Taking in Washing, a Story

Taking in Washing, a Story

Status: In Progress

Genre: Mystery and Crime

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Mystery and Crime

Summary

What if you saw a dream holiday advertised? You could meet people with a shared interest on an activity holiday. Yet it would be like no other one. The shared interest holidaymakers have is in watching pornography and one of the main attractions of the holiday is that you can make your own porn film. Still, somebody has seen the advert and he doesn't even have a computer but would like to go. Read this story to find out if he will make a good porn actor or not. Or see what else what will happen to him. You should read this story if you'd ever wanted to make your own porn film or you just like talking about porn.

Summary

What if you saw a dream holiday advertised? You could meet people with a shared interest on an activity holiday. Yet it would be like no other one. The shared interest holidaymakers have is in watching pornography and one of the main attractions of the holiday is that you can make your own porn film. Still, somebody has seen the advert and he doesn't even have a computer but would like to go. Read this story to find out if he will make a good porn actor or not. Or see what else what will happen to him. You should read this story if you'd ever wanted to make your own porn film or you just like talking about porn.

Content

Submitted: March 27, 2017

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Content

Submitted: March 27, 2017

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Adam and the rest of the family sat around in the large living area a bit bemused by their new guest.

"This is your older cousin Caroline," said their uncle with an expansive gesture towards her.

The family looked a bit shocked. This was from Caroline's skimpy simple clothes and lack of jewelry and, as well, her exaggerated not quite in the right place downtown wrong side of the tracks bother boy but for her being a woman accent.

"Your cousin Caroline is coming to stay here for a bit," said their mother now joining in. And then, almost becoming tearful, she said, "Your cousin has had a hard life and I want you to show her some love and care."

It all seemed so inappropriate to her children. They were in their twenties and thirties and listening to her. Nor did they think that they had ever seen their mother become tearful. Or they hadn't in nearly 20 years that they could remember. This was despite the trials and tribulations that they'd had that she hadn't cried since they were young children. There had been problems getting the grades to go to university even with sympathetic admissions tutors. As well, it must mean that they had nothing really to show for years of a good education. Then, people had struggled to cope doing things like writing college essays and being over emotional about it or something else. As well, there had been other people who had talked constantly about success in their jobs that proved illusory until people were bored with it. Still, despite all this, their mother had not ever or perhaps only once or twice become tearful or upset.

"So how is she actually here?" Adam's sister said this to the older people in the room. "I mean what has she been doing all these years?"

Then the uncle spoke in grave terms. His uncle looked like a typical businessman. The other people around the living area were dressed in casual clothes. Also, there was one of his uncle's business friends. This was in a large living area with big armchairs and settees. There were as well large ornamental vases with old arrangements of dusty worn and tired-looking dried flowers in them. There were a few things growing in the kitchen garden that you could see out of the window. And the mother of the household had planted these and looked after them even after her husband had died. But she had not talked about the kitchen garden ever again after her children had refused to help her with it. They said that they didn't feel like it. Or they said that they had other things to be doing. But then, they still expected her to talk about it. The uncle and his friend were still dressed in business suits. And the other people were dressed casually. This was despite it being a Saturday. They were meeting together in the living room of his sister's large detached house. It was about 2:00 PM when their uncle had arrived. Caroline had needed to go to bed earlier on. And so the meeting had been delayed. This was since the morning when Caroline had been in bed.

The large detached house was set in an acre of grounds. Also, it had large gardens both back and front. They were well kept and moderately planted. The uncle in addition to a silk suit also had an expensive watch on his wrist with a shiny metal bracelet. Now in his sixties, their uncle was going to retire from business in a few months' time. This was from the big company that he worked for. And it was over so many long years that he had worked for them. He was unusually tall and thin. And his business suit hanged very lightly on him. As well, in many other ways, he also had a youthful appearance. The mother, Mrs. Summers, looked around the room. She was a bit apprehensive. Her grown-up children were also in the room. The room they were in was a large living area as has already been said and it had brown wood stained thick-framed windows that had recently been put in, a slightly worn light blue wall-to-wall carpet and old-fashioned big green armchairs. The soft furniture and carpet had their underlying fabrics showing through. As well as this, the windowsill had been freshly painted with a bright white paint. But it had a chip at the front of it and still a bit missing. It had just been painted over like everything else in the room. This was except for the new window frames that had not been. The armchairs had high arms with wooden bits on the end of them. Also, there was in the room a two-seat sofa and a three-seat sofa that were similar to the three armchairs. They all fitted comfortably into the room. The room was square-shaped. An operable window that took about half the total area of the window space was today, like most days, opened. The windows looked onto the kitchen garden. Also, there was only the one large window that could be opened. It was on the right-hand side of the window frame. It did however bring in plenty of air. And this was even when the room was full of people.

