Rights and Wrongs Ch. 01byGeorgieH©
We all make mistakes in life and sometimes there's hell to pay, sometimes heaven. You know, I'm not sure which bill was presented to me? Probably the wrong one...
Putting it simply, I got caught out, caught by surprise. I was totally out of my depth and in many ways I still am... but I guess I'm getting ahead of myself.
I'm no brave, bold woman who knows her own mind and always make sure she gets what she wants. I'm shy – honestly. This thing is taking the form of a confession for me, and this is the fifth attempt I've made to get the words down. It's not that they've come out wrong before, it's just that I've got too shy seeing them and simply chickened out from writing more. Not this time, I promise (not that you'd read that if I chicken out again, of course!).
Still here for once...
It started on a dull Saturday morning, the weather as grey as our mangy old cat, and I was in one of those moods when all I wanted to do was get the bills paid online before embarking on a round of super-serious house cleaning. As usual, the online sites were being as co-operative as ever and I had spent more than twenty minutes trying to settle a pitifully tiny account with the telephone company – it would have been quicker to go visit their head office carrying a bagful of loose change. I was busy tearing a few blonde hairs – naturally blonde, I might add – from my stressed head when my teenage son, Ben, slouched into the room. At eighteen he was lanky, lazy and would have made a perfect doorstop if I could have convinced him to stay still for more than five minutes at a time where I needed him to be.
Ben was a perfect son, of course – what mother's son isn't – but drove me to distraction. His endless pacing around the house, normally with his iPod plugged into his never-visible ears, was distracting, to be sure, but then he would settle on the couch or his bed and remain immobile to the point where I was often tempted to prod his seemingly lifeless body to see if there would be a reaction. The teenage years were stretching into their fourth decade (it seemed) and for the last few years he had done little other than grow some very fluffy facial hair and extended his vocabulary to almost double figures.
I lie, of course. Ben was, when he wanted to be, a passionate speaker on a wide range of subjects – it's just that those times seemed to be several years apart. He was due to go off to university at the end of the Summer vacation, but I seriously worried that it would take him another few months before he would be able to ask directions. Don't get me wrong though – I do tend to exaggerate – because he'd grown from a boy to a young man in seemingly no time at all. He was now taller than me, wider than me and had a rakish attractiveness that, I hate to admit, provoked a tiny bit of jealousy in me despite our gender difference.
Despite my network frustrations that morning, I wasn't entirely disappointed to see him wander, yawning, into the room. "Hey, Ben, it's only eleven o'clock, what rattled you out of bed?"
"Couldn't sleep with all the banging down here."
I looked down at my keyboard and tried not to imagine just how loud I had been hammering at it during the past half an hour, "I wasn't that loud, surely?"
"Ma, you were hitting that thing harder than Ian Paice ever hit the anything."
That was typical of Ben – I'm sure he knew full well that a reference to the Deep Purple drummer was likely to stop me in whatever tracks I'd been about to embark on. And it worked. Rather than proclaim my innocence I started to explain myself instead, "I've just been trying to pay the phone bill and you wouldn't believe how frustrating this site is."
"Somewhere around eight on the Richter scale," he nodded.
"Well you wouldn't keep your calm if you'd been trying to do it!"
Ben shuffled over to my shoulder and looked down at the screen, "Doesn't look too complicated to me."
"Well it is," I assured him, "every time I click on the 'settle account' button it loops around and just shows me their latest special offers."
He reached down and moved the mouse pointer over to another 'settle' button that, I hate to admit, I hadn't seen in all the minutes I had been clicking away, "Try that one."
I clicked the mouse and the screen dissolved into a 'pay now' array. "Oh," I said.
"See, ma? They just put the other one there to..."
He paused and I assumed he was just searching for a few polite words to use instead of the ones that must have sprang readily to mind.
"Um, yeah, they, er, just want you to... to see all they sell. Make you, er, tempted."
"Well, thanks, I guess. And sorry for the noise."
Ben cleared his throat, his mouth close to my right ear, "I'll, er, just stay here and make sure everything else goes okay if you like?"
