Read The Big Bang! Theory - A fourth--and final--short, erotic encounter of the Judy Banger kind Online

Authors: Debra Salonen

Tags: #romance, #comedy, #sexy, #black humor, #aging and sex

The Big Bang! Theory - A fourth--and final--short, erotic encounter of the Judy Banger kind (5 page)

BOOK: The Big Bang! Theory - A fourth--and final--short, erotic encounter of the Judy Banger kind
4.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

The childish outburst
helped mask the overwhelming sense of panic building in her chest.
Mom was moving? Here? To the same town? To the building where Judy
once worked? To live amongst the seniors Judy once taught, laughed
with, cried with...oh, my ever-loving God how could this

If it was karma for her
recent sexual transgressions, it sure happened fast.

Mom was moving in

She took half a dozen deep
breaths before dialing her sister's number. Enough to slow her
heart rate without making her light-headed. Judy needed to keep her
wits about her.

Oh, good. You got my

"I did, but it doesn't make
any sense. Why is Mother moving to Heritage House?"

"Because I’m divorcing
her,” Nancy said simply. She sounded a bit breathless and possibly
a bit teary-eyed.

"What happened?"

Nothing awful. The truth
is Mom flew to Minnesota for Aunt Jean's granddaughter's wedding
and then the two of them visited family in Chicago." She paused.
"Judy, I don't know how to explain it. Those two weeks were
probably the best Pete and I have had in years. Years," she
repeated. Now, her voice sounded youthful and giddy. "We came and
went as we pleased. Saw a few movies. We laughed more, slept
better, made love for the first time in months. We ate peanut
butter and jelly sandwiches for supper one night. You know what Mom
would have said if we’d tried to give her that."

Judy shuddered. Mom was big
on ritual. The evening meal was a sit down affair. At least three
dishes with bread and butter. And you cleaned your plate—even if
the food tasted like cardboard. Mom wasn’t a great cook. She
scrimped too much—even on spices.

Nancy went on. “On a whim,
we started looking at some of the independent living centers around
here. But the cost anywhere in the Bay area is out of sight. So, I
called Heritage House. Guess what? They have an

Buddy’s room?

And they said they'd move
her name to the top of the list because of you.”

Me? Because they feel
guilty about screwing me over?
"I don't
work there any more, Nanc."

I know. But, if for any
reason Mom calls you, don't tell her, okay? One of the reasons
she’s agreed to go is because she thinks it will hurt me to think
of her bonding with you."

"I'm her way of punishing
you? That's sick."

"That's Mom." Nancy sighed.
"The fact you’re not there is a good thing. I would have felt
guilty sending her to you. I feel like someone with Stockholm
syndrome, Judy. I let her control me. I don’t want to be that
person anymore.”

It wasn’t just
, Judy thought. Her brain struggled to
process everything her sister was saying. If the perfect sister
couldn't handle Mom's negativity and belittling attitude, what hope
would Judy ever have had in maintaining a relationship with the
woman who bore her?

"Does this mean I’m not as
bad as Mom always said I was?"

"Oh, Judy," Nancy cried,
suddenly bursting into tears. "I'm so sorry. I was your big sister.
I should have stood up for you instead of saying nothing when Mom
cut you down. I'm a horrible person, but I'm going to change. I
mean that. Pete and I are going to counseling as soon as we get
back from Mazatlan."

"You're going to therapy? I
mean...Mexico?" She'd practically thrown the therapist's card in
Wilson Canby's face. Maybe she'd been a bit hasty. If her
sister--the perfect one--felt the need to seek counseling, who was
Judy to turn up her nose at a little help?

"Yep. A friend's
time-share. As far as Mom knows, there are no phone connections
whatsoever. We're making a clean break. We think it will be best
for everyone."

Judy couldn't argue with
that logic. She'd used the same rationale when she married Shawn.
At the time, she'd thought she'd found someone to love her for who
she was. Eventually, she realized she'd replaced her mother with
someone just as mean-spirited and negative--only the method of
belittling had changed.

What if she wants to move

The house is already up
for sale. Screw the market. We're downsizing.”

