"Think'st thou I'd make a life of jealousy,
To follow still the changes of the moon
With fresh suspicions? No! To be once in doubt
Is to be resolved."
—Shakespeare Othello, III,iii,177 (Othello is determined not to live in jealous doubt but to resolve the situation.)
This is a (possible) closure for the Story "New Year's Eve". Chapters 1 & 2 of this story were written in early 2003 by mischevious. Kanga40 wrote chapter 3 shortly thereafter. This story has been dormant for 2½ years. There have been numerous calls for the original authors to complete the story. In the last few of weeks I have had a couple readers ask me if I would complete the story, so… I'll put my next story on hold for a couple more days.
I have been unable to contact mischevious, but Kanga40 graciously gave her go ahead to try my hand. I still hope to see a chapter four from her. In any case, I'm sure that this is not how either of them envisioned the story to end!
Please read the first three chapters for background. It really won't mean anything if you don't. I'm doing virtually no summarizing from previous chapters! If the first two chapters aren't your cup of tea, at least read Chapter 3 by Kanga40, I believe it contains enough background for this ending to make sense, and isn't too long.
This story is complete in this submission (after two and a half years you don't think I'm going to drag it on, do you?)
THE DAY AFTER YESTERDAY
After getting Marie to bed I looked at the clock: 12:03. Jesus, it was a new day in a new damn year. I needed to sleep but my eyes kept popping open. Finally I went downstairs.
I looked under the bar to see if I still had the bottle of Celtic Heartlands Macallan. Yep! At least the New Year was starting right, even if the old one had ended kind of crappy.
This was a 34-year-old scotch my dad had given me on our tenth wedding anniversary. Right now it looked like the scotch loved me more than Marie did. I'd opened it, just to taste, and put it aside for a special occasion. Now sure as hell seemed like a good time to drink it, although there wasn't anything special about this occasion. The smell was buttered mints and nice tropical fruits. The taste was layers of pure malt with great depth! Great stuff for a shitty night!
I turned all the lights out and turned on the gas fireplace. Staring into the shimmering flames was almost hypnotic. I felt like one of Clint Eastwood's early movies: the scotch unfortunately was the good, Marie was the bad, and my memories of last night were the ugly.
I thought I was going to throw up at the image of David's not quite erect cock at the entrance to Marie's vagina. If he had had a full erection, I realized, it would have already happened.
I knew some of the blame was mine; I could have stopped it several times. But it was David that led her to the bedroom! It was Marie that got really pissed and told me to go home; she was going to stay with David! If I had not kicked in the door our marriage would be over.
I drank about a third of the scotch and fell asleep on the sofa.
Marie came down a little after noon. I stepped over and said good morning; she walked by without looking at me, went to the kitchen and fixed some coffee. I went into the den for a while, thinking, and went back into the kitchen and poured some coffee for myself.
I sat down across from her, and quietly said, "Marie, we need to talk."
She sat there, staring at her coffee.
"Marie, please look at me!"
I stared at her for a minute. I started getting really pissed.
"Marie, God Damn it! Look at me!" I said as I threw my coffee cup at the wall, smashing it to pieces.
She finally looked up at me, her face blank, and walked upstairs with her coffee. I sat looking at the coffee dribbling down the wall. Patterns… like the roadways of life… I shook my head and stood up. I went down to the basement, half-heartedly trying to work on several projects lying around. Finally I gave up, and went to the den to watch the bowl games, and finish the scotch.
I never saw Marie again that day. I guess she came down and ate something while I was in the basement. Thank God the kids were at my mom's place.
I slept on the sofa again that night, this time on purpose. My emotions were raw. I didn't want Marie to leave. I couldn't believe she was reacting this strongly.
I was awake for hours, going over everything, trying to figure out what was happening. Finally, around three, I fell asleep.
I woke up the next morning and looked at my watch. Damn! It was already after eight! I sat there for a bit trying to think, and then I realized that David wasn't coming over! It came to me that I was holding my breath. I let out a long sigh, and smiled for the first time since Friday night. I fixed some coffee and started up the stairs, hoping we could put this behind us now.
When I got to the landing the bedroom door opened, so I paused. Marie came out, suitcase in hand. Mesmerized, I watched her walk down the stairs towards me. I opened my arms a bit to hold her and make things right, but… she walked right past me and to the garage. I stood there stunned a bit and ran to the garage. She was driving away as the garage door slowly creaked down. Shit! She was driving to my brothers; she had made her decision.
