Here is your word of warning. There is a cuckold in this story, whether or not he remains one plays out as the story goes on. If you read the description, you can already guess where this one is headed. Once again Thanks to PapaGus and his deft hand for editing this.
The headlights of my Suburban pierce the inky night, leading me back to a place I thought I'd never see again. Bad memories lurk ahead as well as possible arrest. My ex-wife Shawna is definitely still in town as are most of our mutual friends from our marriage.
I had managed to avoid contact with anyone from my home town of Lee Oklahoma, in fact for over a full decade I have not even stepped foot in the Sooner State. I would still be cozy, snuggled up with my girl Jasmine in my house in North Platte Nebraska tonight, but my job now requires that I return home for at least three days. My name is Dean Baker, but I have always been known as Ginger.
My Aunt Tori, who raised me after my parents were imprisoned when I was two years old for their part in a plot to blow up federal buildings, loved the band Cream. She especially had a thing for their drummer Ginger Baker. Since the man who had knocked up her sister was named Baker, she made her love for me known by giving me the nick name, and once she called me Ginger at a school assembly more kids knew me as Ginger than as Dean.
I loved my aunt more than life itself and spent my youth doing everything I could to avoid disappointing her. Once when I was eight, she caught me playing with a book of matches that a friend at school had given me. She didn't kick my ass, yell, or even threaten to send me away. She sat and talked to me about what I had done. While her words didn't make any more of an impression on me than any parent's words do on any kid, the profound disappointment on her face still haunts me to this day.
A lot of the boys I grew up with thought I was a sissy for never participating in their shenanigans but I would have rather faced ridicule than risk disappointing the one person in the world who cared for me. Looking back, maybe realizing that my aunt knew I was only human would have led me down a better path.
I was also cripplingly shy. While I wasn't an ostracized nerd picked on and chased by bullies daily, I also wasn't ever seen running around with the "in" crowd. I did however have a reputation for not taking shit from anyone.
One of the best things Aunt Tori did for me was enrolling me in a martial arts class each summer. Her best friend ran the karate school and as a favor to her took me under his wing. She got a free baby sitter, and I learned self-defense and discipline. I have only used karate twice in my life. Once was when a guy in Oklahoma City tried to snatch Aunt Tori's purse, the other was when Chip Dillingworth moved to Lee from Clearwater.
Simply put, Chip was an asshole. The only people he didn't fuck with were his few jock buddies and whatever girl he was trying to screw. One night around homecoming Chip took it upon himself to single me out and try to make my life hell. Many of the other jocks just ignored me and this occasion was no different. I guess I was just no fun to abuse.
It happened when I was walking to the school to meet my class for a float building meeting. Usually I would have skipped it and just went with the flow when it came time to build. Aunt Tori had insisted that since it was my senior year I should participate more.
I was nearing the school just as football practice was letting out. All of the team ran by as if I wasn't there except Chip. Chip smacked me in the back of my head as he passed and then stopped and began yelling in my face for "being in his way."
I could see a handful of player turn around to see what was going on, and some that had been behind Chip stopped to watch. I told Chip he should watch where he was running because everyone else had managed to avoid bumping me.
Seeing his fellow players gathering, he must have felt I had insulted him. His face turned red and I think I knew what he was going to do before he did. It all seemed to happen in slow motion. He tossed his helmet aside and drew back his fist. Just as his fist started forward I heard one of the players say "Chip! Coach is coming."
Chip was already in motion. I easily sidestepped his punch and he swung in a full circle. A few players laughed and he drew back again. This time when he threw the punch I caught his wrist in my hand and used his own force to send him sprawling across the ground.
This only served to infuriate him more and he just flew at me. As he rushed me this time, I grabbed his shoulder pad and used a judo move to send him flying ass over tea kettle along the sidewalk. He landed hard enough to almost knock the air out of him. I sprung back to my feet and was upright almost before he fully came to rest.
