Porsha Ch. 01byThe Wanderer©
If you're looking for a stroke story then don't look here. This story did start life as a one of my Nemesis series but it kind of metamorphosed as I wrote it.
I thank my LadyCibelle and Techsan for their patience, proof reading, editing skills and of course their encouragement. As always I must also add, that I can never leave a story alone. I will most likely add some cock-ups on my read through after they have seen it.
I entered the plush office suite with more than a little trepidation and tried my best to look confident as I walked over to the reception desk and announced that I was Mrs. Morris and I had a 10 o'clock appointment with Mr. White. The young receptionist smiled up at me and asked me if I wouldn't mind taking a seat for a few minutes as Mr. White was running a little late. Taking a seat in one of the large armchairs I settled myself down and picked up a magazine. I knew I was too worked up and wouldn't actually be able read to it but I could try to look like I was. Sitting there I could do nothing but run over in my mind just how my life had led to this meeting.
As a teenager I'd been one hell of a looker. In college I could turn most of the guys' heads. But really I was what you might call repressed; I never let my emotions get the better of me. It was one thing to have the guys chasing you but I was never into trusting any of them. I had no intention of letting any of them get into my pants. So I held them all at arm's length.
Don't go thinking I was a stick in the mud, I was out dancing with my friends almost every night. I went to parties all the time and I had quite a few boyfriends. But if any of them thought they were getting anything out of me, they had another think coming. I had ears, I had heard the guys talking; as soon as a guy 'got lucky', as they liked to put it, It was all around college in no time and the poor girl who had 'put out' rapidly got herself the reputation as a slapper or a slut. That was never going to happen to me.
I was nineteen and at a party when I first came across Jack Morris. For some reason I had never seen him before, but it quickly became apparent that most of my friends had. He wasn't particularly handsome but he certainly stood out from the crowd. Everyone appeared to know him as he slowly worked the room, dancing with a few girls on the way around. I did note that he only seemed to dance to slow numbers and I was pretty sure that it was the girls who were asking him to dance. A couple of times I saw girls who were dancing with one guy walk over to Jack when a slow dance started, effectively ditching the guy they had been dancing with.
I pointed this out to my friend Sheila and asked if she knew what was going on. "Oh, that's Jack," she replied. "He's a gentleman. Look, once you get to know Jack, if you get stuck with a sleaze ball, you can rely on Jack to help you out. You start talking to, or dance with Jack and he'll stay with you until the sleaze-ball loses interest. He'll even escort you home if you want him to; you watch, Jack will have a carload of girls when the party ends tonight."
"What is he, a kind of knight errant or something? Doesn't he have girlfriends of his own?"
"Of course he does but he's a gentleman. If a girl gets drunk or needs assistance, Jack will always make sure she gets home in one piece and with her virtue intact. You can always trust Jack Morris."
"Doesn't he ever, you know?"
"Don't be silly, Porsha, of course he does. He's a man just like the rest of them. But he behaves himself. He never takes advantage and, more importantly, he never discusses what happens in private. And take my word for it, he's fantastic in bed. He's choosy though. Any girl who gets herself a reputation doesn't stand a chance with Jack."
"Have you ever?"
"Yeah, you bet. Last Christmas I went out with him a few times. God, what a difference to most of these twerps. I learnt a few things form Jack, I can tell you. It was the best sex I've ever had. But then I made the mistake of going with Phil Clarke to the New Year's dance because Jack was away at some family thing. Clarkie must have bragged about us having had sex because Jack never called me again. He still talks to me but he has never asked me out since. I tried asking him to the Valentines dance but he said he couldn't make it. That pig Phil Clarke ruined my chances with Jack."
This Jack Morris sounded just like my sort of guy, although the thought of having sex with him never entered my head. But he sounded like the safe kind of boyfriend I had always dreamed about. I watched him circulate and eventually he came to where Sheila and I were dancing. Sheila grabbed him straight away and they disappeared into the throng on the dance floor for a few minutes. When they came back, Sheila introduced me to him. We talked for a little while and I picked out his chat up lines but before we got too friendly another girl suddenly grabbed his arm, with a quick apology, he was gone.
