[I put this story in the mature section because the characters in the story are all over fifty. There is sex in this story but not in the hard charging, wham, bam way that sex shows up in other stories. The only man in this story never gets an erection in the story. Oral sex is here, female to female sex is here, and love, respect, and care are here. I would like feedback on this story, either public or private.]
"I'm not sure I should say anything," Cally said.
"Something's wrong. We're your best friends." Martha leaned toward her friend.
They were sitting in a round booth in their favorite Italian restaurant. Cally, Martha, Janice, Helen and Beth. They had been friends for fifteen years. Cally was sitting with two women on either side and had hardly touched her meal. The sixth member of their group, Colleen, was away visiting her daughter's family on vacation.
"It's Pete. He's sick." Her voice broke and tears started.
Cally broke down and cried. Mario their waiter came over and before he could ask Martha said, "It's OK Mario. The food is fine." He walked away. The meal stopped. The conversation stopped and the four friends waited for Cally. They all knew Pete and liked him. He had married Cally before they all had met. Whatever any of these women had going on in their lives, he was supportive. He had fixed things for them in their houses, lent them money when they needed it, had thrown birthday parties for each of them, and always surprised them with flowers at least once a year. For some he was a brother they didn't have, for others he was the John Wayne hero guy they could always count on.
Cally stopped crying and took a big breath. No one moved or spoke.
She took another breath and said, "He has cancer." She paused and no one moved. She looked up and said, "The doctors give him six months to a year." The tears started again.
"We need a second opinion." Beth said. Cally shook her head.
"We've been to City of Hope and UCLA. They gave us the same verdict. I'm going to lose him."
Martha put her arm around Cally and they were all quiet for a while. When Cally looked up at her friends Janice said, "What can we do? This is happening to all of us."
"We all love him, too. Whatever it takes we're here for both of you." Beth reached out and touched Cally.
"I don't know. I think I'm still in shock. I want to be in denial but I know too much. His cancer has spread and is growing."
"How does he feel?"
"He feels tired quicker than he used to. He doesn't feel pain, yet"
"Is there anyone he can talk to besides you?"
"I don't think so. You guys are our closest friends. His guy friends aren't as close as you guys. He just never was one of those guys who wanted to bar hop and drink beer."
"Will he talk to us?"
"I just don't know. Pete was raised to be the strong, quiet man and take whatever comes without complaint. He hasn't cried with me, or yelled or anything except look really sad all the time."
Martha asked, "Is he still working?"
"How are you with finances?"
"OK. We have a good retirement stashed and five years ago Pete took out a life insurance policy on us that will pay a million when the time comes."
A quiet pause sat with the five women at the table. Cally was the only one married. Martha had been married once, for twenty three years to a controlling man who treated her more like an employee than a wife. Beth had never been married but had lived with a man for fifteen years and bore him two children. In the end he had just walked away, leaving her with two teenaged children to raise alone. She did a good job and both kids were now grown and doing fine on their own. Janice had married right out of high school and raised two boys before her husband divorced her to marry their insurance agent. Helen had spent twenty years in the Air Force and never married. She loved tennis and swimming and now worked for the county parks and recreation department managing the tennis courts and pool. None of the group had ever heard her mention a date much less a romance. She was good looking for a woman in her fifties. They all were. The missing member of their group, Colleen, was a tall, thin woman who had been married twice. The first guy had been the quarterback of the high school football team and married Colleen between his junior year of college and his senior year. She was pregnant at the time. Two years later he moved to New York City and divorced Colleen. She married Tom Bratton three years later. He was just back from Vietnam and she felt he needed her. Four years later Tom was committed to a hospital and he was still there as far as anyone knew.
"Where is Pete now?" Helen asked.
"Home, watching TV or maybe asleep in his recliner."
"Can we go and visit?"
"Yes. Now. I want to tell him I'm here for him. Cally, I love Pete and I want him to know it. He has treated me with love and respect all these years. He is always a gentleman and always willing to help. Now is my chance to do something for him. I want to." Helen said.
"Yeah, me too." Beth said and the others nodded.
"OK. I don't know how he'll react but inside I think he'll appreciate the gesture."
