Story © LdyJessikaģ Copyright, March 1999m- 2009
LdyJessikaģ is a registered trademark, Copyright,Ė no duplication allowed.
This was written so my Mom had something she could read Ė although my Mom passed away, this was one of her favorite stories, that I wrote for her. I would print them out in font size 18, and she could read them. Kind of miss my Mom, lots - my friend asked today what happened to the stories, so Iíve decided to post this one. No sex in this story so donít read it and be disappointed.
[All rights reserved Ė copy/duplication prohibited without prior authorization]
Bess smiled as her daughter, Jessy, drove her up to the front of the new Senior Citizen Center. Jessy had badgered her Mom to get out more and visit with people and always made sure she was available to drive her Mom, anywhere. Tonight at the Center they were holding the monthly social for ages 70+. Jessy spoke to her mother in the tone that made Bess smile, "Now Mom, you look fine and this is such a nice way to meet people. Weíll pick you up at 11:00. I know youíre going to have fun at this."
Bess smiled at her daughter and said, "Yes, and this is the wisdom from my daughter, who wouldnít leave her college dormitory to even attend a dance, and now doesnít even leave her ranch other then to drive me to doctors, or pick up groceries."
"Well, you know Mom, you donít really have to meet friends here if you donít want to, itís not like youíre that old and I donít mind at all going places with you."
Bess sighed, and resigned herself that she had to get out of the house to be social and now get out of the car and go into the Center. Sheís promised her friend Rhonda she would meet her here, since she always turned down going to play marjong, cards, or bingo. She said to herself, No way am I going to senior marjong, cards or bingo. I rather stay home and watch Dr. Phil and Judge Judy!
Stepping out of the car she turned toward the center and waved to Rhonda as she started walking up to the new center.
Rhonda immediately spoke, "Bess, you look lovely. Now come on, this will be fun, and Selma is already inside." Rhonda hooked her arm through Bessís and pulled her along into the center.
Bess looked around the new center thinking, is this what life comes to? Starting all over at this age just isnít fair - but being widowed for a number of years and living with her daughter, she knew she had to meet more friends her own age. Laughing to herself she said to Rhonda, "So when we were young we talked about sex, now what do we talk about? Who has the better looking Doctor?" Taking a silent deep breath she walked over to the table that Rhonda had reserved them two seats. The other places at the table were full with some other lady friends and two gentlemen.
Rhonda nervously laughed and introduced Bess to the others, "Bess, I canít believe you came to our little party. Ben and Mitchell meet our friend Bess, this is her first time here."
Mitchell looked up and said Hi, and Ben stood up and pulled out the chair for her to sit next to him.
Ben smiled and said, "Hello Bess, come on and join us, itís not like we bite."
Rhonda and Selma laughed at Benís comment. All Bess could think of was that the comment wasnít that funny, and that she wished sheíd stayed home and watched Angela Landsbury on television. But she sat down and politely thanking him replied, "Well thank you Ben, and Iím sure if anyone bites that theyíve had their current rabies shots."
Ben smiled, "Well I can assure you that Iíve had mine. Rhonda tells us that you live with your daughter and her family. Thatís nice not to have to live alone."
Bessís mind went blank for a moment deciding that if she said it was difficult not having her own place, that she sounded ungrateful. And, if she said she liked living there she sounded like she didnít want her own place and was no longer independent. She simply answered, "Yes."
Rhonda and Mitchell were talking and laughing while the other two women had gotten up to go to talk to friends at another table. Bess felt uncomfortable and felt that perhaps Ben was being polite.
"Ben, itís nice of you to sit here, but I donít mind being alone. Iím sure you must have friends here that you want to socialize with."
Ben smiled and his brown eyes were shining as he laughed and said in teasing tone, "As my granddaughter would ask, am I being dumped?"
They both laughed and Ben continued, "Look, Iíve been to three of these Senior Social things. Damn, I hate that word Senior and Iím rather rusty on social skills. Actually, Iím rather rusty on talking to ladies, but Iíd like to sit here with you, if you donít find that burdensome."
