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The Bramble Bush Affair

September 21, 2009

mmm21I can not beliveve how fast the summer has gone, not to mention September. I love Geraldine’s meme, Monthly Movie Musings, and am sorry I haven’t been a regular contributor. Hopefully things will be settled bramble-bush1soon with my sister and I can get a life back! I was very inspired by G’s prompt this month, The Bramble Bush, based on an old movie and immediately wrote the following fictional story based on the definition Geraldine provided:

bramble: a prickly shrub, including the blackberry and the raspberry

 

The Bramble Bush Affair

“Life is short, have an affair.” Maria laughed as she stared at the huge ad painted on the side of a semi-truck trailer sitting off to her right as she waited for the light to turn green. It seemed she was always waiting for the light to turn green – the light in her loveless marriage, the light in her dead-end job, the light she knew had to be hidden in her rebellious teenage daughter’s head, and of course, the numerous traffic lights she sat at on her way to and from an unsatisfying career as an administrative assistant. She continued to study the sign and became annoyed to learn a website was devoted entirely for married people to connect with like-minded married people seeking more from a physical relationship in their lives. “That’s just what the world needs,” she declared to her brown eyes peering back at her in the rear-view mirror, “an easier way for husbands to cheat on their wives.”

As the traffic began to move, her mind continued to explore the implications of the website. Being very astute in business matters, despite her boss’s obvious failure to notice or reward, she realized for that type of business to be successful, there had to be both men and women sitting at their computers signing up for a clandestine meeting. She speculated on the type of people who would actually use such an unsavory resource. She wondered if her husband was a member. At the next red light she pulled a notepad from her purse and scrawled, “Ashley Madison.com”.

That evening Maria sat across the room from her husband watching one of the never-ending ballgames on their must-have wide-screen television. She studied his face, now so intent on the action on the big screen, and remembered his pleading cries when she confronted him two years before with the note she had found in his pants pocket. He had assured her “it” meant nothing, only a momentary lapse in judgment, a one-time thing, something he would never do again. But was it, she wondered? She announced she was going to update their family blog and then go to bed. She rose from the couch to leave the room. He barely acknowledged she had uttered a word.

Alone in their room, she placed her laptop across her thighs as she settled back in the overstuffed chair and propped her feet upon the ottoman. She typed in the cheater’s website address and quickly realized she would have to register as a guest member to view any of the profiles. She completed her profile information, using VirginCheater as her name. Although a bit disgusted by all the selections available to describe the sexual interests a potential member could want, she had to give the website creators credit for thoroughness. She listed her zip code and, knowing her husband’s dislike of driving, stated she was interested in meeting someone within a 20 mile radius. Within moments, she had pictures of smiling men, some half naked, staring back at her. She scanned down through the pictures, recognizing one man as the husband of the pianist at their church. Just as she was thinking how stupid someone must be to put their picture on this site, she came to profiles without pictures. Now she was forced to click on their profile name to learn more about their identity.

Maria was not surprised to see the same old lines were used by many of the affair hopefuls: my wife doesn’t understand me, my wife is frigid, and her personal favorite, the passion has left our marriage. She was somewhat impressed to see most of the men were very candid in expressing their desire to keep their marriage intact and insisted upon absolute discretion in any relationship they might indulge in. “How loyal of them!” she scoffed.

As she continued to scan the profiles, an instant message appeared on her screen:

        Stiff69: “hello beautiful. r u lonesome tonite? i have a big hot one just waiting for you. ”

Maria was startled by the crude message. She had not noticed the online chat option and was instantly embarrassed. She was about to log out of the site, when he returned with: 

        Stiff69: “oh baby virgins turn me on. tell daddy what turns you on.”

Appalled by his brash comments, Maria instantly typed: 

        VirginCheater: “Someone with class, obviously you don’t qualify.” 

        Stiff69: “fuck you bitch”

The instant message box went blank. Maria sat shaking, aggravated by both his crudeness and her stupidity for being there to be subjected to it. She logged out of site and closed her computer. She took a long, hot shower and fell into bed without drying her hair.

During lunch the next day in the picnic pavilion behind her office building, Maria opened her laptop to check her email. She was stunned to see a message from Ashley Madison.com proclaiming she had seven interested admirers. She cautiously looked over her shoulder, from side to side, to make sure no one was close enough to see her computer screen. She decided to take the opportunity to log into the website and cancel her profile. She was through with playing detective and was concerned she had placed her computer in jeopardy from spyware that was sure to be connected with such a disgusting website. Once she entered her logon ID, a list of messages appeared. She glanced through the names and stopped at one that pierced her heart. She clicked on the message and placed her unfinished sandwich back into her tote. Her stomach began to churn as she read the message:

        ClarkKent: “Hello. I enjoyed reading your profile. You seem to be much like me in that we are just average people in dull and unsatisfying marriages. I am interested in finding one woman to share interesting conversation and intimate moments. Due to several reasons, I am not looking to change my home life or yours. You are probably as nervous as I am contemplating the next step, but we have come this far. Maybe we could meet for lunch and just talk. Please check out my profile and if interested leave me a message.”

