Jim Fox marveled at how quickly situations could change. That very morning, he felt pretty miserable when he woke up. He had suffered through a troubled sleep the previous evening as he considered the best way to tell his daughter, Emily, that he had seen her boyfriend with one of her so-called girlfriends at the mall the previous afternoon. That alone wouldn't have been a problem, but the two had been seriously making out near the entrance of the mall.
Jim was quite sure that he knew his daughter well enough to know that she would be very upset about that information. It had never occurred to Jim to not explain exactly what he had witnessed to Emily. He was simply concerned about how and when to break it to her. Her volleyball team was scheduled to play in a district semifinal match in a few hours and she needed a clear head to play her best. Jim had decided to give her the bad news on the ride home after the match.
Then Jim turned his thoughts to the meeting he had with his boss earlier that afternoon. He had been called into the office and introduced to an older, heavier man named Ralph Jenkins. Having no idea why he was in the boss' office, Jim shook hands and pretty much kept his mouth shut while he waited to find out why he had been called in.
"Jim, we've just completed negotiations to purchase Precision Buffers in Daytona Beach," announced his superior. "You've just met, Ralph, the previous owner. We're taking over on the first of the year and I want you to head up our maintenance staff down there. I know you've been unhappy about your chance to advance here, but you've just been promoted!
"You'll be working with Ralph between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. He'll introduce you around and bring you up to speed on their equipment. We plan to eventually replace most of it with machinery similar to what we have here, but that'll be over a period of months so we don't disrupt production too badly. You know our equipment like the back of your hand, so it'll be a walk in the park for you.
"The only question I have is this. Are you willing to relocate to Daytona Beach? Included in the sale of the plant was a two bedroom condo that Ralph's company owns. You'll be able to move your family in immediately and live there for all of next year, rent free. By then you should know if it's for you and if you want to buy a place of your own in Daytona. Before you make up your mind, I should tell you that this position will include a twenty five percent increase in your salary. How long will you need to think it over?"
"I accept!" was Jim's immediate reply. "My wife has been complaining about the winters here in Pennsylvania. Her biggest fear was that I'd be transferred to the plant in Michigan. When I mention the pay raise and Daytona Beach, she'll be ecstatic. She can transfer her job to the nearest Home Depot down there with no trouble. I'll gladly take that job!"
"Then it's settled. Why don't you take my company car and give Ben a ride back to the airport and then take the rest of the day off," suggested Jim's boss.
Jim was grinning to himself as he headed away from the airport terminal after dropping Ralph off. All of a sudden, things were looking good. Emily could move to Daytona for her last semester of high school and forget about her loser boyfriend! Everything was finally going his way; and then it wasn't.
Jim's wife, Helen, drove a red Camry, much like ten million others, except a kid with a driver's license for a week had backed into the front of her car while it was parked at her work. He bent the front grill area pretty badly. Most of the plastic simply fell off, but there was some bent metal left. The radiator was now prominently displayed. As he drove past, Jim noticed a red Camry with the radiator showing sitting in front of a Best Western motel a couple blocks from the airport!
With his heart in his throat, Jim swung into the far end of the parking lot. There was an empty space next to the Camry, so he parked in it. He considered the situation. He wasn't a violent man, but if Helen didn't have a pretty good explanation for parking her car at a motel, there was going to be some serious trouble!
As he gradually calmed down, it occurred to Jim that he was driving the company car, which his wife had never seen. The windows were darkly tinted, perhaps a bit more than was actually legal in the state. He decided to simply wait for Helen to come out to her car and see who was with her, if anyone.
After waiting a couple of minutes, he realized that just sitting around wasn't enough, so he hatched a simple plan. Helen's spare tire was still sitting in the garage where he had left it after having it repaired a few days earlier. He knew that Helen would call him to bring the spare if she had a flat tire.
Looking furtively around, Jim slid out of the car with his jackknife open and sliced the valve stem on the tire mounted on the left rear of Helen's car. The tire was flat by the time he climbed back into the rear seat of the company car. Then he slouched down in the seat and waited less than patiently.
