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I live for the moment when I hear that whimper in her throat at our very first deep kiss. Her breathing getting heavier, catches with each gentle caress, touch, stroke, of her sensitive places, I wait for those words she will not speak…, yet.
Catherine Chapter 10
Entering the building, waving my ID to Amos, as I pass his desk. Then its back to the cafeteria for a large coffee I’ll take up to the class room, where I see John at the coffee bar doing the same.
“She’s married, isn’t she,” John asking.
An not at all surprised that he would ask me that, as I told Catherine, he hardly took his eyes off her, so he had to have seen her wedding ring too.
Yes she is John.” Answering truthfully. “But there’s a whole lot more to that, which I won’t go into,” telling him.
With that John turns to me, “Yeah, there usually is more to it,” he’s telling me. “An that’s where someone usually gets very hurt, like maybe you Bob.” John’s warning.
With that, an capping my coffee cup, John follows along with me in silence until we reach the bank of elevator doors where John stops, an where I continue to the doors to the stair well as John calls after me, “You’re not taking the elevator again,” he’s asking. “I keep wondering why you do it the hard way,” he says.
“John,” looking back at him, “I’m a Marine John, we always do things the hard way. If they were easy, anyone could do them — except you.” saying back to him. “An that’s why when shit hits the fan anywhere in the world, the first thing a President ask is, “Where are the marines?”
John laughing, giving me the finger, as the elevator doors open. Where this suite steps out, an seeing John flipping me the bird, looks at John like he was going to say something to him, but first looks to me, then back to see John already in the elevator car with the doors closing.
Then him coming towards me, ” You know that guy,” his asking me.
“Yeah, I know him, he’s kindergarten drop out, so the limited vocabulary,” telling him. Then pulling open the door to the stair well, to sprint up the steps to the seventh floor, usually getting there before John, and his elevator except for today.
But John’s words will come back to me often. Along with hearing other things I wish I didn’t.
But up until break, the time has passed pretty quick because we’re into things Frank doesn’t have to ramble over one thing or another. But the time from morning break to hearing Frank’s, “We’ll stop for lunch now.” Seems to have taken far longer than usual!
An grabbing my jacket off the coat rack at Frank’s usual words about lunch, I’m out the door taking the stairs all the way to the ground floor, an out the 18th street exit. Where it’s a fast walk, taking me pass the entrance to the parking lot, waving to Mister Willis, who’s standing outside his shack as I go by.
An making the light at the cross walk to the plaza, an passing around the frozen fountain, to wait at the top of the plaza steps that lead down to a cross walk, and Catherine’s building across the street. Where I’ll wait, and walk with her to the deli.
But thinking better of it, maybe I should go on and get us a table, the place can get crowded around lunch time.
But on entering the deli I’m surprised to see it’s not crowded at all. An the table I want, the one she and I shared the last time, is already occupied. So taking another one near the windows — better to see her when she walks by.
But after reading over the menu board for today’s specials, then the menu in my hand, it’s just watching the people, and the traffic going by outside. But when hearing the girl behind the counter calling someones name, and being the people watcher I am, it’s looking to see who it is that comes to retrieve their order. Only to realize the person approaching the counter is someone I saw come in many minutes after I sat down.
An just as I pick up my phone, it begins buzzing in my hand — it’s Catherine’s number displayed. Answering it with, “Hello you.” Where I hear, “Hi, it’s me…, where are you,” she’s asking.
“Well, I’m sitting in the 13th and Arch Street Deli, waiting for a girl named Catherine to show up and have lunch with me. Where are you,” my asking her now.
“Bobby, I can’t make lunch,” she telling me. “But can you meet me in front of my building as soon as you can get here,” it’s her asking now.
“Sure Catherine, but what’s up?”
“Bob, it’s been one of those mornings, but what I need to tell you, I’ll wait till you get here.” Where my senses light up with, uh-oh, this can’t be good!
“Alright Catherine, I’ll be there as soon as I can,” my replying.
Where it’s her, “Okay, bye.” As she drops the call. Where I’m up, an out the door at the same time putting on my jacket, heading to the corner where I’ll cross over, so I can be on her building’s side of the street when I get there.
