Nothing makes me happier than saving money and energy. Let me rephrase that--besides sex, nothing makes me happier than saving money and energy. So I'm going green by having an energy-efficient heat pump system installed in my house.
My son-in-law, Mark, works for a local Cincinnati HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) company. He's worked there for several years and his specialty is geothermal heat pump systems. He says the energy savings of such a system can pay for itself in as few as five years--plus, it's good for the environment to use less energy. Since system life is around 25 years for the above-ground parts and 50 years for the in-ground parts, I plan to save a lot of money, which is important in tough economic times like these.
I'm really proud of Mark, but that hasn't always been the case. There was a time when I almost skinned him, beginning right behind his ears. That was a few days after my daughter, Tiffany, attended her senior prom.
Mark and Tiffany dated off and on, beginning in their sophomore year. My wife, Emily, to some extent encouraged them, because Mark was a smart, athletic, handsome boy, who had excellent manners that most teenage boys lacked. Mark's family, the Kraft's, lived only a few houses down the street from us, and they were good family friends. During their senior year in high school, Mark and Tiffany began going steady; they were each other's senior prom dates.
A few days after Tiffany's senior prom, I came home from work about an hour early to find the TV blaring, but the living room was empty. Then I heard some odd noises coming from down the hallway. I walked down the hall to investigate and heard some giggling and moaning. The noises seemed to be coming from the master bedroom. When I looked in, I saw Tiffany and Mark naked on the bed--they had no idea I was there. Tiffany had her legs wrapped around Mark's ass, and he was frantically pumping his cock in and out of her. I saw enough in just a few seconds to bring my blood to a boil.
"What the hell do you think you're doing to my daughter?" I yelled. Immediately after I said it, I realized it didn't make sense, because it was perfectly obvious to all three of us what he was doing.
The expression on Mark's face instantly changed from one of sexual enjoyment to panicked fear; Tiffany's turned ashen. Mark pulled out of her, grabbed his clothing, and ran from the bedroom. Tiffany covered her pussy with one hand and used her other arm to cover her breasts.
"Get the hell out of here--and don't come back," I shouted, as Mark stumbled down the hall, trying to pull his jeans.
"Young lady, put your clothes on and get your ass in the living room--now!"
I slammed the bedroom door with a crash that could have easily been heard from across the street. A couple minutes later, a trembling Tiffany shuffled into the living room, barefoot, wearing a pair of navy blue, school gym shorts, and a long white sweat shirt. Sobbing, she was biting her lower lip, her hands shaking uncontrollably, cowering like a spanked puppy.
"Sit down on the sofa," I ordered.
Tiffany's eyes were filled with tears; she kept them fixed on the floor near her feet, one hand over her mouth, while her chest convulsed with each sob.
"Look at me Tiffany," I stormed. "You've let Mom and me down, young lady. We trusted you. Now I come home and find you fucking Mark on my bed. What were you thinking?"
In a quavering voice she said, "I'm so sorry Daddy. I didn't..." Then she broke down in even bigger sobs.
Just as I was about to launch into a tirade about the evils of premarital sex, Emily came home from work. As she stepped through the front door, she saw Tiffany crying.
"What's the matter?"
"Tell Mom what you were doing," I demanded.
Tiffany jumped off the sofa and wrapped her arms around Emily's neck. She was bawling and mumbling incoherently. Emily just stood there and gave me a bewildered stare.
"You'd better go to your room, Tiffany," I said.
Tiffany turned and ran into her room without looking back.
Emily remained anchored to her spot in the center of the living room, "What was that all about?"
"Well, since she didn't tell you, I will. I came home early and caught Mark and Tiffany fucking on our bed."
"Oh my god. You're kidding me, aren't you?"
Emily started toward Tiffany's room, but I grabbed her arm. "No, before you talk with her, we need to talk."
We went to the kitchen and I paced back and forth while Emily sat at the kitchen table and listened. "They were both naked on our bed. Can you believe--on our bed? And Mark wasn't wearing a condom. Tiffany isn't on birth control pills is she?"
"No, I thought I'd send her to the doctor for a prescription before she started nursing school."
"She could be pregnant with his child right now. I don't know what to do."
"Calm down--don't have a heart attack. This isn't the end of the world, you know. Tiffany's about the same age as when we started having sex, except we didn't get caught. Remember?"
"Yes, but she's our daughter, and she shouldn't be doing that sort of thing."
"She's a grown woman, John. She isn't six years old anymore, you'll have to let go sometime."
I realized Emily was right, but deep inside I felt protective of her as nearly all fathers do about their teenage daughters. Tiffany had always been such a good girl--I fully expected she'd remain that way, I suppose. I hadn't paid any attention that she had grown up and was now a young woman whose sexual desires had been unleashed.
"What should we do? Should we punish her, lecture her, or not let her see Mark anymore?"
"Maybe I should just go talk with her."
Emily went to Tiffany's room and they spent more than an hour talking. When she came out, Emily said, "Tiffany's totally humiliated. She told me she'd had sex with Mark twice--once the night of the senior prom, and today. They didn't use a condom after the prom because they decided they couldn't catch a sexually transmitted disease since they were both virgins. She said he pulled out before he ejaculated. They didn't use one today because he was planning to do the same thing."
"I can't believe they're that dumb. Didn't they learn anything during their sex education class?"
No doubt that in the heat of their teenage passion, level-headed thinking was the last thing on their minds. I called Mark's home. His mother, Donna, answered and I gave her a summary of Mark and Tiffany's coupling. I heard her shout, away from the phone, "Mark, come here!" Then she said, "I'll have George get back with you," and hung up.