I shrugged, trying not to show my gratitude. This wasn't like the churlish Ben at all, but I wasn't about to turn away the offer of a security blanket in case I ended up re-mortgaging the house or paying several thousand to the phone company, "That'd be great," I said, "and I'll sort out some breakfast... lunch when I'm done, okay?"
He cleared his throat again and I hoped he wasn't coming down with a cold, "Sure, ma, that'd be... um, great."
It was reassuring to have him standing over my shoulder and I managed to make the payment – the correct payment – in just a couple of minutes, and with only two diversions into the 'special offers' page. I sat back as far as I could with Ben behind me and smiled a tad triumphantly, "All done. Want some lunch now?"
"Um, what? Oh, er, yeah. I'll just... go up to my room for a coupla minutes if that's good?"
"Go on then. I'll give you a call when it's ready."
He disappeared with more speed than he normally showed when someone asked him to help with the cleaning, but that suited me fine. Our kitchen was 'compact' according to the guy that had sold me the property and it was clear he must have been a cat-lover – there was certainly no room to swing one – and with Ben upstairs I had just about enough room to fix a quick snack.
I walked into the little room and bent to retrieve some bacon from my small fridge. And stopped in a half-crouch. My blouse – a nice, summery thing in light, white cotton – was only buttoned at the very bottom of the bodice and gaped wide. It was, as I said, a Saturday, and I almost never wore a bra at home during the weekends. This weekend was no exception, and my fairly small – but still not gravitationally-challenged – breasts were plainly visible. My mind worked overtime. I had been sitting in front of my computer just like that and Ben, unusually for him, had stood and made sure I didn't click the wrong things.
He had stood just behind my shoulder, staring down at the computer screen. Or at least, staring down. Looking at what I was looking at now, maybe. But surely my own son wouldn't... I mean, he'd never look at me like that, would he? That couldn't be the reason he had so unusually waited for me to pay the bill, surely?
But he was still just about a teenager. He had another fifteen months before his twentieth and teenagers would look at... No, he couldn't have done. Surely?
I stood up and fumbled the three buttons into their buttonholes. I straightened the front of the blouse. I didn't for a second feel anything but vague horror.
I'm shy, right? I told you that. I didn't – wouldn't, couldn't – feel anything stirring deep within me. Any feeling that amounted to a flutter of excitement at the thought of being seen so accidentally exposed that way... I couldn't honestly feel that, could I?
I threw the packet of bacon onto the granite-effect counter, barely remembering to thank the deity of kitchens that it didn't cause the granite-effect to ripple or tear. I wasn't feeling anything bad or wrong. Ben might have – might have – seen down my blouse and kept looking, but that was purely a natural teenage reaction to bare flesh and no more, right? I couldn't blame him for that or myself for something that was entirely accidental. And I wasn't really feeling anything except mild shame, was I? Really.
It was over and done, a silly accident, and I wasn't even allowing myself to believe that he really had looked, had he? I mean, he wouldn't, would he? Not staring down at his own mother's bared breasts... no, he had been entirely focused on the computer. He wouldn't have even noticed my state of dress, right?
And I wasn't – just wasn't – feeling anything deep inside.
He hadn't even noticed the blouse, I was suddenly sure. And I was so glad. He would have said something. He will be just normal when he comes back down for his lunch.
That's what ran through my mind as I took bread from a pack and toasted it. As I fried the bacon, added some fresh lettuce and processed cheese to the sandwich, and finally added the bacon. I blanked my mind of all but the food, and never thought once about how I would react when Ben came down.
I called to him and then focused on the doorway, the sandwich on a plate in my right hand. His footsteps were none too slow on the stairs and he appeared in record time. Not a good sign. His eyes, though, gave the game away.
Ben's baby-blues were focused below my neck even before he set foot in the kitchen. They lingered on my blouse for more than a second – which sounds so quick when you say it like that, but which seemed like hours to me right then – before flicking up to my face and then quickly switching to the plate.
"Thanks, ma," he said, taking the plate.
"You're welcome," I managed, turning away just the second I had released his lunch.
