Hi folks. This story should have been out weeks ago. AK got the flu and it turned into pneumonia. I was paralyzed by it. I didn’t write a word until she got better. Anyway, this is a long one. It’s also not a story where anyone ends up destroyed. It’s more of a story about forgiveness and moving on. But I promise the next one will be back to normal and I’m building towards a real burn the bitch and the horse she rode in on story. But in the meantime, here’s this one. SS06
The knock on the door, roused me from my thoughts. It was too early for the mailman, so I half wondered who’d be bothering me at this time of day.
I checked the TV screen in one corner of the room and the crib in the other. The crib told me that the kid was still asleep. The TV told me that it was later than I thought. Jerry Springer was doing his final thought.
I wondered what kind of sage advice Jerry would offer me. Life is fucked up. That’s probably what Jerry would say. The knock on the door was louder and harder this time.
I opened it, flinging it open as quickly as I could, primed and ready to scream at whoever knocked.
The scream died in my throat as I recognized the asshole standing there with his fist poised to knock again.
“Jeezus, look you look like hell,” he smirked.
“Did you bring my check?” I asked flatly.
“I uhm ... I mailed it,” he said. He stood there, shifting from one foot to the other.
“I came by to see the kid,” he said. “My lawyer said it’ll look better if I show up for most of my visits.”
“Oh yeah,” I spat. “You’re clearly in the running for father of the year. Just remember ... you’ll be running away from your cellmate if that check is a day late or a dollar short.”
“God damn it, Betty! Why do you have to be such a hard ass?” he whined. “You know I lost my God damned job over this bullshit. I make barely over half of what I did before. And the court didn’t take that into consideration. They just jotted down an arbitrary figure and said, “Pay this amount every month.”
“I don’t have to be a hard ass,” I said. “I just like it. Fucking up your finances is the least I can do, after what you did to me. Shit, you did it to yourself. I was happy. My life was wonderful. You and your tiny dick and your big assed mouth ruined it. So now, we’re both fucking miserable.”
“Well misery loves company and both of us lost,” he said. “Before all this shit happened, I had never lost at anything in life. I’m a winner. That’s what I do. Usually even when it looks like I’m gonna lose, I end up winning.”
“You sound like more of a whiner to me. Go sell that shit to somebody who’s interested,” I said flatly. I pointed towards the crib and turned my attention back to the screen. Maury was on.
From the corner of my eye I saw him standing over the crib. He looked lost. He gave the baby a perfunctory glance and shook his head. Then he looked back at me.
“Why the fuck are you staring at me?” I hissed. “Your daughter is right in front of you. That’s what you came for ... right?”
He spent another few minutes looking in the crib and then his eyes rolled back to me.
I turned quickly and caught him.
“What?” I hissed.
“Your titties look bigger,” he said. “I just noticed because that robe is kind of open and...”
“They don’t just look bigger ... they are bigger, you idiot. They swelled during my pregnancy and didn’t go completely back to size afterwards. I got lucky ... I don’t have much in terms of stretch marks. Al... “ I caught myself before I started crying again.
“Why are you looking at me anyway?” I hissed.
“I just thought ... how long has it been?” he asked.
“You ought to know,” I hissed.
“No!” he smirked. “Since we... ? Nobody?”
“Nope,” I said. “Not once. I haven’t even touched myself.”
“So, you uhm ... wanna?” he ventured.
“Fuck No!” I hissed with all the venom I could muster. He looked shocked and slightly disappointed.
“Hey, I was just trying to do you a favor,” he said.
I was suddenly angrier than I had ever been in my entire life. “I have no choice,” I said angrily. “I have to allow you visitation as long as you’re paying. But don’t talk to me. That isn’t part of our deal. Visit the kid and get the fuck out of here.”
He leaned over the crib and stared at the baby. “She doesn’t look anything like me,” he grumbled. “Did you fake the DNA test?”
