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Old 09-05-2017, 05:22 PM   #176
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I took in what Clarissa told me about Deb. She didn't stray much from the stoic and unattached persona she seemed to have donned in front of me. My immediate thought was wondering how she would react if I were to ask Deb for a date - I certainly didn't want to get Deb in trouble, and I felt as though maybe Clarissa might not handle that very well, especially if it meant seeing more of me.

But at the same time, I could not squash all of my feelings for Clarissa, and so I was wondering if perhaps wanting to ask Deb out was disguised as a way to show Clarissa that I really didn't need her if she wanted to continue to push me away.

I said to her, "She does have a great presence with my kids. They are having the time of their lives, in an art gallery of all places. Perhaps you should look at having Deb create a kids program. I think she would be perfect to design and lead it. She seems perfect in many ways."
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:37 PM   #177
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I don't know why I did, and I shouldn't have, but I got angry. Something in what he was saying got to me and I couldn't help myself, couldn't hold my temper. Deb and the kids were at the other end of the gallery, enraptured by the depiction of the tiger that had pride of place. I stopped dead and put my hands on my hips and dug nails into myself almost through my dress and looked at Joe and he stopped, surprised, and my voice was tight and hard and I wished it wasn't.

"I don't want a kids program Joe. This is a gallery, not some sort activity-centre. I don't need more to do, and I don't need you coming in here playing games with me and telling me how amazing my employee is and.... and.... undressing her with your eyes or whatever." I wasn't sure where that last bit came from but being unkind felt too good to stop. "What's your problem, what do you want from me, Joe? What are you doing here?"
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:57 PM   #178
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I wasn't surprised at the outburst - hell, I had practically goaded it out of her by setting her up. I had touched on a nerve, which seemed to be when she was most willing to open up.

Since she was being open, it was time for me to tell her what she didn't want to hear.

"What do I want from you? Is that your question? Because the answer is simple - I want to know how you could go from giving me the most passionate kiss in my life in one minute, to kicking my ass out the door in the next. I want to know what gives you the right to caress my heart, only to yank it out of my chest and throw it to the ground so you can stomp it in front of me.

"I want to know what is it about me that causes you to miss out on the fact that I have feelings for you and want to be your friend. Because I'm completely sure that since I've opened up myself to you right now, you'll turn and run from me one more time, since it's easier for you to run away from your feelings rather than face them."

I tried to settle myself down. I did not want to rail at Clarissa like this, it wasn't my normal style. But the passion I was feeling overwhelmed my ability to stay calm. So after taking a couple of deep breaths, I looked her in the eyes and quietly said, "That's what I want, Clarissa....that's all I've wanted since I've gotten to know you...."
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Old 09-05-2017, 06:08 PM   #179
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I tried to breathe a bit more. I didn't want a conversation, didn't want to talk like adults. I wanted a fight and for him to leave angry, so that I could beat myself up and maybe hate him as well. And maybe have a drink in my office. He wasn't going with my plan.

"I don't know what you're talking about Joe. I never promised you anything, I never intended any of this. If you got the wrong idea then I'm sorry."

He sighed and went to interrupt me but I put my hand out and palm flat and stopped him and said "You're saying all this about my feelings but what do you know about it. We're completely different, in case you haven't noticed. Completely different. Let's be clear about that."
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Old 09-05-2017, 06:24 PM   #180
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Stay calm, Joe - you knew she'd do this, and nothing would be worse for you right now than throwing away all that you have worked so hard for to this point in your life.

I looked at her - I could see the demons racing around behind her eyes, torturing her soul, and it was becoming clear that I didn't have what it took to release her from the prison she had created for herself.

"Yes, we are different....you're rich and I'm just a cop...you don't have to say that again. I know my place, and to think I thought we could get around that.....well, I certainly won't make that mistake again.

"But if you would only stop and look, you'd see we're not that different, because we are both so fucked up in our lives that when you kissed me like you did, I thought we might have a shot at trying to help each other. But obviously you don't really want help. You'd rather live in this shadow of self-pity, which is destroying a beautiful and extremely talented person.

