Dagmar and Tony—Elaine Bonow

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Dagmar Agnes nee Goode and subsequently Jones, Goldstein, Nielson felt like a Black Widow. Of course, Dag as she was called, had nothing to do with the deaths of her three husbands but after being widowed three times she believed she would never feel “that” way about a man again.

That is until she met Tony, Anthony Delgado, to be exact. It all started on a normal rainy fall day while she was on her way to work. She was thinking that after so many dead husbands she should have had more money so she wouldn’t have to continue working every day.

Mr. Herman Jones her first husband, had been a lounge piano player. In the fifteen years of marriage they never saved a penny and his sudden heart attack didn’t change her fortunes one bit. The Musicians Union did ante-up for funeral expenses and his brother pitched in a few hundred to help her pay some of his bills. She was glad they hadn’t been able to have any children because that would have made a bad thing even worse.

The bus was crowded as usual and everyone was damp and crabby. She was forced to stand holding on to the back of someone’s seat, pressed against the Carhartt jacket turned away from her. They jostled along in the tightly packed bus until it reached the main downtown bus stop. Instead of pushing ahead of her, the jacket paused and let her go ahead of him, “Excuse me, you go first,” he said.

She didn’t think anything of it or him and hurried away into the rain. She didn’t notice his hint of a smile or the kindness in his eyes looking at her as he slowly descended the almost empty bus.

Dag didn’t pay any attention because she was worried about being able to keep up with the youngsters who were eroding her position in sales. She needed to save money for a decent retirement in about eight years.

Her second husband had promise. He was a music producer who had been a colleague of Mr. Jones. Jerry Goldstein was on a fast track. He hustled gigs for his clients but realized too late that the music business was changing. He hustled hard and drank even harder while the business failed around him.

Dag found herself widowed a second time after Jerry keeled over; well they found him dead, his head between the thighs of an traumatized stripper. Dag had to pay for the stripper’s therapist bills. By the time she finished paying everything else he owed she was just barely able to keep the condo they had bought when they first married. Actually, she was thankful that she could come out a little ahead after the four almost five years they had been together.

Tony made sure he was on the bus everyday. He noticed her fragile nature. He felt he had some kind of telepathy with her. One day when the bus was not as crowded he took a chance and sat next to her.

He carefully introduced himself. “Hi, I hope you don’t think I am being too forward but I’d like to introduce myself to you. My name is Tony, no actually Anthony Delgado. I am foreman at the new high-rise going up a block away. I’ve always noticed you and I thought I would like to talk to you but I was unsure of what you would think. I know you probably think I’m a creep but I’m very nice. I think you are a very nice person and I’d like to get to talk to you more.” All of his words came tumbling out in a rush.

Dag looked him over carefully as if noticing him for the first time although she had noticed that he was on the bus every time she was. A few days after this initial introduction they had lunch together and discovered in each other a very sympathetic nature.

Dag told him about her first husband and Tony didn’t seem surprised about Mr. Jones only that she had married him when she was twenty-two which made him an innocent boy of eight at the same time.

She invited him to her condo for their next date and told him the tragedy of her second husband Jerry and the freaked out stripper. He didn’t say a word just took her in his arms and held her tight. Her tightly held emotions burst forth and he stayed with her that night gentling her to sleep.

Dag was to her surprise falling for this man but was scared to tell him about the last husband. She hesitated. She tried to push him away. She told him to go away. She didn’t answer the phone. She rejected his texts. She swore to herself that she wasn’t going to get involved with a man again. Ever.

Tony persisted. Finally Dag relented.

“I didn’t want you to reject me because I realized I am falling for you.”

“What on earth could be so bad that I would let you go?”

“It’s just my unlucky life. I am jinxed.”

“That is bullshit. Please tell me.”

“Ok, so you’ve heard of the Black Widow Syndrome?”

“What does this have to do with spiders?”

Dag actually laughed a little and gave Tony a peck on the cheek.

“The Black Widow is a woman whose husbands all die.”

“How many husbands have you killed, Dag. Really?”

“Well, none really, it’s just my third husband was a nice simple man. He owned a small convenience store. Ralph, Ralph Nielson was his name. We were married a little over a year and BAM! He was coming home one night and got T-boned by a truck. He died instantly.”

“Damn, girl. You weren’t kidding. Tell you what. I promise that however much you beg me to, I won’t ever marry you. Never ever. How does that sound?”

 

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About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on October 26, 2016, in Fiction, Seattle, Short Stories and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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