Preface: Though this story is about a battered spouse, I in no way condone or excuse that type of behavior. So please don’t assume I’m sick just because I’ve written a sick tale.
So let’s go.
My name is Travis Stannard. I’m just a regular normal type of guy. I’m a gentle man, I’m quiet, always been sort of shy. I don’t go around getting in fights and I don’t hit people. I’m a volunteer fireman, a ten year NCO in our local National Guard unit where I help supervise work in the clerical section. My wife and I both belonged to one of the several Methodist churches in our area; she used to sing in the choir, and I still teach Sunday school and work part-time, for free, as one of the grounds keepers. I’m a Mason, and I am an Eagle Scout.
Professionally I’m employed by our state in the Forestry Department where my main responsibilities have included planting and harvesting trees, checking against plant diseases, and in assisting some of the small towns in our district with their tree maintenance. Additionally I’m self-employed as a logger cutting down trees and sometimes splitting them up for sale as firewood.
I’m not some big burly guy plodding around, shoulders stooped over flexing my muscles. I’m only 5’11”, I weigh a skinny 170 lbs. I’ve never lifted weights, nor have I ever taken anything like steroids to build myself up. I’m a pretty nondescript kind of guy; brown hair, brown eyes, and glasses. I tried contact lenses, but there was something wrong with my corneas or irises, flat or something, and I couldn’t get the contacts to stay in place.
My wife’s name is Rebecca Stannard. I love her dearly and I know I’ll love her till the day I die. To me, though I didn’t always think this, she’s the most beautiful woman in the world. She’s a little on the short side I suppose, 5’4”, and like me she has brown hair. Her eyes are blue; the most vividly blue one can imagine.
Though she’s always had a tendency to put on a little weight, especially during the fall and then later during the holiday season, she’s never been what anyone would call fat. She’s always been just about the prettiest girl in town; smallish breasts, pretty heart shaped face, dimpled chin, great hourglass figure. She was our school’s homecoming queen her senior year. Like me she belonged to the F.F.A., but not like me she was a 4Her. I’ve always considered myself lucky she agreed to marry me.
I guess everyone sort of figured we’d tag up one day. Growing up we lived in what most people would call small town America. It’s changed some; a couple big cities have sprawled so far out that in recent years we’ve seen the emergence of big exurban neighborhoods with their massive McMansions and ritzy private schools, plus the concomitant incursion of retail activities that cater to the needs of these extremely well paid new people. I’ve hated to see the loss of so much pristine farmland as it’s been converted to what I consider over treated and under-utilized tracts of over-cut lawns. When once Saturday mornings was a time of quiet reflection and listening to the harmonies of hundreds of different song birds, now it’s been replaced by a cacophony of new noises like the grating sounds of dozens of over-priced John Deere tractors and the ear grimacing noises of equally over-priced motorcycles, gas operated dirt bikes, and minimally mufflered so-called “classic cars”.
Worse, these often expansive, and expensive, housing developments have absorbed huge chunks of forest. The loss of these woodlands has disrupted the natural habitat of our wildlife, constrained hunting, created problems with ‘run off’, and unhinged traffic on our small winding country roads. I’ve found it immensely irritating grappling with the new urbanites who decry the harvesting of deer in the fall, but who concurrently complain about the deer eating their shrubs and flowers.
Just the same I guess it’s been a small blessing to me in that these wealthy new people have almost no interest in the trees surrounding their homes, and that’s been a boon for me when it comes to harvesting firewood. They’ll sell their eighty foot Oaks to me for peanuts, and then each fall spend over $200.00 a cord for the same tree so they’ll have the esoteric pleasure of sitting by a warm fire in their living rooms. I get it if they don’t.
Rebecca and I met in elementary school, later we made the twice daily sojourn by bus through middle school, and then last on to high school we went where we graduated only one year apart. I’m a year older by the way.
