The Seduction of Ada Ch. 03byJakeRivers©
This is the third and final part of this story. If you haven't read the first two chapters, please read them first.
Thanks very much, as always, to Techsan for his quick and accurate editing! Thanks also to Lady Cibelle for her kind comments and assistance.
Thanks for reading, please vote.
LOVE IS BLIND
Jealousy is the fear of comparison.
I was confused the first time Ada came home late. It had never happened before. When she said she deserved some time to relax I knew she was right. I just didn't like it.
I felt anew the confusion of my mature love of a young woman. She deserved the time and space to grow. I knew I had to give it to her, she was young and wanted to meet a man of her age. It hurt but I could understand. I was worried about what she said about drinking, remembering the story she had told me on the deck.
It turned into a regular Saturday night thing. I could smell the beer on her breath and then a cheap aftershave. I knew she was dancing now since she was coming home sweaty. I would ask her what she had done but she would just drawl, "relaxin'."
The first time she kissed me and it was sweet feeling her body on mine. Then the evil green monster of jealousy stepped in – I wasn't immune to it. I was human!
She would come home and try to kiss me with the beer on her breath, her beautiful hair smelling of cigars and stale cigarette smoke. I would see her red lips and wonder who had been kissing them. She would try to press her breast into me and I would see a man, younger than me, pawing them.
It hurt me to see her like this. I threw myself into taking care of Silvia; my passion became adoring her. Ada would try to be close and I would smell the man smell on her and turn away. She looked confused and hurt when I did this but I couldn't share her. How could I compete with a man half my age? I was a fool, making a life of love on nothing more than a wispy dream.
My heart died. I tried to be generous about it – she deserved happiness. But I hadn't realized the depth of my love for her, the dreams I'd spun, the memories I'd created in anticipation. I knew I had lost her and I knew it was my own fault for not telling her of my feelings. I guess I just gave up and prayed that she would at least let me have Silvia in my life.
One Saturday night she was even later coming home. It was around ten and she had never gotten home past nine. The phone shrilled, shocking me with the sudden intrusion. It was Timmy from the bar. I'd gone hunting with him a couple times for antelope and knew him pretty well.
"Dave, I think we have a problem. Ada was staggering out of here with a sleaze that comes here to prey on women. I know Ada had never had anything to drink, we have joked about that a number of times. I'm the one that always fixes her drink and they are always non-alcoholic! So I think you had better do something. I don't know enough to call the cops."
"Damn, Timmy! Do you have any idea where they went?"
"Well he lives in a cheap apartment complex behind the hardware store on Cascade. I don't know which apartment but there aren't very many of them."
I called Pearl to come over and watch the baby. I was waiting outside for her and as soon as she went in the house I took off in my van. It wasn't very far and I was there in five minutes or so. As I pulled up I saw a man helping Ada out of a truck and I lost it! As I was getting out of my car I could see him kissing her with his hands moving over her body.
I ran to them, sick at heart and suddenly back on that island that had one way or another killed my son. I jerked him away from her and hit him in the stomach as hard as I could. I had on heavy work boots and I tried to destroy his nuts... but he twisted as he was falling down and I caught his knee full on. I could hear the crunch and knew the knee would need to be reconstructed.
Ada stared at me, mumbled, "Oh, Davey!" as she collapsed.
Her skin felt greasy and her pulse was racing so I threw her into the van and raced to the hospital. I told them what happened, that it was alcohol and/or drugs. They took her away and I went back to admitting to fill out the damn paperwork.
I sat down and waited for the doctor. I was crying, wondering how my life had turned to shit so fast.
The doctor came in and talked to me.
"Mister Chance, there is some alcohol for sure but not as much as we expected. We have some blood samples in the lab but it will be a couple of hours before we hear anything. We do suspect it was one of the date rape drugs. We have pumped out her stomach and are treating her for the drugs. She is in no real danger but I want to keep her here for a couple of days for observation.
"By the way, we just got a guy in with a shattered knee. If this is related, there is a detective that wants to talk to you."
So I talked to the police and told them everything I knew. I told them what Timmy had said and gave them Sunny's name. The outcome was that he had to have a knee replacement and with Timmy and Sunny's testimony, he went to Salem for seven to ten. It turns out he was on probation for a similar crime in Portland.
