"Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Make the Yule time bright. From now on our troubles will be out of sight..."
Fuck Christmas! Fuck the holidays! What a kick in the fuckin teeth! The next fucking jerk off that spews the carbon copy "Merry Christmas" or "Happy holidays" bullshit out of their cock slurper to me, will likely get a two word response, and I don't mean "You too!"
From somewhere off to the east I could hear the refrains of the song, most likely from the ice rink in the plaza. The ice rink obviously full of happy assholes and whores all rubbing elbows and cocks and deluding themselves into believing that everything would be merry and bright. Fuck them too!
Christmas from now on won't be a joyous and happy time for me. It'll only serve to remind me of how my life totally fell apart in the span of a month. Perhaps a small part of me wished I could go back to being "Joe Clueless Fuck" that at the beginning of fall, and thought all would be merry and bright. But I think in the back of my mind, even then, I knew all was not what it appeared to be on the surface. Which lead me up to where I am right now. I was laying prone on a fourth story balcony of an apartment overlooking the front entrance to the Plaza Hotel and Convention Center. The tenants of the apartment had flown to New York for the holidays so I knew I wouldn't be disturbed. Two stories below mounted to another balcony rail was a large flash strobe that would illuminate the entire front of the hotel.
I looked through the viewfinder for the umpteenth time since I arrived an hour ago to be sure the lenses hadn't frosted or fogged up. The low light lens set up was well worth the money, for even at five hundred yards away, well five hundred fifteen to the furthest column, I could pick out detail of the wood grain on the columns supporting the overhand covering the front entrance. Everything was set, so all I had to do was wait for my wife of six years, and her boyfriend to leave their company Christmas party to go to the Value Inn for their post party tryst.
I am Martin Fischer. I am a 32 year old maintenance technician at a factory that builds railroad freight cars. I have worked at the factory for eight years. I started work there two days after I arrived here in Santa Fe. I came from Long Beach with the clothes on my back plus a few spares, and enough money to eat for a week, and keep fuel in my 2000 Harley Davidson Dyna Glide for a week's worth of job searching.
I had been at the plant for about two months as a welder, when a machine broke down and our regular maintenance guys weren't around. I spent about an hour tinkering with it and had it fixed and the assembly line running again. When the head of the maintenance department found out I was called into carpet land for an ass chewing. I was lectured for over an hour on the dangers of what I had done, and the OSHA implications. Just as I thought they were going to fire me, he asked if I had any experience repairing the kinds of machines and tools we had in house.
I told him I hadn't, but had always been able to figure things out by taking them apart. He then offered me a position in the maintenance department and sent me to a school for six months to learn how to work on the computer controlled equipment. When I was done with the training I was making about ten bucks an hour more than I had as a welder.
One of the first guys I met in the department was Jarred Walker. The guy knew every piece of equipment in the factor like the back of his hand. Usually when there was a problem in the office, Jarred was the one to handle it, unless it was plumbing or electrical, then it was my problem to deal with.
One day as Jarred and I as well as half of our staff of ten were working on a straddle crane that needed to be back online ASAFP, that's technical jargon for As Soon As Fucking Possible, we got a page from the office. I was the closest to a phone so I called up to see what the deal was. It seems that one of the new girls had managed to jam the copier so bad they couldn't clear it. Jarred was busy on the crane so I got to go fix the copier.
As I was working on the copier, on of the girls, a bleach blonde with large heavy boobs, came up and asked me why Jarred wasn't here. I told her what he was doing. Then she asked me, "We are having a party tonight for one of the finance girls. If you're not too busy would you like to come?"
"Where is this party?"
"Do you know where the Slammer Saloon is?"
"I think I do. What time?"
"Be there at 8:00, and tell Jarred to come too."
"Will do!" I said trying to sound enthused. The last thing I really wanted to do on a Friday night was hang around this bunch of stuck up cunts. Oh well, what's a guy to do? Maybe one of them would get drunk at least be entertaining.
