On that same Sunday night, Ken called Peggy. She asked him if he wanted the answers to his two questions over the phone or in person. After a minute he decided, “Let’s wait until we’re together next Saturday.”
Monday turned into one of those exhilarating autumn days when an atmospheric high pressure comes down from Canada and the humidity vanishes. As soon as people encountered the cool crisp air, everyone felt marvelous. Except Peggy. She felt restless and tense.
The day at the Bank proved uneventful. Of course, Ralph did his usual leering around. But Peggy was slowly getting used to that. She drove home, parking her car in the garage as she always did. As she walked from the garage to the house, she looked up at the sky. A full moon smiled down. No wonder I feel stressed. It’s the full moon. It’s time for action plan #2.
She called her mother asking her to come over to be with Ned. Ned was always excited to be with his grandmother, because she always spoiled him. Peggy told her mother she’d only be gone for a couple of hours.
As Peggy drove over to Ken’s house, she got the shakes. Maybe…. . he wouldn’t be home…… Maybe…. . I should’ve called first. As she rounded the corner, she could see a light in his living room, even though the shades were drawn.
She pulled the car to the curb. By now, she was shaking with fear. She’d been so sure plan #2 was the right course. Now, for no logical reason, she felt she couldn’t go through with it. She took a deep breath. Time to review my thinking. I can still back out.
I’m in love with Ken. I’m positive I love him. He’s sensitive, tender thoughtful and loving. The physical attraction I feel for him is strong. The thing I really love is his gentle personality. Surely, I’m ready to take our relationship to the next level.
My fear is…. . What if the ‘ghost of Peter’ bounces up again? What if I freeze and have to stop as I did the last time he touched me intimately? Will he bolt from the relationship? He’d certainly be entitled.
She took another deep breath. Maybe I’ll just go in and talk to him.
After a few more minutes, she started the car and drove into Ken’s driveway. She pushed on her garage door opener. She pulled in, closing the door behind her car. Apparently, Ken heard the garage door moving. He was standing at the door between the garage and the house by the time Peggy exited the car.
“Are you alone?” she asked.
“Actually I’m surrounded by a blonde, a redhead and a brunette. But, we can probably squeeze you in.”
“You’re a beautiful liar,” she exclaimed as she ran into his arms, hugging him tightly. “Oh Ken, I’m so frightened. Hold me please, just hold me tight.”
Ken asked, “What happened Peggy? Why are you so frightened? Did anything happen to Ned?”
“No, no,” she replied, “Ned’s fine. Can we have a cup of tea? I’ll try to explain.”
Tea in hand, they sat next to each other on the couch.
Peggy began, “I need to talk this out with you. Please don’t comment until I’m finished. OK?
“Yesterday was Peter’s birthday. I was feeling very low. Ned suggested I get up and do something rather than feel low. I realized my son was giving me good advice. I went up to my room and developed two plans.
“The first plan was to pull out all the family pictures and review our life with Peter. I asked mother over. The three of us spent all day going over our past. We made it sort of a memorial service. Afterwards, I told them it was time to move forward. I explained I was sure Peter would not have wanted us to mourn him any longer.”
“Next, I told Ned I’ve developed a serious attraction for the man I’ve been seeing. I didn’t tell him your name; I thought we could surprise him. I just told Ned it was time for him to meet you. So, you are invited for dinner next Sunday at 1:00 o’clock, er at 1300 hours.”
“Peggy, I’m overjoyed! I’m dying to come out from ‘under cover.’ Now maybe the three of us can have some dates together.
Ken had a serious thought. “Sweetheart, if we come out from ‘under cover,’ what’ll happen with Ralph at the bank?”
“I’m hoping if Ralph finds out I’m seriously involved with someone, he’ll quit trying.”
“I hope you’re right.”
“Me too…. . Now to continue with my plan. Mother is most anxious to meet you, so I invited her to come at 1:30. I thought that would give you and Ned some time to chat before dinner. Ned’s not too happy. He’s convinced he won’t like my boyfriend. When he discovers it is you Ken, I think he’ll be deliriously happy.
“Why did your Sunday dinner plans make you frightened?” asked Ken.
“Actually, my #1 plan went very well. That’s not what made me frightened. It’s plan #2 which frightens me.”
Ken remained silent. He looked intently into her face.
