The Boyfriend TestbyJust Plain Bob©
It was a Monday evening and I was rolling down Hwy. 83 and trying to find a radio station playing something worth listening to and not having much luck. It was a perfect ending to a sucky day that was one more in a lousy week that was in turn a part of a god awful month.
It was one month to the day since I'd found out that my fiancé was cheating on me. Of course according to her it wasn't cheating and maybe by her definition of cheating it wasn't, but by my definition it was and it was mine that counted as far as I was concerned.
Cara and I were supposed to go to a party, but I had run into a problem on the trailer I was working on. I had promised Wade that I would have it done in time for him to move two horses to Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico the next morning. I called Cara and told her what was going on and told her that I would make it up to her later.
I got back to work on the trailer and got it done a little quicker than I expected, called Wade and told him the trailer was ready for pick up in the morning and then I headed for Cara's place figuring that I could salvage at least part of the evening. I got to her place just in time to see her climb into Bill Anderson's Ford F-250. WTF I thought as they pulled away. Anderson was the guy she was going with when she met me and no, I was not the one who broke them up.
I followed them from Cara's place to Jill's place where the party was being held. The two of them went inside and I sat in my pick up and fumed. Twice I got out to go inside and both times I stopped and got back into my truck. My mood was not good and if I went inside there would probably be words said and I liked Jill too much to cause a disturbance and disrupt her party. As I sat there I thought about what was going on. Anderson knew we were engaged and he knew, or at least would have expected, that Cara and I would be at the party. Therefore, at least to my way of thinking, Anderson wouldn't have called her to ask her out. To me that meant she called him.
Curiosity finally got the best of me and so I got out of my truck and approached the house. I wouldn't go in and mess up Jill's party, but I would look around to see what I could see. I looked in a couple of windows, but didn't see Cara or Anderson. As I moved down the side of the house I heard the sounds of a party coming from the back. I reached the back of the house and saw several couples dancing on the patio including Cara and Anderson. I stopped where I was in the dark shadows and watched.
Cara and Anderson were dancing close – too close as far as I was concerned – and Anderson had both hands on Cara's ass as they swayed to the slow tune. Cara had her head on Anderson's shoulder and it looked like her face was nuzzled into his neck. I took out my cell phone and snapped a picture of the lovely couple. The music stopped, but they still swayed together for another twenty seconds or so until it suddenly dawned on them that the music had stopped. They stepped back from each other and Anderson leaned forward and kissed Cara and I turned and left.
It was four days before Cara called me at work on my cell and asked me where I'd been and why hadn't I called her.
"Didn't want to interfere with your social life."
"What does that mean?"
"It means that I have gotten out of your way so you can get on with your running around."
"I still don't understand what you are talking about."
"Bluntly Cara? I don't want anything more to do with your cheating ass!" and I disconnected and got back to work.
At ten to five an obviously pissed Cara came stomping into the shop. I was relining the brakes on a Sooner stock trailer when she came up to me.
"Why did you hang up on me and what is this shit about running around and cheating?"
"You know damned well what I mean."
"I don't have a clue what you are talking about Frank."
"You deny that you went out with another guy behind my back?"
"Of course I deny it because it didn't happen."
"Well I say it did Cara."
I put up my hand and said, "Stop it Cara. I can't be doing this shit in the shop and on company time. Go up the hill to the café and I'll come up there when I get off at five-thirty and then you can have your say."
"Damn it Frankie I wan..."
"Just shut the fuck up Cara! If you really want to waste your time telling me lies get over to the café and wait for me."
I turned away from her and bent down and went back to work on the Sooner. Cara stood there staring down at my back for maybe ten seconds and then she turned and left. I finished the brake job, cleaned up the work area and myself, punched out and went to the café to face Cara.
She was in a booth in the back and I went and sat down across from her. Angie was there as soon as my butt hit the seat and asked me what I was going to have. I told her just coffee. As she walked away I looked at Cara and said:
"I might as well go first since it will save time. What did you do last Friday night?
"I went to Jill's party."
