Hi folks, sorry there was no story last week and thanks to everyone Who wrote to find out why. The main reason was the power outages during the fourth of July week. I wrote large chunks of this story on my iPhone but still had no way to send it. Thanks as usual to mikothebaby for editing this one. I really appreciate how hard her job is after looking at a story that hopefully you'll be reading soon from a first time writer here. Anyway enjoy.SS06
I've always had a thing for redheads in general and this redhead in particular. In fact, it was probably the woman standing in front of me asking me to dance that started my whole fascination with redheads in the first place. All of us, every red blooded man that I know has a dream girl. That perfect combination of sex appeal, pulchritude and personality that God put on this mud ball purely for us.
And just as every man is different, so too are the embodiments of our dreams varied. Some prefer smoky eyed brunettes that are rounded to the point where they just ooze sex. Others prefer slim, blue eyed, blond ice princesses that are so frosty that every time they open their mouths a little light comes on inside. There are those who prefer exotic African or Asian descendants and some who swear that only Latin women will do. But for me, it has always been redheads. Ever since this one walked into my life when I started high school.
Marian Jones has ruled every fantasy I have had since my freshman year at Winterhalter high school. I can still remember the day we all sat down in class waiting for the teacher to take attendance. Just as the teacher got to her name on the role, she stepped into the room. "I'm here," she said. Her voice was so musical you could dance to it. And come to think of it that voice hasn't changed since high school. She was already a woman among girls even then.
Nope, before you start thinking that she was one of the girls who developed early and had gigantic boobs in high school let me rein you in. Marian has never had nor will she ever have huge boobs. In fact, I don't think she'd ever had average sized boobs, but what she has are perfect just like the rest of her.
Imagine if you will, milky white skin that never tans. She has a smattering of freckles across a perfect nose and cheeks. Her mouth is so perfectly shaped that I could spend weeks just staring at it alone. Her green eyes nearly glow they're so luminous and when she smiles the entire room lights up.
All of that pales in comparison to her crowning glory though. The thing that most people notice most and first about Marian is her fire engine bright red hair. Her hair extends to the top of her butt and moves with the slightest twitch of her head.
Back then in high school she was thin, as she is now. The years in between have given her a more mature shape but she's never going to be voluptuous or even curvy. It doesn't matter. Her appeal goes beyond mere measurements and almost any guy alive would pick her over any other woman.
That first day in high school we were both freshmen and both in the same class. It was a first day under difficult conditions and I'd like to say that our mutual nervousness drew us together and forged a bond that has transcended everything that has tried to separate us.
Well ... I'd like to say that ... but I can't. From that first day our lives took different paths. She immediately took over the school and breezed through high school. She loved high school and enjoyed it. Although only a freshman, she became, much to the dismay of the senior, junior and sophomore girls, the queen of the school.
They actually changed some of the rules for her. She became a cheerleader without ever trying out. Among all of the blonds and brunettes in the school she stood out. Several of the girls who thought it was simply her hair that made her special, dyed theirs and were simply laughed at.
She was voted queen or princess of everything possible and was also on the honor roll. Every one nominated her for everything possible. If there was a committee or a club or a society, she was in it. And as far as our romance goes, it was strictly a one sided affair. I loved her, like the flowers love the sun and I think she saw me once when we were both taking a picture for the honor roll. I'm sure that although we had four years of classes together and I sat next to her in math for two years straight that she didn't even know my name. Okay I'm wrong about that, I'm sure she knew my name.
I was a total geek in high school. For those of you who don't understand what that means, the Geeks are the kids that the nerds are too cool to hang out with. Geeks are not smart enough to be nerds, not coordinated enough to be jocks, and too socially inept to be in between. My proudest moment in high school was when I was voted vice president of the juggling club. The juggling club had three members that year; the president, the vice president and the member. Actually I was the member until the former vice president quit. That was how I got to be vice president. My senior year, I thought I'd get to be president, but that was the year the principal decided that the juggling club should be phased out.
