Author's note: This week's story is a little different for me. I wanted to do something that several of you have asked for. A story where the husband doesn't get angry and turn into a Green Beret or MMA fighter and kick everyone's ass. He's just a normal, shell shocked guy with no plans for world domination beginning with ruining his ex and her new man's lives. He just leaves it up to Karma. And gets on with his life. If you don't like it, don't worry. next week will be something different and I'm working on something special for Halloween. Thanks for reading it. And a special thanks to Mikothebaby for editing this story. SS06.
I have to admit, I never saw this coming. My car was running rough. It needed to be serviced and I didn't have the money for it. I probably shouldn't be driving it, but I had no choice. I closed the door and saw the looks of people around me as I got out. My BMW didn't belong in this neighborhood.
I headed for the secretary of state office. As I walked into the office, probably based on the way I was dressed, the security guard pointed me towards a license renewal lane. I shook my head and he looked at me puzzled.
"Do you need another picture taken?" he asked. I shook my head negatively.
"Well what are you here for?" he asked. Almost every head in the crowded office turned to listen. Most of them didn't have the decency to even pretend that they weren't interested.
"I'm here to register for State Aid," I said quietly. "You know, Welfare? As in I have no income and no money and I'm going to fucking starve to death, welfare? Or is it, they just came and threw me and all of my stuff out of the crappy apartment that I moved into after I was forced out of the house that I thought I'd live in for the rest of my fucking life, welfare? Maybe it's, I can't find a God damned job to save my ass, because no one will hire me, welfare?"
"Calm down, lady," he said, in a nervous voice. "Half the people in this office are here registering for or dealing with welfare. I know what you need. Go over there and get one of those forms. Fill it out completely and put it in the inbox at the counter. Then have a seat and someone will call you."
"How long will it take for them to call me?" I asked.
"Not very long," he said. "It shouldn't be longer than maybe, 2 or 3 hours at the most."
He wasn't kidding. There were people sleeping while they waited to be called. There was a magazine rack in the corner, but it was empty. I got the feeling that most of the magazines weren't returned when the people who read them were finished with them.
Everyone in the place looked at me constantly. I knew they were wondering why the fuck someone who dressed like me, was here.
It's a long story and kind of funny actually. It all started exactly 2 years from next Tuesday.
My name is Melinda Conrad. Okay I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that my name sounds an awful lot like Mel Conrad. That guy who struck it rich last year and gives away all of that money to charities and all of that bullshit. Well you're right. He's my husband. Okay, technically he's my ex-husband. And you know what else? I got a bum deal. I am directly responsible for that man becoming a God damned gazillionaire and I have nothing to show for it. Okay maybe I'm not directly responsible, but if I hadn't forced him to divorce me, he wouldn't be rich. So I deserve some of the credit don't I?
Two years ago, we were really fucking happy. We weren't rich by a long shot. We were just your typical, average, everyday, middle class family. My husband Melvin Conrad, my daughter, Melissa Conrad and me, were three peas in a pod. We were a very close family. We had a great house. It's the one they forced my ass out of. Then I had to move into that shitty apartment that I was just evicted from, but anyway on with the story. The three of us loved each other like there was no tomorrow.
My husband wasn't very exciting, but he was reasonably good looking and he loved me. He worked very hard to provide for our family and as I've said we were comfortable.
Our daughter had just completed her first year at the state university when it hit me. There are so many names for the same thing these days, but you know what I had. Some people call it a midlife crisis, others call it a hormone imbalance and still others call it empty nest syndrome. They're all great names for "spoiled woman gets bored and does stupid shit and usually regrets it-itis." Occasionally it hits men too, so you guys out there shouldn't feel superior or immune to it. When you see a balding forty something man driving a fucking sports car with a twenty year old blonde beside him, he's probably got it.
Any way I had asked my husband out to dinner because I had to tell him something. Something awful that I had done and I needed to clear the air about. I'm a decent looking woman to say the least. At forty, I was still capable of turning heads on a good day. I'm a little heavier than I was when we first met, but it's all in good places. Mel loved me so much and I was soooo stupid.
