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Class Reunion – Part 7

But That’s Not All

(Continued from yesterday.)

“Before we go over can I take a minute in the girl’s room?” Mary said to Robert.

“Sure,” Robert said.

“Ya know they go back there to map out a strategy, don‘t you?” Preston said.

“She’s doing me a big favor,” Robert said. “Once they know you’re single…”

“Or just alone,” Preston said. “Some loud mouth guy with man boobs tried to hit on Cindy when she first walked in. Preston spoke without moving his lips. “Here he comes.”

“The chest jiggle?” Robert said.

“That’s him,” Preston said. “He’s coming this way.”

“Don’t think I remember you two,” Stewart said confidently. They all introduced themselves.

“I’m married to Cindy Weinstein,” Preston said.

“Yeah,” Stewart said, “What a babe… I’m mean that with all due respect.”

“I’m with Mary Jones,” Robert said.

“If I’d known she was gonna turn out…” Stewart said, “I’d, I’d…”

“Been nicer to her,” Robert said.

“Yeah,” Stewart said nervously, “I was a real jerk back in those days, but I’ve changed a lot. I’m not gay.”

“I don’t think that’s even come up yet,” Preston said.

“Well in case it does,” Stewart said, “it’s a rumor. Anybody who knows ole Stew can tell you no different. That is accept for Mary and Cindy… I never, you know…”

“Stewart,” Preston said, “we’re all adults here.”

“Sure,” Stewart swallowed hard, “Not like I didn’t want to because I’m a red-blooded…”

“Straight man,” Robert said.

“Oh yeah,” Stewart said, “straight as an arrow.”

“We can see that,” Preston said.

“You can?” Stewart said. “I mean you can.”

“Aren’t you here with someone?” Robert said.

“Conflicting schedules,” Stewart said.

“Yeah,” Preston said. “That can be a real problem.”

“You’re married, aren’t you?” Robert said.

“Twice,” Stewart said, “I could always get ‘em, but I couldn’t keep em. There’s just too much temptation our there. These younger gals look for a guy like me; set in life and stable and it’s like a challenge for them. And it’s not my nature to be a one woman man. It’s inherited. I’m Italian. Frankly all the chicks I know, currently, would feel out of place here. They‘re too young for this crowd, ya know what I mean?”

“I think we do,” Preston said.

“Yeah,” Robert said. “guys like us talk about the good ole days. Those chicks are still in the good ole days.”

“You got that right, pal,” Stewart said. “I dated one of my son’s ex girl friends. Talk about weird.”

“Yeah,” Preston said. “Like dating one of your daughters.”

“Not that kind of weird,” Stewart said. “But ya know what I mean.”

“You like to dance?” Robert said.

“You got to be kidding me,” Stewart said, “Every babe wanted to dance with Stew.”

“My class is across the hallway,” Robert said. “There’s babe over there that is young at heart. Everybody over there is too old for her. Now mind you, she’s our age, but there’s young blood pumping through those veins. I think you‘re right for each other.”

“That’s me, man!” Stewart said, “that’s where I’m at.”

“Look I got some ole buddies at the bar,” Stewart said. “They was kinduv depending on me to hang out with them, but I’m gonna tell them I’m slipping across the hallway to check out the action over there. I’ll be right with you.” Stewart made his way through the crowd toward the bar.

“I think his two buddies will be glad to see him gone,” Preston said. “What have you got in mind?”

“There’s a gal in my class,” Robert said. “Not such a bad gal, but alone and making a fool of herself right now. She just needs somebody and so does Stewart.”

And that’s how Stewart Sarno and Tina O’Conner met and eventually became Mr. and Mrs. Sarno. Robert and Marry stood with them.

As for Robert and Mary; after Stewart’s and Tina’s wedding they never saw each other again. The important thing was, if not for their chance meeting on an elevator Stewart and Tina would have never met.

The End

 

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Class Reunion – Part 6

(Continued from yesterday.)

Party Crasher

Mary stood motionless, afraid to turn around. She looked at Cindy and Preston as if she was going to need their help to extract her from an uncomfortable situation. It didn’t sound like Stewart Sarno, but that was what she envisioned. Until a few minutes ago she was a self assured business woman, but a few minutes surrounded by her former peers left her alone, afraid, and unsure.

