I sat thinking about the events of the recent weeks, and as hard as I tried I could not identify anything specific on its own that gave me cause to think she was cheating on me. The feeling that filled my being came as a result of lots of little things added together that left me with a feeling of unease more than anything else. There was something going on but I could not put my finger on it. I was fairly certain something was afoot yet I had no proof, no idea who, what or where it was happening if indeed it was.
I had even started to question my own sanity, was I making too much of things, overreacting maybe? Imagining all kinds of scenarios where she was cheating, but with who? I had no idea yet my gut was tying itself in knots, I felt rather than knew something was going on. Maybe it was the very beginning of a fling or affair, maybe a one off? The more I tortured myself with thoughts and imaginings the more certain I became strangely. I had been thinking like this for what seemed like weeks now, yet how long had whatever it was been going on before I became even slightly aware something was amiss?
I took another slug of my JD, the ice rattled in the glass telling me it was time for a refill. I caught the bartender’s eye and he nodded. He slid along the bar and replaced my glass with another double JD on the rocks, he gave me a half smile as if reading my mind. He had seen the same look many times before. His look was one in part of support yet sympathy at the same time as he recognised the tortured look behind my eyes. The sweet taste of JD warmed the back of my mouth and throat as I took another gulp, I must take it easy I resolved as I looked around the bar taking in the handful of other drinkers. It was quiet, the low murmur of chatter just filling the room with unintelligible words and adding a backdrop to my personal growing sense of misery. There was no joy here.
The faces of the patrons that filled the bar were all bland and unremarkable, no one stood out, all nondescript and average in every way. The only woman in the place, in her forties at a guess, slightly overdressed for the time of day and the place, looking a little desperate maybe was being fed drinks by an older guy. He looked as if he was hoping to get lucky, and looking at her he didn’t need to try so hard I thought, she already had his number. Other souls seemed to be just passing time while the rain outside fell and further dampened spirits, sometime soon each would run out of reasons to stay in the sanctity of the bar and make the journey homeward. I was still undecided what I was going to do.
“So, what’s the story?”
I turned in the direction of the voice.
She looked at me, eyes boring deep into my soul it felt like, I opened my mouth to speak but no words came out. She stood in the dimly lit bar, water dripping from her as she started to slip her coat off.
“What are you doing here Sammi?”
“I was worried about you, I had an idea I would find you here, so here I am, wanna talk?”
I looked at her, my mind trying to regain some balance as I stared at her.
“Worried about me? Why? What do you mean?” I looked at her trying to see what she was thinking, worried in case she was trying to catch me out in some way, could I trust her?
I sipped my JD and ordered her a vodka and coke which was delivered with some style by the barman, smiling now as he took in the sight of Sammi. She caught his eye as he served her, smiling one of her sweet “butter wouldn’t melt” smiles as his eyes wandered across her full breasts jutting out in her form fitting blouse.
Sammi waited until the bartender had moved away before she said anything else, her eyes wary as we looked at each other both unsure and jostling for position and advantage.
“Well it is all to do with the way you have been acting recently, you look like you have the worries of the world on your shoulders. You want to tell me just what the fuck is going on?”
I stared into her brown eyes for a moment before looking away, she always could read me like a book. That was something I always liked about her, we got on, we seemed to get each other somehow too, we had arguments but we never fell out about things, we always were straight and honest with each other, well to a point that is. What was left unsaid was just understood.
“Sammi, I am OK, we are fine there is nothing to concern yourself about really.”
I looked at her as she took in my words, I could see she wasn’t buying it, my heart sank, I had tried to pass it off but I could see it wasn’t going to wash.
Sammi, took a slow sip of her drink as she looked straight into my soul again.
Jeesus here it comes I thought.
She placed the glass on the tab in front of her then locked her fingers together as she leant slightly forward and towards me.
“I know what is going on.”
“I don’t know what you mean.” I tried bluffing.
“For fucks sake Steve, I know so let’s level with each other and stop pissing around.”
The bartender caught the last few words and his head twisted round just enough to try to catch more of what he supposed would be something juicy.
“Let’s sit in one of the booths? This is too public for my liking.”
I saw the disappointed look cross the bartender’s face as we stood and stepped across the bar into one of the side booths. We sat opposite each other like prize fighters waiting for the other to take a swing.
“OK so what is it that you think you know?” I jousted.
“Nice try Steve, you know you can’t lie to me we have known each other far too long, I know so tell me about it, you know you need to talk to someone so come on out with it.”
I had known Sammi since she was 17, she was always around and had a sort of crush on me at one time when I started dating her sister Claire. Claire was 3 years older, we began dating when we were both 20. Sammi and I had always got on much to the annoyance of her older sister, they were as different as chalk and cheese in a lot of ways but their temper was shared with evidence of many sibling blow ups over the years. After 2 years we had married and settled down to what I thought was an idyllic future. We were both working in decent jobs and earning enough to make life comfortable at the least. My sister in law, Sammi had been having a fun time throughout her late teens and early twenties and now at the age of 25 was looking for something more grown up I felt, she had sown her wild oats and matured into someone that any guy would be lucky to get close to in my opinion.
Claire and I had been married for 5 years, well it will be 5 in another month when our anniversary is due. That is if we make it that far I mused.
Sammi is a very attractive woman and one who I counted as a friend as well as my sister in law, I looked at her my eyes starting to fill as I searched for the words to explain how I felt but still with her words “I know” loud and clear in my mind.
She reached across the table, her fingers stroking mine before gripping them tightly, a sign of support and more to me as I felt my heart slowly breaking.
“OK Steve if you won’t say then I will, she is cheating on you I think you know it, I certainly do, now what are you going to do about it?” CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING