Jack Ross sat in his easy chair looking out the big bay window in his living room. He was watching the snow gently fall. Lately he had been spending a lot of time (more than he should have) thinking about his life. The snow was a great metaphor, it came, it happened and it disappeared. Falling snow never seemed to leave a lasting mark. Jack wondered about the mark he would leave.
Ever since his parents had passed, Jack was spending more and more time being introspective. He was about to turn sixty and he kept wondering if he had made the right decisions in his life. Things had not been easy.
Jack’s life had taken twists and turns that he could never have anticipated. One of Jack’s best friends had turned out to be a true fink. Jack’s parents hadn’t been well and they lived in Boca Raton which was a good shlep from Darien, Connecticut.
As their only son, Jack flew back and forth regularly to make sure they were following the routines prescribed by their physicians. Jack’s best friend Josh always wanted to know when he was going away and when he’d be back. Josh’s parents had known Jack’s parents forever and he said he wanted to provide them with updates. Jack and Josh had been friends since they were five years old. Josh had been his Best man when he married Annie and Jack had stood up for him when he married his wife Nicole.
Things had changed dramatically when Jack had to come back to Connecticut for a business meeting. He usually spent a week with his parents, but he left after only three days.
He arrived home via Uber at ten pm and the house was empty. He had thought about installing surveillance cameras but Annie had convinced him it was unnecessary. It was strange, it was a Tuesday night and Annie hadn’t said anything about not being home.
Jack was emotionally drained, old age was taking a toll on his parents and there was nothing he could do about it. He had thought about moving with Annie to Boca but she had been unhappy with the idea. He went into his bedroom, stripped down and went into his en-suite to take a long, hot, comforting bath. He always closed the door in the bathroom and turned off the lights, so when he was floating in his tub he could completely relax. It was dark but it provided an extra element when it came to meditation.
As Jack was thinking about his business meeting the next day, he heard the front door open. He had the security system that gave a short ring when someone entered via the front or back door.
He was sure he heard a familiar male voice and then the sound of kissing. He was sure it was kissing but there was some distance between the bedroom and the front hall and he was hoping he was wrong. He stayed very still in the bath.
It wasn’t long before he heard footsteps approaching the bedroom. The water in the bath was very hot, but Jack was feeling chilled. ‘’Jack’s back at the end of the week, and Nicole has an Art show she’s making me go to on Wednesday, so that only really gives us tonight and Thursday this week.’’ Jack felt like sinking it was his supposed best friend Josh.
Annie replied in a sexy and sultry tone. ‘’Right, so get your pants off and get into me. I want to feel you deep inside of me.’’
There was more kissing and Jack felt completely nauseous. How could his best friend screw his wife. What kind of beast was his wife to cheat on him with someone he had been friends with for fifty five years? Didn’t they gave one second of thought about what this would do to him if they were found out? Didn’t Annie care about him or love him?
As they were kissing, Jack heard them stop. Annie shook her head ‘’This is odd, that looks like Jack’s pants on the floor.’’
Josh must have realized that they had been caught in a compromising position and tried to turn things around. ‘’Well, if Jack was around here, he’d know it was all a joke and we knew he was here and you’d never screw around on him.’’ There was complete silence that followed.
‘’Jack, Jack, Jack, are you home?’’ Jack never answered and he heard whispering. ‘’Maybe he changed his clothes and left for somewhere and will be back. Do you want to chance it and make love?’’ This was followed by giggles and all of a sudden more kissing. They weren’t only mean they were stupid.
Jack’s phone was on his dresser or he might have called Nicole and told her to get over to his place right away, but he couldn’t.
The noises now coming from the bedroom sounded like a man thrusting himself into a a women. Jack slowly got out of the tub, and carefully put on his bathrobe. He opened the bathroom door in inches and finally, he could see out, and there on the bed was Annie being screwed by his former Best friend.
It was tough to know what to do. The feeling of anger was eclipsed by the feeling of sadness. He had loved Annie with every bone in his body and he would never ever think of cheating on her, but it was obvious that she didn’t feel the same way.
As Jack stood stunned and feeling like a sick voyeur, he tried to think of a course of action and decided on coitus interruptus. ‘’I thought you loved me Annie, when you and Josh are finished fucking, I’d appreciate it if you’d leave the house. I’d appreciate it if you’d go somewhere away till we can get our divorce finalized. Josh, as soon as you are done I’d suggest you take Annie and bolt or I’m not going to be responsible for what I’’ll do to you.’’
Josh tried to respond, but Jack just glared and Josh knew it was game over. A naked Annie looked at him and started crying. Jack didn’t know if it was because she had been caught in the act, or was ashamed, or realized she had destroyed their twenty year marriage.
‘’Please get dressed and go, I’m sure Josh can take you to a nice hotel. Once again Annie started sobbing ‘’I made a huge mistake, you haven’t been around very much and I was lonely. I love you, I love you. Let me stay and let’s work this out.’’
