Chapter 1, First Meeting
James had gone out to the shops to buy a newspaper. Also, he wanted the walk for exercise. There was a more nearby paper shop but instead he chose to walk to another paper shop. This longer walk might make 20 minutes a day exercise. And this was the minimum exercise you really should do. The other shops were 5 or 10 minutes' walk that was not really enough and less than recommended.
The area that he lived in could be quite nice in some parts. But these were off the busy road. This road itself came from the city center. And where he was, it was lined with grimy shops. There were shops selling all kinds of snacks and alcoholic beverages. Or for other customers, they sold daily essentials. Nearer the city center, there was another bigger shop that sold newspapers, magazines and other bits and pieces and that had a food section. This is where James was going. And he avoided going the other way. It did not suit his exercise purpose.
The walk was not unpleasant. In parts, the road could be quite wide. A busy stream of vehicles went constantly along it. There were some wide clean areas used by people going out shopping on foot. This was by chance only. An area that was previously a community center was under redevelopment. And that meant a pleasant warm breeze blew. It came from where the center had been pulled down but that was still empty. Before, it would have felt damp and grubby if it were raining. And the air close and warm if summer. The building had once been a local landmark. But now it had been knocked down. Legal wrangles meant the plot had been empty more than a year. After they knocked it down, it was dusty near the plot. But recently they had cleaned it up and, as well, they put up higher fences. This was when it seems they couldn't find a buyer and no work was likely to start anytime soon. The sunlight could really be quite bright along the road. And particularly it was bright where there were no buildings. Perhaps, it was not something for which you should be grateful. It might be more that you would want redevelopment when this part of town looked so run-down. But often James just enjoyed the suntrap. And he often did so when he was out on his way to the local shops or city center. It made the journey to the shops at least bearable. And if the weather was good, it was not so bad.
As he went to the shop, he mused to himself. And doing so, he did not particularly pay attention to anything else. He had come a long way in a journey of hope and self-discovery but his journey still had a long way to go.
A few years ago when he had felt tired and ill a doctor had advised him to do some more exercise, eat more healthily and to try to get some better sleep. He had started his new exercise program in high hopes. But he had not gone for as many walks as he should have done. And in the last year, it had been almost none other than to the shops.
He would have like to get the body that he used to have years ago as a young man. When he was younger, he remembered how he had gone for long walks and had an exercise mat and some gym equipment in his room. Also, he had played the occasional informal game of tennis.
And now he was seriously worried that he had used up whatever time there was spare before he had to start his exercise program in earnest or suffer serious health problems.
He lived alone and had been off work sick for some time now with poor sleep and tiredness that he could not shake. At some time, his allowance would finish and he would have to start back doing work. Still, although he had felt less stressed in some ways about other worries he had, it has not transposed very well into looking after his physical health and the worries he had about his physical appearance. Also, it might help him get a job to be physically more fit.
Now, as well, he worried that some of his job skills were out of date. Also, he had not done any unskilled manual work except for the very first few years he was in work. In a way, it meant he had wasted a lifetime of work in offices feeling stressed and sitting in front of a hot computer screen for nothing if he was to go back to doing this work. And this is assuming you could pick it up again just like that after 20 years. As well, something about the job could have changed and it might even be completely different. It was at least possible. Also, someone had told him that usually anyone only employed young men for that work. And this was as he should have been able to remember himself. Anyone whom he saw older than him had a different job or was much more experienced.
So really, he was worried about a number of things. And they all joined to form one big worry. That one big worry was that he could not get his act together. And he could not just do some exercise. Nor could he just read a few books to improve his conversation. This really was in his power to do so. Then he would be able to return to the job market with some chance of getting a job if he had a normal interview.
Just then, as he was walking to the shops to buy some food and snacks in the gathering evening dark of the run-down main street, he noticed something out of the ordinary. A somewhat stylishly dressed and, as well, a physically attractive woman who was in her 30s or 40s was talking to him. At first, he wondered if he had walked into her by accident and so should apologize. He did not know what to say. But she was saying something to him instead. And he pricked up his ears to hear above the sound of the traffic what it was she had to say.
"I could kiss you on the cheek and give you a big girly hug. You really are a quite handsome man."
He exclaimed this interested but wondering if he had heard right.
"Yes, I could," she said. "But do you want to? I could do it now."
"What's up? Do I know you from somewhere? Maybe about 5 years ago I might have known you from somewhere. Was that it? Is that right?"
"No, I don't think we did. But all the same, I would like to hug you."
"I don't know why you're saying that really, I mean, saying that you want to hug. Is there anything else you want? Or should I just go? What are you doing?"
"I'm saying that I could hug you because you're a nice man. But, as well, I need the money for a coach ticket. Then I can go to visit a relative who will look after me. But she is very poor and she is ill as well right now. So she can't come down to see me. I'll have to find the money for the fare myself so I can help my old aunt out and care for her."
"How much is it?"
She told him. And he gave her the money from his wallet. It was really a fair amount to give to anybody even if it had been normally for something. Even if a good friend had been short, it would have been a lot. But he felt that she was genuine. Somehow, he could tell. Also, he was enraptured by her suggestion that he could get a hug on his way to the shops. As well, she had said that he was handsome and so that might explain it.
