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Archive for the category “Fictional Accounts”

The First Thing I’m Going To Do Is…

Gasping for breath, holding my chest I listened to the numbers for the 5th time! OH SHIT!! IT’S HAPPENED!! I looked around the room wildly no one heard me though the sound of the house fan was overwhelming. I won, I friggin play the lottery every day but this time I won. I sat in my office marinating. What to do next. I wanted to call my wife, she has been such a bitch lately. I wanted to rub it in her face with that smirk of hers. I bet her attitude will change now. Why am I sitting here in 90 degree temperatures with no air conditioning, when I just won 114 million dollars. I think I will get a room in Buckhead. I have a lot of decisions to make. I know what I want to do first though.

I have lived quite the life. There have been a lot of women.  Four wives; three exes, one “barking up that same tree”. My current one tells me I don’t like women Seven children and what could I say about them. Two I could say with absolution were NOT mine due to the fact their respective mothers had them before they met me. Out of the other five, based on how I felt about their respective mothers during our relationships, three would get a fairly certain “yes those are mine” without DNA testing. The other two now I want documented proof, bring on the swabs.

I tried to play by the rules, being a family man. Including family in business ventures only to have THEM screw things up. Now I only have two siblings left, good thing. I will give them some money, enough so they won’t have to worry about anything the rest of their lives. I have to take care of the nieces and nephews as well. I will have a meeting with them all. fly them to a central location. Spell out the rules of getting this money then I am off.

Janie, my wife, walks in the room looking for something; she glances over at the lotto ticket, rolls her eyes up in her head and says, ” Win anything today?” I reply,” 114 million”. “Ooh good we can get the air-conditioning fixed”, and she walks out of the room shaking her head. What am I gonna do with her? She has changed so much lately, I don’t even know her. She was an attractive, sexy, young woman when she walked onto the dealership floor 30 years ago and we had some good times. Now she sleeps with her back to me. I still think she is attractive and sexy, but she doesn’t try to be either one anymore.

We rarely have conversations, she always has something smug to say or she argues with me. I tell her “I love her” and if she says “I love you” it is  obligatory. I feel her lying to me, I feel her contempt, I feel her disappointment and disdain, but she never says a word. I ask her why she stays and she doesn’t answer. I wonder if she knows. I wonder if I had anything to do with that.

I get up from the desk and tell her, ” I am going to the store”. I hesitate, “Do you want me to bring you anything back?” She replies ,” No thanks”.

The store is  around the corner, I sit in the parking lot wondering what to do, what is my life going to be like now that money will no longer be an issue? I am 75,  I have had a lot of things in my life, but what is life all about. Dear God you wait until I am too old to really enjoy this money to give it too me. What am I thinking I am in good health, I have a family that I think, no I am sure they love me. I am going to give them some happiness. I can see Janie’s face. When I get home I will tell her to get dressed, we are going out somewhere special. I will tell her I won a nice amount of money and I want to celebrate with her. I want to make her happy, if I can, I think.

Imagining how I would feel did not scratch the surface. I walked into the store and saw one of our familiar clerks, Laurie. I was alone at the counter and I said softly to her, ” I am pretty sure I won quite a bit, please don’t tell anyone.” She asked,” Over 600.00?” She said very calmly, “Oh great.” She had no idea. Okay you have to fill out a claim form at the GLC office and she gave me a slip of paper that had all the info on it. I thanked her and she said softly “Congratulations”. As I walked away  I thought of doing something terribly cliche’ like retiring one of my favorite store clerks for selling me the winning ticket.

I came up the stairs and Janie was  cleaning out the cat’s liter box. She never looked up as she said, “Did you collect our 114 million so I can have the new maid do this.” I waited until she was where she could see my ticket and the slip that had the winning numbers on it. “What’s this”, she asked. Then she picked up both and read the numbers off one by one. She dropped them both and said, “OH SHIT!! IT HAPPENED!!

She grabbed me around the neck and squealed with excitement, she planted  kiss after kiss on my face and neck, I couldn’t breath at one point, I had to calm her down. Now what really happened: She looked at me with a question on her face and I just smiled. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew I didn’t expect that reaction.  I took her hands and looked into her eyes; then I saw a twinkle of happiness, but the question peaked quietly around the happy.

“What do you want to do first”, I said. She replied, “Wow, I don’t know I am still trying to digest this. What do you want to do?” We had gone through some rocky times, but I really loved Janie. She was very different now. I could see the stress was taking it’s toll on her. Now I can get her back to what she used to be. I can see a smile on her face again. I thought about all the things I wanted to buy her, all the things I wanted to give her, then I realized I had no idea what she wanted. I began to understand the question on her face, I didn’t know this woman. How could I make her happy.

