I Now Stand Alone: Chapter II

by Tony Bennett

Tormented Lives/John Exposed

With about a year and a half to go in my studies and all this time spent without anyone in my life, I began to wonder if I'd made a mistake not getting involved with anyone after Sheila. I had no one. No, not a girlfriend, a lover or a telephone/email pin pal; nothing, no one. I was getting frustrated and it was showing. People that I worked with, my classmates, friends that have known me for years and family; all were beginning to realize that something was wrong that I'd begun to retreat from them, and with no explanation. After one of my old girlfriends (Pat) was unable to reach me for some time, a few months or so, she stopped by parents house to inquired about me. She'd been calling my campus apartment for months and I'd not returned any of her calls, she'd begun to wonder what, if anything had happened to me. Pat and I were childhood friends and over the years we'd constantly stay in contact with each other. She was a true friend. She was always there for me in times of need and as we became closer, I would be there for her as well.

After the episode with Sheila, Pat was the person that I called. She took the time to talk me through the ordeal. She was my rock, the strength that I'd counted on when things got too rough for me to handle. She was the only person I'd told what happened between John and I. She was so understanding after I told her, her words were so comforting that after our conversation, I could only rest my head on her shoulders and welcome the comfort that she so modestly given me. The ordeal had truly broke me down with sorrow, guilt; crazed with the thought of being violated, my feelings after the event; although I never told to John, were so scrambled that I actually had thoughts of suicide. And during a night of drunken discuss for what had happened, I sat in my room with a knife in hand; with thoughts of plunging it into my now lifeless heart; it was Pat the called me and said, "what ever your doing, drop it, I'm on the way over." When she said this I dropped the knife and sat on the corner of the bed, like so me lifeless slug but through this sickness and grief I felt, I could only think that somehow she knew what I was going through and was about to do.

When she got there she began telling me that as she lay in her bed slowly drifting off to sleep, she'd dreamt of me surround in a pool of blood, crying out for help, but alone, with no one to hear; I lay there dying. This immediately woke her up and that's when she called. She'd saved my life that night and our friendship was moved ever closer after that. She sat with me for hours and when I woke that next morning, we were laying in bed beside each other huddled together like two lovers still embraced in the passion that was the night before. Awaking to this and now knowing the intimate touch of each other embrace, we were drawn ever closer and our bond would become even stronger. Pat became a many weekend excursions for me. We'd go out to dinner, the movies, little quiet clubs; she was the one that turned me on to the Jazz scene. Pat was about five years older than I was, but she never made me feel like a youngster.

We were always equal in everything, but what I'd never told her, was that she was the person that made me a man. She'd developed this poor little boy into a man with all the strength, passion and desires that; as she would later say, any women could ever want. Yes, Pat and I had become lovers but in a deeper sense of the word. She knew of my love for Sheila and I of her one true love Michael. Michael was Pat first and one true love. He'd beguiled her from the very there very first meeting and in her eyes there was nothing that he could do wrong. She asked him numerous times about coming over to his house for dinner or a late night soirée, but he always had a way of putting her off. Until one night after he left her house, she followed him home and found out the real reason for his constant maneuvering when this subject came up. She found out that night that Michael was married with a stepdaughter, but this didn't matter.

Pat had it bad and this wasn't good; and as her love for him flourished his departure became more evident. She never let on about her knowing that he had a family. I guess she thought if given enough love that he would confess, but this wasn't in Michael's character. He only wanted someone that he could lay up with, someone that would do all the things that his wife wouldn't, and Pat would. Anything he wanted, any way he wanted. Pat would give it to him. The more he tried to retreat, the better, longer and harder Pat would suck and fuck him the next time they were together. You know, there's an old saying, "that you want your wife to be this beautiful, loving women in public, but you whore in the bedroom."

Well, evidently his wife was no whore in or out of the bedroom, but Pat was. She'd become his special little plaything and he captivated her totally. She couldn't let go and he knew it. So without a word edgewise, he left her without a word, just fucked her one night, got up the next morning and was gone. She's not heard from him in over two years. She says this is what helped her develop her strength. And she was just that, strong. She was the strongest person I'd ever known. But the passion and love that we shared was not what one would consider normal, as you would probably think of two people that enjoyed everything together; which we did. There were no walls between us, we knew were we each stood and we didn't cross those lines. We'd both been hurt and knew that if nothing else the love of friend- ship would always be there for us both. That even if we'd find other partners, our love would always be, no matter what, the love we shared was one that would never end.

Many would have called our relationship strange, but it benefited us both. We both loved each other, but knew where we stood. How many people could say that? We were a comfort to each other and our relationship may have been strange but in many ways it had elevated what we both knew beyond that of any other relationship either had shared with another. We could talk about anything and everything, never letting it get in the way or affect the passion we shared each for each other. She'd grown to love me and I her without any equivocation, which is something that most couples never experience. But as our love and friendship developed, and it was time for me to go to college, we gradually moved our relationship to a higher form, a higher level of understanding of our relationship. We'd moved away from making physical love to one that was more spiritual.

