For Lovers?

For ????

The following is a few chapters from my forthcoming novel which will be published on iTunes and Kindle later this year.

This story is about two people who meet online. They are a certain age with histories, kids, separate mortgages and kids. Did I say kids twice? Could be an issue!

If you’ve ever been in a more mature relationship then you will know that it’s not always plain sailing. Sometimes it feels that you are making progress then it all collapses below you.

But where there is a will there is always a way. That is if you really want it to work.

My target date for getting it published is August, enough time to finish off the couple of parts I’m working on to get the balance right between the male and female points of view and go through the publishing process.

I’m hoping that when it’s published any money can be given to the Macmillan Nurses and Cancer Research as a thank you for the work they do and support they give to people in their times of need.

I’m not sure how that will work yet, I’m in contact with a publisher at the moment, worse case I will self publish and have a JustGiving page for donations, but the point is that I don’t want anything from this, writing it was enough.

You’ll read a little about the reasons behind that in the extract below.

Foreword

This story is fiction. Well most of it.

But there is a lot of me in there too.

He is undoubtedly me.

All his fears and worries are basically my fears and worries.

His sexuality? Well .. it might be mine!

She, well she is more difficult to define as you can’t be someone else. You can only be what you perceive them to be.

You can only imagine what they think about, what drives them.

So anything written here is only based on my perception.

So although there is truth in here, it is fiction and should be viewed as that.

I wrote the first chapter of this book as a stand-alone short story just for fun, it was an exercise in imagination. But I realised that I enjoy writing so I carried on and enjoyed putting my thoughts down on paper.

If I woke during the night then I’d add something to it, usually putting my thoughts down on my iPad then elaborate them on the train into work the next day.

After writing the first five chapters I was stuck for ideas. But a bulb flashed above my head and I decided to continue the story from the female point of view. I did that for the next five chapters then alternated from his and her point of view as the story progressed. I think it makes it interesting and was certainly interesting to write.

Just in case you are confusing me with the guy in the story. The foreword is written by me, the introduction is by the guy in the story.

For some reason, instinct? I haven’t named him or her, to write without referring to their names was a challenge in itself!

I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed putting my thoughts on paper.

Mx

Introduction

Meet me in the railroad bar
About 7 o’clock
We’ll talk while the sun goes down
Watch the lovers
Leaving town

This is for lovers
Running away
This is for lovers
Running away
Just for today

Pete Doherty – For Lovers?

I love that song.

It moves me. It takes me to another place and time. It appeals to my romantic soul.

I was really lucky to meet a gorgeous, intelligent sexy woman on an online dating site.

Someone very very special. That’s who this story is about.

It’s about me too. My thoughts, fears, dreams hopes and aspirations. Everything I’d want in a relationship.

But life isn’t that simple is it? If you are a certain age it’s much more complicated.

You both have your own life’s, families and histories to get on with and even if you are lucky to meet someone that you would like to spend the rest of your life with it’s just not easy to make everything fit.

I wrote the first part of this book as a stand-alone short story just for fun, it was an exercise in imagination. I enjoyed it so I carried on and enjoyed putting my thoughts down on paper. But then it grew as our relationship grew, I’d spend nights writing it.

Like the song, we did meet at the railroad bar at 7 O’clock. We did talk until the sun went down and we did watch the lovers leaving town.

Soon we were those lovers.

But now we’re no long running away.

Enjoy!

Contents

Foreword…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
Contents………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5

1- If Peroni Did Mills and Boon! :-)…………………………………………………………………… 6
2- One Step At A Time!…………………………………………………………………………………. 9
3- Watch the world come alive tonight……………………………………………………………… 11
4- Anxious Memories Of The Night Before………………………………………………………. 14
5- Black Panties With An Angel’s Face……………………………………………………………. 17

A Thought – Sometimes It’s Hard To Be A Woman!………………………………………….. 21

6- Just Have A Little Patience!……………………………………………………………………….. 23
7- Titanium…………………………………………………………………………………………………. 28
8- You’re A Star!………………………………………………………………………………………… 34
9- Lots Of Catching Up To Do!……………………………………………………………………… 38
10- Game On!…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 41
11- Beneath You’re Beautiful…………………………………………………………………………. 43
12- My Blue Eyed Boy…………………………………………………………………………………. 46
13- Moondancing………………………………………………………………………………………… 50
14- Girls on Film………………………………………………………………………………………….. 59
15- Nightswimming………………………………………………………………………………………. 64
16- A Not So Simple Misunderstanding!………………………………………………………….. 69
17- Reasons Seasons And Lifetimes………………………………………………………………… 72
18- Dreams!……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 74
19- Accepting The Inevitable?………………………………………………………………………… 77
20- Boys Don’t Cry!…………………………………………………………………………………….. 81
21- Second Hand News……………………………………………………………………………….. 85
22- Football and Families?…………………………………………………………………………….. 89
23- The Tipping Point or Friends With Benefits?………………………………………………… 92
24- All Mine!………………………………………………………………………………………………. 95
25- More Please!……………………………………………………………………………………….. 100
26- You Can’t Have One Without The Other!…………………………………………………. 102
27- Perfect Man Or Problem Child?………………………………………………………………. 105
28- A Girl With A Pin To Burst Your Bubble!…………………………………………………. 109
29- The Rough And The Smooth!…………………………………………………………………. 112
30- Everything’s Going To Be Alright!……………………………………………………………. 115

Epilogue……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 117

For The Future…………………………………………………………………………………………… 118

1- If Peroni Did Mills and Boon! 🙂

When we woke up that morning we had no way of knowing
That in a matter of hours we’d change the way we were going.
Where would I be now if we’d never met.
Would I be singing this song to someone else instead?

