My friend, this was certainly one crazy day, and it may be hard for you to believe this, so let me pour you a cup of coffee and I’ll tell you how it happened. Yes, it is true, every bit of it is the truth, the whole truth, and I’ll swear to it on my Mary Elizabeth’s portrait hanging over the mantel. Cupid was right here … I swear … She was sitting right on that end of the couch, the damp end, so be careful and sit on this side.
I can prove it, too. Just go across the street and ask my neighbor. She saw the whole thing from her front window. At least she witnessed the part outside. I didn’t share the inside parts with her — those are just between you and me. My neighbor can probably elaborate on the part she saw on the front porch if you want to follow up, but for comparison, before you talk to her, this is all she could see …
. . . . . .
Standing on tiptoe, Valerie Jane wrapped her arms around my neck, pulling me downward. Bare-chested, barefoot, and in my briefs, I was spooned against her agile, lithe, honed therapist body.
We were framed within the open doorway for all the world to observe, almost like giddy lovers. She smiled and offered a kiss. I leaned into those sweet lips and melted into her athletic embrace. Time halted, as the weight of an ancient era bore down upon us. Beyond caring who watched us at this point, I stood in the front doorway holding my hands around her hips and grasped her behind to draw her upward.
I didn’t give a damn if my neighbor was watching, nor if Valerie was just twenty-two years old — and half my age or less. The local gossip, who lives across the street, would spread this scene around the block and add more rumors before evening. In all probability, even add that Valerie’s firm grip had massaged something inside my underwear, as she kissed me. That wasn’t the case, at least not on the front porch just then. That happened earlier inside — I’m not an exhibitionist, for Christ’s sake.
My bane would make sure everyone on the street would know I was fornicating with a harlot while my dear wife was still warm in her grave. I was confident of that, although Mary Elizabeth had passed over a year ago. For the most part, I’d become a recluse shunning my neighbors, and even stopped going out with old work friends to help fill the time void, as the months marched onward.
It was wearing on me, and I could sense the moroseness creeping slowly upon my shoulders; I miss Mary more with each passing month, especially during February. That lousy month had arrived again, the one in which Mary Elizabeth sighed, squeezed my hand, and slipped silently away to join St. Valentine on the fourteenth of last year.
“No … I can’t make it to your office … I can’t even get behind the wheel to drive over …
“Well, what can I do in the meantime?
“That’s it? Nothing else?
“… So, try and do what?
“… slow hip rotations?
“… Acetaminophen? Nothing stronger …
“Doc, it hurts like a knife …”
“Donald, I can get you set up to see a physical therapist, but that will take two weeks to get you in and evaluated. I’ll order something stronger for you; meanwhile, take the over-the-counter stuff, until you can get the pharmacy to deliver the prescriptions to your house if you can’t drive. Remember, don’t take both.”
“Thanks, doc … I appreciate that,” I sighed, as I hung up the phone. Some relief was better than none, but waiting two weeks to get an appointment was ridiculous when you’re in pain.
By noon the next day, I walked with a slight limp. On the third day, I could not stand up or sit down without holding onto something for dear life. A grown man can only stand so much pain before he caves and reluctantly calls out for help. I called Doctor Adama’s office, whining for relief and painkillers. Yeah, I was a wuss by day four. I gulped a handful of acetaminophen, a few more than he directed, and chased it with a splash of bourbon — I read, somewhere, that helps kill pain too. I’d have to wait for the pharmacist to deliver the prescription, hopefully sooner than later.
Well, two hours later, the doorbell rang. Cursing, I struggled to get up and limped to the door to find a smiling Uber driver. He waved a brown paper bag in his hand with Doctor Adama’s prescription for some heavy-duty muscle relaxers and a few pain pills. I tried to smile back at the overly concerned delivery guy and gave him an extra five bucks plus his delivery fee. Then tossing the bag onto the coffee table, I trailed him back to the front door. I assured him I didn’t need help getting back into bed, then locked the door after him.
Hell. I had forgotten the doc’s instructions and even the delivery guy’s admonishment by the time he was out the door. Was it the extra over-the-counter stuff or the bourbon kicking in and fudging up my memory?
‘How long should I wait to take the prescription stuff after the acetaminophen, or did Doc say just wait?’ I thought about it for a bit. Then in another twinging moment, my usual short and ribald answer came to speak for me.
I took the meds with another swallow of bourbon. Rinse and repeat. Or some such wording, I recalled. One mixed dose wasn’t going to hurt me, that was for sure. I took another swig straight from the bottle to help ease some more pain, eased myself back into the chair, and began reading the label. ‘Don’t take this medicine and drive or take it with alcohol as it may impair driving or affect your judgment.’ Really? Does somebody get paid to write that on a bottle? My thinking was getting judgmental and not exactly in the good sense of the term. However, I didn’t realize it at that point.
