Hi folks. MTB and I are glad that most of you liked last week's story. I almost wish that I could put out part 2 of it this weeks and keep that good feeling going. But that would be boring after a while. I also knw that a lot of you probably won't like this week's piece, but there's always next week. As I look back over this year and what I wanted to do, I think that for the most part I was successful, but I failed in others. I think that this year I wanted to take a step towards growth and becoming a better storyteller. I've been here for a little bit over 2 years now and I started the year thinking that I wanted to write a few stories without all of the gimmicks like time travel or stories set in the future or the past. I wanted to write stories about regular people like those two writers here that I look up to. So in that aspect maybe I was successful. But I think that next year all bets are off. we are going to get bizarre in 2013. SS06
My name is Mark Dawson. I'm fifty five years old and retired. I retired early because I busted my ass during my younger years and got ahead. For years, every bonus and every stock option went into my retirement account. When my peers drove BMW's or their Benzes, I stuck with my Mustangs. While my coworkers moved into their Mc-Mansions in the country, I stayed in my modest home in the suburbs.
The result of all of that frugality is that I have more than enough money for my wife and me to continue spoiling our college aged son while we live the life we've always wanted. We have several vacations planned for the next few months as I settle into retirement.
But first, we have to let Mark Jr. get used to college. He still comes home every weekend. Not that we mind, but it's going to take some time to cut the chains. I guess you thought I was going to say apron strings huh? Nope, my son and I are very close. He's a chip off the old block and yep, he was home for the weekend on that fateful day when my life changed. My life was changed by four fucking words.
As hard as it is to believe, four words ruined all of those years of hard work. And as fate would have it those words, "When ... Wait a minute! I'm not telling you the words yet. That would give the story away too quickly. Some of you guys have been whining about me revealing the gist of the story too soon. So even though I'm pretty sure you already know what the words are, we're going to wait a bit. So let's go back to that morning before the words were said so you have some context.
I used to be 5 foot 10 inches tall. And I used to have ruggedly handsome features. My hair used to be a medium brown shade. I guess some of it still is brown but there's a lot of gray mixed in with the brown. My eyes are still blue and I can still get the odd woman or two to look my way when I want. But I haven't wanted that in almost thirty years.
You see, I fell in love back in my late twenties and never looked back. For most of my life only one woman has ever owned my heart. And she's sleeping right next to me as she should. Miriam, my wife, is still as beautiful today as she was the day I met her. Okay, she has a few more lines on her face, but when I look at her now, I see her as she was. Miri was built like a brick ship yard then and she is to this day. Maybe the bricks have shifted a bit, but they're still there.
I woke up that fateful day thinking that I was still dreaming. I was dreaming that I was in Heaven, but it was like no Heaven I'd ever seen in any church. In this version of Heaven, an angel was giving me a blow job. The dream was so vivid that I could feel those velvety lips surrounding my rapidly engorging dick. Those lips were warm and wet and I felt love oozing from them. That angel apparently loved what she was doing.
"Mark, stop pretending you're asleep," she said laughing. I opened my eyes and realized that it wasn't a dream.
"Miri ... I was in Heaven," I sighed.
"Well, this thing is hard enough to do me some good now," she laughed. She gave my blood filled appendage one last loving lick and climbed into the bed beside me. Her slim arms snaked their way around my neck even as she pulled me to her. One leg snaked across my hip opening herself up to me. Our mouths found each other in the darkness of the early morning. After so many years together, our bodies knew what to do and where to go. More importantly, we knew what to do to give each other pleasure.
I knew, for instance, that she was more aroused by gentle kisses on the front of her neck than on either side. I also knew that if I blew on her nipples, they responded better than if I tweaked them or sucked on them. Miri liked sex period, but when it was gentle and filled with love, it didn't take very much or very long to send her into orbit.
"Mark, there's something you need to know," she said seriously.
"Oh shit, not the words," I said as I gently stroked her sides.
