I drove back to Felber's, angry and dejected. I didn't really believe Tami'd had sex with the kid half her age, but I'd tried to explain how I'd needed a friend and not had one, and she had lashed out at me in a cruel manner. Some friend she was!
The truth was, I'd grown too close, way too close to a married woman. There had been times that I was tempted... and she would say that she wasn't ready. She wanted to do it "for the right reasons". She wanted to be divorced first. She wanted to be best friends with the person she was going to have sex with - and she had told me, and others, that I was her best friend.
I decided she was going to have to stay with Charley and Linda. I just couldn't do this any more.
I drank one beer at Felber's and went home. I got another out of the fridge, and halfway through it Charlie called. Could I loan her five bucks for cigarettes? Charlie works construction, and said tomorrow was payday. I drove out to Ralph's to pick her up.
She denies it, but Charlie likes girls. I'd seen her hit on Tami and other women before. I think she's transgendered, but like I said she denies it. Despite the fact that she's not bad looking and has a REALLY nice ass, I don't think I've ever seen her with a man.
We went back to my house and opened a couple of beers and I told Charlie my tale of woe. "You just disappeared," she said. "why did you leave?
I told how she'd gone out for a smoke with Tami following her, how it was my anniversary, how Tami had followed the kid inside and Charlie afterwards.
"I went in to go to the bathroom," she said, "when I came out you were gone."
I told her about Tami's parting shot.
"She didn't fuck him", Charlie said. "She's like that when she gets mad, you know."
We drank a couple of beers and I took her home, and went home to bed. Damned alarm clock, I hate it.
But the clock never had a chance to go off. Five minutes before it would, Charlie called, very upset.
Charlie's young brother, Cory, is only thirty, and Linda, forty seven and reformed after her stint at Dwight and on parole herself, were now a couple. Linda had given birth on April Fool's day, two days before my vitrectomy. Charlie's brother had a girlfriend, who I'd never met but Ralph had said was "damned good looking" but supposedly had broken up with and now Cory was living at Ralph's as well.
The young Cory, dumb as a doornail, had first fallen in love with the baby and then supposedly with Linda. Charley said the two of them had assaulted her. "That fucking bastard and that no good cunt beat my ass. That god damned Tami was in on it, too.
"I lied to you last night. I didn't want to hurt your feelings any more, but Tami's been fucking that kid all weekend", referring to the twenty five year old whose name I never caught.
"She's just been using you. You should have heard some of the shit she said about you. The neighbors called the cops, and they were going to arrest me! They said I had to leave until eight fifteen, can you come get me?"
You can imagine that I felt like my heart had been stomped on. I got dressed, shut off the alarm clock and turned on the coffeepot and picked Charlie up by the railroad track, half listening to her rant about Tami and Linda and her asshole brother and the kid Tami had been fucking all weekend.
I dropped her back off at Ralphs. Before she got out of the car she yelled "Linda! Watch this, bitch!" and all of a sudden she was all over me in a very pleasant liplock, her hand on my crotch. Then she calmly got out of the car and sat down in the yard.
I drove to work, perplexed.
My phone rang at work about the time I was due for a break. It was Tami, and now she was upset. Not nearly as upset as me, I can tell you! She said she'd started her period and needed some pads and wanted a ride to borrow money from a friend, and she'd give me half the money.
"I haven't eaten in two days!" she said.
I wanted to give her a piece of my mind, tell her how badly she'd hurt me, how she'd been leading me on. It was apparent now that it had been a ploy to keep me from getting a girlfriend so she would have a place to stay.
I gave her the ride and a piece of my mind. "Can we talk this over when I'm sober?" she asked.
"No. Hell no." I castigated her the whole trip. She came out of her friends' with a ten dollar bill. I took it and gave her a five, and dropped her off at another friend's house.
Before I did she told me "You won't have to put up with Cory any more. There was bedlam again after you dropped Charlie off and they arrested him this morning on a parole violation. You can't associate with another felon when you're on parole. They didn't arrest Linda because she lives there."
After work I went home, terribly depressed. The phone rang - it was Tami's husband. "Is Tami there?"
"She don't live here any more," I told him. "I threw her out."
"What? Why? What happened?"
"I really don't want to get into that right now", I said.
He gave me a number and said he'd wired some money to her. He's an alien, so sometimes it's hard to understand him through his thick accent. "If she..." something or other "...I'm going to focking keel her!"
No sooner than I got off the phone with the alien and Linda called. "Could you bring some underwear over for Tami? And would you take me somewhere to shoot some pool? I have to get out of here for a while."
"Sure," I said.
Next: On The Rebound