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Regina Wheeler brushed her hand against the expensive bronze metallic leather clutch and shivered as instant euphoria coursed through her body. Designer handbags, clutches, totes, and shoulder bags were her passion an obsession of monumental proportion. She could eye spy a knockoff with just a glance. Her designer collection hung on the backs of three of her closet doors, were stacked in boxes on shelves inside closets and drawers in the spare bedrooms, and there was even a secret stash in the basement.
She couldn't resist fondling and inhaling the soft leather once more before paying for the stylish clutch.
Unfortunately, she wouldn't have the luxury of putting her latest acquisition on display in her bedroom where her eyes could feast upon it. Not wanting to hear the words "Another expensive bag?" from her husband's lips, Regina would have to conceal her purchase. This new beauty would have to be hidden in the basement with the rest of her prized possessions dozens of colorful bags covered with protective plastic.
And when she decided to carry the metallic clutch, Matt would roll his gaze to the ceiling. "Is that new?" he'd ask suspiciously. Regina would reply ever so innocently, "No, honey. I bought this last year." He'd frown and mumble in dissatisfaction, but her denial would quash an endless sermon about frivolous spending and how they needed to tighten their budget. At that point, Regina would solemnly agree to cut back on spending and the bronze metallic clutch would join the other beautiful bags displayed in their bedroom.
At home, Regina clicked on the basement light and bounced down the stairs. One of these days she and Matt were going to invest in getting the basement remodeled to give it a finished look add a powder room, plasma TV, pool table, the works. Matt always complained that if it weren't for all the money Regina spent on her obsession the basement could have been refinished years ago.
She stood for a second at the cedar closet, ran her hand across the surface in reverence. Treasured possessions that had belonged to her son his favorite toys and items of clothing that she'd cherished and was unable to part with were stored inside the cedar closet, which was kept padlocked.
She kept her collection inside that sacred place, also. It was a good hiding place; her husband would never go snooping inside the cedar closet. Too many painful memories were locked within.
In fact, her husband hardly ever descended the basement stairs. He didn't have the time to fiddle with the manly tools and gadgets that occupied the basement. Working a full-time job, running a business, and training employees was more than enough work for one man, he'd told his wife. So Regina, finding herself unable to fit another item inside the cedar closet, figured she could hide the narrow box containing the bronze clutch in the storage area where her husband kept his neglected tools.
She rearranged some of the gadgets and pushed the box to the back of the shelf where it would be undetected. Though the box was small, she couldn't push it out of view; something was in the way. Standing on her tiptoes and stretching her arm as far as she could, she used the tips of her fingers to retrieve a package that crinkled as she pulled it out of its hiding place.
It was a shiny bag with a T-Mobile logo. Regina snatched open the bag. Curious and slightly disturbed, she scrutinized the packaged cell phone. The state-of-the-art device came equipped with internet access and a host of features. Matt must have intended to give the phone to his seventeen-year-old nephew, Eric.
Regina frowned in thought. Matt had already given Eric a cell phone. Granted, the manufacturers came out with newer models at a rapid rate, but she and Matt didn't make the kind of money required to keep up with modern technology. She was surprised that Matt, usually frugal to the point of being obnoxiously stingy, would go behind her back and secretly give his nephew a more expensive, upgraded model. Sure, Eric was his favorite nephew but it wasn't as if he were their own son.
Our son. Regina's eyes watered instantly. Her little boy her baby would have been close to Eric's age now. He'd be in high school. She wondered how he'd look how he'd behave as a teen. Would he have remained as sweet, as good-natured as he'd been as a child? Frowning, she shook her head, trying to rid her mind of painful memories. But it was too late images of her little boy's face began to flash like a fast-moving slide show.
"Devon," she cried aloud as she was hit by a pang of yearning so severe it was almost disabling. Clutching her heart, Regina slumped against the storage bin.
Though she was alone in the house, Regina wept quietly. Her tears, like her designer bags, were kept secret. Crying over a son she'd lost ten years ago was considered unhealthy. "Life goes on," well-meaning friends had told her.
