Be Stilled My Beating Heartbymitchfren©
This is nothing like my previous efforts: no jokes, no cheating, and it's a bit on the dark side. I've rushed it a bit so there may be a few errors.
BE STILL MY BEATING HEART
FRIDAY: It's night time and I'm now well on my way to committing suicide.
You want to know to know the 'why' and the how?' Well, I'll tell you, but you'll have to be a little bit patient because the 'why' goes back some way – and the 'how' will be explained as we go along.
To begin with, let me give you some background. My name is David – Dave to my friends. I'm in my forties; married, no children. I was an only child and both of my parents have passed away.
They gave me a good childhood. Although they never had much money to spare, they made sure that I was well-fed, properly educated, and could always feel loved. When I left school I began work as a postman and I never had any ambition to do anything else – I mean, why would I? The job paid decent money, the hours weren't too long, the holidays were good and there was plenty of fresh air and exercise.
The exercise was the key to it. Throughout my formative years I was a runner. During my time at school I won almost every middle-distance race I competed in. Usually that just meant the 800 and 1500 metres, but I was also pretty good at the longer cross-country races. I know I had dreams of competing in the Olympics someday so, even when I left school, I kept it up and it became my main hobby.
Once I began competing at a senior level, I soon found out that I didn't quite have what it takes – no matter how hard I trained. One thing that was definitely lacking was the ability to produce a sprint finish. Somehow, I just couldn't manage that, so I moved up to five and ten thousand metre races to see if my strong, one-paced running could grind the opposition down. Sometimes it worked, others it didn't – and I realised I'd never make it at the highest levels. That was disappointing, of course, but it didn't stop me competing because, in all honesty, I loved it. In fact, it was at an inter-county where I was competing in the 10k that I first met my wife-to-be.
She was representing Cumbria in the women's long jump. She wasn't particularly good (I think she came 6th out of 10), but she was absolutely gorgeous.
Her long, dark hair was tied back in a thick, luxuriant ponytail that revealed an exquisitely beautiful face and she had exactly the kind of lithe figure that I'd always preferred. I don't mean she was skinny; she wasn't. She had enough curves in the right places to be really feminine and I was smitten from the first glance.
At that time I was 26 years old. I'd had my fair share of relationships, including one that went as far as an engagement before we both realised it wasn't going to work and called it off but, at that moment, I wasn't dating anyone. I approached her with a confidence that I certainly didn't feel and found that, close up, she was even more lovely than I'd first thought. I also discovered that she was prone to blushing at compliments and that her shy smile could make my insides melt.
We chatted for a while and she stayed on after her event to watch me finish second in my race (someone with a sprint finish managed to stay with me and leave me trailing on the final straight), then we swapped phone numbers and agreed to get together at the weekend.
I'm getting tired now and the vodka bottle's almost dry so, after reporting that her name was Moira, that she was 20, and that we started dating regularly, I'll leave this for now.
SATURDAY: I've just finished talking to my lovely wife on the phone. She's at an athletics event in Edinburgh and staying at her parents' house. She doesn't compete any more but she loves to get involved in the organising part of it and this is the first time she' been able to do it for quite a while.
Naturally, she's concerned about me and most of the conversation was about that. It was pretty much the same when she let her mother take the phone for a couple of minutes and I enjoyed the feeling of loving concern that flowed over me while each of them was speaking.
But I'd better get back to my story.
As I said, Moira and I started to date on a regular basis. It was only once a week to begin with because she was in her final year at Lancaster University while I lived and worked in Durham. Therefore, it wasn't too long before we broached the subject of her spending the whole weekend with me. Unlike it had been most of my previous relationships, I was perfectly prepared to wait until the time was right for both of us before we made love because I was already serious about her and didn't want to do anything to put her off. In fact, if she'd wanted to just sleep in the spare room I wouldn't have complained – just being near to her would have been enough.
My parents had died when they still quite young and I'd inherited the house. I hadn't wanted to stay amongst all the memories so I'd sold it and bought another one – the one I'm sitting in now while I work my way steadily through another bottle of vodka.
