Doing It All Over
10-20-2012, 11:21 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
As the end of the school year drew closer I worried incessantly about Tracy. This was the point that she was scheduled to die. All of the signs told me I'd steered her away from that path. When Lisa Sanchez, the cheerleader, began making friendship overtures to Tracy, she'd been almost rude in her rejection of them. The friendship that eventually evolved into the foursome that was fated to drop into the river never flourished. As a result, Tracy never went to the party where she would meet the football player that would cause her death. Instead she stayed close friends with Cindy, another deviation from the previous path. When Tracy had begun hanging out with Lisa before, the relationship with Cindy had faded away. But despite all this I was worried. Again, I did not know the rules involved here. Was fate absolute? Would Tracy end up dying one way or another simply because she was scheduled to?
On the other hand I did have some indication that things were not pre-destined. Mike was a shining example. As May began winding down towards June and the end of the school year, he was still enrolled in school, was in fact working his grades upward to the C average. This was something that had not occurred before. Mike gave me hope that I'd succeeded in saving Tracy.
The end of the school year came. Mike got his report card and it showed his year's average to be 2.1. He was qualified to go into ROP the next year. He didn't give me much in the way of thanks but I understood. It wasn't in his nature. I received tremendous satisfaction from his accomplishment anyway.
Tracy graduated. I dressed in my suit and attended the ceremony with my parents. Though my sister and I had never talked about my prediction for her fate on that night since the first time, it was obvious she remembered what I'd said. She was perhaps the only member of her graduating class to go home with her parents after the ceremony. She took off her dress and went to bed early.
When I got up the next morning I staggered downstairs and found her sitting in her pajamas in the living room. The television was on, tuned to the local morning news program. Dad and Mom had already gone off to work so we were alone in the house. I can't begin to tell you how glad I was to see her there. She was alive, still drawing breath a day after she'd died in her previous life. Things could be changed!
My elation was dampened a little as I got a good look at her. I could see immediately that she was upset. Her face was pale and she was trembling.
"What's the matter, Trace?" I asked carefully.
"I've been watching the news," she told me slowly, turning a pair of haunted eyes to my face.
"There was an accident last night," she said. "Near the falls."
I felt all the spit in my mouth suddenly dry up. My arms broke out in goose bumps. "Was there?"
She nodded. "A Camero with four people in it crashed into the river. Lisa Sanchez was killed. She drowned in the car."
I was speechless as I listened to her, numb with shock.
"There were other people in the car," she went on. "A guy named David Mitchell was driving. He's a football player at the college. Another football player named Rick Manchester was also in the car. Rick was Lisa's boyfriend. And there was one other girl in there. Barbie Langston, she's David's girlfriend."
"What happened to her?" I asked unsteadily.
"She got out. Lisa was the only one killed."
"Wow," I whispered, trying to figure out what that meant. Barbie was a cute redhead who had found her way to my bedroom last summer during my 'male slut' period. She had been installed in Tracy's place when Tracy did not meet and begin dating David Mitchell. She had lived. Why? Was it because she had lived past graduation in the previous life? Was she simply a better swimmer? Was there any meaning to be found with her non-death?
"Billy," Tracy said softly, "all of those names were the ones you gave me that day except for Barbie. You described the car, the driver, the passengers, the accident location, everything. How did you know?"
"I can't tell you, Tracy," I said. "I just can't."
"Billy, for Christ's sake! I would have died yesterday if I hadn't listened to you, wouldn't I have?"
"You scared me that day when you started talking about all of that. You scared me bad. But I never really, you know believed it could be true. I didn't think it would really happen. Even when little things started to click into place. Lisa Sanchez trying to make friends with me, stuff like that, even then I never really believed it. But Jesus, you were right!"
"I know, Tracy," I said. "And you're alive today instead of dead. I'm glad you listened to me."
"Christ," she said, shuddering and trembling. "I could have died."
"But you didn't," I told her. "You didn't."
Summer vacation began. Tracy sent off college applications and was accepted into the University of California at Berkeley on an academic scholarship. She spent a good portion of her vacation preparing for the move to California. My parents, who had no idea how close they'd come to losing a daughter, were preoccupied with helping her at this task. They took out a second mortgage on their house to help pay for some of the expenses until Tracy managed to get a job in the Bay Area. I could tell they were worried about money although they never mentioned it to either one of us.
I was able to increase my work schedule an extra hour a day and an extra day a week now that summer was upon us and there was no school to attend. By the beginning of August I had nearly a thousand dollars in my savings account. It was time to make my first move.
"Dad," I said at the breakfast table one morning, "I need you to do something with my money."
He looked at me over his paper. "Your money?"
"Yeah," I told him. "I want you to pull it out of the savings account and take it to a stock broker."
"A stock broker?"
"Here," I said, handing him a slip of paper upon which I'd written careful instructions.
He looked at it for a moment, his eyes widening. "You want to buy stocks?"
"I do," I affirmed. "As you can see there, I'd like to invest six hundred dollars in Lytech Corporation and three hundred in Smith Manufacturing Corporation."
"Billy," he started slowly, as if he were speaking to a lunatic, or a teenager. "Do you understand what you're doing? Investing in stocks is a risky business. You have no guarantee that you're going to get any return. You could lose all of your money."
"I've studied up on it pretty well, Dad," I assured him. "I'm pretty sure that these two corporations are going to go through the roof in the next year."
"What are they?" he asked. "I've never heard of either one of them."
"They make latex products," I explained. "Condoms and surgical gloves mostly."
"Condoms and surgical gloves? You think there's money to be made there?"
"It's a matter of timing, Dad," I explained. "You know about AIDS, right?"
"Of course I know about AIDS," he told me. "What does that have to do with anything?"
"Well," I said, "I've been following the news on AIDS as well as checking the business section. Right now AIDS is mostly confined to homosexual men and IV drug users. But that's slowly changing. As more and more heterosexuals become infected the fear of this disease is going to grow, probably into a paranoia."
"That's all very interesting, Billy, but..."
"When I got stabbed," I told him, "I remember that the paramedic who was treating me was not wearing any gloves. I'd been cut open and I was bleeding and he was touching me with his bare hands. The nurses and the doctors in the hospital did the same thing. It wasn't just me, it was almost all of the patients I saw there. Nobody was wearing gloves on their hands as a matter of routine. It just isn't done right now. Are you following me?"
"You're saying that is going to change?"
"In a big way I predict, and soon. As more heterosexuals get the disease and the epidemic grows, ambulance companies, fire departments, hospitals, nursing homes, every medical office is going to start ordering huge supplies of latex gloves. There might even be a shortage of them for a while. The price of them will go up according to the law of supply and demand and their sales figures will probably increase by at least four hundred percent, maybe more. This is the perfect time to invest in the latex business."
He was impressed with my reasoning of the subject but I could tell he still wasn't convinced.
"It's still pretty risky, Bill," he told me. "Are you sure you want to invest all of your money in this?"
"All of it," I confirmed. "Can you do that today?"
He gave me one last glance and then said, "Sure. I'll do it during lunch hour."
10-20-2012, 11:21 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
The summer rolled on. I continued to have plenty of sex on a fairly regular basis but my heavy work schedule put something of a ding in the variety I was getting. I was down to three females that I enjoyed, rarely getting anything new. Anita would still have me over to do some work for her a few times a week, after which, or sometimes before which, we would go to her bedroom and enjoy a long sex session. She always had me over in the evenings when her kids had gone to bed. Cindy still came over to check out albums with me during the day when my parents were not home. If fact, with Tracy gone a lot of the time on various missions to prepare for college, Cindy's visits became more frequent. It seemed she felt a little guilty about screwing me while my sister was there. With Tracy gone we enjoyed the best sex we'd ever had, with no worries about being too loud or too obscene. The third girl was Maggie Bartlett, a friend of Cindy's. She would come over on the days when Cindy did not. I tried to talk them into a threesome a couple of times but they just giggled and told me they weren't into that. A pity.
Nina and I remained in contact with each other even though we no longer had to study for anything. We would meet a few times a week at my house or hers, just enjoying each other's company. A few times we drove into nearby Idaho to spend the day at one of the resort lakes. One such day I found myself looking at her in her bathing suit while we soaked up rays on the hot sand. She was starting to fill out nicely. Her breasts, which the previous summer had been almost non-existent, were now pushing at the cups of her one-piece. Again I remembered her classy good looks as the bitchy emergency room doctor. Now that I'd removed the bitchiness I figured she would make some guy very happy someday.
"What are you looking at?" she asked, blushing a little as she found my eyes upon her.
I smiled. "Just seeing how your tan is coming along," I told her.
"Well?" she asked. "How is it?"
"It's lookin' good," I answered. I picked up a bottle of sun lotion. "Can you put a little of this on my back? I don't want to burn." That was the advantage of having a girl for a best friend. You could have them put oil on your back. You certainly wouldn't ask a guy friend to do something like that.
"Sure," she said softly, taking it from me. I noticed a slight tremble in her hands as she squirted some into her palm.
Dismissing this, I laid on my stomach on the towel. Her hand began smearing the slippery lotion across my back. Her hands on my skin felt good, I realized. They were soft yet eager, gliding over my shoulders and through the small of my back. Her touch was almost sensuous and I felt myself, to my surprise, getting a hard-on beneath my suit.
What a mind-blower, I thought. Nina is giving me a boner. What a strange world.
On September 2, Tracy left the house for California and UC Berkeley where she would begin her first semester as a college student. She planned to get her graduate degree in Business Administration and then move from there to law school. Her hopes were to one day be a rich corporate lawyer. At least she was honest about it.
I gave her a big hug before she climbed into Dad's car for the trip to the airport.
"Take care of yourself," I told her. "And be careful."
"You too," she answered.
She climbed into the car and a minute later it backed out into the street. As I watched it go I felt a tear running down my face. Tracy was still alive.
My senior year began. Because Cindy had graduated and enrolled in college that meant that I was without a ride to school. Though Mike had improved in many areas over the last few months his driving was not one of them. I attempted to mellow him out a bit by letting him know that the fire department would not hire him if he had too many points on his driving record. I suppose this did some good, he never got any points put on, but I still was not going to get into that Volkswagen with him. Strangely enough, though this subject had prompted our long estrangement, he seemed to understand. The subject was never brought up. But this still left me without a lift to school and I'd been driven so long that I'd lost my taste for walking. Nina came to the rescue here. Her mom, who was a housewife and who thought I walked on water, had always been in the habit of driving Nina to school all through high school. It didn't take much convincing on Nina's part to persuade her mom to run by my house in the morning and again in the afternoon. Her mom, who was considerably older for a parent-Nina had been a late child-drove like an eighty-year-old grandmother. That was just fine with me. I felt there was little chance of getting killed with Mrs. Blackmore at the wheel.
