Thanks to BigGuy33 for allowing me to play with his toys again. Thanks to Crkcppr for Beta-reading and blackrandl1958 for her Sweet Inspiration, her editing, and for simply being my friend.
Could we go back?
I had reluctantly given in to Tom’s pressure to attend the party. He and his wife, Mary, had been relentless in insisting that I start living life again. I tried to insist that I wasn’t ready to socialize yet, and certainly not amongst the throngs of happy couples sure to be in attendance at this particular party. They seemed unimpressed with my arguments and finally persuaded me to go by threatening to stay with me the entire night until I agreed.
There I was, sitting alone on a recliner in the corner watching, as I feared would be the case, various happily married (and unmarried) couples making the rounds of conversation.
I wasn’t the only third wheel at the party, but probably the only one not trying to hook up with one of the others, or even with one of the married couples in attendance who were into that sort of thing. I’m not judging ... I’m just saying.
I had been handed a beer shortly after we arrived, and I was still nursing that same drink nearly an hour later. It was quite warm by this point, and I probably hadn’t taken as much as a single sip in the last 30 minutes.
I would periodically have someone pop over to say hello and ask how I was doing. I did my best to engage in conversation as long as we talked mostly about them, and not me. I had never been my favorite topic and was even less so now. Those mostly benign chats eventually ended, my counterparts would leave to find someone else to catch up with and I would again lean back in my chair.
It was at this time, about an hour after our arrival, that she walked in. I spotted her immediately and hoped she didn’t see me. I quickly escaped my chair and, after some searching, found Tom in the kitchen talking to some other people whose names I knew, but not much else.
“Finally making the rounds, Henry?”
“No. She just walked in. We need to go.”
He knew precisely whom I was talking about.
“Why do we need to go, Henry? We’ve only been here for an hour.”
“You know damn well why we need to go.”
“Sorry, pal, but I’m not leaving, and I’m sure as hell not going to try and convince Mary to leave.”
“You don’t have to leave for good. Just take me home and then come back.”
“We’re not leaving, Henry. You’re just going to have to find a way to deal with her being here.”
“You know I can’t do that, Tom. I thought you were my friend.”
“I am your friend; I have been since ninth grade, and as your friend, I’m telling you it’s time to face up to your fears. You both still live in the same area so you’re going to see her from time to time. You need to find a way to handle it, and tonight is as good a time as any to start.”
Damn it, I simply wasn’t ready for this. It’s not as if I had been having such a great time, anyway. I had lost the desire to do much socializing since the divorce, and my heart wasn’t in it tonight.
“Fine, I’ll walk home. Please don’t call me for a while. I’ll call you when I feel like speaking to you again, and give Mary the same message.”
“You can’t mean that. It must be five miles!”
He laughed, but stopped quickly when I answered him.
“That will give me plenty of time to get the bad taste out of my mouth. I thought that you and Mary were my friends.”
Tom just shook his head as I turned to leave
I hadn’t even reached the corner before Tom pulled over and rolled down his window.
“Come on, Henry, I’ll take you home. I still think you’re wrong, though.”
“Well, it’s my life and my prerogative,” I said, when I got in the car. “I never asked you to take sides in the divorce, or to drop Connie as a friend, but I didn’t expect you to take her side either...”
“Wait a minute, Henry,” he said, “We never took her side. We both chewed her a new asshole for what she did.”
“Yes, but despite my making it abundantly clear that I wanted NOTHING to do with Connie, you and Mary conspired with her to throw us back together.”
“Henry, I think calling it a ‘conspiracy’ is a little strong. We just felt that you and Connie had been apart long enough, that it was time to put everything behind you and get back together.”
“You decided this, how?” I asked, “What gives you any right to do something like this because of the way you ‘felt’? How you feel doesn’t mean dick. This is about how I feel. You certainly didn’t decide this by talking to me; I believe that I made it very clear that we were through and I wanted nothing more to do with her. You made this decision because that’s what CONNIE wanted ... what I wanted didn’t matter. In other words, you took sides ... her side. You decided that your friendship with Connie was more important, more valuable to you, than your friendship with me. So, I will make things easy for you. I am no longer your friend; you and Mary are no longer my friends. Please help your friend to forget about me and find someone else. Maybe, at some point, we can make our acquaintance again, maybe even become friends again, though I doubt that we will ever again be best friends
We pulled into my driveway, and Tom shifted into Park.
“Give my regards to Mary, and tell Connie, ‘Nice try!’.”
Tom just sat there with his mouth open as I got out of the car, and he was still sitting there as I closed my front door. A couple of minutes later I heard his car drive off. I treated myself to a cold beer and went to bed.
