“I wouldn’t be telling you this, except it happened to me and I think you should be warned” Sally said to Mary-Anne, when she stopped her run to admire the dahlias in Sally’s garden.
“I saw you drive off last night and a while later I happened to walk past your house and I saw a flash of red lacy underwear on a woman in your house. It’s obvious David is having an affair.”
Mary-Anne bit her lip. “I’ll have to ask him” she said.
“Oh no,” said Sally, “they always lie if you ask them. You have to get photographic proof before you start to talk, or they hide all their assets and leave you with nothing. The first time they can know anything is in the lawyer’s office when you present them with the divorce papers.”
Mary-Anne ran on, her brain racing. She and David seemed happy together, if a little settled into a rut. Sex once a week, if that, not a whole lot of excitement in their marriage. Her career was taking a lot of her time, maybe more than David liked. Yet he too was busy, most nights bringing work home.
Last night had been her book club. She came home at about 11 and David was still watching TV. His briefcase closed and the papers and laptop he’d been working on were tidied, ready for the morning. He’d eaten the supper she had left for him, there were three empty beer bottles on the kitchen counter. No glasses. Women don’t like beer from a bottle. It seemed impossible that he’d had time to work, eat supper, have passionate sex and then doze off in front of the TV. Well the dozing off after sex was something she knew so well..
Yet when she kissed him hello, there was a different scent about him, not totally male. Had he really been having sex with another woman, in their home, in their bed of all places?
The next week Mary-Anne had an overnight visit to her mother, after a minor operation. Just to have someone in the house with her on her first night at home. Mary-Anne’s sister was then coming to spend a few days there, to look after her mother and to have a break from her family responsibilities.
As it was just 50Kms away, Mary-Anne left straight after work and came back home early on her way to work.
She asked her mother about maintaining excitement in marriage. She had little advice to offer, having fallen pregnant with the twins while on honeymoon, and spent all her younger married life raising her four children.
Mary-Anne had left rose petals between the folds of her sexiest underwear and negligees, just in case. She’d left a flattened tissue under her pillow. She sighed, she never wore the sexy stuff any more, it just seemed too much effort to put it on, just to take it off again.
When she came home she quickly went up the stairs to their bedroom, ostensibly to put down her overnight bag, but really to check on the state of what she had left.
The bed had fresh sheets and duvet cover on. Her underwear and negligees had definitely been disturbed. The rose petals were now on the top of things.
She sat on the bed, her mind reeling. This seemed impossible. She and David loved each other, but had boredom set in? How could he let another woman into their bed, in HER clothes? It was an impossible situation.
Later that day she started searching online for a detective agency. She made contact and at lunch the next day met Mr Dawes, a rather grey looking man, the sort who never stands out in a crowd.
As she explained he went ‘tck tck’ with his tongue, sounding disapproving. She stopped and stared at him. He apologised, and explained that he’d wanted to be a police detective but now found himself mostly trailing cheating spouses. He said her story sounded quite common. He’d have proof for her quite soon.
Once a week Mary-Anne and Mr Dawes met.
The first week, there was nothing much to report. David worked, went to the gym, played soccer one evening, and otherwise was home with Mary-Anne.
The second week there was some excitement. David had had lunch with a woman, and gave her a present of some very beautiful underwear. When the photographs were produced, it was his sister. Her birthday was that week, but she and her husband and child were going to the coast for a long weekend, so there wouldn’t be a family celebration until they returned.
The third week was a replay of week 1. With one exception. David went with a few work colleagues for a drink one evening. But he left the bar relatively early, and came straight home, stopping to pick up Chinese food for them both.
The next week was book club again. Mary-Anne set off with a heavy heart. David knew she would be away for at least 3 hours.
Two blocks from home, she stopped the car. She sat for a while thinking, wishing she could really trust him, and feeling torn apart by the thought of losing him. But she had to discover the truth, before she wasted any more of her life on a man who obviously did not love her.
She left the car and walked back home. She sneaked round the back and walked in through the kitchen door. There was music upstairs, somewhat raunchy. Her heart sank. They were there already. At it in her bedoroom, in her bed.
She crept up the stairs, her heart pounding so much that she could hardly hear anything else. Then she saw David, dancing in the bedroom, in her sexiest night gown. She walked in, ready to confront the hussy who was trying to steal her husband.
David turned and saw her. He put out his arms.
Mary-Anne stood still. He thought she was THAT WOMAN.
Then she realised he was alone. She walked into his arms, and he held her close. “I’m so glad you came back, he said, “wearing your things doesn’t really feel as good as holding you.”
Mary-Anne just stared. He laughed and said, “I’m sorry but I love your silky stuff, it’s such a turn on, but it’s just not the right shape for me, is it? Now this gown is just perfect, all the silkiness to arouse me, and no discomfort.”
And he proceeded to demonstrate just what an effect the stuff had on him.
The next morning Mary-Anne phoned Mr Dawes, to pay him off. He warned her that they had not been following David for long enough. She laughed.
Later that day she went down to the part of town with all the little shops housing seamstresses. She took with her the royal purple silk she had bought for a special outfit.
On Friday when she got home from work David was home. When she went upstairs, there he was, in a new very short red silk gown smiling and happy. But it really wasn’t quite his shape, She gave him the package she carried. Loose shorts, carefully cut, a silk gown, soft enough for anyone’s taste and a sarong with a soft tie, for hotter weather.
While she got undressed and into the red gown, David tried on his new outfit. Smiling they went downstairs to dance together on the patio, drink champagne and eat the oysters Mary-Anne had brought home and plan a night of passion.
Sally, walking past, and ‘accidently looking in’ discovered the truth, that real love makes anything possible. Even red and purple look great together.