Chapter Eleven

SOPHIE

When I was younger I used to keep putting things off and I’m not much better now, hopeless at facing up to difficult situations. I still haven’t introduced Tim and Dad and it’s Dad’s 50th birthday celebration this Saturday. I knew they would have to meet if Tim and I are going to have a future together but I’m anxious as they seemed so different. Dad’s brash, single minded, a bit of a bully if I’m honest and Tim is anything but any of these. He’s modest, self-depreciating and gentle.  He’s not bothered about the trappings of wealth whereas Dad is. If he doesn’t have a new Roller every two years he worries people will think he’s not the success he was. Yes, I suppose that’s the biggest difference, the way they measure success. Tim thinks you’re successful if you have a well-rounded personality, if you’re kind and generous. Dad measures his in possessions that show he’s wealthy.

I’m not proud to still be living at home at 19 when most of my school friends live away from home and I know our home won’t be to Tim’s taste. It’s flashy.  It’s impressive to start with as the setting is so good.  You go up a long drive past trees and shrubs and the tennis court. Opposite this is the house and you can see over the top, as it’s a bungalow, to the lake. Inside is completely different, tasteless and brash. The kitchen’s nice, big with granite work surfaces, very modern. Tracey got Dad to renew it very recently and she’s got good taste but the lounge is awful, vast with trendy modern uncomfortable sofas, marble topped coffee tables, a huge painting on one wall of a lady with a blue face and another wall that’s completely glass overlooking a swimming pool. The whole effect is ostentatious, bright and sterile. Dad and Tracy’s bedroom is in the same vein.  I’m worried what Tim will make of it all.

Anyway the problem is that it’s Dad’s celebration and Tim has been invited. Dad wants to meet him.   I’m worried what Dad will make of Tim’s hippy appearance and laid back manner. I’m even worried whether Tim will own a suit.

Dad’s planned a huge event in a hotel where they host large parties. All the staff from his business are invited, as are our family and there are a few others as well.  I think it’s the Mayor, her husband and the local Tory MP and his wife. He’d loved to have invited some really famous personalities but because he’s spent all his time working he doesn’t really know any.

The evening started with drinks at home for the family and then we were taken in a stretch limo to the hotel. Tim arrived dead on time and looked very smart in a light grey suit. I should have given him more credit instead of worrying. I introduced him to the family, Dad, Tracey, Craig, my brother, Jacqui, his girlfriend, Tom and Susan, my uncle and aunt and my cousins Nicola and Alisa. Mr Billington, the bank manager, his wife. Mr Davies, the accountant, and his wife arrived together a bit later.

“What an amazing setting for a house.” Tim said diplomatically to my Dad.

“Do you think so?  It’s lovely isn’t it,” Dad beamed. “So you’re Sophie’s new young man. You’ve certainly been putting a smile on her face these past weeks.”

“Well I think she’s been putting a smile on my face too.”

Dad didn’t seem nonplussed by Tim’s long hair and made a lot of the fact that Tim was at college when introducing him. In fact I was amazed at how well they seemed to gel.

We were taken in a coach to a country house with a huge ballroom that was filled with about 20 tables each laid out with 8 places, each setting with 3 glasses. There was a top table on a raised stage which is where we were told to sit. I sat between Dad and Tim. Aunt Susan and cousin Nicola were next to Tim. Tracey, Craig, Jacqui, Uncle Tom and Alisa sat on Dad’s left.

The food was excellent and the conversation seemed to flow. Then it was time for Dad’s speech, he always gave speeches when he had the chance. This one was actually quite good and his jokes went down well. I went to the loo after that and when I came back I got a bit jealous because Tim was sitting next to Tracey and seemed to be getting on extremely well with her. Stupid of me though, I’m sure Tim wouldn’t fancy someone her age, would he?

Mr brother, Craig, got really drunk and his girlfriend, Natalie had to help him outside, I presume, to be sick. He often disgraces himself at public events at the moment. I think he finds it hard, being Dad’s son. People expect something special from him but he’s only a lad trying to find his feet. I was disappointed though that he and Tim didn’t spend any time together.

Tim said he’d enjoyed the evening, the food, the glamour and Dad’s speech but he thought the entertainment was crap.  It was crap – two men with enormous hats covering their whole heads and shoulders and bare torsos painted so their nipples were their eyes and their navels their mouths did a strange dance routine.  Then there was a huge overweight man who obviously fancied himself who sang “Old Man River” and a few other similar numbers.

On the way back in the limo I did something I’ve never done before. I’d worn some knickers with a split in the front, I think they call them crutchless and I suppose wearing them and being a bit drunk and sitting next to Tim made me feel randy. So, and I blush to recall it, I took his hand and placed it at the top of my thigh. I let it rest there for a few minutes. He was talking to someone on the other side of the isle and I don’t think my intent registered with him. So I took hold of his hand again and put it right on my fanny. He still seemed unaware of my lustful desires although I’m sure I was wet down there so I put my hand down and opened the split up and pushed his fingers right where I wanted them. Then he understood and reacted accordingly. I don’t think anyone noticed what was happening. It was quite dark in the limo and I tried not to breath heavily. How embarrassed I would have felt if he’d found the experience disgusting, in fact I’m embarrassed to even think about what I did.  However afterwards I noticed him surreptitiously put his fingers to his nose and then smile appreciatively and wink which made me feel lots better. I squeezed his hand in thanks.

When we arrived back home and spilled into the lounge Dad was in his loud, domineering frame of mind so Tim and I escaped upstairs. I suggested he stop the night as he obviously couldn’t drive home.  I had an ensuite bedroom with a king size bed.  Our little intimacy in the stretch limo had obviously turned him on and we had a very passionate lovemaking session before we both fell asleep exhausted.  I was so relieved at last Tim and Dad had met.

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