Friday, May 4, 2012

The Bet - Chapter 50 (Saturday – week 7 part 7 of 10)

The Bet
by Karen Singer

Chapter 50 (Saturday – week 7 part 7 of 10)

     Mel forgot all about her disappointment as she watched the movie.  Despite the fact that it wasn’t at all her type of movie, she was so totally engrossed in it that she didn’t think about anything else.  It was all nonstop action, one intense situation on top of another.  As much as she usually hated this kind of movie, for now, it was her whole world!

     The house wasn’t big, but it looked nice.  Ray couldn’t tell anything about the car that Gloria drove because the garage door was closed.  He always checked what details he could before going out with someone.  Single lady, nice neighborhood, nice but modest house.  He had seen it before – many times.  He just hoped Gloria looked decent.  Mel had said she did, but that didn’t always mean much. 
     He walked up the few steps and rang the doorbell.  The door was opened almost immediately – and he smiled – broadly – without trying to force it!  His first impression of Gloria was… better than expected!
     Gloria was excited and scared and nervous.  Yes, she had been out on lots of dates in her life, but it had been a long time now.  And after the buildup that Mel had given her about him, she figured she had a right to be excited!  What’s more, now that she saw Ray in person, well… damn!  He was much better looking than in the pictures she had seen!
      “Gloria?” Ray asked.
      “So are you ready?” he asked.
      “Let me get my purse.”

      “There’s one!” Sandy called out as she spotted an open parking space along the street.  “And it’s close!” she added.
      “We got lucky,” Cassie replied as she pulled her car into the space.  “But then it’s still early.”  She began jockeying the car back and forth as she tried to parallel park and get decently close to the curb.
     Chad forgot all about the bottle he was sucking on, even though it was still in his mouth.  Where were they?  Downtown for sure.  But where were they going?  Certainly not to Jillian’s apartment.  He suddenly wasn’t at all sure about anything being better than Jillian and Stacy’s place.  But downtown?  Once again, he felt himself peeing helplessly in response to his fear. 
     Cassie turned the engine off and she and Stacy got out.  Chad just looked up at the row of stores in amazement – and worry.  Sandy opened his car door and took the bottle from him that he hadn’t realized he was even sucking on anymore.  She stuck his pacifier back into his mouth instead.  “Now don’t forget to keep drooling tonight,” she said.  Then she unfastened his seatbelt and pulled it away from him.  “Okay Sissy.  We’re here.  Get out.”
     Chad was surprised that his body actually moved and got out of the car… because he was mentally scared stiff.
     Sandy slung his heavy diaper bag over her shoulder and grabbed his hand.  “This way Baby,” she said as she tugged slightly on his arm. 
     Chad followed, but it was in a daze.  His body walked, but he didn’t want it to.  On some level, he was aware that he was moving slowly though, and that Sandy was moving just as slow… leading him… like a small child.  Most of the stores were closed and dark, but there was one just ahead that was brightly lit.  And he saw Cassie carrying their things into that place.  As they approached the door, his eye caught the red neon sign in the window – “Greta’s.”  What kind of place was Greta’s?  He didn’t have long to find out.  As soon as he walked through the door it hit him, it was a bar!
     Sandy stopped the moment they got past the threshold.  “Okay.  This is it Sissy.  Down on the floor.  From here on, you crawl like the little baby that you are.”
     Chad wondered if she was kidding.  She had to be!  But she was not only waiting for him, she was pushing down on his shoulder.  And unbelievably, his body was slowly going down… down… down to his hands and knees, to crawl across the room as if he were nothing but a baby – a big baby, but still… nothing but a baby.  As he slowly followed Sandy through the large room he wondered what they doing here?  A bar?  Why?  He was very aware of people staring at him, watching him, being amazed at what he was doing… laughing at him.  But what could he do about it? 
     Sandy suddenly stopped and he did too.  A large woman walked up.  “So this is him?” she asked.
      “Yes,” Sandy replied. “This is Sissy.”
     The woman stared at him for a moment and shook her head.  “Unbelievable!”  That was Chad’s thought too.  “I saved a table over there for you,” the woman said.  “You can take care of the rest.”
      “Thanks, Greta,” Sandy replied.  “I appreciate it.”
     Greta shook her head again.  “Unbelievable!” she said once again before she walked off.
     Sandy moved again and so did Chad.  But he moved now almost more from fright as anything else.  There were too many people getting awfully interested in him all of a sudden.  Some of them were now coming over to see him more closely – all women he realized.  Sandy led him over to a table by what he thought was a wall – till he looked up a bit higher and realized the wall seemed to end about four feet up. 
      “This way, Baby,” Sandy said after she had dropped his diaper bag on the table.  He followed her and was surprised to find a small set of steps not far from the table.  “Be careful now,” Sandy said. 
     Chad knew better than to try to stand, so he crawled up the steps – and found himself on a stage!  He saw Cassie in the middle of it just spreading out his blanket!  Oh no!  And just then, the bright lights overhead were switched on and he was bathed in light! 
      “Come on, Baby,” Sandy coaxed as she headed slowly over to the blanket that Cassie had just put down. 
     But Chad was paralyzed in place by his fear.  A stage!  He couldn’t believe it!  He couldn’t do this!  He couldn’t!  Sandy walked back to him.  He expected her to start yelling at him to get moving.  But she didn’t.
      “This way, Baby,” she coaxed kindly as if she were talking to a real baby. 
     The only reason Chad moved, was because she had reached down and was pushing on his diapered bottom.  And unbelievably, he soon found himself sitting down in the middle of his blanket… as Cassie dumped his toys out of the bag all around him.  The bright lights on him made it difficult to see the people off the stage very well, but the lights weren’t bad enough that he couldn’t tell they were there.  Panicked, he was wide-eyed with fright as Sandy took his pacifier out of his mouth and stuck his baby bottle in place instead.  She had to bring his hand up for him to get him to hold onto it.  Automatically, he started sucking on it… even as Sandy and Cassie left him alone on the stage – in front of all those people. And then somebody switched on the jukebox and loud music filled the room.