“The court ordered the test, asshole,” I hissed. “They sent you to a lab that they approved of. I had nothing to do with the entire procedure. This is what you get for sticking your dick where it didn’t belong. And for the next eighteen to twenty-two years you’re gonna be paying. Do you even know what her fucking name is?”
“How the fuck am I supposed to know that?” he said. “You and I can barely exchange two words without you going off on me. It takes two to tango, baby and you were just as eager to dance as I was. Or don’t you remember?”
“Fuck you!” I screamed, louder than I should have.
“You already did,” he smirked. “That’s what got us here. I just can’t figure out why you’re acting like you don’t want to do it again.”
“Doing it the first time was the single biggest mistake of my life,” I spat. “You caught me at a moment of weakness and I’ve regretted it ever since.”
“Then why is your robe still open?” he smirked.
“Because, there’s nothing to hide,” I said. “You’ve already seen everything, and there is absolutely no chance of anything happening between us. The sight of you makes me want to vomit.”
“I’m telling you ... this kid doesn’t look anything like me,” he said. He waited a few moments. “Okay ... what is her name?”
“Alannah,” I smirked. He immediately straightened up and glared at me. I’m not sure he realized that he was doing it, but his hand strayed towards his nose. He gingerly ran his fingers across the bridge of his nose.
His nose had a pronounced lump at the top of it. His fingers ran across it as if trying to smooth it out.
“That takes the fucking cake,” he growled. “I can’t believe you named MY fucking kid after that bastard.”
“I can’t believe you called her your kid,” I laughed. “I had to get a court order to force you to have the DNA test done and then another to force you to pay your child support. And while we’re on the subject, it’s due tomorrow. Not sometime next week. Not whenever you get paid. I have the number to friend of the court on speed dial. They’d be happy to slap your ass in jail and...”
“And if I’m in jail you still won’t get your money,” he said. “So, you should give me some slack. I never wanted any kids.”
I laughed at that. “Do you think I wanted to get pregnant?” I asked. “And if I had to get pregnant ... why the fuck did it have to be you? You’re the most worthless asshole I’ve ever met. You’ve always been so stuck on yourself. There’s never been any room in your life to love anybody except yourself. That’s why you’ve never had a girlfriend.”
“I’ve had lots of women, bitch,” he hissed. “I even had you, remember?”
“See what I mean,” I hissed. “You’re too fucking dumb to know the difference. You never HAD me, idiot. You fucked me. There was no love between us. We didn’t have any kind of bond or any emotional connection. All we did was a workout, nothing more.
You were too stupid to know that I was just using you to get revenge for something that I was going through.
The terrible thing is that we got a baby out of it. We got a child that neither of us wanted.
That means for the next twenty years or so, we’re tied together. You ruined my life, and I’m gonna make sure that you’re equally, unhappy. So, don’t drop by here hoping to fuck me, cause that ain’t gonna happen. And don’t come by to make small talk and try to get me to give you any slack at all on the child support because that ain’t gonna happen either.
But let me give you a glimpse of the future. In three years ... that’s thirty-six months ... minus the three months that have already passed, my alimony will run out. I’m going to have to get a job then. And that means our daughter will have to go into daycare. Day care centers are expensive.”
“So why are you telling me about it,” he asked.
“Because you’re going to have to pay half of it, dumbass,” I spat.
“Hell to the no,” he said. “I’m living on peanut butter and water, right now. My dates have to spring for the drinks as it is. There is no way I can pay you another dime.”
“See ... that lack of foresight is what got you into this situation in the first place,” I laughed. “I just warned you of what was going to happen, so you could pick up a second job. Maybe you should try Uber.”
“Maybe you should learn to keep your legs closed,” he hissed. “After what you just said, I finally figured this whole thing out. You used me.”
“God damn it,” I laughed. “I mean ... how stupid can you be? It only took you five minutes after I told you that I’d used you for it to sink in. You’re a fucking genius!”
