Sarah – A Young Woman’s Journey

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1

Sarah felt blessed; that good fortune had unexpectedly come knocking at her door. There had been occasions when she had struggled to keep her emotions fully in check, but such lapses had long ago fallen out of her life. Calm had been restored; a cherished ambition had been achieved and from that she continued to draw fulfilment.

Content, she listened in to the bubbly chatter all about her; observed the scurry of feet and heard the whoops of delight, or the cries of dismay, that filled every corner of the room. The mother-and-toddler group meeting would soon be at an end; a weekly gathering that she had once thought might pass her by; dreams of motherhood cruelly shattered.

Jamie, her three years old, would be taken home in the buggy; the short walk would have to take in the park. There, the feeding of the ducks would be but a moment’s diversion from their usual routine.

Lunch would then be taken before a well-earned rest.

She was unsure who would need it most. Her boy possessed his father’s energy and engagement with every task that he was set; the teachers at the day nursery, which he attended, on three days a week often telling her, in muted tones, that Jamie possessed an uncommon intelligence for one so young; traits in him that she had encouraged on the advice of another who took a deep interest in Jamie’s development.

Her actions and devotion to the task, the pursuit of motherhood, had been the cause of discord; of differences of opinion between her and Frank, her husband; a man who had finally come round to playing the role of a father; his reluctance to consider such a part finally resolved; that many a sleepless night in the early months of Jamie’s life had aroused within him; the tortuous pursuit of parenthood one that Frank had made no secret of being against; all of that to be followed by the gradual acceptance of a new reality, once the problems of a viable conception had been confronted and finally overcome.

They had taken their chances to bring their lives to where they now were. For her, it felt as if she had paid the greater price; but she no longer dwelt on that emotion. She had chosen to look forward and not to dwell on all that had gone before. How did the saying go?

‘The course of love never did run smooth.’

Sarah now thought of them, of father and son. Frank could see how fulfilled his wife of seven, or so, years of marriage had become; a woman in the prime of life, successful in her business ways and now as a mother to Jamie; an ambition it had taken her a long time to achieve; a hope within her that had taken an eventful path until its joyful fulfilment and the making of a cherished and unshakeable bond.

2

The Johnson’s could not be aid to be a closely knit family. Ralph Johnson, or Rafe as many called him, was ostensibly the head; but his urbane manner and wish to settle any differences in his quiet ways was often undermined by Isabelle, a forceful and independently minded woman who invariably took Frank’s, her eldest child’s, side.

Today, when he should have been helping Frank in some home decorating chores, he’d become caught up in the middle of a row between feisty Sarah and his son. The subject was one never far from Sarah’s lips – the start of a family; something that obsessed her; where success eluded them.

‘Have you both considered other ways to make it happen?’ Rafe asked reasonably, so that your dream may become reality?’

‘No, I think I’m quite through with doing all of that, Rafe,’ Frank growled, the two of them deciding that the use of ‘father’, or ‘Dad’, as a means of address had run its course. ‘I’ve given it all I can. Perhaps it’s time to accept what’s staring us in the face, Sarah and I?’ Frank saw his father look away and he was obliged to turn. ‘How long have you been there?’

‘Oh, long enough!’ Sarah shouted in reply and glaring at him. She pushed the fingers of one hand through the tumble of her auburn hair. Rafe turned away. The young woman beguiled him; her long wavy hair an unruly finger combed mess that matched her rebellious moods. Baggy combat trousers, worn with a cropped top that flattered her figure was something to delight in, but was not for her to know from him. ‘You’ve been playing me along all this time! Your mind’s been somewhere else! It takes two…in body and soul to make it happen! Have you got that?’

Frank held out a hand to her, but she did not take it. ‘I just need to understand when it’ll be that we accept all of this…the fact of us not having kids?’

‘One would be enough, just one! It would be a wonderful new step in our lives! Try to see it in that way just for a change, will you? Just you take in what it means to me!’

Rafe watched Sarah jab a finger into her breast, at her heart. That cropped top with its frilly waist hem-line shaped the young woman wonderfully; revealed a flat tummy.

‘It cuts both ways!’ Frank retorted angrily.

‘Oh sure!’

Rafe met Sarah’s baleful stare before she rushed from escort bursa the room, her footsteps echoing in the stairwell, then on the tiled floor of the hallway below them.

