BARBARA GETS SHELVED

19-05-2019 09:05

by SemperAmare

We have seen comments on our own stories, as well as those of other authors, along the lines of, “That was too far-fetched; the unbelievability of it detracted from my enjoyment of the story.”

This is another unbelievable one.

Following a recent trend, this is a story of an overheard conversation and has a twist at the end.

A bit of info to help readers – As most readers know we’re Australian, so a conversion for imperial users…. 100km is equal to approx. 60 miles.

Many thanks to Charlie and Jeff for their invaluable comments in the draft stage.

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OKAY, I ADMIT IT, I’m a people watcher. Naturally introverted, I like sitting back, watching people, then trying to guess what they do for a living, what they’re thinking, etcetera. I do it more when I’m bored or trying to distract myself. It started when I was a kid and involved in a six-car pile-up on the Hume Highway. Luckily, neither I nor my grandparents were killed, but things got broken. Lots of things got broken, like both my legs, my wrist, my collarbone, a few vertebrae. The list goes on.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that my parents didn’t want me falling behind at school so me, my wheelchair, and my carer continued to attend classes. Unable to participate in games, sport, parades and the like, I amused myself by watching everyone, seeing how they interacted. Initially, it was more about guessing who was interested in who, who was dating who, who was cheating and so on but over time that morphed into speculating professions, hobbies, and sporting preferences. Sometimes, after making my predictions, I’d even go and talk to the person I’d been studying to see how close I was with my guess, or, if they had a companion, listening in on their conversation to see if I could gauge my accuracy that way.

In that emergency room, one hundred kilometres from home, as the clock approached the witching hour, I was in need of distraction. The room held the usual frustrated and worried collection of people you would expect in such a place. Parents who hovered over injured children; the child’s injuries much worse in the minds of their mummy and daddy than what the triage nurse was telling them. Wives and husbands, either comforting the injured member of the union, or waiting, shoulders tense, hands wringing, for them to return from within the inner sanctum via the double doors. Occasionally, a doctor, tired and all-business, came through the doors, clipboard in hand, and spoke a name to the worried collection of patients or escorts.

There were twelve people that night. All fitted one of the stereotypes above, except one guy. Tall, and muscular, he appeared to be in his mid-twenties, and, if his ring finger was telling the truth, unattached. He looked  bored rather than worried. Waiting for someone, obviously. But not a child, or even a wife; too unworried. A friend maybe? By the depth of boredom on his face, I guessed he’d already spent an hour or two waiting.

When I first arrived, twenty minutes prior, the triage nurse told me that multiple road accident victims had just come in by ambulance and it was an all-hands-on-deck scenario behind the double doors. I felt for them, both the victims and the medical staff, remembering my own night of pain and fear. My night had been over thirty years prior, but some things you never forget.

As my wife’s injuries weren’t life threatening, I was asked to be patient and wait for a staff member to show me through to her as soon as they could spare someone.

When the federal government crisis response team operator called me, it was nine o’clock on a typical Monday evening. Typical meaning I’d been channel surfing trying to decide which garbage to watch in an effort to numb my brain. I’d just decided on a re-run of an episode from Law and Order: SVU. The call ended any idea of mind-numbing; my wife had been in a car accident and was in Goulburn hospital.

They took the time to explain that, while serious, my wife’s injuries weren’t life threatening. Did that stop me having kittens, jumping straight in my car, and nudging the speed limit on the one-and-a-half-hour drive from our house in Canberra to Goulburn? You bet it didn’t.

On the way, I called Marie from the car—thank god for hands free. Aah, but I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ve just thrown in names of people and places without explanation.

So, a bit of background. My name is Dave Brown and I’m an electrician. My wife is Barbara and she’s a Human Resources Officer for a federal government department. Our one and only child, Marie, left our home in Deakin six months ago to attend the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

The sudden lack of a genetic purpose struck Barb pretty hard and she struggled for a while to come to terms with it. I suggested cruises, hobbies, dinner with friends and the like, but didn’t get much traction; Barb continued to mope and look lost.

Then, two months ago, there’d been an upswing. Every month, operatives from her office, were sent to regional sites for a few days, doing whatever it is human resources people do in large organisations. Thus far, Barb had avoided those trips as no one liked doing them. Out of the blue, she decided to do one. It meant a three-day, two-night trip to Goulburn.

She returned, enthusiastically raving on about how nice the town was and the new systems she’d shown the Goulburn office. She tried explaining why a HR officer was involved in budget reviews, but, frankly, it went over my head. The next month she volunteered for Goulburn again. This latest one was her third trip.

The husbands among you will know what a relief it is when your wife comes out of a funk, especially when it’s accompanied by a strong resurgence in your sex life. Let’s just say that beginning from when she returned from the first trip, well, I was a happy man. For the first week she was back, it was once a night. This dropped to about three times a week, until a fresh resurgence of nightly action just before the second trip. That pattern repeated itself before the third trip.