Of course, it couldn’t be that easy.
Fortunately, I had turned off my ringer, but my phone had at least a dozen missed calls, messages and texts, and my email was just as bad. I simply deleted everything; I didn’t want to hear their excuses, or even worse, more attempts to get me to reconsider taking Connie back.
One “good” thing that came out of this was I decided that I had cut myself off from other people too long. It was time to put myself out there.
Some folks at work were going out the following Friday, and I shocked them by saying that I would join them.
I surprised myself by actually having a good time. I didn’t do anything special, no dirty dancing with any hot babes, just hanging out with my co-workers and being sociable. A few knew my story and were bold enough to ask why I suddenly came out of my shell.
I took a moment to gather my thoughts.
“Last weekend, a couple of my now ex-friends dragged me to a party, planning on throwing me together with my ex-wife, hoping that I would take her back. It backfired on them when I walked out and told them that I was through with their meddling.
“It did make me realize that 16 months was way too long to moon over a dead marriage. So, here I am.”
“Does that mean you’ll be dating?” Bill asked, “Because I know there are lot of the women in the office who will be licking their chops now that you’re on the market.”
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” I said, laughing. “This is my first night out in almost a year-and-a-half.”
That began an extended period of Friday nights out with the gang. It took only until the next Friday for Gail, one of the office staff, to ask me to dance. I was hesitant, but some good-natured pushing from the other guys got me out on the floor. The first dance was a fast dance, and when the next song was a slow one, I tried to go back to my table, but Gail wouldn’t let me go. I have to admit that it felt good to have a warm body in my arms, and it didn’t hurt my ego, either.
I danced several more dances that night, mostly with Gail. I really enjoyed myself, but I drew the line when Gail tried to talk me into a real date.
“Gail, don’t get me wrong, I’ve really enjoyed dancing with you, but I really don’t feel ready to date yet. This is only my second time going out since my divorce, 16 months ago. I feel like it’s coming soon and you’re certainly at the top of my list.”
She touched my cheek gently. “I’m going to hold you to that, Henry,” she said, and gave me a chaste kiss on my other cheek, to the hoots and jeers from the guys at my table.
“Looks like someone got lucky.”
“When’s the wedding?”
“Where’s the Bachelor Party?”
I just gave them all the finger and sat down laughing with the rest of them. It felt good to laugh ... it had been far too long.
I was soon dating Gail, as well as some of the other women at work. I was also dating some other women I’d meet when out with the guys. I was careful not to get too serious with anyone; I didn’t want to lead anyone on until I was satisfied that I was out of rebound mode.
I have to admit to some grim satisfaction when I was out dancing with Gail, and Tom, Mary and Connie came in. I stumbled for a moment, and Gail asked me what was wrong.
I swung her around so that she was looking at their table.
“Do you see those three people?”
“Yes, who are they?”
“The obvious couple is Tom and Mary, the ex-friends I told you about who tried to trick me into seeing my ex-wife.”
“And the other woman, the one with the flat chest?”
“That’s Connie, my ex-wife.”
Gail had an evil glint in her eyes.
“Don’t say anything, Henry, just follow my lead.”
Gail started dancing with me in a way that would give “dirty dancing” a good name. If I had been sitting down, it might have qualified as a lap dance.
I heard a gasp behind me, and I peeked over my shoulder to see Connie with her hand over her mouth and tears in her eyes. She and Mary stood up, and Mary put her arms around her while giving me the evil eye, as if I had set this up deliberately. I felt like telling her that that was her style, not mine.
Tom followed her gaze, saw me and stood. For a moment, he looked as if he was going to come over, but Mary grabbed his arm and they all hustled out of the club.
“Ooh, that was fun!” Gail said, “What can we possibly do for an encore?”
I didn’t have to be Carnac the Magnificent to get what she was driving at.
“Gail, I can’t deny that I’m attracted to you, but I’m really not ready for a long-term relationship right now. I don’t want to take advantage of you.”
“I’m a big girl, Henry,” she said, “I can take care of myself. What makes you think that I’m not going to be taking advantage of you?”
My mother raised no fools, so we grabbed our coats and headed out the door to the knowing grins of our friends. As we pulled away from the club, I saw Tom, Mary and Connie huddled together on the sidewalk. Connie was still sobbing and Tom and Mary were shooting daggers at me, as if I gave a shit.
We went back to my place and didn’t get to sleep until 3 AM. She started by sucking me off, and didn’t seem to mind when I shot 16 months’ worth of cum down her throat; she came up smiling. She was pleasantly surprised when I wouldn’t let her run to the bathroom and instead, started shoving my tongue down her throat.
