N Is For Natalie


It wasn’t much of an auspicious beginning. The very first two words I said to Natalie were simply ‘Good afternoon’, and my first action was to lay my small mesh basket in front of her and smile.

“Good afternoon” she’d replied, and reached to take my small bunch of bananas from the basket, ring up ’65p’ on her till, and put them into a small bag.

But it was the combination, her sweet smile in reply, her general friendly demeanour, her appearance, her manner. The whole package was just so attractive. At that stage the word ‘desirable’ didn’t come into it, except that when I’d left the shop a few minutes later I felt a sense of unease. Something was missing. I needed to be in her presence again.

I didn’t get the chance for another week. Seven days later I called in at the shop again for my weekly fruit and vegetables. I preferred to shop at the local independent traders instead of the supermarket just down the road from the office, and anyway it was convenient. No parking problems and I could call in at the post office and the newsagent and maybe the dry cleaners at the same time. AND I could see her again. Our four-word conversation proceeded exactly as before, my purchases were similar but not identical. Broccoli instead of bananas. Then I realised that she had a name badge on. ‘Natalie’. Nice name.

I may have taken the opportunity to speak to her there and then if I hadn’t had a queue beginning to form behind me. But I did create another chance for myself the next morning, having taken the day off from working. And I actually did need some flowers since I was due to visit my mother the next day.

Natalie was more forthcoming.

“Good morning. For some lucky girl?”

“Yes Natalie, for my mother.” I smiled.

She was a little surprised but realised quickly I’d simply read her name badge. If I’d had any doubts at all about whether I really was in some way interested in her they vanished within a few seconds of that moment. Natalie realised that the previous customer had left something behind. She grabbed whatever it was, slid out from behind her little checkout desk, and skipped towards the door of the shop, gently reaching to touch the old lady on the shoulder and smilingly offer her whatever it was she’d forgotten. It was the way she looked and the way she moved, just such a happy delightful young woman, and I have to say absolutely gorgeous legs!

She came back to finish serving me. Still happy, still bouncy, still most attractive and – I’m amazed I didn’t notice before – no ring on the third finger of her left hand. So, she was single. I smiled at her again and realised that in moving away from her desk she’d both impressed me with her demeanour and her legs, and given me an ‘in’. I’d noticed, I’d not had time to before, her key-chain and a book beside her on the other side of the till. I’d seen the book clearly.

“Cripes Natalie. You’re reading ‘Georges Gerrard’?”

I’d recognised the author’s name and was indeed surprised to see it on the reading list of a young woman who was a cashier in a greengrocer’s in a suburb of Birmingham.

“Yes. What’s wrong with that?”

There was something behind her smile. She was teasing me!

“Well, he’s more of a man’s writer, I’d have thought.”

“In English, yes, but in the original he’s funnier. It’s the translator, I think. Anyway, what about these flowers?”

Remarkable! I’d not noticed but I peered again at the book’s title. She was reading it in French! Nothing really special about that except for who she seemed to be and where she was. Natalie was clearly an educated woman, the more I was discovering the more she was fascinating me. I had to rush through my purchase as another customer came up, but I hung on beside the till while he was dealt with. I had to take the opportunity now that it was there in front of me.

Natalie noticed me loitering about and looked in my direction. I think she knew I wasn’t just looking at the apples, I did indeed have an ulterior motive.

“Look, Natalie. I should introduce myself, I’m Ben. I know I could be awfully pretentious and invite you out to the Arts Cinema or somewhere, to see a French-language Film Noir or something but – the local multiplex has got the new Wallace and Gromit. And it’s the sort of film you shouldn’t go to see alone. How about getting the giggles there together?”

It worked! That long-winded and rather awful chat-up line was the beginning of what was without doubt the happiest and indeed most exciting three months of my life to date. Natalie had been clearly surprised by my invitation. Probably she’d never been picked up before at work but I’d had to jump on the opportunity. She sat there at her till for a few seconds, looking amazed. Then she slipped out of her place and moved across the shop to chat to the man sorting through the fruit.

