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Writer’s Note: This is Part 1 of 2 of a long mother-son story. This story is a work of fiction. If you have an aversion to slutty mom stories, cheating, or incest, even in fiction, you likely won’t enjoy this story.
This has the same premise of the original story, but the plot varies in an effort to tell a more complete story.
Originally Published: May 2018
Republished: June 2021
In a small American city, located in a valley of mossy oaks and rocky rivers, a miracle occurred inside a bustling roadside diner. For the first time, Shannon Ward served a table without making a single mistake. No missing menus, no forgetting to mention the specials, no splashing ice into the water cups… Perfection. And she rightfully did a little dance as she walked back to the kitchen.
The adjustment from her last job to this one was tough, mainly from a pride perspective. Waiting tables at Skyline Diner just didn’t have the same gravity as being a pharmaceutical assistant at the drugstore. But after the local economy sputtered and small businesses shuttered their windows, Shannon was considered lucky for simply finding work at all.
Looking around the bright and lively diner, with the clanging of forks, the sipping on coffee, and folk songs sounding through the jukebox, she could have certainly done worse.
“Table Seven is still waiting on their meatloaf.”
Shannon turned to see Jenny, a younger and more experienced waitress, standing next to her at the kitchen counter. “Yeah, the meatloaf,” she repeated to the line cook.
Just like that, Shannon’s positive attitude faded. Here she was at thirty-seven years old, with over twenty years of pharmaceutical experience, serving scrambled eggs to old people and high teenagers at nine o’ clock at night. Jenny was a college student. Steady paychecks, regular hours, benefits… None of those were urgent needs for her. Jenny was a skinny, upbeat ray of sunshine with beautiful black skin and a quick smile. I could be like that, too, if I didn’t have a husband out of work and a son going off to college soon, Shannon thought.
That wasn’t to say Shannon resented or disliked her young coworker. Quite the opposite. Jenny had been showing her the ropes ever since she was hired last month.
“Wait, I have the corner section tonight again, right?”
“Hmm?” Jenny turned with a loaded tray. “Yeah, yeah! Tables Ten through Fourteen.”
And to top it all off, Jenny had even helped Shannon get scheduled for the coveted night shift — where, on some nights, Shannon went home with as much money as she did from a day of sorting pills.
“Hey, guys! Has everyone decided what they wanted?” Shannon had her pen and notebook ready.
“Yes,” the father at the table answered, pointing at his toddlers. “He’ll have the chicken tenders kid’s meal. And he’ll have the same.”
Then, as his daughter cutely lisped her way through her order, one of the toddlers smacked a cup of ice water off the table.
“HAHHH!” Shannon gasped and froze. The icy water went right through her jeans and down her legs.
“We’re so sorry!” Their horrified mother lunged across the booth to offer Shannon a napkin, which she accepted.
“It’s okay. You’re fine,” Shannon smiled, dabbing her black jeans. “This happens to me all the time.”
No, it didn’t. “Shit!” she muttered under her breath as she walked back to the kitchen counter.
“Oh my god…” Jenny gawked. “What happened?”
“Ugh! Now I have to go all night looking like I peed my pants.” Shannon tried in vain to pat herself dry.
“I’m so sorry, Shan.” Jenny stifled her laughter the best she could. “I think I have some extra pants in my car, if you want?”
“Are they black?”
“Yeah, they follow code. They’re my backups! Give me a sec. I’ll go to my car after I help Lisa prep for the late-night rush.”
“A Sunday night rush? Again?” Shannon remarked. “Since when is this place so popular on weeknights? I swear, nobody mentioned it when I started. Now it’s a thing.” Slowly, her young coworker rolled her eyes, and Shannon asked, “What?”
“That’s because weeknight rushes weren’t a thing… until about a week after you started working the late shift. Funny… It’s mostly guys, too.” Jenny winked and walked off.
What? Shannon was left standing by the counter. No. That’s not…
Shannon Ward was an attractive woman, and she knew it. Along with a mean tomato sauce recipe, her Italian grandmother had passed on biological gifts as well. She was the reason why Shannon and her mother had olive skin, luscious brown hair, rectangular faces, and large breasts. While some of the gifts may have skipped a generation, Shannon’s brown eyes, flat nose, plump lips, curving eyebrows, and supple neck made her a dead ringer for her “Nonna.”
