Tales of Cougar Ridge Pt. 05 – AC Man

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Chapter 1

Laughter and happy chatter echoed through the sunroom and kitchen of the Dillon house as Maggie and her old friend, Trisha Lincoln, caught up on the happenings in one another’s lives over the past months. The two hadn’t had a chance to talk since the Christmas holidays when the Lincoln family came to spend a few weeks in their vacation house in Cougar Ridge, west of Denver. The Dillons, Maggie and her husband Roger, lived there year round. In fact, Maggie had been the president of the Home Owner’s Association as long as anyone could remember and Roger was the maintenance man and groundskeeper for the public areas in the subdivision. Roger also had been hired by a few of the nonresident homeowners to care for their lawns and sidewalks as they were rarely present to do so.

The ladies were well into their second cup of tea on this quiet Monday morning. Cell phones had been busy retrieving pictures of grandchildren. Information and a healthy dose of gossip had been shared regarding common acquaintances and family members. Trisha asked, “and how is Roger? Was he able to keep up with the snow last winter?”

“Oh, yes,” Maggie answered. “He complains a lot but he is actually doing very well.”

“Well, my lawn and the grounds look very nice so I assumed he is able to take care of all the lawns and landscaping duties.”

“Mmmhmmm, I think he looks older than me but he is actually handling his age better than I am.”

Trisha sipped her tea as she considered that comment. “Nothing wrong with your health, I hope?”

“No, no. Just the aging process. You know what I mean.”

“I certainly do! I don’t understand it,” Trisha said with a smile, “old age keeps giving me new stuff.”

Maggie took the bait. “New stuff? Like what?”

“Oh, you know, new wrinkles, new sags, new aches and pains, and new pounds. I hate it!” They both chuckled as Maggie agreed.

“How about, Bob, is he hanging in there?” Maggie asked.

Trisha considered a moment before answering. Maggie noticed the pause and assumed Trisha was deciding how complete an answer she should give. “He’s doing pretty well. Nothing big healthwise. The doctor keeps telling him to lose some weight and to exercise more but he never does it.” Bob had always been a stocky guy that tended to being overweight. He managed the family carpet and flooring business in Colorado Springs and his work dominated the time that he should have spent on his fitness.

Maggie replied with sincere concern. “I’m sorry. I know that makes it hard on you-“

Trisha replied just a bit too quickly and cut off Maggie’s full statement. “Yes, it really does.”

They paused to savor their tea for a moment. The gaiety in the room had been dampened a bit.

“I was just going to say that it makes it hard on you because I’m sure you worry about him,” Maggie tried again.

Trisha had taken the earlier statement a different way but she agreed with Maggie, still reluctant to go deeper into this aspect of their life.

Maggie was an intelligent lady and knew her friend well. She knew that Trisha wasn’t telling all that was on her mind so she thought she would inquire once more to see if Trisha would open up. If her friend resisted again, Maggie would move to another subject. “I’m sure that it is hard on you in other ways, too, besides just your concern for him, isn’t it?”

Even though they only saw each other a handful of times each year Trisha trusted Maggie. Besides, she really did want to tell someone how she felt. “Oh, Maggie, you’re right. And I’m so selfish. I mean, yes, I’m concerned for Bob. I want him to be healthy and I want him to live a long while. I love him!” She swirled her tea in the cup as her mind worked. “But the selfish side of him is sad because of how much our relationship has deteriorated. The romance is gone. The … the… the PHYSICAL side of things is nonexistent.” She looked into Maggie’s face. “Am I a horrible person or what? Maybe all couples our age see their sex life fade away.”

“Oh, Trisha! I’m so sorry to hear that! And you’re not a horrible person at all!”

“Well, I feel horrible. I feel like a horny old lady that only cares about herself.”

“You care about Bob, I know you do. And, besides, there’s nothing wrong with looking out for yourself a bit.” Maggie tried to reassure. “It’s only natural that you’re concerned for your own needs.”

“I don’t know, Maggie, here I am a mother… a GRANDmother… for god’s sake! And I’m still concerned about sex. I’m not sure that’s normal.”

Maggie smiled, finally feeling that she had a bit of a grasp of her friend’s concerns. “Well, I’ll tell ya what, Gramma, THIS grandmother still likes sex and I’d be VERY frustrated if I wasn’t getting any.”

Trisha chuckled a bit. “Thank you for that. I’m not sure you mean it but it makes me feel better anyway.”

