A man is caught out when his wife discovers that he is not spending his Saturdays at a tennis workshop, but has been cheating on her for years.
Anna Carson had been married to Jonathan Beadle for three years now, and she knew in her bones that something was wrong. Not that he was less charming or attentive, or that he acted differently.
But somehow Anne knew, just as you know when someone is watching you, by the stirring of the hair on the back of your neck. Jonathan was cheating. Anne just couldn't shake that feeling.
Anne had met Jonathan when he had joined her father's prestigious company as a young architect. She had crashed into him in the hall one day when she was joining her father for lunch.
He had been carrying a series of documents that had scattered, and he had looked annoyed. Anne had been helping him gather up the papers when her father had arrived. "Anne! I see you've met our new architect." he'd said in his booming voice.
Then he had turned to Jonathan, "You mustn't mind, Beadle, my little Anne is always with her head up in the clouds!" he'd looked at Anne fondly, "She's an artist!"
Jonathan had smiled at her then, and his scowl was replaced with a smile of such charm that she was dazzled. He'd said to her softly: "You'll have to make it up to me...somehow..." Anne had found herself blushing, excited, and fearful all at the same time.
The charming young architect | Source: Pexels
She had met Jonathan for coffee, then dinner, and before long she was head over heels in love with him. Her father had been cautious. "Annie," he'd said, "Beadle is a reasonable architect..."
"But, daddy, you hired him..."
Mr. Carson held up his hand. "He's far from the most talented, Annie, but he is the most persuasive, and I've seen him talk clients out of a cast-iron idea time after time. That's what makes him valuable to me, and why I think he's wrong for you. He's too charming."
But Mr. Carson couldn't point out any occasion in which Jonathan had been less than honest, and Anne wouldn't have wanted to hear anything against him anyway. She was in love, and miraculously, this amazing, handsome man loved her back.
Falling in love | Source: Unsplash
Mr. Carson installed his adored only daughter and her brand new husband in a luxurious house in a gated community after the lavish wedding, and on their return from their honeymoon in Tahiti, they moved in.
Jonathan continued working for Mr. Carson, and took up tennis, taking full advantage of the gated community's splendid playing fields, while Anne continued painting and teaching art at an inner-city community center.
Their weekends were idyllic, spent together pottering around the house, or driving out into the country in search of the perfect little cottage that Jonathan dreamed of transforming into a country get-away.
Then something changed. Something Anne couldn't name. Maybe the way he kissed her or touched her. Sometimes it seemed as if he avoided looking into her eyes. He was cheating, her gut told her. But how to be sure?
The dream wedding | Source: Pixabay
Then Jonathan told her he had joined a tennis workshop run by a former Wimbledon champion in order to improve his game. It would be the whole Saturday, he explained, and he didn't know what time he'd be home.
Anne nodded thoughtfully. "Darling, do you want me to pack your tennis bag?"
Jonathan smiled gratefully. "Would you, babe? That would be such a help! I have a meeting on Friday and it may run late..."
Anne smiled bak. "Anything for you, babe!"
The beautiful new house | Source: Unsplash
That evening Anne carefully checked Jonathan's tennis racket, packed in a freshly laundered set of tennis whites, and carefully filled his favorite tennis shoes to the brim with industrial glue.
Then she packed everything away in his Adidas sports bag and left it in the hall, in its usual place. As promised, Jonathan came home late, had a quick shower, and went to bed.
The next morning he was gone before Anne woke up, and so was the sports bag. Anne spent her day at the spa, struggling to keep thoughts of what might happen out of her mind.
That evening she set out a lovely dinner, Jonathan's favorites, lit some candles and opened a bottle of wine. She was sitting in the garden sipping a glass of wine when Jonathan arrived.
Something changed | Source: Pexels
"Darling!" he exclaimed, "You spoil me!"
Anne smiled. "I missed you so much, I decided to make your favorites...How was the workshop?"
Jonathan said hurriedly "Let me go have a shower, and I'll tell you over dinner, OK?" and he rushed off.
Half an hour later Anne and Jonathan were sitting at the diner table, and she brought up the subject he'd tried to avoid. "So, hun, tell me, was the workshop worth it?"
Suspicion | Source: Unsplash
Jonathan took a sip of his wine. "I learned a lot, let me tell you! The guy gave me some pointers that are going to transform my backhand."
"Lovely," smiled Anne, "And did you play any matches?"
"In the afternoon, he matched us up against each other. I lost...but I learned a lot!"
"That's what matters, what we learn...That's what I tell the kids. By the way, I packed in the Nikes, not the Adidas, I hope it was the right pair?"
"Everything was perfect, as always, babe!"
The tennis workshop | Source: Unsplash
Anne got up and walked to the bedroom, within minutes she was back. She deposited the tennis shoes on top of his plate, splattering the table with meat and mushroom sauce.
"These tennis shoes?" she asked sweetly, "Are these the shoes you played in?"
Jonathan gaped at her. "What..."
"Look at them, Jonathan, are these the shoes you wore?"
"Of course, what...?"
The tennis shoes | Source: Unsplash
Anne smiled. "I filled them with glue. To the brim. You didn't wear these, and you didn't go to the workshop. You are having an affair."
Jonathan was scarlet-faced, all his charm drained away. He didn't look that handsome anymore, Anne noticed. "It's not what you think..."
"Of course it is Jonathan. It is EXACTLY what I think. I think you married me to get your hands on my father's company, I think you didn't have the willpower to stay away from other women even for such a prize, and I think you've lost everything."
"You're divorcing me?" Jonathan asked coldly.
"Yes I am, and you can pretty much kiss your job goodbye."
Glue uncovered the truth | Source: Pixabay
"Don't worry," Jonathan sneered, "I'll get my pay-off. This house is worth three and a half million dollars, and I get half of that..."
"You get nothing Jonathan," Anne smiled. "You see, my father didn't trust you, so the house is in his name. So you get...NOTHING! Go pack, and don't forget your tennis shoes."
Jonathan walked out of his marriage with the clothes on his back and his tennis shoes. His career was ruined, and he ended up struggling for a living as a freelance architect, trading on all he had left, his charm.
Anne got herself back together, and with her father's help and support opened an art school for at-risk children. Two years later she met a kind, sweet man who loved and cherished her, and had no idea who her father was.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Good looks and charm can hide a devious heart. Handsome is as handsome does, and Anne found out too late that Jonathan's charm and handsome face didn't reflect his character.
2. Trust your instincts. Anne knew instinctively that something was wrong, and she was proved right. When our intuition warns us that someone or something is 'off' we should listen.
3. Cheaters always get caught. Jonathan thought he had set up a perfect alibi for his affair, but he forgot the little details and gave himself away.
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Any resemblance in this story to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
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