just hold a man, and though the blanket should have disturbed me, being in a semi-slumber state I slipped back into dreamland.
In the morning I awoke hearing the flush of a toilet upstairs and the sound of creaking boards. I stirred and went to the washroom myself. Emerging from the downstairs washroom I saw Kara making coffee. Looking at me as I came into the kitchen she said, "we need to talk, but not here."
With some dread I showered and practiced carefully chosen phrases like, "you are my friend, I would never do anything to harm you." Also, "Tim cried and cried last night how much he loves you. He fell asleep on my lap and I fell asleep later," and "yes, I think I have feelings for him, but my respect for you and him and your marriage is greater by far."
Within the hour, with me dressed in one of Kara's sweet shirts we were in the IHOP parking lot. At least the borrowed sweet shirt and shower kept me from looking like a sewer rat. Taking my hand to keep me in my Miata Kara told me that her husband is going to need someone to love and care for him when I am gone. She left me speechless when she then said I had her blessing and that we would do well together.
This was not a development I anticipated. I was trying to process her statement. She reading too much into what she saw on the sofa I replied.
She shook her head, that was not what she was talking about. She has seen how we look at each other and feels we need each other. She argued he is a good man and would be a fool not to love me and take me as his wife. Looking into her face I saw tears running down her cheeks. Mine started flowing. Across the small console we hugged. It was then that I realized she was doing a most loving act, thinking about her husband's happiness and joy beyond the length of her life.
We spent the next 10 minutes trying to get out our tears to end. I was pleased that neither of us had fixed our faces. Over breakfast I admitted having feelings for Tim but I would never act on them. I was not sure that they were romantic feelings or feelings that would be a basis for marriage. I also laughed that Tim would likely look elsewhere. Kara shook her head and told me he loves quickly and his generous heart could easy be captured by me. She went on to say her husband likely was not aware of his feelings for me.
Over breakfast we continued talked about Tim. She asked for three things, that we not do anything before she dies unless she clearly permits it. If something did develop, that we keep it from her, not do anything in her home, and be very discrete. I assured her I would honor their marriage if something were to develop.
Lastly, before I go further that I should be aware of Tim's sexual desires and fantasies. She cautioned me to not get close to him unless I could understand his interests. She promised to email sites as she did not want to talk about them in public. Returning to more safe topics for a restaurant I promised I would keep an open mind. At the same time I was not sure about all this.
That afternoon I received an email containing links to sites she had drawn from Tim's laptop. What I saw did not surprise or shock me. Some were pic and story sites. As I surfed around I wondered whether he was interested in all this stuff or just sections. Which pictures and stories did he download and look at would be more revealing.
Until then I looked at some pictures and read many stories. Some stories were crude, raunchy and revolting. Was Tim a pervert or was he interested in the milder stuff? Others were clearly unrealistic fantasies. Yet I found myself admitting that many stories were nicely written with well developed story lines. I found myself enjoying the more developed stories about couples. I liked issues that dealt with the heart and personal struggles rather than those just reporting sex acts. The stories reminded me of what my heart earned, loving intimacy and a life partner to please and be pleased by, a husband with whom to explore my sexuality and to satisfy me. I found myself thinking I could see myself writing stories if I had a story to tell. I could also see sharing stories with my husband.
Recognizing the potential hold Rene held on Tim I knew that demon needed to be put to rest and out of his mind if I was to have any relationship with him. I could not deal with the possibility of her being in the background undermining our relationship. And for his peace of mind the hope and ability to connecting with anyone, whether me or someone else, the hope of Rene had to be removed. The possibility of him emailing her or her him could only complicate his future. I needed to find a way to talk to him about her.
January 6th, having to move some furniture provided me the opportunity to get Tim over to the house that night. It gave me the opportunity to raise a question or two about Rene. Our conversation was awkward at first until I put him at ease that what he shared about Rene would remain with me. Assuring him that I would not condemn him for what he did or for how he felt for Rene further put him at ease. I stopped short of saying I would not share any of this with Kara. He did not ask. I did not offer privacy.