Martin Lewis was sixty five when he started dating Barbara Singer. He knew he liked her when she told him to call her ‘’Bar’’. She said it was the name all of her friends used and it fit her personality better than the more formal Barbara. She was fifty five and divorced and also very pretty, which didn’t hurt.
Bar had two children from her previous marriage, Robbie was twenty eight and Diana was twenty four. Robbie had an apartment in downtown Toronto and Diana lived with her in a Condo in North Toronto.
Martin had never been married, so he liked the idea of family and Bar was able to include her children in many of the activities they did together. As an example when they went to the Royal Ontario Museum her kids showed up for a couple of hours and then skedaddled. It left the rest of the afternoon for Bar and Martin to go back to his place and make love.
Bar was very good in bed, she knew what she liked and she knew how to give Martin much pleasure. It was no match, he fell in love and couldn’t think of not being with Bar. He had been a bachelor for his entire life, but he was ready for change and her name was Bar.
Due to the Pandemic it was decided to have a very small and intimate wedding ceremony. Martin’s brother Jerry and his wife Lana, his Sister Melissa and her husband Carl, and his Nieces and Nephews joined him at the Beth L’Chaim Synagogue for the service. On Bar’s side there were her children and her Sister Deb. Her Brother lived in Florida and because of Covid-19 he couldn’t make the trip.
The service was relatively fast and there was some shmoozing and then the party was over. Bar held on to their Ketuba and they headed back to Martin’s Condo for their honeymoon.
Bar had worked in retail all of her adult life and she was now ready to spend her time in retirement and shopping online. She suggested to Martin that they should have a joint account and he went with her to the bank and put one hundred thousand in an account they would share.
The hundred thousand seemed to spark a curiosity in Bar, she was very interested in finding out how much money Martin had and what kind of assets. They had never discussed it while dating. She knew Martin was comfortable, she just never thought about how comfortable.
One night after making love he confessed he had a couple of million in the bank and he owned some stocks and was partner in a couple of properties.
It wasn’t long before Bar and Diana were busy buying online. Martin didn’t say much but when he saw the joint account statement he was shocked at how quickly the numbers were going down.
Robbie was out of work and one night Bar asked Martin to help him out. ‘’You know honey, you are now officially involved in Robbie’s life. He has been having a hard time getting work. He was a barista but the Coffee shop he was working in has closed down. Do you think you could loan him fifty thousand to help him get on his feet?’’ Martin felt like he was stuck between a rock and a hard place. As Bar’s lips slid down to his chest, he nodded that he would help. He then received a grateful jerkin of his gerkin.
After writing the check, Bar mentioned that Diana wanted to take some online courses and was having problems balancing her work schedule and her school. She whispered in Martin’s ear, that if he could lend her daughter fifty thousand, like he did Robbie, she would be eternally grateful. When Martin hesitated, Bar told him it would be only fair to treat ‘’our’’ daughter the same way they had treated ‘’our’’ son. Martin didn’t know about the word ‘’our’’ but he reluctantly agreed to give her the money.
The first few months were fun and easy. Bar was always attentive and wanting to please. She made a lot of phenomenal meals, and she seemed happy. She would spend a lot of time with Diana and Martin never thought twice about it. He actually enjoyed it when Robbie and Diana came for dinner or one of them stayed over in the guest bedroom.
Martin had a cabin he owned in Aspen and would normally go there for a couple of weeks in the winter and then go back and forth during the summer. Due to Covid-19 the cabin was empty, but he still paid a monthly maintenance fee to a local company who cut his lawn, planted flowers and plowed out the road.
One morning Bar saw a statement from the maintenance company and was full of questions about the cabin and how much it was worth. Martin was starting to notice that Bar had an overwhelming and tremendous interest in the value of his assets.
It had been almost six months of marriage and while the passion was still strong, there were a couple of things that were starting to bother him. One was the amount of money that had been spent in the joint account. In six months the account had a balance of twenty five thousand left, and Bar was asking Martin to reload it. The second was a guy named Howard Winger.