I realised it was probably her father, there was something of a family resemblance. For some reason it hadn’t clicked, that she would be Kadıköy Fetiş Escort the daughter of the proprietor of the shop. He looked across at me quizzically.

Maybe she was just telling him, maybe she was asking permission or something like that. He really was looking at me oddly, Natalie was talking rather earnestly to him as he peered across at me. Then she smiled, kissed him on the cheek, and returned just as a couple of other customers appeared at her till.

“Great. No problem, I’d like that. Very much”

We settled on me picking her up from the little side gate at the side of the shop at seven that evening. I hadn’t realised that was where she lived, that the shop front had rooms behind it and above and that was where the family lived. It didn’t matter though, she’d said yes. Result!

The date went well, we giggled, we had ice-cream, we held hands and discussed animations and books and plays and music and all sorts of stuff, on the way back to my car and then on the journey and then back to outside that same small gate. I could see – the curtains upstairs were twitching! So, one quick kiss on the lips, then our goodbyes with the confirmation both ways that we’d like to see each other again.

As I said, for over three months we dated, we shared our life stories to an extent, and our interests and fascinations and hopes, really a relationship began and continued and was starting to blossom. I met her parents, she visited my place a few times, we did the cinemas and a couple of music clubs in Brum and a firework display and quite a few pubs. I was, to be honest, falling head-over-heels for Natalie. And to my amazement as far as I could judge the feelings were reciprocated.

It was after one evening out, just a visit to the ‘Grey Goose’ and a meeting with my mate George there that I began to consider getting really serious. Basically, in my head though not in conversation, the ‘M’ word had flashed up. Natalie knew I’d been married before, though divorced about six years earlier when Janine decided that I wasn’t giving her enough sex basically. It had been a problem, I agree, some guys do have difficulties in that area. With me, when it worked it worked well but too often it just wasn’t going to work. So Janine had looked elsewhere.

At the time I’d been working for a regional paper, trainee journalist after I’d finished college, and I occasionally had to do stuff overnight. It was then Janine had embarked on liaisons with a growing list of local men. OK so she was sexually voracious and indeed, given her appearance and the way she behaved, it’s not surprising she was able to line up loads of one-night stands. As she’d said when I’d heard about it and confronted her.

“It’s just for the sex, Ben. You can’t do it so I’ve been finding guys who can!”

So, argument, shouting, lawyers, divorce had followed. And I’d quit the paper six months after that and found a part -time position lecturing at the local college, English Literature and ‘Writing for Beginners’ and ‘Story-telling, the novel within you’, that sort of thing. The living wasn’t brilliant but it was enough. The job was interesting and varied and challenging and gave me enough time to write and to submit short stories to a couple of magazines and national newspapers, and to finish my own second novel. Not that the first had been published, it languished on my hard drive still.

Natalie had been very impressed when I’d told her I was a writer and was on my second novel.

“What’s it called?” she’d asked.

“The title is ‘Diary of a London Girl’. The working title, that is.”

“Right. OK. So it’s not published then. So who published your first novel? What was that? I don’t think I’ve seen it in the shops.

“Well, it’s not actually published either. ‘Left and Wrong.’ That’s the provisional title again, though several publishers have said it still needs some work.”

We’d giggled about whether I should put ‘Writer’ or ‘Part-time lecturer’ on my tax return. That’s one of the things I liked about her, she was flippant or serious but always picked the most appropriate attitude to almost anything, from climate change to Bob Dylan’s lyrics to dog-mess on the streets.

It was after that meeting in the pub, when George had been so, so impressed with my choice of girlfriend, that I considered just how seriously I wanted to continue our relationship. And it was after that, as I dropped her at home once more, that I kissed her goodnight in a way I’d not done before. I’d done ‘passionately’ quite a few times on those occasions I’d not noticed twitching curtains. But that night, as my lips revelled in the sensuality of Natalie’s kiss, there was something else. I recognised the signs, this was turning into something closely resembling ‘love’.

