The Sporty Wife

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
After marriage, Mabel wasn't satisfied with her husband Jeff. She gave him a hard time, she challenged him to prove himself which he did, and later, things turned out positive.

Submitted: June 11, 2017

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Submitted: June 11, 2017

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After five days of marriage, Mabel told her husband Jeff, ''I think I can't go on anymore."
''But it's only gone five days since we were at the church. Have you found some one new?'' He looked at her straight to her face.
''Don't be stupid,'' She told him. ''I just don't think that you are cut out to be a married person.''
'How can you say that? What am I lacking?''
''You're lacking quite a lot. first, you''re not a gentleman. Secondly, you snore. I hate snorers. You have to go.''
''Why did you consented in the first place?'' He asked.
''Because there was no one else around at that time.''
'' So you've made a complete fool of Me?''
''Do you see it like that?'' She told him. ''If you come down to the gym at seven this evening, wearing sports kit and boxing gloves, then you'll see.''
''This is crazy,'' he said. ''Boxing gloves!? But I can't...''
''Be there sharp at seven,'' she told him, and left him there, not believing what was happening.
Jeff got onto the phone and called his best friend and told him what had taken place. The friend told him that he must do what his wife said, and that she really intended to make him look like a fool.
''But boxing gloves?'' Jeff told his friend, '' why go in that direction?''
The friend said, '' Maybe she was training secretly and want to try out and see how good she is.''
''I am no boxer, and I''m not going to step into no ring with my wife.''
''See! you are backing out already; and that's the one thing you don't want to do. She''s testing you in some sort of strange way. She's making you think that you're not the right husband for her.''
''I'll play her game, if that's what she wants.''
'' Maybe it's not a game either. But there's still something that don't make any sense.'' His friend told him.
''What's that?''
''Have you been to bed with her?''
''Of course, I have. Where would I sleep?''
''See, you fool. I mean were you intimate with her?''
''No.''
''Why not?''
''She won''t let me.''
''Now I see. Did you try to?''
''No. Not at all!''
Listen, after tonight, when this boxing farce has ended, approach her like a husband should.''
''Ok! I will.''

That evening at 19.00hrs, Mabel turned up at the gym wearing blue and white boxing shorts, and a red vest. She had a nice figure, every one stared. She had a couple of her women friends with her. There were two blokes prancing around in the boxing ring. They were asked to vacate it for a few minutes. One of the trainers already knew what was going to take place, and got himself ready to be the referee. Mabel and Jeff both climbed under the rope and came to the middle of the ring where the trainer was. He had words with both of them. When he was finished  with talking, the whistle blowed and they were allowed to box. As both of them came out into the middle, Mabel let fly her right that caught Jeff on the right sise of his face, and he went crashing to the floor. He was counted out immediately, and it was all over.

Mabel went down on her knees and kissing the face of Jeff, saying, ''Sorry, love. I didn't know I had it in me to throw such a punch.''
Jeff came to, with a grin on  his face. ''Where am I?'' he asked.
His friend said, standing outside the ring, against the ropes, ''in the community gym. You've just been floored by your own wife. Luckily, there weren't many people in to see it.''
Jeff was helped back on his feet. He staggered a bit, but later, was ok. Mabel still beside him, he asked, ''What now?''
She said, ''On Sunday, down at the track at 14.00hrs.''
''Why?''
''I am challenging you to the 1500 meters.''
''You're joking!'' he told her.
She said, ''No, I'm not. If you want to stay with me you had better start training so that you can beat me.''
''Who, for God's sake has put all these crazy ideas in your head?''
''No one! It is all from my own self. And don't think that after the 1500 meters that it is finished. No, it's not. I am challenging you further.''
''When will all this stop then?'' he asked.
''After I have beaten you in five clear events.''
''Oh! I see! So I have to really prepare myself withut knowing what the events are.''
''I will tell you of the next event when the one before finishes,'' She told him.
''This is like going through hell,'' he told her.''Surely, yo have to be the devil's advocate.""
''I'm just me, that's all, and I don't see what he has to do with this. I'm just teaching my hbby a lesson.''
''You could have done it in a nice way: and how do I know what you said about my snoring is true?''
''I can make a recording of it if I have to.''
''I can't remember snoring. I'd like to hear it.''

That evening, Mabel placed a recorder just under the bed on her husband's side. The following morning, sure enough, snoring was heard.
''Ok1 he said, '' I give in. You have solid proof and there's nothing that I can do. But I beg you, give me a little break.''
''I'm not going to ease up on you. I want to see how you pull through, then I'll decide what to do.''
''Really?''
''Yes, and if I'm not pleased, then that's it.''
''Just like that?''
''Yes, just like that.''
''But we've only been married for five days and already you have knocked me out in the gym, and tomorrow I have to try my hardest and win.''
''Life is hard isn't it?'' She told him. ''And you, being a man, shouldn't find it hard at all.''
Oh! so we are now into this man business? Do you feel yourself wanting to be in a man's role?''
''You're now really joking,'' she told him'. ''Me, wanting to be a man. Get real will you! I am a real woman as you can see.''
'' Not the way you're talking.''
''How do you mean?'' She asked.
''And the way you're bossing me around. Demanding this, and ordering that! Sounds as if you're not really satisfied.''
''I am satisfied, I am a woman. But look at you. You call yourself a man? Take a good look at yourself.""