She and my mother had become close. Even closer than my younger sister ever was to my mother. When I went off to college she took up the slack that my leaving would cause my household, my mother. She took care of everything and my mother loved her dearly for it. As I said, my mother and I were very close and the decision to leave and go to college out of state was the hardest one I ever made. But Pat was there and this I think, hell I know, rested and comforted my mother, father and me. She was there to put back the spark that my absence brought. She was there the night that my mother died and was the one that came down, not called; but drove 5 hours to tell me.

That was Pat, always so caring and giving. I'd loved her for what seemed all my life and needed her for what seemed everything emotional. And now that I'd not returned he calls in months, she'd become worried. It was unlike me to not call her at least once a week or come home and spend a weekend with her at least once a month. She'd not heard from me in over 3 months and now believed that something terrible had happened. When she got to my parents house, my father told her that he'd not heard from me in about 2 months, but he knew that I'd been studying hard and had told him that if he'd not heard from me in a week or so, not to worry. But as Pat explained to him, it had been 2 to 3 months. I believe my farther processing of time had stopped shortly after my mother's death and that his time without her was playing heavily upon his mind. I was in pain mentally and physically. It had been over a year since I'd been with a woman and thoughts of Sheila kept running ramped through my mind. The need for female companionship and physical contact was becoming more and more prevalent and without the physical relief of a woman, the frustration my body was feeling was coming out in my manner. I was becoming very bitchy as one of my classmates told me, of which I replied, "bitch you think you think I'm bitchy now, just wait until tomorrow."

One night I was out getting plastered, as if this would bring my soul relief; and as I did 3 to 4 times a day called to check my voice mail messages. To my surprise, my brother had left a message stating that Pat had come by talked to my father about not being able to reach me and then came to his house looking for information on me because she could get nothing substantial from my father. But as he stated he didn't know anything either.

My brother and I, although loving, share nothing in common. I'd call him on his birthday every year and truly I can't remember him ever calling me to wish me anything. Except for the time when the doctor's thought that I had throat cancer and then he bothered me for weeks before surgery thinking that he would loose me. He stopped smoking, starting working out. But as soon as he found out it wasn't the phone calls stopped and he became his old self again. But as she would tell me later, she'd forgotten that our relationship, although not bad, wasn't the greatest. When I finally drugged myself back to campus and as I began stumbling up the stairs to my room, I vaguely noticed the door to my room slightly ajar. And like the drunken fool I was, I burst into the room hollering, "I got you fuckaaa, tryin' to rob me and shitttt," laughing all the time.

As I looked up, I notice that the person sitting in my room was not a man (as one would have believed a robber to be) but a woman. It was Pat. And at that very moment of realization, my eyes became dark, my head became light and the next thing I knew it was afternoon, the next day. I was lying in bed with a mountain-sized headache and butt naked. As I turned to get out of bed, my feet landed in what seemed like a paddle of water. When my feet hit it of course I screamed like a church girl which woke Pat up. What I'd learned over the next hours was that after she'd put me to bed, I'd rolled over in the middle of the night and threw up all over the bed and floor. But my question was "why was I laying butt naked on the bed with only a sheet covering me." She explained that I'd thrown up on the bed and everywhere else for the matter. And that it had taken everything that she had to lift me up from the bed take my clothes off and remove the linen from the bed and put me back in it; then try, as she did to clean the place up. That by the time she'd finished, the sun was coming up and she was dead tried. So I thanked her and told her to go back to sleep.

Knowing that I'd cause her more than enough pain, by not returning her calls and by coming in drunk as I did; that after all her kindness I could at least prepare something for her to eat. So I went to the store and brought some things to make lunch. Arriving back at the apartment, I looked around and saw the shambles that I'd left the place in. I then looked at Pat as to remember how wonderful she was and how she'd always taken care of me. And this day was no less than the many before. I bent over her and gently kissed her, whispered thank you and began cleaning the place. After clean the place up and taking a shower, through on some Coltrane and I began cooking.

As she slept and I cooked I noticed her movement become more and more restless and wondered if she was having a bad dream, the music, or was it the smell of the food in the air. I could see that she was waking up, so I turned down the music, sat beside her gently moving my finger through her hair, as to gently help awaken her. As her eyes opened and she presented this wonderful/restful smile. She asked what time it was and I responded by telling her it was around 3:00pm. She'd thought she'd slept too long and began asking in a worried short of way, if I was all right. That I'd scared her by not returning her calls over the last few months. I told her it was ok, that I'd prepared something for us to eat and that we could then spend the day together and talk about things, her look became more pleased and we dined and talked. After eating we left my place and went to the hotel suite she'd rented and as she took a shower, I looked around the place and had a drink. She then called me into the bathroom and asked me to sit with her as she bathed. And as she did, I sat while she questioned me as to why I'd not contacted her or my family for so long and how was my studying going.

