Somehow in the night I managed to make it to bed. I didn’t however manage to kick off my shoes or get undressed. I was too drunk to care. I just collapsed on my bed and passed out into a drunken stupor. My mind went blank and I was out like a light for the next six hours.
I woke in the morning with a throbbing headache when I rolled out of bed. Why! I knew why of course, but still hangovers are not my favorite. I crawled out of bed and my stomach felt empty. I needed sustenance that wasn’t booze. I needed carbs. I was stunned to see that I didn’t burn my first batch of pancakes, and was even more stunned when I tasted them. Wow! I can freaking cook. I had no idea that I could cook, and that I was exceptionally good.
After breakfast I felt better. I washed off my plate, keeping the house still as clean as ever. It was part of my daily routine, bed made, clean the dishes, scrub the head, and wash the counters. I even made time to do laundry.
After breakfast I headed to the back of the house where I did what I did every morning, I tended to my garden. I still hadn’t grown any harvest, but the plants were thriving. I ended up digging up the yard and fertilizing the entire area for my garden. I couldn’t wait to find more seeds to plant.
I heard a coughing sound behind me and turned, only to look up at a pissed off Ella. “Hey El, what’s up?”
“You! That’s what!” She yelled. I stood and brushed off the dirt on my hands off onto my pants. She looked furious and I had no clue as to why.
“Me?” I asked all confused. What was she on? How the hell did I piss off her? Crap I did something stupid, I know I did. Like father, like son.
“You drunk called me Rain! You were completely trashed and you called me. I don’t appreciate being called on at one in the morning and then being hit on! I am not that kind of woman. I’ve dealt with enough drunks in my life that I don’t need to deal with you.”
“Wow, I am terribly sorry El. I really am.” I felt horrible. I knew how she felt. My dad still drunk called me and I’d have to call Lonni to go and pick him up. I didn’t want to put my own friends, or even a potential lover through the same hassle. “Look, I promise I’ll make it up to you.”
“Great! Than you can do so tonight, eight o’clock at The Garbage Bin.”
Wait, what? Was she asking me out on a date? “Say what?” I asked, not catching the full meaning. Wasn’t I suppose to be the one asking her out on a date?
“You still want to go out with me right? I mean that’s why you called last night isn’t it? You wanted to go out with me?”
Oh great. I asked the woman I loved to go out with me over the phone while I was totally trashed and now had completely forgot. How romantic is that! “Yea, of course.” I blurted out. I could feel my ears turn red. “Did you want me to pick you up?”
“No, we’ll just meet there.” Then she was off. I turned to face my garden and was just stunned. I had a date.
I started to laugh as I tended the garden. I wouldn’t have blamed Ella if she had come over to rip my head off because of my idiocy. Instead, I am the luckiest guy in the world, I managed to get a date with her because of my idiocy. I finished weeding and tending my garden. I trimmed the last of my apple tree and headed back inside to get ready for the big date.
The night was amazing. I met Ella at this new club called The Garbage Bin. It was in an old warehouse that use to be home to a recycling plant. Together we drank, especially during cocktail hour. I continued to buy different drinks. Ella wanted to try everything. I could have just gone with a beer, but hell booze is booze. We danced to the pop and rap music that played and we chatted up on the balcony above the dance floor. It was a prefect night and we didn’t want to leave.
We were slow dancing to “Time After Time” when I had the urge to kiss her. She was beautiful, I was drunk, and all I wanted that night was to never let the moment end. This felt right with her in my arms. I could see her in my arms for the next fifty years. I now knew what my dad felt when he looked at Lonni the way I was looking at Ella know. It was much more than looks and big breasts, it was the way she looked, the way she smiled that made my heart slow and my body warm up.
As the song ended I wasn’t ready to let her go from my arms.
So I pulled her closer and kissed her. I was relieved when she didn’t kiss back. Instead she pulled me closer to her and our tongues met. I could taste the red raspberry martini still lingering in her mouth and I could only imagine what she tasted, hell I didn’t care. I was kissing the woman I loved.
After that night Ella and I were seen together almost every single night. We hung out at Shonda’s Bar more than anything. Shonda was Ella’s best friend and I was beginning to like her myself. Ella and I loved playing darts, and she, like my father, loved to teased me about my skill level. “Oh come on Rain, hit the wall again.”
“You’d like that El, wouldn’t you?” I teased back and threw my dart barely hitting the board, but hey at least I scored.
I walked up to the board and took the one dart out and took the other two darts out of the wall. I swear it wasn’t intentional, Ella kept talking as I threw, distracting me. I handed the darts over to Ella but not before taking her back into my arms and kissing her. My heart skipped a few beats before I let her go. I could see Shonda behind the bar smiling at both of us.
