The Short Straw

The Short Straw

Author's Note: Thank y'all for the help and support.

Rita Soto came into the living room in her little black dress ready for her double dinner date with Elmer Rice and his friend and his friend with benefits. The dress’ hemline was high and showed her her wonderful legs, it was tight to bring attention to her curves and the neckline plunged to highlight her cleavage. She asked her beau “How do I look in this dress dear?”

Elmer would had said she looked great in anything she wore.The man who adores her said “You look great in it my love.”

Rita then asked him “Do you think I should change?”

The wise man knew better than to ever tell a woman what to wear. He also knew most of the time when a lady asked her man multiple questions about her outfit, the issue was not her outfit. That they usually needed to hear a compliment. The reasons varied from the woman just having a bad day to the man just has not been paying her enough attention. Elmer gave what he thought was the safe answer of “No, I do not think you should change. What you have on is flattering to you.”

Rita thought to herself “His friends are right, Elmer wants me to only wear dresses” The lady who was thinking that her boyfriend had sexist views gave him another out. “How about if I put on that purple pantsuit outfit I have instead?”

There was no way that El was ever going to tell Rita what to wear. He might see himself as a simple farm folk but he knew better than to be foolish enough to directly answer that question. It is her body and he had no right to tell another what to wear ever. The empathetic man try to reassure his lovely Rita she looked wonderful “Dear there is no need for you to change. You look amazing in that dress. It shows off your physical beauty so well.”

Rita was so disappointed that those jerks that were his friends were right. Then again Elmer hung out with them and her momma always told her if you lay with dogs you will get fleas. Rita try to hide her displeasure with her boyfriend’s antiquated point of views on women attire. The lady who was getting in a bad mood was not successful, the woman who was looking down at her other half sighed when she said “Ok let us get going.”

The man who never claimed to be a wise man knew enough from that sighed that something was wrong with the lady who was his queen. In a caring voice he said “What is wrong dear?”

Rita became over sensitive towards anything Elmer said and automatically took it in the wrong light replied “It is nothing and you wouldn't understand anyways.” She thought “How can he be so clueless to how hard it is for us women to have to dress to impress other people.”

********
Jethro Knox, Zeke Davis and Nathan Stephens doing on of their favorite pastimes of sitting back and enjoying a cold one on front porch of the Stephen’s homestead. They started the little drinking session bitching about Rice never showing up to participate anymore. They felt he thought he was better than just hanging out for he had himself a liberal lady. He needed to spend time with her other then when they were out on a date.

Then after they put their friend down for growing up, those three were laughing to themselves for their plan was working so well that it really dilled their pickle. Not only is Elmer once again go to have to drive them all to Pittsburgh for their annual night out on the town on Halloween. This time they figure out a way to pull a prank on him also. Elmer’s costume was going to be a cheerleader.

This was the fourth year in a row that they hit the big city which was 150 miles away for a night out. It was also the fourth year in a row which they figured out a way to have Elmer drive. The first year Elmer just offered and after the run they had those three decided that they were never going to be the designated driver. The second year Zeke was supposed to drive but at the last moment he had “truck trouble”. The third year Nathan was the ringer and did not throw a ringer in a fixed game of horseshoes where each of the losers had to do the one of the winners a favor. Jethro picked Elmer taking his turn driving for their annual night out on the two as the favor. The best part for Nathan was his favor was not to tell Elmer about how crooked the game was.

They needed to come up with something new this year so it was to draw straws to drive and the others got to pick out the costume the holder of the short straw wore . They wanted someone who Elmer would see as either neutral or liked him. This was just so their friend did not get suspicious about their con on him. Then it came to Zeke, get Rita to hold the straws.

Jethro and Nathan thought that Zeke lost the good sense which God has given him when he suggested to get the love of Elmer’s life to be in on their plan. Zeke explain to them, “Guys this is going to be so easy. Just get that feminist Rita mad at Elmer. She is all for being treated women equal, yeah right if anything men needed to be treated equal to women. Just mention that Elmer said how he always wanted to see her in a dress. She will buy that for that liberal lady thinks that all men are sexist pigs. We are not, we just know what look best on a woman,.”

