Torrid Affair

Torrid Affair

Status: Finished

Genre: Mystery and Crime

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Mystery and Crime

Summary

An older man has a relationship with a young female artist. It is a torrid affair and one that could end badly. But who could have predicted robbery, betrayal and murder? Read this book about a torrid affair between an older man and a young female artist.

Summary

An older man has a relationship with a young female artist. It is a torrid affair and one that could end badly. But who could have predicted robbery, betrayal and murder? Read this book about a torrid affair between an older man and a young female artist.

Content

Submitted: March 27, 2017

A A A | A A A

Content

Submitted: March 27, 2017

A A A

A A A


They sat in the café for a moment, together, with other people in the café, but so alone. Eventually, when she wanted to say something, he spoke the quick words, 'don't say anything'. And then it was as if they really had nowhere else to go or nothing else to do being other than people finishing their drinks and snacks. This was with him a boy and with her a girl with the sunny afternoon and bustle of the crowds outside the café window. After a while, he got up. Once they got up and went out, he bought a bottled drink from a street vendor, him offering her one as well and her accepting it.

As they drank walking near a public park, she asked him what was wrong and why he was so exhausted. He replied that he was getting older. She liked to think for some reason he was still athletic. As well, he said that he found the preoccupation of hers that he did any more physical exercise than the 20 minutes recommended in the newspapers a bit odd.

"Why don't you tell me something about you?"

He said this, but, really, he knew it would get no answer. All he really knew about her was that she had been an artist of sorts. And he did not know much else. She was a young female artist. Also, recently, she had talked about starting an art course at a prestigious college. It must be some kind of further study. She did have a work of art on a wall of her home that he had looked at from time to time. It was not bad. Still, it couldn't have taken more than 10 minutes to learn how to draw like that. It was nothing that you would consider great art but it had a certain naïve and pleasant quality about it.

Sometimes, he looked at the picture just to avoid looking at her and feeling embarrassment as well, to have to explain why he had read so few art books himself. Or rather, it was out of embarrassment to explain why he had not read them again when, in fact, he used to read them but it was some time ago now that he had done so. This was even when she had told him of her new interest in art. He knew a tiny bit about art and he liked to look at a few paintings but he wasn't up on it much anymore. And in one way, he didn't see why he should be. Yet, in another way, he realized he really should have an interest in something they both liked and have a better conversation about it that anyone would expect. And this was even when she didn't want to talk about being an artist herself. How could that stop them talking about art in some other way? Really, it couldn't. So he should have better conversations about art and about many other things as well.

Now, in fact, she pointed this out to him. And she asked why he had not found out about it or made other friends who were also interested in art as well. He had no good answer. It had been such a hot summer. And he didn't always want to go out to the library or bookshop. Recently, he had been feeling his age a bit. This was although he looked younger than his years to others. So he said this to her by way of explanation. Still, it was as if he hadn't said it before as he thought that he had done. And really, he had thought of it so many times and thought that he had said it so many times as well. Also, he said that as a young man he had gone to the library. And he had read many books then. But because of that, he sometimes felt that he had already really read everything he'd ever want to know.

He did not really expect much reaction to his comment about his age but indeed, he did get one.

"How old are you then?"

She said this really a bit sickly and, as well, she looked very bemused.

He told her he was over 40. And she laughed aloud.

"Come here," he said. "Give us a hug."

He said this when feeling he was made youthful by her laugh.

They hugged and then she said, "I've got to go and see a friend." Turning to him again, she said disconsolately, "But still! You really are that old!"

They walked further together and discussed their relationship.

"In truth," he said, "it's just like we are a bit of an odd couple. This is only from the age gap between us. But it is nothing to worry about. You don't have to worry when you hear about lots of odd but still very successful couples. That is even if some of them aren't a bit tragic as well. There are many people like us in literature. Also, don't forget all those partners in crime. Do you remember all the stories like that?"

"I really do have an appointment with a friend and need to turn here," she said finally. "But I would like to see you again. So I'll see you again then, will I? I'll call you. But don't call me. I mean really don't do so. That is or else!"

"Saying that seems more reminiscent of a penny dreadful writer than a serious artist," he said.

"Don't spoil it!" she exclaimed furiously.

It seemed alarming to him how she had spoken. He didn't know either what he had let himself in for, but he might soon find out.

"Now, we part here," she said standing at the crossroads. "I'll see you again sometime. For the time being, though, I want you to go away in the direction you were going to just now."

In one way, he went home happy. He had at last revealed this secret. So, he felt relief. Nevertheless, this was still with worries, concerns and some doubt.

A day later, he came in the familiar hall of his mother's house and hung his jacket up on the coat stand. His mother was in her sixties but still very sprightly. He remembered that he had once asked her how she did it. After all, he had to ask when she seemed to do nothing that might explain it. But he did not really get much of an answer except she said that she walked to the shops and walked to her friends' houses whenever she could even if she could have gotten quicker there otherwise. As well, she said that she did a little gardening and she went for long walks in the park once a week.

