I’ve frequently received criticism that my stories are too long and take too many words to say the same thing. This is probably true as I do love the written word. So for those of you, this is my one attempt at writing a short Loving Wives tale.
Yesterday I spoke with a nice young doctor who had a lot of letters after his name. He was a Psychiatrist, one of the real doctors of the head. We spoke and this is what I told him.
Thank you Doctor for listening to me. I don’t know what to do or where to go. I just want to kill myself so I can stop feeling this pain in my chest and stomach. My medical doctor says there’s nothing wrong with me. Maybe he’s right, at least with my body. But my head is a different matter. Please, let me tell you what happened. Then maybe you can help me find a way to live with it.
My name is Dee Mallock and I’m married to Peter Mallock. We’ve been married now for over ten years and we have no children. That’s my decision. I told Pete before we married that I didn’t want kids and he agreed, although I knew he wanted them. I can’t tell you why I didn’t but it was probably buried somewhere in my subconscious. Anyway, I’ve practiced birth control via the pill for all our marriage. Except for two months ago and that was my mistake. I forgot and my prescription expired. I got it renewed but I needed to wait a month to get back on schedule. Pete and I made love of course, but I was always careful not to do so during my fertile times, even when I was on the pill unless, of course, we got carried away. So what happened?
Well, Pete came home two months ago and told me he had a brain tumor. He was really broken up about it since there was a good chance it could kill him. I was horrified and I think Pete had to work some just to calm me down. He had the tumor but I was almost hysterical. Anyway, we talked the entire day making contingency plans and all that you do when something like this happens. And then we went to bed and made love. Actually, it was more like a frenzy of lust and love all mixed together. Most of it was fear on both our parts but the sex was absolutely fantastic. We continued all night and well into the morning, but it seemed to help both of us to renew our love and our commitment to each other. I certainly never remembered about the pills. Not then.
Well, that’s part of the story. The other part, the part that I have to tell you even though it makes me sick now, is that at that same time, I was having an affair with Pete’s business partner, Jacob Platt. It was a silly thing, lasting only a few weeks, and wasn’t even much about the sex. I don’t even remember how it started but it had nothing to do with Pete or the way I felt about him. He had always been an excellent lover. So, I’m still trying to understand how it started. It isn’t important now, but with the news of Pete’s tumor, I decided to end it immediately. I had suddenly been given a wake up call of what was important in my life and who I loved. That was Pete! Only Pete! What I had with Jacob was dirty and trivial, and now a thing of the past.
I did it the very next day. I had a planned rendezvous with Jacob and I kept it. We met at the Palm Desert Motel the next afternoon. I told Jacob about Peter and that our affair or whatever the hell it was, was over and he accepted the news without much sympathy. As a matter of fact, he forced himself on me that day with threats of exposure to Pete. I agreed to this last tumble but never again. Jacob agreed and we had sex. Actually, I laid there while Jacob used my body, and that was when I felt like the slut I had been. Just dirty afterwards! But I was free of Jacob and I swore never again. Never again would I jeopardize my marriage.
Over the next several weeks, under doctor’s orders, Pete began to prepare for the surgery. There were vitamins to take, a diet to begin, exercises he wanted Pete to do and a number of things we had to plan for afterwards. We worked like the team we were and it was a good time in spite of the reasons. It pulled us together and made us stronger. It took most of two months to complete before they would schedule the surgery. The doctor who was going to do it gave us the whole spiel making sure we understood everything and we agreed. It was scheduled for the next day.
Doctor Wallace took me aside and told me in no uncertain terms that Pete’s condition was borderline. The cancer hadn’t spread and there was a good chance that he could get it all during the operation. If he did, Pete could have a good chance at a full recovery. But, and this was critical he said, Pete had to want to live! Since the tumor was in the brain, close to the frontal lobe, his behavior would be affected. If he had a positive outlook, it would be so much better. Depression or even a deep sadness would be almost a death sentence. He wanted to know how things were at home. I assured him that I loved my husband, he loved me and we were a team. I promised myself that I would do nothing else to give him cause for distress.
A week later the operation was judged a success, at least medically. Now it was up to Pete. I was with him when he woke the first night and he did recognize me which was good. He seemed in good spirits but I was unable to joke much, being so worried. We talked, assured each other that the news was good and Pete started to mend. It was slow, but he was trying. I could see the part his mental condition played. When he was upbeat, the difference was striking. When the pain got him down, he looked terrible. So, I worked on his mind, kidding, telling him funny stories of people we both knew, anything to make him laugh.
But then, a gift! I couldn’t wait till the next day when I could see Pete! I had such great news! News that should do what all the doctors in the world couldn’t: make my husband Pete get better! What news you ask? The little stick that I took into the bathroom with me that night had two lines, crossing each other. That was the sign for positive. I was pregnant! Pregnant with Pete’s baby! Sure it was due to a mistake on my part, running out of birth control pills, but this mistake was going to be a lifesaver. I was so pleased with this result that I danced around the house, blessing my mistake.
I went into the hospital the next day, visited with Pete for awhile, noticing that he was in a great deal of pain and bided my time. I wanted the announcement to be just perfect, made at just the right time. So, I waited. Lunch came and went and Pete’s meds kicked in and he began to perk up a little. I left for a while then came back to share dinner with him. He looked very good. Better than he had for some time. I decided then that the time was right.
