Thanks to Dave T for his tireless efforts to edit my tales into something readable (despite my changes after he is done). Any and all errors are mine.
"Forgive your Enemies, but remember the Bastards names" -Famous Political Saying
"I cannot help what my feelings are!" I snapped, as steam came out of my ears.
My friend Shelly just smirked as she cleaned off some glasses before wiping down the bar top, like the stereotypical bartender she was.
We were in Shelly's bar, "The Jim", named after her deceased husband. His running joke was the customers could honestly say they were at 'The Jim', or going to 'The Jim'. It was a little corner establishment Shelly and Jim had bought and fought to keep solvent. The hours had driven Shelly's husband into an early grave. Shelly had used the life insurance money to pay off most of the loan, and turned her grief into keeping the bar as a tribute to her late husband.
"OK Barb," Shelly said while refilling my wine glass. "Let me see if I got this right. You are not pissed that your husband Dean slept with someone else. You are pissed off at who the girl is?"
I took a sip of my drink before answering. "Do you blame me Shelly? Have you seen HER?"
'Her', the lady in question was named Marge. An overweight, chain smoking, loudmouth, bottle redhead. Marge worked as a that middle level manager in some useless redundant government agency, whose job was creating paperwork for another useless redundant government agency.
Shelly put some more glasses into the sink. "You do realize Barb that this encounter between Marge and Dean, was long before you and Dean ever met."
I looked around the bar, it was pretty empty, save some guys playing pool in the back room. "Who cares Shelly, I mean seriously, look at me."
I got off the barstool and did a twirl, showing of my four times a week yoga class body before sitting down, "And compare this body to that ... uhg ... her." I said, making a face as a mental image of Marge crossed my mind. "It is just not ... normal."
Shelly threw a towel over her shoulder. "Normal is a setting on the dryer. So your hubby Dean traded up by marrying you. I do not understand why that bothers you?"
"What if it wasn't him that traded up?" I asked "I found out Marge and Dean were together for over a year. What if Marge broke up with Dean? That means I would be settling for a Marge reject. That makes me want to hurl!"
"Barb, again, WHO CARES. One person's trash is another person's treasure. Marge's loss is your gain, yada, yada, yada."
"Easy for you to say Shelly. You do not have to have sex with a man who stuck his pickle into Marge's pickle barrel for over a year."
Shelly leaned on the bar with a grin on her face. "Maybe Marge had a few bedroom tricks that kept Dean coming back. Maybe you girls should get together and swap 'recipes'?"
I almost gagged on my drink. "I will have you know that no one who was in my 'kitchen', EVER went away anything but fully satisfied, and certainly were always hungry for more!"
Shelly just raised her eyebrows.
I looked around before answering. "I may not be some vestal virgin, but I am not some dirty gutter slut either!"
Shelly laughed and clapped me on the shoulder. "Sex is only dirty if done right."
I knew my face was bright red as I shook off Shelly. "Please, this is serious! I am not happy about this!"
Shelly shook her head. "Sex, the thing that takes the least amount of time and causes the most amount of trouble."
I ignored her remark as I ran a finger around the rim of my glass "It just seems so hard to see the future with Dean, when his past with that skank Marge is in his history."
Shelly shook her head at me. "Barb you ever hear the expression. 'The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.'"
She then got a somber look on her face. "We have known each other since grade school, been thru a lot. But remember what my grandmother used to tell us. 'Happiness is simple. Someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to.'"
Now, I smiled at the memory of that old lady. "Yeah, but wasn't she also the one who said 'Marriage is between a man, and a women who is not too picky' ".
We both laughed a little when I felt a presence to my left. Suddenly Dean plopped down on the barstool next to me. He had a bag from the hardware store in his left hand.
"Hi Beautiful" Dean said, giving me a kiss.
Shelly made a face. "I thought you were talking to me."
Dean grinned and easily pulled himself up and over the bar, doing a modified full gainer, landing behind Shelly. He immediately began smothering her neck with sloppy kisses.
"Showoff" I said, sipping my drink with a smile, while silently admiring my husband's acrobatics.
