I should have known disaster was on the horizon the night my wife told me that she'd had a call from Monica. It was at the dinner table and my first tip off should have been the fact that everything on the table was from my list of favorites. Meat loaf, scalloped potatoes au gratin, French style green beans and sourdough bread hot from the oven. Midway through the meal Audrey said:
"Guess who I heard from today. Monica Speers. She moved back to town and wants to get together for lunch."
"Moved back to town? XYZ doesn't have offices here. Did Tom quit them?"
"I guess she and Tom are divorced."
I knew what I wanted to say to that and I knew that it would not go over well so I kept my mouth shut. I would have bet that it was because Tom finally caught her cheating. I did not like Monica and I had never liked Audrey associating with her, but if there was one thing I knew it was that there was no way you could come between two girls who had been best friends since the second grade.
I didn't meet Audrey and Monica until high school and it was a case of 'instants.' I instantly fell ass end over tea kettle for Audrey and I instantly disliked Monica. There was just something about her that did not ring right.
I would like to be able to say that Audrey was as instantly attracted to me as I was to her, but that wasn't the case. I tried a dozen times to get Audrey to go out with me but with no luck and I always felt that it was because of Monica. Monica hit the ground running when she started high school. She was a hot looking freshman who looked like she was twenty and the juniors and seniors flocked to her and as a result she was dating them from almost her first day. It always seemed that the guy she was dating had a friend he wanted to double date with so Monica would set up the friend with Audrey.
By the tenth grade Monica had a reputation as a 'wild child' who could be counted on to give it up by the third date. Audrey also had a reputation. She was known as "The Ice Queen." She would neck, but she wouldn't put out. I heard about double dates where she and Monica would end up in a bedroom and Monica would strap on her date while Audrey sat on the edge of the bed and swapped tongues with hers (I never had the nerve to ask Audrey if there was any truth to the stories). I'd even heard (and Bud Wilson swears that it is true) that when Monica had finished draining her date she would take on Audrey's date. So what I got whenever I asked Audrey out was:
"Sorry Rob, but I already have a date for that night."
Eventually I added Audrey to the list of things I wanted, but could never have.
Two weeks after the start of the eleventh grade I was sitting in a booth at Harry's Malt Shop, a student hangout, when someone slid into the booth opposite me. I looked up from the Civics text book I was reading and saw Audrey. She smiled and said:
"How have you been?"
"Pretty good. I see you are studying Civics. Who do you have?"
"Anderson in second period."
"I've got her in fifth."
She was silent for a second or two and then said, "It has been a while since I've seen you."
"Well you know how it is. You get busy and things kind of slide."
A little more silence and then, "There is a party at Nancy Neubert's this Friday. Would you like to go with me?"
That caught me flat-footed. I had tried for two years to get a date with her with no luck at all and here she was asking me. It took me a couple of seconds to come up with a reply.
"I haven't been invited."
"I have and I can bring a date. Would you like to go?"
"Yes, I would."
"Okay then; meet me tomorrow at lunch in the cafeteria and we can discuss the details."
"What time to pick me up, where we are going and things like that."
"Oh sure, details. Right."
As she walked away I sat and wondered just what the hell had happened. And then it dawned on me. All the juniors and seniors that Monica and Audrey had been dating had graduated and had moved on to college where there were plenty of girls and they didn't need to mess around with high school girls any more. That meant that if Audrey and Monica wanted dates they were stuck with their previously ignored classmates. Whatever the reason I wasn't going to complain.
My mother let me borrow her car on Friday and I drove over and picked up Audrey. When we got to Nancy's we found that the party was spread all through the house. The garage had been cleared out so there would be a place to dance and the Neubert's had turned their basement into a rec room with a pool table, a ping-pong table and an air hockey table.
When Audrey and I went into the garage the first person we saw was Monica. She was with four guys at the back of the garage where there was a table with a reel to reel tape player on it. The tape was playing dance tunes and Monica saw us just about the time we saw her. She came over to us and said to Audrey:
"Glad you could make it."
Audrey asked me if I would find out where the refreshments were and get her a Coke or a Pepsi and that is where I made my first mistake. I should have kept her with me. I found the refreshments in the kitchen and by the time I got back to the garage Audrey was dancing with one of the guys who had been with Monica when we arrived. Because my parents had taken the time to teach me manners I stood off to the side and waited for the song to end and that was my second mistake.
