A man crosses many finish lines in the course of his lifetime if he's lucky to live long enough. There are literally thousands of finish lines, like when you finally learn to poop in the potty. As insignificant as that sounds, admittedly it is a notable start to many more achievements sure to come later in life. Major life-changing events such as graduating from high school or college, marriage, children, careers...are all finish lines that we cross as we traverse the timeline of life. But what is the BIG finish line?
For the past decade or so I have had my eyes focused on what I considered to be the ultimate finish line. It seemed so far away and at times, non-existent. But time passed slowly...very slowly, and suddenly one day, quite unexpectedly actually, I looked up and saw that finish line looming before me. Wow, I made it!
So, just a few days before Christmas, I gathered up my personal belongings from my workstation, which consisted of an early sixties model Sears radio and a green plastic coffee cup, and made the final fifty yards to that yellow tape. As a heavy steel door slammed behind me, a twenty-three-year career came to a close. I was retired!
One of my biggest fears in recent years was that I'd die working. I talked with a whole lot of folks the past few months who seem just fine with the idea...work till they die. I had a conversation with a man who has worked for the same organization for forty years. He plans to die right there on the job. I chatted with another who is pushing eighty! I said, "Retire!"
He replied angrily, "And what am I going to do, play dominoes?"
I am proud to say that at the age of sixty I laid it down. If I've a mind to, I'll play dominoes. Fact is, I'll do any damn thing I want to while I am young enough to do so. I have worked since I was fifteen years old and the truth is, I spent every one of those days working to get to where I am now. Yes sir, pretty proud to be here... on the other side of that finish line.
I'm not one to give unsolicited advice usually, but being the storyteller that I am, here's one to ponder:
I started working for a supermarket chain while I was still in high school, taking a break for a short stint in college before coming back with the intent of working my way up the ladder. By the age of thirty, I had promoted to the position of Store Manager, making good money. I have the Rolex in my dresser drawer to prove it. It was toward the end of my fifteenth anniversary that I had a conversation with a woman who had worked for the company for forty-five years.
She said, "I have to keep working. If I retire, my pension will only be eight hundred dollars a month..."
She never got to draw that pension. She died working.
That conversation haunted me. I began crunching numbers. Sure, my retirement check would be considerably larger than eight hundred bucks. If I stayed with the company for forty-five years, I'd bring in a whopping seventeen hundred dollars a month. It only made senc\se to commit myself to begin saving for retirement. I was only thirty-five. Surely I could amass a whopping...more crunching...wow, pretty bleak outlook. And so, I changed careers. After fifteen years...sitting at the top of the ladder...I just up and quit.
Ah, but all this talk of working is bringing me down. Allow me to gloat! For the first time in forty-five years, I am getting more than six hours of sleep every night. It was my first goal...to sleep until I can't sleep anymore. I can drink my coffee down at the McDonalds in the morning and stop by the diner in the afternoon for pie and ice cream. I went to the doctor twice this week. Well, I needed to for a long time but I was WORKING! I'll spend some time getting myself into prime shape now that I'm retired. Yes, maybe even a gym membership and some water aerobics down at the city pool this summer.And maybe I'll write. Can't promise that. It sure is hard to sit still when there's so much living to get done.
The Good Lord has blessed me. I intend to spend time passing that forward. There are folks out there that need a leg up, a helping hand, or maybe just a smile and an encouraging word. I've got the time and I reckon I should make it count best I can. Perhaps there is a reason I've found myself where I am...perhaps there is a purpose. I'm excited about that. Always ready for another adventure...and another tale to tell.
I gotta we wrap this up. Tomorrow's Sunday and it's the only day I have to set the alarm because I'm retired, you know. So, I'm off to iron some church clothes. The next time I write, which may or may not be next week since you know...I'm retired...I'll tell you about where I spent the last twenty-three years of my life. I think you will be surprised and this revelation will open up a multitude of new tales I've not been able to share until now. Good gosh, I haven't clipped my fingernails since I retired. So little time, so much to do!
