The Domination of Mister Mike
By Karen Singer
My backside was still painful when I sat down at my desk Tuesday morning, but there was no doubt it was doing better than the day before. Thankfully! Ashley’s bedroom door had still been closed when I left the house. I just hoped that when I came home again that bedroom would be empty. All night long I had fumed over what a cruel and inconsiderate monster she was. All night long my mind came up with reason after reason why she was so horrible. Now, I only wanted her gone. Forever!
It was late in the morning when my cellphone rang, and it really surprised me because I rarely got any phone calls – even from my mother, and she only called once in a while when she wasn’t off with her friends on some casino excursion. In the back of my mind I expected to see Ashley’s name on the caller ID, but I was surprised to see Chris calling me instead. “Hello?”
“Hey Mister Mike,” he answered. “I was just wondering if you heard how Ashley is doing.”
“Chris, I’m sorry to say I threw her out of the house last night. Well, actually, she was still there when I left this morning, but she had orders to be gone before I got home today. And let me tell you Chris, my sympathies are totally with you. I don’t know how you put up with her for so long.”
“No Mister Mike. I mean…haven’t you heard? I got a call from Amanda earlier. Ashley was in a major car wreck this morning. They took her to the hospital, but I haven’t heard anything else. I just figured since she had been staying with you that you might have heard.”
I was totally shocked. “She was in a car wreck? I hadn’t heard. How is she?”
“That’s just it, I don’t know. The police called Amanda because she was the last person Ashley had called from her phone. But Amanda was at work, so she called me, and I’m at work too.”
“The police called Amanda?”
“That’s what she said.”
“Shit!” I exclaimed.
“Hey Mister Mike, I’ve got Ashley’s mother’s phone number. Do you think I should call her? She lives like two or three hours away, but do you think I should let her know? I wouldn’t want to call her if Ashley didn’t want me to. She and her mother didn’t get along that well, and Ashley was kind of funny whenever it came to her mother.”
“Chris, go ahead and call her. Definitely! If the police called one of her friends to let them know, then it sounds like Ashley may have been hurt pretty bad. I’ll try to find out more on my lunch hour.”
“Great, Mister Mike. I’ll call her mother, but please let me know what you find out.”
“I will Chris. For sure.”
I hung up, still somewhat in shock. Ashley had been hurt – that much I was certain of. As much as I hated the girl, I couldn’t wish that on anyone. I knew my mind would never be able to focus on work, so I looked up the number of the hospital and called there. I was able to find out that Ashley was still in the emergency room, but they wouldn’t release any other information to me.
Armed with that little bit, I phoned Chris back. “Chris, Ashley is still in the emergency room. They wouldn’t tell me anything about her at all.”
“Oh wow, Mister Mike,” he replied. “That doesn’t sound good.”
“No it doesn’t. Tell you what, I’ll try to find out more during lunch.”
“Great!” he replied. “And I just now got off the phone with her mother. She sounded like she was starting to panic as soon as I told her.”
“I’m sure she was,” I agreed.
“So please keep me in the loop,” he asked. “You know I still have feelings for her.”
“I will Chris. Talk to you later.”
At lunchtime I hurried out to my car and headed straight for the hospital, but all I was able to find out was that she was still in the emergency room. Since I wasn’t family, they wouldn’t let me see or talk to her. It was a wasted trip.
All afternoon I fretted about Ashley. How was she? Besides being an absolute monster, my previous impression of her had been that she had been a really nice girl. Of course, I knew better now. Looks can be deceiving.
After work, I again drove straight to the hospital. This time I found out that she was in a room. I headed upstairs. When I found her room, I stopped at the doorway. There was another girl inside sitting by her bed, but Ashley appeared to be sleeping. Then I noticed someone else in the room. An older woman. I was betting it was her mother. She got up from the chair she had been sitting in and walked over to me.
“Are you one of Ashley’s friends?” she asked.
“Sort of,” I replied. “She was staying in my house the last couple of nights.”
