A Christmas Play

byStarlight©

“Might be a good thing for you that she has gone, but how about the little one?”

“Don’t know, dad. The other day she asked if Gloria would be coming home one day, but she mostly doesn’t talk about her or ask questions. As mum said, she’s probably buried it somewhere deep inside her.”

“Yes, a lot of kids do that; can come out later in nasty ways. I’ve been out with Sam and Aine, as you know. Watching those two, they’re as thick as thieves. Got the idea Sam has taken Aine on as a substitute mother, and Aine is compensating for Jamie with Sam. Not sure I like it, but…” He shrugged and fell silent for a moment, then looking at me intently asked, “What about you, old boy?”

“What about me?”

“We’ll, do you mind the two of them getting on so well? What do you feel about Aine? Damned pretty woman, or will be if she gets over all this grief she’s been going through.”

“You know dad, mum keeps asking the same sort of question. She seems to think I should have some sort of…well…intentions regarding Aine. She even went so far as to warn me about Aine’s delicate condition.”

Father rumbled loudly, “Ha, not got her pregnant, have you? That’s what women used to say years ago when they were pregnant, they were in a ‘delicate condition’.”

“No dad, I’ve not got Aine pregnant, in fact I’ve barely had physical contact with her, and apart from the fact that I haven’t touched her, I should think getting pregnant would be the last things she’d need right now.”

“Only joking, old son. Of course the girl’s in a delicate condition. Been through a hell of a time, but given the departure of Gloria…well…you know…wouldn’t blame you having thoughts, if you see what I mean.”

“I see what you mean, dad, but I should think that two people with the problems Aine and I have got are better off apart. We’d probably end up with another problem on top of the one’s we’ve got. And anyway, I’m not considering Aine as a possible partner, sexual or otherwise.”

Father gave another rumbling laugh and said, “Pity, the way things are going your mother would love to have her in the family. Wouldn’t object myself. Seems a nice enough woman. Probably have a lot to give if she ever gets into her right mind. Look here, old chap, if you need any help over Gloria…you know, legal stuff, just let me know. I could get the right chap on the job to sort things out for you.”

“Thanks dad, I’ll bear it in mind, but I’m not ready to finalise things in that direction yet. I’ll get around to it in the new year.”



Chapter 13: The New Year Resolutions.

The Christmas break over, I returned to work. Sam was not returning to school for a few more weeks, and so the daily ritual was, to take Sam to my parents in the morning and pick her up after work in the late afternoon. Father was back in his law office as well, so Sam had a large part of her day with mother and Aine.

It became obvious that Aine was gaining an increasing influence over Sam. Sam’s conversation when I picked her up was littered with, “Lady says” this, “Lady says” that. “Lady and I went shopping today. Grandma says Lady is feeling much happier. Lady keeps the little dog on the table beside her bed, I’ve seen it.”

Mother also kept me constantly up to date with the health, welfare and deeds of Aine. Father had got his colleague to look into the matter of Jamie, and theoretically there was no reason why the boy should not join his mother.

“You see, old chap,” father said when we were alone, “there was never anything legal about their taking the lad. Aine’s parents are both dead, and her brother lives overseas, so the paternal grandparents were an obvious choice. The thing is, though, if Aine made a strong bid at this stage to get him back, or even tried to get access, the grandparents might try and put their custody on a legal footing.”

“If the matter came to court, the judge would want to ascertain whether Aine was in a position to take care of the boy properly. That would include her health and mental state, and whether she could provide a proper home for him. There would be all sorts of psychological people and welfare workers poking their noses into Aine’s fitness or otherwise, to have the boy back.”

“I’ve suggested to Aine that we leave the matter over for a while, until she’s more settled. She doesn’t like the idea, but sees the sense of it.”

Mother was next in line with her plotting.

“I think Aine should get some work,” she stated baldy to me. “She needs to get a sense of self worth. The trouble is, she got married to that man rather young, and stopped working when she got pregnant. She’s only got limited skills and I’m afraid her reputation as a husband killer precedes her. I’ve got a solution, though. I’m going to have a chat with your father tonight and see if they can’t find a place for her in their office.”

