She was drop dead gorgeous and I wanted her. I lusted for her. I might even go so far as to say I would kill for her. Five feet five, one twenty, 36x22x35, hazel eyes and flaming red hair. When she was around I could not take my eyes off of her. She knew what she had and she knew that every man in the building wanted her.
Her name was Constance Frederick and she was a secretary where I work. Under other (and better) circumstances I would have immediately made a move on her, but I couldn’t. As much as I wanted her I had to behave myself. The lady was married and I couldn’t, wouldn’t, make a move on another man’s woman. It wasn’t a matter of morals, ethics or any of that kind of stuff; it was the simple fact that I could never do to another man what was done to me. It had hurt and three years later it still hurt.
Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense does it? On the one hand I say I’d kill for her and on the other I say I would never move on another man’s woman. I don’t need to make sense. I’m human and have flaws just like all other humans.
It was a Wednesday evening and in a ritual that started long before I started work at Camebridge Enterprises everyone stopped at Antonio’s Lounge after work for a drink or two. It was only on Wednesday and even though I’d asked a time or two no one could tell me why it was on a Wednesday instead of a Friday. Friday would have made more sense to me since it was the end of the week and time to wind down before going into the weekend. All anyone knew was that it had always been Wednesdays.
I was sitting at the table (actually three tables pushed together) drinking a PBR and absent-mindedly peeling the label off of the bottle while I watched Constance and Gary from QC dancing to the music from the juke box. They weren’t the only couple out there, but my eyes never strayed very far from Constance. I’d never danced with her; I didn’t dare. I got hard-ons from watching her sit at her desk and type. I could just imagine what would happen if I ever got close enough to hold her.
As I watched Gary and Constance move around the floor I wished to God that I wasn’t the way I was. As the pieces of label began to pile up I thought back to what made me the way I was.
As quite a few things do it all started in high school. I dated a lot from the tenth grade on, but I’d never had a steady girlfriend. Didn’t have time for one. I worked after school as a stock boy at a super market chain. My parents had given me a car for my sixteenth birthday with the provision that they would take care of the plates and insurance until I was eighteen, but gas, oil and upkeep were on me. That meant job. Job meant no time for steady girlfriend. Just because I didn’t have one didn’t mean that I didn’t want one. I even knew the one I wanted, but it didn’t look like it was in the cards.
Amber was a cheerleader and while we had known each other since the sixth grade and were friendly towards each other Amber ran with the jock crowd. I was also in the jock crowd, but as in all things there are hierarchies. In football the top level were the quarterbacks and running backs. The second level are the receivers and kickers (if they were any good) and the bottom level were the grunts who fought it out in the trenches. That was me. Right guard. Amber ran with the top tier. She was going steady with the starting quarterback
I doubted that Amber and I would ever get together, but I guess that the Fates decided to play games with us. It was a Friday night and we were playing an away game against Weston. It was the fourth quarter and we were down 24 to 21. We had the ball on their 38 yard line and there were 59 seconds on the clock. We needed to get to their 25 in order to give our kicker his best shot at tying the game and forcing it into overtime.
Our running game had been going good and personally I would have stayed with it, but a pass play was called. The pass was intercepted. The guy that caught it could have just taken a knee and ended the game, but I guess he wanted to be a hero and try to run it back for a touchdown. He headed for what he thought was an open hole and I met him in it and nailed him. The ball came loose, I grabbed it up and took off for the goal line.
Dumb move looking back on it. I could have taken a knee, called a time out and let the QB and running backs try again, but I guess in the back of my mind I was thinking the same shit the guy who had intercepted the ball was thinking. “I’ll be the hero.’ Or some other silly shit. Anyway, I was on my way to the end zone and as I ran it occurred to me that linemen aren’t the speediest critters around and a Weston player was closing on me. I could see that if he got a good tackle on me I wasn’t going to make it to the goal line.
Just as I had that thought Mike Barnes, the tight end who the pass had been intended for came up alongside me and without even thinking about it I handed him the ball, turned and took out the Weston player. Mike scored, our side of the stands went wild as I stood up, offered a hand up to the Weston player and then received one of the biggest shocks of my young life. The fans in the stands were chanting:
“Dawson! Dawson! Dawson!”