Frank cursed, meeting Rafe’s unreadable look upon him.

‘I think we’re all through with the DIY for one day, Rafe. Don’t you think so?’

‘Yes, I guess so. I’ll clear up, shall I?’ Rafe smiled thinly and in resignation, knowing only too well what the answer would be. Frank was soon heard thumping down the stairs, offering loud voiced excuses and apologies to which Sarah offered shouted replies that settled nothing. Then it was quiet.

Moments later Rafe felt a tug on his shirt sleeve.

‘Hello again,’ he said in a soothing tone; finding it difficult not to take in her appearance. ‘I…I don’t like to see you so angry…’

‘Yeah, hello. It’s only me,’ Sarah said on a wobbly smile as she met his questioning look upon her. He was a fastidiously tidy man; was never to be seen unshaven or his greying hair unkempt. She was captivated by the liveliness in his eyes and Rafe’s soft smile that she just knew would soften the anger that she felt. ‘And I can’t take Frank’s easy acceptance of what’ not happening!’

‘And how you are…it doesn’t help at all in making your dream a reality.’

He kept his voice low and sought to confide in her.

‘I..I guess it doesn’t…’

She took hold of the hand that Rafe offered, if only for a moment. She had always liked his spontaneity; Rafe’s unembarrassed ways of showing that he cared for her and what she went through.

‘I wasn’t having a go at you too, Rafe.’

‘I know…’ It was difficult for him not to be drawn into what prevailed in this attractive young woman’s life. Sarah reached his shoulder; her almost elfin figure dwarfed by his bulk. Whatever she wore Sarah carried off with an easy grace.

Sarah moved to stand before him like a lost child, wondering what to do. ‘I just flipped…sorry.’

She now took a few steps away from him. It was only too easy to confide in the man before her; to draw comfort from what Rafe had to say in the circumstances. Of these she rarely spoke to Isabelle. In Rafe she had found a more receptive manner; a man who had not closed his mind to every possibility for her and Frank. Her intuition, rather than Rafe speaking out his ideas or making suggestions, guided her in this.

‘I know…I feel the stresses and strains of it all too,’ he said in that honest way of his, ‘and it’s okay.’ Rafe joined her in the doorway and, as they moved to the head of the stairs, he put an arm about her shoulders and spoke softly, as if confiding in her. ‘We’ll get through this, Sarah, somehow…and we’ll do that together.’

‘Yes, Rafe, I’m holding on to that,’ she answered on meeting his stilled look upon her, a moment’s consoling touch to her cheek a surprise.

‘Make sure that you do. I’m here if you need me…to talk… to give you another slant to what’s going on in your life.”

Sarah smiled, weakly, and knew then, as on previous occasions, that the man beside her continued to encourage the flowering of her cherished hopes.

‘There are two sides now, aren’t there? Frank’s not entirely with me on this…something of a change from when we were planning to get married and I told him what I hoped for. And now, I know and feel that you’re on my side…supportive in what I seek. It helps me to know that…’

‘Within limits we can set, Sarah…’

‘Yes, there’s that too…the family bond that decides the rules.’

Rules that could be stretched, Rafe thought. He knew that their relationship was undergoing a subtle change; that he was at ease with this happening. The situation was one that he studiously avoided speaking to Isabelle about unless she started on it.

‘Yes, there is that between us too…and it may make things easier.’

The lissom young woman beside him, whose look he again met, had every intention of being the one to succeed in her quest for motherhood, and the sense of fulfilment that would bring into her life, somehow. He thought of himself as a foil to Frank’s and Isabelle’s negative ways; those of denying the possibilities of it ever happening.

Sarah took a few steps down the stairs and then turned. ‘Are you going to join us?’

‘Yes, and I won’t be long. I forget to gather up my things…the tools that I brought.’

Rafe followed Sarah’s progress. He again saw her glance his way as she stood at the foot of the stairs, one slender hand gripping the newel post. Yes, he was ‘on her side’; sensed that there was an inevitability about their circumstances and his concern for the attractive young woman he gazed on; she, clothed in her washed-out combat slacks and body hugging cropped top; the fabric delightfully taut against the generous, weighty swell of her breasts; its neckline revealing a chunky Boho choker necklace; that what they had told each other was like the making of a pledge; that Sarah’s gaze served only to reaffirm; that a bond had bursa merkez eskort formed and she a young woman only too aware of his continued attention upon her.