But the first time she stayed over was also the first time we went to bed together. She'd arrived that Saturday morning on the early train; we'd spent the morning together wandering around the shops and the indoor market and were enjoying a pub lunch when we somehow got onto the subject of previous lovers.
I told her a fair bit about my experiences until, realising that I was doing all the talking, I said;
"Okay... that's enough about me. How many lovers have you had?"
"Do you mean boyfriends... or actual lovers; y'know, with sex an' all that?"
"Actual lovers," I declared as I saw her begin to blush, "with... errm... sex an' all that!"
She giggled at my feeble attempt to imitate the gentle Scottish burr of her voice and then, almost lost between sips of her beer, I heard; "Two or three."
"So... which is it," I smiled, "two... or three?"
"It's two," she admitted and then, very shyly and not daring to look at me, she muttered, "But I was hoping it might be three after tonight."
For a few seconds I was too stunned to even speak and I just watched her downcast eyes and could feel her concern that she'd been too bold. Then, just as she was taking another mouthful of beer, I asked:
"Have you got anyone particular in mind?"
She spluttered, of course, and spilled some of the beer on her chin; then she called me an 'English clag-tail' (I eventually found out it was a Scottish insult meaning an 'unwiped arse'), but it wasn't said with any real rancour and we both ended up laughing.
So that should have been the most wonderful night of my life. Well, to be fair, it was – eventually. But when the two of us first climbed into bed naked, I suddenly had an embarrassing problem. Put in simple terms, I just couldn't get it up! I know, of course, what the trouble was: I'd idealised her so much, put her on such a high pedestal in my mind – as if she was a goddess and I was a mere mortal – that it almost felt as if I was defiling her. I spent ages just exploring every part of my body with my fingertips and my tongue, but it wasn't until she suddenly quaked with a resounding orgasm that spilled her juices all over my face that I suddenly recovered and, a few moments later, she was gasping, groaning as my recovered hardness pounded in and out of her.
For the rest of that first weekend, we hardly left the bedroom. We spent the time learning about one another, exploring, pushing our own boundaries in every direction we could until, by the Sunday evening, she said she was glad to getting the train back to Lancaster so she could have a rest.
I have to cut to the chase a bit here; I keep having to re-type things because the alcohol is making me clumsy. Also, the pains and the 'heaviness' is becoming more distracting. Tomorrow, when the alcohol is out of my system, I'll be writing under the influence of painkillers. I hope I'll have time to finish.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON: There were a lot of very nasty pains during the night, but I just to endure them and tell myself that it will all be worthwhile in the end.
To pick up where I left off, Moira graduated from University with first class honours then she came to live with me while she trained as a physiotherapist. A few weeks later we were married. Her parents wanted us to do it in the cathedral but we both vetoed that and settled for the Durham Presbyterian Church to keep them happy.
Our marriage was a wonderful one. We had plenty of time to ourselves, plenty of good friends to socialise with, and we even started running marathons together. Our sex life, without going into too much detail, was always exciting and we tried everything we could think of in the comfort of our own home. I think both of us may have done a tiny bit of flirting at social events, but there was never any suggestion of fidelity on either part. To be fair to those who like to read about such things, I want to emphasise that there never was any cheating: plenty of men tried to hit on Moira when they thought I wasn't looking and, since I'm not bad looking, a few women tried to drop hints about their availability to me – but we weren't tempted. We were happy.
We had eight years of almost perfect bliss. I was 35 by then and Moira was 28, and we'd started talking about having a family. Each of us had been an only child, so we hadn't been around babies and kids very much, so it was a big decision, and we still talking about when disaster struck.
We had entered for the Great North Run – a half-marathon that starts in Newcastle-Gateshead and ends in South Shields – and the biggest 'local' event we have. We didn't run together – Moira was a fun-runner who only did it to raise money for charity, while I still had my competitive streak – so I was a long way ahead of her (I was actually in the large group behind the small leading group), when I began to feel the pains in my chest. It didn't bother me at first because I've had pains like that before and found that I can just run them off. This time, though, it didn't happen like that.