Life goes on? Maybe so for other people. Even Matt had found a way to cope. He seemed to have replaced Devon with his nephew, Eric. He played surrogate father to Eric, participating in all his academic and sporting events. Regina was fond of Eric but she couldn't bring herself to dote on him as Matt did. It seemed unfair to Devon.
It took an hour for the sobbing session to end and when she finished crying, feeling purged, she straightened her shoulders and dried her eyes. She glanced at the T-Mobile package and shrugged. She'd pretend she didn't know about the phone and wait until Matt was ready to reveal why he felt the need to indulge Eric with yet another hi-tech phone.
Matt had been employed at Boeing Helicopters in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, since he was eighteen years old and right out of high school. Now, a year shy of his fortieth birthday and feeling that life was passing him by, Matt had invested his life's savings and had even taken out a loan, for which Regina had co-signed, to start a commercial cleaning business. He had a staff of four three men and one woman all recovering substance abusers.
Every evening at five-fifteen, Matt pulled up in his van and picked up the foursome on the corner of Ninth and Central Avenue in Chester, Pennsylvania. From there, he transported them to various commercial businesses in the tri-state area, where they were on a tight schedule to get the work done and then move on to the next building.
He usually dragged back home around midnight and was up again at six in the morning to start his day job at Boeing. It was grueling, but having his own business gave him a sense of purpose and seemed to brighten his life.
Though Regina had little faith in Matt's ability to succeed in the cleaning industry his renewed zest for life was worth every dime of their joint life savings that he'd sunk into the business. She could sleep easily at night because her pension at her job as a marketing manager at an insurance company, as well as her 401K account, were the back-up plan.
With Matt working such long hours, Regina's life had become a little more tolerable. The best part of having a husband who worked sixteen hours a day was that he was too exhausted to harass her at night. Well, at least not as often as he used to. For the first few years of their marriage Regina having had only one sex partner in her life thought Matt's undersized penis was normal.
Early in their marriage when sparks didn't fly, she'd hoped that in time and with a little more experience, their love life would escalate to hot and steamy instead of remaining lukewarm. And boring. He'd been a premature ejaculator from the beginning of their marriage, but Regina had learned to accept that as well.
It took two years for her to even admit to her husband that she'd never achieved an orgasm. He looked at her with utter shock. "Why not?" he asked accusingly as if there was something wrong with her. The sudden tension in the atmosphere caused Regina to back down. Sparing her husband the humiliation of being told that his equipment as well as his bedroom skills were lacking, Regina mumbled that she didn't know why she had never reached a climax. Protecting her man's ego, she took the fall, which resulted in the unspoken conclusion that she, and not Matt, had a problem.
Over the years, Matt did nothing to improve their sex life. He continued to rush through foreplay and never bothered to experiment and find her pleasure points. After one sloppy kiss, he'd run his hands impatiently over her breasts, squeeze her thighs, and then penetrate. After a few thrusts, he'd ejaculate. His body would jerk spastically. He'd groan so loud and for so long, Regina often feared that neighbors would think Matt was being attacked by a violent intruder and consider it their civic duty to call 911. With all that post-intercourse commotion, one would have thought Matt had been stroking her long and hard.
Now he had a new dysfunction. In addition to being undersized and prone to pre-ejaculation, Matt could not maintain an erection. He'd urge her to "play with it." And when her halfhearted hand job failed to keep him hard, he'd straddle her, rub his little dick on her tits, turn her over, and try to stuff it between her buttocks. When he finally became semi-erect, he'd quickly turn her over on her back and pant like an animal as he desperately tried to force himself inside her. His semi-erect dick would slip out of her opening and Matt would quickly, desperately, stuff it back in.
She supposed her husband's dick problems had desensitized her. Since he couldn't deliver the goods, it would seem the decent thing to do would be for him to go on about his business and leave her alone. Sex with her husband had become worse than just an unpleasant chore. It was torture.