Mrs. Summers was wearing a blue-black one-piece dress with a twin set and pearls. She had big blond hair. And but for the fashionable wood-stained window and that it was clearly quite a big house and a sizable room they were in, the worn furnishings and chipped windowsill might give you the impression that it was the house of someone without much money. Also, Mrs. Summer's clothes were perhaps a bit too rich for really quite a shabby room. She looked a bit like a brassy blonde wife of a poor person. This was even if for some reason still as well she did not really look so out of place to be the mistress of this rich household. And this was even when she leaned back against a worn chair that she carried herself well enough for it. It was as if she didn't notice that there might be anything wrong with the impression people got. And she looked with disdain at even her own children that thought there was anything incongruous about it. They were sitting around her in her own home thinking this as well. But she did not say anything for the time being. The children were dressed in casual clothes. In age, they were in their twenties and thirties. And they had some kind of jobs working in offices. But it was disappointing to their mother that they'd never really amounted to much. This was even if they did not appear to notice it themselves that they had not done all the things that they were supposed to have done by now.

And because they had never really amounted to much, Mrs. Summers, their mother, no longer liked talking about lots of things she might have otherwise done. This was such as what she did at her own work. She used to talk about the types of problems that she had solved during the day. This was when she was working running her firm and they didn't see her there. In the past, she used to say as well that she was easily able to solve any of the problems she had at work. And she said other things like that as well. She said that she could do this with the good education that she'd had. And she had this education by going by chance to good schools and colleges. But this was in fact now many years ago. Still, she talked about it all as if it was yesterday. Also, she said that her job had been forced upon her. It had been by her husband dying. Also, she had kept it up for 20 years after he had died despite it not being her original choice of career. But now, she had stopped saying all this so much. She did not say it anymore when her children were old enough to have had their own careers, to make their own choices and to make their own mistakes. Some of her children were married and some not. Also, she occasionally looked after her grandchildren. She did this only at the weekends as she was working during the week.

"We've got someone else with us today," said Mrs. Summers turning towards Caroline and pointing her out. "As well, we've actually got three people now with us. We have as Uncle Simon and his friend have come as well. They will be staying with her here for a few hours at the same time.”

Caroline was a loose-limbed somewhat buxom lady of about 30 years old. She was easygoing in her speech and spoke slowly and smoothly. This was usually that she did. When she wanted to make a point though or she wanted to object to something somebody had said, her speech could become more deliberate and even at that a bit strained. As well, this was when it appeared that she had to control a quite nasty temper of hers. But she very rarely lost it. Or so it appeared much to everyone's relief. Her mannerisms were even more easygoing than her speech. Also, from time to time, they'd reflect her mood. This was like her speech. But it was not exactly in the same way. And it was quite oddly that the two were not in unison sometimes. But she ignored anyone who looked at her as if it was odd. This is unless they said something. A big row could start if they did. Her body was a bit scrawny but her breasts were plump and looked a bit buxom as has been said before. Also, she had some fat on her stomach and around her thighs that she didn't look too scrawny or unpleasantly thin. At least, she was not so thin, scrawny or haggard that anyone might feel the need to enquire after her health. Nor did she look as if she was going to get ill soon either that anyone need say anything about that. It seems that Caroline had been adopted. When she was a young woman, she had constantly gossiped all the time. And this was without saying anything else much at all. Only when already in her middle twenties had anyone told her to change. After being told this, she had applied herself to doing some serious study. But this was for all the good that it had done her. And this was as well just as everyone could see now. Or, at least, it was how they felt now about her when seeing her here and knowing what had happened to her.

