The Grass is Always GreenerbyStangStar06©
When I was young my Grandfather used to read the paper to me. One of his favorite columnists was a woman named Erma Bombeck. I got the idea for this story from the title of one of her books. As usual thanks to Mikothebaby for editing this story. If you like it please let her know that her work is appreciated by someone besides me.
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Refusing to let go of the past is the surest way of not having a future.
God damn it. I hated mornings like this one. It was a crisp, clean, spring morning with a sense of renewal in the air. The birds were singing, the sun was shining, the leaves and the grass were beginning to turn green, I was miserable. I wish that I was like Storm from the X-men and the weather could reflect my moods. It would be a completely different day. The sky would be gray and the air would be as cold as my mood.
As I jogged the last few steps down my block, one of my neighbors, who was outside trying to get her lawn mower started waved at me. I waved back in a far more cheerful gesture than I felt. That was good I told myself. Just keep pretending to be cheerful and no one will know how you really feel.
I had a satisfied little smile on my face. The smile was actually more due to the fact that I'd pulled off another day without breaking down than a reflection of my actual mood.
As I came up to my house, I noticed an unfamiliar vehicle in my driveway. It was parked right behind my Grabber Orange 2009 Mustang GT. As I slowed down to a walk, I recognized the truck. Sarah had driven it once or twice when she needed to bring loads of her things over to my house. She had so much shit here that a lot of people thought she lived with me.
Seeing the truck forced me to make my smile not bigger just happier, I had to keep up a good front for her. I was ready for her to either try and tug on my heartstrings and beg to go back to what we had or barring that, for her to stoically go about collecting her belongings and get the hell out of my life. Shit, if necessary I'd even help her move her stuff.
I was slightly disappointed when I got to the front of the truck and saw not Sarah but some guy. He wasn't big and imposing or small and wimpy, he was just a guy. He had on a baseball cap over his graying hair and he wore a red and white flannel shirt over jeans and tennis shoes. He couldn't have been more ordinary if he'd tried.
"Hey Bill," he said as I walked up.
"You must be, uhm Bobby, her brother," I said, making sure to keep up my smile.
"Uhm huh?" he said, looking at me.
"I'll give you a hand loading her stuff," I said. "Give me a couple of minutes to shower and change into some dry clothes while you go through and figure out what you can take in the first load."
He looked at me curiously and then smiled. "God damn you're good," he said. "Probably one of the best I've ever seen."
"The best what?" I asked.
"Liars," he said, looking me straight in the eye.
"I'm not lying," I snapped. "I really will help you move her stuff. I just need to take a shower. I just ran ten miles."
"You run ten miles every morning except Friday, Saturday and Sunday," he said. "Friday morning is your day off. Saturday you only run five so you'll have more energy for whatever you and Sarah do that day. Sundays are your long run day when you're getting ready for a marathon. I'm not talking about you not helping me get ready to move your wife's belongings out of your house. I'm sure you'd do that and more. What I'm talking about is your feelings. You're even lying to yourself. You're actually so good at lying that you almost believe it yourself."
"For future reference, it's the eyes that you really have to work on," he continued. "That's what gave you away. You have that fake ass little smile down pat. But as you got close to me, I could see all of the pain you're feeling written in your eyes. She hurt you pretty badly didn't she? Well this has been a pretty fucked up situation from the beginning. Maybe it was time this happened. Why don't we go out on that deck that she was always telling me about? You can bring me a beer and you have a Pepsi or some of that Apple juice that the two of you love so much."
I just looked at him strangely. "Come on Bill, we need to talk this out. Believe me, I know what it's like losing your wife. I lost mine to cancer, it was almost six years ago and I still hurt. I didn't come to get Sarah's things. She doesn't even know that I'm here. I came here to talk to you and figure out what the hell is wrong with the two of you."
I looked at him even more strangely. I couldn't get over him having the audacity to just come to my house to talk to me about something that wasn't his business. Especially since...Well his sister and I weren't married. "Why do you keep calling Sarah, my wife?" I asked him. "We're not married. We're not in a romantic relationship of any kind."