I watched her walk across the room and sit down.This was certainly no way for two new multi-millionaires to be acting. I sat next to her and she faked a smile. She then said, ” Well you got what you wanted. You finally won. I am happy for you.” Now the question had moved to my face because it was definitely in my heart. I looked at her and asked her, “What are you saying, you’re happy for me? Aren’t you happy for us?” She shook her head and then replied,” Howard I am not for sale, I never have been. I feel the word FOOL sounding off in my head, but I have to be honest. We have gone through a lot and I have stuck with you. Now you don’t need me and you will be set for life. You can go, do, be everything you have always talked about and there is no one and virtually nothing to stand in your way. Me, I ‘m a simple being. I just want some happy, I just want some peace of mind.”

I asked her, What are you saying? You don’t want to be with me? My voice was getting loud. The anger was building.” All women are the same”, I thought. She responded, ” Howard you don’t want to be with me, and that’s okay. I will not live wondering where you are, what you are doing, and who you are doing it with. I have already lived that without the money. I will not go to bed every night and wonder if I will wake up to divorce papers every morning. If I walk away or better yet if you walk away now I will never know what I missed, but I will have my sense of self. The surprised look on your face tells me, I am not wrong about what I am saying.” She stood up and gave me a half smile. “I used to love you, you made me stop, money won’t bring that back”, she said and then she went down the stairs to toss the cat liter away.

This was crazy. A few years ago.. then I stopped. Is Janie right about me? She knows me better than I know myself. Funny now I really want to be married and I don’t think she does. Al this money I can find someone who will make me think she wants to be with me, but the truth is I will never know. Janie is who I want; I can show her now, I can do all the things I couldn’t do before for her. She’ll change her tune when she sees what is available to her.

On the way to fill out the paperwork to collect the money Janie was quiet. She, although a very different being of late, could not stop talking under normal circumstances. We walked into the office and went to a window to get information. I handed the form to Janie to fill out, sometimes she would protest or have an annoyed look on her face, today she was solemn. The woman taking care of us recited her lines flawlessly ending the dissertation with, “Your money will be available to you in 5 to 7 business days.”

Then the madness began. The big check was brought out by the staff, the photographers were out in full force along with the press. We were directed to an area so the photo could be taken. Janie was reluctant. How could she act this way, was she really trying to rain on my parade like this? I looked into her face and saw the question again, this time I could read it, it said, ” Do you really want ME here, NOW”.  I grabbed her, I kissed her like I used to many years ago, she could feel my emotion and my love for her, I felt it come back. The cameras flashed. I said to her, ” We’re going to Disneyland!” Then she smiled at me.

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TEMPTED

I suppose all of us have a story of our near destruction or demise. We all have our Achille’s Heel”. Mine happened 13 years ago and it was a narrow escape.

You know your very life is planned before you are born, what happens along the way is YOU make these last minute decisions that change everything around. There are only so many detours you can take before the entire trip is forever altered though, so you have to figure out your number and act accordingly.

My number was 13; I was on error# 15 when I figured this out. They were of course not all the same type of mistakes. I would be on the right road and BOOM!I would go over that bump a little too hard.  As I look back it was a pretty easy thing to surmise because all the signs and hints were there. I just closed my eyes and turned my back on the truth, but that 13 was always there. Just when I thought I had conquered my demons and I was strong, he’d bring out the “big guns”. Lucifer whispered in my ear, ” You belong to me..  but see what I have for you. It’s not all bad.” Then he’d laugh loudly in my face.

I was so full of myself, I could barely stand being in the room with “me”. My husband Marc was going on and on about where had I been, but it seemed as though he was speaking a foreign language. I looked at him in confusion and walked away. I heard glass shattering as I closed the bathroom door. Sunday morning rolled around and he nudged me, “We have to get ready for church”. I would not present a protest today.

Marc studied my face as I got dressed, I saw him out of the corner of my eye. Meanwhile, I was having flashback moments of Frank and I. He was standing behind me, removing my blouse as we kissed… Then I shook the thought. Marc was glaring at me; it was as though he not only knew what had been going on, but he knew my thoughts from moments ago.

Beautiful, beautiful Frank. The devil himself sent that man to me. He had EVERYTHING I wanted in a man and he seemed to adore me. Just one minor draw back he was as married, as I was, and his wife well she was nothing to sneeze at.  She was educated, attractive, plus she had a license and his children. What did Frank see in me? At many points in time when we were together I did not give a damn. When we were laying in bed naked, all I had to do was look at his gorgeous face an all was well. I could tell myself all kinds of lies and  give many different excuses. He made me feel as though I counted. Marc didn’t even know what my favorite color was and he had been married to me for all of these 15 years.

