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."
.... There is more of this story ...