Wednesday, November 30, 2011

THE RIPPLES OF DECEIT...a short story by L.J. Holmes's my challenge to self, between now and my birthday I will create and post a new short story a day. I've done three so far, one for 11/27 , 28 and 29. Let the 4th come on down.
Background, ripples, water, backgrounds, computer
                             L.J. Holmes

The rage!

His shoulders bowed.

He'd never thought he'd see such hatred in the eyes of his son. How could he ever hope to make things right?

He thought back over the events of the past three hours. He hadn't bothered to go home after work. There was nothing unusual about that. How long had it been since his wife had wanted him" Six months, a decade? It was hard to remember.

Betheny didn't want him, not as a man, but oh how she wanted the spoils of his paycheck, and the place his power gave her in society. So many names spewed with her hatred of him from those lips he once thought delicious. When had the deliciousness stopped?

The birth of their youngest child...the one thing he wanted above all else...a child of his own seed. 

The other woman!

Ah God, he'd never expected to have another woman, but she became a vibrant dream come true, and he in need of the quenching elixir of what lived between them could not keep himself from drinking deeply and consistently.

The other woman...she stepped into a void of love gone bad and took his passion to places he'd quickly grown addicted to.

Every week, like precision clockwork, they'd meet and spirit off to some private little hideaway where he'd lose himself in the flames her love emblazoned in him. He'd never cheated before, but truly thought he'd been smart and cunning.

No one was ever going to catch him or know this other woman whom he coveted. She became his secret, elemental sorceress; even now with the memory of the rage chipping away at his devastation, the blood in his heart pumped that much harder...just from the thought of her.

He'd tried to walk away, briefly, shortly after their first baptism within the pulsating burn of their time together. He really did try, but the memory of her lips blazing a path up and down his scalding body had been his undoing, his calling, and yes, his unrelenting need.

Liquid red lips, breasts made for the curve of his hands, the long silken fall of her wheat-gold hair, the fit of his body within the depths of hers were so unspeakably perfect, and so hard to resist. How do you resist your perfect fit?

Dear God, even now, with the burning fury of his son's hatred glaring back at him, accusing him, and rightly so, the thought of her made his body tighten and his blood begin to brew.

What was it that made her so special, so vital to him? She certainly was not the most strikingly beautiful woman he'd ever beheld, and although her figure was not repugnant, she was not movie star slender either.

A smile threatened to tug his lips, his thoughts focusing on her chosen attire. Not in the least fantically fashionable, she often showed up wearing tattered jeans...tattered not from design, but actual wear and tear...and a blouse he thought big enough to hold them both and still have plenty room for an army of others. Yet to him, she was gorgeous.

In his mind's eye, he saw again the sultry, steamy, hotter than hot seductiveness in the hungry glint she always wore when they were together. In the simplest of words, she made him feel like a sex god. She made him feel wanted, desirable...she made him feel like he was the only lover, the only man, the only partner she'd ever want. Heady stuff...very heady indeed.

Hell, she made him feel like he was the only man alive in the entire universe, and just happened also to be the sexiest man alive. What testosterone infused man could resist such a combination?

Had he not found her...he shuddered against such a thought. Where would his soul be today?

His marriage, little more than a charade was still one he could ill afford to free himself from.

Why not?

Well, this ill-tempered son that he loved from the core of his being, though not born of his seed, was one. So too, he admitted, his heart swelling with immense pride, was his young son born of  the marriage. Both held his heart, nay, his very soul in their grasp.

But so does she and until tonight, he'd managed to jockey the three of them, perhaps not honorably, but effectively. Having his cake and eating it too?

His teenaged son, suspecting something long ago, deemed it his duty to play Sam Spade, stalking his unknown prey...his dad...his stealth finally hitting pay dirt on this dark, and turbulent night.

He didn't understand why his inner spirit had allowed his son to slip through all his eleaborately constructed defenses against getting caught. Shouldn't he have sensed  his nearness?

