SLUT SAMANTHA 6

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SLUT SAMANTHA 6deletedCHAPTER 6: IF NOT LOVE, LIFE?“Ma’am, is there someone there with you?”I reached my hand to the side and Albert took it into both of his. “Yes, yes … a good friend. Why? What … what about Nick?”“Ma’am, I am sorry to have to tell you this … your son, Nick Foley … was killed in a car accident tonight just south of Williamsburg, New Mexico. It appears that during a heavy rain squall, a semi-truck driver lost control ….”* * * * *That short dialogue haunted me for days after. There were more words spoken, of course, but none that registered in my consciousness. After the words, ‘you son was killed’, nothing connected. I sat stunned, unable to move, to cry, to question. Albert took the phone from me and had the sergeant repeat what he had said and wrote it all down so I would have the information later … later when I could hear it and have it mean anything more to me.Albert was my savior. Thank god, he was there. I couldn’t even imagine what would have happened if I had been home and received that call while alone. I suppose I might have stumbled across the cul-de-sac to Tom and Jane’s house, which ironically is where Albert went after he got me settled in the house. How he got me back to Tucson and into the house, I won’t ever remember. There are large blocks of blank times during those days. Albert stayed with me for the first days, calling on Jane frequently.After a couple of days, I got my feet back under me and I insisted Albert go back to his a****ls who also depended on him. He seemed reluctant on one hand but, naturally, relieved on the other. He had been living alone for 10 years and this was giving him more human contact and emotion than he had experienced in all of those 10 years. The thing was … he was never far away, even when he did end up leaving. He called daily for weeks. He got me set up with a funeral home. He assisted me with Tom and Jane for the memorial. He took me out after the service and got me drunk, then put me to bed with Harley guarding me on the bed, a place he was rarely allowed.It seemed agonizingly slow, but the estate came together. Nick had revised his will and left explicit instructions with his attorney. As his mother, everything was transferred to me with an expedited probate. The house, his investments, business, and debts transferred to me. And, life became increasingly complicated and nebulous. Everything he had was in the business and the house, property and residential membership. There were no investments to fall back on, no stash of savings for a rainy day. His business really had been on a knife’s edge of survival and in the cut-throat world of agency business, the firm had value but not as much as people might think. The office was leased, the employees were salary, and the manufacture contracts were voidable in 30 days for any reason. The house had value, but it was also heavily mortgaged. It was clear to me that I had to liquidate everything. I couldn’t afford the monthly payments of the house or all the vehicles.Without Nick, the business was quickly sinking into trouble. I might have known the agency business, but I knew it from the perspective of one of the sales people, not the person managing the business. So, I sold it, first. Then, I looked at the mess of my situation. I needed a job, I needed to sell the house, I needed to sell one of the vehicles, and I needed to find an apartment that took a big dog.It was a little more than 6 months after that fateful call from the highway patrol that I was shaken out of my morose, pulled out of the darkness of shadow and back into the sunlight.Albert had never left me. He was not with me and we never did meet at his place or mine, wherever that might have been at any particular time. But, he was always there. He called regularly. In fact, the regularly became so regular that when the phone rang on Wednesday or Saturday nights, I could pretty much guess it might be Albert checking in on me. Nearly everyone else had drifted away. Nearly everyone else was Nick’s work associates, golfing buddies, or friends around the neighborhood. Few had managed in my limited time with Nick to become my personal friends. So, they drifted away. There was nobody to blame, either. Those ‘everyone’ had lives to get on with. I needed to have a life to get to. I was just struggling on how to do that. Nick was my life. Nick saved me, literally, from a life that was becoming miserable and awful. Nick showed me what I was and what I needed to be happy. Nick was the one who showed me that I would move from one bad situation to another as I pursued that rare man whose intention was of a higher order than most men could attain to. I needed a man to show me what I needed and provide me with the how to have it. Most men, though, as I repeatedly found, were in that kind of relationship for their benefit and/or reward. That was where I was when Nick came to get me and take me from all that.So, after 6 months, I was essentially what I was before Nick rescued me. And, all I had to show for all of it was a nicer car and a faithful dog. I had another low paying job, which was enough to