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Ainslie wasn’t sure where this conversation was going.  Stan had always been an extremely jealous man and things had not changed much in that arena for almost thirty years.  As a matter of fact next month they would celebrate their thirteth anniversary. 

She hesitated before answering,  “Are you sure you want to go down this path?” 

She was looking straight at him in those soft big brown eyes of his. He had the biggest roundest light brown eyes she had ever seen.  He always took her breath away when he stared intently at her in the way he did now.  

He raised his hand and said, “Scouts honor, I won’t get mad”. He had a playful boyish grin on his face. 

Ainslie thought it just isn’t fair.  Men aged in a way that made them even more charming.  His silver at his temples and his moustache gave him character and there was hardly a wrinkle in sight on his 62 year old face. He was nearly three years her senior and yet she had to work day and night not to look like his mother. 

She had to hit the gym at least three times a week just to be able to stay in a size that didn’t make her feel like an elephant. She had wrinkle cream for every part of her body, her face, her neck, her arms and no matter what she still felt like crepe paper most mornings. A couple of years ago she had decided to stop dying her hair, it seem to be a useless battle and she had finally surrendered to the inevitable.  But if she didn’t keep her gray done regularly at the salon she looked liked the “Wicked Witch from the West”. Well who said life was fair anyway.

“Okay, but if you have an attitude all night after this, you will have no one to blame but yourself.  It seems ridiculous to me how jealous you can get especially about things that happened before we even met.  I mean we were both married to other people and had children before we met, so obviously you were not my first and we both know I was not yours.”

“I hate it when you watch these silly talk shows, you always start asking me the craziest questions,” Ainslie went on further .

“The person I regret sleeping with the most in my youth was Tyrone”, Ainslie finally replied.

“Tyrone, who the hell is he?”, Stan answered shocked. 

Ainslie rolled her eyes. 

“Well I know you know about Byron and Andy who I dated in high school but I never mentioned Tyrone. Again for the record I never slept with Byron even though we dated, he never got past second base. Andy is still my first.”

“Yes, I know about those knuckle heads.  I have seen the old prom pictures of you and Andy in one of your mother’s old photos albums. I can’t blame Andy for pressuring you the way he did prom night, you were really hot.” Stan said.

Again, Ainslie rolled her eyes and shook her head “What?”

Stan tried to clean it up and said “ I mean you were looking really beautiful that night….  Anyway don’t change the subject, what about this dude Tyrone.”

“Again the reason I have sort of put it out of my memory is I guess I am a little ashamed about it. If I could rewrite the past I would omit the whole chapter.”

Stan was making the face he made when he felt she was babbling or stalling.

“Okay, okay.  Me and Andy had a big argument and I slept with Tyrone, that’s it”

“Really, from the woman who has two masters degrees, that’s it?” From the women who can tell a two hour story about going to the grocery store, that’s it?

“Unbelievable, now something I want you to tell me about, you give me one sentence.”

“Yep, I think it is better that way. You hate it when I go on and on. You usually interrupt me and say ‘Honey please cut to the chase.’

Ainslie turned and starting walking toward their bedroom hoping to end this whole discussion.  Stan was saying something and she pretended not to hear. The truth of the matter was that she needed time to process the memory herself.

She thought back………

This was her senior year and Andy and her had been arguing about so many things from sex, to college, to family, you name it.  Since she was going away to college he thought it best they break up. She had been devastated. He seemed so distant, so callous, she didn’t even know him anymore.

She knew he was going through a lot of changes. His mom had started dating after ten years. Andy’s father had died when he was very young and his mom had never remarried and never even had a boyfriend, now all of a sudden she was dating.  Andy thought the whole Idea was disgusting, a woman her age. Back then Ainslie sorta agreed with Andy, I mean his mother was like in her forties.

