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A Disastrous Affair

A Disastrous Affair

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A Disastrous Affair

Länge:
619 Seiten
6 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jun 4, 2019
ISBN:
9780463570128
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

A mature, married woman begins a love affair with her friend’s husband. As she becomes more and more obsessed and involved with her lover, her inner turmoil escalates.
Never imagining she would feel such passion this late in life; incapable of putting an end to the relationship with the best lover she has ever known, she battles her deepest thoughts and feelings, while trying to maintain emotional and mental stability.
Then, as the lovers finally come to share a new-found trust and affection, dramatic external events occur that kill the affair dead and throw her back into confusion and self-doubt. Her long repressed or hitherto undiscovered emotions must be returned to their dark place. Can she overcome the torment and the anguish and survive?
We follow her ups and downs as she tries to come to terms with the events which yank her from her ordered, predictable life into one of emotional upheaval, self-doubt and sexual adventure.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jun 4, 2019
ISBN:
9780463570128
Format:
Buch

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Buchvorschau

A Disastrous Affair - Arabella Vance

FOREWORD

It occurred to me that there aren’t many realistic novels about love affairs between mature people. Just because people are of retirement age doesn’t mean they have less passion or sex drive. I wanted to investigate that scenario.

I hope you enjoy this story of a mature, married woman’s love affair with her friend’s husband and all the mental, physical and existential upheavals she goes through from the beginning and throughout her year of madness.

The affair takes place in the modern age and includes the use of smartphones, texts, emojis and other technological aids. I wanted to put the text bubbles into the narrative, as they appear on our phone screens. Unfortunately, e-books does not support text bubbles so I have had to use plain text boxes. It makes it a little less fun but I hope this doesn’t detract from your enjoyment.

The actual emojis in the texts are also impossible to recreate in an e-book so I have written a description and put < and > on either end. It was the best solution I could think of.

The pictures and photos I needed to illustrate the texts are supported by e-books so I was able to include them as illustrations.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Foreword

Prologue

November 28 – the beginning

Chapter 1

September 24 – an end-of-summer party

Chapter 2

November 11 – the dinner party

Chapter 3

November 13 – an outing with my girlfriend

Chapter 4

November 16 – the first kiss

Chapter 5

November 17 – I give a timid green light

Chapter 6

Tania’s story

Chapter 7

November 23 – our 1st encounter

Chapter 8

November 23 – later

Chapter 9

November 23 - afterwards

Chapter 10

November 23 – afterthoughts

Chapter 11

November 24– the secret

Chapter 12

December 1 – the business meetings

December 4 – out for dinner with my girlfriend

Chapter 13

December 6 – our 2nd encounter

Chapter 14

December 9 – sometimes a day goes by

December 12 – a loving phone call

December 13 – our 3rd encounter

December 14 – I’ve got you under my skin

December 14 – do that to me one more time

December 16 – another lie

December 21 – our 4th encounter

Chapter 15

December 22 – a little bit more

December 24 – my Christmas text

December 25 – Christmas wishes

December 26 – disappointment

Chapter 16

December 26 – he finally translated my text

Chapter 17

December 27 – green light

December 28 – our 5th encounter

December 29 – love your library

December 31 – plans for the New Year

January 1 – Happy New Year

January 2 – just the way you are

Chapter 18

January 3 – frustrated plans and new plans

January 4 – group lunch, a surprise and a good plan

Chapter 19

January 4 – I tell my husband of the plan

Chapter 20

January 5 – will he agree to my plan?

Chapter 21

He doesn’t get my code

Chapter 22

January 6 – birthday wishes

Chapter 23

January 9 – more doubts

Chapter 24

January 10 – our 6th encounter

Chapter 25

January 11 – I miss Tania

Chapter 26

January 12 – 7th encounter

January 15 – he can’t talk with my husband in the house

January 16 – our 8th encounter

Chapter 27

January 17 – no news

January 18 – I leave for Europe

January 19 – his wife calls me but no call from him

January 20 – I contact him

January 21 – my email address appears on his cell

January 22 – I pour my heart out to Tania

January 22 – no news

January 23 – still no news

Chapter 28

January 23 – at last he contacts me

January 24 – a quick call from him

January 25 – humidity rises and falls

January 26 – I get blocked

January 26 – later

January 30 – four days of total silence

Chapter 29

January 31 – who does he think he is?

