I met Gwen on my first day at work. She was the receptionist and the person who issued me my temporary ID badge and told me where to report in. To say that I was taken by the raven haired beauty with the deep blue eyes would be a massive understatement. Going gaa gaa over her would be closer to the truth. I did notice that there were no rings on her finger. As I walked away from her desk I'd already made up my mind that I was going to try and get something going with her.
Easier said than done. A beauty like Gwen had to be hit on all the time. She could take her pick from hundreds of guys. I would be one out of a herd of hundreds and I didn't have anything special going for me. I didn't think I was bad looking and I was in pretty good physical shape. Sports in high school and college had gotten me in damned good shape and after seeing the pudgy (and downright fat) ex-football players among the alumni who attended games I made a promise to myself that I would never be like that. I joined a gym when I graduated and I worked out regularly. But I was still only one of many and after being turned down seven times when I tried to get Gwen to date me I wrote her off as a lost cause.
Ironically it was writing Gwen off that got us together. Gwen was used to guys hitting on her and even though she shot a good many of them down she was used to them keeping on trying. I guess I didn't get the memo. I didn't stay with the program. I tried, got nowhere and walked away. Apparently you were not supposed to do that to Gwen.
Maybe two months after my seventh attempt at getting a date, getting nowhere and walking away I noticed that Gwen was being a little nicer toward me, smiling more at me and even engaging in short conversations. I didn't realize that they were a signals being sent to me to get me back to being in her orbit like all the others. Not recognizing them for what they were (or perhaps sub-consciously knowing, but not being interested in being part of the crowd) I ignored them. Since I was ignoring or oblivious to her signals Gwen stepped up her game.
She started joining me in the breakroom when I took my ten o'clock and two o'clock breaks. Since she was very easy on the eyes (I have mentioned that she was a beauty right?) I welcomed her company and did nothing to chase her away when she started joining me for lunch in the company cafeteria. I didn't mind at all having a gorgeous woman to look at while eating lunch or on a break and I never bothered to ask her why the sudden interest. Nor did I ever make another move toward asking her out even though she gave me some small hints that she might be open to an invitation.
Things bumped along for about a month and then one Wednesday, during our two o'clock break she did something that I never expected. Gwen asked me for a date. Well maybe not a 'real' date. What she needed was an escort to a family function. The story, as I got it from her, was there would be a few people there that she wanted to avoid, but if she showed up alone she wouldn't be able to. If she was on the arm of someone they would stay away from her.
It sounded a bit fishy to me at first, but then I thought maybe not. Maybe an old boyfriend or two were going to be there and she wanted nothing to do with them. Either way I wasn't going to say no to her. It might not be a real date, but I would be spending time with the most gorgeous woman I had ever met.
The family function was an engagement party for an older brother and his intended so there were both family and friends there. I was introduced around by Gwen and she stayed right by my side for almost the whole time we were there. I figured that I was right when I surmised that an old boyfriend or two would be there that she wanted to avoid because I saw at least three who looked at me like they wanted to see me come to harm. Most likely they were friends of her brother that she had dated.
That thought was reinforced some when I saw one of the three approach her brother for a short talk and minutes later the brother came over and asked me if he could borrow Gwen for a few minutes. Gwen had also seen the guy talking to her brother and she said:
"You don't really want me to ruin your party do you? If that asshole gets anywhere near me I'll create a scene that you will remember to your dying day."
Tony (her brother) gave her a long look and then turned and walked away.
We mingled and Gwen was never more than two feet away from me. I met the bride to be and was instantly smitten. If she wasn't already taken I might have taken a shot at her myself. She was the total opposite of Gwen. Gwen was tall, sultry and sexy while Alice was maybe five one or five two and had the fresh faced look of the girl next door. I think Gwen noticed the attraction and to get me away from Alice she tugged on my sleeve and said she had someone she wanted me to meet.
She walked me over to a large older man, maybe early to mid-fifties, with a large white walrus type mustache. As we walked up to him he said:
"Whatcha got Princess? Another fly caught in your web?"
"Just a good friend Uncle Dan."
She introduced us and he smiled and said, "Watch out lad. She can be pretty overpowering when she really turns it on."
"Then I guess I'm already in trouble. Especially if she hasn't turned it on yet. I'm not sure that I can handle what she is now. I can't even begin to imagine her really turning it on."
He laughed and said, "Then I would suggest you start running now lad. Get some distance from her."