The reason I'd known so much about our school's ROP program was that I'd taken it as a senior my first trip through. I hadn't taken fire technology but health careers where I'd been assigned to the emergency room at one of the local hospitals as an ER tech. It was this part of my life that had seduced me into my eventual job as a paramedic. I took the health careers once again, as did Nina. I tried to remember if she'd been in it with me before and I couldn't. She had been such a forgettable person back then. Nina planned to sign up for emergency room assignment since she figured, as I had all those years ago, that would be the most exciting. Though I was tempted to do the same-I missed the thrill of the unknown that came with working in emergency situations-I chose central supply instead. Those who chose central supply were sometimes hired by mid-semester if they showed some responsibility. I planned to show lots of it. Central supply techs were paid six dollars an hour.
Mike was accepted into the fire tech ROP program. Like with our health careers program, it was required that you spend the first two months in a classroom learning the finer points of your career assignment. He grumbled about having to spend three hours a day in a class instead of in a fire station like he'd thought but he stuck with it. I knew his grumbling was good-natured and offered only because it was expected of him. He was actually finding the classroom lectures on the basics of firefighting interesting, perhaps the first thing besides marijuana and pussy stories that had ever interested him. I began to feel that Mike was going to be okay.
I perhaps suffered the worst through the classroom portion of ROP. They were teaching us how to take blood pressures, temperatures, pulses, and how to respond to various hospital emergency situations like fires or floods. This was all stuff I knew not just intimately but genetically it seemed. There were, however, some interesting perks to the classroom. It was made up of mostly girls. I had a fresh hunting ground to pick from and an additional challenge thrown in since most of the girls did not know who I was because ROP classes were made up of students from all the regional high schools.
As I went to work on a few of the more attractive students I noticed that Nina, who was in the same class, would become morose and even throw some dirty looks my way. What was up with her? I wondered. Was Tracy right? Was Nina in love with me? I hoped not. She was my best friend and I was her best friend but I'd never done anything to encourage her to love me. If it was true, how could it have happened?
In deference to her feelings I tried to keep my flirtations discreet when she was around. There was no sense hurting her. And if she did have some love-like feelings for me they would eventually fade, wouldn't they?
I was troubled by these thoughts but not too troubled. By my second week there I enticed a girl named Susan Kelly, a breasty brunette whose ambition was to someday work as a registration clerk, to my house after school. I was glad to find that I still had the touch after the long summer.
In September of that year the United States sent a force of Marines to Beirut as part of a peacekeeping force. I knew that tragedy would befall 240 of them at the hands of Muslim extremists. With their deployment came the opportunity for some experimentation on my part. I knew what was going to happen. Could I, in good conscience, simply let it occur without trying to stop it? I could not.
The question was, how could I stop it? I put some thought into the matter while I read as much on the peacekeeping force as I could. A plan developed in my mind by the end of September.
Using plain paper and pen I drafted a letter to the commanding general of the American forces there. I stated that I was an American Muslim and that I'd received information about an impending attack upon the forces there by way of relatives in Lebanon who were part of the extremists but not as radical as their friends. I explained exactly what was to take place and on which day. I made 25 copies of the letter and dropped each copy into a separate envelope, all of which I addressed and labeled CONFIDENTIAL. I put stamps on all of the letters and then borrowed my father's car one Saturday morning, telling him that I was going to an all-day party. I promised him I wouldn't drink and he gave me the keys.
I left the house at 9:00 that morning, getting onto Interstate 90 and heading west. Four hours later I was in Seattle; a large, anonymous city that I had never lived in. Careful was my watchword and if any feds tried to find the deliverer of the message, as I was sure they would, I wanted no trail leading them to Spokane. I dropped the letters into a mailbox in one of the suburbs. I had a quick lunch and then headed home. I'd taken my shot. My conscience was assuaged.
Of course I had no way of knowing if my letters had reached their destination and, if they had, if they would be taken seriously. I hoped that they were enough to at least take simple precautions. I listened to a news station on the radio all day on October 15, the day the attack was to take place. Nothing came across about a tragedy in Beirut. But towards the end of the day something else came across.
"U.S. Marines," said the announcer, "have captured a group of Muslim extremists who were setting up heavy caliber mortars near the Marine barracks, apparently with the intention of shelling the soldiers inside. A source tells us that the Marines were acting on information they received via an anonymous tip that the attack was to take place. General..."
I'd done it! I had prevented a tragedy! The Muslims who had been about to shell the barracks, destroying it and killing 240 Marines had been captured before they could do it. I had changed history!
I walked around in a state of elation for the next seven days, beaming with pride at what I'd done. What else could I change? The Challenger disaster was coming up in a few years. I could probably stop that also. In the course of that week I had myself believing that I could prevent the Persian Gulf War.
And then came October 23. I awoke to the news that a suicide bomber with a truck full of explosives had rammed into the Marine barracks, killing many inside. My elation died the instant I heard that.
It was two days before the final death toll was announced. 240 Marines had been killed. 240! That number put an icy finger of dread upon my heart.
In my previous life the Marine barracks had been shelled from outside the base by Muslims armed with Russian made eighty-millimeter mortars. 240 had been killed by the attack. In this life I'd prevented that from happening but a week later a suicide bomber had hit instead. 240 had been killed by that attack. I wondered if the death list of those 240 was the same in both lives. Instinctively I knew that it probably was. I had prevented nothing. 240 Marines had been killed, as if they were fated to die. As if they were fated!
I had prevented Tracy's death in this life. Was she too fated to die? Was she just going to be killed in some other manner now that I'd changed her original destiny? Was there anything I could do? Could I really change anything here? Was I fated to end up a paramedic in debt again? Was Mike fated to end up an unemployed loser? Was Nina fated to end up a bitchy emergency room doctor? If so, what had been the point of coming back? What had been the point?
10-20-2012, 11:21 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
I was depressed and edgy for the next week as news of the bombing in Beirut was swallowed up by news of the successful invasion of Grenada a few days later. Nina, who knew me better than anyone, picked up on my mood and tried to discover the source of it in her gentle, probing way. I told her nothing, claiming that everything was just fine. What else could I say? How could I possibly tell her what was bothering me? That I feared my sister had a death sentence hanging over her head. That I feared that everything I'd done over the last eighteen months had been meaningless.
"Do you believe in fate?" I asked her as we rode the bus to our ROP classroom one day.
"Fate?" she asked, looking at me. "What do you mean?"
"You know, that everything is pre-destined. That we have a schedule we follow in life and that we're powerless to change anything?"
"No," she said. "You don't believe that do you?"
"I didn't used to," I said. "But lately I've been wondering."
"Are you okay, Bill?" she asked tenderly. "You've been kind of, well tense the last few days. What's bothering you?"
"Nothing I can put into words," I told her. "I guess I'll get over it."
I turned my head to look out the window and as I watched the traffic pass by outside the bus I felt her hands on my shoulders. They began squeezing and kneading the muscles there, forcing them to relax. It felt wonderful and I leaned my head back and sighed.
"That feels good," I told her. "Where'd you learn to do that?"
"I've been reading on massage techniques," she told me. "Am I doing it right?"
"Perfect," I said, closing my eyes and letting the sensation take me away.
As I felt her squeezing and caressing me a thought occurred. Nina had put her hands upon me completely uninvited. She had simply reached over and done it. Nina, who had been so shy once she wasn't even capable of smiling in front of someone, who couldn't even bring herself to answer questions in class, who wouldn't have dreamed of touching someone with or without permission the day I'd first approached her in the cafeteria.
Nina had changed. She was no longer the mousy butt of everyone's jokes. She had friends now. Me, Tracy, Cindy, even Mike. She had learned to socialize with people even to the point of taking some bonghits at a party. I didn't think it possible that she would evolve into the Dr. Blackmore I would one day know. She would become Dr. Blackmore but she wouldn't be the same person. She couldn't become that person at this point because the psychology that had formed her future personality had been altered. Was it possible that maybe things could be changed? That maybe they tended to fall into pre-destined patterns but that rule was not absolute?
In Nina's comforting hands I found some hope.
We graduated from the classroom portion of ROP and were given our assignments. Nina went to the emergency room at one of the smaller hospitals as an ER tech. I went to the supply room in the basement of the regional trauma center and was put to work sterilizing and packaging medical supplies and instruments. Mike was assigned to Spokane Fire Station #3 near downtown.
It took me only a few days to be trained in the routine I would be following. Central supply was a little more challenging than making pizzas, but not by much. My work mate was Julie Salinas, a cute Mexican girl who had been in my training class. I'd tried once to initiate some intimate conversation with her but she had shot me down without a second glance, stating in no uncertain terms that she was engaged to be married after graduation. I'd shrugged her off. That kind of thing happened from time to time and there were plenty of other targets in the class.
When I walked in and saw her there the first day I assumed it was not going to be pleasant. She had been a little snotty in her rejection of my advances. But I was surprised to find that she was friendly to me as we spent three hours together each day. With our bodies covered by baggie scrubs, our shoes covered by paper coverings, our hair covered by paper nets, we would chat easily as we went about the tasks of putting forceps and scalpels and syringes and little bottles of medicine into sterile packaging and then labeling them for the appropriate departments within the hospital. It was a fun relationship. She was pleasant to talk to and since I already knew that she wasn't interested in me I was releived of the sexual tension that usually went along with being next to someone like her. Or so I thought.
As the first few weeks went by I couldn't help but notice that Julie was always there when I got there. I knew she had her own car which allowed her to drive to the hospital instead of taking the bus but why in the name of God would she show up earlier than she had to? Finally, when our relationship matured to the point that I could ask such things, I asked her.
"Because," she told me, "I intend to get hired here at mid-semester. Can you imagine? It's a dream job. If they hire you, you get paid for your time here and still get the school credits. You also get another three hours on the clock at $6.00 an hour. So if I get noticed by showing up a half an hour earlier than everyone else, so much the better. They only hire three or four of us each year you know and there's more than twelve of us working down here."
"That's a pretty good idea," I said with complete honesty. After all, I was counting on getting hired also. To do so would nearly double my current income. "I wish I had a car so I could do it too."
I meant nothing by this statement. I was merely speculating out loud, wondering in my mind if I could break loose some of my portfolio to purchase a cheap car. If it helped me get a job it would be a sound investment, wouldn't it?
