Outside of a new short story for you, I don't have anything exciting to share in the introduction.
Oh, I suppose I could mention the trouble that the bunnies are in at my house. You see, all winter long we've been putting food outside for the birds, rabbits and squirrels. Every week I was sure to fill the bird feeder with seed. Any stale bread or hamburger buns were cut up into small cubes and dumped on the ground near one of the trees. The ends of vegetables, old lettuce or apples that were turning soft; these were cut up and placed near one of the trees. We also purchased some corn to lay out every week.
All winter long we could see the animals getting fatter and fatter. It was so brutal and cold out there. I couldn't let them starve and possibly die.
But then on the first nice weekend of the spring, my wife and were raking up the yard--reclaiming the outdoors now that the snow was gone. It was then that one of the neighbors approached my wife; didn't even say "Hello." or "How have you been?" Instead she immediately complained, "Look what the bunnies have been doing to my bushes! Isn't this horrible?" And with that, she walked away.
"Happy Spring!" my wife called out.
But the wish wasn't returned. Apparently our neighbors are angry with us for senselessly feeding the wildlife.
The following morning I looked out the window and could see that the bark on the lower portion of our plum tree had been torn away. Those blasted bunnies are damaging our trees! So for now, the bunnies are in trouble. I feed them all winter long, and that's the thanks I get? I’m afraid I won’t be feeding them anymore.
Today is Good Friday, the start of a holiday weekend. Happy Easter to you and your family. May the Easter Bunny be more generous to you than to simply destroy your landscaping like the bunnies do at our house!
East Cedar Grove... West Cedar Grove
East Cedar Grove... West Cedar Grove
If traveling either north or south along Route 122, the road briefly changes its name to Town Line Road which spans—exactly—5.32 miles before resuming the name of Route 122. At precisely 2.66 miles onto the section of Town Line Road—the very center of those 5.32 miles—is a dissecting road called Main Street. Main Street cuts through the very center of both the towns of West Cedar Grove and East Cedar Grove.
This is where people begin to suspect something very peculiar about West Cedar Grove and East Cedar Grove. You see, as naturally assumed, the boundaries of both towns are separated by Town Line Road. Both towns have Main Street that runs through the very center until it ends onto some other road outside of town.
But Get This! If traveling into West Cedar Grove; you pass Ash Street, Birch Street, Crisscross Lane, Daffodil Court, and so on. And if traveling into East Cedar Grove, you will also pass Ash Street, Birch Street, Crisscross Lane, Daffodil Court, and so on.
But it's more than just a charming phenomenon of duplicate street names shared by both towns. It would appear that when both towns were being developed, plans were made for the two to be perfect reflections of one another. Houses are duplicates of one another with the exact same floor plans. And they sit on what would be considered the mirrored geographic locations from one another. The business districts of both towns have duplicate buildings with floor plans that are exactly the same. Every street sign, stop sign, traffic light and fire hydrant is positioned, precisely, so that it is the mirrored reflection of the neighboring town.
Now there was a time when this reflecting charm was forgotten. This is evidenced with a small portion of both towns somewhere in the middle that take on a certain individuality. Subdivisions and homes were constructed by different builders who built houses that were unlike the ones in the other town. Parks and playgrounds were placed in random places that didn't share an opposite. And to this day there are a few shops and storefronts that are not shared by the other town as well.
Then it would appear that at some point there was a new effort to continue with the reflecting charm of both towns from many decades ago. After passing the areas of individuality in both towns; there are newer roads, subdivisions and shopping centers that are perfect reflections of the other town.
Martin has a girlfriend, Betty, who—if all goes well—will soon be Martin's fiancée. She currently lives in West Cedar Grove— a town about twenty minutes from where Martin lives in Robin Creek.
Martin drove the network of roads and highways on a bright and beautiful Saturday morning and eventually turned onto Route 122. Within minutes the road changed the name to Town Line Road where he was soon greeted by the intersecting Main Street.
Oops! Martin better not have made the mistake of turning east! (At least not now!) If he did that, he would be traveling through the town of East Cedar Grove which can be a confusing duplicate of West Cedar Grove. Betty, after all, lives in West Cedar Grove, where her house is located on Jackson Street. Not the other Jackson Street in East Cedar Grove where... Well, Martin better not think about that right now.