Pulp – Something Changed

11 years from today.

So there we were. We finally managed to get our act together and arrange that drink at long last.

The Champagne bar at Grand Central. The station being handy for both of us.

A quick exit if necessary but that was more likely to be on your part to be fair.

I’d fancied you from the moment I first saw your profile online. Even although you’d left your photographs deliberately vague. Your smile. The pretty eyes and your shapely figure were there for all to see.

We had been emailing each other for a couple of weeks. You came offline as you were tired of hassle from the creeps. I did too but only after our first kiss.

Our emails started slowly as we got to know each other but we had so much in common and I loved your sense of humour and joy of life.

Then the telephone chats to the small hours. Everything from music family and holidays. Personal histories and not an ounce of regret or bitterness between us

Cherish the past but move on we had both agreed.

Back to Central Station There I was standing waiting outside M&S. Nervous as a teenager on a first date. Which of course it was and my first for a long while.

Standing there in my new jeans and tan boots. Ted baker shirt and just a hint of gel in my hair. Trying to look casual like I did this so often and failing miserably.

Then you were there. I spotted you right away. Thankfully you looked like your pics. Better actually. God how nervous am I now?

But you’re smiling. You’ve recognised me too. Not all that difficult really as I’m the only person here at 8pm on a Thursday.

We meet and say our hello’s with a clumsy peck on the cheek. I made myself blush then. Fortunately you didn’t seem to notice. Well you told me later that you had but you had the good grace not to mention it at the time.

We got to the cocktail bar. What will you have? Your favourite Strawberry Daiquiri. Make that two and a Peroni in the side for me.

So we sat on the high stools looking over the station watching the people coming and going about their business. Workers rushing for their night shifts and lovers meeting, kissing and holding hands strolling to the exits into the night..

We chatted and laughed for hours. It seemed so easy to chat to you, it was so much better than I had expected.

Probably because we had spoken so many times before we actually met. I’ve lost count of the emails and the amount of texts and the late night calls.

It felt like I knew you already, that we were already friends.

That’s the thing about meeting someone online, it’s dating in reverse.

Normally, if there is such a thing is normal, you see someone in the bar or in the club if you find them physically attractive, you speak to them, determine if they are interesting and interested in you. Then you chat and maybe it develops to a date or maybe it doesn’t.

But with online dating all those old fashioned social norms are turned upside down.

You create your profile, put your best picture online, trying to look attractive. Then you write about yourself, Some background, what you do for fun and try to make yourself interesting.

Then you are out there for the world to see. The emails start to come in, so-and-so has viewed your profile, but she hasn’t said hello, okay fair enough.

Or worse, so-and-so has viewed your profile and she has said hello .. oh no!

But occasionally, very occasionally, you contact someone that you find attractive and they respond and they seem to like you too. Sometimes that burns out after a few emails, maybe they’ve lost interest or possibly found someone more interesting elsewhere.

That’s just life in the big city.

A thick skin is mandatory in this game.

But even more occasionally you get chatting to someone. You go through all that pre-meeting getting-to-know-you process and they don’t get sidetracked along the way and you do finally arrange a date which is convenient to both of you.

It really can be that hard, but fortunately that’s not happened, well not so far.

Tonight, I can’t get believe I’m sitting here with this stunningly attractive woman, not only do we seem to have similar attitudes to life but we actually seem to like each other.

When I get nervous, I talk far too much, but she seems to be smiling and she even laughs at my stupid jokes. Maybe she’s just as nervous as me. Maybe she’s just being polite, it’s very hard to tell, but she does seem genuine.

Three cocktails later I had enough courage to pull your stool closer and lean in for a trembling first kiss.
It’s short and oh so sweet. Maybe that was just the strawberry and pineapple but I don’t think so.

At some point you need the loo. It’s a quite long walk down the bar and I couldn’t stop myself from turning to watch you walk away. Your shapely figure accentuated by the clingy material of your LBD.

Oh yes! Fingers crossed.

But you need to head for home, your mum is looking after the kids and she will be picking you up at the station.

I walk you to your platform. Grinning like a Cheshire cat. We stand for the last few minutes before you have to go.

What to do? Hold back or go for it? Stick or twist?

I’m a gentleman. I always have been. Besides I don’t want to push my luck.

So I stick.

But luckily you twist!

That last parting kiss was lingering but was over far too soon. However the look in your eyes as you pulled away told me that you wanted more. I did too and couldn’t wait to see you again.

Of course. That was 11 years ago now. Since then we’ve done so much together. Our families have fused and our lives have merged

But I’ve not been totally accurate with you. When I said that was 11 years ago that we met I actually meant that in 2 weeks time it will be 11 years from that first kiss.