I wondered how much of this had been discussed with Aine, and what the clients of my father’s law office might think about Aine being employed by them. I decided, however, to say nothing and let the situation develop for a while.

On New Years Eve my parents usually had another gathering of friends and family. During the few days between Christmas and New Year word had got around that Aine now lived in my parent’s house. This had given them a little time to get used to the idea, and as seems usual in our family, they accepted Aine as part of the scene.

I had thought that Aine would dress up in her new pant suit for the occasion, but instead she wore one of her old dresses.

She spent a large part of the evening attached to Sam and me. I took this to mean she found security among relative strangers by sticking with the known. Her appearance had improved remarkably in so short a time and she was beginning take on the pretty looks father had predicted.

I had never asked her age, and on first seeing her at the play I had assumed she was about thirty. Now I could see she was somewhat younger than that.

I had tried to convince my parents and myself that I had no interest in Aine but to help her. That I wished to help her was true, but gradually a further dimension had crept in. I was beginning to see her as an attractive and desirable woman. I knew from mother’s warnings that to seriously pursue Aine would be fraught with difficulties, not the least of them sexual, never the less, she occupied my mind increasingly.

It was during our New Year gathering, when for a few minutes I was without the company of Aine and Sam, that mother casually said, “I don’t know why you don’t take Aine out some time. I know she likes music so why not take her to a concert? Your father and I could look after Sam for the evening.”

I tried a minor delaying tactic by pointing out that Aine might not care to go out with me, but mother countered this with, “You won’t know unless you ask her, will you? And she needs to start getting out more.”

By the end of the New Year gathering I realised that a number of, if not resolutions, at least some intended directions, had been put forward. Attempts to return Jamie to Aine to be put on hold; an attempt to get Aine a job was in the pipeline and I was to take Aine out to a concert.

Perhaps more subtle in its implication and less consciously focussed, was the growing relationship between Sam and Aine. I would have been quite happy about this if I could have been convinced that this was anything other than substitution; Sam using Aine as a mother replacement, and Aine using Sam as a child replacement.


Chapter 14: Dating Aine.

I made no immediate attempt to “date” Aine, but in the days following New Year I began to look out for advertisements announcing concerts. I liked Aine and cared about her and in addition I began to feel excited about the prospect of an evening out with her.

Opportunity came with a concert by the State Symphony orchestra. Picking up Sam after work one evening, and trying to sound casual, I asked Aine if she would like to attend the concert with me. The response was an animated “Yes.”

I suppose I felt sufficiently flattered, as most males do, that a woman has jumped at the chance of going out with me. Of course, I might have looked at it from another perspective, namely, that she was jumping at the chance of going to a concert, the ticket price of which she could have ill afforded out of her social welfare cheque, and the escort was but an adjunct to the main event.

On the evening of the concert it was arranged that I should have my evening meal, shower and change of clothes at my parent’s house. Sam would not have to be taken back and forth, and further, it was arranged that both of us would sleep the night there.

After the meal Aine and I prepared for our evening out. Showered and changed I waited for her in the lounge with my parents and Sam. When she walked in we were all momentarily silenced. She was wearing the green pants suit and looked absolutely stunning, in addition to which, she seemed to be glowing with pleasure.

Sam was the first to recover and ran to Aine, reaching up to put her arms round her waist saying, “You look ever so pretty, Lady.”

My father rumbled, “Sure you wouldn’t like change places with me tonight, Derek.”

Mother said, “You look lovely, dear.”

Aine’s face was flushed with pleasure, but her escort could not find his tongue until we were on our way to the car. “I haven’t seen you in the suit before.”

“I haven’t worn it before. I was reserving it for a special occasion.”

I laughed, “The orchestra will be flattered.”

She said softly, “It isn’t for the orchestra, it’s for you.”

My laughter died as stab of painful pleasure shot through me and my head felt a little dizzy. More importantly, and uncomfortably, I began to get an erection.

I suppose that this was the moment when I realised what I might have realised earlier, I wanted her. It was a sexual drive, but not that alone. As my feelings ran riot in that brief moment, I knew I wanted to love her, however difficult the way ahead might be.