"" What's wrong with me? Why did you marry me then?''
''I was crazy at the time. Not really thinking. That's what happens to some of the young girls, they take on anyone.''
''I have a lot to offer,'' Jeff told his wife. ''There are years yet ahead of me.''
Mabel gave a sly laugh, ''What have you got to offer? Absolutely nothing. It's getting late, we have to be at the track.''

There were many people lined up at the track wanting to see this race. This wasn't a race as we would see in competitive games. This was a race between a man and his wife. We rarely get to see such a race. They both lined up to do the 3.75 laps. The man looked terribly pale. His friend was there talking to him. The women were shouting vehemently for his wife. The starter clapped his hands and they both started off. The woman was just a little bit in front after the first lap. The man was breathing heavily trying to get some fresh air in his lungs. He fell over. He started crawling. His friend kept urging him on. His wife hit the tape, looking back to see her poor hubby crawling like a cr  ab to get to the finishing line. he finally made it and even got many claps from some of the women.

Back at home, Mabel said to Jeff, ''Now we have to swim.''
He said, ''You're not planning to take me across the channel, are  you?''
''No,'' she said, ''just one lap of the swimming pool, 25 meters. I just want to do this in our local pool.''
''My God. I can't swim. You'll have to forget about that one..''
''I saw you swim one time, so don't try to get out of this one.''
''You call that swimming! A little child can put me to shame. people at the pool will laugh at me.''
''It's your own fault for bringing this upon yuourself. I couldn't do anything else but to challenge you.''
''You could have given me a hug and a kiss,'' Jeff told her.
''I've already  kissed you while you were lying on the floor in the boxing ring. You're not going to get any more from me until you prove yoursel.''
''What man and woman is married,'' he told her, ''and don't have hugs and kisses?''
''We two,'' she said. ''If the man is worth it, the fine.''

They met at the pool with their griends and the competition started. Jeff was lagging behind for a few meters, but then he swam like mad, and pip  his wife just at the touch. ''Well done, my friend, ''his friend congratulated him. ''That's one up for us.'' The other women at the pool looked at him very strangely. ''There's  no competition here beytween men and women,'' they told the friend of Jeff. ''It's only between Jeff and Mabel.
''Sorry,'' Jeff's friend said to the women, ''I just got carried away.''

At the home of Jeff and Mabel, she said to Jeff. ''You did well. I congratulate you. But don't push your luck, for there's still two more events to go.''
''What next?'' He asked.
''The six kilometers cross country; and I've added an extra event for later.''
''If I make one kilometer, I'm lucky,'' he said. ''At the end you can put me straight into my coffin.''
''Oh! Come on! it's not all that harfd. If we were doing some sort of road race, that would have been different.''
''Thank God,'' he said, ''you haven't thought of such a stupid thng.''
''It was in my mind, it was at the front, but I turned it away. It would have been much too hard for you.''
''And what about you, yourself,'' he said, ''do you think that you would have been able to go that far? I know you got it in you, but this is something you have to be extremely fit for.''
She said, ''I'm not in that category. I'm just teaching my husband a lesson. Women have it in them to do quite a liot of things that men do.''
''Sometimes you talk as if you're a feminist,'' he told her.
''You know in yourself that I'm not like that. I stand up for both. But I believe strongly that some women can do jobs that men do, and even better. Does that make me a feminist because I said that?''
''Ok1'' he said. ''What's going to happen betwen us when all this sporty stuff of yours is over? Can we get down to some lovey dovey?''
''Lovey dovey, '' she said, ''with you? you got to be joking.''
''It's about time we make love.''
''There're  different types of love, and different ways of making love. Some men just think of whipping it out, and putting it in, and then that's it;b ut ther're the ones who don't know anything about romantic love.''
''Am I not romantic enough for you?'' He looked at her waiting for her reply.
''Romantic! for God's sake grow up,'' she told him. ''You were late at the church; you forgot the flowers; and you expect me to take that as being romantic?''

The day came for the six kilometers run. There were quite a few spectators on this Sunday morning. Jeff's friend was there, and telling him what to do. mabel and Jeff were off, up the hill, and across the bridge over the autobahn, and down through the woods, before they came to a clearing. Mabel was well ahead. Jeff was coughing up, and breathing heavily. his friend was there giving more advice. At the half-way stage, Mabel was no where to be seen. Jeff crawled up to a tree, made himself comfortable and told his friend that he had had it. ''I can''t go any further, ''he said. ''There's no steam in me. I''ve had it.''
''No.'' His friend told him. ''You can make the last stage, just take it easy. When you have finished it, you'd be proud of yourself. Come on, off you go.''
Jeff staggered unto his feet, gave the tree a push, and began to walk, and then into a trot, along the dirt track.

Mabel made it and got a great welcom from friends and bystanders. About an hour later, Jeff turned up, struggling with the last few meters. He too, got appause from those standing there. Mabel and Jeff hugged each other, with a big kiss.

