Hi folks, I know a lot of you don't like this kind of story, but I havne't done one in a while, so it felt right. Thanks for all of the e-mails about last week's story and you will be seeing those nuns again and soon. I'd also like to extend a welcome to my new editor Andy. He did a great job at short notice on this one. As a warning those who like their Bitches burned should pobably leave this one alone. SS06
The rumble of my Mustang's engine somehow failed to wake the sleeping child in his car seat strapped to the tiny seat behind me. I had placed his child safety seat on the passenger side so I could see him out of the corner of my eye.
How he slept through that symphonic cacophony of pistons was beyond me. I would probably wake from death to enjoy it. But perhaps for a two year old the ability to fall asleep during that symphony was simply more proof beyond DNA tests and everything else that he was definitely my son.
Then I spot it. All of my senses come alive as, like the warriors of old, my reflexes prepare my body for battle. My ears separate the sound of an engine that isn't very different from mine, even as my eyes scan the traffic ahead.
I see it then, a heavily customized Camaro. I notice the nice red paint that is obviously a custom job. The body kit seems a bit garish to me, but then not everyone likes my custom grills and chin spoiler.
The driver of the Camaro has seen me and slows. He revs his engine and my heart soars. His death will be epic. His shame and disappointment are at hand. I've already seen his demise in my mind's eye as I see vectors and holes in the ebb and flow of traffic.
He has no idea how the six hundred horses under my hood, will destroy his plastic insect-like little car. The smirk on my lips widens as my foot caresses my accelerator, but then ... sanity takes over.
My mind remembers that my son is in the back. My heart's joy plummets and I actually slow to below the speed limit. I look at his black tinted windows and shake my head. He has no idea how lucky he is.
As he moves ahead in traffic, he slows as well. I can sense his disappointment in being denied the battle that never was. I feel it too, but my son's safety is far more important.
Ten minutes later, fresh from the battle that never was, I pulled into a driveway in a nice neighbor hood. The house isn't what it once was. The grass is a bit too long and needs to be edged as well. The hedge needs to be trimmed and there are a few paint chips on the wall of the house.
All of those could be explained away, with the pressure of family life. Sometimes there just isn't enough time in a week to do absolutely everything. What can't be explained away is the lack of joy coming from the house. Many of the houses on the block exude happiness or love, or safety. This one doesn't.
I turn off the engine and before the car goes silent the front door opens. A woman rushes towards the car even as I open the door. The closer she gets the more beautiful she becomes. Thick golden hair falls in waves and curls well past her shoulders. Her breasts are barely contained by the thin t-shirt she wears. Her nipped waist is still, even after giving birth, so tiny that I can get my hands around it. I know this because I've done it so many times.
She smiles as she gets to the car. "How are my boys doing?" she asks.
Even as my face frowns, I'm struck by how beautiful she is.
"He's asleep," I said, trying to keep my voice as free of emotion as possible.
"Okay that's one down," she smiles. "How are you?"
Although every fiber of my being is dying to tell her, I let the question slide. I open the passenger door and pull out the entire car seat. My son doesn't even stir.
"Well at least I can tell my mom that I saw you," she says. "When was the last time you saw her?" I just look at her as I carry my son, car seat and all towards the house.
"Jake, that was a really nice thing you did, yesterday," she says. "You work yourself to the bone all week. No one expected you to go and cut those trees down for her on Saturday and spend all day today taking junior to the zoo. You need some time to have some fun yourself too. Remember all work and no play..."
Again I didn't reply. "So Honey, I was thinking ... I could get my mom to watch her grandson this weekend ... She's dying to you know? And we could live out your greatest dream. We could fly to New Orleans for that Anne Rice Vampire Ball that you always wanted to go to. And you could dress me up any way you want."
"You don't really want to do that," I said quietly. "You'd hate it."
"Jake, you're right," she said. "But I'd do anything for you. You have to know that. And okay, Jake, maybe I have an ulterior motive, but JJ is two years old now and I'm twenty seven..."
"You're getting better at math," I said.
"Very funny Jake, but you know where I'm heading, right?" she said. "JJ needs a brother or sister and I want to have at least one more before I get too old to chase kids around and this could be a good..."
I kind of zoned out as she droned on about what she intended to do to me as soon as we got to the hotel.
