This one is a quickie (for me). After last week's stinker where I had the audacity to put two fictional characters back together, I wanted to do something safe. It also gave me time to start on next week's long weird Halloween story. Thanks as usual to Mikothebaby for her editing prowess. Without her this story would probably be all commas.SS06
I wish I could say that I work hard at my job. Well ... I can, but I don't like lying. I'm a CNC programmer and a good one. I can go anywhere in the country or the world and find a job. Most of my job involves going over blue prints for jobs and writing programs for the machines that actually make the parts. I rarely, if ever, go down to the shop floor to see the machines work. I do occasionally go to a seminar on changes in code or new innovations. And I often work with the shop floor foreman or production managers to make changes in the programs to make them more efficient or more cost effective. But my job, thanks to my education, is relatively easy and very stress free.
I just turned forty and my life, like my job, is very stress free. I live here in South Carolina, along the coastline. The weather is wonderful and the people are great. I like my life here. I like my life period, but it's all temporary. I could pack up most of my stuff in my Mustang and be out of here in less than sixty minutes if the situation called for it.
I live in a beautiful mini mansion only a few yards off of the beach, but it's rented. I make a great living at my job, but I'm one of two programmers and my boss knows my situation. We've become friends over the four years that I've lived here and he keeps after me to settle down and take root. Who knows ... sometimes I think that I already have.
I live with a woman that I worship. I would literally do anything for her ... with two exceptions so far. The first is that we've been together for a few weeks more than four years, and we haven't seriously talked about getting married. Most of our neighbors think we are already. And most of our friends who know us, wonder why we aren't.
The second is that although both of us love kids and are very happy together and very healthy, we don't seriously discuss having kids period. Kids tend to make things permanent and like I said, I could be gone in an hour.
I'm also extremely cynical. I take nothing at face value and assume the worst in most situations. Despite this glaring character flaw, the friends and neighbors that I associate with and have developed close relationships with, seem to like me. It's nothing to have one of our neighbors call and tell me his wife is visiting her mom so he's coming over for dinner. And one or two of our neighbors are always asking to do the grass exchange.
Before you get ideas about wacky tobacky in your mind, I'm talking about the practice of cutting each other's grass during vacations. You know ... I cut their grass while they're away and they cut mine, when they get back. The homeowners association in our area is extreme about cutting the grass, and in the summer months, with the humid conditions and high temps, the grass grows a lot.
But today, I find myself enjoying the breezes as I walk to my Mustang. Summer has left us and the early fall days here, while still warm, are far less humid. As I pull into my subdivision, I back off on the gas and marvel as the Mustang's roar and grunt calms down to a purr.
I drive onto my block and in the distance, near our house, I notice a group of people frolicking on the beach. I spot one form immediately. She's a slim, graceful woman with wild, tawny hair that flies everywhere. Her long legs start churning as she runs to catch a Frisbee that someone has thrown. She jumps for it and misses, landing awkwardly in the sand. She sits up and brushes the hair out of her eyes, smiling all the time. It's the smile that melts my heart more than anything else. I can see the way that her eyes sparkle even from this distance. She picks up the offending Frisbee and throws it back to the guy who threw it to her. She stands up and adjusts her suit. The top doesn't need much adjustment. Her pert breasts really don't move that much, but the bottom constantly need to be adjusted over her rounded ass.
Another man and another woman are sitting on a log near the border between our house and the next. Neither of them lives there. I know the neighbors on both sides and it's not them. My mouth takes a slight downward turn. I sigh and get out of my car. As I walk closer to the house, I can see them in greater detail. The second couple, the ones sitting on the log are kissing. The woman is larger, not obscene by any stretch of the imagination but she's a bigger woman. I look again, even more closely at her and recognize her. My mouth takes another downward turn.
Then I see it. The man playing Frisbee with the smaller woman grabs the Frisbee and starts walking towards the other couple. The woman walks over to the log also and he puts his arm over her shoulder possessively. I've seen this before, I know how it ends and there's no need to go through it again.
Unfortunately, nature doesn't seem to cooperate with me. I'd been able to ease my 2012 Mustang GT into my driveway on the opposite side of the house without arousing much interest. But as I restart it, the powerful V8 engine demands the attention of everyone in the area. Four heads snap up immediately and one of them makes eye contact with me as I start trying to pull out of the driveway.
I turn my head as if I haven't seen her and back up as she starts moving in my direction. Her long legs eat up the beach and then the scruff and finally the pavement but it's all in vain. Four hundred and twelve horsepower channeled through four nineteen inch wheels and sticky performance tires beats two legs every time.
It takes all of five minutes before the buzzing at my belt alerts me that my iPhone has a call. I fish the phone out of my pocket and see that it's her. A picture of her happy smiling face lights up the display, so I don't answer it. I have no place to go so I drive down the coastline marveling at the beauty of the scenery.
South Carolina is one of America's hidden gems. It's every bit as beautiful and scenic along the coastline as any of the Atlantic coast states, but doesn't get half of the publicity. Can you picture a state that's as beautiful as Florida, but without the drug dealers, the senior citizens and the riff raff? Can you picture Louisiana without the swamps? Throw in some of the most beautiful houses you can imagine, subtract the hurricanes and you have South Carolina's coastal regions.
I knew moving here that I'd have to stay away from the inland areas because they do get a bit of winter weather there and my Pony doesn't really like snow. I made my way here forty eight months ago, intent on simplifying my life. Weather and snowfall was one of my deal breakers. In the Midwest, where I hailed from, the temperatures and the snowfall made it necessary for me to have two cars. I had my pony for summer and a jeep for the fall and winter. Owning two vehicles increased my insurance costs and everything else. When I jettisoned all of the unnecessary aspects of my former life, my close knit relationship with my State Farm guy was one of the things that had to go. "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is ... gone." My insurance with a local carrier here is far more reasonable. Luckily, my policy is national so wherever I settle next, it will still be good.
I pull into a tourist area near the beach about ten miles down from the house. I pull out my iPad and Google a map of the United States. As I look at the map, I remember back four years ago when I'd first wandered into that bar. A pretty waitress who looked really stressed out asked me what I was looking for.
"Soft lights, warm breezes and soft southern accents," I'd said. She'd looked around the bar, then back at me and asked me if I had room for one more...
Georgia seemed like a good choice for my next base of operations. As I sat there looking at the coastline, I realized that it was only one state over. That meant it would have most of the good attributes of South Carolina, so I wouldn't lose those.
I made a list of everything I'd need to take with me and it would be easier this time because I'd actually have more room. There were so many things that I'd bought over the past four years that I'd have to leave behind. It served me right for becoming attached to things.
I went into a store and was in luck. Along the rear wall, they had a couple of payphones. I tentatively called the house. I figured that if I was in luck, she'd either be in the shower by now or out on the deck or back on the beach with her new friends. There was no answer, so I left a message which had been my intention all along.
"Shazz, this is Paul," I said. "I came home earlier. But just as I pulled in, Larry called me with an emergency and I had to come back to work. I don't know when I'll get done. There's no need to wait for me to eat or anything. Bye."
That should take care of everything I thought. I went to town then. I drove into Charleston and caught a movie. I saw the new Resident Evil movie and wondered why they even bothered to give them tag lines any more. What they needed to do was just give them numbers like they do in the video games. Everyone who saw the movie knows that when they leave it on a cliffhanger like that there's going to be another one.
I had dinner in my favorite steak place in town. The waiters and the manager all wanted to know where Shazz was and why I was there without her. "I'll tell her that you asked about her," I said. I gave away nothing and still managed to politely answer their questions and change the subject.
.... There is more of this story ...