19 Mart 2023

She Painted Up Her Face


She painted up her face and wished that for once the mirror would lie to her. It could at least tell her that the ravages of time meant nothing, that she was still a beautiful woman. But it was incapable of lying to her, it was incapable of airbrushing the reality of her life, a life once full of potential but now full of nothing.

Her profession decreed that, because time and gravity had lowered her breasts, she wear a black lace bra to go with the mandatory black lace panties. She cupped her breasts and imagined a time gone by when such support was un-necessary, when they were loved by many men and hated by many women. Her hands moved to her nipples as she remembered a time when she could wear a tee shirt and her unsupported breasts did not require a bucket of water to make them stand out.

Her memory of times past made this evening more poignant, this evening of all evenings. It was fifteen years ago tonight that she had been the centre of attention, the birthday girl, surrounded by family and friends, her father telling the world that his little girl was destined for great things, a happy marriage to her handsome fiancé, the mandatory two perfect children, a son followed a respectable time later, by a daughter, a fine house, and a fine car. All of that was to be hers, her dream. But dreams don’t always come true, and in her case they became a nightmare.

Her twenty first had been held in the church hall. It seemed only fitting that she should have it there, she was engaged to the Minister’s son and her father was an Elder in the church. She and Brian were both leaders in the Youth Group and academic achievers bound for success in their chosen fields, he a Lawyer, and she a teacher.

She looked as pretty as a picture standing beside her father as he chronicled her childhood as he knew it, complete with naked baby photos, tastefully chosen so that there were no ‘naughty bits’ visible. He handed her the large symbolic key to signify that she was now an adult and could therefore be trusted as such, and the assembly lustily sang ‘Twenty-one today.’

Brian was invited to join her on the stage and they kissed, chastely, as her father made his predictions for their future. She was allowed to stay behind when her parents went home early and left the young people to celebrate the occasion. They trusted her, they trusted Brian to not do anything, after all he was the Minister’s son and if you couldn’t trust him not to have sex with his fiancé before marriage, who could you trust.

Her first experience of sex was on her wedding night, and it was a disappointment to her. She had been brought up on a diet of Barbara Cartland and Mills and Boon romance novels, and when the bells didn’t ring she felt somehow cheated of that one great moment.

They moved into their first home on their return from the honeymoon and he had picked her up and carried her over the threshold as tradition had demanded. “Welcome to our home my Darling.” He kissed her on the lips. There was no passion in his kiss, it was the kiss of a man who had not learned how to love.

Yes she did marry her handsome fiancé, and yes they did have a fine house, and a fine car, but the other things eluded her.

In the beginning they made love every night, in the missionary position, but she remained unsatisfied. He would take her in his arms and kiss her for a few minutes, and would then raise her nighty and she would remove her panties while he removed his pyjama bottoms. He would climb between her legs and insert his penis in her dry and unprepared vagina. She would wait for some sensation to come, but none did. He would empty himself into her and withdraw, from her and to his side of the bed. She would lie awake listening to his heavy breathing.

Following his graduation and becoming a fully-fledged lawyer, she gave up work. It was time for the planned first child so she stopped taking the pill and submitted to him night after night for three months until. “Darling?”

“Yes Darling?”

“How long after you stop taking the pill before you fall pregnant?”

“It could happen straight away, it could take months, everyone is different. Why do you ask?”

“I just thought that it should have happened by now.”

“Give it time, it will happen.” She said confidently.

But it didn’t happen. After six months he asked the same question and got the same answer, but he wasn’t satisfied. After twelve months he insisted that she should have a check up to see if there was any problem. “Well, what did the doctor say?” He asked as they lay in bed after yet another bout of lovemaking. “He said that everything seems fine, I’m ovulating as normal, producing an egg each month, as normal.”

“Maybe there’s something wrong with your eggs, maybe you’re infertile.”

“Maybe the problem is with you.”

“No, I’m certain it isn’t, I produce the normal amount of semen.”

“Have you. . .”

“No!” He cut her short. The problem had to be hers.

