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Authors: Nancy Frederick

The Sportin' Life

BOOK: The Sportin' Life
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Also by Nancy Frederick


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Special Edition!


This edition contains a bonus—the first half of

s popular novel,
Touring the Afterlife.
  Hope you enjoy!






The Sportin


Nancy Frederick


Heart and Soul Press


Copyright 2011 Nancy Frederick



All rights reserved.  No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


This is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of this author

s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


Heart & Soul Press






The Sportin






Nancy Frederick



m gettin

tired of runnin


Think I will marry and settle down

This ole night life,

This old Sportin

Life, it

s killin


Sporting Life Blues








The Venus Flytrap


I met Kevin through an ad in the personals. At that time it was a risqué thing to do, not commonplace like it is today, and that was why I did it. After my husband left me, I wanted to get back at him and answering personal ads seemed like a good start as well as a way to return to single status quickly with lots of dates and perhaps a potential new mate. I was wrong on both counts

my husband couldn

t have cared less about my activities after our separation and everyone I met through the personals was some sort of emotional cripple or other, not marriage material.

I missed my old life and wished for it back. I had married and become a mother early, and staying home was enjoyable. Being a wife and mother suited me and more than that being free was wonderful. There were two things I never wanted to be

single and involved in the working world. Obviously I was so out of touch that it never occurred to me that it was my destiny to be both for a very long time. So I went about my life, post-separation as if it were a temporary state that could be eliminated by the addition of a new man, like someone trying to repair one of those drawings in children

s books captioned

s wrong with this picture?
I dated furiously for a year, sometimes going out with three or more guys in the same week. For the first time in my life, socializing consumed all my time and I was learning to develop a knack for it.

There were the endless dinners opposite a parade of men, each with his individual story, each looking for love somewhere in my eyes, each hoping that somehow he had found the woman at the end of the line. That dismal image seems funny now, because it probably wasn

t that way at all, except that it was, and no doubt the men I attracted then reflected my own weary view of long-term relationships that don

t work out and the empty space that surrounds you when one ends.

I dated as though it were a career rather than a pleasure, and that was the way it felt, but it was also exciting to be single and in demand, something I had never really experienced because of having married so young. I went out with a psychiatrist who was a mental case, who seemed unable to exhibit even rudimentary manners or marginal social skills. I listened to his ramblings and in no way expressed enthusiasm for him or his ideas. Later when he asked for another date, I was stunned. Even psychiatrists are bad listeners on dates, it seemed. And I dated a guy who couldn

t get along with anyone, including his family and myself. The only time we managed to call a truce was in bed, and that was worthwhile. Except everybody has to get out of bed eventually. And I dated a pediatrician who was so cheap he decided we should take the bus on New Year

s Eve. And I dated a former radio announcer from the Mid-West whose wife had become a lesbian. I slept with him once and saw the logic of her transition. And I dated a businessman who talked incessantly about his former wife, describing her as an orchid in the subway, someone who couldn

t live in
New York
and that was why they divorced. It wasn

t because he was a terrible kisser or a lousy lover, as far as I could tell, because he was wonderful at both. He just wasn

t interesting. It seemed that every single guy on the planet was a prime candidate for a full page listing in


s Who of American Assholes.

If I had been Eve, and in a sense I was at that time in my life, and any one of those guys had been Adam, the world would have been in deep trouble.

And then I met Kevin. We sat at our introductory lunch talking and it was as though we had known each other all our lives. There was easy, fluid conversation without a single awkward pause. I

ve learned since that that is the way it should always be, and if you

re just getting to know someone with whom the conversation is filled with those agonizingly endless stretches of silence in which you flounder desperately for a new topic, then it

s better to walk away right at the start, because it will never improve, but maybe you

ll get used to the lack of communication eventually. With Kevin there was never a second of awkwardness. We meshed like soulmates and that was what I thought we were.