All that aside, Jenny’s opinion was sweet but ridiculous. Shannon’s long hair was in a less appealing bun. Her grapefruit-sized tits were hidden under a black apron. And olive skin clashed with her periwinkle work polo. Actually, everything clashed with the periwinkle uniforms osmaniye escort — the red booths, the checkered floors, the gold lamps. What a dumb color choice, Shannon thought. Anyway, the point being, she never had quite that power of men, even when she was dressing flatteringly.
After Jenny came back from her car, Shannon went into the ladies’ room to change in a stall. The relief of stepping out of the damp, black denim was heavenly. She then shook out Jenny’s backup pants.
Fortunately, Jenny was about her height at five-foot-six. The concern was her figure. Jenny was beautiful… in a legs-like-twigs kind of way. Shannon was fit, but she also had curved hips and legs. Her traditional Nonna used to point at her and tell her that men would soon be “killing each other” for her to have their babies. Considering Shannon was pregnant by eighteen and married by nineteen, perhaps her grandma had been onto something.
“Well…” she sighed at the black yoga pants “…Beggars can’t be choosers.”
Her first stop out of the stall was the body mirror in the restroom. The result was comical. The petite yoga pants were stretched to the limit. The back seam had been swallowed by the valley in her butt crack. Her cheeks were like two vacuum-sealed semi-spheres in the stretched sleek cotton.
“Hahaha! It was worth a try,” Shannon giggled.
“Shannon! Where are you?” A voice boomed from outside. “Table Two needs water. Table Four is waiting on the check. The rush is coming soon. Let’s get these orders out!”
Fuck. Shannon scrubbed her hands and dashed out of the restroom.
The warning of the rush came true. As the night progressed, the restaurant grew more crowded. The staff hauled ass to keep up with the demand. At the first opportunity, Shannon thanked Jenny for helping her. With a flick of her eyes, Jenny responded by imitating a man and saying, “Damn, girl!” Shannon scoffed and walked away with a pitcher of water.
At the front of the restaurant, Shannon greeted the next table of customers. The group consisted of men of various ages and appearances. She guided them to a large corner booth and passed them their menus. Right as she began her spiel about the dinner specials, she was interrupted.
“Let me guess… You’re Shannon, and you’ll be our waitress for this evening?”
“Yeah,” she shrugged and grinned at the man. “You got that exactly right. So, I’ll tell you about our specials today.” But as she told them about the clam chowder and Greek salad, she sensed that their attention was elsewhere.
Later on, after serving them their entrees, Shannon returned to check up on the group and ask them how the food was. They all seemed happy to see her, as they complimented the food and talked with her about the diner.
“So,” a middle-aged white man leaned in, “do they make you wear those pants as part of your uniform?”
Instantly, Shannon went red. Her mouth went dry and she had no idea what to say. “No, uh… No, there was an accident. I normally don’t wear these.”
A youthful black man coolly chimed in, “They should definitely make those pants part of your uniform.”
The whole table snickered at the ringleader’s joke, while Shannon gulped and wanted to die. As she put her head down and turned away, she heard the distinct sound of a phone camera. She spun around to see the lens aimed at her.
It was so shocking, she questioned if it had actually happened. The married waitress could only stare and blink at the man who had just taken a picture of her ass. He looked guilty and afraid, and it only made her feel even more violated and humiliated. Her mind swirled with fiery responses. But the last thing she could afford was to cause a scene and risk getting fired. So, she stomped back to the counter and distractedly continued to work.
As soon as the men left the restaurant, Shannon returned to their table to find a measly, eight percent tip. She wanted to punch something.
Charlie was up much later than he should have been. Especially for someone who had to catch a bus to school in less than six hours. But if Alexis Thornton was going to stay up late into the night to text, then he was, too.
High school was difficult. Senior year was more fun and less stressful, but it still caused emotional angst. Awful, painful, exciting, hormonal angst. Scrolling through his text chain with Alexis, Charlie was convinced he had an easier time understanding the literary analysis questions on his college admission test.
Did Alexis want to bang him, or not? She was up at almost two in the morning. She was sending a lot of laughing and smirking emojis in her messages. She let him joke about how nice her boobs were. Yet, anytime Charlie suggested they get together and repeat the “awesome” night they had at a house party a few weeks ago, Alexis was evasive.
He typed out his next message, but then startled at the sound of the side door opening.
“JESUS!” Shannon clutched her heart and hunched over. She turned the lights on. “Haha! What the hell? What are you doing up?”
