Pictures Never Lie: A Love Story Pt. 10: Final-1

Every story has to have an ending and we have reached ours here. Keep in mind that this is JUST a story. Nevertheless, if there is a message it is this. Life is nothing but a series of choices. You make them. And then you live with them. Everybody goes through exceptional circumstances. But the key to happiness is choosing wisely. Happy endings rely on the personal integrity, and good intentions of the people making the choice. So I used a time-travel device to show you where I think our two heroes will finish their journey. As usual, thank you for reading this.

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As Tom and I were diving off of Nassau, I began to feel very strange. I was kicking my way to the surface. The water was warm and crystal clear. But I was having the oddest, most stimulating emotions as I rose.

I couldn’t reconcile the erotic sensations that were passing through my body with the fact that I was underwater. It almost felt like the air in my scuba tank was giving me continuous orgasms.

When I broke out into the sunshine of Abaco Island the scene suddenly underwent one of those disorienting camera shifts that you sometimes see in the movies.

I was no longer in the Bahamas. I was lying in a bed, wired to a monitor and with an IV bag dripping a solution into my arm. Tom was lying slumped in a chair next to me, asleep.

My first thoughts were puzzlement and a weird premonition of unease. That quickly morphed into stark raving terror. I couldn’t understand what happened and what I was doing there.

My sounds of distress must have awakened Tom because he stretched languidly and then focused his eyes on me. I was feeling around on the bed trying to determine where I was.

He rose with concern on his face. Poured me a glass of water and brought it to me. He said, “Here drink this.”

I was so thirsty that I thought I was going to die. So I grabbed the glass out of his hand and greedily gulped the entire thing down.

My head pounded like I had chased a bottle of vodka with a gallon of tequila. I looked at him beseechingly.

He smiled lovingly and said, “We have a lot of catching up to do.”

I said, still barely restraining my panic, “Where am I? Why am I here?”

He said, “First let me get a nurse to check you out and then we can talk.” At that point he left the room.

He came back very shortly with a woman in hospital scrubs who fussed around the instruments and then checked the drip that ran into my arm.

She made an adjustment and said to both of us, “Your heart rate is elevated, which is understandable. This is a mild analgesic and sedative mix in a saline solution. It will calm you down. I dialed the sedative up a little bit to help you relax.”

She turned to Tom and said, “You can talk to her if you wish. But please be careful.” Then she smiled sympathetically and left the room.

I looked at him with total confusion. He would explain things. First-and-foremost He has always been my best friend. And I needed him to make my situation understandable.

He said, “There are some difficult things I need to discuss with you.”

He saw my look of utter anguish and he hastily added, “No! It doesn’t involve you-and-me except the fact that I am here as your husband and forever companion in life.” I calmed down.

He went on with, “What can you remember about yesterday?”

I thought back. I remembered talking with Marcy in school and I remembered being at our favorite restaurant with Rebecca and Sharita and Marcy and Lance. After that I couldn’t remember anything.

There were some flashes of totally abandoned sex, but those had to be part of my blackout. I said, “Was I in an automobile accident?”

Tom said, “There is no way I can sugar coat what I am going to tell you. Are you strong enough to hear this?”

I said, “I have to know what is going on and I have to know THAT right now. Whatever it is I can get past it as long as I have you here to love me.”

He actually looked uncharacteristically unsure of himself as he said, “Maybe that is the place to start then. I want to know if I can come home and we can be husband and wife again.” My heart soared with happiness.

I said, “Of course you can. I wanted to talk with you about that too. I feel like I have come to an understanding with myself and that I will never let you down again.”

He said, “Well that leads me to what I have to say. There is one condition for my coming home.”

I felt a chill. I said, “Why are there conditions? I give myself to you totally. I have missed you more than you can imagine and that I can EVER express.”

He said, “My only condition is that you forgive me. I failed you in the most fundamental way that a husband can fail his wife and I need you to tell me that you forgive me for that.”

I said, “What are you talking about? I was the one who strayed. I let YOU down.”

