Remember That Night…….
“I remember that night, the first time I met him.” The older lady said. The younger woman sitting alongside cocked her head to one side, and listened intently.
“I had taken a sabbatical from my university studies, and gone travelling.” She continued “Unheard of at the time, but the idea of a ‘gap year’ is quite common, now, of course.”
The young woman nodded in encouragement, but did not speak, she simply continued to listen.
“I’d wound up on Skiathos, in the Mediterranean Sea” the old woman went on “A tiny little Greek island. Unknown at the time, well off the beaten track, but it’s quite famous now. They made a film there a few years ago. Beautiful place. There was even a beach where it was ok to remove your swimsuit! Scandalous at the time – one simply did not do such a thing!”
The older woman winced slightly as she leaned forward, but she managed a conspiratorial wink towards the younger one. “But I did!” She chuckled, and the pretty young girl joined her in a little giggle. “I’ve always hated strap-lines, so I went to that beach almost every day. My hair was long and blonde, then, and it bleached to the colour of straw in the sun. Along with the tan I had, I must’ve looked every inch the Classical Greek Goddess, even if I do say so myself.” She said, smiling. Helen grinned to herself as she recalled the memories, and brushed her greying hair back from her forehead.
She was nineteen years old back then, and having the time of her life. The world was changing, and she’d relished the new-found freedoms. The doldrums after the War were becoming a thing of the past. Rationing of food had ended, rock and roll had arrived from America, and it was a good time to be young. She’d decided, much to her parents’ chagrin, to head off around The Med for a while, and then resume her course when she returned. Art & Technology was a relatively new field at her university anyway, and the subject was one she could pick up again upon her return.
She fondly recalled the four months she’d been travelling during that long, hot summer. She’d supplemented her allowance by getting a few random jobs here and there, washing up in restaurants, cleaning hotel bedrooms and the like. She’d enjoyed the attentions of a number of young Greek men, but their intentions were always just one thing. Helen had enjoyed flirting with them, dancing the night away at little Tavernas to the sounds of the exciting music on those new jukeboxes, and even kissing and cuddling, but no more than that. She wasn’t going to let just anybody be the first, and besides, it was risky – she had no wish to go home with more than memories from her trip. A disease, or even a baby, was definitely not on the agenda.
That had all changed when she met Jonathan. Fate must have conspired to bring them both to that obscure Greek Island at the same time. She just drifting, experiencing life, but he, he was there for inspiration, seeking a muse.
They’d met that night, down by the harbour. The moon had shone down, illuminating the white-painted buildings that nestled there. Helen had been sitting on the steps, idly sketching a pencil drawing of the scene, with the moon in the background, and little pencil strokes marking the outlines of the last of the sea-birds heading off to wherever sea-birds go to at night.
She’d become aware of someone standing behind her, a couple of steps above, peering over her shoulder at the picture that was forming on the page of her sketch-book in front of her.
Embarrassed, she’d tried to quickly turn the page, ashamed of her idle doodlings. He’d spoken gently to her, his deep English accent telling her not to be so protective. It seemed that he actually thought her sketch was good, and had asked to see any others. He introduced himself, and it turned out that he was actually from Oxfordshire, not more than forty miles from her own home.
Jonathan, it transpired, was an artist, and having recently sold a few paintings he was now travelling around to seek inspiration for further works.
Ten years older than Helen, he seemed so sophisticated, so worldly. On reflection, Helen recalled, she fell in love with him there and then, right at that precise moment. Timidly she handed the sketch-book over to him. He flicked through the drawings there, and smiled, nodding approval at many of them, and making encouraging remarks here, and giving a little advice about picture composition there. Helen blushed slightly at the praise her work was receiving from a ‘professional’.
At his suggestion, they went for a walk along the long road that led down onto the causeway. Helen noted that he carefully rolled up her sketch-book and, like a true gentleman, tucked it under his arm so as to carry it for her. She’d tucked her arm in his, and off they’d gone.
