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Letters, Read Just One Last Time – 2: Penny for Rita

This short story contains language and material that some readers may find challenging and/or offensive. You have been warned.

Letters, Read Just One Last Time
© 2010 J.W.Brown

Letter #2: Penny for Rita

I rolled to one side on the ground and despite my pain and fear of you I yelled “Bastard!” at your back as you stormed off down the path.
You didn’t even look round. Just a right hand with annular finger extended.
I sat up, and the front garden and houses did a cartwheel and I felt sick. I sat clutching my belly thinking the pain would never stop, and telling myself that yes, I would kill you after all.

There was a sharp intake of breath behind me and a quiet voice, her voice. “Oh No! Joe, I’m so terribly sorry!”
She sat down on the step beside me, and put her arm around me. I tried not to cry.
“This is my fault. Please forgive me.”
I turned and looked into her gentle eyes. “How can it be your fault? He’s just my brother. Being a complete bastard is what he does.”
She kissed me on the forehead. “Can you walk?”

I got up. My knees were like jelly from the low punch, but she helped me back into the house and sat me on a chair by the kitchen table. She filled the kettle for some tea, then sat opposite me.
“What happened?”
I looked at her. That at least was easy. She was lovely.
“He stormed out of the door as I was trying to get in, and punched me in the stomach, presumably because I didn’t get out of the way quick enough.”

She nodded sadly “We had a row. I called him a pig.”
“Well, you got that right. Are you finally finished with him?”
She nodded. “I’m afraid so. I’m so sorry he took his anger out on you.”
She got up and made a pot of tea, and brought it to the table along with two mugs and the milk jug.
“Are there any biscuits?” she asked.
“Yeah. A tin of shortbread in the pantry.” I said shakily.
She found them, and getting one from the tin, gave it to me, and poured out two mugs of tea, passing one across.
“Eat and drink, slowly, and you will feel better.” she said.
I dunked the fat biscuit into the hot tea and took a bite. Seconds after I had swallowed I felt better. I sipped the tea and looked at her.

Her dark eyes flickered anxiously over my face, seeing my pain, and her red lips were slightly open, giving a glimpse of her small white teeth. She softly bit her lip as she looked at me, and I had sight of her small pink tongue. I slowly worked my way through the biscuit.
She swallowed and spoke softly.
“Why couldn’t he be like you?”
I was puzzled, but although she was looking directly at me, I didn’t think she expected me to answer.
“Where he is angry, you are calm. Where he is cold, you are warm. And yet you are both beautiful to see.”
She reached out and touched my temple with her hand. There were tears in her eyes. I reached across the table and took her hand.
“I’m sorry Rita.”
She gripped my hand tightly. “This is not your fault. How is your tummy?”
I grinned ruefully. “It feels cramped.”
She got up. “Can you make it to your bedroom? I think you should lie down, and I’ll call a doctor.”
I protested. “No, I don’t need a doctor.”
She took my hand. “At least lie down and rest.”

She helped me up the stairs and into my room, pulling my shoes off and lifting my legs onto the bed.
She undid the belt of my trousers, and lifted my shirt.
“My God!”
I looked down. My belly was suffused in red.
She knelt beside the bed and touched my cheek. “I should ‘phone the doctor Joe, it looks angry.”
I shook my head. “Let’s give it an hour Rita, see if it gets better.”
She sat on the bed beside me, looking first at my face, then at my belly.
“I’ll sit with you.” she said
I nodded “OK. Thank you.”
She laid her warm hand on my stomach and rubbed gently clockwise.
I closed my eyes. Her touch and the rhythmic movement worked wonders, and the harsh muscle contractions began to subside.

I felt her move forward, and could feel her gentle breath on my face. I opened my eyes and looked straight into hers, inches away. She kissed me. A gentle fluttering on my lips and a tantalising probe of her sweet tongue in my mouth, then she moved her face back a few inches again and spoke, her hand still gently caressing my stomach.
“I do this to my own belly when I have a bad period pain.”
My lips were on fire from her kiss. I looked into her deep, dark eyes. “It is working. I feel much better.”
She kissed me again. This time a little longer, and this time I put my arms around her. Again she drew back. “Shall I stop?”
“No, please don’t.” I mumbled and took her head between my hands and held her while we kissed.
She sat back and took off her blouse. She wore no bra and the sight of her honey skin and her beautiful breasts were almost too much for me. I made to kiss her again but she gently put her finger to my lips, and whispered “Wait.”
She stood up and removed her skirt and panties, then leaning over me, undid and removed my shirt, then my trousers, socks and boxers.