They paid the bill and left Vitorrio's together. They didn't need to follow Cally home; they had all been there many times. It did look like a five car caravan with Cally in the lead. She pulled into her garage and the others filled the driveway and parked in front. They trooped into the house through the back door. If they had thought about it none of them could have remembered the last time anyone had used the front door. Pete always said the front door was for salesmen and cops.
Cally had been right, Pete was in the recliner. If he had been asleep five minutes before the noise of the door opening and five women entering the kitchen had woken him. As they walked into the family room he looked up and smiled.
"Did you guys get rowdy and Mario threw you out?"
"No," Martha said, "We came to see you."
His smile faded. He looked at Cally and saw the tear tracks.
Martha spoke. "Pete, we love you. You don't need to keep anything from us. God, you've been so good to all of us. We came over to let you know that we're in. Whatever support you need, we're in."
"I don't need anything. I don't even feel sick."
"Good" Beth said, "And when you do feel sick or tired..."
"Or sick and tired, we're here." Helen said.
He smiled. It was hard to let them take care of him and just as hard to let them say they would.
Cally sat on the arm of his recliner and said, "I think this is where you surrender Sweetheart. Save your strength for other things. You've taken good care of all of us for years now we get to take care of you."
Pete raised his hands over his head and said, "OK. I'm out numbered and out classed. I surrender."
The group stayed for less than an hour. They could see that Pete needed to get to bed. He still planned to teach the next day. Pete taught English at the high school and he hoped to finish out the school year. Cally helped him get ready for bed and into bed after the others had gone. She snuggled with him for the couple of minutes it took for him to fall asleep. As she lay against him listening to him breathe she cried. 'He's dying.' was her reoccurring thought.
The next day Pete was at school and Cally at her job at the bank by eight. After his third class Pete had an open period which he usually used to meet with students who needed extra help and to eat his lunch. This day was different. After the last third period student walked out of his room Pete put his head down on the desk, "for a moment" and woke up when the students for his fifth period class trooped in. He'd never done that before.
Cally worked as a loan officer for the bank and she was good at her job. The manager came over once during the day and asked if she was OK. He said she looked distracted. She apologized but didn't explain.
By Friday Pete was napping every day and hadn't eaten lunch once. He rationalized that he needed the sleep more than the food. Cally took her manager into her confidence on Friday telling him what was distracting her. He was very supportive.
By doctor's orders Pete was to weigh himself every Saturday morning and phone the result in to the clinic. The Saturday before Pete had called in and said, "This is Pete Wells. My weight is 210." This Saturday, one week later he stood on the scale and when he got it balanced he read 201. 'Maybe I should eat lunch once in a while,' He thought.
On the next Tuesday Cally had a visit at work from Helen. She arrived five minutes before Cally's lunch break so they went down the block and had lunch at the deli.
"I want an update," Helen said as they sat down.
"Pete's losing weight. He hasn't said how much but I noticed his belt is in a new hole. He eats dinner but he acts like he isn't really hungry."
"He's still teaching?"
"Yes. He loves teaching. He still shares with me about what happened at school."
"Do you know about the Someday Game?"
"It's a game everybody plays, I think. Someday I'm gonna learn to ski. Someday I'm gonna take you to Hawaii. Someday I'm gonna start my own business. That game."
"Yeah. I've said someday I'm gonna finish my Masters degree."
"What has Pete said?"
"Nothing. We've traveled, he has his Masters, and I don't think I've ever heard him say "Someday."
"Ask him, would you? If there is something and we can give it to him, we want to."
"All of us. We want to make the next months wonderful if we can. Create some great memories for all of us. So, ask him somehow would you?"
"Yeah. Sort of like those kids who know they are dying and they always wanted to go to Disneyworld."
"I'll be surprised if Pete says Disneyworld."
"I love your idea. I'll ask him."
They enjoyed their lunch and Cally was back at work on time. She felt better. She had a mission.
At home that night she asked Pete what he would like for dinner. He asked for one of his favorites, chicken and dumplings. The fixings were not in Cally's kitchen. She knew that Martha made great Chicken and dumplings and that Martha lived just five minutes away so she called.
