At twenty one Amanda finally found a nice young man to marry. Her family loved Charlie. He had a college degree. Both of his parents have died. Amanda’s family said “That is the best catch. You will not have in-laws to mess it up.”
They married and had two sons three years apart. Their boys were well behaved. Charlie never raised a hand or even his voice at anyone in his family. Both Charlie and Amanda worked and enjoyed their careers on weekdays. They went to resorts on weekends to have quality time with the children. Beach resorts were an hour’s drive from where they lived and in the Philippines in the 70’s cost as cheap as a movie ticket. Life was good.
Eight years in the marriage Charlie found a male friend, Mario who was also married and seemed like a respectable guy. Amanda got used to finding Mario in their car. Charlie offered to take him home every time he hung out with them or whenever he came to visit them at home.
One fine day when Charlie and Amanda were with other friends, another couple, Mario came over to say hello and opened the passenger car door to say a few words to the couple in the back seat. As he shut the door Mario pretended to have caught his finger in the door. Charlie jumped out of the driver’s seat and in a flash got to Mario’s side to see if he was hurt. This is where Mario said it was a joke. He was messing with them. Amanda looked at Mario and then Charlie and then at the couple in the back seat. She took mental pictures of the reactions and filed them away in her mind for future reference. Later that day the woman in the back seat said to Amanda “Why did Mario do that to Charlie?” referring to the ‘joke’. Amanda had no answer but again filed the question in her mind for future reference.
In the 80’s when working in the Middle East became a trend for Filipinos, Mario went to Riyadh, shortly after Charlie quit his stable job in the Philippines to join him against Amanda’s wishes. However Charlie's appointment in Riyadh lasted only 3 months. He was sent back home. It was bad enough that jobs in the Philippines were hard to come by, Charlie left all his work clothes with Mario as if leaving his suitcase was a guarantee that he would be able to return. Without work his clothes and no money to shop for new ones it took Charlie 2 years to find another job.
How any 35 year old could be that desperate to be with a friend to the detriment of his family’s income was a great puzzle, to Amanda most of all. She remembered what her mother used to say about married men "his heart is where his clothes are". It was at this point where all the ‘files for future reference’ were revisited.
Amanda did not ask the question. She knew the answer. Still she waited till the children have grown and married before she dumped her 2nd encounter of the 3rd kind.