As they walked, the night had cooled. Helen had been slightly embarrassed when she’d realised that her nipples had become visible through the light blouse she was wearing. She’d washed all her clothes earlier, and was only wearing a flowing white gypsy skirt, and a thin white blouse, with no underwear – all the rest of her things were currently hanging on a line at the back of the little digs she was renting in town. A pair of high wedge-heeled sandals completed the look of as much sophistication as a young woman on a budget could be.
She’d hoped that Jonathan wouldn’t notice the fact that she was blushing, and that the darkness would hide the crimson hue that she knew her cheeks were getting. She wasn’t sure whether she was embarrassed by the fact that her nipples were visible, or whether it was the fact that she didn’t want Jonathan to notice her blushes.
They’d walked, arm in arm, for what seemed like hours, talking about art, travelling, life, their pasts, what they wanted for their lives, all sorts. She’d explained that she wanted to be a photographer, and was going back home at the end of the summer to complete her course, he’d told her he specialised in painting the human body, and the female form in particular.
When Jonathan had suggested that they go to his studio to see some of his paintings, Helen was astonished to hear herself readily agree.
She had been nervous as she’d climbed the stairs into the loft apartment that Jonathan was renting, overlooking the harbour, but her trepidations were replaced by awe and wonder at the sights that greeted her as he switched on the single bare light bulb that hung from the ceiling.
Several large canvasses stood around the large, uncarpeted loft, all on easels with half-finished paintings upon them. A small unmade bed was against one wall, and a small table with two chairs had stood next to it. A single wardrobe and a kitchenette with one small sink, a tiny cooker and a small gas-powered fridge in the corner of the room completed the meagre furnishings.
As her eyes had adjusted to the light, Helen had seen that the canvasses were of reclining bodies, but all were unfinished, just outlines, part-painted snatches of forms, with some backgrounds. Sketches were scattered across the floor, in hap-hazard piles.
Jonathan offered her a drink, some Retsina, the local wine. She’d accepted, and had been amused to see that he’d had to pour it into two cracked china tea-cups, as he didn’t actually possess any glasses in his apartment. They talked, for hours it seemed, and Jonathan explained that he was having trouble with his work. He seemed unable to find inspiration to complete his pictures.
Perhaps it was the wine, perhaps it was his quiet charm, his charisma, or perhaps it was simply the mystique of the fact that he was obviously such an accomplished artist, Helen still to this day did not know, but she found herself there and then offering to model for Jonathan, if he wished.
He had readily agreed, and so she found herself sitting on a blanket in the middle of the uncarpeted floor of the loft studio, supporting her upright upper body with one arm while her legs were together, and stretched out beside her, mimicking the pose she had seen in one of the partly finished paintings. She smoothed down her skirt, and straightened the collar of her blouse, and kicked off the sandals she had been wearing.
Jonathan had begun to paint, chatting to her all the time as he did so, his head popping up above the easel, or sometimes to either side. Once he ducked down and peered at her from underneath – making her giggle.
He’d topped up her cup of wine on several occasions and, unused to drinking, Helen had got gigglier and gigglier, as Jonathan joked with her.
All these years later, Helen still did not know why she had done what she did next, but whilst Jonathan was obscured behind the large canvass, she’d hastily undone the buttons on her blouse, and slipped it off, laying it carefully behind her.
She looked down nervously at the erect nipples standing up on her pert, tanned breasts in the cool night air, then proudly raised her head and stared straight at the back of the canvass. When Jonathan’s head had bobbed around the canvass she had had to fight to retain her composure, but proud of her body she straightened up, pushing her shoulder blades together so that her breasts pointed towards him. She tried not to smirk as she saw the look of at first astonishment, then delight, as his eyes travelled across her nude torso.
There’d been a long pause while he’d stared at her, then, grinning, he’d resumed painting, quicker now, and looking around the canvass more often. She’d been flattered just by his gaze, and was even more impressed by the compliments that flowed from his mouth.
