Friday, February 12, 2010

The Bet - Chapter 18 (Tuesday – week 3 Part 1of 7)

The Bet
by Karen Singer

Chapter 18 (Tuesday – week 3 Part 1of 7)

Numb! Depressed! Alone! His dreams echoed his real life. Driving home, over and over again, one point - that nobody cared about him. He was a thing. An object. Nothing more. Something to be used and thrown away. A thing without feelings.
But he did feel. He had wants and needs. Powerful ones! But there was nobody who cared. Nobody to see him as anything other than what they believed him to be – a thing.
His pink alarm clock blared loud music into his room waking him up. Saving him from further rejection, but not saving him from feeling used and depressed. He had gone to bed feeling that way last night. She had used him, then sent him home… showing no interest in him at all once her own needs had been met. While the music blared loudly, he stared at his ceiling – a blank slate full of nothing. Like him.
Eventually he came to his senses a little more. He rolled over awkwardly and got up from his blow-up mattress. He turned the clock radio off. Blessed silence permeated the room once more. He was relieved, but not relieved.
In his uncaring – uncared for state, he waddled into the kitchen, hoping against hope that she had cared enough to leave a note for him last night. But his counter was bare, blank, empty… like him. A tiny spark of anger flamed within him.
He didn’t bother with a baby bottle. He went straight to his bathroom and removed his diapers. He got into his shower and just stood there, letting the warm water pour over him. Washing his soul as well as his body, clean. As if trying to rinse himself of the entire uncaring world. He let himself pee once he realized that he had been holding it. He felt better, but only a little.
He got out and dried himself off. But what should he wear? In his present state of mind, he really didn’t care. Would she care if he went without the diapers for a change? Would she finally pay a little bit more attention to him? He considered it strongly. But the more he thought about it, the more childish the idea seemed. He looked for the first time in a long while at his toilet. It was so wrapped up in her plastic cling wrap that it would take a major effort to remove it. The simple plastic wrap that made it off limits to him… reminding him whenever he looked at it of what he was no longer permitted to do – because of the bet. The sight always depressed him… and made him feel funny inside. So he rarely looked at it.
Having no other choice, he put his two diapers on as usual, followed by his plastic panties, all-in-one girdle, and pantyhose. He did his makeup next this time. Only half-caring about how he was putting it on. He was surprised that it still came out acceptable. He put his new necklace around his neck and his ring on his finger. He attached his watch to his wrist.
He opened his closet door and stared into it. His closet was another depressing place. Again her plastic cling wrap was all too evident. Denying him the clothes his body was born to wear. Forcing him instead to wear clothes that haunted his fantasies instead. But haunt his fantasies they did. He reached out and grabbed one of his blouses, looking at it closely. He hadn’t worn one to work yet because she hadn’t demanded it of him. His male shirts were the only male clothing he had left. Wearing them was still a coveted privilege. He considered wearing a blouse instead. Everything else he would be wearing would be female. Why not? But the coveted privilege won out.
He glanced at the tiny dial on his watch. He was early. He sat dejectedly in the only chair he owned and stared at one of his blank walls. Blank wall. Blank mind.

Mel sipped happily at her coffee. She was happy that is, till she remembered her date that night with Detective ‘major pain in the ass’ Grey. Ugh! She walked into the kitchen and dumped the rest of her coffee out. She suddenly didn’t want it anymore. She checked her clock. It was almost time for Chad to arrive. That thought made her feel a lot better.
Right on time the knock came at her door. She opened it. “Good morning, Mistress,” he said rather flatly. His curtsey seemed half hearted. “Good morning, Sissy” she replied, a bit puzzled. She stood back and let him in. He had his diaper bag and his purse, but no bag of baby bottles. She looked him over as he stood in front of her. His necklace was there along with his ring. In fact, everything seemed to be in order – except for one thing. “Where’s your pacifier?” she asked.
He mentally cursed himself for forgetting it again. He was surprised that she even cared enough to ask. “I forgot it!” he said. But the tiny bit of anger he had felt earlier was starting to grow.
“You forgot it? Again?” She shook her head. “And what about the baby bottles? Did you drink any today?”
“No Mistress,” he answered, not even bothering to curtsey.
“Why not?”
“Because…” He tried to find a good answer. But all he could suddenly feel was frustration and anger and rejection. “Shit!” he exclaimed. “What the hell do you care anyway?” And with that he turned and walked out her door.
She was so taken aback that she stood there for a moment, trying to comprehend what had just happened. She ran after him. He was already almost to the stairs leading down to his car.
“What’s going on?” she demanded.
“Like you really care!” he returned angrily. He began stomping down the stairs, then he stopped. He turned back to her. “You have no clue about me! You only care about your stinking self! You have no regard for anyone else’s feelings but your own. Go to hell, ‘MISTRESS!’ Go to hell!” He quickly resumed his trek down the stairs and got angrily into his car. A minute later, he was gone.
She stood staring after him. What had gone wrong? She had thought everything was going great. Obviously it wasn’t. Watching him leave like that drilled a hole a mile deep into the pit of her stomach. As if her whole life had just walked out on her.
What did he mean she didn’t care? She cared tremendously! Couldn’t he see that? Men! That was part of the problem. All they ever think about is themselves! Wasn’t everything she was doing to him – for him? Wasn’t it all part of his fantasy? Why wasn’t he appreciating that? Just wait till tonight. She’d make him sorry! But then she remembered her date. Damn! But one way or another, she was going to punish him for this… and punish him good!

