tagMatureSympathy For The Angels

Sympathy For The Angels

byjack_straw©

Ellen Brophy was grateful for the ringing of the telephone, because it jarred her out of her melancholy reverie. She’d been thinking about Jack again, and how much she missed him, and that was never good.

She picked up the phone and answered dully, “Hello.”

“Mom?” It was Ellen’s daughter, Robin. “Mom, are you OK? You don’t sound so good.”

“I’m awright,” Ellen said, although she knew she wasn’t.

“Mom, you’ve been thinking about Daddy again, haven’t you,” Robin said in a tone that was half accusatory and half sympathetic. Ellen’s reply was silence on the line, so Robin continued in a more gentle tone. “Mom, you can’t keep beating yourself up over it. Daddy’s been gone almost two years now, and there’s nothing you could have done.”

“I know, I know,” Ellen replied finally. “It’s just… It’s just that I miss him so much, and I should have done something, anything.” By now the tears were flowing freely, as they always did when she allowed herself to wallow in self-pity like this. But then she got a hold of herself. Her daughter didn’t deserve to have this thrown on her, especially when she was the one who had initiated the call. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have burdened you with my problems. Anyway, how are the kids?”

“They’re fine,” Robin replied. “Tommy got an A on his science fair project. He said to thank you for the stuff you sent him. That really did the trick. And Lisa won the spelling bee in her class. We were so proud of her. They really do take after you; they’re very conscientious about their studies.”

“I’m so glad to hear that,” Ellen said. “They really are good kids; you and Tom should be proud.”

“Oh, we are,” Robin said. “Look, the reason I called, Tom and I are planning our big spring fling two weeks from this weekend, and I think we’re going to do crawfish. Everyone at his work seems pretty hip on the idea, and so do the people at my office. And, Mom, we’d really love for you to come. I know how much y’all enjoyed doing a big boil when Daddy was alive. It would mean a lot if you’d come. You need to get out of that house and start to live again. You know damn good and well that Daddy wouldn’t want you shutting yourself off like you do. My God, Mom, you used to be the life of the party. Please, come join us.”

“I know what you really want; you want me to watch the kids,” Ellen said, in a more jovial manner.

“No, no, no,” Robin answered. “I want you to come and enjoy yourself. You’re still plenty young and you need to get out and cut loose. How long has it been since you really let your hair down and had a good time?”

Ellen just kind of mumbled a response, so Robin pressed her point. “Do you think Daddy would have let you mope around like this? C’mon girl, I want to see you live again. And don’t worry about there not being people your age there. Tom’s mom and dad will be there, and a few of their friends, too. It’s going to be a real mixed bag. Please, Mom, say you’ll come.”

Robin was persuasive and persistent, and finally Ellen agreed to come. When she thought about it rationally, she knew Robin was right. It was just that social events like that always brought back in stark reality the fact that her husband, Jack, was gone, and that she could no longer enjoy them with him.

Jack Brophy had been the love of her life for 35 years, ever since they had met at LSU in 1966, when she was a sophomore in college. She still could not get out of her head the scenario that had taken him from her. He had been complaining of severe headaches for about a week, and nothing had seemed to help. But it had been at the end of the school year, and she had final exams to prepare at the junior high where she taught seventh-grade science, so she hadn’t gotten around to insisting that he see a doctor.

So it happened that Jack went to work one morning to the insurance agency that he worked for, and collapsed during a meeting. His co-workers called 911, but he was dead before the ambulance got there. An aneurysm had burst in his brain and, just like that, Ellen Brophy was made a widow at age 54. Ellen could still see the look on the faces of her principal and the teacher’s aide that came to take over her class as they broke the news to her. Nearly two years had passed, and Ellen still wasn’t over his sudden passing.

Brian Anderson looked up to see Robin Taylor approaching his desk, so he perked up. Robin was always worth taking time with; she was pretty and perky, and never failed to lift everyone’s spirits.

“Hey, Brian, how have you been?” Robin asked cheerfully.

“OK, I guess,” he answered.

