The Dildo That Stole Claire Bonneville's Memory
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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
the only things that had been salvaged after the accident.
like she made tons of money. Obviously,
her husband worked too, but they lived pretty close to the bone, by the
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
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
leaning back, and her eyes were closed, Cindy put the lid down on the
and sat down there.
"John must have
been the last one to use this," she said.
"The seat was
you can remember some things, and not others," said Cindy.
to tell me you loaned me money, and would like to be repaid," said
Then she was silent for so long that Claire
opened her eyes.
what we were talking about at lunch ... just before you got hurt?"
... I think so."
then," said Claire.
"You said you
cheated on your husband."
wider and she tensed, but then relaxed again.
feel like the kind of woman who cheats on her husband," said Claire.
Actually, after you said that, you yelled that you had used your new dildo and were thinking about another
while you did it. Then you dashed off,
hit that light pole,
The concept of
"dildo" was one of those holes in her memory the doctor had talked
"I got that
about using a dildo? It doesn't feel
like that should be considered as cheating."
"To you, that
have been cheating. I mean to 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
... old Claire ... would have looked at it.
She was a straight arrow."
it sounds like," said Claire. It
was strange, talking about this woman she didn't know, and realizing
actually talking about herself.
said Cindy. "You're a wonderful,
caring, sensitive woman. You just had a
strict upbringing, that's all."
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
finally agree with me that you're a foxy lady?"
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."
breathed Cindy. "You've definitely
have said she knew anything about men.
And she'd never have said anything like that turning
"So, sue me.
I got hit by a car."
the dildo," said Claire. "I'm
a ball buster. Men tend to shy away from
that kind of woman."
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
"And you know
"That's what we
were talking about at lunch," said Cindy, simply.
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,
letting the hotter water come closer.
"What does John
do?" she asked.
at the IKEA store across town," said Cindy. "Why?"
"How long have
celebrated your seventh anniversary three months ago.
"You answer one
more of my questions, and then I'll answer all of yours.
How long have I worked at ... wherever I
You've been there three years."
"Okay, I lied.
One more question."
Apparently the promise to answer all her
was enough to give Cindy patience.
"Where did I
before I started for Martin?"
"You were at
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?"
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
think it is, so that means I'm socking it all away so that, when I turn
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.
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
when I made my vows, I meant them. And
he knows that."
She stopped and
"I bet I
for everything under the sun."
"Not that I
of," said Cindy.
"You know me
well. What do I do in my spare
Cindy. "You run."
I just run?"
"You run miles
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
"Then maybe I
good," said Claire. She
blinked. "I wonder how I know
"I wonder lots
things about what you remember and don't," said Cindy.
"Thank you, by
way," said Claire.
welcome," said Cindy, automatically.
"For being a
friend. When I woke up, I thought you
were a bimbo. You're not.
Not at all."
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
work harder trying to keep me from stealing their husbands, than trying
undermine me and steal my job."
"Are you a
stealer?" Claire tried to
smile. "Do I think you're trying to
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
said Claire. "Corrupting me like
corrupting, or you were going to explode and do something crazy."
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
lurch into traffic."
"So what were
afraid I was going to do?"
"I was afraid
were going to get drunk at a party and yell at him in public," said
"We don't live
exciting lives," said Cindy.
"I guess not.
So who is this guy I was fantasizing about
while I took matters in hand?"
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
meet your boyfriend, when you blurted out that you didn't have one ...
thought about this guy while you used your dildo."
"Actually, you sort of screamed it."
"This was on
street ... in front of a lot of people?"
"And you were
surprised I took a dive into traffic?"
"Help me get
bandages off," said Claire, plucking ineffectually at the gauze
not to take them off. You're supposed to
go in and get them changed in two days."
"Help me get
off," said Claire. "I feel
like I'm being slowly smothered."
"I don't even
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
from me. I'm torture proof.
The government says so. They gave
me a top secret clearance,"
about that," said Cindy.
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
It had only
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
thought came to her.
"What time is
"Where do you
suppose my husband is? Does he work
Cindy. "I completely forgot about
"So have I,"
said Claire. "But I have a note
from the doctor that says I get to forget things. How
about your husband?"
I called him.
He said to spend as much time with you as I needed to, until I
convinced you'd be okay."
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
"You can go
Danny," said Claire. "Don't
you have to go to work tomorrow? What
day is it, anyway?"
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
you so I could give him the latest."
"Tell him I'm
the mend," said Claire. "Go on
"I get the
I don't care too much about that," said Claire.
