Harriet stood at the kitchen sink staring out of the window, drying cloth in one hand and plate in the other for the moment forgotten, her dark eyes focused on the scene by the swimming pool at the bottom of the garden. There two young men were lounging by it, one her son Glen, the other Alex, his friend.
Harriet had been used to having Glen's high school friends around the place, but since Glen had left high school and started to attend university they all seemed to have gone their separate ways. Alex was the new friend and a very good looking and personable one.
Harriet sighed, "If only I could be nineteen again," and finished washing up the lunch plates, but with occasional glances out of the window.
She felt that she had never really been nineteen. Chronologically of course she had once been nineteen, but at that age she was married and had a six months old baby, Glen, and looking at Glen and Alex she felt that she had missed something in her life.
When the boys had come in for lunch they were still only wearing their swimming briefs, and they were very brief indeed. Looking at their lithe young bodies that seemed to radiate good health and potency, their substantial genitals blatantly moulded against the cloth of their briefs, a desire for sensual pleasure was stirred in Harriet. She felt attracted to Alex and he seemed to pay her particular attention, and Harriet was not blind to the erection that his briefs had no hope of hiding...
She was still wearing the bikini that she had worn when she had briefly joined the boys at the pool that morning, but now it was hidden beneath the simple cotton housecoat she had put on as she left the pool. Had she not been wearing the coat at lunch Alex, if he was aware of the subtle signs of female arousal, might have detected her sexual excitement. It was because of this arousal that Harriet had stayed only briefly at the pool, but that was the effect Alex's presence always had on her, and she felt it as torment.
* * * * * * * *
Harriet was approaching the dreaded forties, and like many women at that time of life she was suffering from marital ennui, the result of her husband Harold being unable or unwilling to meet her emotional needs. Hence she felt herself to be unattractive, undesirable and therefore suffered from a very poor self image.
An outside observer might have wondered what Harriet had to complain about. She had a husband who was, as people say, "A good and generous provider." She lived in a fine house in a leafy suburb. She had a son of whom she was justifiably proud, both for his looks and intelligence, and she had at her disposal one of the more up market brands of car.
Living in a respectable neighbourhood she was highly regarded as one if the pillars of the local church; president of the women's group; Sunday school teacher and given to charitable works and working for a few hours a week as a dental nurse, our hypothetical observer might well have wondered what she had to be discontented about; the answer being, of course, sexual deprivation.
So often what starts out to be a passionate relationship can turn sour, with one partner losing sexual interest. This is the lot of many women and it can lead to serious tensions within a relationship: with the woman taking a lover; sexual promiscuity; divorce, or masturbation as a source of relief.
In Harriet's case Harold's failure to perform as a lover was particularly difficult since she was a very passionate woman, but unwilling to endanger or break up her marriage she had opted for what she considered the safe option of masturbation, but for her this was a mere surrogate for the reality she so dearly desired.
She was not a vain woman but sometimes she stood naked before the long mirror in her bedroom, wondering what was wrong with her that Harold should reject her sexually, especially after his enthusiastic beginning on the sofa in her parent's living room twenty years ago. This, or subsequent sexual encounters had led to her pregnancy, marriage and the birth of Glen.
Again what an outside observer might have seen, and Harriet's self perception, would have been at variance.
It was true her figure was not quite as slim as it had been when she was eighteen, and her stomach protruded very slightly as the result of pregnancy, but in some strange way our imagined outside observer might have found this attractive. It seemed to add to her femaleness and led the eye to her pudendal cleft and the promise of softness and welcoming warmth beyond those lips that are the gateway to paradise.
Her ample breasts that had once delighted Harold still retained some of their original suppleness, and also promised a warm and comfortable pillow for a lover to lay his head between.
Her face tended to be angular with a pointed chin and her nose straight and a little longer that was fashionable. Her abundant dark hair was cut to just below where her head joined her neck, and her mouth was wide with firmly defined lips, but it was her dark long lidded eyes with the look of fire in their depths that would have held the observer's attention
Our observer might well have felt that Harriet's face had a suggestion of carnal cruelty about it, a raptorial appearance, but would have been forced to the conclusion he was seeing a woman of considerable sensual attractions. Had he known her when she was eighteen he might have concluded that Harriet was one of those fortunate women for whom maturity had enhanced her looks.