"Fuck man! Where'd you learn to do that?" one of the guys nearby asked. That was when I made my big mistake. I looked at the guy and was about to answer him when Chip got up and threw his next punch.
I didn't have time to avoid the punch. I was going to either defend against it or get hit, and if I could help it I wasn't going to get hit.
I started both of my hands toward his wrist hoping they'd cross under his forearm and force the blow up over my head, but I misjudged his punch. It wasn't coming as fast as I thought and my hands hit his arm on either side causing his forearm to snap.
I heard a high pitched scream and someone threw up. When all was said and done his football season was done. The coaches had witnessed the whole thing and let me go.
Chip moved from Lee just before Christmas.
Soon word spread around the school and people pretty much left me alone. It didn't make me accepted or popular, but even the jack offs thought good and hard about messing with me. Unfortunately unlike in the movies, the girls didn't flock to me seeking to have me father their children.
I wasn't, and am still not, a bad looking guy. But I never had a girl in school. I know many of the girls liked what they saw and would have been with me had I the courage to ask any of them. I didn't so I was probably one of a very few virgins to graduate Lee High that year.
The two years after I graduated high school were spent working. One of my aunt's friends got me a job at the rail yard. While other guys my age were out banging quim or altering their perceptions chemically, I spent six nights a week throwing switches in the rail yard. I would work ten hours a night and then sleep all day while Aunt Tori worked her shift at the bank.
My original plan had been to work for two years and then use the money I made to go to college. In my biggest dreams I would enroll in Norman and be a Sooner. Reality meant I might stretch and reach Tulsa, but neither was to be.
I was three days away from putting in my two weeks' notice at the yard. My supervisors had been trying hard to talk me into staying on. Dale Armstrong, the big yard's big boss, finally came in early one morning and offered to send me to the local community college on the railroad's dime if I'd stay on a permanent basis. Knowing how much my aunt wanted to see me go to school and make something of myself I knew I had to talk this over with her.
Because of my meeting with Mr. Armstrong I didn't get home before Aunt Tori left for work. That meant I'd have to talk to her that evening when she got home. I had a hard time getting to sleep. My mind played over every scenario of my upcoming discussion, but I couldn't imagine any where she would be disappointed. I knew she'd help me to make the best decision for my future.
I was awakened by bells ringing. I knew it wasn't my alarm clock, but in my haze I punched the snooze button anyway. I looked at the clock and saw it was 5:00. Maybe my aunt had locked herself out. I then realized I was hearing the phone as well as the doorbell.
I jumped out of bed and headed down the hall. The phone stopped ringing as I reached for it, but the doorbell persisted. I opened the door to find Lee police officers Jim Crocker and David Brenner on my doorstep. I knew in an instant that my world had changed.
As I was meeting with Dale that morning Robert Brown, Aldon Nash, and Jennifer Day were gunning down a gas station clerk in Arkansas. Driving at break neck speed across the state used a lot of their gas, necessitating another gas station robbery. The second clerk only got his skull fractured with a pistol butt.
The trio then drove into Oklahoma but started running low on fuel again as they neared Lee. One of the trio decided that robbing gas station after gas station was no kind of existence and figured to rob a bank so that they buy gas as they went on the lam.
Two blocks from the bank the Ford Fairmont the trio were driving succumbed due the harsh treatment it had gotten all day and refused to go another foot. Nonplussed the trio headed into the bank. As they were entering the bank one of them noticed my aunt's two year old Impala in the parking lot.
After holding all of the tellers and the three customers at gun point while the cash drawers were emptied, one of them demanded to know who owned the blue Impala in the lot. Aunt Tori admitted it was hers and offered the keys. She was shot in the face for her effort.
The trio was apprehended two days later in Pueblo Colorado. After a fifteen minute shoot out at a cheap motel just off of Interstate 25, Day and Brown were in an ambulance heading for emergency surgery while Nash was being bagged in the room.
Day would die two hours later on the operating table and Brown would get 125 years in federal prison for his crimes.
