The Third Daughter – Chapter 3The Third Daughter – Chapter 3

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I woke up on Sunday morning and was disappointed to find myself alone. I felt alive from the moment I awoke. My thighs hurt and, I noticed, my nipples were large, almost as if they had just been sucked. My cunt lips were swollen. Was I doomed to be in a permanent state of sexual arousal?There was a delicious smell of coffee emanating from, I assumed, the kitchen so I got out of bed and looked for my clothes. That search fruitless, I noticed a dressing gown, black, laid out on the bed and, I assumed, for me. It was sure to fit perfectly. But, reassuringly, it didn’t although my nipples showed prominently through the fabric.I tied the belt as I made my way down to the kitchen where, before I got there, I could hear the murmur of conversation.Clemency looked up, smiling, as I walked into the kitchen and found her sitting across the table from another woman. “This,” she said, “is my sister, Patience.”Patience was a pretty woman, a little older than her sister but with the same if shorter, black hair. Her eyes were reassuringly a normal shade of brown and she was dressed in jeans, trainers, and a shabby jumper.“Hi, Maggie. I am taking a brief refuge. I work all week and look forward to spending the weekend with my kids then, by Saturday evening, all I want is some adult conversation and liberation from football and iPads and computer games. Have we met?”I took a sip of the coffee Clemency had poured for me and sat with them at the table. “Well, I have to confess you’re somehow familiar.”“The library!” she exclaimed. “Grange St library.” I pleaded guilty as charged. “My almanbahis şikayet daughter, Tina, absolutely loves it there. She loves the woman who does the Wednesday afternoon readings for her.” I admitted that that was me. “Oh wow, she’ll be so excited when I tell her I met you at Auntie Clem’s.” How could I ever think of Clemency as Auntie Clem? “You look so different in a dressing gown.”“Most people,” said Clemency, drily, “do.”We nattered for a while and I have to say I revelled in the normality, the mundanity. Patience was funny, quick-witted and, thank God, didn’t so much as produce an egg from behind my ear. “She’s a dreadful show-off,” she said, pointing at her sister, “don’t encourage her. I always try to appear bored. But I have to admit, the kids love her.”When Patience left, Clemency and I went upstairs to shower. Inevitably it took longer than strictly necessary and I discovered how pleasant it is to kneel in the shower while someone washes your hair. I found a suitable way to pass the time while I was there. Use your imagination.“Why don’t we have a walk down by the canal?” That was Clemency’s suggestion.“Could we walk past my house so I can change into something more suitable?”So we did. I wore the sparkly dress and heels, since I had nothing else and I was pleased that my coat covered the inappropriate clothes. My knickers and stockings etc were in my bag. “You’re such a slut, walking around with no knickers on.” She was dressed remarkably like her sister in jeans and trainers, but with a black shirt and a soft leather jacket.“You might have almanbahis canlı casino offered to lend me a pair of yours.”“Why did that thought not occur to me?”We got to my place and Clemency wandered around, taking it in, feeling (I sensed) me in the house. Then, clad in a dark green corduroy skirt and a pale yellow sweater under a Barbour coat with brown, sensible shoes, I walked with her through the park and along the canal towpath.It was a bright, warm late morning. Clemency suggested lunch at a little pub that nestled beside the canal and I agreed. We walked and talked. I slipped my arm through hers as we walked and it felt good, normal, real.“Did you recognise Patience?” she asked.“Vaguely. But I know her daughter well. She’s a clever little thing, great sense of humour.”“What’s the best thing about being a librarian?”“Seeing kids discover books.”“And the worst?”“Adults. For a start, they turn down the corners of pages as bookmarks which is vandalism. They make up ridiculous stories about why they shouldn’t pay the fine for being late returning books; they moan when the book they want isn’t there; they steal.” A thought occurred. “Why don’t you come and do a little magic for my reading group?”“I don’t do a routine for kids.”“Well you do when you’re ‘Auntie Clem’,” I sniggered. “So, do what you do for adults, they’d love it.”“We’ll see.” We came to a bench set on a low mound beside the towpath and she guided me to sit on it. She half-turned to me and very deliberately unzipped my jacket and slipped her hand inside, covering my breast with her almanbahis casino long fingers over the sweater. She looked, very directly, into my eyes. “I owe you an apology. I have to go away for a while.”The news stung me like a slap in the face. “Why.”“Just something I need to do. I don’t know how long I will be gone.”“You’re dumping me?”“Don’t be silly. I’ll keep in touch.”“So, where are you going?”“I have to visit some friends. Not sure how long I’ll be.”“More fucking mystery.” My words were sour, but my voice was low, calm as I tried to keep my anger in check. “Will you ever be straight with me?”“Yes, I will, when the time is right.”I stood up and faced her. “Enough. I cannot do this anymore. You’re turning me inside out. I’m going home, be well.”And, to my astonishment, I did. I walked off, angry, hurt, half expecting her to call me back, follow me, restrain me, hold me. If that was what I wanted it wasn’t going to happen. I got home, cried for a bit, then a bit more, then told myself I was better off without her and she could go and fuck herself. I cried a bit more after that too.That night, I slept the sleep of the dead. No dreams, no restlessness. I woke on Monday morning and felt refreshed, liberated and decided, very quickly, that I had made the right decision. Plenty more fish in the sea, I told myself. And, some of those fish might be normal, less mysterious, straightforward. I threw myself into my work, scribbled some lines for a play I was trying to write, and generally got on with my life.Wednesday afternoon and I was preparing for my kids’ reading group. I’d found a great story for them. It was a spoof murder, not too frightening (kids love a bit of fear) but funny, witty, and well-written. Patience’s daughter, Tina, one of my favourites in the group, skipped in, her mother a few paces behind her.

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