Ella and I also went to a lot of clubs. Some were more exquisite than others, but we liked the non formal ones. We felt more comfortable in our regular dress. I loved her short skirt, her barely-on-her-body shirt and she loved. . . Well I’m not too sure what she loved about me.
I loved drinking with Ella, although I don’t think she shared the same feelings. She was the one that always left the half empty glasses on the bar, where I was downing my third or fourth. “You know Rain, you should really slow down.”
I shrugged. “I know. This is my last one, promise.”
“It better be or I’m out of here.” She always threatened me. Of course I always caved and put down whatever drink I had and took her back out on the dance floor.
There was one thing that I loved more than anything else about Ella, it was her love of music. I made sure I was at Shonda’s every Tuesday night to watch her play. Sometimes I would get on stage and just stand there in awe. Of course Shonda always yelled at me to get back down if I wasn’t going to join in. I didn’t know how to play an instrument, so I would step back down and stand with my back against the bar and I would just stare with my arms crossed over my chest and my eyes closed. I loved her. I really loved her.
We were in The Garbage Bin and I was holding her close. I was sweating, my face was probably red, I know my ears were. I wasn’t that drunk. She had stopped me after my second beer. This was the moment, the time was now. She brushed her hands on the back of my neck, playing with my stubble head. I still hadn’t decided if I wanted to grow out my hair. I hadn’t gotten a cut in over a week, so the hair was just prickly enough for her to tease me with. “That feels nice.” I told her.
“It’s prickly.” She said laughing. She was having fun and I was enjoying her playful hands.
That was the moment I decided to do it. I decided to say those three words that I had been dying to tell her since the night I first kissed her. “El, I love you.” She kissed me. “I love you too Rain.” My heart started to race, was this for real? Did she actually just say the words back?
Even though I had a girlfriend, which I loved very much, I tried to keep my dream on tract. I spent every morning out in the garden, growing my plants and tending to the weeds. I saw one or two little green tomatoes growing, so I knew it was only time before I would have my first harvest.
After tending to my garden I would go out for a jog around the rural area. I lived in farm country and there was a lot of wilderness and farmland around me. I tended to jog in my old fatigues. It always felt great when I would get a wave or a nod because of the fatigues.
Lastly I spent what time I could on fishing. There was the main river that was across the way from my house. It was a perfect spot for me to fish and find peace within myself while I waited for Ella to get home from work.
There was only one small problem about going out with Ella every night and drinking, I had gone through all of my mother’s money and I was still waiting for the crops to come in. I had bills to pay and no way of paying them. I was broke. So, I did the only reasonable thing, I called my father. “Hey dad.” I said without much enthusiasm. I knew what I was going to ask, and I knew that he would not be the proudest man.
“Hey David. How’s it going son? How’s Ella?” I had told him about Ella after I kissed her and asked her out all those months back. He was proud of me to find someone to love.
“She’s great. And Lonni?” I asked. I know I was procrastinating the inevitable, but I was also curious about my step-mom. I loved her like she was my own mother. She had done what I could never do, she got my dad into AA and he’s been sober for two months.
“She’s uh, well, I guess she’s okay.”
Uh oh! “Dad what did you do now?” I sighed it was never good when he stuttered or said uh.
“Nothing, I swear. It’s just that, well, she’s pregnant.” I had to bite down on my lip. My dad was fifty and he was expecting another child. “You’re laughing aren’t you?” He asked, he could hear my futile attempts at keeping it hidden.
“No.” Then I busted up laughing.
After I heaved with laughter until my ribs started to throb, I finally settled down to spit out what I needed to say. “Uh, look dad. Um I have a favor to ask.” I could hear his eyes roll, he knew that there was something to this call. “Uh, it seems that I need a bit of a loan.”
“I gave you $16,000! What the hell did you buy!”
“A house, food, clothes,” and then I mumbled the word booze.
“Excuse me?” He said catching exactly what I said. “DAVID! I did not give you that money to party every night! If you need the money that bad go and get a job! I will not pay for your wild behavior!” He was on the verge of stroking.
“Look who’s talking!” I screamed back at him. “How many nights in a week were you out at the bars when I was growing up? How many nights was I alone, and begging the super not to turn off the water or the electricity? How many times did I have to beg the landlord to not evict us! Look all I am asking for is a couple of hundred bucks until I get my crops in, then I’ll be good to go.”
“NO! You should have learned from my mistakes David. Yes I am an alcoholic and I am learning that now. I am not enabling you. Stop drinking and get your head in the game.”
