tagNovels and NovellasA Loser Rebounds Ch. 15

A Loser Rebounds Ch. 15


Addison stared at Andy in shock, looking almost as if he'd just said there was another woman in his life. He'd told her if the business sold he wanted to switch to an academic life and climb to the status of professor at a college's department of media studies.

"I can't believe this. You'd have to start at the bottom."

"My thinking is a year as a lecturer to prove that I can teach successfully, then promotion to senior lecturer follows and I publish papers and then see how it goes from there, probably associate professor in four years or so, whatever it takes."

"This intent is such a shock. I didn't bother to ask because I thought you would automatically want to buy a business."

Andy said, "We could buy an apartment close to the university or college where you can relax and mingle with the wives of other academics who have infant children and..."

"Omigod, you are making this sacrifice for me?"

"Yes to a degree. I was mindful of the environment you wish to have. But I'm not thinking the bustle of Harvard or say Princeton."

"Oh god, you want to stake me out into nowhere, that university you attended?"

"Well it's my best chance of (a) finding an understanding of my quest, (b) being hired, and (c) gaining rapid promotion because I proved myself to them as a student."

"If that kudos was ever recorded with admiration."

"Er yes."

Addison sighed. "I can't believe you wish to give away everything we have ground away to achieve, but okay, go for it. I can't say that living and working within the Loop is living in Eldorado."

"I'm only giving up a fat salary because what I have achieved in business counts hugely for my academic appeal. I've had real-world business experience and in the process have found what works and what doesn't."

Addison said well first things first. She couldn't imagine JCA accepting the demand of $2.6 million to buy a business in rented premises.

"Oh woman of little faith, they'll pay close to it because they get a busload of talented people whom we have slaved away to help train, they get our work in progress, our record of impressive profitability and they buy our highly valuable goodwill and the high recognition of our trading name."

"Yes but..."

"And they are greedy darling. They want what we've got and we don't really know their reason for that apart that they don't have a promotions department and it would take big investment to establish a department the size of our business and the two offices are only three blocks apart."

"Well I don't know."

"Darling of little faith, be prepared to locate. I've already written to my old university."

"Omigod, it there no end to your optimism?"

"When I was fired by that publishing company in California I learned my lesson, and that was the way forward was to gather in the people you need to have with you to go forward. I'll never make the mistake of out-jumping my support again. On this occasion I have spent hours converting the woman at JCA you call a bitch to my way of thinking."

"Have you physically seduced her?"

"God Addison, don't be insane, I'd much rather seduce your mother."


"Oops sorry, but you know what I mean."

Next day Addison and Andy received the call and went to the offices of JCA where they met the three partners and the company's internal attorney.

"We have here an unconditional sale and purchase agreement," said the smiling managing partner, Bruce Malcolm, "We made no secret of the fact that we want your business..."

Andy interrupted. "What are the outstanding issues Bruce?"

"Oh just the one, price."

"You're dissatisfied we're not asking enough?"

Bruce choked on that but Jan said, "Very droll Andy. We'll pay $1.8 million and not a cent more."

"Well fancy that," Andy grinned. "Addison and I thought you guys might try to beat us down. Well let's get this over with. Yes or no, we want $2.3 million."

Andy heard Addison suck in breath because they had agreed their bottom line would be $2.1 million.

"No way."

"Well guys and Jan. You wanted to buy our business. We are happy to carry on and cream off profits. Thank you for your time and..."

"All right, $2.3 million," Jan snapped.

"And you guys?" Andy asked, and he two partners nodded, looking relieved.

"God you can chisel," Addison laughed and they left with a signed agreement conditional on their attorney's approval.

"Well I'm still a nice guy I believe," Andy said. "I put a bottle of champagne to cool before we left home. Let's go home and fuck."

"No we will not," Addison said sternly. "We have a whole floor or loyal people to return to with the news. They probably have heard rumors."

"Well their jobs are secure, only their bosses are changing, so what have they got to beef about?"

"God you need taming and to learn about humanities," said his wife, shaking her head.

