Chapters : 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | Epilogue
Bob had a
sister and two brothers and, while all of them got married and had kids, he
never did. It wasn't that he wasn't interested in women. He was plenty
interested. But he never seemed to run into a woman who he felt so strongly
about that he'd give up all the others and become a one-woman man.
That was all
fine and good when he was in college and young and buff and lots of women found
him attractive. Add a dozen or so years, though, and he suddenly found himself in a
world where the hot women (his age) were all married and he was living a life
more like a monk than a stud.
complain about it, though. If he was a monk he was a randy, naughty one. You
see, it turned out that when you're at the top of your class and get an IT
degree from a technical college, that college might hire you to work on their
equipment. That seems counterintuitive until you realize actual work is way
below the pay grade of the instructors (as they see it) and you don't want
less-than-fully-trained students working on your very important IT
infrastructure. So Bob was on contract to do upkeep on the school's equipment.
He wasn't a staff member, so he got to flirt with all the coeds as much as he
wanted. It also turned out that some young women recognized that an
older man (relatively speaking) can offer certain advantages to a girl "on
the prowl" who isn't looking for a committed relationship. Not at that
point in her life.
To be clear,
"girls who go wild" still expect to eventually find a guy closer to
their age to hook up with for the purpose of having children and making a home
and all that. But that's in the future, and getting involved with men their age
can often lead to commitment issues they aren't ready to face, yet. Some of
them are, however, more than willing to get their itch scratched by a
guy who's eight or nine years older than they are, and whose stomach isn't so
flat anymore ... and who doesn't care about commitment.
women were wrong, though. Bob did want to find a life mate he could grow
old with. He was just very picky about making sure he chose the right woman.
Assuming he ever ran into her. He knew he was fortunate to get the attention of
hot, young girls, who wanted to play bedroom games, and sure, he knew that the
fact that a few of those horny young women would come back for seconds or
thirds meant they liked him, but as soon as anything close to serious feelings developed they ran for the
he was alone. Basically, he was lone-ly.
why Bob Carpenter masturbated a lot. And by a lot, I mean twice a day, most
days, unless he had a date with one of those hot girls.
is insidious, in that it is easy, quick, and uncomplicated, and the variety of
women you can think about while you do it is infinite. It's easy to get into
the habit of jerking off, rather than going to the effort to get a real woman
in bed. There are men who actually get to the point of "Who needs women? I
got everything I need on the end of my arm."
with all that is that humans need interpersonal relationships in their lives,
even if those are short term and complicated. We need the closeness that brings
hugs and kisses and all that. That's why having a ton of Facebook friends
doesn't replace having one or two you can sit with and be close to on a
brings us to the thing that happened between Bob and Erica. Erica was his
niece, his sister-in-law's daughter. Erica had three brothers, all older than
she was, and they'd made her life tough. Erica was just fourteen, at the point
where things between Bob and her changed.
weren't obvious, at first. Julie had married Bob's brother, Paul. While still
in high school Paul popped the question and, just after they graduated, Julie's
parents moved to a retirement complex. Her mother had early onset Alzheimer's
and her father insisted on being with her to help care for her. So Julie was given
the family home, which was good for them because it was paid for, a big plus to
a young couple starting out in married life. Not that they were married, yet. Paul
had his life all mapped out in a way that would allow him to get married and
support his wife. He joined the Marine Corps as soon as he was out of high
school. Julie was already pregnant when he graduated from Marine boot camp and
they had one of those ornate military weddings, with the tunnel of swords and
all that. Bob was a year younger than Paul and, of course, knew Julie because
his brother had dated her for almost a year. He was Paul's best man. One of Paul's
classmates also stood up with him at the wedding. While Paul went off to be a Marine, Julie stayed there, in the house.
later, when Bob got his high school diploma, he stayed in town, too. He went to
the local technical college and learned all about computers and web design. He
was the star pupil and the college recruited him as soon as he got his degree
(from them) to keep their computer infrastructure and web site up to snuff. He
bought a house cheap that had been repossessed by a bank. It was run down, but
in a nice part of town, about five blocks from his brother and sister-in-law's
out to be important, because for the next twelve years, while Paul was off
"meeting interesting people and killing them", as he loved to quip,
Bob was around to help with Chad, their first child and then twin boys named
Robby and Randy, and finally a cute little girl named Erica.
sniper killed Paul in Afghanistan.
Julie's grief, and made a point of being available to her for whatever was
needed. Mostly that was riding herd on the kids while Julie dealt with all the
red tape that results when a person dies.