She’d been a little hesitant when he had suggested that she remove her skirt too, but when she’d got up and walked around to have a quick preview of the painting, she had been so impressed by the spectacle of what she’d seen that, giggling, she’d agreed.
It was certainly impressive, and very flattering, to see her face painted large upon the canvass in front of her, and the way he had painted the image of her breasts made her very proud indeed.
Laughing, she’d made him turn around and promise to close his eyes while she’d unbuttoned the skirt, and slipped it down her long brown legs. She’d quietly walked back over to the blanket upon which she had been posing, and had folded the skirt neatly on top of her blouse, then resumed the position in which she had been sitting for most of the past few hours.
When she’d given him permission to turn around, she’d been more than impressed by his reaction – the obvious delight on his face was mirrored by the bulge at the front of his trousers.
Up to that point Helen had never really seen an erect penis, although occasionally she had taken a sly peek at the front of the swimsuits of men at the beach, and on the nudist beach - she had seen them half hard, but nothing like the look of the thing straining against the material of Jonathan’s denim pants.
As he continued to paint, Helen had become more and more aware of the aching between her legs.
She’d experienced this before, when kissing and ‘making out’ with boys, when they’d cuddled and snogged after nights in the Taverna, but the fact that it was happening without any form of physical stimulation was a novel experience.
Almost without thinking, her hand had strayed ‘down there’ and she was amazed to discover that the lips there were glistening with moisture. Idly, she slipped a finger between them, and stroked lightly, astounded by how wet it had become.
Involuntarily a light moan escaped from her mouth, as a new sensation rippled through her.
She hastily removed her hand as she saw that Jonathan had looked around the canvass at the sound she had made. Flushed with embarrassment at being caught out ‘playing’, she stuttered and apologised, and stammered that she must leave, it was late.
She hastily turned round and picked up her clothes, tears beginning to fill her eyes. Not knowing, in her haste, which to put on first, her hands shook as she tried to pull her blouse on, when Jonathan had gently slipped his arms around her, and whispered quietly in her ear.
She’d frozen as he’d told her how beautiful she was, and that she was a gorgeous, young, sexy, woman who should be proud of herself, and proud of her sexuality.
She’d let the blouse and skirt fall from her hands into an untidy pile by her feet, and she’d allowed him to turn her around and hold her close as he kissed her.
She felt her body, rigid with fear, melt into his arms, as his passionate masculinity overcame her trepidation. She’d kissed him back, and felt a warmth spread over her whole body.
His tongue had gently slipped between her lips and begun to explore her mouth as his hands softly caressed her back, long slow strokes with his fingertips making her shiver with pleasure. She’d responded, kissing him back, and pulling him closer to her naked body by wrapping her arms around him. She was amazed to feel the hard bulge in his trousers pressing against her abdomen, scarily large, but she was certain of one thing – she wanted this man. He was the one. And now was the time.
Helen had offered no resistance as Jonathan had scooped her up, carried her over and lain her gently on to the single bed. She’d nodded when he’d whispered was it her first time, and he had promised he would be gentle.
Helen had been amazed when Jonathan had begun to plant little kisses on her neck, and the top of her breasts. She knew the mechanics of ‘sex’ and she had simply expected him to get on top of her and insert his penis into her vagina, but it was fantastic what he was doing to her.
His lips had closed over her nipple, causing her to moan out loud as he sucked and kissed, rolling his tongue around the hard tip. His hands strayed across her soft skin, each touch sending strange new pleasures through her. She shivered as his lips planted kisses down across her flat belly and his hands gently prised her thighs apart, but then she was shocked to find that he had extended his tongue, and run the tip of it down, through her pubic hair and across the lips of her vagina!
She sat upright, horrified by what this strange man was doing, and for a split second she wanted to push him away, what was the filthy beast thinking of?
Then a whole new sensation opened up inside her – as his tongue reached her clitoris it began to flick the engorged flesh it found there. A wave rumbled up through Helen’s body, and her eyes opened wide as her orgasm hit her. She flopped back onto the bed, and her back arched as the pleasure hit her. It was like being struck by a train, she lost all control of her body, her thoughts, her reality. She had been astonished when a long, loud moan had escaped her lips.