I guess I’ve always loved her, but I can say there were times I felt like I wanted to absolutely hate her. When she hit high school and I was in the tenth grade she was already every boy’s idea of who they wanted to marry or at least bed. I imagine many of the guys I grew up with spent a fair share of their late evenings alone in their bedrooms fantasizing about Rebecca. I know I did. I recall it was something my grandfather once called “fanning the sheets”. I know fanned a few thinking about Rebecca.
High school was a terrible time for me, and Rebecca was a big part of my misery. When it came to sports I just didn’t have it. I wasn’t very athletic; never played football, was too short for basketball, and too slow for lacrosse Academically I wasn’t much better. I struggled to get ‘C’s, while other kids, especially a certain girl I knew, always made the Honor Roll. In fact Rebecca’s academic successes led to one of my most humiliating tribulations. I was way behind in, of all things, senior English, and guess who was selected to step in and save my diploma. That’s right, little Miss Perfect. For sure she was sweet about it, but somehow it was like every other kid in our school knew I couldn’t cut it with Austin, let alone Dickens. I hated Estella, but I could really relate to Pip.
For three consecutive years Rebecca mercilessly tormented me. I didn’t get my own wheels until my junior year, and then it turned out to be a ratty old Chevy Cavalier that had a leaky sunroof, and even that I had to share with my very pretty, very smart, and older by one year big sister. Of course when she left for college the Cavalier left with her, leaving me high and dry for most of my senior year.
Sure, I had a part-time job working at the Walmart. I unloaded boxes and stacked shelves. Can that be degrading? Yes it can! I was stacking shelves in the automotive department when my supervisor told me to go “over there”. “Over there” was the women’s cosmetics department. One of the ladies had gone home sick, and they needed someone right away to stack the nail polish and such. Didn’t I know it? I should’ve known it. Who would’ve walked in at just that moment? Of course, there was Rebecca with two of her girlfriends wandering up and down the aisles looking for God knows what.
Well, there I was stacking nail polish remover when she strolled down my aisle. Even after all the years that have passed I can still hear her now, “Oh my. Girls look who’s here. It’s Travis,” Sometimes she could really be creepy, “Tell me Travis which color do you like better the clear or the pale blue?”
I did what any young red blooded man would do. I blushed.
She saw it, smiled maliciously, and said, “No I don’t think red. I think I like the clear,” then she turned to her friends and added, “Don’t you?”
They were all looking at me and grinning. I wanted to hide someplace, but it got worse. Her latest boyfriend just happened to show up, and with a “Hey Travis, they finally got you in the right department,” he whisked my dream girl away. I wanted to say something, but he was 6’4”, built like a brick shithouse, and was the school quarterback too boot.
Then there were the school dances, and at every one she was awful. She seemed to know just the right thing to say or do that would completely ruin what I thought was my life. I did occasionally go to one of the school dances, but there was always something. My biggest worry, aside from acne which I thankfully never got, was clothes. It was like all the other guys had clothes that fit, but my pants were always too short or too long, and they never fit trimly around my hips, not even my Levis. I could never find a shirt that wasn’t either too big in the collar or too short for my arms. Then were shoes; I always seemed to have last year’s style. And wearing a tie, forget it. I learned about gig lines and tie lengths while in the army. That gig line better be straight, and it better go to the belt buckle and not inch above or below. All through high school none of my clothes fit right, but the jocks, they always looked just right. Of course, Rebecca was always on the arm of this or that jock, and worse, when she was out on the dance floor she always seemed to find me and show off her latest boyfriend.
Once in a while I did get to dance with her. I’d tell her how much I loved her, but she’d always come back with the same tired old line, “Travis I love you too, it’s just I love ____ (you fill in the blank) more, but,” She’d add, “I have to admit it to you Travis; after him you’re my favorite special boyfriend.” Yeah, that was me, always second best.
Rebecca had a way of making bad things worse. As she hopped from boyfriend to boyfriend she’d go through these cycles of elation followed by periods of extreme misery. During her elation periods she never failed to let me know just how happy she was, how this or that boy was the perfect fit for her, or that he was going away to college, come back, make a lot of money, marry her and they’d live happily ever after. Then there were her desolation times. I could count on them; she’d call my house and ask for my mom, “Is Travis there? Can he come over?”