"I should have known better than to introduce you to him. I lose more boyfriends that way."
Boyfriend? I was now a boyfriend?
We talked for a few minutes and then my body signaled that it was time for me to find a bathroom. Uncle Dan told me where it was and for the first time since we got there Gwen and I were separated. I figured that she would be all right being with her uncle until I could get back to them.
I used the bathroom and when I came out there was a guy standing there to use it next. As I went by him he said:
"You're the guy here with Gwen right?"
I nodded a yes and he said, "Be careful dude. Don't trust her" and then he was in the bathroom and had closed the door.
Gwen wasn't with her Uncle Dan and so I went looking for her. I ran into Alice and asked her if she'd seen Gwen and she told me that she had last seen Gwen talking to Gary by the door to the garage. Then she said:
"Gwen is a great girl Bob, but she needs a strong hand. Keep that in mind if you end up as a couple."
I was going to ask her for an explanation, but another guest came up to us to ask her something so I resumed my search for Gwen. I headed for the door in the kitchen that led into the attached garage. I didn't find Gwen there, but I did hear a voice in the garage that sounded like Gwen's. I opened the door and saw Gwen and a guy that I assumed was Gary. He was the guy that I had earlier seen talking to Tony before Tony came over and asked if he could borrow Gwen for a bit. He had her backed up against the fender of a car and he had his hands on her arms and was holding her there and I said:
"What's going on here?"
"None of your business. Get out of here and leave us alone" the guy said.
"It is my business" I fired back. "She is my date and that makes it my business. Now get your hands off of her and get away from her."
"Fuck you!" he said which was the wrong thing to say to me. I headed for him and he turned and got into some kind of martial stance and launched a kick at me. Those things might work if you are faster than a speeding bullet which is something he wasn't. I turned and took the kick on my left side, clamped his leg against my body with my left arm and then stepped backwards. That pulled him off his planted foot. His arms flailed as he tried to catch his balance and I gave him a solid right to the face. Blood squirted from his nose and I let go of the clamped leg and gave him a push that sent him to the floor. I was a firm believer in the old saying "Once you have them down keep them down" so when he hit the floor I kicked him as hard as I could in the crotch. He doubled up on the floor and I grabbed Gwen and said:
"Come on; let's get out of here."
We left the garage and Gwen said, "Thank you. If you hadn't shown up when you did I would have started screaming and that would have put a damper on the party."
"Who was that jerk?"
"An old boyfriend who didn't like being dumped. I dumped him because he was a jerk. Or maybe he was always a jerk and I just didn't notice it at first. We had better leave. When Gary gets back on his feet he might come looking for us. I don't want a scene that will ruin Alice's party"
We found Alice and Tony out on the patio, said our goodbyes and then left.
It was still fairly early and I asked Gwen if there was something she wanted to do with the rest of the day. She told me that she was open to suggestions so I asked her if she liked country/western music and she said she did so I took her to dinner at Santiago's and then to Buckskins to listen to the music and maybe dance.
The band that night was Without a Net and they were a pretty decent group. Gwen knew most of the dances and we had a pretty good time. I had to use the men's room and while I was gone the band started a number that was good for the Cowboy Cha Cha. The Cowboy Cha Cha is a dance you can do as a couple or you can do it solo.
When I got back to our table I spotted Gwen out on the floor doing the dance solo. I couldn't take my eyes off of her as she dipped, swayed and turned. Her lovely dark mane swirling as she moved to the music. I had never in my life wanted anything more that I wanted her right then. Yes, I wanted her, but deep down inside me I knew that I could never have her the way I wanted. I knew, absolutely knew, that I would never be enough for Gwen. She was just too much woman for any one man.
The tune ended and as she came back to our table I noticed that all the male eyes in the place were on her as she made her way back to me. Yes I wanted her, but I knew I couldn't hold her. I didn't believe that any man could, but that didn't kill the want.
We closed the place and I drove her home. On the ride she told me that it had been a while since she'd had so much fun and she thanked me for the evening. When I got her to her place she kissed me and thanked me again for the evening. As I drove home I wondered why the Gods fucked with people the way they did. They knew that a girl like Gwen wouldn't be able to settle for one man, but they kept putting her in front of men who couldn't resist her. Men just like me.
I also thought about Uncle Dan, Alice and the man who met me coming out of the bathroom at the engagement party. They all told me to be careful, very careful with Gwen. I went to bed that night determined to heed their warnings.
