Hi Folks. For those of you who didn't like the ending of last week's story, I'm sorry. But you have to remember that these are only stories. You may not like the way they end, but they are fiction. No real people ever die in them. Anyway if you didn't like the way last week's story ended you probably won't like this one either. I also made a terrible word choice in last week's story. I just wanted to let the person who told me about it know that I will not do that again and to thank them for opening my eyes to how hurtful it could be. Lastly I want to thank Mikothebaby for going beyond the call of duty in helping to get this story ready. I've said ti before but it bears saying again. Without her I couldn't do this. SS06.
Remember when we were younger and all of the stories started out with ... Once upon a time? Well my story does too. Once upon a time, I was in my driveway on a bright sunny November day washing my 2008 Bullitt Mustang. There are guys who like to relax by playing a round of golf and others who like to just take a nap, but for me, washing the car relaxed me and let my mind sort out the answers to my problems. I was living on borrowed time and I knew it. The strange thing was that what I thought I knew and what was about to happen were two different things.
The weather man had predicted that this late fall warm snap we'd been experiencing might last for another week or two. That would give me at least seven to fourteen additional days of driving the Bullitt. Following that though, I'd have to put her away for the winter and drive my jeep.
I had all of my favorite Turtle Wax Ice products arranged on my cart and was just about to finish up the interior and then start on the outside, when a car driving erratically moved down my street and lurched to a stop in front of my house.
I recognized the driver, or at least the person behind the wheel as my wife's mother, Judy. She got out of the car leaving it on an angle in the middle of the street and ran up my driveway. As she got close, I noticed the tears in her eyes and she threw herself at me. She buried her head in my chest and started crying her eyes out.
"Come on Judy," I said softly. "Let's get you inside the house and you can tell us all about it." I walked her inside the house and sat her down at the kitchen table.
"He's such an asshole," she cried.
"Judy, would you like something to drink?" I asked.
"Do you have any tea?" she asked between sobs. I nodded and got her a cup and started the tea.
"Judy, give me your keys so I can move your car out of the street before someone hits it," I said. She handed me the keys and I moved her into the living room where she'd be more comfortable. I yelled upstairs and called for my wife Penny to come down.
I slipped out the back door and moved Judy's Accord into the driveway behind my Mustang but not too close to it. I didn't want my car getting pissed at me. When I got back in the kitchen, the tea was ready, so I took it and a tray with sugar and milk and a big piece of the chocolate cake that Judy had brought over herself the day before, into the living room.
I put the tray down in front of Judy. I looked at the two women sitting there with their heads together and was astounded. Every time I saw the two of them together it was shocking. They looked more like sisters than mother and daughter. Penny, at twenty five and her mother, Judy, at forty three years of age looked almost identical. Of course, if you looked closely enough Judy had a few lines on her face and if you caught her between salon sessions you might see a gray hair or two, but the resemblance was uncanny.
If you looked deeper the tables turned though, because Judy ran every day and her muscle tone was actually better than her sedentary daughter's and she was a few pounds trimmer as well. Both women were on the taller side and kind of willowy. I'd say Judy's boobs were a little bigger, but Penny's were perkier. Nine times out of ten, you'd have to call the contest a draw.
"Thank you Donnie," sobbed Judy. "Pen, you're so lucky to have HIM. You'll probably never have to worry about finding out that your husband is cheating on you AGAIN," she said.
I was shocked. I couldn't believe that Ed, Pen's dad would cheat on Judy. For her age or any age, she was hot. She was also the most caring person I knew. I wished that her daughter's personality was as nice as hers. I knew that Penny loved me, but she was kind of spoiled. I guess though when you came right down to it, I'd caused that.
I started to walk away but Judy grabbed my hand. "Donnie, you're part of the family too," she said. "And I want to talk to you."
"Okay, Judy," I said.
"Why?" she asked me. "Why does he do this?"
"Why does he do what?" I asked.
"What is it about you men, that just makes it necessary for you to cheat?" she asked. I started to feel uncomfortable.
"Mom, when I was in college we learned that men are genetically predisposed to spread their seed to as many willing fertile females as possible. Maybe Dad has an abundance of predisposition. Maybe it's not his fault. Men are just born that way. And maybe some women are too. Society even laughs and looks the other way when men do it. They say he's virile or a ladies man, but when a woman does it she's a slut," said Penny.
"I'm not talking about men in general," said Judy. "I'm talking about your father, who swore to be faithful to me and love me and he keeps..."
"Mom, you know that Daddy loves you," interrupted Penny. "He loves you more than anything else in the world. But he just has that need to spread his seed. You can't fight nature. All you can do is to try to work with it."
"When he married me, he swore to put my needs and our marriage in front of nature," said Judy. The sound of the doorbell ended the conversation, at least temporarily.
"I've got it," I said, happy for a chance to get away from the painful and emotionally charged situation. It wasn't that I didn't care. I liked both of Penny's parents, but all I wanted to do was to wash my car.
As I opened the door I came face to face with Penny's dad, Ed. He looked like a dog that had been kicked. Ed was about 5'4" and stocky with a balding pate and what appeared to be a single eyebrow that managed to span his forehead. Why a guy that looked like him was even with Judy, let alone married to her was a subject that was better left in the hands of sci-fi authors, because it made no sense. But for that same guy to cheat on her made even less.
"Hi, Don," he said softly. "I uhm ... saw Judy's car in the driveway. Is she here?"
"They're in the living room," I said. I pointed the way and he walked in slowly. I went out the door that he'd just come in, shaking my head.
I picked up the hose and started to hose down my car to remove any loosed particles of dirt and debris from the finish before I soaped it up and washed it.
I was just getting into to it and telling the car how nice she was going to feel when she was squeaky clean and waxed again when I heard a giggling from behind me. Just as I started to turn my head to see who it was two slim arms wrapped around my waist. A head full of brown hair fell onto my shoulder.
"Donnie, do you love me?" she asked.
"Of course I do, Penny; you already know that," I said.
"Well, I'm having a family crisis here, Honey," she said. "I need some help. I need you to grill some steaks and help me talk mom down off the ledge. This time they really might be heading for a divorce."
"He's done this before?" I asked.
"Several times," said Penny. "The two of them love each other so much, but they keep going through this. I can tell that Daddy is really serious about stopping this time. He even suggested that they get help. All the other times, he kept talking about how he didn't need a shrink playing with his head, but he's finally realized that maybe he can't quit on his own. And my mom knows that he loves her. None of those other women ever meant shit to him, it was just sex. But she seems to have drawn a line in the sand."
"Maybe she should do more than that," I said.
"What do you mean?" asked Penny.
"Look Honey, they're both adults. They're older than we are. They know that they have to be responsible for their own actions and the results of the choices they make. So maybe if your mom had refused to put up with this a long time ago, she wouldn't be going through this now. And maybe if she had, your dad would have realized that if he continued to do it, that in the end it would cost him."
"I don't get you, Honey," said Penny.
"Okay, let me put it simply," I said. "If I were your mom, the first time I caught him cheating on me, I'd have divorced him. I heard what you were trying to tell her about his nature and all of that, but to me it's just a load of bullshit. It's like you were making an excuse for what he was doing. And he needs to realize that every time he goes out and does it, that there's a chance that he'll lose his wife and his family."
Penny looked at me as if she was shocked. Then she set her lip and it quivered. I knew that she was going into her fight, flight or tears response.
I watched as she said nothing and then the tears came out. I wrapped my arms around her and told her to calm down. I'd do anything she wanted.
.... There is more of this story ...