By Karen Singer
Chapter 60 (Tuesday – week 9 Part 3 of 6)
Ray sat at his desk and stared at the paperwork in front of him, but his eyes weren’t seeing any of it. Instead, he was trying hard to remember what Derek had said to him in the bar yesterday. He was still kicking himself over what he had done at Mel’s apartment on Sunday, but thankfully he was mostly over that now. And, as much as he hated to admit it, Derek had been a good friend and taken care of him when he needed it. He was thankful to him for that. He was also thankful that Derek had been wise enough to leave him in the bar and let him get good and drunk when he needed it. And… he was grateful that he didn’t have a worse hangover today than he did. The worst he was feeling now was a dull headache that still hadn’t gone away.
But what was it that Derek had told him yesterday? He knew they had discussed Mel’s money and that Derek didn’t think she had all that much. He was still certain that Mel did, but he was wise enough today to know that he wasn’t going to be getting any of it.
As he considered that thought, and realizing how badly he had behaved on Sunday, Gloria once again crossed his mind. The tiger! Despite Mel’s money, he had always had a problem getting Gloria out of his mind. He supposed that he wouldn’t have to worry about that now since he obviously wasn’t going to be seeing Mel anymore. But there wasn’t any reason now to keep him from getting together with Gloria. Not that he’d ever let anything like another woman really stop him. He prided himself on all the women he went out with – every single week! And in the past, he had been engaged to several times – while he still went out with still other women. He simply liked… variety.
But his still foggy brain couldn’t help but think that Derek had told him something else yesterday. Something weird. What was it? Unbidden, Sissy sprang to his mind. Was that it? Something about Sissy? He remembered then that Sissy had opened the door to him on Sunday dressed like a stupid maid. That one odd thing had remained stuck in his brain but had been crowded out by everything else that had become much more important. But now that he had time to deal with it… Something that Derek had said yesterday about Sissy…. Something… What was it?
Sissy had come to the door dressed like a maid… Sissy was Mel’s maid – according to Derek. The memories started to crawl back into his brain, still foggy and uncertain but they were coming. Something about a bet that Chad had made with Mel over… over… As hard as he tried, he couldn’t quite remember what their bet had been about.
He again tried to picture Chad as he had opened the door for him on Sunday. Had the little jerk curtseyed when he did it? He wasn’t sure. Why would he dress like her maid? For that matter, why would the idiot dress the way he had been to work – like a damn woman! It wasn’t right! It certainly wasn’t normal.
He remembered Mr. Baxter’s proclamation a while back for nobody to say or do anything about Chad if he behaved oddly. Why? Okay, some companies now were being awfully open to that kind of thing – the stupid transgender issue. Chad must have gotten the approval before he started. It hadn’t taken him long to work up to wearing dresses full time though. But dressing and acting like a maid? There was something in the back of his mind that told him there was more to that issue than he remembered just then. And it was something that Derek had told him yesterday. What was it?
He remembered again the fact that Chad and Mel had made a bet. And his slow brain finally managed to fit those two puzzle pieces together. Chad was acting as Mel’s maid… because she was making him do it! That was part of the basis for their bet… Chad had to do anything and everything that Mel told him to do… no matter what! Including wearing dresses to work! Chad must have lost some major bet to Mel! That had to be it! Damn! How could Chad do something like that? The jerk! Didn’t he know better? He guessed not.
He wondered what kind of bet they had made that would have that kind of consequences. It had to be something really big! Money? He was sure that Mel had money… and he was just as sure that Chad didn’t. At least, not that kind of money. So was that the reason for that kind of consequences? Chad had gone after Mel’s money? He turned that around in his soggy brain. He supposed it could be possible.
But something told him there was still more to it than what little he remembered so far. He was sure there was something else. Something important! But for the life of him, he couldn’t remember what it was. He thought about asking Derek about it again, but as usual, Derek had gone straight to the job site that morning and wouldn’t be back till later.
His mind didn’t want to do much in the way of work – not yet – not after the bender he had taken yesterday. So he decided to give in and let the work pile up for a little while more while his brain played with trying to remember what Derek had told him about Chad… or was that Sissy? Was that one of the consequences that Mel had imposed on Chad as well, changing his name for a while too?
All the thinking about Chad reminded him that Chad would be right downstairs at his desk. He could simply go straight to the source and get the real truth. Despite the dull pain in his head with every step he took, there was almost a smile on his face as he headed for the elevators. He didn’t know why he was so interested in knowing what was going on with Chad… Sissy. But the way he was still feeling after yesterday, he’d rather concentrate on that than do any of the more mental work he was supposed to be doing.