I pulled my Harley up to the bar at a quarter 'til eight and went in. I didn't recognize a single motherfucker in the place and figured I'd been conned. Five minutes later a few of the girls walked in. By eight the entire office was there. Most I had seen around and some I hadn't. Some of the married girls brought their husbands, and a couple had removed their wedding rings, cheating whores. At least I knew who to avoid now.
Jarred got there about twenty minutes late and made a bee line for the bar. He ordered a drink and like me, put his back to the bar and watched the crowd. "Seen anything interesting yet?"
"Not really. It seems to me that they're the same self-important assholes here as they are at work."
No sooner had I said that, and then Bob Jenkins from finance came over to us.
"I didn't know any floor personnel had been invited to this." He said as he glanced nervously at me. Most people look nervously at me though. I stand just a shade over six feet tall and weigh over two hundred pounds. I wore my brown hair about half way down my back and wore a full beard. Most guys who knew me said that I fit well on my bike.
"Holly invited us." said Jarred. He knew most of these assholes; I had never taken the time to learn their names. I knew Tara Bennet, since she handled all things human resource related, and I knew Lou Graham the plant manger, and that was about the extent of my office acquaintances.
Jarred's answer seemed to satisfy Bob and he went back to the crowd. Blonde with boobs, Holly I guess was her name, soon came over to lure us closer to the rest of them. I sat there for a while listening to all of the office gossip and feeling as out of place as a reggae band at a Klan meeting. I intended to finish the beer I was drinking and then split.
The whole bunch applauded just then, as if they had read my thoughts and was ecstatic. I looked toward the door to see what they were looking at.
I'd never really considered the concept of "love at first sight" as an actual phenomenon, but I experienced something akin to it right then. She looked like a green eyed version of Sandra Bullock. Even her body matched Sandra's. My heart sunk when I saw the complete dork she walked in with. He looked to be about three inches shorter than her and was pre-maturely balding. His glasses were only marginally shinier than his scalp and he just plain looked constipated. "Must be loaded and/or hung to get her," I thought to myself.
I took that moment to hit the head. I'd had enough beer by that point it was time to release some back into the wild. When I returned Sandra was perched in my seat gabbing with Jarred. This gave me the perfect opportunity to escape before the office brain death could affect me. I caught his eye and gestured that I was splitting. He saluted and laughed. She turned and saw me and watched as I headed out the door.
I got outside and walked to my bike. I had just sat down and put the key in and donned my bandana when a voice behind me said, "So I finally arrive at my going away party and you decide to go away?"
I turned to see Sandra looking at me quizzically. "Don't take it personal, I aint leavin' on your account. It's just not my type of crowd."
"How do you know I'm not your type of crowd?"
"First off, all of you Carpet Landers seem to have this attitude that those pieces of paper that say you spent four years and fifty thousand dollars to sit in a cushioned seat in an office means that you all see yourselves as better than those of us that get dirty in the line of duty. Second, you already seem to have enough company with you that I would just be the long haired outsider."
"So that's how it is." She sounded hurt.
"Look, I didn't mean to come off as an asshole. I just know how I feel being around that type of crowd. I hope you have a wonderful party and I wish you good luck with whatever is taking you away from the company."
I thumbed the starter button and the hog roared to life. I started pulling on my gloves when I noticed Sandra still was standing there. She arched an eyebrow, which made her look more adorable than demanding, and made a slashing motion across her throat so I killed the bike.
"I told Holly to invite you. I know you'll think I'm crazy, but when I saw you walk into the plant a couple of weeks ago, I just had to meet you. I was trying to figure out how to talk to you when the copier jammed today. When I saw that you were coming in to fix it I told Holly to invite you here tonight. Now I get here and the one person I wanted to talk to at this little shindig is leaving."
"You're forgetting something, or should I say someone." She looked at me funny. "Your boyfriend? The guy that you walked in with? Balding guy in the blue polo and glasses? Ringin' any bells?"
"Aaron? Oh no, he isn't my boyfriend. He's married to my cousin and works in Order Services. He and I just rode together tonight."
