Page 102 Motherlove

                                                  MOTHER LOVE.                           10-3-11

                                                        Roy Garde.

      The mother of Edward Arthur Percy Witherington (the 3rd,) Mildred Prufrock Witherington, was eighteen when she was married off to E.A.P. Witherington (the 2nd), who suited her parent’s main criteria for their daughters which was that whoever came a’courting had to have more money than she did. One of their grandmothers had given them all a generous trust fund at birth and they had all grown substantially, by clever management, in every year since then. The reason for the hastiness to marry off Mildred was a ‘seize the day’ kind of thing because the prospective groom, although lacking in several qualities, was rich and available and was ‘struck on her’ or, ‘stricken with her,’ and because, unfortunately for Mildred, she had been born with a plain face and stringy hair it was decided that it would be for the best if she was married off while still in her teens and, therefore, in ‘bloom’ as it were. Or, as her father put it, cruelly, “Let’s face it, it’s likely that the small amount of appeal that she has now will lessen all too soon.”

      Mildred had grown up in her family’s big house that had been built long before the ‘Green Belt’ concept had been dreamed up and so it and its estate commanded, and still commands, sweeping views all around of pastoral scenes even though London’s outer areas get more and more hopelessly overcrowded year by year.

        She’d rarely met the children from the nearby village because she’d attended a private school and had been taken there, and back, by a chauffeur. When she went to the annual Market Day Festivities in the village she’d sit up on the platform, with the rest of her family and with the village dignitaries, and stare at the teeming, scruffily clothed kids as if they were exotic creatures from foreign lands.

        For two weeks in the summer break from school her parents would welcome all comers – that is, of course, if those all-comers were suitably connected – and all of the children were encouraged to go off and find their own entertainment so as to extend the hours in which gin and whiskey could be poured in the house and on the terraces.

     Mildred’s breasts had grown nicely by the time that she was twelve and it was on the next ‘open house’ that she was invited along when a group of kids went deep into the woods to take turns in a doctor/patient game. She was shy and standoffish and still had a baby-face and had seemed to be far too young to join in but a boy who was attending the same school as she was had mentioned her remarkable chest development to the others and added, “You’ll see. The top of her swimming-suit has to do some heavy duty work.” On hearing that they lost no time in asking her to join them.

     Because it was her first time she was allowed to keep to herself through the, “Show me yours and I’ll show you mine,” phase and she merely averted her eyes when the boys – in turn and not a bit shyly and some of them with poorly disguised eagerness – dropped their pants and underpants to their knees and kept them down there for as long as someone, anyone, wanted to look and then all of the boys would gather and gaze in awe for the two seconds that it took each girl to, reluctantly, reciprocate.

    When they’d tossed a coin to see who would form the first doctor/patient team, and the girl had been given the role of Doctor, she went through the, “Where does it hurt?” spiel and asked a few more questions before her patient laid himself down and pushed his pants and underpants down and then lifted his shirt clear up to his navel.

    It was then that Mildred got her first look at a penis.

    She’d never speculated much as to what boys had between their legs but the chance to see one of them – safely and anonymously by being in a crowd of onlookers – when it was on full display was not to be passed up, as you’ll agree, and so she stood her ground and stared all that she wanted. It was limp and was about as big as the first two joints of her middle finger and she had trouble with not laughing out loud at its lack of menace, or even of purpose other than it’s semi-prime one, but the size of the scrotum that was supporting it held her attention because it was hugely out of proportion and, of course, the mysteriousness of its content’s potential is intriguing to everyone.

     All in all, she couldn’t believe that what the boy had could possibly be the average, not after all the snickering about them that she’d been hearing for years by then, so she decided to stick around and see more of them for purposes of comparison.

     The two players changed roles and she marveled when the new ‘patient’ went through the whole lead-up and then laid herself down and allowed the ‘doctor’ to lift her dress up and out of the way and then to pull her panties down and then ‘cure’ her with the touch of a finger that trembled as it was being blessed by being allowed to contact vaunted and usually strictly off-limits – even though it was still bald and undeveloped to the point of non-existence – labia. Just after seeing that she heard one of the girls say to another one that the boy was her brother and that she knew for sure that that particular finger wouldn’t be washed by its owner for a long time and, even after that, with extreme reluctance.

    Mildred stepped back and away and hid behind the rest of them when the coin was being used again, first to decide which two were next and then to determine which of them would be the patient first and she was happy when it turned out that the honor went to another boy and when it got to be time for him to expose himself she wormed her way back to the front again to get a good look.