"Think that whenever it is a gorgeous day like those we've been having, that I've been going with long strides in the park I showed you when we first moved to this area. This was when you felt so lonely and worried. So now, why don't you go out to the park near where you live?"

She looked at him kindly but when he did not reply to this immediately, she said now quite angrily, "And as I know I must have said this to you already, then why haven't you done it by now?"

He had no answer he could give her and looked dejectedly down at the fireplace.

Speaking this time softly, his mother said, "I have a friend coming this evening to play cards. She's really coming and I'm not making any kind of an excuse. You have a girl you can spend the evenings with now. Why don't you see her more often? You need to see her more; don't you think so by now?"

She gave him this advice and then a tear came to her eye. After that, she got angry with him again.

"I had a bad time when I was in my youth. And you never did yourself. I met some not very nice people. And you have a beautiful girl that you can go out with and there seems that there are no problems with it. But when I was a young woman, you couldn't if you were a girl just talk to men you liked without them having said they wanted to speak you to first. Still, now I have you, my son. As well, we have these long chats all evening. In fact, I find them very tiring. But I still do it for you as I think you want them. And then you have the audacity to say that you find it hard to make conversation with girls. Also, you said I think that this one girl is the only girl that's really listened to you. Now you've found 'her'! So that part of your life where you come round to talk to your mother is over. Do you hear me? You need to spend your time with her. Take my advice and 'get on with it'. Right then, I'm going to go and get a hot drink. And whilst I'm doing that, I expect you to leave and go home."

"Sorry!"

He said this almost inaudibly but with enormous emotion underneath it, though.

"You don't need to say sorry to me when you've found a girl!"

His mother said this furiously.

Then, considerately, she said, "Or, at least, you do almost have one now. And so, you can settle down. Then, 'that will be that' and 'that will be that then' at last. You've found someone! That is a real person you have found and as well, you have been dating her for really quite some time now. So you don't need to say you're sorry! Do you understand why I would say that? What has gotten into you? Just tell me what is wrong with you so I can understand it and help you if I can. But otherwise, what I can see is that you have everything and you don't need any help from me for anything. Nor would you like to meet some of the men that I did when I was your age or a bit younger than that. Sometimes I wonder why you haven't. Perhaps, you would like to meet some. That may shake your ideas up a bit and stop you complaining about really a very good life that you have. Unless you want to meet them for some other reason than just being a woman, or whatever the reason is that you do meet them, then just keep going the way you're going. This is when there's nothing wrong with it except your whining and complaining about it."

He heard his mother go into the kitchen and make a hot drink. And he let himself out the front of the house and went home. Really, he felt relieved to have had this advice.

After that, he went back to bed for a few days and just rested. Then he put on his coat, went out the door to see his girlfriend at their favorite nightspot and he asked her to marry him. She agreed in a few seconds standing up by the low tables of the nightspot and they hugged. Sitting down again, they discussed what to do about the wedding. And the discussion quickly ended up as to whether they'd be able to afford to marry at all.

Eventually, after so much fruitless discussion about their finances, she turned to him and said, "Why don't we just rob a bank?"

Without missing a beat, he said, "How about just rolling someone over that we see on the street with money?"

"How do we do that?"

She said this feeling a bit unsure of what he meant.

"I know of a friend of a friend who could probably give us for a bit of cash up front something that looked like a minicab. And then when we see someone with money walking along the street, we can stop, pull a gun on him that I can get from another friend and then we rob him and drive off."

"Are you sure this is going to work? I don't think I've ever heard of something like that before."

"Of course it is! It will be easy, you'll see."

Then suddenly, she got up again and began going out.

"I've got to go somewhere now," she said. "So I'll see you around. Get another drink if you want to but don't chat to any girls... That was a joke, by the way. Laugh, why don't you?"

He laughed obedient to her and then, a second after she had gone, he left as well.

The friend who he was going to buy the minicab from lived on a side street with 1930s houses and well-kept gardens. He answered his door immediately when he came.

"Have you got the motor I asked for?"

"You actually went past it as you were coming in and you were looking at it. Just pay me the money and don't go back out and look at it again. I will give you the keys for it now."

He reached for his pocket that had a wallet bulging with cash. The man stepped back to let him inside the hallway of his house and he took the money they had agreed on. Then, suddenly, and with a grin, he gave him the keys. His visitor stepped back up out of his porch, went out to the road and drove off.

Coming up to where he lived 20 minutes later, he parked some way away from his home and then went in. After putting some things down, he went to see another friend who lived nearby this time to get a gun. And he went on foot.

The friend invited him in with a quizzical laugh.

