This is a work of fiction; characters and events entirely made up. However, a friend of mine had his wife walk out on him taking half his assets, just like Ellen and Alex. The practice in parts of the third world of selling young women is abhorrent, but forced on parents by extreme poverty. Most end up in the sex industry, but a few find a better life, like Sofia.
They do say the husband/wife/partner is always the last to know. Okay, maybe I should have been paying more attention, but when I retired, the day my financial arrangements for pension and so on were finalised, it came as a total shock when my wife announced, "I want a divorce."
Our sex life had petered out several years previously and I didn't make an issue of it, or even think much of it. It never occurred to me she'd been having an affair. If it had, I would never have thought it would be a lawyer. Now, there are some decent lawyers. I know some ... well, a few ... well ... two actually. He'd set her up to hold out until I retired to maximise my pension, because she'd be getting half, and half the matrimonial home.
As it happens, one decent lawyer I know is actually my best friend. I know, I know ... but he really is honest. I think after sixty years (we met in infant school) I'd know if he was just on the make. Anyway ... he made sure that when she retired a few months after me, that I got half of her retirement benefits. It wasn't actually a break even, but I didn't come out of it too badly. We had a pretty decent house, which sold easily, as well, so I ended up in a small terrace in Crookes (one of the nicer parts of Sheffield, if you don't mind students which we have in abundance) and a certain amount of money. I'm pretty low maintenance, as well, so didn't need a lot of money to live on.
I was tempted to buy a motorbike, which I'd given up shortly after our marriage, but put it off. I had the impulse to go and see something of the ancient world. I wanted to visit Greece and I'd heard that the Balkans could provide an interesting and economical holiday. There's a lot of history in the Balkans. It was true. I had a very interesting holiday. It was also quite economical, though not as economical as I intended, because I brought back a souvenir, which is what this tale is about.
I flew (on a highly discounted ticket) into Athens and rented a car. I'm not going to give an account of the journey, because that's not the point of the story, but I drove up the east of Greece, because I wanted to read the inscription at Thermopylae... "Go, tell the Spartans, passers by ... that here the three hundred lie, obedient to their laws. The Athenians never came." Anyway, I passed through Thessaloniki and generally enjoyed a leisurely tour up into the mountains of Bulgaria, where I promptly got lost.
When I found a tiny farm, I stopped to ask the way to somewhere I could buy diesel and get a bed for the night. The farmer had a few ... very few ... words of English, and I had a Bulgarian phrase book, which would have been more help if he'd spoken ordinary Bulgarian, but with a smattering of Greek, a few words of Bulgarian, English and gestures, he conveyed the information that there was a town a few miles away. He then called his wife and there ensued a a gabble of incomprehensible words. I'm not sure if it was a discussion or an argument, but it ended with further shouting, which produced a younger man and a girl I later found was eighteen. Apparently, she would normally have been married several years earlier, but there were no takers which is really quite amazing. I didn't get all the details at the time. I didn't get any details at the time. What I got went something like this...
"Need," the man said, making that finger rubbing gesture that universally conveys 'money', "for ... her," pointing at the girl. I was slow on the uptake; I'm sure you've seen where this was going. I thought he was just begging, but I was quite wrong. In fact, he was a proud man, (by his own lights anyway) and wouldn't have taken money for no value.
I shrugged. "How much?" I've always been a sucker for a sob story, especially when it concerns a young woman. I was thinking he needed a few Euros for medical care or something. I dug out my wallet and as luck would have it, the first note I pulled out was a hundred. The farmer pointed at it and held up his hand, five fingers spread. He wanted five hundred Euros? I looked at the man and (I assume) his son, both of whom looked a lot stronger than me and were looking (I thought) rather unfriendly. My reaction, as a devout coward, was to dig on my wallet and produce another four notes of the same denomination and hand them over.
