By Mickey S
The fall of '73 wasn't the best time to start commuting long distance to school. Early in October war broke out in the Middle East and as the oil embargo resulted in long lines at gas stations I began to think I was going to spend more time getting gas than attending classes. After a few weeks though, Richie came to my rescue. The owner of a gas station owed him a favor (it seemed like half of North Jersey owed him a favor) and so every time he came to visit me he brought a five-gallon jug of gas. Of course, I still had to go to a gas station now and then but it didn't take up all my time.
The other big change as I began my junior year was that I decided I was ready to start coming out. Up until that point I hadn't told another soul that I was gay except for Richie. I wasn't sure I wanted to shout it to the world, but I was beginning to feel like I wanted to meet and talk with other gay guys. There was a Gay Alliance at school but I'd always been afraid to go to a meeting. I was worried that someone I knew would see me, or worse, that someone I knew would be there. Irrational paranoia, I know, but the closet does tend to cause that.
Anyway, before I did anything I knew I had to talk to Richie about it, since he was so involved in my life. I was sure he'd be totally against it, but he surprised me by being quite reasonable.
"I'm older and bisexual, so I could fit in more easily, and in the crowd I run with, I never even thought about telling anyone, but I know things have changed and lots of guys are talking about it today. Who were you thinking of telling?"
"I thought I'd start with my friends at school. And there's a gay group on campus that I thought I'd check out, maybe make some new friends."
"You're not thinking of trading me in on a new boyfriend already, are you?"
"No, you know I'm happy with what we've got going. But I'd like to be able to talk to other guys my age who are going through what I am."
"Well, I doubt if you'll find anyone who's in exactly the same position as you, but I understand what you mean. What about your parents? Telling them could be pretty heavy."
"Yeah, I don't think I'm ready for that. I'm not sure how they'd take it and I'm still mostly dependent on them financially as far as school is concerned. And I don't think it would be a good idea to come out to them right after moving in here with you. I'm sure they'd suspect something was going on between us."
"I think that's a wise choice for now. I have one other request. Don't tell Sol. He's one person who can connect you, me and the rest of my life."
"I see no reason to tell him. It's not like he asks me about my personal life or tries to fix me up with girls. For now I think I'll just stick to coming out at school."
Coming out to my friends went smoother than I expected. None of them seemed surprised and though one or two were a bit distant after that, for the most part nothing changed. I got up the nerve to attend the next meeting of the Alliance on campus and was pleasantly surprised to discover it wasn't a sex club. Not that I really thought it would be, but I assumed there would be strong sexual overtones. I soon discovered that lots of the guys were hooking up; after all, we were a bunch of guys in our late teens and early twenties, but for the most part it was a social and political group.
I started going out to the student center snack bar after the meetings with a couple of the guys, Ted and Rob, who were both sophomores. It was the only night I stayed late on campus so I made the most of it. Ted was a little taller than me and stocky with dark hair and eyes. Rob was very cute. He had dark blond hair, very light eyebrows and pale blue eyes. He was about my height and was slim with a small frame. He was so unlike Richie I was surprised I was attracted to him, not that I had any plans on doing anything about it. I'd made it clear to everyone I met at the Alliance that I had a boyfriend so I wouldn't have to deal with guys coming on to me. That stopped most of them but not all. Some guys seemed to be even more interested when they found out I had a boyfriend and I learned that lots of couples had various kinds of open relationships.
Between classes, studying, working at Sol's and Richie's visits I kept pretty busy. I saw quite a bit more of Richie than before but that was the plan when he bought the condo. We still got together Tuesday afternoons and Thursday evenings as well. He often found time to drop in on the weekend, although I worked all day Saturday. He also spent time at the house when I was away. I frequently came home to find evidence that he'd been there while I was gone. Occasionally I'd be studying upstairs in my little office when I'd hear the phone ringing down in his den and I'd wonder where he was. I couldn't imagine how his wife dealt with his irregular schedule but he explained that it had been part of their life ever since they'd met and she was used to it.
In the middle of November the Alliance had a Saturday night dance at the student center and the guys talked me into making the trip down to New Brunswick for it. They didn't have to try too hard; I'd heard about their dances and I was eager to go. I was amazed at the size of the crowd at the dance. The weekly meetings never had anywhere near that number but then Ted and Rob pointed out that many of the guys weren't students, just locals who liked students. When I got there Ted told me not to worry about how much beer I drank. If I had too much to drive I could crash at his dorm room. Unfortunately, just about the time I decided I had indeed had too much to drink and drive safely, Ted disappeared with a hot little townie.
