“Hang in there” he said as he walked away. I had to smile a bit when he said that. The story of my life in three little words. That’s pretty much all I’ve done in life is hang in there. When I was dead and gone that is what it would say on my tombstone.
He hung in there
When I started school I was a chubby kid and all the kids would laugh at me and call me “Fatso” and when I told my dad about it he said:
“Things will change son. All you have to do is hang in there.”
By age seven I was wearing glasses because of near-sightedness and the taunts changed to “Four-eyed fatso.” When I came home from school in a downer of a mood because of it my mom asked me what was wrong. I told her and she said:
“Don’t let it worry you Frankie. Give it some time. Just hang in there and it will get better.”
But they didn’t. I got interested in sports and the more active I got the more the pounds started falling away. The word “Fatso” disappeared, but things didn’t get any better. I just went from “Four-eyed Fatso” to “Frankie Four-eyes.”
I wasn’t the only kid picked on and some of them had it even worse than I did. Sally Meyers was a bit heavy and her mother always sent her to school in pig-tails so she was “Piggy Pig-tails.” Louis Altman was born with one leg shorter than the other and because of it he looked awkward when he walked and that earned him two nicknames. To some he was “Lurching Lou” and to others he was “Limping Louie.” I often wondered if their parents told them to hang in there and things would get better.
In school I had trouble getting my head around the concept of imaginary numbers in math class and from my math teacher I got “Hang in there Frank; it’ll come to you” but it never did. Not that it mattered since once out of school I never encountered imaginary numbers again.
Of course some of the times I was told to hang in there and it would get better I hung in there and they did. Contact lenses came along and Frankie Four-eyes disappeared. I went out for football and I thought I was pretty good, but the coach thought Danny Marks was better so I sat on the bench. I was talking to my Uncle Bob about it and got the “Hang in there Frank; you’ll get your chance.” One Friday night in a game against Weston Danny wasn’t doing well and the coach said “Dalton! Get in there for Marks” and I never sat on the bench again.
Naturally a lot of the times I was told to hang in there and things would change or get better they never did. A case in point was my infatuation with Pauline French. She was my sister’s best friend and as such she was always around. I’d been hung up on her since the seventh grade, but I didn’t exist as far as Paulie was concerned. It seemed like Paulie changed boyfriends about as often as I changed my socks and each one she had was a loser. Once I asked my sister why I couldn’t get anywhere with Pauline.
“Why is she always going out with meatheads and losers when she could be going out with me?”
“Just hang in there Frankie and you’ll get your chance.”
But I never did. We graduated from high school and Pauline went back east to go to college.
I might have been infatuated with Pauline, but I didn’t sit back and wait for her to decide to give me a shot. I dated a lot until I hooked up with Nancy Wilde halfway through the eleventh grade. We were going steady by the end of the eleventh and we hung together all through the summer vacation.
My eighteenth birthday was a week before school started and as a birthday present Nance (who was two months older) gave me my first blow job. Did I like it? Fucking A I did! When she told me that there were more where that one came from and I could have all I wanted if I would eat her pussy I said:
“Let’s get to it!”
Never having done it and not having the slightest idea of what I was doing I naturally didn’t give a good showing the first time out. Luckily Nance didn’t hold it against me. What she did was teach me how she wanted it done. Next she took my cherry and boy- o-boy did I like that!
A month into the twelfth grade she dumped me for Roger Medow. No easing me into it just a flat out “I’m going with Roger now” when I asked her what she wanted to do on Friday after school. I went looking for Roger. I was going to have a ‘little talk’ with him about stealing my girl. I found him talking to Tony Bates and Jerry Watts. I fully expected a fist-fight when I jumped him about moving in on Nance, but it didn’t happen.
“I didn’t move in on her Dalton; she came to me and asked me for a date.”
Tony said “He isn’t bullshitting you Frank. I was there with him when she did it. She walked up to him and said that since it didn’t look like he was ever going to ask her out she was asking him.”
“I though you guys must have broken up” Roger said “Why else would she come up to me and since I know she puts out I made a date with her.”
“Then it looks like I’ve got no beef with you” and I walked away.
When my sister asked why I was so down I told her what had happened.
“Rumor has it that his package is a bit large and I guess Nancy wanted to see for herself if it was true. Don’t let it get you down. Hang in there and wait. She’ll get what’s coming to her for being a bitch to you.”
