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24 hours, 5 years, 10 months Ch. 07

"Jim, I've got a problem. Do you have time now to talk with me about it quickly? I'm on my break and this isn't life or death, but it's close."

"Hold on Gail Marie, let me run into the spare conference room for a bit of privacy." It took me about a minute to find the room and thankfully it's empty. "Ok, what's up?"

"You know that I'm in the ER this week because they were short staffed, right?"

"Go ahead."

"They brought in a hit and rum victim from the highway. Unconscious. No ID on him. The cops said that it looks like a Good Samaritan flinched his wallet." She paused, "It's Jay." It got deadly quiet.

Jay was her lover over 5 years ago. We've spoken about him and her and everything about what happened. She's said that there has been no contact at all from him since that day. Now he's back, and hurting and a John Doe? "Gail Marie, do the right thing."

"I needed to tell you about it first, and then tell the Police, the Social Worker and the admitting Department."

"Do you still have Mary's phone number? His ex. They'd be looking for somebody that had any information on his family. You have to do what is right. I understand, but do what is right and do it quick."

"I've got her number. Thank you. I'll call when I get an update."

The rest of the day put me back those years, and once again, showed me how far we have come. Gail Marie moved back in with me 3 months ago, and it's been a ride. Lots of ups and downs, but we never wavered from the trust we now have for each other. Jay 'showing up' was trust and communication front and center. Clean, clear, upfront.

A month ago, Charlene came into town and she even stayed with us for 2 days. The three of us had dinner together and Gail Marie and I found out her car broke down and needed the additional time for the repair. Her budget was tight and it was Gail Marie that quietly suggested to me that we could put her up if I wanted to extend the offer. Living in the same house for two nights was slightly different. Those two realized that they weren't competitors and warmed to each other.

Now it was Jay. He was married for about a year when my emails put an end to his life in Cincinnati. Gail Marie apologized to Mary about a year later. They both have kept in touch. It doesn't matter what Jay did before, he at least deserves our assistance now.

Gail Marie gave me a call at 11:15 and asked if we could host a visitor. Mary was driving up from Cincinnati and could use a place to stay. I agreed and Gail Marie said she'd fill me in the details when we both got home.

I was home first, so I pulled the leftovers from the fridge and microwaved two plates worth. I did make a fresh salad, waiting till Gail Marie got home to dress it with salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. My cooking has improved. At least I know how to make a salad and when to dress it.

As soon as she came in, Gail Marie started talking. "Jim it was unreal. The last person in the world shows up on my shift, unconscious and unidentified. To be honest, I freaked out a little, and that's why I called you right away. I would have spoken to the police and hospital anyway, but it felt better knowing you were in on it from the start."

"I have no problem with it. I think that we both are always glad to be able to help out when there is a need. But what about Mary?"

"This I'm not really sure about all the details. They aren't together, not even living in the same state. Mary is still in Cincinnati, his mother is someplace near the Twin Cities and he's near her and in Florida too. I don't understand it myself. His mother can't drive and is taking care of his child. His brother is on a cruise in Greece right now. Mary was the only one available. Her ex-mother-in-law asked and she agreed to come for Jay. I'm sure we may find out more when she arrives. She was due to leave at noon and with the traffic, she should be at the hospital about now. She'll call us before she leaves or if she needs anything."

"I have to ask you, how do you feel about all of this? Last month it was my ex and this month, it's the ex-wife of your..."

"Affair? That's the prettiest way I can put it. We could get graphic and call it what it really was." I shook my head no. "So affair it is.

"Jim, we're not the same people we were then. I finally grew up thanks to you. First 5 years ago and in these past 7 months, so much more. You've been a role model for me. So how I feel? A bit confused but feeling like we're doing the right thing all around. Between us and with Mary and even Jay. I have to hold my head up high for the rest of my life, and this is part it."

After dinner, we checked the guest bedroom and put out fresh towels for Mary, then waited. It was about 9:30 when we got the call. She had GPS on her phone and we put the light on for her. We met her at her car when she pulled in the driveway.

