Be Careful What You Wish ForbyStangStar06©
Hi folks, okay let's do the disclaimer first. Please don't take this one seriously.It's just a fun Halloween piece. Thanks to Mikothebaby for editing this while struggling with a Migraine. Some of you who've been here for a while might recognize this story. Anyway, this one is that subtle kind of scary, so grab someone to hold onto while you read it. SS06
* * * * * *
Okay, I'm rich, but don't hold it against me. I made my money the old fashioned way; I inherited it. My company, DMI industrial, was started by my great grandfather and a few of his friends before my grandfather was born. Over the decades, the name had been changed as certain partners were bought out and others bought in. As a matter of fact, the original name of the company was Melvin, Dwapps, Bennett & Company. Later on, the Iovine family merged with us, along with several other investors who were all covered by the "& company," tag.
During the Second World War, there was a big scandal and the Bennetts were thrown out of the company. My grandfather, Robert Dwapps, shored the company up during those perilous financial times by loaning the company a part of his personal fortune to see us through some of the more difficult times. In exchange for that, he got more of the company's stock and a bigger stake in the way things were run. The company name was changed to reflect that and also to reflect the fact that we were a bigger company. We became Dwapps, Melvin, and Iovine Industrial. During the 90's my dad shortened the name to DMI Industrial because it was easier to say and to remember.
Over the past twenty years, the Iovines had been hit with a series of set-backs and ended up selling off the majority of their stock. My dad was only too happy to acquire it. As a result, the Dwapps family now controls 78% of the company's stock. The Melvins control approximately 18% and the Iovines the remaining 4%.
Except for the fact that I make a shitload of money, I'm just like you. I go to work every day and I work hard. Just like you, I have people to answer to, our customers. They want more and more from us every year and they always want a discount or lower prices. I have to keep coming up with ways to cut costs and yet, keep the quality of the products either the same for less money, or better.
At the same time, I have to answer to my employees, who each year expect more money in the form of raises and bonuses, while they want to have more time off and more benefits. The two things that are killing me right now are unions and rising health care costs. Anyway, this story isn't about business. It's about my life and my marriage and how just a little while ago both of them sucked.
My name is Wayne, I'm 27 years old. I'm reasonably good looking and in shape. As mentioned before, I'm financially well off and most would have expected me to be happily married. I wasn't.
"I'd been married to Aida, whom our friends call "Ai", for short, for about four years when the trouble began. The thing about Ai, which is pronounced "Eye," is that she is very beautiful and very charming. In fact, she's too beautiful and too charming for me. As I said, except for the fact that I'm filthy stinking rich, I'm a normal guy. I go to the bar and hang out with a lot of the guys who work for me. I don't ride around in a limo like Thurston Howell III, I drive a Mustang GT. And I don't sit around in suits eating caviar and drinking champagne. Most of my day is spent at one or another of the plants my company runs. And I'm usually on the floor making sure that things are running well and that problems are being solved. If I'm not doing that, I'm in the offices making sure that the people who make sure we get paid and pay our bills are doing their jobs.
Anyway, Ai was the prettiest girl in town all through school and college and I guess no one expected the two of us to end up together. She was always the sweetheart of some dashing young football player or something like that. I usually dated nice girls all through school until the middle of high school. My last two years of high school, I didn't know that Aida existed. She was around and she was still beautiful and built like a brick ship yard but when a man is in love, nothing else mattered. And all during the eleventh and twelfth grades, I was in love.
The subject of my affection was Maria Hess. She and Aida couldn't be less alike. Where Aida is taller and more voluptuous; Maria was shorter and waif like. Aida is blond and tan; Maria had that very pale, very creamy Irish skin and a smattering of freckles. Her fiery red hair went halfway down her back and was naturally curly, where Aida's was straight.
From the first day that Maria came into our school, I was hooked. When she walked over to me and said that the teacher had told her to ask me to show her around, I was hooked further. We had a brief rough patch when she asked me what my name was. "Wayne Dwapps," I said smiling at her. When she erupted in laughter and turned me red in the face with embarrassment, I almost walked away. She grabbed me by my hand and pulled me back. Her touch was electric and I wasn't the only one who felt it. When she looked into my eyes to apologize, something special passed between us.