It was a long afternoon for me, and all because of that one second when Ben's eyes had focused on what had earlier been a rather different view of me. No matter how I argued with myself, no matter what excuses I managed to arrive at – human nature even being one of them – I couldn't in the end deny that he must have looked earlier. And that there had been a flicker of disappointment on my boy's face when he had come into the kitchen and saw that I was properly covered.
He had looked at me, looked at my naked breasts, when he was pretending to help with my online bill payment, and he had looked again when he'd come down for his lunch, disappointed to see that I was now all buttoned up.
While he munched his way through his lunch he had avoided all eye contact with me, had been quiet even by his own normally taciturn standards. The plate, when empty, had been washed, dried and stored in its rack in record time before Ben had dashed from the room back up to his own territory.
I was almost one hundred percent sure that what I had believed happened – his ogling of me – had really occurred. I didn't exactly blame him as such but I found it shocking, alarming in a way, and so highly inappropriate. The flicker of feeling deep in my stomach was, I was sure, a hangover from my younger years when the 'tease and dare' had been a fun-filled time with Ben's own father in our early twenties.
I paced the small house – the downstairs section, anyway – and tried to work out just how close I was to that one hundred percent certainty mark. By the time the clock ticked noisily through five o'clock I had convinced myself that there was still a margin of doubt, and by six it had grown to somewhere in the region of double figures, percentage-wise.
But I had also convinced myself that, somehow, some way, I needed to know for sure. It sounds vaguely stupid now, but can you really, honestly blame me?
It had nothing to do with how I looked – fit, I considered, for my age – and nothing to do with me in any other way, excepting, possibly, how I might best ensure that my modesty was maintained in the months before Ben left for university. I just needed to know if I was right about my son, and, if I was, then just how odd and almost creepy was the whole scenario?
Overcoming my technophobia I spent an hour Googling site after site trying to find out what other people thought, whether other mothers had been required to face up to such things – all the time, my ears pricked higher than a rabbit's in case Ben decided to leave his pit (or room, if you prefer) and interrupt me.
A lot – most – of the sites were clearly populated by fakes and wishful thinkers, the majority, I was sure, young guys fantasising. But even that in its own right was pause for thought – there were so many fantasists out there, surely? I even tried a few stories and some horrifying – but clearly staged – video postings.
By seven-thirty I was sitting back, thinking that there were a whole lot more incidences of fantasy, and maybe even reality, when it came to the mother-son thing than I would ever have imagined possible. But I still wasn't completely convinced about Ben on any level, and I still felt a compulsion to somehow find out for sure. There wasn't even anyone I could talk to about it – always assuming that I could get over my innate shyness long enough to utter such horror.
Deep down, I knew it wouldn't be difficult to work out the truth of the situation, and I knew I could ignore any feelings of any sort that passed through me if I was to do this. While I had been clicking away, the top button of my blouse had slid open of its own accord and I realised that the ones below must have done the same that morning when I was frantically clicking. I stretched my arms wide and sure enough a second button popped open.
I looked down and saw the swell of my small breasts. I used trembling fingers to open a third button so that the blouse gaped just as it had that morning and stared at my now fully bared breasts, the nipples bright pink and this time rather hard. If I stayed like that and pretended not to notice, called Ben down for some supper... well, then I would know by the direction his gaze took, right? And it was no more than I had accidentally showed earlier, no greater crime.
Except this would be no accident. But of course, to Ben it would be, wouldn't it?
I stood and went through to the kitchen, opened two pizza boxes and slipped the contents onto pizza trays. My mind was entirely on automatic as I turned on the oven and waited until it was hot enough to slip the pizzas inside. I poured a large, neat vodka and drained the glass in one long swallow. Then I replenished the tumbler and stood with my back against the counter, waiting for the pizzas to cook.
I could barely think as the clock noisily, but desperately slowly, clicked off the minutes. All I could focus on was the facts that I needed to appear as if I had no clue as to how my blouse was gaping open and that I needed to make sure I followed his every reaction, his every look. The time arrived and I slid the pans out of the oven, quickly slicing the pizzas a sliding them onto plates. Without a further thought I called up the stairs, telling my Ben to come down for supper. As the floorboards above my head creaked to announce my son was beginning his journey I splashed some water on the floor and knelt down with a hastily grabbed cloth and a bowl to mop up the mess. There was no way I was going to chance my weirdly attired appearance looking like anything other than a complete accident.
