Thanks to my editor, MisterE, for the time and effort spent in helping me get this story posted.
In this story there are no consequences from unprotected unsafe sex, no diseases and no unwanted pregnancies, but remember it is a story, not the real world.
Readers from other parts of the world should note that most of this story is set in England, and the language is that which you find in England.
If any of the words are a problem have a look at http://www.english2american.com, and if this doesn't provide the answer e-mail me.
There are a couple of references to period sex, but there are no descriptions of it, so I don't think it will upset anyone, I have not included a menstr code as it does not warrant it.
Every morning I walked the dog down the lane and along the cliff-top path. The last house in the lane, Cliff House, stood on a bank about a hundred yards from the cliffs. It was an imposing art deco house with views over the sea. When it was built in the 1930's it must have been impressive, so different from the flint and brick cottages which formed the bulk of the older properties in the village. It was now very distressed as the old man living there hadn't been able to look after it. The garden was overgrown and the walls were green with moss and grey with peeling paint; a far cry from the brilliant white it would have been when it was built.
The old man who lived there, Mr Sommers, was a recluse; no-one really knew anything about him, not even his first name. He had drawn his pension at the village post office for many years so he was obviously well over sixty five. Then he died. There was a small funeral at the parish church and the simple headstone told us more than we ever found when he was alive; his first name was Jeremiah and he was eighty two when he died.
The house remained empty all through the winter. I expected it to come on the market and had the idea that I may try and buy it if it wasn't overpriced, even though there was nothing wrong with our house. I say our house but since September last year it had been my house as my wife of twenty five years had walked out. When I say walked out, I mean exactly that. One morning as I was about to take the dog out she said, quite matter-of-factly, "I'll be gone when you get back."
I didn't get what she meant, I thought she was just going into town to meet her friends. I took the dog out thinking no more about it. When I got home there was a large brown envelope on the kitchen top, addressed to me. Inside were divorce papers, signed by her, walking away and leaving everything to me apart from her inheritance from her dad, who had died in Australia a few months earlier.
There were various papers, tidying her life up, and a letter to me.
The letter apologised for the suddenness of it and explained that we had grown apart (true), we argued about sex (true, to a point, but that's another story), and that she, Patricia, was going to live with her sister in Australia.
She went on to explain that I had done nothing but moan about the heat when I went out with her to the funeral and she could not see me settling out there, she was Australian. We had met in London when she had come over as a back packer, we fell in love and married. The following years were kind to us, I was successful, we had 2 children, a boy and a girl, and at fifty one I had semi-retired. I had a part time job at B&Q; not for the money, I could make more in a morning playing the stock market than I made in a week at B&Q, but I liked meeting people. As I was an engineer before I retired I soon graduated onto the help desk where I would explain to people how to tackle various DIY projects from changing a tap washer to building an extension.
I sat there completely at a loss for words. I tried to ring her mobile but it was turned off. I thought about setting out in the car to find her but she had a one hour start and I had no idea where she was flying from. In the end I just sat there for about an hour, doing nothing. The more I thought about it the more I thought it was for the best.
Her sister rang the following morning and told me that Patricia had arrived safely, and asked if I wanted to speak to her. I surprised myself by declining. Her sister said that if I needed to contact her about tidying up the things in England I knew the number and the e-mail address.
And so at fifty one I was divorced. Ben and Katrina, our children, were horrified and kept pestering me to go and see them. Ben lived in Edinburgh with his partner; Katrina had married her boyfriend two years ago and was now living in Yeovil. Both places were a long way from my home in a small village on the Sussex coast east of Brighton. Friends were shocked and you soon find out who your real friends are, they are the ones who don't abandon you.
And so life went on. Now the sex thing, I suppose the rot set in about two years previously when Patricia went off sex. We argued about it, week after week. Patricia said she couldn't help it. I told her to consult her GP, it wasn't normal, but nothing ever got sorted. She rarely granted me access to her body which was a pity as, even at forty five, she was still hot and I still fancied her sexually. It wasn't as though I had let myself go either. Since I had semi-retired three years ago I had time to exercise and I was in better shape than at anytime in the past twenty years. I took a long walk with the dog every morning and cycled to my job in Eastbourne three times a week.
I had always had the higher sex drive, and after about six months the lack of sex was making me moody and morose. Once I realised Patricia couldn't or wouldn't sort the problem I sought my release elsewhere. I started visiting prostitutes. I didn't go kerb-crawling, picking up drug addled street walkers, I would visit ladies who advertised on the internet and in the Daily Sport. Some were good, some were bad, and I soon had a little black book of names and phone numbers. It was discreet and there was no emotional involvement. Once I started backing off in my requests for sex with Patricia I thought our home life got easier. Patricia didn't ask any questions and I kept my secret safe, I was very careful to cover my tracks.
So, walking past the house one day in Spring, I saw a couple attacking the undergrowth in the garden with strimmers and shears. Some of the small trees would probably need a chainsaw. I stopped and spoke to them, they introduced themselves as Thomas and Sharon. We chatted for about five minutes, Sharon told me she had inherited the house from her great uncle and they intended to try and live there.
Each day as I walked past I would see a bit more garden cleared or a wall scraped and then painted. Sharon would sometimes be out working and we would chat for a few minutes. She was an attractive woman in her early thirties with long brown hair and a very eye-catching pair of boobs which always seemed to be squashed into jumpers a size too small.
Then one morning I walked past and there was a board in the front garden, 'For Sale, by Auction, 23rd June, Contact... ' I wondered why. The couple seemed to be doing a good job with the renovations, maybe they had encountered problems that they couldn't put right without a lot of expense.
I decided that I would see if I could buy the place, it would give me a project, and I had more than enough money to buy it even if it went for more than I expected. I could then sell 'our' house which would fetch a good price, as it was in a desirable village and in good condition.
I went to see the agents the next day to arrange a viewing. They phoned straight away and told me I could go around any time over the next four days. The auction was just over three weeks away.
I decided to call around while I was walking the dog on Tuesday morning. I knocked and Sharon answered the door. She looked pale and drawn. "I'm Mr Jenkins," I said. "The agent rang you about me yesterday."
"Oh sorry," she said, smiling weakly. "I didn't associate Mr Jenkins with Mike who walks his dog along here every day."
I looked around the house, the renovations were half finished but the work that had been done was to a decent standard. "Why are you selling?"
"OK, you may find out anyway," she said, looking upset. "I found out Thomas was having an affair just after we moved here and threw him out. I love this house but I can't afford to complete the renovations and the running costs on my income. Thomas was earning most of the money so I'm selling up."
I said the standard, "I am sorry," and continued to look round. The guide price was £650,000. I could write a cheque for twice that and still not be skint so I decided I would make an offer now, based on the guide price.
I said I was prepared to offer £620,000 if the place was withdrawn from auction.
"It's a good offer in the current market but the agents handling the sale have said that I should take it to auction because it's a gem, in a unique location, and somehow it has missed out on being listed even although the architect was a junior partner at Wallis Gilbert and Partners, so updating it should be fairly hassle free."
Authors note: In the UK any property which is architecturally significant can be 'listed'. Doing any work or improvements then involves a whole new layer of bureaucracy and additional costs.
I couldn't fault the logic and said. "I'll see you at the auction then, is there any point in making a formal offer through the agents."
"You can try, but I think their advice to me will be to await the auction."
"OK, till the twenty third then."
.... There is more of this story ...