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New Life Coming
Mary Louise was glad the whole thing was almost over. Diplomas had been passed out and no one had tripped. The last thing was the reading of scholarships and grants. Since she wasn’t paying attention, she didn’t hear what was said.
She heard several of her fellow graduates saying her name. “What?”
“The principal called your name. You need to go up.”
Knowing it was a mistake, she shook her head but they all insisted. It wasn’t until she was onstage that she saw Donny and Karen had already been called forward as well. Suddenly she got a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach.
The principal spoke again. “At this point I’m handing off to Judge William McFarland.”
Applause welcomed the well-known local judge. “Thank you all very much. Now, to get down to business so we can get on to the multitude of parties I’ve heard that are planned for tonight.” Everyone laughed. “Rowdy, please join us. Three of this years graduates and one former graduate, have consented to share this important moment in their lives with all of us. They are beginning new lives tonight, in many ways. Let us begin…”
Mary Louise froze in place. This could not happen…it wasn’t real. Then she heard the judge asking if the men took the women…as in a double ceremony. Rowdy was holding her hand and then a slender gold band slid onto the third finger of her left hand.
“You may kiss your bride, gentlemen!”
Rowdy took her shoulders and turned her to face him. His hand was gentle beneath her chin as he tilted it. The kiss was soft, gentle and merely a pressing of lips. As he released her, the whoops and catcalls caught her attention. She turned and saw that Donny was tilting Karen way back over his arm and French kissing her. When they stood back up, Karen’s cap was askew and her lipstick smeared.
The judge shook their hands, and then announced they had to come backstage for a few minutes. The four newlyweds entered the small office and the judge followed. The judge’s assistant was already there and began pointing to all the places that had to be legally signed. Almost too quickly, the judge was shaking each of their hands.
“Congratulations, you young people, and good luck!”
Rowdy took her elbow. “Come on. Our parents are all waiting out front. They had seats together.”
They were stopped along the way and her cap and gown commandeered. Then she was walking beside her husband…HUSBAND! The word felt foreign in her head. As soon as they reached the two families, everyone started hugging and kissing Mary Louise. Rowdy’s Aunt Lily pulled her down onto the chair beside her.
“I knew you had the right stuff to tame that wild boy the minute I laid eyes on you. You’re like me, Mary Louise, pioneer stock. No matter what life throws at you, you survive.”
The old woman then announced she was ready to have her dinner. Where were they taking her?
The door to the small motel room closed behind Rowdy, and he set the small suitcase down. There hadn’t really been time for plans. They had nowhere to live yet, and Aunt Lily had insisted they not stay at either of their parents’ for the night. That’s how they came to be registered as “Mr. and Mrs. Rowdy Davis” at the Right Way motel. There was no such thing as a honeymoon suite here.
Looking around the room, she saw the room had a full size bed, and small round table with two chairs. Opposite the bed was a television stand holding a thirteen-inch television. At the far end of the room was the bathroom. Walking further into the room, she turned to face Rowdy. He was making the same perusal of the small room and obviously coming to the same conclusions as she had.
“If this is their best, I’d hate to see their worst,” he quipped. Picking up the suitcase, he carried it over to the open closet, which was really just a wooden rod strung from the ceiling outside the bathroom, opposite the bed and down slightly from the television. There was a suitcase valet to rest the case on as you unpacked. On the far wall was a small dresser and desk.
“This isn’t how I thought I’d spend tonight,” Mary Louise said quietly.
Rowdy laughed. “I imagine not. I assume you know everything now. I wasn’t sure earlier, when we were talking in your living room. It’s good that it’s all out in the open now and no more pretending and so on.”
Mary Louise watched as Rowdy opened the suitcase. She didn’t know what was in it because she had not packed it. Her mother had suddenly produced a suitcase, announcing that it was Mary Louise’s, and there was room if Rowdy wanted to put a night and day’s clothing in it. As she watched, he pulled out trousers, shirt, underwear and socks. There also was a pair of swim trunks and cotton shorts if tomorrow was hot. The next thing he pulled out was a silky nightgown. He held it up by the straps, looking at her over the top.
