I vividly remember the day my marriage came apart. It ended up being the best day of my life! How is that possible, you say? Well, let me explain.
I met my future wife, Gail Howard, in the school library by accident. We both were looking for almost the same book, and were coming from opposite directions in the aisle. I had noticed this gorgeous blonde girl coming down the aisle, looking for a specific book by trailing her finger up and down the shelves, looking for her prize. I, in turn, was looking for Principles of Accounting II. She was looking for Accounting I.
I'm Rob Sterling, short for Robert James Sterling II. I'm 'RJ' to my family, but 'Rob' to everyone else. I'm a quarter inch shy of six foot and weigh 178 pounds, the same as I did in college. I maintain that due to running and martial arts (Aikido). I was a junior in college back then. I was going for a business management degree when I met Gail. I was trying to help my roommate with his accounting problems, and I was going to get a library textbook that I found to be a lot of help when I took Accounting II last year. The book I was looking for explained his problem much better than his textbook.
The blonde reached for her book at the same time I reached for mine, and I felt this instant shock when our hands collided, like the shock you get walking on a carpet on a cold clear morning then touch a doorknob. I could almost see the electrical spark jump between her fingers and mine. That bright blue flash was my boon and my downfall, all rolled into one, even though I didn't know it at the time.
The blonde jumped back and said, "Oh, that was different," rubbing her finger.
"Excuse me, Miss. Which book did you need, Accounting I or II?"
"The first one actually; I need a different perspective on asset depreciation and the disposition of depreciable assets than what my textbook describes. Professor Hardesty said this book would give me some different ideas."
"Yes, I know. I used it when I was taking Accounting I. I'm trying to help my roommate with his Accounting II problems. I'm Rob Sterling, by the way, and you are?"
"Oh, where are my manners. I'm Gail Howard and I'm glad I ran into you. Maybe you could help me with my problems too, if it wouldn't be too much trouble."
"I'm sure I could help you. I like to help people, especially beautiful women who shock me to my toes with just a touch."
"Oh you felt it, too? I wonder what it meant."
"Well, it could be one of two things. It could be that one or both of us had built up a static charge due to what we are wearing, the way we walked up to each other, or ... it could mean much more than that."
"In what way, Mr. Brainiac?"
"Well, it could mean that we were meant to meet, and that we are destined to be together for the rest of our lives, but that's just a guess. I don't suppose that someone as beautiful as you is still unattached, and would consider a date with a slightly older gentleman who could help a certain young lady with some homework?"
"Are you asking me out on a date, or just trying to help me with my accounting questions?"
"I leave that decision up to the very beautiful blonde who has stolen my heart with a spark of love."
"Do you have a cell phone?"
"Why, yes, I do. Do you need to borrow it?"
"I do, as a matter of fact."
I handed her my phone and she dialed a number. I then heard a faint ringing until she ended the call, punched a few other buttons, then handed it back to me.
She said, "There! Now you have my number. Call me when you want to discuss this matter further. I need to get to class. TTFN, Rob."
She turned, grabbed her book, and left me standing there. My mouth was open as I stared at her luscious ass swaying down the aisle. I noticed a funny little twitch at the end of each swing of her hips to the left.
TTFN what the hell was that? Then it dawned on me: Ta, Ta for now; kind of an English goodbye. Wow, smart and sexy. Needless to say, I was smitten, or 'gob smacked' might be a rather more apt expression. I had it bad. It was love at first touch. I can't say it was love at first sight; that would have been lust at first sight, but the spark of love bit me and speared my heart when we touched. I looked down at my cell phone and realized that I also had a class to get to.
It was a several days later when I had some free time and called the number that Gail had left on my phone. I looked all through my contacts to see what was new and I finally found a new name there; it was listed as 'Wife – 1-832-555-0686'. Wife? Now what the fuck was that all about? Then it hit me: she'd felt it, too. Not only had she felt that spark of static electricity, but she had felt the spark of love in that touch. I wasn't alone in feeling the way I did. Wow, who would have predicted that a spark of static electricity would have sparked a romance as well?