It was then that I noticed that she hadn't let go of my hand. I walked her around the school and showed her where everything was. We saw the cafeteria, the ladies locker room, the science labs and every other point of interest around the school.
At the end of my tour, I walked her to her next class and explained to her teacher what was going on. Mrs. Mertz, her English teacher, thanked me and actually wrote me a pass for my next class. As I turned to leave, Maria came over to me and whispered that I should come back to that room after the class, so I could help her find the cafeteria for lunch. I was puzzled, because I'd already shown her where it was, but I agreed.
I met her back at her classroom and escorted her to the cafeteria. I usually sat with a group of my friends. We weren't the most popular kids in the school, but we weren't shunned either. From the moment we walked into the room, every eye in the place was on Maria. I sat down at the table and she just stood by the chair next to me, looking at me. Most of my friends around the table were too stunned by her to notice anything. I quickly jumped up and pulled her chair out for her.
Then she sat down and I introduced her to everyone at the table. A couple of the girls offered to show her where all of the things in the ladies facilities were and she thanked them. Louise Jefferson offered to show her where some of the places most of us hung out after school were too. Maria just smiled and said she had me for that. A couple of people looked up in shock when she said that. I guess it was because at that time, I usually just went out with girls as friends. I knew that we were only in high school and most of the relationships we were making wouldn't last beyond that. I thought it was kind of silly to get tied down to someone that you were only going to break up with when high school ended.
I went to most of the dances that the school held with one friend or another. Unlike today, there was no pressure for sex or anything like that. At the end of a good date, you got a good night kiss. At the end of a bad date, you got a friendly handshake. Louise Jefferson, Edith Bunker and Maude Findlay were some of the girls I usually took to the dances or often to movies or other events. Like me, they sometimes attended events with others in our circle, but there weren't really any permanent couples.
The jocks and the cheerleaders did settle into those little high school marriages but for the most part the rest of us didn't.
Maria's presence seemed to upset the way things had been from that very first day. Near the end of our lunch, we were all talking about a host of different things when Paul got up and came over to our table from the jock's table. He had a couple of the cheerleaders trailing behind him and he headed straight for Maria.
"Hi, I'm Paul Frehley," he said. "Everyone calls me Ace." He held out his hand to Maria and she shook it. I saw the end of her at our table then.
"Why do they call you that?" she asked. "Do you play cards or something? I always thought that gambling was kind of stupid."
"Uhm, no," he said. "What I play is football and..." I saw the whole thing in my mind. The quarterback of our team was a guy named Jack Daniels. Jack went out with Aida, of course, who was the hottest girl in our school. So Ace figured he'd claim Maria. I guess in that whole high school pecking order theory, it made sense.
"I hate football. It's boring," said Maria. "Do you do steroids?"
"Uhm, why would you ask me that?" said Ace nervously. He'd jammed his hands in his pockets and was looking for an escape strategy.
"I've heard they make your ego bigger, but they make your brain and your dick smaller," said Maria. She had the most angelic look on her face when she said it. Ace turned red in the face and was getting really pissed.
"Hey Ace," I said. "That was a great play you made last weekend. We would have lost for sure if their safety had gotten clear of you after that interception. All it took after that was for our defense to hold them back for two plays and the clock to run out. But if you hadn't tackled that guy and he'd gotten across the goal line, the game would have been over."
Ace stuck his chest back out and asked me if I was coming to the game that weekend. "Of course," I said. "We're at every game. We have to show some school spirit, right?"
"Right," he said. "See ya later Wayne. See you at the game." As he turned away a lot of things happened all at once. Aida, who'd heard the entire exchange, nodded her head and smiled at me. It was the first time that the school's princess had done anything that let me know that she knew I existed. A funny feeling went through me then.