make the payments and keep me solvent. Besides the condition of my life, though, was the mental state I found so comforting. The edges of depression and insecurity after having been brought to a person with strength and courage.Albert’s regular phone calls helped, it reinforced one part of my past that I knew made the rest of my memories real and validated. But, it was his call that came outside his ‘regular’ calls that caused a jump in my psyche. The phone buzzed on Friday night. I was settled onto the couch with Harley. I had a bowl of some snack and getting ready for another night of Netflix. Yes, the decline in my mental state had a corresponding decline in my physical state. I had gained 11 pounds that people might not have noticed, but mostly because I was never naked in front of them and there was nowhere for a bikini to be worn, any longer.I reached to the side table, spun the phone around so I could read the display and was surprised to discover that it was Albert. I looked at Harley as if he had the answer for the unusual timing of the call, but was probably only looking at me in the hopes that I would pick it up and end the noise of the tune and the vibration against the wood surface of the table. Not getting any meaningful guidance from him, I picked up the phone and punched the answer key, curious why it rang 4 times without going to voicemail.“Albert? Is something wrong?”There was a chuckle on the other end, “No … sorry, dear … it even occurred to me that you might worry that. I debated waiting to call ‘til tomorrow, but …”“Albert? What?”“I want to meet tomorrow. Maybe an early afternoon salad at that little café across from the park … their free Wi-Fi means they expect people to spend time. I’d really like the chance to talk. I’ve been selfish for a long time and I would like to start being more open with you. I think we could both benefit … if you think you are up for it, that is.”“Albert, don’t be silly. Without you, I don’t know what I would have done. You are the least selfish person I have known, and I will always up for meeting with you.” He sounded relieved and the time was set. The café he referenced was about a mile away from my apartment. They had outdoor seating and pets were allowed in that section as long as they were well-behaved. That was the definition of Harley. After putting the phone back on the table, I looked at Harley, who glanced up at me feeling the weight of my gaze, then I looked at the bowl of snacks and the TV with the frozen face of some superhero in an unnatural pose, and made my decision. I turned the TV off, returned the snacks to the bag and stuffed it onto the top shelf of the cabinet (out of sight), and made the decision that Harley and I would walk to the café tomorrow. I felt something in Albert’s words, something that meant a change. If the one person still in my life who truly cared about me to change out of a routine, the least I could do is duplicate the effort. Tomorrow would come soon enough to discover what his intentions were, mine came without much thought from some recess of my subconscious of the life I once adhered to.And, that, is how change begins.During lunch and then in the park across the street with our plastic cups of soft drink, we talked. Really, Albert talked. He didn’t want me to make the same mistakes he did. That was confusing to me because he seemed to be on top of who he was and what he wanted. He went on to explain in some detail how that was the facade he had worked hard to create. In truth, for the past 10 years, he had been in his own depressive world carefully carved out of the remoteness of the Arizona landscape.His wife of 18 years died of a sudden and debilitating illness that took her within 10 months of it being diagnosed. To them, they had an idyllic life smoothly melding 2 worlds into one. He was a financial manager in a large firm handling the accounts of numerous highly prosperous bahis firmaları clients. She was a middle school teacher in the small town they lived outside a major metropolitan area in the east. With her summers off and ties to the small town, their home life was casual, easy, and close to nature. The large yard of the old four-square house was filled with vegetable and flower gardens. There seemed to be less and less mowing each year as she directed him in the expansion or creation of garden plots. He had chuckled at the memory that with the reduction in mowing, the edging required increased.She was 5 years his junior and provided the vitality and energy to their home and life; the very energy that his job in finances and big city demands seemed to suck out of him. Everything she touched seemed to blossom and flourish; the yard was obvious just by looking at it, the c***dren she taught and cared for by the way k**s continued to go out of their way to greet her in the morning and say ‘goodnight’ in the afternoon, but primarily, to him, the way she was able to keep him in the simplicity of life and not get lost in the turmoil, struggle, and competition of the city. He was complete and fulfilled.That all ended, though, when she was taken from his life. The house, the beauty of the yard, the very lushness of the country