Landlord Makes a Nude Day Barterbyandtheend©
Unable to pay her rent, a college co-ed barters her sexual services with an older man.
John was happy to have rented out his third floor. Unless to go up there to store a box or an old picture, he never ventured up to the third floor because, as tall as he was lanky, he was always hitting his head on the sloped roof. With a pitched roof, few windows, only one at either end, it was an oddly confining, cold in the winter and hot in the summer, claustrophobic and suffocating space.
Still, there was a bedroom, a full bathroom, and a sitting room and instead of it being wasted space, why not rent it out? His wife used to love the view from that space and she often climbed the stairs to sit and watch the birds in the trees. It was perfect for someone who wanted to live cheaply and who didn't mind living alone. Since they'd have use of the kitchen downstairs and free run of the backyard, it was a space big enough and good enough for one or two people, so long as they didn't have very much furniture and/or a pet.
Preferring dogs over cats, he had one of those already, Buster, a 9-year-old, mixed terrier mutt that was aggressively territorial and fiercely loyal. As far as John was concerned, one pain-in-the-ass, barking and assertive dog on the property was enough. He had to pay to fence in his property because of the dog. He was an out of control animal that went crazy whenever the mailman, the UPS driver, a stranger, someone walking a dog, or a whenever he saw a cat walk by the house, but was the perfectly loving pet, otherwise. John loved his dog.
He lived in a charming and character filled house at the end of a dead end street. Dotted with lots of mature trees and filled with overgrown shrubbery, fortunately for John and Buster, most times, his lot was as quiet as it was private. At this time in his life, spending a lifetime of having and going to barbeques and visiting neighbors with his wife, he could care less if he saw another person. Although he was relatively content now, admittedly, when his wife was alive, filled with laughter and busy with people, it was a happier time then.
Unfortunately for John, after his wife, Margret, died three years ago, lost without her, he was as sad as he was lonely. Uncomfortable by his sadness, not knowing what to say and what to do, people stopped coming around to see him. Besides, most of the people who came before were there for Margret. They were her friends. Now, with her gone, feeling obliged to pay him a courtesy visit to offer him their final respects and wishes of support, he wasn't reason enough for them to continue visiting.
Not knowing who'd want to live in his house, sharing the kitchen, maybe even helping out with some of the household chores, the cooking and the cleaning, he hoped it was someone his own age. He didn't care if it was a man or a woman, so long as he or she was polite, considerate, respectful, kind, and had a good sense of humor. He hoped it would be someone who didn't smoke and drink too much, and someone who didn't mind an out of control dog, a dog that was friendly, once he got to know you.
Who knows? Maybe he'd make a friend. He could use a friend, one friend. One friend was about right and enough for him now. Too many friends would complicate his life in the way it was before.
Life has a way of weeding out friends and family, until it feels as if you are living alone on an alien planet. Yet, no one should be so alone. When he thought more about it, it'd be good to have a live-in friend. It'd be good if he or she enjoyed playing games and watching movies. He liked playing Whist, Rummy, and Scrabble, and he loved watching movies, but it was no fun doing any of those things alone.
Before the first anniversary of Margret's death, his two daughters hovered over him and doted on him, as if expecting him to die soon, too. A reality check for them, they gave him round the clock care and showered him with affection. Feeling a bit smothered in missing his routine with them here, he figured they felt guilty for not giving him the attention that they always gave their mother. Yet, once their grief and sorrow subsided somewhat, once they returned to their lives back home, things returned to the way they were. Now that they were accustomed to no longer having their mother in their lives and realized that their Dad was in no jeopardy of dying anytime soon, they returned to being too busy with their own lives to visit him.
His daughters lived out of state and except for Thanksgiving, when he drove there, and Christmas, when they came here, deciding to keep in contact by calling and e-mailing regularly, even that became sporadic over the years, and they seldom came to see him anymore. So long as he occupied himself with gardening, household chores, took Buster for long walks in the woods, and watched a game or a movie on TV, he was able to occupy his time enough to abate his loneliness. Besides, the older he grew, the less he drove and the closer to home he stayed.