Chapter 30

February 1 – I feel very underappreciated

February 1 – later

Chapter 31

February 3 – he contacts me again

February 17 – loving texts

Chapter 32

February 6 – hot and cold

February 8 – we are still misconnecting

February 11 – the plans are set

February 13 – candles

February 13 – he arrives in London

February 14 – we are finally in London together

February 17 – we go our separate ways

Chapter 33

February 17 – loving texts

Chapter 34

March 1 – he wants us both to have fun

Chapter 35

March 5 – messages

March 6 – more messages

Chapter 36

March 7 – I learn a piece of the truth

Chapter 37

March 8 – still more messages

Chapter 38

March 9 – fingers crossed

Chapter 39

March 10 – he wants to talk to me

Chapter 40

March 11 – sexy text messages

March 12 – the hotel is reserved

Chapter 41

March 13 – we continue our phone talks

Chapter 42

March 14 – we keep in close contact

Chapter 43

March 18 – loving conversations

Chapter 44

March 21 – always being careful

March 22 – he’s with my competition again

March 23 – he finds some time for sexy talk

March 24 – on the road

March 26 – the countdown

Chapter 45

March 26 – together in my city, at last

Chapter 46

March 27 – we spend the day wandering around my city

Chapter 47

March 27 – I fucked up!

Chapter 48

His son’s emotional blackmail

Chapter 49

March 28 – a subdued tourist bus city tour

Chapter 50

March 28 – our last dinner; last lovemaking

Chapter 51

March 29 – a brief phone conversation

Chapter 52

April 1 – his son doesn’t relent

Chapter 53

April 1 – my thoughts

Chapter 54

April 4 – no improvement

Chapter 55

April 6 – I look at things from his point of view

April 10 – blocked

April 12 – and blocked

Chapter 56

April 14 – the effect on my marriage

Chapter 57

April 17 – his life goes on as usual

April 25 – we’ll talk tomorrow

April 26 – another disaster strikes

Chapter 58

April 29 – memories

April 29 – later

April 30 – my last text

Chapter 59

May 1 – I turn off my cell

Chapter 60

May 4 – his wife calls

Chapter 61

May 5 – thoughts

Chapter 62

Rebecca’s story

Chapter 63

Comparisons

Chapter 64

More of Tania’s story

Chapter 65

May 8 – Rebecca’s story, continued

Chapter 66

May 10 – like son, like father

Chapter 67

May 15 – things I love about him

Chapter 68

May 21 – thoughts and regrets

Chapter 69

May 27 – my texts are undeliverable

Chapter 70

July 3 – I take off the pendant

Chapter 71

July 15 – my texts are still in limbo

Chapter 72

July 31 – I’m hospitalised

Chapter 73

August 3 – we cancel our trip

Chapter 74

August 28 – an audio message

Chapter 75

The recording

Chapter 76

September 1 – the follow-up phone call

Chapter 77

September 14 – I’m disappointed in him

Chapter 78

September 18 – a release?

Chapter 79

October 15 – Taped for myself

Chapter 80

November 3 – a dream

Chapter 81

November 8 – a petulant child

Chapter 82

November 16 – a year has passed

Chapter 83

November 19 – a bad dream

Chapter 84

My conclusions

Chapter 85

March 18 – we meet again for the first time in a year

Epilogue

March 21 – I go to his home and wait

A word from the author, Arabella Vance

-Prologue-

November 28, the beginning

What am I doing? Am I mad? Crazy? I must be out of my mind. Taking this step will end over thirty years of faithfulness to my husband. These thoughts run crazily through my head as I drive across town to meet my friend’s husband. It will turn out to be our first assignation of many.

The past few weeks have turned my life upside down. My mind has been in turmoil as I have experienced thoughts and feelings about another man that I hadn’t felt in all the time I have been married. I had never felt any temptation. What has happened? Why do I feel so compelled to meet a man I’ve known for many years and for whom I’ve never had more than feelings of friendship and respect?