Shelly pretended to fight off his advances. "What do you expect from an old Olympic gymnast."
Dean grabbed the bar rail and vaulted back across the bar into the seat next to me. "Ah, you ladies are too kind. But we all know I had to drop out before the end of Olympic Team tryouts, and that was a long, long time ago."
"You did not have to drop out." Shelly finished, "You chose to drop out to help your parents."
"Tomato, tamato." Dean said. "Same thing, I was never on the Olympic team." He then lifted my wine glass. "The house white?"
Shelly pulled the bottle from under the bar, showing the label to Dean before refilling my glass. "Wine is like duct tape for women, it fixes everything."
Dean grinned as he put his arm around me.
"Ugh!" I exclaimed pushing him away. "You smell like sawdust, go clean up before you get me all woody."
Dean rolled off the barstool, but not before giving me a tickle. "Speaking of 'woody' don't forget tonight's date night."
"What are you guys doing?" Shelly asked.
I rolled my eyes. "Watching a DVD."
Dean held up his finger. "Not just any DVD. Tonight is classic movie night, with the director's cut of 'The Wizard of Oz'. The ultimate chick action flick, where two women fight to the death over a pair of shoes."
I shoved him toward the men's room. "Fine Paul Bunyan, now please go wash off some of that timber before woodland creatures come in looking for a place to nest."
There was only the clicking sound of the pool balls in the background as I saw Shelly linger on Dean's sleek figure while he walked to the other side of the building. As Dean moved out of sight Shelly snapped her towel at me. "Goddammit Barb, you should be sending Marge thank you letters every Christmas for cutting Dean loose, instead of worrying about some ancient history those two had before you were even on the scene."
"He is not perfect you know." I countered defensively. "I can't count how many times Dean leaves the toilet seat up, and besides being Marge's cast off, the man has a cat as a pet. What kind of man has a cat as a pet?"
Shelly gave me an odd look. "What is wrong with a pet? I wish I was half the person my dog thinks I am."
I ignored her. "And who names their cat 'Tom'? Come on!"
Shelly was astounded "You don't like Tom the cat? I love that big black cat! He is biggest damn cat I ever saw, like a mini panther. Yet that crazy cat Tom has the personality of a dog."
"Wonderful" I spat. "Dean and Tom have been together forever. Maybe Tom the cat can teach Dean to get a real job. Dean hasn't had a steady job in the five years we have been married. He has never put his business degree to work."
Shelly gave me a strange look. "You are kidding, right? People from other countries send their wooden antiques to Dean for restoration."
"Ah, sure, but it is embarrassing at our office parties when Dean says he whittles wood. I hate the impression that he is like some hillbilly lumberjack. He could be on the fast track and halfway to upper management by now if he wanted. But No, Dean wants to stay home and play in the garage."
"Barb, I have seen Deans' garage. It is workshop better equipped than most woodworking TV shows."
"It's my garage." I snapped. "Part of Grandpas house he left me when my parents died."
"Didn't Dean completely redo all the wood floors in the house?"
"Plus all the moldings and entrances."
"And the front porch, steps and trim?"
"Not to mention the fireplace" Shelly said, as she reached down under the bar and pulled out a magazine, plopping a glossy full double page spread in front of me.
"Barb isn't that you on the curved staircase that Dean rebuilt from scratch in 'National Home magazine'?"
"OK, OK Shelly, but I was the one who had to put up with all the dust."
"Oh Boo hoo, and now your home is in the County Historic Registry. Before Dean you were getting letters from city code enforcement."
"Well if Dean had taken any of the offers he had out of school we could have been making big money and paid someone to do that kind of work. You don't know what it is like to have only one steady income ... just MINE. It is not a situation that leaves me too happy."
Shelly rolled her eyes "I think Groucho Marx once said, 'What good is happiness? It can't buy money.'"
I took another drink of my wine. "Seriously Shelly, having Dean being Marge's reject along with his limited earning is not exactly the key to my happiness."
"What Barb? You think if you Dean made enough money and you were not happy you could have the key to happiness made?" Shelly shook her head. "Seriously Barb? My God, did your mother have any children that lived? Do you know how antique restoration, and cash work? You have any payments on that new Lexus you bought up last year?"