And she did. She got pregnant and Roger told her the kid wasn’t his and to fuck off. By the time Nancy had the baby we had graduated and Roger had joined the Army and was long gone.
When Nancy dumped me I made another run at Pauline and as usual I got nowhere. I went into a funk and once again my sister told me to:
“Hang in there Frankie. It will get better. There are a lot of girls who are interested in you and I’ll bet a couple of them will make a run at you.”
“How could you know that?”
“Girls talk Frankie. Nancy told several girls about what she calls ‘your magic mouth’ and I’m sure that some of them are going to try and find out if it is true.”
“What is this magic mouth stuff?”
“Eating pussy. Girls want it and a lot of guys won’t do it. According to what Nancy says you are one who does it.”
Yes my sister could and did talk to me like that. We’d had no secrets from each other since the day I walked into the house a couple hours earlier than expected and found her and her then current boyfriend going at it on the living room couch.
So I hung in there and sure enough Bev Abbeg came up to me in the student cafeteria and asked me for a date. I of course said yes and on our third date we were steaming up the windows of the car with our make out sessions.
Our fifth date was at her house. Her parents were gone for the weekend and when I arrived she said she would rather stay home and we could watch some of her dad’s collection of movies. We popped a movie into the VCR and were watching “Pretty Woman” when Bev got up to go to the bathroom. When she came back she was naked. She walked over and turned off the TV and then turned to me and said:
“I’ll let you fuck me if you’ll eat my pussy.”
Bev and I lasted until she left to go to college in Texas. I was staying home and going to community college intending to move to a four year college later on. We had a tearful farewell even though we already knew we weren’t meant to be as a fulltime couple. I told her that I’d miss her and she knew that what I really meant was that I would miss getting steady pussy from her and she said:
“Just hang in there Frankie and you’ll meet someone.”
She gave me a hot kiss and then she was gone.
Even though I knew that Bev and I weren’t forever I was still bummed that she was gone and as usual my sister picked up on my mood.
“Snap out of it Frankie; she’s gone, but someone will take her place before too long. What was it; three weeks between the time that Nancy dropped you and Bev picked up the slack? There are still a lot of girls out there who would like to have their beaver snacked on. Hell; if you weren’t my brother I’d have you up in my bedroom munching on mine.”
I looked at her when she said that and she misread the expression on my face and said “Oh no Frank; not going there. Either go to your room and beat your meat or go out and find Bev’s replacement, but you and I are a no no.”
I took her advice and got out of the house.
I hit the arcade and found several of my friends there. I played some of the machines and then Wendell said there was a party going on at Jake Elrod’s house and we decided to crash it. I hadn’t been there ten minutes when Tanya Ensign came up to me and asked:
“Why, in all the years we have known each other, have you never asked me out?”
“You were always with someone else and it was always someone I knew. The Guy Code says you can’t mess with the woman of a friend or acquaintance. And then there is the fact that you are going to State so I don’t see you very often.”
“I’m not dating anyone now.”
I know an invitation when I hear it so I said “Why don’t we get out of here and go somewhere more private?”
“Let me grab my purse and say my goodbyes and I’ll meet you at the front door in three minutes.”
It was closer to five, but who was counting.
When we got in the car she asked what I had in mind when I’d said “Go somewhere more private.”
“Just get away from all the noise and interruptions at the party. Go someplace where we can sit and talk.”
“Talk about what?”
“You coming up to me and hitting on me for one thing. Girls as hot as you are don’t need to go after guys. You are probably beating them off with a stick so why me?”
“I’ve heard good things about you Frank and I wanted to see for myself if they are true.”
“What kind of things?”
“Don’t play coy with me Frank. You know damned well what I mean. Girls talk and Nancy Wilde and Beverly Abbeg give you high marks.”
“So you are just looking for a sex toy?”
“Being a sex toy isn’t a bad thing to be Frankie. There are benefits. You think I’m hot so I doubt you will feel ashamed if people see me on your arm. And then there is the fact that I give as good as I get.”
She looked out the window, frowned and then asked where we were going.
“My Uncle Jim is in Calgary for three weeks and I’m watching his house. Cutting the grass and things like that. No sense in sitting at the Village Inn and talking when we can get right to your finding out for yourself if the things you’ve heard are true.”
She looked at me and said “I expected a little more romance in leading up to it.”