I could see the whole thing playing out in my mind. I could be the headless horseman for my costume and she could be the sexiest vampire EVER. Maybe we'd win the costume contest. She did say that I could dress her anyway I wanted. As I looked at her now I could see her nipples tenting the thin material of the t-shirt.
Even then I could remember the way they got harder and stuck out farther and farther under my fingers. I remembered the way she cooed and molded herself to me. Her legs would spread almost of their own volition. And whenever I touched her she was always wet and ready for me.
Sometimes I'm sure that the reason we went wrong was my fault. Perhaps I left her alone too much. Maybe I even loved her too much, or simply trusted her too much. But for seven years everything I did was for her.
From the very first second I saw her, I fell for her ... literally. She was working in a restaurant on the campus of the college I was attending. I took one look at her and stopped what I was doing. I wanted to get closer to her so I took a step towards her and fell over the chair that I had overlooked. I also fell right in front of her and she tripped over me and dropped an entire tray full of plates and food.
She was not a happy camper. Her first action on regaining her equilibrium was to call me every name that she could think of. In my embarrassment I just got up and left the restaurant. Angry, hurt and covered with food, I went back to the house I shared with three other students. I went right into my room and showered. As usual I buried my head in my books. A couple of hours later my best friend Eric burst into my room.
"Get your head out of your ass and come downstairs," he yelled excitedly.
"For what?" I grumbled. "I need to study."
"You study too much," he laughed. "Why the hell are you always studying?"
"Duh, college, remember?" I said over the top of my book.
"See, that's why I bailed on college," she said. I had never heard her voice, but it was as beautiful as the rest of her. I looked up instantly.
"It's all of the studying," she said. "It just bored me to tears." I just sat there listening to her.
"So you accidentally tripped over a chair, huh?" she asked. "Obviously you're better at studying than walking..."
"All I saw was you," I said quietly. She walked towards me and smiled.
"You're so beautiful, that nothing else registered," I continued. "I didn't see chairs or walls or floors or other people. But whether I saw them or not, they were there so I tripped over one."
She laughed then.
"Sorry, I guess you must hear that all the time right?" she nodded.
"Yep, every guy I see wants to take me out for dinner and then take me home and fuck me," she said.
"Sorry," I said. "I need a lot more than that."
"I haven't even offered you that yet," she laughed. "But just out of curiosity, what did you have in mind?"
"I want to give you everything," I said. " ... A home of our own, a family, and my heart just to start. I'll spend the rest of my life trying to make you happy, if you let me.
"Give me some money," she said. "I got fired today. They don't seem to like waitresses who are constantly spilling the food." I handed her my wallet. She reached in and took a twenty.
"Burgers okay?" she asked.
"Huh?" I asked.
"Are burgers okay for OUR dinner?" she asked.
"Sure!" I gushed, liking the sound of the word "Our."
"Be, right back ... uhm... ?" she said.
"Jacob," I smiled.
"Aubrey," she said smiling back at me.
"Shouldn't I be coming with you?" I asked. She just shook her head.
"You keep studying, Jake," she said. "You need to be smart if you're going to spend the rest of our lives taking care of me, so keep studying."
Two years later we were married and living in our first house. Two years after that, I had started my own company. We manufactured custom prosthetics and orthotics for customers ranging from world class athletes to the average Joe. We also manufactured safety equipment for athletes who wanted to train or compete with minor injuries.
My company was still small enough that everyone knew each other, but profit wise we'd already entertained several offers to buy us out. The problem was that everyone who wanted to buy the company didn't want to keep doing the charity work that we did for kids who'd been injured and couldn't afford their prosthetics.
But I loved what I did and I loved Aubrey, so cashing in and making an ass load of money wasn't really in the picture. But as they say ignorance is bliss. Her parents loved me too. We were one big happy family.
Her parents did keep bothering us about when they were going to start having grandkids to visit, but there were worse problems to have. My friend Steve's in-laws hated him. They kept offering their daughter money to divorce him.
Steve is a doctor. He's part of my team. He helps out by overseeing everything the engineers do in designing the prosthetics. He makes sure that everything is anatomically safe for our patients and also trouble shoots any problems we're having fitting the devices.
I was able to get him because he was fired from two of the three hospitals in our area. He fits in really well.