After all, he had instinctively said that ‘we’ll get through this, and we’ll do that together.’

Away from her, he would have an opportunity to consider just what he had meant in saying that to Sarah; the implications for them all if he followed through on what had been said and in whatever form that might yet take. An emotional bond, with the young woman, could so easily gnaw away at his businessman’s instincts.

And, it wouldn’t change the gnaw of hunger for that young woman that he had begun to feel, once more, as they had stood talking and wondering what was at play between them..

He had taken to wondering if he would be the one to help them and become a donor; be the one that made the difference in Sarah realizing her dream.

How destructive to now realise that he lusted after his son’s wife; his pursuit and consummation of that lust for her, thought of as taboo, even in these supposedly liberal-minded times.

3

Isabelle touched his arm as Rafe slowly moved the spotlessly clean Audi A3 into the traffic. ‘What’s that look on me for…you’re not cross with me, are you.? I had to say something on what’s at work between those two…’

‘And it’s for them to sort out…’

‘Really…is it really?’ she questioned on a soft disbelieving laugh. Isabelle turned in her seat, enough to look at him closely as they spoke. She saw Rafe’s wandering eyes take in how the seatbelt shaped her; tightened the fabric of her cotton shift dress. She eased her sunglasses back, over her greying hair. ‘Concentrate on the road!’

‘Sure…’ he replied lightly; felt her grip his hand and to still his questing touches to her thigh; the silken soft skin above her knee.

‘I saw how you two were talking at the top of the stairs after she and Frank had their dust up. It seemed that she sought you out…’

‘Only to apologise…in case I took her spat with Frank to include me…’ Rafe had slowed to a stop at traffic lights and looked his wife’s way. He could tell from the set of her lips that Isabelle was wondering what the truth of it really was. They too had their moments of arguing over Frank and his young, younger, wife. As Frank’s mother she always took his side.

‘They should accept…or she should, especially…what may be their story…no children of their own…unless they adopt.’

‘Easy for you to say, darling…a woman and mother of three..’

‘I knew the anguish too, remember?’ she spat out. ‘I didn’t quite have the obsession that she does important as having children were to me.’

She was pushed back in her seat as Rafe accelerated away from the lights.

‘Exactly, and Sarah’s too young to go giving up. That’s what I told her. Also, they could get help until the time comes that there’s no escaping the reality.’

Isabelle knew it was futile to argue with him on it any further.

She felt again Rafe’s slow caress to her thigh and looked at him, a soft smile teasing the corners of her lightly made-up lips. ‘Well have to do something about this…what you’re doing now, darling.’ She leant across the narrow space between them and kissed his cheek. ‘It’s…it’s a mystery to me that Frank has his troubles in finding her…when he has you as a father. And…and I saw that you couldn’t keep your eyes off her, off Sarah, could you?’

‘You make it hard for me too,’ he grinned, ‘looking the way that you do in that dress. But I’m not looking to stray…just to find a way to help.’

‘Don’t,’ she retorted, her voice suddenly harsh. ‘The internet’s full to the brim with ‘help’…so let her go there.’

‘And you talking to her, not being so distant may help her also…talking woman to woman.’

‘We’ll see,’ she sighed in exasperation. It seemed that they could not escape being drawn into the saga that was Sarah’s obsession.

‘I guess we will.’ Rafe had slowed to stop at the electric gates to their riverside property. The push on a button on his remote key fob soon opened them and he drove slowly to stop in front of the mock Georgian house. ‘Now, we help each other forget what has played out this morning…’

He put his hands to Isabelle’s neck and caressed her skin; drew her into deepening kisses as she sought to claim him; felt the swell in his jeans. Yes, she would have to ease the aberrant sense of longing aroused by seeing Sarah in that figure shaping cropped top; purposefully chosen or not. Both women wound his clock and he had to settle what Sarah had aroused in him.

¦

They showered, sliding their bodies over each other in the frothy mix on their skins, laughing and kissing in disbelief at all that they had succumbed to.

‘Together…we’re really together!’ Isabelle’s eyes shone with pleasure. She clung to him and slid her hands over Rafe’s glistening skin. It was wonderful. She took bursa sınırsız escort deep breaths of contentment as the water coursed over them from the shower above their heads. He had made her forget everything; had delighted in her body and what she brought to him.

‘You can’t help it now, can you?’ she beamed .