“Very sexy. Quite different from the other attire.” He hung up the dress and sweater siirt escort her mother had packed. He also pulled out a one-piece swimsuit, which he set along side his in the drawer. When he pulled out two pairs of lace panties, he grinned. “I’m glad your mother didn’t make all of your clothes so staid.”
Mary Louise had just sat down on the bed. “How do you know my mother picked out the clothes?”
“Who else was going to do it? Certainly not your father. You caved awful easily when they got rid of your other clothes. I would have thought you’d fight harder to keep them.”
“What do you mean? What did you mean earlier about getting things in the open? What things?”
She saw the moment Rowdy froze. His whole relaxed demeanor was instantly gone. He looked at her slowly.
“You have to know what’s been going on. You’re a bright girl, Mary Louise.”
She shook her head, not liking the implication in his words. “I must not be. I don’t know what you’re talking about. None of this is making any sense. You talk like some kind of game, or deception has been going on? Or a con, or a scam put over on some poor unsuspecting sucker.”
Rowdy shook his head, but she saw the flush moving up his neck. He looked guilty. “I wouldn’t call it a con.”
Almost instantly, Mary Louise knew that is exactly what had occurred. She had been fooled somehow, and by someone. She didn’t like the feeling in her stomach all of a sudden either. “Since I wasn’t one of the ‘cons’ I guess that makes me the sucker, the naïve, trusting patsy.” She took a deep breath, hoping she was wrong. “So what is it? We aren’t really married? None of this was real. I’m not really pregnant!”
“Mary Louise, you aren’t a sucker. But you are naïve and trusting, and those are not bad traits.”
“In other people, right?”
“You are a very sweet, genuine and trusting person.”
“I don’t care. Which of those aren’t true? I’m not pregnant?” She repeated that one first.
Rowdy shook his head. “No, Mary Louise, you are definitely pregnant. There have been two pregnancy tests to confirm it.”
“Two!” Thinking back she remembered the test where she peed in the cup and then her shots had stopped. The second must have been at her yearly physical yesterday. “What were the shots my mother was giving me? What kind of pills have I been taking?”
“Don’t get upset. It was all perfectly safe and monitored by a doctor. The shots were fertility drugs.”
Mary Louise couldn’t breathe. Her mother, and most likely her father, had knowingly given her shots to make her easily conceive. All that had been needed had been the—
“How did you get chosen as the sperm donor?” The words seemed to fall out of her mouth. They weren’t polite or proper. “Why didn’t they just drug me and use a turkey baster to inseminate me like some damned cow? Why did I have to get pregnant?”
“Mary Louise, please, calm down. I never would have said anything but I thought you now knew.”
“Oh, yes, that sounds so much better. I could have gone on just thinking fate really had it in for me. No luck or good breaks for Mary Louise.”
“There’s no need to have a pity party.”
Mary Louise did the only thing she could think of and grabbed her shoe and threw it at her new husband.
“Hey!” Rowdy shouted as he barely dodged the leather missile headed straight for his skull.
“Tell me what else I don’t know. What is the purpose for this charade? Surely not just to get me pregnant. What could my being pregnant with your child…how could that benefit anyone?”
“It is a bigger picture than that. That was just the first step. It was all about the business, and the fact that our fathers’ needed capital, and quickly, to invest for expansion to stay competitive. The banks wouldn’t loan it to them, and they were unable to get enough with adding mortgages to the houses. The only person, who had the kind of money like they needed, and without the strings, was my Aunt Lily. But she is a wily old bird.”
Rowdy walked towards the bed, tentatively sitting down, with a few feet between them. “You see her father began the business. My grandfather, her brother, took over when my great-grandfather died, but Aunt Lily has never cared for the way it was run, not even after my dad took over. Several times though she said she might invest if I took over the daily management, allowing my father a graceful way out by becoming a board member.”
“So why didn’t you just do that? It seems simple enough.”
“Well, I was in no hurry to settle down, but she said if I were married with a child on the way and took over, she’d consent to the loan.”
“Why didn’t you marry one of your many girlfriends?”
“We didn’t have enough time.”
Mary Louise had guessed the answer in her heart, but hearing it hurt. She was convenient, malleable and easy to manipulate. Obviously Rowdy would have preferred one of his regular women. She’d seen some pictures of him with different women, all of whom had long hair, beautiful sincan escort faces and bodies. So why…?
“Oh my God!”