As much as Chad hated being seen outside in one of his silly sissy dresses, he hated being exposed wearing just his diapers even more. And essentially that was what he was – exposed wearing nothing but his diapers. He didn’t count his bra, or his waist cincher, or even the shoes on his feet. His diapers were fully on display with nothing at all over them so that was all that counted. He supposed he should be grateful that he only had to walk from Mel’s car, up the stairs and into her apartment. But it was still all too far.
The moment he got inside, he gratefully dropped everything on the floor under her little table and closed the door. He was still very tired. He couldn’t imagine how tired Mel had to feel. Surprisingly though, she didn’t appear to be overly tired at all.
“Get yourself a bottle, Sissy,” Mel said as she headed to her bedroom to change. “You’re way behind on them today.”
Almost automatically, Chad did just that. He went to her refrigerator and pulled out another bottle of her green tea. Just as automatically, he started sucking on it. He thought again about the fact that he was still wearing two diapers. He had a feeling he would be changing them for a single one very shortly. Probably as soon as Mel came out of her bedroom.
Trying to keep busy as well as stay awake, he grabbed a rag and began dusting the furniture while he drank from his latest bottle. Working and drinking had become an odd habit now. He hardly had to think about it. Just as he hardly had to think about trying to make his body pee anymore. He just did it… naturally. If he stopped to think about it, he couldn’t remember any other way his body was supposed to feel.
Mel finally came out of the bedroom wearing a pair of shorts and a top. “Sissy, did you make my coffee yet?” she asked right away.
Chad was stunned. He hadn’t even thought of it. He curtseyed – for the first time since yesterday. “No Mistress! I forgot!”
“Darn it, Sissy! Get to it! And make me some breakfast while you’re at it. I’m hungry!”
Chad hurried to the kitchen. Why hadn’t he remembered to make her coffee?
Ray had only been down to Chad’s desk two or three times since Chad had started working for the company, so he knew where it was but not all that well. It was in a part of the building he never had much reason to go into. And as he walked the halls and turned the corner into the last hallway, he figured nobody else ever came down here much either. The place looked totally deserted. They couldn’t find someplace better to move Chad and Robin to? Why leave them down here all alone? He thought about making a mental note to ask Tom Robinson about that, but he wasn’t totally sure his aching brain would remember anything like that yet.
As he reached Chad’s cubicle, he was a bit surprised to find it not only empty, but his computer was still turned off. Chad wasn’t here! Now how was he going to find out anything? The faint brief sound of typing caught his attention. Robin! She would know where Chad was! Or perhaps she could tell him what he needed to know! She worked with him every day!
Robin was working, but barely. Actually, she was spending her time mostly just surfing the internet. With nobody around, it kept her mind off of being alone better than doing something that she had worked on with Sissy.
Robin turned quickly at the sound of her name. She was shocked to see Ray standing there. “Ray? What are you doing down here?”
“What the heck did you and Chad do to get you banished so far from everyone else?”
Robin actually giggled at the unexpected question. “It’s not so bad,” she replied. “Chad is usually here to keep me company.”
“Speaking of Chad, where is he?”
“He’s off today. Actually, he’s off all week.”
Ray was a bit disappointed. It looked like going straight to the source for the information wasn’t going to work. But he remembered that Robin knew Chad really well… or she should.
“Um… listen,” he said. “Maybe you can help me.”
“Sure,” Robin agreed.
“Um…” Where to start? “I had a long talk with Derek yesterday, about Chad…”
Robin jumped in fast as big red flags started flying in her head. “Listen. I told everyone yesterday that Sissy kissing Derek was all my idea. I told them that it wasn’t Sissy’s idea at all. Derek didn’t want to do it and neither did Sissy. I kind of… made him,” she finished, feeling totally embarrassed and more than a bit frightened to admit to someone of Ray’s standing what she had done.
Ray’s head went spinning. It took him a moment to mentally catch up with what Robin had said. The kiss? She was talking about the crazy kiss last week in the break room?
“Um… I never had a doubt that Derek wanted that kiss. But I am glad to hear that Sissy… Chad didn’t really want to kiss him either… I think.” He looked at her oddly as something else she had said snapped into place. “What do you mean, you made him do it?”
Robin didn’t know if she should really admit what she had threatened Sissy with. She decided to be cautious. “I just thought it would be funny. That’s all. And fortunately, he went along with it.”
“Yeah, I noticed.” Although Ray wasn’t all that sure how much “fun” Sissy had thought that kiss was. “That’s not why I came down here though. Derek told me yesterday something about Chad losing a bet and that’s why he’s dressing the way he is. Do you know anything about that?”
Robin blinked as she realized what Ray had said – that Chad had lost the bet. Somehow, Derek had passed on some misinformation! Now she was totally unsure about what to answer. “Uh… a little,” she admitted.