I’d always have to go over to her house, go to her parent’s family room, and usually sit on the same loveseat where I knew she kissed and snuggled with a dozen different boys, all of whom got to feel her lovely tits and try to reach for her pussy under one of her fabulously beautiful extra short usually pleated mini-dresses. I know because a lot of times I was there and watched.
Yeah, I’d go over. We’d sit, and I’d listen to her cry over her latest “lost love”, then I’d have to listen to her vow she’d never do it again, and then last, hear her say I was the only boy she could ever really count on and trust. Talk about torment! She was Tomas de Torquemada! Didn’t she get it? I didn’t want her to trust and count on me! I wanted her to fall in love with me. I’d beg and plead. I’d tell her how much I loved her. She always had the same come back. She’d say, “You know Travis I just really triple decker like you.”
Who the fucked wanted to be triple decker liked? What did that mean? Was I a fucking sandwich?
Sure, we’d hug and kiss. She’d giggle, and she’d tease. Sometimes she’d lay her head on my lap just where my crotch was and weep over her latest “lost love”. I’d cry and die inside. I recall I never, not once ever tried to feel her up. I’d sit there with a great big “hard on” and just suffer through. Some country music singer my grandfather liked. I could never remember the singer’s name, but he had this song called “Kawlija”. It was about a wooden Indian who fell in love with a wooden Indian maid, but Kawlija never ever got to express how he felt. Then one day a wealthy customer bought the Indian maid, but poor old Kawlija he just stayed. That was me, poor old Kawlija. It wasn’t fair. It just wasn’t fair.
I remember what was the worst; it was when she sometimes didn’t have a boyfriend, she’d get bored and make me go over and see her. She’d walk around in her bra and panties, and make me help her wash and comb her hair. Those panties were always so skimpy, and the material was so thin, and the bras she wore, she called them demi-cuts. Both her parents were out of the house a lot, and sometimes she’d do something like steal my wallet to make me chase her around the house, her in her undies, and me wearing a big “stiffy”. I’d catch her and try to kiss her, but she’d just turn away and giggle.
Once when I got there I saw she’d gotten out her father’s hidden stash of porn. She made me sit there, her on my lap with hardly anything on while we looked at all sorts of pictures of naked women doing things I never knew could be done. She was especially cruel that day. I was at my most excited, I was so nervous I could barely do anything. She straddled my lap, pulled down the zipper to my fly, and all the time just watched me while she reached in and masturbated me. It was unendurable, at the last second, she let go, slipped her hand back out, zipped me back up, and ran to the kitchen laughing and giggling all the way.
I chased after her, caught her by the kitchen stove, twirled her around, and tried to kiss her. She dodged me. I was so frustrated. I asked her, “Why are you doing this to me?”
She got real serious, like super sincere and whispered, “Some day you’ll know.” Then she put her hand behind my neck and gave me the longest deepest kiss I’d ever had. Then she told me I had to leave. I left, but looked back and saw her at her parent’s back door just watching me. I knew she loved me.
The next day at school it was like nothing ever happened. She was draped all over one of the basketball players giggling and laughing. When I walked by it was like I was invisible.
Life was so unfair. All through high school I did date some, but it was like something, or someone always showed up. That someone was always Rebecca. I’d meet a girl and get interested, but then somehow, some way Rebecca found out and pretty soon things got messed up. I knew what she was doing, she was sabotaging me. I could never figure out why. Shit, she could’ve had me anytime she wanted, and she knew it.
I did do pretty well at scouting, but scouting wasn’t quarterbacking the home team, and it sure wasn’t being the star forward on the varsity basketball team, or the center on varsity lacrosse. There was a guy who knew beyond a shadow of a doubt he’d get a scholarship to play for Duke University. Me? I couldn’t even win at chess.
