Walk of Shame Ch. 01byStardog Champion©
It was the first time in Jacqueline Montero's 41 and a half years on Earth that she consciously felt like she was sticking her hand in a cookie jar she wasn't supposed to. Her chest itching as if a million tiny gnats were buzzing just inside her sternum, Jacki repeatedly swiveled her head to remind herself the front door was locked and all the curtains were drawn closed.
The electric white glow of the computer monitor providing the only light in her otherwise pitch black den/home office, Jacki's trembling right hand tapped at the mouse, knowing one click would forever change the woman she saw in the mirror.
Her stomach churning as her bare feet worked like two pistons pumping on the carpet, Jacki allowed the evil, mischievous spirit that had slowly usurped control over her soul to press that mouse key and send her plunging over the edge of decency and good taste.
How such a sane, sober and otherwise buttoned-up and conservative woman would find herself biting her lower lip as she anxiously awaited seeing a young man, most likely one who was barely half her age, expose himself over the internet was quite a complicated, yet age old story of misguided frustration and serendipitous chance.
It all started out so innocently a few weeks earlier. Logging on to the internet to look for a new puppy to give some life to her suddenly empty home, Jacki figured a mutt would provide a little more stable companionship than the boyfriend of nine months she just kicked to the curb after finding out he was cheating. Even though the guy, Noel, hadn't officially 'moved in', he'd been staying at Jacki's house 4 or 5 nights a week, and she really didn't comprehend how much stuff he'd brought over until she bit the bullet that day and packed it all up to leave on the front porch.
It wasn't the first time she'd encountered an 'empty nest'. Divorced for going on 7 years, Jacki somehow survived that along with sending her Daughter, Randi, off to college 4 years earlier. Never quite comfortable 'alone', Jacki dated when the opportunity presented itself and had several live-in boyfriends over the years, but clicking on Craigslist that fateful afternoon, she just knew finding a dog, and the loyalty that came with it, might be the way to go. Sadly, what she eventually found online was a much different breed of canine.
Just like most anyone who hadn't spent the previous 10 years being a churpa in the Himalayas, Jacki knew there were some rather outrageous things being solicited on Craigslist, along with thousands of other sites out on the net. Having fended off the mild curiosity on occasion to steal a peek at some of the debaucherous things some of the people in her small Delaware town might be in to, with nothing but time to burn off that lazy late afternoon, Jacki clicked on the personals page before she could really stop herself.
If she'd just stopped after checking out the relatively tame ads posted from the people in her backwoods corner of the world and gone back to looking for a Bichon pup, Jacki Montero would have been fine. Instead, once her toes were dipped in the digital cesspool, she found herself searching out some of the bigger cities in the region like Philadelphia and New York, just to get an idea what was going on in the seedy underbelly of the major metropolitan areas.
Knowing she'd be spending a weekend in DC for Randi's graduation from Georgetown in a couple of weeks, she also couldn't resist seeing how folks were getting their jollies in the Nation's Capital.
The half hour or so Jacki had committed to looking for a lap dog companion had suddenly drifted well into the evening as she hypnotically clicked from one scandalous adult ad to another, amazed that people really were into that sort of stuff.
Often reminding herself that many of those ads were scams and schemes designed to take advantage of desperate people, she also knew a certain percentage of them also had to be real, and that realization basically turned her blood into a Slurpee inside her veins.
On the periphery of her attention span, Jacki knew she could exit out of the site and click on any number of the other web destinations she had bookmarked, but she just couldn't stop herself from clicking on one headline after another, some flowery and creative, other's blunt and Spartan, each with a hint of mystery, begging to be viewed.
Being a quick study, it was easy to determine there were way more men out there in cyberspace looking for a hook-up than there were women. That isn't to say there weren't a plentiful amount of liberated, or wannabe liberated, ladies out there looking to broaden their horizons in some rather unspeakable ways, but every city she clicked on, the male ads outnumbered the female ones at least 2 to 1.