Anyway, my dream princess did get to hear about me regularly. I was the guy that was always the butt of her superstar athlete boyfriend's practical jokes. Maurice Green was the male version of Marian in our school. They were the pinnacle of our high school pecking order although they were complete opposites.
Marian, was quiet, kind and beautiful. She was polite to everyone she met and never had a cross word to say to anyone. For a girl who was that beautiful it was surprising. Maurice, who liked to be called Mo, was huge, imposing, arrogant, rude and an asshole. Those were his good qualities believe it or not. He had four years to pick on the nerds and geeks in our school and he loved every minute of it.
To Mo's credit though, he picked on everyone he considered beneath him, which of course included everyone he ever met. He was the kind of guy who simply walked off the field after a football game or basketball game without bothering to shake the hands of the opponents. "Well, duh, of course we won," was his usual statement.
Marian was so polite that before and after every game she went and introduced herself to the cheerleaders on the other side and coordinated when they'd cheer or do their routines so both squads would have a chance to really perform. Most people, even the athletes on the other teams loved her, but most of the opposing athletes hated Mo. Well that isn't exactly true, actually most of the guys on our team hated Mo too.
Mo was the quarterback on our football team, the center on our basketball team and the last two years he also ran track. Some people said that Mo was a three letter man and that was as far as he got in the alphabet too.
Perhaps Mo's greatest achievement was when he asked me to show him some juggling moves. He had a few guys around and he said they'd gone to the circus and seen some jugglers. Sensing an opportunity to makes friends among the popular crowd I quickly whipped out my juggling balls and started to juggle. They yawned before I got started.
"Can you juggle clubs?" asked Mo.
"Well, I've never tried," I said. "I'd probably have to start out with two first just to get my rhythm and the feel of them."
"Great," said Mo. "Some of these guys don't think you can juggle two clubs. Show em' what you've got."
He reached behind him and slapped two clubs that looked like bowling pins into my hands. I tried to lightly toss them into the air in front of me as I had with my balls. For some reason the clubs didn't leave my hands and I ended up smacking myself in the face with them repeatedly as Mo and his cronies laughed uproariously.
Finally, I realized that Mo had coated the clubs with some very powerful super glue. Even worse was the next day when I had to go to school with two black eyes and the skin on my hands irritated. Mo met me in the hallways and told everyone who would listen that I had burned my hands jacking off without lotion.
Needless to say, high school wasn't my favorite time of life. But it passed, as all things do. College was better but not by much. And finally I entered real life. In college, I'd majored in computer science and did really well. I got my degree early and went to work for a large company and started making some decent money.
To make a long story short, I met or should I say re-met a girl that I'd gone through high school with and we started dating. Now, twelve years after high school, Marian Jones, my dream fantasy woman wants to dance with me. To tell you the truth I'd love to dance with her, but I still have questions.
I can tell you're wondering what the hell I'm talking about. Well, to fully understand this situation we have to go back two years. Our school is really big on reunions. Every year there's a general reunion of all the high school classes. There's also a five, ten, fifteen, etc. year reunion for specific classes. Two years ago was our ten year high school reunion. That was where this shit all started. Shit, to fully understand this we'd need to go back a bit before the reunion.
As you already know from the background information, I was not one of those people who peaked in high school. In fact, I'd probably have to say that high school was a time in my life that I'd rather forget. After college as we've established, I'd gotten a job with a large software firm. I did great writing code for and helping customers learn to use their products. The problem was that sometimes when giant companies come up with products they tend to have a 'this is what it is' attitude. You know how Microsoft introduces another version of Excel; they include all of the things that THEY think will make it better but usually ignore what the customers who use the product on a daily basis seem to want. Well our company seemed to do that too.