      No difference at all!

      A tiny penis resting on an over-large scrotum.

      Is that all there is, she asked herself and was pretty sure that it had to be true for them all and so she swiveled away and left them to it and made her way back to the house.

        She was puzzled but also strangely at peace because she knew that the feeling of dread that had been coming at her harder and harder and more often lately – as she’d gradually been made to realize that all women’s fate as regards their relationship with men was to be hers too – was hardly worthy of further preoccupation.

     However, the next penis that she saw was the huge, ugly, purple-topped weapon that her brand-new husband was sporting as he accompanied it – or so it seemed to her – as they came through the door of the living room of their honeymoon suite and into her bedroom.

     A bit earlier he’d introduced her to what, she assumed, passes for humor with men when she’d asked him to leave her alone for a little while to “get ready for you” as instructed by her mother – which, it turned out, was the last time that she held enough clout to get him to obey a command of hers – and he’d replied, as he was doing so, “OK Babe, anything you say but when you hear me knocking on the door in a few minutes it will sound as if I’m using a sledge hammer to do it with but, believe me, it will not be a hammer. Ha!”

        It, the beast, inexorably and unerringly, zeroed in on her as she was lying naked under a sheet, also as instructed, and it soon found its target even though her husband had, mercifully, switched the lights out before following it between the sheets.

     All through their honeymoon he’d proved to be extremely virile and insistent on being given his ‘rights’ as her husband and, well, let’s just say that on one of the typical days, of the two weeks, after doing it to her several times in the night and again in the morning and again after they’d eaten their room service breakfast when they’d gone down for lunch and she’d read some brochures and had picked out some things on the island that she’d like to see, always, when they’d finished eating, he’d give her a look to silence her and then The Look that told her that what was she was going to see that afternoon, for the most part, was the ceiling above their bed.

     The thing, or ‘THE BEAST’ as she’d been dubbing it after the numerous batterings that it had given her – with, she was forced to admit, the connivance of her husband – had impregnated her on that same honeymoon and she gave birth, a month before her nineteenth birthday, to a – baby boy!

      She didn’t believe it for a second when a nurse told her that. So much so that she made history, in that particular hospital at least, when she demanded that her Gynecologist check for herself that a mistake hadn’t been made even though there was nothing the slightest bit equivocal about the presented evidence.

     She needed many hours before she could bring herself to accept and reconcile herself to the horrible truth that Nature had cursed her with a male off-spring and the time needed for her reconciliation coincided with the time-lag that happens before a newborn can begin to suckle.

      When she looked down at him, going at it determinedly, a large amount of mother love descended on her that never left her nor ever let up even a little and, at the same time, she realized that this was the very first time in her young life that she was happy about having large breasts.

      The family on both sides were delighted, of course, and the child’s name was a given, as it were, and he was baptized, forthwith, as Edward Arthur Percy Witherington, (the 4th.)

       Her son was born a week prematurely and so its father, who was in Europe on a business trip at the time, didn’t get to see the baby until she’d brought it home.

      She was apprehensive as to what to expect as regards their relationship, post-partum, and was relieved to find him to be understanding and so it was a good three months before circumstances made him want to – uh – be with her again and when he’d entered her he was at first puzzled and then had to accept the fact that he’d have to work hard to find the necessary friction inside her. He did so, manfully, but that was the last time that he used her, ever, because, as he said to her with unforgivable cruelty when he’d finished, “Thank God that’s over. It’s supposed to be a pleasure not a task. I had to bang it against the sides, for Christ’s sake. That doctor of yours must have done something very wrong so make an appointment and go back and see her because right now you’re useless as a woman.”

       When she’d gotten over the massive slur against her ‘fundamental role in life’ she realized, with burgeoning, unfeigned happiness, that what her baby’s big head had done to her birth canal was a fortuitous blessing in that it had, inadvertently, ended forever her having to ‘do her duty’ for her husband along with having to, maybe, accommodate someone in her future who might merit – be in a position to demand? – the ultimate intimacy from and with her. True, she couldn’t imagine that ever happening but she knew that stranger things have happened and her brain might, possibly, betray her into thinking that way.

        She wasn’t yet twenty-years old but she’d already had more than enough of having to take up ridiculous positions that even animals don’t attempt to do nor to pretend that she didn’t hate all contact with The Beast and its accompanying, pungent and disgusting fluids.

