Have you ever wondered just how you ended up in a situation of your own making? Not necessarily a bad one, yet when you look at the path you took to get there you have to wonder at the circumstances.
I live an ordinary life in the Northeast of England; I'm a welder by trade, but have since branched off into engineering maintenance, a sort of jack of all trades. I'm married, have three kids and although the marriage has settled down into a sort of predictable dullness, I've never strayed, or had never I suppose is the correct tense.
I've known Tom since I was age nine, he's my best friend, we have a lot in common and a few things that aren't. We both left school at the same time, both got jobs and both married about the same time as each other. He married Margaret or Maggie as she prefers to be known. I married Theresa. We had three kids, they had two.
It was shortly after our respective marriages that we drifted apart and although we didn't lose touch, we were just too busy with our lives to meet up and enjoy the fun we had in our youth. Still, times changed and the kids grew up and we ended up with more time on our hands.
We ended up running into each other in a supermarket, not one we normally frequent, just a coincidence, though a good one.
"Billy," came a call from behind me.
I turned and there they were Tom and Maggie.
"Well, hello, bonny lad," I said. "How's things?"
"Not bad, how's you?" Tom replied.
"Getting by," I said. "Hi Maggie."
"Hello Billy," she said with a smile.
Whereas Tom had piled on the weight since I'd last seen him, Maggie had remained about the same. Shortish, dark brown hair, green eyes, about 5' 8", slim, narrow shoulders, small breasts but wide hips and chunky thighs, she was a sort of classic English pear shaped woman.
I could sense the hostility coming from Theresa, who had also gone to fat over the years, she's never liked Tom or Maggie and in part was one of the reasons we'd lost touch.
"We'll have to get together for a night out, or at least a few beers," I said. "Do some catching up."
"Sounds like a plan." Tom said.
We parted after Tom and I exchanged mobile numbers. Theresa was in a bad mood for the rest of that day and much of the following one and so I almost resolved to let the matter drop, just for the sake of a bit of peace.
However the day after I got a call from Tom asking if I'd like to go out for a pint and without even thinking about it I agreed. I arranged to pick him up from his house and found myself quite looking forward to it.
Theresa of course was not happy, however couldn't think of a way to stop me, though I knew I'd pay for it later.
Half an hour later I knocked at Tom's door and was let in by Maggie.
"Hi Billy, he won't be a second," she greeted me.
I also said 'hi' to their son and daughter who were looking cautiously at me from behind Maggie.
Tom greeted me and we set off to a local pub renowned for selling good beer and we had a couple of very nice pints of Theakston's Old Peculiar on draught, as well as a long chat about pretty much everything. The colloquial term for it is 'putting the world to rights' I believe.
We wandered back to his house and chatted some more, Maggie joining us after the kids had gone to bed. My eyes were constantly drawn to her, though I was careful not to stare, still I think she noticed, though was too polite to say anything.
When I got home, I walked straight into an argument which kind of spoiled the whole evening, though for once I gave as good as I got and although we ended up going to bed angry, I'd at least set the ground for occasionally meeting up with Tom again.
I made the next move, ringing Tom and arranging to call on a Saturday afternoon.
I arrived early and was let in by Tom.
"Make yourself comfortable," he said. "I'll not be a few minutes."
Ruth and Simon were in the room too and in the shy way of kids wandered over to show me some fancy dress costumes they were doing for a friend's birthday party.
I gave the costumes a lot of praise and we just chatted until Maggie came in the room and noticed Simon's lace was undone. She was wearing a baggy shapeless woolly jumper and a pair of jeans. When she came to tie Simon's lace, whilst kneeling, the neck of her jumper gaped wide and I could see all the way down to her jeans and she wasn't wearing anything underneath it. Small conical breasts topped by dark red nipples, creamy white skin and a few moles dotted here and there. I can still close my eyes and see her, almost a perfect moment and quite innocent. At that moment Tom came down and Maggie stood and moved away as I got up.
We set off for the pub and enjoyed a number of pints in a splendid beer garden, Tom putting away a good deal more than I did.
