Sticking my tongue out in concentration, I circled the date and counted up the weeks, then the days, then the hours, finally finishing with minutes.
Three months which was just over thirteen weeks, or 91.25 days, or 2,190 hours, or 131,400 minutes.
I carefully licked a wedding bell sticker and thumbed it into place next to the date on the wall calendar. Sunday 23rd June. Our wedding day, the day I would become Mrs Blackwell, the day Joe would either live to enjoy or live to regret.
Actually, come to think of it, it could be a disaster for me too.
With one failed marriage under my belt which hadn’t been the model of marital bliss the first time around, it was still a gamble. I stirred my coffee, considered adding a sneaky spoonful of sugar, quickly reconsidered the impact on my already burgeoning derriere, changed my mind and chucked the spoon into the sink. It hit the side and rattled back, settling next to Ella’s cornflake encrusted cereal bowl.
Plonking myself down into the overstuffed armchair by the window, I plumped the cushions and tucked my feet up underneath me and checked my watch. 3.15 pm, the tide was almost full in. This was my peaceful hour, my happy part of the day. I could sit for hours watching the white crested waves roll in on the damp, brown sand, pushing strings of seaweed further and further to shore. Once out on its retreat, it would leave patterns of ripples across the shoreline, the only evidence that it had flowed and ebbed, before it would return for another tide and another day.
Marriage was a bit like that at times. It would leave ripples on your heart that sometimes would be the only indication it had been there. Whether those ripples were good or bad would depend on the ferocity of the wave. I’d been so young then, naïve and impressionable, still believing in fairy tale endings. Older and wiser, I hoped this time would be different.
“Penny for your thoughts Mum.”
Ella bounced herself down in to the chair opposite me and kicked off her shoes. “I’ve just seen Granddad in the village, he was buying some stuff for Alfie, bones and things…” she grabbed her long hair, twisted it and held it up at the back of her head. “…what do you think of something like this for the wedding?”
I smiled. Her pretty green eyes twinkled as she turned her head from side to side to give me the full effect.
“Lovely, now are you thinking little flowers dotted through your hair or some sort of headdress, a band or something?” I sat forward so I could pull a strand of hair down in front of her ear, giving the style a gentler, softer look.
“Well I suppose that’ll depend on what type of wig Frank or should I say, Frescesca is going to wear for the occasion don’t you?” she nervously sniggered. “Really Mum, I haven’t got a clue what to expect.”
I bit the inside of my bottom lip to stifle my own snigger. “I suppose that makes two of us then, three if you count Joe because he hasn’t got a bloody clue either and it was his idea, or rather his mothers, for Frank to be a bridesmaid rather than an Usher!”
I returned my gaze to the calming sea whilst imaging Frank in a huge, over the top Dolly Parton style wig and size 11 stiletto’s in Plum Passion.
I stood in front of the mirror brushing my hair. Joe was reflected behind me, lying prone on the bed, arms spread outwards whilst he pulled tongues at the ceiling. Tilting my head to get a better view, I watched him scissor his legs with high kicks, bouncing each foot up from the mattress, he then hugged his knees to his chest whilst rolling from side to side.
Grunting, he returned to his prone position, panting with exertion as his Willy Wonka’s gently quivered before settling back into place, draped across his inner thigh.
I pulled a face. There was nothing, and I mean nothing, attractive in two large shrivelled up raisins jostling for position. “Joe, what on earth are you doing?”
He grinned. “I’m just warming myself up for you my little chickpea, thought you just might fancy a little physical exertion this evening, it’s very good for relaxation and a good night’s sleep you know.”
I threw the hairbrush at him. “That’s funny because only a few days ago you told me a bit of rumpy pumpy was good for healthy glowing skin and loads of energy!”
He edged himself closer to me and fixed me with his brown eyes. “…and does your beautiful skin not glow, have you not been filled with endless energy?”
Before I could answer, he grabbed me around the waist and pulled me down onto him, deftly twisting me so I nestled beneath him, his hand gently stroking my face as he brushed my hair across the pillow.
“I think we need to be a little more adventurous and energetic, let’s throw caution to the wind, indulge each other….” he whispered.
His lips tenderly touched the front of my throat as his tongue darted out to teasingly lick across my collar bone. I closed my eyes as a shudder of delight ran down my spine.
“…. and you can show me your little party trick, you know – the one where your legs can go behind your head without really trying!”
A sudden surge of excitement swept through me, a desire to take the lead, to show the man that I loved just how erotic I could be. In a motion that my old dance teacher, Mademoiselle Abrielle would have been proud of, I shimmied out from underneath Joe and knelt beside him, arching my back so the subtle lighting from the bedside lamp would silhouette my naked body, I heard Joe groan with delight.
Way to go you little sex kitten, he’s absolutely lapping this up, I still had the moves. Right, now for the piece de resistance, the 68, or was it 69…shit maybe it was a 70……oh what the hell, I only needed to know the position, not what it was called. I was always crap at maths anyway….
I leant forward and thought about sucking Joe’s toes just like the Duchess of York did, but the words toe jam fleetingly swept through my mind, which made me think better of it, so I kissed his ankle instead. I hesitated.
Well, that was hardly erotic was it? Time to up my game.
I turned my back to him, leaving him just seconds to admire and imagine what was going to come next as I seductively writhed beside him. I gracefully held my arms above my head making the most of the moment as I let my hair fall across my shoulders.
I looked down. Oh wow, I definitely needed to remember this particular move, it was working wonders for my doozie of a jelly-belly as it stretched smoothly out, revealing a belly button I hadn’t actually seen since 1981.
I fought the urge to poke my finger in it to see if it was fluff free, but Joe’s groaning told me he was getting impatient so, belly button and fluff forgotten, I athletically flung my right leg up into the air to straddle him….
…. at the exact same time he chose to sit up and rest on his elbows.
I mean come on, how many men would think to do THAT just at the crucial point in foreplay?
“Owwwww for fuck’s sake Mave, you’ve broken my feckin’ nose…”
My enthusiastic, balletic foot had kicked him full on, smack bang in the middle of his face, the scarlet drops of blood splattering across the pillow and sheets as Joe threw his hands up to cup his nose. Mortified, I grabbed his boxer shorts from the floor and proffered them as a mop-up until I could get to the bathroom for the flannel. He snatched them from me, pressed them against his nose and lay back, howling.
“I bet Kim Basinger didn’t hoof Mickey Rourke in the ruddy gob during passionate sex… jeez Mavis, what the hell were you playing at?” he checked the amount of blood soaked into his boxers before placing them back on his nose.
“I’m so, so sorry…” I pleaded, “…but just look on the bright side, at least you haven’t got a rabbit!”
Joe looked at me incredulously.
“Wrong film Mave, wrong fecking film entirely…”
Handcuffs, Truncheon & A Polyester Thong – The Next Decade
(c) Gina Kirkham 2017