Ryan Confronts His Future, a short story by KiwiDreamer. Date added: 2012-06-13. Times viewed: 483.
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- Intro: Like many guys, Ryan was bumbling along in life, seizing opportunities as they arose, but until he was almost thirty he'd not seen the possible shape of his future. And then it happened for him.
By Graeme McGregor
Ryan Richardson grew up on the estate of the Earl of Duvet where his father was farm manager. He went on to university to study history to become a secondary school teacher but dropped out dispirited late in his third year and worked grooming cars long hours to remain independent and to finance his nights of boozing and attempting to score with women.
Two months later he’d been given the job of a salesman in the pre-owned car division of that vehicle dealership and, after performing well in that role for three years was promoted to new car sales and two years later replaced the retiring sales manager of pre-owned sales.
The boost in salary accompanying the promotion to manager enabled Ryan, now almost twenty-eight, to move from a shared flat to his own rented furnish 1-bedroom flat for £730 a month. He was on salary plus bonus based on six-monthly returns of his sales division and so he considered he could afford to pay the cost of living solo and still save half his salary.
Ryan informed his mom of his change of address and she visited and stayed the night and approved of his social advance.
Three nights later he answered a knock and as he opened the door his 27-year old sister Ada smiled at him and said, “Hi Ryan.”
“Hi Ada, have you run away from Richard?”
Ryan didn’t like her husband and would have approved of a split.
“No mom told me you were in nice digs and so I decided to come up here and stay a night while Richard is away in Scotland sorting out a management problem in the company’s branch in Glasgow. I should have phoned ahead but you know I get lazy at times.”
“Ah yes well never mind,” Ryan said, kissing her and taking her two bags.
Tall and lean with wavy dark hair and hazel eyes, Ryan looked solemnly at the short blonde with great puppies and an athletic figure.
“There’s a problem… there’s only one bed.”
“No problem. I’m your sister. I’ll be comfortable sleeping with you. If you get horny in the night not a problem because I could do with a decent fuck.”
“Ada you are married with Chloe. Um where’s Chloe?”
“Staying with her other grandmother. Unlike our mother, Mrs Charles couldn’t wait for me to get out of the car and unload Chloe. Mrs Charles had her out and was dancing with her on the lawn before I was out of the vehicle.”
“Well it’s lovely having you here and we must ensure you have a really good time. I have to work each day but can meet you for lunch if you wish.”
Ada said, sounding innocent, “What is your position on sex?”
Ryan attempted to remain calm and said airily, “As often as I can get it.”
“Well this is your chance to really get off with your sister. We’ve come close a few times.”
“Um mum will kill us if she found out.”
“Moving on Ryan, I want it to happen. Lillian Rush and Jennifer Marks both told me you’re a wonderful fuck.”
Ryan ground his teeth and said, “Christ don’t you women talk music and fashion and films like other women?”
“Other women also talk about sex at our age Ryan. We talk about things that interest us. Well?”
“Um are you any good?”
Ada attempted to knee him yelling, “Christ you insulting shit.”
“Hey-hey, calm down Ada. It was only an inquiry. Christ look at your nipples up hard under that dress and you’re wearing a bra aren’t you?”
“Of course I am.”
“Gee you must be on heat.”
“At fucking last you’re talking sense. Of course I am. I’m been thinking about having a crack at you ever since mom told me you were moving into your own place. I didn’t think the opportunity would come so soon and then out of the blue Richard is told to get up to Glasgow urgently. There’s been a staff revolt against the manager.”
“Do you have affairs when Richard is away?”
“Of course I do but just one-night stands like this one and those short indiscretions increase the chances of avoiding detection and …”
Ryan’s phone went.
He glanced at his sister and he said, “Hi mum.”
He said in surprise repeating what he’d just been told, “You and dad are on your way here?”
His sister appeared to be ready to throw something.
Todd said to the caller, “Yes of course mum it’s silly for your guys to go home to change when you are already here in the city and yes you are welcome to stay the night. I can sleep in the daybed in the study.”
Ada’s shoulders slumped as she listened to the conversion and when it ended she said to her brother in despair, “When will they be here?”
“In about ten minutes, more or less.”
“God what a waste of a great opportunity.”
“Well you are married Ada.”
She snorted and said, “Thanks very much. I was really looking forward to you banging me.”
Ada left, Ryan’s parents arrived, changed and left for their function, taking a door key with them. He then sat and sulked until he had a great idea. He called Owen Thwaites who was surprised to receive the call.
