Hey Folks, thanks for all of the notes and e-mails about last week's story. I did get a few notes from people who told me that all of the partner switching and machinations that went on it seemed like no one in the story really loved anyone else. So this week I decided to do something a bit more romantic to switch the mood up. Thanks as always to Barney-R for editing this story.
Why does it always rain when I have to go to a funeral? It's funny but the weather just seems to mirror the sadness of the occasion. It's almost as if God was sad too. I'm not one for religion. However, to me, looking at the headstone I'm standing in front of, it almost seems like God should be happy.
Diana was a wonderful woman. She brought joy and happiness into the lives of everyone she touched. When I'm older, I want people to think about me the way they think about her. She always had a smile for everyone, whether she knew them or not. And again, I'm not much on religion, but it seems to me that if an ordinary person can be a saint, Diana, should make the cut.
If I'm going to end up even half the woman that she was, I need to start now. Being that damned nice has to come from within, so I have my work cut out for me ... Because there are some people, that I just can't stand the shi...
"Tasha, Honey ... Why are you over here?" The voice is soft-spoken and carries with it more love and affection than any man I've ever known. As I hear the sound of that voice, my heart does little flips. I turn to facing the man who spoke those words and even though today is a somber occasion, I smile as soon as I see him. I can't help it; it's an involuntary reaction. Something down deep in my soul feels that way every God damned time I see him. Sorry about the profanity, but I've been cursing ever since I was twelve.
He looks very dashing in his navy blue suit. I picked that one out for him today. He leans down at the slightest tug from the other woman in his life. Sometimes I think she has a bigger place than even I do in his heart. If so, there's nothing I can do about it. As he picks our daughter up, I laugh again. I laugh every time I see that exchange.
Of the two of them, she is clearly the one in charge. Gus is so unmistakably wrapped around her little finger that it's almost funny. My daughter never crawled. Gus always picked her up anytime she even whined. I still marvel that she learned to walk. There is of course no need to ask who she walked to, when she took those first few ungainly, halting steps.
"I just wanted to pay my regrets to Diana again," I told him as I got up onto to tiptoes to kiss him.
"She really was a very special lady," he said. "She was taken from us far too soon. However, we really do have to get over there. They kind of can't start the ceremony without us."
I nod my head and grab onto the arm that isn't occupied by my daughter. As we walk the surprisingly few yards across the field and through the fence that separates the section that Diana is buried in from where we have to go today, I have another thought.
"Perhaps the reason that it's rainy today isn't because God is sad about Diana joining him, maybe he's pissed about having to deal with that fucking Maybelle. Sorry again about the cursing, but I can't and couldn't stand the shit out of Maybelle Bigelow.
Hey, I already admitted that if I want to be like Diana, I have my work cut out for me. Okay what would Diana do in a situation like this? She'd try to find something good about Maybelle. Or at least something she liked about her. I guess the fact that Maybelle is dead, probably doesn't count. Okay, Maybelle was an entitled, narcissistic whore. I liked that about her so to me, that's something good about her. As a matter of fact, if she wasn't such an entitled, narcissistic whore, my life would be a lot worse, so I'm glad that she was.
As my husband, Gus, steps into the clearing around the gaping hole in the rain-soaked ground, the reverend smiles, and nods to him. The rest of the very few people gathered there, look at me again. Some of them look at us in outright shock.
I guess I expected for Gus to hand Veronica to me before he walked up to the lectern placed before the casket and began to speak. But he did no such thing. He proudly carried my daughter up there with him as he got ready to speak.
If Maybelle was still alive, she'd be pissed beyond belief. As a matter of fact, I'm sure the casket just moved from her rolling over inside of it. Maybelle hated my innocent two-year-old daughter more than she hated anyone alive, with the possible exception of me.