In my spare time, I wrote code for fun and I'd experimented with business software. So I'm pretty sure you can tell what happened next. I had a meeting with a customer, a woman who owned her own small boutique. Being an older woman, she really didn't have the greatest grasp of how to use our spreadsheet. I spent a couple of days with her trying to help her improve but it just wasn't happening.
My boss told me that we couldn't afford to give anyone as much personal time as I was giving the woman and to move on. He told me it was time to let her sink or swim. I wasn't that kind of guy though. So I arranged to continue teaching the woman to use our software, only I'd have to do it off the clock.
So that was how I ended up going to Florence Joyner's home. Mrs. Joyner's boutique closed at six and I got off work at five. It gave me a chance to go home and get cleaned up. Mrs. Joyner was a widow. At fifty eight years old she was still beautiful and she worked out religiously. Her body could put a lot of younger women to shame.
I spent a lot of time trying to teach her how to use my company's version of an office suite. She ended up teaching me a lot more. It started out innocently. Mrs. Joyner often changed into more comfortable clothing after work. She wore shorts that showed off those still incredible, nearly sixty year old legs and loose fitting tops. One evening I could tell that she wasn't wearing a bra under her top by the movement of her breasts. I tried to be polite and not stare but I couldn't help it. I think that she noticed that I was trying not to look and it turned her on.
Before long her nipples were making small tents in the material of the shirt and her arousal was obvious. "Steven, what are you thinking right now?" she asked me.
"How to get you to understand Macros," I said.
"Tell the truth?" she said. "You were thinking about my breasts weren't you?"
"Maybe," I said. Before I could do anything else she'd raised her shirt and released them. There I was, a twenty two year old virgin looking at the breasts of a woman who could almost be my grandmother. My hard on almost poked a hole in my jeans. But not for long; Flo freed it and took over the role of teacher that evening. And for the next six weeks the lessons doubled. We got together two or three times a week for computer and sex lessons.
It was during that time that I decided that it would be easier for me to develop a software suite strictly for Florence and I did. She loved it and told a lot of her friends who owned businesses about it. Before too long, I had all kinds of customers and was making a nice piece of change on the side. Florence had also convinced me to start running and working out. I slowly began to add muscle to my skinny frame. I was probably never going to be a giant muscular behemoth but I did get into better shape.
If life had a plan for me, that was only the beginning. Without even realizing it I was on track towards success. Florence had a son who was a top executive in a large sales company. For years at tax time he'd send over one of the accountants who worked for him to do his mom's books. That year, with Florence using my software there was almost nothing to do.
When word got back to Al Joyner, Flo's son, he wanted to know what the change was and that was how he and I met. That led to me securing my first corporate account and quitting my day job. After a couple of more corporate accounts came in, I'd had to hire three more programmers just to keep up with all of the accounts. The small business accounts were also more than I could keep up with. It started to become difficult to handle so I started looking for a secretary to help keep things organized.
The person who affected me the most of all of the women I interviewed was a woman named Dana Plato. I was sure I'd heard that name from somewhere before. Even when she sat across from me while I looked over her resume, there was something familiar about her. After looking over things and seeing that she really didn't have the experience or education we needed, I handed her resume back to her and told her that we'd be in touch. I was sure that both of us knew that we wouldn't be.
"In a way I'm glad I didn't get the job," she said.
"How do you know that you didn't get it?" I asked. "We haven't made any decisions yet."
"Steven, you're being polite like you always have," she said. "I've had a rough few months since college. My only experience is fast food. I majored in general education in college because I had no idea what I wanted to do. When the money ran out and I had to go to work, I was nowhere near close to having enough credits in any one thing to actually earn a degree. We both know that I don't have nearly enough knowledge of what you do or the secretarial skills for the job, but it's good to see that someone I know has become successful. It's really encouraging. So now maybe I can go back to school and actually do something with my life. In a couple of years maybe you'll give me another interview and this time I'll be ready for it."
