30 Years of Love 90 days of LiesbyStangStar06©
Okay Folks, this one is kind of crazy. You can chalk it up to the changing of the seasons scrambling my brain, or maybe the fact that yesterday was the saddest day of the year for me. Yep, I put the Mustangs up for the winter. Anyway, thanks as usual to the incredible Mikothebaby for making this story readable.
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The funeral had been touching. It had been a truly beautiful ceremony. The flowers were fresh and the church looked and smelled great. The sun was high in the sky and beaming down on the people who attended, as if God was thanking them for their presence as he accepted one of his own into the kingdom of Heaven.
The priest had prayed and praised the departed, imparting upon her character the greatest accolades that could be said about any earthly woman, while I sat back in the first row giving the greatest acting performance of my life. I listened to it all with a completely straight face, nodding along with his words in seeming agreement, while inside I was laughing my fucking ass off.
I'd practiced for at least a couple of days by having Darla read the priest's speech to me while I tried to remain calm and collected. In the end, I'd failed. I hadn't been able to sit idly by and listen to a pack of lies, so I had taken the next best step. I was paying for the fucking funeral, so I got to say what happened. I changed the priest's speech.
Where originally he wanted to say that she was a great wife and mother, I edited it. He said instead that she was a wonderful mother to her children. Where he wanted to call her honest and caring, I made him change it to forthright and stalwart because nobody really knows what those things mean anymore. In fact, I was puzzled myself so I googled them and then had him take out forthright, because Kathy was a lot of things, but forthright wasn't one of them.
In actuality, the whole ceremony was a farce. Kathy wasn't even a fucking Christian, so having the ceremony in a church was meant to be a slap in her face. It was a sham meant to show penitence to my two and a half adult children. I really didn't want to do it, but Darla wanted a fucking family and my kids wanted me back in their lives as well.
My kids had no idea, what to make of Darla, and I wasn't saying a fucking word about her. As Darla pushed my wheelchair over to the grave after the casket had been lowered into place and I was supposed to throw or drop the first ceremonial clump or handful of dirt on the casket to send her spirit heavenward, I faked tears and infirmity. The few people there were touched and I gestured to my son Rad, short for Conrad, to assist me.
Had I not been there, it would have been my son Michael's job as the first-born son to handle it. My asking Rad to do it was a sign to family members that the breach between the two of us was well on the way to being repaired. My two other children, Michael who was thirty eight and Jessica, at thirty four, smiled and nodded; they liked seeing the rift between Rad and I healed. Conrad, who was thirty five, gently sprinkled dirt over the rich wood of the casket, while holding my right hand.
"Be at peace Mother. We all loved you and you should know that your family is united again as you leave us," said Conrad sadly.
Had Darla not pinched my hand so hard it nearly drew blood, I'd have lost it and burst out laughing. I screwed my face up in reaction to the pain of her pinch. Most of the people at the funeral mistook my pain for me thinking that I regretted the things that had kept my family apart for the past seven years.
Having Conrad drop the dirt was a master stroke on my part. On one hand, it saved me from having to do it. If I'd had my way, the casket would have been lowered into the grave with the lid open and instead of dropping dirt on the lid; I'd have pissed or spit into Kathy's face. The second reason is because when you get two alpha males in a pissing contest, only one of them can win. Conrad had always been an asshole and a wise ass and for the past seven years he'd been like a ship without a rudder. He'd been lost at sea with no landmarks to steer by and I had caused it for pure shits and giggles.
Conrad and I had a difference of opinion and, as usual, he tried to get into something that he should have had the sense to stay out of. It was the wrong time for him to do that, so Conrad ended up as collateral damage in the war between his mother and me. I did feel sorry for what I'd done to Rad, but if his pain and uncertainty over the past seven years made him a better man, it was worth it.
As the few people who'd come to see Kathy off left, after slowly parading past the grave and dropping their samples of earth on the box that would be her home until it rotted away over the next several centuries, I groaned.
"What's wrong, Fossil?" asked Darla. Her voice, which none of my children had heard until that point was paralyzing. It was the kind of voice that should be relegated to late night, smoke filled, jazz clubs and phone sex operators.
