...And Stay There!byBigK10©
Okay, technically she's not a wife, but it's the best fit I could find. No real sex scenes in this one. I hope you enjoy it.
It's a glorious Saturday afternoon. Here I sit, in my favorite recliner, with a stupid grin on my face and a beer in my hand, watching the St. Louis Cardinals beat the perennial losing Chicago Cubs, six to nothing in the ninth inning. My good friend, Jim is on the couch, but he's not in as good a mood as I am. The reason for that bad mood is our tale for the day.
You could say it started in college, when I met Jenny, but it really goes back to high school when I met Jim. I was a sophomore on the JV basketball squad; I wasn't all that great. I mostly stayed on the team because I enjoyed playing and the team mentality. The coach said he let me stay on the team because I showed the others that you could still enjoy playing the game for what it was, but part of me always believed that no one better tried out.
Jim was a freshman that coach had me take under my wing. Jim showed some promise and since I knew how to play the game (I just wasn't skilled enough to do it well), he had me work one on one with Jim to bring him up to speed with the players at the high school level. I was the youngest child of two and Jim was an only child, so I sort of became his big brother at school, and kept the upper classmen from picking on him...too much. You've got to have a little fun, right?
Soon, we became good friends off the court as well, and were rarely seen apart. It was after spending some time at his house that I learned that his early life had not been easy. His dad ditched his Mom when Jim was three; he didn't even bother to say goodbye. Jim's Mom, Brenda, came home from the grocery store with Jim to find that all of his dad's clothing and possessions were gone—along with half of the furniture (the 'good' half, of course. It wasn't like they had a lot to begin with, either).
When Jim was in junior high, Brenda met a nice guy named Phil, and things got better for both of them. Brenda dated Phil for eighteen months and the three of them got along fine, so they got married. Jim didn't have a problem 'sharing' his Mom with Phil; Phil just eased in to their lives, even spending time with just Jim. It was Phil that encouraged Jim to try out for basketball, and helped him keep his grades up so he could stay on the team. Phil was a class act.
So, Jim was getting his life on track, and even had a 'new Dad,' making his family complete. It was easy for him to let a big brother sneak into the new family dynamic, and I think Brenda and Phil liked it when Jim was with me because they got some alone time. The brother thing worked well because we looked similar; both about six foot four, brown hair, thin, and blue eyed. It also worked well for me, as I now had someone to look up to me; now there's a feeling that makes your day.
On the basketball court, Jim didn't look up to me for very long, because he had real talent. Coach Smith would tell us what he wanted Jim to work on and we would do it, because I had the raw knowledge of the game, just from watching the pro's play and listening to the commentators talk. That was my knack; Coach even called me his unpaid assistant my senior year. Together, we brought Jim along to be the star of the varsity team his junior year. We even made it to the elite eight in the state playoffs that year. Then it was time for me to graduate and start off on my college studies, leaving Jim behind. It was only natural that I studied to be a basketball coach.
My freshman year, I tried to get the basketball coach, Joe Fields, to let me help him in any way I could. He brushed me off with a, "What could a stinking freshmen have to offer?" Of course, that didn't stop me from coming to the games, and watching his style and strategies. Pretty soon, I could guess what adjustments he would make, knowing his players strengths and weaknesses. If the other teams could've gotten hold of my notes, there would have been hell to pay.
I went back to the old high school for a couple of their games, when my college team was on an away game. Jim struggled some for his first couple of games without me. I talked to him at half time and reminded him that Coach Smith was always telling me what to tell him, and work with him on. He just needed to trust Coach like he had trusted me—and relax, because he was playing way too tense. The second half of the game went a lot better; the old Jim was back on track.
Another thing happened my freshman year—Jenny. I met Jenny at a party that my room mate dragged me to, saying, "All work and no play make Ray a studious burnout." In case you didn't guess, my name is Ray. I was standing near a wall, nursing my first beer and looking around for someone vaguely familiar...maybe someone I could talk basketball with. Suddenly, my chest and stomach were wet—and about forty degrees colder than they were only a second ago. I looked down to see a pretty brunette about five foot six with green eyes that just grabbed your attention away from everything else.