"Have you got the gun we talked about through…?"

He said this giving the name of a mutual friend.

"Not so much as a 'by your leave'," the friend said.

The friend was wearing jeans and a T-shirt and his small apartment was crowded with stuff.

They talked for about 5 minutes and then the man he had come to visit took out a gun from somewhere he didn't see and began loading it with ammunition. It was a large chrome-plated revolver.

"Yeah," he said coming up to him and turning his back to him. "You are supposed to spin the barrel like this to see if there are any snags and…"

Then, looking at him oddly and turning back now fully to face him, he said, "I'm not actually sure I want to give you this... Really, I mean! What's wrong with you? That's not a rhetorical question. I want to know the answer genuinely."

"It is just that I have problems feeling bored when I have read so much in the past. And I worry about overusing my eyes if I were to read even more now. I think that's what started it and stopped it again several times even when I did try to read. That was if I had ever forgotten the original reason."

"Why did you want to read so much a few years ago?"

"I had an easy job with plenty of spare time and I wanted to find out about the world."

The man nodded, put the gun back, then went to a box that was in the corner of the room and took out another gun.

"You can have this gun instead," he said. And he gave him this other gun and said, "You'll have fun playing with that!"

Taking the gun from the dealer and pointing it at something on the wall, his visitor practiced leveling it. Or it was whatever it was that he felt he was doing.

"Outside with that," the man said with a laugh.

"How much do I owe you?"

"Just give me five from that cash you have in your wallet."

"Only five, did you say? I expected more."

The man laughed again.

"I don't make much money selling these toys."

"Do you mean guns?"

"Get out now!"

As he left, the man seemed to think better of it and shouted after him, "And don't come back here ever until you're cured, do you hear?"

It felt unpleasant like it had ended badly. The man came to his door and laughed at him not so angry or perhaps he was just fuming. Then, he quietly shut his door and went inside.

They drove along the main street with his girlfriend in the back of their supposed minicab. And once or twice, from their clothes and bulging wallets, they stopped for some rich people. Some walked away a bit bemused when they pulled over and seemed confused by the fact there was already a passenger, a girl, in the back. One man grey-haired big, round and richly-dressed asked about a minicab.

"Am I expected to share a cab? I mean with this girl."

He said this in mock irritation seeing the girl in the back.

She pulled out the gun as planned, and he said, "Alright, alright."

He was looking down at the gun, at the girl and then at the cab driver.

Then, he said, "Just take this. It is a lot of money for you to spend. Now I really am busy, so I must go please."

They drove on a few more yards after he had gone and then turned down another road. The girl counted the money as they went along still though she did not say how much there was despite her driver asking her. Perhaps, it was with the excitement of it that she had forgotten to do so.

Then, she said, "Here's a 20. And don't ask for more."

"But you've got more than that! What's up with you?"

She didn't answer and he could not see what she was doing in the back.

"Pull over here," she said as they went past some street cafés. "We can grab a bite for lunch. I might even treat you."

"Good, as I don't think I have enough money on me except the 20 you gave me to pay for lunch anyway."

"This will do just here," she said looking. "I can see somebody."

"Can you see somebody? Where can you see them…? What's that I can feel? You have your knee on my back."

"No, it's the gun. I've had enough of this. Give me the money you have on you. I assume it's more than the 20 I just gave you... So you didn't tell me, as it were, how old you were. Or is it actually that you did do this in real life when you knew that I was younger. And nor is it just like a dirty joke you used to hear. As well, you know that now I know and you've just kept it going as if you didn't know I knew…. Of course, it matters... It does as it makes me feel bad. Nor have you any excuse to have done this to me when I was a younger woman…."

There was silence for a second, and he said, "I've very little money. You can take it for now if you are upset. But pay it back. And you've really no need to be upset, I mean as it were, even if you do have a right to be so. I suppose, though, that I should apologize for some things…."

"Joke," she said. "Where did you get this gun from?"

"You know him, don't you? You met him once…."

"Hmm! Well, I'm going to see him and ask him about you. You are such a put-on. And we'll see what he says…."

"What do you want to see him for? Go around another time. And you don't have to mention me. By the way, are we still dating after today…?"

"You don't understand. I just put this gun in your back…."

"What did you say?"

"Just get out! You understood."

He stood out quite shaken. As well, for the first time, he saw her loudness and her crudity. Her lipstick, powder and paint were cracked. She had sweated, fumed and screwed her face up. As well, he saw her bitterness. He walked shaken away from her. And nor did he want to look back too much. So now, he'd see soon if his problems really were just starting or what happened.

This was all from a farce. Also, it was bad luck. Or he lacked good qualities. It was, by chance, or as well, that he had lost money in this farce. By now, he should have returned the minicab. And he wondered if he should call his other friend. Perhaps, she'd even be around there by now...

THE END

 


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