“If I’m right,” Cindy said, “It’s the elevator man.”

“What? Marry said looking at Cindy with disbelief.

“Look,” Cindy said motioning around with her head.

Mary felt blood rush to her head and legs became weak. Her impulse was to hide behind Cindy and Preston.

“I’ve never seen him before,” Cindy said. “He’s good looking.”

Mary turned around. It was Robert. She took a deep breath and stumbled backwards. Preston and Cindy grabbed her arms.

“I’m okay, I’m okay,” Mary said nervously, “I get this way in tall buildings. This is a tall building, isn’t it?”

“I hope I’m not crashing the party,” Robert said.

“This party was a wreck long before you got here,” Cindy said.

“This was the man I told you about on the elevator,” Mary said and introduced Robert to Cindy and Preston.

“This is terribly awkward for me,” Robert said, “but would you at least spend some time with me over at my reunion. There’s an old classmate who insists on dancing with me and if I had someone… No, that’s not true.. well it‘s partially true… but I just want you with me.”

“Just show her to me,” Mary said with feigned anger, “if she gets anywhere near you I’ll punch her lights out.”

“You don’t have to go that far,” Robert said, “but it may be necessary.”

“It sounds like fun,” Mary said.

“Look,” Robert said. “I have an idea and if it doesn’t sound good I’ll understand. I have couple of friends at the other reunion. What do you say we all go out together afterward.”

Cindy and Preston looked approvingly at each other.

“Sure,” Preston said. “I like meeting new people.”

Robert held Mary’s hand. “I can assure you of a good time.”

“Any room without Stewart Sarno is a good time,” Mary said.

“I’ll have to meet this guy sometime,” Robert said. He smiled at Mary. “This means so much to me. I don’t know how I could possibly repay you.”

“I’m the one being rescued,” Mary said. “There’s no way I can repay you.”

“Than let’s keep it that way,” Robert smiled, “we’re indebted to each other.”

And that’s how Mary and Robert met.

That’s hardly the end to the story.

(Continued tomorrow.)

 

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Class Reunion – Part 5

(Continued from yesterday.)

Mary Meets an Old Friend

“Hey, hey, Mary. It’s Cindy Weinstein.”

“Cindy!” Mary said. “Look at you, you’re still blonde.”

“And thin!” Cindy said.

“You sure look better than the two heifers at the door,” Mary said.

“You mean Melissa and Carla,” Cindy said. “They tried to send me across the hallway to another class reunion.”

“So are you up for this?” Mary said.

“Forget them,” Cindy said. “What about you, haven’t seen you sense graduation.”

“Yeah,” Mary said. “We kind of lost contact. I never thought that would happen.”

“Me too,” Cindy said. “You don’t know how many times I thought about getting in touch. What are you doing and where are you living?”

“Well,” Mary said. “Single, human resource manager for a hospital in New York, and I have small home on Long Island. What about you?”

“I married a rancher from Montana,” Cindy said. “Got six kids a 15 hundred head of cattle. I wished we hand less kids and more cattle.”

“A ranch in Montana!” Mary said. “How’d that happen?”

“Well,” Cindy said happily. “Went to college in Chicago, got knocked up by a gorgeous senior whose dad owned a 20 thousand acres in Montana. I’m living the dream.”

“Is you hunk with you?” Mary said.

“He’ll be here in awhile,” Cindy said. “His name is Preston, but they call him Tree. You’ll see what I mean; he’ll be the one in boots and a cowboy hat. He’s 7 foot with his hat and boots.”

Mary laughed.

“No,” Cindy said, “he’s around 6’6” in his socks.”

“You bring the kids,” Mary said.

“Are you kidding me,” Cindy said. “Between the cow shit under their finger nails and competitive farting we thought we might leave them at home with grandpa, after all he’s the influence for their uncouth behavior.”

“Sounds like you have an interesting life,” Mary said.

“That’s an understatement,” Cindy said.

“Boys and girls?” Mary said.