"Do we know each other?" I asked. I took another look at her. She was very nice but almost invisible. Her eyes were a dull brown. Her hair was mousy brown. The only things I could say about her facial features were that they were normal. She was neither skinny nor fat her body was average. She was the kind of woman you saw everywhere. She could probably blend into the scenery and never be noticed because nothing about her stood out.
"Steven Grant," she said exasperatedly. "Not you too!"
She put her hand on one hip and stood up as if she was about to leave. "We had almost the same schedule for most of high school. We even did a group project together for science. I came over to your parent's house. Your mom made us cookies. You drank Pepsi with yours because you told me we were too old for milk."
"Oh Shit," I gushed. "Sorry, Dinah..."
"It's Dana," she said. "And don't worry, no one ever remembers me. I was just a face in the crowd throughout high school. Why should you be any different?"
"Dana, I'd have given anything to be you during high school," I said. "At least by being anonymous, you were safe. Try being the constant butt of the jokes of one of the most popular guys in school."
"You should have said something to the principal," she said smiling. I could tell that she was trying to hold back her laughter.
"So you're remembering some of them, aren't you?" I asked. She nodded and had to look away.
"That time you went out for the track team and they tied your shoes to the starting blocks was priceless," she laughed. She couldn't hold it back anymore and just erupted in laughter. "You lunged out of the blocks like a fucking rocket. It was so awesome. It was like you were putting everything you had on the line for one shot to be good at something. You gave it your all and everyone in that crowd felt it. But your feet couldn't actually move so your lunge just stretched you out and you landed face down on that asphalt track and just lay there moaning in frustration. Everyone in the school was laughing at you."
"Yeah, Dana," I said. "That was really funny. I dislocated my jaw and it took seven stitches to close the gash in my chin. If you look closely you can still see the scar. And, as usual, all Mo got for it was a pat on the back. They did suspend him for two practices but he didn't even miss a game. He just got to sit there on the bench with all of his friends and watch the team practice and complain about what a bad sport I was."
"For the next few weeks everyone in school talked about what an asshole I was, because it was just a joke. Thanks for the memories," I said.
Suddenly she saw that I was serious and maybe she viewed the event from my perspective. Her jaw dropped open and her hand went over her mouth. The look of sorrow on her face let me know that she really hadn't had an idea of the level of pain I went through.
"I'm so sorry Steven," she said. "I just never imagined ... Why didn't you talk to the principal?"
"I did, Dana," I said. "But he always made it seem like it was just typical high school mischief. Besides that how would he ever seriously punish the school's golden boy over some no name geek?"
"Maybe being invisible wasn't so bad," she said. "Can I make it up to you? I'll buy you lunch."
I did accept her invitation, if only to show her that there were no hard feelings. That lunch morphed into dinner, which became a series of dates that led to us getting married. Our relationship had a few bumps in the road but nothing serious. Dana came from a broken home. Her dad had been a salesman who cheated on her mom to the point where she finally kicked him out and raised her children alone. Dana never wanted to be in that position and we had an argument or two about me going on the road.
When we finally did get engaged, my accountant insisted on a pre-nup to limit the amount of damage my finances would take in the event of a divorce. Dana had no problems with it. She understood that I'd built my business up before we became involved and she didn't foresee us ever getting divorced anyway. We were like two peas in a pod and we really did love each other. The only thing she insisted on was a Zero tolerance clause in the event of infidelity. If either of us cheated on the other, that person lost all claim to anything we'd accrued outside of my business. It was scary because if I ever did slip, I'd keep my business but I'd lose the house and everything else I had.
But Dana was worth it and I knew that I'd never cheat on her. Dana, besides being my wife was my first genuine relationship. Flo and I had been in a sexual FWB thing but there was no love involved on either side.
To make things even more clear, Dana wasn't a virgin on our wedding night, but I had to teach her everything. The only sex she'd had had been from guys in college who'd just wanted a quick fuck while drunk. She'd done it her first time at twenty and only then because all of her friends were always talking about it.