I was just about at Temple Memorial Park – not too far from the finish – when the pain became sharper, I struggled to get my breath and began to stumble. Then I became dizzy and, the next thing I knew, I was on a stretcher being loaded into an ambulance. I remember Moira being there with me and holding my hand; there were all kinds of electrodes attached to my chest and an oxygen mask covered my nose and mouth.
I didn't understand how it could have happened to me. I was as fit as it was reasonably possible to be; I've never smoked, I always drank in moderation and my diet was pretty good. How could I possibly be having a heart attack? But that is what it was.
I was in hospital for a few days while I recovered and they did all the usual tests. The angiogram showed that one of my main arteries was completely blocked so inserting a 'stent' wasn't possible, which normally meant a bypass would be the order of the day, but that wasn't to be. What it also showed was that I'd had a previous heart attack – at least one – that I must have dismissed as indigestion or whatever and that there was so much scar tissue that I bypass wasn't an option. When I queried it, I was told that many people have similar small attacks without even knowing it – the movies and TV have a lot to answer for in making it appear that it has to be a huge and dramatic event.
Although they were gentle about giving me the diagnosis, it wasn't good. Normally they would have recommended an exercise programme to regain fitness, but that wasn't likely to help in my case since I'd already been doing everything they suggested. The second part was a cocktail of drugs that, quite simply, I'd have to take for the rest of my life. They would offer me some degree of protection, although nothing was guaranteed, and the only possible changes would be in the dosage. The prognosis was that, as long as I didn't exert myself too much and kept to the drugs and diet regime, the condition shouldn't worsen. That also meant, of course, that a transplant wasn't on the cards either.
Returning to work wasn't an option, of course, but my pension from the Post Office was pretty decent so there was little to worry about in financial terms but, the combination of the drugs that thinned my blood and the Beta-blockers that slowed my heartbeat, meant that I could only rarely manage an erection and, even more rarely, manage to sustain it.
I need to rest now and take some painkillers. I'll continue this later.
SUNDAY EVENING: The phone call was much harder to cope with tonight. The pains were pretty severe despite the tablets, but I needed to make Moira believe that I was fine – I've never lied to her about anything before now.
So, to continue with the story: the last seven years have been very difficult. Our sex life has more or less dried up completely. I mean, I'm still able to give Moira pleasure with my hands and my tongue, and with the 'toys' that we've bought. There's still been the comfort of closeness and the sheer joy of being together. Although she continued to work, she stopped all the outside activities such as her involvement with athletics in order to spend as much time with me as possible. We were still able to socialise, even if not as often as we had in the past, but I began to have terrible feelings of guilt that just seemed to grow and grow.
I knew that Moira was missing the sex-life we'd had; no matter how much I did to satisfy her. She never said a wrong word about it and there was no change in her outward demeanour. She realised before long, though, that something was wrong with me and, one evening as we sat cuddled up in our front room, she challenged me about it and persisted until it all came flooding out.
She was just short of thirty-three, I told her, and she had no real life with me. I didn't want to be without her, but I hated to see her wasting her life. I told her I would understand, perfectly, if she needed to go elsewhere to get what I could no longer give her – that I'd accept it as long as she came back to me afterwards. I suppose I'd been reading too many stupid stories on Literotica – that's the only explanation I can think of.
Well, she called me a 'sumph' and a 'tumshie,' both Scottish words for idiot and gave me the biggest roasting I could ever recall having.
"Men!" she finally declared, "You're all so obsessed with your dicks you think a woman can't live without one once she's tried it! In case you don't remember it, there was a bit about 'in sickness and in health' when we got married... and something else about 'forsaking all others?' Well... let me tell you, mister... if you think I'm goin' out whoring just to make you feel a bit better... y'can bloody well think again!"
And that was, very definitely, that!