"Oh, shit! I'm sooooo sorry! I kinda tripped over something back there, and...I'm sorry."
I was too overcome by those green eyes to utter a word in anger, shock, or any other emotion. I wasn't a 'player' in high school, but I dated pretty regularly, and had two or three steady girl friends each of my last two years. I'm not usually so at a loss for words around the fairer sex, but this time, my brain slipped in to neutral and the engine was revving.
Out of habit, she started brushing the excess beer off my shirt, while I watched, trying to get another glimpse of the green fields of serenity that I saw only a moment ago. She'd had a few beers already, so she wasn't using all of her brain, and just kept brushing my shirt until she noticed a tent forming in my jeans.
Then she looked up at my blank face, inquiring, "Are you okay? Why aren't you saying anything? Are you high or something?"
My brain decided to 'pop the clutch' and slid into second gear with a jump. "I'm fine...wet and cold, but fine. I just got lost in your pretty green eyes for a moment. I don't mean to make it seem like a pick up line, but I've never seen such an exquisite shade of green before, and I just zoned out."
"Well, aren't you the charmer? You're not exactly chopped liver, yourself; just a little on the tall side." Did I mention that she'd had a few? Okay, maybe she was bordering on a few too many, as her speech was a little slurred and she was wobbling a bit on her three inch heels. "Now, I need another beer. Would you help me get another one? I'm having a bit of trouble making my way through the crowd back to the keg."
Normally, I would've thought that it took a big pair of brass ones to ask the person you just spilled your beer on, to reload your weapon of wetness distribution. Normally, I would've told her as much, but those eyes had found a warm spot in my soul. One of her shoes slipped in the wet spot on the floor and she fell over into me. In a flash, my arms were around her, holding her up gently, but showing a controlled strength that supported her well. My decision was made for me.
"I realize that I don't know you, but I think you may be near your limit for the night. Why don't we go sit on the outside porch and discuss it. Then, if you still want one, I'll get it for you."
"Oh, and you're a gentleman, too. A girl could get used to this treatment. Let's go have that talk."
Once we were outside, where the music wasn't quite as loud, we introduced ourselves and talked for a couple hours. We began to hit it off, and agreed for a date the next night. In the beginning weeks, we went slow, working around our schooling and the home basketball games. At first, she was fine with my obsession, but I could tell that it did bother her some. When the season was over, we had more time to spend together and all was well in Ray-n-Jenny-ville.
We had been going out for just over eight months and things were getting serious between us. My last class on Friday afternoon was on the far west side of campus and it was a thirty minute walk, or fifteen minute bus ride, back to my dorm. I was happily surprised to see Jenny's car, a classic 1966 red Mustang, parked along the street just a half block from the door of the building. Her dad spoiled her a bit, but he had the money to do it. I thought that she wanted to get an early start on our date that night, and came to pick me up on that fine, sunny May afternoon.
As I got closer, I had been absent mindedly planning out the remainder of the day; first a trip to my dorm to drop off my books and get ready to go out. Maybe there would be time for some making out before we went to her place, assuming my room mate had left town at noon to go home, as he almost always did on Fridays. I heard a familiar sound that snapped me out of my reverie like a giant rubber band hitting the back of my hand. Jenny was moaning—in a very blissful way—just like she did when she came after a good round of sex. Looking closer at her car, I noticed one of her feet sticking out of the back window at an angle that was quite familiar to me (as she sometimes liked to get a quickie in her backseat), but I was supposed to be the one in there with her!
My anger was growing by the step, as what I believed to be happening was confirmed the closer that I got. 'Surely, it isn't Jenny, maybe she loaned her car to someone else' I thought. The next thing I knew, I was standing beside the car, staring into the backseat, watching some guy push his tool into my blissfully moaning Jenny, over and over and over...
I heard a noise behind me, as the lawn sprinkler came on, watering the newly planted tree and shrubs a few feet away. Without even thinking about it, I grabbed the hose, folded it, and removed the sprinkler. I took the hose over to the car and put my thumb partially over the end of the hose to increase the pressure, and soaked both of them before they knew what was going on.
