Hi folks, this is just intended as a relatively short, fun peace for Thanksgiving so don't take it too seriously. This year I have a lot to be thankful for. I have my beautiful wife and daughter. My wonderful best friend and editor. Literotica for letting me post stories. All of you great people who read them and of course Ford for making Mustangs. I hope you all have as much. SS06
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A light rain had started to fall as we all gathered around the final resting place of a woman who meant something to all of us. I can't exactly say what that something was because it would be different in each case. Some of us had our eyes brimming with hot, salty tears and hearts full of sadness and sorrow over her passing. Others really weren't that concerned, but were here to support a loved one who was attending. I was here because I had to be, but on the other hand, I wanted to make sure the bitch wasn't pulling a trick. I wanted to see her in that box, see them at least close it, if not nail it shut. And I really wanted to see them lower her withered ass into the ground so I could put an end to that aspect of my life.
I also needed to be here for my kids. I really don't believe that either my son or my daughters really cared that much anymore. It's strange but we're among the most dry eyed of all of the attendees. I guess we're the ones who knew Heidi the best. As I look over the moderate sized grouping that is gathered around the open grave, I see some of the people who meet my gaze and smile or wave. I can feel their sympathy and I smile in response to their projected condolences.
I also see others, mostly men, but a few women who are afraid to meet my gaze and furtively look in any other direction other than towards me. I wish there was some way for me to let them know that my enmity towards them died with Heidi. I figure out how to do that at nearly the last moment. A small tanned hand slips inside of mine and gives me a reassuring squeeze. I'm in the front of the gathering so everyone can see what I do. I kneel down before the woman next to me squeezing my hand to reassure me of her love and press my head against her bulbous nearly eight and a half months pregnant stomach.
My daughters smile and happy, yet surprised murmurs go through the crowd. My simple gesture resonates through everyone there, reminding them of all of that shit we learned about the circle of life from that fucking Lion King movie. Whenever one goes out, another one comes in. I can't help but smile myself. Everyone else here is smiling, because they're thinking about death and new life being opposites.
I'm smiling because I didn't realize it at the time, but Heidi would have hated what I'd just done. The bitch is probably just inside the gates of hell, screaming for a chance to come back because for once, I took all of the attention off of her. This is supposed to be her day. It's supposed to be her last performance here on this earthly plane and now everyone is more interested in my baby than in Heidi's crusty dead ass.
I'm a mature adult. This baby will be my fourth. I had, as I've said, three children while I was married to Heidi. The others are all fully grown and out in the world. David stands next to me. My daughter Sarah is on his other side. And my daughter Sasha is further to my right.
I'm almost sixty years old, so over my lifespan, I've learned that you have to let some things go. By the time of her death, I no longer hated Heidi or resented her for making most of my life a waste. As I look at the three wonderful people that she and I brought into the world, I know I could never truly resent her because I love them with all of my heart and soul. I also understand that without Heidi, none of them would be the way they are.
So I let go all of my hatred and anger towards Heidi more than three years ago. Hatred and anger poison a person's life. Heidi is a non-factor in mine, so there was simply no reason to let any ill will towards her color my existence. I still wanted to see her serving as kibble to a giant three headed dog as she slowly roasted for all of eternity, but I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it.
The last time I saw Heidi alive was five months ago. We'd all gathered or in my case been summoned to a big family Thanksgiving dinner at my son David's house. I think back on that day and the events that led up to it as the minister begins his calming words.
It had been at sunset on a surprisingly warm November evening in Florida. That day and that night were nearly summer-like. It had been sunny and warm all week but not oppressively so. A solitary figure trudged purposefully down the beach. His shoulders were hunched, carrying a lot of tension. He was headed for two beach chairs which were the only feature breaking the pristine beauty of nature on a stretch of private beach.
The chairs weren't arranged in the manner one would expect. Although they were side to side and parallel and only inches apart, one faced east and the other west. In one chair, a gray haired but still hard bodied old man sat watching the waves. He occasionally got up and threw rocks at the ocean. He also looked dreamy eyed at a car in the driveway of a house only a few yards away from the chair he sometimes occupied.
