Like to cook? You become a chef. Have an interest in education? Most likely end up a teacher. Me? I wanted to fly, so I became a pilot. Over the years I finagled myself a pilot license with several ratings, then later a spot with an Air National Guard outfit. Unfortunately none of the big airlines was hiring when my time was up, so I had been with a little regional carrier for about two years now.
Throughout my trials and tribulations the only constant in life was Amy my wife. My lovely Amy came from a broken household of drunken parents. Amy was probably the only kid in school poorer than me. Amy was a gangly freckled faced girl with a nose too big for her face and jug ears that she tried to cover with her long light brown hair. We met in 3rd grade and were never apart after that. It was us two kids from the wrong side of the tracks against everyone else. I recall the day in junior high I told Amy I was going to be a pilot and fly.
Amy never batted an eye "Kevin if you are gonna fly planes, you gotta promise to take me with you!"
And I did, first chance I got we were married. I never grew past 5 foot 6, but Amy shot up to almost 6 foot tall. She was a slender girl, with almost no hips. Even Amy's rack barely qualified as an A cup. She still had her freckles, never growing into her nose or ears, however to me Amy was the most beautiful bride in the world. That never changed after we got hitched at the courthouse.
Amy followed me from bases in Asia to the Pacific and everywhere in between. Amy made a home no matter if it was freezing in Greenland or sweating in Panama. Amy was a true bargain shopper; she could stretch my meager pay -horse trading, making deals on everything from food to furniture. Amy could haggle with anyone.
The only weakness Amy had was for Postcards. My God that woman loved Postcards! No matter where we went Amy had to have a Postcard of that place. In all our moves around the globe Amy carted those boxes of postcards from one end of the earth to the other.
"Kevin" Amy would say when I razzed her about the postcards "I know where I came from, I want to know where I have been. Because I not going to stay anyplace until we make it to the top!"
We used a lot of savings plus my meager employment and bought a 'fix-r-upper" home. It was a lovely big old house with a huge yard, garage, just full of charm and character. Now Regional Airline pilots make less than a manager at McDonalds, my whopping starting pay was just over $25K. I did not care, I had Amy and I got to fly almost every day-what in life could be better?
Amy took a job with a Real Estate Developer to help make ends meet. My life was Amy, flying, fixing up the house and working on a Ford F250 truck I bought for cheap. Amy at first took the bus to work, but soon had a new Camry. Amy said she needed reliable transportation with me being gone so often. Our sex life was great and we christened every space in the house several times, plus the apartment room above the garage, even the back yard on a few warm starry nights. Amy still constantly sent out feelers to every airline from American to Federal Express, but with rising fuel prices and security scares no one was hiring. I was willing to be patient, life was good.
On morning I was awaiting a ride to work with Jose our Chief mechanic. Jose had been a big help with my truck. We had replaced or rebuilt every part from the rear end to the injectors. Jose had escaped Cuba over two decades earlier on a leaky homemade raft with his girlfriend –now wife Maria, at the age of 17. A stint in the service had earned him a trade as an aircraft mechanic. He had a peck of kids and was the proudest papa you ever saw. Today we were riding with his youngest son Angelo a high school freshman.
"Good morning Jose, and young Mister Angelo." I said after buckling up my seat belt. "Jose can we stop by King 1 Developers. I need to drop off this cell phone." I held up my wife's cell phone. Amy left it on the kitchen table this morning. I was surprised she forgot it. Amy was always talking, or messaging on that little pink box, she was never without it.
Angelo like any teenager had earbuds in listening to an MP3 player. Angelo saw the phone in my hand, he pulled out his headphones. "Hey Mr. Kevin that is a neat cell. Can I have a look at it?"
"Knock yourself out Angelo." I said tossing the phone into the back seat at him.
Juan was fussing with the radio when his son Angelo blurted out. "Oh Ho HO someone is going to get lucky today!"
"What do you mean Angelo?" I said twisting around to face him in the back seat.
"Look at this text Mr. Kevin." Angelo said turning Amy's screen toward me.
"ProT L 2Day? ;-O " I read off the screen "What the heck does that mean?"
Angelo suppressed a laugh. "PROTEIN LUNCH TODAY-with the wink and open mouth. The girl is asking this dude if he wants a blow job during lunch."