"Okay, Clarissa, that's fine. But please don't ever hurt anyone else as much as you've hurt me. Nobody deserves that - even if you're the richest person in the world, nobody needs to be treated like that."

I didn't wait on her to say anything else - I turned to walk over to a much happier place in the gallery, where Deb and my kids were constantly laughing and having a good time. I needed some of that happiness in my life, and now was not soon enough.
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:17 PM   #181
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Watching him go, I felt as I had as a child, at the beach, alone while my parents sunbathed and my brothers fought in the sand. Standing ankle-deep in water with the tide lapping gently and everything peaceful and serene but wishing that it would rage and wash me away. Sick of myself.

I brushed that off and gave them a last look- the happy four- and went back to shut myself in my office. I took out the flask and had a good drink and sat down and checked my phone. I would have responded to Pierce but his messages were sickly-fake so I resisted. I wondered how I would resist interrogating Deb about Joe later.
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:44 PM   #182
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The kids were listening to Deb intently as she explained a painting to them. I almost hated to pull them away, because she had their complete attention. But it was getting to be time to feed them, and we wouldn't want to keep Chuck E. Cheese waiting.

I also knew I needed to get out of the gallery before I saw Clarissa again. What I said to her was from the heart, but I surprised myself by opening up so deeply. Maybe that meant I cared even more deeply than I realized.

Enough of that, I told myself. There was a very nice woman with a wonderful way with kids kneeling down right next to mine, and I was very interested in a chance to visit with her without them around. I walked over to the podium by the front door that held "interest" cards, and quickly wrote down my name and private cell number on the back. As the kids came over to me, I handed the card to Deb and said, "This is my private number - I'd love to take you to dinner some time."

I didn't wait for her reaction. Instead, Susie and Joey and I headed out the door, off to find my truck in the parking garage, as we went on a quest for pizza and games.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:38 PM   #183
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After a few more sips I was feeling quite naturally a little bolder and I left the office, and, scanning the gallery carefully, made a casual walk-around. Almost walking in perfectly straight lines. It was quiet again, and I knew Joe and his kids were gone. Deb stood by the sculpture of the dead tree, with the grey stone limbs jutting at strange angles and she was holding something and she hid it from me as I approached.

"Thank you for doing that Deb, for entertaining those children. I didn't think we'd get that kind of visit but I guess there's not much we can do to stop it"

"I don't mind at all," Deb said, smiling warmly. "I love kids and they were so sweet. And it was nice to see that security guard again."

I aimed for casual off-handedness. "And what.... what do you think of him?"

"He's great," She enthused. "I knew he was, you know, strong and capable and all of that, from the opening evening, but to see this side of him as a father.... he's quite a man, isn't he?"

I shrugged and walked slightly unsteadily over to the bathroom and locked the door and washed my face in cold water and stared into the mirror. "I don't care, I don't care, I don't care," I whispered.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:45 AM   #184
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It was a racket - games, followed by bad pizza, followed by more games, followed by cashing out tickets, followed by finding out you needed 20 more to get what your 7 year old wants to take home, which meant more games, and finally getting what each kid wanted and hauling home a shit load of stuff they didn't need. At least it was going to their mom's house.

But it made the kids happy, and as much as I don't like the spend money in places like that, it was a pretty good ending to a pretty awesome day. I was grateful for any opportunity I could get to have this kind of day with them. I knew they would remember it for a long time.

The conversation in the truck as I was taking them home was mostly about the experiences of the day. When they started talking about the gallery, I listened intently to what they were saying. I hoped they hadn't seen Clarissa and I whisper yelling at each other, and as they continued, it didn't seem they had. But they did start talking about how much they liked Deb, and how they hoped they could be artists someday.

"So you liked Deb, did you?" I asked. "She was great, wasn't she? I could tell she really was enjoying showing you the art work."