* * *

Addison had never been to Lunsdon before and in fact had never heard of the city, but to Andy it was a little like arriving back home. He used to stay there as a boy some summers when his maternal grandparents lived in the city. It was where his mother had been born.

Unable to make up her mind where to relocate, although knowing she no longer wished to live in Chicago, Addison had finally agree to come here with Andy as he wanted a place to lick his wounds. He'd been devastated to find that the instructor's job he was offered at his old university had a salary of $45,300.

"That's chickens shit," he'd whined to Addison and she asked what he had expected. Hadn't he done the research?

He went to his laptop and when he found out some of the truths he almost dropped the defenseless laptop and jumped on it.

"It could be at least 18 years before I became a tenured professor," he howled.

"Well how long did you think it would take you?" she asked sympathetically.

"Six years, perhaps a little more."

She rolled her eyes and managed to get out of the room before she fell into a giggling fit.

Christ he must be losing it. He should have known, having been a university undergraduate.

"Well what's your first impression of Lunsdon?"

"Well downtown looked rather attractive," Addison had to admit.

"And generally the folk look homely?"

"I guess so."

"And it looks better than you expected?"

Before she could answer, Andy had turned their new imperial blue all-wheel-drive Cadillac RX into a suburban street and pointed, "That's where mom was born and where my grandparents lived."

"Oh look, it's for rent, furnished."

Andy's mouth fell open.

Addison took charge and said, "Well let's rent it for a couple of months."

She had no wish to wander aimlessly around the county. What they needed to do was to dig in temporarily and consider their business future.

They drove back to the city and Andy went across to the rental department of the real estate office named on the faded to rent sign.

He returned smiling and said he'd negotiated a great deal, subject to an inspection. Most people seeking rentals at present wanted them unfurnished.

Addison giggled and said a great deal like he'd achieved in the purchase of their new vehicle.

Andy though she was so cool.

They followed the rental agent to the home.

"Omigod, it's great and so homely," she lied but really did like the hardwood floors and the garden out back with an orchard was a dream. "For some reason I thought it would be a dump."

Andy beamed at her and that made Addison feel good. He signed off the condition and Maggie the agent handed over the keys.

Andy cheekily said, "Maggie could you drive Addison around showing her where she can buy stuff she needs here to make us more comfortable? I'm off to look around for job possibilities."

"Oh we'll go shopping together and discuss what appeals," Maggie said. "I love shopping and have no further appointments until this evening."

"Oh fine. Call me if there are big decisions to make Addison but you know my tastes. Buy what you wish and have fun."

They kissed and Addison appeared a little stunned that she was being abandoned.

As Andy walked off he heard Maggie say, "God you fell on to your feet finding a guy like that."

Andy drove through the city knowing he had no recall about where business opportunities were. He recognized one of the cinemas, toy shops, a bike shop and his favorite place for eating because they served great ice cream dishes. Er but this was now.

He continued on to the edge of the city's commercial area without seeing anything of interest and returned home with a bottle of expensive wine.

"I'm not drinking alcohol until after the baby is conceived, born and weaned."

"What are you pregnant? Did Maggie say you were?"

"No you clown. I'm setting myself up to do everything to aid conception. Maggie told me some interesting things."

"Like what?"

"It was girl's talk."


Addison thought he must get back into work. He was so hopeless to have around when he didn't have a bunch of problems to work on.

"I have news."

"Omigod he'd managed to find something to work that, something presumably that paid more than $14:90 an hour?"

"I'm going to write a book," he said proudly.

She sighed.

"Addison please show an interest."

She said okay and asked what he would write about.

"Oh I haven't progressed that far yet."

"Then write about women with larger breasts. You ought to be an authority on that by now."

He looked quite hurt so she said he must stick to something he really knew about.

"Like what?"

"Business you idiot you know business and you should work to make it funny."

He looked hurt again and said business wasn't funny and then she appeared to trigger him.

"Well I thought it was when I began working with you with your irreverent approach to almost everything. For example you make our people involved in fuck-ups feel as if the fault was yours and they always were smiling when you had finished with them."

"Addison that's brilliant."