Did the suspicion that a third party was involved in my marriage cross my mind.? After all, at thirty-nine it was doubtful menopause could be a factor in her running hot and cold. I must admit, it didn’t. At least, not in a huge way.

In our whole marriage, Barbara had never given me any cause to doubt her fidelity. When I questioned her about her better mood and what I could do to continue her renewed libido, she just said that with Marie gone and after years in a boring, dead-end job, it was nice to feel needed again and to be able to teach others and share the latest and greatest techniques with her ‘backwards cousins in the bush’ as she described them.

I was satisfied with that explanation. After all, everyone needs a purpose in life. When she was no longer required as a mother, she’d fretted. I was just glad she’d then found another group who needed her.

She so enjoyed her new role helping regional centres that she’d even talked about not only visiting Goulburn, but volunteering to do the runs to Newcastle, Nowra, and Broken Hill as well. It would mean a trip away every two weeks, but if that gave her life purpose, then I was fine with it.

But if it led to car accidents, late at night, then I’d have to review my endorsement.

What was she doing in a car that late, anyway? Being a public servant, she only worked until five, and, according to her nightly phone calls, just ate in the motel restaurant before having an early night.

As I sat and waited, I wondered if she’d get in trouble for crashing a government pool vehicle. It would depend how it happened, I supposed. If she’d been drinking, then jumped in the car, she could well be in a whole world of pain, workwise.

A thought struck me, and I jumped up to ask the triage nurse if anyone else had been admitted from the same accident. No. Still worried and impatient, I returned to my seat and my guilty people-watching habit.

The out-of-place guy was still there, half asleep. Why did I feel he was out of place? He had blood on his shirt—and if blood was fitting in any venue, it was an emergency room at a hospital—though he himself appeared unharmed. Had he come to the rescue of someone and was waiting to see how they’d fared? Was he a hero?

Then I noticed something. Every time the door opened he looked up and assessed the entrant. The guy was waiting for someone. Perhaps the relative of the injured person whose blood he sported?

It was just past midnight and the triage nurse had been relieved. Her replacement looked crisp and fresh. Suddenly, the door leading to the corridor through which I’d entered, what seemed hours ago, opened and a thirty-something woman entered. She looked out of place too. Mainly because of the lack of haste or concern about her demeanour. She paused just inside the doors and looked around, spotted blood-shirt guy, assessed him and walked over and pressed her hand to his.

It was obvious they didn’t know each other but had organised to meet. That was intriguing. Who organises to meet in a hospital emergency room? So, as much for the distraction as actual curiosity, I decided to stretch my legs. I got within hearing range, just as the lady was finishing her apology for being late.

“I’m sorry, John. I was on my way over here, when my editor rang. There was a rather embarrassing accident we’d been notified of. As you know, we pay people to notify us of any newsworthy stories. A guy rang to say he’d witnessed an accident. I shouldn’t be telling you this, but, what the hell, you’ll read it in the paper tomorrow anyway. He said a car hit a tree outside his house. Both airbags went off, which saved the passenger, a woman, from serious injury as she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.”

“What, in this day and age?”

“Yup. According to the source, she had tingling in her legs, so, maybe, lower back trauma, but it was the guy’s injuries that were the reason he called us.”

The smile, really, more a smirk, on her face was at odds with what she was describing. I felt mildly repulsed by her behaviour. Blood-shirt guy waited eagerly for her to continue. His eagerness reminded me of a hyena pacing in the bushes waiting for the lions to finish gorging themselves so it could scavenge the remains.

“The guy that rang me was a first-aider, following his training, he ignored the screaming one—the guy—and went to the quiet one. The woman had blood all over her face. You’ll never believe it; the blood was from the guy’s penis. They were driving along, she was unbuckled, sucking his cock when he lost it. With the impact, she bit the end of his dick off. It was fucking hilarious.”

At that the woman burst out laughing but quickly clapped a hand over her mouth, realising, I supposed, how inappropriate her humour was.

“Anyway, they’re both in the hospital now and I’ve been trying to get a doctor to tell me if they can sew the end of his dick back on, and, if they can, whether it will work again or not. The slut was married too; just not to the guy, if you know what I’m saying.”

She winked at blood-shirt guy, like they were sharing an in-joke. I cringed in disgust. Like most people my age, I’d witnessed what infidelity could do to families. Why did these people marry if they still wanted to play the field? I sent up a silent prayer there were no children involved in the woman’s marriage. With such a humiliating public exposure to the affair, her marriage was toast, for sure.

Both man and woman were now chortling quietly. Apart from the fact of where they were—people could be fighting for their lives, or worse, dying behind a set of double doors not four metres from where they stood—it was sickening to watch them take pleasure at other’s misfortunes. I was about to return to my seat when the reporter, as I now knew her to be, spoke.