Maybe I wasn't her first, but I was the first to make her enjoy it and realize what her friends had been talking about. After a while, we were constantly doing it and we experimented with everything we heard about. Having money changed our lives but not as much as you'd expect. We lived well within our means and planned on having children.
We did get a few things. On my part, I drove a brand new Mustang Boss 302 Lacuna model that was barely street legal. Other than that I was the same old guy I'd always been. Dana, on the other hand, drove a big Lexus luxury SUV because all of the wives in our gated community did. She also had some work done.
Well, I had some work done on my car to make it even faster but Dana had the work done on herself. She got breast implants. The first time it was just to make her more normal looking and to make her clothes fit better. The second time around she got stripper boobs. She also bleached her hair blond and got a nose job. She got collagen injections to make her lips fuller and got butt implants as well. She claimed, of course, that she got it all done for me. She said that a man as important as I was should have a wife that everyone noticed.
I'd kept up the runs and workouts that I'd started with Flo and had been seeing results as well. Dana made me go to a different barber. He changed the styling of my hair to make me look less ... geeky. I also got contacts because Dana hated my glasses. So, at twenty eight years old we had it all. The business was growing by leaps and bounds and I'd been getting offers to buy me out from several large companies including my former employer.
We had a plan in the works for our lives. We intended for me to back off on working for the next two years and travel. We wanted to see some of the world and go crazy for a couple of years and then settle down to start our family at thirty. It made perfect sense to us.
I can still remember the day the train went off the rails. I can actually remember the second. I'd just brought in the mail and dropped it on the table. Two of the envelopes were invitations for Dana and me to attend our ten year reunion. I immediately dropped mine into the trash. I was surprised when Dana looked at me as if I was crazy and fished it out, wiping the dirt off of it.
"What are you doing Stevie?" she asked.
"Dana, I fucking hated high school," I replied. "I see no reason to go back and relive the worst period of my life. I don't ever want to see that place or those people again. I'd have to have rocks in my head."
"Stevie, our lives are perfect," she said. "We're not alone any more like we were in high school. We have each other. This is our chance to show all of those people who looked down on us or through us, that we're just as good as they are. Can we please go?"
I grumbled a bit, but finally I gave in. I couldn't refuse Dana anything. And she saw a chance to show off to everyone the woman she'd become; where I just saw a night reliving misery. I was an adult now though. There was no way I'd put up with the bullshit I had to deal with back then. I didn't see it as pleasurable but Dana wanted it so badly. What could I say? It takes different strokes to make the world. (Sorry, I had to)
Over the next few days, I discovered that the reunion was more than just a one night affair. It was an entire weekend. It began on Friday with what they called the Welcome Back Ice Breaker. It was supposed to be a chance for us to meet all of our high school buddies again and see what they turned into. Saturday was the beach party picnic, with the dance to follow on Saturday night. Finally, Sunday morning was the farewell breakfast.
"Can we just do the dance and skip the rest?" I asked.
"No Honey we can't," said Dana. "Don't you want to show me off?" Dana was acting really weird. For some reason it seemed as if she was really looking forward to this. I just wanted it to be over but I loved her so again I put up with it.
As the reunion drew closer, Dana went out of her fucking mind. She acted as if the reunion was her coming out party. "Can't we fly there and rent a limo?" she asked. "We need to put a good face on. We have to let people know that they can't push us around anymore. We're important."
"Dana, it's a two hour drive and there's no airport in town. We'd end up having to drive there from the nearest airport to the city which is over an hour away. In this case it's faster to drive. There's also the fact that if things turn shitty, we can leave whenever we want."
"Oh, there will be no leaving Mister," she said. "No one is chasing me away from anything."
Finally the weekend of the reunion came and we argued over which car to drive. I wanted to drive my Boss 302 or my new Shelby 1000. Dana wanted to drive her Lexus. We took the Boss.