He showed up a little bit late, no more than 5 minutes so I didn't beat him up over it. He smiled at me. His face still lit up like a Christmas tree every time he saw me. You'd think that it had been weeks since we'd seen each other but it was actually only that morning.
I was really nervous as he wrapped his arms around me and gave me a hug. I had butterflies in my stomach then. Something told me I was making a BFM. For those of you who aren't up on your technical jargon, BFM stands for Big Fucking Mistake.
He sat down across from me. His expression was one of absolute joy. I was sure he thought that this was a good thing. I hated to crush the man that I'd lived with, loved, and raised a daughter with for over twenty years, but I had no choice. It was him or my happiness.
"How was your day, honey?" he asked. God damn him, he was the one who'd gone out and worked all day. What did he think I'd been doing, all day? Did he think I'd was working on a cure for cancer or trying to solve the Middle East crisis? I woke up at 9 and loaded the dishwasher. I threw a load of laundry in the washing machine and my day was halfway over.
"Mel, I want a divorce," I told him. He spat the sip of water he'd just drunk straight into my face. I'm sure it was an accident but it ruined my makeup and my hair. I just sat there with water and spit running down my face while he tried to get his breath back.
"Are you serious?" he asked quietly.
"Very," I replied with as much dignity as I could muster, considering that I looked like a fucking raccoon with my water proof mascara proving once and for all that it wasn't water proof.
He stood up and wiped his mouth and said, "My attorney will be in touch with you." The pain and the heartache on his face alone hurt me. I felt like the lowest form of pond scum on earth. Everything inside of me, every fiber of my being told me to get down on my knees and tell him it was just a joke. But I didn't move. He turned to walk away after throwing some bills on the table.
"Wait Mel," I said. "This isn't the way this was supposed to go. Don't you want to talk about it and ask me some questions? Don't we need to discuss how the divorce will go?"
He turned to me and looked at me curiously and asked, "Why?"
I was shocked. I'd rehearsed this whole thing over a hundred times in my head. And this reaction hadn't come up in any of them. He hadn't gotten angry and he hadn't resorted to crying. He hadn't demanded to know why or threatened me at all. He'd simply accepted what I was saying and moved on.
"What would that help? Would it make me feel any better? Would it make you feel any different? I doubt all of those. I'm sure for you to be doing this it means you've found someone else and you want to be with him. The way I felt about you obviously isn't enough to change your mind, although it really wouldn't have mattered. Since you're doing this, you've already slept with him, correct?"
I nodded my head and said, "But..." He cut me off.
"Which means that you are of no further interest to me," he said coldly. "Okay, you want questions? Do I need to get a DNA test or is Melissa mine?"
"God Mel," I said. "For heaven's sake of course she's yours. What do you think I am?"
"You really wouldn't like the answer to that question," he said. "Goodbye Melinda." Then he turned and walked away. He didn't seem to be nearly as angry or upset as I thought he'd be.
"God damn it Mel," I screamed after him. "Aren't you going to even try to fight for me?"
My voice rang out across the restaurant. He turned again and from three tables away, delivered his answer.
"Why, Melinda?" he asked. "I can't change the way you feel. Who am I to try to tell you that your feelings are wrong? You obviously don't love me the way I love you. If you did we wouldn't be doing this. Since you no longer love me, I have to get over you and move on. Besides I only fight for things I want and after hearing what you've had to say this evening, that no longer includes you. Have a great life. I have no intention of trying to stand in your way."
Everyone in the restaurant stared at me as Mel made his way to the door. I felt a shiver go down my spine. I'd read about that kind of feeling. People say that it happens to you when someone walks over the ground that you'll be buried under. I guess what it really means is that as I already told you, I made a BFM.
My heart and my head were both screaming at me, but I couldn't listen to them, then. I called the waiter over and asked him where the ladies room was.
