It is late August, and I am sitting on the terrace with my neighbor Pauline. We end the day with a glass of wine. She is the same age as Richard, and also has two children, and moved into the neighbor’s house with her husband Matthew about half a year ago. Our children are already in their beds, and so we can enjoy being straw widows. Pauline, unlike me, is used to being home alone during the week. Richard, my husband, works as a departmental accountant in a Vienna branch of a large corporation based in Venice. Every half year, he has to go to the head office once for four days. He has only been gone two days, but I have been missing him since yesterday.
“How can you stand being away from Matthew all week? Pauline,” Sabrina asked.
She thought for a while before she answered. “Oh, it was hard at the beginning. Alone in the big house. Of course, I miss him too. But I have enough to do with my two boys during the week. It is enough for me if my big boy is only home on weekends. Somehow, I have gotten used to it. Why do you ask?”
“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get used to going to bed without Richard. He’s only ever gone four nights, and we usually talk on the phone half the night then, too, but still, I miss him.”
Lost in thought, a sigh escaped her. “How long have you two been together?” Pauline inquired.
“We’ve been a couple for almost three years.” Sabrina witnessed Pauline’s incredulous eyes. Sabrina therefore immediately added, “Katharina is not Richard’s biological daughter and with Mike, we didn’t take much time.” After the last words, a smile ran over her face and she felt the same would be spreading across her chat partner’s face.
Pauline was taken aback. “Katharina is not Richard’s daughter?”
Sabrina instantly interrupted Pauline’s torrent of words and immediately interjected in a decisive tone, “But she is Richard’s daughter, just not his biological one.”
“That’s what I mean,” Pauline added and discussing further. “When you see him with Katharina, you always see the love and caring. Whether my Matthew could deal with a stepchild like that I seriously doubt, and with Mike, you didn’t take much time.” She commented.
“Katharina is not Richard’s stepdaughter, but his daughter and Mike is the product of Richard’s heartfelt intimacy and my long years of love for him. I’m not entirely sure, but I suspect Mike is the child of our wedding night. Richard is and was in my life the only man to whom my love belongs. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so straightforwardly.” In Sabrina’s head, memories flashed back just like a thrilling romantic movie, and she relived the time. Again, a smile spread across her face. As the curtain closed on this memory, she looked into Pauline’s mockingly smiling face.
“Why hello, you’ll have to tell me that story though, and preferably right away,” Pauline demanded as if getting possessed by the excitement of the moment.
Torn by her thought, Sabrina hesitated. She wanted to shout out her happiness and at the same time, she didn’t dare to tell others about this happiness. She looked at Pauline and witnessed the impatience in her.
Pauline talked to her, “Come on, tell me. We are like two angels in prayer. No one will know about anything from me. I promise you that. Come on, I’ll pour us another drink, we’ll take a deep sip and then we’ll reveal ourselves to each other”. Without waiting, Pauline got up and wanted to refill the glasses.
Sabrina held her hand over the glass. “You can pour yourself another glass, but one glass is enough for me.” She dismissed and took a deep breath. “Okay, I’ll tell you how Richard and I got together.”
Pauline immediately followed up. “Everything, even the juicy details.”
Sabrina cringed, wanting to narrow down her narrative. With the sentence, “But I won’t tell you about our sex life.” She thought she could get away with it. But Pauline didn’t let up. She wanted to know everything.
Once again Sabrina sipped from her glass and took a deep breath. She asked herself if she should tell everything and began to tell the story of Richard and her:
I had never met my father. My mother never told me about him either. All I know about him is that he abandoned my mother during her pregnancy. She raised me alone and never let another man into her life, let alone into our apartment. My mother and I were therefore more like friends than mother and daughter. Six weeks before the summer vacation, before I went into my last year of high school, she fell seriously ill with what was a harmless tick bite and had to go to the hospital. After two months she could go home again, but since then she was dependent on my help. The graduation year began and the girls in my class raved about our new volleyball coach. Before my mother became ill, I was at practice at least twice a week in the evenings. Volleyball was and is simply my passion. But it was my mother who demanded that I have fun again and enjoy life. Of course, she didn’t have to persuade me.
On my first day of training, the start of training was different than I remembered. Already in the locker room, I noticed that all the girls, except me, had new clothes on. Mostly neon colors, figure-hugging, and pretty sexy. We started our warm-up exercises and then Richard came in. Tall, strong, totally groomed, and with a voice that made my whole body tingle. He greeted me, gave me his soft but powerful hand, which I would have preferred never to let go of, and introduced himself. Unable to say anything sensible, I just stammered my first name. For the first time with my then nineteen years I felt attracted by a boy or man, Richard is six years older than me. As unexpectedly as he stood in front of me, he was gone and started training.
Before Richard was our trainer, most of our girls were picked up by mom or dad by car after training. Now everything was different. As soon as Richard arrived with his bike, our whole troop started to move. Without making a fuss about it, we both rode side by side and talked as if we had known each other forever. When we arrived at my house, he stopped and asked me if we wanted to go to the training together next Thursday. He would also pick me up, he promised. Absorbed in thought and without thinking, I just mumbled yes and he was already gone.
After greeting my mother and inquiring about her state of health, I readied myself and went straight to bed. Although I was exhausted, as always after training, I could not fall asleep for a long time. My hand was on my chest while I was thinking about Richard, and for the first time, I felt their hardening and a fuzzy feeling spreading through my body. The more I thought of him, and his image completed itself in my head, the harder I stroked, no kneaded, my breasts. A small spasm ran through my body, and I felt totally happy afterward. Taking a deep breath, I turned to the side and hoped to find the longed-for sleep soon. My nightgown felt damp in the lower area, and I felt the moisture that had spread between my thighs. That evening I fell asleep, for the first time in a long time, satisfied, happy, and seemingly free of all worries.
Since that day, I have felt attracted to Richard. When he picked me up for practice or a game or drove me home again, I felt like I was in heaven every time. The time without his closeness was hell for me. But nothing more happened between us during that time than our sporting encounters and the small talk we made.
I can still remember the championship game where Richard brought his then-girlfriend for the first time. I saw her standing by his side, caressing him. From then on, the game completely passed me by, and it wasn’t long before he had to replace me. He asked why I was so unfocused. I lied to him and told him that my mother was not doing so well. I was jealous and, seeing them kissing and caressing, I could have clawed out the eyes of the woman at his side. Believing that it was all about my mother, he hugged me tightly to his chest and, to give me comfort, stroked my back. For the first time in his arms and I felt safe, happy, and betrayed at the same time. But enjoyed the warmth emanating from him extensively.