Couple Next Door

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I looked at Katt’s oddly pretty face as she stood in my doorway. It was a little bit of a surprise to me that she was there, she never once before ever dropped by, not by herself.

Certainly not at 10 in the morning on a Wednesday.

Her husband Mark was probably part of the reason I never saw her by herself, he always appeared to be a bit controlling, short with her. He made little cutting comments to her all the time, telling her something she said was stupid when she offered an opinion.

Then he would do little things like wave his glass at her, expecting her to instantly jump up and refill it for him.

I wondered a few times what it was she saw in him, but what the hell. None of my business.

We had visited a lot though, always with Katt and her husband Mark together. The guy talked a lot, actually I should say bragged a lot.

I can’t say that I really disliked him, but then I can’t really say I liked him either. I did like Katt, she was cute, bright, and always pleasant to have around. Nothing the guy said to her appeared to upset her at all.

The expression on her face that morning was not one I had seen before. It was a mixture of worry, hope, concern?

+++

Kathleen and Mark had moved into the two bedroom ranch house a quarter mile down the gravel road in front of our homes. The place just did not fit the neighborhood, I didn’t like the way it was built at all. It was modern, single story, it looked like something a person might build way out in the suburbs where every house looks about the same.

It looked like it was made of plastic, fake siding planks and a roof made of those round sewer pipes stuff cut in half.

When I bought my six acres of heaven, with pastures, fruit trees, a barn with a field and a tiny little creek running through the middle of it, my older two story farm house was it out there.

Nothing in sight but fields and trees and the creek down below.

We took hay crops off the fields, so did the old man that owned a farm and home similar to mine. His place was over two miles down the road, much larger at 35 acres.

When the hot days of Summer settled in, he and I and his just past full grown two sons went along picking up the heavy bales, moving them to the barn.

My reward was enough of the sweet natural grass hay to keep my four Black Angus cows fat and happy all Winter. The old man led his huge Bull down the road to my fields each year, so I ended up with some calves to sell in the Fall.

Neighborly stuff, we never paid each other, I helped him and he helped me.

But sons marry, move on to lives. The old man and I kept on, he was a full dozen years older than me. One day I realized I hadn’t heard from him for awhile so I walked down there.

I found him in the barn, slumped over the wheel of his tractor. It had been running until it ran out of fuel, so he had been there for quite some time.

I sat there with him for a half hour before getting up to make the phone call.

Our last visit, if you will. I didn’t cry but I came damned close to it.

The old farm was quickly broken up, the beautiful fields with grass as tall as the top of my head sprouted homes. The kids wanted the money so they could sit in their apartments someplace and live in comfort, I guess.

In just a couple of years houses were everywhere there was room to put one. Strange trees popped up in front of them, odd looking bushes that I had never seen before. Hedges, back yard swimming pools, lawns where fat and happy cattle once grazed.

There must have been two dozen people that came and knocked on my door, suggesting I sell out. The County even tried to rezone my place, raising the taxes beyond what I could afford. I did understand that, the land was tax valued at $1000 per acre as farmland, $100,000 per acre as homesites.

I went to court on that one, won and my property stayed in a farm deferral. My beautiful six acres sat right smack in the middle of those suburbs I always disliked. I went down to the feed store, they sold trees.

I planted new trees along my fencelines, to hide as much of the outside world from view as I could.

I couldn’t hide that one house, though. The damn thing was just there. I would have had to tear down my barn and move my driveway.

+++

I had turned into one of those environmentalists that day of the hearing. I stood up and spoke of the need for open spaces, handed out photos of wild Deer grazing along my creek, a Bald Eagle perched on one of my fence posts, the tall trees blessed with water growing along my creek.

They were all interested when I played the short video of an Osprey, flapping it’s wings and hovering in place before folding up and plummeting to earth like a stone. Just before crashing, it opened it’s wings and grabbed something, then flew away.

I talked of the added value to those surrounding by keeping a beautiful place like mine for nature and wildlife.

“We must not pave away all that God has blessed us with.” I added as a final line.

Me? illegal bahis Eloquent? I surprised even myself, part of that was my passion, I suppose.

