This is a story about a mother, Abby Ordman and her daughter, Barb. Abby is 43 and Barb is 20. Both women have trim bodies and brunette hair that is wavy and falls just past the shoulders. Barb’s breasts are slightly larger than her mom’s, but both are well proportioned. The two looked shockingly alike, more like sisters despite the age difference. Barb has been away to college and has just finished her sophomore year. The college is local, though, about 30 miles on the other side of the city. Barb had been struggling in her classwork the initial semester, partly due to the long drive each way, parking hassles at a largely commuter college, and the newness of college classes versus high school. She finally accepted her mom’s suggestion to give dormitory life a try to eliminate some of the distraction and tension. A major addition to tension for both Abby and Barb was Barb’s father who shortly after Barb moved out, divorced her mom.
After receiving the divorce papers, Abby hired an attorney who uncovered an affair by her husband. The attorney also uncovered several financial accounts that had been clumsily separated and hidden. Her husband’s affair, it seemed, had been going on for several years. He had already made several major purchases with and for this other woman and they planned to marry as soon as the divorce was settled. These discoveries would put a major wrinkle in his plans.
Abby’s attorney was successful in not only locating several financial accounts and detailing the illicit affair, but found medical records of the woman to indicate she was pregnant by the husband. The divorce took much of a year, though the husband assumed Abby would be clueless and he would be gone with a large portion of his wealth. That turned around quickly. Abby not only took the house clear of mortgage, but also his two most prized vehicles, an SUV and sedan. The house sat on an acre of private land in a “nice” part of the city suburbs. The house was 3,000 square feet, much too big for only her, with a pool, and three-car garage. She also “made off”, as she thought of it, with 75% of his wealth. She hired a wealth manager and didn’t have to worry about working or Barb’s college, again.
Abby felt betrayed, abandoned, and alone after the divorce, though. She was frequently depressed by the betrayal and at a loss when she tried to think about the future.
“I can’t believe the sized of this house, Barb.” Barb and Ty met near the beginning of Barb’s sophomore year and this was the first time she had brought him to her mom’s home. “I swear, I think this place could fit almost two of my folks’ houses.”
Barb dropped her box, still wondering where her mom was. “Yeah, well, my dad was an asshole, but an asshole who was really good with money.”
From above them, they heard, “Well, that was before he decided to divorce me. Not that I hold any ill-will against him.” Almost lost with a much-softened voice, “I hope that slut he married walks out on him.”
Abby had joined them in the foyer. Barb was shaking her head at Abby’s last comment. “Oh, come now, girl. Saying that is much better than hoping he rots in hell.”
“Mother!” Changing the subject, “You remember, Ty?”
“Of course, I remember Ty.” She gave him a hug, then her daughter. “I had to drive up to campus and take you two out to dinner to meet him, but … hey, I’m just mom.” Barb raised her arm as if to swat at her and Abby put up her hands in self-defense. “Take a joke, honey.” She looked at Ty and asked, “How much more is there?”
Ty rolled his eyes, “Women … seriously, I have no idea how this much stuff came out of that dorm room.” Barb looked like she was going to hit Ty, now. Ty and Abby laughed but Barb picked up her box and huffed as she took the stairs. Ty shrugged and followed.
Abby watched the two of them and smiled. Barb was such a sweet girl and she hated that one of the first things coming out of her mouth was her divorce. Somehow, she needed to get past that. Ty, short for Tyrel, is a very handsome black man a year older than her daughter. After knowing each other for less than a year, Abby had the feeling Ty was very good for her daughter. At least, that was what she saw in her daughter’s eyes when she was around him.
She promised herself right then, she would find a way to be better. She would find a way to change her life in a way that would be amazing for herself and her daughter. Barb deserved so much more from her. She would find the way to give it to her, to be the support and encouragement she deserved.
After several weeks being home, Barb’s concern for her mom hadn’t eased. She found her listless and unfocussed. She remembered the woman, the mother who was so active in her life without being overbearing or controlling. She always had room to move and discover, largely because of the relationship they shared; her mom had that kind of trust in her. Barb missed that woman. She wanted desperately to have that woman back in her life. But she also realized that her mom needed to be that woman again for her own good, so she could move on and find the measure of happiness and contentment and fulfillment she deserved.
Barb finally dragged Abby out for an evening with her and Ty. She didn’t give her an alternative, insisting that she needed to get out and enjoy herself for at least a few hours. Ty met them at one of their favorite bars where they could talk if they wanted or dance to the DJ music provided. They sat in a booth with Abby sitting on one side. Abby’s impressions of Ty were in reinforced watching the two of them. The young couple quickly fell into an easy, comfortable banter about friends, school, and the summer. Ty was staying on campus during the summer as he had part-time positions at the Student Union and tutoring in Economics.