       From then on, as stated, her husband never bothered her again in ‘that’ way and, she presumed, he was finding much more accommodating and pleasing havens in Town – they had a pied a terre in Central London – but that didn’t concern her a bit and, if pressed, she would have admitted that she’d willingly pay a woman to have sex with him if that meant that she didn’t have to.

       Although Mildred loved her child to distraction she still continued to wish, fervently, that he had been a ‘she’ and so she had to be coerced, just this side of forcibly, to stop dressing him in laced, fancy white dresses when he became big enough to walk and to start sending him to get his hair cut when he got to be three years old and to stop hiding the toy cars and trucks, and whatever, that his relatives gave him on special occasions and to never again buy him dolls to play with.

        Her live-in Nanny did most of the caring of little Edward, of course, but Mildred took time to play with him for several hours everyday and to take him for walks and for pony rides, and then horse rides as he grew bigger, and all the other things that parents suppose that their children should be doing even though, in many instances, what they want to do most is to stay at home and come to terms at their own pace with their being here amongst us.

      When it got to be time to send him off to boarding school at the absurdly young age of nine – his mother’s opinion in the matter wasn’t asked for – she got the bright idea of offering to pay the fees in the same school for a cousin of his, named ‘Bernard,’ who was just little older than Edward and who belonged to a rarely mentioned branch of the family that lived on a farm up north in Cumberland. She did so because on the several occasions that she’d met the boy he’d given her the distinct impression that he had definite effeminate tendencies and traits and she hoped, secretly of course, that her son would develop similar traits, by osmosis, which would ensure that no slip of a girl would ever steal her darling boy away from her and would also save him from having to play rough sports and the like.

        Edward and Bernard got on well and so from then Mildred saw to it that they spent every summer vacation together too on his remote farm up north and, just as she’d hoped and prayed, because they had no alternative outlets in either place they, perforce, soon took an interest in each others bodies and they experimented with their fledgling pubescence and positive tumescences and Edward dealt with the flow of guilt that doing so engendered in him by keeping in mind something that Bernard had heard or had read somewhere – “You know – seeing that it’s our penises that are causing us all this turmoil, day after day and for a good part of every night, it’s only right that we make them pay for it by using and punishing them in any way we want.”

        However, Bernard learned early on to never offer to do, ‘Hands across the waters, hands across the sea,” with Edward before ascertaining that he was close to being powerless to object due to having an erection that was strong enough to swamp all his inhibitions.

       That became the status quo for them until it got to be time to enter college and Edward was accepted in Cambridge, automatically because all of the males in his family had done so for generations past and then, as expected and to the relief of Mildred, Bernard sailed through his interviews and was offered a full scholarship in a college that was close by and so she made haste to rent a two bedroom apartment for them to share.

        Three and a half years later disaster descended and spoiled Mildred’s long term plan forever because, in his senior year, Edward met a girl called Mary and they found an immediate rapport that quickly made them inseparable and, soon after, lovers.

     When his mother found out about Mary she was furious and so, after their graduations, she paid for him and Bernard to go on a long trip around Europe and then the Near and Middle East hoping that he’d see enough on his travels to make him forget about Mary and girls in general and to re-new and re-enforce, his, uh, once budding friendship with Bernard which had fallen away because by then Bernard had found it easy to meet numerous other friends for himself who didn’t have any inhibitions at all and thus didn’t need any triggers, or anything else except their hedonistic tendencies, to engage in – uh – cozying up with him.

        When they got to Paris Bernard who – wouldn’t you know? – had a gift for languages, went sight seeing with Edward every day but found affiliations of a one on one variety every night and so, after a few nights on his own, Edward got so lonely that he called Mary and asked her to try to take some time off from her new job, somehow, and come and join them in Paris and then go to Rome with them and then on to Athens.

         She found it very easy to be given leave to take a month off because when the head of her department, in a large publishing company, was told what she wanted to do he was delighted for her and told her that such a tour would be invaluable to her and – hint, hint – to his company too eventually and he gave her the month off that she’d asked for and provided her with a list of persons to contact in each city.

      As can be guessed, being in Paris together cemented their love for each other and, similarly, was reinforced in Rome but when their itinerary showed that it was time to fly on to Athens – their hotel rooms had been booked already – her month was up already and so she had to catch a plane back to London.

     On the morning of their day of departure their parting was long drawn out and almost certainly wouldn’t have happened at all if it hadn’t been for Bernard – who had already gotten a taste for new experiences, and for going first class on the way to finding them, and was having the time of his life – doing some intense pleading that they stick to Mildred’s itinerary.