He said, “That was trivial compared to what I did to you. I left you alone; unprotected out there in the wild. You are here because I was not enough of a man to deal correctly with the hurt that you caused me.

“And it was MY personal weakness that put you in this bed.”

I was getting panicked again. I said frantically, “YOU put me here. What did you DO to me?”

He said, “I was not there to prevent your colleague Lance Jones from drugging you and raping you. That is why you are here.

“He put a date-rape concoction into something you ate last night and was in the process of attacking you when I showed up. The bastard is in intensive care right now and I sincerely hope they don’t save his balls. Needless to say the cops have him handcuffed to the bed.”

I was horror-stricken. It was obvious that Tom was distraught. But men have no concept of what a personal violation like rape does to a woman. I was totally devastated by the thought. It was an all-consuming emotional tidal wave.

Men have some infantile idea that a woman who is being raped views the event as a sexual encounter. After all, what is involved involves sex.

But the fact is that we view our defilement as the most despicable form of personal aggression imaginable.

Rape corrodes a woman’s very soul. It takes away control over the sanctity of our own bodies and it attacks our innate perception of self-worth.

As a result, women who have been raped have a very hard time losing their feelings of personal degradation and hatred for the person who assaulted them.

And we view anybody who perpetrates a crime like that as the worst kind of gutless loser. No woman will EVER see their rapist as anything but a sociopathic coward.

I am aware that there are adolescent male fantasies about how grateful the woman will be once they have eventually sampled the perpetrator’s goods.

Let me assure you that there is no such thing as an appreciative response by a woman to some man who takes them by force. It is plain and simple a hate crime. Any man who believes otherwise is delusional.

Nevertheless, it had happened to me.

I tried to process what Tom had said. If Lance was not exactly my friend, he was at least a colleague and mentoree. So his level of betrayal just crushed me. My heart rate accelerated and the machines went crazy.

The nurse rushed into the room. She gave Tom an exasperated, “What did I just tell you!!??” look. Another one followed with a needle in her hand and I mercifully went back to sleep.

It was getting dark outside when I awoke again. Tom was sitting in the same chair looking at me. Anxiety was written all over his face.

He set down the tablet computer, which is attached to him like an appendage, and poured me another glass of water. I drank it just as greedily as the first time. He said with a soft ironic smile, “Welcome back” and stroked my head.

I felt a lot better than this morning. I tried a wan smile and said, “I feel like somebody has worked me over with a baseball bat. But at least I don’t want to die now.”

He said, “Do you want to talk about it some more? Or do you want to just lie there and let me tell you about all of the exciting trips I have been planning for us?”

That reminded me why I was here and I felt the same wave of revulsion that I had experienced this morning. But this time I had it under control.

My unconscious mind must have been processing the news while I was under the sedative. I said, “No, I want to talk about it. How can you even look at me after knowing what happened?”

He gave me the most loving smile I have ever seen and said, “You are my wife, my lover and my best friend. You had nothing to do with what happened to you. I know that because I was listening into the whole thing.”

Then he proceeded to tell me how he was in the restaurant when I came in. He said he just sat and watched me because he didn’t want to intrude.

I knew that he was using the opportunity to spy on me with my friends. But I let that go. A girl needs to know that the love of her life is paying attention to her. So I WANT him to feel a little jealous and protective.

He said that he had put some things on Lance’s phone that let him listen in on everything that shithead had said. Tom told me that he had learned something shocking by doing that, but that it didn’t really concern me. He said that we could talk about that later.

Then he told me about the phone call, which I vaguely remembered and his subsequent listening in on the whole dreadful act as he rushed to the house to save me.

He told me that he had used the weapon that he spent so much time in our basement with. I felt a little sorry about all of the grief that I had given him for the noise he was making down there.

He explained how we could never share the fact that he had used that thing on Lance, since it would change things with the police. Apparently Lance was in very bad shape down in the ICU. But the police had accepted Tom’s version of events, which was that he merely kicked him. And so Tom was off the hook regarding any other kind of official action.