She climbed gently on top of me and guided me inside her, then slowly began to move over me. It was the first time for me, and the feel of her silky vagina firmly around me, her so-smooth thighs either side of me, and the touch of her nipples on my chest as she leaned forward and kissed me, was almost to much. Waves of ecstasy gripped me, and threatened to end things swiftly, so I concentrated on trying to give her pleasure. I ran my hands down her sides and up, over her buttocks before continuing on and up her back. She moaned softly.

She thrust her tongue deep inside my mouth as her movements became more urgent. I opened my eyes to see hers open too, very close to me. Her pupils were dilated almost fully, and her eyes were blacker then I’d ever seen them before.

Suddenly she pushed herself upright on me and I felt her grip me even tighter as the first contractions of her orgasm took her over. Her head went back and the soft moans became louder until she started screaming. I held her waist with both hands and concentrated on penetrating her as deep as I could. She moaned my name. “Joe. Joe. More, please. More.”

I thrust my hips up and into her and she screamed again. “Yes. Yes. I love you.” Then suddenly she was quiet. Then a rattle in her throat followed by a deafening roar and she fell forward onto me smothering my face with kisses. I kept moving and let the pleasure take me over, burying my face in her neck as I screamed in painful ecstasy.

We both became still and she carefully rolled off me and lay beside me, her arm and leg covering me, her mouth close to my ear.
“Joe. You are lovely. I thought I was in Heaven. If I’d known..”
She stopped and kissed me. “How do you feel?” she said.
I smiled at her. “I never knew anything could be so beautiful. Your touch, your body, but especially your gentleness. I feel changed, forever.”
She was looking closely at me. “Your first time? I can’t believe it. You are a natural.”
I nodded “You are the first Rita. Please tell me that I can see you and make love with you again?”
She laughed “Of course. You don’t think I’m letting you get away do you?”
“I hope not.” I said, and kissed her.

We were sat at the kitchen table drinking tea when you came back.
You looked at her and sneered. “Changed your mind Rita? Decided I’m good enough after all?”
She looked up at you and said quietly. “I waited until you returned, because I have one last thing to say to you.”
“Oh” you said, yanking out a kitchen chair, turning it and sitting on it the wrong way round.
“Yes.” She said “It’s this. If you ever so much as touch him again. I’ll make sure you go to prison for it. Do you understand?”
“Bwyeah!” you sneered “What story has he been telling you?”
She stood up and turning to me said “Stand up Joe please!” There was a steel in her eyes I’d never seen before.

I stood and she reached across my front and lifted my shirt, exposing the large suffused bruising.
“Does this look like a story?” she said, and not waiting for an answer. “And by the way, he said nothing. I found him where you left him, rolling on the ground retching, you total bastard!”
Your eyes grew wide as you stared at my stomach.

She was relentless. “Well? Nothing to say big man? Is that how you take care of your little brother? Beating him, because you were angry with me?”
You hung your head, but she hadn’t finished. “I’m going now, but be warned. I’ll be calling in to see if he is all right. You had better make sure that he is, from now on.”

With that, she turned and embraced me, whispering “Tomorrow teatime please.” in my ear. I nodded and she left, not giving you a second glance.

I sat down and poured myself another mug of tea, then looked across at you. Tears were pouring down your face. In all of the 14 years I had known you, I had never seen you cry, lately, that was usually me. I found it strangely moving and I actually felt sorry for you and wanted to comfort you. I didn’t. Instead I got up and brought another mug, then poured some tea, and placed it in front of you.

I half-expected an angry side-swipe of your arm to knock the mug flying, but you reached out and lifted it to your lips and sipped the hot tea. We sat in silence, and you finally put the mug down. Only then did you look at me.
There was pain and sorrow in your face I hadn’t seen before.
“I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.”

I fought back the tears welling in my own eyes, and also the compassion I felt for you, and said quietly. “Don’t be sorry Terry. Just never do it again.”
You nodded slowly. I was still terrified of you. I was 14 and still slightly built compared to your muscular manhood, but Rita had given me a strength I hadn’t found until now.
“We can’t go on like this. One of us will end up dead.”
You looked across at me. “I would never..”
I interrupted you “I might” I said quietly, “for that is what I felt when you left me rolling around on the ground outside.”