We were married exactly one year from the day that we met and I’m currently writing our 10th anniversary speech
So for now, for the next fortnight. Until that first kiss

I just haven’t met you yet.

X

If Peroni did Mills and Boon!

2- Time Flies – One Step At A Time!

Lovesick, my temperatures high
Just met a girl who believes we can fly
I’m a bull not a bear
I’m a millionaire
Cos when I hold her in my arms
I feel like Fred Astaire.

James – Just Like Fred Astaire

Tempest Fugit or time flies as my old Latin teacher used to say.

Well it does if you waste it or don’t pay attention.

Sometimes not paying attention is exactly what you want to do.

I confess, I’m a professional .. allegedly .. but I hate work, particularly boring meetings where everyone else wants to get their tuppence worth in and I know the solution, but I don’t really give a shit.

So I gaze out the window, trying not to get caught staring into the distance and half listening in case someone actually asks me a question. This is so far below me, but I don’t care .. knowledge is power and I’m only here for the money.

What was I saying?

Yeah .. Tempest Fugit .. Well it does when you’re having fun.

And since we met, boy have we been having fun .. that first date in Champagne Central was only the start of things. A mere taste, a morsel of what was to come.

I haven’t danced so much, laughed so much or lets be honest snogged so much in such a long long time.

It’s such a change from my previous relationship. The price you pay for being in a loveless relationship is that it kills you from the inside out .. first you feel it inside, the passion leaving, but you care, you hope that it will come back, but it eats away at you, it causes a burning resentment but still you care so you go along with it becaue it’s not all about you and there are other people to be considered.

So you keep up the external charade because it’s the right thing to do. But you can’t, because you’re kidding yourself and in the end you’re fooling nobody.

But I digress.

So back to the fun, that second date, meeting in Central Station again only much more casual this time,

Jeans and a sparkly top.

Her not me!!

Are you kidding?

It was Thursday again, so Talk and Tapas. Was that first date just an illusion? Had we deluded ourselves in that hazy cocktail mist?

So we sat and we talked, not too serious talk. We made plans for a possible future of the next few weeks, nothing major, nothing serious, we’d both had enough serious and had went though all that personal detail in our pre-meeting emails.

Should I tell you her name? Does it matter?

Not really. So I won’t.

So we ate our Tapas drinking our Rioja holding hands and laughing like a couple of 40 year old teenagers. We even took a few pictures on our phones for the memory.

Just looking at her makes me throb somewhere inside, a deep bass note hitting me hard in the chest and I can feel myself stiffen against the material of my jeans.

I know that she’s vulnerable, that she’s been hurt and put through the mill,

She’s been hurt much more than me. I just had a bitter divorce and was financially raped.

But it’s only money. It’s the root of all evil and no-one can buy your soul. I appease myself.

But there’s a tear there now, this is really personal for her. She’s telling me much more than I expected to hear.

On the other few dates I’d had, this would have been too much information, but somehow it only makes me want to comfort her, protect her. Wrap my arms around her and make it all go away. At one point there was a small shine in her eyes and I knew she was trying hard to blink it away.

Life really is hard sometimes.

But we’d agreed, we both wanted to look to the future, so we’ll start small, a few dates, agreed on exclusivity, no compartmentalisation. You have to make an effort to make it work. You have to show some commitment.

That was 3 weeks ago, since then we’ve danced and we’ve laughed, been to a few gigs, even managed a hillwalk to the top of a pointy mountain at the rear end of the Trossachs. She looked at it from the Dukes Pass and said “I’ll never make it up there”.

But she did make it and she will make it.

One step at a time.

3- Watch the world come alive tonight.

Today this could be, the greatest day of our lives
Before it all ends, before we run out of time
Stay close to me,
Stay close to me
Watch the world come alive tonight
Stay close to me.

Take That – Greatest Day
She’s gone!

It’s 8am and I’ve just woke up with the space empty beside me.

I’d rolled over for a cuddle and stretched my arm out to hold her but all that was left was the warmth where she had been not so long ago.

The night before was special, in fact the full previous day that we spent together that was fantastic. A combination of freshness, uncertainty and that deep physical longing where you know that you want each other but you’re not sure that it will actually happen this time.

We’d had a few dates now, more than a few, this was our seventh date. That’s pretty long in this day and age of disposable relationships.

Fortunately neither of us are like that, we only want to meet the one special person and she wanted to be sure before she crossed that line. I was already sure and certain enough to respect her wishes.

That first date almost a month ago with cocktails at Grand Central was magical, followed by a few dinner dates and a couple of small gigs, dancing and laughing and just enjoying the company of someone we actually like.

Today was different though, we’d both taken the Friday off work and had planned to go to on a small hillwalk. She’d came to mine to drop her change of clothes for later. She came in for a tea and a look round, she liked the house, the colour schemes in the lounge and the master bedroom, the rest of the house was neutral with accessories and paintings to add some colour. Watching those design shows had proved their point.

I think that she was even more impressed as I had already prepared dinner for later and it was just starting to simmer in the slow cooker and would bubble away at a low heat while we puffed our way up to the top of Ben A’An in the Trossachs.

I could see her in the corner of my eye ad she stood there in the kitchen, leaning with her back against the units. Dressed in her walking gear, a tight fleece and leggings which hugged her figure. Sipping her tea and watching me give the mix a last stir and wash my hands.

