(Note – as I hate scrolling backwards to read earlier segments, I’m re-posting it all together, just scroll down to the part you want.)
I am a hard-headed lawyer, or so my husband describes me. I am a corporate lawyer specializing in mergers and acquisitions, tax and watertight contracts. I do not involve myself in the messy personal aspects of the law, anti-nuptial contracts and divorce, or worse, criminal law. I like life, neat, tidy, orderly.
Our lives together are pretty much so. I have the house, organized, tidy, colour coded.
He is a sports coach for one of the local schools. He loves the teenagers, all their difficulties, troubles, hard work and successes.
He has the outside; his ‘playing areas’, for his fruit and veggies, his trees and flowers. His plants are far from colour coded. The garden doesn’t have what I would call a structure. He says he knows which plants like each other and therefore grow well together. Did you know peas do not like marigolds? They will creep over to them and strangle them, or so he tells me.
We are opposites, who love each other dearly. We do not yet have children. That will happen in 2 years, according to our plan.
I feel rather uncomfortable telling of this at all.
A few weeks ago I had the oddest feeling. My loving husband seemed distracted. He was spending an awful lot more time in the garden. Or so he said. But I could see no signs of what he was working on, in fact the lawn had reached such a height, I wondered if a herd of cows could be hiding in it. On top of that if I went to look for him, he was nowhere to be found. Except for one evening, when I discovered him, rather furtively leaving the garden shed, locking the door behind him.
He was flushed and seemed excited the whole evening.
I had to go away for business for a few days, and I had the oddest feeling that he could not wait for me to leave. He would be home alone, not something he usually enjoyed. He always says he feels like only half a person when I am away.
On my return he seemed different again, excited, happy, distracted. When I asked him what was new, he flushed and said “nothing much”.
This went on for a few weeks. Then I discovered two of my grandmother’s heirloom teacups were missing from the cupboard. When I asked him if he knew where they were he again flushed, and asked why I thought he would know.
I began to suspect something devious was happening, was he perhaps having an affair? For the first time in my life I experienced true pain. The thought of losing his love was more than I could contemplate. Suddenly I realised just how painful a divorce would be.
School holidays began and suddenly his behaviour became more remote, obviously he was more involved in the affair.
After 3 days I could stand it no longer. I took time off from work.
In the morning, I got up as usual, and told him I was suddenly going away overnight, but would be home the following evening.
I drove off, went to a nearby motel and checked in. I changed into a tracksuit and walked the 6 or 7 blocks to home, and hid in the garden. Dreading seeing his mistress arrive I stayed hidden and watched the house.
He came out and walked down the garden, right to the back fence, that had a gate opening to the stream and some woodland beyond.
I heard his voice, soft and loving, just as he used to talk to me when we were first married.
I thought my heart would literally crack open, so intense was the pain.
Who could she be, she who had stolen his love from me?
He went through the gate, leaving it open. I thought this could be my chance to follow him and see who he was meeting. My heart pounding such that I thought it would leap from my chest I stood up and started out of my hiding place to follow him.
Then I heard the doorbell ring. Surely he would as well? I dashed back to my spot in the jasmine bush and had barely settled down hoping the leaves would not betray me, when I heard running steps. Here he came trotting along. His hair seemed more unruly, but otherwise he seemed normal.
He went round the side, not through the house, so I lost sight of him. Wondering if I would have to go and peep through my own windows, I sat there shaking from anticipation.
Then I heard voices, he and one of the students. A female student. Oh no, exposure would ruin him. How COULD he?
They walked to the centre of the lawn, I could hear them quite clearly.
“Oh the lawn is so long” she said “I could just disappear in it”. She flopped onto the grass and rolled about giggling. “It is so comfortable, just like a bed”. I groaned to myself, surely not here, in front of me, where anyone could find them?
“Ok”, he said, “Start stretching, you need to be at your most supple for what I have in mind”. He said it in quite a normal tone of voice, shocking me as he had said something quite similar to me some months previously, but then we had been alone , almost naked already, and in a very intimate tone of voice. That one that always makes me have little shivers of anticipation. Again I felt betrayed. So this was not just his special thing with me, he used it on HER as well?
She started the usual bending and stretching, twirling to the side, then she started to do the splits. No he said, off with your tracksuit. I groaned, surely he wasn’t going to have her naked here where anyone walking round the house would find them?
She took it off, and there she was, wearing her leotard. I suddenly realised that I recognised her, one of the gymnasts from the school team.