I talked to the doctor again and he told me to go home. He expected her to be released Monday morning with no long-term effects, depending on the blood tests.
I went home and woke up Pearl, telling her what had happened. I asked her if she could stay for a couple of days until Ada got out of the hospital. I told her I had to get away for a couple of days. She could see my hurt and told me not to worry, she would take care of Ada and the baby.
I went downstairs and wrote a letter for Ada. I couldn't tell her of my despair to her face. I left my letter on Ada's pillow. I packed a bag and told Pearl that I would be back in a week. One of my fishing buddies had a 26' fishing boat so I woke him up and asked if I could borrow it for a week.
I drove to the marina and pulled out into the Columbia, figuring I'd mostly float down to Astoria and motor back up the river. I'd do a little fishing and try to figure out what had happened to my life.
As I quietly floated down the river, maintaining just enough power to steer, I tried to make sense of it all. I watched the lights from the houses along the river as I went by... at first they were twinkling... then twinkling off, becoming as dark as my soul.
ENDINGS... AND BEGINNINGS
"'Hope' is the thing with feathers— That perches in the soul—"
The light from the hallway made me aware of my surroundings. I must have been awake for fifteen minutes or so when the nurse came in to check on me. I hadn't been thinking or anything – I was in that drifting zone between asleep and alert.
The nurse saw my eyes open and walked up, smiling, "I see you are awake? How are you feeling?"
I started to ask, "Where am I?" but realized that was a stupid question... I knew that the nurse being present meant I was in the hospital.
I tried again, "What happened?"
"Well, you are okay now but I would rather have the doctor talk to you." Looking at her watch, she continued, "Dr. Schultz will be in about two hours for rounds. Can I get you anything now?"
I felt extremely thirsty. "Water, please? And Miss, do you have any ice?"
"Sure, honey. I'll be right back."
I tried to piece it together. I remember being at the lounge when Sunny left. I was leaving when... that was it! Mark grabbed me and started dancing. I remember sitting down at a table then he got me a coke from the bar. I vaguely saw another image of dancing but it quickly faded away.
The nurse brought me the water and a paper cup of ice chips. I drank the water down and she poured me another. I put one of the ice chips in my mouth and I guess I fell asleep.
The dream slipped unbidden into my subconscious. I was in a truck and I saw a man's hand on my leg. He was squeezing me hard... I could feel, see even, the bruises forming. Like watching a movie I saw myself half-falling, half being carried down from the high step of the truck. I was in a small parking lot. There was some light from the street and several flashing neon lights. There was a man, Mark, kissing me and kneading my breast painfully. I felt no emotion. I felt cold.
A van pulled into the lot, its headlights on bright. A man jumped out, seemingly paralyzed by the sight before him. He suddenly rushed us. Oh, God! It was Davey. Davey, what have I done to us? The world faded to black.
The morning sun streamed brilliantly through the window waking me with a start. The dream came to me, as a vision, and I started crying. The door opened and a doctor and another man in a suit walked in.
With a breezy smile, the doctor introduced himself, "Good morning, young lady! I'm Dr. Schultz and this is Detective Anders. How do you feel, miss?"
"I feel... heavy, like I couldn't lift my body. My mind seems mushy. What happened?"
"Yes, well, that is what Detective Anders wants to talk to you about. You had a small amount of alcohol in your system, nothing serious, really. You were given two different drugs, what the press calls 'date rape' drugs. Have you ever heard of them?"
"Well, at school I heard some of the girls talking and... no, I guess I don't know much."
"Well, what I think happened is this guy that gave it to you didn't consider your small size. These drugs - and we have identified two of them - normally take about a half-hour to two hours to take effect. Depending on the dosage it could take effect in around ten minutes, particularly with your body weight. I won't go into the medical details but basically you would lose judgment and the ability to control your body. That means you would stagger like you were drunk. The drugs would lessen your ability to fight off sexual advances.
"Both the good and bad thing with you was the rapid lowering of your blood pressure. In about thirty minutes, as best we can figure out, you passed out from the low blood pressure. That kept you from ingesting any more alcohol. Once we got your stomach pumped out and stabilized your blood pressure you were fine.