Was it? Well Addison liked the look on his face and thought she'd wait and see. She left Andy undisturbed where he was working in the sunroom looking out to the garden until it was time to call him to dinner.

He arrived in the kitchen and pinched her butt. She yelled and jumped six inches. Hadn't the idea been to settle in peace and tranquility in a genteel neighborhood to allow her to become stress free?

They finished the meatballs and she served coffee with the two iced muffins she'd purchased when out with Maggie.

Addison wondered when he'd asked what had she purchased when out with Maggie and she'd said nothing, why hadn't he praised her for her restraint.

"This muffin is really tasty. Did you find them in a cupboard?"

She sighed.

"You haven't asked me about my book."

Omigod, she hadn't enquired and he'd think she wasn't interested.

"Oh how's the book going?" she asked brightly.

"I had four false starts."

Omigod his mood would turn lousy and he'd pace the bedroom for half the night.

"But I finally got going and completed the first chapter and have edited and revised it."

"Omigod. What a very short chapter?"

"Thirty-two pages ain't short."

"Please let me see it."

"We were talking about the book."

"What? Oh Andy, keep your mind above your belt. Please allow me to read the first chapter."

"I'll let you read it only if you promise to laugh."

Addison thought for a woman who could fake an orgasm, it wouldn't be difficult to fake a convincing laugh.

Andy brought in his laptop and she asked where the printout was and he said he read on-screen and so could she.

"Get my glasses please."

That request was ignored and so she tried a different approach.

"Please get them for me honey, there're in my handbag on the bed."

"I might see your dildo."

"I don't keep"... oh god... "I don't have a dildo," she lied, knowing it wasn't in a handbag.

He returned, handed her the glasses and she began reading, starting with the title, 'Laughs, Mayhem & Survival at the Office' while he began clearing away.

"I'm not sure about the title," said his favorite critic.

"Originally I called it, 'Avoiding F-ups at the Office.'

"Oh this title is immeasurably superior," she said.

She giggled reading the first two lines: 'Dolores, a saggy-breasted blonde in scratchy pantyhose and sporting jingling earrings that looked like beer can tabs, sloshed the coffee she was carrying and dropped the F-word.'

Two paragraphs down, Addison laughed aloud when reading that the supervisor berated Dolores for entering the office thirty seconds late and Dolores replying just because their manager hadn't had sex with Nancy for two weeks, it wasn't fair of Nancy to be so bitchy with her.

Halfway down the second page the cackling Addison had removed her glasses to dab her eyes.

"Are you faking it?" Andy enquired, looking concerned. "This isn't sex you know. You are meant to be assessing my writing."

That comment worried Addison. Omigod, what was he saying? Did he know?

He had turned away. She read on.

Five pages later she had to grab the table to save herself crashing to the floor in laughter after reading about the serious Mr Sims, the financial controller, who'd come into the copying room to find Wanda was sitting half naked on the photocopier to get a good photo-copied image of the tattoo on her butt placed in a position where she couldn't see it without a mirror.

'Mr Sims blinked. And blinked again and was quite convinced Wanda couldn't be misusing the photocopier thinking it was alternative to going to a commercial tanning booth. He coughed discreetly and asked would Wanda be long. Caught by surprise, such had been her concentration to keep still while her butt was lit intensely, Wanda leaped off the machine, lost her balance and slid into the storage cabinet of photo-copy paper, toner cartridges and other consumables, knocking the cabinet across the aisle. That impact toppled a narrow open sided steel stand of hundreds of meticulously filed backed-up computer tapes recorded over the past twelve years. Shrieking, Wanda fled the main office through the side door, unintentionally showing everyone her new tattoo.

Later Wanda called her supervisor to apologize for her stupidity and said she would be away for three days under doctor-prescribed sedation. Catty fellow workers alleged the time Wanda had said she would be away would be her estimated time it would take to restore order in the copying room.'

"Oh god darling, this is so funny. If you can keep this up this book will be a best-seller. If your agent can get it accepted you ought to get a million bucks gross if it sells a million and a quarter copies."