"If you want," Julie said, looking at me thoughtfully, "I could give you a ride. I have to drive right by your school to get here and right by it to get home. I'd rather work with you then some of the other losers they got around here."
"Really?" I asked, looking at her, trying to gauge her intentions. Usually when girls asked me something like that what they wanted was sex. I wasn't so sure about that with Julie though. After all, she'd already told me she was engaged. She in fact talked quite a bit about her fiancée, who was in his second year of junior college where he was learning the finer points of drafting. She was also a practicing Catholic-a religion which most definitely frowned upon pre-marital and extra-marital sex.
Finally I decided it was a genuinely innocent offer that a friend makes to another friend. "I'll take you up on that," I told her. "Thanks."
"No problem," she assured me.
Nina and I had arranged our school schedules that year so we shared the last two classes before lunch and ROP. We always sat together in the classroom during those classes and then walked together to the lunchroom where usually we would sit with Mike and eat lunch prior to heading off to our job sites. Mike had had the same idea as Julie. He drove his Bug to the fire station, getting there earlier than he was required. He also tended to stay a little later than was required. He talked repeatedly of his experience at the firehouse, continually and obviously inflating his stories of what they allowed him to do. For instance he told me once that they'd allowed him to don breathing gear and go into a burning building to help fight a fire, something that they would never do. But I was gladdened by his exaggerations. It meant that I'd hit upon just the right thing when I'd suggested firefighting as a career.
After he took off from lunch break to head downtown Nina and I walked out to the bus area where the ROP buses picked up the students. As we walked I explained my new riding arrangements to her along with the theory that it would help me get hired at mid-semester.
"Julie?" Nina said, frowning. "You're going to be riding with her?"
"Yeah," I said. "That way I'll be able to..."
"But she's engaged!" Nina nearly yelled. A very un-Nina-like display of emotion.
"So?" I asked, looking at her. "What does that have to do with anything?"
"You're gonna..." A pause as she tried to formulate her words, "... get a ride from an engaged girl?"
"Well yes," I affirmed. "Is there something wrong with that?"
Her face was actually turning red as her eyes, once so soft and mellow, burned into me. What the hell was the matter with her? "No," she said stiffly. She turned away from me and started heading for the bus stop.
I followed after her, grabbing her by the arm. "Nina?" I asked. "What's the matter?"
"Nothing," she said. "Nothing at all. I'll see you later."
Right then Julie, driving her little Japanese car, pulled to the curb in the red zone. She saw me and smiled. "You ready?" she called.
"Just a sec," I told her, turning back to Nina. "What's the matter with you?"
"I'm fine," she said sadly. "I'll see you tomorrow. Do you still want to ride with me to school?"
"Of course," I said, "but aren't we going to get together and study today after school? We have to go over that calculus."
"Not today," she said coldly. "I've got things to do." She turned away from me once again and disappeared into the crowd of students waiting for the bus.
With a troubled mind, more troubled than I cared to admit, I went to Julie's car and got in.
10-20-2012, 11:21 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
By the time we arrived at the hospital I was suspicious about Julie's intentions. She was overly friendly and openly flirty with me; signs I'd learned long before to both recognize and take advantage of. Despite my troubling conversation with Nina I found myself responding to her banter.
All through our workday it went on. She stood closer to me than was really needed, always taking the opportunity to touch my hand or bump her hip against mine. A few times she even turned so that the swell of her breast rubbed across my shoulder. It happened a little too frequently to be accidental. By two o'clock thoughts of Nina were forgotten as I pondered the prospect of bagging Julie and started working the problem of how to get her back to my place through my mind.
That turned out to be much easier than I'd thought it would.
As she drove me towards home she asked, "So, are your parents home right now?"
"No," I told her. "My old man doesn't get home until a little after four."
"Really?" she said, a smile blooming on her face. "You know, some of the other girls said they went over to your house and studied with you."
"Did they?" I asked, familiar with this opening line.
"Uh huh. Susie, Lori, and Stacy all said you're a great study partner." She looked over at me. "I need to study you know."
I chuckled. "I don't think your fiancée would like you coming over my house to study," I told her, my own personal form of legal disclaimer. "There are those who say my study techniques are somewhat radical."
"Well I sure ain't gonna tell him," she informed me, as I'd known she would. "I'm not married yet."
"No," I grinned. "I guess you're not."
There is of course a certain amount of subtle nuances and so forth that must take place in such encounters before the real action begins. You can't just go inside, tear of your clothes and start rutting like an animal on the carpet. Well at least not for a first encounter. Thankfully with Julie, this period was brief. We started on the couch, were coy with each other for a few minutes, and then we began kissing.
I pulled her sexy body to mine and probed between her large lips with my tongue, licking and sucking each lip while my hands ran up and down her back, feeling her hard body beneath the T-shirt she wore, tracing the outline of her bra strap. She returned my kisses eagerly, showing some skill of her own with her tongue in the way she caressed the inside of my lips with it, the way she probed teasingly in and out, sliding it with mine on a film of saliva. Her breath was sweet and scented with the bubble gum she'd recently been chewing, it's ebb and flow increasing as she became excited by my actions.
I moved from her lips and kissed my way down across her puffy cheek to her neck, licking the salty taste on her dark flesh, nipping with my teeth and sucking lightly. She threw her head back and cooed softly, her hands sliding down to my butt and then up under the back of my shirt where she ran them up and down my bare back. Her hands were soft as they glided across my skin, punctuated by the occasional scratch of her painted nails when I gave her skin a little suck or bite.
I dropped my own hands to the hem of her shirt and slid them underneath, running my fingers up her smooth flanks on each side, feeling her soft skin and the harsh roughness of her bra when I reached her chest. I brought my hands together in the front, moving them along her bra, cupping her firm tits through the cotton and wire, squeezing them together. I could feel her nipples protruding against my palms.
I went back to kissing her, more gently this time as I ran my hands around to her back and began toying with the clasp that held her bra together. She returned my kisses while her own hands slid down my back and into the back of my pants, worming their way through my underwear until her fingers were squeezing my ass cheeks, kneading them. She pulled me tighter against her, so that the bulge of my cock was pressing against the crotch of her pants.
She broke her mouth from mine for an instant. "You have a nice ass," she breathed, nipping at my earlobe with her teeth.
"Thank you," I breathed back, pulling her face back to mine and continuing our dance of tongues.
I undid the bra clasp with a quick, expert twist of the fingers and then lifted my arms, pulling her shirt and the bra off in one quick motion. She raised her hands in the air to assist me, breaking the kiss only long enough for the shirt to clear her head.
I slid my hands around to the front again, taking her tits in them, feeling the yielding but firm flesh, the hard nipples. I stoked them up and down, gliding my fingertips around the perimeter of each nipple, finally tweaking them a little. They were as rigid as stone it seemed. I broke the kiss and pulled away from her, looking at her chest, drinking in the sight of those beautiful mammaries. As I've mentioned before, teenagers have the nicest tits; they can truly be taken as a sign that there is a God. Julie's were no exception. They were perhaps a little larger than was considered average but they had no sag to them. They were pale in contrast to the darkness of her skin except for the nipples, which were the color of ripe cherries. I hefted them a little in my hands, stroking the sides and bottoms of them, running my fingers beneath them.
"You like them?" she asked sweetly. She knew that I liked them.
"They're all right," I shrugged and then smiled.
"You asshole." She giggled. "You want to taste them?"
"If I must," I said, feigning a sigh of a laborer contemplating an unpleasant job.
"You must," she told me, grabbing me by the shoulders and pulling me towards her.
I sucked and licked her nipples for several minutes, tasting their texture, making her squirm on the couch beneath me.
"You know," she panted, running her fingers through my hair and sliding her denim-clad leg up and down in my crotch, "I heard that you have some really cool study methods."
"Yeah?" I answered between tongues on her right nipple, which was dripping with my saliva. "What might those be?"
"You know?" she groaned. "Like doing things with your mouth."
I switched to the other nipple, cupping the bulk of the breast with my hand. "I'm doing things with my mouth right now," I told her, sucking the flesh on the side of the tit.
"Other things!" she insisted. "Things a little lower."
I looked up at her. "Your toes?"
"Higher," she giggled.
"Your belly button," I guessed, sliding down and sticking my tongue into it, making her squeal.
"That tickled," she said, delighted. "But you're getting warmer."
"Well," I finally said, "maybe you should just come upstairs to my room and show me what you mean."
"Maybe I should," she said, getting up.
Upstairs, standing near the foot of my bed while I watched her, she kicked off her shoes and socks and then unbuttoned her jeans. They were tight on her and it was with some effort that she pushed them off her body to the floor, revealing the dark elegance of her legs to me. Her panties were blue and cut high. They did not leave her body with the jeans, but remained behind after being dragged down just far enough for me to see a few tufts of her black pubic hair peeking out the top of the waistband.
Julie was certainly not shy about displaying her body. She even teased me a little, sliding the panties up and down a few notches, revealing more and more of the top of her bush before she finally slid them down and off her body. Her bush was thick and black, the lips of her pussy all but hidden in it. I stepped forward and ran my hand up her thigh, feeling the skin, finally probing lightly through the kinky hair until I felt warm wetness against my fingertip. I withdrew my finger and brought it to my nose, inhaling her scent, letting the pheromones do their work on me.
She reached forward and undid the snap on my jeans, pushing them down. Mine were not as tight as hers were and they slid easily to the floor where I kicked them and my shoes off. I pulled my shirt over my head and tossed it to the ground while Julie slid her hand into my underwear, grasping my cock.
"Nice," she said, feeling it up and down. With her other hand she tugged at the elastic, pulling them down my legs, her head traveling downwards as her hands pushed them to my feet. As she reached my dick her tongue slid out and circled the head for a brief second, just enough to make my whole body twitch.
"How about you show me how to study now?" she asked.
I nodded, stepping around her and lying on my back on the bed. "Come here," I told her, patting the mattress next to me.
She lay down and I pulled her body against mine, sliding her on top of me, chest to chest, face to face. I kissed her again while I felt the glory of her form pressing against mine. Remaining on my back I put my hands into her armpits and tugged a little, forcing her to move upward on me. I pushed upwards at the same time, bending her back a little and those tits were dangling in my face. I reached out for them with my tongue and worked them for a minute, getting her back into the swing of things and then I let go of her.
"What's wrong?" she asked me, looking at my intense stare.
"Do you want me to eat you?" I asked her.
"Yes," she nearly hissed.
"Bring it up here," I commanded, touching my lips with my fingers. "Put your pussy on my mouth."
