Frank closed the video, took it out of the tray and put it back into his collection. He leaned back in his chair and folded his hands behind his head. “I wonder if I should show this video to Brianna,” he whispered. At the same time he shook his head. “Nah,” he laughed, “I don’t think she would be interested to see her parents’ sex life.” Again Frank shook his head. “It’s beautiful to see how things develop,” he sighed and started to think back.
He met Tom and Mary about fifteen years ago, when he had just arrived in Taylorsville. Brianna must have been eight or nine at that time. Frank met them during the local 4th of July fest—an evening of music in the park, followed by some amazing fireworks.
Frank couldn’t remember if they had taken the kids or not. “Probably,” he mumbled. Frank and his friends arrived a bit late and the only decent spot left was right next to Tom and his family. As usual with events like this, everybody is cheerful and happy and soon they were talking with each other like one big happy family.
From the day that Frank arrived in this little town there were stories about him. He didn’t mind; in fact, he felt that it was completely normal. A stranger buys the biggest house in the area, tears it down and rebuilds it in an astonishing way. Of course people start to talk.
Nobody ever saw him work or knew exactly what he did and yet nobody dared to ask. Frank seemed to have this mystical natural power over people. He mangled himself into local society and soon everybody knew him but knew nothing about his personal life.
He went out with friends, joined in on local activities and helped out everywhere he could. The local girls’ soccer team, for instance: Frank heard they were struggling with finances and if it were to go on like this then the whole team would just vanish. The team was saved when they received an anonymous gift of $100,000 that secured the future of the team. Although the gift was anonymous, everybody knew it was Frank who had donated the money. No one else was in the financial position to give a large sum like that.
In time, people stopped wondering about him. Of course they were curious but slowly everybody seemed to know him. Frank didn’t favor people—you could find him chatting with the other rich people, and you would see him hang out with the local “white trash”. It seemed that it didn’t matter to Frank what your background was. He simply loved everybody and seemed to get along with everybody.
At one point during the 4th of July festival, Frank mentioned he was going to the bathroom and would pick up some beers. Mary jumped up, said she also had to go and would help him carry the beer back. That was the start of their relationship.
They walked together to the food and beverage area on the side of the park. Frank, at that time twenty-nine years old, wasn’t stupid. Mary was a beautiful woman that had aged well. For a forty-year-old she looked amazing. Her slim figure showed all the right curves. Her face, marked by the years and raising three kids, was delicate and fragile; her long brown hair curled up a bit; and she was a little bit shorter than Frank’s 5’9”. She wore tight blue jeans and a casual white blouse—simple but elegant.
Frank, however, discerned a dark shade over her and when they were waiting in line he simply asked, “What’s wrong?”
Mary raised her eyebrows. “What do you mean?”
Frank smiled, shrugged and said, “Nothing, forget about it.”
But Mary didn’t let go. Subconsciously she felt what he was getting at. “No, no, tell me.”
Frank looked at her. His eyes pierced through hers like he was trying to look deep inside her. “You can’t fool me,” he whispered, “I see that something is eating you up. Something is gnawing at your soul and it has been for a long time.”
Mary was shocked. Was it that obvious? Was it so obvious that a stranger who she met maybe forty-five minutes ago could see it? Memories flashed through her brain and within one second she felt all the emotions flying through her body that had been building up over the last years. They were screaming inside her, “LET US OUT!” and Mary began to talk.
She had no idea why she was telling this to a stranger but finally she felt the weight of this burden lifted from her shoulders. Mary told Frank about Tom’s “problem”—he couldn’t get a hard one anymore. “Nah... that’s not true,” she whispered. “He can, but it takes a lot of effort. It feels like he is not interested in me anymore.” Frank nodded. “I feel humiliated. I dress nice, fool around with him, give everything I got, do everything he wants me to do, and still there is nothing.”
Frank nodded again. “But maybe that is the thing.”
Mary tilted her head. “What do you mean?”
Frank smiled. “Maybe you are doing the wrong things? Maybe he changed? Maybe his preferences have moved on?”
Mary frowned. “I don’t get it? Are you saying he might be interested in other women? That he has someone on the side?”
Frank laughed. “No, not Tom. I see how he adores you. The way he looks at you, the twinkle in his eyes. No, don’t worry about that.” Mary felt slightly relieved; she knew what Frank meant but it was good to hear it anyway.
“Sometimes people change,” Frank continued, “And most times it is difficult for them to explain it to their partner. Especially when it comes to sex.” Now it was Mary who nodded. They reached the front of the line and bought two six-packs. Frank paid and together they slowly walked back.
“If he is still able to perform then it is not a medical thing,” Frank said, “So it must psychological. And that simply means that he would like to do other things. I guess he can’t talk to you about it because he loves you and respects you and feels that what he wants might be something that you despise.”
Mary nodded again, they were almost back at their spot. “But how do I find out what he wants?” she whispered.
Frank stopped for a split second. “Come over to my house this weekend and we will find out.” Frank started walking again leaving Mary behind in shock. Go to Frank’s house and talk? She was pretty sure that Tom wasn’t interested in talking to a stranger about his sex life.
Frank did invite Tom to come over, he just waited for the right moment. That moment came when Tom talked about his own business. Tom was a landscaper, a true artist that could turn every dirt pile into an astonishing garden. “Awesome,” Frank smiled. “Come to my place this weekend, I might have some work for you.” Without anybody noticing it, he winked at Mary. Mary smiled and shook her head.
(Edited by Clum)
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<a href="http://www.lushstories.com/stories/novels/the-mansion-tom-and-mary-part-2.aspx">The Mansion : Tom and Mary, part 2</a>