I sleep until 11AM. Jana has been keeping things quiet for me. I take a shower and shave before appearing dressed a half an hour later.
What do you want to eat?
I don't know. What will you have?
Wala!1 I diet!
Oh, OK. Do we have any hotdogs in the freezer?
Yes, you want?
With rice or bread?
Aren't there any buns?
Yes but they also in the freezer.
That's OK, I will warm them up.
I will do it. You make a mess when you in the kitchen. I do it. How you want me to do the buns?
When you boil the dogs, put a cover on the pan and the sliced frozen buns on the cover.
Talaga?2 That work?
Yes. After a while, you will be able to spread the buns open a bit.
OK. I do it. How it go last night?
Good. Everything seems to be in place for us to put data on a server starting next week. I think Jonathan has signed the contract. I will check in a few minutes. The server has been ordered as has a firewall device. San Jose has all the relevant inventory documents. I get a few days off. Lucky me!
Good. We have an appointment with Everly at 2 to get things we need for the new house.
We? Oh hon, you go. I just want to rest for the day.
Yeh. You don't need me.
And in truth when it comes to selecting the ceramic or porcelain tiles for the new house, I am extraneous to the decision making. Same is true for the accent stonework on the outside walls. That's what she will be looking for today. And so, completely independent of 'Everly' issues, she really does not need me there.
As to the 'Everly' issue, I will just be in the way. I have no idea how this meeting will play out. I do not know if anything gets put together or if thermonuclear war is about to break out. However, for some inexplicable reason, I have faith that Eve has this under control.
Beyond the simple fact that she does not need me to be hurt or inconvenienced, she is smart enough to know how to avoid it, I hope.
Once Jana is gone, I open up the laptop. My need to unplug during the day has ended as I won't be doing anything for about a week. I open up my email to find a message from Jonathan, one from Cynthia, one from the engineer at her office, one from one of my old acquaintances I pointed Jake to yesterday and one from Eve. I open up Eve's first.
My dearest Gordon,
I don't know if you will see this before Jana meets with me. I hope you will have her come alone. I can handle this and it will all be OK.
I love you,
I certainly hope she is right. I open up Jonathan's email.
Dear Sir Gordon,
I do not have the English for this. I learn we are very lucky you help us. I do not think I will ever be able to thank you enough. We will do what you need to make us the success that you plan.
God bless you,
The engineer's email is next.
Would you please pass the word on to whoever is programming your Cisco ASA that: (1) we need you to get set up with a static IP for the outside interface; (2) please use a 172 octet private address for your LAN; (3) please allow for a VPN tunnel from a Cisco VPN Client. You can give your engineer my email address and we can set up the credentials.
I open up Cynthia's next.
My friend, and yes you are a friend. Even when I was losing business because of you, I knew you respected me and you were always decent. Now I see you trying with all you can to lift a company and maybe an economy up, only because you know you can. Eve and I have talked. They are not paying you a damned thing... oh sure a few building supplies that you really don't need for them to comp but, honestly, you would do it without that too. That much I got from Eve.
I also figured out what happened. Eve told me what your job specifications were for the assistant. You did not specify a woman. Knowing you, you thought you were getting a guy. Jonathan sends you Eve who meets your requirements. You put two and two together and tell her that if she takes the job, everyone will assume an affair. You were right of course.
Eve tells me she asked you what she should do and you said either walk away from the job or have the affair. Might as well. I can't blame you. There is no way I can see you spending night after night with that girl and not wanting to jump her bones. You gave her an option to back away and she tells me, she wanted both the job and you. She didn't tell you that but, she had designs on you from the first breath.
Look, you got very lucky. She is as smart and skilled as I have seen. Her communication skills are excellent. She will have no problem dealing with the module we are working on.
But, you idiot... Eve is too smart, too sharp, and too designing in her desire for you. I have no idea how she is going to manage your marriage and your wife but, you do not have control of this. Eve does.
