I noticed, when I sauntered into the Playground in the casual, debonair manner I like to effect, that Edie and Ant were sitting in the small booth hidden behind the door. It was the third time I had noticed the pair there in the last week but before that I hadn’t seen them in our pub for at least a month if not two. Their heads were close, their bodies were leaning towards each other in anticipation. I felt an urge, as everyone does, to be a voyeur to their excitement, be it that of new lovers or that of a secret being told. In a way being new lovers is very much like learning a new secret.
While we have chosen our table for the view it affords us of the other tables, the small booth at the door is out of our line of sight. It is out of sight of pretty much all the pub other than the when walking in, and then the people sitting in the small booth can see the shadows on the frosted glass before the patrons come into sight. So when my dear friends, Martha and James arrived, after biding my time discreetly for, oh, five minutes I asked them about Edie and Ant.
“Yes, didn’t you know they were a couple. Though I believe Ant has only just moved in within the last ten days.”
“Ah, yes, they are still in the twelve days of seduction. I do hope they have been giving it the due attention.”
“Oh by all accounts.”
I sat quietly through Martha and James’s conversation not quite understanding what they were saying but getting the gist. It took a while for James to bring the conversation back round to my initial question.
“But Martha, I believe you know the full story about why they weren’t about for a while but this week are here every day.”
Normally we perform a little dance, James and I try to avoid asking Martha to tell a story we both know she is dying to reveal. For a moment I was disappointed to prolong the pleasure, but it was such a good story that I would happily take it any day with or without a good preamble.
“Well, as you have most astutely noticed, Edie and Ant are at that point in their relationship where touching is so very exciting. Exciting, in fact, to the point of exclusion of the world about them, but the world about them carries on. And it notices the young couple in the throes of love. Strange expression, is it not, to define something that gives so much pleasure as being an intense struggle. I guess it is what happens when we let the poets influence the things we say. Sorry, James.
“Their relationship, as young as it is, was from the start all about the physical touch. Practically without any conversation their meeting was a sexual encounter in a sauna, you know the fantasy type of that is the mainstay of poorly imagined fiction. Had it not been for the believability of the descriptions of her emotions when she told me the story I would have thought it precisely that. Once she had described in detail their first sexual encounter she has been updating me regularly with their encounters. The conventional bedroom seemed a little unimaginative which is why they are here all the time, well, after the incident anyway.
“Ant usually drives to the gym, so after the gym they would hop in his car and look for secluded places to park. Neither of them had any experience in exhibitionism, or dogging so the places they parked where a little hit and miss. First they came here to work out where to go, sitting with a bottle or wine and Google maps. Conversation was a little difficult, the both were very excited about touching each other again but were nervous that if they talked too much they would be turned off by the other’s personality. It works the other way round, really, how many times have you heard my god, I don’t know why I fucked him or her. But they were not being logical, they were doing as many nervous people do, drinking too quickly. When they had settled on a place they were already tipsy and emboldened.
“They swiftly found their spot, tucked away from the road behind some thick trees in an empty parking lot. One single street light pushing its fingers through the trees to provide a little illumination on the car but barely reaching the bare naked couple in the car. It was much like the setting you would expect in a TV crime drama where the director didn’t want the viewer to be sure what was happening, sex, a drug deal, a conspiracy… But there was not a camera crew in sight, there was no one on the site and, more importantly for our budding young exhibitionists, there was little likelihood of their being discovered. It was like they were the country mice eating their beans and bacon wondering about the pleasures the town mice had talked about.
“Edie was feeling a little giddy, seated as they were in the back seat, her skirt hoiked up and her knickers tossed out the window. Ant’s left hand gently tinkering in search of her clit while his right hand ran through her hair holding her lips an inch from his. Their eyes engaged, she signalling her pleasure as the tips of his fingers brushed over the sensitive spots. Edie wanted more but Ant drew back, I am going to drive to another spot you are going to sit just like this so I can see in the mirror.
“Edie told me later how excited she was by his taking control. She shifted her hips a little further forward, her legs splayed by the backs of the seats. She cupped her hand over her sex as Ant adjusted the rearview mirror down. She could see the fingers from the street lights reaching her hand as they left the car park. She watched for Ant’s eyes in the mirror before she revealed herself, dipping her finger in and out whenever he looked. Ant unbuttoned his jeans with one hand releasing his stiffy but he didn’t play with it. Just let it waggle free as he looked impatiently for a suitable place to park the car.
“He wasn’t particularly observant when he saw the cul-de-sac sign, thinking that will do he pulled into a parking space beside a dark wall. He held his trousers up with only the briefest of glances about before he climbed into the back seat slipping beneath Edie as she raised herself coming down directly onto his joystick. They were not even long enough at it to steam up the windows before a tall gate in the dark wall opened allowing a police van to emerge. Yes, Ant had not observed the blue police light at the top of the road.
“Moments later there was the fabled tap on the window followed by the sheepish couple clambering out the back door pulling their clothes straight as they got out. The story does not stop there, Ant was breathalyzed and, over the limit he had to leave the car and call an Uber.
“Since that incident you will have noticed Edie and Ant have forgone the excitement of the blue city lights for the sanctuary of the front booth in the Playground.”
“Better beans and bacon in safety than cake and ale in fear.”
I wondered a little if James had only encouraged the story so that he could add his conclusion, but mostly I tried to think of excuses for leaving and entering the pub in search of small moments of voyeurism.