I’m a face in the crowd; taller than most; not handsome, not ugly; just average. Women rarely notice guys like me. But, even a blind squirrel can dig up an occasional acorn; and I found Jane. My life was perfect. Then, fate smirked and said, “Just messing with you buddy!!!”
I asked Jane to a party. She said she had a date. I told her how much that bothered me. She laughed and said, “I accepted it before I met you. It’s Phi Rho’s annual bash. I can’t break it. Don’t worry. It’s just a social obligation.” She kissed the phone and we hung up.
The party was going full-blast when I arrived; loud music and wanton dancing. The drunken doofuses were out in force. The shamelessly wasted girls were all there. The predators were on the fringes; scanning the herd for limping members. The booze flowed, the hormones bubbled, the atmosphere crackled with sexual energy and all inhibitions were set to zero.
I heard loud male laughter. I strolled over to see what the source the hilarity was. It was Jane. She was so hammered that she couldn’t stand up. She had both arms draped around the neck of a preppie frat-rat. Her head was lolling from side to side, her mouth was hanging open, her eyes were closed and her face was slack. No doubt, THIS was her “social obligation.”
The “obligation” was holding her with one hand; while he slyly pulled up her skirt with the other; egged on by a pack of overentitled douchebags surrounding him. The “obligation” stealthily moved her panties aside exposing her slit. THEN, he forcefully shoved two fingers between her lips. Jane’s head snapped up. She gave a loud gasp!!! Her eyes flew open; startled. Her mouth began to work frantically. Then her eyes crossed and rolled back in her head. They stayed that way; only the whites showed. She groaned from pure sensation. Her thighs opened reflexively. Her knees buckled and she began making rhythmic sounds of enjoyment. The sniggering increased. It was agonizing.
The “social obligation” vigorously fingered her. She gave a strangled cry of sexual pleasure. The mocking laughter reached fever pitch. Jane’s face screwed up. She produced a lurid grunt and yelled, “Uhhhh!!!” Then she bucked and quivered through a huge orgasm.
The guy dragged her into a side room, still noisily cumming. I glanced into the room. The “social-obligation” was on top of her now; holding her knees next to her shoulders, legs spread. She was taking him to the hilt. Her fingers were frantically dug into his churning butt cheeks. I could hear her garish moans, over the racket of the party. Then I heard a shriek, “Ohhh!!! Ohhhhh!! Ohhhhh! OH-MY-GOD!!!”; just another evening of hijinks and date rape at jolly old Alpha Rho.
It really shouldn’t have bothered me. It wasn’t like we were married, or even officially engaged. Plus, Jane was out of her mind. But, she had acted like a slut, no matter the backstory; and now I could never respect her. That certainty caused intense feelings of anger and futility. It was like I had invested everything, only to find out that the advertising was false.
It was all over campus by the next day. My girlfriend had been gangbanged at Alpha Rho. I told them that Jane wasn’t my girlfriend. They just laughed at me. Jane’s best friend cornered me at the local eatery. Jane must have sobered up, and realized she needed damage control. Her friend told me that Jane couldn’t remember most of the evening. The friend added that Jane was totally humiliated by the things she had done; and she was deeply sorry. I told her that there was nothing to apologize for. We weren’t exclusive, even though everybody seemed to think so. I kept the bitterness out of my voice.
I said, “Jane shouldn’t concern herself with me anymore. I just want to move on.” I was lying. But there was a lot of that going-around. The friend’s face fell and she said, “Is there any chance?” I said, “Not a chance. You didn’t see what I saw.” She said, “I’ll tell Jane. But this will kill her. She was totally and utterly in love with you.” I said grimly, “It didn’t look that way.”
Of course, I didn’t “just move on.” That’s hard to do when you are an average guy. I had a few dates but they were nothing more than meet and greets. There was never a second one. That WASN’T the case with Jane. Word got out that she was one very hot fuck; once you’d poured a little booze into her. So, every guy on campus wanted a shot at her. The stories were probably exaggerated. But, there was no doubt that she was a popular girl for the rest of our senior year.
