Four for the Handyman Ch. 01

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Ever had one of those days? I don’t mean one of those ‘so bad I want to kill myself’ days, or one of those ‘my God, who do I fuck to get another one!’ days… I mean a day that was both so good and so bad that you don’t know quite what to make of it?

I had one. Not a day, precisely, but an entire fucking month. Should I list the good shit or the bad shit first? Should I mix them up a bit? Tell it in order? Maybe that would be for the best… really it would be I’ll be damned if I can sit down and just calmly list events like that.

Lets see: My girlfriend of the last couple years finally decided to break up with me. Really, I can’t even say if it was a good thing or a bad thing in the end. I mean: years dude, but we’d had so many fights…

I got ‘not fired’ from my job. I mean, I didn’t go to work anymore, didn’t have any privileges on the office computer, but they couldn’t violate the contract and just fire my ass. That’s good, right? I mean, paycheck without responsibilities? Fuck that, I couldn’t exactly pack up for a new job either, a better job, my career was stalled.

The deal for that sweet house, the one that I’d practically drooled over for the last couple years… that fell through at the last minute, leaving me with an agreement to move out of my apartment at the end of the month and no where to put my shit… so I left it in the truck, which was promptly stolen that night.

I got diagnosed with one of those nuisance diseases, the ones that irritate, take a long time to cure, but won’t really fuck up your life much if you just keep taking the medicine like a good little boy. On the up side, I was paid to participate in a drug trial for six months…

I can’t really sum up the rest, I mean, shit man, that’s the fucking whole story, the god damn point of talking to you, right man?

So, I’d stepped out of the apartment that morning with my little suitcase with my change of clothes, my laptop and a few minor sundries to tide me over for a few days, only to find my moving van missing. Cue hours of talking to cops for no real benefit and the landlord standing by not patiently waiting for me to turn over the keys so he could rent out to the new tenant he’d already lined up. At least I didn’t have the girl wailing in my ear that we were right fucked… she was off with her ‘new’ boyfriend, along with my dog and a good chunk of my last paycheck.

After all was said and done, I was standing there looking like a stunned deer, looking at where my worldly possessions had once been just wondering what the fuck now. I had, just hours earlier, some vague notion of a plan, an idea to start hunting for a storage unit, maybe a cheap ass motel room for a few days while I looked for another ‘permanent’ place. I almost called work to let them know I’d be in late, checked at the last moment when I remembered that I was a pariah there, unwanted. They wouldn’t care, and a least a few of them, mostly my various ‘superiors’ would probably wish I’d catch a nasty disease in addition to losing what amounted to ‘my life’ to date. I almost just sat on the steps to my former apartment in stunned disbelief, but one look at the landlord told me he’d just as soon have me arrested for vagrancy as anything else.

So with a sigh I tossed my suitcase into my car, which at least was paid for… but that meant I’d had it past it’s ‘sell by’ date and it wasn’t exactly a champion of repute anymore either. As I shut the door I contemplated locking it. Not that the loss of these last few remnants of a life I no longer could claim really held any value to me. If it weren’t for the energy involved, I’d have made a sign saying ‘Free Car, first come first served’ and forgotten about it once and for all.

I walked, downhill because it was easier, and as the sun rose and I grew hot I realized I had no real need to keep the jacket to my suit, nor the tie. I’m not entirely certain the bum I handed them to really cared for my charity, but I guess a littering charge was something I didn’t feel I needed. Maybe.

I found, eventually, refuge of a sort in a coffee shop. I spent too much money on a drink I barely bothered to taste and I sat. At least this I could do, keep the local economy buzzing, support the college girls of the world as they worked their shitty service jobs between classes.

Around me people came and went as I mostly stared at my now quite cold drink and just… sat. I hadn’t lost everything. Far from it, I had an income, several really. I simply had lost every touchstone of my daily life; I was cast adrift so totally that I wasn’t even sure I could continue on.

There was a clatter of ceramic, a splash of liquid as a lithe body slithered into the seat across from me with a slight grimace of apology. Lunch had come and the place was filling up, her half-hearted wave indicated I had the only empty seat in the house. Lucky me. I supposed I should finish up my drink and be about my… business. I vaguely recognized bahis firmaları the girl across from me as the same one who had handed me the paper cup in front of me much earlier in the day.