Here is the best part you know how if Elmer does not want to do something he just will not. He will say rightfully that he did not agree to the last part. While he will not, that feminist will put pressure on him to wear that cheerleading outfit to teach him to be more understanding to the plight of women. We will not have to do anything other than sit back and enjoy pulling another one over on that rube.”

They planted the falsehood about Elmer having chauvinistic beliefs in Rita’s head and so bought it. Zeke was not worried for he believed women who were feminist went out of their way to find any fault in a man. That was not an unusual opinion for Zeke to have, it is for he based all of his opinion on his guts and not knowledge.

Rita was not a man hater like Zeke thought, Elmer’s girlfriend did not dismiss the lie right away for she was unsure of how Elmer could be so different from his friends. He was kind, considerate, open minded and did not need to follow a leader, the exact opposite of his three best friends.

********
It was time for those three to roll out the next phase of the plan. To get Rita to hold the straws for the rigged drawing. It was easy and will be done over a double dinner date Nathan and Nora Mae Davis had coming up with Elmer and Rita. Nathan and Nora Mae hooked up after the bars closes most weekend, she had a romantic interest in him and Nathan took total advantage of that. He was not ready to settle down but when he was he knew it would be with her. It was great for him for he got to be single when he wanted to and also had a girlfriend when he wanted to. One day he will marry her, but not right now, that man was just having too much fun to start a family.

Nathan felt lucky when he saw Rita in that little black dress. It was going to make it easy to remind her how horrible Elmer’s view on women’s attire was and it had the added bonus of he can see that her smoking body. The dog of a man just wished that Nora Mae would wear a dress like that once in awhile.

Nathan got to work on getting Rita on board right away, it was just the best way to enjoy the evening. As the man with the plan greeted her he said “Rita, it is great that you wore that dress just for Elmer.”

As those words came out of his mouth Nathan got a great idea, use that lie on Nora Mae. If the girl he was going to sleep with tonight believed that a strong independent woman like Rita would wear something just to please her man, she would do the same. Nathan thought to himself “Life is good.”

Elmer did not like his friend saying something so backwards to his better half and he quickly told him “Quit that dude.”

Hearing Nathan make that ignorant comment irked Rita. How could Elmer have his friends think she dress to please him, instead of pleasing herself. She took Elmer telling Nathan to quit it, as not bring too much attention to his fashion sense for women. Rita did not say anything, but she was going to remember this when she finally has that talk with Elmer about her wardrobe.

Before they order dinner Nathan brought up how they were going to decide who drove down for their big night out in two weeks and the added stipulation. As expected Elmer was a wet blanket and only agreed to the driving part. Nora Mae asked if she could come along and Nathan said no for there was no room for her in any of the cars of the guys. He did not want her to cramp his style of a chance to get some strange.

Nora Mae wanted to go with Nathan for she was smart enough to know why he did not want her to be there. She worked long and hard to get him at the point where he did not even try to get another woman at the local bars. That lady who wanted to be married was not going to let a boy’s night out set her progress back. Nora Mae said “While I can drive us all down in my van.”

This could be a huge wrench in the machinery of Nathan’s weekend. If he did not come up with something soon then Zeke’s plans would be ruin a, not to mention his freedom down in the Burgh. It came to him “Honey this is the for the guys to bond. Rita comes with only for she is just about married to Elmer and he told us that she would not let him come without her.”

Elmer made a mental note that he was going to have to had a talk with Nathan and the guys. He was getting sick of them joking around in that manner, they either need to grow up or Elmer was going to not hang around with them anymore. said “That is not true.”

Rita shot Elmer a stare, how could he make her sound like she was controlling to his friends. No wonder they come off how they do, they must think I am a bitch. Nathan was so happy at that look for he knew the potential disaster actually turn out to add more fuel to the anger Rita had towards Elmer. Nora Mae dropped the subject for those daggers coming from Rita’s eyes made her not believe Elmer.

After the dinner they went out for a couple of drinks. Nathan and Rita started to have a conversation and Elmer stayed out of it for he wanted those two to get to know each other better. Nora Mae talked with Elmer for she wanted him to keep an eye on Nathan while they bar hopped on Carson Street in Pittsburgh. If she could not be with the man she wanted that night at least she will know how he acted.

