Horizons Ch. 01: Slow Burn

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This was previously published in 5 chapters. I merged them into one fluid story and made a few changes and adjustments to the story and the characters as a whole.

Slow Burn

I really had no desire to meet-up with my son’s friend Madi and her family at the run-down mall two miles from our hotel. We were three and a half hours from home for yet another mountain bike race. I would have preferred if he and the husband went without me, but I slapped on my best “I am so glad you found your niche” smile and climbed into the passenger seat of our minivan.

I love watching him race, and being around people who accepted him, but I hate the play I must put on every weekend. The “yes we are a happily married couple” bullshit that was slowly darkening my soul. 19 years in, and I don’t even remember what happily married feels like. Most of the time when I look at him, I imagine getting a call that he’s had some horrible accident and I would finally be free. It’s been years since we slept in the same bed, and even longer since I felt any desire for him. I was 43 years old and had all but forgotten what happy and love felt like.

Every race weekend was the same thing, an all-male coaching staff, a bunch of dads and one other mom besides me. Honestly, I didn’t even know this girl we are going to meet up with had a mom, it was always just her and her dad at everything. We arrived at the mall and it was just as I thought, a Target, a JcPenney and not much more. We rambled through the nearly abandoned building, my 16-year-old daughter lamenting that there was not even anywhere to window shop and she wished she had stayed at the hotel. Me too girl, me too.

We headed into JcPenney’s, where the friend was due to meet us. It wasn’t hard to locate her in the nearly-empty-except-for-us store. It was just her and her father. So exactly why did we need to come and meet up? We are already staying at the same hotel and surprise; I already know her dad from months of practices and races. I said hi to them both and went to look at shoes with the daughter. She located some on clearance and picked out a pair of thigh high boots she could afford. We strolled over to the register. I stood there as she paid for her boots and noticed Madi and my son walking towards us, the dads lagging as usual.

“My mom and Kevin will be right back; they went into Target.”

So, there is a mom.

I smiled at Madi and said, “Okay.” Jessie finished paying for her new boots and we just lingered, waiting. A few awkward minutes later, out of the corner of my eye I saw two figures walking our way. Madi’s mom and brother joined us.

Shit.

This mom, whose name I didn’t yet know, was about my age, maybe a year or two older and I couldn’t stop looking at her. She was about my height, little smaller build, huge brown eyes and dark auburn hair. She smiled as she spotted her daughter, and I was stuck by the sincerity of it. I hadn’t seen a better smile in years. There was something about her that connected with me.

Holy fuck. Not okay, this is your kid’s friend’s mom.

I hated when these only once in a while feelings of attraction for another woman hit me, but come on, now? No this was just not okay. Luckily, I was almost as good at playing the “I have no attraction to women” game as I was at playing the happily married one.

Everyone introduced themselves and her name stuck in my head, Jody. Right then I got a text from the one other mom I knew from the team. They are camping at the state park the race is at and want us to come over for a drink. I tell her who we are with and she invites them too. My stomach fluttered. I shared the directions with Madi’s dad, doing my best not to make too much eye contact with her mom. I kept looking at her out of the corner of my eyes though and wondered if it was noticeable.

Twenty minutes later we roll into the campground, park and meet up with the Sawyer’s. James offered us all a beer and I jumped right on that despite the fact I hate beer. Anything to calm the butterflies in my stomach. The kids all found each other and left the site to wander leaving three dads and three moms to converse. I watched Jody and Kat, who apparently have known each other for a while, as they chatted. We are the newest family to this racing team and I just stayed off to myself watching, trying not to stare, and downing my beer. She has the most genuine smile I had ever seen, like gravity it pulled me towards her and Kat and their conversation.

I didn’t even realize it was happening but soon enough it was just Jody and I talking. Shared nerdy interests… sci fi, marvel, reading. The butterflies in my stomach were now charged with excitement as we talked. Kat bustled around the kids when they returned, and she tasked herself with feeding them all. I barely registered their return. I wanted to stay right there talking all night. I wanted to throw caution to the wind and reach bahis firmaları over and kiss this person I didn’t know even existed a few hours earlier. Every time she smiled the urge got stronger. Tonight, I wanted to be a different person more than I had ever before. All too soon it was time to get the kids back to the hotel so they could sleep before the race.