Frank and I never talked about our spouses. I would have told him anything he wanted to know, if I thought it would bring me closer to my desired destination, with him. I knew better. Instead we would meet for coffee and talk for hours about work, politics,music, ethics, entertainment, and philosophy.  He acted like he could NOT wait to be in my company and it didn’t matter if we were in public or private, he was game.

Alone we’d act like shy high school students about to take our relationship to the next level, but we did not have any pressure. We would sit close to one another on the sofa and watch television documentaries. Never did we come into one another’s presence and exhibit the hunger and desire we clearly had. Our time was borrowed/stolen and then as the expiration closed in on us we became passionate.

“Yes Jesus loves.. me…” I was brought abruptly back. I was sitting in the pew next to  Marc, the church was full, yet it seemed I was alone in an auditorium. How was this possible? I was seeing things as though a camera lens had been intentionally distorted and they were fuzzy. Then a saw him; a tall slender dark figure walking toward me. He managed to come and sit right next to me squeezing between myself and Sister Jordan. Sister Jordan was oblivious to this. I looked at him but could not make out the features of his face, but there was a strong scent that accompanied him. It was sulfur-like. A chill came over me. He spoke,” Well Donna how are you enjoying your gift?” He is wonderful to you isn’t he? Everything you always wanted… But then he is married. What to do, what to do? No wait you have already decided.” I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak.  I was gasping for air. “Here let me show you something”, he said as he grabbed my face and he waved his hand in front of me. The pulpit was transformed into a screen where I saw Frank and myself in bed. I looked around, guilt was all over my face, but no one saw it except the dark stranger. The dark stranger loudly laughed. He moved close to me and whispered, ” What are you doing here? Do you think your being here will save you?”  I was frozen. “But then you don’t want to be saved, you want Frank and you will take him any way you can get him, won’t you? Of course you will”, he said. I was about to protest I was shaking my head “no”, when I realized there was no one there. No one except Marc and he was looking at me curiously.

The 13 errors: not pursuing my dream, dating the wrong guys repeatedly(4 to be exact), having sex with them anyway, marrying Marc, not finishing my education, settling for a job I hated because it paid well, not having children( Marc and I were not happy so there were 2 abortions), having a sexual affair with Perry, and then there was Frank. Yep 13 errors and it took me to#15 before I figured it out. What was worse,15 was ongoing.

Driving home I went over these errors one by one. I kept seeing the dark stranger and going over the encounter, wondering was it real or did I imagine the entire event.  I asked why I tried to convince myself that the dark individual was a stranger. I knew him, and I knew exactly what he represented. I once again was only fooling or trying to fool myself.

Then as luck would have it, or perhaps it was a conscious decision; I stopped and really reviewed Perry. Perry, with his wonderful deep voice and his smooth yet endearing manner. I thought about how we met and when he called me at work all the girls swooned because of that same voice, but when they saw him they couldn’t understand why I wasn’t  just weak. They just did not know. Perry and I had been down many roads together and I since he was my first I wanted to be special to him. They just didn’t know that each time I heard his voice or saw his face I was a heartbeat away from collapsing at his feet. Every move I made every word I spoke to him was planned out and orchestrated. When I thought I had the upper hand he’d throw me a curve ball… It crossed my mind that he and Frank shared the same birthday but two years apart. Back to my Perry saga because Perry was the catalyst for many of the other mistakes. He broke my heart in every way possible and now after all these years, we were now friends.

What did all of this mean? Marc pulled into the parking structure of our building. He had been silent the whole trip to and from church. Finally he said, ” I need to think and so do you. We will talk when I get back this evening.” Then he raised his finger to point but never looking at me, then shook his head no. I didn’t know what to say, so I said nothing. I simply got out of the car and Marc sped away. I felt numb. I climbed into the elevator and pushed 6.  I was stressed and confused.

The car stopped on the 5th floor but no one got in. I saw a familiar looking man with two small children a girl and a boy, they were walking away from the elevator. The girl turned around and looked back at me, she looked like she could have been related to me. Then the man turned around and it was Marc. How was that possible he just drove away. The doors closed. I feverishly tried to open the doors again but there was nothing I could do. 6 lit up and I ran down the hall heels and all to the stairs. When I got to the 5th floor no one was in the hall.  Winded I decided I would climb the stair back to my floor anyway.

