Empty Nesters Ch. 01

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Notes [Last revised September 18, 2015]:

– Special thanks to Ciguardian for helping us make this better by actually editing this story.
– All characters are the product of the authors’ imagination, and are 18 years of age or older.
– Although this is a standalone series there are undisclosed details in Unintended Consequences and An Unwitting Discovery.
– We don’t think there is a particular order to read these since the reveals make it more interesting in the order published. However, several readers have commented the order should be Unintended Consequences, Empty Nesters and then An Unwitting Discovery.

* * * * *

We both left our parents’ home as soon as we possibly could. The relationship with our strict father and semi-abusive mother made it a necessity. Katherine made her escape when she graduated from high school.

Kate was truly special. She was super bright, got A’s in all her subjects and skipped a grade somewhere in elementary school. When she walked across the platform to collect her high school diploma, two weeks before her seventeenth birthday, she had a full four-year engineering scholarship to NC State tucked in her pocket. I’m not quite sure what happened, then, since we’ve never really talked about it, but she married Jim Richards, a guy in one of her classes, during her freshman year at State, and they started having kids almost immediately.

Personally, I thought that it kind of sucked, because she didn’t get to finish her degree. Although Jim seemed like a nice enough guy, I worried about how it made her dependent upon him. It was one of the big issues we had frequently discussed about our parents’ marriage, which was why I found it so surprising when she gave birth to their daughter at eighteen, and their son only ten months later. I just couldn’t believe she’d let that happen, or even slow her down. By the time I made my escape, about six years after she had, she and Jim were pretty well established in Raleigh. Her husband was working as an engineer, making a decent income.

I don’t think anyone would have honestly described me as being as bright as Katherine. However, they might have said I was stubborn or full of determination. When I finished high school, I just barely made it into NC State on my grades. There would be no scholarships for me, but I was bound and determined to succeed. Our parents’ low income qualified me for some financial aid, and I would work to subsidize my education. At my high school graduation, Katherine told me how proud she was of me. She wanted to help me with tuition, but couldn’t do much about living arrangements. She already had a five-year-old girl, Zane, and a four-year-old boy, Adam, and their house didn’t have room to take in a boarder. They were supposedly trying for a third, but her husband had begun to seem distant. I’d thought she was happy, until that day we spoke at my graduation.

Once in college, my journey seemed to mirror hers. I fell for a lovely girl, Launa, who (I felt) tricked me into knocking her up. Our son was born before I turned nineteen. I never understood why this had happened to both Katie and me. We’d both seen how poor education had affected our parents’ lives. So, why would we have both allowed these obstacles to come into our lives? It didn’t make much sense. However, rather than making me give up, my obstacle became a challenge that made me just work harder. My side-job paid decently and, eventually, I went out on my own doing computer work for small businesses.

Around the time Tommy was born, Katherine and Jim moved to Richmond Virginia where he’d gotten a better job. My last two years of college were tough, without her nearby. She’d sort of been my personal ‘cheerleader’ through my first two years, cheering me on through the challenges and lauding my successes. She’d been more supportive of me, much of the time, than my own wife.

When she’d graduated high school and headed off to college, it had created a hole in my life. The hole had been filled, temporarily, once I was living in Raleigh and spending some time with her every week. Her move to Richmond reopened the hole, but being on my own taught me a lot. I finished my degree in computer science with a minor in automation engineering. Shortly after my graduation, I got an offer to work offshore for a big oil company.

The oil company really didn’t give a hoot where I lived, so long as I made it to the rig for my month-on, month-off duty periods, but I moved my small family to Corpus Christi, Texas, to make my commute easier. The schedule was pretty terrible, but the money was awesome. We had a nice house, Tommy was in a decent school, and I was managing to put quite a lot aside for his college fund.

Things were going pretty smoothly, from my point of view. We’d been living with that schedule for about eight years when my wife decided she didn’t like my month-on, month-off schedule. Looking back on it, I suppose bayan esmer escort bursa I shouldn’t have been surprised; it was a common enough occurrence, among the people I worked with. I suppose I’d thought that our marriage was immune to that sort of friction, because Launa and I got along pretty well. So, it was a big shock when Launa finally told me that she’d been seeing another guy for the last year or so, and that she was leaving me and moving to Austin with him.