“Three each,” Cindy said and smiled softly. “They’re great kids. I named one of them Mary.”

“I hope she’s not shy like I used to be,” Mary said.

“She!” Cindy said. “That’s one of the boys.”

They laughed and chatted. Until cowboy boots and cowboy hat walked up. He had a smile as wide as a Montana sky.

“I’m Preston,” he said.

“Yeah,” Mary said, “I figured that out.”

“Oh,” Preston said, “the boots and the hat.”

“No,” Mary said, “I smelled the cow shit as soon as you walked in.”

Preston grinned at Mary. “I thought you said nobody here would talk like us. She’s practically family.

Cindy introduced them and they continued to talk.

“Your husband with you?” Preston said.

“I’m not married,” Mary said.

“Ya want me ta cut the herd and find ya something,? Preston said motioning to the crowd. “I’m a good judge of cowhands. Come to think of it they all look soft. Not enough time on the range.”

“You two are so improbable,” Mary said. “Cindy when did you know.”

“When I missed my period,” Cindy said.

“Seriously,” Mary said, “when?”

“I had a good idea when we first talked,” Cindy said. “Like in five minutes.”

“What about you, Preston?” Mary said.

“Well after I stalked her for a week,” Preston smiled. “It was the same five minutes. I hopped on an elevator just to get near her and talk to her. Just to get close to her.”

“Elevator,” Mary said.

“Yeah,” Cindy said, “we first met on an elevator.”

“It’s strange,” Mary said. “I got on the elevator an hour ago. There was this guy who got on it with me. It was kind and sweet and very handsome. We talked on the ride up. We both thought we were going to the same reunion. His was across the hallway. I felt like I knew every thing about him. Did you guys have that connection?”

“If ya want me to,” Preston said. “Just give me a good description and I’ll go over there and bring him back for ya.”

“Mary Jones,” a voice said from behind Mary.

(Continued tomorrow.)

 

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Class Reunion – Part 4

Mary’s Class

(Continued from yesterday.)
Mary Jones wore a smile as she stepped into the Seascape Banquet Room. It was a pleasant and amusing encounter.

Next to the door at a card table was Melissa Perkins and Carla Webster.

“Is your husband in our class?” Melissa said.

“Still not the brightest bulb on the tree are you?” Mary said. “I’m Mary Jones.”

“Are you sure you got the right room?” Carla said. “Central is having their reunion across the hallway.”

“Nor were you the sharpest pencil in the box,” Mary said. “And please no more stupid comments, I only have two stupid metaphors to use.”

Carla paged through a binder. “Oh here you are. You haven’t changed, not even your hair style.”

“And dress,” Melissa added and snickered.

“Yeah,” Mary said. “All my cloths still fit me.”

They handed her a name tag. Mary started to pin it on.

“Let me take care of that.”

It was Stewart Kirkendall, the class hunk and now the class chunk.

“You’re getting no where near my breast,” Mary said.

“It’s now or later,” Stewart said.

“Handle your own,” Mary said. “You got enough.”

“You were always a pathetic skank,” Stewart said. “We tried to pay Harold Phillips to go out with you.”

Mary smiled broadly and shoved Stewart playfully in the chest. “I support you 100% Stewart. This is as good of a night as any to come out. Be proud you’re gay.”

Stewart looked around to see who heard what Mary said. At least 10 people turned and stared at him.

“I’m not really…” Stewart stuttered. “Mary was just kidding. We all remember what a great sense of humor she had, right!”

Mary looked at everyone. “Offered him the key to my room; said that ain’t for him anymore.”

Mary walked to the other side of the room. She watched Stewart try to explain things, but many were already congratulating him for his courage.

She stood for awhile and automatically assumed the pose she found herself in many years ago, blending into the surroundings. She almost felt herself shrivel.

Suddenly she felt pathetic just as Stewart said.

She thought about the man she just met, Robert and hoped it was going better for him. She thought that before she withers away why not go across the hallway and find Robert.

(Continued tomorrow.)

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Class Reunion – Part 3

(Continued from yesterday.)

Just An Old Friend

“Robert,’ Peggy said. “You’ve probably have heard this a dozen times tonight, but you have not changed one bit.”