I love his wife. I enjoy her friendship, company and vitality so much. I have always admired her both for her beauty and her wonderful personality. We first met, about ten years ago at a pottery class. We have grown closer over the years, without being in one another’s pockets all the time, united by us both being Europeans; both keen potters; the friendship progressed from there.

Luckily, my husband and hers get along well, too, so we all have fun when we get together.

At the time I wasn’t thinking about any of this. I was driving to the other side of town to meet this man who had completely turned my head. I had reverted to an adolescent. Unable to think about anything else, my mind was filled with passion and desire for him. Why? He isn’t even close to my ideal man.

Why this sudden passion? What awoke me to this man as a man, as an alluring sexual being and even a possible lover? It is as much a mystery now as it was then. How did he open my eyes and seduce me? Was it by chance that I responded to him in that way and at that moment?

Over the years I have crossed paths with many men and had never even idly contemplated the possibility of having an affair. What made this man so different? Perhaps it was the excitement of having an affair, although I was well aware of the risk and possible consequences. Could it be boredom with a marriage that had become routine, humdrum and predictable? Did it mean I desired some excitement, or needed someone to find me attractive now that I am officially of pensionable age? I probably wouldn’t have many opportunities in the future to throw caution to the wind and just go where my heart leads me. It had been many years since I last did anything this crazy and spur of the moment, without really considering the outcome; long before my marriage.

I was considering the outcome as I drove across town, pondering the whys and wherefores but was drawn to this adventure like a moth to a flame. I wasn’t physically in my body but floating over it and watching myself flutter around the light in danger of getting singed. I wasn’t thinking about my friend, nor of my husband, only of this huge step into the unknown, unable to prevent myself or of turning back.

I was nervous about my arrival and about what this would lead to. Meanwhile, I had to find the address, a parking space, arrive unflustered and prepared to meet my possible lover.

‘Go around to the rear of the house,’ he had told me ‘and enter through the back door.’

This was a nerve-racking experience for me and my heart beat fiercely as I followed the directions.

There’s the door. I stood outside, stock-still, still debating whether to proceed. I can still back out. I can still tell him I’ve made a mistake. Maybe I can just slink away. He might be disappointed if I didn’t turn up, but he would understand. I imagined he was having similar doubts about the wisdom of taking this huge step into unknown territory.

As I stood on the garden path in the late afternoon light and debated these matters with myself, the back door opened revealing nothing but a dark opening beyond. A venetian blind covered the window in the top half of the door and the slats were half open. He must have seen me standing outside dithering.

The open door drew me in and I stepped down a couple of steps and over the threshold.

-1-

September 24, an end-of-summer party

My girlfriend, Giovanna and I had long wanted to visit Russia. Despite the many difficulties of timing and juggling of our various schedules, at the beginning of the summer we made the trip with our husbands. We had all travelled together before and got along well, enjoyed one another’s company and would happily travel together again. We lived an incredible experience as a foursome and were glad to have been able to make that trip a reality.

A few months later my husband, Michael and I were back in the Pacific Northwest. Giovanna had remained in Europe, in the Mediterranean land where she was born, and where she loved to spend the summer months. Her husband, Giorgio, had returned to ahead of her as he had business to attend to.

A mutual friend, Jacqueline, was going to celebrate the summer party she and her husband, Pablo, held annually. We were all invited.

Our hosts attend a church whose congregation houses seminarians and missionaries from all over the world. The party was held on a balmy evening, one of the last before the rainy months to come. Some of the younger people, in the group of around fifty, played the guitar around the outdoor gas fireplace and everybody sang along. There was plenty to eat as our hosts enjoy preparing delicious multi-cultural food, reflecting the mix of nationalities at the gathering. The party that year was, as usual, much fun.

Towards the end of the evening, when many guests had gone home, a smaller group of about eight people, was sitting, relaxed, around the huge kitchen table, chatting and exchanging stories and jokes. We were all components of a group of potters who had been learning the art for a number of years. Jacqueline, Brian and I still met weekly to continue to make pottery. The others, for various reasons had almost stopped practicing the art, but we all remained in contact. The gentle lights illuminated the plates of tempting desserts, coffee and teapots and assorted china cups.