At the same time, Maria noticed that Aida had noticed me and clamped down on my hand almost hard enough to break bones and glared at her.
As Ace and the cheerleaders went back to their table, several of the people at ours stifled their laughter. Maria couldn't have been any ruder if she'd planned it. It did start a trend of students in our school reacting to stupid or rude behavior by asking the person if they were on steroids. After lunch, we had an assembly in the auditorium. It was a Friday and there was a game on Saturday, so most of the assembly would be the pep rally for the game.
The principal, Dr. Smith, got up and said a few words and made a few announcements about weekend and upcoming events. He also introduced the newest member of the student body and had her stand up so everyone would see her. He said that way if she got lost or something everyone could recognize her and help her out. He asked her where she was from and if there was anything she liked about our area so far.
That was when Maria displayed her wicked sense of humor. She stood up very demurely and said that she really enjoyed the weather in our area.
Doctor Smith asked her what she liked about it since summer was gone and it was chilly and often wet.
"I like the Wayne," she said.
"What is it about rain that you like?" he asked. By this time half of the students there were laughing.
"Nothing much," she said. "I just like everything about Wayne Dwapps."
With a puzzled expression on his face, Dr. Smith introduced the football coach. I don't think that I remember a single thing he said. I was too busy with my head down trying to hide my embarrassment. All of my friends were laughing and pointing at me, except for Louise. Louise and I were supposed to be going to the game that next day and I think she knew that things in our circle were due for a change.
And change they did. Over the next few weeks, several guys on the football and or basketball teams made a play for Maria and were rebuffed, sometimes embarrassingly. She was asked to try out for the cheerleading squad and declined publicly. "I am nowhere near coordinated and athletic enough for something like that," she said laughing. "Do you know how embarrassing it would be for me to jump up in the air like that and have the wrong people see my panties, or worse yet what if I wasn't wearing any? Thank you, but I'll just watch from the stands."
That puzzled a lot of people who'd seen her the weekend before. We'd had a rare spell of warm fall weather and I'd had a party around our pool. Maria had been doing nearly perfect dives off the diving board that afternoon that everyone there, including a couple of the cheerleaders had seen.
Maria seemed to be a study in contradictions. My parents loved her. My dad told me to make sure that I didn't let her get away. My mom thought the same thing. Most of my friends who were guys told me how lucky I was. Half of the girls loved her and the other half couldn't stand her. Girls who were interested in my friends found her the nicest girl on earth. We frequently doubled dated and she did all she could to help them in their quests. But any girl, including, Edith, Louise and Maude who even looked at me sideways found out, like Ace did, that Maria could be a first class bitch. And once you got on her list, there was no way to get off of it.
Edith found that out the hard way. She was used to the way we'd always done things. She came over at lunch one day and asked me if anyone had asked me to the Sadie Hawkins dance yet. No one had and it was like the air was let out of the room all at the same time. I was just about to say that no one had, when Maria answered for me in a voice as cold as ice and as hard as broken glass.
"Yes, I did," she said. And in my thinking, she was lying. "But Edith, I don't really understand you. Since I've been here, I've always thought of you as a friend. I mean we speak all the time, we've socialized, but still you go and try to stab me in the back."
Edith looked puzzled. For most of our lives we'd always been a group of friends who all intermingled. "Huh?" she said.
"You're trying to embarrass me in front of everyone here by asking my boyfriend to go to a dance with you, while I'm sitting here," said Maria.
"I didn't know that the two of you were..." began Edith.
"How could you not know?" asked Maria. "Are you doing steroids?"
"Well, all of us just go out with each other from time to time," began Edith. "And I hadn't done anything with Wayne in a while and..."
"And now you know why," spat Maria, grabbing my hand. "Wayne and I are going to every dance together and more," she said.
Not only did she cause a stir around the school, she never let poor Edith off the hook. For the next year, Edith was excluded (accidentally of course) from more parties and picnics than she was invited to. Often Edith's invitations were somehow printed wrong; like the time Edith's invitation to a formal dinner read "Costume party". Poor Edith showed up in a clown suit while everyone else was dressed to the nines.