At the pace I’m going it’s just a few minutes before I’m standing on the sidewalk bakırköy escort looking up the the steps she’ll be coming down.
Where it’s only another minute when the doors at the entrance open with three people exiting, followed by Catherine with her purse strap over her shoulder an wrapping her scarf around her neck. An doesn’t see me until she’s almost to the top step, when is a wave to me, as she quickly descends to stop in front to me.
“Bobby, lets walk,” she says.
But it’s only after we’ve walked for almost half a block in silence that she hooks her left arm around my right arm, which eases much of the anxiety I’ve been feeling because of her long silence.
“What’s happened, are you alright Catherine,” asking her.
“Bob, it’s been one of those mornings,” she says. “We had a server crash almost as soon as I walked into the office. Which has things really bogged down,” she says. An going on. “They replaced three with two because these new ones were supposed to have greater capacity, faster and more reliable — supposedly capable of handling everything if one goes down too,” she’s telling me. “But, we’re finding out their ability to handle a one server outage just isn’t there,” her sounding frustrated
“So we’ve been struggling along with just the one operable, while waiting for the I.T. people to get a tech here,” she’s telling me. “It seems the failure is in the power supply. And the closest replacement is two hours away — it’s been three hours we’ve been waiting for it,” venting her frustration. “But that’s not the only thing,” she says.
“Wow, sounds like you’ve had quite a morning. It’s no wonder you’re not hungry Catherine.” Sympathizing with her.
“Bobby it’s not just the server outage,” she’s saying now. “About a half hour ago I got a call from Jon — he’s on his way home. So I can’t stay with you, I’m sorry,” her apology.
Trying to hide my disappointment, but it comes out anyway, “Yeah!” Along with a deep sigh of my frustration.
“Bobby, that phone call this morning, while you were fooling around with me. I asked him about a problem being fixed, ” her reminding me. “The problem was with a plumbing supplier — they had a major fire at their warehouse that destroyed everything,” she explains.
“Jon’s been scrambling to find another, preferably a local supplier there, that can get them the exact same fixtures the original supplier partially delivered and installed,” she’s telling me.” But they haven’t had any luck so far. An that’s why Jon is coming home to work with his brothers, and his father on a new bid to put out for a supplier who can,” she says. “So the project is on temporary hold until that’s solved. It’s happened before, supply problems,” her saying now.
“Bobby…,” she says. “I’m so sorry, I really wanted to be with you!” Where I can her the disappointment in her voice too.
“It’s alright Catherine, shit happens, I’m used to dealing with it,” telling her.
“It comes with many of the things I do — mainly the Marine Corps. An like I already told you, it’s what eventually led to the divorce — that unexpected shit happening — like longer than expected deployments.”
“Anyway, maybe this is a good thing too Catherine — Jon coming home unexpectedly,” saying now.
“Bobby why would you say that? I certainly wasn’t expecting it!” Her surprised at what I just said.
“Catherine, when you left the parking lot this morning I went back to the cafeteria to get some coffee to take up to my classroom. John was there doing the same thing,” telling her. “An while we’re standing there fixing our coffee he says to me, “She’s married isn’t she?”
“I told him yes you were, but there was more to it that I wouldn’t talk about.” Is what I told him him. “Yeah, there usually is,” he says. Where someone gets hurt — maybe you,” he’s telling me.
“Exactly meaning me Catherine.” Finishes what I was telling her.
“Wait Catherine…, please,” my interrupting her.
“Catherine, it snapped me out of my dream world I’d been living in since I met you. An the reality of what…, what’s been happening. This…, what ever it is we have…, and how far and fast its gone.”
“An now Catherine…,” My going on. “With your husband coming back home, plus the issues you’re dealing with today. Along with the events you have this coming this weekend,” stating what’s she told me. “An with me going to Virginia to see Erin’s school play,” reminding her of that
“Plus…,” going on. “With you having to be in D.C. most of next week. An even your plans with your friends next weekend too Catherine.”
“Which…,” adding more. “I think I told you, happens to be a reserve weekend for me too. Where I’ll be leaving that Friday afternoon — it’s a refresher in winter whether operations. Damn, how I hate that cold stuff!” Expressing more of my frustration.