"You will have some memory impairment for the next twenty-four hours or so. Normally you wouldn't remember anything that happened under the influence of the drug but you were at the hospital so quick you should eventually remember most of what happened."
I stared at him, scared at what almost happened.
"I was going to have you talk to Detective Anders but now I think tomorrow morning would be better."
Turning to the detective, he continued, "Ed, I really think that by tomorrow she will remember more."
"One thing, doc. Can I show her some pictures and ask if she remembers the guy's name?"
The doctor looked at me so I nodded.
"What was his name?"
"I never knew his full name but his first name is Mark. I'm pretty sure the bartender at the lounge, Timmy, knows who he is."
"Okay, look at these pictures."
He handed me a stack of six pictures; the third one was Mark. I pulled it out and handed it to him.
"You are sure about this, Miss?"
"Yes!" I replied firmly.
Detective Anders thanked me and left.
The doctor continued, "Anything else I can do for you, Ada?"
Timidly, I asked, "Who brought me here?"
"Oh, that was David Chance. Everyone in town that was a veteran knows him. He's active in the VFW Lodge."
"Is he... is he still here?"
"Ada," the doctor said kindly, "He said he had to go somewhere for a week. He said your grandmother would visit you today with your baby and she will take you home tomorrow. And while I'm thinking about it, do not nurse the baby before Wednesday. We need to make sure that all of the drugs are out of your system."
He left me alone then, with my tears.
I dozed for a bit then woke up with an ominous feeling... a sense of impending tragedy. I had been reading some of Longfellow's poems last week and the words from one of them came to me:
A feeling of sadness and longing That is not akin to pain, And resembles sorrow only As the mist resembles the rain.
Could I, by my efforts to gain Davey's love, have lost that love?
Grandma Pearl came by that Sunday afternoon. I hugged Silvia to my breast. She automatically started searching for my nipple. I pulled her up to my neck and cried in her hair, "I'm sorry baby, I can't!" I had started with the bottle with her a couple of weeks earlier but was still nursing some.
"What about David?" I asked my granny.
Her eyes were damp as she told me, "He said he had to get away. I think he is coming back next week. There is a letter on your bed. He, said... just a minute, let me get this straight! He said, 'Tell Ada I'm sorry. I wanted you too much and I won't bother you any more.' He didn't say anything but I know he will die if he can't see Silvia. Don't take that away from him, honey!"
"Oh, granny! I love him! What can I do?"
"Come home tomorrow, Ada. Read his letter, then we will see!"
I cried and slept until Monday morning when the doctor released me. He said I could do anything except nurse the baby and that after Wednesday I could do that if I wanted.
I went home with granny and Silvia. Pearl was staying at David's place while he was gone, to make sure I was okay. The letter was on my pillow but I was afraid to read it. Finally that night when granny and the baby were both asleep, I sat down and read my would-be lover's letter.
I know you had feelings for me – what you never knew was the depth of my love for you. After Missy died I never expected, even hoped for, a love that strong again.
I didn't know what to do. I so wanted to declare my love for you – but what if you couldn't return it? How would I deal with the pain? I was too afraid of rejection.
I'd finally decided that I'd rather have a small chance at love with you and Silvia than the larger chance that if, realistically, you felt I was too old for you! I kept thinking that when Silvia graduated from college I'd be 75 years old!
Then you started going out on Saturdays to drink and dance with the guys your age and I realized what a fool I'd been! I feel sick that I couldn't control the jealousy I felt... and it made you uncomfortable with me. I kept remembering something from an Erika Jong book I read years ago: "Jealousy is all the fun you think they had."
I was cursed with too vivid an imagination. I didn't know what you did on those Saturday evenings. What I saw you doing in my mind was more than I could handle. I had no claim to you... but I would see, in my mind, these guys talking with you, dancing with you... kissing you – and I was jealous!
I apologize for that and ask for your forgiveness. I understand that you want and need a man your age. I'll stay out of your way.
I only ask one thing. Though I dreamed of you for so many nights you were never mine. I hope I can accept that over time. I ask that you, as you get on with your life and find the man you deserve, find a way for me to spend time with Silvia. If I were to lose both of you, I don't know how I could continue on. Everything I have ever loved has been taken from me.