At first, Mrs. Summer's told her children little. She only said that their cousin Caroline had been adopted. This was out of charity to take in a waif. As well, it was everything else you'd ever heard about charity. Also, it was everything else you had heard about how children were adopted. All this they had said. Caroline's mother had been poor. And she was unable to look after her children. But then, at a later time, older members of the family had said that in fact it was not that. And there was in fact actually another and a different story. In seemed the family once had a wayward relative. The wayward relative had been promiscuous. And then she'd given birth to Caroline. But after the older relatives had said this to them, they also said that they were not to talk about it anymore, not to talk about their relative and nor to talk about her child anymore either. About the only thing there were told when they had been told anything at all was that Caroline was this relative's child and that she herself, the relative, had gone off to do other things and did not want to stay and look after a small child. As well, it seemed that the other things she had wanted to do had happened to be some way away. Yet just saying this did not really explain why they never saw their female wayward relative. Nor did it explain why she had never as well even seen her child. And nor was it really ever explained why she had to spend so much time quite so far away.

Adam spoke taking temporary charge to keep things going.

"Why don't we all bring in some hot drinks and cakes? And we can talk more then, can't we? I mean about anything we want to talk."

Adam was about the same age as Caroline as he could plainly see. And he said now that he felt that he had a particular affinity to her. This was perhaps because of their similar ages that he had felt this strange affinity.

But when Adam asked what month of the year Caroline was born in, his mother interjected. And she said that they were not going to talk about it anymore.

"You can't be a twin with a girl, can you?"

He spoke out loud feeling suspicious.

"You must be psychic," said his mother. "Perhaps, that explains it!"

"What do you mean? Do you mean that we are twins and she is my real sister?"

He said this last very suddenly. And he was confused, flustered and angry.

"Ah," said his mother. "You shouldn't say things if you're going to be flustered when you hear about them. That is very bad form. So learn one lesson today even when I can promise you that you have no reason to learn anything else. And that is that you shouldn't ask questions if you're going to feel flustered by the answers."

"But you haven't told me any answers... That's a relief anyway!"

He said this really a bit confusedly and his mother looked at him concernedly. Then, however, she looked away. And whatever the matter was beforehand, it seemed that it was now regarded as closed.

The uncle spoke. He did this whilst temporarily letting out a laugh despite otherwise his voice being grave.

"I had a rogue of a brother. He gambled a lot. And he got into gambling debts. Then, he did something unconscionable. He sold Caroline to pay off his gambling debts." After that and with a flourish of his hand, he said casually, "These were gambling debts that he owed to somebody. And he was somebody or other that I assume was just some other rogue a bit like him."

Almost a tear had come in to his eye, but then he stopped talking.

"Perhaps," he said steadying himself, "I should say that although Caroline is your cousin, she is not necessarily my brother, the gambler's, daughter. And the family found that even more hurtful. This is even in addition to his gambling and the debts he tried to make other people pay for him. I know that your great aunt that you never met but that I think I told you about before because it was several years ago was most upset and felt most bad about it."

There was another pause whilst he tried to control himself.

Then he gestured towards Caroline, and he said, "And so this is your cousin. I didn't talk to you about her for so many years. But I am now. It is so many times in these past few years that together we've met in this room. You didn't know about her. Still, your mother and I thought about her. But you knew nothing about her or anything that happened to her. You didn't since you last saw her when still teenagers. And this was when she was a distant cousin to you that you only rarely saw her anyway. So it seems they have given us her back. And this is just when she is no good anymore to anyone else. She is no longer any good to anyone such as a trick or a John. And nor is she any good to people such as pimps and other people like that she was making money for."

There was another pause as he now looked towards Caroline. She half smiled back to him. And he did his best to ignore it. This was when it was a strange smile that she seemed to have picked up from somewhere. Possibly, it was from smiling at men coming in the door. Or it looked odd because she was disguising that it was this. But either way, he didn't like it.

"So, after all these years," said the uncle talking to his nephews and nieces, "it has come to this." He looked around and smiled. "This is with us sitting here in the living room of your mother's house. But, as well and for the first time, it is with your cousin Caroline sitting here with us."

Adam's mother bought in some hot drinks, some soft drinks and some shop-made cakes. Now Adam wanted to talk about all kinds of things to their new guest. It was really quite a lot that he said. Also, in the room, there was his adult brothers and sister, his uncle, his mother's brother, his mother, Mrs. Summers herself and the business friend of her brother. Of course, his uncle was also the uncle to all the other people his age in the room.

