Short Fiction

Love Beyond Limits

Sprawled out on the worn dark blue couch Max flipped through the channels and stared blankly at the television with his phone gripped tightly. Yellow leaves fell from the trees and a breeze blew through the window giving Max chills on the back of his arm; the weather was perfect that day. Pamela, his wife, was long gone to work another twelve hours shift at Atlanta’s finest hospital. It was after noon so he knew Amber would be calling soon to say good morning. As always he was anxious to hear her voice. With every chug of his beer he swallowed a gulp of guilt. Max justified his affair with the fact that they married straight out of high school; he had no time to test the waters of the world. Plus they had young children to tend to at all times. Although he was attracted to Pamela and loved her dearly, he often thought their relationship was routine and stale. The truth was Max desired Amber from day one. She was infectious. He was magnetized to her and fed off of her energy. Amber gave him a sense of freedom and made him feel masculine.   The lust he had pumped through his veins to his heart giving him an emotional connection. Max never wanted the blood pump through his veins without Amber in his life. At the same time, Max would never allow Pamela to live life without him. She gave him the greatest gifts of his life. He wouldn’t give up all the time they spent together, the faithful years and three babies she gave him. She was familiar because Max knew Pamela’s every secret that she didn’t have. She was honest and loyal and hid nothing from him. Strong and determined, Pamela was most men’s dream. He would never be a perfect husband but also was never going to give up the perfect wife.

Pamela, stood five foot four inches and 140 pounds but she wore her weight in all the most desirable places. She had a beautiful face full of youth. With radiant skin she was always glowing even when she was not pregnant. Her charismatic light was bright enough to fill an entire room. Even though she worked hard and took care of three kids she still managed to take excellent care of herself.   Pamela’s nails were always manicured to match the toes that she always hid in tennis shoes. Kind and friendly, Pamela was always patient. Although she was open minded she was a God fearing woman. Her morals were deep rooted. Her opinions on prostitution, adultery, and abortion did not need to be discussed; they were assumed. Max loved and hated the fact that, since Pamela graduated college, he knew her like clockwork. She woke up every morning at five-thirty. She cooked breakfast before waking the children. After sitting them down for breakfast she bathes and lotions every inch of her skin. To make the scent linger she always sprays her perfume on her naked body under her scrubs. After she dropped Marianne at school she took the boys, Max Jr. and Mark, to daycare. Always early to her seven A.M. shift she got coffee and a piece of fruit before clocking in. She called Max every day at two P.M. on her lunch break. After work she picked up all the kids from daycare. At home she cooked dinner, bathed the kids, read bedtime stories, and put the kids to sleep before retreating to her bedroom. Usually she retired to bed with a book in hand leaving her husband to pleasure himself. Pamela’s day off meant she was usually in a good mood after church and dinner. Sundays meant fun days for Max. During the week Max spent most of his nights on the couch watching sports. Lonely, Max often was in a state of comatose with sexual dreams of Amber.

Max always visualized Amber the way she looked when he first met her, like a Goddess. Working he went into the club to deliver beer. As he walked in she slid down the pole with her legs sprawled open. When their eyes met Max’s cheeks heated as he blushed under his dark skin. When she walked to the bar to cash in Max gawked at her long toned legs as she walked graciously in her high heel Manolo’s. She wore a black see through thong and pasted flowers over her nipples. In his eyes every inch of her body perked. She shined. Maybe it was the overdone make-up, thick gold jewelry, or the rhinestones that covered her fingers and toes that peeped out of her heels.   Seeing Max, money signs in a uniform, she flirtatiously gave him her number. After frequent calls and texts they began to open up and get to know each other more intimately. Their relationship began completely physical but quickly grew emotional. Amber told Max her life story; he didn’t judge her when she confessed her abortion at sixteen. Spending more time together, Amber brought out a different side of Max. This was not a new side just a side that Max missed. They had fun; they always joked, laughed, and partied together.   On Amber’s days off Max “went out with the boys” just to see her. She made him fell carefree. His only responsibility, with Amber, was to use protection. Together they acted young and wild. Pumping sheer adrenaline through his blood, he was drawn to her spontaneous ways. An amateur puppy love kept their sex life amazing. They kept things spicy by talking dirty and doing everything they could do to get caught having sex in public places.