"What words silly man?" she asked. She took my still rampant dick and pushed the head of it inside of her opening. We both savored the magic of the feeling of that first penetration. Just the feeling of having my dick inside of her was making me crazy. I wanted more than anything to push my way inside of her until only my balls were left outside. I waited because we both wanted to savor the feelings and make the pleasure last.
"I have a feeling that you're about to say the words again," I said. "You know, like you told me twenty years ago. You said, "We're gonna be parents."
"We're a little old for that," she said and kissed me. As she said it, she pushed her hips forward until half of my dick was inside of her. "Besides, bearing your son kind of messed up my insides so having another, as much as I'd love to give you another baby, would probably kill me."
"Okay, no more babies," I said. "That means we're just doing this for fun then." I softly pushed forward until I'd bottomed out in her. She rolled over until I was on top of her. She pulled my head down and stuck her tongue in my mouth. She started thrusting her hips and rolling them at the same time. I'd been with a few other women before her and I'd seen my share of porn but I've never seen a woman move the way she did. And it wasn't only the moves, it was the way she squeezed my dick with her vaginal muscles. For all that the blow job felt like Heaven, it paled in comparison to being inside of her.
She started to moan and clutched herself to me. She wrapped her legs around my waist and squeezed the head of my dick even tighter.
"Mark, please baby, cum in me. I can't hold out much longer," she gushed. I started fucking her back, but even faster. Not harder, because that would have ruined it. I just started moving faster.
"I love you Miri," I said softly. It was the wrong thing to say because it drove her over the edge way too soon. Her legs clamped around my waist so tightly that I could barely move. I felt every spasm of her vagina as it fluttered over and over again trying to milk sperm from me. The fluttering was so intense that it drove me to my own orgasm. I started pumping my seed where it was supposed to go.
Neither of us moved. The only movement necessary happened inside of her. We continued to kiss and I had the feeling that we were linked. I knew in that moment that I loved her more than it would ever be possible for me to love another human being and I knew in the bottom of my soul that she felt the same way.
"What the hell are you guys doing in there?" yelled my son, Mark, from just outside the door. "All I hear is breathing and slurping and smacking."
"Rape," I yelled. "I was asleep and then this woman attacked me."
"Mark Jr., get back in your bed and don't come out until morning or I say so," yelled Miri.
"Uhm, Mom, that worked really well when I was four," said Mark. "But, number one, it's already morning and number two; I'm kind of grown now. Besides, aren't you two too old for what I think you were doing?"
"Okay, then," she said smiling at me. "Go back to your room or I won't make your frigging raspberry pancakes and I won't let your dad do whatever stupid thing that you had planned for the two of you to do before the barbecue."
"Oh, shit," said Mark Jr. "I'm going to my room, Mom. When exactly will those pancakes be ready?"
"Screw him," she said. "Let's get back to what we were doing. I'm sure I can squeeze another one out of you if I..."
"Honey, what were you about to tell me?" I asked.
"Oh yeah," she said. "It's something you already know, I guess. But I've been thinking a lot lately. Maybe I'm just getting old, but, shit you are too. Anyway, I've been thinking about my life and it's been perfect. What I mean is that if I had to plan my life out and pick the person to spend it with, it would be you. I love you Mark, with all my heart and soul. I belong to you."
"I know that, Miri," I said. "I've always known that."
"No Honey you don't," she said seriously. "People say it all the time. You and I know people who've been married for longer than we have who are only together for their kids and they say it. We know people who can't stand the sight of each other and they say it. Everyone says the words Mark, but very few people actually mean it. And I just want you to know that I really do."
"Well, thank you Miri, now about those pancakes ... You did say raspberry, didn't you?" I asked.
"Aren't you going to say something back, mister?" she asked.
"What kind of syrup goes with raspberry pancakes?" I asked. She bit her lip. "Miriam, I didn't say it because there's really no need for me to. When we were together a few minutes ago, we were truly one. I could feel everything you felt and every breath you took. How you felt about me came through loud and clear and I'm pretty sure the way I felt went through to you. That's why people make love, Miri. That feeling of closeness and being one is what it's all about. If you don't get that feeling, you're just fucking and it doesn't really matter who you're doing it with."