When the jerk rushed out of the car, his pants fell back to his ankles. I took that opportunity to plant an upper cut to his face when he looked down at his fallen clothing. He went down like a hundred pound sack of potatoes—I know because I used to unload them at the grocery store I worked at through high school. Jenny was pulling her skirt down and buttoning her blouse while getting out of her car in a fit of anger, but couldn't get a good handle on things because I was still spraying her with the hose.
"Who the hell do you think you are? Why did you do that? I demand..."
Part way through her tirade, I took my thumb off of the hose and let her cold, drenched, sorry ass see what was happening.
"I THOUGHT I was your boyfriend, but I see now that I was wrong! I'm just another guy you were...screwing!" Tossing the hose to the ground, I looked into those waterlogged green eyes for what I hoped was the last time. "At least I found out before I did something stupid...like propose to you! You're nothing but a nasty, cheap slut! I know I don't have 'expensive' taste like you do, but I know I deserve better that a cheating whore for a girlfriend!"
By now, there were about ten people gathering around to see what the commotion was about, and more on the way. They didn't see me hit the dick wad, but they heard Jenny yelling and saw the water hose soaking a cute girl. Hey, I'd have come for a closer look, too.
"Ray—it's not what you think. I love you, Ray. He was just..."
"He was just the end of everything we had! What I think is you were fucking cheating on me—if that's not what it is, then just tell me! I've heard all the clichés that cheaters use when they're caught, like 'It didn't mean anything to me!' Well, 'it' meant EVERYTHING to me! If you love me like you say, you sure have a STUPID way of showing it. Let's take a vote," I addressed the gathering crowd. "How many people here think that a couple going steady for eight months should show their love for each other by getting fucked by someone else in the backseat of their car? Anyone? Just raise your hand..."
Jenny looked around for the first time at those watching us, becoming very embarrassed by the fact that she was soaking wet in white shirt, and everyone could see that her front closing bra was hanging by the shoulder straps giving all a good look at her tits. The hand that wasn't holding up her heavy wet skirt went to cover them.
"Jenny," I calmed down a little. "I've never cheated on you—never even considered it. I won't tolerate this, not even once! They say 'once a cheater, always a cheater.' There's a reason they say things like that—they are called 'truisms' because they're usually true! We're done. Don't call...don't come over...just stay the hell away from me. You and dick wad deserve each other. Jenny, do me a favor—do all good men a favor—go to hell and stay there!"
I watched as she glanced over at the stirring form of her illicit lover, dropped to her knees, and cried. I was done, so I walked away towards my bus stop. As I waited for it, I decided that it was a nice enough day to walk, and I could really use the time to clear my head. Jenny never came around to talk to me, and I was mostly grateful for that. I still had a few things to tell her, if she had braved my wrath, and a few questions that were probably better left unanswered. I didn't have any ill feelings towards that spoiled chicken-shit cheating bitch—so I told myself. Okay, so I lied.
My sophomore year got off to a better start; my 'little bro' had taken a basketball scholarship at the only college my folks could afford, good old State U, about forty-five miles from home. I still went to the games and second guessed the coach. Jim and I would discuss my observations after the game, and he thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if the team actually tried some of them.
It was during our fourth home game of the year that I got Jim's attention just before half time. The stupid ISU Redbirds were kicking our butts and then handing them back to us. Coach Fields was trying different things, but nothing seemed to work. I told Jim to tell Coach that our power side forward is a lefty and our other forward is a righty. Even though on paper they match up against their forwards as he has them, their forwards are also a lefty-righty pair. Tell him to switch the forwards and let them match up righty to lefty instead of lefty to lefty. Needless to say, the coach was desperate to try anything that had a prayer of working, so he did it.
The second half of that game was our great awakening; nothing we did went wrong. We ended up wining by fifteen points after being down by twenty at the half. After the game, Coach asked Jim why he didn't tell him about that sooner.