“Yes sir.” I grumbled. There was no point into arguing with my dad after he started to talk in an affirmative manner.
“Now I love you son. You’ll do fine, just stop drinking every night. If you are in need of money go and sell some stuff you have. Go fish and sell off the fish at the market. Find other ways to work until those crops come in.”
“Yes sir.” I said. We said our goodbyes and I hung up. UHG! I wanted to scream. My cell phone bill and my cable bill were both due. I just got the extension on my water. And I was lucky to pay for the electric and gas.
After my conversation with my father I did what he suggested. I headed down to the local community garden and picked a few fresh fruit to sell at the local market, along with a few fish I had caught earlier in the day. I didn’t bring home much, but it was enough to pay off my bills.
As I was leaving the community garden my phone rang. I looked at the caller I.D. and it said Ella. “Hey hun. What’s up?” I answered.
“OH MY YOU HAVE GOT TO COME DOWN TO SHONDA’S!” She screamed. I could hear loud music in the background. “IT’S THE WHEREABOUTS! THEY ARE PLAYING RIGHT HERE!”
Damn. I loved The Whereabouts, their music was off the charts. I knew if I went to Shonda’s I’d risk temptation and would squander the money I just earned for my bills. “I can’t babe. I don’t have any money. I just had to sell off my dinner to the market just to earn enough for my cell phone bill.”
“It’s all the booze you keep drinking David.” Ella only called me David when she was mad at me or was trying to make a point. Right now she was trying to make a point.
“I know. Hey why don’t you just come over and we’ll pop a movie in or watch some TV. I recorded the latest Bridgeport Vamps episode for you.”
“Yea okay. I’ll meet you there soon.” She hung up the phone. No I love you, no kiss kiss. She was definitely disappointed in me.
I arrived and found Ella already in my house. She had a popcorn going on the stove. I went to my little television and turned on the DVR, I searched through my recordings, I had Dexter, House, The Event, Raising Hope, Big Bang, and Bridgeport Vamps waiting for me to watch. Ella scooted closer to me on the couch with popcorn in hand and we watched the latest episode of Bridgeport Vamps.
I don’t know when it happened but halfway through the show we were making out. I had my one hand wrapped around her and the other on her leg, scooting up towards her skirt. We were just kissing. I didn’t want anything to go further, but then I felt it. I felt her hand on my crotch. I then felt her hand unbuttoning my pants, and she was doing this with one hand. I could feel her hand going into my boxers and OH MY GOD! HER HAND!
I pulled away. I couldn’t do it. I had principles that I knew most people threw out over the last three decades. I still felt like that I should be married before I did anything else. I wanted my first time to mean something. I was stunned. I slowly pulled her hand out of my pants. “I’m sorry, I can’t.”
“Sure you can. I can feel it.” She joked as she looked down to my pants.
“It’s not that I don’t want to, and believe me I want to. I just can’t. Its not right.”
“Excuse me?” She pulled away from me and gave me a look. “What’s not right? Us? Or your lack of getting off?”
WHAT! Did she just say what I think she said! I couldn’t tell her about my old fashion views. She’d mock me, or worse when I finally did propose that she would think I only wanted to get married for the sex. UHG! Why do women have to be difficult!
“No, it’s just, well. I’m a- A, um. . .” Okay so I haven’t actually told her that I was a virgin. Hell, I didn’t tell anyone! I couldn’t tell my corps buddies that I was, I’d be ridiculed for life. My father would have bought me a hooker if I had told him. No one knew, and now I had to come out to Ella, who I knew wasn’t. “El I’m a virgin.”
She busted up laughing. “Your joking right? I mean you were a Marine for crying out loud!” Great now she was ridiculing me. She stopped laughing when I didn’t show the same amusement. I don’t think she thought I was serious. I think she thought I was just lying to say I didn’t want to sleep with her, because the next thing I knew, she was standing and her eyes were narrowed at me. “Look, David. If you don’t want me than just say so, don’t go making up shit!” And then she took off.
Wait, what just happened? First we were making out, then she stormed out because I wasn’t going to put out? This doesn’t make any sense. I slammed my back against the wall and started to pound my head. “Stupid, stupid, stupid!” I cried out to no one but myself. I looked out the window and I already knew she was long gone. Of course I wanted her. I’ve been dreaming about her body against mine under the covers since I laid my eyes on her.
I headed to bed soon after and I just laid there with my right hand down my boxers. There, I did what every man in my position would have done, I abused myself. I regretting not saying yes. I regretted knowing that if I had just gone with it I would be lying next Ella’s naked body. UHG! I need her!