I blamed myself for it, but I was helpless. I was so in love with Maria that I couldn't say no to anything she wanted. During our senior year, things got worse. We got to pick our classes that year and she made sure we had the exact same schedule. She even took auto shop. The two of us were together from first thing in the morning until I drove her home at night. We'd both been accepted to several of the same colleges and she'd just sprung her latest idea on me. We would work during the summers and pool our money to rent an apartment on campus.
My parents loved the idea. Even though I didn't have to worry about paying for college, my dad wanted me to learn to be responsible, so he liked the idea of me working. That was, of course, another feather in Maria's cap. My dad gave us both jobs for the summer. A lot of my friends were really jealous.
I was on cloud nine. Maria had explained to me why we needed an apartment instead of staying at the dorms. We were both still virgins, but she explained that we wouldn't be after college started and we moved into our apartment. I'd thought about the two of us many times over the two years that we'd been together. Maria always claimed that she'd just fallen for me the first time she saw me. It had taken me a couple of minutes longer but I could see that, since it was the same way I felt about her. Some of my friends thought that it was the fact that I was going to be rich, but Maria had gone gaga over me before she knew my family had money.
Anyway, I never needed to worry about it because none of it ever happened. We didn't move into the apartment and we didn't live happily ever after. Less than two weeks before we graduated from high school, Maria's paternal grandmother died. Her family drove back to their home state for the funeral. Maria's dad was very upset about the passing of his mother. He drank a bit too much after the funeral. He still thought that it would be okay for him to drive the first leg of the long road trip home.
Drunk and tired he veered across the traffic lanes and was reunited with his mother in the afterlife. His wife and son went with him. The only surviving member of the family was Maria's older sister who had stayed home because she had a job she couldn't leave. Maria lingered on fighting for her life for nearly a week, but she never regained consciousness. Her injuries were too horrific and the doctors said that it was a miracle that she'd managed to keep the grim reaper at bay for that long. When she finally gave in, it was as if a piece of my heart had been ripped out. I spent the summer in my room, depressed.
I couldn't figure out how fate could be so cruel. How is it, that life lifted me to heights I never expected or reached for, only to dash my spirit against hard sharp rocks with no explanation? By the time I was able to function again, it was far too late to get a spot in a dorm. My father wasn't even sure I was ready to go to school yet, but I did. I ended up renting an apartment on my own since I couldn't get into a dorm.
My first few weeks of college were awful. All throughout high school, I'd hung with a crowd. I had a few friends who were attending the same college I was, but things were different. They didn't know how to approach me and I was still depressed. Depressed isn't really a strong enough term for it.
I walked around dressed all in black, every day. I wore a black shirt, black pants and a long black coat everywhere. If I was outside, I wore black sunglasses as well. Now that I think about it I must have invented the Goth movement single handedly.
It finally took one guy to start dragging me out of my depression. Nope I didn't turn gay; he was an old friend of mine. Ace Frehley wasn't doing well in college. He'd come into school on a football scholarship and hadn't made the transition from the high school game to the faster more brutal college game. He was, at that time, a second stringer and in increasing danger of losing his scholarship. At the same time, hanging out with the cool kids like he did in high school wasn't helping him in class. The professors expected their assignments turned in and turned in on time. Ace was losing it on two fronts.
Ace and Aida had gravitated into some sort of a relationship when they both ended up in our current school. Jack had gone into the military like his father and grandfather and had left Aida behind. Aida, as beautiful as she was, had been having too many problems in her classes to have time to go out for the cheerleading team in college, so she was concentrating on her studies. This wasn't setting well with Ace and they'd begun arguing.
I later found out that they'd had other problems as well. They had several personality issues and were probably just not suited for each other. They clung to each other because both needed the comfort that familiarity can bring in a new situation. Both of them had gone from being big fish in the high school pond to being smaller nearly anonymous fish in the ocean of college. That's often an easier transition for people who were less popular than it is for the high school elite.