"God Damn it Cheryl, you've been working with us for four months now," said Connie. "This is the first time we've ever gotten you to come out with us. So don't start trying to leave before you've had at least one drink."
"And at least a dance or two," piped in Nancy. "There will be a lot of guys here on a Friday night. And you're a good looking woman. You won't have any trouble finding one."
"One drink and then I'm out of here," said Cheryl. "No dances and no men."
"Cheryl, not that it matters," said Helen. "But, are you a lesbian?"
"Of course not," said Cheryl. Her new work mates couldn't seem to figure her out. Only Connie knew the truth about Cheryl's life before she came to work for the XYZ Company.
Cheryl was an attractive brunette who stood about 5' 4" inches tall. She had nice but not spectacular breasts, a tiny waist and a nice but not spectacular ass. Her green eyes and her legs were her best features.
Connie on the other hand, was blond and shorter at 5' even. She had huge breasts and a well rounded rear end. She was maybe 10 or fifteen pounds over-weight but it was all in the right places and men loved her.
Nancy, the youngest of the four at 30, was also the tallest but the least curvy with A-cup breasts and slim boyish hips. Helen at 44 was the oldest but also the only one of the four who was married and had kids.
Cheryl had been married for over fifteen years, but sadly her marriage had ended only 11 months earlier. She still stung from the separation which accounted for her nun-like existence.
"If you're not a lesbian then why don't you want to meet a nice man?" asked Nancy.
"Because I already met one and fucked it up," snapped Cheryl icily. "Besides, no one is going to meet a nice guy in a meat market like this. All you're going to meet are pussy hounds and one night stands. No thanks."
Except for Connie the other women were shocked at Cheryl's words. They looked at her as if they expected her to tell them her story. But she was silent. She looked around the room as if she was trying to spot the exit but her eyes locked onto a guy at a table across the room.
Nancy and Connie followed her eyes and her shocked expression to the table she stared at. Cheryl had completely forgotten about her friends as she stared at the other table. The words of a song from when she was younger came to mind.
"You're in the corner, turning your back. You're running away again." The song was the first line from a song by Vixen, called "How much love." It reminded Cheryl of the way her marriage was going.
Connie who came to this bar often waved at a couple of the guys at the table and they waved back. One of the guys got up and came over to their table. Connie noticed that Cheryl was standing now and tentatively walking towards the table the guy had just left. There was a guy that Connie had never seen before at the table. He had dark hair. He was slim yet still muscular. He turned his face away from them as if he was hiding something. He very smoothly got up and walked away from the table. He headed towards the bathrooms along the wall near the door.
A couple of guys asked Cheryl to dance as she tried to get to the man who'd left the other table. They barely slowed her down. One guy actually grabbed her arm and tried to pull her onto the dance floor until she screamed at him to let go of her.
Connie quickly ran to her friend's side. Roger, the guy who was coming over to talk to Connie joined them.
"Cheryl, what's wrong?" asked Connie.
Cheryl ignored her friend and spoke to Roger. "That guy at your table, the one who went into the bathroom. Is he your friend? Where do you know him from?" she asked.
"He was kind of a cutie, Hon but he may be married or something," said Connie. "Don't get hooked on some guy before you even get to meet him. He may not be your type or you may not be his. Like you said before, not too many people are coming into this place to meet their soul mates."
Cheryl ignored Connie again. "His name is Rob Thomas, isn't it?"
Roger nodded. "He's been working with us for about 2 months now. He's a hard worker and a great guy. But he lives like a fucking monk. A bunch of the girls at work hit on him all the time, but apparently he's already in love. This is the first time we've been able to get him to come out with us. But something spooked him. He's gone back to her and they're gone, did you hear that?"
"I spooked him," said Cheryl. As she spoke a tear rolled down her cheek.
Connie looked at her friend and her heart went out to her. "Honey, I don't think you spooked him. You're probably just not his type. The cute guys who know they're cute always think they can pick and choose the women they want. Maybe he likes blonds."
"So what's his girlfriend like?" asked Cheryl.