"You mean, sit on you?" she asked, her eyes sparkling.
I nodded. "Come on."
She didn't have to be told twice. She slid her crotch along the length of my stomach and chest, inching forward until her soft thighs were pushing against my ears and her hairy pussy was hanging only inches from my mouth. Using my fingers I probed through her thick nest until her pink, juicy lips were visible. They were swollen and ready, gleaming with moisture, thick with the aroma of arousal. I brought my head forward and began to lick at her, driving my tongue into her passage.
My reputation among the girls was based almost entirely upon my skills at cunnilingus. For that reason, whenever I got my mouth on a pussy I gave it my very best. You had to leave the customer satisfied after all. I ate Julie until she battered my face beneath her and dented my wall by slamming the headboard of the bed into it. Her juices poured over my face and I lapped them up. When her first orgasm faded away I put her on her back and ate her again in the traditional method, starting slower this time, working my way from the bottom of her slit upwards so that by the time I reached her clit it was once again swollen and ready for a fresh assault. Her second come was even more powerful.
When that one was done I crawled up her body, which was now slick with her aroused sweat, and positioned myself atop her. She spread her legs wide for my coming penetration. With my mouth kissing hers, with my hard cock nestled in her pubic hair, feeling the waiting wetness, I reached over and opened the nightstand drawer next to the bed. Inside of that drawer, among other things, was a bible that my mom's sister, a religious fanatic, had given me long ago. What I was doing was a practiced and perfected maneuver. Without needing to look, or even take my mouth off her, I flipped open the bible to the middle where I'd cut a hiding hole in some of the pages. Inside this hiding hole were my condoms. I pulled one out and then flipped the book shut again. Less than a minute later the condom was firmly on my cock and the wrapper was resting on the nightstand.
"C'mon," Julie panted. "Do it."
I slid my dick through her swollen lips for a bit, wetting the condom. When it was ready I positioned the head between her lips.
"You ready to get fucked?" I asked her, looking in her brown eyes.
"Yes!" she cried, kissing my neck and squeezing my ass. "Do it! Fuck me!"
I drove forward, feeling my dick slide between those lips and into her tightness. She moaned as I penetrated her and my own voice joined hers as I felt her chamber squeezing at me. I began to move in and out, slowly at first but quickly increasing to a full-blown grind. She slid her legs up and down mine, her hands up and down my back while her hips rose up to meet me.
She came again after about five minutes, clawing my back as she did so. I continued to pound away at her until she came again. Now it was my turn to come. I picked up the pace, angling my thrusts for the maximum sensation, anticipating the feeling of blasting inside of her hot body.
But I couldn't come. My mind simply would not make the vital connection that allowed the process of orgasm to begin. It was not the first time this had happened. I'd noticed it happening over the last few months, though it was usually when I was fucking Anita or Cindy or Maggie. It was something that had happened to me in my previous life after I'd been married for a while. The mind was no longer able to generate orgasm through sensation alone, it needed a little something else. That something was usually a fantasy and I'd always figured it was required because I'd grown a little bored by screwing the same person over and over. But I'd never screwed Julie before. Why should I require a fantasy now? Julie was something new, something fresh. Wasn't she fantasy in and of herself?
I continued to fuck her, moving in and out, feeling her tits with my hands, stroking her legs, kissing her mouth, her neck. I tried to will myself to come. I'm fucking a beautiful teenager, I told myself. But I still couldn't come.
I began to run various fantasies through my head as I screwed her. Those that have been married for any length of time will probably be familiar with this method. I thought of the first time I'd fucked Cindy. That brought a little stir in my nether regions but no orgasm. I thought of what it would be like to fuck Darla Watson, a cute blonde at school that had always rejected my advances. I imagined it was Darla's body beneath mine, Darla's mouth kissing me. No good.
Sweat was now pouring off of my face and I was starting to get tired. Though Julie was still enjoying herself beneath me I knew that if I didn't come soon I was going to have to call a halt on the grounds of fatigue. I couldn't keep up this pace indefinitely. I was loath to do that since I needed to come and since it's damn near impossible to take a condom off your cock if you haven't blasted into it.
I raised my hand to my forehead to wipe the sweat out of my eyes while my hips continued to rise and fall and Julie continued to buck and moan against me. Suddenly I was thinking of Nina. I don't know what brought her image into my mind but I wasn't thinking of her as the friend I knew. I was thinking of her naked and sweating beneath me.
I felt a tingle run up my back at that very thought. The fantasy expanded. I closed my eyes and pressed my body tighter into Julie, my hips picking up speed. I imagined that instead of Julie it was Nina beneath me, her flesh pressing mine, her breasts against my chest, her sex grasping and squeezing my cock.
"Ahhhhh!" I groaned as my mind blew a circuit breaker of some sort and a powerful orgasm went slamming through my body almost without warning.
"Yess!" Julie screamed, feeling the change in my rhythm.
I bucked up and down atop her like I was in seizure, shooting blast after blast into the condom until I feared I was going to overfill it. Finally, drenched in sweat, I collapsed atop her.
She kissed and licked on me, telling me how great I'd been but I barely heard her.
Had I really been fantasizing about Nina? Had that fantasy really given me one of the most powerful orgasms I'd ever had?
I rolled off of Julie and removed the condom, tying a knot in the top and dropping it into the wastebasket next to the bed (which I would of course empty before Mom and Dad got home). I lay on my back, staring at the ceiling and she curled up next to me, resting her head on my chest.
We made some small talk with each other for a few minutes and all the while my mind was spinning. I'd gotten off thinking about Nina. What did that mean?
When Julie finally got out of bed and went to use the bathroom I started to run the fantasy through my head once again. I started to really imagine what it would feel like to kiss Nina, to feel her body against mine, to make love to her. These thoughts were not, I found, the least bit unpleasant to contemplate.
10-20-2012, 11:22 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
Julie left the house, giving me a quick kiss on the lips and walking out to her car. She told me she would see me tomorrow and then a moment later she was roaring away. I closed the door after she'd gone and walked to the kitchen for a glass of water, glancing at the clock as I did so. A half an hour until Dad got home. Just enough time for a shower.
Though I didn't have to work that day a bathing session was necessary none-the-less. I was wearing only a pair of sweatpants on my body and I knew I had to reek of Julie's musk both from my skin and on my breath. There was no sense giving my dad anything to raise his eyebrows about.
As I put ice in a glass and filled it with water from the tap, preparing to slake my considerable thirst, my mind was still reeling with the new images of Nina it had produced at the moment of truth earlier. The memory of the powerful orgasm those images had generated was still fresh and in fact the images themselves were still flitting at the forefront of my thoughts, keeping my dick in a semi-erect state.
It was Nina I was thinking about! Nina! What a mind-blower. I felt very weird about this. Nina was my best friend, my companion, my confidant for nearly two years now. Why was I suddenly having sexual thoughts about her? Was it just my teenaged libido in overdrive or was it something else entirely? As I struggled to understand the meaning of these thoughts I found myself thinking of her in more than the sexual way. I thought of all the time we'd spent together, of all the things we'd done. I liked being around her. There really wasn't anything else I would rather do in fact. Not even sex, my greatest obsession, compared to simply being in the company of her, talking to her, listening to her.
My God, I thought, I wasn't talking about love was I? Though I looked like a teenager and though I'd learned to act like a teenager I was still, under all of that, a 33 year old man. Nina was seventeen. And while I'd reluctantly acknowledged the possibility that she might be in love with me, through no fault of my own of course, I'd never even considered, even for an instant, the possibility that I might be in love with her. Sure I loved her as a friend. Sure, even though she was sixteen years younger than I was (although in reality she was nearly a year older than I was) I'd always found her a mature and easy to talk to companion, much easier than my ex-wife had ever dreamed of being, easier in fact than even Tracy. But none of that meant love did it, not romantic love anyway.
I thought of how upset she'd been earlier that day because I'd chosen to accept a ride from Julie. I remembered being baffled by her anger. Why should she be upset because of that, I'd wondered? It had been in all innocence, or so I'd thought then, and we weren't boyfriend and girlfriend anyway, so what right had she to be mad at me? And then I imagined how I would feel if Nina had told me that she was going to be riding to ROP each day with someone like Rick Felone, one of the few other guys that had been in our ROP classroom. I was surprised at the sudden surge of anger and jealously that hit me at the very thought of this.
Jesus, what was happening to me? What was I going to do about it?
Before I had a chance to think too heavily on those questions the doorbell rang. Muttering a curse under my breath at being interrupted while I'd been thinking some deep thoughts, I set down my glass and headed into the living room.
Figuring it was a door to door salesman selling some worthless product or religious fanatics selling something even more worthless, I threw open the door prepared to send them away post-haste so I could go up to take my shower and continue my thoughts of Nina to their conclusion. However it was neither on the other side of door. It was Nina.
Her expression was very cool, very unreadable as she stood on the porch. Her eyes took in my attire and I realized that she couldn't possibly have come at a worse time. What was she doing here anyway? She'd told me that she wasn't coming over.
"Hi, Nina," I greeted her with false cheeriness, stepping back a bit to keep her from catching any sort of scent from me. I did this instinctively without even realizing why I was doing it. "Come on in. What are you doing here?"
She made no move to come through the door, she simply stood there. "I came over to apologize for acting so weird today at school," she said. "I thought I'd been out of line, getting upset just because you wanted a ride with Julie."
"That's okay," I told her. "I understand completely. Why don't you come in?"
"I was so upset by what I'd said," she continued, still making no move to come through the door, "that I decided to head over as soon as I got home from school."
My mouth dropped open and a burst of adrenaline flooded me as I realized what she was saying.
"When I got here," she told me, "I saw that you already had company. Julie's car was out front."
"Listen, Nina," I started and then immediately faded away. I had no idea what I should say to her. Should I lie and say nothing had happened? I rejected that thought even as it formed. I could hardly deny it. Nina, as I may have mentioned earlier, was not stupid. Julie's car had been out front and I'd answered the door wearing nothing but sweats and smelling like I'd just fucked someone.
"What you do is your business," she told me and I saw that a tear was now running from her left eye. "It's never been any of mine and I've never pretended that it was. You've been screwing everything with a vagina for the last two years and I've never tried to convince myself that you have any feelings for me. To you I'm just Nina."
"No, Nina," I protested. "That's not true at all."