Susie spoke up and said, "She could really tell us about those pictures, Daddy. And I think she might have liked you also, because she kept asking questions about you, wondering what other places you liked to take us and things like that."

"Yeah, dad," Joey chimed in. "She said I was handsome, and that I looked like you. Dad, what does handsome mean?"

Susie huffed and answered the question herself. "Joey, I told you that handsome means you look like a prince or a knight. Daddy's not handsome - he's good looking, but he's not handsome!"

I rolled my eyes with that explanation. Somebody was going to have to sit down with that girl and straighten her out on a few things. Sounded like a job her mother should have.

Susie had another question. "Daddy, do you like Deb? Because she really was nice and mommy says you need to find a girlfriend so you'll be happier. Would you like it if Deb was your girlfriend?"

I wasn't thrilled to find out Kristy has been talking about my private life with my kids, but I guess they had a right to know. As for the question about dating Deb....well, I wasn't going to tell the kids I liked her, at least not for myself, but I had an truthful answer I thought they would like.

"I like Deb because she was so nice to you, and that's the most important part to me. Maybe we'll get a chance to see her again. Maybe some day she can show us more in the gallery."

After that, I got curious to see what they would say about Steve, Kristy's new friend. Since they were being so frank, I decided to adopt the same approach.

"So have you met mommy's new friend Steve yet? Is he a nice guy - do you like him?"

Joey laughed. "Dad, I'd better like him - he's my teacher! But I have to call him Mr. Jenkins, so I don't forget to do that in school"

Wait.....what? He's Joey's teacher? Kristy hadn't told me that. My mind went lava orange with anger. Why would she hold that away from me? I thought we had a pretty amicable relationship going, certainly not one built on deception and lies.

Then I realized something else that tightened a knot in my gut. He was seeing Joey every day, plus who knows how often when he and Kristy would get together, and I was lucky if my schedule let me see them once every two weeks! That realization made me even more angry! This is not how I wanted my wonderful day with my kinds to end.

I drove the rest of the way in silence, while the kids continued their happy chatting in the back seat of the truck. I had to confront Kristy about this. She had to know how upset I was at her withholding what I thought was really important information. We had promised each other we wouldn't be that kind of co-parent, who tries to keep secrets from each other.

I'd already had one scene with a woman today. I was about to have another, although I wasn't sure my self-control this evening would be as good as it was this afternoon. I pulled in front of the house and saw that the lights were on inside. I also noticed that Kristy's car was the only one in the driveway. This would not have been a good night to meet Steve Jenkins.
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Old 09-08-2017, 07:25 PM   #185
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A soft knock on the hard wood of the office door and Rodrigo let himself in and I just about had time to return my flask to its safe safe safe place in the drawer as if it didn't exist. Rodrigo hesitated and he looked embarrassed.

"What it is, Rodrigo?"

"Well.... I just wanted to talk to you, Clarissa," his expression was kind and it made me nervous. I saw something and I thought it might be a drop of poisonous pity. I hoped not.

"Well, go on...." I said and I raised my eyebrows and titled back in the chair and was not particularly polite. I liked his warm honesty but not so much now. It didn't compare well to solitude. He sat down on the other side of the desk without asking and sighed and looked at the floor, rubbed the stubble on his chin, sighed again.

"It's.....I'm worried about you. We're worried about you."

"Who's "we"? Did Deb say something to you?"

"It's, no- I..... it's just, you know, generally. You look sad." He was hitting sorry stride now and met my eye with confidence. " You just look really sad and..... and we know you aren't exactly the most dazzlingly happy-go-lucky woman or anything, we know that's not you." He paused and sighed again and it was very deeply irritating. "But you.... yeah. You seem sad," He finished lamely.

I looked at him until he looked away. Raised my palms and shook my head. "Are you finished?"

"Yeah. I don't mean to be... erm, mean. I just wanted to check on you."

