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This is a work of fiction, any resemblance to persons living, dead or otherwise is purely coincidental. The ideas and thoughts that follow are pure fantasies. In real life, at the very least they would be unpleasant and probably illegal. Fantasies are like that; daydreams where we can contemplate and imagine the sensations without suffering or inflicting the pain, despair or humiliation.
Can I stay with you now and while I'm at the Uni? Money very tight – will explain later – willing to help cook and clean and perform wifely duties in lieu of rent. No change of heart from parents.
Ted stared at the words on the screen and noted the message had been sent several hours previously while he worked as a technician at the local college. "How the hell do I answer that?" he muttered, "Of course she can stay but she must be pretty desperate to offer to 'perform wifely duties' by which I presume means she is willing to have sex with me. Put that way, in effect I'd be paying for sex and she'd be prostituting herself. No way will I agree to that but at least now I don't have to worry about her being underage."
You are more than welcome to stay here and I will appreciate some help with the cooking and cleaning – especially the latter – but you will have your own room and bed and not have to share mine, I'm sure you don't really want to do that. Would you like me to drive over in the van and pick you and your stuff up?
While he ate his microwaved dinner, Ted contemplated the changes having a young woman, a teenager, in his home would make to his lifestyle. "Fortunately the spare room is reasonably clear because Pete stayed in it a month ago when we had a diptera collecting weekend but the wardrobe and chest of drawers need clearing of mother's clothing. Charity shop stuff mostly. I'll need to dust and vacuum the room and tidy this kitchen a bit too but she knows what to expect and it hasn't changed much since she came last, when was it, eighteen months ago?"
Sitting in an armchair with a mug of tea in his hand, Ted's thoughts went back to their first meeting on an April evening a little over five years previously, remembering opening the door to a shy thirteen year old girl in the uniform of the local school, holding a small box and looking nervously at him. "Go on, ask him," the girl's mother standing a pace behind her daughter, prompted.
"Please Sir, I have to do ... the school gave us ... a project for the term ... on wildlife. I chose insects but have only two books on them and I cannot find any of these insects that I collected in them and I wondered ... My friend Jessie lives near here and her mother said you are into bugs ... she said you might help me. Will you. Please?"
"Those wide-open brown eyes when she looked up at me at the end of the disjointed and rushed sentence went straight to my heart and knew I couldn't refuse. "Come in and let's look at what you have under the microscope," I invited and led them into my 'laboratory', which I'd converted from the room that originally served as the third bedroom, and after introductions, carefully opened the box under the stereomicroscope. Her enthusiasm and delight at seeing the clear, much enlarged images of the creatures she'd only seen with a cheap magnifying glass, so impressed me that I decided there and then, to do all I could to help her. Her mother though, recoiled slightly when Karen picked up one of the dead black beetles and turned it over to see the underside. "If you'll excuse me, I'll wait downstairs," she apologised."
While Karen excitedly examined the insects she'd brought and some from his collection, and quickly overcoming her initial shyness asked a hundred questions, Ted examined the small, skinny, as yet undeveloped girl in navy blue clothing with the Upton High School badge emblazoned on the chest of her sweater, and wondered how long she'd keep her enthusiasm for insects. He knew many children at her age went through passionate phases and fads that lasted weeks or months before their interest changed. "Will she be like that?" Ted wondered, "But even if it only lasts until the end of her project, I'll do what I can to help. From her questions, she's pretty intelligent so it might be well worth my time cultivating her interest."
During the intervening years, Karen put on a growth spurt until at 5ft 8 inches, she stood almost at Ted's height but slim with it and her small breasts, her short black hair and intentionally not wearing revealing clothing, she didn't attract boys. In that way she hadn't changed. At thirteen she didn't have many friends and for a couple of years Ted was the nearest to a friend she had and she visited him most weekends to collect and study insects, a study that didn't end when she handed in her project. At first her mother stayed with her as chaperone but after a few weeks she dropped her off on the way to the supermarket, checked on her on the way back and collected her later. All that changed when her father obtained a better job with a bank in a town a hundred miles away and Ted only saw her a few times afterwards although they kept in email communication.
"I know she had a crush on me and I forced myself to keep our relationship on a platonic level because I didn't want to court trouble by having sex with a minor," Ted mused, "I'm sure that disappointed her and maybe my reply to her email, will do so too."
"Damn, damn, damn. Dan the man," Karen swore at the screen, "Am I not attractive enough for him? Are my tiny, little girl tits, too small? Am I too young? Hell, he's only thirty-seven and I'm almost nineteen and most girls of my age have long since lost their virginity. Not me. Does he just want a housekeeper that will clean and cook and not give any pleasure in return?" Her logical mind knew this wasn't the case but until she calmed down and thought about it analytically, her irrational mind held sway. Fortunately before she could reply her mother called her down for dinner and she knew she had to hide her feelings from her parents if she didn't want to promote yet another argument as to which university course she should take.
Thanks, having the van will save me a lot of hassle. Saturday morning about 10 would be great. Dad's at a bankers meeting all day and mother is working this weekend. Need to get away without them knowing. You know why."
Ted did indeed know but hoped the situation would be resolved without a family break up and when he'd offered Karen a room, if she needed it, he expected it wouldn't be until the university course started in mid September, three months away. In a way he blamed himself. His early efforts at helping with the school project had fostered a love of insects to the extent she intended to take a four year course on insect conservation and habitat management but her parents wished her to attend Southampton university and take a course in business studies which they believed would give her a better chance of getting a good job afterwards. Had she taken the business course, they would have paid the course fees and helped with living expenses, now they withheld all funding. "They're trying to blackmail me," Karen told him in an earlier email but up to a few days previously she had high hopes of changing their minds.
.... There is more of this story ...