Like to cook? You become a chef. Have an interest in education? Most likely end up a teacher. Me I wanted to fly, so I became a pilot. Over the years I finagled myself a pilot license with several ratings, then later a spot with an Air National Guard outfit. Unfortunately none of the big airlines was hiring when my time was up, so I had been with a little regional carrier for about two years now.
Throughout my trials and tribulations the only constant in life was Amy my wife. My lovely Amy came from a broken household of drunken parents. Amy was probably the only kid in school poorer than me. Amy was a gangly freckled faced girl with a nose too big for her face and jug ears that she tried to cover with her long light brown hair. We met in 3rd grade and were never apart after that. It was us two kids from the wrong side of the tracks against everyone else. I recall the day in junior high I told Amy I was going to be a pilot and fly.
Amy never batted an eye "Kevin if you are gonna fly planes, you gotta promise to take me with you!"
And I did, first chance I got we were married. I never grew past 5 foot 6, but Amy shot up to almost 6 foot tall. She was a slender girl, with almost no hips. Even Amy's rack barely qualified as an A cup. She still had her freckles, never growing into her nose or ears, however to me Amy was the most beautiful bride in the world. That never changed after we got hitched at the courthouse.
Amy followed me from bases in Asia to the Pacific and everywhere in between. Amy made a home no matter if it was freezing in Greenland or sweating in Panama. Amy was a true bargain shopper; she could stretch my meager pay -horse trading, making deals on everything from food to furniture. Amy could haggle with anyone.
The only weakness Amy had was for Postcards. My God that woman loved Postcards! No matter where we went Amy had to have a Postcard of that place. In all our moves around the globe Amy carted those boxes of postcards from one end of the earth to the other.
"Kevin" Amy would say when I razzed her about the postcards "I know where I came from, I want to know where I have been. Because I not going to stay anyplace until we make it to the top!"
We used a lot of savings plus my meager employment and bought a 'fix-r-upper" home. It was a lovely big old house with a huge yard, garage, just full of charm and character. Now Regional Airline pilots make less than a manager at McDonalds, my whopping starting pay was just over $25K. I did not care, I had Amy and I got to fly almost every day-what in life could be better?
Amy took a job with a Real Estate Developer to help make ends meet. My life was Amy, flying, fixing up the house and working on a Ford F250 truck I bought for cheap. Amy at first took the bus to work, but soon had a new Camry. Amy said she needed reliable transportation with me being gone so often. Our sex life was great and we christened every space in the house several times, plus the apartment room above the garage, even the back yard on a few warm starry nights. Amy still constantly sent out feelers to every airline from American to Federal Express, but with rising fuel prices and security scares no one was hiring. I was willing to be patient, life was good.
On morning I was awaiting a ride to work with Jose our Chief mechanic. Jose had been a big help with my truck. We had replaced or rebuilt every part from the rear end to the injectors. Jose had escaped Cuba over two decades earlier on a leaky homemade raft with his girlfriend –now wife Maria, at the age of 17. A stint in the service had earned him a trade as an aircraft mechanic. He had a peck of kids and was the proudest papa you ever saw. Today we were riding with his youngest son Angelo a high school freshman.
"Good morning Jose, and young Mister Angelo." I said after buckling up my seat belt. "Jose can we stop by King 1 Developers. I need to drop off this cell phone." I held up my wife's cell phone. Amy left it on the kitchen table this morning. I was surprised she forgot it. Amy was always talking, or messaging on that little pink box, she was never without it.
Angelo like any teenager had earbuds in listening to an MP3 player. Angelo saw the phone in my hand, he pulled out his headphones. "Hey Mr. Kevin that is a neat cell. Can I have a look at it?"
"Knock yourself out Angelo." I said tossing the phone into the back seat at him.
Juan was fussing with the radio when his son Angelo blurted out. "Oh Ho HO someone is going to get lucky today!"
"What do you mean Angelo?" I said twisting around to face him in the back seat.
"Look at this text Mr. Kevin." Angelo said turning Amy's screen toward me.
"Protein Lunch 2Day? ;-O " I read off the screen "What the heck does that mean?"
Angelo suppressed a laugh. "Protein Lunch Today-with the wink and open mouth. The girl is asking this dude if he wants a blow job during lunch."
The color when out of my face.
