Jacquie huffed out the words, a look of sheer terror plastered across her face. The commotion would’ve stirred interest in others, but I’d long learned to ignore her dramatic tirades. Jacquie was the queen of exaggeration, forever perturbed about one thing or the next, a staunch crusader against anything she deemed offensive.
Undeterred by my disinterest, she came towards me, thrusting a local newspaper in front of my gaze.
“Read this.” Her tone was almost commanding.
A tomato shortage was making headlines causing a subsequent spike in prices. I was correct, she was riled up over nothing.
“We don’t base our diet around tomatoes,” I commented dryly.
Unimpressed, she jabbed her index finger at another headline, ‘Obscene Activities reported in Pinegrove Park’.
I read through the article swiftly before handing back the newspaper to her.
“And?” she questioned, expecting an answer.
“We don’t consume an unhealthy amount of tomatoes,” I replied, trying to inject some humor into the situation but my attempt was met with a stern glare. She was hoping for a more serious answer and I knew my forthcoming one wouldn’t meet her approval due to our differing stance on delicate matters, like sex.
“They are all consenting adults. If they choose to do, what they call “Dogging”, it really isn’t our business.”
The look that crossed her face was a mixture of shock and disbelief. I quickly tried to pacify her, avoiding an unnecessary argument.
“I mean, I’m not endorsing it per se, just that if they choose to engage in such activities, they are free to do so.”
“But Pinegrove Park is within a seven-mile radius from us!” Jacquie was close to tears now.
I was understanding of the situation but Dogging wasn’t a disease, it couldn’t spread across our quiet town. We weren’t going to wake up one day to find out our peaceful town overrun by thrill-seekers in the dark.
“It would be inconvenient if it happened here,” I reluctantly agreed.
Right then, a surreal thought crossed my mind, entailing our local newspaper reporting ‘Racy Rendezvous in Rosewood Reserve’. The image was so rich that I had to fight the urge to break into a hearty laugh.
That evening, my amorous intentions were met with swift dismissal from Jacquie. Her curt statement – “Not in the mood,” was enough for me to retract my wandering hand from her breast. My excitement for the night was effectively deflated.
An hour later, I had one question ringing in my mind. How was it my fellow bachelors seemed to maintain a more gratifying sex life than me, despite their partners being far from a head-turner? Bill, whose wife Daisy could be best described as someone with plus-sized charm, once admitted Daisy loved making love almost every night!
“They all have a flaming sex life keeping them satisfied!” I muttered to myself in darkness.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m madly in love with Jacquie, and I know she reciprocates that affection. We both enjoy successful careers, leading a fulfilling and comfortable life. But, our intimate life seemed to be spiraling downward. The frequency of our lovemaking was diminishing by the day.
“Passing up on sex tonight,” “Feeling weary,” her excuses were varied and she never failed to leave me high and dry. It affected me more than I liked to admit.
Three weeks later, I found myself driving back home a little past the hour of ten, exhilarated by the onboarding of a new client who promised to be a good addition to my rising law practice.
Suddenly, I found myself at a rather familiar intersection. Panic rising, I realized I’d unintentionally ventured into the infamous Pinegrove Park. I was about to revert my course when the mischievous thrill-seeker inside me prevailed.
I quickly found the notorious spot. A sudden rush of adrenaline coursed through me as I parked my car and made my way towards a faint light in the distance. Suddenly, a giant silhouette appeared in front of me staring with piercing icy blue eyes. It was the same burly man I met on my previous visit, the unofficial gatekeeper to the Dogging site. After some awkward chat, I understood the protocols and followed Jack, the man-mountain, towards Roxy’s car.
Sitting in Roxy’s car, waiting for my turn, I was feeling an odd mix of anxiety and excitement. Anonymous as the nature of this engagement was, I started to feel a newfound thrill and pleasure. I was about to tell Roxy how much I desired her when she whispered into my ear.
“Imagine I am a blonde bombshell from your wildest fantasy.”
As my consciousness was engulfed with heated pleasure, my mind was tortured by a nagging guilt – the fact that Jacquie, my ever-loving wife, was miles away waiting for me to come home.
Was it a dream, or a nightmare wrapped in satin sheets? As the scandalous encounter ended, tiny needles of remorse were pricking me. To wash off my guilt, I vowed to never tread the path which led towards Pinegrove Park.
But, fate had different plans.
A week later, as my desire to make love was repeatedly met with rejection, my mind unconsciously wandered back to that eventful night. The adrenaline rush, the anticipation, the culmination of desire – I longed for it all.
In the whirlwind of moral confrontation and physical stimulation, I found myself steering my car straight into the forbidden territory of Pinegrove Park. My guilty heart pounded in my chest as wild anticipation tingled my senses.
As my fingers caressed Roxy’s laced-undergarments, a pang of resentment against Jacquie flashed inside me. Yes, Jacquie was my darling, my beloved wife. The one who held my heart, but also the one who held the chains of carnal suppression around me.
As I walked away from Roxy’s car, with my insatiable desires somewhat tamed, I was left contemplating the line I’d crossed once again. A line that separated marital loyalty from the dark alleys of forbidden pleasure.
Driving home, I was torn between pleasure and despair as I questioned my integrity. Was I the same man who loved Jacquie to the moon and back? Why did I willingly let myself be led into this sinful excitement?
The guilt turned into dread as I reached home, only to find Jacquie waiting for me with a love-laden smile.
“I was starting to get worried. But it was worth it. You’ve landed that new client, haven’t you?” She hugged me tightly.
Fear gripped me as I tried not to let any sign of guilt slip. But as I lay beside her that night, reeking of guilt and deceit, I knew that the turmoil inside me was far from over. I had a wife who loved me unconditionally, yet a masked side of my life was slowly spiraling out of control.
Despite my best intention to stay away, I discovered the perilous path towards Pinegrove Park again within the next two days. But this time, it led me towards a cliff edge of guilt, remorse and shame.
As I pondered over my fall from grace, I remembered the wise words of Jack – “On this path, you lose more than just your way.” Indeed, it was proving to be a steep slope towards irrevocable depravity.