Continued from last week's story
Jacy Morrow gingerly placed the loose change into the elderly man's hand then stood patiently behind the counter of the convenience store as he struggled to work it into the pocket of his overalls. Finally, he turned and shuffled out the door with Jacy chirping a friendly goodbye.
"You have a great evening, Mr. Stewart! Tell your wife I hope she gets to feeling better."
She then turned her attention back to me as I stood leaning against the burrito warmer, my chin on my arm, a depressed look on my face.
"Truthfully, cowboy, I feel sorry for you. I shouldn't but I do. You have the worst luck with women."
I nodded, a woeful look on my face that begged for more pity.
"I've been thinking about your ex-girlfriend. I can't help but wonder if maybe she caught her husband in the act and killed him and his mistress. Perhaps it is she that absconded with the church's money after murdering her husband and his lover. It makes sense to me."
I couldn't hold back a laugh, "Oh no. That's pretty far-fetched even for you, Jacy. Deanne may be a scorned woman in search of revenge, but she's no killer. I can't see that woman purposely stepping on a cockroach."
"Let me tell you something, buddy," her eyes narrowed as she spoke, "every woman is capable of murder given the right circumstances. Never forget that!"
I pondered Jacy's statement later that night as I soaped up in the shower. They seemed to be wise words and I carefully stored them away in the back of my mind for future reference. I dried off with a towel, sniffing of it and trying to remember when I had washed it last. Perhaps it was time to toss it in the dirty clothes, I decided. Stepping into the bedroom to retrieve a clean pair of boxer briefs, I froze momentarily. The window beside the bed was open. A brisk breeze caused the curtains to flutter. The hair on the back of my neck stood at attention as I hastily dressed and stealthily moved toward the darkened living room. With senses working at full alert, I reached for the light switch and flipped it on.
"Deanne! What the hell are you doing in my house?"
She sat in my recliner, her legs crossed, a large purse in her lap.
"Sit! I have something to say to you."
Anger was written all over her face and I chose to obey her command, seating myself across the room on the sofa.
"Deanne, you broke into my house. That's pretty creepy."
Ignoring my comment, she leaned forward in the recliner.
"I know who you really are. I know all about you."
I inadvertently rolled my eyes as I waved a hand, "Well, by all means, tell me who I really am."
"I've asked around," she clenched her jaws as she spoke, " and it turns out that you, Mr. Player, are actually a private detective."
She nodded her head in affirmation and continued, "you work for attorneys who hire you to connive poor, helpless women who are going through a divorce into compromising sexual situations. Meanwhile, you have photographers hiding in secret to take photographs and videos..."
I held a hand up, "Stop, stop. I've already heard this from those women you terrorized at the bar. It's all bullshit, Deanne. Something you made up in your feeble little mind. I am not a private eye. It's absurd."
"It all came to me that night you had me in your bedroom," she pointed a finger in that direction, "when I saw the bare window, it became crystal clear! You were seducing me and the cameras were rolling!"
Her voice grew louder and I saw she was losing control of herself.
"So, who have you talked to that told you I was a private detective?"
"Oh, quite a few people up at that bar. They've watched you make your moves!"
"Names...give me names! I want to know who is telling you this!"
"Why? So you can destroy them like you've destroyed me?"
She dug into the oversized purse with both hands, her face thrust practically in the purse itself as she raffled through its contents.
Abruptly the woman dropped to her knees onto the carpet, dumping the entire contents onto the floor.
"What on earth are you looking for?" I practically bellowed, rising to my feet.
"MY GUN!" she screamed, "Where the hell is my pistol?"
Tears streamed down the mad woman's face as she began scooping handfuls of miscellaneous items back into the purse. She turned her face toward the ceiling and wailed.
"It's in the other purse! I can't believe I didn't bring my gun!"