She’s looking at me, a sultry smouldering look. A question in her eyes.

I’m looking back thinking, now?

We both knew what was coming. It was more a matter of when rather than if.

We stepped towards each other, still uncertain, another step and we were together, kissing hard and passionately as we pulled each other closer.

Then pulling back, looking at each other, straight in the eyes is this it?

Kissing again, harder as the passion between us increases. My right hand pulling at the zip of her fleece and slipping inside to caress her left breast as she pulls me towards her.

She’s moaning softly as my hand cups her breast and my fingers squeeze her nipple, feeling it harden with my touch. Her fleece dropping to the floor as I push it off her shoulders, no doubts now that this is happening.

Those initial caresses, hard and passionate, breathless and full on. I had waited for this moment for so long, I knew she would take time, but now we were almost there I didn’t want to rush it.

No desperately rushed fumble on the kitchen floor, not this time, not for our first time.

I wanted to make it special for her.

So I slowed, my kisses becoming gentler and my hand moving from her breast to the arch of her back. She noticed and stopped, she’s looking at me and I can tell that she is thinking “What now and why did you stop?”

No words are spoken, I lead her by the hand to the bedroom, pulling her towards the stairs and kissing half way there, kissing again at the top of the stairs, kissing again as I lead her to the bed and sit her on the edge. Standing above her, stripping my fleece and my tee shirt in one swift move.

Then we’re on the bed, hands all over each other, but not where they really want to be, not yet, no rush, it will happen.

It did happen, an endless hour of passion, intimate kissing and a final rush, now cuddling and holding each other. Chatting and giggling and then enjoying the silence between us both lost in our own thoughts.

This was her first time that she had been intimate with anyone in a few years, her husband was taken from her in most horrible fashion, a long dehabilitating illness where his body’s own defence mechanisms had turned against him.

It must have been awful for her, horrible for her three young sons,

The rest of the day was fabulous, kissing and laughing as we made it up to the top of that hill. She had worried about it being too difficult. But I’d been there many times before and I knew that she could do it. I had complete confidence in her.

Soon we were back home for dinner and making love in the shower before we went out.

I would swear in a court of law that watching her get dressed was almost as sexy as watching her get naked, sexier in some strange way, like the anticipation of a Christmas gift that you knew you’d open and enjoy later.

After dinner we took the train into town, back to Grand Central, well we had too really!

A few cocktails and laughing at the memories of that first date. Then dancing in some nightclub which I had always thought of as a bit of a sleazy pick up joint, but that doesn’t seem to matter when you don’t have eyes for anyone else.

A few hours later we are home, happy and full of lust and longing. Giggling in the taxi and whispering what we want to do to each other. Making it happen the moment we come in the door, clothes strewn as we kiss and tumble up the stairs.

But now it’s 8am and I’ve just woke up with the space warm but empty beside me and I wonder where she’s gone??

A Thought – Sometimes It’s Hard To Be A Woman!

I hope that you are enjoying reading my gibberings as much as I’ve enjoyed writing .

You will notice that its at part 5 and we’ve went from first date to first time naked.

I made this up as I went along. Completely off the top of my head, usually on the train in to work or when I’m a bit bored in the office.

I’ve been thinking where to take the story next? It’s not easy you know!

It is difficult to keep things interesting, but stay tasteful.( mostly!)

An idea occurred to me, I’m going to continue with the same story but with some parts told from the female point of view.

Can I do that?

Could any guy write as a woman?

I’ve no idea, I’m not going to tell you that I completely understand what it is to be a woman, because I don’t, I can’t experience the life events that you have, your monthly hormone cycle, the changes over your life from puberty to menopause.

As for childbirth – I wouldn’t even insult you by trying!!

Only a woman can know how that feels. guys can’t possibly imagine.

I’ve been there 3 times and proud to say that I was at the business end at the birth of each of my kids and cut the cord on all 3 occasions.

My ex-wife Alison and I .. well we’ve had our ups and downs, but we’re well past that, truth is, she’s the mother of my children and that demands respect and a special place in my life, even if we barely spend time together these days.

There are big days, Days to be shared, my son and daughters 21st birthday parties, my sons recent graduation were you still do things together .. put the past behind you and rise above it.

A daft wee example of this.. At Glasgow University recently when my son graduated and we had the official photos taken, Alison held back, thinking she wasn’t to be part of my photographs with my son … but I ask you, how could a mother be left on the sidelines?

That would be just plain wrong.

Something’s are more important than anything else and these are lifetime experiences which should be shared with the people who made them.
I’m a very proud dad. Can you tell?

But being there at those moments of childbirth and life, having loved and lived with 2 beautiful women, having experienced the love they gave, their gentleness and kindness, having held them, comforted them and supported them or suffered their occasional mood swings, PMT or just plain bitchiness. It’s still only an insight into how a woman works.

In guys terms it’s the difference between seeing an F1 car, feeling its raw power, its balance and beauty.

You can experience the end result and still not know how one works.

So bear with me, I have done some research, both my personal real-life research and reading from other authors.

See the example website below. These are thoughts from other authors mainly female on how a guy can or should write as a woman.

