Excerpt for A Widower's Nightmare by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

A Widower's Nightmare, a short story by William J Ritchotte II

Kendra Stanford was a dark chapter of my life from six months before my wife, Elle, died to nine months after, when I had to shut the doors on her for good.

This was not an affair in the normal way people say. She was a friend of friends that went dancing, going to tai chi, walking a museum in Boston and great chats at cafes or in text. We became so close, felt the connection and never let it get beyond a peck on the cheek. We even had breakfast (out) once or twice.

Kendra never allowed us to cross the line. The painful truth is I wanted an affair. I wanted a woman in my life who would be on the side and a wonderful active partner in bed and in life.

What I got was a woman who gave me everything I desired but her heart and I had no clue a person could do that when everything else was open, given and taken but I am jumping ahead.

Before I get into Kendra and my desire for her, I must address the most wonderful woman I had ever known, to that point, and how it all went downhill. I may never have a why. I may only be able to learn from my own mistakes.


Elle had stopped living. She was alive but the last year of her life, she stopped being there. She wasn’t interested in posting on her blog or creating in the kitchen as much as she had over our life. She was sleeping a lot more, coming to bed later, and was not the person whom, together, saw us through two financial disasters, four children, a lot of happiness and an amazing sexual connection that kept me interested for twenty-four years. Worst of all, she lost her libido. To say that I had an amazing sex life with Elle is the least good thing I could say about it. Elle and I began having sex when I was nineteen and she turned twenty but from the first date when I couldn’t help but grab her close and pressed my lips against her thick gorgeous ones, I knew she was going to be my wife. It was lightning and fireworks and within six months, her parents knew I was serious, and I moved into her bedroom at the their invite.

We made love two to three times per day and moved into once per day four to five times per week for years until we got pregnant, as couples say, and we reduced it to two to three times per week. I will not lie and say the sex got quicker and lame. I had what no other couple I knew had. I had a love that was deeper than any mine on this world and a sex life that was the greatest I could ever imagine or see in adult movies. We were dirty, loud and sticky. We fucked like porn stars and gave each other so much pleasure we didn’t need any other vices but each other. Even near the end our sessions would go for hours on Sunday mornings. It was a lot more talk than pounding the hell out of each other but for a moment we were happy again but for the next six days there would be that emptiness again. I would always smack that booty of hers, kiss and make out with her every day and she loved it but something deep was within. Did she know her life was coming to an end?

It did end for good when she dropped dead on that cold Tuesday morning in January 2014.

Going back to my desire for an affair, did I have a hand in this?

I am sure of my responsibility but it was never my intention to stray away from her. She was not reacting to the stimulus we both felt when it came to our health. Both her and I, five years before her death, had just allowed our health to worsen and I felt and believed in my heart that unless we changed everything we knew about eating and exercising, we would not be around to play with our grandchildren. Her mother had already passed and her father wasn’t long from his death as I write this.

I saw two of me in different dreams. One a healthy fifty year old playing ball on the beach and being lean and the other near death with people crying over me and then the actual graves of the two of us. It was a wake up call for me and I told Elle everything I believed but she thought I was picking on her weight. We were both really fat and I was much harder on myself.

I asked her if we could go to the gym together, go on hikes, have an active lifestyle instead of just riding around in the car searching for great restaurants.

It didn’t happen.

This is where all those years on the same lane of the same highway split in two directions.

Another reason for her dismay may have been her desire to divorce me and not know how. That personal hell would have wrecked me but I was feeling it from her too. There was something we couldn’t get past.

This wasn’t the mainstay of our life but at times I was mean, arrogant, and so angry that I was doing all the work when the kids were able to watch themselves and she could work now.

I may have pushed her into her depression and despite her love for me, she had stopped liking me.

Elle gave me unbelievable freedom. She let me feel no issues about dancing with other women, hanging out with them. I went out because dancing and socializing, even though I do not drink, because they relieved stress.

It was fate that one would be left standing with me when it was time to go home.

Kendra was that one. She lived alone. She seemed to have it all together. She danced with a few drinks in her. She liked shows, art museums, and doing things together as friends. I knew nothing about her life behind the doors of her home. We would meet out and just be together for hours and that was it for around six months.

Then Elle, who was my life since March of 1989, died.

I was at the hospital in shock and didn’t know what to do so I called Kendra at work. She asked, “Hey how are you?”

I stammered, “Elle just died. I have no clue what to do.”

Kendra was in shock but managed to say, “Call your best friends in the world and ask them to come over.”

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