That still didn't stop me almost swallowing my tongue when he shuffled into the room.
"Y... your supper's on the side there."
"Thanks, ma. You spill something?"
He might have been university bound, but that didn't stop him stating the obvious sometimes, "Just a glass of water," I managed. I wrung the cloth out into the bowl then threw it into the sink just above my head. I took a deep breath, then another. Then I stood up, placing the bowl on the counter, and before I could chicken out, turned to face my son. "I hope meat feast is good for you?"
"It's fu... fine."
His eyes were fixed on my blouse, on my barely covered breasts, and I felt my insides turn to jelly. I knew he could still prove his relative innocence by pointing out my 'accidental' exposure. But I also knew that if he said nothing about it, if he continued to enjoy the view then that would just prove something else entirely. He fumbled a slice of pizza up to his mouth and took a small bite. But he didn't say anything about my exposed flesh, my supposedly inadvertently gaping top.
"Pizza hot enough?" I managed, my head starting to swim.
Ben swallowed noisily, his eyes barely flicking away from my front as he managed to nod, "Well hot."
"Good. You eating that down here with me?"
He nodded, taking another highly distracted bite, "You bet."
I pushed a stool towards him, my mind not just swimming now, but thrashing around like a mad thing. I sat up on the room's other stool and still – still – made no effort to 'realise' the wardrobe malfunction had occurred, "Well that's good then. Enjoy!"
I'd thought about things so hard during hours and hours that afternoon but I had totally ignored the odd, barely felt feeling in the pit of my stomach. Now it flared like a camera flash. Ben was pretending not to notice my revealing blouse and its contents, and as I took a bit of my own pizza I glanced down at his shorts – he was wearing a faded pair of running shorts and an even more faded t-shirt – and saw a distinct bulge. He wasn't just looking, he was enjoying the view.
After all my research during the previous few hours that didn't really shock me. It was unexpected but no longer a shock. What did shock me was the way my body – and my mind – reacted to my son's obvious excitement. I was, quite suddenly, feeling the most intense arousal. It was quite unlike anything else I had ever experienced before, a deep sensation that was both light and dark – so right and yet so wrong. I realised with a lurch of something close to panic that my nipples, my exposed nipples, were hardening.
I twisted around quickly and set my plate on the counter, slipping off my stool and making sure my back was turned away from Ben's searching gaze, hoping that he wouldn't realise that there was any excitement being felt by me as well as him. "I, uh, just remembered I promised to call Stephie, back in a tick!" I almost ran from the room and up the stairs to my room.
I had no way of knowing whether Ben believed my story or whether he maybe thought I'd suddenly realised the extent of may nakedness – but in a way, hoped it was the latter. It somehow confirmed that it must have been an accident and that I was highly embarrassed.
But as I leant back against my door, heart hammering and mouth very dry, I knew in my heart-of-hearts that whatever my son might be thinking, the only embarrassment I felt was in the extent of the arousal I was undeniably feeling. No matter how it made me cringe in shock and near-disbelief I could no longer deny that Ben's eyes on my bared breasts had inflamed a passion within me that I though all but dead and buried. It wasn't that I no longer entertained the occasional guy (for 'entertained', read 'fucked'), but my real passions had died not long after Ben's father had walked out on us nearly six years before. This, right now, was the hottest and most fired up I had felt for so very long and the moisture that I could feel actually leaking at the top of my thighs was as real as it was shocking.
I turned to the mirror perched on my dressing table and looked long and hard at my reflection. The blouse still gaped, maybe even wider after the dash up the stairs, and my neat, little breasts stared back at me as they heaved with each shuddering breath I took. I lifted the long, summery skirt, baring the little white panties that almost steamed, a dark patch indicating just how moist the whole incident had made me. I rested my right hand against them, against my throbbing womanhood, and gasped quietly as I realised just how truly aroused I was, just how close I was to a near-unbelievable climax.