     The restaurant was nice, but not nearly as expensive a place as the one that Ray had taken Mel to.  But it was still very good.  Once she had gotten past the hello stage, Gloria allowed herself to relax more and more with Ray.  She was fairly certain she would never see him again after tonight, but that didn’t mean that she couldn’t get a lot out of this date – especially later!
      “So how long have you known Mel,” Ray asked as the waiter took their empty appetizer plates away.
     Gloria rolled her eyes as she took another swallow of her wine.  “Forever!  She was my best friend all through school.”
      “College?” Ray asked.
     Gloria shook her head.  “High school and grade school.  After that, she ran off to be a lawyer like her daddy while I majored in psychology.  We hooked up again just a few years ago.”
      “So you have a degree in psychology then?” Ray asked.  “I know you’ve got a business pushing relaxation therapy.  I would guess they’re related.”
     Gloria checked herself before answering.  She was a licensed psychologist with a PhD!  But she didn’t want to scare him off – that had happened more than once in her life.  “Um…  Yeah, I’ve done a lot of work in that area,” she replied.  She leaned across the table and touched his hand suggestively.  “Later, I need to take you by my office and show you my couches.”  Ouch!  Had she just said that?
     Ray, as cool and calm as every only replied.  “I’d love to.”
     But Gloria was embarrassed by her own forwardness.  She tried to redirect the conversation.  “So anyway, Mel and I go way back.  She might have come from the other side of the tracks, but she never acted that way.”
     Ray was a bit confused.  “The other side of the tracks?  So she was poor?  I thought you said her father was a lawyer.”
     Gloria shook her head. “No, I guess that’s kind of backwards.  I guess I was the one from the other side of the tracks.  Mel is rich.  Very rich.”
      “So what happened to her?” Ray asked.  “She doesn’t live in any place fancy.  She drives a nice car, but it’s not that nice.”
     Gloria took another swallow of her wine.  Had she had too much – already?  Hopefully not!  “Mel was ‘never’ the type to flaunt how much money she had.  In fact, after she graduated and went to work, it was kind of a major thing to her that she supported herself and never touched her other money.  She’s still that way – if not more so.  Of course, now that her business is taking off again, I think she’s got a lot more money than she knows what to do with.”
      “You said her business is taking off again?  What happened to it?”
      “Her daddy died.  She lost most of his clients.  That was about the time I got back together with her again.  I needed a lawyer to help me out with my new business and… we just found each other.”
      “So she worked with her father, and he died, and she inherited the business.”
      “Pretty much,” she replied.  “Her daddy and mother too.  Car crash.  Both of them.”
     Ray was surprised.  “She must have been devastated!”
     Gloria nodded.  “Let’s just say our mutual businesses were good for each other.”  She really didn’t want to be talking about Mel.  She’d much rather talk about herself… or better still, herself – and him!
     Ray nodded.  He understood that.  “So she lost most of her money too when her father died?”  It happened sometimes – he supposed even to lawyers.
     Gloria was shocked.  “Are you kidding?  She inherited everything.  Everything!  Her family was loaded.”
      “So she’s rich then?”
     Gloria shook her head.  “You’re not listening.  She’s not just rich, she’s loaded.  Looooded!”
     Ray was both surprised and confused.  “But she doesn’t…”
      “I told you, it’s this major thing with her.  She doesn’t ever touch any of that money.  She even sold the family estate and it all just sits in the bank drawing interest.  But she won’t touch any of it.  Like I said, she feels she has to earn her own way.  Make it totally on her own.  And believe me, she can be awfully obsessive about some things.  Awfully!”
     Ray wasn’t too sure about that.  He hadn’t seen any sign of her being overly obsessive, but then he hadn’t gone out with her that much.  But still… she was rich.  Very rich.  Maybe he needed to see her again – soon!