As soon as the song ended the next song on the reel began to play and another one of the guys who had been talking with Monica stepped up and started dancing with Audrey. I saw Audrey see me standing there with a Pepsi in my hand for her, but she didn't pull away from the guy and come to me. About half way into the dance Monica came over to me and reached out for the Pepsi I was holding for Audrey and said:
"I'll take that. You might as well find something else to do. She's going to be busy for a while."
While she was saying that the music stopped. I started toward Audrey and she was standing there looking at me starting toward her when the next song started. A third guy took her arm and she let him start dancing with her. She saw me walking towards her with the soft drink she had asked me to get for her and she let herself be pulled into a dance and then to add insult to injury she never looked my way again.
I let Monica take the Pepsi and I walked over and tapped the guy on the shoulder and said:
"Screw off jerk."
"She is my date and I'm cutting in."
"Beat it asswipe" the guy said and he reached out with his left hand to push me away. When he pushed at me I grabbed his hand and jerked. It pulled him off balance and I just kept pulling until I ran him into the wall. His head bounced against the wall and it stunned him and he slid down to the floor. While all that was going on Audrey was saying:
"Stop this Rob; stop this now. You are embarrassing me."
I looked at her and said, "I'm embarrassing you? Well we sure wouldn't want that" and I left the garage, got in my car and went home.
Monday morning I was at my locker getting ready to go to first period when Nancy Neubert came up to me and said:
"I should be pissed at you for creating a disturbance at my party, but I'm not. Doug is a real butt head and I'm glad someone stepped up and shut him down."
"Sorry. It was poor manners on my part."
"You don't need to apologize. Doug wasn't even invited but your date was a little pissed that you went off and left her."
"She left me first. It seems she was more interested in the guys Monica was with than me."
"Aud would be okay if she could just break away from Monica."
"Maybe I'll have better luck next time."
"Good luck" she said as she moved off to her first class.
I didn't have any shared morning classes with Audrey so I didn't expect to see her until out one o'clock calculus class. I guess it shouldn't have been a surprise (given that Nancy had already told me how upset Audrey was that I'd gone off and left her) that she sat down across from me in the cafeteria at lunch time. I looked up at her and she sat there and said nothing so I went back to eating my lunch and reviewing my notes from Civics. After maybe a minute Audrey said:
"Are you just going to sit there?"
"What do you expect me to do, dance?"
"I expect you to tell me why you acted like a total ass and then I expect an apology for the way you behaved toward me."
"You expect to live to be a hundred?"
"Easy question Audrey; do you expect to live to be a hundred? Because it will be your hundredth birthday before you get an apology from me for what your behavior caused me to do last Friday."
"My behavior? Are you out of your mind?"
"No, but you must have been if you thought that I would put up with what you did."
"What I did?"
"Yes Audrey, what you did. We no sooner got to the party and you send me off to get you a Coke and then you busied yourself with all the guys who were hanging with Monica when we got there. You even sent Monica over to tell me to take a hike."
"I never did that!"
"You deny sending Monica over to tell me to bug off?"
"She would never do something like that."
"The hell she wouldn't. I came back with a Pepsi for you and she came over to me and said she would take it and hold it for you. Her exact words were "You might as well find something else to do. She's going to be busy for a while." When she said that I tried to cut in and remind you whose date you were and the asshole you were dancing with got mouthy and tried to get physical and when I got physical back you told me that I was embarrassing you. That was a laugh. Me embarrassing you? How about the embarrassment you caused me? How do you think it looked to everyone there when as soon as we get to the party my date abandons me for a bunch of Monica's assholes? It will be a cold day in hell before you get an apology out of me. Now if you don't mind I'd like to finish my lunch" and I went back to eating.
She sat there silent and watching me for maybe a minute and then she got up and left.
I saw her again in the two afternoon classes we shared and she ignored me which didn't bother me at all.
Three weeks went by and then one Thursday I was again sitting in Harry's Malt Shop when Audrey sat down across from me. I looked up from the notes I was reviewing, saw that it was Audrey and went back to my notes. Maybe a minute passed and then Audrey said:
"I'm here to eat crow Rob." I looked up at her and she said, "You were right. My behavior was uncalled for and I can't offer any good excuse for it other than I was asked to dance and you weren't back yet so I said yes and then things got out of hand. After talking with you in the cafeteria and thinking about it I was all set to apologize until I asked Monica why she said what you said she said. She denied it and said you were lying to cover up for being an asshole so I stopped thinking about apologizing. It wasn't until last Sunday that I found out that it was Monica who lied. Gail Luoma told me that she heard Monica say it to you. It has taken me until now to work up the courage to face you. I'm sorry Rob. Can we get by this and maybe try again?"
