I spotted Ginger Roberts the first day of school in my junior year. Surreptitiously I watched her whenever the chance presented itself. I never said anything to anyone, but I suppose it became obvious to some of my other classmates that I was interested in this girl. I was challenged by her about my intense interest before Halloween.
"You've been staring at me ever since school started. Tell me why." I stuttered that I thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. "Well, stop it, I don't like it at all!" As if I could stop looking at a girl that was only three inches shorter than me, had a nice figure, and beautiful blue eyes that complemented the gold of her hair.
I was more careful about directing my gaze after that exchange. We had one class together and one where our classrooms were adjoining. It was just so inevitable that we would run into each other. Now when I glanced at her, she often had her eyes on me to see if I was looking at her. Even in the classroom, where she was sitting in front of me, she often turned her head toward me during the class.
I was confronted again one day in the hallway. "You might as well ask me out. This game we are playing is just too silly." Maybe to her, but not to me. I did get the courage to ask her out for a soda at the Retro. This was a soda fountain much like those they had back in the forties and fifties that were now out of style.
I guess she learned more about me than I did about her as we talked the first time. I shared that I was an orphan. My only relative was a great aunt who I lived with. Both my parents had been killed in an accident. I loved the old lady, but there wasn't much interaction between us because of the age difference. Plus she was getting very forgetful. It was a home and I did her chores to compensate for what care she gave me.
In school I maintained an A-minus average. Ginger had trouble pulling B-minuses. This was mostly because she was popular with everyone and didn't bother to study that hard. She did play the sports, hockey and basketball. I had a part-time job after school so I didn't go out for any extracurricular activities. I hated it when my job interfered with watching Ginger on the field or the court.
I had my own friends, one of who was Roxy Andrews. Our houses were close on the same street. Roxy and I had first day in kindergarten together and all of the same classes in grade school. When we reached high school we weren't as close, but were happy when we had time to share a moment to talk. When she was a sophomore, she lost her cherry and started to build a reputation. I knew about it a few days after it happened when I heard a boy bragging about it. Roxy wanted to know if it would make any difference in our friendship. It didn't and it didn't bother me. I wasn't interested in having sex with her, because she was still my closest friend. If she wanted to experience sex with some other boy, that was okay. I mean if she had wanted sex with me, she would have told me so.
When I became interested in Ginger, I had the first pangs of jealousy. Ginger had other boys that felt she was as beautiful as I thought she was. She treated us all about equally, but the feelings of jealousy were there. Then I realized that she would go out with a boy and then it was my turn again. I took heart when I saw I was getting as many dates as the whole bunch of my other classmates combined. I wasn't as jealous after that, for I knew she would be coming back to me.
This paid off and when our senior year came, I was in sole possession of her heart. As far as I knew, she was a virgin the same as me. I'll admit I hadn't been too aggressive in reaching for the ultimate prize which I was waiting to pluck. This did become mine the night of the Senior Prom. We snuck into the room where I lived with my aunt, and when morning came we were two changed kids.
Changed in that she was wearing the tiny engagement ring that I could afford, and we were man and woman instead of boy and girl. Ginger went to work in Barry's sub shop and I went into a local factory as inventory clerk in the stockroom. The sub shop was owned by a bachelor who intended to stay that way. Barry wasn't too bad looking for a man of thirty-five plus. He was genial and outgoing with the women who worked for him preparing food.
My job didn't sound like much, and it certainly didn't pay too well at the entry level. However, I had the promise that if I did well in this position, I would have old Mr. Dobbs' job as senior stockroom manager. Mr. Dobbs would be retiring in two years.
Some of it was pretty complicated and a person had to pay particular attention to detail, and there were a million things to learn. Just to name one item--we used gold leaf in some of the factory's application and this had to be dispensed with great care because of its cost. There was also the strict levels of inventory to control. I think I was one of the more dedicated employees--or tried to be. Work picked up soon after I was hired and the factory powers that be, put on another shift. They gave me the stockroom to manage from three in the afternoon until eleven in the evening. I took it when I found it paid a 10% premium.
