Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Veronica Story - Part Six: Dancing With my Wife...

------Part Six - Dancing With My Wife ------

Given the details I now understood about Jonah, and the fact that clearly, Veronica had shared with him everything she knew about me, there was no excuse for me to not meet him and at least shake hands with the guy who was allowing me to have the friendship I had with his wife.  I could have easily arrived ten minutes early, brought a third coffee from Love's and just talked to the guy, and at least, then, we would all have this shared common thing, this bond of sorts.  But, for whatever reason, I never made the effort.

On a Saturday morning, my wife Sandra and I had a garage sale at our house, twenty-five miles from the apartment compound.  I had mentioned in passing to Veronica that usually, when we were done with garage sales, I would pack up everything that had not sold and take it to Goodwill or some other donation place so we wouldn't have to hang on to everything.  I suggested that perhaps I could bring it by and let her pick through and take anything she wanted.  I had no idea that she would look on Craig’s List, find the address for our yard sale and show up with Jonah and Emma in tow
I was standing in the driveway talking with a man about an old grill I was trying to get rid of when my wife exclaimed, "Oh good, more customers!"

We had had a steady stream of people all morning, so I barely gave notice until Emma ran up to me with her arms outreached for me to pick her up.  In spite of the fact that I nearly shit my pants with fear, I instinctively asked Emma how she was and what she was doing here.

I told the man looking at the grill to think about it and walked with Emma toward Veronica and Jonah as they walked toward us.  My wife, a woman who has never met a stranger, didn't even give it a second thought that this “strange” little girl ran up to me and jumped in my arms as if she knew me.  "All the kids love him." she said in the general direction of the young couple.  "She is so precious, what’s her name?"

"This is Emma."

I said, "She is very pretty, just like her mommy."  I walked past Veronica to Jonah and handed him Emma saying, "I think this little girl belongs to you!"  Jonah took her and smiled at me, again, not in a mean spirited way, but a courteous smile of a fellow father.

Everyone was playing it cool but I could feel myself literally shaking with fear.  I had no idea if this was to be some confrontation.  Was Jonah here to out me to my wife?  It didn't seem like it, but I was still completely caught off guard by this intrusion.

Sandra's actions were not unexpected or really, much different from any of the other people who came by the house to look at our old crap.  She has a history of engaging in conversations with total strangers at the store, befriending stray husbands in the aisles at Target to show them where the cleaning products are and joking with people waiting in line for a table at restaurants.  Unlike my normally introverted personality, she is the life of the party wherever we go.  I mention this only to make the point that, in spite of how unlikely this may sound, this is not unlike my wife at all.

As Jonah and Veronica looked through our stuff, casually picking up nick-knacks, chatting with one another about mugs and small appliances on the tables set up in our driveway, Sandra moved in to offer helpful tips on the history of various things.  "My sister found that table cloth at a thrift shop in Fredericksburg but it didn't match any of her stuff.  She thought it might match my dining room but James doesn't think so.  So, you can have it for a quarter if you like it."

She continued, "So are you new to the neighborhood?  We've been here a couple of years now and love it."

"Actually," Jonah offered, "we just happened to be driving around and saw your signs.  We live in south San Antonio."

"Oh, well I’m glad you found us. I can recommend a few places in town to eat if you'd like."

At some point between a slow stream of customers, my wife had moved to other people and I walked up to Jonah and shook his hand.  I said, "Well done, sir." And chuckled, finally feeling a little less stressed.

Jonah said quietly, "I am so happy to meet you in person.  I want you to know that this is all good.  I’m okay with you and Veronica being friends.  I get it about your need to be on the DL, but your wife seems very nice to me."

"Thank you, Jonah."

"Of course." 

A customer was looking at a small boom box that was being sold for $2.00.  He asked if he could turn it on to check out the sound.  I kidded with the guy and said I would have to charge him an extra $1.00 for electricity.  He laughed and plugged the box into an extension cord that was hanging off the back of the table.  The man messed with the knobs, then tuned into KONO, a popular oldies station in San Antonio.  There was a song playing by Prince and when the man turned up the volume a little higher than expected, everyone turned and looked.
Am I the weaker man
Because I understand
That love must be the master plan (Love is the master plan)

If I gave u diamonds and pearls
Would u be a happy boy or a girl
If I could I would give u the world
But all I can do is just offer u my love

I noticed that now, my wife was carrying Emma.  Veronica, standing next to her began moving rhythmically to the tune, as if she was just following the beat, oblivious to everyone else.