“I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Tom and I are having our annual spring blowout, and we’re inviting everyone from the office to come,” Robin said, handing him a sheet of paper with drawings on it. “Here are directions to our place. Tom, his dad and his brothers are doing a whole mess of crawfish and it’s going to be a great time. Brian, I really wish you’d come. You know, you can’t live in a shell forever. You’re way too young to just vegetate the rest of your life. What do think Alison would say if she saw you like this?”

Brian just looked down at the floor, but Robin was persistent.

“Please, say you’ll come,” Robin said gently. “Who knows, maybe you’ll meet someone, so you can get on with your life.”

Brian looked up at Robin’s pleading eyes and finally nodded that he’d try to make it.

“Good!” Robin said. “We’ll probably put the first batch on around 5 or so. We’ll have a couple of kegs, and plenty of liquor, if you’re not into beer. I promise you, you’ll have a good time.”

If he’d been honest with himself at that moment, Brian would have admitted that he’d agreed to come to Robin’s party just to be nice. Fun was something that was part of his old life, the one he’d had with his wife, Alison. In spite of his best effort, he found himself slipping into remembrance.

Fourteen months previously, he’d had life on a string. He’d played the field through most of his 20s before settling on Alison, the girl of his dreams. They had been married for two years, two blissful years of love and lust, before she’d announced right before Christmas that she was expecting their first child. Life couldn’t have been any better, but it was all swept away in one awful moment.

It was cold and it had been raining off and on all day, the way it often is in the Deep South in the late winter, and Alison had been rushing to get home from work late that afternoon. She’d gone to the grocery store then pulled up to the stoplight just outside the store’s parking lot. The light had turned green; she’d proceeded into the intersection and had promptly been broadsided by a drunk driver who ran the red light coming the other way. He’d walked away without a scratch, but Alison was dead at the scene, and, so too was his unborn child.

Suddenly, at age 30, Brian Anderson was left alone, with nothing but his career and a family way up in Iowa to cling onto. He had thought about moving back, but he couldn’t bear to leave the site of his wife’s grave, plus he’d grown to like most things about where he lived. Despite his grief – or perhaps because of it – Brian had over the previous year become the top seller at the real estate office for whom he worked. Robin thought it was because people empathized with him, figuring that he wouldn’t sell them something he didn’t believe in, which was pretty close to the truth. After a respectable period of mourning, Robin had tried to get him to open up, to be the kind of fun-loving guy he’d been before Alison’s death. But it had been a struggle. All Brian seemed to want to do was go home to his apartment, drink beer and brood about his loss.

Still, the fact that he’d said he would come was encouraging, Robin thought as she walked away. And as she did, a funny thing flashed through her mind. Looking at Brian’s soulful, pain-filled eyes, she had seen a reflection of her mother. She often had the same look in her eyes, Robin thought, a haunted look of deep despair that couldn’t see any way out.

Ellen left for her daughter’s as soon as the final bell rang that Friday. She’d packed that morning, so she could get going quickly. Now that she’d decided to go, she was eager to reach Robin’s house. She was grimly determined to have a good time this weekend, regardless of how she felt. Robin was right; Jack would not have approved of her being such a mope.

As she made the two-hour drive to her daughter’s house, Ellen found herself reliving parts of her life with Jack, especially the juicier parts. She smiled as she remembered sex with her husband. God, they’d acted like runaway schoolchildren almost to the bitter end. They’d been products of the free-love Sixties and they had never lost that spirit of sensual adventure. Jack had been possessed of a very nice, very thick cock that he’d known how to use right from the start. Even into their 50s, hardly a week went by without the two of them fucking like rabbits, and often they went at it two or three times a week. On occasion, they’d even explored some of their fantasies, inviting other men or women – or both at the same time – to share their lust for each other.

Ellen felt her pussy moisten in her seat as she thought back on some of the escapades she and Jack had gotten into over the course of their years together. It was only when she had to concentrate on making the turns to get to Tom and Robin’s house that she let the images fade away.

The party was a huge success. The weather was warm during the afternoon and early evening then a slight chill came up as darkness fell, giving Tom and his family an excuse to build a bonfire. A large crowd had turned out and Tom boiled up four sacks of crawfish, 180 pounds worth, and the crowd went through about two-thirds of the tasty crustaceans, along with a mess of corn on the cob and new potatoes.