"Now see the next one." Angelo scrolled down "LHSX ky 4 ur 6Y ass. That means LETS HAVE SEX, KY FOR YOUR SEXY ASS. The Dude wants to butt fuck her."
I felt my breakfast coming up.
Angelo continued translating for me. "Next she then texted K O4U VBS TD2M? That is short for- OK ONLY FOR YOU, VERY BIG SMILE & TALK DIRTY TO ME. Wow she's into anal and hot talk, this is one freaky chick."
To repress my gag reflex I smiled while Angelo kept reading. "CID A3. Mr. Kevin that's text for CONSIDER IT DONE, ANYPLACE ANYTIME ANYWHERE. Well I guess the dude is down with it"
Juan gave up on the radio saying. "Damn Kids and these cell phones. Maria my wife and I went to all the trouble to learn and teach them good English. Now all these children talk in frigging code." Juan glanced over at me. "Captain you OK? You are white as a ghost." Jose called all the pilots Captain.
"No Jose, I suddenly feel real sick. Would you mind taking me back home." I tried to sound normal. "Angelo can you tell me who sent these texts and maybe forward them to me?"
"No Problem Mr. Kevin." Angelo pressed a series of buttons on the cell. "They are on the way to you. The sender dude is a Troy 1 KBoss."
Troy Kingston was Amy's boss-head of King 1 Developers. How F'n cliché a secretary screwing her boss, with me the clueless cuckold husband. Dear God it was following a bad script.
"Don't worry Captain." Jose said turning the car around. "I get one of the other guys to take over your run today. You want I take you to the Doctor?"
"No thank you Jose." I tried to keep from hurling in his car. "I just really need to get home and take care of this."
The ride home seemed to take forever. Angelo kept reading out loud the texts which was making me sicker by the word.
"Mr. Kevin this babe is wild. Listen to this text from last month. D46 2d n 2mor dm al whs ltime." Angelo translated. "DOWN FOR SEX TODAY AND TOMMORROW, DO ME ALL HOLES LONGTIME."
"Angelo!" Jose warned his son. "I will not have talk like that in my car. Give that phone back to the Captain."
"OK." Angelo sighed clicking my wife's cell phone closed. Angelo then handed Amy's phone back to me. "Mr. Kevin who is the Babe? Any chance you could hook me up?"
I put Amy's phone back in my pocket. "Sorry Angelo, I'm not sure who she is, but she is not going to be around here much longer."
I barely made it inside to the entrance downstairs bathroom before I lost all of my morning meal. I splashed cold water on my face, sitting down on the bathroom floor, my back against the tile wall. This bathroom was the first place Amy and I had redone. We had known little about tile work, even less about plumbing, but together we had gotten it done. Our method of celebration after the bathroom remodel completion left a smile on my face for two days.
"Could Amy be cheating?" I thought. Troy Kingston was over fifty-almost two decades older then both Amy and I. He was the kind of guy you think of when you thought of a real estate developer. Twice married, six foot, with a trim build, constant tan, dyed hair with added plugs to fill in the bald spots. A big booming voice, always a handshake, or joke accompanied by a hearty back slap.
"Maybe that was it -just a joke." I hoped feverishly. "It's all a crude flirting joke Amy and Troy were playing." I knew Troy had two kinds of jokes-those he told when in mixed company, and those crude ones Troy told when only men and no minorities around. That had to be it-otherwise why else would Amy be texting and using terms like an empty headed seventeen year old? I mean Amy had all those texts about anal –when I knew from personal experience that was a NO GO zone. Get real -how would a middle age man like Troy even know all these teen text terms?" I grabbed onto this hope like a drowning man holding onto a life jacket.
It made me feel better, my breathing was returning to normal. I would stop by Amy's office on the pretense to take Amy out to her favorite diner and find out what the hell was up. Pushing myself off the floor I saw it was almost 11:30 AM. "How long had I been sitting here?" Feeling like a fool, I hopped into my truck heading off to Amy's office.
As I walked into the offices of King 1 Developers I thought if it was a joke the good chuckle Amy and I would have about this. I would give Troy her boss a ration of shit-but knew he would laugh it off.
I asked the receptionist to call Amy to the front. The Receptionist made a few calls then told me Amy was not available. I told the receptionist I had something to return to Amy. She gave me Amy's cell phone number.