The color when out of my face.
"Now see the next one." Angelo scrolled down "LHSX ky 4 ur 6Y ass. That means LETS HAVE SEX, KY FOR YOUR SEXY ASS. The Dude wants to butt fuck her."
I felt my breakfast coming up.
Angelo continued translating for me. "Next she then texted K O4U VBS TD2M? That is short for- OK ONLY FOR YOU, VERY BIG SMILE & TALK DIRTY TO ME. Wow she's into anal, and hot talk, this is one freaky chick."
To repress my gag reflex I smiled, while Angelo kept reading. "CID A3. Mr. Kevin that's text for CONSIDER IT DONE, ANYPLACE ANYTIME ANYWHERE. Well I guess the dude is down with it"
Juan gave up on the radio saying. "Damn Kids with these cell phones. Maria my wife and I went to all the trouble to learn, and teach them good English. Now all these children talk in frigging code." Juan glanced over at me. "Captain you OK? You are white as a ghost." Jose called all the pilots Captain.
"No Jose, I suddenly feel real sick. Would you mind taking me back home." I tried to sound normal. "Angelo can you tell me who sent these texts, maybe forward them to me?"
"No Problem Mr. Kevin." Angelo pressed a series of buttons on the cell. "They are on the way to you. The sender dude is a Troy 1 KBoss."
Troy Kingston was Amy's boss-head of King 1 Developers. How F'n cliché a secretary screwing her boss, with me the clueless cuckold husband. Dear God it was following a bad script.
"Don't worry Captain." Jose said turning the car around. "I get one of the other guys to take over your run today. You want I take you to the Doctor?"
"No thank you Jose." I tried to keep from hurling in his car. "I just really need to get home, to take care of this."
The ride home seemed to take forever. Angelo kept reading out loud the texts which was making me sicker by the word.
"Mr. Kevin this babe is wild. Listen to this text from last month. D46 2d n 2mor dm al whs ltime." Angelo translated. "DOWN FOR SEX TODAY AND TOMMORROW, DO ME ALL HOLES LONGTIME."
"Angelo!" Jose warned his son. "I will not have talk like that in my car. Give that phone back to the Captain."
"OK." Angelo sighed clicking my wife's cell phone closed. Angelo then handed Amy's phone back to me. "Mr. Kevin who is the Babe? Any chance you could hook me up?"
I put Amy's phone back in my pocket. "Sorry Angelo, I'm not sure who she is, but she is not going to be around here much longer."
I barely made it inside to the entrance downstairs bathroom before I lost all of my morning meal. I splashed cold water on my face, sitting down on the bathroom floor, my back against the tile wall. This bathroom was the first place Amy and I had redone. We had known little about tile work, even less about plumbing, but together we had gotten it done. Our method of celebration after the bathroom remodel completion left a smile on my face for two days.
"Could Amy be cheating?" I thought. Troy Kingston was over fifty-almost two decades older then both Amy and I. He was the kind of guy you think of when you thought of a real estate developer. Twice married, six foot, with a trim build, constant tan, dyed hair with added plugs to fill in the bald spots. A big booming voice, always a handshake, or joke accompanied by a hearty back slap.
"Maybe that was it -just a joke." I hoped feverishly. "It's all a crude flirting joke Amy and Troy were playing." I knew Troy had two kinds of jokes-those he told when in mixed company, and those crude ones Troy told when only men and no minorities around. That had to be it-otherwise why else would Amy be texting and using terms like an empty headed seventeen year old? I mean Amy had all those texts about anal –when I knew from personal experience that was a NO GO zone. Get real -how would a middle age man like Troy even know all these teen text terms?" I grabbed onto this hope like a drowning man holding onto a life jacket.
It made me feel better, my breathing was returning to normal. I would stop by Amy's office on the pretense to take Amy out to her favorite diner and find out what the hell was up. Pushing myself off the floor I saw it was almost 11:30 AM. "How long had I been sitting here?" Feeling like a fool, I hopped into my truck heading off to Amy's office.
As I walked into the offices of King 1 Developers I thought if it was a joke the good chuckle Amy and I would have about this. I would give Troy her boss a ration of shit-but knew he would laugh it off.