"That's exactly how I feel," she said, "You do understand." There were tears running down her eyes and I wondered about women sometimes.
"Mark, I've never made love with anyone except you," she said.
"Yeah, yeah," I said. "What about those pancakes?" As she started to get out of the bed, I grabbed her and ran my hand over her pussy.
"I'll be wanting some more of this later Missy," I smirked. As she moved her leg, a bit of our mixed fluids dripped out. She reached over and grabbed my hand and scooped some of it up on my fingers. Then she licked my fingers and smiled at me.
"Anytime you want it, Mark," she said seriously. "It, like all the rest of me, belongs to you."
I took a shower while she started breakfast. When I got to the kitchen my son was already eating. As his mom brought another stack of pancakes to the table, he reached for them. I swear I saw sparks coming from his knife and fork.
"MJ, those are for your Dad," said Miri sharply. "You're already working on your second stack. Don't they feed you at school? Why are we paying all of that money for room and board if you're starving?"
"Dad, you're only going to eat three pancakes," said Mark Jr. "Do you want me to eat the other three for you?"
"Uhm, did you ever think that maybe your mother might like to eat something herself?" asked Miriam.
"When did you start eating mom?" laughed Mark Jr. "Isn't that how you stay so slim and trim? Don't you skip breakfast?"
"No, I don't skip breakfast," said Miri.
"Then maybe you should start," said Mark Jr., reaching for the pancakes. After he finished eating he just sat there staring at me like a puppy waiting to go out.
"Okay son," I said. "What are we doing?" Whenever Mark was home, he and I always did something for fun. We alternated who got to pick the activity and we always tried to do things that we'd never done before. Just as he was about to tell me there was a knock at out back door.
I looked at the door and my next door neighbor and longtime best friend, George Wilson stepped in. George had been the COO of a medium sized marketing firm for most of his career until he'd retired four years earlier. George was ten years older than me at 65 but was still pretty active. If Miri and I were ecstatic about my retirement, George was equally so. Being retired alone was no fun. He had all of that free time and no one to spend it with.
He'd already made plans for the two of us to go golfing and a bunch of other things that we liked to do. Our families had always been very close. We spent most holidays together. It was only a question of which house or which yard.
"Knock-knock," said George. "The neighbors are here early. Well, one of them anyway. Cora is still putting her face on." Cora was George's wife. Cora is, at forty eight, seven years younger than I am and seventeen years younger than George. They'd never had any kids. George had scandalized his family and most of his friends when he married an eighteen year old girl a few days past his thirty-fifth birthday.
Many people thought that she was only after him for his money. And others felt that he'd robbed the cradle, but the two of them had stuck together through thick and thin for thirty years now. I guess a marriage that survives proves all of the naysayers wrong.
George had been a very dynamic business man before he retired. He was as smart as a whip and very outgoing. Cora, on the other hand, was as smart as a box of rocks, but as sweet as the day is long. She and Miri are best friends and probably couldn't be more opposite if they tried.
Miri is tiny and compactly built. She has breasts that are big for her frame but really not very large at all. She has a tiny pouch on her stomach and a few veins on her legs but she's fifty-four years old. Cora is a lot taller and very busty. Cora proves that God has a sense of humor.
She has the biggest boobs in the world and absolutely no ass at all. In fact, sitting must be painful for Cora, because there can't be enough flesh over the bones in the rear of her pelvis to even cushion the contact with a chair. If Cora didn't have an ass crack, no one would know where her legs stopped and her back began.
As George sat down at the breakfast table, Mark continued speaking.
"Okay Dad, here's your iPhone back. Or do you want mine?" he said.
"Does it make a difference?" I asked.
"Nope not at all," he said. He was so excited, I was sure he was going to explode. I took my phone. Mine was an iPhone 4GS just like his. Neither of us had upgraded to the iPhone 5 yet because when the 5 came out we were both only one year into our two year contract. Miri still used an iPhone 3G. She didn't care about improvements in technology, so her 4 year old phone was still fine.
