Monday came way too soon, after what had gone from the thing I dreaded most, to the greatest weekend of my life.
I was back doing the mundane stuff I did for Sid. I didn’t have time to ponder my future with Kevin as Sid was loaded for bear and issuing missives on face book. I was on the job and keeping up so he couldn’t accuse me of slacking.
There have been times over the last few years that I have wanted to tell the man where he could stuff his spreadsheets and that there was a special place in hell for accountants –right next door to the special place for lawyers.
Lunch came along and I turned off chat so he couldn’t harass me.
I grabbed my salad, a fresh cup of java, and indulged in some pleasant reflections on the happy ending of the weekend ….
Yesterday after the reunion breakfast Kevin and I came back here. We just had to look at each other and we knew what was coming next. This time we made it to the bedroom. I lost count on how many times he brought me to the edge of ecstasy and left me begging for more. He teased my most sensitive regions with kisses and started the process over until even he needed release. Afterwards we lay spent and napped in each other’s arms.
We woke up much later, grabbed some dinner and came back to bed rejuvenated and ready for more. Kevin looked at me. “I guess after all this marathon of sex, we must be going steady?”
“Yeah kinda awkward just going back to being my computer geek isn’t it?”
“Yeah I may never look at your laptop the same way again after this weekend.”
I laughed at that but felt I needed to caution him on going too fast. Thankfully Kevin agreed that rushing things along just ‘cos we were horny was not wise and just to revel in what we had.
“Did you ever regret not getting this far in high school?”
“Don’t take offence Kevin but the thought of sex back then scared the crap out me. I just wasn’t ready at the time for anyone. What about you?”
“None taken I was just thrilled that my mathematically challenged friend would even look at me twice let alone let me kiss her. It fed a few horny boy fantasies but my first lady was my chess board.”
“I haven’t played chess in years. I may have forgotten how.”
“I could re-educate you. We could make it interesting and come up with strip chess.”
“There’s an incentive!”
“Not tonight I have no plans of leaving this bed til six a.m.”
“Quite welcome to stay as I don’t think I am ready to let you leave.”
We had made love again and it seemed like each time was better than the last. I couldn’t say it was love but it was good enough to have him share my bed and I really did like him as a person.
My reverie was broken by a phone call. I thought would be Sid reminding me I had work to do or Mel who called daily. It was neither nor was it Kevin.
“Yes what can I do for you that won’t involve projectile food or vomiting?”
“I want to apologize. I was an absolute boor this weekend.”
“I’m not going to disagree but I accept.”
“Can we have coffee and talk? I promise I won’t insinuate myself into your life; I just want us to be parents of two kids and impending grandparents who will have to co-exist and play nice.”
“I will try to do that and not regurgitate on your loafers again.”
“How about coffee after dinner?”
That sounded good as Kevin was teaching computer maintenance at one of the colleges after dinner and I had an evening of laundry to look forward to, as I watched Castle on television.
“Great, no tricks or nasty comments about Kevin.”
“Good or the deal is off.”
I clicked off and went back to work. I didn’t really trust him as he always seemed to revert to snippy backbiting when it came to my choice of dates.
The rest of the afternoon went smoothly without Sid yanking my chain. I signed off at 4:30 and checked on Melanie. She still had months to go but was sewing up receiving blankets and onesies in purple yellow and green and trying to look for a suite for the baby’s room. I loved talking baby stuff with my daughter and we made a date to go shopping on the weekend as Scott had to work.
Kevin called and I told him of my plans to talk to Tom. He wasn’t happy but there wasn’t much he could say.
“I have my cell. Call if the bastard gets uppity again.”
“I will but I think he was genuinely contrite about the weekend.” I was taking my own car so I wasn’t dependent on Tom for a ride.
We clicked off and I got a load of laundry started as I made dinner for one.
I met Tom at a nondescript diner as I didn’t want to chance a repeat performance at Mochas from the previous weekend. Too many people I knew went there on a regular basis and the gossip mill around here rotates as fast as Twitter and Facebook put together. It would confuse the issue greatly if people saw me show up with two different men; one being my ex and the other who might be construed as my main squeeze. After years of overhearing second hand bad press about myself I prided myself on not feeding the gossip mongers more than I had too.
There were many new people in town that didn’t know of my not so stellar past but knew me as a writer in residence and business woman. I might have gotten over most of all that but why take chances.
I was dressed in my best let’s do laundry sweats and Tom was slumming in jeans and a sweat shirt.
