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[ Dear Readers:
If you prefer to read episodes of this series without their predecessors, that’s fine and I hope you enjoy them that way. Just a heads-up, though: It’s not meant to be an anthology. All the episodes (except the first) build on those before them, so you’ll probably conclude some things differently from what was intended.
Some of our readers’ public and private comments touch on unmentioned matters, just a few of which are safe sex, STDs and common real-world consequences of things and events in the story.
Two chief rules in theatre are, first, everything on stage must have a reason to be there, second, everything that the action requires must be present, whether explicitly or implicitly. It’s not much different in written fiction. By the second rule, if a story does not get into some particular issue explicitly or implicitly (for example, indirectly through consequences) then it is irrelevant because the author deems it so and asks the reader to consider that issue adequately handled without mention. Sometimes action may be simplified a little from what is actually meant for the sake of smoothness and avoiding distracting details unnecessary for understanding the scene. A good author has respect for the reader’s intelligence and imagination and does not feel compelled to paint every scene with photographic detail.
In short, if it ain’t there, it don’t matter. Please remember that this is a story, not a case study or the news.]
SECRET NO LONGER
There stood Sammy, looking down upon us, chastened boy and soul-stained mother, just as the two of us had been teasing with the early stages of foreplay. It was not the Sammy we knew at all: somebody with Sammy’s face and body, but lacking his jovial, easy manner, occupied a space on our living-room carpet, not having so much as bothered to knock on the door.
It required no great amount of thought to know exactly what he was doing there, yet intellect was instantly thwarted by emotion. Suddenly frozen, I awaited his pronouncement, desperately willing his words to lead somewhere other than where they obviously must lead.
Those lips moved, trembled, halted, as their owner fought to find the right way to phrase his message. One false start after another paraded over his features until he decided that prolonging the agony was worse than any imperfect phrasing. When he finally did speak, though, what emerged was probably the best way to say it anyway.
Softly, almost inaudibly, he spoke.
“He knows,” said he, simply.
Thus went the message olgun porno in its totality. The confirmation of my worst fears seemed to destroy my eyes’ ability to focus Soon an odd mist passed before my vision.
I was now inexplicably on my back, several pillows propped under my legs, Sammy and Jason gathered nearby with moist towels and glasses of water.
“What the hell is going on?” I demanded weakly.
“You fainted, Mom.”
Oh, so that’s it. Elevate the legs over the victim’s head, that’s the basic first aid. Too consumed by this unwelcome intelligence to be sheepish about it, I sat up, with their help, and regained my former position. With the return of consciousness came the return of the knowledge of why I had briefly lost it. I wished I could faint again, this time permanently. That’s no hyperbole; it’s the simple truth.
Jason now sat beside me, collapsing into the cushion, all of the strength drained from him. His face bore the ashen gray Sammy’s had, only much deeper. I’m sure the color of my own face was no different. Much time passed in silence until Jason finally spoke, with a voice hollow and bereft of strength.
“How did he find out? Who told him?”
“Nobody did, Jason. He found out on his own.”
“But how? He’s supposed to be on the east coast.”
“He was. I had no chance to talk with him so I can’t be sure just what happened, but it looks like he must have had to return here briefly. I checked with his hotel, asking to speak to him at a time I knew he’d be working, and they confirmed he was still checked into his hotel. This must have been some kind of side trip.”
“When was that?”
“Tonight, about six-thirty.”
Six-thirty. That’s when we had been showering.
“I was mowing the lawn. I saw him walking up to the door, cheerful as can be. Said hello, chipper as ever, and walked in.
Sammy paused a long time before finishing.
“You don’t want to know how he looked when he walked back out.”
So that’s the sound Jason heard. Fred came into the house, but the sound of the shower masked the sound of the door enough that we couldn’t recognize it. Oh, my God, how he must have felt to discover his wife and his son in there together! I then recalled that we had actually done a little bit of sexual horseplay while we were in there. If he’d heard what we were saying then, any possible doubt about what we had been to would have been dispelled.
The wall, that wall of denial created to free me to yield to all my temptations, the one I made myself believe I could maintain until I no longer needed it, instead now bent, playboy porno split and collapsed, and the avalanche of accumulated facts, truths, warnings, threats and sensibilities, the ones I so vigorously refused to accept, or even acknowledge, for this time, washed over me, drowning me in its sheer mass and ferocious velocity.