Maria had not realized she was crying until a tear fell on the keyboard. She quickly brushed away the wetness and logged off. She placed the laptop back into its cover and fixed her eyes on two squirrels running up and down a tree in the woods just beyond the pavilion. She could feel tears welding up again and immediately stood to distract her thoughts causing the overwhelming emotions. She was not successful.

Clark Kent was the nickname she had cleverly given her husband when they first met almost twenty-two years ago. He was the chief financial officer for a large corporation and typically wore three-piece suits. She almost didn’t agree to have lunch when her best friend introduced him. He was nice enough looking, but appeared to be on the stuffy side. Once their relationship had matured to include a physical side, she was stunned by the change in his demeanor. A romantic and very passionate man appeared when he removed his suit. It was like he was two different people and she jokingly called him Superman. Throughout the first years of their marriage, she teasingly called him Clark Kent when she was in a playful mood and wanted to initiate intimacy. How long had it been since she last called him that? She couldn’t remember.

“That’s what I get for being so damn clever.” she chastised herself as she began to pack up her belongings. She wondered how many women reading his profile picked up on the implication of the name. Then it occurred to her that maybe she wasn’t the only one to be so clever. “Of course I am not the only woman to give their lover that nickname. There must be hundreds, probably even thousands. And maybe that man had just made it up himself,” she assured herself as she walked back to her office.

“No,” she thought, “The Clark Kent on the website wasn’t necessarily her Clark Kent.”

Later that evening, her husband was forced to forego another night of television in lieu of completing paperwork for a board meeting scheduled for the next evening. He announced after dinner he would be in the study getting the financials ready. Maria finished the dinner dishes, packed lunches for everyone, and ironed her dress for the next day. She looked in on their daughter, who was doing her homework in her bedroom. They chatted for a few minutes until she was made aware her attention was not needed or wanted. She walked past the study and noticed her husband was still typing at his computer. She went to their bedroom, planning to take a shower and go to bed early. She saw her laptop lying on the ottoman and thought, “No, he is not necessarily the same Clark Kent.” She knew there was only one way to find out.

Maria logged into the website and brought up her messages. She clicked on ClarkKent’s name to view his profile. Her heart sunk as she realized he was also a Libra, he was also 6’1, he was also 165 pounds, and he also had the same zip code. She read his sexual preferences and the additional notes he made outlining his wants and desires, as well as his commitment to his marriage and the need for discretion. She reread his message and was forming a reply in her mind when an instant message appeared:

        ClarkKent: “Hello. I sent you a message last night. I hope you received it. I noticed you were online and thought I would say hello. Is this a good time to talk?”

Anger instantly filled Maria’s heart as she pictured her husband down the hall in front of his computer, supposedly doing paperwork. She wondered just how many other nights he lied to her and actually spent his time talking to other women online. Her first reaction was to storm into the study and declare, “Yes, it is good time to talk!”

        ClarkKent: “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to overstep my boundaries. I should have waited for your reply to my message.”

        VirginCheater: “No, no, that’s alright. I just finished reading your message and was getting ready to answer.”

        ClarkKent: “Oh, good. That makes me feel better. How are you this evening?

        VirginCheater: “I’m fine. And you?”

        ClarkKent: “Doing OK. Just another lonely night around here. You probably know what that’s like.”

        VirginCheater: “Yes, actually I do.”

        ClarkKent: “I see you just joined last night. Your name makes me wonder if this is the first time you ever did anything like this.”

        VirginCheater: “Well, yes, actually it is. Have you been a member long?”

        ClarkKent: “Only a few months. I saw an ad on a semi-trailer and thought I would check it out.”

        VirginCheater: “Really? I think I saw the same ad. Down on Mulberry Street?”

        ClarkKent: “Yes. That’s quite a coincidence! LOL”

        VirginCheater: “Yes, yes it is.”

        ClarkKent: “Did you get a chance to look at my profile?”

        VirginCheater: “Yes.”

        ClarkKent: “OK. Why don’t you tell me a little bit about your self? These profiles really don’t give much information about anything other than the sexual interests.”

        VirginCheater: “I really don’t know what to say. I’ve never done this before. Why don’t you go first?”

        ClarkKent: “Oh, OK. Well, if you read my profile you already know the basics. I am just an average looking guy. I do work out so I’m in pretty good shape for being 46. I have been married for almost 20 years. I hope you understand I am not looking to leave my wife or anything like that. We have grown apart over the years and the sexual part of our marriage is almost non-existent. I’m just looking to add a little spice to my life. How about you?”

