Psychological Payback Pt. 01byThe Big Bopper©
Vanessa had reached that stage in her life where she believed that she might never marry ... never have any kids. After all, at 35, her best child bearing days would soon be behind her. But it wasn't like she was yet desperate when William Wright came into her life and swept her off her feet.
William seemed to be a successful businessman, just two years older than Vanessa, and he was handsome too. They quickly found a mutual attraction to each other and as their romance blossomed, they discovered that they both wanted marriage – to the right person – and they both wanted at least one, maybe two, children.
How Vanessa's life turned around from the moment that she met William. She had had her share of boyfriends ever since her teen years, but none that ever stayed around long enough to develop the sort of relationship that she now enjoyed with William. They were married a year after they met, he had already moved into the apartment that she owned.
Vanessa thought it strange that a 38-year-old man would not have accumulated some savings or a property by this stage in his life, She occasionally wondered what he had done with all of his money. He was earning $100,000+ a year. William's only explanation was to say that he hadn't always been so successful in business or earned such a good wage. Vanessa had wanted to pry further into his financial past, but whenever she raised the subject, her new husband quickly closed the door on it.
She came off the pill as soon as they had set the wedding date, so that by the second month of their marriage, they had the good news that she was pregnant. A son came into their lives and Vanessa managed to get 12 months maternity leave to stay home and care for Anthony, their new bundle of joy.
Just before Vanessa was due to return to work, with the baby now 9 months old, she received a letter from her home mortgage company, advising that she was behind in her payments and could she please bring the overdue amount up to date as soon as possible. Naturally, she was shocked to find that William had not been maintaining the payments while she was not earning. She had established such a great credit rating in the years before marrying William.
That night, she confronted her husband. He tried to fob her off with spurious excuses that didn't wash with Vanessa. Finally, at around midnight, he confessed to his wife that he was a gambling addict. It turned out that this was why he had never accumulated any savings or property through almost twenty years of working and earning money.
He broke down and sobbed, telling his wife that he would overcome his addiction for the sake of his marriage and his family. He pleaded for her support and forgiveness. She gave it without question, offering to take over control of their finances, but he was reluctant to go that far. That was the first warning bell that Vanessa ignored.
With her not having worked for a year and the mortgage payments now way overdue, they were forced to sell her apartment and move into rented premises. Nevertheless, it was a nice apartment and they managed to maintain a decent lifestyle. When Vanessa returned to work, she had to organise childcare for their son. Fortunately, her mother lived nearby and took him three days a week. On the other two days, he went to day-care. Vanessa paid for that from her bank account, just as she did for the private school fees when, at five, Anthony started school.
Over the years, there were several occasions when Vanessa found their joint finances perilously short of funds. Each time, William would confess to going back on his repeated assurances that he would mend his ways. She kept forgiving him, telling herself that his addiction was a sickness. Just as well, she thought, for her own bank account that contained the remnants of the funds from the sale of her apartment and her weekly wage.
By 2008, with Vanessa now 45, William 47 and Anthony 8, they were existing most of the time on her income and her savings, such was William's compulsion to blow all of his money on gambling. He was banned from the local casino, but he had got in with an illegal bookie who allowed him credit to phone up bets on horse races, football games, whatever contest occurred between two or more people or animals.
Vanessa might now be 45, but she looked after herself extremely well, putting in three days a week at the gym and always dressing well to look good. She had jet black hair and she wore it shoulder length. Her breasts were still amazingly firm in spite of her having fed Anthony from them for 12 months, and she had the longest nipples of anyone she knew.
William loved those long nipples of hers, but his gambling addiction had placed a strain on their lovemaking and intimate moments between them had become few and far between. She had always been quite a sensual woman and she found that she did miss regular orgasms, although not enough to stray from her marriage. Despite the unreliability of his financial failings, she found she still loved William.