"Well no," I stuttered. "Dean paid for the whole car after I picked it out."
Shelly put away the magazine. "Having a lot of money does not mean you are special. Most of the time it means you were lucky."
Swirling the wine around my glass I couldn't help saying. "Easy for you to say. The last time I saw Dean in a suit was at Moms funeral. Damn guy lives in faded denim jeans.
Shelly stretched as she put some glasses on the top shelf. "Men in denim built this country. It's the assholes in suits who are destroying it."
Just then Dean sat down next to me. "So what are my two stunning gals chatting about?"
Shelly turned toward Dean. "Tell me boyfriend, how much dough your little lumber shop make last year?"
A look of surprise crossed Dean's face. "You mean reported income?" He laughed. "A gentlemen never talks money, or about his ladies."
Shelly turned toward me, but addressed Dean. "We were just talking about your wife's new Lexus. How about you, did you trade in that old pick-up truck yet?"
Dean gave Shelly a look. "Why? It may be 15 years old, but except for a bit of rust she runs great."
I tried to change the subject. "Speaking of ladies you were with, Marge is now head of the neighborhood homeowners association."
"That's nice." Dean said absentmindedly, while picking up a bar food menu. "Shelly is the fryer up?"
Just then one of the guys playing pool motioned an empty beer bottle and held up 5 fingers. Shelly broke away to fill the order leaving Dean and me alone.
"Dean did you hear what I said?"
Dean turned a page of the bar menu. "Sure Barb, You said Marge is head of the Homeowners Association now. Should not bother us, the house is in great shape."
"Don't you care?"
Dean put down the menu and looked at me quizzically. "What? Do I care if the house is in great shape?"
"No you fool." I slapped him with the menu, "about Marge!"
Now Dean looked really confused. "What about Marge?"
"God, you men are so thick." I sighed. "You and she..."
"Me and her, what?" Dean asked.
"You guys used to date." I used my fingers to make quote marks around 'Date'
Dean shook his head. "Yeah, Marge and I dated before I met you, so? And you used to date Mister All American High School quarterback before me. That reminds me, can you call him tomorrow and check on our car insurance. I want to increase the coverage on your Lexus."
"There is a difference Dean. Mister All American High School sells us insurance now, is married with 2.5 kids and a picket fence you helped him put in." I said.
Dean got a smile on his face. "Oh I see, you want the 2.5 kids! That's wonderful Barb! You know I have been bugging you to start a family. Don't worry about your job, I have orders two years out. You can always go back to work after ... Barb? Barb?"
Dean was talking to my back as I stomped off my barstool and out of the bar.
Things were cool around the house the next few days. A confused Dean gave me space and stayed in his stupid 'workshop' working on another one of his stupid projects. Shelly told me I was being a fool, even going so far as to say "Too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person".
But I could not help the way I felt. I mean honestly, who wants someone else's leftovers? Which is why I was sitting in Marge's house to see if I could get the real story.
"You sure you don't want a beer Barb?" Marge said as she plopped her pant suited rear in a lazyboy chair, with a cigarette in one hand and store brand beer can in the other.
"Um, no thanks Marge." I replied sitting on the edge of her sofa trying not to touch anything.
Looking around Marge's house I could not believe she was in charge of anything that required taste. Her decor was done in early 60's trailer park with lion and leopard prints on every wall, rug and picture.
"Suit yourself." Marge shrugged while popping open the beer in her hand. A small dog jumped into her lap. She petted the animal making kissing sounds. "I tell you Barb, if there aren't any dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."
Marge continued to talk to the dog before she addressed me. "Some people talk to animals, not many listen, that's the problem."
I tried not to retch and her smoke was making my eyes water. "Marge I am surprised you still smoke, you know working for the government with all its anti-tobacco regulations."
Marge blew a puff of smoke into the air. "It has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that smoking is the leading cause of statistics."
I tried to join her in a small laugh before launching into generic homeowner questions, figuring to work into the real reason for my visit later in the conversation. However, Marge beat me to it.