I called and she answered, "Hello?"
"It's Rob, I have some free time and thought if you are still having problems with Accounting I, I could try to help you with them."
"I am having some problems actually, but they aren't really related to accounting. If you're willing to help with those, we might get together and see if we can solve them together."
"I have a few hours of free time right now; do you want to come to my apartment or for me to come to you?"
"You have your own apartment?"
"Yes, I had a roommate for a while, but he was no longer able to pay me the rent so he went back to the dorms. If you're interested there is a bedroom available for rent."
"Ah ... I'm not in the market for one yet, but my roommate's boyfriend is. What do you charge?"
"The rent is two-fifty a month and that includes utilities, Wi-Fi, and cable. That also comes with kitchen privileges and responsibilities. I don't accept slobs or argumentative individuals."
"Are you rich or something?"
"I guess you could say 'or something'. I intern at a company during the summer and our school breaks. I'm hoping that it will turn into a permanent job when I graduate in January of next year. They like my work, and I do get paid for working for them."
"You seem to have all your shit together. I like that in a guy. Why don't you come here, and I can introduce you to Brian and Julie? Then we can talk more about my problem afterwards."
"Sounds good, what dorm are you in and what number?"
"I'm in Sterling Hall ... Hey, that wouldn't be any relation to you, would it?"
"Yup, but from the distant past side of the family; that one was named after my great-great grandmother. She left a bunch of money to the college for a girls-only dorm when she died. But I think that it kind of changed since the school had to go coed."
"No, it's still a women's only dorm, but we are a little more open about visitors. I'm on the third floor, room 312, up the stairs and to the right. See you in a few," she said, and hung up.
I rushed around making sure I was presentable, then went downstairs and jumped into my '64 VW bus. I just loved that bus; I had found it sitting in the back of a farmer's garage. It was painted psychedelic green, purple, and yellow, with peace symbols and marijuana leaf paintings all over it. It was something left over from the free love '60s. The farmer who sold it to me had bought it new in '65 when he was a part of the new hippie generation. The farm was originally a commune, but was turned into a real working farm after the '80s rolled through, crushing everyone's buzz with reality.
The first thing I did when I got it home, was to sand it down to bare metal. Then I started from scratch with gray primer. I then applied VW red to the bottom, and bright white above the chrome line. It was the nine passenger bus, and I had to get a new 2275cc engine. The other one was frozen up due to a lack of oil. That's why it was parked and so cheap: two hundred bucks and haul it off. After my dad's mechanic got through with the motor, transmission, brakes, and suspension, I took over and did all the rest of the work, even the upholstery. I bought the car when I was sixteen. I was eighteen and in my second year of college when I finally drove it,.
As far as the apartment was concerned, my mom owned the six apartment complex; but I paid rent, just like everybody else. Of course, most of the renters were students since it was so close to the university.
Anyway, I arrived at Sterling Hall and knocked on the door to 312 fifteen minutes after Gail had hung up.
The door opened as a dark-haired woman answered my knock and said, "You must be Rob, I'm Julie Haggard and that's Brian Sorrel. Gail is down the hall and should be back shortly. Gail said you had a room for rent?"
"Yeah, I had a roommate, but he lost his job and couldn't pay the rent, so he moved back into the dorms last week. It's a second bedroom of a two bedroom apartment on the second floor over on Green Avenue, just up from Fourteenth Street. It's a six apartment complex and all the utilities are included. That includes Wi-Fi and cable. There's a big refrigerator, a small chest freezer, the stove works great, and it even has a dishwasher. There is a laundry room downstairs on the first floor. It's a quarter for the washers and two dimes for the dryers. So, are you two interested?"
Julie said, "I'd like to see it first, but yeah, it sure sounds good. Brian would be the one to move in. I don't have a job like he does."
"Brian, what do you do, and what are you studying?"
"I work over at Hardee's, and I'm trying for a computer sciences degree. I may go post grad for my masters after I finish up this year. Julie still has a couple years to go. How about you, Rob?"
.... There is more of this story ...