That was Pat, she could sense something wrong and react with such peace and understanding. She'd never pry, just show and give concern. That alone would make you realize your fault and begin releasing. But before I could begin, she walked out of the shower, reached for my face and lightly kissed me, running her tongue between my lips to moisten them. This was something that she'd always do prior to having me eat her pussy. It was wonderful. Her body was so warm as it was also wet. Her taste was so sweet that I spent what seemed like hours pleasing her. But in all honesty, I was the one getting most of the pleasure. It must have been a while since her last encounter, because as each lapping massage her clitoris received, I could feel her thighs tightening around my head and the moisture that she now spilled forth was heavy and tasted of bitter sweetness. After she was fully pleased, I lay beside her and talked to her about my troubles. At no time did I ask or expect her to reciprocate the deeds now done.

I wanted to please her and in it released the pressure that had built up in me for so long. But unlike most women, she didn't rush, pull or try to encourage me to continue making love to her, she lay with me and guided me to the physical resolve that I needed. And through this she made me realize that my physical frustration was only that I'd not had someone to comfort, comfort me and cuddle with.

That it didn't have anything to do with fucking, I was beyond that. That what I truly needed was to be able to physically fill a loving person next to me. She made me understand that the problems that I faced were pinned up from my past and that I'd decided my own route and with it didn't realize how hard it could be being along. I'd also realized that our relationship had grown and the level of maturity that between us had blossomed to a point where we didn't have to express verbally our needs. She knew, I don't know how, through my body's posture, something, that I needed the relief that only she could have given me. No other woman, no other fuck could have given me this. The pleasure that two souls joining brings another. Although my body craved release, it needed the gentleness of love that I'd only found in two women and the one that I loved and wanted most was the one that I'd not been able to see for almost two years.

She stayed with me the rest of the week and on Sunday, before leaving I asked her way she'd didn't stay with me at my apartment? She told me that upon her arrival she'd met someone who introduced himself as John and that he'd asked if I was looking for you. She replied yes and although he didn't have a key to my room, he was crafty enough to get the building's guard (who was somewhat of a friend) to open my room door. Using the excuse that Pat was my oldest sister and that no one had been able to contact me in over 3 months, the family had become worried, so Pat came down to investigate. The guard assured her, as did John that I was physically fine, but that I'd been showing some signs of stress or depression. Much to Pat's nature, she didn't lead on about anything, she just sat quietly as John began to tell her what must have seemed like his life's story. John always had the "gift of gab", but that affect was only for those who didn't know him and because he'd never met Pat and I'd never talked about her; he thought she knew nothing about him. That he could work his charms on her, he must have thought, or Pat the ever-consummate actress (in times of need) allowed him to believe that she was standing on every word that he said. Hell, she'd even agreed to dinner with him the very next week (an agreement made solely to quench his ego).

Now, I can understand why he would take the chance on Pat, my god she's one of God's most beautiful creations. Describing her would only do her unjust. John would make mention to her later to me and as to why I'd never spoken of her or introduced the two of them. But this was the reason that she rented the suite, because she knew, could feel, that John would be somewhere lurking around some dark deserted corner just trying to use whatever juice he could get on us to use at some later date. She was so understanding of everything that as usual I was left humbled by her and needed only to ask her forgiveness for being selfish and not returning her phone calls. As I looked at her boarding the plane, I knew then that there went, not just the only woman besides my mother and sisters that had given me unrequited love, but that she was the only true friend that I'd ever had. How much it meant and would continue to mean having her being filling the space of my life I was unable to express.

A couple of weeks would go by and John, one night around 10:30pm came to my room. He asked me about Pat and said that he'd been looking forward to having dinner with her. I'd forgot he was supposed to have dinner with Pat last Saturday and it now was a week later and he'd not heard from her, left him at a disappointing low. He'd asked me for her number, but as I told him she'd never mentioned having dinner with you and that I just couldn't without knowing for sure give out her number. "I can't without her permission." I that Pat was a very private person and I couldn't nor would I ever think of forsaking her confidence, the trust that we'd shared for so many years. He'd was becoming frustrated and his face showed it. But to quite him I told he that I'd lost the number and was awaiting my father or brother to get it for me because there was an upcoming engagement that I wanted her to attend with me. At that, John stormed out of my room, I was silently wishing, never to return and a sense of victory came over me and I smile with the knowledge that I won and he'd lost.

But this feeling of conquest would be short lived. He'd reappear about a month and a half later to my surprise with Sheila. I'd not seen Sheila in quiet some time (almost two years). Hell, it had been so long that I'd actually forgot how log it truly had been. She was beautiful. As she stood in the doorway, I could feel her presence radiate throughout my being. I didn't know what to say; I didn't know how to act. But, I could see that John was becoming full with the whole thing, as if to get back at me because of the broken date with Pat; or that I wouldn't and didn't give him her number. I thought quickly and realized that there was something that I had to do. One was to deal with my issues as they related to Sheila and second was to put a stop to Johns shit. So after a moment taken to regroup, I walked over to Sheila and hugged her and as I backed up I gently reached for her face and gently kissed her (full lipped), lightly passing my tongue through her lips, with which I felt her tongue reciprocate. Although I wanted it to last longer, I made it a quick one so as not to make John mad.

