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Not IN Love Ch. 05

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Disclaimer:

This is a fictitious story. All characters are fictitious and any resemblance to real people is coincidence. Do not take any information in this story as health advice.

~~~

Jenny had had enough alcohol to build her confidence. She stood up, turned the music off and looked around at the people in her home, most of whom she would probably never see again.

Tom tapped his glass to get everyone’s attention and when he did, he gestured to Jenny and said, “Mum.”

Jenny took a deep breath and said, “We are here not to mourn Dan’s passing but to celebrate his life and how he affected ours. I invite anyone to come up here to say how they’ve been affected, but first I’d like to thank my daughter, Lucy, and my son, Tom, for organising the food and drinks that we are now enjoying, well I am anyway.

“To me, Dan was my husband, friend and father of my beautiful daughter and son. He was also a great provider, such as this home, and he made me laugh a lot. I have very fond memories of us playing cards with Joe’s parents on Sunday afternoons, then with Tom and Joe and then later with Lucy and Joe and I hope that I can keep holding on to those memories.

“We were not a social couple, we didn’t travel much, we preferred to stay at home with our friends and family, so I am surprised to see so many of you here. I guess he affected us all somehow.

“Some of you may think that I should be mourning. After all, Dan died only yesterday. If you talk to Lucy and my best friend, Joe, who have both studied psychology at university, they can explain to you the five stages of grief. I’ve been through all those whilst Dan was in palliative care and so I’m over grieving.

“I’d like to thank Joe for supporting me and taking care of me while Dan was sick. He also helped me through those grieving stages. He’s been a godsend.

“Well that’s it from me, thank you for coming,” Jenny then sat down on the old leather lounge in the sun room.

Joe and Jenny were having most meals together while Dan was in hospital. They took it in turns to cook. At night, Joe walked Jenny to and from the hospital but now Dan was dead, Jenny wondered what would happen next.

Lucy, although she appeared to be, wasn’t confident and used her extroverted outward appearance to cover her insecurity.

Lucy took her mother’s place and said, “As an extrovert I have to say something but I won’t say much. Dad was the best father I ever had,” some people tittered at her joke, “He supported me in whatever I did. I wanted a lot, but I never had the need for anything. I know that he loved me and I loved him very much. Thank you.”

Tom took the position, pointed towards Lucy and said, “What she said.”

Joe felt he should say something, so he stood up and said, “Dan was like a big brother to me. He’d always be pottering around in his shed and I’d be fascinated with whatever he was doing. He never shooed me away and he always explained to me what he was doing. He was very patient and answered any questions that I had. He’s probably the reason why I studied Mechatronics Engineering at uni. He was a great friend.”

When Joe finished, Lucy cuddled his arm and said, “Look after mum please.”

Joe and Lucy had been dating for a couple of years. They were not in love but they were certainly comfortable with being boyfriend and girlfriend.

Joe approached Jenny and said, “May I?” gesturing towards the seat next to her.

“You may,” said Jenny patting the seat next to her, “Sherry?” she asked, “I was hoping that you’d be my drinking partner tonight.”

“I’m not a very good drinker Mrs G,” answered Joe, remembering that he’d already eaten some cannabis with his friends before the memorial started. When he saw the disappointment on Jenny’s face he took the small glass from her hand and said, “but I’ll have one anyway.”

“To Dan,” toasted Joe.

Jenny cheered up and countered, “To good friends.”

They both sipped their drinks and continued to listen to people saying how Dan affected their lives.

“Rubbish,” said Jenny under her breath, “They’re all sycophants.”

“All of us?” ask Joe.

“Not you,” said Jenny, cuddling his arm and giggling. “Most of them,” nodding towards her guests, “Take Mr Comb-over there. He’s Dan’s old boss. I’ve met him once at their work Christmas party. Ha, the mistletoe incident was embarrassing. He tried to corner me under the mistletoe. He’s just a slime.”

“Comb-over ‘s not his real name, is it?” asked Joe.

“No,” answered Jenny, “it’s just the name I gave him to match his hairstyle.”

Joe laughed then asked, “Why did you invite them?”

“I didn’t invite them,” answered Jenny, “They just turned up. They must have found out somehow.

“Am I bad person? These people came here to pay their respects and I poo poo them?”

“You’re not a bad person Mrs G. You’re a very lovely person. You’ve got a great personality. You’re just inclined to tell the truth and that’s not a bad thing,” answered Joe.

Jenny smiled at Joe and then güvenilir bahis continued, “Tracy’s alright, although, she’ll probably want me to start playing tennis again.”

Joe said, “Well that’s a good thing Mrs G. You should get out of the house. The exercise will do you good and so will socialising.”

“Always looking after me,” said Jenny as she squeezed his arm.

When people stopped making speeches, Lucy turned on the music again and people settled into individual conversations. Lucy sat down and talked with Tom on the other side of the sun room.

Joe was starting to get a buzz from the dope. He always wondered if Jenny new about Dan and Joe using cannabis and chose to ignore it or she just didn’t know. How did Dan keep it a secret? He certainly didn’t indicate that Jenny knew. He always hid his cannabis use away from everyone except Joe. Did Dan know that his children and their friends imbibed it?

After a while, Jenny said, “I overheard you promising Dan that you would look after me.”

Joe raised his eyebrows and asked, “When was that?”

Jenny answered, “During the slipper incident just after Dan got home from his operation.”

“Oh my goodness Mrs G!” exaggerated Joe, “Why did you bring that up? I can feel my nose being assaulted already. I’m feeling a bit sick, thinking of that smell!”

Jenny laughed and remembered what she heard through the crack in the door when Joe was helping Dan into bed:

~~~

Dan: Help me with my slippers, please.

Joe: No problem. Here you go.

Holy shit Dan! They stink! Have you been stomping around in dog shit again? Let me check. No? It’s not on the soles. Holy snapping grass moles Dan? The smell’s coming from the inside! There are other ways of keeping your feet warm, mate. You don’t have to line your shoes with warm dog shit. Do the world a favour and throw these shoes away.

Dan (laughing): They’re comfortable and they’ll outlast me.

Joe: That’s for sure. That’s because they’re what’s killing you. They’re rotting you from the feet up. They’re biological warfare mate. Throw them away and you’ll start getting better.

Dan (still laughing): Stop … Stop please … It’s hurting … I’ll pop my stitches if you keep that up.

Joe: Okay, but really mate. Those slippers need to go…

How long do they have to last you?

Dan: Anywhere from a month to six.

Joe: You’ll kill everyone in the neighbourhood before then with those shoes.

Dan (trying to stop laughing again): Stop. Please. I’m serious.

I want you to promise me something.

Joe: Is it illegal or immoral?

Dan: Illegal? No. Immoral? I don’t think so.

Joe (smiling): Well it can’t be any fun then if it’s not illegal or immoral.

Joe (more seriously): What is it you want me to do?

Dan: I want you to look after Jenny.

Joe (seriously): I don’t know if I can Dan, financially?

Dan: No, no. Not financially. I’ve learnt from your parents. I’ve got a very good, seven figure, life insurance policy and please, don’t tell my kids that. I want them to work for their own futures rather than rely on inheritance.

Jenny won’t need money, but what she will need is friendship. I want you to look after her physically and mentally. She’ll be so alone when I’m gone. She needs, love and caring for, and… and… that sort of thing.

Joe: She has Lucy and Tom to love her. Lucy will finish uni soon. I can’t provide anymore than what they can.

Dan: You’re wrong Joe. Tom has already left. He’s living in Sydney now, and when he’s here he stays will Shelly.

You know Lucy won’t stay here when she’s finished uni. She’ll get on with her career, whatever that will be.

You on the other hand have settled here with your business. You’re not going to up roots and take off like my kids. You’re the stable thing in Jenny’s life.

I know you can’t ‘fall in love’ and I’m not asking for that, but I want you to love Jenny any way you can.

You do love her, don’t you?

Joe: Of course Dan. I love each and every one of your family, but I can’t fall in love. You know that.

Dan: Does Lucy know that? Have you told her?

You know Lucy’s going to leave you? She’s not the sort to settle for one man.

Joe: Yes of course I’ve told her.

Dan: You’re a good man Joe. Will you do it? Look after Jenny I mean?

Joe: Dan, I promise you that I will look after Jenny anyway I can until, she falls in love with someone else. Is that okay?

Dan: You have to make sure it’s a good person that she falls in love with before you leave her, okay?

Joe: Okay.

Dan: Thank you. That means a lot to me. You’re a good friend, in fact, you’re my best friend.