Monday morning when I walked into work Gwen greeted me with a smile and a cheerful "Good morning." I returned both and headed for my office. Gwen joined me for the ten o'clock and two o'clock breaks, but the conversations we had were general in nature.
She joined me for lunch and both breaks on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I never did what she was expecting. I never asked her for a date. I wanted to; God knows I wanted to, but I knew that Gwen would be bad for me so I didn't make a move.
Thursday I didn't get a smile from Gwen when I got to work and she didn't join me for either break or lunch. Friday I nor only didn't get a smile I was barely acknowledged. She looked up from what she was doing when I walked in, saw that it was me and then looked back down at what she was doing. Needless to say she didn't join me for lunch or either of the breaks.
Monday I got to the office before she did so I was spared the 'cool' reception. The morning break at ten found me sitting at a table in the breakroom when Gwen came into the room. She saw me, hesitated for a second or three, started my way and then abruptly changed direction and went to an empty table on the other side of the room. She was sitting of to the side of me so I wasn't looking her way, but I could feel her eyes on me the entire time I was there.
I was out of the office when lunch time and the afternoon break came around, but the next day when I got to work Gwen gave me a small smile and said good morning. I returned the greeting and then went to my office and got busy with the stuff in my in basket. I worked through the morning break and at noon I decided to have my lunch at the diner down the street.
The waitress had just brought me my order when I saw Gwen come in. She looked around the crowded place and saw that the only empty seats in the place were at my table. She came over and asked if she could join me and I of course said yes. The waitress came over and took Gwen's order and then, not wanting to seem rude, I held off on eating until her order arrived. While waiting we talked, mostly about work and some of the people there, but just as the waitress approached with Gwen's food Gwen asked me:
"Why don't you like me?"
That took me completely by surprise.
"Why in the world would you think that I don't like you?"
"You don't ask me out."
"That's not so Gwen. I've asked you out over a half dozen times and you turned me down each time. Since you obviously were not interested I quit asking."
"The day you took me to the engagement party when you took me home I told you it had been a long time since I'd had so much fun and I kissed you when you walked me to my door. That was 'girl speak' for call me. Girl speak for I want to do it again, but since then you haven't done a thing."
"My bad, but in my defense I don't speak any foreign languages."
"I don't speak or understand girl speak."
"Then I guess I'm going to have to tutor you. Do you have anything going tonight?"
"Nothing that I can't get out of."
"If you would like you can have your first lesson tonight."
I looked at Gwen and wondered just what in the hell was going on. I was nothing special, but she was. Why was she coming on to me? I might not have been anything special, but I was no fool and no way in hell was I going to pass up a chance to be with Gwen.
"What time?" I asked.
"Will six work for you?"
When I arrived to pick her up I found her in jeans and a 'brush popper' shirt and as soon as I saw the outfit she said:
"I'll bet you can guess what I want to do."
I felt ridiculous standing in front of her in a suit and tie, but it was correctable. I had a gym bag in the car that had a sweatshirt in it that I could change into. I was going to look a tad grungy compared to Gwen, but it couldn't be helped.
We went back to Buckskins and had a great time. Buckskins offered free dance lessons on Wednesdays and Thursdays and that night's lesson was the West Coast Swing and neither of us knew it and we had a good time learning it. Lessons lasted from seven until nine and there was a ten minute break between sessions and during the breaks we sat at a table, sipped our drinks and talked. Mostly about finding more about each other.
I leaned that she had two brothers and one sister. She had a two year Associates Degree in Business Management and was only working as a receptionist while looking for something better. Her favorite color was red, she liked football (her favorite team was the Denver Broncos), baseball (Detroit Tigers) but didn't care for basketball, hockey or soccer at all. She liked classical music, bluegrass, Dixieland, jazz and Golden Oldies and couldn't stand rap, hip hop, heavy metal or acid rock. She preferred action movies to chic flics and her favorite recreational activity was to go out to the range with her Llama .380 hand gun. All in all she was my kind of girl.
When I walked her to her door she turned and kissed me and then said, "What did I just say to you?
"That you would like me to call?"
"You got an A on your first quiz. I'll have you understanding 'girl speak' in no time."
As I drove back to my place my mind was at war with itself. Half of it wanted me to grab onto Gwen and hold on for dear life, but the other half was telling me to stay away from her and avoid getting hurt. I listened to the part telling me to grab onto.