The only thing that he truly hated was sleeping alone. After spooning with and sleeping next to Margret's warm body for nearly 40 years, suddenly, he was always cold, so cold, even in the summer, that it woke him up at night. Since it was the nighttime that he missed Margret the most, he believed that some of his coldness was imagined. Maybe it was just his blood running cold with the lonely thoughts of having to live life without her. They discussed their day, talked about tomorrow, and confessed their plans for the future, while laying in bed. Now having to fend for himself, with no one there to care for him, he missed that daily routine with her.
Now, tired all the time, he attributed that to depression. Definitely, still saddened by the loss of his wife, maybe he was depressed, something he's never been. Feeling that his life was over, these last half dozen years, since the time that Margret first became ill and died finally, has taken a toll on him.
Of course his energy has diminished with age, but more than that, suddenly with all that surrounded Margret's illness and subsequent death, suddenly he felt older and weaker. After watching her suffer, this is where he'd die, he figured, alone in this house. His only wish was to outlive his dog because no one else, but him, would want the mangy, ill-tempered, and too aggressive beast.
Had he had sons, instead of daughters, he'd be closer with them, no doubt, he thought. Maybe they'd take him to a ballgame or have a beer with him at the local bar. Maybe had he had sons, he'd buy a pool table. He always wanted a pool table and now that his wife is gone, he had the room for one in her old sewing room. Only, since Margret died, no one came to visit him anymore and it's no fun playing pool alone.
It wasn't that his daughters didn't love him, they did. It wasn't that he didn't love his daughters, he did. They loved him, as much as he loved them but, whenever they visited before, they came to see their mom and not so much their dad.
Teaching them to bake and to sew, going antique shopping, talking on the phone every day, while instilling them with life lessons, practical experience, giving them advice, and spending time with her grandchildren, whenever she could, he understood how close his daughters were to their mom. He was always working, that is, until recently, before he retired and was never there to build that kind of nurturing relationship with them. Now, alone with the dog, it's just him and Buster.
Still, it wasn't so bad. Things could be worse, he assured himself. He should have a problem. In this time of economic hardship, with his mortgage paid, at least he has a roof over his head.
Only more thinking about having the influx of extra money before, when he first thought about renting out his third floor, now he was more looking forward to having a tenant. Maybe he'd have someone to talk to, while sitting out on his front porch sipping his coffee or having a beer, or while out in the backyard doing the gardening. If nothing else, with a tenant paying some of the household expenses, he wouldn't feel so alone and lonely.
He missed Margret. Faithful to her throughout their marriage, she was all the woman he ever wanted and needed. Now that she's gone and with no one coming around anymore, getting a tenant, who may become a friend and occupy his time enough to dispel some of his loneliness, was reason enough to rent out his third floor.
As soon as he put the ad in the paper, he received inquiries about the rooms for rent. Surprisingly, with a lot of people out of work, losing their homes and looking to downsize to save money on living expense, he received quite a bit of interest for such a small town and such a small space, but his space was too small for a family. Then, he received a call from a young woman, a college co-ed at the local college, who sounded so upbeat and personable on the phone that the sound of her voice made him happy. Although hoping for someone older, really wanting a friend, he made the appointment for her to view the space.
Tara seemed like a nice woman, albeit very young, younger than his daughters, even. Because she was as young as she was pretty, even he wrestled with his dirty, old man thoughts with her sharing his house. Married all his life, he was never attracted to a younger woman, until now, with her living here in his house. He wondered what his daughters would think, but really didn't care. Feeling threatened, no doubt, that she'd somehow take advantage of their Daddy, for sure, imagining the most sordid scandal and fearing the worst, they wouldn't want her living there alone with him.
Had he had neighbors living closer, he wondered what they'd think? For sure, imagining the worst about him taking advantage of her, not understanding that he needed the extra money, was lonely, and was hoping for someone to talk to, they'd gossip about what was going on behind his closed doors. Yet, without doubt, he'd be a hero to the other men his age in the community for opening his house to such a hot, young woman.