Rob immediately offered to let me stay in his room. I wasn't thrilled with the idea but I didn't have much choice. Staying with Ted wasn't a problem; I wasn't at all attracted to him. I was attracted to Rob and I was also half-drunk. He hadn't ever given me any reason to think he wanted me, but I was still a little nervous.
I didn't have anything to worry about that night. We were both so drunk when we got back to Rob's dorm room that we could barely strip down to our briefs before tumbling into his bed. We slept back to back, each facing a side of the bed. At least that's how we fell asleep. In the morning I awoke to Rob's front pressed up against my back, his hardon poking my butt. I inched away from him but he scooted up behind me again and reached over me, grabbing my erection through my briefs.
"Looks like we've both got the same idea, Tom."
"Not an idea, really. Dicks have a mind of their own, especially in the morning," I said as I turned over on my back so I could face Rob.
"Yeah, I guess so, but there's still only one good way to solve the problem, no matter what caused it. How about we give each other a hand?"
"Um, need I remind you I have a boyfriend?"
"I remember, bud. Don't worry, I'm not talking about wild passionate sex, just a mutual hand job to get rid of our morning wood. Even straight guys jerk off together sometimes. It's no big deal."
"It's still sex." Normally having a conversation would make my dick wilt but since we were talking about sex and I was looking at Rob's smooth boyish body complete with a swollen lump in his briefs, I was still hard as a rock. "And what about your roommate?" I asked, glancing at the empty bed across the room.
"He left for his morning run just before you woke up. He won't be back for at least half an hour. Unless that question meant you wanted him to join in as well. You up for a circle jerk?"
"No! I just, well, how about if we both do it but keep our hands to ourselves?"
"Party pooper!" Rob sighed. "Okay, I guess I can get off just watching you. Let's go."
With that he jumped up and stripped off his briefs. As he bent to pull them off his feet I caught a glimpse of his pucker. And my dick throbbed. I pulled off my briefs and sat up in bed. He sat next to me and we leaned back against the wall and slowly began stroking ourselves. Both of us had our eyes glued to the other's cock. Rob's was a lot like mine, about six inches, circumcised, maybe a bit thicker than mine. I wanted so much to put my hand on it but I was the one who had made the rules so I had to go by them. Twice I felt like I was going to explode and stopped stroking. It felt too good to end it so soon. I could tell Rob was going through the same sensations. The third time I stroked faster and let go, creaming all over my belly and chest. As soon as I erupted I heard Rob gasp and he too blew his load.
We both collapsed against the wall and took a minute to catch our breath. Rob grabbed his briefs from the floor and mopped up my mess and then his. He leaned over and gave me a quick, chaste kiss on the lips.
"That was sweet! Didn't I tell you it would be fun?"
"Yeah, I think I knew that all along. I just wasn't sure it was a good thing for me to do."
"Like I said before, it's no big deal. We should try it again sometime when we're more wide awake."
"I don't think that's a good idea. I'm seeing someone, remember?"
"Yeah, your phantom boyfriend. Does he really exist? How come you didn't bring him to the dance?"
"He's real but he's a little older than us and not into college dances."
"What is he into?"
"Me, and that's enough."
"So we're not gonna do this again?"
"I don't think so, Rob. It was fun, but it was a one time thing."
A few days later I went to the snack bar with Ted and Rob after the Alliance meeting. I was hoping Rob wouldn't say anything about our night together but Ted started off by apologizing for disappearing at the dance and Rob jumped right in.
"No problem, Ted. I took good care of Tom." He grinned and made a stroking motion with his right hand.
Ted turned to me looking shocked. "You slut! I thought you were taken. What about your boyfriend? You never said you had an open relationship."
"Well, I don't know that I'd call it that." I paused, a bit uncertain. "Richie's, uh, well, he's married."
"Married? And you're worried about jerkin' off with me? He's probably porkin' his wife every night. If that's not an open relationship I don't know what is."
"I know, but that's only on his part."
"Well, what's good for the goose... Unless you think he's gonna leave his wife for you? They always say they're gonna but they never do." Ted had always come across as a bit na´ve but now he sounded like the voice of experience.