“Just texting osmaniye escort bayan friends about swimming in the lake tomorrow. How was work? You look exhausted.” Charlie tucked his erection into under the waistband of his basketball shorts.
“I am. Thank you for noticing.” Shannon slunk into the house and kicked her shoes off of her weary feet. Her jeans were finally dry, so she nudged her son’s legs from the couch and sat down. She wanted to chide him about staying up so late on a school night, but she was too thankful to have someone to vent to.
“First, some kid spilled water all over me so it looked like I peed myself. Then, some creepy losers harassed me. And then, my manager kept pushing me to work faster because he still won’t hire enough people for all the late customers we’re getting now…” Shannon ranted for over five minutes, expunging the day from her system.
Charlie waited and then shook his moppy, brown head. “Wow… First the Windex fiasco, and now this.”
“Haha!” Shannon sunk into the couch and smiled at her son. She was impressed with him for remembering her story from last week. “Keep listening to women like this and you’ll make one very happy someday. Now get some sleep.” She patted his shin.
“Yeah, alright. Goodnight, mom.” Charlie hurried past her and to his room to respond to the text. He hoped he still had Alexis on the other end.
After a glass of merlot, Shannon followed him down the hall to get ready for bed.
“Ok, hey.” Her husband rolled over, half-asleep.
“I had the worst night tonight. You wouldn’t believe what happened.”
“That’s okay, you’ll find a new pharmacy job soon,” Sean said.
Like a screwdriver, his words twisted and burrowed into her skin, deeper each time. Shannon knew he was partly trying to make her feel better. But she could tell he was embarrassed by the career change. Her husband used to glow with pride when he told people his wife wore a lab coat and worked in a pharmacy. Recently, when he spoke to family over the phone, he’d simply say, “She’s between pharmacy jobs.”
While Shannon may have motivated herself using the same words, she felt like a failure and a disappointment to her family when she heard them from Sean. The irony was he had been laid off at work, and her serving job was keeping them afloat.
We need to get back to normal, Shannon thought. And by “normal” she didn’t mean the standard for their marriage, she meant the few months before this where every time her husband got home from work he’d immediately jump her bones and fuck her like crazy. It was like an extended honeymoon. Now, though, the sex was almost non-existent. Maybe once we both get back to our careers and get our mojos back, Shannon hoped.
The late nights were starting to take their toll on Shannon. Tuesday was her fourth double shift in a row. To make matters worse, around ten o’ clock, two familiar men were at the entrance waiting to be seated. Shannon cringed and walked up to them.
“Excuse us, Shannon, can you take our order?”
“Why should I?” She spoke sternly with her hands on her hips. Her victimized Zen from last time was gone. “You harassed me, took a highly inappropriate photo of me, and then barely left me a tip.”
In a sudden reversal, the men were embarrassed and flush. The same well-dressed black one sheepishly explained, “I just thought you looked good in those pants. We thought some guys at work would get a kick out of it. Nothing serious.”
Shannon opened her mouth to unleash fury. But she wisely simmered. “Get out of here now… before I call the police.” The buddies turned around and left.
When Shannon went back to the kitchen counter, Jenny whispered, “Hey. What was that all about?”
“Do you know how long those men have been coming in here?”
“Uhh… Maybe, like, three weeks? Why?”
“They’re rude. To put it politely. Do you know anything about them?”
Jenny wiggled as she mulled. “Well, I know they work for a business with a yellow logo,” she giggled.
Shannon arched her dense, narrow eyebrow. “How do you know that?”
“A couple of weeks ago — They come in here for lunch sometimes, too. On the lunch shift a couple weeks ago we were doing this “win-a-free-lunch” thing, where everyone put their business cards into this big raffle bowl. And I remember they had these bright yellow ones.”
Pursing her pink lips, Shannon asked, “Do we still have those business cards around?”
Jenny scoffed. “With how they do things here, I bet we forgot to even pick a winner, haha! The bowl is probably still sittin’ under the bar doin’ nothing.” She walked off.
When Shannon went behind the bar, sure enough, she found the bowl of folded business cards. Among the litany of white ones, the flashy yellow ones were easy to spot. “The Greenville Private Library.” Huh… Also in red font were the men’s names — Brian and George — as well as their address.
“The Greenville Private Library,” Shannon repeated aloud. A fine bookstore or non-profit library seemed too virtuous for those seedy men. Well, escort osmaniye maybe I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover? Shannon bantered and then promptly cringed from her lame joke. Slipping the cards into their apron, Shannon went back to work. They don’t deserve a free lunch anyway, she thought.