“Anyway, all of this will give both of us some time to re-think başakşehir escort whats been happening between us,” telling her.
“Hell, these past weeks, and especially these last few days, have been the most exciting, and wonderful time I’ve had in…, God, I don’t know how long now.” A bit of reminiscing.
“Catherine…, I stuck my foot in my mouth when I told you how I feel, and it’s the God’s honest truth,” My being honest. “An saying that, I really think this, us, need to take a step back. Go back to the life you were living before — seeing your friends…, all of them! An I’ll do the same,” telling her that too.
That…, hurt! But the truth.
“So…, maybe it’s best if you, me don’t talk to each other until after my Reserve weekend, if after what I’ve already said; — you would even want to.” At last finishing.
“Bobby…,” Catherine saying now. “First of all I want you to know I don’t regret one damn thing I’ve done with you,” she’s telling me. “Yes, I’m certainly married! But what I do outside of my marriage with my friends, or anybody else for that matter, I’ve never regretted, or felt guilty for it…, except one time,” she says.
One time… which? My thought.
“An how I feel about you,” her saying now. “well, I can’t explain it. Just like I couldn’t last night.” Her admission. “I made a mistake when I married Jon, and so did he…, and he knows it too,” she says. “It’s been more of a marriage of convince for him — keeping up appearances for his family an the business,” she says.
“As far as my friends go…, all of them,” she says. “Where this kind of situation has arisen before, where it’s been just a change of plans. An if it’s crossed your mind how I’ve dealt with it — Bobby I don’t lie,” she says.
“If Jon were to ever ask point blank about where I go, who I see and what I do — I’d tell him the truth. And let things fall where they may — but he never has. So if you’re wondering if he already knows…, well, if he does, he has never, ever hinted about it,” she’s telling me. “So I go about my life the way I want to…, seeing the people, and doing the things I like,” she says.
“But damn you Swaggart!” Her cursing me. “You’ve mess that all up!” her admission at last. “So…, about that weekend,” her going on now. “I was going to call, and tell them I’ve had to make a change of plans. Because honestly, Jon may still be home,” she says.
“What he, the company has to do, is going to take some time to work out. But I just might go, and see them anyway — Jon would probably be to busy and distracted to notice,” she says. “Plus I haven’t seen both of them at the same…, in awhile.
Catching that, “at the same,” hick-up, she didn’t finish saying. It was her almost saying, “both, at the same time.” But she has seen, “HIM.” alone. My remembering our lunch, and the text she got from, “HIM.”
An I miss it and…, everything else with them too,” she says. Breaking into my thought at my hearing that last part about them.
“So I’ll do what you’ve asked Bob, an not call you,” she’s telling me. “And I might not the following week either,” saying now. “Maybe we do need to step back — get back into the lives we led before we met.”
“Before we met,” she says. Did that sound final?
“Sure Catherine,” replying. That cloud of condensing breath, betrays the the deep sigh I was trying to hide from her.
“Oh,” saying now. “I don’t know if you’ve had time to check your email’s Catherine, you know, with every thing thats been going on this morning, because I I sent you one. It’s my address, and some directions on how to get to my house. Just in case you got hung up at work with…, like what’s happened…, today.” Just saying…, you know, what ever.”
Not that it would have made any difference now — thinking it to my self.
Our walk and conversation has taken us back through the plaza, where we’re standing at the top of the steps that lead from the plaza down to the crosswalk to the other side of the street to her building.
An feeling like my world has just crashed in flames an this is, might be, but hoping not, the last time I’ll ever see her.
“Good Bye Bob,” she’s saying.
“Good bye Catherine,” my reply.
Then watch her walk down the steps, where she waits for the crossing light to change, then she’s up the steps to disappear through the doors of her building. Along with my thought, John Wearing, I ought to toss your ratty ass out one of those seventh floor windows!
Tonight’s class, I was glad it was cut short, my mind just wasn’t with it — just like this afternoon’s in class. Where I hardly said anything to John. Not that I was upset with him for what he said, just the truth of it! And I don’t think tomorrow is going to be any better either.
I’ve thought about calling Catherine tonight to apologize, but with her husband home she might not be able to talk — if she even wanted to. So I put that bayrampaşa escort thought aside, and try to concentrate on this paper I’m writing.