I looked at her for several seconds and then said, "What do you have in mind when you say "try again?"
"Well, since our first date didn't go too well I thought maybe we could give it another try?"
"You have anything planned for Saturday?"
"Would you like to go to the movies with me?"
"I'd love to."
The date went well and it led to a second one which in turn led to a third and suddenly Audrey and I were a couple. The only fly in the ointment was that Audrey sometimes had us double dating with Monica and her butt-head of the moment. I say that because Monica seemed incapable of dating a guy who wasn't an obnoxious asshole. On many a date it was all I could do to keep my mouth shut and not create a scene. What amazed me was that Audrey never seemed to notice or care.
Things were good between Audrey and me until two weeks before senior prom. Audrey and I had a date to attend a concert on Sunday and Saturday evening she called me and told me that she had to cancel because of a family emergency. Those things happen and so I thought nothing about it. I didn't feel like going to the concert alone so I called a couple of guys I knew and we went over to check out a new arcade that had opened on the west side of town.
The first thing I saw when I walked into the arcade was Audrey, Monica and two guys standing in line to buy game tokens. I debated going over to her and saying something about 'family emergencies' but decided against it. She would see me sooner or later and know that I'd seen her. Hopefully the knowledge that she was busted would ruin her night. Actually it would do more than ruin her night. It would cast a pall on some other things also. For one, although she didn't know it yet, she was going to need a date for the prom since she damned sure wouldn't be going with me.
I happened to be looking at her reflection in the glass panel on the back of the pin ball machine I was playing when she saw me. Her hand flew up to her mouth and she hurriedly turned away, said something to Monica and then she, Monica and the two guys split and I didn't see them again that night
Audrey wasn't in school Monday and I didn't call her. Tuesday Audrey walked up to the table I was sitting at during lunch period and sat down. She said:
"Can we talk Rob?"
I said no and got up and walked away. She tried to get me to talk to her following both afternoon classes and I simply walked by her without saying a word. Wednesday she again approached me in the cafeteria.
"We need to talk Rob."
"About what we are going to be doing on prom night."
"I have no idea what you will be doing. I'll be going stag."
Her face went pale and she said, "You aren't taking me?"
"No Audrey, I'm not. You can go with the guy you went out with Sunday night. Or maybe you can give your good friend Monica a call. She always seems to be able to come up with dates for you."
I got up and walked away leaving her sitting there with tears running down her face.
Saturday Harlina Collins called me at home. After some small talk she said:
"Something happen between you and Audrey?"
"You could say that. Why?"
"She is running around frantically trying to find a date for the prom. I take it that she isn't going with you?"
"No she isn't."
"Who are you taking?"
"No one. I'll be going stag."
"Would you like a date?"
"It is a little late to be looking for a date. By now everyone will be spoken for."
"Not necessarily. I need a date."
"You? What happened between you and Toby?"
"Nothing happened between us. Yesterday he went to the hospital with a burst appendix and he is going to be off his feet for at least two weeks. No way he can make it to the prom next Friday."
"Will you going with me create problems between the two of you?"
"No. I already asked Toby and he said he was okay with it."
"Then you have a date."
Harlina and I had a great time at the prom and at the two after prom parties we attended. I do have to say that the kiss she gave me when I took her home would not have passed the 'boyfriend test' but other than that we behaved ourselves.
Audrey did manage to come up with a date or more likely Monica found her one since the guy wasn't someone who went to our school. Audrey did not seem like she was having all that good of a time, but hey! Not my problem.
Audrey and I pretty much steered clear of each other for the rest of our senior year. Me because she had lied to me and did what I considered as stabbing me in the back and her because, as I heard through the grapevine, she blamed me for ruining her senior prom.
Graduation came and my parents gave me a three year old Mustang convertible as a graduation present and that made my summer dating much easier. I dated a lot, but I never hooked up with anyone steady. I spent the summer working for the landscape company I had worked for the previous two summers and then in the fall I was off to college.