That’s me; Robert Dawson. My teammates mobbed me and picked me up and carried me off the field. That was the highlight of my football career (both in high school and college) and as weird as it may sound it was what put me and Amber together. I didn’t know it and I don’t think any of my teammates knew it at the time, but the night before the game Amber had broken up with Brad (the QB) after catching him necking with Harlina Collins.
On the bus back to school Amber sat down next to me and asked if I was going to the victory celebration and when I said yes she asked:
“You want a date?”
“With me silly.”
“What about Brad?”
“He’s yesterday’s news. How about it Bobby?”
“Of course I’d love to be your date.”
In my mind I saw it as a one shot deal. She no longer had a steady, didn’t want to go to the party by herself so she had attached herself to “The Man of the Hour” (Don’t laugh. You know damned well you had an ego when you were a teen).
We had a good time at the party and she clung to me like I was her one and only. I thought it was probably to piss Brad off, but I was surprised when I took her home and she asked me what I was doing Saturday.
“I work Saturday.”
“I know, but what about when you get off work?”
“I don’t have any plans.”
“I don’t either. Want to get together and find something to do?”
And just like that Amber and I were a couple. On our fifth date Amber and I ended up on the backseat of my car. I wasn’t a cherry; Pauline French had seen to that at my eighteenth birthday party. I had no idea what Amber’s sexual history was and I wasn’t about to ask her, but we both enjoyed it and it became one of our favorite things to do on a date. My car didn’t suck up all of my pay so I occasionally was able to spring for a motel room.
Being your typical naïve teenager I assumed that Amber and I were forever so it took me by surprise when one night she told me that she wanted to date other guys.
“You will still be my main man Bobby; I just want to occasionally see someone else.”
I looked at her as all kinds of thoughts ran through my head. Finally I got it together.
“I don’t own you Amber so I can’t tell you what you can and can’t do. You want to date others? Go ahead. Lord knows I won’t be in the way. Goodbye Amber.”
I got up and walked away from her. Her father came in to where I worked the next day and started to give me a ration of shit over leaving ‘his poor baby’ stranded.
“I had to get out of bed and go pick her up.”
“Maybe next time she will be smart enough to breakup with her boyfriend when he takes her home at the end of the date instead of in the middle of it.”
That shut him up and he left the store.
Hurt? It damned near killed me. The love of my life turning her back on me! She called me several times over the next two days, but I just hung up on her. Fortunately it happened a week before graduation and there was so much going on that I didn’t have time to dwell on the situation.
Graduation over with I began working full time at the store. Amber had gone back east to spend the summer with relatives so I didn’t have to suffer through seeing her around. I eventually looked around and started dating again. I caught Pauline between boyfriends and we hooked up for the summer. We both knew it wasn’t going anywhere since she was going back east for college and I would be staying home and going to State.
The highlight of the summer for me happened, ironically, on my last date with Pauline before she left town to go to college. It was a Saturday and I’d had to work so Pauline and I had arranged to meet at Tricocci’s for dinner and then see if we could find a party or two to go to. I walked into the restaurant and the first person I saw was Amber. She looked up from her menu, smiled at me and lifted her hand to wave me over. I think it shocked her when I ignored her and walked right by her to a booth in the back.
Pauline arrived only minutes behind me and I saw her nod at Amber as she went by her. She settled in next to me and turned her head for a kiss and when I went to do it I saw Amber watching. I gave Pauline a good one and then we picked up our menu’s and stared reading. Twice while we ate Amber made trips past us to use the ladies room and I would have bet that it wasn’t to pee. She had been gone all summer and didn’t know about me and Pauline and I think maybe she was having trouble believing that we were together.
We finished eating and Pauline said that she had called around and found out that there as a party going on at Marsha Moose’s house. She had called Marsha and found that we would be welcome so that’s where we headed.
Marsha’s parents were cool and they trusted Marsha so when they took off for a weekend in Vegas they told her she could have a party. The furniture had all been moved out of the living room dining room area to create a dance floor and the party was in full swing when we got there.
We danced and socialized for a couple of hours and we were on the dance floor ‘dirty dancing’ and kissing when the cat calls started.
“Get a room you two.” “Find a back seat.” “Clean it up guys; this party is rated PG.”
Pauline broke the kiss. “Hell of an idea stud. You ready?”
“Damned straight sexy lady.”
We turned to leave and I saw Amber standing off to the side watching us and the look on her face was one of absolute sorrow.
Pauline left town and I spent the week leading up to the start of classes being busy.