“So, what’s your story?”

“Before that, what sort of money are you going to cough up for me to tell you?”

“Depends on the story. If we can use it, then I can give you what I think it’s worth. Anywhere from two hundred bucks up. I have to get the go ahead from my editor to promise more than a thousand, though.  You tell me the story; I’ll tell you what it’s worth.”

“Well, now you’ve told me that one, mine sounds a little dull.”

“I’m here now, so you may as well blab.”

“Okay. Well, as part of it I need to reveal a little secret; I have a thing for MILFs, okay?”

The guy sounded defensive. That intrigued me enough to stay and listen.

“I think it started when I realised how much the guys my age outnumbered the women in small-town Australia. I guess there’s more work available to the men or something. Anyway, a lot of the good-looking girls move to the big cities, meaning there is a shortage here and the ones that stay know it.

“So, anyway, one night I banged a recently divorced MILF and to say she was a firecracker would be the understatement of the century. It was like she was trying to get back at her ex-husband by doing all sorts of shit she’d never done with him. Within a week we were doing it where we could be caught and a week after that she gave me her ass.”

“Yeah, I’ve met a few women like that. Go on.”

The woman didn’t sound too interested. She was a reporter. What was newsworthy about a guy into MILFs and a woman out to screw her way back to some self-esteem? Where could he be going with the story?

“Anyway, she moved out of town after about a month, but, by then, I’d developed a thing for older women. I started targeting them and it soon became clear that if you could just get past their initial reticence, then many of them would put out. Not only that, but once started, they were like the Energizer Bunny, they would just go and go and go.

“I found the best way to relax them was with a couple of drinks. That and giving them attention is all it normally takes to bang them that first meeting. My record for getting one into bed is about one-hour-thirty.”

“All right, I get it. You’re a stud. Now can you please get on with it. I would like to get some sleep tonight.”

I scowled at blood-shirt’s back. I hated guys who felt the need to boast.

“There’s no need to be rude-“

The reporter glared and the guy seemed to rethink the rest of his sentence.

“Well, anyway, a while ago it was mid-week and I was cruising my favourite hunting ground pubs. Too much competition on the weekends. In the second one, there she was. Dressed to the nines, drinking wine on her own, and looking nervous. She can’t have been there long as there wasn’t a queue and her glass was still three-quarters full. I made her straight away, I’ve seen it so many times. Just out of a divorce, I reckoned, worried about whether she still has it or not, and so long out of the game she was unsure how it worked these days. Maybe, she didn’t realise it, but I sure as hell did. She just wanted to be banged.”

I flinched, embarrassed for the woman he was talking about. What would she have thought had she been able to see into his mind? Hear how he spoke of her; like she was a slab of meat. Even at my most promiscuous, I felt I’d treated the women with respect. I moved to the other side of the pair, pretending to read a poster on CPR. Seemed like the reporter was having similar thoughts because she looked at blood-shirt with distaste.

“Will you please just get on with it? I hope this is all relevant. Was this the same woman you were with tonight?”

“Yes, it was. I sat next to her and looked for a wedding ring. There was none.”

“How fucking noble of you. Even the great predator has some morals.”

I hid a smile. Reporter or not, you don’t diss a sister.

“Yeah, well, it isn’t like that. I banged a married one once for about a month. Her fucking husband came home early one day and caught us. Cunt broke my fucking nose. Threatened to bloody kill me but I got away.”

While the guy grimaced at the memory, the reporter smiled. I mentally high-fived the husband. We were all distracted when the door to the inner sanctum opened and a white-clad doctor came out. We watched as he went up to a grazed knee kid and his worried parents. The reporter prompted the guy to continue.

“Anyway, she said her name was Jenny and she was down from Sydney. I’ve found it’s not good to push them for too many details, and, frankly, I don’t care anyway.”

“You’re drifting again.”

“Sheesh, pushy or what? I thought you people liked some background.”

The guy was miffed. He clearly liked talking about himself. My bet was he told his mates tales of his escapades regularly and they probably hung off his every word.

“Look, I don’t work for the Sydney Morning fucking Herald. My newspaper is read by people with an attention span slightly less than a mouse being chased by an anaconda. Just get on with it.”

“Right. Well, two hours and four drinks later, she stopped playing hard to get, let me take her back to her hotel and fuck her. It was like she hadn’t had a root in years, and she was a real goer. She wanted to go all night. She wore me out, I can tell you.”

“Straight sex?”

I frowned. What kind of news rag did she write for?

“Yeah, nothing too unusual. I started out growling her and she loved it. I could tell she was a bit sensitive about her C-section scar, but soon got over that when my talented tongue hit her honey pot.”

I rolled my eyes. Talk about big-noting himself. Talented tongue? Who on earth said that about themselves? It sounded like a sales pitch.