To say that my kids were shocked at the way she spoke to me was an understatement.
"I just don't feel like getting back in that fucking box or going back to that fucking place," I said.
"Freudian slip?" she asked, causing my kids to look at her again. They'd assumed that a woman who looked like her would probably be stupid. So even knowing a term like, "Freudian slip," let alone using it casually and in the right context, meant that they'd have to re-evaluate her and her position in my life yet again.
"Look," she said, kneeling next to me regardless of what it looked like. "You're just skittish because for the past three weeks, while you've been in the nursing home, you haven't been getting any sex in any way, shape or form..."
Both of my sons' mouths dropped open and I thought my daughter would have a heart attack right then.
"To tell you the truth..." she continued. "I've been getting a little antsy myself. But your doctor says you can come home tomorrow. So I guess it really doesn't matter if we go there now. It has to be tomorrow already somewhere in the world."
I smiled and nodded. I could tell my kids were even more shocked at her line about being a little antsy herself.
"As for the second part," she continued. "You're still going to have to ride in that box to get there. You can't bend your leg at all for another three weeks at least. So there's no way we can get you into the Mustang and even if we could get you into it, I can't drive a stick. And you can't either with your right leg broken."
"Good," I snapped. "I can make sure that all of the lovers you snuck into my house while I was at the "retardiment" home didn't steal my stuff or damage anything." She looked really smug about that.
"Don't worry," she said. "I made sure to clean up after them and wash all of your clothes that I let them wear after they did me." The kids probably didn't notice it, but Darla was hiding something. We'd have to talk later.
"So which one of the nurses at the home will be my replacement?" she asked. "Which one of those old biddies was giving you the blow jobs under the table when I left every day?"
"Why do you want to know?" I asked. That was as far as the conversation got before Michael, ever the voice of reason and squeamishness interrupted.
"Uhm, Dad," we'd like to talk to you some," he asked. "Would it be possible for us to come home with you and talk for a while?"
"I guess..." I said.
"Uhm, Mike, please keep me in the loop, if you can?" said Conrad, turning to go.
"Rad, where are you going?" I asked. "Aren't you coming too?"
"I didn't..." he hesitated. "I didn't think you'd want me to come. I thought maybe this was some kind of family thing. And with Mom gone...I'm not..."
"Conrad, you are, were and always will be just as much my offspring as Michael or Jessica. I love you just as much as I do them. You are my son. Nothing in this world can ever say anything different."
Conrad had tears in his eyes as he looked at me. "How about that DNA test that you took to court," he said.
"Well, yeah there's that," I said laughing. "But there are things we need to talk about and you should be there too. Shit, I'm fifty nine years old and if anything, this has proven to me that I won't live forever. I'd like to have my family around me in my golden years. So let's all sit down together and have a meal and a few drinks and talk about the past, the present and the future, with open minds and no pre-judgments left over from by-gone days."
"I wish Mom could have lived to see this," said Jessica. I couldn't help it. I let out a snarky laugh.
"But Dad," she said, looking at me strangely after my laugh. "You were there with her in the end. And you said such nice things to her. My heart melted." I chortled and Darla smiled at them and told them they could follow us to our house.
Darla had called our favorite restaurant before the funeral and arranged for a meal to be catered. She quickly set the table as the kids and I made small talk.
I noticed that on one of her trips back and forth between the dining area and the kitchen, Michael went after her. He came back a few moments later with a big smile on his face and declared, "I guess she doesn't want any help."
He shrugged his shoulders and looked at me. "Dad, would you really short her check if someone helped her?" he asked. "That's kind of cold, isn't it?"
"Michael, how much money do you earn?" I asked, pretending I didn't already know about Michael's salary, his failing marriage or his gambling problem.
"I make almost fifty, Dad," he said warily. I nodded. Michael had been fairly truthful if you considered thirty thousand to be almost fifty thousand.
"She makes a lot more than you do, son," I said. "And it really isn't me. She lied to you to cover up the fact that she just doesn't like people in the kitchen. It's kind of like me and the garage. I'm her boss and even I can't go in there without her throwing some kind of fit."
