How does that old saying go...Out of the pan and into the fire. You would think I learned my lesson after the relationship with my first fiancee, Two Bit...err...Penny, ended. I did learn from that whole experience...and I learned well. Never again would I become involved with someone who possessed her traits...laziness, lying and cheating. Those are just some things you don't forget. I wouldn't let myself be duped by a dunce again. It was going to take some time with another before I'd let down my guard and totally trust again. I was faithful and had resisted temptation several times, while she just gave it up and put out.
I know I'm not a perfect man, but I'm not too shabby, either. I knew she wasn't perfect, but at first, she sure seemed perfect for me. Why is it, when you're single, you don't find many who are interested. Get involved in a relationship and it seems like they come crawling out of the woodwork wanting you. I had honored my promise to be hers. She vowed to be mine...or anyone else who wanted a little on the side. It bothered me a lot, but only for a little while. Life goes on and mine wasn't about to end over a relationship that went sour. Though I was wary, I played the field a little over the course of the next year, promising myself I'd go slow and not just jump into something again. That was until she walked into my life when she walked into my office.
She was a younger girl by the name of Sherri and she was here for an interview to be one of the radio station's newscasters. That meant she'd be working with me, as I hosted the afternoon show. Heads turned, eyes bugged out and bibs were donned because of all the drool when she made her appearance. Sherri was a very lovely girl; nice face, knock out body and what a smile. She was dresed in a leopard print top and long black skirt slit up the side. She had the looks of a model, which she ended up doing part time down the road. The guys were going ga-ga and they all wanted her. Sorry, boys. You can't always get what you want. This one is mine! Another challenge I was bound and determined to meet.
After the general manager spoke to me and had me listen to her audition tape, since she'd be the second voice on my shift, she was hired. A meeting between the two of us was set to feel each other out, get a taste of our respective personalities, pick one another's brain to find out what some of our common grounds were. I invited her to a business lunch and was impressed when she started by ordering a martini. After downing three of them, we forgot about food and enjoyed our time getting to know each other. We were a team now and had connected in more ways than just on a professional level. After about ten minutes of radio small talk, we were more interested in getting to know one another as people.
Sherri did a good job delivering the news and we'd share some banter once she got the information out. We'd joke and kid back and forth; sometimes a little risque, but always lots of laughter. I always work best when I have someone to play off of; spontaneous comedy kind of like an improvisational stand up routine. As time went on, we continued to get closer both on and off the radio. We were already a pair on the air, but I don't recall exactly when we extended that to our personal life. I think it was one evening about a month after she was hired when our shift ended and she asked what I was doing that night. Being a bachelor, I didn't have any plans except to do a little laundry and maybe head out for a drink or six. She couldn't find anything too exciting about dirty clothes and suggested I skip that chore and invited me to go our for a few cocktails right then and there.
We had gone out several times before, as co-workers and friends. Not wanting to be bothered by others so I could give her my undivided attention, we always skipped my favorite bar; my home away from home. For some reason, she didn't seem to be a "Filthy" girl...Filthy Mc Nasty's being the name of my usual watering hole. When the two of us went out together, we'd drop by a bar up on the main drag in town, Red's Place. Around here, anything named Red's was short for redneck. I knew people there, but not well enough to have them constantly interrupt me like they would have at the other bar.
That night, we drank and drank and drank. No matter how much we poured down, we didn't get drunk; just a little more giddy. It was the end of the night when she suggested staying at my place since she had to drive two towns over to get home and didn't think she should be on the road with 6 hours of cocktails under her belt. And no, nothing happened. We cuddled, both dressed in one of my tee shirts and a pair of my sweatpants, and fell asleep in each other's arms. I was the perfect gentleman. It wasn't until a couple of weeks later that things progressed, even after spending several more nights together, and she was the one who put the moves on me. I'll let the lady make the advances so I know what her intentions are...and so I don't overstep my boundries.
Red's had become "our bar", where Sherri and I would go when together. She was a big fan of the band, U2, and discovered Becky, the night bartender, shared her love for their music. There was always a concert video of them playing on one of the televisions when we walked in. I wasn't too familiar with the group at first, but after seeing and hearing them night after night; they grew on me. "Our" song became the U2 hit, Two Hearts Beat As One. Four months into her employment and due to the firing of our night time on-air guy, Sherri was switched to the 7 PM to midnight shift. That time of the year, we had many New York Yankee baseball broadcasts airing, so there wasn't much work for her to do; turn a switch to leave the game, push a button or two for a commercial break, then flip that switch to bring the game back on.
