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The following story is in alternating voices as labeled. Hope it is not too confusing…or too long.



Sherry started hanging around our house when she was six or so. She lived a few doors down from us but her family life, to say the least, was very unsettled so our daughter Sandy’s house became her refuge. Sherry’s parents were alcoholics and argued incessantly. Oftentimes when neighbors were in their yards, they could hear violent yelling, mostly by her father, and several times the cops had to come.

Sherry was a very smart and sweet girl and she and Sandy became fast friends, even though they were totally different. Sherry was extremely shy and Sandy was very outgoing, making friends with everyone she met. Sandy was also athletic and could excel in any sport she wanted; Sherry, to put the kindest descriptor on it, was awkward. Sandy was also beautiful, tall, and lean with gorgeous hair, eyes and very smooth, tanned skin. Sherry could have been more attractive if she’d worked at it a bit. Even as she got older, she wore no makeup and dressed dowdily.

The only true friend she had was Sandy who made her other friends accept her, even when they didn’t want to. Sherry stayed at our house at least a couple of nights during the week and often, much if not all the weekend. If Sandy ever got tired of her, she never complained. Sherry was a member of the family. She went on vacations and spent most holidays with us.

Our family, the Kents – mother Beth, Sandy and myself – were a very close group. After Sandy was born, I cut down on business travel and tried to play a role in every part of her life. I coached several sports teams she was on, we went on hikes and canoe trips together, played all kinds of games, many we made up, and had long conversations about a variety of topics, from politics to religion to the latest movie. I was so lucky to have Sandy in my life.

Sherry’s relationship with her family was altogether different. Her parents were totally dysfunctional. They’d inherited some money and her father dabbled as a realtor but he seemed to spend his mornings golfing, his afternoon drinking and god knows what he did at nights because he often got home late or did not show up at all. Sherry’s mom, when sober, could be a nice lady but she also drank heavily. She was often pretty much incoherent when Sherry got home from school and much of the time she didn’t fix any meals, leaving Sherry to scrape something together. Given the yelling, it was clear that the father verbally, and probably physically, abused his wife.

Sherry seemed to hate her father. She both hated and felt sorry for her mother. She seldom mentioned either but a few times when she confided in me or Beth, she told us how she envied the relationship we had with Sandy. I asked her a couple of times if her father ever hit her, because she’d sometimes have bruises on her arms and once or twice on her face. She didn’t give a direct answer either time and wouldn’t look me in the eye to deny it. She would just mumble that she was a “ditz” or maybe it was “spaz.” If she was abused, it wasn’t evident enough for anyone to get in touch with authorities, even Beth and I were tempted.

Sandy was always very popular with boys and as most kids do at their ages, she’d go out with a group of friends and early on, there’d be a series of boys she’d be interested in but nothing serious. It was only when she was around 16 that she started focusing on one boy, Jeff, who was in her same grade. He was a great kid and we figured that sooner or later she would get more serious about some guy and we were glad it was Jeff. We’d known him and his family almost all his life. In some ways, he seemed to be a female version of Sandy; there were a good pairing.

After Jeff and Sandy became more serious about each other, it was awkward for Sherry. There were times Jeff and Sandy wanted to be alone, and to her credit, Sherry was sensitive to that and would just hang around Beth and me while Jeff and Sandy went on a date. Unfortunately, Sherry didn’t have any other close friends and had never been with a boy, as far as we knew. Sandy tried to fix her up a few times but gave up because Sherry would not go through with it. Sherry’s friends believed that she was just awkward and shy and therefore, had no real interest in boys. But, as I found out later, they were wrong. She did want to meet boys but she was afraid and lacked confidence.

We loved Sherry and felt sorry for her so we tried to involve her in things we were doing when Sandy was out with Jeff. But Beth and I were pretty active in weekend sports and Sherry was not athletic at all. A few times we got her out on the tennis court and encouraged her to ride bikes with us but it was obvious that she didn’t enjoy either activity. I got her to go kayaking with me a couple of times but that didn’t really work either. She joined us for many meals, both at home and when we’d go out, and she would join us when we’d go to doktor porno the movies. Oftentimes if Sandy wasn’t around, she would just hang out with us, reading or watching TV.

