Saturday 25 March 2017

A World of our Own

This is a story that has been hanging around in my mind for a little while, but crystallised last night watching Comic Relief. Specifically watching the segment from Billy Connolly
Now I'm just the right age to have watched all this from the beginning. And whereas Lenny Henry and several of the others seem to defy the ageing process, it is as though it has all fallen on Billy's shoulders. I remember him stripping and chasing round Trafalgar square: I remember the energy. And I am watching it in my own parents who are mid seventies and showing the signs of wear and tear. I see friends and acquaintances struggle with providing care daily. 
And then there are the wonderful Historical Hotties from @whoresofyore 
Anyway...this story could be any of them or any of us.

The song is A World of our Own by the Seekers from 1965.

Martha brought the mugs of tea from the kitchen and placed one in front of her husband. He turned from the window and his face lit up as he looked at her, as though she was, in that moment, quite simply the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
He sipped the tea and made a sound of contentment. “I think this is perhaps the most perfect cup of tea I have ever tasted.” he said, and she tried not to roll her eyes. His disposition was mercurial, although that was nothing new, but when his eyes sparkled as though it was the first time he’d seen her that was the line that followed. Just for a few seconds, she allowed herself to play along.
She looked at him as he looked at her, the salt and pepper of his hair receding as soft brown took dominance. Lines that crinkled deeply washed back to light laughter lines. He’d always laughed when they first met and still, even though nothing ran perfectly smooth in a fifty-year marriage, he found time to make her smile, even when he couldn’t do it himself.
“So, handsome. What does a girl get for making the best cup of tea in the world?”
His voice was low and gentle as he began to croon a song from their dating days. “Close the door, light the light, we’re staying home tonight.”
“Cheeky boy, not going to take me dancing first?”
“Ah, sweetheart. We should go dancing. It’s been a long time since I took a girl dancing.”
“Do you remember those nights?”
“I remember many nights. But you make me think of one special night.”
“Tell me about it?”
“Not sure I should, sweetheart. Not suitable for tender young ears like yours.”
She left the tea at table and cuddled in beside him. Her body felt soft and familiar, as though the shape of her and the shape of him had been designed to fit perfectly together. The scent of her hair with a top note of her perfume took him back to the dance halls, clubs and concerts as though youth was only a blink of his eyes away.
“We danced.”
“The most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, all lithe and curvy, softness and kohl black eyes. Touching her, the edge of her girdle firm and then the cushion of her flesh. Wanton. She pushed her hips against my thighs and tension vibrated through her like a guitar string.”
“I wanted everyone to know she was my woman. I could see other men wanted her, the way she was moving against me giving them all sorts of ideas. I pulled her close not wanting them near enough to become intoxicated by the scent of her powder and the stuff in her hair. She kissed me and then we couldn’t stop, waxy lipstick smearing between us in the darkness of the club. God, she was perfect.”
His hands were wandering with his thoughts, and Martha shivered as sure, familiar fingers curved into her waist, and flicked the edge of her knickers. She let him pull her close and just like that night, he made her small and vulnerable. Thumping pulse still filling his body with life and strength. Such a magnificent figure of a man. Always had been. The way the other girls had cast sly looks in her direction as she danced with him, and women had reacted to him throughout his working life but then he’d never seemed to notice, he’d always been so busy. There was always their retirement, they’d joked while the kids were growing, the work responsibilities growing, the bills growing. And now here they were. Their time. Together alone.
“Later that night, when I saw her home, she invited me in for a cup of tea. Think it might have been the best cup of tea ever. We kissed on the sofa of that tiny little flat and she told me her flat mate was out for the evening.”
Martha felt her voice shake, but she picked up the story. “And she led you to her little bedroom just off the living room. Sat you down and kissed some more, mainly because she didn’t really know what happened next. But then neither did you.”
“None of the things I’d ever seen prepared me for a flesh and blood woman. All that tight, underwear that nipped and pulled and succulent little packages of hot flesh.”
“Chest hair, crisp between my fingers over burning skin. Fresh hot sweat as salty as tears.” As salty as the tears that rolled silently down her cheeks as she remembered the fear and excitement of his weight over her, cradled by her hips. The silent need the had her fingers searching beneath his underwear for answers.
“My first time. Hers. Ours. So tight and wet.”
She didn’t need to look to know he was glassy-eyed with memories, only the stroking of his fingers a connection to the here and now. Letting herself go, she was under him again, and that one new, fresh night was overlaid with the thousands of couplings that followed. Hot and fast, tender and loving, the nights she lay back and planned her shopping list because he needed her more than she needed him. The glue binding them together.
Holding him she let the tears flow, because sometimes that was the only thing to do.
“Hey, sweetheart. Why you crying?”
He wouldn’t understand, so she didn’t tell him. Instead she sang another fragment of their song.
“We'll build a world of our own that no one else can share
All our sorrows we'll leave far behind us there
And I know you will find there'll be peace of mind
When we live in a world of our own"
“I used to know a girl that loved that song.” he murmured, humming along with the tune and carrying it forward a little. “I wonder what happened to her? Martha, I think she was called?”
“Yes, dear.” Martha’s eyes dried with the familiarity of heartbreak.
He hummed a little more of the tune before it disappeared like so many of his memories.
“Is it time for a cup of tea?”


  1. So perfectly captured and heartbreaking at the end. Made me feel the feels.

  2. This is beautiful.. sad and beautiful. Very well written too!

    Welcome to Wicked Wednesday!

    Rebel xox

    1. Pleased to have found my way here. Glad you liked it. :-)