The Interrogation of Carol part 1 – Let’s Meet Rick’s Family

Yesterday, as I wrote my post about gratitude I thought about how little has happened this week as I searched for a few moments to write about.

The calm before the storm, it was.

Last night, Carol had to go back to work in the evening for an event at one of her stores. I told her I would run errands with the kids, take them out for dinner, then maybe stop by her work to visit.

I ran my errands and as the kids and I ate dinner, I received a text from Carol.

“Don’t come. Rick’s here. I’m keeping my distance. I’ll talk to you about it when I get home.”

I replied, “All the more reason for me to visit.”

Carol replied that she felt sick and wanted to try to leave early.

“I can still stop by,” I answered.

My adrenaline was rushing. Would I finally have a face to face with that slimy, scumbag? How did I want to play this? There were a number of options here. I could avoid, be hostile, be friendly, even show fake forgiveness while planning to destroy him. How would he play it? Probably cordial around his parents since he doesn’t likely want me to start something. But maybe he’d be completely unhinged now.

A while had passed with no reply from Carol.

“Are you staying there, or leaving?” I texted.

We were done eating and in the car, ready to go. After a while with no reply, I decided to go home. I was sure I made Carol squirm with my insisting on showing up. I felt she had deserved to feel that way and had no right to tell me not to go to her work because of him.

As soon as I got myself and the kids in the house, I received another message from Carol.

“He’s gone now. I’d like it if you visited. I don’t feel well.”

And with that, we went back in the car to go visit Carol at work.

When we got there, Carol came out from the back room to greet us. She was doing a reasonably good job of wearing her ‘cheerful store manager’ mask but I could see she was aching to tell me something. It was something about him and she wouldn’t dare to begin talking about it while at her work.

I made small talk with the owners, Phil and Janice. I had not seen them since before the incident. They knew Carol and I had separated and got back together. They don’t know the reasons why this happened.

I like Phil and Janice. In spite of them having a moron for a son (and from what I hear, their daughter isn’t exactly the cream of the crop either), they are good people who care about the community they’re involved in.

Phil in particular is very talkative and friendly and on many occasions has spent what seemed like hours at social functions, pointing out to me who everyone is, who they’re related to, and what they do for a living. He’ll say hello to everyone and ask how is such and such, showing everyone he talks to that he listens and they matter to him. I do admire Phil’s social abilities.

Janice does talk and mingle to a far lesser degree than Phil but few can match his level of socializing. Rick has inherited this quality to some degree and only now as I am writing this am I beginning to understand this and how he can possibly use this skill to talk himself out of (and into) situations.

Carol took the kids and I to the back room to show us her office.

“Jennifer’s back there,” she muttered to me.

I had seen Jennifer once since our spouses betrayed us.

Let me take a moment here to talk about Jennifer. While hanging out with Rick and Jennifer, I found that she shared more interests with Carol and I than Rick, though she seemed very agreeable and ditzy. I liked her and I was willing to try to tolerate group outings with Rick as long as she would be involved. Rick never got out of line with her in my presence. Only in front of Carol was he comfortable verbally abusing his wife.

I knew Rick was a bad worker and abused his position to overwork others, Carol in particular, but the deeper, darker side of him was well hidden from me. I once saw him fuming over the fact that Jennifer had sat on the shoulders of another man during a music festival, and while I didn’t think it was totally unreasonable for him to be upset, I did find it quite hilarious.

On the day of the incident, Carol told me that Rick was going straight home to tell Jennifer what he did. I did yell in his face that I was going to tell her myself, so I guess he figured he might as well come clean before I told. I did not believe Carol when she told me that he went and told her. And I did not believe Carol when she told me that she faced Jennifer in person and apologized for what she did.

I reached out Jennifer over Facebook and told her that I’m here to answer any questions for her. I did this for two reasons: 1. to confirm that she had in fact been told what happened and, 2. to stir shit up for Carol and Rick. It worked because Carol heard I had talked to Jennifer and I refused to provide any details, which greatly upset Carol. She asked me not to cause trouble and I replied with a lengthy rant about how I can do what I damn well please and and any fallout is on her, not me.

The idea of giving Rick the impression that I had revenge relations with Jennifer was in my head at one point. However, as I lay on the bed they did it on, buzzing from a few beers and talking with Carol, she confided that Jennifer had cheated on Rick, hence his “I know how it feels,” comment while I was kicking him out of my house. The details were bizzare and I’ve since come to believe that his wife’s ‘cheating’ is a distortion of the truth. According to him, he and Jennifer would hang out with another couple and ‘fool around’. One night, while they were all in a hot tub together, Jennifer ‘pushed away’ Rick and began to ride the other man. That was apparently a no-no in their swinging agreement. I was shocked to hear Jennifer had cheated on Rick and I responded to Carol with, “There goes my plans for a revenge fuck.”

I now believe Rick’s intention for swinging was to hook up with the other woman while hoping his wife would stay in line and not fully participate. Either that, or it did not happen at all and Rick just told Carol this weird story to gain sympathy.

In spite of Carol being the ‘other woman’ in Jennifer’s betrayal story, she would smile and and wish Carol a good day most of the time. Jennifer was on Carol’s baseball team and chose to stay on the team. It was quite strange. Shortly before our reconciliation, I began to bring the kids to Carol’s baseball games. Part of me was hoping Rick would show up but that never happened. In fact, Jennifer stopped playing on the team shortly after I began periodically showing up to the games.

I saw Jennifer at baseball once. I approached her and asked her how she was doing. We were all smiles and small talk, just like last night.

I don’t know Jennifer that well, but I see her as a victim. I see her as a spouse being verbally abused and cheated on by a controlling, drug addicted asshole. They both wear their masks. Her as the smiling, cheerful wife, him as the friendly, social business owner. But I believe she’s hurting and feeling trapped. When I see her, I look for an opportunity to talk to her about what’s happening in her life, but one has not presented itself. I want to know what’s really going on in her life and as the other betrayed spouse, I think I could get her to open up to me about that eventually. I have to be very careful about it, of course.

I joked with Phil about how Carol needs her 12 hours of sleep so he should let her go home early. I took the kids home and Carol arrived home shortly after, so Phil did end up letting her go nearly an hour early.

“I had a terrible day,” Carol said as she changed into her pajamas.

I knew that as soon as we put the kids to bed, she was going to tell me something bad.

3 thoughts on “The Interrogation of Carol part 1 – Let’s Meet Rick’s Family

    1. She worked her way up until the owners created her own unique position with a salary that’s hard to beat. She loves her job when Rick is not involved.

      Liked by 1 person

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