No, I was just one of the male wall flowers who hid in the shadows at the homecoming dance or who decided to skip the pep rallies and after-school dance exhibitions in the gym. Did I say that Rebecca was a dancer? She was. Oh, and she also played the guitar and sang in a small group ensemble. Me. I played a mean radio, and singing? Forget it. My cop out was to repeat something Ulysses S. Grant used to say, “I know two tunes. One is Yankee Doodle, and there’s the other one.”
I had to face it; I was a loser, and girls like Rebecca never took losers like me seriously.
Well I graduated high school and went off to college, a good state school by the way. A year later Rebecca enrolled at the local community college.
I got through college by the skin of my teeth, but I did find a niche, I did well when it came to things like natural resources. I finished my four years with a B.S. No one ever dreamed I’d ever get a B.A. Forget it, a foreign language? English was foreign enough for me.
For some reason Rebecca never finished college. She got her A.A., stayed home, and found a job working at a bank. She did well there, and over the years she got promotion after promotion, and with each promotion came the expected increase in pay.
We grew up in a pretty richly forested area. I got lucky and got a job with the state forest service, and then I got even luckier, I landed a position not far from where we all grew up. The area was, and still is, beautiful. There are three state forest preserves; all three of them adjoin a much larger Federal forest. It’s beautiful country. There is the occasional poacher, but they’re usually prettily easily handled. The only thing I found seriously tedious was every now and then politicians would show up from Washington. They’d set up in one of the Hamptons or Hiltons just outside one of the cities, get Federal employees, read secret service, to chauffeur them into the wilderness where they’d indiscriminately blaze away at anything and everything that moved. They weren’t supposed to do that, but of course, no one tells people like that what they can or can’t do.
Though I spent a fair amount of time out in the woods I did get into town quite often. One afternoon I was at my parents when my father started in on me. He started with, “Travis, you never had a real girlfriend.”
Well I’d had a girlfriend in college until she found the guy she wanted. She told me how much she liked and respected me, but that someone else had come along and just stole her heart away. It hurt. We broke up. I never found out what happened to her after that. I hope she found who she was looking for.
So I looked at my dad and said, “I had a girl.”
He said, “Who do you got now?”
I didn’t have an acceptable answer so I said, “I’ve been dating a pretty young thing over at the Forest station. Pretty girl, name’s Thumper.
He wasn’t amused, “Bullshit,” he said.
I just shrugged.
Then he said, “There’s a pretty good looking girl working over at the bank. I recall she’s a teller there. Why don’t you go over and give her a look?”
I didn’t want him to know how desperate I was so I stayed for dinner. Mom made a big casserole. My sister was coming over with her husband and new baby anyway, and I wanted to see them. I liked her husband; he was a regular guy like me. That was us, just two regular guys, just regular people.
I may have resented my sister getting the Cavalier a little bit when she went off to college, but she and I had always been just as close as could be so that it didn’t really matter even if I didn’t have any transportation for my senior homecoming, the Christmas dance, or spring fling. I did get the Cavalier for graduation. My sister had come home from college before I graduated.
Later that week, after listening to my dad’s bullshit, I made a trip to the bank, a trip that would change my life forever. I couldn’t believe it; the teller my dad told me about was Rebecca! I played it nonchalant, like cool. I waited in line until a teller came open, it was a Friday afternoon and it was busy. I didn’t get Rebecca, but I did manage to check out her hand. I didn’t see any rings. She caught my eye, or I caught hers, I don’t remember which. All my memories of her, all my golden memories, her beautiful face, the way she combed her hair, how her breasts undulated when she walked, her kisses, her shapely calves, all of it, everything came back. I completely forgot the bad things, I only remembered the good. We smiled at each other, and I knew I’d be back when it wasn’t so crowded.
I did go back. I went back the following Tuesday morning. I knew it was a good time because for one I got the inside dope on her schedule, and I knew what time she got off for lunch. I walked in, saw her, and made a bee-line for her window. She smiled. I smiled. I asked, “Busy right now?”
She kept smiling, then she turned and checked the clock, “I get off in ten minutes.”
I knew that. I said, “Anything planned for lunch?”