The fact that Aunt Tori didn't suffer at all didn't ease my suffering at all. For my entire life I had one constant in my world and she was it. I had seen my parents once when I was 13 years old. Aunt Tori had taken me with her for their parole hearings, both were denied, and I never gave them a real thought. Aunt Tori was my mother and my father. Now she was gone and I was truly alone in the world.
The bad thing about funerals in smaller towns is every well-meaning woman decides that the bereaved don't need to cook for themselves. I had so much food that I ran out of places to put it. My appetite was low so I ended up having the church use the food that I couldn't deal with.
The parade of well-wishers was endless. People I didn't even know paid their respects and by time the funeral was over I was exhausted. I was given two weeks off of work for bereavement and told that I could have as long as I needed because they were holding my job for me.
The evening after the funeral I realized I didn't want to live in Aunt Tori's house any longer. I went to stay in a motel a few miles from work. I had all of the money I'd saved so I wasn't going to bankrupt myself by using a motel for a week or two.
Two days later I was in a lawyer's office. He informed me that since I was Tori's only living heir I would receive all of her death benefits, including a $150,000 life insurance policy that she held through the bank.
I put Aunt Tori's house up for sale and used the insurance money to buy a nice house across town from where I had lived my entire life. Since I only listed the house for $75,000, it was sold in just a couple of weeks.
Since I bought a house, I canceled my plans for going to school in Norman or Tulsa. I stayed at the rail yard and true to his word, Dale sent me to school where I learned safety practices and OSHA standards and became the safety pro for the rail yard.
School wasn't easy for me, but I managed to graduate high school with a 2.8 grade point average. In a couple of courses I spent my first two years of college taking remedial courses. One or two of the normal courses I took I found I needed the aid of a tutor.
My first tutor seemed to be pre-occupied all of the time and never made it to our sessions on time. I later learned that he was too busy trying to keep his girlfriend out of other guys' rooms to fully focus on his duties. I complained to my advisor and was assigned another tutor.
I can't say it was love at first sight. The woman who walked into the room wasn't ever going to be a centerfold or Hollywood star. She wasn't ugly by any stretch, but I am not sure too many guys would give her more than a precursory glance.
"Hi, I'm Shawna Peterson."
"Ginger Baker," I said standing to shake her hand.
"Ginger? Like the drummer?"
"Yeah. My given name is Dean but my Aunt Tori preferred Ginger and so it stuck."
For the next few weeks she was on time every day and really helped me pick my grades up. A few times after a late study session she would ask me if I wanted to go grab a bite to eat. She treated me the first time but I insisted on paying the rest of the time.
We were at a pizza joint one evening. I was eating and reading as I usually did. I found I had to study every bit I could to get through a few of my courses. Suddenly I had the feeling I was being watched. I looked around the room and saw no one looking my way. I turned back to the table to lock eyes with Shawna.
"What's wrong with me?"
"I said; 'What the fuck is wrong with me?'"
"I heard what you said, although I seem to remember less profanity, I just don't understand the scope of the question."
"Every guy I have ever been out with has either tried to fuck me afterwards, or has tried to get me to suck their cock. You and I have been out several times and you've never even tried to kiss me. Am I a repulsive troll? Do I make you sick? Are you gay?"
I was taken aback by her rant. I mentally went over every evening I'd spent with her looking for a clue that I had wronged her. Still startled I stammered out, "Um, No. I have to say no to all of your questions. Did I do something wrong? If I did I'm deeply sorry."
"You didn't do anything wrong. It's, well, you didn't do anything. I wear my sexiest clothes; I wear my most expensive perfume. The only thing I haven't done is ask you if you want to go fuck! Why don't you want to be with me, Ginger?"
I didn't know what to say. I followed her lead and we went back to her apartment and fucked all night long. I'd like to say that I came once while she came a thousand times. I'd like to say that, but I can't.
