The tires squealed on the slick cobbles as I stopped outside Jo Mills' house. When I got into the car I had no idea of where I was heading and I left on autopilot. Stepping out of the car and activating the central locking I walked towards the door I steeled myself for the approaching conversation. I rang the bell. It was less than a moment before the door was answered but it felt like nothing less than an excruciating hour before Jo Mills' presence was seen through the frosted glass. The catch on the door clicked and the face that I loved appeared in the open door.
"Jo, darling we need to talk," Jo looked slightly confused and rather worried,
"What is the matter John?"
"I think it's better if we do this inside." My words didn't allay Jo's worries in fact it seemed that it made things worse. Jo moved quickly through her house and entered the living room, gesturing for me to sit down she sat herself on her armchair and looked at me, searching my face for clues, for anything that could let her know what was happening in my head.
"Jo, George knows..." Jo's face blanched. She looked almost sick with emotion.
"I don't know, I walked into the house and she just started to yell at me, telling me she knew and..." Jo looked worried,
"I'm fucked...We're fucked...Everything is over..." Moving across the room I held Jo's face in my hands and I made her look into my eyes,
"Jo, darling, my love, it shall be alright, don't worry..." Jo shook her face from my hands and looked over into the far corner,
"How can this be alright John? George is going to massacre me, she's going to rip apart my career, and she is going to feed me to the bloody wolves! And you are telling me that it'll all be fine!" I had no idea what to say, Jo was right, my wife was vicious, vindictive, and powerful and she would stop at nothing to reduce both Jo and I to unemployable wrecks in a vocation within which the elitist maxim of 'It's not what you know but who you know' was golden. Unfortunately for us both, George knew everyone worth knowing and was not afraid to use her contacts. I looked deep into Jo's icy blue eyes, such a cold colour harboured a wealth of warmth, of feeling, of compassion. This was a woman who had so much to give, both legally and emotionally and I wasn't about to let that all go to waste just because I couldn't keep my hands to myself.
"I'm going to sort this out Jo, I can't let you be sacrificed, don't worry, George'll be all to ready to assume that it's all my fault." I couldn't help myself, I kissed her, our lives were falling apart and all I could do was lean forward and kiss her soft lips. She did nothing to stop me, she reciprocated beautifully, she was the woman of my dreams and she was kissing me.
Standing I took a long look at the gorgeous woman sitting in front of me and I decided that no matter what I had to do I would defend her, even if that meant I had to go home and face my slightly drunk wife.
The key stuck slightly in the door as I pushed it open, anticipating a barrage of glasses to be thrown at my head. I was happily mistaken. Nothing flew at me, physical or verbal, and everything was silent. Moving down the hallway as quietly as possible I tried to escape the wrath of George, a wrath that was almost inevitable for me to incur. Pushing open the living room door I saw George exactly as she was before, the only difference being a rather renewed glass of whisky lolling in her hand.
"George, we need to talk..." She looked at me, her eyes full of contempt,
"Of course we need to talk! What a stupid, cretinously obvious thing to say!" I let her rant at me, I deserved it, "You are unbelievable. I tell you that I know about your affair and what do you do?, you don't offer explanations, you don't beg me not to throw you out, you just stand there looking so damn infallible!" I thought it better not to ask about the half empty glass in her hand. I just let her continue with her furious postulations, "I don't think I'd be quite so angry if it didn't seem like this didn't faze you, that this wasn't such a great tragedy..."
"George, I honestly don't know how to react, I've been a fool a complete and utter fool and I don't know how you can even bear to look at me." In any sober state George would never have fallen for such an obvious ploy but after her little venture into the drinks cabinet she was more malleable, I could see her softening, so I continued, "I understand if you don't want to hear me explain, I'll grab a case and I'll be out of the house," I turned to leave, but before I could walk out of the room I could hear George's voice beckoning from her chair,
"John, wait," I turned back around to look at her "I'm not going to kick you out. We do need to talk though, you need to know just how much you've hurt me," I had never seen George looking so vulnerable, walking towards her I took her hand and pulled her to her feet. Looking her straight in the eye I mustered all the sincerity that I could and tried to look as genuine as possible,
"I'll never hurt you like that again, I never meant to hurt you, I love you George, I love only you." The lies tasted bitter in my mouth, and I knew that Jo would understand why I had to do what I had to do, it was self-preservation and nothing more.