As time went
on Chad made some spending money by mowing Bob's lawn and raking his leaves and
those kinds of chores. When Chad became a senior, and was involved in varsity
sports, he was no longer interested in wanting Bob to hire him. Robby and
Randy, the twins, were juniors but had no interest in mowing lawns and such.
Erica was thirteen at this point, and to be honest, Bob didn't consider asking
her if she was interested in replacing her older brother's efforts.
If you were
to look at Julie and Erica standing side by side you wouldn't think they were
related. Julie's body was lush and she was athletic. She played softball when
she was young and still had that buff-but-feminine physique that draws a man's
eye. She was obviously highly-sexed, too, since she got pregnant even before
she married Paul and then started popping out babies at a prodigious rate.
the other hand, was thin, with no hips and flat as a board. Even at fourteen
she was willowy and when men looked at her, they thought "cute"
rather than "young woman with sexual potential." She wasn't, however,
a fainting damsel in distress. With three older brothers tormenting her on a
fairly constant basis, she was tough and wiry, with muscles that didn't show
through her smooth skin. She was definitely a tomboy, but never good enough at
sports that she got respect from her brothers.
was because Julie told them to "watch out for" their little sister,
or whether it was just instinct, they "protected" their sister like
the Taliban protects its women. They loved her and cared about her, but their
paternalistic behavior towards her was stifling. Even Bob saw that, but he
didn't worry about it because she was just a little girl.
behavior, however, played a substantial part in why her relationship with Bob
became so important.
died Bob became the rock Julie needed to lean on for the first year or so. Chad
was twelve at the time and he tried to become "the man of the house"
but he was way out of his depth. Losing his father was traumatic enough. He
didn't want to lose his support systems, too, which meant that his teammates at
school became more important than they had been. The twins were just kids, too,
and had their own difficulties in processing the death of their father. Erica
was almost ten, and her father's death set her adrift in the ocean that was the
world. Julie threw herself into supporting the kids, emotionally, and that
mission was probably what saved her from depression. Bob wasn't a professional,
but that's what he thought.
in all this was to help out, but mostly to just be there. Paul's job had kept
him away from home a lot, so not having an adult male around was something they
were all used to, on one level. Bob had filled that role, too - adult male role
model - but he didn't try to take Paul's place. Still, he spent a lot of time
with the kids both before and after Paul died. He was there to do things with
the kids, mostly, and take their minds off of things for a little while. Julie
had a lot to do in terms of legal issues, notifications, taking his name off of
credit cards, bank accounts and car titles, and a dozen other things, so he
kept the kids busy while she took care of all that. Later, he was just an adult
male they could talk to if they needed someone. That included Julie, who
thought of him as "brother" rather than "brother-in-law."
significant event during all of this was Paul's burial. That might seem like a
"Duh" thing to say, but when they presented the flag to Julie and the
coffin was lowered into the cold ground, the group hug that they all shared
made instant bonds that were still strong as steel. The six of them became one
As the years
passed, the boys were nicer to their sister, but "nicer" is still a
relative term. What should be said is that they cared more about her on a
conscious level than they had in the past. She was still excluded from joining
the boys in their sports pursuits, but that was a function of latent misogyny
rather than a logical assessment of her talent and ability. Why Julie never got
her into girls' softball was unclear. Maybe, as a single mom of a bunch of
teenagers, she had too much to do to think about that. Maybe it was because the
boys' pursuits didn't need much supervision or time on her part. Being a
softball mom, on the other hand, takes a lot of time.
hard to rise to the level where her brothers would include her, and that's
where Bob came in. He exchanged tosses of the football with her, and got one of
those basketball goals that's portable, in theory. Once you fill the base with
sand and water it becomes almost impossible to move, but that didn't matter
because he put it on the side of his driveway. He lowered the basket to eight
feet and Erica spent hours shooting hoops with him. They went running together,
too. Julie had kept running as part of her private physical fitness regimen,
but she was one of those runners who doesn't play well with others while
engaged in that pursuit. She liked to set her own pace, and if she ran with
anyone else she had to speed up (rarely) or slow down (usually) and she didn't
like that. Bob, on the other hand, only ran because Erica loved to run. She ran
circles around him, literally, but she didn't mind because she talked nonstop
while she was doing it. His side of those conversations consisted mostly of
grunts because he needed all the air in his lungs just to keep going.
Erica is why
he didn't go to fat as he got older. He didn't love it at the time, but he knew
it was good for him. More importantly, it was good for her.
while they shot hoops, too, and while they sat on his porch drinking lemonade
during breaks. The twins were never interested in mowing his lawn, like their
older brother had. They were into video games and soccer and were inseparable.
