As he opened the door, it was dark, just as dark the evening he left and locked the door behind himself, and perhaps locking the door on his life too. But, now he had come back, for a brief look he told himself, the truth was he knew this time it would be hard to leave here again.
He felt with his right hand for the light switch, found it, and switched it on. He stood there for a few moments then walked to the table at the side where he always left his keys every time he had come home, he switched on the lamp on the table, it shone light across the room, enough light for him, he walked back to the wall and turned the switch back up and off the main light went.
Now he stood there and remembered, remembered all. He could smell her perfume it was in the air the same perfume she always wore, she loved it so and he never minded buying it for her, he always asked the assistant in the departmental store perfume counter for the same perfume “Acqua Di Parma Peony”, it was expensive but he loved her so and God she always smelled so good so very good.
Here he stood in this room after all this time and he could still smell her perfume, he could see her as she would walk through from the bedroom smiling “darling” she would say with her arms out to him, and look “damn it look what happened” he found himself saying out loud.
He walked around the room, nothing had changed, “she left it just as it was the last time” he said to himself. The sofa, with the same cushions he had bought her in Paris, that little shop on their morning walks along the Seine, she saw the cushions and fell in love with them, he felt his eyes filling with tears as he recalled their Honeymoon in Paris they were both so much in love, she was younger than him and on that Honeymoon she was like a little girl, but she loved him “God how she loved me” he thought as he closed his eyes tight and remembered.
Suddenly there was a ring at the front door “buzz, buzz” it went, he stopped for a minute “HER” he thought, but how could it be. He drew a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped is eyes, carefully putting the handkerchief back in his pocket, he answered the door, Philip stood there, he hesitated for a second. “James, I wondered if it might be you, I couldn’t think of anyone else, I had to knock thinking it was you, how are you James, sorry that is a stupid question to ask, one gets stuck for the right things to say” said Philip, “hello Philip” said James as he held his hand out to shake Philip’s.
“Come in Philip, please come in”, said James, Philip walked in “you don’t mind me calling do you, I just felt it was the right thing to do” asked Philip, “no thats fine, I don’t mind. I only got here myself a short while ago, I just wanted to see it all for the last time”, answered James, “so its true, I heard that you might sell up but you know these rumours don’t you, of course you do, sorry have I said too much”, said a worried Philip. “No thats fine Philip it would all get out anyway, I thought about coming back moving back in being here, being surrounded by, by Alice, but I wasn’t sure not really sure how it would work out, not until now right now when I walked in, put the light on, still smelling her favourite perfume and I realized, no I couldn’t come back”, said James, “sorry I should have offered you a drink, I was going to have one, will you join me like in the old times” said James, Philip at first looked at him worried and then smiled and said “yes, the old days, they were good weren’t they” said Philip, “indeed, whiskey Philip, water” asked James sounding wistful when he said “indeed” thought Philip, “no water James, you forgot, I take it like you” said Philip, “of course you did and the girls and their Pink Champagne and white wines remember” asked James, “I remember” said Philip.
CHAPTER TWO “And how is Suzie”
“suzie, how is Suzie I should have asked, she didn’t want to come in, would you care to get her” asked James suddenly remembered Suzie, how could he forget. “Suzie was not feeling too well, asked to be remembered to you” said a coy Philip, “don’t worry Philip I understand I know how much she loved Alice, I fully understand” said James as they both sat down on the couch, James moving one of the cushions from behind his back.
“Suzie always loved these cushions she made me promise if we ever made it to Paris to buy her some” said Philip, and James suddenly remembered the evening that Philip and Suzie came in for drinks and Suzie saw the cushions for the first time, she just wanted some like them and Alice just stood there smiling saying how I bought them in this little shop by the Seine, Alice, my Alice thought James to himself. “Did you ever make it to Paris” asked James “no not yet James, but one day Suzie still mentions it, you know she always has her way” said a nodding Philip and James thought of Suzie and the first time he met her when she came for drinks, Philip introduced her and the first thing you saw were these bosoms, these larger tits remembered James, and after when he and Alice were alone and Alice got tearful saying “I saw you looking at Suzie’s breasts”, as he hugged his wife “oh Alice don’t cry of course I looked at them I’m a man its what we do and honey who could avoid them they are H u g e” he has said, he recalled Alice with tears running down her face saying “look at mine, compared to her, mine are so small don’t tell me you would not want those James”, he remembered he kissed his wife and told her as he fondled her breasts “these are what I want, right now, in bed, in the morning, after breakfast at any time, these are the sweetest , I wouldn’t want those tits far too big for my mouth besides” James said, Alice laughed he remembered and hugged him, “as long as you are sure” she said “I’m sure” he answered. James was so far away in his mind thinking of Alice, “James, James you ok” asked Philip. “sorry, yes I’m ok, just memories Philip” answered James, “I understand, I should go leave you to whatever you were doing before I knocked”” answered Philip.
