Flash: Lonely on the Road

Empty Countryside Road Stock Photo

Image Courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Twisting the wrench yielded no results, so Kelly kicked the rental’s tire and walked along the berm cursing herself, her uncharged phone, and, most especially, Jim. She adjusted her purse’s shoulder strap after tucking the wrench inside and headed north along the isolated highway. The last exit was 5 miles back, the next exit was promised to be only 3 miles forward.

Why had she decided to surprise Jim? Sure his corporate construction job kept him away a month at a time wherever a new facility needed building, but the weekends he came home were magical. With the long weekend, she had thought to bring the magic to him.

Well, the surprise was on her. She had known he shared rooms with other guys to cut costs. But she hadn’t known he had shared his bed. Her mind’s eye briefly flashed a picture of the two men she found wrestling in his unlocked bedroom. Two suntanned muscular bodies naked and humping madly.

For a second her imagination added her between the males. Okay, a threesome was her favorite masturbation fantasy.

But the point was Jim was cheating on her! He could have told her he was bi and she could have handled it. Loved to have handled it. Since hooking up with him, she had been monogamous. For three years she had been with only one man; it was kind-of creepy after nicks she had put into her bedpost before they had gotten together. Keeping faithful though didn’t mean she hadn’t looked or wanted more. Kelly could have provided him all sorts of suggestions for male booty calls.

Focus. Cheating. Doesn’t matter if it is male or female, it is still cheating.

Behind her a car beeped. Kelly turned around to see Jim’s beatup pickup pulling over, scattering the gravel. She gave him the single finger salute while he unbuckled and continued walking away.

His long legs ate up the distance. “Kelly wait! Damn it, I’m sorry. It doesn’t mean anything. Wait, Kelly.” He got a little ahead and started walking backwards in front of her. “I didn’t want you to find out that way.”

“So how did you want me to find out?” Kelly stopped to save all her breath to yell at him.

Jim stopped too, scratching the back of his head. His jeans hung low, showcasing his six-pack and a little more. He hadn’t bothered to grab a shirt before following her, or put on shoes. That gravel had to hurt.

“Actually, never,” he admitted.

“Finally something honest!”

He looked hurt. “I’m always honest.”

“Except about sleeping around,” Kelly accused.

“Umm, I never lied about it, I just never mentioned it.”

She closed the distance to hiss up into his face. “The truth, the WHOLE truth and nothing but the truth.”

Pushing his chest she demanded “What? Am I suppose to have you swear on a stack of bibles every time you came home?!!”

Muscle-bound ape that he was, her push didn’t rock him, but he took a step back from her fury anyway. “…No?” he responded, clearly hoping it was the right answer.

“Damn right, no.” Kelly pushed her hair back so she could look up and watch his face while she stood toe-to-toe. She kept encroaching into his space. “A relationship is about trust. I don’t care how much I love you, but if I can’t trust you – we got nothing.”

She stepped around him and started stomping north again. “Kelly, don’t be this way,” he begged trotting after her. “It doesn’t mean anything.” He grabbed her arm to stop her.

“So how long have you been sleeping with him?” Kelly turned back to him to stare him in the eye. “And don’t lie to me now – I will wash your briefs with the red towels.”

His mouth stopped half-way opened. He closed it a second, sighed, and admitted. “Luis and I have been bunkmates for about nine months now.”

“Bunkmates?” Kelly laughed harshly. “Is that what they call it now? … And who was before him.”

“I don’t know, Carlo, maybe.” Jim shrugged. “I don’t really keep track.”

Her eyes grew round. They had started trying for a child a year ago.

“Oh, no, no. Sweetheart, I always use a condom, and I get tested twice a year. I ain’t stupid.”

“Could have fooled me,” she said icily, putting her hands on her hips. “So do you only cheat on me with guys?”

He stood up straighter, looking indigent. “I’ve never cheated on you. Not ever. Yeah, I sleep with guys, but I don’t love them or anything. It’s just sex. And loneliness, a whole lot of loneliness when you are not around.”

Kelly rolled her eyes. “Been saving that one up?”

“Nope, just kind-of came to me,” Jim smiled boyishly. “Good though, right?”

Damn, why did she have to love him so much. “Yep, that was pretty good. … Only guys, right?”

“You are the only girl for me. In fact, …” He yanked the back of his jeans up and down a bit before kneeling in front of her. “Will you marry me?”

In his hands was a dark blue velvet box. He opened it to reveal a Marzin cut diamond surrounded by a rainbow of precious smaller gems.

She looked at the box, then him kneeling in gravel, then at the box again. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”

“No joke. I made the last payment yesterday. Been working on buying it since we started this project and saw it at the mall.” Smiling hopefully he added, “I’m glad fate let me have it available at the right time.”

“That is another great line Jimbo.” Kelly sighed as she gently closed the box in his hands. “But until we work out other things, this will have to wait.”

Jim sagged. “So you are leaving me?”

“I didn’t say that either.” She offered him an arm to help him stand. “Let’s go back to the hotel. I want to meet this Luis and we can all have a good talk.”

 (words 1,009- first published 5/7/2013; republished new blog format 11/06/2016)