Golf Lessons Ch. 03byCeeeEsss©
Thank you, Erik Thread for your editing skills and suggestions, particularly with the ending of this story.
This is part three of a three part story. The story is finished. Chapters are posted on the site about every day, which means the entire story will have been posted before the first part appears on the list of new stories. People seldom step outside of their personality. They may successfully hide some of their personality from even those who know them well, yet still they remain true to that personality.
Troy and I were sitting on one of the low brick partitions that outlined an open area in the center of the large shopping mall. We were waiting for the girls and Stephanie to bring us their most recent purchases so we could make another trip to the car. Although it meant a longer walk, we'd parked in the secure parking lot, knowing we wanted full time guards patrolling the area.
As they walked out of the store, I marveled at how much like her mother Cindy looked. She was blonde, slender and what I'd always thought of as willowy with long slender legs and arms. She was already as tall as her mother was and would probably grow to be a few inches taller than Stephanie. I was thinking about what I had to look forward to in the next two years of watching a daughter finish high school, and the younger one who would begin to date, fall in love, and find the one special man who would be the most important man in her life. According to Cindy she was pretty sure she'd already found that young man, but she was taking it slow, knowing she still had her college years ahead of her.
Troy and Lulu were more like me, with broad shoulders, square faces, and dark brown hair. He would be a sophomore in high school next year and would probably be one of the rising star players on the football team. The year Cindy was a senior Lulu would be a freshman. I'd have three children in high school and I wasn't sure I was prepared to handle all of those changes.
"I've had enough," Stephanie declared. "If we haven't bought it tonight, it can wait a few weeks." She sat down beside me and stuck her feet out, rotating her ankles. She hugged my arm and rested her head on my shoulder for a moment. Her gesture was so familiar. It was something she had done on our first date, when I took her to a movie. In a low voice, she complained, "Remind me to never again wear heels when we go shopping."
There was universal agreement that we'd all exhausted our capacity for the crowds, dressing rooms, and harried clerks. Troy pretty well expressed our feelings when he declared, "I'm out of here," as he began to collect the various bags around my feet, handing several to each of his sisters and taking the larger ones for himself to carry.
Troy, Cindy, and Lulu were half way down the center aisle of the mall before I could move. I think Stephanie realized what she had done about the same time I did. She sat up and stood, then took a couple of steps. I followed, feeling like some kind of line had been crossed, but I wasn't sure what that line was. The ride home was quiet. We stopped for a box of fried chicken to take home rather than going to a restaurant. It was just one of those things we had done so often that we barely discussed it.
As soon as we finished eating, almost as if it was something expected of her, Stephanie started cutting the tags off the clothing and separating them into piles for the washing machine. I protested that I could do those chores and she could use the time to visit with her children. I had several shoeboxes spread around me waiting for me to finish threading shoelaces through the various styles of very expensive shoes. I had also bought myself a new pair of dress shoes.
"Paul, did Troy pick out these shirts?"
"No, those are clothes for work."
She pulled several ties and pairs of dark socks out of a small bag and asked, "When did you start wearing dress shirts and a tie to work?"
"Two months ago, maybe three, I guess. I work in the front on Fridays and Saturdays. Next week is Spike's last week at work. He and Jeannine bought a travel trailer. They're going to Alaska for a month."
"Does that mean ..."
"Actually," I interrupted her. "It means I'm Warehouse Manager and Assistant Store Manager." I turned to tell Troy, "Take these shoes up to your sisters, and make sure everyone's had their shower. It's lights out in thirty minutes."
I spent a few minutes cleaning up the kitchen, telling Stephanie I didn't need any help when she offered. I suggested she send Troy to her car if she needed her suitcase because as soon as the children had gone to bed I wanted to have a short conversation.
Stephanie stood in the middle of the kitchen for a moment then picked up a pile of the clothing, taking it into the laundry room. A few minutes later, I heard the washing machine running. She was back with a basket for another load of clothing when I stopped her.
"I can do that later, Steph."
"Well, I can help you."