“Wouldn’t let me stop even after she came. Just held my head down there. Finally, I escaped, put a condom on and did her. We started off missionary but then she wanted to try all sorts of positions. I really hit the jackpot that night. She made it easy for me. I like to make the first meeting memorable so they come back for more.”

He reminded me of my college years when I was free and easy and screwed anything with no dick and a heartbeat. Years where morals and ethics fell way behind getting it on and off as often as I could with as many chicks as possible.

Like all married guys, I looked back on those years with fond, rose-coloured glasses, and, I admit, a small part of me envied the guy his freedom. Suddenly, in the midst of the show-reel playing in my head of my misspent, but ever-so-fun youth, an image of Barbara on our wedding day flashed in. Another of her holding newborn Marie, and suddenly those hijinks paled in comparison.

Having said that, I found the guy’s description of performing cunnilingus on the woman slightly arousing. It brought back fond memories. In my aforementioned misspent youth, I’d loved doing it and had had a girlfriend that behaved very similarly to his description of  his bedmate’s behaviour. If I wanted to stop licking her out for such trivial reasons as needing to breathe and the like, she would throw me on my back and sit on my face. A couple of times, I almost passed out from lack of oxygen, but she obviously got off on it so much that I loved it anyway. And, hey, what a way to go!

I sighed. Those were distant memories. Barbara had many admirable qualities as a wife, but sexual adventurism, alas, wasn’t one of them. Right from the start, her sexually conventional nature meant she refused to perform oral sex on me, and by reciprocity, wouldn’t allow me to perform it on her, no matter how much I begged, and I did beg.

In the end, I gave thanks for having been a bit of a wild child in my youth as my married sex life could only be described, generously, as conservative. All my requests or attempts at anything out of the ordinary were gently but firmly rebuffed.

The guy re-started his tale, bringing me back to the present.

“The next morning, I asked for her phone number but she wouldn’t give it to me. She took mine instead and promised to call me when she was in town next. I really hoped she would because she was a wild fuck, but, if she didn’t, well, there are plenty more MILFs in the sea.”

“And she did, obviously.”

The guy’s chest expanded noticeably. He reminded me of a pigeon trying to impress the female during the mating ritual.

“Yup. Might have been four, five weeks later she rang. I was in a relationship with another MILF by then, but Jenny was worth lying for. This time she was in town for a few nights and I banged her every single one of them. She was obviously making up for lost time as we rapidly escalated the kink factor, if you know what I mean.”

The reporter eye-rolled but nodded for the guy to continue. He didn’t waste a second.

“I love anal, but from experience, I know many ladies from that generation feel uncomfortable trying it. I’ve learned to work up to it slowly. The last night of that second trip, I fingered her ass while I was doing her. She went off, you know, in a good way. I was too fucked to take advantage there and then but knew the next time her ass was mine.”

“How did that work out for you? No, don’t tell me, I’ll guess. She gave you her ass, and your weapon is so mighty that you split her in two and that’s how she ended up in hospital.”

The reporter grinned at her own joke. The guy didn’t look amused. I was and had to smother a laugh or risk giving myself away. I felt guilty. Barb was in the hospital somewhere injured and probably in pain and here was I laughing at a stupid sex joke, but I couldn’t help it.

“Hey, I never said my cock was huge, but I’ve never had any complaints; know what I mean?”

For a moment I thought he was going to whip it out to prove his point. Maybe the reporter did too as she quickly urged him on with his tale.

“Alright, alright. Go on with the story.”

“Well, I knew she’d be back, and she was. She rang me this afternoon and we met in her motel again tonight.”

“And did you get the backdoor prize?”

“I’ll get to that. We never pretended to be anything but fuck buddies, so we just stripped and got into bed. We started like we always did with her lying on her back and dragging my head between her legs. I’d learned since the first time I’d done this, not to let her straighten her legs. With straight legs she can clamp my head between her thighs, and, if not suffocate me, then crush my fucking skull. No. I’d learned to fold her legs back onto her stomach and lick her that way. That suited my plan anyway.”

From the corner of my eye, I saw the reporter raise her eyebrows in question. Me, I knew where he was going with it.

“Yeah, with her legs like that, I was able to put some lube on my fingers and start working it into her ass. God, she loved it. Started screaming like a banshee. It’s a wonder we didn’t have hotel security knocking down the door.”

At the reporter’s look, blood-shirt quickly continued.

“Yeah, so, I knew I didn’t have much time before she came and from experience with her, I know she gets all sensitive down there after she comes and needs a rest afterward. So, just before she totally lost control, I slapped some lube on my cock, pushed her legs even further back to, you know, raise her butt off the bed, then skewered her ass.”

The guy paused with a look of pride on his face. The reporter totally failed to look impressed by his prowess. I was still waiting for the punchline. How on earth was this newsworthy?

“How did she take it? Did she try to scratch your eyes out?”

