The Dildo That Stole Claire Bonneville's Memory

by Lubrican

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Chapter Four

The fact that Cindy felt like a best friend was obvious. She knew very intimate details about Claire's life. And, when they got home, Cindy knew where everything was inside. Of course she'd recently been in the house, getting Claire some clothes, which meant she had a key. Her purse, watch and shoes were the only things that had been salvaged after the accident.

The house didn't look like she made tons of money. Obviously, her husband worked too, but they lived pretty close to the bone, by the looks of it. It was a nice house, but nothing fancy. And it was in a nice neighborhood, but she wouldn't have called it the high rent district.

As it turned out, Cindy also had no inhibitions about helping Claire get into that hot bath. It was clear that being around Claire naked didn't bother Cindy at all. The water was, in fact, hot. She made lots of noises of minor complaint, until her body was covered, and then she relaxed. Cindy ignored it all, and just asked how she could help.

Once Claire's head was leaning back, and her eyes were closed, Cindy put the lid down on the toilet and sat down there.

"John must have been the last one to use this," she said.

"Hmmm?"

"The seat was up."

"Men," snorted Claire.

"It's fascinating you can remember some things, and not others," said Cindy.

"I'm expecting you to tell me you loaned me money, and would like to be repaid," said Claire.

Cindy laughed. Then she was silent for so long that Claire opened her eyes.

"Do you remember what we were talking about at lunch ... just before you got hurt?" asked the woman.

"No."

"Oh."

"Was it important?"

"Actually ... yes ... I think so."

"Refresh my memory, then," said Claire.

"You said you had cheated on your husband."

Claire's eyes opened wider and she tensed, but then relaxed again.

"Somehow I don't feel like the kind of woman who cheats on her husband," said Claire.

"You're not. Actually, after you said that, you yelled that you had used your new dildo and were thinking about another man while you did it. Then you dashed off, hit that light pole, and lurched into traffic."

The concept of "dildo" was one of those holes in her memory the doctor had talked about.

"I got that upset about using a dildo? It doesn't feel like that should be considered as cheating."

"To you, that would have been cheating. I mean to the Claire I knew."

"Then the Claire you knew got her panties in a wad pretty easily," said Claire. "That's called having a fantasy. Happens all the time."

"That's not how you ... old Claire ... would have looked at it. She was a straight arrow."

"An uptight bitch, it sounds like," said Claire. It was strange, talking about this woman she didn't know, and realizing she was actually talking about herself.

"Not even," said Cindy. "You're a wonderful, caring, sensitive woman. You just had a strict upbringing, that's all."

"Wait," said Claire, lifting a hand out of the water. "You said I thought of this other guy while I was using my new dildo. Do I look like the kind of woman who has to use a dildo to get satisfaction?"

"Why Claire, do you finally agree with me that you're a foxy lady?"

"Yeah, yeah, not from what I can see. But, I'm not talking about my face. I know a little about men, and men wouldn't care what my face looked like. They'd go after this body and just turn the lights off if I was ugly."

"Goodness!" breathed Cindy. "You've definitely changed."

"How so?"

"Claire wouldn't have said she knew anything about men. And she'd never have said anything like that turning the lights off part."

"So, sue me. I got hit by a car."

"You're ... harder. Tougher."

"That could explain the dildo," said Claire. "I'm a ball buster. Men tend to shy away from that kind of woman."

"That's just it. You weren't a ball buster at all. Not even close. The only reason you got the dildo was because John wouldn't pay any attention to you and you were going crazy. Yesterday was the first time you'd ever even used it!"

"And you know this how?"

"That's what we were talking about at lunch," said Cindy, simply.

Claire was silent for a while. She waved her hands around under the water to circulate it, moving the water that had cooled against her skin away, and letting the hotter water come closer.

"What does John do?" she asked.

"He's a supervisor at the IKEA store across town," said Cindy. "Why?"

"How long have we been married?"

