Widow

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Chapter 29

Peggy Waldren was in love! She was certain of it! Ever since Monday night she felt as if she was floating!

On Wednesday morning however, her mood changed slightly. Shortly after she went to her teller window, she felt a chill. Something was wrong.

Glancing back over her shoulder she caught sight of Ralph Tarrance sneaking back into his office. He’s been watching me again! Doesn’t he have anything else to do?

Later, a lull in the action at her teller window occurred, so she called Ken.

“What’s up?’ he asked.

“I just wanted to hear your voice.”

“You sound kind of stressed.”

Peggy dropped her voice to a whisper, “Mister, he whose name cannot be mentioned, was peeking around the corner at me. I know he does it often. For some reason it scared me more than it usually does.”

Ken attempted to ease her mind, “He’s behaved well lately Peggy, maybe he’s going to reform.”

“My women’s intuition tells me otherwise.”

Ken thought a minute. He asked, “Do you want me to meet you at the Bank when it closes tonight? I’m supposed to go to an all campus meeting at the chapel but I can probably get out of it.”

“No, no, you do what your job requires. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine.”

Ken whispered, “I can’t stop thinking about how wonderful you were Monday night.”

“It was an incredible time for me too, Ken. I love you!” After she broke the connection, she realized how good it felt to admit her love to him.

Because the morning at the teller windows was slow, Peggy told her associate, “I’m going to straighten the supply room. Everything is a mess back there. If you get busy, call me. Peggy went back to the supply room and started to work.

First she removed her camel jacket. She didn’t want it to get dirty when she roamed around the dusty shelves.

Down the hall, Ralph Tarrance was staring out the window of his office. Damn her! Every time I get near that bitch she gets me all worked up. If I could only kiss her, I’m sure she would collapse into my arms. I ache for her body! I don’t understand how she can keep resisting my advances. What that woman needs is a good screwing and I am just the man to do it.

All summer she’s paraded around the bank with no regard for what her gorgeous figure does to a virile man like me. Every time I look at her tits, I go crazy!

Now she wears that damn camel colored jacket all day. I can’t see her shape nearly as well. I wonder if she started wearing it because it’s fall, or because she’s trying to cool my ardor.

A ha! She just walked by my door. Where is she going? Must be to the supply room.

He got up quietly walking down the hall. He discovered Peggy in the supply room bent over straightening the lowest shelf!

God how that tight skirt shows off her shapely ass! Makes my mouth water. I think I’ll wait here a while and enjoy the view. Damn, she senses my presence.

“Good morning Ralph. How long have you been standing there?”

“Oh, hello Peggy. Straightening the shelves, I see. Good idea. They need attention.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“What question?”

“How long have you been watching me?”

“Peggy, I walked by and found the view fascinating. There is no law against my enjoying the view, is there?”

“Ralph, there are no windows in this room. There is no view.”

“Perhaps there’s not in your opinion, but in my opinion there is a spectacular view.”

“Ralph, if you want these shelves straightened, I suggest you leave the doorway and let me get back to work.”

He left.

Damn her. If I could get her alone, I bet I could break down that cold exterior in a heartbeat ………. I know, she works till six tonight at the drive in window. I’ll work late myself. Which means we’ll both be together in an empty bank, shortly after six tonight. I can hardly wait.

At 6:00, or at 1800 as Ken would call it, Peggy closed the drive in window. She counted out her money, dropped it in the safe, then turned to leave the cubicle. As she stepped into the narrow hall, Ralph Tarrance blocked her path!

Instinctively Peggy realized that all the other employees had left the building. I am alone with him! Oh God! My tape recorder is off! Ralph always leaves the bank at four thirty, so that’s when I turn it off.

“Ah Mrs. Waldren,” oozed Ralph, “please step into my office. We have things to discuss.”

Thinking quickly she exclaimed, “Ralph, I can’t.”

“What do you mean you can’t,” he snarled. “I’m your boss you know.”

“I’ve been in the drive in cubicle since 4:00 o’clock. I have to go to the ladies room. I’ll be in your office in a minute.” She brushed past him, went down the hall and into the rest room.

She went into a stall. I’m terrified! My whole body’s shaking. The way he leers at me is really scary!

