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It had been a few weeks since I saw Shannon, our neighbor screwing with the help. Robin had told her what I had done. Although Shannon was mad at me for spying on her, she was grateful that I had intervened before her dad caught her in the act.
Shannon stood taller than Robin by a few inches. Which made Robert like her much more, he loved tall women, especially if they were taller than him. Because of her friendship with Robin, Shannon was always over our house. Our house, when had I started calling this place ours?
Even though my mother in law still lived here, it was such a prominent place that I hardly saw her on most days. Days would go by without me saying anything to her. The kids were doing great, even though Shannon had graduated High School she loved hanging around the senior class.
Thomas was in his usual after school clubs. Robert would be trying out for the football team once it started, and Robin was way above most of her classmates every subject. Things were getting back to normal. Jack spent more time with his grandma than with me, which was good. She took him outside of the house to meet people.
The truth was that our lives were returning to a state of normalcy. I was even calling people by their name at the diner. There was one guy, in particular, his name was Henry, he came in at lunchtime and ordered the same thing. A BLT on wheat with sweet potato fries and a large soda.
The bell rang and brought me out of my daze. “Order up!” Frank yelled at me.
“Got it,” I said as I took the plate to Henry’s table.
“Thanks, Staci,” Henry said as I put the plate down.
“One day you have to try something else,” I said as I looked down at him.
“I will try something new, the same day you let me take you out,” Henry replied as he looked at me through those green eyes.
“What about Natalie down at the hardware store, or Tabitha at the grocery mart, or…” I began to say.
Henry had a reputation around town as being a womanizer. As well as many other names, none of which he either agreed to or denied.
“You say the word, and I will drop everything and everyone,” Henry said, taking off his cap and putting it on the seat next to him.
“I don’t think you could if you tried,” I smiled as I walked away.
It took everything in me to not go out on a date with him and more, he was handsome, and he owned the tractor store by the interstate, although he was a man that I probably couldn’t trust, he was definitely my type: strong arms, bald head, a lovely ginger, and gray beard.
“You should do it,” Gina said as I got back to the front. She was the other waitress. “The things I would do that man.”
“You’re married,” I said, reminding Gina of her husband.
“I know,” Gina nodded. “I am sure I could talk him into letting me have one night of mad passionate sex.”
That was the main thing that stopped me having any relationship with Henry or any other man. What Stan had done to me had not just caused me to change my life, but it had caused severe problems for me mentally. I couldn’t picture myself with another man, without thinking about what Stan had done.
While life for me had changed drastically, the same could be said for Stan, but in a good way. After the initial shock and fall out. He managed to get a publishing company to help him publish a book, which sold like hotcakes. Then there was a porn movie made with one of the biggest stars in porn. Stan had a cameo in the film. There were videos and pictures of what he had done everywhere. He had become a big name in the sex industry, and he planned on starting his own porn production company.
I had read his book online, and all of it made me feel sick and disgusted inside. Stan was proud of what he had done. He even boasted about sleeping with a woman in a hotel close to home then coming home to his wife and talking her (me) into sucking his dick, even though he hadn’t taken a shower or cleaned himself off. It wasn’t the first time he had done that. I read many instances where he had come home after a night with others to have sex with me.
“You okay?” Gina said.
I nodded at her. These trips into memory lane and beyond were becoming more frequent. “Mind if…” I began to say, but Frank and Gina were already nodding their head.
I took off my apron and walked out into the fresh air. I took a deep breath and bent at the knee, looking down at the floor. “You got this,” I said to myself. “Things are turning around; the kids are happy; you just need to find something that makes you happy; that’s all.”
It was a daily speech I gave myself every day sometimes three to four times in a single day. I walked to my car and got in. While everything else was getting put together, I felt like I was in a snow globe that someone always shook before the snow could settle. I couldn’t stop myself from thinking about how gullible I was, how could I not see the signs? The late nights, he didn’t get promoted, no raises — the constant out of town trips. Whenever I said I wasn’t in bahis firmaları the mood, he never put up an argument. There were signs, and I didn’t read them.
Now he was living the porn dream, fucking porn stars and making more money than he had when we were together. I didn’t do anything but set him on the golden path. So here I was sitting in my car with a blue and white checkered uniform outside a small-town diner.