"I went by myself."
"What did you do there?"
"What you do at a party. I drank some, danced some, talked to some people."
"Nothing out of the ordinary happen?"
"No. It was just a party."
"Okay, that's your version. Here is mine. I got done at work sooner that I expected so I headed for your place. I got there just in time to see you climb into Bill Anderson's pick up truck. So telling me you went to the party alone is your first lie. Your second lie was telling me that nothing out of the ordinary happened. Maybe it wasn't out of the ordinary for you because for all I know it is what you are always doing when I'm not around, but to me it is definitely out of the ordinary for my fiancé to plaster herself to an ex-boyfriend on the dance floor and neck with him. And don't bother to deny it."
I flipped open my cell phone, pushed a couple of buttons and then showed Cara the picture that I had taken.
"I watched for two minutes before I took that picture. Notice where his hands are? They were there the entire time I watched and you made no attempt to push them away. Notice that there isn't enough space between the two of you to push a piece of paper through. See how you are molded to him and how your face is nuzzled into his neck? It was that way the whole time I watched. I was watching when the music stopped and you stayed molded together and swaying for twenty or thirty seconds after the music had stopped. I was watching when you finally realized you had no more music and broke apart. I was watching when he leaned forward and kissed you. Unfortunately I had already put my cell phone in my pocket so I didn't get a picture of that tender moment, but my eyes managed to capture it and store it in my brain.
"And before you even try it don't bother to give me any bullshit about how you had too much to drink and were in a really mellow mood and didn't know what you were doing. It was only thirty-five minutes from the time you got to the party until I took the picture. Not near enough time for alcohol to have an effect on you.
"You don't have to having sex for it to be cheating Cara. When you let me put that ring on your finger you took me to be your man – period! Not one of many, not one of a select few, but one of one. What you did with Anderson was unacceptable. When you did what you did you cheated on me and that ended it for us. Your turn."
"You have it all wrong Frankie. I didn't go to that party with Bill. All he was was my ride. I called a half a dozen people to see if I could catch a ride with someone, but I wasn't able to hook up with anyone. The last person I called was Debbie and she told me that she had the flu and wasn't going to go, but that Bill, who was supposed to be her date that night, was there and she put him on the phone. He said he was still going to the party and that if I wanted he would stop by and pick me up. He picked me up, gave me a ride to the party and then we split up and went our separate ways.
"After we had been there a while he asked me to dance. Okay, maybe I should have been a little more circumspect when dancing with him, but he is a damned good dancer and we had always danced well together. Yes, he had his hands on my ass, but so what? He wasn't going to get anywhere with me and I knew it. I'd already arranged with Tom and Sherry to give me a ride home. As for the kiss? You apparently didn't stick around to see the outcome of that. He caught me by surprise when he kissed me and I slapped him so had I left a hand print on his cheek and then I walked away from him and left him standing there looking stupid. I didn't speak to him the rest of the night.
"I have not been running around on you and I have not cheated on you. One dance with an old friend is not even close to cheating."
"I'll give you that normal dancing isn't cheating, but dancing the way you danced with Anderson wasn't even close to normal by my standards and my standards are what I go by. So, it was fun Cara and it is too bad that you decided to end it. Have a nice life" and I got up and walked away.
I spent some time that night thinking about what Cara had told me and I wondered if I was being fair. True, what she did dancing with Anderson didn't set well with me, but would anyone else call it cheating? The next morning when I got up I decided that I would do some checking. When I got off work that night I called Debbie and told her up front that I had a problem with Cara being at Jill's party with Anderson and since she was supposed to be dating Anderson I wanted her input. She backed up Cara's story. She had come down with the flu, couldn't reach Anderson to cancel and he had shown up to pick her up. He was there when Cara called and he had offered to give her a ride.
"He took her to the party Frank, but not as a date. He just gave her a ride."
"Thanks for helping me clear it up. You feeling better?"
"Take care and thanks again."
My next call was to Jill and after some small talk I told her the reason for the call.
