Chapter 31, Edward’s Upscale World
Tuesday and Thursday noon times at Edward’s were rushed. Past the apartment door he, displayed his latest branding item, attire or jewelry. After putting it on, he undressed me but retained on me the newest acquisition, then took me in a fury. Finished, we snacked, I redressed, then rushed home to greet the kids as they returned from school. It was short-time branding, a quickie and return to mom and wife. Usually, the new acquisition stayed behind in his apartment closet or dresser, parts of my expanded mannequin presence which soon overflowed onto a portable clothes rack and into a second dresser
A few Friday nights with Edward were leisure times in contrast to noontime trysts. I arrived, we took time undressing and redressing me, had leisurely sex, I cooked dinner, we ate then settled down like a domestic couple and watched TV or read. I often napped until undress, redress and depart time before the sun met the morn.
More often on a Friday night, we went out, typically to an upscale restaurant with lounge. His connoisseurship introduced me to mix drink cocktails and upgraded repast deportment.
In the lounge, at his direction, I ordered a gin and tonic unless the bartender was professional. Then I was allowed Singapore Slings. It had to be with Beefeater Gin, Benedictine, Cointreau, grenadine syrup, pineapple juice, lime juice and a dash of Angostura all shook in a tumbler and poured in a glass with ice. Then cherry brandy was poured over an upside-down spoon for a top layer, a maraschino cherry and pineapple slice were then added as a garnish.
Arriving at the lounge I’d plead for a Singapore Sling, Edward checked with the bartender and if his criteria were met, he obliged. We sat at the bar so I could watch it made but was limited to two.
Dinner was accompanied by an examination of the wine menu, a lesson about wine growing regions, vintage years and wines appropriate for entrées. I typically ordered a salad versus his soup selection. He exposed me to a wide range of entrees that I'd never tasted previously but frequented waiter recommendations and specials to enhance the meal into a new experience. Neither of us liked dessert but he introduced Amaretto and Benedictine B & B after-dinner liqueurs.
After dinner, he liked to say, I was primed and hot to go as we walked to the Porsche, my cheeks flush from the Singapore Slings before dinner, the wine during and the liqueur after. Once in the car, I’d dart my tongue in his ear as he sped to the apartment for my unwrapping.
One night we went to San Francisco. He wanted to go to Fisherman’s Warf but I nixed that because of my first kiss. His alternate was Italian fare in North Beach, away from tawdry Broadway and its Red Balloon with sidewalk slide and Carol Doda’s swing roost.
He’d dressed me in a short red sequin dress. After dinner, flush with drinking, we walked out to the fog hand in hand. The valet ran to retrieve his Porsche, revved the engine as he returned, parked with a little squeal of tires, jumped out, ran around and opened the door for me. As I approached, he stood close, brushed against the rear of my dress, then stared at my thighs as I swung myself around to slide in. Once in the car, he leered down as I pulled the sequined hem to cover what I could.
Upset, Edward, told him he’d just got his tip. I laughed. We screeched out of the driveway, zoomed up and down hills until stopped at the top of a steep one by a red light. While he played with the brake, clutch and gas pedals to keep from sliding back down, I bent over, unzipped his pants and pulled out Sir Lancelot. When the light changed, he shifted gears. I shifted Sir Lancelot into high gear as we sped to the freeway on-ramp at the end of Broadway. On the freeway home, I gently stroked and kissed my knight to keep its attention until we parked in his carport stall.
Wet, I jumped out of the car and ran to the apartment. He jumped out chasing me but struggled to get his pants re-zipped without catching Sir Lancelot. Unbuckled, he pulled his pants down then up with Lance poking out. We raced to his apartment laughing.
Past the door, I jumped on the couch, lifted the dress hem the few inches necessary and spread my legs. He yanked his pants down to his ankles. It was a frenzy on the sofa with shoes on and attire asunder. Spent, it was too late. We’d skipped the condom.
Driving home near dawn, re-dressed in work togs, a sober wife, I realized my stupidity.
Edward took responsibility. He assured me he would take care of it, if necessary. I knew what that meant but was afraid to confirm it. After three days he gave me a pregnancy test and assured me all was okay. It was not all okay with me. It was me who could be pregnant. I didn’t know what I would do if so. How could I pray to God? It would be God’s retribution.
I knew I couldn’t have an abortion, confess to my husband or marry Edward. Each day I lived in terror and soon lost five pounds. I counted the days. No, I counted the hours. Was it a week, no it was longer, oh God not two weeks since my period? Hubby noticed and became concerned. My excuse, a supervisor at work was harassing me, deflected him but his solicitousness compounded the terror if I had to confess. I told no one the truth, not even the older woman at work who I normally confided in.
While we talked on the phone, I didn’t visit Edward. As the days added up the terror increased as the day of reckoning approached. Days fourteen, fifteen, sixteen and seventeen passed. By day eighteen terror was slipping into depression. Then the next morning, a cramping pain, more joyous than any physical pleasure experienced came. I wasn’t pregnant!
To celebrate, Edward took me to the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco. I’d seen it from the street but had never been inside. He dressed me formally with a black lace pencil dress, pearl necklace and high heels.
At its classic bar, I had my Singapore slings, my terror left behind. He had his martinis. We then had a formal dinner with a bottle of Napa Valley wine in the hotel restaurant. Dinner finished, we stayed there. The trip to bed was a tipsy elevator ride. We had a view of the city before, while and after sex.