All the best to you and thanks for reading, feel free to share with anyone you think will enjoy and maybe have a laugh at my attempts.

Mx

http://author-quest.blogspot.co.uk/p/david-farlands-daily-kick-in.html

6 – Just Have A Little Patience!

Just have a little patience
I’m still hurting from a love I lost
I’m feeling your frustration
Any minute all the pain will stop

Take That – Patience

“So how was your big day out?”

Lynn smiled as she asked, there was nothing blatantly obvious in that question. But I knew what she wanted to know.

“I had a really good day thanks.” Just enough to let her know that I’d had fun and enough to leave her guessing about the rest.

I wasn’t going to tell her what she wanted in front of all these other football mums, watching the boys playing seven-a-side on the schools Astroturf pitches, certainly not with Annette within earshot. But too late as Annette had just came over to pick up one of the mugs of tea I was making.

“Oh, were you doing something special yesterday? What were you up to?” Annette, always direct, there was never anything subtle about her.

Lynn, Annette and I have been friends since our kids started at school together. The friendship has grown from conversations at the school gates to the odd glass of wine at each others house, organising things for the kids to weekends away together, letting the men experience what its like for a couple of days, going to nice hotels, getting dressed up and letting our hair down.

Lynn is my best friend. We have similar attitudes to life, similar careers and we enjoy the same things. Shopping in Glasgow or Edinburgh and our days out without the kids. Usually finishing with Cocktails at Harvey Nichols or Corinthian and giggling as we stagger barefoot for the last train home. It wouldn’t be the first time that either of us had fell over as we’d ran across George Square rushing for the train.

She’s been there for me in times of need, when Andy and I had had our ups and downs or when his illness went from bad to worse. She’d been fantastic then, in those dark days, looking after the boys and making sure I ate even when I didn’t feel like it. It’s at times like those that you really know who your friends are. My other best friend of the time, Fiona, she enjoyed our days out together, but when Andy took ill she was nowhere to be seen. Her loss and the friendship has never been the same since then.

Lynn knows everything about me, good and bad. There are no secrets, well not many. She’s a bit of a prude really, having been with the Alan, the dullest man on the planet, since she was 18 and will talk about everything, but gets really embarrassed when it comes to sex. Although it has never stopped her wanting to know all the details.

Annette on the other hand, she’s a rough diamond, a wee bit of a soul. She never has enough money as her partner Simon doesn’t work but she always seems to manage and would give you her last penny if you needed it. I’m not absolutely certain that I could honestly say the same for Lynn.

That’s not fair, Lynn is very materialistic, but she’s been there in my times of crisis to lend her support, most likely with a bottle of wine and a box of Kleenex.

It’s typical of Annette to want know about yesterday, she’s the local gossip, you daren’t tell her anything or it ends up on Facebook.

“Were you out with your new man?”

There it is, straight to the point and nosey as always. Thanks Lynn, if I’d wanted Annette to know then I’d have told her.

“Yes, we were out all day, a walk during the day and out in Glasgow last night.”

“Lucky you, did you go anywhere nice for dinner?”

Why can I suddenly feel a slight flush on my face?

“We had dinner at his, before we went out”

“Did he make something nice ..” Then the penny dropped “You were at his? … tell me more? … did you stay over?”

“No, I came home as I had to be here for Max and it was my turn to bring the teas”, I lied hoping that my blush didn’t give it away.

“Oh well I hope you enjoyed yourself” she smiled as she picked up her mug and went back to talking to Claire.

Lynn’s smiling at me now “You did stay!!” she whispered “Tell me all!”

“Yes I did, but I’m not telling you anything here. Are you still coming around later?”

“I definitely am now!” she laughed!

The game finished, a 2-2 draw, Max had played well and had a couple of assists, but wasn’t happy with himself because he hadn’t scored a goal.

He had a habit of judging himself only by the goals scored and not his overall contribution. Do all men think that way? Is it something they are programmed with?

I thought back to yesterday, I’d had a lovely day, he’d made it really special for me, small and subtle things, knowing the sandwiches I liked on our walk, a half bottle of bubbly in his rucksack, I knew he was on best behaviour and trying to impress. He didn’t really need to do all these things, but I’m glad he did, it made it easier for me to relax.

I’d had a few sleepless nights leading up to yesterday, it wasn’t exactly one of those now or never decisions, More that we’d reached a point where if it was going to happen it would happen now or it would never happen and we’d become friends and the relationship would fade before it had really begun.

I’d been thinking about him constantly over the past few weeks, sometimes when I should been working, or on those nights alone in bed when I couldn’t sleep. Occasionally touching myself thinking about him and those few hot snogs that we’d had in the car and feeling guilty for it at the same time.

This was different for me; I hadn’t actually slept with anyone since Andy passed away, a couple of snogs and one drunken fumble with some lying cheating bastard who turned out to be married.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that I am an attractive woman. I know when I’m dancing that men are watching me. I’ve had lots of offers. Not all wanted and not all expected. One friends husband making a drunken pass at me, telling me that he had always fancied me and didn’t like to see an attractive girl going to waste.

“Going to Waste??!! … You mean .. Like your wife?” I’d asked him.

