I first met Ramona when I was in college. She was kind of chunky then, with big glasses and bad skin. She was an art major and she dressed kind of funky. I guess you could say that she had her own kind of style. Unfortunately her independent flair was not really what the majority of guys found sexy or even attractive, including me.
Even though she was an art major and I was into manufacturing technology, we had some of the same program requirements, and ended up taking a computer graphics design class together. She needed the class for her degree program and I needed the class as a prerequisite for AutoCAD. We were assigned to do a group project together, and though we had taken several classes together had never actually spent any time with each other, or even spoke before then.
We were almost total opposites from the beginning. I ran track and hung out on the periphery of the popular crowd. She smoked weed and hung out on the periphery of the avant-garde, beatnik, artistic sect. I dated mostly 2nd tier cheerleaders and athletes, she was the "fat friend," and wing girl to most of the really pretty, or just really slutty, art chicks.
While working on our project, we were forced to spend a lot of time together. Human nature being as it was, caused me to take a hard look at her. I guess it forced her to look at me as well. Anyway one night, we'd been having a long conversation that gradually left the project and became more personal. My date for the evening arrived to spring me, and I was kind of sad to leave Ramona. I could also see that she wasn't happy about it either. The next afternoon when we met at the computer lab, Ramona was really cold to me.
"OK, what did I do now?" I asked her.
"You're a fucking asshole," she said, almost in tears.
I grabbed her arm and escorted her out of the lab, to avoid creating a scene. In the park across the street we sat down on a bench and I told her not to move. I ran and grabbed a soda for me and her favorite juice from the cart that sold them nearby.
Now that we were comfortable, the argument could proceed without distraction or embarrassment on either side.
"So why am I an asshole?" I asked smiling.
"Because you are!" she said, wiping the tears from her face.
"Even though you're a Jock/techno weenie with no artistic soul, I thought you were different," she said. "We were having a nice time, and I was really starting to think... And then you...with that whore."
"Are you mad at me because I went on a date?" I asked incredulously.
"Fuck no!" she spat. "It's just that all of you guys are alike. You don't want a relationship with a woman who really feels something for you and loves you. You just wanna get your dick wet, with some big breasted bimbo with no brains."
"Well" I said calmly. "The big breasted bimbos are smart enough to do one thing that gives them the advantage, whether it involves dating, relationships, or getting guy's dicks wet."
She looked at me dubiously and asked, "What's that?"
"They ask," I snapped. "They communicate. They do something to let the guy know that they're interested."
She couldn't think of a thing to say, she just sat there balling up her fists and steaming. I could almost see smoke coming out of her ears and I wanted to defuse the situation and see where we really stood, so I reached over, took those giant glasses off her nose, (they were really bad, and in the way) and I kissed her. Not just a little peck, but a pretty good passionate smooch. I later found out that it was her first time kissing a guy that wasn't a relative. That first kiss was followed up with an even better one, when she relaxed and opened her lips a little bit and our tongues started to massage each others uvulas. I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her to me and we didn't leave that park bench for a long time.
The next few weeks were a whirlwind of activity. We finished the project (got an A+), and started dating. Ramona, got contacts, saw a dermatologist, and started dressing a little more normally. I never asked her to give up her bohemian outfits, but as we started to go out more she needed more things to wear. You know women; she'd ask me to go shopping with her and ask my opinion about things. I would mention how everyone wore jeans, including artists. She would then say she was too fat for pants. I'd then tell her that I loved her curves and how, some men loved to see a well rounded ass on their women. I reminded her about the artist Rubens and his voluptuous models. She bought jeans and looked great in them. I'd tell her that her peasant tops and sweat shirts didn't really go well with the jeans or skirts she was wearing. And she'd say that I just wanted to see her tits. And I'd tell her that she was right, but they were mine anyway and she was just carrying them for me.
