Aimee is ‘this close’ to taking away my cocktail. As we sit at the bar, she is trying desperately to get me to remember something that took place a long, long time ago. It’s useless.
“I remember that happening, but I don’t remember it ever involving her.” I turn to my left to face her. I am genuinely racking my brain, trying damned hard to recall what happened almost ten years ago.
I was born a true blonde, I swear. It may not look like it today being that I am always in my hairdresser’s chair getting my roots retouched but trust me—the drapes nearly match the carpet. Albeit it’s comparable to golden yellow sheers versus a ratty chestnut shag. Needless to say, I’d be roaming these streets with skanky borderline mousy brown hair if Nadia at The Avenue Hair Studio didn’t rescue me every few weeks.
Although my natural, beautiful, golden locks may be long gone, I am still a blonde through and through. Depending on the time of day, it may take me a minute or two to finally register a joke. Or someone could bring up something that just took place days ago, but they’d have to take up precious gossip time in order to get me on the right page and then bring me up to speed. My long-term memory—fair. My short-term memory—pitiful. This has always annoyed my husband, Colin, to no end. Meanwhile, Aimee simply accepts my quirks, annoying or not.
“We saw that girl in the principal’s office when you and I were co-ops in tenth grade,” Aimee reminisces. “She was there because she’d just gotten caught screwing Jimmy, the quarterback, inside the boys’ locker room.”
Meanwhile, I’m more lost than ever.
Nodding in capitulation is my best friend, Aimee Brooks, who’s actually my first cousin. Aimee never takes a break from looking fabulous. Sporting painted-on jeans and a uniquely stylish, thin, black, leather jacket over a white cami in the dead of winter, I wonder how she does it. She claims that she’s hardly ever cold outside. Meanwhile, I am wearing a bulky red sweater while awkwardly sitting on top of my full-length, pea green, goose down, which is more likened to a comforter with sleeves than a coat. I’m definitely a girl who chooses comfort over style.
She has tried to glam me up on several occasions. One time, she took me to a fancy boutique in Novi and guilted me into buying a couple of skimpy dresses that I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing now. “Every girl needs a sexy black dress or two on standby,” she told me. But when Colin frowned after seeing what I’d brought home, I hung those scraps called mini-dresses in the closet where they would never see the light of day again. Return them to the boutique, you say? No. That would be an admission of defeat in my eyes.
Aimee and I are exactly two weeks apart. Our moms, who are sisters, were pregnant with us at the same time. Aimee has younger siblings, while I am an only child. And since we are the same age, and Aimee couldn’t relate all that much to her little brother and sister, the two of us became inseparable.
At approximately 5’9”, Aimee is significantly taller than me. If she wasn’t here in Michigan, the brunette knockout would easily be tapped to walk the runway during New York Fashion Week. But as I said, we are inseparable. I am convinced that I’m the only reason she is still in Plymouth.
To my right sits my husband, Colin, and his two brothers, Adam and Devin. Although they are beside us, the three Holt boys are worlds away from our conversation. Hypnotized, with beers in hand, they scan the plethora of sporting events playing out over the many screens above and around the bar.
With more pepper than salt in his hair, Adam is the wisest of the trio. He’s a recently divorced single father who marches to the beat of his own drum. Meanwhile, dark haired Devin is the youngest and arguably the cutest. Matching Aimee in model good-looks, he actually used to be a model. But when that didn’t pan out to be lucrative right out of the gate, he quickly put that dream behind him. Today, Devin’s looking to start his own real estate firm. Although he’s a stone-cold playboy, this self-proclaimed ‘marriage is for suckers’ ambassador certainly has a decent head on his shoulders.
Then there’s the middle brother—my guy. Colin Holt, a natural dark blond like me, is the quintessential career climber and raging workaholic. In fact, he and I first met when I used to work as a contractor at Molina Motors in the marketing department, where he still works to this day.
I don’t know if it was truly love at first sight with us, but he definitely made me laugh when we first met. And to me, there’s nothing sexier than a guy that can make you laugh. Colin was also a snarky asshole back then, which can be totally off-putting to others, but it was an endearing attribute to me at the time.