He began to work longer hours. “Why do you have to work so late every night?” She asked him as they lay in bed. They hadn’t made love again because he was too tired.

“Because, bostancı escort because I have to prepare briefs for upcoming cases, I have to collate the prepared arguments for current cases. As a junior lawyer I have to do all of the hack work if I want to get ahead. You know that, we’ve discussed if before.”

Each day she tidied the house, did the laundry once a week, the grocery shopping once a week, visited her mother once a week. “How’s Brian getting on?” Her mother asked.

“He’s working so hard these days, he’s never at home. He even works weekends and is always tired. I don’t know what’s happening to us, we never have time to talk. I know he says he loves me and all that, but he doesn’t even kiss me good-bye in the mornings any more. I can’t remember the last time we made love.” That’s wrong, she thought, I can’t remember it because we have never made love. We’ve had sex, mechanical sex, totally devoid of any sort of intimacy.

“I’m sure that it will get better as he progresses at work and has people doing the work that he does now.”

“I’m beginning to wonder if he actually loves me, he hasn’t told me that he does for ages.”

“I’m sure that he does, he just doesn’t tell you. I know that your father loves me, he doesn’t need to say it for me to know.”

“I don’t know. I might have to try something to spice it up a little.”

“Don’t do anything that you’ll regret later.”

“I have to do something, I can’t go on like this.”

“Be patient, I’m sure that you’ll get over it.”

She couldn’t understand why she would want to say that, it’s not her that has to get over it.

After dinner he went to have a shower and while he was in the bathroom I prepared myself. I had lashed out on a see through short nighty that left nothing to the imagination, combined with see through panties that advertised my readiness for some serious lovemaking. I was to be disappointed with the outcome. “How much did that cost?”

“Is that all you can say, how much did that cost? Brian, I am your wife and I love you, but love is a two way street, you are supposed to love me. I know that you’ve been working hard at work, and I know that you are doing it for us, but I want you to take some time now and then to relax and be the husband that I know that you can be. Brian I want you to make love to me, really make love to me. Can you do that, just once?” I stood in front of him, making sure that the light showed what I was offering him in its best light. If what he did was any indication, our marriage was doomed.

They drifted through life, she frustrated and he indifferent, for another couple of years. She had resigned herself to this life because she couldn’t see any chance of improvement, she didn’t want to be the one to end it all.

He came home a little later than usual and he had been drinking. she knew that he had been drinking a little after work, but this time he was quite inebriated. “I don’t want dinner.” He said as I prepared to serve it.

“Brian, I have waited dinner for you, you are very late and must be hungry, I know I am.”

“I don’t want dinner, I had a bite to eat after work.” He went off to shower.

She threw a perfectly good meal in the rubbish bin and tidied up the kitchen. He was in bed when she got there, and mumbled something when she climbed in and kissed him on the cheek. “What did you say?”


“You said something and I want to know what it was.”

“I said good night, but now that I’m awake, I need to talk to you. I want a divorce.”

“What? You can’t be serious!”

“I want a divorce.”

“Why? What has brought this on?”

“You have to admit that we haven’t been happy for some time.”

“Yes, you could say that. God knows I’ve tried but you haven’t helped any. What possible reason can you have for wanting a divorce, it can’t be anything that I’ve done.”

“I’ve been seeing someone, another woman.”

“At least it’s not a man.” I tried to lighten the mood. “How long has this been going on for?”

“A while. We love each other and want to get married.”

“What about me? What am I supposed to do?”

“You could go back to work.”

“Is it your intention for this woman, this Jezebel, should move into our house, the house that I helped you buy, our dream home where we were supposed to bring up a family, Do you want me to walk away from this just so you and she can live here together?” She know that she was sounding a little hysterical, but she was shaken by this news, although in hindsight she shouldn’t have been surprised.

After he left for work, she drove over to my parents’ house. “What’s the matter?” Her mother could see the panic on my face.

“Brian came home last night and announced that he wants a divorce, not only that, but that he’s been seeing someone else and wants me to move out.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I don’t know. I thought that you and Father could have a chat to his parents and see if we can arrange some sort of counselling to fix the problems.”