The faces at first were set, ready to resist. But then one woman on the panel nodded, the man next to her glanced over at her when she whispered something to him. He nodded, also.

The vote was three to two. I got my farm deferal left in place.

Just where in the hell was I supposed to go if that had not worked? To live in some apartment somewhere?

When the last lot sold and the single story ranch home was built, I was unhappy. I could see that from my living room window.

Deer now seldom ambled across my fields in the cool mornings, the creek was always bone dry by mid July. That meant my cattle had to go. Backyard gardens and lawns upstream tapped the resource. It didn’t matter that much anyway, I was already being forced to fence them away from the water by 100 feet.

I protested the creek going dry, it never had before. But some lawyer managed to get the creek classified as a “wash” whatever the hell that is. Then topping that was another man that showed up with a prior water rights document.

My beautiful creek became a trickle except during rainy periods.

Life moves on, they call all of that progress, I guess. The County never noticed the changes that I saw, they moved on to other things and left me alone.

What the hell, I was an old man. I was supposed to live out my life and then get out of the way.

+++

I never remarried, Sally and I had been a lifelong couple, soul mates. We never had children, She had something called a “tipped uterus”. I never completely understood the why of it but the Doctor told us she would never conceive.

It was all right, we were happy with each other. That is what she told me anyway, but I sometimes saw the longing in her eyes when she saw others with children.

Sally was two days past her 48th birthday when she left that one morning for town.

The phone rang about an hour later, and I was alone. That was crazy, beyond belief. Two car loads of kids, testing one vehicle against another down the long country straight stretch.

The one leading looked over his shoulder to see where the other car was and that was all it had taken.

The one half million dollar life insurance policy that Sally and I had on each other easily paid all of the bills. It had that double indemnity clause, too.

I purchased the old tractor and equipment from the estate sale after the old man passed away. Each year I went out and harvested my tiny acreage, selling the bales right out of the field.

That didn’t make any money, really. Keeping up a tractor, mower, baler for just six acres? It was more for keeping me sane, keeping my life as normal as possible than anything else. I liked watching the few pickup trucks roll in, hand me some cash and then head out to load up.

Sometimes I even helped a bit, not much though since at 67 my body resisted doing that.

+++

Katt and Mark moved into the new home, they seemed at first to be a happy couple. Mark was heavy set, a burly looking guy. He wore his hair in a crewcut. I always loved and read the old “Shell Scott” novels, I had every single one of them in my bookshelf.

Matt could easily be that guy.

Kathleen was a tall dark haired gal, she looked to be in her mid to late 20’s. She was slender, overly so. Without fail she was dressed in slacks and a colored blouse, her hips were thin, so was her upper body.

From what I could tell, she was as flat chested as a board.

Not what anyone could ever call a beautiful woman, rather the words might be oddly attractive?

She had an easy manner, relaxed. She corrected me right off the bat when I called her Kathleen.

“I go by Katt, with two t’s” She said, her smile lighting up the room.

It was Katt and Mark from then on, they came by and visited from time to time. I would make some Sun tea and we sat around in the balmy evenings talking and swatting Mosquitos.

They became pretty good friends, Mark even came down one Summer and helped me with the hay. He ran the rake to put it up in wind rows so the air could dry it quickly. Katt came down later, bringing us some cool drinks.

That was the first time I saw her in just shorts and a light halter top. Her waist was long and lean, the shorts could best be described as nasty, a wider than normal black belt holding them. The top was small, and Katt would have been seriously hanging out of it if she had anything to hang out.

She leaned over to set the cooler down and I saw her nipples for the very first time. Long and pointy, and almost no breasts at all. Her eyes came up to meet mine, it took a moment for her to realize. She glanced down at her front, then back up at me and just smiled.

I managed a blush, slightly flustered at that. It had been many years since I saw a female nude. Her being really small busted was strangely exciting. My wife Sally was heavy up top, illegal bahis siteleri I always loved her body and the way it felt so it surprised me a little bit to see Katt like that and feeling myself get fussed up.

Maybe part of that was the way Katt was so easy and relaxed about it, she didn’t act concerned at all that I could see her.

