Edited by Barney R. Grammar and spell checked by Grammarly
Screwed with afterward by me. All errors are my fault.
You do not need to read the original. This is the same story rearranged. This story was posted as ‘Not A Wuss’. I received a complaint that I started the story at the end. This revision is to see if I can make it better by rearranging it. Please let me know.
She told me she had been cheating and was going to continue. My inner wuss died. She will not like the change.
When the wuss died, I Gary Wilcox, was 40 and married to Katherine Wilcox, nee Kelmer 36. I am a corporate executive, and she is a school teacher. We have two children John is 14 almost 15, and Candy is 12, almost a teenager. They are my reason for breathing. My wife Kate, not so much anymore.
I met Kate when we were in high school, and as I was walking home one spring afternoon of my senior year, I heard a guy behind the house I was walking by shouting; “I am going to kill you, we are not breaking up unless I say so.” Then I heard what sounded like a slap. I went back to see what was going on and I saw Kate cowering on the ground, her blouse ripped, and Jack, ‘The Asshole’ Simmons had his hand in a fist and was ready to punch her.
I am not a stud, never was, but I had played a few sports, so I wasn’t a ‘98 pound weakling’ either. Jack had not seen me yet so when I said; “Jack, if that arm is not at your side and the grip on this lady is not released, I will personal rearrange your face and teeth.” He, by reflex, let her go and turned on me.
I quickly motioned her to run away from there. She was clear, and Jack was coming at me. I held my hands at my side and let him have the first swing. I ducked and he hit the top of my head. He screamed as the pain traveled up his arm. Don’t do this at home, it hurt.
I grabbed that arm, twisted his hand, and forced him to his knees. I said in a very low voice, “When I let go, I better see nothing but elbows and shoe soles as you run away. You had also better leave that girl alone, or I will be back to find out if you really have ‘shit for brains’ understand?
He nodded, I let go, and he took off like the ground was on fire and coming after him.
I went back to the front of the house and Kate was standing there. “Thank you. I was trying to tell Jack that I was breaking up with him because of his jealousy. He started yelling and hitting me. Thank you.”
I told her that I had warned him to leave her alone. Then I said; “If you need help, or if he starts to bother you again, come and get me. I see you in school almost every day, so know that I will be there for you.” Then I playfully added; “If you don’t know it already, I am Gary Wilcox, damsel rescuer extraordinaire. Who fair damsel, might you be? Allow me to present you with this cape to cover your person. It appears that you have suffered a clothing mishap.”
With that, she looked down and saw her torn blouse. Her industrial-strength bra was showing. She got all red in the face and all the way down to under that white bulletproof looking cloth. “I’m Katherine Kelmer, my friends call me Kate, and I will take that coat, thank you again.”
She put my jacket on and pushed the sleeves up about halfway so that her hands would show. She was small in stature, probably 5’ 4”, (she claims 5’ 6”, but I don’t believe it) and maybe 110 lbs. She has beautiful blue eyes and a sort of brownish blonde hair. I found out she was a sophomore and was a transfer in that year.
We walked to her house, and she asked me to come to the door with her. Once there, she kissed my cheek and thanked me again. I collected my jacket and went on my way.
The next day at school Kate saw me come in before homeroom, and latched on to my arm and dragged over to meet her school friends. It turns out that she told them what had happened and they needed to meet the hero of that play.
After the introductions, I saw Jack walking down the hallway with his arm in a soft cast and a sling. He was with a couple of his cronies and when he saw me, he beat a hasty retreat. I found out later that that blow to the top of my head had broken a finger and sprained his wrist. He stayed away from me, and as far as I knew away from Kate for the rest of the time I was in high school.
I graduated and went into the service as an electronics warfare specialist. My job was to maintain and repair drones. I served my three years and did not get ‘stop-lossed’*. I had taken some general college courses while in the service, so when I was discharged, I enrolled at the local state college to get a business management degree. If I had the plan right, I would get my BA in two years and my MBA the next.
I saw Kate at the college. She saw me and waved for me to come over. I did and she grabbed me in a hug. She asked if I was out of the service, and what I was doing on campus.
I took her to the student union building and got us some drinks. We caught up on each other. Kate told me that Jack had left school shortly after the start of their junior year. She explained that she had not enrolled in college right after she graduated, so she was a freshman.