“Yeah ... well, this genius is taking your ass back to court,” he smirked. “I’m gonna get released from this because of fraud. You admitted to trapping me. How do you like them apples? I’ve got three words for ya babe...
SING GULL PAIR RENT.”
It took me a second ... then I burst out laughing. “That’s not three words, you moron,” I said. “It’s two.”
“I meant three syllables,” he said.
“It was four,” I laughed.
“Fuck you,” he said. “Maybe you should get your ass a job as an English teacher. You could moonlight editing those internet sex stories. But none of that matters when I go back to court and get released. I’ll be free as a bird to go back to my life.”
“Look Doofus ... not that I care what happens to the rest of your money after I get my cut ... you can spend it on Cialis and prostitutes, if you want, but going back to court is a waste of money. You’re going to have to pay court costs, your lawyer’s fees and who knows what else and then you’re going to LOSE.”
“If you’re so fucking smart, explain it to me,” he hissed. “I just read a thing on the internet that said that in a divorce case everything is supposed to come out fifty/fifty. That means you get fifty percent, your husband gets fifty percent and I get fifty percent. I didn’t get fifty percent, I lost fifty percent. They’re taking forty percent of my paycheck. I had to move out of my condo and into a rat hole that’s barely better than this place.”
I couldn’t help it I just started laughing.
“What’s so God damned funny?” he asked quietly.
“Fifty plus fifty plus fifty is a hundred and fifty percent, you moron,” I laughed. “There’s no such thing. One hundred percent is all there is. Then there’s the fact that the judge DID split everything right down the middle. We each got fifty percent of our assets.”
“See...” he hissed gleefully. “I didn’t get my fifty percent. I didn’t get shit!”
“You weren’t a part of the marriage, imbecile,” I said. “Your case was completely separate. Our case was a paternity case. How can I explain this, so you’ll get it? You see when a man ... well in this case you can play the part of a man ... anyway when a man puts his pee-pee in a woman’s hoo hah, there’s a chance that they’ll make a baby. You did, we made one, we’re here, you have to pay, case close, got it?”
He scratched his head and then smiled.
“I’ve got it,” he said. “They never DNA tested your husband!”
Tears ran down my cheeks unbidden.
“What’s wrong? You never thought about that did you?” he croaked.
It took me a few moments to compose myself with him dancing in victory all the while.
“Maurice ... they tested Alan when I first discovered I was pregnant. It was my biggest hope. I wanted him to be the father. It was the one thing that might have kept us together long enough to save our marriage. When the test came back, and the results were negative, there was no chance in hell of calling off the divorce.”
“God dammit,” he said. “I win at everything. But maybe this is like school ... in school I always had to take tests more than once to get my D. This was the first test I’ve ever taken that I passed on the first try. Maybe if your husband took the DNA test again, he could pass it and then he could be the father. Even if he doesn’t get as high a score as I got we’d have to split the cost of child support, so it wouldn’t be as bad.”
I just looked at him and shook my head. The man was too stupid to believe.
“Yeah,” he gushed. “Since I got a 99.9% I’ll be the father. If we could just help him study to the point where he gets better than fifty percent, they’ll let him slide. That’s what they did for me in school. Then he can be the step-father. Shit ... maybe we could do it like they do on TV. You and the kid can live with the step-father, so I don’t have to do shit. Maybe you guys could pay me a big ass check and I could sign my rights away. Then years from now if she grows up to be rich and famous, I could write a book and tell the world how I was really her father and...”
“And get the fuck out of my apartment ... now!” I screamed.
“Uh yeah!” he said. “I’ll see you next month.”
“Maurice,” I said.
“What?” he asked.
“Your visits are bi-weekly,” I said.
“I know that dummy,” he told me. “That means I visit one week, then I get a bye week. That’ll put it into next month.”
“No ... it means you have to visit her twice a week,” I said.
