Nervous indecision, guilt, anxiety, delight, fear of the future, fear of the consequences of his indiscretion.
All of the above?
John had been unable to sleep since he received the text last night. He could tell that Carol Ann was sleeping beside him, her breathing slow and quiet, the peaceful sleep of those who have nothing to hide.
His reassurances had obviously worked, just as well he had bought the second pay-as-you go mobile or he really would be in deep shit by now.
He corrects himself, he is still in deep shit. But at least now he has a choice and he has some control over the outcome. If Carol Ann had read the contents of that text then she would have dropped him in a second.
He had smiled when he saw the text waiting for him, he always smiled when there was a text waiting for him. She was the only person that knew this number. During the day at work he sat there with the volume off, placing the phone on top of his pc so that the vibration reverberated against the hollowness of the box.
But at home, it was on silent, ringer off, vibration off. The phone was then placed in his secret hidey-holes where his wife would never look, high up above the kitchen units or alternatively above the vanity units in the little used family bathroom. Where he had his collection of Q Magazines waiting and would spent time reading while he did his business and sent a few texts. Easy discreet access was the key.
He was confident that there was no reason for her to look in these places. He could always access the phone easily, either going to the loo or making her tea and toast in the morning before he went to work and she left an hour later.
This was a routine that he followed every day without fail. The consequences were too serious to get it wrong.
At first the text seemed ordinary, nothing obvious to worry about.
“Can you have a look at this pic and tell me if you see what I see? x”
He smiled and wondered what it was, she often sent him pics of her dog or from the internet, usually daft uplifting thoughts, that kind of bored him in their predictability but pleased him that she thought of him like that. That somehow she was thinking of him just as much as he was thinking of her even although he was trapped in a relationship with another woman.
At first he struggled to make out what the image was, the screen was nearly all grey with some white plastic device and a small grey screen containing one thick pink line and one extremely faint pink line, little more than a few dots on his screen.
Then he recognised it, every nerve firing and silent words falling from his mouth.
“Fuck! . Fuck, Fucking Fuck! Jesus, Fucking Fuck!”
He stared at it, zoomed it in. The line, if it was actually a line, was extremely faint against the grey backdrop. But there was definitely pink there.
“I thought you were making tea?” His wife calls, sounding much nearer than the lounge.
He quickly closes the phone and sticks it in his pocket, reaching for a couple of mugs and placing them on the worktop and leaning against it doing his best impression of looking nonchalant.
“I was just waiting on the kettle to boil” He replies just as she comes through the door.
“But you haven’t even put it on yet”
“Oh sorry honey, I thought I had, you know what I’m like nowadays!” He smiles at her, hoping that she buys the excuse.
“Yes, you’re definitely getting worse since you hit the big 5-oh!” She smiles at him and turns the kettle on then kisses him gently on the cheek.
He pulls her towards him, holding her tightly.
“I’m sorry” he whispers “I’m really sorry.”
And on this occasion he actually means it.