The clock on my bedside table reads, 2:am, and I’m still wide awake! So getting up its back into the den where I clear out the emails, pay some bills, write myself a few notes about picking up some articles, and, a couple of books at the library on my way home tomorrow.
Then it’s going over a check list of thing I’ll need to take with me the following weekend. I won’t change anything in my, “bug out bag,” yet. I’ll wait on doing that until Wednesday, or Thursday of next week to do it — the whether forecast should be more accurate.
Also hoping they’ll leave out the damn snow that’s now in the north west part of the country and predicted to be moving our way. That will mean extra thermals, and warm socks if it gets here. So I’ll be reminding the guys to throw some in their gear too.
Thursdays’ class has gone better than I thought it would. The material we covered went better than Frank thought. So a lot of time got diverted to war stories and bull shit. An break time, I spent it looking out the window at the tenth floor of the IIG building, counting half way in from the right, hoping the window I see is her office an wondering, what are you doing right now Catherine Parker.
But the sound of voices and the scraping of chairs being moved pulls me back to reality — here, in the classroom.
Lunch time, I just took a long walk by myself — walking helps clear my mind. Running does it better. I’ll be doing a lot of that over the next ten days, or maybe longer. Especially after next weekend if she doesn’t, or even does. depends on what, or if she…? So I may be in the market for a couple more pairs of running shoes.
My thoughts go to Ryan, but I don’t know where she is.
When she’s home, it’s her who usually calls me when she gets back from where ever she’s been with no ceremony asking, “Want to fuck,” she usually says. She, is a hell of good time, whether we fuck or not.
I had to put her off the last time she called because of Catherine. But I’d still put her off even though this thing with Catherine may have gone south. I would never use Ryan, or any woman like that.
My daughter, and I had spent Saturday trying to track down this book I’ve been looking for. It’s full of personal experiences and anecdotes written by people with first hand experience in the events that happened during the Civil War. Where I planed to use it as a reference, and quote from it in writing this next paper I’ll be doing.
I was thinking the libraries there, or in some of the local towns around that part of Virginia would have a copy of it. Seeing as how there was so much fighting around that part of the state. Hell one town changed hands seven times during the Civil War. But I had to stop my search because we had to be back in time to get Erin ready for her school play.
The play was a comedy version of “Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs.” Erin played the part of Snow White. It was funny, and the kids did a pretty good job. There were the usual flubbed lines but it was good. Sally, and I sat together an were more than proud of our daughter. Plus it was nice for the four of us, including Sally’s grandmother Alice, to get together — almost a family again. But the drive home was lonely and depressing. To many thoughts of what I’ve already lost an what I may be losing yet.
I really didn’t miss the usual weekend meeting at Banjo’s house to watch some basketball, or hockey games on his huge, new flat screen TV, he’s so proud of. I’m not a big fan of either, but getting together with him, GW, and Lineman is always a good time. Always lots of barbs and bullshit about the bad asses we were in Iran and Afghanistan, an places we can’t name to anyone else. But always with the thoughts of Speedy on our minds. It still hurts, especially with me — because it almost cost me too.
Monday driving to the train station wondering, did she say she was leaving today, or was it tomorrow for D.C. an coming back Thursday or Friday? I’m sure she’s flying, so I hope she gets back before the predicted shitty weather moves in. It’s already shut down airports in the mid-west where it’s snowing blizzard like. Shit, this coming weekend will be a for real winter training operations if that storm gets here by then.
An while waiting for the train, I think about calling her — just to find out her travel schedule, but I don’t. This, going back to our lives before us, was to take a step back, slow things down — my dumb ass words, as I wonder how her weekend went with that banquet Saturday night, and the birthday party Sunday. Shit, Jon would have been home for those anyway. Two days early just threw a monkey wrench in her staying with me. Did my disappointment cause me to over react? Or…, face the reality of what’s been happening between us?
Damn this week has sucked! Everything just running together, get up, go to school, come home, eat something, work on my paper, check emails, pay bills, work on my paper. Go to bed, a few hours of fitful sleep, Wednesday nights class, Thursday, more of the same, except it looks like that shitty weather will get here right on time to make it a real winter operations test — I sure hope she gets home today.
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