THE FIRST DAY OF FOREVER
I sat in the den, alone with my thoughts. The "good" was gone; I'd finished the scotch last night. The "bad" had just deserted me, leaving me for I don't know what with my brother David. All I had left was the "ugly", and I damn sure had a lot of that. And a bottle of Maker's Mark I found.
I thought back to New Year's Eve - I threw up on the carpet, the sofa and myself. I cried. I took a shower, changed clothes and opened a bottle of cheap gin. Marie was gone, the good scotch was gone… Shit! Even the Maker's Mark was gone. I was drinking cheap gin and realizing that might be a paradigm for the rest of my life. Marie was gone! Fuck my brother. Fuck me!
Was I jealous of my brother? Images from the video flashed in my mind. No! I didn't have a brother! Marie? Fuck! More cheap gin…
I thought about it for a long while and decided I wasn't going to be a victim! First, I called a storage place I had used when we brought our current house. Next I called to the local UHaul and reserved a truck. I went down, picked it up and got tons of boxes. Christ! The boxes cost more than the booze!
I went back home, packed everything up, everything I felt I wanted to keep. It wasn't much. I drove to the storage place and unloaded. After taking the truck back I went to the bank. Opening up new, separate accounts – splitting everything 50/50, I told the VP that was taking care of me to call her cell phone to have her sign the new cards for checking and savings. I figured I'd earned about 60% of the money we had, but I just wanted to get gone from her! I kept out about twenty grand in traveler's checks. Do you know how many goddamn times you have to sign your name for that many traveler's checks? Shit!
I stopped by my lawyer's office and signed a power of attorney to sell the house or any other damn thing Marie wanted to do, including divorce. I just didn't want to deal with it! I told him my basic plans, and how to reach me in an emergency, but to tell Marie that I would talk to her in a few months so we could settle things.
"Donald, could you keep your eyes on the kids? I know this is a big favor to ask, but could you do this for me as a friend. The twins, Paul and Andy, and my little girl, Cassie, are at my mom's. I'm sure Marie will be picking them up, but if there is any problem at all, get hold of me at the emergency numbers I'll fax you from time to time.
Then I went by the office and talked to my boss. We had a pretty good relationship. I had worked for him for many years. He was the Vice President of Marketing and I was a product manager. I told him some of what had happened and asked for some unpaid time off. He was okay with it, we had finished several new product introductions recently, and things were a little slow right now. I had a couple of "early days" projects that the new girl I had been training could take care of for a few months. Bob asked me to call him if there was anything he could do to help.
I went to an on-line travel site I had used a lot over the years and booked a thirty-day cruise to the Mediterranean. It was tough because of the holiday season. I had to take a suite. What the hell! I went to the airport a couple hours later and flew to Ft. Lauderdale. Boarding the cruise ship I felt like a huge weight had been lifted.
I got to the ship early and spent a couple hours getting familiar with the ship – somehow Marie and I had never done this before. I made it a point of "baptizing" each bar I found. Damn! There were seven of them. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I did it again!
Later, I remembered to go to the right dining room for dinner. Jeez! I bet you thought I'd forget to eat!
I wound up at a table for eight, a stockbroker couple, a banking couple (well, maybe retired banking couple – God! I hoped!), the Purser, a retired schoolteacher, and… this redhead! I didn't mean it to be demeaning that I saw her only as a redhead, but, hell, that was her defining feature. Did you ever see Maureen O'Hara in "The Angry Man?" Well, that was Muirinn. I learned later that Muirinn meant "of the long hair."
That was she. Red hair? You had to see it! Long, to her waist long, thick, rich, red! Freckles like they were going out of style. Were there more? And where? My inquiring mind wanted to know!
She sat next to me. I fidgeted. With my hands under the table I took my ring off… why hadn't I done that before?
"Hello I'm Muirinn," as she put her hand out. She pronounced it. I couldn't.
Staring at her, I finally stuttered, "I'm Chance."
Dinner was enchantingly good! I had a filet mignon in a béarnaise sauce and some really great Burgundy! It was so nice to just sign my name and wonderful things happened. Dessert was just; well, as it melted in my mouth I kept looking at Muirinn, thinking incredibly sweet thoughts!