“Then you shouldn’t have come right out and said you wanted to find out if what you’d heard was true. No sense in wasting time is the way I see it. I get the impression that if I don’t measure up you are in the wind so let’s just get it over with.”
She said nothing and after a minutes or so I said “Yes or no babe. If it is no I can hang a U-turn and head for a place where we can sit, talk and waste time in getting to where you’ve already said you want to go.”
“You’re right. Let’s do it.”
I must have measured up because six months later Tanya and I were still seeing a lot of each other. We were not a steady couple even though I wanted us to be, but Tanya had promised her mother she wouldn’t attach herself to any one guy until she got out of college. She dated other guys, but I got eighty-five percent of her free time. She did promise me she wouldn’t fuck any of them and I was naïve enough (or pussy whipped enough) to believe her.
There were some awkward times when I showed up where she and her date were or she and her date walked into someplace where I was. I was always alone when those things happened because even though Tanya hadn’t committed to me I had committed me to her. I fully expected that we would be a fully committed couple as soon as she finished school.
Can you spell STUPID? I got my rude awakening at a party at Jake Elrod’s house. Talk about irony. It was at a Jake Elrod party that Tanya and I first hooked up. I’d been there about an hour when Tanya showed up with a guy I didn’t know and another couple who I’d never seen before. Probably people she knew from school.
As usual when we ended up somewhere and she was with another guy I avoided her as much as I could. I was out on Jake’s patio taking a break from the smoke filled room when the two guys who had arrived with Tanya came out. They were talking and didn’t seem to care if anyone overheard them or not. The one guy was saying to the guy who was Tanya’s date:
“Why are you wasting time on her if she won’t give up some pussy?”
“She gives great head and even though she won’t give me any pussy she does let me have her ass.”
“No shit? She takes it up the dirt road?”
“It’s probably tighter than her cunt anyway.”
“I’ve never done anal.”
That makes two of us I thought. I didn’t know if Tanya’s date was lying to his buddy, but she sure as hell was lying to me. When she promised me she wouldn’t fuck any of her other dates I took it to mean she wouldn’t have sex with any of them, but to me giving head was having sex and if her date wasn’t lying taking a cock in her ass was fucking any way you wanted to look at it. What made it even worse was that she had always refused me when I asked if we could try it. They were still talking when I went back into the house. I went and found Jake and thanked him for inviting me and then I left.
It was a Friday night and I went home intending to pack and head up to the lake and camp out for the weekend. Get away from things. Sis was there when I got there and she took one look at me and said:
“You look like someone pissed in your beer.”
I told her and got the “Just hang in there Frankie; you’ll find a good one in time” speech. I asked her why she wasn’t out partying on a Friday night and she said:
“I’m having the same luck with guys that you are having with girls.”
I jokingly said “Maybe we should give incest a try and then we could just stay home and not waste time on the slugs out there. You did once mention that you would like to have your muffin munched on.”
“Don’t tempt me Frankie; just don’t tempt me.”
I got all my gear together and headed for the campground at the lake. As I put up my tent I was wondering how Tanya would take my not showing up for our Saturday date. Probably call one of the others she had been going out with and fucking.
When I got home Sunday night mom told me that Tanya had called twice and that I probably should give her a call. I hadn’t intended to talk to Tanya until later on in the week, but I knew my mom and I knew I would get a ration of crap from her if I didn’t return Tanya’s call right away. I bit the bullet, picked up the phone and made the call. Mom left the room to give me a little privacy.
“Mom says you called.”
“Frankie? Where were you Saturday?”
“I went camping.”
“But we had a date.”
“I know” I said and then deliberately trying to give the impression that he had talked with me I went on to say “After hearing what your date had to say about you and the things that you and he had done together I just decided not to waste any more time on you.”
“My date? What he said? What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about what your date to Jake’s party on Friday night had to say about your sexual activities with him.”
“Rory talked about us?”
“He did indeed. He thinks you give the best head he’s ever gotten and that your ass is the tightest thing he has ever been in. I know about the head, but I couldn’t comment on the tightness of your ass since you never let me have it. As I remember it you said it was something too filthy and disgusting to even talk about let alone do.”
There was silence on the other end so I said “Goodbye Tanya” and hung up the phone.
When I got out of class Monday I found Tanya sitting in her car and parked right next to mine. When she saw me coming she got out of her car and moved to where she was between me and mine. As soon as I was up to her she asked:
“Why did you hang up on me last night?”
