Friday, December 25, 2009

The Bet - Chapter 15 (Saturday – week 2 Part 2)

The Bet
by Karen Singer

Chapter 15 (Saturday – week 2 Part 2)

When he pulled into the parking lot of the next store, he sat and thought for a minute. He didn’t need to carry his cell phone anymore, the darn thing was broken. But he still had to carry his wallet and his keys. He would also have to carry three more of the big bags of diapers. The first drug store hadn’t had any shopping carts. This one didn’t either – at least he didn’t remember seeing any from his previous visits. Carrying the three big bags of diapers at the same time was going to be difficult enough. He didn’t want to make matters worse by also carrying his wallet and keys separately. Bowing to the inevitable, he threw his wallet and keys back into his purse and picked it up as he left his car. Cursing all women for not having the sense to have decent pockets in all their clothes, he went into the store in search of more diapers.
He felt like such a fool carrying his purse around inside the store. He could only imagine what the other customers must all be thinking. He was wearing women’s slacks… but the top of them were covered by the long tails of his shirt which made him feel better. He was wearing women’s shoes… no buts there, nothing to make him feel more confident at all – except the fact that at least they weren’t high heels. His fingernails were an all too noticeably pink, which made him feel more self-conscious than ever. No, he didn’t want to think about what everybody else was thinking about him. None of it would be good. Even with the tails of his shirt covering the top of his slacks, everything about him still said “sissy.”
As quickly as he could, he found the adult diaper aisle and the diapers he needed. The store only had three bags left – was there a run on them or something? He put his purse over his arm and managed to precariously juggle all three huge packages of diapers in his arms. Why didn’t the store have shopping carts? He knew the answer… because people didn’t usually buy so many large packages in that store at the same time.
When he got to the checkout counter, he had to wait behind two other people. Something he wasn’t at all happy about. He prayed that the big bags would cover up and keep people from noticing his fingernails – and possibly his purse. But the longer he had to wait, the more he worried. What would people think about him buying three bags of diapers like he was, especially with his pink nails and carrying a purse?
And then he heard a slight snigger. He turned around slightly and saw a woman was now in line behind him. She had noticed something, but he wasn’t sure what. What he was sure about though, was that she was doing her best not to laugh at him. He wanted to say something that might explain it all, but there was no good explanation. His embarrassment and discomfort grew as he waited in a line that didn’t seem to be moving at all.
It took forever for the two customers ahead of him to pay for their things and leave. While he waited, he vowed that he would do everything he could to get out of there as fast as he could. As soon as his turn came, he set the three packages down on the counter and grabbed his purse. The woman behind him sniggered some more, he paused only slightly before he quickly dug out his wallet.
“Did you find everything you need?” the clerk asked him as he was pulling his wallet out. He looked up at her, she was smiling a little too broadly at him. He had no doubt that she was inwardly laughing at him.
“Yes, thank you,” he replied as he opened his wallet, willing her to hurry up. But she hadn’t even started to ring up his purchases yet.
“You know, we’re having a special today on everything in the store if you have a coupon. Fifteen percent off. Do you have a coupon?”
Chad was quickly convinced that the girl was trying to purposely slow things down so she could laugh at him longer. Gritting his teeth, he replied, “No, I don’t have a coupon.”
“I have some extra advertising papers here,” she said as she picked up a few newspapers from the counter, “would you like me to see if I can find one for you?”
Chad wanted to scream. “No thank you.”
Almost reluctantly, the girl began scanning his packages of diapers, one at a time. She hit a key on her register and told him the price. He handed her his credit card. She processed his card and handed it back to him while she waited for the receipt to print. She finally handed it to him along with a pen. As he was signing the receipt she said. “Pretty nails.” He said nothing because what he wanted to say would not have been very nice at all.
“Do you want bags for those?” the girl asked after she had gotten the receipt back.
Chad again gritted his teeth. “Yes please.” The bags would make carrying them much easier. Plus, it would help to hide what it was that he was buying. Again he had to wait while she first hunted around to find large bags, which she eventually found right where she had been standing to begin with. Then all too slowly, she put the packages of diapers into the bags.
“Have a nice day,” she said as she finally finished. Chad said nothing as he quickly grabbed the bags and left. He heard undisguised laughter behind him. Ugh!
If he hadn’t been absolutely sure that Mel would punish him badly if he didn’t iron his maid’s dress, he would have gone straight home and avoided any more embarrassment. But thinking about the ways she had punished him before, forced him onward. The closest store that he figured would have an iron and ironing board was Target, and he headed straight there. It was horribly crowded and he was very tempted to leave, but the morning was wearing on and he figured that on a Saturday, things would only get worse anywhere he went. Throwing caution to the wind, he grabbed his purse and headed inside, feeling more foolish than ever.