"Consider me checked," I said and I gestured to the door. "I think there's still plenty of admin to sort for the pieces we're adding next week, so if that's all you wanted, you can get back to work now."

He was hurt, I could tell, having hoped for me to open and share. I expected he would sulk for a day or two but was in no mood to pacify. He left and I picked up the phone and dialed for Pierce.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:01 PM   #186
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I pulled up in the street in front of what used to be our house, and now belonged to Kristy alone. I helped the kids out of their booster seats and made sure they grabbed all of their booty gathered at Chuck E. Cheese. They went racing up to the steps of the little two-story traditional to show their mom what they had won.

I waited outside for Kristy to come and find me. Since I had been working on my angry speech as I drove the last few miles, I needed to deliver it, and the kids certainly didn't need to hear it. I also knew my anger wasn't going to make the problem go away, and it was just going to make my relationship with Kristy more strained, but I didn't care. I needed to vent, and she needed to hear it.

After about 5 minutes, she came out looking for me. "Joe, what are you doing out here?" she asked. "You always come in when you bring them home. Why didn't you tonight?"

"I didn't feel like it," I answered. "I'm a little upset, and I didn't think the kids needed to see me that way."

"What are you upset about, Joe? Sounds like you and the kids had a great day! I would think you'd still be happy from all that you did together."

I was struggling to stay calm. "Up until about 15 minutes ago, I was. But then Joey told me who his teacher was, and I've been a little upset after hearing the news from him. Why the hell didn't YOU tell me, Kristy? Are you trying to keep secrets from me now? I thought we weren't going to do that!"

She lowered her head and kicked at an imaginary weed in the grass. "I wanted to tell you, Joe - I don't want to keep secrets from you. It's just that.....well, there really hadn't been the right time to tell you."

That answer did not suit me very well. "How about the morning you told me you were bringing the kids to my apartment, and then showed up by yourself? I think that was the morning you tried to get me to fuck you, if I remember right. In fact, I think that was the morning you also told me about Steve - or Mr. Jenkins...or whatever the hell I'm supposed to call him. What's going on, Kristy? Why are you screwing with me?"

She fired back at me. "I'm not screwing with you, Joe, but I knew this was going to be hard for you the first time I showed interest in another man. I held out a long time, Joe....waiting months to even think about dating again, because I was waiting on you to realize that you had made a mistake and would come back home to us again. Well, that didn't happen, and I finally understood it wasn't going to happen. So yeah, I started seeing Steve Jenkins and I am enjoying it and yes, he is our son's teacher and at least Joey is getting to spend time with one man in his life!"

I knew our relationship had just changed forever. I was watching Kristy as the look of shock spread over her face. I had to go, or else I was going to do something that would get me in trouble.

I headed around to the driver side of my truck, and right before I opened it, I looked at Kristy one more time and said, "Well, I guess I asked for the truth, didn't I?"

"Joe, wait!" She yelled at me to stop, but I couldn't. I put the truck in gear and drove away quickly. I didn't even bother looking back in the mirror to see what she was doing. At that point, I didn't care. Whether she meant it or not, she had just driven me into a new level of hell, and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to climb out of this one.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:12 PM   #187
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Pierce answered straight away, which was no surprise. He always had his phone with him,was always fiddling with it.

"Hey babe...." He said and I could almost hear his grin. "I thought you were avoiding me, you naughty girl."

"Well, even you're wrong sometimes," I said and wondered why I was doing this. "Can I come over tonight?"

"Sure you can. Make sure you bring an appetite, I've been waiting for some more love from you you know. Want me to describe all the things I'm going to do to that tight little body?"

"Save it for later. I've got stuff to do but I'll see you at 9?"

"Cool. Take it easy babe."

After the call I tried to figure myself but I couldn't so I had another drink instead and that made me feel a little bit warmer.
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Old 09-08-2017, 08:20 PM   #188
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The 30 minutes drive back to my apartment was the longest 30 minutes of my life. All I could hear was Kristy's voice saying, "...at least Joey is getting to spend time with one man in his life!"