Blood-shirt opened his mouth to answer but the reporter didn’t give him a chance.

“Let me guess; you’re one of those guys that do this kind of thing without asking first, cos you believe it’s easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission? Christ, now I’m the one slowing your story down. Just get on with it. How did Jenny end up here?”

Appearing chagrined, perhaps because he wasn’t scoring any points with the reporter, but more probably because he wasn’t getting to enjoy his minute of fame, the guy did just that.

“No, she didn’t object. In fact, she loved it. Started screaming even louder and tried to pull me in even deeper. Pretty much the only way to get deeper in this position is to get the girls ass higher off the bed. It’s easier laying the whole pipe when you’re doing it doggy. I’ve found that the older MILFs have trouble doing it on their back as they don’t have the stomach muscles to lift their bums high off the bed anymore.”

The guy paused to take a slug from his drink bottle. The reporter yawned and looked at her watch. So far this wasn’t in the least newsworthy. Consenting anal sex between two single people was humdrum these days. Maybe the bird was famous, some local celebrity. The reporter made no effort to hide her impatience. I had to smother a yawn too as I waited for super-stud to continue.

“I think she did it to help her lift her butt higher, but, anyway, she reached up and grabbed the only thing available. This room was a suite and there was this unusual combined shelf and lamp thing above the bedhead. The lamp was a heavy brass one built into the wall, but kind of attached to the shelf as well. It’s hard to describe, but, well, Jenny reached up with both hands and grabbed the curved support holding the lamp. That allowed her to lift her butt up so I could get in deeper. It was hot.”

Times like this and I knew I was a man because I had to admit—grudgingly because I had long since decided I didn’t like the guy—his description was hot. I could picture the scene in detail. We men are such visual creatures.

But, regardless, I was with the reporter when she said, “Are we getting to the point yet?”

“Yeah, almost there. Anyway, I was driving; she was yelling and hollering for me to go faster, so I did. It was crazy. This time her eyes actually rolled right back in her head as she came. I mean, right back.”

The reporter leaned forward, sensing the denouement was near. I caught myself doing the same. Luckily, both were too focused on each other to notice me.

“And?”

“The stupid bitch pulled the shelf down on herself. The lamp bracket pulled out of the wall, then that brought the whole shelf down. Right on her fucking face. God, what a mess. The glass from the lamp cut her lip. The shelf was heavy and knocked out her top front teeth and broke her nose. There was blood everywhere.

“She wouldn’t stop screaming. I wanted to leave but was afraid that if someone saw me running, they might think I’d done that to her.”

I shook my head. Selfish prick. Poor woman. Smashed face and her lover-boy could only think about escape.

“I felt I had no option but to call the ambulance and wait with her until either they or the cops arrived.”

Good. At least he’d done the right thing. There might be hope for him yet.

“I held her hand to settle her down and stop her screaming, cos, I’ve got to say, the sound was god-awful. It was then I noticed she was wearing a wedding ring. The bitch WAS married.”

I noticed the reporter’s interest increased at this last little snippet. Suddenly, I felt sad.

Leaning forward, her chin jutting, she reminded me of a vulture. If he was the stereotypical stud, then she was the stereotypical journalist.

It was clear neither was sparing a thought about the consequences of his story, not just to the woman but her family. Then again, was that their job? The woman seemed to have disregarded her husband and possible children, so why shouldn’t they?

After feverishly completing her notes, then appearing to think seriously about her next question, blood-shirt repeated his initial question.

“How much is the story was worth?”

I never heard the conclusion of their negotiations. At that moment, a doctor came through the doors and called my name. When I saw his tired and harassed looking face I felt a stab of shame. While he’d been treating the sick and injured and possibly saving lives, one of which was my wife, I’d been passing the time listening to a sordid tale.

As we walked along the row of curtain clad cubicles of the ER, I put my guilt away—I’d deal with it later—and listened as he briefed me on my wife’s status.

She was stable, and in no way in danger of dying. She’d been medicated, stitched, and splinted. The scars would most likely fade with time. She was due to be admitted to a ward as soon as a bed was made ready, but there was no reason she couldn’t go home tomorrow after morning rounds. All her treatment from there on could be done in an aftercare facility.

I was vastly relieved, and, yes, I confess, a smidgeon of my earlier guilt dissipated. The initial call I’d received seemed to have greatly overstated the seriousness of her injuries. That, or I had made assumptions? Had they said ‘accident’ or ‘car accident’ when they phoned? Stopping at the end cubicle, the doctor slid the curtain back and stood aside to let me enter first.

Barbara saw me and tried to sit up in the bed, wincing in pain as she did so.

“Daffid…”

The air, when she got to the V of my name, whistled through her missing front teeth. My gaze took in the strips of gauze holding her nose in place and the tiny little strips that almost covered the stitches just to the left of centre on her top lip.