Nathan was going to fix the straw drawing right then. He started it by reminding Rita again about the dress and said “I will say that is so nice of you to wear that dress for Elmer. I hope that he thanks you for doing that for him.”

Rita said “He does not. That man just does not understand what it is like to wear a dress. The worse part is that I love to show off my femininity but feel like I can’t freely now for that asaine view he has ”

Nathan could not believe how smooth this was going. He could not had scripted the night any better. He must has done something good to be this lucky. Nathan said “How would you like for him to wear something he would not like?”

Rita said “How, I am not like him and would never think that I should be able to tell other people what to wear?”

Nathan with a devilish smile on his face said “Easy with with fix that Straw contest so he gets the shortest one. All four of us were planning on going out dressed as football players, but with him losing he can go as something in a supportive role, like the waterboy.”

Rita did have morals and found that as being dishonest and said “I don’t think so. That would be unfair.”

Nathan played on her sense of fairness.”It is also unfair what he thinks about you having to wear a dress. I know you think of me as a caveman, but I would never dream of telling a woman what to wear.

Do not think of it as setting him up, but a chance of you able to teach him a lesson about respecting what other people wear.”

The mad woman hearing that got a idea and shared it with Nathan. “I will do the fix but I get to pick what Elmer wears. He is going to be your cheerleader. He will know what it is like for someone else to want you to wear a dress.”

Nathan almost gave away the plan by how happy he was, he could not wait to tell the guys that if anything goes wrong they could blame that stupid feminist. He was quick on his feet to act like he was happy for her. “That is a great idea, you need to make sure that Elmer learns that lesson and having a talk with him after he is put in a dress is the best way to have it sink in his thick head.”

*********

The next day all the guys went to Elmer's place for the drawing of the straws. To fix this was simple; Rita just had the short straw closest to her and she pick the order when each one of them drew their straw.

They all drew and Elmer got the shortest straw and everyone started to laugh.

Zeke said “It looks like Elmer is going to be our chauffeur again this year. You must really loved us driving down route 30”

Jetro said “Sorry about the bad luck Elmer. Guess you be our waterboy. That is fitting for you were the least athletic of us all”

It is funny Jethro’s memory was extremely different from the reality of the past. The past not being in sync with a person memories is common for people who best days are behind. They need to see the past with rose tinted glasses. It was not fitting for Elmer to be the waterboy of the group. He was the most athletic of them all. El played cornerback and was all section. It was just he did not have a love for football so he quit playing after his junior year.

Nathan smiled and acted like he was joking “Or better yet our cheerleader.”

Elmer said “I will drive but I will not dress as a waterboy or cheerleader. I did not agree to that part.”

Rita smiled and said “Honey I swear you did agree to all of it and so does Nathan. You might not have worded it right but Nathan and I both think you did. Plus, I think you would be cute as a cheerleader.”

Elmer begrudgingly agreed “Fine if my Rita want me to dress as a cheerleader, I will have no issue wearing an outfit which looks like a bad jumpsuit.”

Rita talking down to the man who was going to get a lesson said “Oh no honey everyone knows that a cheerleader costume at halloween is always a sexy female one.”

Everyone started to laugh and started to tease Elmer. He did not care about the childish behavior of his friends, he expected them to be mean and not treat others how they would have wanted to be treated. One thing he could not understand is why they found so much pleasure in putting other people down.

Rita’s boyfriend did care about her doing so. That was so unlike her;he knew he had to figure out what was up with her. The last couple of weeks she did seem a little distant, but he chalked that up to the pressure she was having at work. Rita had to deal with budget cuts for the domestic violence safe house she ran and Elmer knew how much of herself she put into that place.

After his friends left, Elmer said “Rita honey you know that I did not agree with that why did you say I did?”

Even with the fact that she lied to her man, Rita got defensive so he would drop the subject. She accused him of calling her a liar.

One thing Elmer did not like was when anyone put words in his mouth, and if he did not want to find out what has been bugging Rita her accusation would had work. “I did not say that and you know that. I am straight forward.

I am saying you must had misremembered. You know that something as childish as picking out what someone else had to wear is something I would not agree to. You always said one thing you like about me is I do not act like a boy anymore. So, I just find it strange you not only thought that I agreed to that immature stipulation, but you are on board with it. Is there something you would like to talk about?”