"Ah." I couldn't think of anything else to add that wouldn't sound horrible so I clammed up.
"Besides your friend Jarred gives me the creeps and I would like to have someone on my arm tonight that might keep him at bay."
I knew what she meant about Jarred giving her the creeps. He gave me the creeps and I considered him to be my best friend. But then again, I knew a thing about him \that none of them knew. Jarred's clandestine hobby was to go around peeking in windows with vide equipment and taking pictures and video of women and couples doing things that they wouldn't normally share with the public. He put these on a website that he ran and got paid for selling picture sets to folks who wanted voyeur type shots. I never figured out how he got around having model releases and age information that all of these porn sites are supposed to have. I do know that of I ever get a steady woman, my curtains will always be closed and the splits sealed off.
"I guess if I have to protect your virtue from the forces of evil I should rejoin your party. I'm Martin Fischer by the way."
"Nice to meet you finally Martin, I'm Josie McCoy."
I offered my elbow and she slid her arm through it and we went back into the bar. Even though the bar was full and everyone seemed to be talking at the same time, she and I were able to hold a conversation without yelling to be heard over the noise. It seemed that we were meant to be there together.
She told me that she was leaving to go work for a stock brokerage downtown. She said that it had been her dream job ever since graduating from Stanford. She was three years older than I was and had never been married. She had been in Santa Fe for three years. I told her that I had gotten a job as a welder in a shipyard in Long Bach right out of high school. Economic downturns cut the need to build many ships so I had struck out in search of other opportunities.
"I love the artsy culture around here," she said with a grin. I told her that if she was game, we could take a ride north to Taos sometime and see a lot of neat "southwestern" art. "On your bike? I don't know I am kind of nervous about riding bikes."
"So Mr. Fischer, how did you come to be in Santa Fe?"
"On my bike." I deadpanned. She slugged me in the arm and fixed me with a look that said I needed to get to rapping. "Ok. I used to weld in a ship yard in Long Beach. I was one of a few guys there who were certified divers as well as welders."
I took a pull on my beer, "My best friend JT and I used to love to go diving off of the Catalina Islands. Then I met Sheila and I began to spend more time with her. One day JT suggested Sheila go diving with us. She had a major fear of being under water so she begged off."
"Most times JT's girlfriend Natalie would go to and she and Sheila would sit in the boat as JT and I dived. I learned how to back my regulator off so I was getting shallower breaths and could make a tank of oxygen last longer. JT was afraid to try so he usually ended up going back up half an hour before I did."
"One day Natalie couldn't go with us and Sheila didn't want to be all alone in the boat so I dived alone. Even though safety rules say you never dive alone, it became a habit whenever we'd take Sheila along. One Saturday I dove in and started my descent. When I got below 50 feet, my regulator cut out leaving me with no air. I started to surface and got air back at around 20 feet. I got to the boat and climbed the ladder to find Sheila, naked as a jaybird with JT's cock in her mouth. He was twisting her nipples as she sucked him. It was all I could do not to grab my diver's knife and filet the both of them."
"I dropped off of the ladder and went to 20 feet and started swimming west towards the islands. At times I'd shut my air off and swim the surface, scanning for boats. When I'd get too tired I'd turn my air back on and go under where the swimming was easier, but I couldn't see boats. After five hours of this I finally ran out of air and had to stay on the surface. About twenty minutes later a real fancy power boat came along side of me. There were seven really hot women in bikinis I the boat. I thought I was seeing things and was about to die. They asked if I was OK and I tried to answer. They pulled me out and gave me some water. I told them I had gotten separated from my dive boat and needed to get to Catalina."
"When we got to Catalina a cop met us on the dock and asked if I was Marty Fischer. I told him I was and he told me there was a full scale search being mounted for me. I asked what had taken so long for them to look for me. He said he was only notified of a missing diver twenty minutes before. I told him I had dove over five hours ago. So I was technically three hours overdo. He called the Coast Guard cutter that was leading the search and told them I was safe on the pier and that another boat had picked me up ten miles from where I supposed to be. He also told them about my dive time."
