When I was young my Grandfather used to read the paper to me. One of his favorite colomnists was a woman named Erma Bombeck. I got the idea for this story from the title of one of her books. As ususal thanks to Mikothebaby for editing this story. If you like it please let her know that her work is appreciated by someone besides me.
Refusing to let go of the past is the surest way of not having a future.
God damn it. I hated mornings like this one. It was a crisp, clean, spring morning with a sense of renewal in the air. The birds were singing, the sun was shining, the leaves and the grass were beginning to turn green, I was miserable. I wish that I was like Storm from the X-men and the weather could reflect my moods. It would be a completely different day. The sky would be gray and the air would be as cold as my mood.
As I jogged the last few steps down my block, one of my neighbors, who was outside trying to get her lawn mower started waved at me. I waved back in a far more cheerful gesture than I felt. That was good I told myself. Just keep pretending to be cheerful and no one will know how you really feel.
I had a satisfied little smile on my face. The smile was actually more due to the fact that I'd pulled off another day without breaking down than a reflection of my actual mood.
As I came up to my house, I noticed an unfamiliar vehicle in my driveway. It was parked right behind my Grabber Orange 2009 Mustang GT. As I slowed down to a walk, I recognized the truck. Sarah had driven it once or twice when she needed to bring loads of her things over to my house. She had so much shit here that a lot of people thought she lived with me.
Seeing the truck forced me to make my smile not bigger just happier, I had to keep up a good front for her. I was ready for her to either try and tug on my heartstrings and beg to go back to what we had or barring that, for her to stoically go about collecting her belongings and get the hell out of my life. Shit, if necessary I'd even help her move her stuff.
I was slightly disappointed when I got to the front of the truck and saw not Sarah but some guy. He wasn't big and imposing or small and wimpy, he was just a guy. He had on a baseball cap over his graying hair and he wore a red and white flannel shirt over jeans and tennis shoes. He couldn't have been more ordinary if he'd tried.
"Hey Bill," he said as I walked up.
"You must be, uhm Bobby, her brother," I said, making sure to keep up my smile.
"Uhm huh?" he said, looking at me.
"I'll give you a hand loading her stuff," I said. "Give me a couple of minutes to shower and change into some dry clothes while you go through and figure out what you can take in the first load."
He looked at me curiously and then smiled. "God damn you're good," he said. "Probably one of the best I've ever seen."
"The best what?" I asked.
"Liars," he said, looking me straight in the eye.
"I'm not lying," I snapped. "I really will help you move her stuff. I just need to take a shower. I just ran ten miles."
"You run ten miles every morning except Friday, Saturday and Sunday," he said. "Friday morning is your day off. Saturday you only run five so you'll have more energy for whatever you and Sarah do that day. Sundays are your long run day when you're getting ready for a marathon. I'm not talking about you not helping me get ready to move your wife's belongings out of your house. I'm sure you'd do that and more. What I'm talking about is your feelings. You're even lying to yourself. You're actually so good at lying that you almost believe it yourself."
"For future reference, it's the eyes that you really have to work on," he continued. "That's what gave you away. You have that fake ass little smile down pat. But as you got close to me, I could see all of the pain you're feeling written in your eyes. She hurt you pretty badly didn't she? Well this has been a pretty fucked up situation from the beginning. Maybe it was time this happened. Why don't we go out on that deck that she was always telling me about? You can bring me a beer and you have a Pepsi or some of that Apple juice that the two of you love so much."
I just looked at him strangely. "Come on Bill, we need to talk this out. Believe me, I know what it's like losing your wife. I lost mine to cancer, it was almost six years ago and I still hurt. I didn't come to get Sarah's things. She doesn't even know that I'm here. I came here to talk to you and figure out what the hell is wrong with the two of you."
I looked at him even more strangely. I couldn't get over him having the audacity to just come to my house to talk to me about something that wasn't his business. Especially since ... Well his sister and I weren't married. "Why do you keep calling Sarah, my wife?" I asked him. "We're not married. We're not in a romantic relationship of any kind."
