The Right Call

Graphic showing the logo for the Flashback Track Friday prompt.

This is my response to this week’s Flashback Track Friday prompt, where we were challenged to:

Tell us about a time you succeeded on the first try.

Oh, and if Mrs Bump reads this: this is flash, alright? So, stop giving me a hard time!


I was nervous as I pulled into the dim car park.

Good. Away from the hotel. In the Annex’s separate car park. Quiet. Dark. I flicked the interior light, checked my face in the rear-view mirror. Straightening my hair, my forehead held tiny beads of perspiration and I noticed my shortness of breaths.

Breathing exercises. Slower… slower… that’s it.

Was I really going through with this?

Now or never, I dabbed my brow as I opened the car door.


At fifty-eight, I was “happily married”. But bored. So I’d found a web site. It felt daring enough, at first, just to create an account, in order to browse the other profiles. Women, mainly, but you never know… Maybe I might even find our next-door neighbour on there?

Every site had one. The first question, which was the cornerstone of everyone’s profile. I’d chosen “Curious”. Because I was. Thirty-four years married, and time was running out. I wanted to know, just for once, what my wife experienced. What did it feel like to her, when I touched her, when she played with me? when she took me in her mouth?

I had the account for three months, with zero activity. Add a photo, they encouraged. But even if I hid my face, there was no way I was comfortable, at my age, uploading naked shots onto the web.

And, out of the blue, I was contacted by Miles. Gay, his profile said, but online, I saw no risk, so we chatted. He was secretive about his sexuality, as he was an army officer, and it paid not to broadcast. So, he, too, relied on an online persona.

We chatted for about a month, on and off, until Miles dropped the big news. A seminar, here, next Wednesday.

I presume that’s how he found me in the first place. We’re a small garrison town. Miles comes here for the odd conference, and I guess he wanted the prospect of an in-person meet.

Would I like to get together for a drink, and see where it goes?

So, I told Marcia the biggest whopper of my life.

“It’s someone’s leaving do at United.” My old workplace. “I’m gonna head into Birmingham for the evening. Hopefully, Kevin will be there.” Kevin was once my colleague, we became good friends, and to be honest, was the only thing I missed about working there. Marcia had not batted an eyelid. She long ago lost interest in boys’ nights out.

And that night I headed out. Not to the station, as I used to do, but to this motel, on the other side of town.

I recognised him immediately. Not only was the bar empty in the early evening, but even the way he sat on the stool screamed “army”. Tapping him on the shoulder, I introduced myself, and he offered to buy a drink. Great! Dutch courage.

“I wasn’t sure you’d turn up…”, he began, to which I mumbled some pathetic joke about an irresistible profile. It was true. I’d never “fancied” men, beyond being curious, but this chap’s elegant, grey crew-cut and piercing blue eyes would surely have sealed the deal with many a woman… or man.

A pleasant hour, just chatting, any old rubbish, football, a tiny bit of politics, art, even, both of us carefully avoiding the elephant in the room, until Miles touched me on the arm, and offered, “I was wondering, would you like to come back to my room for, er, another?”

This was it. My last chance to bolt. But no, I hadn’t come this far to back out.

My first time with another man.


My instinct, afterwards, was to get out. Well, after using his shower. But as soon as I could, I found myself starting the car.

On our driveway, I sat for an age. There was so much to reflect. In terms of ticking boxes, the evening had been a success, but something had been wrong. That too-firm touch, that evening stubble, that “man” smell – I’d never realised before, but women smelled delicious… And when we had kissed… I almost choked, there and then.

As if she were lying in wait, I was accosted by Marcia.

“Did you have a nice time, love?”

“Yes, thanks It was great to see all the gang again.”

Then, was it innocently?, she asked,

“Did you see Kevin?”

SHIT! What on earth made her ask that? What did she know?

I had to flip a coin. When it landed, I took my punt. Something plausible.

“No”. Then, to bolster my own defence, I quickly added, “I was surprised, actually, because when we chatted the other week, I thought he said he was going. But, no, he wasn’t there.”

Was it me, or did I see Marcia relax?

“Why?”

A pause.

“Oh, he called to say Hi. I told him I thought you were out with him.”

or email me directly

19 comments

    • I suppose so. It can’t be as rough, though? Just it terms of hairs per square inch? But yeah, she did shave her legs when we used to sleep together. God knows what she does now. If I were her (hair?) I wouldn’t bother.

      I’ve lost most of my leg hair as I’ve gotten older, anyhow.

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  1. That was the only place I was happy to lose my hair when I had chemo, did not have to shave legs for a long, long
    time. See even bad things have their good points 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What I find interesting is that as a woman I don’t think I could write a sex-scene as a male. I wouldn’t have thought to include the “too-firm touch” although beads of perspiration I might’ve thought of. “Dabbing” ones forehead I’d certainly use; do men dab or wipe (that’s rhetorical btw)? Of course, you didn’t actually write a sex scene; it’s more that the reader fills in what’s not said. Yes, I’ve seen “As Good As It Gets” – probably one of my favourite films of Nicholson’s (Five Easy Pieces is my fav. And Batman.)

    Like

    • I don’t think I saw either of those movies. Something like Batman, for sure, not my cup of tea.

      That’s the beauty ofg this platform: we can explore new options. And I’ve found with sex, it is all about suggestion. As writers, all we need to do is set the scene, and then the reader’s imagination takes over. I think that broadly, the more we can set the scene, the less explicitness required.

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  3. I agree to set the scene and leave the rest to the imagination. Kind of like fading to black or changing of focus in the old movies, moving to a fire glowing in the fire place.

    Liked by 1 person

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