The drive home seemed interminable. My father, my uncle, and my cousin had maintained an inane chatter right from the time we departed Chambersburg. All I wanted was to get home as fast as possible. Probably because of that very desire, we stopped twice for something to eat, two separate times for drinks, and three times for bathroom breaks! A drive that should have been completed in four fours was taking seven.
I had eagerly agreed to the golf/fishing trip with my dad, Uncle Steve, and his son Jim, several months prior. At the time, it seemed like it would be a great trip that would not only be very enjoyable, but have the added bonus of bringing me closer to dad, his brother, and his nephew. Now it appeared it may have created the opportunity for the ruination of my family. How did it come to this? I mulled that over as I waited for the world's three smallest bladders to once again be voided at a service station in Hazleton.
Did it all start a few months ago at Jeff Burrows' funeral? I hadn't seen Jeff or his wife, Janice, more than a few times in the last several years. The Burrows had been my parents' best friends since long before I was born. When I was growing up, they seemed more like my family than most of my blood relatives. Then Debbie and I married and moved thirty miles to Damascus. We soon had two kids to raise, and it always seemed like there was never enough time to keep up with old friends and acquaintances.
There was another reason I didn't spend a lot of time with the Burrows ... I had pretty much stopped worrying about it many years ago, but the funeral brought all my fears rushing back. At the reception held after the funeral, off in a corner, Debbie was deep in conversation with my mother and Janice Burrows. Their voices were too low for me to hear what was being said, but it caused me more than slight concern.
Maybe my problem actually began the summer after I had turned 18 and graduated from high school. My mother had wrangled a brief job for me. It involved planting a bunch of pine trees for the Burrows, who lived a couple miles from my parents' home. Digging into the hard northern Pennsylvania ground was difficult work, but the job should have easily been completed in two days. It took me a full week. I had a very good reason for taking so long.
Jeff Burrows had to attend some sort of teacher's convention in Harrisburg that week. The three Burrows children were all grown and living in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Dallas, Texas. Their nest was empty. Janice Burrows was completely alone for the week.
The first morning's work was going fairly well when I stopped digging to eat the lunch Janice Burrows had prepared for me. Incredibly, I spent that afternoon in bed with Janice! Somehow, I had managed to seduce an older woman, one that had been my parent's friend for longer than I had been alive? Janice was in her mid-forties and the sexiest woman I had ever seen up to that point.
My first time with her was actually my first with a woman, and I came just as soon as she began gently caressing my cock. I was ashamed and embarrassed. I wanted to grab my clothes and run home, but Janice soothed my ego and convinced me to stay and perhaps try again, when I was ready. At eighteen, I was reloaded almost before she finished the sentence.
I still remember how I had climbed between Janice's legs and pointed my harder than steel cock at her center. That was when she stopped me! She explained how happy she was that I found her so desirable, but there were a few things I should always consider before plunging my dick into a lady.
That was the beginning of a weeklong tutorial on the art of making love to a woman. She was a wonderful teacher, and I was a very eager student. Every morning I worked on planting the trees. Every afternoon, Janice taught me the many ways to please a woman, as well as the rewards of doing it properly. I learned about a woman's cycle, birth control and using condoms, female anatomy and pleasure points, as well as their fears, desires and needs. She even had me shave her pussy, and then spend hours learning the proper way to eat it. By the end of the week, I understood that I would never know exactly what a woman might be thinking, or why. I also learned that was okay, as long as I listened to them, always did my very best to respect them, and put their needs and desires before my own. Those lessons had served me very well in my marriage to Debbie, and I was eternally grateful to Janice.
That said, I had always been nervous when Janice and Debbie were at the same function. I never mentioned my tryst with Janice to my wife, out of respect for Janice, as well as fear of how Debbie would react. It had been a wonderful, almost magical, time in my life. I never even came close to repeating it. Janice explained to me that Friday afternoon so many years ago, that her husband, Jeff, was her love and her life. My final lesson that week was to end our brief affair and never speak of it with anyone. I had promised her, and I had kept that promise. I never thought to ask the same of Janice. Why would a young man just beginning his life's journey require secrecy from a paramour? It never crossed my mind; at least not until I fell totally and madly in love with Debbie.