I asked the receptionist to call Amy to the front. The Receptionist made a few calls then told me Amy was not available. I told the receptionist I had something to return to Amy. She gave me Amy's cell phone number.
"I got that already." I laughed, holding up Amy's phone. "Just need to get it back to her."
"Oh." The receptionist replied. "She is not here then. I think I saw her leave with Mr. Kingston. They usually go out to his house or the club for lunch most days. Do you want to leave the phone with me?"
I tried to ignore my bad feeling. "No bother I will find her later."
I tried to control my breathing as I walked up the driveway to Troy Kingston's house. I had been to this house once before at an Office Christmas party. The house was a tacky oversized McMansion. Made of plywood and plaster, a good wind would blow it over. Damn thing had an Olympic pool, sunken three car garage under the bedroom, even the pseudo fish coy pond in the yard. Troy Kingston's big red H2 Hummer with the "KING 1" vanity plate was parked outside the garage-so Troy and Amy must be inside.
The front door was not locked, so I let myself in. I could hear noise from the upstairs bedroom. Preparing myself for the worst I walked up the stairs toward the master bedroom door. Putting my ear to the door I could hear the shower running. I pulled out Amy's phone pressing a speed dial button. Inside the bedroom I could hear the muffled ringtone of a cell phone. I took a step back from the bedroom door.
"Troy Kingston." The voice answered.
"Hi Troy." I said into my wife's phone. "Listen Amy left her phone at home this morning. The office said she was with you. Can you tell me where you are so I can drop her phone off? Even better let me talk to Amy."
"Greetings Kevin." Troy's voice boomed through the earpiece. 'We are on our way back to the office now from the club. We just finished a working lunch with a client. Stopped by my house for a quick second to pick up some papers. Amy is in the powder room now. Ah ... hold on."
I stepped up to the bedroom door, opening it a crack. I saw a naked Troy cover the mouthpiece, than yelled into the bathroom. "Damn it Amy get out here, your flyboy is on the phone asking for you."
Amy stepped out of the shower nude. With only a towel around her head, she sat down on the bed. Troy and Amy's obvious comfort being naked around each other told me how familiar they were together. This was no sudden fling, it had been going on a while.
"HI Kevin!" Amy said after taking the phone from Troy. He sat next to her and began pinching her nipples. Amy pushed his hands away while talking, than Amy started stroking Troy's penis as she cradled the phone between her ear and shoulder. "How are you doing? I am so glad you found my phone-I was looking all over for it."
At that point I pushed open the bedroom door and walked in. They both froze at my sudden appearance.
"Well Amy." I said pointing at her hand still holding Troy's dick. "I don't think you are going to find your phone on Troy's cock, or is it a cell phone detector also. Wait I know- you going for the second serving on your Protein Lunch diet. Going to eat by mouth or hot beef injection this portion?"
Troy was the first to react. He jumped up running into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him. Amy was still rooted in place on the bed.
I picked up Amy's clothes, throwing them at her. "Get dressed Amy, let's get the fuck outta here so you can tell me what the hell you think you are doing flushing our marriage down the crapper."
"No." Amy said.
"Kevin I am not going anywhere with you." Amy folded her arms under her naked breasts. "I am sorry you found us in this ... condition, but I like living this way."
I was stunned. "YOU like living like a cheating slut?"
Amy's eyes flared a little. "I never meant to hurt you Kevin, but I have become accustom to a better style then you can provide. Troy is able to give me things you will not be able to do for another score of years-if ever."
"This." I swept my arm around the room. "Is what you are threw away our marriage for?"
"I am not throwing anything away Kevin." Amy said calmly. "I am making a choice. We had a decent run for almost fifteen years. I was a good camp wife following you around the world living like a pauper, and it was fun then. But now I deserve better, I have no intention of living the next decade clipping coupons, while looking for items on sale." She took the towel off her hair. "I am sick of shopping at Walmart searching for half price toilet paper. I want it all, and I want it now. Not waiting around until I am some gray hair, too old to enjoy it. You can't match what Troy has, anything you can give me today doesn't compare. Troy can treat me better then you ever could. I ask you to respect that and my decision to it."
I was stunned, my mind just locked up. "Respect what Amy? A cheating wife, and a man who hides in the bathroom!"
Amy just shrugged, looking back at me.