I was disappointed and Sheila noticed. She asked me whether I fancied Jack and when I told her I'd like to get to know him a bit, Sheila disappeared into the crowd for a couple of minutes, and when she returned she gave me the news that we had a lift home with Jack. I was pleased about that, as I thought we'd get to know each other on the way home. Unfortunately that wasn't to happen as there were eight of us girls crammed into that car with Jack and several of the others apparently had the same idea as I had.
I didn't see Jack for about a month after that. Then I was waiting at a bus stop in the pouring rain one day when a car pulled up. You know the scenario. The car stopped and I pretended it wasn't there. Strangers don't pick me up in the street. But then I heard someone call my name and it turned out to be Jack. He offered me a lift home and on the way he asked me whether I'd like to go for a meal one evening.
This was different for me. Most guys would ask if you wanted to go to the pictures or out for a drink. Meals to them were the quick trip to the Wimpy bar, but Jack was talking about the top restaurant locally. The place my mum and dad usually went to. I'd been there with them but I'd never had a guy take me there. Of course most of the guys I'd gone out with couldn't afford to buy a meal there anyway.
So that Friday evening I was treated to my first proper romantic dinner. And Jack pulled out all the stops. Jesus, Jack was so different to all the boys I'd been out with before. You know, before the end of the meal I knew that this was one guy who wasn't going to get away if I had anything to do with it.
After the meal he took me to "Caesars" the best nightclub in town. It's a private club and had a casino upstairs and a dance floor and bar downstairs. It was one of those places that you had to be a member to get in and it appeared that Jack was a member. He told me later that a relative of his owned the nightclub and the big 'Central Hotel' next door. Looking back now, I wish I'd remembered he'd said that.
Ever the gentleman Jack took me home about one A.M. he kissed me politely and bid me goodnight. I was shocked he didn't try anything, not even a heavy snogging session. To be honest I was a little hurt. I really expected him to try something. I was even more hurt when he never asked for another date, but just kissed me and said goodnight.
It was almost two weeks later when he called me. I quickly accepted his invitation for another meal. When we were eating he explained that he hadn't called me, as he hadn't really broken things off with his old girlfriend. She had gone away for a few weeks on some course or the other and he had to wait for her return before he could tell her he wanted to break up with her. She was on a course that had an exam at the end of it so it wouldn't have been fair to call her and tell her it was over. Apparently she did not have Jack's sense of duty, as the first thing she told him when she returned was that she had found someone else.
Jack and I started going steady from then on. We never actually had sex but we got pretty close to it sometimes. After a year together we got engaged and we were married a month before my twentieth birthday. I'd finished college by then and had a good job in the sales department of a computer software company.
Meanwhile Jack was working for some agency that represented foreign companies in England. Don't ask me what they did, but shortly after we got married Jack got promoted and started having to take trips abroad. It was quite good because, when I could get the time off from my job, I went with him at his company's expense. At one time they even offered to put me on the books, but both of us working for the same company was asking for trouble. As it stood, if one of our employers went to the wall, the other of us was earning enough to cover our expenses.
I'd had our twin girls Sarah and Megan, eleven months after the wedding and they were followed up with twin boys Jack Jr. and Mark just over a year later. For a young couple we were making good money and had employed a nanny for the children so that I could get back to my job. I really liked my work and I was sure I was going somewhere.
I wouldn't say Jack was that enthused with the idea of me going back to work so soon or with the idea of employing a nanny to look after the children. But I did tend to get my own way and he accepted that I wanted my career. Our sex life was pretty good. By that I mean we had sex often. Probably more often than some folks although sometimes I got the feeling that Jack would have liked me to be a little more adventurous. But I didn't go for all this oral stuff that people talk about. To me it seemed, I don't know, unnatural. Jack got me to try and suck his penis one time but I definitely felt uncomfortable doing it so I refused to do it again. A few times he went down on me but that just didn't seem right to me either; I was so tense I couldn't enjoy it if I had wanted to.