You shook your head. “Joe. What am I going to do?”
“Why do you get so angry?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I just snap so easily.”
“Aren’t there people you can talk to to help you deal with that?”
I thought I’d gone too far. A flash in your eyes told me you probably wasn’t ready for this, but you remained outwardly calm.
“I don’t want people thinking I’m a nutter”
I nodded. “’People’ don’t need to know. It’s your business. I will say nothing. All I want is for us to be happy together.”

You reached out your hand palm up across the table and I took it, gripping it firmly with my own. “I’ll see what I can do” you said.
“OK” I said.
You looked at me intently. “Is she really finished with me Joe?”
I nodded slowly. “I believe she is. I’m sorry.”

She opened the door and recognition flashed across her face, together with a delighted grin.

“Joe! Hello stranger! What can I do for you?”
She was as lovely as I remembered. Penny was as fair as Rita was dark, a natural blonde, with lovely deep blue eyes that instantly made me think of swimming in them.
I smiled. “Can I talk to you Penny?”
“Of course, come in. Leave your bike in the hall, and I’ll put the kettle on.”
I followed her into the small dining area. She looked me up and down as she handed me cups.
“Christ, you’ve grown. What a handsome young man!”
I blushed. She saw it and laughed, then she asked quietly.
“How long is it?”
I looked at her. “Don’t you know?”
She shook her head. “I felt so hurt, that I stopped counting the months.”
“It’s nearly two years.”
“Good grief, as long as that?”
We sat down as the kettle boiled. “Now what can I do for you?”
I had been so sure of what to say, and of why I was going to say it. I’d been thinking about it all week. Now she was in front of me, and apparently very happy, I wasn’t so sure at all.
I blurted it out. “Are you going out with anyone Penny?”
She raised her eyebrows, but smiled sweetly. “No. Are you asking me for a date Joe?”
I shook my head. “No..” I mumbled. “I’m sorry. I think I’ve made a mistake.”
She got up and poured the boiling water into the teapot, and set it on the table.
She sat down, and reaching across the table put her hand over mine.
Her face was serious. “Tell me. Whatever it is, and don’t be afraid, I won’t be angry.”

“It’s Terry.”
She nodded. “I thought it might be.”
“He’s changed since he broke up with you. He is moody, and angry all of the time, especially with me. I think he is still in love with you.”
“What about Rita? Have you talked to her?”
“They finished about two weeks ago. They argued all of the time.”
“Oh! I see.” she paused. “But what can I do Joe? Terry nearly broke my heart when he dumped me.”
“Do you still love him?”
She smiled sadly. “Probably. I try not to think about it.”
“Will you see him?”
“Has he asked you to ask me?”
I shook my head “No. He doesn’t know I’ve come here.”
She poured us both a cup of tea, then sat sipping hers and looking at me thoughtfully.
“Is there something you aren’t telling me?” she asked gently.
I nearly jumped. I’d forgotten how perceptive she was.
I sighed and shook my head.
“You are afraid – afraid of him?”
I nodded. “Yes, but more afraid of myself.”
“You are both fighting?”
Again I nodded. “Almost all of the time.”
I picked up my cup and tried to hide behind it as she studied my face.
“And you. You have a girl?”
This was it. This is what I had dreaded. She had to know. I couldn’t ask for her help and not tell her the whole truth.
“Rita.” I said quietly, looking at her, waiting for the reaction.
“Good God Joe!”
I shook my head. “I know. It happened after their break-up, but in a way, I blame myself. I have always liked her, a lot, and she me, she says. Maybe he sensed that, and I destroyed their relationship.”
I was shaking with emotion and she gripped my hand across the table.
“Come on. Don’t blame yourself. What happened probably would have happened even if you didn’t exist.”
I looked at her concerned face and wanted to believe she was right.
“How old are you now Joe?”
She shook her head. “Are you seeing her regularly?”
I nodded. “As often as I can. She still coaches me in music, but..”
She laughed gently. “But you find other things to do?”
I returned her smile. “She’s lovely. I love her.”
She poured us both another cup of tea.
“She..” she paused, “is playing with fire. You are under age.”
I nodded.
She looked at me speculatively. “Mind you, I can see why she is taking the risk. You’re every bit as good-looking as your brother, perhaps more so.”
I felt my face flush, and she grinned.
We both sipped some tea.
She put down her cup. “OK. What do you want me to do?”
“Come and see him.”
“What? Knock on the door, totally out of the blue?”
“No.” I said. “Let’s meet up and then you come with me to the house. I’ll say we bumped into each other in the High Street, and I thought he might like to say ‘Hello’ to you.”
She nodded. “You’ve got this all worked out, haven’t you?”
“I know what I’m asking Penny. I know it may be painful for you. If it doesn’t work out, that’s too bad. I’ll have to think again.”
“Good God! You are trying to put us back together?”
Again my bottle nearly left me, but I looked steadily at her. “Yes. I believe he is in love with you, and you with him. You belong together.”
Suddenly she stood up and walked around the table. I feared the worst. She bent over me putting her arm around me. She kissed my cheek.
“You are a lovely, thoughtful boy – no young man, Joe. I will do it.”
The relief hit me like the unexpected rush of wind on an exposed street corner. I leaned forward and put my head in my hands to stop them shaking.
She sat down, and took hold of my left hand. I felt a tear trickle down my cheek.
“Thanks Penny. I’m really grateful.”
“There is no need for thanks. I should thank you.”
She passed a delicate little hankie across the table and I wiped my eyes.
“Tomorrow?” she said, and I nodded. “Let’s meet at 5:30 in Dontini’s.”
We got up and made our way out into the hall. She wrapped her arms around me and embraced me tightly, whispering, “Don’t worry. We’ll sort it out.” then she kissed me on the cheek and we said goodbye.