"Hi. Pete wants chicken and dumplings for dinner and I don't have any chicken or Bisquick. Can I borrow some?"
"Yup! I'm on my way." The phone clicked and Martha was gone. Fifteen minutes later the back door opened and Martha walked in, not carrying packages of chicken and Bisquick but a big casserole dish. She walked directly to Cally's stove and turned on the oven. Cally came into the kitchen and Martha said, "Dinner will be ready in half an hour."
"You made it?" Cally was surprised.
"I made it and I made a big one so you can have it more than one night. I need to go back out to my car because I also brought some nice wine to go with it." Cally stood in her kitchen and watched the Martha whirlwind go back out to her car and return moments later.
The three friends talked in the family room until the oven timer rang and dinner was ready. Cally and Martha set the table and were ready to sit down as Pete arrived and sat down. The dinner was very good and Martha was right, there was enough for at least one more night. When they finished dinner Martha said she needed to go as she was expecting a phone call at about seven thirty. She kissed Pete and Cally and was gone.
Before eight o'clock Pete was in bed asleep. As he slipped into sleep he realized the chicken and dumplings were the biggest meal he had eaten in quite a while.
Cally had to wait until the next night to ask Pete about the Someday Game. He sat quietly for a long time after she asked. She didn't tell him that the others had suggested it. She just wondered aloud if there was something he wanted to do before he couldn't.
"Cally, I would live my life happy and content if this never happened, but I have thought about it over the years. I've been loved by you more than I've ever figured I deserved. I love all our friends and consider myself blessed that we are all friends." He paused. "No, never mind. I can't even speak it."
She begged, pleaded and did her best but he wouldn't tell her what it was. Too soon he was tired and went to bed.
The next day Cally called Helen from work.
"Pete has something, but he won't tell me what it is."
"What did he say?"
Cally told Helen what he said and they couldn't figure out what his speech might have been leading up to. Helen said, "Don't give up."
At dinner that night Cally asked again. Pete looked at her and decided to speak.
"Do you remember about five years ago when Janice dated that guy for a while and then he broke it off the night of a party here?"
"Yeah. She was really down that night."
"I danced with her that night and while we danced I kissed her. You saw me do it."
"Were you angry?"
"No. I knew you wanted to make her feel better. I knew before that night that you loved her and I knew you are my man. Is that what you want, another kiss from Janice?"
"No. I wanted to establish that you understand that affection between me and anyone else doesn't change how I feel about you."
"I know that."
"You also know that since I started taking the meds for the cancer I haven't had an erection."
"Yes, I've noticed, but that's OK there's a lot more to loving each other than playing with your hard on."
"OK. Here's what I want someday. I want to physically love and snuggle with Helen, Janice, Colleen, Martha, and Beth. And, I want a school named after me."
"You know me. I love giving you orgasms orally and with my hands. I love taking foreplay all the way to afterglow. I love all the women in our lives. Someday I would like to take each of them to bed and express my love for them in that way. Now you know. I will not take that wish to my grave as a regret. As for having a school named after me it can't happen. They only name schools after people after they're dead. By then I won't care anymore. So don't bother. That's it."
Cally sat stunned. She never would have guessed. She knew Pete loved pleasing her and she loved how good he was at it. He had never shown any signs of being sexually attracted to any of their friends. She looked up at him.
"I didn't have any idea."
"If you hadn't asked I never would have said anything. Are you sorry you asked?"
"No. I'm not. I see that you love me a lot. You respect our vows and me. I love you, Pete." She kissed him and took him to bed.
"Sweetheart, I love you. I'm worried now that by telling you I've damaged our marriage."
"You haven't. I think I can safely say I love that you can share those thoughts with me. Let's have an early dinner tomorrow and maybe you could nibble on me after?"
"I'd like that. Maybe we could get some Chinese, that way you wouldn't need to cook."
A minute later he was asleep.
Ready for school the next morning Pete wore a baseball cap. Big clumps of hair had fallen out in the shower that morning. As he left for school he said, "Well, I guess it's time to let Mr. White know what's happening. Can't hide going bald." Cally kissed him and they left.