Ginger was working nine-thirty a.m. until three in the afternoon. There was a second shift at the sub shop and the hours were three in the afternoon until nine. I could understand her loneliness in the evening and when she came home one day, saying she was taking the evening shift as well, we both thought this a smart move. Three weeks later, we were married and as her boss had a small bungalow to rent, that is where we made our home. Ginger had an aunt from upstate who attended, and we each had a couple of friends who came to City Hall to watch the ceremony. We were both almost nineteen and on our way to a happy life together.
The rent on the house wasn't beyond our means and we had enough money to acquire some of life's luxuries. First came a vehicle. I thought a sedan would suit us fine, but Ginger held out for a Ford Mustang. The payments were seventy-five dollars a month more than we had budgeted.
Ginger said she would work overtime when asked to make up for it, and sometimes I took her into work for the noon crowd. We ultimately wanted to own our own home, and we were able to start a savings account for that purpose. We were in great shape, when Ginger said she was moving from food preparation to cashier, and there was a salary increase to go with that move as well.
My raises came along as promised and we were doing great. We had a car, we had started a fund to save for a home and all of our bills were being paid on time. We had never talked about having children, and as we were still in our teens, there would be plenty of time to decide. Ginger was very careful about her birth control program and sex continued to get better as we became more experienced. Ginger was always the one to suggest trying something new that she had heard about at work. I was reaping the benefits so welcomed them all.
I felt I had life right by the balls. If I wanted something I would squeeze life a little harder and I would have everything. It had worked so far hadn't it? I mentioned we had one car. I used it to travel to my work which was located on the outskirts of the city. I would drop Ginger off on the way. She rode home with her boss, after the sub shop closed for the evening. I trusted Barry because he was thirty-five and so much older than we were. The transportation, the job hours, and the pay we were receiving was a perfect set up all the way around for the good life.
I was three months away from Mr. Dobbs' retirement and looking forward to a major increase in my salary. Then a transformer blew that delivered electricity to the factory. Everything was down except for the battery operated security lights. I hung around until just before Ginger would be going home, intending to pick her up and maybe we would go for a beer together at some bar.
I had to park down the street from the sub shop. I was walking toward the building when I saw Ginger and Barry pause on the way out of the shop and kiss. They reached his car and were in it maybe three or four minutes before he started it. I could see their heads and they hadn't kissed again, but they were awful close. Was he fondling her? It certainly looked as if he was. I made my way back to where I was parked and at a distance followed them home. Ginger got out and waited as Barry came around the car. They went into the house together.
When she was unlocking the door, I could see his hand caressing her butt. The hall light came on and I could see the silhouette of them kissing. No lights showed for a few minutes until the dim bedroom light came on. Forty-five minutes later the bathroom light came on. Twenty minutes after that, Barry came out after kissing Ginger again in the hallway. He was still combing his wet hair as he got into his car and drove away.
My normal time to arrive home was eleven thirty-five. I went into the house right on time. Ginger had my supper laid out on the table and we sat down to eat. It was food from the sub shop. I always had a choice of a meatball grinder or cold cuts. There was usually a salad and coffee was being poured as I came in. Most always dessert was a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream which we split.
Tonight I passed on the grinder and ate what I could of the salad. The ice cream didn't set that well either. Ginger was so concerned! "Lucky for you this is my shower night so you don't have to make love to me."
It struck me then that the nights Ginger had taken her shower before I got home, I didn't get any loving. If we took the shower together, I always got some loving. I tried to remember how often this happened. There were two or three nights a week that she was showered before I arrived. I was restless that evening and went to bed before our usual time after the late night shows.
I dropped Ginger off the next day at her usual time. I made a phone call to work, saying I was sick. I made a phone call to Roxy, the girl I had gone to school with. I explained the situation and said I would pay whatever it took for her to do what I proposed. It was to cost me a nice dinner out and the rest would be free. Can't beat that! We had drifted apart after Ginger and I became a couple, but we still were the best of friends. I picked Roxy up at six and we had a nice dinner in the best restaurant in town. "Rodney, this is going to destroy your wife you know. Do you honestly want to do that to her?"