When you marry ‘snarky’ though, that shit takes on a whole different meaning. Some days, I just want to sock him dead in his smug face. Other times, I tolerate him. I’m sure he feels the same way about me. In spite of all that, one thing holds true: he is mine and I am his.
In this cruel world of swiping left on some sordid hookup app, Colin and I have already been there and done that. Five years older than me, he was married before and he despised being single again. I never married prior to Colin, but I absolutely loathed the dating scene. Needless to say, we are so relieved to be out of the rat race.
No, violins do not play whenever we kiss or hold hands, and there is nothing sexy about him hogging up all the covers in the middle of the night and farting out what we just had for dinner hours earlier.
But he is mine, and that’s all that matters.
I feel the same way about this bar in particular. Plymouth Roc is just your average neighborhood spot, but it’s our hangout. It’s like our own Cheers. Does everyone know our names here? Well, I’ll ask Aimee as soon as the bartender leaning over the counter takes his tongue out of her throat.
“Hey!” Colin frowns. “Get a room! People eat and drink here!”
Aimee looks up at her flannel wearing, bearded, hipster, bartending boyfriend, who also moonlights as a DJ, with major come-fuck-me eyes. “As soon as Steve’s done in an hour, he’s going to be eating and drinking me.”
I drop my head into my hands and groan, while the Holt boys react with scandalous ‘Oohs’ and explosive laughter. However, the moment someone scores a touchdown on the screens above, every man in the place, as well as some women, turn their heads in unison to face the action.
“No! No! No! No! No!” Adam cries.
His two younger brothers clap and cheer in glee. “Yesss!” hoots Colin as he and Devin high five.
I’m probably the least interested in the game out of everyone here, but I’m enjoying watching how it causes others to react in polar opposite ways.
Hours after the sun goes down, we are still here. I am enjoying my family, the food, and the spirits. Aimee doesn’t take off when Steve’s done with his shift as she promised earlier. Instead, the bartender joins us on the other side, and his relief behind the counter is now serving him. During the halftime segment of the second game, the station goes straight to the local news. It’s a breaking story about yet another robbery in the city.
“Fucking Detroit,” Colin mumbles under his breath.
“I try not to even go there if I don’t have to,” Aimee frowns.
I simply roll my eyes at their disdain. Although many suburbanites try to distance themselves from the city, my heart will always belong there. I love Detroit. I hate the news. They are constantly squawking about all of the bad things that go on there. Rarely do they ever share any good news about the city with the same zeal. It’s frustrating. If I can help it, I don’t ever watch the news.
In the story that follows, the anchorman segues into pre-recorded footage from the night before. We are immediately teleported to a red carpet where it’s all about limousines, lights, cameras, glitz, and glamour. There are politicians, prominent businessmen, and local celebrities prancing toward glass doors looking like a parade of the affluent. The men are all wearing their best black-tie attire, while the women are draped in sparkling ball gowns tucked under fancy fur coats that would make PETA go postal.
The camera cuts to the indoors, where we meet the same anchor who was sitting at the news desk just before the segment. This time, he’s in a tuxedo and standing in front of a sign announcing the exclusive International North American Auto Show Charity Preview Gala at Cobo Center.
Oh no, I cringe. I prepare myself to hear yet another bitch session from my husband about this particular event that he ‘slaved over,’ yet wasn’t invited to attend with all of the bigwigs last night.
“You know, I helped conceptualize and set up the Molina booth for this year’s show,” Colin says to anyone at the bar who’ll listen. He’s at about a three on the spaz-o-meter right now, but I brace for an eight.
“Yeah, yeah,” Devin sighs, exasperated. “You already told us.”
“It just pisses me off that I’ve put in all the work, yet someone else takes the credit for my ideas.”
Colin just rose up to a five. As a precaution, I signal the bartender for another vodka soda.
“Hey, can you get me tickets to the show when it’s open to the public?” Aimee calls out as she snuggles against her boyfriend.
“I’ve got you,” Colin says with a proud head nod.
