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Yet another wintry sky blotted the horizon and made the thought of taking ageing bones along with a younger woman’s mind to the South Seas.
Oh dear. The Hawaii Hilton perhaps and don’t go outdoors except to ride in a cab to a restaurant for a lonely meal or brighten the day for the eighth day running by trolling through Ala Moana Center for something not sighted previously. Oh yawn.
Maggie McPherson was sure this episode of her favorite soap was being mistakenly re-run again – it looked so familiar. But then again didn’t all episodes look familiar? She thought of booking in at the hairdresser’s but they probably would say they had nothing available for another fortnight because they knew she’d only been there yesterday.
It would be a wet day, which was a pity. Everyone would be calling a real estate office and asking to be shown homes for sale so it was little use her calling. Anyway, for some reason her calls were cut as soon as she said Maggie McPherson calling.
The phone rang.
“Oh halleluiah!” she smiled, waltzing to the phone and neatly pirouetting around the sleeping Sabetha.
But that delight fast extinguished: “Hello-mom-are-you-okay?”
“Yes darling, I’m fine. What is the weather like over your…”
The girls were so good calling her every morning to check that she’d made it through the night. Tim never called; too busy entertaining some slut into bed, the toad.
She poured some milk for Sabetha. Hello, the phone again – this would be another fifteen second breathless call.
“Hi mom. Puff-puff. Just out of bed. Phil the rat has been screwing me again when he knows he helped himself last night. Oooh, I do love Phil and his masterful control of me. You okay-good; the weather is piss awful over here. Bye.”
Actually what cold-hearted Elizabeth said was: “(Yawn) You-okay-mum? Great. Bye.”
Life had become so dismal that Maggie often thought of going to bed in her best clothes and not walking up but deciding what to wear was so damn difficult these days she usually was diverted before dressing for her final sleep. Twice she’d gotten into bed to sleep until death but decided she preferred other shoes and while up for that change of mind she had casino oyna calls and forget her intent.
The phone caller had wanted to know her thoughts as head of the household on parents who didn’t know where their children were at nights. “Oh, mine are probably safely screwing or doing their nails on the toilet wondering if they are pregnant this time,” she’d said. The horrified woman had asked how old were Maggie’s daughters and when Maggie said twenty-nine and thirty-two the bitch conducting the survey had said coldly, “Goodbye and thank you for wasting my time.”
The caller at the door beautifully dressed had asked her for a donation for the church of something or rather but made no mention of salvation for her so she said frostily, “Not today – I don’t donate on Tuesdays.” He’d looked pleased and smirked saying that it was Thursday; she’d slammed the door, almost wrapping it around that smirk.
Maggie checked for the mail at least an hour before its normal arrival time. One could never tell if the delivery might be a few minutes early. She yawned and wished someone had been screwing her – oh yeah, she grinned; her back was giving her hell and she wouldn’t be able to bear the weight of the smelly beast!
At morning tea time Sabetha began the customary irritation that created a useful diversion: “No Sabetha, it’s too early for your evening meal” and she then began recounting to Sabetha some of the splendid meals she could recall from her past life when she cut a fine swathe through town.
Her glasses fell across her face.
Damn, the tiny screw had come out.
When had it fallen out?
She hadn’t a clue.
Ditto but she was unlikely to find it, not with her creaky back and dimming sight. That screw would not have fallen conveniently on the table – no, it would have been swallowed into a sea of carpet. Stupid idiots who made glasses – why didn’t they put a rivet through the hinge instead of a screw?
Annoyed that this crisis had ruined her beautifully planned day, Maggie combed her faded red hair, powered the grooved cheeks, put on her baseball cap and sneakers and grabbed her wallet and spare set of glasses. Blast – lipstick; she went back and got it spread reasonably straight. Maggie set off to walk to the town center to get a screw for her glasses from Mr Rich canlı casino the optician and be screwed – probably he’d charge five bucks perhaps even fifty, the extortionist.