When Erica asked if she could earn money by mowing his lawn, she was still almost too
light to muscle the mower around the yard, but she set her mind to it and, at
thirteen, became his gardener.
All this is
to establish (again in a long-winded kind of way) that Erica and Bob were
buddies, who could (and had) talk about anything. They had this free and easy
relationship that was comfortable and important to both of them. They spent a
lot of time together and Bob was intimately aware of all her trials and
troubles. Most of those were little things, from an adult's perspective, but
Bob knew how serious they were to her, so he gave her advice, and they assessed
together how good that advice was. Assuming she followed it, of course.
for example, that the girls in her class made fun of her because she didn't
even need to wear a training bra. Julie had gotten her one, but Bob thought it
was more from a sense of motherly duty than any real need. Erica had bumps,
rather than breasts. That was her own assessment, by the way, and not his. Her
"friends" all had bulging breasts and rounded hips and Erica had
neither. Some of those girls looked like they were sixteen or older. That was Bob's
assessment, by the way.
Up to the
point that this is all getting to, Bob was like other men when he looked at
Erica. She was "cute" rather than "a young woman with sexual
potential," as mentioned before. She had big eyes, a pug nose, a spray of
freckles across that nose, and an almost dainty appearance. She didn't act
"dainty" of course, but that's how she looked to someone who didn't
Then one day
not long after her fourteenth birfthday, she appeared on his doorstep and he
could tell she was depressed. It was summer, and her only comment when she
drifted in through his door, was, "You got anything I can do to make some
much money do you want to earn?" Bob asked.
don't know. How much does makeup cost?"
that something you should ask your mother?" Bob suggested.
doesn't wear much makeup. She doesn't need it," was Erica's reply.
you think you do?"
curious. Erica had never seemed to be interested in "girly" things
don't boys notice me?" she asked, abruptly.
you think they don't?" Bob asked.
you always answer my questions with another question?" she growled.
just trying to get enough information to figure out exactly what we're talking
about," he said, grinning.
we're talking about is that boys slaver over Cindy Thompson and Emma Parks and
Cathy Richardson, and nobody even leers at me," she complained.
you want boys to leer at you?" he said.
they hang around those girls the guys all get boners," said Erica,
frankly. "Nobody ever got a boner for me."
shocked. While the array of things Erica and he had discussed was wide and
deep, there had never been anything along these lines. Sure, he knew her
friends were mean about her physique, but he thought of that as normal
childhood cruelty, rather than a comment on her sexuality.
think this conversation needs lemonade," he said. Their deepest, most
important discussions seemed to take place while they were sitting on the porch
don't want to make a big deal out of this," she complained. "I just
want to know why boys don't notice me."
be happy to discuss this with you," he said, "but it's going to get
complicated. Do you have time to get into a complicated discussion?"
all day," she said. "Mom's busy washing all the curtains in the house and I can't talk about this to my
he said. "Porch or living room?"
getting hot out," she said. She went to his recliner and flopped down on
it, cycling the mechanism until she was practically lying down. Bob sat in an
overstuffed chair that he'd gotten at the Goodwill store when he first got the
house. It had an ottoman that went with it. He looked at his niece and, for the
first time, tried to evaluate her as a female of the species, with all the
baggage that carries with it.
What Bob saw
was a girl who was not arranged in a modest or ladylike posture. One of her
legs was straight and the other bent at the knee, which was flopped sideways.
She was wearing cargo shorts that he suspected were hand-me-downs from a
brother. They were too big for her and they were held on by a belt cinched
tightly around her waist. The leg opening of the bent-knee side gaped and he got
a clear shot of white panties with little red, blue and yellow flowers on them.
Her T shirt was several years old and tight on her adolescent body. Her
"bumps" were mere swells, but there were bumps on the bumps
that suggested there were puffy nipples causing them.
at him from an elfin face, framed by wisps of hair that had escaped being
included in her ponytail. He was startled to realize that her lips looked full
and soft. She was chewing gently on the lower one.
Bob saw potential. She was killer cute and he suddenly wondered why boys didn't
course, they did and she just wasn't aware of it.
to take that tack, and that, brothers and sisters, is what changed both their
makes you think boys don't notice you?" he asked.
makes you think they do?" she shot back. She was using his
very cute," he said, diplomatically.
It sounded like she was scoffing.
Bob said. "You're easy on the eyes."
the heck does that mean?"
is where it gets complicated," he said. "When a man looks at a woman,
there are some things that happen instantly, and things that evolve, over time.