2008 was a bad year, in that when the Global Financial Crisis hit toward the end of the year, Vanessa was quickly cut back to two days a week at her job. This would place an even greater strain on her income and savings. Forced into a corner, she at last gave William the final ultimatum that she should have issued years before. He had to assign all financial matters over to her so that she could hopefully steer them through this troubled time.
The problem with that was that while William reluctantly agreed to have his wife take charge of their finances, he never confessed that he still owed the bookie $25,000.
A private school education for Anthony was probably an indulgence that they could have done without. But he was their only child and they both wanted only the best possible education for him, so they persevered despite the high prices the school charged.
When Vanessa lost three days a week from her job, she decided to use some of her spare time to volunteer at the school canteen. She did enjoy helping out there, but she also figured that volunteer mothers would be looked on favourably by the school management. It just might assist Anthony if he was ever struggling in a subject. She never knew what other effects it might have at the school.
She had met the principal several times over the years, usually one-on-one sessions to discuss Anthony's progress and at least once previously to discuss the school fees being overdue. Vanessa quite liked him, he was a handsome sandy-haired man, with very baby-faced looks that made it difficult to judge his age. One of the canteen mums told her that he was in his late thirties.
The canteen was a hot spot for school gossip, like what teachers to not let your son be left alone with. There was always the suspicion of paedophilia among some of the teachers in an all-boys primary-age school. There was never any suggestion made that way about the principal ... instead the gossip around him was that his marriage had recently broken up. All the canteen mums thought of him as a bit of a spunk, so there were all these suggestions of how they could help him through this distressing time. Mainly fantasy from rich women with too much time on their hands.
One morning, Vanessa was running late for canteen duties. She was half running down the corridor and cut a corner a bit too sharply, disregarding the possibility that someone may be coming the other way. There was someone – the principal – and Vanessa literally crashed into him, her body becoming enveloped within his strong arms. She hung there momentarily, feeling protected by his firm hold around her. But then she collected her thoughts and realised that she shouldn't be seen to be standing in the corridor in the embrace of the principal.
She stammered in her embarrassment, "I ... err ... I ... I'm so sorry, Mr. Wilson ... I ... err ... I should have been watching more closely where I was going."
He still held her, even as she tried to withdraw her body from the clasp of his arms. "Don't worry about it, Mrs. Wright ... that's the best thing that's happened to me in a while."
Vanessa looked up into his eyes curiously, "Really ... why so?"
"To get to hold the most beautiful mother at the school to stop her from falling over. I'd say that's made my day ... my week. Should I push it for making my month? You may have heard, I haven't had too many good ones lately."
Vanessa looked blankly at the principal. She didn't know whether to admit that she had heard the gossip in the canteen about his separation from his wife.
"Surely you've heard," he went on. "My wife ran off with another man, sort of shakes you up, leaves you vulnerable. Accidentally hugging a beautiful woman is therapy for me."
Vanessa felt awkward, still standing in the arms of the principal as he began to pour his heart out about his marriage breakdown. She was saved by the bell ... the school bell that suddenly rang shrilly right above them. They broke apart awkwardly, each looking a little embarrassed.
"Err ... yes, I did hear about that, Mr. Wilson. I am so sorry for you."
"Shit happens, Mrs. Wright ... it's just that sometimes it's a bloody big turd."
Vanessa was shocked by his crude assessment of this turn in his life. He obviously saw the dismay on her face and moved to correct himself. "I'm sorry, perhaps that was a bit blunt. Please forgive me."
Then, he was gone, the principal scurrying away down the corridor, leaving Vanessa stunned by the brief conversation that had transpired. Had he really called her 'the most beautiful mother at the school?' Wow, that was a big call, she had seen heaps of mothers whose looks she admired and who she thought were prettier than her. Vanessa wondered if that might be a line that he used regularly, or did she have a secret admirer?
A week later, Vanessa received a call from the principal's PA, asking her to come and see Mr. Wilson re a private matter. Vanessa was curious and duly made a time for an appointment. For much of the week since her collision with the principal, she had pondered over his comment. Despite the years of frustration in dealing with her husband's addiction, she had never even looked seriously at another man. That was in spite of being hit on by a few of her husband's supposed friends over the years. She had declined all of their approaches.
