It is with heavy heart, as I write here pondering the tale to tell my dear reader of how I feel about the 13th day of February, a Friday as if it at all matters to the larger scheme of the matter. I am forced into this position to be the bearer of the most insidious of news. Never before has such a fateful and foreboding air crept the spine—my spine at least. I’m not given to exaggeration to be sure. These facts as I know them are as only I know them. And in a short course so shall the bearer of these regrettable declarations.
Twas but well-nigh two days since the awfulness of the whole of the charade became clear to me. Hiding under the bed of the most angelic and vivacious widow Mrs. Aboot de’Langerea, worried about the rather heavy-handed knock which had only mere seconds earlier pierced the glorious morning and the empty house from the backdoor. Hearing shouts, shattering glass, and an obvious scuffle I knew I had been misinformed of the poor widow’s current situation.
“Hide,” she had told me, startled, before she bolted off the bed and out the door. “Hide and do not come out until he’s gone.” She raised her hands, stroked my face, and stared deeply into my eyes. “You must promise me that my sweet beautiful, Richardo.”
Understanding at once the urgency with no time to question or think, I did what anyone given awkwardness of the unfortunate predicament would have done. I lowered myself, both morally and physically onto my belly and slid feet first under her bed, backing as far away from the edge and out of sight as one could ever be.
I have never, ever, seen the underside of lover’s bed or felt such a degree of humiliation or uncomfortableness of nerves in my stomach as I had at that time. The excitement of the encounter at the backdoor had my ears attentive, breath held tight and eyes opened wide. The whole of the ordeal could have ended in a matter of seconds as far as I was concerned. No sense in dwelling on the bad. Bid good day and send him on his way. But the conversation overheard did not go at all the way it should have gone.
It is here I should wish to point out something I have been the unfortunate discoverer of since that frightful morn. Some people like pain. To give it or receive it is an aphrodisiac. I, to my good sort of amicable disposition, like neither aspect of the proposition. Widow de’Langerea’s unwelcome guest is one of those people—and in retrospect, one would have to surmise—so is the widow de’Langerea.
Their argument drew closer to the bedroom with thumps and thuds from the walls mixed with grunts and moans.
“There’s no one in there,” she yelled. “And so what if there were. You stay out of my bedroom!”
“You changed the locks and make me knock!?” The heavy-handed man yelled just prior to the bedroom door violently swinging open and crashing loudly against the wall. “I told you I would be back!”
“You warned me,” she said. “You wretched bastard.”
I never saw the slap, but I heard it as clear as a lightening clap.
“Aren’t you the lucky girl then?”
“Get out of my house!” she screamed.
The bed bounced over me. And she cried out, “Augh!”
He jumped on not even a half-second after and immediately I could hear the gown’s material being ripped away from her body.
It is here, no matter the promise I had made to the erotically beautiful widow de’Langerea, my manhood would not allow me to stay hidden any longer. I steadied myself to slide out from the bed with a quickness. In the next instant, however, I was simultaneously confused and deflated.
“Oh, yes, my husband,” her voice cooed. “You remember how I like it.”
They went on and on. Over and over again from the late morning hours well into the evening. With each time I prayed and hoped beyond hope, the bed would not collapse over me. I was no longer worried for her safety but my own. And wondered, how in my youth, I was maneuvered into this most precarious of positions—on the underside of the activity on the bed.
I was amazed to learn in due course, of course, the title of widow was something widow de’Langerea had bestowed upon herself. I was amazed, also I admit, to numerous things I swear I’d never heard of before, less dreamed about. Positions and rhythms, slaps and sounds—and speech, especially the speech.
The things done to one another by them seemed as foreign to me as visiting outerly world places. Ghoulish and macabre. No beauty of a rainbow, no cuteness of a puppy, though if given enough time I’m sure they too would have entered the room in one form or another.
When it seemed each had had enough of the other and the end was definitely upon us I found myself staring at the backside of two very large feet of the man as he swung them off the bed to the floor and sat briefly on its side.
“I’m going out for just desserts,” he said. “When I return the locks had best be returned. Or I’ll throw your naked ass to the streets.”
She didn’t say a word and he didn’t wait for one. He merely dressed, pulled on his boots, and walked heavy-footed out of the room, down the hall and out the door.
When I heard the door close behind him I slithered my self out from the farthest edge of the floor and stood with my back towards her. I hesitated to look behind me, but curiosity has gotten the better of the moment so slowly I turned to face her.
There she lied collapsed and spent, all naked in her glory, red-faced and disheveled hair. The bed a mess of wet wrinkled sheeting and balled bed blankets. Her eyes stared through me as a small smile gradually appeared from the corners of her swollen and overly reddened lips.
“You kept your promise,” she told me after but a few heartbeats. “It’s nice to know some men still do.”
“I’m afraid you put me in the most egregious of positions with no chance to do anything but,” I said, my face giving no sign of emotion for I knew not the emotion to display. Was I sympathetic to her plight, or disgusted by her delight? “The hour is late and you’re surely worn. I shall return in the morning and restore the new locks with the old.”
“I’ll be grateful to you my sweet boy. You can see yourself out. I’m finished.”
I donned my things, my shirt, and shoes, and gathered my tools by the door. I didn’t bother to look back to the bedroom, there would be nothing to see but an empty doorway. I opened the backdoor and walked out, turning around to lock it behind me.
When I turned to leave I was confronted by a large man with the town’s most beautiful young woman under his arm. He was old with salt and pepper for hair, a scruffy beard, and drinking ale from a brown clasp-top bottle. I stayed, like a caught rat in a trap.
“So girl, this is your young locksmith’s apprentice I’ve been hearing about ’round the town,” he said with almost a laugh in his voice.
“Yes,” she said softly.
“He’s pretty for a boy, isn’t he?”
“Yes,” she said again.
“I expect you’ll be back in the morning to undo your work for today, boy.”
I straightened my back and eyed him as he had done me.
“Somethings can be undone, somethings cannot.”
“I see … hard to learn your lessons for the day, apprentice—on your belly,” he slurred with a broad smile. “Isn’t that right my dear?”
“I don’t know. Some lessons come easier on the belly,” she said with a short faint smile.
“Ah, most excellent,” he said. “My apprentice is learning quickly. I shall see you in the morning, boy.”
I cracked my own half-smile and canted my head slightly to the left. “I should think you’d be better served to stay away until after lunch, sir. Unless of course, you’re in need of a lesson or two of your own.”
“Ha,” he chuckled. “Come along, dear, we’ve got a long night ahead.”
That night I gave little thought of the widow or her husband, but the young woman never strayed far from my thoughts. Who was she and how did she come to be under his control?
The next morning I arrived early and undid the previous day’s work in short order. The widow de’Langerea made an effort to entice me inside with coffee and breakfast. Both of which I declined to her dissatisfaction.
“But, you must allow me to show you my gratitude. I promise you will not be disappointed.”
“Another time perhaps.”
“Another time, when his apprentice is once again here, perhaps?” she asked. “Maybe the day after next while he is away and she is studying lessons, perhaps?”
“Perhaps,” I smiled.
This has been my dilemma for the better part of the past two days, knowing now what has been forced upon me to learn…do I use my copied key? Or, do I knock on the backdoor?