It's been a good game. The course was the most perfect it's ever been and this weather is perfection indeed. Fall is upon us and the coolness on the end of each breeze brought with it a sharpness that can't be denied.
He concentrated on the ball in front of him and then surveyed the sky determining the best route his ball should take to get it to where he wanted it to be. This was the 18th hole and he'd been playing well all day. His foursome had changed from a free for all into a cheering section for him. Strangers all out for one thing. Their personal best.
And in him...they'd found their hero for the day.
Truth be told, before he turned 30...he wasn't much to look at. Good thing he'd married at age 28. Now at age 36 he was tall and lean and dressed with impeccable taste. His golf attire would be modest on some but on him...it was sexy. Long and lean. Chiseled even. With the grace that comes from being happy and confident. Everyone saw it and, whereas he knew it came from the love of his wife and children, he allowed others to attempt to discern it's origin.
Adult braces changed that dorky smirk into a chic grin and money afforded him the ease of a good life.
He'd learned to live in the moment...and the moment was upon him.
He wanted to hit the shit outta this ball and envisioned, as most golfers do, wearing a red shirt and pumping his fist at the British Open. Kicking ass and taking names. It was upon him.
He'd think of this day often. The day his life changed. Morphed really. Morphed into a zombiesque trance where everything moved around him as he stood still and watched. His screams silenced by his identity because where he was from...men didn't cry.
"Dude...I can't believe you got a hole-in-one on the last damn hole! That shit only happens in movies!"
"You? Think of how I feel!" He was so grinned up the corners of his smile lined up with the corners of his eyes.
"Good round guys. You got bragging rights that's for sure." Rich, a meaty guy with a third of his original hair, clapped him on the shoulder.
"Hey...would you mind taking a picture so I can send it to the wife? She'll get a kick outta this too!"
"Really? Your wife gets excited when you golf?
"Yeah? Really? Mine just bitches. I'm on my way to fertilize the lawn or whatever else her Majesty wants of me for giving me a reprieve to golf this morning." Said Stan.
"Yeah...I know I'm lucky. She's always been this way. She loves it when I get to golf."
"You sure the pool boy isn't home with her?" chuckles Rich.
"Nah...she's home with the kids waiting on me so she can get out the house and shop."
"Pool boy might meet her at the mall for a latte."
"Whatever...who's going to take my picture?" he laughed.
"I'll take it man." said Bobby. "I want to take one with my phone too hell. Your skills give me hope."
He smiled big holding his hole-in-one ball with one hand and the iron he'd used to hit it tossed casually over his shoulders.
Bobby took one, then two pictures of him and passed him his phone.
Striped shirt, traveler's khakis, Nike golf shoes. Typical golf wear and yet...on him...it looked as if he'd just stepped off a designer's pallet with six assistants making him look just...so.
Rich and Stan walked off leaving Bobby and Justin to catch up. A beer was in order, of course. I mean hell...a hole-in-one was practically unheard of on this course. The ridiculous fees didn't mean you were a champion golfer...just that you could afford to act like one.
To the clubhouse they went.
Two peas in a pod.
Justin's phone dinged and he smiled looking down.
"Your wife got your text?" Bobby asked?
"Yes. She's excited for me."
"Wow...that's pretty awesome. "
"Yeah...she's the shit that wife of mine."
His phone rang and Bobby could hear Justin's wife squealing with delight at her husband's hole-in-one. He watched as Justin's grin got even bigger and how happy he seemed.
"Yeah honey...it was awesome. Everything went my way for some reason. Hole after hole it just seemed right ya know?"
Bobby took a swig of his beer as he listened to Justin's half of the conversation.
"I'm at the clubhouse having a beer with one of the guys I met. He was a single too and they put us with a father and son. Pretty cool guys." he smiled. "Yeah...he's cool." Justin glanced down at Bobby's left hand. "I don't know...hold on..."
"Hey...I forgot we're having a cookout today. You want to call your wife and see if yall have plans? We just live around the corner and Simone already has the grill going."
"I'm not married so I don't need to check in with anyone."
"You wanna come?" He held his hand over the phone like it was a home phone. Like he didn't want to bother his wife with the semantics of the conversation.
"Sure. Can she cook?"
"Can she cook? My wife is Creole. She's been making roux since she was three years old in a high chair with a wooden spoon."
"Then count me in! I heard Creole women can burn!"
"Alright honey...we'll be there in a few. Do you need me to stop and get anything? Okay. Lava, lava. See you in a few." He hung up.
"That's something we started saying when we were dating. We knew we really liked each other a lot but we weren't in love yet. One day she decided we needed a word for between like and love. It was hot and heavy by then so yeah...lava, lava started."
"Dude...that's so gay."
Justin laughed. "Yeah...I guess so but hey...she likes it."
And they headed to Justin's.
Bobby hadn't been in a relationship in a long time. Sure...he'd had plenty of sex buddies but nothing stuck ya know? He was just ambling about biding his time until THE ONE showed up and caught his attention. He was a handsome guy so he knew it would happen all in due time but...to be honest...he was tired of waiting. He was ready for his house to be a home. To have the same warm body next to him at night. To be in a love so deep that he didn't want anything else.
They pulled up to Justin's house. Justin pulled into his garage and Bobby parked behind his car in front of the garage. Justin walked out while putting his keys in his pocket and the front door flew open while a woman and two kids piled out squealing.
"Whooooooohooooooooooo! HOLE-IN-ONE! DADDY MADE A HOLE-IN-ONE!" And she threw herself into his arms as the kids attacked his legs seeming to not necessarily understand why they should be so happy but they were just the same.
"Bobby...this is my family." Justin said underneath the munchy kisses his wife was giving him.
Bobby took it all in. The pretty wife dressed simply but intentionally and the two adorable kids. He looked the wife from head-to-toe noting she had the biggest, most beautiful smile and that she and Justin seemed too goofy for words in love. The kids didn't even know he existed as he surveyed them and she, Simone, straightened up, walked over to him and hugged him.
And it was the most genuine human touch he'd had in a long, long time. As if he was someone more than the body he was in. As if she genuinely wanted to know him.
He felt she already cared about what happened to him.
It was a good feeling indeed.
For the rest of the evening he laughed and had the loveliest of times. Their home? Beautiful. Their energy? Amazing. The love he sensed? Palpable. He marveled at the way each guest seemed at home. Folks were taking off shoes, unbuttoning their jean buttons and lazing around on their floor as if they'd been there a million times before. He felt so welcomed into their circle and he found himself imagining this was his life. His house. His family. His friends.
He watched Simone.
He watched the kids.
He watched Justin.
And as he swirled the last sip of his wine in his glass he decided that he wanted this life for himself. He decided he deserved this life too.
He decided that he could have this life...
...if only Simone were out of the picture.
Because if she was...he could have Justin, the kids and this life...
...ALL TO HIMSELF.
He swallowed the last sip of wine, shared his thanks and left...promising to return soon and baaaaaaaaaaby...when he returned...he'd have his plan in place to get what should be his.
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