This summer has proved to be a challenging one. I haven’t seen Josh much. He is always working, and when he is around, he is cranky, miserable and to be honest I begin to cherish the time that I have away from him. When we are together, it is as if he is always looking for something, anything to argue about, it could be as small as a dish being left out that sets him up for nagging. I hate it, dread it and sometimes wish I could just leave, step out of my life and never return.
Sometimes I wonder if he even loves me anymore. How can someone be so mean to a person that he hardly sees?
Our relationship wasn't always like this. The man I had fallen in love with was once happy and outgoing. He was the one that would grab everyone's attention in a room and make others smile with his silly sense of humor. He was a kid at heart and most people when they first meet him end up liking him once they understand his playful manor.
I met Josh after graduating college at my first job in the technical field. I was training for an entry-level job in technical support and he was a senior support staff and was a mentor for all of the new hires. At first I took no notice of him, well I did notice him because I wasn't afraid to ask for help when I needed it but what I meant to say was at the time he was just another tech guy in the office and I didn't think anything more.
Over the weeks as I progressed with the job, my questions slowed as I got more comfortable with my work but Josh's presence was still as if I was on my first days. It wasn't long before we shared our breaks together. At first, it was just hanging out in the office cafeteria then it turned into trips to the local coffee shop and eventually turned into hanging out after work. First, it was at the local bar and grill but eventually it turned into sleeping over at his home.
Long story short we were engaged after three months of dating and married within a year of meeting. We were hopeless romantics and crazy about each other back then. I wish that our relationship could take a step back in time so that I can feel that passion that we had once more.
Now the weeks are tiresome, we get up early, get ready for work and Josh begins the morning ritual with a, “Would you please do this first or why did you put that there?” It always sounds negative instead of a simple, “Good morning”.
I can’t take it. I just grind my teeth and do what he is nagging about so that I don't have to waste another moment with him. Almost seven years and I wonder how much longer I can deal with this, with him. Should I deal with it? I could leave him; I wonder sometimes what would my life be like if I left? I catch myself asking these questions more often than not. Do I even love him anymore?
This morning we take separate cars to work, which is to my relief. I can enjoy the radio and the solitude. My mind starts to wonder away from Josh as I make the commute to work along the highway. I should write a review for Devon, yes, I’m going to on my lunch break, why not, it was a good start to his story. It turns out it was just a sample of a few chapters, what a great tease. Maybe I should use Wattpad as a platform for others to sample my own work.
Lunchtime comes and I remain in the office. I write and publish a positive review to his Wattpad sample. I wonder if Devon is notified of the review right away. I had better send a message just to make sure he sees it and if he hates it, I can remove it right away.
I send him a message, “Hey Devon I finally finished reading your sample and wrote a review on Wattpad, have a look, tell me what you think and if you don’t like it, I can always remove it.” I wonder how often he checks his messages. Anyway, back to the grind I suppose. My work email is almost full and I need to respond to the correspondence. An hour or so goes by and I check my phone while I take a break for a bit. To my joy, I see that he has responded.
"Oh hey Jordan, thank you so much, I just saw it. Can I ask you something?"
"Sure, what's up?"
"Would you mind if I posted your review on my website?"
"I don't mind, it's your review."
"Thank you!" He replies.
I remember his sexy, smart, and spunky female lead character and get the nerve to ask him, "So, I have to ask, the main person in your story is she based on your girlfriend?"
"Ha ha no, she is just a fantasy girl that I made up; my fantasy girl. It would be nice if my partner read my book but she just isn't interested. It’s a shame. What about you, does your husband read your book?"
My heart stops at his question. We have been talking now for the last couple of weeks, flirting and well, I guess it was honest chatter, so to my disappointment I start to talk about Josh. "No, well he started to read my book but he couldn't keep at it and eventually put it down. It just wasn't his kind of novel. It's too bad because I did base a couple of my characters on him."
Devon responds, "Yes that is a shame really. I wish mine would but you can't force someone to do something that they don't want to do. I am so happy that you liked my sample. I really think it’s going to be my break out novel. In the New Year, I plan to take a trip to Victoria. That’s where I based my story. I’m planning on going with my brother."
"I have been there, you should visit the harbor, ride the ferries and even for me, I'm from Canada, but the west coast feels like you are in another country."
"How is that?"
"Well, where I am from it's a bilingual city, English and French but over there on the west coast you will be the minority, there are lots of Asians."
"Oh, ha ha ha so you are telling me it will feel like I am in China?"
"Precisely; it is funny how you can get that feeling of being a foreigner in your own country. I got that same feeling when I went to the United States, even though I am exposed to American television, being there, it's an entirely different world."
He responds, "How so?"