He told me about his experiences with personal ad dates and I told him about mine, both of us laughing about the odd ducks we had encountered and sending each other the unspoken message that it would never happen like that between the two of us. By the second date, I had fallen totally in love. It was easy to fall in love with Kevin. After all, he was gorgeous, successful, well mannered, a good communicator, we seemed to share similar values and viewpoints, and when he touched me I melted in a quivering heap like someone under a hypnotic spell. It seemed like karma of the most exquisite kind.

There is nothing quite as mesmerizing as being involved in a love affair that feels all consuming. I sank down into the flood of love I felt for this man like someone drowning in a favorite brand of champagne. It was as though joy flowed through my veins instead of blood and that surge of joy that carried me along had made me too drunk ever to recover my sanity or the complacency with which I had lived before. I didn

t want to recover. I didn

t want anything more than to love Kevin, to be with Kevin, to please Kevin and make him happy forever. And that is what I would have done if he had wanted it. It wouldn

t have mattered if I never accomplished a thing or never had more meaning in my life beyond my love for Kevin and a life with him that would have meant more to me than any other possibility. Who knows, we might have been happy.

It was easy to fall deeper and deeper under his spell. After all, look at Kevin. Here is this man who is everything and has everything and most guys like that are too spoiled to bother putting any effort into romance. They expect women to fall for them based just on looks or money alone. And some women live up to those expectations, never demanding any more than to fulfill the man

s desires. Kevin was different. Often he seemed almost insecure, as if he never in the world expected a woman to fall in love with him based on his qualities alone, and I guess that was why he tried so hard.

I never had a man be so attentive. Kevin noticed everything and commented on it, as though I were a commodity and he the master of inventory. He noticed my hair and mentioned how he wanted me to wear it. He

d sit opposite me in a restaurant and take verbal stock of my charms while I sat bemused and enjoying the compliments.

Look at those little clips in your hair,


d say,

What are they, tortoise shell? I love the way your hair looks like that. You know they say that hair is a frame for the face, but your face is so perfect that it doesn

t need a frame.

Or if we were going to the park and I were wearing my sneakers with the laces printed with little hearts, he

d down and sigh over the laces that they were so cute,

Ah…just like Violet


And then he

d hug me and hug Violet too, like the perfect stepfather candidate.

Kevin seemed like the most loving, most in-love man I had ever known. He

d call me every day just to chat. He

d call my phone machine when I was out and leave little poems to surprise me. He

d clip ads from the paper as possible thing we might like to do together. And he

d reveal his very soul to me in the most intimate, open way. What a lot of romances he had had, and how amazing it seemed that they had all turned out so badly. That the women had turned on him so viciously. He could never figure it out and neither could I, except judging by my recent experiences as a new single, I assumed that there were a lot of whackos out there. He

d tell me about his family and the problems there. And he never tried to gloss anything over. His view of life was always harsher than mine, and so I tried to give him something akin to a spirit of understanding to replace the rage that often flowed under the surface of his emotions.

I can sit back now and recall all our conversation. And despite the fact that I am older and a lot wiser about Kevin and the ways of the world in general, the feelings that I felt that Kevin inspired in me come flooding back with an intensity that is overwhelming. I remember what we shared and no matter what the truth is, I still feel the love that flourished within me. It doesn

t matter that Kevin wasn

t in it for the long haul, that he was essentially a dishonest person with a supernatural need to receive love and to make women fall in love with him, me included. I think back on those moments we shared and although the memory is tarnished by hard reality, it still gleams brightly for me. Could it be that he never loved me at all? Could it be that I was just one of the many women he charmed and left heartbroken? He seemed to detest all the women from his past about whom he told me. Could he now detest me in a similar fashion? If so, what did I do to cause it? No, I don

t believe it. Kevin loved me, as much as he was able, and even if he loved all the others similarly, there had to be more involved than that he is a black hole into which women are sacrificed for his ego gratification. There must have been some truth to some of his comments, to some of his gestures, to the affection that he showed me. It couldn

t have been just a cruel joke. No.

BOOK: The Sportin' Life
4.43Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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