No Fairy Tale

bystoryteller_no_9©

Goldie couldn't believe it. There she was, scuffing down a back road on South Goddamn Georgia with her disabled car half a mile back. It was getting dark, it was colder than the South had any right to be, her cell phone was broken, and there wasn't a soul in sight. Damn him anyway, him and all the shit he'd put her through over the past five years.

Getting out of Wisconsin was something she'd had to do. The whole divorce process was ugly and nasty, but getting rid of that asshole was a big relief. Of course, wading through the sewer of his life was horrible, but you had to do what you had to do. No fairy tale marriage here. Not even close.

Being married to a lawyer had had its perks. His practice was profitable, and they had nice things and were able to take care of their son properly, but to get Biblical, what profiteth a woman to gain the whole world and be married to a lost soul? Finding out about the string of bimbettes was more than she could take.

They weren't even classy enough to be bimbos. Bimbettes. Skinny blondes with open legs. Gah! He didn't quite cover his tracks, and she and her bulldog lawyer were able to dig things out. It didn't hurt that the lawyer was her cousin on the Italian side of her family, and that Frank had never liked him.

Frank did a lot of digging, and she had done a lot herself, and it proved to be enough to get her a good deal in the divorce -- eventually. He fought it tooth and nail for a year and a half before he was ordered to pay up. It wasn't nearly enough, she thought, considering what he had done, but sometimes you just need to take the money and run.

And run was something she had to do. Every time she drove around town she spotted something that reminded her of him, or of his ho-bags. So, in the dead of winter, feeling suffocated by everything around her, she headed south as quickly as she could. She didn't have a destination other than "somewhere in Florida." Florida had a nice ring to it, and it was as far away from him and his sleaze as she could get.

Who could have figured that the interstate would be backed up for miles? She figured it had to be a huge wreck. I-75 looked like a parking lot and creeped along at a snail's pace. She put up with it for nearly an hour when she decided that she needed to pee, and she needed to get moving, if only for her own sanity. Sitting in traffic gave her WAY too much time to brood about things.

Jumping off the highway proved to be a nightmare. She should have figured more people would have done it if it was a better way through that area. Turns out US 41 was torn up, too. It sure didn't look like the 41 she was used to. That one actually had stuff on it. This stretch was depressing. Who the hell calls a town Barneyville? She always hated that damned dinosaur.

And when she got near Sparks -- another name for the ages -- she was forced to take a detour through even more deserted country. Farms, yes. Abandoned trailers, check. Yeck. She started thinking about what Frank had told her when the whole divorce process started.

"I told you this guy was bad news. Stronzo."

"Frank, I admit you told me he was an asshole way back before we got married. I'm sorry I didn't listen to you then."

Frank shrugged. "You should listen to your Italian cousins, Goldie. You let the Irish in you run the show."

"Shut up, Frank." She smiled. "How about I get to say va fangu to that stronzo while he's writing me a big ol' check. That could make up for what he did!"

Well, it didn't. It couldn't. He humiliated her. He'd told her that she sucked in bed. She so wanted to tell him that his little bitty dick couldn't have done her much good anyway. What would have made it better was that it was true, but she decided to take the high road. Now she was taking the long road and wishing she had used her chance to tell off the selfish asshole.

Problem was, while she was busy brooding, she must have missed the detour turnoff sign. By the time she figured that out, she was literally in the middle of nowhere. The sound of the tires on the crappy pavement is what got her attention. And then where the fuck did that pothole come from? It took out both left side tires, and when she got out of the car, she dropped her cell phone and it smashed into half a dozen pieces. She was screwed.

With night beginning to fall, she knew she couldn't stay with the car. She had to go for help, somehow. So she locked up her car and headed down the road, kicking pebbles and cussing to herself.

%%%

Steve was dog tired. He was dead tired. He just wanted to get back to his house. Not that it felt like his house yet, even after living there for five months. Houses don't feel like home when you're living in them all by yourself. Thanks, bitch, he thought bitterly.