“Well,” Robert said. “Not in those exact words, but the sentiments were expressed in one fashion or another.”

“I remember you,” Peggy said. “There is something behind those words that are witty.”

“Yep,” Robert said.

“Robert,” Peggy said, “this is my husband Dan.”

They shook hands.

“So you’re the guy that broke my little Peggy’s heart,” Dan said.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Robert said. “I… Oh yeah. I almost forgot. I was supposed to pick Peggy up and take her bowling with a few friends and my car broke down.”

“So it must have been true,” Peggy said.

“Sure it was true,” Robert said.

“You got to be kidding me,” Peggy said, “after all these years I thought you made that all up cause you didn’t want to go out with me.”

“Frankly,” Robert said, “I thought you sounded relieved I wasn’t coming.”

“That was my hard to get voice,” Peggy said.

They chatted for five minutes; laughing and reminiscing.

“Where is your wife?” Peggy said, “or are you alone.”

“Never been married and I’m alone,” Robert said, “but don’t feel sorry for me. I have a good life. I’m doing okay. I’m a business owner and Bernie Sarno wants me to hire him.”

They laughed.

“Look, Robert,” Dan said. “Peggy has said so many good things about you, I feel as if I know you.” He turned to Peggy. “Don’t you think my sister, Kate, and him would make a good couple?”

“Dan!” Peggy said, “that’s bold and rude, but they would make a good couple.”

“I’m fine,” Robert said. “Really, I appreciate it.”

“You’re not gay are you?” Peggy said.

“No,” Robert said.

“Peggy!” Dan said, “that’s not the kind of question you ask.”

“Well I was afraid I was the one who made him that way,” Peggy said.

“Which I’m not,” Robert added. “Let’s make sure that’s on record.”

“There’s some other people I want to catch up with,” Peggy said. “Do you mind visiting for a while on you own, but before the night is over perhaps we can go some place for a meal?”

“Sure,” Robert said, “but if you don’t see me don’t worry about it.”

“Don’t talk that way,” Dan said, “we would really like to spend some time with you.”

“What if I bring Tina O’Conner,” Robert nodded to the dance floor where Tina was dancing badly with one drink in her hand.

“I don’t think you will be able to get her off the dance floor,” Dan said.

“For a free meal I can,” Robert said.

“What did I tell you?” Peggy said. “Next to you, the funniest guy I know.”

“It was either me or Don Rickles,” Dan said.

Peggy and Dan blended into the crowd and Robert headed for the exit.

(Continued tomorrow.)

 

 

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Class Reunion – Part 2

Robert Meets Peggy

(Continued from yesterday.)

Robert entered the Highlands Banquet Room. He smiled at faces familiar to him but those faces looked back at him as if they were trying to say, ‘Do I know you?’ and ‘Were you in our class?’ or ‘You must be married to someone in our class because I have no clue who you are.’

Robert thought the bar would be a good place to start. As he made he way to the bar there was a reception table with two women sitting behind it.

“Let us give you a badge,” one said.

“What is your name,” the other said.

“Smith,” Robert said. “Robert Smith.”

“You’ve really changed,” one said.

The other went through a file box of badges. She pulled one out. It had his name on it and his senior class photo. She handed it to Robert. She pulled it back, looked at the picture, and looked at Robert. “How did you do it?”

“Do what?” Robert said.

“You haven’t changed,” she said. “Just the zit is gone.”

“Robert smiled. “You should have seen me a week ago; I still had it.”

“Go mix with your classmates and have a good time,” she said.

“Thanks,” Robert said and steered toward the bar.

“What will it be?” the bartender said.

“Just a club soda with lime,” Robert said.

A friendly chubby face next to Robert said, “Bernie Sarno, class clown. You recovering too?”

Robert seemed confused.

“The club soda and lime,” Bernie said. “The preferred drink of all well-to-do recovering alcoholics everywhere. Me? I’m off the wagon for the weekend. Somehow the size of the party and the amount of booze has to be in relationship with the other.”

“I never knew that,” Robert said.

Bernie went on as if Robert said nothing. “So what’s your racket, Robert?”