All the oxygen had gone out of the air. I needed to leave before I passed out. Tossing Amy's phone at her. I flipped Amy my middle finger. "Respect this Amy."
I turned to walk out the door as I said over my shoulder. "You two deserve each other. I have flights tomorrow, get your shit out of my house."
I was a mess the rest of the month. They say there are seven steps of grief, but I could not get over shock and denial for two weeks. How could Amy do this to me? Did I miss that many signs? Was I such a clueless fool -unable to observe what was right in front of my face? I 'd been trained to perceive little things before they developed into big problems. I was a professional supposed to notice the smallest signs like changes in air pressure, the pitch of an engine, how had I completely lost situational awareness in my own life?
Every morning I woke up and rolled over expecting to see Amy-then the memory of emotions started all over again. After the third week the pain started. It was worse than any physical wound I had ever had. Amy had ripped my heart out. Studies demonstrated where the brain receptors registered emotional pain as a real injury the same way it reacted to physical hurt. I could testify to that, I felt gut shot.
Jose the chief mechanic and his wife Maria were a godsend. They were the only ones who I told my story to. Jose and Maria were stunned; to abandon one's spouse was as baffling to them as thermonuclear physics. Jose had taken a bullet for Maria on their escape from Cuba. Maria had cared for an injured Jose on the raft for days-using up all her drinking water on Jose before Brothers to the Rescue aircraft found them. Both had worked two, and sometimes three jobs when they came to America while raising 6 children. While Jose was in the service, Maria had started, and still ran a house cleaning business.
The Anger stage of grieving was jump started at the end of the month with a call from my bank. I was overdrawn, my checks were bouncing. A meeting with a bank officer pushed my anger stage into overdrive. All the accounts were almost empty, Amy had cleaned them out. I tried to get a new line of credit but I was denied. The officer had sympathy, but told me off the record that Kingston did a lot of business with the bank; my account was "flagged".
As I rushed out of the bank a man was standing by my truck. He handed me divorce papers. Sitting in the cab I studied the legalese, finding I was really screwed. Amy was claiming the work on my 8 year truck equaled the value of her new Camry. Amy had emptied the accounts, even cashing in all the stocks and bonds. She was offering me the house in return. Using a highly inflated estimate of the house value and its equity with the improvements it made paper sense, but not in the real world. I had only ten business days to get current before the bank started foreclosure proceedings.
"Not much you can do Mr. Kevin." I was sitting at Juan's kitchen table with his oldest son. He was in his last year at Law school. He had one of his law professors teaching family law look over the divorce papers and settlement offer. "Your former wife Amy can use the boyfriend's attorneys to run you into the ground. You may win a battle or two–but you are going to lose the war."
I thanked Juan's son for his help, then tried to figure out what I needed to do. I needed cash now and fast. I hated to do it -but my beloved truck had to go. Juan had a friend that needed a good truck for his landscaping business, so that sale cleared a bit of cash. This gave me some breathing space, getting out of foreclosure, allowing to pay the upcoming tax, and insurance bill. Jose wife Maria still had her home cleaning business, having expanded into offices also. Every day for the next year –if I was not flying I was working with Maria's cleaning crews. I rode a bike if I went anyplace; my penny pinching ways would have made Scrooge blush. The only real meals were the home cooked ones Juan and his wife Maria forced on me. Maria was always trying to fix me up with a nice Latina girl, but I could not afford a can of soda let alone a date.
By the start of year two my divorce was behind me. I was able to get ahead of the game, even take a day off once in a while to get back to working on the house. One day I found the boxes of Amy's postcards. My first thought was to burn the damn postcards in the fireplace to help heat the house. I could not afford any more legal bills, so I jumped on my bike, peddling to the local library. For a man with the limited resources the public library was a treasure. I used one of their computers to email Amy about the postcards.
I had a reply from Amy within the hour. "The postcards are where I was-not where I am going. Do with them what you want."
I printed out my original Email with Amy's response in case I needed it, then peddled home.
I had a big fire in my old stone hearth that night. I even splurged buying some marshmallows to roast. Watching those postcards go up in smoke allowed me to sleep soundly for the first time. I even woke up not thinking of Amy.
It had been over two years since I had last seen Amy in the bedroom that day. Late on a Friday night, I was flying back from the city to our little airport. We were taxing onto the runway when the flight attendant of our small craft poked her head into the cramped cockpit.