All the way there, Dana gave me instructions on what to say and more importantly, what not to say. I promptly forgot them all. Actually, I had no plans of speaking to anyone other than Dana. I intended to take a page from my wife's high school year book and just blend into the scenery. I'd stay in the back and become as anonymous as possible and hope that no one remembered me.
I figured I had a pretty good chance of that because I no longer looked like a geek. With a little bit of luck, I was sure that I might be able to pull this off.
When we drove into town, all eyes were on us before we got to either the hotel or the reunion. My Mustang's two tone black and red paint job and its authoritative growl drew a lot of attention. As Darla looked in every direction with her eyes obscured behind her giant fashionable sunglasses, she began to smile.
"Honey, maybe I like this car after all," she said hugging me. "Everyone who sees it, stops and stares at us."
We checked into our hotel room and dropped off our luggage. While Dana arranged her clothes in the closet I just stretched out on the bed and watched her.
"Stevie, your clothes are going to be wrinkled if you lie down in them," she warned. "We have to make a good first impression. We don't want our classmates to think we're shabby."
"Fuck em'..." I quipped.
After a half hour that I spent relaxing and Dana spent primping, we left to go to the Ice Breaker. I patted the bed vigorously. "Get some rest, buddy. You're going to need it," I said.
"Stevie, why are you talking to the bed?" asked Dana curiously.
"Because when this dog and pony show is over tonight, my dear," I said lovingly as I pulled her to me and gently but firmly grabbed one of her enhanced butt cheeks. "I'm gonna wear your ass out."
"And I'm gonna let you," she snapped back quickly.
Luckily the hotel and conference center that the reunion was held in was only a mile away. If Dana hadn't been with me I'd probably have just walked. But even I have to admit that the stares we got as I pulled my barely legal, not quite under control, muscle car into the parking lot were worth having to ignore and hide from a few assholes I barely remembered.
Normally, when I get out of my, car I leave my sunglasses in it. It's kind of rude to hide behind them when talking to people. But in this case, I thought it was a good idea to use them to at least partially obscure my features. For me this evening wasn't about bonding or remembering. It was about hiding and surviving.
We walked into a large conference room and got into a line with a sign that read, "Check in here." Well, I walked anyway. Dana's shoes were so high that she could barely do more than just shuffle along. Dana had on a pale blue dress that had to be custom fitted. The top had to be let out to fit her boobs. The waist had to be taken in and actually tapered out again to fit her ass. Theoretically, no woman with an ass or boobs as big as hers were should have a waist that small. Her blinding almost white blond hair stood out as well. That light hair contrasted nicely with the pale blue of the dress. It looked like she was sewn into that dress.
Although the dress was tight, it still covered her completely from her neck to mid-calf. It was supposed to be sexy without being slutty. I'm not sure it made it. I got a boner every time I saw her in it.
The shoes she wore were the same shade of blue as the dress. They'd been specially made to match it. When I'd joked about it, Dana got really defensive and reminded me that she hadn't said a God damned thing about me having my brake calipers painted the same shade of red as the car's stripes and my rotor hats painted gloss black. I quickly shut up about it.
Anyway, those shoes had heels so high that most strippers wouldn't wear them. Dana clutched my arm protectively as we walked towards the registration area. With her mincing little steps people were walking around us and past us at an alarming rate.
They also stared at Dana too. Most of the men noticed her ass and tits. I heard more than a few whistles. Most of the women noticed that Dana was orange. She'd obviously spent too much time in the tanning booth. But I loved her so I didn't say anything. Especially since this was her night.
As we stood in the line and waited to get our name tags, several of the people around me tried to start conversations. I tried to give them the impression that I wasn't interested in conversing but I tried not to be rude about it.
The guy in line right behind me wouldn't take no for an answer though. He kept peppering me with comments every so often until I realized that he had no idea who I was. He also spent most of the time that he was talking to me staring at Dana's ass and boobs.