"EMT's checked me out and the girls I rode back with were profusely thanked. Two of them insisted on staying with me. Half an hour later I saw the CG cutter coming in. They were towing JT's boat. Both JT and Sheila were arrested for reckless endangerment. I was asked if I wanted to press charges and I said I just wanted them held for 48 hours so I could pack my shit and split. I didn't want to see either one of them ever again."
"I got my gear bag from the boat and headed to the apartment I shared with Sheila. I packed what I could fit on the bike with me and donated the rest to The Salvation Army. Just before I left the phone rang. I don't know what made me answer it, but I did. It was Sheila. She asked why they were arrested since I had gotten lost. I told her that they had been too busy having sex to notice that I was well past overdo and that's a crime. She said I was full of shit about them having sex. "I was on the ladder watching you blow him." I said. I told her that I was back up less than half an hour after I had dived. I heard her gasp as I told her to have a nice life."
"I emptied my savings and got my last paycheck from work Monday morning. By Monday afternoon I had LA at my back. My clutch crapped out in Barstow, and I lost a tire in Las Vegas, eating most of my precious cash. When I got to Santa Fe I figured I'd better look for a job while I still had some money for food and fuel. And now here I am."
It seemed I had only been at the bar for an hour or so when the party started breaking up. "Man, these people peter out early don't they?"
"Not really," she said. "Jack the bartender just called last call."
We made our way out of the bar and stood on the sidewalk like a couple of nervous teens at a dance. "Are you busy tomorrow night?" I asked.
"Yes, I do have plans for tomorrow night."
I felt embarrassed for asking so soon and felt like I had blown it. "OK. Some other time I guess."
"Don't you want to know what my plans are or who they are with?"
"I didn't figure it was any of my business. We just met so I have no right to know."
"What time would you have come to get me?"
"Probably at seven." I said, puzzled over where this line of thought could be going. Was she rubbing her date in my face?
"Well then. My plans are at seven." She said as she looked at me in a funny way. "Where would you have taken me?"
I was starting to get a bit perturbed. "Most likely to dinner and a movie and then maybe to a bar for a drink or two after."
"OK then, that's what we'll do. Do you have a vehicle other than the Harley?"
I was dumbfounded. Then I felt the smile threaten to tear my face in half as I realized she'd been playing with me this whole time. "As a matter of fact I have two vehicles, a 59 Chevrolet Apache pick up and a 63 Corvette that I am restoring."
"1542 Cedar Drive, see you at seven. Where's your helmet, by the way?"
"I don't believe in them. I like the wind in my face."
"So sad, a great handsome guy will to be road kill. If I buy you one will you wear it for me?" With that she kissed me quickly on the lips and walked off to her car. The only thing I knew for sure was the next day would not pass nearly fast enough.
We'd been dating for a month, going out every Friday night and Saturday night, before I ever saw more than her front door as I picked her up or dropped her off. She had yet to see my place. We kissed often; some of the goodnight kisses had left me ready to fuck a cactus. Finally one night after dancing at a nice club, they'd been nervous about letting me in wearing my leather jacket; she asked if we could go to my place. I was surprised but didn't trip over myself luckily. I led her out of the club and to my Vette.
When we got to my house she asked if I was ready for us to take another step. "I've been waiting for you to push the issue but you seemed fine taking it slowly. I wasn't sure you liked me enough to go further."
"I thought maybe you were just being old fashioned," I said, "I am not one to try to push too far."
"So you are OK with taking this further then."
"Sure, it's about time you met my little boy." I said as I opened my front door.
'Little boy? I didn't know you had..." Her thought was interrupted by my eight month old Chihuahua Papi jumping up on her leg.
"This is Papi, my little boy."
She slugged me in the arm and Papi growled. "You asshole! You had me going thinking you had a kid."
"Would that have been a problem if I did?" I asked.
"No, but I would be hurt that you hadn't mentioned it before now." She reached down and rubbed Papi between his ears. "He sure is a cutie, how is it a bruiser like you has a pup like him?"