Sex with Ramona was like screwing a fairy princess. While it wasn't wild and uninhibited, it was special just the same. It was unhurried and it was as if every stroke only served to bring us closer together. Since I was her first, I tried to make it fun and special for her as well. After a while she got more into it and actually started to demand it from me. We never got too kinky and she definitely wasn't into giving me blow jobs but I took what I could get because I loved her so much.
A few weeks later she looked in the mirror and told me, that she looked just like a bigger version of the big breasted bimbos that she hated so much. I told her, maybe she was, but she was my BBB.
We were very happy and after we graduated, we got engaged. I went to work for an automotive design firm and Ramona did layouts for an art magazine.
My family loved Ramona and welcomed her with open arms. Ramona's mom and sister were the only family she had. They were under-whelmed by me to say the least. I once heard her sister telling someone at our engagement party that Brad (me) was alright if you like that sort of guy. But I was just too normal and was probably squelching her artistic vision. Ramona looked beautiful and happy, but I over heard her mom telling her sister that she thought we were getting married because Ramona was pregnant, and it wouldn't last.
Over time we proved them both wrong. We stayed happy and in love. At a party for our 7th anniversary her mom started to ask when she was going to become a grandmother. Ramona and I were her only chance for grandchildren because her sister had come out of the closet a year previous.
"We're trying mother," said Ramona quickly.
We had been trying for a few years, but it hadn't happened.
"Well, don't worry about it, I made appointments for you both," said Maddie, Ramona's mom.
She had taken the liberty of making appointments for us with a fertility clinic. Naturally mine was a week earlier, because I suspect she thought that the problem had to be with me.
Anyway, I went to my appointment, got blood drawn, jacked off to some really dirty porn to give them a sperm sample and was found to be A-OK.
When Maddie got the news, she suggested that we should just practice more, until we got the job done, so she could be a grandma while she was still sexy.
Ramona's appointment was different though, and changed our lives forever. We did find out that she had several problems with her reproductive organs, that would make it while not "impossible," for us to have children, "extremely," implausible. That night I held her and cuddled with her while she cried herself to sleep. I told her that we could always adopt, or get any of a number of treatments that were available now. Inwardly, I hated the shit out of her mother, for driving this situation to where it was.
"If you want a divorce, you can have it," she told me through her tears.
"I'd never leave you for anything unless you made me, Mona," I told her.
"My mom said, you'll cheat on me so you can have kids," she said.
"Mona, I'd never cheat on you, you're my life," I said.
She looked me in the eye, and asked "Why would you want to stay with a fat girl that can't have kids?"
I looked her back in the eyes, making sure she could watch my every expression and told her, "Because I love you, more than anything, and it would kill me to be without you."
I think she calmed down a little then, and went to sleep, but to be honest those days are such a blur now that I can't remember all of the details. Two days later the clinic called and asked to see us. We sat down with a doctor and were concerned when she said that she had referred Ramona's tests to a specialist. We were even more shocked to find out that Ramona was in the early stages of a very aggressive strain of Cancer.
All of the pieces fell into place then. It explained why at 25 she was always tired for no reason. It explained the soreness of her body some days and her often irritability and mood swings. It also terrified the life out of me.
Luckily for us we had caught it early enough that the prognosis for her survival was good. She referred us to a cancer specialty facility, and set up an appointment for the very next day.
Ramona had a very long and relatively invasive battery of tests performed. I took leave from work and stayed with her the whole time. I was in the room with her holding her hand through every test, and cheering her up while we waited for each result.
Over the next few weeks Ramona had surgery to remove some of her lymph nodes and started a radiation therapy program. I stayed in the cancer center's family apartments so I could sleep (when I did sleep) right next door to her. I was there every morning when she awoke, and all day. I was even allowed to stay with her at night until she fell asleep. Her mother and sister visited occasionally, and were always cold to me. I think they thought that I had somehow given her cancer.
The radiation therapy didn't seem to be working, and was beginning to destroy healthy tissue as well as the cancerous growths so we dumped it in favor of chemo. Ramona lost about 40 pounds as a result of the radiation, and the chemo was probably going to take her hair.
