'What you need, Alice, is a good regular shagging!'
Alice Mavers stared at her friend in amused shock. 'Carol! That is shocking! I'm not going to have an affair! That's a recipe for disaster.'
The two life-long friends were having their weekly coffee morning, and as usual Alice had been having a moan about her boring life as a suburban housewife, a role she had now filled for over six months, ever since she had packed in her teaching job after a terrible term with a horrendous class of spoilt cheeky children.
Alice and Carol had been friends since childhood. Both had married in their early twenties: Carol to a now very successful banker, and Alice to an oil rep. Both women were in the last year of their thirties; Carol had had only one child, Gemma, but Alice was childless, a matter of great sadness to her. Gemma was away for her first term at Uni and Carol and Alice met regularly, as both women, now with time on their hands, sought to adjust to a new life-style.
They were quite unalike, these two boon companions: Carol Dempster was a tall willowy blond of about 5'9", with slim hips and a biggish bust that she liked to display in tight sweaters - sweaters that Alice always thought were at least two sizes too small for her friend. Her face, framed by her shoulder-length honey-blond hair, was very attractive, with cornflower blue eyes, a sensual mouth and a rather suggestive smile.
Alice on the other hand was smaller -about 5'4" - and gave an appearance of plumpness, particularly round her hips. Her bust was rather indeterminate, due to the loose blouses and dresses she favoured. She did have nice shapely legs though, with plump rounded thighs - features her friend Carol urged her to show off by wearing shorter skirts.
'My bum is too big', Alice had protested, 'besides I am not going around as mutton dressed like lamb!'
Alice had a wide mouth usually set in a rather serious grave expression, with greeny/brown eyes and dark hair cut in a short page-boy style. On not a few occasions when they had been out for a drink together, people had assumed they were lesbians. An observation that gave Carol great amusement but annoyed Alice intensely.
'Who said anything about an affair?' Carol leaned forward on the settee, her long legs curled under her.
'An affair's far too problematic. All those secret meetings - and looking over your shoulder all the time in case somebody sees you. I'm simply saying a good fucking once or twice a week would do you the world of good.'
Alice laughed, 'Carol, I think you're incorrigible. It's a good job I know you. Anybody else would think you were serious'.
Carol drank her coffee and looked at her friend over the rim of the cup.' But I am, ' she said solemnly, ' I recommend it.'
Alice stopped smiling and drew her own legs under her, gazing at her friend in puzzlement.
'Are you saying that you're involved with somebody else? That you're cheating on Eric? I don't believe you!'
Carol finished her coffee and put the cup down on the glass top of the table.
'I'm not 'involved with somebody else' as you put it, darling. And as for 'cheating on Eric' I'm not doing anything that in any way deprives him. I cook his meals, I wash his clothes, I keep his house, and he fucks me whenever he wants to - usually once a week, nearly always on a Saturday night unless he is too drunk and can't get it up, and sometimes on a Sunday morning when he wakes up with a hard-on... So there!'
Alice was laughing again after her friend's frank and amusing description of her married life. At the same time she thought, 'She's got a much better sex life than me, if Eric's doing her as much as that. I get it once a month, if I'm lucky - and it's not that good, even then!'
'I don't' understand. What are you saying then?', she queried, 'you implied that you were having sex with somebody else. '"I recommend it"'.you said.'
'I am - and I do', said Carol.
Alice stared at her friend. 'Are you really telling me that you are having an... af... that you are... '. she stuck, lost for words, then: 'that you are screwing somebody... regularly?' She put emphasis on the last word.
'Yes, I am', Carol leaned forward, resting her chin on one hand as she surveyed her friend. 'I've been dying to tell you for a while, I really have. But it never seemed right. Then today when you were so obviously unhappy about your life and about Morris, I just decided that I wanted to tell you that it can be different. That you can have fun - without it destroying all the things marriage gives you.'
There was a long silence in which they both looked at each other.
'Who is it?' Alice wasn't smiling. 'It's true', she thought, 'Carol is having sex with another man. My God!' Then out loud, 'Is it somebody I know?' Is it... ?
Carol cut in, 'No! It's no-one you know. He's my insurance man. He comes to collect my premium every Wednesday and he fucks me. There, now you know.'