George had invited us to his birthday party, three nights hence. Natalie knew I wanted to go, because he was an old friend I’d worked with in my journalism days and also because his cousin might Kadıköy Gecelik Escort be there, and he was in publishing! In fact his cousin didn’t appear but for other reasons it ended up as a life-changing evening. Natalie had ‘dressed to impress’ in case he was, and also as she’d said ‘I want to look good, with my boyfriend’s mates there and so on’. And, well, impress she most certainly did. As I think I’ve said, when I’d seen her in the shop I’d regarded her as attractive, maybe even ‘desirable’. But that evening she looked just stunning.

As she opened the door to let me in when I went round to the house above the shop to pick her up, I had to mentally pinch myself that this beautiful girl was really going out with me. Her long strawberry-blond hair cascaded over her shoulders, framing her cute, round, face – large dark brown eyes and full red eminently-kissable lips. She wore a little more makeup than usual, like you do when going to a party, but only just enough to accentuate her eyes and lips without it being excessive. She smiled broadly and kissed me in greeting, lingering just long enough to let me know this wasn’t the usual bog-standard ‘hello’ kiss. I did actually get the message that she was regarding that particular date as something special.

I squeezed her gently as we kissed, feeling the womanly curves under her tight short black party dress. Natalie is well-proportioned, with a wonderfully curvaceous figure that I really saw for the first time at that moment in its full glory. Her breasts were quite large, with a well rounded and firm shape. So far fondling her breasts had been as far as I had gone, but if our relationship really was going to develop I looked forward to finally getting to know the rest of the delights of her wonderful body soon. Natalie always dressed stylishly, and that night she’d gone to town. The dress revealed an awful lot of her, in fact between the low-cut top and the tight hem of the skirt, there wasn’t really much to it. But boy, could she wear it!

The dress hugged her smooth thighs, showing the curves of her fine bum to wonderful effect, and complementing the smoothness of her shapely legs. Exactly why I didn’t know, but I was sure she was wearing stockings! She wore a pair of classic black sling-backs with very high stiletto heels, which I always liked on a woman. Sensational.

“Natalie!” was all I could say when I saw her.

She smiled a smile of satisfaction, knowing that she’d hit the right note, that she’d impressed me and would hopefully be suitably attired for the party.

“Hi babe!” she squealed as I stared, and at a stroke my doubts were swept aside when she stepped forward and planted her lips on mine, no longer caring that her Mum and Dad were looking on from the foot of the stairs.

They still looked concerned, natural really since I was courting their only daughter, but they were happy for her. That much was obvious.

“Natalie, my darling. You look absolutely sensational!”

Again not much of a comment but she was obviously pleased I’d said it. She grabbed my hand and we exited, party-bound.

The party went brilliantly. We talked and drank and nibbled, as you do. George was thrilled with the new digital camera his family had got for him, top-of-the-range stuff. Just before the end of the evening as Natalie had been button-holed by yet another young stud trying to make his mark on her, I found myself standing watching her, next to George and his wife Kate.

“Ben” said Kate. “She is adorable, you are so lucky. So when are you going to do something about it?”

For a moment I actually thought she was asking when I was intending to have sex with her, but no.

“Take my advice, Ben. She is crazy about you, I can tell from some of the stuff she was telling me earlier. And you look just like a lovelorn puppy. So get on with it. Propose, you fool, marry the woman.”

Kate of course knew of my problems with Janine some years earlier and my difficulties since then with women. Not all the details of course, but some. I didn’t actually reply to her.

“I bet she’s dynamite in bed!”

That wasn’t Kate, it was George, standing next to his wife.

“George!” Kate said, giving him a wicked scowl, and then grinning widely at me.

But they were right, after three months I should have made my move. I’d hesitated, she’d hesitated to an extent but it was time.