And the few people among the crowd, who actually consider themselves to be friends of Maybelle, stare in openmouthed shock at Gus carrying Veronica with him. Some of the others just stare at Gus and me for other reasons. I guess if you were picking out couples, we wouldn't exactly be the two people that most people would pick as being happily married or even married period.
It's a pretty weird story, so maybe I should take you back to the beginning, or at least when all of this started a little over two years ago.
My name is Natasha Bigelow. Yep, I have the exact same last name as the deceased. And that's for a really good reason. You see; Maybelle is the former Mrs. Gus Bigelow, and I'm the current and last Mrs. Gus Bigelow. My having the title is the reason that Maybelle hated my daughter and me. Especially since Maybelle had held that title since I was about five years old.
"Yeah there's a little bit of an age difference between Gus and me. It's really not that much. It's only twenty years. I just turned twenty and Gus will be forty in three months.
I grew up next door to Gus and Maybelle. I also grew up with a permanent crush on Gus. My mom died when I was about nine years old. Gus and Maybelle had lived next door to us for a while before she passed. In fact, my mom was the only person who knew about my Gus crush. She always told me just to take all the things I liked about Gus and find those same qualities in a boy my age.
My mom didn't really get along with Maybelle. Maybelle was too good to socialize with most of the women in the neighborhood. When my mom passed, Gus sent us flowers and helped my dad make the arrangements.
I wish I could say that my dad had fallen apart as a reaction to my mom's passing, but the truth was that he'd pretty much fallen apart long before then. For the last few years before my mom passed my dad had been a functioning alcoholic. When mom died, he just stopped functioning.
Gus took over. When I needed something that my dad couldn't or wouldn't do, like homework or any other parental thing, Gus did it. And sometimes he did it against Maybelle's wishes. I think that he just sensed sometimes that if he didn't do things for me, they just wouldn't get done.
The only time I saw Gus defeated, was when my first period came around. Gus basically knew about them, from a guy's viewpoint, but not enough to tell me the things I needed to know. And though he begged Maybelle to help me, she refused. That was when I met Diana. Gus had explained everything to her, and she gave me "the talk," and explained everything else about being a woman to me.
Of course, Gus was still around, and we had lots of talks too, but there were some things that I just had to have Diana for. The strange thing about it though, was that the more interest Diana and Gus seemed to take in me, the less interest my father had.
There was a time when my Dad and Gus were friends. They even played golf together. However, over time, my Dad sank further and further into his bottles and less away from everything else. My father was never the falling down and comical type of drunk, nor was he the angry type of drunk. In fact, most people really couldn't tell that he was drunk at all.
The worst times for me were the holidays, because my dad never seemed to know that they existed. From the time my mother passed, we simply never celebrated them. I don't think I ever got a Christmas present or a birthday gift from him at all.
Of course, Gus never forgot me at Christmas time, and he never once forgot my birthday either. Gus and Diana always managed to make sure those special days never passed by without them giving me something though.
We sometimes had small parties with just the three of us. I thought that the sun rose and set over Gus. I thought that he was an absolutely perfect human being until my sixteenth birthday. The day that I turned sixteen, I found out that Gus was human. That was the day that I heard Gus tell a lie. The three of us were having a small party for my birthday. Sixteen is an important birthday for a girl, not that my father knew it. I doubted that he even knew it was my birthday.
Diana made me my favorite cake, and she gave me my first iPod. iPods were very important back then. Everyone who was anyone had to have one, and they were expensive. The people who had knock-offs or other brands just didn't seem to be as special. I know it's stupid but we were teenagers for Heaven's sake.
Gus, on the other hand, showed me exactly how thoughtful he was. "Tasha, you're growing up. You're not my little girl anymore. You're almost a grown woman," he'd said.
I thought that Gus was crazy. I'd be his little girl until I was sixty if he wanted me to. Then he handed me an envelope.
"And no man really ever knows what any woman honestly wants," he continued. "So I decided to let you pick it out yourself."
