Hi folks, I'm not trying to tell any of you what to do. I'm only making a suggestion to save us some time. Those of you who don't believe in forgiveness should probably skip this one. Don't even bother reading it just move straight to the comments and write down how much you hated it and how you've read fifteen million stories that are exactly like it. For those of you who are still here, please read the notes at the end of the story. After reading the story you may be in for a surprise. This story was edited by but not the fault of the incredible Mikothebaby. I applaud her even more this time because she did a fantastic job even though she didn't like the story or the characters.
George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
I guess the modern equivalent of this would be the movie "Groundhog day," where poor Bill Murray continually lives out the same fucked up day over and over again. Then in the middle we have of course Scotty's famous line from Star Trek: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The elderly man behind the counter looked perplexed as I spoke to him.
I'm sure by now you're wondering what the hell I'm babbling about, right? He nodded his head and adjusted his glasses. Okay listen to my story and you'll see the quandary I find myself in.
Just about three years ago, I stepped outside of a building after a great meeting with a potential new client. The meeting had gone well, better than well actually because I had also met a really nice woman at the meeting and she'd accepted my invitation to have drinks with me that evening.
Anyway, there I was with my head in the clouds. I'd been depressed for a while because only seven months before that date, my wife had sat me down for a talk.
"Daniel, I need to talk to you," she'd said. I smiled and took her hand but she pulled away from me. "I'm going to tell you something and you're not going to like it."
"What's wrong Lena?" I asked.
"There's no easy way to say this," she said. "I want a divorce."
At first I thought that I hadn't heard her correctly or that it was some kind of joke. Lena was always smiling and always playing practical jokes on me and everyone she knew and cared about.
"Okay, Honey. What's the punch line?" I asked. She looked me straight in the eye and suddenly I knew that she wasn't playing around this time. She had a kind of manic look in her eyes, like something was wrong with her. Lena and I had been married for six years. We had a great marriage and I loved her more than anyone else I could think of.
If I had to describe Lena, I guess I'd describe her as cute. She had brown hair that was short and swingy. Every time she moved her head that mop of hair fanned out and then settled back into place. She also had sparkling blue eyes and a sprinkling of freckles across both cheeks. Her lips were full and she had a sexy little mole just below the right side of her mouth.
Her body was petite, with small but perky breasts and an incredible ass. Her legs were just slightly thick but they were so curvy that you just immediately imagined yourself between them. Lena was my entire world wrapped up into one being and she knew it.
"Daniel, I love you too much to cheat on you, but I've met someone and ... well, I want to be with him," she said.
I've always prided myself on being a man of reason and being slow to anger but that morning I just lost it. I kicked over the chair that I was sitting in and just walked out of the room. I didn't want to say anything to her.
I was just remembering how different she'd been the previous night when we'd had sex. She'd been far less enthusiastic than usual and I'd simply chalked it up to biorhythms or tiredness, but I realized then that she'd probably known even then that she was going to run this bullshit on me even then.
Her heart had belonged to this asshole a full twenty four hours previously, but she'd given me some kind of halfhearted mercy fuck for old-time's sake.
I got myself together and went back into the room. She sat there with a fearful expression on her face.
"I'm going to pack a few things," she said tentatively. "I'll come back tomorrow while you're at work. I'll drop off the divorce papers when they're ready."
"Just go!" I said.
"But don't you want to talk about..." she began.
"I don't want to talk to you period," I said.
"But what will we tell people?" she asked.
"The truth," I spat. "That my wife is a whore, who couldn't control her urges so she left me with no warning and destroyed a good marriage."
With the rising of my temper, both the volume and the anger in my voice were gaining intensity.
"Lena, just get the fuck out of my sight," I snapped. "Come back for your things tomorrow. Don't bring Mr. Wonderful to my apartment."
"Daniel, I'm sorry," she said. "None of this is your fault. It just happened."
