AUTHOR NOTES: This is very much a first draft – I wanted something less “happy” to occur in Cabin 22, and this story came to mind. Actually, a variant came to mind first, but as I put it down the story re-wrote itself in my head. I am not totally happy with the Journal entry at the end, but re-wrote that a dozen times until I came up with the current version.
So, please accept it for what it is, the spelling may be OK, but grammatically that’s about all I’ll promise, and it may well change in emphasis again before the final draft…
It was David and Jackie’s 24th wedding anniversary, and they had decided to celebrate it at Silver Oaks Cabins this year. They always did something to mark their anniversary, and as she parked and stretched her legs, Jackie tried to remember all of them. There was the honeymoon, of course, when they went to Lanzarote. She remembered the first anniversary was in Paris, and then Rome – or was that year 3? That’s right, she thought, on their second anniversary she was pregnant with Julian, and they’d gone to a place in Wales where she was sick every morning! Then the 4th anniversary was that trip to the hotel in the Highlands of Scotland, were David had tried golf for the first time. She smiled when she remembered that for year 5 they had tried Wales again, but she was sick each morning, and it turned out she was pregnant with Jessica, and they had laughed that they would have to stop going to Wales if that kept happening!
After that there was Dublin, Cyprus, a cruise on the Mediterranean and, well, it became a bit of a blur after that, so many celebrations, and so many places. She was already wondering about next year, and the big quarter century of marriage; they would have to mark that with something special, surely? Maybe they would go on a Caribbean cruise, they had never done that. Or, instead of a vacation, they might have a big party at the house, and invite all their family and friends.
Her thoughts were interrupted by David driving into the parking place next to hers. He had suggested they both drive their own vehicles to the cabin, so that they would have both his big Land Rover, and her smaller hybrid. That way, he said, they could be flexible about which car to take out when they went sightseeing. It seemed like an unnecessary expense to Jackie, especially as she had thought they would walk in the woods and sit on the beach most of the time, but she went along with it. In any case, money wasn’t really a problem with David’s new job, and her own little design business ticking over nicely.
Jackie noticed that David was finishing up with a phone call as he parked, and she wondered inwardly if these calls from his office would continue while they were here. She knew he was super busy and really successful, but sometimes she wished for the old care-free David, the one who took vacations without bringing any work with him.
“OK Jason, I’ll talk to you soon.” David looked up from the call to his assistant at the office and saw Jackie standing by her car, waiting for him. She really was an exceptional wife, he told himself for the thousandth time. Talented, witty, charming, a good hostess, a pleasant companion. And she had kept her looks over the years too, a little bit plumper, maybe, and her hair was tending to gray a bit, but really, not too bad for a women her age. Our age, he corrected himself.
He left the thought uncompleted, smiled at Jackie and climbed out of his car. They kissed briefly and then they busied themselves unpacking and settling in the cabin, which they agreed was charming, romantic and quaint. Jackie noticed the Journal, and flicked through its pages while David finished unpacking. She would have to put something really nice in there, she decided.
Then they drove to a restaurant that David had heard about in a village a few miles away, where they had a well-respected chef who only used locally produced food. David’s phone vibrated twice, but he valiantly ignored it, and Jackie gave him an extra encouraging smile for being so thoughtful.
The meal was excellent, the service attentive, the bill huge, and they both thoroughly enjoyed the experience. As they got back in the car, Jackie suggested they drive along the coast road north to Cromer. David hesitated at first, but then agreed that it sounded fun, so he sat back while Jackie maneuvered the narrow lanes and byways.
The drive was splendid, and the sun was setting as they made their way back to their temporary home in the woods. David took over driving on the way back, and it was Jackie’s turn to relax and admire the scenery. She thought it was a really romantic setting, and the idea crossed her mind that maybe they would make love that evening. They both lived such busy lives that there was hardly any time for intimacy nowadays. Jackie tried to remember the last time, and realized with a shock that it must have been before David got this new job, so probably 8 or 9 months ago.
She had an idea, and decided to put it into action as soon as they got back to the cabin. Looking through her suitcase, she quickly hid her nightdress, and then told David that she had forgotten to pack one. As David poured them both a whiskey, Jackie took off her clothes and laid on the bed in just her panties.