He certainly hated driving back from that podunk airport in Valdosta. He'd hated Hartsfield, but at least it was a real airport. He knew he should be grateful that his bosses found him a spot in another city within the company. Being valuable as a troubleshooter was a life saver, and they knew he had to go somewhere else after that two-year chinese water torture session of a divorce proceeding.

Staying in the house in Alpharetta was just not an option. Everywhere he moved, he saw her in that house, mocking his very existence. He wondered why he even married her all those years ago. She was a tall thin blonde, not even his type. Everyone else thought she was hot, but the longer he knew her, the uglier she got. It felt like she was using him for his money, doing just enough to keep him on the string, but not willing to really put herself into the relationship. It was all about her, but in subtle ways. He came to see that more clearly as time went on.

He was out of town a lot, putting out corporate fires and making some serious change. The traveling got old, but the work was challenging and rewarding, and knew damned well that he had saved the company millions with his work.

The problem was what she was doing when he was out of town. He stumbled across an e-mail when he'd gotten back from L.A. and turned white as a sheet when he read it. He knew exactly what it meant. He did some more digging on the QT and found out that the guy wasn't the first, not by a long shot.

And he was trying to figure out why any guy would stick with her. Yeah, she might me some people's idea of arm candy, but quite frankly, she was terrible in the sack. She was all into herself, and not into anything going into her. Her idea of a good time was for him to finger her clit until she came, then she'd roll over. He admitted to himself that she gave a good blowjob, and the fact that she swallowed was a turn-on, but only for a while. It felt so damned impersonal.

She always bitched that his dick was too big, and that it hurt her. He shook his head -- his dick wasn't that big, maybe seven inches, but it sure wasn't anything outrageous. She just probably felt like it was too much work to fuck. He was still amazed that she'd managed to get pregnant, since he hardly ever got between her legs. That had sealed the deal, so he just told himself to be happy with what he had, enjoy the time with his son, and keep moving on.

Well, SHE moved on all right. Moved around all over the place, while he got the leavings. And then she took him to the cleaners. Emotional cruelty my ass, he thought -- I should have had a better lawyer.

Luckily he had enough in the bank to buy a place in south Georgia, away from all the crap, and out in the boonies where he didn't have to deal with people. It was just about the only house on the road, and you had to work at it to even realize it was there. Being a hermit for another year or so was what he needed.

And getting things wrapped up in Milwaukee a couple of days early was beautiful. Getting back Wednesday meant he had the rest of the week off. Four days away from the office seemed like heaven. Or as close as he got to it these days, at any rate. Four days with only one chore -- go grocery shopping. He'd take care of that tomorrow. Tonight, time to maybe have one beer and crash.

He looked across the temporary concrete median in what he'd come to think of as the Permanent Construction Zone. There was a huge wreck on the other side of I-75. Huge. Looked like two semis and a Prius and -- holy crap a motorcycle! -- had tangled. The semis were on their sides, the Prius was upside down, and the motorcycle was totally squished. He looked down the road. It was backed up as far as the eye could see. After all, it was a Wednesday afternoon, and people were heading home, or heading to Florida on vacation. He shook his head as the flatbeds and tow trucks and highway patrol and ambulances tried to clean up the chaos. It looked like it was going to take a while. He was grateful that it was all on the other side of the median. Not his problem.

He drove on toward his exit.

%%%

The sun was sinking rapidly in the west, and the pine trees along the side of the road hid what little light was left. It was getting colder and she knew she had to find something and soon. And there it was -- a driveway heading back into the trees. She never would have seen it while driving, but walking down the side of the road, the entry way was obvious. She turned down the drive and began walking.

Damned thing has to be a quarter-mile long, she thought. Her feet were starting to hurt. She turned another curve, and there was the house. It was a beauty, a log cabin home and it looked like it had all the amenities. She walked up to the front door, and froze. There was a sign with a name on it.

Behr.

Oh sweet Jesus, say it ain't so, she thought. It can't be. Goldie was wishing she had stopped long enough before blowing town to change back to her maiden name, Marano. This was just too much.

She'd picked up the nickname Goldie when she was in grade school after insisting her mother put blond streaks in her auburn colored hair. It looked good, but she caught grief from a couple of the boys in her fourth grade class. But when they started calling her Goldie, she started insisting people call her that. It was better than her real name.