This was except for Caroline for whom he was a relative and someone who way back when of course knew his own cousin who was also Caroline's mother.

"I've got to be going somewhere in 10 minutes time," Adam's uncle told the room.

Adam had taken a break for a minute so that his uncle could speak.

"Is there anything anyone wants from me before I have to go? Does anyone want to ask me anything? Or does anyone want anything else at all?"

Nobody in the room said anything. It seemed too late or not right to ask anything more about their relative that was Caroline's mother. The whole thing seemed not to be up for discussion any more. And none of the older members of the family really wanted to talk about it anyway. This was if they had ever even really wanted to talk about it.

Then, suddenly having looked at her son by chance and catching his expression, his mother said in all seriousness, "She is not your sister! She has a different date of birth to you! And I'm sorry I said what I told you."

"What is her date of birth?"

The rest of the family would normally have reacted angrily at the son's inane questions like this. And they had often criticized him bitterly for asking such questions. But instead, they were quite polite and contrite when he asked on this occasion.

Together with his uncle, they went around asking for dates of birth and other details like that. This was until he was satisfied that she really wasn't his sister.

However, Mrs. Summer's younger daughter now spoke up. And she did want to ask more about her wayward relative. This was the relative that had been previously mentioned and, as well, about Caroline. But even though Caroline was in the same room, she still spoke like this.

"I'd told you!" The uncle exclaimed this. "She was wayward. There is nothing else that you need to know about it.... What do you think happened...? She just took her knickers down to a lot of unsavory characters who were taking advantage of her." Then, screwing up his face in a pained expression, he said, "How can you not know that so you need to ask?"

The girl gave some explanation that not everybody in the room could hear. And not all her brothers could hear it either. Her uncle on hearing what she said to him got up very heavily, took his jacket, put it on, and said that he had to go out.

His sister asked him what he would be doing after he had gone. He merely replied that he had a business meeting to go to and that he would be all right. As well, he said that he didn't need anything more from her, her daughter or anyone else.

"I need something," said Caroline. "Can I have some money?"

Something about it to some people in the room seemed very inappropriate. This was with Caroline having asked for money just at that time as she had done. But when the uncle took out some money from his wallet so that he could give it to her, it seemed now that a sense of normality instead descended on the proceedings. As well, it seemed a new life at least in part for the family had started. This was with Caroline living with them for a short time and possibly only temporarily. But it was also perhaps for longer. And this was as well only as had been explained to them. This was as well just when they'd heard she was coming that it had only then been explained.

And so this was how it all started. As well, every part of it right then had already started. And it was with no mistake at all either that this was 'it' from the start. At that, it was what you might have ever thought it had to be like. It was like this or it was nothing at all.

Then, as the adult children's uncle was leaving out of the door, he said to his sister, "Is this really the sort of thing that goes on with you? I mean that thing you said to your son about him possibly being a twin to Caroline. You're embarrassing me! As well, you made me feel so very small and insignificant. And I worried about it. I am really very unhappy about it all."

"I've already explained that there is nothing whatsoever wrong. It was a mistake only that you saw and nothing more. Now please leave! And don't come back here again. Caroline can stay here and I will look after her. But I don't want to see you here again. Really, I don't."

Her brother spluttered and coughed. And then, he let out a sick quite long malicious laugh. After that, he pulled his jacket on more fully over his shoulders and started to leave again. His friend, a shorter man in a similar style of business suit went with him. At the door, the uncle turned back and said that he was in fact glad that he was leaving. As well, he said that he hoped that they would look after Caroline well.

Seeing and hearing all this, Caroline looked not particularly interested and nor bothered by it.

Getting ready to go out again, Adam's uncle said once more to Caroline and the others in the room still listening that he really did have to leave. But he would come back another time. This would probably be in about two weeks. And he'd come back to see all of them. Now, it was as if their mother had already calmed down. Or perhaps, she was still fuming. The uncle said again that he would leave now. He said this addressing the room and the other people in it. Getting no answer except that they indicated that they'd heard him in the place of a more meaningful acknowledgment you might have normally expected, he finally went out and took coat to leave. The front door clanged a minute later. This was after he must have been putting his coat on in the hall. So, it took a minute finally to leave the big house. And this was once he'd left the living room. He had perhaps exaggeratedly taken his final leave. This was with the adult children of his sister closely observing him. Still, they did not say anything much about what he had said. They had acknowledged though his flourish. And this was as if it was just a sign of respect to him in front of Caroline.