Since she was bored being alone with nothing to occupy her time; and she hated baseball; I started staying to keep her company. I was in the building from before noon until after midnight now. I might not have been getting paid for the extra hours, but the fringe benefits I was recieving were sure worth it. I do have to admit, there were times she missed commercial breaks altogether because we were "busy". I already told you I'm a gentleman...it wasn't because of "that"! There might have been some kissy face going on and we weren't paying attention or she was sitting on my lap and couldn't get up in time to run to the studio to hit her cue. No big deal...the boss didn't listen to the games, so he'd never know. Once midnight rolled around and we signed off, it was down the street we'd stroll for some cocktails and music; then back to my place most nights.
Though she didn't "officially" move in with me, you might as well say we lived together. She'd come to the station early at 5 PM, I'd stay with her until she was done at midnight, we'd have cocktails and go back to my place for the night and she'd leave a little before noon when I headed to the office. She'd go home then to her dad's place, where she lived, to do a few things around the house, clean up and change and come back to see me. Eventually, I popped the question and she accepted. Yes, I bought her a new ring. I wouldn't think of giving her the one I took back from Two Bit. Though we hadn't set a date, we were getting along famously; hardly ever a cross word and she didn't try to change me a bit. She really did love me like I was.
Fast forward a few months. We never had any problems, but one day, I noticed she was troubled about something, so I asked her what was up. We had a great line of communication and always talked about everything and anything. She didn't want to tell me. If you can't talk to me, who can you talk to? She started crying uncontrollably and I found out Becky, the bartender, was the only one who knew. Don't tell me you've been cheating on me. I don't want to hear that. I was relieved to find out that wasn't the case. Phew! When she finally spilled her guts; mine dropped. I didn't know if this was just as bad...or worse. I was hit in the back of the head once again with the story she had to tell.
It was the four-month anniversary of a tragic event in her life; something I didn't even know about. Remembering back, I knew she had taken a trip to Ohio to visit her older sister around that time. Was something wrong with Charlene? Everything was okay with her sis...she didn't really go to Ohio. Sherri had been in the hospital for those few days. Thinking the worst, was it cancer or some other life-threatening illness? It was more devastating that that. She had an abortion. It was my baby; she hadn't cheated on me; but I didn't even know she was pregnant...and she never even discussed it with me. Granted, it is her body and a woman has final say over what happens, but she didn't even have the decency to talk to me about things. She knew I wanted to be a father; she just didn't know if I wanted to be one right then. Now, I wasn't going to be a dad; then or possibly ever.
Like I said, I didn't know if this was just as bad as cheating on me or worse. All I knew was that it was unforgivable. Not only did she get rid of my child, I had lost all trust by her keeping it a secret and not even telling me anything. I'm not opposed to abortion, but I felt I should have been at least consulted before a decision was made. Now, I had two engagement rings I could do nothing with. Our relationship came to an immediate end. The trust was gone and I couldn't even stand the sight of her any more...and here I had to work with her and see her almost every day. I had to take my boss into confidence about the situation and explained my position...either she goes or I do. Since I had been there so long, had great ratings and was making the station money; a "downsizing" took place. She was low on the totem pole, so she was the one to go. I didn't feel too bad because she landed another radio job right away in a nearby city...and that's when she did a little part time modeling on the side. Her career and life would go on, but I wasn't so sure about mine.
It was a shock at first, but this, too, passed. I had become a two-time loser in love. It was like I was a batter in a baseball game with two strikes. I could keep hitting foul balls, but one more strike and I was out. I wasn't giving up and I dug in to go all the way. I still had to protect the plate and pull for the fence looking for my game winning home run. I didn't want to let my team down and have the side retired. I gave myself one more chance; someone out there had to be holding out for a hero even though I was feeling like a zero. I didn't feel the joy I did getting rid of my first, but I got over it...and life went on yet again. Boy, Rob, do you know how to pick 'em...or do you know how to pick 'em!