Note from Jake Rivers:
This is my sixth semi-annual "invitational." The initial one was based on the Statler Brother's song, "This Bed of Rose's." The second used the Marty Robbins El Paso trilogy: "El Paso" "El Paso City " and "Faleena." The third had stories based on the various versions of "Maggie May" or "Maggie Mae." The fourth invitational was based on any Country & Western song and the fifth on songs by Merle Haggard.
The current invitational is based on any song written or performed by Willie Nelson.
Jake Rivers invited me to his latest invitational and here is my attempt. Please let me know how I did.
Willie Nelson has written many great songs, performed a great many more written by others, and in each one he's made it his own in his way. The following story is part of a series. This story is the beginning of larger things, things that can happen and, like a chain of events that get going, sometimes unstoppable.
The song I chose is "To make a Long Story Short, She's Gone."
"To Make A Long Story Short She's Gone
I see nothing to be gained by explanations No need to try to say who's right or who was wrong No need to enter into lengthy dissertations To make a long story short she's gone I won't attempt to explain the things that happened To put in words why she's not here would take too long And it's all too far beyond the realm of understanding To make a long story short she's gone The way you look at me you don't believe she loved me But she once loved me with a love so sweet and strong I won't try to give the reasons why I miss her so To make a long story short she's gone To make a long story short she's gone"
Thank you, Willie Nelson for writing and performing this song. Thank you, Jake for the invitation to play in your invitational. Thank you reader for putting up with this man's writing efforts.
She stood waiting patiently for the hotel clerk to finish coding her room key card. Actually it was a key card for her husbands room, but he was unaware she was at the hotel... yet. Flying all morning, having to rent a car and then driving directly to the client's office to spend four hours troubleshooting their system had taken it out of Danielle.
Tired as she was, she knew she had some work still ahead of her before she could take a long awaited shower. She thought back to last week and the conversation she'd had with her husband of four years.
"Bored" He'd said. "I'm bored with our so-called sex life. There's no spontaneity any more. We've become our parents and we haven't even been married that long."
"What would you want to do to fix that honey? What is it you're asking me?"
"Well, I'd like to have us doing different things once in a while. Just getting in bed and me getting on top, pumping for a bit and then finishing... just ain't cutting it anymore."
His look was one of distraction, which bothered Danielle more than she could say. He could barely pay attention to her during this important discussion? If it was so damned important, why couldn't Robert look her in the eye and pay attention to her? He thought she was the problem? Really?
"What do you suggest then Robert? Trying different ways? Different rooms? What?"
She tried... wanting to somehow show Robert that she was willing to try to fire up their sex life too. She'd also felt like they were in a rut, so she was open to suggestions.
"I don't know Danielle. If you have to ask, then we have larger problems than either of us thought."
She shook her head negatively as she remembered, unaware of the outward motion. She remembered his statement and knew that the problem was not hers alone.
'No... I'm not going there again. It's much too late for that now.' She thought.
Her eyes fell on the clerk who was giving her a strange look.
"What?" She hoped she didn't look as confused as she felt. She'd missed something he'd said she supposed.
"Here's your key card Ma'am. He's on the sixteenth floor, room 1618. Enjoy your stay. Would you like someone to carry your suitcase for you?"
"No... I'm fine... really. Thank you."
As the doors closed, she leaned tiredly against the elevator wall while she quickly and smoothly traveled up to her floor.
'I'm amazed that things have ended up as they have. It will be interesting to see what Robert says when I talk to him though.'
Her thoughts jumped around and landed on her husband. She wasn't angry any more. Actually, she was too jet-lagged and tired to even try to think straight.
As she approached the room she saw something sticking half under the door. She used the key card and opened the door, bending down as it swung open, she picked up the card, one of the 'do not disturb' signs. She hung it on the outside door handle, thinking that her husband had placed it on the outer doorknob.
Since her vision picked up where things in the room were, she didn't bother with the front light. She stopped at the desk near the TV center, she glanced at the over crowded desk.
"Damn, this looks like an advertising mans' dream world." Her voice cut through the silence in the room.
She noted some things piled near the ashtray, she picked them up as she absently walked towards the clear table in the corner of the room. Longingly she looked at the bed before sighing.