Until six months ago. That's when she'd finally put her foot down and threatened to move into another bedroom if Matt didn't get treatment. He needed Viagra or something for erectile dysfunction. "Go see a doctor or leave me alone," she yelled, putting an end to what was beginning to feel like physical abuse.
Looking forlorn, Matt insisted his problem was stress related. A temporary situation.
Perhaps it was. Regina no longer cared. Having a limp penis humping hard against her vagina was a kind of torture she was no longer willing to endure.
At thirty-eight years old, Regina was at her sexual peak. She yearned to be aroused by extended foreplay. Her body ached for a substantially sized penis with girth and length that could produce heart-pounding, toe-curling orgasms.
Though she'd thought about cheating, seeking out a secret lover who could provide her with good sex was something she could not bring herself to do. Stuck in a passionless marriage, Regina sadly accepted that she and Matt would grow old together. And most likely, the location of her G-spot would remain an undiscovered mystery.
"Are you planning on upgrading Eric's phone?" Regina asked as she piled left-over spaghetti onto her husband's plate. To hell with waiting for Matt to bring up the subject.
Matthew Wheeler cocked his head and stared at the forkful of sauce-covered pasta. "What?"
"The new cell phone in the basement," she informed him. "It's for Eric, isn't it?"
"Oh!" He nodded enthusiastically and shoveled in the food. Between chews, he added, "Yeah, you know how he likes all the latest gadgets. He told me the phone we bought him back in September is already obsolete." Matt laughed heartily.
We? Regina gave Matt a disapproving look. "I fail to see any humor in this."
"What?" Matt asked with a shrug.
"Since you started your business, you're constantly complaining about money. We have to tighten up our spending isn't that what you tell me? So why would you buy that boy a new phone just because he likes new gadgets? Didn't you give him money for clothes, a cell phone, and an expensive laptop at the beginning of the school year?"
Matt held up his hands in surrender. "You're right. I know I go overboard for Eric. But he's my only nephew..."
Regina glared at Matt.
"All right. I'll take the phone back tonight; there's a little strip mall with a T-Mobile store near one of my buildings. I just thought Eric would get a kick out of the new phone."
Regina shook her head. "He has a mother, you know. Why do you have to indulge his every whim? Can't your sister contribute anything for Eric?"
Matt's face hardened. The subject of his irrational commitment to his sister and her son was touchy, an off-limits topic that Regina rarely approached. But today she felt righteously indignant. She had to hide handbags bought with money she earned while Matt doted on someone else's child.
"Did I tell you Eric's going to be working with me this summer when he gets out of school?" Matt said cheerfully.
"No, you didn't mention it," Regina mumbled, lips pressed together in irritation. "What does that have to do with the new phone?"
"The new phone is on my plan. I can communicate with Eric at no extra charge. It'll really come in handy if he's working at one building while I'm at another. As soon as he learns the ropes, I plan to make him supervisor."
Regina rolled her eyes. "That boy's never done one day of hard labor. Eric needs to focus on getting into college, not learn the necessary skills to supervise a pack of conniving lowlifes. My God, Matt, he's just a teen-ager. He's not emotionally prepared for the drug-related antics of your work crew."
"What antics?" Matt asked, his voice rising. "What do you know about my employees?"
"I know that they're all drug addicts and alcoholics."
"My employees are all in recovery, Regina," Matt said defensively. "They're trying to get their lives together and they're doing a fine job."
"And their labor is cheap. That's the best part of the deal, isn't it?" she said sarcastically.
"What's the real problem, Regina? Are you upset because I'm spending so much time away from home or are you jealous because I latched onto something that has the potential to change our status in life something I can leave Eric."
"I'm not jealous. I realize long hours are part of the process. As far as your nephew's concerned, maybe it's comforting for you to play 'pretend pop,' but it hurts me deeply that you hardly ever speak your own son's name." For a moment Regina was quiet. "Would it kill you to say Devon's name once in a while?"
