Stories Hub / Loving Wives / Chronicles of a Shared Wife Ch. 15

Chronicles of a Shared Wife Ch. 15

by Pippa76 09/19/23

The wilderness years.

I've given this chapter a subtitle of 'the wilderness years' because that describes how this part of our journey felt. After Chris and up to the point of our latest 'special friendship' it felt like we, myself and hubby john, were wandering around lost in a wilderness of expectation.

Knowing what we wanted but not quite finding it, or perhaps believing we had found that special guy and then having our hopes dashed by one thing or another.

Men came and went, yes we had fun, lots of it. But what we craved eluded us for several years. And that, was something resembling our very special friendship we had enjoyed with Dave.

There were lots of encounters we had over the next three years, some minor some not so minor. There is too much material for me to write about every single experience, so I've decided to pick two of the most memorable episodes from the years leading up to the events of 2020.

However before I do that, there is the important matter of my good friend Rita.

A woman who had walked into my life seemingly from nowhere and went on to occupy so much of it.

Rita, who had kept a terrible secret well hidden for so long not just from me but others that shared her life, was about to reveal all.

Although that reluctantly, still clinging onto deception to the bitter's all the poor woman had known for so many years.

Now spring of 2017 my 41st birthday long gone.

Still in touch with young Chris, he had joined a dating agency after much pushing from me, and was starting to get some interest, things were looking good for him.

My son Chris our eldest, has left home. Gone to live at his girlfriends parents place. They have plenty of money and own a large four bedroom house in the country.

Acres of land too. Chris and Zoe live in a caravan on the property, which her mum and dad originally bought for her older sister who has since moved on.

Steve our youngest son left school last september and has moved up to the same college Chris attends. Now dating and spending less time at home, starting to come out of his shell. He still spends weekends at granny's house, giving us our saturday nights free.

And it's here on a saturday evening in mid april that we rejoin our story...

Sitting alone on the sofa, glass of red in hand, letting my mind wander back to a subject I've earlier been discussing with Rita, namely the hot topic of our new security guard at the store.

Tall and handsome, a mature guy in his early sixties, good posture and an air of authority about him...I like that. Piercing blue eyes and a suggestion of military background complete the attraction.

Yep, it's fair to say he's caught my eye, both myself and Rita fancy him but so far only I have managed to speak to the guy, Rita far too shy.

I've also aimed several meaningful looks his way but so far...zilch.

You can't win em all as they say, perhaps he's just not interested, I'm not exactly gods gift after all. Either that or he's a faithful husband, that mythical beast...they are rumoured to exist.

Just as I'm contemplating this I hear the hum of the boiler go silent, Rita has stopped showering. Only having a bath at home, and loving a hot shower, I let her shower here when she comes to visit.

Just then I realise I haven't called John, he's off on a 'stealth' camp this time, a roundabout would you believe at a busy junction...I'm sure he's going nuts!

It's seen as a challenge apparently. Anyway I always give him a ring to see if he's ok. Realising my phone is upstairs in our bedroom I head off to retrieve it.

Passing the bathroom door I hear Rita curse from inside, picking the phone up and going back to the bathroom door to ask if everything's alright we suddenly both recoil together in unison as Rita pulls the bathroom door open unexpectedly, she didn't know I was there and I didn't know she was going to open it.

Both yelping in surprise at the same time, Rita is completely naked amid a cloud of steam escaping through the open door.

What happens next happens fast, after the initial surprise Rita's face fills with panic and she quickly pushes the door to, "Bloody hell pip...didn't know you were there...I...I have no towel...could you get me one please love?"

My reply is delayed for a second, the shock at what I've just seen having a numbing effect, " yeah...just a sec..."

Retrieving a fresh towel from our bedroom I pass my friend it through a gap in the door, " I made you jump I was just getting my phone from the bedroom."

There's a 'no worries' from the bathroom and a promise she'll be out in a minute.

Walking slowly back downstairs and to the living room, still trying to make sense of what I've witnessed.

For Rita's arms and legs are covered in scars, like cut marks made by a knife. In amongst these scars, there are small circular reddy brown marks. These are not just on her arms and legs but also cover the rest of her body, with several on each breast.

