That afternoon, Nancy followed me home. It was just like any other lazy Sunday at first. We watched a movie together in the living room, but when it was finished, she disappeared into the bathroom off of my bedroom for almost fifteen minutes.
I knocked on the door. “Everything okay in there?”
“Yes. Everything is fine.”
“Alright. Let me know if you need anything.”
A few seconds later, the door creaked open. Nancy was standing there in a white lace bra and matching underwear.
“What are you doing?” I snapped.
“I thought maybe this would help.”
I swallowed. She looked beautiful, but it didn’t feel right. “Help with what?”
Dumbest question ever.
“I know you feel guilty, like maybe I’m not ready or you’re not ready for this because of our situations, but I think it’s something we both need. I want to make you feel good, Sevin. It doesn’t have to mean anything more than that. I haven’t been touched in so long.”
“Nancy, I ca—”
Before I could get the words out, she leaned in and planted a long kiss on my lips. My body tensed. My cock stiffened, even though I was trying to fight the physical reaction. Having not been inside of a woman since Evangeline, of course my body was going to react. I just couldn’t handle anything else that might come along with taking that step with someone.
Still, with each push of her tongue inside of my mouth, I felt weaker. A part of me wanted to drown my sorrows in Nancy, let her help me forget Evangeline even if for just a matter of minutes. When she started to undress me and took a condom out of her bra, I surrendered and closed my eyes. The sound of the wrapper crinkling prompted me to open them. After she sheathed me, everything happened so fast.
While being inside her had felt good, it lacked intimacy and passion. It was just sex. We both came, and it was just enough to make me temporarily feel something other than numbness or anger. It reminded me of the kind of sex I’d had before Evangeline, the kind that was used as an escape. It felt good, but it wasn’t mindblowing.
Nancy slept over for the first time that night. I couldn’t exactly tell her to go home after we’d had sex.
In the morning over coffee, she startled me with a question. “Evangeline is your sister-in-law’s name, right?”
My hand, which had been reaching for the coffee pot, froze in mid-air. “Why do you ask?”
“You were saying her name in your sleep.”
“Yes. You were saying, ‘Evangeline, I’m so sorry. It’s only ever been you.’ And you kept apologizing.”
In silence, I poured the coffee, trying to absorb what she’d just admitted. Taking a big gulp of the piping hot liquid I nearly burned my mouth before I said, “Well, that’s bizarre.”
“I thought so, too.”
Thankfully, Nancy dropped the subject soon after and eventually left the house shortly before I had to go into work.
That entire day at the plant was spent obsessing over the fact that I’d been dreaming about Evangeline. So much effort was expended each day trying to forget her, but apparently I had no control over my weak subconscious mind. That really pissed me off.
Knowing where she lived was a curse. I truly wished Addy never blurted it out. Even though I knew I couldn’t trust myself to be around Evangeline, curiosity was killing me. I wanted to see her but didn’t want her to see me.
Evangeline was married. Married. Addy had left me with a bad feeling when she said she sensed Evangeline might be in some kind of trouble. It made me feel guilty for not checking in on things at least once. That was my official excuse as I headed down Route 54 toward Wichita. Borrowing my co-worker’s car, I needed to make sure my truck didn’t give me away.
What the fuck are you doing, Sevin?
Sweat was pouring off my forehead. Blasting the music, the vibration of the bass competed with my pounding heart. The Kansas night sky had transformed into a deep midnight blue. It was the kind of night made for parking in an open field and staring up at the stars—not stalking the married ex who devastated you.
When I pulled up to the address on Great Road, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a small white one-story house surrounded by junk. On the dried-up lawn out front were a couple of abandoned cars, a broken-down Winnebago, old lawnmowers and half-burned pieces of furniture. It looked like the epitome of trash.
I sat parked across the street, unsure of what my next move would be. After about an hour, the front door opened, causing me to duck down into my seat.
The lights of the departing truck lit up the street. I wasn’t certain whether Evangeline was inside but decided to follow it anyway.
After a three-mile ride, it stopped in front of a black building. The passenger door opened, and her long raven hair was the first thing that caught my eye as she exited the truck.
My heart was now hammering against my chest.
She slammed the door, and the truck sped off. The jackass didn’t even wait for her to safely enter the building.
If I thought my heart was pounding fast before, it nearly combusted when I got a look at the flashing neon sign out front: The Pink Lady Gentleman’s Club.
God no, Evangeline.
I tried my best to convince myself not to jump to conclusions. She could have simply worked the desk, waitressed or bartended. Just because she was walking into this dive didn’t mean she was one of the strippers for God’s sake.