Copyright© George Watersmann. All rights reserved. Reposting prohibited.
Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - What does a middle-aged widowed business man do when propositioned by a desperate teenager? George didn't know, so he played it by heart.
"Are you looking for a good time?"
The call wasn't overly loud and the cheerfulness seemed a little forced. I guessed it was just another teenager making a meager buck promoting some local amusement park.
She was a teenager all right, and we were at a suburban shopping center in early February. But she'd chosen a strange place to promote her employer - this was a little used back passage to the parking house, and she'd chosen an unlikely potential customer. I was alone and I didn't exactly signal Family Wanting To Go To Amusement Park In Winter.
I was in my late forties. Very late forties - the big five-o only six weeks away, and while reasonably youthful and well-kept, if I say so myself (and no one else does!), my hair was grey bordering on white. It runs in the family; my dad and his dad before him both started turning grey in their mid-thirties. When the same happened to me, my late wife, bless her, always said it made me look 'distinguished'. My daughters, both grown now and settled far away, had been somewhat less diplomatic.
But I like to be kind, so I put on a smile and turned to the girl to politely receive her flier or whatever - which I would dispose of in an environmentally friendly way in the first available bin - and replied with a similar cheerfulness "Aren't we all?"
Except there was no flier. She seemed confused and hesitant and did not try to make eye contact. I looked her over. She had long dirty-blonde hair gathered in a ponytail, and too much, if competently applied makeup. Quite good style, really if she toned it down a little and dropped the bright red lipstick which didn't suit her at all. I've always found it difficult to determine the age of teenaged girls, but I guessed she was around sixteen - though obviously trying to look older. Her clothes were ordinary. Not flashy and certainly none too clean. She had a short but warm winter coat on which she had zipped down quite a bit revealing a remarkable cleavage for a girl who was otherwise of medium build and height. Come to think of it, she was thicker around the waist than I would have expected from her lean face. Maybe it was just the coat. Or possibly she was too keen on milk shakes and French fries, but if so, she wasn't getting a double chin from them.
Somehow my looking her over made her shrink, but she drew breath and said in a low voice "So how about it?"
"I beg your pardon?" I said - reverting to my urbane European voice. I am often mistaken for a Brit. My English is British, even if I am not.
The change in voice somehow seemed to disconcert her even more, but she soldiered on. "I mean, you and I, should we, you know..." she trailed off
I was stunned. "Are you trying to proposition me?" I blurted out - wondering if she even knew that word.
Apparently she did. "Uh huh," she nodded. Still not looking me in the eye and seeming even younger.
"Why would you be doing that?" I asked. Stupid question, really, but I was genuinely surprised. Living in big cities, I had certainly had offers from professional girls before, although I had never taken them up. But this was a teenager in respectable suburbia.
"Just forget it," she said shrinking before my eyes, "just forget it."
"I don't think I can," I said gently, "and I don't think I should either."
She quickly looked up at me so I finally got to see her eyes - clear, deep blue, and beautiful. And very very scared. "Are you a cop?" she asked - panic in her voice.
"No, my dear," I said. "I am not a cop. And you are clearly not a prostitute. So why would you proposition me?"
Suddenly her eyes were full of tears, making her make-up run. "I need food and a place to sleep and I haven't got any money."
"But surely your parents..." I started.
She cut me off. "No!" she exclaimed. "They've thrown me out. I can't go back."
As I mentioned, the passage we were standing in was not the busiest, but it was Friday night and other people were passing through. I even spotted a security guard who was looking in our direction. I didn't so much have to worry about meeting anyone I knew - a problem at a new client requiring on-site expertise had brought me out here for the first time today, and I had only stopped at this shopping center because I was late shopping for the weekend. But I didn't want to be mixed up in a potentially embarrassing situation with a teenager of questionable morals.
"Listen," I said. "I'll feed you. I need to take my stuff back to my car, but after that we can go and have a meal - and you can tell me as little or as much as you like."
She seemed to hesitate. "We've got to move on, or that security guard will get suspicious," I said nodding up the corridor.
Startled, she looked in the direction I had indicated. "OK," she said, and we headed to the car park.
She didn't say a word while I put my shopping in the back of the car. Luckily it was a cold night, so I didn't have to worry about my fresh stuff going bad.
I returned my shopping cart to an already overflowing line and turned to her. "What would you like to eat?" I asked.
"I don't know," she said. "What can I have?"
