I need to explain what happened. I’ve been avoiding reliving this memory but now is the time to get it out and over with.
I have a lot of freedom at my work, so I can go out for lunch or stop by my house if I need to. Carol runs several stores at her job and can find herself traveling between them multiple times a day. I work in town, and going home at any point is not out of the question. All the stores Carol oversees are out of town so it would be rare that she would come home during the work day.
The night before, the whole family went to a movie, Carol, the kids, and I. Nothing seemed out of place. We’ve had our issues but nothing was beyond repair. She would go through cycles where she acted like she didn’t want to be with me and would try to push me away, but at this particular time we were doing well enough again. Our text messages on this morning were excited comments about what we enjoyed in the movie we all watched.
On this day, I had not packed a lunch for work so I went out for some fast food. While I was out, I noted how hot it was. It was the first really hot day of the year, so I decided to swing by the house to turn on the a/c. On the way home, a thought occurred to me: my wife had said she planned to leave work early. It was only lunchtime but there was a small chance she’d already be home. A second thought occurred: I’m not expected at home. Imagine if she was up to no good and I caught her doing something she shouldn’t?
Things between us must have been worse than I was admitting to myself if my mind went there. The thing is, my mind would go there a lot. My parents divorced due to infidelity when I was a child, and it was a big fear in my life, to have my marriage fail and hurt the kids like I had been hurt by my parents’ divorce. I also knew the stats were against us as nearly half of marriages end in divorce. She also had a friendship with her boss that I didn’t like. I thought it crossed the line. Anyway, we’ll get into the events leading to the incident in other posts.
I arrived home with my food but there was a large pickup truck taking up all the space in our driveway, so I parked on the street. A few thoughts crossed my mind about this: one of the neighbours is doing landscaping work and assumed they could use our driveway as we aren’t home during the work day. No, that looks Rick’s (Carol’s boss’s) truck. Well, Carol did say he was going to deliver some soil for our back yard.
I got out of my car, lunch in hand and approached the house. The back gate was not open so he wasn’t helping deliver soil. Okay, I thought, they must be inside, but why? It isn’t making sense to me. Maybe it is actually someone else’s truck, using our space for whatever reason.
I decide to turn the handle of the front door to see if it’s unlocked. It is. So it must be Carol and Rick in my house at lunch time. I assume I’d see them in the living room having a beer break. Instead I see their shoes and hear sounds coming from upstairs. I still don’t quite believe it. Why are they having a chat upstairs?
I’m shaking now as I type this. I set my food on the table, I walk upstairs and look into the master bedroom. There they are, both completely unclothed, him on her. They didn’t hear me open the door, walk in, or set down my lunch. They’re still going at it, completely unaware that I am a mere two feet away at the bedroom entrance.
With intense anger, coated with the satisfaction that my instincts were right all along and I was not the one who failed my marriage, mixed with the shock and disbelief at what I was seeing regardless, I took a breath then bellowed, “What the f**k do you think you’re doing?!”
That is The Incident. Next comes The Reaction.