Well, a couple of years ago it was. We'd been socialising with a couple who were our best friends for a long time – their names are Frank and Josie – because we both enjoyed their company. It came as a shock to all of us when it turned out that Josie had been having a very intense affair with someone else. Frank works long hours – he's a surgeon who takes his job very seriously – so the opportunity for his wife to stray was always present I suppose. He's a really nice man, I like him enormously and, since the inevitable divorce, we've spent a lot of time helping him to recover from it.
I think it was about a year ago that I first noticed the way he was looking at Moira. To begin with, I'm pretty sure he was just a bit envious that he couldn't have a loving and faithful wife like her but, after a while longer, I realised that it had become more than that. I also began to notice the way Moira was beginning to look at him.
To my shame, I began to have the unworthy thought that they might be about to become lovers, but something happened to quickly disabuse me of that notion. It was one of those days when, for a bit of gentle exercise, I took a slow and steady walk to the hospital to meet Moira and be driven home by her.
Normally, I would sit in the reception area and have a cup of tea while I waited for her but, on this particular day, I needed to use the toilet. The public toilets were down a small passageway which was next to some offices. As I came back out, feeling very relieved, I heard Frank's voice coming from behind the partially opened door of one of them and, although it wasn't an angry tone he was using, it was certainly a very firm one.
"You know perfectly well that I would never... ever... ask you to be unfaithful to Dave," he said, which made me halt in my tracks and, to be blunt, eavesdrop. "That's not what I was suggesting. I would simply never do anything that. It wouldn't matter how much I wanted to... and God only knows that I do... it would lie heavily on my conscience for the rest of my life, and I just couldn't bear that!"
"I'm sorry for getting angry, Frank," (Yes, it was Moira's voice), "but when you said that... I thought you were trying to... y'know... and that's never going to happen!"
"I know that," he said, much more gently, "I needed to tell you how I feel, Moira, because I want you to understand why I'm not coming to see the two of you as much as I used to." That was true, although I hadn't noticed it – he hadn't been around very much for a while. He went on:
"I can't help the fact that I've fallen in love with you, Moira. And I'm not blind... I can see perfectly well that you're attracted to me. No, don't bother denying it... it's a fact we both have to live with. But I just wanted you to know how I felt about you in case anything... y'know... should happen...."
"It won't!" she declared determinedly, "And that's why I don't want you thinking like this and wasting your time over it. I'm going to make sure that my Dave's still around for our golden anniversary and beyond. He's my man; Frank... and I don't need any more than he can give me."
That's when I left them to it and returned to my cup of tea. A few minutes later she came out to where I was sitting, clearly delighted to see me – because I never announced when I'd be doing my walk – and took me out to the car(I was no longer allowed to drive) and asked if I fancied a stir-fry for tea.
I need to pause again.
SUNDAY NIGHT – LATE: The pains have eased a little, which is good because I just need time to finish this and the terrible heaviness in my chest tells me that I may not have long.
Since hearing that conversation, I've done a lot of thinking. On the few occasions when we've been in Frank's company I've carefully observed the two of them – both of them have a sort of longing in their eyes at times and I know that it's the look of unrequited love. I've thought about it carefully, and I've planned with equal care because I love my wife with every fibre of my being.
I decided that it was simply wrong to expect her to spend the next god knows how many years having to forego so many of the pleasure of life. I love her so much that I want her to be able to enjoy her life to the full – and that's never going to happen while she's tied down to me.
Therefore, I began by stopping the drugs. No one knows – although my last examination led to the doctor being a bit concerned about my blood pressure – and I must apologise to the health service that provide all those prescription drugs that I've flushed down the toilet each day. The second step was to persuade Moira to return to helping out at athletics meeting – assuring her that I'd been fine on my own for an occasional day while she enjoyed doing that. My target was always the Edinburgh meeting, and the hope that she'd agree to spend a long weekend with her parents – and, although it took a lot of persuading – I managed it.
The pains are almost unbearable now and I'll have to stop soon. I've just taken one dose of the drugs in the hope there'll be enough in my system to allay any suspicion. I know it's going to hurt Moira. I know she'll be devastated. But Frank is a good and honourable man and they deserve to be happy and to be togeth