I was a virgin until that night. I had wanted sex with girls before, but I was so shy and so unsure of myself that I never made it happen. Not to mention the fact that I was deathly afraid of getting some girl pregnant and disappointing my aunt.
Shawna was as patient in bed as she was about class work. I told her I was a virgin and she led me the whole night through. We didn't do too many positions, mainly because I didn't know any.
By the time I graduated college, Shawna and I were living together. Since I owned my own home, she gave up her apartment and moved in with me. She taught me how to please her and I did all I could to see to her sexual needs.
I remember a line in an old Mathew Broderick movie. He tells the camera that his buddy is likely to marry the first woman who he lays. Well I guess I am like his friend in that respect, I ended up marrying the only woman I'd ever slept with. I knew I wasn't her first, but I knew I was going to be her last. I conveniently forgot about the second part of Mathew's line in that movie; "He's gonna marry the first woman he lays and she's gonna treat him like shit."
We married in a simple ceremony the evening before our college graduation and went to Corpus Christie Texas for our week long honeymoon. Although we had been sleeping together for a year or so, it seemed different doing it in a different bed.
As soon as I graduated and had my degree, Dale moved me into the office. George Parton, the grave yard safety coordinator was set to move into Cliff Robinson's position when Cliff retired at the end of that summer. George trained me for a month, and then we worked together until August when he went to day shift to work with Cliff for two weeks. Within a year George got moved to the Chicago office and I got the head safety job.
Three weeks after our graduation, Shawna went to work for the County Assessor's Office. She made good money and made several friends at her office. I met a few of them, they seemed nice enough, but my shyness made it hard for me to socialize with any of them unless I had met them a few times.
Over the next few months we would grow close to one couple in particular. Jason and Heather Douglas were just slightly older than Shawna and I and Heather was Shawna's best friend at work.
All summer it seemed that we would barbeque at either their house or ours. For the first few times there was always another couple or two at the get-togethers, but by early August it was just the four of us every week.
I actually got to be pretty good friends with Jason. He worked as a car salesman at a Nissan dealership and was always trying to talk me into trading my trusty old Chevy for a Nissan.
As the socializing got more frequent I began to notice a few things about Heather and Jason. The first thing that struck me was the fact that when he took her a drink or made her a plate, he'd always curtsy and call her mistress. I thought it was just him being a dick whenever she'd ask him for something, but it happened far too often.
Another thing I noticed was how she'd ask him for things. It was never "Honey would you bring" or "Jason if you wouldn't mind," it was always "Your wife requires this, or your mistress needs that." She never said "please."
On the Friday of Labor Day weekend we all got together to go to the first football game of the season for Lee High. They were playing a really tough team out of northern Texas that had stomped them a year before down there.
We got together in the parking lot before the game. There was a man with Jason and Heather who was introduced to Shawna and I as Kevin. He shook hands with Shawna and I, and Shawna said "It's so nice to finally meet you Kevin. I've heard so much."
Jason was acting odd. He didn't say much but to agree with anything Kevin or Heather said. As we were walking into the game I would have sworn I heard Jason asking for permission to sit with me, but with the crowd noise I couldn't tell for sure.
The game was the slaughter I had expected. The Texas team was up by 30 at half time. Every time they scored I swore I heard a moan out of Jason. I figured he might have some money on the game, which was stupid because Lee hadn't had a winning team in 15 years and we always got our ass handed to us by the teams out of Texas. I turned to make a comment to Jason but he was gone. I looked over and Kevin, Heather and Shawna were in conversation about something and weren't paying any attention to the game.
About five minutes before halftime was over, Jason returned carrying nachos and sodas from the concession stand. He did that weird bow/curtsey move as he handed helpings to the other three. He handed me some nachos and a soda and sat.
"Why didn't you tell me you were going to get food? I would have gone with you and paid for mine and Shawna's."
"It's no big deal," he said dismissively.
We chatted as the game wore on, but nothing eased the feeling that something was off. Shawna dismissed it when I brought it up on the ride home. "He'll be fine when come over Sunday evening. You'll see."