My eyes wide, I felt a tremor run through my body as my mind raced to decide what my next move should be.
Deanne rose to her feet, the purse dangling from her arm. She walked toward the door, pausing to glare at me.
"You better be glad I didn't bring my gun. And you better pray that our paths never cross again!"
And she was gone.
I watched the tail lights disappear as she turned onto the highway. Jacy's words rang in my ears. Perhaps it was time to reevaluate this infatuation I had with women. Maybe I just needed a dog.
Continued from last week's story
An early spring breeze drew goosebumps on my arms as my eyes strayed toward a group of youngsters playing on the swings on the other side of the tiny park. I exhaled a deep sigh. Enough small talk and idle chitter-chatter. It was time to do what must be done.
I cleared my throat and spoke, unable to look her in the eye, "Deanne, I don't think we should see each other anymore."
"I figured this was what the spontaneous meeting was about," she turned her head away from me, brushing her flowing hair with her fingertips, "It's because we didn't go all the way Saturday night, isn't it?"
"Oh, I uh..."
I'd wager all I have that had we tangled in sweat-soaked sheets until the sun rose, we'd not be having this talk. Am I right?"
I pondered her question and silently admitted I didn't have an answer readily available.
"Truthfully, I'm relieved it didn't happen," I replied, suddenly finding the words that had escaped me, "Deanne, I just can't continue to see a married woman."
She shook her head, still looking away, "Well, he's not coming back. I can guarantee you that. Rusty, you and I are on opposite sides of the fence. I think we should move in together and start a new life. You don't realize it but I am the wife you are searching for. Make some sort of commitment to me."
I exhaled a sigh, "We've barely known each other a month. People don't move in together so soon. Especially when one is still married. I know you are stressing over your current situation...no job, and soon no place to live. Honestly, from my point of view, you are setting me up to be taken advantage of. You need to concentrate on getting your life put back together. Get a job and a place to live. Get a divorce! Then call me in six months or so. I think you are an awesome woman, but you are moving way too fast. I've done some things I'm not proud of in the past but I won't date a married woman."
Deanne jumped up from her spot on the picnic table, unbuttoning her pants, dropping them to her knees.
"Come on, right now, right here on this picnic table. I'll give what you want and we can move on with our relationship!"
I stared briefly into her eyes and turned and walked away.
I had spent the next two Saturday nights staring at a TV that I'd not bothered to turn on, but by that third weekend, I found the neon lights calling my name. It was just before midnight that I found myself sitting shoulder to shoulder with a tall redheaded nurse who had slipped her hand in mine. I'd admit, we had clicked and she had the prettiest smile. I decided I wouldn't mind knowing her better.
"What do you say we leave this noisy place and find somewhere we can talk. How about I buy you breakfast at IHOP?"
Her eyes locked on mine for a moment as she weighed my offer.
"Sure, I'm hungry enough to eat a horse. Just let me run to the restroom real quick and we'll be on our way!"
Forty-five minutes later I finally convinced myself that she wasn't coming back.
By the next Saturday, my wounded ego had mended and I found myself intrigued by a short little Italian girl. I felt the chemistry radiate from her body as I took her in my arms and led her to the dance floor. She turned out to be a superb dancer and at four foot- eight, she was a pleasure to dance with. Her head never blocked my view and I found her exactly the perfect height to allow me to rest my chin on the top of her head as we spun around the dance floor. I couldn't remember what she had said her name was so I just called her half-pint, which made her giggle every time I spoke it. As the night wore on, we rested more frequently. me sipping on a Coors Light and her on white wine. My heart would melt every time she stared at me with her big brown eyes and I found myself captivated by how tiny she was.
"You know, I think I could pick you up and slip you in my shirt pocket." I grinned, reaching for her hand.
"The good thing about us small girls is that you can put us anywhere you want us!" she grinned and winked at me.
Undaunted by last week's failure, I squeezed her hand and tried again.