"It is, she said. "But do you know what? I've always had feelings for you. Ever since you first started talking to me in the lunchroom I've had strong feelings for you. Over the past two years they've never been returned but I've always had them and I've always hoped that some day..." She sniffed a little, more tears coming down now. "Time and time again I've started to feel like maybe there was some hope. Even though I've heard all of the stories about you, about how you'll screw anyone. Even though girls are always coming up to me and asking about you, trying to get me to introduce them to you, I still had some hope. I kept deluding myself, telling myself that you really were a nice guy. That you really weren't doing all of these things that I was hearing."
"I am a nice guy," I protested. "It's just..."
"Time and time again I would see what you were doing and try to tell myself I wasn't really seeing it. I would try to tell myself that someday..." She took a deep breath. "Anyway, when you told me that Julie and you were just going to ride together I felt, well, jealous, threatened at first. I know we're not going together or anything but still, I feel these things, Bill. I can't help it. I've got these fucking feelings for you. But then I thought about it and decided I'd overreacted a little. I told myself that there was no way Bill would ever do anything with an engaged girl. I convinced myself that I'd let my feelings come out a little too much this time." She snorted in disgust. "I was afraid you'd be mad at me. So I came over here to tell you I was sorry about that.
"When I got here and saw Julie's car out front it suddenly came home to me. Everything I'd always heard about you was true. All of the times I'd convinced myself that people were just talking about you, all of the times I saw with my own eyes what you were doing and convinced myself it was something else, all of that just fell apart when I saw her car. You really are an asshole, Bill, and the worst kind. You're an asshole that can pretend not to be one."
"Nina," I said, "let me explain..."
"There's nothing to explain," she said. "I've got to get away from you. I've got to stay away from you, do you understand? You're not good for me and you give me too many bad feelings. I just came up here to let you know that you're going to have to find another way to get to school." Tears were now running freely down her cheeks and her voice was breaking as she held off sobs.
"Nina, let's talk about this," I said.
"No," she cried, turning away from me. "Goodbye, Bill." She started down the walk.
"Nina!" I yelled, starting after her.
"Leave me alone," she sobbed. "Just stay away from me here, now, and forever. Don't call me anymore, don't talk to me anymore. Please."
She continued down the walkway and turned left at the sidewalk, heading for home. Less than ten seconds later she was out of my sight. But she wasn't out of my mind.
10-20-2012, 11:22 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
Despite what she'd said to me I tried to call her several times that day. I needed to talk to her, to tell her that I wasn't really an asshole. I needed to try to get her to change her mind. Each time her mother answered the phone and told me that Nina was not there. Her mother's voice, which usually lit up when she was talking to me, was emotionless and flat, with no hint of the previous warmth that had been in it. Finally she told me her daughter did not wish to speak to me and said that I should refrain from calling anymore. I put down the phone feeling defeated.
The next morning Dad saw me bundling up and preparing to walk to school. He gave me a puzzled look. "Isn't Nina coming to pick you up today?" he asked.
"No," I told him. "She's kind of, well, mad at me. She's not going to give me a ride anymore."
"You guys broke up?" he asked, his voice soft with sympathy.
"She was never my girlfriend, Dad," I told him, irritated. "She's just mad at me and doesn't want to give me a ride anymore."
He stared levelly at me. "Bill," he said, "I hate to tell you this but Nina was your girlfriend, whether you realized it or not."
I shook my head. "No, Dad," I said. "We were just friends. We never... well, you know?"
"Is that what you think a girlfriend is?" he asked. "Someone to, 'you know' with? You and Nina might not have ever done that with each other but you were boyfriend and girlfriend all the same. You liked being around each other, you liked to talk together. You were friends. You loved each other. Isn't friendship the most important part of a relationship? Any relationship? Why do people disregard such things?"
Had it been so obvious that even my dad had seen it? How could I have not seen it all this time? And how could fate have been so cruel to allow me to realize it on the very day, at the very minute that its destruction was being engineered.
"I don't know, Dad," I said with complete honesty. "Maybe they're just assholes."
He gave me a meaningful look. "Maybe they are," he replied. "And maybe they need to take a good look at what is making them an asshole, don't you think? Maybe they can change that little something?"
I gave him a sharp look. What was he saying? What did he know? Was he talking about my social activities? Surely he didn't know about that did he? But then I'd assumed Nina hadn't known about that either, an assumption that, now that it had been proven wrong, seemed painfully naive. Was my assumption that Dad or even, I shuddered, Mom, didn't know as flawed as that about Nina?
Dad had hidden his face back behind the paper, offering me no more insights into what he was thinking. Troubled, I picked up my backpack and headed out the door. I wasn't surprised to find that it was raining as I headed, on foot, to school. It was that kind of day.
My attempts to talk to Nina at school were met with stony silence. By the time lunch came around I knew better than to even try anymore. As I ate my lunch in the lunchroom I looked over to where Nina sat and dread covered me like a blanket. She was sitting alone at a table, eating from her tray, a book open before her. Just like she'd been doing the first day I'd approached her. Just like it.
Julie picked me up once more for ROP. As we drove to the hospital together I was disquieted by the freeness of her affection towards me. She would put her hand on my leg as we talked, or brush my hair from my eyes for me. Once she even kissed her finger and put it to my lips gently. She told me how great of a time she'd had yesterday.
"Do you think maybe we could study together again after school?" she asked brightly.
"Uh... not today," I told her. "I have to work." In truth I could have easily arranged a little meeting before work but I simply wasn't up to it. I'd never felt less like having sex in my life.
She pouted a little. "Well maybe next week," she said. "I really need to bone up on certain things."
As we worked side by side I noticed again how much she went out of her way to bump into me or to rub her breasts against my shoulder. Since I was quieter than usual she decided to talk more than usual. I winced when she mentioned her fiancée.
"Sometimes I wonder if I really made the right decision when I said I'd marry him," she told me.
I looked over at her, perhaps a little sharper than I'd intended to. "What do you mean?"
"Well," she beamed, her eyes shining, "I'm still young, ain't I? Maybe he's not the right one. Maybe I just jumped because he was the first one to ask. There's lots of other guys out there that might be better, isn't there?"
I quite simply didn't know what to say to her.
When I came home from work that night my Mom was sitting on the couch watching television and working on some sort of project for work. I gave her a perfunctory greeting and started to head for my room.
"Bill?" she asked. "Are you doing okay?"
I stopped, turning towards her. "Sure, Mom," I answered. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"Dad told me about you and Nina breaking up," she said. "I just wanted to know how you were handling it."
I didn't even bother explaining to her that Nina and I hadn't had a relationship to break up from. By now it was starting to sound like a lie even to me. "I'm okay, Mom," I assured her. "It'll work out."
"I certainly hope so," she told me sympathetically. "I really like her a lot you know. I thought you two made a cute couple."
I smiled weakly.
"I'm not trying to tell you how to run your life or anything, Bill," she said, "but I think you had a good thing with her. If I were you, I'd do whatever I had to to get her back. Sincerely."
"Thanks, Mom," I muttered, unsure what I was thanking her for. Why in the hell hadn't anyone told me this stuff a month ago, or a year ago, or even twenty-four hours ago?
Of course I was deluding myself because they had. Tracy in the most direct way, although I'd refused to hear her, Mom and Dad in more indirect ways. How many times had they referred to Nina as my girlfriend, either to me or when talking about her to someone else? And how many times had I reproached them for this, angrily even on occasion? Too many to count.
"Well that's my motherly advice for the day," she said. "If you're feeling down maybe this will help." She picked up an envelope from the table and handed it to me. On the front I recognized my sister's handwriting.
"From Tracy?" I asked. Since leaving for California Tracy had not exactly been an open line of communication. Two phone calls, one of which had just been to tell us she'd arrived safely, and this one letter. Since she lived in the dorms it was almost impossible to get hold of her.
"Yes." Mom nodded. "And about time too. I swear, you send them to college and they forget you exist."
I opened the envelope and sat down on the couch, pulling the single handwritten sheet of paper out and unfolding it.
Dear Mom, Dad, and Bill, it started. It was mostly to let us know she was alive and well and doing fine. She chattered on about how much she was enjoying her classes and the California weather, how much she liked living in the dorms, about her job at the campus bookstore, which would help supplement her living expenses. And then towards the end she told us that she'd met a boy and had been dating him fairly frequently. His name was Darren Maxwell.
Darren Maxwell. I'd never heard that name before in my life, before or after recycling. But for some reason that name gave me a twinge of fear. I continued to read her decidedly unfeminine handwriting, becoming more nervous in a much more identifiable way. He was a junior at the school attending on a baseball scholarship. A baseball player. He was a sports figure, just like the guy who had been scheduled to cause her death. It should have felt stupid that I was worrying about her just because she was dating a baseball player but it didn't. It made me very uncomfortable. I found myself wondering what kind of car he drove and if he liked to drink at parties.
Troubled, I put the letter back into the envelope and put it back on the table.
"What's the matter, Bill?" Mom asked me. "You look kind of pale."
"Nothing, Mom," I said, standing up. "I think I'm gonna hit the rack."
I was halfway up the stairs when it hit me. I realized why Darren Maxwell's name bothered me so much. He had the same initials as David Mitchell. The same amount of syllables in his name. I wondered if they looked alike. I wondered if I was just being paranoid, if the initials and the sports history were just a meaningless coincidence. Every time I started to convince myself that paranoia was all it was I would think about Beirut and about Nina sitting alone in the cafeteria, reading a book before she went off, alone, to medical school.
"Jesus, this is creepy," I muttered.
I lay in bed but it was a long time before I got to sleep.
10-20-2012, 11:22 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
I tried to call Nina twice over the weekend. The first time her mother not so politely told me that Nina did not wish to speak to me. The second time her Dad told me he would call the cops if I called there again. On Monday at school I tried to talk to her in class.
"I told you to leave me alone," she said quietly but coldly, in a voice that did not promise the opening of negotiations.
I left her alone.
Julie picked me up once again, for what I planned to be the last time. Though I wanted a job at central supply as much as anyone, I could not ride to work with her anymore. I didn't know if I was ever going to be able to bring Nina around again but it certainly wouldn't help for her to see me driving off every afternoon with Julie. I planned to tell her on the way to the hospital that this would be the last ride. But before I could, she blindsided me.
She was bubbly and exuberant as I climbed into the car and she roared off with much more enthusiasm than she usually displayed.
"You're in a good mood today," I commented, trying to think of an opening, or closing line.
"Yep," she bubbled happily. "I sure am. You know why?"
"Why?" I asked.
"Look," she said, and waved her left hand before my face.
I blinked in confusion, not following her. "Your hand," I said dryly. "What about it?"
"Notice anything missing?" she smiled, waggling her fingers.