Ellen was her old, charming self, visiting with her daughter’s in-laws while she worked on a large package of her favored white wine then mingling with the younger people at the party. As the night wore on, however, and the more inebriated she got, she felt the melancholia start to descend on her again. Jack had always been the true life of these sorts of events, and his absence was felt. Deciding she needed to clear her head a little bit, she walked off from the party to the little fishing dock that Tom had built out onto the bayou that flowed slowly at the back of their property. It was a good place to sit and reflect, not to mention that the fishing was usually excellent.

As she approached the dock, though, she was disappointed to see someone else standing along the railing staring out at the dark water. Brian had decided to go to the party, just because he didn’t want to disappoint Robin, who had been a real friend to him over the previous months. Over the course of the night, he’d had quite a few beers, and had walked off to think and to brood alone.

Ellen thought about walking off in another direction, but there was something about the way the young man was staring out at the water that struck a chord with her. As she approached the dock, she recognized the man as one of Robin’s co-workers, and she had observed earlier that he seemed to hang back from the party, enjoying, but not enjoying himself, if that made sense.

Brian turned when he heard the clatter of Ellen’s shoes on the dock, then turned back to stare at the water.

“You look lonely,” Ellen ventured. “This is a good place to hide out, but it probably won’t solve your problems, or mine.”

“I’m sorry, I was just thinking about how much my wife would have enjoyed this,” Brian said. “Robin’s really got a nice place here, and everyone’s so nice.”

“Well, where is your wife?” Ellen asked. She gasped when Brian told her the story of Alison’s death. “I’m so sorry; I shouldn’t have pried.” In that moment, though, she realized that here was someone who knew exactly what she’d been going through, so she told Brian about Jack, and as she did she started to weep softly. As the story unfolded, Brian realized that this was Robin’s mom; he’d recalled vaguely the circumstances about her father’s death, and he understood that the widow was still grieving, just like he was.

Brian reached over and put his arm around Ellen’s shoulders to comfort her, and when he did, something happened. A spark seemed to pass between them, and when Ellen had composed herself and stepped back, Brian took a moment to give this woman a more thorough appraisal.

Quite simply, Ellen was gorgeous, he realized. She was a little taller than average, about 5-6, maybe 5-7, and the years had added some truly sensual curves to what had always been a splendid body. Her breasts were a little fuller than when she’d been younger, she had added just a subtle amount of padding on her hips and thighs, and a lifelong love of the rich cuisine of her native Louisiana had left her with a slight swelling at the belly that no amount of exercise could quite diminish. Ellen had resigned herself to the fact that she would never be a size 8 again, but she was careful about her diet, and she worked hard at the Y to make sure that her legs remained trim and firm.

Brian liked what he saw of Ellen’s body, but what really arrested his attention was her face. Ellen had a nice, modest mouth that seemed to curl in a perpetually wry grin, even with the pain she felt in her soul, with fairly thin lips. Her nose was small and unobtrusive, and her ivory skin was smooth, except for the barest hint of crows-feet at the corners of her eyes. And what eyes! Ellen was blessed with large, deep pools of azure that just seemed to suck you right in. The whole effect was topped by a luxuriant mane of mostly silver hair that she wore loose and long, to just past her shoulders. Elegant, that was the word he was searching for. Here was a lady, in every sense of the word. But there was a hint in the way her mouth and eyes looked that suggested moments when this woman was no lady at all, but a carnal creature capable of just about anything.

Without realizing it, Brian felt a lurching in his groin, the first time that had happened from another woman since Alison’s death. The realization startled him. He was getting turned on by a woman old enough to be his mother! All of this passed in but a moment’s time, and he quickly turned away in embarrassment.

Ellen, too, had taken a moment to apprise this young man who had taken the time to commiserate with her in her moment of weakness, and she also liked what she saw. Brian wasn’t your classic hunk, but there was an earnest sexiness about him that lay just below the surface. He wasn’t tall, only a couple of inches taller than she was, and although he wasn’t muscular, he looked to be in good shape. He had a full head of sandy-colored hair, a mouth with ample lips, an average nose and soulful brown eyes. And in that moment of appraisal, Ellen also felt her insides do a small cartwheel, then she stopped herself. He’s young enough to be your son, she thought, he’s not going to want an old woman like her.