The other chair was occupied by a woman. At twenty nine years old she was exactly half of his age. Their birthdays were within a day of each other as well. The man, me, was steely eyed although my eyes had faded during my long life to the point where they seem to be more gray than their former blue.
The woman's soulful brown eyes and calm disposition seemed to be the exact opposite of mine. Her large breasts and long legs surrounded a formerly flat tummy that was just to the point where someone with a sharp eye could tell something was going on there.
Her tanned skin came from her Mexican heritage more than any amount of sun. Her long, rich brown hair was tied back in a single pony-tail that if she were standing, would have just kissed the top of her luscious ass.
She was every bit as composed and motionless as I was frenetic and animated. Neither of us had noticed the figure dragging his feet angrily through the sand as he trudged towards us.
"James, we're supposed to be resting," she said in unaccented English.
"We are resting," I said. "We're not even doing anything."
"No, Honey. I'm not doing anything. You're doing laps back and forth between the water and your chair. You're throwing every piece of drift wood, rock and any other debris you find into the water where the tide just sweeps it back onto the beach. I'm getting tired just watching you."
I sat back down in my chair and the reason she'd arranged the chairs that way made sense. With us facing in opposite directions, we could look directly in each other's eyes from very close and kiss each other without moving very much.
With her concentrating on looking at me and at the book she was reading on her iPad, she didn't see the man until it was too late.
He, like me, was just shy of six feet tall. He was well muscled and probably twenty years younger than me. In fact, I knew for a fact that he was exactly twenty years, three months and fourteen days younger. I was calculating the exact date as his fist streaked towards my face.
It's a God damned shame to see some late thirties ruffian trying to hand out a beat down on a guy who's almost legally a senior citizen...Hold that thought.
I had a second disadvantage because I was sitting while he was standing over me. I easily caught his flashing fist and hooked my leg behind his knees and spilled him to the beach. I immediately rolled on top of him and started wrestling with him. His rage and youth seemed to be stalemated by my superior strength, energy and experience. A battle like this would be determined only by the stamina of the combatants, normally.
The sound of a metallic click and words hissed through clenched teeth took all of the fight out of him.
"Eeeef ju move I weel put you brains in thees fucking sand," said Samantha angrily, as she pressed her gun into the side of his head. Just the sound of her gun, a custom .450 Automag, was frightening.
The man, my son, David, whom I hadn't seen in three years, went still immediately. Samantha bit one of her luscious lips and pressed the long barrel even more firmly against his head. David flinched as he saw nothing but death in her eyes.
Sam let out a string of curse words in pure Spanish and I started laughing. "Sam, don't shoot him," I said. "Besides having to clean up the beach and hide the body, we'd only have to go to a funeral. And the funeral would probably be in Michigan; it's cold as hell there now. I wouldn't want to even have my Mustang there now, let alone the three of us."
She looked at me strangely.
"Dave, did you notice that the more pissed off she gets, the more her language goes backwards? Before you showed up, she was speaking perfect English. Once you got her pissed, her Spanish accent got so thick it was crazy. At this rate, she'll be speaking Aztec in the next few minutes."
"Thees is...This is David?" she asked. "Your son David?"
I nodded and smiled. "And you were going to shoot him."
"I still might," she said. But she moved the gun away from his head.
"So David," I said calmly. "Why'd you travel almost twelve hundred miles to take a poke at me? And how'd you find me anyway?"
"I got a really good PI. A lot of people say that she's the best. She's a friend of Uncle Chance and his girlfriend," he said. "Her name is..."
"Sarah Price," I finished for him. "She works for the Rios Agency, right."
Immediately Samantha started mumbling under her breath as she turned and picked up her chair. She turned the chair around so it was next to mine and then plopped herself down so angrily, that if the baby was further along she might've popped it out in that lounge chair. She continued cursing but switched to Spanish and started reading her book...or pretending to.
"Uhm, Dad," asked David. "What is she so upset about?"
"Rios is her uncle," I said. "Sarah is one of her best friends. I guess they had no way of knowing that you were looking for me. I rarely use my full name down here so I doubt that Sarah even put two and two together."
"So why did you come all this way?" I asked again.