All of a sudden, her hand lashed out and she slapped me as hard as she could. “I hate you!” she exclaimed. “It’s your fault that my daughter is lying there in that bed. It’s your fault that she almost died!”
“Yes! She said you threw her out of the house with no warning. She said you even called the police last night to evict her – with no reason at all! She was crying and so upset when she left the house this morning that she didn’t watch what she was doing, and now she’s lying in that bed, her left leg broken in two places, her left arm broken just above her elbow, she’s all banged up, and she’s got a major concussion. It’s your fault that she’s hurt!” Once again her hand lashed out and slapped me.
I did my best to hold my temper. “Maybe you better make sure of all the facts before you go accusing me too much. Yes, I did throw her out last night, or I tried to. But I told her she could wait until today to leave since it was so late. And I told the police that I wasn’t going to press charges against her.”
“Charges? For what?”
“For nearly killing me, and for trying to do it again!”
“And you’re only getting part of the story!”
“That’s my daughter that told me!”
“Yeah, and maybe that’s why she didn’t tell you everything! I truly hope she’s going to be okay. As much of a monster as I now think your daughter is, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Goodbye!” I turned and stomped off. Damn girl. Damn mother of the girl. Like mother like daughter. And the only one either of them was going to blame, was me! Neither of them would see the cruel monster that Ashley really was.
I got to the elevator and punched the button. And she was suddenly there.
“Is your name Mike?” she asked.
“What of it?” I replied angrily.
She stared at me for a moment. “Would you like to get some coffee with me?”
No, I didn’t. Not after the way she had just treated me. But I relented. “Sure,” I replied, although I know my voice wasn’t exactly dripping with kindness.
We went downstairs to the hospital cafeteria. I noted that she seemed to know her way around there pretty well. I was guessing she had been there a number of times throughout the day. We each got a cup of coffee, then she led me to a somewhat out of the way table.
“So what is it that Ashley isn’t telling me?” she asked as we sat down.
“To be honest, I don’t know that I want to tell you,” I replied. “It’s…very personal.”
I saw her roll her eyes. “You mean because you get off on being humiliated and she was willing to dish it out?”
I stared at her in disbelief. “She told you that?”
She texted me all about it several times,” she replied.
“Damn it! See. That’s another reason I wanted her gone. I’ve gone to great lengths my whole life to keep my problems to myself and not let anyone know. But the minute she got into my house, she started searching my entire room, my computer, and doing everything else she could, and then she let all her friends know!”
“She searched your house?”
“Yes! And I couldn’t stop her. The minute I tried to tell her not to do this, she ran and searched somewhere else, like it was all one big game. She may have come in the door crying her eyes out after leaving Chris, but it didn’t take her long to get giddy with laughter. Believe me!”
“So you didn’t want her looking through your things?”
“Oh hell no!”
“So you threw her out.”
“Not because of that.”
“Because of what she did to me.”
“You mean with those crazy shoe-lock things she texted me about? Where she said she kept you literally locked into a pair of real high heels for the entire weekend?”
I stared at her in shock. “She told you about that too?”
“Yes. In about a dozen different texts. She seemed to think it was hilarious. And I have to admit, I did too when I read about it. But she said you complained constantly and kept asking for the keys, but she could tell you were really loving the situation. So is that why you threw her out?”
I shook my head. “She tells too much to too many different people. But no, that’s not why at all.”
I was going to tell her, then I stopped. “Maybe I should show you instead.”
I pulled my cell phone out. “These pictures were taken by the police last night. They have the 911 call I made too of course.”
I opened up to the pictures the cop had taken of the bruising on my body, and I passed the phone over to her. I saw her flip through a couple of pictures, then her eyes went wide. “My God! Is that your…bottom?”
“Yeah! And those pictures were taken a full day after she did that to me. In fact, I’m still hurting, and I’m still having trouble sitting down. I threw her out because she was trying to do that to me again! She crossed the line. She went way past the line. She was nothing but cruel and showed no compassion at all. To be honest, I can’t for the life of me see how she can call herself a nurse.