“Who the Hell are you?”
You dumped your bag on a kitchen chair and faced the two visitors. I saw them both flinch. The young woman had fear in her eyes.
The man held out an ID card. “I’m Charles Oatman. This is Miranda Carter. We are from the Social Services.”
“And why are you here?”
I could see a tick beginning in the corner of the man’s left eye. You had that effect on people.
“It’s about your brother.”
You looked at me, not unkindly, then turned back to the man.
“What about my brother?”
“There have been allegations of an inappropriate relationship between an adult woman and your brother.”
You stared straight through the man.
“Have you been questioning my brother?”
“Well? Yes or no?”
“We have only had a chance..”
“And I’m giving you one now.” you said. “Never, ever, question my brother again, unless I’m with him, or he is with some other independent responsible person, otherwise you can kiss your cosy job goodbye.”
The man’s face blanched.
The woman spoke, a tremor in her voice. “These are serious allegations.”
You turned to her. “Right. Spit them out, now, or leave.”
She looked down at the opened file on the table in front of her.
“It’s been alleged that a Miss Rita Connelly has been carrying on a sexual relationship with your brother, who is below the age of consent, at her house.”
You looked at her.
“Who says?”
The man found his voice, though a little cracked. “We can’t divulge..”
You interrupted. “More bullshit. Is there any proof?”
“Well..” the woman began.
You looked at her. “No? I thought not. Just some fucking busybody with fuck-all else to do except cause trouble.”
You waited but they were silent. “Have you bothered to find out the real reason Joe visits her house?”
They looked at each other, completely at a loss.
You walked to the kitchen cabinet and picked up the small pile of music manuscript I’d put there the evening before. You shoved it under the man’s nose, your voice a low, menacing hiss.
“She’s his music teacher you fucking idiots. Now piss off before I get really angry.”
They both got up. “The man started to speak. “I’m sorry Mr..”
You cut him short. “Just go. And don’t come back.”
They let themselves out and you sat down at the table, looked at me and burst out laughing. I wanted to join in, but that would have been difficult, I was worried sick.
You helped yourself to a cup of tea. “Hey Bruv. Don’t look so glum. Just make sure that you warn Rita that someone has sussed both of you out, and be more careful in future.”
I stared at you. You grinned at me.
“How long..” I began.
“Long enough. But after what you have done for me, I couldn’t deny you her company. It’s obvious she dotes on you, and you on her.”
“You don’t mind?”
You smiled. “It took you to bring back to me what I really needed. My Penny.”
You held out your hand. “Friends?”
I took it and we shook. “Friends.” I said.

Letter #2: Penny for Rita is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between characters in the story, and real persons, either living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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