When I read this story, I saw a slightly different direction. The Sisterhood itself, so intrinsic to the story, got short shrift. Slow _n_Gentle graciously allowed me to use his toys. Many thanks to him and I hope he feels he got them back in the same condition in which he loaned them.
This story dovetails into "Revolt of the Nerd' and "The Sisterhood" but it in not necessary to read either one to enjoy this story...I think.
This story was partially inspired by an Anonymous poster in StangStar's "The Love Boat". She commented that too many of these stories had women who were horrid and reflected badly on their gender. She liked the Love Boat because it actually had a female character she could applaud for. Someone who felt remorse of more then losing a meal ticket.
So, Anonymous, this story is for you. I hope you enjoy it.
The story is dedicated to all the conversations I've had with women which I didn't understand until some woman graciously explained it to me.
There is no sex.
The knock on the door startled Rebecca. She'd just gotten back from the gym and her hair was still damp as she walked out of the laundry room where she put her dirty gym things. She had made it a habit every time she came in.
A frown passed her face. Bob was out golfing and wasn't due in for at least another 2 hours. And since it was a weekend, she wasn't expecting any tradesmen or deliveries.
She peeked curiously out one of the beveled medallions in the stained glass side windows of her door. It was a nicely dressed blonde woman in her early forties, attractive with a firmly set jaw. She didn't have a handful of tracts or pamphlets and she was alone. Normally, if it was religious fanatics, they came in pairs. It seemed safe.
She opened the door. "May I help you?"
"Hello. Rebecca Wright? I'm Brenda. How are you?"
"Hi. Do I know you?" she asked puzzled.
"No. I'm the roving editor for the Sigma Omega Delts. I happened to be in town and since you're one of the members, I figured I'd stop in and see if any of your personal information has changed since the last reunion for when I update the book." She reached into her bag and pulled out a small white book with the ΣΩΔ characters printed on raised lettering on the front. Rebecca automatically reached out to shake her hand.
"Where are my manners? I'm Brenda Davi...Brenda Cuthbert." At the look of askance on Rebecca's face, she quickly explained. "I was divorced a few years ago and reverted to my maiden name again. Sometimes I still make that mistake."
"Oh. I'm sorry to hear that. Were you married long?"
A shadow passed over her face. "Just shy of ten years."
"Won't you come in?"
Brenda looked around the nicely appointed living room. "You have a very lovely home. It must have been a lot of hard work to get things just right."
"Oh...you know. It was a bunch of work, but I think it was worth the effort. Luckily, my husband was smart enough to stay out of it. Otherwise it would probably look like some sport's bar."
Brenda gave her a look askance at this. She saw a set of photos on an antique rolltop desk. "Is this Bob your husband?" she asked.
"Oh yes. That was from a bunch of years ago." Her tone indicated that the years hadn't necessarily been kind to her husband.
"Well, none of us are twenty two anymore, are we?" Brenda told the mid thirty housewife.
Rebecca was self aware enough to realize her gaffe. "Oh, you look amazing. You must take good care of yourself."
"I do now. Bob looks like a keeper."
Rebecca blinked. "I guess. Of course I love him to death. Would you like some iced tea? I have some in the back."
"That would be wonderful."
"You'll have to excuse me." she shouted from the kitchen. "I just came back from the gym and I was in the middle of putting some dirty laundry away."
She started to walk out with a pair of filled glasses. She stopped and considered. Then she pulled out a tray, put a napkin on top like a table cloth, set down the glasses, carved up a pair of slices of lime as garnish, and set some cookies on a plate. It was always a good idea to leave a good impression on your fellow sisters.
Brenda was comfortably sitting on a love seat, a small white binder on her lap with glasses perched on her nose and a red fine tipped Sharpie in her hand. "Thank you so much." She took a sip. "This is lovely iced tea. You didn't have to go to all this trouble for me."
"Oh, it's no bother, really. So what year did you graduate? And which college were you in?"
"Mmm!" she said around her tea. "Sorry. I don't belong to your sorority. I just edit for it. I used to belong to a sorority back in the day called the Sisterhood."
A faded memory nagged at Rebecca. "I can't say I recall that. I know it wasn't at my school. Was it a local one?"
