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A River Path to Love

Category: Mature
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My name is Linda Prince. At the time of writing I am forty one years of age but the events I shall relate to you began their course six years ago. I am, or was, the wife of Jeff Prince, CEO of a government department and, as I was to discover, philanderer extraordinary.

I have a daughter, Lisa, who was aged fourteen when the events began. After her birth Jeff announced that we didn’t need “any more bloody kids”, and marched off to join the vasectomy brigade without any discussion between us.

I thought it really was so we didn’t have any more kids, but really it was to assist with his extramarital love life as I later discovered.

At the point where my story begins I had recently learned of Jeff’s sexual activities, and this started the trail that led to us being two people leading separate lives but living in the same house.

I had worked in the same government department as Jeff when he was, as people said, “An up and coming young chap.” I was what they called “The Com Girl.” That meant that I worked in a room on my own filled with electronic gadgetry such as computers, fax machines and other equipment that the rest of the department didn’t know how to use in those days.

I don’t wish to sound big-headed, but a lot of the young and not so young men in the department seemed to find reasons for visiting the Com.Dept., and quite a few surreptitious gropings took place, and were repelled by me. I had a particular goal in mind, namely, Jeff.

We both found reasons for working late one night and he took my virginity on the Com.Dept. floor. It was a rather bloody event and we had a hell of a job to clean the carpet. It may have been that time, or one of the following occasions in the back of his car, when I got pregnant.

Jeff could not leave me alone at that time, and I admit I wanted him pretty badly, so the pregnancy led to marriage.

I continued working to within a month of giving birth, and from then until the proper start of my story I was a stay at home mother.

It was at the point when I learned of Jeff’s “bits on the side,” and the growing aggression of my teenage daughter, that I took up another job. It was nothing spectacular, just a three day a week part time job receiving classified ads for our city newspaper. It was not for the money I went back to work, Jeff was at least generous in that respect, but to get out of an environment in which I found no great satisfaction.

We have a path that runs beside the river that flows from the hills, through our city and its suburbs, to empty itself eventually into the sea. It was my custom to walk my dog Arnold along part of the path every morning, starting about seven o’clock. It is here that you meet with many other people jogging, pounding along in a bath of sweat and deodorant and, others strolling or walking their dogs.

It is the dog walkers, more leisurely in their strolls that stop and talk, comparing breeds, commenting about the weather, and so on. Over time the conversation can become more personal when family news and such like, are exchanged.

One couple I got to know quite well were Ken and his wife Delia. They were in their late sixties when I first got to know them, and it was Ken whom I saw most of. This was because we were amongst the most ardent dog walkers, and when everyone else seemed to have taken cover, because the temperature had risen to around forty degrees Celsius, or it was pouring with rain, we would still be out there.

These two had experienced the tragic death from cancer of their daughter. She had left behind a son, twelve years of age at the time of her death. The boy was in the care of the man she had married eighteen months prior to her death, and now lived about sixty kilometres from the city in a small country town.

Ken and Delia were both troubled by the way the boy was being treated, but as they pointed out, they felt that at their age they could not cope with a teenager, and in any case the stepfather had full legal rights in the matter.

The grandson, Stephen, came to spend a weekend with Ken and Delia once a month to keep him in touch with the rest of the family. This was how I came to meet him. He was fourteen at that time.

I saw Ken coming along the path with his beloved Dalmatian. Ken is tall, well over six feet, and walking with him was a boy who promised to match Ken’s height in later years. Coming up to them Ken introduced the boy as his grandson Stephen. We said hello and shook hands.

A brief conversation followed during which Stephen and I surreptitiously looked each other over as newly introduced people do, not wanting to appear as if they are weighing each other up.

Not until some years later did I discover what Stephen had seen when he looked at me, but I do recall something of what I saw as I examined Stephen. He had clearly inherited some of his grandfather’s features, especially the soft brown eyes and the not especially large mouth that had well moulded lips turning up at the corners and always seem ready to smile.

I had seen photographs of the dead mother, and she had been very beautiful indeed, and Stephen seemed to have some of her characteristics including the well shaped nose and golden-brown hair. I also noted that he was not suffering from that teenage plague, the pimple.

The boy, like many teenagers of his age, tended to be rather lanky, but unlike many of them he moved with a sort of flexible grace and stood very upright. I could see he had the making of very handsome man.

He said very little during our conversation, but I could almost feel his eyes on me when he thought I was not looking in his direction. It came across as a very intense examination of my person.

I felt a mixture of amusement and embarrassment at this inspection and if I looked directly at Stephen, his eyes would turn away from me. It was only after we had parted and I was on my way home that I considered his interest more carefully.

My thought was, that many boys like him, in the early stages of puberty, are trying to fathom the female psyche. Often their mothers are the model for them, but Stephen had no mother. Perhaps he was assessing me as a potential model, or perhaps even at fourteen his interest was earthier. I smiled inwardly and let the matter drop from my mind.

Two days later I met with Ken again on my walk. His first words were: You made a big impression the other day, Linda. As soon as we left you Stephen said, “She’s a beautiful lady, grandpa.”

I laughed and made the rather limp response, “That’s very flattering, especially coming from a boy more than half my age. I must say though, he has all the making of a very nice looking man. The girls will be after him.”

“I don’t know, Linda. He doesn’t seem to be very apt socially; he doesn’t make friends easily. One of the problems is, he’s very intelligent and the other kids at school call him a “swot,” and tend to avoid him. His stepfather keeps a tight rein on him, and he has little opportunity for socialising outside school. Delia and I are fairly concerned about him.”

“It’s a difficult time for kids his age,” I commented, trying to be sympathetic.

“Yes, Delia and I have him down here as often as we can, you know, the odd weekends and during the school holidays, but there’s no one around here he can relate to, except a couple of oldies like Delia and me.”

He gave a rueful smile and said he had to be going.

Weeks and months went by and I saw Stephen along the path walking with Ken or Delia, and sometimes walking the dog by himself. When we spotted each other we always stopped for a talk. I would ask the usual boring adult type questions about school, friends, hobbies and so forth. Stephen would respond by asking me about my family and work. I avoided family matters as much as possible not wishing to reveal the wretched state of the home front.

Always as we talked Stephen would look at me intently like a hungry puppy wanting to be fed. I continued to tell myself that he was looking for a mother substitute in an older woman.

At times our conversations would go on for quite a while, especially if it was one of my non-working days, and we would sit on a bench by a bend in the river, sometimes talking and at other times in companionable silence. During school holidays I saw much more of him when he spent a week or more with his grandparents.

I found myself taking an increasing interest in Stephen, and watched as over time he reached the six feet tall mark when he was sixteen and also the way he filled out. The rather gangly youth had started to disappear and the attractive man he would become began to emerge.

It was towards the end of the year in which both my daughter and Stephen were sixteen that crisis erupted in our household. Jeff and I were now leading almost totally separate lives, except he still expected me to wash and cook for him, and take care of the house.

Our house, in keeping with what Jeff saw as his CEO image, was about twice as big as we needed, with swimming pool, tennis court (mainly unused) and a triple garage. If the house was already far too big for us, it was to become even more so in the sense that Lisa left.

It started with Lisa being brought home by the police having been caught shop stealing. They decided not to charge her, but she had to submit to a lecture by a police sergeant. I accompanied her to this lecture and the sergeant sternly, but not unkindly, outlined what she could expect if she were caught again in a criminal act. At the end he asked, “Have you understood me, Lisa?”

Lisa had remained silent throughout the talk with her head hung down. To the sergeant’s question she responded meekly, “Yes.” I found this troubling because Lisa was anything but meek normally.

From the time she was fourteen Lisa had become increasingly irascible and abusive, and the deceitfulness of her meekness in the presence of the sergeant was revealed as soon as we got outside.

“Fucking arsehole,” she exploded, “I fooled him. Who does he fucking think he is, lecturing me!”

I decided not to risk a scene out in the street, so I waited until I got home before saying anything.

“Lisa, the sergeant was trying to…”

“Don’t you fucking start! What do you know anyway? You live your dreary life and want me to be dreary along with you. Well I’m going to live. I’m not saddling myself with some girl fucking shit like dad.”