Eventually we set off for his home and he staggered quite a lot, but I got him back OK, though Maggie and I had to help him lie down.
"Fancy a coffee?" she asked as I was about to leave.
"Ok, thanks," I replied.
We both sat with our coffees and just chatted for a while. The kids were out playing in the garden and the house quiet other than the muffled snores coming from upstairs.
"I wish he wouldn't drink so much," sighed Maggie. "That and his weight, it isn't good for him."
"If you want I can stop calling," I offered.
"No," she said. "At least you walk him to the pub, but if you could, I'd like if you could keep him from drinking too much."
"I'll try," I promised.
I finished my coffee and was just leaving when Maggie gave me a hug.
"Thanks Billy, it was nice chatting to you," she said.
I gave her a hug back whilst carefully not looking down her jumper.
"You're welcome Maggie," I replied.
So Tom and I continued to see each other for occasional evenings and weekends of beer drinking and I did try to keep him to manageable limits, though he did not appear to be losing any weight, he was at least not rolling drunk when I got him back.
The only other thing going on in my life, or rather not going on, was my sex life. Theresa simply wasn't interested any more, I suspect on account that she no longer had control over an aspect of my life, but I didn't ask and she never made an issue of it.
It was several months after Tom and I had started our sessions that he got rolling again, despite my best efforts to slow him down. So I carefully made sure he got home safely and helped Maggie put him to bed.
"I'm sorry I said, I did try to slow him, but he was determined to drink for England," I apologised to her.
"I'm sure you did," she replied despondently. "I don't seem to be able to get him to cut down on his eating either and I keep wondering if it's me nagging him that causes him to do this."
I reached out to give her a hug and she flung herself into my arms sobbing her heart out.
"It's not you," I reassured her. "It's just life, and he's not having an easy time at work."
"Yes, but that's his own fault too, he needs to lose weight," she sobbed. "He's even gone off sex!"
"Now that I don't believe," I joked. "I mean, if I were him you'd be fighting me off constantly."
"You're too kind Billy," she replied. "But I'm not as young as I was and it's not working the way it did."
"Works for me," I said.
Maggie glanced up at me startled.
"Don't joke Billy, please, I know I'm a bit of a hag these days," she sighed.
"Not to me you aren't," I replied. "I have a pretty good idea of how you look."
"How would you know?" she finally asked.
I explained to her about the jumper incident and she laughed as well as blushed.
"I thought your concentration was a bit awry that day," she giggled. "Never thought it was me though."
"You're a damned good looking woman Maggie," I stated with a cheeky grin. "Trust me, I'm a damned good judge."
Maggie just sighed and I held her until she looked up at me. Then we kissed, a soft sensuous kiss that seemed to last a lifetime.
"Maggie, I... ," I started to apologise.
Maggie just shook her head and kissed me again.
"You'd better go, Billy," she said. "But thank you for making me feel good about myself again."
I left wondering if perhaps I shouldn't have tried to take things further, but not wanting to force Maggie into a decision that she might regret later either.
As it was, work got busy and the way my shifts work on a four on four off basis left me with very little time for introspection, at least until the four days off.
By then I'd had a text from Tom suggesting a meet up at the Causey Arch Inn, a well renowned pub, if somewhat distant. I texted back an OK. At least he was driving out there so wouldn't drink himself silly.
I had pulled up into the car park and headed into the pub when I noticed Maggie waiting.
"Hi Maggie," I hailed her. "I didn't realise you were both coming out tonight."
"I sent you the text, Billy," she said. "I just couldn't get you out of my mind."
"Oh," I replied a little dumbfounded.
"If you want I'll just go," she said miserably.
"No, no," I said. "Let's go inside and chat."
I have to admit Maggie did look very lovely tonight, a flowery blouse accentuating her small bust and tight jeans encasing her large shapely thighs.
We wandered into the lounge and found a quiet corner. I bought us a couple of drinks and we sat next to each other whilst I wondered what to say.
"Did you mean it when you said you found me attractive?" said Maggie.
"Yes," I replied. "You're very attractive."
.... There is more of this story ...