‘Too damn late for that admonishment,’ I thought, as I limped toward my bedroom, seeking a peaceful place to stretch out my spine. Twenty minutes into that flat-on-my-back position, I felt better — even rested. The roar of ocean waves sounded in my ears, and my eyelids fluttered shut. In that hazy moment, I saw a water nymph crawling across my bedroom floor and under the sheets to join me. I could feel her hands stretching my member and a wet tongue polishing my knob. After that, it was just the sounds of silence swishing back and forth in my mind — the latter might just have been the heater cycling on and off.
Later, much later, I believe, I heard the faint ding-dong of the doorbell repeating itself over and over. I emerged from the depths of my sleep and eased myself down the hallway. I was a bit surprised at my gait. The meds were helping — not full recovery — but at least, not the excruciating and stabbing pain from a few hours ago.
The bell ringer had changed to an insistent door knocker. It sounded like someone was slamming a hammer at the door.‘Christ, they’d break it down if I don’t hurry,’I thought.
“All right, already! I’m coming! Keep your damn shirt on!” I called out, hoping to allay the hammer-fisted jerk banging on my door.
I struggled to twist the knob, flung it open with a heave-ho, and froze. “Yes?” I croaked. The urge to bellow instantly deflated; my ire turned to bewilderment.
My eyes went wide, and I’m sure my two-day-old bearded jaw went slack. It felt as though it was at least down to my knees before I realized it and shut my trap, although I’m sure I still looked foolish in her eyes, those beautiful, mocha eyes and sensual lush lips of an angel descended from Heaven. As the old song goes, she was one sent on a low-swinging sweet chariot to carry me home. That honey-glazed swept-back hair flowed down her shoulders and came at least to the middle of her … ass — that’d be my first impression.
My second impression was how well her breasts held out the workout tank top. And from there on, it was just my mind melting over the radiance of her face and the impression of a youthful bodybuilder standing in front of me with a backpack and a fold-up table tucked under her sinewy arm. Drop-dead gorgeous didn’t begin to describe the still summer-bronzed woman standing at my front door. Was it really a long-lasting tan, or was it the skin tone notable among the Mediterranean people?
“Hi. Mr. Ballord! I’m here for your PT session. Ever had therapy workouts before?” she asked, stepping through the doorway and pushing past me to gain entry.
“Ah … no,” I responded, “and it’s Mallord with an ‘M.'” I managed to utter, catching her mispronunciation, but that had nearly gone wayward as I caught a whiff of her perfume’s wonderful smell, as she scooted passed me.
“Oh! It must be a typo on the form, ‘Mr. Mallord,'” she repeated with emphasis, correcting her introduction again, “I’m Valerie Jane, here to get you back on your feet and feeling better as soon as possible.” She spoke with an air of exuberance and confidence rolled into one, like a well-played-out introduction she had recounted many times before.
“I thought Doc Adama said it would take two weeks to get an appointment?” I stammered as I watched her bend down to unfold her table and spread out an assortment of exercise gadgets. Her body was one fluid motion as she untangled elastic bands, rings, and other tools of the trade. The young therapist moved like a dolphin through water, twisting those hips to expose the taut line formed by her outfit down her backside, and again as she spun around to highlight the well-developed camel toe up front. Who the hell designs those damn jeans anyway? She had to have been poured into them like chocolate into those heart-shaped boxes — no way you could pull something that tight up over … her shapely bottom, I thought, as I watched her in action.
“What can I say, Mr. Mallord, except I don’t know the doctors. I get my callouts from my therapy director, and … here I am … at your service. So tell me, what hurts you most, Mr. Mallord?” She stood in front of me, with her hands on her hips, and her legs slightly agape, waiting expectantly for my reply. She was perfectly posed, like Layla, one of those new-fangled Artificial Intelligence dolls sold on late-night TV. But at three thousand dollars, with three receptive holes, I wasn’t that hard up — yet. My answer to her question didn’t come easily.
I was still soaking in the stunning figure, dressed in a bright-red, tightly-fitted, gossamer top and brilliantly white Jeggings. Those had to have been cast on her body like she was poured into a mold. The apex of her thighs pooched out in a not-shy camel-toe display of her pouty-shaped mons.
“You okay, Mr. Mallord? Can I get you some water?” Miss Valerie Jane’s concerned voice asked me. Guess she saw that I was a little wobbly.
“Sure … water would be good, thanks,” I croaked, as my voice seemed to have grown parched. My thoughts became fuzzy. The blood from my brain seemed to have drained and flowed down to nether regions, or it could have been dehydration. Had I not had anything to drink since I’d taken the pills with the bourbon about … wasn’t that two or three hours ago? Wouldn’t that have worn off already?