"I won't be responsible for what else just happens if you don't get the fuck out of here," I hissed.
She got up and quickly left the apartment. The divorce papers came only a few days later. She hadn't asked for anything. She just wanted to be free of me.
Everyone we knew eventually figured it out although I didn't tell anyone. My mom and dad were no longer alive but my friends were very supportive. They assured me that I hadn't done anything wrong, but the doubts I had about myself weren't that easily put away. I spent a few nights trying to drink myself into an early grave. I was angry at the world and got into more than one fight that I could have and should have avoided.
Perhaps my most staunch supporters, strangely enough, were Lena's parents and her sister. Lena's mom called me as soon as she heard and asked me what was wrong with Lena. Her dad got on the phone next. He told me I should go over there, wherever there was, and kick that guy's ass and bring my woman home, kicking and screaming if necessary.
He was sure that she was on drugs or something. I reminded him that Lena wasn't on anything when she calmly sat down and told me that she was leaving and why. All I'd gain from his suggested course of action would be criminal charges. Kidnapping and assault charges were not on my agenda, but I thanked him for his opinion and promised to stay in touch.
Lena's sister, Kimberly, was a bigger version of Lena. Kim was more voluptuous and well ... she was just bigger. I don't mean that she was fat. Kim was and is extremely attractive, but her personality was bigger too. Kim arrived less than a week after Lena left, determined to help me get over her sister.
She started out by cleaning the apartment from top to bottom and warning me not to let my useless depression change me. "Don't turn yourself into one of those bitter guys who lock themselves away in a grimy apartment and start hating all women because one stupid one hurt them, Okay?" she said.
I just nodded as she continued her pep talk. "You're a great guy, Dan," she said. "If Lena hadn't met you first, I'd have gone after you myself. I guess that would be kind of weird now though. We'd have to give it a few years before the thought of us being involved wouldn't make everyone cringe." I smiled and nodded at her. I tried to think of something to say while she continued yammering away.
Before I'd paid any attention to what she was saying, she calmly folded the rag she was using to dust my apartment and turned to me. "Do you want to fuck me now, or after we eat?" she asked. I was stunned. I thought at first that she was joking. But she unbuttoned her blouse revealing a black lacy bra that was filled with heavenly delights that Lena would never even hope to have. The blouse dropped to the floor and the bra followed while I was still trying to process what she was doing.
"I know what you're thinking," she said smiling. "You're really happy about the upgrades in the size and quality of the equipment and you're wondering why you waited this long to throw her ass out."
She pulled her jeans and panties down in one movement and revealed a bare shaved pussy, with a tiny winged heart tattoo just to the left and above it.
She backed over to my sofa gesturing for me to follow her. She leaned back on the cushions and spread her legs widely. "I've thought about doing this so many times," she said, her voice thick with lust. "Show me why my sister was always smiling until the day she got her head stuck too far up her ass for sense or reason to reach her brain."
At that moment, my sense of reason and decorum seemed to vanish as well. The fact that I'd been happily married to her sister less than seven days hence no longer mattered as I plunged my tongue as far into that juicy wet pussy as it could reach. Kim started thrashing around on the sofa and screamed loudly as pleasure overtook her.
A few moments later, she crawled on top of me and rode me like there was no tomorrow. As I looked up at her beautiful face, all thoughts of her sister vanished. There were marked differences between the sisters besides their dimensions. Where Lena was reserved and understated, Kim seemed to live her life like a beer commercial. She enjoyed each and every moment for its own sake. Lena was the kind of woman you made gentle love to. Kim was the woman who'd fuck you to within an inch of your life.
For the next few weeks, I fucked Kim almost nightly. We never got tired of each other. If her period and my job sending me out of town hadn't conspired to separate us for a couple of weeks, things might have turned out very differently.
The separation helped to cool things off and let both of us see that we couldn't keep going at the pace forever.