But yesterday was in a different category altogether. I’d had my sleepless nights, wondering if I was doing the right thing. But I knew the time was right and I’d already decided that we would make love. I wasn’t sure when it would happen; I just knew that if he didn’t make a move then I would make it for him. I had to cross that bridge sooner or later and I’d rather it was with someone who made the effort to get to know me and even cared for me than someone I had just met in a club.

It wasn’t as if we hadn’t spoke about sex. Our late night phone calls had become more intimate, not least the one from my weekend in Iceland with the girls were we’d been out clubbing to God knows when, I’d had a few offers that weekend. Reykjavik really is a party town and no-one goes out before midnight. I could have been like Susan and went back to the hotel with Fillip that gorgeous Norwegian and his friend.

We hadn’t even met yet, we’d spoke and emailed for a few weeks and only just arranged the first date in Champagne Central, At this point, I know that I didn’t owe him anything, we haven’t actually met, no promises were being broken.
So why did I find myself drunkenly texting him to say that “I am a very sensual woman and tired of refusing offers and if he wanted me, to call me now”

I knew that he was a night-bird but I was absolutely amazed when he called me within a few minutes of sending my text. It was 5am in the UK and I spent the next two hours on the phone back to Glasgow. An expensive call, but I’m glad we chatted.

If I’m being completely honest with myself, I’m not sure that I would have held out for the rest of the weekend with Fillip around and Susan enjoying the attention from the Norwegians and her well meaning encouragement.

Possibly it was because the previous weekend that I’d been out in Glasgow with another friend, I’d met some guy in a club, he was attractive and very interested, so we spoke for a couple of hours and we had a short snog while I waited on my taxi. But when I called him the number he gave me was unobtainable. I expect that it was another married man having fun or on a boy’s weekend.

With these previous events in mind I’ve gave up trusting guys that I meet in pubs or clubs. I’ve made sure that this is different to anything that happened before, I’ve been taking it slow and building up trust. So far we’ve had 7 dates and we’ve been in constant contact. I call him every evening and we often speak until the early hours.

Yesterday, I have to admit that I was very nervous but also very excited. I was in a real fluster as I was getting the boys up and off to school, then showering and pampering myself a little with body lotion and perfume.

For a hillwalk?

I wasn’t even fooling myself.

I’d even had a spray tan and bought new underwear for the occasion, wearing them under my walking clothes; I’d be disappointed if he didn’t make some sort of move either before or after we went walking. If he doesn’t then I’ve decided that I will.

When I arrived at his, he was making dinner, chicken and chorizo in the slow-cooker,. I could smell the chorizo the moment the door was opened. He smiled and we kissed, a friendly kiss, only slightly lingering, but I could tell that the thought was there.

His place was bigger than I expected and very tastefully decorated, I knew that he’d lived there with his ex, she obviously had good taste. It felt strange to be in someone else’s house, but at least there were no pictures on the wall or any remnants of his previous relationship.

He takes my bag and helps me inside, another kiss and then he takes me upstairs, to the spare bedroom to hang up my dress. I suppose that he’s trying to be a gentleman, not being presumptive, I appreciate that, but lets not delude ourselves. I’ve already made up my mind that this is happening unless he does something really stupid and unforgivable.

I’m giving him a clear run to the finish line. I just hope he doesn’t stumble at the last hurdle.

Back in the kitchen, he’s making tea, stirring the dinner and talking about our walk, how long it will take to get there, how long it will take to get to the top.

He’s not the best looking guy I’ve ever known, but there’s something about him, a confidence and ruggedness, he looks strong and manly, not the macho type, I know he has a soft heart, particularly where his kids are concerned, but he’s tough on the outside and very protective.

Then he stops talking and he’s looking at me from the corner of his eye, he stops stirring the food and turns to face me. I can feel myself melt inside , I’m tingling and needing to be touched, I want him now, I want to feel his arms around me and my lips on his.

Nothing is said as we step towards each other, kissing hard and passionately, his hand sliding inside my fleece and squeezing my breast, kissing me hard on the mouth as he pushes the fleece to the floor and slips the straps of my top and bra down my left arm.

That long wait is almost over.

We all need patience, time and most importantly trust to move on from lost love.

7- Titanium.

I’m criticized but all your bullets ricochet
You shoot me down, but I get up
I’m bullet-proof, nothing to lose
Fire away, fire away

You shoot me down but I won’t fall
I am titanium

David Guetta – Titanium

Saturdays were usually days running around with kids. Max’s football, Jamie’s swimming and David’s guitar lessons. Occasionally I’d share the taxi service with other mums but most of the time we were pushed for time ourselves.

Picking up and dropping off and the younger two complaining about waiting in the car and not being allowed to stay at home like David, while he learned the latest riff from The Vaccines or some other Indie band. They’d got used to bringing their DS’s along but you’d think it was my fault if they’d forgot to charge them.

David my eldest likes to think he’s man of the house. He does try, going round the house at night and making sure the doors and windows are locked. He even does the bins without asking, the things his dad did, not much really. He wouldn’t think of making a dinner or putting a washing on. Hopefully he’ll learn.