Target had lots of shopping carts and he immediately grabbed one. He put his purse in the child’s seat of the basket and pushed it out into the main part of the store. With his purse in the basket, he thought he’d feel a little better about it, but it almost felt like he was showing the darn thing off instead. He moved it down to the bottom of the cart so that it wouldn’t be so visible. Now all he had to worry about was his shoes and his all-too pink fingernails. He wrapped both his hands around the handle of his cart in such a way that would make his nails less visible – he hoped.
The store was packed with shoppers. Worse, he didn’t really know where to look for an iron in the store, so he was forced to walk up and down most of the aisles looking for them till he finally found them. He didn’t want to spend very long there, so he quickly picked one out. Then he looked further down the aisle for an ironing board to go with it. He grabbed one that came with a pad and threw it quickly into his cart on top of his purse.
He was half-way back to the checkout counters when he remembered that he needed shoe polish too. He quickly turned his cart toward the back of the store in search of the shoe department. He realized that he was having to traverse all too much of the store in search of a few simple items. Why couldn’t they have all been in the very front?
He easily found the shoes, but where was the polish? Not anywhere that he could see. But he figured that the store had to have some. There were people looking at shoes in every one of the shoe aisles so he had to leave his cart at the ends as he walked into each one to quickly search for the polish. He finally spotted a store worker stocking shelves in the very last aisle. He didn’t want to do it, but he decided to ask. “Excuse me,” he said to the woman.
“Yes?” she asked as she looked him in the face. He realized that she wasn’t looking anywhere else. Good!
“Do you have any shoe polish?” he asked.
“Sure,” she replied as she bent down to put the box she was holding on the floor. But then she noticed his shoes. She seemed to stare at them for a moment. Then as her gaze came up again, she stopped at his hands. Chad wanted to scream. “Very pretty,” she said as she kept looking at his nails. He wanted to hide them behind his back, but he forced himself to keep them at his sides.
“The shoe polish?” he asked again.
“Oh, it’s back this way. It’s kind of hard to find because it’s on the back wall.” He already knew it was hard to find. She led the way toward the back wall and pointed to it.
“Thank you,” he said politely, but with an ounce of irritation.
But she didn’t leave right away. “Oh, by the way,” she said, “there’s a sale on women’s dress shoes today.” She was staring at the shoes he was wearing.
Chad wanted to scream. He didn’t want to buy women’s shoes. All he wanted was some shoe polish. “No thank you,” he replied politely but with even more irritation.
“I just thought you’d like to know,” the woman said. And still she didn’t leave.
“Thank you,” Chad replied and quickly searched for what he needed. He picked up a can of black shoe polish and then as an afterthought, grabbed a shoe-shine kit that would have rags and brushes in it. The woman followed him back the way he had come, all the way to his cart.
“Anything else you need?” she asked as he put the items in his cart. Chad noticed she seemed to be looking all too closely at his pants.
“No thanks,” Chad replied. He quickly pushed his cart away from there. The woman was nice, but all too interested in him.
The checkout line was long and slow. Once again, he felt all too close to way too many people. There was no way to hide his hands which seemed to call most of the attention to him. The only good thing, he realized, was that Mel wasn’t there to humiliate him further by asking if he had wet his diapers yet. But that thought didn’t help a whole lot. Especially when he suddenly realized that he needed to pee really badly while he was standing there. At least this time, none escaped before he caught it. But once again, the urge to pee was building all too fast – and the line he was in was moving all too slowly. Realizing that he had no other choice, he allowed himself to wet his diapers while he was standing there. At least he was so used to doing that now that he could do it without anyone else realizing that he was doing it. He just hoped that his now thicker diapers wouldn’t show under his pants. Since he wasn’t wearing a girdle to hold it all in, that was a much bigger possibility.
When it was finally his turn at the checkout counter, he put everything but the ironing board on the conveyer belt. The girl ringing up the sale took care of those things first, then she grabbed a hand held scanner and came around to scan the ironing board. But she noticed his purse in the bottom of the basket under the board. She moved the board out of the way and started to grab his purse to look for a price.
“That’s mine,” he said quickly.
She looked up at him very surprised and quickly noticed his fingernails. She looked back down at the purse in his cart then back at him. “Sorry,” she said as she walked back around to the register. As he pulled his purse out of his cart, he heard a few chuckles from the people nearby. He hated his life once again. As he signed the credit card receipt, he felt all too exposed and humiliated by his pink nails and the purse slung over his arm. But what choice did he have?
He was glad he had no other stops to make as he drove straight home as quickly as he could. When he got home, he had to make all too many trips to carry everything from his car up to his apartment, all the while hoping that Cassie and Sandy wouldn’t come out to tease him. He was very glad when they didn’t.
As he closed his door after the last load, he dropped everything on the floor along with everything else he had just carried up, and looked at his watch. He was amazed to see that it was already lunch time. Where had the time gone? The trips to the store had taken him all morning! Worse, after looking at his watch, he realized that he was hungry again! He was frustrated. If he had known it was so late, he would have stopped on the way home earlier. Feeling like he had no other choice, he once again headed back down to his car.