I figured she just saw me as a grandfather type, harmless. Actually, that was probably true.

+++

After Sally was gone, I had simply been living my life. The people I knew that had single women friends had long since given up on me, none of them got anywhere at all. For a year or two there were 250 pound silver haired women around regular as clockwork.

There was one woman named Julie, she was maybe 40 or so and I found her to be on the cute side, slender and interesting. But one day I drove the 19 miles down to another neighbor’s farm, he had a part for my baler I needed. His name was Frank Paulson, his wife was a chubby and bubbly little thing named Sara. Sara made Blackberry jelly, she canned lots of it and it always came out like thick syrup. Lord I loved that stuff.

I found Frank in the lower barn. I also found Julie. Frank was on top and very busy, he had her down on a hay bale.

I beat a hasty retreat, Frank came out looking sheepish and I got my part and left.

I lost interest in Julie after that, although she tried. Lord did she try. She would show up with a pan of fresh baked rolls or a pie. Always wearing a top that her nipples showed through.

All I saw when I looked at her was her lying there with Frank’s hairy behind bouncing up and down.

I did stay polite, though. Julie made damn good rolls and pies.

+++

The first hint of trouble came a month or two earlier, before that morning when Katt knocked on my door.

I looked down and the big white 4 wheel drive Dodge that Mark drove to work still sat there in front of the house. He should have been gone to work, he always did.

It still sat there the next day. I sat Katt that afternoon, she was out mowing their lawn, so I walked down there.

“Is Mark OK?” I asked, thinking he might be sick.

“Matk got laid off, he has been waiting for the union to call with a job.” She told me.

“Bummer, I hope something crops up.”

“Me, too. Money is really tight right now.” She started the mower and went back to work.

It was about a month later, as far as I could tell the truck had not moved. I saw Mark sitting out front, he was drinking. Later that day I could hear them yelling all the way up to my house.

Then the big diesel in his Dodge started up and he roared off. The next morning he wasn’t back. He never came home all day.

I was mowing my own small front yard that evening when I saw him coming down the road, he pulled in and staggered inside, there was more yelling.

Once again he left. swerving and bouncing down into the ditch and back up on the roadway.

The next day I saw Katt sitting on the porch, so I walked over to see how she was. She had been crying.

“So what’s going on, Katt? Anything I can help with?” I asked her.

“No, it’s just that Mark is….he can’t find any work, he started drinking. They are talking about taking the truck back, I don’t know what we are going to do!” She started crying harder, I hugged her and told her that things would probably work out.

A few days later I was sitting on my porch and saw the tow truck arrive, it hooked onto the big Dodge and hauled it away. After another few hours a man in a small white car drove up.

Katt answered the door, he handed her some papers and left. She looked upset. There was no sign of Mark.

Another few weeks went by, then that morning I answered the knock.

+++

“Mark left me, can I talk to you?” She asked.

“I’m sorry to hear that, come on in, I have some coffee.” I held the door for her.

Katt sat down on my couch, her hands in her lap. She looked worried.

“So what’s going on?” I asked.

“Mark lost his job, then he couldn’t find anything. He got depressed and started drinking. Last week he got mad and hit me.”

“Oh, no. Did he hurt you?” I couldn’t really see any bruises or anything.

“Not badly, He grabbed my arm and slapped me in the head.” Her eyes were damp.

“I am sorry, honey. What can I do?”

“The bank took back his truck, so he took the Honda and just left. Now the bank wants the house, and I can’t make the payments.”

“No savings?” I asked.

“We had almost $5000, but when I wrote the check to the bank it bounced. Mark took all the money and I don’t even know where he is!” She wailed.

I sighed. The news was full of stories just like hers. The government was pouring huge sums of many into banks and financials, so they could loan out money. But jobs were scarce, so who were they going to loan money to?

My own accounts were hurting, just 5 years back I had my money sitting there drawing 6%, the last time I went to the bank they offered canlı bahis siteleri me just half of one percent, with a straight face.

For me, it didn’t matter that much, I would probably not outlive my capital, plus with Social Security and everything paid for, I was just fine.