Your real friend,
OK, so now I am focused. Right now Jana and Eve are likely greeting each other. I need a drink. Seriously, I need a drink. I get up, go to the kitchen and pour myself a whiskey over ice. I hope my entire life is not in the process of unraveling.
Well, there is nothing I can do about it now. I open up the last email.
Just got a curious email from Jake. He asked me to vouch for him with you. As an engineer, I am happy as hell to do so. None better. As to his moral compass, uh-uh. My best advice is to steer clear.
Well, Jake seems to be steering clear of me, so there is no problem with that. I am pleased to know the guy has good chops. I try to be happy about this last email but, am incredibly jittery now about Jana and Eve. I take two ibuprofen and lay down on the bed.
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Wake up, Gordon. Get cleaned up. We have a guest for dinner.
Your mistress, you bastard.
And with that Jana leaves the bedroom, if not exactly slamming the door, at least being loud about it. I'm pretty sure there is no rule about how a guy is supposed to react when in this situation. My cellphone is blinking its message light. I grab the phone. The text is from Eve.
Don't be afraid. Jana says she is going to give you a little hell when she gets home but, it's OK. Really. We make friends. I not looking for an apartment now. I move in with you and Jana. I see you for dinner meal. Relax. I love you. All OK. Truly.
It's sort of a good deal I didn't see this until after Jana did her thing. Otherwise I might have laughed at her act and that would have been a big mistake. As it is, I am not exactly sure how to behave. I don't need a shower, other than I have bed head. For me, a brush doesn't quite do it. So a trip to the CR, getting some water on my hair and then a brush solves the problem. I put on a new shirt and I am ready, other than leaving the bedroom means I run into Jana and what the fuck do I say? Clearly Jana and Eve have some understanding but I do not know what it is. I text Eve back.
What has happened?
She look at me, frowns and says, you are his assistant? I ask, what? She say, Gordon. You are Gordon's assistant. I say yes. She say how old? I tell her. She ask me about dialects, college. I tell. She then say... OK, you his mistress. She say, I can see it.
Wow, what did you do?
I say, Gordon tells me he is married. He say he love you and will never leave you. She say, Yes, yes, I know but, you his mistress. You young, smart and pretty. I am not. I say but, he will not leave you. She say, I think, I not have problem if he finds a girl for a day or two. She will not be good for him. I know him. But you. You are bad for me. He will love you. I tell her, Ma'am Jana, I love him. If he lose you, that will hurt him very much. He will blame me and leave me too. I do not want to see you hurt. It important you stay with him. She say, how I stay with him when he has you? I say, please try. I promise he not leave you. I know he love you.
She believe you? Why are you coming here?
We talk more. I tell her I look for an apartment. She say, no, she does not want to wonder where her husband is. She does not want that. I will live with you.
When are you coming tonight?
OK I know a little more. I still don't know Jana's feelings about this, or how it will work. In for a penny, in for a pound. I walk out of the bedroom. Jana is in the kitchen. OK Jana, what are you thinking?
I ought to ask you what you were thinking but, I know that already. You know, as soon as I see her face, I know. I don't know why but, I know. I can see she loves you. She does not look at me like an employee with an unpleasant assignment. She looks at me like she wants to love me. Who does that? Ha! Mistresses are of two types. They either want you dead, or they want what Everly wants, to protect me. So I see it. She not hide this any good. I see this and I think. Now I know. Yes I know. So I say to her, you Gordon's mistress. She blushes. Yes, she blushes. I ask her, you speak the languages? Yes she do. I ask her, you have college degree. Yes she do. She tell me what you always say. You not going to leave me. Ha! If I get rid of her, I will lose you too. Maybe I should. You are a bastard, Gordon. Yes a bastard. But we married too long. What I do? So I decide, Everly stay with us. You, you make her the accounting manager. You get her very busy. Maybe she no longer want you. I not think this will happen. I think she will be manager but not leave you but, I tell you to do this.
She tell not to blame you. You not choose her. She sent to you. She say it just happen. I not really believe this. It true that you not needing to go to the office for a few days?
So the three of us, we have time to talk about all this?
Yes, I guess so.
