Jess was in the den looking at pictures of horses. The den was a gorgeous room. It had a beautiful baroque style sofa,
a day bed festooned with cushions
and lovely warm throws
which were just about everywhere.
Then there was another bed hugging one corner of the room, but best of all was the constantly warm glowing fire.
Everyone in the family migrated to the den at some point during the day. Although it was a sort of spare room for guests, it found itself winning the home popularity test on a daily basis. Mom Gail would often go there with Oliver, Jess’s 4 month old brother and find herself snoozing off with him gurgling happily in her arms. Rosa the nanny would wait ten minutes then tip toe in and rescue Oliver, cooing quietly and blowing gentle wind kisses on his cheek. Her father Charles, who was an MP, would go in to read the political news by the fire to relax.
Life was good. Having moved out of fast paced town life to a more rural setting, things had calmed down somewhat for Jess’s parents. There had been some degree of turmoil that Jess didn’t quite understand and quite frankly as a teen shouldn’t have to. Either way, things had settled and no doubt a great degree of this settlement was due to the calming effect of their new environment.
It was therefore with great ironic displeasure that Jess, being pony mad and all, would inadvertently come home early from school one day to find her father in the den riding Rosa the nanny like a pure thoroughbred…
The stench of illicit, sweaty sex and her father’s aghast face would stay with her forever. She remained rooted to the floor for an unfeasibly long time watching the scene unfold on a fur throw before the warm rays of the lovely den room fireplace. She watched open mouthed as her father with one hand shielding his now flaccid dignity, grabbed for his trousers and started doing the one legged shuffle-hop trying to pull them on with haste whilst trying to avoid falling over and looking even more ridiculous. Rosa for her part lay there exposed, ominously calm, completely unabashed and stared…(almost defiantly?) at the daughter of her conquest.
Perhaps it was Rosa’s confident, shameless expression that finally woke Jess out of her frozen shock and then, suddenly flushed with embarrassment she had fled the room. Her father Charles, having managed to keep his tackle hidden from his daughter’s frozen gaze until it was firmly tucked away, felt an undeserved sense of achievement having done so and with this partial renewal of his self respect he charged after her.
The Politician’s Manifesto
‘Jess! Wait! It’s not what you think! Jess! Please!…Look, your mother and I have been having problems…you know that!..I’ve tried to reason with her…’
He could see he was losing ground in the heat of the moment. Jess was still pounding up the stairs towards her bedroom and away from the jagged awkwardness of it all.
‘Look Jess…these are grown up things and…’
Nope! Ground-wise he was still plummeting like an earth-bound meteorite and if he didn’t do something soon she would be up those stairs and behind her bedroom door…locked, leaving him yelling stupidly from the outside.
‘JESSICA!’ (Use the formal version of her name…good move. Shows resumed authority.)
‘Jessica! Please remember I have just okayed your damn new pony!’ He whined pathetically. He was clutching at straws here – but it seemed to work. She stopped, turned and faced him incredulously. At last he had an audience…
‘Jessica. If you tell your mother, you will be inviting all the hassles and difficulties that we had before back in again. You don’t want to be the one responsible for doing that do you?!..Plus, this whole “thing“…with me and Rosa…it’s over. I was merely saying goodbye to her…’ He blinked sincerely at his troubled daughter, his politician’s brass neck now holding him upright.
Jess was calmer. But he could see she was in confused turmoil. As a politician he knew this was fertile ground for swaying a vote. He hushed his voice to a calm conspiratorial whisper,
‘Jess, my love,’ (back to familiarity), ‘Leave this to the grown ups…We understand this. We’re all happy now and getting along. Don’t rock the boat…’
She didn’t answer. She didn’t need to. He had salvaged a potentially embarrassing loss. This, Charles felt, was a vote he could count on.
Jess now behind the closed door of her bedroom was not so sure. Her dad was a rat! Class A, Numero Uno rat! It was bad enough catching your parents at it…but fifty seven year old Dad and Rosa in her twenties?…Yeuch! She squeezed her eyes together as if trying to un-see what she had just seen. – Nope…it was still there! Her father was officially a jerk.
And yet she felt a confused loyalty towards him. She was completely a daddy’s girl and he had always stuck up for her when mom was being…well, like a mom!
But mom should be told about this surely?! – She must tell her mother. It was the right thing to do. Yes, but then what? Did she want them to split up? Things HAD got so much better recently…
Jess was perplexed. She was racked with guilt if she did not tell her mother and angry at her father for putting her in this position.
She loved her mom. She loved her father – perhaps that teensy bit more…and…you know…she did want that horse…Why should she have to suffer and not get her horse?! She didn’t do anything wrong!