Later, I ran into Muirinn in the Casino. She turned out to be my good luck charm. First, I was screwing around with the slots, just out of idleness. $3,000! Three grand! Three thousand dollars! Love those slots!
Muirinn wanted to try roulette. I gave her a couple of the black chips - $200. She put them on red and hit. And again! She was ecstatic, laughing at herself, at me.
We went over to try craps… $7.000!
Big time! Texas Holdem, $22,000!
By the end of the trip I was up more than a hundred grand!
But the trip wasn't over.
Muirinn and I went dancing later – she made me a much better dancer than I was. I had a lot of fun and we wound up on the poop deck, smoking (I hadn't smoked for more than ten years). She told me her story.
"I'm from County Meath, outside of Dublin. I'm in the middle of five girls. It was hard growing up, no money, nothing. I was smart and got a scholarship to Farnborough College of Technology in Aldershot. That's south of Farnborough in Hampshire. I met a sergeant in the Coldstream Guards and fell madly in love. I guess it was the uniform and maybe his cockiness! God was he arrogant!"
"He was making pretty good money, around £20,000 a year, so I was able to keep up my studies. After two years he was assigned to the Household Cavalry Regiment in Bosnia. It was supposed to be for six months. After three weeks, three bloody fuckin' weeks, he was killed in a car accident. I knew I could never go home, having married a Brit, and after graduating, I got a job with Chase Manhattan in New York.
"It was okay, but after Ashley, my heart just wasn't in it. My heart had no room for men. That was five years ago!"
"Muirinn," I began, but she started laughing at my mispronunciation.
"Well, Red then" as she smiled, "Has there been anyone else?"
"No, I just lost interest, I guess you had to know Ashley. He, well, he overwhelmed me! No one could ever do that again, and I don't even want to try!"
"But, you just can't shut yourself off!"
"I know, damn it, I know! I'm here because I know I need to be, well shit, I need to be fucked!" she answered as she blushed furiously.
She was quiet for a moment, and continued, "Chance, I need you!"
Thinking of Marie, I answered, "Yeah, Red, I need you too!"
We went to her cabin, holding hands. She disappeared into the tiny rest room and came out about ten minutes later in a diaphanous pink gown. It was thin enough to see the freckles continued on to her breasts.
"Chance, I don't want any entanglements! I know I'm screwed up from Ashley, but please, just be with me until we get to Naples. Don't ask me any questions; don't make any promises. Hold me! Love me!"
I sat next to her on the bed and just did that, I held her. She was crying, shaking a little. I was patient. She buried her face in my neck.
Later she turned her face up and kissed me, gently, and again.
She looked sleepy, looking at me with smoky green eyes, almost closed.
"Love me, Chance, love me!"
I pulled her gown off; she was absolutely gorgeous! Her breasts were small, with no sag at all. The nipples were large, the shade of pink sometimes found in a sunset over the ocean just as the sun dips in the sea. Her body was tight, she clearly worked out (I found out later she was a dedicated runner – she had run in three New York marathons). Her bush was as red as her hair and trimmed into a neat triangle.
I kissed her, and felt her response. I slid down to her breasts, kissing her soft skin as I went. Holding one breast at a time I loved it! I made love to it. So soft. My hand framed her right breast, pushed it up as I slowly licked around the areola, slowly, flicking the nipple occasionally with my tongue. Taking turns with her breasts I made love to them, until I felt her body shudder with release. She started crying again and I started to rise, alarmed.
"No! No, it's okay. It's been so long!" she whispered as she moved my head lower on her body.
It was strange! I wasn't thinking of my self, sure I had a serious erection, but I just wanted to please her, to give her the relief she needed. I used my tongue; I used my fingers. Her orgasms were almost scary. She was crying, she was shouting – not my name! When I mounted her it was all but over. Tears were sliding down her cheeks, but it was clearly over for her. I was ashamed, but I didn't stop, I had problems of my own and needed release too!
Afterwards, we both fell asleep. In the dawning we made love again, no tears this time, but sweetly, gently, for a long time…
It was a great cruise! Muirinn loosened up and we had a lot of fun. She never said anything of love. If she had, I probably would have too. I certainly loved her in some fashion, and had even wondered if she would like my kids. I know she would fall in love with Cassie.