"Cara and I are on the outs over what happened at your party between her and Bill Anderson. The story that I got was that she and Anderson got pretty touchy-feely and she said that I'm reading things wrong. If I'm wrong I want to know it so I'm asking others who were there."
"I don't know that I can tell you much Frank. They showed up together, but didn't spend too much time with each other. They did dance once and it did raise a few eyebrows. As far as I'm concerned the way they danced wouldn't have passed the boyfriend test, but other than that the only thing that happened was she slapped him when he kissed her."
"The 'boyfriend test?' What is that?"
"If it is something that you wouldn't do in front of your boyfriend then it is something that you shouldn't be doing at all."
"Good point. Anything else?"
"No. After the two slaps they didn't go anywhere near each other for the rest of the night and then she left with Tom and Shelly."
"When she turned to walk away after the first slap he tried to grab her arm and she belted him again."
When I hung up the phone I thought about what Jill had said. She was right. What Cara had done with Anderson did fail the 'boyfriend test' and I had to wonder if she could do that in front of a bunch of people that knew the both of us what would she or could she do when she wasn't around people who knew me or worse still, when she was in private. I didn't like the thoughts that gave me. I didn't like it so much that I decided that it was just as well that I had split with Cara.
I let things settle for a week and then I started calling around and asking the unattached women I knew for dates and to my surprise they all turned me down. That to me was odd because before I put a ring on Cara's finger I never had a problem getting a date. Finally Nancy Abbott told me:
"Sorry Frank, but after the shabby way you treated Cara I'm not interested in a guy like you."
It turned out that Cara had wasted no time in putting out the word that I had dumped her and was being an absolute asshole. The big surprise to me was that none of the girls who were turning me down thought that Cara had done anything wrong.
"It was only a fucking dance for Christ's sake. Get a grip Frank."
It didn't cause me to rethink my decision where Cara was concerned, but it did cause me to rethink my attitude toward the women I knew. Fuck the bitches! If they thought nothing was wrong with what Cara did then they would probably be cheaters too.
That was the mood I was in as I rolled down Hwy 83. Up ahead I saw emergency flashers on the side of the road and I slowed down. As I got close I saw smoke coming off of the left front tire of a Featherlite three horse gooseneck. I pulled over to see if I could help.
The trailer was being pulled by a Ford F-450 Super Duty and the driver's door opened and a smallish figure got out and walked back toward me. Maybe 5'2'' and wearing Levis, boots, a Carhartt barn coat and a JB felt. I almost chuckled. In the equine business it always seemed like the smaller the guy, the bigger the rig he drove. It turns out that I was wrong. It wasn't a guy; it was a woman. As she walked up she said:
"I think I smoked a bearing."
"Smells like it."
"I tried calling the trailer place back there, but I guess they closed for the day. Looks like I'm stuck here until they open tomorrow."
"Maybe, maybe not. I can always go back and open it up."
"You know trailers?"
"Been working on them a good while. Let me see if my truck jack will go high enough to lift the trailer so I can pull the wheel."
"I have a Jiffy Jack."
"Get it out and let's get the trailer up and see what we got."
She got the Jiffy Jack out and I placed it under the rear tire and she backed the trailer up onto it. I got my travel tool box out of the back of my truck and pulled the tire and wheel and then popped off the dust cap. When I got the axle nut off and pulled the hub I saw that it was a blown rear grease seal. The brake linings were soaked in grease and the rear bearing had disintegrated.
"Bad?" she asked.
"It's a Dexter hub so I should have the parts and probably a hub if needed. I'll need to take it back to the shop, clean it and check the outer bearing, races and the drum itself for cracks. Take me about an hour."
"Can I ride with you? I'd just as soon not sit out here alone with nothing to do."
"Of course you can."
I crawled under the trailer and read the data tag on the axle. It was a Dexter 10k and seeing that I was almost certain I had what I'd need to get her on her way.