She said, “Just a PB&J I made this morning.”
I said, “How about Ira’s? He’s open till three.”
We both knew all about Ira’s, his was a breakfast-lunch restaurant that had been open ever either one of us could remember. He was a little pricey, but his sandwiches were terrific. She replied, “I’ll need my coat. You driving, or should I drive?”
I said, “I’ll drive.”
We met outside the bank and briefly hugged. From there we went to Ira’s. It was the beginning...
Our lunch at Ira’s was the beginning of something I thought was entirely new. I forgot the sad and unkind things, I only remembered the very best things from my high school years. I remembered how sincere she was. I remembered all the old charm, and I remembered what I believed were her long distance “special feelings” for me. I believed we could make it, but, and this was a big but, I still felt insecure around her, and while it turned out to be nothing I vividly remembered the heartbreak from my college years. I remembered Rebecca had a fickle nature. I figured I didn’t have to get married. I could live my life out as bachelor. Other men did it. I had a great uncle who did it. So I asked her out, and she accepted.
We started dating. We did the usual things; the movies, going out to eat, seeing the sights, taking a steamboat trip down the river. These things went on for several weeks. Occasionally we kissed, or as they say, we “made out”, but I never pushed myself on her, and she seemed comfortable with the way things were going.
Then for some reason, I’ll never know why, she shifted gears. We went from the casual to the super casual and exclusive to an earnest seriousness. It finally dawned on me, while I’d always loved her, her earlier feelings about me had never gone beyond the companionable stage, but then it happened, it actually happened, she fell in love with me, and with her new discovery, her new awareness, a real sense of urgency set in for her.
She’d fallen in love, and with that it was her, not me, who felt insecure. She started watching me more closely. She started eyeballing any girls who seemed to take an interest in me or what I was doing, and there were a couple who had shown some interest. One girl who I knew cared deeply for me was a Federal Park Ranger. Her name was Janice Gill, and she’d started an amorous campaign of her own. For a short while I enjoyed the circumstances; there was Janice and the new stalker, Rebecca, the primed and ready tigress set to defend her territory. I say I enjoyed the new paradigm, but only up to a point. I admit I had feelings for Janice, but Rebecca had always been my “one true love”, my high school dream, my adolescent goddess.
Rebecca went to work on me. She pulled out all stops. Her parents were well placed in local politics; she started to intimate the possibility of me, if not getting into politics, maybe shifting my career in a more forceful direction. I rejected those suggestions out of hand. I knew who I was and what I wanted to be.
She reintroduced herself to my family, and within a short time she was spending as much time at my parent’s house as she was with me. She was plowing fields no one had ever turned before. My mom and dad loved the attention, and they quickly redeveloped their old affections for her. My sister was more circumspect; she warned me not to be too quick on the trigger. She warned there was a possessiveness and a domineering side to Rebecca that I needed to be aware of. Of course, I knew all that. I’d known her since elementary school, and I’d seen her work her “ways’ with people, including me, for years.
Just the same I followed my sister’s advice, I took things slowly. Incredibly, the slower I went the more demanding Rebecca became. Yet even in her, I’d like to say desperation which I didn’t think it really was, she still had her limits. I made some, what I considered pretty serious and pretty sophisticated attempts at getting her in the sack, but Rebecca always held her ground. I got just about as far, maybe a little farther, than the boys back in our high school days, which in short meant a little foreplay, only nothing unclothed or under any of her garments. On the other hand she touched me, she enjoyed touching me, but here again, only up to a point. She’d touch me, she’d fondle me, she even kissed me in places I was sure she’d never kissed another man before, but we, or she, never went “all the way”. At the end of an evening I was always left just short of that final plunge, that one great moment when I could’ve said I’d crossed the goal line and scored. No, she always managed to hold me off.
