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Chapter 1: George
I knew that the woman I had been living with in the last few months wasn’t the same person with whom I had spent the best part of my life. This new woman had deep lines on her forehead. The eyes that I had seen dance with light and laughter were now small and distant, the mouth had hardened to a straight line. I had no idea when the foreign entity had replaced my lovely partner. I had been busy.
After retirement I had been bored and restless. Doris finally tired of my constantly being “under foot” and encouraged me to take on consultant work as a private contractor. In the beginning it had been a part time job. As I took more jobs, I made more contacts. I began to get a reputation as a reliable, honest contractor who could get a job done efficiently and effectively. I was having fun. At first I took Doris with me on my trips. We used them as little vacations and saw many places we’d always wanted to visit. At some point, though, I spent more time working and less time with Doris. She decided that she’d rather stay at home than be alone on the road, so I made the trips by myself.
I guess that had been about 8 months ago. On one of the trips – or after several – the strange woman took up residence in our home. I have no idea why it took me so long to notice…which is probably why she became so firmly entrenched.
When I finally noticed the difference, I tried to talk with the stranger. I brought home flowers, found little gifts that had once delighted Doris, made the bed, brought her tea…the stranger remained and never spoke of where she came from. When I tried the more direct approach, I was met with a fixed glare and silence.
In bed she wore flannel pajamas. She’d never done that. All our lives together we’d slept naked next to each other, deriving comfort and peace feeling the skin of the other even in our sleep. When I tried stroking her hip or placing my hand across her belly, actions that used to make her snuggle closer to me, she now turned from me and feigned sleep…or just ignored me. We hadn’t made love in months. Completely unnatural.
Now I sat across from the stranger and every now and then would see a glimpse of my love for the first time in many months. I watched as the conversation animated her…but she looked at me and all changed. The mouth once again became a hard line and the eyes lost the spark….and now there was sadness in them.
We were having dinner with our daughter, Janet, and a friend of hers. She asked if we would mind joining her and Jay for dinner. Jay wasn’t “new”. They had been seeing each other for a few months, but this was the first time they had asked us out for dinner. It had taken Janet a long time to recover from the death of her husband seven years previously. She had lost herself in her children and work. The children were out of her house now and starting lives of their own. She had finally realized that work was a cold companion. Jay was the friend of a friend whom she had met at a dinner party. They had met, evidently spent hours talking, and had been seeing each other as much as their traveling schedules would allow. He was a nice boy.
I sat lost in thought for a moment, then began listening to the conversation a little more closely.
“Mom, what was the name of that place where you and Dad used to go when you left Scott and me with Gran?” Janet’s voice brought me back to the conversation. “You know, you took us with you only that once and we were miserable.”
Doris paused for a moment.
“Pequoi’s Lake”, replied Doris quietly without looking at anyone, picking up her water glass for a drink.
“Okay, so satisfy my curiosity about something I’ve wondered about for years. What in the world was the attraction to that place. There was absolutely nothing to do there. There was no boat for the dock, no fishing poles for the lake, no people around….nothing. I think Jay and I walked forever around the lake…several times. Oh, we did skip rocks,” she looked at Jay with a smile, “got quite good at it actually. You have to remind me to teach you some day. Other than that, there was nothing other than cards in the house.”
I looked at my plate and smiled as I took a bite of my salmon. Pequoi’s Lake. The picture was vivid in my mind. Doris was beautifully naked on that dock. There was no one anywhere for miles.
She had been at home with a rambunctious 3-year-old and a 6 month old for several weeks. One had been sick then the other. She hadn’t been out of the house to speak of even for groceries and it had taken its toll on her. I had helped when I could, but it was one of those times that work kept me away much of the time and we had no family near to help. When Scott had finally gotten well, I called one of her sisters into service to take care of the children for a long weekend. I had heard of Pequoi from a friend who had a house there. He had offered the use of it when I wanted but warned that there wasn’t much anything there but peace and quiet.