The guy was shorter than I am but heavier as well. His short close cropped hair and glasses made him appear to be far older than I am. His features were really familiar to me and all of a sudden I knew him. "Marty?" I said. "Marty McFly?"
"Uh ... yeah" he said looking up at me. "You're not going to try to give me a wedgie or anything are you? We're too old for that shit now."
It just seemed strange to me that Marty thought I was one of the guys who gave wedgies while we were in school.
"Marty, get a grip," I said. "I've never given you a wedgie before, so why would I start now?" He looked at me still wondering who I was. In a way my anonymity was intoxicating. I enjoyed knowing who Marty was while he had no idea whom he was speaking to.
"So what are you doing with yourself these days?" I asked. He looked at me as if he was dying to ask who I was but to be polite he answered my question.
"Actually ... I'm in the market for a new job," he said. "I'm working now but I'm not really happy where I am."
"So what do you do?" I asked.
"I'm an accountant," he said.
"Shut the fuck up," I snapped happily. "Dana, Marty grew up to be an accountant."
Dana turned around looked down her nose at Marty and latched even tighter onto my arm. "Uhm that's great, Honey," she said before she continued searching the crowd to see who was looking at her.
"That's the reaction I get from everyone," he said. "Being an accountant just isn't exciting."
"Unless you need one," I said. "And I need one. How do you feel about relocating?"
He looked at me strangely. "Uhm ... that would be okay, I guess..." he ventured, still wondering if I was being serious.
Before we could talk anymore, we both hushed along with all of the guys in the line as we watched. A woman about four places ahead of us took off the scarf covering her head and it was as if the sun suddenly came out. She shook her head and at least three or four feet of curly red hair was set free. A gasp went through the crowd and the jaw of every man in the room, except two, dropped.
One of those jaws that didn't drop was mine. The other belonged to a big guy moving through the crowd towards us. He was being followed by two other guys and it was hilarious, at least to me.
Mo hadn't aged well. He was still as big as a house, but where most of it used to be muscle; there was a lot of fat now. He still had the same swagger, but it no longer affected me the same way. I didn't feel the slightest bit of fear or awe. In fact, looking at him then, I was ready to leave.
His clothes didn't impress me. Mo was wearing a suit, but not a good one. In fact, he was the only guy in the room who'd worn a suit. It was just too hot for a suit and especially since this was just an ice breaker. There was no one here to impress. Most of the guys had elected to save the suits for the dance.
Mo's hairline was also in full retreat. It looked like Mo's hair was afraid of his face and was moving as far away from it as it could. He still had the same superior sneer on his face as he walked towards the front of the line.
The two guys who were just a step behind him and out to his sides were even funnier. I recognized them instantly, Todd Bridges, who used to protect Mo, at left tackle and Gary Coleman, our former star running back. I'd heard that Gary had bombed out in the pros. He'd hurt his back or something. Maybe that was the explanation for the way he walked now. His step was punctuated with a pronounced limp every so often.
The three of them walked up near the front of line and Mo started talking as loudly as he always did.
"Why are you waiting in line?" he asked. "Just grab our stuff and let's get in there."
"There are people who got here ahead of us, Honey," she said. It was strange. The musical tone of that voice still affected me. The difference was that it had matured. Instead of being kittenish and teasing, it spoke of maturity and compassion. The way she spoke to him wasn't like a girl who could give him something he wanted badly, it was more like a mother trying to gently teach her child that he was behaving badly.
"Why don't you go outside and look for that car you wanted to see. When I get us registered, I'll come and find you," she said.
He nodded and turned around glaring at everyone in the vicinity. Then in an extremely good Eric von Zipper imitation, he snapped his finger and pointed at the door. Then he and his cronies scooted out to the parking lot. It was all I could do not to laugh.
"God, he's still a dick," I heard someone say. "Why does she put up with him?"
I found myself trying to catch a glimpse of Marian, just as I had in high school. Before I actually saw her though, the hand squeezing mine, squeezed a lot harder.