Back in the flat where they live, Jeff said,''I was about to give in  with only one kilometer left. I found the strength and courage, and I plodded on.''
Mabel said: ''I must say, you really did well. Some men would not have made it at all, unless they were geared up for it. I congratulate you. I will give you a treat--I will massage you tonight.''
''That's great!'' Jeff said, ''I'm looking forward for that.''
''But don't ask too much, eh!''
''Ok! Ok! I get the message.''
That night, Jeff go a well deserved massage, and he got extra as well.
Days later, Jeff was passing through the town. He suddenly stopped and went into the postcard shop, and got himself a weekly lotto ticket. When he got back home, he said nothing to his wife about it. At the weekend, on the Saturday night, they were watching tv. As soon as the Saturday night film had ended, Jeff brought out his ticket and placed it on the coffee table. His wife saw it. She said, ''Some chance you've got with that! you could have given me the money and I could have bought some body oil with it.
"''This, I tell you girl,'' he told her, touching the ticket with a big grin, ''is the winning ticket. I just hope that I'm the only one, with no one else to share with.''
''You'll be lucky, '' she told him, ''there are millions and millions of people who are buying tickets as well. For just you alone to win, that would be something.''
''What would you do if it did happen?''
''I won't do anything because you just won't win.''
''Ok! Have it your way, then,'' he warned her.

When the late film had finished running, it was time for the lotto. The balls were placed in the wheel, and it started spinning. The first number came out, it was number 2.
''Well!'' Mabel asked.
''Shh! Don't interfere now.''
The next number came out, it was 3. Then the next, it was 5.
''The numbers are low ton ight, '' Jeff said, ticking numbers on his ticket. The next number out was 12, followed by number 25; and then number 6. The extra number was 4.
'' Whayt rubbish numbers tonight, '' Jeff shouted.
''Waste of money.''
"I told you so, but you just won't listen.''
''Ah! well, another time!''

Jeff had no work at this time, he had been on the dole for the past three months. Mabel wasn't at all pleased, and she would nag him about it. Jeff had gone out with his friend to see if they could find a job. With no success, they ended up at the snooker club. Jeff was just about to play his game when he heard the news from the tv that there was only one winner who would receive sixty million pounds. He kept himself cool, he knew that he was that winner. The night he had checked his ticket, he knew he had all six numbers; but he said not a word to his wife Mabel. While his friend was playing his game, jeff started looking for his ticket and could not find it. His friend looked at him and rrealised that something was wrong. ''Are you ok, Jeff, '' the friend asked. ''Your face became sort of strange, a frightened look.''
Jeff amnaged to control himself, and speaking slowly, he said, ''Just thinking over something.''

Jeff remembered now that he had changed trousers before he left the house. He was now praying deeply that Mabel didn't go round looking for wash. He told his friend quickly, ''You have to drive me home quick.''  The friend placed his cue on the table amongst the balls,and both of them set out for Jeff's house. When they got there, Mabel was away, probably shopping, or visiting friends. Jeff got out the car, told his friend that he won't be a minute, and rushed up the few stairs. He came to their flat, he  was sweating, very nervous, his heart paining him. He was really upset. He opened the door to the flat, walked briskly through, found the clothes cubboard. When he looked through the clothing, his trousers were not there. In the kitchen, the washing machine was busy turning round and round. Jeff knew he was too late. He was hopin g that the wife had gone through the pockets before she placed the trousers in the wash. He rushed back to the door, opened it, locked it as he went out, rushed down the stairs and went out to his friend's car. His friend asked again,''Are you sure that you're ok?''

Jeff said that everything was ok. He gave his friend directions to the super markt. Speedily, they drove away, and in a few minutes they were at the super markt. He got there just in tiime to see his wife checking out at the cash desk. He ran in shouting, ''Mabel, Mabel.'' All eyes were on him while he was at the cash desk. Mabel, his wife, was surprised to see him. ''What's wrong this time?'' She asked, dipping into her purse to find loose change to give to the cashier. When she had paid, they walked out the super markt. Jeff helped Mabel with some of the stuff she bought. He said to her, ''You ahve placed my trousers in the wash that I had on Saturday night!''
''Of course, do you want to join it as well?''
''No time for your jokes now, Mabel.''
''What? You're going to tell me that something important was in that trousers. Well, whatever was in your pocket, I threw in the small thrash can under the table beside the washing machine.''
''Come on, ''he said to her. ''My friend will give you a lift home.''
As they came to the friend''scar, he said, ''hello, Mabel, been shooping, I see.''
Mabel stepped into the car and said, ''Yes, some bits and pieces.'' 
The car raced away, and soon was outside where Jeff and Mable live. They all walked up the few steps and came to the flaat. Jeff opened the door and let Mabel in first, followed by his friend, then he went in last. He then rushed to the small thrash bin, took it up, and started lokking through it. IT wasn't long before he came to the crumpled ticket. Mabel saw it. She said, ''Oh! that! worthless.'' His friend saw it too, and said, ''So that's what you were worried about. Have you won anything?''
Mabel left Jeff and went and set the kettle on to make some tea.
''I'll need these numbers for the system I'm doing.''
His friend said, ''I'm glad you found it. I thought you had won the way you were behaving.''