He looked at me then and just started laughing. It wasn't a quick snort or a derisive guffaw. It was a full bellied, knee slapping, outburst of genuine mirth.
"Yeah," he said, when he got control back. "She told me the same thing. You should also know that this isn't really her fault. She got some bad advice from someone who used to be her friend. But my sister is susceptible to that considering she's pretty fucked up in the head. That part is your fault. I just hope that you're man enough to admit to it after we talk. And this is going to take some time to solve. Years of abuse aren't going to just melt away in one day."
"Hold on a God damned minute," I said. "I have never abused your sister. I've never once hit her, screamed at her or cursed at her."
"Nope you didn't," he said. "In fact you damn near killed her with kindness. That makes it even worse don't you think?"
"Exactly what the fuck are you talking about?" I asked. I didn't understand any of what he was getting at.
"I think I've got it all figured out now," he said. "It's all about strength isn't it? Or maybe, it's a facade of strength, right? The only time that someone needs to be that strong is when they think they're weak. They project an aura of invincibility because they don't want to be hurt again." He tilted his head and looked at me as if he was psychic. "This didn't start with my sister, did it? Someone hurt you before you ever met her. And that's what stilted your whole marriage to my sister. And now recent events caused her to do something really stupid that's put your whole weird ass marriage on the line."
"Why do you keep calling it a marriage?" I asked.
"Because Bill, that's what it is," he said. "Now come on let's get out to that deck and start talking. We need to figure this out before the two of you do something even stupider. And I like my beer cold. You'd probably better bring two of them. This has all the makings of a two beer conversation."
As we walked through the house, he looked around and smiled as he noticed things. I noted that he seemed to know the story behind some of the things that Sarah and I'd picked up in our travels. My rack of swords and weapons of all kinds didn't seem to faze him in the least. It was as if he expected them. "No guns, huh?" he said with a smile.
"I'm going to grab a shower," I said. "The kitchen is that way and the door to the deck is in there. You can stop off and grab your own beers. All we have is..."
"I know," he said. "You only have Dos Equis. You don't always drink beer ... Shit you don't drink period, but you just like the fucking commercials. Sarah told me. It's one of the things that she lo ... likes most about you."
I knew what he was going to say but I let it slide. I had other things on my mind. Like why the hell I was going to talk to him anyway? Sure he was Sarah's brother, but things between Sarah and I were over. I wondered if he even knew what his sister had done. I wonder if he knew just how casually she'd thrown away everything we had. As the warm water of my shower cascaded over me, I had to put away a pang of longing as I remembered that only days ago Sarah and I had stood in this shower together, lovingly caressing each other under the same warm water. She'd turned around with her back towards me and bent over, looking at me over her shoulder. "Too bad you're so tired from your run..." she'd begun. " ... Or else we could..."
Before she'd even finished her statement, I was in her. Pulling her brutally against me and plunging my dick into her in one moment. I put one hand on her firm tummy and the other on one of her large breasts and pulled her against me over and over again as she hissed in pleasure. She tilted her head around and back and her tongue inserted itself into my mouth seeking mine. Her arms reached behind her and pulled me into her further. "Ohhh God, Bill, I..." she said as she started to shiver with the onset of her climax. I had to hold her up because, as usual, when she came, her legs got weak. She turned around still slippery from a mixture of sweat and soapy water and kissed me again. "God," she said again. Her smile was tinged with a sadness that only we understood. But it was only for a moment.
"So what are we going to do today?" she asked.
"It's your turn to pick," I replied.
I shook my head and threw away the memory. I'd never do that with her again and her brother was waiting for me downstairs. I turned off the shower and dressed in casual clothes. As I passed through the kitchen on my way to the deck, I grabbed a small bowl of the fruit salad that Sarah had made two days before. I smiled again thinking of days last summer when we had literally lived on fruit, cold cuts and soda.
I sat down at the table across from Bobby.
.... There is more of this story ...