Martin had learned about Howard by accident. It was over breakfast one morning when Diana had mentioned to Bar that she had received a message from Howard. ‘’Mom, you won’t believe it. Howard Winger is back in town. He sold his company and he’s moved back here. He couldn’t find you on Facebook so for some reason so he messaged me. Can you believe it? Howard’s back. I think there’s still a couple of bottles of his wine at the Condo. Wouldn’t it be great for you two to reconnect?’’ When Martin asked innocently who Howard Winger was, Diana and Bar both started laughing. ‘’Oh Martin, he’s a blast from my past. He is just an old dear friend. I’ll have to introduce you.’’
Over the next couple of weeks Bar spent more and more time at her Condo and when Martin asked why, she came up with the most ridiculous answers Martin knew something was way off. Her lack of transparency coincided with a drop in intimacy. Those mind blowing sexcapades were no longer happening. When Martin would initiate intimacy, Bar would either act like she was sleeping or say her stomach hurt and she wasn’t in the mood. It was frustrating.
Robbie came to visit one day and asked Martin if he could float him some more money ‘’You know Martin, that fifty thou you lent me is just not enough. I have plans to get into the Marijuana biz and I need more. Can I get another fifty large from you?’’ Martin told him he had to think about it and talk to his accountant and Robbie left but not before saying ‘’Don’t think about it for too long, you don’t want my Mom getting pissed at you.’’
All of a sudden Martin felt like he was living in a bad B Movie. Had Bar ever loved him or was he a soft landing spot for her. Right now he was feeling sorry he had committed to marriage. His brother Jerry had warned him but Martin was feeling lonely and vulnerable and Bar filled the void. At least she did, now she was acting distant and uninterested.
One night Bar informed Martin that she was going to stay over at her Condo and have a nice dinner with Diana. Di had been having some issues and she wanted to help her resolved them. It all sounded like Bullshit to Martin.
When she left he called his brother Jerry and asked him to come over. When he arrived Martin told him everything. He told him about the hundred thousand in the bank account that had been vacuumed up. He told about the gifts of fifty thousand to Robbie and Diana and how Robbie now wanted more, and finally he told him about Howard Winger.
Jerry was a brilliant lawyer and promised a plan of action by the end of the week. He suggested that Martin not discuss or commit to anything financial with his wife or her kids.
The rest of the week was a blur, Bar seemed happy when she came to the Condo but she didn’t stay very long. Martin found it insane. There was a pandemic going on, where the hell was she running everyday.
At the end of the week, Jerry came over with a very attractive young blonde woman. ‘’Okay, firstly I’ve drawn up papers for you to put your assets into a series of trusts with numbered company and parked in the Turks and Caicos Islands. You will have two hundred thousand dollars cash here to play with, the other money and your properties will be safe and sound offshore. How does that sound?’’ Martin looked at him, smiled and said ‘’Where do I sign?’’ Next Jerry introduced Francie St. Claire. ‘’When you told me about Bar’s erratic behaviour I called Francie. She owns ‘’Eyes Private Eyes Investigations.’’ She immediately started watching Bar for irregular activity and there has been some things she discovered.’’
Francie stood up. ‘’I wish I was meeting you under different circumstances. We accepted the assignment from your brother and unfortunately your instincts seem to be right. There has been some questionable behaviour by your wife. To begin I’d like to show you some pictures.’’ Francie reached into her briefcase and pulled out a picture of Bar and a guy at a restaurant. Because of Covid-19 they were supposed to be six feet apart, in the picture they were two feet apart and looking into each other’s eyes, neither of them wearing masks.