As he expected his phone rang just after noon but to his surprise it was Pamela on the other end. He studied the caller ID with confusion before answering. Pamela calling before two was alarming to Max. Pamela’s voice was calm on the other end so he grew anxious when she told him to come to the hospital for an emergency. Pamela sounded normal but asked Max to meet her outside in the parking lot. He raced down the winding road as the thoughts raced through his head. He wondered what the emergency was and who did it involve? Was it Pam or the kids? He was confused.

In the parking lot Pamela leaned on the back of her car smoking a cigarette. Approaching he questioned “What are you doing babe? Why are you smoking?”

Staring blankly she answered without hesitation. “I’m stressed. I think I need it.”

Walking closer he questioned Pamela’s stress level. Before she could utter a word a woman stumbled up behind him. Followed by the approaching shadow was a look in Pamela’s eyes of embarrassment and disgust. Her pupils did not look at Max; instead they looked past him. Max turned to see his mistress, Amber, staring his wife in the face. He was directly in between the crossfire.

“How dare you?” Amber’s voice roared as she interrogated. “How dare you lay up with me for two years and not tell me you’re married!”

Max was flabbergasted.

“Married with children, for ten years!” Pamela interjected.

“Yes, you married with kids. Really Max? But you love me right? Oh no let me guess, you sorry though right?” Amber took a deep breath and popped her lips “mmm hmm you sorry you got caught!”

“Sorry excuse for a man!” Pamela finished.

With his lips sealed like a licked envelope Max’s eyes shifted back and forth. This was a moment he had not prepared for. He had taken special precaution so to never expose the two ladies to each other. He couldn’t believe this was happening. He watched the women go back and forth condemning Max. Each comment became more abusive and demeaning. Pamela told Max that Amber listed him as her emergency contact.

“I met your girlfriend in registration today because she got into a fight this morning at the job. Oh yah. Let me break that down so you can understand. Alicia, my mistake you know her as Amber Rae, your stripper girlfriend got beat by someone named Passion this morning. She listed you as her spouse. Funny I thought you were my spouse. You’re so damn nasty! I can’t believe that I don’t even know my husband.” Pamela ranted. “So you ruined our life together and your family so that you can have sex with a lowlife stripper? Was it worth it?”

Amber interrupted immediately “Look ho who you calling a lowlife?”

“Excuse you ho I’m talking to my husband. Butt out. Oh wait, obviously that’s something you don’t know how to grasp.” Pamela fired back.

“Ha you’re a funny broad! You can grasp my ass.” Amber turned and smacked the back of her thigh. “Oh wait your man’s been doing that for the last two years.”

Unable to mediate or even defend himself Max rushed to his car. He blasted his music and squealed out of the parking lot leaving them to squabble alone. As he drove away he watched them in the rear view mirror, internal emotions ran wild. He wondered how he could mend all the lives he had just broken.

His phone rang constantly both of the women called repeatedly. As the women searched for answers and apologies, Max ignored their calls. At home he checked his thirteen messages.

He heard Amber cursing in ghetto vulgarity. Her voice portrayed that she was angry, hurt, and impossible to deal with. “Do not, I repeat, do not call me ever again. Delete my number. You’re a dirty dog and I hate you. Oh yah, you better hope Junior don’t find you.”

Pressing seven to delete he went on to hear Pamela’s voice. She, also, was angry and hurt but she spoke calmly. He knew by her tone that she meant business. Their marriage had been defeated by adultery.

“Get your stuff and get out of my house. You need to be gone before I get home from work. Now you are free to go be with your Jezebel. You deserve each other. She’s a trashy gold digger and the two of you will get what you deserve. Trust me it won’t be much since you broke our prenuptial agreement. I am getting a divorce.”

Disappointed with the outcome Max obeyed. He packed a bag of clothes and checked into Motel 6. He didn’t even call Amber. In his mind, giving them both a moment to calm down would buy him time to concoct a master plan.