I know he misses his dad and puts him on a pedestal but I wonder if he remembers about the darker times when his dad lost his temper usually when he was drunk and his bitterness and resentment came to the surface. I know that David saw Andy hit me on at least one occasion. it was the time that my mum who was baby sitting called the police as he’d dragged me through the house by the hair all because some guy had spoke to me while he was at the bar.

The irony in this being that it was Andy who’d actually had an affair, Some barmaid from his club, blonde hair, big boobs and a backside to match. He swore it was meaningless, just attention and sex and that he never stopped loving me. But I’m sure that he would have felt differently if I’d been lying through my teeth just to get the odd night of fun away from home.

Most of the time he was a good dad and a kind and considerate partner, but his insecurities showed through when he was drinking heavily and it wasn’t the first time he’d started an argument just because some guy looked at me.

He even managed to get himself thrown out of his favourite ACDC concert at Hampden. Leaving me and the kids inside just because a guy with his wife and kids across the aisle gave me the occasional glance.

I would never have cheated on him, I loved him so much and would never have even thought about having any type of relationship with another man but isn’t it funny how the sinner always seems to judge you by their standards?

Of course, in a small town like ours, were there’s only one school and people still treat incomers like us as outsiders, people talk and that talk doesn’t take long before it comes home. Particularly with “friends” like Annette who’d never lived or worked anywhere else and her idea of exotic was her annual week in Benidorm.

When she told me that Andy was possibly up to no good and that tongues were wagging at the school and with the ladies from the golf club. I had no doubts that hers was probably wagging more than the rest. With friends like her ..

On the other hand, I wasn’t naïve enough to think that there wasn’t some basis of truth in the rumours even if there was nothing actually going on. But then I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to confront him right away or bite my tongue and look for the tell-tale signs.

I waited. It didn’t take long before I noticed the small things, going out to fill the car up with petrol the night before to saving him going in the morning and it taking 20 minutes rather than 10. I even checked one morning afterwards and there was no fuel in the car.
It was a combination of those obvious lies and his mobile phone now being mysteriously locked. I even remembered the couple of nights were he came home later than usual and I wondered if he’d really just not been able to get a taxi.

I hated myself for being so paranoid, for sneaking around checking up on him like some scorned school-girl. But putting it altogether, it was too much just to let it go and I kicked myself for not noticing the signs sooner. They say that the wife never notices until it’s too late, that sometimes she doesn’t want to notice or turns a blind-eye to it for the greater good knowing that it’s only temporary and won’t affect them.

But that’s not the way I work. The little things were starting to add up and I couldn’t keep it to myself any longer. That night after the boys were in bed I confronted him.

Initially he denied everything.

He stuck out his chin, locked his eyes on mine and set his face to show his determination and lied through his teeth. Brazen faced lies, determined to tough it out.

As if I didn’t recognise his mannerisms after all these years. I’d saw this face before in other situations where I knew he had lied. He was fooling nobody, not this time. This time I wasn’t letting it go and taking the easy path to keep the peace.

I asked him to show me his phone and he refused, accusing me of being paranoid. He even attempted to throw counter accusations about me, even although he had no reason to doubt me. It wasn’t me that was fucking about, I had nothing to hide.

I told him that if he nothing to hide then I was going to speak to the barmaid and lets see what she had to say for herself. That did it, his face went ashen and he went from standing strong, toughing it out to sitting on the edge of the bed, his head in his hands.

When he looked up at me, there were tears in his eyes and he asked me what I wanted to know. Everything, I wanted it all, every gory sordid detail. I wanted no secrets, this was life changing and I wanted to know even although it hurt.

Over the next 10 minutes he confessed all, well probably all that he felt he could tell, enough to pacify me but not all the details, sobbing and crying the whole time and promising that it meant nothing.

But it was enough for me, I asked him to sleep in the spare room. We kept up the pretence for a few weeks and I told him to move out to his dads as I couldn’t stand the sight of him or bear listening to his grovelling and over-friendliness any longer.

All that being ”nice” was making me sick and the last thing I wanted was flowers and promises.

There were 18 months between the incident where the police where called and he was charged with assault and discovering the affair and its implications. Over that period, I had spoken to Lynn about leaving him on various occasions. Both of us in tears, I told her everything, absolutely everything. It’s so important to have good strong friends who know how important it is to keep your secrets safe. She even told me her doubts about Alan and a girl from his office.

But she was the voice of reason, telling me that Andy loved me and that he’d learned his lesson, but I wasn’t so sure. I felt in my heart that I was doing the right thing, punishing him, I couldn’t stand the sight of him and the thought of him coming anywhere near me made me feel physically sick.

He spent the next two months at his dads, sleeping in the spare room, calling me, every night to check on the kids. On the face of it, this was to ask about the kids but also to show me that he was at his dads. He knew I’d check the number he called from.

I could read him like a book. But that’s a two-way street, I’m sure he’d know that I’d check. Of course he did.

Every evening he would call to say good-night to the kids, telling them how much he missed them. Even although he still came for dinner most days. Then he’d stay on the phone telling me he loved me and pleading and begging me to let him come home.

He even wrote me a few letters, all the same predictable flannel. Stories about the night we met, the first time we made love and the times we had before I got pregnant and we moved in together.

He had never written to me before. It was emotional blackmail and I knew it. He was playing with my emotions, trying to manipulate me. He was playing the good dad and even had the kids asking when he could come home.