From her desk she called Helen. "Can we do lunch?"
"Did he tell you?"
"Not over the phone. I'm not sure I can even tell you at the deli. Let's get sandwiches and eat in the car. OK?"
"OK. I have more time than you, what kind of sandwich do you want?"
At noon exactly the door to the bank opened and Helen walked in. Cally stood and they walked right out together. They got in Helen's car and headed for the city park.
"Are you going to tell all of us, or just me?"
"I guess I should tell all of you."
"Good because after I spoke to you I called them. They will meet us at the park." At the park Helen parked and they walked to the community room. Helen had the key and the others were waiting by the doors.
They sat at a table and each opened their lunches. After a few bites Beth said, "Do I have to wait until you finish that huge sandwich?"
They laughed. Beth was always the impatient one.
"OK. OK. I'll just tell it. I asked Pete and he said that he loves me and loves all of you too."
"We know all that. What does he want?"
"He wants to take each of you to bed and love you."
The room was silent and no one moved for a long time. When someone moved it was Martha. She took a bite of her sandwich and said, "Oh. I thought it was going to cost us a lot of money."
They all laughed. Helen looked at Cally and asked, "How does that make you feel?"
"Last night I was shocked and almost speechless. After Pete went to sleep I thought about what he wants and why. I love that man and I love how he honors me and our marriage by being able to keep his feelings, his sexual feelings, for all of you secret for all these years. I have no right to ask you each to do what he wants, but I am asking. Pete does love all of us. He would like a chance to express it physically. Janice can you remember a few years ago when that guy dumped you the day of a party at our home?"
"Pete kissed you that night as you two danced. He mentioned it last night. That kiss was important to him. He didn't hide it from me then or now. It was an opportunity for him to show you physically that he cared and loved you."
"Are you sure about having us go to bed with your husband?"
"It's not as if any children will be fathered in this. With all the medicines Pete is taking he can't get an erection and most of us have hot flashed our way into menopause. He hasn't bedded anyone but me in thirty years so I think we're safe for STD's."
"Let me understand this, exactly. You want us to go spend time with Pete in bed and let him give us an orgasm or two with his hands and mouth?"
"That's one way to put it. I'm sure Pete would say he wants to physically express his love for you as best he can."
Cally finished of her sandwich while everyone thought about the request. Martha spoke first when Cally was finished with her sandwich.
"I want Tuesdays."
"What?" Helen asked.
"I want Tuesdays. If I'm going to do this I want to spend Tuesdays with Pete. Pretty soon he won't be working and I want to take care of him on Tuesdays. Food, medicines, fluff his pillow and let him ring my bells as often as he wants. I can arrange my schedule so Tuesdays are free to do this. I'm in."
Beth opened her purse and took out her day-planner. A few pages were flipped and she said, "May I have Thursdays?"
The others looked at their calendars and each took a day. They conferred and decided that on their days they would arrive a little before Cally needed to leave for work and stay for dinner. Since Cally worked Monday through Friday those were the days the others took. Friday wasn't taken but Beth said she would talk with Colleen when she returned and she was sure that Colleen would want in too.
Helen said, "With this schedule you can focus on your work knowing Pete is well taken care of. If anything happens we can call you immediately."
"Cally's eyes filled and she said, "If I had sisters they would be you. Thank you. I feel better than I have in weeks."
Helen took Cally back to the bank and then she went back to work. Monday was hers and Monday was just three days away. Back in her office she sat down to do a report and her phone rang.
It was Martha. "I've been thinking. I want to drive into Lincoln this weekend and do some shopping. Want to come along?"
"What are we shopping for?"
"I haven't been with a man in years. My nightgown was made by Fredrick's of Wyoming not Fredrick's of Hollywood! If I'm going to bed with Pete I want his eyes to enjoy the trip."
"I'm going to tell you something I haven't shared with anyone in thirty five years. I'm scared. The last time a man touched my body I was being raped! I was twenty six. I won't know how to act. I cannot think of any man I would rather be with than Pete but the thought of being touched sexually scares the hell out of me."