In Search of the Final Freedom
An Erotic Socio-Political Novel:
BOOK TWO: Sexual Freedom, a Revolutionary Ideal
Poor Choices Make Good Stories: Bonnie and the Builders
Cooper spent the next entire week working all day in his study, researching and writing; Bonnie’s attention shifted onto Lois after the big reveal at their house. Thursday, her friend spent the entire day at the Campbell’s home. Lois had been on an emotional roller coaster since the night of the big reveal. On one hand, she could not believe how easy it had been to just bring her relationship with George out in the open. Yet, on the other, the guilt of how she had mishandled it all in the past was getting to her. And she still had to tell her older daughter before they went up to see her graduate from Duke next week. She was not at all sure how that would go. “It should have all been so easy, but I put everyone through years of pain” She lamented.
Bonnie tried to help dissuade the guilt, but she knew it would take time. To take Lois’s mind off of her issues, Bonnie showed her the photos in the study, then took her up to the guest room where they had a long talk about sex outside of marriage surrounded by photos of her doing just that. Bonnie’s plan seemed to work. Once Lois realized how many men Bonnie had screwed just for fun, it made her relationship with George seem downright conservative.
Both Patty and Denise, it seems, had taken right to the idea their two dads and Lois were a family unit and had been for over two years. Denise in particular wanted to normalize it all. She was right up front suggesting that they all decide on one house and live as one family. Lois was happy to hear the sentiment, but was sure that was not a good idea. Not now, not in Sparta.
After nearly a week of clouds and rain, Saturday the sun came out bright and clear. By noon it was quite warm, bumping up against hot.
Sandra Holland’s heart was beating unusually fast as she listened to the directions to the Campbell home from the GPS app on her phone. It had taken her the longest time to decide what to wear. Why was she so nervous? Sure this was a risk, but given the other things in her life, this risk was a small one. She’d never wanted to be anything but a teacher, and now that was in jeopardy.
Soon she was pulling into the gravel drive of the dated, but good-sized home outside of town. She knocked.
The door swung open and she was greeted by Mrs. Campbell. It was odd to look at this housewife whom she’d only seen in nude photos before this moment. Even if she hadn’t seen the photos, their appearance was so similar she couldn’t miss that this was Misty’s mother. She didn’t know how she’d expected her to be dressed, but she was impressed by the expensive looking white linen sun dress.
“Welcome to our home Ms. Holland, I’m Bonnie” Mrs. Campbell offered warmly.
“Thank you, but please, Sandra is better” she replied.
The mother of her student ushered her in, down the short entry way to what was clearly the living room. She was startled when Mrs. Campbell passed in front of the French door to the back yard. In the bright sun the white dress turned nearly sheer for a moment. It did not look like Mrs. Campbell wore anything underneath.
Bonnie offered her some iced tea and they settled down into the high-end leather sofa. The older woman said “I want to thank you for the support you have given to Misty these past two weeks. It has meant a great deal to her. Other than Marcy Marshal, who is a family friend, and her two publications teachers, she rather feels she’s eyed as a problem by the school faculty and administration.”
Sandra replied “I thought that might be the case. Since that first day, I think there are more and more teachers voicing support, howbeit very quietly and very far away from Dr. Collins’ ears.”
Sandra wasn’t sure how to move to the topic she’d come to discuss. After some other light talk Mrs. Campbell offered an inlet to the issue that was bothering her. The mother made the surprisingly frank statement; “It seems even our fifteen-year-old son has become quite the go-to person to his peers about all things sexual. Last Sunday, after Cooper and I all but made an explicit declaration to the church youth group that we have an open marriage; his friends seem to think he knows, or can get the scoop on, any kind of question about sex. It has been rather comic when Lamar comes to me with the questions that he’s been asked. You would think high school boys would not have to ask if a girl can get pregnant from anal sex.”
The laughter they shared made Sandra feel better. “Open marriage? I thought that was just malicious rumors” Sandra blurted before realizing that her words sounded derogatory.
“Malicious? Hmmmm” Bonnie repeated. “Yes, I could see people trying to be malicious by repeating it, but their efforts to embarrass me will be in vain. Since this began we have been rather open with everyone that Cooper and I have rejected the expectation of monogamy. I love my husband, but even though Rocky Road ice cream is my favorite, I don’t’ want to be limited to one flavor when I go to Baskin-Robins. And there are a lot more flavors of men than thirty-three.”