in the east were constant reminders of his loss and the emptiness of what was left of his life. A year after her death, he couldn’t take any more of the pretending he could live any kind of life when he was constantly reminded that she was not there with him. He couldn’t get past the thought, the knowledge, that he would never … ever … be happy or be able to make anyone else happy, again. And, when he realized that he truly believed that, he sunk even deeper into the morose that had become his existence.He finally gave up, literally, gave up on living. That is, he gave up trying to pretend that he could live the life, or any life resembling his life, ever again. That was when he quit his job, sold his house and the wonderful gardens of his love’s creation, consolidated his finances, and moved to the Southwest. He stopped in Albuquerque and then Phoenix. He wasn’t at all sure what he was looking for, but was sure he would recognize it when he fell into it, which was exactly the expectation he viewed it as. In his depressive state, he expected to find the only glimmer of hope for existence in something that allowed him to fall deeper and out of sight of the world. It was what he wanted, to give up on living while still having to live.He found it when he found his ranch/farm. It was a ranch when he found it. It was a much larger ranch when he found it. But, he sold off over half of the land and half of the livestock. Over time, he added the goats and hogs. In later years, he had modifications done to the house on the inside to make it safe to live in when he realized that he was actually going to be living some time longer. He avoided everyone, kept his travel to town and contact with others to a minimum. That kept travel on his road down to the point where it quickly became a trail, which further discouraged any curious visitors.We were in the park across the street, sitting on a bench adjoining a playground area with c***dren screaming and running around under either the bemused or absent gaze of parents. Harley, for his part, frequently raised an eyelid as some little feet approached his resting spot. I made all the c***dren go talk to their parents before they were allowed to pet him. A big, white German Shepard is enough to scare many adults and I didn’t need freaked-out parents scaring him with k**s around.We had been quiet for a moment and I knew the story he had wanted to share had essentially been told. And, it was fitting. He had lived the experience I now found myself in. While he was sharing, I was faced out into the park, giving him the benefit of the comfort of not being watched. Now, I turned toward him on the bench, curling my left leg under me. “So, you had successfully isolated yourself for all that time. How did you meet those 2 couples?”He laughed. “Honestly, until that day, I hadn’t met them. They came under false pretenses and when you all came, his explanation that there was a woman who wanted to have sex with a goat … well, I frankly couldn’t believe such a thing. I was too curious. I wanted to throw you all off my property, but there was something nagging at me to see what would happen.” He laughed, again. “Then I would throw you off my property.”“And, you did.”He looked at me and turned on the bench to face me. “I threw THEM off my property. You and I communicated, remember?” I nodded, I did remember. It was what brought Nick and me back to his place. We were quiet for a while, again, but we didn’t turn from each other. “Samantha, I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I made. I needed to share my story so you’d understand that I know something of what you are experiencing. Not what you are feeling because everyone is different and everyone’s pain and loss is unique. But, I do know. I lost 10 years of my life. I gave it away. I didn’t even fight for my life all that hard. I just ignored it. I don’t want that to happen to you.”“O … kay … but, what…?”He held up his hand. “I’m not saying I have any answers, but I have an idea.” I arched my eyebrow. “I think you should come out to my place. Just during the day a few times. At least, Harley could be off the leash and out of the apartment. And you liked it out there, I know you did.” I was quiet and thoughtful, but he continued. “I think you should come out and just be out there. I know my place was somewhere to enjoy different sex, but this time it will be just to be, to take in the solitude and quiet, the lack of expectation.”I looked down at Harley and found him looking up at me. He couldn’t possibly have understood that … But, I smiled at the thought. Albert was right, Harley would enjoy it. “Harley would enjoy that.”Albert touched my forearm, “Samantha, you’ll enjoy it, too. It was a place that I ran away to in order to lose myself, a place to ignore the world, a place to die. For you, though, it can be a place to find yourself, to discover your place in the world, a place to live, again.”I looked up at him, “No sex, huh?”He laughed. “No expectations. You and Harley … find yourselves.”As I pulled to a stop in the yard in front of his house that Saturday morning, a strange sense of peace came over me. Harley was standing on the back seat