The Millionaire Next Door
Copyright© 2020 by Lazlo Zalezac
Wednesday afternoon Susan knocked on the door of Alison’s house. Alison had invited her over to use the pool, and she had accepted the offer. Unable to decide which swimsuit to bring, she had brought the bikini and the one piece, both. She couldn’t believe that Alison’s parents would actually let their daughter wear that daring little string.
Alison answered the door wearing a robe. Seeing Susan, she smiled and said, “You’re just in time. We were getting ready to go out by the pool.”
Susan said, “I need to put on my bathing suit.”
“No problem, you can change in my bedroom,” Alison answered.
“I brought my one piece and the bikini. I didn’t know which one to wear,” Susan said.
Puzzled, Alison looked at Susan and asked, “Why wouldn’t you wear the bikini that you wore to the lake?”
“Your parents might not approve,” Susan answered. Her mother didn’t approve of her bikini, and her father didn’t even know about it. Her father would go ballistic if he knew that she was wearing a bathing suit that didn’t cover as much as her bra and panties did.
Laughing at the idea that her parents wouldn’t approve, Alison said, “Don’t worry about that. The only reason any of us will wear a bathing suit at all, today, is because we have you for company.”
Rather stunned by that announcement, Susan replied, “Oh.”
Taking Susan by the hand, Alison led her to her bedroom where she could change into her swimsuit. Without considering that Susan might want a little privacy while changing into her swimsuit, Alison sat down on her bed and asked, “So how is dating Tom going?”
“He’s real nice,” Susan answered feeling a little embarrassed about changing clothes in front of Alison. She turned her back to Alison when she removed her shirt.
“They are both nice guys. Dan is really taking his time with me. Most guys would have tried to get me in bed, by now,” Alison said. She really hated having to wrestle with guys on dates and enjoyed the respectful treatment that Dan was giving her. She loved the honest attention he gave her when they talked.
“Uh,” Susan said putting on her bikini top. She didn’t know what to make of the discussion. It was really weird talking about dating and sex when she was half naked. She was already uncomfortable with the feelings that Tom generated within her when they were on a date. She didn’t need to be reminded of that while half naked in a room with another woman.
“That’s what I like about him. Did you know that he actually talks to me? He doesn’t talk to my breasts. He doesn’t try to jam his tongue down my throat when we kiss,” Alison said watching Susan hesitate while changing clothes. Susan was trying to figure out how to remove her shorts without showing everything to Alison. It confused Alison a little, since she didn’t understand about being that inhibited.
She said, “I figure Tom is a gentleman, too.”
“He is,” Susan answered. She turned so that her side was facing Alison and dropped her shorts.
“So have you done it with him yet?” Alison asked. She wondered how Tom had reacted when he had encountered Susan’s old fashioned panties.
“No,” Susan answered turning bright red.
Feeling hot as if she had a fever, Susan answered, “We’ve only been dating for a month and a half.”
Alison laughed at waiting that long. She said, “You should know by now if you want to sleep with him. If you do, why haven’t you? If you don’t, why are you leading him on?”
“Huh?” Susan asked pulling up her bikini bottom.
“I know I want to sleep with Dan. We’re going to do it on our next date, or the one after that. I can hardly wait,” Alison said.
“Shouldn’t you wait a little longer than that?” Susan asked with a frown.
Alison shook her head and asked, “Why wait?”
“Women aren’t supposed to be interested in having sex,” Susan answered.
“That’s garbage. I’ve never understood women who pretend like they aren’t interested in sex. They know they want to sleep with the guy, but they don’t. Why? Oh, they think they shouldn’t be interested in sex. The fact is that they want it. They’re hypocrites,” Alison said. She looked over at Susan and said, “You want to know what’s really awful?”
Alison answered, “They give off all the signals that they want to sleep with the guy, but then they don’t. The guy ends up walking around frustrated as hell with her, and it destroys the relationship. It’s stupid. Why act like a prick tease?”
“Maybe they don’t want to get pregnant,” Susan said defensively. She didn’t like the idea of being called a prick tease.
“That’s what birth control is for,” Alison replied as if stating the obvious.
“Maybe they aren’t ready for such a big step,” Susan said biting her lower lip.
Alison was about to make a trite comeback about oral sex being a smaller step, but a glance at Susan convinced her not to say it. The young woman looked like she was on the verge of tears. Putting a hand on Susan’s arm, Alison asked, “Are you a virgin?”
“Yes,” Susan answered looking down at the floor. Her face was bright red.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be so glib. I had just assumed,” Alison said looking away feeling bad that she had unknowingly trampled all over the other girl’s feelings. She said, “I didn’t mean anything by it.”
“I want to,” Susan said admitting her desire aloud for the first time in her life.
While Alison and Susan were having their little heart to heart, Dan was busy at work. He had the ‘fun’ job of carrying roofing shingles from where they had been stacked on delivery, up to the roof where the roofers were hard at work. He was barely keeping up with the roofers. When he dropped off one of the loads, one of the roofers called him over. Pointing to the shingles, he said, “Let me tell you a little about laying shingles. We’re professionals, and we do this all day long. As a result, we take a few short cuts. If you’ve been watching us work, you’ll probably get it wrong if you try it on your own.”