I looked into the envelope and found five crisp one hundred-dollar bills. It wasn't the money. It was a lot of different things. It was the fact that Gus had always been there for me. It was the amount of love for me shining out of his eyes. It was the fact that when he saw my report cards, he looked them over as if they were the most important things in the world. He rewarded me for the things I did well in and chided me for places where he knew that I could do better. But that afternoon marked a very important moment in my life.
As Gus looked at me with that slight smile, my body reacted. I didn't know what it was at that time, I just felt funny. I recognize it now, of course because I'm older and more experienced, but it took me by surprise that afternoon.
And poor Gus, well he's a guy, and even the smartest of them are kind of clueless about certain things, but Diana noticed, and we talked after Gus had left. In a lot of ways, I think that had Diana not been there that afternoon, my life would be very different today. I doubt that Gus, and I would have had sex. I mean he was probably thirty-five or thirty-six and, I was sixteen. I also had no idea at all about sex except in the purely clinical ways that we talked about it in health class. And of course, the way teen-aged girls talked about it to each other. That moment was my first actual sexual thought, and it burned through me like napalm. I was flushed and dizzy. I was starting to sweat. I stuck my breasts out further, and as I walked around Gus, I made sure my ass swayed from side to side more. I also had an overwhelming desire to sit upon his lap and kiss him. He didn't notice any of it, but Diana sure did, and she looked at me and shook her head.
I was still suffering through and not understanding how wet my panties were getting when it happened. I heard the sound of Gus' cell phone ringing. He answered it. It was obviously Maybelle. Gus spoke to her, and the entire mood in the room changed. As he spoke I realized that Gus was leading Maybelle to believe that he was still at work. As bad as my father was, I don't remember him ever lying to my mother. Gus left shortly after that.
"He lied," I said, with tears running down my cheeks. "All of that shit that he gives me about being honest and truthful, and he lied. And he lied to his own wife."
Diana just smiled at me and shook her head. "He's an asshole," I declared. "And worse than that he's a..."
"Natasha, shut up before you say something you'll regret," snapped Diana. Then in a purely Diana moment, she looked skyward. "God, help her get through this," she said.
After a few moments she looked back at me. "I had forgotten just how scary being sixteen can be," she said. "You're full of hormones and confusing and conflicting emotions all running through you at the same time. Ten minutes ago, I thought I was going to have to hose you down. You were leaning over and throwing your titties in his face like a prostitute. It's a really good thing that he still sees you like a little girl. It's also a good thing that he's a really good guy. Natasha your body has developed and matured a lot faster than your emotions have, Honey. You need to be really careful or that body is going to get you into trouble," she said. I was sitting there on the arm of her sofa with my arms folded across my breasts and an angry look on my face.
She smiled at me and rubbed her hand through my long brown hair. "Now all of a sudden, you can't stand him," she smiled. "You've been in love with that man, for as long as I can remember, but now you can't stand him because you caught him in a lie. Welcome to the real world, Honey. You're becoming an adult, and you're going to have to realize that none of us, Gus included, is perfect."
"I know I'm not perfect," I spat. "But at least I'm not a liar. My father is a drunk, and he never lied to my mom."
Diana just burst out laughing. And I looked at her.
"Honey, you have to grow up sometime, and it looks like now is a good time," she said. "Natasha, Gus loves Maybelle. I have no idea why, but he does."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"I mean that Maybelle isn't worth half of one of Gus' bowel movements," said Diana. "She's spoiled and she thinks the entire world revolves around her. Do you know why Gus lied to her?"
"That isn't important," I snapped. "What is significant is that he li..."
She didn't even let me finish. "He lied for you, stupid," she spat. "A little over, little over a year ago Maybelle decided that Gus had too much interest in you. Gus is like an old dog. He's fiercely loyal, and he keeps doing the same stupid tricks over and over again. For most of his life, Maybelle's wishes were his commands. So when she told him to leave that girl alone, it almost broke him in half. On one hand, he had the woman he's loved for most of his life and never ever said, 'No, ' to for any reason. And on the other hand, there was you. So I guess he should have simply abandoned you, right?"