"Oh no. It was national. But they shut down operations more then ten years ago."
"Oh. That's too bad. What happened to it?"
"A number of Sisters and I happened."
"That sounds like a story." Becky said.
"No, it sounds like a scandal." Brenda watched Rebecca lean forward on the couch, hooked.
"I was like you. I went to high school. I was pretty so I was popular. I dated a lot, lost my cherry and I went to college." Her eyes got a far away look. "And like most of us, I got a little wild in college. No parents. No rules. No one monitoring my bedtime and money. To make matters worse, I had already decided that I liked sex a lot without any of those guilty feelings most girls carried around."
"How is that worse?" Rebecca asked uncomfortably. She recalled her own days in school. Women liked sex. This wasn't the fifties for God's sakes!
"It wasn't good for me." Brenda quickly amended. "It would have helped put a brake on the things I did later. See, my parents weren't church goers. They were more laissez faire."
"Anyway," she continued, "I went to school and I majored in 'party' for the first few weeks. I had more lovers those first weeks then I had in my 4 years of high school, not that that was a high bar. Except we started to go to a bunch of frat parties." She trailed off.
"Sorry. I started to go to a bunch of frat parties and because I still thought I was still in Small Town USA, I didn't think twice about going alone."
"Yeah. Big Uh Oh. That was when the 'roofie' thing just got started. I hadn't heard about roofies. None of us girls had. And..." she blushed a deep crimson, her eyes falling into her lap.
Rebecca reached out her hand and grasped it. "Oh my God!"
"No...no. It didn't happen. But just barely. I woke up in a strange room naked but I hadn't been...used. There were these two girls I vaguely remembered from the party there looking at me. They gave me what for about being stupid and not being careful. They saw what was happening and got me out of there."
"Then...what were you doing naked?"
"I asked that too. I checked myself thoroughly, but I hadn't had sex that night. She told me that she wanted me to know exactly how stupid I was and how badly things could have gone by me being a stupid bitch."
"Anyway, their names were Beth and Amy and they wanted me to join a Sorority of sorts. It was called the Sisterhood."
"That's wonderful!" Rebecca gushed. "I mean...that's what a sorority should be like. Looking out for you. I guess you joined."
"Yes. They told me all about it. All about networking, having fun as a student, helping one another as a career." Rebecca nodded in understanding. The Sigma Omega Delts had similar goals. "Well, Beth and Amy recruited for the Sisterhood. For the most part, it was prosaic. It picked smart, disciplined, pretty, socially active girls. They helped with school work. They pointed out good and bad teachers. They'd trade secrets about who was and wasn't a good date, provide cover if you needed to break a date, and watch our backs. Anyone Frattie who pissed off the Sisterhood would see their reputation destroyed with all the other Sisters and Sororities. I mean, a guy could be stupid, but their Frat wouldn't cover for him. We could have sex without too much worry and it was tacitly encouraged, though not forced. Later, as we got closer to graduation, we'd have internships arranged, some career help, and some help to look for The One."
"The One?" Rebecca fidgeted.
"Yes. A nice, social guy who seemed to have real potential as an earner. One you clicked with. The guy you were going to marry."
"That doesn't sound so bad."
"No. It wasn't. But the problem was, some girls didn't see it quite that way, including Beth and Amy. They asked Marcie and I, another girl almost raped at the party, to join the Sisterhood, but then they talked us into a modified version of it."
"You see, some of the girls looked at successful husbands who married young, built a career with their wives, and then dumped them as scum. They noticed that mothers didn't get promoted quickly. The glass ceiling was biological. Men had all kinds of biological freedom and used it to advance their careers. Well...they felt that there was no reason for women to be any better then the men. Why be loyal if they were just going to toss us aside after our best years were wasted? Why not fuck to get ahead? Men would if they swung that way. We wanted to use our biological benefits to the max."
"So Marcie and I joined the regular Sisterhood, but we signed up for Beth and Amy's plan."
"What was the plan?"
Brenda sighed in remembrance. "It was simple. Instead of finding a guy who we'd marry for the rest of our life, we'd find a guy likely to be successful but totally socially inept. That way, we'd keep control of the marriage, wouldn't love him and after ten years, when the law mandated a wife get at least half of his assets, we divorce him. Of course, we wouldn't ruin our figures or futures with children, at least not with the first one. No. We were grabbing all the assets we could, fucking our way up the corporate ladder, and then go looking for The One after the starter husband."