I’m really tired, but now I can rest in peace knowing that you’ll look after Jenny.

~~~

Jenny shook herself out of her reminiscence and said, “You certainly talk differently to Dan than to the rest of us.”

Joe answered, “It’s sort of a macho mates thing. It started out as a joke. It’s not really me but Dan liked güvenilir bahis siteleri it so I kept doing it to please him.”

After a comfortable pause, Jenny asked, “Why did you buy Dan those expensive slippers Joe? Some cheap ones would have worked, why 100% real leather and sheepskin?”

“I didn’t want another pair of slippers to become an olfactory offence. Someone might have sued me,” joked Joe.

Jenny laughed, then placed her head on Joe’s shoulder and said, “Dan loved those slippers. He wore them every day. That was a really nice thing to do Joe. Where did you get them?”

“I had them made at the saddlery Mrs G,” answered Joe.

“Oh, that would have been expensive?” said Jenny in surprise.

Jenny then faced Joe and asked, “Why do you call me Mrs G? You called Dan, Dan. Why don’t you call me Jenny or Jesse, my middle name?”

Joe answered, “I’ve always called you Mrs G and Dan asked me to call him Dan a long time ago. I’m just used to it.”

Jenny shrugged and said, “It makes me feel old. Please call me Jenny, Jen, Jesse or Jess.”

Joe replied, “You’re not old Mrs, sorry, Jenny.”

Jenny responded, “Like mutton dressed as lamb,” as she patted down her skirt and brushed some invisible lint off her stockings.

“Nonsense,” said Joe and then with a smile, “you’re absolutely beautiful and surprisingly tall today.”

“Ha!” laughed Jenny and flicked her right, black, court shoe on her toes, “I seem taller because I’ve got my ‘screw me’ high heels on today. This is probably the last time I will ever wear them.

“I remember the previous and first time I wore these. It was when you took the four of us out to that expensive restaurant for Lucy’s 18th. I was dressed to the nines and so was Lucy. That’s the first time I felt that Lucy looked all grown up. I was very flattered when you said that we looked like sisters.

“Now I guess these shoes will end up at the OP Shop.”

Joe patted her arm and said, “You’ll eventually find someone Jenny.”

“Who?” asked Jenny, “Would you screw an old widow like me?”

“Ah…,” stuttered Joe, “I’m … I’m dating Lucy, Jenny,” although Joe would love to screw Jenny.

“Yes of course, but if you weren’t loyal to Lucy, and hypothetically speaking, would you screw someone like me?” asked Jenny.

Joe answered, “Yes. You’re a MILF Jenny, of course I would.”

“A MILF?” asked Jenny.

Joe answered, “Yes, a Mother I’d Like to … you know … Fuck.”

Jenny giggled and said, “You learn something every day.”

There was another comfortable pause as they listened to some of Dan’s favourite music.

Jenny then said, “Apparently I have you to thank for the sudden spice in our sexual life before Dan got sick. Dan told me that he’d asked you for some advice and it turned out to be very good advice indeed. We were having a very satisfactory sexual come back, before he got sick.”

Jenny was feeling very mischievous. It was probably the alcohol but she wanted to see how much she could tease Joe. She looked him straight in the eyes and said, “The different positions were very nice. I particularly liked reverse cowgirl and doggy style. We were very into oral sex too, fellatio, and especially cunnilingus were fantastic. Unfortunately, Dan got sick before we could try anal sex. I was really looking forward to that.

“You wouldn’t believe how many times we had sex on this couch. How does it feel to know that you’re sitting on cushions that have been wet with come?”

Joe looked a bit uncomfortable to Jenny, but he was hiding it well. He said, “They seem to have stood up to the punishment. In fact, the cushions look well nourished.”

Jenny laughed, cuddled his arm again, rested her head on his shoulder and said, “They didn’t suggest that type of moisturiser when we bought the couch.”

Joe laughed and hoped that his semi-erection wasn’t obvious. Jenny passed Joe another glass of sherry. This was about Joe’s fourth and he was feeling very relaxed. He was still buzzing from the cannabis he had eaten earlier and that, combined with the alcohol was quite calming.

After a while Joe asked, “Why the Jesse or Jess?”

“My middle name is Jessica,” answered Jenny, “I like that name more than Jenny but there was another Jesse in our class so I was called Jenny. You know, just like Jumping Jenny, that mystery book by Anthony Berkerley?”

“Oh no. Were you teased about that?” asked Joe.

Jenny nodded and said, “Being called Jesse James would have been better,” They both laughed and continued talking.

While they were chatting and having a good time, now and then, someone would come over, say their condolences and leave. Tracy did encourage Jenny to keep playing tennis before she left. She seemed like a nice lady. Other than his friends, Joe didn’t know the two remaining people who hadn’t left.

Eventually, the large lady who was wedged between the bench and the fridge, eating a lot of the food, looked like she was about to move towards them.

