Loss of Control
by Cindy O’Quinn
Table of Contents|
parts: 1, 2, 3
2. Gerald Wants to Celebrate
Gerald and Tanya Henson had been married eighteen years, and Gerald wanted to take his wife out to dinner to celebrate their anniversary. Tanya would go to dinner, but celebrating her marriage would not be on her agenda. Divorce would be her topic of choice.
Gerald clocked out at five from his job at Mountain View Rehab. He was a physical therapy assistant, and he loved his job. At home he found that his wife, Tanya, had not arrived yet. He thought, She sure has been working a lot of overtime lately. Her boss should definitely give her a Christmas bonus. As for Gerald, his bonus was a twelve-pound frozen turkey, but that was fine with him.
Tanya walked through the door at five after six, and she looked angry. Gerald asked, “Rough day, honey?” Before she could answer, he continued, “I’m glad you weren’t any later. I made a reservation for us at the Eagle’s Nest.” It was the nicest restaurant Gerald could afford; it served wine and required a reservation most nights.
Tanya had also been off the clock at five, but her boss asked her to hang around for a little while. She didn’t mind, because she loved her job as an executive secretary at Miller, Todd, & Brown Law Firm, and she had fallen in love with Bill Todd, her boss.
Their affair had been going on for over six months. She didn’t think anyone else in the office knew; at least she hoped they didn’t know. Bill Todd, partner in the firm, was also married, and neither had told their spouses they wanted a divorce yet.
Bill insisted they spread out their divorces so no one would suspect the affair. He also told Tanya that she should get her divorce first, because she didn’t have children; hers would be less complicated.
Truth be known, Bill had no intention of ever divorcing his wife, but a divorced Tanya would be easier to screw any time it fancied him without worry of a jealous husband.
Tanya said to Gerald, “There’s something I want to talk to you about.”
Looking at his watch, Gerald told his wife, “It can wait until dinner. We have a reservation, and I requested the table by the fireplace. I don’t want to lose our spot.” He held up Tanya’s coat that she had been carrying when she walked in.
Tanya slipped her arms in the waiting coat and said, “Okay, but we need to talk.”
Gerald held open the passenger door of his midnight blue Honda Accord for his wife and thought, After eighteen years she still turns me on. And why not? She certainly has maintained her good looks and smoking-hot figure. I’m a lucky man. He commented, “You sure look good this evening.”
She got in the car without reply. Gerald looked up at the night sky and felt the nip in the air. “Feels like snow.” The comment was more to himself than Tanya, who couldn’t hear him anyway. He opened his door then slid in behind the wheel and said, “I should have the snow tires on already; you never know when the first snow of the season will fall.” The first snow will fall this evening and it will be a big one.
“Someone at work was saying it was supposed to snow a couple inches tonight,” Tanya told him in a matter-of-fact tone. That someone had been Bill Todd, and he had told her that while she was still spread-eagled on the conference table. The thought made Tanya smile.
Gerald assumed she was smiling at the thoughts of their fancy meal by the fire. He couldn’t have been more wrong. The first fluffy flakes were falling as they walked into the restaurant. Gerald thought, The flakes are light and coming down slow like feathers. It won’t amount to much.
They were only two minutes late for their reservation. The hostess seated them at the cozy table by the fireplace. Gerald loved the crackles and pops that the fire made. Tanya jumped each time the fire snapped very loud. She was on edge about the conversation they would soon have, and she was unsure what Gerald’s reaction would be.
After eighteen years of marriage she had yet to see the man lose his temper over anything. Even when she told him early on that she didn’t want children, he had taken it with a grain of salt, and she knew he did indeed want children.
She watched Gerald as he studied the wine list and thought, Trying to find one that won’t empty his wallet, no doubt. Once again she smiled, but this time at the thought of Bill Todd’s fat wallet.
The waitress, a twenty-something bubbly blonde, introduced herself and asked if they would like to order drinks. Gerald answered with a confident, “I think a bottle of your 2012 Hogwash Rosé will complement our meal nicely.”
The waitress smiled and said, “Very well sir.” She all but bounced away from their table thinking, Oh good, they are getting a bottle instead of single glasses, maybe I’ll get more than a two-dollar tip.
After the wine was opened and their glasses poured, and the all too cheery waitress had left to put in their orders of veal and chicken, Tanya started, “What I am going to tell you is very hard for me.”
