Friday 24 August 2007

End of an Affair

The following is a true story with names and places changed - Tomaltach

Trish was filling the kettle when her husband Tom walked in - naked with dry blood on his mouth. Her "Jesus Christ what hap.." was interrupted by Brian who appeared behind Tom. "This bastard was riding my wife". Then silence. Trish was in shock not really taking it in, just confused. Brian turned and left.

Brian and Marie Dolan, both local to Ballydoran, seemed happily married. They had two teenage children, a beautiful house, and were reasonably well off. Brian was the owner of two fruit shops - one in Ballydoran and one five miles away in Carrick. He had devoted his life to building up the business. The light would be seen in the back yard till midnight, where Brian bagged apples from large boxes, loaded the truck for Carrick or, as his begrudgers claimed, he transferred Dutch potatoes into 'Dublin' bags. Ocassionally he would have a student at peak times in summer, but none stayed very long for Brian was horrible to work for. He had a terrible temper and tolerated only perfection. But even bedgrudgers admitted he was a ferocious worker, even workaholic.

Brian decided to act when hints from his brother, Gerry, who had heard repeated rumours that Marie was having an affair with Tom Kelly, eventually lost all subtilty. Brian initially refused to believe, but when he thought more about his wife's social life and that it had become totally divorced from his, for he had none, he realised that it could be true. Then there was the gradual decline in their sex life. And she had always had great time for Tom. Still, it was hard to believe. But above all he trusted Gerry. According to the brother, his friend Paul, a lorry driver, had met Marie on a back road near the house. Paul had to stop to let Marie pass and looking down from the lorry he saw Tom lying on the back seat.

Brian travelled to Dublin every Wednesday in his truck to buy fruit and veg at good wholesale prices. According to Gerry, Marie's car would leave around 9, and could be seen returning before 10, presumably with libinal cargo on board. Every Wednesday, like clockwork.

The plan was simple, but like everything Brian did, it would be meticulously thought out. On Wednesday he would leave for Dublin at 5 am as usual. But he would only go down to Gerry's - where he had agreed to meet another man who'd do the run to Dublin. Brian would drive back to his own house in a rental car with Gerry after nine. If Marie's car was gone Gerry would drop him.

And so it turned out. The car was gone. Brian was dropped, entered the house and, climbed into the attic. An enternity filled the next half hour before he heard the crrrt of the handbrake. Keys in the door. Voices. Marie and Tom. Brian was nervous but a well of anger bolstered his resolve. The pair below took forever to come up stairs. Were they caressing? Maybe they'd have sex in the Kitchen. Is that the Tv? They're going to shag in the living room. Tom, the baldy bastard. But no. Finally steps on the stairs, and voices, and Tom gave that smug pre-coital laugh. Cunt. They went to the bedroom. After a time, the talking died down. Brian was going to lower himself from the attic now - as practiced. He lifted the trapdoor to slide it across, but waited. He wanted to catch them in full flight. His heart pounded in his chest. He slid the trap door and lowered his muscular body, a short drop, and a creek of the floorboard, but far enough from the bedroom to go unheard. He crept to the door, then swung it open.

Marie's terrified face looked from around Tom's fat torso, then Tom turned, his ass still hidden under the duvet, and the blood drained from his face. Terror seized him as begged in a childlike whinge "Jesus, Brian, I'm sorry, I'm sorry". Brian, stern faced but remarkably restrained "Get out to fuck". Tom slithered nervously out of the bed, then stood up quick to an angrier "Get out to fuck". By now Marie was sobbing with her hand across her mouth. As Tom reached for his trousers Brian tugged him from the room "I said you get out to fuck", and he pushed Tom's white naked body towards the stairs. Again he pushed. And on ground floor, as he pushed Tom towards the back door, Brian's voice punched out in anger "riding my wife, you big fat bastard". The violent pushes became thumps. As Tom passed into the yard Brian attacked him violently, kicking and pummelling his trembling body. Tom fell to the ground roaring pathetically "aggggg, stop, please, I'm sorry". And Brian stopped. He wanted to vent his anger through kicking. He wanted each of Tom's yelps to heal something. To undo something. But reason blocked his violence like a wall. The ball of anger in his heart morphed to an ugly, draining void. After a pause he commanded Tom "Get into the car"

No words passed between the men as they drove the narrow, tree lined road back to Tom's farmhouse where his house-bound wife had begun another ordinary day in her fight against cancer.

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