Edward knew the in spots in San Francisco, those not generally known by tourists. We went once more to the city and stayed at the Hotel Griffon, a boutique hotel in the Embarcadero.
After quickie room sex we waked down to their intimate ground floor restaurant and lounge bar for Singapore slings and martinis, wine, dinner and then back up with a spectacular, obscure view of the Bay Bridge for our desert. With the window open, exhausted, I fell asleep to the cool air of the Bay. Awoken by the requested front desk phone call at three AM we left still groggy. I had to get home to get the children and husband up in my work smock.
With time constraints and sleep, needs there were no more San Francisco trips. A Friday night date out was instead, dress up for dinner, undressed sex back at the apartment and a nap until time to rush home, “from work”. The farthest afield we ventured was Jack London Square in Oakland and The Village Pub in Woodside. At the latter, I learned the seating power of one hundred dollars before dinner. Our more typical dining experiences explored San Jose Almaden, Saratoga, and Los Gatos fare. I learned to relax at upscale establishments as if I belonged but one of my favorites was Pezzella’s, which served original Napoli Italian fare in a less pretensions atmosphere.
San Francisco family trips were to museums, the zoo, Golden Gate Park, Steinhart Aquarium and Chinatown restaurants. I added Sunday brunch, with hubby, atop the Bank of America building using Mom as a babysitter. There, we romantically looked down at clouds and the City. Edward had told me about it but Sundays were hubby's so I made it a special place for him and me.
At the Aquarian, we peered over the railing down to the subterranean crocodile pond. There, basking crocs stared back at us motionless, their smiles reflecting their contemplation of the nice meal our family would make. We held the kids tight as they leaned over the railing and tossed dimes down in attempts to land one on a crocodile snout. That was permitted back then. I calculated the caretakers perk of collecting coins strewn among the crocodile smiles. By then there were no silver ones.
Edward filled what I thought was missing in life but our physical time together was limited. With his internship and studies, he was more time stressed than me. I didn’t understand his infatuation. How could he be in love with me? I wasn’t his peer. He didn’t fit my Tropicana Village upbringing, dysfunctional family and swing shift world. He was to be a doctor. I, well wafer fab aligner said it all. Additionally, I was married and the mother of kids. Even if single, without children, he would eventually be claimed by his own and leave me, abandoned.
I accepted a long-term relationship was impossible, kept him in the present tense and didn't dwell on the preordained end. Our relationship was a temporary veer into a cul-de-sac, the entry sign, “No Outlet”. Edward's life highway was his career and a future family, without me.
He once attempted to introduce me to his world, but it backfired. He took me to a formal medical award occasion at Stanford and bought me a black gown and a real pearl necklace to attend it as his “arm candy.” Not knowing expected academic protocol, I ended up as ill at ease similar to Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman at the Polo Turf Club. Those at the soiree were academics and doctors. Edward spent his time talking to them. I was on my own after a few introductions. Maladroit, I kept my mouth shut, nodded agreement to what was said and smiled. I talked about the table floral arrangements to have a conversation without sounding stupid when cornered yet knew I appeared such doing so.
A few women commented on how lovely I looked. I knew they were subtlety fishing to learn who this uneducated, Asian girl, wearing a wedding ring was and how she had enchanted Edward. My mind raced to avoid a response to their proffered bait. I didn’t relax until we left. Asked if I had a good time, I said it was lovely, which it was, but not for me. I never attended one of his functions again with excuses I couldn’t get away.
Edward’s relationship time was three or four Friday nights a month, from 6:30 PM to 5:30 AM max, less than twelve hours, typically closer to ten. I stopped by his apartment for "nooners", typically twice a week, on the “T”’s, Tuesday and Thursday for two hours max. Total physical time together was only four to fifteen hours a week. His image did often drift into my mind, as I aligned silicon wafers on the microscope. As I peered down, his image would smile up, and I would carry on imaginary conversations in which I was as sophisticated and acerbic in wit as he.
While he crept into mind, I concentrated on family when with them, my life’s path. I kept telling myself not to drift and crash on my life’s highway. Most of my time outside work remained with family. During the week I left the house at 5:30 PM, returned at 2:30 AM, sleep until 6:30 AM, got hubby and kids off, cleaned house, greeted kids, prepared family dinner, met hubby and started the next shift. It meant most of my time not at work was centered on family. Weekends flew by as a blur of backed up domestic chores, an outing with the kids, Sunday BBQ with family, ensuring hubby was milked and catch up sleep.
While Edward stamped me as his with attire, jewelry, perfume, cosmetics, nail polish and sex games it never entered my mind to leave my husband. My wedding ring was my statement. I was married, a mother of two kids. I always kept this emblem on, my declaration of my true status. It vexed Edward but there was a betrayal line I couldn’t cross. I’d never leave my husband even if Edward asked me to marry him despite our differences and my having kids. That’s what I told myself. The reality was, he never hinted, inferred or asked me to marry him.
After two years, cracks began to occur in our relationship. I read novels I selected, not him. His disinterest in them if I talked about them irked me. Tom Jones was too much like Country Western music for my taste. The sex games became history. His fastidious attention to my attire became boring. I noticed he had a mild case of OCD, (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). While we didn’t argue, the periods of silence when together lengthened.
I knew from the beginning, one day he would leave me. One day he did.
Author Notes: In addition to branding me as his Edward introduces me to a more upscale world, his world.