"If I don't get ready now I'll be too busy later to get it done right." Again, her voice was loud in the silent room.
Her suitcase behind her, its handle extended upright, had a slight desire to fall over due to the weight of the clothes it held within, so she moved it closer to the bed letting it lean onto the inviting mattress.
She set her briefcase on the table top moving the lone ashtray to one side. Several books of matches and some business cards were nearby and she picked them up reading with undisguised curiosity.
Her briefcase opened with one hand as she tossed the match books into the case as she removed a couple of things at the same time. On the desk she placed the manila envelope, face up. She moved over looking closely until her eyes fixed on one small object. She picked it up and rolled it around her fingers lost in thought feeling its weight.
She moved back over to the table and sat in the high-backed comfortable looking chair that begged her to get off her feet. She took another item out of her briefcase and as she leaned back she closed her eyes.
'Only for a moment.' She thought. 'I just need to rest my eyes for a moment.'
Later she became aware of voices in the hallway, just outside her room door. She set up, ready for anything but not sure what was going to happen now. Her hands busy in her lap working buttons furiously.
The door opened suddenly and two bodies moved in. A man and a woman were silhouetted in the hall light, embracing each other as they maneuvered awkwardly in. The woman's hand shot out clicking the front light switch and light flooded a large portion of the room. The corner where Danielle sat was still in semi-darkness.
Danielle could hear the moans, the kissing noises, and the heavy breathing coupled with soft laughter. The laughter was one of desire... anticipation.
A third body came up behind the woman and hugged her from behind as the man in front reached up untying the one strand of cloth that held her slinky silk dress from falling. Pulling the string, it came untied, allowing the dress to puddle at her feet. She was naked underneath save for the garter belt and stockings she wore.
The man behind her was nuzzling her neck, kissing and sucking her apparent soft skin while his hands came up from her sides, cupping her breasts and his fingers pinched her nipples.
The man in front still had his lips pressed against hers, and one of his hands drifted between her legs and cupped her bare and obviously wet pussy. She moaned through his lips, desire sounding like a deep throated growl.
Danielle was silent, sitting in the chair in the dark corner. Looking in her lap she picked up her cell phone. She hit a speed dial number and suddenly the cell phone on the desk next to the ashtray began to obnoxiously chirp.
The man in front of the other woman broke free and turned to glare at the desk, until he saw what was making the irritating noise.
"Damn... it's my phone. Hang on a second. It might be important...Oh wait a second... it's my wife... Mrs. Spontaneous."
The woman snickered and the man behind her, still holding her breasts and nipples with lustful passion laughed out loud.
"Shhhh! I have to answer this."
Danielle closed her phone, cutting off the call before the man could pick up his phone. She then placed the camera that was in her other hand into the briefcase. The man shrugged as his phone quit ringing, but then his eyes were attracted to something nearby.
"What the..." His confusion was apparent.
"Hey, are these your rings Amanda?"
Amanda, standing now with the other man slipping his fingers in and out of her pussy glanced over at the desk.
"Nope. I have mine on. You all know I'm married so why would I take them off? What's that they're lying on?"
The man's attention was drawn to where Amanda pointed.
Picking up the brown envelope he opened it up pulling the papers it contained out into the light. Meanwhile Danielle leaned over and picked up the small recorder, putting it in her pocket. Standing she closed her brief case after placing her camera back inside.
The clicking of the briefcase being latched caused two of the three people to look into the dark corner. It was noticeable that they couldn't quite make out the woman at all. They heard the noises but couldn't see what or who made them. Danielle was just a shadow that moved.
Grabbing the handle of her suitcase Danielle moved over into the light, next to the desk. The man standing there was frozen with his back to her, as if he'd been physically hit with some kind of paralyzing force.
"Hello Robert. I see that you've finally got back to your room. What, were you not expecting me? Am I the last thing on earth you ever expected to see here... now?"
Reaching past him, she picked up her rings and then she set her briefcase down on top of her suitcase that she'd spun to lean against her leg for the moment. Taking his left hand in hers, she pulled it up so his palm was face up. Placing her rings and his ring that had been in the ashtray with the business cards, in the palm of his hand she pressed his fingers around them.
