She wouldn’t be consoled.

It didn’t matter what I said; her tears continued to flow.

I’m not good with tears.

It triggers something in me, and I want to squirm and possibly run away. I tried not to do either.

My wife has impossibly high standards for herself. She can be forgiving of me and others, but she expects more of herself. I admire her for it, but she suffers from her beliefs.

Through the sobs, I pick up a name, Jonathon. I don’t know any Jonathon’s, not recently. There was a John and a Johnno when I was growing up, but that was a while ago.

I hold my breath and try to decipher what has gone wrong.

Something about ‘last Friday’, ‘drinks after work’, ‘attracted to’, ‘big shoulders’, ‘walked me to my car’.

The next few minutes were an indecipherable mumble mixed with the occasional, “I’m sorry”.

“Did you kiss him or did he kiss you?” I asked abruptly. Debra stopped crying and looked at me through puffy eyes.

“He kissed me, but I let him,” she said before burying her head in my lap again.

“Not the end of the world kid,” I said. “If you’d stuck your hand down his trousers, I might have been upset, but a kiss can happen. Don’t beat yourself up.”

My wife stopped crying and looked at me.

“You’re being nice to me. I’d feel better if you yelled at me and got upset. I deserve it,” she said.

“Not my style, you know that. You fix yourself up, and we’ll go out and eat, and you can tell me all the lurid details,” I said.

“Nothing else to tell. He kissed me, I waited too long before pulling away. I did tell him not to do it again, and he smiled, but I think he got the message,” she said, sitting up now.

Debra disappeared into the bathroom to fix her makeup, and I did a mental inventory of my collection of bats and clubs. The heavyweight cricket bat my brother gave me for Christmas should do nicely.

Beating the living daylights out of a bloke who came on to my wife seemed less brutal if one used a gentleman’s weapon — a cricket bat.

I call out to Debra, “Where does this Johnathon live, darling?”

“I can’t hear you, dear, what did you say?”

“Nothing dear, I’ll work it out. Do you remember where I put my cricket gear?”

“In the garage, but it’s still winter. You won’t need it for months yet.”

 “Best to know where these things are. Never know when I might need a workout,” I said.

3 thoughts on “Inconsolable

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