With a horrified look, Rebecca whispered "That's awful. You say you were okay with this?" She suddenly backpedaled. Women didn't like confrontation "I mean..."
"No, you're right." Brenda put her hands over her eyes, so she didn't have to look at the other woman. "It was awful. But...we'd all seen old men with young women hanging on their arms. Do you think that was their first relationship? How many men cheat on their wives? Many and many more. Shamelessly. We didn't just do it. We discussed it. A third more men cheated then women. All of us had been cheated on by a boyfriend and there was nothing wrong with us. So why should we be faithful if that was the best we could expect?"
Rebecca was riveted. "What happened?"
"We just went to all the social things with the Sisterhood and had our own little secret social gatherings discussing tactics and which men were good 'players' and which guys were good 'assets'."
"Players were guys you liked to fuck. Not marriage material. Hell, not even boy friend material. But they were certainly toe curling lover material." Her voice got a bit nostalgic as she thought back. "The others were uber nerds whom we'd train, marry and help on their career path. I met mine in Matt."
"Matt Davis?" Rebecca asked, remembering the woman's slip when she introduced herself.
A small wince passed Brenda's face at hearing his name. "Yes. He was a programmer. He was SUCH a dork! It took me forever to get him to work up the courage to ask me out. Hell, I had to demand he do it or dump me. He tried so hard! He sent me notes. He helped me with my homework. He bought me as much as he could with the nothing he had."
"But he wasn't a player?"
"Matt? Hell no!" But there was a hesitation in her voice, one they both noted. "He trained up very nicely," she explained. Her voice took on that familiar tone "I mean, you know how it is. Even the best player in the world doesn't bring you off every time and sometimes you don't even want that. It's enough to be there, to be doing what you're doing. To know that the other person cares enough to shower you with attention."
"You mean to feel loved." Rebecca said.
Brenda grimaced. "Yes."
"So?" Rebecca pressed. "You met Matt and...?"
"And I seduced him. I made him think I was a one woman girl. Meanwhile, I was 'experiencing my freedom as a woman'. I had a string of guys. He was a year ahead of me, so while he was establishing a career, I was...'experimenting'."
"And he never suspected?"
"No. Marcie covered for me a time or two. We were roomies with benefits. He trusted me. He loved me. While I was fucking Zack and others, he was buying a house and decorating it the way I liked."
Rebecca fell silent. She didn't want to say how she felt about this.
"I can see your disapproval in your face. I understand and I agree with you. I went and got a job in the same company with Matt. In fact, all of us did. Marcie, another Secret Sister June, and I all went to this insurance company. We flirted and fucked our way to a few nice promotions. Heck, I even spread to help Matt's career. After all, any raises he got, I'd get more then half of the money when I left him."
Her voice got nostalgic again. "I thought I had it all. A secure future, a doting husband, my bad boys on the side."
"I assume something happened."
"Yes. The plan with our secret side of the Sisterhood was simple. We'd marry some guy, milk him of money, keep control of the finances and after ten years, dump him with a sudden ambush divorce and look for the next guy. I guess I should have had some second thoughts when it was Women Studies majors who came up with this stupid, stupid scheme."
"And I was making all the right moves. I had established a secret account and had been squirreling cash in there from our 401ks, minimizing my bonuses, hiding raises. I'd been able to steal over $200 grand into my little account."
"And Matt never knew?"
"He found out." she said bitterly.
"I don't know! He was a trusting nerd. He should have been so thankful I was putting out, that he should never have questioned anything, right? " She laughed ruefully. "I guess I should have seen it coming. He was blinded to my flaws by lust and beauty. Why shouldn't I be blind to his virtues because of my contempt?"
"One of the things about nerds is that they are smart. My Matt was always smart. He used to find the flaws in tech manuals. And somehow, something made him aware of what I was doing."
"The Sisterhood met every third weekend in August. A nice little meet and greet mixer for a day or two. Our...splinter section met the entire week before that. We'd have our boys over. We'd reconnect with out fellow Sisters in all kinds of ways..." she trailed off.