Mel was bored. Her TV set was on, but she wasn’t really watching it. All she could think about was Chad. She had done nothing all morning because she could never decide what she wanted to do. What she really wanted was to have Chad under her thumb again so she could feel the power from it. That was all she could think about all morning. Chad, Chad, Chad! She knew it wasn’t right that she should feel that way, but she couldn’t help it. She glanced at her clock. Lunch time. The morning had dragged by and still too many hours till he would show up at her door.
She got up from her chair and put a diet TV dinner in the microwave for lunch. At least it gave her something to do.

As Chad walked back up the stairs with his lunch, he dwelled on his love for fast-food restaurants. He decided that the best thing about them was that he didn’t have to get out of the car and expose himself to anybody. Whoever was working the window and handed him his food could only see a little bit of him, and then he would be gone and he wouldn’t have to think about it again.
He sipped at his drink as he walked up the stairs. He suddenly felt the need to pee again and let it out before he remembered to stop himself. He mentally berated himself slightly when he realized it. He also worried that the single diaper he was wearing might leak now, but he was fairly sure it could hold it all with no problems. He’d change again as soon as he finished eating.
Once inside, he sat in the only chair he had and ate while he stared at the pile of things he had dropped on the floor earlier. He looked at the pile because he had nothing else to look at, not even an interesting picture on the wall to enjoy. It was so depressing. He decided that if he got the chance, he’d ask Mel if he could at least buy himself a picture for his walls. Anything was better than looking at nothing – or the only thing that was hanging from his walls – the contract for the bet.
Unfortunately, looking at the pile reminded him that he still had things to do before he went to see Mel later, and those things would probably take a little while to finish.

Mel glanced at her clock one more time. She had been reading a romance novel to help fill the time. But now it was nearly time for Chad to arrive. Close enough anyway. She put her book away and found herself staring at her door, waiting for him. How ridiculous. She really needed a life. She had friends, but she rarely ever called them, and as result, they rarely called her. She wasn’t dating now, and hadn’t since she ended her last engagement. She had no life right now, which was sad. She realized that Chad had suddenly replaced everything else in her life with this bet. And the funny thing was, it was thrilling her like nothing else had ever done. Why? She didn’t know. But she was smart enough to just accept it. Maybe when the bet was finished and she had won she would start dating again, but not right now. Right now she was more interested in Chad… and the power she could feel from controlling him… not to mention his tantalizing little tongue.
Now…. where was he?

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