She took the money with a smile and said that she was grateful. Then she walked off into the crowds of shoppers in the direction of the coach station. He did not watch her as she went. But by and by, he decided to look after her. She, though, had already gone.
Perhaps, he had done a good thing. This was when at times he had heard so much about the idea that if a woman asks for money, then men they ask should suggest that they do something for it. The thing that they might do for some money was, it seemed, always sex. No matter how the story started or what the middle was, the end of the story was always that they had sex. Yet, he had not tried to do this. And so he should feel good about himself. But, then again, she was very attractive. And so he would want to take her to his bed. But he had not even taken the hug she offered. Now, as he reflected, there was something peculiar about her. It was a kind of magnetism she had. And it drew her to him and him to her. It was on his mind now as he walked home with his groceries.
When he got in, he laid the newspaper on the dining room table to read it. And he had found some quite interesting articles by the time he'd read enough. Then he threw away the newspaper, wiped down the dining room table it had lain on and began preparing his dinner.
The next day after he had seen the girl in the street, Gina, his girlfriend, came round. As they met outside of his apartment, he said to her that he'd had an unusual incident he wanted to talk about when they got in. The stairs to his apartment were quite narrow and so she had to walk behind him. Once they got in, he told her more about her than he had been able to at the entrance. His girlfriend heaved a heavy sigh. Really, it was quite frustrating he should do this when perhaps he might think that she did not want to hear about other girls.
When they got in, he told her more about the girl in the street. First, he made Gina a soft drink in the kitchen. Then, he came back, sat down with her and talked to her about it. They both sat in some old sturdy armchairs with wooden arms and thin cushions. He had been given them when he moved in. His apartment was quite pleasant, quite large and it was well lit from double windows. He had a bedroom next door to his living room and there was a kitchen and bathroom. In his living area, there was a large sofa and the two large armchairs already described. On a tiny wooden table, there was a small-screened television. His kitchen was also a reasonable size like his living room. Everything in the kitchen had usually been put away in the cupboards when she came around. The only exception was that sometimes there was a load of dishes left on the draining board. His bedroom had nothing else in it other than the bed, a chest of drawers and a bedside cabinet. However, there were often condoms out on the bedside cabinet and sometimes used condom packets if not used condoms themselves on the floor. Also, he might have old socks on the floor. The built-in closets were normally half-open because of obstructions he found hard to clear. They were overflowing with lots of his clothes that you could see on the outside. He rarely threw anything away and almost never clothes. As well, he didn't vacuum nearly enough in his bedroom. But he did vacuum more regularly in his living area. This meant that the bedroom carpet was unpleasant to walk on barefoot. And this was often how it was after they'd just had sex. Still, his girlfriend had long since stopped complaining. And he felt relieved she no longer complained. He almost never did the vacuuming and he wondered if he really might be incapable of it even to himself. To his girlfriend, he made excuse after excuse why he had not done it. The living area had boxes of books and boxes of old DVDs. As well, there was one tiny bookshelf. On this, he kept anything he wanted to read or watch. The bookshelf was to him a method of keeping things to hand. And the masses of stuff he had in boxes was never looked at and never touched.
"I suppose that I've often fantasized about having my own charity for homeless girls. Perhaps, I might set one up but first I could try it out in my apartment. And then just the other day I met a girl who came up to me in the street and asked for money. This was when for some reason just before I went out I had been thinking of it all. Really, I had not considered it seriously for some time. And, of course, I had never acted on it. Also, like anyone, I had heard that you shouldn't give money to beggars or homeless people you saw on the street. But she seemed so nice! She was this really quite attractive girl speaking to me. And she was speaking to me so normally as well. Nor did I feel that I'd get to meet somebody like her a lot. This is even though I would like to meet any nice people generally and, as well, I'd like to meet some new people. So I stayed to hear what she would say. Really, she was good looking in so many ways. And she was, as well, so self-assured. But she did have quite quirky looks. They were not unattractive as I've said, but they might have put me off to start with if she had not talked so well to me and already made me feel good. She was friendly and nice and so I thought I had nothing to worry about. As well, she paid me some attention that I was lacking normally. I appreciated her stopping me to talk."
"So that must have been something for you. By the way, is that what you wanted me to say?"
"I'm only saying it because I want to share my experiences. It's nothing negative about you and you being a girl or my girlfriend."
"You've got to be kidding me!"
"No, really I'm not trying to do anything. You should be happy. Anyway, I just gave her the money. And I didn't ask her to come back here and stay or anything like that. Really, I felt I had done a good thing in giving someone money and then expecting nothing back. She said she needed it to get to her aunt who was ill. It was so she could look after her. So I did a good thing today. That's all I'm really going to say about it. It was just a curious incident. Anyway, how have you been doing? What have you been doing?"
"I've started doing classes."
"Really, have you? I've often thought about doing them myself. But I don't know if it would be worth it."
"This class costs me a fair bit of money. That's one of the reasons I've come here. I want to ask you for some more money than you've been giving me. Usually when I come here, you give me five. But I would like ten. You said you had met another girl and had given her ten. It was for her cigarettes and some other things. So I think I'm at least worth that. We've known each other all these years, haven't we? And you had only just met this other girl and you gave her more money. So you should really give me more!"