Once they'd spent those delightful hours locked in the flames of their passion, within the motel's conveniently located closeby, they'd come out to drive home, but tonight...tonight his son had lain in wait.

Parked next to her car, his son leapt from the shadows, burning fury searing from his eyes...eyes so like his mother's, the woman they both feared. He supposed he could have blustered and claimed foul, but he'd dishonored them all long enough. He was truly and inexorably caught in the web of his own construct.

He'd been kissing her good-nght, when the voice of his son, scratchy from emotion and dripping with scorn, spat out a mockingly cold, "Hell-oooh Daaaddd!"

She...ah but remembering the look on her face hurt.

The poor cherished thing, jumped back, her skin void of all color, her eyes wide, her lips swollen from his kiss, now rounded with surprise. Dread spread the length of her and something else looked back at him he would dissect and regret much later. "Dad?" she asked in a voice weak with hurt and bewilderment.

All this time he'd let her believe he was a traveling semi-conductor salesman in and out of her fair city once or twice a month, but now, the game, as they say, was truly up.

He could do nothing now but admit his sins and try to negotiate through the minefield of his son's betrayed confusion and the pain still reaching out to him when she drove away.

Hours later, his emotions in a scramble, he admitted defeat. His son, wanting to strike out from the depths of his rage, was eager to report back to his mother, knowing she would make his father pay.

Stepping into his car, his eyes wacthing the increasing dimness of his son's retreating tailights, his shoulders stooped and bent, he prepared himself for the battlefield; the war he was going home to.

Lowering his head to the steering wheel, his whole body began shaking; all strength fled. He felt so incredibly old.

His son's words rained down on his depleted spirit. He'd been called every vile thing his son could think of, and more, but beneath the acid tongue, and the stark bitterness, the hurt little boy, the son who'd held his dad up on the pedestal, broke beneath the evidence of his fall from grace.

If he lived through the confrontation at home, he'd never forget, till his dying day, that look, that fractured look beneath his son's animonsity.

What was he going to do? In all honesty, he could not claim remorse for the love he'd found with her. But he probably should have ended his marriage long ago. At the very least he should have told her the truth. Why hadn't he?

It hadn't been fair to her, loving her this much, but hiding her like a criminal in the night, behind the shame of closed doors? He'd been such a selfish coward.

How often had he caught the faint glimmer of was it hurt...had she her eyes, quickly masked as she moved into his waiting arms? He'd always thought it a sign she hated parting from him as much as he'd hated parting from her...but maybe it was more?

He loved her...loved what she could make him feel. The complexity of their affair had only been compounded by his unspoken fears...fears of losing her, and fears of losing his boys.

Wouldn't that be the ultimate irony, if after the dust settles, he ends up losing them all? He shuddered again. God help him, he felt so cold.

No good could come from this tragic night, that he could blame on no one but himself. All roads through this mess would lead to broken despair...for all of them.

His sons will suffer something he'd hoped with all his heart to avoid, but all he could do now is try to be there and pick up the scattered pieces...if they'd let him.

And there's the rub. How to explain to a seventeen year old who only sees the world in shades of black and mitigating hues of gray? 

His only hope, as they all moved into the court system, was for physical custody and time...a long shot...of his youngest, and a total, and irrevocable divorce from his venegeful wife.

Maybe in the years ahead, when his son could see the world through the grays of reality, he would learn, if not forgiveness, tolerance of emotions he could not fully understand right now.

Inserting the key, he engaged the engine, stiffened his spine, and thrust the gear shift into drive. It was going to be a long night, a very long night indeed.


gail roughton branan said...

And how many times you reckon something like this has actually happened? A lot,I bet.

Lin said...

Me too, Gail.

Jodi said...

As Gail many times? Infinite, I imagine. Life is squalid. Nice little slice of life piece, Lin.

Jodi said...

Jodi is my nickname - never could get Google to change the account to Joelle Walker. =)

Lin said...

I probably won't remember every time you post a comment Joelle, but know I appreciate your words. Getting freedback means a lot.