As I cleaned up after she had left I couldn’t get the images or the sounds of her out of my head. I pulled the sheets from the bed and stared at the dark stains left by my cum that had leaked from her. I smiled, it had been a fantastic experience, one that I wouldn’t forget in a hurry, and as I carried the bedding tot he washing machine I replayed the afternoon in my head. As I did I heard a voice inside, ‘you’re kidding yourself, James, you like her and you know it, just accept it and tell her.’ I shook my head, the voice wasn’t wrong, but I knew, inside, that I was not ready to commit to a relationship.
I walked back into the lounge and my eyes immediately fell on the photograph of Sally and me. I picked it up and looked at it.
“I’m sorry honey, but I enjoyed that. I know that you wouldn’t want me to be alone, so although I do feel guilty, I don’t feel as guilty as I thought I would. But, you know that I will only ever love you. How can I go into a relationship knowing that? It wouldn’t be fair, would it?”
I placed the photograph back on the mantle and picked up the phone, I needed a break, I called my eldest daughter, Susan, and told her that I was coming to visit.
My daughter lived in the south of England, and it was a four-hour drive for me, something which I didn’t mind at all. I loved driving, it gave me time to think and whilst lots of people find it boring, or even stressful, I am the opposite. I find that being alone in the car I can relax and whilst I am always concentrating on the road and everything around me, I can, somehow, relax, and almost switch off from the world around me.
I used to use driving as a method of stress relief when I was younger. Whenever life at home used to get too much, or problems with the business seemed to be mounting up and getting on top of me. I’d find time to go out for a drive, never going anywhere in particular, just driving, motorways are best. I’d often jump in the car and drive down the M1 for an hour and then turn back and head home. More often than not, I was a lot more relaxed when I got home than I had been when I left.
Sally understood, and put up with me whenever it happened. I always claimed that it was the reason that we’d never had a serious argument during our marriage, and I knew that it was the best place for me to resolve any issues that I was having at work, without shouting and screaming at the staff.
When I arrived at my daughters I was greeted by my two grandchildren, Chloe and Harry. Chloe was our first grandchild, she is ten now and turning into a beautiful young lady, and she reminds me so much of her grandmother. It is her eyes, just like Susan, they both have Sally’s eyes. Her brother, Harry, is seven, and like any typical boy of his age, he is full of energy, and often excitable, and I know, can be a handful at times for Susan and her husband Bradley.
Whenever I visit we have to go through the same dance. I say that I’ll book into a hotel, Susan insists that I stay with them, and the children plead with me to stay, with Chloe even offering to let her brother sleep in her room whilst I’m there. But this time, I felt that I needed to do something different, and I wanted to have some time with my daughter, and her husband, so I suggested that we all go away for a couple of nights, my treat.
Of course, Susan protested, but I persuaded her that we should all go to the large theme park that was little more than an hour away, I also suggested that we stay over for a couple of nights so that the kids can enjoy a couple of days in the park. Of course, when the kids heard they were all for it, and, after a little cajoling from me, Susan and Bradley agreed. I clapped my hands.
“Good. Now go and pack for a couple of days. I’ve booked rooms at the hotel that is next to the park.”
My daughter stared at me, I shrugged and smiled.
“Come on! Chop-chop!” I said, a flashback to her childhood. It was what I’d say to whenever she was dragging her feet.
As everyone started rushing around I told her that I had already arranged with her sister, Claire, to meet us there with her kids. Unfortunately, her husband, David, had to work, but my other grandchildren, Alison and Erin would be coming with her. I told Susan that I’d made Claire promise not to tell her, but this didn’t stop her giving her sister a hard time when she called her.
I listened to her talk with her sister and smiled when she asked her how come she hadn’t called her to tell her about the trip, there was a pause, her sister had told her that I made her promise not to say anything. She looked at to me as she spoke to her sister.
“I don’t care what dad said. You’re my sister, you should have told me.”
I smiled and turned away to help my grandson with his small pull-along case.
There was another family reunion when we arrived at the hotel when we met my daughter Claire and her two children, and after booking in we met up in the bar for a drink and something to eat.
All of the children were excited. We used to get together as often as we could and when we did, all four children got on so well, and it wasn’t long before the girls had pestered their mothers to allow them to sleep together. Harry, the only boy, was a lovely easy-going lad, and I knew that he wouldn’t mind having them all in the room with him, but Claire insisted that the girls sleep in her room, and the girls didn’t care where they slept.
As I closed my room door behind me I sighed and contemplated what had been a lovely evening. I always enjoyed being with my family, but it was always tinged with a little sadness. My wife, Sally, loved the children and would have loved to see them growing up as they are now.
I was up early the next morning and eventually was joined at breakfast by the rest of the family. All of the kids were excited, and judging by the look on Claire’s face, the girls had stayed up later than they should have.
After breakfast, we made our way into the theme park. Being hotel guests, we had ‘Fast-track’ passes for the major rides which allowed us to jump the queues. Bradley had agreed to chaperone the kids for the morning, which allowed me and my daughters to spend a little time together.
It turned out to be a great day. The kids had the time of their lives and by the time we got back to the hotel they were almost out on their feet, and after a quick bite to eat they were packed off to bed, this time in their rooms.
I joined Claire and the kids in their room and chatted with my daughter on the balcony of her room, as the two kids lay in their beds.
“Thanks for this dad.” She said.
I nodded. “I’ve loved it, honey. Any excuse to be with you and the kids.” I replied.
She smiled and sipped at her bottle of beer.
“You know, I was saying to Susan earlier, you look really happy.”
I smiled and said that I was feeling good.
“I said that it was because you were with the kids, but Susan said that she thought that there was another reason for your good mood.”
I glanced at her, I knew my daughters, they were both very observant, and it didn’t take a genius to realise that Claire was probing me.
“Another reason?” I tried to play dumb.
She smiled. “Or another someone?”
I could feel my face redden, and was glad that it was dark outside, and that the light was low.
“Come on Dad! I’m not a little girl. It’s been three years since mum died and we both know that she wouldn’t want you to be alone.” She said softly.
I nodded. I could never hide anything important from my girls, but this was different. And as I thought about my response I realised that I didn’t even know what this thing with Nikki was.
I sighed and tried to explain.
“Yes, I am feeling good. And yes, it involves someone. But, and it is a big but, there is nothing to tell.”
She rolled her eyes.
“Don’t give me that Dad. What do you mean, nothing to tell?” She asked, not giving up.
I tried to explain that I had met someone online and we’d had coffee and had a meal. I neglected to tell her how we met, or, about the others that I had met up with.
If I thought that would be enough to satisfy her I was wrong, and a minute after she had picked up her mobile and sent a text message, her sister joined us on the balcony and the grilling continued.
It was the most awkward experience for me. My girls wanted to know all about Nikki, and whilst I told them what I could, I couldn’t tell them about the real nature of the website where we met. We talked for a while and by the time I left my daughter’s room, both of my girls were delighted for me and assured me that my wife would be pleased that I had decided to move on and get on with my life.
We spent the following morning in the park before saying our goodbyes in the car park and heading to our separate homes. As I drove home, I was in a great mood, and I felt that a weight had been lifted from my shoulders after my conversation with my daughters. Even though I still wasn’t sure about what this thing between Nikki and I was. I had heard everything that my girls had said to me, but I still wasn’t sure that I was ready for a relationship. That said, our arrangement was beneficial to us both, and I had to admit, that I did feel happier and more relaxed since I had begun this period of my life.