A wonderful marriage of over 20 years comes to an end on New Year's Eve.
Disclaimer - I didn't use an editor for this story. I know I should have but I didn't. That being said grammar is not my thing. Even more reason to use an editor I know. If reading a story with obvious grammatical errors is going to be to big of a distraction for you then I suggest you avoid the heartache and move on, no hard feelings. You have been warned.
The load music downstairs had stopped and the countdown has started.
So what am I doing hiding out in Tom and Kelly Jennings' upstairs bathroom you ask? It's simple, I'm avoiding my wife.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
The sound of loud cheers and noise makers downstairs can now be heard. Now the music of Old Lang Syne is drifting up through the house. For the 22 years of our marriage, well 21 actually since this is our twenty-second year, and for the two New year's Eve's prior to our marriage, Kim and I always usher in the new year with a kiss at the stroke of midnight. Why then am I hiding in the bathroom avoiding my wife at the Miller's New year's Eve party this year? Well that's a difficult story to tell, at least it's difficult for me.
Kim and I, I'm Steve by the way, met our junior year in college. It was 1994. It wasn't love at first sight or anything like that. I knew her and she knew me because we had mutual friends. Anyway, that year there was going to be a big New year's Party at a mutual friends rented house. I didn't have a date for the party, not that it would be required but I preferred to have a date for these types of things rather than try to fight my way through all the other stags vying for the attention of the single girls. So on a whim I asked Kim if she would like to go to the party with me. She said sure, she was planning on going anyway but would love to be my date.
We had a great time at the party. It was the first time we were ever "together". We drank, laughed with friends and danced. I wasn't looking to "score", Kim and I where just acquaintances so I didn't want to make things weird. Ok, I was sort of hoping to "score" but really didn't think that would be a possibility so I was just enjoying myself with a pretty girl. As midnight approached the countdown began. Then as everyone cheered in the new year, those who had a date and those who found someone at the party shared a kiss to ring in the new year. I looked at Kim and thought "why not, it's New year's." I leaned in and gave her a kiss which she readily returned. It wasn't a full blown passionate kiss with tongue but it wasn't a quick peck either. After the kiss we sort of looked in each others eyes for a minute then I just said "Happy new year Kim." To which she replied " Happy new year Steve." Pretty intense don't you think? I know, NOT right? Well that was the start.
We partied a little while longer until it was time to go. I took her back to her apartment. Stopping at her door I said "I had a great time Kim, thanks for going to the party with me."
Kim replied "I had a great time too, I'm glad you asked me."
I asked her if she would like to go out with me again sometime and she said she would like that very much. We shared another kiss, much like the one at the party. Then she turned to go into her apartment and said over her shoulder "call me."
All the way home I was on cloud nine. Kim is no raving beauty but she's not chopped liver either. She's quite pretty and very personable. I realized on the way home I really enjoyed being with her.
So that began our relationship. We went out the following Thursday and by the middle of January we agreed to date exclusively. We both agreed that though we weren't jealous per se, we both wanted to date someone that wasn't out playing the field.
A year later and another New year's Eve party found Kim and I kissing at the stroke of midnight. Much more sensual than the year before and with plenty of tongue. As we broke it off we looked into each others eyes. The music was loud and people were cheering but for Kim and I in our own little world there was silence. After a few seconds I broke the silence.
"Kim, I love you, will you marry me?"
Kim didn't say a word. She just looked at me with I don't know what in her eyes. Right away I thought "oh fuck, I ruined it!"
Then tears started falling from her eyes. She grabbed me around the neck and squeezed so hard it actually hurt. She said "Nothing could make me happier. Yes Steve I will marry you". That was followed by another toe curling kiss.
We married in October of 1996 following graduation and settled in to married life. Things were good, life was good. I'm not going to lie and tell you everything was always wonderful and passionate, I think those that claim their lives are like that embellish the truth a little. But honestly, I loved her, she loved me and there was never a doubt we made the right decision to get married. And every New year's Eve without fail, whether we were at a party or just staying home found Kim and I sharing a kiss to ring in the new year. That was how our relationship started so it sort of became our thing.