As I laid alone in that hotel bed, I couldn’t stop thinking about this person that popped into my life from nowhere. I wanted to touch her, to feel her, to know her. A restless night gave way to an early morning. All that pushed me forward was knowing Jody would be under the same pop-up with me all morning as the kids did their racing. I couldn’t get out of the hotel fast enough.

It was hot. Stupid ridiculously hot and the race morning was a blur of trying to keep eight teenagers hydrated and to their starting queue on time. Then it was making sure each one was okay after their nine mile mostly uphill race. I was growing frustrated because I hadn’t exchanged more than a handful of words with her. My mood was growing more and more sour. It was the last race of the season and I knew if I didn’t get something to go my way, I wouldn’t see her again any time soon. I also knew how ridiculous feeling this way was.

It was all rather ridiculous, these feelings. After all, she was married, they seemed happy, but then again, I was also and to most we may have seemed happy. I knew the odds of anything ever happening were slim, but the pull I felt towards her could not be ignored. At the very least I needed to have her as a friend.

I took as many pictures as I could of the day. I had the idea that I could get her cell number with the promise of sending her the pictures Madi was in. Soon, the day was over and as we packed up to leave, she wasn’t in the team tent area. I felt myself sigh deeply as we walked towards the van and packed it to leave. I scanned the vast field hoping to spot their truck, but nothing. Tolerating my husband on that long drive was going to be nearly impossible. I reclined my seat, closed my eyes and fantasized about her. I had never been with another women, but that didn’t stop the dreaming.

I told my son to give my cell to Madi to give to her mom and I would send the pictures. Seven days later and she hadn’t contacted me. My mind still wandered to those moments at the campground, I wanted more of those. More time standing next to her, her arm brushing mine as we talked. I found myself lost in that brief memory more often than I would have ever admitted to anyone.

Practices picked back up as the summer racing series was due to start. I knew it was pointless to do drop off or pick up because Madi was always with just her dad. I was resigning myself to never hearing from Jody again. Maybe that was for the best. I was, after all, a giant chicken. Stuck in a miserable marriage, drawn towards random women but always too scared to make a move towards anything other than what I was living. I was cooking an early dinner one Saturday afternoon when my phone vibrated. That usually meant it was one of my three kids or husband, because everyone else was on do not disturb.

I look down at my phone and read “This is Jody. We are so glad Timmy can come with us tonight.”

My heart started beating so loud I was sure my husband would notice the change. I was confused, no one had mentioned this to me. I put my phone down and walked to Timmy’s room and questioned him. He informed me he was going and had asked his father. Shit. I had plans with a friend that I was now regretting. I wanted to invite myself along. Play it cool. I didn’t manage to play it too cool. I was certain I was coming off as the weird mom of your kid’s friend you just must tolerate, but I couldn’t stop myself from over sharing. I was nearly giddy she was texting me, which means she has my number, and now I have hers.

I texted my friend and told her I wanted to eat before the play we were attending that evening. I wanted to be sure I was home when they dropped Timmy off after the movie. I didn’t even know if Jody would be with them, but I wasn’t risking not seeing her if I could. As I was enjoying the play Jody sent me a few pictures of my son enjoying his first ever drive in movie. I spent my time staring at the one picture she was in. I was imagining how soft her hair looked and what her fingertips would feel like on my skin.

It was midnight when their truck pulled into my driveway. I jumped off the couch and nearly ran outside, hoping that if I went to meet the truck, they would do more than simply drop him off. I watched happily as all four doors opened and there she was. I moved to stand closer to her than needed as I said thank you for taking him. We chatted about nothing really for a few minutes, and just like that she was climbing back in the truck and leaving.

Somberly I went back inside, got Timmy settled in bed and went to bed myself. kaçak iddaa I was restless and my fingers dipped between my legs as I thought of her and what I would do to her if only she felt the same energy I did. It didn’t take long and waves of pleasure hit me. I fell asleep thinking only of her.