Caroline when he had been leaving was not apparently though very interested. In fact, she quite ignored him. And now that he had left, she looked a bit bored. This was if she looked like anything. She looked bored when she'd had to wait for a time just so he could leave. Also, she had annoyance at not being able to show her impatience. This was whilst he was still in the room. And it was clear that she had now some impatience and bad feelings to resolve. These were at least about people she felt were wasting her time. So, in the future, her relatives might have to treat her in a particular way. This was so that she did not feel angry and impatient. It might be anyone appearing to time waste that made her angry and upset. It had perhaps been a warning. The mother bit her lip. She did this as her children looked at Caroline. This was having seen her display of boredom and impatience at their uncle. It was even if it was the first time that they had seen something like this that they still understood it. And they were wary of it. Their mother bit her lip again. And now she looked disgustedly at the people around the room. Then, she went into the kitchen. This was to take some things out that they'd had as snacks and to clear the coffee table. In one instant, it appeared that whatever it was that she had previously thought had just changed. But if any of her children had noticed her, then they had ignored it. Or they hadn't even noticed it to start with.

After the meeting had finished like this, Caroline went to her room to lie down. And it was quite often over the next few weeks that she would go to her room.

Adam particularly out of all Caroline's relatives wanted to talk to her. This was whenever he came. He seemed much taken by her. Still, she would often politely ignore him. And then, she told him to find some other kind of interest. As well, she said that it had been heartfelt to tell him to do this. And this was instead of her he should find some other interest. Also, she explained it had been an effort for her in saying this. And she had meant it genuinely. This was despite all the problems that she'd had with men. And she said as well that men she'd known were really a bit like him. This was although he might not realize that. She said that she could tell that he was really just like one of her tricks. And it was even if he said that he had never even himself been to a prostitute that she could tell. So, she didn't really want to talk to him anymore. Eventually, when he would still not leave her alone, she said that she didn't necessarily have anything against her tricks. She'd had sex with them for years. But she knew that they were just like him. There was no way he could prove to her that he was not like a trick that had taken advantage of her. Or it was whatever else he was thinking. He couldn't when she knew that he really was just like one. And she said that he should respect that if she knew nothing else about life and, as well, she might know very little about life generally having lived so long in a brothel and not gone anywhere else, then she at least knew about her tricks.

It was now a few weeks after Caroline had moved in.

"I'm expecting a friend to come to the door. He won't come inside. But he's just bringing me something that he will give me at the door."

The first few times she said this to the owner of the house, the owner of the house ignored her. Eventually a friend of Mrs. Summers who had come to visit her and people generally told Caroline that she should invite her friends into the house. She said that they would be welcome to come in when they were her friends. And they wouldn't want to wait outside. This was her home as well now. She was allowed to invite in anyone she wanted. It was as well without asking permission that she could do this. And she should do this from now on without any question about it. Nor did she need to ask her anymore about it as a friend. And nor did she need to ask her anymore to show her gratitude for it.

A few days later, Adam's mother's friend was visiting again.

"That's made it really a lot easier for me. I smoked a really good joint with one of my male friends who visited. It was really good stuff. I enjoyed it tremendously. And so did he I think. But then he was out of it."

"I don't think that's really the kind of thing to say," said Mrs. Summer's friend. "Anyway, I'm going to go and see your relative, the owner of the house, Mrs. Summers."

The friend came back about a half hour later. And she said that she had spoken to the owner. She said this all in very grave terms.

"I don't really want you smoking drugs in this house. And the owner concurs with me on this. We have some very valuable paintings on the walls. So I don't want your druggy friends coming in here and nor any drug dealers. Do you understand that I am worried about these paintings and them being taken from the walls?"

"It won't happen. My friends are not like that. They won't steal anything from you. And the drug dealer is only interested in a bit of money for the drugs he's selling. If you want, I can meet my drug dealer down the road. And he doesn't have to come here. Would that make you happier?"

"Perhaps, it might. Yes, your friends can come here as before. Possibly, as well, you should go to their houses. This is if you want to smoke drugs. And when they come here, you don't smoke any. But you must meet your drug dealer way down the road."