She was in a different world from the one she had previously inhabited.
Jonathan continued to lick away at her for a while longer, and then raised himself up, removing his shirt, and then slipping down his trousers and underwear in one swift movement.
He was above her now, and she shivered in fear and anticipation as she felt a little fluid dribble from his penis onto her belly.
She had recoiled briefly as he had stooped down to kiss her as she had realised that the wetness on his face was her own love-juices, but she had been unable to stop him kissing her, and she had been surprised and delighted to find that it actually tasted sweet, and strangely sexy.
He had kissed her passionately as his cock had begun to penetrate her, any remaining fears slipped away as she had felt herself being overcome by her sudden love for this man. It was amazing to feel him inside her, their bodies joined, as one.
There was a moment’s pain, and a muffled cry slipped from her mouth as he had pushed himself into her in one steady movement, but then he had pulled back a little and held steady. After a brief pause Helen had begun to thrust her hips back and fro, naturally assuming a comfortable rhythm. Jonathan eventually began to thrust with her rhythm, gently at first, then harder and faster. She gasped as he rode her, ever faster.
She’d screamed at the top of her voice as another orgasm overtook her, the feel of this man deep inside her making her feel proud of herself, her femininity assured, and the closeness of their intimate physical contact making her feel closer to this man than any other person in the world.
She sighed with disappointment as he pulled himself out of her; she’d raised her head and had given him a questioning ‘awwww?’
He’d quietly told her that it was too risky to ejaculate inside her, and she had been amazed when he had brought the glistening, throbbing member towards her face.
She hadn’t realised what he was about to do, and she was sure (on reflection) that she would have tried to stop him doing what he did next had she known.
But it was too late; suddenly he had placed his hands firmly around the sides of her head, and had slipped the penis into her mouth.
Helen remembered attempting to protest initially, but the muffled sounds she made were of no consequence.
Almost immediately though, she had realised that not only did it taste good, it felt good too – she glanced up and saw the pleasure on Jonathan’s face and his eyes closed in delight. Almost instinctively she began to suck on it, bobbing her head gently back and forth whilst rubbing her tongue around the veins she could feel on it.
When, a few seconds later, his ejaculate exploded into her mouth she was amazed at how much of it there was, and the peculiar salty tang, but she heard his loud shout of triumph, and she obediently sucked and swallowed as his cum filled her mouth. A feeling of great pride and satisfaction swept through her, knowing how much she had pleasured her man.
She’d spent the rest of the night there, they’d cuddled up close, bodies pressed tightly together in the single bed. They’d made love again, two more times before finally spooning into each other and drifting off into an exhausted sleep.
They’d woken just before dawn, and at Jonathan’s suggestion they’d made their way down to the beach. As they walked through the empty streets of the town a dawn mist floated through the air. They walked past the harbour and down to the beach.
Removing their clothes, they’d played and frolicked about, laughing as they ran up and down the beach, she charged off, daring him to chase her, running into the cool surf as the waves broke on the shore.
Finally, laughing, she’d allowed him to catch up with her, and their bodies had entwined, as they slid onto the sand and made love once again.
This time he had pulled out from her at just the right moment, and had shot his load across her, the cum splattering across her breasts and sticking to the sand that had also gathered there as they’d rolled around on the golden grains of the beach.
They’d gone back into the water and washed off the sand from their bodies and, still joking and laughing, had gone back into town for some breakfast.
“Well, as you can imagine, I fell totally in love with this lovely man.” Helen continued.
The young woman shifted uneasily in her chair, and brushed an imaginary speck of dust from her crisply starched white jacket. She was a good listener, and the length of the story didn’t bother her at all, but it was a little…embarrassing….to hear such an old woman talk about sex so explicitly.