The nurses in the facility had always been angels toward me, and they often went above and beyond the job to help me do things for Ramona. One nurse in particular was a godsend. Her name was Kelly, and she was beautiful. She was tall, and slim but curvy, with bright red hair and green eyes. She always had a smile or a joke for me every morning when I walked in. She was also there with a hug or a shoulder when I really needed help keeping my game-face on. Most of the nurses in the cancer ward worked 4 ten hour shifts and had 3 days off. Kelly worked from 10 at night until 8 in the morning. She was there when I left Ramona at night, and there when I got back at 6 the next a.m.
She was always cheerful, at least around me. The only time I remember her getting upset was once when she spoke to Ramona's mother Maddie.
Maddie had remarked about how I'd probably leave her daughter now that she was sick. Kelly lit into her, like I'd never seen, and threatened to throw her off the floor.
"This place is depressing as hell," she said. "Most of our patients have very few visitors, ever. Their family and friends stay away because they can't stand to see them or they're afraid the disease may be contagious," she continued. "That man never leaves her side. When she's sick, he's the one holding the bucket for her to vomit into, and cleaning her up afterwards. When have you been here?" she asked. "When she has to relieve herself, he walks her to the facilities and assists her. When have you been here?" she asked. "When she started losing her hair, he shaved his head so they could be alike," she laughed remembering my shiny pate. "When have you been here?" she asked irritably.
"He gives her sponge baths, so she can hold onto her dignity instead of having some stranger do it" she said. "When have you been here?" she asked again. "He's used up all of his vacation and sick time, her job's health care won't pay for the treatment, so he's going into debt up to his eyeballs for your daughter." she stated.
"And through it all, he's here every day, EVERY God damned DAY! Holding her hand and letting her know that someone loves her, no matter what," she snapped.
"The next thing you say to, or about that man will determine whether or not you're allowed back on this floor, so be careful," Kelly said pointing her long tapered finger in Maddie's face.
I wish that I could have been there to see it, but when I heard about it later I smiled a bit. The important thing to me though was that Ramona just got better. Several of the nurses told me about it, and were all equally pissed at Maddie. I did notice that Maddie was a lot less cold to me though after the fact. She actually reached out and patted my shoulder as I held Ramona's hand while she took her afternoon nap.
The chemo took a toll on Ramona and left her far weaker, but Cancer free. Her hair had started to grow back in and we started her on a new diet to help her get her strength back. She then needed several plastic surgeries to remove a lot of loose tissue which came as a result of her weight loss.
Ramona was a new woman. 80 pounds lighter and her skin had even cleared up.
Ramona now wore contacts, instead of the glasses and her hair came back; everyone who knew her had to take a 2nd look. She wasn't a raving beauty like Kelly, but she was the best Ramona she could be, and I loved only her anyway. I went back to work, and had to work a lot more hours to pay for all of the medical expenses we incurred. Ramona couldn't go back to work for a while but we made out. Our sex life had always been great, since before we were even married, but now it increased as Ramona seemed determined to fuck me into submission to let me know how glad she was that I'd stayed by her during her illness. She started to go out with some of the girls from her old job, just to kill time while I worked. I was glad that she did, because outside of me she'd never really been a very social person. Now she seemed to need to get out and be seen by people. I guess I thought that it was some kind of affirmation of life, after the cancer and I didn't really take it seriously, but little did I know my marriage was on the rocks.
Over the next few weeks Ramona started coming home later and later. Sometimes she was drunk when she got in. "I've never had this much fun in my life," she said.
I felt kind of hurt because I was working 12 and 16 hour days to pay off our medical bills, and she was having fun without me. She started dressing far more revealingly than she ever had. When I asked her about it, she told me that she'd never had this kind of body before, and wanted to show it off. It was just fun. I wondered when it became necessary for her to show it off for people other than me.
I spent a lot of time thinking about our marriage that week. I guess in the back of my mind I was worried that something was going on. I didn't want to face it because by then, Ramona was my entire world. All of the things we'd gone through with the cancer and every thing else had forged our bond far deeper than ever before.