"Does Dean still got that big ole black-assed cat Tom?"
I shivered before answering. "Yes Marge, Dean still owns Tom the cat."
Marge took a chug of beer. "Hell, no one owned that damn cat. Tom came and went as he pleased." She took another swig from the can. "Did Dean tell you we used to bump uglies, way back when that other guy was president? I don't think you were around then."
"Yes, Dean mentioned you two used to date."
Marge slapped her thigh. "Date? Hell we humped like bunnies for over a year. I kinda hated to throw that one back."
I tried not to show my surprise. "You broke up with Dean? Why?"
Marge shrugged before taking another drink. "He wasn't my type. Sure he was a real nice guy, kinda good looking, sorta skinny for my tastes, but funny, great in the sack mostly and all. Dean's just not something I wanted to settle for."
I tried to keep calm, but inside my mind was seething as I thought, "Settle for! Not your type!" I composed myself before asking in a non- confrontational way "Really? Dean do something to make you break up?"
Marge shrugged again before answering. "Nope, nothing like that. I am sure he is fine for someone like you, but Dean just didn't fit the kind of man I was looking for."
I let out a nervous laugh, because inside I wanted to explode. "Wow Marge, you must be looking for superman."
Grinning behind her beer, Marge chortled "Well a man of steel is good to have around, if you know what I mean." She crushed the beer can before setting it in the wastebasket near her chair. "And as much as I would love for us two hens to keep going on down memory lane about old boyfriends we kicked to the curb, I gotta get diner ready. Now Barb you had some homeowner questions for me?"
I swallowed my bile, and wondered if Marge could see the steam rising from my ears as I pulled a folder from my purse.
The meeting with Marge actually made my bad mood worse. Dean grew a brain in his head, finally getting the message I did not wish to talk. He gave me space, immersing himself in his workshop and his volunteer kids football league coaching gig. Tonight, Dean was on a two day trip which is why I was at 'The Jim' sitting at the bar with Shelly as she cleaned glasses.
The bar had a few patrons, normal for weekday evening, although a table filled with suits was making a lot of noise.
"Where is your acrobat at?" Shelly asked pouring me a glass of red wine.
I took a sip before answering. "Dean took his stupid truck to pick up some stupid wooden piece of crap some stupid guy with more money than brains wants returned to 'original condition'. If these people have so much money why not buy new stuff? What is the thrill of paying ten times the price and having some old hand me down piece of shit, when you can have nice new pieces?"
Shelly shook her head. "You talking about Dean, a la Marge, or Dean's latest assignment?"
"Both, either, neither, I don't know. It is all so depressing."
Shelly threw a towel over her shoulder. "You want some cheese to go with that whine?" She rolled her eyes. "Life is not about where you think you're going; it's about the experiences you get along the way. Dean is an awesome nice guy, so cut out the white whine."
I looked down at my glass. "Shelly, I have the house red."
Shelly reached across the bar and gave me a fake smack on the cheek. "White WHINE you fool, not white wine. You know, first world problems. Like not being able to find the remote control to the TV, your Starbucks coffee being too cold, or an email attachment taking too long to download. The kinda shit problems poor people around the world would love to have, as opposed to say ... finding clean water or medicine for their sick kid with the hospital 200 miles away-which they can't pay for anyway."
I recoiled back. "Just because my problems are not as bad as others, does not mean I don't have any problems."
"Yes, it does" Shelly responded with a hint of anger in her voice. "You are a member of the 'Lucky Sperm Club' to be where you are. A good job, fine health, a husband that loves you, need I go on? I would set fire to everything I own in a heartbeat to have twenty minutes with my late husband. You were born on third base, stop thinking you hit a triple!"
I was stunned by Shelly's tirade but she was on a roll. "Look Barb, you don't get to be the bride at every wedding, corpse at every funeral, and baby at every baptism."
Now I was feeling insulted and was about to retort when the front doors of the bar opened and a stream of sweaty guys in baseball uniforms piled into the bar.
Shelly's mood perked right up. "Gonna be a good night! That is the Gay Men's softball league."
I made a face. "You allow those kinda guys in here?"