I was met at the door with that burning sulfur smell and there he was sitting on my sofa. He was clad in red this time. He turned around and smiled. “Well you made it. Took a little detour did you? I thought you’d like to see those three and especially the little ones”. I was thinking but simultaneously he was saying, “This must be a dream… No Donna it is not a dream, by the standards this would be considered a nightmare or at the very least a bad dream it is 1:13 p.m. hardly night.” I stood there unable to move.  “Oh and the brimstone I do for effect I have another scent I truly prefer but that really would scare the .. well lets just say you would have trouble concentrating on what I was saying.” He rubbed the palms of his hands together,” So let’s cut to the chase, you know why I am here. Let me say you have accumulated quite a bit of baggage already. I mean you are NO angel, are you? So here’s the deal. “

Fancy Girl

Sitting in the weekly rental apartment, I wondered if I had made the correct choice. However, the thought was quickly dismissed. I had given Chuck every opportunity to make our marriage work I refused to look back with regret. After all looking back had kept me with him as long as I had stayed in the first place. The decision that I needed to make now was whether or not to leave the state.

It had been six weeks since the divorce was final and I could not say I was feeling bad. Chuck either glared at me during the proceedings or looked at his hands. He didn’t have anything to give me but his dreams. I wanted no part of them anymore. I was tired of giving everything of myself, doing things his way, and never having anything for me. I felt like I lived in a soap opera or a bad romantic comedy. How could I know that in the course on 9 months I would be as happy as I could ever imagine, my financial state would be secured for a very long time, and I would lose the romantic love of my life forever.

When Chuck and I met, I was completely single. There was no man of significance in my life. Chuck was handsome and a smooth talker. He looked like and gave the impression he had it all and he could give it to me. I would later find out all he was consisted of “pipe dreams” and lies. What should have been a friends with benefits relationship took a wrong turn and ended up in the land of matrimony, eventually to both of our dismay. We had the twins the very next year. Then Chuck really started to perform.

He stayed out until all hours of the morning, spent ridiculous amounts of money, and did a fair amount of cocaine. I stopped caring about him very rapidly. The kids were toddlers when we started going for counseling. Chuck kicked the cocaine habit, but he was never faithful. He used to sing a song “Don’t Fence Me In” when he came in late and I would protest. I was finished, I was ready to walk out the door, but I put my children’s needs ahead of mine.They adored their father. I kept putting off the inevitable; first when they were in school, then when they were finished with high school. Upon their college graduation, I finally figured it was my turn. 30 years and 4 months from the day I married him, I walked out of our house never to return. It was frightening, but it was long overdue.

I picked up my cell phone and called my cousin, Phil. We had grown up together and he was divorced now as well, or should I say again. Phil was a pretty successful  sports writer and did a bit of traveling.  He knew what was going on with me and Chuck; I  finally decided I would take him up on his offer and relocate to Florida. I would stay with him temporarily until I figured out what I would do permanently.

Since cooking was my love, and baking was my passion, a career in the food industry was a natural choice. I had taken a couple of cake decorating classes before Chuck and I split up. Well why not put it to use, until I figure out what to do as I waited on my retirement. I got a job at the local big chain supermarket, Publix. It was ideal I could walk to work from Phil’s apartment. The beach was walking distance from the store where I would spend many hours, after work and lunch breaks as well. Life was amazingly simple for me now. I didn’t have to see Chuck nor worry about running into him. I missed the kids, but they had lives of their own. Their visits would be cherished and fun.

I was decorating a small chocolate ganache cake early, when I looked up there was this tall( about 6’3″) handsome man of clearly Italian decent smiling. His skin was olive, his teeth were white and straight, he had a full head of salt and pepper hair. He said, “Beautiful, I must have.., oh and I would like the cake too.”  I flashed a quick fake smile, but I was flattered.  I asked, ” Would you like this one? He nodded  in affirmation and said, “Yes. Please.” “Can I get you anything else, sir?” as I began packaging his cake. He leaned forward and said, “I am sorry if I was forward. I didn’t see a ring and there aren’t many of us, you know, our age who are clearly single. I love your hair. You don’t color it. You’re bold.” I replied, ” So are you.” He rubbed his hair,” Well I have a little more salt than you do, but seriously it , your hair is gorgeous.” I handed him the cake. He smiled and in a lower tone he said,         ” And so are you.” He smiled, winked, and walked away. I didn’t see Rick,the store manager when he came behind the counter and I was slightly startled, when he began talking to me. Kent was quite impressed with you.  I said, ” Who?” “The gentlemen who just bought the cake. He is a regular customer, he told me you were a wonderful, talented, and charming individual.” I laughed, ” Really, hum Rick if I wasn’t old as black pepper I’d swear he was flirting and you were aiding and abetting….” Rick slipped me a business card and walked away.

KENT IMPERATO Professional  Golf Course Design. What it did not say was he was on the PGA tour and had quite an impressive record. However, if you followed golf you would know that. I was too wrapped up in me to follow anything right then. I knew he looked familiar or was it just that he was so tall and so handsome. Probably a little of the first plus a lot of the second and third.  It was a flirt and it felt good.