"Well she's black and kind of wide," smirked Roger.
Connie shrugged her shoulders. Nothing shocked her. "They've all got their types honey, just like we do," she said.
"She's also got four chrome wheels, a supercharged V8 Engine and a running pony on her grill," said Roger.
Cheryl looked at Roger in surprise. "What?" she asked.
"As far as I can tell Rob doesn't date. He loves his car. The only woman I've ever heard him mention is his mother. That sound a few seconds ago outside, was the sound of that Mustang of his hitting the highway and leaving me stranded here. I'll have to get a ride from one of the other guys if I don't hook up tonight." He winked at Connie.
"Uhm I think I'm going to be kind of busy talking a friend down off the ledge," said Connie. "Give me a rain check though."
Connie drove Cheryl back to her house. She looked around and noticed more than a few photos of Cheryl and Rob together. The one that surprised her the most was a large framed wedding picture. In the picture Cheryl looked ecstatically happy. It looked as if she was marrying the man of her dreams and happy beyond reasoning. Rob, although younger, looked very happy too. Connie wondered what had happened to turn Cheryl into the depressed and seemingly dying woman that Connie knew.
Another thing that bothered Connie was Rob himself. He seemed to be almost afraid of the woman he used to be married to. A woman who at one time he'd promised to love and cherish for the rest of his life.
She needed to know more about this situation and not just because of her friendship with Cheryl. That first time she'd seen Rob across the floor before he'd snuck out of the bar through the back door, time had stood still for her.
Cheryl emerged from the bathroom in a long flannel dressing gown. She'd removed her makeup but her face was still very red and her eyes were puffy, from crying. There were still tears gently rolling down her face as she sat down on her couch and drew her knees up under her.
Connie moved over to the sofa beside her friend.
"Why don't you tell me about it Hon," she said. "Sometimes it feels better to get it out. And I can't help you get your revenge on him if I don't know what he did to you."
Cheryl sat up for a second and looked at Connie as if she was an idiot.
"I don't want revenge, Connie. I'm the one who messed up. What I want is my husband back."
"But aren't you divorced?" asked Connie. "Didn't you have your chance in court to say no?"
"I would move heaven and earth," said Cheryl. "I'd sell my soul for another chance. All he has to do is marry me again. But he doesn't even have to do that. I'd be happy just being his girlfriend or his booty call."
Connie looked at Cheryl strangely. Cheryl was not the type of woman to use a phrase like that.
"Don't look at me like I'm crazy," snapped Cheryl. "Rob is not the booty call type. If he started something with me, even something like that it would end up being much more. I just need a way to get back into his life. And even if it was only sex, I'd take that in a heartbeat."
"He's my soul mate. We're meant to be together," she said heatedly. "Every second that we're apart hurts me."
Connie looked at Cheryl again. In the last few months that she'd known Cheryl this was the first time that she'd seen passion about anything coming from her friend.
Seeing Cheryl there on the couch with no makeup on made the woman seem older yet more innocent and vulnerable at the same time.
She knew that Cheryl was approaching forty but the pain and emotions running through her made her seem older.
"Rob and I got married when we were 22," began Cheryl. "We met in college and got married soon after we graduated. I was from a small farming town in Iowa and Rob was from New York. Our families and upbringing couldn't have been more different, but when we met something just clicked and that was it.
It happened at a party for one of the stupid tree hugging charities that are on every college campus. We were both there with other people, but it didn't matter. Within 2 minutes of us meeting, the connection between us was palpable. It was like there was electricity passing between us. Our eyes locked on each other and we simply ignored everyone around us.
After a while it was embarrassing. My date started making angry gestures like he wanted to start a fight with Rob or something. Finally Rob's date saved us from the awkwardness of the situation by asking him to take her home.
"I'm really interested in this organization," Rob said smiling at me while he spoke to his date. "Maybe I'll take you home and come right back."
"Perhaps that would be best," the girl said. "Though I doubt that you'll be alone here for long."
"Could you take me home too?" I asked my date. He looked at me as if I was dog shit on his shoe.
.... There is more of this story ...