She gave me a serious look. "Barb, if by those 'kinda guys' you mean men with disposable income, who buy a lot of drinks and spend a lot of money, but never cause any problems. Then, YEAH, I not only allow those 'kinda guys' I search out and encourage those 'kinda guys'. This is a bar you know."
I was about to answer when a huge black man strode up the bar. The guy was the biggest human I had ever seen. He must have been over 6 foot 10 and close to 250 pounds. Buttons strained at his barrel chest on a uniform that displayed the name of his team 'Master Batters'.
Shelly must have known this black giant as she did not object when he reached across the bar and picked her up with no more effort than a child picking up a Barbie doll.
"Put me down Leroy" Shelly squealed as the colossus set her down gently.
"No problem Shelly" Leroy replied in a low baritone voice. "Just thought you might wanna get together with the Northeast League, South Division, Western Champions Most Valuable Player."
Shelly batted her eyelashes coyly. "And does your husband know you are hitting on the other team?"
Leroy let out a big laugh. "I wasn't always gay. I just got sucked into it."
It must have been an old joke as Shelly just rolled her eyes. "Sorry Leroy, you know I do not sleep with any man who is not 9 inches."
Leroy seemed to consider this for a moment. "Hell Shelly, I am not cutting off 3 inches for anybody."
I was shocked by this exchange, but Shelly seemed unfazed, even when Leroy said "Enough Wench, give me six pitchers of your finest ale on tap and keep them coming for my fellow batmen warriors." He paused. "Also a pitcher of Pepsi."
Shelly started setting up pitchers on the bar. "Who is the teetolaler, and why is he in my bar?"
Leroy looked at her sheepishly. "Me, I gotta start a 3 day shift at the fire station tonight."
Shelly turned toward me as she started filling pitchers with beer. "Barb, my only girl called in sick, I am short a server tonight." She pointed to the group of guys in suits at the corner table. "Can you take care of them?"
In the past both Dean and I had helped out when needed. Shelly and I had been servers to help get cash while we were in school, so it was no big deal. "Sure" I said.
The table with the suits was a noisy bunch. All the guys had their ties loosen and some of their jackets were thrown over the chair backs. A big man with the look of an ex-jock seemed to be holding court.
"Hi Guys" I said plastering a smile on my face. "What can I get you?"
I endured the typical "Your Phone Number", "A look at your tits" "Long blow job", comments that every female waitress dealing with drunken men has had to endure since Taverns started serving booze. I had long ago as a server been immune to such frat boy remarks, and mentally filtered them out to the point I did not even really hear the crude commentary.
The Ex-jock stood up. It must have been my day for big men because this guy was well over 6 foot. He motioned to the table. "Sorry, you'll have to excuse my compatriots. We are celebrating my big promotion." He handed me a business card so new it shined.
Below the name in gold flake was a bold Title: 'Southern Hemisphere Interoffice Technology-Head VP.'
"Wow" I said trying to hand the card back to him. "That is impressive"
He waved away the card. "Keep it. I'm buying, so let's have another round. But only if you have a drink with us too."
I tried to demure, but the group at the table started a verbal campaign that picked up volume to the point I agreed to have a drink with them just to keep them quiet.
Shelly was busy refilling pitchers with beer as I was pouring my table's drink order. She spied the business card I placed on the bar top.
"Whose is that?" Shelly asked, pointing with her chin at the shiny new business card.
I gestured at the corner table. "The cute big guy at that table. I think he is a new executive. Looks like he has money too."
Shelly wiped foam off the rim of a picture. "Great Barb, You know what Grandma used to say about money buying happiness."
I rolled my eyes. "They say money doesn't buy happiness, but I would love to be crying in my new Ferrari."
Shelly pick up the business card and started laughing after reading it.
"What is so funny?" I asked
Shelly shook her head reading the business card out loud. "'Southern Hemisphere Interoffice Technology-Head' VP.', Don't you get it? Look at the first letters, S-H-I-T-Head. Your big time exec is a Shithead."
I grabbed the card back from her looking it over again. After a moment I said "So it's not the most elegant title. He is still looks like a big shot executive."
