DISCOVERY NIGHT

24 June 2009, a Wednesday, was THE day. My wife, instead of going to work, had to report for possible jury duty. (How ironic THAT would soon prove to be!) I, retired, just puttered around the house, spending a great deal of time on-line, in my volunteer gig as a sports official administrator. She got home around 11:00am (not selected), and decided to do a bit of shopping, leaving at 12:00, and returning at 5:00. I left soon thereafter, to officiate a game, returning at about 7:30. She had eaten, and was watching her favorite baseball team while attending to some e-mail. I joined her in the family room, having a late dinner, and watching the game as well. Sometime around 9:00, our daughter, living with us temporarily, came home, and wanted some advice from my wife. She left the family room, and went up stairs to converse. About 10:00, my wife came back downstairs, kissed me goodnight, and went upstairs to bed. I finished watching the game, watched the late news and something else I don't remember, and walked the dog. It was sometime after midnight.

Bringing the dog back into the family room, I noticed that in going up to talk with our daughter, and coming back down so much later, my wife had not turned off her computer (mine being a laptop at my desk upstairs), with the system having gone into "sleep" mode dark screen. I "awoke" it and saw that one of the active windows was her e-mail account. Not wanting to destroy anything she was working on, I opened the window and my life changed.

There it was the note to HIM, with the subject "Good Night".

Much of it has been memory-blotted, but five parts remain. She thanked him for the lovely afternoon on his boat, and was SO SORRY that her seasickness caused the excursion to end early; she told him how she had had to lie to me, to explain her "flushed" appearance on arriving home; she felt so much better after having a dose of "Vitamin D" (his initial); she referred to herself as "emotionally deprived"; and the last line before her sign-off was, "I love you."

Trying to explain my emotions at that moment is a waste of time. I have no words to describe my shock, and words right now is what I'm limited to. I do remember it registering that it was somehow all the worse dismissive? contemptuous? - for her to have typed that love-note to her new love while I was sitting in the same room.

I printed out the e-mail. I did not forward it to myself. (Stupid!) I did not even open the preceding note to the same e-address entitled, "Good Morning". (Stupider!) I held the paper in my hand for a minute, totally at a loss. I then walked upstairs to the bedroom. My wife was sleeping, of course. I carefully shook her awake and said "C'mon downstairs, we have a problem." I said it in a way to disguise the "problem"; she probably thought it was a broken pipe or something.

Back down in the family room, I handed her the sheet of paper and said, "I want you out of this house tomorrow. If I find you here tomorrow night, I'll kill you!" Her confusion quickly turned to panic when she saw what I had found. "No, wait, you don't understand"

I said something to the effect that I understood enough, and wanted her out of my house, and out of my life. Her response was, "No, I'm not leaving this house! It is all your fault!"

There can be few things she could have said that were more guaranteed to make things worse. Knowing I could not stand there, I stormed up the stairs to the living room level, and started pacing back and forth, and around the dining room table. She followed me up. "I was so lonely you were never here.. you didn't need me.. I thought you didn't love me anymore.. I needed someone to talk to..I wanted to tell you.." All of this increased, not reduced, my anger. By now our daughter was awake, watching us, and screaming at me. As I paced around the table, my wife grabbed my shoulder to stop me. I shook free and swung my arm backhanded to get her away, striking her glasses, which flew off. I kept telling her I'd kill her if I saw her the next evening. Our daughter then ran upstairs and called the law, but not before screaming at me, "You're a HORRID human being, I don't know how anyone could love you. I don't blame Mom!"

By the time they arrived (EIGHT of them, local and State - I must be a fearsome threat!) I had moved to the front porch (I had weapons inside, and wanted to ensure there was no confusion about them), and walked toward them showing my hands. They immediately cuffed me and THEN started investigating. And BOY were they surprised to find that nothing I had done (consisting mostly of "harassment") warranted cuffing me, so they had to come up with a charge to cover their butts. Since what they really wanted to do was get this over with and get back to their doughnuts, they coerced my wife into perjuring herself, getting her to swear out a complaint that I "recklessly" broke her glasses. Since they're over the $250 threshold BINGO! they had a case for the misdemeanor of "criminal mischief". While they were at it, they convinced her to request an OOP, which was now possible since she was the complainant in the misdemeanor case against me.