"What do you say we leave this noisy place and find somewhere we can talk. How about I buy you breakfast at IHOP?"
"Hey, that'd be great! Let me run to the ladies room first. I am literally about to pop!"
And it was about forty-five minutes later that I decided she wasn't coming back.
As I stepped into the bar on that third Saturday night, I set my jaw in determination. I'd not, no way in hell, get myself hooked up with anyone. I'd dance with every woman who'd dance with me and move on to the next one. But somehow I ended up with a twenty-something-year-old bank teller parked at my table. She was broke but wanted to drink and she was pretty, I had told myself. Annoying but pretty. She had chattered incessantly about her boss and how he wanted to get in her britches. Me, I kept my eyes on the door, searching for a woman more my type, not that I could get rid of this girl, I thought. It crossed my mind that I could excuse myself to the restroom and just disappear. It seemed to be the new way of ditching someone.
The bank teller patted my hand, "Okay, I have to go pee. I'll be right back!"
"Sure you will," I said as I shook my head and returned my attention to the front door.
But in a matter of minutes, she returned, seating herself beside me and leaning over to speak into my ear above the loud music.
"Okay...I'm not married. I've never been married. So, you have the wrong girl. Sorry!"
I drew back and stared at her, "What?"
"That woman in the restroom said that you're a private investigator and divorce attorneys hire you to coax women going through a divorce into compromising positions. You take pictures and videos and present them as evidence in court. Sounds like a cool job...but you got the wrong girl."
My mouth gaped open as I listened to the teller, "What woman? Show me this woman!"
"Um, okay," she peered at the crowded tables in the dimly lit bar.
"That one sitting alone over by the DJ booth. That's her."
My eyes focused on a silhouette in the darkest corner of the bar. My eyes squinted to make out her features. The figure pointed her finger at me as if she held an imaginary gun...and she fired straight at me.
Continued from last week's story
"And then I nibbled on her ear and she went off like a roman candle!" I flailed my arms wildly to accentuate my story, "she moaned and fell to her knees!"
Jacy Morrow listened intently, her big blue eyes fixed on me, and then replied, "Which is exactly where you wanted her, no doubt. Wow, I wish it were that easy for me..."
"Well, you probably haven't had the right people nibbling on your ear. Obviously, I'm pretty good at it if you'd like to experience..."
"You have a girlfriend! You can't go around nibbling on other women's ears!"
"Well, she's married so she really can't be my girlfriend."
"To a preacher, no less." Jacy rolled her eyes and glanced out the window toward the convenience store parking lot.
"Why do you keep staring out the window? Expecting your boyfriend?"
"No," she pursed her lips, "that woman has been sitting in her car just staring at us for the last ten minutes."
I glanced out the window and gasped a deep breath, "Oh my god, that's Deanne!"
I sprinted toward the door as Jacy muttered loud enough for me to hear.
"Creepy, creepy woman."
"Deanne!" I stammered as I stepped toward the convertible, my heart racing inside my chest, "What brings you to town?"
She lowered her sunglasses to the tip of her nose and glared up at me.
"That blonde woman in there...is she your other girlfriend?"
"Jacy?" I glanced inside, "No, Jacy...is just Jacy. Just a friend."
She pushed the sunglasses back into place, her jaw clenched as she seemed to attempt to control her anger.
"I think you're a player. I think you have women lined up all over west Texas."
"Me? Naw, just you" I forced a chuckle and changed the subject.
"I'm pleasantly surprised. It's just Wednesday. Wasn't expecting to see you until Saturday. Nice car!"
"I told the car dealer in the city I wanted to take it for a test drive." her tone softening just a bit.
"l love that outfit you're wearing. Is it new?"
"Bought it at Dillard's," she responded, staring at herself in the rearview mirror, brushing a strand of hair from her face, "on my husband's credit card."
I searched for words to bring Deanne back to her usual bubbly self.