When I got home that night, I could tell by the empty drawers and closet that my husband was gone. Any and all chances of calling this off were over. I had the worst headache I could imagine. I picked up my cell phone and called Greg. He'd make me feel better.
"Yeah," he answered.
"It's me," I said. "I told him."
"Cool," he said. "How'd he take it? Did he scream and try to beg you to stay with him? Did he slap you around and beat you up?"
"No," I said. "He just got up and walked away from me. He was very calm. He took it really well under the circumstances."
"Want me to come over and fuck your brains out?" he asked.
"Uhm no," I said. "I just put the torch to a twenty year relationship with a man who worshipped the ground I walked on. I think I need some time alone."
"Okay, see ya," he said. And he hung up. I think that was the moment that I realized that I'd understated my BFM.
I knew all of the reasons why I wanted the divorce. Greg was younger, way younger and he made me feel alive. Greg at 29 years old was 11 years younger than me and nine years older than my daughter. He was wild and uninhibited. He was all of the things that Mel wasn't.
I sat down on the edge of our giant queen sized bed. As I looked at the bed, it had never seemed that big or that empty. I got myself a glass of wine and wondered about the new direction my life would take from here on out. Sometime around midnight, after tossing and turning and failing to find sleep, I took out one of our old photo albums and looked back at some of my twenty two years of memories with Mel.
The next morning was worse. I woke up and wondered why I bothered. I sat at the table and just stared as a cup of my favorite coffee turned into a room temperature sludge. I don't know why I didn't move, but I had no reason to do anything. I kept going over in my mind my conversation at the restaurant with Mel the previous evening and the one with Greg.
Mel had started out the evening looking at me like the sun shone out of my ass. By the end of the evening he looked at me completely differently. He looked at me the way he looked at a problem or a project at work. As if I was just another thing to solve to get to the end of his day.
And Greg had blown it big time. What he should have done was to offer to just come over and hold me or be with me. When someone has a great emotional loss, they need to know that someone cares about them. I knew that Greg was young though, so I gave him a break. Training him to become the man I thought he could be was a big part of the excitement.
I knew that I'd hurt Mel badly. That was what I felt so bad about. But I was sure that eventually he'd be okay. Who was I kidding? I knew that he'd be miserable without me. But at the time, all I thought about was my own feelings. My term of service was over. Shit, I'd given the man the best years of my God damned life. We'd done our part for the propagation of the species. We'd raised a child. Our debt to society was over. It was time to have some fun. I wanted to be happy but I didn't want to wait until my golden years. Why not be happy while I was still young enough to know what happiness was?
I woke up in my hotel room the morning after she told me. At first I didn't know where I was. The room was dark and the sheets smelled different. They smelled antiseptic, like medicine, so I guess they were clean enough. They didn't have that smell that was the culmination of weeks of washing with whatever soap was on sale. Or the traces of body fluids and farts and sex and tears and spilled food that someone had tried to wash out of them. In other words they didn't smell like love.
I sat up in the bed and remembered where I was and why I was here before I blew it all and reached for her. My mind remembered that she wouldn't be here, but my body and my heart missed her just the same.
EGBDF, I told myself and I steeled myself for what I had to do. I had many things to do before I could allow myself to sink into the depression that I knew was coming. I debated calling in today and just staying here to be miserable. Eventually though, I'd have to go out and today was as good a day as any.
Before turning on the lights and destroying the blanket of darkness I'd pulled around me so my tears didn't show, I made a list of the things I needed to do today. I needed to call a lawyer. The guy I usually dealt with didn't do divorces or family law. Perhaps he could recommend someone though.
I had to find a more permanent living situation. I was probably leaning towards either giving Melinda the house or selling it. Whichever worked out better for me, I saw no need to make any decisions based on Melinda's needs or comfort.
I needed to call my daughter to make sure that she could always reach me. I had no intention of making her choose between me and the whore, but I also wanted her to know that I still wanted to be as big a part of her life as she'd allow me. I needed to separate Melinda from me, financially. I'd let the judge and the lawyers settle everything but I wouldn't give her a penny more than I had to. With that in mind I needed to make sure that my assets stayed mine.