I went into shock. I hugged Diana and went home without ever answering her. Once I got there I got into my bed, and I thought about everything that had happened that day. By the end of the day, I came to a few conclusions. I was even more convinced that Gus was the most perfect man ever made, and I realized then that I hated Maybelle. It wasn't just the fact that she made Gus lie to protect me; it was everything about her. It was things that I'd never before considered. Like the way she looked at me and everyone else as if we weren't worthy of the privilege of kissing her boney ass. And the way she ordered Gus around as if he was her fucking butler.
My daughter Roni wiggles in my arms. She turns and looks in every direction as the assembled people stare at us waiting for me to say something. First, I have to get the smile off of my face. This is supposed to be a somber occasion, but for the life of me, I can't seem to muster any sadness.
Perhaps it's because I'm happier than I've ever been at any time in my life and the tiny bundle of energy in my arms and the beautiful young woman standing there staring at me are the reasons for it.
As I look at Tasha, we both erupt in smiles that further defeat my efforts to project sadness or a sense of loss. Tasha always tells me that I'm her first and only love. I wish with all of my heart that, she'd been mine. However, that creature in the box that we're all here to see into eternity bears that distinction. For the life of me, I just don't have a clue as to why.
Maybe it's like hood scoops. My first Mustang had a big scoop on the hood that made it look fast. If you do all the physics, you realize that the scoop actually made the car marginally slower. It just trapped air and acted like a brake.
My current Mustang has a smaller scoop that doesn't just sit on the hood acting like a pocket. It's a part of the car's shaker hood system and the air that goes into it is channeled into the engine's intake and increases my horsepower. So why do so many people have non-functional hood scoops on their muscle cars? I guess like Maybelle those scoops just seem like something cool, that in the end aren't quite as beneficial as we thought.
Looking over at Maybelle's body, I wonder why I'm even here. I guess the answer to that is simple. Someone has to be. And someone has to say a few words for her. And since we were married for most of our lives, I guess it's just one more cross I have to bear to put Maybelle behind me.
It's funny. It didn't start out that way. We started out like every other young couple. We were so deeply in love that we imagined that they wrote every single love song ever sung, for us.
I guess the beginning doesn't matter. To truly understand Maybelle and me maybe we should start at the ending.
The ending was four years ago. It was just after my wife's sixteenth birthday. Boy is that a weird thing for a forty-year-old man to say.
But anyway, a very special friend of mine, Diana, had called me over to her house for a talk.
"Okay, Di, what does our baby need now?" I joked. I was laughing, but Diana didn't smile. We'd jokingly called Tasha our daughter for years even though there was nothing romantic going on between Diana and me. Diana was about fifteen years older than I was but that wasn't it. Diana was a believer in true love. I mean real true love. That's the kind of love where two people fall into it and they just keep falling forever and ever.
She'd met John Abra when she was fifteen, and they'd stayed together for the rest of his life. They ran a small mom and pop gas station in Ohio until he died of a sudden stroke. Diana was left with the burden of living out the rest of her years without him. There was no need for her to try to get over him or to try to find someone else. That kind of love lives on long after a spouse's death. No man would ever come close to touching Diana's heart the way John had.
In the end, Diana had sold the station and left the area. She'd settled in our small Michigan town, which is strange for an Ohio girl, but she made it work and everyone around here loved her.
Anyway that afternoon Diana had taken my hand and looked into my eyes and knew that it was serious.
"Gus, I didn't call you over here to talk about Tasha," she said. "And after the conversation, we're about to have, I need your promise that you won't take your anger out on that poor girl. She has nothing to do with what we're about to talk about."
"Good Lord, Di. You don't have to be so serious and mysterious," I said. I stood up and started to walk around the room because I had a feeling that it was going to be bad.