Meanwhile, I’ve been to enough auto shows to last me a lifetime; I have no desire to ever go again. Sadly, I know for a fact that if Aimee goes, she’ll drag me along, with or without Steve. Once again, we are undeniably conjoined at the hip.
The camera on screen pans to the massive exhibit hall and spotlights this year’s hottest concept cars. Eventually, the reporter makes his way into the Molina booth. I glance over at Colin and I see him tensing up.
Uh oh…Eight on the Richter scale coming right up.
“See that? The lavender spotlights in the background accentuating the sexy curves of the brand-new Molina
Nightingale…my idea. I’m sure my boss happily took all the credit. She was there last night instead of me.”
More like eight and a half. We may have peaked at this point. If this is as bad as it gets, we’ll be A-Okay. Now, if only the news could just shift out of this story…
But no. They deep dive into everything Molina, and Colin gets even more triggered. He’s silent but fuming. Everyone at the bar who knows him well takes him in with amusement. On the other hand, I’m not the least bit amused. None of these people have to go home with him… I do. I have to hear this crap until I either fall asleep or he does. He obsesses over work to no end. It’s beyond frustrating.
Eventually, the camera stops panning the booth and stills on the anchorman in the tux.
“Here with me in the Molina Motors booth is Vice President and COO, Blake Ferguson…”
Oh, fuck me. I brace for the extreme.
“Asshole,” Colin fake sneezes out loud. I sigh. “I fucking hate that guy.”
Okay, so he’s still at about an eight-point-five.
Blake Ferguson appears on the screen, looking all suave and debonair in his fancy black tux and brandishing his perfect, pearly white teeth. He has a smile that blinds, and muscles that strain against the fabric of what I am sure is a custom-fitted tuxedo.
Holding his own microphone and towering over the anchor looking up at him, Ferguson talks about Molina’s new concept vehicle and how they are innovating the ‘smart luxury car.’
“Autonomous driving will certainly play a major role in the future, and Molina will be at the forefront of that endeavor.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Colin groans at the screen. “Shut the fuck up, pretty boy. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Corporate communications fed you all of the major talking points prior to your pre-recorded interview.”
And now we’re at about a nine.
“Holy shit… He is fine,” Aimee exhales right in front of her boyfriend. As she’s seated on her stool, Steve stands behind with his arms wrapped around her. He doesn’t as much as flinch at her praising the appearance of another man. Secure in their relationship, he instead smiles down lovingly at his girl as she looks up and winks at him. Aimee then turns her head in my direction. “Did you ever see him when you worked there?”
“No,” I shake my head. But I kind of wished I had. Blake Ferguson is definitely eye candy. I’d never say that out loud, of course. I know how much my husband hates his guts. I quickly recall a key fact that the subject’s striking good looks totally blinded me from. “Back then, he wasn’t at Molina. He was still working at the other company.”
“I heard that he’s next in line for CEO when Clyde Davidson retires,” Adam calls out.
Why Adam? Why are you doing this?
You know your brother.
“That motherfucker is way too young and stupid to be running a one hundred-billion-dollar global organization,” Colin seethes.
And now we’re at ten.
I take a huge glug of my drink.
“Ferguson is a first-grade douchebag that I helped train when he moved back here from Jersey, right after he fucked another luxury car brand in the ass.”
“You personally trained him?” Adam gapes in surprise. “I don’t recall you ever telling me that.”
“Well, no…not directly. I came up with the marketing plan manual that he started plagiarizing at all of his subsequent town hall meetings. Then he quickly moved up the ranks simply because he’s a fucking show dog. He’s a media darling who’s only getting by on his good looks, when in reality he’s as dumb as a doorknob.”
Twelve. He jumped straight up to twelve.
This is going to be a long night.
“Quit being a hater, Colin,” Aimee goads.
I cut her with my eyes, but she ignores me. I’ll say it again; these people don’t have to go home with him. I do. “I’m not a hater,” Colin says with a severe frown. “I’m just a hard worker who hates seeing some clown who does absolutely nothing rise straight to the top of the food chain because he’s ‘the golden boy’,” he stresses with air quotes.
“Nobody knows what the fuck he even does!”