He was helping her do the same stretches he had had me doing. But here his voice sounded like a teacher, not a lover. Confused I put my head in my hands. Maybe this was a fantasy, having a schoolgirl who was more supple than I to do his sexual bidding. Maybe he dominated her? Oh dear, why had I read that book my secretary had lent me?
She was doing really well at these stretches, groaning a little when she obviously wanted to do more than he had asked.
She laughed and said “You should do these as well”. So he began stretching along with her. I could hear his breathing clearly, little grunts and heavier breathing as he got into it. Sounds I normally associate with our intimacy. I felt myself go hot all over. Anger, pure and simple, such as I have never previously experienced. I seemed unable to move or say anything, much as I wanted to.
I crouched there shaking, unable to move or express my anger. Then my husband got up and walked around the side of the house. He returned with several more youngsters. They were all chatting happily.
My anger subsided, leaving me with a pounding headache and blurry vision. I sank down on the ground disregarding any evidence I may be leaving of my presence.
The other youngsters were also put to stretching. The boys also doing push-ups. My husband joking with them over the muscle bulk they had acquired recently. “Well it’s that bench work at the gym that has helped sir” one of them said.
Then they all stripped down to leotards or other tighter clothing options.
Over the next hour they all practiced a routine. Gymnastic, with no equipment except each other. I have to admit I had never seen anything like it. They all gathered at the end, when the girls had achieved some remarkable leaps and had been caught easily by the boys.
My husband went in and came back with a pitcher of juice and glasses. The youngsters gathered round, pouring for each other. One girl went into the house and returned with her hands full of bananas. She gave each one and took one for herself.
The talk was general, then my husband called them all into a huddle. “Now you all know how secret this is” he started. “The fate of those poor girls in the so called cheerleading section has to change. After this demonstration, there will be no more silly-girls stuff but cheerleaders who can win national competitions with ease. YOU!” he looked round at them all in turn. Then the youngsters all did a ‘high-five’ and smiled.
The smallest of the girls, a beautiful redhead, collected up the now empty jug, putting all the banana skins in it, rounded up the glasses and carried them back into the house, as though it were her own.
“Ok, now for the fashion show” my husband called out. He walked over to the garden shed and unlocked it. He came out with a largish bundle of clothing, and handed it to the girl who first arrived. “Take the girls inside and try these on. Guys, I think you can change in the shed” he said.
The boys changed quite quickly. But these were not the usual gymnasts outfits for the school. Although done in the school colours, they had a shimmering, indefinable look to them. Some flowing pieces on the sleeves and lower legs seemed inappropriate. The boys continued flexing themselves, commenting on how easily they could move and how the extra pieces didn’t seem to get in the way. But I could see they felt a little uncomfortable over the ‘extras’.
Then the girls came out of the house. Really different, again the school colours, but outfits that were neither leotards nor dresses, seeming to be something entirely new.
Preening, dancing a bit, one of them started a tumbling run to the boys, as she had done in rehearsal, and the clothes made new pictures as she moved. Fascinating.
After quite a lot of chatter, the youngsters gathered around my husband, who directed them to a final run-through of their routine.
What a difference the clothes made. Even I who am more inclined to clean lines and modern clothing had to admit the whole thing was beautiful.
At the end, the youngsters all dispersed again, girls into the house to change and the boys into the shed.
The outfits were returned to the shed.
By now I was feeling more relaxed. It seemed his focus had been on this, and not on some affair. My breathing had stabilised, even the headache had faded to a mere irritation.
As the youngsters were leaving, one of the girls said “How on earth did you come up with these Sir?” My husband smiled, and looked down at the redhead who was still sitting on the grass, apparently doing up her shoes. “Oh Maya and I designed and made them” he replied with a smile for the girl. “A lot of work went into them”. She smiled back at him and my jealousy returned again, full force like a blow from a prize fighter.
The other youngsters left, Maya remained on the ground. Then my husband put out his hand to her, helped her up and said “Shall we?” She smiled at him, such a smile! They walked together to the gate and out into the woodland behind the house.
I sat there, my eyes burning. Too angry for tears. Shaking so that I could not get up and follow them.
I lay down, this was the end, I could not handle the pain.
I looked up at the leaves above me, and noticed the shadow there. It took a few minutes to realise what I was seeing, I had difficulty focusing and comprehending it. Little did I realise it solved all my problems.
To be continued….