Rita could not believe Elmer did not count wanting her to wear a dress all the time is not the same as picking out what someone else had to wear. She said “How about me wearing dresses all the time, is that fine?”

The man who had no idea what his girlfriend's last statement meant said “If you don’t want to wear a dress fine. I don’t care what you wear.”

Rita did not want to get into a fight at the moment. She wanted to wait until Elmer actually knew what it was like to have others want you to wear something before she told him about knowing his desire for her to always be in a dress. She said “Yeah, right!”

Elmer just dropped the subject for he knew that it was going to go nowhere. There was something up with Rita and she just did not want to share it with him. The good boyfriend respected Rita’s privacy and changed the subject to their plans for Thanksgiving, his favorite holiday.
***********

The next day Zeke called Elmer to start really rubbing his new outfit in. This was going to be fun, it was so great for him to put other people down in jest. He did not care if they cannot take a joke, or if the words were mean when taken in their normal context. It was just fun for him to tease others. He found great humor in the humiliation of others, himself not that much.

Zeke greeted his victim with “Hey there Elmara did you get the outfit yet. It is going to be so great to see you with pom poms. Remember the cheer I love the most is Zeke, Zeke he is our man, if he can’t do it than no one can ”

El was not in the mood for Zeke’s tomfoolery. “No for one simple reason, whoever is going to pay for it needs to be here when I order it. I did not agree to it so there is no way I am paying for it also.”

Zeke said “Oh I guess your purse is as tight as your wallet is Rice.”

The man who was outgrowing his friends said “No I am just not paying for your guys entertainment. It is enough that I pay to go to Pittsburgh. This outing is not going to cost anymore money than it already did. I have a football outfit which I paid for already so I am not paying for a cheerleading one also.”

Zeke did not like that he was not getting under his friend's skin. He just loved to annoy people and he was not finding the pleasure he wanted from the phone call. The practical joker said “It is only money and we will see what Rita has to say about that?”

Now Zeke bringing up Rita and it being only money did annoy Elmer. He was starting to worry about her, she was just not her normal self and now not sharing. The troubled man started to think that maybe the relationship was in the downfall. That their time together was coming to an end. Rita knew how important it was to be open in a relationship.

It is true that Rice had the view it is only money and there is so many more important things in life than cash. Even with El’s chevalier attitude towards money, Zeke owned him a lot. The man in the red saying about money reminded his friend about the debt and with Elmer being annoyed at his friend he was going to bring it up.

The irritated man said “Fine I will pay, but speaking of money. You do owe me $500 and I want it now.

Hearing the disgruntled tone and Elmer relenting on paying for his own humiliation was exactly the outcome of the conversation which the prankster wanted. Zeke’s victory was short lived when he heard about his friend wanting to be payback right now. He was good for the money and was going to get around to it one day, but right now that $500 would hurt his vacation fund and he was going away Thanksgiving week. “Dude you now I will pay you back, but I can’t right now. I will give you it at Christmas.”

Elmer would not relent on the money. “No, like you said it is only money so you should be fine to pay it right now.”

Zeke said “Come on, you are just mad that you drew the short straw. I need that money for my family’s ski vacation during Thanksgiving. I can’t go broke and I would be.”

Elmer said “No I am not mad that I drew the short straw, I am mad that you made a stupid childish stipulation which I did not agree and my girlfriend is going along with it for some strange reason.”

Zeke gave the quick rebuttal “Do not take your anger of her on me dude. That is not what friends do.”

Elmer said “I am not taking my anger out on you,and you know what else friends don’t do, borrow money and wait months to pay it back. It has been a half of year now and I want my money.”

Zeke knew that he had no choice but to pay back the money, maybe he can borrow some off of Jethro and Nathan for his family get together. “Fine, you can have your money dude. This is not cool.”

Elmer laughed and said “Owing people a lot of money is not cool also.”

**********

Rita was under the assumption her love was drawing the short straw in stride, she also thought that he must had believed her on not being clear about not going along with the stipulation. He did not bring up the conversation since she ended it with” yeah, right” and also agreed to model his cheerleading outfit for her in full makeup. He even took her needling him about how cute he was going to be.