Henry waved at me as he got into his expensive sports car. “Fuck it,” I said as I got out of my SUV that Teresa had bought. I walked over to the driver’s side of his car and tapped on the window.
“You okay?” Henry asked. “Seemed a little out of it today.”
“When?” I asked.
“When, what?” Henry asked.
“The date,” I replied. “When do you want to go?”
“You’re serious?” Henry asked.
“Is that a yes or a no?” I said, standing up.
“Yes, of course,” Henry said. “Friday?”
“Friday,” I said as I started to walk away.
“How do I reach you?” Henry asked.
“You know where I work,” I replied without turning around.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Teresa was disappointed in me, to say the least for the past three days she pointed out every flaw Henry had from his womanizing to his previous three marriages. I knew she was looking out for me, and I told her that I had no intention of seriously dating him or even sleeping with him. I just wanted to get out and have some fun.
I was bored with my job, bored with staying home all the time, while the kids went out with friends. Teresa went out with her friends most of the time, it was to talk about other people, but she went out. I was always home, and when I was home, I was looking up what Stan was doing all of it made me feel worse and broken inside.
Friday eventually came, and I wanted to make sure the message was clear. I had on a plain white shirt and jeans, nothing fancy. No revealing neckline to show any cleavage, even though I had to watch how I bent over the shirt was prone to fall forward, but even then I was wearing one of my ugly sports bra’s that I used to do any of the yard work. I wanted Henry to know this was just two friends going out.
The doorbell rang, and Teresa rushed to get it. I heard her open the door.
“Henry,” she said as Henry walked in.
“Teresa,” Henry said with a smile.
“Lose the smile,” Teresa said in her usual gruff voice. “Let’s get something clear,” there was the voice I had been expecting the real Teresa voice, she could make a grown man quake in his boots when she had that threatening tone. “That’s my daughter, she might not be married to my son anymore, but she will always be my daughter, are we clear?”
“Yes, Ma’am,” Henry said as he shuffled his feet. I had a good view of the scene from my place on the stairs. I could also see Robin and Robert peeking their heads around a wall.
“She is going to return the same way she left, with a smile on her face,” Teresa said as she got closer to the man that towered over her frail body. “I see a tear or a smudge on her makeup. I will come for you and remember I play poker with Freddy. You do know who Freddy is right?”
“Yes, Ma’am,” Henry said as he backed away from her.
Freddy was the owner of the funeral home. There were rumors that he had done some mysterious and devious things in his past as he always had a devilish smile on his face.
“Glad we could have this talk,” Teresa backed away with a smile. “Staci! Your date is here.”
I quickly ran to my room then turned around. “Coming,” I replied.
Henry was dressed in a dark black shirt with blue jeans with brown boots. I am glad he was getting the message that this was not a date.
“Ready?” Henry asked as I came down the stairs.
“Yeah,” I nodded as I went straight for the door. “Don’t wait up,” I said, looking at Teresa.
“Oh, I will,” Teresa said as she stared at Henry. “I have nothing to do tonight or early morning.”
I closed and locked the door. “Don’t mind Teresa, she is…” I was going to say all bark and no bite, but everyone knew that Teresa had a bite that would leave someone crippled if she had the chance.
“A character,” Henry said as he opened the door to his car.
“Can say that again,” I said as I got in.
“I heard you liked to dance, so I know a place, it is quite a drive from here, but they got the best music and a large dance floor,” Henry said as he started the car.
“Anything to get me out of the house for a while,” I said as we pulled away.
The drive wasn’t bad. Henry talked mostly about himself as usual. I told him most of what had happened since most of the county had heard about Stan and me through social media as well as the mouth of the town Helen Vergan. Henry faked his apology like most men that listened to my story, somewhere in his mind he was wondering how Stan had pulled the wool over my eyes for so long and maybe he could do the same.
I knew that was my mind working against me, but it felt like kaçak iddaa it, especially when I caught him taking his eyes off the road and looking at my chest. Even with this shirt, massive boobs were hard to hide.
We continued to go further out of town and into the next county and beyond. The roads got windier, and the sky got darker. I looked down at my phone and saw there was no service.
“Oh,” Henry said, “That won’t work out here; it will when we get to the bar though, so you can make a call when you get there.”