There was no rancor or anger between us. We just realized that we both needed to explore and see what life had in store for us. Kim had helped me immeasurably though. She restored my faith in myself and made me realize that the problems I'd had with Lena were truly not of my doing.
I began dating again with a vengeance after that. Kim often called me though and we got together for a lot of steamy nights. Sometimes she'd call me when I already had a date.
"Dan, do you have plans for tonight?" she'd ask.
"Actually, I did," I'd answer.
"Well call her and tell her you can't make it," she'd say, with a tone in her voice that let me know just why I should.
"Why would I do that," I'd tease. Usually I was already looking up the number to cancel.
"Ask yourself two things Danny," she'd quip. "First, ask yourself, why are you dating this woman? Are you looking for a lifetime of commitment with her or just sex? Then secondly, ask yourself, is the sex with her guaranteed and is there even a ghost of a chance that she'll be as good in bed as I am. You know you'd rather fuck me. Then there's the fact that except for my silly assed sister, there isn't a woman alive that you love more than me."
"See you at seven," I'd say.
So, just over six months after Lena had walked out on me, events beyond my control made my happy second bachelorhood more complicated.
As I said, I'd stepped out of the building with that happy dumb assed smile on my face. I wasn't thinking past how my date would go when it happened. Just as I stepped to the curb, a short woman near me suddenly twisted her ankle as she stepped off of the curb. I think we all heard the nasty crack as her leg twisted under her. A car that had run the red light was barreling towards her as everyone else backed up onto the sidewalk. Without thinking, I reached down and scooped up the woman barely in time to avoid the car hitting her.
A nearby police officer jumped in front of the car and flagged it down. The driver, a teen-aged girl, had been texting and didn't realize what she had almost done.
The officer came over to me and the woman I'd just saved. "Are you alright ma'am?" he asked. "Oh my, you're pregnant. How far along are you?"
A voice I'd heard more times than I ever wanted to admit and never wanted to hear again answered him and I took a look at her for the first time.
Her face was distorted by the pain, but it was her without a doubt. I placed her down on the sidewalk near the officer while everyone else walked away as the light changed again. "Thank..." she began to say through her pain, then she burst out in tears as she recognized me.
"What's wrong?" asked the cop. "I've called for an ambulance. Are you in pain?"
"More than you'll ever know," she cried. "And my leg hurts too."
The cop spoke into his radio and after a few terse exchanges looked at us. "It's going to take a while for the ambulance to get here," he said. "Sir, you've already gone far above the call but could you possibly do one more thing?"
I looked at him, thinking he was going to ask me to stay with her until the ambulance arrived. I was, of course, wrong. "Do you have a car nearby? Could you drop this lady off at the nearest hospital's emergency room?"
"He has a very nice car," said Lena. "He drives a 2009 Mustang Shelby GT. But I doubt that he'd want me in it. But I can't go to the hospital without him anyway. I haven't even been able to get checkups for my baby."
The cop looked puzzled. "Do you two know each other?" he asked.
"He's my husband," she said sadly.
"EX-husband," I corrected. "Our divorce will be final in fifteen weeks and three days. We've been apart since she walked out on me for some guy with J. Geils syndrome."
"Isn't J. Geils that band from the eighties?" asked the cop. "They sang "Freeze Frame" and a bunch of other party type songs. What kind of syndrome do they have?"
"Her new husband has their lead singer's name apparently," I said. The cop scratched his head.
"Who was their lead singer?" he asked.
"A guy named "Magic Dick," I deadpanned.
"Ohhh!" moaned Lena in obvious pain. She looked at me as even more tears burst from her eyes.
"Look buddy, can't you just put that aside and drop her off?" asked the cop. "I know it's a lot to ask, especially under the circumstances. But you seem to be a decent guy. You were the only one who reached out to try to help her. The other people just tried to save themselves. I have to give that silly bitch that almost killed your wife and her baby a ticket and confiscate her car."
"EX-wife," I corrected through clenched teeth. "Emphasis on EX and if I'd known it was her, I wouldn't have tried to help her either."