So I'm whisked off to the substation, where I was photographed and fingerprinted. The time now was maybe 5:00am (it takes a long time to suborn perjury, it seems). The officers then called around, and woke up a local judge to arraign me before their shift was over (and all the doughnuts gone). About 6:00am, in a courtroom scene that lasted ten minutes, I was arraigned, served with the OOP, informed that the law officer would take me home, stay there while I grabbed what stuff I could, and see to it that I left the premises.

That is what happened, so, in something less than a normal work-shift, I had discovered my wife was in love with another man, and EXACTLY what my always-a-problem middle-child thought of me; had a bogus criminal charge lodged against me; been arrested and arraigned; been thrown out of my house; and was left living in my car with my laptop, cell phone, and two large duffels of clothes. I knew my life was over, and all I wanted was to make someone else as ruined as I was.

I knew where OM lived. I knew of his crappy marriage, to a woman with very little attention to give to her husband. Killing him would do nothing to him, really; he'd just be dead and I demanded his suffering. Killing his harridan of a wife would be doing him a big favor (Her dead, me out of the way, either in jail or dead as well, leaving him and my wife to console each other?) Ahh, but the apple of his eye his eleven-year-old son now THERE was my target.

I drove to OM's address, and parked just down the road, waiting for my target to leave the house on the way to school. I had a tire-iron, and a hooked utility knife. I realized that a strange car with an occupant parked in a rural/suburban development might raise suspicions, so I took out my cell, and every time a car drove past, I pretended to be talking into it, while holding up a clipboard, acting as if I were getting more precise directions.

The cell-phone was the downfall of my plan. While fiddling with it between "acts", I opened the contacts list, and there rolling down in front of me were dear, dear, friends, colleagues and family, people who held me in high regard, people with whom I could NOT leave a final impression of myself as a child-murderer. I drove away.

(I'll skip most of the rest of that day, as it involves a personal interaction between me and my God, about whether to, let's say, take the "self check-out line" in the sucky supermarket I found myself in. There was extended negotiation, and something of a small miracle/sign, as I was leaving the church.)

Late that afternoon I contacted OM by phone. I told him I knew of their "date" the prior day. I told him to NEVER contact my wife again, or my telling Mrs. OM would be the least of his problems. He begged me not to inform his wife, as she was recovering from a minor operation. (Nice, huh? His wife is at home recuperating, while he's out "dating" mine!) I learned much later he made one call to our home to (reportedly) ask my wife if she was okay, and cry to her that he was terrified of being forced to testify not his finest hour! That was their last interaction.

That Thursday night I spent with my friend and his family. I did not sleep an hour, after no sleep the night before. Friday remains a hazy image of more time on my knees at church, and wandering aimlessly. I later learned that my wife spent most of Friday being "straightened out" and de-fogged by a very close friend of our family. If there is one, this lady is the hero in this story. She is the sister my wife never had, able to address her straight up "YOU did this, and NG is paying the awful price! You'd better get this fixed!" without fear of the consequences. (A female NeverGuessed, if you will.)

Meanwhile, I had managed to get myself assigned to officiate a tournament that weekend far enough away that housing would be provided. On the way to the venue Friday evening, I received a call, and stopped in to consult with that family friend who had been reshaping my wife's head so well. She told me that she was very worried that my wife was nearing a total breakdown, as the enormity of what was going on, which basically she had put in motion, came crashing down upon her. Not having any viable means of addressing that, I continued to the tournament.

About 8:00am that Sunday morning, I realized that there was some information that I needed to get to my wife about financial issues, but the terms of the OOP prohibited calling her (or her calling me). I did however, have a private line at home, and I called that one, leaving a message I hoped she would hear. (I figured if this all came out in court, I could claim I was calling to get my own messages.) That afternoon, I called the number again, to expand on the first messageand she answered. (She explained that she had been sitting at that phone for hours, praying I'd call back.) She sounded as destroyed as it is possible to sound. She begged me to come home that night, screw the OOP, we'd go to jail together if necessary, but she could not live without me.

I drove home late Sunday night, sat awhile in the car in the driveway, finally working up the courage, and faith in her, to walk to the door and ring the bell. Our recovery started as she opened the door.

Postscript: The following February, OM underwent some minor elective surgery. He heart-attacked and died on the operating table; evidently, negotiating with the Almighty can work. I can literally piss on OM's grave if I want. He's not worth it; he never was.