This action seemed totally lost on David, who appeared preoccupied in checking his phone, but he did look up and ask if she was warm enough, or did she need another blanket or anything?
Ah well, thought Jackie, at least I tried.
David was feeling conflicted. He was aware that they had not had sex for quite some time, but there were a lot of reasons for that. They had been married for a long time, after all, and then there was the stress of his job, and Jessica’s business took a lot of effort too. And then of course there was…
No, David told himself. No, this vacation is all about Jackie and I, nothing more. Not that there was anything ‘more’, really. Nothing.
Even so, he somehow couldn’t bring himself to acknowledge Jackie’s clear intention. He had seen her pack her night clothes, just like she always did. In a moment of insight he wondered if she missed the physical side of their marriage. It had been OK to start with, but he thought that really they should be over all that sort of adolescent stuff by now. There were really good friends, and liked each other’s company. They were content, wasn’t that enough?
Just then an email from Jason floated up on his phone, and he found himself opening it without really thinking.
The next couple of days were filled with trips to the coast, walks in the woods, and a seemingly endless array of different restaurants to eat in. It was fun, lighthearted and, Jessica thought, romantic in an easy, low-key way.
Their actually anniversary was on the last full day of the vacation, and they decided to celebrate with a nice lunch at the restaurant they had been to the first night they were there. Rather than have to drive, which meant one of them had to be careful of what they drank, they got a cab there. The meal was splendid, with a different wine accompanying each course, and brandy with the coffee after the meal.
Neither of them were really drinkers, so they were both somewhat light headed as they were driven back to the cabin, and Jackie flirted outrageously with David in the back seat of the cab. Rather than go into the cabin, David suggested that they go for a last walk in the woods. Jackie pouted; what she really wanted was for David to grab her and carry her off to bed, but, she reluctantly realized, that was not going to happen. So she took his arm and let him lead her into the woods.
It was cool and calming in the woods, and they strolled along, sometimes commenting on a view or a bird song, but mostly just walking arm in arm. Jackie was slowly getting less drunk, but at the same time her bladder was starting to scream that it needed release. She was enjoying the walk, and the alone time with David, so she didn’t say anything for the longest time. Eventually, however, it became too urgent not to do something about.
“David, I need to pee” She said.
“OK, we can head back to the cabin, it’s probably only a mile or so.”
“No,” Jackie replied. “I need to pee right now or I’ll wet myself. I’ll go behind this tree, you stand guard and make sure no one is coming!”
Without waiting for a reply she rushed to the other side of the tree, shifted her clothes as best she could, and squatted to urinate. As she did so a thought crossed her mind.
“Sorry about that,” she said as she returned to find David staunchly guarding the path. “I’d wet my panties a bit, so I left them off.” So saying she flicked her skirt so that David could see that had nothing on underneath. David blushed slightly, and they carried on along the path. Coming to a bridge over a stream Jackie stopped and lent against the railings, looking out over the water. “Stand behind me.” She said to David, and as he did she guided his arm around her waist, then moved his hands up to cup her breasts.
She sighed. “Doesn’t that feel nice?” She said. She let go of David’s arms, and bent slightly over the railing, pushing back ever so gently into David’s. She started to slowly move up and down, in a way she was sure was irresistible.
David spluttered. He knew what was expected of him, and he was willing himself to just do what Jackie wanted. But somehow he could not bring himself, either physically or emotionally, to do it.
Jackie straighten up, and turned on him.
“What the fuck David! I’ve given you all the signals I could, and I can’t be any more obvious that I want us to have sex, so what’s the problem? And don’t give me that ‘I’m tired’ crap, we’ve been here a whole week and nothing. Don’t you find me attractive anymore? Or,” Suddenly a horrible thought crossed her mind, “Oh shit David is that it? You’re having an affair? Some young bitch of a secretary has her hooks in you, is that it?”
David felt like he had been backed into a corner, that there was nothing that he could do anymore to hide from reality. He didn’t want to admit it, and he’d hid the truth even from himself. But Jackie was right, there was something wrong, and it was time he admitted it.
“It’s not that, really, it’s not anything I planned or wanted. It’s just that…”
David took a deep breath and started again.
“You know you were my first real girlfriend.” David started. “Growing up I always thought that I’d never find someone special to love, and then you came along and we were happy.”