Over the next two months Gwen and I dated to or three times a week and the goodnight kisses at her front door got longer and hotter and soon led to full-fledged make out sessions in the car before I walked her to her door. Nothing sexual occurred – I kept my hands to myself – even though my body ached for her, but I was too scared of doing anything that might push her away.
During that two month period Gwen found a better job and I no longer got to see her every day at breaks and lunches. I didn't much care for her new job because at times it required her to work late and she had to break dates with me. I finally reached the point where I wanted to take it to the next level and I started shopping for a ring, but before I found one that I liked things came unglued on me.
It was a Thursday and I had a date with Gwen that evening. That is I did until she called me at work and told me that she had to work late. I didn't feel like sitting home alone so I thought I would head over to Buckskins to see if their line dance lessons would include one I didn't know. I would have a drink or several while I was there and I don't like to drink on an empty stomach so I decided to stop somewhere and get a bite to eat. When I made that decision I was driving down Clairmont and I saw a sign saying "Angelos – Fine Italian Dinning" and I decided to give them a try.
The first thing I saw when I walked in the door was Gwen seated in a booth with a man I didn't know. Not across from him, but next to him. His left hand was on the table and she was holding it with her right. They were smiling at each other and I turned around and headed for my car, got in it and pulled out of the parking lot all thoughts of Buckskins gone. There I would have nursed drinks between lessons, but I was no longer in a 'nursing drinks' kind of mood. I pointed the car toward Bud's Bar where I could get some serious drinking done.
As I drove I told myself that I knew all along that Gwen was not a girl that I could hold onto. When I got to Bud's I got a table in the back and settled in to drown my sorrows. As I drank I wondered if Gwen ever worked late and if all of our broken dates were because she was going out with another guy or guys.
I had more to drink than I should have, but I was still clear headed enough to give my car keys to Mike and have him call me a cab. "Okay" he said, "You're a cab" and then he laughed and picked up the phone. The cab dropped me at home and I hit the bed.
In the morning my head hurt, but then I knew it would while I was pounding down the drinks at Bud's. A handful of aspirin followed by several cups of black coffee got me into enough shape to make it to work. Luckily it was a busy day for me and by concentrating on the work at hand I was able to push Gwen to the back of my mind until quitting time. However she was back in the forefront when I got off work that afternoon.
She came back full force when I had to call a cab to take me to Bud's to pick up my car. Making the call reminded me of just why my car was at Bud's. I got my keys from Mike, had one beer and then left. I couldn't afford to try and drink away my sorrows. Cab home last night, cab to work that morning, cab to Bud's to get my car plus what I spent on booze the night before had put a severe dent in my available funds.
Driving home from Bud's I thought about the situation and wondered why I had let it get to me. I'd known all along that Gwen and I were mismatched. I was lucky to get what little I had gotten from her. Deep inside I knew that it had to end sometime and now it had. Time to get on with life. I packed up all my camping gear and headed for Lake Martin. I spent the weekend working on my tan and communing with nature.
When I got home Sunday night the red light on my answering machine was blinking. The counter said I had nine messages. Eight were from Gwen and I deleted them as soon as I heard her voice. I had no need to hear what she had to say and the sooner I could put her behind me the better. One was from some guy wanting my support in his bid for a seat on the City Council. I deleted that one too.
The day went fast and when I got home the red light was blinking again. Four messages; three from Gwen and one a surprise. I wondered why Gwen was calling my home phone instead of my cell so I took a look at it and found that it was turned off. I'd forgotten that I'd turned it off when I went to the lake and had forgotten to turn it back on. On reflection it was probably a good thing otherwise it might have gone off constantly while I was trying to enjoy my weekend. I decided against turning it back on until the morning.
Back to the call that was a big surprise. Not much of a message, just "Call me" followed by a phone number. I recognized the voice and I suddenly had another decision to make. To return the call or not. Then I laughed at myself. Of course I would return the call. Curiosity practically demanded that I do it.
Harlina Collins had been my girlfriend from the day we met in the eighth grade until the middle of our senior year in college. It was a foregone conclusion to both our families that we would be married when we graduated and in truth both mothers were already planning the wedding.
And then everything went to shit!
It started simply enough and I'm sure that if you've been to college (and probably at some high schools for that matter) you have experienced it. The instructor splits the class up into groups and assigns each group a project. Lina (I called Harlina Lina) had to meet with her group at the library to research and plan their project. She had to break several dates with me in order to do it and I thought nothing of it because I'd been through the same thing in some of my classes.