‘’So, they have been getting together everyday. His name is Howard Winger and when your wife was previously married, she left her then husband for Mr. Winger. He was married at the time and he left his wife and they moved in together. Mr. Winger is originally from South Africa and he and his family own three wineries there. He moved back to South Africa a year ago and has been running the Cape Town Winery. It was sold and he has now moved back to Toronto. He and your wife have been sharing a lot of time together. I would like to say it was as platonic friends, but last Thursday, Diana Singer left the condo to stay with her brother. Shortly after she left, Mr. Winger arrived at the condo with a bottle of wine and flowers. Our detectives stayed on the scene until he left at ten am the next morning. There is no question in our mind that they spent the night together. I am really sorry to tell you, but it is our conclusion they are having an affair. He has been at your wife’s condo four times during the day for extended periods of time.’’
Martin felt crushed, he thanked Francie and Jerry and asked if he could have some alone time. He had waited all those years to get married and now he was being cuckolded, not fun at all. As Jerry was leaving, Martin asked him to find a smart, decent and good divorce lawyer and arrange a meeting. He wanted to start proceedings as soon as possible. He felt crushed. His body ached and his heart hurt.
There was a couple of hours before Bar returned and when she did she was accompanied by Diana. She walked in and yelled ‘’I need a shower, see you in a minute.’’
Diana came over and smiled as she flopped on to the couch. ‘’Martin, I know that Robbie was going to talk to you about borrowing some more money. I feel really awkward about this, but I am having some problems. I was talking to Mom about it and she said maybe you could help. I’m taking some courses online and want to improve myself, but I’m kind of short when it comes to cash. I hate to bother you, and someday I’ll pay you back, but do you think you could see it in your heart to lend me another fifty thousand?’’
Before Martin could answer, Bar walked in. She was wearing a sweat suit, her hair was wet but she looked very attractive. ‘’So you heard poor Diana’s plight, I told her I know you Martin, you’re going to help her out right. That’s what Dads do.’’
Martin felt like throwing up, he was hearing and seeing things much differently. Bar went around to the kitchen and pulled out a fry pan. ‘’I’m starving, I’m going to make some French Toast for us all. Uh, Marvin I looked at our joint account and we’re down to fifteen grand, I thought you were going to top it up.’’
If there was a way to leave his Condo and not come back till Bar and Diana were gone, Martin would have done it, but he was stuck. ‘’So, I know Diana you were having problems and your Mom was trying to help you resolve them, did you get it all worked out.’’
Diana smiled ‘’Yeah, unfortunately it’s all about money. I guess you’re the only one who can really save me, right Mom.’’ Bar smiled, ‘’Yup, money makes the world go round, money means problems disappear. Oh, on that note, Robbie said he talked with you and you were waiting for me to give my approval for you to give him more money. Well, I give it one hundred percent. Help the kid out.’’
Marvin felt like he was an audience member watching a bad play. ‘So, have you been at any interesting restaurants lately, or are you following all the safety protocols.’’
Bar laughed ‘’I hate even going into a supermarket, right Diana. I mean it is crazy to take risks. I hate it when people get within six feet of me. You’re doing the right thing by staying in Martin. I mean who would be so foolish to risk their lives interacting with other people, especially without wearing a mask. Right Diana.’’
The French Toast was hard to digest, Martin felt seriously ill. He felt betrayed and that was the worst feeling in the world.
Diana spoke up ‘’Mom, Are you going to stay over at our Condo tonight? It’s my friend Evelyn’s Birthday and I invited her and Laurie over for Dinner. I think we could all drink some wine and I don’t want you to drink and drive. Is that okay with you Martin? And when do you think I could get a check? I don’t want to be a pain, but I need to pay for my classes.’’
Martin didn’t answer, he was wondering about the ten year age gap between him and Bar. Could it have been the age difference that had led to his current problems. He also started wondering about what it would take to get a marriage annulled.
‘’If it’s okay with your Dad, I’ll stay over at the Condo, but it is completely up to you Martin. Do you mind if I stay over at the Condo to celebrate good times?’’
Hearing the word Dad coming out of Bar’s mouth and knowing it was nonsense was starting to get aggravating. How long could he put up with the charade?
