Wednesday, January 12
Dr. Christopher Harris realized full well that he was an asshole for cheating on his wife.
Well, he realized it in the moments right before he did it, when he was locking the office door for the night and Sarabeth was beckoning him into the examining room. And he realized it shortly afterwards, when they were finished and she had pulled her scrubs back up, was kissing him good-night.
But in those hungry, desperate moments in between - when their fingers were intertwined and their bodies pressed together and her tiny, whimpering moans were synchronized to every thrust of his hips? He didn’t feel like an asshole. He felt good, he felt attractive, he felt… powerful. At nearly fifty, having a lithe, curvy twenty-something eyeing him all day, knowing he was going to have her that night - it was a veritable fountain of youth.
Still, he told himself every time Sarabeth left that it would be the last time. His wife, Lindsay, didn’t deserve it. She was a supportive partner, a good mother. They still had sex, even. Comfortable, predictable, boring sex, yes - but after nearly twenty-two years he guessed he probably had it pretty good.
I’ll tell her it’s over, he promised himself, running a hand through his shaggy, silvering blonde hair. It wasn’t the first time he’d thought this, and he knew it probably wasn’t true, but it made him feel a little better, a little nobler, about what he was doing. The good thing about Sarabeth was that she could be discreet. He couldn’t imagine her showing up at his house, blowing his cover in front of his family. They never pretended they loved one another. She never begged him to leave his wife for her. They were just having fun.
With all this going through his mind as he made his way through the parking lot, the wash of the streetlamps turning the world to black and white, he was understandably surprised when he found a man waiting for him near his car, looking off into the distance, hands behind his back. It took him a moment to recognize him. The man was a patient of his, but not a regular one. Yes - he’d had a singular glomus tumor removed from under his nail bed a few weeks ago. The surgery had been so uneventful that frankly Christopher couldn’t recall the older man’s name.
“Evening,” he said noncomittally. He enjoyed a reputation for being warm and earnest with his patients, but he didn’t want to encourage inappropriate boundaries. He almost laughed at himself as he thought it; inappropriate boundaries hadn’t stopped him and Sarabeth a quarter hour ago.
Well, that was different.
“If you need to make an appointment…”
“Chris…” the man growled low in his throat, and then his voice rose in pitch and volume until it was a near-shriek. “HARRIS!” His hands whipped from behind his back, and there was a dark metal object in them - a crowbar or a tire iron - and before he knew what was happening, the man was rushing at him and the bar was swinging at his head. He stumbled back, threw his hands up, and felt a horrible crunch as his arm broke above the wrist. He hunched up his shoulders, trying to twist away as the man swung again, taking the blow against his humerus, pain lancing up to his shoulder and down to his fingertips.
Chris Harris had been a soccer player in his college days. He was still fit at forty-nine, a triathlete and marathon finisher. But he’d never so much as been in a fistfight in his life - he was wholly unprepared for the suddenness and ferocity of the attack, the complete senselessness of it. He could’ve run - he could’ve kicked out, fought back. But he didn’t. Like a child, he curled up into a ball, hands trying to shield his face, and the next blow took him smack against the temple, breaking the finger that had been trembling there and knocking him onto his side, head ringing...