"I really hate hassle with hookers."
"I am not a prostitute! How dare you say that! I'm your girlfriend. And we have discussed this many times. I expect a little money for 'it'. A girl has to be paid after all. How can there be any good reason for girls to do it for nothing! I deserve more respect than that!"
"Sorry! I was trying to make a joke. But it came out wrong. Let's have the TV on. Then we'll go to bed later when you feel more like it. It's not as if I slept with this girl. I didn't even accept her offer of a hug."
They watched TV in silence. After a while of watching TV, his girlfriend got up and they went through to the bedroom. He liked her a lot for being in his bed and this was something he had never yet had enough. And he hadn't ever since the first woman he met who had done it with him. So it was worth it! It was worth it despite how it had come to him. Really, it often just meant he was able to have it rather than not have it.
Chapter 2, He Meets Her Again
A few weeks later, he was planning his dinner. Looking in the kitchen cupboards, he realized that he didn't have enough food. He craved something to eat that was strong and tasty. As well, he hadn't had a walk that day. And he had not even been out at all the previous day. So he set out again for the shop that was a bit further away so he could do some more exercise. As well, it was to get some wholesome and filling food. They had a wider selection when it was a bigger shop. The summer evenings had become lighter recently. And there was a warm balmy smell in the breeze.
"You're a handsome man! I could hug you. Or I could kiss you on the cheeks."
He looked up and he saw the same fashionable coat he had seen before now a month earlier. And a second later, he realized it was the same girl. She didn't look as fresh faced as she was before. Probably, this was from being out in all weathers and having to bed down on the street. Still, she looked like a fresh flower even if one not watered enough by some kind hand. This was on a hot day that it had wilted a bit. Otherwise, though, the flower was still vital and fresh.
"Do you remember me?"
"Yes," she said with hesitation.
"Remember, we met and you asked for a hug before. I've thought about you since then. You really are beautiful."
"Yes, I do remember you."
"Can I have that hug now?"
They held a most sweet and tender but very brief hug.
"Do you want to come back with me to my apartment? That's what I wanted to ask you the last time. I wanted to ask you as I had thought so much of our earlier meeting. And I knew you were someone that would mean something to me. I knew because I had a feeling about it. There's something about the way you looked or the way you spoke. I knew then that I wanted to be with you."
She smiled sanguinely at this and a bit embarrassed.
"I need money for a train ticket to go and see my aunt again. She's very lonely and needs my company. But she can't get out on her own to come here to see me. I want to go there and comfort her."
"But will you come back to mine? I thought that is what you wanted when I thought about you."
"Yes, I would love to come back to your house. But I just need to get a ticket whilst the ticket office is still open."
She took the money, went into the ticket office, and bought a ticket. He watched her as she did it.
When she had finished, she said, "You can see I bought the ticket as here it is."
"Did you buy a ticket for today or tomorrow?"
"I just need to buy some… now," she said using a slang name for what he assumed was some kind of cannabis. "Can you lend me another 20?"
Perhaps, she was an addict. And that then really explained why she was on the street. Yet, she was still the girl that he thought she was beforehand who had asked for a hug. And he supposed that there had to be some reason to explain her being homeless. Also, it was only cannabis and it did not seem anything that was more serious. Hadn't lots of politicians, celebrities and, as well, lots of students smoked it? And nobody had said anything bad about them. Also, he did not want to back out now when he had been thinking of her so often."
She took some money and went into a bar.
After a while, she came back and said, "He's gone now. I'm going to have to go somewhere else."
Then she went up to a group of about 4 or 5 black men who were standing around on the street a bit further up from the bar. When she did this, they looked round suspiciously at him. However, she seemed to apologize for him that they accepted her apology. Still, he moved out of sight so he could not possibly have seen any drugs deal.
She came back a few minutes later and said, "It's no deal."
He shuffled uncomfortably and asked what they should do now and if they could go back to his.
"I've got to go and get it from somebody else I know. It's just down there," she said pointing at a side road. "Wait here for me. I won't be long."
Then she disappeared down the side road. He knew from his living in the same town this led to a poor area. So he waited for her on the busy road near the bar. He saw some police pull up across the street and question a man. They also searched his pockets. So he walked away a bit and out of sight. When he looked back, the police vehicle was still parked there but there was no sign of any cops other than that. Still, the area was 'hot'. So he left. He had waited some time for her anyway and wondered if she had stood him up. Perhaps, she had seen the police and so not come back to anywhere near them. So he left and went home.
In the month between when he had first seen her and now, he had not done much except mope around his apartment. Now, he was trying to learn how to use his computer for doing creative arts. It was in the hope of finding a job where he was still working in an office. He could do this on a similar computer to one he had already used. And if he was able to do these things on an office machine, then he might still get some work in an office. Perhaps, he could find work in an office if they did not ask for lots of qualifications in fine art and nor graphic design. As he had heard, there were smaller offices where they expected you to multitask. So he could do this and, as well, he could use some of his previous skills. It had taken all his time to do it. Sometimes, he had been on it all day and sometimes, as well, it had taken half the night.