As fate would have it Audrey and I were thrown together on our first day of classes. We were both Business Management majors and had four shared classes. We avoided each other for most of the first term, but then in Introduction to Production Management the instructor split the class up into eight groups of four students each and assigned group projects. I ended up in the same group as Audrey. There was no way around it; we had to socialize because we had to research together and work together with the other two in the group in order to complete the project.
One afternoon when all four of us were supposed to meet at the library I got there first and was sitting at a table in the reference section when Audrey showed up. She sat down and we pretty much ignored each other for a couple of minutes before Audrey said:
"This is just stupid. We are supposed to be adults now so why are we acting like children. We have known each other for years so we should be able to talk to each other. How have you been Rob?"
"Not bad Audrey. You?"
"I've been better. I could have done without being put on this project with you."
"Sorry you have to put up with me, but it wasn't my choice."
"It's not the putting up with you Rob; it is the being around you and knowing that you don't like me."
Before I could say anything the other two showed up and we got busy on the project. When the group broke up I asked Audrey if she would like to have a cup of coffee with me. She hesitated slightly before saying that she would like to and I told her I would meet her at the student union in ten minutes and then I went over to the check out desk and checked out a couple of books.
Audrey was sitting at a table when I got to the cafeteria and I joined her after getting a cup of coffee and a piece of pie. As I sat down I said:
"Where did you get the idea that I don't like you?"
"From the way you dumped me just before the prom and then would never talk to me after."
"That had nothing to do with me liking you Audrey. Do you honestly expect me to believe that you don't know why it happened?"
"I didn't do anything to deserve that Rob."
"In my mind you did. You broke a date with me so you could go out with another guy."
"But I didn't do it because I liked the other guy. I only did it because Monica needed me to help her out. She wanted to go out with this guy, but he had a friend visiting and he couldn't go off and leave him alone so Monica asked me to double with her. The guy meant nothing to me. It was just one date and I never saw him again."
"Then that is what you should have told me instead of lying to me about a family emergency. You should have been up front with me. I wouldn't have liked it and it would have probably pissed me off, but I would have gotten over it, but to catch you in a lie? No way could I accept that."
"I guess you are right. I shouldn't have lied, but I knew you didn't care for Monica so I didn't want to bring her into it. I thought I could do it and you would never know so things would be okay. I'm sorry Rob; I really am sorry."
I said nothing and she was silent for maybe twenty seconds and then she said:
"I've missed you Rob."
"I've missed you too Audrey."
"Can we get back to being friends?"
"I don't see why not."
From that point on we were back talking although I made no attempt to ask her out. For one thing I'd already been burned twice by her, with Monica's help, and Monica was still around. I did date though and at various parties and other activities I'd see Monica, Audrey and the guys they were with. I never did seem to see Monica or Audrey with the same guy twice in a row.
Audrey and I lunched together often in the cafeteria and since we shared many of the same classes we met after class at the library to study. During one of those study sessions Audrey asked:
"Are we ever going to get back to the way we were?"
"What do you mean?"
"Are you ever going to ask me out again?"
"I don't know Audrey. To be honest about it I was pretty much stuck on you, but twice you burned me because of Monica and you still run with her. I don't feel much like setting myself up to get dumped on again."
"Do you really think I would do that to you?"
"You already have Audrey; twice."
"I was younger and a little more flighty then Rob. I have grown up a lot."
I took a chance and asked for a date and, as the last time, one led to two which led to a third and then we were keeping each other company again. On our fifth date we made love for the first time. There previously had been a lot of hot and heavy necking, but we had never gone all the way. Neither of us were virgins and though I knew it was unreasonable of me I was really pissed that Audrey wasn't. Mostly because she had probably lost it to one of the guys Monica was always setting her up with instead of me. However we seemed to fit well together and after that first time we made love three or four times a week.
As it had been before a lot of our dates were double dates with Monica and her taste in guys hadn't improved any, but also as before I kept my mouth shut and bore up under it as best I could.
We made it through our freshman and sophomore years without any more problems and I was beginning to think of our future after graduation. I was even to the point of stopping and looking in jewelry store windows at rings. One month into our senior year the Monica Monster raised its ugly head again.
It was a Thursday and we were having lunch at the cafeteria in the student union and Audrey asked:
"We don't have anything going this Saturday do we?"
"Not that I can think of. Why?"
"Monica wants me to do her a favor."
"What kind of favor?"