Of course Janice and Debbie saw each other often when we were dating. I brought Janice to my parent's home quite frequently and it wasn't unusual for the Burrows to drop in. Janice never so much as even hinted anything to Debbie about our relationship, nor to anyone else as far as I knew. Gradually, my fear lessened. Looking back, I realize it never completely died.
From her first meeting with my parents, Debbie expressed tremendous respect for the obvious love and devotion my parents enjoyed, and she often said the same about the Burrows.
That caused me some shame. I knew the truth. I had seduced a married woman and placed her marriage at risk. I was not proud of that fact. I always went out of my way to be pleasant and respectful to Jeff Burrows. He obviously never suspected my illicit affair with his wife. He was kind and generous to me, and my respect for him steadily increased, even as the fear of discovery hung over my head.
Our fishing/golf group was about ten miles shy of my home when my cell phone rang. I looked at the screen and saw the call was from my mother. Reluctantly, I answered. The conversation my father and uncle had been engaged in stopped abruptly. It couldn't have been any more obvious that they were intent on hearing what I said.
"Bill, your father says you have been very quiet the whole trip. Are you feeling okay, Son?" Mom asked solicitously.
"Not the time, Mom!" I quickly replied as I closed the phone and turned it off as the silence in the car droned on.
I pressed my remote to open my garage door as we pulled into my driveway. My dad and cousin quickly dug out my golf clubs and fishing equipment from the back of the Expedition. I grabbed my small suitcase. Everything was somewhat hastily placed on the garage floor. Then they hurried off. As I walked through the garage toward the kitchen door, I thought back to all the signs I had missed throughout my life. Would it have been better if I were still clueless?
I recalled how my mother had called me over to her side late in the afternoon of Jeff Burrows' funeral. At the same time she summoned a lanky kid I had seen earlier in the day, sitting with Janice at the service.
"Bill, this is Janice's grandson, Jeff Emerson. He's just finished high school and will be going to Penn State this fall. Jeff, this is my son, and Debbie's husband, Bill Mason."
We exchanged handshakes and soon I was chatting with the kid about his future plans and if the Nittany Lions would get to a bowl game this year. He was polite, if a bit shy. But then, so was I at that age. Our short conversation ended when my dad insisted I meet an old neighbor I hadn't seen in twenty years. At that point, I was still oblivious.
Now, as I reached out to open the kitchen door, I considered the unusual route my father had taken to get to Route 81 on our way to Chambersburg. For some unknown reason we went through the small village of Beach Lake. Gazing out the car window as we passed through the village, I saw a scene I had long ago forgotten. Towering pines lined a long drive winding up a hill to an old Victorian home. As we slowly drove by, I remembered the day I rode with my grandparents down the same country road.
"See those beautiful trees, Bill?" my grandmother had asked at the time. "Your Dad planted them for the Andersons back in 1962. It was the year he graduated from high school and was doing odd jobs before reporting for the Marines. He was a fine looking young man, much like you will be in another ten years."
Being a kid, I was amazed that something my dad had planted could have grown so tall. As my dad drove past the same trees earlier this week, I thought back to the trees I had planted for Janice Burrows twenty-some years prior. I smiled to myself. If Dad only knew just how rewarding planting trees could be! Again, no warning lights went off in my head!
I shook off my reverie, opened the door and stepped into our house. Debbie sat at the kitchen table, facing me. She wore the old Notre Dame shirt and sweats she so often donned in the evening. As my emotions began to climb above a simmer, I thought back to less than a week ago, the day my world completely crumbled.
I considered the long forgotten trees that we had just driven past. As I laughed inwardly wondering if my father had as much pleasure planting them as I had enjoyed with Janice Burrows, another thought struck me. My son had stayed with my parents for a week right after graduating high school six years ago. At the time, my mother told me that they had gotten him a handyman job with some neighbors down the road. My son returned home the following week. I was working double shifts that week and was exhausted by the time I dragged my ass home every evening. I vaguely remembered Debbie asking my son what sort of work he had done that week. Hadn't he replied something about gardening and planting trees? Finally, sirens began sounding my head!
My son had recently married a wonderful young woman and they seemed to be very happy. He always treated his wife with respect and love, much the way I was toward Debbie. As I pondered these events while riding in the back seat of my dad's SUV, I began connecting the dots. Was it possible that both my dad and my son had experiences similar to my own? If so, it wouldn't it have to be some sort of a conspiracy or something? If so, who could be responsible?