"I know that's not gonna happen. He's never even suggested it. And how do you know so much about relationships with married men? You're a year younger than me."
"I was making it now and then with a married guy in my neighborhood when I was in high school. He sometimes talked about us running off together, but even at that age I knew it wasn't going to happen. So if your guy's not in this relationship for the long haul why don't you have fun on the side too?"
"I realize the relationship doesn't have a future but it's good for what it is right now. Besides, I don't really have time to have anything going on the side."
"It doesn't take much time to do it, Tom. What usually takes time is finding a guy to do it with. I think you're totally cute and would love to have some fun with you, no-strings. We had fun the other morning and we could have even more if you want. Just say the word."
"I don't think so, Rob. I'm pretty happy with the way my life is now."
"I'm not talking about changing your life, just adding a little pleasure. Think about it."
While I'd said I had no intention of pursuing a second relationship and thought I meant it, I couldn't think of anything else on the ride home that night. Rob was so totally different from Richie but he was still very appealing. I'd grown very comfortable with my relationship with Richie and it fit nicely into my life and provided me with a lot. I knew the relationship had its limits, but I hadn't even considered going after other guys. As I'd told the guys, it was good for what it was and that was enough for me at that point in my life.
But that Sunday morning with Rob and the conversation that night made me wonder what it would be like to be with someone on a more equal basis. While Richie had become much more passionate in our lovemaking, it was still a little one-sided. He occasionally touched my dick but it was still up to me to get myself off. Two-and-a-half years into my sex life, I still didn't know what a mouth on my dick felt like. And while I loved being fucked, I sometimes wondered what it would be like to be the one doing the fucking. I knew I'd never find the answers to those questions with Richie.
Over the next week my mind kept going back to Rob. By the next meeting of the Alliance, I'd decided to try something with him; just an experiment at first if that was okay with him. When we got to the snack bar I asked him if he was willing to try it just once to see if I was okay with it. He jumped at the chance. We compared our schedules and found a period the next day we were both free and his roommate would be in class and made a date. I was nervous as I knocked on Rob's door. My first time with Richie had been unexpected and while I was tense about meeting him once he was out of the hospital we'd already had sex several times by then. This was a whole new, planned experience. On top of that, I was still a bit uncertain that I was doing the right thing. But Rob had become a friend to me and I'd already been naked in a sexual way with him, so I wasn't exactly terrified by what we were about to do. Part of me was eagerly anticipating it.
Rob smiled reassuringly as he opened the door.
"I was afraid you might chicken out."
"Nah, I might not come back again after this, but I said I'd be here and I meant it. I want to make it with you at least once."
We wasted no time and began stripping off our clothes. When we got down to our briefs Rob stopped, took me in his arms and kissed me. His kiss didn't have the passion and electricity that Richie's did but it caused my dick to come to full attention in my underwear anyway. We continued to kiss and grind our hips into each other for a minute, then pulled apart and finished undressing, exposing our hardons to each other. Rob took my hand and lay down on his bed, pulling me down alongside him. We rolled on top of me and resumed kissing. This was a position I was familiar with but it felt odd to have a strange body on top of me.
After a few minutes of making out his mouth began to work its way down my body, spending several seconds sucking on each of my nipples and then licking down my abs past my navel. He lifted my cock and I gasped as I felt his hot breath on it. He lightly flicked his tongue around the edge of my head, then licked it with broad wet strokes, finally taking it in his mouth. I groaned as he slid down the shaft, afraid I'd cum before he'd even reached the base. I grabbed a handful of the sheet in each fist and tightened every muscle in my body, taking deep breaths, trying to control myself.
Rob must have sensed my tension because he pulled off and looked up into my eyes.
"Are you all right, Tom?"
I wasn't about to share the intimate details of my love life with Richie so I couldn't tell him I'd never experienced the sensation of a mouth on my dick before.
"Yeah," I gasped. "My dick is just very sensitive and it's the first time, first with you, that is. That adds to the excitement."
He nodded. "First times are always special." He was about to take me in his mouth again when he thought better of it. He swung his body around until his dripping hardon was in my face and then resumed his feast, allowing me to return the favor. I had so much experience taking Richie's huge schlong that Rob's six-incher was no problem at all. Being able to concentrate on his dick helped me to keep my own under control in spite of the magic his mouth was working on it. I lost it though when his fingers reached behind my balls and tickled my pucker. I tapped him on the shoulder to try to warn him that I was about to cum but he just sucked harder. I surrendered to the feeling and let myself go, feeling like he was draining all of my energy from me as I shot volley after volley into him.