     The cousins were delighted, again, with what Athens had to offer although its abundance of beautiful women didn’t come near to tempting Edward to ‘stray’ and cheat on his ‘true love’ nor to attract Bernard enough to ‘switch’ because attractive youths were there in abundance too and they were even more beautiful in his eyes.

     After two weeks in Athens it got to be time to move on but by that time the Arab ‘Spring Rising’ had closed off many of the countries in the mid-east and so they got their hotel’s travel agent to make cancellations and changes and they went to Istanbul instead and then, one week later, to Morocco because that kingdom was stable and because even the mention of the names of the cities there made Bernard’s knees weaken.

        They both had a wonderful time in Morocco because, well, that’s a given for a man of Bernard’s persuasion and Edward found that their way of life, combined with the perfect climate and the exotic and delicious local food and drink, suited him perfectly and gave him solace and lots of time to write long letters to Mary every day.

       Even so, Edward found that he wanted to move on to another town or city every two or three days because by then he would have thoroughly explored and checked out every point of interest. Moving frequently didn’t matter much to Bernard as long as they didn’t leave the country entirely.

        They got to Tangier on a Thursday and again they liked what it had to offer but the next day – Friday – two carriers and several destroyers, and the like, that were a part of a combined NATO fleet, anchored in the bay for a visit and for R&R at the end of an exercise.

         Liberty time for all of the sailors came, evidently, at two o’clock because by two-ten everywhere they looked, throughout the city, they saw a sea of men in white uniforms with perky round hats of which, it seemed, no two were worn at the same angle or at the same position on their heads.

          The restaurants were flooded with hungry and thirsty sailors, as were all the sights and facilities and so the cousins were forced to withdraw and then book a table for dinner at their hotel – something that they’d avoided doing up to then, in their travels, to be able to explore better – and after eating Edward gave up and went to his room while Bernard, who would have loved to do some  ‘mingling’ with sailors in just about any other country, went out on the town, as was his wont, but he became disgusted, and very disappointed, when he found that the preferred escorts of the night for possible ‘companions’ were men in uniform – that was because they didn’t fully understand the value of the ‘Monopoly Money’ that their pockets were bursting with – and he was shut out. He was left feeling bereft while acknowledging the irony of finding himself very much alone in the land of ‘burgeoning opportunity’ as one of his special travel writers had put it.

           When he got back to the hotel he went into Edward’s room and he swore up and down and black and blue that on his way back as he passed every open window he’d heard, coming out of it, either a woman’s or a man’s voice imploring, “Not too deep, Sahib. Not too deep.”

           The next morning, at breakfast, Edward told his cousin that he’d decided that he was ending his tour that same day and was going to call the airlines for a seat on a plane that was headed for London and should he book one or two of them?

         Bernard had gotten used to high living and was loathe to give up on it for even a day before he had to but he knew that he couldn’t possibly stay on and let his meal-tick . .  – uh – that is, his cousin leave him behind so he reluctantly asked him to reserve two seats.

When they got to Heathrow they found that Mildred, along with Peterson, the chauffeur who was holding on to a wagon cart, was waiting for them in the ‘Meeting Area.’

After handing over his suitcases to Peterson Edward greeted his mother and hugged her but not for long because he’d spotted Mary in the crowd and he tore himself away and ran over to her and gave her a real hug.

Bernard thanked Mildred, effusively, for having been given the wonderful trip and he politely made small talk as she kept her eyes on her son and his girlfriend.

She’d never seen Mary before – she had, however, found out that she was the daughter of a professor of Electrical Engineering in City University and that the family was mortgage-less but only ‘comfortable’ which meant close to being penniless in her circles – but she approved of her looks, if not her choice of clothes, and couldn’t not notice how the couple clung to each other as if for dear life and then, when they’d forced themselves to stop kissing each other and had started walking towards her, it looked, for all the world, as if they shared a single spine.

        When Edward introduced her Mildred saw that Mary had a glow about her that suffused her face and extended down as far as her décolletage allowed her to see which made Mildred very envious because that had to mean that her entire body was rejoicing simply because of Edward’s presence – something that had never, even remotely, happened to her.

         Peterson had gone on ahead to load the car and to bring it around and so all four of them made their way to the pick-up ramps and when Mildred offered to take Mary home Edward told her that she’d brought the family car and that he was going off with her in it.