"You just celebrated your seventh anniversary three months ago. Why?"

"No kids?"

"No. Why?"

"You answer one more of my questions, and then I'll answer all of yours. How long have I worked at ... wherever I work?"

"Martin? You've been there three years."

"Okay, I lied. One more question."

"Shoot." Apparently the promise to answer all her questions was enough to give Cindy patience.

"Where did I work before I started for Martin?"

"You were at some government agency. Martin head hunted you and lured you away. Now, it's my turn. What does all this have to do with your dildo, and you freaking out for using it?"

"Think about it. He and I are twenty-one. I assume he's the same age as me. We're probably in college, and we fall in love and get married. I go to work for the government right out of school, making modest money. He's the man of the family and everything is happiness incarnate. Then, a few years later I go to work for Martin and suddenly, I'm making money hand over fist. Now, all of a sudden, being the man of the house doesn't mean much. He's not supporting me, I'm supporting him. But I'm not spending it on this place, not if it's the kind of money you think it is, so that means I'm socking it all away so that, when I turn forty, I can go wherever I want, for as long as I want. I haven't told him I'm going to leave him home when I do that, or we wouldn't still be together. But he has to be worried about it.

"Now, me out-earning him has emasculated him. He can't perform. But I know divorce would queer the deal with my security clearance. The government doesn't like divorces. So I'm stuck in a bad marriage, but my upbringing is of the sort where, when I made my vows, I meant them. And he knows that."

She stopped and thought.

"I bet I volunteer for everything under the sun."

"Not that I know of," said Cindy.

"You know me pretty well. What do I do in my spare time?"

"Ahhh," said Cindy. "You run."

"That's it? I just run?"

"You run miles and miles and miles. You run marathons. And you're pretty good, too. I think you were on your track team in high school and college."

"Where'd I go to college?"

"LSU."

"Then maybe I am good," said Claire. She blinked. "I wonder how I know that?"

"I wonder lots of things about what you remember and don't," said Cindy.

"Thank you, by the way," said Claire.

"You're welcome," said Cindy, automatically. "What for?"

"For being a good friend. When I woke up, I thought you were a bimbo. You're not. Not at all."

"No problem," said Cindy, waving her hands. "Lots of women think I'm a bimbo. I let them. It keeps them off guard."

"And why do you want them to be off guard?" Claire tried to arch an eyebrow and felt the bandages on her face foil the attempt.

"That way they'll work harder trying to keep me from stealing their husbands, than trying to undermine me and steal my job."

"Are you a husband stealer?" Claire tried to smile. "Do I think you're trying to steal mine?"

"Good Lord no!" laughed Cindy. "I'm very happily married. You know that. Well, you did. And I was trying to help you. I'm the one who suggested you try using a dildo."

"You wench!" said Claire. "Corrupting me like that!"

"You needed corrupting, or you were going to explode and do something crazy."

"Like what? Murder? Mayhem?"

"No, nothing that dramatic," said Cindy, smiling. "Believe it or not, you aren't a very dramatic person. That's why I was so astonished when you screamed and ran away crying, only to bump into a light pole and lurch into traffic."

"So what were you afraid I was going to do?"

"I was afraid you were going to get drunk at a party and yell at him in public," said Cindy.

"Horrors!" gasped Claire.

"We don't live very exciting lives," said Cindy.

"I guess not. So who is this guy I was fantasizing about while I took matters in hand?"

"That's just it. I don't know. When you said you had cheated on John I thought you were having an affair. And I had just asked you what you said to John whenever you wanted to get away to meet your boyfriend, when you blurted out that you didn't have one ... you just thought about this guy while you used your dildo." She blinked. "Actually, you sort of screamed it."

"This was on the street ... in front of a lot of people?"

"Uh huh."

"And you were surprised I took a dive into traffic?"

"Help me get these bandages off," said Claire, plucking ineffectually at the gauze swathing her head.

"The doctor said not to take them off. You're supposed to go in and get them changed in two days."

