Guests arrived, and the party began. Women wearing bright summer colors like red, orange, yellow, and fuchsia, entered the back yard through a fence that had neighbored the bench where Jocelyn had taken her first steps.
The cake was being served and all was going smoothly. According to Sharon, pretty much all of her guests had attended... except for one.
Harold Sanders was someone not to be trusted. He wasn’t mean, but you just couldn’t confide in him because he never remembered promises that he made to people unless he was the one who had been benefitting from them. Like his deal with Sharon Reynolds where she gave him sex, and he provided her with time with her daughter Jocelyn.
And Harold Sanders proved the fact that he was not trustworthy on a very special day for Sharon Reynolds. Her fortieth birthday.
Harold arrived when the cake was being sliced, and Sharon had just finished blowing out her birthday candles and making a wish. And I’m not exactly sure what Sharon wished for when she blew out those candles, but I think that we can be sure when we say that she was not wishing for what had come to her when she looked up from the cake and saw the man whose bed she had woken up in that morning.
“Sharon, hi!” Harold spoke in a loud and brusk voice as he waved to her and everyone else at the party.
Besides Paul Summers, who was just sitting in a corner with a bottle of beer in his hand reading a book, Harold was the only man at this party. The women all greeted him. Some knew him from the trailer park, some were impressed by his statuesque figure, and others... well others just kind of stared at him.
Harold was that man who gained everyone’s attention when walking into a room just because his presence was so strong. He was actually a very nice man. But Sharon made people who did not know him doubt this when they saw her reaction to his entrance.
Nadine looked to Ms. Reynolds to see if she was going to respond. And when she didn’t, Nadine took it upon herself to welcome Mr. Sanders... he was giving her work, it was the least she could do.
“Hello Mr. Sanders! I’m so glad that you came! Do you want a piece of cake?” Nadine asked in that chipper tone that she used when trying to clean up a sticky situation. But the thing was, this situation hadn’t even began to get sticky just yet.
“Hi Nadine, what kind of cake is it?” Harold asked.
Nadine looked at the cake as if it was obvious.
“Ah, I see. Chocolate. A classic,” Harold stated, “Yes, I’d like a piece”
Nadine approached the table housing the cake and grabbed a plate to cut him a piece when he accidentally nudged her out of the way and took the plate, “Thanks,” he said with a friendly smile on his face.
Sharon was sitting right in front of the cake next to where Harold was standing and had decided that it was finally time to speak to the man whom she had invited out of guilt to her birthday party, “Hello Harold! Welcome to the party. I see you are matching the table cloths,” Sharon said and then added a little chuckle. Sharon knew that she wasn’t being very funny, but she simply didn’t know what to do. She was beginning to regret ever even feeling guilty and inviting Harold.
He was just to nice to everyone, and it would be hard for her to ever think of her as more than the man who she slept with to get what she wanted.
Harold ate his cake in a way that seemed very dainty for a man of his size. And then he asked something that I don’t think Sharon could have ever expected, “So, are we on for tonight?”
Paul Summers looked up from his book. He was not angry, but just puzzled over the fact that he hadn’t known that his ex-wife had gotten a real boyfriend. Paul raised his eyebrows and then smiled as he realized how awkward the scene had become.
“Mom?” Jocelyn asked in a both irritated and confused voice.
“Yeah?” Sharon replied half paying attention to her daughter as she realized what was about to happen to her life. It would change. Drastically. And Sharon Reynolds did not like change.
Harold was feeling smart and decided to fix the conversation, “Oh, don’t worry. Your mother doesn’t have a boyfriend. At least, not that I know of. We are just... um... friends.”
That is when Paul went hysteric.
“Friends? What do you mean? I’ve been paying attention to what has been going on with my daughter lately, and I think I know what’s going on here. If the two of you aren’t seeing each other, then that makes you ‘bed buddies’...” Paul stopped as he realized what he had said in front of his daughter and so many others.
And at that point, Paul realized that the party was over, and being that he is normally so calm and quiet, he decided to end this party with a bang, “Yes. That’s right. My ex-wife is a f**king prostitute!”
This party was over, and so was the time that Sharon was allowed to spend with her daughter.
Just a girl...