"I got that already." I laughed, holding up Amy's phone. "Just need to get it back to her."
"Oh." The receptionist replied. "She is not here then. I think I saw her leave with Mr. Kingston. They usually go out to his house or the club for lunch most days. Do you want to leave the phone with me?"
I tried to ignore my bad feeling. "No bother I will find her later."
I tried to control my breathing as I walked up the driveway to Troy Kingston's house. I had been to this house once before at an Office Christmas party. The house was a tacky oversized McMansion. Made of plywood and plaster, a good wind would blow it over. Damn thing had an Olympic pool, sunken three car garage under the bedroom, even the pseudo fish coy pond in the yard. Troy Kingston's big red H2 Hummer with the "KING 1" vanity plate was parked outside the garage-so Troy and Amy must be inside.
The front door was not locked, so I let myself in. I could hear noise from the upstairs bedroom. Preparing myself for the worst I walked up the stairs toward the master bedroom door. Putting my ear to the door I could hear the shower running. I pulled out Amy's phone pressing a speed dial button. Inside the bedroom I could hear the muffled ringtone of a cell phone. I took a step back from the bedroom door.
"Troy Kingston." The voice answered.
"Hi Troy." I said into my wife's phone. "Listen Amy left her phone at home this morning. The office said she was with you. Can you tell me where you are so I can drop her phone off? Even better let me talk to Amy."
"Greetings Kevin" Troy's voice boomed through the earpiece. 'We are on our way back to the office now from the club. We just finished a working lunch with a client. Stopped by my house for a quick second to pick up some papers. Amy is in the powder room now. Ah.. hold on."
I stepped up to the bedroom door, opening it a crack. I saw a naked Troy cover the mouthpiece, and yell into the bathroom. "Damn it Amy get out here, your flyboy is on the phone asking for you."
Amy stepped out of the shower nude. With only a towel around her head, she sat down on the bed. Troy and Amy's obvious comfort being naked around each other told me how familiar they were together. This was no sudden fling, it had been going on a while.
"HI Kevin!" Amy said after taking the phone from Troy. He sat next to her and began pinching her nipples. Amy pushed his hands away while talking, than Amy started stroking Troy's penis as she cradled the phone between her ear and shoulder. "How are you doing? I am so glad you found my phone-I was looking all over for it."
At that point I pushed open the bedroom door and walked in. They both froze at my sudden appearance.
"Well Amy." I said pointing at her hand still holding Troy's dick. "I don't think you are going to find your phone on Troy's cock, or is it a cell phone detector also. Wait I know- you going for the second serving on your Protein Lunch diet. Going to eat by mouth or hot beef butt injection this portion?"
Troy was the first to react. He jumped up running into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him. Amy was still rooted in place on the bed.
I picked up Amy's clothes and threw them at her. "Get dressed Amy, let's get the fuck outta here so you can tell me what the hell you think you are doing flushing our marriage down the crapper."
"No." Amy said.
"Kevin I am not going anywhere with you." Amy folded her arms under her naked breasts. "I am sorry you found us in this.. condition, but I like living this way."
I was stunned. "YOU like living like a cheating slut?"
Amy's eyes flared a little. "I never meant to hurt you Kevin, but I have become accustom to a better style then you can provide. Troy is able to give me things you will not be able to do for another score of years-if ever."
"This." I swept my arm around the room. "Is what you are threw away our marriage for?"
"I am not throwing anything away Kevin." Amy said calmly. "I am making a choice. We had a decent run for almost fifteen years. I was a good camp wife following you around the world living like a pauper, and it was fun then. But now I deserve better, I have no intention of living the next decade clipping coupons, while looking for items on sale." She took the towel off her hair. "I am sick of shopping at Walmart searching for half price toilet paper. I want it all and I want it now. Not waiting around until I am some gray hair too old to enjoy it. You can't match what Troy has, anything you can give me today doesn't compare. Troy can treat me better then you ever could. I ask you to respect that and my decision to it."
I was stunned, my mind just locked up. "Respect what Amy? A cheating wife, and a man who hides in the bathroom!"
Amy just shrugged, looking back at me.
All the oxygen had gone out of the air. I needed to leave before I passed out. Tossing Amy's phone at her. I flipped Amy my middle finger. "Respect this Amy."