“What is it, Mary Louise? Are you okay?”
She laughed. “That’s a funny thing to ask, now!” She reached up and touched the short curls. “Aunt Lily. This is how she wears her hair. You cut my hair to please her!”
“Not exactly, honey. We were stuck on how to proceed. How to convince Aunt Lily you would be the right girl and then your mother was looking at some photos of her. She came up with the idea of duplicating her look, but just making it a little younger. Hopefully she would see herself in you.”
“The hair, the dresses…the b-baby!” her voice broke. For the first time she saw the life inside her as truly that—a unique, separate individual who was slowly growing until it was ready to be born. Not only had they manipulated and deceived her, they had done it to this innocent child. She ran from the bedroom to the bathroom and barely made it before she vomited into the toilet. Flushing the toilet she realized that it had been her job to protect this vulnerable being and she had failed. She sat on the tile floor and leaned against the tub.
She pressed her face to the cool porcelain. They could write loser on her forehead as well as sucker. Worst of all she had to be a coward not to have defended her child against all this. Maybe this baby would be better off if she lost it—
The running water in the faucet caught her attention. She turned her head and saw Rowdy was wetting a washcloth and then wringing it out. He squatted down in front of her, passing her the rag.
“These bathrooms weren’t made for more than one occupant at a time.” Rowdy suggested wryly.
“Well, not more than one on the floor at a time. Standing could be different.”
Rowdy chuckled. Several times, when he least expected it, Mary Louise would make a sarcastic remark and make him see the humor. He’d been fighting the attraction between them from the very beginning. Desperately he tried to keep this on an impersonal level. He knew it sounded stupid, but if he could keep his heart out of it, then he thought he might be able to get through it.
That’s why he’d stopped seeing her. She was getting to him. He was thinking about her all the time. Being with her, despite her inexperience, had been sweeter than almost anything else he’d ever experienced. Seeing her today, now, he was beginning to suspect it was already too late to keep his heart out of it.
Sure his body desired her and that had not lessened one iota. If anything the desire he felt for her had grown. That last time in the car, hearing her so pompously announce there would be no more sex…it was as if she were saying she didn’t need it. She could live without being with him sexually, and she would be fine! He’d shown her all right. And he’d shown himself just how much he wanted to be with her!
Mary Louise started to stand and realized she still had just one shoe on. She slipped it off and got to her feet. Rowdy walked out of the bathroom first and she followed after first rinsing her mouth out using one of the glasses by the sink.
“This may seem silly, but are you hungry? It’s been quite a while since dinner and I didn’t see you eat very much.” He questioned, moving towards the bedside stand, where the phone and phonebook were.
“I guess I am,” Mary Louise replied, surprised to discover that she was.
“Why don’t I order a pizza?”
“All right since they’ve probably shut down their haute cuisine room service by this time of night.”
Rowdy had picked the phone up and was dialing when her words sank in. He was laughing when the pizza place picked up. They quickly decided on their selection and heard it would be just twenty minutes because they had another delivery at the motel.
“Do you want to get ready for bed and I’ll wait for the pizza. Maybe there’s something on the television.”
Mary Louise nodded and took her makeup bag and nightgown in with her, closing the door. She carefully removed her makeup and showered. If he didn’t find her attractive without, that was his tough luck.
Find her attractive? Good Lord! She realized that she was considering sleeping with him…making love with him tonight! Was she crazy? Maybe she needed to schedule an appointment to have sucker tattooed on her forehead. Still she lingered in front of the foggy mirror, looking at her reflection. Why had she had taken the time to not only shave her legs and under her arms, but also she’d quickly snipped off her pubic hair and shaved that all off as well? Ever since she’d realized that Rowdy was completely smooth, she’d gotten the idea that perhaps she should consider it. For a final touch, she dabbed the perfume her mother had packed behind her ears.
She was almost ready to open the door when she took the perfume again and dabbed a tiny amount at the top of each thigh, just on the inside. Feeling like a “bad girl” and not sure if she cared, she opened the sinop escort door and walked out.
Mary Louise saw Rowdy open the door, but there was no delivery guy there. He stepped out onto the walkway and she heard him call out.
“Small world, isn’t it?”