"Ma'am, you said something about not being able to go to the hospital without him," said the cop.
"Until the end of the calendar year, I'm still covered under his health plan," she said. "Even though I didn't think I'd need to be. But I don't have any health cards to prove it. So unless he goes with me, they won't treat me," said Lena. She had a thin sheen of perspiration on her forehead and I could tell the pain was getting to her.
"They treat people with no insurance," said the cop. "They have to. It's the law."
"When we got divorced, I had a job," said Lena. "I also had some money in the bank. Daniel and I split our assets down the middle, so since he made more than I did, I actually ended up with some of his money. All of that was stolen from me, but because of my former income and the amount I received in my divorce settlement, I don't qualify for any kind of aid. I have literally no money and within a few days, I won't even have a place to stay."
"I'll drop her off at the hospital, if you carry her to my car in the parking lot over there," I said tersely.
"Daniel, you don't have to take me," said Lena sadly. "I know that after everything I did you have every right to hate me."
"Oh, I do, very much," I said. "I hate you far more than you could ever know. But I have things to do tonight and it just seem like dropping you off at a hospital is the quickest way to get back to what I was planning."
"Wow," she said sarcastically. "I remember a time when you wanted to spend every second possible with me."
"Yeah that was before I found out what a whore you are," I spat. "This isn't something I'm looking forward to, so if you'd rather arrange alternate transportation, I'm cool with it."
"Maybe this isn't a good idea," said the cop.
"Relax officer," said Lena. "He'd never hurt me, but if he did, I'd deserve it. I'm the one around here who usually fucks things up."
The cop lifted Lena and together we got her into the tiny confines of my Mustang. I noticed as we tucked her legs in, how big the swelling around her ankle was and realized that she had to be in more pain than she was letting on. Her foot dangled at an angle that just didn't seem right. Looking at her ankle canted in that ungainly position sent sympathetic pain shooting through my own legs.
During the trip there, she tried several times to start a conversation, but I refused to participate and finally told her that I was only interested in taking her to the hospital, nothing more. We spent the rest of the trip in silence.
When we got to the hospital, it didn't go as easily as I thought. There were forms to fill out and other forms I had to sign while they examined Lena. I kept trying to explain to them that Lena and I were not only not related, but we didn't even like each other.
I was thinking about punching the very next healthcare worker who asked me if Lena's baby was our first child. I doubted that any of them could understand the pain and the rage I felt. Having to stand there and fend off questions about my ex-wife, the former woman of my dreams was beyond painful. I didn't understand why she couldn't just call Mr. Wonderful and let him take it from here. Surely he had to be concerned for Lena's and his child's welfare.
But when you throw in the constant questions about the insult she carried in her womb, it was just torture.
Finally, they directed me to the room she was awaiting the results of her x-rays in.
She was lying in a bed with her foot up. I wanted to ask her why they hadn't just put her leg in a cast and sent her ass home. As I walked into the room, several people looked at me. The doctor walked over to me and smiled.
"Mr. Boone, your wife has several issues for us to deal with. I'm not even going to ask why with your insurance and the amount of money you make, she hasn't been seeing a doctor regularly. But from here on out we're going to see that the baby is healthy. Her condition is very manageable with medication. Now as to the ankle, well it's badly broken. We believe that her bones are very brittle because her diet is lacking in certain nutrients. The baby seems to be leeching what it needs from her system."
"Fixing the ankle will require surgery and then a cast for six to eight weeks afterward. We're also putting her on a special calcium supplement program and a diet to get her weight up to a healthy level. We're pumping her full of anti-inflammatory drugs to get the swelling in that ankle down before the surgery. We'll need you to fill out some forms about the surgery and the calcium supplements. Our dietician will talk to you about the things she should be eating. And of course there are some things you're going to need to know about taking care of her."
He smiled at me and walked off to play video games or whatever it is that doctors do when no one is watching them.