As the girls were nearing graduation, Sherry’s dad was killed in an auto accident early one morning as he was coming home. He and a family in the other car were killed and of course, it was reported later that he was dead drunk at the time. If Sherry ever cried, no one ever saw it.

Just before high school graduation, Sherry told us that she couldn’t go to the local college that she’d been accepted to because her father had left a lot of debt. In short, she and her mother were broke. We tried to talk her into letting us pay for college but she refused. She was moving with her mother to her grandmother’s house, because the grandmother was old and ill. Of course given her mother’s condition, who, although she quit drinking cold-turkey when her husband died, had numerous health problems, Sherry would stay at home and take care of the two of them, while working in the side business she’d started a couple of years before – computer graphics. She could make a few dollars that way, enough to buy books she couldn’t get out of the library. That was the only recreation she appeared to enjoy.


I first got to know Sandy and her family when we were both in kindergarten. Even at that age, I knew that things were different between our families. I didn’t know at the time if we were out of the norm or if the Kents were; I just know it was different. My parents never seemed to get along and there was always yelling, or at least it was mostly my dad yelling and my mother trying to stay away from him. As time passed, they both started drinking more. My father was gone a lot and my mother I guess drank to deaden her emotions, but of course I didn’t understand any of that at the time. The only thing I knew was that the Kents’ house was peaceful and happy and mine was a hellhole.

I stayed at the Kents as much as I could. They seemed to like me and accept me even though I never knew why. I wasn’t cute or bubbly or good at anything and they were the opposite in all respects. Sandy was very popular and really beautiful. But they never made me feel like I was a leper, the way a lot of people did. Sandy’s parents, Paul and Beth, made me feel like their own daughter and it was the most amazing feeling.

Sandy and I used to do everything together, and even when she went out with other friends, she made sure I was along. Boys, and some girls, at first made fun of me until Sandy made it clear that insulting me was the same as insulting her and that she wouldn’t take it. For the most part, that stopped it because Sandy was the most popular girl in school and everyone wanted to be accepted by her.

When Sandy started going out with Jeff, at first I was hurt but then I realized that she wasn’t rejecting me, just bringing someone else into her life. Jeff made it a lot easier because no one could not like Jeff; he was just that way. Sometimes I would go someplace with the two of them but most of the time, I would beg off to give them time by themselves.

Other than a few jerks that called me a lesbian, no one ever questioned why I didn’t ever have a boyfriend. I guess they all figured that I was just too unappealing to have anyone ask me out. And I would have to agree with that. But, it was not that I was not interested in boys. I was extremely interested at first when I was 12 or so but then things started happening and well, I had other problems to deal with.


Our contact with Sherry over the next several years was sporadic. Sandy went on to college and then got her MD. She and Jeff, her long-time boyfriend, had broken up for a time but gotten back together in med school. He was also a doctor and they married and lived several hours away. With all our busy schedules we didn’t see them as much as we wanted but we talked with them on the phone several times a week.

At age 48, Beth tragically got breast cancer that had metastasized by the time it was caught. She lived approximately a year after the diagnosis, getting treatments until she got enough and decided to quit and try to enjoy a few months of life; unfortunately it was’d long.

When Sherry heard about Beth, she immediately came to visit and, throughout the illness, came often although she lived six hours away by car. She was also there of course for the funeral services and it seemed to hit her as hard as it did Sandy and me. She kept repeating that Beth was the only real mother that she’d ever really had. Her own mother was now in a nursing home. Sherry’s grandmother had died but left her the house. She’d finally gotten her college degree and was now teaching computer science at a small college in the town she’d moved to out of high school. She’d never married.

A few weeks later after the funeral services, I got in touch with Sherry ensest porno and told her Beth had left her several personal things in her will – some jewelry, artwork, china, and a number of other items that she wanted Sherry to have. Sherry said that she had a long weekend coming up in a couple of months and would drive over to get the items. I told her that her old room was ready for her.