More importantly, he told me that he would never leave my side again. He said that he felt like my rape was his fault for coming up with the separation idea in the first place. I told him in no uncertain terms that it was BOTH of our ideas to separate and that whatever his motivation, even if it was childish, I needed the space to become a stronger person.

I added that I thought that I had proven that I had achieved the strength of character that I was seeking. I had experienced the worst possible thing that could happen to a woman and I was still in my right mind. I laughed softly and added, “You can believe that by the fact that I am talking about this to you rationally, without getting too far off the deep end.”

I actually felt more secure and happy than I had in months. Tom had proven to me by his actions that he was still mine. He had looked after me like my guardian angel, even when I wasn’t aware of it. And he wanted to go through life side-by-side with me again.

What had happened was horrible enough that it would take some time to wrestle it into a box in my subconscious. And I felt an overwhelming need to talk to Chelsea, my therapist, about it. But none of that mattered. I had my husband and my life back. I smiled

He looked at me still with concern and added, “There is one more thing we have to discuss.” I thought, “Uh-oh!”

He said, “There is another bombshell that I want to discuss with you. It is the best possible news for both of us. But you might initially take it wrong. So you are going to have to hear me completely out without interrupting. Can you do that?”

My heart began to sink again. The machines started chattering and the nurse rushed in. I said, “It’s okay, I’m really okay. I can handle this.” The nurse looked relieved and walked back out.

I said, “I wish they would take these monitor things off me. They are ratting me out. Okay, so what other life changing news do you have for me? I don’t think you can top what you told me this morning.”

He smiled warmly, like he had a happy secret, and said, “Oh yes I can! We are going to have a baby! I know that you are going to think the same thing that I thought and perhaps we are right. But I want to reassure you that I am completely and utterly at peace accepting that this is OUR child, with no conditions, or restrictions.

“And I will love our child with the single minded energy that I love you. We will raise this little one as the proudest parents in Suffolk County, if not the entire world. And I want you to know that you have made me happier and more fulfilled than any human male has the right to be.”

I heard the words but they did not register. I have wanted to give him a baby since we were married. I have a special love for children that is far more deep seated than most women. It is a need that is totally innate in me, one that is a particular aspect of my personality. And the news that we could not get me pregnant was devastating to me.

I knew instantly what Tom was talking about. The term “adultery” derives from the word “adulterate” which is Latin. It implies debasement by “mixing” inferior ingredients. The risk of adulterating the child’s genetic origin’s through sex with a man outside of the marriage bond is the reason why adultery is a taboo in every culture, and a serious crime in some.

Tom and I have been having unprotected sex since we were married and there has never been even a hint to suggest I might get pregnant. We had tried for a long time to conceive and we were told that there was an unfortunate alignment of conception factors that would prevent that. The fact that I WAS pregnant now, more-or-less indicated outside involvement.

I had sex with Jim Murphy in the same window that the baby was conceived. So it would be reasonable to assume that the baby was his, not Tom’s.

There might be a possibility that some aspect of our OWN physiology had changed since the time that we got the diagnosis. That change might allow us to conceive. But old Occam tells us that the simplest explanation is probably the right one. And my guess was that he was correct in this case.

I was both exhilarated and humiliated at the thought of having a baby fathered by another man. But I “got” what Tom was telling me. We would only know who the real father was if we went to the trouble of finding that out.

As long as we never found out who the actual father was, the possibility would always exist that this child was really Tom’s. And since he had already made up his mind that the child was his in every way he would love it as such. And we would sort out any vaguely imaginable contingent issues, if and when they occurred.

I am not sure it is possible to respect my husband more. But he had reached some sort of new pinnacle of wisdom and self-sacrifice for me. If I could have dragged him into my bed and fucked him without setting off the damn monitors, I would have done it. That was I was feeling for the man at that moment.

I smiled at him and said with the utmost sincerity, “Of course this baby is yours and we will bring it up surrounded by the love we feel for each other.