I saw Amber at Freshman Orientation, but made no attempt to talk to her. Since we were both Business majors it was inevitable that we would end up in a lot of the same classes together. We were in close proximity so often that it made no sense to try and avoid her, but even so all I did was nod a hello in passing.
Between my job and settling in at school I had little time to date during those first couple of weeks, but as things settled down I started looking around. There were quite a few girls that I had known in high school and a few of them were like me in that their steadies had left town to go to school somewhere else. Whether that ended the relationship was something that I wouldn’t know unless I asked them out.
The first one I asked was Beverly Abbeg. She said yes to a date, but before the date was over she had let me know that all she was ever going to be was a fun date. Kenny Parks was still ‘her main man’ and he would be coming home to her on weekends, holidays and vacations. If I could live with that she wouldn’t mind dating me from time to time. Since she was honest with me I was honest with her.
“I am used to a sex life so I’m going to be looking for a girl who wants one too. If you don’t mind my calling you for a date even though I’m out hunting I wouldn’t mind keeping you company.”
She smiled, stuck her hand out and said “Deal” and we shook on it and I did date Bev off and on between my other dates.
Nancy Wilde was next and she let me know in no uncertain terms that Jason was gone and he was history. We dated several times and she gave it up on our fifth date.
“I’m not easy Bobby, but I’m hurting. Jason and I made it three or four times a week before he left and I’m climbing walls.”
We had a good six weeks together and then she told me that she’d met a guy she wanted to get to know better.
“Face it Bob; all we are is fuck buddies. There is no real spark between us. We can still be friends. Okay?”
She was right so I wished her luck.
I went back to dating Bev while I looked around. Next was Helen Liss. Almost a carbon copy of my relationship with Nancy right down to the same reason for ending the relationship. So it was back to Bev.
One night I asked Bev what she wanted to do and she said “Find a bed and fuck.” Turned out that she got a letter from Kenny telling her that he had met his ‘soulmate’ and wouldn’t be coming home on weekends any more. I got her to a bed and for the rest of the term and the first month of summer vacation Bev and I were a couple.
I was to the point of asking her if she would like to make the relationship permanent when she told me she couldn’t see me anymore. Kenny’s relationship with his ‘soulmate’ had cratered and he was back begging Bev to forgive him and give him another chance and the stupid cunt went and did it. He ended up cheating on her again and during the third week of our sophomore year Bev attempted to get back with me, but I wasn’t going to go there.
It was a week after Bev tried to come back and I was sitting in the Student Union Cafeteria drinking coffee and going over some class notes when someone took the seat across from me. I looked up and saw Amber sitting there.
“You over your snit yet? Done wasting your time on all those other girls? We are supposed to be together Bobby and you know it. You knew it the night of that football game. We clicked and it was obvious to everyone. Okay; I did do something stupid. You going to tell me that you never did anything really dumb or stupid and didn’t regret it?”
I just sat there looking at her and finally she said “Come on Bobby; say something.”
“Doing anything tonight?”
And just like that we were together again. We made it to graduation without any more hiccups and a month after graduation we were married.
The next two years were great. We were both moving ahead in our careers. We decided to wait five years before having kids and we were packing money into savings so we could buy a house. The only glitch in things was that Amber’s job required travel. Not much, maybe three or four days a month, but it was still three or four days that I would rather have had her home with me.
I doubt that I will ever forget the date. June eighth, two thousand and two.
Amber had been away on a two day trip and she was home waiting for me when I got home from work. She had dinner ready and a bottle of wine open on the sideboard to let it breathe. Amber was into that wine stuff. Sniffing the cork, letting it breathe, rolling a drop around in the glass and looking at it to see whatever it was that she was looking for. I used to kid her about it, but not that day. It looked like she had a romantic evening planned and I wasn’t going to do anything to spoil the mood.
She put the dinner on the table and poured the wine. We usually didn’t talk while eating so the silence didn’t cause me concern. We finished the meal and I topped off the wine glasses and waited. This would be the time she would say:
“Dessert will be served in the bedroom.”
Only she didn’t say it. What she said is “We have to talk Booby.”
“Of course love. What about?”
“This is difficult for me Bobby and I tried and tried to think of some other way, some better way to do this, but I can’t. I’m just going to have to do it this way. I want a divorce.”
