“I sense a woman with very special desires, Helen. A woman very much like me.”
The black woman uttering these words to the white thirty-something was sat opposite her at a corner table of a busy Starbucks, voice kept low that an adjoining table of boisterous students, doing their best to eke out the one Cappuccino or luxury hot-chocolate to which their meagre funds would run, might not overhear. That she was about to dispense with advice on a subject unlikely to ever feature on a university syllabus was not immediately obvious to a bunch of young men more intent upon the raging of first flush hormones than in-depth personal observation. But that was certainly what she was about to do.
“I see so many women of your age – especially white women – who realise just how much potential they have to get so much more of what they want, that you must trust me when I tell you that what you’re looking for is already partly in your hands.”
Helen Drayton, the woman in question, was in her mid-thirties with shoulder length blonde hair and an hourglass figure that, while not fat, could not be described as slim either. Facially she was composed of those sharp angles that hinted at severity and came nowhere close to being described as “beautiful”, even if that “severity” was counter-balanced somewhat by sensuous and full lips. A sensuousness that, as the black woman had already referenced, had decided to kick into life with a vengeance and whose existence had led to their meeting.
Though it had taken many weeks of emails between the two before Helen’s coffee companion had been convinced enough by the sincerity of the older woman’s need to consent to seeing her face-to-face.
“Time wasters” were not, she had insisted, something she countenanced; be they of a male or female variety.
“You already have everything in place,” the black woman who had introduced herself as Mariah continued. “The failure of your husband’s business and the fact it is now your salary as an executive P.A. that keeps him is a massive plus in your favour. As is the fact, and probably more so, that he was foresighted enough to see his company would be going under long before it did and transferred ownership of the house into your name alone. In my considerable experience of these matters, these last two points normally prove to be vital and play a huge part in bring the man in question to heel.”
She added, seeing how her metaphor reacted upon the white woman’s heightened desires in this regard, and that her coffee companion might not think what she wanted to undertake would be a walk in the park:
“Unless, of course, the man in question happens to be worthy of such a description.
Helen Drayton’s eyes had crinkled, not quite taking her meaning.
“By that,” Mariah brought her up to speed, “I mean the description of ‘man’.”
The blonde woman mouthed an ‘Oh!”.
“If that is the case and he is indeed not just a man but a certain type of the breed,” Mariah went on, “then I have to tell you that what you see as your… future… together is most unlikely to become a reality.”
Helen Drayton was thoughtful but Mariah liked this, it denoted she was not impulsive and rash but gave consideration of a circumspect kind to the tasks she undertook.
A bonus, given the nature of the course she intended to embark upon in respect of her older husband.
Her response, when it came, was clear and precise:
“Yes. I imagine that would prove the case were the subject in question a certain type of the ‘breed’, as you say.”
The brief smile that flashed across the table to the black woman was nothing if not certain of itself and its cause:
“He is not,” she added with heavy emphasis. “Though I do believe he has always seen himself that way and, despite his current situation, still does.”
Mariah nodded, “That is all to the good, then, but if you are to go on the one thing you must be sure of before we go ahead is that this is what you want.”
Helen had sighed internally. She had already spent weeks assuring the woman via their emails that this is what she wanted – and for good. Now, it appeared, she was going to be required to do so again, even though she would be the one paying for the woman’s services.
Except she wasn’t required to do so again.
“I only mention this again,” the woman had gone on, because your husband is obviously smitten with you still and what you want for him is so… drastic.”
She paused a moment, then added:
“And irreversible. Once done it cannot be taken back and, whether the outcome be good or bad, will have to be lived with.”
Helen gave a “so what?” shrug, as Mariah added:
“By both of you.”
The shrug, if anything, became more pronounced and the white wife and Personal-Assistant seemed totally untroubled by any misgivings in respect of what she had in mind for both her husband and herself.