Isabelle gloried in his flaccid length; stroked it and pulled gently on the hair at his groin; pressed her lips to his throat and simply let the water course over them. She was naked…naked with her man, a man about whom…about whom she felt utterly possessive.

‘No, I can’t,’ he said with an almost shy apologetic grin. ‘I can still live for the moment.’

‘Yes…yes! We’re together, skin on skin! Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!’ She laughed it out and reciprocated wonderingly as she held his hands to her belly. ‘I’ve been touched…by you, here…again and again and so deep!’

‘I’ve found you,’ he replied but wondered why he had put it quite so tenderly.

What he meant was ,’you’ve reclaimed me…taken my wavering thoughts back onto you. The thoughts of a man who’s on the edge of betraying your trust…crazy as that would be to concede to.’

‘It has always been you for me, my darling, Ralph!’

¦

Isabelle saw the frown of concentration as Rafe shaved. She met his smile as he gazed at her in the mirror of their en-suite bathroom. His once black hair was now streaked with grey, but the habit of brushing it away from his forehead gave his face a long, slender look. He carried little surplus weight; his arms and legs were toned from daily exercise; his belly softly rounded but not so much that you’d think that he had let himself go.

She brushed her fingers wonderingly over his chest; interrupted him, if only briefly, in his tasks.

‘You know that we arranged to go out on the river with the Talbots…tonight?’ she asked, meeting his gaze upon her in the mirror. Rafe turned, just enough, to brush his fingers over the tumble of her breasts; touched a mark that he had left on them. ‘Yes…you did that.’

‘Damn…I forgot…the dinner I mean; not what you did for me moments ago.’

She stopped him in his kisses to them.

‘I haven’t, darling,’ she answered on breaking free of his hold on her and resuming in the task of smoothing a skin cream over her body. It had been some time since her man had clamped on her breasts, quite so hard, as they loved. ‘The caterers are bringing the meal and the drinks, that we ordered, to the quayside at seven-thirty. The Talbots are to be with us by eight…’

‘At least I fueled-up a few days ago…’ he said on brushing past her. Rafe soon chose a pair of chinos, a black webbing belt, and matched them with a sky-blue shirt with a large white check. Soft leather white moccasin deck shoes would serve as footwear. ‘We could ask Sarah and Frank to join us…there’s always food and drink left over. What do you say?’

‘What’s obsessing her is getting to take a hold in you…is what I say!’ She looked in the dressing room for her underwear and Rafe soon followed. He saw her glare at him in the mirror she stood before. Cut away briefs and an only too flimsy bra were held up to her body. ‘I’m wearing that sundress…with a jacket in case it gets chilly or we’re out late…’

He nodded his approval. ‘It’s just a thought. If they relax and there are others to talk to…then something may change.’

Isabelle laughed and drew close to him once more. ‘Arranging their love life now are we?’

‘It’s just a thought…’ he replied, not to be baited.

‘I’ll call her,’ Isabelle sighed in reply to his suggestion. ‘Let’s just hope that she wears something less revealing than what was on display this morning…’

‘I’m sure you’ll find the words, my darling. You usually do…’

4

They had arranged for Rafe to be at the house again; the main decorating work to be completed, and smaller tasks, those taking longer than had been anticipated, remaining on the list. An erratic routine, almost weekly, had been established that suited them both, and that Frank seemed only too happy for Sarah and Rafe to arrange. Isabelle paid but a cursory interest in all of this, choosing to wait until a room, or particular works had been finished before expressing an opinion.

‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’, Rafe had said at some point and much to Sarah’s amusement.

So it was that on a bright and sunny day, with only the gentlest of breezes rustling the trees that lined the street, Sarah saw Rafe seated on the steps that led up to the front door, not just another man who called at the house to undertake some manner of building work.

No, he was Rafe; a man she really could not think of as a father-in-law. Their dealings with each other, the easy come and go of conversation that usually passed between them, made it so. A bond of easy fellowship had arisen between them; one that neither Frank nor Isabelle intruded upon.

‘I’m not late, am I?’ she asked, looking at her watch, the gentle breeze tugging at her hair, and that she brushed away gracefully.

‘No…you’re not late,’ Rafe smiled, his eyes darting to take in Sarah’s charmingly youthful and fashionable appearance.

‘Good. I’ve had hectic few days recently. I was worried I’d have to call off today…’

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