If I tried to describe the concert I would be lying. Throughout the evening my awareness of Aine being close grew ever more intense. It seemed to blot out all else. I did not want music, I wanted only to be with Aine. I longed to be alone with her. I wanted to pour out my feelings for her, but I knew neither was going to be possible, at least on that night.

During the drive home little was said. Aine was never very vocal, and I was too overwhelmed by what I was now feeling about her. Had it been any other woman, I might have attempted to bed her, but I conjectured that any attempt on Aine would be to destroy something that was in its embryonic stage.

The house was in darkness when we arrived, so we both went to our bedrooms. Before parting from her I kissed her softly on the lips and said, “Thank you for coming with me.”

“It has been a lovely evening, Derek,” she said, and slipped quickly into her room.

That night I had to relieve myself of an overwhelming sexual tension.

Other evenings out followed, and my desire to be with her increased with each occasion. Weeks, then months passed. Aine began work carrying out clerical tasks in my father’s office. It was a very junior position and although it paid little, she ceased to be eligible for social welfare money. She continued to live in my parent’s house and neither father nor mother seemed concerned about this. It was quite clear that mother had grown to love her dearly and would be hard hit when she did leave.

It was around eight months after first seeing Aine that two critical events took place. The first concerned my relationship with Aine.

I had held back from declaring myself for some time, but finally could not remain silent any longer. I told her quite plainly that I loved her as we sat in the car one evening after our return from attending a theatre.

Her first response, typically spoken in a quiet voice was, “Yes, I’ve known for some time you loved me.”

The calmness with which she seemed to take my declaration had me puzzled. If she had said, “And I love you,” or “I don’t love you,” even “I can never love you,” I would have felt grounded on something I could deal with. I suppose I became a bit irritable at her response that left me up in the air, so I said, “Is that all you’ve got to say?”

“No Derek, it isn’t. There are things I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time, but haven’t known how to say them.”

“Say them like they are, Aine, but please, don’t leave me hanging like this.”

“Like they ‘were’, would be more accurate, Derek. He said he loved me, and I told him I loved him, and he hurt me. Oh, not at first, but when he did start he hurt me so badly I had to have repairs done to me - repairs inside me. He started after Jamie was born. I’ve never understood why, but he used to say, “If you love me, then you’ll let me do anything.”

“The doctors almost begged me to tell the police, and I would have left him, but for Jamie. He told me I would never be able to keep Jamie, and I was naïve enough to believe him. It was only when he started on Jamie that I cracked. He was actually going to inflict pain on his own son. That’s when I killed him. I didn’t mean to kill him, I only wanted to frighten him, to stop his mad ideas...but…”

She ceased speaking and we sat in silence. There had been no frills about what she said, no histrionics, just a bare statement of what had happened. I wanted to respond, but didn’t know what to say.

It was Aine who broke the silence. “I know most women would have been having a sexual relationship with you by now given the time we’ve had together. You haven’t once approached me or tried to manipulate me sexually, and you’ll never know how much I’ve loved you for that. If I were to give you advice on our relationship I’d say, don’t bother with me, I’m not worth your effort. But I’m not going to advise you. I’m going to ask you to be patient with me for a while longer.”

I found my own voice; “For as long as it takes, Aine. I love you, and I shan’t back away until you tell me to.” My mother had said that I would have to wait for Aine to come to me, and that, it seemed, was how it had to be.


Chapter 15: Waiting for Aine.

As Aine and I were going out together ever more frequently, I was spending more and more time at my parent’s house. In addition to just Aine and me going out together, we would often take Sam with us. I suppose we could be accused of playing a game of happy families, but it was not like that. The inclusion of Sam seemed to be a perfectly natural outcome of our emerging relationship.

Aine spoke no more about the experiences with her husband, but Jamie crept into our conversations more and more. I think one of the fears she had was that Jamie would forget her, and even if he did come back to her, they would be as strangers to each other.

I spoke with my father about the problem, asking if it was not now time for an attempt to be made to get Jamie back. He was doubtful.

