I was half-asleep and sat in one of our garden chairs. My legs rested on the seat of another as I felt the pain in my back. I could hear our neighbour, Bill, working in his garden a few yards from me. I groaned as I pulled myself out of the chair, my hands on my engorged belly, he must have heard me moan, I saw his head appear and look over the fence at me.
“Hey there Lucy, how are you feeling today?”
I smiled at him and huffed and puffed as I stood up and walked towards the line, to hang up the basket of freshly washed clothes.
“I’m a little tired. It seemed like a good idea to put a wash on when I woke up this morning, now, not so much.”
“You sit back down! I’ll come and do that for you.”
I began to protest, but when I looked up, he was on his way down the side of his house and headed for ours. I eased myself back into the garden chair and rested my hands on my belly
My name is Lucy, I am thirty-two and I work as a nurse at the local hospital. I am married to Paul, who is a couple of years older than me and I am twenty-eight weeks pregnant, with twins, out first children.
I watched him walks up the side of our house and into the garden. Bill, has been our neighbour since we moved in. He is a widow, his lovely wife Anne, died three years ago. They were so helpful to me, to us, when we moved here. He’s in his late forties, he must be about forty-eight because we were invited to his fortieth birthday the year we moved here, and that was eight years ago.
Bill began to hang up the washing, “I’ve told you, Lucy, just call me and I will come and do the heavy stuff for you, we can’t have you lumping around these heavy loads of washing, not in your condition.”
I smiled at him, he was so helpful, he was always running errands for me, my husband isn’t too keen on him, he thinks he’s ‘over-friendly’, I just think that he’s a nice guy. He soon had all the washing hung out to dry. He asked me if I wanted a drink, I had a real thirst and said I could get it myself.
“Nonsense, sit there.”
He left and walked into our kitchen, he was familiar with our house, like I said, he was very helpful to me. He returned with a glass of squash with two ice-cubes in, it was most welcome, he sat with me and we chatted.
He asked about me, how I was feeling, and the babies, or ‘the precious ones’ as he called them. I loved talking to him about all this stuff, because, Paul, well he wasn’t interested. I don’t know how long we’d been talking but I needed to go to the loo, he helped me up, and he could see that my back was bad today, so he held my arms and took me inside. I came out of the bathroom and he was sat in the kitchen, he smiled and pushed out a chair, I sat down.
I nodded “tea would be lovely, thank you.”
He asked about Paul, and his work, and if he was excited about the new arrivals. When I didn’t reply, he turned to look at me.
“Lucy? Did you hear me?”
I looked up, I had tears in my eyes, he noticed immediately and came and sat down, he took my hand.
“What is it Lucy, what’s wrong, are you okay?”
I tried to hold back the tears, but I couldn’t, and I sobbed, he pulled his chair beside mine and wrapped me in his arms and held me, I leaned my head on his neck and just sobbed. When I finally stopped, he handed me a tissue and I wiped my eyes, he poured two cups of tea and sat down beside me.
“What brought that on Lucy? Was it something I said?”
I shook my head
“No, it’s nothing.”
He didn’t buy it, I took a drink of my tea and then a deep breath then I told him.
“Paul doesn’t want the babies.”
He stared in disbelief.
“I can’t believe that Lucy.”
I shook my head
“It’s true, he doesn’t want them, and I think he doesn’t want me.”
He put his arm around me again
“ Come on Lucy, is it just the hormones? It’s natural to get mood swings.”
I shook my head.
“You don’t understand Bill, he hasn’t wanted me for a long time, if ever.”
Bill was silent.
I bit my lip, “he hasn’t touched me since I told him I was pregnant.”
Bill suggested that might be afraid of hurting the babies.
“No, that’s not it, because, he has hardly touched me in the last, two years.”
I couldn’t believe that I was telling him this, but it felt right, I felt that he’d understand, after all, Bill was the only one who’d listen.
He held me and rocked me, “Lucy, are you sure, have to talked to him about it?”
I nodded and sniffed back a tear.
“You know what he said when I told him that I was pregnant? He said, is it mine?”
I lifted my head, Bill was staring, I knew he was shocked.
“And when I told him that it was twins, he said, and I quote, ’fuck! Two mouths to feed!”
I began to cry again, and again he held me to him, stroking my hair, and telling me that it’ll be okay. With my head on his chest, and looking down, I told him that I’d asked Paul recently if he found me attractive still?
“He looked at me Bill and said, how can anyone think THAT is attractive? Look at you, you’re huge!”
Bill slowly lifted my face, he wiped tears from my cheeks with his fingers and looked into my eyes.
“I think that you look beautiful, I think that you were beautiful before you got pregnant, and the fact that you are carrying life around inside you, that makes you more beautiful than ever.” He paused and brushed a finger softly across my cheek.
“I remember when Anne was pregnant, I could hardly keep my hands off her she and I had sex the night before our first son was born.”
He stared deep into my eyes as he said it, I smiled.
“Thank you, Bill.”
He smiled at me, “yeah, if you were my wife then,” he stopped.
I was waiting for him to finish, I realised that I wanted him to say it, but he was embarrassed.
“I’m sorry, I’ve gone too far,”
I lifted my head and kissed his cheek, “no, you didn’t, and thank you.”
He invited me out for a pub lunch, down by the river. I didn’t have to think too hard about it and I accepted. We had a lovely lunch, we sat outside looking out onto the river, I had a lovely fresh salad and it was one of the best days that I’d had in a long while, and for a short time, my problems seemed less important.
Bill was so easy to talk to and even easier on the eye. I noticed that he attracted a few admiring glances from some ladies as he walked to and from the bar with drinks. I wondered why he hadn’t had a relationship since Anne had died, he told me that it wasn’t that he was pining for her, or out of some respect for her memory, he would never stop missing her or loving her, but he just hadn’t met the right woman. He smiled at me.
“I need to meet someone like you, Lucy.”
I found myself blushing at that. We took a short walk along the river before leaving, I had to hold onto his arm to keep steady, it felt nice to have some physical contact with another human being.
When we got back, he brought in the washing, it had all dried. I watched him from the kitchen window and realised that I was staring at his ass, his jeans hugged it and it looked firm, and when he reached up for the clothes, he exposed a little of his belly, and it looked tight too. Bill had served in the army for twenty years, he’d seen service in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he rarely talked about it, and from what I’d seen, he kept himself in shape, he was in far better shape than Paul, who was a lot younger. He brought the washing basket in and put it on the kitchen table.
“Whilst I’m here I may iron as well it, I mean you don’t want to be standing up pushing the iron about, putting pressure on your body.”
I protested, but not too much, I wasn’t looking forward to that chore. So, I sat and chatted whilst he ironed all my washing, I blushed when he picked up my knickers, not the sexiest pairs, more like granny knickers, he held up a pair of pink ones.
“I bet if you try these on after the babies, you’d fit into one leg.”
We laughed, though I was embarrassed that he had my knickers in his hand.
When he left, I thanked him and kissed his cheek
“Thank you for listening to me Bill, I’m sorry I put all that on you.”
He held me in his hands and looked into my eyes.
“Listen to me Lucy, you don’t let any of that crap worry you, all you have to think about it those little beauties inside you. And if you need anything, day or night, call me, if you need to talk, if you’re upset, call me.” He kissed my forehead, “you look after yourself and that precious cargo that you are carrying,”
He placed his hand on my bump, and one of the babies kicked, he smiled.
“She’s saying, get your hands off my mum!”
He left, I sat down and sighed, then I realised, that I had that familiar tingly feeling between my legs, Bill had got me aroused.