There was a young lawyer called Bex,
Whose chest was quite flat for her sex;
When charged with exposure
She replied with composure,
"De minimis non curat lex."
The limerick sits neatly printed on the wall in our bedroom. The trifles aren't all that small any longer – two pregnancies have taken care of that. Still, they are fairly moderate in size. They were at their absolute peak just when the babies were born. Also on the wall, on either side of the framed limerick, are two papier-mâché casts of Bex' torso that we made just days before she gave birth. They were fun to make.
Most people notice the huge belly first (particularly the second cast when Bex carried the twins) and then the breasts. Not Bex. She will always have a thing about breast size which no amount of loving can make go away even though I assure her I never cared. I mean, my first wife could give the late Anna Nicole a run for her money – and Leona was all natural, but I wouldn't want to go back ever. Leona was a scheming cheating bitch with a room temperature IQ who caused me nothing but grief. Bex loves me unconditionally (and has done so all her life – I was just to dim to notice). She is bright and sweet. She is a fantastic mother, and she is my best friend and confidant in addition to being my wife and lover. Life is good.
Bex thinks so too. At least most of the time. And when she has one of her rare black moods and disses her breasts, I will usually demonstrate how wonderful they are. Bex is one of those fortunate women whose nipples are so sensitive that she can orgasm from breast stimulation alone. After a dozen or so breast-only induced orgasms we usually have a long period of time where Bex doesn't complain.
But getting to where we are today has been a long, and at times painful, journey. This is the story of that journey.
The story of Bex begins around the same time as the story of me – we were born only four days apart in the same hospital, but you can definitely say that our backgrounds were different. Actually, for the story of Bex to make sense we have to go back a bit further and start the tale a little over a year before she was even born
Bex' father was a lawyer with the impressive name Archibald Theodore Anderson. All his friends – and he had many, including the entire legal fraternity, the judges and court staff, most businessmen in the district, the doctors, the school principals, the pastors, you name them – called him Archie. Archie was a large jovial man who had a large jovial house, a large jovial wife and two large jovial sons who were both also lawyers and in partnership with their father. And they ran the biggest, most influential law firm in our part of the state.
When Archie was 64, Margaret, known as Dot – his wife of nearly 40 years and the mother of Albert and Eugene, better known as Bert and Gene, lay down for nap after lunch one very hot summer's day and never woke up. According to the doctor, Dot had a massive coronary and never felt a thing. It was sad and unexpected, but life's like that sometimes.
Being alone didn't suit Archie. Bert and Gene had long left home, of course – they were 35 and 37 respectively. Both were bachelors, although especially Gene was known to be something of a ladies' man. No way were they going to move back home to look after their father. But Archie had never made a bed, never sorted the laundry or as much as boiled an egg in his life so he knew he would have to get a least a housekeeper and soon.
Salvation was near – for twenty years Archie'd had the same personal secretary. Miss Constance Hastings joined the firm when she was a shy slight spinster of 22. Now she was a shy slight spinster of 42, unbelievably efficient and competent and utterly devoted to her boss. She didn't quite faint when Archie proposed, but it was damned close. Her secret dream had come true and less than a month later she was the new Mrs. Archibald Anderson.
Where Dot had been large and, well, curvy, and even in her sixties still showed clear remnants of a remarkable beauty, Constance was very slight of build, noticeably flat both at the rear and especially at the front and, for lack of a better word, desiccated. Given the age of both partners, no-one expected their union to be, well, fruitful. But Archie was a lawyer and made sure the marriage was legal. Before the honeymoon to the US Virgin Islands was over, the new Mrs. Anderson was neither so virginal in manners nor quite so desiccated to look at – she had put on ten pounds in flattering places and she kept putting on pounds for the simple but highly surprising reason that she was pregnant.
Surprise or not, Archie and Constance were delighted and a few days after Archie's 65th birthday, his now 43 year old new wife gave birth to a tiny little girl who they named Rebecca Constance Anderson. At least that's what her birth-certificate says. No-one ever called her anything but Bex.
I know all this from Mom. As I mentioned, I was born four days before Bex to Millie and Todd Henderson, both 23 and both natives of our city. They had been sweethearts since grade school and to this day remain as much in love as then. Dad was an independent motor mechanic in partnership with one of his and Mom's old school friends, Leroy, who I always knew as "Uncle Leroy". Mom had been a shop-assistant until shortly before I was born and never rejoined the workforce even though I remained an only child. At that time they had bought their first home (which they are still in) in an ordinary middleclass neighborhood but bordering on the more affluent part of town.
When I say "bordering" it is in a literal sense: At the end of our garden was a tall, forbidding wall that surrounded the grounds of the huge neo-gothic mansion where the Andersons lived. The summer I was two I "broke through the door in the wall" (according to Mom – it must have been in dire need of repairs if a toddler could do that!) and went exploring in the garden next door, finding Bex playing in a huge sandbox.
This is where my bemused but slightly embarrassed mother found me ten anxious minutes later. She had only gone inside to go to the bathroom; having left me in what she was convinced was a "toddler-proof" enclosed area. She almost collided with the very bemused Mrs. Anderson who had gone inside to fetch drinks, leaving Bex in what she was similarly sure was a contained area; a fence having been put up to protect Bex from their large pool. They left us to play, sat down to talk and struck up a close friendship of the kind that mothers all over the world forge from no other common ground than simply being mothers. According to Mom, Bex and I both howled miserably when they finally separated us and a repeat play-date for the next day was hastily agreed. From then on we were inseparable.
Naturally I cannot remember any of this. In my consciousness Bex has always been there.
Over the coming years we kept on playing and playing and playing. We went to kindergarten and then school together and we were also always together outside school. Our parents laughingly referred to us as "the twins". Bex was a waifish tom-boy who ran wild with me and the other little boys in the neighborhood, climbing trees – her garden had some fabulous climbing trees and Bex got to the top of them before anyone else, building cubby houses and so on. She may have been ostracized by the girly girls at school already then; I didn't notice. Bex was one of the gang – end of story.
Unknown to me, of course, Dad and Uncle Leroy were very industrious and successful. They gained college qualifications at evening school and expanded their business, taking over a moribund dealership and turning it into a roaring success. Uncle Leroy ran the showrooms and Dad the workshop. From a very early age, I was fascinated with cars and motors and I was a frequent guest at the workshop – as was Bex.
Dad and Uncle Leroy's business model was as simple as it was successful: They sold cars in all price ranges, maximizing the potential customer base. In addition, having both the dealership and an all-make workshop, they could hedge their business against economic fluctuations. When times were good they sold a lot of new or premium second hand cars. During lean times, the workshop was doing well because people wanted to run their older cars longer.
Uncle Leroy never married. He was gay. That cost him all contact with his unforgiving bible-bashing family. We were his family. When he died much too young there were rumors it was AIDS, but that was false. He died from testicular cancer. Over the loud protests of his "loving family" he left everything he owned, including his half-interest in the business, to Mom and Dad. That left Dad in charge of it all and he had to spend much more time in the showrooms than he really wanted to. Dad was a guy who wanted to get his hands dirty at heart, but now he spent more time in a suit than in overalls.
I was unaware of all that too. All I knew was that Uncle Leroy was gone and I felt terribly sad about that. But that is just about the only negative memory I have of my childhood. It was otherwise safe and happy. We may not have been wealthy in a classical sense but I was never in want of anything important. I was immersed in love from my parents. And instead of siblings, which never came, I had Bex.
.... There is more of this story ...