That caught me absolutely flat footed. I wasn’t aware of any problems with our marriage, but then it dawned on me. “Excuse me” I said as I got up and rushed for the toilet. I left the door open so she could hear me puking my guts out. Well, not really, but I think I did a good job of faking it.
What had dawned on me? It had to be another man. Since I could account for all of Amber’s time except for when she was working the man had to be a co-worker. I knew two other guys who had gone through the same thing and one of the things they had both said was they wished they could have had some kind of evidence that would have held up in court. If they would have had it they would have come out of their divorces a little better off financially.
I used my fake trip to the bathroom to grab the cassette recorder that I used for taking notes out of my briefcase. I went back to the table and sat down. I took a sip of wine and then said:
“Sorry about that. It was a bit of a shock. Why? What did I do?”
“You didn’t do anything wrong Bobby. It isn’t you; it’s me. I just fell out of love with you. That’s all. I just fell out of love with you.”
“Who is he?”
“He doesn’t matter Bobby.”
“He matters to me Amber. We’ve only been married two years and that isn’t enough time for you to fall out of love with me without help from someone. Who is he?”
“No one you know. Just let it go. Please? Just accept that I don’t want to be with you anymore and let it go.”
“I can’t do that Amber. If you are going to rip my heart out and ruin my life you owe it to me to at least tell me why.”
“It isn’t anything you did Bobby; it is all on me.”
“Who Amber? Who is he?”
“Your new boss? How did that happen? Oh; I see now. You hooked up with him on one of your so called business trips. Did you at least use protection so you wouldn’t bring anything home to me?”
“It wasn’t that way Bobby.”
“Well by all means tell me what way it was.”
“We were having dinner with a client and Brian was sitting across from me and at one point our eyes met and a spark arced between us. When the client left we sat there and talked for hours. We are soulmates Bobby. We were meant to be together.”
“Funny thing that; I seem to remember sitting across a table from you a couple of years back when you said those same words to me. In fact your exact words were “We are supposed to be together and you know it. You knew it the night of that football game.” You remember that?”
“Please Bobby; don’t make it any harder than it has to be.”
“Is he better in bed than me? Got a bigger dick? His tongue maybe a foot long?”
“He isn’t any better, only different, but it isn’t about sex. It is a matter of our souls being in tune with each other.”
“So how many times have you come home to me and let me fuck pussy that had just been used by him?”
“Only a couple of times Bobby, but again, it wasn’t about sex.”
“So how do you see this happening?”
“I’ve seen a lawyer and he is drawing up papers for a divorce based on irreconcilable differences. A straight fifty-fifty asset split and I’m not asking for alimony.”
Just then the doorbell rang and Amber said “I think that’s for you.”
I went to the door and opened it to find a man I didn’t know standing there. “Robert Dawson” he asked I said yes. He handed me an envelope and said “You have been served.”
I walked back to the table and threw the envelope down on it as I said “You sure aren’t letting any grass grow under your feet are you.”
It wasn’t planned, but the envelope hit Amber’s wine glass, tipped it over and spilled the dark red wine onto Amber’s lap and hopefully ruining one of her favorite outfits. “Oops” I said as I headed for the bedroom. I packed a bag with enough to last me for a couple of days and headed for the door.
“Where are you going?”
“Away from your cheating ass” and then I was out the door.
I checked in at the Marriott and left a wakeup call for seven. At nine I was at the door of the bank when it opened. I needed to see what Amber had left me. Amber’s attorney must not been worth what she was paying him because he obviously hadn’t told her to do her banking before she hit me with the papers. Imagine my surprise when I found all the accounts untouched. I quickly changed that. I left two dollars in each account, a dollar for every year we were married.
I went to another bank and opened a checking account with half the money and then I went to a second bank and rented a deposit box for the rest. I didn’t know if they had a way of finding out where I had accounts, but I didn’t want to chance it. I didn’t think they would think I’d open accounts at two different banks. I mean it wasn’t like we were dealing with millions. We were only talking about sixteen thousand.
Next step was work where I told my boss what had happened and I was going to need a few days off to take care of somethings. He told me to take the rest of the week off and then he sent me to our in house legal department to get a recommendation for a divorce lawyer of my own. Dave in Legal told me his brother Chuck was the man I wanted to see and he called him and made an appointment for me to see him that afternoon.