D to the I to the A to the M
O to the N to the D to the pearls of love
D to the I to the A to the M (To the M)
O to the N to the D to the pearls of love

Sandra picked up the beat and the two of them bobbed heads as if they were two old friends playing records together.  The man unplugged the small boom box and said he would give me the $2.00, but wanted to know if the dancers came with it.  We all laughed together.

I was looking at Jonah but saying in general to everyone, "That’s what I’m talking about."

My wife laughed and looked at me sternly, admonishing, "Don’t even think it, mister."

Before I could come up with some witty response, Veronica looked at my wife and said, "Oh, it’s fun to let them think about it, even if we don’t always let them have it."

"I like this girl." Sandra responded, then quickly changed the subject.  "Come inside and let’s get the baby a snack."  

The next thing I know, Jonah and I are standing outside alone and Veronica is getting a tour of my house, led by Sandra.

We walked back down the driveway away from a few people still looking at the tables of junk and then I asked him if there was anything that he wanted to ask me – basically, giving me the opportunity to come clean with him if there was any reason to.  Once I realized that this little visit wasn't going to lead to gun-play, I had this intense urge to be as honest with Jonah as I had been with his wife.

"What made you stop?" He asked.  "What made you pull over and help my family out when nobody else seemed to give a shit?"

"You know this." I responded.  "It’s the military.  We take care of our own, and when I saw a lady and her baby in the rain, it just wasn't in my nature to pass them up, I guess."

"Thank you."  He said.  "And thank you for helping out that time someone screwed with Veronica's credit card."

"So let me ask you something." 

Jonah blushed a bit and swallowed.  "It's really hard to explain.  Sometimes I hate myself for even contemplating all of this, but the idea of other guys, of you, being with her just sends me over the edge.  I can't explain how I could be so turned on by it, but, ever since the first time I met Veronica, and then not long after saw another guy basically drooling over her, it was this weird turn-on that I was not only ashamed of, but couldn't seem to get enough of.   I didn't say anything to her about it at first.  I thought it was just some weird way of my mind trying to convince myself NOT to be with her."

"You don't have to explain anything.  I think I get it." 

"James, I'm not forcing her to do anything.  I will admit that when she told me the story a nice older gentleman rescuing her and Emma, I turned it into a little fantasy thing.  And even though there had been nothing remotely sexual about that day in the rain, Veronica certainly turned it into quite a story.  She kept your business card on the nightstand and I suddenly had this thought that maybe she was calling you.  When I confronted her about it, I was hoping it was true, just because we had been fucking each other's brains out with all these different scenarios involving you.  When I asked her, she told me yes, that you and her had been having phone sex.  Of course, once we fucked, she confessed that she just made it up."

We were interrupted by another middle-aged couple walking up the driveway to visit the garage sale.  "Let me know if you need anything, I'll be right here." I said to them.

"But she kept the card anyway." 

"That day she called you to go to the HEB, that was all her.  I had nothing to do with it."  Jonah said.  "And I can tell you, it wasn't an emergency.  She told me later that she just had to see you again, she needed to get the fuzzy image of you out of her system.  You were just some lucky guy who, through a random act of kindness became the focus of my wife's, and really both of our fantasies. I know it sounds ridiculous."

"Jonah, I can't have sex with her." 

"I don't know."  He responded looking back up toward the house as the ladies came walking out of the house with Emma.  "I'd like to be there when it happens." He looked back at me and smiled.

"I don't think you are hearing me, man."  I said in a near whisper, worried about my wife.  "I can't do this, especially now that her and my wife are BFF's!  The two of them are probably planning vacations together by now."  

Jonah let out a laugh and looked toward the girls.  "Wow!  It looks like you hit the jackpot."  My wife had loaded Veronica up with several bags of odds & ends from the house, not unlike what she does when our own kids come by.  There were several kids books for Emma and a few kitchen items I recognized.

"This is why we never make any money at garage sales."  I said.  "Sandra gives away the store to the first cute baby she sees."

We walked Jonah and Veronica out to their car parked on the street.  After tucking Emma in to the car seat, Veronica hugged Sandra, repeatedly thanking her for everything.  Jonah reached out and gave me a firm handshake and said it was a pleasure meeting and speaking with me.  He then hugged my wife as if they had known one another forever.  I looked at Veronica, used to the usual hug and kiss on the cheek and I quickly reached my hand out to shake hands.  She looked at me, then looked at Sandra and said, "Your husband is a very nice man."  She immediately came forward and hugged me, a little longer than complete strangers probably should.  "Thank you both for being so kind to us.  We'll never forget it."

When they pulled away, we all waved.  Sandra grabbed my hand and we walked down the driveway back to the couple picking through our junk.

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