She arrived on Friday evening. I had picked up a couple of steaks to cook out and made a salad and baked potatoes. It wasn’t fancy but it was pretty much the only things I was confident in cooking well. When Beth got ill, I turned over my insurance business to several very good, dependable employees. I still worked part time, because at age 50, I wasn’t ready to retire yet. Anyway, over the last few months, as I tended to Beth, I was on a very steep learning curve in the culinary department but still thought I’d better keep it simple and safe for company.

After Sherry arrived, I suggested that if she wanted, since it was such a nice evening, we could take a swim and eat out by the pool. She readily agreed and we both changed. I put on an old swimsuit that I had to cinch up pretty tightly around the waist. When Beth got sick, I lost interest in food and had shed several pounds. I wasn’t skinny by any means, more like a normal weight, but my clothes were for a much larger guy. I had also started exercising even more vigorously because it helped me sleep and not toss and turn worrying about Beth, so my conditioning had improved considerably.

I was already in the pool when Sherry came out. She’d lost weight and was obviously taking better care of herself and she looked good, even with the additional weight. To a degree however it was difficult to tell exactly what her shape was because she wore a swimsuit that could have been her grandmother’s it was so out of style; it covered EVERYTHING. I felt like Sherry was a daughter but on one level I also realized she was an unrelated young woman so perhaps I scrutinized her more than I intended to. Counting the time that Ruth was too ill for sex and the couple of months since her death, it had been over a year since I’d had real sex with a woman. A handful (pun intended) of times over the last few months, I’d masturbated but I even felt guilty about that. Before Beth got ill, we’d had an extremely vibrant sex life. So, it was no wonder that seeing a live, breathing female in a swimsuit was a little exciting, even if the woman was pretty much like my daughter and she was wearing a garment that was about as sexy as a flannel nightgown.

After swimming and splashing around for 30 minutes or so, we both dried off and as I got the grill ready, Sherry opened a bottle of wine. The weather was beautiful so we ate outside. But it getting a little cooler so I got old bathrobes for both of us as we sat around and chatted and finished off the wine after dinner.

“It is so great for you to drive this far, Sherry. I would have been glad to take these things to you. But, it’s nice having you home.”

She seemed to get misty-eyed as she replied, ‘thanks Paul, it does seem like home, the only real home I ever had; the only family I ever had. Like I was telling you, Sandy, and Beth right before…before her death, you all don’t know how much you meant to me growing up. I don’t know what I would have done without you. Every day I couldn’t wait to get here and every night I hated to go home, and every night I didn’t go home, I felt so safe and secure here and it was the only place I could really sleep well. I felt loved here.”

Now it was my turn to get emotional. “Sherry, I hope you always consider this your home. I don’t plan to go anywhere any time soon so I hope you can return to your home often, as often as you can get here. We always felt like you were our kid and Sandy’s sister and I know she felt the same way. How long can you stay?”

“I only brought clothes for one night. I didn’t want to bother you any longer so I better get back tomorrow.”

I replied, “nonsense, you wouldn’t bother me at all. We can either buy you some clothes or I know Sandy left some stuff, and Beth’s clothes are still here as well. Please consider staying over. We could go to a movie tomorrow, take some walks, and I have to run some errands so you could go with me and I’ll take you for an ice cream, like the old days. So please think about it, unless you have some guy you want to get back to see.”

She smiled, “all that does sound pretty tempting. And no, I don’t have a guy to get back to. I wish but it just never worked out. So, you really mean it? You want me to stay over?”

“Of course I do. Here’s to a nice visit for a few nights. You did say you had a long weekend right?” Paul asked as he touched my wine glass to hers.

“Yes, until Tuesday. Ok, I’ll do it,” she smiled.

I was pleased and maybe starting to feel the wine a little bit. “So, Sherry, you don’t have a special friend erotik porno that you see occasionally?” I phrased it delicately because for all I knew she may have been a lesbian and had a female friend.

She smiled sadly, “Paul, you know me…Wallflower Sherry. I have never had a boyfriend. I’ve pretty much decided it’s not in the cards for me. Guess I’ll just be an old maid.”