They say that time heals. But it doesn’t.

You just learn to live with the wounds.

You learn to put them in a box and not to think about them, or at least try not to think about them too much. But you can’t help it.

Late at night in bed alone, the demons come. Those fragments of truth that you demanded and he told you now come back to haunt you. You have images of them fucking in his car or at her poxy little council flat. Slobbering over her big fat tits and telling her all the lies she ever wanted to hear.

Bastard!

You lie there in the darkness, agonising and tormenting yourself because it’s not all about you. Even although the images hurt, it’s certainly not about some stolen kisses and a few quick fucks with some barmaid that you genuinely believe meant nothing.

So you delude yourself. You convince yourself that it was meaningless and that he never stopped loving you. You have to believe that or there is no future.

You tell yourself that like it or not, we are a family and there are three young kids to be considered. You weigh up the pros and cons and convince yourself that you are thinking about the bigger picture and doing the right thing.

So after more telephone calls, more reassurances, we met on neutral territory for some serious face-to-face chats. He promised that he hadn’t seen her and that it was well and truly over.

I let him convince me, with hindsight, I know that I wanted him to convince me. I wanted my life back to normal again. So I relented and agreed that he could come home as long as we took things slowly and built trust and he could forget about sex until I felt ready.

He swore that it would never happen again. He even showed me that his phone was unlocked. He was home early every evening and stopped disappearing at night.

For the first few months everything seemed to be on track.

We were back to being a family. We booked a holiday and treated the kids to a few nights out at the movies and ten-pin bowling. We did more together, cementing those ties that we had almost lost.

But that only lasted for a few months until the boys told me that he’d met her and her kids at the local swing park. Not just once but on a couple of occasions since he’d moved back home.

They even told me that he’d asked them not to tell me. That did it for me as trust was gone and I couldn’t live with the feeling of deceit and I knew I had to get out of the relationship.

But that was before events overtook us and his health started to deteriorate.

If it hadn’t been for Andy taking suddenly ill and feeling duty bound to be there for him through the testing, the treatments and the major surgery which turned out to be futile then I’m sure that we would have been well and truly divorced by now.

Instead, we spent the August to January going through treatments and chemo, paying for private consultations to get ahead in the queue. Then the surgery where they removed his lymph nodes and the majority of his oesophagus, stretching his stomach through his gullet to form a replacement.

They told us that he’d be on constant medication to counteract the effects of the normal digestive acids and that he would never be able to play rugby or go running again. But we took that in our stride, anything was better than nothing and all that mattered now was staying alive and being a family for the boys.

My work were fantastic, I could take as much time off on full pay as necessary and I nursed him myself until the February, until the follow-up tests told us that there was nothing they could do and he had a month at most.

Earth shattering as it was, it was hard to believe this news as apart from the after effects of the operation. He seemed to be functioning normally, even going out in the garden for a short kick-about with the boys.

But the doctors were right, by the beginning of March he had lost so much weight that his rib-cage was visible and his skin had turned yellow and jaundiced. He was visibly fading away and became bed-bound as his system fell apart.

The hospital staff were incredibly helpful and organised palliative care with Macmillan Cancer Support, whose nurses were fantastic and they became part of the family for those final few weeks of love and tears.

By the middle of the March he was gone, a house full of family and friends and the three boys and I in bed beside him.

He was gone and my life would never be the same.

To his eternal credit, his joy of life shone through his illness. Even on his death-bed, between the sleepiness of the morphine and the clarity of the ticking clock, he had insisted that life must go on. That it was too precious to waste.

Isn’t it strange how being so close to death makes living all that more important?

On those tear-filled nights that we had spent alone. The boys tucked up in bed. Lying beside him chatting until the early hours, knowing that the end was near, he had made me promise that I would force myself to get out there and make a life for myself.

Even although it seemed like the last thing on our minds, he wanted me to have a life without him. It has been difficult to accept that, my heart was so full of sadness.

For those first few years my life had revolved around the boys, making sure that they were okay, settled, helping them get over the loss of their dad. I was trying to be both mum and dad, doing all the things he done and maintaining a stable family home.

I had grieved for him. I missed him.

Those things that once seemed so important now seem stupid, even petty in their naivety. Even if it was traumatic at the time, the affair didn’t really matter, not in the big scheme of things. I know deep inside that he really loved me when it mattered most.

I miss the man that I loved. I miss his humour and sense of fun. But as we had agreed life must go on even if it means you have to force yourself.

But it takes time and patience to put your toe in the water not knowing whether you can, uncertain if you’ll turn and run at the first opportunity or whether you will be hurt.

But I’ve been hurt more than most would imagine. There’s not much anyone can do to me to make me feel hurt more than I have been, I’ve done more than my fair share of crying, it’s time to live a little.

It’s funny to think that back then I never thought I would meet anyone else. I never thought I would be interested. Okay its early days and there is no serious emotional commitment. But I never thought that I’d feel as excited as I do.

It’s true what they say, what doesn’t kill you make you stronger.

————————————————————–

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed the extracts above.

As I format this for the blog reading the various parts at he end I have a huge tear in my eye.

2 thoughts on “For Lovers?

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