The Singles

Story 1: Chapter 1
  • Story 1: Chapter 1
  • Story 2: Chapter 2
  • Story 3: Chapter 3
  • Story 4: Chapter 4
  • Story 5: Chapter 5
  • Story 6: Chapter 6
  • Story 7: Chapter 7
  • Story 8: Chapter 8
  • 7 months ago
  • 166 min read
  • 15,402 Aufrufe


My wife Tanis and I had been married for about five years when we decided to separate. It was very amicable; we continued to be friends, we hung out frequently and participated in "family" activities together with our two boys, and we continued to run our catering business as partners. We simply acknowledged that there was no romance, passion, or intimacy left in our relationship, and it would be better for us both if we stopped pretending and allowed ourselves to get on with our lives. She had primary custody of the boys, which was more convenient with school and daycare, but I had my scheduled days, and was allowed to visit pretty much any time on her days. We were reasonably well off financially, so other than regular contributions to the boys' college funds, there was no talk of child support or alimony.

It didn't take long to get accustomed to living the single life again; aside from the kids, we had been living more as roommates than as a couple for years. The only thing that I really missed was having a warm body beside me in bed, but I was confident that that wouldn't present me too many problems when the time came to go looking for it. As the months passed though, a funny thing started to happen. More and more frequently, I started getting comments like, "You've been alone for how long now?" or, "You really should get back out there." I guess what bothered me most was the assumption that I was lonely, that somehow I was less than a whole person just because I was single. Thing is, I truly felt fine. I was free from pretending to be "complete", and I felt more myself than I had in years.

That was the subject of a discussion I had with my friend Melissa late that spring. Melissa was 31, three years younger than myself. She had never married, and had no real desire to; as she described it, it just didn't fit with her career goals or her temperament. I had known her for years. I had gone to school with her older brother, who had been one of my best friends until he moved to Vancouver for work about 10 years ago. Melissa had often been around when we hung out, so I got to know her quite well. Although we had lost touch after Sean moved away, she was one of the first old acquaintances to find me once I joined Facebook. We had quickly reconnected, and she was a regular guest at our home. Anyway, Melissa shared my new perspective on the single life, and frequently argued with her parents who kept insisting that she needed to "find a good man and settle down (and give them grandchildren)". Our conversations on the subject planted the seed, and an idea began to occur to me around the time summer finally arrived.

It was early June, which, in Winnipeg, was barely the beginning of real summer. We had had a couple weeks of really nice weather, and with a forecast for sunny skies and blazing heat for the weekend, I decided it was time to hit the beach.

"The beach sound awesome," Melissa gushed when I asked her to accompany me. "I haven't gone in years to be honest. Just never seemed to make it out. What time are you picking me up?"

"I want to get an early start if possible," I answered her. "Beat the crowd, have as much time as possible to enjoy the day. How does 8:00 sound? That will get us to the beach by 9."

"You are eager, aren't you?" she teased. "That sounds good. I'll be waiting!"

I pulled up in front of her place at 8:00 sharp, but she insisted I join her for eggs and toast before we left, and she also somewhat shyly modelled her swimsuit for me to make sure it still fit properly. It was a two-piece, but to my surprise a rather conservative one, the bottoms being the full-seat variety, and the top covering almost like a t-shirt. I think the style is generally referred to as a "tankini". Anyway, Melissa had always been slim and fit, and a dedication to biking and yoga had kept her in excellent shape. She noticed my admiring gaze and gave me a playful slap.

"I'll take that as a 'you look fine', you big goof. Now stop gawking at me before you make me blush."

I just grinned. "Sorry, it's been a while since I've been this close to an under-dressed female," I said with a wink. "You do look good though, but to be honest the suit's looking a little tired. You should go shopping for a new one if you plan to hit the beach with me regularly this summer. And not to be a perv, but a more daring style would suit you a lot better. That one makes you look like you're ashamed of your body."

"Hm. Maybe. You ready to go?"

"Ready when you are."

It was actually after 9:00 when we finally got going, which was still early, and we chatted happily during the 40-minute drive out to Patricia Beach.

Time for a little descriptive interlude for those who have never stared at a map of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, which is probably most people who have never actually LIVED in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Winnipeg is situated just south of a pair of large lakes, Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba, so the local "cottage country" lies along both the East and West shores of Lake Winnipeg, ranging from about a 40 to 90 minute drive north of the city. Patricia Beach is the closest of the East shore beaches, and farther up are Beaconia, Grand Beach, and Victoria Beach. Grand and Victoria are the favourite stops for cabins and camping, with more developed facilities and nicer beaches, but I've always preferred the proximity and smaller crowds of Patricia. The mile-long beach is a narrow strand broken up by brush which comes as far down as the waterline in places, but the sand is generally clean and soft in the open spaces, and I like that the trees tend to break the beach up into smaller sections, reducing the feeling of crowding. The main parking lot just inside the gate is usually full, and the immediate beach area is always the most crowded, so I prefer to make the drive up to the third lot, which serves a large open are

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Written by drunkenhunk
Hochgeladen December 9, 2020
Notes Recently-divorced Darren wonders why everyone assumes he's unhappy being single. A lunch conversation with an old friend lead to an new perspective on life...and a surprising conclusion!
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