"Why the fuck won't any of these people listen to me?" I said.
"Because they're so sure that they know everything that they sometimes forget the basic facts of a situation," said Lena. "They see me listed on your healthcare account, they see that we have the same last name and that's all they need to know. In their eyes, we're still married and we're having a baby."
"So why haven't you tried to explain it to them?" I asked.
"Danny, it's hard enough trying to get it through my own head and come to terms with it. If I can't believe it myself, then how am I supposed to explain it to anyone else?"
"Why bother trying to explain the past to them?" I asked. "Just pick up a phone and get Magic Dick over here to watch over you and his baby?"
I felt like an ass as I watched her burst out crying. "You could always call your family then," I said. The tears continued unabated. If anything, they became even worse.
"Danny, my mom and dad don't want anything to do with me," she cried. "They haven't wanted to speak to me since I left you. You know how firmly set they are with their views on right and wrong."
"Lena, don't call me Danny or any of those pet names. My name is Daniel, and I'm sure your parents will come around. After all, the child you're carrying is probably going to be their only grandchild for a while," I said. "Things like that have a way of cutting through everything else."
"Danny ... Daniel ... I'm really afraid. I know that I have no right to ask it, but could you stay with me until. Well until the surgery is over?" she asked. There was a pleading tone in her voice and the look in her eyes told me all I needed to know. She really was afraid.
"Why the hell would I do that?" I asked. "Why would I even care about your fear or anything else? That isn't my job any more, remember? You replaced me a while back."
The hurt in her eyes got to me. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy the chance to twist the knife a bit. The ringing of my phone in my pocket put further communication on hold for a few moments at least.
"Danny, I haven't seen you in a week," said Kim over the phone. "What cha doin' t'night? I might need some dental work."
"Shit, does everyone want to use my health insurance?" I smiled.
"Not real dental work you sap," snapped Kim jokingly. "I have a cavity that needs to be filled, ya know?"
"I kind of have a date and a problem," I said, moving further away from the bed.
"Cancel the date, and tell me about the problem," she said. "You know the drill. Call your new girlfriend and tell her something ... Family comes first. Now tell me about the problem."
"Maybe, you should see it for yourself. It might be your problem too," I said. I gave her the address and the room number and promised to stay put until she got there.
Lena just looked at me as I turned back to her. "Who was that?" she asked with a touch of bitterness in her voice.
"An old friend," I said. "She's someone who actually cares."
She just lay there in the bed looking at me while several nurses came in to check on one things or another. "Danny," she began. My icy glare cut her off.
"Daniel, I meant," she started again. "We never did have a chance to talk about..."
That was all I could take. "Why the fuck would I ever want to talk about it?" I erupted. The nurse in the room looked at me as if she was trying to decide whether or not to call security.
Kim walked into the room and looked around. When she saw me by the window she changed both her demeanor and her walk and headed straight for me. "Why the hell are you in a hospital? Don't tell me you're hanging out with a sick friend, right? That is so like you."
I pointed at the bed. Lena's pregnant belly all but obscured her face from where we were standing.
Kim looked over on the bed and recognized her sister. "What the hell happened to you?" she asked coldly. Then she looked over to me. "Please tell me you're not falling for this? I can only rescue you so many times. Don't you have a date tonight anyway?"
She just shook her head. "I can't believe this. I have to call mom and dad. I'll call you later brother in law." Then she left nearly as quickly as she came.
"See what I mean," said Lena from the bed. "Even the people who are supposed to be my family don't want anything to do with me."
I didn't know what to say to that so I just looked at her. She looked so different, yet still somehow the same. I mean physically, except for being pregnant, the average person would think she looked the way she did when she left me. But someone who knew her well would notice the differences. The sparkle in her eyes was gone. The sense of confidence that she viewed the world through was also gone. There were tiny bags under her eyes and the pop in her personality had gone away.
