Knowing When To Say No


I should have said ‘No,’ right from the start. I should have said ‘No,’ a dozen times along the way. I’ve always been a sucker for a pretty woman with a sweet voice, and I said ‘Yes.’ One too many times I said ‘Yes,’ and all along it was leading to me standing with my knees shaking and my pulse racing and the cold sweat of fear threatening to break on my brow.Certainly, I was safe for the moment, as long as she didn’t see me, as long as she didn’t make the connection. I watched her from across the room, dreading to see her face. It was bad enough thinking about the things she might believe about me. It was bad enough knowing the things she had done. And yet the least of my fears were coming true.She was hideous.Twice, she almost turned enough for me to see her face. Her nose was grotesquely long, and her jaw seemed to hang. The alabaster tones of her skin were marred with streaks as red as blood. The thought of kissing her made my stomach churn.I had said ‘Yes,’ one too many times.”Is that Julie?” a sweet voice asked from behind me, and I nearly jumped out of my skin. I turned quickly. The pretty woman I saw was nearly laughing at me. Unlike nearly everyone else around us, she was dressed in bright colors. “Wow, aren’t you jumpy!” she laughed.Getting control of myself, I said, “I’m pretty sure that’s Julie over there.” The woman I pointed at was dressed as Death, with the perfect shadow of a skull done in makeup on her face, a long black cloak, and of course, a large reaping blade.The woman before me looked surprised. “Oh, I think you’re right,” she gasped. Turning back to the first woman, she said, “Then that must be Gretchen. Have you seen her up close? Her makeup is amazing, and I totally didn’t recognize her.”The alleged Gretchen turned towards us as she talked with her friends, and I was able to breathe a sigh of double relief. First of all, I had to agree that it was Gretchen. Second, her makeup clearly marked her as a ghoul, so she wasn’t the woman I was looking for. Her long, straight, dark hair had tricked me– I was looking for Morticia Addams.===It had all started with a phone call. I shouldn’t have answered.When my wife and I had been actively swinging, she became close friends with several of the women we met. She had become very close with our friend Kay, and had even signed on to be a replacement god-mother to Kay’s youngest daughter. When Kay called my cell phone, I had no choice but to answer.She tried to start out with a cheerful tone, but she heard in my tone that I wasn’t up for that. She shifted into apologies. She was sad that she hadn’t called sooner, and sorry she hadn’t tried harder to be there for me. I’d had this conversation too many times. I reminded her that she had a husband and a family. I reminded her that my grief needed isolation, not smothering. She sighed, and we let it go.She finally got to the point of her call. There was a necklace that my wife had promised to give to Kay’s daughter when she turned eighteen. With all that had happened, with the funeral and all, we had missed that birthday. Kay was hoping that I still had the necklace, and that I would still let her daughter have it. She was hoping I would deliver it. People Anadolu yakası escort bayan were gathered for her daughter’s nineteenth birthday, and she was hoping I would deliver the necklace right away.I’m a sucker for a pretty woman with a sweet voice. I said, ‘Yes.’That next hour had been every bit as bad as I feared it would be. People still give me that look. It’s a horrible thing to endure. It’s okay to see their sympathy, their recognition of my loss and their own. But then the suspicion starts to pinch their eyes as they try to decide just how true the rumors are. That’s the part I can’t take– knowing that people who used to be my friends might believe a single one of the rumors.I smiled, gave Kay’s daughter the necklace, and then fled as quickly as I could. I wasn’t quick enough.Our friend Mary caught me on the way to my car. She demanded a hug, and then gave me a kiss that wouldn’t have gone over well in front of the vanilla people at the party.”So how are you really doing?” she asked with a sympathetic smile. When I didn’t answer fast enough, she added, “John, you need to get out more. Do you know what you need? You need to come to our Halloween party.”I should have said ‘No.’ “Your parties are for couples and single women only,” I reminded her. “I no longer qualify.”She gave me a confident smile. She knew she had me. “I have the perfect date for you, so you have to come. She’ll be dressed as Morticia, and I want you to be Frankenstein’s monster. You have to make me a promise, though. Promise you won’t leave until you kiss her.”I should have said ‘No.’===The woman beside me started to giggle. I turned to look, and she was laughing at me.”Tell me Mary didn’t set this up,” she laughed. “You and I are the only ones not dressed as monsters, and we’re practically dressed as a couple!”It took me a moment, and then I smiled with her. I had planned on being incognito as I checked out my blind date, but I still intended to make Mary happy by wearing the Frankenstein costume. I wasn’t going to put on the mask or the platform boots until I had spied on my date. I was wearing some football style shoulder pads under an over-sized black t-shirt to give myself some bulk.The woman in front of me was wearing a bright yellow shirt with black stripes. She had whistle on a lanyard around her neck, and in the back pocket of her skin-tight shorts, she had a set of yellow, red and black paddles. The front of her shirt was ripped down the middle, showing flesh most of the way to her navel. Her lacy black bra nicely displayed her breasts.Our sports didn’t match, but it was sure looked like I was a ball player and she was a sexy referee. Everyone else at the party was dressed as monsters. I had to laugh with her.Although it was obvious, it took me until that moment to realize that absolutely everyone else at the party had dressed as monsters. I quickly scanned the crowd, looking to see if the monsters would save me from the fear that still existed just out of sight.Mary had planned well, and there was no salvation in sight. I had hoped to see another Frankenstein, but I was going to be the only one there. I still had to meet Escort Kurtköy the dreaded Morticia.