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Seduction In Numbers
By RICHARD K. BYRNE
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013Richard K. Byrne
All rights reserved.
The Early Years
Alice and Jane Adams lived with their parents in a small Cape Cod-style home on Joshua's Way in Chatham, Massachusetts. The home was really nothing more than a cottage with a combination living room and kitchen, two bedrooms, and a single bath. The sisters loved sharing one bedroom together. It gave them the chance to swap secrets and comfort each other when things happened that troubled them. Sharing one bathroom was becoming a bigger problem each day as they grew older. There was no lock on the door, and, now that they were at that middle-school age, the girls wanted much more privacy, especially from their parents.
"Someday I am going to have a huge bathroom that I can lock myself into for as long as I want to stay there," Alice said.
"That sounds like the best idea I've heard yet," Jane agreed. "And I want a huge bedroom too and a closet all of my own."
"I wouldn't want my own bedroom now though for anything. Being with you keeps me from getting afraid at night."
"Hey, you're older! You're supposed to be protecting me, remember?" Jane giggled.
"I love it when you giggle like that," said Alice. "You always do it when you are happy, and that makes me happy too."
"I can't imagine being here without you. I hope we can live together forever," Jane said.
"Someday our husbands may think that's a bad idea." Alice laughed.
"Maybe, maybe not. Who knows?" Jane answered.
Alice didn't comment; she didn't want to ruin Jane's wonderful innocence.
The girls' mother, Catherine, and father, John, were married in 1960 when she was thirty and he was thirty-four. John had served in World War II, and after coming home he had sold cars, dabbled in real estate, and finally begun his own insurance business. He was tall and still handsome for his age, but his face was beginning to become ruddy and wrinkled from his drinking. "It's not the drinking!" he would insist. "It's the salt air and Cape winds that are the cause."
Catherine, who was now in her late forties, had the beauty of a much younger woman. She was a little over five feet tall, weighed only a hundred pounds, and her figure was the envy of every other woman in town. She had received a registered nursing degree from Newton Wellesley Hospital and worked for Dr. Hubbard, a local internist.
It was Saturday May 6, 1978, and the Red Sox had just beaten the White Sox on a two-run, tenth-inning homer by Dwight Evens, and the girls' dad was about to head to his favorite watering spot to "celebrate and have a few" as he put it. Catherine was furious and warned him that he'd better not come home drunk and smelling of perfume as he so often did. John was known around town to be a philanderer and did little to hide his infidelity, which humiliated Catherine. Catherine, who used to be sociable, had become tight lipped and withdrawn around town to avoid being embarrassed by the mean and nasty comments—especially those made by those who attended the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church on Highland Avenue where she never missed a mass.
John and Catherine argued most of the time, and the young girls couldn't understand why their father wanted to be with so many other women in town. No other fathers were like that, so they often wondered what was wrong with him.
"I wish Mom would just leave Dad and get it over with," Alice said. "Mom is such a good wife. She keeps an immaculate house, is a great cook, and has a wonderful figure. She could have any other man in town if she wanted to, but instead she puts up with Dad's shit day after day and week after week. I know if I were her, I'd go for our new gym coach, Mr. Higgins. He's her age and as handsome as Apollo. All the female teachers chase him around like bitches in heat. I love Dad, but he just isn't the right man for Mom and never has been."
"I don't think it's all Dad's fault that they don't get along," said Jane. "So many times he has tried to be nice and has kissed her on the neck and patted her ass in front of us. I know he is really turned off when she says to him that he makes her feel like a Kennedy woman. What does she mean when she says that?"
"She means that dad wants to have his children by her but would rather screw someone else for pleasure—like Marilyn Monroe," Alice answered.
"But Mom looks like Marilyn Monroe, and people tell me I look like her too," Jane said.
"I know; it really tees me off when I hear boys say how pretty you are and then call me stretch because I'm so tall for my age. I definitely take after Dad's side of the family," Alice said sadly.
"But you have such beautiful black hair, and mine is just a dirty blonde. It won't be long before the boys are taller than you, and I hear they like girls who are tall and thin like magazine models. I will always just look like a little girl no matter how old I get," Jane assured her.
"You'll be the cheerleader who gets thrown into the air. I'll be stuck with catching you or being at the bottom of the pyramid." Alice laughed. "Better be good to me, or I might just let you fall and break your neck. You could be hurt real bad you know. You're delicate and frail, and I'm so big and strong I'll never get hurt."
"Anyway, getting back to what we were talking about," Jane continued, "I still think it is more Mom's fault than Dad's that they don't get along. I think if I were Dad I would have a girlfriend too just to feel wanted."
"Maybe so, but I know I would be mad as hell if my husband cheated on me, and I wouldn't give him any love or affection either. I don't know which comes first—Mom's coldness or Dad's cheating—but either way it is what it is," Alice said.
"It's a good thing we have each other," Jane said lovingly.
"I agree," Alice added. "I am not ever going to let a man ruin my life like that."
"Me either," Jane agreed.
Their mother, having overheard their conversation, was very concerned and felt that this was the time to have the talk with them that she had dreaded having to have for many years.
Alice and Jane were about to leave for the short walk downtown to enjoy their traditional Saturday ice cream cone.
"Girls, before you leave, I want to have a serious talk with you," she said. "Come sit with me in the living room."
"Uh-oh, we're in trouble now," Alice whispered to her sister. "We should have waited until we left to talk about them."
"Girls, I don't want you to be too harsh on your father; there are many things you just don't know about him. I know I beat up on him pretty bad sometimes, but that's because I do love him in spite of his need to be with other women. Actually, I'm worried about his health and emotions more than anything else," Catherine said.
"How can you be so understanding?" Alice asked. "You get laughed at all over town, and I even see kids looking at me and whispering and giggling as I walk by. I just know it is because of Dad. I even think he's been with some of their mothers."
"It probably is because of the way your Dad carouses, but believe it or not, I have my reasons for putting up with his behavior," Catherine said.
"If that's the case, then you really should share what you know with us," Jane said.
There was a very long pause before Catherine spoke again. "You must promise me that you will never tell anyone else what I am about to share with you. If your dad found out he would be so upset! God only knows what he might do. For reasons I don't understand, he made me promise never to let anyone else know what bothers him so much. I think I understand why he is constantly searching for recognition, even if
Excerpted from Seduction In Numbers by RICHARD K. BYRNE. Copyright © 2013 by Richard K. Byrne. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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