“Hey,” he said, “thanks for meeting me. After this weekend I thought it was over for good.”
“It was over ages ago but yesterday was too soon after dealing with you Saturday.”
“Again sorry. There was no excuse to go off on you yesterday and I deserved the plate of eggs you delivered.”
“Camille said she reamed your sorry ass for that and for implying you would use me to make her jealous. I was still fuming when I saw her at the reunion on Saturday. Your name came up and I told her we were no longer together but you wanted a date with me to piss her off. I felt I needed allies at that time.”
“Understandable, I heard your speech and wanted to congratulate you on the award but when you rebuffed my attempts to talk yesterday I saw red and went for the jugular. I should have never used a painful part of your life against you. It was work and my taking off definitely played a hand in the breakdown. Slapping you with that was just not right.”
“No it wasn’t, but why not let it go for now Tom. I agree we need to be on the same page for the sake of our kids and the new baby.”
“I agree whole heartedly –for the first time in my adult life I am going to act like one and not an unrealistic dreamer.”
“Yah How’s that working for you.”
“Well it does and it doesn’t. It helps when I am looking for investors but I am not the best with money management and it ends up biting my ass, so I just have to find men I can trust to do my accounting.”
I handed him Sid’s card. “Call him he’s not a shiester.”
“How do you know?”
“He’s my boss and I wouldn’t work for a man who cheats in business and he’s been handling my accounts for years.”
“Great lead! I will call him.”
We changed the subject to Mel’s baby and what our plans were for buying her something.
“I am taking her shopping on Saturday for a nursery suite. If we find something she and Scott like we can let you know. I can’t afford a lot so we would appreciate some help.”
Tom and I talked about mundane things and I updated him about my writing exploits and he wished me luck sincerely. Then I made my excuses that I had a load of whites to do and an appointment with Richard Castle at ten. Just as we were about to leave a face from the past showed up at the table.
“Well if it isn’t the two love birds of 1979; I heard a rumour from the weekend that you two split and she’s screwing Kevin now. Yet here you are trying to get Tommy in bed too. Maybe I should tell Kevin you’re stepping out.”
Tom stepped in front of me. “Do yourself a huge favour Taylor and back the hell off. It’s a bit late in the game to still be pissed that I never liked you and that I didn’t want to date you.”
“She,” Taylor pointed at me, “never gave me a chance to prove how good we could have been. Instead I confided in her and she stabbed me in the back,”
“Get a grip Taylor –World War II is over and the rest of us have moved on with our lives. Yes Samantha and I are no long together. We have children together and are about to be grandparents that’s the extent of the relationship. Guess what else? I still wouldn’t date you because you are a gossiping vindictive bitch.”
Taylor’s bottom lip began to quiver. “You are still a prick thirty some odd years later. You two deserve each other.” She turned and ran out of the café.
“Wow you really gave it her.”
“Been wanting to take her oversized head off for years. I was just protecting the mother of my children from a ravenous she-wolf.”
“Ha! You can back off Tom you’re not my alpha male anymore. But thanks for saying something I wanted to say for years. I always had the suspicion that she was the one behind Camille declaring me dead.”
“One day when we were joking around in the library. Taylor must have over heard us. I think she told Camille I was flirting with you. Later that day Camille told me I was dead to her.”
“Ha we were just bundles of angst weren’t we?”
I tilted my head in the direction Taylor had gone, “Some of us still are full of it.”
Tom grinned “We still talking about angst or something else?”
“That too,” and I started to walk away.
I got home to find Kevin in my driveway.
“Hey what’s up.”
“Just wanted to see if you were okay; the last two times you had a run in with Tom things didn’t go well.”
“I’m good this time –Taylor Hiltz got the sharp edge of Tom’s tongue this time.”
“Wow really. I would have loved to have been the fly on the wall for that.”
“It was sad yet rather amusing really. It’s like the Japanese soldier that has no clue the war ended. Taylor’s still living in the 80s and won’t let anyone forget the crimes against her. She threatened to tell you Tom and I aren’t over yet. She’s still pissed that I gave Tom the heads up about her and ended up dating him. Tom told her to get a grip and that wouldn’t have happened, so she told him he was still a sanctimonious prick and that we deserved each other.”
“Sounds like a fight worth watching.”
“Kevin!” I feigned shock at his cavalier attitude but I was glad someone finally took her down a peg and maybe she might find herself brought into the twenty first century.