"Turn on your GPS app," said Mark Jr.
"Do you see that set of coordinates in your destination folder?" he asked.
"Yep," I said, wondering what he had in mind. "I have a similar set of coordinates to another spot in the same area. Notice that they are the exact same distance away from where we are now."
"Oh, shit," I said. "What's there?" I knew now that this was another kooky race that Mark had planned out for us. He was obsessed over whose Mustang was faster. My son drives a 2004 Mustang GT. His car is midnight blue with Lemans stripes. He has customized nearly everything on the car.
I have a 2010 Mustang GT. Mine is midnight blue as well, and I have to admit that I've added a few bits and pieces to my car, but only in self-defense. I mean, when Mark added a three inch exhaust system to his car, I had to do it to mine. I bought him a big brake kit for Christmas last year, so naturally just to be fair, I had to have one too. It was like the cold war between the US and the Russians, only ours was friendly.
"Well, Dad, since you asked," he smirked. "There's a small metal box chained under a picnic table at exactly those coordinates. Inside of the box, there's one of those cupcakes that Mom made yesterday. You will also be able to see the large clock in the park there from your coordinates. You have to drive there and take a picture of the clock which will show what time you got there. Then eat half of the cupcake and take a picture of it. Then eat the other half of the cupcake and take a picture of the empty wrapping. Finally, take a picture of the clock when you're done with the cupcake and then drive home. The person with the shortest drive time wins. If we tie, I win."
"Wait a minute," I said. "Why do you win if we tie? You have an advantage over me. You eat a hell of a lot faster than I do. You'll probably inhale that cupcake."
"Yes, but you have more horsepower," he said.
"But your car handles better," I countered. "Our cars are probably evenly matched."
"Well, you always win when we do these things," he spat. "And I think I deserve an advantage. I want to win a couple of these things before you're too old to have them anymore. I am a winner, Dad."
"You're more of a whiner, son," I smirked.
"Oh yeah," he said.
"Yeah," I snapped right back.
"Uhm can I..." began George. Mark Junior looked at him as if he'd just shit in the punchbowl. As our eyes turned towards him, George smiled nervously.
"Can I get into this?" he asked.
"Mr. Wilson your BMW is cute," said Mark. "I'm sure you paid a lot of money for it. But that car has no balls and no soul. You wouldn't stand a chance. Besides that we only have two targets set up and you don't have the coordinates to either. How good is the GPs on your phone?"
"How do you know that my car can't keep up?" asked George.
"Two years ago, before I did most of the upgrades on my Mustang," began Mark Jr. "Your nephew, Carl, was here for the summer. Do you remember that?" George nodded his head.
"You gave Carl the car so he could drive it to the movies. He raced against me and a couple of my friends. Carl had an advantage because I love my car. I wouldn't do anything to hurt her, EVER..."
"I wonder who he gets that from," yelled Miri, from the other room.
"Anyway, Carl drove your car like he stole it. If you remember, when he left you had to get your brakes redone and some engine work. I smoked him, Mr. Wilson. It was not even close. And my car is a lot faster now," said Mark Jr. "You should..."
"Well, what if I just ride along with you, or your dad?" said George. "Come on, I want to play too."
"Uh uhn. No way," said Mark Junior. "That's all I need is to have him calling for a foul because you weighed his car down. His car is already heavier than mine, which helps with the horsepower differential."
"Then I'll ride with you," said George.
"You'd throw up before we ever got there," said Mark. "I gave Batman driving lessons." Then he looked over at me.
"Dad, here's your keys," he said.
"Thanks junior," I said. "I'll have a beer waiting for you when you get back."
"Ha, ha ... GO," he yelled and then we were both scrambling to get out of the house and into our cars. I got into my car a second after he did, but I got moving faster. I was clear of the driveway a fraction of a second before he was and pulled into the lead. Both of us kept our cars at twenty-five mph as we drove through the neighborhood. But as soon as we got onto a main road, he swung wide and tried to over take me. I floored it and even though the car was already moving, the sudden increase in torque caused the ass end of my car to fishtail. Mark Jr. shot past me.