The instant things involve putting the woman in one of several categories. The
things that evolve are what changes a woman's category."
proud of himself for making something so complicated sound simple.
she ordered. "What are the categories?"
one category is that she's interesting on an ... um …" he stopped. The next
words in his mind were "sexual level" but he wasn't comfortable
saying that to her. "He's interested in getting to know her better. You
know, go out on dates and all that," he substituted.
mean he wants to bone her," said his precocious niece.
did you hear that term?" he asked. He was surprised; nay, astonished.
she said. "When he talks to his friends, they all talk about who they want
pretty sure Chad didn't know his little sister was listening in on such
conversations. But she was, and she had knowledge that, before this, he hadn't
thought she had. He realized this was going to be a more adult conversation
than he had originally intended to get involved in.
out to be the most adult conversation they'd ever had.
he said. "We can use that as one category. That happens on an unconscious
level, at first. When a man sees a woman, she's either in that category or
never am," she sighed.
of all, being in that category may not be a great thing," he said.
"Like, for instance, if a man sees a married woman and he puts her in that
category, it's not helpful to either of them."
not married," she said, her voice flat.
also fourteen," he said. "Why would you even want a guy to
want to bone you?"
didn't say I want guys to want to bone me," she moaned. "I just want
them to be interested in me."
how?" he asked.
know," she groaned. "I want them to like me, and want to take me out
thought you weren't allowed to date, yet."
not, but that's not the point!"
course it's the point," he said. "It's exactly the point. You want to
be in the category which for lack of a better term, we'll call 'potential
don't think that's a word, Uncle Bob."
for us. That category is when a guy thinks there might, at some future time, be
a relationship in which boning will occur."
it that all guys think about is boning?" she complained.
just Mother Nature," he said. "Look. Nature is responsible for that
instant categorization. Nature wants the species to go on and the way that
happens with most organisms is sexual reproduction. So when men look at women,
the first thing that happens is deciding whether that woman is a potential mate
or not. If the answer is 'not' then he looks on, at other women. No sense
wasting time on a non-bonee. If the answer is 'yes' then he tries to figure out
a way to mate with her. You can't avoid that. It's just Nature."
we're not just animals," she complained. "I mean we are
animals, but we have brains and can think and reason. We can rise above
those natural instincts."
right, to a degree, but you have to understand that underlying everything we do
are our natural instincts. They motivate us and they affect how we reason and
act. It is for that very reason that I know boys notice you."
but they all put me in the 'no bonings going on here' category."
I would suggest that it's a little early in your life to want guys to slaver
all over you in that way," he said. "Imagine if there were two or
three guys who all wanted to bone you. They'd be after you all the time. If you
could go on dates, they'd want to get you alone so they could hit on
you. You'd have to push their hands away from your girly parts and resist their
relentless attempts to get in your panties and all that. Does that sound like
fun to you?"
there other categories, where a guy is interested in a girl but doesn't want to
go all caveman on her?"
he said. "One category is friendship. It's like you and me. We're friends.
We don't want to bone each other, but we like spending time together and we're
close and all that."
she said. Bob could see her mulling that over. "What else?"
there's a category that is disinterest. He isn't interested in her at all and
isn't likely to get interested."
the category I'm in with all the boys I know," she sighed.
think you're wrong," he insisted. "Part of why this gets complicated
is that some guys are aggressive in their response, but other guys are shy.
They're interested, but don't have the courage to approach the girl they're
interested in. Is there a boy you've noticed and are interested
sort of ... I guess."
you've gone up to him and talked to him, right?"
way!" she said. "I don't want to get laughed at!"
you have just proved my point. What if John Simmons feels the exact same way
about you do that you feel about him?"
if he doesn't?" she said.
will you know if you don't try to find out. And if you do, and you don't mesh,
then you tried and it didn't work out," he said. "Relationships
always involve some risk, but it's worth the risk when you run across someone
you're compatible with. If you never try, though, then you'll never meet
not looking for mister right," she snorted. "I just want a guy
to get a boner for me, that's all."
did all this boner stuff come from, anyway?" he asked. "Why are
boners suddenly important to you?"
for a moment, but then explained.
at the swimming pool yesterday, and Carly Richardson and I were in the changing
room. She left before I did, and when I got to the door Wally Brown had her up
against the wall and was talking about how he had a boner for her and rubbing
all over her. He's her boyfriend and she was laughing and pushing on him but it
was obvious she liked it. I stood there and watched while he humped her and
they didn't even notice me!"
you want some guy to treat you like that?" he asked.
she groaned. "I just want some guy to want to treat me like
she didn't know quite where to land on the 'wanting a guy to want to bone her'
thing, but he also realized he was dealing with an adolescent girl, with all
the hormones that rage through the veins of adolescent girls. Logic is not
involved. Just hormones. And maybe a little blood. Some oxygen is
required to keep the organism alive, but the bulk seems to be hormones.
boys who want to do that to you," he said with intentional firmness in his
voice. "They're just too chicken to approach you about it."
on, Uncle Bob," she sneered. "I'm not like Carly. I don't have boobs.