I was shocked at these words, not because of the foul language so much as the revelation that she knew about her father’s behaviour with other women. I had done my best to keep it from her, but someone must have told her.

Lisa went to her bedroom and I didn’t see her for the rest of the day. At some time she went out and stayed out until the early hours of the morning. Next day I had to go to work so I still saw nothing of her.

When I got home from work there was a note on the kitchen table: “Gone to live with Gig. Don’t bother to try and get me back because I’ve looked up the law and it says at sixteen you can’t make me come back.”

I was aware of Gig’s existence, a tattooed, pot smoking, and pill popping boy of about twenty years of age. He lived on the dole in a single room, and my efforts to get Lisa to drop him had only entrenched her determination to hang on to Gig.

On enquiry I found that Lisa was right. In our State a sixteen year old could not be compelled to return home. Oddly, the social worker whom I spoke to seemed to be very supportive of Lisa leaving home. Without actually putting it into direct words she implied that Lisa must have left home either because her father had raped her, I was an impossible mother, or both.

Jeff, who had never intended that I should get pregnant in the first place, took the situation with what he called a “philosophic outlook,” and advised me to do the same. I gathered he meant that he was not sorry to see the back of Lisa and had no intention of trying to persuade her to come home.

My own attempt to get her home was to say the least, a miserable failure. I knew where Gig lived and I went to the house which contained the one room he rented. I knocked on the door and it was answered by Gig, stripped to the waist and stinking with a combination of sweat and foul breath. Added to his odorous person there wafted out through the door a combination of pot and the fishy smell of much sex and little washing.

Gig called back into the room, “Yer ma’s here.”

Lisa came and looked over his shoulder. Her complexion was a sort of dirty white and there were sores at the corners of her mouth. She had changed dramatically in appearance over a very short time, but one thing had not changed, her vitriolic tongue.

”Fuck off bitch. I know what you want and I’m not coming home, so piss off.”

The door was slammed in my face.

I leaned against the stained and damp wall opposite the door, tears starting, beaten.

I had no one to talk to. Both parents dead, no brothers or sisters, and a husband who couldn’t be bothered. I don’t think I had ever felt so alone and wretched in my life.

I left the place and in the following days tormented myself wondering where I had gone wrong with Lisa. How did she turn from being a sweet and much loved little girl, into a foul mouthed harridan?

Jeff had left most of Lisa’s upbringing to me, so, I told myself, “It must be your fault, Linda. It was you who went wrong.”

Sleepless nights followed as I wrestled with my feelings of guilt, but I could never come up with any solid conclusion as to where I had gone wrong.

There were two things that saved me from complete despair. One was my work. This at least forced me to concentrate on something other than my woes for a while. The other was Stephen.

He was nearly seventeen by then, and I met him on the path as like an automaton I still walked Arnold every morning. Now an aging dog, he ambled along at a snail’s pace, so I could not even lose myself in a brisk walk.

Stephen almost immediately detect something was wrong with me.

“What’s the trouble, Linda, you look thoroughly depressed.”

Had it been Ken or Delia I had met I might have poured my troubles out to them as they were both good listeners. Meeting Stephen I at first felt no inclination to tell him my troubles. It was Stephen’s initiative that changed that.

We were near the seat where we had often sat before, and he took my hand and said, “Come and sit down, Linda, you look exhausted.”

He led me unresisting to the seat, and still holding my hand he asked, “What’s wrong.”

As I have written, I had noticed the physical changes in him over the two, nearly three, years that I had known him. What penetrated through my fog of misery at that moment was the change in his voice. From the piping notes of my first hearing him, he now had a deeper, mature and even mellow voice. Strange as it may seem I think it was his voice and the look of concern that made me open up to him.

For the first time I let it all pour out and as I did the tears came. He put his arm round me and I leaned against him. Passing people must have thought it odd, a teenage boy giving solace to a woman of thirty eight. One passing female walker stopped and through my sobs I heard her ask, “Is there anything I can do to help?” I’m not sure what Stephen replied, but she moved on.

When I finally stopped my outpourings and my sobs subsided, we sat, he with his arm still round me and I continuing to lean against him, in silence for a long time.

In opening up to him, I had expressed my feelings of guilt, condemning myself as an inadequate mother. When he spoke, Stephen took up that theme.

“You know,” he began, “It’s no use going over the past like that. You can’t change it and in any case, Lisa’s behaviour doesn’t mean that you were a bad mother. There are lots of things – I know kids at school that come from terrific homes. They’ve got the sort of parents I’d like to have, but they still go wrong, still get into messes. We’ve had girls at our school who have run away from home, and I used to wonder why.”

He paused for a moment and I felt his arm give me a squeeze, then he went on, “There are lots of things that cause kids to get into trouble, not just home things. I mean, look at the images presented on the media; all the “beautiful people,” you know, “if you buy this, you’ll look like that. And the kids see these things and haven’t got the money to buy whatever it is, so they think they can get it by stealing.”

“Then there are the kids who think it’s smart to take drugs. The adults can warn them but that’s the ‘oldies’ talking, and ‘what do they know?’ For a lot of the kids it’s as if there’s a big wonderful world out there, and they’ve only got to make the break, and they can step into that world.”

“Don’t blame yourself Linda, there’s so many temptations hung up in front of us kids, and a lot fall for it.”

I was amazed at his understanding and the comfort he had offered me. How was it that a young man like Stephen could give me what my husband couldn’t or wouldn’t?

I thanked Stephen rather awkwardly for listening to me and he said very seriously, “Any time, Linda.”

I looked up at his face and wondered, did I see love in his eyes?

I fled from that thought. Warm though my feelings were for Stephen, I needed no further complications in my life, whatever form they might take.

I kissed him on the cheek and thanked him again, and said “I must be going.”

I had no need to leave him at that moment, but despite my gratitude for his comfort, I felt a sense of danger. Something I did not want to name or acknowledge had stirred in me as I felt his arm round me. By departing when I did I was fleeing from a threat.

Having fled from him, with all the contrariness of a human being, I looked out for Stephen in the days that followed. He did not appear along the path but I met Delia and casually asked how Stephen was.

“Oh, he’s gone back home, won’t be down here again for another three weeks.”

I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. As I walked home I questioned myself why I felt like that. Was it such a disappointment not to be able to see Stephen for three weeks? I might not see him even then if our walking times did not coincide.

I cannot exactly say I was in a fever of anticipation for Stephen’s next visit to his grandparents, but my thoughts constantly returned to him and on the weekend his visit was due, I spent extra time along the path, hoping to meet him.

He usually arrived late on a Friday afternoon, and might walk the dog on Saturday morning. Of course, he might be with Ken or Delia and that might constrain our conversation, but just to see him….

I had just about given up and was about to go home when I saw him. I think he spotted me first because he was waving and coming at a half trot towards me. As he drew near I felt my heart beating against my rib cage and I was having difficulty breathing evenly as if I had just been running hard.

Coming up to me he asked, “How have things been going, Linda? I’ve been thinking about you often.”

“No too bad I gasped,” my heart pounding even harder.

“Let’s sit down and talk he said,” and taking my hand he led me to a bench.

Once seated, he did not relinquish my hand, and I had no desire to free myself from his touch. I who, as an adult should have been the stronger, was seeking support from him. I wanted his arm round me again, but could think of no way I could gain that end without seeming brazen.

“Has anything changed?” he asked.

I took this to refer to Lisa, and since I had not heard from or seen her, I could truthfully say that nothing had changed. If, on the other hand, he meant had anything changed in me, then I could with equal honesty say that it had. I played safe and took him to be referring to Lisa.

“No, nothing’s changed Stephen. I haven’t heard a word from her. I’ve been wondering about making another attempt to talk to her.”

“I know it’s hard,” he said speaking quietly, “but it might be best if you waited till she came to you.”

“If she ever does, Stephen, I dread to think what sort of condition she’ll be in.”

“I know, Linda. I think it’s a bit like alcoholics. I read about it in a magazine. Most of them won’t try to do anything to help them selves until they’re right down the bottom. You know, sitting in the gutter vomiting blood.”

