The Trophy Case

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Chapter Four

Roger seemed depressed in the juice bar. He’d spent the last week trying to round up the funding he needed to launch his project and striking out. It was the first time he mentioned it to the group.

“What do you need?” asked Jerry.

“To be safe a hundred thousand. The downside is zero you lose it all, it’s just an Internet site and if it doesn’t catch on, like so many dot coms don’t, you lose the whole thing. It’s a hard thing to sell because of that. In stocks or real estate there is always something left, a hedge, the downside isn’t as steep or disastrous.”

“So, what’s the upside?” asked Katie.

“For the ones that make it megabucks, think Amazon, Facebook, Google.”

“Well, I have to restructure my finances anyway, and the whole Saratoga townhouse is suddenly superfluous, I am moving to Los Altos can’t really use it. I can scare up fifty grand for a chance at megabucks. How about it Arlette? Feel like being a gazillionaire?”

“Yeh, I’ll take the other fifty,” said Arlette looking at Roger. “Come with us tomorrow to the broker and we’ll fix you up.”

“You’re kidding,” said Roger.

“I’m not kidding,” said Katie, “Are you kidding Arlette?”

“What’s that chakra thing where we’re on our sides and you reach around my leg? Katie lost count with it last night and I want to check out her math, promise Rog?”

He nodded.

“Then I’m not kidding either.”

Katie put her townhouse on the market in one of the country’s hottest real estate markets. It sold in a little less than three weeks. She did take a bit of a beating on the furniture, but there was a bit of serendipity there when it saved Roger a bunch setting up his new office with high-end furniture.

Her family was being difficult about the wedding; they didn’t approve and made that clear. But then they hadn’t approved of much of anything she had done since she married the restaurateur so she took it all in stride. She had plenty of money from the sale of the townhouse alone to fund Roger, have a humungous wedding and bank a pretty penny. She didn’t consider a fast flight to Vegas because she had the money and she wanted a wedding to stick up their nose.

Jerry’s family was divided on the issue. His mother thought that she was a cradle robber and somewhat less than her son deserved, his father, she charmed.

She took her prospective mother-in-law to lunch a week before the ceremony. Jerry’s mother was in her early fifties, she had married young and Jerry was the youngest of three children, all boys. Katie had met Dan, the oldest, but had yet to meet Cole, who lived in Texas. She and her husband had retired to an over 55 community called the Villages on the far east side of San Jose, the year before, a condo with a view of the eighth hole.

They both ordered white wine and sat across from each other without speaking for quite a while.

“I am desperately, madly, passionately in love with your son,” said Katie, “and I want to thank you for having raised such a handsome, wonderful, caring, loving man.”

“You’re seven years older?”

“Not quite, but close.”

“And you’re divorced?”

“For a number of years now.”

“Well you have taken care of yourself, you’re a very pretty woman.”

“Thank you.”

“Jerry is the baby you know.”

“Probably accounts for his maturity. They say the baby of the family matures faster because he is always in the company of older people.”

“It also means that he is the one everyone protects, and your relationship here is a bit, shall we say, unorthodox.”

“I think it makes more sense. Men don’t live as long as women, doesn’t that sort of suggest that the woman, not the man should be the older party? And who is more sensible? The man or the woman? I mean we don’t go around buying sports cars, playing stupid games that involve chasing a little white ball just to hit it and chase it again. Even if the man is older, the woman is more mature, so why not just admit it and go with the flow?”

“You’ve given this a lot of thought?”

“Actually none at all. I prayed to every God I could find, and made up a few new ones, wished and hoped and dreamed of marrying your son, because he walked into my life and I fell head over heels in love and about the only thought I have given to it was a hope against hope that he felt the same way.”

“What about children?”

“The clock is ticking, but it hasn’t run out on me yet. I stopped taking pills already, sort of hoping to be a pregnant bride, but it may take a little time.”

“You’ve heard the term ‘trophy wife’?”

“Been there, done that, bought the tee shirt. I am not a trophy wife, nor is my Jerry a trophy husband. Despite the fact that he is the handsomest man in Northern California. Jerry works hard and makes a good living. I have investments that I am happy to say I manage and they do rather well. If there is a trophy here I’m his and he is mine.”

Katie applied herself to sex with a little more thought than she had ever given it before. She read all the guidebooks on getting pregnant and even stuck thermometers up herself to get the timing right. She did it gently in the missionary position and held him inside her as long as possible to get every drop. She knew the clock was ticking away, and it was the one dark cloud on her horizon.

“What did you say to my Mom,” asked Jerry the day of the wedding rehearsal.

“I don’t really remember, I just tried to get across to her how much I love you,”

“You seem to have succeeded admirably, Mom’s become a Katie fan. Your aunt made a comment and Mom gave her a recital of your good qualities that, if the Pope ever hears it you’ll be a candidate for beatification.”

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