Love in an English Cottage. (Chapter 1)

Chapter 1.

He lay on his back paralysed on the toilet floor, his limbs too weak to move after the struggle. His body occasionally twitched, but he knew it was just a matter of time before he took his last breath. The late evening setting sun shone through the creaked glass window turning the wet stained cement floor into a glorious gold surface fit for a king. The warmth of the sun eased his anxiety and as he relaxed he knew it was close to the time of letting go of the pain. With this realisation he felt a peace within him; he reassured himself, after all the panic it would now be okay. Suddenly his body was tense once more as he sensed a movement, shadows cast their changing shape from under the cubical door moving in rhythm. A deep grown filled the air along with a muffled sound, possibly a whisper, but it was difficult to tell over the rushing water from the urinal. The water was an unnatural deep blue in colour heavily dosed with chemicals, but it was having little effect on the ceramic wall that had been repeatedly soaked in urine for decades. The water gushed so hard that the sound of a van pulling up outside was drowned out and the occupants of the toilet remained unaware of their pending destiny. It was not until the footsteps entered that toilet that they became aware of his presents. In the midst of passion the three bodies froze, their minds, which had been intoxicated by sex, were now alert and rushing with panic. Was it the police, shit what could I say to get out of this? Could it be some fucked up homophobe that was going to beat the living day lights out of them? Maybe another guy looking for a quick rush or just a piss, either way they remained frozen until they could be surer of this new player in the game.

Jim glanced quickly around the toilet, his mind deep in though meant the body lay unnoticed. He had no need to change the toilet paper; he did this already this morning as he new that he would be in a rush that afternoon. Jim realised it was already half past eight as he glazed anxiously at his watch. It would take him at leased an hour to scrub himself up before meeting Lucy. Working in the ‘public services’, as Jim put it, often left him smelling of disinfectant. After thirty-two years of it, the smell had soaked into his pours, and he knew that Lucy would not find this an attractive attribute. Jim had not been on a date for over forty years, his beloved May had died in 1992 of cancer, she was the first girl he had fallen in love with and they had been together until her death. He had lived his whole life around May and when she finally gave up fighting during that cold Christmas all that Jim had left was his family and work. He was due for retirement just the thought filled him with fear, what would he do with his life, it would be empty. He thought he would never love again; he was a reserved man who only mixed with his family outside of work. It was by shear fluke or maybe destiny that he had met Lucy. He had gone up to his grandson’s bedroom, to see why he hadn’t run down stairs to meet him. Luke was now fifteen and much as he love the old man showing affection was not always easy. It kind of felt award hugging him, in fact hugging any of his family when most of the time he desired the closeness of a woman. Jim burst through the door, ‘you on that intronet again?’
‘Internet granddad, internet’ Luke corrected him in frustration recalling the amount of times he had told him what it was called.
‘But it’s full of paedophiles, I saw it on Panorama the other night’ Jim’s reddened old eyes stared at the scene with fear.
‘Granddad I’m not stupid, believe me a pervert isn’t about to jump out of the screen. What you are talking about are chat rooms and yes some people are looking for sex but there are many other people use it for other reasons’.
Jim could not quite work out what Luke was talking about a room inside the scene were people go to talk, but how do they hear each other? Luke observed the confusion he his granddads eyes.
‘Look come and sit down and I’ll show you’ Luke insisted
‘But, but’ Jim hesitated
‘It won’t bit you, now relax’
Luke logged him on to a local chat room describing itself as ‘mature singles looking for companionship’. It was hear where he met Lucy for the first time. Squinting at the scene, glasses hanging off the end of his nose he attempted to read each word that Lucy typed for him. At first his old fingers creaked with the harshness of bleach move clumsily across the keyboard hardly being able to successfully type a word let allow a sentence. Yet as he continued Luke witnessed a miracle, the old man who was usually slow and fearful was coming to life, his limbs loosening up as if youth once more ran through his vains. Jim was owquired around women, he never really understood the art of conversation especially people who he did not know. Reading Lucy questions Jim felt specially, someone was actually taking an interest in this old dog. To Luke’s shock granddad arrange to talk with Lucy the following week and then again until it became a regular event in Jim’s week that he lived for. Her words put him at ease and allowed his thoughts to flow freely; thinking was something that Jim had not done in a while. He had been caught in the repetition of life, living for work and television, but talking with Lucy seemed to open all sought of possibilities again, a sense of life, a sense of adventure, and dare he think it a sense of love and romance. Luke would watch in wonder as the monitor caused his granddads old wrinkled face glow an electric blue, his eyes blazed with excitement. David, Luke’s father was not so amused, who was this strange woman hunting men down on the internet, Jim had very little money and as for sex was it possible at that age? You’d think he would have more decentcy, god knows what mum thinks looking down on him. He was very uncomfortable with the whole situation, but if truth was to be known his anxiety was mixed with a hint of jealousy. Much as he loved his wife, seeing his father so alive and excited by all the possibilities of love, he envied to feel that alive again. Taking the thought no further he decided he father was losing it and needed to get his head back together. To David displeasure he was too late; Jim had finally plucked up the courage to ask if she would meet him. Jim waiting with baited breath like a teenager asking for his first date, Luke watched over his shoulder, this beat any soap opera he thought and held his fingers crossed tightly. The response seemed to take forever and finally the words came up ‘I would love to’. Jim almost fell out of the chair with joy and grabbed his grandson jumping up and down as if England had finally won the world cup. Just at that point David entered the room his speech all ready in his mind. Jim yelled in excitement ‘I’ve got a date, my boy, I’ve got a date’ with this David huffed and stormed out the room without uttering a word. His disapproval remained unnoticed and for that moment a union was shared between the old man and his grandson, a celebration of what love can bring, love the wine of life!

With that though Jim said to himself, sod it, I can clean these ones tomorrow, love awaits. He grinned to himself and turned to leave, but out the corner of his eye he saw a darkness lying on the floor. The body on the floor froze in fear once more.
‘Oh God’ Jim said allowed as he looked in horror at the floor ‘the bloody cockroaches are back’. This you most understand is every proud toilet cleaner nightmare, a disgrace to their trademanship. Usually Jim would have acted swiftly but that evening was different, it’s the end of the day, it can be dealt with tomorrow, Jim thought to himself. For a moment he was taken back by his slack attitude, then he grinned at his rebellious decision and shut the door with zest locking it behind him. The body of the cockroach reminded still paused in motion knowing his vulnerability, as he remained suck on his back glued to the floor by urine and chemicals.

Love in an English Cottage. (Chapter 1)


Cunha, Brazil

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