Aubrey and I were very happy. We took several vacations a year and were inseparable when I wasn't working. She was my entire world. So I wasn't surprised when she started talking about planning our first child. We both decided after several conversations that we should wait a few years until we turned thirty. That would be the perfect time of life. It would also give us a few more years to travel and enjoy each other ... I guess our timing could have been better, because Aubrey's dad passed a few years ago. His death was hard on my mother in law. It took her a while to get over him. And during that time we bonded. I felt a kindred spirit in my mother in law. Unfortunately, a short time later, I began to feel that something was out of place with Aubrey.
"Jake are you going to love me forever?" she asked me.
"And ever, and ever," I told her.
"What about after we've had your third kid and my ass is fat?" she asked.
"Even more then," I smiled.
"But why?" she asked. It made me wonder about her and about us, then.
"I've told you this millions of times," I said. "Aubrey, we both know that you're beautiful and every guy who sees you wants you. It was that way five years ago when we first met and it will probably be that way forever. But I love you, not just for what you look like, for the person that you are. I love you for the way you come in and drag me away from my computer when you think I'm working too hard. I love you for the way you run around the house in one of my shirts and those big fluffy house shoes and nothing else. I love you for the way you look when we work in the yard and you're sweaty and dirty, with your hair in a mess and all over your face. Aubrey I loved you the first time I saw you and I will until the day I die. I swear it. No matter what happens to us or how you look or how fat, you get ... I hate to go Whitney Houston on you, but Ieeeeeeeeeeaieeeeaiiiiii will always love youooooooooooooo!" I finished the last part on one knee in front of her. I know it was corny and maybe I was mugging a bit. I expected her to laugh or hit me or something.
Our eyes locked and tears came from her eyes like water from a sprinkler. The next thing I knew she was running for the bedroom and slamming the door behind her. For the rest of the day she stayed in the room and wouldn't open the door. She told me that she just needed some time.
I was sitting on the deck behind the house watching the sun go down when she slipped into the chair next to me. She inserted her hand into my hand that was the farthest away from her and wrapped my near arm around her.
"Are we okay?" I asked.
"Jake, I'm a girl," she said. "We sometimes react to things in strange ways. Jake I guess after all of this time, it finally hit me just how much you really do love me. I love you too, but this isn't one of those two cute kids in high school things is it?"
"No it's not," I said. "But what brought that on?"
"I just found out that one of the girls I grew up with is getting a divorce. Her husband ran off with his personal assistant. They were in love and married. They have kids and everything. They have all of those years and now nothing. The really crazy thing is that Dana was ready and willing to forgive him. She wanted to chalk it up to him just going a little crazy and having a fling. She wanted to welcome him back home and back into her heart and her bed and everything. The even crazier thing is that he didn't end up with his assistant. He moved on from both of them. Can you imagine it? A six foot blond with tits the size of beach balls and he just got tired of fucking her. So being pretty isn't everything. I guess I realized how lucky I am to not only have fallen in love with the one man who loves me for what's inside me, but to be married to him too."
"Nothing like that will ever happen to us," I told her and I meant it more than anything I had ever said up to that point in my life. Inside I realized that I needed to spend more time with her. I needed to spend more time on us.
"So the next afternoon, I left work early and armed with a stupidly giant bouquet of flowers, I descended on my happy home. My mission was to reassure the woman I loved that I did in fact, love her and would until the end of time.
As I tiptoed through my own house, I was in a good mood. When I didn't find her in the living room, the kitchen, or the bedroom, my mirth began to fade. I heard a yelp from the basement and figured she was probably doing the laundry. Then I remembered the article we'd read about women getting off on the dryer and I flew down the stairs as silently as I could. That was something I wanted to see badly.
I peered stealthily around the corner by the dryer and caught Aubrey with her legs widely spread and her head tilted back. Unfortunately there was someone between them. They were thrusting wildly against each other. As much as I wanted to do something, I was rooted there. Her moans had reached the state of rapid shallow breathing that preludes her climax, much as it did when she had sex with me. I knew her moves before she even did them, as if I was watching a performance of a choreographed dance that I had seen many times.
She pulled him closer to her, putting her hands behind his back. Then she wrapped those exquisite legs around his waist. I knew that would come next but I had already turned to leave. I had stayed as long as I had because I needed to see her in the act.
I needed to have the memory of what she was doing seared into my brain, so there would be no chance for us. I needed the heat of the vision to burn all of my love for her out of my heart.
It was the flowers that gave me away. They fell from my nerveless fingers and rustled against the floor even as I moved up the stairs. It didn't matter, I could hear their gasps as the sudden sound interrupted their union and they separated as if someone was still there to see them.