The next few days dragged on. I wanted to see Jody again, but there was no reason to. Despite my extremely vivid imagination, I was at a loss as how to make up an excuse to. Timmy and Madi went to practices, life moved forward.

“Mom, Madi wants to know if I can go to church with her and her mom Sunday”.

And just like that the universe had given me an in. I texted Jody and confirmed he was invited and the plans, drop him at her house at 10am Sunday. They would bring him home after. I smiled as I thought of having the chance to see her twice in one day.

The next morning, I was up and ready to load his bike up and go. When I walked outside Timmy and his bike were gone, and so was my husband’s car. I could feel myself get angrier than I should have been. I never told him I wanted to bring Timmy over myself, so I only had myself to blame.

I spent the day in a miserable mood, that didn’t get any better when it was Joe that brought Timmy home, not Jody. What was wrong with me. I had laid eyes on this woman exactly three times, and texted with her a handful of times, yet my mind was utterly filled with her. Her smell, the curve of her hips, the color of her hair, the warmth that radiated off of her when I stood close. Those thoughts followed me to bed that night.

As I laid alone in bed and thought of her, I removed my panties and reached for my favorite vibrator. My own fingers wouldn’t do this time, I needed more power. I needed to chase away the visions of this woman who had invaded my brain. I was lulled to sleep on waves of self-pleasure.

Monday came and went with no word from her. I had to control my urge to be the first to text. I was already being too much, of that I was certain. I didn’t want to cross a line I could never cross back over. As I was making lunch on Tuesday my phone vibrated and I looked at it.

Jody- Are you going to the race tonight?

I had totally forgotten the first race of the summer series was tonight. I hadn’t planned to go. These races were smaller and closer to home and I knew if I showed up, I would be dragged into volunteering. I wasn’t good lately with pretending to want to be helpful and nice all the time. I took a deep breath before I replied.

Me- Are you?

I hoped I had taken enough time between her asking and me answering so she didn’t know how anxious I was for her answer.

Jody- Yes…if you are

Shit! If I was?? So, she wants to see me??? I could barely breath. My fingers were charged with emotional energy as I typed out my response, slowly. Play it cool.

Me- Sure…

Plans were made for Jody to grab Subway for us to share. I couldn’t believe it. Not only was I going to see her, but we were going to share food. I was very aware I was resembling a teenage girl with a crush, and I didn’t even care.

At 4:45 I got another text telling me she had just left work and was grabbing food she’d see me in twenty. I waited five minutes then drove to the venue, which was all of five minutes from my house. I was early, and anxious. I played the role of good wife and helped Evan with racer check ins until I saw Jody’s Jeep drive in. Then I waited a little bit longer before I walked over to where Madi and her dad usually set up. As I approached their trailer, I saw her.

Damn

My breath left my lungs. There she was in running shorts and a tank top, her deep auburn hair flowing over her bare shoulders. I wondered if anyone noticed me noticing her as I composed myself and walked over. I knew I was going to have to work hard to remember to watch my son race because all I wanted to do was be near her and talk to her.

We ate the subway and talked as the younger kids raced. She was just as easy to talk to as I remembered. When it was time for our kids, we decided to enter the woods to watch a little bit of it from a better vantage point. There was an awkwardness about this, or maybe it was just me and my anxiety. As we stood alone at the top of a small hill waiting for them to go by we got talking. Before long we were talking about our husbands. Usually I am very good at avoiding that subject, it’s much easier to come across as happy if you just don’t talk about your marriage, ever. For some reason I about spilled my guts on how miserable I was. I was shocked when she declared her marriage was less than stellar too.

By the time the race night ended she knew more about my marriage struggles than anyone else in my life, and I bet I knew more about hers than most anyone. This connection I had felt in that campground so many weeks ago was real. If nothing kaçak bahis else I had found a person I needed in my life, in any way possible, for always.