When she had watched "Four Christmases" she had had to stop the DVD and pop it out when they got to the brothers. Her parents had gone on their honeymoon in Savannah, and they stuck her with that name since Mom had gotten pregnant first night. And why in hell did they have to make her middle name the same as her grandma? Savannah Anna -- what the hell? Sounded like a stripper or something. Goldie worked just fine, thank you.

One of the biggest draws to the divorce was to be able to get rid of her husband's name. Locke. That was another sign I should have paid attention to, she thought. I'm a dimwit. If there was a married couple in there with a small boy she was going to go stark raving nuts.

The house was totally dark and there were no cars in the driveway. There were a few lights on in the house, but it appeared that not only wasn't there anyone home, no one had been there in at least a week. Houses give off that abandoned air after a while, and this had all the signs.

It was getting really dark and cold, so Goldie decided what the hell and began checking doors and windows. No go in the front, or on the side of the house. Then, bingo. The door in the back turned out not to be locked, so she took a deep breath, gathered her courage, and walked in.

The house was gorgeous. But there was something subtly wrong about it. She walked around, turning on just enough lights to get a look at the way it was furnished and decorated. There were some pictures of two boys growing up, but what was missing was any pictures of women. No sign of the mom. And the house itself had no feminine touch at all. In fact, other than the pictures, it looked somewhat sterile. Not that it was totally clean. It looked cluttered, in the way a bachelor pad looks cluttered -- some clothes around but not actually in the hamper, things like that. And there was no land-line phone, not in the kitchen, not in the living room. No phone at all. Shit.

She retreated to the kitchen, looking for something she could eat. The fridge didn't have much in it. There was some milk, some beer, some cheese, no lunchmeat at all, and that was about it. The cupboards were fairly bare, with some canned green beans, mushrooms, and instant oatmeal. Oatmeal?

Oh, hell. Porridge. She started laughing. It was just too weird. But when faced with a situation, sometimes the best you can do is to go with the flow. Fine. Oatmeal is filling, and she figured what the hell, and started boiling the water. She would play along with the weirdness.

Since there was no phone in the house and her cell phone was in pieces in her purse, she figured she could wait until daybreak, then set out on foot and go for help. That meant spending the night in the house, which made her awfully nervous. It didn't look like it had a burglar alarm setup, but it wasn't like she had any choices anyway. She was stuck here for the night, like it or not.

And it could be worse. This was a nice house. In fact, she'd always wanted a log cabin-type house. Her husband always made a joke out of that fact -- he was a lawyer but he wasn't Abe Lincoln. He'd liked to go hunting, and it wasn't until later that she realized what he was really hunting. Bleah. Time to get off that line of thinking.

Goldie looked for a place to sit down and eat her improvised dinner. The kitchen table had three chairs, so she picked one and sat down it in. One of the legs was shorter than the others and it rocked to one side, so she got down on her knees to see what she could do. Ah, one of the crosspieces that supported the chair had come out of its hole. She slipped it back in, and figured it was good enough for now. At least it wouldn't break and dump her on her ass.

She finished her oatmeal, and left the dishes soaking in the sink. She was tired, and figured she'd clean up before she went on her way in the morning. She headed back to the master bedroom.

Seeing what was in there made her smile. Mister Behr had a waterbed. She'd always liked waterbeds, even had one for a while before she got married. Of course, HE didn't like them, said it hurt his back and she reluctantly got rid of her bed. She'd always missed having it, but figured it was just one of those little sacrifices you made when getting married. Maybe if they'd had the waterbed, the lousy sex would have been better. Enough -- another topic!

She thought about sleeping on top of the covers. I mean, getting in someone else's bed was a little bit on the forward side. But it was fairly chilly in the house, and that bed looked warm and inviting. She didn't have a change of clothes or anything, and she was damned if she was going to make a mile-long hike back to her car to get a heavy suitcase and lug it back here. Roughing it was her only option. Roughing it in a waterbed? She laughed. That's a great way to rough it.