Bess smiled and found she enjoyed his up front ways, his smiling eyes and answered, "Well this is my first, as you say Senior Socials and I had to endure a week of lectures, from my daughter, on coming here. One week of daily Mom pep-talks and then what she felt was ego building, or esteem building, or whatever they call it now. I didnít dare back out, and I donít mind you sitting here. Now, when she picks me up and she will drill me all the way home in the car on what went on, I can honestly report that I socialized."
"Well Bess, Iím glad you didnít change your mind and not attend. Actually Iím very glad you didnít. How about if we go over to the buffet and get some food."
At the buffet, Ben handed her a plate and at each dish asked if she wanted some, then added it to her plate in a small amount. Bess had time while he was placing food on their plates to relax and really look at who she was speaking with Ė she did admire how he looked in his gray slacks and blue sweater. She guessed he still did exercise, since he looked in rather good shape for a man of his age. She guessed he had to be his 70ís and she noticed he only picked dishes that were low in fat. At the dessert table he turned to her and asked, "Well should we go daring with the chocolate cake, or do we do the senior no sugar, no fat, no taste jello?"
Bess laughed, "Iím getting old, but Iím not senile yet Ė CHOCOLATE CAKE."
They walked back to the table and sat down watching some of the people eating, or dancing, or just sitting and enjoying themselves. Bess was quite surprised that everyone seemed so relaxed and friendly. She began to actually enjoy herself and conversation with Ben became easier. Sheíd learned from Ben that heíd been a widower for a number of years and that he owned his own home not far from her daughterís house, in Livermore.
Finally after chatting for a while Ben asked, "Would you feel uncomfortable if I asked you to dance? I realize it may have been a while since weíve been on a dance floor, but maybe like riding a bike it just comes back how to do it?"
Rhonda, of course, answered for Bess, before Bess could even think if she wanted to dance or didnít want to dance, "Oh, of course Bess wants to, donít you Bess?"
Bess sighed silently and taking a deep breath no one noticed answered, "Okay, that sound fine."
They walked onto the dance floor and putting his hand on her waist, but keeping a proper distance thought to himself that this felt right. Dancing very slowly and carefully, for a moment, he finally broke the silence, "Bess if youíre uncomfortable dancing we can go back to the table Ė I realize Rhonda answered for you. This may not be a good idea, although it seemed like it when I asked you to dance."
Smiling at him she replied, "No, Iím fine, just slightly rusty at dancing. Although, this feels very strange to me dancing here - but years ago my first high school dance seemed just as strange. It doesnít feel uncomfortable, it feels like time reverses and we have to repeat things we thought we didnít have to ever encounter again."
They moved in perfect stepsÖslowÖcautious. Repeating in time what was once done years ago in other lives, with other people.
Sometime during the second slow dance they moved closer while chatting about their children and grandchildren. He didnít want to take his arm away from around her, and was very careful not to place too much pressure on her waist. She felt the warmth in his voice and the strong secure command of his palm on the back of her waist. They had stopped talking and were feeling the music envelope them with feelings long in slumber, but now awakening. The pressure of his hand moved her a step closerÖcloser again.
She thought of Rhonda watching them and worried about what Rhonda would think, since they were now on their third slow dance. But or the moment it felt nice to be held. The dance ended and she knew he didnít want to remove his arms from around her, and she didnít want him to. It just felt nice to have a few moments of closeness with someone other then her immediate family. It was unspokenÖbut they both knew it. Dance after dance their bodies held each other slightly closer but always proper. His hand took the liberty of slightly rubbing her back but only with his index finger. Hers took the liberty of squeezing his upper arm but very lightly.
Bess glanced over at Rhonda and suddenly felt self conscious when Rhonda raised her one eyebrow in question that they were still dancing, "Ben, I think weíve danced enough. Would you mind if we went back to the table?"
Ben in his kind manner just smiled, "And here I didnít even step on any toes. Well, I guess Iím monopolizing your time out here." He smiled again at her and escorted her back to the table keeping a firm hand now on the small of her back.
Finally, after more small talk it was time for the social to end - he pulled out her chair for her to stand. He moved a step away and his brown eyes looked into hers and he said, "Would you let me walk you out to your daughterís car?"
Before Rhonda could answer for her she said, "Yes." Turning to Rhonda, who was talking to Mitch, Bess said goodnight. Rhonda just waved and continued talking, not even pausing to say anything to her.