“I’ve almost forgotten you existed.”
“Yeah Owen I guess that’s how it goes. I guess you got your degree and a good job and are married.”
“Yeah and there’s a baby on the way. Who told you?”
“Um I did say I guess.”
“Yeah well what do you want?”
“Where can I find your cousin Lillian Rush?”
“Ah still interested eh? Her parents thought something could get going between Lillian and you but then you dropped her like a brick.”
There was a brief silence and Owen said, “Is that all you have to say about that?”
“Just a minute and I’ll ask mom who’s here visiting. Actually Lillian left here about a year ago.”
Owen returned with the address and Ryan was astonished Lillian lived only about three miles away from his apartment.
“Does she live alone?”
“No she lives with her husband and two kids. She married an architect.”
“Thanks Owen. When I’m home again I’ll meet you somewhere for a drink.”
“It will have to be here at home. Judy doesn’t like me going out drinking with the guys. Marriage puts a brake on that kind of social life.”
Ryan screwed up the note he’d made of the address and swore and yelled why the hell did Lillian Rush have to go and marry some jerk?
His phone went and it was his boss’s wife Kelly Warner.
“Hi Ryan,” she said politely. “My car won’t start. Jack is out of a town to watch a big football game tonight. I called David and Tommy (mechanics) and Richard (general manager) but they are out.”
“Right give me your address and I’ll come and see what I can do. What do you think the trouble is?”
“I have no idea. I turned the key and the motor gave half of turn and then a big click.”
Ryan grinned and believed he knew what the problem was and said he’d pick up a battery on the way over.
Kelly had parked on a side street near the Silver Star Skating Rink. Ryan parked behind her vehicle and she gave him a great smile. She looked to be about thirty-six.
“Do you skate?”
She said, “Yes, since I was six and I used to skate competitively.”
“Good for you. Have you had trouble starting your vehicle lately?”
“Yes and it’s been a real pain. Jack told me to take it in to the workshop and ask David have a look at it but silly me, I never got around to it.”
“You’re in light clothing Mrs Warner. Sit in the car while I swap batteries. I’m pretty sure battery is the problem.”
“Thanks and oh Ryan please call me Kelly.”
Ryan thought about her soft smile and great looking body as he fiddled with the battery. He finished and called, leaving the bonnet up, for her to try to start the car.
It started perfectly.
Kelly held out a window rag and told him to wipe his hands and invited him to follow him home for a drink.
“Um that’s a kind offer but I have something on,” he lied, thinking what if she made a pass at him.
“Then what about the bar up the street from here?”
“I should have made that my first suggestion,” she smiled. “You scarcely know me and I am the boss’s wife… his neglected wife.”
Ryan knew that the woman he now thought of as Kissable Kelly was Jack’s second wife and had been his office manager. Jack drank a lot and so perhaps his performance in bed was substandard. So was Kissable Kelly after a bit on the side?
They sat at a table in the half-filled bar and chatted. Toss wondered if she would make it clear she was interested in receiving attention from him. He certainly lacked the nerve to ask her.
They parted outside the bar, having had an enjoyable time, and as Kelly began walking off she turned and said, “Oh Ryan, I forgot to thank you nicely for getting me out of that hole.”
She walked up to him and they kissed as if it was meant to happen.
As she pulled away he blurted, “God Kelly you are kissable.”
“Oooh then please have another one,” she said.
That kiss was longer and more intense and they pressed in against one another.
He knew if he didn’t take the initiative she’d walk off and that would be the end of any chance of deeper fraternisation.
Aware that it would sound foolish, he nevertheless said boldly, “I love sex but never get enough of it.”
“Oooh and what does that mean, you telling me that?”
“I’m neglected too.”
She sighed and said she couldn’t see anything happening between them.
He challenged, “Perhaps not.”
Kelly raised an eyebrow.
Ryan pulled out a business card from his wallet and wrote his address and phone number on it.
“Don’t allow Jack to see that. Call me if you wish to meet me somewhere or if you want sex just phone and say you’re coming over.”
They were standing a foot apart, looking almost ready to jump at each other.
She said, “Having sex with you would be adultery.”
“Yeah,” Ryan said, tugging an ear. “But we have to accept that, don’t we?”
“If we did associate and Jack found out he’d fire you.”
“Yes but then there’s a price to pay for many things we do in life.”
“He might even attack you.”