Suddenly Giorgio arrived. We had wondered if he would turn up since his wife wasn’t in town, so everyone was happy when he made it to the summer get-together.

Hello, glad you could make it, our host said to the late arrival when he appeared at the kitchen door, having been admitted to the house by one of guests.

We were all pleased to see him, although the group was incomplete without Giovanna.

The evening drew to a close when we noticed our hosts discreetly stifle a few yawns. It had been a long day for them to organise this gathering. We prepared to leave and gathered our belongings, making our way out in a group via the back door towards the street.

As we walked around the side of the house in the semi-darkness, Giorgio came up behind me and gave me a playful pinch, on my back, along the bottom of my ribs. I was startled and surprised. It was the first time he had ever done such a thing. I put it down to friendliness and the shared experiences we had all enjoyed on our recent holiday. Still, a thrill of pleasure ran through my body at his touch, this pinch, which had come out of the blue. It wasn’t as if it was done on an erogenous area of my body. Nor was it an act that someone might see and consider inappropriate; No, and yet it make my body shiver with excitement and pleasure.

How to describe the thrill that I felt, the surge of pleasure and arousal? It was unlike anything anyone had ever done to me before but my body responded with a leap in my heart while at the same time I had to keep a poker face and not react as I walked beside my husband.

Out on the street, we said our goodbyes and everyone left the party for their various destinations. I thought no more about that pinch that evening. As women we seem to be programmed to think that we have misinterpreted something a man has said or done; conclude we made a mistake and that their behaviour was completely innocent and unconscious. We must have done something to provoke it, or we should have done something else to avoid being put into a compromising situation. We are past-masters at blaming ourselves for unwanted advances made by the men in our workplace, our social circle or even strangers we encounter on any number of occasions.

-2-

November 11, the dinner party

Some weeks had passed; Giovanna was back in town. She told me she wanted to invite a few friends to dinner and we agreed on a date that worked for all. We were to be ten people, five potters and their spouses. She asked me if Michael and I could get there a little earlier than the rest to help with a few final touches. Also, we wanted to watch the DVD I had made of our Russia trip holiday photos.

From the kitchen where we were setting out the serving dishes we could see the television in the family room. There was time to spare before the other guests arrived, so the men sat on the sofa to watch. Occasionally she and I stopped bustling about to watch a particular scene, laughing and remembering all the fun we’d had on that incredible trip to Russia.

Look at us all, Giovanna said Wasn’t it fun? What a sweetheart our tour guide in Kostroma was. Remember how she asked if she should return the tip we had given her when we gave her a lift back into town?

The food, someone said was incredible. Apart from the traditional dishes like borscht, there were so many we didn’t even know the names of but were so tasty.

We had taken lots of photos of the foods we had eaten. Twice we had eaten at an Armenian restaurant. The atmosphere was exotic for us and their local music made it even more so. It was delicious. It makes my mouth water even now. I wish we could go there for dinner again, Giovanna’s comment came from the kitchen as she set out the platters.

Oh, look. That’s when we had the ‘Master Class’ to make those typical good-luck dolls, I said laughing, while taking glasses from the cupboard.

Ha. Ha. The instructor looks so serious. She wasn’t impressed with your effort, my husband said to hers.

I had chosen typical Russian music as a soundtrack for the DVD and we hummed happily to the songs as the pictures flashed by.

The DVD was just ending when the doorbell rang and the other guests began to arrive.

Giovanna, unflustered as always, had made a delicious dinner, which she put out buffet-style on the island in the kitchen. We each served ourselves and took our plates into the dining room. I was helping my friend so was the last guest to fill my plate and take it to the table.

The only chair still free was to the left of our host who was at the head of the table at the far end. I took my place there. His wife was opposite him, at the other end. To my left sat my husband. The other couples filled the sides of the rectangular table.

To the right of the hostess were the oldest guests, in their 80s, Brian and Jennifer; a delightful couple originally from England. Always game to socialize, despite their advancing age, they overcame the limitations of her advancing Parkinson’s disease and attended as many functions as they could manage. We always made a fuss of Brian, rotund with a twinkle in his eye, the only man in our potters group. He revelled in being the sole male component of our class.