We also had a few social obligations that I needed to tactfully inquire about. I had no intention of becoming a hermit but I really didn't feel like seeing anyone or trying to go out and become some parody of myself by pretending that everything was fine, while the shreds of my tattered heart proclaimed that to be false. With that in mind I called my father in law to talk about the barbecue we were supposed to go to on the weekend for their anniversary.
"Hey Bob," I said when he picked up the phone.
"Mel, how's it going?" he asked. "You are still bringing the Dos Equis aren't you?"
"Bob, that's what I was calling to talk to you about," I said. "I really would like to wish you and Jean a happy anniversary. Your marriage is what I'd love to have when I'm your age. But I can't come on Saturday so I was hoping that you'd allow me to take the two of you out to dinner Friday night instead."
"Stuck at work huh?" he said. "I remember those days. Don't let it get you down, Mel. So we're having a double date huh? I haven't been on one of those in years. Sounds like fun. Maybe you'll let me dance a couple of dances with your wife. I always did like younger women."
"Bob, it's only going to be me and the two of you. I'm not seeing anyone right now. But if it's an uncomfortable situation for you, just tell me and I'll send you a present or something else," I said.
"Mel, what the hell is going on?" he asked. "Your voice hasn't sounded right since you started this damned call."
"Bob, your daughter asked me to go to dinner last night," I said. "While we were there she told me that she wants a divorce. She's found someone else and she wants to be with him."
"What?" he yelled. "She did what? There has to be something else going on? Did you do something to her? Are you cheating on her?"
"No Sir," I said quietly.
"Mel, I'll call you back. I need to..." he began.
"Please Bob, I don't want to cause a fuss. I'm sure she'll tell you in her own good time," I said. "I don't want to create any trouble or distract from the event in any way. What we're supposed to be celebrating is the fact that you guys have been married for 45 years. We're supposed to be honoring the ones who made it, not torn apart by the ones who didn't. I'll call you next week and we can talk then. I just didn't want you or Jean to think that I didn't recognize how special what you two have built is."
One down one to go, I thought as I dialed my daughter Melissa's number. Luckily for me she was away from her phone. I guess I could have dialed her cell phone but I didn't really want to talk to her. I just left my cell number and let her know that she could reach me there from now on or at my work number.
Another call and I had a referral to a divorce lawyer. The woman sounded evil over the phone but she agreed to see me later that morning.
I pulled out my laptop and started looking at condos and apartments. Most of them were the same except for the prices. Somehow I didn't see the benefit of buying a space in a building that you'd never own. I guess I'd eventually want to buy another house so renting was fine. Hell, I might even end up buying Melinda out of our house.
I took a quick shower and dressed in my usual business wear. I didn't really like ties but I could rock a sweater and sport coat with the best of them. I decided to look into getting a gym membership as well. Eventually I'd probably want to start sprucing up the property if I was going to try to interest another woman in taking a chance on me.
I went outside and smiled for the first time since Melinda broadsided me yesterday. There was a woman with a small boy in the hotel's parking lot. She was having trouble dragging him away from my Mustang.
There used to be three things that made me smile every time I saw them. My wife, Melinda was the first one. My daughter, Melissa was the second. The last was my 09 Mustang GT. It never failed, every time I looked at that car I just smiled and shook my head. It takes me back to when I was a kid rolling my Hot Wheels cars all over the floor in our living room.
The drive to work was always a pleasure and today was no different. It was a chance to concentrate on something other than how shitty I felt for a little while.
I walked into my office and my assistant Joyce was on me like a hound on a fox. "Melinda has called you twice already this morning," she said. "She says she can't get through on your cell."
"Joyce, have a seat," I said, indicating that she should sit in my chair at my desk. She sat down and smiled broadly.
"Have you finally realized that, I'm the reason for your success and decided to reward me justly?" she asked.