"LUGs" Rebecca chimed in.
"Oh just something I heard. Lesbians Until Graduation."
"Well, on that week, it was back to college for sure. Marcie and I never trailed off during my marriage."
"It sounds like quite an orgy."
"Oh, it was more then just that. There was regular socializing. We took trips together. We'd talk about how women were actually their most desirable at 32, just when we were anticipating being divorced. About how many men threw over their wives and we weren't going to be victims of the Patriarchy. It was just all so much bullshit, a little adulterous rah rah club to make us believe we weren't doing anything wrong. Weren't we giving these guys the best years of our lives in exchange for a little cash? We were the ones sacrificing by being with these nerds. And yet, every single time...I remember when Beth and Amy and Marie dropped the bomb that they'd finally divorced their men. We all giggled and drank way too much and we fucked a lot of guys in celebration of their freedom, with them leading the pack."
"You were overcompensating," Rebecca offered. Brenda looked at her hands and didn't reply.
"What happened?" the housewife asked, as the silence dragged on.
"My husband happened. I'd just gotten done fucking Zack upstairs in the shower at the hotel during our secret Sisterhood reunion. Eight of us girls and a few guys besides Zack went downstairs to have breakfast. I was eating and my life...just...stopped. I'd met Janet Lawson before. She's one of the most important Sisters in the organization and it turns out Matt's divorce attorney. And there she was. I was fumbling for some explanation as to why we were all there before the big weekend, wondering why she was there. I mean, we normally had a secret Sister make all the reunion arrangements so we could keep our activities private. One of these men called my name and I was served divorce papers. Zack got hit with alienation of affection papers. Every single girl there got a file with photos of their infidelity and a note mentioning they had been sent to their husbands."
"Oh no!" While Becky thought they brought it on themselves, she could just imagine herself in that same situation. "How...how did they take it? I mean, that was what they wanted in the first place, right? It just came a bit sooner."
"I can't tell you. I...wasn't at my best. I wasn't noticing anything. The hits just kept coming. My stupid, clueless husband, the one who loved me unconditionally, just told me I wasn't worth being with anymore. And I realized in that instant, that when he kissed me good bye on that trip to the Reunion, when he spent that final night ringing my chimes like he never had before, that he knew. That he'd outfoxed the fox, he'd outmaniputlated the manipulator, and he out acted the actress. I never had any real respect for him before. He was a nicely trained cock and paycheck and...But now...suddenly what I'd lost all came crashing down on me. It wasn't supposed to be this way." She trailed off, looking at nothing.
"Anyway, I wasn't noticing anything much, since I was trying to process him leaving me. I mean, I was in charge of the relationship. I was girl any guy was lucky to have. I wasn't dumped. It took the cashier three times to tell me that my credit card was declined. I had to ask Marcie to pay for it."
"Marcie was the only one of us who wasn't despondent. The others...looking back, a lot of them were shattered. They were barely ready for the divorces when they were in charge, much less ambushed like this. When we had these little group therapy sessions, we could buoy each other up, rationalizing our actions and saying we really weren't doing anything wrong. We'd trot out all the slights and hurts that our husbands 'abused' us with and pretended to look forward to the day when it all ended. I was nearing the finish line so I was pretty mentally prepared and even I couldn't function for two days."
"My husband and Janet removed the secrecy that allowed us to lie to ourselves. They held a mirror up to all of us and showed us know how selfish, conniving and backstabbing we were. We were worse then the successful men who eventually went out for some trophy wife. At least they generally didn't go into the marriage with a specific plan to defraud their wives, at least not most of them. The whole 'Tom Cruise/ Nicole Kidman' still rubs me a little wrong." she said with a wry self deprecating grin.
"Yes...I was a wreck. All my stuff was in storage, my credit cards were stopped, my ATM account was virtually empty, my husband left me a note in my car that the locks had been changed on our...his house..."
"All the things you planned on doing to him."
This earned her a sharp glance. "Trust me, the irony still isn't lost on me." Brenda said dryly. "It was one of the most emotionally devastating things I've ever felt. I guess adding the fact that he would be fucking around behind my back would be worse." Rebecca winced.