Trevor, her fortysomething partner, had long been boring her since those first heady days when his good looks – though they were still intact – had swept her feet from under her when doing business with the man who had been her boss at the time. The fact someone so handsome could find her interesting – even come to love her – both puzzled and flattered her and, for a while, she found herself returning the compliment with a passion strong enough for her to be led down the aisle and into an existence as a housewife she had always insisted was not for her – though she did, in deceitful ways, manage to stay true to her intention not to be burdened with the children he had always insisted he wanted. Though, and despite that intention, after leaving her job, she had – amazing herself in the process – settled down into domesticity.
And eventually realised it was everything she had always believed it would be:
Soul destroying and mind-numbingly boring.
Into the bargain, the sex with her handsome, if somewhat selfish, husband soon became tame as the novelty of having such a man desire her wore off and his limitations in the bedroom became more glaring.
Thus her forays onto the Internet during his days at the office and her exploration of sexual desires and situations that were new and… thrilling… to her.
Explorations that had, eventually, led her to the black woman’s site and their meeting alongside a table of boisterous undergrads in Starbucks.
“What I’m trying to say is, you understand, and to coin a cliché,” that same black woman was continuing, “is that there is no going back once you start down this road.”
Helen Drayton’s expression was mildly impatient, English being her native tongue and having instigated what was going down between them in the first place, it was hardly credible she would not understand a facile observation that was at odds with the sound practical sense the younger black woman had offered until now.
The woman’s dusky voice was still low and she looked for all the world as if she, along with Helen – who had done just that – had stepped out of one of the finance houses lining London’s Leadenhall Street, her professional garb a mirror of Helen’s in stark grey and white, even if a pair of unmistakably huge breasts were not.
Breasts the undergrads at the next table had certainly not missed and could be seen, had the two ladies been at all interested in them, sneaking covert and covetous looks in their direction whenever they felt they could do so without being caught by the somewhat… imposing… older ladies.
“The moment we leave each other this lunchtime, and if you have agreed to go ahead and placed the necessary advance in my account, events will have been set in motion and your marriage as you once knew it will be over. I will not stop even if you have a change of heart.”
The woman called Mariah paused and Helen knew she expected a response of some kind to what was, in effect, a warning.
“There will be no change of heart, Mariah,” she said emphatically before flicking a glance at the students and lowering her own voice. “I intend to get what I want and, having met you, feel confident you are going to be able to provide me with just that. I’ve thought it all through very carefully, just the way you said, and I’ve never wanted anything more in my life. So, while I thank you for the warning, you’ll understand if I’m not too troubled by it.”
Or even at all, Mariah thought as she made what would be her final attempt at allowing the woman wishing to employ her a way out:
“Even though you will find it impossible to ever see him as a man again once you get it?”
Helen Drayton was already shaking her head before the final attempt had been completed and looked, in fact, a tad irritable:
“Mariah, I have read everything you had couriered over to my place of work and all of it was a match with my desires and what I intend my relationship with my husband to be from now on. You of all people should know that my not seeing him as a man and treating him accordingly is a massive part of the attraction for me. In fact, and while we are on the subject of doubts, my main concern is not that it will be the right move for me but that you can actually deliver what you promise.”
The black woman’s “Hmmph!” was both indignant and dismissive.
“You may be in no doubt of that, Helen. All the questions I insisted you answer about your husband and you found so tiresome resulted in exactly the kind of male profile that led me to be persuaded to take your case on… Should,” she added, “this meeting go to my liking.”
Helen waited, a little amused at the somewhat obvious way the woman tried to maintain the upper-hand and even more entertained at the way she described the undeniably perverse and immoral task she was about to undertake for her. Talking about it as if she had been engaged in the capacity of marital counsellor rather than the catalyst that would lead her into a female-led marriage and her husband into what she intended to be a lifetime of physical and domestic servitude.
A “servitude” she knew he would find as hateful as he would find it humiliating.
“Everything, you told me about him,” Mariah went on, “from his working and financial situation to his self-regard and overbearing, if not abusive, manner in the home, to the importance he places on maintaining his manly reputation with your joint friends; this, along with his two sisters somewhat… nauseating… hero worship of him and his need to maintain it; tells me he is as perfect for what you intend and I can deliver you as the other men I’ve… re-educated… for their wives.”
“I sincerely hope you’re right,” Helen told her.