“Are you out of your fucking mind?” he screamed. “There is no fucking way! I had to give up my lunch hour for this shit today. You didn’t even make me lunch. And all the kid did was lay there on her fucking ass. We should make it bi-monthly or bi-yearly. This is so fucking unfair. Why the fuck do I have to visit her before she can even talk anyway? Can you explain that to me? This is BULLSHIT!”
I laughed my ass off as he walked out the door, slamming it behind him. The sound of the door slamming was all it took to wake her up.
Betty ... I fucking HATE that bitch. I kept my cool long enough to get inside of the elevator before I screamed it out loud. I hoped that the metal box and the fact that I was between floors would mute the volume of my scream.
But it was true. That bitch ... that miserable, low class, trailer trash cunt had been the bane of my existence since the first God damned time I saw her. Every time I came in contact with her, things went bad.
And now she had me by the balls. My life was over. The bitch had me paying for her kid for the next twenty God damned years. And that fucking kid looks nothing like me. I looked at her. Shit ... I have no idea what a baby is supposed to look like.
I’m not a fucking podiatrist. I don’t know shit about kids. Truth be told, I hate kids. I hate em ALMOST as badly as I hate Betty Cooper. I only came over here today, because I ran into a bit of trouble financially. I was playing poker last night with the worst fucking poker players I have ever faced.
But somehow, they managed to clean me out. I lost every dollar I had, and since I’m not much for saving, that WAS all I had. So, there’s no way I can make that damned child support payment.
I was hoping to work my magic on Betty’s dumb ass and get her to let me slide, just this once.
Now, I was really in trouble because all I did was pissed her off. I tried to be as charming as I could, but apparently my charm only works on her when she’s in the mood. Today ... she obviously wasn’t.
I can still remember the first day I saw her. She was walking around in front of MY school. I owned that place. I was the running back on a football team with the worst quarterback in the state. His job was to hand me the ball. My job was to pound the rock. Occasionally he got to throw it. But that was just to open up the line, so I could go for bigger yardage runs.
Anyway, I’d already been through most of the viable women in my class and I was bored. I’d been hearing about this Betty girl, from some of the guys on the team. Actually ... I’d been hearing about her boobs.
And I was underwhelmed by her face. I was also unimpressed with her hair and her clothes too. But when she put her books down and I saw those boobs, my dick sprung up so fast that it hurt.
I made a beeline over to where she was sitting. It was weird. She was sitting off in a corner by herself. Everyone else was eating lunch or talking to their friends but she was by herself.
I sat down across from her, but she didn’t even look up.
“Hey Babe,” I said. “I’m...”
“Not interested,” she said.
“Huh... ?” I gulped. I was shocked. This was after all MY school. Usually my soulful, “Hey Babe,” was enough.
“I’m not interested in guys that call me Babe, like they can’t be bothered to learn my name,” she said. “I’m even less interested in guys who talk to my boobs.”
“Do you know who I am?” I asked.
“Yeah ... you’re on the football team,” she said. “I guess that means I’m supposed to just drop my drawers and bend over huh?”
“We should probably go somewhere more private,” I said. “But that’s the way it works.”
“Well ... I guess it’s broke,” she said. “Because it ain’t working at all.”
I was shocked. I couldn’t believe the bitch was turning me down. I’d had cheerleaders play hard to get with me. But they were pretty. I looked around and as usual everyone was watching me.
“Sorry!” I said as loudly as I could. “I didn’t know we had any lesbians in this school.” Everyone around us started laughing. She had no idea what to say. All her smart-ass quips died in her throat.
“I think I do know your name after all ... It’s Ellen, right?” I laughed.
“Just leave me alone,” she whined.
“Just leave me a...” before I could finish mocking her, someone had grabbed me by my collar from behind. It was so fast that I couldn’t get my bearings.
The person slammed his foot into the back of my knee and pulled downwards on my collar at the same time. It must have been some kind of judo throw, because the next thing I knew I was staring upwards at a face, filled with more rage than I’d ever seen.
Before I could react, a fist aided by gravity, slammed into my eye. I was kind of woozy. I heard everyone in the area oohing and yelling, “FIGHT!”
