The Saga of Bass and Sarah
Copyright© 2017 by Jedd Clampett
Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 6 - Love, infidelity, and family
We got back Sunday night. We unpacked, and I put Sarah to work sorting dirty clothes; she had the clothes from my trip plus all the things we’d messed up at the beach. I got the girls in bed, and at last went downstairs to have yet another talk with my wife.
I stopped her from separating the laundry and poured us each a cold glass of orange juice. We sat down in the kitchen. “Sarah,” I started, “I hired a private investigator. I’ll be seeing her tomorrow. My guess is she’s found out just about everything you haven’t told me. It’s up to you. If I go to see her tomorrow and she tells me and you haven’t then we’ll have to call it quits. Or we can go see her together, but you’ll have told me everything before we leave the house. What’s it going to be?”
She sat there across from me. She took a sip of her juice, “Can we sit in the living room?”
I said, “If that’s more comfortable for you.”
She nodded yes so we went to the living room. We sat down side by side on the sofa. She looked tired, but we’d had a busy weekend. I was tired too. Other than that I thought she looked beautiful, but maybe it was a whore’s beauty. I didn’t know. Crap, it dawned on me; I felt like kicking myself in the ass! Why was I thinking that; eight years of marriage, four pregnancies, three babies, I knew who this woman was!
She sat quite still, hands in her lap, legs and feet close together, all very prim and proper. She had a sad look; the kind of look one has when they know something wonderful was about to end. She looked over at me once, “I love you Bass. That is the truth,” and so she started...
“I never knew my mother and father. The story I told you about me being an only child and them loving me, and then them being killed in a crash, and me being alone. That was somebody else’s story, a story I stole.
My name isn’t Sarah Trevelyan. My real name is Genevieve Gauthier; at least that’s what they me told when I was a child.”
She squirmed a bit, “Look at me. Listen. I want to start at the beginning. Can I do that?”
That was a stunning confession! I never dreamed ... I watched her; she was summoning her courage. In spite of everything I was kind of proud of her. Why I couldn’t say. I nodded.
She started again, “I guess I was what you’d call an orphan. Anyway I was in a foundling home and this couple took me in. I don’t remember the beginning. I was very young. Anyway I guess I was a foster child. I don’t remember how old I was when they took me. I think they wanted to adopt me, but something must have happened. I know I was little, maybe I think four or five when something happened. I thought they were my parents, but they took me back to this place and left me. I remember crying a lot. The people at the place were very nice, but there were several children there so it was different. I remember I kept waiting for my ‘parents’ to come back for me. I kept hoping, but they never came.
Even now I still remember some things. I remember a woman holding me. I remember calling her mommy.
A while later another couple tried to take me. They wanted to adopt me too I think. I know they were very nice to me, but I only stayed with them about a year and they had someone come and get me. After that the home tried to ‘place’ me a few times, but I was getting older and people all wanted little children. I didn’t know why. The people at the home were always very nice, but no one wanted me. I still don’t know why. I thought back then I’d done something; that I’d been bad. Later I didn’t care.
I ended up staying at the place until I was eighteen. Then they found another place for me to stay, something like a halfway house, and they got me a job at a warehouse. I had a high school certificate, an equivalency, but no social skills. I couldn’t make it. I started getting in trouble. I got arrested a couple times; usually for stealing. I got fired from my job. Then some man found me; he put me on the street. You know what that means Bass?”
I did and I nodded.
She went on, “I was dumb. I got picked up a couple times. I got a criminal record. I got sick too, some kind of STD. That’s when my life changed. I was nineteen.”
She shrugged, “Oh that’s a lie. I think I was twenty. I’m older than you think. Honestly, I’m not real sure how old I am.”
She slumped. I thought she was close to collapse. I said, “Go on.”
She continued, “OK, back to my story. I’d been on the street a few months, and I found myself in this halfway house. It’d been set up through some Federal grant to help young people like me. I’d been lying about how old I was because I knew the younger they thought I was the better my chances would be.
I thought for a while things would get better. It was at this halfway house where I met Sarah. Sarah’s parents really had been killed in a car wreck. They had no money so she was all alone like me, except for one difference. Sarah had juvenile diabetes. Sarah was dying. She was really sick. Everybody knew what was wrong with her, but nobody did hardly anything about it. She was so weak. She was supposed to get shots every day, but that didn’t always happen. Then the halfway house was closed: I think because the grant money might have disappeared.
Sarah and I were on the street, in a big city, it was cold, she died, and I was the only one around. I was with her when she died. I wasn’t a good person. I thought I could take her identity. All she had was a few cards. I switched our identities, but I left her diabetes bracelet on her. It didn’t have her name on it; it just said diabetic. She was already dead and just lying there so I took her name and her papers. I became her. She became me. I thought I could start over. I’d have a clean record. I’d be a new person.