Phil was on his way out when I was on my way in. He told me he would be back by the weekend. He was always rushing about. I sat my bag down and laid the card on the counter with my keys. Phil glanced at it and looked at me with a question mark on his face.. “Kent Imperato.. the pro?” I replied, ” I dunno, I guess”. Phil said, “Really.. I know he is in the area, but.. when.. where did you see him.” Oh he came in the store and bought a ganache… Phil interrupted,” and he gave you his card… what is this cuz?” I squinted at him, “Phillip don’t you have a plane to catch?” Yeah I do but you won’t get off that easy”, he said as he walked out the door.

Two days later  I got another visit from Kent at the store. He came up to the counter and smiled, “That was one fabulous cake.” Oh well I am so glad you enjoyed it”, I replied. “What can I get for you today?” “Did you get my business card”, he said quietly. I said,” Yes I did, but I am not a golf enthusiast, I am sure you are quite good but..” He interrupted again, “But you don’t have a phone, you couldn’t call, you don’t like golfers?” “You aren’t a bit shy are you, I said. “Have lunch with me, please?” I was filling the display case. “Listen, I am flattered, but..  He said, “No really listen, I won’t take no for an answer so just say yes and I will be back to pick you up at… I relented, “1:15″My lunch was actually at 1:30, but the time mislead was to see if he was serious and punctual. The large clock in the front of the store read 1:14 and I watched my lunch date walked over to the display case. ” Ready”, he asked. I raise my index finger indicating one minute and I disappeared to the back of the bakery. When I emerged, Rick and Kent were talking. Rick said, “Man if you keep hangin around this bakery you’re gonna get fat.” He smiled at me and walked away.  Kent smiled and said, ” So where would you like to go?” I replied,” Well, seeing as I am all dressed up I figure we should go someplace really nice.” He smiled again.  “I have just the place in mind”, he said.

I did not know what to expect on any level. I hadn’t been on a date in more than three decades. He was driving a Buick Rendezvous, it was black. I did not give his vehicle another thought, except it drove nice and smooth. We were headed up the coast, the waters from the ocean were aqua blue and rather calm. We parked and Kent walked around to my door to open it for me. I got out and looked around. There were people on the beach, a lifeguard tower, but no place to eat was visible. This was fine with me, because I was in my work attire and my time was limited, a walk on the beach would be nice. I saw a blue and white cabana .

“I can image what you look like when you aren’t working,” he said. What do you like to do, what kind of music do you listen to, do you dance?” My reply was, “Which question do you want answered?” Wait I have one for you, no two. Where are we going and what are you doing here with me?” We reached the cabana there was a young man there we had a picnic table and there was food. Kent said, For an afternoon at the beach I like junk food, but I told Lyle to bring some fresh fruits and cheese, healthy stuff  just in case. Tami this is Lyle. Lyle nodded and smiled. “Hello Lyle”, I said.  “Afternoon on the beach.. Kent I have a job that I have to be back at in about 30 minutes”. He pulled out his cell phone and pushed a button and looked at me. I looked at him as he began speaking .” Yes may I speak to Rick Henson, store manager… Rick hey man this is Kent, yeah remember the favor I asked you about ? Well if you would kindly relay that information to this lovely lady with me I would greatly appreciate it.” I took the phone with a suspicious look on my face. ” Hello, who is this speaking?” I asked. “So tell me the store number and how about my hire date. Well you can’t blame me for being cautious. I see.  Again, you can’t blame me for being cautious. Regular schedule tomorrow? Ha, yeah right. I’m sure. Do you need to speak with him. Very well, see you tomorrow. Bye.” I pushed the end screen and handed the phone back to Kent. “Alright, we have more than 30 minutes for lunch, let’s take it one step at a time.” Kent simply smiled.

Kent was actually my age just shy of my birthday, by one day. He had made quite a roar in the world of golf and he had clearly always liked blondes. I did do some research. I knew the last thing I was looking for was some cocky pro golfer, spending his free time polishing up his trophies, all of his “trophies”.  He had obviously done well financially, investments a few endorsements here and there as well as a very successful ad campaign for a fledgling sportswear company, his own. I was out with a relatively wealthy man. I was out of my league and I knew it, but I was enjoying the spoils for the moment. Hey, a nice lunch, the afternoon off, no harm/no foul.

We walked on the beach, to exercise lunch away. Since my attire was white pants and a coral polo shirt I was over dressed but not too noticeably, without my name tag and bare feet, you could assume I picked the outfit. Kent was wearing his company’s signature polo shirt, sandals, and khaki shorts. Before I knew it the afternoon gave way to the evening. As we drove back to my apartment, dozens of questions ran through my mind. It made me very quiet as David Sanborn played “Try A Little Tenderness” in the background.