As soon as I was done I remembered Rob's throbbing cock and went back to work on it, using all of the tricks I'd learned doing Richie. I tried one Rob had just taught me that I'd never been able to do with Richie. I pressed a finger against Rob's pucker as I continued to suck on him. He seemed to like that so I slipped my finger in my mouth to wet it and then pressed it against his hole again. As it slid in Rob began to gasp and his whole body tensed up. I pushed my finger all the way in and redoubled my sucking and was rewarded with his explosion in my mouth. Once his orgasm had subsided I swiveled around and kissed him. He smiled at me.
"That was so great! Was it good for you, too?"
"Yeah, like nothing I've ever experienced. I loved it."
"Same here. Next time we'll have to try to hold out longer and maybe do some fucking."
I agreed although I was sure the fucking wouldn't be anywhere near as good as it was with Richie. I loved to get fucked, but I had the best at home for that. The mutual oral action, however, was something I couldn't get at home.
Rob was a man of his word. The next week, after a long sixty-nine session that I thoroughly enjoyed but was able to control myself through, he asked me if he could fuck me. That was my favorite part of sex so of course I agreed. Being used to Richie, I had no trouble taking him. I actually focused on trying not to relax too much, afraid that he wouldn't find me tight enough. While it was all very enjoyable, Rob being a more adventurous and playful lover than Richie, both emotionally and physically it wasn't quite the same as with Richie. He surprised me the next week by asking me if I wanted to fuck him. As much as I loved being on the receiving end, I'd always wondered what it would feel like to be on top, and I knew I'd never experience that with Richie.
Again, I didn't want to give away secrets of what Richie and I did in bed so I couldn't explain to Rob I'd never tried it. I just had to bluff my way through. That wasn't very hard. I knew what the fucker was supposed to do and I'd played with Rob's ass a lot each time we were together. This was just taking it to the next step. I positioned myself between his legs and looked down on him as I prepared him, opening him up with first one, then two fingers. He didn't seem to have a problem with that so I placed my dick against his pucker and pushed very gently. As the head popped through his ring he grimaced a bit but then nodded and urged me to continue. As I slowly sank into him I was amazed at how tight and hot he was. By the time I was fully buried in him I had to stop and concentrate on not cumming. It was such an incredible experience that I was sure I was going to shoot if I moved at all. I was finally able to control myself enough to start pumping in and out but even then I only lasted a minute before I exploded.
Rob had lost his erection as I entered him and he had just regained it when it was all over for me so I slowly withdrew from him and finished him off with my mouth. We snuggled together after he had shot his load down my throat.
"Damn, you were right about your dick being real sensitive," Rob murmured in my ear.
"Yeah, sorry I didn't last longer. It was good and I wish I could have held out a bit."
"That's okay, as long as you got off on it. I enjoyed it to. I usually like to be on top but now and then I'm in the mood to switch."
"That works out good because I usually like to be on the receiving end. Fucking is fun but to me there's nothing like having a man inside me."
I hadn't had time to really think about my first fucking experience but as soon as the words were out of my mouth I knew that was how I felt. I could enjoy either role but I was really partial to the one I'd become accustomed to. For the last few weeks of the semester Rob and I continued to get together in his room. We spent lots of time orally pleasing each other but when it came to fucking we resumed our favorite roles with him on top and me on the bottom. It may not have been the right spirit for the Christmas season but I much preferred receiving to giving.
I spent winter break working full-time at Sol's. One Wednesday afternoon I came home from work, parked the car in the garage and was in the house less than a minute when the doorbell rang. The only time I'd ever had guests had been a couple of times in the fall when my parents came over, but their visits were always planned. I was pleasantly surprised but a little concerned to find Rob waiting on the other side of the door.
"What are you doing here?" I asked as I stepped back to let him in.
"Hey, that doesn't sound like you're happy to see me. I missed you and thought I'd come visit."
"Sure, I'm happy to see you, but what if I'd been with Richie? You should have called first. And how did you get my address?"
"The student directory, dummy. And if Richie is a lot older and very Italian, I met him earlier."
I took a deep breath. "You met him? How?"