"Anything," I replied. "Anything in return for a name. I am George, by the way."
She thawed a little. "I'm Laura."
"OK Laura, any preferences, or should we just go to the Food Court and look around?" She agreed to that with a nod.
On the way up we passed the rest-rooms. I handed her a pack of tissues. "Perhaps you want to freshen up a little," I offered.
She nodded. "Go a little easy on the lipstick," I suggested. She actually blushed. I braced myself for a longish wait, but she was back in a few minutes looking much better with less makeup.
The din of the Food Court was deafening. It had the usual selection of junk food chains offering wholesale heart disease and instant obesity. To my surprise she headed to a Lebanese outlet and asked for a number of very healthy things - salads and lean meats and bread. My respect grew. I ordered from there too and got a few specialties for starters. Due to the noise, the serving lady misunderstood me and I ended up with rather a lot of food, but didn't worry too much - I could always take left-overs home. I asked Laura what she wanted to drink.
"Water will be fine," she replied. "Or, um, I really should have some milk."
"We don't have milk but you can get that over there," said the lady and pointed at an outlet at the other end of the court.
Milk? I was getting more and more surprised. There had to be an interesting story here. I paid for the food; we crossed the Food Court with our Lebanese purchases on a tray and queued up at the other outlet to get the milk. "Are you having milk too?" Laura asked when I ordered.
"Sure," I said. "I drink lots of it. Always have." It was her turn to look surprised.
I started to look for somewhere to sit. The Food Court itself was very busy and almost full, but I spotted a deserted group of chairs and tables up a passage some distance away. "How about there?" I asked. "We might be able to talk without shouting up there."
She agreed and before long we were unloading our hoard on a table in remarkable privacy. "This is quite a feast," I exclaimed.
"Yup!" she agreed with something approaching animation in her voice and started to sit down.
"Don't you want your coat off?" I asked. I had already taken mine off and extended a hand to take hers
"Sure," she said, unzipped the last bit and shrugged out of her coat. I drew in breath sharply, finally understanding. This was not just another overweight American teenager. This was a pregnant teenager. About four months along, I guessed. She noticed my gaze. "You noticed, huh?" she asked, the animation gone from her voice.
"Yes," I said. I was suddenly overwhelmed with concern and compassion for this girl. And determined to get her story and try to do something for her. I cannot explain why. Perhaps it was the 'nurturing gene' of being a father. Perhaps it was my loneliness. Whatever it was, I needed to gather my thoughts, and anyway, her first need before anything else was food.
"Yes," I repeated. "I was unaware that I had two dinner guests. So stupid of me. My own kids were a long time ago, and I am not a grandfather yet."
She smiled, and my heart melted. "I was trying to hide it," she admitted.
"Anyway," I continued, "I am doubly glad you chose such healthy stuff. Let's eat."
We sat down and unpacked the many boxes. She seemed to like the specialties I had bought, but in general she was just craving food - and lots of it, so our meal was largely silent. At least not many words were spoken.
Eventually I thought questions were in order "Tell me about it..." I hazarded.
She looked at me. "Why do you want to know?"
"Perhaps I can help," I replied.
"Why would you want to do that?" she started - suddenly looking guarded.
Before I could answer that, she realized the inherent absurdity in that question. Less than an hour ago she had tried to proposition me for sex and now she was reluctant to tell me about herself. Those thoughts and emotions were reflected in her face; I could read her like an open book.
"Sorry," she said. "I, I am not used to anyone being kind. Of course I will tell you."
She did, and the story, if not exactly unusual, was interesting and very very sad. She was a high-school junior from a strictly religious home. Her parents had not let her date, but agreed to let a somewhat older guy from her Church's youth ministry program take her out with a group of other young people. Laura wanted to go out, even though she wasn't very keen on the guy whom at twenty three she found ancient. My lifted eyebrows made her giggle, put the merriment was short-lived. The 'date' had been uneventful at first - they had gone to see a movie ('deadly boring'); he'd been well-behaved and had largely kept his hands to himself. But instead of going to a cafe with the other 'Church couples' as originally planned and approved by her parents, he had driven them to a local lovers' lane and all the good manners were gone. What happened next could only be described as rape. She returned home battered and bruised, but hid it from her parents and told no-one what had happened.
