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Her Name Was Jessy

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Her Name was Jessy

This is a story of betrayal and how your life can be forever changed in an instant. Where was he? She dialed his cell phone number as she drove up to dark house. He picked up on the first ring, "Hello."

"Where are you?" she asked. Helping a friend with some farm work he had told her and it would be about another hour. She had just wanted to let him know that she was home now. She was late because she had been shopping for birthday gifts for him, he would be 42 day after tomorrow. She had taken their youngest son along to help her and they had spent more time than she had intended. They stopped for Chinese takeout on the way home so that dinner would be ready as soon as they walked in the door. She felt sure he would have been home now for at least a couple of hours and probably getting hungry. As she eased her car into the garage she turned to her son and said "Let's get these thing wrapped before he gets here. He'll be home in an hour."

They wrapped the gifts and stashed them away. They sat in front of the TV, talking and laughing together over Chinese food. Before long her son retreated to his X-Box. It was the end of July, no school and no set bedtime tonight. She picked up the book she had been trying to read for weeks and curled up with her dog intending to get through a few chapters.

"Mom." A voice came to her from far above. She felt like she was under water and somebody from above ground calling for her. "Mom." Again she heard it, closer this time. She must be nearing the surface she thought. Then loudly her son's voice yanked her up into the shallows of consciousness demanding, "Mom! Where's Dad?"

She must have fallen asleep. She was startled, fully awake now and puzzled. She looked over at the clock, it said 11:30. She picked up the phone and dialed his cell phone. He answered, "Hello". Something struck her at that moment, as real and stinging as a slap to her face. She felt her heart drop into her stomach like a rock dropped in a well. Something's wrong. Something is terribly wrong.

Something in his voice, it sounded strange, and almost strained. "Come home" was all she

could get out. Her throat went dry. Her tongue felt like it was glued to the roof of her mouth. She sat like a frozen statue with the phone to her ear, eyes fixed and unblinking. Everything around her had stopped. He said something about being 5 minutes from the house. She could hear a low whisper chanting in her head. "Get home now, get home now, get home now". It would be many months later that she would learn he was in the middle of taking off his clothes when he answered her call. By then it was too late for the sound of his wife's voice to stop what was about to happen. He was already in the deep end.

It was more than an hour later when she heard him pull into the drive. He came in through the basement. It was taking him too long to come upstairs. She wondered what he was doing down there. He appeared in the darkened bedroom doorway leering in at her, his eyes shiny in the low light of the T.V. He was drunk and disheveled, wearing only his work shirt and boxers.

"What happened?" she asked. "What did you do?" He mumbled something about a group of friends coming over and they had started drinking. "I don't believe you," she said. "Something happened. I know it." He started to climb into their bed. Appalled at the thought of this she stopped him abruptly and directed him to take a shower.

She laid there in bed while he was in the bathroom. Her mind was trying to organize the bits and pieces of the night. She thought about their interactions over the past few days. She must surely have overlooked some sign or clue. She could think of nothing. Theirs had always been a trustful relationship. There was no jealousy. She had always been so sure of his love and devotion to her. In their 22 years of marriage she had not once worried about infidelity.

Her thoughts broke apart and scattered as he emerged from the shower. He was wanting to know why she would think something had happened. How could she explain it? How could she make him understand the complete certainty she had felt the moment she heard his voice on the phone. "I just do" she told him.

"Where were his pants anyway?" she wondered. He didn't normally undress in the basement. His daily routine was to undress in the bedroom, first emptying his pockets of change, keys and wallet, then removing his belt and putting his phone on it's charger. She looked over to his dresser and saw the cradle of the charger was empty. The phone! Where was his cell phone? "I have to find his phone!" she thought to herself.

She waited until he was snoring loudly and slipped quietly out of their bed. Down to the basement she crept. On a table by the door to the garage she spied his keys and wallet but no phone. She went outside to his truck, tiptoeing barefoot across the gravel. She could see the glow of his cell phone inside.



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