I was sitting in my favorite restaurant, one where I ate breakfast four or five times a week, and working on the New York Times crossword puzzle when the waitress slid onto the seat across from me.
"Well Rob, are you ready yet?" Dixie asked.
I knew what she was asking so I gave her a shrug and said, "Not yet Dixie. Not quite yet."
"It has been six months Rob. You need to get over it and I'm the girl who wants to help you do it."
"I thank you for that Dixie, but I don't know if I'll ever be ready."
"Come on Rob. You can't go the rest of your life without. For one thing it isn't natural and secondly it isn't healthy. I give great head Rob and I promise you that I can fuck your brains out. I can make you forget her Rob. All you have to do is give me a chance."
"You forget Dixie; I've already been there and I know what I'm passing up, but I'm just not up to it."
"When you are Rob just remember I'm here. I will tell you this. If I ever get my hooks in you again I promise that I'll never let go."
She got up and went back to waiting on customers and as I watched her walk away I wondered where we might have been if I had refused to take "no" for an answer.
I met Dixie on the day I had returned home from spending three years in the Army. It was a Wednesday when the bus let me off on the corner of Evans and Silver Hope and as it pulled away I saw Angie's Café across the street. It had been a long bus ride and I was tired and hungry. My plan was to walk over to where my dad worked and ride home with him, but it would be two hours before he got off so I walked across the street to Angie's.
Angie was at the register when I walked in and when she saw me she came out from behind the counter, took me in a big hug, gave me a kiss and said:
"Welcome home Rob. Your dad said that you would be coming home soon."
I'd known Angie forever. I had dated both of her daughters and I'd spent my seventeenth summer working for her as a dishwasher. She walked me to a booth, sat down with me and asked me what my plans were.
"Get a job and get on with my life."
She laughed and said, "That life won't include Linda or Lori. They are both married now and Linda is expecting."
"My loss. Too bad I felt the need to go and put some excitement in my life."
"Did I what?"
"Find the excitement that you were looking for?"
"Not much excitement in being a clerk in supply. I did get to see Japan, Korea and Hawaii which I probably wouldn't have if I'd stayed home."
A customer walked up to the register so Angie got up to go and take his money and as she slid out of the booth a totally hot redhead walked up and Angie said:
"Take good care of him Dixie."
The redhead smiled at me and said, "I wonder just how good she wants me to take care of you."
One thing I have never been is shy and so I said, "Since she is your boss I think you should keep her happy and that means you should treat me in such a way that I tell Angie good things about you."
"What do you think it would take for you to make a good report?"
"We need to sit down and discuss that. What time do you get off and what are your days off?"
"Five and Thursday Friday."
"Tell me where to pick you up tomorrow and at what time."
"What if I say "Whoa up there hoss; you are moving a little too fast."
"I give Angie a really, really bad report."
"Oh God, we would not want that" and that is the way my relationship with Dixie started.
We were sharing beds after the third date and we went at it hot and heavy for the next six months and then I asked her to marry me. She said no. She thanked me for asking and then told me that while she had some strong feelings for me she just wasn't ready to settle down.
"I'm young Rob and I want to have some fun while I can."
Instead of trying to talk her into changing her mind I got pissed and decided "Who needs her anyway" and I started looking for other opportunities. I started dating and I avoided Angie's except on Dixie's days off. After about three months I did stop in at Angie's on a Saturday and Dixie was the waitress for the section I sat down in.
"Where have you been Rob? I haven't heard from you in a while."
"Didn't want to interfere with your having fun."
"Why would you say something like that?"
"Isn't that what you told me? You wouldn't marry me because you wanted to have fun? To me that meant that you weren't having fun with me so I got out of your way. I'll have the short stack with a side of bacon."
She wrote the order down and walked off in a huff and when she brought me my order she set it down in front of me and walked off without a word. From then on I made sure that I didn't sit in Dixie's section when I stopped at Angie's.
It was a little over a year after Dixie and I split that I met Ellen. A week after I'd gotten home from the Army I'd gotten a job in the warehouse at Wayman Industries. They hired me because they wanted someone with strong inventory management skills and that was pretty much what I did in the Army. Inside of six months I had everything computerized and inventory controls in place. The bean counters said that the system that I had put into place was saving the company between 16 and 20k a year just in materials. Who was I to argue with them?
When the manager of my department retired I was offered his job and I took it. As a manager I had to attend meeting and it was at one of those meetings that I met Ellen. Ellen worked in purchasing and we had talked a time or two on the phone when she had called for information on order points or some such, but we had never met face to face.