“And any further discussion is pointless. That is because there will never be a question in either of our minds that this is not your child. I am proud to be able to give you this precious gift and I will always be indebted to you for giving it to me.”

He leaned down and kissed me so tenderly that I had a moment of weeping. I told him that I was crying out of pure joy.

They wanted to keep me overnight. I told Tom to go home and get some sleep. He told me that he had spent almost two months away from me and that they would have to anesthetize him to get him out of my room. He said that he had gone home to shower and change while I was sleeping, and that as far as he was concerned he was as fresh as a daisy.

The police made one more visit. They wanted to talk with ME. They told me that they had found sufficient date-rape drugs in my system to knock out a welterweight grizzly-bear. So they wanted to know whether I would testify to what had happened going forward.

I assured them that I would do whatever it took to ensure a long stay in jail for the asshole who had put me in this hospital bed.

They asked me how committed I was to testifying at a trial. They told me that the defense would be sure to go after me on the stand. They would claim that I was the guilty party, the one who had lured poor troubled Lance into my boudoir. They also told me that my entire sexual past would be brought up.

I told them that his lawyer would never break me. I told them that I didn’t care how embarrassing it was, nobody would do what he did to me and then intimidate me into not telling the world about it.

Tom added, “You DO recall that I have the entire thing recorded. No matter how creepy that makes me sound I would be happy to provide it as evidence. I also have another incident recorded, which is only going to further confirm that the man is a predator.”

The detectives nodded and left. They were clearly satisfied. I could tell by the way they glanced, first at each other, and then at me, that they were sure that I would not let them down.

I was beginning to feel very good about my newfound spirit. Then it dawned on me what Tom had just said. I turned to him with a certain amount of suspicion in my voice, “What else do you have recorded, Buster?”

He said, “Don’t take this wrong but I dropped a bug on Lance’s phone as soon as he left the restaurant. I also picked this up. It might be something that you ought to know. Please don’t let it upset you.”

He took out his tablet, selected a file and pushed “play”. What I heard was my best friend Rebecca loudly and thoroughly betraying her husband and her marriage in the most wanton fashion imaginable.

At first I couldn’t comprehend what I was hearing. I know Rebecca. Her family is everything to her. And there is no question in my mind that she absolutely loves her husband to death. How could she do something like that? And the outright shamelessness of her behavior surprised me. Rebecca has always been a mouse.

I said, “When did you record this?”

He said, “They did it in the parking lot right after the rest of you left.”

Unbelievable! I knew that I had to have a “Come to Jesus” talk with my friend as soon as I got out of the hospital.

I WAS aware that Lance had been working hard on her. And I knew that she was not capable of holding off a true predator. She was just too inexperienced with men to say “no” to a slick guy like Lance.

If he really wanted her, it was a certainty that he would get to her sooner or later . But I wondered why he had picked out Rebecca’s marriage and life to ruin.

I asked Tom what he thought. He said that he thought that Lance was hoping that Rebecca would brag to me about what a stud he was, and that I would then be compelled to find out what he had to offer.

I had a couple of thoughts. First, I reckoned that I couldn’t get a lower opinion of Lance and I was completely ashamed that he had indeed gotten to me, even if it required pharmaceutical help. But I was particularly disgusted with Rebecca.

Rebecca was a virgin when she married Bob and the two of them had never really done much more sexually than what it took to make babies. She was a breeder of the most fertile variety and they had kids right away.

So rather than fun, I can imagine that sex for her was all mushed together with notions of procreation.

And I know from being her best friend and confidant that she never saw herself as attractive. She saw herself as cute perhaps, but not the sort of woman that a good looking man like Lance would go out of his way to seduce.

So when Lance put on the full court press she must have given it up to him, just because of the sheer boost to her ego. The other option was curiosity. She might have wanted to sample another cock simply to see what a different one felt like. At any rate, from her passionate and very vocal performance Lance had obviously gotten to her big-time.

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