No Future Ch. 08bybradley_stoke©
Green Grass of Home
Alex watched little Betty crawl across the Karndean floor with affection. Children were so amusing. They expressed themselves so unselfconsciously and found so much of interest in the world around them. It was really rather entertaining.
But did he want to be a father to such a child himself? Alex wasn't so sure. In terms of time and money they were a wearisome burden.
And if he didn't want to be burdened by his own children, would he ever choose to trouble himself with someone else's?
So what had persuaded him to start a relationship with Betty's mother?
Well, there was much about Bella to recommend. First and foremost, she was a great fuck. Alex had never enjoyed such intense sex before and he couldn't imagine how it could be bettered. Second, she wasn't bad-looking either, although experience had taught Alex that good looks and good sex don't always coexist. In Bella's case it was a kind of Mother Earth, hippy goddess, bushy crotch kind of beauty: not that Alex could now see anything wrong with that.
But with these major plusses came the inevitable minus and in Bella's case it was little Betty, who was crawling over the carpet, naked as always, and gurgling as she did so. Being a father wasn't one of Alex's chief ambitions in life and being a step-father even less so. If he and Bella were to stay together much longer he might be expected to do the morning school run, spend weekends at the sports field, and maybe even attend school plays and prize-giving days.
What the fuck!
This was not how Alex mapped out his future however welcoming Bella's hairy vaginal lips were or how strong the grip between her motherly thighs. It was good fun while for the moment, but some time soon it would have to come to an end. What worried Alex was that whereas it was his previous girlfriend or partner who made the first such move, was this the relationship that would break the mould and oblige Alex to force the issue?
With a bit of luck, Bella might be unfaithful and make the separation that much easier to arrange. It didn't seem likely that it would end in quite the same spectacular way as it had with Agnieszka, with smashed crockery, a long crack across the television screen and enough animosity to entertain the entire street. But at least the woman was out of his life. No more tears and recriminations. And no more passionate reconciliations either.
With Bella there were no histrionics. She was remarkably tolerant of Alex's vices, whether they involved drugs or booze or cybersex. In fact she even appeared to tolerate the minor infidelities that Alex would vehemently deny if he was ever challenged but which he guessed that Bella must have suspected. Indeed, it wasn't anything that Alex ever did that troubled her but more those opinions he expressed that most came into conflict with the green, politically correct and occasionally mystical views that Bella held.
She was a woman who was not only well-informed on the green issues of the day but knew exactly the right words to express her views, while Alex floundered in a morass of political incorrectness and naiveté. In truth, Alex was still not entirely convinced that climate change, species extinction, rampant consumerism and meat-eating really were the harbingers of evil that would bring humanity to its knees. As long as the light bulb lit up when he flicked the switch, the water flowed when he turned the faucet, and there were 24-hour News Programmes on the television, the imminent end of civilisation and also the end maybe of a lot more besides seemed pretty much remote.
"It's not just about the future," protested Bella as they lay together on Alex's king-size bed. "It's about the present too and how you should lead a life that's in balance with nature."
"You're not going to see me hug a tree," Alex retorted. "I'm not going to give up eating meat. And I already do enough recycling."
"But you drive an old-fashioned petrol car," Bella replied. "You fly rather than travel by train. You don't have solar panels on the roof."
"Until it becomes cheaper to go green then I'll continue to follow the most economical model."
"But economical for how long? We've had yet another unusually hot wet summer. There's been flooding along almost every sea coast and river bank in the country. Not too mention the mudslides, floods, droughts and forest fires all over the rest of world."
"It's not totally proven yet," said Alex, quoting from Fox News UK. "There's climate change for sure, but it's not necessarily anthropogenic..."
"So, it's absolutely natural," mocked Bella. "What about deforestation? And desertification? And famine? They might have nothing specifically to do with global warming but they don't do any good for anyone. And the Iranian nuclear reactor going up like that. All that radiation spreading to Afghanistan and Pakistan didn't do the environment any favours."
"These things happen," argued Alex who just wished he could quite echo the fury and absolute certainty of a Fox News UK television commentator. "There's an explanation for everything and it's not necessarily to do with human economic activity. There have always been environmental crises over history..."
"I'm sure there have been," admitted Bella, "but there are an extraordinarily large number of them today. If it wasn't for the millions upon millions spent by Big Business to sway the editorial line of the newspapers, television and internet, there'd hardly be any disagreement at all with the overwhelming majority of informed scientific opinion that all this stuff going on and the rape of the environment is scarcely a coincidence."
Alex was always nervous about this sort of conversation. He was in a definite no-win situation. Anything he said that didn't acknowledge the imminent end of civilisation would appear to be at best complacent and at worst conniving with the interests of the polluting industries. Consequently, like most people, he kept his opinions between himself and the ballot-box, and took what comfort he could from those commentators on television or on the internet who so convincingly tore down the facade presented by scheming scientists and liberal politicians simply to feather their nests in ways Alex didn't really fully comprehend.