That resulted in another gabble; some tears from the older woman, a handshake ... and the girl walked over to me and knelt in front of me. I still wasn't at all sure what was going on, but let's say I was beginning to get an inkling. I backed out of the house, and the girl got to her feet and followed me out to the car. She pointed at herself, at me, and at the car and shrugged. I'd bought her. I don't believe in slavery! I'd bought a teenage girl. It's just as well she was with me, though, I'd never have found the town on my own. The communication was limited, but I did find out her name, Sofia. I always did like that name.
I filled up with diesel and we investigated the inn, which was incredibly cheap though we came away with itchy bites and one or two passengers. But the main memory is of the room itself, which boasted but one, double bed. While I tried to protest, it became clear I wasn't going to get anywhere and Sofia didn't seem bothered. The less said about the facilities, the better. There was no bath, not one I was prepared to use, anyway and the bathroom was like a fridge. The inn did a pretty good meal, a sort of stew, with bread and a bottle of very acceptable red wine. Sofia got rather giggly; I don't think she'd had wine before.
At bedtime, I stripped to t-shirt and boxers, my usual bed-time attire except when I sleep nude. Sofia, though, after several minutes cogitation, just ... stripped. Now I'm sure some out there are thinking 'Woo ... excellent' or something of the sort. I just nearly had a panic attack. There I was, sixty five (going on sixty-six) about to climb into bed with a slim and lovely, dark-haired, dark eyed nymph who I was reasonably certain was a virgin – which was later confirmed...
It was not a comfortable night. I was awake for a lot of it, very aware of the young woman beside me. The young, nude, nubile and lovely young woman beside me ... who was sleeping like a baby.
They gave us a very satisfactory breakfast and we got on the road as soon as possible. I was in a quandary. I felt responsible for the girl. If I just gave her some money and set her loose, I was pretty sure she'd end up in the sex trade, which is about the only option for a girl in her position. On the other hand, she had no papers of any sort. If I was going to take her home, I was going to have to do something about that. It was only about a hundred miles to Sofia (the place) but it took us all day. Sofia (the girl) was watching, fascinated, the scenery we were passing. Later, once we were able to communicate, she told me she'd never been further from home than the town we'd stayed in the first night. As it was, I tried to start her learning English and she did learn a few nouns and verbs as we drove.
The hotel we stayed in in Sofia offered us what I'd call a 'family room' – a large moderately uncomfortable double bed, a couch that served as a single, and a trundle bed under the couch. But it had a shower that worked. She'd never had a shower, and I don't think she'd ever used shampoo. She was amazed at the sweet-scented shower gel and shampoo and stayed under the shower for an inordinate amount of time. I need to say, here, that even before the shower she didn't smell bad ... afterwards, well...
When I emerged from the shower (which ran cold just as I was finishing) she was ensconced in the double bed. I ... started to make up the couch. That process was interrupted by a gabble of incomprehensible words from Sofia. I hadn't any idea what she was saying, but it was clear she was upset. After a while, I gathered I was expected to share the double bed with her. Now, don't get me wrong, here, I'm definitely hetero, and although my libido isn't what it was, I had no problem seeing her as desirable. I did have a problem with what I saw as cradle-snatching. To put it mildly. The reason I was not wanting to share the bed with Sofia was ... I wanted her. Badly.
I could not stand her crying; I put the sheets away, climbed into bed beside her and turned out the light. Only to have a slim, naked girl mould herself to my side. Instant boner. The hardest boner I'd had in ... well, years. Lots of years. But I wasn't about to start the process of becoming a father right then. I couldn't resist running my hands over her, though. The farm must have been tough; she was obviously both fit and strong, just not strong enough to do a man's job on the farm. Physically, apart from her age. I'd say she was exactly what I would have described as my ideal woman. Actually, slim isn't quite right, she was too solidly built and most of it muscle. But she had smallish breasts, just as I like them. Taut they were and supported by muscle so they stood high and proud on her chest. When I brushed a nipple it stood out stiff and hard and she groaned.
.... There is more of this story ...