Bass I left her there. She was already dead. I stole her name. I stole her money; it was only ten dollars anyway. I hitched a ride to the town where you found me.”
I started to say something, but she stopped me.
“No wait. It gets worse. I might have had a new name and clean record, but I was still the same old person. I tried to get a job, but no one wanted a young single woman. Oh they wanted me, but I wasn’t ready to go back to that. Then this man, his name was Elmo. You might remember him.”
I didn’t let on. I just listened.
She continued, “Well Elmo he helped me. He cleaned me up. He bought me clothes. He let me live with him. Of course I knew the price. When he approached I paid. He got me; then he started to sell me. I still had my hopes though. I thought, I believed someday, someone, some special person would...”
She sobbed, “Then one night you were there. You came over. God you were so skinny. Anyone of the guys I was with could have turned you into a pretzel. You didn’t seem to care. You were so courageous. You came over and told them ... Bass ... I knew. I knew right then and there. You were my ... you were my chance.
Later that night I went back and I talked to the bar waitress. She’d become a close friend. She knew a lot, not as much as I’ve told you, but she knew a lot. I told her I thought you were him. I asked her to call me if you ever showed up again. Guess what you showed up the very next very night. She called me. She said she’d stall you till I got there. I went down to the bar, and well ... here we are.”
I started to say something again, but again she stopped me.
She said, “And one more thing; no I didn’t love you, not right away, not at first, not like how you were with me. I think for you it was love at first sight.”
I saw her as she smiled to herself, and almost to herself she looked down at her hands and murmured, “yeah you were easy,” then she looked back at me very seriously and said, “but honest Bass, by the time you said we were going to your parents I was there. I would have walked through fire for you. You were, you are, so wonderful. You were the fulfillment of all my dreams.”
I must have reacted in some way, because she looked like she was going to cry some more. I kept my mouth shut and waited. She went on.
Sarah straightened her back, sighed and said, “That’s the truth Bass. That’s all if of it. I know I’m a monster. I stole another girl’s name. She was a nice girl too, not like me. I trapped you. But believe me honey I saw you and I knew. I just knew. You were going to be my happily ever after, and you were too until...”
“Until what,” I asked?
“There was another person, a boy we’d known, Sarah and I, from the halfway house. He’d been there for ‘other reasons’. He must have seen me someplace. He must have recognized me; he showed up at the Visitor Center. As soon as I saw him I knew. I knew my life ... well. He told me he knew what I’d done. He sells tools and such to dealerships. Rath works at a dealership. Rath has a family picture on his desk. Shawn must have seen it. Shawn found out where I worked. Shawn must have told Rath about me, because pretty soon Rath told me he knew and he’d tell you if...”
I was stunned!
Sarah finished, “I think Rath might’ve told Vernon and Lawton I was ... available ... because they started coming around. I did Vernon twice, but he was married, and we had that party for his child’s christening. I think he started to feel guilty. Lawton; he was just once, and I think he got scared because he was your boss.
That’s it Bass. That’s the whole dirty story. You married a whore, a dirty whore. I tricked you. I trapped you, but I’m not sorry. I got more than I ever hoped for. Look at me. I’ve had eight wonderful years. All my life I never had a mom or a dad, but your mom and dad took me in. Your mom became my mom. I loved her so. I loved you dad. Look what else I got. I got you. I got you for eight years anyway, and we made three beautiful girls. They’re yours Bass. From the time you took me out of that bar, until Shawn showed up last fall I’ve been good. I’ve been everything I ever wanted to be; everything you wanted me to be. I’ve been yours and yours alone. You’ve got to believe that. Hate me. I don’t blame you. Throw me out. I deserve it. But Bass you must know this. I love you. I’ll always love you. I’ll do whatever you want. If you want I’ll just leave.”
I sighed. I had something on my mind, but she wouldn’t let me open my mouth.
She said, “Look Bass I can get in my car and just drive away. I’ll go to the Hardware. I’ll buy some garden hose. I’ll go far away. I’ll go into some park way out west. I’ll just start my car, run the hose inside where I sit, and I’ll be gone. I’ll change my name back. No one will ever know. You’ll never have to see me or hear from me again.”
I sat back; that was one hell of a story. She hadn’t changed any of what I’d heard, but she sure added a few exclamation points. She pissed me off too, “So you’re telling me you love me, and to prove your love you’ll run away. You’ll change your name back. You’ll commit suicide, and no one will ever see you or hear from you again. You are a real asshole, a stupid asshole! What am I supposed to do?”
She hiccoughed back a tear, “You could marry Corinne. She loves you. She’s a good sweet, honest, pure, sincere person. She’d be good to our girls. You could have more children with her. You’d soon forget about me.”