From the first moment Doris had stepped into the house to see, through the full wall of glass, the view of the large deck ending Ataşehir Escort at the lake front, she fell in love. She looked at me with a wicked smile, stripping slowly and sensuously right there in the living room with bags and supplies all around. She held my eyes as one article of clothing followed the other onto the floor, the sofa back…across my shoulder. When she was finished, she walked over, placed a kiss on the tip of my nose, then walked out the sliding doors onto the deck. The sun shone brightly as she held her arms up as though offering herself to her deity. Head thrown back, arms upstretched, she was my high priestess. Her breasts rose seductively, her slightly rounded belly was exposed showing its soft hardness, thighs slightly parted to reveal her inviting, warm femininity. I was enraptured. This was my mate. Mine. At that moment I felt like no man in history could be so fortunate. I made my way to her. She slowly undressed me then closed her eyes, took my hands, and took them on a tour of her body. We made love with a passion that we had missed for years. Children have a way of robbing you of that without you realizing it. We spent most of the weekend on that dock, even at night. I found that Doris was truly a moon worshipper. I had only thought she was beautiful in the sunlight.
I came back to dinner and looked at Doris across the table. There was that sad look in her eyes. I didn’t want it there. I wanted nothing more than to see that look of abandonment and joy I had seen on the dock.
I wish I had paid a little more attention to the answer Doris gave Janet. I was a little curious about what she had said. No, on second thought, I had enjoyed my memories more.
“Dad, do you remember the time Mom got so angry with you for coming home late on Christmas Eve?”
“And I remember apologizing to your dad, in front of the two of you, a few weeks later after I found out why he was late,” Doris added looking directly at Janet with a flash in her eyes just short of anger. “You would do well to recall that most important part of the event.”
Janet held up her hands in mock surrender, laughing.
“I will, I will. It’s just that I’ve never seen you so angry.” She looked to Jay, “That was the night that Scott and I decided that we *never* wanted to be on the receiving end of her wrath. It was like a force of nature.”
“So what’s the story?” he asked me. “What made you late?”
“There’s not a lot to tell. Someone needed a ride and I gave it to her. It just took longer than I expected and I was late. I was late and missed some of our family traditions.” I looked at Janet, “you know you *could* have saved me some of the cookies before you delivered them all. I don’t think I ever got over that,” I said trying to redirect the conversation.
“Uh-uh,” said Janet, “you don’t get off with that.” She put her hand on my shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “He stopped at the grocery to get some ingredients for the cookies we were baking that night. When he was pulling out of the parking lot, he noticed a woman with small children sitting in the bus shelter with suitcases next to them. He parked the car and went over to talk to the woman. I turned out that they were waiting for the bus to take them to her family’s house in Preston, which was over an hour away. They had missed the bus and were going to have to wait a couple of hours for the next one. It was bitterly cold out and Dad couldn’t let them stay out there waiting. The kids were little and the woman looked miserable. He had her walk with him to the pharmacy next to the bus stop to talk with the people inside who knew him, vouching for his character, then offered to take her to Preston. He got home about two and a half hours later to a wife who was livid and children who were terribly disappointed. All he told us was that he had to play Santa to three other children who wouldn’t have had one otherwise. When Mom went to the pharmacy a couple of weeks later, they all asked her if they had heard anything more from the lady and her children. Mom, of course, didn’t know what they were talking about and heard the whole story.”
When I looked at Doris, she was looking down and swiping surreptitiously at her cheeks and eyes. She kept her eyes down, grasping her napkin. After a few seconds, she seemed to take a breath, then took another sip from her water glass. She looked at Jay.
“Tell me, dear, are you still traveling as much as you have been?” I detected a bit of an edge in the question.
“He’s traveling about as much as I am, Mom,” interrupted Janet. “You know, it’s really been good for us.” Jay was smiling at Janet. Not just any smile. I knew the feeling behind that one.
Doris had turned 60. She said that age didn’t matter to her one whit and I believed her. Still there was something going on. She was almost melancholy when she looked at me. One night I sat out on the back porch reading the paper and having my evening glass of wine. The next thing I knew, Doris was sitting on a chair she’d pulled directly in front of me, studying me intently. I lowered my paper, offered her Kadıköy Escort my glass, which she took. All there was to do was to sit back in my chair and wait.
