Edited by Barney R - Note: I have given him credit in some of my stories, but posted his handle as BarneyR, that was incorrect.
This story was further messed with by me. Therefore all mistakes are mine.
All of the cheating stories have their clichés – I came home unexpectedly – she (or he) stopped or slowed way down on sex – he (or she) started using anything for an excuse to start an argument – bills from hotels that you had not been to – gas receipts from areas that your spouse wasn’t supposed be in. These and other reasons are clichés because any and all of them have happened enough that they become somewhat commonplace reasons for adulterous divorces.
Mine happened just that way.
(Author’s note: In this story I talk about recovering from an amputation, and in some instances the person makes light of the prosthesis. I am not demeaning amputees, and if the story offends any amputees, I apologize in advance. When I was growing up, we had a cousin boarding with us who used to joke about his fake arm. This was over 60 years ago, so the prosthetic devices are now much better, but I am sure the wearers still think the same about them. Floyd would occasionally get depressed, but us kids just understood that is was a part of his life.)
Before I get into my feeble tale of woe, I am Roger McDaniels. I have twin younger sisters, Alice and Jeanne. The girls were named after their Grandmothers. My mother is still in the home we kids grew up in. She keeps urging all of us to make grand kids.
When the fecal material hit the oscillating air mover, I was 29. I am not what most people would call handsome now; but that is the result of scars on my face from an altercation that will become known later.
I met Emily Wilson when I was a junior in high school. I was 17, a geek, tall and skinny. She was 15 and had just transferred into our district as a freshman. She was not, by the standard of models and cheerleaders, beautiful. She was slightly overweight, had a minor case of acne, and glasses.
Now that I say all of that, I saw something there that I still have trouble explaining. Her smile was as big as all outdoors. It lit up the area she was in. Behind the glasses were the most intense blue-green eyes that were capable of making you melt or flame out. Her red hair and white skin made you think of a stereotypical Irish maiden. Her voice was soft and musical. She was pleasant, easy to talk to, and friendly to everyone.
I first saw her when my math teacher asked me to become an algebra tutor for students that were having trouble or requested additional help. Emily was one of the six people that had asked to have a tutor. The group met after school 3 afternoons a week. I was given class credit and an hourly wage that was equal to the minimum wage. I would have done it without those benefits as the brain exercise was fun.
I had use of a van so while the school buses did not run after the session was over, I could take everyone home. Emily lived about a city block from where I did, so she was always the last one to be delivered home. We had many interesting talks.
There was something that attracted me to her. It took me about half of the semester to realize that I was interested in getting to know her better. She was not the most outgoing and I had to work to get any personal information.
I discovered she was not allowed to date until she became 16. She was not allowed to have boys in her home until she was 16. She told me she was afraid to introduce me to her family because her dad was overprotective.
I finally convinced Em, as I called her, to introduce me to her family. Her mother was and still is a gem of the first quality. Her father; while giving the outward appearance of a stern taskmaster; was just a very loving parent trying to do what he thought was best for his daughter. They both told me how they appreciated my help with Emily’s schoolwork.
Emily and I started ‘officially’ dating on her 16th birthday. We had gone on group outings and school functions before; but because of her home restrictions, we were never allowed to have less than two other people with us. Even so, we were definitely considered matched by all of our friends and most of the school population.
I gave (with her parents permission) Em a small locket for her birthday and we went out to a fine restaurant for a fancy dinner. She told me that she had fun and wanted to start going places and doing ‘date’ things with just the two of us. I took her to my junior prom. She was the most beautiful and youngest lady there.
(Note: it was not considered ‘fashionable’ for a guy to be dating a girl more than one grade below you)
We dated all through my senior year but had talked about what we would do after I graduated. We knew that I wanted to go to college, and my main choices were several hundred miles from where we lived.
Em told me that because of the distances, she felt that we should not commit to being ‘exclusive’ while she was home and still in high school. She said that if we were meant to be together, we would find each other when the time was right.
I was not sure what she was getting at, as I thought that we would still be together forever. I finally realized that it was a moot point, because my parents could not afford to make up the differences in costs of college that were not covered by the scholarships I was awarded.
I joined the Army right after graduation. I saw it as a way to complete my goals without going into life altering debt. I was fortunate that the two scholarship committees agreed to allow me to defer the scholarships for no more than six years while I completed my military commitment.
Em and I said goodbye at the Fourth of July celebration and picnic. I was reporting to basic training the following Monday. It was a sad but nice day.
I arrived at Fort Knox, Kentucky for processing and orientation. My unit was then shipped to Fort Campbell, KY. Once there, I found that I enjoyed the whole military experience. I was made platoon standard bearer the first week of training and by the time the ten weeks were over, I was acting platoon corporal. That honor was given to a troop who managed to complete all phases of training successfully with no scores less than 90%. I and another troop both qualified, and both received the award.