"Someone dropped him in my yard several months ago. I made posters and no one claimed him, so he became my little buddy."
I offered her a drink. She had a strange look in her eye, a look that said she wanted me. I fought hard to contain my excitement as I didn't want to blow this. I was so in love with her already that I would have thrown myself on a live grenade for her.
"I don't need a drink Marty, I just need you. I want you. Show me your bedroom baby."
I led her to my bed. What followed can only be described as magic. I had been with my share of women before, but never had I been so thoroughly drained when the lovemaking was done. The last thought that went through my mind as I drifted off to sleep was "I have got to marry this woman."
Two months later we were walking through some galleries in Taos. One of us was almost always at the other's house; we both had two of every crucial item, one at each house. She hadn't even hinted at changing our living situation so I came to reason that this move was mine to make. "Josie, we've been together now for the better part of four months. I can't even stand the minutes we are away from each other, especially the nights when we are apart."
"OK, so you can count time, and I love you too baby. More than I ever thought I could love someone."
I blushed. It always made me feel so great when she told me she loved me. "Have you given any thought to you and I moving in together? We could move me to your place, or you could move to mine. Or, I could sell my Vette and we could buy a house together."
My heart sank as she gave me one of those "Are you fucking crazy?" looks. "Well I see some things wrong with your idea. One, I don't want to live together unless we are married," she touched my face gently as she could see the devastation hitting me. She hadn't really turned me down, but I felt like my world was coming apart. She had once said that marriage was an archaic and outdated concept and it was for foolish people that didn't trust one another to keep faithful. I staggered a bit and had to sit.
"Oh no baby, please don't take it the wrong way. It's just," she paused for a moment as she collected her thoughts, "It's just that I promised my father, after my last boyfriend and I split up that I would never again cohabitate with a man I wasn't married to. I know what I told you I felt about marriage. I look at you, I think of the times that we've had, as well as the things you do for me, and to me, and that shakes my convictions at the foundations."
"I love you more than I have ever thought possible, so please don't think I am dumping you. I'd sooner die than ever see that look on your face again." She held me tightly as the tears came. "It's ok sweetheart. We're fine. But I can't move you into my cousin's apartment with me, your house suits me just fine, and I'd kick your ass if you sold your car. I'm elated that you want to move in together, but I promised my father. I hope you understand."
I collected myself and told her I understood. I knew exactly what I was going to do now. We spent the rest of the day seeing all that Taos had to offer, then spent the night wearing ourselves out in a motel room.
A month later we were sitting around her cousin's living room after Thanksgiving dinner and chatting. Aaron brought up the annual company Christmas party and began reminiscing about past parties. He asked me if I remembered some drunken harlot wanting to blow all of the single guys at last year's party.
"In the time I have been out there, I have never attended a company function. And judging by your tale right there, I can see why I don't."
Josie was sitting on my lap giving me a hard on to beat all hard ons. She loved doing shit like that. "Are we going to the party babe?" she asked, "My company party is the following weekend so we could do them both." The idea of over-dressing to hang with a bunch of fucksticks from my job was depressing enough. But over-dressing to hang with the broker douche bags she worked with just seemed like torture. But I loved her and this was just one of the land mines I threw myself on for her.
"Sure, why not? Hell I might even have fun." She kissed me deeply and I knew I had made the right choice.
I drank just enough at each party to enjoy. I don't know if she noticed how badly I wanted to leave after just an hour or so. I hoped not since I wanted her to have a good time. I am unable to dance due to an ankle injury I sustained when I was working at the shipyards in Long Beach. I didn't mind if she danced with a few other guys though. I know I made each of them uncomfortable, not a one even tried to pull her close. I did manage to hobble through a slow dance with her though.
Christmas Day got here and we found ourselves celebrating our first Christmas together. My mom had come from Fresno, and hers had come from Spokane. My parent hadn't lived together since I was two. Dad lived in Dallas with some woman he'd hooked up with and knocked up. Mom never understood why he stuck with Charlene and not her. Aaron and Jessie came over with their two girls.