and pushed his nose alongside my face, swiping his tongue across my cheek. He was excited, so this was a good idea. And, if this peace I felt was real, it was a very good idea.Albert stepped out onto the porch and pointed to the barn. Harley and I went directly there. I had an idea how Harley and I could spend this day … up at the spring-fed lake on the mountain. I had a backpack containing treats for Harley and water for me, along with a beach towel. We spent the better part of the day at the lake, getting there by horseback, thanks to Albert having the dark gray mare ready for me.Albert enticed me into coming back the next Saturday and the one after that. Never was sex involved, except between Harley and me. Albert said it, but I hadn’t realized just how much my life had collapsed to the point that even Harley and I were not mating. We resolved that during those Saturdays and took that back with us to the apartment.When the fourth Saturday was approaching, I noticed how much I was looking forward to it, so much so that my thoughts were turning to the goat, again. Even the goat with its erratic temperament. The apartment was what I could afford on my minimal salary doing my minimal job that kept me tied to the city 5 days a week with no expectation of vacation or improvement. I did discover that I had Saturdays to look forward to and I thanked Albert profusely when we left each Saturday night and blessed him in my heart throughout the week as I looked forward to the next Saturday. It should have occurred to me what was happening, but I was caught in the moment of joy for my Saturdays that the emotional and psyche improvements were obscured. When I pulled the car to a stop in Albert’s yard on the morning of that fourth Saturday, it was with the same intention of the previous ones before it. Harley and I would share a day in the quiet with Albert and his ranch/farm. Whether we went to the lake or puttered around the farm assisting Albert or used the large covered patio in back for relaxing and reading, each day had been satisfying and energizing. And, it was in that same expectation that I opened the car door and released Harley who immediately tore off into the back of the house … free at last, free at last. I laughed as I watched him disappear around the house.I heard the house screen door slam shut and saw Albert walking out to meet me. He walked right up to me and took me into his arms, planting a kiss on my left cheek, then pushing me out to arm’s length, a big smile on his face. “What plans kaçak iddaa have you today?”I turned him to the house, slipping my arm inside of his, squeezing it to me, “None. Today, I am helping you around here. You indicate the priorities. I even dressed for it.” I wore jeans, a tee-shirt, and an old pair of running shoes. The Saturdays here had already inspired me to be more active and not just here, but in the city, too. Harley and I went for frequent walks and I started body-weight exercises daily, as well as making small and steady changes to my diet and habits. I had already lost 8 of the extra pounds.By mid-afternoon, I was ready for a break and to experience another of the wonders of nature in isolation. I called for Harley, then called over to Albert, “Harley and I are going for a walk.”He turned to me and smile, “You 2 have fun.” Then, as if he knew, he gave me a wink.I started out past the barn and up the rise behind the barn. The mountain was a bit of a walk away, and the ground steadily rose from the yard and soon I was high enough over the house and yard to see much of Albert’s land. It took a particular eye to see the beauty of the desert, but it was there. To be honest, my time in Tucson with Nick was devoid of the desert wonders except for trips on the road from one city to the next or up into the preserve behind the golf course. Actually, spending periods of time in it, though, brought a recognition of the desert and the land. One of the features of the desert that weren’t that beautiful, though, were snakes, especially the rattlers that were hidden behind rocks, brush, and cactus. Albert lectured me at length about precautions, what to watch for, what to do if encountered, what to do if bitten, heaven forbid. As a result, I always had a bite kit with me just in case. I had seen some but we avoid each other, which turned out to be the common occurrence like most wild things.Harley was ahead of me when I came to a small level surface several hundred feet above the yard below. From here, Albert’s land could be seen from one end to the other. I looked at the lake, then to the line of trees and over to the line that marked the dirt road on the other side. I looked around, not so much to verify my privacy, but to marvel at the amount of privacy that existed here. It was no wonder Albert was so secure in my being naked anywhere on the property. He was right, this was isolation in its very definition. I could not see them, but I knew that the Indians had their trailers just beyond the trees. I also spotted a plume of dust rising far off in the distance indicating that someone was out there moving on the dirt road miles away. Yes, this was isolation. This was a place you could lose