Lost... and Found?
Chapter 1

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Heterosexual, Amputee, Slow,

Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - John Walker didn't realise what he and his wife had until after she was dead. Would he realise he could still find love again... and give a badly hurt woman hope for the future?

We were married over forty years; ours was not a great passion ... we were, first and foremost, friends. I have never considered myself handsome, and I suppose few would consider Charlie beautiful. In fact, I never thought about it. I didn't wake up in the morning and look at my wife, and think... 'I'm so lucky to be married to such a gorgeous woman'. It was only afterwards, at the end of five years slow deterioration, months after the funeral, that I began to realise what I'd lost.

We met at College; we were both members of the light opera society though I was just a mediocre baritone in the chorus, while she had a lovely contralto and a speaking part. We did 'Patience' – she was Lady Jane, supposedly the least attractive and oldest of the maidens; I was a Heavy Dragoon... 'and a heavy dragoon ... is the res ... i ... du ... um'.

I didn't think she was attractive. If I had, I would never have plucked up courage to talk to her. My 'official' counterpart among the twenty love-sick maidens, whose name I cannot for the life of me recall, had a boyfriend. Even if she hadn't, she was pretty and I would have been too intimidated to ask her out. So when I saw 'Jane' sitting alone at lunchtime, I sat with her and we talked as we ate.

At some point, I realised that even if I wasn't that impressed with her looks, she was indeed a woman and had all the necessary attributes of her gender; I asked her out ... for Chinese food, if I remember rightly. We had the same tastes in music; not surprisingly, I suppose, given that we'd both been drawn to the operatic society. We liked the open air, and she was fascinated by machines. When she found out I rode a motorbike, albeit a little Triumph Tiger Cub, she almost begged me to let her learn to ride it.

We became a couple by default. The production was a great success and the party after the last night ... became quite alcoholic, so we were both tipsy as I walked her home. Unlike me, she shared a house not far from the campus (I lived in Hall – segregated in those days) and when we got there, she ordered me to come in with her. Not that I would have refused. I was a virgin ... I'm pretty sure she was too, but before long we were both naked in her single bed, the bed with a saggy mattress forcing any occupant to lie in the middle, and any two occupants of necessity being pressed together.

We didn't have intercourse; I would have been too nervous to push the issue anyway, but we did bring each other to orgasm and it was pretty exciting to spend the night in bed with a naked woman. We were ... comfortable together.

By the time we completed our courses, we were considered by all concerned to be an item; we'd been making love – 'going all the way' for about two years and no-one was surprised when we decided we were getting married.

These days, I suppose, the surprising thing would probably be that we stayed together. Somehow, though tempted, none of the opportunities seemed worthwhile. Recently. my son commented about being in a group discussion at school (as a teenager) and being surprised he was in a tiny minority of kids whose parents were (a) married and (b) together. It never really occurred to me to stray and I'm fairly sure she didn't, either.

There's a Mama Cass song from our youth that describes our relationship when I think about it;

'Once I believed that when love came to me

it would come with rockets, bells and poetry

but with me and you

it just started quietly and grew,

and believe it or not

now there's something groovy and good

'bout whatever we got.

And it's getting better, growing stronger,

warm and wilder

getting' better, every day..."

Considering how conventional we were, though, our offspring are surprising; Frank is a seaman, a Harwich Haven Pilot; Emily an aid worker. I worry about her, of course, especially when yet another aid worker is taken hostage or worse, but thus far she's been safe. I admit I'm proud of them; of their independence and initiative. I'm proud of Frank's achievement and professionalism and Emily's selfless devotion to helping others in need.

I never really understood what was wrong with Charlie. I didn't want to know. I could bury my head in the sand and believe she was going to get better. She took retirement on health grounds a couple of years before she died. I took early retirement to be with her; it meant I could care for her, do things she was no longer able to do for herself. It meant I could sit and hold her hand while we listened to music, or a recorded book, or watched a film; I'd sometimes read to her.

It meant I was sitting holding her hand when she stopped breathing.

Because I didn't realise what we had, at first I just got on with things; the funeral, her will; clearing out the clothes and equipment she no longer needed. Then, of course, I began to run out of duties. When there's only one of you, there's not that much housework to do.

As she deteriorated, so did our sex life. I discovered Literotica and Stories on Line. I read some of them to Charlie, and helped her to reach an orgasm when she got excited. Would you believe I was never tempted to stray during that time? Not that I had a lot of opportunity. I thought, after a while, that maybe I could write something. I just needed a nom-de-plume ... what about ... Barry Tone? After all, I was that, even if my real name was John Walker.