As we all sat around the tree opening gifts I noticed Josie looking a little out of sorts. I had deliberately hidden her gift from me. Just when she was about to say something I played the fool. "Oh shit. Josie I forgot to bring your gift in from the garage. Aaron can you give me a hand?" Her face lifted greatly as Aaron and I went into the garage. I told him to act as if the box was heavy, not just large and cumbersome. We got it inside and she really had a puzzled look on her face. She had been telling me for days that she figured out what I had got her.
We plopped the large cumbersome box down and feigned exhaustion. Her eyes lit up and she began opening the box. I had spent literally four and a half hours two days ago wrapping NOTHING! Her true gift was actually in my pocket at the moment. She got through the wrapping on the box and got it open only to discover another wrapped box, just slightly smaller than the first.
Twenty minutes later she had finally reached the eighth and smallest box. She teared up when she realized it was the size of a jewelry box. She tore into it. I moved around to her side as she finally got the wrapping off and opened it. I thought she was going to scream when she discovered it was empty.
She turned to me with a glare, to find me on one knee, with a sapphire engagement ring in hand, "Josephine Renee McCoy, will you make my Christmas wish come true and be my wife?" Never had I seen a facial expression go from pure evil to elation in a flash, but I saw it that day.
"I suppose I ought to tell you that I am seeing a really terrific guy right now."
My heart sunk. Looking around at everyone, only my mom seemed as taken aback as I was. How could she have led me on all this time? I could feel pure unadulterated rage building up in me.
She continued on, "He's a big gorgeous hunk of a biker guy, has long hair and a beard, and a Chihuahua named Papi." Now it was dawning on me that she was fucking with me. I suppose I deserved it since I had fucked with her.
"Well I guess if you don't want this..."
"Yes baby. Yes! Yes! Nothing could stop me from marrying you baby. Now you're stuck with me." She knocked me over when she jumped on me to hug me, so we rolled on the floor locked in a lover's embrace. Our family applauded and there was someone that said "Get a room."
We were married in late April. As a surprise to her, I disappeared the night of my bachelor party, two days before the wedding. When she walked up the aisle that Sunday afternoon, she had a hard time believing it was me at the altar. I had donated my hair to "Locks of Love" a charity that takes donated hair to make wigs for cancer patients. I had also shaved my face clean. She had hinted on and off that she wondered what I looked like without my hair and beard. Funny thing was, as much as she liked my face without the beard, she forbade me to cut my hair short again.
We spent two weeks in Cancun for our honeymoon. As soon as we got back I put my house on the market and we began looking for a house. Within a month we had closed on a house in a nice neighborhood and had moved in. The kitchen and patio were selling points to her. The oversized four car garage sealed the deal for me.
It's the most wonderful time of the year There be much miseltoeing
And hearts will be glowing When loved ones are near
It's the most wonderful time of the year
There be parties for hosting Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow There be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of Christmases long long ago!
Movement below caught my eye. An elderly couple was outside the front door of the hotel. I looked at them through the optics. "Damn these are well worth what I paid for them." I thought to myself. I could see the layers of her make-up from my secluded spot and could see the greenish flecks in her blue eyes. I wasn't going to need any extra lighting for this.
I looked at my watch. Moving slowly and deliberately to minimize movement catching anyone's eye. 10:15, I'd been sitting out here since a little before nine. My eyes teared up as I thought back to the first few years of our marriage. I fell more deeply in love with her every day. Not a single workday went by that I wasn't anticipating quitting time so I could get home to see her. Working overtime was pure torture to me. Any minute spent away was like tearing my soul out. So to make extra money, I started buying and restoring classic Corvette's. Josie hadn't been too thrilled at my new found hobby, but when I cleared $5000.00 profit on the first one she relented a bit.
One evening, two years after we were married, I got home to find she had cooked my favorite meal. She met me at the door, wearing her nicest negligee, a pair of red fuck me pumps and the diamond choker I got her for Christmas last year. We talked as we usually did through dinner, while in the back of my head I was running through every possible reason she'd make tonight so special. I drew a blank at every turn.