If I don't wear a belt my pants fall off. Why would any boy want to hump
don't understand," he said. "This is where things get complicated. There's
a category for women who are interesting because of things other than their
body. A woman's personality can make her attractive and it doesn't matter what
she looks like. Guys want to be around her because she's fun and ... well ... just
interesting. And what complicates all this even more is that there are guys who
prefer women with small breasts. You have the kind of build that some
guys go after. You don't have to have big boobs for a guy to be interested in
you. Some guys notice a woman's legs, or her butt, or whatever. You don't need
to look like Carly to get a guy. I promise you that."
this one of those times you're saying things just to make me feel better? I
didn't come here for BS, Uncle Bob."
you there are guys who find you sexy and would love to hump you," he
groaned. He didn't really think about what he was saying. He just said it to
she said, folding her arms across her flat chest. "Prove it!"
I supposed to prove that?" he asked.
don't know. Find a guy who wants to hump me."
on, Erica. How in the world could I do that? You want me to walk up to every
guy we see and ask him," Bob lowered his voice and made it raspy, "See
that girl over there? You want to bone her, man?" He tried a grin.
"That would go over like a lead balloon, don't you think?"
her chin out. She wasn't letting up.
don't care how you do it. You find me one guy who gets a boner for me and I'll
believe you. Otherwise, you're full of sh-" She stopped. "Crap,"
did I become the bad guy?" he complained. "All I did was tell you
there are guys who think you're sexy!"
but you can't show me one!" she challenged. A tear welled from one
eye and ran down her cheek. "It's all bull shit!"
shocked by her use of the full term. He knew his sister was death on cussing at
home. There was a cuss jar, but it didn't cost people any measly quarter or
dollar. If you were fined for cursing at the Carpenter home it cost you five
bucks. And it applied to any friends her kids brought home, too. If they didn't
pay up, they were banned from the home.
he sighed, opening his arms. "C'mere."
She got up
and walked to him on wooden legs as he stood, too. Her stiffness evaporated,
though, and she melted against him once he wrapped his arms around her. His
nose pushed into her hair as he murmured that it would be okay. Her arms went
around him as he inhaled the scent of her shampoo, or conditioner. His hand
slid across the back of her shirt and felt no bra strap.
it was kismet, or something else, Bob Carpenter got an erection. It happened so
quickly, and without any thought at all, that he wasn't prepared for it. That
and the fact that he felt such empathy for his young, wounded niece added to
the fact that she was crying, and perhaps it warped his brain a little. Bob was
a basket case around any woman who cried. He always had been.
reason, Bob identified his erection as the answer to a problem. He didn't think
about it first. If he had, he almost certainly wouldn't have done what he did.
But he did
for her hand and molded it over the lump in his trousers.
There's your proof. When I hugged you, I got a boner for you. I think you're
instantly he recognized his actions as insanity. He jerked her hand away and
stepped back, trying to separate himself from her.
sorry, Erica!" he gasped. "I don't know why I did that!"
however, had not let go of him with the arm that was still around him. Her hand
had felt the long, hardish thing and her brain, which hadn't been quite ready
for that scenario, was just now catching up. Her hand had, in fact, been in the
act of squeezing, to explore this thing it felt, when it was jerked away by the
same hand that had pushed it there in the beginning. In her brain, the exercise
was unresolved ... incomplete ... merely a trailer for the movie.
He was terrified that he'd just ruined his relationship with his niece - and
possibly his sister-in-law - forever.
go!" yelled Erica, shaking her hand loose from his unconscious grip.
As soon as
she was free, her hand zoomed back to the front of his slacks and behaved like
a little Pacman, opening and closing, as if it was trying to eat through the
cloth, until she found, again, his erection.
Now she let
go with the other arm and stepped back, without releasing her grip on the hard
shaft in her grip. She leaned down to peer at the front of his pants.
way!" she squealed.
sorry, Baby," he groaned. He didn't know what to do with his hands and
they waved at his sides. "It just happened. I didn't mean it!"
it's not for me," she said, steel in her voice as she looked up at
him from her semi-bent over posture. She stood, but still didn't let go.
"It's for some other woman?"
he blurted. By now his brain was turning to mush.
for me?" She leaned toward him and squeezed.
he gasped. "But it shouldn't be!"
for me?!" she yipped, obviously excited now. "Show me!"
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