Her name was Betsy and she had just dropped off three horses at May Hill Farms and was on her way back to Oklahoma when she saw the smoke rolling out from under the rear of the trailer and had immediately pulled over. We drove back to the shop and I unlocked it and turned on the lights. I put the hub in the parts washer and set the timer for fifteen minutes and turned it on. While I was doing that Betsy took off her barn coat and I saw that it had been covering up one very well built young woman. She took off her hat and her dark brown hair fell to her shoulders. Very nice indeed.
I showed her to the customer waiting area up front and went back to the shop. I checked out the Dexter 10k in the parts book and got the numbers for the inner and outer bearings and races. The hub wasn't cracked, but the inner race was shot so I replaced it and the outer just to be on the safe side. There was no sense in trying to degrease the brake linings so I grabbed a complete backing plate assembly off the shelf and went to get Betsy. She told me that she was going to pay with a credit car so we should take care of it before leaving so I made out an invoice, ran her card, and then we drove back to her rig.
I put everything back together, slid under the trailer and adjusted the new linings and it was done. I gathered up my tools and put then back in my truck and wished her a good trip. As I turned to walk back to my truck Betsy said:
"While you are here could you look at something for me?"
"Sure. Why not?"
"It is in the tack room."
I followed her into the tack room and she said, "Up there" and she pointed up at the gooseneck deck where there were blankets, pillows and a mattress.
"What am I looking for?"
"The mattress. It's brand new and needs to be broken in" and as she was saying that she was shedding her Carhartt and was unbuttoning the buttons on her shirt. "I need to tip you for all you have done for me."
By then she had already dropped her bra on the floor and I was saying:
"No need. You were charged enough for it."
"You could have just driven on by when you saw me here. Your day was done and you were on your way home to put up your feet, drink a beer and relax. Instead you decided to stop and give a poor girl a hand. Don't argue with me. Get your pants off and get up on that gooseneck."
Looking at that hard-bodied hottie convinced me to shut up and do what she said. I kicked off my work boots, dropped my pants and got up on the mattress.
"Are you sure about this? It seems awful excessive for a tip."
"It is a case of the stars coming into just the right alignment sugar. The need to give you a tip just happens to coincide with my need to do something about a bad case of the hornies."
"We are only five minutes from my place and a good bed."
"Maybe next time sugar. Right now I'm tight for time. I've got to get down to Oklahoma and pick up two horses and get them to Elk City, shoot over to El Reno and pick up three and have them back up here to Hillcrest Farms by Friday. Maybe when I get back up here we can try out the bed."
She climbed up on the gooseneck with me and proceeded to give me the absolute best tip I'd ever received. She told me that she worked with horses and that made her a cowgirl so she got to be on top. She mounted me and rode me and got herself off twice before I got mine. She rolled off me and said:
"Thanks sugar; I surely did need that."
"I'd be pleased to help you any time you need it."
She laughed and said, "I'll just bet you would."
We dressed, she pulled forward off the Jiffy Jack and I tossed it into the tack room and waved as she pulled off the shoulder and pointed her rig south toward Oklahoma. I got in my truck and headed home with a smile on my face. Fifteen years of working on trailers and it was the first time I'd ever gotten laid in one. I wondered if she would look me up when she came back. She had taken my phone number, but would she use it?
Tuesday after work I was feeling in a pretty good mood so after a bit of dinner I drove over to the Wagon Wheel for a drink or two. I noticed several of the girls I'd asked out sitting at a table, but I ignored them and took a stool at the bar.
I was sitting there drinking my beer and watching the Avalanche game on the TV mounted on the wall above the bar and in the mirror behind the bar I saw Cara come in. She joined the girls at the table and Marsha said something to her. Cara quickly glanced my way and started to get up, but Marsha grabbed her arm and pulled her back down and said something to her. I didn't need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. Cara hadn't noticed me until Marsha pointed me out. Cara was getting up to come over and Marsha pulled her back down and told her that she should leave me alone. Probably said something like:
"He's the one being the asshole. Make him come to you."
Benny asked me if I was ready for another beer, but my good mood had evaporated so I told him no and he moved to the other end of the bar to take care of a customer. I finished my beer and left without looking over at the table where the girls were sitting.