The tape recorder came out of her pocket in a flash. She turned it on. Then she double-checked to be sure the tape moved correctly. After delaying as long as she dared, she took a deep breath. Slowly she pushed against the door leading back into the hall.

Ralph was standing right outside! He grabbed Peggy’s arm, pushing her firmly down the hall into his office.

“Ralph, you’re hurting my arm!”

As they entered his office, he released her arm. Unfortunately, he didn’t move behind his desk. He stayed by the office door, blocking Peggy’s only escape route.

Because Ralph chose to guard the door, Peggy decided to walk around behind his desk to keep something between them. Arms folded across her breasts, she glared at him, “Okay, what is it you want to see me about?”

“How do you like working the late shift?” Ralph asked in his slippery voice.

“As I told you before, I prefer the early shift so I can attend some of Ned’s after school activities. Is this why you wanted to see me after 6:00? So you could change my hours?”

Ralph announced, “Peggy I am tired of being put off by you. I have repeatedly asked you for a date and you have repeatedly refused. I am your boss. I have already shown you I can make your life miserable if you continue to refuse me. I started easy by simply changing your shift, but if you don’t start to give me some personal attention, things will get even tougher.”

Peggy’s anger flashed. Fortunately, she realized she needed to draw Ralph out so she could get it all on the tape recorder. Whatever happened, she needed to be certain Ralph’s next gambit was securely recorded on the tape.

“What do you mean? How will it get tougher?”

“Suppose I report to our auspicious President Henry Johnson, that you made a sexual ovation toward me?” Ralph countered.

“That’s a big laugh, Ralph. No one, especially Mr. Johnson, would believe you.”

“Oh Peggy, you are so naïve. Did you forget I am a Vice President of the Bank? Did you forget my Father is on the Board? In a he said, she said, situation, who do you think people will believe?

“Think of the gossip mill in this small town. On the one hand, we have this poor widow, who needs money desperately. On the other hand, there is this good looking, wealthy gentleman of impeccable breeding. Oh Peggy, you may think you have friends in this town, but by the time I get through trashing your reputation no one will even speak to you.”

Now Ralph’s voice tone changed. He started to purr as if he were a cat. “Let’s not fight. Let’s have a little kiss to start our new relationship. One kiss now, a date on Saturday night and you will be back on the early shift by Tuesday.”

As he said this, he walked around the desk reaching out to grab hold of her! The leer on his face left no doubt about his intentions.

“You rotten bastard,” Peggy cried. She ran around the other end of the desk lunging toward the door. As she ran, the tape recorder in her jacket pocket struck the metal filing cabinet. There was a loud bang! Peggy never gave it a thought at the time, but apparently Ralph did.

Peggy ran out the office door, down the hall to the self-locking back door of the bank. Out into the parking lot she flew. See sensed Ralph was running after her.

The parking lot was dark. Sunset is around 4:30 in November. Darkness comes early.

By a lucky circumstance, Peggy had failed to lock her car when she arrived at work that morning. She quickly jumped into her little Ford, clicked the automatic door lock and started the engine. As she turned toward the parking lot driveway, she saw Ralph standing in the way arms crossed on his chest, blocking her exit.

Peggy was strongly tempted to run him over. By good fortune, her common sense prevailed. Accelerating her car rapidly, she approached him, then quickly turned the wheel sharply to the left. The car shot up over the curb of the parking lot, across the lawn and out into the street.

As she zoomed past an astonished Ralph, she saw him running for his car. My God, he’s going to chase me. Why does he dare do that?

It was then Peggy remembered the bang the tape recorder made as she ran from Ralph’s office. He must have realized what made the bang. He knows a tape of our confrontation will ruin him. He’s coming after me to get the tape! Maybe he’s coming after me…. to get me!

Peggy didn’t know much about cars, but she did know Ralph owned a fancy BMW, which could out muscle her little Ford in a heartbeat.

The only way to win this auto race will be to outsmart him.

She approached a stop light, which was just changing from yellow to red. She looked both ways, then ran the light. People honked, but Peggy gained some seconds in the race with Ralph. She realized if a cop came along, it would be a positive, because the cop would protect her from Ralph. She started praying for a cop.