"We got a passenger problem." The flight attendant said. "Got a guy who had a little bit to drink, he will not turn off his cell phone. Very rude and belligerent."
"You tell him it is a FAA rule." I asked.
"Yep." She said. "Got called a couple of choice names by the guy."
We were 6th in line for takeoff, so I told the First Officer I would take this. Normally the sight of the Uniform, plus some stern language settled down unruly passengers. It happened every few months. A annoyance -but not a problem.
As I exited the cockpit I was surprised to see the flushed faced Troy Kingston sitting in the 4th row talking into his cell phone. He was yelling at some poor minion on the other end. What shocked me more was Troy's seat companion. It was my ex-wife, or what was left of my ex-wife Amy. She had more bling on her then Mr. T. ever did. Amy's hair was styled, dyed almost bleach blond white. Her once generous nose was gone replaced by a tiny button. Amy's ears no longer stuck out, but had been cut back so far to be unnoticeable. However her lips were pouty, they puffed out like those on a trout. All the freckles were missing, her skin pulled so tight across her face, it reminded me of a taunt balloon ready to pop. But what stood out most was Amy's chest-it was HUGE! Amy was easily a double D now. She must have had 10 pounds of plastic in her new bolt-on fake rack! Well at least I knew where the money from our accounts went. "Good thing Amy did not waste it." I muttered to myself.
Getting my thoughts back together I launched into Professional Pilot mode. "MR. Kingston." I began standing over the seated Troy. "I must insist you turn off your cell phone immediately. It may interfere with the safety of this aircraft, endangering you, and my passengers."
Troy noticed me for the first time. "Fuck off Flyboy. I paid my ticket. I am trying save a deal worth more than you and this shitty airline put together."
"Amy." I addressed her across the seat. "Can you please talk some sense into your traveling companion."
"Don't speak to her you penniless shitface." Troy slurred at me. "Just because you are driving this flying bus doesn't mean squat-so Fuck off." He went back to his conversation.
I looked at Amy, but she just turned to stare out the window.
Sighing I walked back to the cockpit, and picked up the mic. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am sorry for the delay, but we will be returning to the terminal for a few moments. Please remain in your seats, we will continue with our flight as soon as possible. I appreciate your patience."
My First Officer was already pulling us out of the taxi lane back to our gate. He had notified Airport security. They were coming in force awaiting our arrival.
It was not a pleasant experience for Troy Kingston. Three no nonsense burly Metro Airport Police Officers, followed by a Department of Homeland Security official boarded the aircraft. Troy was removed in handcuffs. The DHS officer told me Troy would be charged with interfering with a flight crew, endangerment of safety of an aircraft, plus a host of other charges. As the plane was on the runway, these were all federal offences. The DHS official further explained Troy would spend the weekend in lock-up, as Federal court is not in session on weekends. As a bonus he would be placed on the "Do Not Fly" List as a flight risk-automatically banned from any air travel for the next 90 days. (Good Luck getting off the "NO FLY" list). Icing on the cake is Troy was to be billed for fuel used to taxi the plane to/from the runway, as well as gate time, also other ground crew costs.
"Could not happen to a nicer guy." I thought as we taxied for take-off
Jose, his wife Maria, and I were sitting at their kitchen table. Their middle daughter had just been accepted into medical school.
"She is so smart my daughter!" Jose was into a few drinks of celebrating. "She is going to be a brain rocket surgeon!"
I smiled but waved away his offer to refill my glass. Jose had a right to be proud. Seeing Jose with his wife Maria made me sad for a moment about Amy and I.
"Not like that worthless Amy." Maria said. "Captain, why do you not let me get you a nice Latina girl? Treat you right!"
I hid a grin. Maria had never lost her accent, she was always trying to play matchmaker. "Now Maria you know I am a little gun shy after my last encounter..."
"Ah..." Maria interrupted then rattled off something in machine gun Spanish to her husband Jose. "Captain you better off without that ... wife. She no good."
"No Argument there." I replied.
Maria moved in closer to me. "Amy not know what she had. Old wife Amy all sad now, not happy now."