"Zero Tolerance means you walk away with nothing," she said. "That witch and her boyfriend lorded it over everyone all through high school. Those days are over," said Dana. "You're married and happily, remember?"
I just smiled at her. Beside us Marty nodded vigorously. "She's a hundred percent right," he said. "Fuck them. Let's talk about you needing an accountant."
Dana looked over at Marty as if noticing him for the first time and smiled. Marty caught her smile and elbowed me.
"Where did you meet your lovely wife?" he asked.
"Good Lord, Marty," I exclaimed. "She went to school with us. She used to be Dana Plato."
"She used to be who?" he asked. He looked at her and then looked at her again. He pulled out his year book and looked up her picture. "Wow!" he said.
"The years have been good to you, baby," he gushed. "If I'd known that you'd turn out like this..."
Their exchange was interrupted by voices from the front of the line. Mrs. Garrett, one of our old teachers who was working at the registration desk had a problem.
"Is that Mrs. Garrett?" asked someone in the line. "She probably ran out of liquor and can't function. She was already a drunk ten years ago. It's good to see that nothing has changed."
"I hated that bitch," someone else said. "All that shit about the facts of life got on my nerves."
"Isn't it funny that there was never a Mr. Garrett?"
At that moment, I saw a cloud of red hair move towards the front of the line. She went up and started speaking to the women at the registration desk and simply took over for Mrs. Garrett. Within a few moments the line was moving along smoothly and it was moving faster than it had before.
Marian seemed to remember most of the people in line and simply had them sign the list and then picked out their names tags. Everyone was wondering why Mrs. Garrett had taken so long to do the job.
As we stepped up to the table she smiled at us and my legs turned to water.
Dana glared at her instantly, but Marian didn't return the anger which made Dana even angrier. If a teen aged Marian had been beautiful, a nearly thirty year old Marian was transcendent. I could barely look at her. It was like gazing into the sun.
"I'm sorry," she smiled. "I don't recognize either of you. Which one of you went to our school?"
"Both of us did you dizzy bitch," snapped Dana. "I'm Dana Plato and this is Steven Grant."
"Stevie?" gushed Marty behind me. "Little Stevie from the juggling club? Holy Shit. I didn't recognize you."
Marian looked at me and smiled again. "You always did have such strength of character," she said. "Sometimes I wondered how you took it. My heart went out to you, when they did all of those awful things. I wish..."
"Shove that bullshit up your boney ass, bitch," snapped Dana. "Just get our fucking name tags and let us go. Shit, what do you think this is, a reunion?"
"Sorry," said Marian. "I was only..."
"Ten years too God damned late," said Dana grabbing our tags and leaving the desk.
As we walked into the larger room where everyone was supposed to mingle Marty came running up behind us. "Dana, don't you think you were uhm..." I began.
She spun in place and looked at me. "I was what?" she snapped.
"Rude," I supplied.
"That bitch is acting the same way now that she acted back then," snapped Dana. "Only I'm not a fucking teenager any more so I'm not going to put up with it."
"Dana, she didn't know you back then. You guys didn't hang out together. She had no contact with you and you don't look anything like you did back then. Her not recognizing you was kind of a compliment," I said.
"Steve, not you too," she said. "Every guy in high school always stood up for that bitch. You guys act like her shit doesn't stink. I can't believe my own husband is taking her side over mine."
"Dana, I'm not taking her side over you. I'm always on your side. For better or for worse, you're the one I care about. And that's why I felt it was necessary to tell you that you were acting like a bitch. I know that we got treated like shit in high school. A lot of people did. Most of us got over it. So there's no need for us to act the way they did. They were kids back then, we're adults now. Just have fun remembering the way things were and how they turned out. If you really want revenge find someone you used to hate and compare your life to theirs. You turned out pretty good. I'm very happy with our life, aren't you?"
She kissed me and nodded. "Very happy, baby," she said.