I came to an abrupt halt, as if hitting an invisible wall. The doctor bumped into my back and I stumbled forward a step. All my senses competed for attention, bombarding me with information. Heartbreaking information. The final blow was remembering how shy Barbara was of the scar left by the caesarean section that heralded Marie’s entry to the world.

Gutted, I turned and walked away. She could be a headline all on her own.

EPILOGUE

I DISCOVERED THAT, for me, there was a direct correlation between hurt and anger. The deeper the pain, the greater the rage.

And my rage was huge. As in homicidal huge. Had I not walked away in the E.R., had lover-boy not been gone, his negotiation with the reporter complete, when I stormed out, I might have been telling my story from a jail cell.

As much as for Barbara’s safety as for revenge, I had the locks changed by the time Barbara was released the next day. I needed the time to regain control of my emotions.

Knowing her as well as I did, though, I guess, there was much I didn’t know, I figured the first place she’d head to after checking out of Goulburn Hospital would be home and when she couldn’t gain entry, she’d go to her parent’s place. I think it was relief I felt when my conclusions proved accurate. It made me feel as if I wasn’t a total unwitting, trusting fool married to a stranger.

Her dad and mum rang me, put me on speaker phone, and called me all sorts of names for abandoning their daughter in her time of need. Their insults rankled, offending my sense of justice, but I kept calm. And, I admit, I was disappointed in them; years of loving and treating their daughter well counted for nothing. It hadn’t even earned me the benefit of the doubt.

It was, however, another confirmation that I knew Barbara, or, maybe, just human nature. I knew she wouldn’t be entirely honest with them. How could she be? How could she tell her even more conservative mother, ‘Hey, Mum, I screwed around on Dave.’? How would a daddy’s girl admit to being a slut?

I asked them what they knew, and, no surprise, they’d only been told that Barb had been in an accident while in Goulburn. The picture she’d painted was one of me going down to see her, only to turn and walk away, clearly repulsed, upon seeing her injuries. So repulsed, apparently, I had then proceeded to come home and lock her out of the house.

Anyone who knew me, and they certainly should have after twenty-plus years, would know none of Barbara’s story fit my character.

It didn’t even take me a nanosecond to decide there was no reason for me to be loyal, or even a gentleman, as I’m sure, Barbara thought I’d be, (maybe, she didn’t know me as well as she thought, either) and support the person who had just destroyed my faith in humanity, so I replied with three simple sentences.

“So, she didn’t tell you that I know all about her latest lover, John? That he let me know, in vivid detail, I might add, all about their last three sordid little hook-ups in Goulburn. Heard it from his own lips.”

The quiet from her parents on the other end of the line allowed me to hear a gasp and a muffled sob, “He wasn’t my latest lover, Dad. I swear he was the only one.”

Well, I think that’s what she said. You try understanding someone talking with a nose swollen shut and no front teeth. I thanked her parents for forcing us to sign a prenup all those years ago, specifically mentioning adultery.

The three gasps I heard as I hung up on them was a small salve to the wound inflicted by their lies and insults.

Having no illusions about what happened in the aftermath of relationships, particularly after the conversation with her parents, I spoke to Marie and our closest friends before Barbara could give them the spun version.

To a person, they weren’t happy with her. Marie was cold to her mother for months, but eventually softened her stance when Barbara’s plight continued to deteriorate. I didn’t begrudge Marie that, after all, what Barbara did, she did predominantly to me, Marie no longer being a child.

I, however, didn’t soften and refused to listen when she tried to talk about her mother and I have no shame in admitting I’m glad that they never fully regained their former closeness. There should be a price to pay for betrayal. I was happy that Barbara was made to pay in some way for her deceit and faithlessness.

To expedite the divorce, I agreed to the three sessions of Family Court mandated counselling. The rules said I had to attend. They said nothing about participating. I sat through the three two-hour sessions, while Barbara alternated between remorse and trying to justify the unjustifiable.

It was during those sessions, I learned far more about Barbara. So many things she’d left unsaid, so many things she’d denied me the opportunity to do something about. It was as if I was meant to have been psychic—she wouldn’t tell me what she wanted and needed but reserved the right to punish me and look elsewhere when I didn’t magically figure it out and provide it.

Funny, but she didn’t see it that way. I could tell by the way she worded her every sentence.

Let’s see; with tears streaming down her cheeks she admitted she was bored with our sex life. Well, so was I, had been for years, but I didn’t go looking elsewhere and she only had herself to blame—she was the one who’d rebuffed all my attempts to liven it up. A man can take only so many knock-backs.

She pleaded with me, her eyes on the counsellor, looking for support, to understand how worried she was about getting old. This one really riled me. Did she, hell, did all women, think they had the cornerstone of fear of aging? What about us guys? Can’t run as fast or as far. Can’t last as long. Can’t get it up as much. Hell, some men struggle to get it up at all, poor bastards. It’s socially acceptable for women to have plastic surgery, dye their hair, and hide the ravages of time under a layer of make-up. What do we men get to do?, Oh yeah, we get to embrace our greying hair and receding hairlines.