Next stop was Radio Shack where I bought three voice activated tape recorders. Then I went back to the apartment, made sure that Amber’s car was gone and then went inside to get some things I’d overlooked the night before. While there I planted the three recorders where I thought they would pick up the most. I also picked up the envelope off the table where it was still setting.
I read it over pie and coffee at the Village Inn while waiting for my appointment with the attorney. It was just as Amber had said. An even split of assets, we kept our own cars and she wasn’t asking for alimony.
My afternoon meeting with Dave’s brother Chuck was enlightening. I found we lived in a state where no fault rules were in sway, but we were one of the few states that allowed you to sue for alienation of affections. He also pointed out that if the company that Amber and the Lattis asshole worked for had a company policy and procedures manual and that manual had morals clauses in it we could sue the company for not enforcing those rules. I gave him the tape of Amber’s talk with me and he listened and said we had enough to move forward. Then he asked me what I wanted to do. I smiled and said:
“Rape, burn, pillage, destroy and make them bleed.”
He said he would get right on it.
I spent the rest of the day looking for an apartment. I found one close to work, took care of the necessary paperwork and moved in. I didn’t want anything out of the apartment so I hit the Goodwill store and got everything I needed to set up housekeeping and make the place livable.
I’d turned off my phone when I walked out on Amber and I only turned it back on to use it and then shut it off again. There were missed messages and voicemails from Amber, but I deleted them all unread and unlistened to. When I got back to work the following week there were thirty-nine “While you were out” messages waiting for me and Maxine, my secretary, begged me to do something to “Get her off my back.”
I picked up the phone and called Amber. “Thank you for calling the offices of Harper, Walden and Associates. How may I direct your call?”
“Is the cheating whore in yet?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Is my cheating wife in yet? You know, the one who sleeps with her boss when they are on trips or long lunches?”
“Oh” a short pause and then “This is Amber. How can I help you?”
And didn’t that tell me something. Not once did I mention Amber’s name, but the receptionist knew who I was calling as soon as I said “the one who sleeps with her boss on trips”.
“Why the hell are you calling me? Everything that needed to be said happened after dinner the other night. I do not want to talk to you Amber. It fact it would suit me fine if I never set eyes on you again so stop trying to get in touch with me. I will not take your calls. Have a rotten life bitch!”
I couldn’t wait to share that tape with my attorney. Yes, tape. I had decided that it would be in my best interests to have all my conversations with Amber recorded.
Was I curious as to what she wanted to say? Of course I was; just not curious enough.
Chuck called me the next day and told me that the papers were ready to serve and asked me how I wanted to handle it. We set it up to serve the papers on Amber and Lattis at work the next day. I was counter suing Amber for divorce on the grounds of adultery and suing Lattis for alienation of affections. After the two of them had been served in front of as many of her co-workers as possible the process server would serve a company official with papers.
Somehow Chuck had gotten a copy of the company’s policy and procedures manual and it did have morals clauses in it. There was one strongly worded section on relationships between supervisors and those they supervised so the company was being sued for not enforcing their own policies and thereby being a party to the breakup of my marriage.
The next day when I got to work I told Maxine to expect a call from Amber sometime after two which was the time the papers would be served. Sure enough the call came in at two-ten.
“What the fuck do you want Amber?”
“Why did you do it Bobby? I thought you loved me.”
“I did Amber; right up until you kicked me to the curb so you could be with your asshole boss.”
“It didn’t have to be this way Bobby. I still have affection for you.”
“Get serious Amber and stop living in La-La Land. I don’t know what you expected I would do after your little speech, but you should have known me well enough to know I wasn’t going to go peacefully. You started this ball rolling so pull up your big girl panties and live with it.”
“Did you have to go after Brian too?”
“Of course I did. The asshole went after my wife. He knew you were married and he made a move on you anyway and he has to pay. This isn’t the seventeen or eighteen hundreds where I could challenge the asshole to a duel and kill his ass so I had to go with the twenty-first century equivalent and sue his ass. Believe me Amber; I really wish I could have done something more brutal to the both of you, but I don’t want to go to jail. I’ve said this before, but it didn’t seem to take. I do not want to hear your voice again. Have a rotten life bitch!”
I hung up the phone and got back to work.
Then things took on a life of their own. The company said that the suit against them was bogus and they couldn’t be expected to know what their employees were doing away from the office. Chuck played them the tape of my phone call to Amber and said:
“Your receptionist knew how to place the call without a name being mentioned and you claim you didn’t know? Everyone else in the building seems to know and you expect me to believe that no one in management had a clue?”
