The long week-end loomed ahead of me and I needed a friend. Maybe I'd call Mitzi Grover. A few years had gone by since we'd talked, and she lived right here in Texas, in Flower Mound, the same suburb. We'd met in college and had known each other for twenty some years, but after the phone rang eight times I gave up. I should have called her before, but I just hadn't wanted to involve her in my troubles.
As I sat there in my room, I thought about Dade again and began to feel like a fool for falling for his lifestyle and charm. I wondered too, had I led him on?
I remembered taking his car last night when I ran out of his house, and when I peeked through the blinds the big maroon Lexus still stood outside at the door, parked sideways just as I'd left it.
Would he show up soon for it?
As I sat there lonely and depressed, I suddenly remembered the ring he had given me. I looked down at my hand and good Lord, it was gone! Had I tossed it somewhere, out the car window last night when I'd driven back to town? I could hardly remember the long ride back to the city. Or had I lost it in the shower when I stood in there fior hours washing and scrubbing to rid myself of his taste and touch.
I got down on my hands and knees and checked the floor, then crawled over to the bed and looked under it as my heart raced. I ran into the bathroom and flung back the curtain in the shower and there it lay winking at me, caught in the drain cover. I picked it up and looked at it in the light, then slipped it on my finger. I watched it sparkle, then laid it on the table. It would have looked good on my hand, big and expensive.
It was nine o'clock on a Saturday morning and I was feeling wretched from loss of sleep and faint from hunger and stress. I pulled on a pair of jeans and slipped on a long sleeved shirt, repaired my face as well as I could and went across the street to a coffee shop. I had met Betty, the waitress previously and liked her, so I asked her to join me on her break.
Betty was a few years older and was raising two boys on her own. She worked days here at Shoney's and then nights at Tony's Steakhouse. She was like a mother to everyone and had been especially nice to me when I first started there.
Betty lit a cigarette and sipped her coffee, then said to me, "honey, you look like hell. Are you all right?"
"No--," I murmured, "I didn't sleep last night."
She studied me for a minute, then said, "I saw you leave after work last night with Dade Lampart, I take it things didn't go so well?"
My hand shook as I lifted the cup of coffee to my lips and winched as the hot liquid touched my lips. Feeling her eyes on me. I set it down carefully with both hands.
"Betty," I asked, "what do you know about Dade?"
She laughed harshly, "What do you want to know? I 've known him for years and I noticed he's been romancing you lately."
I swallowed. "I've got to talk to someone. Betty, you know then, I've been seeing him for several months and he invited me out to his ranch to spend this week-end."
Betty eyed me expectantly. "Okay, go on."
I took a shaking breath and whispered, "first, he purposed and then he raped me!"
"He raped you, that ass-hole! I'm so sorry Lindy, I wondered when he would show his true colors!"