A week before their trip to the big city Rita could not wait for Elmer to be in the outfit. The woman who was going to teach her better half a lesson wanted to get started with it. She wanted to say all those degrading things she assumed he thought about how she looked in a dress. Mention how great his legs are and how she liked how his skirt swayed while he walked. She finally said “Dear you said you were going to model being a cheerleader for me.”

Elmer looked at her and said “You never asked me to do that. You might had worded it wrong for I thought you did not want me to model it for you.”

The lady who was only trying for him to be a better person got so mad and said “I did so ask you to model it.”

Elmer asked “Are you calling me a liar?”

That got her more pissed off but she did not know what course of action to take next. Elmer give her the benefit of the doubt and she knew he would bring that up if she did not. She wanted to be mad at him for lying to her, but knew she started this game of deception. The honest man resorting to lying made her know he was mad about the situation. She was smart enough to figure out that his anger was about her part in it.

Rita not wanting to give up said “You must of misunderstood my question, so please do what you agreed to do.”

Elmer said “I am, I agreed to not model the outfit for you.”

Rita was going to get his goat at least. “I know why you just do not want me to see those sexy legs of yours. I bet you are going to look so cute in that outfit and if you are cute enough I might like to see you in it more often. I am just going to eat up saying all those things you think about me in a dress to you.”

Elmer again had no clue about what Rita was talking about. He knew that she was really upset about something. Does she think that he am like his friends who gawk and catcall women? “What exactly is it I think about you in a dress?”

Rita said “You know.”

The frustrated boyfriend knew he made a mistake by resorting to saying yes just to lie about the conversation like Rita did. It might have felt good but caused so much strife between them right now. Trying to get the woman who had the keys to his heart to open up Elmer said “I do not dear, that is why I asked. I know something is bothering you and we need to talk about it.”

Rita saw a chance to finally say what was on her mind to her boyfriend. The woman about to settle her grievance said “I will tell you what is on my mind after you are changed dear.”

Elmer was not going to be manipulated into doing anything “I am not going to do anything just so my girlfriend will talk to me about an issue she is having. Plus, who knows if you are even going to talk to me after I change.”

Rita was hurt by the accusation “So El doesn’t trust me now.”

Elmer said “When it comes to this cheerleading thing, no I do not. You were gleeful when I drew the last straw and acted so out of character. If I did not know better I would have sworn you wanted this.”

Those words hurt the wounded woman even more for her lover was right to not trust her. In fact, he was actually more trusting of her than he should had been. Rita felt belittle in the presence of the better man and could not stand it so she left “Honey if you are not willing to do that for me, then I am going home. Call me when you change your mind and will do this little favor for me. It is nothing but putting on a dress.”

************

A couple of days later Elmer finally broke down and called the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. He did not understand why him dressing like a cheerleader was so important to her, but he was going to do so. This was for it would not cause him any harm other than to his ego. Yeah he was worried about how he would look.

Rice swallowed his pride and called Rita saying that he would dress for her, but she has to tell him what is on her mind right away. Rita was happy that she was getting her way and said “My love I promise you I will. You have to trust me, you will see how it all ties together when we talk.”

El said “I do trust you and I was wrong not to show it when you asked me to put on a cheerleading outfit. It is harmless. You have been acting strangely lately and I allowed that to override my decision making. I am just concerned about you. I am sorry and I love you. So come on over.”

Hearing her man’s words for some reason made Rita feel small again. If she took the time to self analyze she would know for what she wanted to do was wrong on many levels. She was breaking the trust between her and the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with. The woman who thought she knew better was going to put down the man she loved to prove a point instead of just talking about the issue. She was untrusting that she could get a honest response from her boyfriend by just talking to him.

Rita even with feeling bad about the transgression she was about to commitment Rita lied to herself about how it was for the common good. That lie made her feel better about what she was about to do to the man who made her whole. She believed that she was also going to make him whole by correcting his bad behavior. Sometimes doing the right thing is hard she told herself.

When Rita arrived at Elmer’s home he was happy to see her looking and acting more like her normal self. After a couple of minutes Rita built up the nerves to do the dirty deed to the man she cared about. Jokingly Rita said “Hun, it is time for us to see how cute you are going to be this Saturday. I know I will like it.”