Jeff still hadn't told anyone that he was the only winner. They all sat down at the kitchen table, and started sipping tea and biting on biscuits. Jeff's friend said, ''I could never understand how some people waste their money on this lottery lark. I mean, week after week, month after month, year after year, and they don't win a single penny. It's all a waste of time. Sorry, Jeff, no hard feelings there.''
Mabel said, ''They could send all that money to me. I'll know what to do with it.''
jeff said, ''You have try your luck sometime. You never know when it will come your way.''
Mabel turned to Jeff's friend, ''I've already told him to give me the money. I'll put it to good use.''

After an hour or so, Jeff and his friend left Mabel and went out.. His friend went to his car and drove away. Jeff went around to the corner shop to fetch some things that he knew Mabel needed. Jeff entered the flat and Mabel said, ''You're back quick? I thought you had gone down to the snooker club.''
''No,'' he said, ''just went for a quick walk after my friend had left, and picked up these,'' showing her the frozen bag of chips.
She said to him, ''That's good of you. Sit down and I'll make you a cuppa.''
Jeff asked her straight away what the next challenge was.
''Well, she said, ''the next challenge is cricket. We'll do this at the local Cricket Ground.''
Jeff said, ''I know that you're from a cricket family, but I've never seen you holding a bat or bowling or anything like that. I'm glad you picked that one. I'm fairly good, and should be able to win this one.
I know you're good at this sport but don't count me out yet. I could get along pretty well. I watched a lot of cricket, and I see what the batsmen do.''
Jeff asked, ''When is this going to take place?''
''On Sunday, ''Mabel said. ''When people have the chance to come and have a look.''

Jeff and Mabel sat down at the kitchen table and chatted on some more.

On Sunday, everything for the cricket was arranged. The competituion was to be of five overs each--30 balls. Mabel would bat first, and Jeff would bowl to her. The one with the most runs would be the winner. If Jeff could bowl Mabel out in the first over, that would be great. It was a sunny day and quite a number of people turned out. There were sandwiches and cakes laid out. Fresh drinks and tea as well. Mabel came out with her pads on,  dressed in white, gloves on hands, and a helmet on her head with a wire face guard.

Mabel knew that she stood a great chance against Jeff. He would not be able to bowl at a speed of 140 kmp. She knew that if she kept her eyes glued upon the ball, she would be able, with ease, to send it to the boundary line.

Cricket is a ball and bat game. It is done between two teams each with eleven players. The pitch is 22 yards long with a wicket at both ends. Three wooden stumps with two small wooden bails on top, make up the wicket. There are two umpires, one at the bowlers end to make sure that the bowler doesn't cross the crease that is marked out by the wicket area. The other umpire is at the other end to do the same job as the other one, and to check when the batsmen are running that their bats have crossed the line. They aslo give decisions when runouts are called for. This is when the batsmen are running (going from one wicket to the other), and the ball is thrown back to the wicket keeper before the batsmen reaches the crease. The umpire then is in a position to decide if the bat was over the crease before the wicketkeeper or anyone else hits the stumps with the ball. To make runs, the bowler from one side has to bowl to the batsman from the other team.

The fielding team sets men in position around the batsman--some near and some far away--with the intention of catching the ball, when the batsman hits it. The batsman has to make sure that when the bowler bowls a ball to him, that he hits it in a way theat the fielders would find it hard to catch. Normally, he would hit it hard along the ground, or high over the head of a fielder. When ten batsmen has been in and out, then that is called an innings. Sometimes there's an agreed number of overs. In International and World Cricket there are two batsmen on the pitch with 11 fielders around.

The competition between Jeff and Mabel would have only one wicket--the one Mabel would be defending, but there would still be the usual 11 fielders around. When Mabel hits the ball, she has to run down to the other wicket, if she runs back as well, then that is counted as two runs. If she walks back, then it is only one run. The other wicket only has one stump from where the bowler bowls his ball.

There are quite a lot of shots or strokes that batsmen make. There's the cut, square cut, square drive, cover drive, off drive, straight drive, on drive, the pull, the hook, leg glance and late cut. There are many more shots that some batsmen make.

Jeff had the ball, it was a new one. It was hard and solid. It is made from twine wound around a cork core, inside a red leather shell. It has rows of stiching which makes the seam of the ball.
The game started, Jeff bowled his first ball to his wife Mabel. She kept her eyes on the ball and made a beautiful stroke, sending the ball speedily back past her husband which he couldn't stop, and down to the fielder behind him. Mabel took two runs for that. Jeff came in again with his second ball--it was a bouncer. Mabel was no fool, she had seen many times, at cricket matches, what the batsmen did with such balls.She got herself in a position, like a dancer, keeping her eyes on the ball, and with her bat, she glided the ball high into the air, and over the heads of the fielders, for six. Jeff wasn't pleased at all. His third ball, Mabel sent flying through the slips for four, leaving both slip catchers sprawled out upon the ground. The fourth ball Jeff bowled, mabel saw it clearly, made a body movement and gave the ball a hard hit on the offside, sending it to the boundary. Another four was scored. When the fifth ball came from Jeff, Mabel made a beautiful stroke, with her bat in front her pads, sending the ball down the pitch back to Jeff. The last ball of the first over was bowled, it was a high ball going straight for the stumps. Mabel moved away, and with a cracking shot, sent it to the boundary line for four.