He even had a high ambition that he might start his own website to show some of his work. And he had looked up the websites of successful artists to see what their websites looked and felt like, how they displayed their work and how much they seemed to be able to charge. Really, he supposed that he might have recently got better at doing creative arts. He had a dozen or more pictures in weekly folders that were half-decent. And he had made one or two short videos and multimedia presentations. If these were completely professional looking, he did not entirely know yet. As well, he supposed that not knowing this showed a lack of knowledge of the market. And he really should know something like this.
So he had a lot of work still to do before he felt he could talk about art properly at an interview. As well, he really should be able to manage his creative arts files and his time better at home. And this was if he was going to apply to do a job in it working in an office. Also, he really must stop spending all his time on it and then find he had no time for anything else.
If anything, since he had been doing all these arts hobbies, his social skills had got worse and not better. This was despite his assuming he could talk about all of them. Before now, he had felt a bit bored. Generally, he had watched some television and read a few books. He read every day or other day getting through a few books a week. But now, he had read only a fraction of what he used to. And he had watched so little TV that it was getting silly. It was neither one thing nor the other. As well, he was not really coping or doing what he should do.
That day he thought this he had got up and gone out looking for her. He looked in the road up from where he lived where homeless people gathered. As well, he had been talking about her to friends of his to ask for advice. It seemed he was a bit rusty about relationships. He had dated his last girlfriend for several years and, as well, he'd had a long-term girlfriend before that. They told him to ask if she had a phone number. Also, they said that he could just invite her back. And he could ask her to stay overnight if he felt it was safe. Also, he could get some beer from the shop. And he could get some frozen pizza to put in the oven. Then they could chat over the beer and pizza snug in his apartment late at night. Then, she would probably sleep with him.
So he went out looking for her hopeful his luck would be in and she would sleep with him tonight. He had gone almost the whole length of the homeless mile when he saw her chatting to a man and a woman. They seemed to be querying something she said and looking at her oddly. He went up to the group keen to see her. As he approached, the man and the woman made some excuse to end the conversation and went away.
"Hi! Can I have another hug now?"
"Of course you can! You can have all the hugs you want."
"Let's go back to mine. I have been thinking about you even more. Where were you last night?"
"I said to wait. Perhaps I should ask where you were."
"I did wait. But then I had to go home."
"No, you didn't. I came back and you weren't there. And I came back just like I said that I would to you and you had gone."
He did not want to say that he had seen the police arrive the previous night. It did not seem a good thing to say. Perhaps, she might think that they had come because he was acting so suspiciously. But, indeed, she had also been a little too open and suspicious herself. Her hugging him on the street and them hanging around together as they had done was probably just a bit suspicious. It was all, as well, within sight of CCTV cameras. Still, he felt such a powerful draw towards her that he could not leave her alone despite these worries.
"It's just that I thought you weren't coming back anyway and I had waited long enough already."
"I told you how long I would be. And I came back at about the right time that I had told you as well."
"But I couldn't have heard you. I'm sorry if you waited. Let's make amends now and have a night of passion in my apartment."
"I need some money for a little __."
"Why are you doing this to yourself? Can't you get yourself in to do some rehab? Then you wouldn't have to beg for money on the streets. And I can see already, just from the short time I've known you, how much of your time it takes, the risks you take and how miserable it must be for you."
"It's not something that you've got to worry about if you don't take drugs yourself. And I'm not going to talk to you about getting on a rehab program or anything like that when you are not my best friend of years and nor are you any kind of drugs counsellor. I need a little of ___," she said using the same term for cannabis as he assumed it was. "It's just to get me by and because I really do need it. You don't want me to be ratty when I'm in your apartment, do you?"
"No, I suppose I don't. But where are you going to smoke it? I don't want to have to breathe it in myself."
"I'll smoke it by the window and then you won't get any smoke yourself."
"All right, then. That's made me feel happier."
"I'll be able to get it on the way to your apartment as it is just a short detour down one street. Now, has that made you feel happier? And we can walk hand in hand on the way. Come on! In just a short time, we can actually be having sex. It will be in your own bed in your own apartment. And you could be doing it with me. Don't you want that?"
They said nothing more and they started walking along quite normally as if they were friends going somewhere together despite what she had said. But then when their hands touched by accident, she held his hand with long wonderfully warm and firm fingers. And they walked along hand in hand, as he hadn't done for years with any girl.
"How long is it until we get there?"
"It's about another 5 minutes' walk. You'll see the apartment block from the road in a minute. In fact, that's it now! You can see it!"
"That looks a lovely nice apartment building."
"Yes, it is."
For the remaining part of the journey, they talked about hobbies and interests. They were almost at the door of the apartment and they fell silent as they came up to the door.
"All right, I just really need to pop up here for 5 minutes. You live right near it…. Actually, I can see the person. Just wait for me here!"
She did a brief deal with someone as he stood quietly outside his apartment. He had his hands in his jacket pockets waiting for her to come back and he felt like a teenager on a first date. Then she came back from up the road and appeared next to him. She got his attention. And she very softly spoke to him. And she reminded him that she was there and had come to see him in his home and in his bedroom. He opened the door with his key and she followed him in.
"This is a really lovely apartment," she said. "When you said that you were poor, I expected it to be much smaller."
"Do you want a drink? I've got some cold beers in the fridge."