I sat down on the edge of the bed and took his hand in mine. Looking deep into his eyes, I spoke. “Pete, my darling. I have an announcement that you’re going to love. I know we didn’t plan it but I made a little mistake that is going to make you very happy.” I paused for effect, watched the question grow in his eyes and then gave him my present.
“Congratulations Peter. You’re going to be a daddy! I’m pregnant! I’m going to have a baby and it will need its father. So, your job is to get well as soon as possible.”
My huge grin faded as I waited for his response and I was surprised when he failed to smile. I watched his face carefully and saw tears form in his eyes. That shocked me but I felt that he was simply overcome with emotion. My hope that he would recover much more quickly started to fade when he turned away from me and closed his eyes. I was about to say something more when he spoke.
“Dee, I want you to do me a favor. At home, in the top drawer in my desk on the right hand side, there is an envelope. Please bring it back with you tonight when you come.” These words were not what I expected. And what did he mean tonight. I was already here.
“Pete, there’s no reason for me to go home. I’m staying until visiting hours are over. And why are you being this way? Aren’t you happy? You’ll be fine by the time the baby is ready to come. You just have to get. . . .” I was interrupted by an angry Peter.
“Please, Dee! Just do as I ask! Please get the envelope and then come back. Then we can talk.” With that he turned away from me and I was left in shock. What had gotten into him? I had no idea, but I decided to humor him and go home and get the envelope.
All the way home and back I tried to understand what was going on. Peter had always wanted children and now he was going to be a father. Why couldn’t he simply accept that? What was his problem? Was he afraid he wouldn’t survive to see the baby? That was nonsense. I would talk him out of that in short order. Pete was going to recover. This had to be good news if he could just accept that he was going to get well and become a great father.
I went into his room on my return with the envelope in my hand. “Alright Mr.! I got the envelope. Now, what’s so damn important that you can’t understand that you have a baby to get ready for? You’re going to be the father you’ve always wanted to be.”
Pete took the envelope from me, opened it with shaking fingers and reached in to pull a single sheet of paper from it. He looked at the sheet, closed his eyes for a second and then handed it to me.
“This was going to be my present to you for our anniversary next month Dee. I did it six months ago and kept it secret, waiting for all the tests to be in. Read it now if you will.”
I took the sheet, saw the name of Pete’s Urologist on the top and then scanned down toward the bottom. I saw the numbers printed there and the legend right next to it. It said,
Procedure successful. Motility count zero. No live spermatozoa.
Pete’s quiet voice broke through the roaring in my head. “I had a vasectomy done for you so that you could stop the birth control pills. I knew how much you hated taking them and you never wanted children so, because I loved you so much, I did that. I can’t be the father of the baby you’re carrying.”
I broke down then. I cried and pleaded with him to listen to me but he simply looked away from me, out the window. A nurse came in apparently at his call and asked me to leave. I refused but she called security and they took my arms and drug me from the room. I was screaming for Pete but he never answered.
I tried for the next three days to get back in to see him but the hospital said I was forbidden to enter his room or even his floor. They had me escorted out twice before I finally gave up. Pete wouldn’t take any calls from me either. I was determined to get in to see him and on the forth day, I walked into the reception area of his doctor’s office and demanded to see him.
Without any fuss, he walked out of his office to face me. “Yes Mrs. Mallock? What can I do for you?”
“I demand to see my husband. There’s been a terrible mistake and I have to see him right away to explain. I have to see him. Please, please let me see him.” I went quickly from demanding to begging because I had no choice. I had to see Pete to explain and to beg him to forgive me. I would do whatever he wanted me to do, but I had to see him.
Doctor Wallace simply stared at me for a few seconds before finally shaking his head. He put his hands on my shoulders and asked, “Weren’t you told? Your husband died this morning. I’m very sorry, but his condition began to fail four days ago and we were unable to reverse it. He’s gone. I’m so sorry. I thought you were notified.”
So that’s my story Doctor. I killed my husband with the announcement of my pregnancy. He knew immediately that he wasn’t the father, but I had no idea until that instant when I saw the results of his vasectomy. Then I knew. Jacob! I guess the condom I always made him wear broke with his anger that day.
There’s nothing more to tell you. It’s been three months now since Pete died and I’m almost five months pregnant with my bastard child.
The young doctor had no real answers for me, just a bunch of platitudes and assurances. He started right in to heal me. First, he told me people didn’t die from infidelity. No one dies from a broken heart. There were other things that caused Pete’s death and it was not my fault. He said a bunch of other stuff too, most of it meant to help me, I’m sure. I thanked him for listening to me and pretended to consider what he told me. I even scheduled a follow up meeting with him that I had no intention of keeping.
I know the truth. I killed my husband and I have to live with that. I have to live with the understanding that when he needed me for trust and support, I let him down in the worst possible way. I cut his lifeline with the knife of my infidelity and gave him the last push over the borderline by carrying another man’s baby.
But I’m still here. Me and Jacob’s baby. The one that should have been Pete’s. I considered abortion but Jacob wouldn’t allow it. He has informed me that he intends to be the baby’s father legally. He says he has the legal right to be the one to love and protect and nurture. He says he wants to be part of my baby’s life from this point on and that I have to get used to the idea. Now that Pete is gone, he will provide the male influence. Well, one thing I can guarantee: that is never going to happen. I know the kind of man Jacob Platt is and no baby deserves that.
The joy I had when I thought I was carrying Pete’s baby is gone, but maybe I can make it right. I’ll take my baby to see his true father. Together, we’re going to find Pete.