Sadly -- one might almost say tragically -- this was not Harriet's self assessment. Like so many women in her situation she had allowed her husband's lack of desire for her to poison her self image.
* * * * * * * *
There was an uncomfortable wetness between her upper thighs and a ticking sensation in her clitoris, and her nipples had become extended and firm since being at the pool, and so Harriet made her way to her bedroom where she stripped, and retrieving her dildo from her underwear draw she lay on the bed.
She began by gently stroking a breast and parting her legs she ran the dildo over the outer lips of her genitals gradually pushing it in. Knowing that she would probably come very quickly she tried to delay the moment of ecstasy slowly pushing the dildo into her vaginal tunnel, and then moving it unhurriedly back and forth as she made soft whimpering sounds.
Her attempt to delay her orgasm was of little avail and it began to take her in its relentless grip. She began to squeeze one of her nipples and the dildo moved with increasing speed. As the first wave or orgasmic pain and pleasure swept over her she transferred the dildo to her clitoris, circling it with the head of the dildo, and her cries grew louder and more anguished and her body seemed to convulse.
"Oh no...oh no...nah....nah...ow...no...oh God...fuck me Alex...fuck me...I need ohwaaa...mmm...mmmmaaah..."
As she passed over the pinnacle of her climax her cries began to diminish and her movements slowed until she lay limply on the bed. She drifted off into a shallow sleep to be aroused by the sound of laughter, a car engine being started and driving away. Alex had left.
Lethargically she rose from the bed and putting on her housecoat she made her way to the shower. There she washed the dildo and then showered in order to remove any of the residual smell resulting from her activities.
Feeling more energetic she made her way to the bedroom, put away the dildo and dressed in green slacks, shirt and sandals she made her way to the kitchen.
* * * * * * * *
It was no surprise to find Glen sitting at the table eating a ham sandwich; he was always hungry.
He looked up and grinned as she came in.
"What are you grinning at?" Harriet asked.
Glen did not answer her question, but looked as if he was bursting to tell her something.
It is necessary to point out that the relationship between Harriet and her son was a very open one and they both felt free to say things as they were and as they felt them.
Glen ceased assaulting the sandwich for a moment and said excitedly, "Mum, have you got any idea what you're doing to poor old Alex?"
"As far as I know I'm not doing anything to poor old Alex," Harriet replied, "but I think you're going to tell me."
"Mum, he fancies you."
Harriet took few moments to digest this, not because she was unaware of Alex's attraction to her, but because she had a suspicion that this was Glen's back-to-front way of letting her know he had detected her feelings for Alex.
Don't be so...so silly," she said.
"But its true mum," Glen said animatedly, "he's really gone on you."
"You're making it up Glen, your imagination has run wild, " Harriet said sternly, hoping to stop his talk in its tracks. "I'm twice his age and married so he isn't likely to be interested in me."
Glen however was not about to give up. "He thinks you're fantastic mum and..."
"And I suppose he's told you that," Harriet said dryly, beginning to suspect that Glen was trying to be amusing.
"Well, no...no he hasn't exactly told me, but I can tell."
"And how can you tell, have you been reading palms or doing something with tarot cards?"
Glen, stung by her tone of voice said, "I can tell by the way he talks; he can't stop talking about you. It doesn't matter where a conversation starts he always ends up by bringing it round to you; that's always a sign that..."
"That doesn't mean anything Glen, and as I said, why should he be interested in someone my age?"
A gleam of triumph came into Glen's eyes. "Aha, that's where son can teach mother something, "he crowed.
"And what is son going to teach mother?"
"That these days lots of young guys prefer older women, and lots of older women are going for the young guys," Glen said smugly.
"Oh well you'd know all about that," Harriet retorted acidly.
"Er...what...what do you mean?" Glen asked cautiously.
Harriet, hands on hips, snapped, "I mean, you and that divorcee you see so much of."
"Yer-you ner-know," Glen gasped; he'd thought he'd been so careful about his relationship with Marion.
"Yer-yes, I ner-know," Harriet mimicked. "How could I not know when everybody in the neighbourhood knows; it had to get around to me eventually."
"Yes, well, point proved," Glen mumbled, not feeling quite so cocky."