She looked pretty worn and I immediately grabbed her suitcase from her car and Gail Marie offered her dinner and anything else. She asked for a drink of water and something small to eat. We gave her some time to decompress at the dinner table alone. She started to look a bit rested and she joined us in the living room.

"I'd like to thank you for letting me stay here, and on such short notice. After I got the call this morning and I called everybody I could, it's been non-stop."

"So how is he doing? When I saw him in the ER this morning, I was shocked. No ID, no nothing. I didn't know what to think."

"Actually his car broke down on the 894 bypass and he walked a mile to an exit where somebody hit him. Once the police got a name and his home, he was connected to the car. They searched the area where he was discovered and his wallet was in the weeds. Nothing was missing. At first they couldn't connect him to the wallet, his son's picture was in it. They were looking for an African American."

We both must have appeared confused. Mary looked at us and smiled. "Oh, you don't know."

"To be honest Mary, I've known nothing of Jay since that day over 5 and a half years ago when I grabbed his phone and..."

"Let me go back to that time and then to the present. It'll all make more sense. By the way, could I bother you two for a drink?"

"Mary you've come to the right place. We have all kinds of wine. We have red, white, and pink. We have box and ..."

Gail Marie barged right in "Mary please forgive Jim, he thinks that it's funny to pull this old line on everybody. We have about everything. What would you like?"

"At the risk of it being a cliché, some white wine?"

"Done, you are ok with Trader Joes wine selection?" Mary answered, "A woman after my own heart, and wine merchant." That's when Gail Marie turned to me, "Jim open the one in the fridge and bring out two wine glasses. Why don't you pour yourself some bourbon and then join us."

"DONE? And I get to do the work?" I started laughing, and then Mary saw the humor and chuckled. Gail Marie only smiled with an 'I got caught' smile. We are a couple in all ways. A good couple.

I uncorked the $6 chardonnay for them and made a Manhattan for myself and sat back down. "Here you go ladies." I put the bottle on a coaster on the coffee table and sat down. Wine helps things sometimes.

"As I was saying, that day that it all blew up was the last straw for me. Jay had been playing around and this time I couldn't deny it any longer. I'd had it with him for a while. I've never thanked you Jim for what you did. It stopped me from enabling him, denying what it was doing to me. I kicked his ass out that day.

"The funny thing, he finally stopped being a jerk after that. The divorce went smoothly and we did it with a minimum of fus while he was living in Florida. He got a sales job down there almost immediately.

"About two years after it was finalized, he showed up at my door and asked to go out to dinner. He made it clear that this was dinner on the up and up. That's when he told me what was really going on in his life, and showed me a picture of his adopted son, and his partner," she paused, "Trevnor."

"It turns out his entire life he'd been fighting who he was. He and his mother were part of a very conservative church. I know all conservative churches are not like this, but this one was a fire and brimstone on homosexuality.

"He told me that he married me to 'cure' him. I found out that this wasn't uncommon for men and women who aren't straight. When that didn't work, he kept going after new female conquests to try to cure him again and again. When it all blew up and he was alienated from his church, he went to Florida.

"There he found another church that was much more accepting of gays and lesbians. That's where he met Trevnor. Trevor's in the Navy and is in the mid-east right now. I contacted him about Jay and he's trying to see if he could get leave. Together, they adopted a crack baby. Trevnor is African American. Jay's mother in the Twin Cites is taking care of 5 year old Jason when Jay is on the road. He was heading back home when his car overheated on 894 west of the city.

"We'll never be lovers, but we have moved to being good friends. He's not a bad guy since he's gotten serious in life...That's why I came up here for him. His son is in special-ed, and will always have problems in life. He and Trevnor knew it going in. I feel I need to support that. Besides, I'm Jason's godmother.

"Jay's spoken to me in the past about apologizing to you two. He's in stable condition and we'll see if he's alright after a few days. They're keeping him in a medical coma for now."

This was Gail Marie's specialty, medical stuff. Medical stuff is my professional term for it. "You have a few days for that. You do know that they sometimes can hear you, even while in the coma. I had a patient in for a week in the ICU like that. The family stayed around him the entire time. When he came out, he recounted all what he heard. He found out that his bitch of a wife loved the hell out of him but never really told or showed him. He was shocked, it helped in rebuilding their marriage. So be careful on what you say. By the way, do you want to ride with me to work? It'll save you on the parking costs."