He looked at me then and just started laughing. It wasn't a quick snort or a derisive guffaw. It was a full bellied, knee slapping, outburst of genuine mirth.
"Yeah," he said, when he got control back. "She told me the same thing. You should also know that this isn't really her fault. She got some bad advice from someone who used to be her friend. But my sister is susceptible to that considering she's pretty fucked up in the head. That part is your fault. I just hope that you're man enough to admit to it after we talk. And this is going to take some time to solve. Years of abuse aren't going to just melt away in one day."
"Hold on a God damned minute," I said. "I have never abused your sister. I've never once hit her, screamed at her or cursed at her."
"Nope you didn't," he said. "In fact you damn near killed her with kindness. That makes it even worse don't you think?"
"Exactly what the fuck are you talking about?" I asked. I didn't understand any of what he was getting at.
"I think I've got it all figured out now," he said. "It's all about strength isn't it? Or maybe, it's a facade of strength, right? The only time that someone needs to be that strong is when they think they're weak. They project an aura of invincibility because they don't want to be hurt again." He tilted his head and looked at me as if he was psychic. "This didn't start with my sister, did it? Someone hurt you before you ever met her. And that's what stilted your whole marriage to my sister. And now recent events caused her to do something really stupid that's put your whole weird ass marriage on the line."
"Why do you keep calling it a marriage?" I asked.
"Because Bill, that's what it is," he said. "Now come on let's get out to that deck and start talking. We need to figure this out before the two of you do something even stupider. And I like my beer cold. You'd probably better bring two of them. This has all the makings of a two beer conversation."
As we walked through the house, he looked around and smiled as he noticed things. I noted that he seemed to know the story behind some of the things that Sarah and I'd picked up in our travels. My rack of swords and weapons of all kinds didn't seem to faze him in the least. It was as if he expected them. "No guns, huh?" he said with a smile.
"I'm going to grab a shower," I said. "The kitchen is that way and the door to the deck is in there. You can stop off and grab your own beers. All we have is..."
"I know," he said. "You only have Dos Equis. You don't always drink beer...Shit you don't drink period, but you just like the fucking commercials. Sarah told me. It's one of the things that she lo...likes most about you."
I knew what he was going to say but I let it slide. I had other things on my mind. Like why the hell I was going to talk to him anyway? Sure he was Sarah's brother, but things between Sarah and I were over. I wondered if he even knew what his sister had done. I wonder if he knew just how casually she'd thrown away everything we had. As the warm water of my shower cascaded over me, I had to put away a pang of longing as I remembered that only days ago Sarah and I had stood in this shower together, lovingly caressing each other under the same warm water. She'd turned around with her back towards me and bent over, looking at me over her shoulder. "Too bad you're so tired from your run..." she'd begun. "...Or else we could..."
Before she'd even finished her statement, I was in her. Pulling her brutally against me and plunging my dick into her in one moment. I put one hand on her firm tummy and the other on one of her large breasts and pulled her against me over and over again as she hissed in pleasure. She tilted her head around and back and her tongue inserted itself into my mouth seeking mine. Her arms reached behind her and pulled me into her further. "Ohhh God, Bill, I..." she said as she started to shiver with the onset of her climax. I had to hold her up because, as usual, when she came, her legs got weak. She turned around still slippery from a mixture of sweat and soapy water and kissed me again. "God," she said again. Her smile was tinged with a sadness that only we understood. But it was only for a moment.
"So what are we going to do today?" she asked.
"It's your turn to pick," I replied.
I shook my head and threw away the memory. I'd never do that with her again and her brother was waiting for me downstairs. I turned off the shower and dressed in casual clothes. As I passed through the kitchen on my way to the deck, I grabbed a small bowl of the fruit salad that Sarah had made two days before. I smiled again thinking of days last summer when we had literally lived on fruit, cold cuts and soda.
I sat down at the table across from Bobby.
"You guys have a beautiful place here," he said. "Did you know that even though Sarah doesn't officially live here, she considered this her home?"
I just rolled my eyes.