"Stephanie," My voice was a little rougher than usual. "I can do that later."
"Well, alright." She picked up her large handbag, left the kitchen, and walked to the guest bedroom, closing the door a little harder than I thought necessary.
A few minutes later, she was back in the kitchen, dressed in a flesh-colored, clinging negligee with two panels that barely covered her breasts and went behind her neck leaving most of her back bare. The covering penoir had no closure in the front and it certainly wasn't intended to hide anything, it was meant to entice.
I wasn't sure what I had expected, probably that she was going to take off her heels and pantyhose and maybe even put on casual clothing. I never expected that she would be this blatant. I didn't sit down at the table, as we had usually done when we had a discussion. I was leaning against the kitchen counter trying to organize my thoughts.
"Have a seat, Steph."
She looked at me with a curious expression on her face, but she did take a seat at the table. I joined her and looked at as much of her as I could, and then asked, "This isn't how you usually dress when you spend the night with the kids, is it?"
Steph smiled and shook her head, "No, I thought you might like it."
"If I have given you the wrong impression, I'm sorry. I invited you to go shopping with the girls because I thought they would appreciate having your help."
"Oh, you don't need to apologize. It was nice being together as a family."
"Steph you and I are no longer part of a family. We are parents, but not partners or spouses. We are divorced."
"That doesn't mean we can't ..."
I held up my hand to silence her. I didn't want to think about what she wanted. "If, and that's a very big if, but if I ever think about having another woman in my life, it will not be one who has already proven to me that she cannot be faithful."
"You really aren't going to forgive me, are you?"
"I don't know. I DO know that I don't ever want to stick my cock into that pussy because I don't know what other man has had his cock in there."
"That's not very nice." "You're right, it isn't. I don't enjoy recreational sex. I might have gotten a thrill when I was a teenager, but that was almost twenty years ago."
When I saw the look on her face, I feared what she would say, but I tried not to react when she smirked, "You're never going to find another virgin."
"It wasn't the fact that you were a virgin, Stephanie. I loved you."
"Your daughter's not going to be a virgin much longer." I guess she thought she could hurt me or surprise me.
"Yeah, I know."
"Yep, and I know him. Next week she has an appointment with the doctor to begin birth control pills."
"She didn't tell me that."
"Did she tell you she knows why we are divorced?"
Steph's face turned white. I could almost smell her fear. "Oh my God. You told her?"
"Nope, Tino stopped on the road one day and asked if she was as wet a fucker as her mother."
Under her breath, Stephanie muttered, "Bastard."
I took a deep breath. "Did your neighbor give you the mail I dropped by your apartment?"
Steph nodded and I almost regretted that I needed to add, "I wasn't sure if the box was something important. I tried to deliver it before I went to work the day after it arrived and I tried that evening after work. I finally left it with her. She said you and your boyfriend had been gone for a few days. She wasn't sure if you would be back before the next weekend or if you would be gone all weekend, too."
"How long, Stephanie? How many years was I a cuckold? How many different men tasted that sweet pussy? Was I the only man in town who didn't know what a slut you were? My God, why didn't you charge for access to your cunt? We certainly could have used the money."
"It's true, isn't it? I've learned of two others. Why did I never figure it out? Was it because I worked ten hours a day to provide for my family and you had too much freedom?"
Stephanie sat looking at me. Evidently, she didn't care to answer my questions.
"How many men did you bring into this house? How many of them did you take to our bed? Was that why the master bath was so important to you, just another playroom?"
Still she sat looking at me. By now, I knew the look on her face when she had closed herself away from those around her and wasn't going to be part of our conversation.
"You know, I could go back to see that judge and have you declared an unfit mother. I'm not going to do that. I don't want the children to know what I've learned. Instead, I'm going to suggest you discover you're conveniently too busy to spend much time with them. They are at an age when parental time is less important to them. Cindy will have her own car by Christmas."
Stephanie didn't say a word. She stood, walked across the room and closed the door to the guest bedroom behind her. A short while later I heard the door open. Less than two minutes later I heard a car start and then saw headlights going down the road. I couldn't even cry. I was too numb.