“What kinds of shortcuts?” Dan asked turning his full attention to the roofer. He had no intention of being a roofer. Although he wasn’t exactly afraid of heights, he didn’t enjoy being up on the roof like that. The chance to learn something new overcame his discomfort.
“Normally after you lay each course of shingles, you should take a chalk line and mark out a straight line across the roof so that the shingles are put down straight. Nothing looks worse than a house with the shingles laid out in a haphazard fashion.”
“I’ll bet,” Dan said thinking that a roof was something most people wouldn’t notice until it was done incorrectly.
“After you’ve done this for a while, you can actually eye it. I still insist that the guys mark out the first course. It’s better to be safe than sorry, particularly when you have a guy or two who are new on the crew.”
He could see where if someone were to do it everyday that they’d learn little tricks to make the job easier. Dan said, “That makes sense to me.”
“Do you see how we’re laying them down?”
“Yes,” Dan said looking over at the complex pattern of shingles on the roof.
“What we are doing is called racking. It keeps you from having to walk back and forth across the roof, but it’s a little more complicated. If you ever put down your own roof, you will want to lay out the shingles one row at a time.”
“You’re probably right,” Dan answered. He looked at the arrangement of shingles knowing that he’d never remember how to do that.
The roofer smiled and asked, “Why don’t you lay a couple of shingles?”
Following instructions, Dan went through an entire bundle of shingles. The nail driver made the work fairly easy. As he worked, the roofer pointed out little hints that would make the job easier. When he finished, the roofer sent him off to get some more bundles of shingles. Dan thanked him for the lesson.
After he had delivered the last bundle of shingles, he climbed down to the ground and went over to the water cooler. The boss insisted that they take a break every thirty minutes to drink a full cup of water. The temperature was in the high nineties that day and the roof felt even hotter.
Dan was filling his cup when Mr. Foreman came over to the cooler. Pausing to watch Dan, he said, “Keep drinking that water. I’d hate to have you pass out from the heat. There’s nothing worse than heat stroke, except having heat stroke on top of a roof and falling off.”
“Yes, Sir,” Dan said.
Mr. Foreman had been pleased that after working for more than a month and a half, Dan was still hustling. He asked, “Have you given any thought to making construction a career?”
“I’ve given it a lot of thought,” Dan answered. He looked over Mr. Foreman and said, “I’ve enjoyed the job, but I don’t think it’s the career for me. I think I want something that is year round employment.”
“I understand,” Mr. Foreman said. He asked, “What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know. I might have to travel around see what kind of jobs there are for someone like me,” Dan answered.
“Are you going to college?” Mr. Foreman asked. A lot of kids who worked construction for the first summer out of high school realized that college was a very good option.
“I’m not really cut out for college,” Dan answered with a shrug of his shoulders. He knew that he was going to hear questions about college for the rest of his life.
Mr. Foreman shook his head and said, “I really suggest that you look into it.”
“I have dyslexia. I can read, but not very quickly,” Dan said.
“Oh, I guess that would make college problematic. Of course, you don’t have to get a degree. I’m pretty sure that you can audit a course at the community college. You won’t have to take the tests and you won’t get credit for it, but at least you’ll be exposed to the material. That’s the important part. I haven’t got a degree or anything, but I’ve taken some business courses over there. The accounting course that I took really helped me when I was starting my business,” Mr. Foreman said.
Dan considered the advice while finishing his cup of water. As much as he had hated school, he could see that there would be advantages to just auditing a course. He could keep quiet and learn without looking too stupid. He said, “Thanks. I never thought of doing that. I’ll keep it in mind.”
Pointing to the wrappers that had been around the shingles, Mr. Foreman said, “Pick up that trash and throw it in the dumpster.”
“Yes, Sir,” Dan said going over to where the roofers had dumped the wrappers over the side of the roof.
Mr. Foreman watched Dan return to work. No matter how ugly the job was, Dan always said, ‘Yes, Sir,’ and went to work with a smile. He decided that he’d move him over to the other site, to work with the dry wall crew. They could use an extra hand for a day or two. He’d ask them to show him a little of the job. It wouldn’t be enough to do the job professionally, but Dan would appreciate the lessons sometime in the future.
Dan swung by the video store on his way home from work. Walking in, he spotted Tom shelving some of the videos that had been returned. There was no one else in the store, and Tom hadn’t spotted him. Walking over to Tom, he disguised his voice and asked, “Where’s the porn?”
Tom was asked that question at least once a week. Expecting to have to explain that this was a family video store, Tom turned to look at the person who had asked the question. He saw Dan and laughed. He said, “You know where the porno section is located.”
Pointing to his head, Dan said, “It’s right here between my ears.”
“That’s right,” Tom said.
“Catch,” Dan said as he tossed a root beer over to Tom.
Tom caught the can and smiled at the gesture. The store carried soft drinks, but not root beer. He asked, “What are you doing here besides delivering the only beverage that’s worth drinking?”
“I thought I’d stop by on my way home from work and talk with you. We haven’t had a chance to talk since the double date,” Dan said. He knew that this was usually a pretty quiet time at the video store.
“That was some afternoon. Did you see the swim suit that Susan was wearing? Wow,” Tom said. He opened the can of root beer and took a sip.
Dan nodded his head and asked, “What about the swim suit that Alison wore?”