"Thanks a lot Gail Marie. That would be great." She turned to me. "Jim, Gail Marie said that it was OK for me to stay here for a few days? Are you good with that? I feel like I'm imposing."

Gail Marie popped on up, "Well yes you are." I was a little shocked. We had spoken about the possibly of this happening and ... "And we wouldn't have it any other way. You have important things to do and this is the least we could do to help out."

At that I looked at Mary and nodded yes. I sipped my drink, and found the bottom of my glass dry, as well as theirs. I poured another round for them and got a chaser for me.

"Mary, I had no idea what I set into play that day. It was 5 years before Gail Marie and I even talked with one another. Now 7 months later, we're back together. What has your life been like besides rescuing ex-husbands and godsons?"

"It started out learning to stand on my own two feet. I got a lot of support from my friends. They'd been worried about me for quite a while. After feeling sorry for myself, I got into what I call 'future mode'. Drop the past and run toward a future of my own making. I went back to college part time evenings and graduated with a BA and then started a masters. I'm still in that now. It doesn't leave much time for relationships, but I do go out on dates every month or two. Not finding the time or the energy for it."

"I do sometimes fall back to the anger and hurt I had." At this point she looked at Gail Marie. "When we were married and he was stepping out, I so wanted to rub his face in it and the face of the women that he was fucking around with." My partner's face went pale at this. "But I got this letter from his last transgression that changed my mind about everything. I don't know if you know this Gail Marie. You saved me from super revenge anger and wasting my life on that. You were the only one that apologized to me." She took a sip of her wine. "And you got your father to force the letter into my hand. You were truly a life saver."

Gail Marie had a look of shock then wonderment on her face, while Mary smiled at her sweetly. "I'm just so sorry for the wrongs I had done to you Mary. When you accepted my apology those years ago, I was so grateful. It took a couple more years to meet this guy again... AND ON A BLIND DINNER DATE with our friends who had no clue about us never-the-less. Then I was able to apologize to him too." She took a sip of her drink, "I'm glad that things are better for Mary."

"Ladies, it is after 11 and wake up is at 5 AM, so may I suggest we call it a night and we can regroup tomorrow?" Since I had already taken her suitcase to the spare bedroom, all of us retired for some quiet. I don't know about 'peace and quiet' though.

The next evening I had to work late. We were upgrading a server and it had to be done after hours. I finally got home by 9 and the two of them were way past the middle of their second bottle of wine. It was a pretty friendly atmosphere.

"Jim, Gail Marie has been a life saver. She was able to translate what they were telling me into understandable words."

"It was that doctor from India that I've spoken about. Massively competent doctor, no communication or empathy skills at all. Exactly what Jay needs right now. Since I finally understood his accent, I asked him the questions. Then I told Mary what she needed to hear.

"Jay is doing better. Some swelling is still there, but they are feeling so much better about it. With luck, he may be weaned off those meds by tomorrow or the day after. Then we'll be at the next step."

"I really have to thank both of you. You do know that she's real good at holding my hand and keeping my spirits up. I was lost in his accent and she came to my rescue."

Gail Marie sent me into the kitchen for a bite to eat and when I returned, I had some 'sippin' whiskey' waiting for me. Their second bottle of wine was empty, and they opened the third.

Those two were having a great time. After hanging in hospitals and not knowing what was up with Jay, they were letting their hair down and were getting downright silly. It was Friday night and Gail Marie needed to work but I was going to be off. We all stayed up till 11 again and hit the hay.

This time we were a bit more relaxed and Gail Marie and I talked quietly about the day. She would occasionally slur a word, so I knew that there was more wine than she needed. Mary's bedroom was at the other end of the house. We were quiet, but didn't have to worry about disturbing her. As I turned off the light, I leaned over to give a goodnight kiss, and felt her arm pull me closer, not letting me go.

