I don’t keep a diary.
I used to, when I was a teenager. One with a lock and key to which I confided those little secrets that a young girl having underage sex could not publicly reveal.
The first kiss; the fumbles and then… exaltation: “we copulated!”, I remember writing. It seemed more grown up than simply say, “we did it”.
The rite of passage was performed not by brute force but by a gentle and subtle seduction greatly assisted by my eager willingness.
The triumph soon dissipated when I found out that he was playing the field and meting out the same treatment to the other musicians in my class; girls whose instrument represented for them a phallic symbol, I always thought: Rebecca’s oboe, Gloria’s  clarinet and Bernice’s saxophone.
I burned that journal in disgust and now my only writing is little notes to myself. Not to record my sexual exploit but to remind myself of mundane tasks. As aide-memoirs I suppose.
Although I can recall every detail of past events, my short memory is fading; I needed some milk and took the car to the local supermarket.
I got the milk alright but realised I left my car behind in the car park and walked home instead.
Today I have a scrap of paper on which I have scribbled ‘talk to the gardener!!!’ but can’t recall why I put three exclamation marks.

The newspapers have arrived and the headlines are all about a music teacher who is being prosecuted for historic child abuses.
I don’t think I will add my voice to the ones of the other victims. It was, as I recall, my choice as well as his and, as the cliché says, a lot of water has passed under the bridge.
I grew up, did not realise my ambition to become a concert pianist and ended up marrying Gerald.
I think of him and sigh: ‘Poor Gerry’.
He suffers from prostate cancer, has been unable to undertake many physical tasks and, what’s more crucial, has been impotent for some time.
A remark by Beryl, my partner at bridge – that Paul, a freelance garden designer, had done her a ‘favour’ – made me realise I needed to recharge my batteries, in more ways than one.
I offered him employment that he gladly accepted and the inevitable happened.
During one of our romantic tête à tête, he told me that his wife was infertile.
She was, he said with dark humour, “impregnable and inconceivable”.
But she wasn’t against the idea of adoption.
The importance of those three exclamation marks now comes to mind.
What I want – no, “need” –  to tell him is that since Gerry does no longer make love to me  I’ve stopped taking precautions and I am pregnant.
Gerry knows and is very understanding. How will Paul react when he hears my suggestion that I’ve found the solution to his wife’s problem?


© Luigi Pagano


© ionicus 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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This reads like the opening to a much longer story. Is there going to be more? A nicely written hook.


Hi Luigi,
This is a really good piece of work. It would be so easy to foreshadow this ending, but with deft sleights of hand you leave the reader curious. At the end I nodded my head – that figurative ‘I knew it’. I didn’t though, and it’s a mark of how good the writing was.


Hi Luigi,
I agree, a very well written story. Human need needs to be satisfied regardless of morals or consequences. I did feel by the tone of the story that she was an older woman past the age of conception. At least that was my perception given the historic abuse element. I enjoyed it, though.

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