“I’m so sorry that I’m no longer what I once was physically. I wanted so much to stay ahead of the aging game. I just can’t, well, not physically at least. My body has betrayed me no matter what I tried to do to prevent it. My skin has drooped along with my butt and boobs. The muscles are there but they’re so hidden they don’t seem to matter for anything other than supporting my bones.”
“Finish the glass,” I told her, “I think you need it far more than I do.” And I sat there easily and just smiled – the same smile that Jay now had that said that you love more than the world and everything in it can ever matter. Once she had finished the wine, I leaned forward, took her face in my hands and kissed every beautiful wrinkle on her face….I continued the process over the rest of her body. Beautiful woman.
“What do you mean it’s been good for you? “asked Doris suspiciously.
“Doris, George,” Jay said before Janet could answer. “I wanted all of us to have dinner together because I wanted to ask you if you had any objections to Janet and I marrying.”
Now wasn’t that just about as old-fashioned as you can get. I liked it, though. What can I say? I’m a Dad who loves his daughter. I appreciated the consideration Jay was showing even if my daughter was over 40 and had children of legal age all her own.
“None at all, Jay.” Turning to Janet I said, “Are you sure? Does he make you happy?”
“Happier than I’ve been in years. I feel complete again, Dad. I didn’t think that would happen.”
I caressed her cheek. “Then I’m happy for you, sweetheart.”
“I don’t think it’s such a good idea, actually.”
The voice belonged to the stranger who used to be Doris. We were all stunned to silence.
She looked sharply at Janet then at Jay.
“You two have jobs that take you away from each other for weeks at a time. Who knows what will happen in that time apart. You loose touch with each other. You have no idea what the other is experiencing, thinking, feeling. In time, it becomes too much and you drift apart. Why in the world would you want to start a life together under those conditions?”
Everyone was silent.
“Mother,” Janet said softly but firmly, “this relationship has happened very quickly. The time apart has given us breathing room. Frankly, I felt so much for Jay so quickly that it scared the hell out of me. I’m not a child, Mom. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt love. I know what has happened between us and I also know that I’m an incredibly fortunate woman to have had it twice. Our jobs have helped us maintain a sort of equilibrium while we’ve ridden this roller coaster. As far as being apart, well, it works another way, too. We get to experience each other anew every time we come home. We don’t take each other for granted. I get to ask him how his work is and it’s not a perfunctory question. Now I get to come home from a few days on a trip and I have someone with whom I can unwind, use as a sounding board, someone to hold me and tell me how brilliant I am after spending days being professional and above it all. As for knowing what the other is thinking, feeling, and experiencing…well, there are these wonderful inventions called telephones and,” she lowered her eyes and I saw that familiar wicked smile that had graced her mothers face many times, “phone sex can be absolutely incredible.
I nearly choked on my wine and Doris sat up like she had been shot. Jay turned beet red but had a grin so big that it was a wonder it fit on his face. There was nothing else to do in that situation but what it called for – I laughed. Hard. Lord, how I laughed. I put my arms around my daughter and gave her a big kiss on the cheek.
“Spoken like a true daughter of your mother,” I said with great appreciation, “and don’t let her make you think anything differently.”
Doris had relaxed a bit and looked thoughtfully at another place in the room – maybe another place in time by the look on her face. Finally, she looked back at Janet, then at Jay.
“Are you two certain about this?”
Jay took Doris’ hand. “I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life. I want your daughter and will do all I can to help her have what she wants in life. In her, I’ve found the friend and companion I’ve always looked for. I’ve never married for a good reason – I was waiting for Janet.”
Doris nodded her head.
“All right, then.”
Jay smiled and kissed her.
At home later, I prepared for bed while Doris was in the bathroom doing the same. She was quiet all the way home, not saying a word. I tried to talk about Janet and Jay, but she said nothing. I looked over at her a few times, watching her look out the side window. I recalled her comments about the travel. There was definitely something there. As I put on my robe and tied the belt, I suddenly realized that I was the biggest idiot to walk the earth. How in the world can I have lived with Doris for all this time and not see it? Ümraniye Escort How could I have been so incredibly blind?