Noticing her companion’s unease, Helen smiled “I’m sorry if any of that makes you uncomfortable, but you youngsters didn’t invent s-e-x you know” she said with a titter. “Thank you for listening, though. It is very kind of you to spend this time with an old dear like me – no don’t act so shocked, I’m well aware of what I am young lady!” Helen continued, as she noted the expression on the young woman’s face. “I’m glad I have you to talk to though, dear. I deliberately didn’t have my pills this morning so that my head would be a bit clearer, in order that I might speak to you without those damned drugs clouding my mind.” Helen winced again as she shifted position in her bed “It does mean that I feel a bit of pain at the moment though. Well worth it today, as it’s nice to be able to recall so much of my life. They were happy times. The grass was greener, the light was brighter.”
Helen continued to relate the story of her life to the pretty young woman beside her. She told her how she’d moved into the studio loft soon after, and that summer Jonathan had painted picture after picture of her during the days and the nights had been spent consummating their passions. The nights of wonder, Helen described them as.
One of their favourite paintings had been one of her, naked, on a rusty swing. She’d sat for that several times, they used to rise early, hurry to the local play park, and she’d slip out of her clothes and sit there whilst he’d paint away. They’d managed a few sessions, and then after that he’d just used his imagination. That and the fact that she remained naked most of the time in their loft during that long hot summer, so he didn’t need to tax his memory or his imagination too heavily.
When the time came for Helen to return to England to complete her studies, Jonathan had eventually followed her, packing up his paintings and shipping them back home.
They’d set up home together, scandalising Helen’s mother, as ‘living in sin’ was regarded as horrific.
A London gallery which had previously sold some of Jonathan’s pictures expressed an interest, and displayed some of his work. She’d gone down there to see it, and it was most strange to be standing there in front of a large image of one’s self, naked, on display in front of a load of strangers. Helen’s mother was further shocked when she discovered this, a fact that amused Helen even more.
One of the first pictures to sell was the painting of Helen on the swing, and a good price it fetched too. A few more pictures began to sell, and some money began to come in. Helen completed her studies, and eventually they married.
Helen forewent her original plans for a career, and became a full-time housewife, whist still continuing to pose as Jonathan’s model.
“And that was that, for a few years” Helen continued “But it all changed when I had the children. I was a little miffed that Jonathan refused to paint me while I was pregnant. He said it was too personal, too private, and I suppose at the time he was right. It’s all changed now, nowadays you see young actresses heavily pregnant on the cover of magazines with nothing on, but back then you covered up.”
The young woman gave her a sympathetic look. A wave of pain passed across Helen’s face, not because of her lack of painkillers this time, but due to the sad memories that came back, unbidden, to her.
“He got himself another couple of models, pretty girls, a year or two younger than me and, obviously, slimmer than me, I was all fat and frumpy and Mumsy at the time of course.” Helen said, testily. “I had no reason to suspect anything was amiss, Jonathan was the perfect husband, and it was just his job, painting these pictures of women, but nevertheless I got jealous. I felt trapped, unattractive, and bored. Motherhood wasn’t really for me. Nowadays there’s all sorts of help for what they call Post-Natal Depression, but back then it was just assumed that you were a poor mother.”
Helen continued: “I was so glad when my Mother offered to look after both the children for a while, to give me a break.” The young woman held Helen’s hand lightly, as she began to tremble as the painful memories returned. “I seized my chance. Like a fool, I just packed my bags and went one day, telling no-one where I was going. I thought that Jonathan would be fine with his little young girlies, let him stew with them - and I went off, out into the world. The life of a housewife was not for me.”
“I moved down to London, got myself a little flat and a day job running errands for a photographic agency. To supplement my income I used to work at a little club, where I’d sit in a room and take my clothes off while men put money into slot machines in booths outside the room, so that they could see in through little peep-holes. Sounds quaint now, but then it was quite seedy. It paid, however. Even then, a flat in London was expensive, and my little job didn’t pay me much.
Because I was so used to posing naked, and to being on display, I guess I had the confidence and poise, and I became popular at the club.