Our lives went along quite smoothly until the boys were four years old, when Jack Jr. came down with meningitis. He died five days later and from then on things were never quite the same. Meningitis is one of those terrible things that happen in life. It was no one's fault that Jack Jr. contracted it but somehow I think that Jack and I each held ourselves responsible.
Between us, Jack and I could fix most things; but neither of us could do anything for our baby. After we lost little Jack, we both seemed to concentrate more on the children and our jobs than we did on each other. Oh, don't get me wrong we loved each other and still had a pretty hectic sex life. Look, if you've had any children you know how they kind of take priority. With both Jack and I having good careers something had to lose out somewhere.
The years flew past and things went really well. There was a new big house, trips to Disneyland with the kids and summer holidays in the Caribbean, all the things successful young families usually have. Our remaining three children did very well at school. I know Jack had a hell of a time when the girls got to the age when boys started showing interest. He's quite a conservative guy, my Jack. But before we realised it all three of our children were off at University and we were suddenly at home alone.
Jack and I started to try and put our lives back together. Well, to be honest Jack did. I don't really think I tried as hard as I should have. My world was revolving around my job more and more; I was managing the sales department at my company by then and just a couple of steps away from getting onto the board.
When the guy who owned the place where Jack worked retired, he put Jack in charge and he became the Head Honcho at the agency. That was good, as Jack's salary went through the roof, but it led to him spending more time travelling than ever and I couldn't go with him as much as I would have liked, since I was busy as well. I had to make a good few trips away, but they were in England, not like Jack's to the four corners of the globe.
I was thirty-nine and Jack was forty-two and no matter how Jack tried we were growing further apart. One evening over dinner Jack told me it was decision time.
"What do you mean Jack? What decision do we have to make?" I asked him.
"About you and me, my love," he replied, "We surely can't go on like this. Either we both have to cut back on our work load and spend more time together or we are going to turn into complete strangers to each other."
"I don't understand."
"Look, Porsha, in the last month we haven't been out together once. Christ, I think I can count the evenings we have spent together on the fingers of one hand. We have to decide whether we want or need to work ourselves into the ground anymore. I know I want to spend more time with the woman I love."
"Well, what do you want us to do?"
"I don't really know, we could both retire or at least take things more easy. I know I could lay a lot of my work onto my subordinates. And I'm sure you could do the same. Look, maybe we both could arrange to take a couple of months off and go on that world cruise we've always talked about. You know, before we get to old to enjoy it."
"Now hold on Jack. My boss is retiring this year. I've waited years for him to go. I'm in line for his job if I play my cards right. I can't afford to let up."
"But you don't need the job. We've got enough stashed away to last us out."
"That's easy for you to say but I've been working for this all my life. I was hoping to be the first woman on the board of directors. I'm sure I'm only a couple of years away from making it."
"But in two years, we probably won't have a marriage left. Can't you see that?"
"No, I can't. Why should our marriage break up?"
"Because you care less and less about it, that's why. You care less and less about me as time goes on. You spend more time away from home now than I ever did. And you spend more time socialising with your company's clients now than ever."
"Well, they like to deal with the boss."
"No, they like to perv over you."
"What the hell do you mean by that?"
"Christ Porsha, as you have gotten older your neck-line has gone down and you skirt hem has gone up. I'm willing to place a bet that some of those clients of yours are hoping to get lucky, and to my mind the odds are one of them will!"
"Are you mad? Do you really think I would......"
"I don't know, Porsha! But to my mind, there's only one thing seems to bother you nowadays and that's getting the contract signed. One of these days someone is going to lay it on the line, and you are going to have to make an awkward decision or two. And I don't know what lengths you'd go to."