“Because you weren’t talking.”
“That’s because I was stunned by what you said. None of it was true and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from you. This morning when I got to class I jumped Rory about it and he told me he never talked to you. Told me he didn’t even know you and had never laid eyes on you.”
“That’s probably true, but I just happened to be standing where I could overhear him talking to the guy from the couple you came into the party with and what I heard was just what I told you on the phone.”
“It isn’t true baby; none of it.”
“I don’t believe you Tanya. I know about you and promises. That’s why you are dating other guys. Because of a promise you made your mother right? You promised me that you wouldn’t fuck any of the others you dated and that’s a promise you both kept and broke at the same time.”
She gave me a look that fairly screamed out “What the fuck are you saying? I kept it and broke it at the same time?”
“You promised me you wouldn’t fuck them and you kept your promise. To you fucking meant cock in pussy and this Rory guy said you wouldn’t let him have your pussy, but you gave him blow jobs and anal sex. To me when you said you wouldn’t fuck your other dates it meant that you wouldn’t have sex with any of them. Head and anal are sex so as far as I’m concerned you didn’t keep your promise to me. That’s it in a nutshell Tanya. As far as you are concerned you kept it and as far as I’m concerned you didn’t.
“And before you even say he is lying I’m going to say I won’t believe you if you do. Just the fact he said he could have everything except pussy from you will set in my mind from now on. The sad thing is it could even be true, but doubt has been firmly planted in my mind and it will always be there.”
This is bullshit Frankie and I’ll prove it.”
“And just how are you going to do that?”
“Just meet me at Harry’s Malt Shack tomorrow when you get out of class. Say about four-thirty and I’ll prove it.”
I was doubtful and it must have shown because she said “Hang in there with me Frankie. We will be all right; you’ll see.”
When I got to Harry’s the next day Tanya was already in a booth and she had her date from Jake’s party with her. They were sitting opposite each other and I sat down next to Tanya. She introduced me to Rory and then said:
“Tell him Rory.”
He looked like he’d just taken a bite of something rotten and then said “None of what you heard at the party was true. I was trying to make myself look like a stud to Cliff. Tanya and I have been dating off and on for about six weeks and there have been some make out sessions, but she always shut me down whenever I tried getting touchy-feely. The thing was that Tanya had dated Cliff and Cliff knew she wouldn’t put out so when he asked me why I was dating a girl who wouldn’t put out I tried to put myself one up on him. I lied and said she gave head and would take it up her butt.”
“And you expect me to believe this bullshit?”
“I’m hoping like hell you do. She flat told if she if she losses you over this shit she’ll ruin me.”
“How could she do that?”
“She says she will tell every girl she knows about what I did. If girls think I blabbed about them I’ll never get another date in school and I’ve got three years to go yet.”
He looked at Tanya and asked “Are we cool?”
Tanya nodded a yes and then said “Just don’t waste your time trying to get me to date you anymore.”
He nodded, slid out of the booth and left. Tanya nudged me and said “Scoot.”
“I want you sitting on the other side.”
I moved and once I was seated across from her she said “I’m not all that happy that you were so quick to jump on what that asshole said and kick me to the curb. The least you could have done was call me, tell me what you’d heard and then talked with me before kicking me loose. It makes me think the feelings you have for me are nowhere near the feelings I have for you. I want you to take a few days and think about it Frank. Is all that I am to you is a steady piece of ass? Take a few days to think about it”
She slid out of the booth and walked away.
I did think about it over the next day and a half. Tanya was more to me than a steady piece of ass. I had been thinking of us as husband and wife down the road. I wasn’t in any hurry; I was thinking more along the lines of after we got out of school.
Did I believe Rory’s story? Yes I did. Been there and done that. In the ninth grade I’d dated Beverly Holbrook and I got a kiss at the end of our second date. A couple of guys had seen it and in the locker room after gym class I was asked if I had gotten anywhere with her. To make myself look good I told them I had finger fucked her and she had given me a hand job and then I told them I’d probably be fucking her after a couple more dates.
Want to know what is as fast as the speed of light? The high school grapevine. Three hours later when I walked out of school I found Bev waiting for me. I was smiling when I walked up to her and I never saw the slap coming. She slapped the side of my head so hard I heard bells ringing and then while I was stunned she kneed me in the crotch, called me a rotten motherfucker and stomped off. It was months before I could ever get another girl to go out with me.