They made an offer and Chuck told me it was probably the best we could hope for without going to trial were the wrong jury could find against us. Since I hadn’t much cared if Amber’s company paid me anything or not I told Chuck to take their offer. My only reason for going after the company was to bring them down on Amber and Lattis and in that I was successful. Lattis was fired, but Amber was able to hold onto her job. I found out later that she claimed that Lattis told her if she didn’t put out for him he would fire her. I knew that was bullshit because I’d already listened to her ‘soulmates’ speech.
Even though Lattis was out of a job and had no paycheck coming in he did have considerable assets. He owned his house free and clear and he had several investments, but he was going to try and tough it out.
“No jury is ever going to find for you in this case. You have no proof other than the words of a delusional women.”
Chuck smiled at him and said “The words of a delusional women and your words” and then he played the tapes for Lattis. The tapes? Oh yeah. Remember the three recorders I placed in the apartment? Two days after I’d had the happy couple served I went back to the apartment and retrieved them. I hadn’t bothered to try a tap the phone because Amber’s habit when on the phone was to put it on speaker so she could do other things while she talked. The first conversation of interest took place on the evening following my placing of the recorders.
“Is he back yet?”
“No and I don’t think he will come back.”
“Are you sure he isn’t going to cause us any problems?”
“He will accept it. My Bobby isn’t the type to stay where he thinks he isn’t wanted.”
“That doesn’t mean he won’t be so pissed that he will want to get even.”
“Not my Bobby. I know him. There isn’t a mean bone in his body. He will do just what he did when we broke up in high school. He will ignore me and move on.”
“No backbone huh?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“Now that he is out of the picture can we start getting together more often? Lunch hours and trips just aren’t enough Babe. I need more of you.”
“We can’t do it here. He might just decide to come back and I wouldn’t want him walking in on us doing it.”
“No problem Babe. We will just leave work and go to my house. You might as well get used to the place since I’m going to move you in anyway. Now that he is out of the picture we can skip the lunch hour quickies and spend some quality time together.”
“I’d like that, but my lawyer told me I shouldn’t do anything that Bobby might find out about and then use against me.”
“Why worry? You said it yourself. He will ignore you and move on. Face it Babe. He isn’t a man; he is a wimp. A real man wouldn’t have gotten up and walked out. He would have ranted and raved and threatened to hunt me down. That’s why you picked me Babe. You needed a real man in your life.”
“Well if you think it is okay I guess I can spend the night at your place tomorrow.”
The second one of interest took place the evening after they were served.
“You said he would walk away. You said he would just ignore you and move on.”
“I don’t understand it. That was just so unlike my Bobby. I didn’t think he was capable of ever hurting me.”
“It is too late to worry about it now. What we need to do now is damage control.”
“What do you mean?”
“It seems that after we were served the company got served.”
“For not enforcing the C P & P.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Have you ever read it?”
“No. It just seemed like a bunch of legal gobaldy gook to me.”
“There are moral clauses in it and one whole section about the behaviors of supervisors with those they supervise. Beeman wants to see me in his office first thing in the morning and it could be bad.”
“Because they may figure my relationship with you is inappropriate and if they decide to take a hard line on it I could end up being demoted.”
“That’s just silly. How can a company insert itself into the lives of two people who love each other?”
I laughed out loud at his next words.
“Are you sure that you are a college graduate with a degree in Business Management?”
“Of course I am. How could you even ask me something like that?”
“Did you sleep through all of your Business Law courses?”
There was more, but the upshot was that Lattis settled. I did have to give the asshole some credit. He told Amber to say he had threatened to fire her if she didn’t go to bed with him on their trips together and if asked he wouldn’t deny it. That way she could save her job.
When the dust settled and after Chuck took his cut I had eighty-nine thousand more in my bank account and an ex-wife.
Are Amber and Lattis still together? Don’t know, don’t care, but I doubt it. Six months after the divorce was final I received a phone call from Amber.
“Bobby? I made a big mistake honey. I miss you. Can we get together and talk about it?”
“No we can’t Amber. How many times do I have to tell you that I never want to see you or hear your voice again.”
And I hung up on her.
So, back to she of the hazel eyes and flaming red hair.