"Yes, I would like some. Perhaps, you've got some wine as well."
"Yes, I have a bottle that I could open."
He opened the bottle and they sat chatting about hobbies and interests again as they had done on the walk there. However, she seemed to be a bit bored. Then, lightly, she suggested that he turn on the TV.
They watched the television in silence for a bit. Seeing a flash of nudity on the mainstream TV show she had switched on, he made a joke about it.
"Yes, let's all get naked!"
He was surprised and relieved to hear her say this. Perhaps, although the evening was not yet old they should really have been more desperate to get the clothes off each other as soon as they got in. Really, he had another girlfriend he was still having sex with that meant he was already quite physically sexually sated. They had nearly split up a few times because they argued. And he was looking for somebody else. Oddly, for some reason, he thought about her now. She was often nice to him, sensuous and big breasted. And she welcomed him to her bosom and welcomed him to have sex with her. Still, something was not quite right. They never talked about anything much. More than once, she had said that she did not really want to keep coming round. But then she said that she loved coming round right after she had said this. It was all confusing! Perhaps he could do without it anymore. However, he put these thoughts out of his mind as now he might have a new and better girlfriend in the girl he had met. And she had spoken to him on the street. In a way, he mused that it was really quite romantic. It could even be the start of something bigger because it really was so dream-like. They had found each other in a way. Also, he should be grateful for the windfalls that he could pick up off the ground to eat when he was hungry. And as he had wanted something like this, he should eat ravenously and happily.
They hugged, this time naked on the bed. He touched her and tried to kiss her, but she said not to do it on her lips.
"I don't know if I will be able to get it up as I had sex today with someone else. This girl came round that I hadn't stopped dating despite meeting you."
"All right, then!" she exclaimed suddenly getting up and starting to dress. "I had sex with someone else as well today! So I don't want it now."
"Thank you for coming and letting me see you naked," he said unhappily.
"Thank you for what? You've been good to me! So why would you say something like you didn't think it was normal."
"Can I just talk about something that I noticed when you were naked on the bed and, as well, when we were chatting beforehand...? It's just I keep thinking you must still be a virgin. I mean, are you one? I'm not saying it for any bad reason or for it to be anything negative about you or our relationship. But I have to say it as I have noticed it"
"No, I'm not. Why are you saying that? Just tell me why you would say such a thing"
He told her how he could tell and what he thought it was. And again, he said that he was only saying it because he had noticed it. Also, he said that she might want to say something about it as well.
"It's just that I thought you might want to say if you were."
"All right, I am a virgin."
"So you don't really want sex when we've just met each other, do you then?"
They lay back on the bed in their clothes hugging, squeezing, touching, prodding and poking. They did this for a while. And he stroked her like they were.
Just then, it seemed she was getting up, pulling up and fastening her bra, pulling down her top again and getting ready to go.
"You don't have to go!"
"I've got to go and see someone tomorrow morning. And I have to be up early to see them. They'll be going out later and so I need to catch them before they go out."
"Can we be boyfriend and girlfriend? I won't pay you. But I think we should date first when I know you are a virgin. Wouldn't you want a boyfriend? You must know other people that you can ask for money."
"All right then! So you can be my boyfriend! Can I have your phone number?"
They exchanged phone numbers. They were now standing up and dressed and they looked at their phones.
She said nothing for a while, but then she asked for more money. And she told him it was to pay for her sister's rent. If she did not pay her rent today when she went round, then she would be evicted. It was even more money than he had ever been asked by a girl for anything.
"I really can't afford all this money. It is already a sizable chunk of my savings."
"If we're going to have passion…. 'Passion', did you say? And you say, as well, that you want to go out with me as your girlfriend. Then you have to help me out if my family needs some money."
He gave her as much money as he had on him towards what she said and then she left.
In the backyard of his apartment block, he sat down with a flask of coffee to talk to a female friend that had visited. There had never been anything sexy between them and she was an old girlfriend of one of his best friends. The best friend had not objected to them talking and having heart to hearts, but would have objected if they had slept together. And even though the best friend and this girl were no longer dating, they had kept to this rule.
"I sometimes wonder if I could not contact someone who knew more about it and get her into a rehab unit or a homeless shelter."
"As far as I know, there is nothing to it. You just have to go along to the council building and say that you're homeless and they will find you everything you need. People who can't do that have other difficulties that can't be as easily resolved. And I don't know what they do with them or what programs there are for them. But I think there must be some that are run for them. So I think you are worrying needlessly. And she will already know people who can tell her who are like her with the same problems. She'd meet them if she were homeless. So don't worry about it I say again. And don't question her too much about going into a rehab unit or anything like that. She probably just wants you to be a friend. Now let's talk about something else. And put this girl out your mind for the time being. I'm sure she's all right! And she might not even be homeless. She might have an apartment somewhere normally. And she could just be begging for money she needs for her electric if she watches TV all day when she is in."
Chapter 3, Another Chance
He telephoned her a day or two later and she said that she could come round to his home. However, it was more than an hour now since she had said that she would come. And so he called her again. But he got the answer machine. He badly wanted to see her because he had now been thinking about her the whole day. So he phoned her again a few hours later. But he got her answer machine again. He phoned several more times that day. Eventually in the early evening, he got through to her.