And suddenly I did. The diamond engagement ring that she'd been so proud of, that she'd annoyed the living shit out of every member of the class with, was no longer on her ring finger. "Your ring," I said hollowly, knowing what the significance of it's absence had to be.
"Yep," she said, dropping the hand into my lap, very near my crotch. "I'm free. Absolutely free. I gave it back to him on Saturday night and told him I didn't want to marry him or see him anymore."
I took a deep breath. "Why did you do that?" I asked slowly.
"Because I don't want to see him anymore," she told me. She gave my leg a squeeze. "I've found someone else."
She'd found someone else? Oh shit. "And who might that be?" I braced myself.
She gave me a look that conveyed the message she thought I was teasing her. "You, you hoser," she said with a playful smile. "What we experienced the other night was just... just incredible, wasn't it? I knew right then we had something special going. Didn't you just feel the electricity?"
"Oh God," I couldn't help but mutter. Could this week get any worse?
"Hey," she said, "are your parents gone? I was thinking maybe we could cut ROP today and go over to your place." Her hand trailed upward until it was firmly in my crotch. "Spend the afternoon together?"
Slowly, patiently, I picked up her hand from my lap and put it back in hers. "Julie," I started, and then was unable to think of anything to say.
"What?" she said, confused by my rejection of her hand and the serious tone of my voice.
I looked at the ceiling of the car for a moment, trying to think. Why the hell was she doing this to me? Didn't she understand The Rules? She was supposed to enjoy our session and leave it at that. She wasn't supposed to break up with her fucking fiancée because of it. She wasn't supposed to be feeling electricity or any of that romance novel crap. I had no experience with this sort of thing.
"Sweetie," she said, concerned. "What's wrong?"
Sweetie? Oh Christ. This was getting way out of hand.
"Look, Julie," I said patiently. "I'm not your sweetie. I'm just Bill. Bill from class. We had a little fun together the other day, something we probably shouldn't have done, but I never meant for it to go any further than that. I never meant for you to break up with your fiancée over it."
Her face turned deadly serious. "What are you saying?" she asked.
What was I saying? Hadn't I just said it? "What I'm saying," I told her carefully, "is that I am not looking for a relationship with you. We just had a day of fun together."
"You don't want to go out with me?" she whispered, her tone conveying danger just under the surface.
"No," I said. "What happened between us just kind of happened. I didn't intend for it to go any further than that. Can't we just be friends?"
"Friends?" she nearly spat. "It sounds to me like you think I'm some sort of slut."
"No, no!" I protested. "That's not..."
"You take me over to your place and fuck me and you just want to end it like that? That's how guys treat sluts!"
"I'm not no fuckin slut!" she screamed at me. "Did you think I was one? Did you think you were just gonna fuck me and then we'd forget about it the next day? How could you think that? I'm a Catholic, Goddammit. I go to fucking church! Nobody treats me like a fuckin slut!"
"You're not a slut, Julie," I protested. "All I was trying to say..."
She suddenly slammed on the brakes, bringing her car to a screeching, smoking halt in the middle of one of Spokane's major arteries. I heard the screech of other brakes behind us as several cars nearly rear-ended her.
"Julie, Jesus, what are..."
"Get the fuck out of my car, you asshole!" she screamed at me. "Get your fuckin ass out now! I don't ever want to see your fucked-up, lying face again!"
"Let's talk about..."
"GET OUT!" she screamed and I saw murder in her eyes.
I unsnapped my seatbelt, opened the door, and got out. Before I could close the door she peeled away, ripping it out of my hand, leaving me standing in the middle of the street in one of the worst neighborhoods in town. I looked around uncomfortably at the angry faces of the motorists whose progress I was impeding and I hurried to the curb.
"I think I could have handled that better," I muttered to myself.
I took a quick look around me, trying to figure out what I was going to do next. I was in front of a liquor store and three blacks were hanging out in front of it. They were in their early twenties or late teens and looked like gang members based on their garb. They were smoking cigarettes and drinking from forty-ounce cans of beer. They eyed me with amusement.
"Homey," one of them said to me sympathetically, "that was one pissed off bitch."
"Yep," another agreed. "I heard her rap all the way over here. I was you, homey, I'd stay away from that shit."
"Sure thing," the other one put in. "Bitch done dropped your ass off in the hood. You'd a been good as dead she'd a done that shit at night. Lucky for you it's day, you only half as good as dead 'round here now."
They all laughed at that, shaking their heads at my predicament. I felt no fear from them. I'd worked for years in 'the hood' and had gotten good at reading the intentions of the inhabitants of it. Their jostling of me was for their own amusement. They meant me no harm. However, there were others around that would mean me some harm if I encountered them. I was no longer in possession of the safety my uniform provided or the portable radio that I'd once carried here that could summon every cop within five square miles in less than two minutes. I was in a delicate situation.
"Yeah," I said to them. "I do seem to be out of my element here, don't I?"
This cracked them up again. "You ain't shittin," one of them said.
"The bus stop around here somewhere?" I asked.
"Right here, homey," one answered. "Should be comin round in about twenty minutes."
"Hope you can make it that long," the one that had made the crack about the hood commented.
I looked around again, not seeing anything that offered comfort to me. The street was lined with liquor stores, cheap motels, and the occasional sub-human apartment complex. There were alleys between each of the buildings that undoubtedly contained all manner of thug of all races and creeds. This was not a place to take a little stroll. I turned back to the three-man comedy team.
"Gentlemen," I said, "I propose a business deal."
"Say what?" the apparent leader of the trio asked me.
I reached into my pocket and pulled out a ten-dollar bill, my weekly ration from my paycheck. I silently gave thanks that I'd increased it to ten after starting work in the hospital. "Take this ten," I said, "and take it into the liquor store there. Buy me one of those forties you're drinking, since I can use a drink about now, and give me back a buck for the bus. You guys keep the rest for yourself in exchange for keeping me from getting killed before the bus gets here."
They all stared at me for a moment, a trio of The Look. Finally the leader spoke. "And what's to stop us," he asked, "from just takin the dime and sendin your ass the fuck out of here?"
I shrugged. "Absolutely nothing."
It took them a moment but they finally started laughing. The leader, shaking his head and grinning, plucked the ten out of my fingers and headed into the store. He returned a minute later handing me a frosty, forty-ounce can of King Cobra and a dollar bill.
"You know somethin, homey?" he asked me as I cracked open the beer and took a huge swallow. "You all right. You the most fun we had around here in a fuckin week."
And so I made it safely out of the worst area that Spokane had to offer. I boarded the bus, buzzing pleasantly from the beer that I'd just slammed into my system, gave my business partners a wave goodbye, and found myself a seat. I thought it prudent to avoid going to the hospital that day, giving Julie 24 hours to cool down. Since I was not accustomed to riding the bus and since I did not have any more money to spare I simply sat in my seat until the bus I was on passed near my home. It took nearly two hours and by the time I got off my bladder felt as if it was going to burst. I ran the five blocks to my house, fumbled with the key, and dashed full speed to the bathroom.
It was a fitting end to the school day I supposed.
10-20-2012, 11:22 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
When I came home from work that night Mom was once again sitting on the couch and watching television.
"Hi, Bill," she greeted. "Feeling better today?"
"Much," I lied, putting on a cheery face.
"Have you talked to Nina?" she asked delicately.
"She won't talk to me," I answered. "But life goes on, doesn't it?"
"What did you guys fight about anyway?" she asked.
"It's kinda personal, Mom," I explained. "But don't worry. I'm coping."
She gave me a sideways smile. As I started up the stairs she suddenly called me back.
"I almost forgot," she told me. "Anita called and asked if you could put up her storm windows this week sometime when she gets home. Winter's coming soon you know."
"Sure," I answered. There had been a time, about a week ago, when the news that Anita had called, asking me to do something for her would have caused a stir in my nether regions. But now, nothing. Sex was still the furthest thing from my mind. "I'll do it tomorrow afternoon."
She beamed at me. "It so sweet of you, Bill," she commented. "Helping Anita out even with your busy schedule. You're turning out all right."
"I hope so," I said as I headed upstairs, realizing that for the first time in forever I was looking at a trip to Anita's as a chore.
I sensed no thawing of feelings from Nina the next day so I did not attempt to talk to her. At lunch she sat alone again at her table. Mike joined me at mine, pointing at her.
"Why's she sitting over there?" he asked, not bothering to finish chewing his food first.
"She's pissed off at me," I told him.
He stared at me for a moment and then, in the way of Mike, dismissed the subject. "You ridin' the bus today?"
"Yep," I answered, wondering if he was going to start questioning me about Julie now.
Instead he gave me a sour look. "I'll be with you," he said.
"Yeah?" I asked. "How come?"
"Bug's broke. The fuckin oil pump took a shit on me. Have to wait till my dad gets paid again before I can get it fixed."
I commiserated with him for a minute and then our talk turned to other subjects. After lunch we boarded the bus and found seats together. Nina, not even looking at us, found a seat by herself near the front.
My stop came before his so I bid him farewell and exited through the door along with the other ROP members assigned to the trauma center. As I headed for the main doors I saw Julie's car parked in the parking lot. I felt my nerves tense up as I anticipated having to work with her. After all, we worked with scalpels and other sharp instruments.
But as it turned out my fears were groundless. She had already talked to the supervisor and had requested a change of work partner for personal reasons. My new partner was Brett Jackson, one of the other guys in the class. Julie was working with another girl in a section across the room from me. Brett asked a few questions regarding the transfer but I gave him no answers. Eventually he gave up. Julie and I stayed far apart and she did not try to cut my heart out with an un-sterile scalpel. It seemed that particular crisis was passed.
When I rode home that day Nina sat away from me once more. But I also noticed the fact that Mike was not on the bus. He should have been picked up before me. Where was he? Had he found another ride home? For some reason his absence filled me with the same sense of dread I'd felt when I read Tracy's letter. When the bus dropped me off at school and Nina hopped into her Mom's car and I started home, the sensation was still with me. What had happened to Mike?
In the old days, before I'd become Anita's lover, she'd always had me over to do whatever work she required done in the afternoon shortly after I came home from school. Since the first time we were intimate with each other however it became a rule that we planned my work in the late afternoon, timed so she could feed me dinner and then put her kids to bed in time for us to retire to her bedroom, the confines of which I knew as well as my own. As I headed over at five o'clock that day I still felt like sex was the last thing in the world I wanted to participate in. I also knew that Anita would be expecting it. Beyond that my mind refused to consider anything.