About two hours later, Mark was at the front door, trailed by George. Mark had a hangdog appearance, his hands thrust into his jeans pockets, a guilty, embarrassed expression on his face, his eyes focused on some insignificant item on the ground.
"Go ahead, son. Tell him," prodded George.
Mark wanted to look anywhere but at me. Eventually, in a very quiet and nervous voice, he said, "I'm sorry for what I did, Mr Jenkins. It won't happen again."
I was thinking that Mark probably wasn't one hundred percent responsible for what happened--Tiffany also seemed to be enjoying their romp on the bed--until I yelled at them.
Tiffany shut herself in her room for a couple days. I finally demanded that she come to meals and become a part of the family as she had been before "the incident," as I called it. She seemed broody and sullen for nearly a week.
It took me several days to cool down. Even though it's difficult, you have to forgive your child at some point. About a week after "the incident," I told Tiffany that we needed to talk. I sat down with her and we had a long father-daughter talk about what she wanted to do with her life. She had always wanted to be a nurse, even as a little girl.
"Tiffany, if you're pregnant, all your hopes of becoming a nurse will be ruined. You know you can't attend college if you're pregnant, and if you have a baby, you won't be able to properly care for it while you're in school. I wish you'd have thought of that before you and Mark had sex."
Tiffany sat there, giving me her lukewarm attention, her fingers fidgeting in her lap, a blank stare on her face. I know she was wishing we hadn't needed to have our talk. After I finished, I hugged her and told her I still loved her, but my forgiveness was only for this time, and that I expected it shouldn't ever happen again. She tearfully promised that it wouldn't.
After worrying for a week or so, I was happy to hear when Emily reported Tiffany had her monthly period on time.
Tiffany's graduation came and went. As the summer passed, there was a level of tension that we'd never before experienced in our family. Tiffany stopped all social activity and spent most of her time in her room alone. Mark entirely avoided Tiffany and our house; he knew better than hang around. I believe it was at George's urging that Mark joined the Marines a couple months later. Tiffany headed off to Ohio State University in the fall of 1999 to study nursing.
Several months after Tiffany left for college, Emily said she wasn't feeling well; she'd lost weight, had abdominal pains, and some nausea, so she scheduled a doctor's appointment. Many tests later, the doctors diagnosed Emily with a Stage III cancerous ovarian tumor. They advised us the prognosis wasn't good. Their advice was for us to make out our wills and funeral plans. Emily had both chemotherapy and surgery. She tried to be strong, but several months of chemo were pure hell for her. I tried comforting her the best I could, knowing we weren't going to be together very much longer.
The hospital medical staff provided excellent care, but I'm not sure the surgery and chemotherapy were worth it; it seemed they caused as much pain as the tumor, and they only prolonged her life a month or so. In late April, Emily, my wife of 26 years, succumbed to cancer. Tiffany came home for a few days, which helped me a lot--I really needed her support at that time.
You don't know loneliness until the love of your life is gone. Day after dreary day, I came home to an empty house and stared at the four walls. Nothing interested me anymore--life didn't seem worth living. Although I wasn't aware of the depth of it at the time, I'd fallen into a deep depression. At one point I'd contemplated suicide, and I might have gone ahead with it, but for Tiffany's sake.
George and Donna had been some of our best friends and neighbors when Mark and Tiffany were growing up. Emily and Donna frequently went shopping together; George and I were on the same bowling team. The Kraft's would frequently invite our family to their house to play cards, or we'd invite them to watch football or join a cookout in the back yard. After Emily's death, they continued involving me in their social circle, but I felt I stood out like a third thumb.
The last time I spent any time with George and Donna was at a Bengals football game in early November. When, for a month or so, I didn't hear anything from George or Donna, I assumed they were busy, because we were in the middle of the holiday season. It was as if they had disappeared from the planet. Then my neighbor across the street told me he'd heard they were getting a divorce. It surprised me because they'd always seemed to be a happy couple. Donna found out George was having an affair with his 28-year old secretary. Apparently, he decided he liked young pussy better than Donna's, so Donna divorced him in 2002. Donna got the house, the second car, and alimony in the divorce settlement. George had a substantial income from his insurance business, so Donna didn't have to worry too much about her finances.
Several months after her divorce, I met Donna at the mailbox; the mailboxes in our subdivision were all placed together, at the end of the cul de sac. I hadn't seen Donna for quite awhile. Her dress was rumpled, she wasn't wearing any make-up, her hair was disheveled, and she smelled of alcohol. She didn't resemble the same well-dressed Donna I'd known for the past ten years.
I don't know why--maybe I felt sorry for her--but I asked her if she'd like to join me for dinner at a popular cafeteria in town that evening. She accepted. By the time I picked her up around six, she at least looked presentable. As we drove to town, I thought to myself that it was good to be in the company of a female again. Donna didn't talk much over dinner, but said she hadn't been out much since her divorce. I told her that I hadn't been out much since Emily died, either.
Within a month or so, we started spending more time together. First it was just going out to eat together, because we were both lonely, and it was better than dining alone. Eventually, Donna invited me to her house for dinner. Later, I asked her to my house and grilled a couple steaks in the back yard. Little by little, we found ourselves drawn closer.
I think it was sometime during the summer when Donna and I had sex the first time. It had been several years since I'd savored sex with a woman. Donna said she enjoyed it, too. In a few more months Donna and I were regularly sleeping together, either at her house or mine. We'd make love whenever the mood struck us, which sometimes turned out to be more than once a day.