A lawyer buddy of mine got me a decent divorce settlement: just a division of assets for a one-time payout. The judge ordered modest monthly alimony payments but, since Launa was so eager to marry her new guy, they eloped almost before the ink was dry on the divorce decree, so I only had to pay her for one month.

The bad part was that she got full custody of Tommy. I’d only get to see him for a month during the summers and every other Christmas. Luckily, my particular rotation schedule had me off each December, or even that might have been a problem. Since he was twelve, it also meant that I’d only have six years of child support. The monetary impact would be minimal, but the emotional upheaval left me a bit of a wreck.

Of course, I made a call to Katherine, to let her know that Launa had left me and that the divorce was in progress. It was good to be able to talk to someone other than the guys on the rig, about what was happening in my life. Katherine knew me like none of those guys did, and she genuinely cared about me. We phoned back and forth more often, during the early stages of my divorce, and her last call came in late August, just before I was scheduled to return to the rig for another month.

“Danny, I’m so sorry that all this is happening to you,” she told me for the umpteenth time. “I wish we lived closer, so that I could be there, for you.”

“It’s alright, Sis,” I told her. “These phone calls help a lot. It’s like those commercials used to say; long distance is the next-best thing to being there.”

“Well, I should come visit you for a few days. What’s your schedule, for the next couple months?”

“Well, I have to head back to the rig on September 1st, and then I’m off for all of October,” I said.

“Your birthday’s in October,” she suggested. “Why don’t I drive down, and we can celebrate it together?”

“Sounds nice, Sis, and I’d really love to see you, again,” I answered, “but I can just as easily catch a plane to Richmond.”

“Danny, if you fly up here, I’ll still have the housework and looking after Jim and the kids to deal with. We wouldn’t get that much time to visit. Besides, I could use a bit of a break, myself. I’d just as soon come and visit you.”

“Sis, that’s a two day drive each way!” I protested. “A flight would take maybe five hours. At least let me buy you an airline ticket, and set it up so that you can pick it up at the airport in Richmond.”

“Okay, Danny, I’ll take you up, on that,” she finally agreed. “It’ll give us more time to visit with each other.”

“Great, Sis!” I told her. I was beginning to realize how much I’d missed her presence in my life, over the last few years, and getting excited at the prospect of her visit. “I’ll call my travel agent and make the arrangements, and then get back to you with the details.”

When I look back on it, now, I have to mark that visit as the beginning of the really big change in my life. I had still been pretty depressed by my situation: I had plenty of money, but no one, really, to share it with, and the lifestyle I led was rough on people in the offshore business. While she was down, though, it was a lot like ‘old home week’. We talked quite a bit, and she really opened up to me. She was being frustrated with Jim, in lots of ways, and wondering if her marriage was in trouble. When I think about it, I guess all the warning signs were there, but that’s just how hindsight makes us feel smarter.

The entire week of her visit was a great time, for both of us. Katie was able to relax a bit, away from the regimentation of being a housewife and mother, and the two of us spent the days having fun and enjoying each other’s company. We took a couple days to do ‘tourist’ things, while I showed her some of the local sights, and the rest of our time we just spent lounging around the house, or the pool, or taking walks along the beach while we talked. There was never any tension or disagreement between us, and only one truly awkward moment. That moment came on the morning that Kate was due to fly home to Richmond. We’d gone out drinking, the night before, stayed out a little too late, and got just a little more drunk than we’d planned. Somehow, we made it back to my place safely, and ended up in each other’s arms in my bed. At least, that’s where we woke up, that final morning.

I don’t know which one of us initiated the encounter, and I have no memory of what happened. The bursa ucuz eskort whole incident is still a total blank, to this day. I only know that it happened because we woke up in my bed, in each other’s arms. Both of us were painfully hung over, naked, and smelled of stale sex. As I disentangled myself from her arms, I caught a pretty good glimpse of Katie’s body and, if I hadn’t already had a severe case of ‘morning wood’, I’d have still been hard pretty quickly, because she was really beautiful. I’d had other women in that bed, and I couldn’t recall even one of them who’d had a body to match hers.