yourself, hide from whatever you wanted to hide from, a place where you could die while still breathing.I turned my face to the sun and sucked in the dry desert air into my lungs, exhaled slowly through my mouth, then pulled my tee-shirt up my body and over my head. This can be that kind of place … or, this can be the kind of place where the solitude, the isolation, the peace brings you face-to-face with yourself, your fears, your disappointments, your sorrows, and your losses. A place where you can look at yourself in complete honesty, largely because there is not a lot more to see until you do. How can you see beauty, if you can’t see it in yourself? How can you accept help and forgiveness, if you cannot give it in return?Harley was above me on a rock outcropping when my movements captured his attention. Whatever had his curiosity before, now he stood on the rocks, his eyes on me. I sat down on my own rock, untied and removed my shoes and socks. I stood up, unsnapped my jeans, pushing them and my panties down my legs. I turned to him as my hands went behind my back, unclipping the 3 hooks holding my bra to me. His scramble off the rocks and down the little slope brought a smile to me. He stopped directly in front of me, his tail wagging in expectation and happiness. Dirt and dust being whipped into the air behind him. I stepped up to him, separating my feet as I did. I watched from above him as he sniffed the air in front of him, then moved his snout to my pelvis, sniffing closer until his nose was between my legs. That was when his tongue shot out and lapped between my thighs, covering the length of my pussy in that single swipe of his tongue.It was divine. Outside, with Harley, not hidden, not afraid, not nervous about noise. With his third swipe of his tongue, I gasped loudly, because it felt so good, and because I could. I took his head in my hands and crouched down in front of him. I held his face and brought my lips to his, kissing him, then tonguing him, touching tongues and taking his into my mouth.I looked into his eyes and, in a not quiet voice, asked him, “My Harley, I have ignored you, will you fuck me now, here, like only you can?” He did not nod, he did not say ‘yes, ma’am’, but his tail was wagging furiously. I reached along his side and felt under his belly. I pulled my hand away and looked into his eyes. “Someone is very horny …”I petted him on the head, knelt down in front of him and went to my hands and knees. There was no sniffing or licking of my ass or pussy this time, he just jumped onto my back. My hand was between my legs in anticipation and his already exposed cock slid along my palm, hit the side of my pussy, and enter me. I sucked my lower lip in anticipation and he drove his cock deeply into me. I gasped out but knew from experience that there was more. He adjusted his forelegs around me, then pulled me and pressed himself, bringing us together with even more penetration. In the next couple thrusts, he was deep inside me and my gasp and cry were complete at again feeling his cock inside me, completing the feeling of renewal, the 2 of us in the open mating. That was what this place was to me, a place where I felt whole and complete and free to be who I wanted to be … needed to be.He made me orgasm when his knot pushed through my distended pussy lips and his urgency in fucking me did not stop or slow down by his knot being inside me. He continued to thrust wildly into me, his knot pulling my lips far out from my body as he pulled before thrusting back into me. The feeling of his cock pulsing, then jerking inside my pussy, then his seed spurting in gushes into my hungry, clenching, milking pussy chamber sent me into another climactic orgasm. This one I screamed and cried out in a joyous, climactic, resurgent experience.I dropped my breast, chest, and face into the crushed rock and sand of the ground, my heaving, gasping breath sending puffs of dust from near my mouth. I opened my eyes, a smile on my face and a determination in my heart. As if a sign of consent of my feelings of soaring, I spied a hawk gliding effortlessly on the updrafts of air off the hot ground. I reached back and patted Harley’s hip as we were stuck ass-to-ass. A sign? A confirmation of my spirit? Is that what the Indians would say? How was I to know, but it seemed like a romantic thing to imagine.When Harley separated us, I rolled onto my back and gazed up at the light blue sky above. The hawk was gone, but the memory, the thought, the image was still with me. This feeling I felt, this sense that I knew inside me, how confident was I about it? Was it a romantic impulse brought on by Harley and a hawk? Was it more and real?I rolled onto my knees and gained my feet. I found my shoes, sat down on the nearest rock and put them back on. I picked up my clothes, called Harley, and headed down the slope to the yard below.Harley ran ahead of me as we neared the yard. As I rounded the barn, I found Albert crouched down and petting Harley, his tail wagging crazily. I stopped and watched them for a moment until Albert looked up and found me watching them. He stood up, Harley now lost to his attention. I stood 100 feet from him, naked with my old running shoes on, my clothes held at my waist, wrapped into a ball in my jeans. A smile spread across his face and he met me halfway. He stood in front of me, gazing into my eyes and I thought I might fall into them or they might be seeing every tightly held secret of my past. But his gaze and face never changed. A wide smile and open, welcoming eyes.