"Dad, things are rough at home," he began. "And Mom...it's not good. She's just not right in the head. She hasn't been since you left. It's just been one thing after another. And now they've diagnosed her with some type of mystery disease. I'm not sure whether Mom knows what it is and just won't tell us, or that they don't know what it is."
I shrugged my shoulders. I also put on the greatest acting performance of my life. Both David and Samantha were staring at me; each for their own reasons.
"I'm not a doctor David," I said. "I have a small but successful business here. Technically, I should already be into my early retirement but I have to work still. Life is more expensive down here than it was in Michigan. I have to work long enough to make sure that my wife and kid or kids are well looked after when I'm gone."
"You're not going anywhere," quipped Sam under her breath.
"I meant when I die, miss nosey smart ass," I said.
"And I meant what I said too," she smirked. "Even God knows that you belong to me. He has to keep his hands off of you until I'm ready to let you go."
David looked at us strangely.
"So I just don't see what I can do..." I said. "...Or how any of that has anything to do with me."
"What about all of that bullshit you taught us growing up?" he said tersely. "What about accepting your responsibilities and doing the right thing?" he said even louder."I came down here to talk to you about coming home so we could be a family again. I wanted you to come back to help Mom through whatever she's going through. None of us have a clue why you just vanished while Mom was injured. You disappeared without a fucking trace or any reason and left her penniless."
Samantha started cursing in Spanish again and I started laughing.
"So you really don't know?" I laughed.
"Don't know what?" he spat. "That the man I looked up to for most of my life and wanted to be like ran out on his wife without a word so he could come down to Miami and hang out with women who are younger than his children. You're down here, living in luxury, pretending to be married, when your real-life wife is suffering and your kids have to work harder to support her."
"What a Bitch," I spat.
"What a beetch," echoed Sam.
David got up angrily. "Don't talk about my mother," he said. Before he was fully on his feet, Sam had her gun trained on him again.
"God damn the two of you," I said. "Sam, put your gun away and David, come into the house. We need to talk. After we're done talking, you'll probably agree with me that your Mom is a bitch."
"Beetch," echoed Sam.
"And what if I don't agree?" he asked.
"Then I'll go back to Michigan with you," I said.
We went through the house and out onto the small deck behind it. Sam brought beers out to us.
"First off," I began. "Who told you that I left your mother penniless?"
"She did," he said. "In fact, she's been living with my wife and me since you left and we've had to..."
I was rolling around on the floor laughing. Anger filled his face and his eyes. "Dad, don't you take anything serious?" he yelled.
"Why are you getting mad at me," I asked. "You're a chip off the old block, you know." I left him sitting there on the deck. I went into my office and brought out a stack of papers. I handed them to him.
"What am I looking at?" he asked.
"You're looking at the file for the sale of the house that we used to live in," I said. "When I left I arranged for your mother to get the house. The house sold for a little over four hundred thousand dollars. The check was made out to her. Here's a picture of the canceled check. So if I left her penniless, what did she do with all of the money?"
"She never...she said..." he sputtered.
"Welcome to the club," I said. "Your mother is the type of person who's always there when SHE needs YOU. With me leaving, she needed someone else to take care of her. You fit the bill. Of course, if you knew that she had close to a half million dollars, you'd have expected her to get her own place, so she needed to be broke and homeless. I'm guessing that's why she told you she was broke."
"Dad, how did you get these papers?" he asked.
"They had to give me the details of the transaction since I gave her the house as part of our divorce settlement."
"You're divorced?" he asked.
"Of course," I said. "I couldn't have married Sam if I wasn't."
"But Mom said..." he began.
"I filed for a divorce. Your mother refused to sign the papers. She refused to come to any of the meetings. She refused to come to court. They issued a warrant for her. She ignored it and most cops aren't going to serve a warrant on a fifty five year old woman. No one knew where she was. Now I know that she was hiding in your house. One of the reasons I moved here is because it's one of the states that allow divorces in absentia. You can file all of the paperwork and if the person you're trying to divorce refuses to answer, the clock starts ticking. After a certain period of time, the divorce is granted whether they agree or not because the court looks at it as if both lives have gone on separately for enough time for both parties to have accepted things. I could have given her nothing, but I gave her the house anyway."