===I was already worried about my blind date when my phone rang. I had just opened the package from Mary that contained the elaborate costume she wanted me to wear, and I wasn’t sure that I was willing to wear it to the blind date, even if it was awesome.I saw it was Brent calling, and I struggled to decide if I should answer or not. He is a well known trouble maker, and anything he had to say would bother me. I shouldn’t have answered.”Hey brother, how ya doin’,” he called out. He wasn’t my brother, and his over-blown chumminess always annoyed me. I had a pretty good idea why he had called, and his tone all but confirmed my suspicion.”Brent. It’s been a while,” I answered. “What’s up?””Hey, my friend, I heard Mary has set you up on a date,” he boasted. “I just wanted to make sure you knew who Morticia is, just so you don’t get caught off guard.””I’m sure Mary knows what she’s doing,” I answered. There was no way I was going to take his bait.”It’s Holly Berry, the woman who sounds famous,” he said incredulously. “Mary has to be crazy to put you two together!”.”I know I can trust Mary,” I said solidly, and then I all but hung up on him.I didn’t trust Mary at all.My lack of trust was well placed. It didn’t take long to go outside our group of swinger friends and find a friend of a friend who knew Holly’s story.For more than a year, I had been enduring horrible rumors being spread about me. This woman, Holly, had actually done worse things than I had been accused of, and she had gotten away with it.The rumors around me were the product of pointless gossip. It was bad enough for me that my wife had died quickly. She had waited too long to see a doctor when she had an extended bout of not feeling well, but it was already too late. It seemed like a matter of days that she went from not feeling well, to being unable to catch her breath, to dying of lung cancer. She had never smoked a day in her life, and there were no answers to the questions I was too devastated to ask.The first rumor was that I had somehow poisoned her. My critics felt that was the only explanation for her quick death.Then came the rumors about my obvious motive. It was just happenstance that I had changed jobs a couple of months before her illness and death. My new job had pretty good benefits, but life insurance wasn’t one of them. I found a pretty good deal on life insurance for me. It was even cheaper if I gave my wife equal coverage. My critics never cared about those facts. They only cared that I had bought really good life insurance for my wife just months before she died.The things that the woman, Holly, had done were far worse. And she got away with them.Her husband was a truck driver. He died in a wreck when the brakes on his truck failed while driving through the mountains.She was a highly skilled amateur mechanic, and it would have been easy for her to sabotage the brakes in an undetectable way.Somehow, she managed to scam the bank, and her mortgage was paid off early.She may not have managed that as cleanly as she would have liked. The manager of her small Maltepe escort town bank mysteriously committed suicide. For some reason, he intentionally destroyed a bunch of records first, and even the feds were having a hard time figuring out what happened. He lived only two miles from that woman. It was obvious there was a connection, but she was never implicated.I had to trust Mary, but the worry ate at me every day leading up to the party.===The pretty referee gave me a worried look.”Are you okay?” she asked. She was all smiles again as she said, “I don’t know that I’ve ever met a man who was as nervous about monsters as you are.”Suddenly, she took a deep breath to lift and display her breasts, and she stepped in close to smile up at me as she placed her hand on my chest.”When I get nervous, I tend to laugh and talk too much,” she confided with a big smile. She forced herself not to laugh as she added, “I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m feeling a bit nervous myself. I don’t suppose you’d be willing to help me out, would you?”She was too pretty, and her voice was too sweet. “What can I do to help?” I gallantly asked.She glanced at my name tag.”Well, Tom, if Carol won’t mind…” she started. It took me a moment to realize she meant me and my wife.  Our name tags had our spouse’s name written under our own.”She won’t mind at all,” I promised.She almost frowned.”Tom, has Carol ever asked you to take one for the team?” she wondered.It’s amazing how such a simple question can create so many waves of emotions. At first, I almost smiled, because the fictitious Carol had never asked for anything. Sadly, my wife had pushed the limits on our rules a couple of times in asking me to play with someone I wasn’t attracted to. I had to carefully school my face to keep the darkness of loss from showing, and then I had to fight not to frown as I wondered for the thousandth time how unattractive Morticia/Holly was.I glanced at the woman’s name tag as I struggled to answer.”Well, Kathy, I guess she has,” I managed. “And if you’re that worried about something Mark has asked you to do, maybe I should have a talk with him.”She glanced at her own name tag before she answered.”I see that you do understand,” she said. She almost frowned. “Maybe if Mark were here, I wouldn’t be in this mess.” Out of nowhere, the winning smile returned on her face. “You promised to help me with my problem,” she reminded me. “Let me tell you how you’re going to help me.””I sort of lost a bet, you see,” she said in a conspiratorial tone. At the same time, her hand on my chest slid up and her thumb caressed my neck. Between her flaunted breasts and her casual touch, I was surprised to feel myself getting aroused.”I don’t really have to ‘take one for the team’ to make good on my debt,” she said in a breathy voice, “but I’m too horny for my own good, and as long as the guy isn’t a complete slug, if he makes a pass at me, I’d probably do anything.”I wasn’t able to speak as she leaned in to press her nose against my neck. She took in my scent as her nose slid up my jaw. Her eyes were closed when she finally pulled away. Her lips were barely not touching mine. She smiled as her eyes slowly opened.”You’ll help me out, won’t you?” she teased. “We don’t have much time, because I have to meet him soon, but if you escorted me into that room over there, we could have a quick little tryst to help me take the edge off. If you help me take with that, I can go meet him, settle the debt, and then we could pick up where we left off.”

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