And then Barbara, the salesman put in an appearance.

She had divorced friends who described in graphic detail how good their sex lives were. She was envious, scared life, or, at least, a satisfying sex life, had passed her by. She just wanted to experience it once. Yes, she admitted, like she was doing me a favour by confessing, she knew she’d been sexually unadventurous in our marriage, but, she went on, as if confiding, she planned to use the experience to rejuvenate our relationship.

Later that night, I chuckled over a glass of red over that one, picturing Barb trying to introduce anal play into the bedroom after twenty odd years of shooting me down in flames over the very same thing. Same with oral sex. Did she think I’d just accept without question her suddenly enthusiastically diving down on my cock or pushing my head down between her legs? Did she honestly think that such a reversal in attitude wouldn’t have raised some red flags?

With a return of tears, she went on about how she’d taken extraordinary precautions to prevent me finding out because she didn’t want to hurt me that way. Apparently, she loved me so much she’d gone to the trouble of using a false name and lying to lover-boy about where she was from. Her love was so great, she’d even removed her rings before the first and second meetings. She sobbed as she described nearly forgetting her rings in the motel bedside drawer after her second tryst, hence her decision not to remove them for the third meeting.

She was obviously very remorseful and claimed to still love me deeply. If only her love had been deep enough to keep her legs shut.

With hands extended toward me, hands I ignored, she swore this was going to be the last time she ever strayed.

This angered me, though I didn’t let it show while in the session. Didn’t want to hurt me? Like I wouldn’t be hurt because of not knowing. We’d always said we’d have no secrets. Well, had I not found out I’d be the only one in the relationship with no secrets, she’d have had a whopper to hide for the rest of our lives. How could that not be harmful? Hurtful? A slow release poison in our relationship?

And did she think me so stupid? Last tryst? My ass. Why then the suggestion of signing up for trips to Newcastle, Nowra, and Broken Hill if not to line a bit more variety?

Barbara had always considered herself a smart woman and it was blatantly obvious that not knowing how I found her out was killing her. Several times during each of the counselling sessions she tried to get me to reveal my source. Each time I resisted. I didn’t even tell Marie or any of our friends. Petty, perhaps, but I relished returning a tiny amount of frustration by thwarting her efforts to find out.

At the end of the third session, we were invited to give the counsellor closing arguments, as it were. The counsellor obviously expected me to remain as silent as I had been until then, but I knew her recommendations were critical, so I spoke briefly.

“This marriage is over. I couldn’t possibly live with someone whose lips say they love me but whose actions say otherwise. Betrayal and humiliation speak not of love, but of contempt. I can’t share my life with someone that is such a good actress that she hid from me the most heinous crimes imaginable that she committed against me. Shit, she could be acting her tears right now as far as I know. I can’t place my faith and trust in someone who has revealed herself to be far from the guileless, beautiful woman I thought I knew. This marriage is over.”

I don’t know whether Barbara had a speech prepared or not, but my words obviously threw her. She wasted her allotted time crying and repeating herself; one moment remorseful, the next on the offensive. She even said I was only hurt because I’d found out. That my ego was the problem. (I struggled to keep my posture and expression neutral, on that one).

She claimed she’d tried her hardest to protect me by being cautious. Couldn’t I see that? Couldn’t I see she did love me, and that I could trust her going forward?

If I forgave her, she would bring all her newfound tricks to our bedroom and I’d be one satisfied husband. Her voice trailed off when my look of contempt, of utter distaste, for that idea broke through whatever delusions were keeping her going.

I think it was that look that told her there was no hope for us.

My anger and sense of betrayal sustained me throughout the process. I knew the time would come when they would settle and I’d have to deal with the loss of love in my life and the possibility I’d walk the rest of my journey alone.

Some might say I’d have been better to forgive and forget but how do you forget, even if you can forgive? How do you not have doubt every time they run late, laugh at another man’s jokes at some work function or party, or go out without you? How do you stop yourself checking their phones, their emails? I knew I wasn’t capable of pushing Barbara’s betrayal somewhere deep and dark where I could ignore it and I wasn’t about to spend the rest of my life torturing myself for something she had done.

So, divorce was the only option.

That was the end of that. The counsellor recommended to the family court that the divorce be granted, saving us a twelve month wait. I delivered the $50, 000 specified in the prenup to her bank account. She promptly spent it on lawyers. Partly, to try to get the prenup overturned, and partly for her other legal issues.

Her other legal issues were in the news, on and off, for the next two years.

I don’t know why it had been initially reported to me that Barbara had been in a car accident. I still I don’t know what the reporter ended up paying John, but the juicy story of the public servant, injured while having sex with a lover, while travelling for her job, did make the front page of that newspaper. It made the front page of many newspapers.