“I just got off.” She muttered. “Like to take my drink before I head out to class, you know?” I nodded sagely at this, straightening from long habit.

“Sorry… I should be going and free up the table for more customers.” I managed.

“Oh… not on my account. Last thing I want right now is a free seat across from me.” She half whispered. “Mind if I ask what’s eating you? I mean, you’ve been staring at your coffee like it holds the secret to the world.” She had a pleasant voice, an easy manner about her. I supposed it was helpful in a barista…

“Maybe it does.” I managed half playfully.

“Only if you drink it.” She shot back. So much for deflection, I sighed.

“I suppose that you are at least a little familiar with having to figure out your entire life all at once. Well… here I am, starting all over again. No home, no possessions but the clothes on my back, and no real job. I am not the man I spent the last ten years trying to become. All at once.”

“Oh…. Bummer.” She chewed her lower lip thoughtfully. “I can see how that would make coffee look appealing.” She raised hers in a toast. I drank some of mine in response, old habits again. “I mean… I wouldn’t have guessed from looking at you that you were some sort of loser. I mean you look like a man who’s got his shit together, right? Fit as a fiddle, nice clothes, good haircut… chicks dig that stuff. You don’t blink at the cost of a cup, tip well, and don’t come across as a guy drinking it because it’s the current fashion while secretly wincing at the price.”

I stiffened at the ‘loser’ bit, but she had a point of sorts. No, she was poking fun at my misery. Smart girl. I took a deep breath, another, smiled at her over my cup, noticing the bitter taste of cold coffee at last.

“I suppose you’ve got a point.”

“Several.” She assured me with a mischievous smile.

“Ah… yes. I guess I’ve had enough self-pity for one morning. Time to move on and figure out something, yeah?” I moved to stand.

“Better hurry, the morning’s almost done for.” She shot back. I paused, saluting her.

“Touché.” I looked at my watch. Five minutes to be exact. An instant passed, a million ideas flowed into my head, draining back out. I looked down at my companion.

“Exactly when do you have to be in class?” I asked her, the college was across the street. She smiled and leaned back, stretching catlike.

“Five minutes. But I’m in no hurry to get there, why mister?”

Instinct. My instinct was to offer my hand, lift her from her seat and take her somewhere private, rediscover life in her soft skin, the curves and muscles of her body. She would take it, I knew, instinct knew. The offer was as naked as it was subtle. My hand was halfway to her when I realized that if I listened to my instinct I would… I would be trapping myself in the same patterns that had just become a shambles around me. There was more to her offer than a simple afternoon of pleasure. I could use her, take a simple delight in the physicality of the moment, or I could cast aside, if only for a moment, the control I had demanded of my surroundings my entire adult life.

I stood there, hand half extended, looking awkward and lost for a minute, then another. Time was passing, and as they say, failure to make a decision is a decision in and of itself. She reached for her bag, moving to stand.

“I… if you don’t mind, I would like any help you might offer.” I felt so stupid, a grown man, a not unsuccessful man, asking this girl barely out of her childhood for help. I probably had more money than she did, even with out the promise of future paychecks.

She tucked a fold of paper into my hand as she stood.

“Some girls and I are sharing a nice house not far from here. Big, plenty of space, rents not too bad with the sharing and all, but we’re all a bit overwhelmed with the upkeep. You know, plumbing and lawns and so on. I’m the only one with afternoon classes, but I can introduce you to them if you can wait a few hours, or you can go there yourself. In return for handling all that ‘guy stuff’ for us you can have a room.” I blinked down at her, realizing for the first time how tiny she was. My ex was tall, looking me in the eyes when she wore heels, this girl was much shorter than she’d looked behind the counter. I kept my eyes from her curves, the smooth skin of her in the shorts and t-shirt she’d changed into before she’d sat down. Not a good way to get a handout, leering at your benefactor.

“Ah… normally I’d say I’d go right up, but I think it’ll be better if I wait… this time.” I managed, still fumbling through this sudden burning need to be helped, to be helpless.

