I sat there and stared at her incredulously. It took a few seconds for what she had said to register and in those few seconds my mind went back in time.
I'd met Tanya Louise Marshall on the first day of school when I started the eighth grade. She had just moved to town and didn't know anyone in the class. From the first time I'd laid eyes on her I was lost. I introduced myself and she gave me a big smile and said that she was glad to meet me.
My eyes followed her everywhere she went and when school let out for the day I asked her if I could walk her home and she said that it was sweet of me to ask, but she was going with some of the girls she'd met that day.
That was just the first of a thousand rejections that I received over the next ten years. They were always nice and gentle refusals, but refusals none the less. When we graduated from college she took a job somewhere on the west coast and I went to work in the family business and did my best to forget Tanya.
Even though my mind was always on Tanya I didn't let my feelings for her get in the way of my dating others. I did have an active social life even if I wasn't having it with the girl I wanted to have it with. Pauline French relieved me of my virginity and Harlina Collins, Beverly Abbeg and Nancy Wilde saw to the furtherance of my sexual education.
A year out of college I met and married Nancy Neubert. The marriage only lasted two years. It ended when I caught her in bed with her high school sweetheart. It was a cliché. I came home early one day and caught Nancy and her lover in bed.
I was very civil about it and simply told him to get dressed and get out of my house and he dressed and left without a word. I told Nancy to pack a bag and go stay with her parents while I talked to an attorney to see where things would go from there.
She begged me to let her stay and told me that it wasn't what I thought it was. I laughed at that and she said:
"Its true baby; it wasn't what you think. I love you and you know I do. All that happened here today was closure. Closure for both Alan and me" and then she told me the story.
She and Alan had been a couple from the seventh grade on. By the tenth they were already talking about marriage after high school graduation. Alan felt that since they were going to get married anyway it wouldn't matter if they started having sex. Nancy told him no. She told him that she intended to go to her marriage bed a virgin. He kept pushing and pushing and she finally broke down enough to start giving him hand jobs. By mid eleventh grade she had progressed to giving Alan blow jobs.
Alan still kept pressing and she promised him that she would give him more sex than he could handle once they tied the knot, but not before. He told her he was going to hold her to that promise.
During the summer vacation between eleventh and twelfth grades Alan's father took a promotion that required that they move eleven hundred miles away. Alan promised that he would come back for her as soon as he had his high school diploma and then he reminded her of her promise.
Nancy and Alan had stayed in touch all through the next year and then suddenly she stopped hearing from him and all her letters to him went unanswered. After a while she figured that he had found someone new and she got on with her life.
We met and married and then one day Alan showed up where she worked and they had a tearful reunion. Over lunch Alan brought Nancy up to date on what had happened to him. He and his mom and dad had been involved in a five car pile up on I-5 and his parents had been killed. He had survived, but was in a comma for nine months. When he had come out of it he had no long term memory. After a year in rehab and therapy his memory had come back and as soon as he was able he had come back for her. He was bitter at finding out she was married.
They had lunch together a couple of times a week and according to Nancy she only did it because she felt so bad over thinking that he had found someone else and that's why he stopped communicating with her. Over one of those lunches he reminded her of her promise to him. She told him she couldn't because she was now married to me. He told her that she owed him for all the times she sent him home with blue balls and she kept saying that she couldn't,
Alan kept working on her and she decided that she would do it one time with him more to settle what she thought of as a debt than because of love. It would give closure to their interrupted relationship.
"I felt I owed him baby. After all he had been through he came for me only to find that I hadn't waited for him. It was only going to be the one time and you were never supposed to know about it. Honest to God baby it was only going to be the one time. I love you Frank and you know I do. Please try to understand and please, for God's sake, forgive me."
I told her she still needed to pack a bag and leave because I had a lot of thinking to do and I didn't need her around distracting me.
She went to stay with her folks and I spent a week thinking about the situation and in the end I decided to take a chance on Nancy. She came back home and then proceeded to do her absolute best to spoil me rotten and fuck me to death.
After a couple of months it occurred to me that she was trying too hard and I started thinking that it was her way to keep me from thinking about what she might be doing so I decided to do some checking. I could account for all of her time I the evenings and on the weekends, but then I remembered that she said that she had met her old boyfriend for lunches.
I took a couple of days off work and was parked down the block from where Nancy worked about a half hour before her lunch hour. Nothing happened on Monday, but Tuesday she came out of the building at twelve noon and I followed her to the Starlight Motel. She pulled up and parked in front of room 103 and sat there. Two minutes later a car with California plates pulled up next to her. Alan got out of the car, walked over to Nancy's car, leaned in her window to kiss her and then went to the office. He came back with a key and the two of them went into room 103.
I sat and watched the door to 103 until Nancy came out and then I followed her back to work. Once she went inside I went back to the Starlight and a fifty dollar bill got me the information that Alan Pendergast had a standing reservation for room 103 on Tuesdays and Fridays. I'd never heard of a specific motel being reserved so I asked if there was anything special about the room that would make it desirable and I found out that it was the only room with a hot tub. All of the odd numbered rooms on the first floor were supposed to have had hot tubs, but the builder ran into financial problems before the other hot tubs could be installed.
As I drove home a plan took shape in my mind. Surprisingly enough I felt no animosity toward Pendergast. All he had done was come back for the woman he loved. True, she was with another when he got there, but he loved her, wanted her and so he didn't give a rat's ass about me. I didn't doubt for a minute that part of the time he spent with her was spent trying to get her to leave me for him. The only question in my mind was why she didn't do it? It was obvious to me that she wanted to be with him. Why else would she be meeting him?
That evening Nancy was her usual amorous self and I went along with the program as I did again Wednesday and Thursday. Friday when she pulled up and parked in front of room 103 I was in place and ready to put my plan into action. As soon as the two of them were in the room I backed the U-Haul truck I had rented up next to Nancy's car and started unloading boxes. I'd rented the truck Thursday and had purchased seventy-five moving boxes. I left for work at my normal time Friday, but had only driven around the block and then waited for Nancy to leave for work. I went home and packed everything of Nancy's into the boxes. I packed up everything that we had bought because she wanted it and then I drove over to the Starlight and waited.
I unloaded the boxes as quietly as I could and then I stacked the boxes in front of the door of the motel room. It built a wall three boxes deep and the only way to get out of the room would be to tear down the wall from inside the room and that wouldn't be an easy task since the wall went higher the door to the room. They would have to wrestle a box out of the first row only to find another row behind it. The last thing I did was lean the bed frame, box spring and mattress that Nancy had cheated on against the box wall.
The last part of the plan would take place when the two of them had finally worked their way out of the room. They would find a process server waiting to hand Nancy an envelope and to tell her that she had been served.
I drove home and prepared myself for the meeting that I knew was coming. Such preparation being three fingers of Jack over ice. I didn't bother changing the locks on the house. Nancy's name was on the title with mine and her paychecks helped pay the bills. I doubted that we could co-exist until the divorce was final so it was likely that one of us would have to move out, but it wouldn't necessarily be Nancy.
The phone rang at 3:10 and in answer to my "Hello" I got a "Can I come home?"
"It isn't a home anymore Nance, but yes, you can come to the house."
She walked in at 3:25 and the first thing out of her mouth was a cliché. "It isn't what you think baby. I can explain if you'll let me."
"Go ahead. It has been a difficult day for me and I could use a laugh."
.... There is more of this story ...