When the second over started, Mabel was at the bottom end, while Jeff bowled from the pavillion end. THe first ball of the second over was bowled, Mabel tried to put it through the slips, and was almost caught, but the fielder dropped it. Mabel smiled, Jeff was angry. The second ball of the second over came fast and low. mabel had to dig this one out or else it would have hit her stumps. The third ball from Jeff of the second over was hit by Mabel with a shot she had seen many times by some of the great batsmen. This was a shot which gave her four runs. Jeff came in with a slow ball, Mabel saw this, picked it up neatly with her bat,and sent it to the boundary for four. Mabel was really doing well. She surprised a number of people. They knew that she was crazy about cricket. They knew she had seen many of the International games such as England and India; England and Pkistan; England and Bangladesh; England and Sri Lanka; England and New Zealand; England and Sout Africa; and many more. They had not seen her with a bat in her hand or even practising. She was a real genius, and she even surprised her husband Jeff. The fifth ball of the second over was played by Mabel back down the pitch to Jeff. The sixth ball of the second over, Mabel put very quickly on the leg side for four. Mabel had to change wickets for the third over. Her score so far was 32 runs. That wasn't bad at all for a woman. The third over turne dout to be a maiden over--no runs was scored by Mabel. Again, mabel change dwickets for the fourth over. She got one run from the first ball of that over. The second ball of the fourth over saw Mabel leaving her crease, moving a little down the pitch, and gave the ball a hard hit, sending it over the head of Jeff and the fielder that was behind him, she got a four for that .Jeff came in with the third ball of the fourth over, really fast. Mabel again, cool as ever, picked it out with her bat, and sent it to the boundary--another four.

The fourth ball of the fourth over was very slow, with an offspin. Mabel, eyes on the ball, played it carefully and got two runs from it. The fifth ball of the fourth over, no runs. But with the sixth ball of the fourth over, Mabel played a spectacular shot that had all the spectators clapping and praising her. She picked the ball out as it came in to her, and really gave it a whack sending it well away from the fielders reach, and to the boundary. Jeff himself, gave a little clap. She got four runs added to her score. Now the fifth over was about to start> Mabel got herself ready, and as the first ball came to her, she took one run from it. The second ball of the fifth over, she placed it through the slips. It was stopped immediately, and she got no runs from that one. The third ball of the fifth over she played for two runs. Then when the fourth ball came to her, she hammered it away and got three runs. She's lashing out now to see if she could pick up more runs, and she did, by hitting the fifth ball for four, followed by the sixth and last ball of her match, aslo for four. That brought her total runs to 65. They all wen t in to have drinks and sandwiches before the start of the next five overs when Jeff would be batting. On the way in, Jeff patted Mabel on the shoulder to say, ''well done.''

When they all ahd their refreshments, Jeff padded up himself and was ready to bat. They all went out to the pitch. The fielders for Mabel were not the same that Jeef had. The umpires made sure that everything was ready, and the game started. Mabel started her over with offspin bowling. As the ball comes in to Jeff, Mabel hoped that he would hurry his shot, miss the ball, and look back to find it had hit his middle stump. She had the ball between her middle fingers, took a few strides, and delivered it. Jeff did exactly as she had hoped he would. The ball was playing tricks on him, he missed it, and it went behind just over the middle stump, and into the gloves of the wicket keeper. Mabel's second ball was delivered, and again, Jeff was in trouble, slashing at a ball that wasn't there, but was heading for the leg stum. It missed it.

Mabel's third ball of the over came out of her right hand with a twist of the first and second fingers. Jeff made a move, hesitated, made a shot, only to find that the ball, this time, had hit its mark, and it was all over for Jeff. Mabel had really shown her superiority in this crficket match between herself and Jeff, her husband. The stumps were pulled up and all headed back to the pavillion.

As they came in, there were lots of clapping and patting on the shoulders and on the back. Even though Jeff lost, he was still made to feel as if he was the winner. He told Mabel that he was proud of her, and that he would see if he could get her into the England team. There were other people there who felt the same way; but they knew such a move was not yet possible. Mabel thanked Jeff and said: ''You know that there's no woman in that team, and I don't know when they'll allow a woman to take part.''
Jeff said, ''Your batting and bowling were superb.''
''Thank you, my hub,'' she said, ''but there's still the last event to come.''
''Have you any idea what it is? Jeff asked.
''When we get back home, I'll tell you, she told him him.

In the cricket club they chatted with friends and other club members, and then they left fo home. Safely back at home, Jeff and Mabel sat down and started chatting over all that had taken place. While they were having tea, Mabel said to Jeff, ''You have done well, that I'm beginning to take a fancyh to you.''
Jeff said, ''I should think so. I'm your husband.''
''Yes, but in the beginning, my mind was turning away from you. I'm now seeing a different Jeff.''
''I could only do my best to make you happy. You're very important to me. And I've taken on all your challenges without moaning. I hope this last one is not so tough. What's it all about?''
''Oh! its not that bad, it's Ten Pin Bowling.''
''What? Ten Pin Bowling? I have never done that in my life.''
''Now's the time to start learning. I know your friend is good at it. Maybe he can teach you, and who knows?  You could turn out to be a winner.''
Mabel! You're something,really. You're really sporty. All this sport keeps you fit and shapely.''
''And I don't overeat either. I just eat what is daily required.''
''That's another thing. After this last event, I'm going to take it easy, just relax; and work myself to be a gentleman.''
''That will be the day,'' Mabel told him. ''I'll wait to see that day.''