"I got here about an hour ago. When I rang the bell this Italian guy around 40 answered."
"Shit, that was him. You didn't give anything away, did you?"
"Nah, give me some credit. I just told him I was a friend from school. He said you were working until 5 and it didn't seem like he was gonna ask me in so I told him I'd come back later. He drove off in a white Caddy a little while ago. I thought you guys didn't live together."
"We don't, but he drops in a lot."
"Well, he's pretty hot for an old man, but kinda scary, too."
"He only seemed that way because you two are strangers. And you're gonna stay that way. I'm not sure it's a good idea for you to be here."
"Oh c'mon, he's gone now, probably home with his wife. Don't be paranoid."
"I'm not. It's just I've never had anyone visit me here before. But you're right, he's probably home by now."
I got a couple of beers from the kitchen and we sat in the living room and caught up on what we'd been doing over vacation. We talked about ordering a pizza but halfway through our second beer another kind of hunger took over and we went upstairs. Even though neither one of us had mentioned sex since he arrived, I think it was all that either of us had on our minds. I led Rob to the bedroom where we quickly undressed and jumped into bed. We didn't waste a lot of time on foreplay and in a few minutes he was pounding my butt.
Rob and I were completely lost in our passion when we were both brought back to reality by the bedroom door slamming against the wall. We both looked in that direction and there was Richie standing in the doorway, his face purple with rage. We quickly pulled apart and I instinctively reached for a sheet to cover over us. There was no need for that as Richie stormed across the room, wrapped a big hand around Rob's neck and practically lifted him off the bed.
"If you want to keep your balls you have sixty seconds to get the fuck out of my house!" He released his grip as he threw Rob back down on the bed. "And you," he bellowed, pointing a finger at me, "Downstairs, now!"
We both leapt out of bed and scrambled into our clothes as Richie stormed out. Neither of us said a word but Rob looked as terrified as I felt. As we rushed down the stairs I heard a crashing sound from Richie's den. Rob picked up his coat from the chair he'd left it on and headed straight for the door.
"Are you gonna be all right, Tom?"
"Y-yeah, sure. I think so, anyway."
"Call me." He hurried out the door just as I heard another crash in Richie's den. I went to the closed door and took a deep breath before knocking.
"Get your ass in here!" he bellowed. I opened the door and scurried in. Richie was standing behind his desk, his face dark with rage. I glanced around and saw a broken lamp on the floor. That must have been one of the crashes. A picture that had been hanging on the wall was also on the floor, the glass in the frame shattered. A broken drinking glass was lying next to it.
"What the fuck gave you the idea you could do that in my house? How dare you! And who is that kid, anyway?" He was still shouting at full volume.
"He's a friend from school." I could barely get the words out but continued on, hoping he'd calm down if I explained a bit. "He dropped by to visit. We didn't mean to do anything like that. It just happened."
"Just happened, huh? Like you never did that before with him?"
"N-no, we've done it at school. Just a few times."
"What's his name? Where does he live?"
"I'd rather not say. Let's just keep this between us, okay? If you're mad, be mad at me."
"Don't tell me who to be mad at. But you're right, this is between me and you and we're gonna have it out." He took a deep breath. "But not tonight. If I stay here another minute I'll hit you and though you deserve it I don't want to do that."
He crossed the room to me and I was afraid of him in spite of what he had just said. He grabbed my face in one hand, squeezing my cheeks, pursing my lips. "I'm outta here, but this ain't over by a long shot. Clean up this mess!"
Richie pushed me away and stalked out of the room. The front door slammed behind him.. I slumped against the wall, trembling. After a minute I was able to calm myself down enough to pour myself a fair amount of scotch from the bottle Richie had left on his desk. I took a sip and it burned all the way down so I just gulped down the rest and then went into the living room to sit and think.
He'd said it wasn't over but I was sure he was referring to our discussion of what Rob and I had been doing, not my relationship with Richie. That was probably over. I'd never seen anyone as mad as he was. Before I moved in he'd pretty much implied that it was okay if I fooled around with other guys as long as he didn't know about it. Now that he knew about Rob it was obvious that it wasn't okay. I couldn`t imagine him wanting me around now. I knew I could move back in with my parents. That would mean a slightly longer commute to school and to work. Of course, once I wasn't living with Richie I was sure the job with Sol would end so that wouldn't be an issue.