"So who is Kevin? I've never heard his name mentioned before."
"Oh, he's just a friend of theirs. I'm sure Jason has mentioned him a time or two."
"Not that I remember."
She changed the subject to the game. It was obvious that she didn't want to talk about Jason and Kevin, nor had she paid much attention to the game.
I worked in the yard on Saturday morning. I cut down several branches from a tree that were endangering the roof of the house and mowed the lawn. When I went in to get a glass of tea I could hear Shawna in the other room talking in hushed tones on the phone.
"No I can't demand that. He's so sexually naive that he just might get violent."
There was a pause while whomever she was talking to said their piece. "Let's just do it like we talked about. Don't make him hide it this time. It'll pique Ginger's curiosity."
I slipped back outside wondering what was going on. What did my lack of sex experience have to do with anything? After all, I learned from her so if I was sexually inadequate it was on her. I decided I'd keep an eye open for a while until I figured out what she was up to.
After we had supper Shawna informed me she was going out for the evening. I had thought that she was dressed nice for me. "Oh?" I said. "What are you going to do?"
"Heather and I were going to meet a friend of hers and have a few drinks. Nothing too big."
"Is Jason going?"
"No. Heather said he didn't feel like going out, he wasn't feeling too well I guess."
I was suspicious about this sudden girls' night out, but I had no reason to object. She put the dishes in the dishwasher and told me she'd be home by 10. At 7:00, Heather pulled up in the drive and honked her horn. Shawna kissed me quickly and headed out the door.
Around 8:30 I called Jason to see if he was feeling better, and to see if he knew anything about this girls' night out. The phone rang for over a minute before I hung up. On the TV the Oklahoma Sooners were beating the snot out of some school from back east, but I wasn't paying much attention.
I tried Jason again a bit after nine and got no answer. At 9:30 I heard a car pull up the drive. A moment later, Shawna came in and joined me in front of the TV.
Before I could ask her about her night, she pulled my pants down and began sucking my cock. When she was turned on she was known to ride me like I was a hobby horse. I don't know what had her so worked up that night, but it was two in the morning before she finally went to bed.
I had out lasted my personal best that evening. I came four times, and only went soft once. I lost count of the number of orgasms Shawna had. I slept quite well that night and didn't wake up until nine.
I spent Sunday afternoon drinking a few beers and getting my grill ready to cook. Heather and Jason were due to show up at five so I figured I'd start the coals about 4:30. Shawna spent the day getting the food ready as usual, but it seemed she was pre-occupied with something. I caught her just staring off into space on several occasions.
Around five I was throwing the burgers on the grill when I heard Jason's car pull into the drive. I heard Shawna go out to greet them. I wasn't sure but I thought I heard more voices. I was a bit surprised to see Kevin come around the corner of the house with his arm around Heather, followed by Jason who was wearing the most ridiculous outfit I have ever seen any sane person wear.
Heather was dressed in casual shorts and a nice sleeveless blouse and her usual summer sandals. Kevin was wearing a polo shirt and a pair of khaki shorts and a pair of jogging shoes. I was dressed normally as was Shawna.
Jason on the other hand wore some sort of frilly pink and white sleeveless blouse that had been cut into a crop top, a pair of "Daisy Duke" cut off shorts that had seen far better days, and a pair of flip flops with baby blue frills on them.
Everyone seemed to be watching me as Jason walked onto the patio three steps behind Heather and Kevin. If we had been in high school he would have been beaten already and laughed out of the building. If this had been any public building he would have been shown the door until he could dress properly.
But this was my house and I wasn't going to say anything about his choice of clothes. Maybe he was going to a shitty costume party later. I didn't care, he was an adult and could wear a bed sheet and swim fins if he so pleased.
I could feel the stares boring into my back as I turned back to the grill. I put the last of the meat on and turned and offered Jason and Kevin a beer. Kevin replied that he'd love a beer and Jason didn't say anything.
