Wife For A Day by Mario V. Farina

"Will you be my wife for a day, Judy," Walter Watkins asked?

"What kind of stupid question is that," she responded with a tone engraved with a measure of anger? "You know I'm married! You know I love Ed! Have you suddenly lost your mind? And your sense of decorum?"

"Oh, Judy," he hastened. I didn't mean to upset you! I'm sorry for calling so late. Let me explain!
Wife For A Day
Wife For A Day by Mario V. Farina
"This had better be good," she responded! "The company I work for has a policy of recognizing people. Somehow, it became my turn. Mr. Morgan, my supervisor, told me today I was being honored tomorrow as being, Husband of the Month. I'm not married, as you know, but I don't want to miss out on this. There may be some sort of prejudice to men who are not married, and it may hurt my opportunities for advancement if I admit that I'm not married. What I'm asking you to do is pretend to be my wife for only the time I'm being celebrated. It would be a sort of playacting for you, and it may even be fun." "How couldn't they know you're not married," Judy asked? "Surely, your personnel record shows it." "Lee Thorne, the person who makes these honorary assignments, is not known for having a full set of brain cells in his head. He makes a lot of mistakes like this, but he is the owner's son-in-law." "But, why me? Aren't there a lot of women you could call upon for the same thing?" "They'd say, no. Judy. You and me, we've known each other since childhood. You probably understand me as well as you do your husband. You know that I have no ulterior reason for asking this. I don't think Ed would mind." "Ed likes you. You may be right on that point. But there may be someone there who will recognize me, and realize I'm faking." "You could use your auburn wig," suggested Walter. "It will change your appearance dramatically!" "I know I shouldn't do it!" "Please!" "All right," said Judy, "but you'll owe me one!" "Probably more than one! You know where the company is. The proceedings will be in the main conference room. Dress beautiful!" "What time?" "Noon." "See you." They hung up. There were already a dozen people in the conference room when Walter, accompanied by Judy, entered the room. There was a round of applause. Judy was wearing a white lace dress that could have substituted for a wedding gown. Rather than her hair being fiery red, today, it was light brown. All eyes were turned toward her. A middle-aged man, excessively round at the stomach, short of stature, balding, rushed to greet them. "Hello Walter, welcome! We'll be starting the festivities as soon as a few more people arrive!" Walter turned to Judy and said, "this is Mr. Morgan, my supervisor." Then facing him, he introduced Judy with, "Mr. Morgan, this is . . ., uh, this is Judy, my wife!" Mr. Morgan smiled broadly. "I knew Walter had good judgment," he commented, "but I didn't know exactly how good. If he will allow me to say so, you are an extraordinarily beautiful woman, Mrs. Watkins!" "That's very nice of you to say that, Mr. Morgan. Walter has often spoken about you, all good!" "I can't get over how lovely, you are," Mr. Morgan muttered. "Just ordinary, nothing special," she responded. "I'm sure we'll be seeing a great deal more of you as time goes on," he stated. "My wife, Marjorie, and I will probably be inviting you to dinner at our home from time to time." Judy was not able to hide a slight look of dismay as she heard those words. Inwardly, she was beginning to wonder how long this charade would last. The room filled. Soon there were about thirty people in attendance. Mr. Morgan stood behind a podium, and spoke loudly. "Ladies and gentlemen, today we honor Walter Watkins as Husband of the Month. I'm sure, if I had been more alert as to the loveliness of his wife, I would have given her the title of Wife of the Month!" He paused. There was great applause. Walter's countenance took on an appearance of confusion, as did Judy's. He had not expected this turn of events. After the ceremonies had been completed, Walter was given the rest of the day off, and he took Judy to her home. "What do you think about what Mr. Morgan said," she asked when they arrived at her home and parked? "Obviously, he became instantly infatuated with you," Walter responded! "I saw Harold Miller in the crowd," she said. "He may have recognized me!" "Hope not! He's the epitome of a sleaze bag!" "I'll be going in now," said Judy. "This better be the end of my acting career. I'm going to tell Ed that everything went fine. But, my conscience may not allow me to sugar-coat it." "I'm sure everything will be OK," observed Walter. "Any invitations for dinner from Mr. Morgan will be made to my phone. If it happens I'll make plausible excuses." The next day was a Saturday, and the beginning of the weekend. On Monday, Mr. Morgan approached Walter and said, "I talked to Marjorie. We'd love to have you over for dinner Wednesday evening. Will you able to make it?" "Judy will not be home during the rest of the day today. I'll ask her this evening." "Fine! Fine!" Mr. Morgan said. That evening, after work, when Walter arrived at his apartment, Judy and Ed were waiting for him at the door. "Walter, we need to talk," Ed said. "Shall we go inside." "By all means," said Walter. "I think I know what you want to talk about." The three individuals had barely sat in the living room, when the phone rang. Walter picked up, listened for a moment, then handed the phone to Judy, saying, "Mr. Morgan wants to speak to you." She took the receiver from Walter's hand with a bewildered look on her face. "Hello," she said. She listened for a long time. Finally, she exclaimed, "Mr. Morgan, I'm very honored to have you say those things. What you are offering is generous and overwhelming, but I do love my husband very much. What you believe you saw is not accurate. My husband and I are not on the verge of anything. As a matter of fact, Walter is not my husband at all. He is not even married. What you saw between him and me was pure playacting. I don't know how this will affect his career with you, but, for my part, what you are saying is very flattering, but I cannot accept any of it. I apologize for my role in having deceived you and ask your forgiveness. Please don't call again! Goodbye." She hung up. The three in the room were silent as they stared at each other. The phone rang. Walter answered. He handed the headset to Judy. "It's Harold Miller. He wants to talk to you!" "Hello Harold," Judy spoke apprehensively. She listened for a while, then said, "I hate to interrupt you, Harold. Yes, it was me hiding behind the wig. No, Ed and I are not having problems. I'm not married to Walter. It was all an act, like in bad play!" She listened again. Her face turned pink, then a blazing red. "You want what, for a day? I will not do that," she yelled. "How dare you suggest it!" The crackling of the voice on the other end of the line could be heard in the room. "Stop hollering, Harold," she demanded! There were more cracking sounds. "Harold, you listen, Judy shouted! And listen good! The answer to your insulting proposition is no! No! A thousand times no!" She slammed the receiver down hard. She turned to Walter and quietly said, "I love you like a brother, but I should have said no to you, too." To Ed, she said, "And, I'm sorry to have imposed this on you, who didn't deserve it! Come on, sweetheart. Let's go home!"

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