But also, as to not bring on too much attention. I now had to be like him, giving little, make it seem like a lot, only to get all that I wanted. After the kiss, I notice that Sheila had a big, bright smile on her face and I knew then that I'd fucked up whatever plans John had for some sort of retribution because of Pat's no show for their date. So, to put the nail in his casket per se, I lead Sheila to the bed and we started talking. Talking about what we both had been doing and why that we'd not seen each other in so long. How even though we lived on the same campus that we'd somehow had continuously missed each other. We both played it off to the old studying hard game. But we both knew that it was more than that. I asked her if there was anyone in her life and she quickly said no that she'd not been with anyone since May the 21, 1974. I thought why does this date ring such a bell, but blew it off as something that women do. I told her then if she wasn't seeing anyone that we should start hanging out like old times. She agreed and smiled as if sealing the deal with a handshake. We'd both forgot about John, who, as I looked out of the corner of my eye looking around my desk; secretly flipping through my phone book, noticeably looking for Pat's number. I then thought that he'd used Sheila to distract me as he searched my room. But, looking back on her face when I opened the door; she didn't know who's room she was going to. John had not let her know where she was going.

I believe that if he had that she wouldn't have agreed to come; but I believe that now she was glad she did. There were some things resolved and we could at least, now rekindle our friendship. Now, as John was unable to find what he was looking for, and not paying attention to what Sheila and I was talking about he immediately came over to Sheila and said that it was time that they left. As they left turned for the door I quickly wrote down my number and as we hugged during her departure, I slipped it in her dress pocket and patted her on the thigh to let her know something was there. As she backed off and turned towards the door, I could see in her face and that smile, that she knew that I'd given her something. We said our good-byes and they left and I got back to my studies, or tried to. I became restless and as I'd always done in the past, picked up the phone and called Pat. After about 9 rings she picked up the phone and as she answered, I could hardly recognize her voice. Her tone made me believe that she had cotton in her mouth, or had a mouth full of food. I soon find out how close I was. It was cotton and she'd only hours earlier come home from the hospital.

She didn't tell me why, so I played it off, thinking that it was probably a tooth problem or some kind of mouth infection. But for some reason I didn't think so, and asked her how was Michael. At which point she broke down crying and I immediately told her to stop and I was on my way. I arrived there 4 hours after our phone call; it was a five-hour drive. When I got there she was hysterical. She had been beaten, literally beaten to shit. Her beauty was only partly recognizable. Michael had beaten her badly and it must have been for a while. There was blood splattered all over the walls of the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. I just tried to comfort her and get her to get some rest. I gave her a sedative, put her to bed and began cleaning up the house. After staying with her for the next two weeks helping her to recover, she'd constantly told me that I needed to get back to school to my studies that I'd be missing too much work.

Little did she know that I'd called the next day and told my teachers that I was home on a family emergency and that I would need about two months off. That if they could collect my papers, test and any other thing that I needed to make up I'd take care it on my return. My father would also call to plea for them to do so. Dear OLE dad, he comes to the rescue sometime. But he knew what Pat had done for mom and he wasn't going to sit there and not give some assistance. After talking to the Dean and my professors, they agreed and I was able to spend two months at home.

I would find out after some time that Michael had come to Pat's home trying to get her back after his wife had dropped him, file for divorce and moved to another city. It seems that Michael's wife had come home only to find him fucking her 17-year-old daughter. This had been her 2nd husband and her daughter was the product of her 1st marriage. She'd been so careful about getting involved with another man. Especially since her daughter was growing so fast and looking more like a 21 year-old at 13 than many 21 year-old women. But Michael and the girl seemed to get along well and soon after seeing that she'd agreed to marry him something that he'd been asking her for three years. She'd never thought that Michael would have done something like that to this child or her. Michael had been living a double life. No one knew the real Michael. So one morning I told Pat that I was going to pick up a few things at the store and go see my father, that I would be back in a couple of hours. I'd called a detective friend of mine and got him to run a background check on Mr. Michael. It seems that this he had a record a mile long. He'd been arrested for batter, spousal and child abuse, and host of other things over the last 15 years; for some reason, like so many others he was able to slip between the cracks of the legal system and not spend hardly, if any time in jail. But this time it wouldn't be so easy for him to slip through the cracks from the people that I would have find him.