        VirginCheater: “I would have to say my life is about the same. I have been married almost 20 years. I can still wear my wedding dress and I think I look pretty good for being 44. I would have to say my husband and I have grown apart also. Although, at this point I don’t know if I want to stay in the marriage much longer.”

        ClarkKent: “That’s too bad. I mean after 20 years, it seems like you already got past the hard times. For me, I can’t imagine getting a divorce. We have our house and our family. We have had our tough times through the years but I guess I don’t want to start over. In many ways it is comfortable, I guess I am just used to the ways things are. Most everything is OK in our marriage, it is just the sex part that is not good.”

        VirginCheater: “I see. Have you met many women on here?”

        ClarkKent: “A couple. I am not into having a lot of different sexual partners. I hope to meet a woman who wants to keep her marriage intact but also needs a little extra spice in the bedroom area.”

        VirginCheater: “I take it you haven’t met that ‘one’ woman yet?”

        ClarkKent: “No, not yet. But the night is still young. LOL”

        VirginCheater: “LOL. You are very witty. So tell me, how does this work?”

        ClarkKent: “Work? What do you mean?”

        VirginCheater: “I mean, you meet someone on here and chat. Then what?”

        ClarkKent: “Well, it depends on what the 2 people want to happen.”

        VirginCheater: “I don’t mean to appear to be so dumb, but I don’t know what to expect. Like I said, I’ve never done this before.”

        ClarkKent: “No, you are not dumb. Actually you are quite refreshing. Some of the women on here can be quite bold.”

        VirginCheater: “Really? A little too spicy for your taste?”

        ClarkKent: “LOL Well maybe just a touch. You are quite witty yourself.”

        VirginCheater: “Thank you. I have been told that. I am curious about one thing. Why do you call yourself Clark Kent?”

        ClarkKent: “Curious are you? That’s a good sign. LOL Actually a girlfriend nicknamed me Clark Kent a long time ago.”

        VirginCheater: “Really? Why, are you Superman in disguise?”

        ClarkKent: “LOL Sort of, I guess.”

        VirginCheater: “Ahhh. Do you leap tall buildings in a single bound?”

        ClarkKent: “LOL Not exactly. Although I have been told I put a woman over the top when it comes to orgasms.”

        VirginCheater: “Ohhh, I see. So are you faster than a locomotive?”

        ClarkKent: “LOL  No, actually I am quite deliberate in my timing. I know how to please a woman.”

        VirginCheater: “Really? So, you are Superman in the bedroom then?”

        ClarkKent: “I guess that would be something for you to decide. Would you like to find out?”

        VirginCheater: “Maybe.”

        ClarkKent: “Maybe? And what would it take to turn that maybe into a yes?”

        VirginCheater: “I’m not sure. Tell me, why should I want to meet the ‘man of steel’ ? ”

        ClarkKent: “LOL Well aren’t you the clever one! I’m beginning to think you are not as innocent as you want me to believe.”

        VirginCheater: “Really? Maybe I am, and maybe I’m not. Would you like to find out?”

       ClarkKent: “Oh yes!  When would you like to get together?”

        VirginCheater: “Well, my husband has a meeting tomorrow night. I would be free then. Does that work for you?”

        ClarkKent: “That would be great. I have a meeting too, but I can get away from it early. Where would you like to meet?”

        VirginCheater: “I don’t know. What would you suggest?”

        ClarkKent: “Do you know the Radisson on the corner of Park and Greenville?”

        VirginCheater: “Yes, I know where it is.”

        ClarkKent: “Why don’t we meet in the lounge, say about 7:30? We can have a drink and talk and see where this takes us?”

        VirginCheater: “That would work for me. How will I know you?”

        ClarkKent: “I will call and reserve the last booth on the left when  you go in the door. If you get there before I do, just go on back and have a seat. It could be a few minutes past 7:30 before I get there.”

        VirginCheater: “Sounds like you know the place well. Aren’t you curious how you will know it’s me?”

        ClarkKent: “Yes, I’ve been there a few times. And yes I am very curious.  So tell me, how I am I going to know it’s you?”

        VirginCheater: “Well. . . I will be Superwoman of course! See you tomorrow night.”

Maria logged off and closed her laptop. She went into the master bathroom and brushed her teeth. She put on her nightgown and got into bed. An hour later, she woke briefly as her husband got into bed and put his arm around her waist. He was comfortable sleeping like that.

The next morning, after her husband left for work, Maria called her employer and said she wasn’t felling well and would not be in. Truthfully, she wasn’t feeling well, but mostly she had to prepare for her date with Superman. She wondered if she would be able obtain the special Kryptonite she wanted for their encounter.