I didn’t care for his imagery very much, but I could see the truth of what he was saying.

There was one thought that had occurred to me over and over again, and now I voiced it.

“You know, Stephen, there’s one thing that has puzzled me about Lisa and that boyfriend of hers. He stinks and he’s what in my teenage years would have been called a ‘yob’. I don’t understand the attraction, do you?”

Stephen gave a grim laugh. “I’m not sure,” he said, “but I think it’s to do with freedom.”


“Yes. A girl sees a bloke who seems to have broken free from all the adult restraints, even broken free of legal restraints. He’s a sort of modern buccaneer, swashbuckling his way through life. He’s leading a rebellious society-defying existence and she loves it. At least, she loves it until the raw reality catches up with her.”

“You told me that this Gig guy is on the dole, and I suppose Linda will be getting some social welfare money by now. If they’ve got a drug habit, their little bit of income won’t go far on the drug market. One of them or both will start stealing – snatching handbags, breaking into people’s houses, things like that, then they will probably end up in jail.”

He paused and I tried to assimilate his awful depiction of what might happen to Lisa. I suppose it was nothing worse than I had thought of for myself, but to have someone else put it into words was confronting.

Stephen, possibly sensing my distress at what he had said, added hastily, “Of course, I hope it doesn’t work out like that and Lisa comes back to you before it goes that far. What does your husband think about it?”

He caught me unawares with his question. I had said nothing to him about the relationship, or rather non-relationship between Jeff and I, nor had I mentioned Jeff’s “philosophic” approach to Lisa’s departure. I tried to think up a neutral answer that would give nothing away.

“Oh, he seems to think a bit like you. We have to wait until Lisa makes the move to come back.”

Stephen said nothing for a moment, then asked thoughtfully, “You told me about your visit to Lisa, but you didn’t say your husband went with you.”

“No…well…he was…he was very busy at work,” I said lamely.

“Oh, I see.”

He didn’t pursue the matter any further and our conversation lapsed for a while, yet neither of us seemed to want to move.

I changed the direction of our talk by asking Stephen about himself.

“I was seventeen last week,” he grinned, “and I’ve been having a bit of a think. Next year will be my last year at high school, and what I’d really like to do is to study veterinary science. Only trouble is, it’s a long and expensive course. I know my stepfather won’t help out financially so if I do go ahead I’ll have to manage on the student allowance.”

“Another thing is, I couldn’t do the course living where I do now, and I’d have to get closer to the city. I’ve talked with grandma and grandpa, and they say I could live with them, but I don’t think it would work out.”

“Why not?” I asked.

“Well, they’ve only got a small place. It’s big enough for them, but doesn’t really have enough room for another one. Besides, they’re in their seventies now, and I don’t think most people of that age would want a teenager around.”

“A very mature teenager,” I commented.

He gave a laugh then went on, “Perhaps, but I’ll work on it over the next year.”

We parted soon after and I felt sorry I had not known it was his birthday recently, I would have liked to get him a birthday gift. I resolved to ask Ken or Delia if they knew what he would like and I could give it to him as a late gift.

It was getting close to the end of the school year and I didn’t see anything of Stephen again until his school year did end. I found he was increasingly on my mind, more so as I seemed to be missing seeing him rather badly.

Grateful as I was to Stephen for his listening and his concern about me, he had added one more problem to my life, an aroused sexual hunger.

I began to dream about Stephen and they were not virtuous dreams. Night after night I jerked awake from a dream in which we were together naked, and he was just going to enter me sexually.

I should explain something of what had happened to my sexuality since Jeff and I had ceased to cohabit in the sexual sense.

His interest in me tailed off over time until I felt that he was simply “servicing” me to keep me quiet. I had maintained some contacts with a few people in his department – people I had known when I worked there. It was one of them that informed me of Jeff’s philandering with young women, mainly from within the department.

I must have been very naïve because I was utterly shocked. There was an almighty row with Jeff who tried to get me to divulge who it was that had told me of his behaviour. I refused to tell him, and he refused to give an undertaking that his extramarital love life would cease. It was at that point I moved out of the marriage bed and into another room.

I was utterly humiliated, as many women have been on learning about their husbands infidelities. We all have different ways of coping with such a situation. Some women set out to have affairs in the hope of punishing their husband. Over the years I had received plenty of offers to engage in “meaningful relationships,” but I had no interest. Other women head straight for the divorce court. When I knew about Jeff, I could have gone down one of those tracks, but I elected to do otherwise.

I “shut up sexual shop.” I had been so deeply hurt I decided I would not risk exposing myself to the chance of being humiliated again. I claim no virtue for my decision, it was simply a way of protecting myself.

As for divorcing Jeff, there was a definite selfish motive for not doing so. As I have already said, at least Jeff was financially generous and this did not cease with my departure from his bed. Perhaps it was an attempt to assuage his guilt, I don’t really know, but I decided I liked the life style his money provided, and besides, there was still Lisa.

At that time she was still a healthy young girl and displayed none of the hot-tempered abusive behaviour that was to emerge in her teenage years. I tried to keep from her the break that had taken place between Jeff and I. When she questioned me about our sleeping apart, I made vague excuses about not being able to sleep properly when we were together.

So, not to put too fine a point on it, I wanted Jeff’s money to keep us in the style to which we had grown accustomed.

Thus my sexual life had been nil for years. I had buried that aspect somewhere deep within, but however deeply one buries it, sex is there like a sleeping giant, a giant Stephen had awakened.

However much I told myself I was being ridiculous, berated myself for thinking lasciviously about a boy years younger than I, the giant continued to stir from sleep and could not be induced to slumber again.

I tried to tell myself it was my mothering instinct. He was the son I had never had and had so desired. I endeavoured to persuade myself it was gratitude to a nice young man who had listened to and comforted me. All my attempts to convince myself that sex did not enter into the situation failed. From the moment he had held my hand and put his arm round me, the giant had begun wakening.

Try as I might I could not deny the wetness between my legs and the firming of my nipples when I thought of him. I resorted to the practice of masturbating for the first time in an attempt to relieve the sexual tensions. It had no more than a brief temporary affect. I was beginning to frankly lust for Stephen.

My first resolve to combat this lust was not to see Stephen again. It was a resolve quickly broken. During my morning walks with Arnold, now a lumbering old chap, I searched the path for Stephen. To see him and to be with him, however briefly, made my heart sing and it put a spring in my step for the day, only to cast me into a pit of sexual frustration in my lonely bed at night.

Of course, I expressed nothing of all this to Stephen. Apart from his detailed scrutiny of me in earlier days, he had given no hint of a sexual interest in me. I even managed to provide myself with a private hell by imagining him with a girl, making love. It was after all, the most likely scenario, that he would be meeting his sexual needs with someone his own age.

During the school holidays I saw Stephen frequently. He seemed to be spending more time with Ken and Delia, no doubt through a joint effort to keep him away from his ever criticizing stepfather. That gentleman had now taken on another woman who came to him with three children. This left Stephen on the outer even more.

When Stephen and I were alone I kept a tight rein on my feelings, and made sure that conversation was steered into non-threatening channels as far as possible. He continued to ask about Lisa, and since I still had heard nothing, there was little to tell him.

As Christmas day approached I made another attempt to see Lisa. I took a gift for her, but my knocking on the door received no answer from within, but it did get a response from further down the passage.

An ancient grizzled head appeared round the door frame and asked in a querulous voice, “Yer lookin’ fer them two?”

“I’m looking for Lisa. I’ve got something for her.”

“Ah, well they ain’t been around fer several days. Nothin’ unusual in that though. If yer like ter leave what yer want to give ‘er with me I’ll see she gets it.”

I doubted that if I gave it to the woman Lisa would ever see it, but since there seemed no alternative I left it anyway. For all the cranked up joy and hullabaloo around Christmas, for many it is a wretched time of year, as witness the increased suicides and overworked counselling and psychiatric services. Perhaps it is the joy one felt in childhood contrasted with what one has become in later years, that brings about this situation. I do know that for me Christmas had become and even lonelier time, especially since Lisa had entered her teen years.