If you ever need anything, please let me know.
Your friend, David Chance
A final note, if I may. In the parking lot at Mark's apartment, you called me Davey! You know, of course, that was Missy's pet name for me; no one else has ever called me that. Then, when I heard that from your sweet lips, the dream in my heart died. I knew what I had lost. I'll treasure those parting words from you; my memories of forever will be the dreams I make of your parting words.
I sat, the tears dripping down on his letter, chasing his words to the end. Oh, David! What fools we are!
I had thrown away every dream I had left. I wasn't woman enough for my man. I couldn't accept the sorrow I had caused this wonderful person.
The next morning I wrote a letter to David, I'd lost the chance to call him Davey and left it on the keyboard of his computer. I packed a bag for Silvia and took the afternoon bus back to Bend... going home with more shame and sorrow that I had left with.
I was foolish for hoping for love after what had happened to me but the miracle that was Silvia would be my life! I considered David to be her father and I would deny nothing to him regarding her.
OH WHAT FOOLS WE ARE
"Forget, forgive, conclude, and be agreed."
Shakespeare Richard II, I,I,156
It was a bittersweet journey down the Columbia River I had been traversing. I pulled up to an island in the early dawn where the Willamette River met the mighty Columbia. I remembered this place from the honeymoon with Missy so many years ago. We had rented a boat in Portland and lazed down the Willamette to the larger river. We found this island that was at one time an orchard of Green Gage plums. There had been a clearing on the island; hidden by the trees. On a blanket we coupled there. I was always convinced afterwards that our daughter was conceived there.
Now, so many years later, I walked to that clearing in the early morning mist... looking for magic, for... hope. It was all an illusion – Missy was gone and Ada never was! I trudged back to the boat and slept a troubled sleep - no dreams now, only a vague discomfort.
Just before noon a larger boat announced its arrival with a mournful horn, loud in its closeness. The traffic was heavy on the river and I fished for breakfast; unreasonably pleased with my success.
I casually rode the river, mesmerized by the beauty of the trees; fascinated with the huge log booms being slowly tugged along. Finally I arrived at Astoria, a town of history and beauty at the oceans edge. I had a lunch of "Hangtown Fry," oysters with scrambled eggs and felt apart from all I saw. I spent the night a small riverside hotel I knew and slept a dreamless, restful sleep.
The next morning I started back to Hood River, the boat at full power in the strong current; my mind committed to the lot life gave me. I understood that the best love I could give to Ada was to let her go, to let "the caged bird free."
I was not happy but I was accepting; I would live with the hand life dealt me and live as honorably as I could.
I walked into the house and knew at once it was empty... no sweet odors of Ada, no less sweet smell of Silvia. The house was as a tomb. It came to me that I'd never been alone there before!
Defeated and sad, I trudged slowly up the stairs. On an impulse I had decided to lie on Ada's bed, forlorn in my loneliness and thus missing Ada's letter for that day.
I dreamed of the time Ada had inadvertently left her breast uncovered and was ashamed in the morning with the discovery of my nocturnal emission.
Around ten the next morning I listlessly entered my office to check on my business email. There was an envelope there. I picked it up, stared at it. It was like someone from the past, coming upon a computer for the first time... what is this strange alien thing, evocative of the sweet lavender of Ada?
I opened the letter and as I read the dainty words... my heart beat again the beat of a man... the blood flowing through my body awakened a life and a hunger I thought was dead.
I can't bear to face you with the pain I have caused. I love you as much as a woman could love a man. And I knew you loved me the same! In my impetuous youth I wanted you now; I dreamed of you coming to my bed. Rather that wait for you to come to me in your own time, in your own way, I did something stupid of which I'll ever be ashamed!
I knew the depth of your anguish over losing your lovely Missy; I knew how you mourned for her.
I was afraid of you for so long – you were a man! I had been hurt so bad I couldn't see your goodness. Then when you helped me at the birthing... I so needed you; then you held Silvia with a love I'd never seen a man give a woman. When I saw all this and lived with your strength and your gentle manner. That's when I fell in love with you!