I was kissing down her body as I stripped off her clothes, and was pleased to see her bald pussy. I assumed that this was her normal grooming, as my preference for smooth pussies wasn’t known at work, plus, she couldn’t have known we would end up in bed tonight.
I repaid her by eating her to two orgasms, and then I fucked her to her third and my second orgasms of the night.
We moved into a 69, neither of us concerned about the mess we had made of each other.
When I was restored to hardness, she got on top and rode me while I played with her fantastic breasts. This was one thing I had missed when I was married to Connie. She was, at best, a small A-cup, although her nipples were outstanding, in more ways than one. Gail was certainly no slouch in that department, and her boobs more than made up for it.
After we both came again, she collapsed on top of me and we fell asleep, only to be awakened by my damn cell phone.
Gail reached over me, picked up the phone and pressed “Answer.”
“Hullo,” she slurred, not quite awake.
“Who’s this? Where the fuck is Henry?” I could hear Tom even with Gail holding the phone.
I took the phone from her.
“Tom, I thought I told you not to call me; that I would call you if I wanted to talk to you.”
Before I had a chance to disconnect the call, Tom started ranting again.
“Who was that that answered your phone? Was it that slut from the club last night?”
I was really starting to get pissed off.
“Gail is not a slut, she works in my office; and at least she wasn’t cheating on her husband, unlike that slut that you and Mary brought to the club last night.”
This time I was able to disconnect before he could respond. When their calls kept coming in, I just turned off the phone, wrapped my arms around Gail and we fell back to sleep.
When we woke up for real, we took a shower together, not fooling around TOO much, then cooked breakfast together.
“I hope this won’t make things awkward for us in the office,” I said.
“Not on my account,” Gail said, “You were very straight with me, it was fun for me, and I hope it was fun for you too.”
“That it was,” I said with a smile. “That it was.” I gave her a big hug.
After we ate, I drove her home, returning to my home to find a three person “Welcoming Committee.”
I parked my car and sighed. ‘Oh, well, ‘ I thought, ‘might as well get this over with.’ I got out of my car and walked over to the triumvirate.
As soon as I got within range, Mary reared back to give me a slap, but I was able to grab her wrist.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” I said, “What the fuck was that?”
“As if you don’t know,” she snarled, “After you fucked that slut.”
“In case you have forgotten,” I said, “I’m a single man, and I can have sex with whomever I want, and who are you to insult my friends when you’ve been supporting a slut that cheated on her husband twice? Gail is a single woman who isn’t committed to anyone. Frankly, Tom, I’d be worried if my wife was so accepting of a wife cheating. Doesn’t it make you wonder?”
Mary looked like she was going to explode and I had to grab her other wrist and step back to avoid her kicks.
Connie, who had been standing there nervously, near tears, finally turned and ran away. Mary managed to pull away and ran after her.
“You really are an ass, Henry,” Tom said, before heading towards the women.
“Maybe so,” I said, “So why are you trying so hard to get this ass back with your friend?”
Tom hesitated; obviously trying to think of an appropriate response, then ran after the women.
I was both glad and sad: glad that I was able to put them all in their place, but sad that it had come to this; that I had pretty much destroyed the woman that I had once loved with all my heart, as well as burnt my bridges with two people who had been like family to me.
I shrugged my shoulders, sighed and went inside my home.
For the next few months, I lived the carefree bachelor life, the way I lived before Connie. Yes, I still measured my life by her: Before Connie, Connie and After Connie.
For the first year and a half of “After Connie,” I lived in a depressive state until Gail dragged me out of it, kicking and screaming. I should probably be ashamed to admit it, but the episode on my doorstep the morning after my night with Gail was cathartic, and not to be overly dramatic, I felt reborn.
I may have exaggerated a bit before, I wasn’t exactly living a playboy lifestyle, but I wasn’t exactly a monk, either. When I took my long road trips, I had no one to be faithful for, so I took advantage of some of the opportunities that presented themselves. When home, it was the rare weekend that I didn’t have a date on either Friday or Saturday, or even both.
Gail was a frequent partner, though we both understood that there were no commitments, no promises of exclusivity, more like a FWB relationship.
It was around the second anniversary of our divorce, (not that I was keeping track) when I came home, after taking Gail home, to find a miserable Connie sitting on my stoop.
She had her head buried in her crossed arms, and looked up when she heard me approaching.
I took her hands and pulled her to her feet.
She threw her arms around my neck, buried her face in my chest and just started sobbing.
Through her sobs, she gasped out, “Oh, Henry ... I’m so sorry ... I just ... never really ... really understood.”
“Understood what, Connie?” I asked.