Jeff had already rung the Lotto headquarters with the phone number on the back of the ticket. He got a call back, and had received details of what was going to take place. When he knew the date they were coming to his house, he made sure that Mabel won't be there. He wanted to give her a big total surprise later on, and he hoped that her heart would be strong enough from the shock she would receive on hearing how much they had won.
One day when Mabel was out the house for a long time, the people from the Lotto headquarters came. Jeff got all the advice he needed. The money would be put away safely in a bank specially for lottery winners; and no one would know about it. Jeff didn't want any publicity, like photos in the newspaper and stating how much he had won. Everything was now completed. There was no doubt about it, Jeff knew he was the winner of sixty million pounds and through the advisers and the bank people, everything was sorted out perfectly. All he had to do now was to find a way to tell Mabel about it. Inside himself, he wanted to burst out with joy and delight. He wanted to fling himself up into the air, and fly. But he kept cool all this time. When he give the news to his wife, then he will burst out with laughter and joy.

Down at the snooker club, Jeff and his friend played a few frames, then they went down to the Ten Pin Bowling place which was not so far away. Jeff had already told his friend about this last event--the ten pin bowling contest. The friend knew about the game and was not a bad player himself. He had said to Jeff, outside the snooker club, ''We'll go down to the ten pin bowling place and I'll teach you the basics. Mabel has done quite a lot of ten pin bowling, and she'll not be easy to beat. Anyway, the game is very enjoyable, and you get lots of fun from it.''
''That's fine,'' Jeff said. ''I'm looking forward to my first lesson.''
Jeff and his friend left the car park at the snooker  club's parking lot, and walked five minutes down to the Ten Pin bowling building. This one had four lanes., but there was a bigger one about a twenty minutes drive away.

Inside the building, the rolling of balls and the clapping of hands, and the shouting of ''yes'' was heard often. On the left hand side of Jeff and his friend, as they went in, was a long rack stacked with shoes and balls. There was a lane free, and that was the lane Jeff would get his lessons on. They changed into bowling shoes, tested the bowling balls to find suitable ones. Jeff and his friend took the balls and placed them in the ball return holder. The friend then started teaching Jeff the movements of the feet, and the swing of the ball without having a ball. Jeff was told all the things that a new bowler should know. He also saw the pin-setter, the pin-sweeper, how the ball came back to the bowler by an undercover way. Jeff was told the length of the bowling lane--18.29 m. And how wide it was--1.05 m. He was shown the bowling arrows to help guide the bowler. he knew all about the starting board and the foul line.
Jeff's friend told him that the maximum score was 300. He was told that a strike was when all the pins were knocked down, and this gave a score of 10. Jeff knew quite a lot now; He knew about angles, strength and speed, standing position, the approach and release. He knew about how to hold the ball; he knew about the holes in the ball and the fingers that go into them. Jeff was told that a bowling ball should weigh about ten percent of the body's weight--up to 16 pounds. Jeff practised many times at aiming and delivering the ball. A few times it went down in the gutter. He was getting really good at walking the approach, and feeling comfortable with the ball. He learn not to grip the ball too tight. He was told about hook shots, straight shots, curves and spin. He had to straighten his wrist of his bowling hand, and must not bend it. The hand must be held staright when he swing the ball out and back. he must turn the wrist, hand and fingers on the bowling arm towards the opposite side of the body when the ball comes forward. Let the ball go near to his ankle, with his hand in a position for shaking hands, after the ball is gone. His thumb should be pointing up, and his palm facing the inside of the lane. He must keep his hand straight through the backswing and releasing the ball. let the bowling arm go out and back. When the ball comes to the fore, then you let it go. Jeff's friend told him that a spare was when he failed to hit all the ten pins down, some pins are left standing--this is called a spare. If you get all your spares in the game, it is called a ''clean sheet.''

A Dutch 200 is when strikes and spares are repeated for the whole game, and this gives a score of 200. Jeff got more instructions about the game of bowling in ten pins. He remembered that he must not step over the foul lin e, for he would not get a score. he was informed that there are 10 frames in one game. A player has two goes to get all the ten pins in each frame. When the tenth frame is being played, you get a bonus ball, if you take the spare or make two strikes. Jeff knew that if he failed to take the spare, then it is an open frame. A Par is when you take all your spares; you get a good score of about 180 to 190. Jeff heard that a ''sleeper'' was when you leave a spare with one pin behind the other, the pin behind is called the ''sleeper.'''A split was when you left a spare with two or more pins still standing--with a gap between the. A Turkey was three strikes in a row. A Washout was a sort of split when the headpin was still standing when the ball hooks by it. A Wicked frame was when you got a strike in your first game.

Jeff was now ready with all the instructions he had received from his friend, and the frames they had played, he was in the mood to take on his wife, Mabel. He had heard her talk, in the few days they had been married, about some of the games she had played. His friend had done a great job teaching him all about ten pin bowling. He siad to his friend, ''You've done a great thing in teaching me about ten pin bowling. I enjoyed it. Lots of fun and it relaxes me, but one has to be fit as well to sling that ball.''
''Yeah! I know what you mean,'' his friend told him. ''I myself have lots of fun when playing. Even if I lose, I still feel great.