A lot of that going on
right now, she thought, looking around. Perhaps the loss of equity
would be worth it. Southern California was looking better and


The unseasonably hot dry
wind pushed back every step of his run. His twenty-plus year habit
had lost any sense of joy or accomplishment. Wiley ran because it
ate up two hours of his day. Two hours he didn't have to think or
worry or weigh the fate of wrongdoers. He'd been an athlete in
college. He'd been proud of his body, his looks. He'd had his
choice of women, but he'd never slept around. As ridiculous as it
sounded, he'd been with three women in his life. Two, he'd married.
One, a mistake he blamed on grief.

When Judy Banger handed him
Wendy's card that morning, Wiley nearly had laughed out loud. Oh,
the irony. A ridiculous twist on some classic dime-novel plot. The
woman his son recommended to counsel Judy Banger cheated on her
husband to sleep with her grieving brother-in-law.

Eva and Wendy had been
competitive their whole lives. Eva used to joke about it. She
claimed her lawyer husband, who clerked for a member of the Supreme
Court while in law school and would one day wind up wearing a black
robe, trumped Wendy's psychologist hubby, who wore sweaters with
patches on the elbows and Birkenstock sandals and seemed content to
work in the prison system for the rest of his life. Wiley didn't
know what twisted psychological trigger prompted Wendy to seduce
him, but less than a year after his wife's death--at a particularly
low point in Wiley's life, she'd orchestrated the beginning of a
brief affair that Wiley ended the moment he heard his late wife's
voice on their answering machine.

He'd never completely
forgiven himself. He cared about his brother-in-law and Wendy's
children. She didn't fight him on his decision. Her attitude told
him she'd accomplished whatever it was she'd needed to prove to her
dead sister. He learned to follow Wendy's suit--pretend it never
happened. Not a particularly enlightened mental health protocol,
but who was he to cast aspersions on someone else's poor

A vibration against the top
of his thigh made him miss a step. He lunged to catch his balance,
his palm planting hard against the bark of a tree. He looked down,
halfway expecting to see blood from a sniper's bullet. "Oh, Jesus,"
he muttered. "My phone."

He never carried it when he
ran, but he'd called Fletcher and left a message and wanted to be
available if his son called back. He frantically unzipped the
narrow pocket and fumbled to get the phone out before it went to
voice mail.


Damn. Missed call. He
didn't recognize the number but hit reply, anyway.

"Huh? Oh, Judge Canby.
You're there. I was just leaving a message. You can disregard that

Judy Banger. He pulled in a
big gulp of air and started walking. Coincidentally, the wind
didn't seem so blistery and oppressive. "I didn't catch your call
in time. Sorry."

"No problem.
have a
problem, which is why I'm calling. I bet you hate that.
People--strangers--hitting on you for legal advice for free. But
that's not exactly why I'm calling. It is sort of but not

He couldn't help but smile.
"Tell me. How can I help?"

"Well, it seems I might
have been a bit hasty when I gave you that card."

He stopped abruptly.
"Fletcher called you?"

"What? No. This isn't about
Fletcher's email. Keep that. I can't remember the last name of his
aunt, the psychologist. Wendy...something. I tried the yellow
pages, but would you believe there are two female counselors with
the first name of Wendy?"

"Wiggman. Do you mind me
asking what made you change your mind about calling

Her sigh seemed sad and
confused. "You know that saying about hell freezing over? Well, the
devil just called and said she bought a pair of ice

He spotted an empty park
bench and sat. "Is this
devil or one of yours?"

"My sister, Nancy. The
perfect one. First, she says she's sorry for being a royal pain in
my ass all these years. Then she tells me she's had an epiphany.
The wedge between us is and always has been Mother, and life is too
short to be so negative, so Nancy's giving Mom the boot." She
paused to catch a breath. "And, oh, by the way, Mom's moving into
Buddy Fusco's old room at Heritage House tomorrow."

Even without knowing the
whole story, Wiley got that this was huge. He couldn't imagine his
parents or either of his late wives' family living so close. Bad
enough having Wendy here.

"So, anyway. I'm revisiting
the idea of therapy. If my insurance will cover it. Seriously, I
see a nervous breakdown in my immediate future."

