I Decided to Surprise My Husband at Work Only to Discover He Was on Vacation

I realized that my spouse was on vacation when I went to work to surprise him with lunch. The next day, doubtful and perplexed, I followed him and found my sister’s apartment to have an astonishing secret. What I learned made me rethink every presumption I had about my marriage and my family.

I decided last Tuesday to surprise Ben with lunch at work. All morning I had been making lasagna, his favorite food. I figured it would be a nice gesture, since I spent some time alone with the children at school. What husband wouldn’t love to come home to a homemade dinner and a surprise visit from his wife?

When I arrived, the receptionist at his office gave me a curious look.

She said, “You’re here for Ben?” as she fixed her gaze on the lasagna I was holding.

Yes, all I wanted to do was take him to lunch. Is he here?

She held back. “Ben has been on vacation for the past two weeks.”

I tried to process what she had said while I stood there in amazement. On holiday? He had told me that this week he was going to be working late every day. A knot started to grow in my stomach, and cold sweat appeared on my brow. I thanked her and turned to leave.

At home, I tried to work things out. Maybe there was a misunderstanding. But what kind of misunderstanding lasts for two weeks? I kept getting the unshakeable feeling that something was very wrong. Like any suspicious wife, I decided to follow him the following day.

The next morning, I called Mom and asked her to watch the kids for the day. I informed her that I had some errands to run. She was merely happy to help, not realizing the insanity brewing inside of me. I made the decision to follow Ben in order to verify the situation for myself.

Observing him walk out of the house and into his car, I stayed back. He drove across town and arrived at my sister Kate’s house.

My mouth dropped to the floor when I saw him exit the car. When Kate came out, she greeted him warmly and led the way inside.

My mind went blank. Did my sister and Ben have an affair? I found it hard to believe, but was there another reason? I started crying because the pain of betrayal was so intense. I had to be very sure.

I parked my car a little distance away from Kate’s house and called my lawyer, Carla. I trusted her judgment because she had handled a few legal matters for us in the past. I told her everything, my voice quivering with hurt and rage.

“Julia, gather some concrete evidence before drawing any conclusions,” Carla calmly and professionally retorted. It’s important to be certain before filing a lawsuit.

I knew that she was right. When I got back to Kate’s apartment, I went around like a spy. I felt ridiculous, but I was curious to find out. I peered through a window.

When I went inside, I saw Ben and Kate slumped over lunch at the kitchen table, along with a stack of papers. They seemed serious, and they would peek around from time to time as if they were worried about being caught.

What plans did they intend to implement? The longer I watched, the more certain I became that something was really wrong. They had plans; they weren’t just having an affair.

With trembling hands, I snapped a few photos with my phone. I needed proof, something concrete with which to confront Ben. My mind was whirling with all sorts of dreadful ideas. What steps did they take?

I called James from my car. He found the initial ring. James, my brother-in-law, has always been the practical one in the family. Having spent nearly a decade as Kate’s spouse, he provided a firm, level-headed balance to her more impulsive nature.

He and Ben got along well, often bonding over their shared love of sports and food. I trusted James, and I knew he could make sense of this.

James, it’s Julia. I have to talk to you about Ben and Kate.

There was a silence. Julia, please calm down. What’s taking place?

“I think they’re having an affair,” I blurted out, my voice quivering.

James released his breath. “Julia, please make yourself known.” presently.

I bolted back to Kate’s apartment, horror and treachery racing through my thoughts. When I arrived, James’ car was already parked outside. I crept up to the house and looked through the window again. Ben and Kate were sitting at the kitchen table with James.

Bits of their talk could be heard through the half open window.

“Julia called me,” James remarked, appearing concerned. “She is worried sick and thinks you two are having an affair.”

Ben nodded. It implies that she is not an expert.

“It’s amazing!” Kate answered, her voice full of passion.

“Our approach is effective,” Ben went on.

My heart ached. I had had enough of listening. With anger erupting within me, I stormed into the house.

“You who cheat and lie, you traitors! How could you make me endure this?

Ben and Kate looked at me like I was crazy. James stood up and attempted to comfort me.

“Julia, please let us explain.”

“What am I supposed to explain? that my husband’s infidelity is focused on my sister? I was screaming and my face was wet with tears.

“Julia, it’s not what you think,” Ben said softly, trying to comfort me. “While on vacation, I worked on a surprise for you.”

I laughed sourly. “A revelation? Is getting together at Kate’s house every day unexpected?

Ben spoke in a stern voice, “Yes.” “My intention was to realize your dream. I take it that you’ve always expressed a desire to operate a coffee shop?

I blinked, uncertain about my thoughts. “What?”

Kate took a step forward, a bundle of papers in her arms. “Ben has been using his inheritance to buy you a coffee shop.” Here, we have been working on the legal papers and the corporate plan.

I was starting to feel confused and hopeful instead of just frustrated. “A coffee shop? For me, would you please?

Ben nodded to me, pulled out a folder, and handed it to me. “Here are the files, you see. Everything, including the lease and the proposals for repair. I held off on telling you until it was just perfect. As co-investors, James and Kate, I wanted to make sure they are totally on board.

I looked at the documents, reading them with tears in my eyes. Everything was in one location. The coffee shop I had always dreamed of was the manifestation of his love and commitment. Ben intervened before my knees gave up and I fell.

Ben, how terrible is this? I’m so sorry. I thought about it. I thought you were.

He hugged me tightly and muttered, “I know.” “I should have told you, but I wanted it to be a surprise.” I wanted to see your face when I handed you the keys.

“I’m such an idiot, I cry so much into his chest.” “I sincerely apologize.”

“Don’t worry, be quiet. I understand why you felt the way you did. However, Julia, I do adore you. I would never betray you.

I nodded, feeling the weight of my mistake. “Thank you, Ben. I sincerely appreciate everything you did.

The next day, we went to sign the final set of paperwork. The coffee shop was ours. I found it difficult to accept. As soon as I walked into the quaint small neighborhood and smelled the aroma of freshly cooked pastries, I was overjoyed.

Ben squeezed me tightly. “This is all for you, baby. You have my trust.

I smiled, tears of joy streaming down my face. Love, you have my undying love. Thank you for believing in me.

We turned the coffee shop into a fantastic space together. It evolved into a place where dreams came true and where the main ingredients in every meal were love and trust.

Looking back, I can understand how important trust and communication are in a relationship. Misunderstandings can happen, but how we handle them is more important.

My coffee shop filled with the aroma of freshly baked goods as I stood there feeling grateful for Ben’s unwavering love and support. We had survived the storm together and come out stronger.

To everyone out there who feels that their relationship is in danger, sometimes all it takes is a little trust and a lot of love to see the reality behind the secrets. And sometimes these secrets can turn out to be the most beautiful discoveries of all.

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