Chapter 2 - A Jack of All Trades and Master of None
Ryan did everything in his power to convence Shannon to come to him in this new land. Shannon finally did but in a way Ryan was in fact dead to her, she had no more feelings for him. Now she was the one with opportunities traveling far and near. She was the one with clients to delight and business to win. And of course along those many roads there was another husband, tall and blond, who took her places Ryan could not. For a time she juggled her two men; her business husband, Brent, during the week on her many roads and her home husband, Ryan, on the weekend.
Ryan was perplexed. "Shannon always said she wanted a home husband and now I am in fact a home husband, surely she must love me" he would ask himself. But as fate would have it Shannon was winning the business world and now she was thinking a career husband might suit her very well, home husbands were dull and boring! "Home husbands can cook dinner and take the girls to ballet but a career husband can pay for dinner at Spiaggia and travel to the Caribbean; that is way more fun," Shannon thought to herself. But of course as Ryan came to realize it wasn't really about Caribbean vacation or taking kids to ballet it was about feelings and once feelings are broken they are hard to repair and certainly not patched by a few dinners.
For a time Ryan did not lament; he had two little darlings in his life now and that was all he needed. In his new life there were no more kingdoms to conquer just a job to do and precious time to spend with his new loves.
Oh the afternoons they spent watching a movie, having a birthday party for teddy, or just riding along as Ryan peddled his bike along the river. An afternoon nap was never so happy as when it was spent snuggled up with his darlings while they watched Oswald or Mrs. Spider. Surely this was in fact all a young husband needed and Ryan was content.
For a while.
But at night when his darlings were asleep Ryan would often look out of the big window above the fireplace and look at the stars and moon. No longer did he wonder about the opportunities for him as he did before. Now he wondered if Shannon looked at those same stars he gazed at wherever she was in the world and he wondered if she thought of him or if she was sharing her gaze with Brent. Too often Ryan knew the answer and too often he drifted off to sleep sad and angry.
Ryan sought wise men and women called marriage counselors to cure the ills that were felt between he and Shannon. Many months they discussed but to no avail. Shannon's heart was no longer his. Shannon felt Ryan only sought these counselors to get her to do things she didn't want to do anymore. Ryan just wanted peace and happiness. But as he now knew there could be no happy ending because there was no love.
Ryan's darlings became beautiful young ladies. They still delighted him and still they enjoyed time together. But as young girls do they began seeking their own way. Afternoons were not always for daddy now, often they were for friends. Ryan was happy for them as he would gaze out of the window and watch them at play. But he was sad for himself. His time of peace would surely end and who would be there with him.
And then one night alone on his bed and watching TV Ryan heard of an odd place. A place called Ashley Madison where lonely hearts went to seek healing. The next day Ryan found that odd place on that odd Ether road. But Ryan wanted to know if it was real. He sought advice and found a sage wizard called Riff who told of ways to master this new Ashley Madison world.
Ryan searched this world and found many strange new people. They had odd names like NeedMoreNow, BlondBeachBunny, and FitnessBuff. Some would reply when Ryan said hello. Some even sent funny pictures and greetings. But none were able meet Ryan; he remained a lonely husband.
Then after reading Master Riffs spells he finally got the words right and met Alecia. Alecia asked Ryan "why are you here." Ryan said he wished to be enchanted again and have the opportunity to be good to someone and to not disappoint.
Reluctant at first Alecia did finally meet Ryan. She was very pretty and funny although she continued to ask odd questions like "do you love your wife?" And "have you done this before?" Ryan was new to all this, he did not feel comfortable when someone didn't believe him. He was after all a fairly honest young husband if perhaps a little flawed and now frayed.
Ryan did like Alecia but she drank a lot and he was not too sure what it would be like if he belonged to her. But Alecia did think Ryan pretty and Ryan liked that. Once again he was a handsome husband that someone wanted. He enjoyed giving himself to Alecia.
It felt good to be with Alecia and Ryan did feel like a young husband again. In fact he allowed himself to do things with or rather to Alecia that he had not done with Shannon. And she liked it very much!
But Alecia was worried about her husband. He was big and scary and would cast her out if he knew she was with Ryan. Apparently he knew many throughout their world, many who could report back to him. Alecia was scared.
Once Ryan said something in jest to Alecia that she did not see as jestful. She was hurt and would not speak to Ryan again. Ryan was puzzled, surely everyone knew that he was a kind and considerate husband; anyone would know he was jestful but never mean. Unfortunately in this new Ashley Madison world people didn't know one another very well so feeling could be hurt quickly and easily.
Again, Ryan was cast aside. He was sad because he got a glimpse of how life had been when he was adored, when he was a young husband. It was hard to go back now.
He thought "I must seek another." I am now adored, surely another will find me an attractive young husband. Surely another will want me now that I have my Ryan'ness back.
to be continued......