I don't remember getting into my car and driving away. I don't remember the last time I looked at the house we loved so much. I was in shock. There was no anger, no rage no sense of betrayal. At that point all I had was an overwhelming need to be someplace different. Perhaps it was the survival instinct of the wounded beast that drove me. That need of an injured animal to get away from danger and go somewhere safe to heal, so I could fight another day.
He wasn't even listening to me. And he had to listen. Perhaps my choice of clothing had been a mistake. But that was another thing I had to find out. I had to know if I could still turn him on. Life sucks sometimes. I had offered him his fondest wish and he had to stop and consider it. I guess it said more about me than it did him. In the time it took him to answer me, my mind wandered.
I had always been pretty. It's a curse more than a blessing. My whole life I've had to put up with being stared at and misjudged. I was always the focus of attention when all I really wanted was to be left alone. There was always some boy or many boys who wanted me even before they knew what they wanted me for.
I was always being nominated for queen of this or that, simply because of the way I looked. In high school there were boys fighting over me. All I could do was to smile and try to be friendly. I had no real interest in boys. I guess I was a late bloomer. Part of the problem was that I was just watching life pass me by. Most of my grades weren't earned. My charms apparently worked on older men as well. I had a solid B- average. Most of the male teachers gave me A's without me turning in any work. One of the female teachers did too. The other female teacher flunked me or tried to. I did as much make-up work as I could for her class and still got a D.
But I graduated from high school and into the real world. I tried college, but since I hadn't really learned anything in high school, I was seriously underprepared for it. After a year of wasting my parents' money, I gave it up.
I noticed again that life was just passing me by. At twenty years old and still as pretty as a new dawn, I had never been ... anything. I had never been kissed. I had never been fondled. I was working as a waitress and a failing at it. My boss came to me and told me that I was fired ... again. As I went to pick up my check, he had another idea.
Forty minutes later I was no longer a virgin, but I still had a job. The funny thing about it was that I felt nothing. It made me think. For most of my life it wasn't just that life had passed me by, I was disconnected. I didn't feel anything. I had no idea what love was. I also had no true hatred. Over the next couple of years, I started using what I had to get ahead. It wasn't like I became a whore or anything. But if I needed a few bucks for my rent ... I got it. If I needed new shoes or an outfit ... I got it.
I had no ambition and no long range plans. I dated a lot because I was asked a lot. Most of the guys just wanted a chance to fuck me. Some of them wanted more, but I couldn't give it to them. Even the ones I dated more than once quickly noticed that there was no connection.
And then one day, I was having the shittiest day ever. My boss had already told me that if I dropped one more tray, I was fired. I knew that I'd reached the end of the road there anyway. It had nothing to do with my lack of skill as a waitress. My boss was tired of fucking me. He was putting it to a newer waitress. She was only 19 and had an exotic look. He also told me that she really got into it. What she lacked in beauty, she made up with enthusiasm.
So as I started trying to figure out what I'd do next, I noticed a couple of guys around my age come in and sit down. I was glad they weren't sitting at one of my tables. They looked like college guys and they were terrible tippers.
The smaller one was really cute though. That was an unusual thing for me to think. I never really reacted to men's looks. I reacted more to their requests and what they could offer me.
Every time I crossed the room, I felt his eyes on me. I was used to that, but somehow, just his gaze felt warm. I crossed the room again carrying a loaded tray and trying my best to be careful. I noticed that he was staring at me open mouthed, as if I was naked or something. He even stood up as I got close to him.
Then he tripped and fell right in front of me. And since I was carrying the tray, I couldn't see him and stepped on him tripping and flinging the entire tray in the process.
I called him every name I could think of and angrily packed my gear and got ready to leave. The other of the two guys came over to me.
"For a woman as pretty as you are, you're really a bitch," he said. "That was an accident. Jacob didn't mean to trip you. This was the first time I've gotten him out of the dorm in six months. Then he takes one look at you, a fucking waitress, and he acts like you're the God damned Messiah or something..."
I felt bad about the way I'd treated his friend. So I got him to take me to his friend so I could apologize.
From the second I saw him again, I knew. There was just something about him. I figured I'd go out with him a few times and let it fade. But then he told me about the way he felt and I melted. Nothing mattered anymore. I just wanted to be with him. It was strange because I'd had sex but it was always something the guys wanted. Sure I had orgasms and I enjoyed sex when I was in the mood for it, but this was different. It was like I was in heat or something.