The words ate into me every time I played it back in my mind. I had left Kristy because I wasn't happy with her and I wasn't in love with her and I thought things would be better for both of us if we separated. But now I realized just how miserable I was ALL the time, and it was clear that this present misery was much greater than when I was with her.

I stumbled into the apartment, took off my boots, and went straight to the bed. I was tired and hurt and angry and terribly lonely. I have given my number to Deb but had no way of reaching her - maybe she wouldn't even call.

Then I thought of Clarissa, and wondered what she was doing tonight. Maybe she was with her boyfriend, having a good time, and not thinking even one second about me.

Why couldn't I get her out of my mind?
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Old 09-09-2017, 04:16 AM   #189
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After a restless few hours it was 9pm and I pulled up outside Pierce's house. His investments had served him well, with a large mansion in the trendiest suburb. It sat complacently on the top of what was known locally as Acre hill, a rise that gave vistas of the city and the level of privacy that the wealthy crave- a neighbourhood of big houses and big gates and big rent-a-cops and big garages and big, massive, bank accounts. The security man recognised me and smiled and activated the gate and it slid across its track slowly to open but he didn't say anything because he clearly knew it was Not His Place and that singed me with a little sadness that I hadn't felt before at that kind of "service".

I strolled up the path and couldn't help admiring the immaculate gardens which surrounded me. Sculpted hedgerows surrounded the gardens, which were filled with rows of exotic plants and flowers. A hundred yards to my right, across the smooth grass, was the Koi pond, it had often enchanted me, encircled by a very carefully placed arrangement of red and green rock. I walked on and Pierce's home loomed up above me and it was all beige stone and glass and I'd never thought it in particularly good taste, luxurious as it unarguably was. Three floors high and with a sprawling form that stretched round to hide large parts of itself, it seemed to watch me as I came to the door. Greeted by the maid who respectfully smiled and almost curtsied as if I was some kind of royalty.... but then I knew that she had been taught that all visitors to this decadent palace were.

She led me through to the primary lounge, expansive and furnished in cream sofas and grey-white walls and with huge windows overlooking the suburb and city, with a cinema screen and vases of flowers and and that massive golden Persian rug I had often admired and Pierce was reclined on the carved rattan sofa. He grinned at me like shark as the maid retreated.

"A long time since you've deigned with a visit to my humble abode Clarissa"
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:18 AM   #190
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My phone pinged with an incoming text message. I looked at the clock - it wasn't even 10:00 p.m. yet, and I'd been in bed for over an hour, without sleeping. Desperately seeking someone to help me out of this chasm in which I'd fallen, I quickly reached out for the phone.

I tapped in the code to unlock the screen as I anticipated who it might be. Damn....missed the code. Calm down, Joe - it's just a text message. I was hoping it would be Deb, the cute little woman who loved on my kids at the gallery this afternoon. They took to her quickly, and it was easy to see why. I was sure the message wasn't Clarissa, but I didn't completely discount that idea either.

When I finally got the code right, I could see it was from Kristy. I hadn't thought of that possibility. I opened it, and it simply read, "Joe, I'm sorry - I shouldn't have said what I did, please call me."

I pondered that for a minute - if she didn't mean it, she wouldn't have said it. I wasn't ready to deal with that drama tonight, so I closed the phone without answering and set it back on the night table. I needed sleep - I needed to forget - I needed help......
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:11 AM   #191
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"Well, I've been busy," I said and I looked around and hated the style in which he had decorated. So much beige and grey, white leather and glass. Almost no wood or colour.

"Not too busy for me, I hope?" He said and rose and walked to me. He took my hand and kissed it with a thick grin and I wondered what I was doing there. What the point was. "So... are we going to get to it, or what? You know I don't like to wait- and I don't think you came here to chat."