For the first time I really felt like punching her right in the nose. I was madder at her now than I’d ever been, and that included all the shit she’d just laid on me. I yelled at her, “You are one stupid sorry assed human being. What makes you think I’d want to marry Corinne? I’ve known Corinne almost all my life. If I had wanted to I could have married her long before I ever laid eyes on you. I don’t love Corinne. I like her sure, but love? Now about this suicide; that’s so chicken shit,”
I was so pissed. I didn’t consider right then what I’d tried to do not long before, or that she’d stopped me. I got up. I grabbed her by the shoulders and I gave her good shake, a really good shake! “Listen to me stupid. If I divorce you, and I probably will. I’d still never let you go anywhere. You need to be nearby. We have three girls. They’re our girls; yours and mine. They need their dad ... and their mom! They sure don’t need a replacement.”
As if by magic we both heard someone shuffling around upstairs. Emily called down, “Mommy, is everything all right?”
Sarah called up, “Everything’s fine honey. We were just talking about our wonderful weekend. You go back to bed. School tomorrow!”
Emily called back down, “OK mommy.”
Sarah looked at me, “Think I better go up?”
I nodded, and Sarah wiped her face and went upstairs to check on the girls. She was back down after a couple minutes. She half whispered, actually more a stage whisper, “They’re all awake. Maybe we were a little loud.”
I guessed I’d gotten a little loud. Maybe it was a good thing; Emily’s interruption slowed me down. When we were both resettled I looked at Sarah and told her, “Tomorrow we’ll get the girls off to school. Then you and I will visit the private investigator. Let’s see what she’s turned up. After that we’ll decide, but hear me on this; divorce or not, you’re a part of my life, and your Emily’s, Emma’s, and Elizabeth’s mother. You might be a shitty human being in a lot of ways, ways I’ve just begun to find out, but you’ve been a great mom. They need you!”
It hadn’t slipped my mind that when Emily called down it had been Sarah she called for. It was mom she needed at times like that.
I didn’t say it, but I knew I needed her too. My thoughts slowly started to coalesce around the realization that I didn’t care that much about what she’d done before we met.
Well that wasn’t completely true; I did care. I cared a lot. It bothered me. It made me sick, sick to my stomach, but she’d been a good, no, a great mom. I remembered our three pregnancies, the Lamaze classes, me holding her hands while she delivered our girls. I remembered her tears, her screams as she pushed my kids out. I remembered the emotion, the love on her face, the joy in her eyes when they plopped those babies on her tummy.
I just as vividly remembered the one we’d lost; the pain, the shared sense of loss, and the fear we shared when we found out she was pregnant again. I remembered the joy we shared when Elizabeth was born. I remembered how we both exclaimed how happy we were that we’d made it!
I remembered a lot things. She and my mom were as close as any two women could ever be. My mom got her daughter, and I guessed Sarah got her mom. My dad had been real sick, but she’d been there for him. She never complained. She’d been a good daughter–in-law, better than Beatrice. And my mom; well she had a lot to answer for too. I wondered how she’d handled the infidelity and the abortion when she faced our maker.
I think Sarah had told me everything. That didn’t mean forgiveness. That didn’t mean no divorce, but it meant a lot. I had a lot to think about.
Monday morning was almost apocryphal. Sarah and I were super nice around the girls. We were careful how we talked and how we acted. It was kind of bittersweet, like maybe the end of something. It was too. I didn’t think the girls noticed; thank God for small favors.
Later that morning we drove off to see my private investigator. The school had been given Mrs. Abercrombie’s name so she could pick Elizabeth up if we ran late. Everything seemed so normal, and yet it wasn’t normal at all.
When we got to the P.I.’s she was ready. She had a fair sized file in front of her. The first thing she did was to look at me, “Good morning Mr. Ebersole. I think I’ve got most of what you want.”
She turned to Sarah, “And who are you?”
Sarah blanched, “I’m ... my name is Genevieve Gauthier.”
“And Sarah Trevelyan,” the investigator asked?
Sarah murmured, “She died. I stole her name.”
Then the investigator turned back to me, “Tell me what you want to do.”
I asked, “Did you find out about Shawn Hairston?”
She held up the folder, “It’s all pretty much here. He’s a tool salesman out of Louisville. Lately your town was added to his territory. He’s married. He has two children. He has a past, but he’s managed to clean up his act. He works very hard. His wife isn’t well. I can’t tell you much; medical confidentiality you understand, but she’s very sick.”
She paused, “I have his address, but I’m not sharing it with you. I’m not obligated to if I think there might be some kind of erratic by that I mean retaliatory behavior. Mr. Ebersole your interests wouldn’t be served by knowing more about him. Do you understand my meaning?”
I looked from the investigator to Sarah, “Do we want more?”