I received an invitation from Ken and Delia to come and have a drink with them on Christmas Eve. The invitation included Jeff, so I had to make some feeble excuse about his having a work function to attend.

I went myself hoping desperately that Stephen would be there. He wasn’t.

I asked about him and Ken said, “He’ll be coming down tomorrow.”

It was the first time I had been in their house. It was very small, and when I asked were Stephen slept when he was with them, I was shown a room that was referred to as “Delia’s sewing and computer room.” Stephen’s bed proved to be a sofa that opened out into a bed.

Ken had told me that he and Delia always attended a Christmas Eve service at the local church, and suggested that if I liked to join them I would be welcome. I had not been near a church for years, but decided to go along with them.

It was not a very sophisticated gathering but it was enthusiastic. The service consisted mainly of the uproarious singing of carols, and I found the sincerity of the people, and the welcome I got, rather touching. I said so to Ken and Delia afterwards, and Delia pointed out that there was a more decorous service in the morning and, “Why don’t you come with us?”

Jeff had invited people for the afternoon during which he and I would play the happy couple, but the morning being free I decided to go with Ken and Delia. I was inspired to accept the invitation, less because of religious devotion and more because they told me Stephen would be present.

I woke on Christmas morning filled with anticipation. However wretched the afternoon and evening might be, I would have a lovely morning. I joined Ken and Delia at their house. Stephen was there already. I felt foolishly like an eager young girl and I noticed as we left for the church Stephen manoeuvred so I was with him in the car, and he was beside me in the church.

I was so aware of his presence that I barely heard a word of the service, and afterwards we went back to Ken and Delia’s place for a drink. It was here that Stephen almost reduced me to tears.

He produced a small cardboards box and handing to me said, “I made something for you.”

I opened the box, and nestling in tissue paper was a beautiful Celtic cross embedded with red and blue stones and suspended on a silver chain.

“You made this?” I gasped.

Ken chipped in, “A hobby of his. He started when he was about nine and has got better and better.”

Delia displayed a ring made in a similar style to the cross.

“But it’s beautiful,” I said, as I struggled to put the cross round my neck.”

“Glad you like it,” Stephen said, his face flushed with pleasure, “Let me put it on for you.”

I thrilled to the touch of his fingers on my neck and felt a ticking sensation in my clitoris. Had it not been for the presence of Ken and Delia I think I would have lost control of myself and tried to seduce Stephen.

I had been so overcome with Stephen’s gift I had not considered that I had come empty handed. I felt embarrassed when the thought did strike me, and I stammered out an apology.

Ken cut across my apology saying, “It’s all right, Linda. You weren’t to know we would invite you here, and any way, it’s sufficient that you are here. In fact, it’d be nice to see you here quite often, wouldn’t it Delia?”

Delia concurred with Ken, and then it occurred to me that the right thing to do would be to invite them to my house some time. I made a mental note to do that, and would make sure it was when Jeff was not around.

I don’t think they had swallowed my story about Jeff being busy with a department activity, and had probably sensed a problem, because “my husband,” never thereafter came into our conversations.

It was now late morning and as usual in Australia, the sun was beating down despite the Christmas cards that still insisted on snow and eighteenth century inns and stage coaches. As Delia and Ken set about preparing lunch, Stephen and I went out to sit under the shade of the veranda.

Out of sight of Delia and Ken, we sat and he took my hand. “I’m afraid we won’t be seeing so much of each other in the coming year,” he said.

I felt a painful stab shoot through my stomach. “Why not, Stephen?”

“I’ve got a heavy year of study in front of me. I must do well if I want to get into the College of Veterinary Science.”

He had said this in a sad tone of voice, but he brightened again. “If I do start at the college I shall have to come and live in town. Perhaps we could see more of each other then?”

I looked at him, trying to gauge what he meant by “see more of each other.” Along the path with our dogs? Or was it more than that? I couldn’t discern the content of his words.

I played safe and said, “I’m sorry we won’t be meeting very often, but I’ll look forward to your coming to live closer.”

It was time for me to leave for the afternoon’s boring event, so still out of Ken and Delia’s sight, I thanked Stephen for his gift, and kissed him on the lips, trying to put the kiss somewhere between a simple thank you and one that promised something more.

Stephen blushed and stammered, “I’m so glad we met all that time ago, Linda.”

“So am I, I whispered,” and then departed hastily.

The afternoon was just as I expected it to be. The guests were made up largely of Jeff’s sycophantic sub-department heads and sub-sub-department heads, and their mainly overblown wives, plus a sprinkling of what I suspected were Jeff’s inamoratas. I played the devoted hostess while I listened to talk of “policy,” “department budgets,” and who was up and who down, who was in and who out.

As far as I was concerned there was only one sparkle of light during the afternoon.

At one point a galleon in full sail bore down upon me, “Darling,” she squealed, “What a lovely Celtic cross, where ever did you get it. I simply must have one.”

“It was a gift from a friend,” I replied.

Jeff was at extreme range across the room, but like most CEO’s, he had well attuned ears. I saw his head turn, and he stared across at me. I smiled a sweet vitriolic smile at him, and said to the galleon in a voice that I made sure carried clearly to Jeff, “He made it especially for me.”

The galleon puffed out her sails and gusted, “Oh, I see,” and turned away to engage in a more interesting discussion concerning “whatever happened to” so and so.

It was not until after the guests had left that Jeff bore down upon me, a frown creasing his forehead.

“Who made that cross for you?”

“A friend.”

“I know it was a friend, I heard you tell that awful woman. I want to know what friend.”


“Well, I…”

It is a strange phenomenon that husbands can often engage in extra-marital affairs but if they so much as suspect that their wives might be doing the same they get rather offended. I was not submitting to that.

“Jeff, it’s none of your business who my friend might be. You want to have your ‘friends’, as you call them, without my asking anything. The same applies to me. Now, thank me nicely for being so gracious to your boring guests.”

To give him credit, he grinned and said, “They were rather boring, weren’t they? Still, one must keep in touch.”

“Yes,” I thought, ”But why oh why do I have to keep in touch as well?”

During the following year I saw a bit more of Stephen than I had expected. He was, however, rather introspective, obviously very concerned with his studies. I made no attempt to break into this, and our talk focussed mainly on his hopes, with occasional queries about Lisa.

One delightful aspect of that year was the development of my relationship with Ken and Delia. I got frequent invitations to “come round for a drink,” and after so many years during which I felt myself to be isolated, I began to enjoy life again. I even got around to having them to my house for a few afternoons.

Their invitation to join them at the Christmas church services had also born fruit. I don’t think they set out to evangelise me, but I did begin to attend the church. I think it was not so much the religion I wanted as the companionship, or is that the same thing?

I felt myself to be “freeing up.” I had surrendered to my feelings about Stephen, and as I did not need to try and deceive myself any longer, to that extent I became liberated.

I made another attempt to see Lisa, but the grizzled head round the door frame informed me that, “They’ve gone, lovey. Been gone for three weeks. Don’t know where, so no use askin’ me.”

I did think of trying to increase my employment to fulltime to try and take some of the slack out of my life, but I was deterred by the thought that I might miss seeing Stephen or having time for him.

It was Stephen who continued to be the focal point of my day to day living. I no longer questioned what he might feel about me. It was enough that I loved him. Yes, I loved. With Jeff I had lusted and mistaken it for love. With Stephen it was a love in which I would be whatever he wanted me to be to him.

This too was freedom. I loved unconditionally.

I don’t know where that year went it seemed to pass so quickly. Christmas approached once more and Stephen had sat his last exams. He was spending more time with his grandparents, and we met often on the path.

No word of my love and desire for him had ever escaped my lips. He had not even by implication suggested any sexual attachment to me. What we had might be described as “a deep friendship.”

The critical moment came on an excessively hot day. The thermometer had soared to forty degrees Celsius by early morning. Dear old Arnold my dog and walking companion of so many years had gone to the great boneyard in the sky. I now walked alone until such time as I could bring myself to replace him.