Good. I not sure how we do this. I not want to be embarrassed.
That may be unavoidable. I suspect those at Bayan Na will assume a relationship between Eve and me.
Ah, you call her Eve? OK. So you think it will be known about this?
Yes. Even if nothing had happened, if I spend late evenings alone with a pretty girl, well, people will assume.
And you need to because of the timezone, yes, I can see that. So when Jonathan send you this girl, he must have known.
Maybe. I told him that the person needed to probably be single as there would be many very late nights.
You assumed he would send you a man?
Yes. I did not ask for a woman.
Huh, that's what your Eve tells me too. She says she is the only one who meets your requirements. No man does. So maybe he think he has no choice. So you are saying even if she was not a mistress and if nothing happens, people will still assume and I will be embarrassed.
Yes. Don't you see that?
So if she moves in with us, that may confuse the gossipers! Good.
I must admit, Jana, I have never considered that way of looking at it. But you are right.
OK, tell me, Gordon, do you love this girl.
Jana, I love you, I am committed to you.
Yes yes yes... Do you love her?
Maybe. I don't know. I am amazed by her. She is very bright. She is very competent at work. But love, real love takes time. I like her a lot. But love? Jana, the only person I know for sure that I love is you.
But you want to love her. Yes I think you want to love her. How you love two? How you do that? I not think this is possible. I think you will choose.
And if I don't?
What if it is possible?
Jana! What if it is possible?
I not know.
We hear someone calling from the outside. I guess we both think it is Eve. Jana goes to the door. Come in! Come!
What I see, just should not be. The two hug, kiss each other's cheek and are holding hands. Jana and Eve go back out to the terrace, bringing in two suitcases. I can hear Jana tell Eve, We will just put these out of the way for a little bit. Later we will figure out how this all works.
I guess I am a little bit of a control oriented person and right now I feel a definite loss of all control. I hold my breath until both are back in the kitchen area, where I have remained. They are both looking at me, and I gather Eve is about to say something but, I think it is time for me to speak. I am not going to complain that I was blindsided because Jana has a far better claim on that than do I. No, that isn't right. I do not know what Eve thinks is going on but at least from Jana's point of view, I really think I do. Yes Jana knows me well after all these years. I know her as well for the same reason, and the conversation we have just had, before Eve appeared has reinforced my belief that I know Jana's mind.
Eve, I really don't know what you think Jana and you have decided but, you need to hear me out and Jana you need to not interrupt. Yes Jana you have a legitimate complaint about me, and we both know that this has been a long standing issue between us but, I need you to hear me out. ... Eve, just give me a 'yes or no,' have I ever told you I loved you?
No, but, I...
OK, Eve just the yes or no. I know you think you see things that go unsaid but, I want answers that are about what I have actually said. Have I ever told you that you can ever live with me?
You say I not live with you.
Have I ever told you that we would always be together?
No. Eve is crying now.
Why you hurt her Gordon? She your mistress, why you do that to her? Why you do that to someone you love?
Jana, I have strong feelings for Eve. This is true. But love is a special thing. I have it for you. It is something that exists for all time. Do I feel this way for Eve? That is far too soon to answer. And if it becomes true, it can only be true if it is in harmony with my love for you. I do not want to hurt you, Eve, but, I do not want to live a lie. We must be honest, both with ourselves and those around us. Eve, I never tell you I will ever leave my wife. Is that true?
Yes, Gordon, it is true.
Jana, you invited Eve to live with us, to keep an eye on her and on me. I understand your motivation but, what do you expect will happen?
Now Jana is crying. She runs off to our bedroom. Eve also crying, follows her. I decide it is time for a hot cup of tea.
This is amateur hour. Eve is, oh so wrong. I failed to factor in that a twenty year-old in love is not always on her 'A' game, and Jana, well Jana is acting out of some weird sense that having Eve here gives her some control. It does no such thing. I was not going to see Eve for close to a week and considered that a good thing, a chance to settle out. I had hoped that Eve either would have the sense to make good friends with Jana or just play it straight in the product acquisitions. I feared a mess but, thought Eve is too smart for that. On that last point I have been proven very wrong. No matter what, I am not leaving Jana.