"Help me get them off," said Claire. "I feel like I'm being slowly smothered."

"I don't even think I was supposed to let you take that bath," complained Cindy.

"I needed the bath. I feel much better. And I'll feel much better when I get these fucking bandages off. Now, will you help me, or do I have to do it by myself?"

"As long as you don't tell anybody I helped you," said Claire.

"They won't get it from me. I'm torture proof. The government says so. They gave me a top secret clearance," said Claire.

"Don't joke around about that," said Cindy.

Claire sat still as Cindy began to unwind what seemed like yards of gauze. She was sitting at a vanity desk ... her vanity desk ... and she watched as her features were slowly revealed.

In a manner of speaking.

It had only been eight or ten hours, but the bruises were already well developed. She looked like she'd been in a major prize fight. A bare-knuckled one.

As she leaned forward, a thought came to her.

"What time is it?"

Cindy checked her watch.

"Ten-thirty."

"Where do you suppose my husband is? Does he work nights?"

"No!" yipped Cindy. "I completely forgot about John."

"So have I," said Claire. "But I have a note from the doctor that says I get to forget things. How about your husband?"

"Danny? I called him. He said to spend as much time with you as I needed to, until I was convinced you'd be okay."

"You need to be convinced I'm okay?"

"I'm your best friend. He knew I'd never be able to get any rest until I knew you were going to be okay."

"I'm going to be okay, Cindy."

"I know."

"You can go home to Danny," said Claire. "Don't you have to go to work tomorrow? What day is it, anyway?"

"I do. It's Wednesday. But Mr. Zimmerman said he'll expect a full report tomorrow, and if I'm a little late, I'll just tell him I was checking on you so I could give him the latest."

"Tell him I'm on the mend," said Claire. "Go on home."

"I can't."

"Why not?"

"Because John isn't here."

"I get the feeling I don't care too much about that," said Claire.

"What if you get dizzy, or fall down or something?"

"Okay. You put me to bed and then you can go home, okay?"

"Deal."

Ten minutes later Claire was in bed. She'd decided it wasn't worth the effort of locating pajamas, and just went to bed naked.

"That's how I sleep too," said Cindy. "Do you want me to try to find John?"

"How would you go about it?"

"I don't know. Call the hospitals, maybe. Or the police?"

"He's a big boy, and he probably carries ID. Nobody has called saying anything has happened to him. If he hasn't showed up by tomorrow morning, we can make inquiries."

"Okay. I'll call you in the morning."

"Thank you, Cindy. You really are a good friend."

"So are you," said Cindy.

She kissed her injured friend softly on the forehead and left.

Claire took one of the pain pills she'd been sent home with, and, fifteen minutes later, she was sleeping.

She was awakened, disoriented, when the light suddenly came on. Groggily, she raised her head to see John, standing there, weaving slightly, his eyes bleary.

The urge to demand to know where he'd been surfaced, but she repressed it. That was the old Claire. She didn't really care where he'd been.

"You're home," he said, sounding mildly surprised.

"So are you." The urge was too strong, and she added, "finally."

"I thought you'd still be in the hospital," he said.

"But you didn't go there to find out," she observed. Her previous intuition that he was a putz was reinforced.

"I was worried. I needed a drink," he said.

"Looks like you had more than one," she suggested.

"Don't be a bitch," he said, gruffly. "In case you don't remember, you're not a bitch."

"How nice for you," said Claire. "Turn off the light as you leave."

"Leave? I'm not leaving. I'm going to bed."

"Maybe, but not in here. You can sleep out there somewhere. "

"Why?" he asked, truculently.

"Because, as I recall, you said something about me being mad at you. Whether I remember that or not is of no consequence. What matters is that I don't remember you, and you're not sleeping in any bed with me until I do. Besides, I can smell you clear over here. You stink."

He straightened his shoulders. "I don't think so," he announced. "This is my bed. You are my wife. I'm sleeping here!"