The following Thursday evening at 20.00 pm, Jeff and mabel were ready to start this ten pin bowling contest. Both of them were in good moods. News had gone around about the event and many people came to watch. Jeff got his ball, stood in a position he had been shown by his friend, made his steps, swung his right hand back, and released the ball on the forward movement. The ball left his hand and was on the right side of the lane, as if it was going into the gutter, suddenly, the ball swerved to the left, hitting the leading pin, and knocking down all the other pins. Jeff got his ''wicked frame'', and lots of applauses. Mabel took her ball, lined herself up, and smoothly sent it straight down the middle hitting the leading pin and all the others with it, this was a strike. She too, got lots of applauses, and a young girl shouted out, ''Strike, let's have some more.''

It was jeff's turn, he took a new ball, found that his fingers were very tight within. He said and did nothing about it. He took his stand, made his steps and with a big swing backwards, he let go on the forward movement. His fingers didn't come away loose from the ball: instead, Jeff was dragged away down the lane and heading for the leading pin. It was a sight to see. Some spectators burst out laughing for they had rarely seen such a sight.

Others were stunned with both hands over their mouths, and eyes glaring at what had taken place. Jeff's friend rushed down the gutter, making sure he did not damage the bowling lane. Jeff was alraedy through on the platform where the pins were collected. The pin-sweeper had already come down to sweep the fallen pins away, then operations on the lane was shut down. jeff wasn't hurt and he came back with a big smile on his face. Maabel had been watching Jeff when he had taken the ball, and made his steps and his swing. She felt straight away, at that time, that something was wrong, but she couldn't do anything, for Jeff had already made his move forward with the ball. When he got back to where all the others were gathered, Mabel asked him if he had any pain. He said no, he was feelingok and able to carry on. But there was a sort of smile on Mabel's face which told Jeff that she found it funny. The lane came back in operation, and the game between Jeff and Mabel carried on.

Mabel got hersel a Turkey--three strikes in a row, then she failed to pick up a few spares, but she was still ahead by a few points. Jeff's bowling improved and he learned a lesson not to use a ball that's too tight for the fingers, or too loose.

The game ended up with Mabel being the winner. Lots of cheers and congrats from the crowd. jeff knew from this moment on he'll never forget the incident of him going down the lane with the ball still attached to his hand. he smiled to himself, and shook his head. Jeff's friend drove them home where they had a drink or two, more chats, then the friend left.

The following day, Friday, Jeff got one of mabel's old frocks and toock it to the dressmaker so that she could take measurements and m ake a beautiful evening gown  for Mabel to wear. Jeff didn't let his wife know what he was up to.
Saturday night as both of them were in, watching tv and waiting for the lotto numbers, Mabel said, ''Stop waisting your money, Jeff, they'll not come your way. It's always those who are already rich who gets more in their pockets. You and I will just have to accept the poor life that's been given to us. Look at yourself, can't find a decent job, and hurting yourself every weekend with the lotto rubbish.''
''You're not going to call it rubbish when it falls my way.My friend and I, we keep on looking to see if there's anything going on, but nothing at all.''
Oh!,'' Mabel said, ''I don't really put all the blame on you. It's the way things are at the moment. At least we have something coming in from my job at the drugstore.''
''We've seen quite a lot of fellas milling around, can't find a decent job as well. I hate being on the dole, you know that. Depending on those buggars and the way they look at you every week.''
''At least we got something to eat, and a place to sleep, thank the heavenly powers for that.''
''Yeah! thank them,'' Jeff agreed with Mabel. The lotto prgramme came on, the numbers came out, but Jeff picked up not one of them. ''You will never learn,'' Mabel told Jeff. ''I'll place a money pot so you can drop the money into it.''
''Alright! Alright! I get the message.''

Jeff had already booked a place for two at the Ritz Hotel, one of the best places around. He already had his smoking suit there and ready. He was now planning when he should break the news to Mabel. how would she react? What would she say? But what can one say when their husband has won the sum of sixty million English pounds? Jeff decided that this night was the night to break the news to her. ''Would you like a tea, Mabel?''
''Yes, ta,'' she answered, eyes fixed on the tv. ''Not too much sugar, please.''
''I know how you like it,'' Jeff told her. ''Just as always.''
Jeff came back from the kitchen with two cups of tea, he placed them on the coffe table. One in front of Mabel, and the other in front of himself. ''Would you like to turn the tv off, mabel?''
''Why? I want to watch that episode I've been following.''
''You can ask your friends what happened when you see them.''
''What's so important that I have to turn the tv off. I can watch and still listen to what you have to say, '' Mabel told him straight out.
Jeff got up, went over and switched the tv off. Mabel was furious. ''That's it, she said.