He stared at me. "She keeps that place as clean and spotless as if she did surgery in there instead of just cooking."
Darla returned then. Her eyes scanned me instantly upon stepping through the door. Once she'd made sure that there were no differences in me since she'd last seen me, she set two plates down in front of Jessica and Michael. She immediately headed back into her kitchen and returned almost immediately with plates for Conrad and herself. Her last trip was for a bottle of wine and my plate.
I noticed that Michael and Jessica seemed to be fascinated with Darla. Most people always seemed to stare at her. Darla is tall and very blond. Her hair is nearly white. She has huge boobs, thick, sculptured legs and a big round booty that just cried out for attention.
My son Michael seemed to be flabbergasted by Darla, but Jessica's interest left me wondering. Then I noticed them. Seven years ago at twenty seven years old, my daughter had been tit-less. She'd been as flat as a board, but now seemed to have sprouted a really cute set of average sized breasts. My daughter had gotten herself a boob job.
I smiled and looked around the table. With her usual flair, Darla had arranged and reheated the food so it looked like she had cooked it. And given time she could have. Darla and my children all had steak, vegetable and mashed potatoes.
I looked at them and my mouth watered. Then I looked at my plate. It had grilled salmon and steamed vegetables. I looked at her for an explanation.
"You need to eat healthier and lighter on the calories until you're back on your feet. I'm not going to have you turning into a butter ball," she said.
As I started to protest, she grabbed my lips with her fingers and shushed me. "Bobby, you heard me," she said. My kids all started to eat and pretended they hadn't seen what had happened.
After we'd eaten, Darla rolled me into the living room. She moved me from the chair to the sofa and covered me with a warm soft blanket. She handed Conrad the fireplace matches and he started to the fire. She moved a loveseat and a fat overstuffed chair near the sofa.
As the flames began to lick at the fireplace logs, Darla came and sat on the sofa at my side. I put the blanket around her as gently as she'd wrapped it around me. Her smile outshone the flames and wasn't lost on any of my kids.
Michael started. "So what's going on with the two of you?" he asked.
"We have an arrangement," I said.
"It's purely financial," said Darla. The three of them looked at each other.
"Daddy, why don't you have a TV?" asked Jessica. "You have this huge beautiful living room, without a TV. It makes no sense."
"When we stay here, we use the living room for sitting by the fire and talking or reading," said Darla. "Sometimes we just sit and watch the flames without ever saying a word. Most of the time we end up..."
"There's a 52 inch OLED 3-D set in the bedroom," I said.
"How did you end up being at Mom's side when she died?" asked Conrad.
"I know that all of you have questions," I said. "And there's a lot of this story that Darla doesn't know. So I'm going to start at the beginning. In order for us to see if we can move on as a family it's important for us to all know where we came from."
"I'm going to skip through the beginning stuff pretty quickly so we can concentrate on the events that led to our family being shattered. So if there's anything you need to know about and I'm not mentioning it, please stop me and ask. I intend to be very honest with you and I won't hold anything back so be prepared for it."
"To start out, I have to tell you that your mother and I were wimps...." I began.
"No Dad," said Michael. "When you found out what she..."
"Michael, I'm not talking about that kind of wimp," I said. "What I meant was that both your mother and I were overly shy. We liked each other from the first moment we laid eyes on each other, but we didn't do anything about until years later and even then it was by accident. We went to the same high school and every time I saw her, I just stared at her with my mouth open. My friends often caught me and urged me to talk to her but I couldn't. So..."
"Dad, Mom told me that no one liked her in high school," said Jessica. "She always thought it was because she didn't have any boobs. She liked you in high school too, but you were always hanging out with the guys on the team."
"Jess, Honey, can I tell the story?" I asked.
"Anyway..." I continued. "It wasn't until our second year in college when we were both about to turn twenty that fate intervened. "
"I was walking down the hall towards class and your mom was walking in the opposite direction. She wasn't paying attention to where she walked because she was upset and she crashed into me."