“Now that I know you and Tom didn’t come to blows again. I will head out and let you attend to your fine washables and drool over Richard Castle.
“Ha you lusted over Callie on The Glades for three seasons.”
“Such a shame it got canned.” Kevin sighed and kissed me then headed home.
I went inside to drool and do laundry.
The next day was no different than the day before; mundane office work and a chance to work on my romance novel while I ate lunch. I was so tempted to call Sid and tell him I was playing hooky so I could keep up the good writing. My characters were totally clicking and I was on a roll. However, I needed the pay from my day job to take care of my bills. I am not saying the writing isn’t paying but I can’t say I can live on royalties alone.
Moe called and set up the double date for her and Wayne, myself and Kevin. I told her about hashing out an arrangement with Tom and that Taylor Hiltz had accosted Tom and me and that he had given it to her with both barrels.
“Oh and what she do?”
“She blubbered on the way out the door; after a bit of name calling of course.”
“Well we can dish more about this on Friday night; the monsters are coming back to class and I have to either play nice or kick ass depending on the level of cooperation.”
I clicked off and shelved Loves Tender Embraces til after hours. A shame really as my characters were rolling in the deep, maybe being in love was helping my love scenes. Wait did I just say the L word? Dayum was it possible I was in love with Kevin? I really liked and cared about him, but I didn’t think it had gone any further than lust and mutual caring.
Perhaps an afternoon of numbers will cure me of those thoughts. Maybe someday I would be able to really love again,I just was not ready to go there quite yet. That seemed to work as preparing the balance sheet for Jimmy’s Sheet Music and Guitars was taking all my concentration. Somewhere in my years of working from home I had taken a bookkeeping course via correspondence school. I was able to upgrade that to computerized accounting as soon as I felt well enough to go past my own threshold.
Whenever I think of how much the agoraphobia had robbed me of a full life, I get mad all over again, but as my therapist said it’s not something that goes away overnight. I had to muster up the courage to step outside and smell the flowers. It was an emergency involving Jake and a broken arm that forced my hand. I wasn’t confident enough to drive yet but I managed to get a screaming 12 year old boy and his sister into a cab and deal with things. I was cursing Tom for not being there and making me do this alone. A boy with a broken arm needed dad to support him. What he had was a mom who had to step up to the plate when I wanted to be at home cowering under blankets. We got through it and that seemed to shake me to my senses and get a frigging grip.
It was a freeing experience and probably got me on the path to wellness much quicker. If nature had taken its course, I’d still be in my closet sucking my thumb.
If I hadn’t gotten well I would not have re-acquainted myself with the world or taken on my past at the reunion. I had been able to telecommute,make a living and start my writing career; yay me for having the courage to live again.
I still have the odd panic attack but I think I am on the upswing.
Friday night came along and the four of us went to dinner and a bar featuring a tribute band who did The Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive and Burton Cummings. Not much to dance to, but great music anyway. We were sitting at the bar when I was approached by a guy who looked vaguely familiar.
“Sammy is that you?”
“That’s my name, and you are…?”
“Liam Walker…we dated for fifteen minutes in ’85.”
It came to me. I gave him my heart and my virtue at the tender age of twenty –one and he slept with other women. He was a player of the first order and then years later told me I was boring in the sack. I thanked him for not giving me HIV or other STDs and told him where to get off. Tonight old Liam was looking like he graduated from the Keith Richards school of substance abuse.
“Hi um Liam been awhile, You still with Nell?” Nell was my successor and apparently made the grade in the boudoir.
“Nah she started wanting kids and I just wasn’t into it. Last I heard she had gone the way of artificial insemination and found a daddy after the fact.”
Liam was too much of a wild man to settle down. Shaking up and partying hard was his claim to fame and I suspected he was on the pathway to spontaneous self-destruction.
“You’re looking fine lady! Wanna hook up and see if we can re-ignite the passion.”
“I am going to have to pass on the offer buddy. My boyfriend would not appreciate me taking off and I am not going down that road with you again. As I recall it didn’t end well the first time.”
“Ah c’mon honey I can make it up to you.”
“I don’t want you to!” Kevin and Wayne came over and saw what the issue was as Moe went in search of a bouncer before Liam could get nasty. I was shaken but soon recovered, and we stayed for the rest of the set before heading to Mochas where I regaled the group with tales of lust gone bad.
Kevin and I went to his place and I forgot all about my past for a few hours, then slept and did it some more.