Yes I am really more than fond of Eve, but, whatever we have had, these past few days are well, just a few days. They cannot trump years of love and happiness with my wife. Now, I am well aware that Jana could have chosen to leave me but, I didn't think she would and I still don't. She, sure as hell, called me a bastard, and has every right to do so. But breaking up this marriage is something that neither of us wants.
The tea is good and I am about to make a second cup when Jana approaches me. I see Eve standing back a few paces. Gordon, did I hear you say that you have strong feelings for Eve?
But not love?
It's too soon, Jana. Maybe it is the beginning of love. Only time will tell and it is not clear to me that we will be close enough, long enough, to resolve that question.
OK, I hear you say that you told Eve, she could not stay here. If I want her to stay, will you be OK with that?
Maybe. Why do you want her to stay?
Because she loves you. Because you might love her. Because you took her virginity. Because I know you will never leave me. Because maybe I like her and think it will be OK.
If she stays, I am going to fuck her, in this house, Jana. You are going to hear her tell me she loves me and is mine forever. Do you really think you will be OK with that?
You are already fucking her and she is already saying that. She tells me that. Do you still want to make love with me, Gordon?
Of course I want to make love with you. I love you, Jana. How many times do I have to tell you that?
But I am old now and she is young. I am not beautiful anymore and she really is. She understand what you do at work, I never did, not really. I not see why you will stay with me.
Oh Jeez. Eve, can you tell my wife why I will not leave her?
Yes, I think I can. Ms Jana, I think Gordon truly believes that his love for you is never to be broken. I think he cannot think of life without you. Maybe he will love me like that. If he can, I will be very lucky. You are lucky Ms Jana, he is truly yours for life. This is true no matter how old you get. Is that right Gordon?
Yeh. So Eve, knowing that, why do you want to live here? Why would you still want to love me?
To live here is to be with you, Gordon. I want that very much. I love you. That is not a choice.
Jana, how is this going to work with Eve living here?
We will talk about it after we have dinner. We also need to talk about what happens with the other modules and the next assistants who will be the managers if Jonathan keeps on sending you females.
Yes. Jana, have you spoken with Eve about this?
Yes, she is worried. It's funny but I am not. I think you now have a plan that includes Eve. Am I right?
Damn, you see that? Yeh, that's what I am thinking. It depends on how flexible Eve is on the subject.
But not me?
No, unless you want to be included, I don't see why. I was referring to the work, not our life here. No one and I do mean no one else is being added to my life. Anyone else needs to belong to Eve, not me.
Good. Now kiss me and kiss Eve. We are both your girls.
I guess I could just give them both a peck, but, no, that's not going to cut it. I take Jana in my arms. It's been a while since we really had a soul shattering kiss between us. Now's as good a time as any. I take my wife in my arms and show her what I mean by kissing her in a way that communicates my love for her. She is a bit surprised and maybe a bit embarrassed, trying to pull back. I don't allow it. I pull Jana in tighter and she finally melts into my arms, kissing back as fervently as I am giving it. When we finally break the clutch, she whispers in my ear, Thank you.
Eve is standing there. I don't know what she is thinking but I think I see fear. I take her gently into my arms, kissing her forehead, her eyelids, and her nose, before pulling her in for the real kiss. It is just as real, just as meaningful as the kiss I had with Jana. I pull Eve's body close in to me, our tongues dance. Our breath is shared.
I stand back and look at both of them. Jana, do you understand that if this continues I will fall as deeply in love with Eve as I am with you. Is this your desire? If not, you need to say something now, or forever hold your peace.
This is my desire. Both of us and no more.
OK, Eve, it is now on you to be as good, consistent, honest, and decent to me as Jana has been for all these years. I don't know what love means to you or how you can decide you love me as quickly as you have decided but, for me, it does take a while. You will have all the time you need, Jana has seen to that. The rest is up to you.
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