Everyone always talks about how pregnant women have this incredible glow, Lena didn't have it. It was like looking at a whipped dog that is about to drown in a huge vat of its own liquefied shit. Lena saw me as her only life preserver. I didn't know what to do. On one hand, I hated her as much as everyone else did. She deserved everything she was getting and more for what she'd done to me.
I could sympathize with her family because they were from an extremely religious background and what she'd done embarrassed her parents among their close knit church group. They were pretty much considered a failure as parents for raising "the whore."
On the other hand, call me weak or spineless, but I felt sorry for her. She'd gone from a vibrant and beautiful woman to this lifeless lump of shit in a very short time. Sure she'd hurt me pretty badly but I'd come through it and was doing pretty well. It looked like her antics had only hurt her. I was sure there was a story here somewhere. I just didn't care enough to hear it.
I stood there looking down at her with all of those thoughts going through my mind.
"Daniel, come over here so I can talk to you," she said. I turned to face her and walked a little closer to the bed. She smiled for the first time. And then she laughed a little, but I could tell that even smiling seemed to hurt her.
"Daniel, I'm not going to bite you," she said. "You could sit down on the edge of my bed. It's not like I'm going to try to hurt you." I did as she requested and felt strangely on edge. I couldn't understand why but there was this awful tension between us that had never been there before.
"Daniel, I understand why you hate me. And you probably should. I never thanked you for saving my life and the baby's life back there and I really should have, but I can't help thinking that maybe it would have been a blessing," she smiled kind of a wry smile.
She was so different from my Lena. My Lena believed in life no matter what. My Lena gave and made me give to the anti-abortion groups even though she was a staunch liberal. My Lena was like that little orphan girl who always sang about the sun coming out tomorrow. I wondered what had changed her into this sad excuse for a woman who'd just hinted that if I hadn't pulled her from in front of a car that she and her baby would be better off.
I realized then that as much as I hated her, there was no use kicking her, she was down as far as she could ever be.
"If it had happened," she continued. "All of our problems would be over." I looked at her as if she was insane.
"Danny, even with you allowing me to use your healthcare insurance, this is only going to put me even further into debt," she said. "It's a short term fix that will cost me even more in the long run."
"Lena, most of the forms I've been signing, make me responsible for any costs that health insurance doesn't pay. So when they discover that you can't pay it, the bills will come to me. So don't worry about it Lena. Consider it a parting gift from me to you and your child," I said.
"If I'm getting a gift, can I pick it?" she said. I looked at her strangely. I wondered what could be more important than taking care of the bill for the surgery she was about to go through.
"Danny, I'm scared," she blurted out through her tears and blubbering. "They're going to cut my leg open and do things to me. They're going to put a piece of metal inside of me to hold my bones in place. They've already told me that there's a chance that I'll walk with a limp for the rest of my life and the chances of re-damaging the joint are increased. I'm more afraid of this than I am of not being able to pay the bill."
"Danny, what I want more than anything else, since you seem to be in a giving mood is for you to just put what happened between us away for a little while and stay with me until they take me to surgery. The last nurse that came through here told me that it shouldn't take more than an hour or so. The swelling in my ankle is almost to the point where they'll be able to do the surgery without doing any additional tissue damage."
"Could you do that?" she asked. "Just sit down here and talk to me, so I'm less nervous about them cutting my body open and doing things to it. I know I treated you terribly and you didn't deserve it. If I live to be a thousand years old, what I did to you will always be the worst thing I've ever done and I don't deserve forgiveness. I'm not asking for you to forgive me, Danny, I'd just like for you to sit down and talk to me for a little while."
"There was a time when you loved me more than anything else on the planet. At least that's what you used to tell me. And I believed it when you said it so there had to be something to it. And I lo..."