I answer, "Well for one thing; I noticed that people ride motorcycles without helmets. That blows my mind and second you guys like your guns and there are so many chicken joints."
Devon answers, "Oh my god girl, you are making me laugh here at my desk!"
"What's so funny?"
"The chicken, you are funny girl. Smart and funny and I’m going to say it, even if it’s out of line, you are beautiful."
My heart flutters. "Well thank you Devon, you’re a handsome guy."
"Blushing thanks, how old are you?"
He is asking more questions, I smile and answer, I hope that my age doesn’t scare him away, I have the feeling he may be younger than me, "Thirty one, you?"
I think I just stopped breathing; I look more closely at his photo. He doesn’t look forty two. "Wow really, you must use some really great anti-aging cream."
"Ah thanks, you are too kind."
I explain, "I would have pegged you in your twenties or early thirties."
"You look younger also. I thought you may have been twenty four."
"Ha ha ha no, I wish. So tell me about yourself. Do you have kids?"
"Yes a boy, well he is twenty."
"Yes I know. I had him young. What about you?"
Devon elaborates, "I love my boy but he lives with his mother."
I ask, "Is he going to be going away to school soon?"
"Yes, I have supported him all his life and will be supporting him until he's of age so one more year. I love him but his mother sprung this on me. Honestly, I had sex once with her and that did it, sorry that is probably too much information."
With everything that has happened over the summer, he has no idea what I have struggled with; just the opposite of what he has gone through. I wish Josh could father a child. I respond, "No it’s okay, I don’t mind the chat. You must have some really good swimmers."
Devon answers, "Yes they know how to find the egg. No problems there."
“So how long have you been divorced? You don’t have to answer if it’s too personal.”
“No, it’s okay, it has been years and to be honest, she just used me. She had a baby to get out of her parents’ house. I hate to say it but she admitted that to me years later. I love my boy, it’s just that I hate that I felt manipulated by his mother. Anyway, how long have you been together with your husband?"
Wow, I read his comment that is low, to feel used by the woman who brings his son into this world, my poor guy. I respond to him, “It is going on seven years.”
“He is one lucky man to have someone as amazing as you. I know that I’m out of line but you are gorgeous, smart and funny.”
“Thanks Devon you are so kind.” I chuckle; he likes to compliment, my man from Texas. I wonder if all southern men are like this. Wow, I can dream and I am starting to picture myself with him.
I sense it; and know the feelings are there by his comments, and know myself well enough to trust my instincts. This man is into me, like really into me and in the almost seven years that I have been married. I have never so much as thought about another man, but things are starting to change. It makes me nervous and the thing is I can’t turn away from it. I want to talk to Devon. We have chemistry and it’s crazy because all of this is just through chat and I have only seen a couple of photos of him from his websites. From the few that I have seen the attraction is on my side too, a southern gentleman and a face that I catch myself staring at.
I come back to reality, okay keep talking to him. At least for a few more minutes, “Tell me more about yourself, I read a bit of your other books and have to ask, do you have experience with guns and combat?”
He answers, “I was a combat helicopter pilot in the Gulf War.”
I think I just got a little wet and I’m at work. Wow, I am talking to a truly amazing person. Where I am from, there is no one I know that has been on the front lines like him and a helicopter pilot, oh boy.
I answer him, “I have never known anyone like you and it’s just crazy to think that you were out there. I can be a little bit of a brat but those positions, combat pilots and serving your country, you see in movies you come to think that those jobs aren’t real.”
“Oh they are real; I started off with fueling them up and then went through the training and ended up flying them for four years. I served twenty nine days in air combat.”
“I have always told others that if I ever won millions I would buy myself a helicopter and a tropical island. Now that I know you have experience maybe you could be my helicopter pilot.”
“I would and would love to visit your tropical Island. You have no idea, I would be there.” He answers.
I smile, what a flirt, wow he knows how to win this girls heart; okay I should wrap this up. I feel a smile on my face and god I am at work. “Devon, I am going to have to drop off for now, I got to get back to the grind. So happy to talk, you made my day.”
“Ditto, okay talk to you later.”
I am just smitten. This guy, I hardly know him and there is something. I am all smiles for the rest of the day thinking about this man. I know that I shouldn’t be but who cares. As long as it’s my secret it won’t hurt anyone.
For the rest of the day I can't stop thinking about Devon. I am curious about him and now I am crushing hard for him. He keeps me company even though it's just through a virtual world and not real life. Wow, I wish he were mine. Maybe I could trade in my husband for this southern man. I have to stop thinking about it. This is so unrealistic. The rest of the day floats by and I am in my daydreams wondering. The evening proves to be another lonely one of doing some housework and a bit of writing. Josh is working late again tonight.