"My friends can't smoke drugs only at their houses. They have the same problem with their property owners. I promise it will only be the tiniest joint that I smoke with anyone. And that is just to take the edge off my addiction so I don't feel grumpy and attack anyone."

"So, do you think you might actually attack someone? Who would that be? Is it my friend or me? Or who is it around here that you're planning on attacking?"

"It's nobody! I'm not planning to attack anyone. And I promise you that. It's just that I need some drugs because I am an addict. My body is racked with pain if I don't get them. Do you understand that? Please say that you do understand that I'm in pain. And just give me a bit of sympathy. I am not trying to do anything to anyone or to show anyone disrespect. It is just that I need these drugs. And it is not that I have done anything wrong or I think I'm a bad person that means I take them. So I should get off my guilt trip and stop feeling sorry for myself and costing people money and myself money. I just need them personally. Really, I can't help it. If I didn't need them, then I wouldn't take them. And I'll tell my drug dealer to meet me on the other side of town. That is if it makes you feel any better."

"All right! If you promise to meet your drug dealer on the other side of town, then you can have your friends here. But if he comes to the door again, we might need to find you other accommodation. We can pay for you to go somewhere else and so you don't need to feel bad about it that you won't have anywhere."

"I have to meet them here!"

"But why do you have to meet them here?"

"It is just that.... Oh! Just you never mind."

Then storming off, she said, "I'd need to meet them here..."

It was a few days later. And one of the co-owners of the company run by the woman of the house had come to visit her at home.

He was a young man of an average height and he wore a brown suit. The jacket to the brown suit seemed a bit over sized for him and the trousers too tight. But he wore them so well that it might be that you'd imagined it looking on as a casual observer.

"What she needs is a job!"

The woman of the house had come down into the living area to see the man and said this.

"But why hasn't she got a job already?"

"She sleeps most of the day and feels very tired. I don't think it's anything she can help..."

"You can't literally be saying that she's lazy. And that's the reason for it after all...."

"What do you mean? I don't understand."

"The thing I mean is how am I supposed to find a job for anyone who's just lazy?"

"There must be some job she can do. I don't really care what it is."

The man let out a little laugh. Then, he coughed behind his hand.

"I will see what I can do," he said.

The next week, Mrs. Summer's brother visited. He said that he didn't want any bother. As well, he said that he had some good news about Caroline. Apparently, he knew the co-owner as well as he was one of his business contacts. And he had the news that the man had given Caroline a job. Also, the business owner had given him Caroline's job details. So he was now going to do the paperwork and ask any questions he needed with his sister. And it was with Caroline as well when she came down that he needed to do it.

He had the paperwork in front of him from the agency.

And he said the job would be doing washing in rich people's houses. As well, she would be taking in washing and bringing it home with her.

"Do you mean here? I am not sure I want a whole load of dirty old laundry in my home. And I don't want people using the washing room either without my permission."

"What do you mean by that? This is her business. She will be a sub-franchisee."

Something about the way he said it stopped Mrs. Summers from what she was going to say next. Instead, she bit her lip and accepted it. Then, she listened to all he said. And he left in silence. Afterward, she was in tears. Still, she couldn't explain to anyone why she was. And nor could she say anything at all sensible. She couldn't even explain it to anyone at all. And this was even if she knew the reason herself.

The uncle when he heard about it felt too upset by such an outrage to say anything. And he went upstairs to find Caroline. Perhaps, she would not be so stupid about it. Indeed, she wasn't. And she accepted the job offer.

So Caroline began her work as a laundress or taking in washing or whatever it was if you were for instance to put common words to it.

She talked constantly about it for the next few weeks and months. Mrs. Summer's friend said that they had to understand her doing this. She as well said this to her friend's adult children when they visited. And away from her children, she implored her friend, Mrs. Summers, to do the same. Still, Mrs. Summers did not do this. And then, she was seen to chew her cheek and lip. As well, her eyes were red with tears of joy and sadness cried in late nights.

After this had been going on some time, the friend had come to see Mrs. Summers and Caroline as she often did. But then, she had left again almost immediately after an altercation with Mrs. Summers. And Mrs. Summers was left again one more time on her own ringing her hands. This was when it had now happened a few times recently but for which she had no proper explanation. And the friend had said only that if her friend Mrs. Summers was going to do the types of things that she had been doing recently, then she didn't want to see her again.

The house was burgled.

