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 Category:  General Fiction
  Posted: November 17, 2020      Views: 68
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Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of sexual content.
This work has reached the exceptional level

Chapter 21 of the book Learning to Swim
Chapter 21
"Another Dog Paddle" by Raffaelina Lowcock

Anna is hoping for a normal married life. It seems the gods are against her.

This trip certainly brought a lot into perspective for me.  There was no doubt about it, the trip was fun, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely, despite our meager funds.
I had always thought Les special, from the first time we met, when Jim Patterson introduced me to Les Jackson and John Foster down at the beach.  I had the same feeling about him then as I now have for Nicholas.
I couldn’t get Les out of my mind back then because he was larger than life.  As I have said before watching him play ball was like being at a concert.  He had such smooth moves, and he was so cheerful and entertaining. Whenever we met, he made me feel like I was the only person he was interested in.  I remembered the odd time I’d see him and be surprised by the thrilling feeling that came over me.  It was good to have that carefree Les back again and I reveled in it.
Of course, I had Nicholas on my mind because truthfully his face was never gone.  Yet, the dichotomy of the situation was very strange because of how much I loved Les.  I had been so preoccupied with thinking about Nicholas during the last little while, before our trip, that my own problems with Les had taken a backseat even though deep down they were the underlying cause of my distraction.
I was comparing my meeting with Nicholas to the time way back when I first met Les while I was going steady with Jim.  Then too, Les started out as a friend.
However, this was different in so many ways.  This was moral and not a trivial problem. I had vowed a lifelong responsibility to Les. Yet before we took this trip Les had seemingly become indifferent to our situation.  It was like we were roommates.
I remembered when thinking back that Les was not slow in making passes once we started going steady.  He was far bolder than Jim ever was, and this worried me.  This was the conundrum.  When we were single he was all over me and, actually voiced that we should go further. He said, “We should test the waters to make sure we’re compatible.”
I put a very quick stop to that thought.  I said, “I’m sorry, Les, I do not agree.  If that’s your intention we can’t continue seeing each other.”
He acquiesced but was by no means chaste.  Heavy petting prevailed.  Now I wondered if that was the cause of the problem?
We had promised each other during our talks on the trip, that we would fix everything that was wrong in our marriage. 
We planned that our two days in Montreal would be different than the rest of the trip.  Because we had planned our trip around the Rhythm Method or the Calendar Method, whatever we call it, the days in Montreal would be safe sex days.  Because of Les’s concern re financial stability before children, this was important.  We decided to just take the two days to relax and indulge ourselves, instead of touring. 
Les said, “I’ve made a reservation at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, in Montreal, for our two day stay.”
“That will be great.”
We arrived and registered at about 3:30 P.M. and settled into our room. 
Les suggested, “Let’s not wander, let’s just order room service.”
After dinner, we showered and changed into PJ’s and nightgown.  We watched TV from our bed.  Les had his arm around me and I had my head against his shoulder, but not for long.  We began kissing passionately.  Les gently took the spaghetti straps of my nightgown and slid them off my shoulders as I became totally aroused.  We were skin to skin and my hopes soared as I was confident that we would finally have intercourse.  He was gently kissing me from my neck on down which suffused me with passion.
We were so hungry for love our hands were everywhere.   As he moved to between my thighs, at the moment before entry, I knew that we wouldn’t make it as I felt the wetness on my leg.
He collapsed on me as it happened.  We lay there, speechless, and chagrined.  What to say?
“Les, it was bound to happen.  It has been so long since the last time we tried.  Don’t feel bad, we won’t give up.”
Dejectedly he got up and went into the bathroom coming back with washcloths and a towel.
He just looked at me with such sad eyes and said, “I am so sorry.”
When we returned to Toronto, we settled into our usual routine.  I found the days flitting by, once again.  We did seriously attempt intercourse a few more times. We ended up quite frustrated at our failure to complete the act.  I thought long and hard about it and was truly bothered.
Then there was an incident at a Saturday night party.  Peggy was ill and Les offered to take her home.  Indeed!  Why in the world would he do that?  I withdrew from the scene immediately, by going into the washroom.   I sat on the edge of the bathtub, trying to control my rage.  I was so humiliated.
He didn’t take her home, of course, her husband was there, and he took her home.
But just the mere suggestion?
Peggy was my friend, and I knew I had to talk to her.  I did just that.  She admitted that Les once made a pass at her and she discouraged him.
I didn’t need a degree to figure that out.  He may as well have advertised that he was looking for a teacher.  Peggy had been married for quite a while and I could see, clear as day, his motive.  But, what in the world was he thinking?
This was so discouraging.  Talk about disappointed!  It took a while for me to get over that incident and of course, I didn’t confront Les about it.  That was a huge mistake, I later realized.
The incident was somewhat of a catalyst.  I discreetly called Nicholas and he tentatively asked, “Would you like to visit with me?”
I said, “I don’t really think I should do that.  Why not meet somewhere?”
He said, “Why not here?”
I felt a bit abashed at my reluctance as if I mistrusted him.  So, I said, “Okay, where do you live?”  
He gave me his address, which was on Huron Street.  I felt that this would be somewhat of a test and hopefully, my trust in him was well placed.
I dressed very carefully in a new grey dirndl skirt with appliquéd silver pinecones, and white peasant blouse, purchased in Montpelier, Vermont.  With my recent tan, I knew I looked fine.  I was overwhelmed with anxiety.
When he saw me, he said, “Wow, you look great.”
I was more than pleased as I said, “Thank you.” 
On seeing him again, I was completely stricken, once again, by his good looks.
Because I was anxious and nervous, visiting him in his room, I only stayed for not quite an hour.
During that time, he was a perfect gentleman.  He said, “I’m reading a fantastic poem by T.S. Eliot.  Do you know his writings?  This one is ‘The Wasteland.’”
“Actually, no.”
“He is probably one of the best poets of this century.”  And, at that he engaged in an interesting talk about his poetry.
This prompted me later to go to the library and look this poet up.  I ended up loving his poetry.
We discussed my trip as I informed him of the most interesting places that we visited, like the Ausable Chasm, and the gorge’s awesome beauty, the baseball game in Boston, Old Orchard Beach, and Lake Placid.  The easiness of our conversation and the friendly feeling eased my anxiety at being alone with him in his room.
He said that he was moving to an apartment and that he would call me with his new address and phone number.

To be continued...



The book continues with In Over My Head. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
This is a crucial time for Anna and Les. Their love can't survive too many failures.

This is fiction based on a true story.
Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by Susan F. M. T. at

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