She had been a virgin; two weeks after the rape she failed to get her period and after a further couple of weeks she worked up the courage to get a pregnancy test which came up positive. She was going to be a mother during the summer between her junior and senior year. Unlike her parents, as it would turn out, her belief in the sanctity of life was absolute and never for a second did she consider having an abortion. Not that she thought her parents would have gone along with the idea, but it was never in her mind.
"You probably think I am immature and throwing away my life," she challenged.
"No," I replied. "I am strong believer in a woman's right to choose. I am also very much in favor of choosing life when at all possible. So I don't think you are immature at all."
That seemed to puzzle her. "You can't have it both ways," she exclaimed, with all the dogma of a teenager. "You are either Pro Choice or Pro Life!"
"I can and I do," I countered. "And no, life is not black and white; few things are."
She thought about that for a moment and then continued her story. The next couple of weeks were very difficult; she suffered terribly from morning sickness. Still she told no-one and didn't even consider reporting the incident. She was sure no-one would believe her and she was seemingly unaware that given her age and the age difference, technically she had been raped - even if she couldn't prove her lack of consent. I didn't tell her that until much later; I wanted to get her story and see if there was anything I could do for her.
She tried to stay healthy. Her intelligence and extensive knowledge (she was a straight A student) came to her and her baby's aid. While other teenagers used their pocket money to buy sweets, she was buying vitamins with folic acid. And while other teenagers were eating junk food and drinking sodas, she chose the healthiest food she could find and drank milk. And still she told no-one.
"But surely you would have to tell your parents sooner or later," I prompted.
She knew that, of course. Thinking that her parents' religious beliefs were as genuine as her own, she thought that Christmas - the celebration of the Nativity - would be a good time. She could hardly have been more wrong. They screamed and yelled at her and called her every bad name she'd never heard and several she hadn't. They wouldn't hear one word against her rapist and blamed her absolutely for 'her condition', as they called it and heaped all blame for the 'shame that would be brought upon them' on her. She had expected them to be upset and angry; what she had never thought would happen was that they demanded she have an abortion. The shock had been profound.
"I told them 'no way'!" she said quietly, but vehemently. "I was only about 11 weeks, but I lied to them and said it was too late for that."
They had next exclaimed that in that case she would be sent away to have 'her baby in shame' (those were their very words). The baby would then be put up for adoption and she could return to finish her senior year in school 'without anyone knowing'. Her protests were ignored and her parents had started to draw on their Church connections for a 'suitable place'.
"Those days between Christmas and New Year were hell," she said quietly. "First they wanted to kill my baby and when that couldn't be done then they wanted to give it away. It was like I wasn't there. My opinion didn't count." A week or so into January they had found a farm up north that accepted 'fallen women' (again I was stunned at this 19th century vocabulary) and her parents started making plans for sending her off. This is when she fled.
She had taken what money and valuables she had and a few clothes in a backpack and left. She had spent her days looking for a job, and otherwise she'd been hiding herself at the public library reading and studying, not daring to go to school. For a while she had spent the nights with friends, but few were willing and able to have her staying over on school nights and she had rapidly gone through her meager funds on cheap accommodation. The job hunting was fruitless, which didn't surprise me in the present economic climate. Early on, one friend's father had been hitting on her, almost slobbering over her rapidly growing breasts. She was disgusted, but when the last money was gone and she had no more of value to take to the pawn shop, she remembered the episode and thought she might support herself and the growing baby by selling her body. At no stage had she considered seeking help from public authorities, charities or her school. "They would all side with my parents and force me to put my baby up for adoption," she said when I asked. "Besides, the charities are all Church-related and the counselors at school will tell your parents everything right away."
Reconciling herself to the idea of prostitution was hard; she had put it off for a couple of days but in the end she was desperately hungry and knew her baby needed her to be fed. I was to be her first customer. "You looked kind. I was hoping you wouldn't hurt me," she said.
"Nor will I," I said heavily. "Ever." The finality of that statement made her look up at me, and her big blue eyes were again filled with tears.
"Listen," I said. "I am sure we can work on your parents. But until then you need somewhere to stay. There is no way I will let you prostitute yourself. The risks both to you and to your unborn child are immense. If you will let me help you, I can put you up at least for a while. Would you trust me?"
She was at the end of her tether and in no state to argue, but still she asked "But what about your family?"
"I am a widower and live alone," I said. "I have a large apartment in town. Much too large, really. There is plenty of space for you too. Will you come?"
"Yes please," she said and continued almost in a whisper. "Yes please. Thank you God."