I remembered the day vividly. It was a Wednesday and Lina and I had a date to attend an art exhibit at a local gallery. I really had no interest in art, but the artist was a friend of Lina's so we were going to stop in and show support. I got the call just as I was leaving my four o'clock class. Lina told me she had to break our date because the group had to meet to iron out some problems with their project. Since I was only going to the gallery to placate Lina I decided to skip it since Lina wouldn't be going.
I was sitting in the Student Union drinking a Coke and going over some class notes when my friend Arty sat down at my table. There was no "How you doing bud" or "How they hanging homes." He just said:
"You've been my friend for years home; have you ever known me to lie to you?"
"Never to my knowledge."
"I hate this home, but I got to tell you. Harlina is stepping out on you. I've seen her three times with some big dude."
"I know about it. She is in a study group working on an assigned project."
"Two is not a group homes; two is a couple and the couple I was looking at were kissing and playing 'touchy-feely' with each other."
"When was this?"
"Last Monday, Wednesday and Thursday."
I thought back and all three of those nights Lina was supposedly at the library with her group."
"Where did you see them?"
"All three times it was at Angie's."
Arty was attending school on scholarships and he earned his spending money washing dishes at Angie's Restaurant and bar. Angie's was on the other side of town and in an area that I was not likely to visit to randomly visit. In fact I had only been there twice in the last four years and the last time was two years ago. I started gathering up my books and said:
"Thanks for the heads up Arty."
"What are you going to do?"
"Since the last three times you saw her were all on nights she was supposed to be with her group at the library and since she just called and cancelled on me again I have an overwhelming urge to drive over to Angie's."
"If they follow past practice they won't get there until around seven. The guy is a big dude and he looks like a scrapper. I'm on my way to work so if anything happens I'll be there to watch your back."
The drive over to Angie's took a half an hour and when I got there I parked where I could watch Angie's parking lot. It was a bit of a wait and around seven I saw a car pull in and I saw Lina and a guy get out of the car. He was indeed a big guy. Maybe six four and two twenty. I saw them kiss and then walk into the restaurant holding hands. The kiss and the hand holding told me all that I had to know and I was about to start the car and drive away, but at the last second I said "Fuck it!" and I got out of the car and headed for the building.
They were sitting in a booth and Lina had her back to me. I walked up to them and said, "Hey Harlina. Busy working on your project I see. Funny thing though; this doesn't look much like a library to me."
I always thought that "Her face turned pale" was a figure of speech until I saw Harlina's face as she looked up at me.
"Just out of curiosity Harlina, how long have you been a cheating slut?"
The guy said, "Hey asshole! You can't talk to her like that. Get the hell out of here before I get pissed and throw you out."
"Fuck you fuck face! I'll talk to my ex-fiancée any way I want."
The guy moved to get out of the booth and I grabbed the beer mug in front of him and tossed the beer in his face. His hands flew up to his face and with a firm grip on the handle of the beer mug I slammed it into the side of his head. It knocked him out and he slid down on his seat. I know it wasn't very sporting of me, but he was six four to my five eleven and two twenty to my one eighty-five and I would have terminally stupid to let him get out of the booth to where he could get to me. I turned to Lina and said:
"I'll leave it up to you to tell the mothers why the wedding they have been planning isn't going to happen. Don't bother calling me and spouting some ridiculous bullshit about how it isn't what it looks like and it doesn't mean anything. I don't want any contact with you anymore. I hope you have a sucky life Harlina."
I turned away from the tale, waved at Arty and then left the restaurant.
I saw her around the campus, but I avoided her and never spoke to her again. And now two years later a call from her. A simple "Call me" and curiosity was going to force me to do it. But first I was going to have a bite to eat and a large Jack with water back to fortify me.
It was eight when I finally felt that the Jack had me ready to hear Harlina's voice. I dialed the number and it rang four times before the phone was picked up and I heard:
"I wondered if you would call."
Ain't caller ID wonderful?
"Why? You had to know that curiosity would make me call."
"Can we meet somewhere for a drink?"
"Not tonight. I've already had more Jack than I should have."
"You pick the time and place."
For several seconds I debated on just hanging up and losing the number. A phone conversation was one thing, but an in person face to face was something else again. But then there was that curiosity thing.
"Bud's Bar at six tomorrow work for you?"
"It will. And Bob? Thank you."
