Finished! The last load put into the van, and carted to the GoodWill store. They sat together after the van's big load had been given to the GoodWill store personnel and Angela sighed.
"He's gone! I mean really and finally gone!"
Rae Anne looked at her friend with deep love and compassion: "Are you okay, girl friend?"
"Oh, I guess I am, when you call me that!" Angela said smiling. "But it's strange; I don't really feel sad, and I keep thinking that I should. I mean, he was my husband and died in that accident and it was quick for him and terrible but, forgive me, it was as though he wasn't even here so much of the time."
Rae Anne reached over and stroked Angela's face.
"Care to go for a drink and talk about it a bit?" Rae Anne asked.
"How about a bottle of wine at my house?" Angela asked. "I need to shower; I feel like, I don't know, I need to wash all of this off and out somehow. I know that sounds terrible."
She sobbed then and Rae Anne gathered her into her shoulder for a hug and let her sob.
"I don't even know why I'm crying," Angela said. "It's maybe for the lost opportunities of my life. You know, lost love, or no love. That's what he was like more like 'no love' than anything else." She sighed then and straightened up.
"And here I am with the best friend in the world, taking care of me and that makes me pretty lucky!" Angela said then, as she stroked Rae Anne's face.
"Well, tell me, girl friend," Rae Anne said.
Angela giggled then.
"What?" Rae Anne said, breaking off.
"It's so cool that you call me that!" Angela said.
Rae Anne grinned at her: "Well what are we?"
"Girl friends!" Angela said firmly.
"Yes, and what happened when my Jerry popped off with his heart attack?" she asked quietly.
"I was there for you; I helped," Angela said, through the tears on her cheeks.
"And how long did you take care of me?" Rae Anne asked next.
"As long as was needed!" Angela asked, smiling now.
"Exactly," Rae Anne said, "Girl friends!"
"Yes," Angela agreed.
"And here we are!" Rae Anne began then, "Both of us free of the riff raff; my husband a philanderer who never got around to really providing for me or for us. If it hadn't been for you taking me into the flower shop, where'd I be?
"Tell me, you bad girl!" Rae Anne said, giggling herself.
"Selling it!" Angela said.
Rae Anne whooped and grabbed hold of Angela, clutching the smaller woman to her. She reached over Angela's back and Angela shrieked:
"Gonna give you a wedgie!" Rae Anne said, reaching into the waist band of Angela's jeans and grabbing hold of the waist band of Angela's blue, nylon panties and pulling upward.
"Eeeek!" Angela responded to the wedgie.
"Leave it, bad girl!" Rae Anne demanded and Angela giggled again.
"What I said is true," Rae Anne reasserted, "You took care of me; you helped me and here I am."
"Yes," Angela said, "It's the way we are with each other."
"Yes, girl friends!" Rae Anne said, "And we still have each other."
Angela was pulling the van into the driveway of her fairly large house. They got out, when the van was put away, and went into the kitchen entrance. They both knew and acknowledged their special relationship. Neither knew exactly where it was going.
Their relationship had begun in grade school. They'd known each other that long. Its very beginning was a fairly explosive one also. Even in those days, Rae Anne Ford was a big girl. She never got fat but she was always big. Later, beginning in her teens, she became bosomy, with a nice round butt but on the play ground that day she was just big. She was the target of two of the school bullies.
She was unaware, as the one bully spoke to her, that the other one was crouching behind her, ready for his pal to push the big girl over onto her back. They thought it would be a laugh.
That's when Angela Furst came on the scene. She was petite. She would always remain that, coming into her mature growth with small but pointy and lovely breasts and a nicely rounded butt. But she had, for her age, an advanced sense of justice and fairness. Without hardly a thought she went up behind the bully, on his hands and knees, and kicked him in the butt.
"Stop that!" she said, as the bully lurched forward.
Rae Anne noticed then what they'd planned and slapped the bully in front of her and sent him off with a red face. No one had ever challenged him like that before and he was at a loss about what to do and didn't want to cry in front of everyone. The one sprawled on the ground got another kick in the butt from Rae Anne then.