"Proved what point?"
"The young guy and the older woman."
With mock patience Harriet went on, "Just because you like screwing an older woman doesn't mean every young guy wants to, especially Alex.
Embarrassed and angry Glen rose and said, "Okay mum, have it your way. I thought you'd be pleased, but as you're not I...I..." He didn't know what else to say so grabbing the remains of his sandwich he headed out of the kitchen."
Harriet called after him, "I didn't say that I wasn't..." but Glen had gone.
* * * * * * * *
A thought once put into your head, even if ostensibly rejected, has a way of lingering and even expanding, and so it was with Harriet as she thought about her and Alex. She might have denied it with Glen, but she knew that what he had said had accorded with her own desires, as demonstrated by her orgasm a short while ago when she had fantasized Alex as her lover.
Now that she knew for certain that her feeling for Alex was reciprocated she felt even more disturbed. For as long as she hadn't been sure she had felt safe, and her otherwise comfortable environment was not threatened. Now, if Alex attempted to... to what, seduce her, would she resist?
Then there was the hitherto unthinkable, she in her need might attempt to seduce Alex, and what might this mean for her marriage. If only she could complain about Harold, that he was abusive, violent, was mean, but it was only about his failure to keep her emotionally satisfied she could find fault.
She was confused, and in the midst of this confusion Glen returned to the kitchen looking resentful. He went straight to the refrigerator and took out a lump of cheese, and taking out a knife from the cutlery drawer and sitting at the table he began to cut slices of cheese.
Harriet, feeling that she had been unfair to him tried to make amends.
"Glen, what you said about Alex, you were joking weren't you?"
Munching on some cheese Glen said sulkily, "No."
"But darling, why should he be interested in me, I'm nothing special?"
Glen gaped at her, another slice of cheese suspended between the table and his mouth.
Slowly, as if talking to a retarded child he said, "Mum, you're a very se...attractive woman, of course Alex fancies you, any man would so what's wrong with that?"
Harriet might have said that she knew one man who did not fancy her, but instead she retreated to the sink defensively covering her breasts with her hands. "Glen, you shouldn't say that, I'm your mother and..."
"I know you're my mother, and it's a pity because I could fancy you myself if you weren't."
"Glen!" Harriet exclaimed, "Your father..."
"Never mind about father, why don't you stop pretending mum and come clean, you fancy Alex don't you?"
"Well in a way, after all he's very attractive and..."
"Mum, you don't give me credit for much intelligence do you?"
"What do you mean?"
"Do you think I haven't noticed the way you look at him?"
"It is only looking," Harriet said almost apologetically.
Glen said, "And I think I know why you look."
"Father, he doesn't, does he?"
"What do you mean, he doesn't?"
"Don't make me say it mum."
"I'm not making you say anything, but you can at least explain what you mean, and stop assaulting that cheese, dinner will be ready soon."
Glen sighed and putting aside the knife said, "Okay mum, if you must have it, dad doesn't ...doesn't...er...make love with you."
"How...what makes you say that?" Harriet said her face flushing.
"Mum," Glen said with monumental patience, "When I was a kid I used to here certain noises coming from your bedroom at night. Of course I didn't know what the noises were about then, not until..."
"You met your divorcee."
"No mum, long before that, and if you're going to bring Marion into it all the time I won't say anymore."
"Sorry...sorry, I won't mention her again."
"Okay mum, what I was going to say was that at one time the noises were nearly every night, but for a long time I haven't heard a thing, so from that I conclude there's not much action between you and dad, and from that I conclude that Alex might be welcome as a lover."
"Oh, quite the Hercule Poirot aren't you. And suppose you're right, that leads on to me bedding Alex does it?"
"I wasn't saying that mum; all I was saying is that if you did I would understand."
"Thank you...thank you very much Glen, I'm so glad I've got your permission to go ahead with Alex," Harriet said acidly.
"There's no need to be sarcastic mum and if..."
He was cut short by the arrival of his father.
"Home is the hunter," Harold chortled. He said that every time he arrived home from work, and at times Harriet felt as if she could scream.