Joyce was a friend besides being my assistant. We'd been together for so long that it was almost like we were related.
"Joyce, remember the dinner I had to hurry out of here for last night?" I asked. She nodded her head.
"I'll bet somebody got lucky last night," she said.
"Well if somebody did, it wasn't me," I said. "All I got was my teeth kicked. Melinda told me that she wants a divorce."
Joyce looked at me and saw through my façade of ambiguity. "That bitch!" she said. "I guess you never saw this coming did you?" I shook my head. Joyce stood up and pushed me down into the chair. She rubbed my shoulders and tried to be sympathetic.
"It you need anything, just let me know," she said.
"For now, I won't ask you to lie. Could you just tell her the truth? Tell her that I'm not accepting her calls," I said.
Joyce looked at me and nodded. I could tell she wanted to ask more. Everyone always wants the dirt. But she could tell I didn't want to talk about it. She was kind enough and smart enough not to push.
Just before lunch, I grabbed the file folder that I'd put copies of all of my financial documents into. I left the office and headed for the appointment with the attorney.
Her office wasn't what I was expecting. I guess I thought it would be a large office building and that either the entirety or a large portion of it would be owned or leased by a large law firm. I was wrong on both counts. It was a small, single story office that was part of a strip mall. Next to her office on one side was a small medical clinic. The other side was occupied by a Frederick's of Hollywood franchise. Further down the strip there was a liquor store.
All of the businesses seemed to be thriving. The incongruity of the types of businesses seemed bizarre at first until I gave it further thought. Once I did, I realized that there was actually one business missing. If your marriage was in trouble, you could come here and buy your wife some lingerie. You could plan out a nice romantic evening and buy things from Frederick's to try to put some spice back into it.
If that just doesn't work you have the handy divorce lawyer. You find out that she's cheated on you, so you go to the clinic for STD screening and then to the liquor store to drown your sorrows. The mall offered quick, easy, convenient one-stop shopping. The only thing missing was a therapist or marriage counselor. Maybe a detective agency and a gun shop would be handy too.
I opened the door and went in. A cute older lady asked me who I was and the purpose of my visit.
"Melvin Conrad, to see Ann Wilson," I said. "I have a noon appointment."
She smiled and told me to have a seat and Ms. Wilson would be with me shortly. The woman had to be at least 60 but she was still a stunner. Almost before my butt hit the seat, Ann Wilson opened the door to her office and gestured for me to come in.
Ann Wilson is a larger woman with longish inky black hair and piercing blue eyes. She looked at me with the same gaze that all predators use when examining possible prey.
"Tell me a story," she said. The statement surprised me. I looked at her in puzzlement. She just arched one eyebrow higher and continued to look at me.
"Okay," I said. "Once upon a time there were three little pigs..."
"Very funny," she smirked. "Tell me about your divorce and the reasons for it Mr. Conrad. Time is money. I don't want to waste either yours or mine, but it's very unlikely that I'll be taking your case."
My shoulders slumped and I started telling her the long drawn out tale of my marriage to Melinda. When I got to the part about the dinner the previous evening she hissed and sucked in a big gulp of air.
"Wait!" she said sharply. "She did what?"
"She arranged for us to have dinner at her favorite restaurant and told me that she wanted a divorce because she found someone new. And she was already having sex with him," I said.
Ms. Wilson stood up. "Have you ever cheated on her?" she asked and she leaned over and looked at me closely.
"Never, Ma'am," I said.
"Have you ever hit her?" she asked. "Okay forget about that, you just don't seem like the type. "What did you do when she told you this?"
"Uhm, there isn't really anything I could do Ma'am. I left money on the table for her dinner, if she decided to eat. Then I went home. I packed my clothes and checked into a hotel," I said. Ms. Wilson shook her head.
"That wasn't the smartest thing to do. You leaving will probably give her temporary residence in the home until we reach a settlement. Is the home in your name, her name, or both?" she asked writing things down quickly on a legal pad.