"I've thought about it all day. I want her to know a little of the pain I feel. I'm leaving her tonight. I've taken the money from all of our accounts, but I'm leaving her the car. She has Barry and so she won't be destitute. He owns the house we are living in. I'm getting out. I'm more concerned about you. This is going to blacken your name terribly. You will have a reputation that you will never recover from."
"Doesn't matter. I am what I am. My reputation went down the tubes in high school. You knew who to call when you needed something like this didn't you?"
"I'll admit I am using you. You don't have to go through with it."
"No, I will do it. At least I have had a date with a nice guy that I care about for once. You have always been a nice guy and that is why I'm here. I have never married and I don't ever expect to. I get a lot of sex and sometimes I enjoy it. Just once I would like to have someone say, 'Roxy, I love you, ' but I don't ever expect to hear someone say it and mean it."
"Christ Roxy, don't give up hope. I've just had my life shredded to bits, but I hope to be happy again someday."
The scene was set when Ginger was to arrive home. The only glitch was if Barry came into the house as he did the night before. If my theory was correct, I couldn't ever remember Ginger taking a shower before I got home two nights in a row. Roxy and I took our shower at eight-thirty. Yes we took it together.
This was the first time I had ever seen or been with anyone other than Ginger in my whole life. Would I act like a teen-ager? Roxy was unconcerned about me seeing her and laughed when seeing I was aroused. "Rodney, I have known you all of my life. Relax and pretend this is something we do everyday. It is easy for me, but I can see it is hard for you."
We heard Barry's car stop out front and a few minutes later drive on. The front door opened and we heard Ginger pause. The door of the bedroom was partially open so she could see the light was on as she stepped into the living room. "Rodney, is that you in bed? Did you get sick?"
"No dear, I'm not sick. Come in, we have company."
Ginger came to the door and pushed it fully open. Roxy and I lay there naked and partially entwined. I had one arm under her neck and over her shoulder with my hand kneading her breast. Roxy had my other hand covering her bush. Ginger was speechless at first but that didn't last long. She started screaming obscenities. I shouted, "Quiet."
Ginger paused long enough to hear Roxy say, "Rodney has one prostitute. He thought he would see how two at a time would work. Would you care to join us?"
Ginger burst into tears and slammed out of the room. I turned to Roxy and kissed her. "I think we have fifteen minutes before she either thinks of a defense or goes totally ballistic. Roxy, you are a gem. I really would like to make love to you. I'll probably never have a chance such as this again."
"I said it before. Rodney, you are a wonderful person. Hurry, fifteen minutes might not be time enough."
It was. Roxy brought me to a climax way too soon for me to savor her at all. Maybe someday? While Roxy was taking her second shower of the evening, I went out to face my wife. Ginger made no excuses and nothing was said about Barry. There was that look that said she was guilty and attack was the only alternative.
"Rodney, I want you out of the house in an hour. Just pack your things. How could you do this to me? We have been together for four years. I thought you loved me and then you bring trash like Roxy into our home and have sex with her right in front of me and in our marriage bed. Get the hell out! I don't think I will ever speak to you again."
"Okay, that's just about what I figured you would say. I'm leaving you the Mustang. I have taken all of the money we have saved. That makes us just about even. I'm sure Barry will give you a raise when he finds out he won't have to share you with your husband." I picked up my suitcases that I had packed earlier and set in the alcove behind the front door. I went out and put them in Roxy's car in the street, which was one space down from our driveway. I came back and waited for Roxy to come out of the bedroom where she was getting dressed.
Ginger wanted to say something. I didn't know what. Maybe an excuse for her adultery? Maybe she wanted to retract her request that I leave? I didn't ask.
Roxy came out finally. She had taken time to freshen her makeup and had evidently used Ginger's shower cap, because her hair had been combed and was totally dry. She was as beautiful as Ginger, just in a different way.