When I had finished my dinner, I got up to rinse my plate and clear the table. "Just leave the table baby. It can be dealt with later. Let's go out into the front room and relax."
We walked out of the dining room into the front room. "Sit here." She said, indicating a spot directly in front of the couch. I sat where she pointed and she sat on the couch behind me. She began massaging my scalp and then my shoulders. "I have some news baby."
"Oh yeah? Are you leaving me for the mailman? Relaxing me to the point I am putty for you, and then announcing shit news?"
"I always want you to be putty in my hands babe. I would never dream of leaving you. But you have to get used to the idea of sharing me."
"Not really kinky. You're going to be a daddy."
"Hmmm, OK ... WHAT?" I spun around and looked at her beautiful face. "You mean you and me? We made a baby?"
She smiled and tears were forming in her eyes. "I know we wanted to wait, but I think the anti-biotics I was on for that sinus infection a couple of months ago negated my pills and, well I hope you're not mad, but I am about two months pregnant."
"Oh baby. I could never get mad about that. So our plans change a bit. I know you're going to be the best mother on the planet."
We made love, well not exactly made love. It was more like she fucked my brains loose. I'd heard how hot and bothered other guys' pregnant wives could get, but I always thought that was later on. Needless to say my ass drug the next day but I didn't care. At no time in my life have I ever been happier. I just didn't see the other shoe poised to drop.
About two months later we were just hanging out on a Sunday afternoon, enjoying each other's company when Josie began to not feel so well. She'd had spells like this. On minute she'd be as horny as a goat, and ten minutes later she'd be feeling close to dead. Our sex life ran hot and cold, but I'd been told to expect that.
A couple hours later I was grilling us some chicken when she came out onto the deck and told me she needed to go to the hospital. She was bleeding a little and thought we should go get it checked out.
Three or four different doctors poked and prodded her for three hours. Around ten that night her OB/GYN came in and told us that everything appeared to be fine, it was just a little spotting and it wasn't all that unusual, and we need not worry.
Exhausted and hungry we went home. Josie wasn't hungry and I had packed on a few pounds recently so I opted just to go to bed. We lay in bed, lightly making out, but mainly just holding each other and snuggling as we fell asleep.
At some point in the night I heard Josie moan and get off the bed. I had resumed lightly dozing when I heard her scream from the bathroom. A glance at the clock showed it to be 1:30 AM. I bolted out of bed and rushed in almost falling on my ass when I skidded on the bathroom rug. Josie was white as a sheet and there was blood everywhere.
I decided instantly not to bother with the ambulance. I picked her up and carried her out to the Corvette and rushed to the ER. She was admitted immediately and her OB/GYN was called. They put her in an exam room. When the doctors came in, I was asked to wait in the waiting room. I didn't understand why I was being kicked out. I paced the waiting room for three hours before anyone came and told me anything.
Finally her OB/GYN Dr. Tanner came out. She was an attractive older lady, even as early in the morning as it was. "Mr. Fischer? I'm Dr. Tanner. Would you please sit with me for a moment?"
An eerie feeling hit me. A voice in the back of my brain screamed that Josie was dying. I tried to push my fears out but I was losing the battle.
"Mr. Fischer, your wife has had a miscarriage. We don't know for sure why, but she is fine and resting. We did a DNC; which is an operation to clean her uterus out. There will be some scarring and it could possibly make it harder for her to conceive again."
I felt like I had been punched in the gut with an iron glove. As hard as I tried I could not stop the tears. Dr. Tanner put a reassuring hand on my shoulder and told me not to lose hope. She would do an exam in a few months and Josie and I could try again.
Josie stayed in the hospital for three days. Everyone told me that I had to be strong for Josie, to keep her from going into depression. I made sure Josie never saw anything but hope in my face. I'd get home at night and not know what to do. I'd cry, I'd curse, and I'd drink. On the morning that Josie was supposed to come home I found myself at a liquor store as soon as they had opened. I had to replace a few bottles that we kept around the house for social events. I was sure that if she knew how much vodka I had put away, she'd see through my courageous façade.