Elmer did not know what he was walking into and laughed at her joke. He thought that he was doing the right thing for the woman he cared about was feeling better. Whatever was bothering her was being resolved by this harmless exercise

El was feeling good about dressing as a cheerleader for it was lifting his girlfriend’s spirits. He could tell by each step of getting more in costume Rita was becoming more relax. The clueless man took the snide comments Rita was making as her joking around.

After his transformation the man who was ready to cheer his team to victory looked in the mirror. To tell the truth he was a little worried that he would look and feel foolish. He did not, in fact he liked it. This was for Elmer had a great costume and will not look just like any other guy celebrating Halloween. Even with the skirt being extremely short, he did not feel that expose. The shorts and sheer pantyhose he had on made him feel fully dressed. With being thin framed he did not mind his midriff showing. He shook his head thinking that he friends who were already growing a beer belly would look hilarious in this. The leader of cheer ruffled his pom poms a little and said “Yeah, team!!!”

The man who drew the shortest straw was feeling better about it and wanted to make it more fun. The man with the pom poms in his hand said “Rita you were right I am a little cute in this. I would not want to wear it other than for Halloween. I know what would be fun is if you dressed like a cheerleader also.”

That was the worse suggestion he could had given her at the moment. The love of his life was going to give him a lesson and she was going to be gentle until her made that suggestion. All the lady who was seeing red could think was that Nathan was right, Elmer had a thick skull.

Rita smugly said “I did not draw the short straw so others cannot tell me what to wear. I do not want to show off my legs and now you are going to know how it feels when I have to.

I am going to go as a doctor and dress respectfully and you have to show off your body and have people judge you for your appearance.”

They both felt that they were not on the same page. El did not know what made Rita go back to acting weird again. Rita could not understand why Elmer was being so insensitive, so much like Zeke and his crew. Right then Rita thought that maybe she was wrong about those guy. It could be that they were not as bad as Elmer, it could be her man was better at hiding his sexist attitude. The other guys were just more gruff than the polite man in front of her.

Even with trying to have empathy for his girlfriend’s issues, the man who was trying to be like Job lost it. “I try to be nice to you and give you your space about whatever issue you are dealing with, but I had enough. You never have to wear a dress and I sure as hell do not judge you by your looks. So tell me what is going on before we get into a big fight over me not knowing what is bothering you.”

Rita was offended that Elmer was trying to play innocent of his caveman attitude. How dare he try to play her for a fool. “Yeah right, like I do not need to wear a dress to make you happy. Please do not try to deny that.”

Instead of trying to be compassionate, the man under the unwarranted attack by who should had been his biggest ally strengthen his defenses. “I have no idea where you are getting that idea but you are wrong. If you don’t want to be open to me fine, I do not care. Just leave right now and do not call me unless you are ready to tell me what this is about.”

Rita retaliated with “You know what this is exactly about, just say it and we can work it out.”

Elmer was done with this conversation. “I have no idea what this is about but would love to know. I do know one thing I do not like your attitude lately and if you do not want to be constructive just leave. I am serious about you leaving and do not call me until you are ready to talk about this like an adult.”

Rita got furious that her man was still trying to play innocent. She wanted to talk it out now but not how the man who dressed like a cheerleader did. No, not until he had to be in public dressed in that outfit will she tell him what she was under the misinformation that he already knew. “Fine, I can understand why you can’t man up about this now for you don’t look like one, so I will leave.”

Rita storm out of the house like an angry hornet. Elmer was hurt by how she was acting and her words. It was not the words themselves, but who they came from.

It took a couple of days until Rita try to call her man. There was no answer and she left a message. The message told Elmer that his woman was still not going to be mature about it so he did not call her back. The hurt man was not going to rehash the same fight with her.

*********

The day of the night out on the town was upon them. Rita once again called Elmer to see if they were even still going. They were and she went over to do his makeup. The look on his face and body language told her not to say anything right now. She would just wait until he was weaken by how he was treated while they were painting the town red to start giving her lesson to the man she loved.

Zeke and the other guys knew not to show up until right before they left for the steel city. They could not believe how out of sort their buddy was about their little prank. He should had been taking it better. How he was not being a good sport made them tricking him not worth it. What good is it to put your friend in a dress and not be able to tear him apart about it.