"Meet me outside the shop on the corner of the busy road up from where you live."
"Why can't you just come here?"
"I want to meet you outside first so we don't miss each other. A few days ago, I called for you and rang your bell but you didn't answer. Do you know how it made me feel? I still feel angry inside because of it."
"All right, then. I can be there in 10 minutes."
"Good! I want you here sooner because I need to get something from the shops before they close."
"I can't be there any sooner than if I tried to leave here right now. But I suppose I might be between 5 and 10 minutes from now. And then you can get something in the shops. What do you want in the shops anyway?"
"I just want to buy a few drinks to have at home and a take out for tonight."
"OK! I'm leaving right now and I should be there in about 5 minutes."
He stuck his coat on, checked he had his wallet in his pocket and then left his apartment and went outside. Walking up the road, he saw her almost immediately as she must have been walking towards his home.
She greeted him with a big hug. But then she asked if she could borrow some more money that was much more than the cost of a take out. Also, she wanted a few things in the grocery store. However, he thought of her most of the day and so gave her the money when he didn't want her to leave him.
"Coming back to mine!"
"Yes," she said. "But I just need some money to place a bet."
He asked her how much she needed, gave her the money and she went to the betting shop. She came out about 20 minutes later. And she said that she needed more money. She would be able to pay him back the next day if he gave it to her.
"Will you definitely get this money by tomorrow?"
"I might even be able to get it today."
She went to the betting shop again and came out about 10 minutes later.
"Just give me some more and I will be able to win the money back that I lost on that horse."
He began saying that you never win the money back that you have lost and that she just believed that because she was addicted to gambling. They argued about it for some time. And she was almost in tears pleading with him to give her more money to win the money back she had already lost on the horse.
Eventually she hugged and kissed him and cried in his arms and he relented and gave her some more money.
She came out again and she asked for even more money but less than last time. He gave it to her although it was the last bit of money he had on him other than just change.
Five minutes later, she came out the shop quite relaxed and said that it had closed for the day. And she seemed happy as they walked along the street towards his home.
"I've got some condoms inside," he said. "Is it all right if we have sex today?"
"I've got some condoms as well. We can use mine."
"But I have some I know and like and we can trust."
When she looked somewhat circumspect, he said, "What condoms have you got then? Let's see them!"
She took out a well-known brand of condom from her pocket. It was a thick and well-lubricated one known for its safety.
"You're not really supposed to keep them in your pocket as that makes them less safe. Anyway, I have the same ones in a packet inside my house. So you needn't worry."
She said nothing for some time. And then she said that she'd prefer to use hers as she had gone and bought them.
"All right, we'll see."
"No, I really want to use mine. That is why I got them today!"
"But I've just explained that I've got the same inside. And they are the same ones as well."
Just then, she flounced off. And she said that she still needed to catch the shops before they closed.
"I can give you a few cans and I've got a ready meal in the fridge," he said going after her.
"No," she said. "I want to get my own food as I am very fussy."
Then she had gone back up the street, had crossed over the road as well and she had gone out of sight.
He phoned her again the next day as he felt desperate now to get sex after all this time. However, he also felt a bit ashamed he was particularly desperate to take her virginity and he had lost some other feelings that he used to have for her. Really, he did not think that he could keep paying her for very much longer as it was such a drain on his savings. So he imagined shamefully that he had taken her virginity and now he could say good-bye to her. Perhaps, he could just do it once or twice more for the sake of having sex and not being compared to other men and things like that you heard. But he could not have a full relationship with her when she kept asking him for more and more money when he didn't really have enough just for himself. If she kept asking for money, they could not be a boyfriend and girlfriend anyway as he would run out of cash. And this was even assuming a relationship was genuinely on the table. It was just that she was still genuinely a virgin. Her answer machine was full. And she did not pick up the phone. But then as it got to evening, he had to get some things from the shops. And if he went out now he might see her on the way.
He went out to the shops and had gone almost the whole length of the homeless mile before he saw her again. Indeed, she was right at the end of it. And it felt good to have seen her again.
"Hi!" he said. "Do you want to come home with me right now before we say anything more?"
"We can go back to my apartment this time. But I need to buy some drugs on the way."
"My apartment is only 10 minutes away. Let's go to that!"
"But my apartment is also really near. It's only 5 minutes away just down this road here."
She said this pointing down a side road. The road led almost immediately, as he knew, to a poor area of the town.
"Have you still got those condoms you had last time?"
"I've got two condoms at home," she said. "They are in my apartment. But I need to get some more drugs that are on the way. It will be very quick. So don't worry about it. And then we can go to my apartment and start doing it. Wouldn't you like that?"
"Yes," he said. "All right, then. We'll do that!"
They went on their way with him taking more money out his wallet to give to her as had become a bit of a regular occurrence it seemed now. It was just all a bit familiar. And still he not actually had sex with her.
He had to wait at the end of a road she'd gone down to buy some drugs. However, he was relieved that she only took a few minutes to buy them. Then they went further towards her house but she seemed unsure of the way. Really, it was a bit suspicious. Perhaps, her home was just a few blankets on a bit of wasteland that she wanted to show him. And she wanted to make love to him there. It was her home and her first time. Alternatively, there was something more sinister. Or perhaps it was in-between and she wanted him to live rough with her and be her protector. He cogitated about all of this. Then he decided to ask her to come back to his anyway. And fortunately, for him in not having to make a harder decision, she agreed that they should go back to his home.