We were both extremely embarrassed, of course, but it had happened; what could we do? We both mumbled apologies as we tried to cover up and slither out of bed. She used the top sheet as a wrap, while she collected her clothing from the floor and slipped across the hall to the guest bedroom where she’d slept all the other nights of her visit. I just sat up and turned away from her, leaning down to grab my boxers and put them on. On the way to the airport, we both tried to convince each other that it had simply been a case of drunken sex. It was an accident, and nothing would come of it. We promised each other that it would remain our secret, and that no one else really needed to know that it had ever happened, most especially Katie’s husband.

The problem didn’t vanish, then, of course. Our goodbye hug, at the airport, was a bit awkward, partly because we were both still embarrassed over the incident, and partly because I hadn’t been able to get the image of my beautiful, naked sister out of my mind, and I was more than a bit hard and had to try and hug her without letting her feel that lump in my jeans. The guilt set in, then, as I watched her board the airplane for her flight home. I loved Katie very much, and there was a part of my conscience that was telling me that, drunk or not, I still shouldn’t have let the incident happen. Still (and here’s where the real problem raised its ugly head!), despite my guilt, shame, and embarrassment, I felt an odd warmth in my groin as I watched her board her flight. She had a really hot body, for a mother of two who was fast approaching forty, and the slight sway of her hips and buttocks as she climbed those boarding stairs was truly a sight to behold!

What the hell am I thinking? I asked myself.

We stayed in touch, after that, but never repeated the visitation.

The years flew by, and I went through a ton of girlfriends. None of them could handle the month-on, month-off schedule. They all strayed and found new boyfriends, eventually. I had one gal who lasted four hitches (eight months). She cleared out her stuff (and a lot of my possessions, as well) when she left and, try as I might, I couldn’t track her down to get my stuff back. Needless to say, that was the last time I trusted a woman with a key to my house. It was also probably the last time I really tried to find a woman I could have a relationship with, as well. Oh, sure, I found the occasional lady and “got my itch scratched”, but I wasn’t looking for any sort of commitments.

I also got a vasectomy. I was approaching the point where, even if I was lucky enough to find that one special woman, I was getting too old to be looking at starting a family with her. Too, I didn’t want any more ‘surprises’, like the one I got when Launa announced that she was pregnant with Tommy.

Shortly after their son Adam finished college, Katherine called me to say she and Jim were getting a divorce. They had raised their kids and put them both through college and, now that their kids were leaving the nest, her husband decided that he’d go, too. As it turned out, he’d been having an affair for a couple years, with a younger engineer, at the firm where he was working.

This meant that my sister would be forty-four years old, with two years worth of college credits in engineering (only some of which would still transfer, due to their age), no husband, no income (as she’d been a stay-at-home mom and housewife) and a small monthly alimony check for a few years. It was very disheartening, for her, and only the support she’d received from her kids, Adam and Zane, had gotten her through the worst of it. We spoke on several occasions, during her divorce, but we hadn’t communicated much in the past few months.

In June of that same year, Tommy made his last summer visit to my place in Corpus before starting college. The summer visits kept us close and, despite Launa’s constant denigration of me, to him, I think he genuinely enjoyed coming to see me. Typically, he’d be at my house for the entire month of June. It was during this particular visit that he told me he’d been accepted to NC State. I was so happy and proud of him, I bought him a brand new Ford Taurus, so that he could come and go as he needed. I loved Tommy; he really was a great kid.

He’d done really well, bursa anal yapan escort in his studies, but not well enough to qualify for a scholarship, when my income was figured into the equation. When I told him that the college fund I’d set aside for him would pay his living expenses and tuition, plus cover some ‘fun’ stuff, his face lit up like a kid on Christmas morning. His mother hadn’t married very well, after me, it seemed, and it was pretty clear (from some comments he made) that his step dad, Pete, didn’t care much for him, or kids, in general, for that matter. He was glad to have Tommy headed off to college, and no longer at home to interfere with whatever he and Launa decided to do on the spur of the moment, but he was too cheap (or, perhaps, just too damn broke!) to offer him a penny toward his college costs.

