I let Edward call again and again as my marriage vows eroded. We were both time stressed so the weeks passed quickly. With Edward’s phone calls, hubby and I argued during the little weekend time we had together when we never did before. At our work day breakfasts, I was sullen, created issues, got cross over little things. I blame shifted guilt of Edward’s calls. Hubby hadn’t changed. I had. I compared him to Edward unfavorably to provide excuses to take Edward’s calls and meet him again.
The desire to see him again built up until it was no longer possible to contain. Edward often asked me to go for a ride in his Porsche but I was afraid to be alone with him in his car and kept putting it off. Then one noon call, I suggested we meet someplace again for lunch. He, instead, suggested diner at Michael's, a French seafood restaurant in Sunnyvale. It had a theater next door and we could also take in the movie Chinatown, he wanted to see. It had to be a Saturday evening, his only night off. Getting out on a Saturday evening was difficult for me, no shopping excuse would work. Caution thrown to the wind, I agreed to meet him there. By then, out of control, I didn’t know if I could wait until Saturday. I would force an excuse to go.
Saturday afternoon, household duties completed, a meal prepared for hubby and the kids, I announced I was eating out. Hubby taken aback wanted to know why, where and with who. I retorted.
“It’s just a couple from work. You know Patty and this guy at work who talks to me. He wants to see the movie Chinatown. We’re just friends. What’s the matter? You’re not jealous, are you? It’s just dinner and a movie with Patty as chaperone. He’s reported to be gay. I can go, can’t I?”
I pretended to seek his approval but was going with or without it. Confused and unsure he asked.
"Who is he?"
From past successful lying, I knew to provide true distraction details.
"I just told you, a guy from work, a nerd. Looks weird, suffers from acne, girls make fun of him but we talk. I ran into him at the Mall. He asked me to see the movie. I asked Patty to come too and she agreed. We talk about books and movies. No one’s nice to him. I pity him.”
There was a guy at work who fit my lie but I didn’t talk to him either. Patty was a girl at work who would lie to back me up. I had my template lie to avoid a lie trip wire.
“You want me to be sociable, so I said yes. His names Randy, Randy the Gay Dandy the girls tease him. Patty wants to see the movie too. You wanted me to go swinging and now you get jealous over nothing, me seeing a movie with a nerdy guy and a girl from work."
"Who is he?"
It was time to confront. More detail could result in a trip up. In a terse tone, as if to start an argument, I replied.
"You’re jealous as expected. Well I’m going! It’s too late to change. It’s just dinner and a movie!"
"Be back by 10."
He was avoiding an argument but also assumed my going might promote a second swinging attempt, something it never occurred to him, I would be jealous of. With no knowledge of the phone calls or lunches, he suspected nothing because he took me for granted.
He watched intently while I dressed. I donned the silken dress, strapped on the shoes and put on the dangling earrings Edward bought. He observed I kept my wedding ring on. I taunted him by waving my hand before his stare as if he was ridiculously suspicious.
As I tilted my head to hook the earring in ear lobe holes he asked.
“Where are you going for dinner?’
“Denny’s, it’s Dutch treat. We each pay our own.”
I said Denny's to keep him from barging into Michael’s to create a drama scene. I lied it was Dutch treat to belie his suspicions it was a date. He had to take care of the kids but might still do something rash and take them to Denney’s to check up. If he did, I would say it was Sunnyvale Denny’s not Mountain View’s.
Setting my previously prepared dinner on the kitchen table for he and the kids, in coded words the kids wouldn’t understand, I reiterated his questioning my seeing a gay nerd meant he was irrationally jealous. I said I was still going and he should forget swinging. This deflection kept him quite but he still insisted on my being home by 10, his words of accepting defeat. I agreed by saying, “yes, yes.” I knew he thought, back by 10 avoided sex. I was pleased with my lies.
Before leaving, I returned to the bedroom, tip toed to the master bathroom, opened the vanity, took a condom he bought for his swinging fiasco and hid it in my purse. Back in the kitchen I calmed him.
“I’ll be back by 10. It’s only a movie and a snack after. Don’t make a big deal out of nothing!
I’m glad you’re jealous. I was worried you didn’t care.”