I turned to walk out the door as I said over my shoulder. "You two deserve each other. I have flights tomorrow, get your shit out of my house."
I was a mess the rest of the month. They say there are seven steps of grief, but I could not get over shock and denial for two weeks. How could Amy do this to me? Did I miss that many signs? Was I such a clueless fool -unable to observe what was right in front of my face? I 'd been trained to perceive little things before they developed into big problems. I was a professional supposed to notice the smallest signs like changes in air pressure, the pitch of an engine, how had I completely lost situational awareness in my own life?
Every morning I woke up and rolled over expecting to see Amy-then the memory of emotions started all over again. After the third week the pain started. It was worse than any physical wound I had ever had. Amy had ripped my heart out. Studies demonstrated where the brain receptors registered emotional pain as a real injury the same way it reacted to physical hurt. I could testify to that, I felt gut shot.
Jose the chief mechanic and his wife Maria were a godsend. They were the only ones who I told my story to. Jose and Maria were stunned; to abandon one's spouse was as baffling to them as thermonuclear physics. Jose had taken a bullet for Maria on their escape from Cuba. Maria had cared for an injured Jose on the raft for days-using up all her drinking water on Jose before Brothers to the Rescue aircraft found them. Both had worked two and sometimes three jobs when they came to America while raising 6 children. While Jose was in the service Maria had started and still ran a house cleaning business.
The Anger stage of grieving was jump started at the end of the month with a call from my bank. I was overdrawn and my checks were bouncing. A meeting with a bank officer pushed my anger stage into overdrive. All the accounts were almost empty, Amy had cleaned them out. I tried to get a new line of credit but I was denied. The officer had sympathy, but told me off the record that Kingston did a lot of business with the bank; my account was "flagged".
As I rushed out of the bank a man was standing by my truck. He handed me divorce papers. Sitting in the cab I studied the legalese, finding I was really screwed. Amy was claiming the work on my 8 year truck equaled the value of her new Camry. Amy had emptied the accounts, even cashing in all the stocks and bonds. She was offering me the house in return. Using a highly inflated estimate of the house value and its equity with the improvements it made paper sense, but not in the real world. I had only ten business days to get current before the bank started foreclosure proceedings.
"Not much you can do Mr. Kevin." I was sitting at Juan's kitchen table with his oldest son. He was in his last year at Law school. He had one of his law professors teaching family law look over the divorce papers and settlement offer. "Your former wife Amy can use the boyfriend's attorneys to run you into the ground. You may win a battle or two–but you are going to lose the war."
I thanked Juan's son for his help, then tried to figure out what I needed to do. I needed cash now and fast. I hated to do it -but my beloved truck had to go. Juan had a friend that needed a good truck for his landscaping business so that sale cleared $7K. This gave me some breathing space, getting out of foreclosure and paying the upcoming tax and insurance bill. Jose wife Maria still had her home cleaning business, having expanded into offices also. Every day for the next year –if I was not flying I was working with Maria's cleaning crews. I rode a bike if I went anyplace; my penny pinching ways would have made Scrooge blush. The only real meals were the home cooked ones Juan and his wife Maria forced on me. Maria was always trying to fix me up with a nice Latina girl, but I could not afford a can of soda let alone a date.
By the start of year two my divorce was behind me. I was able to get ahead of the game and even take a day off once in a while to get back to working on the house. One day I found the boxes of Amy's postcards. My first thought was to burn the damn postcards in the fireplace to help heat the house. I could not afford any more legal bills, so I jumped on my bike and peddled to the local library. For a man with the limited resources the public library was a treasure. I used one of their computers to email Amy about the postcards.
I had a reply from Amy within the hour. "The postcards are where I was-not where I am going. Do with them what you want."
I printed out my original Email and Amy's response in case I needed it, then peddled home.
I had a big fire in my old stone hearth that night. I even splurged buying some marshmallows to roast. Watching those postcards go up in smoke allowed me to sleep soundly for the first time, I even woke up not thinking of Amy.
It had been over two years since I had last seen Amy in the bedroom that day. Late on a Friday night, I was flying back from the city to our little airport. We were taxing onto the runway when the flight attendant of our small craft poked her head into the cramped cockpit.
"We got a passenger problem." The flight attendant said. "Got a guy who had a little bit to drink, he will not turn off his cell phone. Very rude and belligerent."