First, I should say that Oceanbreeze Court is several hundred miles away from the nearest ocean. It is a cul de sac in an upscale development on the east side of a medium-sized Midwestern city. Kelly, my wife, and I bought a house there several years ago. Notwithstanding the stupid name, the developer did a pretty good job. The houses were reasonably far apart and many of the trees had been preserved.
I met Kelly early in my first year of law school. I was standing in line behind her to get a drink at a party. She very literally turned into me, leaving much of her drink on my shirt.
The first thing I noticed about Kelly was her deep copper-colored hair. Her large brown eyes, which always seemed to twinkle, were second. An infectious smile in a very lightly freckled face was third. Not long after that I took note of what appeared to be a compact, athletic body in a muslin top and fairly tight jeans.
Having her drink poured on me turned out to be an effective introduction. I spent much of the party talking to Kelly. Amazingly, she didn’t seem to mind. I discovered an intelligent, witty, articulate woman with whom I shared some interests and many views. Not wishing to press my luck too far, I left the party relatively early. Not before, however, Kelly had asked me for my number so that she could arrange to come over to clean my shirt.
Kelly did clean my shirt, which gave me the opportunity to ask her to dinner as compensation. I was surprised, but very pleased, when she accepted my invitation. I was more surprised, and more pleased, when we were soon dating regularly.
Kelly had been a diver in undergrad. She had been moderately successful, finishing second in her conference on the springboard in her senior year and sixth at the national championships. She was in grad school working on her master’s and doctorate in psychology.
The dating relationship grew into something much more serious. We were lovers by the end of my first year and lived together my third year. Sex with Kelly was athletic, exciting, and very rewarding. Whether through experience or imagination I didn’t know, but Kelly had a wider sexual repertoire than I did. However, she was always kind and patient and willing to coach me through whatever she wanted me to do to her. She worked hard to make the sex great for both of us.
Kelly received her doctorate the same day I got my J.D. I had a job with a medium-sized firm in the Midwest. Kelly was doing what amounted to a residency (but wasn’t because she’s not an MD) at a prestigious teaching hospital on the east coast. I feared that distance would bring the end of our relationship. Her 18 months up east introduced me to Skype and to a lot of interstate highways I’d not driven before. The relationship survived, and may have grown stronger, during the separation.
When her “residency” was done, Kelly got a position with the behavioral health services unit of a large private, non-profit hospital group in my town. I proposed not long after Kelly had moved to town. Thankfully, she said yes. We both worked hard during the first few years of the marriage to establish ourselves in our respective fields. However, there was always time for each other. Much of the “us” time was spent doing some form of exercise, which was an absolute need for Kelly. It paid off too. She only got more beautiful as she aged out of her twenties.
We also had trips together. A couple of times in the Caribbean, we even went to nude beaches. There was no one around who knew us. It was fun and a little sexy, and Kelly looks great nude. She says the same about me, but she’s my wife so she has to.
By the time we had been in town ten years, we were both established enough and making enough money that we thought the time had come to abandon our urban apartment for a house. We wanted more green, more quiet, and more privacy.
The house on Oceanbreeze Court had just come on the market as we started looking. As we heard the story, the husband worked for a worldwide company based in town and was being transferred to somewhere in Asia on short notice. With a young child and a pregnant wife, they did not want to split the family up so everyone was moving. They needed to sell. It was a nice house. I guess the worldwide company paid pretty well.
Oceanbreeze Court had been developed all at once about ten years ago. However, the developer had done a pretty good job. There were a total of seven houses. However, Oceanbreeze made a sharp dogleg so that the three houses at the dead end were not visible from the four closer to the street. The house we were looking at was on the right as you looked at the dead end. A very similar house was across the street. In the middle, at the dead end, was a somewhat larger house. It was wooded behind all three houses. The woodland was part of a county park so it was unlikely that anything would be built behind the house. Although our offices were in different directions, the house was about twenty minutes’ drive from each of Kelly’s office and mine.
It was really more house than we needed for the two of us. However, there was nothing else with that much green and that much relative privacy so well located for us. We bought the place. It was expensive, but I think that we got a good price.
We closed in early May and moved in the weekend before Memorial Day. The movers had only been gone a short time when a woman about our age came across the street to us.
“Hi. You’re the new owners?” she said.
We acknowledged that we were.
“I’m Allison Schultz. My husband Kurt and I live across the street. I thought I’d introduce myself. These three houses are a little isolated back here so we tend to see a lot of each other and not so much of anyone else. Welcome to the neighborhood. I think that you’ll like it.”
Allison had wavy black hair. The tee shirt and shorts she was wearing showed that she was a bit larger and curvier than a fashion model. Not fat, just a bit big with large breasts, very noticeable hips, and solid thighs. Allison’s face was slightly wide. She had large lips, big blue eyes, and a low almost sultry voice. In sum, Allison was not classically beautiful, but there was something sexy and alluring about her.
We introduced ourselves.
Allison asked, “Is there anything I can do to help you?”
“Oh no,” Kelly said. “We don’t want to impose on our neighbors right out of the box. We’ll get this mess sorted out. Thanks for the offer though.”
Allison said, “Don’t hesitate to ask if you need anything or if there is anything I can tell you. It’s great to meet you.” Allison walked back across the street.