I nodded. As I looked outside, there was no way I knew the way back if anything happened. Then I saw a few lights and more cars. It made me feel a little safer that I wasn’t too far from civilization. We turned onto a dirt road then parked in what looked like a field.
“We are here,” Henry said as he got out.
Sure enough, as I looked at my phone, there was a signal again. I got out and looked at the bar across the street. “Jordie’s Place,” I said, looking up at the sign.
“Yup,” Henry said as he walked beside me. “Her name is actually Jordan, but everyone around here calls her Jordie.”
“Sounds like she is another one of your conquests,” I smiled.
“Oh, no Jordan is way out of my league, she would chew me up and spit me out without the blink of an eye,” Henry said.
“Wow, didn’t think I would ever hear that a woman was out of your league,” I said back at him.
“You will see,” Henry said as he held the door for me.
Walking in I was hit with the loud music right away. Everyone was either dancing or sitting in their seat toe-tapping. I looked over at the bar and noticed a giant of a woman standing behind it serving drinks.
“Henry,” an elderly man said as we got close to the tables. “Come back for more I see?”
“Cole, this is Staci, Staci, Cole,” Henry introduced us. I looked at the large dance floor and saw a group of young women dancing to one of my favorite songs. They were dancing in perfect rhythm and harmony.
“Good, huh?” Cole asked.
“They are awesome,” I said transfixed on every move. “They professionals?”
“Oh, no,” Cole said, shaking his head. “Some local girls hoping to make it big, they have been practicing in the garage of one of their parents, learning moves from online dancers.”
“Well, I am from a large city, and I can tell you they got what it takes,” I said as they made their big finish.
“Jordie’s from the big city as well,” Cole said as he sat at our table. “She is the one in front.”
I hadn’t noticed them as individuals until now. They moved so much and twisted and turned that they all became one big unit. Now that Cole had pointed her out. She was hard not to miss. Long ash blonde hair, a great smile, but what stood out was her massive chest.
“I am going to get us some drinks,” Henry said.
“Okay,” I said, nodding my head.
“Please say you two aren’t…” Cole said as Henry walked away.
“No!” I shook my head furiously before he could finish the sentence.
“Good,” Cole nodded.
“His reputation reaches all the way out here, huh?” I said, looking back at Henry.
“Oh yeah,” Cole smiled. “Another good dance, I think you are outpacing the girls,” Cole said as Jordan came up to the table.
All the girls were breathing slightly heavy, while Jordan seemed perfectly fine. “I don’t know,” Jordan said with a smile as she sat down. “I think they will be kicking me off the squad soon,” she said with a laugh.
“Jordie, this is Staci, she is from a big city also,” Cole said.
“Oh yeah, which one?” Jordan said, leaning forward.
“Chicago,” I replied.
“New York, well I was born here, went there, now I am back,” Jordan smiled.
“Born there, never left, until now,” I smiled back.
“Oh,” Henry said as he got back. He was holding the drinks and standing still staring at Jordan.
“Up here, cowboy,” Jordan said with a smile.
“Oh, I am sorry,” Henry said as he nearly spilled the drinks everywhere.
Jordan rolled her eyes as she looked at me. “Men and cleavage, am I right?”
“Definitely,” I replied, looking at Henry shaking my head.
“I better get changed before there is another incident,” Jordan said as she got out of her chair. Cole followed close behind her.
“You were talking to Jordan,” Henry said, sitting down and staring at Jordan as she walked through the bar and into the back.
“Yes, she is a human being,” I said as I took my drink. I put it back as I tasted it. I was not too fond of the taste of light beer. “I am going to dance,” I said as I looked at him.
“I will…” Henry said as he got up.
“No, you go do whatever it is that you usually do,” I said, holding my hand up.
I felt more like myself with every song. I even had a few dance partners that knew how to dance. I looked over at the bar and saw Henry with two of the young girls from the dance group. I shook my head as another handsome man took my hand.
Jordan nodded kaçak bahis to me, and I told my partner with the roaming hands that I needed to go. “Thank you,” I said as I sat near Jordan at the bar.
“Thought you might need saving,” Jordan smiled. “So, what’s the story between you two?” Jordan asked as she looked over at Henry.