When they got inside his apartment, he offered her a drink but she turned it down.
"I got some more beer in deliberately as last time you wanted lots of alcohol to help relax."
"But I don't need any alcohol now as I have already been here and done it."
"Yes," he said. "You have quite a few times."
"How would you know how many times I've done it?"
"I can remember how many times you've come here, of course, because it was just recently."
She said nothing for a bit.
But then she said, "I only really want to do it quickly."
"But I would really like it longer."
"All right, then. Why don't we go and lie on the bed like we did before?"
They went, undressed, and then lay on the bed. However, as she undressed she said that she didn't want to take her panties off as she was having her period. So they lay on the bed and he felt her and kissed her. Then, although she would not take all her clothes off, he felt her pubes over the material of her panties.
"Let's do it even if you are on your period. I don't see any blood and you smell fresh. As well, I can't see any sanitary towel. So just don't make excuses and we'll do it. What do you say we do?"
"We can but there might be a bit of blood on your sheets. I don't want you to have to do extra washing. And, besides which, many people don't like it. Do you?"
"No, I supposed I don't usually."
They lay back down on the bed again and he felt her pubes some more.
"I can't feel your sanitary towel," he added trying to feel it.
"No," she said. "It's not that one, it's the other one."
"Just remind me of the way around they are."
"The one I'm wearing now are the ones you put inside you."
"So, which one is that?"
"It's not important. This conversation is getting stupid."
She got up, dressed, and then said she had to go.
So she had done it again! She had made a perfect excuse. But then, he hoped that she really was still a virgin even now.
Perhaps, she was nervous about it if it was too intimate that she had wanted to do it quickly beforehand and she did not really have strong feelings for him. After all this time, she might feel obliged to do it with him. Maybe he was getting older and, as well, he was not now as attractive as he thought he once was. But she was prepared to let him do it if he had done it quickly without too much emotion. He would listen more to her. Also, he would offer her some of his remaining money. Then they could have sex. And she really might still be a virgin or so he hoped
Chapter 4, He Gives Her More Money
He phoned her. But again, he got her answer machine. And he wondered if she had not charged her phone that might explain it. So in the early evening he set out in the hope of meeting her again. And this time he would not make the same mistakes.
Indeed, he did meet her. And he asked her back to his apartment almost straight away. But she said that she didn't want to go now and instead said that she wanted to go to buy some drugs.
For the first time, she mentioned drugs other than cannabis. However, he was relieved it seemed that they were still pills. As well, he remembered that she had indeed never mentioned them before.
He went up with her and waited along a bit but not quite outside the drug dealer's house. After about half an hour, she came out and said that he couldn't stand there as the drug dealer had thought it was suspicious. She'd had to square it with him and vouch for him. He only did it she said because he was an old friend who had known her for years. She went to another drug dealer's house.
"Where shall I wait?"
"Just don't wait right outside and don't look suspicious."
She came out after half an hour and asked for more money from him. And she said something about the drugs on offer and what she wanted to buy that explained her needing more. Then she came out a bit later still saying she needed more for other reasons that he did not quite see what they were. But they sounded very similar reasons to the ones she had already given. Maybe, she was just disorganized. He didn't know if he found this stuff amusing anymore and not even if he ever had done so. Now, he had almost nothing left in his wallet. It was worrying as she had said as well that the drug dealer might want more and quite definitely under some threat. But she had not asked him for it all before. Still, he waited thinking only of his narrow bed at home that he wanted to share with her. And he wanted this more than anything else he did. After a while, she came out again and didn't ask for any more money. The drug deal seemed to have been completed. By this time, he really felt a bit cold and, as well, he felt if anything a bit upset. She ignored his discomfort if she noticed it. Neither of them felt like saying anything. Now he remembered some things he had heard about drugs in the past such as they took you to bad places you didn't want to go. But only recently had he come so close to drugs and things like this. And it was because of her. Still, he yearned for her naked body and for him to get her knickers off. Again, she ignored his thinking about things like this. Also, he had thought it more than once and she had ignored it not just the first time.
"I just smoked really good ___ cannabis together with him," she said.
"Back to mine?" he said surprised at his own curtness.
"No, we need to go to the bank again to get more money. He needs more, about 200."
"That's nearly half what I've got left in the bank. I'm not doing it. Sorry, you've gone too far. I'm beginning to see now you're just a drug addict. How could I have ever wanted to know you? There must be other women who aren't junkies. Just leave now and come to mine. I want to get inside your knickers. You can find the money to settle up how much you owe him another day. I might give you some more when we get back to my apartment and after we've done it. But it won't be that much. You can get the rest from somebody else. Perhaps, you have some drug-taking friends you can call."
He was shocked to hear himself say this. He had never made such a direct suggestion of sex for payment before. And not just for sex and the rent of a drug addict's body.
"Please," she said. "You don't know what he'll do. Please, I beg you. It's because he saw you that he asked for it. You were standing outside looking suspicious."
