Boredom and Complicity


It has rained for three days, we’ll start with that. It’s October and the sky is heavy and gray. The cold wind makes it impossible to go out without getting soaked, even with an umbrella!

It’s supposed to be our vacation, Millie and me. Money is tight, with our youngest starting college. Millie said, “We’ll have a “staycation.” Yeah, staycation, they invented a clever name for time off work with no money to spend. We had planned a few little trips to local parks and antique shops but so far we’re just watching movies and reading books.

I’m restless. It’s partly the rain, but also, I have a nagging concern for a good friend who will remain nameless. Just before this sham of a vacation started, he told me he had been having sex with a fifteen year old girl who helped out at their house over the summer and was still coming after school for a few hours twice a week. His wife works and he has been laid off for six months. I don’t know the girl, but I saw her once when I was only there long enough for a beer. I returned camping equipment our son had borrowed before he went off to college. It was a hot day in late August. We were in the garage and she came out with two cold beers. She was wearing bikini shorts and a cropped t-shirt. It was a little awkward taking a beer from her. She was what you might call, a woman-child.

She said, “I thought you guys might like this,” and she laughed as she turned back toward the house. Just before she went in, she turned and smiled a knowing sort of smile. Yes, we were both looking. I remember thinking, was she talking about the cold beer or the opportunity to watch here walking back to the house. There was an awkward moment until my friend broke the silence and said, “That’s K___, she’s doing a little house cleaning for us. I said, “Wow.” Then we talked about something else.

Just a few day ago, my friend had told me what was going on. He told me more than I wanted to know. He described her body and how exciting it had been at the beginning. Now he wanted it to stop because he knew he could be in big trouble. He thought she had already told a few of her friends and if he broke it off, she would be upset and probably tell her parents. He was jumpy and scared.

So here I am, stuck in the house with my wife who is bored and restless like I am. I’m secretly worried for my friend. I feel complicit just knowing what he’s been doing.

I‘ve been thinking about the day that fifteen year old child said, I thought you guys might like this.

05/18/2017© Don Lehman