Bella's friends were, if anything, even more green than she was. These were people who continued to wear what might once have been fashionable in the late twentieth century, though it was difficult to imagine a time when a fashion model would have sported woolly hats, coarse cotton shirts and open-toed sandals on a catwalk. There was Eve, whose hair was both short where she shaved it and very long where she didn't and had difficulty in keeping her nipples hidden from sight under the jumble of tee-shirts or ponchos she wore. There was Tina whose most distinguishing feature was her truly enormous boobs. Alex struggled hard not to allude to them when he discussed her with Bella but he still fell short of her standards of political correctness when he referred to her by her skin-colour. There was also Angie, who Alex rather fancied. She was a petite, slender girl whose looks were only slightly marred by the length of her pointed nose and the quite different fact that she'd shaved her head right down to the flesh (although this was generally hidden under one or other of her collection of woollen hats). But Angie was actually the woman the furthest from Alex's reach as she was absolutely and assertively a lesbian—a fact that both fascinated and slightly titillated him.
Then there was Ben, who was Tina's boyfriend and also Betty's father. He was bearded and baggy-clothed and a frequent visitor as much because Tina was Bella's best friend, but because he liked to be close to his daughter. Ben was father to at least two other children, of which Tina was the mother. His accent betrayed a privileged birth and education, the benefits of which were expressed neither in the way he dressed nor in the life-style he followed. Alex suspected that Ben was just playing at being a counterculture eco-warrior until such a time he got bored and returned to the family home. And then, instead of protecting wild animals, he'd perhaps be hunting them down on a horse.
"What a stupid idea!" said Bella indignantly when Alex suggested this to her. "You're just jealous that he's been born with certain advantages. He can see the futility of a consumerist life. What more do you need than friends, food and the roof above your head? If everyone were like Ben, the world would be a much better place and we wouldn't be headed towards disaster."
"No, of course not," said Alex, who couldn't see how ever-increasing petrol prices and an extra metre or two in the height of flood-defences really amounted to imminent global catastrophe.
Alex and Bella weren't really living together although they slept together most nights. Bella's real home was a room in the house she shared with Angie, Eve and a shy bookish fellow called Quentin who hardly ever ventured out of his bedroom. This was a fairly flexible set-up where a variety of boy- and girlfriends passed through and one where Betty sometimes had many playmates of her age and sometimes none depending on the conjugal histories of her mother's housemates' partners. But Bella chose to stay mostly at Alex's suburban home and inevitably with the playful company of Betty and her battered toys.
Alex had become quite comfortable in this routine. When Bella was there, he never had to worry about what to cook as she was as much at home in the kitchen as Alex so obviously was not. He didn't even need to worry about housework either as Bella treated his house just like her home, which was rather better than Alex ever did. And bedtimes were times Alex definitely looked forward to. He was sure Bella had taught him everything she could and yet there always seemed to be yet another carnal variation that would surprise him.
Indeed, Bella's amorous inventiveness had taken a recent turn for the more adventurous that Alex frankly found rather exhausting. Those motherly breasts of hers pressed hard against Alex's face while his erect penis struggled to keep anchorage inside whichever hole Bella had directed it. A trickle of saliva, semen and Bella's own vaginal juices trailed down the length of his shaft into the mutually tangled hairs of their crotches. Their bodies slid over a slither of perspiration that sometimes smelt of petunia oil and sometimes of something even more earthy.
"That was amazing!" complimented Alex, when at last their bodies were conjoined no longer. "Where did you learn that? From the internet?"
He'd meant it as a joke, of course. Alex always maintained the romantic notion, despite the nature of his own sexual education and the succession of women through his life, that sexual athleticism and sexual experience naturally led to greater sexual adventurism and that instruction was never really necessary. He expected Bella to simply respond with a joke.
Instead, she looked unaccountably sheepish.
"I've been meaning to tell you for a long time," Bella said.
"So, where did you learn your techniques?" pursued Alex still in a jocular tone.
That was understandable. The couple had lived together for two or three years around the time of Betty's birth. They were bound to have tried out a few things.
"You never forget a trick once you've learnt it, even after a few years," said Alex in an attempt to disguise his resentment that another man had known his lover at least as well as he did.
"...Or after just a day or so."
Alex wasn't sure whether this called for him to remove his arm from around Bella's bare shoulders, so he let it rest there but he inclined away from her.
"Or just this morning..."
"With Ben?" asked Alex.
"It's not been going so well between Tina and Ben for a while," said Bella.
"I hadn't noticed."
"Well, you never would."
"But that doesn't mean..."
"Ben is the father of my child."
So, Alex found a way in which he could separate from Bella, but the tears still came more from his side than Bella's. For her, it seemed a quite natural thing. For Alex, it seemed almost perverse. And this was because Bella's transfer of affection from Alex to Ben was neither rapid nor abrupt, but one where for a while she continued to have sex with Alex on a regular basis and occasionally made love with Ben to one where it was Alex who was the occasional lover.
Then after a week or so when Bella and her daughter hadn't visited at all and only replied politely and cautiously to his phone-calls, Bella rang his door-bell to finally return her copies of his house-keys.
"It doesn't seem right to hang onto them," she said.
"Well, that's alright," said Alex who'd actually hoped more for a tearful reunion than a dispassionate separation, "I'm going to be moving away from Ashton Lovelock anyway."
"Near London. Or somewhat nearer to it than I do now. The company I work for is in London and it's a long commute."
"You don't want to leave too large a carbon footprint each day, do you?"
"Something like that," admitted Alex, for whom it was actually more time and expense that was persuading him to make the move.
"Well, best of luck."