“Plan #2 involves you, Ken. That’s what has me scared. Plan #2 was to come over here and tell you I’m ready to take our relationship to another level. You’ll remember I promised I would do that when I was ready. Well, plan #2 was to come over here and confess my readiness.
“As I drove over here, I suddenly became frightened. What if I freeze again at a crucial moment? You’d have every right to pitch me out in the street.
“Oh Ken, I love you so much. Please help me. I don’t want this to go anywhere except forward.”
Peggy began to cry. Ken grabbed her, hugging her tightly. She wept on his shoulder.
After a few minutes, Ken gently whispered, “Peggy, I’m so glad you told me you loved me. I’ve been hoping and praying you were feeling the same love I feel for you. This physical love stuff is wonderful, I’m sure. But, it’s not nearly as important as the fact that we’re in love. Surely our love is strong enough to work through the physical part?”
After a pause, he spoke again. “Wait here.” He got up, went to the bathroom, filling a washcloth with warm water. When he returned, he gently washed her face, drying her tears.
He took Peggy into his arms. “I love you Peggy.” His kiss was so tender Peggy could not help but kiss him back. As she melted into his arms, she felt his passion rise to fever pitch. Joy of joy, her own passion began to match his. Peggy was finally ready! She surrendered her entire body to him.
It didn’t take long before she whispered. “Ken I’m ready.
“Are you sure, Peggy?”
“I’m very sure. Only promise not to pitch me out if I freeze again and please, be gentle with me.”
“I promise.” Ken’s voice was husky with emotion.
As they got to the bedroom, Peggy declared. “Ken, this needs to go quickly so I don’t have time to think. I want to feel. I want to feel you and I want you touch me.”
The delicious release came within minutes. Seconds later she dropped her head onto his shoulder and began to cry. The crying soon turned to sobbing.
Peggy almost retched she cried so hard…. The awful lonely nights…. . Would we run out of money?. . . . . How can I raise Ned without the help of a father?. . . . Can I find a job? …. . Can I avoid the wrong kind of men? …. That damn Ralph Tarrance… Will I ever be able to have sex again?. …
All her stresses for the past two years came crashing down on Peggy. As she continued to sob she began to feel that her tears were finally washing away all of her troubles.
It felt so good to have Ken hugging her as she cried. All during the deluge, dear Ken simply held her tenderly. He stroked her back. He understood…. . . Peggy kept hearing his quiet whisper, “I love you Peggy. Crying is good. I love you.”
Eventually the crying slowed down. Finally it stopped. Ken decided to lighten the atmosphere. He asked, “Was I such a poor lover that you had to cry all that time? I mean I know I’m not very experienced, but was it really that bad?”
Peggy threw her arms around him as she burst out laughing. “Oh you wonderful man, there you go again moving me from tears to laughter in one second. Loving you felt so good. More importantly, it felt so right. You were extremely sensitive and gentle. Loving you was magnificent! I could truly feel the love you have for me.”
A few minutes later, she got up and started putting on her clothes.
“Wait a minute, “exclaimed Ken, “Aren’t we going to have an encore?”
Peggy remained silent until she finished dressing. Once she was fully clothed, she sat on the bed beside him, taking his hand. “Ken, there’ll be lots of encores, I promise. But, right now, emotionally and physically I’m totally drained. There’s simply nothing left. Surely you can understand.”
Ken replied, “Yeah I can, but I don’t really want to understand. I haven’t begun to get enough of you.”
“I’ve got to go now.
The gentle kiss he gave Peggy as she left, kept her warm all the way home.
Ken remained in bed scarcely believing what just happened. One minute I am watching TV and the next minute I’m in heaven! Peggy loves me! She finally admitted it!
As Peggy drove home, her heart overflowed with joy. I did the right thing. I know I did the right thing. Ken Lister is truly……Well I just want to be with him every minute.
On Tuesday night at 2200 hours Peggy’s phone rang. She knew it’d be Ken. They chatted amicably for a while. Then Ken asked, “Do you suppose on Saturday night you might want to come over here for dinner and a chess game?”
Peggy replied, “Dinner alone in your house sounds fine Ken, but I’m not sure I feel like playing chess.”
Ken remained silent, so she added, “Don’t worry; if we don’t play chess, I’m sure we can think of something to do together.”
“That’s exactly what I wanted to hear.”