“I’m in manufacturing,” Robert said. “I own Smith Machining in Batavia. What about you, Bernie?”

“Kinda making a career shift at the moment,” Bernie said. “I’ve always been in sales… Hey, you wouldn’t need a salesman would you? I can sell sand to an Arab.”

“Actually,” Robert said. “We’re expanding in Asia. So what I really need is a guy who can sell tea to a Chinaman.” Robert walked away before Bernie had an opportunity to answer.

Three steps beyond Bernie was slightly overweight woman. She was sort of dancing. “Remember me?” she said.

Robert immediately remembered her. They had a hand full of classes together and she was at least partly responsible for his shyness. She was cruel and unkind. She flirted with him for several weeks and luridly asked him to ask her out. “Louder,” she said several times until nearly everyone in at the next table in the cafeteria could her and finally she said. “No way, you’re to loud. I like soft-spoken guys.”

“Aren’t you Louie Templeton?” she said. “We won a dance contest together. Tina O’Conner, best dancer. Still got the moves.”

“Yes and there’s a lot more to move,” Robert said and darted to the balcony overlooking the city. He stood for a long time looking out over the lighted city and wondering why he ever came.

He turned back to all the laughter and gayety inside knowing that he never really quite belonged and suddenly there she was, Peggy Allen and with her an average looking guy. He and Robert could have been brothers. As if drawn by magnetism Peggy turned to the balcony. She smiled broadly and led the man with her onto the balcony.

(Continued tomorrow.)

 

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Romancing Ted – Part 5

Conspiracy

(Continued from yesterday.)

There she was, Lisa. She walked slowly toward him

“Lisa,” Ted said. “Is that you?”

“Yes,” Lisa said. “It’s been a while.” She smiled.

“I see you got your braces removed,” Ted said.

“And I’m not in my flannels either,” Lisa said.

“I don’t know what to say,” Ted said.

“This is the most foolish thing I’d ever done,” Lisa said. “But let me explain.” She moved closer.

They hugged and Ted held her hands.

“When my father moved us I was sick for weeks,” Lisa said.

“Me too,” Ted said.

“But I thought about you every day,” Lisa said. “I wanted to come back here so many times, but was afraid of having my heart broken.”

Ted smiled and was almost driven to tears.

“After I left home I went to college and immersed myself into my studies and then my career,” Lisa said. “There was no time for romance. But I kept you tucked away in my thoughts. You were my romantic lead in all my fantasies. I wondered what you looked like and what you were doing.”

“Well,” Ted said. “College, married, divorced, one girl, and a junior high principle. That’s about it. What about you?”

“I’m a human resource director at a hospital in Denver,” Lisa said. Her eyes looked beyond Ted and over the pond.

“There is something more,” Ted said.

“A doctor has asked me to marry him,” Lisa said. “And I told him I had to have a week to think about it.”

“And that’s why you’re here,” Ted said confused.

“It does sound rather childish,” Lisa said. “But when I spoke with your mother, Arlene, she told me you were now single…”

“And lonely,” Ted interrupted.

“Yes,” Lisa said. “And I wanted to either close a chapter in my life and open a new one or go back and complete the one never finished.”

Ted was silent. His lips quivered as if he wanted to speak.

“Pretty stupid?” Lisa said.

“That last few days I have thought about nothing, but you,” Ted said. “Here’s something a little more stupid; call your doctor and tell him no.”

“I’ve did that before I left Denver,” Lisa said. “Now what do we do next?”

“Let’s have dinner someplace,” Ted said. “I’ll call my mom and tell her I’m eating out. After we eat I’d like to bring you by to meet my mother and daughter.”

“Your mother and I already met,” Lisa said.

“How long has this all been in the works?” Ted said.

“Your mother and I have talked all week,” Lisa said. “She picked me up at the airport.”

“I think this is going to be an interesting diner,” Ted said.

They walked toward Ted’s car.

“Where’s your car?” Ted said.

“I don’t have one,” Lisa said.

“How did you get out here?” Ted said.

“Mrs. Crowley drove me,” Lisa said.

The End

 

 

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