“H ... How you must have felt seeing me with Mark.”
“How could you not, Connie?” I asked, “I left you, divorced you, wouldn’t even talk to you.”
“Oh, of course I knew that you were upset, no, angry, but I never really understood the depths of your pain until I saw you with those other women; and I never even saw you having sex with them, even though I knew you were. I thought that if I was in such pain from seeing you with other women, even though I have no claim on you, then how much worse it must have been for you, seeing your wife, the person you loved and trusted most in the world, who you believed loved and was loyal to you, fucking another man in your home, in your bed.
“I felt like such a bitch, such a slut, such a...”
“Shh,” I said, “I understand, but where does that leave us?”
“To begin with, I’m no longer asking you to take me back.”
Now, that was a surprise.
“I thought that was what you wanted?” I said.
“Oh, don’t get me wrong,” she said smiling, “I do still want you back, but I don’t think that you’re ready for that yet.”
“So, just what, exactly, DO you want?”
“A chance, Henry,” she said, “I want you to take me on dates.”
“You realize that I’m seeing other women?”
“Yes, Henry, that is painfully obvious,” she said with a sad smile. “I just want a chance. Let me be one of those women you’re dating; let me earn a place back in your heart.”
This was certainly a different tactic. I wasn’t sure how to react.
“Let me think about that and get back to you. I promise to call soon. You still have the same number?”
“Of course, I couldn’t take a chance on missing your call.”
She started to turn away, ran back to give me a kiss on the check, then ran back to her car. I watched her wipe away her tears before driving off.
I couldn’t stop shaking my head as I went into my house.
‘Could it be?’ I thought. ‘Could this actually work?’
While I certainly still had my doubts, Connie had definitely shone a different light on things.
We had our first “date” the following Friday, and it was just as awkward as any first date you can imagine.
Actually, it was even MORE awkward, because all that small talk that couples make when they’re getting to know each other, we already knew all that (at least I THOUGHT I knew it all!), so we ended up pushing our food around on the plates, trying, and mostly failing, to make conversation.
We brought the date to a merciful end after I paid the check, and I took Connie home. We gave each other chaste kisses on our cheeks and promised to try again, but set no definite date.
I hadn’t spoken to Tom or Mary in the four months since the confrontation. There were a few messages wanting to “explain,” or whatever, but I just deleted them.
The one that hurt the most was Tom. Mary was always closer to Connie than she was to me, as I would have expected, but Tom was my best friend since ninth grade, long before Connie and Mary came into our lives.
While I could understand his position, somewhat, Mary was his wife, after all, but he was my best friend. He should have known me better than to try something like what they did, and he certainly should have respected my wishes.
I took some morbid pleasure when I heard through the grapevine that there some tension there, that my parting remarks had sown some seeds of doubt in Tom’s mind. I didn’t really want them to break up; I knew that pain all too well, but Mary was a bit too casual about Connie’s cheating, maybe there was something to that. Well, not my problem.
Our second date started out a bit better than the first. We managed to make some conversation about what we had been doing since the divorce.
While it was somewhat my own fault for cutting myself off from people, it still rankled that Connie had more of a life, that in my mind, Tom and Mary had taken her side. I know, I know, they said that they weren’t taking sides, but she cheated on me and they respected her wishes, and worked to try to get us back together, ignoring my wishes to have nothing to do with her. Finally, there was the party where they conspired, and that is the right word, despite Tom’s protestations, with Connie to force us together.
Then, we came to my renewed dating that triggered Connie’s newfound repentance.
“I have to say,” Connie said, “when we came into that club and saw the way you were dancing with that...”
I shot her a stern look.
“With that woman, I just wanted to find a dark corner and curl up into a ball.”
I couldn’t help it, I smirked.
“What’s with that look?” she said.
“We ... well, Gail, actually, set you up.”
“Set me up? What do you mean?”
“When I saw you come in, Gail asked me who you were. When I told her, she decided to put on a show for you.”
Connie was speechless for a moment, then lit into me.
“I don’t believe it! You two acted like a couple of sluts just to embarrass me?”
She threw her napkin down and stormed out of the restaurant. I was momentarily stunned, then shrugged and asked for the check. By the time I got outside, Connie was getting into a cab and taking off.
I went home, had a couple of beers, went to bed and didn’t give it much more thought.
The next day, I was awakened by Tom pounding on my door. As soon as I opened it, he came charging in, brushing me aside.
“You know, you really are an asshole,” he said.
“Nice to see you, too, Tom,” I said, “What did I do now?”
“You know what you did! How could you do that to Connie?”
“You mean tell the truth? I realize that’s a unique concept for you, but one I happen to believe in.”