Nevertheless, she moved back to the rail, leaned over and engaged the young man in conversation. No harm in that, she thought. Instead of commiserating over their mutual grief, the conversation this time was more upbeat. They talked about their lives, and their backgrounds, and quickly found that they had some fairly similar tastes. They both loved classical music, they both loved good food and good drink, and they both loved sports. And they found each other very easy to talk to.

Realizing that they each needed a refill on their drinks, now that their heads had cleared a little bit, Ellen suggested that they rejoin the party. Brian was actually a little disappointed. He’d enjoyed talking with Ellen, loosening up, really, for the first time since Alison’s death. On impulse, he offered Ellen his arm as they reached dry land and she took it almost without thinking.

Just then, they spotted Robin headed in their direction; she’d suspected that her mom was starting to feel down and was headed out to cheer her up. She was surprised, then, to see her mother on the arm of her friend Brian, walking back toward the house, each with a smile on their face.

“I was just coming out to check on you,” Robin said. “I see you’ve met Brian. I’m glad to see y’all had a chance to meet and talk. Maybe you can pull each other out of the funk. C’mon, let’s get a drink.”

For some reason, Ellen didn’t want to leave Brian’s side, so they mingled together among the dwindling crowd. Finally, Brian signaled to her to come follow him; he wanted to talk some more with this lady who seemed to know just what to say to bring him out of his self-imposed exile. Getting a fresh glass of wine, Ellen was eager to join him. They walked down the road a little way, chatting about life, and death, until they rounded a curve and were out of sight from the house.

“Do you mind if I do something?” Brian asked suddenly. He was just drunk enough to be bold, and he knew what he wanted to do right then more than anything in the world.

“Depends on what it is,” Ellen replied playfully. But the smile died on her face when Brian turned to her and abruptly kissed her. At first it was tentative, a sort of feeling out of their emotions, but as it lingered, they began to kiss more deeply, as a dam of sorts burst between them. In no time, their tongues were dueling like swordsmen, slashing at each other, and Brian pulled Ellen to him, feeling her curvy body mold to his. Ellen could feel the tension in his body, and she could feel a hard bulge growing in the young man’s pants. Finally, they had to come up for air, and when they did, they looked at each other almost in awe.

“Whew!” Ellen said, as a flush descended from her face over her whole body. She hadn’t been kissed like that since Jack had died, nor had Brian kissed anyone like that since Alison’s wreck. They could each sense that they were on the cusp of something; all they needed was a push, and this time it was Ellen who initiated another furious round of necking. She pulled his body to hers and kissed him with all the passion she could muster, wrapping her arms around him pull him as close as she could. After long minutes losing themselves in each other, she had to stop. This was getting out of hand, and she had to get a grip on her emotions.

“I don’t know if we should be doing this,” she said softly. “Hell, I’m old enough to be your mother.”

“I don’t care about that,” Brian said. “I think you’re one of the sexiest women I’ve ever met, and I’m not just saying that. You really are.”

“Me? I’m just a fat, old lady who’s had too much to drink,” Ellen said as they started back toward the house.

“Seriously,” Brian said, with feeling. “In the first place, you are not fat; in the second place, 56 is not old; and in the third place, you are one of the prettiest women I’ve ever seen.”

Ellen blushed at that; this was the first time in a long time that anyone had told her she was sexy and pretty, and she was sincerely flattered.

By the time they returned to the house, the party had been reduced to the hardcore partiers, and the music had become quite loud. They decided to sit in the house and relax before Brian left for home. He was through drinking, and he needed a little time to sober up. A big pot of stout chicory coffee had been started; Brian fixed a couple of cups and they headed for a quiet spot where they could continue their conversation. They talked about a lot of things, but avoided the subject of what had gone on outside. Ellen figured that the kisses they’d shared were the alcohol talking; nevertheless she was thoroughly enjoying the attention from this soulful young man.

After a couple of cups of coffee and a half-hour’s conversation, Brian decided it was time to go. He got up to find Robin and thank her for a great time, and Ellen jumped up and said she’d walk him out to his car. For some reason, she felt as nervous as a teenager experiencing first love. As they reached his car, no words were necessary; Brian and Ellen just sort of melded themselves together and kissed hard for several minutes.

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