"I would never do anything like that and I'm furious that you would think I would. I have always dressed nice but that doesn't make me a slut."
"Yes, you always have dressed nicely, Porsha. You look gorgeous and you have always used your looks to get what you want. But I'm worried now, since it appears that what you want has taken priority over us. What you want has always been the most important thing to you and what you want more than anything nowadays is signatures on contracts. Nothing else appears to matter to you."
"Oh, let's not get back onto the usual one. I was never the stay at home mum type and you know it." I knew that Jack was going to bring up me not staying at home whilst the children were growing up next. So I dived in on the subject first. In the next few hours just about everything came out. It was obvious that Jack had always thought I was being selfish when I went back to work so quickly after having the children. But I couldn't see the harm in my being successful in my career. I almost expected him to bring up the subject of Jack Jr. but he left that one out.
I think it was the biggest argument that we had ever had. I was surprised that Jack was prepared to throw up his career if I gave up mine. But my job was what I lived for.
For the next couple of weeks life at home was what you could only call tense. We talked to each other but there was that coldness in the air. Then a big deal came into the offering at work and I lost the plot about what was going on at home. For the next few weeks I was running around checking everything to make sure the deal would go down all right. I was getting home late and flying backwards and forwards to Manchester every couple of days. I never stayed overnight though. I would get the morning flight up and the evening flight back. Eventually the contract was signed and I had everyone at the office singing my praises. I was sure that when my boss retired I'd have his job.
I was just about to call Jack and tell him the good news when I realised that I hadn't actually spoken to him for several days. We were passing each other like ships in the night; I realised that Jack was right. We were drifting apart and I suddenly realised I had to do something. Anything to show him I loved him and didn't want to lose him. So I decided my first move would be to surprise him at lunchtime and take him out for a meal.
I drove across town to his office, but when I got up to the floor his office suit was on, the place was like the Marie Celeste with not a soul in sight. I was about to leave again when I remembered my swipe card. Jack had told me that the same card that opened his office at home opened the office at work. He had given me a card, as otherwise I would be locked out of the office at home.
I let myself in with the idea of looking in Jack's appointment diary. If he were local, I would call him and join him for lunch. But once I got inside the outer office I realised that the place was not as deserted as had I thought. As I got close to Jack's office I could hear noises that I didn't like the sound of, coming from inside.
Jack's private office is an all glass affair; the rest of the place is all open plan. Unusually the Venetian blinds were down on Jack's private domain. I moved closer and through a blind that wasn't quite properly closed, I could see some movement inside. It was Sally the office's girl Friday. She was apparently stark naked and was what I can only describe as jumping up and down on someone's lap. That someone was sitting on the large couch that Jack had in there. From my viewpoint I couldn't make out who the guy was but I very much suspected it was my so-called ever-loving husband.
I don't know how or why, but I didn't go barging in there. I think I must have been too upset. I tried looking through the other windows but I couldn't get a good view of the man. But I did see his jacket hanging on the back of a chair. It was Jack's blue suit jacket. Especially ordered and made to measure, I'd know that jacket anywhere.
I left the office at a run, the outer door banged closed behind me. I'm sure they must have heard it but I didn't care.
On the way down in the lift I was crying. Was this what Jack had been trying to say to me? Had he been trying to tell me that if we didn't spend more time together he would look for company elsewhere? Or was he trying to set the stage for a divorce when we had that strange conversation that lead to that big argument? I was angry and hurt. I loved my husband and I thought he loved me but it looked like I was losing him. What was I going to do? Fight for him or accept that I had lost him.
That night when I got home from the office Jack acted like he always did and that made me even more angry. I don't really know why I expected him to act differently since Jack could have had no idea that I had seen him and Sally at lunchtime. So why was I expecting him to act differently? With me biting my tongue, the evening went as usual with us hardly talking to each other. I didn't even tell him the contract was signed.