"This guy she is seeing has a friend coming to town for the weekend."
"Are you the only girl that Monica knows? Why is it always you that has to be the one that she sets up with her boyfriend's friends?"
"I'm sure that she knows other girls, but I'm her best friend and she just feels more comfortable when it is me with her."
"Well I'm not comfortable with it. I thought we had something working for us Aud, but you going off and dating other guys makes me wonder."
"Don't be that way Rob. It doesn't mean a thing. We will go to dinner and maybe a movie. Probably stop for a drink or two and some dancing and then I'll go home. It is just a favor to Monica and you just said that we don't have anything planned. It will be okay."
"I don't own you Audrey, but I'm going to say that I don't like it. I'm not happy with it at all" and I got up and walked away from the table.
I had hoped the way I left would give her pause and make her rethink things. I didn't see her again until lunch the next day. We talked about classes and things and after I finished eating I said:
"You want to do something this weekend?"
"Did you forget I'm going out with Monica?"
"No, but I had hoped that you would have thought it over and decided not to do it."
"We doing anything tonight?"
"I don't know about you, but I'm going to call around and see if anybody has a sister or a female cousin or female friend coming to town who needs a date" and I got up and left her sitting there.
She tried to talk to me after our afternoon class, but I didn't stop to talk. She called me twice that night. The first time she told me that I was being unreasonable and I told her not to my way of thinking and I hung up on her. The second time she gave me a ration of shit for hanging up on her and I hung up on her again.
Saturday I called around and found a couple of guys to go out drinking with. Mike had heard of a new place out on the turnpike and so we went out that way to check the place out. We had been there maybe an hour when Ben said:
"Isn't that Audrey?"
I looked and sure enough it was Audrey, Monica and two guys. One guy had his arm around Audrey and she was looking up at him and smiling. They took a table at the other end of the room from us and ordered drinks. The guy who had his arm around Audrey leaned over and said something to her and she laughed and then they kissed. They got up to dance and moved so close together that I doubt you would have been able to slide a sheet of paper between them. Audrey had both arms around his neck and he had both hands on her ass pulling her into him.
I watched for an hour as they danced and kissed and then I'd had enough. I told Ben and Mike that I needed to move to some other place to do my drinking or I would probably end up in jail for creating a very nasty disturbance. We got up to leave and I stopped at Audrey's table. When she saw me I saw her face change to an "Oh shit!" look and I leaned down and said to Audrey's guy:
"She is a great piece of ass, but make sure that you use a condom. The last time I fucked her she gave me a bad case cock rot. Took damned near a month to clear up."
Then I looked Audrey in the eye and said, "Nice seeing you again Aud" and then I walked away.
Mike, Ben and I went over to the Landing Strip Lounge near the airport and saw Harlina Collins, Nancy Neubert and Bev Holbrook sitting at a table and they waved us over to join them. We danced and drank with the girls until closing and then hit the Denny's on Wayne Road for an early breakfast. Harlina was riding with Bev and as we finished eating Harlina commented on the fact that she lived close to me and could I give her a ride home since Bev lived in the opposite direction so I told her no problem. Bev took Mike with her since they only lived two blocks apart. Ben and Nancy had been making eyes at each other all night so they left together.
Once in my car I asked Harlina why she wasn't out with Toby on a Saturday night.
"Toby is history."
"Oh? When did that happen?"
"When I caught him screwing Helen Liss."
"I didn't know. Sorry."
"I'm not. Better to find out he is a cheating asshole now rather than later. Why aren't you with Audrey tonight?"
"Pretty much for the same reason you aren't with Toby."
"We can sure pick them."
I didn't say anything to that and after maybe a minute Harlina looked over at me and said:
"You know what I'm the most sorry about?"
"I was so looking forward to giving up my cherry on prom night, but then Toby ended up in the hospital. I almost talked myself into letting you do the deed, but at the last minute I decided to stay true to Toby. Too bad that I didn't know then what I know now." She was silent for a bit and then she said, "Any interest in seeing what we both missed out on?"
After what I'd seen Audrey doing I owed her nothing so I looked over at Harlina and smiled.
The hot kiss that Harlina had given me on prom night had hinted at the passion inside her waiting to be released. If what she gave me was even half of what she'd had inside her waiting to break out on prom night I'd missed out on the experience of a lifetime. She was hot and she was damned near insatiable and she took me to my absolute limits. At six in the morning she was trying to get me to respond again and I just could not answer the call. We'd made love four times and I just didn't have a fifth in me.