Enjoying the moment of imagining her in his life with fantasies of sexual intimacy, basking in the glow of her beauty and her effervescent personality that bordered on exuberance, he even allowed his imagination to make up stories about him and Tara, while imagining talking to the men at his local bar. Fortunately, no one came to see him anymore and he stopped going to the bar, long ago, after Margaret suddenly became ill. Other than to go out to the supermarket for groceries, the post office to pickup his mail, buy stamps, and mail his bills, the pharmacy for his medication, and the gas station to buy gas, talking to others and exaggerating the experience of having a good time with the good looking, young woman living with him, was as much a mute point, as it was imagined, especially since he seldom ventured off his land anymore.
Besides, he was over all that alcohol contributing nonsense that sparked his testosterone filled machismo with boastful talk that he could never backup with him always being faithful to his wife. Still, he enjoyed listening to the other men describing their past sexual experiences and/or confessing their sexual fantasies with celebrities and past girlfriends. Other than to masturbate occasionally, fading along with his energy and advancing in his old age, he didn't have the sex drive that he used to have. To him, Tara, albeit so very beautiful and so very young, was nothing more than eye candy.
With his wife being the Sun of his universe and everyone else, family and friends, orbiting around her, when she died, so didn't the shining star of his life. Now with loneliness darkening his disposition and fouling his good mood, he didn't mind so much being alone, as much as he minded not having someone to talk to, tell a joke and laugh with, play a game, or watch a movie, whenever he wanted. A people person before, he had become a reclusively sullen man now.
Able to fill up his time by puttering around his house fixing things and spending time outside gardening, he convinced himself that he no longer cared if anyone visited him, but he did. He missed having a conversation and a few laughs with someone. He was hurt that his friends didn't think enough of him to visit him and to even call him, once his wife died. Whenever he bumped into one of them, he'd ask why they didn't stay in touch and they all said the same thing, before promising to get together, but they never did.
"We didn't know what to say. We didn't know what to do. We're sorry," they'd say whenever they saw him and after a while, they just avoided one another, while pretending that they didn't see one another, when they did.
Somewhat content, most days, except for when the loneliness crept in to sadden him by the loss of Margret, he had grown accustomed to being alone. Still, he had his shadow, his faithful, always by his side, pain-in-the-ass companion of a dog wanting a pat and a rub and always willing to give a lick and a listen to his master's voice, especially if his master asked him if he was hungry, wanted a cookie, or wanted to go out. As if fearing he'd die on him, too, as his mistress had, Buster never let his master out of his sight and followed him from room to room. Except for bedding down at night, the dog never slept. Dogs are like that. They know things and he wondered if Buster knew that his master was going to die soon, too, as did his mistress.
When he gave it some thought, except for those sunless, rainy days that he felt imprisoned and bored, basically, he was happily content being alone. Even on his darkest day, the clouds with silver linings glistened him a rainbow the next day. Other than his loyal dog, he more missed having a companion than he did needing, wanting, or missing not having a visitor or a lover, especially a lover. A lover was the last thing he wanted.
He was done with sex. Sex was overrated. It took him nearly 60 years to come to that conclusive epiphany. Tired of begging and hoping for it, done with lusting over it, weary of all the games surrounding it, he was relieved that it was no longer a daily conscious thought, that is, until Tara came into his life.
Before Tara, Margaret was his everything, his wife, his friend, his lover, and later in life, his companion. It's not fair that all of that was taken away from him by the death of her. He never figured she'd die before him. He never figured she'd ever get sick. Always there for him, she was always so healthy. Surrounded by friends and family, involved in everyone's business, his communication link to what was going on in the town, the neighborhood, and with their family, she was full of life.
With all the stress he had from working two jobs to make ends meet, he always figured he'd be the one leaving her a widow. Yet, after the grief he experienced by the death of her, Tara was just the distraction that he needed. As if he were a balloon drifting off, before disappearing in a blue, cloudless sky, she reeled him in and brought him back down to Earth. She made him want to live life, again. It's funny that someone so young can teach someone so old about how to live life again.