“Nothing,” I shook my head. “I needed a night out, and he was willing to take me, that’s where the line is drawn and where it will stay.”
“Good,” Jordan said. “There are plenty of good guys out there, and he isn’t one of them.”
“Even Mr. Roaming hands over there has a better chance, than he does,” I laughed.
“Oh, Mike, our sheriff?” Jordan smiled as she nodded at the man I had left on the dance floor. “He has a reputation as well, but he has a good heart.”
“I danced with the sheriff?” I asked, looking back at the handsome man. He was dancing with someone else now.
“Yeah, the deputy is my guy,” Jordan said, showing me a picture of the two of them on her phone.
“Wow,” I said, looking at them. “You two look great together.”
“It wasn’t easy. The town almost threw him out,” Jordan said.
“Because he is black?” I asked.
“Yup,” Jordan nodded.
I shook my head. I am sure if I tried to date a black guy Teresa would have my head examined. “My father would jump out of the grave and kill me if I even thought about dating a black guy or any man of color.”
“Really?” Jordan asked.
“Oh yeah, I might have been born in the city, but my mother and father were small-town country,” I said, nodding my head. “They escaped the country because they had me out of wedlock, and they knew my grandfather would have killed them both.”
We both laughed as we talked about our similar lives growing up and what we had in common. Then it happened, I didn’t mean for it to happen, but everything came pouring out. Everything with Stan, how I felt about it, how it made me feel, how broken I felt inside, everything it felt like the flood gates had opened and were not going to close.
“Come on,” Jordan said as she grabbed my hand.
“She okay?” the large lady said as Jordan opened the door to the bar and led me back.
“Make sure Henry doesn’t follow us, please sis?” Jordan said.
“Oh, let him try,” the lady said, looking over at Henry.
We were in the back office, and I slumped down on one of the seats. “Sorry,” I said, shaking my head and wiping the tears from my eyes.
“For what?” Jordan asked as she pulled a chair close to me. “For being human?”
“For being wimpy, doe-eyed, weak…” I began to say.
“Nope,” Jordan interrupted. “No way, you can say all the other things, but you will not say weak, not around me you won’t. From what you told me you stood your ground, you made a decision and went with it.”
I looked at her through my tears.
“How many women stay in those situations? They try to say it is their fault, that they did something wrong to make him act like that, not you. You saw the truth, and you reacted,” Jordan smiled. “Don’t know if I would have gone as far as getting his boss involved, but you got out and got your kids out, especially your daughter, you showed her that she should do the same thing if she runs into the same thing in her life. If you had stayed it would have been worse, so you’re not weak, not at all.”
I nodded. I hadn’t thought about Robin and if she would run into the same situation.
“Now,” Jordan said, sitting back. “The kids are happy. They are moving on. What about you?”
“What about me?” I said, wiping the tears from my eyes.
“You’re not happy,” Jordan said. “I saw it the moment I sat down, Cole saw it, and Mike saw it, so what are you going to do about it?”
“I don’t know,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.
“Bullshit!” Jordan said. “You know what you want to do. You’re to chicken to do it.”
“I don’t want to start dating,” I said, shaking my head.
“Fuck dating, fuck men, for a while, they made good toys, and you got fingers for that, I am talking about you,” Jordan said, leaning forward.
I looked at Jordan in her eyes. I could see why people liked her. There was no backdown, no bullshit. “Your father must be a firecracker,” I said as I smiled.
“Oh, if you ever meet him, you will see he is not a firecracker, he is the whole firework show,” Jordan said. “So, what is it?”
“Teaching,” I said with a deep sigh. There it was, out in the open. I had been fighting to say it for a while.
“Bingo,” Jordan said with a smile.
“But,” I began to say.
“No!” Jordan shook her head. “No, buts, do it, everything else will fall into place. Trust me.”
“Okay,” I said with a smile. “Okay.” There it was, the kick in the ass I needed. “Thank you.”
“No problem, when it’s my turn for the kick, I hope you will be there,” Jordan said, standing up.
“You bet I will,” I said as we walked back out.
“He did it again,” the large woman said, looking over at Henry who was on the floor.
“Shit,” Jordan said.
Mike and a few others were picking him up. “What did we say, guys?” Mike said as he hoisted Henry up.
“It’s so easy,” one of the kids said as they were laughing.
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