As I remembered that incident a though came to me. I wondered if that was why I couldn’t ever get anything going with Pauline.
Friday after class I called Tanya.
“It’s me. I’m calling to apologize for being an asshole. Want to take in a movie with me?”
And we were back to being a couple. Tanya changed her dating habits. To keep her promise to her mother she would date another guy once every two weeks or so, but it was always during the week. I got all of the weekends.
There was a change in my life. My stint at the community college convinced me that I didn’t want to go on to a four year college and I changed my major from Business Management to Metal Fabrication. I turned into a pretty good welder and was a fair hand at sheet metal fabrication. I graduated, found a good job at XYZ Corporation and put together enough money to get an apartment.
The part that sucked was that as the new guy with no seniority I was on the afternoon shift and the only time I could spend with Tanya was on the weekends. I asked her to marry me and she said yes, but not until she graduated and that was two years way.
One night at work I was on break and I was having coffee in the breakroom with Chuck. Chuck was a long time employee with XYZ and with more than enough seniority to go to days, but for some reason he preferred the afternoon shift. I was moaning about how afternoons were screwing up my love life and he said:
“Just hang in there hoss. There is enough turnover here that you can make day shift in about a year.”
He was right. It only took six months for a vacancy to open on day shift that I could move to. Once on days I was able to spend more time with Tanya and things got to the point where my bedroom closet and chest of drawers had more of Tanya’s stuff in them than mine.
It was a night when Tanya was on one of her ‘placating mother’ dates and I was having dinner with my parents. My sister and her fiancé were also there and at one point in the evening my sister said:
“Guess what? I talked to Pauline today.”
“She asked about you. Wanted to know how you were doing.”
“Why in the world would she do that? She wouldn’t have anything to do with me when we were in school.”
“Don’t have any idea, but she does ask about you almost every time we talk.”
“Probably sorry she missed her chance.”
Sis got a good laugh out of that one.
Life was good. The job was great. Tanya and I were already planning the wedding that would happen the week after her graduation. It was going to be a simple ceremony at the County Court House with the reception being held in my parent’s backyard.
I was a bit worried how Tanya’s mother would take the sudden marriage, but Tanya told me not to sweat it. She told me that she would handle her mother. I hoped so because I liked her mom and I was pretty sure that her mother liked me.
Tanya was spending some nights with me; telling her mother she was sleeping over with one of her girlfriends and I sure did love waking up in the morning with her snuggled up against me. I wanted more and one morning I asked Tanya:
“Why don’t you just tell your mother you’ve found the one you want to spend your life with and put an end to all the games? She likes me. She’ll understand.”
“I just don’t want to let her down. She is big on promises and I don’t want to break the one I made her. Just hang in there honey; it will only be a couple more months.”
The disaster struck.
Six weeks before graduation Tanya said “I’m pregnant.”
“How the hell did that happen? I mean I know what we did to make it happen, but how? You are on birth control.”
“The medicine I took when I had the flue must have negated my pills. As I remember it we went without making love for about two weeks while I was sick and then we screwed like bunnies when I was feeling better and that’s when I think it happened. The timing is right. Bottom line is I’m knocked up and what are we going to do about it?”
“We will just have to move the wedding up and you will have to break the news to your mother.”
And so it was. The wedding took place took place at city hall with my parents and Tanya’s parents as witnesses and the wedding reception took place at my parent’s house with it huge backyard. Everyone had a great time and when it was over we went to my apartment and in a symbolic gesture I picked Tanya up and carried her over the threshold.
Life was good. The sex was mind blowing and I got used to waking up with Tanya snuggled up against me. The only sore spot was that Tanya had two months of school left and one or two nights a week she had to meet with a study group or the group she was in that was working on a class project.
Finally she graduated and between us we decided that it made no sense for her to find a job that she would just have to leave to have the baby. When the baby was old enough for daycare she would find a job.
We spent the summer fucking like sex crazed rabbits. Tanya told me we needed to get as much in as we could before we had to stop and then have to wait a couple of months until the doctor cleared her to have sex again. We made it until the first week of her eighth month before she told me no more.
Naturally the baby decided it was time to get the show on the road at 3 a.m. in the morning. Tanya shook me awake and told me I needed to get my butt up and get her to the hospital. I got her there and six hours later she gave birth to a son.