Ben and Bess walked to the front of the senior center. Cars were pulling in and they stood waiting off to the side of the entrance, out of the glare of the headlights turning into the drive. He was standing very close to her with his hand still on the small of her back. Suddenly, the sky seemed to open up and there was rain, even though it wasnít yet the rainy season. Quickly backing up against the building Ben laughed, "And they say it never rains in sunny California!" They were under an overhang on the said of the building while the others seemed to have walked back into the entrance. They seemed to realize they were alone at the same moment. His hand seemed to slightly move and she turned to face him.
"Bess Iíve enjoyed myself tonight and would like to invite you over to my home tomorrow for coffee. You can bring Rhonda, if you feel it would be more appropriate, or your daughter."
Bess looked into his brown eyes and as if a magnet had suddenly connected them she answered, "Yes, but without Rhonda or my daughter." Their lips gently touched. Her hands nervously held his forearms but only for a moment before slightly pushing awayÖher brain registered they were outside a building in public, but her lips registered how wonderful his lips felt.
She could feel him wanting to hold her tighter, but he lifted his head and he smiled, "Thank you, Bess. I think we better make a dash for the front door, or your daughter may just think Iíve dragged you into the shadows on purpose." Laughing they both quickly walked into the building only moments before her daughterís car pulled up in front of the door but enough time for him to write her phone number down for 11:00 am coffee.
She smiled, "Thank you. Please donít walk me to the car or Iíll be questioned all night for details."
After getting into the car and putting on her seatbelt Bessís daughter asked, "So, how was it? Did Rhonda talk all night long? Did you have any fun, or did anything interesting happen?"
Bess smiled to herself and answered, "No, just the usual. All talk about new aches and pains to report to the Doctors and what everyoneís children are doing. It was very nice. I made plans to meet a new friend for coffee, but I wonít need a ride. It is actually only a few blocks from us and I think the walk would do me good for some exercise."
"Oh Mom, thatís so great. Is she very interesting?"
Bess just smiled, "Oh yes, honey, very interesting."
Bess answered the phone all morning on Saturday. Then it again rang at 10:00. She was pleased to hear Ben on the other end of the line.
"Good morning, Bess, I just wanted to make sure you're still coming over at 11:00 and to see if you want me to walk over and walk with you to my house. Also, please feel free if you changed your mind and you want to bring your friend Rhonda?"
Not wanting to bring attention to just going over for a cup of coffee Bess answered that sheíd be over at 11:00, after he described the house so she would recognize it.
The phone rang again and she answered it in the kitchen.
"Bess? This is Rhonda. So?"
Bess didn't answer but evaded the question, "So, he seems very nice. What are you going to do today and how long did you talk with Mitch?"
Rhonda answered, "SO?"
Bess knew Rhonda wouldnít give up, "So? I'm going over for a cup of coffee at 11:00."
There was silence on the other end of the phone for a moment, "Well then why are you wasting time on the telephone. Get ready Ė go put on makeup. Call me the minute you get back in the house. Promise?"
Bess promised and then went to her room to decide what to wear. Staring into her closet she began to have doubts and decided this whole idea of going for coffee was silly. Who goes for coffee at her age? Whatís to discuss? She was just about to walk back to the phone to cancel when her daughter walked in.
"Mom, I think this is so nice you meeting another lady in the neighborhood, I didn't even ask what's her name?"
Bess thought sheíd tell Jessy that her friend is a man and his name is Ben - but she answered, "Uh, why it's Bernice. Yes, Bernice! How are the horses?"
Jessy immediately forgot about Bernice and began talking about the horses and her riding lessons. Bess listened while putting on a loose fitting blue slack outfit and a pair of matching blue hush puppy shoes.
After giving Jessy the phone number but not the address Bess walked down the block, over three blocks and through a white fence to a small house that was very neatly kept.
Ben was waiting at the front door, "Hi Bess, come on into the living room. I took the liberty of already putting out the coffee cups. Actually I use coffee mugs but if you rather a smaller cup I have them, too. Here, sit here, unless you feel more comfortable sitting over there and Iíll sit here."
They looked at each other and started laughing as Ben said, "I was so much smoother at this when I was in my forties! Okay, Iím very rusty so how about some help here."
Bess laughed and sat down next to him, "Ben, I think weíre both kind of rusty, so how about Iíll pour since that feels more comfortable to me and Iíll just sit here next to you since sitting over there seems very formal."