It wasn’t much of a God damned fight though. I was on my back and every time I tried to get up, he hit me. By the time a faculty member grabbed him, I was so loopy, that I couldn’t even try to cover myself, let alone raise any type of defense.
They got me on my feet and marched me, still bleeding, to the principal’s office.
I sat there in a chair in front of her desk trying to get my wits back. I felt like I’d been run over by a truck. Everything hurt. My right eye hurt. I couldn’t see out of my left eye. My nose turned out to be broken and both of my lips were split.
“Holy Shit, you look like hell,” she said. “You can go.”
“Huh?” I said.
“You play football, right?” she asked. I nodded.
“This is a no call situation,” she said. “It’s like when your wide receiver is going up against a really good corner. They’re both looking for the ball. They both push off of each other. Finally, the corner intercepts the ball. Your coach wants a pass interference call, but the ref points out that your guy was pushing off just as much. Both penalties offset each other. The interception counts.”
“But...” I said. “Look at my face.”
“You’re lucky to still be going to this school, let alone playing football,” she said. She walked around her desk and sat down.
The principal was not an impressive looking specimen. She looked like somebody’s old gray-haired grandmother.
“Your coach said you were kind of stupid,” she said. “So, let me explain this to you. We tolerate your antics because having a winning football team brings students to the school. Your way of slamming that empty head of yours into walls of other steroidal morons is effective. So, we put up with your habit of screwing cheerleaders too.
We even lowered the standards in most of our classes to allow you to pass them. But even we have limits. Are you aware that we live in a climate of extreme tolerance?”
“We do?” I asked.
“There is no way I can let you get away with sexual harassment on this campus. You also called the little bitch a lesbian in front of all kinds of witnesses. So, if I do anything to them, it sends a message that I allow members of the LGBTQ community to be harassed. If it got out, I’d be replaced faster than you can slam your head into a linebacker. And the next principal might be tougher on students who can’t count or read ... feel me?”
“Yeah,” I said. “I just want to know who the guys that jumped me are.”
“There were no guys,” she said. “It was one guy ... Alan Etheridge.”
“You’re kidding me,” I laughed. “That guy is like half my size and as gentle as a lamb. He...”
“Has a crush on that girl you were attacking,” she said. “So, he went after you like a bear protecting his cubs. Leave both of them alone. Stick to cheerleaders and other skanks. If anything happens to either of them, you don’t graduate. Even if someone else bothers them. You don’t graduate.
That means you don’t go to the pros because you don’t get into a college. Every college I’ve ever seen or heard about will only take you if you’ve graduated from high school ... you got it?”
“Crystal,” I said. She looked at me strangely. “Uhm the coach always ends with, “Is that clear?” She shook her head and pointed towards the door.
In the days that passed, things for me went back to normal. After a few days everyone had forgotten about my fight ... or whatever it was ... against Alan. I went after and conquered, prettier, more popular girls and pretty much forgot about Betty.
But occasionally, I’d see her, and she’d be back in my mind. I watched their entire romance taking shape. It was like a fairy tale. At first, they were so awkward together that it was almost painful to watch.
As time went on they became more and more comfortable with each other. Then, suddenly, they just blended. It was the strangest thing. It was almost like they stopped being two people and became one thing.
Alan, was always an okay guy. He wasn’t on the team or anything, but he was smart, and a lot of people liked him.
Suddenly girls who should have been with guys on the teams were interested in him. I think it was that herd mentality thing that girls do. They saw him with Betty and figured if he was keeping her happy, he could make them feel the same way.
And Betty, fuck ... she just blossomed. She started wearing makeup and her clothes got better. She also became more confident. You could tell by the way she walked.
She had the walk of a girl who knew what she had and knew the effect it had on men. It was clear from the way they looked at each other, but also from the way they touched each other and couldn’t keep their hands off of each other that they were not only in love, but they were fucking up a storm.