We ended up sitting next to each other at the meeting and we got to talking at the break. It turned out that we both had a lot in common. We both liked bowling, NASCAR racing and country-western dancing, but the thing we really had in common were the places we had been. She was an Army brat and she had been to Japan, Korea and Hawaii with her dad and mom. We got to comparing what cities we had been to and what places we had visited and we were still at it when the meeting resumed. I asked her if she would like to continue over dinner and to my great delight she said yes.
After the meeting we went to Sabatini's for dinner and I enjoyed her company enough that I asked her for a date. She said yes and Saturday night I took her to The Rose where we could dance to the music of Jimmy Little and The Barnyard Stompers. After we found a table and had ordered drinks I pulled her over to where a line dance was setting up.
"I thought real cowboys didn't line dance" she said as I moved us into position.
"I'm not a cowboy little lady; just a poor boy who works in a warehouse."
"Yeah, right" she said as the music started.
Ellen taught me the Electric Slide and I taught her the finer points of the 'Tush Push' but what Ellen was really into was western swing and that girl could go all night. I was worn to a frazzle when last call came, but she seemed fresh as a daisy and acted like she could go all night.
When I got her home and walked her to her door she went up on her toes and kissed my cheek, told me she'd had fun and then she said:
"We just have to do this again."
We did do it again — a half dozen times — and each time I felt like we had something good going. For the first time in my life I was afraid of doing the wrong thing and scaring the girl off so I did nothing except keep asking for dates. Then came the night when I took Ellen home after a night of dancing and she asked:
"Is there something wrong with me?"
"Of course not. Why would you ask a question like that?"
"We have been dating almost two months and you have never tried anything with me."
I was caught flat-footed and didn't know what to say and Ellen read the look on my face and said:
"Out with it Rob. What is going on here?"
I took a deep breath and told her how I felt. She looked at me and then shook her head as she said:
"Silly, silly man. So much time wasted" and then she took me by the hand and led me into her apartment. She led me to the couch and pushed me down on it and then she crawled onto my lap as she said:
"No goodnight kiss tonight Rob. Tonight it is goodnight kisses" and she took my head in her hands and pulled my mouth to hers. We made out like teenagers at a drive in for a long time before she got up and told me to stay put. She left the room only to return four or five minutes later as naked as the day she was born. She struck a pose and said:
"Does this give you any ideas sailor?"
Six months later we were married.
We spent our honeymoon in Hawaii visiting all the places we had seen when we each had been there. We made love on the beach at night and outside on the balcony of our hotel room. I found that my new wife had a touch of the exhibitionist in her when we were away from home. She gave me head in the cab on the way to the airport — in broad daylight — after tossing the driver her panties and telling him to cover the rear view mirror with them. When I paid the fare I tipped him twenty bucks and Ellen told him he could keep the panties as another tip. Waiting to board the flight home I asked Ellen what had gotten in to her.
"I just felt the need to be wicked and a bit slutty."
"You should have asked the driver if he could feel how wet my panties were when I handed them to him."
"Is this something that I need to look out for or look forward to?"
"Never know when the mood might strike me lover. You had best be ready for anything."
She did indeed hit me with a surprise every once in a while like the time at my father's birthday party when she pulled me out into my parent's garage and had me make love to her on the hood of my dad's Corvette. Then there was the time at our company Christmas party when she had me do her in the hotel's coatroom on the boss's wife's mink coat.
We had a great life together. We played golf on the weekends, went dancing at least one night a week, bowled in a mixed league and made love three and four times a week. The only fly in the ointment, at least as far as I was concerned, was that Ellen's job in purchasing as a buyer required that she travel some. Usually no more than four or five days a month, but that meant nights that I had to sleep alone and I did not much like not having Ellen's body close to mine when I woke up in the morning.
When Ellen and I married we made the decision that even though we both wanted children we would hold off until our fifth anniversary before trying to start a family. We wanted to be able to enjoy ourselves, go places and see and do things before tying ourselves down with children. Also, we wanted to be financially stable and in our own home before we started listening to the pitter-patter of little feet. Ellen did not like the feel of condoms so she took birth control pills and backed them up with a diaphragm and spermicides and they must have been effective because we did make it to our fifth anniversary without any surprises.
We went out dancing three weeks before our anniversary and on the way home Ellen asked"
"Are you ready to be a daddy yet?"
"The question is are you ready to be a mommy?"
"Yes I am."
"Then I guess fatherhood is in the cards for me."
"Good" she said as she slid over next to me, unzipped my pants and worked out my cock. "Enjoy this one lover because you won't get any more after I go off the pill. Once I'm off the pill all of your baby makers will go into the baby factory instead of my mouth. At least until after I'm pregnant."
The next day she was off the pill and we were working at getting her 'with child' as they say. Four days before our anniversary she left on a three day trip to Denver that was supposed to have her home in time to celebrate our anniversary but a snow storm closed the Denver airport for two days. The day she was due home a major problem occurred at our St. Louis plant and I got tagged to go as part of the team that was being sent to clean up the mess. We probably passed each other at the airport and it was three days before I got home.
