Robin Murphy was in the utility room moving clothes from the washing machine to the dryer when he heard someone insert a key in his front door and unlock it. Wondering who it could be he stepped out into the hallway and looked towards the door. A few seconds later he was surprised to see Deborah Majors step through the door carrying a suitcase and a bag of groceries. He was surprised because he quite honestly had never expected to see her again.
Rob and Deb had grown up together. Their families living only one block apart in the small lake side community they had grown up in. What a difference that single block made in their lives though. The street that had seperated Rob's block from Deborah's was also the dividing line between two counties. Because of this the bus that Robin rode to school each day took him to one town, while the bus Deborah rode delivered her to school in another. Best friends and pals at home, they were rivals in all things school related. Their two schools being recognized, throughout their corner of the state, as having the most contested rivalries from one year to the next. Robins school usually dominated in football, and basketball, while Deborah's school normally championed in track and field, and wrestling. Baseball, swimming and golf were most often toss-ups as both schools teams were more equally matched.
Robin had championed his school's swimming team, leading the team to regional competitions three years running. Deborah was on her school's track team and had set two new state time records in her Junior year. Six months older than Robin, she and he had both begun their schooling the same year. Her parents having chosen to hold her back until she was actually five before enrolling her in kindergarten. With a November birthday, she could have begun attending while still four years old, as her mother had done. But her mother remembered having trouble in school because of her younger age and hoped to save her daughter that by waiting the extra year.
A Tomboy, Deborah was more often like the boys in school than she was the girls. She prefered Jeans to dresses or skirts and rough and tumble horseplay to gossip, dancing and subtle flirting. Not that she wasn't a flirt, she was by her very nature and enjoyed it. But it was all just good fun with her and carried none of the more serious overtones the other girls flirting did. She always seemed to know just who she could have fun flirting with and who would take it too seriously.
Inseperable companions during their school vacations, Robin and Deborah shared many firsts together as they grew up. Especially when Deborah began developing earlier than many other girls their own age. Puberty made the differences between boys and girls so much more interesting. They shared their first kiss together. Then practiced kissing together often, under the boat dock at the lake. It was Deborah, rather than Robin, who stole her father's adult magazines and then wanted to try all of the wonderful things she read about. Still, even with that, they did not progress to full on intercourse until they were both sixteen. Though they had often masturbated together before that. Both themselves and one another. Practicing both their manual and oral techniques. As a result, they were both proficient at providing pleasure long before they actually began dating. Their first real dates were, of course, with each other.
Deborah's attitudes towards sex were also more like those of a guy than a girl. It was both fun and normally useful in relieving tensions, so she welcomed it much more casually than most girls seemed to. While dating in High School and later in College, many were the times that Deborah sought out Robin after a date for frustration relief. Her date's too quick spurts and apparent lack of caring if "she" were actually satisfied was a constant complaint of hers. At these times her and Robin's casual "friendship with benefits" was a joy for her.
For his part, Robin had been in love with Deborah since they were thirteen. He had first declared his love for her that winter on Valentines Day. She had called him a Dweeb and told him not to be a goof. At fifteen Deborah had told him that she liked him loads, that he was and always would be her greatest friend, but that she would never love him. In college, they both quickly became disillusioned with dormitory life and shared an off-campus apartment. Often, when they didn't each have a regular boy or girlfriend, they took advantage of their mutual "benefits."
They had been living together for about a month when Rob had asked what Deb would say if he asked her to marry him. She replied she would tell him to seek mental health and that marriage was over-rated and archaic. Shortly before they graduated, while shopping together in the Mall, Robin had stopped outside a jewelry store to examine their window display. A bracelet had caught his eye and he was thinking how good it would look on her wrist. Deborah had walked on a few steps before realizing he had stopped. When she came back and looked in the window herself and the first thing she saw was a collection of wedding bands and engagement rings. She punched him in the shoulder and told him not to even think about it. Robin turned and walked on without saying a word.
After they graduated and were packing to go their separate ways, Robin gave Deborah the bracelet he had seen in the jewelry store window. Deborah returned to Pennsylvania for a time before going on to New York to work as a professional photographer. Robin had moved across town to a one-bedroom apartment and found work for himself in Phoenix. He had fallen in love with Arizona during his college years and had decided to stay. Unable to locally find work in the field he had studied for, he took a job working in the kitchen of a small restaurant.
He quickly earned the respect of those he worked for and with. Soon finding himself one of their primary cooks and a shift leader with paycheck to match. After working there a few months, his boss, who owned a few restaurants in the Phoenix area, told him about an invitation only poker game he ran on the first Wednesday of each month. It had a one thousand dollar buy-in and he wanted to invite Robin to play. He would pay the entry fee with no obligations attached and they would split any winnings between them. He thought Robin would be good at it. Robin did not, knowing himself to be only a mediocre poker player. Robin passed on the idea the first two months it was offered to him, but found himself to be more and more intrigued as time passed. Finally, the third time, he took his boss up on the offer.
There were five other players in the game when he arrived and that night the cards all seemed to go Robins way. Beginner's or Newbies Luck as they say. At the end of four hours the game was down to Robin and one other player. Fifteen hands and another hour later, the man was down to only about two hundred dollars. Once the hands were dealt out, and the final draw of cards made, the man was sure he had the winning hand. In his pocket he had the deed for a house. His Grandfather had passed away the week before and his lawyer had delivered the deed into his hands that very morning. It was a property with no mortgages and no liens against it. Convinced of the power of his hand he had dropped the deed on the table, offering to bet it against the money that Robin had won.
At that point, it was only Robin, his boss and the man left in the room. Robin and his boss questioned the man about the property and the house. He described the house as a small two bedroom home, in excellent condition, on a lot a little greater than a tenth of an acre in size. It was located between Phoenix International Airport and Tempe, but still in Phoenix. Three times Robin offered to let the man retract the bet, take back his deed plus his last two hundred dollars and leave. Three times the man declared himself convinced that he had the winning hand. Finally though, Robin pushed his winnings to the center of the table and announced, "Okay, your bet is called. What have you got?"
The man had three Queens. Robin had four Threes and won himself a house. A good loser, the man signed the deed over to Robin and gave him a hand-written, one-dollar bill of sale, then left.
It was ten days later before Robin finally saw the house. By that time the title transfer had been accomplished and recorded at the county records office. The house was everything the man had said it was and more. It was still fully furnished and most of the former residents belongings were still there. It took another ten days to hear that the man had already taken the only things he wanted from the home. Anything left was Robins to dispose of or keep as he wished. After seeing it and deciding to keep rather than sell it, Robin sent Deborah a letter telling her about it. He included a few pictures and a front door key with the letter, ending it by saying, "Drop by anytime old friend. You are always welcome." And she had too.
.... There is more of this story ...