She gave me a saucy smile for greeting, a smile I knew meant that she was exceedingly horny and in need of my talents. I sighed and went to work.
By the time the sun dipped below the horizon I had all of her storm windows up (knowing in the back of my mind that I would soon be required to put up Mom and Dad's storm windows too). I entered the house to let her know I was done, intending to tell her that I was going to skip dinner that night and just head home. But as I made my way to the kitchen I smelled the familiar aroma of her burgundy beef stroganoff, a dish that she knew was one of my favorites and that she often prepared for me. I also knew that quite a bit of preparation time went into the construction of this meal and I found myself without the heart to turn it down. Besides, I rationalized, Mom, knowing I would be eating at Anita's would have prepared only enough dinner for Dad and herself.
"Do you want to take a shower before dinner?" she asked me as she started the finishing touches on her meal.
"Sure," I said, without enthusiasm.
As I scrubbed myself in her shower, washing the sweat of my exertions down her drain I heard the click of the shower door behind me followed by a rush of cold air against my wet skin. Startled, I turned around to see Anita, completely naked, stepping into the shower with me.
"Anita?" I said, alarmed as she shut the door and pushed her body into mine. "What are you doing?"
She grinned. "I'm feeling a little dirty tonight," she told me, running her hands over my soapy chest.
"But the kids," I protested. "They're still awake."
"They're watching TV," she said, grabbing the bar of soap from my hand. "Don't worry about them."
She began sliding the bar of soap over my wet skin, running it up and down between my lower abdomen and my shoulders, leaving white, foamy streaks on my flesh. Her large breasts were touching my arm as she did this, pushing their weight into me.
"Anita," I started again. "This is a bad idea."
"A bad idea?" she asked, letting the bar slide down onto my thighs and across my balls.
"Yes. We shouldn't..."
"Why don't you let me," she said, dropping the soap to the ground, "decide what is and isn't a bad idea."
"Oh dear," she said with mock concern, "I've dropped the soap. Perhaps I should go retrieve it."
"Anita..." I began again but she wasn't listening. She slowly dropped to her knees on the floor of the shower and took my wilted cock into her mouth. "Anita..." I pleaded, trying to resist her.
It was useless. Anita knew how to suck a cock. Though I'd sworn only minutes before that sex was the last thing on my mind it took only a moment of her teasing, sucking mouth slurping at my meat before I started to stiffen.
"Mmmmmm," she moaned, pulling her mouth free for an instant. "I love to feel it get hard in my mouth." She dove back down on me.
She sucked me until I was as hard as a diamond and resting my arm on the top of the shower to keep from falling down. She then began to move her head up and down, sucking and licking and jacking with her hands. Water ran across her face as she sucked, adding it's own tickles to the experience. Just as my hips started to gyrate back and forth, she pulled her mouth from me and stood up, trailing her tongue up my body as she went. She licked across my nipples, onto my neck, and finally to my mouth where she plunged her tongue inside.
Libido is both the gift and the curse of the young. She had succeeded in driving thoughts of Nina and Beirut and Tracy and Mike from my head. She'd succeeded in transferring control of me to the other head. I put my arms around her and pulled her soft body to mine, letting my hands drop down to her ass cheeks which I began squeezing.
She broke the kiss and stood back a little, out of the spray of the warm water. She reached into her shower caddy and removed a bottle of baby oil. It was the baby oil I knew, that was responsible for the silky, sensuous softness of her skin. She put it on herself every time she bathed. I'd watched her do it plenty of times.
"Here," she said throatily, handing me the bottle. "Put it on me."
"Okay," I agreed, popping open the cap.
"Be sure to rub it in good."
I turned the bottle upside down and dumped a large quantity over the top of her breasts. The clear oil ran over them, between them, and around the sides of them, spilling onto her belly. I set the bottle down and put my hands on her, starting at the top and rubbing the oil into her skin. My hands and fingers glided over her breasts, squishing them in and out of my grasp, making them slippery and almost frictionless. Her nipples stood out proudly and I took a moment to give each one a quick suck, tasting the bitterness of the oil on my tongue as my hands continued to her stomach.
When her entire belly and flank were slippery I grabbed the bottle once more and then went to my knees before her. Her swollen, dripping pussy was right before my eyes but I ignored it for the time being dumping some oil on each of her upper thighs. I began to massage her legs, starting at the top and working my way down to her feet, rubbing and caressing them until they were as slippery as her torso.
I then dumped some oil into the palm of my hand and cupped her pussy, squishing the oil into her lips. She sighed as I touched her there and I began to rub the oil in, feeling her lips swell further, feeling her slick clit rubbing against me. I slid two fingers into her body. They penetrated the slick passage with ease. Her experienced muscles gripped at me. I began to plunge the fingers in and out while I leaned forward and took her slippery, rigid clit into my mouth and began sucking it.
"Ohhhhh," Anita moaned, her hands coming to the back of my head.
When she came, her legs trembled so badly that I feared she was going to fall on me. Somehow she kept her balance, riding through the tremors I gave her.
I stood up, my dick straining out before me, with the intention of sinking into that slippery channel and taking her standing up while her oil-slickened body slid against mine. But Anita had other plans.
"I still need oil on my back," she told me.
Dutifully I picked up the bottle while she turned herself around. I poured a quantity onto her shoulder blades and it tracked a course down towards her ass. I massaged the oil into her skin, working my way lower once more until my hand was probing between the cheeks of her ass. I dumped more oil, getting her good and slippery in the valley, running my hand in and out. Anita really liked it when her ass was played with and I could hear her heavy breathing as I paid her attention there.
She stepped backward a step and bent over, exposing her crotch and ass to me.
"You know what I want," she breathed, her hand going up to her pussy where it began to rub.
"I think I do," I told her, pouring a little more oil into my hands and then dropping the bottle to the floor.
I put my oily hands back between her ass cheeks and touched the bud of her anus with my index finger. I pushed forward and the digit slid into her back passage, lubing the way as her hot tunnel squeezed me. I probed in and out for a minute and then added a second finger. Anita moaned her approval.
"C'mon!" she commanded. "Do it!"
I pulled my fingers from her and grasped my cock in one hand. With the other hand I spread her slippery cheeks apart. I moved forward, putting the head against her slick asshole. I probed forward once, feeling the orifice grip at me and then I pushed into her, sliding deep into her ass in one fluid motion.
"Yesssss!" Anita groaned and I had to agree with her. Her passage was tight and slick.
I dropped my hands to her hips and began to move in and out of her, feeling her gripping and releasing, hearing her excited moans over the patter of the water. Her hand began to move faster between her legs and her hips began to move backward against me as I moved forward.
She came again and the erratic spasming of her ass around my cock brought my own orgasm forward. With Anita giving me obscene encouragement, I blasted my load deep into her bowels.
After coming she quickly rinsed herself off and got out of the shower, leaving me to give myself another once-over with the soap, particularly in my crotch. As I cleaned my body I gave silent thanks for Anita. She'd given me just what I needed and I felt better, calmer than I had before coming over. I was pleased to find that I had come quite nicely without having to think of Nina at all. In fact she'd hardly entered my mind.
10-20-2012, 11:23 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
Dinner was up to it's usual standards, which was excellent, and by the time it was over and the kids were in bed I was ready for another session. So was Anita. We went to her bedroom and spent about an hour pleasuring each other in the conventional fashion.
After this, as we were lying together on her bed, sweat drying on our bodies, my seed dribbling from between her thighs and puddling on her comforter, I stared at the ceiling, letting my thoughts flow. Beside me, Anita was in a semi-stupor, drifting towards a full-fledged sleep. She often drifted off after we were done, leaving me to shower and find my way out alone. I'd always taken this as a sign that I'd done a good job.
I thought of Anita, thinking back on our relationship together since that first time I'd come over pleading for her help with a girlfriend problem, engineering her seduction of me. Since then we'd never gone a week without finding ourselves in each other's arms, in each other's body. As far as physical pleasure went she still remained the best. I wondered if, when she met the man she would marry, she would constantly compare him to me? Or would she maybe teach him some of my techniques? This thought actually amused me, making me chuckle for perhaps the first time during that miserable week. Anita teaching her new boyfriend and future husband some of the things she'd learned from a teenager.
I yawned and stretched, preparing to hop out of her bed and head for the shower when a thought from left field suddenly struck me. I froze in mid-stretch, coming fully awake, turning me head and looking at my bed-partner who was just about to give in to the final submersion of sleep.
Anita was already supposed to be dating the man who would marry her! She was supposed to have met him before Tracy graduated from high school. I remembered that clearly from my previous life. He'd been at her side at Tracy's funeral! By the time I went off to college she was supposed to have married him and moved away. But she was doing none of that. She had no boyfriend. The closest thing she had was... me.
What had happened? Why hadn't she started dating him? Why wasn't she falling into her previous pattern as Beirut and Nina were doing? I tried as hard as I could to rationalize a reason for the absence of the boyfriend but only one explanation held water. I had interfered with that by starting a relationship of my own with her.
What had been his name? I thought, trying to remember back over a considerable span of years. Something with a J in it was all I could come up with at first. The name danced for a while on the tip of my tongue until finally I was able to snag it. The last name continued to elude me but a first name was all I needed.
"Anita?" I said, shaking her gently until her eyes opened a little. She stared up at me blearily.
"Whu... ?" she grumbled.
"Do you know anybody named Jack?" I asked her.
"Huh?" she said, waking up a little more now.
"Jack," I repeated. "Do you know anyone named Jack?"
"My ex-father-in-law's name is Jack," she said. "Do you mean him?"
"No." I shook my head. "Any other ones?"
She thought for a second. "Well there's Jack Valentine at work."
Bingo! Once she told me the last name it came back to me. Her future married name was supposed to be Anita Valentine.
"Why would you ask that?" she wanted to know.
"Tell me about Jack Valentine," I prodded her.
She gave me a puzzled look for a second but, like Tracy and Nina, she was well used to the occasional strange question or statement from me. "He transferred to my department about a year ago," she finally said. "He's divorced and kind of good looking. He asked me out a few times last year but finally he gave up when I kept turning him down. He's dating some tramp from accounting now. Word has it their relationship isn't going so well."
"Why," I asked cautiously, "did you turn him down when he asked you out?"
She looked at me strangely and then smiled. "Why would I want to go out with some pinhead when I have you?" she asked. "You take care of all of my needs. Well, most of them anyway."
"Anita," I said, thinking as quickly as I could about how I was going to phrase this. If I'd learned nothing else from my experience with Julie it was to treat a woman during a conversation like this as you would an unexploded bomb. "Don't you think that, well, maybe you should occasionally go out with guys your own age?"
