TOM, April-Young friends, fiancée's
DAVID-older friend, story teller
Rachel, step daughter's friend
Charlotte, David's ex wife, Janice's mother
Roger, Charlotte's second husband, Rachel's father
Willadean, David's first ex wife
Jared, Willadeans boy friend
Harold, Kathryn-couple arguing
One of my favorite coworkers and his girl friend/fiancé are about to make a very serious mistake-or at least I am afraid they will. I have been debating with myself and my two lovers/room mates-oh, hell, let's be honest here, my two wives-for almost two months about whether to discuss this potential mistake with them. I am still no nearer to an answer and time is running out. I must decide what we are to do. On the one hand it is none of my business. On the other hand what I, what we, decide may change two lives either for the better or worse.
With a sigh I rose from my seat in the booth across from Tom and Alice. My movement caught their eye and Tom asked, "Leaving all ready? Hell, we've only been here a little over thirty minutes and I know your week has been as shitty as ours."
I paused while putting on my coat and looked down at the lovers. Her hand was on his thigh, his arm around her shoulders, his hand resting on the swell of her breast. I could see her nipple tenting out her thin blouse. I smiled and replied, "Yeah, I am. It looks like you two need to find a more private place to relax and I need to get home to my ladies."
As I was turning to leave I saw a couple that came into our favorite watering hole regularly. This time all was not sweetness and light though. I could hear them arguing in their booth. This time they were not sitting together on the same side of the booth. They were across the table from each other and I could see the anger on their faces. I heard him saying, "I don't give a damn. No woman of mine is going to keep spending as much time with her damn divorced and unmarried friends as you do. I know that is just a problem waiting to happen. You may not even mean to do anything wrong but eventually the odds are that you will. You will meet someone who makes you feel special, you will be more horny than usual, you will be angry with me-hell the possible causes are endless. Heck, you might even get drugged or so drunk you cannot help yourself. In any event, you will do something that I cannot live with. You need to make a decision honey. You are married now and we need to be with each other, not our single friends if this marriage is to work. Don't get me wrong, I know you need friends, you just don't need to spend so much time with them in bars and you don't need to stay out so late every time you go with them."
I was walking past their booth when I heard her hiss, "You BASTARD! Do you distrust me so much that you think I will cheat on you like a common slut? I don't have to take this crap. I'm out of here."
The lady started to slide out of her side of the booth as the man's face fell. I could see the pain and hurt in his eyes as he realized he had probably lost his wife. I still don't know why I did what I did but I quickly slid into the booth beside the woman. Of course since she was trying to get out as I slid in I pushed into her and forced her back into the booth.
She glared at me a moment then screamed, "You asshole. What the hell do you think you're doing? Let me out of this booth this instant or I'll get the bouncer over here to make you do it."
During this time her husband just watched. It was obvious he wanted to help his wife but at the same time he was not only shocked almost into immobility but he was still so pissed at her he was in no mood to help her.
I now had her trapped against the back wall of the booth and had her hands in mine to keep her from trying to hit me once more. I said in as normal a voice as I could, "Please, give me a moment of your time then if you want me to leave I will. I want to tell you a short but sadly true story. It may help you, it may not."
I said, "You see that couple over there?" I pointed to my friend and his fiancée. They are about to be married and I have been trying to decide whether to tell them this tale or not. We come here a lot and we see the two of you here a lot. I know you know me because you have each nodded to me or said hello in the past because we ARE regulars here. Now can you just give me a few minutes of your time? Please?"
I felt the woman relax and saw her glance at her husband. She sighed and said, "Ok, I guess we can do that but if you try anything..."
"You have my promise nothing will happen. Hell, maybe you can help me decide whether to talk to my two friends or not and maybe what I have to say will even help the two of you."
"From the looks of the two of you I'm not much older than you are or than my two friends are. Believe me I have been where you are already. Before we begin, let me introduce myself. I'm David and my two friends over there are Tom and April."
The man looked at his wife a moment then said, "I'm Harold and this is my wife Kathryn."
I smiled and said, "Nice to meet you." I took a deep breath and continued, "This is really hard for me to talk about even as many years ago as some of it took place. What's so sad is that I can still remember some of the conversations almost word for word. I learned a hard lesson and ... well, you seem like nice folks and I know Tom and April are nice folks. I really don't want any of you to go through what I have already had to face."
I motioned Cindy over and ordered another round of drinks for us. While I was waiting on her to deliver then I put my thoughts in order. When she delivered the drinks I gave her a nice tip and said, "Watch us Cindy but there is no need for you to check back unless I wave you over. OK?"
After I took my first sip of the fine scotch Cindy delivered I sighed and began my long spiel. "My first wife and I grew up in a small town about forty miles from here. We went to the local high school then to college here in town. We were friends all through grade school and began dating occasionally in high school. There weren't many people our age in school so we hadn't met many other people our own age. We were the most compatible of our age group. Everyone in town decided we were a couple so we proved it. The summer after we graduated we got married. We had been having sex with each other since we were juniors in high school. It was great. Hell, at that age it all is I guess. We didn't know much about the world or other people but we really, really liked each other."
"Willadean and I never argued. We were friends, we were lovers, and then we were husband and wife. Everyone in town knew we were a couple and we proved it. Our wedding was in June after we graduated. Life was so good. Our parents agreed to help us with college and living expenses. Our only worry was taking care of each other, getting good grades and working enough for our recreational money."
"Like most kids just away from home the first time we met new and exciting people. Of course college opened our eyes to more of the world, to new ideas. We were studying different fields so after the first two years almost all of our classes were different. We interacted with not only different people but we had widely diverging interests. We began spending more and more time with our college, then later our work friends. We no longer talked to each other much about our wants, needs, hopes and fears. After all, the other one really didn't know what was going on in our new life and didn't share our new interest."
"Some weeks the only time we saw one another awake was on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Our sex life with each other tanked. We went from making love four to six days a week to only on the weekends and MAYBE one other day during the week. We didn't talk."
"After college things got a little better but at the same time a little worse. We were lucky enough to both find work here in town but as we began our jobs we found we now had little in common. I worked in Information Technology, she was in Hospital Administration and we worked on opposite sides of town."
"One Sunday morning I was sitting on the patio with my coffee and I realized I didn't know the woman I was living with any longer. Sure she came home about the same time I did in the evening but we only talked about what we had to do to keep up the house we were buying. She went out after work at least one evening a week with her friends and didn't come home until after I went to sleep-usually on a Friday. Of course I did the same a lot of evenings but I was almost always home before she went to bed. I couldn't remember when the last time was I was awake when she got home Friday night."
"I wondered; no I was scared she was cheating on me yet I knew in my heart she wasn't. We were friends. We had been lovers. We were married. I examined my feelings for her. She was a wonderful person; we could talk about anything, yet we didn't. We very rarely talked at all if it wasn't related to caring for our home. Oh, sure we went out to eat most Saturday evenings but our conversations were very shallow then we went home and screwed. I couldn't remember the last time we had made love."
"About that time Willadean came wandering out of the kitchen onto the patio. She bent and gave me a kiss on the top of my head and sat beside me. I watched her while she slowly sipped her coffee. I remember her face still when I began talking."
"I asked, 'Willadean what's happened to us?"
.... There is more of this story ...