by Joyce Walker
It was the summer of my seventeenth birthday. The first one after Dad left home to live with the lovely Linda. Not that Mum called her that; most of the names Mum called her were unrepeatable.
The school holidays had finally arrived and I was looking forward to two weeks away with them. Two weeks of quality father and son time, kicking a football around on the beach, playing cricket outside the caravan, finding the biggest rollercoaster at the funfair and riding on it.
I mean, Mum tried really hard to make me happy, but shes never been exactly sporty, just looking at a big ride made her heave, and even if it hadnt, I dont think it would have been quite the same going out with her. The fact of the matter was, I missed the male company and seeing him for one day at the weekend once a month wasnt enough.
I was in the bedroom packing my case when my mobile rang. After rummaging around on the bed, I eventually found it under a pile of neatly folded and ironed T shirts Mum had just brought up to me. Only now, they werent neatly folded anymore but lay in an untidy heap, looking much more in keeping with the rest of the room.
By the time I found it, there was a missed call, his.
I phoned him back.
Look son, Im sorry, theres been a change of plan. The holidays off Im afraid, some other time, eh?
What do you mean the holidays off? I asked. Youre supposed to be picking me up in a couple of hours. You promised.
Yes I know, but Lindas been rushed to hospital, nothing serious, but it looks like shes going to have to rest in bed for a few days.
But we could go, couldnt we? Just the two of us?
I dont think so; it wouldnt be the same, somehow.
Too right it wouldnt. It would have been better.
Ill see you next Saturday; well have a game of footie in the park.
I terminated the call, threw my phone on the bed and kicked my suitcase onto the floor. It landed with a thud that caused my mum to run upstairs to see what had happened.
After shed moaned about the mess and the creases in the T Shirts, she took pity on me and gave me some of my holiday money so I could go to see a film and buy a burger afterwards. So I phoned my mate Gary and asked him if he wanted to come.
Mind you, by the time we got home, I bet he wished he hadnt, because all I did was moan about Dad and Linda and being let down at the last minute and that I was going to get my own back on them, though I had no idea how.
I spent a few sleepless nights trying to formulate a plan, but by the time I saw Dad at the weekend, I still had no idea what I could do to make him and Linda suffer although I was still determined that they would.
I suppose it was when I found out that the reason for the holiday being cancelled was because Linda was pregnant that something started to form in my mind. I dismissed the idea of using Lindas growing bump as a punch bag almost as soon as it entered my head. Ive never been exceptionally violent and I dont think I could ever bring myself to hit a woman, pregnant, or otherwise and while I did consider drowning the sprog as soon after birth as I could get it on my own, I dismissed that idea too; probably for the same reason.
Volunteering for baby-sitting at every opportunity so I could make his life hell on earth was another possibility I dismissed, though I must admit it was, for a while, a very tempting idea, but then I came to realise it wasnt really the poor kids fault. He didnt ask to be conceived just before my dad was supposed to take me away on holiday.
No, the people I really wanted to get even with were my dad and Linda.
The lovely Linda, 20 years younger than him, who had a reputation for putting herself about a bit and a liking for anything in trousers.
Okay, so that was mostly my mums view of her, but she hadnt been averse to sleeping with a married man, so perhaps some of it was true and Id met her enough times to know she was a bit of a flirt, because she was always flirting with me. All I had to establish was how far shed actually go.
At seventeen and with no steady girlfriend I certainly didnt need much encouragement. I picked a night I was staying over, one when Dad had to work and waited till the baby was tucked up in his cot and sleeping soundly. Then I made my move.
I started by being really nice to her, you know, pouring her a glass of wine, that sort of thing, and then I put my arm around her. Instead of the rebuff Id expected, she actually nuzzled into my neck, so I kissed her and then I kissed her some more. Then in my clumsy teenage way I fumbled with the buttons on her blouse and unhooked her bra. By the time I slid my hand up her very short skirt and into her knickers she was crying out for it so loudly I thought shed wake the baby.
I expected to feel guilty afterwards, but I didnt, although I think she did, because she kept on saying that it should be our little secret and that my dad mustnt ever find out. I said that was fine, after all, I knew when I was onto a good thing and that her silence would come at a price.
Oh, I didnt blackmail her, I just insisted on repeat performances once, twice, sometimes three or four times a week.
I learned a lot from the lovely Linda, in fact, she probably taught me everything I know about women, she has some beautiful moves. Thats probably why my Dad likes her so much.
She also has a very guilty secret. Shes pregnant again, only neither of us believes that the babys my dads. Were both almost certain its mine, so I think Ive got my revenge.
Lindas left holding the baby, Dads got to help with cost of its upbringing and me, I can sit back and enjoy watching them get on with it, knowing that at some time in the future, if I get tired of playing bedroom games with her, I can still resort to blackmail to buy her silence.
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