Strangely, my mind was calm, but it was far from a peaceful calm. In times past, I’d have been quickly immersed in a tormented wrestling match with the threats and sorrows besetting me. This time there were no conflicting, competing options, only one bitter, inescapable truth, an instant, total and permanent concession of defeat. My unseeing eyes were locked straight forward and my ears heard only fragments of the information in the words spoken by the two persons beside me.
“I’m surprised he didn’t come in and confront us right then and there,” Jason offered.
“Well, I don’t know too much about his work, but I’ve got a suspicion, based on that little box he was carrying, that he had no choice. If my guess is correct, it’s some kind of equipment with classified information in it or something else that forces him to keep hold of it at all times. That would mean he would be in a hell of a lot of trouble if he didn’t stick to whatever plan he had.
“But I also like to think that, in addition to whatever other reasons he had, he had the sense to realize he could do nothing but harm in his state of mind. Maybe that’s one hell of a bit of good fortune. Now, a good deal of time will pass before he sees you again. Don’t expect honey and flowers, but at least he may be past emotional warfare.”
Yes, that probably would help. It would also be a time of horrible surmises. Parents through the ages have known how a child in trouble waiting for punishment often finds the fear and worry anticipating it surpasses the punishment itself. Haven’t we all been there? Haven’t we all known the torture of the wait, praying for it to end in a punishment that, however light or severe, was at least tangible?
There would now be weeks of that.
My eyes drifted toward the telephone. I could not tell if the thought of it ringing, my dear, loving, and now horribly wronged husband at the other end, was to be welcomed or dreaded.
Sammy, his entire purpose for being there completed, prepared to leave. Before he did, he reached out and took one of my hands in one of his, and put the other on Jason’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry. I truly am.” His head bowed in sympathy for a moment. Then he rose, sadly glanced at us once more, and left.
And now we were alone. pornhub porno So very, very much alone.
“He’ll probably want us both out of here before he comes back. Right now I almost want that. It would mean I won’t have to face him.”
“He won’t, Mom.”
“How can we know? It’s one thing to learn to understand how someone reacts to things over years of life together; it’s entirely another to understand how someone could react to something like this. There’s no precedent, no parallel to base your guess on.”
Jason gave up trying to encourage me, or us. Every attempt just shone light on another uncertainty, and another threat.
My nights now needed no clock to measure my torment. Days and nights blurred into one murky continuum, one minute differing not a whit from the one before, or the one following. Stripped of the energy to accomplish anything I slept fitfully until I awoke on my own and felt compelled to rise, and likewise retired whenever the urge struck me. No time of day meant anything different from any other, so why bother concerning myself with them? As the days wore on my time to rise grew later and my time to bed grew earlier. I did sleep, but did not rest. Sleep was nothing more than an escape from consciousness, and a poor one at that.
Nothing matters now. Linda has had her moments of glory, of lascivious pleasure, of nearly unfettered self-indulgence. And the devil who had delivered all of it to me had now handed me the bill, demanding payment in full, on the spot, the price determined to be the loss of everything that really mattered, the life, history, love of, and union with, a dear man and the home and family we had build together.
What’s that price of a bargain with the devil? It’s one’s soul, according to tradition. Well, be that fact or fancy, myth or reality, paid to a real Prince of Evil or merely one concocted within one’s mind, it had been my price. The heart and soul dwelling within me were stripped away, torn from my bosom with callous indifference. This body, the one whose carnal pleasure had become my obsession, now was the only part of me with any life in it at all, and that wasn’t much. No human spirit animated it; only dull habit and basic functional necessities. The crippled consciousness remaining within it served only as a vehicle for pain.
Would that even this last element of my being should cease to function. At least, at this moment, a suddenly imminent death, handed to me by Fate, would have been received with pleasure. But that was not to be. This life was not about to end by either circumstance nor my own hand. It would continue, and in its continuing, pass unavoidably through the consequences of my choices.
How I wish I had at least an inkling of what they would be.
The clock did not bother me now. I had unplugged it. It was no longer of any use whatsoever.
(to be continued)
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