And the way they talked ... they thought they were so slick. They had their own little codes for things. Like when a couple of the cheerleaders tried to invite him to a party over the vacation.
“He can’t,” she smirked. “We have to work on that project!”
I was there. The way she said, “PROJECT,” left no doubt what she was talking about.
There was another thing about her too. The first time I went after her, she’d been hiding her boobs behind her books. It was almost as if she was ashamed of them ... or she hoped no one would notice them. But once she got with Alan, it was scary. Them titties were out in the open. It was almost like she was trying to club you over the head with them ... or she at least wanted everyone to see what Alan was getting.
And I had to admit, that it got to me. I didn’t want her ... at least not permanently. I just wanted a sample. I wanted to see if she fucked like every other girl or if there really was something special about her. And there was something else. I hated to admit it, but I was kind of jealous. Betty had this fucking glow about her whenever the two of them were together.
As far as I knew, they were each other’s first at everything. I’d had more girls than I could remember by then, but I’d never had any girl light up for me the way Betty did when Alan was around. And I wanted that so badly. If just one time, I could have someone light up for me like that, I would die a happy man.
So, I stalked her for about a week before I found her alone.
“Hey, uhm Betty,” I said as politely as I could. “You wanna hang out sometime?”
“I’m with Alan,” she said. “I do all of my hanging out with him.”
“Well if you ever wanna hang out with somebody else, somebody with more experience ... somebody who could rock your entire world ... just let me know.”
“It’s not gonna happen,” he said over my shoulder. He walked around and stood next to her.
“Dude, it’s not that serious,” I said.
“Yes, it is,” she said, taking ahold of his arm. “As soon as we graduate, we’re getting married. I know you’re supposed to be hot shit around here, but you will never have ME.”
It was her mocking tone and his knowing smile that pissed me off.
“Yeah ... I will,” I told them. “It’ll probably take a while. But sooner or later me and her are gonna fuck.” I walked away before there was a fight.
I heard the two of them laughing as I left.
Saturday mornings were my favorite days of the week. I got to do what every twenty-four-year-old divorced guy did. I went in to work. It was off the clock, but it was an investment.
As the new guy, I needed to make a good impression. Every Monday, I went in and showed the team edited programs that were more efficient. I worked on a lot of our jobs on the weekend.
I did most of the editing on Saturday. The plant was empty, so I didn’t have to worry about slowing down production or people looking over my shoulder.
Another thing that I loved was the quiet. Without the various noises of three production lines, you could almost hear a pin drop inside of the building.
This morning, I wasn’t even running a machine yet, which made things even more quiet. I was running one of our current production programs on the simulator. I was as usual looking for places to make the program more efficient.
I scrolled through the lines of programming looking for settings and parameters that could be changed. The only sounds were the taps of my fingers on the touchscreen keyboard.
But as I scanned the screen, for a second, I thought I heard music. I stopped typing and listened. I heard nothing, so I began scanning again. After a few seconds, it started again. And this time I was very sure.
I assumed that maybe someone had come in to clean the office areas or even the shop and they had music playing or maybe the radio on.
It had nothing to do with me, so I continued to work. Working was a big part of my life. Working took my mind from the mess I’d made of my life. When I worked, I had to concentrate on the programs. Missing a line or making an error could be costly.
That left me no room for thinking about anything except what I was trying to do. It meant that everything about my life before that moment had to recede to the dim recesses of my consciousness. It gave me a few moments of peace without thinking about HER and the way she ripped me apart.
I’d been working for Cansino Products for nine months now. Betty had probably had her baby and was married to Maurice and happy. She’d moved on ... I wish I could.
But every unguarded God damned moment I had, she was sneaking into my head. FUCK, I lost my place. I had to start all over again from the beginning. No, I didn’t. I could start from the second tool change.
With Betty banned from my thoughts, I looked at the screen again and began to concentrate, but the music, louder now, wouldn’t let me.