1999 saw the arrival of our twins, Jennifer and Jason. Now I love my kids with everything I have but I would not recommend having twins to anyone. Those who have never had twins, and that's most people by the way, would think "wow, two babies at once, that must be like twice the work." Well having gone through it I'm convinced it's more like four times the work. It seemed like one or the other constantly needed a diaper changed. Jason would wake us up in the middle of the night with a messy diaper or just needing a quick feeding or maybe just to remind us he was there. Then after we got him settled down and back to sleep inevitably about the time we would start to doze off again Jennifer would remind us she was there needing attention as well. It was tough for a while but that being said I love them to pieces and wouldn't have it any other way if I could.
Life rolled on, I had a loving wife who I adored and two of the cutest, smartest kids around. I'm sure I've bored more than my share of friends and co-workers with kid stories but I didn't care. I just couldn't help myself I had to brag up my kids no matter what. Would you like to see their latest pictures? I have them right here in my wallet. Ok, never mind maybe later. My family was my life.
Fast forward to the end of October 2018. Kim and I just celebrated our 22nd anniversary a couple weeks earlier. I had come home from work on a Tuesday like usual walking into the house through the garage. Kim wasn't in the kitchen or the family room, no big deal she's here somewhere. Jason and Jennifer were off to college getting adjusted to their freshman year.
I head down the hall to the bedroom to change into my sweats. As I approach the door I hear Kim's voice as she is talking on the phone to her sister Kathy. It sounded as if she was crying while talking. For some reason I decide to wait in the hall and eavesdrop. Part of me wished I didn't yet part of me is glad I did. What I heard was like a gut punch.
"Kath, you'll never guess what happened today!"
Obviously I couldn't hear Kathy's side of the conversation but that really didn't matter.
"Well you know how I've been telling you about Tim Riley from work?"
"I know, I know Steve is a wonderful husband and I shouldn't be flirting with other men. God what an idiot I've been."
"I've felt extremely guilty about what I've done but for some reason I just couldn't stop it. And after today the guilt is a hundred times worse." She started sobbing at this point.
"Ok, ok I'm under control now let me tell you what happened."
"The guilt is killing me but at the same time the excitement is out of this world."
"Well you know Tim has been hitting on me, and we've kissed a little."
"Ok, ok letting him feel me up is more than just kissing a little."
"Stop it I feel bad enough, let me tell you, I need to get this out."
"Well at the end of the day when most everyone had left Tim asked if I could help him find a file in dead storage. I knew he was looking for more than just some paper work but I agreed to help him look anyway. So we go back to the dead storage room and Steve shuts the door behind us. I asked him where he thought the file was he said I think it's in the back. So he led me to the back of the storage room behind all the shelves. Once back there he just wrapped me in his arms and started kissing me."
"Damnit Sis, let me finish. So we are going hot and heavy, lots of tongue. I've told you Tim is a very good kisser."
"NO KATH NOT AS GOOD AS STEVE, LET ME FINISH! So anyway we were kissing and his hands come up to my breasts. I know I shouldn't let him do that but the feeling is so naughty, so intense, I just let him go. I didn't realize at first but soon he only had one hand on my breast when I felt the other hand at my thighs. He was scrunching my skirt up with one hand. My mind was screaming at me to stop but my body was so wound up by the illicitness of it all I just moaned into his mouth. The next thing I knew he had his hand up my skirt and was cupping and massaging my mound."
"I KNOW, I KNOW, let me finish. well it didn't take long and he had slipped his hand inside my panties and was fingering me. My knees went weak and he actually had to take his other hand from my breast and support me."
YES I KNOW WHAT I'M RISKING! That's why I need to get this off my chest, let me finish please! Anyway we continued with the heave kissing and his fingers working inside of me. All I could think of was how wrong this was and at anytime someone could come in and catch us. I was trying to work up the strength to put a stop to things when he suddenly spun me around and gently bent me over some file boxes stacked on the floor. It took me a minute to realize what he had in mind because I was in a cloud at that time. Before I knew it he had my skirt up around my waist and my panties down then I heard his zipper. I was thinking 'I can't let this happen, I can't be doing this' when I felt him against me, pushing inside me. It was as if one second we were kissing the next minute he was inside me. He didn't last long, probably less than a minute. Next thing I knew he was zipping up while I was pulling my panties back on. He had a sated smile and said 'my god Kim that was fantastic, you are incredible.' We finished composing ourselves and left. Walking to the car I realized I never even had an orgasm. The naughtiness, illicitness of the whole thing was very erotic and exciting, frankly the actual act itself was rather lacking."