“You see, Derek, we want to be sure that Aine is settled. Its fine her living here, and your mother and I are enjoying having her, but it’s still not a place of her own. She’s doing well at work and the colleague who actually employs her has just given her a rise, but I think just a bit more time.” I had to rest content with that.

One of the problems I was facing was my ever increasing sexual desire for Aine. There had been no other woman since Gloria, and not lacking in virility, and frankly I was badly in need of Aine.

Another factor was her growing attractiveness. She now seemed in excellent health both physically and emotionally, and as she became increasingly relaxed, she spoke out more, and revealed a sharp intelligence. Now, because she was getting more money than she had received on social welfare, she also dressed better. To use my mother’s word, she looked “lovely.”

Perhaps you might think I would be pleased to have such a striking woman as a companion, but I had my own problems to cope with in that regard. When we went out men would turn to take another look at her. I had in mind Gloria’s desertion, and wondered if Aine would eventually make a better deal than a draughtsman.

The culmination came on a day when Aine, Sam and I had gone to the foreshore to watch a small yacht race. The race, from a viewer’s point of view, was as exciting as watching grass grow, but for some males there seemed to be an alternative source of excitement, Aine.

No doubt my own insecurity and sexual frustration played a large part in how I felt, but I overheard a young chap comment to his mates as they passed us, “I wouldn’t mind getting on to that and screwing it.” “That” being Aine of course.”

I felt a murderous anger and jealousy boil up in me, and almost started fight. Unreasonably I wanted to partially blame Aine for attracting such attention, but managed to retain sufficient self-control to see the irrationality of my thoughts. The afternoon was spoilt for me, and I was silent for the rest of the time we were there.

We returned to my parent’s house with me still sulking and Aine trying to find out what was wrong. My wretched pride would not allow me to express what I was feeling, that I wanted her all to myself, and hated other men looking at her lustfully.

We were to eat at my parent’s place, and then Aine and I were going out to see a film. By the time we were due to go out I had calmed somewhat, and when Aine joined me in the lounge wearing her green “special occasions” suit, I felt completely mollified.

On our return my parents and Sam were already in bed. Aine and I had a drink, and then went to our bedrooms. It had become habitual for us to say goodnight outside the door to her room, and to kiss. These were what you might call, “virtuous kisses,” but mild as they were, they added fuel to the fires of my desire for her. This night she held on to me a little longer than usual before slipping into her room.

I went into my bedroom with a raging erection. I was still carrying the remains of my drink, so I sat on the side of the bed thinking and finishing it off.

The drink gone, I stripped and was about to climb into bed and turn off the light, when there was tap on my door.

I scrambled quickly under the bed covers and called, “Come in.”

Aine entered. She was still wearing her green suit and she approached the bed to within about a metre then stood still.

I waited to find out what she wanted, but she simply stood there, her head down, not looking at me. I was about to ask her if she was all right, when she spoke.

Very softly she asked, “Would you undress me, darling?”

I lay on the bed staring at her stupefied, and then she added, “I think it’s all right now.”

I pushed back the bed covers and swung my legs so as to sit on the edge of the bed. It was one of those situations where I had to be sure she meant what I thought she meant.

“Aine, do you mean you want me to take your clothes off?”

“Yes.”

She could not help but see my rampant erection so I stood and went to her asking, “You’re quite sure?”

“Yes.”

I began to unbutton the suit, taking off the top first to discover she was wearing the flimsy bra I had bought her. I removed it and gazed at what was revealed. I was so moved by the beauty of her breasts I broke out with, “Oh, my love,” and bent to kiss her rosy nipples. As I did this she gasped and held me to her. I heard her say, “I do love you, Derek.”

I took off her pants to reveal that she was wearing the matching panties and taking these off I saw she had no pubic hair.

As if sensing my observation she said, “He hated it so he made…I had it permanently removed…you don’t mind, darling, do you?”

I smiled at her and said, “Of course not,” and knelt to kiss her mons. As I did I could see her firmly cleft vaginal lips with a silvery trace of her lubricant already there.

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