For one of the few times in my life, I wanted a strong drink. In the bookcase behind my desk was a bottle of twenty-year-old Old Parr scotch my father had given me when my first child was born. He said the scotch was as old as I was and maybe I could save some of it for my own grandchild. He didn't often display how sentimental he was. He and I had taken a drink that night to celebrate the birth of his first grandchild. I needed a drink to celebrate the final breath of my love for a woman I had never really known.
As I sipped my scotch, I admitted to myself that I had been pretty rough on Stephanie. I had no regrets, but I could have been less insulting. For many years, I had known an incident of Stephanie's unfaithfulness, or what I suspected was her unfaithfulness. It had bothered me at the time, but we only spoke about it that one time. I allowed it to grow less and less important. Now, I wondered if that incident around the side of the house with my sister-in-law's brother, which I attributed to drunkenness, was more than what I'd thought. I could not change the past and it was my misfortune that I hadn't believed my own eyes a little earlier.
Now that the divorce was final, I knew I would experience a few looks from both males and females. I'd already had a few of those, from co-workers and people I'd known for many years. It would take some time for me to stop feeling as if I should look behind me to see if a stranger was lurking, and it might take even longer to lose the desire to ask a man how well he knew my ex-wife.
In the meantime, I had three children, two of whom were in high school and one was only a year away. I had a job with more responsibility than I'd ever had, with a better income than I expected. I was in my late thirties with a lot of time to see my children started on their own futures and I still wouldn't be too old to find someone I could learn to love. Who knows, things like that usually happen when you least expect it.
* * * *
After Stephanie moved away from our small town, she asked to take the children for a rare weekend even less. It wasn't a surprise, however, when Stephanie took Cindy, Troy, and Lulu on a three-day trip to a large amusement park the first time they had a long three day weekend from school. Nor was I particularly surprised when Cindy drove home in her mother's six-year-old car and showed me the title, which Steph had changed to Cindy's name. Lulu said their mother had a new car that was owned by the company where Steph worked. I did not mention that it was highly unlikely their mother's position as Vice-President of Marketing was one a high school graduate would be hired to do, but was a job earned after some years of working up a rather steep corporate ladder. Cindy's wink let me know she would explain the job title to her sister, or as much as Lulu could understand.
Troy's friendship with Dillon Jerome never waned, if you saw one, you only needed to look ten feet away to see the other. The only time they separated was when they had a date with one of the many girls who called the house at almost any hour of the day and night. However, the two boys often double-dated since they were most likely going to the same party or movie anyway.
Cindy and Lulu's circle of friends broadened dramatically after they quit gymnastic classes. However, after a short while, the casual friendships of many girlfriends solidified to one, two, or three very close friends. In Cindy's case it was three young girls, one lived on the same road as our house and the other two were from the surrounding neighborhood. It was a challenge for me to be around four lovely young girls who seemed to have some kind of contest to see who could wear the skimpiest clothing.
Lulu's best friend was new to the area. Her mother, June, was a widow. Patty and her mother barely survived a car wreck, which took the life of Patty's father when twenty cars piled-up on a major highway. Her mother's back was badly sprained, but not broken, and Patty spent more than a month in the hospital with her legs in a cast that went from her toes to her waist. She had already had major surgery to replace some of the 'nuts and bolts' holding the bones of her legs together and expected at least one more surgery when the bones were strong enough for complete removal.
Mother and daughter lived with June's brother and his wife plus their two sons in the house next door to Charles Jerome. I had not met June, but Patty and Lulu were inseparable. At one point, I jokingly suggested that Patty simply move into the guest room upstairs because she spent more time at our house than she did at her uncle's home. She said she couldn't move at that moment because she feared her mother would be lonely.