“OK Phil thanks, I haven’t come to sort it, I came for a look, not even a last look as I thought, my Brother you know Chris don’t you, he was going to pack everything up and then, later I would go through it, but I think I need to be here to pack everything up, maybe with Chris. Sort it out I know Alice’s Mother and Father would like certain things” said James. “How are they, do you mind me asking” enquired Philip. “No of course not, I have only seen them the once since………….he hesitated, I phoned them a few times, still anger there which I expected and I don’t blame them, Alice was so precious” said James, “Alice, sweet sweet Alice” said Philip with tears in his eyes, James looked at him slapped him on the shoulder and hugged him, then both men hugged each other, “I am glad you came in Philip I mean that said James, “I miss you they were good times, take care James, call sometimes won’t you we both would love to see you” said Philip, “perhaps you and I for a while until Suzie gets to like me again if ever” said James, “she will pal, give it time, be seeing you” and Philip departed leaving James to remember.
James quickly looked into the other rooms, but the room he had been putting off, was the room he so wanted to see. As he walked along the corridor there right at the end facing him, the double doors, he opened them fully and there was her bedroom, their bedroom. As he walked across the full length of this large bedroom he came to the Verandah. The cream blinds on the Verandah doors were pulled all the way down, he let them ride to the top, the doors were shut, he opened them fully to let the warm Spring air fill the room, but even here her perfume permeated the room. He placed his hands on the Verandah rails and looked across to the view, the view she first fell in love with, he brought her here prior to Marriage, he blindfolded her and took her hands and led her into the Apartment, straight to this room and he opened these doors as he just did now, she called to him “it smells wonderful so fresh” he led her onto the verandah and took the blindfold off, she was ecstatic and flung her arms around him holding him tight “Jimmy Jimmy” she called as she looked out across the Bay, he held her close his arms around her waist kissing her neck she turned and he cupped her face in his hands “Alice, Alice you know I love you more than life” he said “I Know and you are my life Jimmy always be here for me darling always be here” she said “I’ll never be anywhere else” he had said as he picked her up laid her on their Kingsize unmade bed, “Jimmy please love me” she pleaded with those big eyes “Alice we said we would wait, its only another week baby are you sure” he asked of her “don’t you want me Jimmy I want you, feel me I know you’re the first man I have ever loved and the last, but feel me how much I want you”, said Alice as she took his hand and placed it inside her panties and he could feel, God she felt so good so sweet so perfect”. There one week before they married they made love, love that Alice only dreamt about but not even this , she just wanted Jimmy to make love to her again and not go home.
As James stood there on the verandah he felt the aching the longing inside of him for his Alice, the pain in his heart, his loins right now, as he turned and looked again at the bed he wept, he wept so hard nothing like he had done, he had bottled it up, James stood there then found himself sitting on the edge of their King Size bed, sobbing and sobbing, it seemed for hours. The Sun was going down and soon it would be dark, the Bay would be lit up, how Alice loved to stand at the doors the wide open doors in her negligee “Alice people can probably see you baby, I can see right through that negligee” said James and all Alice would do was laugh, thrown her head back and swing her hair, later as she got less and less embarrassed about herself, she could be so shy but not with him, not now. She would stand there her back straight and lift the negligee over her head “now they can see better Jimmy, you better come and cover me” laugh just laughing, he recalled he would run to her put his arms around her feeling her breasts her firm nipples “you cold sweetie” he would say “no not the way you hold me” Alice would answer, and James would run his hands all over her his right hand inside her thighs she would squeal and hold his hand and place his fingers inside her “there please Jimmy” she would plead as his left hand would hold her breast her nipples,then down around her back feeling her bottom all over she would reach back, undo his pyjama bottoms and feel him “do you like playing with my balls ” he whispered in her ear licking it. She would turn and they would kiss and he would lift her to bed, the duvet would never be completely on the bed, bed pillows scattered everywhere, James sobbed as he recalled it all.
CHAPTER THREE “What a foolish Bastard”
He could not continue here, it was dark now, he closed the verandah doors pulled the blinds down and stood in the doorway to the bedroom, he did not shut the doors, Alice never liked the doors shut, apart from the doors he could still smell her perfume
As he walked down the corridor “buzz buzz buzz buzz” the door was going, “who the hell now” thought James, wiping his eyes he opened the door and there stood a defiant Frederick, “I heard you were here” he said, “hello Frederick, yes I am here as you can well see, who told you Philip I suppose” asked James, “no actually it was Suzie” said Frederick, “I might have known she hates me so much she wasted little time” said an angry James. “can you blame the girl, after what , what” Frederick stopped he could not find himself complete the sentence “what I did thats what you were going to say was it not its what that spiteful jealous bitch Suzie said no doubt, what I did” said a loud James. Frederick took his coat off threw it over the back of the sofa hitting one of the cushions causing it to fall on the floor as he picked it up, “those damn cushions” said Frederick, “Alice loved them” said James, “my little girl loved them because you bought them, what you did you ask. You selfish selfish bastard” said Frederick, “thanks for reminding me I am a bastard, yes thats true at least as for the rest, I have to live with it Frederick, don’t you think I fucking know that, don’t you know take a look at me what I’ve lost said James holding onto a chair to balance himself.