          He tried to lessen her hurt by asking if it was all right for him to bring Mary for lunch or dinner the next day and she recovered enough to suggest that she come for the weekend, “That way we can get to know each other better.”

           Bernard had expected to be dropped off at Paddington Station to let him catch a train home to Cumberland and was very pleased indeed when Mildred offered to put him up for the night, “To rest up a little after all your tiresome journeying,” and he accepted immediately and with so much enthusiasm that it got her attention.

           To ‘earn’ the ride and, she now figured, perhaps to get her to extend her offer of accommodation he turned on the charm and he chattered on and on which was what she needed while battling to deal with her bottled up grief so whenever he slowed down she’d say something like, “And how did you find the Parthenon?” and off he’d go again.

           By the time that they got to their exit from the M24 she’d become mostly reconciled with her lot although she knew it would be difficult to tell her husband, the next time that he came home, that their only son had been trapped by a penniless slip of a girl and that they were powerless to change the inevitable. She marshaled ameliorating thoughts like the fact that there was going to be, and PDQ too remembering the way that they’d clung to each other, yet another Edward Arthur Percival Witherington and being able to tell him that the girl was very attractive and graceful. Also, it came to her that being grandparents might well turn out to be a blessing for both of them – at least, that’s what everyone had been telling her for years and years so it was quite possible that it might well be true.

        Such thoughts mellowed her somewhat and as they approached her estate, she took into consideration that Bernard – who was still talking and wondering how long it would be before he could dare to tell her his story about what he’d heard coming from those open windows in Tangiers – had cast off the callowness of youth and was both presentable and attractive and – although he was somewhat foppish, which she could help him overcome – he wore his clothes well and, on top of all that, was proving to be both erudite and entertaining.

     When she put her hand on his knee, to get him to stop talking so that she could warn him about a sharp turn that was coming up, he put his own hand on top of hers and he turned hers over and held it and she knew, at the instant of contact, that he was exactly what she’d hoped her son would turn out to be: that is totally uninterested in women in general and also that he would always stay that way and thus he was, potentially, a perfect companion for her. With him as her escort many doors would be opened because at present her friends rarely invited her to their more interesting parties because, although she wasn’t all that attractive, she did dress well and she did have a lot of money and – well – they knew enough to avoid taking silly, fundamental risks like that.

      Also – as was well known by her and her women friends who had already passed through, or were about to pass through, the last of their interest in having sexual relations with any and all men – she thought that it would be nice to have a presentable companion who could be given free access to her bedroom knowing that he wouldn’t get tiresome every time that he caught a glimpse of her pubic hair or if her breasts came out into the open.

     Just then, her peripheral vision informed her that Bernard was looking out of the window over on his side which meant that she could study him more closely and she saw that he had truly turned into being a presentable, attractive man and from that she allowed herself to dwell, deliciously, on knowing that, if she could persuade him to become her boy-toy companion, which, as had become increasingly obvious, was what he was aiming for, he’d be available for cuddling when the mood took her and even fondling could be indulged in by both of them seeing that she’d be sure positive that, no matter how far she’d want to take it, there’d be no question about attempts at penetration as normal men need to do distressingly often.

       By following up on that thought she was delighted to come to realize that although she’d lost a fickle son she was, quite probably, gaining a loyal one who would stay at home with her and be always ready to escort her anywhere she wanted to go without complaining. Also, on top of that, she was getting a fertile daughter, to boot.

     As Peterson was driving the car into her driveway she told Bernard that he was to call his parents the moment that they got inside and that, if he wanted to, he could ask permission to stay with her until Monday when Peterson would drive him home.

       When she was being handed out of the car by the chauffeur she went on, oblivious to Peterson’s presence, “After a few days, or weeks, up there when you’ve done all your visiting of friends and aunts and cousins, you can call me and I’ll send the car up to get you if that’s what you decide you want to do with your life. That is, become an integral part of my close family by living here with me for a while.”

      When she’d rested for a half hour and they were sipping champagne in her upstairs sitting room it came to her that her son, her actual son, had to be allowed to go his own way and find his own way of life and that that, evidently in his case, was to give his love to his girlfriend and so, she told herself ruefully, it was probably for the best that he give it to Mary than to Bern . . .

       She caught the play on words as it was being formed, unplanned, in her brain and she idly wondered if puns are acceptable when they come to a person inadvertently and she also wondered, with purpose, how long it would be before she’d have evaluated Bernard’s intellect enough to know whether she could entrust the relating of such niceties to him without fear of their being derided or overly bruised.