I had enjoyed the afternoon and the company of this man, but there are no manual to instruct a 50+ year old woman how to act or what to expect on a first date. I was way out of practice. The sun was setting on the horizon, I asked myself “Are you going to let it set on you?” Kent took hold of my hand and we exchanged looks. We pulled up in front of Phil’s building and Kent parked. He walked around and opened my door. He took my hand and helped me out. Here it is the moment, “do I want to kiss him, I think I do, but only if he wants to kiss me, no that’s not right…” He kissed my right cheek and said, “I had a really nice time we MUST do this again”. Without giving myself time to think I kissed him on the lips, smiled and said, “We must”.

Getting older the games of romantic involvement must have subsided. Kent called on his way home to again tell me what a good afternoon it had been. He warned me that he planned on taking up a considerable amount of my time. I  told him we should do like they do in A.A., take it one day at a time. Our next date was for dinner. I told him I wanted to go somewhere that I could put on a dress. I wanted to feel elegant. I had plenty of gowns, just never a occasion to wear them. We went to a country club on one of the golf courses he had designed. Elegant I wanted, elegant I got.

Kent was now making his way to the senior tour, but at present remained on the regular ranks of the PGA. We  first appeared in public at Pebble Beach for a charity event in support of S.M.A. “Fans” for golfers are a little different than other sports groupies, the main difference being they are quieter. Everyone on the inside knew what was going on and they all knew what Kent liked in a woman, in turn the women knew as well. I was not it. The guys were nice in an obliging way, the women were as women are, “catty”. I was not in the “club” and I didn’t want to be. As the resident alien, I would bring my friend(s) with me to watch Kent play. It had all the scandal of a high school nobody hooks the most popular school jock. The magazines would take pictures of me generally with a bottle of water and my BYOF(bring your own friend). I rarely ate at the clubs. Kent and I  would have a really big breakfast before he played, we would work out 30 minutes later for and hour and a half, afterwards he and I were good for the day. It became our ritual.

KENTAMI’S(pronounce ken tah meez) opened amid quiet ceremony. As the cliche’ of the times; a specialty cupcake bakery whose name was the merging/fusion of the couple-owners first names.  It could have been worse, my parents could have opted to spell Tami the traditional way with a double “m” and a “y” . It flowed. I joked with Kent, ” They must have known about you long before I did.”  The day was busy, a number of the wives of the tour pro’s stopped in and made purchases. Lots of pictures, Kent signed some golf balls and gloves. Later that night when it was quiet and dark in our quaint little bakery, we sat in the window on two of the tall bar stools, drinking sparkling apple cider. I was tired, but it was a good tired.

Kent placed a little package in front of me that was wrapped to look like a mini-cupcake box from the store. I didn’t want to open it, things were really good between us. I was “shell shocked” from  “The Chuck Years”. This was a man, had I met earlier in life, I would have had children with, but now that was a “pipe dream”. “Aren’t you going to open it”, he asked in an almost whisper. I looked into his beautiful dark eyes, I examined his face, his deeply tanned skin, the thick salt and pepper hair. “Kent aren’t we happy, I mean things are good. You are a vibrant man, you should have babies I can’t do that for you. Let’s just enjoy what we have… He interrupted me and said, ” What do you think is in there, a ring?  He laughed, ” Oh baby no, I don’t want to get married…” He took the box from in front of me. Now I was a bit embarrassed, a bit annoyed as I watched him fumble with the box, then I looked away trying to compose myself. I have to admit I was a little pissed, but looking at life stages, I realized the days of dreaming about youthful romance were long behind me. I caught a glimpse of him in my peripheral vision and the window reflected his image behind me. He swung my seat around and dropped to one knee, ” I don’t want to get married to anyone but you. So just say yes cause I won’t take no for an answer”. I was breathless from his words. He kissed my hand and put the ring on my finger. He continued,” And this, this is not a ring but a reminder that we have a commitment to one another that is for life.” The ring was what I considered too much 5 carats;  3 1/2 carat baguette cut stones on each side of the anchor stone which was  a 2 carat princess. “What do you say”, he asked smiling, he already knew.

When his plane crashed I knew I would never be the same. Kent was so vibrant so full of life being in a wheelchair for the rest of his life would not work for him.He was angry and bitter. Most of the time he did not want to see me so I would go and sit in the waiting room for hours. I went home with him for appearances sake from the hospital. I left the house at 3 a.m. I would never see him alive again. I wear a pendant that is made from the platinum and diamond engagement ring, he had made for me.  It has his name engraved in it, and his soul is engraved in my heart.