It was a momentous day. Jason Alexander Dalton joined us and I became a man whose newest concern was to find a divorce attorney. I might not have been the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I had paid attention when I was in school and I had gotten an A in both math and biology and I could tell when something didn’t add up.
Tanya’s black hair and brown eyes plus my brown hair and brown eyes could not equal a redheaded and blue eyed son and the first thing that came to mind when I looked at young Jason was red haired and blue eyed Rory. The same Rory that said he had lied when he had said that he’d had sex with Tanya,
It was not only apparent that he had lied about not fucking Tanya, but that the two of them had kept on fucking. It had been just a little over a year from the time he told me his story and Tanya telling me she was pregnant. I went to the nurse’s station and told them that the child was obviously not mine and I told them not to put my name on the birth certificate as father.
I’d called both sets of parents as soon as I got Tanya to the hospital and they were both on the scene when we were shown the baby. I looked at Tanya’s mother and said:
“I hope you still have her room available. She will need a place to stay when the hospital releases her and the baby. I’ll bring her things over sometime this afternoon.”
She asked what I was talking about, but I was already walking away. I hadn’t gotten to the car yet when my cell phone beeped. It was my mother in law wanting to know what I’d meant.
“Take a look at the baby’s hair color and eyes. There is no way that two dark haired brown eyed people could produce a red haired blue eyed baby. You can be the one who lets her know she won’t be living with me when she gets released.”
I’d called work from the hospital and told them I wouldn’t be in and why. Josh, my foreman, congratulated me and I’d told him I would be in the next day and then I went home and I was no sooner there when my mother called me and asked why I had just walked out of the hospital. I told her the story and she said she was sorry to hear that because she had really liked Tanya. She told me she would pass the word to my dad and the rest of the family. When she hung up I went back to bed.
I woke up at six to the smells of cooking food. I got up, put on my pants and a shirt and left the bedroom. I found Judy (my mother in law) in the kitchen. I knew she had a key, but I was still surprised to see her in my apartment. She saw me and said:
“I was just getting ready to wake you up. Dinner is ready and after we eat we need to talk.”
“Talk about what?”
“You and Tanya and your child of course.”
“Not my kid” I said and then I just had to laugh. “Probably your fault that he isn’t.”
“My fault? What does that mean?”
“If it wasn’t for that stupid promise you made her give you she wouldn’t have been dating other guys and it wouldn’t have happened.”
“What in the world are you talking about?”
“The promise you made her give you not to date anyone steady until she graduated.”
“I never made her give me any promises and I most certainly never received a promise from her about her dating. In fact I got on her several times about dating others besides you. I told her she was risking you by doing it. She told me not to worry because you were okay with it.”
“Just one more reason to dump her sorry ass.”
“Let’s not be hasty here Frank. I know she loves you and I know you love her. You need to sit down and talk things over with her. I’m sure she didn’t know that it wasn’t your child she was carrying. Sit down with her. Just hang in there Frank. I’m sure that the two of you can get by this.”
I liked Judy and I really didn’t want to upset her, but it had to be done.
“No we can’t get by it Judy” and then I told her the whole story about what had happened with Rory. “The fact that Tanya’s baby is almost certainly Rory’s means that she has been cheating on me for over a year at the very least and most probably even longer than that. After seeing the baby I can’t even discount that she might have been cheating on me right up to the time I drove her to the hospital yesterday. I’d never trust her again Judy. That and the fact that I will not raise another man’s kid.”
“Other men have done it.”
“I’m not ‘other men’ Judy. You know what is really stuck in my brain right now? It is the thought that Tanya knew the father was Rory, went to him and told him and then said they had to get married and he laughed at her and told her he wasn’t going to marry some dumb bimbo who was cheating on her boyfriend. That left her with the only other option being me.
“No Judy; there is no chance of us getting by this. Look on the bright side. You now have a grandson you can spoil rotten.”
When Tanya and her child were released from the hospital her father picked them up and drove them over to our apartment, but I’d changed the locks and they couldn’t get in. He ended up having to take them home with him.
I hadn’t spoken with Tanya since she was placed on the gurney and wheeled into the hospital delivery room so I had no idea of what kind of story she was going to tell me, but I did know that whatever it was I wouldn’t believe a word of it. She’d been lying to me the entire time I’d known her. Her promise to her mother was a lie. Her promise to me not to have sex with any of her dates was a lie. Her telling me I had gotten her pregnant was a lie. No sir! No way was I ever going to believe anything she might tell me.