My ears pricked up. I thought I was over Amy for the most part. Resentment was like taking poison, than waiting for the other person to die. But hey everyone loves gossip-especially if it is about your ex-wife.
"Come on Maria what do you know?" I teased her. Maria with her small army of cleaners, domestics, and helpers had an intelligence network both the CIA & Israeli Mossad would be jealous of.
"Well." Maria began. "My girls tell me Amy not do so good. No other wives like her. They afraid she try to steal their husband too. The other wives they call Amy the Lemon Tart. Amy throw many parties-other wives no come. Some Husbands come-but they look at Amy like dog look at meat. She no like, Mr. Kingston get mad. No more parties."
I suppressed a laugh.
Maria continued. "Amy no nice to workers. They all call Amy Miss TOS-it mean TITS ON STICK."
Now I did laugh.
"My girls tell me Mr. Kingston needs blue pills to be with Amy. Girls say Amy has lots of toys in her nightstand-always using up many batteries-Even after Mr. Kingston with her. Mr. Kingston always short time in bedroom."
This was getting good, I was laughing out loud.
"Amy mad Mr. Kingston no marry her. He no give Amy much money-she complain a lot. Girls say Mr. Kingston no trust with Amy. He no want Amy to leave house. Mr. Kingston always checking Amy phone and how you say ... interrogate Amy lots when he return from trips. One time Mr. Kingston hire private police to follow Amy. Amy find out and get much mad."
I poured myself a drink. "Well, Maria I guess what can you expect. No honor among thieves-or cheaters. Hope they enjoy looking over each other's shoulders all the time."
Marie continued, she was on a roll. "I always send oldest ladies to go to Mr. Kingston house. He bad man, always try to touch younger girls. Amy always blame girl. Complain to me girls being bad with her Mr. Kingston. I know not true, but I not say if Amy cannot satisfy Mr. Kingston why blame girls? No one want to go clean his house. He never tip workers."
"Enough talk of stupid old wife Amy." Jose said. "Captain you and me go golfing tomorrow. I won a round of Golf at Nine Rivers Country Club in the church raffle last week."
"You golf Jose?" I asked.
"Yes." Jose looked at Maria his wife. "When we come to America, Maria sees that all successful Americans play golf. So Maria gets me golf clubs at an estate sale and makes me take lessons. All the kids too. Damn wife won't ever let me rent a golf cart though."
Maria looked at her husband sternly. "We need save money for children college, not to waste on rent for electric toy. You no cripple, God gave you good legs-would be insult to God you not use legs he gave you."
Jose threw up his hands, but I could see a small hint of a smile on their faces. Jose reached for Maria's hand. I finished my drink, bid them both good night, then stood to leave.
Jose brought his sons clubs for me to use. I had long ago sold mine in a fire sale to round up extra cash after the divorce. It was a great day, the first time I had been out not flying, working, cleaning or working on the house in a long time.
My good mood was broken as I stood outside the clubhouse. There on the wall was a big picture of Troy Kingston and Amy. Troy was a member of the board at Nine Rivers Country Club. The picture was touting some award or event they were at. Jose saw me staring at the large framed photo. He caught onto my sour disposition.
"Captain." Jose said pointing to the entrance. "You look over there, tell me if anyone is coming."
"What for?" I questioned.
"Shh." Jose replied. "Just keep a watch over there, and be a lookout OK."
I stood my back to Jose, staring at the entrance feeling like a fool for several minutes.
Finally Jose said. "OK it is good- now we can go."
I turned around, letting out a loud snort at seeing what Jose had done. Jose had taken a black thick marker, then drawn a big handlebar mustache on Troy's photo, along with buck teeth, devil horns, big glasses, even a crude vagina between his legs. Amy's likeness fared no better, with a big nose, large ears, blacked out eyes, a smattering of moles, prominent nipples, serpent tail, and a monster size dick resting on her lips.
"What are you twelve years old?" I exclaimed, trying keep the laughter in. But my mood had brightened with Jose's juvenile prank.
"Come on Captain. Let's go golf." Jose grinned at me. We picked up our bags, heading out to the course.
I was really having fun as we approached the 7th hole. A pair was in front of us on the green. An older man was putting. We kept quiet, waiting for him to finish. Suddenly he dropped his putter, grabbed his upper arm, falling to the ground gasping. Jose and I dropped our bag of clubs, sprinting up to the green.