‘’I think your Mom should stay at the Condo.’’ Bar looked over at him ‘’You mean for tonight?’’ Martin didn’t answer.
He stood up and walked over to a window that looked out over the city. Bar joined him, he stepped away. ‘’Martin, why are you distancing yourself from me?’’ Martin smiled ‘’Covid-19 protocols.’’
Bar shook her head ‘’Oh, Well, I haven’t been with people so you don’t have to worry. I’m going to grab some clothes and head back to the Condo with Diana. When are you going to be able to cut checks for her and Robbie?’’
Once again Martin smiled ‘’I have to speak to my Accountant, apparently I’m running low on funds. I thought I had a lot but it wasn’t two million, it was two hundred thousand. So for us to live comfortably, if I give one hundred thousand to Diana and Robbie that’s only going to leave us a hundred thousand to live on for the next few years.’’ Bar looked aghast.
‘’What about your properties in Colorado and that you’ve invested in. What about your stocks?’’
Martin shook his head. ‘’I guess the Cabin was in the family name, so Jerry and Melissa own a third of it each. I can’t sell my share because it is a majority rule decision and they don’t want to sell. I looked at my stock portfolio and there all penny stocks. If I sold everything I’d probably realize about twenty five grand.’’
Bar and Diana were now looking at each other with looks of concern. ‘’As a matter of fact I was going to ask Robbie and Diana if they could pay some of the money I gave them back so we could top up our joint account.’’
Bar was shaking her head ‘’Martin, I married you based on security. Now you’re telling me you’re not very secure. I don’t know if I can continue on if you can’t afford a normal lifestyle. ‘’
Martin once again walked over to the window and looked out. ‘’I thought you married me because you loved me.’’
Diana was shaking her head. ‘’If you’re serious about not being able to maintain a quality lifestyle, I have no choice. I’m going to have to think about moving on and ending our marriage.’’
There was a lovely breeze blowing through the window and Martin for the first time all day felt rejuvenated. ‘’What? What? You’d leave me over money. I am really hurt. I never did ask you about your assets. I wonder if I’m entitled to a share of your condo.’’
Bar was looking angry ‘’My condo is owned by Diana.’’ Martin smiled, ‘’That should be okay, she’s my daughter right.’’
Diana stood up ‘’Like Fuck I am, and I’m not repaying a cent neither will Robbie, see you downstairs Mom.’’
Diana headed out the door and Bar looked at her husband ‘’I guess things have fallen apart in a hurry. I wanted it to work and I really have enjoyed the last six months, but I have needs. I think we can get a relatively quick divorce. You don’t have the assets I thought you had, and I don’t have that much, so let’s get an easy painless agreement and we can stay friends. I’ll move back to my Condo. I hope we can get everything done in a hurry. I’ll even set up the appointment with the Beth Din. I’m sorry things didn’t work out, I had so much hope for our future.’’
Bar went back into the bedroom and started grabbing clothes. ‘’I’ll come back tomorrow and take more stuff, I’ll keep doing it till I’ve got everything out. I’m sorry Martin, you’re a good guy, but I have to be realistic and be able to look after myself. Stay Safe and Thanks, when things were good they were very good. At least we’re ending this as friends.’’
Martin watched Bar walking down the hall with her arms full of clothes and he felt relieved and happy. The threat of Covid was bad enough, he didn’t want to worry about catching any sexually transmitted diseases, who knew where Howard Winger had been.
After locking the door, Martin called Jerry and relayed all the information about what had happened. Jerry told him he would still make sure and get a good divorce lawyer and he would continue with the trusts, besides protecting him from Bar it would lower his taxes.
When Martin hung up the phone and looked around, he thought about his life as a Bachelor. It was not perfect and he had enjoyed Bar’s company. He would have to start again in terms of finding a soulmate. It wouldn’t be an easy job, but he hoped and prayed he’d find a woman who would love him for him, not for his assets. The truth was besides the threat of Covid-19 he couldn’t think of anything worse than being a Cuckold.