The Trophy Case

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Chapter One

She took his hand and held it over her breast. She wanted to do it again with the morning before they got up. He turned toward her and she felt him against her thigh, limp, unexcited. What was wrong with her? She knew she wasn’t a ravishing beauty, but had time robbed her of everything? With the passing of the big Three-Oh had she become so unattractive that she could no longer even excite a man?

He rose into consciousness slowly and felt his hand on her breast, she held on when he started to move it away so he left it there and started to massage her breast. It took him a while, both to wake up and then to become excited. It had been a while since he woke with anyone else in his bed. She burrowed her head into his chest and rubbed her leg across him, eventually he responded.

He pushed her back and put himself inside her as tenderly as he could. He was having a problem getting past the fact that, to him, she was a child, and all this was a terrible breach of ethics.

She wasn’t tender, or slow. She went a bit wild, gyrating her hips and rubbing her breasts against his chest, looking for that mysterious combination of sensations that would produce an orgasm. It didn’t and she settled for the rush of him inside her. Last night it had been there, but she had come to accept that it was a fairly rare event.

“Never love unless you can,” he quoted.

“Byron,” she said.

“Most people say that, or Swinburne, but both were actually quoting Thomas Campion from about two centuries earlier.

“The situation made me think of it. An older man giving advice to a young girl, I wondered if Campion wrote the line because he had trouble getting it up in the morning.”

“Do you want to know something funny?”

“Go ahead.”

“I know your name is Richard, I’ve known that for years actually, Richard Crown, it’s how you signed my report card. But Richard is one of those names nobody ever uses, I mean in its entirety. Everybody who is a Richard is a Dick, or Rick or Rich or Ricky.”

“I’m a Rick mostly, at least among adults. I answer to Dr. Crown all day so I am a tad schizophrenic in that department.”

“Rick, I like that,” she said as she put her hand on his chest. “Of all the popular choices for a nick-name it’s the best. ‘Rick’s… play it again Sam’ romantic.”

She hated her own name, Sherilyn. It never coalesced into a useable nickname. Sher, Cher, Sheri, she wondered why her parents hadn’t gone the whole route and named her Scherazade. She was one of many examples of the fact that marrying someone who is settling, before making a fortune, isn’t really a good idea. She married him and went to work as a teacher, bought him a master’s which, in turn set him up to become a six-figure employee writing software. The second stage to this little play is that he resents his, plain, ordinary wife, the one he settled for, divorces her before he hits megabucks, leaving her with a tract house, probably in Ranch Rinconada or an Eichler and an old car. Act three, he acquires a trophy wife, which makes his first wife avoid any contact with his family and their old friends because she feels like an ugly cow. Acts four and above don’t really involve her, just a succession of trophy wives going through a turnstile to the Sunnyvale settlement, which involves much larger houses, more expensive cars and stock options.

Fifteen years before all of this occurred, she’d been a high school student at John Muir High School, and Richard (then Mr.) Crown had been her English teacher. She had a crush on him then.

On his part, Rick was a sort of reverse spin on the above equation. Teachers actually begin at the top of the pay scale for a Bachelor’s, so they start with the trophy, or near trophy wife. Furthermore, the rails of higher education are greased for them; they actually get paid more, rather than having to pay for a Master’s, and even a Doctorate. So it would seem the future is assured. Teachers, however, are a political football, and their pay scale is indefinite, and often inadequate after half a dozen years, as their contemporaries climb the corporate ladder, so the trophy wives ascend, and they remain mired in the same place. Rick compensated for the loss by dedicating himself to higher and higher education, eventually earning a Ph.D. An affectation that was poor comfort in the evening and even worse when he woke up with a hard on. He had, however, done rather well for himself monetarily. He sat at the top of the high school pay scale for teachers, and after thirty-some years he was virtually unfireable. He nearly doubled his salary as a part-time, adjunct professor at San Jose State.

The school district contracted with Sunny Vale Fitness to fulfill a new directive from the Department of Education to get teachers in better physical shape. Some genius on the Federal level decided that obese children were the product of obese teachers and set out to cure the problem. Both Rick and Sherilyn took to it. After a life of mental effort, the machines and physical effort suited both to a tee, or at least to a SVF tee shirt. The result of that, about a year and a half into the program when they ran into each other on a Friday was that he was a handsome, fit older man who drew looks from young girls and she had a body that matched, in fact outdid, her ex-husband’s current trophy.

She recognized him immediately in the juice bar and walked over to him.

“Have you been coming here long Mr. Crown?” she asked.

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