But I didn't want it to be over with Richie. As much as I loved living in the condo, I loved being with Richie more. I knew it was a limited, fairly one-sided relationship with no future, but it was enough. I wanted to be with Richie. It was that simple. I was sure I didn't mean as much to him as he did to me but he treated me well. And I'd fucked it up.
Thursday I was nervous all day at work. It was Richie's regular evening to come over but I didn't know if he would. At any rate, it would be a much different kind of evening. I went directly home from the store and waited, sitting on the couch flipping through the TV channels, too nervous to watch anything for more than a minute. He didn't show up. Friday and Saturday were the same, long torturous days at work and then even worse evenings of waiting.
By the time I woke up Sunday morning I was a wreck. What was taking him so long? Obviously I'd thoroughly pissed him off and our relationship was over. Why didn't he just come over and throw me out? I kept thinking I should make use of the time by packing my stuff but I couldn't bring myself to do that until he actually told me to get out. It was nearly noon when I heard the garage door open. That was good news. Usually if he was just stopping by for a minute he parked out front. If he was staying awhile he let himself into his side of the garage.
He didn't look angry when he came in through the kitchen but he did look very serious. He led the way into his den, a room I'd rarely been in. I'd cleaned up the broken glass and lamp and rehung the picture on the wall but other than that I'd stayed out. Richie sat at his desk and pointed to the chair .
"I may not look it but I'm still plenty pissed about the other night. One thing I've had to learn in my business, though, is to control my anger and channel it into the right actions. I know I said a long time ago that I didn't want to hear about your outside activities, but I do now. Tell me what you've been up to."
`There isn't much to tell, actually." I gave him a brief rundown on how things had developed between Rob and me without giving any personal info on Rob. I made it clear it was just physical fun and that it was the only `outside activity' I'd had since I met Richie. "I really have no interest in trying to pursue other guys, Richie. It's just that I'd never been with anyone but you and there are things we don't do that I was curious about."
He nodded. "I thought so. I know you're not a whore and I know our sex has always been pretty much what I wanted. You've probably had some things in mind that you couldn't do with me. I'm not blind to that. Unfortunately, I can't deal with you makin' it with someone else. Realizing that kinda surprised me the other night. I thought as long as I didn`t know about it you could do whatever you wanted. But if we`re gonna keep this thing going, there`s gotta be a change. From now on, it`s just me. No outside sexual activities at all. Can you handle that?"
I was stunned. He wanted to keep the relationship going. All I had to do was stop seeing Rob, or at least stop sleeping with him. I`d gone without anyone else the first three years with Richie so that wouldn`t be hard to do.
"Yeah, sure, that`s fine with me."
"I hope you satisfied your curiosity with your friend because things in bed aren`t gonna change much with us. I`ve loosened up quite a bit in the past year but I don`t know that I`m gonna go much further."
"That`s fine, Richie. I love what we do in bed. You know that."
"You and your friend are lucky you`re a guy, you know? If you were a broad my associates would know about this setup and I would`ve sent them out after your friend to teach him a lesson he wouldn`t forget. And I sure as hell would have slapped you around the other night.".
"So why didn't you hit me the other night? Just because I'm a guy? That doesn't make sense."
"No, it's more than that. The women I'm with, well, they're just sex. Good sex, mind you, but nothing more. With you it's a lot more than sex. I like you and respect you, Tommy. I like being around you."
Wow! I figured that was about as close as Richie would ever get to admitting an emotional attachment to me.
"And just to show you this isn't totally a one-way street, I'm willing to give up other women in my life. I'll still be with my wife, of course, but you'll be my only outside activity."
* * * * *
"And that was it? You went on pretty much like before?"
Steve and I had gone out to eat after work on Thursday and while I managed to talk about something other than Richie in the restaurant once we were home the conversation went back to my past love life.
"Yeah, Steve. I was floored. I'd been prepared for it to be all over and it ended up with our relationship even tighter. Of course, it was still a little tense the next few times we were in bed. We were both acutely aware that I'd been with Rob and were probably both thinking about the things Id done with him that we weren't doing. But by the time spring semester started everything was pretty much back to normal."
"I kinda figured you got through that bump in the road okay. After all, you're still here in the house. I thought you were going to tell me how that come about?"
"I am, but you're jumping way ahead. There's still quite a bit of the story to go before I get to that part."
To be continued.