"Gus, Maybelle is being unfaithful to you," she said. Those seven words, six if you excluded my name destroyed my world far more powerfully and more completely than any nuclear bomb ever could have.
I didn't know how to react. I hoped that it was some kind of sick joke. However, I knew two things in my heart at that moment. I knew that Diana would never play that kind of joke on a friend. She more than anyone else I knew, understood the effect that love could have on a person and how fully it took over their lives.
The second thing that I knew was that she was telling the truth. I think that we are all connected with the people we love. Whether you want to call it psychic or just that our biorhythms become attuned to the people we care about. However, at that moment, I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that Maybelle was cheating on me. I also knew that it had been going on for a while.
In some terrible flash of insight, as if we were connected mind to mind, my connection to Maybelle confirmed it.
"I know how much you love her, Gus," continued Diana after a while. "And I know how hard it is for you to hear this..."
God damn it why was she still talking? Why did she ever have to talk again? I couldn't think because of all of her God damned talking. That was the problem with the world. There were simply too many words. My stomach hurt all of a sudden, and my chest got tight. I was having trouble breathing, and I think I was going to vomit. I sat back down on the couch because I didn't trust my legs to hold me up. Even if my legs didn't fail, I didn't trust my sense of balance any more.
"Gus, I have someone I'd like for you to speak to," she said after a few minutes. She gestured towards her kitchen and a young man of about twenty or so came out. He seemed to be afraid to come out. As I looked at him, I realized that he was afraid of me.
"Hi Mr. Bigelow," he said nervously.
"Gus this is Ebb," said Diana. "He works at Drucker's motel."
Ebb started talking then.
"Mr. Bigelow, I've seen your wife lots of times," he began. "Everyone in town knows her, because of the clothes she wears, and because of you being an engineer ... well THE engineer over at the plant. It's funny, but the two of you don't seem to fit. Except for you driving that Mustang, you seem to be just as down to earth and sociable as everyone else. But your wife ... she's kind of high falutin', if you don't mind my saying so. Anyway for the past six months, every Thursday, her and Christine Ledbetter from the next town over have club meetings in one of the suites in the motel."
"She did mention joining a club," I said. "Maybelle needs something to do to fill her hours and charity work may be just the thing."
"Her club isn't exactly into charity work," said Ebb. "But maybe they were trying to help the downtrodden or maybe the homeless. I just can't see how that helps them that much though."
"There's also the fact that the club's membership is kind of uhm ... varied," he said looking at the ground.
"My wife isn't a racist," I said. "That's a good thing"
"Oh! ... no one would ever say she was that," said Ebb. "Their club has all kinds. They have whites, Latinos, Blacks and I even saw an Asian guy there a couple of times."
"So what's the point Ebb?" I asked.
"Well, the fact is that although the membership varies from week to week a couple of things are always the same," he began. "Every meeting has your wife and Christine and ten to fifteen men of various sizes and colors. And the meetings are always, for some reason, conducted without the women or most of the men having any clothes on. And..."
I held up my hand before he could go any further. I asked him to write down any details he could give me, including the suite they used and the time that they met. It was Tuesday so that didn't give me a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do.
When I got home that evening, I looked straight into Maybelle's eyes, and I saw it all. Engineers are critical thinkers. We are taught to examine a problem from many different angles and come up with a solution that works on multiple fronts. In most cases, I had to solve problems with our parts that made them attractive, safe and at the same time cost effective.
This time I had several different problems to consider. I compared my marriage with Maybelle to John and Diana. When a couple is perfect or as close as we humans can come, they're a team. The relationship has balance because they have the same goals, and they want to reach them in the identical way. They love each other so much that they simply can't be without each other. They love each other so much that they would rather be with each other than anyone else including their own families.