"My name," I said. "Melinda doesn't work outside of our home."
"Then why the fuck did you leave?" She asked shaking her head. "You're as bad as the women, Jeezus." She threw the pad across the room and looked at me. For a while, I got that same feeling that I got when my third grade teacher was trying to get me to remember my times tables. That, "Shit, how many times do we have to go over this?" feeling. It was as if Ms. Wilson expected me to know all of the ins and outs of divorce laws and procedures.
I stood up and her head whipped around on her neck to take me in that fierce gaze again. "Where are you going?" she snapped.
"Well, I figured you didn't want my case because I've done everything wrong," I said.
All at once her gaze softened and she pushed a button on her desk. She spoke into the intercom and told her assistant, who was also her Aunt, to bring in the cart.
The gorgeous older woman came into the office with a cart full of coffee and fresh donuts.
Ms. Wilson pored herself a cup and grabbed two donuts. I got a cup of black coffee myself.
"You didn't do anything wrong, Mr. Conrad," she said. "That's why I'm so pissed. Normally, I don't represent men in divorce cases because usually they're in the wrong. The typical scenario involves a man who has cheated on his wife multiple times, usually with some trophy type woman. When his wife has had all she can stand, he tries to rape her in the divorce and leave her penniless and homeless."
"I've developed a reputation for getting my clients the better end of the deal in divorces, so now I have a lot of men trying to use me to get better deals when I don't feel they deserve it. Why the fuck should they get to have their cake and eat it too? If they cheat and destroy a marriage, they should have to pay for it."
"You've worked your whole life supporting this woman. You gave her a good life and home judging from your address and the fact that your daughter is in college. From looking at your financials, I can see that you've been a good provider. And lastly, you're not a very good actor, Mr. Conrad. You're trying to act as if this is all well and fine, but I can see that this has devastated you and you're just trying to keep moving. Shit, you're too shocked to even be angry yet. And the hurt hasn't even set in yet."
"The things that scare me the most are the fact that you're not even trying to fight anything she wants. She says she wants a divorce. You didn't even make her file, you did it because she asked for it. She's the one who's cheating, but you go home and move out of the house that you've worked for, instead of telling her to leave. She should have had to move in with her lover or her parents if they're still living."
"Mr. Conrad, I am definitely taking your case. Someone has to protect you, if only to keep you from giving her everything you have."
We spent the rest of the afternoon going over my financial records and the value of our assets to determine the best way for me to proceed. There were several times when Ms. Wilson just looked at me as if I was stupid and asked me questions like, "So you want to just give her the house free and clear, while you pay the mortgage. In other words, you want to pay for her to live there with the guy she's fucking?"
"Well, I guess not," I said. But inside me, the impact of her words was beginning to sink in.
"Why are you giving her nearly all of your savings?" she asked.
"Well, she'll need money to live on," I said. "She doesn't have a job. It's only money. I can always make more."
I thought Ms. Wilson was going to slap me. "She doesn't have a job because for most of her life she sat on her ass while you supported her. She has a college degree, so she can get a job. She's the one who wanted a change in her life. Let's give her one. I think we should go for a 60/40 split in your favor. We'll pay her alimony for 6 months and no longer. All other assets should be split 50/50 including the house and you get to keep your 401K," she said.
I left the office feeling shell shocked. I had no idea that things were going to be this rough. Ms. Wilson gave me the name of a good real estate company to list the house with. She thought that it was best to put the house on the market. Usually the woman was allowed to keep the house until any children had come of age. Our daughter was already living on campus, so there was no need for any delay in selling. And since I didn't need Melinda's approval to sell the house, the faster I put it on the market, the faster this whole thing could be over.
I drove back to my office and saw Melinda's car in the parking lot when I pulled up. I saw her get out of her car, so I drove away. I still wasn't ready to speak to her.