“You better believe I mean it!” Maggie retorted. “I don’t get it, nor do I want it, as often as I used to but I still love it.”

“Well, it has been literally Kartal escort years since I’ve had any. I really do miss it.”

“Have you said anything to Bob about it? I’ve read about all sorts of drugs and devices. I’m sure there is a solution.”

Trisha considered her words carefully. “You’ve got to keep this just between us. I’ve never told anyone this before. OK?” Maggie nodded assent. “The last few times, and this was years ago, that we tried to have sex Bob couldn’t… couldn’t… perform. We started but after just a minute or two he couldn’t continue. I thought it was because he didn’t find me attractive anymore. I’m not exactly a beauty queen.” Trisha was a large woman. She had some extra weight but she was very solid as opposed to flabby. She had broad hips and a large chest. She had blue eyes and kept her shoulder length hair colored blond.

“You’re a beautiful woman!” Maggie argued. “And since we’re speaking in confidence here, I’ll just say for the record that Roger and I used to have sex three or four times a week. We still do it once a week and sometimes twice.”

“Right now, I’d be thrilled with four or five times a YEAR,” Trisha responded. “Anyway, after that second time we neither one wanted to talk about it. Looking back, I’m sure Bob was embarrassed and, for my part, I didn’t want to hear him say that I was unattractive.”

“After a couple of years, I tried to bring up the subject. I asked him if he would like for me to change my hair, if he’d like to diet with me, if he wanted me to get some sort of plastic surgery. He just grumbled something about how everything was “fine and don’t worry about it.”

“That had to be hard for you,” Maggie said sympathetically.

“Yes, it was very hard. It was hard and it was frustrating and it kinda hurt. I waited a few months and I tried to research online. One night I decided I’d try the old classic seduction one more time. I dressed in what I thought was a sexy outfit without being, you know, slutty. I fixed his favorite meal. We watched one of his favorite movies and, at bedtime, I let him use the bathroom first, then I put on some lingerie. He was laying in bed when I stepped out of the bathroom and I said, in a playful/sexy sorta way, ‘wanna fool around, big fella?'” Maggie observed Trisha brush a tear from her eye. “He just said, in a really disgusted voice, ‘don’t you think we’re a little too old for that?’ I was crushed and I’ve basically given up.” She fought back a sob. “I don’t know what else I can do.”

Maggie reached across the table and took Trisha’s hand in hers to lend a physical element to her support. “I am positive, Trisha, that the problem isn’t with you or how you look. The problem is with Bob and we know how men are: they hate to ask for directions or for help.”

“In my heart, I know you’re right.”

Maggie continued in the same vein, “They won’t ask for help and they won’t even open up enough to admit that there is a problem.”

“You’re exactly right,” Trisha agreed, “and I keep hoping that he’ll come to his senses. I don’t want to let myself be as stubborn as he is. He’s really a good man and a good father.”

Maggie nodded agreement. “I know he is.”

“It would devastate the family if he and I were to split up and, especially at our ages, I don’t want that.” Both ladies were silent, lost in their thoughts, for a few moments before Trisha continued. “But, I feel like I have certain responsibilities to myself, too. I crave the warmth of another human being in my arms and I miss the passion of sex.” She looked into the eyes of her friend, “I’m sure you can imagine that I’ve been trying for a long time to take care of those needs alone but toys and my own fingers are a poor substitute.”

“Yes, they aren’t even close to the real thing,” Maggie said softly.

“So,” Trisha sighed, “the next question is ‘what am I gonna do?’ I don’t want to leave him. I am not satisfied with the status quo. What will I do?”

Maggie searched Trisha’s eyes before she asked, “have you found someone?”

“No, I haven’t. I mean I haven’t done anything in the REAL WORLD. I have corresponded with a few guys online. I know I could find someone that would meet with me but I’m afraid to cross that bridge. I mean, I would do it if I was SURE that the guy could be discrete.” Maggie didn’t interrupt. “Of course, there is the obvious risk: that he would not keep the secret and the family find out. But, what if he gave me a disease or something? I just don’t know what to do.”

The friends were silent, each mulling over the conversation. Trisha finally broke the silence, “Tell me the truth, Maggie, do you think I’m awful for having these thoughts?”

“I’ve already told you. Of course not!”

“Let me put it a different way. If you were in my situation, would YOU cheat on Roger?”