It was the longest that we had been apart since getting married and I'm not sure how the bed managed to survive our reunion or the days that followed.
A good job, a great wife, a lovely home and the prospect of a family on the way. Life was good.
And then my perfect little world fell apart.
I came home from work one Thursday night and found Ellen sitting at the kitchen table with an opened bottle of wine and two glasses already poured. Ellen was sipping hers and she waited until I sat down and took a sip of mine before she said:
"Honey that's great."
"No it isn't Rob. I'm sorry Rob, but it isn't yours."
I sat there with the wine glass halfway to my lips too stunned to say a word. Not mine? How could that be? And then it hit me.
"Whose is it?"
"Some guy named Stu."
"Some guy named Stu? That's all you can tell me? Some guy named Stu?"
"That's all I know about him. I never knew his last name."
"How long has it been going on Ellen? How long have you been stabbing me in the back?"
"It was only the one time Rob."
I stood up and threw the wine glass against the kitchen wall and turned to walk away. As I got to the front door Ellen asked:
"Where are you going Rob?"
"Away from you Ellen; away from you."
I ended up at Casey's Bar and sat there and did a number on myself. I woke up in the morning on the couch in our living room with a head that felt like it had a marching band stomping around inside of it. As I struggled to sit up Ellen appeared and handed me several Extra Strength Tylenol and a glass of water. After I downed the pills I asked:
"How did I get here?"
"I drove around until I found your car and then I went inside and sat at a table until the place closed. The bartender helped me get you into the car and I brought you home."
"Why did you bother?"
"Because I love you Rob."
"You love me so much that you go out and fuck other guys. Sorry Ellen, but that doesn't even come close to my definition of love."
"Maybe not Rob, but I do love you and I'm sorry for the pain I'm causing you."
"Yeah, sure Ellen."
"I called you in sick and I took a comp day. You need to go and soak in a hot tub and then we need to sit down and talk."
"Talk? Talk about what? You rip my heart out and you want to talk about it? For God's sake why? You want to drive the nails in deeper?"
"We need to talk about where we go from here Rob."
"Where we go from here? WE don't go anywhere from here Ellen. Where you go or where I go I have no idea, but WE aren't going anywhere."
"Go soak and I'll make you some breakfast."
I did go soak in the tub, but I was in no mood to deal with Ellen so after I'd dried myself off and dressed I left the house and went to Angie's for breakfast. The only booth open was in Dixie's section and when she brought me the menu and a cup of coffee she asked:
"How's it going Rob?"
"Not worth a fuck Dixie; not worth a flying fuck."
"That sounds bad honey. Anything Dixie can do to make it better?"
"The time for that is long past Dixie. You could have prevented it if only you would have said yes when I asked you to marry me, but you didn't so I am where I am."
"I thought all was sunshine and roses with you and Ellen."
"Hardly Dixie' more like hurricanes and hail stones."
"I get off at five if you would like to talk about it."
"Thanks for the offer Dixie, but I'm in too foul a mood right now to talk to anybody."
"Keep me in mind when you are ready honey. Every now and then I think back to when you asked me and think that saying no was the dumbest thing I've ever done in my life."
After I finished eating I got in my car and drove around more or less aimlessly for a couple of hours and then I drove home.
Ellen was sitting on the couch reading a book when I walked in. She marked her place, set the book down and asked:
"Ready to talk yet?"
"There is nothing to talk about. You cheated on me with another man, got yourself knocked up and all the talking in the world is not going to change that. All that is left is to involve the lawyers and the courts."
"I don't want a divorce Rob."
"I didn't want a wife pregnant with another man's baby, but I got one."
"It isn't the end of the world Rob. I love you and you should know it by now. I love you and I want to be with you."
"But only when you aren't on trips, right? When you are off on your company sponsored mini-vacations you are spreading for some one else. How long has it been going on Ellen? How many have there been?"
"It was only the one time Rob."
"Yeah! Like I'm going to believe that."
"Why not? It is true."
"I only have your word for that Ellen and right now your word isn't worth shit."
"You can believe me Rob. I have no reason to lie to you. What I did should prove that to you."
"What you did? Getting knocked up proves that you have no reason to lie to me?"
"Not that Rob, just the fact that I told you that I'm pregnant and that it isn't yours. Both you and Stu have brown eyes and brown hair. I could have kept my mouth shut and nine months from now you would be holding a baby and beaming like all new fathers never knowing that it wasn't yours. I could not do that to you Rob. I love you too much to let you raise another man's child thinking that it was yours. If I can be that honest with you you can believe me when I say Stu was the only one ever."
"That is still one more than should have happened and the fact that it did happen makes you a cheating slut in my eyes."