I kissed him for back up assurance, opened the garage door and hurried to the car. He watched from the kitchen window as I backed my white banana station wagon out onto the street, the car the best evidence of innocent intent.
At 10 PM, I tersely phoned from the theater and said I would be late as I was going to have a glass of wine and hung up before he could protest.
After dinner, movie and torrid sex with someone I was afraid until that night to ride alone with, I returned home to the only man up until then I knew intimately, a man I felt safe with but was now afraid to confront.
The night with Edward opened a new world but one I was afraid would destroy my existing one. I was in love with another man, a man who maybe loved me but would never marry me. Now I had a husband to face. When I entered the house at 1 AM, he was waiting in the kitchen as I exited the garage. My hair was rumpled and damp from the shower at Edward’s. I couldn’t look at him. It was obvious.
He asked accusingly.
"What happened, why are you late?"
Looking down at the kitchen floor, I replied ambiguously.
"You asked me to socialize, I did! Now you're jealous! What do you want?"
Terrified of his reaction, I reiterated it was all his idea but denied having sex and awaited his response, head tilted to one side, to accept screaming, perhaps a blow. Instead of yelling or hitting me, he led me to the bedroom, stripped me and threw me on the bed.
Warmth flowed over me, I was still his wife.
We rolled apart and I went into a deep sleep. In the morning, he again hopped on me, finished in a frenzy of ownership declaration then grilled me after. I avoided answers as best I could, talked about an imaginary book discussed, suggested we see the movie, let him assume there was no sex by evading confirmation and let him fill in the blanks. After grilling, I admitted to cheek peck kiss on departure from his place which shocked both Patty and me. As a result, I’d never see him out for a movie again. When asked if we used a condom, I replied.
"What an insult. I didn’t want him to touch me let alone cheek kiss me. If we were going to do it I would but didn’t because we didn’t!"
This caused me to remember the condom in my purse. I pretended to need go to the bathroom. There I put it back in its little packet, pleased I didn’t need to cover for a missing one.
The next week I bought a fish tank for the family room, got some guppies and a little frog and convinced my husband to comb his hair straight back. His inquiries abated in our morning and afternoon kids hand offs but he remained suspicious.
I had to re-establish a “girl’s night out” routine for cover. The next Saturday morning I casually said the girls at work wanted me to go bowling and asked if that was okay. He had no objection but I didn’t tell him when. After dinner, I announced I was going bowling. We argued but I reminded him I’d already told him and it was just bowling with girls from work, not a movie with the nerd. He watched from the kitchen window again as I hurriedly backed the car out. I was out of control.
At Edward's, he walked me to his garage parking spot and I finally rode in a Porsche. Learning I could shift gears he let me drive to Sunnyvale Bowling Alley. The car surged with power, leaped forward each time I fondled the floor clutch, shift knob and changed gears. The sharp, low road hugged turns tilted our bodies to touch. In the bucket seats my mini dress rode up my thighs as my 3-inch pumps worked the floor pedals. The car reeked sex. I loved it. It made me wet.
Why bowl? Let’s race back and hump on the bed. God, I love shifting these gears, even down shifting.
He was a good bowler and tried to improve my game but to no avail. I enjoyed his holding me to guide my arm but was nervous of being seen and caught with him. I glanced about but recognized no one. Despite the unease of being seen with him, I became at ease being with him.
After bowling he introduced me to sushi and sake. At his apartment, after a glass of pinot wine, I led him to the bedroom, undressed him and rode him as my Porsche.
Afterwars I showered but kept my hair dry and returned home with a full goodbye kiss at my car door. He squeezed my buttocks and opened the door for me. Driving home on the El Camino Real in my sedate white banana my mind was confused. I felt elated yet guilty. I still wanted my family and the safety of home. What was I doing driving home at 1 AM from a sex romp?
At home, the grilling began but I deflected with innocent admission details such as having eaten sushi but with the "girls". His inquiry soon ended as I was led again to bed for sex and then left alone to sleep. When I awoke late Sunday morning, I realized it was too late to visit our parents. Edward was already disrupting my family pattern.
It was okay. I was in love, so I, thought. We never went swinging. Well I did but my husband didn’t.
Author Notes: Infidelity starts to stress her marriage.