I used to put a real show on for the men, and I soon realised that I’d get more hours if the takings increased while I was on duty. I used to play with myself for them, and spend all afternoon at the weekends, or all evening during the week, frantically fingering myself. The bosses noticed, and I did quite well out of it, enough to buy myself some decent cameras and other photographic gear.”
The young woman shifted uneasily in her chair again – Helen’s frankness was disarming, and it was difficult to know what to say. She looked up at the ceiling, and at the opposite wall, but found herself unable to look Helen right in the eye. Noticing this, Helen whispered cheekily “Have you ever done anything like that, young lady? You’re blushing a little!”
The young woman turned crimson, and nodded as she explained that she’d done a little dancing on a pole at a local club to support herself through university. Helen cackled loudly, and then winced again, the laughter racking through her body causing the aches to flare up again. Both women giggled though – Helen winked at her and re-assured her that it was nothing to be ashamed of. She explained how she had, with her newly bought camera equipment, to be able to actually become one of the freelance photographers at the agency.
“It was a great time to be alive,” she continued “Swinging London, in the 60’s, it was the cultural centre of the Earth at the time, or so it seemed. The pill was available, and for the first time you could have as much sex as you liked without the fear of getting pregnant. Our agency got a load of work from newspapers and record companies – I travelled to America for the first time in 1964 to cover The Beatles first US Tour, I was at Wembley Stadium a couple of years later when the England football team won the World Cup, and back out to America a few years later, supposedly to cover a big rock festival – you might have heard of it, but I got a little too much into the hippy culture. I turned on, tuned in and dropped out!”
Helen tittered again “I spent the whole weekend naked, smoking reefers and having sex with, well basically, with anyone and everyone. I just went from tent to tent, smoking and making love. I didn’t even know the names of many of the guys. I guess there must have been about twenty of them over the four days I was there. And a couple of women too. One time, in broad daylight, I sat down with this hippy chick who was wearing nothing but beads and flowers in her hair. We sat and cuddled each other, then we began to stroke and caress each other’s bodies.”
Helen retold the story of how she and the hippy girl had laid out together on the grass, and explored each other’s bodies, hands softly roaming over each other. It had been Helen’s first experience with a member of the same sex, and she had been determined to enjoy it.
They had gotten each other turned on by their gentle ministrations upon each other, and a few people had gathered around them, watching the two women with interest. Helen told how the woman had begun to kiss and lick her bare breasts, and had worked her way down her body – the tingling sensations had reminded her of that first time with Jonathan on the Greek island over a decade earlier. When the girl had begun to lick Helen’s clit, the same thing had happened too, her back arched involuntarily as an orgasm bucked through her, lost in her own little world.
She’d then gotten on top of the girl, and had plunged her own mouth towards the girl’s pussy, enveloping her in a lesbian 69. She’d pleasured the girl, who continued to lick and finger Helen’s pussy, and as she came, her juices filling Helen’s mouth, Helen came yet again, the thought of this girl’s orgasm setting her off once more. A few people applauded and Helen was suddenly reminded of where she was. She glanced around and saw that a crowd of people had now gathered around them
The pleasuring wasn’t over, though. As she held herself, panting, above the girl’s inverted body, she felt a pair of hands grasp her hips firmly, and a cock slid into her pussy from behind. She looked around and saw that a long-haired man had come up behind her, and had begun to fuck her. She let her head hang down and looked back, through the arch of her dangling tits, to see the hippy chick, still beneath her, reach up and begin to lick both Helen’s pussy lips, and the base of the cock of the man fucking Helen.
Helen watched, fascinated, as the girl’s tongue flicked around the balls of the man, until another pair of hands softly grasped her face and pulled her gently away from that fantastic sight. Helen looked up as yet another long-haired stranger kneeled before her, and held his erect cock in front of her face. Helen didn’t hesitate; she plunged her head forward, over this new cock, and sucked for all she was worth. She ran her tongue around the throbbing shaft, her head bobbing back and forth with the rhythm of the man fucking her from the rear.