Sandra couldn’t help but laugh at that. “I can see where Misty gets her gumption. You don’t’ even try to play the game do you?”
Bonnie answered, “I did for a long time. Fact is I was monogamous for twenty years, but Cooper and I realize now that kind of self-denial doesn’t’ make our marriage any better, just less…ummm…..interesting.”
Sandra didn’t know what to say to that and thought it was time to get to her point. “Well Mrs. Campbell, Bonnie, my life has indeed become interesting, but I think I’m over my head and I need some advice from a woman who won’t judge me.”
Bonnie didn’t miss a beat and asked “Is your married lover a he or a she?”
Sandra was glad she didn’t have to explain “It is a he.”
“From the school?”
“Yes, Mr. Carver the Vice Principal.”
“Well, you do have a problem. Why don’t you tell me about it?”
Sandra’s mind went back to the very first day she began working at Jefferson Davis High School. As she began to speak the thoughts flowed. It had not been even two years, but now it seemed so very long ago. It had all begun so innocently. She had just turned twenty-two and was thrilled to begin her teaching career, even if it was in the middle of red-neck nowhere-ville. She had come to Jefferson Davis High School because it fit the criteria of being an underserved rural school that would give her forgiveness for most of her college loans. The teachers were nice enough to her, but it was clear she was an outsider. Nearly all the other faculty had gone to Jeff Davis or the nearby rival school. She wasn’t, God forbid, a Yankee, but she was from suburban Atlanta and that made her a “city” girl to the locals. Even before the school year began, she found that during school faculty meetings, it seemed the most important thing in the world was not education or poverty or even world events, but rather the prospects for the Jeff Davis football team.
One of the few bright spots had been Jason. He at least was not a Philistine and appreciated Broadway musicals, intelligent conversation and progressive politics. He was her administration mentor and walked her and two other new teachers through the labyrinth of rules and hoops needed to convert her teaching degree into a permanent teaching license. As such she had regular meetings with him; sometimes with the other new teachers, but a good many times the meetings were one-on-one. He was in his early 30’s, married with two kids, handsome and witty. As the year progressed their meetings talked less and less about the teacher certification process and more and more about other things they both enjoyed. She was not naïve, by spring she realized she was overly friendly with her good-looking boss.
She knew she should not look forward to seeing him so much, but she convinced herself she just didn’t have any other friends in the school. The other English teachers were all old enough to be her mother and they were a bunch of self-righteous bitches that lived their life outside of school in kid’s ball leagues and in their conservative churches. The faded "Hillary" bumper sticker on her car isolated her from day one. Besides Jason, the only other bright spot among the faculty was the drama teacher Mrs. Marshal. She was open-minded despite being a local and thankfully they shared the same lunch period.
Her first year was also very taxing with lesson prep and all the other things a new teacher must do. She was relieved when summer came. She determined she would use her summer to fix up the dilapidated portable building which was her assigned classroom. So the third week of June she began work. She was pleased when Jason came to check on her the first day, even more pleased the second day and looking forward to it the third day. By the end of the month late at night she found herself imagining making love to him. She’d not dated at all since she moved to Sparta almost a year before that.
It was not that she had made no friends at all in her new home. Marcy Marshal gave her an entrance to the local community theater where she became the assistant director for a production of As You Like It. The two times she’d had sex with theater people in the last year were both just friendly things. It was no surprise to her that she had fallen for Jason, but she had no idea how he felt. After all he was married.
That unknown changed on July 26th. It was really hot. The air-conditioner in her portable building just couldn’t keep up with 101° F heat as she worked to set up her classroom. Knowing no one but Jason ever came in to see her, and perhaps deep down because she knew he would be coming; she’d worn a loose white tank top under her blouse rather than a bra that morning. At 11:00 AM she was sweating as she pulled off the blouse. She knew full well the thin cotton tank was glued to her breasts. At 12:30 (after Dr. Collins left for the day as always) her door opened. Her flirting had become more pronounced in recent weeks and he seemed to be responding, but still she had no overt sign of interest.
Standing on a chair stapling letters to a bulletin board she turned to look at him as he entered. She felt her nipples harden and push against the damp fabric that clung to them. She knew he was appreciating her long legs, short athletic shorts and rather pronounced breasts under the damp white tank top punctuated by her now erect and visible nipples. She coquettishly asked him to help her down, his hands went to her waist, her pulse began to race. In thirty seconds, they were kissing with passion; in three minutes she was unbuckling his pants and in five her top was pushed up to her chin, her shorts were on the floor and she was laying on her desk with Jason’s penis all the way inside of her. Just that fast, they went from inappropriate flirting to an illicit affair. The fireworks went off for Sandra, this was the moment that women dream all their lives about and Jason did not disappoint. The next day she brought a blanket and pillows. They locked the door and made love for two sweaty hours on her classroom floor.