When I looked at Maybelle, I realized the fatal flaw in our marriage. Maybelle and I had always both loved the same thing. And we worked for most of our lives towards the same goal. The problem was that we both loved the same person. I loved Maybelle with everything I had. The problem was that Maybelle loved Maybelle with all of her heart too. Maybelle had married me because I loved her more than anyone else did. Everything in our lives to that point had been about Maybelle.
She smiled at me and came over to hug me. I hugged her back, and I looked at her for the first time through unbiased eyes. Maybelle was attractive. I think now that we were in our mid-thirties a lot of that attractiveness was cosmetic. She was thin to the point of being waifish. However, she was still always on this diet or that. A few years before, she'd talked me into buying her breast implants.
When we'd sat in the doctor's office, I'd agreed for her to go a cup size bigger to make up for what she'd lost due to gravity and sagging. Somehow, or at least, Maybelle claimed, the doctor had ordered the wrong size, and Maybelle ended up several sizes larger.
She now had stripper boobs or what some call it that, "tits on a stick," look. Her legs were thin and she had no hips, but her boobs came into the room a couple of seconds before she did. Maybelle also had hair extensions that took her collar length hair several inches below her shoulder blades. She'd in addition, lightened her hair several shades.
Until that moment, I had never really considered it. I guess part of it was that the changes had occurred over a long period of time. I'd had time to adjust to each new change before she added something else. There was also the fact that I loved Maybelle with all of my heart and soul. I trusted her too. So when she told me that she wanted bigger titties, so I'd have more to play with, I believed her. Now I just felt stupid.
I could see the pattern, and it was really clear. Monday and Tuesday, Maybelle and I never had sex. On Wednesday night, she got really cuddly and affectionate. Thursday was her club meeting, which was set up on the one day of the week that I worked late to oversee the nightshift. Usually, I got home at about 8 p.m. and Maybelle was already in bed. She always got angry at me when I laughed about why she went to bed so early on Thursday nights.
"Gus, with you away from me, I get bored," she snapped. "What else would I do? I make you dinner to eat when you come in, and I go to sleep so when I wake up, we're together again. Maybe I'm just trying to sleep through my loneliness."
It always made me feel guilty, but now I just felt stupid. She was probably exhausted from her Thursday meetings. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday she tried to fuck me until she stripped the skin off of my dick. Now I understood that it was simply guilt sex and nothing more.
I spent the evening cuddling with her. We sat in our porch swing together holding onto each other for dear life. The only difference in what we were doing was that for the first time, both of us knew the game and the rules.
She held onto me so desperately, because she wanted me fat and happy and sure of her love for me. But also because I'm sure, or at least, I hope that she felt at least a tinge of guilt for what she'd been doing to me on a regular basis.
I hugged her even more tightly than usual because I knew that it was probably the last time I'd have a chance to do it. I was trying with all of my heart to purge my emotions and treat her as dispassionately as I could, but deep down, inside, I still loved her. And of course there was always the chance that Diana and Ebb had been mistaken and in roughly thirty-six hours, I'd discover that it was someone who simply looked like Maybelle. In that situation I'd never tell her what I had suspected, because Maybelle had a hell of a temper.
For anyone who knows the stages of grief, it's easy to see that I was into the bargaining stage. I'd already told myself that if it wasn't her, everything would be fine. I wasn't going to go into anger, and for the most part, I was long past denial, but I was bargaining my ass off. I'd even told myself that if it was her, and she just didn't show up this week; I could take it as a sign that she had quit and still loved me. I prayed with all of my heart that she didn't.
One of the great things about living in a small town was that you can get things done pretty quickly since everyone knows everyone else. Another thing is that most people are willing to help you when you get into trouble. So in the day and a half that I had left, I had to put everything I needed together.
I had to pretend to work late on Wednesday to arrange a couple of off-the-wall things and Maybelle was kind of cross with me on Wednesday evening when I got home, but it was all part of the game.
Thursday morning I kissed her good-bye for what I hoped wouldn't be the last time, and I went to work. A friend of mine, who worked as a P. I. in Lansing, drove into town and setup cameras all over the suite. He was videotaping all the proceedings as a favor for me. There would be a couple of city officials there because someone, namely me, had made an official complaint.