“We can try, but I wouldn’t büyükçekmece escort hold up too much hope.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“I can’t say anything just now. You need to make plans just in case this doesn’t work out.” She changed the subject quickly and went to make coffee for both of us.

She stayed with her until mid-afternoon before she headed home.

‘I’ll give Brian this’, she thought, ‘once he makes up his mind about something he moves quickly. She arrived home to find her clothes in black garbage bags piled in the driveway and all the locks changed. She couldn’t get into the house to collect any of her personal things. She threw everything into her car and drove back to her parents’ house.

“Surely you couldn’t have packed that quickly.”

“No, he packed up all my clothes and piled them in the driveway. And he’s changed the locks so that I can’t get in to check for anything else.”

“I find it hard to believe that he would do something like this, he’s always been such a nice man.”

“That’s the side that you see, he has made life miserable for me for the past couple of years.”

“We can’t do anything about it right now, come, you can give me a hand with dinner. We’ll talk it over with your father when he gets home.”

Her father was of little help. He, in fact, made matters worse. “Reverend Thomas came to see me today to tell me that Brian has asked you for a divorce. This news was bad enough, but when he told me the reason for this decision I was shocked to say the least. How could you do this to him? Haven’t we taught what is right and wrong?”

“What are you talking about, I have done nothing wrong, nothing to warrant him seeking a divorce.”

“Committing adultery is nothing wrong?”


“Brian told his father that he had evidence of your infidelity, and that’s why he cannot live with you any longer, and that’s why he has asked you to leave.”

“This is all bullshit!”

“Watch your language in this house my girl.”

“He is lying. I have not been unfaithful to him, it is he that has been unfaithful. He told me last night that he wants a divorce because he has been seeing another woman, one that can give him the children that he wants, that I can’t give him.”

“I can’t believe that you would accuse him of lying, just to hide your sins. You are no daughter of mine.”

“I came here today to see if you and Mother would take me in for a while so that I can get my head around all of this, but I guess that’s out of the question now, isn’t it?”

“I cannot deny you shelter, but don’t expect anything more, and it will only be for a short time.”

This was the beginning of the end for her. The lies continued unabated in the months leading up to the divorce. She had applied through the courts for permission to enter the family home to retrieve certain items of emotional significance. This motion was denied on the basis that, as she had abandoned the family home, he had removed all her property and disposed of it, some donated to charity but the majority was taken away and destroyed.

She sought Marriage Counselling. The court ordered individual counselling sessions to determine if joint counselling would be beneficial in resolving their marital differences, but he had convinced the Counsellor that their differences were irreconcilable. He made no mention of his new relationship.

Faced with these insurmountable odds she had no option but to agree to the divorce. The weight of the evidence produced during the divorce hearing was in his favour, even when she tried to convince the court of his infidelity, and produced photographs of him spending time with a young woman and her child. He claimed that this relationship was in its infancy and only occurred after she had abandoned him and their marriage. The fact that he was the son of a respected Clergyman was emphasised to add veracity to his side of the story. They even produced a deposition from her own father in support of him.

She left her parents’ home soon after the divorce hearing and rented a small furnished apartment in a middle class neighbourhood. It was all that she could afford, but she would have to find work quickly before her savings and the small payout she received from the divorce ran out.

Her old boss at the Department was sympathetic. “I’d love to give you your old job back, you were an excellent employee, but we have replaced you and, as she’s on contract, we cannot sack her to re-employ you, you understand our position, don’t you?”

“Yes, I understand. I don’t suppose that you know of any opportunities do you?”

“No, I’m sorry. Things are very tight in this industry at present, there are more people looking for work than there are jobs to go around. If you leave your contact details I’ll contact you if I hear of anything.”

“Thank you for that.” She left her details and left. The newspaper was of no help, as was the temp agency.

Each day became a ritual for her. She would go out and get the morning newspaper and pour over it over her breakfast, çekmeköy escort marking any potential opportunities. After showering and dressing she would make a series of calls, the first in response to those ads that she had marked. These were invariably fruitless, so it was then that she left for a round of cold calling. This was a dis-heartening process, garnering on a few occasions, sympathy, but on most occasions a short ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you’ response. By the end of the day she was physically and emotionally at a very low ebb.

