Death by Romance
"A fast-moving, thrilling story!"
by a.j. Lombardi Copyright © 2019 All rights reserved
My name is Bob, and I always lived an ordinary life. I married my high school sweetheart, have two children, a great job, and good friends. "Life has a way of changing very quickly when you least expect it." A wrong decision, a flirtatious smile, or maybe a wrong split-second choice can alter your life forever as it did mine! The story you are about to read will have an ending you will least expect. "It did for me, and unfortunately, I cannot go back and change things…
A few years back, when I first started playing golf, I was invited to play in a charity tournament. The golf tournament was going to be held at a very prestigious private country club and also include cocktails and dinner. Being new to the golf game, I sort of felt a little intimidated in that I would more than likely be teamed up with members who played golf regularly. "I guess that having only played a few times, I would look like a fool playing with seasoned golfers. Besides, I did not want to make my host look bad.
The day before the tournament, I went to the local driving range and hit about five hundred golf balls. "Unfortunately, it did me no good except to reinforce my fears that I would look like a fool when I went to tee up at the charity tournament! The best I could hope for would be rain. Later that week, I received a phone call from my host informing me of the time and location to meet him. Saturday rolled around before you know it, and I loaded my golf bag and headed off to the charity event. On my drive to the country club, I could hear the stern warning voice of my cousin Jim informing me that the golf course I would be playing at was considered to be one of the best in the state. He also reminded me to make sure I wore a collared shirt and hit the ball straight and not make a fool out of myself. These words only made me feel worse in that topping the ball was the only thing I knew how to do perfectly! What made matters worse was my recall of the over jubilant weatherman repeating over and over again, "Great news, folks! Today is going to be a perfect day for the golf course or beach"! When I arrived at the main entrance of the grand golf course that ran along the ocean's edge, I was amazed to see so many luxury cars in the lot. Even though my vehicle was relatively new, it was the only one that was probably being paid for by the month.
Pulling up to a parking space, I was immediately greeted by two overzealous workers from the club who pulled up beside me in a golf cart. They retrieved my golf bag from the trunk of my car and then ushered me into the clubhouse to where my host was. It made me feel important to be treated with that kind of service I have never experienced at the forty-dollar eighteen holes / free hotdog course I had previously played at. Looking back, I wondered if the dollar tip I gave them was enough! The golf course was spectacular, and the club-house reminded me of something out of an old nineteen-twenty movie when grandeur was taken very seriously. Beautiful chandeliers, deep rich carpets, and hand-carved moldings were an integral part of this beautiful clubhouse. For a moment, I thought I would rather just spend the day relaxing in one of the overstuffed chairs that faced the ninth hole, including an ocean view. The main area of the clubhouse also had a beautiful bar laced with granite and mahogany finish. The bartenders and stewards were dressed just as waiters and waitresses did back in the nineteen twenties. For a moment, I felt intoxicated to think how great it must be to be a part of this country club and crowd. Looking over at the group of upscale members and their wives drinking, laughing, and getting along like lifelong friends, I felt like an outsider. For a few times, I tried blending in with the crowd, but deep down, I just did not feel like I fit in with this crowd and knew in my heart that I did not belong here. Strangely enough, I somehow had the feeling that the group also knew that I was an outsider.
After about an hour or so, it was announced that it was time to tee up. My worst fears came true when the team I was on was called to the first tee to start the tournament—one of my teammates was an elderly aunt of my host who got up to tee first. With overriding confidence, she drove a ball about two hundred yards straight as an arrow. Upon seeing the great ball, she just played, the gleeful crowd gave a roaring cheer. I was then forced by my host to tee next. The group became silent and then let out low tone oohs as I topped the ball that went about sixty yards to the left. The rest of the day went pretty much the same. The worst part was that for the rest of the day, I had to endure being called "Pee-Wee Herman" by the elderly aunt of my host. She also had a very irritating way of speaking out of the side of her wrinkled face when she mocked me every time I teed up!
About four o'clock, the game was finally over, and we all headed to the clubhouse for cocktails and dinner. The first thing I did was hurry towards the bar and quickly gulp down a stiff drink to help soften the public humiliation I had endured that day. The evening event started with various speakers talking about the day's game and passing out awards for "best score, longest ball, hole in one and worst score." It was my final performance to continue my public humiliation in front of a crowd of snobs who clapped and cheered loudly when I went up to receive my award. As I was handed the humiliating award, my host's elderly aunt yelled out, "That a boy Peewee" to which the crowd cheered and laughed in roaring unity. After receiving the award, I sheepishly walked through the crowd, who continued to clamp while some gave me congratulations slaps on the back. There was this one guy about four and a half feet tall who kept mockingly yelling, "way to go, pee-wee." I think it made him feel good that there was someone else rather than him who would be getting the butt of jokes that day.
I finally made my way to the back of the crowd and stood towards a huge plant, trying not to be noticed. At the same time, I tried pretending to enjoy myself. I kept on thinking, "what am I doing here? I would rather be home with my wife and family. I don't belong here" While sipping on my second drink and pretending to listen to the speaker, I noticed a rather beautiful girl staring in my direction. Every once in a while, she would nod her head as if she knew me. After a few moments, she walked over to where I was standing and introduced herself as Kate. We had some small talk. I couldn't figure if she were being flirtatious or just polite. In the back of my mind, I was kind of flattered but at the same time thought of my wife and family back home anxiously waited for me to come home and fill them in on the day's events. While we were talking, a little girl about seven or eight years old came up to me and asked me if I was Pee-wee Herman. She had a very anxious and expectant look in her eyes that turned sour when I answered, "I am not, but you can call me Pee-wee." She then sternly folded her arms, kicked me in the shins, and stomped away. "Ok, time for another drink!
After about an hour or so, Kate offered to buy me a drink, which I foolishly agreed to. In my mind, I knew I should have declined but just could not resist the attention of this beautiful girl. Soon after, I came to my senses when I received a text from my wife reminding me to pick up the hot fudge sundaes I promised to buy on the way home. I then informed Kate that it was time for me to leave and that I had to say goodbye to my host. Before I started to walk away, she placed her arm in mine and asked me if I could walk her over to her locker to pick something up. It was kind of awkward for me in that her flirtatious way had just taken on a new direction. "It took me by surprise. Although it felt kind of nice that this beautiful girl was so forward, I knew I had a wife and family back home". I also knew that I had to hold my composure and not be taken away in this moment. I tried to think of it as just a friendly gesture and nothing more. As we walked over towards the locker area, I also thought that maybe people of this upper class were just over-friendly like this all the time with each other. Arriving at locker number 07889jj, she asked me to hold her drink while searching for something in her handbag. She let the handbag rest on her slightly lifted and bent knee and began to search for something. Every once in a while, she would blow a puff of air to keep her light brown hair from falling to her eyes. After a few moments, she then reached into the bag with both hands. I heard the sound of sliding metal and a click as she then pulled out a black thirty-two caliber Barretta handgun and fired two shots. I could feel the intense heat on the left side of my temple and hammering pain as I fell to the floor, dropping both glasses from my hands. The room began to spin as I lay on the floor. In the background, I could hear the crowd's muffled sounds from the main room talking and laughing, unaware of what just transpired. While lying on the floor with my head up against the locker, I could hear in the distance the voice of the elderly aunt of my host mocking, "Look at Pee-wee he can't even hold a drink" As I slowly drifted into eternity, I kept on thinking "I don't belong here, this can't be happening I have to leave! "My wife and family are waiting for me"!