I told her that I had just started college and was using my GI Bill benefits so I would not have big debts when I graduated. I explained my major. I asked her what her major was going to be.
“I’m studying to be an elementary school teacher. I love kids, and think that I can help them to learn.” She added; “I was very lucky, I earned several scholarships, and they even let me defer them for a year. I won’t have student loans to repay either.”
The talk went on like that for about half an hour. I had a class to get to and realized that I had not eaten the lunch that I had been heading to. It was worth a missed lunch to talk to Kate.
I saw Kate the next day and asked for her phone number. When she gave it to me I asked if she would go to a stage play with me the coming weekend. She said she couldn’t; paused, and when I looked disappointed; gave me backstage passes to the play. She laughed and said; “I have a second lead part in the play. Please come as my guest, and I will introduce you to the cast and crew.”
I called her and talked to her a couple of times. The play turned out to be very good, and Kate was great. I thought that she would have done a better job with the female lead than the lady who did it managed. Kate laughed and said maybe, but the lead was the director’s girlfriend, so there was not a chance she would get that part.
We started to date on a regular basis, not every week, but we only missed because of my school work, for the rest of the school year. When the spring semester was drawing to a close, I informed Kate that I was enrolled in two summer courses. She said she was going to be working at a summer camp with elementary school-age kids.
Kate asked me if I was planning on dating someone else while she was away for the summer. I responded that I was in a committed relationship, and while I had not asked for reciprocity, I hoped that my lady friend felt the same way.
Kate looked a little sheepish, “I have not been committed to you, on the weekends that we did not do anything together, I occasionally went out with other guys. Never more than once with the same guy, and I never turned you down for a date. I did not think you wanted a commitment like that.”
“Ok, I guess I can understand that. The only time I did not ask you out was when I had to study for a test or work on a paper. I’m sorry I did not make myself clear. Let me ask you this. Do you want a committed relationship with me?”
“I’m sorry Gary but I am not ready to do that. If I was it would be with you.”
“Ok, now I know where I stand, I won’t bother you again. If you come back to college in the fall, enjoy your college experience. It just won’t be with me. Have a nice, enjoyable summer.” I turned and walked away.
During the rest of my college career, I saw Kate go through guys like they were a date of the week club purchase. It seemed that she almost made a point to parade the newest, best boyfriend through the student union when she knew I was going to be there.
I had some occasional dates, but for the most part, I studied. When I wasn’t studying, I was working as a volunteer with the local veteran’s transition group. We helped returning veterans adjust to civilian life.
I graduated with my MBA right on schedule and was hired by a local company as a section leader of a different city’s sales force. My military background, my grades, and my progress in college all helped me get the job. My military background also allowed me to spot the people who were working for the company, and the slackers that were just collecting paychecks.
I was moving up the local corporate ladder at a quick pace. My social life was not so hot. All of the women in the office tried to set me up. I turned them down or went on a date. There was never a second date with any of the ‘ladies’.
One of the secretaries, Laura, set me up with ‘a great girl’, a local second-grade teacher. Laura promised that she and her fiancé would also be there. It was to be a dinner and a play at a local playhouse.
I said I would go, on the condition that this was the last date she set me up with. “Besides,” I said, “I like to eat and I like live theatre.”
Laura and her fiancé Rob showed up with Kate in tow. She took one look at me and started to turn and leave. I got up from my seat at our reserved table and said; “Kate if you don’t want me here, I will leave. Laura and Rob, (Laura’s fiancé) are your friends. Stay and enjoy your time with them.” Then I left.
Boy-oh-boy did I catch hell the following Monday morning. Laura bitched me out one side and in the other. She called me everything short of an ax murderer. I have had tamer ass chewings by some of my drill sergeants.
It seems that after I left and Kate quit crying, she explained that she had screwed up and broke up with me in college.
After Laura calmed down, I told her “no more blind dates, none, never again.” Then I told her my side of the ‘breakup’. Laura was surprised at the different versions. She did say that we both agreed that Kate did not realize that I was committed to her.
I felt bad and was disappointed in myself for my actions. I finally got up the courage to call Kate’s parent’s house. I wanted Kate’s number to call and apologize. Kate answered and I almost hung up.
I swallowed hard and said; “Katherine Kelmer, will you allow me to apologize for being a clueless male. When I broke up with you it was because I was hurt. I did not mean to hurt you, I thought from what you said to me that I was a convenient date. You did say that if I was busy you went out with others.”