In fact, I wasn’t going to let her tell me anything. The phone calls started as soon as she got to her parent’s place and I didn’t take them. If I answered a call and heard her voice I hung up. After a bit I got tired of it and I got rid of the land line and got a different cell phone with a new number. She called work and I told Marlene, the girl who worked in the office, not to page me when Tanya called and not to bother taking any messages for me.
I was in no shape financially to get a lawyer and divorce her so I settled for just staying away from her. I knew I’d have to have a face to face with her sooner or later and I opted for later. As ‘later’ as I could make it.
The lease on our apartment was up in two weeks and I told the landlord I wouldn’t be renewing and why. He told me he had been through something similar so he knew where I was coming from. The he told me he had another unit in a different location and I took him upon it. The only reason I was giving up the apartment in the first place was because that was where Tanya would come when she finally gave up to trying to get in touch with me by phone.
She did show up at work and sit by my car and wait for me to get off work, but I went out the back door where one of the guys I worked with picked me up and gave me a ride home.
After a month she finally found out where I was living. My own stupidity told her where I was. When I left the hospital on the day Jason was born I knew I was done with Tanya so I did all the things you do in the heat of the moment. I cancelled all the credit cards we had together keeping only the two that were in my name only. I closed the bank accounts and took the money to a different bank and set up new accounts. I had new checks printed with my new address on them and that is where I fucked up.
When I took Tanya to the hospital I had to sign a gazillion forms and one of them was the agreement to pay. After my health insurance paid their portion there was still a balance. The hospital got my new address from my insurance carrier and dunned me. I refused to pay and told them to get their money from Tanya and the baby’s real father. That didn’t fly. I was informed that I was the one who signed all the forms promising to pay so I had to pay. When I didn’t they turned it over to their attorneys. I ended up paying and I did it by check.
Meanwhile, to cover their bets, the hospital was also dunning Tanya. She had gone down to the hospital to discuss a payment plan. They pulled up the account and told her it had been paid and she asked how and was told by check. She asked to see it and the hospital gave her a photocopy of the check with my new address in the upper left hand corner. And that is how she managed to be sitting on the steps leading up to my apartment when I got home from work.
I set the tone for the meeting when I walked up to her and said “What the fuck do you want you cheating whore?”
“We need to talk Frank.”
“What the fuck do we need to talk about? The kid is obviously not mine so what the fuck else needs to be discussed?”
“We need to talk about us Frank. I love you and you and you know I do and I know you love me. I honestly didn’t know Jason wasn’t yours until I saw him.”
“Yeah and I’ll bet that you immediately knew who the father was when you got your first look at him. What that meant to me is that you had been cheating on me for over a year.”
“No I wasn’t.”
“Sure you were. The day you told me you were pregnant was over a year from the meeting you arranged for that Rory guy to tell me his bullshit story. No doubt in my mind that the redheaded and blue eyed Rory isn’t the father of your kid. That means he was fucking you right up to the day you told me you were pregnant. That also means, at least to me, that you were fucking him when you got him to tell me that bullshit story that I was dumb enough to buy. Know what else I’m thinking? That you have probably been fucking him all along. Right up to when I took you to the hospital.”
“No I wasn’t! Can we go inside? We don’t need all your neighbors listening in.”
I’d known all along I was going to have to have a face to face sit down with her sooner or later and I guessed it was as good a time as any so we went into my apartment. I told her to have a seat at the kitchen table and when she asked if she could have a glass of water I got her one. I sat down across from her and said:
“Okay Tanya; tell me your lies and let’s get this over with.”
“No lies this time Frank. I need to go back to when I first started dating. I’d dated a couple of guys before you. No, that’s not right. A couple is two and I dated four guys before you. I gave my virginity to one of them and then we broke up. When I started dating again I gave it up to the third guy and then the fourth. The three were totally different in size and the way they did it. Technique is guess you could call it.
“Then I hooked up with you and you were totally different from the first three, but with you I got something I never got from the others. I got an emotional charge. The more time I spent with you the more time I wanted to spend with you. I decided that you were the man I wanted to marry and spend the rest of my life with, but I was in no hurry to do it.