Alfreda and Bill stayed a while by that rock, Alfreda helping herself to a generous feel of Bill. She looked him in the eyes as she helped herself, noting that she liked what she saw. Not removing her hand, she kissed him, slipped him her tongue. Bill, as if mesmerized, kissed back and allowed her to help herself. He knew he should stop it, cut it off right here, but he didn’t.
“I’m gonna drive you back,” Alfreda said while they kissed. I gotta see if what Bea says is gospel. Or maybe she just getting senile.”
Alfreda stood up. She took Bill’s hand and pulled him up. Still holding that hand, she slid it up under her dress for Bill to discover she wore no underwear. “See,” Alfreda said, “we just one big happy family here. And don’t you give my husband no thought. I’m telling you it’s okay.”
They stood a moment longer. Alfreda reached inside Bill’s kitchen pants so they were both touching bare skin. All the while they kissed. Finally, Bill cut it off saying they should get back inside. But Alfreda did not let him go right away.
“I’m getting what I want,” she said. “I ain’t no old biddy like Bea. I’m young and strong and I got my own needs that you gonna fill. It works on lots of levels, believe you me.”
Bill remembered it was anything but okay. Robert slapped him upside the head two times for Alfreda and called her a shameless hussy. Bill reminded him that Henry Lee was screwing anything that had a pussy and so what difference did it make. Robert informed Bill that they all sat together in church on Sundays, Robert leading the choir that Alfreda and Mary sang in while Henry Lee minded the kids in the front pew.
“Stay away from that shameless hussy,” Robert told Bill before he got in the van with Alfreda.
“I’ll do my best,” Bill said.
“Huh, glory,” Robert sang out.
In the van, Alfreda immediately reached for Bill. Bill slid as close to the passenger door as he could, making it hard for her to get to him.
“I got it all figured,” Alfreda said. “You don’t’ give me what I want, I tell that man of mine you made a pass at me.”
“Oh, but I would. I’ll tell him you made me do things.”
“Get out of here,” Bill said.
This was déjà vu for Bill. Such a thing had happened once before to him in his life.
Alfreda stopped in one of the parks in Whitehall, the actual county Suburban East was located in. She pulled off the road into the most remote section of the park’s parking lot and went over the seat into the cargo area. Bill followed, partly because he felt he had to, mostly because he was young and he really wanted to.
Bill remembered. Her kisses weren’t cold yet when she strode up to Henry Lee and kissed him like nothing happened. Henry Lee was none the wiser. But when he started saying he heard they had some excitement over there, Bill got scared thinking Henry Lee knew, except Henry Lee was talking about the fire because Alvin had called him and told him about it.
“First fire, huh?” Henry Lee said to Bill. He slapped Bill five. “Alvin told me he ran out the door. I’d have done the same.”
“Well,” Bill said, “now I know how to put out a grease fire.”
“Baking soda works too,” Henry Lee said. Then, “Let’s get that meat into the van so she can get back.”
“Nice working with you,” Alfreda said to Bill just before she drove off. “See you again soon, I suppose.”
“I suppose,” Bill said.
Due to several personal commitments, Coming Now In About Another Month:
The Ghost Writer, Rose’s Story: A Look At The Worlds We Hide