“What you have lost, what you have lost you discarded, what we have lost is the rest of our lives she was our baby our precious, her mother is besides herself” shouted Frederick. “I take the blame of course I do, for god’s sake Frederick have a Scotch I am, lets calm down if thats possible” said James pouring out two doubles, handing the glass to Frederick, as Frederick took the glass he looked at James ” I know in my heart you loved our baby I can’t fully forgive you I don’t think Margaret ever will, but if you are going through just a quarter of our pain and I know deep down its more, Son I can’t say more, except I’m sorry for calling you a bastard it wasn’t meant”, said Frederick softly, James sat down besides him, “Thanks Freddy thanks” and yet again James broke down but this time he was not alone
Frederick turned sideways and put his right arm around James “Jimmy cry come on cry, I know Margaret accused you of not caring because you did not cry I knew you were bottling it up inside, you cry Son, cry” said a softer Frederick. And, the two men sat there side by side both crying both remember Alice and both loving Alice.
“Won’t you live here Jimmy, I know Alice would have loved that” said Freddy to James “I thought about it, coming back, I’m staying with Chris my brother, of course I can’t stay there forever, its not fair on them they have the two little ones to care for too” said James, “look Son if you want to come back you come back, there is too much of you here I know Alice is here in your mind but in time” said Freddy “you’re her Father how can you say that to me, I cheated on her” said James “Jimmy I have asked you this time and time again, was it just the once, you tell me yes and I believe you but answer me now in here where you both made a home, finally just tell me” pleaded Freddy, “Frederick it was once I promise you on my Mother’s Soul, it was once” said Jimmy.
“Do you think Son, all we men we married men are perfect, if we don’t cheat we think about it, don’t you think I cheated” said Freddy “you Frederick, can’t be true” asked James, “coming from me a bit rich right, I cheated on Margaret she found out, not all the time admittedly but she knew” said Freddy “but you are still together” asked James, “of course” smiled Freddy “Margaret was upset screamed and cried the first few times, then it was just crying, but every time a new necklace or bracelet, or holiday or car helped, Margaret knows but turns the other way. As she has said to me ” don’t let me know, just as long as I have the house the gardens, my jewelry and little surprises, well men will be men” thats how she accepts it said Freddy, “and women can be mercenary too” added Freddy.
“I had no idea” said James “but surely those days are over Freddy, can I ask” asked James, “of course you can, and I’m not dead yet Jimmy” Freddy said winking at him. “But Alice” said James “when it happened, I realized the minute it happened it was the biggest mistake I ever made. Right away I couldn’t forgive myself” said James, “trouble is you had to go with a right bitch, she looks dangerous and is dangerous and couldn’t resist telling my little girl knowing how tender she was” said Freddy.
James said “Philip called in but she wouldn’t come in, I still don’t know if he knows, or prefers not to say, she has never spoken to me since that night, I wouldn’t even stay with her I came home, that was her revenge” said James, “yes and a woman scorned we should all know, the husband knows take my word, he’s too soft on her” said Freddy. “if I could turn that clock back, that bloody stupid thing I did more than that the lives I destroyed” said James “come on, I know Alice was my Daughter we loved her still do and always will she only had to phone me or her Mother, her Mother would have come around as would I straight away, but no she was always impatient” said Freddy.
When I came in that night and saw her on the bed in her negligee I thought she was teasing me, you know what I mean”, said James “I Know what you mean, her mother believe it or not used to be like that when first we married, for us times changed|” smiled Freddy. “I smelled her perfume as soon as I came home as I went to the bedroom her perfume was there and she looked beautiful, I bent down to kiss her and she was cold, not just cold but stone cold, I felt her but she was cold, I called for help and you know the rest Freddy” said James.
“Try staying here James its what Alice would have wanted, you made a mistake Alice never thought through what she was going to do, its happened Jimmy nothing we can do except to accept it and move on, slowly perhaps but we can’t stand still” answered Freddy.
Tonight as I put the lamp on and put my keys on the table I was home, home it felt but how do I live without Alice how do I live with what I have done to her to you and her mother, myself how do I cope, how without my Alice how………………………………………………”
============================================================================I hope you have all had a nice Sunday. When I started the above, it was intended to be a Poem but turned into something else instead, I do hope you will enjoy reading it. Anna
“This Love of Mine” – who else but Mr Sinatra, would be right for this. Enjoy.