Greatchen refolded the paper and placed it back in its envelope.
“What the hell is that all about,” she said, aloud, “and how did it get here?”
She had just come in from doing her laps and found the envelope
protruding slightly from under the computer desk. There was no signature on the paper and, nothing on the envelope at all,
save the accumulated dust from surviving under the desk for, who knows how long. Upon further investigation it yielded this
odd, sort of confession, sort of statement. She wasn’t sure exactly what it was.
The note was type written, probably on a computer, possibly
her computer, but it bore no indication of who had written it. It bore no names, no date, no address. There were so many people
through her place in the course of her busy life, that any one of a hundred people could have dropped it. If one went further
and considered the number of people who could have handed it to someone, who in turn could have dropped it . . . Greatchen
gave her head a shake. The numbers were beyond calculation.
It was certainly a strange letter and, although it could have
come from anyone, she somehow had a feeling, deep down, that she knew who had written it. It would explain so many things,
if she was right. Instead of putting the note in her purse, or laying it on the desk, she carefully placed it back, exactly
as she had found it. If she was right about who had written the note, then one of two things was likely. Either the note had
fallen from that person’s possession and been lost under the desk, in which case it was never meant for her eyes, or
it was purposely placed there for her to find, in which case it would be moved to a more obvious place, if she pretended not
to have found it.
With a gruelling day ahead, she headed off to shower and dress.
When she finished, Stuart was cleaning the pool, part of his daily routine. She stepped outside and waved. “Beautiful
morning isn’t it,” she called.
“It certainly is,” he replied. “Are you coming
to do your laps?”
“I have already done them. I’ve got an interview
for that job I told you about. I have to be there at ten.”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” he said, “If I had
known I would have been up earlier so I could give you a massage. I could do it now if you like.”
“I’m already showered and dressed, Stuart.”
“Whatever pleases you then,” he said, going back
to skimming the pool, “You know I just enjoy, making you happy.”
“So I understand,” observed Greatchen. “I’ll
take that massage later though, if the offer’s still good.”
“It will be. Good luck at the interview.”
“Thanks, but I’m actually not sure I want it to
go that well. I don’t know that I really want to follow some Rock Star all over the southern hemisphere, protecting
him from little girls and queers.”
“You know, that’s not politically correct,”
Greatchen laughed, “you’re right Stuart, I should
probably have called them young ladies.”
They both laughed at the little joke she had made, Greatchen,
because she was amused, Stuart, because he was embarrassed and didn’t want to show it. Had she been closer, she would
have seen the color that came to his cheeks when she used the term queer, but as it was, she left for her interview totally
unaware of the fact that she had, unknowingly hurt his feelings.
She was about to walk away, when she remembered the note. “Stuart,”
she queried, “Does Dale confide in you at all?”
“We sometimes talk,” said Stuart, unsure of exactly
what was coming next. Did Greatchen have suspicions about him and the stable boy? Had she figured out that their relationship
wasn’t as it seemed? His heart was beating at twice the normal rate. “Why?”
“I just wondered,” she said, “whether he
ever said anything about his life before he came to the farm, or about his financial situation.”
“No I can’t say that he has.”
“He’s a very nice young man isn’t he.”
“Yea, I guess so.”
“Always so eager to please...”
Stuart was sure now that she was on some kind of fishing trip,
but it didn’t seem that she had was going in the direction of an affair between he and Dale. ”He tries to do his
job, I guess,” he said.
“He’s quite . . . how would you put it . . . servile,
She might as well have been waving the letter in front of his
face. He knew now where it was. Greatchen had it and she thought Dale had written it. Stuart didn’t know where she had
found the letter he had lost, but he did know that Greatchen had found and read something that had never been meant for her
eyes. Stuart had written that letter for Dale. He had planned to present it to him and ask him to run away together. The time
had just never seemed right and then he misplaced the letter, a few months ago. Now he was thankful he had never signed it
or addressed it. There was no way it could be traced back to him, and no matter how hard she investigated she wouldn’t
ever find any connection to Dale. He was relieved that he hadn’t been caught in his affair with the young man.
“So, what do you think?” Greatchen asked.
“I think he’s just trying to keep his job, G. He’s
a nice kid but he won’t hang around here forever. Now you’d better get a move on if you don’t want to be
late for your Rocker.”
Greatchen simply smiled, threw him a kiss and ran off to her
car. Stuart wished she knew how much it pleased him to do her bidding. As he watched he drive away, he though, I’m glad
the letter’s gone. I could never leave here anyway.
With a sigh he collapsed onto a seat and appeared to slumber
off, but his mind was sharp and working furiously.
"Damn that woman," he moaned,” Now we have to be careful.
All these months, and she had no clue of what my life really is." He sighed inside and stretched out.
A small sound made him open an eye, and there was Dale dressed
simply in a G and T, and holding a tray.
“Your need has called to me" and he was preparing the
snort exactly as he had been taught by Stuart. He carefully laid the cocaine in a long fine streak on a linen base, and elegantly
drew the straw and together they inhaled deeply, and the world came together like the swirling waters going down the drain,
or as if a huge vacuum was sucking up the sky into its nozzle.
Stuart started his high pitched giggle and Dale carefully attended
to him in the same way that he Stuart had just served Greatchen. This was a part of their routine, that Dale watches and then
re-enact the same scene, when she had left. Stuart escaped on a journey, where he was the Goddess and He, was the servant,
and He was the slave.
Waves of intensity swept over him and he sank lower and lower,
almost melting into the soft contours of the flat couch where he lay. Opening his eyes just once, he was aware of his reflection
playing against the windows, and of Dale’s cologne drifting through his awareness.
A huge ache shot through him like a sword slicing him, and
his body arched and contorted into a huge spasm of nerve wracking pain, as finally exhausted and totally drained, he screamed
and screamed into the night.