Shelly was unimpressed. "Big shots are just little shots who keep on firing. Mind your manners."
I laughed her off, but Shelly put her hand on my arm. "Don't be acting like Curious George on Red Bull and do something stupid with 'Shithead' over there.
Shaking off Shelly's grip I replied. "I won't, this just a bit of a payback for Dean about Marge. I'm just going to have a few drinks with them to keep them under control. A free drink is a free drink. You know the best things in life are free."
Shelly would not quit. "Barb, the best things in life are free. The second best things are very very expensive."
In my defense I was so drunk I cannot recall a lot of the early events.
I do not remember leaving the bar, or making it to my house and up the flight of stairs to my bedroom. There are some hazy memories of punching in the alarm code and sucking off 'Shithead' in my bed along with a weak orgasm. I think I finally sobered up some time during the second (or third) round when he tried to stuff his rather large dick up my ass. I was no stranger to anal play, (although I had not let Dean my husband there yet), but the pain of 'Shitheads' 'ass'-sault killed any buzz I still had from last evenings alcohol.
"NO!" I yelled, wriggling away from 'Shithead', almost falling off the bed.
Barely outlined in the darkness, he pawed at me. "You ain't gonna leave me with blueballs are ya? I still got another load ready to fire."
My head now started pounding as the inevitable hangover began, with guilt over my actions starting to creep in. I put my hand on his chest. "Look I think you better leave, I can't have you staying the night."
Shithead fisted the base of his erect penis. "You don't wanna make me breakfast? I got your morning protein right here."
I really did not need this now as my headache got worse. "Very funny, but seriously I need you to get out."
He was still holding his erection. "What about my situation? I can't get dressed in this condition. How about one for the road?"
"Fine" I replied. "I'll give you a going away blow job, but then you must leave." I pointed to the bathroom door. "But first clean that shit off your dick, I am not doing no ass to mouth."
As Shithead got off the bed, heading to the bathroom door, I peeked at the dresser clock, whose red LEDs displayed 3:18 AM. The last thing I wanted to do right now was suck off that idiot, although admittedly I was willing to do anything to get him out of the house.
The water shut off in the bathroom, then the crack of light under the door went away. Meanwhile the skulking hangover was competing with guilt as reality started to set in. Just as the bathroom door swung open and I could make out Shitheads naked silhouette, simultaneously the bedroom door opened and I saw the outline of a figure holding something in his hands, creeping past the threshold.
I screamed and the intruder froze, Shithead leaped from the bathroom doorway, grabbing a table lamp off the dresser and slammed the lamp into the back of the intruders head.
The intruder crumpled to the floor, I stopped screaming and turned on the bedside light. Fumbling with the tabletop phone I punched in 911.
"Send Police! A robber is in my house!" I yelled franticly as the 911 operator started her spiel. I glanced over at 'Shithead', who was tying the intruder's hands behind his back with the lamp cord, then suddenly my blood went cold.
There were roses scattered around the floor where they had dropped from the intruder's hand. Next to his hands were a pair of work boots the guy must have been carrying when he was struck.
The boots were Dean's well-worn work boots.
Shithead was finishing off a knot on the bound hands while muttering "Fucking asshole burglar, think you can sneak up on me? You gotta another thing coming." I dropped the phone when 'Shithead' grabbed a tuft of the intruder's hair and lifted the head off the floor.
Now my blood froze as Dean's bloody face stared out at me. His eyes were closed, but a soft moan escaped his lips.
I leaped off the bed to the side of my prone spouse. "GET AWAY FROM HIM! THAT IS MY HUSBAND!"
Shithead got a confused look on his face as he released Dean's hair. Dean's face hit the floor with a hollow 'Thunk'. "Your husband? What the fuck..."
He never finished his sentence because a low growl emitted from the gloom beyond the bedroom door. Two yellow eyes glowered at us for a second before a black blur shot out of the darkness and attached itself onto Shitheads face.
Shitheads screams mixed with a loud snarl, as Tom the cat bit and dug his claws into Shitheads head.