I hung up the phone and then wondered if I'd done the right thing. Harlina was gone and buried in the past. Shouldn't I have left her there?
I got to Bud's at a quarter to six figuring to have at least one drink to fortify myself for the coming meeting, but when I walked in I saw that Harlina was already there. She looked good, but then she always had. She was the polar opposite of Gwen. Where Gwen was sultry and sexy in a smoldering way Lina, as was Alice, the fresh faced girl next door.
As I neared the booth she stood up to greet me. She offered me her hand as she said, "Thank you for seeing me" and I took it for a brief shake. I sat down and as soon as my butt hit the seat Tina showed up and set a drink down in front of me and I glanced over at the bar and saw Mike watching me. He gave me a 'thumbs up' and I acknowledged the gesture with a nod and a smile. I picked up the drink, took a sip and then asked:
"So what's up Harlina?"
"I'm hoping to find something that I lost."
"And what might that be?"
"You. These last two years have sucked for me Bob and all because you weren't there. I've missed you something fierce. I know that it was all my fault, but there is a hole in my life where you used to be and I want you back to fill that hole."
I sat there silently while taking an occasional sip of my drink. She apparently couldn't stand the silence so she kept talking.
"I know I hurt you Bob and I'm sorry that I did. I never meant to hurt you, but in all honesty I never thought that you would find out. I just had a need to get something out of my system before we graduated and settled down into a life together. Maybe I should have been upfront about it, but I was afraid that you would take it wrong. No. That isn't true. I knew how you would take it and I was afraid that I would lose you."
I still stayed silent and nursed my drink. I guess she expected me to say something or ask questions and my silence unnerved her. She looked away from me, took a drink from her glass and then said:
"We were fourteen when we started going together Bob and from the eighth grade until our senior year in college I'd never dated another boy. I had no idea of what other boys were like and I was curious. I tried to satisfy that curiosity and do it in a way that you would never know about it. And before you even ask it wasn't about sex although I did engage in some rather heavy necking sessions.
"It was just about finding out what other guys were like. Their likes and dislikes, how they interacted with girls and other guys. Stuff like that. I wasn't looking for a replacement for you, but I was curious. I was happy with you, but I was curious. I never found one that could even come close to taking your place. Over the last two years I've dated maybe two dozen guys, but not one of them was able to fill the void you left when you dumped me. I haven't even come close to being able to put you behind me. I don't know if you know it, but I call your mom every couple of weeks just to ask how you are."
I didn't know that. In the weeks following my breakup with Harlina my mother kept after me to sit down and talk with Harlina.
"You belong together Bobby and everyone knows it."
I finally told her that if she ever mentioned Harlina to me again I would stop coming home to visit. She must have realized I was serious because she never brought Harlina up again. As I sat across from Lina and listened to her I tried to separate the truth from the lies.
The fact that she was sitting across from me telling me her story was proof enough, for me at least, of the depth of her feelings for me, but there was no doubt in my mind that she was also lying to me. I believed it, but had no proof she was, only my memory of our times together. Lina had taken to sex like a baby duckling takes to water. After our very first time she wanted to do it damned near every time we found ourselves alone together. Four, five and sometimes six days a week and always – ALWAYS – more than once.
Her brother had some porn tapes and she would sneak into his room, get a couple and we would watch them and then she would want to reenact what we had just watched. Oral, anal and positions you needed to be made out of rubber to get into. She even wanted to try mild S&M and I almost always went along with her. I did draw the line when it came to water sports. She was pissed at me because I absolutely refused to do it, but even as pissed at me as she was she never stopped wanting to make love.
That was the Lina that I knew and there was no way she was going to sell me the story that all she ever did with guys was some heavy necking. It wasn't lost on me either that Lina's sneaking around on me started shortly after she saw how hung the actors were in the porn that we watched.
Still, that was then and this was now and here she was trying to get back to me. The question was "Could I let it happen?" Lord knows that I'd missed her and that hardly a week went by that I didn't think of her once or twice. I sat there looking at her and wondering if we could put it back together.
I still hadn't said a word and I had no idea of how Lina was taking my silence. She gave a deep sigh and then said:
"I don't have curiosity anymore and I want what we had back Bob. Think about it please. You have my number."
With a last long look at me she got up and left. And left me with questions that I doubted I'd get honest answers to even if I had asked them. But one of the things she'd said had registered; the "I don't have curiosity any more" and if that was true could I take a chance? I didn't know but I did know that I was going to be thinking about it.