"Maybe tonight" I told her, "but no way I can go again until I've had some rest."
"Tonight is out because it is my parent's twenty-fifth wedding anniversary and I have to be at their party, but I don't have anything going tomorrow."
I was just a touch slow in answering that and Harlina said, "It is too soon for me to be thinking of Toby's replacement Rob, but I would like to have someone around to help me get over him."
"My last class is at three."
"I get home from work at five."
"I'll be ready."
At two that Afternoon I got a call from Audrey.
"That was a rotten thing to say to Kyle and why were you following me anyway?"
"What's the matter Audrey? He didn't have a condom or did he have one and wouldn't take a chance? And I didn't follow you Audrey. Mike, Ben and I were there an hour before you got there and I sat there and watched you and your dickhead date for another hour before I stopped by to say hi. Think back on everything you did from the time you walked in the door until I stopped by your table and you will know what I saw. Should what I saw have made me happy Audrey? Goodbye."
The phone rang again almost immediately and I took it off the hook and left it off until I left to go to the movies two hours later.
The next day I was taking my lunch break at the student cafeteria when Audrey sat down at my table. I looked up at her and said in a slightly unfriendly tone:
"What do you want?"
"I want to know what the hell you thought you were doing the other night. I'm here because you can't hang up on me here and if you get up and walk away I'll just get up and walk with you. I'm not letting you tune me out."
"You would be better off tuning me out me out than hearing what I have to say."
"I can't refute it until you do."
"You can't refute it anyway. I saw what I saw and there is absolutely no excuse – none! – for a woman to behave that way with a man when she already has – make that had – a steady boyfriend. If you behaved that way in public there is no doubt in my mind about what you were going to do in private. When I stopped at your table and said what I said I did it in the hope that it would ruin your evening because God knows you had already ruined mine."
"You honestly think I would have done that? You have that low of an opinion of me?"
"Actions speak for themselves Audrey. You did everything but fuck him while I sat back in the corner and watched. He played with your ass and your tits and he had his tongue so far down your throat that it probably touched the backside of your belly button. You made absolutely no attempt to shut him down. All you did was smile and I'll say it again; if you were doing that out in the open in public there is no doubt in my mind at all about what was going on in private."
"I swear to you Rob that nothing was going to happen. Okay, maybe I did go a little overboard, but we were having a good time and I was just going with the flow. I told Kyle ahead of time that I had a steady boyfriend and not to expect anything."
"He obviously didn't believe you or he wouldn't have been taking the liberties he took and your allowing those liberties pretty much told him that you didn't really mean what you said."
"God damn it Rob, nothing happened. Nothing was going to happen. After you left the table Kyle asked me if you were my boyfriend and when I said yes he told me I should get up and go after you. The only reason I didn't is because I was pissed at you because I thought you were following me. Please Rob, you have to believe me. Nothing happened and nothing was going to happen."
"I don't know Audrey. It seems to me that I'm only your boyfriend until Monica gives you a call and then I'm not until she doesn't need you. I don't think I want that kind of a relationship. Three times we have had a problem and all three times were because of Monica. I'm a realist Audrey. There is no way I can come between two people who have a fifteen year friendship. No way can I say Monica or me, your choice. I think it is best that we just call it quits and move on. Sorry Audrey, but that's the way I see it."
I got up and headed for my next class.
Over the next three weeks I saw Audrey almost every day at school, but we didn't talk. Over the same period I got together with Harlina seven or eight times as we worked on our friends with benefits relationship. Then two things happened within three hours of each other that changed things.
The first was Harlina bumping into me at the student book store and telling me that she and Toby were going to give things another try and asking me if I would please never let him find out about what we had done together. I promised silence and wished her good luck.
The second thing happened at the end of my last class of the day. I found Monica waiting for me in the hall outside of the classroom. She stepped up to me and said:
"What the hell is wrong with you? Why are you being such a dickhead toward Audrey? That girl is in love with you and you are treating her like shit."
"What? You are pretending that you don't know what went on?"
"I know what went on. Nothing! That's what went on. I was with her the whole time from the time we picked her up until we dropped her off and outside of some touchy-feely shit nothing happened. Okay so the girl had a drink or two too many and got a little loose, but Kyle knew she was spoken for and Tom and I weren't going to let anything happen."
