My thanks go to the numerous people from all around the world who have attempted to assist me in preparing this story for posting.
Colloquial clarification: 'Gander' and 'Shufti' are both euphemisms for 'look'
There are times that you know, right from the start, that something's going on, and it ain't quite kosher! Like I did that night when I awoke at some unearthly hour and instantly became aware that standing beside the foot of my bed was an apparition ... To-whit, one patently beautiful and very naked female!
In fact I could only just make out her form; but I could see enough to recognise that she was completely naked, and that her figure went in and out in all the right places!
Unfortunately, that gave me just enough information to instantly work out exactly who the woman was, as well.
The fact that I'd married the lady in question some six years previously might make you just a little curious as to why I would be so surprised by her presence. Or you're maybe wondering why I was more than slightly perturbed to find her standing there ... totally naked bedside my bed!
Well the point is, after the first few days, our marriage could not have been described as a good one, and it hadn't lasted very long - roughly eighteen months (before all the shouting was over) to be precise!
Yeah well, we can't all get it right the first time, can we? It seemed to me, that shortly after our nuptials June had turned into a right ... no, lets leave that for the present, you'll get the idea as we get further along, I'm sure!
Anyway, June always claimed that it was me who had turned into a miserable old git! And to be honest, she was possibly quite correct there. But, when just a few days after you've taken your vows, you learn that you've been kept in the dark ... no, not just yet!
Where was I? Oh yeah!
After carefully studying the vision for a short while – as best I could, considering the lack of ambient illumination -- I convinced myself that I just had to be dreaming. So, trying to ignore the apparition ... not a simple task when it's an incarnation of June's naked form standing before you, imaginary or otherwise!
Bugger, for a short while there, I had even been tempted to turn the bloody bedside light on; so that I could get a better gander!
But I also figured, that turning that light on would probably wake me from my dream world anyway. Consequently I discounted the idea, and then -- after getting a right-good-eyeful, as best I could -- I turned over and tried to ... Well, I'm not quite sure exactly what I thought I was attempting to do really; pretend that June was not in my dream world anymore, I suppose! And, maybe at-tempt to convince that dream world to take me somewhere that I would find a little more relaxing.
"Well, that's bloody nice! I come to visit my loving husband for the first time in God knows how many years, and he turns his back on me!" June's dulcet tones suddenly filled the void of silence.
If I had been asleep then that would surely have woken me. Hence my confusion for the next few minutes; I wasn't sure if I was awake or not. The actual fact of June's apparent presence, was doing it's best to convince me that I had to be dreaming.
"You're not here June! I'm dreaming; go away!" I mumbled.
"Oh, have nice dreams about me all the time, do you? That is flattering!" That all too well remembered voice, replied.
"No I don't, June! Dreams about you come under the heading "recurring nightmares!" Now go away. Get off my bloody cloud, will you?" I found myself replying quite forcefully.
"Ooh, is my lover-boy still a little rattled with me? Come on lover, I'd have thought you'd have got over all that by now!"
"June ... Jesus, what am I doing, talking to a sodding dream ... a fantasy? Nothing but an illusion conjured up by my tortured unconscious mind. I must be going completely bleeding nut's!"
"Hey, I'm no fantasy, lover. Although I might be an illusion! You know, I don't understand how any of this works! Turn the light on and you'll see that I won't disappear. Or at least, I don't think I will!"
The apparition ... June, didn't sound too sure of herself either.
"You know, they were a bit vague about how all this was going to work! Kept me there for God knows how long explaining everything, but it all came at me so fast that it's hard to remember. And well, they were pretty vague about just about everything really. When it comes down to it, they just told me that you are my best bet. You know, I'm not really supposed to be here anyway, Peter; but they've bent the rules a little, just for little ol' me!"
"What the hell are you babbling on about... ? Jesus, you are here, and looking even better than I remember if anything. Anyway, as I was saying, just what the hell are you babbling on about. June, and why are you here? Come to that, how did you get in here, for a start?" I demanded.
Kind-a loosing my decorum slightly; I'd got frustrated, sat up in bed and switched on the light. That light had suddenly allowed to me get a far better shufti at June's ... er, physical attributes and that had caused me to ... well, drop in a couple of, involuntary, reactionary type ... exclamations, that I hadn't intended to say.
June gave me that wonderful smile of hers, and then she did a little catwalk twirl. Damn that figure of hers, and damn that ruddy enchanting smile of hers as well! That sodding smile had captured my heart the first time she'd thrown it my way in the university library.
And -- along with June's other -- all too obvious -- physical attributes, -- it had kept me on a pretty tight-leash right up until the day they'd dropped the bomb on me; five days after our wedding.
From that day forwards we drifted apart; our arguments always centring around ... well money. And you might find it surprising when I say, not the lack of it!
I suppose I'd better explain. When I'd met June at Uni, she was just another student struggling to pay her way through college like almost everyone else; or so I and everyone else thought. June even had a part time job back then, and never appeared to be rolling in the readies. Consequently I had not the slightest idea that she came from a much more affluent family background than I.
In fact – I discovered later -- June's parents weren't exactly well-off themselves; but her grandfather had been bleeding loaded!
Her grandparents had disowned June's mother when she'd insisted on marrying a man they did not approve of. June's grandparents were of the opinion that June's father had been after the family assets or something along those lines. So they'd disowned her; effectively excluding June's mother from the family, and access to the family fortune.
When June and I had met -- and while we were courting -- I had not been informed that June's grandfather had bequeathed all of his worldly worth to his only grandchild, nor that that grandchild was June. Neither had I been informed that – since her grandfather had toddled-off to meet his maker, some years previously -- June would inherit his private empire on her thirtieth birth-day, or ... on the solemnisation of her marriage; whichever came first!
What came first was our bleeding wedding of course, and that inheritance brought with it the demise of a once beautiful relationship.
Now one might think, "What's this dumb-arse complaining about? After all, he married a real looker, who had a bleeding fortune tucked away in the bank!"
Hey, I had no objection to all that cash. Although I had never figured that the "kept man" title would ever used to describe me!
No, what got up my nose, was all the ... well, brown-nosing -- I suppose you could all it -- that went along with all that wealth.
Cocktail and dinner parties, formal receptions and things ... and all the ruddy charity functions June was expected to attend.
I'm not the formal dress type at the best of times; I never have been! And my inherent frankness, somewhat down-to-earth -- colloquial and all to often, very basic – language, raised quite a few eyebrows at those functions.
I can't say my politics fitted in very well with that crowd either! I'm not a follower of any particular political doctrine. I suppose, if anything, I lean to the left! But I've always held strong views about the untrustworthiness of close cosy relationships some ... no sod-it, most, politicians (left, right or bleeding centre) have with those 'Types' in the City.
And then suddenly there I was, married to someone who suddenly became, one of those 'Types!"
And then there all those miscellaneous people from all over the shop (June's financial empire) who were in the habit of turning up at all times of day and night, with papers for June to read and sign, or to have 'business conferences' with her.
That was the first I knew about my wife's windfall, by the way; when some stuffed-shirt tosser turned up at the door of our honeymoon suite with oodles of paperwork for June to read through and sign; less than halfway through our ruddy honeymoon!
There we were – at eight that morning -- doing what honeymooners traditionally do; when there's a knock at the bedroom door.
Yeah well, when I crawled out of bed, I had thought that it was our breakfast arriving!
And then I made the mistake of letting the officious flunky into the room, when he explained that he needed to see June on a matter of great importance.
And that was (effectively) the last I saw (knew, in the biblical sense) of my new wife, until well after eight that evening. That same evening saw the beginning of the end of our marriage.
.... There is more of this story ...