"What's there to say? Devon's gone," Matt said bitterly. "What do you want me to say?"
"That you miss him," she said with a whimper.
Matt didn't answer. Regina leaned against the counter and stared at the kitchen floor.
Matt finished his meal in silence. Regina immediately turned around and began stacking dishes in the dishwasher. Their marriage was failing had failed years ago. Were they headed for divorce court? Regina wanted to cry. Her husband's love for her was so sincere and they'd endured all the bumps in the road that life had thrown their way. But most important, he was faithful. Had always been. How many women could make that claim?
She loved her husband, but she no longer desired him sexually. She hated the sexual part of their relationship. And she despised the fact that he'd replaced their son so easily.
Matt cleared his throat. "I just remembered. I have to get an oil change before I pick up my crew. With all the miles I've been putting on the van, I don't want to take any chances and mess up my engine." He attempted to speak in a neutral tone, pretending there wasn't tension in the room.
He wiped his mouth with a napkin and stood, reached in his pocket, and peeled off three fifties. "Buy yourself something a new purse or something." Giving his wife a sad smile, he laid the money on the kitchen table.
It was his way of saying he was sorry about his seeming lack of regard for their son's memory. Regina nodded sadly and turned back to the dishwasher. Matt patted her back apologetically and threw down another fifty on his way out the door.
Regina went upstairs and put the money Matt had given her inside her Coach Patchwork Denim wallet. She'd add five hundred more and buy the Valentino braided tote that she'd been lusting for. Even the prospect of spending money on a prized possession that she wouldn't have to hide did nothing to elevate her mood.
Grappling with a barrage of negative thoughts, Regina sat on her bed, clutched a pillow to her bosom, and rocked. But the rocking motion did not soothe her. She felt agitated. So agitated she snatched the pillow away from her chest, folded it, and stuck it between her legs.
Squeezing the pillow with her thighs, she closed her eyes and imagined being plundered by a vulgar faceless man who was hung like a horse. He forced himself inside her, smacking her face when she pleaded for him to be gentle to have mercy. It was a wickedly delicious fantasy that made her juices overflow and soak through the pillowcase.
During her fantasy, she used crude language, making sexual demands she'd never made with her husband. "Fuck me with that big dick. Split my pussy wide open," she shouted as her vaginal muscles contracted rapidly. "Goddamn!" she screamed as she exploded. Her face was twisted in a grimace, her heart pounding loudly and pumping so hard, it frightened her. Gasping for breath, Regina rubbed her chest in a circular motion. Finally, the spasms subsided and Regina was catapulted back to the reality of her own bedroom, lying in her marital bed with a pillow stuffed between her legs.
She let out a long sigh. Her life was so sad. Pitiable. Her husband was sexually disabled and refused to seek help. She was so deprived she'd resorted to fucking a damn pillow. Ashamed and feeling hopeless, she flung the pillow to the floor and quickly grabbed another, this time placing it on her face to muffle her sobs. She was certain that she loved her husband. After twenty years of marriage, he was like an extension of her, like an arm or leg, and she couldn't imagine life without him.
But she was dying inside. And it was Matt's fault. He didn't care that his limp dick had never given her an orgasm. He was perfectly content to continue their macabre sex dance. She'd talked about it and talked about it until she was blue in the face, but Matt was in denial. He said he was going through a phase that he was anxious about his new business venture. Whatever! The fact remained that she was an unfulfilled woman who was locked in a sexless marriage.
Sleeping with another man for sexual satisfaction was out of the question. How could she ever look at herself in the mirror if she broke her marriage vows? And despite everything, she really loved Matt.
Regina exhaled. She'd just have to exercise more patience. In the meantime, she'd try to figure out a way to coerce Matt into getting professional help. He really needed to see a doctor. A sex therapist. An acupuncturist. Hell, she'd send him to a hypnotist. Perhaps the power of suggestion could help him keep his dick hard. © 2009 by Allison Hobbs