“I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before you meet some guy. Maybe you should just get out more, ” he responded.

“Yeah, maybe. But, seriously Paul. It’s no secret I’m no beauty queen. And no one has ever called me the life of the party. So, too much baggage, not enough to interest anyone. End of story. Let’s talk about something else. I’m even boring myself.”

So, we got up and started taking care of the dishes. After quietly chatting another hour or so. Sherry’s drive and the effect of the wine made her go to bed early and so I retired early as well.

The next day was busy, running errands in the morning, with Sherry getting a few clothes and me going to the cleaners, grocery, etc., and then in the afternoon, taking a walk and chatting with some neighbors. After coming home for a quick swim and showering, we went out to eat at an old family-favorite restaurant. After being greeted by the owner, he gave us a quiet table in the corner, away from the hustle and bustle.

Sherry looked nice but she dressed like she was in her dotage. It had gotten a little chilly so she wore pants that were clearly too big for her and a sweater that both of us could have fit in. She wore no makeup and her hairdo was old-fashioned as well She wore glasses that made her look like a schoolmarm or old librarian. As I watched her, I thought that she had given up even wanting to make herself attractive. But she was great company; the dinner was very pleasant and we decided that we would go home to have an after-dinner drink.

When we got back, since it was tad chilly, I built a small fire in the den. After we got our drinks – brandy for me and some kind of Kahlua-based drink for Sherry, we sat in front of the fire where we had chairs angled towards each other with a common footrest between. It was a nice, cozy place to relax and chat. Our conversation covered a wide range of topics, from childhood memories to current evens to the latest books we’d read. Sherry then asked about how I was doing since Beth’s death.

“Paul, I know how much you loved Beth. I hope you are coping ok, seeing your friends, working. Don’t shut yourself off from people. How are you holding up really?”

I replied, “I’m doing ok Sherry. It is really, really hard. But I’m trying. Our friends have been great and I’ve been working a little more so I’ll take it one day at the time and somehow make it through. But how about you? I know how much you loved Beth. How are you doing?”

I thought I saw her eyes moisten as she answered. “It has been so hard. But I’m trying to get by as well. I’m so glad I was able to come down and stay some when she was ill. She and I had a lot of time to talk about all kinds of things…things that I’ve never been able to talk to anyone about. I miss her but I know how she was; she would just want both of us to keep moving forward and not get depressed.”

“You know something she told me right before she died Sherry? She asked me to please take care of Sandy, and…she said something strange. She said, ‘please talk as much as you can to Sherry. Take care of her and love her. She is carrying around a lot of things. Help her deal with them if you can.’ I pressed her for what she was talking about but she wouldn’t tell me.”

Sherry wept quietly. “Paul, she was so sweet. I feel a little guilty because I ended up confiding about a lot of my problems instead of just being there for her. But in some ways, maybe worrying about me kept her from worrying about herself. I know she was worn down with talking to people about her illness. But, maybe I’m just rationalizing using her as a therapist.” By then she was weeping more openly and stood up.

“Paul, I am so sorry. I’m a wreck tonight. I think I’ll just go to bed. I’ll be better tomorrow I promise.”

I stood up to give her a hug. I am a “toucher” by nature. Beth, Sandy, and I were always hugging and touching each other affectionately. But I had noticed in the past that Sherry never really reciprocated when we’d try to hug her. Even now, as I clasped her tight to me and patted her back, she stiffened and I thought that she shivered. She quickly broke away, murmured that she had to go to bed and hurried up the stairs. I thought she was weeping as she did so.

The next morning, she seemed much better. We both had work to do. I went to my office downtown and Sherry worked at the desk in her room. She’d been using that same desk most of her life.

I came home at lunch and we had a sandwich together. Afterwards, I convinced her to go on a long walk with me. We lived on a big lake and there were trails all around so we were out for nearly three hours. When we returned, we were both hot and sweaty, so we went down to the lake with big cups of iced tea and sat on the dock with our feet dangling in the water.

After making small talk, Sherry said she had something to say.

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