"You're going to make me get up and find somewhere else to sleep? After what happened to me?" Her voice was soft, but it carried a warning note.

"No, you're going to sleep here. And so am I. You're always complaining that I don't pay any attention to you. Well tonight you get your wish."

He started to undress. As he removed an item, he let it fall wherever it landed.

"You want to have sex with a woman who just got out of the hospital? A woman whose face looks like this?" The warning note was stronger now.

He either didn't hear that warning, or ignored it.

"You do look like shit. I'll turn the light off."

That he acted just like the kind of man she'd mentioned to Cindy, earlier, made her respond with a hard edge to her voice.

"You need to get the fuck out of here," she wasn't warning him anymore. She was giving him advice.

He reached to rip the covers off of her.

"Well lookee here. Little Claire is buck naked. Better and better. First you get all kinky with that fake dick the bitch got you, and now you're sleeping in the raw. That's more like it. Your memory is gone, but that's fine. I'm going to remind you of what you should have been like. There's not going to be any more moaning and whining. Johnny's gonna make you squeal. Roll over. Did you know you love to take it up the ass?"

He moved towards her, stumbling over his own pants when his toe got caught in them.

How she reacted was instinctive. She was mildly surprised when her body seemed to know exactly what to do, and did it automatically. When he was in range, her foot lashed out and connected solidly with the tip of his chin. She felt the pain of a strained muscle in her thigh as her heel thudded firmly. His head snapped back so violently that she felt worried, especially when he collapsed like a bag of rocks, making not a single sound.

She rolled over to see him in a heap on the floor. He looked dead.

Painfully, she got out of bed and checked to see if he had a pulse. He did. She thought about just leaving him there, but then decided he'd just try to get in bed with her when he regained consciousness. She thought briefly about the irony of the fact that both people in the marriage had been knocked unconscious on the same day. There couldn't be that many couples who could tell that story.

In the end she dragged him by his feet into the living room. She wasn't even going to try to get him onto the couch, and she wasn't interested in looking for a spare bedroom. She did find the linen closet and got a blanket to cover him with. With luck he'd just sleep it off there on the floor. She hoped so.

She didn't want to have to cold cock him again.

She woke early, feeling clear-headed, but sore everywhere. Her face looked terrible, being tinted with what could have passed for modern art in yellow, purple, black and dark blue. It would be weeks before she'd be able to find out what she looked like on a normal day.

She didn't even remember John until she saw him on the floor during her search for the kitchen, and something to eat. He was still lying there, but had rolled over during the night.

She was working on a bowl of cantaloupe chunks and a helping of Special K when he stumbled into the kitchen.

"Oh, my fucking head," he groaned. "What happened? Why am I naked? And why did I sleep in the floor?"

She thought about how now they could say they'd both been knocked unconscious and lost their memories in the same day.

"You came home drunk and passed out on the floor," she tried.

"Fuck, my head hurts," he groaned, sitting down. His eyes landed on her face and widened. "Fuck! You got hit by a car!"

"At least you remember that," she said.

"And you have amnesia."

"Partial," she said. "I remember some things."

"That's good, I guess," he said, listlessly. "I need an aspirin."

He got up and went towards the bedroom.

"You need more than an aspirin," she muttered, under her breath.

He came back, wearing a pair of jockey shorts.

"Why are my clothes on the bedroom floor if I passed out in the living room?" he asked.

She decided that some things needed to be cleared up. Better to start this relationship with some clear ground rules. She knew he wasn't going to like that, but that was tough shit. He was a putz. If he deserved to be treated better than that, he was going to have to earn it.

"You came into the bedroom, stumbling drunk and decided you were going to fuck me in the ass," she said, calmly.

"What?" He was shocked. "I did not."

"You did."

"I wouldn't do something like that," he insisted. "You'd been hit by a car, for God's sake!"

"That's sort of how I looked at it," she said. "I objected, and told you to go sleep somewhere else."