Ginger had one parting shot at her. "Slut."
Roxy had one too. "No Ginger, I'm a prostitute. I'm honest about that. You though, are a cheating wife. A wife to a man that I would give my right arm to have love me like he loved you. I'm really sorry for you. I hope we never meet again because I can't stand the sight of you. Come Rodney, I think we are finished here."
We drove away from my former home. "Where to Rodney?"
"The bus station I guess. My aunt is senile and in a nursing home. The state is caring for her. She has an administrator for what estate she has. I'll just buy me a ticket to who knows where. I'll find out if I like it where it takes me, and if I don't, I'll buy another ticket to somewhere else."
"You mean you have no plans?"
"I haven't had time to make any. Any suggestions?"
"No, not off the top of my head. You shouldn't rush into anything though. Why don't you stay with me tonight and make a plan? Tomorrow will be better after a night's sleep."
I didn't leave town for a week. I was going to walk away from my job without informing them. I couldn't do that, for they had been very good to me. Mr. Dobbs said wherever I landed and needed a recommendation, he would give me a good one. He said he was going to miss me very much.
I suppose you are wondering if I was sleeping with Roxy? Yes I was, but if you had asked if I was having sex with her, I would have to tell you no. Not yet anyway. Roxy had a one bedroom apartment and she did not entertain her clients there. She would come in from a date and crawl into bed where I was sleeping. "Kiss me Rodney and then let me sleep. That is the only way I can forget my lifestyle." I was making her breakfast in the morning and then we would talk. The only taboo subject was Ginger.
It was three days after I was asked to leave Ginger that I made a suggestion. "Roxy, we get along great together. You have a reputation as a prostitute here in the city. I certainly am leaving Why don't we both leave? Leave together I mean. We can be Roxy and Rodney Thomas."
"You're married. I can't be Mrs. Thomas."
"I was thinking more of being sister and brother."
"That's too complicated and would mean you have a whore for a sister."
"Here maybe, but somewhere else you wouldn't have to be. I have a wife that could be classified as one." I paused. "You know if I thought she would change, I would take her back."
"You still love her don't you? I have wondered how you feel about her after all of this. Rodney, do you think I could change my lifestyle living somewhere else?"
"I do. Does sex mean that much to you? Could you go without it?"
"I could if I could pay my bills. I'm on a savings program and didn't plan to do this very long, so I live as cheaply as I can."
"Do you want to try it? The brother and sister thing I mean."
"We couldn't make love if we decided to go that route."
"We haven't decided that yet."
"Then we better make love before we decide, in case that is the decision we come up with."
We spent the daylight hours, and some time after the sun went down making love. I said the words Roxy so wanted to hear. I truly believe I said them in such a way that she believed me. I think I was half in love with her myself. At the moment, I certainly loved her more than I did my cheating wife. We lay cuddled together all the night. It was six in the morning when we made the decision. Roxy set about getting her bills paid and the rest of her affairs in order. This took another day.
I drove Roxy's car by my former home late Tuesday evening. Barry's car was parked on the street and the one I left for Ginger was in the driveway. I couldn't ascertain if he might be going home or staying. I would wait a little while and find out. I had in my hand a couple of things that Roxy used for protection when out on an uncertain date. The house was dark and I waited in the shadows for over an hour. Finally the hall light came on and I could see Barry and Ginger kissing.
He came down the steps as Ginger closed the door. Did I care if she saw me--not really. I came up behind him with a small stun gun which was just powerful enough to send him to the ground. He got a good dosage of pepper spray in the face and a couple of hardy kicks to the ribs. I just wanted him to feel a little pain. I was sure this would do it. This was so out of character for me, that if anyone saw me getting away, they wouldn't connect me.
Two hours later we had the car packed and loaded, and drove west out of the city. We left Roxy's reputation and my cheating wife behind. Now we were just a brother and sister out looking for a new life. One we hoped would be better than what was behind us.