Worse, I would occasionally cross paths with her. Every time I saw her, she gave me a shamefaced look. I tried to ignore the bitch. But inevitably, I couldn’t avoid her. It was in the stairwell of the library; just the two of us. Jane was coming down the steps. I was going up. She stopped, hesitated and said in an anguished whisper, “Can I explain?”
I looked at her like she was an imbecile and said, “Nothing to explain Jane. I fucked up. I trusted you and you made a fool out of me. Ipso-facto; what is there to explain?” She said, “I am so ashamed. I didn’t go to that party to get alcohol poisoning. It was just one mistake. It would NEVER happen again.” I said patronizingly, “I hope not, now please excuse me;” and continued up the stairs. I heard a little sob behind me. I felt nothing but wretchedness, humiliation and despair.
Some people treasure their final semester in college. After those godawful last months, I couldn’t wait to get out. I had a teaching certificate and I found a job in the middle of Wisconsin. It was a fifty-fifty split between Business and Computing. I also had a coaching offer. I had played intercollegiate soccer and the Superintendent liked my experience.
There were perhaps 700 students in the entire consolidated district, K through 12. It served three little villages along U.S. 12. The high school was in the town closest to Eau Claire. Teachers don’t make much. But it was a solid income with plenty of time off in the summer and I loved the kids.
I finished a Masters part-time at Madison, and my pay went up. I was also the varsity soccer coach and the supplement added to my take-home. We won more games than we lost. The locals considered that a feat, since we played bigger schools. I liked the respect and it just seemed right to put down roots.
The area was a center of the lumber industry a century ago. The economy might be less affluent now. But the houses still reflected the former wealth. The streets were shaded by mature oaks and the homes were old and comfortable.
So, I bought one. The banker’s kid played on my team. The mortgage was a foregone conclusion. It was a rambling, one-and-a-half-story Craftsman style home with a traditional, pillared Midwestern porch. The porch went all the way across the entire front. The wiring might be scary and the plumbing antique, but the house featured good wood and early 20th century workmanship.
I spent a solid year making it into exactly what I wanted. It was both gorgeous and comfortable. I was proud of the gleaming hardwood floors and oak paneling. When I tore the century-long buildup of cheap wallpaper off the walls; I discovered some exquisite crown molding. Things were idyllic if you overlooked the fact that I had no social life.
The area’s gathering spots were the churches and the Hot Spot Café. The Hot Spot was a legendary small town joint. The owner was a tough old bird named Dot. She must have been a knockout when she was a girl. Since she was still a good looking 70-year-old woman. Her daughter, whose name was Eve, was gorgeous. Eve was a nurse and half the area’s health-care team. Eve’s husband was the other half. He was a Licensed Physician’s Assistant and the two of them ran the local clinic.
They had a precocious ten-year-old named Brooklyn. Miss Brooklyn had all her mother’s beauty and she worked the denizens of the Hot Spot like the Mayor of the town. I liked to eat breakfast there. It was the prime location to get the district gossip. I was wolfing down a plate of Dot’s legendary Swedish pancakes, bathed in lingonberry sauce; when I gazed into an intelligent pair of eyes. Brooke was studying me like I was in a zoo. I pushed my plate toward her and said, “Want some?” She looked incredulous and said, “Seriously??!! I get as much as I want from my grandma. She spoils me outrageously.” I thought what ten-year-old uses the term “outrageously?”
I said conversationally, “So what’s up?” Brooke eyed me and said, “My mom thinks that you and my teacher ought to get married. I was trying to figure-out what she sees in you.” I laughed out loud and said, “And why would your mom care about my marital status?” Brookie said, with her voice dripping reasonableness, “How would I know? I’m just a little girl.”
I thought, “Hah! Right! ten going on forty! What is it with little girls and romance?” But I said, “Who’s your teacher Sweetie?” She said with conviction, “Miss Randall, she’s old but she’s still very beautiful.” I thought, “Probably a wrinkled old crone of 24.” I said, “I don’t work at your school Honey. I work at the High School, so I’ve never met her.” Brooke eyed me archly and said, “You will. My mother is going to invite you to dinner. You’d better be nice.” I laughed again. Brooke was a schemer indeed.
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