Fancying herself as a butterfly fluttering through a forest of 'whoa', Jacki aloofly assessed what the men online had to offer. Many of the guys were attractive enough and showed off quite nice physiques when they had their shirts off. She came to discover many of the pictures were 'canned' model shots however when the exact same photo started showing up on different profiles, in different towns, to men with vastly different ages.
Not a bit to her surprise, Jacki was also bombarded with a vast array of penises in various states of arousal, but she found it curious most of the guys who bragged about being 'gifted' in that department neglected to have a picture with their cock and their face in the same shot.
Jacki pretty much came to the conclusion that most of the ads were about as real and legitimate as the boobs in many of the female personals. Yet, she couldn't stop herself from surfing through those choppy, but hysterically addictive, waters.
While most of the ads caused Jacki to roll her eyes, a few did pique her interest in a 'staring at a train wreck' sort of way. There were a couple that stuck in her craw as well, mainly the ones where guys who were plainly married were online soliciting action on the side. Considering what Jacki had been through with her Ex, Earl and now most recently with her latest boyfriend, Noel, something buried deep down in the pit of her tortured soul almost wanted to click on one of those ads, let the guy take her out for dinner then give him a hand job in the car afterwards just before doing something very cruel to him.
Smiling ever so slightly as she re-played that demented vision inside her head, Jacki would have probably spent all night filtering through the avalanche of ads if her cell phone didn't snap her back to reality.
Her Daughter, Randi was returning her Mom's call from earlier in the day, and the news she had only worsened Jacki Montero's already fragile state of mind.
She'd originally called to let Randi know she and Noel had broken up and to see if she could just stay at Randi's apartment while she was in DC. She could also save some money canceling the hotel reservations she made with her now estranged boyfriend.
Considering she'd be busy with various parties and all the graduation functions, Randi was more than happy to let her Mom crash at her place, especially since her two roommates were moving out at the end of the semester.
Just as the first strains of a good mood started to gestate inside her mind, Randi dropped a bomb out of the blue. Jacki knew her Ex-husband was coming to the graduation. As much as she detested the sight of Earl Montero, even she couldn't deny he had a right to be there for his only child's special day.
Jacki could tell her Daughter was parsing her words carefully and an uncomfortable seed of dread began to take root in her stomach. Jacki knew her Ex was dating someone, he was always 'dating someone'. She wasn't surprised when Randi told her that her Dad was bringing his current girlfriend along for the visit. What did hit Jacki like a mallet to the base of the spine however was when Randi told her that woman was now her Father's fiancé.
The fact that Earl was going to be there with a significant other didn't really bother Jacki. Even hearing he was getting re-married wasn't that much of a shock. If the unfortunate woman wanted to go down that path, Jacki had a pretty good idea what she was eventually in for.
What really twisted the knife was how the news came right on the heels of breaking up with Noel. Selfish or not, Jacki had pretty much planned on having him there as arm candy to counterbalance her Ex being there with his new Bride-to-be. Contemplating being there alone, Jacki just knew she'd stick out like a solitary, sore thumb during the times they were all forced to be together.
Randi had asked several times during the call if her Mom was OK with everything and Jacki, as she always so adept at, didn't allow her voice to quiver one slightest bit when she told her Daughter everything was fine. Thankfully no one else was home to see Jacki pick up a pen and a stapler from her desk and fling them savagely against the wall the instant she hung up.
Immediately clicking off the options in her head, Jacki realized there weren't that many viable ones. While there were a handful of men she'd dated on some level before getting serious with Noel, each of whom would probably jump at the chance if she called them out of the blue, for varying reasons, none of them really possessed the 'arm candy' qualities she really wanted to show off with her Ex and his fiancé there.
Jacki also met tons of men through her job managing a doctor's office, but between her employer frowning upon fraternizing with the patients and co-workers, and the compressed time frame she had to try and be subtle about it, Jacki decided to scratch that off as an option.
Staring at the computer sitting in front of her, Jacki even entertained the idea of looking to see if there was a male escort in the DC area that she could hire to accompany her. God knows there were plenty of women out there offering those types of services, in a town as big and as social as DC, there had to be men out there that would spend a few hours with a straight woman for the right price. She couldn't even help laughing out loud just a little when she pictured the look on everyone's face if she showed up with a young, Italian, Scandinavian or South American hunk on her arm.