Leaning in close she whispered in his ear...
"Is this spontaneous enough for you Robert?"
With that she grabbed her briefcase and suitcase and walked out of the room, boldly pushing past the other man and the naked woman. As she came between them she suddenly laughed.
"Isn't Robert a winner? Didn't I pick a real winner for a husband?" Looking with an intenseness that could be felt, she focused on their left hands. Coldly looking into their eyes she continued. "Looks like your spouses picked some real winners too. Imagine that."
With that, she was out of the room and gone, leaving the door wide open in her wake.
The stunned silence in the room was finally broken by a lone voice crying out.
"Wait... please Danielle, I can explain. It isn't really what it looked like. PLEASE!"
He came into the hall in a panic only to see the elevator doors closing. Racing to them he punched the button several times as the light above indicated the elevator dropping to the ground floor. Sinking down he began to cry deep shuddering sobs, folded on his knees, lost and alone.
Two heads appeared out of the open doorway, both with shocked looks. The woman, still naked suddenly shivered and pulled her arms tightly around herself and she disappeared from view. A few minutes went by and she stepped out of the room, back in her dress, and went up to the man still kneeling by the elevator door.
"Come on Robert. You need to get to your room. You're not going to catch up with her and she seems to already be prepared for this anyway."
He allowed himself to be led by the woman into his room. As the door closed the other man could be seen walking quickly down the hallway, evidently going to his room. It appeared that the party was over for this night at least.
In the lobby the clerk looked up to see the woman coming out of the elevator, and he briefly wondered what was wrong now?
"Is there something I can do for you Ma'am?"
"Yes. Could you call me a cab, I need to go to the airport."
"Oh... you aren't going to be staying after all?"
"No, my business is complete now. Thank you."
"Was your husband surprised?"
"Very. He's said in the past that I'm not very spontaneous, but I think I surprised him tonight. Very much so, thank you for your help."
In the room Amanda had gotten Robert to the bed and set him down. She was now looking at the papers on top of the desk. 'Divorce action' was the title on the first page. It looked very formal and legal. The pictures underneath it told a far more serious story. A sharp chill ran down her spine when she saw herself in those photographs, along with four other men and Robert and Mary Beth. They were also named on the paper work as well.
With a stab of fear she realized that she was in dire trouble too. Matter of fact, they were all in trouble now. Sitting down next to the man she began to cry along with him. Her eyes caught on the rings on her left hand. It didn't look like such a great night now after all.
One year later as Robert was walking into his new place of employment he ran into a former co-worker.
"Robert... you doing okay? How's Danielle? I do hope you two worked things out."
Robert looked at him trying to decide how to answer the questions. How was he? Not good. He missed his ex-wife more than he could explain, even to himself. He'd messed up and having done so even he knew that he wouldn't have taken him back either.
He still remembered that night in the hotel... his surprise at finding the divorce papers and then Danielle in his room. Amanda and them all but doing it in front of her. The way Danielle had mentioned his thoughts about her spontaneity and his wishing he'd never done what he'd done. It hurt. Lord how it hurt.
How was Danielle? He didn't know... hadn't seen her in months. He'd heard that she was dating some guy that worked in the Information Systems division at another company. Word was that she was holding all others at a distance, not wanting to get too involved. She'd changed. He'd changed her... in a very real and negative way.
Did they work things out? Sort of. They'd gotten divorced, he was paying Danielle alimony, he'd given up the home they'd had and Danielle had sold it almost immediately. He was alone, lonely, and felt so out of sync with life that he had started to see a counselor about his issues. Things had worked out... not like he wanted them to, but they had worked out.
"I'm okay. Danielle is... well to make a long story short... she's gone."
The former co-worker gave Robert a sad look and then made excuses. Robert was used to that now. All his old friends, co-workers, and acquaintances all pretty much acted the same way with him when they asked their questions and he answered.
For a long time he'd tried to answer as fully as he could... he supposed trying to find someone who could understand his feelings. Eventually he found that those sad, lonely, and short words worked best for all concerned. "To make a long story short, she's gone"