''You're back in my bad books.''
''Not when you hear what I'm going to tell you.''
''Let's hear it then, ''Mabel said, ''and it had better be good!''
She gave Jeff a long staring look, waiting to hear what he had to say.
''Brace yourself Mabel, and don't collapse, but we have won sixty million English pounds.''
''Is that all you had to say? I knew you come up with something like that.''
''It's true. I'm not lying to you. You can have all that you wanted to have from now on.''
''Jeff,'' Mabel said, ''if you had won so much money, you would not have been sitting here so cool. You've made all this up.''
''No, Mabel.'' Jeff got up and started dancing around. Then he started waving both hands in the air, just above his shoulders. Then he burst into a song, ''I'm going to Paris, taking my love one with me.''
Mabel sat there looking up at him making a fool of himself,  she thought.
Ok! Jeff,'' Mabel said, ''have you got papers to prove what you told me?''
''Yes, my love, I have.'' He slowly placed his right hand in his jacket pocket on the left side, and came out with some papers. Mabel looked on eagerly. Jeff laid the bank statement on the coffee table in front of Mabel. When she looked down at the paper, she saw the figures 60, then she saw million, and after that, pounds. Mabel jumped up from her seat, giving the coffee table a push, and went over to where Jeff was, still in a hilarious mood. She placed her left arm around his waist, and they started moving together slowly around the room. There were tears flowing down her cheeks with happiness. ''How did you manage to keep so nonchalant, making me think that what you said was untrue? I have now seen it with my own eyes. Jeff, We're millionaires! We're stinking rich! I see that everything is well arranged.'' She held him tightly, and they both at the same time laughed out loudly. ''I've already booked us in the Ritz,'' Jeff said to Mabel. ''And I have a present for you to wear.. He went and fetched the box with the evening gown that came while Mabel was out. He gave it to her. She opened it and could not believe her eyes. It was lovely. She gave him a big kiss and thanked him. ''Later on,'' Jeff said, ''you can go house hunting.''
''That's great, '' she said, ''I'll be looking forward to that. Both you and I looking for a lovely home to settle down in. Our luck has really changed, Jeff. Who would have thought that you and I would become millionaires?''
''Well, it has happened,'' Jeff answered, '' and we should make the best of it. Luck has fallen our way, and we need now to be wise, and make sure we do the right things, and make good decisions.''
Mabel said, ''At least no one knows that we're so rich except the lottery people and the bank. What about your friend? Are yo going to tell him?''
''Yes, I'll tell him next time I see him. I will give him some money as well. he has been a very good friend to us.''
''Tha's ok,'' Mabel said. ''I will give some to a children's orphanage.''
''Rightly so,'' Jeff told Mabel. ''We can do some little good to help others who are in great need of help.''
''What a great traet, Jeff, booking us into the Ritz. Do you know that it is a real famous hotel with all royalty going there. International famous people. And me, Mabel, mixing amongst them. I have to look my best on the night.
''I don''t think that any one can match you in this gown I bought for you. It's an eye-catcher. It will knock them out.

At the Sunday afternoon snooker club, Jeff and his friend were waiting for a table to play on. His friend said: ''And how did go last night with your lotto?
''It was a washout. Not even one number came up for me. How would you like to be a millionaire? Jeff asked his friend.
"Me! A millionaire? How is that possible? I don't do the lottery or anything like that.''
''From today, you're a millionaire. I have won some money and I give you a million pounds.''

''Really, Jeff?''
''Really! you''re now a millionaire.''
''Thanks a million,'' the friend told Jeff, and both of them burst out laughing, which made some of the other snooker players to look at them. Jeff told his friend how he had delivered the news to Mabel, and how she had taken it. How he had booked Mabel and himself into the Ritz, and later, they would be off house hunting. The friend said, ''Jeff, I'm so pleased for both Mabel and yourself. it is starnge how life works out in the long run. Mabel wasn't really pleased with you in the beginning. Now she's beginning to see all the positive side of you coming out. You took on her challenges and even though you lost, you didn't give in like some others would have done. proud of you, my friend.''
''Whata re you going to do with your money when you get it.''
The friend answered, ''I might find myself a nice woman, take a trip here and there, you know what I mean? I'll still stay where I am, It's a nice area, peaceful, no trouble there.''

Back at the flat, Mabel had knocked up a special Sunday meal with candle light. When Jeff had come through the door and walked in, he saw the table laid out. ''You're a real romantic one, aren't you, wifey?''
Mabel came and gave Jeff a kiss. She asked if he had told his friend. Jeff told her that he had told his friend and made him a millionaire.
'What!'' Mabel was half shocked, then she calmed down and said, ''Ah1 well, its all for a good cause, but I would have given about fifty thousand pounds. I'm complaining. It's ok. He's a first class friend. They don't come like him, often.''
Jeff said, ''If it was some one else, they would not have gotten a penny from me. Not that I'm stingy or anything like that. But a good friend is really a good friend.''
''You''re right, Jeff, he's the best. Sit down and tuck in.''
Jeff and Mabel sat down and ate their Sunday meal. They became millionaires overnight, just from a chance jeff took. Two weeks later, Jeff and Mabel were driven to the Ritz--mabel in her fantastic gown, and Jeff in his smoking suit. They were shown to their table. Next to them were some royalty from another country.
Mabel really enjoyed that evening at the Ritz and she told Jeff so. She knew that Jeff was on his way to becoming a gentleman, and she regretted what she had told him in the beginning. Later, Jeff and herself went travelling and when they came back, they bought a lovely home and settled down.

The End.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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