She looked despondent and I wasn’t sure why, she said, “No. I know who he is, or was. Like me ... he was ... a ... prostitute. Men liked him. He’d stand on the corners. Men would pick him up. The police arrested him a couple times, and offered him a choice I think, either the place where we were or jail. He was skinny and weak; they’d have killed him in jail and he knew it. He was sick too; always coughing this deep croupy cough, lots of phlegm.”
I looked from the P.I. to Sarah, “Skinny and weak like me huh.’
Sarah vehemently shook her head in the negative, “No, you’re thin, but you’re strong. I mean you have character. You’ve got substance. You’re not very muscular,” she faintly smiled, “no you’re not that kind of strong; you’re ‘man strong’. Shawn was weak. He was cowardly. You’re just ... well you’re who you are. You run into burning buildings to save children. You remember Corinne. I do. So does everybody else. Her husband; you backed him down, you chased him off. He was big. I guess I got a little jealous when you did that, scared too. I saw you with Elmo years ago,” she reached across and took my hand, “you’re heroic. You’re my hero, ‘ she seemed to wither, ‘I’m so... , ‘ she looked at me, ‘I’m no ... I’m unworthy ... oh Bass...”
How did I feel about what Sarah said? I wanted to believe her. I desperately wanted to believe, but...
The meeting continued; I knew I could garner more about this Hairston if I wanted to, a salesmen like him would be easy to track down. Hell, Rath’s employer was one of his clients.
I looked back at the investigator, “I guess you know my wife here has been living something of a double life. This other woman, Sarah Trevelyan had diabetes, she died, and my wife stole her name so she could start her life over.”
The investigator nodded, “Ms. Gauthier you have a criminal record. From the time you turned nineteen, if that was how old you were you were arrested three times; once for vagrancy, once for being a public nuisance, and once for soliciting,” she half smiled at my wife, “of course we know the vagrancy and nuisance charges were camouflage.”
I interrupted, “My wife was an orphan. She spent most of her young life in institutions. She says she was pretty much neglected and...”
The P.I. interrupted me, “You’d like to know more about her past?”
The P.I. went on, “I could do that. I’d need Genevieve to sign off on it. If you want me to I could chase down her childhood ... if that’s what you really want?”
I looked at Sarah, “It’s up to you.”
Sarah looked at me; she looked frantic, “I told you all I know, it was the truth, but if you need to find out for yourself...”
The P.I. interjected, “If I could...”
I turned, “Yes?”
“I don’t know what your wife told you, but I’ll tell you this. Getting minority records is never easy. Let me explain. State and local governments have tried to save money. One way they think they’ve saved is by farming these minority situations out to private firms. You’ve heard the old line, ‘private enterprise is always more efficient.’ Maybe it is, maybe not, but when it’s private it’s always for profit. Sometimes they cut corners. Maybe the food’s not as nutritious. Maybe they cut corners on clothes. Medical expenses can be prohibitive. Who knows? But I’ve found this much out. We’re dealing with government and private bureaucracies. The Soviets used to have a word for this; they called it the ‘Apparatus’. We have strict laws about child protection, and child abuse. We start digging they start to get defensive. They might see your wife as someone trying to build a case. They’ll fight you. Oh they won’t defy you, but there’ll be roadblocks, obstructions, difficulties. You understand. It could take one maybe two years, and you’ll be paying me. That’s fine with me. You know my rates; sixty dollars an hour. Every time one of my secretaries picks up your file its sixty dollars. We get a call, make a call, we file a response, every time sixty dollars. Mr. Ebersole I’ll be glad to take your money. In a couple years we’ll finish; maybe you find out what Geneviève has already told you. I’m good with that.”
I sat back, “I see.”
The P.I. held up her hand, “There’s more.”
I asked. “Really? What?”
“You’ve heard of identity theft?”
I said, “Isn’t that like when they steal your Social Security or your credit card...”
She stopped me, “Or more. Mr. Ebersole, with Geneviève here we’ve got a violation of Federal Law,” she looked at my wife, “you could be staring at upwards of two to five years in prison.”
I interrupted, “But you...”
She interrupted me, “I’m a licensed investigator. I’m not Phillip Marlowe. I’m not Sam Spade. Those are Hollywood characters. I don’t defy the authorities I work with them. Legally I’m obligated to pick up that phone right now and call the FBI. I could lose my license if I didn’t. I could even go to jail. Sure the chances of this ever seeing the light of day are remote, but you’re here because someone saw Sarah, or Genevieve, or whoever she’s claiming to be today. It could happen again. The next time, who knows?”
I felt sick. I looked at Sarah; she looked as bad as I felt. I looked at my P.I., “What do you want me, want us, to do?”
She took a notecard and wrote something on it; she handed me the card, she picked up the phone on her desk and turned it around toward me, “You’ve got a pretty good lawyer,” she nodded toward Sarah, “you could leave her out to dry or you could stand by her. Either way I suggest you make the call.”
I looked at the phone number. It was a local number for the FBI.