She came back from the kitchen with a glass in her hand. “Not taking those painkillers with ‘that’ are you?” she asked, pointing to the half-full bottle of Kentucky Bourbon on the coffee table.
“Of course not,” I groused, “The prescription label says not to take them with alcohol. You’d have to be crazy to do that, right?” I answered indignantly.
“Yeah, crazy. It would affect your better judgment for sure. So …?”
I stood with my mouth open or, more precisely, with my head up my rectum. I couldn’t remember where our conversation was going. The last thing I recalled was that I was zeroed in on her prominent camel toe.
“… Where does it hurt, Mr. Mallord?” she prodded again.
My immediate thought was, ‘Right here … in my heart.’ She reminded me of my Mary
Elizabeth a little. Her bright smile was so familiar. It caused me to draw a deep breath in memory of my darling.
“Ah … I fell off a ladder,” I answered, finally stumbling onto a better explanation. “First step up or down, as was the case. I thought I’d reached the bottom but was still up a step when I let go and landed on my ….” I left that line unfinished, unsure if I should use my normal-blunt vocabulary with someone so young looking.
“… ass.” She laughed, and continued, “Yeah, that happens more often than you would think. Probably jerked your spine out of alignment and got some pressure on your sciatica nerve pathway from the way I saw you walking.” Her eyes drifted up and down my body, as though measuring my frame for any other misalignment issues before adding, “Anything else hurting you?” Her gaze was momentarily focused on my waist or a bit below before looking back at her worktable and tossing a sheet over it.
I was tempted to say,‘I need to relieve the hurt in the bend inside my shorts.’It had been a long time since my body responded to a live woman’s presence — late-night cable didn’t count. “No … well, just between my shoulder blades a bit, too,” came out instead between my parched lips.
“Then, let’s see about those ‘hurts’ and check out your vertebral alignment. Drop your robe and climb aboard,” she grinned, “unless you have someone coming home and would be embarrassed to see you in your skivvies stretched out and groaning under my hands, eh, Mr. Mallord?”
“No!” I answered, a bit shocked at her boldness. “I … live alone now. A year this month,” I sighed, pointing to my wife’s portrait over the fireplace mantel. A look of instant recognition crossed Valerie’s face as her giggle went silent. Then she nodded in acknowledgment.
“Mary Elizabeth,” I announced while looking up to address her portrait, “meet Valerie the physical therapist.” Turning back to Val, I added, “Yes, she used to light up the room whenever she came into a conversation with a group of people.”
“Still does; I see how looking at her reflects upon your face now, Mr. Mallord. It’s aglow as you speak about her. Love is a splendid thing.” She had been looking up at the mantel as she spoke, but then I felt her looking directly into my soul and communicating with words of wisdom well beyond her years.
Valerie paused a second before continuing, “You know love never has to end; there is always the possibility of another rosebud waiting to bloom. Seneca the Younger, that really old Roman philosopher, said it like this, ‘Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.'”
“Ah, kid, you speak of Seneca and love as though you’ve experienced it … but you’re just a child — not yet ten yards, nor ten minutes in time, outside your mother’s watchful eye. You’ve got a lot to learn about love, child. How’s a girl as young as you have an interest in an old fart like Seneca anyway?”
Valerie’s eyes twinkled, as her cheeks glowed with amusement at my comparison. “I’m not as inexperienced in love as you think, Mr. Mallord, not the physical kind anyway.” She turned back to her tasks of spreading out her table and equipment. You could hear a pin drop in those few moments she faced away from me. She whispered something under her breath, but I couldn’t catch what she said. The pills and bourbon were probably still swirling around in my head, clouding my reasoning.
‘In my youth, old man, I taught that ‘old fart’ few things about Stoicism and physical love in the Roman baths almost daily. But for you, old teacher, that’s a story for another time. Today, my assignment is to get you beyond the angst of your thoughts on your departed love.’
Then she spun back around and grinned widely, as she glanced down at my robe. “Now, about that robe, are you too modest and need to keep it on? I work best with hands on flesh — the better to find what I need to adjust. The cloth makes it a bit … imprecise and harder to resolve the nuances in — bone — alignments.”
Now it was my turn to turn a bit red. The bone in my shorts wasn’t shrinking. It grew as I listened to her soft melodious voice swirl around the room. Hearing that she wasn’t ‘inexperienced in love’ had my lascivious thoughts creeping into my mind. Those thoughts conjured up visions of her athletic figure writhing beneath me, as I took her until she shook and cried out in ecstasy under my pummeling. Damn, that wicked thought of plunging into that camel toe didn’t help with the ‘bone’ situation — not one damn bit.