28 Jul


glass of wine photo: Wine Glass and Ice IMG_0369.jpg

“I hope I don’t have to mention appropriate behaviour during the night when old timers might be asleep and not aware of what’s going on,” murmured Mr Potts over a seemingly never-emptying pint of beer in the holiday camp bar that first evening.

“What do you mean, dad?” asked Paula, her face the image of total innocence.

David glanced at her and grinned. He knew what her father meant, and so did she. But he knew she also liked embarrassing him, in the kindest possible way.

“Your mother was always careful before she and I were married,” sighed her father. This was awkward for him. He knew how David most probably felt, that the lad was near the start of a road with its winding and soaring hills that he remembered so well – and being so close to the beginning he yet had to learn adult control.

“And you, dad? Were you … careful?” teased Paula.

“Paula, I respected her and I suspect that was enough,” came the almost mumbled reply.

“And I respect Paula, sir,” said David. “I would never do anything to hurt her and I rather suspect that what you have in mind but don’t like to say might just do that…”

“Hurt me? How?” Paula was almost whispering. Maybe it was time to put her father’s mind at rest. After all, she would be eighteen in a few weeks time, and eighteen was old enough for just about anything.

“Do I have to be explicit?” There was a groan in the older man’s voice. He’d never been comfortable when discussing personal matters with his daughter, and since her mother’s death he’d tried to play his role of wise guardian to perfection – and knew he’d failed.

He had known Paula all her life, but he was still irrationally aware that she was once part of a cascading orgasm that had been the physical manifestation of how he had felt for his beloved wife at the time, and had continued so to do down the years since then as well, until she had passed away at such a relatively young age.

“No dad, you don’t,” she said, “and if it puts your mind at rest, I am on the pill…”

“You are?” interposed David, surprised. Her dad noticed that, and the lad soared in his estimation. And, strangely, so did Paula. She had clearly decided to take control of her own life, and because the sensitive nature of her sexuality was something she felt uncomfortable discussing with her dad, she had done it without any reference to him.

“Simone was always going on about the boys she had slept with in all manner of weird places, and that it was perfectly all right because she took the contraceptive pill,” explained Paula, bravely bearing in mind the two she was addressing. “I had no intention of behaving like she claimed to behave, but the more I thought about it the more I thought it would be wise to take precautions just in case…”

“Just in case of what?” asked David, beginning to feel aggrieved.

“Girls can get raped,” Paula told him. “It’s not a nice idea, but it does happen. I like to look … attractive … not because I want boys to notice me particularly, or get the hots for me, for goodness’ sake, but because it makes me feel good. But everyone knows how weak some strong lads can be when it comes to girlie flesh!”

“You’d be attractive even in a burqa!” declared David, sincerely.

“That I would not!” laughed Paula. “I’d feel horrible! I’m not the sort of girl who wants to become just one of a parade of overdressed and sweaty women of indeterminate age or beauty wearing identical de-sexing things! I happen to both like and respect myself, which is why I can’t be like Simone…”

“Simone, the virgin,” reminded Mr Potts.

“Then the person Simone wants the world to think she is. Not that she’s much bothered what the world thinks, what with a manslaughter charge hanging over her head.”

“I feel sorry for her,” murmured Mr Potts. “She didn’t ask for that lad to buy her a drink and by doing so think he’d also bought rights to squeeze her you-know-whats all night!”

“Why would any self-respecting girl want the world to think she was easy?” asked David. “I mean, we lads might be tempted to have a one night stand with a lass like that, but there’s no way we’d look beyond that, to a relationship.”

“Is that what you did? Have a one-night stand with Simone?” asked Paula.

He looked at her, shocked. “I’ve never particularly liked Simone,” he said, curtly. “She’s not my sort: not my sort at all.”

“Who is your sort?” asked Paula, teasing him.

“If you don’t know the answer to that you must have spent the last few months with your eyes and ears shut!”

“She’s teasing you, David,” soothed Mr Potts. “Now then, children, who’s going to the bar to replenish the glasses? I’ll pay…”

David stood up. “I ‘ll go,” he said, quietly.

“Three the same again then,” said Paula’s father.

“Except I want white wine instead of fruit juice,” put in Paula.

“You’re still not eighteen,” warned her father.

“Oh come on! Everyone does it. White wine, please,” retorted Paula.

Her father wasn’t in the mood for a fight and anyway he had memories of his first alcoholic drink in a pub, aged sixteen, and in this instance he reasoned that a young woman old enough to have contraceptive pills prescribed for her must surely be old enough for the odd glass of white wine.

“Tell me about when you met mum,” suggested Paula.

“You really want to know?”

“You’re my parents,” said Paula quietly. “I’ll never hear mum’s version since…”

“And you want to hear mine before I die too?”

“I dunno.” Paula felt embarrassed. “You’re not dying are you?”

“No more than anyone else,” replied her father drily. “Nobody lives for very long, you know.”

“Three score years and ten,” sighed Paula, “like it says in the good book.”

“Bad book, you mean,” growled Mr Potts. “Don’t get me on that one! But look, here’s David with a tray. I do hope you deserve him, Paula. He’s decent.”

©Peter Rogerson 28.07.14


3 Responses to “WORDS OF WISDOM”

  1. pambrittain July 28, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

    And the temptation goes on.

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