Ray breathed a small sigh of relief. “Good. Then what the heck was his bet over that would have that kind of consequences? I figure it has to be money – big money – the kind of money that Chad doesn’t have!”
Robin was floored! Money? That was the first she had heard anything about money. What the heck had Derek told him? She was glad she could at least be honest about that much. Hesitantly she replied. “I don’t know anything about that. Nothing at all!”
Ray was a bit surprised that she didn’t know. But he was forced to accept it. “Oh,” he replied disappointedly.
“Was there anything else?” Robin asked, anxious now for him to leave. She wasn’t at all certain about anything she should… or could say to him.
With a shake of his head, Ray replied, “No. Thanks, I appreciate you trying to help.”
Robin didn’t reply as she watched him turn and walk off. What had that been about? Now she was more nervous about things than ever!
“Hi Girlfriend!” Gloria’s voice sang over Mel’s phone.
“Gloria!” Mel exclaimed happily.
“Hey! I didn’t expect you to answer in person. I figured I’d leave a message and you’d get back to me later. What happened to that meeting you were supposed to be in?”
“Already? That was fast!”
“Yeah, well… turns out that Sunshine was trying to pull a fast one on Green Growers and we didn’t catch it till late last night… or actually, early this morning. The meeting ended quickly after we explained what we found.”
“So are you up for lunch today then? You can tell me all about it.”
Mel considered it. “No, not today. I pulled an all-nighter last night and I’m exhausted. I haven’t even been to bed yet.”
“Oh dear! That bad?”
“That bad! But hey, while I’ve got you on the phone, did you happen to tell Ray that I had money?”
“Um… I may have let that slip during dinner one time,” Gloria replied hesitantly. “Why?”
“Because he came here on Sunday and made a total ass of himself! Derek was here then and the two of them were practically throwing punches over me.”
“How romantic,” Gloria replied sarcastically, but the tone of her voice held nothing but concern.
“Not really! And during their argument, Ray let on that he was only after my money.”
“He did?” Gloria was totally astonished. “What happened?”
“I threw him out… for that… and before matters between him and Derek could get any worse. You wouldn’t believe what an ass he made of himself! I don’t ever want to see that scum again!”
“Yeah,” Gloria replied uncertainly, “I’ll bet.”
Mel noticed Sissy standing off to the side, waiting to talk to her. She looked up at him and he softly said, “Breakfast.”
She nodded to him. “Look Gloria, I’ll have to call you later. I’ve got to go now.”
“Sure,” Gloria replied. “You get some rest and I’ll talk to you later.” But once she hung up the phone, her mind was focused totally on Ray. She distinctly remembered now how he had continued to grill her during dinner about Mel… and her money. What had she told him? She wasn’t totally sure. And at the same time, she wondered if he was ever going to call her again. And what would she do if he did call?
All the way back to his desk, Ray pondered how he could come up with more information about the bet Chad had made with Mel. He wasn’t even sure he knew why he was so interested. His slightly aching head put it down as another way of confirming if Mel was as rich as he thought she was. Halfway back to his desk, he thought of Gloria. She had been the one who told him about Mel’s money in the first place. She and Mel were good friends. Maybe she could tell him about the bet Mel had made with Chad.
As soon as he reached his desk and sat down – softly so as not to jar his head too much. He grabbed his phone and called Gloria. “Hello you beautiful babe!” he said as cheerily as his aching head would allow, pulling from his long lexicon of pick-up lines.
“Ray?” Gloria replied, surprised to hear from him so soon after she had just talked with Mel. Talk about coincidence!
“What are you doing for lunch today?” Ray asked immediately.
“Um… I’m not sure,” Gloria replied hesitantly. Did she really want to have lunch with him after what Mel had just told her?
“Then you’re having it with me!” Ray said with more than a bit of finality.
“Uh… I am?”
“Actually,” Ray continued, “I not only want to see you again, but I kind of need your help.”
“My help? Professional help?”
“No, not that kind.”
Gloria gave a silent sigh of relief. “What then?”
“Um… I need you to straighten something out for me.”
“Knowing you, does this straightening out during lunch involve any food at all? Or were you just thinking of coming here and trying out my couches again?”
Ray was totally surprised by her suggestion. “Um… I certainly wouldn’t turn down an offer like that!”
“Forget it!” Gloria replied quickly. “I’ve got clients this afternoon. It will have to be lunch only today.”
“Ray was still a bit off center from her earlier remark. “Uh… Actually, that’s all I had called for in the first place.”
“Okay then,” Gloria agreed. “Lunch… the eating food kind… it is!” And if he needed straightening out on something? Well, straightening him out was exactly what she wanted to do to him! And she wasn’t thinking about anything of a sexual nature in that!