“We are happy!” Jackie said, even though she was starting to cry tears of fear, and her stomach was trying itself in knots. She felt something bad was coming, it must be an affair, she told herself, sex with a younger woman that was OK she could win him back, she knew it.
“The thing is,” David found it hard to put into words, but as his jumble of emotions forced themselves out, he knew he had to admit what had to be said.
“Jackie, I do love you,” he said at last. “You have been the best wife that a man could ever want, never think that any of this is about you.”
“Any of what?” Jackie said through her tears.
“The thing is, when I started in my new job, I got a personal assistant, Jason. Well, you’ve met him, he’s openly gay, and well, I find I’m attracted to him. Actually, I think I’ve fallen in love. I couldn’t stop myself and I’ve tried to ignore it, or suppress it, but…” Once again he stopped, unsure of the words he needed to express himself. With a growing dread, Jackie slowly started to comprehend what David was trying to say.
“Are you saying that this Jason is your, She struggled with the word that had to be spoken, “boyfriend?” The thought was ridiculous, but at the same time, it made sense of the late night phone calls and how David hurriedly hung up whenever she came into the room. She had thought he was being polite, but maybe it was something else.
“I don’t think boyfriend, is right really” David stammered. “But yes, I think I’m gay and I think I want to be with Jason.”
“What the fuck does that mean, you think you’re gay? We’ve had 2 children together, was all that a lie? Just you joking along and laughing at me behind my back while you screwed rent boys?”
Her fear was slowly being replaced by anger; a generalized anger directed at David, true, but also at herself for not seeing the signs earlier.
“No Jackie, I have never been with anyone, I promise you, not to this day.” It was important to David that Jackie understand the struggle he had been going through. “All through school I kept having feelings for boys, but I was taught over and over that it was wrong. So I smothered those feelings for years, and we were a happy couple and I thought that was enough.
“But then I met Jason and all my resolve came crashing down. I’ve never said anything to him about it, but I’m pretty sure he knows anyway. I’ve never done anything with him, and I don’t even know if he would have me, but I can’t deny it any longer. I thought, no, I hoped that being here with you this week would make it all go away, but being away from him is just making me more sure.
“I’m sorry, Jackie, I really am” He trailed off, unsure if he had said enough or too much.
Jackie, meanwhile, was trying to make sense of it all. “So what happens now? Are you going to throw me aside like a used rag? Are you going to make a mockery of our 24 years and our children? What about all our plans for the future, are you going to give that up just to try being gay for a while? You turn down sex with me, but want it with some little…” She didn’t have the words, so she left the sentence unfinished.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, all I know is that I can’t go on living a lie anymore. I just have to take this chance to be true to myself, to the real me.” He looked pleadingly at her. He didn’t want this to end badly, but at the same time, he knew deep inside that it was going to.
“I can’t stand to talk to you, go get your things and get the fuck out of my life you worthless faggot.” She spat out the words through tears of pure rage.
Without a word, David turned and headed back to the cabin, packed a few things and got in the Land Rover. As he drove he put in a call. “Hi Jason it’s David. No, nothing to do with the office, I just wondered if you were free tonight? Maybe we could have a drink and talk?”
Jackie stood on the bridge for a long time, reliving over and over the conversation that had just turned her world upside down. Only as dusk fell did she move, and made her way to the cabin. She had a fleeting hope that David’s car might still be there, and that he would plead with her to forgive him, which she would have done without a seconds thought. But his car was gone, as was his bag. She fell on the bed wept herself to sleep.
Jackie woke to a gray dawn outside. She had the momentary hope that it had all been a bad dream, but the empty space next to her in the bed told her that it was all too real. She was angry at David. How could he ruin all her dreams and let her world crumble around her ears. Why couldn’t he just have had an affair and got it out of his system. He wasn’t gay, how could he have been? It must be an excuse, she concluded, there must be something else behind it, some reason why David wanted to hurt her so.
She packed up her things and put them in the car. Coming back in the cabin to check she had not left anything, she spotted the journal. A bitter smile crossed her lips, as she recalled her thought that first day to put something nice in it when she left. Instead, there was only one thing on her heart that she wanted to share.
Cabin 22 Journal.
WHAT A TOTAL FUCKING BASTARD.