I went to the bathroom door and watched Doris in her ritual of spraying rose water on her face then rubbing lotion into her face and neck. I looked at her face, her body…yes, she had gotten a little wider over the years and her breasts were larger and less firm than they were 40 years ago. Who of us isn’t touched by time? I felt my body react. She was still so desirable – all that I would ever want or need. I watched the movements that I had watched for years but had missed for the last several months. The familiarity had bred neglect…just at a time when it was so important to be attentive. Hell, it was always a time to be attentive. What was it that Janet had said? We don’t take each other for granted? Not only had I been gone, but I had taken my best friend for granted. I had neglected her. Worse, I tried to make up without acknowledging my offense. I was so self absorbed that I hadn’t even taken time to realize what the offense was. And it was so simple…yet devastating to one who loved.
I saw her steal a glance at me leaning in the doorway with my arms crossed. It was only a brief look, then back to her own face in the mirror.
“I’ve missed you,” I said. “The worst part is that it’s been my own fault that I’ve missed you. You’ve been here and I’ve not…in any way.”
She continued rubbing the lotion into her face without looking at me.
“During dinner tonight I remembered so many things…what you looked like naked in the moonlight, how you apologized to me after your apology in front of the children, how much I wanted you when you worried at your ability to turn me on after 60.” I was behind her now and put my hands on her hips. Her hands had stopped moving and were on her cheeks. “Doris, I’m so sorry I’ve not let you know what you are to me.”
I moved my hand so that the back of it caressed her face.
“This wonderful face, so expressive – so many emotions I’ve seen on it over the years. Emotions that were a part of what made my life so worth living. I never knew what I would see, but always there was life and vitality that made me want to see more.”
I moved my hands to her belly and stroked her. I always loved the way it felt. “You carried and nurtured our children, our love, here – inside you. What a wonderful gift. You also comforted me here and here,” I moved my hands to her breasts. “Do you now how much I love your breasts?” I saw her look at me with raised eyebrow. “No, dear, not like most men with a breast fetish. You know me better than that.” I murmured with a smile looking into her eyes in the mirror. She smiled back…with her eyes as well as that lovely mouth. “Hey, don’t get me wrong, they taste wonderful… and I do love the sound you make when I do this.” I gently squeezed her breast and brushed my fingers across the nipple. I love that low, rumbling sound of pleasure.
My hand moved back down her stomach to between her legs.
“Ah and here – the place of true wonder. The place from which our children came into the world and,” I stroked her cleft through her pajamas, “my haven.” I moved my hand beneath her pajama bottoms and ran my fingers through the course curls I felt there. The hair was a little more sparse than what it had once been, but it always felt good. My finger dipped deeper until it ran along the smooth, slick slit of her lower lips. Doris’s head fell back against my shoulder and she moved her legs apart slightly giving me freer access to her. My other hand began a journey up her belly. The softness of it, the roundness. She was my Mother Earth, soft and sensual. I continued up to those magnificent breasts, so heavy and pliable in my hand. I felt her hardened nipple and rubbed it against the palm of my hand. At the sound of her deepening breath, I took it between my fingers and pulled. Doris moaned from deep within her body. I felt the wetness increase between her legs and used that to moisten the sensitive bud at the top of her slit.
I looked at her reflexion in the mirror. Eyes closed, she leaned against me, open to me, trusting. I kissed the side of her neck and let my tongue trace a line to the back of her ear where I sucked the soft, wrinkled skin. I inhaled her scent and continued my feast on her neck and throat. I felt her push back then undulate lightly against the hardness that was pressed into her bottom. It was my turn to moan and I pushed slightly back against her.
She groaned in protest when I stopped my ministrations and moved my hands to her shoulders. I turned her, took her hands, and led her to our bed. At the edge I stopped and began unbuttoning her top. I pushed the fabric over her shoulders and down her arms, then stood back to look at her torso. What an incredibly lucky man I was. With the palm of my hand I felt the soft skin of her chest. I leaned forward and kissed the wrinkling skin there and continued down between her breasts – kissing, licking, inhaling. I pulled back and looked into her eyes. Taking her face in my hands I pulled her forward to a kiss. She opened her mouth to taste me for the first time in months. She breathed in my exhalation and put her arms around me. I was home. Oh, how I had missed her. Our mouths began tasting, teasing each other. We pulled back, looked into each other’s eyes then would taste again.
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