"Look! I asked you where and how I should stand that I did not look suspicious. And you heard me and didn't reply properly. What are you? Are you deaf or something that you didn't hear me say that? What's wrong with you? You must have something wrong with you when I know I said it."
"What?" she said looking hurt but at the same time daggers drawn.
Then deciding not to say what she was going to say, she said, "Please. Just get me this money! I'll give you sex. Isn't that what you want? I need this money now. It's your fault that I need it."
"All right. We'll go to the bank. But this time, I'm waiting down on the road for you."
He went to the ATM and got out the money. Then he waited on the well-lit street corner that the side road was the house was on. And she had gone to the house that was some way up from the main street. A stream of motor vehicles came by with their headlights on as rain began falling. And the raindrops showed prettily in the bright lights speeding past.
"Please…. I beg you. Please, I say again. If you just give me a little more money, then I will be able to pay the money back. I promise that I will."
She had come back and was standing next to him.
"We need some more money. They can still see you standing there."
"Where do you want me to stand then?"
"Let's just get the money first!"
As they walked to the ATM, she said, "Wait by that all night convenience store you can see for me to come back. And don't act suspicious anymore."
She came back again about 30 minutes later.
"They want another amount," she said sobbing. "You were acting suspiciously again."
"How can I have? I'm on the main road. And I'm quite a way from them. They won't suspect them of doing drug deals anyway because of me as I am 2 roads down and 10 minutes' walk up a side road."
"Five minutes! Please! I promise that I will go back to your apartment and we will have sex this time. You can do it with me any way you like and you can touch me however you like."
She seemed almost in tears from the exertion of pleading and other emotion as well. Then she looked at him as though she thought that he was exceedingly ugly but trying to sympathize that he was still the same human being that she had first asked for a hug. But somehow, she'd not noticed his ugliness, both physical and, as well, as a human being that he had. Or she hadn't until they had started dating. Nor had she seen until she looked at him just now how ugly he might be. And now she as a woman would like to do something to show him that she could still see his inner beauty that anyone has by kissing him on his lips. Maybe, she had learned to trust him a bit more since her first injunction not to kiss on the lips. Then she kissed him full on the lips pleading and crying she needed the money at the same time.
He got some more money from the bank. And really, he was cleared out now. Resolutely, as he was drawing it, she stuck to what she had been saying that there really was a good reason to give her the money. So she was an addict. Perhaps, as well, she was a con artist. But then who was he now?
Just as he thought this, she said, "That should be enough!"
And she took the money from his hand deftly and softly.
Suddenly, after that, she turned on her heels. And then she walked off taking the money, his money, to whoever it was. He saw her look over her shoulder at him and something about how she looked at him meant that he no longer cared. Perhaps, he did have about 100 he could still give her that was anything like spare cash. After that, he might get into financial problems himself, run up debt just to live or he could become destitute. And then whom could he ask? Not somebody like him! He didn't know anyone like that! That was for sure! As well, he knew as he decided to walk off into the rain that he did not ever want to see her again. And nor might he want to speak to her even if their paths crossed again. He could avoid her and go a different way so as not to have to see her again.
Really, he did not know why he felt this except that he'd had enough. And he would have to let her virginity not be his to take. It had become too much in one way or another. No longer could he stumble after it like an old man. He had seen an old man once in a bar picking up cigarette papers he had dropped on the floor before other patrons trod on them that it reminded him of now. And that was even if she was still a virgin. Also, it was if she had ever been from the start. Really, he didn't properly know now as he thought of it. So he was a dupe and a cuckold.
And he had been fleeced of much of his money even if it was nothing worse. Maybe, he had learned a lesson. But what was the lesson he had learned? And this was if indeed he did learn one. It might be the moral was, 'don't give charity to poor girls'.
It seems someone had got there already with their own more successful charity scheme. And it made money for them as well. Also, this was when he had given her a lot of money for nothing much in return except a grope. Now he saw that his own scheme for helping homeless girls had only been a fantasy and nothing much else. Nor was it much to tell for all the times that he had thought it. Except now, he had met a homeless girl.
At least, she was homeless in some ways except that she probably did not live all the time on the streets. Perhaps, nobody did that. But he had come near to it himself short of charity or if his old mother did not want to help him out.
And nobody might want to help him out with even very little money. Nor would they let him sleep on their sofa. Even his own mother might not let him stay or give him more than the change in her pocket.
He realized in his own way now that he was a loser. And he imagined what his mother and father would say if he told her about what he had done. This was when his mother was always critical of him for everything and for much less than this. Really, he would prefer just not to talk about it. And he would prefer as well to forget it.
She had taken his money and now she had gone from his sight. And she had taken it and gone before he even knew it. And some of it had been a desire that he had felt that had proved illusory. He could not think about it anymore. And he did not at all or for any reason for quite some time. Then, he checked his door was shut and lied down on his single bed. He could let some time go past and not know what he did not know. This was just by some odd trick of time and by some accident of doing things. Yet, it seemed that they had not done it. But that was it and no more. And he rested for a bit before he had to get up to do anything else.
© Copyright 2017 ALAN FASHION. All rights reserved.
Book / Mystery and Crime
Book / Non-Fiction
Short Story / Romance