Goldie suppressed a yawn. Enough of this, she thought. She went back out into the living room, then the kitchen and began to douse the lights. She returned to the bedroom, and began getting undressed. She stripped off her clothes and put them into a neat pile next to the bed. No sense in letting them get too wrinkled.

Goldie looked at the full length mirror opposite the bed and walked over. She began examining her body. For a woman in her late 40's, not all that bad. Yeah, she could stand to lose some weight. Okay, a lot of weight, but there was almost no gray in the hair and her tits were pretty nice, even if they sagged a little bit. What she needed was someone who appreciated the fact that good things come in small packages. And it would be even better if his package was big. Stronzo seemed to prefer the young blondes, but they all seemed to be flat-chested..... Enough -- stop it!

As she slid into the warm bed, her mind wandered in a different direction. The feel of the sheets as they touched her nipples was almost erotic. It had been a long time -- almost 18 months -- since anyone had touched them, and she really missed the item she'd packed in her suitcase. Well, no relief for her tonight, badly as she needed it. Time to forget that ache and just go to sleep. She was tired enough that it only took a few minutes to fall into a deep, deep slumber.

%%%

Steve was tired of all the traveling. Tired of all the flying around the country. Tired of dealing with idiots and fixing the messes they made. He was certainly tired of the 30 mile drive back and forth from Valdosta. He looked over again at the southbound traffic -- if you could call that parking lot traffic. He shrugged. Their problem.

It was hard to believe, considering all the bullshit that he'd been putting up with for so long, that the ink was actually barely dry on the decree -- just two weeks. Being glad it was over was one thing. But the scars from the battle were something that wouldn't go away quickly.

It was pitch-dark by the time he reached his exit and made the turn for home. It was still a good 15 minutes of back-road driving away, but that was a comfort to him. That much distance between himself and the outside world for the next five or so days was a welcome tonic. He was going to spend a lot of time reading, a lot of time thinking, but not a lot of time brooding. It was time to start planning for the future, now that he was officially on his own. He was going to turn this mini-vacation into a positive thing and concentrate on his next move.

He left the lights of Sparks -- such as they were -- in the distance and drove down the country roads. He made the turnoff onto his road. He wanted to get home, but considering the time of year and his desire to keep his car in one piece thanks to deer and such, he kept the speeds down. Near that nasty-ass pothole that the county refused to fix, he saw a car with Wisconsin tags on the side of the road with two flat tires. Welcome to Georgia, he thought. He drove on and turned into his driveway, and snaked through the trees back to the pitch-dark house.

Getting out of the car, Steve popped the trunk and got his suitcase. He walked carefully in the dark, got his keys out and opened the front door. As always when walking into the house, he felt the oppressive loneliness of the place. Bad as things were, at least there was someone in the house when he would get back from those long trips, some sort of presence that could be felt when he passed through the front door.

This place felt different, because he was the only one to ever enter the house, at least since he'd bought it five months earlier. Steve shook his head, as if to shake out the concepts that had been hammering away in his brain. He knew that getting that bitch out of his life was the best thing that could have happened to him, but there was still an unnaturalness to living all alone out in the boonies. Bad as he was at dealing with people, he knew he still needed the human touch.

Maybe being all alone for five days wasn't a good idea after all. But emotions were transitory. He'd learned that the hard way. He knew he'd likely feel entirely differently tomorrow. He turned on one of the lamps in the living room. It gave off a glow that really didn't cut through the gloom of the otherwise darkened living room, lit only by that lamp and a nightlight in the kitchen. He figured he could empty out the suitcase tomorrow morning and left it on the floor next to the recliner.

Steve thought about getting a beer. Ah, first things first. He stripped down to his underwear and tossed his clothes onto his bedroom floor without turning on the light. He didn't bother hanging up his suit, since he'd have to take it to the cleaners tomorrow anyway. Why bother? And sitting in the living room in his underwear appealed to him. His ex-wife used to bitch about that all the time. Small victories are the satisfying ones sometime.

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bystoryteller_no_9© 3 comments/ 33071 views/ 5 favorites

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