Quickly she set her things down and ran to the door. Stepping outside, she was surprised to find not only Rowdy, who was in just his trousers, but also Donny, who was dressed in a ridiculously patterned pair of boxer shorts, and peeping out the door of the room next to theirs and wearing an over-sized t-shirt was Karen. And of course, a confused pizza delivery guy stood partway between the two rooms now.
Donny was grinning. “Cool. Guess you guys been busy working up an appetite too!”
Mary Louise flushed as she watched the pizza man look from Karen to herself, at the two men and then back to her. Hurriedly she realized that she’d run out here in her scanty nightgown. She turned on her heel and went back in the room. Seeing Rowdy’s shirt draped over a chair, she pulled that on and went back out.
Rowdy turned, looked at her and then muttered just loud enough for her to hear. “Barn door and the animals?” Glancing at the deliveryman, he asked. “I hope you have two pizzas there, one for each room?”
He looked confused, but he glanced at the two tickets and realized that was correct. Donny paid for his and then Rowdy passed over the money for the one he’d ordered. After the deliveryman left, Rowdy turned back towards his room.
“Do you two want to join us?” Donny called out. “We’ve already got the preliminaries out of the way so we’re gonna watch a movie.”
Mary Louise looked at Rowdy, who was still facing her. She couldn’t tell what he was thinking, but she turned and walked back into the room. As she moved through the room, she could hear Rowdy refusing politely. A few seconds later, she heard the motel room door close next door. As she slipped off Rowdy’s shirt, it was the door to this room that closed. Walking to the desk chair, she draped his shirt across the back of it. When she turned around, Rowdy was setting the pizza on the table.
She pulled the covers down on her side of the bed. “Should we eat at the table or in bed?”
“If you grab a couple of towels and some washcloths, we can eat in bed without too many crumbs.”
Mary Louise turned and got the towels from the bathroom. When she returned, she saw that Rowdy had turned on the television. He flipped to the pay-per-view channel. “You want to see if anything looks good and I’ll get some ice and sodas at the machine.”
She glanced at the selections, and then went around and pulled down his side of the bed. As she made it back to her side, the door opened. Rowdy came in with his arms full of more towels, sodas and a canister of ice. “Wow! I’d say you hit the mother lode.”
“The woman at the night desk took pity on me.”
Mary Louise shook her head. “More likely she took a look at your bare chest and she got faint.” She went to take some of the things from his arms. Something in the way he didn’t move caused her to glance up. He was staring at her.
“Do you get faint at the sight of my bare chest?” he asked her, his voice hoarse.
Mary Louise shook her head negatively once more. “Considering this is the first time I’ve seen it, I don’t have enough information to give an educated opinion.”
Rowdy laughed. “Honest. I appreciate that. Any good movies on?”
“There’s an old comedy on that I know is good. Risk free.”
“Sounds good. Climb into bed and I’ll play waiter.”
Two hours later they were lying side by side as the movie ended. The lights were out and the bed cleared of the dinner.
“That was a lot better than I thought. Tracy and Hepburn. You watch a lot of old movies?”
“I love old movies, all kinds.”
Rowdy used the remote and turned the television off. He rolled onto his side to look at her. Mary Louise was intensely aware that he was only wearing a pair of jockey shorts with a famous name on them. She may have had sex with him several times, been incredibly intimate with him and carrying his baby, but his near nakedness unnerved her. He was built like an athlete and handsome enough to be advertising the underwear he had on. His sun-bleached hair was kind of spiked in different directions at the moment, but he was still sexy.
“Did I tell you how pretty you look in this nightgown?”
“No, but you don’t have to tell me that now.”
“Well, I think you are. You turn me on. Even dressed from your neck to your knees, you make me hard.” Rowdy lightly traced his finger down the neckline of her nightgown. He paused before he reached her nearest breast. Instead of continuing as she expected, he lifted his hand and pressed it flat on her belly. “I thought it would turn me off, thinking about this,” he patted her belly. “I can’t tell at all, can you?”
“I had no idea, but now that I do…I have put on some weight. But since I didn’t have any tight fitting clothes, I didn’t notice. Do I look fatter?”
Rowdy lifted his head to stare down at her. “Do I look stupid?”
It took Mary Louise a few seconds to catch on before she smiled and shook her head. “No, you don’t. I’m scared.”
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