"Why?" she asked softly.
Why? "Uh... well, you know, because you might want to uh, develop a relationship with a man and maybe, you know, get married again someday."
"I would like to get married again someday," she told me, scooting a little closer to me. "And I do have a relationship with a guy going. You."
"But Anita," I said, "I'm only seventeen years old. I'm in high school. I'll be going off to college next year."
"I know," she responded, slapping playfully at me with her hand. "And once you're eighteen years old we won't have to keep our relationship a secret anymore. We'll be free."
"Free?" I said, looking at her like a rabbit in a set of headlights.
"Yes," she said. "I figure I can go with you wherever you go to college. I can get a job practically anywhere with my skills. We can rent a house while you get your degree. The only hard thing is going to be telling your parents about us." She shook her head sadly while I stared with my mouth agape. "That's certainly not going to be fun."
"No," I muttered slowly, numbly, "it wouldn't be fun at all, would it?"
She leaned over and kissed my nose with a quick peck. "But don't worry," she assured me. "It'll work out. Love will find a way. Why don't you go take your shower now? You don't want to make your parents suspicious do you?"
"No," I said. "That wouldn't do at all."
I was deeply troubled once again as I walked home and headed upstairs that evening. I brushed by my mother before she had a chance to get a good look at my face and see my emotions there. As I crawled under my covers and shut off my light I found myself actually grateful for my fight with Julie. It was thoughts of her that had kept me from telling Anita then and there that I had no intention of marrying her or having her follow me to college. In fact I never intended to sleep with her again. But I had to think carefully first about how I was going to break that news to her. It was clear that I was in the process of screwing up her life but good. Instinctive moves to correct this action might not necessarily be the best ones. The situation would need to be reflected upon first.
As I was reflecting I fell asleep. When I woke up a whole new day was beginning.
10-20-2012, 11:23 AM
RE: Doing It All Over
I half expected Mike to show up at my house in order to walk to school with me since his car was broken. When he didn't, I figured that one of his parents must have given him a ride. I didn't see him during the classroom portion of the day at all but that was hardly unusual. During lunch period, when I still didn't see him I was forced to conclude that he wasn't there. The conclusion was confirmed when I boarded the bus for ROP and he wasn't there either.
Where was he? I wondered worriedly. Was he sick? Had he maybe taken ill during his shift the previous day? Although that nicely explained why he hadn't been on the bus yesterday or today it didn't ring true. I had a premonition of more disaster brewing. A premonition that turned out to be correct.
Mike was supposed to come over to my house for a study session after school and when he didn't show up I called his house, noting that my hands were trembling a little as I dialed. He answered the phone on the second ring.
"Mike?" I asked. "What's up?"
"Nothin'," he told me sourly.
"Where were you today?" I asked him. "Didn't see you in school or at ROP."
There was a long pause. Finally he said, "I got in trouble yesterday, dude."
My heart started hammering in my chest as I heard his words. I forced myself to ask, "What kind of trouble?"
"The captain at the station caught me smoking a joint out behind the apparatus bay."
"What?" I asked slowly. "You were smoking a joint there?"
"Yeah," he answered. "I usually smoked them in the car on the way to the station but I didn't have my car. Figures he'd come out to have a smoke just when I was trying to take a few hits."
"And what happened?" I asked next.
"I got suspended for a week," he told me. "I also got kicked out of ROP. They're gonna give me three classes to replace it."
"Mike, Jesus," I said, unable to think of anything else.
"It's cool," he told me. "I didn't really like hangin out at the fuckin fire station anyway. And the captain was an asshole. Anyway I had a meeting with the counselor and my parents today and she said I should give the independent study a try."
"You're not gonna do it are you?" I asked quickly.
"Yeah," he told me. "I am. Fuck going to class for six hours every day."
"Mike," I said, "this isn't the end. You can still stay in school and graduate next year. You can still get on with the fire department after you graduate. You just have to tell them in the interview that you were a dumb kid and that..."
"Fuck that," Mike said angrily. "I'm going into independent study. We sent in the application today. Should be approved by next week."
"Mike," I pleaded, "we're almost halfway through the school year! You'll be done before you know it! Just hang in there for another few..."
"Fuck it!" he repeated. "I'm not staying in that fuckin shithole any longer than I have to. I shoulda gone into independent study in the first place. I'd of been done by now."
"I gotta go," he said. "I'll see you around."
With a click he hung up the phone. Slowly I replaced mine in the holder.
I sat for the longest time, trying to think my way through all of the crap that had suddenly come down in the last week but I couldn't. There was too much of it and it was cluttering up my mind. I would no sooner start to think about one aspect when another would push it's way forward, demanding my attention.
I went upstairs to my room and opened up my nightstand drawer. I looked in the cutout section of my bible and found what I needed. I took it out and pocketed it carefully. When Dad got home I asked him if I could use his car for a few hours. He handed me the keys and asked if I would be home for dinner.
"Probably not," I told him, heading out the door.
I drove to the park near the falls; the location of many a kegger. No keggers were going on at the moment since it was daytime and no families were picnicking at the moment since it was October and the weather wasn't quite up for such things. I locked up Dad's car and walked to a trail that led down to the river near the top of the falls. I began hiking.
Twenty minutes later I was standing less than a hundred yards from where the water arced over the cliff. The roar of the falls was very loud and a fine mist from below drifted through the air, blown by the prevailing winds. I found myself a comfortable spot and sat down. I then reached into my pocket and pulled out the half joint that I'd extricated from my bible.
I'd noticed long before I'd been recycled that a little marijuana helped me think deeply about things. It helped keep my thoughts from being sidetracked into something else. Though I was aware of the irony of what I was doing, using the very substance that had brought Mike down in order to help come up with a solution to his problem, as well as the many others that I'd set in motion, I took out a lighter and lit the joint. As I smoked I stared at the falls, watching the water cascade over the edge to its collision with the lower river. The sight was mesmerizing, the sound nothing but white noise. By the time I'd finished the roach my mind was clear and I began trying to think things through.
Patterns. That was what it came down to. There were two separate time lines I was dealing with. What had happened in my first trip from 1982 to 1999 and what was happening in my second trip. When I'd first come over it had seemed so simple. Everything was new, everything was fresh. I had not really believed at all that I would have to worry about the way things had turned out in my first life. But now, after all the things that had happened, I was seeing definite patterns between the two time lines. Though some things had changed I was seeing a definite tendency for things, people especially, to drift into the patterns that had apparently been set for them. As for who or what had set those patterns, I knew not and I cared not. I was only concerned with the question of whether or not the patterns were tendencies or absolute.
Mike. In my previous life he'd gone to independent study and dropped out of school. He'd joined the Air Force a few years later and the few times I heard from him after that he'd seemed to like his job as missile technician in Wyoming. However when he was discovered to have marijuana in his system after a random drug test and given a choice between an Article 15 or a dishonorable discharge without criminal complaint, he chose the discharge. In this timeline I'd successfully steered him off of that path at it's beginning and onto a different one, that of a firefighter. I'd kept him in high school longer than he had been previously and I'd honestly thought that I'd changed his destiny. But then he was caught using marijuana at the fire station. He was thrown out of ROP and was now planning to re-enter independent study. He'd steered himself right back into the other path with only two days worth of effort. Was he now committed to that path? Was there no way for me to steer him back again? Was it pointless to even try?
Nina. In her previous life she'd been taunted and ignored throughout her school years, eventually turning into a bitter, though highly educated person. It would be readily apparent to every person who dealt with her on a regular basis in my first life that she suffered from a raging inferiority complex. She was driven by the desire to appear smarter, better, faster, more competent, more everything, than everyone else around her. She was driven by this desire because deep inside she would always be the butt of everyone's jokes and would always feel she was inferior to everyone. The facade she would put up to convince herself and others to the contrary would often be brutal to those it touched. But in this timeline I'd steered her off of that path. I'd befriended her and, with the help of others, showed her that she really was a good person. For the longest time it seemed she could not fall into her original pattern. And then yours truly, in my idiocy, jerked her heart out of her chest and stomped on it. Now she was back to eating alone in the cafeteria, back to being uncommunicative with everyone. She was on her way to college and medical school next year. In the nineties would she show up in the emergency room in Spokane once again with the same chip on her shoulder, the same attitude? Although the trip took a different pathway than before it sure seemed to me she was heading for the same place.
Tracy. This was the problem that concerned me more than anything else. In the previous time line a football player named David Mitchell had gotten drunk one night and driven my sister into the Spokane River, killing her. I'd prevented that from occurring, true enough, but it was disquieting to me that the Camero had still crashed into the river, that Lisa Sanchez had still been killed in the accident, and that Barbie Langston, who had taken Tracy's place in the car, had not been killed. And now Tracy was dating a baseball player named Darren Maxwell. Was it coincidence that he had the same initials? Was fate simply waiting for another chance to claim Tracy, whose demise was already written in some celestial book somewhere? If so, was there anything I could do about it? Was there anything she could do about it?
And that brought me to the troubling problem of Anita. She, for a change of pace, had deviated way off of the path that she'd taken before. She had not gone out with the man that she was going to marry in the previous timeline and had instead fallen in love with me after I'd initiated an affair with her. She had called her intended a 'pinhead' in fact. Why was Anita different? Or was she?
I stared at the falls and ran all these things through my mind, one by one. Mike, Anita, Tracy, myself, Beirut, trying to determine if there were any absolutes, any hard, fast rules to this thing. I stayed there for a long time, staring and thinking, thinking and staring, watching the water rush by in the river.
Was fate, I wondered, like that river? A liquid stream rushing along towards a fixed destination. All of the billions of drops of water in that river were destined to end up, eventually, in the ocean. You could take a few drops out and move them back upstream a few feet or a few miles but they would still end up passing by the same point again, they would still end up in the ocean. A few drops would occasionally splash out of the stream for a while, seeming to free themselves of the current but they would eventually be brought right back into the flow. That was their destiny. That was their fate.
But was it possible for a few drops to occasionally escape that river, to find a new path? Sometimes it was. They could be taken away clinging to the bathing suit of a child or scooped up by a motorist whose vehicle had overheated and deposited into a radiator. They could be lapped away from the river by a deer or a coyote or a bear or even a stray dog. Though most of the drops were fated to continue on their way to the Pacific Ocean; it was possible for some to escape, wasn't it?
When I finally left I was soaked from the mist, shivering, probably on the verge of hypothermia, and I had a bitch of a headache.
But I felt better all the same.
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