At promptly noon, Ebb let us into the suite and as soon as the door opened, Sam Kinnison marched in and started screaming. Sam worked for the health department, and it was illegal in our state to have nude people in the same room that food was being served in. The town Sherriff, Andrew Clay, was there to make sure that if the complaint was valid, the guilty parties could be jailed until their fines were paid.
As soon as Sam started screaming, "Health Department, get your dirty asses away from the food and line up against the wall," all hell broke loose.
Andrew who'd earned the nickname, "Dice," had brought along a couple of his deputies, Don Rickles and Jackie Gleason.
As soon as the door opened I'd gotten an eyeful. The suite's large bed was virtually surrounded by a mass of men humping away at two naked women. One of those women, my wife Maybelle, literally had a dick anywhere and everywhere one would fit. Christine was moaning as loudly as a porn star. She preferred her men one after another. She lifted and thrust her hips with the lithe movements of a professional dancer as the current guy fucking her, energetically sawed away at her.
Maybelle didn't make a sound because it was hard for her to say anything with her mouth full. And there were so many men in her that she couldn't move. However, the three guys in her vagina, mouth, and ass had worked into a rhythm. Somehow she managed to give yet another guy a hand job at the same time.
The expressions upon the faces of the women were completely different. Christine looked like she was in ecstasy. Maybelle just looked bored or as if she was just trying to out-screw Christine. Both of them got that shocked; deer in the headlights look, as they realized that they were going to jail.
Some of the men were locals but most of them; I'd never seen before. The doors were locked from the outside, and each man was handcuffed and taken away. The women were taken last. Christine knew the drill already and kept her head down as she left the room so if there were photographers waiting for her; they wouldn't get any pictures of her face.
Maybelle started whining immediately about how she'd pay her fines as soon as she found out what she was being charged with, but in exchange for her cooperation, she wanted the Sherriff to make sure that no one ever found about what she'd done. She claimed that this was her first time ever doing anything like this, and everyone in the suite laughed.
Dice looked at one of the guys who was being led away in handcuffs. "Did you hear what she said about this being her first time?" he asked. "Did you screw her?"
The guy nodded and smiled.
"Was she any good?" Dice asked. The guy smiled and nodded again.
"How do you think she got that way," asked Dice. "That kind of shit takes a lot of practice."
As the guy walked away, Dice obviously happy with himself for the massive number of arrests he'd just netted and what it would do for his re-election bid chuckled to himself.
"Old mother goose," he said. "I fucked her..."
Maybelle was being dragged out of the room. She grabbed Dice's arm and pleaded with him. "Please don't let my husband find out about this," she whined. "I'll pay double. I'll give you anything you want." She leaned down and the sheet they'd covered her with gaped open, so he could see the big fake tits that I'd paid for.
"Mrs. Bigelow you're only making things worse, and you're doing it for nothing," he said.
She looked at him in shock. "How do you know who I am?" she asked. "Have we met before Sheriff?"
"Lots of times, Maybelle," he said. "And besides making things worse you're wasting your time. I love my wife as much as Gus loves you; maybe more after this. And as far as Gus finding out ... number one ... he's standing right over there trying his ass off not to cry. And number two; it was him who arranged all of this. So I think he already knows what you've been up to."
That took all of the wind out of Maybelle's sails. However, it took all of my strength away too. I guess I'd expected to see Maybelle, kissing or at the most screwing one guy, and I thought that it might be some type of revenge affair for me not paying enough attention to her. Seeing Maybelle performing like some kind of circus whore had overwhelmed me and burned out any residual love that I had for her.
As she was dragged past me, our eyes met.
"Gus, Honey, we need to talk," she said. "This really isn't what it seems like. There are extenuating circumstances here. We really need to talk."