Maggie considered carefully before answering, “I honestly don’t know what I’d do. I’m just thankful that I don’t have to make that decision for myself. I will say, this, Kurtköy Escort however, I don’t blame you one bit for what you’re thinking and I am totally supportive of you no matter what you decide to do.”

“Oh, Maggie, thank you! I feel so much better just sharing this with someone. I’ve kept this all inside me for so long that I was driving myself crazy.” Trisha stood and carried her cup to the sink. “You’re a wonderful friend and I am very glad we had this talk.”

Maggie, a small woman with short brown hair, stood and gave her larger friend a long hug. “Let’s not wait so long to have our next talk.”

“Why don’t you come over this afternoon. I’m here all week to get the house ready for the entire family to arrive Saturday. Some of us are going to spend just a couple days and some of us will be here all next week.”

“Wonderful! The ‘entire family’ is coming? Does that mean Robert and Rose are coming too?” Robert and Rose were Bob’s parents. They had started the family business many years ago and they had purchased the house in Cougar Ridge before Trisha met Bob.

“No, they won’t be here. Robert celebrated his 85th last month and Rose is on oxygen all the time now. They don’t get out much. But Bobby and Jennifer will be here for the weekend with their kids. Rene and Kevin will be here Saturday and they are planning to stay all of next week.” Bobby is Trisha’s son and Jennifer is his wife. They have two children. Rene is Bob’s sister. Kevin is Rene’s second husband. Rene has two children from a previous marriage.

“You’ll have a houseful over there! Let us know if you need more room. We have a couple of spare bedrooms here,” Maggie volunteered.

“Thank you but I think we can manage.” With that the friends parted ways.

Chapter 2

Trisha went back to her house and set about getting the place ready for the family. She opened some windows and put some curtains in the washer. She made a list of the food she needed and, while the curtains washed, she made the short drive into Silver Springs. The little town only had one grocery store. She found her needed items and noticed that they had some bedding plants. She purchased a few blooming plants thinking that she could put them in the flower beds.

By late afternoon the Lincoln house was smelling fresh. The second load of curtains was in the dryer and a good number of the windows had been washed. Trisha had gloves, a visor and sunglasses as she used a trowel to plant some of the newly acquired flowers in a bed on the shady side of the house. “Those look wonderful,” Maggie complimented as she walked near.

“Thank you. I really like some color in the flower beds rather than just the weeds. Makes it look like someone cares,” Trisha replied. “Hang on a few minutes and we can go inside and find something cool to drink.”

“Take your time. It feels pleasant here in the shade,” Maggie said. She watched Trisha dig a hole and skillfully transfer a plant from its small plastic container to the flower bed. “I haven’t been able to get our conversation from this morning out of my mind.”

“Me either. Thank you for listening. Thank you for CARING. I hope I haven’t burdened you with my problems,” Trisha said.

“Not at all! I feel like this has really deepened our friendship.”

Trish nodded, “I agree. Whole heartedly!”

They were silent a moment as Trish started to plant another flower. Maggie spoke, “I had a thought. I’m not sure you’ll like it and I’m not sure it is proper of me to suggest it.” She shrugged her shoulders. “It is JUST a thought so take it for what it is worth.”

Trisha paused and looked intently at Maggie. “I promise to do that. I value your thoughts and ideas. So what are you thinking?”

“Well,” Maggie started slowly, “did you ever meet Helen Drake?”

Trisha searched her memory. “No, I can’t call her to mind. Should I know her?”

“Not necessarily. She and her husband Monte grew up here and live in Silver Springs. He runs an appliance and air conditioning repair service. She always kept the books and scheduled his appointments.”

“Bob might know them but I don’t think I do. I don’t think we’ve ever had any appliance work done here,” Trisha shook her head in the negative.

“Helen and my younger sister were best of friends growing up so I’ve known Helen most of my life. We used to bowl together and became quite good friends. In fact, Helen and I would get together every few weeks just to chat.” Trisha was listening intently trying to figure out how this story could possibly tie in with her non-existent sex life. Maggie continued, “Helen’s is a very sad story. About three years ago she was walking to the post office one day when she suddenly just dropped to the ground. She had a massive stroke!”

“Oh, no! That IS sad,” Trisha sympathized. “Did she die? Has she recovered?”

“No, she didn’t die and the doctors say she will never recover. There was some hope at first but it quickly dissipated. The brain damage was just Maltepe Escort too severe. Monte tried to take her home in hopes that he and some assistance from a home-health service would be able to care for her. It simply wasn’t possible.”