Her name was never published, but those close to us, or, indeed, lived within two-hundred kilometres of us, knew who it was. She became a laughing stock at her place of work, and indeed the regional centres she’d been so enthusiastic about, and stayed away.

After she burned through her sick leave, she actually had the nerve to apply for workers compensation. Again hiding behind the media suppression order to keep her name out of the public eye. She claimed physical and mental distress from injuries sustained while travelling for government business.

To everyone’s sense of justice, her claim was denied. That left her in a difficult spot as she had no sick leave left, and she’d just spent tens of thousands of dollars proving she was mentally incapable of returning to work. Whether she borrowed money from her parents, I will never know, but she appealed the decision and won. I couldn’t believe it. I was disgusted. The whole county was. Most commentators used it as an example of how ridiculous some of our laws are.

However, before the insurance company paid a cent, the case was put before the full bench of the High Court, the ultimate court in the land. The papers were full of it. Again and again the headlines said what an extremely dangerous case it was. If successful, it would set a precedent and anyone hurt doing just about anything not work related, but legal, while on company business, would be compensated.

In a rare act of logical thinking, the High Court upheld the decision of the original court. Injured while having illicit sex while travelling for work was not considered a work accident.

Barbara drifted away after that and I don’t know where she ended up. I still tell Marie I’m not interested. There may come a day when I might have to compromise and be in the same room as Barbara, after all we share a daughter, but thus far it hasn’t occurred.

All the publicity actually acted in my favour. Whenever my humiliation was mentioned by the media, waves of sympathy came my way. Just about everyone in my circle of friends and colleagues had a single female friend wanting the chance to console me. I got to revisit my misspent youth and screw my way out of loneliness.

John turned out to be right. Anal sex is great.

Talking of John. He was in the paper again, twice, within a month of the events in this tale. An investigative journalist did some digging on him and published an exposé of his techniques; complete with photo. Within a week, he was found badly beaten with ruptured testicles outside one of his hunting grounds.

According to the paper, the police had no leads.

Maybe I should tell them about his escape from the angry husband that threatened to kill John when he caught him fucking his wife. Naaaa… none of my business.

AFTERWORD

We can hear you now. “How unlikely is that?” “I like some sort of believability in the stories I read.” “Where’s the twist you promised?”

Well, the twist is this. This is an embellishment of a true story. Don’t believe me? Type ‘nsw (New South Wales) woman injured while having sex’ into your favourite browser.

This married woman was on a work trip, met up with a guy she’d hooked up with on a previous trip. During an energetic romp in her hotel bed, one of them pulled down a heavy glass light fitting above the bed. It hit the woman on the face, knocking teeth out and cutting her lip. The guy called an ambulance and the story got out. The woman claimed it triggered depression, but that was probably caused by her husband throwing her out and her kids disowning her.

She didn’t come out of the divorce very well, so, for a source of funds, made a claim under workers compensation, arguing that as it occurred on a work trip, it was a work accident. The compensation board said, “Get fucked.” Or words to that effect…

Desperate, she appealed to the Federal Court, who actually agreed with her. I know, insane, right? Her employer then appealed the decision to the High Court and won.

So, the next time you accuse an author of writing something too bizarre to be believed, think twice.

NOW, TO EASE YOUR JOURNEY FROM FICTION BACK TO COLD, HARD REALITY…

Vandemonium1’s joke

Recession beater.

Wife says to husband, “If you cycle to work, we can get rid of the second car.”

He replies, “If you take it up the arse and let me cum on your face, we can get rid of the nanny!”

CreativityTakesCourage

Vandemonium1 and I were dressed and ready to go out for a lovely evening of dinner and theatre.

Having been burgled in the past, we turned on a night-light and the answering machine, then put the cat in the backyard.

When our cab arrived, beeping his horn, we walked out our front door and our rather tubby cat scooted between our legs inside, then ran up the stairs. Because our cat likes to chase our budgie we really didn’t want to leave them unchaperoned so Vandemonium1 ran inside to retrieve her and put her in the backyard.

Because I didn’t want the taxi driver to know our house was going to be empty all evening, I explained to him that my husband would be out momentarily as he was just bidding goodnight to my mother.

A few minutes later Van1 got into the cab all hot and bothered and said to my growing horror and amusement as the cab pulled away.

“Sorry it took so long but the stupid bitch was hiding under the bed and I had to poke her ass with a coat hanger to get her to come out! She tried to take off so I grabbed her by the neck and wrapped her in a blanket so she wouldn’t scratch me like she did last time. It worked! I hauled her fat ass down the stairs and threw her into the back yard… she’d better not shit in the vegetable garden again.”

The silence in the cab was deafening…

P.S. just so we’re all on the same page; the above was a joke.

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