A silver haired female about his same age was shaking the fallen man, while she was trying to dial a cell phone. When Jose and I got to the man, he was not breathing.
"Jose start mouth–to-mouth." I leaned over the man, starting CPR compressions on his chest. "Call 911." I yelled at the silver haired lady standing next to us.
"I got no coverage!" She said in a panicky yell.
Jose whipped out his phone. "Damn Captain I got no bars either!"
I looked at my cell phone, it had the out of coverage symbol on it.
"Lady you are going to need to go for help." I yelled at the female.
"I can't leave my husband!" she cried.
"Leave now for an ambulance to help him live-or stay and watch him die!" I spat at her.
She turned, running toward the clubhouse, a visor falling off her silver hair.
Jose and I kept switching off –but after 10 minutes we were getting fatigued. I knew we could not last much longer. I was doing mouth-to-mouth, when an electric golf car almost ran over my foot. I never heard the darn thing approach.
It was a girl driving the drink cart. She jumped out of the cart, turned, then dumped the trays of drinks, and cans onto the ground. She threw off the back cover of the cart, pulling out a small hard plastic case. Kneeling next to me, she flipped open the case, yanking out a portable defibrillator. I had seen these in shopping malls and airports. We had one on each aircraft.
"Back off." She said pushing me aside, ripping open the guy's shirt, exposing his chest. "You." She pointed at Jose. "Take the golf cart, go get some help."
Jose jumped into the cart, speeding off as fast as the little electric motor would take him. I slumped back as the drink cart girl put sensors from the kit on guy's chest. A computer voice from the kit was giving out rote instructions. I saw the girl press a large orange button marked SHOCK. The guy on the ground had his chest jump once, then again, his eyes fluttered open. The girl felt his pulse, then she turned toward me.
"He is breathing, but we got to get him real medical help now, or he is toast." She turned back to the man on the ground.
I wiped a hand across my sweaty brow looking at the drink cart girl. She was a young, shapely latin lady in her mid-twenties, with long black hair tied back in a ponytail. Her name tag read, NINE RIVERS COUNTRY CLUB-LOURDES. I started to say something, when the roar of a diesel engine came out of the rough. A Ford F250 pick-up truck flew out of the edge of the rough, up onto the green, stopping next to us. The truck had gardening tools hanging all over it. A magnetic sign, RAUL and SONS LANDSCAPING was stuck on the door.
Jose jumped out of the driver side. "Recognize your old truck Captain? The damn kiddie car golf cart battery died on me. I saw this beast, figured we had a better chance taking the guy directly to the hospital."
I motioned toward the guy on the ground. "Jose garb his feet, I'll get his chest." I turned toward the girl from the drink cart. "Lourdes I'm Kevin, and this is Jose. Let's get this guy outta here."
We piled into the cab, Lourdes and the guy in front. I slid into the driver seat, while Jose was squeezed into the third seat behind the cab. I saw that everyone was belted in, then gunned the engine. The Powerstroke diesel gave a loud roar. "Hold on! This is going to be rough."
I slammed the Truck into gear, driving directly across the fairway.
Lourdes pointed at a trail. "Take that path over there. That will get us out to the front gate fastest."
"We are going to go off the beaten path a bit." I told Lourdes.
I had overflown this area a thousand times. With a pilots eye, I knew the layout, and terrain that would get us to the hospital fastest. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. That was the route I was going to follow. It would save us 7-10 minutes. Minutes, I knew we did not have to spare.
The Ford's tires tore up the turf, as we flew across the fairway. Horn honking, I sped thru a foursome on the back nine, dashing over portions of a sand trap.
Lourdes was talking to the guy, while Jose was holding on for life in the cramped space. We neared the outer edge of the course, with its high chain link fence.
Lourdes gestured down to the south. "There is an old gate about a mile that way."
"We don't need NO stinking gate!" I growled in my best movie accent. "Grab onto something!"
I never let my foot off the accelerator as we plowed thru the fence. Ford Powerstroke vs. Made in China chain link metal. No contest--score one for the American Diesel power.
"Hey Captain, I got signal" Jose said holding up his phone, as we fled down the road to the hospital. I was pushing the speedometer toward three digits.