"Stop," I said sharply. The acid in my tone alone cut her words off so quickly that the last word became a muffled mumbling in her throat. "Don't go there." She nodded and looked away from me. A solitary tear rolled down one cheek as she realized that she'd fucked up again and I was angrier at her after what she'd started to say than I had been before. After a few moments of very uncomfortable silence, I let myself exhale. It all came out as a nearly silent sigh and a lot of the new anger went with it.
"Don't ever say that to me again," I said. She nodded understanding exactly what I meant.
I pulled out my iPhone and went to my contacts screen. The ringing sound in my ear let me know that the call was going through. "Hi Melissa," I said sadly. "It's Dan. Well I'm at the hospital. I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to make it tonight. Someone I used to be very close to is having surgery so I'm going to be here for a while. I can understand it if you're angry at me but I really can't get away right now." There was an abrupt clicking sound as she hung up on me.
"Ouch," said Lena. "It sounds like she's pissed. She must have really wanted to go out with you. Sorry Danny. I mean Daniel." I just sighed again.
"So where's Mr. Wonderful anyway?" I asked. "Did you even call him?" Now it was her turn to sigh.
"We're not together," she said. "Do you want to hear about it?"
"Two words," I said. "Fuck and No."
"Then what shall we talk about?" she smiled. "Danny, could you sit a little closer to me? I swear to you that I will not bite you. I know, you find me disgusting and you hate me and all of that shit. But I'd like to pretend for just a few moments, that I hadn't fucked my life up."
I moved closer to her and she smiled. I guess when I moved close enough for her to touch me it emboldened her because she reached out to take my hand. "Lena, don't touch me," I hissed. The venom in my voice made her retract the hand immediately.
The pain in her voice was so thick I could feel it. "I thought that we were pretending that things were okay," she said.
"I'm not that good an actor," I spat. We sat there for a few moments in silence.
"Danny, if I can't touch you, I have another idea," she said suddenly. She was smiling bigger than she had since I'd run into her. She almost seemed like the Lena of old.
"Can I touch your jacket?" she asked. I nodded my head wondering what the fuck she was planning.
"Close your eyes," she gushed. I did as she requested and soon felt her hands grabbing me by my sleeve. I heard a rustle of cloth and then she was guiding my hand again. Then I touched something that there was no explanation for. It felt like skin but like no skin that I'd ever felt before. I opened my eyes suddenly and looked at her. It was like an electric current had gone through me from the contact. I knew then that my life had just changed, forever.
Then to make things worse, I looked up and saw Lena staring at me with the biggest, dumbest smile on her face. Her legs had started moving with the contact even though her leg on the other side was elevated. Our touch had her very excited. It was like the contact had formed some type of link or feedback loop between us. But the link wasn't only two way. The tiny fluttering of her stomach let me know that someone else had felt the contact as well and reacted to it.
"She knows that you're here Danny, and she's happy too," said Lena. I recognized the tone in her voice. It was kittenish and playful with an undertone of lust. It was the same tone she always got when she really wanted to have sex. I snatched my hand away and stood up. But I knew in that moment that I was trapped.
Lena, of course, misunderstood my reaction. "Danny, I'm sorry," she whined. "You've done so much for me today. I wanted to give you something. I don't have anything else. People are always asking to touch my belly. I guess there's something about touching a pregnant woman's stomach. I just wanted to give you something. It's all I have to offer." The whining in her voice let me know that she was being sincere.
She wasn't trying to make me uncomfortable. She noticed then that her gown was still pulled up around her chest and her vagina was on display. When we were together she'd kept it shaved or at the very least very closely trimmed. She was pretty furry then. She quickly pulled the gown back down.
"I fucked up again didn't I?" she asked. Sobs went through her body.
"Lena, it's okay," I said. "In fact it was magical. I've never felt anything like that before. It was incredible. You and Mr. Wonderful are very lucky."