I turned to go to the kitchen to grab some beers when Kevin cleared his throat. As soon as he did Jason spoke up. "No Ginger. Please allow me to get the beers."
I gave him a puzzled look and said, "Suit yourself guy."
As he was heading toward the door I heard him ask Kevin and Heather if he could have a beer. I almost turned said something, but I figured I'd catch hell later for being rude, and rude Ginger usually ended up quite horny before Shawna would forgive and forget.
When Jason came back out with the beer, he bowed to Kevin as he handed him the opened bottle. Heather reached over and patted his head as he did this. He then came toward me. He bowed as he handed me a beer.
"Don't bow dude. That just looks wrong," I said just loud enough for him to hear.
"I have to or my mistress will be displeased."
"This is weird man. Way weird."
He turned and looked at Heather. I turned back to the grill and he sidled up beside me. Within a few minutes Shawna announced that she needed to run to the store to pick up a couple of things she'd forgotten the day before. Heather and Kevin volunteered to go with her and I said I'd slow the cooking down.
Jason said nothing and I suddenly got the feeling that this little trip to the store was planned in advance. Shawna never forgets things at the store or anywhere.
"So what's the deal man? Why are you dressed that way and why do you bow and refer to your wife as your mistress?"
"I am a cuckold Ginger."
He looked embarrassed, "Yeah. I am a willing cuckold."
"Is that like a Pollock or a Slav or some race like that?"
He chuckled a little as if I'd said something funny. "No, it's not a race, it's a "calling in life" if you will. Some folk are preachers because of a calling, I am a cuckold."
"So what exactly does a cuckold do besides run errands and curtsey?"
"A cuckold does what his mistress asks of him. He obeys his bull."
"Bull? Mistress? What in the heck are you talking about man? You used to be normal and now you're acting weird and dressing like a deranged Easter clown."
He gave an exasperated sigh. "OK Ginger. A cuckold is a man who allows other men to have sex with his wife. The man who has sex with the wife is called the bull. The cuckold gets to watch if he has pleased his mistress. Sometimes if he's really been good he gets to clean her out after."
I wasn't sure if I had actually heard what I thought I had heard. It seemed so foreign to me and so wrong. I thought about how bad it must suck to watch another man in bed with your wife.
"I love being a cuckold. Don't feel bad for me I ENJOY what I do for my mistress and our bull."
"Jesus jumpin' catfish! Do you mean to tell me that Kevin beds Heather while you watch and you have to bow and scrape to him like a slave?"
"Yes. I love it that way. He can please her in ways I could never fathom. He has a much bigger dick than I do and she loves it."
I decided right then I wanted to distance myself from these sick people. I just didn't know how. Shawna would want to know why and I couldn't tell her what her best friend was really like.
Therefore I decided to just keep my mouth shut. I guess it didn't really make Jason a different person; the only difference I could see might be having to invite Kevin everywhere too.
The food was done by time they got back from the store. I wasn't looking forward to an awkward dinner with my new unwanted knowledge. I didn't think I could look Heather in the eye anymore. I was saved by a ringing telephone.
The office and clerical staff at the rail yard worked different types of shifts. The office side; the account people, the managers, and safety people only worked a five day week, while the clerks and dispatchers had to cover twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. There were always a minimum of three clerks in the office.
The tracks were managed from a tower but the electronic switching system only worked about half of the time, requiring two switch operators to be out in the yard at all times. With an average of five trains an hour moving through the yard these guys had to be on their toes constantly.
On the weekends should any office personnel be needed, there is an on call rotation. This was my weekend to be on call for safety. There had been an accident requiring one of the safety professionals to investigate. While I was sickened by the thought that someone had been injured, I was glad for the opportunity to leave this party early.
I hung up the phone and tuned to find Shawna in the room. "Who was that?"
"It was work. There's been an accident and I have to go investigate."
"Can't someone else do it?"
"Nope. My weekend on call, I'll be back in a while."
I went upstairs and changed into more work suitable clothing and then I headed for the yard.