After the race Timmy and Madi wanted to go get frozen yogurt. I hate frozen yogurt, so I waited to answer until after Jody did. She was up for it and asked if I wanted to go… as if I had a choice. If she was going, so was I! We sat at our own high-top table, the kids found their friends, and all sat together. I was relishing this. The table was small, and round and our hands brushed a few times, each time sending sparks through my body. The awkwardness I had felt for a brief time earlier was gone. All too soon the yogurt was gone, and it was time to leave. I did not want to. But we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.

As in the times before, the only way to settle my mind after time near her was to self-pleasure. My imagination had so much more to work with after spending hours talking and being near her. The few times our skin touched just added to my release. Just remembering how warm the air around her was had me soaking my panties. I fell asleep with only her image on my mind.

Early the next day my phone went off. Usually the only person who texted before 8 am was Evan so I didn’t rush to look at it. I made my coffee and settled down to watch some Orange is the New Black before the kids woke up. I glanced at my phone and realized it was Jody. My heart leapt into my throat. They were going Rving for the weekend. Would Timmy like to go up on Saturday and stay over? Would we like to stay for the whole day he came up? We could swim and have a drink and just chill. I knew she meant more than just me, but all I could see was her and I and hours together. Yes please.

Me-Sure! I’m sure Timmy would love it.

Jody- Bring his bike he and Joe and Madi can ride while we chill.

Yes please.

Me- Okay! I’ll talk to Evan but I’m certain we are up for it.

On Friday I asked Jody how early she wanted us, “anytime after breakfast”. That was music to my ears. A WHOLE day together. Saturday came and we made the ninety-minute drive upstate. The day was amazing, we talked, walked, swam. The pool was crowded, and we had little choice but to be right next to each other most of the time. I used every chance I could to brush my skin up against hers, even for just a second. The warmth of her body near mine set my heart on fire. The husbands and kids rode bikes and swam and did whatever they did. For the most part I was unaware of them.

The day and evening flew by and before long it was time to head back home. Timmy was staying and I was happy for him, and a little jealous. I wanted to reach out and give her a hug goodbye, but I wasn’t certain if we had reached that point in our friendship and I didn’t want to add any more weird to the mix. I was pleasantly surprised when she walked over and gave me the warmest hug I had ever had. I was a puddle of goo in her arms. I tried to compose myself, play it cool, and did my best to hug her back without touching all of her. The way her breasts felt pressed up against mine made that nearly impossible. I know I held on a little too long for a casual goodbye hug, but she didn’t let go right away either. When we both finally did, our arms moving in slow motion as we separated, I could swear a saw a glint of something more in her eyes. Maybe it was my imagination, maybe not. All I knew was that tonight, no toy was going to satisfy my hunger.

As we drove home, I texted Ben, told him I needed to see him. Ben had been my “safe” release for two years. We got home and I said goodnight to Jessie, and went downstairs to what I considered MY bedroom. Evan and I hadn’t shared a bed in years. I sent Ben another text once I heard the unmistakable sounds of Evan snoring that meant he was dead to the world for the next 7 hours. I slipped out my bedroom window not unlike how I used to when I was 16 years old. I climbed into Ben’s truck he had parked down the street and we drove off.

Ben knew he was not who I wanted, but he was also trapped in a crappy marriage and he welcomed his own reprieve. When this started 2 years ago, he wanted more, more than fuck buddies, but that was not in the cards for me. I never wanted another man in my life, not really. Ben was easy, clean and safe, and a great fuck. I felt zero real connection to him and that’s the way I wanted it. He pointed his truck to his favorite no tell motel and I grabbed the wheel. “No, not tonight”. I didn’t have the time or patience to wait. “Drive into the woods”.

The headlights opened up the woods and before long I found myself ass up in the bed of his truck. He plowed me like an Iowa farm boy plows a field. He was the exact opposite of what I wanted, big, strong, gruff. I wanted soft, warm and gentle but this was what I had and I rode it to release, twice. His rough hands pulled on my breasts as we lay spent on the blanket. I wanted him to magically turn into Jody, to feel her warm soft hands on my breasts. There was no magic in the woods this night though. I got dressed and made him drive me home, much sooner than most nights.

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