Alice looked at her friend in disbelief, 'Your insurance man?! What insurance man? People pay their insurance by cheque or through direct debit. How can you have an insurance man coming to your house every week? You're winding me up, Carol. This is a game.' Alice was annoyed. Carol had led her on and it was all a lot of nonsense.
Carol laughed, 'Look darling, please calm down. I'm going to make some fresh coffee and then I'll tell you the whole story. Honestly.'
They sat sipping the hot coffee, then Carol began to speak:
'Do you remember when old Mrs. Edmonds in the church got out of hospital and you and I took turns to visit her?' Alice nodded.
'You remember you went on a Thursday and I went on a Tuesday afternoon. Well, it was the second time I went and she had somebody there when I arrived. I was a bit earlier than we'd arranged and she was sitting chatting to this young man when I let myself in. She introduced us and that was how i first met Roger'.
Alice started to interrupt but Carol put her finger to her lips. 'No, let me tell it. You can ask me afterwards.' She reached for the biscuit barrel and held it out. Alice took a chocolate mint.
'Roger didn't stay long, and after he had gone, I asked Mrs. Edmonds about him. She explained that she had a little annuity policy and Roger came every week to collect her premium. When I asked her why she didn't pay it through the bank, she laughed and said she enjoyed him coming, and that he stayed for about half-an-hour each time and had a cup of tea and a chat.
''He's such a nice young man", Mrs Edmonds said, "Not a gossip you understand, he doesn't talk about other clients but he is so well mannered and he cheers me up. And don't' you think he is so good-looking with that dark curly hair? I do enjoy my Tuesdays.'
'Well, Alice, I made a point of going at the same time on the next Tuesday and I again arrived just as Roger was leaving. We chatted in the hallway as I let him out and there was something in his manner that made my pulse race. He held my hand for a bit longer than was necessary and I felt his eyes were reading my thoughts. As he turned to leave, I just asked him on impulse if he could give me some advice on insurance. He gave me his card and suggested i call him on his mobile any morning between 9:15 and 10:00 a.m. to arrange a meeting.'
Alice took a long drink of her coffee, ' This isn't true, is it, Carol? You're making it up, aren't you? It's one of your wind-ups.'
'No, darling, I'm not.winding you up, I assure you' Carol smiled at her friend, then grew serious. 'Anyway let me finish:
'I thought about it and thought about it over the next few days, then on the Saturday at that awful party at Linda's for her fortieth, Eric got very drunk and we fought all the way home and never spoke on the Sunday
I phoned Roger at 9:30 next morning.
I was so nervous, Alice! I could hardly speak. Anyway he said he'd call about 2 p.m. that afternoon. I don't know how I put the morning in - the clock just dragged by. I couldn't settle to anything. I could hardly eat any lunch. I nearly called him up twice to put him off. But I had a long soak in the bath after lunch and then I got dressed.'
'What did you wear?' Alice, despite her disapproval and her doubts, was beginning to be intrigued by the story, and she leaned forward, her eyes searching Carol's face.
'I wore that little black suit - you know the one you like. You always said it contrasts so well with my hair and colouring.'
'And it shows off your long legs, as well you know.' Both women laughed, and leaned forward to give each other a friendly pat on the thigh. 'Go on then, tell me.' Alice was now agog with curiosity.
'Roger arrived at two on the dot. It was pouring with rain and I was so anxious to get him into the dry that I quite forgot to be nervous. I remember as he gave me his raincoat to hang up, he asked if he could take his shoes off because of the rain. He never waited for an answer, just slipped them off and walked ahead of me into the lounge in his stocking soles, carrying his brief case. He seemed so at ease. And so sexy.
My heart was wearing a hole in my chest. He complimented me on the house and on my taste. Then he said how elegant i looked in my suit. And you know, Alice, he just seemed so laid back and, well, as I said, so at ease. He slipped his jacket off and then sat down, here on the settee, and began to take papers out of his case. I'd made coffee and, after I'd poured it, I went to sit in the armchair. He immediately asked me if I'd mind sitting down beside him on the settee so that he could go over the papers with me.
.... There is more of this story ...