After six months of this soul destroying routine she realised that her meagre finances were rapidly diminishing and something would have to happen soon. She was reluctant to ask for help from her father, she couldn’t stand the thought of his response and rejection. She was rapidly reaching desperation point and desperate times call for desperate measures.

He was handsome, in a rugged kind of way, he had a ready smile and was generous with his money. She had gone to the hotel around the corner just to get out of the house and because there was a new band playing there, anything to take her mind off her predicament.

“Is this seat taken?” He indicated the stool next to her at the bar.

“No.” It was a neutral answer, neither dismissive nor encouraging.

“Do you mind?” He asked

“Knock yourself out.” Her response was aimed to let him know that she wasn’t interested in him or his company.

He sat down and ordered a drink, red wine she noted, and took a small sip from it before putting the glass on the bar.

She sipped her wine and held her glass to her forehead to cool her face.

“That bad huh?”

“You could say that.”

“Boyfriend troubles or something more serious?”

“You don’t want to know.”

“Try me, I’m a good listener.”

She stared at him for a minute or two before deciding that there were worse things she could be doing than chatting to a total stranger. She couldn’t think of any off the top of her head, but she was sure that there must have been. “No boyfriend, just a bastard of an ex-husband who took me to the cleaners and thoroughly screwed up my life.”


“The bastard left me because we couldn’t have children. He had found some woman who had proof of her ability to have kids, she has a daughter from a previous relationship, so I got the flick.”

“Again, ouch.”

“And in the process of getting rid of me he not only disposed of most of my things, things of importance to me, but he told my father that he had proof of my infidelity, turning my father against me. That in a nut-shell is the sum total of my miserable life, one that I would not wish to burden anyone with.”

“Look, there’s an empty booth over there, what say I buy you a drink and we can sit down and have a quiet conversation.” This brought a sharp reaction from her and just when he thought that she was going to empty the contents of her glass over his head, she softened and stood up, taking her half empty glass and walking to the booth. He ordered a fresh glass for both of them and joined her.

He bought her drink after drink until the cares of her world had faded into oblivion. He was a good listener, and when she finally ended her tale of woe, began to inject a lighter mood into their conversation. Somewhere in the conversation she told him that her name was Trudi, and the reason for her sadness was as much to do with her financial situation as it was with the hurt that she had experienced in her life. Soon she was smiling often and on occasions actually laughing, it had been a long time since she had felt so relaxed, she had begun to enjoy herself.

It was late when he suggested that he take her home. “I live just around the corner, I can walk, so you don’t need to take me.”

“I wouldn’t think of letting you walk home alone, come let me walk with you.” He stood and held out his hand to her. She rose unsteadily to her feet and allowed him to lead her from the hotel. Once outside she realised that she had drunk more than she should have, she staggered against him and he put his arm around her to steady her. She put her arm around his lean body and felt a new sensation, one that was missing from her marriage to Brian, a sensation of strength, and love, and safety.

She dropped her purse as she fumbled for her keys and he stooped to pick it up. As he was down there she touched his face, he smiled as he rose to his feet and touched hers. He bent to kiss her and she felt once more the sensation of being loved. Inside her apartment she placed her arms around his neck and kissed him passionately on the lips. The sensation of his hands on her body sent shivers up her spine. She sobbed softly to herself, for so long she had missed this sensation, for so long it had been denied.

In the morning she woke alone in her bed, her companion gone, leaving behind a pile of money, money enough to survive for a time. Her recollections of the previous night were hazy, somewhere in there she remembered his hands on her breasts, his finger inside her and then the pleasure that she felt when he entered her. He kissed her on the lips, her nipples and between her legs. She kissed his lips and for the first time, took a penis in her mouth. Whether it was from exhaustion or the feeling of being loved, she eventually drifted into a deep sleep, thinking of the pleasure that she had just experienced, it was a night she would remember, but it was also one that she would never forget.

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