As I said, it was months after Charlie's departure that I began to grasp what I'd lost. I did know, however, that it was up to me to not let the abyss suck me down. I took to walking a lot and carrying my laptop. I could sit in a café with my coffee or tea and type away; if the weather was bad that was the best way to get out and about. The staff of various cafés got to know me as a regular – to the extent I often didn't have to tell them I wanted black coffee (in the morning) or Darjeeling or Rooibos tea (in the afternoon). I was careful though, not to outstay my welcome if they were busy.

Almost a year after Charlie died, it was one of those English summer days when you'd think it was November rather than July. The rain was, as we say in Yorkshire 'siling down', it was windy, cold and miserable. I was ensconced at a table in the Endcliffe Park café, on my second cup of coffee, typing away when a youngish woman in a wheelchair came in. The words 'drowned rat' came instantly to mind, but I focussed on my literary efforts.

She'd obviously placed her order and then looked around for somewhere to sit. While there were a few spare seats, not many of them were accessible to a wheelchair. My table was far the easiest for access, and my attention was pulled away from my creative endeavours by her quiet soprano.

"Excuse me ... do you mind if I sit here?"

"What? Oh, no, not at all ... feel free." Perhaps not the most tactful form of words. It took a few moments, but I realised she faced a problem in that there was a chair opposite me, which needed to be moved.

"Oh! Er, would you like me to move that chair for you?" I looked at her; our eyes met and I experienced an almost physical jolt; then she smiled. I swear, my heart did a somersault.

"Yes, please. That would be a help."

It took but a few moments to get up and shift the chair out of the way, but I took the opportunity to study her as circumspectly as I could. Had she not been in a chair, she'd have been the sort of girl who'd have men queueing for her attention. A sweet, oval face with large, brown eyes, straight nose and curved mouth was framed by medium brown, wavy hair. Most of the rest of her was obscured by the mac covering her body, but she had lovely hands ... and no legs. (To be precise, as I later found out, her legs had been amputated, one above and one below the knee; she joked that she was a female Douglas Bader – but that came later.)

At the time, I knew no details, of course, and once she was settled at the table and her snack had been brought to her, I returned to my computer. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, it had gone to sleep and I had to 'prod' it to wake it up ... which took time.

She saw I was sitting there glaring at the screen and shyly asked, "do you mind me asking ... what are you doing?"

I smiled. "Not at all. Right now, I'm waiting for the machine to wake up, but I'm in the middle of writing a story."

"You're a writer?" She sounded impressed.

"Not really," I confessed, "an amateur. My stories appear on the internet along with hundreds of others. The only reward I get is my own satisfaction in writing and emails from readers."

"Do you get many?"

"Emails? A few. I have a solid core of twenty or so regular readers that I can rely on for feedback. The best ones are from people I've touched in some way, when they tell me a little of their story."

"What sort of thing do you write, then?"

I blushed – a habit I have never got over. "Er, well," I swallowed and tried to be matter-of-fact about it, "erotic love stories, actually."

"Not really? Could I see some?"

"Ummm ... that rather depends on how much explicit sex you can cope with," I felt as though my face must have been glowing red.

She blushed, too, "Some, anyway. Could I, please?"

By that time the laptop had condescended to wake up. I saved what I was working on and found one of my shorter efforts, called it up and turned the screen to face her. She seemed to know her way round the keyboard, so I sat back, sipped coffee and watched her face ... which as well as being attractive, was very expressive. At one point, she coloured most prettily, but carried on and finished reading. She turned the computer back to me and picked up her coffee cup.

She took a couple of sips before looking at me with a slight smile. "I enjoyed that," she said. "How do I get to read more?"

I shrugged, "if you've got an internet connection, nothing could be easier. Go to storiesonline dot net, register – it's free – and find me under 'Barry Tone' on the authors' list. Otherwise, smile sweetly at me and I'll burn them to a disk for you."

Her eyes widened. "You'd do that for me?"

I shrugged again, "no big deal. I like to have people read my stuff."

"Thanks..." she paused to sip her coffee, "actually I do have a good internet connection, so I don't need your disk, but it's kind of you to offer."

I shut the computer down, tucking it in my rucksack.

"Aren't you going to carry on writing?"

I shrugged ... again. "Later," I said, "I was enjoying talking to you. I can write any time. I took it up to occupy myself. Of course, if you want your own peace and quiet?"

"Oh, no," she said quickly, "I've come out to be with people, get away from my flat..."

"There you are, then. Why don't you tell me a bit about yourself, then. Just what you're comfortable with."

"Oh ... you wouldn't be interested in me."

"Why ever not? You seem like a very lovely young woman to me."

Her lip curled. "Oh, sure! I'm called Hazel, I'm thirty-two years old. I was a fitness coach until the hit-and-run; now I'm a cripple."

"That," I said, "is the night-soil of an very large male bovine."

She looked puzzled.