We made a number of stops in the Eastern Caribbean, small islands becoming a no name blur. Eventually we headed east, into the long stretch of open, empty Atlantic. We finally arrived in Funchal, Madeira and had, I think, the best meal of the trip. We went down to the waterfront to a restaurant that had small boats sitting in the water, with wooden walkways leading to them. We had this really ugly fish, vicious teeth and all. It was called the Scabbard fish, but locally it was the Espada Preta. Local fishermen caught these fish with long lines, between a half-mile and a mile deep! It was grilled with a half banana on the top and served with some nicely chilled Vinho Verde (green wine). It was a totally gorgeous day, and I felt myself being drawn more and more to Muirinn. I don't know how much of it was because of her and how much of it was my anger towards Marie.
We made several more stops, finally arriving at Naples. We docked around five in the afternoon, and would debark at eight the next morning. I had plans to spend a few weeks in Italy, and then Spain, but I had no set itinerary.
We had a nice meal onboard for the last night; the restaurant went all out. We went to the lounge afterwards, mostly sitting quietly, dancing once in a while. About ten, Muirinn took my hand and led me down to her cabin.
Putting her finger on my lips, she slowly undressed and lay on the bed. Taking my hand she pulled me down. It was slow, it was… endearing! It was as if she was a whirlpool and I was being pulled into it! It was like nothing else I had ever experienced.
I fell asleep. Around one, Muirinn shook my shoulder.
"Chance, it's time to leave! I still have to pack."
I started to talk to her, to tell her how I felt! Her hand caressed my face, my lips.
"Chance, I love you… but I don't. I know this doesn't help you, but Ashley will always be my love. Maybe that's morbid to you; but it's not to me. I will always remember you, how you made me alive again, if only for a few days."
"Please don't look for me in the morning. I want to keep you in my heart as you are!"
I took her in my arms, both of us gently crying!
The next morning I slept late on purpose, until I finally couldn't stand it! I hurriedly dressed and ran to the railing on my balcony. I saw a glimpse of red moving through the crowd on the dock… "Red!" I yelled!
A flash of a pale face, a hand waved, wavered, and she was gone! Tears in my eyes I went back to the cabin and packed.
The rest of the trip was strange. I didn't even look at another woman.
Sure, I thought about trying to find Muirinn. But I knew she was gone. It was over, never more to be; never meant to be.
I couldn't stop myself… I started remembering Marie. Those hazel eyes started to haunt me. I remember how sexy she was when she dressed up. I remembered her pert breasts. I remembered… my brother's prick, ready to fuck her as soon as it got hard! Shit! What was I feeling? Well, I was pissed, angry, mad, and yeah, jealous! Ain't this a fucking riot? I'm jealous of my brother who was probably fucking my wife while I was sitting here drinking! Yeah, I got drunk a few times. More than a few! Jealous! Shit!
I didn't much feel like sightseeing so I walked around a lot, but mostly I enjoyed the restaurants. One in Madrid, near the Plaza Mayor was incredible! Called Restaurante Botín, it was even in the Guinness Book of records as the oldest continuously operated restaurant in the world, since 1725. It was really a series of connected caves below ground and several buildings connected together above ground. It was really weird; floors didn't meet between buildings, little alcoves all over the place, but the food!
I usually had a pitcher of Sangria and either the cochinillo asado or the cordero asado, the suckling pig or the roast lamb. This was like nothing I had ever had in the states. (Later, I found out they also had a place in Coral Gables. Was it worth moving down there? Hmmmm!)
But, I was lonely. Visions of both Marie and Muirinn juxtaposed; images of one, then the other, or both. Some nights I thought maybe I was a little crazy. Other nights there were no doubts. I became a loner, drinking a lot, not talking to anyone.
I eventually, after three months, realized that I didn't know what I was doing, or why. I think I really was a little schizoid! It was time to go home. I was missing the kids something fierce; the boys sure, but my little Cassie was an ache in my heart. Damn! I was more pissed than ever at Marie.
RETURN OF THE VAGABOND
I finally arrived at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix the first of April (was I the biggest fool of all?). I rented a car. When the bus dropped me off I was sweating like a pig, it must have been over a hundred at eleven at night.
I drove to the house in the icy air-conditioning of the rental car… it was dark with a "sold" sign on the lawn. "Well shit!" I thought.
"Think'st thou I'd make a life of jealousy,