Her hand immediately got into the boxers that I wear to bed. The alcohol and the conversation that she had Mary must have been real interesting. I pulled her nightgown over her head and my t-shirt and boxers went flying. She was on her back and I started sucking on her tits while my hand found a very wet pussy waiting for me. I immediately got an "Ohhh yesss" from her. No fore play needed. Guess I didn't need to clean up the kitchen sink today.

Before I went any further, she slipped down and brought her face to my cock. Feeling her mouth on me was great. She was bobbing her head up and down and then pulled her mouth off, while continuing to stroke me. "Lover?" she said before she started to lick my helmet again. "Do you find Mary attractive?"

This is not a question that you ever want to be asked with your lover, especially after our history. "I guess so, but why do you ask?"

"Oh, she and I have been talking and I was just kind of wondering."

Was this a little bit of playing, was this some fantasy was this...

"We've been talking and she's not been with any one for quite a while." Her mouth went back on my cock and made me feel heaven. "And I was wondering if ..."

"Gail Marie, where is this coming from?"

At this she pulled her mouth off of me, but continued to stroke me. "Years ago I was with her husband and you were faithful. I thought that I could give you a chance to" Then she started sucking me again.

Don't think with your dick.

Jim, don't think with your dick.


She now moved completely between my legs and got up on all fours. For our enjoyment, she started frigging her pussy for me to see while sucking me off. We've done this before.

I continued, "Is this..." and she really started sucking me hard and then harder. Her hand in her pussy was making her back arch and her mouth moan on my cock. She loves showing off for me. Then she pulled off my cock and looked into my eyes. "She's going to be here for at least a couple more days. Why don't you think about it Jim. I think that you'd like it and it would do her and me good."

Her hands and mouth started working overtime, her tits swaying. She was going to get us both off at the same time, and I knew she was going to swallow. It was a special way we sometimes made love.

I felt the start of me coming, and she felt the change in my cock. I exploded in her mouth and a second later she went over the edge. I have no idea how many times I shot into her mouth, but some of my cum dripped out onto me. We both collapsed after the aftershocks and she spooned into me for an alcohol induced sleep. My mind raced as I fought to slowly think about the offer from my drunken partner.

The two women were long gone by the time I woke up. No notes or calls during the day. I started to feel that this was a bit of alcohol fueled fantasy and it would go away on its own.

With my day off, I puttered around the house and prepared dinner. I grilled asparagus, some zucchini and a couple of hamburgers. I learned how to make the 'fancy schmancy' salad that included olives, feta cheese and some dried cranberries and walnuts.

I had set the table and opened up a Sicilian red to breath. Ten minutes later, Gail Marie's car pulled up in the driveway and only one person got out. "Where's Mary? I thought that both of you would be here for dinner."

"Well actually it's great news. Jay was just out of the coma and was able to say a few words. He really was in shock when he first saw Mary, then me. He probably thought he was dreaming, or a nightmare. After he figured out that I was real, he tried to talk with me when the nurse came in and told him to relax for now.

"Mary will be staying at the hospital by his side till later tonight. I'll go and get her when she calls for a ride back. It was pretty good news. The worse news, severe brain damage, didn't happen."

"Why don't you change and we can have a quiet meal together."

It was about 10 minutes when Gail Marie came back, wearing her tight jeans and a low cut blouse. Not her normal. I was being primed and I knew that we had more to talk about.

We had a pretty quiet meal, talking about Jay and Mary and his kid and anything else but her offer. I felt the undercurrent and I'm sure she did too. We cleared the table and went to the living room to sit.

She was the one who opened it up. "So, what do you think about what I suggested yesterday? Are you interested?"

"To say that I am shocked is a bit of an understatement. Yesterday, I thought that it was the wine talking. Now you're telling me that it was real."

"Yes,. it's real. What's not to like. Your girlfriend thinks you deserve this and Mary sure could use it and..."

"Have you two talked about his?"

"We have," she paused, "and we haven't. Getting back to the house on Friday, we were both elated that Jay was doing better. Maybe me more than Mary." I gave her a frightened look.