Summary Of A Love Gone Wrong

Oh God why am I cursed with this man. He is a plague in my life. I wrench at the sound of his voice. He has selective amnesia. He does not care for me and I am okay with that now. Now all I want is to be at peace. I fear there will be no peace in my life as long as he is in my life. He cares only for himself. Why won’t you let him be happy. Why can’t he can be with the one he loves, HIMSELF. I have been a good wife to him, I have been far better than he deserves. I have been wronged in this relationship and the contagion of wrong doing has thus infected me. Please Lord, make this situation right. Please

What does he think when he looks at me. What does he think when I  show him  little affection? Does it make him feel small and hurt, like it used to do me? I hope he does feel bad at times, I wish for him to have that same disconnect that he gave to me. Then other times, most times, all I want is to be able to walk away and know I did the best I could for as long as I could, and all that was/is required of me has been satisfied.

Looking back I have a boat-load of regrets. I thought he cared, I thought he could make me happy, I thought we would be good together. I was so wrong. We had a fun time and I should have left it at that. There were so many times  I should have stopped, but I did not.

Lord please help me get back to me. Let me enjoy my children and grandchildren. Let him enjoy his life, but not with me. I know better than ever I am NOT what he wants or what can make him happy nor is he those things for me. Everyone deserves some happy.

I no longer want the love from him that I “pined away” for at one time. I want to be me again. He sees glimpses of me and he clearly dislikes that person. Too bad he didn’t see her long before now, too bad I did not let some of my desires come forth and be seen. I could have saved us both a whole lot of grief. There I go again taking on the full responsibility for a situation that was clearly involving the two of us.

He says, “You want out?” I lie and say,” No”.

Space and Opportunity

William was a buyer for a regional department store chain in West Los Angeles. I worked in accounting there for about a year before I hired by UPS Express and became a small package courier.  He had always flirted when he saw me at work, but then I egged him on. Playful and harmless, he wasn’t my type. I was married to my type and was miserable for that unfortunate pairing. I certainly was not looking for anyone else to complicate my life.

I clearly made him nervous when we encountered one another. He had always been a bit of a joke between my friends and me. How ironic was it for me to end up delivering an urgent package to his residence. It was a Saturday morning there was still dew on the ground, I saw a lone couple working in their yard. It was William and his wife. We exchanged niceties and he introduced me to Marjorie. No real surprises; she was rather rotund, six children will do that to one’s figure, not someone who would stop you in your tracks.

He made it his business to contact me outside of work, by getting in touch with my local office. He was a buyer for a rather large company, he knew what to say. I was flattered, charmed and enjoyed the attention. With the absolute intention of not allowing anything to happen, I agreed to having lunch with him, in my element. Away from the world of work, my little city was paradise, it couldn’t have been better.

We met in Lunada Bay, after my tennis lesson. We had Italian food at a little restaurant that had an ocean view. Of course practically every place had an ocean view.   Simply because he was not my typical type, by virtue it felt odd he even could hold my attention.  I asked myself,” Why are you here?” He was clean cut, well spoken, and he made me feel like I was the most amazing, interesting, intelligent, and yes attractive( to a “Can’t take my eyes off of you” level) woman he had come into contact with. He had written me letters, called me just to hear my voice, I should have just tied a bow around myself and  handed “me” over to him. What had started as a “joke” was gaining momentum, reeling me in, and I wasn’t even aware of it.

I pretended to NOT notice how much he was intrigued.  I made it seem as though it was just a tour of a locale he had little or no knowledge of. He asked many questions  about the place I called home, then about me and my upbringing, he was cautious about my husband and the fact I/we had no children. We sat across from one another, our wedding bands made us seem respectable, even rather innocent or did they?

However this encounter was so very cliche’, but still  it continued.  After lunch we walked to our respective cars,  to an observant eye the cloak of innocence was uncovered and exposed.  I felt compelled to show him one of  “The Hill’s landmarks”, so he followed me. We arrived at the semi-vacant parking lot of the closed down amusement park, but in spite of it’s status it was still being maintained. People still jogged as well as walked in and around the area.

There was a steady ocean breeze, but it was nice and balmy. We watched the aphros on the waves from the parking lot. He said he wanted to get a closer look and that was understandable, it was beautiful. I had taken many early morning walks along the route nears the cliffs, so we got out of our cars.

I had barely emerged when he came straight toward me, pulled me to him, and kissed me. I had no time to think, my head was reeling. I felt my knees buckle, my breath was leaving me and I heard music. I though I had lost my mind, but I was in fact was lost in his kiss. The kiss ended only to be followed by another equally passionate. I had forgotten what kissing felt like, but the memory was returning rapidly.