Without telling Pat, I had some old friends and family that still worked the streets find this Michael and bring him to me. We'd never met and by the time they'd brought him to a discarded shack in a wooded area of Suitland, Maryland he'd been beaten and I believe knew that his time was running out, that all the shit that he'd done over the years had caught up with him. When I got there I let him know that we knew what he'd been doing over the years and that the legal system had let him off. But we had no intention of doing the same. We put the fear of God in him for about five hours and beating him and putting him through the acts that he'd put so many other through, until he agreed to leave town and never to return. At which point I left him with the guys and returned to Pat. Two days later the phone rung, it was Michael's wife. It seems that she'd known about his affair with Pat and was calling not to push the issue but to tell Pat that Michael was missing.

But the grizzliest part was that the police had found an arm in the woods outside of Suitland, Maryland with a wedding band on it that was engraved with Michael and his wife name and inscription. It was traced back to her and she just wanted to let her know that it appeared that Michael had been murdered. I thought that Pat would have broke down, but the look on her face was that of satisfaction. I even believe I saw a smile come across her face. I later found out what happened to Michael after I left. It seemed that one of the guys recognized Michael from some years ago and that he'd molested his niece and he and the other guys decided to enact their revenge against him. We saw that highlights of this drama play out on the news for a couple of days and just like the legal system left Michael's crimes without a trace, so now did the legal system leave Michael's murder without a trace. After a week the case was dropped and the many people that Michael had hurt, abused and lied to were now given a sense of relief.

After Michael's death, Pat, his wife and I guess many others, were able to put their lives back together. Pat had become stronger (mentally and physically) during the last few weeks that I was there with her. It was getting close to the time that I had to get back to campus and we both knew it. So I made sure that Pat had everything she needed and left the next day. As I looked out of my rear view mirror I could see that Pat still wasn't full recovered (mentally). Although all her physical scars were gone, mentally Michael had left a scar that would stay with Pat forever; and to heal it would take every ounce of strength that we both could muster. I would keep in contact with Pat on a weekly basis and drive down to her house at least once a month. She'd taken a leave of absence from work. She said that she was going to take a least three months. So over the course of the three months, I knew that I would have to stay close to her while she was going through the rehabilitation process.

Being back at school was a nightmare, after being gone for two months. I had to study, constantly and along with that keep Pat's spirit up and then after a week being back a knock came to my door. I wondered who this could be, considering I somewhat disassociated myself from everyone on campus, with the exception of a few good friends and my professors. As each knock appeared to be harder and resounded through my apartment, I began to think that it might be the police; wanting to ask me questions about Michael's murder.

As I opened the door, this wonderful fragrance hit me and took me back to the night that I shared with Sheila. Now I remember May the 21, 1974 was the first and last night we'd spent together. As the door opened and she stood before me, I reached out for her and our body connected and we kissed. It was all I could do from crying having this women that had held my dreams, my life, my soul for so many years; who was now here, here again in my arms. As we stood there, all the emotions of that night returned.

I think we both wanted to make love but knew that we didn't need to rush back into anything. We spent the day lying in bed eating and talking. But as we reminisced on the past, things that were held for years were about to be let out. Of course my first question was why that night after we made love had she decided that our relationship had to end. If she just wanted to fuck then why would she have climbed back into the back seat and make love to me again. As she began telling me, she broke into tears and I wondered what could been so terrible. After she gathered herself, I told her to just take her time. As she began, I noticed that she couldn't look me in the eyes while telling me and I immediately thought that she was lying all over again.

But as she continued, I was held totally by the things that she was now describing. That of the horrific acts of John and her mother's husband. That of the sexual abuse that she'd received from her stepfather and upon telling her mother countless times was send to live with her aunt, John's mother. She told me that her stepfather was continuously making passes at her, but of course never when her mother was around.

After her mother had gone to work one day and her stepfather had taken off sick (this was a lie), he attached her and nearly raped her. He was however careful not to hit her, probably because her mother would then question the validity of Sheila story. She was however able to breakaway from him and ran to a neighbor's house, called the police and her mother. It's seems that during the telephone conversation with her mother her mother again told Sheila that she was lying and that she wasn't going to take off her job for such nonsense.

But, when Sheila told her mother that she'd already called the police and that they had arrested her stepfather, her mother literally dropped the phone and ran out of her office, not to her daughter's defense, but that of her husband. Sheila was devastated, and now realizing that her mother was totally engulf by this mans ability to manipulate her, believed that she had no choice but to give in to him if she wanted to continue a relationship with her mother. Her father had already left when she was only 7 and getting over that was traumatic enough for her to get over. She was now ready to give in, for nothing more than her mother's love; and she let her stepfather know this. But as his smile of conquest spread across his face her mother walked into the room.

He began telling her mother that Sheila had come to him asking for his forgiveness for all the false accusations about him and that of her sorrow for having him arrested. But to his and Sheila amazement her mother had already arranged with her sister (John's mother) to have her live with her in Maryland. That she would be moving there the very next week. As Sheila got up and smiled in her stepfather's direction, his face had from triumph to lost. Later that night she heard her mother and stepfather arguing about Sheila's move and she wondered now after hearing some of the things he was saying would her mother now believe her. In the closed space that was their room, her mother began to realize that Sheila had not been lying about his advancements. That if Sheila had truly been lying on him then why would he want to continue having her around. But the stage had been set and Sheila was moving the next week to Maryland.

