12. OVER A MUG OF COFFEE

12. OVER A MUG OF COFFEE

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson
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Taylor is getting to know Louella

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Coffee with Louella was an eye-opener and no mistake.

Taylor arrived at Room 101 after lectures, and he knocked and waited to be admitted. Not like Bernie and the way he barged into his room, no knocking, no making sure he was decent, but politely like a man should when visiting a lass.

And when Louella opened the door after a moderate gap it was clear why such good manners were appropriate because her hair was damp with a towel wrapped round it, and she was probably naked if you discounted the larger bath towel that covered most of her: decent, yes, but actually wearing very little if anything at all in the way of actual clothing.

I was hoping you’d come, Taylor,” she said, smiling. He saw those teeth again, whiter than most and so even it was hard to believe nature had created them.

I hope I’m not too early,” he queried, knowing he wasn’t but wondering why she had wet hair and was half naked when he, a lad, was due at her door.

I just washed my hair,” she told him, “and I took a bath while the girls’ bathroom was available. after a workout on the court I like to wash the sweat out of my teasing curls.”

Damn and blast, he thought, maybe I should have done the same… What’s she going to think of me, arriving with sweat-stained hair?

I could come back later,” he said nervously.

Don’t be silly! It’ll be dry in a tick, and I like slobbing around. I’ll pull something more conventional on in a mo. You’re not embarrassed, are you? Seeing me like this, I mean?”

No. Not at all,” he lied.

That’s all right then.”

It’s fine.”

You don't call on many girls, do you?”

It suddenly crossed his mind that he hardly ever called on anyone. He socialised in the students common room, played a few records on the record player that they shared, sometimes sat at one of the desks in there, doing written work for one of his courses, and he laughed when others laughed even if he hadn’t heard the joke. But he didn’t socialise. Not properly.

Maybe I should,” he said, obliquely.

You can call on me any time you like,” she said, “I don't have so many visitors because I’m choosy who I’m friends with. You know Samantha?”

He thought he knew Samantha, and nodded vaguely.

She’s leaving at the end of term.”

Ah yes, that was Samantha: a pretty girl, long hair that was usually in uncontrollable curls that appeared to ignore what she wanted them to do, and a pronounced bosom, he’d noticed that and it had been a distraction when he was alone in his room and trying to write an essay about something boring. That chest of hers had a habit of coming to mind when more serious matters should.

I heard something of the sort.” He had, he thought, heard that this Samantha was changing colleges because somewhere else offered a more appropriate course for a young woman who wanted to end up teaching infants.

She says she’s moving to a college closer to her home, but that isn’t why she’s leaving,” Louella told him.

It isn’t?” Where was this conversation going to? Why were they suddenly immersed in a the life and wiles of a buxom girl called Samantha?

She’s got herself into trouble.”

Taylor didn’t immediately know what was meant by Samantha being in trouble. As far as he was concerned, trouble usually involved breaking this or that rule or law, maybe with the police being involved. So, “What’s she done?” he asked.

Louella laughed. It wasn’t a tinkling sort of girly laugh but a little bit harsh and almost humourless laugh.

Only opened her legs once too often!” she said, “silly girl! I could have told her to be careful, but careful wasn’t in her vocabulary, and then she got caught and blamed the whole wide world for it when the fault lay firmly in her own choices.”

Taylor was verging on being confused. But he forced his mind to work, to absorb this new material and make some sense out of it and somehow form a moral judgement.

They say it takes two to tango,” he said.

Ah, but with Samantha it’s a question of which of the lads adds to her one in order to make two,” she said.

Taylor was lost again. “I don't understand,” he said, frowning.

Are you as innocent as Bernie says you are?” asked Louella, “I do hope you are! I like innocence in a boy. I like to think I can guide him along the right paths! Samantha was doing it with all comers! She’d be hard pushed to name a top ten of potential donors of the sperm that’s caused her problem! She’s had her fun and she’s got to pay for it, and serve her right.”

She handed him a mug of coffee, instant from a jar that he recognised as the least expensive brand because it was the same as he bought.

Don’t you blame the, what did you call them, sperm donors?” he asked, pleased that he was able to use the kind of terminology he’d never had to even think about before.

Some take precautions, some don't, and even precautions aren’t a hundred percent,” she said. “They say we’ll all be able to have the pill one day, but that’s not now. No, a woman’s got to be in charge of her own body and refuse sperm donations until she’s absolutely sure it’s right for her.”

What does she mean, right for her, he wondered. “You mean, married?” he asked.

She smiled at him and sipped her coffee. “Not at all,” she said, “it might be quite wrong for a woman to have a baby even though she is married. She might want time to pursue her career, and a family would certainly get in the way of that! No, a woman must have the same rights as a man, and that includes the right to be herself!”

Re … yes.” He was on uncertain ground because he’d never given the issue so much as a moment’s thought before that conversation.

You will look the other way while I pop some clothes on?” she asked, “though you can peep if you want to! Peeping’s all right, but getting down and dirty straight away isn’t! Tell me about that tennis girl of yours, the one Bernie’s always raving about?”

He is? I didn’t think he’d met her...” He looked away while she removed the bath towel and pulled on some underclothes.

Oh, he hasn’t. He just says you’ve got a picture of an angel on your notice board, and it’s a girl in a tennis dress.”

I don't know her either,” he confessed, “it’s just a picture I took a few years back, of a stranger.”

An odd thing to do. Take pictures of strangers.”

I thought she was pretty.”

Is that why you haven’t leapt out at me with your camera primed and ready, because I’m not pretty?”

He looked at her. In her bra and panties and with a white underskirt on its way past her knees as she pulled it up, she was as pretty as any girl needs to be despite what he’d initially thought of as imperfections. And she did have those lovely teeth.

I like you,” he said, simply.

But not pretty.” She sighed, and then smiled, “thank goodness! I don't have to turn sperm donors away like poor Samantha does. Or did, rather. She doesn’t any more. She says she’d fed up with blokes, and who can blame her? But I tell you what. I’ll let you kiss me before you go, if that’s what you want.”

He sat down on the edge of her bed, flabbergasted.

He hadn’t kissed a girl before, not properly and not by invitation.

© Peter Rogerson 16.08.19





© 2019 Peter Rogerson


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Added on August 16, 2019
Last Updated on August 16, 2019
Tags: coffee, conversation, pregnancy, contraception, responsibility


Author

Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom



About
I am 77 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..

Writing