“My dear Samantha, so wonderful to see you back.” I just smiled at him wondering how real this was. He turned to walk alongside me, his arm going around my bare waist. I leaned into him and rested my head on his shoulder for a moment.We were in the kitchen at the old dinette table drinking iced tea. I was still naked and I had kicked off my shoes. Albert, of course, was fully dressed. It was late afternoon and about the time when I should be getting ready to return to the city. It was a bit of a drive and much of it was on a bad dirt road that I did not want to drive in the dark. There was nothing darker than when you were miles from the nearest light source.Albert was not looking at me. Not like he was not LOOKING at me … it was not my body he was not looking kaçak bahis at, it was me he was not looking at. He seemed nervous, tense, or uncertain about something. I let him work it out and waited, sipping my iced tea. He was not drinking his, he held the glass with heavy condensation on the outside, twisting it in his now wet fingers. He put the glass down and look up at me. I looked at him and waited.“Samantha …” There was nothing more so I raised an eyebrow, it seemed I should respond somehow. “Samantha …” Come on Albert, say it, you want to, just do it. “I want you to stay tonight. Go back tomorrow. I know we didn’t plan this, but I think …” I half stood and reached across the table putting my index finger to his lips, “Yes …” He stopped fidgeting with his glass, leaned back in his chair and smiled. “On one condition, though.” He nodded. “I sleep in your bed. If you want to just sleep, that’s fine. But, I want to share the night with you, against you.” He smiled and nodded. The acceptance wasn’t resigned or reluctant. His acceptance felt as if he agreed that the time was right.The night-time ritual would take a little time to develop, I suppose. He went out to the pens, assuring himself that the smaller a****ls were securely inside the sheds where they were less threatened by wild predators in the area. He didn’t shut up the house as securely, feeling the security of isolation and promoting cool night air flow through the house.I took a shower before bed, having at least been rolling in the dirt with Harley, not to mention the sweat and dust of working side-by-side with Albert with other a****ls. When I came out, he was ready to go in for his shower. I was drying my hair with a towel as I saw him take a pair of boxers that I assumed he intended to sleep in. When he came back, I was sitting on the edge of the bed. He stopped and leaned against the open doorway.I looked up, aware of his presence, “What?” It was a question full of uncertainty.He smiled as he gazed at me, “You … you are beautiful, Samantha. It could take some getting used to, you like that in my bed. But, if you are going to be in my bed, you should be comfortable being there and not waiting for me.”I smiled back at him and glanced over my shoulder to the bed, “Oh, no … I will be comfortable in your bed, Albert. People seem to have a natural order to where they sleep in the bed out of long habit, alarm clock location, or maybe just where the window is located for views in the morning or avoidance from the light. I did not want to presume and perhaps take your preferred side.”He chuckled, “You are an interesting woman. And, where would you think I might prefer if you were to guess?”I had already thought about it, which was why I was sitting on the bedside I was. “The other side, next to the window. There are no clocks in here, few in the whole house, come to think of it. It indicates that you probably wake up to the day when it comes to you. The trees outside would provide filtered light in the early morning, probably some morning birds chirping, which is better than any alarm clock that the day is ready to be taken.”I was proven correct when he turned off the light and walked easily and confidently in the dark to the other side, a walk repeated over the years. As he moved to the other side, his shape appearing before the open window and the faint light of the moon’s reflection against the mountain far beyond, I crawled into my side and pulled the top sheet over me. When he was settled, I snuggled up against him, leaving a good share of the bed unused.The side of my face against his shoulder, “I need to be against you.”One hand reached across his chest and smoothed the hair on my head, the other was wrapped around me. He rolled his head and put a kiss on my forehead. “It is something I could gladly get used to …” I smiled into his shoulder and wiggled my body a little bit closer against him. Sleep found me very quickly, but before it completely shrouded my consciousness, a sense of rightness, comfort, and security enveloped me.When my eyes flickered open next, it was morning. My hands told me I was alone