So it was with a slight tinge of excitement that she went to visit the principal. She even dressed up for the occasion and he reacted accordingly, "Good morning Mrs. Wright, goodness me, you look exceptionally good today."
She thanked him and took a seat near to his desk, crossing her leg over the other and allowing her dress to slip back and reveal her knee and some degree of upper thigh. She wasn't quite sure how much she was showing, but she noted that he seemed to approve as he looked quite blatantly in that direction.
After some pleasantries about the weather, the principal got to the point that was, unfortunately, to ask whether she and her husband would soon be able to bring the school fees up to date. "I am embarrassed to have to ask you like this," said the principal, "but I can only stave off the board for so long. They will want me to take some action if you can't pay something soon."
Vanessa should have realised that he would be asking about the overdue fees soon, although she had daydreamed that he might want to talk to her socially. Despite all of the debt that her husband had put them into over the years, Vanessa seldom confessed to anyone about his gambling problem. But this day, she felt compelled to let it all out.
She went through all of the emotions in Mr. Wilson's office with the door closed. She told the whole story, even admitting to the principal that she at last was considering whether her marriage would survive if William did not get professional help soon. She hadn't even mentioned that possibility to her own mother and she wondered if her admission was possibly connected to his compliment of last week.
After confessing her plight, she promised to get the fees up to date somehow. Mr. Wilson gave her some tissues to dry her eyes and then he surprised her by inviting her to lunch. "Mrs. Wright, I am having a little lunch here next Tuesday, I would like you to join me."
"But isn't that in the school vacation time."
"Yes it is, but that doesn't mean the principal takes a vacation."
"Oh, very well, I would love to. Thank you."
Tuesday came around and she headed off to school. Her first surprise was to see no other cars in the car park. 'Must be a small gathering,' thought Vanessa as she entered the school and proceeded down the corridor to the principal's office. She knocked on the door.
"Come in, please," called Mr. Wilson from inside.
She entered, finding the principal stepping forward from behind his desk to greet her. "Am I the first here?" she asked, looking around and noticing a picnic basket sitting on his coffee table.
"Oh dear, I guess I did not explain myself very well. Mrs. Wright, you are the only one invited for lunch today. I hope you don't mind."
"Oh, no ... that's very nice," she said, finding herself stammering again, unsure of how to take the fact that she had been invited here alone with the principal for lunch.
It turned out that he had prepared a sumptuous meal at home, wrapped it all in foil to keep it warm, packed it in the picnic basket along with a cool bottle of white wine.
"It's such a nice day, Mrs. Wright, why don't we make this into a real picnic and eat outside on the oval?"
So they did, on the grass, just the two of them. They didn't talk about Anthony and his schooling at all. They didn't discuss the delinquent payment of the school fees. No, they just talked about his sorrow and grief at losing his marriage and about how she was sticking it out in her own. He dared to make veiled suggestions of how he was looking for a woman just like her, but she let them fly by without comment.
They both had a wonderful time, she enjoyed the social company of another man after ten years with William. It also buoyed her confidence that a younger man of 39 appeared to be so attracted to her at 45. Twice she told him she had to go, but the principal seemed reluctant to have this date end. At last, he conceded that they must call it a day.
"I have to tell you, Mrs. Wright, that this has been one of the best days of my life. You are a truly wonderful woman ... attractive and very intelligent. I would consider it a treat to have you as a friend ... a close friend." He was by now holding her hand and Vanessa wondered if he was going to kiss her. She figured he wanted to, but appeared shy.
"Perhaps you should call me Vanessa if we are going to be close friends, Mr. Wilson," she told him, tightening her grip in his hand.
"You're quite right, Vanessa. Oh, where are my manners? I am Colin."
She made to shake his hand that still held hers and she saw his head coming forward, his lips puckering. At the point of impact, she quickly turned her head and offered her cheek for him to plant his kiss. He looked disappointed as he withdrew from the chaste kiss on the cheek.