Opposite them sat the youngest couple, Charles and Valery. He, still immersed in the world of business, pursuing a career in finance with the aim of becoming extremely wealthy. Already comfortably off and childless, they spent their three annual vacations in the Caribbean on the island of St. Bart’s, living the life of the rich and famous in the French style.

Beside them, a winter and spring couple; Matthew, a retired entrepreneur, with bright blue eyes and short-cropped silvery hair, who still liked to dabble in business if presented with an opportunity and his young Lithuanian wife, Justina, slender and shy, who was still young enough to aspire to making a name for herself in the world of artistic pottery.

Our hosts, European by birth but totally adapted to the way of life in the Pacific Northwest, were opposites physically. She, a beautiful woman with long wavy thick black hair that fell to her shoulders; her skin a porcelain white over classic Mediterranean features, with healthy white teeth and open frank dark brown eyes; her slim upper body gave way to full child-bearing hips. Her husband, taller and bigger, with a prominent paunch, had scant hair in a ring around the back of his neck, grey like his short moustache. His blue eyes were partly covered by drooping eyelids. An extrovert and very jovial he was a sympathetic character.

My husband and I, the last couple of the group, are similar in height but opposite in physical appearance. While he has olive skin, brown hair and green hazel eyes, I am fair with dark blonde hair, blue-grey deep-set eyes in a round face and pale skin.

There, in the modern dining room the ceiling light fixtures hung down at intervals above the rectangular marble-topped table, lighting the plates of food set out below them.

We were all happy and laughing, enjoying being together again after the long summer break. Conversation was easy and on multiple topics.

Sometime during the dinner Giorgio began to rub my leg with his under the table. Startled, I jumped and immediately began to blame myself. Maybe I’m too far over, taking up part of his space, I thought, feeling my cheeks flush. I moved a little towards my husband, swinging my legs to my left. Still his leg reached mine and the movement against it was steady and constant, all the time he was talking to Matthew and Justina opposite me. The more he rubbed, the further away I moved until my legs were turned almost 180 degrees from my host. Despite realizing that he was purposely rubbing his leg against mine, I still thought that I was somehow at fault for being too close to him, out of my allotted space. He had never before done anything remotely inappropriate and it was hard for me to think that his actions that evening were veering away from that trajectory.

As we talked, I didn’t dare look at him enquiringly, or encourage him in any way. Again I found explanations and thought that perhaps it was the wine that was emboldening him. It’s not me he’s interested in.

Compared to his wife I don’t think I am anything special. He is a lucky man to be married to her. If I were a man I’m sure she’s the sort of woman I would be attracted to. I cannot imagine that he would look elsewhere and surely not at me. I am older than she is, and he a little older than me.

I had not come across this situation in all my married life. Was that because no one made the moves on me so obviously before? Maybe this was the first time I had been aware of it. On the other hand, could it be that before this I had not put out any signals to another man and now I was somehow signalling a green light to him? Again, this predicament must be my fault. I felt ill-equipped to deal with it.

My mind was filled with these thoughts as we returned to the kitchen with our empty plates. Giovanna was laying out the desserts on the island’s wooden surface and I helped her by removing the half-empty serving dishes from there to the counter-tops. I’m a natural helper and I enjoy being useful. This trait got me into trouble years ago as I helped a friend in his house; his girlfriend got jealous and territorial and banned me from their kitchen. Not on this occasion, I was glad to see.

All ten of us now stood around the kitchen, leaning against the counters or walls, chatting and laughing as we selected from a delicious choice of desserts and fresh fruit. I turned to the sink to put some dishes there when Giorgio came up behind me and again pinched me just below my ribs. Standing just behind me he said into my ear, You look beautiful tonight.

Oh my God. There was no mistaking his intention that time and the shiver of shock and pleasure again ran up and down my spine. I couldn’t react or say anything. It was brazen, there in full view of everyone. He moved away and the moment was gone. Did anyone see or hear what just happened? The kitchen was full of people and I turned back from the sink into the general conversation. My mind was in a spin. What is happening? How can this be happening to me?