I tried to compose my face. It wouldn’t be good for me to go storming over to the other side of the building and angrily demand that some cleaning lady, or some college kid who was just out to earn a few bucks, turn down their God damned music so I could work.
I just needed to be polite and ask nicely. Once I got the program where I wanted it. I could transfer it to a machine and the noise from the machine would drown out the music.
So, maybe I wasn’t smiling, but my face no longer wore a scowl as I followed the sound of the music to its source.
I had no idea that the music was coming from a boom box that was much closer to me than I’d ever imagined. It was in the next section. As I rounded the corner a body twirled past me, missing me by inches as she leaped into the air. She landed lightly and kicked a leg into the air, high above her head while leaning backwards so deeply that her mane of long wavy red locks dragged the floor.
She stepped out of the kick and it appeared that a wave passed through her body. The ripple began at her lower legs, passed through her torso and ended with a snap at her neck. She did another series of kicks and then lost her balance and almost fell.
She laughed. Her laughter was more melodic than the music somehow. Sweat beaded on forehead and upper body. Her leotard was soaked. I guess then would have been the time to say something but, I couldn’t form words.
I was enraptured by golden brown skin, and long beautiful red hair. Somehow the two didn’t seem to go together. But they looked so good together.
Her body was incredible. Her torso was tiny which made her moderate sized breasts seem ginormous. It seemed like a sin to compare her to Betty, but the value or magnitude of anything has to be compared to a known value or frame of reference.
If there was no zero, what would be the difference between one thousand and one million? So, comparing her to a known quality, my ex wife, helped me wrap my mind around how incredible she was.
Betty had huge boobs. But Betty was twice the size of this girl. Taking proportion into consideration changed the numbers. This girl also had a very tiny waist.
And from there down, there was no comparison. Her ass was toned, yet still so much rounder and fuller than Betty’s. Her legs were in a class by themselves and...
My appraisal was halted by the sound of her voice.
It was squeaky sounding, like that singer Kristen Chenowith. And she sounded pissed.
“Why the fuck are you standing there perving on me?” she hissed.
“Because I’m trying to work, and your music distracted me,” I spat back at her. “What are you doing here anyway? This isn’t a dance studio. How did you get in here?”
I took a second to breathe and let it out. “Look ... it’s Okay. I won’t call the cops on you. But you need to find another place to dance. This ain’t footloose. You could get hurt in here. Just grab your stuff and scram!”
She was looking at me and her anger melted at about the same time mine did. She looked me up and down and smiled. Then she sat down on the floor and smiled even more.
As she smiled, I felt as if lightning had struck. “I’m not going nowhere,” she smiled.
“Don’t you mean, “ANYWHERE?” I asked.
“Whatever,” she said. Her voice sounded as if she was playing with me.
“Go ahead ... Call the cops,” she said. “I dare you.” She folded her arms across her chest and smirked at me.
I was flummoxed. On one hand, I really didn’t want to call the police, and get her arrested. But on the other, I couldn’t let her stay. She didn’t belong there. If she got hurt ... or if she damaged some of the equipment, it could be bad. And who knew how many other kids she might let in with her the next time. I needed to find out how the hell she got in in the first place. The door only opened with an ID badge.
So, either she’d stolen it ... or she was related to someone who worked here ... or shit maybe she worked here herself. Just as that thought entered my head, she spoke again.
“Before you call the cops,” she smirked. “Why the hell are you here on a beautiful Saturday morning. This place isn’t open on weekends.”
“I came in to work on something,” I said.
“You must suck at your job,” she laughed. “Everybody else gets their work done in five days and it takes you six.”
“That’s not it!” I said, trying not to sound like I was whining.
“Then what is it?” she asked.
“To be good at anything, you have to work hard at it,” I said.
“If you were good enough to get hired, you’re probably already pretty good,” she said. “Won’t your skills just get better with time and experience?”
“I need to be even better,” I said. “I need to pay Mr. Cansino back for the faith he showed in me.”
Her eyes softened.
