“It’s time to unwind and relax,” shouted Michael to his family. On his family vacation, Michael is accompanied by his wife Diana, son Matthew and daughter Isabelle.

“It’s been ages since we’ve come for a vacation,” replied Diana. Though she wanted to relax, there was something else that was bothering her. According to her plan, she thought, this was the right time to bring things to discussion.

“Kids, why don’t you guys go and play over there? Don’t go near the waters,” said Diana.

Matthew and Isabelle ran towards the other side of the beach.

Michael wondered by she had to send them away. He was frightened she would bring up the most frightening topic of their lives. He did not want to live without her.

After gathering some courage, Diana said, “We need to talk. I need a break.”

Michael remained silent so as to avoid any further discussion. He hoped his silence would kill this topic forever. But, it did not.

Diana started speaking louder. She said, “Are you listening? I’m really tired of all this. I cannot continue to live with fear of you abandoning me at any moment.”

Michael replied, “Where do you get such thoughts? Why would I ever leave you? It’s like, you are the reason for everything in my life…I mean, you and the kids…how can you imagine us parting ways…”

Diana thought to herself. George said that Michael would respond in the same fashion. He would not let things settle this way. Michael has become so money-minded he would do something or the other to avoid alimony to Diana. Michael has it all planned already. Diana has decided that she would not shout at him or lose her temper. She tried controlling her emotions to the greatest possible extent.

Meanwhile, Michael is worried about his future and the future of the kids. According to George’s predictions, he thought, Diana is playing it all exactly to get the maximum amount of alimony to get out of this relationship. As expected, Diana started on a topic and then remained silent. Diana knew that Michael would get angry and start throwing tantrums at her. Michael wondered if Diana is recording this entire conversation the way he has been doing.

Diana was not recording any conversation.

After a few minutes, Michael decided to do something out of the routine and out of expectations. Things have been so bad in the last few weeks.

According to Michael, it all started one day when George saw Diana with another man and took photos of her. George showed the pictures to Michael. He was devastated after that.

According to Diana, it all started a few weeks ago when George caught Michael with another woman at the hotel. Michael requested George to let anyone else know. But, George was a good friend of Diana. So, he had to tell her.

Michael and Diana kept fighting almost everyday ever since then.

Diana never wanted to go on this vacation, more so, when they have been arguing and bickering so much, of later. Michael did not want to go either. But, it was a nice offer and he needed some break from work. He thought he could go alone, initially. But, the kids were very happy at the idea of going on a beach front summer vacation after a long time. So, he had to plan it for them. Despite all this, Diana kept shouting at him everyday that he never cared for the kids.

On the evening of the first day of their vacation, Michael told the kids that he had to attend to some business calls. He went into the other room and had a call with George to check the status of the company. Unknown to George, Michael has been recording all this conversations with everyone for the last weeks.

George greeted him on the phone and said, “How are you? How is the vacation? Is it helping you both iron out the differences?”

Michael replied, “She is just the same. Why would she change? She said she wants a break. She is annoying me. It appears she is so desperate to get into the arms of her newly found lover. I’m too tired of her. But, as you said, I’m being very careful not getting upset on her.”

George said, “I understand. I’m sorry you have to go through all this alone. I wanted to come with you on the trip. But, you said no. I’m sure you will spend this entire week. Trust me. Focus on the kids and the free time. Do not think of business or other big problems. Let her do whatever she wants. Focus on enjoyment. I’m sure that will make her realize how cool a person you are. It might be one of those things that can remind her about you and change her perception about marriage and this relationship. Let’s do it the positive way.”

Michael was so motivated after hearing such good advice from George. He felt glad he befriended George after so many years. But, something bothered Michael. The same thought kept bothering him every time he felt good about George. How could someone so bad at college transform to become this nice gentleman? Isn’t something fishy there? Michael dismissed his thoughts.

Later that evening, Diana got a call on her phone. She immediately walked out of the hotel room. She walked towards the hotel lobby and asked them for a small conference room. They usually arrange for small rooms when people wanted to have private business conference calls. Michael noticed all this and got furious. But, as George suggested, he decided to keep calm.

After a few minutes, he heard Matthew shout all of a sudden. He got hurt while playing with some of his toys. George rushed him to the lobby and sought their help for first aid. They took Matthew to the first aid room and asked Michael to fetch Matthews mother.

Michael rushed to the conference room where Diana was taking her call.

Michael realized that Matthew had a small bruise and he could wait for some time before his mother reached him. Michael wanted to use this time to overhear Diana’s conversation with her boy friend.

Diana put the phone on loud speaker mode. She said, “He is so calm. I wonder why he would never admit about his new relationship. He is not in a mood to apologize either. He is so well-planned the way you said.”

Michael wondered why she thought that he was in a relationship. He wanted to continue hearing to check if someone is playing spoilsport here. He thought he should send a message to George immediately and ask him to tap her phones. Instead, he thought, he will record this conversation and plan the next course of action later.

Suddenly, a familiar voice started speaking on the other said. The voice on the phone said, “I understand. He can be such a douche bag. Trust me, he has been so annoying at the workplace, too. He would leave no chance to run away and spend time with new damsel. Trust me. You are a free woman. Fight with him. Even if he continues to be happy, fight with him. Get the truth of out of him. Or, as you decided earlier, break free from these clutches. I’m sorry I stopped you earlier when you wanted to divorce from him. But, I think that things have slipped out of our hands now. I’ll support you as a good friend even if you want to fight this in the court. Trust me. the woman is at an advantage in these situations.”

Michael was dumbfounded. The familiar voice was George. Michael wanted to kill him immediately for playing foul in their relationship. For a moment, he recollected how George wanted Diana badly in college. But, from these recent gestures it was obvious that George wanted their money too.

Michael regained his senses. He waited until the call got over.

Michael went into the room. He said, “I have something that you have to listen to. I had this call this afternoon.”

Michael played the recorded conversation he had with George that afternoon. He played all the conversations he had with George in the last two weeks.

Diana was taken aback. She could not trust anyone anymore.

Michael proved to her that there was nobody in his life. Diana proved herself too.

It took them some time to outsmart George. They did not let him immediately know that they know the real truth. They let him play on for some time until they caught him red-handed.