      “Man that was a great movie!” Derek exclaimed enthusiastically as they walked out of the crowded theater.
     Mel was surprised at herself.  She had really enjoyed it too.  All of it.  “Yeah, it sure was,” she agreed.
     Happily, Derek chanced being a bit forward with her and put his arm around her shoulders as they walked back to his vehicle.  Mel was a bit surprised by his action, but… it was also kind of nice.  And after the suspense in that movie, it was also somewhat reassuring.  Derek was a big strong guy.  Confident!  She was surprised to realize that she felt… safe around him.  
      “So where would you like to go for dinner?” Derek asked.
     After not being asked about the movie, Mel was surprised that he would ask about something like that.  “I don’t know.  In fact, I really don’t care.  What would you like?”
     Derek unhooked his arm from her shoulders and unlocked the car.  “To tell the truth, a big fat steak really sounds the best to me.”
     Mel just smiled.  “Lead on.”

      “Don’t forget to drool,” Sandy whispered from the edge of the stage as Sissy sat there sucking on his pacifier with a toy lamb in his hands.  “Do you need another bottle?”
     Sissy, of course, had no good way to tell her he didn’t want another bottle – for as long as he lived!  The bar was filling up fast!  And as far as he could tell, it was still all women!  Most of whom kept coming up to the edge of the stage to get a better look at him.
      “How much time till he has to be leaking?” he heard one of the women suddenly ask.
     He couldn’t believe it!  Sandy had told them about his leaking deadline?
      “About half an hour,” Sandy replied.
      “I don’t know,” the woman said as she leaned over the edge of the stage.  She was so close now that Sissy was afraid she was going to reach out and touch him.  “He looks awfully wet to me.  I bet he starts leaking a lot sooner than that.”
     Another woman suddenly leaned over right next to her for a closer look.  “No way!  Those diapers can hold a ton!  I bet he doesn’t make it!”
      “You think?” the first woman asked.  “Cause I think he will!”
      “You’re on!”
     Before long, Chad could hear the women out there not only betting over whether he would make it or not, but some of them were guessing what time he would start leaking.  And before he knew it, the number of interested women was growing – considerably! 
     A few minutes later, Sandy leaned over the edge of the stage on one side and Cassie on the other.  “Crawl off your blanket for a minute,” Sandy told him.  Chad moved off, only to see Sandy and Cassie drag his blanket full of toys to the very edge of the stage.  “Okay, Baby, get back on again.”
     Things were rapidly getting worse!  Reluctantly, he crawled back onto his blanket, now so close to the edge of the stage that anyone could easily touch him… and so close that any of them could easily see as soon as he started leaking!
      “Give him another bottle!” someone yelled.  And like it or not, Chad soon found himself sucking on yet another baby bottle – in front of all these women!  He felt like such a fool!  Such a stupid, stupid fool!  And there was nothing he could do about it!

1 comment:

sarah penguin said...

Oh, wow! Oh to be babied everywhere...