Clandestine visits

He told me I could drop in at any time, but could I take
him at his word?  What if his flat
mate had been right?  What if he
had a line of women who visited one after the other and I arrived at his
doorstep while he was entertaining one of them?  
I had already said good night to my mother.  My father was asleep drunk. I was alone
in my bedroom.  It was easy to
change into a dress and put on sandals. 
I did not bother to pack a bag. 
It was easy to walk out the front door on tip toes,
undetected.  My parents did not lock external doors in those days.  And so I closed my
bedroom door on what my mother could only assume was my sleeping body.
This walk along Warrigal Road in the dark under stars and
with the occasional flash of headlights did not trouble me as it might were I
on my way home at other times.   Such as after university in the evenings when I took the train from the
city to Cheltenham and then needed to walk for thirty minutes to get home.
Even as I walked along Centre Dandenong and Warrigal Roads
and avoided the side streets, I imagined footsteps behind me;
someone preparing to grab me from behind bushes.
On such nights I trembled all the way home, but on this night, almost midnight, when there was no one else about, I relished the solitude.
The only hurdle now involved the knock at his door and the
fear I might not be welcome.  
He was alone in bed without any of the women of my imagination beside
him.  It was easy to slip in beside
him, to hold him, to be held, to try once more this business of having sex and
then when the first rays of light were about to break through the window to dress and say goodbye. 
He offered to drive me home but I preferred to walk.  I needed to put some distance between
me and my mother.
The early morning light had an ethereal glow as if I were
in heaven and it was just cold enough to stiffen the hairs on my arms.  By
the time I had reached home, slipped through the front door and pulled the blankets
back over my head in pretend sleep, by the time my mother stuck her head around
my door to say good morning, I was hot.
But my mother was none the wiser, or so I suspect she’d
have liked me to think, but I will never know.
Can you imagine it, your nineteen year old daughter slips
out and is away all night long and in the morning you find her in bed in her pyjamas as usual?  
Only she knows what she’s been up
to.  You have to guess. 

6 thoughts on “Clandestine visits”

  1. Beautifully told story, Elizabeth. The tryst comes across as so alluring and intoxicating, and having been a teenage rebel myself, I completely understand the need. Beautifully told! x

  2. It came as a great surprise to me when I discovered that girls both wanted to have and—if you did it even half-right—enjoyed having sex. But then girls have always puzzled me. At 55 they still do. Intellectually I get that in all the important ways boys and girls are the same but the teenage boy inside me—who is the real me—still finds them endlessly fascinating especially when he learns that they can do stuff. I’m not sure what he thinks women are all about but the idea that they can do anything beyond the mundane and mindless both delights and captivates him; he must’ve been brought up around a very dull bunch of women. My mother cooked and cleaned, both adequately. The idea what she might be able to dance or play a musical instrument or be a sexual being was just laughable. That’s not what women did. So what did they do. I never really knew.

    My daughter told me when she and her boyfriend were having sex. She never had to sneak out of the flat to do so but mostly she waited until we were out for which I, at least, was grateful. The thought of her having sex never bothered me although the idea of her copulating while I was ten feet away did which is why we suggested she find a place of her own. It’s a very different world from when I was a kid. I wasn’t the best of dads when my daughter was wee and have tried to make up for that since she became an adult. She seems fine about the past and that’s nice but I know. I’m still her dad—although we can and do talk about anything I never tried to become her friend—but somehow she turned out to be level-headed and responsible and has never needed to come running to me for any kind of support, at least not after the shoplifting incident when she was seventeen so I’ve got off light. And I am grateful.

    I did not confide in my dad. And mostly I never got caught out. My brother was always getting caught so got the reputation of being the bad son. He really wasn’t. He simply went the wrong way about getting Dad’s attention. And yet the perverse thing is that I did actually have a good relationship with my dad and we did talk and often but I was good at compartmentalisation. I guess it’s a writer thing because I still have that ability to hold an entire world in my head that no one else is privy to. I’m doing it right now so you’ll have to forgive me if I cut this short but I need to crack on.

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