As they drove off Zeke was not going to let Elmer deny him his joy and started in on the cheerleader. “Hey there Elmara with how nice you look, you are going to have all the guys flirting with you.”

The childish attempt at humor had no effect on the man driving his friends. The man with the bow in his wig found the joke itself lame. His other half on the other hand found the comment helpful to the lesson her misogynist beau needed so she joined in. “Yeah, Zeke I am scared that I am going to lose my man to a man tonight.”

The man who just wanted the night to be over still did not show any emotions, but Rita knew that comment got to him. She saw his nose start to twitch a little. That is a sure tell sign he was getting mad. She hoped that the others would join in and help her break him down so she could build him back up.

Jethro, not one to be known for subtlety said “Yeah, I bet Elmara is looking forward to sucking her first cock tonight.

They all laughed and it became louder when Rita added the quip “The sad part is I bet that she will be better at me at it.”

Rice still did not want to show any emotions, but his hand clenched the steering wheel more and the truck speed went up by 10 MPH. He felt betrayed by the person whom he shared everything with. He would give anything for the night to be over. It was for he knew that him and Rita were going to have a huge fight by the end of it and he prayed that it was not in public. The last thing he wanted while all dolled up was to draw even more attention to himself.

Nathan liking to be cruel in his teasing went for the jugular by adding the wisecrack “Yeah we all knew that Elmara was a fag, look at how she always let Rita boss her around.”

Rita said “Of course she does, that is why I am wearing the pants tonight.”

As soon as those words came out of her mouth she knew it was wrong. She went too far and knew so for she saw a tear fall from El’s eye. Rita assured herself that once she had the talk about her man need to respect what she wants to wear it will smooth over what she said. The rest of the way down she did not say a give El a hard time.

The other three kept on riding their friend. It was so much fun to gang up on someone when they cannot fight back. With all the laughing and enjoying themselves Jethro messed up when he said “Zeke it was a great idea to put Elmara in a dress when he drew the shortest straw.”

Zeke quickly try to cover it up by saying “Jethro you know the idea was whoever lost would be put in a dress.”

Rita was so mad at those three and also herself. She knew at that moment she was played. The worst part was they made it look like she was in on it. While she was, but they made it look like it was for a prank. At that moment she knew that her El should had never been in her doghouse and she was so in his. She turned around and scolded them “You all had enough fun at El’s expense, now just drop it and look forward to having a good time tonight.”

Zeke could not resist getting one last rub in “Oh it is so nice that the person who wears the pants in the relationship is sticking up for the lady of it.”

After being silent for the entire drive Rice finally spoke up. “Rita it is fine, y’all can keep on having fun. You should join back in Rita, I could tell how much fun you were having by how loud you were laughing and how mean those words were.”

Hearing conformation on how cruel her words was made Rita try to sink into the passenger car seat. The rest of the drive down she looked out the passenger side window. She did not want to take a chance and see the pain on the face of the man who made her better person. This was for she knew she caused that pain.

They arrived at the south side and while walking to the first bar, Rita asked El to talk before they went in. Elmer refused her request and she told him that then she was not going in. Right then the man who had enough did not care and kept on walking. Rita was going to make her man stay out there so they could talk and knew how, by telling the truth. “Dear this was a set up. They all knew where the short straw was. I am sorry.”

The lady who just did her soul good got the desire results from her last statement. El turn around and walked towards her. “Why did you go along with this joke? I thought that you found this type of humor juvenile until how much you were enjoying it.”

The lady who had a lot of explaining to do said “I do, I been acting funny lately for I thought that you always wanted me to wear a dress. I wanted you to know what it is like to wear one and have other judge you on it.”

El could not believe what he heard. “Why would you think that?”

Rita felt stupid when she said “For Zeke, Nathan and Jethro all said so. It sounded convincing. Plus you hang out with those pigs so it is not hard to picture you saying that. You know, you lay with dogs you will get fleas.”

“That is just stupid and you know it.” El responded

Even with being wrong, her job at the domestic abuse safe house made her get defensive. She was not going to take any verbal abuse from her man even with how she treated him. There was no way that proud woman was going to be disrespected. “I was wrong but you do not have the right to talk to me like that. Calling me stupid is verbal abuse and I will not take it.”