Martin turned west like he was supposed to and followed Main Street all the way through the old section of town... the business district... the small section that is quite different from East Cedar Grove... and, finally, the newer section which resumed itself to be a perfect reflection of East Cedar Grove where Betty lived on Jackson Street... The Jackson Street in West Cedar Grove, not East Cedar Grove where... Well, let's not talk about that right now!
Martin and Betty planned a nice day together which began with Martin tapping the horn upon pulling into Betty's driveway.
Immediately, Betty emerged from the house in a conservative, ankle-length dress that was not a very flattering choice for a Saturday day out with Martin. It was dull in color and it covered Betty's entire chest, all the way up to the neck so that her large breasts could not be appreciated. Martin knew that Betty possessed large breasts and speculated that they were absolutely gorgeous. You see, Martin had never seen Betty naked.
To add to her conservative appearance, Betty wore a button-down sweater which covered up most of her arms. She had this need to protect her young and beautiful skin from the eyes of anyone—even from Martin who loved her so.
Martin stepped out of his car to greet Betty, "Good morning!"
"Good morning!" answered Betty in return.
Then they briefly hugged while exchanging a simple kiss to one another's lips. But nothing too fancy! You see; Betty is a conservative girl who doesn't believe in taking affection to a sensual level. This means that she will not engage in steamy make-out sessions with a lover. A kiss is to be perfect and simple, an affectionate greeting—nothing more.
Martin was sure to walk Betty to the passenger side of his car, and then open the door. Once she was inside he closed it. But Martin secretly wished there were a custom in which the man puts on the woman's seat belt. This might provide a way to sneak an "oops-feel" of one of her breasts.
They had breakfast at the West Cedar Grove Cafe which—as you know—is a perfect reflection in both location and building layout of the East Cedar Grove Cafe. But Martin would never take Betty to the cafe in East Cedar Grove! What if someone saw him with his sweet, perfect and conservative Betty?
She sat there at the table, across from Martin, taking a brief sip of her tea while eating her poached eggs on toast. "I thought we would browse some of the antiques at the West Cedar Grove Antique Shop. What do you think?" asked Betty.
"That's sounds like a great idea! The matinee won't be until 11:30. We have time."
Then Betty suggested something frightening. "Maybe if we have time we can drive over to the East Cedar Grove Antique Shop and see if they have anything different. I know it's supposed to be the same store, but..."
Martin interrupted, "That's a bad idea!"
"What?" asked Betty. "Why?"
"Well... Don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against East Cedar Grove. What I mean to say is that by the time we make it out there and back, again, we might miss the start of the movie."
"Oh..." said Betty before having another bite of her poached eggs on toast. For a second it almost sounded like Martin had a dreadful phobia of East Cedar Grove.
It was midmorning as Martin and Betty strolled through the musty aisles of the antique shop. Betty even allowed Martin to hold her hand! How Martin would have loved to have put his arm around her shoulders. But that might have been too much affection in a public place for Betty. For now, Martin simply enjoyed the moment of holding her hand.
They admired the antique furniture and centerpieces. They found entertainment with the clothes and dresses from many decades ago. And then, once again, Betty made the unwelcomed suggestion of venturing into East Cedar Grove. "We still have a little bit of time. Why don't we run over to the Antique shop in East Cedar Grove?"
"Nah... I don't want to be late for the matinee." answered Martin. What do you say, instead, that we go to Starbuck's before the show?"
"Sure!" agreed Betty. Then she came up with a not-so- great idea. "Hey, you know how each of the Cedar Groves have their own, unique sections?—no businesses the same? Well there's a coffee shop in East Cedar Grove that supposed to be excellent. Do you want to sneak over there instead of Starbuck's?
"No!" snapped Martin. "Let's just go to Starbuck's!"
That's when Betty began to suspect that Martin had something against venturing into East Cedar Grove. "Martin?" she began. "If I didn't know any better, I would think that you have something against East Cedar Grove. What's the deal?"
"It's not that." reassured Martin. "It's just... just..."
"What?" pushed Betty. "What is it? Why don't you want to go to the other town?"
Martin tried to be humorous. "Well... you know what they say about the east side, right? It's supposed to be not as nice as the west side? I guess I have a phobia of going east."
Betty laughed. "Don't be silly! Let's go to the coffee shop in East Cedar Grove. I heard it's nice. And it's not too far from the movie theater here in West Cedar Grove."