As Allison walked away, Kelly commented “She seemed pretty nice. An attractive woman too.”
“I didn’t notice,” I replied.
“Right,” Kelly said sarcastically.
We spent the next couple of evenings opening boxes to find the things we needed right away. Getting everything unpacked and put away was becoming a daunting task. Wednesday evening, our landline phone, which had been silent up to that point, rang.
Kelly answered the phone. She listened for a few moments then said into it, “Thank you. That’s very nice. Let me ask my husband.” Putting her hand over the phone’s mouthpiece, Kelly said to me, “That is Bree Roberts. She and her husband live in the middle house. They invited us to a pool party at their house Friday evening. Just the two of them, the Schultzes, and us if we want to go. What do you think?”
We didn’t have anything planned except unpacking. I could definitely use a break from that and it would be good to meet the neighbors. “Sure,” I said, “If you’re ok with it. Ask if we can bring anything.”
Speaking back into the phone, Kelly said, “Thank you again. We’ll be happy to come. What can we bring?” Kelly listened to the response, said “Great! Thanks” into the phone, and hung up. To me, she said “We can bring some beer or wine. About 6:30. Attire is swimsuits.”
We walked the short distance to the Roberts’ house about 6:45 that Friday evening. I was wearing board shorts, a tee shirt, and flips; and carrying a cooler containing a local craft IPA, a regional summer wheat beer, a good Bavarian pils, and Scottish ale. Kelly was wearing a somewhat revealing black bikini. Nothing risqué, but it did catch your attention. Kelly has the body for it and the black scraps of cloth contrasted nicely with her copper hair.
We had not yet met Bree and Peter Roberts. My first impression, which turned out to be accurate, was that they were about fifteen years older than us. Peter was a tall, slender man. Bree was much shorter, but also very slender. There were almost no curves outlined by her one-piece swimsuit. However, she had a lovely and kind face (a young Jane Seymour gives you a general idea) framed by ask-blonde hair that was starting to show a bit of grey.
The Roberts’ backyard was impressive. I don’t know whether their pool was competition size, but it was considerably larger than your typical backyard pool. A little ways away was a large in-ground Jacuzzi. Closer to the house was a built-in grill and a small refrigerator not far from what looked like a stone table. The entire pool deck and patio were done in a reddish brown tile meant to replicate marble (I assume that it was not real marble). Unless someone was hiding in the trees, the Roberts’ backyard was completely secluded.
Allison and her husband Kurt were already there. Kurt was a dark-haired and dark complexion man about my height. I’m guessing Kurt weighed about 165. He had the small but well-developed body of a distance runner or cyclist. As I learned later, he was both.
Allison also wore a black bikini, slightly more concealing than Kelly’s. The bikini flattered Allison’s voluptuous body. While I suspected that she naturally had a very fair complexion, all of the skin I could see had a slight tan.
Everyone swam for a while. Peter fixed burgers on the grill. After dinner, everyone had drinks and we talked. The conversation that evening was largely about Allison, Kurt, Bree, and Peter getting to know us and us them. Kelly and I each told the other what we did and a bit about our background.
Peter was somewhat reserved. His voice used a narrow range of pitches and was never raised. He seemed to choose his words carefully. However, Peter could be very funny when he chose to be. We learned that he was executive director of a non-profit company that raised funds for arts organizations in the area. Bree was also low key. She had a very soft voice. When she talked, she gave the impression that she knew what she was talking about and carefully distinguished between fact and assumption of hypothesis. Bree was an economics professor at the large, local state university.
Kurt was an architect. While I did not know him previously, I was aware of his firm. They had reputation as young up-and-comers. They had designed several major projects in the region over the last several years. Their designs were innovative if not somewhat edgy. Although Kurt was very pleasant, he seemed to usually let Allison speak for them.
Allison was high energy and very outgoing. She had an opinion or comment on almost everything, but managed to do that in a way that was not offensive or overbearing. Allison, we learned, was a visual artist. While she “dabbled” in several media, her commercial work was primary oil or water color painting. She regularly showed in one of the city’s top galleries and sold several works per year. A substantial part of her income came from “stroking wealthy egocentrics.” Allison was, it seemed, the go-to person in town if you wanted your portrait painted.
The evening broke up a little after ten. It had been a very pleasant evening and I was very favorably impressed by our new neighbors. Peter came up to us just before we left.
“Allison, Kurt, Bree, and I have been having these Friday pool parties, weather permitting, almost every Friday for a couple of years. We hope that you’ll continue to join us. Unless you hear otherwise, you can assume that we’ll be here every Friday night roughly May through September. We hope that you will both become regulars.”
“Thank you Peter,” Kelly replied. “That’s very nice. We’ll be pleased to join you as much as possible.”
Kelly and I talked once we got home. Kelly shared my favorable impression of our neighbors and said that she looked forward to next Friday.
The Friday evening pool parties did become a weekly event. They always followed more-or-less the same pattern: everyone swam or Peter strung up a water volleyball net, then dinner, then drinks and free-flowing intelligent conversation. The topics ranged from politics (all six of us shared broadly similar views) to local events to books or the arts to sports to what had happened to one of us at work. They were very enjoyable evenings. While everyone drank, no one got really drunk.