When I woke up this morning, I felt like shit about the way things had gone with Mel and I. I decided that maybe I should just talk to Mel about it. I needed to let him know that my intention wasn't to hurt him. I just needed to move on with my life. I'd tried calling him, but he didn't answer his cell. I tried calling his office and Joyce told me at first that he wasn't in yet. I realized that I'd been stupid. Mel never went to the office early. He always used to tell me that every moment away from me was torture, so sitting in his office when he could be with me was pointless.
I called back after nine a.m. and asked Joyce if he'd arrived. She finally told me he was there, but he wasn't accepting calls from me. I had trouble processing that.
"Is he really busy, Joyce?" I asked her.
"No busier than usual," she said. "In fact I think he's not really that busy at all."
"Then may I speak to him?" I asked. In all of the years that Joyce has worked for Mel, I've never heard her act or speak in a manner that was less than courteous. I've seen her speak to difficult clients and keep her cool long after anyone else would have hung up on them.
"God Damn it, Melinda," she yelled. "He doesn't want to fucking talk to you. What did you expect? You rip his heart out and then you want to talk. If you ask me, he's lucky to be rid of you. Don't call here anymore." Then she hung up the phone.
I didn't really even consider that Mel might not be happy. He seemed fine last night. But really this was a good thing for both of us. The fact that he didn't want to speak to me, hurt me. I was about to call Joyce back and remind her that she worked for Mel, not vice versa and it would be up to him to tell me whether or not I could call him, when my phone chirped. I had another call waiting. I answered the phone and heard my mother's voice.
"Melinda, what the hell is going on with you guys?" she asked.
"What do you mean, Mom?" I asked her.
"Your father says that you and Mel are going through something," she said. "Do I need to come over there and straighten things out?"
"There's nothing to straighten out, Mother," I said. "Melissa is grown now and I just feel like I need to move on. I'm young enough to do some other things with my life. I'm bored, I need to spread my wings and fly."
"Melinda, what you really mean is spread your legs and fuck, don't you?" she asked. I was shocked. I've never heard my mother use language like that before.
"Melinda, do you remember my sister, your Aunt Kathy?" she asked. I just grunted so she knew that I'd heard her.
"When Kathy got to be about your age, she started spreading her legs for the milk man. Her husband eventually found out about it and beat the milkman to a bloody pulp. He made Kathy sleep in the basement on a cot for a year."
"Mom, what does that have to do with me?" I asked.
"Tell Mel that your father and I will buy him a cot for you," she said.
"Mom, it's not like that," I said. "Mel and I will both be happier."
"That man loves you," she snapped. "You're not going to find anyone else who's going to love you that much. Your father said that his voice sounded like he was barely hanging on. How could you do that to someone who's taken care of you for most of your life?"
"Mom, he'll get over it," I said. Then she started muttering under her breath about stupid kids and hung up on me.
I was beginning to see that everyone was trying to paint me as the bad guy; just because I wanted to get out of a bad situation. What was I supposed to do? Sacrifice my happiness on the Altar of Saint Mel. To hell with that idea, I was moving on.
It was Friday. I was going to go out with Greg that evening. I was excited, because for the first time, I wouldn't have to hide. No more sneaking around and having sex in cars or quickies whenever we could get together. But I wanted to straighten this thing out with Mel, so I decided to go and see him.
The guards in the building wouldn't let me in. I smelled Joyce's hands in that. Just as I got back into my car, Mel's Mustang pulled into the lot. I got out of my car and waved at him. He backed out of the lot and drove away. I was so accustomed to him being happy to see me at any time that I just sat there in shock.
I drove home to get ready for my date. I showered and used my favorite bath scents and perfumes. I wanted to drive Greg crazy. I put on a dress that I loved. It was a very rich blue that really looked good against my long brown hair and blue eyes. I'd had the dress for a long time but it still looked good on me. Maybe not as good as when I was thirty, but I had never gotten any complaints.
I spent a lot of time doing my hair and makeup. I wanted Greg to be really proud to have me on his arm. I had to let people know that there was a reason that he was with me instead of some hot 25 year old.
