We became somewhat involved in various church activities and our circle of friends now included church friends as well as our work and social friends. We belonged to a local country club where we both played golf. I try to play at least once a week, Holly gets on the course one or two times a month.
The club isn’t one of those super sophisticated snobbish places but it is a nice club and well maintained. It has a restaurant, bar, swimming pool and all the things you would expect.
As a couple, we seemed to agree on almost everything and I can’t even remember the last time we had an argument. We attended a marriage retreat weekend at a local resort that our church sponsored. As the weekend progressed, the leaders started pointing to us as the “Poster Perfect Marriage”. Hey, we had to agree! Each of us seemed only interested in pleasing one another.
Fortunately, the training I had received from Peggy when I was a freshman was quickly put to good use as Holly and I were enjoying a wild and passionate sex life together. It was definitely worth the wait! I might add, that the leaders of the marriage retreat we went to were adamant in teaching that God approves of sex and that He intended sex to be for pleasure as well as for procreation. I’m so glad they taught it that way because that freed Holly up to let her hair down so to speak. The leaders showed us from the Bible where the marriage bed is undefiled. That means that in marriage, nothing is off limits provided both partners agree. Wow! A free slate!
Holly and I enjoyed doing everything together, be it a simple walk in the park with a picnic lunch or dinner and dancing at the club. Sometimes we even enjoyed hitting one of the local taverns to hang out over a few drinks. Some churches teach that alcohol is strictly off limits, ours teaches that excess is wrong but everything in moderation is acceptable. Our daughter Jenny was born soon after our second anniversary, not completely planned but certainly welcome just the same.
It was an easy and natural decision that Holly would stay home with Jenny and be a stay at home mom. We were able to do that since I was moving up quickly at the fire department and we could make it OK on just my income. It would be a little bit tight but we knew we could do it if we worked together on the budget. Now our walks in the park included Jenny and we were a deliriously happy little family.
Holly and I still planned regular “date nights” when Jenny would spend the night at one of the sets of grandparents. On those special nights, we typically went out for dinner followed by either dancing or stopping by one of our favorite watering holes for a night cap before heading home for a passionate night of exceptional sex.
It was during one of these date nights that our whole world got turned upside-down. From that point on, nothing has ever been the same. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we are still very much in love with one another, it’s just that things are different now and the jury is still out whether they are different for the better or for the worse.
Maybe it’s neither better nor worse but just different. I’ll let you decide while I just tell the story of what happened.
Jenny was spending both Friday and Saturday nights at Holly’s parents. They had trips to the zoo planned along with a chance for her to go fishing with her grandpa in his little boat. She was totally stoked about her special weekend. Of course, we were stoked as well since it meant we would have a special weekend too!
There was a new steak house restaurant in the town next to ours so I made dinner reservations for Friday night. Being a steak house we dressed just a bit nicer than our normal causal wear but still nothing outrageous. Holly has a little black dress that manages to hug every one of her curves to perfection.
Dinner was great and we each had a nice red wine to go with the meal. The restaurant had an adjoining bar with an DJ and small dance floor so we decided to spin a few dance moves before heading home. Holly loves to dance and I love dancing with her. I especially love the looks we get from all the envious guys who are continually checking her out while she remains completely oblivious.
You see, Holly is a knock out but doesn’t know it. I can’t believe that I am the fortunate guy who was able to land her as my own. I know that lots of guys were interested in high school and college. But, when they learned how serious she was about her “purity pledge” they all backed off. Lucky for me, I hung in there and those guys will never know what they missed out on.
Finally, about 9:00pm we decided to head toward home but on the way, we were passing by one of our favorite hangout places called “Lou’s Tavern”. We decided to stop by for a couple of drinks before heading on home. There were only about a dozen folks in the bar and some of them were already starting to call it a night. While we were talking with Lou at the bar, in walks one of my golf buddies named Chuck. With him was a nice-looking guy about our age who Chuck introduced as an old friend from college who went on to become a psychiatrist.
I know, I know. It always seems odd hooking up with a psychiatrist on a social level because you think he might be analyzing everything you say. But in all reality, it didn’t take long at all for us to be comfortable with Jim. He seemed like a regular nice guy so we all shared a few drinks and good conversation. Mostly talking about the old college days and such. Chuck and I had gone to rival universities so we were constantly ribbing each other about our respective football teams.
Then a little past 10:00 I got an emergency call telling me that I needed to get to a fire station on the other side of town to cover for an hour or two because that crew got called to be a backup team for station five. The commander assured me it would be two hours max. Chuck piped up saying: “I’ll make sure Holly gets home safe.”
I asked Holly if she was OK with that arrangement and she assured me it was fine so I shook Chucks hand and said: “Thanks buddy, I owe you one.” Then I leaned in and whispered in Chucks ear to try not to let her drink much more because I could tell she was already near her limit. I didn’t want her passing out or getting sick and messing with the hot night of sex we had both been looking forward to.
Chuck just responded: “Not to worry Rob, I’ll watch out for her.” I gave Holly a kiss and told her I would see her at home in a couple of hours.
As is so often the case, the two-hour max turned into something closer to three hours and I finally made it home to a dark house about ten past one am. Of course, I figured that Holly had already gone to sleep so I tip toed up to the bathroom so as not to disturb her. In the bath I quietly brushed my teeth and changed clothes for bed wondering at the same time if I should be naked or wear my silk boxers as usual. When I got to the bedroom and pulled the covers back I was shocked to find that Holly wasn’t there. In fact, the bed was still made up. She hadn’t been home at all!
I first called her cell phone but there was no answer. I called Chuck’s cell and no answer there either as it went straight to voice mail. Now I’m starting to panic just a little bit and I’m getting ticked off at Chuck at the same time. He promised to watch out for my bride. Instinctively I knew that Chuck wouldn’t hurt her, but where were they?