A college student having just completed her junior year, he enjoyed Tara's bubbly disposition. Smelling like fresh cut flowers and peaches, she was literally a breath of fresh air and full of sunshine, when his life had become filled with dust, darkness, cobwebs, and despair. Full of life, she reminded him of Margret when she was that age. She was fun, energetic, and adventurous. Tara's happy mood was contagious and she lifted his spirits, whenever she was around. She made him feel young again.
Never figuring she'd have such an effect on him, she made him wish he was younger. She made him wish he was her age. She made him miss his youth and wish he could have a second chance with her in his life and with her as his wife. If he believed in such things, make a wish miracles, he'd wish for a second chance to live his life with someone like Tara.
Without doubt, the best thing he ever did was to open his door and welcome her in his house. She invigorated his spirit and now with a spring to his walk, he felt ten years younger. He enjoyed her company more than he did his own daughters. Whenever his daughters visited before, especially as soon as they left, he always felt there was something left unsaid and that sensation troubled him. The disconnection he felt with them was made more obvious by the connection he felt with her. He wished he could feel the closeness to them that he was suddenly developing with Tara.
He always envied the connection that his girls had with his wife. While watching a ballgame in the living room, he'd hear them talking and laughing in the kitchen. Almost feeling that he was intruding and always feeling that he was interrupting, definitely feeling left out, whenever he tried to join in their fun, he always felt like a third wheel.
Unable to replicate that excitement, closeness, and easy conversation that his daughters had with his wife, their mother, and didn't have with him, he felt an uneasy emptiness not being as close to them, as he was to Margret. Certainly, he loved his daughters and they loved him. Certainly, he was excited by their visit. Yet, once the hugs were over and with the conversation caught up, there was little else he and they could think of to say. There was always an uncomfortable lull in the conversation and a deafening silence, when none of them could think of what more to say, before filling the dialogue up with current events, grandchildren, politics, religion, or sports.
He wondered if what he felt was normal. He wondered if Tara's Dad felt the same way with her and Tara felt the same way with her Dad. He wondered if, maybe, being so physically removed from the daughters he loved and the relationship that he missed having with them had, somehow, become replaced with the relationship he now enjoyed with Tara and the feelings that he suddenly felt for her. He didn't love her, of course, but he cared for her and he'd be saddened, when the day finally came that she left.
He felt bad charging her the premium rent that he needed to charge her, in order to maintain the upkeep of such a big, old house. Yet, that was what all the apartments were going for that were in such close proximity to the college and he was on a fixed income now, after just starting to collect Social Security, along with his small pension. Only, it was apparent, after paying the first and last month's rent, that she'd have trouble paying her monthly rent, when she told him she lost her job, as a waitress at the local restaurant downtown.
Everyone was laying employees off and cutting back on staff. She was just another casualty of the recession and of this bad economy. No one had any money and the first thing they cut was their entertainment expense, such as going out to eat. Too good to be true, having a tenant that so quickly morphed into a friend, he didn't want this relationship to end so soon because of money.
A liberal arts, English major, other than to work as a temporary office worker, making little more than minimum wage, she had no other skills to make money. Sadly, even with her intelligence and education, she was only qualified to wait tables, but the tips were good, she told him. The other waitresses, older and all friends with the restaurant owner, an older woman, having worked there longer, were jealous of her, which, no doubt, is the reason why she was let go, she said.
Because she was prettier, sexier, and friendly, she made more tips than the fatter, older, and more brusque waitresses, especially when she unbuttoned her blouse enough to intentionally display some of her abundant cleavage. Admittedly, as he already noticed, she had quite the face and figure, and if she was his waitress, he'd be tipping her more than the customary 15%, that's for sure, especially if she gave him a down blouse view of her boobs. Not shy, and proud of the fact that she was able to make her beauty and body work for her to make extra tip money, she confessed to him that she had a talent for picking out those customers, typically middle aged men, who'd appreciate an accidental on purpose down blouse view of her breasts. She knew they'd reward her with a bigger tip, after seeing some of her exposed bra clad breast, while imagining the rest.