In his bedroom he undressed me, not slowly and not quickly, and left my clothes on the door handle. The room was large and full of crimson- crimson covers and crimson walls and crimson cushions and crimson pillows. My face was crimson, I knew it because I could feel it. I stood in my underwear and he lay in his and his erection was evident in his boxers, his excitement as he loved at my body with greedy childish eyes.

"Come on, suck it," he whispered and there was not a flinch or fragment of doubt in his eyes that I would. He closed his eyes and laid back and clicked his fingers,waiting.

"I need the bathroom," I said and stepped into the en-suite and sat down on the edge of the bath. I looked at my hands and they were shaking. I looked at my naked legs and they weren't ready.
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Old 09-09-2017, 01:34 PM   #192
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Real men didn't cry, did they? I did an inventory - I was a lousy husband, and apparently I was an absentee father. I couldn't even get into a relationship, but I was sure if I did, I would be a failure at that as well.

It was dark outside, the that darkness was nothing compared to the void in my soul. I began having thoughts I'd never had before. My ex-wife didn't need me, and my son didn't need me - both of them had Steve Jenkins to take care of them. Work didn't need me right now, since I was still healing from my encounter the other day.

So why was I here? What good was I to society? I was just taking up space in a world that didn't care whether I was here or not.

I tried to blink back the tears as I reached for my phone. I found her number, and sent a single-word text message...."Goodbye...."
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:36 AM   #193
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I cradled my phone like a messenger bird that could save me and I nearly called someone, and the someone was Joe. But I didn't, instead I turned it off and took a series of deep breaths to calm down.

I returned to the bedroom and Pierce was still lying their with a cat-like smile on his handsome face.

"I don't feel like this right now," I said flatly and he looked confused.

"Feel like what?"

"Sex. I'm just not in the mood."

He pouted a little, like a spoiled boy. "I could put you in the mood, babe. You know I can always get you going."

I shook my head. Sat on the edge of the bed. "No thanks. We could just.... relax? Watch a movie or something. Or go out?"

He looked to be thinking about it. "Yeah," He said after a pause. "Yeah, we'll go out. I want to show you off. There's this sweet bar not too far away, where a load of the guys I work with go all the time. I'd like to take you there- have them see me with the hottest little cutie in town."

I nodded, half-listening.
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:29 PM   #194
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I went to the bedroom and reached under my bed for the special holster mounted to the underside of my box springs that held my own personal Glock 21. It was dark, so I couldn't see it, but I knew this pistol so well by touch that I could tell it was loaded and ready to go.

I walked into the living area and sat down in my chair. I held the Glock in my lap. Just knowing it was there gave me comfort. It was almost as if the gun was the only control I had in my life right now. I could decide if I would use it or not. I could decide if this was the end, or if I would be able to talk myself out of it.

It would be so quick and easy - one shot, instant death. It would take a while to be found, and then someone would have to attend to my personal effects. Since I only had about five or six pieces of furniture, that wouldn't take long.

I closed my eyes. A series of confusing bright lights and random stars flashed at me in the darkness. Chaos - a continuation of the jumbled thoughts in my mind. Even in the darkness, the sound of the silence was like screams of agony. I wanted it to stop.

Was this it? Is this the answer? Would anybody miss me? As I pondered those questions, I drifted off into a fitful sleep.....
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:27 PM   #195
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Eyes turned our way when we walked into the bar. Something about Pierce's swagger. Something about the way I looked. Something about the testosterone in the room and the lack of ladies. The bar seemed larger inside, filled with emerald green leather sofas, framed pictures I judged as poor taste, low moody lights.

Pierce pointed me to a sofa in the far corner of the room and went to the bar to order. I looked around and a few guys looked at me and I saw their interest and I felt none. Pierce was chatting to the girl working the bar, who didn't look old enough to drink herself. She was blushing and smiling and I knew why she was attracted but I was suddenly not sure if it was real for me any more. Something had changed for me. He wasn't the man I wanted.
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Old 09-15-2017, 02:29 AM   #196
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I awoke with a start.....where was I? I gathered my bearings and realized I was sitting in my chair in the living area of my apartment. Then I realized something else - my Glock was in my lap. Confusion once again, and then I remembered the thoughts I had earlier. My mind filled with fear at what I might have done. How had I let myself get close to making an awful decision?