"Her apartment is pretty much empty. She gave most of the furniture to my daughter when Emily moved into her own place two years ago. I don't even know why she ever bothered to go there when her heart was here. The two of you really need to work on your acting skills. Everything about this place has her touch all over it. There are at least as many pictures of her here as there are of you. All of her favorite stuff is in your refrigerator. And as her brother, I really didn't want to see her panties drying in your laundry room. Why can't the two of you just admit it?"
"Just admit what?" I asked. "We were friends nothing more. She worked for me and we hung out together. Okay we hung out a lot. But there was nothing going on between us." He just looked at me with that nearly psychic look again.
"Okay, Bobby, we're both adult men, right? Your sister and I were uhm, friends with benefits. But she decided to pursue other avenues. It happens. We got along great and we also took care of certain needs for each other. I mean everyone has those needs and since neither of us had anyone in our lives...well you know?"
"Yeah, I know," he said smiling. "I know you were both fooling yourselves. Well, you were mostly fooling yourself and she put up with it. That was really one of the worst ways that you abused her and in the end that was part of what just made her snap."
"I mean, Bill, you're a good looking guy. You have a successful business and more money than you need. You could have gotten yourself a woman without very much trouble. And you could have easily gotten someone better looking than my sister."
"See," he smiled, looking at me. "When I said you could have gotten someone better looking than my sister, you got pissed. Your mouth even moved a bit but your eyes told me that you wanted to kick my ass for even saying it." He started laughing again.
"You're going to get even more pissed at me, Bill, for what I'm about to say," he said. "You love Sarah. That's why this whole thing is fucked up."
"I do not," I said loudly.
"Do not," he echoed sarcastically. "What are you six?"
"Don't get me wrong, Bill. My sister isn't a troll. She's an attractive woman. She's especially hot, if you like your women a little thick. She has that big old butt and some really nice tits but she's got a slim waist too. If you're into that hour glass shape she's your girl. But it's more than that for you isn't it, Billy? Despite all of your protestations and your little friends with benefits bullshit, you love my sister, don't you?"
"Do not," we both said simultaneously, which caused him to erupt in laughter again.
"Alright Bill, let's get started," he said finally. "Tell me about what you went through before you met Sarah. Let's hear the story of why you put my sister through all of this hell for the past five years."
He was looking at me as if he really expected me to just spill my guts to him. I'd never told anyone how I'd fucked up my first marriage or why I decided not to ever do it again. But something in his eyes just made me want to let it all out. Maybe if I could talk about it just once, it would serve to clear out some of the bullshit in my head. Maybe it would give me a new perspective on what I was doing wrong to cause not one but two women to cheat on me.
* * * * * *
I woke up and reached for Bill with a smile on my face. I'd had an awful dream. I'd dreamed that we'd broken up. Well we couldn't really break up because we weren't really together; at least not officially. But the truth was that I loved Bill Reed more than life itself and I wanted to have his babies. Suddenly I realized where I was and why and I started crying all over again. We HAD broken up. After the best five years of my entire life I had fucked up so badly that I was sure there was no way to fix it. I know how Bill looked at betrayal. I know how he'd handled it with his first wife and I knew that since we weren't even married, I couldn't even hope for what she got. What she got was evicted from his life with no hope of parole. My tears ran down my face and caused it to hurt. The salt in the tears from the day before had dried on my face irritating my skin and the new torrent of tears made it hurt all over again.
The banging on my door that had awakened me in the first place resumed and I went to the door hoping against hope that it was Bill.
When I opened the door and saw Theresa standing there, my mouth hardened and I started to slam the door in her face.
"Damn, you look awful," she said. "Anyway, I need your help."
Theresa had never been known for her tact. She pushed right past me and into the apartment. "You really need to just rent this place out," she said. "You barely even have any furniture here. How often do you actually come here?"
"What the fuck do you want Terri?" I asked her in as icy a tone as I could manage. "Haven't you done enough to me yet? Have you come to just shoot me in the head and put me out of my misery?"
She looked at me like I had fallen off of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down. "You didn't tell him yet?" she asked.
