Saturday 21 June 2014

'Behind Closed Doors' by Vanessa Savage

Sex, sex, sex.  That’s all we ever talk about these days; positions, locations, attire… Bernard is forever coming home with new ‘sensual oils’ and scratchy lace underwear I’m forever exchanging for sensible nighties.

Last month, Bernard suggested we try ‘swinging’.  I wasn’t keen, but he insisted it would spice things up, improve our thirty-year marriage. I hadn’t realized there was anything wrong with our marriage in the first place.

Bernard found a party.  I didn’t question how, just clutched my handbag tighter as he parked the Mondeo outside the semi-detached house.  Bernard dressed for the occasion in tight jeans and a startling red shirt.  I did think about pointing out the jeans would leave unsightly crease marks when he undressed, but he’d seemed so pleased with his appearance.  I went for a more sensible flowery dress, but got Cathy round to do my hair.  It’s important to make an effort.

A large woman in a floaty negligee showed us around and explained the rules.  Bernard was keen to get started and soon disappeared.  I found the kitchen and put the kettle on.  I’d gathered quite a crowd when Bernard came looking for me twenty minutes later.

“Sal – You’re not here to drink tea!”

The evening was not a success.  I said no to any more parties.  All that heaving flesh just made me queasy.

So Bernard placed a discreet ad in the Gazette and Ted and Annie turned up.  Nice couple, early fifties, well turned-out. I look down at the pink quilt cover I’m ironing.  Would they prefer the blue floral?  The pink matches the curtains, but will it clash with Annie’s red hair?

That first time, Bernard grabbed Annie’s hand and galloped into the spare room, not even bothering to close the curtains. I hurried in after them to do it, averting my eyes from Annie’s assets.  Me and Ted enjoyed a nice cup of tea downstairs.  We talked gardening and other things, found out we had quite a bit in common.

I hear Ted’s car outside and go to the door. Me and Ted wait for Bernard and Annie to go upstairs before we go and get into his Jaguar.  I suppose Bernard was right.  Swinging certainly has changed our marriage. Bernard will see my letter asking for a divorce when they finally emerge from the bedroom.  By which time, me and Ted will be settled at his new place with a nice cup of tea and the prospect of an afternoon’s gardening.

As well as having a love of gardening in common, Ted also demonstrated he’s far more aware of my other ‘needs’ than Bernard could ever be when he showed me the fully equipped ‘dungeon’ in his cellar. Bless, he’s even got his‘n’hers leather outfits and masks.  Poor old Bernard, with his candles and sensual massage – always a disappointment.

As we drive off, I hear a shriek and crash, see the paperboy running.  Oh dear, the silly pair must have forgotten to close the curtains again.

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