“That’s terrible!”

“Yes, it is. Helen has been in a wheelchair in a nursing home in Woodland Park for nearly three years. Her health and life expectancy are pretty good. She is only 57 years old but she has very little use of her muscles and they don’t think that she even realizes where she is or what has happened. She doesn’t recognize her husband or her children. She just sits and stares blankly.”

“Wow, Maggie! I’m glad you told me that. It really helps me put my little problems into perspective. Here I am worrying about my own pleasure when I could be like your friend Helen,” Trisha replied contritely.

“No, Trisha, you’re not getting my point. I didn’t tell you about Helen because I thought you were like HER, I told you about Helen because I see a similarity between you and HER HUSBAND.”

Trisha’s mouth froze as her mind tried to reorient itself to this new information. “Bob isn’t in nearly as poor of condition as Helen but I see what you’re saying.” She thought some more. “So, your telling me that Helen’s husband found someone to … to … to find satisfaction with?”

Maggie shook her head back and forth. “No, Trisha, that’s not what I’m saying at all. Just the opposite. Monte has NOT found anyone to help fill that void so far as I know.”

Trisha blinked behind her sunglasses as the implication struck her. “So, you think that this Monte and me might be good for each other?”

“It’s a thought.”

“It’s a SCARY thought, is what it is! I mean, this morning we were talking in hypotheticals and now… now… the guy is flesh and blood, he has a name, he has a business, he has a wife, he has kids, you actually KNOW him!” Trisha shook her head. The initial shock began to wear off and, in her heart of hearts, she knew that she could actually have a lover. As scary as it was, she knew she could go through with it. That didn’t mean that Monte was the right guy but she knew she was capable of it. Maggie knew it too as soon as Trisha asked the question, “I don’t know, Maggie, what is he like?”

“First, he is very very nice. I’ve never seen him act rude or angry. I know him pretty well, actually, because Helen and I spent so much time together. He is very intelligent. He is quiet but has a dry sense of humor. He is several years younger than Helen. I think he’d be 54 so he’s a little younger than you. How old are you, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“I’m 59.”

“I thought so. You’re just a little younger than me,” Maggie continued.

“How do we know that he won’t just have the same issues as Bob?”

Maggie thought a minute. “I can’t say with certainty but I know that he had no trouble of a sexual three years ago when Helen and I last talked about it.”

“You two talked about THAT?” Trisha said with raised brows.

“Yes, we did! In fact, sex was one of our favorite subjects. We used to make it sort of a joke to ask about the other’s last lovemaking session. We used to even dare one another to try certain things and then we’d talk about how it went over the next time we met.”

“What sort of dares did you make?”

“Oh, mostly just silly little things. One time she dared me to wear stockings and garters to bed. One time I dared her to read him an erotic story. Another time she dared me to shave Roger’s scrotum. Just stuff like that. But it was exciting and fun to do it and then to relive it and tell about the experience.” Maggie looked away into the distance. “I miss Helen.”

“I’ll bet you do,” replied Trisha. “She sounds like a good friend.”

“She was, indeed. So, to my knowledge, Monte is no slouch in the bedroom.”

Trisha was obviously considering this. “What does he look like? Is he at least average looking?”

“I would say that he is at least average looking. Not a real big guy. I suppose he’s about 5’8 and weighs 160 or so. He’s about the same size as Roger, actually. He has blue eyes. No beard or mustache. He doesn’t smoke.”

“Well, that sounds good. I don’t think I could handle a smoker. This sounds interesting but how do we know that he’d be interested in someone like me? I’d be almost as tall as him and I’d actually out-weigh him. Was Helen built like me?”

“I have no doubt that he’d find you very attractive! But, to answer your question, Helen was not like you. She had green eyes and brown hair and she was just a tiny thing – a good deal smaller than me. I’ll bet she stood right at 5 feet tall and probably weighed about 100 pounds soaking wet.”

“In that case he isn’t going to be interested in me. I’m about twice her size.”

“In some areas,” Maggie dropped her gaze to Trisha’s generous boobs, “you’re MORE than twice her size. He’s a man. He’ll be interested in you, no problem there.”

“You’re so kind and good for my ego. I wish I was as sure as you.” Trisha was lost in thought. “What makes you think that he might want to find a lover?”

“I don’t have any special knowledge. I just know that he and Helen had a very active sex life and that was suddenly cut off. I suspect that he misses it.”

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