As I meandered dogless along the path wishing Arnold was still with me, I saw Stephen approaching with Ken’s and Delia’s Dalmatian.

As we came up together I asked, “How did it go?”

“Still waiting for the results,” he replied. “Hope to God I’ve get enough marks to get me into the College.”

“You will,” I said, encouragingly.

We were both sweating in the heat, so I took a bold step. “How about coming back to my place for a drink?”

“Good idea,” he gasped, “Lead the way.”

We went back to my house, the first time Stephen had seen it. “My God,” he expostulated, “I had no idea you lived in place like this!”

“Don’t be impressed,” I said, “It’s what goes on inside it that matters.”

He grinned, “Yes, I suppose so.”

We sat down with our drinks while the Dalmatian made an olfactory inspection of the room, then apparently finding nothing of special interest, flopped down on the carpet and went to sleep. Seeking a lever to start a conversation I asked a question of Stephen I had never put to him before. “Have you got a girlfriend?”

He looked at me a little strangely for a moment, then said, “No, not really. I’ve had one or two girls as friends, but nothing serious.”

“Not interested at this stage?” I questioned further.

He gave a shrug and said, well, it’s not really that it’s…it’s…”

His voice trailed away and I was tempted to ask, “It’s what?” I decided not to pursue the matter and suddenly came up with a bright idea. “Stephen, we’re all hot and sweaty, what about a swim?”

“You’ve got a pool? Terrific…oh…I don’t have anything to wear.”

“That’s all right,” I said, “I can find you something. Be back in a minute.”

I went to my bedroom and put on my swimming costume. I suppose I should write that it was a minimalist bikini, but it wasn’t. It was a backless one piece garment. I went to the cupboard where I kept odds and ends of clothing that were hardly ever used. There were a couple of pairs of Jeff’s old swimming shorts. I selected the most respectable looking pair and took them to Stephen.

Seeing me in my swim suit, I heard an intake of breath and saw him trying not to look at me. I showed him were to change and told him to come out to the pool when he was ready.

I left him and went outside and waited for him sitting on the edge of the pool with my feet dangling in the water. I could have hugged myself with delight. For the first time I had Stephen to myself. No Ken or Delia, no passing walkers or cyclists to overlook us. “He’s all mine,” I thought excitedly.

Stephen came out wearing Jeff’s swim shorts that were perhaps a trifle tight on him. They had been purchased in the days before Jeff developed his little paunch, and in any case Jeff was probably a size or two smaller than Stephen.

Thinking about sizes, what I saw outlined against the cloth of the shorts made me a little breathless. I was no expert in penis sizes, but I have since looked up relative male organ dimensions on the internet, and can now safely say that Jeff’s organ was well below average and from what I could see, Stephen’s was well, very well, above average.

My own sex organ, fortunately not visible to Stephen, had been lubricating copiously for some time. If there was any tell-tail sign of my condition of sexual arousal, it was my nipples, but I didn’t know if Stephen could read the signs of female excitation.

As he drew near I slipped from the edge of the pool into the water and Stephen dived in. We swam and splashed around for a while and ended up wrestling around with each other. As our bodies came into contact I could from time to time feel the pressure of his penis against me, and my readiness would rise to new heights.

We eventually got out of the pool and lay side by side upon two air mattresses under the shade of the wide veranda. What I could physically hide from Stephen, he could not conceal from me. Although he tried to screen his huge erection from me by lying on his stomach, I had seen it before he reached the air mattress. The crown was almost thrusting out of the top of the shorts and the poor boy must have been in a dreadful state.

There now ensued one of those self-conscious moments when one tries to decide on who makes what move. His brief statement about girls who had just been friends, suggested that Stephen was a virgin. My hunger for him was causing me to quiver with tension, and so I summoned up the courage to make the first move. It was a risk because one never knows if they will be rejected, and if that occurs, the relationship may be ruined for ever.

I took the chance and moving over to him I said softly, “Stephen, darling,” then I kissed him softly, moving my moistened lips over his but not seeking to enter his mouth with my tongue at that stage.

When I broke from the kiss he gasped, “Linda, oh Linda.” I kissed him again, this time probing with my tongue for entry into his mouth. He opened his mouth and as I explored it with my tongue I reached down to caress his penis with my hand.

After touching his shaft through the cloth initially I then untied the cord round the waist and slipped my hand inside. As I touched the crown of his penis I felt him give a slight convulsive movement. I knew I was safe – I would not be rejected.

When I came away from the kiss this time, he said, “Linda, I’ve never been with a girl…I don’t know how…”

I interrupted him, “It’s all right, my darling, leave it all to me this time.”

I slipped off his swim shorts and his manhood reared up like a great tower, the light brown shaft surmounted by a beautiful purple cupola that was glistening with pre-cum.

I was tempted to lick some of the salty emission, but the poor boy was so aroused I could feel his blood infused shaft pulsating under my hand in rhythm with his heart beat. “I must let him come into me quickly this time,” I thought, “He won’t be able to hold back for long.”

I took off my swim suit and on seeing me naked Stephen gave a groan and said, “You’re so beautiful, Linda.”

“So are you, my love,” I responded, and sat across him, the crown of his penis poised over my vaginal opening.

I had only ever had penetration with Jeff, and as I have said, Jeff was considerably smaller than Stephen where penis size was concerned. I decided to lower myself slowly, testing for any pain or discomfort. There was none. I was saturated with my lubricant and with his pre-cum he slipped into me easily, the only difference from Jeff being the beautiful tight fit and pressure against the walls of my vagina.

With his full length in me I stopped still for a moment, letting him feel what it was like to be deep inside a woman. Resting with him, I thought I could feel the pressure of his crown against my cervix, but again, there was no discomfort.

During all this Stephen had kept his head raised, watching his entry into me, and continuing his soft moans, “Linda, oh Linda.”

I think this first time with Stephen was the most wonderful few minutes in my life. I felt such love and tenderness for him, such a desire to give myself to him, to make it a beautiful experience that he would always remember.

I began to move on him and quickly felt the prelude to ejaculation as he began to lift his hips, pushing against my downward movements. Suddenly he gave a tremendous cry and instinctively seized my hips, dragging me down on to him in rhythm with his release of semen into me. I felt the first explosion of his seed thump into me and I put all the power I could into my downward thrusts, striving to get the last millimetre of his length into me.

He was crying out incoherently and I had a sudden vision of all those little sperms striving to reach my egg to fertilise it. Then Stephen gave one great cry of “Oh God, Linda,” as he made his last and mightiest thrust of sperm into me. Yes, I thought, the wonderful primal need of the man to impregnate the women, thrusting his seed in deep to fertilise her.

His ejection ended, I felt him relaxing under me. He gave a huge sigh of contentment and whispered, “I do love you, Linda.”

I looked down at him, smiling, and responded, “And I love you, very much, my darling.”

I remained sitting over him, his slackening manhood still inside. Looking at him I thought, “I want him, I need him. I shall be his lover, his mother, his friend, whatever he wants me to be, and I shall give myself totally to him.”

Perhaps that sounds exaggerated, overly emotional, but that was what I thought and felt then, and still do for that matter.

He continued to murmur words of love and devotion to me, and I responded, assuring him of my own depth of feeling for him.

Nothing like this had happened with Jeff, not even during our first couplings when the newness of love and the satisfaction of lust tend to make us more voluble about our feelings. There was something else I had never experienced with Jeff that was taking place with Stephen.

Sitting over him, his penis still in me, I felt a strange sense of unity with him. Again it may sound ridiculous, but I felt at one with him, part of him, and he part of me. I wanted selfishly to possess him.

I felt him hardening and stirring inside me, so I started to move again. After his first ejaculation he would take longer to come this time. For a while I had experienced female orgasm with Jeff, but in time this had faded out together with his own growing lack of interest. Now I felt ripe for a climactic outcome of my union with Stephen.

It came, far off at first like a distant roll of thunder before the lightening strikes. The thunder drew closer and I began to shake and give out little cries of, “Oh, ah, oh, ah, oh, ah.” Then a mighty crescendo, the lightening struck home, and for a while I spun into another world, a vibrating world of flashing lights and colour. I heard myself scream at the height of my climax, and then I was moving away from the high point, weeping and telling Stephen “I love you, I love you.”