"Yeah," she said sarcastically. Then she started to tell me something but the arrival of the nurse interrupted her. We all have those moments when communication with another person goes beyond verbal and also beyond our mental ability to process it. Soul to soul communication they call it. I don't know why I thought about Power Station then. Power Station was a one off band formed by members of Duran Duran, the drummer, Tony Thompson from Chic and one of those English singers whose name I don't remember. They had a song, Communication, that went through my head then and every time I think of that moment.
I knew on a level that was far above mental what she was going to tell me. "What, Lena?" I asked breathlessly. She shook her head quickly as the nurse checked over her again.
"Nothing, Daniel," she said. "Thanks. I really mean it Daniel. Thanks for staying with me." She yawned as whatever they were giving her to put her under started to take effect. "Thank you so much. Have a good life, Danny. None of it was your fault." She'd begun to slur her words as she lost consciousness. "All my fault Danny ... blame it all on the whore ... gave up ... best thing in m' life. Stupid whore. Love you Danny ... always will ... forever n ever ... love you."
Then she was out. The nurse looked at me and told me that the surgery would run about two hours and it might be a good time for me to visit the nutritionist before she left for the day. I could see her and also see the physical therapist to find out what Lena could do and couldn't do following her surgery. She told me that being pregnant in the later stages was awful and uncomfortable, but to go through the later stages of a pregnancy while unable to walk was going to be hell on Lena and on me.
"There will be days when she'll want to bite your head off for nothing," she said. "She'll have mood swings that are absolutely out of control. I remember one day when my husband just walked into the kitchen. I threw a cast iron skillet at his head. For one fleeting moment my hormones were so out of whack that I wanted to kill him for making me pregnant." She laughed at my horrified expression.
"I guess the hormones made me forget that I'd begged him to do it. I love that man so much that I needed to have a child with him, but at that moment, in that fleeting instant, if I'd had two skillets to throw, I'd have killed him."
"But I'm not..." I began. "I mean we're not..."
"That woman loves you at least as much as I love my Phil," she said. "Whatever you guys are going through, you'll make it." She smiled and patted my hand and then went to help the other nurse wheel Lena away.
As I stood there in that empty room trying to decide what to do, my phone rang again. I answered it without thinking about who it might have been. "Why aren't you here?" asked Kim. "Oh shit, she got you again didn't she? Mom told me it might happen. Please don't tell me you're still at the hospital. Danny, I can't save you from stupid. That woman is lying there knocked up by the guy she left you for and you're just there sucking up all the shit she puts out. She's trying to get you back, dummy. Mom told me that she showed up at their house a few weeks back trying to give them some sob story about how he'd left her. If you hadn't moved she'd have probably showed up at your place. She probably did go back to that apartment the two of you used to live in."
I just listened to her ranting over the phone. "Danny, grow a set of balls and walk away from her. She's only going to do it to you again. Do you know that mom and dad basically got kicked off of the parents committee at church? The other people on the committee figured that mom and dad couldn't give advice on parenting issues or help to decide policy for families because they are such shitty parents. Mom can't even teach Sunday school anymore. They said that because her daughter is such a whore, they think it must've come from her somehow. Lena is only going to hurt you again, Danny. I just don't want to see that happen to you. Call me when you get home."
As I stood there thinking about what she'd said, it all made sense but none of it mattered. I'd known that her parents were very traditional and very involved with their church, but the reason they'd literally turned their back on their own daughter was suddenly clear. It still had nothing to do with me though. And as much as I still hated Lena, my mind was made up.
"Shit or get off of the pot, boy." The words brought me out of my thoughts. I looked into the kindly face of one of the hospital's janitorial staff. He was trying to mop the room while Lena was in surgery and I was standing in the middle of the floor.
I left the room after apologizing to him and went to see the nutritionist. She was a middle aged slightly chubby woman with a rosy face and a cherubic outlook. All the time that she was telling me about the types of vitamins and foods that Lena needed for the pregnancy and what she'd need to get her levels back up to normal, I had one sick ass thought. If nutritionists are experts on diet and nutrition why the hell, are a lot of them fat?