The two had danced a number of times until Barb convinced Ty to ask Abby. With some reluctance, Abby accepted the offer. It had been years, a lot of years, since she had danced last, but Ty promised to pick slower songs for her. Shyly, she accepted. The first dance was an early classic rock song she remembered but couldn’t name.
Abby confided her awkwardness of dancing with her daughter’s boyfriend. He responded, “Mrs. O, Barb is just worried about you. She thinks you need to have some fun.”
Abby looked into the young man’s face. He was a full six inches taller and trim, but strongly built. He was very comfortable and confident in his action and she understood why her daughter liked him. “Well, first … don’t call me ‘Mrs.’ anything. As you can guess, my marriage didn’t end well and I don’t want reminders.” He apologized. “Just … call me by my name. It feels weird. I mean I’m an older woman and mother and I am not in some crisis where I am trying to relate to my daughter’s boyfriend in desperation.” She fell quiet for some minutes. The song changed but the music remained slow. “Maybe I do need to find something in my life to give me joy and pleasure … something to allow me to move forward with something.” She looked into his eyes. She had more to drink already than she had in a while because she refused to drink at home by herself. She liked this man … she liked him a lot … and she was happy for her daughter. But did she really want another relationship with strings and commitments and expectations of the future? She seriously wondered about that.
Abby giggled and glanced at her daughter as she moved to the cupboard for a mug. “I haven’t … I sleep naked now.” She watched the surprised … shock? … look Barb returned to her. “I thought I should have something on for when you got up.”
Barb sat down kitty-corner at the table. “You’re teasing me.”
Abby laughed. “Partly, yeah. I do sleep naked, now. I started when you father left. Don’t ask me why. But, no, I don’t walk around the house that way.” She looked at Barb who was also in an old tee-shirt. “Is that Ty’s?”
Barb looked down at herself and nodded. “But … I guess like mother, like daughter.” She smiled. Abby shook her head. “It looked like you were having fun last night.” Abby confessed she did. “That’s what I mean, mom.” They talked about the night before and Abby confessed the nice things Ty had said to her. Barb corrected her. “Those weren’t just ‘nice things’ that he said. You didn’t notice the other guys watching you. You are a very attractive woman, mom. You should have some fun.” Abby laughed. Being honest to herself, she had to confess she didn’t know how to begin. As if reading her mother, Barb pushed, “Seriously, mom, when was the last time you were fucked?”
Abby responded with shock. First off, ‘fucked’ had never been in her vocabulary. Secondly, this was her daughter. She was telling her mother what she needed was just a good … fucking? She didn’t know if she should show anger or … what?
“Honey, I can’t even imagine getting into another relationship with commitments that might lead to … that. I can’t deal with that, at least not now and maybe not ever, again.”
Barb took her mother’s hand and got her attention, “Then don’t. Just have fun with it. Mom … sex can be just sex. Sex can be more, yes, but it can also just be people having fun. Sex is fun. Sex is exciting. Sex is intimate. But it doesn’t have to be bigger than that. It doesn’t have to be a big-deal with all kinds of strings attached.”
Abby was the mother but she was the shy, nervous one in the direction this was going. But she pushed herself on. She told herself she wanted to make a change and here her daughter was trying to help her. Abby’s response was tentative, not at all sure she should continue this train of thought. “You’re talking about a sex friend?”
Barb giggled, “Well, we call them fuck-buddies.”
Abby just looked at her daughter. She had been sure since late high school that she had been sexually active and she knew she was protected. She knew sex wasn’t the answer for everything that bothered her, but she also knew it was a great tension reliever. “Why does it sound like you are very familiar with the concept of a ‘fuck-buddy’?”
Barb laughed. “Ty and I are really tight, mom. I mean, he might be the guy, but we’re not rushing into anything for a while. And, yes, there are times that for us when sex is more than just sex. We also just enjoy sex, though. And, yes, sometimes that is with friends. We have fun partying, and that sometimes leads to multiple partner sex.” Abby just looked at her daughter. Who was this woman so casual and comfortable with sex and partners? But Barb hadn’t forgotten an unanswered question. “Mom, you never answered me … how long has it been since you’ve been fucked?”
Abby sighed and directed her eyes to her empty mug instead of her daughter. “A long time. Four or five years.”
“Four or five … that’s longer than …”
“Yes, daughter, longer than we’ve been divorced. I was so stupid … so trusting. You know, I might be madder at myself than your father. How could I have been so stupid? I thought it was all work and being tired and us getting older. It happens to married people, right? They drift apart and lose the fire?”
Barb stood and encircled her mom in her arms, again. At the same time, she resolved to do something about it.