It seemed to her like Andy was taking everything out on her. She had had enough. On her way home one afternoon Tyrone Ames asked to walk her home. He told her that he had heard she and Andy were on the outs. Tyrone was only a junior but he and Andy played on the varsity football team together. Ainslie guessed the football players were gossiping.  And they say girls gossip, not as bad as the football team apparently.

She admitted that things were shaky and she really didn’t know where they stood.  On the way home, Tyrone was saying a lot of nice things about how pretty she was, how smart she was and that Andy was a fool.  He said that he had always wanted to talk to her but because she was Andy ‘s girl he had kept his distance. 

When she got close to her house he asked if he could call her sometimes just like a friend, nothing else.  She gave him her number and reminded him that they were just “friends”.

Well things heated up pretty quickly after that.  Andy was still not talking to her and he was also skipping school. Everyone was asking her what was going on but she knew Andy would really hate her if she told anyone about his Mom.  Tyrone had been making some moves. He had kissed her behind the bleachers one afternoon and he had stuck a love song in her locker which he signed “Guess Who”.

The truth be told Tyrone really reminded her of Andy.  The had the same muscular build, the same coloring and they were almost the same height. So when he asked her to come over to his house after school to help him with his math homework she readily agreed. She knew he would try to get fresh but she thought she could handle it. 

Almost on cue, we started working on the math, when his older sister told us she wouldn’t be gone long but she had to run a few errands before she went to work that evening. She reminded Tyrone that their parents would be home shortly and that his company was not allowed upstairs, only in the family room.

After she left, Tyrone was all over her. It was like he was an octopus with eight hands. I do not know why his sister didn’t think people could have sex in the family room. After a fairly good struggle and not wanting to seem easy she finally gave in.  

The whole sexual act seemed to be over before we started as Tyrone was so excited he couldn’t control himself. Afterwards, she felt messy, foolish and ashamed.  All she wanted to do was go home. To make matters even worse, Tyrone asked her, as he walked her home, to keep this whole affair quiet. It turns out while he was attracted to her he was really in love with a girl named Robin but she wouldn’t sleep with him.

What a dope.  I assured him we were in the same boat,  while I had been attracted to him I was still in love with Andy.

As we approached my house to my surprise, Andy was sitting on the steps of my porch.  Tyrone hesitated and then spoke to Andy. Andy looked at Tyrone and then looked at me and then he stood up real slow and deliberate like. I don’t know exactly what look past between the boys but whatever it was made Tyrone take off running.

I started laughing.  Andy said “I never like that guy”.  

I said,  “Well we both have that in common.  I don’t like him either, he is a snake in the grass.”

“I heard he was beating my time.  Are you still my girl?”

Ainslie started crying, “You haven’t made it easy the last few weeks but Yes, I’m still your girl.”

“What I had forgotten most importantly was that your my best friend and I’ve missed you” and he began to cry.

Ainslie held him and after, when he began talking he poured his heart out to his best friend.

Although her Andy had grown up and moved on, Ainslie realized in hindsight that she learned a lot of life long lessons that day.

She went back into the living room where Stan was watching television, an old cowboy rerun of the Rifleman which he had seen a hundred times and he said,

“Are you ready...are you going to tell me the story or not?”

Sighing, she said, “On one condition, that after I tell you, we never talk about it again.”

“Agreed,” he said.

She told him about how Andy had shut her out and that for weeks he had been a ghost. About how Tyrone had played on her vulnerability and how her anger towards Andy had festered until she became motivated by hurt and revenge.  She glossed over the sex act only to say Tyrone was young and it was over before it started.

But the most important thing was the lessons I realized I learned. 

One is the things that we regret can help shape us into becoming better people if we learn from them.  I learned that you only cheapen yourself when you respond from anger and hurt. I learned that friendship in the end is what all lovers come to rely on if the relationship is to last.  Lastly and this is for you it is not as important as to who was the first or second, etc what is the most important is who is the last and that would be you.

 

October 16, 2019 16:46

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