Young people? They weren’t doing so well. I knew that Mark worked in construction and nobody was building much of anything.

“How much are the payments?” I asked.

“$930.00, we are three months behind.” She looked at me. I realized she was looking at me with hope in her eyes.

“So where is Mark?” I asked again, shifting the subject. I really didn’t want to find myself loaning three grand to someone, friends or not.

Not when the situation would be exactly the same in about thirty days.

“I don’t know. His cell phone just goes to voice mail. I am desperate. Danny, could you please help me? I will do…anything! Really, anything you want!” She stood up.

That caught me by surprise.

Then she started to unbutton her blouse, that surprised me too.

“Katt! Stop that.” I told her, just as she was pulling the blouse back off her shoulders. Her breasts were almost non existant, she had those overly long nipples that I remembered seeing that one day out in the hay field.

Most women that are built like that tend to be shy about it, Katt was obviously not.

“Don’t you like me? I have seen the way you look at me.” She stood there with her blouse undone, her lower lip stuck in her teeth. She looked for a moment like a shy little girl.

I didn’t realize I had even looked at her that way, but then I might be old but I sure as hell was not dead, so maybe?

“Katt, I like you just fine. But I am not going to…not this way. You are married.” I told her.

“I’m not married any more, at least I’m not going to be.” She said, still standing there naked to the waist.

“Put that back on, honey.” I told her. She sighed and put her blouse back on, just tugged it around herself and sat down.

“I’m sorry, Danny. I just thought…oh, I don’t know what I was thinking. I am going to lose everything!” She began to cry again.

I held her until she calmed down, then I realized I was getting an involuntry erection. It had been a long time since that happened, and I was a bit ashamed of myself in this situation.

I finally had to let go. Taking several deep breaths, I managed to calm myself.

“What am I going to do, Danny?”

“I don’t know. How much do you owe on that house?”

“It’s $930.00, we are…”

“No, I mean the whole thing?”

“Oh. There is $98,000 left on the mortgage, we had almost $100,000 down when we bought it, I used my inheritance from my Grandmother.”

I knew the place was easily worth twice what they owed, even in a shitty market.

“Well. Let’s go look at the situation, I will see what I can do.”

“Oh, God! Really?” She jumped up and hugged me again, her blouse was still undone and I felt her bare chest press against me.

“Button up your blouse, Katt.” I told her, laughing.

+++

The property turned out to be titled in just Katt’s name, something she had insisted on. She had purchased the place before she and Mark had gotten married as an investment.

Like I mentioned before, Katt was actually fairly bright. There was some paperwork to do but not much, she even had a prenuptual agreement.

I basically bought the place for the balance on the note. I saw the bank note she had signed, nearly 8%. Nice of them, offer me a half percent for my deposits, loan it out at 7.8%.

The tax papers said it was appraised at a shade over 200 grand, so investing $98,000 of my money on the note wasn’t a bad deal, I thought.

So I wrote them a check.

It beat the hell out of the one half of one percent the bank was giving me.

Katt finally found Mark, served him and the divorce was final a few months later. I was now a landlord, with no real idea of if or when I would ever get paid.

I saw him just one time, he came by to get some of his things we had moved out to the garage.

“So you are fucking Katt, huh?” He told me angrily.

“No, I am not!” I retorted.

“Yea, sure.” He shot back. I just walked away.

My own cash sitting in the bank was drawing less than one percent, so investing the nearly $100 grand meant the house was costing me less than $1000 per year. Sure, there was a light bill and insurance, all of that.

But it still was a good deal.

I always was good at math.

In return, Katt was cooking most of my meals, doing the laundry, cleaning house. Often she even mowed my lawn for me.

One day I came inside from pruning my trees to find her vacuuming up flies from the windows, even with no Cows we still had an abundance of those. I always smacked them and then I had to wash the windows, she just sucked them up right out of the air.

Haying season came, she was out in the field with me tossing the bales. She actually handled them easier than I could. Plus she wore that pair of shorts and halter top, I can’t say as I minded that one bit.

That night I washed her hands and arms down with peroxide, she didn’t think about gloves. I didn’t either, my own hands are best described as almost leather.

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