"No, not like that Jim, not like that at all. Medically, I knew what else could be wrong but I didn't share that with Mary. She didn't need to hear all the bad things it could be when there wasn't any way to rule them in or out."
I calmed down a bit as she went on. "Jim, please don't ever think that way again, not about me. That side of me was over 5 years ago. I will never go through that much pain in my life again for stupidity. Not for anything at all."

"But wait a minute, you are offering something like that for me? I don't understand."

"I'm getting to that Jim. Please be patient with me, I need to tell you the whole story. We got back and we were pretty happy, and very worn out. I told her to open some wine and we had dinner together. That first bottle went into a second.

"Jim, we really connected. We talked about our lives at that time and since then. She got to hear much more about my affair with Jay and my life after that. She shared her life with me. We both had to dig ourselves out of some deep holes. The only difference was that I was the one that dug my own deep dark hole. She was pushed into hers.

"As you may expect, two tipsy women started to talk about their sex lives. She's 27 and I'm still 25. I talked about my marriage and what was wrong with me and my lack of responsiveness. Then I spoke about you and us and the downs then the ups of the past months. To say the least bit, she was jealous.

"Between glasses of wine, it came out that she'd go after you in a heartbeat if somebody wasn't in your life. She said that you're attractive and would be quite a catch." At this I know I blushed and Gail Marie tried to stifle a giggle.

"By the way Jim, I personally think that she completely understated you. You're more than a catch." She stood up and kissed my lips before she sat back down.

"That's when I got that idea of you and Mary. It seemed to be a great idea at the time and I still think that it's a good idea. You've been wonderful and this would allow you to.." She paused reading my face and immediately changed direction "...if you were interested in a three way, I'd be up for that. I know she was in a three way once with two guys in college. From what she said, neither of us are interested in any girl-on-girl actions and..."

"Wait a minute before my head totally spins off my shoulders. It's now gone from getting in the sack, free and clear with Mary to now the both of you?"

"Well, yes. I want to do something great for you and I know that she'd like this two. I'm the one that fucked up both of you and..."

"And this will clear your conscious? Getting me and Mary in bed together will make you feel better?" It became very quiet. I could see the wheels turning, I didn't know where it was going to turn to.

She looked at me rather sheepishly, "I'm taking it that this isn't on your list of things you'd like to do? I thought that guys would like to have a free and clear three way with two women?"

"No Gail Marie, it's more than that. You've been punishing yourself for years. I show up in your life on a blind dinner date. Since then, all I want is for you to see that that part of your life has to be over. No more, I want an equal partner.

"You are somebody I can trust. Can you trust that you are a wonderful person? Without having to make amends to me or anybody else for the rest of your life?

Her eyes looked somewhere else, not at me. She was looking inside. I could see the conflict.

"Do you really want to clear your conscious with me?" She nodded yes. "Then will you go to pre-cana conferences with me?"

Her face went into immediate shock then wonder then an all-encompassing joy. Couples go to Pre-cana conferences before getting married in the Catholic church. It is a class where you talk about religious and other interpersonal issues that couples normally don't talk about. To say the least it's an eye opener and a relationship builder. All my friends that have done it have felt the benefits of it.

I hadn't been much of a church goer for years, and only started back after my divorce. This was not really 'fire-engine religion' for me. The house burned down already. It was more of a 'rebuilding a strong house' religion connection.

"Will you marry me Gail Marie?" She didn't speak an answer, but I got knocked down from her jumping into my arms, hugging, kissing and crying. That's when Gail Marie's cell started ringing. Someone was needing a ride home from the hospital.

In the parking lot of St Peter's, Gail Marie and I got back in our car. We were still dripping bird seed and snow flurries. It used to be rice, but this is somehow easier on somebody, so we now have flower petals and bird seed. The reception for the 40 people for our wedding is at a restaurant 5 miles away. No big hall, but a celebration anyway. Terry and Bill stood up and Bill chewed gum during the entire ceremony.

We both pulled out our smart phones and opened up our Gmail accounts. We both had a series of emails in draft. They were addressed to the same people of over five years ago. All we needed to do was to insert a picture of us and sent them out. The subject line" "WITH GREAT JOY, Announcing the marriage .." It was only 24 hours, 5 years and 10 months later.


May 15, 2018 in romance