We were at Antonio’s, a lounge close to where we work, and we stopped there every Wednesday night after work for a drink or two to unwind and bad mouth management and their latest stupid maneuver. There was a juke box and a dance floor (Antonio’s had a live band Thursday through Saturday) and someone was always dropping quarters in the juke box.
The girls I worked with liked to dance so they were always pulling guys off their seats and out onto the dance floor. I did my share of dancing with them, but I was never the one to ask them. If they asked me I would. Just me being quirky I suppose. Most were married, engaged or had boyfriends and I would not ask another guy’s women for anything; not even a simple thing like a dance. If they asked me fine, but I would not do the asking. The only exception was Constance. If she asked I politely declined by saying that I had to leave because I was due someplace else and needed to be on my way.
It was six-thirty and we had been there since five and the group started breaking up and leaving. By six forty-five there was only Constance and me. When we all got there we had pushed three tables together and Constance had been sitting at one end and I was sitting at the other end. With everyone else gone we looked silly as hell sitting there with the length of three table between us.
I could have gotten up and gone down to her end and joined her, but I didn’t. I was afraid that it would look like I was trying to make a move on her. Silly of me and I knew it, but you have to realize, maybe not understand but realize, just how bad Amber had fucked me up. What she had done to me affected the way I looked at women and the way I behaved around them.
I had just decided to get up and go home when Constance got up, came to my end of the table and sat down next to me.
“Truth time Bob. No one else around to hear so why don’t you tell me why you don’t like me? Then again maybe it isn’t a matter of like. Maybe what it is is that you are afraid of me. Come on Bob; give it up.”
I may be a touch on the quirky side when it comes how I am with some women, but I’m not at all awkward or tongue-tied around them.
“Why would you think that I don’t like you or am afraid of you?”
“Just the way you avoid me. You won’t dance with me even if I ask you and when we pass each other in the halls at work you turn your eyes away from me. I’m not the shy and retiring type Bob. I know what I look like and I’m used to guys sniffing around me. I’ve seen you watching me and I admit I like the attention so when I run across someone who behaves toward me like you do I have to ask myself why. The only two reasons I could come up with are that you don’t like me or that you are afraid of me for some reason.”
“Well you are partially right. Fear is part of it. I’m not afraid of you. I’m afraid of me.”
“You are afraid of you? That doesn’t even make sense.”
“Maybe not to you, but never the less it is true.”
“Come on Bob; open up here. You can’t say something like that to me and then leave me hanging. You know it will drive me crazy if I don’t find out.”
What the hell I thought; what could it hurt.
“I’m afraid of what I might do if I got friendly with you.”
“That doesn’t even come close to making sense to me.”
“That’s because you don’t the effect that you have on me”
She bent and looked down at the floor before looking back up at me and saying “It’s getting pretty deep down there Bob.”
“No bullshit Mrs. Frederick” and then I proceeded to tell her how I viewed her and my feelings about having anything to do with women who were already attached. She broke out laughing.
“You would kill for me? Well I am pretty pissed off at my husband right now, but I don’t think I’ll take you up on the kill for me business.”
The waitress came up and Constance ordered us another round. As soon as the waitress was gone Constance said:
“You just might be what I need in my life Bob. A male friend whose shoulder I can cry on without having to worry about him hitting on me.”
“You miss the point here Mrs. Frederick. My fear is that with you I might not be able to control myself.”
“How about you don’t worry about it and let me handle the control issues. Now that we have that settled what are you doing Friday?”
“Nothing planned. Why?”
“Hubby is in Seattle for two weeks of training and I have a charity function I need to attend. If I go alone I’ll be getting hit on all night long so what I need is an escort who will be safe and that would be you. All you’ll need is a suit and a tie and a willingness to stand between me and the guys who want to get in my pants.”
“But I’m one of them; that’s why I have to stay away from you.”
“Hush now Bobby; I’ve got you figured out now. You want in my pants, but you won’t make a move and we both know it. The only way you can get out of being my date is to just flat out say you don’t want to be seen out in public with an ugly hag like me. So tell me Bobby; what’s it going to be?”
I took a deep breath, told myself I was being stupid and then said “What time and where?”
When she opened the door to greet me at six on Friday it took every ounce of my willpower to keep me from throwing her over my shoulder and then running for her bedroom. She was absolutely stunning in her ‘little black dress’ and four inch CFMs. She literally took my breath away.
“Earth to Bobby; come in Bobby” brought me out of the trance the sight of her had put me into.