"Just grow up," she finally told herself. "This weekend isn't about you, Jacqueline..it's about your Daughter graduating college. Just show up, smile, show the world how proud you are and move on."
All that made for a great pep talk if Jacki hadn't got into a bottle of wine before bed.
Figuring she's just sip some wine and settle her nerves for the rest of the night, Jacki found herself back on-line updating a dating profile she'd allowed to go dormant months earlier.
"Who knows..maybe I'll meet Prince Charming in the next few days," she groused, remembering real quick why she drifted away from that particular website when four guys e-mailed her in the first 15 minutes she was on, each seemingly more unkempt than the last.
"Is this really the dating pool I have left to choose from?" Jacki cringed to herself, downing the last bit of wine in her glass and quickly re-stocking it as she surveyed the bleak landscape of all the available men in her age range on that site within a 50 mile radius.
"Every damn guy is either bald, buck toothed or bloated..the only good looking ones are under the 'married but looking for a little extra on the side' section...all the good ones are taken!!" she shook her head disgustedly.
"Oh Jacki..there's plenty of nice, hardworking guys out there that would treat you great..you just have to look around," the last vestiges of Jacki's conscience tried to re-assure but it was effectively being drowned out by the increasing blood alcohol count of her self pity.
Again, a ding in her inbox brought a hint of life to Jacki's glazed eyes.
"Great...a 24 year old kid from Jersey. Like I haven't already changed enough diapers in my life..I don't need this," she sighed out loud, swishing the wine around her mouth as she clicked on the new message out of boredom and morbid curiosity.
"U caught my eye," the message read. "Luv older women. Had the pleasure of a few. R U interested in a young stud that can go for hours???"
"Dear God," Jacki nearly put her head in her hands. "This has to be a joke!"
First of all, she'd never really thought of herself as an 'older woman', and being referred to as one didn't sit well. Now here this guy was who's no more than a year or two older than her Daughter brazenly reminding her of that fact.
Taking one last look at the guy's picture before hitting delete, she couldn't help think he looked like a casting reject from that "Jersey Shore" show.
"If I'm gonna be a cougar..hopefully I can find better prey than that and maybe at least find a guy who can spell and talk in complete sentences," Jacki wryly mouthed as she clicked the mouse with the red, manicured nail of her index finger, erasing the indecent and more than likely duplicated come-on he'd probably sent to a hundred women that night in hopes that one might reply.
Before she could barely blink, two new ones popped up in its place.
The first message was from a guy in his late 50's. He lived relatively close, seemed to have his head on straight and certainly looked in shape for his age, but as much as Jacki squirmed at the thought of being a cougar, she wasn't exactly hip either to the perception of having a sugar daddy. At least the guy was well spoken and polite in his note, and Jacki sent him back a quick reply communicating she was flattered, but just not interested.
The second message was a little more difficult for Jacki to process. The first thing she noticed, it was impossible not to, was the guy had attached a picture of his (or someone's) erect penis to the short note that basicly said, "I'd like to introduce you to me and my not so little friend".
The guy's profile didn't have a picture of his face (no shock there), and the gist of it, not surprisingly, was he was just out for a no strings, no frills sexual encounter. Whether it was just Jacki's frustration with everything or the wine taking affect, but for whatever reason, she decided to make an example out of this guy.
"It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to run into a guy who actually owned something like that," Jacki's deprived libido murmured.
Nearly two months since she'd been touched sexually by a hand that wasn't her own, conveniently when Noel began seeing his other woman, Jacki could feel all that stored angst building to the point of critical mass inside her womb as the wine slowly robbed the 41 year old woman of her inhibitions.
Answering the ad, Jacki flirtishly mocked, "Do you have a permit for that thing?"
It didn't take long for the man to zing back his reply," As a matter fact, yep...it has a license to thrill!!"
Jacki nearly burst out laughing at the guy's cheesy bravado but decided to play along a little longer.