When I got to the yard, the ambulance had already departed for the hospital. The switchman had not been paying attention and had been hit in the head by a coupler handle on a passing rail car. He'd been bloodied and need a few stitches. The ambulance ride was mainly precautionary.
I did all of the paperwork and took all of the pictures and gave the ok for the trains to roll again. By the time I had everything finished, the switchman returned from the Emergency Room and I was able to interview him and get all of the paperwork done and faxed to the head office in Nebraska.
I looked at the clock and realized that I had only been at the office for three hours and the shin dig at my house might not be over with. I decided I would rather not be around Jason and Heather so I went to a small roadhouse for supper and a few beers. The place was busy enough that I could sit at a table by myself and not worry about anyone wanting to talk.
By midnight I had consumed two burger plates and several beers. I hoped Shawna would be in bed asleep already so I wouldn't have to make an excuse for beer on my breath. I paid my tab and made my way to my truck. The trip home took a little longer than usual, about four side streets and three alleyways longer but I made it home without any contact with law enforcement officials.
I went in to the dark house and crept upstairs and slid into bed. Shawna made some sort of noise and then rolled into my back and resumed her snoring. I tried to sleep for a while. My mind kept running over Jason's revelation. I was kind of disgusted.
I was disgusted that Heather would have another man in her bed, and disgusted that Jason not only knew it, but he watched and slaved for them. Sleep and alcohol finally took me and it was a blessed divorce from my thoughts.
On Labor Day Monday, I cleaned up after the party that I had missed. There wasn't a lot to clean, but I managed to make the work last. Around noon Shawna came out and asked about the accident. I told her that the paperwork had been a bear but the guy would be just fine.
Shawna seemed to be past whatever had been pre-occupying her for the past couple of days and our lives slid back to normal. We enjoyed a quiet evening at home and returned to work the next morning.
Somehow we managed to avoid going anywhere with Heather and Jason and/or Kevin. The one time they called to set something up I was fighting some sort of illness that was making the rounds. Shawna spent the occasional evening out with Heather but I didn't see Jason at all.
One morning in mid-October I found Shawna reading through a booklet containing apartment rental listings. I didn't think much of it until a week later when she approached me.
"What would you think if I asked you if we could sell your house and get us an apartment a little closer to my work?"
"Why would we want to do that?"
"Because this isn't OUR house. It's yours. You bought it long before we met and I feel like it's not mine no matter how much you ALLOW me to decorate. I want someplace we both can call ours. A place WE choose. A place where I will feel equally invested."
While her reasons made sense on one level, I felt like there was a hidden agenda behind it all. I balked at the idea. After the first week of sleeping on the couch I offered to have her name put onto the deed so that legally the house would be hers as well as mine. The ensuing screaming fit that followed that offer had me retreating to a motel for a couple of nights.
I came home from work a few days later to find Shawna sitting in the kitchen. I was anticipating another night of silence and the couch. As I put a frozen dinner in the microwave she said those words that every man dreads. "We need to talk."
I didn't say anything right away. I retrieved my dinner and sat down. "Ok, you are speaking to me now. What do we talk about? More demands that I sell a place that is paid for so we can go back to throwing away money every month?"
"No more demands. I am going to talk to a lawyer in the morning."
"A lawyer? For what?"
"I want a divorce Ginger. You obviously don't care if I am happy or not so I don't see a need for us to stay together."
How can you say I don't care? I have always done everything in my power to see that you're happy. In fact this is the very first time I have ever even thought about declining your requests."
"YOU SELFISH BASTARD!!" she screamed with such venom that I was sure I'd be killed before the next words flew out of her mouth, "You are the most selfish asshole I know! You selfishly sold your aunt's house because you didn't want to face the fact she was dead. You now want me to spend the rest of my life in a house that I had no say in its purchase. So I'll just ask for a divorce and you can live here all happy like in your hidey hole on the fringe of civilization all by your selfish self."