He chuckled softly. "You
don't need therapy, Judy. You need a game plan."

"Something other than
finishing off the bag of Oreos?"

"Have dinner with me
tonight and I'll help you set up an emancipation declaration. It's
a legal document that declares one person no longer has any control
over your life. Naturally, this would go unfiled, but words are
powerful. Seeing this declaration in black and white might help you
stand up for yourself. You don't need Wendy's help to do that. But
if you do decide to get counseling, I have several
therapists I'd

She didn't say anything for
a moment. "Okay." Her tone told him she got the message. Wendy
might be Fletcher's aunt but he'd never recommend her to any of his

Friend? Judy?

"Do you like Greek?" he
asked impulsively.

"I've never tried it, but
Pru just got back from Greece and she can't shut up about the great

"I'll pick you up at


Chapter Four


Judy sat at the foot of her
new queen bed to adjust the strap of her sandals. She hadn't
weighed herself in ages, but she must have lost weight because her
shoes were loose. "I'm going to dinner with a judge," she told
Homer Simpson, her miniature panther, curled up on the stylized
floral print bedspread.

She'd lucked out to find a
complete bed set--sheets and bedding--online. Not exactly the same
circumstances as her old bed, but close. A mistress caught her
lover in their bed with his wife. The bold gray, yellow and white
design might not have been Judy's first pick, but the price was too
good to pass up.

"So, behave yourself," she
told the cat. "That goes for me, too."

Not that she was too
worried. Despite the powerful attraction she felt for the man,
Wilson Canby didn't strike her as the type to make a pass at a girl
on a first date--or under any other circumstances if said girl was
Judy Banger. He was...upright, sensible and responsible--all things
she wasn't.

She hopped to her feet just
as the doorbell made its lovely chiming sound--a lasting memento
from Jed. She and her younger lover had cleared the air between
them a few hours earlier. He was in love--with a nineteen-year old
named Dakota. Talk about extremes, Judy had thought. From cougar
boy toy to cradle robber in under two weeks. But she'd wished him
all the best--and meant it.

A quick peek in the hall
mirror told her she looked presentable in her white capris and
zebra-print top with turquoise accents--a gift from Pru's trip to

"Hi," she said brightly,
opening the door. Although even to her ears it came out more
garbled gasp than real word.

She blinked twice to make
sure she wasn't dreaming. Damn. In a suit, Wilson Canby commanded
attention and made you hope your parking tickets were paid. In
form-fitting jeans, boots and a white shirt with sleeves rolled up
and unbuttoned just enough to see a hint of chest hair, he made a
girl think about parkin' on a lonely stretch of back

Oh, dear.

Wiley could tell by the
look on Judy's face he'd surprised her. Good. He wanted tonight to
be a clean slate--no Fletcher talk, no rehashing their awkward
meeting, not a word about Wendy or the need for counseling. As far
as Wiley could tell, Judy's unconventional approach to life had a
lot going for it. He wanted to know more.

"Madame," he said whipping
the cobalt and gold scarf he'd found in the glove box from behind
his back in a flourishing bow. "Your coach and horses await you.
It'll be windy. You may want to use this."

Her eyes went wide. "My
coach? As in your Mustang? O...M...G." She took the scarf with
barely a glance as she hurried onto the deck to look past her
driveway where he'd parked the metallic blue '64. With the top
down, the pristine white leather seats sparkled. He'd left the
engine running because he was afraid it might not start again. His
fault for letting the car sit untouched for so long. Prepping it
for this date had been oddly therapeutic. He halfway thought he'd
felt Eva watching him, and smiling. A strange notion considering
she'd been dead for so long he could barely bring her image to

BOOK: The Big Bang! Theory - A fourth--and final--short, erotic encounter of the Judy Banger kind
4.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

Los tejedores de cabellos by Andreas Eschbach
El maestro de esgrima by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Afghan Bound by Henry Morgan
Stepping by Nancy Thayer
Isabella's Heiress by N.P. Griffiths
Wild Orchid by Cameron Dokey
Cervantes Street by Jaime Manrique