"What if you
dizzy, or fall down or something?"
You put me to bed and then you can go home,
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
too," said Cindy. "Do you want
me to try to find John?"
"How would you
"I don't know.
the hospitals, maybe. Or the
"He's a big
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
I'll call you in the morning."
Cindy. You really are a good
"So are you,"
She kissed her
friend softly on the forehead and left.
Claire took one
pain pills she'd been sent home with, and, fifteen minutes later, she
disoriented, when the light suddenly came on.
Groggily, she raised her head to see John, standing there,
slightly, his eyes bleary.
The urge 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.
he said, sounding mildly surprised.
you." The urge was too strong, and
she added, "finally."
still be in the hospital," he said.
"But you didn't
there to find out," she observed.
Her previous intuition that he was a putz was reinforced.
worried. I needed a drink," he
"Looks like you
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."
I'm not leaving. I'm
going to bed."
"Maybe, but not
here. You can sleep out there somewhere.
"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."
shoulders. "I don't think so,"
he announced. "This is my bed.
You are my wife. I'm
make me get up and find somewhere else to sleep? After
what happened to me?" Her voice was soft,
but it carried a warning
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
sex with a woman who just got out of the hospital?
A woman whose face looks like
this?" The warning note was
that warning, or ignored it.
"You do look
shit. I'll turn the light off."
That he acted
the kind of man she'd mentioned to Cindy, earlier, made her respond
with a hard
edge to her voice.
"You need to
the fuck out of here," she wasn't warning him anymore. She was giving
He reached to
covers off of her.
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
stumbling over his own pants when his toe got caught in them.
How she reacted
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
firmly. His head snapped back so
violently that she felt worried, especially when he collapsed like a
rocks, making not a single sound.
She rolled over
him in a heap on the floor. He looked
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
he regained consciousness. She thought
briefly about the irony of the fact that both people in the marriage
knocked unconscious on the same day.
There couldn't be that many couples who could tell that story.
In the end she
him by his feet into the living room.
She wasn't even going to try to get him onto the couch, and she
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 cold cock him again.
She woke early,
clear-headed, but sore everywhere. Her
face looked terrible, being tinted with what could have passed for
in yellow, purple, black and dark blue.
It would be weeks before she'd be able to find out what she
on a normal day.
She didn't even
John until she saw him on the floor during her search for the kitchen,
something to eat. He was still lying
there, but had rolled over during the night.
She was working
bowl of cantaloupe chunks and a helping of Special K when he stumbled
"Oh, my fucking
head," he groaned. "What
happened? Why am I naked?
And why did I sleep in the floor?"
now they could say they'd both been knocked unconscious and lost
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
"At least you
remember that," she said.
"And you have
said. "I remember some
"That's good, I
guess," he said, listlessly.
"I need an aspirin."
He got up and
towards the bedroom.
"You need more
an aspirin," she muttered, under her breath.
He came back,
pair of jockey shorts.
"Why are my
on the bedroom floor if I passed out in the living room?" he asked.
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
bedroom, stumbling drunk and decided you were going to fuck me in the ass," she said,
He was shocked. "I
"I wouldn't do
something like that," he insisted.
"You'd been hit by a car, for God's sake!"
"That's sort of
I looked at it," she said. "I
objected, and told you to go sleep somewhere else."
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.
"When you tried
force me, I kicked you in the chin. Did
you know you have a glass jaw?"
said, explosively. "I'm sorry.
That's not the kind of man I am."
"I don't think
love each other very much," she said.
"You can't say
that," he objected. "We're
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
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
"Cindy can be
"A bitch?" she
He jumped right on that.
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."
said. "But not if you treat me like
you did last night. And not if you're
having an affair."
"I'm not having
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
took me to a hotel. I didn't plan on
"So she was
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.
sighed. At least he looked like
he felt guilty.
before you came home and decided to force me to have anal sex," Claire
groaned. "I was drunk.
I don't even remember whether I was able to
have sex with that woman or not. I might
It sounded to
like he might be trying to excuse his attempt to force her by saying
prostitute hadn't satisfied him.
little late to be trying to revive the marriage," she said.
that. We've both made mistakes.
We shouldn't give up."
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
Claire," he pleaded. "Don't
throw away seven good years just because you can't remember that you're
away anything," she said. "You
can't throw away something you can't ever remember having."
me just because you got hit by a car!" he whined.
"I'm not going
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."
sighed. "After what I did, I guess
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
"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
that," she said, and left it at that.
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