From that moment on, we were together. Even in my mind it seemed kind of weird, but I had a boyfriend. I had more than that. He lived in a house he rented with a couple of other people and I just moved into his room. There were days when I followed him and waited outside of his class for him to come out. I still didn't consider what we had as love but it was as close as I had ever been. I didn't think that I would ever feel real love but I recognized that what Jake felt for me was love and I loved the fact that he loved me.
I really loved the fact that he wanted to take care of me and build a life with me. I had no ambition, no plan in life, so I was smart enough to hook up with the guy that could give me a much better life than I would ever have had on my own.
When he graduated from college with honors and a good job, I was happy. He seemed to be making all of his promises real. When he asked me to marry him, I was floored. "Hell yes!" I said. I couldn't get the words out fast enough. It wasn't like I really loved him, I still wasn't sure what love was, but we had a connection. It also meant that I wouldn't have to worry about having a job or any of that bullshit. I could have a good life and I wouldn't have to work. There was also the fact that even if it didn't last, if I could just hold on long enough, even if he divorced me, I'd do fine.
As the years went on we became more and more a couple. I saw people all around us get married and have kids and noticed from talking to friends that many of them were jealous of us. I guess if I looked at us from the outside it seemed as if we had the perfect marriage. Jake would literally do anything for me. There were times when I felt guilty because I knew that I didn't and would probably never feel the way about him that he felt about me. I just wasn't capable of that kind of emotion.
I cooked for him. I cleaned our house and made it a wonderful place to live. I had sex with him any time he wanted me to and any way he wanted me to. I was affectionate. We cuddled all the time and I kept myself attractive for him. When my dad died, Jake was there for my mom. I think that was a turning point, because I noticed then that I felt nothing about my dad passing. It let me know that emotionally, there was something wrong with me.
Over the years Jake and I had spoken several times about having kids and had decided to put it off. I started thinking about it in earnest then. But a short time after that I spoke to a friend that I'd grown up with. She was getting a divorce and was distraught. Her husband had left her for a younger woman and she wanted him back badly. I realized that the husband was probably a lot like me. He'd been cheating on my friend for years and finally got tired of the pretense. He decided that he just wanted to ne alone and single.
It upset me but I couldn't figure it out. The man was an asshole. Did that make me one too? I had, since the beginning of our relationship occasionally had sex with other men. At the time I had been having sex with a friend of his. It wasn't that Jake wasn't good in bed. It wasn't that I had any kind of feelings for the other guy either. He was just someone I called from time to time. It had started out to prevent hurting Jake.
Six months before that, I had been in the house when our lawn service came by. I watched as a really well-built guy marched around our yard cutting and spraying the grass. I wanted him. I knew that Jake would never find out about it so it wouldn't hurt him. So I did it. I went to the door and called him inside of the house. It was the first time that I'd ever brought anyone in our house for sex and it taught me two things. The first was that the guy, skinny muscular, long hair, the whole package, wasn't nearly as satisfying as Jake.
Jake is pretty good looking and a lot of the women I know like him but, I guess I hadn't really noticed him in a long time. Anyway that afternoon marked a crack in my armor. Besides the fact that the guy didn't get me off, I felt bad about it. That was a first. So I decided that maybe I should stop. Maybe whether I loved him or not I should respect him enough not to. Unfortunately it wasn't to be.
One of the men who worked for Jake and was also friendly with him was a guy named Steve. He came to me and told me that he had proof that I had cheated on Jake. To keep him from telling Jake I had to give him some of what the lawn guy got. So I did it and felt nothing. I actually felt good about it because instead of just doing it to have sex I had done it to help my marriage. In a way it worked out because the guy had a history of cheating on his wife. He'd been caught a few times. It also gave me an outlet. So instead of risking getting caught with random guys, I had someone to call when Jake wasn't available.
But things changed after talking to my friend. She wasn't like me. She really loved that asshole. And now she was facing a life alone and miserable with kids too. I wondered if that could happen to me.
Later on when Jake got home, I asked him if he really loved me. His answer stunned me. I ended up running away from him up to our bedroom. I had to get away from him. I couldn't look him in the eye. I was simply not worthy of the way he felt about me.