My hard work had produced benefits that I wasn't aware of though, all of my extra time and effort to try and put a dent in Ramona's medical expenses, had gotten me noticed by the owners of the company I worked for. I got a big raise and a promotion. I also got a bonus that I figured I could for once, use to go somewhere nice with my wife.
I didn't try to tell Ramona the good news I decided to throw a small, just family surprise party for her birthday which was the following week and tell her then. Maybe going away together would be just the thing to rekindle the flames and get us back on track.
The occurrences of the next few days broke my heart and killed our marriage.
Ramona went to the hospital for her usual check up; to make sure the cancer was still gone. They did a few tests and told her they'd be in touch with the results. On her way out Ramona ran into Kelly. Ramona had never liked Kelly because Kelly was beautiful, and she still saw herself as that fat girl. Even now that Ramona was thinner she knew that side by side, she couldn't hold a candle to Kelly.
"Hi Ramona," said Kelly, "It's so weird to see you without that cute husband of yours."
"What do you mean, I'm not without him," said Ramona. "He's just at work. Why are you asking about him anyway?"
"I didn't mean anything by it. It's just that you're really lucky to have someone who loves you that much," said Kelly. "Most of the guys out there are just after whatever they can get and some fun. That gets kind of empty after a while. If I had anyone look at me the way your husband looks at you," Kelly started before she was cut off.
"Yeah whatever," said Ramona.
Ramona knew that I would be stuck at work all day again and she just wanted to get back to doing something fun. So she headed for the bar she'd been at the night before, she could probably get a drink and be home before I got there.
As Ramona entered the bar a pair of hands grabbed her.
"Oh my God, I haven't seen you in at least a couple of years Ramona," It was Kathleen Kinnison, one of Ramona's old friends from college.
"What are you doing with yourself lately, you've lost a lot of weight I almost didn't recognize you," said Kathleen.
"How's that husband of yours?" she said
"Hi Kath," said Ramona, "I'm just hanging out and having some fun for once."
They went to a table and were soon joined by a group of guys. Ramona got up to dance with one of the guys and was going at it so heavily that she didn't notice when the door opened. All of the guys in the bar noticed when Kelly walked in the door. Ramona was too busy dancing to pay any attention. But Kelly had seen her, saw what she was doing and who she was doing it with. Kelly ordered a sandwich from the Bar's grill and went back to work with an idea in mind.
Over the next few days I, worked as hard as usual, and still found time to plan Ramona's surprise party. I'd invited her mother and sister, and a few of their friends.
I'd bought several presents for her, and was really hoping this party and trip would rekindle the sparks between us. I was pleasantly surprised when my mother in law volunteered to help me decorate the apartment before the party. During Ramona's hospital stay we had bonded a bit, and maybe she didn't love me, but she respected my love for her daughter and accepted me.
Over the next few days I noticed a pattern. Ramona was always gone out by the time I got home, and never came in until very late. Our once robust sex life had also dwindled. I couldn't remember the last time we'd done anything. Women were hitting on me constantly, as if they could smell my need for release.
As I got home from work one evening, the phone rang.
"Hi Brad, this is Kelly," she said.
"Hi Kelly, do you have Ramona's test results?" I asked
"Nope, not until tomorrow but I need to talk to you about something," she said. "It's kind of important, could you meet me somewhere? I promise it won't take long."
"How about the park across the street from the hospital," I suggested.
Kelly thought about it, and agreed. "I can be there in 20 minutes if that's OK."
"I'll see you there," I said.
Kelly wondered if the park was the best place for the meeting. She had gone there with Brad several times during Ramona's hospitalization to try and cheer him up. They'd had a few impromptu meals while Ramona underwent procedures that he couldn't be present for. It was also the place where she'd told him that the chemo was showing progress, so it was a place filled with happy memories for him and she didn't want to ruin it for him.
I sat down on the small bench in the park next to Kelly. I smiled at her and said, "What's up? "Am I behind on my payments? Ramona's not sick again is she?" I asked.