We’d been dating for several months. I’d bought a ring, but decided to hold on to it for a while. I guess I was still scared, but the moment of truth did finally come. One afternoon, it was springtime, Rebecca invited me over to her parents for a cookout. That was nothing out of the ordinary, we’d gone to several already, but this time it was different. I planned on springing the big one on her
When I got there Rebecca was out on her dad’s John Deere mowing the lawn. I didn’t think the grass looked that bad, but her dad said Rebecca wanted everything to be just right. Then he added, “There’s something else too Travis. She knows you’re into farm machinery and such, and she believes you don’t think she gives a damn about that stuff. I think she’s trying to convince you about something. Maybe something like something you need to do.” He smiled.
So we quietly sat on his front porch and watched Rebecca mow the lawn. He kept smiling, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what he was smiling at. I guess I just wasn’t paying that close attention to the mowing, I mean Rebecca was wearing a pretty sexy little outfit out there on that mower; her hair was back in two pig tails, she was wearing a tight little crop top, something she’d never done before, and those shorts she had on left absolutely nothing to the imagination. The high heels looked a little out of place.
After I guessed maybe seven or eight minutes her dad started chuckling. I asked him, “What?”
He said, “Look.”
I asked, “Look at what.”
He said, “She’s mowing the lawn right? Check out where she’s mowing.”
I took a closer look and it hit me. She was most certainly running the lawn tractor back and forth over the grass, but she hadn’t as yet engaged the blades. I go it. She was modelling the “New Rebecca” look; that was the girl who liked to use machinery, plus the girl who was sexy as that girl Lily James in that “Mama Mia” movie. Come to think of it, except for the eyes, her’s were blue and Lily’s were brown, as I watched Rebecca waste gas pretending to mow an already tidy lawn she did look a lot like Lily James.
I grinned at her dad, got out of my porch rocker and said, “I guess I better put an end to this.”
He smiled and then turned to look inside the house. He hollered inside. “Meggie,” his wife’s name was Megan but he always called her Meggie, “you better get out if you want to see this.”
Like lightning Rebecca’s mom was on the porch, wiping her hands on her apron and smiling her face off.
I stood up as tall as I could and with great deliberation walked to where Rebecca was so assiduously cutting nothing. I got up to the mower and shouted, “Turn off the mower.”
She shouted back, “What?”
I shouted again, “Turn off the mower.”
She shouted back again, “I don’t know how.”
I reached over and turned the key, and then said, “Get off the mower.”
She got off.
I hadn’t exactly decided how I was going to do what I needed to do so I guess I decided to go all the way. I reached in my pocket, pulled out the ring box, got down on one knee, handed it to her, and said, “Rebecca will you marry me?”
She took the little box, opened it, and started crying.
I asked again, “Well what about it?”
She was crying so hard she couldn’t talk, she just nodded her head up and down. Then she knelt down beside me, still crying, and started sobbing and saying, “Damn you Travis. Damn you Travis.”
We went inside and called my parents. They, of course, already knew, and were over in less than five minutes. It took my sister, her husband, and baby a little longer, maybe twenty, we waited. Rebecca was an only child and everyone agreed no grandparents until plans had been made. The cookout was forgotten. Rebecca’s dad called out for pizza and subs. After we all ate my mom and Rebecca’s mom sat down at their dining room table, and while the rest of us silently watched, they plotted out the wedding.
It took a while, but eventually the basic plans had been made. My mom, dad, my sister and her family all left. I gathered up a very happy Rebecca and took her out for a drive. I thought, ‘Hell, we’d made the commitment, maybe I’d get something.’ No such luck, though she’d gotten the promissory ring Rebecca was holding out for the gold band. I figured after all this long it didn’t matter that much.
We were married in the Methodist church we’d grown up in. Rebecca wore her mom’s gown. I had a somewhat somber bachelor party, Rebecca’s bachelorette party was a little more raucous. There was the customary bridal shower, and then the big day. I stood at the front of the church; my ordinary skinny nondescript self wearing a pair of wire rimmed glasses. Rebecca came down the aisle, escorted by her father, and, personal prejudices aside, I thought she was the most stunningly beautiful woman I’d ever seen. Like I said she had on her mom’s long flowing white gown, and a long costly veil made of the most expensive silk. I was mesmerized.