When Addison had lunch with Maggie three days later, she mentioned Andy's book project and Maggie said, "Oh he'll need some advice about finding an agent and how to set up a proposal. Mom's had two books on floral art published. I'll get her to visit and you might like to talk to her as well about getting pregnant. Mom trained and worked as a midwife in her earlier years."

Mrs Stevens read two chapters of the draft novel, laughing away, and when finished she said to Andy, "Are you sure you're not a published author?"

"Of course not. I had to write up studies at university but that's normal."

"Andy I could contact my agent about this when you have completed your draft novel. If she's interested she'll want to receive a proposal and three sample chapters to consider how far she goes with this. I'll help you with that. Actually I have filed my hard-copy proposals and you could use that same format because it worked for me."

He thought that was a great idea. Mrs Stevens said they were new to the city and would they like to come for lunch Saturday with her and her husband.

They accepted and she'd also invited Maggie and her husband Don and her other married daughter with her female partner.

The older daughter's partner kept flicking her eyes at Andy and he wonder why a lesbian would be interested in him.


As they went to choose their meat from Don at the barbecue, Petra whispered, "Your zip is undone."

That left Andy wondering why a lesbian would look there.

"Would you like me to zip you?"


Andy managed to turn away from everyone and zip up. It was no big deal only Petra had managed to make it one. Well just between her and Andy.

She called him next day and asked was he alone.

"No I live with my wife."

"I mean is she in the room with you?"


"I'd like you to know I'm bio."

"Well Petra that information is no use to me but hey, if we meet again could we just be friends."

"Okay. I guess that means you are not offended I was after a piece of you."


"Bye sweetie."

"Who called you?" Addison said, coming in with flowers.

Andy knew he was innocent and therefore there was no reason to lie.

"It was Petra, calling to let me know she is bio."

"She'll be biodegradable if I get my hands on that slut. What did she say?"

"That she found me attractive and would like me to know she was bio. I said I wasn't interested but if we met again would we just be good friends and she said okay and cut the call."

"Do women often do this to you?"


"Have you had sex with any of them?"

"Not since you and I began going steady."

"Well if you ever are tempted please wear a condom, that's all I demand."

"Okay but you must realize I'm getting all the sex I need from you."

"Oooh darling. But that could change into my pregnancy if I get that far."

"You will. Be patient. Anyway isn't that why guys have a mother-in-law."

"God Andy, you practically loathe my mother."

"Oh yeah."

"What about your own mother; have you... um?"

"No of course not. Those creeps are called motherfuckers," he said, squirming a bit.

"Well perhaps Petra could come in useful after all. Or Maggie."

"Yeah she could be a stopgap."

"I thought so. I've seen you look at her breasts."

"I can always masturbate."

"Somehow darling I can't see you preferring hand ahead of pussy. Just be careful if the need arises. We don't have many friends in this city and Maggie and I took to each other almost instantly, and no we haven't."

"Haven't what?"

"I knew what you were thinking."

Andy thought she was becoming so astute and wondered if she were pregnant.

"Actually now's a good time for me."

Andy looked at his laptop.

"What? And don't say you should be writing?"

"Okay let's do it on the sofa."

Addison said great, she should keep her butt lifted after the event with her legs over the back of the sofa.

"Isn't that carry on an old wife's tale."

"Probably and if you must know Mrs Stevens said there's a lot of truth in many old wives' tales."

Andy was kept busy going to a gym in the morning, running there and running home. He'd have late breakfast with Addison and then concentrate on his doctoral work, spend time with Addison and they'd then have dinner and he'd slope off to work on his novel.

"Busy, busy," he sometimes would say to Addison, but she thought although that was so, he was not all that happy.

Addison's father had surgery for a hernia and she went home to be with her mother at the time of the operation and for a few days after because her mom tended to panic at times and anyway she said she'd not seen them for quite some time.

Addison had suggested to Andy it might be less stress on her mother if he were not there and he'd no desire to reject that suggestion.

While she was away Addison and Andy talked by phone every late afternoon. It turned out to be a double hernia (one of each side of his groin) and that extended the recovery time a bit, partly because her father was over-weight. Addison decided to stay on longer and said she was having a great time catching up with old friends.

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