* * * *
Occasionally, instead of a second day off, I worked two half days, which gave me some extra time to spend with the kids. That also gave me more time to attend their various sporting events or to run errands. Anticipating one of Troy's football games, I'd taken a rare Friday afternoon off and stopped at the grocery store. I walked into the kitchen carrying several bags and sent Lulu and Patty out to the truck to help bring another load into the house.
As I was loading some cleaning supplies on shelves in the laundry room, I heard a woman calling, "Lulu, Patty, Lulu, I need extra hands."
I walked into the kitchen saying, "I have extra hands."
Who I saw standing in the middle of the kitchen was a woman I knew instantly was Patty's mother. My first instinct was to laugh, until she turned around to look at me. She was wearing a low cut sleeveless tee shirt that was just barely long enough to cover her panties, but she was holding the front edges of an old fashioned corset around herself. I recognized the garment as one Lulu had taken from an old box of clothing in the attic.
June was unable to latch the metal closures on the front edges. "Oh ... ah ... I was looking for the girls."
I could tell she was embarrassed at being caught almost naked and didn't want to let go of the front edges of the corset to cover herself. Letting go would reveal she was not wearing a bra.
"I think the laces at the back need to be loosened so you can hook the front. May I help you?"
"I ... I don't think ... maybe ..."
"I promise you, Lulu can't help you. She can't lace her own shoes. I've always done it for her." I sat down on one of the kitchen chairs and told her, "Back up here. By the way, I'm Paul Hudson."
June turned around and backed toward me, "Nice ... nice to finally meet you Paul, I'm ah, I'm June, ah, oh, that's June Palmer."
"Yes, I know." I placed my hands on her waist to pull her a little nearer and hold her in place between my legs as I explained that I was going to loosen the lacing at the back and she needed to tell me if she needed more room at the top, in the middle, or at the bottom. As soon as she could close the hooks at the front, I would adjust the lacing at the back until it was comfortable. I also suggested that she take a deep breath and let it out before I made the final adjustments.
Perhaps to cover her nervousness at having a strange man touching her, June explained, "Lulu thinks this will support my back."
"She's probably right. My boss wears something similar, but it was fitted by a prosthesis place. He says it's worse than ... well, it's pretty bad."
"I know. I have one of those. It's rigid, too tight and the nearest thing to living in a sweat box. I really don't need that much support anymore, but I'm just a little uncomfortable going without some support. This is Lulu's idea."
The girls walked in with their first load of bags and stood around for a few moments until I sent them back out for the other bags.
"Well, let's see if we can adjust this for your shape." Finally able to laugh, I told June, "I remember when Lulu brought this down from the attic. She tried wearing it when it fit from right under her arms almost down to her knees. But she insisted on wearing it."
As soon as she was able to close the front, I began to adjust the lacing at the back. The girls were putting things away, keeping an eye on what their parents were doing, grinning and nudging each other when June or I said something to each other.
"Oh wow, I like that," June declared then took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Maybe it should be just a little tighter at the bottom."
"Sit down for a little while first. I can always lace it a little tighter, or adjust it for you."
June and I were so busy talking I didn't realize Lulu and Patty made a pot of coffee and placed cups in front of June and me. I thanked them and returned to the conversation June and I were having. I don't know how long we sat at the table talking before I looked at June to ask if she was ready for a corset adjustment. June looked down at the front of the corset and looked up at me. Her face grew red, and then even redder as she realized I had been able to look at her almost bare breasts. The tightening of the corset had pulled the front of her shirt down until her areola and nipples were just barely covered.
I caught June's hand as she started to cover herself. "Please don't ... I'm enjoying looking at you."
"June, I'm not often so forward. Maybe I shouldn't say anything, but I'm very interested in you. I can't recall ever feeling so instantly attracted to a woman."
"Even your wife?"
"Yes," I was slowly acknowledging it, even to myself, "Even my wife. That was a teenage crush that grew into a marriage. I'd be willing to wager that had we both been a few years older, we might have dated a few times, and then found someone else. Sometimes a friend doesn't make a very good wife." After a moment of silence I added, "It took me a long time to learn that the kind of love you have for a friend is very different from the love you should have for a wife."