I was writing home at least three times a week and to Emily just as much. About 5 weeks into training I got the dreaded ‘Dear John’ letter.
I want you to understand that you are my closest and dearest friend, so I must tell you that I have found that I have strong feelings for someone else.
That was why, because of this possibility, that I wanted you to not wait for me when we are apart.
Ralph Peterson is a new student at school, and he asked me out to a movie. Because I was lonely, I said yes. We discovered a strong attraction. We have decided to become exclusive.
I know this must hurt, but I feel that I should not have any further communications with you. If we bump into each other when you are home on leave, we may say hi, but I ask that you don’t try to rekindle the feeling we have shared.
You were the reason I am what I am, and I will always be grateful to you for being my friend and my first boyfriend.
Well shit, that sucks rocks. I was hurt and confused. I also knew that I had to calm down and not respond with the anger and hurt that I felt at the time. I put off responding to the letter.
I went home on leave after basic. I told my family about the letter. I saw Emily often, but never spoke to her. A couple of times I watched her start towards me but when she did I just turned away.
I completed more than two years of my three year enlistment when I was injured in a training accident and after rehabbing to the army’s satisfaction, was given a medical discharge. I was hurt when the truck I was in was hit by a drunk officer on the base. The officer was killed, our truck was overturned and I had my left leg below the knee was crushed. In some ways, I was lucky because the bone above the knee was not damaged, and the joint was still usable, but I lost the rest of that leg. I was able to adjust to the prosthetic leg quickly and was discharged almost as if I had not been hurt at all. I received a disability rating of 50% and a decent pension from the injury. I had a slight limp that got more pronounced when I was physically tired.
I was assigned rehab in Texas, at Fort Sam Houston. Because of this my parents and my sisters could only see me once while I was there. They could not make the 1200 mile trip by car, and it was expensive by air. the one time they came the Red Cross got the tickets for them. Emily was not mentioned. I gave them a tentative date when I would be home.
I had taken several college classes form the University of Maryland. (They offered correspondence classes to active military people.) So, I went back home to prepare for the next phase of my life with enough credits to start on campus as a first semester junior.
When I got home, I was welcomed like a conquering hero. My parents, my sisters, and surprise, Emily, were all there to meet me at the airport. I hugged all of my family and acknowledged Emily with a handshake. She looked extremely hurt. Well WTF did she expect.
When I got to the car my parents got in the front, My sisters brought their own car, and Emily started to get in my parent’s car in the rear seat. I helped her in, closed the door, and told my dad I would meet them at the house as I was taking a cab. He was not happy but did not say anything.
I actually got home before they did. I no longer had a key to the house so I sat down on the porch. When dad’s car finally showed up Emily was not in the car. Dad unlocked the door without a word, and tried to push me in. That did not work well. I slipped and went down because he pushed on my right side and my prosthetic slipped on the porch. I was physically and mentally hurt again. I did not go in.
I grabbed my bags and went out to the curb. I called a local hotel got a room; then called a cab. I spent the next three days without talking to anyone from my family. Finally, I thought, maybe I was over reacting. I called home and talked to my sister. She told me that dad was not talking to anyone in the family any time I was mentioned. She said that mom was crying most of the time. She also said that Emily was trying to find me to apologize to me.
I finally decided to get off the pot and called Emily’s parents. I found out that Emily was not living at home anymore. They told me that they would give her my number. I explained what had happened and that I wanted to apologize to her for making an ass of myself. I thanked them and hung up.
About 10 minutes later my cell rang; it was my mother. she was blubbering and I could not understand her. I stopped her by shouting “Stop”. The silence was deafening. I then said, “I’m sorry that I pissed everyone off, but you all knew that Emily sent me a ‘dear john’, yet you saw fit to bring her to greet me without telling me. Yes, I overreacted, but I am still hurt because I still care for that bitch. You saw fit to rub her in my face.”
I continued; “I did not mean to spoil your plans, but I also expected my family to be supportive of my feelings. My father, if he still feels he is my father,” I heard a sharp gasp. “As I said, if my father feels he is still my father, I expect an apology from him for the treatment at the door. He looked at me like I was a pile of dog shit that he just stepped in. I WILL NOT PUT UP WITH THAT. I am an adult, but I still am allowed to have feelings.”
“When will you be coming home?” Mom asked.
“If I don’t get an apology, I won’t be coming. I have to be on campus in California in six days. If dad does not chose to call, I will leave tomorrow to get there.”