Peggy had always been cool in a crisis. She found herself thinking clearly now. Ralph will no doubt head for my house…. if I manage to lose him.

I wonder if he knows where I live? He probably does, because that bastard knows everything.

For some reason Peggy suddenly remembered Ken’s question. “If you had a real problem and needed help, who would you call?” Damn, Ken is at a meeting.

A minute later Peggy realized, Ken’s house is not at a meeting, and I have a garage door opener!

She decided to head for North Side Heights. Unfortunately, to get there, she needed to turn the car around! I need to drive in the opposite direction.

She wheeled into a side street. A glace in the mirror told her Ralph was a block behind. As Ralph’s car turned into the side street to follow, Peggy paused in front of a spot in the road where a subdivision entrance appeared on each side.

She flashed a left turn signal, then switched off her car lights. Immediately, she made a right turn into the opposite subdivision. She drove in about a hundred feet making a quick U-turn. She pulled to the curb, watching the opening to the subdivision. Sure enough, Ralph turned left into the opposite subdivision. Her fake turn signal had worked!

She kept her lights off until she managed to exit from the subdivision. Then she raced off in the opposite direction. She was now heading in the direction of Ken’s house.

As she sped away from the subdivision, she glanced at the rear view mirror. A car with low-slung headlights swung into the street. It started after her. It has to be Ralph’s BMW.

His car appeared to be a long way back. At the rate he was going however, she was positive he would catch her. She pushed the accelerator to the floor. Her My little Ford roared down the road.

Peggy had never driven this fast in her life. She felt the car wanted to take off. The road to North Side Heights was only two lanes. There were not a lot of cross streets. It was pitch dark, so she could be relatively sure any car to her front would be visible from its headlights.

A slow moving car traveling in the same direction loomed up in her headlights. Fortunately, Peggy was in a flat area where she could legally pass. The legality was not the issue; she needed to be sure the other lane was clear. Ned doesn’t need to lose his Mother in a crash, like he lost his Father.

After a successful pass, she checked the rearview mirror. Ralph’s car was temporarily blocked behind the slow car. She prayed she could get to the North Side Heights subdivision entry road before Ralph managed to get past the slow car.

A sign indicated an upcoming cross street, Wickam Road. She’d been on that road recently and remembered it was a gravel road. It hadn’t rained for some time. If I turn on the gravel road the dust in his face will really thwart Ralph.

Quickly she made a sharp left turn. As she fled up the gravel road she was happy to see a mountain of dust in her wake. A horrible thought occurred to her. What if he catches me on this lonely road? In about a mile another cross street allowed her to turn back toward the road to Ken’s house. This road was also gravel so she continued to shower dust behind her little Ford.

By the time Peggy got back onto the road to North Side Heights she’d gained significant distance from Ralph’s car.

With tires squealing, she wheeled into Ken’s street. If only I can get there with enough lead on Ralph to get the garage door open and closed.

As she approached Ken’s driveway, she started pressing like mad on the garage door opener. Ralph’s car was still not in sight. The garage door opened.

Into the garage she roared, quickly shutting the door behind her car. She jumped from the car, ran into the dark house and peeked out the window. Because there were no lights on in the house, she was certain Ralph could not see her when his car flashed past Ken’s house.

After Ralph passed Ken’s house, Peggy went limp. She sat shaking on the couch, for a long time. She felt utterly spent. Eventually, she saw Ralph drive back past Ken’s house so he could leave the subdivision. North Side Heights possessed only one exit.

Peggy knew the next step was to make copies of the tape. Unfortunately, she didn’t know where to get that done.

Peggy removed the tape from the recorder, inserting another one. She wanted to always be ready for action.

She put the tape under Ken’s pillow in the bedroom. She found some paper and wrote a note:

Ken:

There’s a tape hidden where we were Monday night.

I need a copy made of it ASAP.

I don’t know where to get a duplicate tape made.

I‘m sure RT knows I was recording him.

He chased me in his car after I left the bank.

I was petrified, so I came here.

The garage door opener saved me.

Please get a duplicate, listen to it, and then call me.

I have to go now or Ned will be worried. It’s 1845 hours.

To answer your first question, guess who I turned

to when I really had a problem and needed help?

L

Peggy

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