“He’s a Molina descendant, right?” Adam inquires.
“His mom is,” Colin answers. “That’s another reason why the board loves this dude. It’s all about lineage for them, and nothing about this guy’s ability or lack thereof. Why does the CEO have to be a Molina? Hey…Davidson isn’t a Molina, yet his leadership has ushered in profits that the company has never seen before.”
Located in Allen Park—about thirty miles southeast of here, in an area that we metropolitan Detroiters call Downriver, Molina Motors is a luxury car brand where many aspire to be employed. It’s hard to get hired there, trust me; I’ve tried. Founded by Sergio Molina in 1932 in Italy, he aimed to perfect the art of mass production for custom luxury cars. His quest brought him to the Motor City, where he would learn from the best in the business. Molina eventually fell in love with the hardworking nature of the people, so he remained Downriver until his death. The rest, as they say, is history.
“Ferguson grew up in Grosse Pointe, the land of bratty rich kids,” Colin says with a scowl. “He had a silver spoon in his fucking mug right from the start.”
“He’s not from Jersey?” Devin squints.
“Hell no—that golden bastard is from here. I believe he has a mansion in Oakland County, now,” laments my husband.
Colin has major issues with people who reside in Oakland County. To this day, I have no clue why. Luckily, I was born and raised in Wayne County, or he would’ve quickly written me off. Even though there are some well-to-do subdivisions where we live, the divergence between Oakland and Wayne counties clearly draws the line of separation between the haves and the have-nots. It’s the core concept behind Eminem’s beloved Eight Mile.
It is quiet during our very brief drive home, but that soon comes to an end the moment Colin pulls the car into the garage.
“Your friend is very negative and toxic. I don’t understand why you’re still hanging around with her.”
I scoff. “Aimee is my cousin, Colin. Not only is she my best friend, she is family. And you know that she has always spoken her mind. You just need to let whatever she says roll off you.”
Colin opens the door that leads into the kitchen and I follow behind him. He places his keys on the counter. “Eventually, we’ll be moving onward towards bigger and better things. Soon, we’ll outgrow those who are beneath us.”
I shouldn’t be shocked by anything he says, but this time he doesn’t cease to amaze me. I tilt my head sideways and gape until I almost see smoke coming out of his forehead.
“Look, I know you’re just upset that you’re not getting the credit that you deserve, but you don’t have to take it out on Aimee.”
Colin turns and heads straight towards the half-bathroom, where he shuts the door and pees like a racehorse. I stand at a loss. The only way I see things getting better with him is if he gets another job, or if the COO of Molina decides to leave the company and link up with yet another luxury brand. Ferguson can move down south for all I care, as long as I get my husband back. His presence at the helm has been a thorn in Colin’s side, and seeing the man on television evoked so much pent up anger that I didn’t realize was there.
I don’t recall Molina ever being a hostile work environment. While I was there four years ago on an eighteen-month stint, I absolutely loved it. Back then, Colin was all smiles. He genuinely loved his job. But ever since the company-wide reorg, his sentiments have changed for the worse.
When my contract ended, I tried like hell to get hired full-time at Molina. I haven’t worked since. There is a certain dollar amount that Colin deems worth my time. If any potential employer doesn’t offer me that, my husband believes that I might as well stay home until a better offer comes along. One prospect came quite close, but Colin gave me the thumbs down, so I didn’t take it.
These days, while my husband is trying to conquer the world, I’m busying myself with things like meal planning for the week or coming up with ideas on how to redecorate our home for the third time. While I’m doing the domestic thing and dreaming of going back to work, Colin is trying his damnedest to keep up with the big boys.
Sometimes when he gets home, he makes little snide remarks here and there about his coworkers who have wives that work. Apparently, these women never have time to take care of things at home. They work full-time too…go figure. Yet, my husband considers this a travesty. He was all set to pull out his guitar and sing a Sarah McLachlan song simply because Travis Murphy, over in product development, didn’t have a home cooked meal waiting for him the moment he got home last night. And in that split second, my husband turned to me, held my face in both hands and told me how lucky he was to have me as his wife. ‘We have a partnership that simply works,’ he said to me.