Two days later, Colin Wilson called Vanessa at work – she worked Mondays and Thursdays only under her employer's new tighter fiscal arrangements. "Could I buy you a drink tomorrow, around lunchtime, perhaps down at the Sheraton."
"I don't know, Mr. ... err, Colin. I am a married woman and I really should go on behaving like one. That lunch you did on Tuesday was so nice, but I don't want to encourage you to think that there might be something more between us."
The principal decided to deal an ace to the gambling addict's wife. "Vanessa, I actually wanted to talk to you about the school fees, I have a plan that might help you out."
Vanessa's voice brightened, "Oh okay Colin, what time then?"
"I thought about one, if that's alright with you, okay?"
While Vanessa had made it known to Anthony's principal on the phone that he should not expect that she would want their relationship to go any further, she sent mixed signals by dressing to please for their second lunch date. 'Mind you,' she thought, 'he did only mention a drink, he didn't say anything about lunch.'
Punctually right on one o'clock, she walked into the ground floor bar at the Sheraton and cast her eyes around the room, looking for the school principal. There he was, perched on a stool at the end of the bar. She walked forward and he eased himself off the stool to greet her.
"Vanessa, you have outdone yourself yet again, you look stunning today."
Vanessa blushed, "Thank you, you're very kind."
"No, I mean it, you look sensational. I hope a little bit of this was for me."
She frowned at him, "Colin, I did say to you that you should not expect that there was anything between us by my coming here today."
"No, I don't, really. I am just very pleased to see you, Vanessa. Here, take my stool."
He offered his hand to help her ease her arse up onto the high stool at the bar, her skirt riding up to mid thigh as she did so. Colin took full advantage of the situation, his eyes looking down to admire the large expanse of her upper thighs that came into view. When she was settled up on the stool, he chose to stand close alongside her.
"What would you like to drink, my dear?"
"Just a glass of white wine would be nice, Colin."
He ordered her wine and another beer for himself.
"So," she started, eager to get straight to the point. "I am intrigued ... you said you had a plan to help out with our school fees."
"Your school fees," he seemed very pointed in correcting her. "I wouldn't aim to give any sort of assistance to a gambling addict, but I would for you. You're the victim of this man's addiction and he's dragging you down with him."
"I have chosen to stay with him," she responded defensively.
"True, and you deserve the greatest respect for showing him more than he shows you."
She was becoming aggressive in response to his own tone, "He is sick, Colin, it is an illness."
The principal mellowed, sensing her annoyance and attempting to lighten the mood for his offer. "Vanessa, my position at the School grants me certain privileges that I can bestow on students. I wanted to offer you a scholarship for Anthony, backdated to the start of this school year. All school fees would be waived until the end of this school year."
Vanessa's face lit up and she broke into a huge warm smile, "Colin, could you really do that for me? This is not some kind of joke, is it?"
"No, I am deadly serious, Vanessa. I like you very much and I want to do something meaningful so that you can keep your son at our School."
He was so close to her, standing beside her stool and she was so excited that she reached both hands up to his face and clamped them on his cheeks, holding his head steady as she planted a big kiss square on his lips. By holding his face in her hands, she thought that she was controlling the kiss. But he quickly wrapped his closest arm around her and held her tightly to him while his lips parted ... his tongue forcing her lips to part and accept that the kiss had changed to a French kiss.
She felt so relieved that a huge financial burden had been lifted from her that she didn't resist Colin's tongue as it painted her own and slid over and around her teeth and gums. It's just that it went on so much longer than she thought was necessary. Vanessa thought that Colin assumed that his grand financial gesture was worth stealing a long kiss. She also thought it probably was, so she let it run its course without protest.
She was panting when his tongue at last withdrew from her mouth and she found her own tongue licking her lips. "That was very nice," he told her breathlessly, his mouth close to her ear, almost whispering. "I booked a room," he told her quietly.