I'd just gotten done doing my hair when the door slammed. A lot of things went through my mind. I thought that maybe Mel had come back and was angry. I got up from my vanity and went to see who it was.
"Mother, have you lost your fucking mind?" shrieked my daughter Melissa. She ran up the stairs and looked at me like I was crazy. "Where is my father?"
From the expression on her face, you'd have thought that I'd killed him. "I ... I ... I don't know, Lissa," I stuttered.
We ended up having a big argument about what I was doing. Why the hell was everyone assuming that I was making a mistake?
"Don't you talk to me like that, young lady," I yelled at her. I needed to get control of the situation back. "I'm your mother and you need to treat me with some respect. If you can't do that, then maybe you shouldn't come into my home or expect me to continue to pay for your education."
"Mother, if you'd act like you were worthy of respect I'd give it to you. Right now I think your hormones are out of balance and you're ruining your life. If I didn't love you and want the best for you, I'd just let you piss into the wind. On the other hand, this is my home too and Daddy paid for it, not you. Daddy also pays for my schooling, not you."
Just as I got ready to reply to what she'd said, the doorbell rang. She went to the door and opened it. She stared at Greg as if he'd just dropped in from Mars.
"Can I help you?" she asked.
"I'm Greg, baby," he said.
"Greg Baby who?" she asked looking at him strangely. "What kind of name is Greg Baby?"
"Mother, you're kidding right?" she asked. "I have to get you to a doctor."
"Come in Greg," I said looking past her.
"And who is this lovely creature?" asked Greg, he hadn't taken his eyes off of Melissa since he arrived.
"Greg Martin, meet my daughter, Melissa Conrad," I said.
Greg held out his hand to Melissa.
"Don't bother, Fonzie," she snapped. "You won't be around for very long. Mother, can I speak with you upstairs for a moment?" She grabbed my arm and dragged me up the stairs.
"You cannot be serious," she said. "What is he 25?"
"He's 29," I said.
"And what does he do for a living?" she asked. I didn't actually know, so I shrugged my shoulders.
"Melissa, we can talk about all of this later," I said. "When I get home from my date, we'll sit down and talk about all of it."
"Mother, I won't be here," she said. "I'm not going to stay in this house until either you come to your senses or Daddy decides to move back in." Then she left slamming the door on her way out.
I went back downstairs determined not to let her mess up my evening. "Where are we going Greg?" I asked.
Greg's car wouldn't start. He'd had to get it jump started twice on his way over to my house, so I drove us. We ended up at a grungy club that he wanted to go to. He danced with me once and danced with a lot of other people too, including a couple of times when he danced with two other male friends. He didn't introduce me to any of his friends. My dress was ruined when someone spilled beer all over it. By the time we left, I had no money left.
I drove us back home. Greg came in and we spent the rest of the evening having sex. It was different from the first few times. It wasn't as good, even though he did all of the same things. I found out that Greg wasn't into performing oral sex. I put it down as one of the things I was going to have to teach him.
He fucked me three times, each time he got me to the point where I almost came and then collapsed on the bed. I thought that maybe he was trying to tease me into one monster orgasm after keeping me on the edge. I waited for his batteries to recharge, thinking that this last time would be the one. There was no last time, Greg was snoring.
I woke up early the next morning and found Greg moving his things into my house. "We're going to be really happy, Babe," he gushed.
I was a little bit pissed because he hadn't asked my permission to move in, but when I thought about it, I realized that all couples go through those little arguments and disagreements.
I told him about my parents' barbecue and he told me he wasn't going. That was the beginning of our first argument. I couldn't believe how badly the day was going. Maybe it was because I was comparing him to Mel. That was unfair to both of them.
Just when I thought that things couldn't get any worse, Mel showed up. I heard the rumble of his car and knew it was him. I ran down the stairs to try and head off a confrontation. I saw the two of them standing on the porch talking. Then Mel turned and left before I could speak to him. I ran down the driveway calling him but he didn't even slow down.
"What did he want?" I asked.