From what the man's profile said, he was 32 so at least Jacki didn't feel like she was robbing the cradle the way she did with the first guy who propositioned her. After trading a few more IM's, Jacki got the guy to at least send a picture with his face, and she nearly shuddered and shook like a wet dog when she saw it. If the guy was truly 32, it had been a cruel and hard three decades for the poor guy.
"Everybody lies about themselves on the internet, especially their age," Jacki reminded herself but quickly decided to cease the conversation when the gentleman, not so subtlety, asked if she wanted to 'cyber'.
As bad as her loins were throbbing, she simply couldn't bring herself to discuss anything of a sexual nature with a man who looked that rough, even if that was the package he was carrying between his legs.
Almost to the point of calling it a night, knowing most any guy online at that time of the evening was only out looking for one thing, Jacki swiveled there in her office chair, her fifth glass of wine of the night resting in her right hand as she contemplated her next move.
The same wayward frustration that had kept her online for that long continued to fester and bubble just under the surface, and Jacki knew she wouldn't be able to fall asleep if she didn't vent it, at least a little. Hitting the search function at the site against her better judgment, Jacki proceeded to turn over more stones, these a little further from home.
It didn't take long for a few more snakes to slither out.
"Wow..him again," Jacki mumbled out loud when she saw another guy using the exact same 'model stock' photo for his profile at that site as a few of the guys were back on Craigslist.
"You know you've got your trusty vibe buried there in your dresser drawer...just pull yourself away from this computer and drag yourself to bed...10 minutes with it and you'll be dead to the world, Jacki," she told herself, struggling with the same digital quicksand we all have at one time or another.
Casting a bleary eye towards the nearly empty bottle of wine to her right, deep down Jacki knew she wasn't going anywhere until she'd finished it off. The glass turned to her lip, there was yet another ping in her inbox.
"Geez..this is too fucking much," Jacki leaned forward in her seat and groaned incredulously to her computer screen. "This kid says he's only 19!"
Subconsciously sensing the ice beneath melting away, Jacki debated whether to answer this latest inquiry or simply hit delete. Stealing a peek at the guy's picture and initial few lines of his profile, Jacki decided he at least seemed like he could put a coherent sentence together even though with his fair hair and youthful features, he didn't look a day over 16.
"Just happened across your profile and your picture," his message read. "Figured it couldn't hurt to at least say hi."
"Rather innocuous," Jacki sighed compared to the outrageously forward come-ons she'd dealt with since she'd logged on.
"Are you're Mom and Dad home?" Jacki typed of her snide, well timed, response.
"Actually, Yes," the young man replied, acknowledging the older woman's biting stab at humor before engaging her in conversation. "Just got home from college yesterday. They made my old bedroom into an office so I'm making do setting up a makeshift room up here in the attic loft."
Scanning the rest of his profile as she decided whether or not to continue with the dialogue, Jacki expected he would live somewhere close like Jersey, New York or maybe as far away as Pennsylvania. She was shocked to see he had Des Moines, Iowa listed as his hometown.
"Just saw you live in Iowa...why are you trying to talk to a woman halfway across the country?" Jacki asked, not even adding the part about the ridiculous age difference.
"Not exactly a lot of women around here...I just finished my first year at Penn so I know that part of the East Coast a little..the main reason though is I just saw your picture online and I liked it," he told her.
Silence was all Jacki could manage as the young man's compliment settled in her fizzing head.
"Penn?" Jacki laughed, thinking she ought to tell him she had a Daughter about his age that she could fix him up with but decided to withhold that information for just awhile.
"Iowa to Philadelphia..that's quite a trek," Jacki typed. "I can't believe you would need to be online..I'm guessing you meet plenty of girls?"
"I do...but I always like keeping my options open ..there's a few extenuating circumstances as well..and its just fun to take a look around to see who's out there," he responded.
Jacki understood the implication of 'keeping his options open', but she certainly paused contemplating what he meant by 'extenuating circumstances'.
"I could turn things right around," the young man began. "What's an attractive woman like you doing at a hook-up site like this?"