I realized then that he loved me far more than I had ever considered. I didn't deserve to be loved like that. Maybe it was guilt, but I decided that the best thing for him would be if I left him. I should just disappear. But then I thought about how badly that would hurt him. I started crying. I thought long and hard about how I would feel without him in my life too. I realized that having even a day without seeing that man would probably kill me. I started to understand then that when I kissed Jake, it was because I enjoyed kissing him. And when we had sex, it was because I wanted him. I didn't just want sex, I wanted Jake. It took me a while to realize it, but I love my husband.
Jake and I had sex that night. Don't get me wrong we always do. But it was like for all of the years before that night I had been holding back. That night, I gave him everything I had. It just felt so different. It was as if everything I did with every other man was a waste of my time. I had been a fool for most of my life. We fell asleep that night wrapped in each other's arms. When he kissed me goodbye the next morning, I was a changed woman. I couldn't stop smiling. I kept saying it over and over. I love my husband. I called to tell his friend that we wouldn't be getting together anymore. He talked me into one last time.
I wanted to get it over with, so I told him to come by that afternoon while Jake was at work. He was all for it. When he came over we went straight into the laundry room in the basement. I had never had sex with him anywhere else. Even before I realized how I felt about Jake I had too much respect for him to have anyone in our bed.
As soon as he got there he was all over me there was no love in it, but there had never been any. It was just sex. The evening before I had made love with Jake. We kissed and I wanted to have him in me to express what we felt about each other. It was magic and I intended to do that again that evening. This was just sex. We just humped each other purely for physical release. The odd thing was that most of the time I didn't cum with him. But that day I was still in my happy mood thinking about what had happened the day before and my newfound love. Thinking about it got me hotter than ever before so my body reacted.
But before I got off, I heard something. I pushed him off of me but he had clearly heard it too. We looked out in the hallway and didn't see anything. He shrugged his shoulders and reached for me.
"We're done," I said. I was feeling worse and worse about what had happened. "We never talk about this and it never happens again. If you ever call me again I'll tell him and you have just as much to lose as I do, maybe more." he nodded and started getting dressed. "You can see yourself out," I told him.
I turned to go upstairs and shower. I needed to get ready to make it a truly special evening for Jake and me. As I reached the stairs my heart nearly stopped. My entire life flashed before my eyes and I realized how empty it had been before I met Jake. My cry of anguish brought my friend back.
"What's wrong?" he asked. I pointed at the flowers that had been dumped on the stairs.
"Oh shit," he said shaking his head.
I didn't know what to do. I showered and changed. I made dinner. My greatest hope was that just this once, like my friend and like Steve's wife, Jake would get angry and call me a bunch of names and then forgive me. I only needed one more chance and this would never happen again. I knew what love really was then. All I wanted was a chance to make Jake the happiest man alive. I kept telling myself that Jake loved me and that he'd promised me forever.
Once it got dark, I started to worry. Jake always called me if he was going to be late. I called his phone and realized I was in trouble. I didn't get a connection. It didn't even ring. If I had any doubt about Jake's feelings, they vanished. My husband had blocked me. I would have to wait for him to come home to talk about our problems.
I sat down on the sofa to wait for him. I figured that he'd probably gone to a bar to drink with his friends before coming home. My only defense against what I knew would be overwhelming anger was the fact that I knew as surely as I knew my own name, that Jake loved me.
I guess sometime during the evening I dozed off. I woke up at three a.m. in the dark. I went upstairs thinking that Jake had been so angry that he's simply walked right past me and went to bed. When I noticed that our room was empty I checked both guest rooms and then just started crying. It was the first time I remember crying about anything during my adult life. I felt as if my heart had been ripped out of my chest. If this was what love meant, I could do without it.
The next morning, I felt even more like shit. I tried calling Jake again with no change. I called his office and got the after-hours message. I asked his secretary to call me as soon as she got in.
I lay back down on the couch and waited by the phone. Brenda called me at about ten minutes after nine. Her voice was cheerful and friendly as always.
"What's up Mrs. Boss?" she asked.
"Brenda, you have to help me," I said. "Jake and I are having an issue. I really need to speak to him. All I want is a chance to tell him that I love him and I'm sorry. Can you ask him to call me when he gets there?"
"My God," she said. "You sound awful. Of course I'll have him call you. I'll do better than that. As soon as he steps in here I'll just hand him the phone and tell him to talk. I've been his secretary since before you two got married. Of course you were already together but this is the first time I remember you guys having an argument. It's going to be okay, Aubrey. He really loves you."