"Coach, it wasn't my idea. It was my buddy, Ray's. He loves basketball and he's studying to be a coach."
"Well, when can I meet him? We can always use a great mind like his on our side." And that is how I got the basketball coach to take me under his wing.
My remaining time at school was relatively uneventful. Jim and I kept an eye on each other so we'd both stay out of trouble, but still had a good time. We both dated, and my senior year, I hooked up with a great gal, Catey, who felt the same about a bunch of important issues in life as I did (especially fidelity), but we took it slow as we had both been through the ringer with bad relationships. None the less, we ended up getting married a few months after I graduated and got a job on State U's basketball coaching staff. What can I say...Coach Fields liked my style and my ideas, which, I must say in all modesty, usually did help.
Taking that job also gave me one more year with Jim, though we couldn't associate as freely as we had been since we were now player and assistant coach. It looked like Jim might have a shot in the pro draft, so his senior year was easily going to be his most important one. During the season, we spent as much time as we could together, working on honing his skills and discussing plays and strategies for the upcoming game. He was at the top of his game that year, and our team looked like it had a good chance to go the "Big Dance," which would get Jim some national exposure.
We were the underdog in the first round of the NCAA tournament, but Jim had a great day and we won by twelve points. However, we got eliminated in the second round that year, but that's the best our school had done in the last fifteen years, so we were all very pleased with ourselves. Coach Fields said that he was "proud to the bone" of each and every one of us, and the part we all played in our success this season. We had a blast at the school's victory celebration.
Jim told himself that even though there was a good chance he'd get picked up in the draft (because that's what the experts told him), he was going to finish up his degree in case it didn't work out. He had decided that he didn't want to play in the European League if the pro's didn't draft him; he liked his family too much to be that far away for that long.
The good news is that Jim was taken, late in the third round by the Chicago Bulls. This was great because we figured him for a fourth or fifth round, and probably by some team half way across the country. The Bull's stadium was only five hours away. The bad news is that mid way through his rookie year, a flagrant foul from one of the Pistons took out Jim's right knee. The Piston player was ejected from the game; sadly, Jim's career was over.
Catey and I had settled into our lives; me at State U and she as a chemist, overseeing the product quality testing lab at the corn and bean processing plant just outside of town. We had saved our extra cash and scrimped to save even more. The result of that frugality is that only eighteen months after graduation, we bought a starter home—a three bedroom ranch. We planed that in five or six years, we would start a family, but for now, we would just enjoy being a couple, getting our careers off to a good start, and our new home furnished and decorated.
We had been in our new home almost two months when we heard about Jim's knee injury. Catey had gotten close to him (how could she not, with me spending so much time coaching him my senior year). It just seemed the natural thing to do to ask him to move in with us for a while, until he could get a new plan for his life in place. Jim wouldn't hear of it as his Mom and Phil insisted that he move in with them, but he did want to stay in touch, so that meant us visiting him regularly for a while. Catey didn't mind as it gave her more time with my folks when we'd go back home for the day.
After Jim completed the rehab from his two surgeries, he could walk without much of a limp. Some folks didn't even notice it, if they didn't know to look for it. He got a job as an insurance agent for one of the bigger, more reputable companies in our hometown. The whole 'local sports celebrity' thing helped him get his foot in a lot of doors, but it was his caring personality and sincere charm that got him the sales. Life was good for all three of us.
During the off season, most weekends we would either go home for a visit with the family and Jim, or Jim would drive over and spend the weekend with us and sleep in our spare bedroom. Last week, Catey asked Jim about his love life, as she had a friend at work that could use a 'fix-up' with a good guy. Jim said that he'd been seeing the same girl for about a month and he had a good feeling about this one.
"I've been thinking it's time to have you guys meet her, so I'll see if she wants to come with me next weekend to stay—if that's okay with you."
"Jim, that's great. We have three bedrooms, so she can have her own room, or if you're both ready, you can share one. It's your call, on that one." I gave him a smile, a wink and a nod. "We're looking forward to meeting the gal that roped in my buddy!" I laughed and lightly punched his shoulder in jest.