I felt the first heave of his ejaculation and he was grasping my hips again, literally moving me up and down on him. I tried to respond, but I was too overcome by my own exquisite but exhausting experience to be of much help to him.

Then came the burst of his semen and as the first thrust shot into me he gave a cry of exultation. His sperm mingled with that of his first ejaculation and my lubricant. It was running out of me over his groin and down onto the mattress. I had never experienced such an overflowing of male seed before. And once more there came the vision of those sperms competing to be the one that fertilised me.

He gave a final massive thrust, and then once more I felt him relax under me. I had reached the outer limits of my own orgasm so I withdrew from him, dropping down beside him.

“All right, darling?” I asked as I kissed his lips and face.

His hands were exploring my breasts, and he whispered hoarsely, “It was wonderful, Linda, beyond anything I’ve ever thought or imagined.”

“Would you like to stay with me for the rest of the day,” I asked.

“Oh yes…” He paused, “My grandparents, they’ll wonder where I am.”

“Telephone them, darling. Tell them I’ve invited you to lunch and you’ll be staying. Tell them I can feed their dog.”

I gave a laugh and added, “Then we’d better have another swim, we’re in a dreadful mess.” It was true; sperm and lubricant were staining the mattress and it was oozing out of my vagina and down my thighs.

He returned my laugh and went off to telephone. I slipped into the pool and watched the sperm rise from my body to the surface of the water forming wavy glutinous ribbons. Foolishly I wanted to keep it, it was part of him.

Stephen came from his telephone call and leaped into the pool. When he came to the surface I asked, “Everything okay?”

“Fine,” he said, and laughed. “They said it would be good for me to be with some younger company.”

I felt a twinge of pain spear through me. Younger than them, yes, but there was twenty years between Stephen and myself. Would he come to regret his association with what might seem to him, an old woman?

We splashed around for a while and then began our wrestling games. We were naked and quickly Stephen had me against the wall of the pool, his penis slipping into my welcoming vagina.

The buoyancy of the water meant that it was no great effort for him to stand with me having my feet off the floor of the pool. We clung together for a long time, looking into each other’s eyes, kissing, his hand exploring my breasts.

Revealing something of my uncertainties I asked him, “Darling, are you happy that we’ve come together like this?”

“Very happy,” he said, smiling at me, then he went on, “You know Linda, I’ve wanted you from the first time we met.”

“When you were fourteen!”

“Yes, I wanted you then. Was that very bad?”

“No, of course not my love, I’m sure many boys of that age have crushes on older women.”

“Mine’s not just a crush, you know,” he said solemnly. “I’ve waited for you all these years. I thought it might never happen, that you wouldn’t want a young fellow like me, but I always hoped.”

As a form of reply, and using the buoyancy of the water, I began to bounce up and down on him until he shot into me again. It was a very peaceful ejaculation this time and rather sweet.

After that I decided we needed nourishment, so we went in to prepare lunch. The Dalmatian cocked one eye open, seemed to see nothing unusual about seeing a naked Stephen and Linda, and promptly went back to sleep, that is, until I produced some food for it, when it came awake with surprising alacrity.

Stephen and I ate, then I suggested we should go to bed for the afternoon. He received this with considerable enthusiasm, especially when I said, “I might be able to teach you a few things.”

“I’m and eager student,” he laughed.

Our sharp sexual hunger had been dealt with before lunch. Now we could enjoy a more leisurely approach to our love making.

We lay on the bed in each other’s arms, kissing deeply and long. Stephen’s hand once more explored my breasts until I requested, “Suck my nipples, darling.”

As I suckled him I demonstrated how he should use his hand, stroking upward from the base of the other breast to finish with a gentle squeeze of the nipple. He was a fast learner, but then, perhaps men have a special instinct about women’s breasts.

After a while I moved his hand down to my vagina and tried to teach him how to use his fingers to penetrate my vagina and stimulate my clitoris.

Some women complain about the careless treatment they get from their partners when it comes to this act of love. To some extent I think the women are at fault in this matter. Their men may not understand the structure of the female genitals, and I believe it is for the women to instruct them.

I was determined Stephen would get what might be called, “a thorough grounding” in at least the basics. I sat on the edge of the bed and drew my legs up and apart so my feet rested on the bed. This gave the fullest possible view of my genitals. I said to Stephen, “Come and kneel in front of me, darling, and I’ll show you what a woman’s sex organ looks like.”

He knelt and I touched my mons, pointing out that some women like to be pressed and stroked there, and then went on to my outer lips. I had intended to move them apart myself, but changed my mind and said, “Darling, if you open those lips you can see what’s behind them.”

He obediently and carefully opened them to reveal my inner lips and vaginal opening.

“You see,” I said, “The inner lips are very like those on our mouths. Lot’s of women like to be kissed and licked there.”

He looked up at me gravely and asked, “Do you like to be kissed there?”

“It depends who is on doing the kissing, Stephen.”

“By me?”

“If you want to, my love.”

He leaned forwards and I felt his lips press against the little petals. He did this in a most solemn and almost worshipful fashion, rather like an orthodox believer kissing a sacred icon. He followed my second indication and began to lick me until finally I felt his tongue thrust into my opening. It was time for one more instruction.

I moved his head away and lifted the little hood over my clitoris to reveal the little nob of nerve endings. I began to circle it with my finger and said, “That is a woman’s real pleasure centre, darling. If you would like to do what I’m doing, or lick it with your tongue, you might send me wild with lust for you.”

I was in fact already wild with lust for him, but I suppose a mentor must remain objective, up to a point.

He again solemnly followed my instruction and began first to run his finger gently round my clitoris then commenced licking it.

Now I am of the school of thought that holds that a man in approaching a woman and engaging in the sexual act should do so with a degree of reverence. A woman, after all, is the potential bearer of new life. It is no wonder in times long ago female fecundity was worshipped.

This is why I think rape is such a heinous crime; it defiles what is essentially sacred. On the other hand, too much reverence for a woman’s body by her sexual partner can detract from the supreme pleasures of the act. Therefore, I told myself that I must in future love making with Stephen, modify the reverence and enhance the ravishing. “Still,” I thought optimistically, “That can wait for other occasions.”

I thought one more lesson was in order, so said, “Darling, come and lay on your back.”

I must say, he was a very obedient student and did as bidden.

I began by kissing his lips, the slowly kissed my way down his body. When I reached his penis it was standing up hard, throbbing, it’s cupola-like head wet with pre-cum.

I began by licking the silvery viscous discharge. Stephen began to moan, “Linda, Linda,” so I took the purple crown into my mouth and began to lick and suck.

I felt his ejaculation approaching, and he tried to push me away crying out, “Linda, I can’t hold…I’m going to…”

He didn’t finish, it was all too late. Had I chosen I could have disengaged from him, but I clung on and as the first semen was impelled up his shaft I felt his hands close over the back of my head as he held me to him.

The first thick warm thud of his sweet young sperm burst into my mouth. I swallowed and then tried to keep pace with his massive discharge. It was more than I could cope with, and it began to run out of the corners of my mouth. I could hear his uninhibited cries with each new explosion, his desperate exclamations of love for me.

As he completed his ejections into my mouth, he, like me earlier, was weeping, but I knew they were tears of joy and fulfilment.

He began to unwind and as one addendum to the lesson I came over him and said, “And now, my love you can taste yourself and I can taste myself.”

The aroma and residue of my lubricant were still on his lips and face. I kissed him, thrusting into his mouth some of his own sperm, while I smelt and tasted myself.

I had not had an orgasm, and was in a terrible state of arousal, so taking advantage of my recent lesson, I sat across him and lowered my vagina to his lips saying, “Make me come darling.”

He had learned his lesson well, and he began to lick my inner lips, and then moved to my clitoris.

It was my turn to put my hands behind his head and force him to stay with me as I shook with the coming of my orgasm. I felt it as waves of love for him coursing with exquisite pain through my entire body. Once more I was screaming my love and desire for him and ended with weeping for the joy I had in him.

