In The Light of Day
It was a long trek back to his truck; he’d mistakenly parked in the school parking lot because he didn’t know there was a lot behind the recreation fields. A gentle cool breeze blew as he walked, cooling his sweaty skin. At thirty-one, he wasn’t old, but he wasn’t as young as he used to be either. His calves were already beginning to stiffen up and he’d broken open the scabs on his shin, battle scars from the softball tournament a few weeks earlier.
It had been a good game. They had to loan two of their players to the other team in order to play, but they’d still won and it was a good game. He still couldn’t believe he’d missed that clear shot on goal, and he kicked at the grass as if to retake the shot. The walk seemed even longer after the game than before, and he shifted his gear from one shoulder to another.
He thought again about how she had looked the other morning in the dawn’s early light. How could Dave not appreciate her? How could he ignore her the way she said he did? “If she were my wife,” he thought “I’d make love to her every morning.”
She was so open, so willing. And it had been so easy. He couldn’t believe how easy it had been. Why hadn’t they thought about this years earlier? Actually, he had thought about it, he’d just never had enough nerve to say what was on his mind. What had changed? What had prompted him to let her know his feelings now?
He just had so much going on in his life, and Alison just didn’t understand. She was happy to stay home with the kids and spend money as fast as he made it. And then she would complain about how he never spent any time at home. Didn’t she understand that in order for her to stay at home he had to go out and work? It wouldn’t be so bad if she actually stayed at home, but half the time she was at the church or shopping or taking Michele to dance lessons. He understood that someone had to take care of the kids, and he was proud that he made enough so that she could stay home, but somewhere along the way she had stopped pulling her weight.
They put all that money into the computer system, and at first, she kept fairly busy. It wasn’t enough for them to live on, but it was a nice supplement to his salary and bonuses. But then, once she had Michele, she just stopped trying. She didn’t pursue job leads and was comfortable just staying at home. Except that she didn’t do anything around the house either. He would work all day only to come home and have her ask him “What do you want for dinner?”
How many times had he told her that he didn’t care what they had for dinner, as long as it was ready when he got home? And then she would get all mad and cry “Well, I never know when or if you’re coming home! If you’re not working you’re bowling or playing softball or just out drinking in a bar -- how am I supposed to know?”
It was like that, over and over again. Sometimes he couldn’t believe that four years had gone by. Four years and two kids later, here he was, having an affair with one of their best friends. One of their only friends. How did he get here?
He noticed a piece of paper on his windshield and knew right away that it was a note from Pam. Who else would it be? When had she left it? He didn’t see her car. He looked around self-consciously as if to make sure no one had seen him lift the note out from under the wiper.
I swung by but it looked like you were in for the duration. Please come over; I want to see you.
He crumpled the note and looked for someplace to get rid of it. The last thing he needed was for Alison to find it. “Shit,” he thought, “now I have to go over there because if I don’t she’ll never forgive me.” As much as he tried to convince her, and himself, otherwise, it was hard for him to see her if Dave was around. It was going to be even harder now. Before he had just imagined her naked; now he had seen her in all her glory and there was just no way he was ever going to be able to look at her the same way again.
Turn the page ...