The woman always stayed home—is how Colin and his brothers grew up. Meanwhile, I grew up watching both my parents working. I was a latchkey kid and I expected that for my future children.
Am I complaining because I don’t have to work? No. What I am complaining about is how the topic of children hasn’t come up lately. Now that work has been rather hectic for Colin, I’ve tabled the discussion. But believe me, as soon as things get better professionally, I am revisiting the idea of children with him.
For now, I’m somewhat comforted knowing that whenever we do decide to make it happen, I am fully prepared to be a stay at home mom, shuttling the kids to things like band practice and soccer.
The moment Colin exits the bathroom wearing that same scowl he had on since he saw the auto show on television, I decide to pour him a drink.
“I am thoroughly convinced that Laura Nasser is mentally retarded.”
We’re in bed when Colin decides to point the barrel of the gun directly at his boss, director of product marketing for North America, Laura Nasser. Facing the opposite direction, I bury my face in my pillow and restrain a groan.
“That woman is incapable of managing anyone. They will give a promotion to anybody, except for those who genuinely deserve it.”
I often think that if Colin hates where he works so much, why doesn’t he leave? Why does he feel the need to unload on me when he comes home at night? Whenever I try reasoning with him, he always has a comeback. It’s like—Why in the hell are you even telling me this in the first place if you don’t want my advice?
“I get the whole diversity thing. Great…her boss, dumbass Nigel Gibson, gets a double checkmark for placing a female and a Muslim in management.”
Shut up, Colin—I immediately think to myself—or you’ll end up digging yourself into a bigoted hole that you can’t pull yourself out of.
“There are way smarter women than her. Hell honey, you can do her job better than her.”
Beyond irritated, I turn and look at him. “Gee. Thanks,” I say with a major eye roll.
He places his hand in my hair. “That’s not what I meant,” he says softly. “I mean that you are much more capable than her.”
“And that’s not saying much since she supposedly sucks so bad,” I pout.
Peeved, he drops his hand from my hair. “She more than sucks, Georgie.” I fucking hate it when he calls me that. “She doesn’t give a fuck about her employee satisfaction scores.
They are dismal and continue to decline since she’s come into the role.”
The main reason why Laura is so hated by him is because he feels that she is incompetent. Colin had applied for the director position two years ago, but he lost out to Laura. Since then, he’s been irate and jaded about everything Molina. Being around him since the turn of events has started to drain me emotionally.
“Her predecessor was primarily customer focused, yet this bitch only concerns herself with sucking the dicks of Gibson and Dobbs.”
Make it stop!
“If she could kiss ass all the way to the top, she would. Oh man…just imagine if she got face time with Ferguson. She’d lose her fucking mind.”
I just want to get some sleep!
Throwing in the towel, I get on my hands and knees and crouch over my husband.
“What are you doing?” he says, frowning.
Without saying another word, I yank down his flannel pajama pants and underwear.
“Uh—wha—when—wah…” He babbles like an idiot.
I immediately sheath his dick inside my mouth and go to town.
“Ohhhhh,” he sighs in relief.
Finally, he’s quiet.
Thank. The. Lord.
He starts to moan as he gets rock hard. Me finally getting rest is looking pretty good at the moment. Then he starts up again.
“I wonder if Laura does this to all of upper management.”
Leave it up to Colin Holt to ruin sexy-time. At this point, I’m ready to pull out the big guns. With a pop, I stop sucking him off.
“Hey…why’d you stop?”
I then crouch back over him, lift up my nightgown, and tug my panties over to one side. His eyes open wide as I slide all the way down on him.
“Fuck,” he hisses.
I begin riding him like the wind.
“Oh yeah, baby,” he groans. “So good. Sooo gooooo…” He eventually blows his load and soon afterwards, he falls fast asleep like a baby. I roll off of him. I didn’t get mine, but that’s okay. I just wanted him to stop talking about work.
But sometimes, I wish that he could fuck me to sleep for a change. These days it’s been all about me giving, but I hardly ever receive anything in return.
Copyright © 2019 by TK Cherry
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.