Half an hour later, he heard a curse very close to his car window, which he had lowered half an inch. "Damn it! I have a flat. Now what am I going to do?"
"No problem, Sexy Lady. After a blowjob like the one you just gave me, I'll be happy to change it for you," came a man's response as Jim's world crashed around him. He quietly gagged as his lunch desperately wanted to resurface.
"I don't have a spare! My husband never put it back in the car after getting it fixed. It's home in the garage," complained Helen.
"What a worthless prick," chuckled Helen's lover. "I always make sure my wife's car is in good shape. I don't want her stranded someplace with the kids. Now I wish I had driven myself rather than ride with you. What're we going to do?"
"Let's go back in our room and warm up while I make a call," suggested Helen as the loving couple strolled back to the motel.
Jim waited for his phone to ring. He was thinking how he would question Helen when she called, especially when she asked him to bring the tire to a no-tell hotel out by the airport. The only problem with that plan was that his phone never rang!
Twenty minutes later, a familiar Honda Civic pulled into the lot and parked on the other side of him. Jim had been thinking that he could never feel any worse, but he was wrong. His daughter, Emily, was delivering the tire to her cheating mother!
Emily knocked on the motel door and waited a full minute before the door opened. Jim couldn't tell what Emily said, but she turned around and marched back to her car and opened the trunk. She lifted the tire out and placed it on the pavement as Helen and her boyfriend walked up.
"Frank, get that for Emily! She has to play tonight and can't be injured or tired before the match even starts," worried Helen.
"Thanks for the concern, Mom. You could've been dressed when I got here if you were thinking about me. I have to hurry to school and get ready for the match. Can you take it from here?" asked an obviously irked Emily.
"No problem, Em," replied the guy Jim now knew to be Frank. "As soon as I get it on the car, your mother will drop me off at Home Depot where my car is parked. I'll have time to watch you play tonight. I'll be cheering for you."
"Thanks, Frank. Just don't sit too close to Mom. Dad's going to be there and I don't want any drama while I'm playing."
"Don't worry. I won't hurt your dad, if I can help it," laughed Frank. "I doubt he'd ever guess what's going on and even if he did, he'd never try me. He knows it wouldn't go well for him."
"Frank, I've asked you to not talk about Jim that way. He's my husband and Emily's father. He's a good man and deserves some respect," replied Jim's loving spouse.
Emily simply stared at her mother. "Respect? In what world would your actions be considered showing him respect? I just want to graduate before the divorce."
"I've told you that I love your father and there won't be divorce! We'll die in each other's arms," insisted Helen.
"You're a bit delusional, I'm afraid. Dad won't stand for you having boyfriends and sooner or later, he'll catch you with one."
"There's only been one, and Frank's not a boyfriend. We're just friends with benefits," replied Helen. "We probably won't keep this up for very long so we're going to enjoy it while we can. I deserve a little fun after all of the time and effort I put into our marriage."
"Dad's put the same amount of time in and probably more effort," pointed out Emily. "Does he have a girlfriend?"
"Your father? Hardly," laughed Helen. "He's not the type. You know how shy he is around women. It took him weeks to get up the nerve to ask me out. You're dad is a good husband and father".
"Unlike the guy over there?" motioned Emily toward Frank, as he worked to jack up Helen's car.
"Frank's a good guy. He's funny, considerate, a good father, and a very good provider."
"He cheats on his wife! You just said that Dad's a good husband because he's faithful, which Frank certainly isn't. If he was thinking about his wife and kids, would he be banging a married woman in a sleazy motel?" demanded Emily.
"That was cruel and uncalled for!" shot back Helen. "I'm not in the mood to argue with you about this. You need to get to the school and get ready. Frank and I'll be along shortly. We'll be rooting for you!"
"For some reason, that doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy," retorted Emily. "Keep him away from Dad. Frank doesn't believe it, but Dad can kick his ass."
.... There is more of this story ...