Suddenly, the impact of everything hits home with Mike. He realizes that Sarena and his mother were right. He’d taken the wrong woman to bed and he feels as if it’s all his fault. Chester talks him down.
“Then taking the blame for this is rather silly, isn’t it?”
I nodded. “But we could have been over there.”
“But we weren’t. Bizarre as this sounds, Molly’s episode the other night probably saved all our lives. Had she been here, we would have been at your place and then things would have been horribly different. As it is, except for the obvious, everything is alright.”
I nodded, seeing he was right.
“You have renter’s insurance?”
“Yeah. One thing Ma taught me, be prepared. Or maybe that was the Boy Scouts?” I started to laugh.
Chester joined me, clasping me behind the head. “The ladies are worried,” he said quietly. “Perhaps we should join them?”
I nodded. He unfolded his legs, rising quickly. He helped me stand, pulling me up as if I weighed nothing. I finished washing my face and combed my hair with my fingers. I still looked rough, but at least I felt a little better.
Sarena and Ma vied for number one position by the door. Each wanted to be first, but neither wanted to shove the other out of the way. I opened my arms, embracing Ma on the right and Sarena on the left. I gave Ma a kiss on the cheek and Sarena a full throttle, no holds barred kiss right on the mouth.
“Sorry about that,” I murmured when I could speak again.
“Nothing to be sorry for,” she whispered. “I just want to get rid of all these people and go to bed.”
“Me too. I love you.”
Between Chester and the police officer, the room got cleared out and Sarena and I went next door to Molly’s. Our parents went back to their motel, the neighbors went wherever they were going and Jesse and Cleo shut their door firmly against the rising cold.
Once Sarena and I were alone in Molly’s apartment, I took her in my arms, never wanting to let her go. I kissed her with a wild abandon I had never felt before for any woman in my life. Even Miss Parker, in her disguise as Mystery Date, hadn’t filled me with the passion that Sarena did just by saying my name. I knew I loved her. Even in such a short time, there was a spark, a connection. From the first moment I heard her voice on the phone, I was hooked. I’d fallen deeply in love to a point where I knew I would never climb back out again and I didn’t want to.
Our love making that night went beyond anything we’d done before. I don’t know how long we went, it felt like we never stopped. All I wanted was to be with her all night, holding her body next to mine. Eventually, we fell asleep in a tangle of mangled bedding and didn’t wake up until my cellphone rang. I had to dig it out of my pants pocket, by which time it had stopped.
“Work. Oh, shit!” I had, of course, forgotten to set my alarm.
Sarena tossed the coverlet over me as I sat naked on the floor, calling my boss. “Yeah, it’s Mike. I’m sorry I’m late. . . .”
“We got a situation here,” Bill said abruptly. “What the hell did you do with my bus?”
“Huh? I didn’t do anything to it. Why?”
“It’s gone, missing. What am I supposed to do with all your kids? You’re not here and your bus is gone. What am I supposed to think?”
“I’m home. I overslept. I had a big night.” I rushed to explain as I searched for my clothing. It smelled like wet smoke, but my ass was freezing.
Sarena found me clean underwear and a some jeans as I dug through my duffel for a shirt and sweater. I tried to dress and talk, but couldn’t. Eventually, I put Bill on speaker phone and talked that way.
“So, what about the bus?”
“I think Miss Parker stole it.” I tried to explain my rationale, but Bill interrupted me.
“Wait, wait. Slow down. You think that teacher stole the bus? What the hell for?”
I told him again, more slowly, but he didn’t want to believe me.
“This doesn’t make sense, Mike.”
“I never said it did. Do crazy people make sense, Bill? I mean, seriously.”
“I’m wondering why I’m not getting calls,” he said all of a sudden. “I should be swamped with calls about the bus not coming.”
“Oh, God,” I groaned. “I know where the bus is. I know where Miss Parker is! She’s driving my route, Bill. Oh, dear God, that crazy woman is driving my route!”
“Oh, my God. Holy Christ! I got the call the cops!”
© Dellani Oakes 2014
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