“Last night, as she was trying to beat me with that belt again, I simply had enough. I couldn’t take anymore. So I grabbed her and ripped that damn belt out of her hands, and I called the police. She wouldn’t leave any other way, no matter how much I wanted her gone, so I called the police. In fact, I never asked her to stay in the first place. She just came in and assumed I would let her. And then last night when she told me she was moving in, permanently, whether I liked it or not, and then she started beating on me again like that…I simply couldn’t take it anymore.
“Your daughter is a monster, Mrs. Desmond. A monster!” I grabbed my cell phone from her, got up from the table and left. I wasn’t going to argue with her over what a monster her daughter was. I was still hurting. I was very sorry that Ashley had gotten hurt. But I had gotten hurt too!
--- §§§§§§§§§§ ---
When I finally got home, I pulled the big trashcan back from the curb, then went straight out to my workshop to put a second coat of stain on my printer table. But the whole time I was out there, I still could do nothing but fume angrily over Ashley…and now her mother. Since staining a second coat goes much faster than the first, I wasn’t out there very long.
I went back into the house and stuck another frozen dinner into the microwave. Then I went for a tour of the house…or parts of it. I expected her bedroom to be a mess, and it was. But at the same time, I also noticed that all her stuff wasn’t gone. As far as I could see, she had just as much stuff there as she did before. So like it or not, I knew she’d be back. At least it would be to move out though.
I was watching TV later that night when my doorbell rang. My mind immediately turned to Chris, and I mentally berated myself for not calling him with an update on Ashley’s condition. But when I opened the door, I got another shock. “Mrs. Desmond?”
“May I come in?” she asked.
“Are you here to berate me?”
“That wasn’t my plan,” she said. “To be honest, I really wanted to apologize.”
Not really caring about an apology, I let her in. “Coffee?” I asked as she entered.
“That would be…good,” she sighed.
I went to the kitchen and busied myself with making a pot of coffee.
“You’ve got a nice place here,” she said as she looked around.
“Thanks,” I replied. “Have a seat.”
“Thanks,” she said as she pulled out one of my kitchen table chairs and removed her coat. “I talked to Ashley again,” she said, “and I asked her some very pointed questions. I’m afraid she either pretty much confirmed everything you told me, or she gave me very evasive answers.”
“I only told you what happened,” I told her.
“So I’m guessing it was mostly the truth.”
“It was all the truth!”
“As you see it,” she replied. “I’m guessing you really did enjoy some of what she put you through.”
I turned and stared at her. “I don’t care what you think of me. As much as I absolutely hated it, yes, there were things I did enjoy. But I told you why I threw her out. She crossed the line. She went way too far. And there was no reasoning with her.”
“So you told me.”
“How is she doing?” I asked.
“She’s hurting. She’s got a major headache.”
“And I have no doubt she’s angry at me and blaming me for everything.”
She nodded. “Pretty much.”
“I’m sorry she was so upset when she left the house. Maybe that was my fault. But she has to blame herself too.”
She nodded. “Unfortunately, it’s not the first accident she’s had. It was just…the worst. By a lot. I don’t know what condition her car is in, but I know it wasn’t very good before the accident.”
“I think she mentioned recently that she needed a new one…more than Chris needed a new truck.”
“Humph!” she grunted. “I saw Chris at the hospital. He mentioned wanting to buy a new truck…and he also mentioned he needed Ashley living with him and paying her share of the rent so he could get it.”
“Umm…I’m not totally surprised. He told me that he was trying to get his grandfather to cosign for it.”
“So he’s not as well off as he keeps claiming.”
“I don’t really know,” I told her. “My bet is he probably makes enough money, but he spends most of his money on himself.”
“Yeah. Something like that. No common sense.”
The coffee was close enough that I could pour her a mug. “Cream? Sugar?”
“Both if you have it.”
I pulled some milk out of the refrigerator and grabbed the sugar too and carried them to the table. Then I carried her coffee over before going back to pour myself some.