Sheila loved John's mother, they'd always got along and she would always take Sheila shopping for nice girly things every time she'd stay there. She was like the mother Sheila never had and Sheila like the daughter she'd always wanted. Her only fought was that she, not truly knowing the person that her son was, in a family meeting with her husband and John prior to Sheila coming told them why Sheila was moving in with them. In the beginning it was a great setup. She was able to do and be the young lady that her aunt, never her mother, had told her she was and her new family was always there to lend a hand when she had problems with anything. She told me that John was, during that time, her best friend. He'd take her everywhere he went. Buying her all these wonderful things and on many weekends wouldn't go on dates with many of his friends unless she could come along.

She thought so highly of him. But this was all a game it was a way to get her confidence before he tear it down by manipulating her into doing things for him. At first it was just hand-jobs. Then he wanted her to let him eat her. Then it was I. Me, I thought. What about me, what had I done? It seems that John told her that I was a virgin and it was time for me to lose my virginity; and that he'd done something to me that was wrong and that he knew that we both like each other so he thought is was a good idea. My response was, "but why? No matter if I was a virgin or he'd done something to me or not you should have never given up your body to satisfy is crazy whims." Then I thought, and asked, "what does he have on you?"

She replied, as she began to bow her head, "nothing." I lifted her head and said, "Sheila this is me you don't have to hold back, I'm not going to hold anything against you, you know that; what does he have?" "It's nothing he has nothing, he has nothing. It's just what he'll tell my aunt and uncle. He told me that if I didn't do the things that he wanted he'd tell them that I'd try to seduce him and they'd then kick me out. What was I to do? My mother already thought that I was lying about my stepfather all these years. My aunt and uncle have been so good to me, I couldn't let them down like this. I told her, "you're not letting them down, it's them that would be letting you down if they believe something that stupid."

I told her that everything would be ok, that I'd take care of John. That his hold on her wouldn't continue. She then told me, "that he's not tried to do anything now that we're in college. I guess he's got a lot more to choose from here." But that he'd caused bigger trouble in Rinky and Joyce's life than he could have ever caused her. "What, what has he done to them?" I asked. It seems that John had not only seen the two of them making love under the bleachers but he'd seen them making love in many p laces around school and had taken pictures of it. He'd threatened her to expose the pictures in school and to the teachers and principle, if she didn't slept with him. So she's been sneaking off with him for a number of years since, high school. That the reason that Rinky was leaving was that be believed that the baby that Joyce carried was John's.

At that moment I thought back to night of Rinky's party and the reactions that Joyce was giving John as she stood there at the bar. I wondered what could he had said that would a one point rock her to where she looked like she'd die right there, then only to bringing smile to her face. Rinky had a number of questions for Joyce about this pregnancy. That he knew that they never used protection and that in all the years they'd been together that he'd never had an orgasmic inside her, for their protection and that she'd become accustomed to being squirted. But one night she made him cum in her and to this day he didn't understand why she held on to him until he did. But there were signs that she might have been unfaithful. He'd find John's number on her caller id at late hours. One morning when he walked in her room he could have sworn that he smelled Johns cologne in the air; and when he asked about it she became strangely agitated and rushed them out of the room.

He'd also force Joyce and I on several occasions to make love, while he watched. Using things that he'd gathered over the years as a means to manipulate us both. After hearing all this I wondered how much more John had done to each of us. He'd caused such turmoil within our little group, now each of us had become his victim to some degree. As Sheila sat there going over countless episodes of things her, Joyce and Rinky had endured over the years my mind seemed to just freeze with the numbness of knowing all the cold things that he'd done to each of them and myself. That night she lay within my arms as if they and I were some kind of protective blanket against the ills of John.

Two days later, I received a letter from Rinky. He was in Germany and not handling the military life well at all. He missed Joyce and the gang and wanted nothing more than to come home and begin his life. But, there were a couple things that he knew he had to take care of. He'd been seeing a couple of white (German) girls while he was there, drinking and smoking a lot of pot and opium.

He knew that Joyce was only months away from having the baby and wanted to leave school and come to Germany to have the baby and be close to him. He was undecided as to what or how to handle it. He asked that if he paid for my trip would I come over there for a month or so to help him get straightened out. In my reply letter to him, I told him that I couldn't at this time come to Germany. I'd just taken off over a month helping another friend out and that right now my studies were so intense that I didn't know if I was going to get pass this year. It hurt and me, the thought of not being able to help one of my oldest friends. But for the sake of my career, I couldn't take the time to go to Germany to help him with is and the life that he'd so desperately wanted and needed. So I did the only thing that I could, and that was to write him; hoping that he would read what I have to say and move towards resolving the problems that he and Joyce had.