For days he contemplated how he would diffuse the explosive situation he had created.   He considered leaving Amber to be with his wife. Just the thought made him feel empty inside. He would lose all of Amber’s attention that he strongly desired for so long. Pamela, strong and independent, did not need the way Amber did. With his wife Max often felt unneeded, useless, unloved, and bored. Amber made Max feel like a man again. He was important. Plus without Amber he would never have any excitement. He thought about giving up on Pamela to stay with Amber but instantly he went numb. His heart broke. Without Pamela he would be hollow; empty. Pamela had been in his life since high school. She was predictable, trustworthy, faithful, dependable, and supportive. She was his rock; his backbone when he was weak. Pamela was the model of a perfect wife. He was ashamed of what he did and questioned how he could have hurt such a perfect innocent woman. Without any intention Max inflicted pain on the hearts of both women.

Days turned into nights quickly. Max occupied his time working as much as possible. He used alcohol to intoxicate his impure thoughts.   His obsessive behaviors evolved quickly. He spent his mornings in the shadows behind Pamela. He observed her walking with her coffee to her registration desk in the emergency room and noted every conversation that she initiated men. Afternoons at work were long and often full of unnatural thoughts. A vicious cycle took over his life. He spent all of his time chasing two women from a distance. A tornado flew around his hotel when he went back enraged. He spent many nights with various liquors named after women to make him feel manlier. Brandy, Gin, and Rose were his favorites. In only a few weeks Max grew bags under his eyes. When he lingered outside of the strip club searching for Amber he should have been far away in his bed searching for sleep. His compulsive behavior was habitual and it took over his life instantly. He was diseased with a sick demented love. Max called and texted Amber and Pamela. He begged for another chance. He followed Pamela to work, to the drop the kids off at school, and to the grocery store. When Pamela and the kids were tucked in bed he made his way to spy on Amber. He made every desperate attempt to communicate but he got no attention or response.

With his divorce already in motion Max always kept his distance from Pamela. From his car he watched as she met with her attorney multiple times. Irrational thoughts stirred in his brain. He did not want Pamela to live a day of life without him as her husband. He couldn’t imagine Pamela with another man; when he tried to he only got irate. When Pamela was busy at work or asleep with the kids Max’s mind was full of Amber.   His desire grew stronger every time he saw Amber half naked and stumbling drunk to her car after a night of work. When he saw Amber being escorted out by a man he was livid. After a chaotic fight with the man an unruly Max was trespassed from Amber’s apartment and issued a restraining order. That piece of paper did not stop him; he would go sleepless as long as he had a piece of Amber in his life.

Max showed up to court on the date of his divorce dressed in his finest suit. He was well groomed and smelled sensual. He was set out to impress. If it was not his wife then hopefully it would be the judge. His attorney warned him that his wife was going to try to take him for everything. She wanted the house, the kids, and more than half the money. He broke their prenuptial agreement when he cheated and she would not be satisfied if he left their marriage with more than she did.

He waltzed in feeling confident that his wife could not prove his infidelity. He thought he had a chance to win this case if he could persuade the judge into thinking that she was an extremely over dramatic jealous wife. He wanted to tell the judge that her illusions are well played out but only in Pamela’s head.   His theory would not stand in court. He noticed the woman sitting in the front row behind Pamela’s attorney. She was beautiful. She was radiant in her feminine business suit. Her high heels peeped from under the bench. Her black hair was wavy; obviously freshly curled to perfection. Her fingernails tapped eagerly on the back of the bench that she rested her arm on. When the judge entered she stood with everyone else in the room. As she turned to sit down Max recognized her beauty. The sexy slim woman was Amber.

He remained speechless throughout the judge’s decision to award Pamela with all that she asked for.   Seeing both of the women in testifying against him enraged him. Anger took over his entire body. When the judge dismissed them Max pushed the door with resentment. Walking to his car everyone knew he was fuming. Amber loitered on the stoop of the courthouse congratulating Pamela on her victory. As both of the women agreed that he got what he deserved Max came quickly around the corner. The look on his face startled both of the women.

“I cannot live without you!” He cried as tears fell from his eyes. “You will not live without me.”

With a look of panic on everyone’s face four shots were fired. Both of the women went down immediately. A puddle of blood reached Max’s feet as the police swarmed. He raised his hands in compliance before the officers tackled him. He would spend the rest of his life thinking about the women he loved. Behind bars he never blamed anyone but himself for loving beyond his limits.


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