She felt the man behind her cum, the warm spunk shooting deep into her. When he withdrew she continued to move her head up and down on the cock in her mouth, thrusting her face forward ever faster. She struggled to control herself as she felt the hippy girl beneath her begin to lick at her pussy once more, and she knew that the girl was lapping the cum from her.
Finally it all became too much for her – as the man ejaculated into Helen’s mouth, his cum filling her up and shooting down her throat, she gave a long muffled moan of ecstasy as another orgasm shuddered through her body. The feeling of having pleasured these complete strangers heightened the experience, and she felt herself squirt. She knew that the girl beneath her would be getting a faceful of cum, and now her own pussy juice.
“And that was Woodstock,” Helen continued “After that I stayed out in the States for a couple of years. I’d lost touch with Jonathan almost immediately after I’d left him – he went round to my Mother’s regularly to visit the children apparently, but we’d never met since. I carried on with my career, jetting here there and everywhere.
The children grew up, a fine healthy pair they were too, but they weren’t ever too fond of me. No more than I deserved I suppose, after all I did abandon them while they were babies.
In the meantime I flew all over the world – I covered the Vietnam War, one of the few female photographers out there, then back to London in 1976. I spiked my hair up, and became a bit of a familiar figure around all the happening places, photographing the Sex Pistols, and The Clash – have you heard of them, dear? A little before your time, I suspect.” The young woman looked blankly at her, but motioned with her hand for Helen to continue.
Helen went on to explain how she continued to lead a glamorous lifestyle, but never settled down with anyone, content with her globetrotting.
Eventually her Father had passed away during the early 1990’s and her Mother a few years later. The house had been left in her Mother’s will equally to Helen and the two children. Helen was, at the time, looking for somewhere to retire to, and her old home in rural England sounded like too good an opportunity to pass up. She reached an agreement with the children that she would pay them a nominal rent in lieu of buying their shares out, and that the total ownership of the house would pass to the two of them upon her death.
“For the first time in my life, it seemed, I was alone.” Helen said “I was unused to not having things going on in my life. I was beginning to get restless, and even considered coming out of retirement, to alleviate the boredom and loneliness. That’s when I found the lumps.”
Helen went on: “The Doctors were very good – I was lucky enough to be able to afford private care, and they performed the mastectomy within a month. It was while I was convalescing at home that he knocked on my door one bright summer’s afternoon.”
The younger woman cocked her head quizzically at this.
Helen’s hands shook slightly as she took a sip of the small glass of water on the table by her bedside, and then spoke once more: “Jonathan. The children had told him that I had been ill, and he had finally decided to come round and visit.”
The young woman smiled as Helen continued “He’d never re-married, you know. I was a bit suspicious at first. I knew he’d done well with his paintings and so I knew he wasn’t after my money, but I was worried that he’d be bitter after all that time – it had been nearly forty years, after all.”
Helen told the young woman how Jonathan still lived not too far away, and he had spent more and more time with her as she recovered from her operation. They had slowly grown to be great friends once more.
She told how one day he turned up carrying a large, flat package, wrapped in brown paper.
He’d struggled to carry it in, and had set it upright on the sofa in her lounge.
‘Well, what is it?’ Helen had asked him. He’d simply smiled, and told her to look for herself. Bemused, she’d begun to tear the paper off. As the wrapping came away in her hand she saw what it was.
The painting of her on the rusty swing from forty years earlier.
He’d tracked it down, and had bought it from its current owner just so that he could return it to its subject, after all these years.
Helen told how she’d wept at the gesture, seeing herself as she was when she had been a young woman had sparked off a wave of nostalgia in her. It was particularly poignant a reminder, seeing herself there as a voluptuous young woman, with both her breasts complete had brought the tears forth. Jonathan had misunderstood, and had apologised and made to remove the painting. Helen told how she had put her hand on his arm to stop him, explaining that they were tears of joy, not sadness.
They’d fallen into each other’s arms, and had embraced each other and kissed, for the first time in forty years.
Helen reached out to the young woman at her bedside and, grasping lightly on the sleeve of her white jacket pulled her towards herself. She whispered in a mock-conspiratorial tone “And then we went upstairs…and did it!” she said with a wink.