When the last shaking wave had passed away we fell apart.

Now was the time of doubt’s return, the moment of apprehension. I, who had set out to teach him, had experienced the act of love with an intensity I had never before known. The question was, would it continue?

Stephen had unleashed in me a passion I had never realised I had. He had, to use my previous metaphor, not only awakened the sleeping giant, but set him rampaging through me. How could I go on now without the deep satisfaction Stephen had given me?

My apprehension was unnecessary. Stephen had put his arms round me so as to hold my breasts in his hands. “Linda, it’s not just today is it? There will be more, won’t there? I love you and want you, but not just for today.”

I felt peace descend upon me. His question had answered mine. I spoke reassuringly to him; “No my dearest love, it is for as long as you want it to be.”

He murmured, “Thank you, Linda, my love.

We slept in post coital relaxation.

I awoke with a start. Stephen slumbered on and I looked over at the bedside clock. Within half an hour Jeff would probably be home. I shook Stephen awake and he came to with a groan.

“Darling, you’ve got to go, my husband will be home soon.”

That brought him fully awake quickly and there was a scramble to get him into his clothes.

He collected the Dalmatian who had continued her sleep, and at the front door he asked, “Shall I see you tomorrow, Linda?”

“No darling, I have to work tomorrow, but the next day I’ll meet you on the path about eight.”

I think we both found it equally hard not to see each other next day, but perhaps we both needed time to digest what had happened between us.

When Stephen had gone I a rushed around preparing the evening meal which was late, and Jeff asked why. I muttered something about having an afternoon nap and oversleeping, which was in part true, and Jeff responded, “Humph.”

Christmas came and went and in the days that followed Stephen and I came together as often as we could. We were totally besotted with each other and the intervals of not being together became increasingly painful. Another nagging concern was now making itself felt; soon Stephen would be starting his course at the college. This would probably mean less time to be together.

I had continued to occasionally attend the services at the church Ken and Delia had taken me to. It was here that I got an inspiration for overcoming the problem of being with Stephen.

One morning the minister made an appeal to the congregation for anyone with a spare room to take as a boarder students coming in from the country for tertiary education. “Why not?” I thought. Stephen came from a country town, his grandparents didn’t really have room for him and our house seemed full of unused rooms.

I put the matter to Jeff not so much as a question but as a statement. “They’re asking at the church for people to take in students from the country, I’ll be taking one in.”

I did not mention the gender of the student and I saw a light in Jeff’s eyes. “He’s thinking of some nice nubile girl he might be able to seduce,” I thought gleefully. “Won’t he get a surprise?”

Jeff played it carefully and said, “Well, so long as she (aha) doesn’t get in my way.”

That seemed to settle it and at the earliest opportunity I went to see Ken and Delia and put the matter to them.

Their response was interesting; Delia said, “I think that might be a good idea.” Ken winked at me and said, “I’m sure it will work out well for both of you.”

Stephen was not present so they said they would tell him as soon as he came in, and he would contact me.

It didn’t take long. Stephen must have telephoned me as soon as they told him about my suggestion. As his grandparents were nearby he had to be cautious, but I could detect the excitement in his voice. We arranged for him to move in two days later.

He came in the morning and we laid out his stuff in the room he was to occupy (some of the time). It was a spacious room and I had set it up to serve as a study and a bedroom. I had put a double bed in the room, and after lunch we tested it out for carnal gratification. It worked well, but I expected we would do most of our love making in my room.

To my amusement Jeff reacted just as I had expected. I saw the disappointment written all over his face at the sight of the very male Stephen. He shook hands with Stephen and muttered gruffly something about hoping he had settled in all right, then saying, “Got some work to do,” he left us.

It was two weeks before the academic year began and between my working hours, Stephen and I couldn’t leave each other alone. We touched, kissed hugged and coupled all over the house. By the middle of the second week I blush to admit that my vagina was so sore from the many penetrations, I had to ask Stephen to refrain from entering me for a couple of days. He was a bit depressed about this, but I consoled him with oral sex.

I did not wish Jeff to know at that stage what was happening between Stephen and me, but I suspected he would have to know some time, and he did.

It happened about three weeks after Stephen had begun his course at the college. Our couplings were less frequent by then, our initial craving for each other having calmed a little. It was then that I became aware that I was pregnant. It was no surprise to me since neither of us had taken precautions, and I think subconsciously this was what I had intended from the start. As for Stephen, he had several times said, “I wish we could make a baby together.”

I told Stephen and his response was a mixture of delight and concern for me. I reassured him I was a strong girl and was not worried about my ability to carry the child for the full term.

There was also the matter of Jeff. Sooner or later he would have to know, and I decided to make it sooner. I had no doubt that Jeff would want me out of the house, so it was better to make the move in the early stages of my pregnancy than later.

When I did tell him it didn’t register at first. It was often like that with him. I would say something to him and he would grunt, without having heard what I had said.

This time it took nearly half a minute to sink in, and then he did a sudden double-take and howled, “Did you say you’re pregnant?”


“But you can’t be, we don’t…who’s the father…I want to know…”

He paused in mid verbal flight and I saw realisation dawn.

“My God, you’ve been fucking with that boy. You’ve let him stick a bloody kid in you…you…you…slut.”

“What does that make you, Jeff,” I asked, “An old roué?”

An old quotation came to mind and I spat it out at him; “The most worthless of mankind are not afraid to condemn in others the same disorders they allow themselves; and can readily discover some nice difference of age, character, or station, to justify the partial distinction.”

He stayed silent for a while, and then burst out again, “I’m not having you two in this house fucking behind my back, and I’m certainly not having his bastard in the place.”

“Good,” I said, “I shan’t be sorry get out of this edifice to your arrogance.”

“You’ll get nothing from me,” he yelled.

“You think not, Jeff. I should think again. I can get something for all the years of cleaning, washing, cooking and putting up with your philandering.”

I turned away, and as I left him he yelled after me, “Not one cent.”

He was wrong. I think he must have consulted with one of the department’s tame solicitors who probably pointed out that I did have a right to what is called, ”A payout.”

The offer when it came was better than I expected. In short, it provided Stephen and me with a modest dwelling, with some money left over. Another reason for the rapid collapse in Jeff’s resistance became clear within two weeks of Stephen and me moving out. One of Jeff’s women moved in.

The revelation having been made to Jeff, there now remained the two significant people in Stephen’s life, Ken and Delia. Stephen wanted to tell them about the situation himself, but I said I wanted to do it. It was after all me who had made the initial move to capture Stephen.

I was amazed at their response.

“We guessed what’s been going on, love,” Delia said. “We can see that there’s a problem with the age difference, but Stephen seems so happy, and he needs love. You’ve given it to him and we accept that.”

Touchingly, Stephen asked me to marry him. I refused, telling him that he had to remain free. He didn’t like this refusal, but I was adamant.

He was wonderfully tender with me during my pregnancy and was present at the birth when out came Sharon.

It was when Sharon was around six months old when the next twist in events occurred. I received a telephone call from the Drugs and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre. They had had a real struggle to find me, but I suspect they got to me through Jeff. Lisa was in their care and was asking to see me.

Gig been arrested on a robbery with grievous bodily harm charge. He had been put in jail. Lisa narrowly avoid being arrested herself, but had gone on from one man to the next, and among other things, she had had an abortion.

She had been eventually picked up in a hopeless state wandering the streets. To service her habit she had worked as a prostitute, but had finally been unable to perform even the necessary function of opening her legs to whoever was willing to pay.

I went to see her and barely recognised her. She was gaunt in appearance, pasty faced, and with facial and body sores in the process of healing. She had developed what I can only describe as a “crafty look”, part defensive, part wheedling.

She flung her arms round me and in a voice that seemed to have difficulty forming speech said, “Oh mummy, I’ve missed you so much. Are you going to take me home, mummy?”

She knew nothing of what had happened in my life and I had no intention of telling her at that stage. I pointed out that I couldn’t take her home because her treatment wasn’t finished. She baulked at this and for a moment seemed about to be her old abusive self, then changed her mind and said, “You will take me home when it is finished, won’t you?”