“I’m sorry my daughter showed such bad…judgement in what she was doing with you,” she said as I poured my coffee.
“To be honest, I am too. I liked her.” I looked over at her quickly. “Not…in a sexual way. I made no advances toward her and I had no intention of ever doing that!”
She tossed it off with a wave of her hand. “I’m sure,” she replied. “And besides, you’re both consenting adults. What can I really say about it…let alone do about it?”
I nodded. “Yeah. Both consenting adults, except I wasn’t exactly consenting about some of the things she did to me.”
“Oh! Which reminds me,” she said. “What are you putting on that backside of yours?”
“I’m not putting anything on it,” I told her. “I wouldn’t even know what to put on it. And going to a drug store to ask someone to recommend something would be a little too…embarrassing.”
She smiled and opened her purse. “I stopped at a store on the way here,” she said as she pulled out a small jar. “Put some of that all over it several times a day. It should clear up fast.”
I picked the jar up. “What is it?”
“It’s for…problems like yours. Although it’s more often used for diaper rash for babies.”
I have no doubt my face turned red. “Thanks,” I mumbled.
When I looked up, I saw a look of amusement in her eyes. “Ashley says you love wearing diapers too. That ointment may come in handy in the future as well.”
I know my face was red. “I only sometimes wear them,” I told her. “Not really that often.”
She giggled just a tiny bit. “That’s your business,” she replied.
I nodded, unable to say anything else.
“Did you…enjoy it though?” she asked.
I saw something of a devilish smile on her face that she was trying to hide behind her coffee cup as she sipped from it.
“Ashley pushing you around? She said you loved being humiliated.”
“Like I said earlier, some of it. Just not…all of it.”
“I’m sure,” she replied. “And from what I now know, what she did was…inexcusable. But I’m glad you enjoyed…some of it.”
“That still doesn’t excuse what she did.”
“No, it doesn’t,” she agreed.
“It doesn’t excuse her letting the entire world know about my…problems either.”
She shook her head. “Probably not, but to be honest, I don’t see her being able to keep any of that to herself either.”
“Probably not,” I agreed. “As I said before, that’s why I was always so careful to not let anyone know.”
“Until now,” she said.
“Or was it…until that day she said she saw you in Arby’s wearing a pair of women’s high heeled boots?”
Once again I could feel my face turning red. “That was my one and only mistake. And it was a big one. And I guess…it cost me more now than I thought. I wonder if there’s anyone who doesn’t know about that.”
She shrugged. “I guess it depends on who you ask. Has anyone mentioned it where you work?”
I shook my head. “So far, the only one who’s mentioned it, is Ashley…and now you.”
“Then I would guess that it depends on who you ask. I don’t know where you work, but hopefully it’s not anywhere near any of Ashley’s friends.”
“I work in a bank,” I told her. “Mortgage department.”
Then knowing some of her friends like I do, I would guess you’re pretty safe. Somewhat anyway.”
“Hopefully,” I replied. “I’ve been seriously thinking about looking for another job now. Someplace far away.”
“I guess I can’t blame you,” she said.
She set her cup down. “Well. I must be going. I’ve still got to find myself a hotel.” We both got up from the table and headed for the front door. “Like I said,” she said as she stopped a moment before going out. “I’m very sorry for what Ashley did…and I guess for the way I treated you earlier as well.”
“It’s okay,” I told her. “I probably would have done the same.”
She smiled and I opened the door. “Mrs. Desmond…”
“Um…If you like, Ashley’s room here is still available. I’m afraid it’s a total mess. She wasn’t big on picking anything up...anywhere. But if you like, you can use it while you’re here.”
She looked at me for several moments. “That’s…somewhat of a surprising offer.”
I shrugged. “Maybe. But I liked Ashley…before I knew her better. I thought she was a nice girl. Maybe this is a small way for me to apologize too, for…my part in it all.”
She again looked at me for several moments. “You’re sure? Because it would be a big help. Hotels are so expensive, and I have no idea how long I’m going to be here.”
I nodded. “I’m sure.”