"Ha, ha, too much horsepower old man," I head him yell through his window. We hit the freeway with me right on his bumper and him jerking his wheel from side to side to keep me from passing him on the ramp. Mark Jr. knew that once we got to the freeway, I'd over take him on the long straight sections. He was using the twisting sections of the freeway to build a small lead. I saw his plan already. He wanted to get a lead and keep it through the slower sections of the park as we found our destinations. I had to admit the boy could eat like Jethro Bodine, so he'd probably beat me on the cupcake eating part; especially this close to breakfast. He'd be back in his car before I was and he'd have increased his lead. This all hinged on whether or not I could walk him down at full speed on the freeway on the way back.
As soon as we got onto the freeway proper, I ruined his plans. I floored it again and my car shot forward like a scalded cat. In the blink of an eye, we were both doing north of 100 and smiling from ear to ear. Over the course of a few seconds, I pulled ahead and then farther ahead. Even though Mark couldn't see me, I was grinning like a Cheshire cat as I pulled off of the freeway at our exit. I turned right and saw him turn left at the first intersection. I glanced at my phone as I drove through the gate and into the park. I saw the clock but not the picnic tables. They were about fifty yards past the parking lot. I didn't see anyone around so I drove through the parking lot and onto the grass. I drove right up to the picnic tables and finally spotted the box. I took a picture of the clock on the run and then the cupcake as soon as I opened the box. I ripped the cupcake in half and took another picture. Then I took another picture of the clock and headed for my car which was only a few steps away. Okay so I cheated. I didn't eat the fucking cupcake. I popped half of it into my mouth. I'd eat the rest during the drive.
I drove slowly out of the park and through the streets that surrounded it. I hit the freeway and didn't see or hear Mark's car anywhere. My goal for the trip back was to get the car over 150. I had to assume that Mark was ahead of me. If I knew him, he'd cheated with the cupcake too. My speed-O was at 145 and climbing, with the sound of my Pype bomb exhaust system crooning like music to my ears when I heard the alarm. It was my radar detector. I saw a group of cars ahead of me and slowed down till I was just behind them. The newer long range radar detectors let you know a lot farther in advance so I was sure I'd be okay. I tucked in behind a Volkswagen Jetta and a guy in a minivan. I smiled because I knew what would happen.
Like clockwork, the guy in the minivan looked over at me and started driving faster. It was as predictable as spring rain. Put a regular guy in a minivan and he just has to start driving like he's Mario Andretti. I think it's some kind of reaction to the concept that minivans were invented for soccer moms. So when you get a guy in a minivan, he just has to prove, probably to himself because no one else gives a fuck, that he still has balls. So to prove that he has balls he drives like an asshole. As we round the bend, he's doing about eighty and his minivan is shaking like the Starship Enterprise at warp nine. I could just hear his kids in the back screaming, "Daddy, she's breaking up." If that guy didn't slow down the rubber band that powered that thing was going to snap and he'd have to walk home carrying his rug rats.
But it was not to be, because as we rounded that bend, one of the three police cars hidden there flashed its lights and the cop inside yelled over his loudspeaker, "You in the minivan. Pull over."
Before I could laugh at the minivan, I noticed Mark Jr. sailing past me in the fast lane. He had his passenger side window down and his middle finger extended. "Ya snooze, ya lose, Dad," he smirked.
His laughter was cut short though as another police car pulled up behind him and turned on his siren. The rest of my drive home was leisurely. I pulled into the driveway got slowly out of my car and started laughing. I sprinted into the kitchen and grabbed a beer, not from the fridge but from the box stored in the pantry. I also grabbed an empty bottle. I ran outside into the yard and sat down on the deck in one of the lounge chairs.
Miri and Cora were there already trying to set things up for our barbecue.
"Mark, the least you could do is to start the grill," said Miri.
"Mark, why is Georgie angry?" asked Cora. "I was coming over just as you and little Mark left this morning. He acts like those little kids on the playground who don't get to play with the big kids."