Mrs. Summer's brother and sister had come to visit her in her home about two weeks after the burglary. This burglary had apparently also involved Caroline in it in league with the crooks. Caroline had not subsequently been seen. The uncle and other family members had come together to see Mrs. Summers. The place had since been tidied up and a load of dust and rubbish was outside in a pile in the kitchen garden. This had been the most convenient place to put it when the workmen had come to clear up a bit. And it had to be dumped because so much of what was left in the house if not also what they had taken as well was only just rubbish. And this was as his uncle could see when he had come that so much of it was. So he had paid for people to come and for it to be dumped. There was very little left of the home's former possessions or anything decent. One or two of the doors that were hard to repair as the wooden frames had splintered were still off their hinges. Also, there was graffiti on the walls still visible a bit. Some had been painted over with white paint. It had been using a wide brush dipped in a big pot of white paint. And this was over most of the walls. Previously, the walls had mainly pastel colors. Some walls had had the graffiti scrubbed off. On some walls, it had been scrubbed off not quite thoroughly. And on some other walls, the graffiti had scrubbed off completely so you wouldn't have known it had ever been on there. This was before Mrs. Summer's brother and her sister had given up doing it all. They couldn't really finish it in the week or two they'd set themselves. This was to get the place back to normal. They had tried to scrub it off when trying to save money on repainting. This was in repainting it in anything but white. All the paintings had been taken and the walls where they had been were bare. But this was with the dirt scrubbed off from them that had formed a layer around where the old picture frames had been on the walls behind the paintings. Mrs. Summers had prevaricated about the new furniture when her brother had brought around a catalogue for her to look at. Then, he had left to go in the other room in disgust when she said that she didn't want to choose anything just yet to replace the furniture that had been taken.

Mrs. Summers was sitting around with her brother in the other room and her older sister in the same room on one of the remaining chairs. Her arms were crossed and she was quite calm. His uncle was in the other room doing some work on the house. About the only thing that was left in the living room they were in that had not been taken was one of the large three-seat sofas.

It had apparently been too big for them to take out the door of the living room. Or this was so as a policeman said that came around straight after the burglary. He said as well that they would try to find Caroline. As well, he said that if she got back in touch, they could contact the police station again if they wanted her arrested. Otherwise, the matter would be regarded as closed. Mrs. Summers had not said what she wanted just then because she couldn't make up her mind. Then, the policeman had left.

Something about Mrs. Summers and the burglary had made her brother and sisters feel suspicious. She did not seem terribly emotionally hurt. And she was not physically hurt. So they asked her what had been going on. As well, he asked her what had gone wrong with Caroline. This was when it had been going so well.

It transpired that Caroline had in fact been to see a counselor. This was to advise her on her drug problem. And she had quite readily in fact agreed to see the counselor. The counselor had been speaking to the family as well. The counselor had complained that she felt she'd been betrayed by Mrs. Summers. Also, her client had been. Adam's mother had taken things that the counselor had said and it seemed almost deliberately used them against Caroline. This could only be maliciously to get her back on drugs. Then, Caroline had turned up with her boyfriend. This man apparently was Caroline's real boyfriend. The man, Caroline and the man's friends had then robbed the place. They had not harmed Adam's mother. This was, as it seemed that they were so disgusted with her that they didn't even want to touch her. Also, the purpose of the robbery was to get money for drugs. They didn't blame Mrs. Summers for Caroline being back on drugs. This was when for some odd reason it was that they didn't. Later, his mother's lies were exposed. And it turned out that she had given them directions for everything and the keys for everything. As well, she said that she had been bruised and battered in the robbery. And she did have one big bruise on her arm. But she was hiding it when first speaking to them. As well, she said that she had already seen a doctor about it. Nor did anyone else, she said, need to know about it. Later still even, it emerged that she had been to the big hospital, had been diagnosed and treated and then discharged.

The co-owner of the company she ran came to visit her. And they sat on the one remaining good settee together. It was a week later. Other replacement furniture items were now still in their boxes. His driver and a security guard he had brought with him stood outside the room.

"Why couldn't you come in today?"

"There was this horrible woman called Caroline who took all my money from the safe, took all the paintings off the walls, all my books and all my furniture..."

"What books are you missing?"

He said this matter of factually

Still, the person he was visiting looked nonplussed.