“That’s unlikely but possible. I wish to kiss every inch of your body Kelly.”
Her voice sounded shaky as she said she must go and hurried off to her car and drove off without further communication.
Ryan stood thinking about kissing every inch of Kelly and wondered if she shaved her pussy. Well there was one way to find out but it was her choice.
On Monday Ryan was checking invoices when Jack wandered in.
“Thanks for helping out my wife on Saturday.”
“Not a problem. How the hell did she get my phone number?”
“She has all department heads contact details entered into her phone book. Account for the battery as a complimentary to replace a faulty battery in an out-going sale. Just fudge it.”
“Okay. How was your weekend? Kelly said you went with friends to watch the team play an away game.”
“It was great. There were ten of us guys and four of the player’s wives joined us for a groupie but most of us, including the women, were really too drunk to remember much about it. The one good thing was all four bitches were anal babes.”
Ryan was sure Jack was watching him to see how he’d react.
He said mildly, “Well I guess those women got what they wanted providing you guys managed to keep awake.”
“Managed to keep erect you mean,” Jack laughed and walked off.
Jack snorted under his breath, “You bastard” although aware Jack hadn’t actually admitted being involved with the women. All he admitted was being there.
That night he jerked off thinking about Kissable Kelly as he now thought about her but that intensity tapered off and within a couple of days he’d almost forgot about her. But the following week she arrived to go to a luncheon with Jack and wandered over to Jack’s office and he greeted her warmly but was horrified when she calmly kissed him and sat, relaxed, armed dropped over the back of the chair. He knew anyone out in the yard could have seen them and perhaps even Jack.
He glanced out but no one appeared to be in view but minutes later Jack arrived and said, “Have you seen…” He stopped and saw Kelly sitting relaxed and her skirt up over her knees. His face darkened and then Kelly said, “I gave you time to finish what you were doing by dropping in here to chew fat with my friend Ryan.”
“Come on,” Jack grunted and led her out.
Ryan thought, Jesus that was very provocative.
Kelly arrived and behaved similarly twice more in consecutive weeks and a day after that third time Jack came into Ryan’s office, closed the door, and yelled, “Are you screwing my wife?”
Ryan was on the defensive but thought he’d try to be clever.
“I have no idea what you are on about Jack. Are you thinking your first wife or your second wife?”
My first wife has remarried to a turd in Canada, you know what I’m on about.”
“Actually I haven’t the faintest idea what you are on about Jack.”
“My wife, my second wife, she’s all over you.”
“Jack calm down,” Ryan said. “There’s nothing going on between me and your second wife and I should know.”
“What the hell does that mean?”
“It means I’m not having it off with your wife.”
“You’re a fucking liar. You’re fired.”
“Okay Jack, I’m grateful for your taking me in when you did and that has assisted me to establish myself and I’m grateful for that. But in sacking me for reasons rife in your tiny mind tells me I’m through working for you anyway. You pay me all my dues or else I’ll take legal proceedings against you.”
“What about my wife?”
“What about her Jack?”
“Will she leave me to live with you?”
“Jack you’re hallucinating.”
“You’re an asshole Ryan.”
Ryan snorted, “Jealousy makes you small and twisted Jack. Get a hold on your temper and jealousy. You have a sweet wife and if you wish to keep her you should treat her the way she expects.”
Jack stood glowering, his face and unhealthy red, and then his shoulders slumped and he left the office without another word.
After Ryan finished packing he poured his last coffee in his office and had almost finished it when the company’s office manager who handled payroll arrived with his termination cheque and accompanying details.
“He’s been pretty generous Glenda.”
“It includes your next anticipated bonus and I agree he didn’t have to make that decision. What happened between you two?”
Glenda said, “I’ve been instructed to say you can have any car in your yard at book value.”
“I’ll have the high mileage white Audi 3. I’ll flip it on when I get a new job,” Ryan said and handed her the cheque to make the adjustment and give him a new one
With that transaction completed, he kissed Glenda and drove off, not saying goodbye to anyone. Jack was nowhere to be seen.
Three days later Jack secured a job as operations manager for a rental vehicle company with five depots. He didn’t think much of the job but knew it would place bread on the table and avoid him cutting into his savings. He took the choice of more salary than being given a company car because when working he could have any car that was available to perform company business anyway.
That night Kelly called him.
She sounded okay and said, “I thought you would have contacted me.”
“You are in deep shit without me adding to it.”
She said, not laughing, she’d thought he’d answer something like that but no so crudely.