But I suggested to him that if he loved Joyce as he'd shown since high school, then he needed to have her there with him so that they could work their problems out. Joyce had always been his strength and that she still was. But that there were many things that he didn't know had happened to her and that she would now need his strength to get past much of it. About a month and a half later, Sheila and I helped Joyce pact up for her move to Germany. It took about three days for us to box everything up, but Joyce wanted to make sure that when she left she had everything that would make a home for the three of them. She was so excited. She never knew what lay in store for her upon her arrival. Rinky, although loving Joyce with all his heart felt that she'd been unfaithful to him by sleeping with John, now was going to show her how it was done. He'd not listened to the words I written him, if in fact he'd read the letters at all. I thought that he would let it all go and become a wonderful husband and fat her. I was wrong; he became just the opposite.

On her arrival, he came to the military airport wasted and two hours late. It would not been that big of a deal, except that she didn't know where she was and pregnant and the long flight had weighed heavy on her. She would later tell me, that he could hardly stand up, and that if not for help be two of his friends would have surely been arrested by the German police for being drunk and disorderly. When she got to the apartment, she was devastated. The place was a mess and before she could rest from the long 13-hrs flight, she had to clean the entire place. As he lay there passed out from liquor and opium, she struggled (at 8 months) to fix the place up. That after cleaning the apartment she noticed that there was no food in the house at all. Well, her mother had given her $500.00 and Sheila and I had pulled together another $250.00 for her. As Rinky lay there she left to go to the store in order to purchase food for the house. She'd foolishly left $600.00 in an envelope in plain site, not thinking t hat Rinky would wake up before she returned.

As she walked down the boulevard to the butchers market, two women noticed her from pictures in their apartment. They pulled her to the side and introduced themselves. After they shopped for food, they arranged to have the food delivered to her and Rinky's apartment. They took her to look for clothes for the baby and afterwards sat down and had lunch. Joyce asked about life in Germany and how it was to be a military wife overseas.

She talked about what she'd walked into after arriving from the states and that she'd spent the better part of the day cleaning up the mess that was now her home. She asked the women Julie (a half-black, half-white girl from England) and Sandy (a tall dark woman from New Jersey), was this something that they had to endure coming from home to leave with there spouses. They taken a liken to Sheila and told her that during the first year Rinky was such a wonderful person and that all he could talk about was her. That he'd prepared a wonderful apartment for them to come to. That he was so excited about you coming. He went out buying all these wonderful things for her and the baby. Most of which had now been sold in order to support his many habits. The only thing that remained was the stereo, furniture and baby clothes.

Sheila asked, "what could have happened to him to make him change so fast. I know that he was lonely, his letters always mentioned that fact." But then the letters stopped and it was months before she heard from him. Julie told her that, "he seemed to change over night. My Mickey told me that one day he got this letter from the states and after he just started drinking, cursing and acting strange. Mickey thought it was a Dear John letter from you, but never asked him anything, just stayed with him until the turmoil was over. They told her that he'd had a number of women friends and that they'd later see them wearing many of the things that he'd brought for her; which lead them to believe that you'd dumped him. So when we saw you today we were truly surprised. After about three hours Joyce knew that she needed to get back to the apartment and as she reached it, there was a weird feeling that came over her. As she walked through the door she could see that the deliveryman had brought the groceries and that Rinky was no where to be found.

There was a funny stench to the air in the apartment and as she inhaled more it hit her like a brick. "That's drugs that I smell" and it began to make her sick to her stomach. She then remembered that in her hurry she'd left the money out and that the delivery man my have come in while Rinky was sleep and taken it. As she looked around searching frantically for the envelope. It was now were to be found. She walked into the bathroom and as she sat there on the toilet crying, she looked down and the envelope lay off to the side of the toilet. She opened it to see that only about $75.00 was missing and thought, "if the delivery man would have take it, her would have taken it all." She immediately knew that Rinky had taken the money for drugs, liquor or both. He didn't come home until around 2:00am and during the time she'd was searching for whatever clues she could find, that would piece together what had cause Rinky's to change so quickly. It didn't take long for her to find it. When she saw found let ter that the girls had mentioned, the handwriting and were it was mailed from, she knew exactly who'd written it and what it must have said. So as she settled herself to read the letter (from John) she began to cry and shake knowing that John had betrayed her.

It seems that the night of the party, John had questioned her about the baby, as to who the father was. When she said it was Rinky, he politely called her a lie and told her if she didn't tell him the truth that he would go right over to Rinky and tell him right then that he's been fucking her since high school. She then told him the truth that the baby was his and that she'd not told Rinky the truth, that she'd just let him think it was his and that they'd rise the baby and that maybe one day she'd be able to tell him the truth. John then told her "not to worry, not to worry, I won't say anything, as long as you name the baby after me. It is a boy isn't it?" "Yes," she replied, "yes it's a boy, it's a boy." Well, during the time that John was treating her, must have been the time that I notice the frightened look on her face and the relief that she gave must have been his promise to keep their secret. On that he couldn't wait to tell. Although Joyce's fathers name was Jonathan, which was the reason she told Rinky that she wanted to name the baby John, it too was a lie and Rinky had always felt as much, but the letter would explain it all; and this is what drove Rinky to drinking and drugs.

