This is a complete story, although there is a sequel possible if reader interest is there.
To the rest of our family, Grandma Rose was - let's be charitable and use the word "eccentric". In the words of my mother, my father's mother was a "nuttier than a fruitcake" and often suggested that she be put in a rubber room somewhere.
1. The scheme.
The sudden gust of frigid wind practically tore the storm door out of Ed's hand as he went out into the wicked early March evening. An unexpected storm was moving in and a couple of inches of snow had already fallen as Ed helped his wife into their car which had been idling in the driveway. Ed ran around and slid behind the wheel, blowing on his hands and rubbing them together in an effort to restore some circulation.
It had been about an hour since the card game in the kitchen had broken up, and I noticed that we didn't play as long as we used to. Maybe that was because the other two players were getting older, although my mother is only 50 and her brother Butch is just a couple years older.
"I don't understand," my neighbor said, her dark brown eyes wide open as she struggled to comprehend what was going on.
What had started out just like the last few nights, an innocent game of rummy in the kitchen of her modest little apartment had changed dramatically in the last few minutes due to my actions and words.
My words had come easy because they were what was going on through my mind even since I had met Tara a few months ago, but even though I was the one that said them I couldn't believe that I had actually said them aloud.
I had made the trip from the little cottage across the street and about 50 feet down countless times but never faster than that afternoon in June of 1976. After I sprinted blindly from our neighbor's back yard, a yard I had mowed for the last four years - not even watching for cars on the rarely traveled gravel road - I ran into our house and closed the door. Closed it and locked it and then looked through the blinds for what was about to happen.
When Lyle Quigley went to the grocery store that afternoon in June, he was expecting to pick up a few things he wife asked him to pick up and get back to enjoy the peaceful solitude of his house while the wife was at work.
1971 had me as a freshman in college a couple thousand miles away from home. I was often lonely, homesick and not very cautious when it came to looking for affection. Fortunately for me I lived a very charmed life and was very lucky, so most of my "indiscretions" had happy endings.
Linda's mother had been spectacular, so much so that I practically forgot about Linda. We kept seeing each other, but when I was with her I found myself thinking about her Mom.
After all, it was an competition of sorts. While the 18 year old Linda had the advantage of youth and was more classically attractive than her mother, Millie had experience and the fact that a 50 year old woman found me desirable was a boost to my ego.
It was just a summer job in between college semesters many years ago, but it was a learning experience and one that helped the younger man realize that some of the things he enjoyed that he thought strange were things that others enjoyed as well.
"You okay, Tim?" my boss asked me as we sat under the tree after eating lunch. "Heat getting to you?"
"Told you I'd come visit you tonight," Arthur Preston whispered as he slid under the sheet and slid next to his granddaughter Lisa, and although the single bed made for cramped quarters, as Lisa's grandfather moved against the skinny teen the snug fit suited the frisky senior citizen just fine.
"What if Mom or Dad come in?" Lisa asked as he felt her grandfather's hand on her shoulder.
"They won't," he assured his granddaughter, who made no move to stop his hand as it came off of her shoulder and moved toward her breast.