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Rated: E · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #1709632
Beth gets a lesson in culture.
Culture Shock

Beth walked out of her condo and yawned. Going over to the snack area she got a cup of coffee and joined Clarisse eating a donut.

“How did your date with Jake go,” Beth inquired?

“We had dinner at McDonalds and then went over to his place.”

“So he took you home…that’s progress…where does he live?”

“In a trailer court off Hilborne Drive…”

“A trailer court?”

“Don’t say it like that…I was raised in one…my mom was a single parent.”

“So what was it like?”

“Where I was raised or Jake's Place?”

“Jake’s place, tell me about Jake’s Place.“

“Old and a bit run down…”

“You’d think he could do better than that.”

“Well Franks’ doesn’t look much better.”?


“Yeah, he lives three lots up the street…his is bigger and newer but definitively well past its prime.”

“Frank lives in a mobile home….?”

“They are trying to get their business to stand up and cutting corners wherever they can.”

“From the shop I gathered they were doing well…they have some gorgeous cars…”

“Jake said they hadn’t sold one in months and if it weren’t for Frank’s articles they'd be facing a financial crisis.”

“Well that settles that.”

“What do you mean?”

“Frank and I have agreed to live together. I think we could take one of the spare bedrooms here and make space for his things.”

“He agreed to move in with you?”

“Not exactly….It was more like we agreed in principle. There were other distracters and we never got around to working out the details. You don’t expect me to move in with him… do you?”

“I’d move in with Jake in a heartbeat… if he’d ask me.”

“I’m surprised he hasn’t.”

“Well three months out of the year he lives with Frank. There is hardly any insulation in his unit and it gets too cold in the winter.”

“Well that’s one more nail in the trailer option.”

“Everybody wasn’t raised in a gated community, Beth. If you have a good man it doesn’t matter where you live.”

“That’s not the point…We have standards to maintain…our clients expect us to have an appropriate lifestyle. I used to sell low end properties and I know all about those markets.”

“Ever been to Hilborne Drive Estates?”

“I wouldn’t be caught dead in that one.”

“What if Frank won’t move into the Condo?”

“And why on earth would he hesitate?”

“Because he’s a man…, because he has his pride…I know how these guys think and operate. They might be lower middle class but they are definitely not Trailer Trash.”

“I never said they were…but given the chance, everybody enjoys an upgrade.”


That night I took Beth to dinner at the Polish Family Diner.

“Did you mean it when you said you loved me?”

“If I said it I meant it.”

“Well, you were in the throes of passion…”

“I knew what I was saying….how about you…did you mean it?”

“This has happened so fast…but when I said it, I knew without a doubt that it was real.”

“I cleaned out a couple of drawers and made some room for you in the closet.”

“Are you sure you‘ve considered all the possibilities?”

“What other possibilities? "I replied, thinking about a possible pregnancy.

“Have you considered moving in with me…into the Condo.”

]Whew! I sighed. “No I never even considered that one.”

“Well, what do you think of that idea? “she asked, squinting her eyes.

“I think it sucks…if you want to live together it will be at my place and not some ritzy condominium. When things improve money wise, we can think about moving, but for now we need to stay within our means.”

“I have a means too. I was sort of hoping we could share the Condo.”

“Maybe this isn’t such a good idea…come on I’ll take you home.”

“I didn’t say I wouldn’t, Frank… I just had different expectations.”

“Well, make up your mind. Come on, grab your purse and I’ll show you my place.”


We pulled into the lane and parked in front of the trailer. It was a close fit because Jake’s Nova was already parked there. Inside the lights were on.
Clarisse was washing the dishes and Jake was vacuuming the carpet. As I took Beth inside they paused in their efforts and began clapping. “Welcome to the ‘Love Nest,’” said Jake with a broad smile. Clarisse wiped the last dish dry and put it in the cabinet. “Let me get some of this garbage out of here,” she said. Jake had three clear plastic bags full and he skirted around us, and through the door. Clarisse followed him out to the dumpster.

I was amazed at how much better the place looked, not that I had left it a mess or anything…OK, so I hadn’t gotten to the dishes and the bed wasn’t made. I had spent my spare time, after coffee, making space for Beth. Taking her in my arms I twirled us around, being careful in the limited space. Then I stood back…

Clarisse poked her head through the screen door…“See you two tomorrow. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” There was a rumble as Jake fired up his Chevy.

“Welcome home Honey,” I said with a smile. " Wasn’t it nice of them to tidy up a bit?"

“Sweet,” she answered looking around.

“Back here is the bedroom,” I said motioning from the isle between the shower stall and the commode.
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