The letter started off my telling Rinky that he was always was he's favorite out to the bunch (a lie), and that he was sure that his military career would be a great one, or some bullshit to that effect. John then went on to tell him that over the years that he'd been seduce into making love to Joyce, that it first happened when he accidentally walked in on Joyce and Sheila making love, that they wanted him to join in. He would tell Rinky that it continued over the years because Joyce told him that he (Rinky) was fucking someone else behind her back and she wanted and needed someone. The letter ended by telling him that she confessed to him that the baby was his. It ended by telling him that he was sorry that his brother was killed in the crossfire of a gang war. Rinky had been so high that he'd not opened the letters that his mother had sent from the states and with is telephone being disconnected he never knew about his brother and didn't make the funeral. As she sat there crying and ripping the letter to shreds, Rinky walked in. He'd been drinking and getting high and in a monotone voice he told her that there was no need in destroying the letter, because he'd already read it and made a dissension on there relationship.

Rinky told her that no matter what that he still loves her and that he would take care of the baby and her. He knew, but didn't say what kind of person John truly was and that, John had only written him about these things to destroy their relationship; one that he'd been jealous of for years. He didn't want to talk about it, but that he was sorry that he'd left the place in such a mess and that he'd made some mistakes and that he would make changes in his life for her and the baby's sake. This was a promise the Rinky was ill prepared to keep. He stopped drinking and getting high during the last months of Joyce's pregnancy, but shortly afterwards he retreated back into the same hell that he was in prior to her coming. Joyce's only relief it seemed, was her son, and the beauty of Germany. That of the people and the trees she saw from her apartment window. She looks out at them for hours and thinks about the time that she and her son would leave Germany and Rinky and return home. How she'd start over and make a new life for them both.

But before this happened she would get caught up the hell that Rinky was now living in. They'd sit back with a number of friends getting drunk and high all day long. Although she was taking care of their son, she'd begun to neglect herself and it was beginning to show. At her lowest point, Rinky brought a friend home (another woman). This was someone that she'd heard from the other military wives of. They'd also run into each other on numerous occasions, but hatred was not what was not what was in their eyes. It was lust. As Rinky sat there trying (or as he thought he was) to persuade Joyce to have a threesome with him and this women. Joyce just looked at him with discuss. Then as if to use the old Bullwinkle adage "watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat," he said, "well you'd do it if I were John, wouldn't you." She looked at him, stood up, crabbed his hand and led him to the bedroom. Between her and the women, Rinky was spent and asleep within a half-hour. At which time they turned to each other and embraced in what would be an entire night of passionate lovemaking.

She believed that he began to look down upon himself after this. He'd join the ranks of John and others of their kind that believed that women were only for the service of men and nothing more. But he never asked her to participate in another sexual encounter again. She'd become taken by this young enlisted man that had become a wonderful friend to her and her son.

They spent many afternoons and evenings at the various parks, and zoos in Munich and were becoming fast friends. She'd stopped drinking and getting high and the fullness that was in her face and body returned. They'd talked about making love and as the time they'd both wanted arrived something in her asked him if he wouldn't mine making love to her with Rinky. He looked at her and asked, "how could you ask me that. I thought he was the one thing that you didn't want or needed in you life anymore."

With that, he put her and the baby in a taxi and raced them back to the base, never to lay eyes on them again. As she set thinking about what had transpired, she didn't think nothing was wrong with what she'd ask. She would later confided in Julie and she would make her understand. At which point she broke down. She'd not realized that this man, this man that she'd loved since junior high had for whatever reason caused her to lose whatever self-respect she had. That he'd broken her down as some means of paying her back for what had happened between John and her. She never said a word after that. She stayed with him until their return to the states and she was able to get a job.

For eight months she worked and saved her money, slowly plotting her and her baby's escape. Once she'd save enough money, she moved out while he was out on one of his nightly binges. But as the truck load down with all the things she'd brought to and back from Germany left the cul-de-sac where they lived, Rinky was pulling into the driveway; not knowing that the truck that had only moments ago passed him lay his wife, child and his future. He saw, nor did he hear from her again for another two years; and this was only through the help of his mother. Joyce and her had stayed close and from time to time she'd allow his mother to take the baby on the weekends. His mother knew of the problems they'd shared, that the baby wasn't really Rinky's, but she loved it just the same; and smothered him with all the things that she'd not been unable to give her youngest son. He'd been killed as a result of two warring gangs, that he'd been killed in the crossfire. Rinky would live out the next 8 years, going from job to job, living with his mother, different women and at one point me.

I Now Stand Alone: Chapter II by Tony Bennett

© Copyright 2000. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

TimBookTu Logo

Return to the Table of Contents | Return to Main Page