When I go to the hospital Josie was sitting in a chair talking to a waspish red headed woman. Josie introduced her as Melinda Wise. She worked at the brokerage with Josie. I reached to shake hands with her and felt conspicuous as my hand shook badly. If either one of them noticed they didn't let on. Mel and her husband Bob live just three blocks up from us. Mel told me that Bob always admired my Corvette when he drove by.
I always had two Corvettes. I had a 1964 that I was currently working on restoring plus my Candy Apple Blue 71 Sting Ray. I was on my third restore, well fourth actually. For Josie's birthday that year I had restored a '68 Camaro RS/SS for her. I had kept it lock in the paint booth I had built in the garage so she wouldn't see it. But other than that Camaro I had only done Corvettes. When a restoration was done I'd take the Corvette to Statler's Classic Rides owned by Harold and Gene Statler. The Statler Brothers dealt mainly in classic muscle cars and especially Corvettes. They sold my restored cars on consignment for me. Their lot was across the street from the brokerage house that Josie worked at. Sometimes I'd go down there to order parts and stick around to take her out to lunch.
"Josie will have invite you two over some evening, I'm sure Bob would get a kick out of it."
"That sounds like a plan, well as soon as Josie feels up to it."
"I already feel much better," said Josie. "Just knowing this hunk of man that I adore is here for me is the best medicine I can think of."
Josie fixed her gaze on me during the ride home. "When was the last time you ate something hon?" She had this knack for seeing into me. I'd have to do better to not show her my grief.
"Had to have been last night or this morning. I'm sure it was one or the other." She didn't ask me again so I figured we were past my eating habits. I thought about it and I wasn't sure I had eaten in the past few days. I'd eat when I got hungry.
We got to the house and Josie seemed trepidacious about going into our bedroom. "It's fine baby. I got it cleaned up and changed the sheets. You don't have to worry about anything. I have as much time off of work as I need to take care of you."
She turned and was crying. I pulled her into me and hugged her. "What would I ever do without you?"
"I don't think you'll ever have to find out baby. You are kinda stuck with me."
"But what if I can't give you a baby? What if my body is so fucked up that a child can't grow in me? I can't blame you if you leave me." She was crying even harder.
"Shhh." I said to her as I held her and stroked her hair and face. God I loved her so damn much. "That's stupid talk babe. What kind of man would I be if I left you over that? I'll never leave you unless you want me too. We can try to have a baby again, and if we fail we just keep on trying, if we have to try every night for the rest of our lives." This got a smile out of her.
We got home and I got her inside and put her in bed. She said she was tired but wanted me to wake her in time for dinner. I puttered around the house finding reasons not to open the new bottles of vodka I had purchased. Josie was the biggest reason I could come up with. I sat and fought of the dark despair that seemed to be trying to take me.
"Marty! Marty!" I could hear Josie from somewhere far away. "Marty!"
I was suddenly aware that I was being shaken. I awoke to see Josie standing over me with a worried look on her face. "Are you with me Marty?"
Confusion reigned in my brain. Wasn't I sitting on the couch a second ago? "I, yeah I'm here baby." I looked around and I was lying about halfway between the couch and bathroom.
"Jesus Marty you scared the shit out of me. Why are you in the middle of the floor?"
I could give no reason. "I think I was napping on the couch. I must have sleepwalked."
She sat down and hugged me to her. I think you need to see the doctor Marty. You don't look well and it took me too much effort to wake you just now."
The last thing I needed was her worried over me. "I'm fine baby. I just haven't been sleeping well and I think the exhaustion just got to me."
I got up and around and made us dinner. I had sat down around three in the afternoon and it was eight when she woke me. I was a bit scared that I could have something like that happen. I had to be strong for her. I kept the mood as light as I could during dinner. She kept watching me with a funny look on her face. We watched some TV and around ten she wanted to go to bed.