Jenny whispered, “Uh-oh, iddaa siteleri look out. Here comes Aunt Fatty. She’s been feuding with us since Dan inherited this home. I wonder what she’s up to?”

Aunt Fatty approached and said, “Don’t get up. You look too comfortable wrapped around that young man.”

Jenny ignored the insult, tightened her grip on Joe’s arm and said, “Joe, may I introduce to you Dan’s Aunty Faye? She’s from Melbourne. Faye, this is Joe, my very, very good friend,” and then she put her head on Joe’s shoulder and smiled at Aunt Faye.

They exchanged pleasantries but it wasn’t lost on Aunt Faye, that Jenny had deliberately ignored protocol during the introduction, thus indicating that Faye was the lesser person of the two being introduced, even though she was the elder and female.

“Well,” said Aunt Faye, “I’ll be leaving now, but if you’re ever visiting Melbourne, please look us up.”

Jenny nodded and Tom showed Aunt Fatty out. Jenny was hoping that she’d never see Aunt Fatty again.

Next it was Mr Comb-over’s turn to approach the lounge.

“Do me a favour and crush his hand when you shake it? Also, watch his eyes,” whispered Jenny and then, more loudly, “Joe, may I introduce to you, Barry? Barry was Dan’s old boss. Barry, this is Joe, he’s looking after me now,” she then cuddled up to Joe’s arm and rested her head on his shoulder.

Barry’s hand felt cold and clammy to Joe as they shook hands. Joe made sure to squeeze Barry’s hand hard. Barry tried to squeeze back but gave up and removed it from Joe’s. To Joe, it felt like a fish escaping his grip.

Barry turned to Jenny and said, “Dan was a good man. He was greatly appreciated at work.”

Jenny wanted to say, ‘Then why didn’t you pay him a decent wage?’ but she didn’t.

Barry then offered Jenny his card and said, as he cast his eyes up and down Jenny’s body, “If you ever need anything, anything at all, please don’t hesitate to call me.”

After Tom showed Barry out, Jenny asked, “Did you see that? I feel disgusted. It felt like he was undressing me with his eyes. He’s a sleaze! Am I wrong?”

Joe answered, “He certainly had a very good look at your body.”

“So I’m not imagining it?” asked Jenny.

Joe shook his head and said, “No. I don’t think so.”

“Now that’s over with, it’s time to get comfortable,” said Jenny as she kicked off her shoes, reached behind her back, undid her bra and efficiently removed it via the sleeve of her blouse, “I hate wearing bras. They’re so restrictive and uncomfortable,” She pushed her bra between her cushion and the lounge. She again, cuddled up to Joe’s arm and rested her head on his shoulder.

Joe could feel Jenny’s breast against his arm. Her nipple was hard and pressing into his flesh. It felt very nice and he wondered what her breast would feel like in his hand. He then remembered that he was dating Jenny’s daughter.

After a while, Jenny said “You know I used to try and tease you.”

“Did you?” asked Joe.

“Why do you think I rolled pastry on that bench, facing this way, without a bra on?” asked Jenny, “It felt good when I caught you sneaking a look at my breasts, jiggling around with my nipples rubbing against my thin blouse.

“At first I was just preparing food. I thought nothing of it but later, as you were going through puberty, I noticed you watching. You, were very discreet.

“I don’t think that Harry noticed anything. It was just normal to him but Dick couldn’t take his eyes off my breasts, even when we were talking.”

Again Joe hoped that his semi-erection wasn’t obvious.

Harry approached them and said, “Hello Mrs G. I’m… I’m not very good at this… This is the first memorial, wake or funeral I’ve ever attended.

“Um… Thank you for the food. It was very nice. I especially liked the vol-au-vents.

“I didn’t drink any of the wine. I’m driving my mum’s car.

“The music was really good…

“I liked Dan… and I also like you. Both of you treated me well.

“Some people would disagree with me but I think Dan has gone. There’s just a body… somewhere,” Harry seemed to be wondering where, “that used to be what we thought was Dan, but now there are only our memories that define him. If we forget those memories then Dan doesn’t exist, so I try to think of the good things that happened, mostly here, that makes me feel happy when I think of Dan… but I don’t need those memories to be happy,” Harry seemed uncomfortable.

Harry looked at Joe expectantly and Joe nodded. Harry said to Jenny, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

Joe made a, “Dink, dink!” noise.

Harry relaxed and laughed and said, “It could have been any United States cop show, not just Law and Order: SVU.”

“I know,” answered Joe, “but that was the easiest one to succinctly identify.”

When they stopped laughing, Jenny said, “Thank you Harry,” She reached out her hand but Joe gently grabbed it and brought it down to the couch, “I wish that I’d said that. You’re exactly right, we need to remember the good times.”

Harry watched Jenny’s hand, nodded and then said, “Where’s Dan’s body? Is there a funeral?”

Jenny was a bit taken back by the directness of his question but then answered, “He donated his body to science so there’s no funeral.”

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