The cut marks, I've seen something similar before years ago, it's complicated so I won't go into detail, they look like self harm scars. The cause of the small circular marks comes to me as I pour myself another drink...cigarette burns.

As I ponder what to do next it occurs to me that in all the time I've known Rita I've never seen her bare arms before, she always wears long sleeved blouses and also never wears a skirt, choosing trousers or leggings.

Now I know why.

The sound of footfalls coming downstairs wake me from my troubled thoughts and I look up to see Rita coming into the living room.

Seeing the worried expression on my face she quickly looks away at the TV, which is on but sound muted, "What we watching tonight?"

Her words almost spat out with haste.

Sitting down next to me and pulling the dressing gown I let her borrow, tighter across herself.

Looking down, the long garment covers all but her ankles.

Letting my gaze wander up from the floor to her face, I ignore her distractionary question...she knows what's coming next...I can see her almost wincing.

"Rita...I...I'm sorry...I couldn't help but notice did you get those scars?"

At first she denies it asking 'what scars?' Then begins playing it down with a 'oh them?' Telling me she used to look after a neighbours cat while they were away on holiday, apparently it hated her.

A fluent liar, they roll off her tongue in second nature no doubt due to decades of practice, but I'm not letting this go.

Beginning to feel angry at how easily she lies to me, her best friend...

I'm looking right at her but she won't return my gaze, staring at the it's the last thing on earth no doubt willing her lies to work while trying to act casual.

"Rita?...I know that's not true...that wasn't a cat."

She continues watching a silent TV still desperately trying to shrug my enquiry off, "What you on about's my drink?"

Looking around, then going to stand up I put my hand on her shoulder and at this she stops, remaining seated and eventually turning to look me in the eyes.

Initially there is a defiant gaze, which stirs my anger, why lie? Or rather, why lie to me? That's what stings.

Trying again, "It wasn't a cat...was it?"

Keeping eye contact and squeezing her shoulder at the same time.

She continues staring defiantly for a brief moment, then I see it soften and a confused frown form in its place, Rita looks away, down at the floor and then begins sort of mumbling to herself in a quiet voice.

"It's your fault...should of checked...fuckin towel...never saw that one coming did you..."

Her mutterings are difficult to hear she's speaking so fast and so quietly it's hard to understand. At first I think she's talking to me but quickly realise that Rita is having a heated conversation with herself.

It's like there's two of her, each blaming the other for the scars discovery.

Her voice sounds different, so nasty and sarcastic. It doesn't sound like Rita at all and it scares me.

Gently shaking her shoulder while saying her name in a loud voice seems to break the spell, she raises her head to gaze at me with a bewildered look, like she doesn't recognise me, "You...your not supposed to d..."

She's really scaring me now and I shake her again while interrupting, "Hey...hey Rita it's alright...I'm here ok?'s me pip."

At this I suddenly see her kind of 'snap back' into herself, the distant rambling stranger evaporating quickly.

Rita's eyes well up and her face contorts, chin trembling, as the tears begin to flow, "What am I gunna do...what am...I...gunna...."

The trembling words melt into heavy sobs. We embrace and I comfort her in soft tone, "It's alright I'm's alright."

But she's so upset that it takes a long while to calm her down.

All the time I'm comforting her my mind is in turmoil, I have long suspected that Rita is keeping something secret from me, something to do with her controlling hubby Carl and now it seems that my fears are founded.

Eventually I do succeed in calming my friend down, and I ask the question again.

And this time I hear the truth, all of it. From how the scars got there, continuing back through the past, Rita tells me her story.

By the time she has finished I'm in tears myself. What she has been put through by this evil man beggars belief.

I can't go into too much detail as there are anonymity issues. The cuts on her arms and legs are mainly self inflicted, some however are his handy work. The cig burns are all his, plus many broken bones over many years.

But it's when I try and do what I believe is the right thing, that this fucking animals true power over her is revealed.

After telling me her story I'm so outraged that I reach for my phone while telling Rita that I'm calling the police.

On hearing this she instantly becomes hysterical, snatching the phone away from me and almost screaming in my face, "No!"

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