So we got married, honeymooned in Cancun, Mexico, came home, and with my saving and hers bought our first house. The next few years were, to me a blur of unbelievable happiness. Though there were a few surprises, I thought, for all her dating and running around in high school and junior college that her being a virgin was not very likely. I was wrong. There wasn’t any hymen; but nobody would have expected a hymen what with the horseback riding, sports, cheerleading, yeah she was a cheerleader too, plus the tampons. I was still surprised at how tiny she was. A second thing that surprised me was her fastidiousness. I’d seen her all through our school years and never once to my recollection had I ever seen her bedroom when it wasn’t in some sort of disarray. I’d always believed Rebecca was one of those, “damn it, my mom was so tidy and neat, I’ll never be like that.”
We decided to wait a few years before having children. Both of us wanted to enjoy each other, and the freedom we shared as a couple. I know that might sound strange, but we were an item, two people who’d become one, and I loved every minute of it. I mean the companionship, the camaraderie, and the sex, it was all great! She and I were young and in love, and of course, at that age, or any age for that matter, good sex was always great sex, and great sex was, well out of this world. When I was ready she was ready. There was never enough time in the day or night to satisfy us. We christened, and then rechristened every room in the house. We’d go out to eat and do it in the car on the way home. Plus she couldn’t keep her hands off me. I’d heard most women liked cunnilingus but disliked fellatio. That wasn’t the case with Rebecca; she liked everything all the time, any time, and I did too. I loved it. I mean I really loved it, and I loved her!
I loved it right up until...
We’d both agreed when we stood at the altar before God, our families, and all the people, there were over three hundred in the church that day, that fidelity was sine qua non, neither of us would ever cheat. I believed that and she did too. She understood there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do for her, but if she ever crossed that line well...
That wasn’t it. That never was it. Then what went wrong? It was sad. After a little more than three years Rebecca felt that she’d been gaining too much weight, and the weight she’d put on was in places she didn’t like so she decided to join a spa.
I was all for it; anything that made her happy made me happy. Besides I was not only natural thin, but my job and the manner in which I worked kept me thin as a rail all the time. Worse, her job, by then career, kept her cooped up inside for long periods of time, while my job kept me outside in the sun. To be sure, being outside in a forest meant long pants, work boots, long sleeved shirts, and usually a wide brimmed hat. The clothing wasn’t so much protection from the sun as it was protection from forest critters and those ever present little vines best known as poison ivy. For sure, I wasn’t prone to poison ivy like some people. Some people only had to see it and they started itching. Rebecca was one of those people. For safety’s sake and for family peace I’d always kept my work clothes apart, and always washed them myself separately.
So Rebecca felt she had a weight and a cosmetic problem, read lack of that glowing sun tanned look. She felt the spa and a membership at the “Y” would be just the treats she needed. I heartily concurred, and so off to the spa she went, or should I say gym.
There were usually just women at a spa, but gyms were places also frequented by men. Think about that. What kind of men populated most gyms? Why of course, those places were the habitué of the smart set, the athletic set, the muscular, manly, robust, over healthy, prune juice drinking, weight watching, powerlifting Arnold Schwarzenegger’s of the world. And what did most of those men want? They wanted nookie!
Rebecca was a beautiful woman, and men liked to look at her, and looking often went a little, sometimes a lot, further. That wasn’t the problem in our situation. I wish it had been.
The gym Rebecca joined had a wide variety of activities; one of them was an internal membership in a martial arts club. I supposed the idea of men and women gallivanting about, knocking each down, twisting each other into pretzels fascinated her. Rebecca joined up. I was cool with it.
Then things started to go a little awry. Rebecca was fundamentally an obsessive compulsive; once she set her mind to something she was unstoppable. She set her mind to Karate. After a few weeks Rebecca wanted to come home and show off her latest moves. I couldn’t say, was it Ju-jitsu, Karate or what, but pretty soon every new class offered a new move, and every new move led to a new demonstration at home.