I was rambling now, hardly stopping to breathe; “Please forgive me for causing that hurt. I am sorry about last weekend, but when I saw that you were going to leave, I felt it was better if I did. Your friend Laura let me know that that was the wrong thing to do. It won’t happen again. I am accepting a transfer back to the home office and back to our home town. As you work here, and I will be there, we need not see each other except when you visit your parents. Goodbye” I hung up before she could say anything.
About 30 seconds later the phone rang, and a laughing Kate said “You are indeed a clueless male. I was afraid to commit when we were dating. I knew you were not seeing others, I knew what you wanted. I was afraid. Those guys I paraded in front of you after we broke up were to make you want to get back to dating me. There were never dates with them. They knew I was using them to make you jealous. That really worked well, didn’t it? I asked Laura to set me up with you and then when I saw you I chickened out. When you left I was crushed.”
She finally slowed down and took a breath. “I am on a one year contract with this school district. Next year I will be teaching second and third at your old elementary school. You can’t get rid of me that easy.” Then she giggled again. “Would you like to try to connect again? I would like to try to see if the feelings I ran away from and the man I compare all others against is still there. I want very much to date you again. It will be only you unless we find that we have moved on.”
I was stunned, I was silent for a very long pause
“Aren’t you going to say something? Ok, yes, go to hell, anything.” Then she giggled again.
I finally came to my senses, “I’m am stunned at how this whole conversation has gone on. I think I would like to see if there are any feelings there. Would you let me cook you dinner this Friday night? It won’t be real fancy, but I am a pretty good cook.”
“I would like that.” She answered; “What time and should I pick up anything?”
“Give me your address locally and I will pick you up at 6:00. If you want something alcoholic, get what you want. I don’t drink much, and now when I do it upsets my stomach, so I have quit. Is there anything you can’t eat?
There was that giggle again, “No tofu, skunk, raccoon, rattlesnake, or turkey bacon. No cooked cabbage, no cooked spinach, and absolutely no turkey hot dogs.” She continued, “I really like almost anything, and I will try anything once. Just don’t go overboard, think of this as just a continuation date after a three-year attack of female ‘cranial rectumitus’ causing the interruption. 6:00 works fine for me and I will be ready. I want you to know that I will be trying my damnedest to correct my mistakes from back then.”
She gave me her address and I made a very simple game hen and mushroom rice recipe that I found. The rice stuffing and a game hen each was a complete meal. The date went well.
We dated until my transfer started. Kate had about five more weeks of classes so we alternated weekends. One week I would come to her and the next she would stay at her parent’s house.
After school was finished for the year, Kate went to a continuing education class at the local college and stayed with her parents.
My parents decided that they wanted to move to the ocean because dad was retired. They wanted to give me their house, but because of the tax burden it would put on me I suggested that I rent it until they are both gone, then if they still feel that way, they can leave it to me and not have a taxable event. They decided on a rent that was about 40% of what they could get from someone else who was not family. They agreed to come and visit often and said the rent will pay for the plane tickets.
Kate and I dated for about four months. It was almost four nights a week as well as Saturday afternoons, and Sunday church. Kate’s parents and I alternated Sunday dinners. They were amused that I could cook. They were also impressed with my personal habits.
When I explained that I was renting this place, and I felt an obligation to keep it up as I was only using it; they were pleased and said so. I added that the military showed me that while cleanliness was not next to godliness, it made the sergeants very happy. I did not mention that the owners were my parents.
At Christmas of that year, I asked Kate to marry me and she said yes.
We were married in Kate’s church. A couple of army buddies that I reconnected with through the outreach program stood up with me.
We had a simple but delayed honeymoon. It did not occur until the school year was over. We went to a cabin in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Kate wanted to hold off on starting a family, and I did not have a problem with it, but Murphy did. Kate got the flu, and something with the drugs she took messed up her BC pills. She got pregnant after a year of marriage. The timing was a couple of years early, but at least the baby would be born after the school year was over. John was born in late July. In spite of him not being planned, he was loved. Candy was planned and was born in mid-June almost two years later. She was healthy, but the doctor noticed something with Kate and warned her not to get pregnant again.
I got snipped and that took care of that problem.
Kate had not been working as a teacher but had kept up with her CE* credits, so when the kids were in school for a full day she went back to work.