in the bed. My eyes told me it was bright outside. I tried to think what time in the morning that might be and couldn’t. Then, I tried to think what time it might have been last night when we went to bed and realized that I couldn’t. The clock wasn’t very important in this life. I rolled over onto my back and stretched my body. I hadn’t slept so soundly and comfortably for … yes, since … And, I felt more refreshed from a single night’s sleep than I had for … yes, the same time. I suspected, here, you go to bed when the work is done and you are tired. You get up in the morning with the sun and the sounds of the world surrounding you. The way of the world around you becomes the clock of your life and that must be the most natural way of life.I sat up on the bed and looked out the window. It was, indeed, bright outside. I got out of bed, went to the bathroom, then returned and wondered what to do with my body. Should I go out naked or put clothes on. I wasn’t sure about either one and I wished there was a middle ground to choose, but I only had the clothes I wore when I came yesterday. It seemed like that or nothing. I looked at the dresser at the side of the room, then at the door, hearing noises from the kitchen. I opened a drawer, then another before finding folder tee-shirts. I pulled out the one on top and held it to my shoulders. It fell down just below my crotch. It would have to do. I slipped it over my head and looked at myself in the mirror over the dresser. It would have to do, though it barely covered me standing quietly.I walked into the kitchen and it was a moment before Albert turned to my presence. When he did, he did a double take seeing me in his tee-shirt hanging loosely over my smaller body.“Good morning, how did you sleep?”I chuckled, “Like the dead. I have not felt so refreshed after a night’s sleep in … a long time.” I saw him looking at my barely covered body. “I hope you don’t mind me raiding your tee-shirts …”He laughed, “Not at all. I said to make yourself at home. Besides … it looks a lot better on you than it ever did on me.”He dished up a plate for me of a warm egg dish, toast, juice, and coffee. He must have already eaten because he sat opposite me at the table sipping his coffee and thinking and watching me. When I pushed my plate to the side, he refilled our cups and retook his position, but this time leaning forward with his elbows on the table, his hands holding his cup.It was quiet for a moment, one of those times when you were sure there was something important to come. Knowing Albert, if I pressed, he might chicken out, so I waited while sipping at the hot coffee, watching over the rim of my cup.Then he started, looking into his coffee cup rather than me, “I have a proposal I would like you to consider.” He glanced up at me. I did the eyebrow raise, again, to keep him going. He hesitated longer, “I would like you to consider moving in here with me.”This was not expected. “Moving in … here?”“Okay … hear me out, first, please.” I nodded. It was not that I did not like the idea, I just was not prepared for it. “You like it here, and … I like you here.” He looked up at me, “To be blunt, you have a nothing job just to make payments; you and Harley live in a small apartment; your existence is currently in survival mode and … well … you may likely get stuck in that existence.”“Did you have this planned from the start?”He shook his head. “No, honest. It only started to form when I saw you and Harley returning from your … walk, yesterday. Then, last night and this morning it solidified in my mind. But, I have more to say …” I did the eyebrow thing, again. It was becoming a regular communication method for me. “We both know how you have responded to your Saturday’s here, not to mention how Harley likes it. I know it is not simple, but … we have already been good for each other and there is nothing that says it has to be forever, though, I would like that if it was. What I am trying to say, Samantha, is that we are dealing with similar things and I know we can be good for each other. This is not a matter of us finding a love like either of us knew before. I don’t think that is realistic. I also think looking to replace that kind of love will leave each of us wanting and lonely. I’m not saying we can find that kind of love, but we can find a life … a life that we deserve and want and need. And, that life may provide us with a kind of love that satisfies a desire for meaning and belonging, too.”He started furtively glancing up at my eyes. I was floored and surprised. I had no idea this was coming, but I was not shocked by the idea, either. Everything he said was right; they were things I have had fleeting thoughts of myself after the first few Saturdays.He asked me to just think about it and we could talk more the next Saturday if I still wanted to come. Still wanted to come? Of course, I still wanted to come. And, thinking about this was going to be interesting. A dramatic change may be the very thing I needed to keep me out of depression. Yes, I would very definitely think about it.* * CHAPTER 7: CHOOSING LIFE will follow * * Thanks for reading.

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