"I'll tell you later Cora," I said. I leaned back in my chair and pretended that I was asleep as we heard the low growl of Mark's car pulling into the driveway.
I started snoring loudly and George came and sat down at one of the tables near my lounge chair. "What're you..." he began.
"Shh, here he comes," I whispered.
Mark came storming into the yard, with the biggest smile on his face clutching a rolled up ticket. "Where are you, cheater?" he yelled. He looked around the yard and didn't see me over the back of my chair.
Miri came back into the yard with a big tray with five steaks on it. "Mark, your father is asleep. You must've tired him out. Someone needs to start the grill, if we're going to eat on time."
"I'll do it," said George.
As Mark continued looking around for me, George spoke to him. "I'm about to do one of your chores young man. Shouldn't you say thanks or something?"
At that same moment, Mark saw me and came over and kicked my chair. "Stop pretending you faker. If you hadn't cheated, I'd have won," he said.
"Now Mark. Your father doesn't cheat," said Miri.
"Well, he could have warned me about the speed trap," snapped Mark. "He's paying for half of my ticket."
"What, whoa. How long was I asleep for? Is it still Saturday? Oh Mark, you're finally home," I said. "I saved you a beer."
"You're really funny Dad," he said, taking the bottle. He popped off the top and took a long drink. "Hey, this is warm."
"Sorry," I said. "It was ice cold when I brought it out here. I already drank mine while I waited for you. But that was before I fell asleep."
"You liar," he snapped. "When I took my last picture in the park, it was eleven thirty-five. The cops probably delayed me by ten minutes and it's not even noon yet. The beer wouldn't have had a chance to get warm. You owe me sixty dollars."
"Wait a minute," I said. "A ticket for going ten over is only a hundred dollars."
"I've only got eighty," he said. "And I need at least forty for my date tonight."
"Maybe you should pay the ticket and stay in tonight," I said.
"Dad, warm beer sucks," said Mark. "I want another one."
"No, Mark," I said. "You know the rule." He nodded. And out of nowhere George leaped into our conversation with both feet.
"I'm not sure I like the idea of him drinking period," said George. Miri looked at him as he spoke. Cora smiled and looked at him too.
Mark shot a pissed off look at George.
"After all, he's only twenty years old. He won't be legally old enough to drink for almost a year. He shouldn't be drinking period," said George.
"How is it any of your business, Mr. Wilson?" asked Mark Jr.
"George, a lot of kids start drinking by the time they're sixteen," I said. "Mark at twenty, lives on his own at college. If he wanted to, he could be walking around drunk half of the time that he's there. We let him have one beer a day, while he's home. It doesn't hurt anything and it gets him to the point where in ten months, when he can drink, it's not some terrible forbidden thing that he's going to go crazy doing."
My, I believed, rational explanation went unheard, though. I don't think that George heard a word of it.
"That makes sense," said Cora.
"Will somebody turn the God damned grill on?" yelled Miri. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what she was angry about.
"When I was in college ... Well, I didn't get to go to college, but when I was about to go to college before I got married, we were drunk all of the time," said Cora. "The guys at the college used to come and bring us drinks all of the time. At least they brought drinks for all of the girls. I was a girl then. Well I'm still a girl now. At least I feel like a girl. But I guess technically I'm a woman. I wonder why those college guys didn't bring any drinks for the boys..."
There was a tension in the air. I could feel it. Something was about to happen and I knew that it was going to be bad. I had no idea though of just how bad it was going to be. I guess I envisioned my Saturday afternoon being ruined because either George or Mark Jr. would stomp off and leave the rest of us to eat without one of them. Maybe they'd both leave. But again as I tried to defuse the situation I had no idea what would happen.
"I'm tired of you showing me such disrespect," said George to Mark.
"I'm tired of you inserting yourself into everything we do," spat Mark. "Why can't you just sit there and eat and tell us stories about the time of the great depression when you were young. Ever since I was a little kid, you've been following me around like a God damned pedophile or something."