I have to admit that the thought of Lisa entering my now harmonious existence did not appeal. I had to force myself to try and feel a mother’s concern for her and said, “We’ll see what the doctor’s have to say.”

I had been asked on arrival to see a Dr.Marks before I left, so I duly presented myself to him. He was a very “no nonsense” type, which I suppose was just as well in that sort of work.

He laid the situation before me quite bluntly.

“As well as her drug habit, Mrs. Prince, Lisa has a venereal disease. We’re trying to cure her of both. The venereal problem we are confident can be cleared up, the drug habit is another matter. Lisa has taken a whole array of drugs over time, in fact anything she could get her hands on. We are still trying to assess the damage that has occurred.”

“What we need to know is, are you willing to take her back once we’ve done all we can here? From here she can go to a halfway house, beyond that, well, if you won’t take her it’s hard to see what can be done.”

“Before you decide I must warn you that Lisa could quite easily revert to her drug habit, and the activities that might give her the money to feed her habit. In other words, it won’t be easy having her around the place.”

“You don’t have to decide right now, Mrs.Prince. Lisa will be here for some time yet, and then there’s the period in the halfway house. Talk it over with your husband.”

”I can just imagine what Jeff would say,” I thought, but knew I would have to talk with Stephen about the situation.

Stephen took the news with considerable composure considering he had no reason to expect this sort of invasion into our lives.

“She will have to live somewhere, and she is your daughter,” he said. “But how do you think she’ll take our relationship? And what about when she finds out she’s got a half-sister?”

“I shall be visiting her again,” I replied, “I think I may as well tell her then. The sooner the better, don’t you think?”

“Yes, and if you think it’ll be okay, what about if I come with you on the visit after that; as you say, ‘the sooner the better’.”

My next visit to Lisa was a week later. She was showing signs of improvement; her sores had almost cleared up and she even looked as if she had put on some weight.

I first told her that she could come home when her treatment was finished and she had been cleared by the halfway house. She poured out somewhat exaggerated thanks for this information.

I went on to tell her that I had left her father, was living in a different and smaller house, and I had a live in partner. Lisa wanted some details so I gave them to her frankly, including the age difference between Stephen and I. This seemed to activate some of Lisa’s old rude manner.

“Oh, mother’s got her self a toy boy, has she?” She said this in a sort of sing song way, and I clamped down quickly on this.

“No Lisa, I have not got myself a toy boy, I have a lover and we have already had one child and if I dared risk it at my age I’d have another with him. You see, we happen to love each other.”

Her face registered a sneer but she said nothing, so I asked, “Stephen would like to come and see you on my next visit, will that be all right?”

“Suppose so,” she replied sulkily, “I might as well meet my…what is he, my stepfather? Fancy having a stepfather the same age as myself, it sounds positively gruesome.”

We left it at that and it was on the next visit that the shape of things to come emerged, but I did not perceive it at the time.

Stephen and I went together, taking Sharon with us. The effect on Lisa of seeing Stephen was written all over her face. When we were alone for a while she expressed her feelings about him.

“Why didn’t you tell me he’s such a sexy hunk? I thought he’d be some pathetic wimp looking for a mummy, but I could go for him myself. Better watch out, I might steal him from you.”

I told her not to be so silly, but could not help noticing a little twinge of anxiety stab through me. I knew full well the great danger to my relationship with Stephen would be a younger woman.

During the course of the visit when all of us were present Lisa maintained a sort of teasing, even flirtatious, manner with Stephen. Sharon was due for her feed during the visit, so I opened the front of my dress and began to breast feed her.

Stephen had been fascinated by this activity and told me how beautiful he found it, but Lisa made her feelings clear when she exclaimed, “Yuk!”

The elements for the future were written clear; I just didn’t complete the reading of them properly.

I picked Lisa up from the halfway hostel and brought her home some weeks later. Her first response was to complain about the size of the house and the smallness of her room. I ignored this but felt it was not a good start to what might have been the re-establishment of our relationship.

From the start her manner towards Stephen was coquettish, touching him and mockingly referring to him as “stepfather”.

Stephen told her to stop that and call him Stephen, which she did.

The treatment she had undergone seemed to have worked well. I had been informed that the venereal problem had cleared up, but there might be permanent damage that would prevent her conceiving. I had the feeling that this would not bother Lisa.

She was in fact looking quite attractive but freed from the restraints of the past weeks, her old personality seemed to be reasserting itself, but in the milder form of mockery. In addition, the derisive threat that she might take Stephen from me began to emerge as a reality.

Lisa always seemed to be where Stephen was when he was at home. There was always the coquettish manner and the sly sexual innuendoes. The only place she did not seem to accompany him to was our bed.

Lisa had left school, or more accurately, dropped out, when she was sixteen. Not that it made much difference as she had played truant constantly for at least year before that. Thus she had little to offer educationally speaking, and had never as far as I knew worked; thus she had nothing to commend her to a potential employer.

This became a problem because it meant that she had nothing to do all day except hang around being bored and making a nuisance of her self. I tried to get her to help around the house, but she simply turned up her lip in a sneer and reiterated, “Boring, boring.” Her attitude to Sharon was derisive, frequently referring to her as “Mummy’s little brat.”

The next step was for Stephen and I to find money missing. We had not been accustomed to hiding cash away, and I must admit we had got careless in that respect. Stephen might ask, “I left ten dollars here, have you seen it?” Of course, I hadn’t. We both knew where it had gone, but said nothing.

When we took to securing our cash we noticed items from around the house disappeared, including the Celtic Cross Stephen had made me. I confronted Lisa about it, and received a blank stare followed by an abusive denial.

Her sexual advances to Stephen became more blatant. As I have said, it was the coming of a younger woman that I dreaded most in our relationship. That it should be my own daughter was almost more than I could bear.

Despite my insecurity in this matter, I said and did nothing as I saw her advances getting ever more lascivious. I felt that to intervene would be to humiliate myself, and as water must find its own level, so Stephen had to find his in relation to younger women and myself, and do so without restraint from me.

The critical moment came one night in bed when Stephen said to me, “Darling, I think we have to do something about Lisa. We’ve put up with the stealing because we can’t finally prove she did it, but something happened while you were out today. She offered herself to me for sex for a hundred dollars, and when I said ‘no’, she actually started to bargain, offering herself for seventy five then fifty dollars. It seems obvious to me she’s back on drugs and getting desperate for money. How is it going to be for Sharon growing up with that?”

My insecurities finally getting the better of me I asked, “Would you have taken her for no fee, Stephen?”

“You know bloody well I wouldn’t, Linda, I value what I’ve got with you too dearly.”

I obviously didn’t “know bloody well”, but a tremendous wave of relief came over me. What to do about Lisa was another matter that, like the first time, it resolved itself in tragic manner.

I confronted her about drugs and at first she denied it, but when I pressed her further the old Lisa came out in full flood. “Mind yer own fucking business,” etc. etc.

Within two days she was gone. Attempts to trace her through the police and Salvation Army came to nothing. Perhaps one day I shall receive another call from the Drugs and Alcohol people, or perhaps Lisa will disappear into that dark sub-world of wrecked lives.

For a while I engaged in “what might have been,” wondering how many other parents had seen the wreck of a child’s life. Stephen comforted me in his sage young way, but I suppose what I cannot but help see as my failing of Lisa will be always with me.

But as people are accustomed to say, “Life goes on.”

My own life goes on with my baby and Stephen. Looked at from the outside I suppose people see a woman with a young lover, from within I am ambivalent.

Was Stephen a boy who was seeking a mother substitute, and I happened along? Was I a woman who desired a son and Stephen happened along? Was it the craving for love we both experienced or the hunger for sexual fulfilment? Was it all of these?

I still have the dread that one day another, younger woman, will take Stephen from me. He shows no signs of straying yet and he is as sexually ardent with me as he ever was. I love him dearly, and the resolve that I made in the first flush of our sexual relationship is still with me. Come what may, I will be his lover, mother, friend or whatever he wants me to be to him.

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