* * * * * * * *
It was Harold's custom to relate the office events of the day during the evening meal. Harriet always found this exceedingly boring but tolerated it as a wifely duty. Since Glen had revealed Alex's feelings to her, and her fantasies now centred on sex with Alex, Harriet's emotional state rendered her less forbearing. Poor Harold was in the midst of telling one of his office sagas when Harriet blew up.
"For God's sake Harold, do we have to listen to stories about petty office dramas over every meal? Why don't you do something really interesting like raping your secretary or buggering the office manager, or vice versa, then you might have something worthwhile to say?"
There was an embarrassed silence before Harold, clearing his throat said, "My dear, are you feeling unwell?"
Harriet gazed at him, and felt a wave of pity for him he looked so upset. Five years older than her he looked more like ten years older with his sparse hair combed to try and cover his bald pate and his incipient paunch. She struggled to find some excuse for her outburst,
"I...I'm sorry Harold," she murmured contritely, "I think I must be starting my menopause."
Harold accepted this and chortled, "Ha ha, no fear of more pregnancies then, ha ha."
"Certainly not at the rate you fuck me and in any case I'm on the pill," Harriet thought, but said, "No dear."
Looking at him she had a brief vision of how he had been when they first met, so fit and good looking. Since Harold had gone off the boil, sexually speaking, Harriet had made attempts to stir up his lifeless libido; now she wondered why she had bothered.
The rest of the meal passed off in silence and as they rose from the table Harriet said to Glen who was about to escape, "You can help with the washing up."
Harold shambled off to watch the news on television leaving Harriet and Glen together in the kitchen.
As they commenced washing up Harriet said hesitantly, "Er...Glen, before your father arrived home we...we were talking about Alex."
"Actually mother, you were being sarcastic," Glen said resentfully.
"Yes and I'm sorry, but there's something I've got to ask you."
"About Alex and me."
"Oh my God, I wish I'd never mentioned anything about Alex, all you've done since I said he..."
"Glen, please, it's important."
Glen mumbled, "Oh, all right, I'm listening."
"It's just that...well if...and it's only if...if something did happen between me and Alex...and I'm not saying it will, but if it did, you wouldn't tell your father, would you?"
"Mum, you are going to..."
"I said if, Glen, I didn't say I was, but if I did..."
"Marion says it's good for a married woman to have an aff..."
"Never mind about Marion, just answer me. You wouldn't tell, would you?"
Glen looked at her earnestly and said, "No mum, I wouldn't tell dad. After all what he doesn't know can't hurt him."
He gave an odd grin and said, "After all, he might be raping his secretary or buggering the office manager."
"Oh go away Glen," Harriet chuckled, "go and make your divorcee happy, I'll finish up here."
Glen gave her a kiss on the cheek and saying, "Thanks mum, and I'll let Marion know that this one is courtesy of you."
"What do you mean this one is..."
But Glen had gone, leaving a slightly puzzled Harriet to finish the washing up.
* * * * * * * *
Such was Harriet's confused state of mind she did not get to sleep until the early hours of the morning. She wondered if it was the case as she'd heard in church, a battle between good and evil, virtue and vice and more personally between her desire for Alex and her marriage vows.
Was it was true as the bible said, that even to look lustfully means that you have already committed adultery in your heart? If that was so she had committed adultery many times with Alex. She got quite angry thinking about that because it meant she had committed adultery but without the accompanying physical and emotional pleasures. This seemed unfair because to commit adultery only in your heart left you miserable and frustrated.
In her mind she felt that sex life with Harold was like someone lost in the desert dying of thirst and then they come upon an oasis. If the desert was Harold then Alex was the oasis, then surely the obvious thing was to drink at the oasis. The marriage vows hadn't covered that aspect as far as she could remember.
She woke late and lay on her back gazing at the ceiling. Through the open window she could hear voices and the occasional burst of laughter. Alex had already arrived. She thought he must have arrived earlier than usual until she glanced at the bedside clock. She almost leapt from the bed and hustling into her dressing gown she hurried to the shower.
Returning to her bedroom after the shower she had to decide what to wear. The real question was, would she join the boys at the pool where she would once more experience the torment of Alex's presence, or put on a respectable housewifely dress and busy herself with domestic tasks. She had once heard a preacher say that if you busied yourself in meaningful work you kept at bay the temptations of Satan. The trouble was, she didn't find housework very meaningful, it was simply something that had to be done.