Her words stung me badly. I asked myself if I would rather have her or the house. Reluctantly I came to the conclusion that I'd rather have her in my life than out of it. "Fine. I'll call Clay in the morning and tell him to list the house. You mean more to me than the house does. I'm sorry I was selfish."
When I look back I realize that there was an inner voice telling me I was making a big mistake. In a way I made a huge mistake. In another way it was the best thing I could have done.
I went back to the real estate agent who had helped me sell Aunt Tori's house and find this one. He cautioned me to be sure I was doing the right thing, but listed the house. By Halloween we were showing the house, and by Thanksgiving I had an offer on it.
We spent Christmas that year in an apartment surrounded by boxes. By New Year's Eve we were unpacked and settling in nicely. Our sex lives improved and I fully believed that I had made her completely happy.
I kept thinking about what I was going to plan for Valentine's Day. I sat with the Yellow Pages for an hour one evening trying to decide which restaurant would be the most romantic. I had thought about buying her jewelry, but she rarely wore any. I finally decided I'd get a special bouquet of orchids and roses made for her.
On the morning of the day I was going to call for our dinner reservations Shawna and I were having breakfast. "Don't make plans for Valentine's Day. I have a special evening planned for you."
I was like a kid before Christmas that entire week. I bought her a few things like chocolates and the flower bouquet I had planned on, plus I bought a golden "key to my heart" pendant that she could wear on a chain if she wished to.
I stashed the key in my truck so she wouldn't find it before our Valentine's evening. I planned on giving it to her after her plan was concluded, just to show her that I had moved past selling my house.
I got home Valentine's evening to find that Shawna had served a candlelight dinner of prime rib and shrimp scampi, two of my favorite dishes. Even though I've never been much of a wine connoisseur, I have to admit she picked up a really good wine to go with dinner. Little did I know that after a sweaty sex session that night I'd end up returning the key pendant the next day.
During dinner that night we were talking as we usually did as we ate. Several times she talked about Heather; never any mention of Kevin or Jason though. It was always about how good Heather had looked at the office, "She was positively glowing," Shawna had said, or how happy and content Heather seemed to be. I never responded to her Heather blurbs. I honestly didn't care what the sickos were up to in Pervovania.
The only time I said anything during the whole Heater-rama was when she asked me what I thought Heather and Jason were doing at the moment. "Probably Heather and Kevin are making Jason dance in a pretty pink tutu while they fuck in front of him." I thought to myself. "No clue," was my terse response. Shawna got an annoyed look on her face but finally let the subject drop.
Later as we lay in the afterglow, Shawna laid her head on my chest and began running her fingers through my chest hair. "Do you wish I was a better lover?"
I couldn't believe she asked me that. "What makes you think that you aren't a fantastic lover?"
"Well, I just haven't had a lot of experience. I've had one other serious lover and a one night fling. I just wonder if I could learn more to please you more."
"I couldn't ask for better honey. I love you the way you are."
"Haven't you ever wondered about what it's like to be with someone else?"
"No. Why would I?"
"It's human nature. Every guy wonders what it would be like to have sex with Miss. January, or Jenna Jameson."
"I don't. I am completely satisfied with you Shawna."
"How can you know that? How can you know that I'm not the worst lover on the face of the earth?"
"It doesn't matter. I love you, and I love everything we do."
"I want to learn more and be a better lover for you Ginger. I know I have tons more to learn."
"Do you want to buy a book? We could buy you a computer and some internet."
She let out an exasperated sigh. "Ginger, do you know what really turns me on? Do you know what really gets me so hot I have to fuck your brains out the first second I can?"
"I'm hoping the answer is my love for you, but I have a sinking feeling that isn't it."
"You are so sweet and loving Ginger, but you aren't the only thing that gets me going. I know that you know about Jason and Heather's arrangement. I know you have avoided them vehemently since he told you." She took a deep breath. "Ginger, I get so turned on by the idea of you watching me get fucked by another man that I can't stand it."