That evening, after dinner her husband announced he was going to take a shower before going to his meeting because it would be too late when he got home. Maria sat at the dinner table and recalled he had done the same before ‘a few’ other meetings over the past several years. He returned to the dining room twenty minutes later, dressed in one of his best suits and wearing the tie that accented his blue eyes she had given him for Father’s Day. She noticed he was freshly shaven and had applied her favorite cologne when he gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before walking to the foyer. She watched him closely as he put on his watch and closed his briefcase. He turned to face her, holding the briefcase in his left hand. His face was lightly flushed. Maria wondered if it was from the hot shower or the anticipation of his special meeting after his meeting. He gave a brief wave and turned and walked out the door.

Maria entered the lounge at 7:15 and took a seat at the bar, on the opposite side of the room from the row of booths. She wanted to arrive early and knew he would be late. He was always late. She ordered a white wine and studied the couples sitting in the booths. She speculated on how many were cheaters too. She noticed the last booth had a “ReServed” sign on the table. She laughed out loud at the capital S. “Must stand for Superman,” she thought.

At 7:40 her husband came through the large open archway. Up until that very moment, she held out hope deep in her heart that the man she was to meet was not her Clark Kent, her Superman. She ordered another glass of wine and watched as her husband made his way to the back booth, keeping his head down and not looking around the room. He took a seat at the booth with his back to the room.

“Yes,” Maria sighed in heartbreak, “He has been here a few times. He has his pattern down well.” Instead of sitting facing the room, like an innocent man waiting on a date, he cowarded in the booth with his back shielding his identity. She watched as he ordered a drink from the waitress. He looked at his watch several times as he waited for his drink but did not turn around. The waitress placed a glass of red wine in front him and shook her head no as she answered a question he had asked her. Maria downed her drink in one big gulp. She stood, smoothed her dress, and began walking around the bar. She stopped beside a man who had been sitting on a stool at the center of the bar. She tapped him on the shoulder and he stood and followed her.

She walked up behind her husband and hesitated for a second. He sensed a presence and turned to face her with a big smile beaming with capped teeth. His smile instantly ceased as he recognized her.

“Good evening Clark. I hope you haven’t been waiting too long.” Maria cooed in her sexyist voice.

He tried to stand, knocking his glass of wine over in the process, and spilling it down his suit.

“Oh my, you better tell the cleaners about that nasty spill when you take it in.” Maria cautioned as she handed her husband a napkin she quickly retrieved from the bar.

“Where are my manners?” she feigned, “Clark, I want you to meet Bruce. Mr. Wayne has some papers for you.”

Maria turned and walked out of the lounge.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2009 3:51 am

    Oh this is good, this is very good Cricket! I’m guessing this has happened, sometime, someplace. Probably many times. YOU’ve told the story so well, I was dying to see what happened in the end. Nice one!

    ~~Thank you Geraldine. I subscribe to the adage “there is always some truth in fiction.” I was watching the news a week or so ago and saw a report about the website mentioned. It showed the company’s ad on the side of the truck and stated the company was forced to use alternative advertising due to being rejected by billboard companies. Despite being somewhat appalled by the nature of the business, my curious side decided to check out the website just to see if people actually used the it. During my limited “membership” I had several instant messaging encounters. What an education, and what a sad world we live in. Then I read your prompt for the month and a light bulb went on. I like to think that more than a few have been caught in this type of scenario. When will cheaters ever learn dodging thorns to get to the fruit can be very prickly? Cricket

  2. September 21, 2009 7:21 pm

    what a story! I guess I thought she might do more than hand him divorce papers, like throw a drink in his face, it’s easy so much easier to give in to angry but I like that she took the dignify route

    ~~Hi Lissa, Yes I agree, it is much easier to take the low road, although there is something to be said for instant gratification. lol I considered a couple of endings and finally decided the story needed a little class, wrapped in humor (I hope readers know who Bruce Wayne is)! Cricket

  3. September 23, 2009 9:40 am

    Great to read your writing again, Cricket. You told this story so well. Sadly, a few of my friends have been through this type of thing – some with their husbands; others have joined dating sites only to find every man they met was married.

    I really enjoyed this story and I liked the little Batman twist at the end. Good one!

    • cricket51 permalink*
      September 23, 2009 10:09 pm

      Hi Selma, I have been told many of dating sites have married men lurking about. At least this site is honest(??) about their intent. Ahh, yes Batman. Superman may have been the “man of steel” but Batman was the “caped crusader” – the only superhero without superpowers, but rather fought crime with his intellect. I’ll take a man with something real upstairs over a man with imagined superpowers down below any day of the week, and twice on Sunday! LOL Cricket

  4. November 6, 2009 9:37 am

    Very good LOL!

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