Jack felt sick, and it was getting more painful by the minute. ‘’It’s over Annie, please go, I won’t be around on Thursday night, so you and Josh can get back to your regular schedule and comeback here, screw your brains out and take what you need, and leave. I never ever want to talk to you again. Please understand, for twenty years I loved you with my heart and my soul and for that I was betrayed. I never ever considered cheating with another woman because I knew it would cause you so much hurt I could never allow myself to cause you pain. Please don’t try to rationalize or apologize, the deed is done, you were the only person in the world I had one hundred percent trust in, and this all just proves I was a big idiot. Please get dressed and get out.’’
Josh started saying something and Jack cut him off. ‘’You are a low life piece of shit. Don’t ever fucking talk to me again or make contact. I’ll see you in divorce court you backstabbing cunt.’’
There was a moment of quiet as Jack left the bedroom and walked into the living room and sat down in his easy chair to look out the big bay window and watch the snow slowly falling.
After what seemed like minutes Annie came into the room by herself and sat down on the couch opposite him. ‘’I made a mistake, I got caught up in the thrill of being wanted by another man, but let’s not throw away all the good things we’ve had together. Let’s try to work things out. I know I screwed up, but I love you and it will never happen again.’’
Jack stared at her without saying anything, and then he stood up. ‘’I hope you have your travel bag, it’s time for you to leave and never come back. We are over, my parents are both dying, but you murdered my soul. Goodbye Annie, I don’t know how many years you and Josh have been cheating on me, but it all ends tonight, because now you can have each other forever. Good Riddance and Goodbye.’’
Josh was standing in the kitchen listening and by the look on his face he didn’t know what to say which was more than fine with Jack.
As Annie headed for the door, she looked back at Jack. ‘’I know how hurt you must feel right now and I’m really sorry, can we please try and meet tomorrow to talk about everything. I don’t want to throw our marriage away.’’
Jack could feel his head starting to pound. ‘’Too little, too late. Go with that scum and leave. There’s nothing to discuss. You knew what you were doing and you didn’t care about the consequences. Now you have to live with those consequences, marriage over and done. So leave me alone and be gone.
Annie picked up her Gucci suitcase and headed for the door. She looked back, started to cry and headed out. He watched her get into Josh’s BMW, and as they drove off he started to bawl. The crying wouldn’t stop. Jack felt devastated.
The next morning, when he woke up he felt an emptiness that he had never experienced before. Usually when it came time for a business meeting he was on point and ready, but his performance was not stellar. Jack made a few suggestions on how to resolve a very sticky business transaction and the partners all seemed delighted, but he felt like he had mailed in his effort. The fact that they couldn’t tell the difference was remarkable.
A week later Jack went to Boca Raton to tell his parents that he and Annie were headed for divorce. Before he could tell his Dad, his Father suffered a heart attack. He had been on dialysis and his heart couldn’t handle it. He was taken to the Intensive Care Unit and he passed during the night.
Jack arranged the funeral and was making plans with his Mom about where she would live, when she started feeling very ill. He took her to the local Hospital emergency and they said she had Pneumonia. Two days later she joined her husband and Jack was an orphan.
He sat Shiva at his home in Connecticut and people constantly asked him about Annie and all he could tell them was they were separated and getting a divorce. This led to more consolation with people telling him how unbelievable it was for him to lose his parents and his wife all in the same month.
Nicole came to visit and she told him that she had found out about Josh and his wandering pecker and she was sorry for what he had been through and that she would be there for him if he needed anything. She was starting divorce proceedings. She also felt completely betrayed.
On the last day of Shiva, Annie came by the house to offer condolences. Jack had a hard time looking at her as she sat down beside him. ‘’I am so sorry Jack, I really loved Joe and Marion. They were great people. I am sorry I let you down. I am sorry I caused you more pain. I’m going to see a psychiatrist and try to figure out why I was willing to destroy the best thing in my life, you and our marriage. Just to let you know you were and always will be the greatest lover I ever had. That’s what is making me so sad, you never did anything wrong and you didn’t deserve to be treated the way I treated you. I can’t understand myself. I’m going to leave now, but I’m begging you, let’s think about a do over. I will move to Boca or anywhere you want. I swear I will never stray again. I love you Jack, I need you and I don’t want to lose you.’’
Just as Annie finished her plea, the Rabbi came over to announce it was time for afternoon services. Annie got up and gently kissed Jack on the cheek and left.
After Shiva, life was very quiet and Jack had many tough decisions to make. Could he ever let Annie back into his life again? Deep inside he knew the answer was a resounding no. How could he ever trust her again? As he sat and watched the snow fall, Jack felt lost. There was no magical answers, he just had to deal with a new reality and figure out how to move forward. At sixty years old he had no choice, he had to create his own do-over. Maybe somehow, it would be a blessing in disguise.