"Hey, do you want to go down to the Dairy Queen for ice cream?"
"No, I better get this car back. You know, Rusty, I'm really pissed off at you. I drove all the way down here to see you and you were not at home and when I finally do find you, you're with some blonde! I'm terribly upset!"
I watched her pull onto the highway with a forlorn look on my face. Then it dawned on me. I'd never told her where I lived. Even if I had, the odds of her finding some farmhouse down a dusty road out in the middle of west Texas were slim. I sighed, turning toward my pickup.
Our lips met and we kissed passionately, her body barely visible to me in the slightest light of the moon through the window of my bedroom. Deanne showed up at my door earlier in the evening, quite the person I had come to know when we had first met. The travesty of the past Wednesday had apparently never happened in her mind. I had cooked steaks on the grill and the two of us dined on ribeyes and baked potatoes, accompanied by some delightful conversation. With that past us, we now found ourselves embroiled in intense passion.
Deanne pushed away from me, slipping her blouse over her head, now wearing nothing but her blue jeans. She then worked feverishly to remove my shirt before pressing her warm body against mine. She tilted her head back, a signal that she desired my lips against her neck. Her breathing grew heavy. Near silent moans escaped her lips. She pushed me toward the bed, then onto it with force, her legs straddling me and she swept her hands across my bare chest. She lowered herself against me, her lower body moving like ocean waves against my groin.
Her rhythm grew faster as if keeping time with my beating heart. She threw her head back, mouth open in ecstasy. Her nails dug themselves into my flesh and I flinched in painful pleasure.
Suddenly she came to an abrupt halt, her face turned toward the window.
"Your window...why doesn't it have curtains or a blind?"
I turned my head toward the window and replied, "Truthfully, I was tidying up in here just before you got here and the curtain fell to the floor. I didn't have time to put it back up so I threw it in the closet. It's okay. We're way out here in the middle of nowhere. I promise you, in all my years of living out here, not a soul has ever wandered up in the dark."
She pulled herself away and stepped onto the floor.
"I have to go."
"What?" I reciprocated, watching her hastily dress as I sat up on the edge of the bed.
"I have to go," she repeated, grabbing her purse and disappearing out the door.
I listened to the sound of her driving away as I stared at the window, my mind in complete confusion. I rose from the bed and shuffled into the kitchen, returning with a hammer. In a matter of minutes, the curtain was in place, shielding the outside from what could have happened on this night. Laying the hammer on a nightstand, I signed a sigh of relief. True, sins had been committed tonight, but not that sin...the sin of adultery.
Continued from last week's story
The classic west Texas ghost town, I thought to myself as I drove into Petcock. On the south side of the road stood four abandoned storefronts and to the north was what appeared to be an old schoolhouse that has likely not seen a child since the Great Depression. Tall weeds bent almost double against a forceful wind that sent tumbleweeds scurrying down the empty roadway, some as large as a John Deere tractor. I spotted the only church in town just ahead and as Deanne, the preacher's wife had directed, stood a doublewide beside it. As she had promised, if I could find Petcock, Texas, finding her house would be simple.
As I pulled into the drive, my eyes surveyed the landscape. Other than the few dilapidated buildings, only a random mesquite tree or two rose above the flat horizon. The doublewide I now stood in front of was the only house within view. I knocked on the door and within seconds Deanne answered, wearing a form-fitting black dress and a huge smile.
"You found Petcock! I told you it was in the middle of nowhere. Come in out of the wind."
I stepped through the door and found myself awestruck.
"Wow, it looks like I just stepped into a 'Southern Living' magazine! This is amazing. You do have a gift for decorating."
She stood directly in front of me, her lips puckered. I laughed and gave her a peck on the cheek.
"I smell that roast and it smells delicious. Do you know how long it's been since I've had a home cooked meal?"
Deanne chuckled and motioned me toward the dining area.