"And I did?" He sounded hopeful. What he was hearing wasn't the sort of thing that a man should feel proud of.

"I had to help you," she said.

"Help me?"

"When you tried to force me, I kicked you in the chin. Did you know you have a glass jaw?"

"Fuck!" he said, explosively. "I'm sorry. Really. That's not the kind of man I am."

"I don't think we love each other very much," she said.

"You can't say that," he objected. "We're married!"

"That doesn't mean we love each other," she said. "I'm sure we did at some point, but things change. You haven't acted like you love me. Not since I woke up. And I don't feel any residual attraction toward you."

"That's just your amnesia," he insisted. "You're crazy about me."

"Is that why I bought a dildo?"

"You didn't buy that. Cindy got it for you for your birthday."

"That's not what Cindy says."

"Cindy can be ..."

"A bitch?" she suggested.

"Yes!" He jumped right on that.

"Now see there?" she said. "That's a lie. I've spent more time with Cindy since I woke up than I have with you. She has acted like a friend. She got me clothes to wear, and brought me home. She took care of me. And what did you do? You went back to work. You didn't come back after work to find out how I was. Instead, you went out and got sloshed. And when I was dragging you out of the bedroom, I smelled perfume on you. Cheap perfume. I don't think I wear cheap perfume, and you hadn't been near me all day. You didn't even know I'd been discharged from the hospital. Does that sound like someone who's madly in love with me?"

"It's not like that," he groaned. "I don't know what happened. Everything was fine, and then, somehow, nothing seemed interesting any more. And you were unhappy. I knew that, but I couldn't seem to figure out what to do. We were in love. I know we were. We can be again."

"Maybe," she said. "But not if you treat me like you did last night. And not if you're having an affair."

"I'm not having an affair!" he yipped. "Last night was just a fluke. I went out for a drink with Dave, at work. And we had a few too many and he had this number in his wallet to call and he called it and took me to a hotel. I didn't plan on doing anything."

"So she was only a hooker," said Claire. She was strangely uninterested in all this. John seemed like some guy she'd met somewhere, but barely knew. She realized she really didn't care if he frequented prostitutes or not.

"Yeah," he sighed. At least he looked like he felt guilty.

"Who you patronized before you came home and decided to force me to have anal sex," Claire observed.

"Fuck," he groaned. "I was drunk. I don't even remember whether I was able to have sex with that woman or not. I might not have."

It sounded to Claire like he might be trying to excuse his attempt to force her by saying the prostitute hadn't satisfied him.

"Sounds like it's a little late to be trying to revive the marriage," she said.

"Don't say that. We've both made mistakes. We shouldn't give up."

"Maybe I'll remember what my mistakes were," she said. "Unfortunately, I know what some of yours were. I don't remember what kind of woman I used to be, but I know I'm not the kind who will put up with that kind of thing from any husband."

"Come on, Claire," he pleaded. "Don't throw away seven good years just because you can't remember that you're flawed too."

"I'm not throwing away anything," she said. "You can't throw away something you can't ever remember having."

"You can't divorce me just because you got hit by a car!" he whined.

"I'm not going to divorce you," she said. "That would be precipitous. But I am going to watch you. As far as I'm concerned, we're roommates, sharing the same house. Maybe it can move beyond that. I don't know. The doctor seems to think I'll regain my memory. Maybe I'll remember some kind of feeling for you. In the meantime, you can do whatever you feel you need to do too. We'll see what happens."

"Okay," he sighed. "After what I did, I guess that's fair."

"Speaking of which," she added. "The world may see us as a married couple, and that's fine. But I'm not having sex with you and we sleep in separate beds. Clear?"

"I can do that," he said. He looked sheepish. "In a way, that's how things already were."

She started to say, "That's what I hear," but decided not to reveal that she'd learned that from Cindy. She was glad that his admission verified what her friend had told her, but sad that it was true. No married couple should find themselves in that situation.

"I sensed that," she said, and left it at that.

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