As Maggie was passing Smith, Smith his partner had gone off with someone else. As her partner was asleep on the floor she went home with Tom via the Town Gardens where they frolicked for almost two hours. God, why was it she could remember foul things like that when she couldn’t remember what she did last Friday?
“Ah Maggie my darling,” Tom said.
“Hi Tom, how is Margaret?”
“My memory of Margaret is fine,” he said kindly.
Maggie clutched his arm and looked upset. “Oh Tom,” she wailed. “I am so dreadfully sorry.”
“It’s fine Maggie – we all have our off days. I sometimes can’t remember what I did last Friday.”
“What?” Maggie asked, looking at Tom oddly.
He laughed and said the old memory box was beginning to stutter. He asked did she have that problem as she was also working towards seventy. Then he remembered Maggie had only just asked about Margaret who they’d seen buried not quite a year ago.
“I’m an old fool,” he said, shaking his head. “May I start calling on you?”
“Why – we’re too old to frolic any more – aren’t we?”
“Well, that’s a theory we could test some time but I was thinking socializing. My younger brothers are urging me to work a shorter week so perhaps we could go to a movie on a Wednesday afternoon and then have early dinner.”
“Or loiter in the Town Gardens,” Maggie said slyly and Tom returned that look with a schoolboy-like grin.
“Okay, I’ll be frank instead of Tom,” he laughed. “Having your hand to hold will be an attraction but I’m driven by the thought that the seniors’ section at the Bridge Club is having a membership drive and I was approached, having been a club president. They offered to give me a choice of partners but I’d prefer an old dame I know – what about it Maggie? I won’t growl you into tears if you forget previous play?”
“I’ll let you know.”
“When I said more than forty years ago what about it Maggie you didn’t hesitate as far as I can recall.”
“I’ll be your bridge partner.”
“Good girl – you are the best cook I’ve even known apart from my dear departed mother.”
Maggie invited Tom to dinner on Saturday night and kaçak casino told him he still appeared to be an able vocal seducer. She handed him the glasses.
“That will cost you two bucks – but I’ll pay that for you.”
“Two dollars – that’s extortion. The optician would charge less than that.”
“Are you sure about that Maggie?” he grinned, and she blushed.
“We don’t stock screws this small but we do sell $2 dollar glasses. “I’ll take both screws from a pair of those glasses, use one in your glasses and give you the other as a spare. Smith, Smith & Smith prides itself on solving customer problems.”
Maggie went on to the sidewalk with a spring in her step, her problem solved. She now had someone interested in her again. She went to the library and took out a book – Romance for the Aged and instead of being embarrassed she flushed with delight when the young librarian smiled at her warmly and said, “I hope it works for you. My grandma is on her fourth marriage at seventy-seven – she boasts she’s worn out the other three.”
After buying a lovely piece of fish to share with Sabetha, Maggie walked home in the misty rain thinking autumn was such a lovely time of the year with its interesting skies and gentle rain. She thought about the reaction of her daughters when they called in the morning – they would be absolutely bowled over when she would announce she was having a mystery male in for dinner on Saturday. With them screaming for details she’d play them like an angler, saying, ‘Oh are you really interesting in such tidily details about the life of your boring old mother?’
Maggie smiled. At that both girls would be thinking of jumping in their cars and roaring over to strangler her for being such a big tease. Oh, that was a great idea – she’s say to them both, “Come for coffee with your sister and I’ll reveal all.” She’d leave her library book on the table and go and fetch the coffee before she told them anything. Yes, she could just imagine Elizabeth and Sally looking at each other in horror after opening Romance for the Aged at the book marked page, “Recommended sexual positions’. The girls would be beside themselves in their interest in her and this mystery person whom would be such a surprise as they both knew and adored him like a favorite uncle.
Oh yes, she couldn’t care a toss whether sex came into her expanded life or not. The big step forward was just having someone interested in her; she almost gurgled in delight knowing Tom so much like to talk and both were patient listeners.
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