The two girls smiled at one another. Rae Anne put out her hand and said: "I'm Rae Anne Ford. Thank you."
"Angela Furst," Angela said and took the offered hand with pleasure.
They sat next to one another in school because of their last names. The next day there was a further drama. Same bullies, only now both of them corralled Angela, the small one.
"Got you, you bitch!" one of them said, just as the wrath of the gods came down upon them in the form of Rae Anne Ford.
The bullies got slapped again that day, and this time a teacher intervened, who'd seen it. It was the bullies' last stand with the two girls and after that, they were closely watched. They never did bother either of the girls again.
But it transformed Angela and Rae Anne into fast friends. It was a friendship that nothing ever dampened.
They went to camp together, where they, like other of the girls around, giggled about what they were learning about sex and practiced their kissing with each other. They never went much farther than that, at the time but both of them found it exciting.
They provided shoulders for each other to cry on during their junior high and high school years. In those days Rae Anne went steady with one of the jocks, while Angela had a number of dates.
Their choice of college was a local one, that way they stayed together as they went.
They were maids of honor at each other's wedding, Rae Anne to the jock Jeffery, who never had the ambition to provide well, and never found a skirt that he didn't want to chase, and Angela to Ben, who was older, more settled and, after the initial excitement of marriage to the lovely Angela wore off, was more into golf than anything else. But the difference was that Ben was settled and successful. As a favor to Angela he invested in a flower shop. The business was a success and grew, at which point Angela asked Rae Anne to come into it with her. As in other areas of their lives, their cooperation proved very successful in the flower shop for the two of them. It made the difference for Rae Anne, since Jeffery never did do well at what he planned. His glory days were all on the high school football field and he never grew much from that point.
Neither of them had families. The men didn't want them. That seemed to settle it. Life grew into boredom for both households, as the girls went through their 30's and were now 40. Jeffery and Rae Anne, during those years, lost their house for lack of mortgage upkeep and moving into an apartment, which Rae Anne still lived in, after Jeffery's heart attack and death. There wasn't, in that case, very much insurance but with the flower shop, Rae Anne was doing okay.
It was at that point that Angela insisted, against Rae Anne's almost tearful protestations, on making Rae Anne a full partner. It was called 'Rae and Angel's Posies'. (Angel is what Rae always called Angela. Angela had also insisted on the order of the name.)
It was a few years after that, as the two women were indeed approaching 40, when Ben died in a car accident, after too much to drink following a golf outing. In this case, however, Angela was well provided for from insurance and Ben's worth, which he never saw fit to share with Angela, while they he was alive. She was more of a beautiful trophy kind of wife with him.
The girls reached the age of 40 then unencumbered, one of them well off, the other comfortable because of the flower shop venture. Neither of them having had a very fulfilling sexual marriage for the reasons stated.
So, here they were, back at Angela's house, Ben's things having been taken care of. The house would be emptier now and Angela was still sad for reasons that she didn't fully understand but Rae Anne was there with her.
"Oh, home again!" Angela said, "And with such a difference."
"I guess a difference," Rae Anne said.
They went into the house and Angela said: "I think that the very first thing, before the bottle of wine, will be a shower."
"Yes," Rae Anne said. "And I'm going to shower with you!"
"Take care of the angel!" Rae Anne went on. "Wash the angel!"
"But what'll you wear, once we've showered?" Angela asked in a sly voice.
"I'll wear me!" Rae Anne said with a laugh.
"Good, then give me your clothes and I'll put them in the washer; they'll be ready for you in a bit. Meanwhile it'll be you on the screened deck naked for some wine."
"Well, missy," Rae Anne said at that point, "If I'm going to be there naked, then so are you."
"Whooppee! Free at last and totally degenerate!" Angela said with a laugh and gave Rae Anne a hug.
"Okay, here we go!" Rae Anne said then and began to hike her tee shirt up to take it off.
.... There is more of this story ...