El shook his head, he could not believe that she went there after the stunt she just pulled and how she has been talking to him. “Listen here, first I did not call you stupid, I said what you thought was stupid. There is a huge difference.

Even if I did call you stupid, so what. With how you have been putting me down I get a pass. It call protecting oneself If anyone has been verbally and mentally abusing anyone it is you. You trick me, been passive aggressive and not open with me. I am fucking mad at you and if I want to say you are acting stupid I will.”

The defender of downtrodden women became open to what her man said after she heard her defense. “I only did all those things for your own good.”

She has heard abusers and victims used variations of those words which came out of her mouth. She could not believe that she had that mentality. She looked down for she knew she could not look the person she hurt in the eyes and said. “I am sorry, you are right. There is no excuse for my actions. I will be getting my stuff from your home as soon as we get back from this night out.

I am sorry, I treated you so wrong and looking back you were as understanding as anyone could had been in this situation. I understand we are over.”

El was mad at his better half but did not want to end the great thing they had over this huge misunderstanding. He saw himself as a simple man, but knew that she became a hammer and saw everything as nails. How could she not, everyday that lady with a huge heart saw the worst in humanity. Staring into the heart of darkness day in and day out would make a person become dark unless they have a great support system around them. The sympathetic man knew he had to do a better job at being there for the saint who devoted her life to helping others.

He walked over to her and used his hands to lift her face up and smiling said “You are not getting rid of me and off the hook that easy doll. I love you and know we can work out this misunderstanding.

We just both need to make sure the other is open to each other. You cannot hold things in nor can I let you. You need to say what is on your mind and I need to be more assertive. I have to quit being so respectful of your privacy One of the reason I do so is I do not have to deal with all those stories from where you work. How those men treat those women get me so pissed off. I need to take a step back and not be so emotionally involved when you tell me those stories.

I love you and I know you love me. We will fight and we will say things which we should never have said. That does not mean either of us are abusive people. It means we are human. Now let us go into that club and have a great time.”

Rita said “El, I do not think it is a good idea to go into that club. I know you are going to confront your friends.”

El said “What friends, you telling me how they set me up showed me that I have outgrown them. I knew I had for I find their antics so annoy me, so there will be no confrontation tonight by me. There might be by them at the end of the night when I explain to them I never agreed to drive them home.”

Those two went in and really enjoyed themselves and stayed away from Zeke and his cronies. The lovers laughed, danced, chatted joked and just had the time of their lives. Rita agreed to wearing a matching cheerleader outfit next year but her man politely decline. She was fine with it and became happy when she found out the reason was that El wanted to be a sexy nurse next Halloween.

Zeke did notice El and Rita having a good time and he was a little worried about it. Zeke hated to have to pay for anything he has done wrong. Then he became carefree when he realized there is no way that Rita told her man what really happened.

The three amigos finally found their ride home right before last call. They had a rude awakening when Rita and El informed them they needed to find their own way home. El said “Hey guys I did draw the short straw for the drive everyone down to Pittsburgh. We did not agree to me driving you back. I know what y’all did so you can find your own way home.”

Hearing they were stranded quickly sober all three of them up. Zeke said “Oh get over yourself. We been pulling having you drive down to Pittsburgh for the last three years. Man up and take it like one. Oh yeah you are not a man tonight, you are a sexy cheerleader. So be a dear and just drive us home, then make us a sandwich when we get there. We will all be laughing about it when you get your sense of humor back.”

El said “I know I will be laughing about it on the drive home, just thinking of you three trying to get back. Having no where to stay for you left your credit and ATM cards at home. It will be great.”

Zeke and the boys never forgave El for what he did. El did not care for he knew that they quit being friends a long time ago. They still hung out together until that night for none of them could let go of the pass, but it was time for El to go his separate way from his childhood friends.

On the way home El and Rita started to talk more about the work they needed to do on their relationship. Rita was pleasantly surprise that El suggested that she moved in with him. That they would work on getting her name on the mortgage. He believed that him wanting his personal space of his own place added to the issue of the great woman next to him not always being open to him and being able to have doubt about his character.



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