“Kissable Kelly… may I call you that?”
“You may,” she said softly and his heart fluttered.
“I have no wish to upset your marriage.”
“It’s okay. Jack is out and I’m making this call from a public phone. He wants a divorce although doesn’t appear emphatic about that. I need to know how you feel about me. I know you’ve wanted to have sex with me but I want more.”
Ryan knew to plunge in boots and all.
“Proceed with the divorce and I’ll marry you sweet Kelly. It’s what I want and have thought about that many times since Jack sacked me. I so much wanted to see you to tell you that but I decided that under the circumstances I had to wait for you to make the first move and that’s why I didn’t leave town.”
“Is that the only reason why you didn’t leave?”
“Absolutely, it’s why I stayed Kelly.”
They talked on and agreed not to communicate with each other again until Kelly and Jack were divorced. Kelly had said it wasn’t necessary to remain apart once the papers were filed but agreed when Ryan said he felt it was the right thing to do.
* * *
Ryan met a 37-year old solo mom in their neighbourhood pub. Christine recognized him as they lived in the same block of flats and as he was walking from the bar with his beer she waved him over and introduced herself.
“Hi,” he said. “I think you are David’s mom.”
“Yes,” she said. “And thank you for getting that chain for his bike and putting it on. He said he told you he’d get me to pay you for it but you said not it was only peanuts.”
“Yeah,” Ryan laughed, as she indicated to him to sit. “That’s exactly what I did say. He’s a nice kid.”
“Thanks. I should have dropped a note of thanks in your letterbox but I didn’t. Sorry.”
Half an hour later Christine looked at her watch and said she must go and collect David from his friend’s place.
“Um Ryan, please don’t be angry at me asking this but what do you do about sex?”
“Not enough I believe. There’s no one at the moment.”
“It’s the same for me. My boyfriend is working abroad at present and has another five weeks to go. I was, um wondering if…”
“I’d like that Christine… just the occasional bang, no bucks and no other involvement.”
“Oh god, you understand.”
“We all need real sex Christine. A hand is no real substitute.”
She laughed and he invited her to call when she was free and feeling the need.
And so Ryan and Christine began banging twice a week.
It was something.
Almost three months after he’d last spoken to Kelly she called and they met for a dinner and a Chinese Restaurant (Jack detested Chinese cooking and so would be unlikely to discover them together).
Kelly arrived a minute after Ryan had been seated. He stood and they kissed like lovers, up close and meaning it.
After they settled Kelly said she’d had a meeting with her solicitor two days earlier and Janet had reported it was now only a matter of waiting. There had been a hitch after the original settlement meeting when Jack had found he couldn’t borrow enough from the bank to pay out Kelly completely and so another meeting was held and Jack had agreed to sign over the house to Kelly and his company was being restructured with Kelly holding the second mortgage to the value of the amount of remaining money of her agreed entitlement.
“That sounds complicated?”
“It is,” Kelly said. “But it was the alternative to having to sell both the house and the company and that would probably have been messy and delayed final settlement because business was down at the moment due to world economic problems.”
“My solicitor has satisfied me that my interests in Jack’s company are tied up well legally, providing he doesn’t go to the wall, and if Jack wants me out he has to buy me out to achieve that. He reckons that is likely to occur when the new generation of Audi cars hits the market and people believe the time is right to buy. Everything is now in place and Janet my solicitor says there is no reason why I can’t enter a new relationship.”
“Oh that’s good. Am I still in your focus?”
“I’ve rather gone off men. I made a bad choice with Jack and the fallout from that relationship brought me a lot of grief. I’ve decided to go away for a while for a long rest, alone.”
Ryan stood and said, “Well you do that and enjoy it.”
Kelly said, “Are you mad at me?”
“Yes, angry and disappointed in fact.”
“Well just allow me to have this breathing space and then we can talk about getting together.”
“No thanks Kelly. This is just not working out. I like keeping things simple.”
He began walking away and she called, “Aren’t you going to kiss me goodbye?”
“No thanks Kelly. For reasons I can understand you are no longer kissable to me. Try hard to pick up your life. Bye.”
Entering his apartment, Ryan found a note had been pushed under the door. It was from Christine and read: ‘Sorry my boyfriend has arrived home unexpectedly. Please don’t call me. Ah it was good while it lasted. Thanks. Christine.’
Ryan groaned and went to bed in a foul mood.