And she said plainly, in a quiet voice, "I don't know."

When she didn't say anything more, it appeared apparently odd to the man that she did not continue the conversation.

Also, the man asked her why she had been robbed.

After 10 minutes listening to her incoherent explanation, the man said, "I really am very busy. Nor am I getting any nearer the answer."

Then Mrs. Summers burst into a quite distressing fit of tears. The man however did not comfort her. He didn't even when he must have known her. But instead, the man said that he knew her tears were faked. And at that, he felt quite insulted.

"I just wish that this woman Caroline would get lost and not bother me anymore."

The man looked very serious for a while.

"Look! You have lied to me. And it is not just about things that you can explain why you did lie. When I got your cousin this job doing washing, you did not tell me that she was a drug addict. Other people are missing things from their homes now. They claimed it on the insurance. So, we might not have to pay. Still, at some future date, the insurance company might claim it back from us. It is just that she had an expensive drug habit. Also, you knew how much she spent on drugs. And you knew how much money you gave her. But you didn't tell me any of it.... So, perhaps in the nicest possible terms, you should get lost as well."

And the funny thing was that Mrs. Summer's was not even sad to lose her job and nor her career. Instead, she was only concerned to find the charger for her mobile phone to call a friend. And this was when she no longer had to hold down a good job or keep a large house for people that she thought she might as well call someone for a chat.

"Hello! Is that Dick?" She said this on her mobile phone. "My batteries are very low."

"Can't you find the charger and get back to me?"

The person on the other end of the phone, presumably Dick, said this to her.

"I can't do that as someone's taken my charger," she said.

And now after a while on the phone, the tears flooded out again. This was as the phone beeped showing it needed charging.

"I can call you back in an hour," said the person on the phone.

"You won't be able to do that as I won't have any charge by then."

She said this with tears flowing down her cheeks now quite genuinely.

"What's happened to your charger again...? Look! I'm at work. And I really am busy. I've other things to attend to. Are you in such a bad way you can't even find your charger?"

"I don't know! This horrible woman called Caroline and her other horrid friends and her boyfriend came in and robbed me..."

The phone beeped. Infuriatingly to the caller, the person on the other end of the phone ignored the beeps. And he talked effusively as if he hadn't heard them. It was just like he assumed that anyone somehow had just as much time to make his points despite her phone being low on charge. The beeps had gone on her phone to show it was low on charge. So, it might cut out soon. This was when beeps saying a phone might cut out were something that he must know as well. But he just ignored it.

"What does she look like? Tell me more. And does she have any kind of nickname? Didn't you say that she did have one?"

He said this curiously. It was because of something that Mrs. Summers had said that he thought that he might know Caroline as well.

Mrs. Summers told Dick, the man who was calling, Caroline's nicknames and more of what she looked like and things that she said sometimes.

"Oh, that's this woman I know.... I met her somehow. But I didn't know it was anything to do with you. Was it around yours I met her? I can't remember. Caroline is at my house now. She's waiting for me to get back in an hour's time. Her boyfriend is all right with it. Or so he says at least. I don't know. Perhaps, it is a bit strange. But I really don't think he's the jealous kind. Still, she's quite a catch. That is if I were to rate her. I mean, if anyone asked me to do so. Or it is if I'd rate girls anyway. That is if I did that kind of thing. Really, I like her a lot. She is nice. And she makes me feel good. Really, she has made me feel good lots of times by now!"

He said this last laughing.

"But how do you know her?"

"She's a distant cousin."

"Yes, she is then. I think that is she, I mean, your cousin then that I saw. I didn't know that she'd robbed you. You say that she's your cousin. Perhaps, there is some mistake. It might just be a family argument. I really didn't realize you knew her."

"Yes, I do. She turned up here in a terrible state the other day. But that is only as I've said already.... Can we see each other? I like you a lot. And I'm off work now. So, I will be able to give our relationship some time..."

"No, not really. You're a bit too old for me. Older women aren't really my thing. But your cousin is nicer. And she's younger. Besides which, I've just about shacked up with her now. Or I am shacking up with her. This is when her boyfriend doesn't claim her first. What have you been doing anyway...? I don't know.... We've not really been that much in touch.... Was there some reason Caroline was angry with you...? It seems so really unlike her now I come to think of it.... She's always been so completely civil and nice to me..."

THE END


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