“Please don’t go without seeing me and your sisters, I will pass your message on to your father, but you know how stiff necked he can be.” Mom pleaded. “Your sisters tried to stop your dad and I from bringing Emily, but she seemed so sorry to have kissed you off for the new kid in town. If you talk to her, please listen to her; she wants you to know just how big of a mistake she made.”
I hung up and not even ten seconds later the phone rang. It was Emily. I said, “Emily, you hurt me when you threw me away less than a month after I went in the army. I still should not have acted like the ass that I did.” I continued, “I am sorry I acted like I did.”
“I’m so sorry for hurting you, I was wrong, I was stupid, I was lonely. All of those are just excuses, there is no reason I can think of that would allow me to be such a royal bitch.” Then she stunned me and asked; “Can I come and get you so we can talk?”
“I think I would like that, as long as you don’t try to ambush me like you did at the airport.” All I heard was a silence and my cell phone screen showed call time. She hung up on me. Well kiss my ass bitch.
My mother and sisters called several times. My father not until I was on the way to the airport to get to campus in California.
When I picked up and answered the phone he started with; “Do not ever come into my house again you ungrateful bastard. I will not apologize for trying to make two people happy.” Then he disconnected.
When I got to the campus, I bought a new phone and number. I trashed the old one. I also bought a new laptop. I was pretty set for money, six months in the hospital, two plus years where the military provided almost everything, there was just not a lot of places to spend your money. I never got involved with the barracks gambling, I didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, and did not date at all. Therefore, I had almost 70% of my entire salary still available, and with the GI Bill, and my pension, and my scholarships, I would be debt free when I graduated.
I used the laptop to email my sisters and my mother. The responses I got told me that I would be welcome home whenever I had a chance. My father tried to put his foot down once too often and was shown the door. My sisters were still in contact with Emily. They agreed not to give her my E-mail address or my phone number. They did say that she was back home and that she had planned to take me to dinner at the restaurant where I had taken her on her first date. She was feeling guilty about the airport but was still pissed about my ambush comment.
I called my home the same day I got the email from home about my dad. Mom answered the phone, “Roger, Roger, Roger,” and then it was just crying.
My sister Alice took the phone from her. She was joyful sounding as she playfully said; “Who is the asshole that made my mom cry?” Then she started laughing. “Roger, big brother, I love you, but when are you coming home?”
I explained that the first class break was Thanksgiving so I would be home then. I also told them that I would send them tickets and hotel reservations for the first three day weekend to come out.
I had a very good piece of luck while I was in school. A bunch of the people in our dorm put money in a pool and bought Mega Million and Powerball tickets. We won a big pot. Each of the 11 people in the pool came out with about 15 million after taxes. I immediately put mine into a trust and set it up so I had an allowance that left me without any worries about my future.
My college major was electrical engineering with a minor in computer programming. I had a job waiting for me with a company that was designing windmills for electrical generation. They were on the cutting edge of the technology. I was so impressed that I invested a million dollars for 5% of the company. The shares were mine but I could not sell to anyone except the other partners.
I had been home several times, and I gave my sisters each a trust fund of their own for Christmas my college senior year and their high school senior year. That gave them all the money and more they would need for their college expenses. They went on to graduate debt free also. The lweft over funds would start them on a good life.
I paid mom’s mortgage, she had divorced dad and he skipped out of his court ordered obligations. The last they heard of him he had been arrested in Costa Rico for trying to beat a hooker to death. That was the last the family ever heard of him.
The company transferred me to a facility that was about a 30 minute drive from my family. I had the trust buy a nice property about half way in between work and family. It had a live in ready 5 bed room 4-1/2 bath new house of about 3500 square feet on the place. The lot was over 5 acres. I got it cheap, as the family that had it built went bankrupt before the final payment was due. The bank sold it to me for basically the remaining balance. It was fully furnished except for appliances. Mom and the girls were given a debit card and told to finish it out. I also promised the girls that as long as they promised to behave, I would put a pool house with a pool and a hot tub in. They squealed and mom asked if she was invited too. I laughed and said, “I said girls, last I looked you’re a gorgeous girl.” That got me a swat and a kiss on the cheek.
It was on one of my trips home that I rediscovered Emily. I was in the grocery store picking up something my mother forgot for our dinner. Emily must have seen me. I was bent over getting something from the bottom shelf when she very gently bumped me in the butt with her cart. I jumped up straight. When I turned around to complain, that red headed pixie was giggling behind her hand. When I raised my fist and shook it at her she stuck her tongue at me. I just stood there and busted out laughing.
I finished my selections as Em stayed with me. I commented on how good she looked.
She said that after she graduated, she had tried college, and found she did not fit in, and so left after getting her AS degree in accounting and bookkeeping. She got a job at a local fitness center. Seeing some of the woman lose a lot of weight and tighten themselves up she began working out and she liked herself and how she looks now.