Dave was angry again. "Dad, she didn't tell us anything," he said.
"Dave, your mom has always been like that. Everything is always about her. She needs to be the center of attention. Look at the rest of the file."
"What are these three envelopes," he asked.
"When I left, you and Kelly were still working in Alaska," I said. "You were on the road constantly and I couldn't get a hold of you. Your sisters were still in college and I didn't want to bother them. When I sent the information about the divorce to your mom, I also sent her those three envelopes for the three of you. There was a check in each one for you and your sisters. When the envelopes came back, the checks were missing but everything was still intact."
"How much were the checks for?" he asked.
"Ten thousand dollars," I said. David jumped off of my deck onto the grass below and went and kicked the tree in the middle of the yard as hard as he could.
"I just figured that the three of you had decided that right or wrong, she was your mother and you'd side with her in the divorce. I guess it just seemed like I was on my own. None of you ever called me or wrote," I said. "Not for my birthday, or Christmas or even Father's Day. I just assumed that you didn't want to hear from me."
"So you seem to be doing well," he said looking around. "And she's beautiful. Are you really married?"
"Yep," I said. "I've never known anyone like her. She is all the things I only hoped your mom would someday become."
"But Dad she's...how old is she?" he asked changing his tactic.
"She just turned twenty nine," I said. "Normally she's really sweet, but she is very protective of me. And besides that she's pregnant. It's a boy."
"So I finally get the little brother I wanted, but I have to wait until I'm thirty eight," he smirked. "And my new step mom is almost ten years younger than I am. Holy shit, she's younger than Sarah and Sasha too. How long have the two of you been together?"
"Two years," said Sam, coming out from the house with more beer and some snacks on a tray.
"Fuck," he screamed. "Sorry ma'am. I just...I feel like Keanu Reeves when he found out that he'd lived his entire God damned life in the matrix. Half of me is wishing that I hadn't come down here. Every time you open your mouth another lie that Mom told me falls out. She made it seem like you probably ran off with your secretary. When we ran into your old secretary, Carol Brady, we attacked her and demanded that she tell us where you were. We were lucky she didn't press charges on us."
"It's Samantha or Sam," she said.
"Dad, I have no idea of how I'm going to explain any of this to Sarah and Sasha. They were expecting to drag you kicking and screaming back to Michigan so you could atone for your actions and be there to stand by Mom during her crisis," he said.
"Don't bother," I said. "Don't tell them anything yet."
"But why?" he asked. "They deserve to know."
"I agree," I said. "That's why I'm coming to your house for Thanksgiving dinner. We'll let all of the lies out. Can you try to keep the guest list to just the five of us?"
"Six," said Sam.
"Kelly makes seven. I can't have dinner at my house without my wife being there. Justin will make eight," he said.
"Why the fuck would Justin be there?" I snapped. David was shocked because all of this time I'd remained calm. Even when he tried to punch me out I hadn't lost my temper."
"Dad, he was Sarah's boyfriend when you left. They're married now. He's not the brother in law I'd have wanted, but Sarah likes him and that's all that counts," he said.
I nodded my head. "Yeah," I said. "Make sure old Justin is there too."
* * * * * *
Three days later, I was already pissed as I pulled the Mustang into David's driveway. It was cold and blustery in Michigan. Samantha didn't like it. She'd lived in Florida all of her life. She preferred the warmer temperatures of the southern states. I'd bought her a beautiful new fur coat and I was sure that everyone would laugh at her. It was forty five degrees outside and she was wrapped in a full length fur coat as if she was going to the Arctic Circle.
The reason that I was pissed wasn't the weather. Being born in Michigan, I knew what to expect. It was the car. I'd envisioned a chance to totally thrash a Hertz Mustang GT-H. Everyone knows the history of the car. Back in the sixties Hertz had Ford build a fleet of special high powered Mustangs that they could rent out to customers. People went crazy over them. There are all kinds of things that happened. Some of the customers would rent the Mustangs and take them to the drag strip. Others had been caught renting the cars and swapping out the high performance power plants and turning the cars back in with a far more mundane motor.