"MY GOD I KNOW! and Steve can never find out. I made a huge mistake, trust me I know. I decided on my way home I'm definitely shutting Tim down, no repeat performance, no more kissing or flirting. It was a huge mistake. I feel so guilty about what I've done to Steve and our marriage. I had to tell someone because in the short time since I've left the office the guilt has been smothering."
"No, I'm never going to do anything like that again. But as much as I feel deceitful about it there is no way I can tell Steve. I will never do anything like that again, Even though it may relieve my guilt to come clean, Steve doesn't deserve the pain it would cause, I'm going to just be the best wife ever."
"Look Sis, I need to go. Steve will be home any minute and I need to put on a happy face so hopefully he won't suspect anything."
"I know, I'm disappointed in myself too." More crying at this point.
I quickly went back down the hall and made like I was just walking in. Kim came from the bedroom took one look at me and said "Honey, what's wrong?"
Well apparently I couldn't hid what I was feeling form my wife. "I really don't feel well. I had some sushi for lunch and ever since then I've been feeling worse and worse. I think I'm going to lye down for awhile. Go ahead and eat without me, right now the thought of eating makes me nauseous. Save me a plate if I feel better later I'll warm it up."
With genuine love and concern on her face she said "Ok dear you go rest, I'll check on you a little later."
Laying in our bed I re-ran the conversation I over heard, trying to figure out what was going on and what was I going to do about it. My wife of 22 years apparently fucked another man. Was that the only time? By the sounds of what I heard it was. At least it was the only time with this guy. I couldn't believe that thought popped into my head. Kim and I have been together for almost 24 years and I've never doubted her, the thought never crossed my mind. Mentally I began to berate myself for having these thoughts about my wife, the woman I've loved more than life itself. But no sooner did I start chastising myself I realized Kim has brought this questioning and distrust on herself.
Ok, so lets evaluate things. It's what I do when I have something important to decide. At this point I realize I love Kim completely. I know despite what I just overheard my love is still as strong. I'm incredibly hurt and betrayed, but the thought of not being married to Kim scares me. Kim and the twins are my life. Then a scary thought entered my mind, what if Kim didn't want to stay married to me? I actually shivered at the thought. Based on what I heard, Kim claims to love me and is raked with guilt over what has happened. No I truly believe she is not looking to replace me. So what do I do? Just go on, pretend I never heard what I heard? No this was too big. This would eat at me and I know it would affect our relationship. I was going to have to confront Kim with what I knew. It wouldn't be easy and honestly I couldn't say for certain what would come of it. Maybe after getting it out in the open I wouldn't be able to accept it. Maybe I underestimate Kim's feelings for me. Maybe if it's out in the open she may have the courage to leave me. I knew I wasn't going to be able to just forget about it and pretend I never knew. I had to confront Kim.
What would this do to the kids? I didn't plan on telling them, I hoped we could repair the damage and they wouldn't have to know. Thanksgiving was just over three weeks away and the kids would be home for a long weekend. When I confront Kim I know it's going to take awhile to 'fix' things, if that's possible. And if I confront Kim now I doubt things will be back to normal and everything fine with Kim and I by Thanksgiving. The Kids will definitely know something serious is going on, Jennifer is very perceptive she will definitely pick up on the tension. No the only thing confronting Kim now would do, beside hastening the potential healing of our severely damaged marriage would be to ruin Thanksgiving for our family and send the kids back to school wondering if their parents would still be married the next time they came home. I didn't want to put that stress on them, not now, not if there is a possibility of fixing this and keeping them in the dark never letting them know.
