The stars shone in a clear night sky and the tree tops swayed in the breeze. Around the fire sat his friends, laughing and drinking. Two large speakers on the porch filled the back yard with music.
“Old man take a look at my life I’m a lot like you.”
Doug sang gently, “I need someone to love me the whole day through.”
The red and yellow fire light danced. Julie, his wife, had her back to him and sat on a blanket with a group of women who were busy talking.
Doug couldn’t stop looking at Angie. A light sheen of sweat made her olive skin shine, lustrous red hair rolled in waves down to her shoulders. The beauty of her enchanted his eyes and not for the first time. She looked at him and smiled.
“Just one look in my eyes and you can tell that’s true,” he sang.
Angie strolled over and sat next to him, took a toke from a joint and blew the smoke in his mouth. He breathed it in. She leant over him and whispered in his ear, “You’ve been looking at me and I like it,” she said, “I want you.” She opened her legs and discretely lifted her skirt, Angie had nothing on underneath, then she got up and walked off.
Heart pounding in his chest he looked around to see if anyone was looking at him. No one, Julie was still engrossed with her friends. Doug forced himself to wait a minute, the tightness of his jeans made him swoon. He followed Angie into the house.
She was waiting in the kitchen, when she saw him she walked down the hallway and into a bedroom, he followed her. She pulled down his jeans, he lifted her up and she wrapped her legs around him. They banged hard against the door and the wall shuddered. Lost in the moment she “Ah, ah’d” loud and he groaned and “Oh, oh’d.” Doug didn’t care about the noise, didn’t care about anything anymore, it was over so quickly. They both sank to the floor breathing heavy like they’d run the hundred meters in ten seconds.
The following day Gilbert and Jean, two long time friends, dropped in to visit Doug and Julie. Sitting around a glass coffee table, enjoying peculated coffee and French pastries, Gilbert said, “I’ve got a funny story to tell you. Well it isn’t funny for poor Bernie, you remember Bernie don’t you.”
“From the university.”
“Yes, well he came into my office last Wednesday, told me he had herpes. You should have seen the look on his face.”
“Oh no, poor bugger,” said Doug as they all laughed.
“Who from?” asked Julie.
“Oh you’re going to just love this,” said Jean, “From our beautiful red haired Angie.”
“No! Your kidding me. My god half the men we know will have it,” said Julie.
“And their wives,” said Gilbert and everyone laughed, Doug most of all.
Doug lay in bed, eyes wide open, starring into the dark of the ceiling. Gilbert’s words echoed in his scull, “Our beautiful red haired Angie. Our beautiful red haired Angie.” He wanted to jump out of bed and scream, “Fuck, fuck, fuck, you dumb fuck,” but he just lay there.
Julie rolled over and put her arm on his chest, “Are you alright,” she said, “I know what you need.” She kissed him and stroked his chest.
He wanted her, his mind filled with visions of sex and all of them contained lesions and scabs.
“Ah,” he yelled as he jumped out of bed, “Ah God I’ve got such a pain in my stomach.”
“Darling are you alright,” she said turning on the bedside lamp.
“I’m going to take some painkillers,” he said hunched over and holding his stomach, “It’s OK, I’m OK. You stay there I’ll be back soon.”
Outside his window the lights of the fun park and moonlight on the ocean had lost their magic. He went into his office, did a search and read up about the facts of herpes. The bathroom light wasn’t good enough for a thorough inspection so he got a torch. Standing on the bathroom tiles, shining a torch on his crotch, he noticed a pimple and scratched it, the area around his scrota was itchy, his genitals felt dry.
“She must have known” he thought, “That bitch Angie must have known.”
The following day he took time of work and went to his doctor who took a swab and a blood sample.
“The swab results will take a week.”
“A week,” he said, “A week. You expect me to walk around for a week not knowing.”
“Herpes isn’t that bad,” said the doctor.
You idiot - thought Doug - You overeducated son of a duck idiot. He went to the pub, when he got home he was drunk. Julie was angry, the next few days were one long argument. When she tried to make up with him, he feigned illness but after a few days he just pushed her away.
“You’re screwing someone behind my back,” she finally yelled at him.
The results of the swab were positive, he had herpes.
“How could this have happened,” he thought. It was like a dream as the door moved towards him and he reached out to open it.
“Mr Quad. Mr Quad.”
He stared at the receptionist.
“Tell your wife her results are in,” she said.
“Results for what?”
“I’m sorry Mr. Quad I can’t tell you, highly inappropriate, you understand. She will have to see the doctor.”
That night he told her everything. Angie, the test results, everything. Well, almost everything.
“Was it the first time?” she asked.
With tears in her eyes she threw him out.
With a bottle in his hand he wandered the street crying. He stopped in front of an apartment building. In the dark and drizzling rain it looked familiar. The name Angie came into his head, Angie, that’s right this was Angie’s place. Rage entered his clouded mind, he drank the last of the bottle and holding it by the neck smashed it against the brick wall. The bottom shattered leaving shards of razor glass sticking out from the remnant of the bottle in Doug’s hand.
He banged on her door.
“Who is it?”
When Angie opened the door and saw him she wasn’t sure what was happening.
“Doug. You look awful.”
He slammed the door shut, grabbed her throat and pushed her against a wall.
“You gave me herpes,” he said as he put the razor shards to her face, “And you knew you had it.”
“Doug please, I don’t have herpes.”
“Bernie got it from you,” he said, “And after I had sex with you I got it you bitch.”
“Bernie is a lying prick and a sleazy rat. I don’t know why I let him fuck me. He tries to get into everyone’s pants, he didn’t get it from me.”
“I got it from you,” he said and pushed the broken bottle closer to her face, she started to bleed.
“My test results are over there, over there,” she screamed, “On the bench. I got them two days ago. I don’t have herpes.”
Doug shook his head, he couldn’t understand what he was hearing, it didn’t make sense. He found the test result -- Negative.
The front door burst open and several police stormed in guns pointing at Doug.
“Put the weapon down and face the wall.”
“What the...” The first taser hit him in the chest and dropped him to the ground, the second one stripped the muscles off his bones. A policeman sat on him and repeatedly shoved a taser into his back, Doug flapped like a fish until he lost consciousness.
The cold concrete floor woke him and he struggled to get to the bars. The cells were in an open yard at the back of the police station, cool fresh air was waking him up. A policeman stepped out of a door followed by Julie.
“Ten minutes,” said the policeman.
She stopped in front of the bars. “I’ve got something to show you,” she said. Julie pulled out a piece of paper and unfolded it, she held it up near the bars.
Mr. Doug Quad
Blood test: Herpes—————Negative.
“You don’t have herpes,” said Julie, “The doctor said the swab tests have a small percentage of error, that’s why they take the blood to confirm the results, it’s more reliable.”
The police wanted to charge him with vagrancy, loitering, trespassing, break and enter, aggravated assault and attempted murder but considering the circumstances and the fact that Angie didn’t want to press charges they let him go. On the way home he sat quietly beside Julie in the car.
Looking out of the apartment window the lights of the fun park seemed to be laughing at him. When she came to stand beside him he put his arm around her.
“Isn’t the moon romantic,” she said.
“The nurse at the doctors surgery said you had a test. She told me to tell you to pick up the results. What did it say?” he asked.
“Negative,” she said.
“You’re not the only one who thinks Angie is sexie,” she said, “Maybe we should invite her over one night.”
“Fine with me,” said Doug, “Just don’t invite Bernie.”
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