I was good with it until she started to use the moves on me. It started out harmlessly enough, “Come on Travis stand up. Make like you’re going to attack me,” and then wham I was on my back with one or both arms pinioned behind my back. She thought it was funny and fun. I thought it hurt.
She’d explain how this or that move could break an arm or an elbow with as little as ten or fifteen pounds of pressure. Then she’d have to show me. I quickly learned that Karate wasn’t just about quick moves and acrobatic jumps; no, Karate was about ways that with just a snap of a hand, the flip of a fist, the twirl of an elbow, or even the flick of a finger, some unfortunate recipient would be in for some serious pain.
I didn’t know or want to know what she learned, but I sure didn’t like the way her whole demeanor, at least toward me, started to change. We’d be out with friends and I might say something she disagreed with, then ugh, under the table on the thigh a punch, or walking in the park, a thoughtless word and zap and elbow to the ribs. Those things hurt!
It didn’t take long and our entire relationship began to shift. Once we were co-equal partners in a happy loving relationship, but pretty soon it became her calling the shots and me in full agreement, to disagree was to invite something unpleasant and quite painful later.
I had to admit she was losing weight and looking prettier and sexier almost every day, but I still liked pizza, lasagna, cold cut subs, and spaghetti. It was getting scary; she wasn’t becoming a vegetarian, she was becoming a Vegan. I never knew what a Vegan was until I brought some fish home. Fish? Fish! Not on your life; it was lentils or it was pretty quickly some new Karate move. I was afraid to say or do anything, but I took it, for when it was time for the sack it was still the same old Rebecca, my warm and loving girl. Then that even changed, and changed in a way I still can’t understand.
We usually played in tandem when we made love. I’d do or try something, and then she would. We shared, but after the new man in her life showed up, that was Mr. Karate, our sex life took on a new form. Almost overnight she was on top, I was against the wall, she sat on my face. It got scary; she insisted on being tied up so she could show me the escape tricks she’d learned. I looked that up on the Internet and didn’t see much about ropes or ties, but when she brought home the handcuffs I knew we were entering a whole new universe.
At first the handcuffs were for her; it was an, “OK I’m cuffed. Now try to beat me up.”
I didn’t want to beat anybody up. I never did anything like that in my whole life, but then I had to wear the handcuffs. I kept telling her, “If I can’t perform a ‘take down’ with my hands free, how am I going to do it with my hands behind my back?”
She said, “OK, we’ll just do it with your hands behind your back,” then she laid down with her back on the bed and said, “Jump on.”
I told her, “I don’t want to jump on. I want to hold you in my arms.
It didn’t matter, she told me, “If you won’t jump on then spend the night in the handcuffs.”
Things just kept getting worse and worse.
It seemed Rebecca had turned out to be one of the “club’s” best pupils, and periodically the “club” put on public demonstrations. Rebecca was to be a participant in one of these demonstrations; she would be on display as a model of their club’s success, an advertisement as it were. Me, I was invited, no I was ordered to attend.
Ok, I had no problem with it until I got there and found out I was supposed to put in one those outfits. It seemed that demonstrations like the one we attended that night needed real nonparticipants, people completely unskilled in the martial arts, people who would portray the mean and nasty thugs and criminals the poor, helpless, small and weak Karate experts had to fend off. As it turned out I was the only “non-Karate” man there. What an opportunity! I’d be the demonstration dummy for the entire class, and that was exactly the way it turned out.
It was a fairly large room with a circular mat at the center. The mat was divided with all kinds of lines that I presumed had some designative significance. I had no idea what they meant, but the mat, though bigger and lined, reminded me of my middle and high school years and wrestling. If I was inept at football, baseball, and lacrosse, I remembered wrestling with a special dread. I hated it! So there I was, the exemplar thug out to beat up on other weaker innocents. Didn’t they know? Surrounded by a crowd of children with a spattering of adults I got slammed, jammed, poked, pounded, twisted, twirled, and just generally emulsified for not two but nearly three hours.