And so we arrive at the final part of The man who had an affair with his wife. Thank you to everyone who has kept up with the story and given me my best monthly page views for a year and a half along the way (and we’re not even halfway through November yet). It’s been particularly gratifying for me to see that the number of unique visitors each day has remained more-or-less constant throughout. I hope you enjoyed it.
If you’d like to read more from Once Upon a Time in Second Life, I aim to publish the final book some time next year. Until then, there’s always my other VR novels to be looking at, seven of which are set in SL.
I’ll be sorry to see you go.
You’ll keep in touch though, right?
Four days went by. Carbon was miserable. Len was miserable. Swellen and Inyo both seemed relatively happy in their lives. On the fifth day, Inyo rented a room in a motel and took Carbon there for a night of first passion. In an instant, she was draped across the bed in white lace lingerie.
Inyo Face: So… whadya think?
Carbon Holloway: Very nice.
Inyo Face: ‘Very nice?’ Is that it?
Carbon Holloway: You look very pretty.
Inyo Face: I can nevr tell when ur joking.
Carbon Holloway: you’re
Inyo Face: Wut?
Carbon Holloway: The word is ‘you’re’ – you are. Do you have to use contractions like that? You never used to as Swellen.
Inyo Face: I can’t help it. That’s the way Inyo is.
Carbon Holloway: Maybe Inyo needs to grow up.
Inyo Face: Wut?
Carbon Holloway: Would it really hurt so much to add just a sprinkling of adult?
Inyo Face: I am an adult, dude. Stop stressing. No wait…
Inyo Face: I is a adult dude. Chill out. lol
Carbon Holloway: For Christ’s sake; do you think this is funny?
Inyo Face: Oh come on, Carby!
Inyo Face: Why r u so mad?
Inyo Face: Wot do I have to do to put u in this bed?
Carbon Holloway: You could help me to feel a little bit less like a peadophile for starters.
Inyo Face: Seriously?
Carbon Holloway: It’s freaking me out!
Inyo Face: Babe, I changed the whole damn avatar.
Carbon Holloway: I know, but I can’t stop seeing you as a child.
Inyo Face: Not even as a sexy schoolgirl?
Carbon Holloway: I always hated the whole sexy schoolgirl thing for the exact same reason.
Carbon Holloway: Schoolgirls are not sexy.
Inyo Face: Come on big guy, just get under these covers and do me.
Carbon Holloway: I can’t.
Carbon Holloway: I can’t.
Carbon Holloway: I’m sorry.
And so it was that Carbon made his exit. Inyo was not far behind. In the end, all that was left was Len and Swellen, just like it used to be. Except that now that Carbon was gone, Len started to think of Carbon’s Swellen as perhaps within his own reach after all. He started to desire his wife. It wasn’t just an alleviation of the irritations he’d been feeling before this whole escapade started, it was something much bigger and more powerful than that. When Len made love to Swellen the following evening he knew that Carbon’s Swellen was in there somewhere. He knew that one day he’d find a way of teasing her out.
Swellen, however, was done with him. She made the announcement two days after Carbon’s departure. “I’m sorry Len, but this just isn’t working out for me.” He wasn’t worried at first, because he had his trump card yet to play: “I’ve been thinking of buying a homestead region,” he told her. “Would that persuade you to stay?”
“No dear,” she replied. “I hate to say this, but no amount of land will ever even approach adequate compensation for having to listen to you go on about your fucking emails.” There she was. In her parting sentence, she’d revealed herself to him. The day after that, Chris brought Carbon back on in the hope that his plan of moving into that vacated position still had mileage. It did not. For some unfathomable reason, Swellen had an issue with the idea that the man she was with might think he was with a child when they were having sex. And that, dear readers, is the end of the story of Len and Swellen.
Almost the end of the story. I’m sure you must be wondering how I know all of this when Len’s secret appears ultimately to have been preserved. It would hardly be in Chris’s interests to talk about this in such identifiable detail if it was a continuing deception. Unfortunately (or, if you prefer, fortunately), his secret in the long term did not hold out. It was as Len that he bumped into Swellen some six months or so after this whole affair ended and she indulged him in a five minute conversation about the ‘good old times.’ “By the way,” he said to her, “I never did get around to asking: What is the fourth generation of avatars?” He realised his mistake the very instant he pressed the enter key. By then, however, it was too late. Lies like that are for life. Don’t tell them if you don’t have a long-term maintenance plan.