Lourdes grabbed the phone out of Jose hands. She punched some numbers. Lourdes must have reached the hospital, as she stated giving medical terms that sounded like V-tak, pulse rhythm-all greek to me. Lourdes snapped the phone shut.
I gave her a grin as I said "Not bad for a drink cart girl." The tires squealed, as we fishtailed turning into the hospital entry.
Lourdes looked at me hard. "I am a NURSE you Dumb Ass!"
"Oh." Was all I managed to get out, as we skid to a stop in the ER entrance, where a medical team was waiting.
Jose and I were local heroes at the airport for about a week after that. However no good deed goes unpunished. That is about the amount of time before I received a registered letter from Nine Rivers County Club. It contained a detailed bill, for damage my little joy ride had caused to the golf course. The repairs total came to $247,88 dollars and 12 cents. The letter demanded prompt payment, (Cash or bank check was acceptable) otherwise, the matter would be turned over to their legal team. I had a good laugh, crumpled up the letter into a wad-jump shooting it into the trash basket. "Can't get Blood out of a Turnip." I thought to myself.
I never did find out who the guy was-or if he ever recovered. He must have been some big shot, because as soon as he was stabilized a medevac chopper whisked him to an awaiting Air Ambulance plane for a flight out.
I tried to get ahold of Lourdes. An operator at Nine Rivers Country Club curtly told me Lourdes was no longer in the employ of Nine Rivers. I made inquiries on my own for about a week, before I asked Jose's wife Maria for assistance. It took about fifteen minutes for Maria's female Latina network to get chapter, and verse on Lourdes -from phone number/address to shoe size.
Maria started talking about Lourdes like she was giving a debriefing. Lourdes was 26 years old, the only daughter of an Immigrant Handyman-day labor father who Lourdes had cared for before he passed. Her mother had died when Lourdes was a child. She had never been married, had just completed a nursing degree, but not taken the RN board exam, and worked the 3PM to 11PM shift, at Mercy nursing home. Lourdes rented a room, was not seeing anyone. She liked vanilla ice cream, with sprinkles.
"That's it?" I teased Maria after she finished. "No birthmarks, known wants, or warrants?"
Maria looked at me with a smug smile. "Lourdes is good girl. Goes to mass every Sunday at Saint Paul. You want I get you together?" She fished in a pocket for her cell phone.
"No No Maria." I jumped in. "Thank you for Lourdes phone number, and address. I think I can take it from here."
I heard Maria laugh as I walked out of her house.
Lourdes was waiting on the steps of a house when I walked up with flowers in my hand the next day.
Lourdes saw the look of surprise on my face. She smiled. "What took you so long Kevin?"
"How ... how ... did you know I was coming." I stammered.
"Latina female network works both ways Kevin." Lourdes laughed. She stood up, taking my flowers then turning to walk up the stairs. "You never had a chance. Stay there, while I go put these in some water."
Lourdes was a delight to be with. She told me how she had juggled school her job at the nursing home, school, and until recently the drink cart job at Nine River Country Club.
"Kevin." Lourdes started. "I had, and still have a lot of debt from school loans, and tuition fees. My nursing home job covers the rent, and day to day living expenses. I was making good tip money at that drink cart job. It was helping me pay off my debts, letting me put money toward a prep course for my RN board, and the RN board exam plus testing fees."
"Lourdes what happen to the drink cart job at Nine Rivers?" I asked.
Lourdes wrinkled her nose before answering. "After our little monster truck rally ride the Board of Directors at Nine Rivers fired me. Claimed I left the Country Club grounds without clocking out. I know it was that board member prick Troy Kingston. He has been after me to sleep with him since I started work there. What a crotch hound, he's worked his way thru a bunch of the girl on staff at Nine Rivers. Right now that Kingston guy is screwing the receptionist every Wednesday afternoon on her lunch break." Lourdes shook as if cold. "Makes me shiver just thinking about that creepy slimeball touching me. What a snake."
I was not surprised to find Lourdes knew about my marriage situation, and condition. The Latin Female network had generated a lot of gossip. Most of it exaggerated, and wrong I found out.
"You know Kevin." Lourdes said. "Most of the grapevine say your wife left you to trade up. A minority says she bailed because you were gay."
I suppressed a laugh. "Where did the gay part come from?"