It was midnight as I got up and went back into my bedroom. I re-holstered the Glock and laid on the bed, hoping sleep would come quickly. My mind was racing once again as I closed my eyes....
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Old 09-17-2017, 05:56 PM   #197
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Pierce was taking his time, flirting away for a bit, then chatting to some friends of his and nodding in my direction. Their admiring glances were rough and not flattering and told me everything they thought of me, all of it physical. I heard them laugh and didn't doubt they were trading excited fantasies of what they'd do with me. I knew that I looked young. That being small was a turn-on for a lot of guys- easy to handle, easy to throw around, to dominate. Just what guys like that wanted.

I didn't want to be there but didn't want to be elsewhere. I wondered again what Joe was up to tonight. I looked at my phone- just after midnight. Surely either asleep or on patrol. I'd been so unkind to him..... I wanted to make some sort of apology. Even a pathetic gesture. Something. I texted before I could reconsider:

"Joe, I'm sorry for how I was to you. Please don't think too badly of me."
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Old 09-18-2017, 01:19 AM   #198
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Sleep wasn't coming easily, but it wasn't for lack of trying. I refused to turn the TV on, because I knew there wouldn't be anything to watch at that time of the night. I thought about getting up and making some coffee, but that would have just added to the problem.

The reality was I didn't have any reason to get up in the morning, since it was the second of my four days off, and I had no plans, so I guess I shouldn't worry about not sleeping at the moment. The only problem with that scenario was that I would have that much more time to feel sorry for myself. I needed to find something to do. Maybe I would go to the range for a little target practice.

I heard my phone chirp as a message came in. It was my personal phone - I don't have the same alert on both phones simply because I can identify which one it is that signals. I figured it was Kristy again, which if that was the case, I had no desire to talk to her again for a very long time. Perhaps it was Deb, although after midnight was a strange time to be texting.

Curiosity got the better of me, and I looked to see who it was...and was shocked when I saw it was Clarissa. I read the message, and was immediately confused. Why did she care how I felt about her? I thought that was the purpose of running me out of her life the other night. Why then did I receive this unlikely apology?

I wanted to ignore it - maybe give her a taste of her own medicine. But the more I thought about it, the more my concern for her grew. It was late, and it was an unusual message. Perhaps she was in trouble, but in her typical way, couldn't make herself say what it was.

So I responded back - "Are you okay?"
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:32 PM   #199
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Pierce was looking over his shoulder at me, and pouted his displeasure at my texting. He said something I couldn't hear over the chatter and the music, too far away at fifteen ten feet distant. The bar girl was mixing some sort of elaborate cocktail and Pierce's pals were cheering and he was clapping and I thought they looked like a troop of excitable monkeys.

Joe had replied. I didn't waste time in texting back.

"Not really."

Alcohol had gone to my head somewhat, after drinking in the afternoon also, and so though normally I wouldn't have imposed on him so much or asked for a favour like this, it now didn't hurt me to do so.

"Could you come and get me? I don't feel great. I can text you the address if you're free? I could use someone to talk to."
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:48 PM   #200
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Her request hit me like a ton of bricks. Half of me wanted to jump up and help her, but the other half still remembered her stinging rejection just a few short days ago. She had apologized. And I didn't think she would ask for help if she really didn't want it - in fact, just her asking meant to me that perhaps she really was in trouble, and that I needed to hurry.

I decided against taking my squad car, because I didn't want her to think she was causing me extra trouble and therefore might not make a similar request the next time. She texted me the address, and I was out the door and in my truck in 5 minutes. I knew at this hour I would get there more quickly than during the day, but it was still going to take me at least 20 minutes to get to her. I hoped she would be okay during that time.
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