The two twirled around as Shithead sprang upright trying pull Tom the cat off. Slamming into the window, Shithead finally pried the big black cat away from his scratched bleeding face. Tom the cat dodged a vicious kick, retreating swiftly under the bed.
Shithead was holding his face and cursing as I knelt down, moving in to cradle Deans head in my hands. Suddenly pain, more severe than I had ever experience erupted on my left ass cheek. It felt like I was being stabbed with a dozen knives.
Letting out a yell, I jumped up and tried swatting away at the source of my agony. Tom the cat had latched onto my buttocks and would no let go as I spun around like some whirling dervish, all the while screaming in pain.
After what seemed like forever, I stumbled into Shithead, who was still holding his bleeding face and cussing a blue streak. Tom the cat finally separated himself from me, again retreating back under the bed.
Trying to ignore the blood streaming down my leg, I jumped around attempting to return back to Dean, but somehow I ended up stomping on Shitheads foot.
"YOU STUPID BITCH!" Shithead roared, pulling his arm away from his face to deliver a stinging backhand to the side of my head. The force of his blow flung me onto the bed. "I AM GOING TO KICK YOUR ASS!" he thundered.
My ears were still ringing as Shithead with his arm raised, took a step from the window toward me, as I lay stunned on the bed.
But before he could take another step I saw Dean spring to his feet, hands still tied behind his back. Dean took a hop forward, then launched himself into some kind of tight, gravity-defying armless summersault. At the peak of his turn in midair, Dean seemed to ... uncoil. Both his feet struck Shithead on the chest and slammed Shithead hard back into the wall, where he became entangled in the window curtains.
As soon as Dean hit the floor he popped up and ran at "Shithead', who was still entangled in the curtains. As Dean crashed his shoulder into Shitheads stomach, thumping him back into the wall, Dean turned his head to shout at me. "RUN BARB RUN! GET OUT OF HERE! GET HELP! I"LL HOLD OFF THIS RAPIST!"
I was frozen in place staring at Deans blood streaked face, his hair matted with blood trying to pin Shithead in place with his much smaller body. Curtains ripped from the wall as Shithead raised a massive forearm, smashing it into the side of Dean's face. There was a sickening crack as Dean dropped to the ground.
Shithead kicked at Dean who grunted, rolling away from the blow. Shithead took a step forward and raised his leg high to stomp on Dean, lying motionless on the floor. Just as Shitheads leg started its downward journey, the black blur burst out from under the bed and Tom the cat latched himself onto 'Shitheads' gonads with a piercing snarl.
Shitheads scream was so high he sounded like a women. The scream continued as Shithead bent over and pounded at Tom the cat trying to get the furious feline off his nether regions. Suddenly Dean shook his head, and leapt off the floor jamming his shoulder into the midsection of the bent over Shithead. Dean let out a roar as Shithead was lifted up off the ground onto Deans back in a fireman type carry. His smaller legs churning away, Dean rammed the three of them full speed into the huge bedroom picture window.
Deans roars, Shitheads screams and Tom the cat hisses were overshadowed by the noise of breaking glass.
I sat transfixed on the bed, watching in horror when all of the sudden the three of them vanished from view. They just disappeared out the window into the inky dark night. Abruptly all their sounds became muffled, then ... nothing.
For a moment there was nothing but silence, punctuated by the sound of a single stray curtain flapping in the breeze out of the broken window, then a few tinkles, as small pieces of shattered glass fell from the pane. Unexpectedly a terrible ear splitting, heart wrenching cry broke out that filled the room. It took a few minutes for my brain to recognize it was me wailing at the top on my lungs.
Everything in my mind was a haze, but slowly the mist lifted as if I was coming to the surface of a lake after being underwater. Opening my eyes, my vision focused on an Asian lady in blue hospital scrubs who was wiping a cool towel over my face.
Staring back, the Asian female put down the towel and scurried away muttering "I go get doctor".
Turning my head I saw Shelly sitting in a chair by my bedside. Yet when I tried to sit up I found my wrists and legs retrained to the bed with straps.
"God Dammit!" I spat at Shelly "Get that Chinese nurse back her and let me loose.'