"When our eyes met, there was no going back. It took me a few moments because she was so damned beautiful, but I finally asked her why she was crying. She told me a couple of assholes in her class had been making fun of her. I couldn't figure out why anyone would want to make fun of her, but I was instantly pissed."
"Where are they?" I asked her.
"She grabbed my arm and pointed back the way she'd come from. I stormed off in that direction while she trailed after me. When I got to the guys she was talking about, I erupted."
"Why the fuck are you two assholes picking on my girl?" I screamed. "The two of them were just your typical slackers, so they weren't ready for any type of serious threat. They immediately started backing up and apologizing. Finally, they turned tail and just ran while I stood there with both fists balled up; breathing like I'd just ran a marathon."
"That was how we got together and we never looked back," I said.
"Mom always told me she'd have gone through it all over again just to hear you call her your girl," Jessica laughed. "She said it was the best day of her life. She never had any idea that you were interested in her."
"See what I mean about wimps," I said.
"Daddy, why didn't you ever tell her that you liked her before that or even try to talk to her," asked Michael.
"Because Mike, when I really like someone I get all tongue tied until I get to know them. And even after I get to know them there are some things I'm just uncomfortable sharing. Anyway...Your mom and I dated and ended up getting married. It came as no surprise to anyone because you never saw one of us without the other. Your mom was going to school for home economics, which was pretty common in those days. I was going to become an architect. Neither of us ever finished."
"Why not?" asked Mike. "You expected all of us...no, Dad, you demanded, that we all finish college. Why didn't you finish?"
"You," I said. "Within a year of meeting your mother, we were married. I'd have married her anyway, but within six months of us meeting, she was pregnant with you Mike. I had to make a living for the two of you so I got a job. Since I was doing great as an architectural student, it seemed only natural that I'd go to work for a builder. Life took over and after ten years of being married, I ended up going into the building business myself. I started out doing small projects, like cabins, while I still worked for my former boss. I concentrated on maximizing the quality of each structure. After a while, I was getting calls for larger ones. Before I knew it, there was a conflict between my day job and my own projects. I rolled the dice and went out on my own. The first couple of years were not easy, especially since we had three small kids to bring up during that time, but we made it and we made sure that no matter what happened the three of you grew up loved and wanted for nothing."
"We did have a great childhood," said Conrad.
"We had so many dreams, Kathy and I," I continued. "I loved her more than anything on earth. She was my partner, my best friend, the love of my life and my soul mate all rolled into one. Maybe she didn't have the most incredible body on earth, but her smile could light up a room like you wouldn't believe. She was one of a kind and I accepted her quirks because I loved her so much. We didn't get married in a church. We got married in the middle of the woods with flowers all around us and a lot of our friends gathered with us. Our wedding night was really special too, or at least I thought it was at the time."
"We rolled through life together sharing all of the good times and all of the bad and I'll tell you the good ones by far outnumbered the bad. I was just stupid. I gave that woman, my heart, my mind, my trust and all of my faith...Never again. I had no fucking clue. Anyway...we raised the three of you and got you all through school. Michael, you got married and had a great job. Jess, you were about to get married and Conrad worked in the family business with me."
"Mike, you were the son every guy always wanted. You made your own way or tried to. I never minded helping you out on occasion when necessary. Jessica, you were my little princess. Rad, you were an asshole. You showed up late for work more often than you were on time and you criticized and countermanded every decision I made. I just didn't understand why then. Since then I've realized that middle children tend to act out because they're usually ignored. The oldest kids and the babies always seem to get all of the attention."
"So, there I was, married for just over thirty years with the world in my pocket. I was giving serious thought to retiring at fifty two and spending the rest of my life just traveling and having fun with my wife. The biggest concerns I had were in deciding what to do about my business. I wanted to keep it in the family, both as a legacy and as a source of continuing income. Our reputation for quality work was beginning to bear more and more fruit. I was sure that I couldn't just turn things over to Conrad and I didn't want to try to put pressure on Mike to take over. Mike didn't know the building game. Jessica's husband also didn't seem like the kind of guy I could hand the keys to. But a few months after our thirtieth anniversary, the decision was taken out of my hands."