That was all nearly a year ago. When school started back it was hard to find ways to get together alone, but they initially did at least twice a week. Over Christmas break they spent an entire day in a Macon motel together, but that was the longest they had been together since the summer. She was sure that he loved her as much as she loved him. He told her how much he loved her but what confused her was that he claimed to love his wife as well. She did not know how that could be. Now his wife was pregnant again and she thought he might want to end their relationship but just couldn’t bring himself to do it.
In the Campbell’s living room, her story came flooding out including intimate details of their lovemaking that she could not believe she was telling someone she hardly knew. Twice she dissolved into tears, and Mrs. Campbell was there with a hug and a box of Puffs. “I know it’s wrong, but part of me wants him to leave his wife and kids for me. I love him so much. How can he say he loves me with all his heart and then turn around and say how much he loves her?”
“It’s not wrong to want to be loved” the older woman told her “And yes, he can honestly tell you that he loves both of you deeply. He wants you both. That’s what he is really saying isn’t it?”
Sandra heard what Mrs. Campbell said. Though she didn’t like it being put that way, that was the truth of it. She just nodded and wiped tears from her eyes.
“And...” Mrs. Campbell said “...that would not be a problem if all of you had entered into this knowingly. I know a couple who has a very successful long term triad relationship, but in your case Mrs. Carver didn’t have any say so. I’m guessing that she doesn’t even know. And for that you can be thankful. If word leaked out about this his career would be ruined and yours would be in jeopardy. So, you know the status quo is not sustainable.”
Sandra knew she was right about that too. Especially since Jason’s wife was now pregnant again. She quietly said “I know.”
Bonnie hugged her guest again. She could see the pain in the young woman’s face, but could do nothing to help, other than to offer to be her friend. She said that if Mr. Carver wanted to end the affair, he might be afraid that if he did she would talk and destroy both his marriage and his career.
Bonnie’s words did not surprise Sandra at all. She was already resigned to the affair ending and had just come to Mrs. Campbell to get some reassurance and help with a path forward.
Bonnie suggested that she set a formal meeting in Mr. Carver’s office (which Bonnie knew had a large window to the reception area) so that she would appear to be in a regular teacher's meeting. "Once you are alone tell him you think its best you two end your affair. Let him know that you care about him but do not want to be the woman who puts his job or his marriage at risk for her own wants." Bonnie assured the young woman that she would support her in any way she could.
They sat and Sandra cried again. Once she’d cried it out Bonnie suggested they go sit out at the pool. As they rose Bonnie added one more thing “It’s funny that you mentioned Marcy Marshal, it just so happens she is a close friend of mine. I knew you knew her, and I didn’t know why you were coming by. I took the liberty to invite her over to sun, and be available if you needed support. But, if she doesn’t know already, I would strongly suggest you not tell her you are having a relationship with someone who works at the school. We’ll just tell her you came over to show your support for Misty. In fact, I’d suggest you tell no one about this as long as either of you work for the Hancock County schools. It’s not a matter of being maliciously betrayed, but of accidental slips of the tongue that would have effects just as bad as intentional betrayal.”
As Bonnie had planned, Marcy had been out at the pool since before the younger woman had arrived. All the while Bonnie had been talking; her friend had been sunning and reading a book beside the water. Bonnie had invited her over to sun today knowing she’d been a mentor to Sandra and thought her presence might help with whatever had gotten this teacher to come see the Jezebel of Sparta.
They turned the corner of the house to see Marcy stretched out on a lounge chair. Miss Holland didn’t miss a step when she saw her mentor laying out reading a novel, topless.
Marcy hopped up and met Bonnie and Saundra. After some light greetings and chit chat Bonnie offered Miss Holland the use of one of her "loaner" bikinis. “I’m sure they will fit you, though I’ll admit that they likely are rather skimpier than you are used to. You are free to use a complete set, or just the bottoms if you would prefer.”
The young teacher seemed to hesitate then said “Oh, on Spring Break trips when I was at Vanderbilt, I wore thong bikinis more than once.” She paused again before adding “And in the Dominican Republic one summer I wore only the bottoms at the beach for a full week.”