We embraced one another, inhaled our respective pheromones, and tasted sweet kisses repeatedly for over an hour. I could not imagine what making love to him would be like, but I knew I wanted to find out.  Every sense was being explored, out in the open, in broad daylight. However all one would see at a distance was two people/lovers engaged in a passionate kiss, nothing graphic or dirty. It felt like a scene from a movie. He was seemingly unable to stop and I did not want him too. His touching my hand was as sensual and penetrating  He ran his hands through my hair as I nuzzled his neck. Part of me screamed “EXCUSE ME!! YOU ARE MARRIED, TO SOMEONE ELSE, AND SO IS HE!!” as  the other part of me silenced that voice and we engaged in more “foreplay”.

This had never happened to me before, talk about an out of body experience. We tried to leave one another, but we did not want to so we stood  there, leaned against the car in a lover’s embrace watching the waves. There was no talking. I felt his heart racing, his arms were strong and muscular. Enveloped within them I felt safe and warm. Like clock work, we both knew it was time to go. Time to end, or postpone what was inevitable. Sadly we prepared to leave each other’s company, but one last kiss.

He finally spoke,” What.. how do you feel Mary? How do you feel about what just happened? How do you feel about me?” I sat quietly, hands on the steering wheel gazing forward, but then turning to look at his face. I examined him. The crisp white shirt tucked in his well-fitting jeans. He had big feet and long fingers. I shook those thoughts rapidly. I had sized him up sexually and I had no right.  His face not my normal preferred face, but it seemed to be different now. His face was becoming closer to what I liked, what I found attractive and desirable. I placed my hand on his cheek, the diamonds in my wedding band sparkled in the light. “We have to go William”, I said softly and making eye contact.

He kissed the palm of my hand and slowly backed away from my car. I looked at him in my rear view mirror as he walked to his car. We were less than a mile from my condo, but I was having trouble navigating. I now knew I was playing with fire, especially since I  had not decided on leaving or staying in my present situation. I was not looking for a love affair, certainly this could complicate things for me.

I pulled into the underground parking lot of my complex and sat in the car for a few moments to gather myself. I went over the afternoon in my mind. How could I know that 4 years and over 3000 miles would come between us, before we would get close to consummating our relationship. Who would think from the unpredictable beginnings,  our “affair” would end so abruptly. Yes I was playing with fire, but so was he.

I got out of the car, locked it, and walked toward our unit. Once inside it was clear my husband was not home. I was relieved, because I was uncertain how I looked and I was real confused about how I felt. I went into the master bath and forced myself to look at my reflection. I was not proud, but after a few moments I came to terms with the facts; I did not push this man’s advances away, meaning that I was in fact really unhappy. I wanted something to happen, I had convinced myself I needed something to happen, and something did happen. What would be next? I undressed and took a shower, then I went to the gym to work off some frustration.

Later that evening my husband, Chris asked,” Are you okay, you seem quiet.” I tatahed him off with, “Oh I’m fine, a little overworked is all .” He proceeded to finish his steak. “Self-centered prick,” I thought. “Beside the fact I practically had sex in a parking lot around the corner from our home.. everything is just grand.”

How many marriages experience a similar situation? How many respectable spouses are completely unaware of what is going on under their noses. Do any of them accept, at least a small part of responsibility, in the “cheating”? If Chris had only been close to what he promised me and spoke of prior to our marriage, William wouldn’t have stood a chance. Then a philosophical point came to mind. Who is the true loser when someone cheats?

Much to my particular dismay, William and I never actually had intercourse. There was never the debatable oral sex either. There was sweetness and passion, there were points where things could have gone too far. We made time for one another; had romantic interludes in parks and indoor parking structures, following some romantic meals, we talked and listened to one another. Something always seemed to interrupt us at the very last minute. In each and every instance that we were together, there was no way our respective spouses would have been happy finding us together.

Human beings are social creatures. There is a need in us to be with someone in order to feel whole. God almighty created us to be with a companion, exclusively, according to scripture. There are so many rules though. Sometimes we flawed humans make bad selections, selections we have no idea are incorrect at the time. Are we supposed to stay in those bad situations? If we do how do we cope, and counteract the effects of those same bad situations? When guidelines are set-up that suggest and say, “simply the thought of something is as harmful or damning as the actual act”, who is really capable of being completely immune.

William by most accounts was a Christian, yet he was married and he pursued a married woman. I on the other was the “back-slider” I was not practicing any type of religion, actively. I did not chase a married man, but I did not run from him either. Was I a victim of circumstance or had I seized the moment? Ultimately, I would have to wait and see.

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