The rest of her shift was as hectic as usual. She hummed to the jukebox music as she zipped back and forth between tables and the kitchen, maneuvering around the other servers and busboys.
Her last table of the night was a group of four men. They had spent their meal chatting and laughing together in their booth. When Shannon passed around the styrofoam clamshells for their leftovers, she asked them if they knew what The Greenville Public Library was. She was met with darting eyes and snickering.
Finally, it was Wednesday — Shannon’s day off. After sleeping in and working out, she went out to run errands. More specifically, one errand.
She followed her GPS as she drove past the diner and made a right turn a few miles West. Just off the state highway, in a dirt parking lot surrounded by leafy trees, sat The Greenville Private Library. The name was spelled out on the stucco facade, using red cursive lettering. The single-story building was dated, with faded yellow awnings hanging over the windows. “Books, babes, adult movies, toys & more,” was written repeatedly across the awnings.
There had been nothing about his “library” online, and now it made sense. Shannon recalled her rude customer explaining how “guys at work” would enjoy the photo of her backside. A queasiness knotted her stomach.
Warily, Shannon opened the front door, setting off a jingling bell. She did a double-take, as she was surprised by the cool, clean, and modern interior. The tiles were white and shining, and the racks and displays were spatially organized. Shannon avoided the details of the raunchy DVD and magazine covers near the counter.
More surprisingly, a woman her age walked from the back wall to warmly greet her. “You look lost,” she politely grinned.
“Is it that obvious I’m out of place?” Shannon chuckled, relieved to see the pleasant, blonde woman rather than a pervy man.
“Oh, nonsense! Everyone should feel welcome here. Almost all of us have a sex drive, and there’s no shame in indulging it. I’m Alana. I’m the Librarian.” She saw the pause on Shannon’s face and added bluntly, “I’m the owner.” Alana laughed with Shannon and shook her hand. “So, how can I help you today?”
“Ah, well…” Something was disarming about the shop owner. She had calming, blue eyes and a soothing voice. Her cheeks were round and happy, as she looked up. She looked professional in her silky button-up and dress pants, with a little thickness around her hips. Shannon felt like she could trust her. “I work at a restaurant down the road. And this week I had a couple of bad run-ins with these two customers, who I think might work here.”
Alana cocked her head and then curiously scanned Shannon’s figure. “You work at Skyline Diner. You’re Shannon.”
Shannon went cold and stiff. “Yes…”
“No need to worry, honey. Your diner has become rather popular with my members lately. And so have you…” the owner suggested.
“What? What do you mean?” Now she was very confused. “Why?”
“Before we talk more, would you like to tell who’s been bothering you? That’s never acceptable. There is a difference between our private imaginations and the real world.”
“I’d say the main problem has been either George or Brian? He was black, bald, and he had-“
“George,” Alana politely confirmed. “I’ll have a talk with him. You don’t have to worry about him causing you any more trouble. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.”
Shannon rubbed her bare arms. It was brisk in the air-conditioned store. “Thank you for helping me. I didn’t come here to get anyone in trouble. I just wanted him to stop, hah.”
“You don’t think about it for another minute. You’ve dealt with enough, honey. Is there anything else on your mind?”
“Yes,” Shannon raised her finger. “Another guy, I’m guessing the other employee, took a photo of my- He took a sensitive photo of me at work without my permission. And George said something about showing it to other guys at work. Do you know anything about that?”
Alana exhaled and nodded in disappointment. “I do. I was about to share this with you anyway. I apologize in advance. Follow me.”
Through a gate in the front counter, Shannon followed Alana into the back stockroom. Only it wasn’t a stockroom. They were standing at the end of a dark, narrow hallway. The imagery of the black walls and dim lighting was sketchy, but it oddly contrasted with the clean, wood laminate floors and fresh aroma. It smelled like diffused ginger, giving the hallway a sense of life even though it was desolate.
A row of evenly spaced white doors lined the far wall. Alana slid open the first one and stepped inside. Shannon stood on her toes to peek over her shoulder. The room was the size of a small closet. Maybe three feet in each direction. Like the hallway, the walls and ceiling were matte black, and a single lightbulb cast a gold shadow onto the driftwood laminate floor. Mounted on the wall was a television, which was playing a pornographic video on mute. Below it was a black shelf, featuring a remote control, a stack of crisply folded hand towels, and a large bottle of lotion.
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