"If everyone knew she was spoken for why the hell were you asking her to date another guy?"
"Because I didn't know until you kicked her to the curb how she really felt about you. To me you were just another guy she was dating. I didn't know you were special to her until we picked her up and she told Kyle that all she was going to be was company and why. At that point Tom and I appointed ourselves as her babysitter.
"We hit the Aladdin and had several drinks and waited for the band before we found out that their van got in an accident on the way to the lounge. We probably could have done with a few less drinks, but what the hell; we were out to have a good time. Nothing happened and nothing was going to happen. Kyle even told Aud to run after you after you left our table.
"The poor girl is a wreck. She comes to school and then goes home and sits and cries. If you have any feelings at all for her give the kid a break. You need to do something soon or you are liable to lose her. She is a lot tougher than she looks and sooner or later she will suck it up and move on. Think on it. Think on it hard."
She gave me a hard look and then she walked away.
I spent a day or two thinking about what Monica had said and it might have been true that nothing was going to happen. What it all came down to was that I had been hung up on Audrey since the ninth grade – over six years – and I missed not being with her.
When I got to the student union on Friday I saw Audrey sitting alone at a table and I took a deep breath, sucked it up and went over and sat down with her.
"I'm sorry Audrey. I overreacted and I apologize for the things I said."
"No need Rob. I've been over that night in my mind a dozen times and I can see why you thought what you thought. My behavior was inexcusable for someone who had a steady boyfriend."
I started to stand up and she asked, "Where are you going?"
"I just stopped by to apologize."
She pointed at the chair and said, "Sit! This is the first time you have talked to me in weeks and I want to keep it going. How have you been?"
We talked in general while we ate and just before I needed to leave for my next class Audrey asked:
"Do you have any plans for tonight?" and looked at me expectantly and just like that we were back together.
I proposed in October of our senior year, she said yes and we began making plans for a June wedding following graduation.
As it had been in the past we did double date with Monica and her beau from time to time. She had finally settled on Tom and for a change he wasn't a dick head like most of Monica's previous guys and I actually liked him.
On June sixteenth Audrey and I took our vows with Monica acting as her Maid of Honor and one month later Audrey stood with Monica as she and Tom were married.
The first six months of our marriage were trouble free and then there was another 'Monica Moment.' It was a Saturday night and Audrey and I had gone to dinner and after eating Audrey said she would like to go somewhere for a few drinks and some dancing so I drove us over to the Starlight Lounge. We had been there about forty-five minutes when Monica, Tom and two guys I didn't know arrived and took a table at the other end of the room from us. Naturally Audrey had to go over and say hi and I expected her to come back and tell me that we were going to move over to their table and join them.
That isn't what happened. Audrey was there for almost ten minutes and then she got up and danced with one of the guys I didn't know. After the dance she went back to Monica's table and two minutes later she got up and danced with the other guy I didn't know and after that dance she went back to Monica's table. I gave it another five minutes and then I got up and moved toward her. I was about halfway to her when she got up to dance with the first guy she had danced with. Was I pissed? Take a wild guess.
I got my wallet out and took out a twenty. I walked up to Audrey and the guy and grabbed Audrey's arm as I said:
"Excuse me for a second." I handed Audrey the twenty and said, "Here's cab fare" and I turned and walked away.
I had the car started and was just taking it out of 'park' when the passenger door opened and Audrey got in. She slammed the door and said:
"What the hell is wrong with you Rob? You were actually going to leave me there?"
"Me? There is nothing wrong with me Audrey. It is all on you."
"What the hell do you mean by that?"
"Every time you get near Monica your brain short circuits. You went over to say hi to Monica and twenty-five minutes later, after dancing with two guys I've never seen before I'd finally had enough and I came over to tell you goodbye and leave you with who you obviously wanted to be with. It sure wasn't me. You forgot that I was even there."
"Get a grip Rob. All you ha..."
"Can it Audrey. I don't want to hear it."
"Damn it Ro..."
"Just shut the fuck up Audrey!!!"
The rest of the ride home was made in silence.
Things were cool around the house for the next three days and then on Tuesday Audrey woke me up with a blow job and when I was hard enough she moved over me and rode me cowgirl until we both came. She leaned forward and lay on my chest and said:
"I'm sorry baby."
I wisely didn't say a word.