What did I actually know? My father had planted trees for family friends shortly after turning eighteen. My son, Jason, and I both did the same thing right after high school graduation. My mom seemed to be the moving force in getting the job for me, as well as for my son, Jason. Was my mother a member of a cult or something?
I didn't know if Dad or Jason, or both, got laid while doing their plantings, but suddenly it seemed possible. I only slightly knew the family for whom Jason had worked. They had two sons that were both in the Navy that summer. The wife, Nancy Fullmer, was a tad heavy but was still very attractive. She was a kind, friendly woman with a rather big set of tits. My mind suddenly conjured up visions of my son tackling those beauties! It occurred to me that I was apparently losing my grip.
Why would mature, attractive, married women seduce the young men in my family? Did my mother have some sort of hold over them? Was it blackmail? Was it for money? It seemed unlikely. What else could it be ... some sort of trade?
Bingo! Then it hit me. After I had moved from my parents' home into my own apartment, I was busy at work and didn't get back to visit my folks for a few weeks. As I drove up their driveway one afternoon, I noticed my dad had lined the pavement with hard maple saplings. They didn't look all that good at the time, but they were now over twenty feet tall and looked great. I never actually asked if my dad had personally planted the trees! I had assumed he did.
Could my mother have taken a young man into her bed and taught him the ways of love and sex? My own mom? I always thought she was attractive, for a mom, but the whole idea seemed too farfetched. My mom wouldn't be unfaithful to my dad. She was my mom, and practically a saint! Why use the same cover of planting trees? That made no sense. It would be the same as putting up a sign in the front yard saying: Mature Housewife Tutoring Young Stud In Sex. Do Not Disturb!
But if that were somehow the case, then my father would have known what was going on when the trees were planted at his property. He'd never stand for that from my mom! Then I thought of Jeff Burrows? Could he have known I was doing more planting inside his house than out! He had always been so good to me; he couldn't have known, could he?
These thoughts tumbled around in my mind the rest of the trip to Chambersburg. I wondered if I should I ask my Dad if he was a cuckold? That could open a real can of worms! Suppose he had no idea about any of the shenanigans mom had been up to, or what if my guesses were way off the mark? Then he would know that I had slept with Janice those many years ago! That would be breaking my word, as well as letting the cat out of the bag. I could see no upside to that.
We had finished our Sunday evening dinner of Pizza and beer. My father and uncle had argued for twenty minutes about which ballgame to watch, and had finally settled on the Yankees, who they both hated. We were all unpacked and looking forward to leaving the little fishing cabin at daylight to drown some worms. We had an afternoon tee time at a nice eighteen-hole golf course. Life was good, for the moment.
Then it went to hell in a hurry. My cell rang and I saw it was Debbie calling. I stepped outside as I answered. Old men tend to play the TV so damn loud you can't hear yourself think, never mind carry a phone conversation. After the usual pleasantries, Debbie blindsided me.
"Bill, you remember Jeff Emerson, Janice's grandson? He's visiting Janice this week and is looking for some work to make some money to use toward college. I was thinking of hiring him to plant some apple trees in the back of the house. You know how I always wanted a little orchard? I could make you pies and cobbler and applesauce and whatever. I'd probably even have enough left over to sell a few bushel," added Debbie.
I felt faint. My heart seemed to double its rate. My throat was dry and my palms sweaty. My hand shook as I raised the beer to my lips and drained it. I tried to initiate speech, but no sounds escaped my throat.
"Bill? Are you there? Did you hear what I asked?" questioned Debbie. "Tell me if you object to me hiring Janice's grandson to plant some apple trees while you are away this week?"
"Debbie, do you take me for a complete damn fool?" I demanded when my voice finally returned. "Do you hold me in such contempt? You must be laughing your ass off at this!"
"No, Bill. That's why I'm calling. If you tell me not to hire Jeff, I will call Janice and tell her we're sorry but we won't hire her grandson. Your mother insisted that I needn't even consult you. She told me you would be none the wiser; that no man in your family has ever questioned the tree plantings," revealed Debbie. "I have far too much respect for you as my husband, and for your ability to read the sign, as they say.