Martin sighed. "Well, okay. But we have to be quick about it."
And with that, Martin and Betty drove off from the antique store; down Main Street and across Town Line Road into East Cedar Grove. They passed Ash Street, Birch Street, Crisscross Lane, Daffodil Court, and so on. They drove through the business district. Then they drove past the Walmart which made Martin secretly nervous. For you see, it was at Walmart where Martin first met her. West Cedar Grove doesn't have a Walmart, and Martin really needed to pick up some items. So he stopped one evening at the Walmart in East Cedar Grove on the way home from Betty's house. Once inside, he couldn't believe what he saw.
A drive past the parking lot on this Saturday afternoon with Betty, Martin could see that her car was in the lot—probably working. At least there wasn't a chance of the two women encountering one another. But what about other people? What if someone recognized Martin with his sweet, beautiful and conservative Betty?
Just as Betty promised, the coffee shop was way better than Starbuck's. It smelled like a coffee lover's heaven, inside, and the beverages were made to perfection. And no one recognized Martin with his sweet, beautiful and conservative Betty. It looked like luck was in his favor for today.
They went to the matinee. They went to the park and took a nap by the pond. And by late afternoon, the two returned to Betty's house to make dinner—lasagna with grilled eggplant. As for wine; Betty prefers not to drink alcoholic beverages. Instead, they had freshly squeezed lemonade.
After dinner, Martin and Betty sat side-by-side on the swing, outside, and watched the beautiful sunset. In this alone time, together, Martin was permitted to put his arm around Betty. He even managed to sneak a few kisses in. But nothing too fancy! Betty doesn't like sensual kisses.
Now you might question Martin, and wonder why he stays with Betty—even considers proposing to her in the near future. Really, Betty is a great girl! She's beautiful, intelligent and so reserved. And think of the fun the two had together throughout the day. Who wouldn't want a girl like Betty?
Ah, but there's that little matter of intimacy and deeper romance. That's what's killing you, isn't it. But, really, Martin doesn't mind.
It was about 9:00 in the evening when Martin announced that it was time for him to start heading home. He and Betty hugged and briefly kissed before Martin drove off. And in the rearview mirror, he could see Betty waving and smiling. She loved him so much.
Martin drove Main Street all the way to Town Line Road. And what was this? Rather than turn in the direction towards his own town, Martin crossed Town Line Road into East Cedar Grove! He passed Ash Street, Birch Street, Crisscross Lane, Daffodil Court, and so on. He drove through the business district. He passed Walmart and noticed that her car wasn't there. He continued until reaching Jackson Street. But this time, he turned the opposite direction. For you see; the house where she lives is the perfect reflection of Betty's house—just opposite directions.
It's such a perfect reflection, in fact, that the woman who lives there looks—exactly—like Betty in West Cedar Grove. That's why Martin was so dumbfounded the first time he saw her at Walmart. It was as-if he had found Betty's double or Doppelganger.
And get this! Betty's double who lives in East Cedar Grove in the house that is a perfect reflection in style and location, shares the same name with Betty! Her name is Betty, too! Secretly, Martin refers to the Betty in East Cedar Grove as "Naughty Betty"; for you see, Naughty Betty does all those naughty things that the good Betty in West Cedar Grove will not.
As soon as Martin pulled into the drive way, she ran out in a pair of tight shorts and athletic bra. Martin could have eaten her luscious thighs right there! Or maybe he would skip to her enormous breasts that were strapped into the athletic bra. And the best part; she looked just like his wholesome Betty in West Cedar Grove! Martin had been drooling over her all day.
"What took you so long?" asked Naughty Betty?
"Sorry..." answered Martin. "A little hold-up."
"Well get your ass in there! I've been waiting for you all evening!"
As soon as the two entered her house, a duplicate floor plan of Betty's in West Cedar Grove—just opposite, their lips locked and in a hot and steamy session of making out with plenty of tongue action. Martin ripped off Naughty Betty's athletic bra and then squeezed her enormous breasts.
"I have wine." announced Naughty Betty. "Don't you want some wine to get started?"
"I'll take mine like this!" answered Martin. And with that; he reached for the bottle of wine and dumped some all over Naughty Betty's naked breasts. He licked and drank up every drop.
See how naughty Naughty Betty can be? Just one problem: Martin was going to have to propose to her as well.