"I know that Rob and I'm sorry. I didn't go on that trip meaning for it to happen or expecting it to happen."
"It just happened, is that it? You had too much to drink, weren't really yourself and it just happened?"
"No Rob; no lies here. I did what I did because I wanted to do it. When I went to Stu's bed that night it was because I wanted to go there. I was drinking, but I'm not blaming alcohol for what I did."
"You were so dissatisfied with me that you deliberately picked up some guy and fucked him?"
"Of course not Rob. I have never been dissatisfied with you. I can't give you a rational explanation."
"No rational explanation? Did he drug you? Use one of those date rape drugs on you?"
"No Rob, none of that. There were two conventions and a seminar going on at the hotel where I was staying. The people I was there seeing took me to dinner and we ended up in the hotel lounge. The place was packed because of the conventions and seminar and there were no empty tables. Elise saw someone she knew sitting at a table and there were three empty seats which would work for Elise, Bev and me so Elise walked over and asked if we could join him. There were two guys sitting there, Ralph, who was the guy she knew and Stu. We ordered drinks and talked for a bit. The guys asked us to dance and it did seem only fair since they did let us join them. I danced several dances with both men and then Elise had to go. Half an hour later Bev and Ralph, who had apparently connected, got up and left.
"I was enjoying myself and was in no hurry to go up to my room so I stayed at the table with Stu. We danced some more and now that we were alone he started putting some moves on me. At first I didn't care because I knew he wasn't going to get anywhere, but as the evening wore on I started thinking "why not?" It would be exciting and no one would be hurt by it. Just a little illicit sex with a guy I'd never see again. Just the thought of cheating had my panties wet. Finally I just looked him in the eye and asked him if he was going to keep on playing games or was he going to ask me up to his room. Ten minutes later I was naked on his bed. I won't lie to you Rob. The sex was awesome. I had three strong orgasms before we finished and as I walked back to my room I had a big smile on my face.
"Don't get me wrong here Rob. He was not a better lover than you — he wasn't even close to being as good as you are — it was the cheating, the nastiness of the illicit sex that drove my orgasms. I got back to my hotel room and looked at myself in the mirror and I didn't see any sign that I'd just been a slut for a man not my husband, but as I looked at myself the enormity of what I'd just done hit me. I had just deliberately cheated on the man I loved. My stomach lurched and I had to rush to the bathroom. I spent the rest of the night between lying on the bed and crying and rushing to the toilet and retching.
"It wasn't until I was on the plane home that it hit me. I'd gone of birth control and put away my diaphragm because we were going to start our family and I'd just had unprotected sex with a stranger. I spent the rest of the flight running between my seat and the toilet. The one thing I had not expected was the guilt that hit me when it was all over with. Guilt had me rushing to the bathroom two and three times a day. I knew that what I'd done would never happen again because of the guilt I was feeling. It was crushing. Between all of the throwing up and crying I did I'm surprised that you didn't notice and press me to find out what was wrong.
"I swear to God Rob that it will never happen again and I regret that it even happened once. I love you Rob and I want to be with you. I want to live my life with you. I'm asking you to forgive me. I'm begging you to forgive me."
I looked at her in silence for almost a minute and then I pointed at her mid-section and asked:
"And what about that?"
She knew immediately what I was asking and she looked away. She couldn't meet my eyes as she said:
"I'm going to have the baby Rob. It is a life. It isn't the baby's fault. It did nothing wrong. It did not ask to be there."
"And then what? Put it up for adoption?"
"No Rob, I couldn't do that. I'm the child's mother. I'll be giving the child life. Ten years down the road I don't want to find myself wondering where my baby is and if it is being taken care of properly and loved. No Rob, I'm keeping the baby."
"At the expense of your husband?"
"It doesn't have to be that way Rob. You have a big heart and you can find room in it for this baby."
"You don't know me at all do you? No way I could look at that child every day and not have it driven home just how the child came to be there. That's the killer Ellen. The constant reminder of what you did. How can you expect me to forgive you when for the next nine months every time I see your growing body I will be reminded of what you did? How can I forgive you when every time the baby cries it will bring back the memory of how it came to be in existence? The child will be a constant reminder of your unfaithful actions. I don't think forgiveness is in the cards Ellen. It would be hard enough without the constant reminder, but it will be impossible with it.
"I have no idea what I am going to do. The one thing that I do know is that I can't afford two separate residences so me moving out is not an option at this time. I'll know more about what I'm going to do after talking to an attorney, but until then you have forfeited any right to share my bed. You will move all of your stuff out of the bedroom and you can use one of the spare bedrooms."
"Please Rob, I..."
"No more Ellen. No more talk until after I've seen an attorney."
I got up and went out to the garage to find something that would keep me busy and away from Ellen.