When I got home there were two messages on the recorder for me and both were from Gwen and both were the same. "Please call me as soon as you get this message Bob." I wondered why she hadn't called my cell. I took it out of its case and saw that it was turned off. I didn't remember turning it off. I tried to turn it it back on and saw that it had turned itself off because of a dead battery. I put the phone in the charger while I considered calling Gwen and getting it over with. WTF I thought; just do it and be done with it. I dialed her number and the call went to vice mail. Probably out with some guy and didn't want to be bothered was my thought and I also saw it as a sign that I shouldn't call her. I was thinking of Lina as I fell asleep.
In the morning I showered, shaved, grabbed my cell off the charger and headed off to work. I stopped and had breakfast at the Village Inn and when I got to work I was in a pretty good mood. That is I was in a pretty good mood until Lois (Gwen's replacement) handed me a stack of message slips and said:
"Please get her off my back Bob."
I looked through the slips and saw that two-thirds of them were from Gwen and most of them said "Call me as soon as you can." I picked up the office phone and called Gwen's cell. She answered on the third ring and said:
"I'm at work. I can't talk now. Call me tonight. Bye."
And she hung up. I looked at the phone in my hand and thought "So much for calling as soon as I could." I had a very busy day and when the day was over I picked up the phone and made a call. Not to Gwen, but to Harlina. I asked her if she would like to have dinner with me and she said yes. She gave me her address and as I was getting in to the car my cell phone chirped and the screen said the call was from Gwen so I let it go to voice mail.
I had a nice relaxed dinner with Harlina and the evening went well enough that I asked her if she would like to go out with me on Friday. She said yes and when I got her home she gave me one hell of a passionate kiss and tried to get me to come in for a drink. Remembering the Lina of old I was tempted, but said:
"It is too soon for that Lina. It is going to take me some time before I'm ready for that."
I didn't add that I wanted to be sure in my mind that she had indeed gotten her curiosities out of her system before I committed again.
I'd shut off my phone while I was on my date with Lina and as I walked back to the car after seeing Lina to her door I turned it back on again. There were two messages from Gwen. I looked at my watch and saw that it was just after eleven. Well she did say that she wanted me to call as soon as I could so I punched in her number and she sounded like she had just woken up when she answered.
"Bob? Do you have any idea what time it is?"
"You wanted me to call so I called. In fact it is my third call to you today. The first went to voice mail, you wouldn't take my second."
"Why didn't you call again only a little earlier?"
"Because I was on a date and it wouldn't have been cool to call you. To say nothing about the fact that it would have been bad manners to call you while I was with her."
"You were on a date? With a girl?"
"Yes Gwen; with a girl. I thought you knew I wasn't into guys."
"But a date with a girl? I thought we had something good going Bob."
"I thought so too Gwen; right up until I saw you holding hands with that guy at Angie's Restaurant on the night you broke a date with me because you had to work late. And before you even try I won't buy that it was just a quick bite to eat before rushing back to work. Angelo's is on the other side of town from the Fisher Building which is where you work. The Fisher has two restaurants in the building and there are a least six other eating establishments within a three block radius of the building so if you needed to duck out for a quick dinner break you didn't need to go across town to do it. Sorry for waking you up. Goodbye."
I broke the connection and the phone rang right away. I saw from the screen that it was Gwen, but I was no longer in the mood to talk so I turned the phone off. When I got home I saw the red light blinking on the answering machine. Without even checking the messages I unplugged the phone and answering machine and went to bed.
When I got to work in the morning I told Lois to tell Gwen, if she called, that she had been instructed not to take any messages from Gwen and if she persisted in calling Lois was to hang up on her. A coward's way out maybe, but so what?!
I spent a quiet evening at home. Quiet because I had my cell turned off and I hadn't plugged the phone back in. I watched a bit of TV and then turned it off and picked up a book that I had been reading.
I received a smile and "She stopped calling" from Lois when I got to work. The day went quick and when I got off work I picked up Lina and we went out for dinner. After eating we went to The Pit for some drinks and dancing.
We were in a pretty mellow mood when I took Lina home and I did follow her inside when she asked me to come in for a nightcap. She set me down on the couch and went into the kitchen to make the drinks and I wasn't really all that surprised when she returned with a drink in each hand and without a stitch of clothing on. Just Lina naked except for her CFMs and two drinks.