I was no longer needed so I left the hotel and got into my Black Mustang and drove out of town. I got on the freeway and just drove until my car's gas gage told me that I only had twenty miles before it was empty. I got off the freeway, refilled the tank, and drove home. I'd turned off my cell phone while I drove. When I got home, the message light on my home phone was flashing. I ignored it. I checked the voicemail on my cell phone and found that I had over fifty messages. I was surprised because I thought that when you were in jail, you only got one phone call. There were twelve messages from Maybelle and a few from Christine Ledbetter, whom I'd never met. There were a few from numbers I didn't recognize and three from Maybelle's parents.
I went to bed.
If I thought that sleep would somehow give me the wisdom or the strength to get through my problems, I was wrong. I had just started the coffee maker when I heard the sound of car doors slamming outside of my house.
I looked out the window and saw a TV news truck and at least eight reporters from TV stations and newspapers. There were several cameramen as well as other people who seemed to be stringing cable for cameras and mics all over my lawn.
As soon as I opened the door, they were on me. I held up my hand to fend off questions and then pulled out my phone and started taking pictures.
"Mr. Bigelow, what are you doing," asked one woman.
"I'm taking pictures of everyone here," I said. "My home and my lawn are private property which I am now asking you to get off of. I intend to sue everyone who doesn't comply."
They all understood that and retreated to the curb.
"Would you like to make a statement?" someone asked and it got so quiet you could hear a pin drop.
"My attorney has instructed me not to, since there is an ongoing investigation," I said.
They started to pack up their equipment, and just when I thought that they were going to leave. A gray Honda Accord pulled into the driveway behind my Mustang.
My father in law got out of the car with an angry look on his face. His wife had just opened the car door, when one of the local reporters recognized them.
"It's the whore's parents," he shouted and the reporters swarmed my in-laws like piranha.
By the time they got free of the throng of reporters, I was pouring my second cup of coffee. I got up and let them in. The reporters ran back to the curb as soon as I pulled out my phone.
"Okay son, I get it now," said my father in law. "You had to take the phone off the hook from all the reporters and people calling you. Have you figured out how you're going to raise the money to bail her out yet? Her mother and I can't come up with that kind of money. Maybe we can pool what we have and swing it that way?"
I sat at the table and picked up the newspaper. He looked at me oddly. "The jailhouse opens at 8:00, and her arraignment is at 9:00," he said. "Do you want to ride over with us? If we leave now we can get there and try to talk to her before she goes in."
"I have to see my lawyer to make sure everything is ready," I said.
"Okay son, we'll see you there," he said. They left and made it to their car before the reporters swarmed them again.
It was three hours later that he drove back up my driveway and got out of his car angrily. His wife was nowhere to be seen. He walked up to me balled up his fist and swung at me.
"You miserable bastard," he screamed. I stuck out my hand and caught the fist.
"Are you finished?" I asked, still holding his hand. He nodded, and I went back to washing my car.
"Why," he asked. "Why are you doing this? I don't understand."
"Well when dirt gets on my car, it can damage the paint if it's left there," I said. "It's also a kind of therapy for me. It's a series of repetitive actions that I know by heart, and I can just zone out and think while I do it."
"Gus, I don't care why you're washing your God damned car," he spat. "I'm asking you why, not only are you hanging my daughter out to dry on these trumped-up charges, but you had her served with divorce papers as well."
"In the first place," I said. "I don't know everything that she's being charged with, but I can assure you that the main charges are not trumped up."
"Most of its bullshit," he said, "A health department violation for improper food handling. Another one for doing something within a certain distance of where food is being served, it's all bullshit. Maybelle likes to have parties, but she's not a professional caterer. She doesn't know the law about those things."
I turned and looked at him. "Okay she has a temper. She got into a few arguments with some of the police officers and Sherriff's deputies," he added. "That's no reason to divorce the woman who's taken care of you for over ten years."
"Come into the house," I said. He followed me still looking confused.