Giorgio is a lovely man. He is generous and kind, good-natured and fun. He started his company from nothing and turned it into a million-dollar business by dint of hard work and lots of sacrifice. I admired his stamina, his work ethics and his business acumen. However, I had never really looked at him as a man, as an emotional, sexual being. Anyway, he was my friend’s husband and off-limits.

Added to that, he was not the type of man to whom I had ever been attracted. He is tall and big, even overweight. He has a large belly that hangs over his belt, pushing the waistband of his trousers down to his hips. A ring of white hair around the back of his neck clings just below a bald pate while a small salt and pepper moustache crowns his upper lip. I had never been attracted to men with blue eyes, always drawn to the darker swarthy type, with smouldering brown eyes, a Roman nose, and dark bushy eyebrows, much to my mother’s dismay.

I am sure he was attractive when a young man but the years have not been kind to him. It doesn’t look as if he has made any effort to keep trim, or in shape. For some people physical appearance isn’t important. It reminds me of the comic of a normal woman in front of a mirror dismayed at seeing all her defects reflected in it. The next picture is of a smiling out of shape man who sees an attractive body builder in his reflection. This crystallizes the difference between how men and women see themselves.

Over the years, I have heard him clear his throat making that snorting noise that some people with allergies need to make. I always thought that someone should tell him to step away and do it in private. I remember thinking that if I were his wife, I would find it unbearable. Putting myself in my friend’s shoes, I thought it was too bad that he had that habit and that she had to put up with it. I would find it embarrassing if my husband were to do that constantly in public.

He does, however, have a wide open smile that lights up his face. I had never seen him in a bad mood, or grumpy. No. He always puts on a happy face, even when his wife is criticizing or disparaging him. Those were the only times that I would find fault in my friend. I never thought it a good trait to criticize ones partner in front of others, no matter how close the friends. I would always take his side and say, Poor man.

Yes, yes. Poor man. She would reply. Behind those words was a hint at her dissatisfaction with him, complaints that have accumulated over the years. It is also the way a man or a woman behaves with a partner they are confident is totally faithful and true. I am sure she would never dream he would look at another woman as his passion had always been for work and his family.

My husband, in contrast, is the dark latin type with hazel eyes, bushy black eyebrows and a full head of still mainly dark brown hair topping his five foot eight frame. Years of body building began when he was a young and skinny boy trying to look bigger and tougher. He was always conscious of his physique and had worked out religiously all his life.

He is a good man, faithful, honest and caring. In business, he prepares for every eventuality and resolves problems before they even arise, a valuable asset for his clients.

On a personal level, this same trait can become irksome for someone like me who is more carefree and not at all pessimistic. Not that I tempt fate, but neither do I worry about the millions of problems that could arise. My mother was a constant worrier and as a young girl I vowed not to create problems in my mind before they were a reality.

My husband’s need to have everything in its place at all times can be hard to live with, too. Guests in our home are afraid to eat or drink in case they drop crumbs or drips on the table.

In all marriages, even the most solid, there is some sort of adaptation on both sides. We all have different opinions and customs and there has to be a meeting in the middle.

My husband is not technologically inclined and I am the one who does most of the social media and more complicated computer work. He does not have, or want, a smartphone as he only requires an antique cell phone to make calls on. The rest is done on the computer via email. He is not interested in constantly checking calls and messages online or replying instantly to emails at all hours of the day.

He had begun a new phase in his working life and was going to need some help with promotion and advertising. Giorgio, being the owner of a nation-wide prestigious enterprise has many useful contacts. During the dinner they had discussed him setting up some appointments with various marketing and technology companies who might be able to advise my husband on how to proceed. The arrangements would be made through me as I was the person who would attend the meetings. I was very grateful to him for taking the time and trouble to organize something so small fry as my husband’s current project, compared to the business meetings he was accustomed to attend with all the bigshots of the city. He is a man busy with multimillion dollar enterprises and I felt that for him to take time to make these preparations was taking friendship to a new level.

He and I were to keep in contact via email to make the arrangements for these meetings.

-3-

November 13, an outing with my girlfriend

A few days later Giovanna and I had arranged to meet to go to the cinema, so she picked me up to go downtown. We spent a lovely evening together

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