"How can I?" I sobbed. "He won't talk to me."
"Well you probably shouldn't have listened to me, then," she snapped. "Anyway, we have a bigger problem. You fucked up my little brother's life and he's depressed. You have to help me fix it."
I looked up at her like she was the crazy one. "How the hell is it my fault?" I asked.
"I didn't say it was your fault. I just said you had to help me. Well...indirectly this is your fault," she continued. "You were so miserable that I had to try to help you. So I came up with an idea that probably wasn't a good one. But it was your misery that caused it so even though it was my plan, you share the responsibility." Somewhere in all of that she lost me.
"My brother, Frankie's girlfriend got a visit from one of Billy's PI's," she said. "They told her that Frankie had ruined a relationship by having a one night stand or maybe more than a one night stand with another woman. That woman, being you, of course. She got so angry at Frankie that she called off their engagement. Since Frankie works or worked for her father, he got fired. So now he's lost his girl and his job for no reason. We have to help him."
"What do you want me to do?" I asked.
"Well, you could talk to her and tell her the whole story," said Terri.
"You could too," I said. "I'm sorry for your brother but I'm just not in the mood to leave here. Maybe I'll never leave here again."
"She doesn't believe it coming from me. she doesn't like me at all. Anyway Sarah, we'll find you another guy," she said. "We'll find you someone better; someone who doesn't have all of Bill's hang-ups."
"Terri, just get your meddling ass out of my apartment, now," I snapped at her.
"Damn it, I'm sorry," she said. "What is it about this guy that's got you wrapped this tight?"
"Just go, Terri," I told her. As she stormed out and slammed the door behind her, I thought back to the first time I'd met Bill Reed.
It was five years ago at the Woodward Dream Cruise. The Woodward Dream Cruise is a really amazing event. It's kind of like a rolling car show through the heart of Detroit. Well to be truthful, the Dream Cruise doesn't actually take place in Detroit. It's a totally suburban affair that starts embarrassingly less than fifty yards away from the Detroit city limits and goes all the through to Pontiac, Michigan.
You can see any and every type of vehicle driving by. There are all kinds of incredible cars, trucks, motorcycles and oddities. One guy even drove a motorized toilet that first year that I was there.
Anyway, I wasn't involved in the actual Dream Cruise event. Each small city and suburb along the route has their own events and displays. Ferndale, Michigan has one of the best. It's called Mustang Alley and it is a huge all Mustang display and contest. About three years before that show my dad had passed. His passing, coming closely on the heels of my brother, Bobby, losing his wife and my divorce had just devastated us. Dad had left Bobby the house, he'd left me a broken down 67' Mustang and a little bit of money. I'd decided to sell the car to see what I could get for it and just move away.
At least that had been the plan. I took one look at that car and remembered how much my dad loved it. A 67 Shelby GT 500 was a rarity. I wondered why Dad hadn't left Bobby the car and me the house. Instead of selling the car, I decided to restore it. Somewhere along the way, I started to love the car too. The guys who were restoring the car came up with the plan of converting the car into a GT500E. When I saw the designs they had I knew that it was perfect and my Eleanor was born.
The Dream Cruise that year was her coming out party and mine too. Over the previous twenty four months that it took to restore the car, with me helping with a lot of the work, I'd gotten over most of my personal tragedies. I saw my dad in the car every time I looked at it and I knew he'd have loved what I'd done with it.
I also saw that my ex-husband had moved onto another victim. Even as he possessively held onto to her hand in the market where I saw them, I noticed the tell-tale signs of his love in the bruises on her arms and the too thick makeup on her face. Better her than me, I thought. I'd dated a couple of guys but hadn't really felt anything special until that day at the Cruise.
From the first second that I pulled Eleanor into her assigned display spot, I had people, mostly guys staring at her. Since there weren't very many women at these kinds of shows except for the car show model types and sharks looking for men who can afford a toy car, I also attracted a lot of attention.
Most of the guys who came after me were either guys who wanted my car and figured if they got into my pants they'd get into her driver seat, or guys who already had a car of their own and figured it would be cool to have a woman with her own car as well.