Gerald promptly sat his glass down and looked at his wife with apprehension, his first thought being her health. She looked like the picture of good health. He hoped it wasn’t that as he asked, “Are you okay? There’s nothing wrong medically is there?”
Tanya chewed her bottom lip before answering. “No, it’s definitely not a medical issue.”
With that Gerald felt the urgent need for a drink of wine, and not just a sip. He felt the impending doom that all husbands must feel just before the love of their life tells them she is growing in a different direction, or she needs space to decide what she wants out of life, or whatever the hell it is they say these days when they are about to crush their husband’s heart by the fireplace at The Eagle’s Nest Restaurant in Haney’s Point, Kentucky.
“Go ahead, dear. You know you can talk to me about anything.” His hands started to shake so he sat his glass back onto the table a little too hard and some splashed out on the white linen table cloth.
Staring down at the pink liquid soaking into the cloth, Tanya cleared her throat and started, “I feel we’ve grown apart, especially over the past six months or so.” She almost grinned again at the idea of the past six months with Bill Todd, but she caught herself in time. “It’s just that I feel like we... or I am growing in a different direction, and I need some time to figure things out.”
Well, there it is, Gerald thought, she meshed growing in a different direction and needing space, all in one. He felt the heat rising inside of his core at first but knew it would soon work its way upward, and his face would be crimson any moment. How should I respond? was his frantic thought.
He didn’t want to make a scene, but who would blame him if they knew what was just dumped in his lap on his eighteenth wedding anniversary. “Honey it’s our anniversary. We have been happy for eighteen years. Surely you don’t want to throw it all away. Maybe we should try couples therapy first before doing anything hasty.”
“Maybe you have been happy, but I feel there is something missing.” Like the thrill of bopping with my boss at work, she thought.
Gerald asked, “What do you mean there’s something missing? Haven’t I been good to you? “
Tanya replied with a dry, “Yes, you have been good to me, but I want more.”
Suddenly all the extra hours at work entered his mind, and he knew she was having an affair, or maybe it was still in the early stages, maybe just flirting or kissing. The thoughts of his wife kissing another man or fucking another man made his blood come to a full rolling boil. “Don’t try and skirt around the truth. I deserve better than that after eighteen years. Is it someone at work? Is it your boss?”
Her face bloomed with instant redness. “It’s not what you think. Bill Todd is a great man, and he cares for me in a way you wouldn’t understand.”
He tried not to lose control, but he could feel it slipping. “Your boss is a married man. You told me that all three partners were married with children. Do you actually think a big-time lawyer like Bill Todd is going to leave his wife for you?” Gerald thought his wife was quite the catch, but he had seen the wives at the company Christmas dinners in the past and knew there was no comparison to those highfaluting women.
“Bill Todd has been pumping your head full of lies for a piece of pussy is all. He wouldn’t risk losing half in a divorce to be with you. I know the type. I have worked on plenty of them after they have hurt themselves swinging a golf club or tennis racket. Trust me, your boss is just using you for sex. Tell me, Tanya, how much was your Christmas bonus this year? Was it more than last?”
“It was, but that was because I’ve been there longer. Gerald, I want a divorce.” She declared.
Gerald shot back, “Don’t kid yourself, honey. You are just receiving a whore’s bonus this year.”
Tanya couldn’t believe her ears. The man she thought wasn’t capable of getting angry was ripping her a new one with his words. “You are so cruel, Gerald. I never knew you could be this mean.”
“Well, dear, I am assuming you never dropped your panties for another man before while married to me. How the hell did you think I would take the news? Did you think I would just roll over and make room for you to walk out the door without saying a word? Sorry, but I refuse to make it easy on you after what you’ve done.” Gerald reached for his wine glass but his stomach lurched. He had barely got through the first glass, and the thoughts of another made him sick.
Their food lay on the plates still untouched when the bubbly waitress asked, “Is there something wrong?” She meant with the food, of course, but it still struck Gerald as a hilarious question. The confused, no longer bubbly waitress, just stared at the laughing customer.
Tanya said, “You will have to excuse him, he laughs at the most inappropriate times. I’m sure the food is fine. Maybe you could box it up to go.”
“Sure,” the waitress said as she took their plates away but thinking, There goes my hopes of a decent tip. She would be quite surprised with the twenty left on the table.
Outside, three inches of wet snow had already piled up, and Tanya came close to landing on her ass more than once. This gave Gerald much pleasure as he went straight to the driver’s side door when he got to the car. She can open her own blasted door, he thought to himself.
Copyright © 2017 by Cindy O’Quinn