“Great. I’ll meet you here around three thirty then? That’ll give you some time to buy kaçak iddaa some ‘handyman’ clothes. Unless you like mowing lawns in a suit.” She smiled and breezed out. “We’ll probably put you to work right away.” And with that she was gone. At least that gave me the chance to stare more or less openly at her legs, her tight little ass as she sashayed across the street. Get it out of the way now, I told myself, inoculate yourself so you don’t make an ass of yourself in a couple hours.

I finished up my coffee and took her advice, though I didn’t bother changing. I figured my professional clothes, as out of place as they were, would make me less creepy, less desperate. In reality, I didn’t feel so lost, nor so desperate as I had in that terrible moment when I’d practically begged her for her help. If I was desperate at all, it was to get into those tight little shorts, to take her up on the offer I’d turned down only seconds ago.

I knew there was nothing under them. It was a knack, a gift of sorts, one I’d spent years honing as a young man, the surreptitious glance at the exact moment when a woman let her guard down, the eyes sharp for any tale-tell lines or signs. I hadn’t even remembered looking, but I knew, as I knew I wanted her, that she’d been naked under her clothes, and it excited me more. Job or no job, I’d be back in three hours and change, waiting.

I had all that I needed on the slip of paper she passed me. I had a phone number for the house, one more for her. I had the address, I had her name ‘Marie’, and I resolved not to mispronounce it as ‘Mary’.

And at three thirty I was sitting in my seat at the café, with another cup of too expensive coffee and a gourmet sandwich on a plate in front of me, half eaten. I had, I realized, gotten a bit nervous. Marie had given me something of a gift, this putting my feet on a path, any path, where I had been lost and frozen. This was a truth, and a powerful one.

No, I was nervous because I was about to begin cohabitating with a bunch of presumably nubile co-eds, provided some sort of luck was with me. A thousand and one fantasies, and a thousand and two rejections of them flitted through my head in those hours between meeting Marie and meeting her again. I knew that even thinking those fantasies, even acknowledging that they might exist made them impossible to achieve, that perverse whim of fate that denies men their expectations where women are concerned. Somewhere in the world some bastard who’s never even bothered to think on it is fucking the most gorgeous woman in the world, and probably her sister as well, and never once questioning how lucky that makes him. That was what was running through my mind when I spotted my benefactor crossing the street through the windows of the Café.

I took my time, looking at her as she strolled up. I built for myself a sort of impossible calm, accepting whatever fate and the whimsies of women tossed my way this afternoon. I admired her as I would a piece of art, enjoying the aesthetics of her, rather than the lust that had stirred earlier.

I spoke earlier of her size, shorter than I was… experienced… with. Maybe five two, five three at most, with a compact lithe musculature, all feminine curves, with short fleece shorts and a tight t-shirt barely covering her sun browned skin, long dark hair, dark eyes like liquid pools that a man could drown in. She moved like a dancer, an athlete, a swimmer maybe, her body to heavy for a dancer’s, solid if you will. She smiled warmly, but I didn’t let that distract me from the sudden appearance of her nipples against the cloth of her shirt. I pushed my plate away, standing holding up my bag from the clothing store I’d been to earlier.

“Took your advice.” I stated, obvious I know. “Would you like to go, or would you prefer to eat?” I asked, not wanting to appear overly eager. She glanced around.

“I do work here, I’ll pass.” She took my free hand and shook it firmly. “Glad you came back. Frankly, we DO need a man around the house. For guy stuff, you know.” Her skin was warm, soft, dry… I thought it would be clammy, sweaty maybe, like mine felt to me.

“I see it’s not too far. I have a car up the hill, we can drive if you like, walk if not, or I could go and meet you there.” I offered as she led me outside, as if embarrassed to be seen at her workplace with me. I could understand, I guess. Rumors at work had been one of sadly many problems I’d had to deal with. Unsuccessfully, apparently.

“Ooohh… a car!” she laughed mockingly. “We can drive. I’m sure you need to move it anyway if you don’t have a house. Besides I’ve spent most of the day on my feet. Lead on.” She prodded. I nodded gamely and led her to the beast. I won’t lie, I had spent at least part of the time cleaning it up a bit, moving my suitcase to the trunk, and parking it closer to the café after my shopping trip.

We didn’t speak much on the drive. Marie poured herself into the passenger seat like she lacked kaçak bahis bones, kicking off her canvas sneakers and wriggling her bare toes in the foot well as I drove. She helped me find the place with a few curt comments but mostly stared out the window lost in thought.