"Bullshit" I said, quietly, but firmly.

She reddened and opened her mouth to say something.

"Cripple," I said quietly, "is just a label. You are a unique and uniquely valuable person. Do you know about Douglas Bader?"

"Wasn't he a pilot?"

"He was an R.A.F. pilot before the second World War; represented his country at rugby football, played tennis and squash ... he crashed his aircraft doing low-level aerobatics and his legs were amputated; one above, one below the knee. He couldn't persuade the Air Force to let him continue flying, so he left, but when the second World War was looming, he nagged and pestered until they took him back. He went on to fly in combat, leading up to five squadrons of fighters as a Wing Leader. He's a legend in military aviation. He couldn't play rugby or squash, so he took up golf. He never gave up and when he got his prosthetic limbs, he refused to use a stick."

She was silent, looking at her hands in her lap but after a while looked up with a slight smile. "Today is the first day of the rest of my life, so get on with it and stop whining?"

I smiled back, "you weren't exactly whining and some bitterness is understandable, but, yes."

"Are you in here often?"

"Most days now."

"Perhaps we'll meet again?"

"I'm easy to find ... if you want to."

I swallowed the last of my now tepid coffee, stood, and held out my hand. She took it and I squeezed her hand gently; she squeezed back.

"It's been ... nice ... talking to you," she said

"I enjoyed your company," I smiled.


"Really. But right now, I'm off home for lunch. See you again, sometime?"

"I hope so..."

That was the beginning. We didn't meet every day, by any means, but certainly several times a week. Most days, the weather was okay and we'd – at least I'd – walk; she ... wheeled, I suppose, through the park. Without the sort of cape that fit over the chair, you could see the ... truncated ... ends of her legs. One day, as we sat watching the ducks, she insisted on showing me the stumps, scarred, still a little inflamed.

"They're waiting for them to settle," she commented.

I'd thought I'd be repulsed, but strangely, just found it interesting.

Sometimes, she'd make some comment about one of my stories; we'd often find ourselves discussing some element of a situation. It was very useful, giving me a different perspective on the way people think and act; the way morality evolves, is adapted by different groups within society.

She told me about her life. Well, something about her life. She'd got a social science degree, but had always been more interested in sports than study. Her parents died in a pile-up in fog on the motorway.

She wanted to know about me... "Not a lot to say; I'm pretty boring," I said.

"Tell me," she pressed.

"Studied maths and physics at College. Met Charlie singing G. & S..."

"G. & S.?"

"Gilbert and Sullivan," I explained, "comic opera ... Mikado, Pirates of Penzance, Gondoliers..."

She shook her head and I laughed.

"You need educating. Like ... Lerner and Loewe, Rodgers and Hammerstein?"

She nodded then.

"Anyway, we were sort of odd ones out. Became a couple by default, in a way. Got married when we graduated. I worked in a bank..." I paused, thinking, remembering.

"Did you have children?" She prompted me gently.

I shook myself mentally.

"Oh, yes. I'm very proud of them. Frank's a harbour pilot for the big ships in and out of Felixstowe and Harwich. Skilled, responsible, demanding job. Emily's an aid worker. I think she's somewhere in Indonesia at the moment. I ... try not to worry about her. Brave, caring girl. Too brave, too caring..." I trailed off.

That day we were in the city centre, in the Peace Gardens; watching the fountain and the kids running in and out of the jets of water.

"Your wife?" Her voice was gentle, hesitant.

"I miss her..." I said, simply, gazing into the mist of water ahead of us. An eternity later, I rummaged in my pocket, found a handkerchief and blew my nose ... and wiped my eyes as inconspicuously as I could.

"You loved her..." it was a statement, not a question.

"I wouldn't have said so, you know. I didn't realise what we had until she died ... until after she died." I smiled then and, turning to her, began to sing. I know, that only happens in musicals, right? Well ... wrong. There, in the centre of Sheffield, next to the fountain, accompanied by the shrieks of playing children, I sang... "Once I believed that when love came to me, it would come with rockets, bells and poetry..."

"You've a good voice," she said, her voice wavering a little.

"Not really," I contradicted, "but I like to sing and I'm not particularly shy. Charlie and I used to sing to each other, you know. Bits and pieces of musicals and light opera. 'Can't we two go walking together, out beyond the valley of trees... '"

"I don't know about going walking," she said, "but I'm about ready for lunch. Why don't we go to Café Azure?"

We parted after lunch, during which our conversation was light and avoided the sensitive questions. She went somewhere – I didn't ask – I went to the library and then home.

Talking to Hazel ... stirred up memories. I put on CDs of various musicals – starting with Patience – and flipped through photo albums ... remembering.

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Consensual / Romantic / Heterosexual / Amputee / Slow /