The young woman tried hard to remain professional, and suppress a laugh. She failed. You couldn’t help but like this old lady. What a character she was. It must have been really something to have lived her life.
“It’s surprising how good prosthetics are nowadays,” Helen went on “I kept my bra on, I was too embarrassed to show him where my tit used to be, but we did it. A bit slower than we used to, I must admit, but nevertheless that’s not such a bad thing.”
Both women laughed, the younger girl putting her hand over her mouth as she realised that she was failing to show any of the professional detachment she had been trained to do. The words ‘Old Rascal’ could have been coined specially for this grey-haired, innocent looking old woman in the bed alongside her. She felt sad as she saw Helen wince once again, and she knew that the pains were worsening for her, the longer she went without her medication.
Helen explained how Jonathan had ended up living full time with her. He kept his old house on, but never spent the night there. Their old sense of fun had returned, and they had laughed and joked constantly. She had thrown her ‘falsie’ at him one time, as they were getting ready in the morning. Not knowing what it was, he’d caught the large squashy blob before he realised what she had done. Helen had roared with laughter at his bemused expression as she’d told him that he must feel a right tit at the moment.
Life had been fun for a few years, she had been given the all-clear following her cancer treatment, and they set about making up for lost time. They went on holidays; they spent time on cold nights in front of a roaring open fire, cuddling together on their sofa, while the swing painting took pride of place on the wall above them.
Life had been fine for the pair of them until Helen had started to feel aches and pains throughout her body. At first she’d dismissed it as simply old age, but eventually she sought the advice of a Doctor, who told her that she was suffering from Cancer once more. Scans had revealed that she had left it too late to seek treatment, and that it was, in all likelihood, incurable.
Jonathan was her rock, he cared for her during the difficult weeks that followed, despite his own advanced years he jollied her along, never once allowing her to become maudlin. Helen regretted the years they had missed – she had lived a dozen lifetimes in her years on this Earth, but she would have gladly swapped all the good times just to be able to go back and correct the wrongs she done to the lovely man who had been her first lover, and who now would be her last.
Helen had been comforted by Jonathan’s love and devotion, and he had made it seem worth going on, until the morning when she woke up in the bed they had shared for the past few years to discover that he was laid next to her un-moving. She had felt for his hand, but it had been cold and lifeless.
She had screamed and sobbed hysterically on the phone to the emergency services, demanding an ambulance, but she knew in her heart that he was gone forever.
He was eighty years old, and had gone peacefully in his sleep.
At the funeral the children had physically supported her, as she had been unable to stand for very long unaided and after the service was over she had decided what she was going to do. She had explained all the details to them, and a few weeks later her lawyer had completed all the paperwork, so that the children would have no problem with the inheritance of both Jonathan’s house, and her own home in the event of her passing.
“Well, that’s about it. The story of my life!” Helen managed a smile as she spoke to the young woman at her bedside. “Thank you again for listening, you’ve been very kind, dear.”
There was a tear in the young woman’s eye as she said “No trouble at all, it’s been a pleasure.”
Helen winced once more, as another sharp pang of agony stabbed her body. She drew a breath, and quietly said “Ok, it’s time.”
The young nurse struggled to hold her voice steady as she said “You don’t have to go through with this, Mrs Moore. You can still change your mind should you wish to do so.”
“No dear, thank you, but the pain will only get worse, and I have nothing more to look forward to, and no-one to share my life with. I will go with dignity, which is why I have come here. Please, go ahead. Farewell.” Helen said, with a steely determination.
The nurse nodded to the Doctor who stood alongside the small machine at the bedside, with its pipes connected to Helen’s arm. He pressed the buttons on its control panel, and a couple of lights came on. It emitted a quiet hum as it began to pump the drugs into Helen’s arm which would end her pain forever.
Tears ran down the young nurse’s face now, as Helen laid her head back on the pillow and smiled as she closed her eyes for the last time……