The house was large, I’d seen similar looking places when I’d been shopping around, and even divided up the rent had to be brutal for barely employed college students. Most, if not all the rooms would be upstairs, the yard was small and obviously neglected for the last few months. I wondered if they even owned a lawnmower… Oh, how the mighty have fallen… and how I added when I looked over at my passenger. Years of faithful relationship homemaking had largely killed my lustier instincts, but when I looked over at her, watched her ass leaving my car I felt the old stirrings and knew I wasn’t dead, just sleeping. If I was right about earlier I wondered if I should be thankful my instincts were dulled, that my primitive lizard brain lusts had been held in check long enough for me to play the long game here… I put that all out of my mind as I followed her up the cracked concrete steps that lead up to the house, my once fancy car parked in the driveway in a decidedly impermanent fashion.

We paused on the porch, her hand on the doorknob.

“I called ahead before I came to get you, so they should be expecting us. I’m not entirely sure how they’ll react, so be cool, alright?” She asked with sudden nervousness. I gave her a reassuring nod and she led me inside.

The living room was large, spacious actually, with a very high ceiling, a corner ‘fire’-place and an eclectic collection of furniture.

I’ve always held that all… well nearly all… women are beautiful, and its only in comparison with other women that they suffer unfavorably. I’ve also held that in any group of women at least one does her best to prove me wrong by being undeniably ugly.

Obviously I needed to rethink my theories. The three women that practically leapt up when the door opened were all beautiful by any reasonable standard, picking one from the bunch would say more about the individual’s taste than the comparative loveliness of the girls. They did seem oddly dressed for company, I supposed, but then I’d never really gone into ‘women only territory’ before, so who was to say.

The only girl that didn’t stand was tiny, even compared to Marie, her face looked vaguely Asian, Filipina if I had to guess, mixed with something… maybe European. Her skin was pale, with that odd cream color that you get when you keep naturally dark people out of the sun. She was dressed in a short purple silk robe that might have fell to her mid thigh had she been standing, and she looked as if she’d recently showered, her lustrous dark hair damp and heavy down her back. She smiled, licking her lip with the tip of one tongue before turning back to her toenails.

The Second woman was tall, curvy, heavy of hip and breast in her flannel pajama pants and scrubby t-shirt, with red hair and green eyes that made me think of Ireland. Her hair was bullish, pulled back roughly away from her face, fighting savagely to be free and wild, her face was flush, like she’d been fighting with her housemates and she was skittish, like a colt ready to bolt for freedom.

The third girl was taller still, all angular muscles and sleek lines, though it was hard to tell in the sweat suit she wore with flip flops, her blonde hair braided down her back. She hadn’t exactly leapt to her feet, but rather sat up abruptly when we came in, her sensual lips pursed, I would have said hard, but those lips didn’t do hard, though the rest of her face balanced nicely. I wanted to picture her in leather.

“This is Karen, Suzy and Tatiyana.” She waved from the Filipina to the blonde, “Why don’t you introduce yourself.” She pushed me slightly forward, disguising the fact that we had never properly exchanged names. I did so easily, not quite stepping into the disputed turf of the house.

“I don’t see why we need him to… to stay here!” Suzy protested a little too loudly as soon as I was done. “We don’t really need him anyway, and where’s he gonna stay?” she muttered.

“Don’t be silly.” The blonde, Tatiyana, argued back. “Are YOU going to fix the pool? The sink?” she had a faint, a very faint accent. Second-generation immigrant maybe? “What of the garage? It is only for a short time, yes? A cot, maybe the spare couch? He will not mind I think.” She didn’t even look at me. Apparently this argument had been going on for some time. I waited for Suzy to reply, or maybe Marie to step up, to make the call, something.

Karen put her feet down and leaned back, I could see her nipples through the thin material of her robe, the flaps falling on either side of one thigh, riding high as she looked me up and down once.

“Well. I still don’t care either way, but since he’s here we might as well keep him. I’m going upstairs.” She finished and stood, pausing on her way out long enough to shake my hand in welcome. I wanted to watch her, wait for her robe to fail her, something, but the real action was still with the girls in the living room.

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