Coffee was small talk of children, grandchildren, divorces, marriages and after about a half hour Bess thought this must be the most boring conversations that Ben had ever had. Although she did find out he was 79 to her 78 but at their age she decided who cared if he was older! Finally, the conversation had quieted and he had turned on the television finding a western movie since they said they liked the old western movies.
Bess, turned to him and said, "Look, this is very nice, but I think you must be bored - with the way society is now you can go out and get a nice young lady rather then an old woman like me. Would you rather we call it a nice day and I can leave now?"
Ben laughed and still laughing answered, "Oh sure Ė Iíll run right out and get a 50 year old, or a 40 year old and do what? Ski?"
Laughing with him Bess said, "Actually you probably could. Anyway, men go with much younger women all the time."
Ben grinned, "As my granddaughter would say, and I said it once before, am I getting dumped?"
They both laughed and he took her hand in his, "Bess, I loved my wife for many years until she died. You told me your husband was the only man in your life. I think sitting here, nice company, watching a movie is what I feel comfortable doing. Letís just let things stay as this and not worry about what others do, what younger people do, or what others expect us to do. Does that sound fine with you?"
Bess smiled and squeezed his hand in total agreement. Laughing for a moment she wasnít sure if her heart skipped a beat, or it was her pacemaker speeding up as she squeezed his hand. Either way, it was nice and she had a wonderful afternoon. Ben insisted on walking her home and as they neared her daughterís house they could see Jessy standing on the front lawn looking down the street. At the front of the drive Ben said goodbye and theyíd made plans for the next day to go to the park that was a few blocks away.
Bess smiled as she walked into the house with her daughter, "Uh, Mom, I donít mean to pry but who was that man? You have to be really careful now a days who you speak with."
Bess smiled, "Oh that was Ben and we spent the afternoon at his home, which happens to be a very lovely home a few blocks awayÖand.."
"MOM! You canít go to a strangerís home! You should have given me the phone number. What if he tried to do something."
Bess started to laugh so hard that tears came to her eyes, "Oh, Jessy. That is just too funny. If you mean sex by your use of the word something, we sat on the couch and watched John Wayne Western Weekend. I met Ben at the Center last night Ė which by the way, young lady, you badgered me for weeks to go to and meet people."
"Uh, well Mom what if he wants to do more then watch TV?"
Bess smiled, "Well, I can assure you we watched TV. Jessy, believe me when I say Iím not senile yet and can still deal with if a man makes a move! So, relax and letís go make dinner?"
Jessy laughed, "Okay, it was just a shock seeing you walking home with a stranger Ė I mean Ben. Is there going to be another time you are seeing him? Was this just a cup of coffee and that is about it?"
"Weíre going to the park tomorrow." Bess watched emotions play across her daughterís eyes knowing this wasnít what Jessy meant when she said to go to the center and meet more people. "Jessy, please, itís just nice to talk to someone other then Rhonda."
"Mom, do you think heís goodlooking?"
Jess knew Jessy had at least one hundred more questions as they went into the kitchen so just said, "Yes, I think he is nice looking for a man of his age. And I think Iím nice looking for a woman of my age. AND, as adults we certainly know our ages and what we want to do and not want to do. So, as you used to say when you were younger Ė do we have to pick this a part?"
Jessy, laughed and hugging her Mom said, "You go girl!"
Bess smiled thinking that this was a new way of life, but a nice one. Looking forward for tomorrow to come she thought how odd that at her age she was looking forward to meeting a man in a park. A very nice looking man, at that! She hugged her daughter and said, "Thank you for being such wonderful daughter, Iím a very lucky woman not to be living alone and that you worry about me."
Jessy laughed, "I learned worrying from you, so if youíre going to be late coming home youíd better call, or youíll be grounded to your room and no parks or John Wayne movies!"
Later that evening the phone rang and Jessy walked into her Momís room, "This is going to sound really weird but Mom, thereís a gentlemen on the phone for you."
They both laughed. As Bess picked up the phone and Jessy was still standing there, Bess shooed her out of the room, "Young lady, no listening outside the door!"
Jessy closed the door and heard her Mom saying, "Tomorrow sounds wonderful."