“Do you work hard and ... scratch that,” she said. “I can already see that. Are you trying to be the boss or something? Is that it? You’re ambitious?”’
“What’s so funny?” she asked.
“This is a family owned company,” I said. “Mr. Cansino already has two sons. They’ve been ready to run this place since they were kids. And their kids will run it when they’re done. I just want to do my best and learn as much as I can and...”
“And?” she said, urging me on.
“And I really don’t wanna call the cops on you,” I said. “You seem to be so nice. Can you please just ... do you work here?”
“Hell no,” she said. “They couldn’t pay me enough.”
“Well did you borrow a badge from somebody?” I asked.
“Nope,” she smiled. “You can’t do it can you?”
I pulled out my phone and punched in a number.
“Whaaaat?” asked a sleepy voice.
I stepped away from her to get some privacy.
“I’m sorry to call you sir,” I said. “But there’s a problem...”
“What kind of problem?” he asked. “Where are you anyway? Alan is that you?”
“Yes Sir,” I said. “I’m at work, and there’s...”
“Why are you at work on a Saturday?” he asked.
“I wanted to get in some time to work on the programs while the lines are down, so we could...”
“Okay Alan... “ he said. “I got it ... what’s the problem?”
“Sir there’s somebody in the plant who doesn’t work for us,” I began.
“Alan ... don’t confront them,” he said. “Forget about all of that stuff. Insurance will cover anything they break or steal. Just get out of there and call 911.”
“I’ve already seen her and confronted her,” I said. “She wasn’t stealing anything or damaging anything. She...”
“Fuck that!” he said. “We can’t have vagrants or homeless people setting up in the place. Call the p...”
His voice was cut off in mid-sentence.
“Hi Alan. This is Theresa,” she said. “What does this person look like?”
“Good Morning ma’am,” I said, turning away and keeping my voice down. “It’s a girl and she ... she’s beautiful. She has long red hair and...”
I heard her laughing and mumbling something to her husband. Then she got back on the phone.
“Alan hand the phone to the vagrant,” she said. “Maybe I can convince her to leave. If not, you go ahead and call the police.”
I turned and found that she’d followed me. She was standing right behind me smiling at me.
“Uhm my boss ... uhm ... his wife wants to talk to you,” I said. I held out my phone to her.
“So ... I’m beautiful huh?” she smirked.
“Listening in on other people’s conversations isn’t nice,” I said.
She took the phone from me and immediately launched into an argument in rapid-fire Spanish. It was loud, and it was vicious sounding. I had no idea what I should do. I just stood there listening.
She finally closed the conversation with, “I love you too Mommy.” Then handed me my phone.
“Listening in on other people’s conversations isn’t nice,” she smirked.
My mouth dropped open. “Since I’m so beautiful, can you drive me home?” she asked, batting her huge green eyes at me several times. “I took an UBER to get here ... and my parents don’t trust them.”
I had no words. I just watched as she gathered her things. She grabbed a pair of jeans from the floor and skinned them up her long legs. She had to jump several times to get them over her butt. Each jump sent all that hair flying around her face. Then she zipped them and closed her belt. The jeans looked like they’d been painted on.
“So, are we going?” she smiled. “Or are you still mesmerized by my beauty?”
“Why didn’t you just tell me who you were?” I asked.
“Because it was a lot more fun this way,” she smiled. “And I got to find out something too. After hearing from my brothers for all my life that I’m as ugly as sin ... and contrasting that with all the idiots at school telling me that I’m hot ... it was confusing.
I’m not stupid enough to believe the guys at school. They just want a piece of ass. They tell that same line to every girl they try to fuck. My brothers on the other hand ... have been picking on me all my life.
You ... I really believe that you meant it.”
It took a while to get Alannah back to sleep after Maurice left. Maybe it was because she, like I did, just felt dirty after being in his presence. I think that we both knew what that idiot had cost us.
With my daughter nestled in my arms, sucking happily away on a bottle, my mind went back to before all this bullshit had begun.