"I just sat everything on the table. Come on in and eat!"
I busied myself filling a plate with roast and mashed potatoes, Deanne holding a bowl of brown gravy in one hand and green beans in the other.
"Save room for chocolate cake. You said chocolate was your favorite."
"Don't you ever get scared way out here?" I asked, washing down a bite of roast with a gulp of sweet tea.
"Scared? No, but I get really lonely. I won't be here much longer, though. This is the parsonage and the church was kind enough to let me stay until I find somewhere else. But when they hire a new preacher, and they are actively seeking one, I have to be out."
"So, what're your plans? Doesn't look like there are many houses to choose from out here."
"Oh, I'll have to relocate. I have no skills so don't know what I'll do for a job. All I ever been is a mother and a preacher's wife."
"I'd say you could land a job cooking! You are a fantastic cook, Deanna." I commented as I took a bowl of potatoes from her hand and refilled my plate.
"She cut her eyes toward me and smiled, "Maybe I just need to find someone to cook for, someone who appreciates a homecooked meal every night."
After we finished eating, I helped her clear the table, offering to help her with dishes.
"Oh no," she took my hand in hers and lead me into the living room, "surely we can find something better to do than wash dishes."
She wrapped her arms around my neck and pulled my lips toward hers. We kissed passionately, and then more. Deanne's breathing became rapid as I kissed her neck, my arms pulling her against me. I felt her hot breath against my neck as I teased her ear with my lips. She tossed her head back, uttering a moan. My hands dropped from her tiny waist to her round butt as I again kissed the nape of her neck. Her body pressed hard against me as her lips locked onto mine for a very long time. I ran my fingers gently up the back of her neck and through her hair. I felt her body shudder against mine.
Her entire body began to quiver and she went limp in my arms. She pressed her face into my chest as I literally held her up. She seemed to gasp for air as sweat formed on her forehead and then...
"Oh! Oh! Oh...I can't believe this is happening!"
She slipped from my arms onto her knees, me dropping down beside her as I eased her onto the carpet.
"Deanne, are you alright?" My eyes wide with alarm.
She continued to gasp, a smile of pure ecstasy on her face. She pulled her head up and looked into my eyes.
"That was it! I finally did it! The Big O! Oh, Rusty, you are amazing. You made me quiver places I never knew could quiver!"
I leaned against a coffee table, the ravenous woman resting her head in my lap.
"I thought you were joking when you told me you'd never had an orgasm the other night," I spoke softly, stroking her hair.
"No. I was married to a selfish, self-centered, man. I called him the minuteman. Wham bam and off to sleep. I have dreamed of this all my adult life and you made my dream come true! Maybe we can finish what we started next week, but we have to wait one more week!"
Deanne drifted off with her head in my lap as I caressed her arm. I studied the gorgeous woman while in deep thought, as she lay there on the floor, her head in my lap, her long dark hair flowing onto the carpet. Finally, I shook her gently and told her I had to go.
She walked me to the door, a chocolate cake in her hand.
"I really meant to cut this but...things got a little out of hand!" she giggled as she handed me the plate.
Our lips met and we again fell into a fit of passion. Deanne's body began to shake and she pushed me away.
"Oh no! I won't be able to stop this time! Go home!" she laughed and playfully guided me out the door.
As I drove through the darkness toward my humble home fifty miles away, I glanced down at the cake riding in the floorboard.
One sentence kept ringing in my ears as the road passed slowly beneath me, 'I was married...'
I shook my head. Not was married, still married. Regardless of what her preacher husband has done, she is still married, I told myself. Where we would likely go the next time we see each other would be a line I'd not crossed...and the thought would haunt me for an entire week. And there was something else...I just couldn't put my finger on it...yet.
Continued from last week's story
I shoved the empty plate to the side and exhaled.
"Oh wow, that may have been the best chicken fried steak I've ever eaten!"