Chad sat at his desk, slowly nursing the large cup of coffee he had bought that morning along with his breakfast. He had purposely forced everything that had happened earlier to the back of his mind. He wasn’t ready to deal with it yet. Mostly, his mind was on his computer screen and the project he was finishing. He carefully flipped through screen after screen, clicking everything he could, checking it carefully. Finally, he took one more sip of his coffee. He reached out and shut the project down. A few clicks and some brief typing later, and he had sent an email to his boss Tom Robinson. His project was finished, he had done really well with it and he knew it. It felt good. He knew the clients would be really happy as well. It was just a shame that he’d never get to personally hear from them about it. But he knew that Tom would relay whatever they said. That would be more than good enough – especially the way he was dressing now.
The only thing he had left to work on was the project that he and Robin were supposed to be working on together. But so far, she had done all the work while he finished up this last project. He’d get busy helping her in a few minutes. But first…
He opened up the spreadsheet that tracked his bet progress. The countdown column said forty five days as of today. In the column for how long he had managed to hold back, he entered twenty-five minutes. He was fairly sure that he was holding it a lot longer, but he was still trying to be conservative. Besides, it gave him goals to improve himself.
He finally allowed himself to think about this morning. He had been stupid and he knew it. She’d probably punish him more severely than ever before. But he didn’t care. He had meant every word he had said to her. And it had felt really good telling her off. In a way, he was very sorry he had done it, but in a way, he was glad too.
He closed his spreadsheet and took one more sip of his coffee. “Oh Roooobiiiin,” he called over the top of the cubicle wall between them.
Robin was startled to hear him calling her the way he did. It was so out of character for him… especially lately. She didn’t even think about typing another character. Instead she immediately got out of her seat to go around and see what was going on – as if there was something wrong with him. She found him smiling and sipping his coffee. “You seem to be in a good mood this morning,” she noted.
“Not really,” he replied, still not sure if he was more angry at himself for what he had done with Mel, or glad he had done it.
“Well you could have fooled me.”
“I just finished my last project,” he explained, “and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. That’s all. I’m ready to start working on the new one with you.”
“Great! It’s about time! Where do you want to start?”
“Why don’t we go over what you’ve done so far and decide together.”
“Sounds good to me,” she replied. As he got up to go over to her desk she asked him, “So Chad, why is it that you always wear those dumb men’s shirts? And don’t tell me it’s complicated because I might hit you!”
He laughed. “All right, I won’t tell you, but please don’t hit me.”
She didn’t even bother laughing. What could be so complicated about her simple question? So she tried one more time. “So what is it that you have against pretty blouses?”
“Nothing,” he replied. “I love them.”
“But you don’t ever wear one.”
“I know. Maybe someday I will.”
“I don’t know. Maybe someday soon.”
“I’ll believe it when I see it!” She clicked her mouse a few times, taking them to the start of their project. But instead of talking about work, she asked, “How about a dress?” she asked. “Any plans to wear one of those soon too?”
“Ugh!” he replied. “Don’t push your luck!”
This time, she laughed.

Mel was fairly despondent all morning. She didn’t want to concentrate on her work because she was too wrapped up in thinking about her problems with Chad. So when she saw the message saying that Gloria had called her, she returned the call immediately, because by that time, she’d rather think about anything except work.
“Hi Gloria. It’s Mel.”
“Girlfriend! Hey, I was just thinking we haven’t done lunch together in a long time. How about today?”
“Uh, I don’t know Gloria. I’m kind of having one of those days, you know? I don’t think I’d be very good company.”
Gloria could hear how depressed Mel seemed to be. “Listen. It sounds more like you need a good lunch outing with me. You can tell me all about then and maybe we can sort things out together.”
“I don’t know Gloria. I’ve got court at one. We’d have to make it an early lunch.”
“Early is great for me. We won’t have to wait for a table. See you in half an hour at the usual?”
Mel thought about it for a second, then decided to go for it. “Yeah Gloria. Sounds good. See you then.” Maybe together they could figure out a good way to put Chad in his place and keep him there!

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