A Fling With Fred
By Sandy Olson
Nancy gave Fred thirty days to decide about leaving his wife. It started as a fling, when they met up at their fortieth high school reunion. Nancy was not a stranger to making quick connections with men. Though married, she took trips alone and had little adventures with new men. Her plan for Fred was sparked by their history together as lovers in high school years ago. They were both more than ready to start an affair. He explained to Nancy: “My wife’s a hundred pounds overweight and I don’t have sex with her anymore.”
Nancy called it a fling when she talked about Fred to her friends. But she couldn’t explain to herself why, shortly after it started, she asked her husband Steve to move out of their home.
That twenty-four year marriage was gone in three weeks. Now she was free to meet Fred on his business trips around the country, have wonderful meals and make love together. He told her, “You have the body of a thirty-year-old,” and she loved hearing that, loved the phone calls and sexy emails.
But after a few weeks her delight was mixed with growing resentment that she couldn’t talk to him on weekends when his wife was home. She wanted Fred to move into her house and make a new life with her. She brushed aside any concern about his career. Whatever it is, he can do it from San Francisco, she thought, not quite sure of what he did for work.
Nancy gave him an ultimatum: “We won’t communicate for thirty days so you can have 30 days to decide.” She flew to Hawaii, on a trip planned months earlier with a friend. It didn’t go well; the friend was annoying, the rented condo too far away from the shops, the hikes and outings not much fun, and she ate too much.
At the end of those days, she finally called him. “Hi, Nancy.” He sounded surprised. Had he thought of her at all, she wondered.
“Well, Nancy, my wife promises to lose weight and we’re going into couples counseling twice a week. We’re going to try and make a go of it.” She was stunned. After he ended the call she pushed the conversation to the back of her mind, saying to herself, This isn’t the end.
Back in San Francisco, she called her friend Terry, who asked, “What are you going to do next?”
“I told him I want to have dinner with him the next time he’s in San Francisco. But he decided to stay with his wife.”
“Anyway, if he should come around, you’d have a cheating man on your hands. He’d be likely to do that to you, too.”
Nancy, irritated, said nothing but the next day she emailed Terry. “You’re too negative to be my friend. I need someone supportive and I want to let our friendship fade.” She poked the “Send” button hard and the email went into cyberspace.
She closed the computer, and looked around the room. It isn’t the end, she thought. “I can get him back.” A tinge of fear emerged: maybe if things didn’t work out (but they would), she would take Steve back. He was a better kisser than Fred, after all. She went into the kitchen and made herself a cup of tea.