"I've been studying my ass off at school to make my parents proud of me and so I can have a great career. I have a lot of friends on campus but I missed my MOM and DAD. I came home this weekend to relax and spend time with my family. I wanted to eat my mom's cooking and do nutty things with my dad. Ever since we got up this morning, there you've been. I don't mind you visiting, but shit, can you at least be a good guest and try to stay out of the decision making process?"
I thought George was going to explode when Mark Jr. called him a pedophile. His face got so red I thought he'd either have a heart attack or stomp off.
"I think that I should have a hell of a lot more than a bit to say about things when it comes to you..." he yelled, but Mark cut him off.
"We wanted to do a race and there you were when we clearly didn't want you in it. You tried to stick your big, fat ass in one of our cars..." screamed Mark.
"In fact, I should have more to say about what you do than anyone else," screamed George.
"Then when I get home after my dad clearly cheated by not telling me his radar detector picked up bacon, when I'm angry and pissed off and a loser, you just have to flap your big assed mouth again because I wanted a beer. There are all kinds of kids all over the world that you could adopt and bother the shit out of, but you have to bother me when no one wants to hear your opinion," screamed Mark Jr.
"When..." George cut Mark off again just as I was about to stop them and try to calm things down, George screamed out those four words.
"When we were married." Oops, okay, hang on. I got mixed up; wrong story. That is not what George yelled. Where were we? Damn it, I lost the big dramatic build up and everything.
"When I'm your father..." screamed George at the top of his lungs. It was like being at a party and the DJ accidentally stops the record in the middle. Every head in the yard turned. The birds stopped in mid-air and went silent. Cora turned towards George with a confused look on her face. My mouth dropped open and Miri dropped the tray she was carrying and looked at me.
"Now, I understand," yelled Mark Jr. "You're senile. Just get away from me. There's no need for you to ever speak to me again."
"I'm so sorry," whispered George. With everyone looking at him, his voice though barely more than a whisper; carried.
"It ... I was just so angry," he said. It took a few seconds for what he was saying to register. That was more than enough for Miri to take off running into the house, bawling her eyes out.
"What?" said Cora. "You guys are going too fast. I don't understand any of this. Someone tell me what is going on."
"Apparently, your husband and my wife are closer than we thought," I said.
"You mean they're related?" she asked. "Like cousins?"
"Dad, is this a joke?" asked Mark Jr.
"No," said both George and me at the same time. George realized then that he'd said one word too many. He started backing up, but he was far too late. I followed him and punched him in the stomach so hard that I thought my fist would stick out of his back. He fell to the ground clutching his gut and started dry heaving and then vomited all over Miri's azaleas.
"Get up you bastard," I screamed. I was just about to hit him again when Miri grabbed my arm from behind.
"Mark, if you kill him, you'll go to jail and he's just not worth it," she said, with tears streaming down her face.
I pushed her away from me as if her touch burned me. "So says the woman who fucked him, right Miriam," I spat. "He was worth enough to ruin our marriage and our entire lifetime together, but not enough for me to go to jail for. How stupid is that? Four hours ago we were in bed and I was thinking that I would have died for you, so going to jail would have meant nothing. Now I can't stand the sight of you. Get away from me."
She looked as if I'd hit her. She slumped to the ground and started bawling even more.
I walked calmly out of the yard and into the house. I grabbed my keys off of the counter and headed for my car. My mind was whirring at about a thousand thoughts a second as I slammed the door behind me. The last thing I heard before I got into my car and drove away was Cora talking.
"Does this mean we aren't having steaks?" she asked. "I kind of had my mouth all ready for a steak."
I don't know how I kept breathing. Even as I cried the way a newborn baby cries, my lungs continued to suck in air. If I were a smarter woman I'd have realized that the mere fact that I COULD cry, meant that I was in fact breathing. I also have no idea why the world continued to turn or the sun continued to shine, but they did. Life went on all around me. Even as I heard the sound of Mark's car door slamming shut from the front of the house, I could feel the stares of the three people left in the yard with me.