So it was decided, I was going to confront Kim and work to put us back together. But just not right now. I realized that at least for the short term the pain of Kim's betrayal was too raw for me to act as if nothing was wrong around her. What if she wants to make love tonight? I can't believe it but right now I find the thought of making love to my wife very unappealing. Well, tonight I'm 'sick' so I doubt she would initiate anything tonight. Maybe I would be 'sick' for another day or two and hopefully I'll be able to get to the point of at least being able to act normal towards my wife.
The 'food poisoning' or 'stomach bug' I had lasted through Wednesday. By Thursday afternoon while still at work I realized I was really no closer to acting as if all was well at home but I couldn't be 'sick' forever. I had to come up with something until the pain of the betrayal wasn't so fresh. Reluctantly I headed home, I thought to myself this is the first time I can ever remember not looking forward to going home to Kim. Don't get me wrong, I wanted Kim. But I wasn't ready to let he know what I knew. And knowing what I knew was preventing me from acting normal to Kim. I knew eventually we would put this behind us and things would eventually work back to as they were, at least I hoped they would. But I knew I wasn't anywhere close to that point and Kim had know idea that I knew. For the sake of the kids I wanted to keep it that way for now.
Walking into the kitchen Kim was working on dinner.
"Hi honey, how was your day? are you feeling better?"
"I feel fine, must have been a bug or something."
"Well dinner will be in about a half hour, why don't you relax a bit?"
"Steve, is something wrong?"
"Everything is fine, Kim it's been a long day. I'll be in the family room."
With a very concerned look on her face Kim replied "Ok sweetheart, I'll let you know when dinner is ready."
Well that went well, I guess it's a good thing I'm a sales manager and not an actor. She definitely knows something is bothering me.
Dinner was tense to say the least. Kim could tell something was on my mind but didn't push. She tried to initiate conversation about her day, my day, the kids, you name it. I was lucky if I could respond to any of her comments with more then just a few words at a time. I never added to the conversation, just responded to her when I had to.
After dinner we sat in the family room. Kim was reading a book while I watched TV. Well, I was looking the TV, I couldn't tell you what was on. Placing her book on her lap Kim looked at me for a minute or so then said "Steve, what's troubling you? Maybe I can help."
"It was just a long day at work Kim, I'm fine."
"Steve I know you better than that, something is wrong."
"Look I'm fine, I just had a bad day let it rest!"
Nothing else was said. The house was frosty the rest of the night. We went to bed Kim said "goodnight Steve, I love you." I just grunted back "night."
I was still in a foul mood when I got home from work on Friday, Kim could tell right away. This time however she didn't push me. She was kind towards me but didn't speak much, she just gave me space. I could see the concern on her face, she had no idea what was going on with me.
Saturday morning we drank coffee in silence. Finally Kim said "Steve, what's going on? Are you mad at me? Did I do something?"
I almost spit coffee out of my mouth. Am I mad at her? Did she do something? I just about unloaded on her when I realized she still had know Idea I knew about her and Tim Riley. She just knew I was upset and taking it out on her she so she assumed I was mad at her. Which I was and then some. The only thing I could do was lay down a line of bull shit that I hoped could by me some time.
"I'm sorry Kim, I have been in a piss poor mood lately. Things are very tough at work right now." Then I proceeded to spin a line about a couple lost accounts and profits being at an all time low. It was a given there would be no annual bonuses this year and annual salary adjustments were highly unlikely. I went on to say that though I was confident my job was secure there were probably going to be plenty of lay-offs for those lower on the food chain. I explained the loss of bonus or raise would be disappointing for us it really wouldn't hurt us financially. I was really concerned about those who might lose their job. I apologized and said I would try not to bring work home with me anymore but I was really stressing out over trying to find a way to minimize if not eliminate the potential layoffs.
Kim came over, sat on my lap and wrapped her arms around me. She said she had no idea things were so bad at work. She would support me, give me space when I needed it, listen to me vent when I needed to vent, or just comfort me when I needed to be comforted. She squeezed me tighter and said "your concern and compassion for those in danger of losing their job is yet another example of the kind of man I've always known you to be. I love you more today than I ever have, I am so proud to be married to you."
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