Shelly came up to my side. "Settle down Barb. You have been out an entire day, they had to restrain you because you were combative. That aide, who I think is Vietnamese, went to get a doctor."
I was still struggling. "Chinese, Vietnamese, Chuck-e-Cheese, who gives a shit! Get me loose NOW! I need to see Dean!"
"Calm down Barb. You're lucky I'm even here. Leroy, the black guy from the gay softball league, he was one of the first responders on the scene the night of your ... event. Leroy remembered you were a friend of mine, he let me know you were here and what happened."
Shelly said the last part with silted eyes. My body deflated like a balloon at the recollection of that night. Shame washed over me, caused by Shelly's knowledge of what happened.
She continued. "They had to sedate you, the whole scene was not a pretty sight. Don't worry, Leroy got some of his firefighter buddies using the truck ladders to patch that broken huge upper story window at your house."
Well, even though I got loose, I had to sign a ton of paperwork about going against medical advice, making a future appointment, forms that absolved the hospital, blah, blah, blah. I would have signed a confession to the JFK shooting if it got me to see Dean.
However when I got to see Dean through the window of ICU, it was ugly. He was buried in gauze with tubes and bags and machines all around or in him. My mine was numb as I tried to comprehend the anatomy list of terms a doctor was using to describe Deans condition.
I interrupted the Doctors medical monologue. "Is Dean going to recover?"
The Doctor hesitated and I tightly gripped Shelly's arm who was beside me. Finally he spoke. "I am confident he will survive. But I am afraid it is going to be a long hard road. Several rounds of reconstructive surgery and quite a bit of rehab is going to be needed. Sadly some of the best treatment is not covered by insurance. The processes needed for this patient's best chance at a broad recovery will be very very expensive."
I tried to convince myself that I always loved Dean, it just had taken a tragic event to bring that love to the surface. I was determined to show him that love now. I emptied my retirement account to fund his recovery-early withdrawal fee and tax penalties be damed. When out-of-network specialists were needed, I took a huge home equity loan out on the house, maxed out the credit cards, even traded in my Lexus in for cash and a beat up used soccer Mom van. I figured the van would make it easier to transport Dean around when he finished his treatment.
I cannot believe how much I missed Dean. I guess it is true you only miss the sun when it starts to snow, and the light when the candle burns low. As the weeks dragged on, I just wanted to die because I was already living in Hell.
Dean's mental recovery was slower than his physical recovery. Neurosurgeon's told me his memory would come back in chunks, but they could not predict when or how much. I dreaded the thought he would remember 'That Night'.
I spent hours with him going over old pictures of us, telling him stories and wasted countless hours searching for Tom the cat who disappeared 'That Night'. Flyers, ads, even visits to animal shelters failed to turn up that black bastard.
Several months had gone by, but the day I saw two men with 'law enforcement' written all over them leaving the rehab center my blood chilled. Up to this point I had been able to keep persistent detectives away from Dean with a phalanx of doctors orders and attorneys papers.
Everything turned to shit when I was stopped at the reception desk of Deans rehab center. The two large security guards, who had always been kind to me, now had a different look in their eyes as they barred me from the hallway to Dean's room.
"Ma'am, we are going to have to ask you to leave the grounds immediately." one of the security men told me in a no nonsense tone.
"We are also going to require you do not return until further notice," the other added. "Your presence is upsetting one of our patients."
I opened my mouth to speak, but they each began to hustle me out of building, into the parking lot and to my car.
The next day a police car delivered an order of protection that prohibited my contact with Dean in any manner, and required keeping a distance of over a 100 yards from him.
At first glance I did not recognize Dean. I thought I was in the wrong location, or come on the wrong day. My heart skipped a beat as I looked at my watch; maybe I had come at the wrong time and was too late.
It had been over a year since I had seen Dean, and my life had been going steadily downhill in every aspect, financially, professionally, socially, emotionally and physically. He had rebuffed all my efforts at any type of communication up to now, so I was determined to make this meeting successful.
I was led through the unfamiliar stately manor into a back area. I passed some furniture that I identified as pieces Dean had refurbished. But as I entered the porch, the man seated in front of me looked like a stranger.