I concentrated on what the sound of that door closing meant for me. It meant that the man I loved was getting ready to drive away from me in anger for the first time in our twenty five years together. I wanted to go after him, but I just didn't have the strength for that. I was surprised that I could even sit up there on the ground.
Everything around me, everything in this yard had been built, arranged, planted, designed or maintained with the blood and sweat of my family. The deck was twelve years old and had been re-stained or re-sanded at least six times. The entire deck had been built over the course of four weekends by Mark and Mark Jr. twelve years ago. Almost from the day I brought him home from the hospital, they'd been inseparable.
They talked alike. They walked alike. They looked alike. They liked the same foods. They liked the same cars. They were as close as brothers. My family was ruined and all for the jealousy and ego of one stupid man. No, I was the stupid one. This should never have happened. But in the back of my mind, I'd always known that someday it might. I guess I'd always hoped that it wouldn't. But to say that I'd never had any idea that it could happen, would be dishonest.
Even as my mind tried to shut down or shut out everything except for my pain, my senses continued to retrieve data from all around me. Cora's stupid questions about a steak barely registered but they were there. I suppose I should be grateful that she wasn't asking more questions. Sooner or later she was going to realize what had happened and then she'd be angry. Cora we could probably handle. She was as sweet as she was stupid. The men in the neighborhood used to trick her all the time. They'd tell her that George said it was okay for them to feel her boobs and she'd let them. She'd even stick them out so it was easier for them. That stopped the day that George caught a guy doing it and tried to beat him to death. Cora would eventually realize what was going on and would probably be badly hurt. But she loved George so they'd survive this.
George sitting next to me, wheezing and retching and trying to stand up was a lot more easily forgotten.
The thing I couldn't get over or get past though, was the site of my son glaring at me. "It's not true is it, Mom?" he asked, over and over. "That asshole isn't really my father is he? You didn't..."
After asking me the same questions perhaps five or six times, he looked into my eyes and got his answer. My son is a good looking boy. Fortunately, most of my genes must have been dominant over George's because there are no traces of George on his face. But as handsome as he is, Mark screwed his face into a mask of hatred and rage as he looked at me. It was the first time I'd ever considered that one of my men might hit me.
"You WHORE," he hissed. He was so angry that he was foaming at the mouth. A few flecks of spittle actually landed in my face. I don't remember my son ever being that angry.
"Don't talk to your mother that way," croaked George, who apparently had no idea when to shut the fuck up.
Mark's head swiveled in place as if he was a robot. His eyes turned towards George and I swear his eyes glowed. "If you ever try to speak to me again, I'll kill you," he said. "You mean nothing to me. For most of my life, I've thought of you as my dad's weird friend, or as some nosy neighbor, but now you mean literally nothing to me. You actually mean less than nothing if that's even possible."
"But we..." cried George.
"There is no fucking WE," screamed Mark, who was becoming incensed. "If you say another fucking word it will be your last. Get out of our yard and don't ever come back. You're not welcome here anymore. I can't take this shit. You two deserve each other." He too grabbed his keys and in only a few minutes there was the sound of another door slamming and another overpriced, overly loud, exhaust system roaring away from the house. It was funny, they reacted to their pain the same way too.
"Do I have to leave too?" asked Cora.
"Cora, Honey do you even know what's going on?" I asked.
"You and George had a baby together a long time ago," she said. "Mark Jr. is the baby and everyone is upset because Mark isn't his father and George is. Jeezus guys that was a long time ago. How old is Mark Jr., he's pretty old?"
"He's twenty Cora," I said. "You and George have been married for thirty years."
"That's a long time," she said.
"Come on Cora," I said. "Do the math. What does that mean?"
"I hate math," she said. "I'm not any good at it. I can never figure out what X is. Can't you just tell me the answer like they did in school?"
"Cora, it means that George and I did a very bad thing," I said. "George and I had sex while he was married to you and I was married to Mark."
"Oh!" she said. "That's why everyone is so angry. And that's why the Marks hate George. I think that I'm angry too," she said.
"You should be Cora," I said. I started crying again and she actually came over and rubbed the back of my neck.