The phone rang about an hour later. I snatched it from its cradle and started talking. "Jake, I love you more than anything. I'll do whatever you want, just come home," I said.
"Aubrey ... this is Brenda," she said. "Jake just called in. He said he's going to take some time off, because he isn't feeling well. I told him to call you."
I thanked her and hung up the phone. I had no idea what to do.
Driving away from the house, I couldn't get away fast enough. I took my phone off of my waist and put it on the seat next to me. I expected Jake to call me at any time. "Fuck!" I yelled. I had no one to blame but myself. Jake was more than my boss. He was more than a friend. When I got out of medical school, I wasn't exactly the top guy in my class. I had a lot of trouble finding a spot at a hospital even though there were three in the area.
I had a huge pile of college loans to take care of and I also had a wife and two small kids. I didn't want a job. I NEEDED one. I needed work more than I needed air. I finally got a job as a hospitalist at County General, after two years and a few issues, I was let go. I was lucky I wasn't sued for malpractice. After that I got hired at Tremont Hospital I didn't last much longer there. The third hospital in the area wouldn't give me an interview.
But luckily, I met Jake. He had a couple of the doctors and some medical students from Tremont working for him on a contingent basis. As his business grew, he needed to hire a full time medical person. It was right around that time that I got fired. It was a good fit for both of us. For the past three years it's been gravy. I make more working for Jake and work fewer hours with a lot less pressure.
I have to admit that I've cheated on my wife Carlie a few times and have been caught a few times too. But I love her and my kids. I was just under so much pressure. When she caught me the last time I swore I'd never do it again. And I meant it. I don't think that I'd be in this situation if it wasn't for bad luck. Aubrey is hot. There's no doubting that, but if the opportunity to get some of that hadn't presented itself, I never would have made a move on her. I caught the bitch cheating on Jake and took advantage of it.
I guess I should have felt badly about it, but in my own way I really believed that I was helping him. If she was cheating on him anyway, sooner or later the bitch would get caught and he'd be hurt. At least with me, I'd do anything I could to avoid getting caught and hurting him. Plus there was no way I'd ever try to take Aubrey away from him. There was no love involved in what we did.
There was something else going on here too. It took me a while to figure it out. At first I saw Aubrey as this beautiful woman that any guy would want. I was a little jealous of Jake at first. But after being around Aubrey, I began to notice things. Aubrey was like Barbie. She was the perfect archetype of a woman. She was almost too pretty ... too sexy. But it was all on the surface. She had no emotions at all. Fucking her was like fucking a living, breathing blow up doll. The only time I felt any warmth at all coming from her was when she talked about Jake. And we didn't talk about him often because I felt really guilty about what I was doing to him.
I went back to work that day, expecting at any moment to be called to his office or to have him show up at mine. I did my best to avoid him and any area that he might be. To my surprise he never showed up. That was unusual because Jake and I usually talked several times a day at least. I felt like shit. Time just seemed to drag. When it was time to go home, I took off like a rocket. I hugged Carlie and my kids over and over as soon as I got into the house.
The next morning I went to work and still didn't run into Jake. That was strange because under normal circumstances Jake was the first one in the office. When I had a problem that I couldn't solve without him, I went looking for him. I found out then that he was taking some time off. I smiled then. I was sure at first that Jake and Aubrey were working on their marriage. I was sure that Aubrey would be on my side if necessary, so I probably wouldn't get fired.
It was probably around eleven a.m. that she called me. I wondered why she was calling me. I didn't answer the phone. She called again a few minutes later so I answered it.
"I thought we weren't going to talk anymore," I said tersely. I wasn't prepared for the amount of emotion that came from her. Just hearing the pain in her voice made me feel even worse.
"He's gone," she wailed. She went on to tell me that she had spoken to everyone she could think of to call. She had even called the police. All she wanted was for me to go out and look for him. She wanted me to look in any of the places that he and I hung out in.
"I'm not sure that's a good idea Aubrey," I said.
"You chicken-shit," she spat. "You're brave enough to fuck his wife behind his back, but not brave enough to face him?" Her words bit deeply. I already felt badly enough.
"All you have to do is find him," she said. "Then just call me and tell me where he is."
I decided that I could do that. I looked everywhere that I could think of but didn't see him anywhere. I felt even worse. My friend, the one guy who'd believed in me and given me a chance when no one else would, was out there alone somewhere. He was in obvious pain and broken hearted and I was the person responsible for it.