He arrived at work next morning feeling ready to hit someone and when he was called to the CEO’s office he thought fuck, he was going to lose his job as a cost-saving measure for the company because business was down.
Rex Anderson said cheerfully, “Come in Ryan. You know our chairman James McDonald.”
“Yes we’ve met at meetings. Good morning James.”
“And a good morning to you Ryan. May I take it from here Rex?”
“Ryan my wife and I own Midwest Ford.”
That was news to Ryan but he nodded to give the impression he knew that.
“Our daughter Robyn went in as managing-director seven months ago and I’m afraid she’s not coping well. Most of the guys in management are at least fifty and don’t take to Robyn’s marketing ideas and in fact it’s a case of not liking have a woman for their boss. I came over here today with the thought of asking Rex to take the new position of general manager at Midwest and to see what he thought about you taking his place here. But Rex doesn’t wish to leave here and suggested I make you general manager at Midwest because you are the right person for that role and besides, with hire-outs down at present due to market conditions, he could run without replacing you at present to give this operation an improved bottom line. Well it all makes sense to me. What do you think Ryan?”
“Well it’s a promotion, rather a big one, but the question is James, how do you see the compatibility between me and your daughter? If we are likely to jar one another you’d have a problem.”
“Well son, I’ve been in business all my adult life and I’ve always thought the job is bigger than the person. But in saying that I’m confident you two will be fine. Robyn is not a bitchy person but anyway, come over at noon today for lunch with Robyn and me and we’ll talk about this proposal. There is no need to rush into it.”
Ryan looked at Rex who nodded. He stood and said, “Then I’ll drop over at noon James and don’t think I’m not interested. I’m very interested and just a bit wary.”
“And that’s a good attitude young man. I’m aware you don’t have high academic qualifications and I don’t either. You are to slot in as business coordinator, to be the trouble-shooter and to make things happen, very much like you do here and Rex says you perform in that role splendidly.”
* * *
Robyn McDonald had dark hair and very green eyes and was broad-shouldered and was as tall as Ryan.
She smiled and said, “I have half expecting at your age you might project on the young side but you look very much like a man.”
“And I like your eyes, very green, quite brilliant in fact.”
“And my breasts?”
“Passable but you are wearing a jacket.”
She giggled and said her father was arriving.
They were on to their first drink in Robyn’s office when a caterer arrived with the food, a great curry that they all had seconds following by chocolate cake and coffee. It was simple and very nice and because it was curry the three of them drank beer although Robyn had started with a white wine before eating.
When James left Robyn said, “Come on, I’ll show you around Ryan, Do you have anything on tonight?”
“Then will you socialise with me, starting with cocktails with mum and dad? I live with them and mum would like to eye you. She is one of the five directors. Then I’ll take you out to dinner and we don’t have to talk business.”
“We’ll talk about what pops up.”
Mrs McDonald was very nice and reminded Ryan of his own mother. Dinner went well and Robyn and Ryan found neither was going steady with anyone at the moment.
“Am I too old for you?”
He smiled and asked how old was that?”
“It’s probably that, age, rather than being female that’s the reason for this problem you face with your executives.”
“Yes and it surprised me that dad went for you because you are even younger than me, several years younger in fact.”
“Yes I’m nearing thirty. If I do come aboard it will become obvious that the company is taking on a younger image look from the MD down and that ought to cause some of those disagreeable older executives to wake up their ideas and act more energetically and positively if they fear for their jobs.”
“May I tell dad what you just said? I think he has that in mind.”
“Yes you can pass on almost anything but preferable not about any discussion we have about your breasts.”
“Oooh is that to become a discussion?”
“I don’t see why not but there's no rush. Um you guys won’t want me driving my Audi.”
“No we’ll have to put you into a Ford of your choice.”
“That would be a Ford Mustang, mid-range model, colour school bus yellow.”
Robyn frowned. “I’d have to get mum and dad to agree to that.”
“That’s fine. Tell them is the start of the new image and I’ll be involved in sponsorships and so that car will be a projection of Midwest Ford and I bet we’ll be importing other Mustangs on behalf of clients.”
“You are talking as if you are coming on board.”
“Well there needs to be discussion on salary and conditions.”
“But first let’s test our compatibility by going away together for a weekend.”
“Right this weekend, I can’t wait,” Robyn enthused. “I’m very confident you are what I need Ryan and business support is only one of my needs. Are you into anal sex?”
Ryan drove home that evening thinking at last his future had found him. He was sure about that.
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