Leaning forward and placing my elbows on the table, I gazed into the preacher's wife's sparkling green eyes.
"Deanne, tell me something about yourself that nobody else knows!" I grinned and chuckled.
She thought for a moment and a smile came over her face. She leaned forward and whispered.
"I'm forty-five years old and have never had an orgasm...ever!"
"Argh!" I ducked my head to hide my reddened face, laughing uncontrollably, "I can't believe you told me that!"
"Your turn!" she spoke softly while playing with her bangs.
"Well, I certainly can't top that, but I drank my first beer on the front steps of a Baptist church."
"Oh my, God's gonna get you for that! How old were you?"
"I was fifteen. I found a can of beer in a ditch and temptation overcame me. And I'm certain God has not forgotten!"
Deanne gazed around the restaurant.
"How did you find this place? It's so elegantly decorated. Interior design is my passion. If I could have one dream come true, it would be to become an interior decorator."
"Yeah, it was one of the first homes built in the city in the early nineteen hundreds. Someone bought it and turned it into this. See, dreams come true. You might become a world famous decorator yourself, you know."
"Yeah and no. That would take some college and I can barely afford to feed myself after my deadbeat preacher husband ran off with the church treasurer. So Rusty, do you really think you can teach me to dance tonight?"
"Never met a woman I couldn't teach something." I grinned as I rose from my chair, "Come on, let's find out!"
The preacher's wife was a natural on the dance floor and had her steps down pat within the first hour. We danced until our feet gave out and found ourselves contently engaged in conversation the remainder of the night, sipping 7-UP and occasionally glancing toward the crowded dance floor. When Deanne wasn't looking, I glanced at her. Dressed down in a pair of Wranglers and a plaid shirt, she, like the restaurant we had dined at, had a charming elegance about her. Heavily adorned in turquoise jewelry, she looked like she had just stepped off the ranch for a night on the town, I thought. She was indeed a prime example of the cream of the crop of all the Texas women I'd ever met.
As I walked Deanne to her car sometime after midnight, I analyzed the evening I had spent with her. Nope, nothing wrong with this official first date. I gave it a perfect ten. Reaching her car, we awkwardly paused, as folks on their first date tend to do.
"Tired of me yet, cowboy?"
"Oh, hell no!" I responded before checking myself, "Oh, I'm very sorry. I spoke a curse word in front of a preacher's wife."
She giggled, "I accept your apology. And if there are more lights like this one ahead of us, I might just let you talk dirty to me someday."
The preacher's wife leaned against her car, wrapping her arms around my waist and pulling my body against hers.
"Um, Rusty, I've never done anything like this before. I only dated one man in my life, my husband, so this is a very new experience for me. Don't judge me too harshly if I make a misstep along the way, okay. I really like you and I don't want to blow this."
I peered into her eyes in the yellow glow of the streetlight and responded, "I really like you, too. Honestly, I tried to find some flaw in you all evening and nothing!"
"So," she hesitated nervously, "Why don't you come to my place next Friday night. I'm a damn good cook, not my first time to say damn, by the way. I'll cook a roast and all the fixins' and may even make you a cake. What's your favorite cake?"
"Chocolate and I'll be there Friday night...if I can find Petcock, Texas."
I'll call you later in the week and give you directions," she grabbed my shirt and pulled me even tighter against her body, "Kiss me goodnight. Kiss me like you mean it!"
Our lips met in the dimness and we kissed passionately, Deanne breathing heavily with the tiniest moan escaping her lips as I slowly pulled away.
"Oh...oh...oh!" she seemed to pant for air, "That might just get me through to Friday night!"
I turned and headed into the darkness, pausing to look over my shoulder one more time.
"Drive safe, preacher's wife!"
I turned completely around to face her.
"No more preacher's wife! From this moment forward, I am going to live my life the way life should be lived. You in?"
"Definitely!" I grinned and walked away.
"I am definitely in." I muttered to myself, "Definitely."