I was both proud, and sad, the day Tommy left my place. My son was all grown up and, in another month or so, he’d be headed off to college. We’d talked a lot about what he could expect during his first year at college, and I’d given him lots of pointers based on my own experience. My last advice to him, before he drove off, was, “Always use protection. Women aren’t always truthful about being on the pill. I would never change having you as a son, but I would have liked having control of the timing. I’d also want to make sure I loved the woman, and she loved me, with a trial period of at least a year.”

Before she’d left to fly home, after her previous visit with me, I’d made sure that Katie had a phone number to reach me on the rig (the company had lines set aside for employee calls) as well as my home phone. About two weeks before the end of my September hitch, Katie called me to say that her divorce was final, and she wanted to come down for my thirty-eighth birthday, in October. I said I would love to see her and I’d be happy to pay for the flight. This time, she insisted she was driving. She claimed that she’d discovered, on her previous visit to my place, that she didn’t like airplane travel. I was about to come off the rig when she phoned me, from Atlanta, to tell me how close she was. As I boarded the helicopter for the short flight to Corpus, the memory of what had happened on the last day of her last visit came flooding back to me and, try as I might, I couldn’t get it out of my mind. She hadn’t mentioned it at all, in any of our recent phone calls to plan her visit, but that didn’t stop me from being extremely tense, throughout the flight, or from hoping that the incident wouldn’t change things for us, too much.

When the chopper touched down at the company’s hangar on the private side of the airport, I found my truck in the parking lot, tossed my bags into the cargo bed, and drove home, still fussing and worrying about how our time together would go. Stepping through the door of my place, I took a long look around the house, noting its condition, and the month-long layer of dust that had accumulated over all of the furnishings, and decided that I needed to tidy up. I’m not a slob, by any means; I’m simply a bachelor who spends a month at a time away from home, and who seldom entertains guests. I worked steadily, into the late evening, and was nearly finished when Katie arrived.

The doorbell rang and I walked over to answer it. “Oh, I didn’t think you’d be here till tomorrow,” I said, looking at my watch. “It’s only ten o’clock; you must have been flying,” I chided her.

“Yes, I’ll admit I was traveling with purpose,” she said, dragging a huge roller bag behind her as she stepped into the house. “The closer I got, the more excited I was, to see you again. I caught a couple hours worth of cat-nap at a service plaza just outside Atlanta, and then drove the rest of the way. I had this adrenaline surge, because I was getting close, and, well, here I am.”

“I’m glad you made it safely here, Katie,” I smiled, hugging her. Then, taking her roller bag, I asked, “Is this everything? Last time you came, you had two big suitcases, for a week’s visit.”

“There’s more in the minivan, but it can wait until tomorrow.”

Looking out at her Honda Odyssey, visible in the light of the small lamp-post by the driveway, I could just make out that it was stuffed to the brim. “Is that all of your stuff, in there?” I asked smiling.

Katherine blushingly answered, “I thought I might stay here a while, before I decide what to do. Is that OK?”

“Sure thing, Sis. I have plenty of space, here.” I said kind of surprised. “I um – I didn’t know you were even considering a move.”

“I just had to get away from that asshole, Jim,” she replied, getting really worked up. “He doesn’t think he owes me anything. The lawyers have it all settled, but he won’t let things be. We’re splitting the proceeds from the sale of the house, and I get fifteen thousand a year, alimony, for the next ten years or until I get remarried. I also got half of his retirement savings moved into a retirement fund for me. He couldn’t fight any of that, because it was what the courts ordered, so he’s just phoning, or coming around at odd times, unannounced, to harass me. I didn’t feel much like putting up with that, so I sold the rest of my stuff and left. I wanted to get away, and go somewhere where I could forget about the whole ordeal.”

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