All through the party Natalie had been her usually flirtatious self with me, giving me lots of very positive body language – squeezing my hand and making lots of eye contact, smiling a lot and laughing with me. I was thoroughly enjoying myself and she was too.

We’d fooled around quite a bit in the previous couple of weeks, kissing and fondling, but up to then we had not actually gone to bed together. The opportunities had never seemed to arise, or if they did, Natalie would always make some excuse, or change the subject. My own hesitancy had meant that Kadıköy Genç Escort I’d accepted her slightly cool attitude but I was beginning to get frustrated. I really felt something for her that I hadn’t felt in a long time – perhaps it really was love this time. And for once I was getting the same signals from her as well, most of the time at least. Ah well, having gone without for most of the six years since Janine and I split, I’d known I could hang on a bit longer. I just hoped that this wouldn’t end up being a problem, and maybe Natalie was just waiting for the “right moment”.

That night, I hoped, would be the right moment. I’d deliberately left the end of the evening ‘open’, so hopefully she would come back to the flat and we’d finally get it on – that was the plan anyway. I’d felt a little anxious about the later part of the evening, but whatever happened, the first part would be great anyway, and it was.

When we eventually left the party I invited her back to my place. Natalie readily accepted and we walked arm in arm back to the car. It was at this point I detected a slight change in Natalie, something I’d noticed before. She appeared to become quite a bit more nervous and a lot quieter as we drove back. At first I thought maybe she was apprehensive about what surely must be the inevitable consequence of the evening, and I was sort of right, as it turned out…

We cuddled on the sofa, sipping coffee, we had been at this point a number of times before, kissing, me pulling up her top of me, caressing her breast through the top of her dress, then moving my hand lower… I grasped the bull by the horns, so to speak, and began to make my move. As we kissed and I moved closer to her my head was spinning with some heady combination of lust and love and desire. As her tongue teased mine and I slid a hand round behind her back, I reached the point where every part of me in contact with her luscious body was having fun.

My lips were on fire as hers teased mine. My right hand was slipped inside her dress, cupping and caressing her breast through her thin sexy bra, causing occasional moans of pleasure as my attentions made her nipples react. My other hand was sliding up her thigh. Yes, she was wearing stockings, I was stroking and grabbing her gorgeous bum. She can’t have failed to notice my desire, my cock was extremely hard and pressed against her thigh.

As we went deeper and deeper into our heavy petting, I couldn’t wait any longer. I grabbed and pulled down the zip at the back of her dress and surprisingly competently unclipped her bra. The dress and the bra fell forward and I feasted my eyes on her wonderful breasts and her hard, erect, nipples. I pulled away from her.

“Natalie my darling…”

I didn’t get the chance to finish. She was looking straight into my eyes. There seemed to be love there, but there was something else.

“Please…” I implored her, without actually saying ‘I’m desperate to have sex with you’.

She reached down, pulled down the zip on my trousers, and reached in to ease out my straining cock. For a moment I was in heaven as I watched her fingers, exquisitely decorated with her long, red, nails, stroking my rock-hard penis.

“Ben, I so want to… Oh!”

Natalie abruptly broke off, clearly agitated. She looked unhappy.

“What is it, babe?” I asked gently, taking her hand.

“Ben, really, you’ve been so good to me. I so want to make you happy. But I… I have to tell you something” she said, looking away so that briefly we were not making eye contact.

“OK,” I said, tensing, sensing her anxiety.

“I want you to know that I really think we have something good here… But.”…”

She trailed off. I waited, she didn’t seem to have finished yet was hesitant to continue.

“It’s not what you think. It’s worse,” she said.

“Darling,” I interrupted, “whatever it is just tell me. I can’t think of anything that would make me feel any less for you…” I stopped, perhaps I’d already said too much.

“This will,” she said, flatly.

“Just tell me. Please.”

“Well…” she sighed, “More than anything in the world I want to go to bed with you right now. I really do. I can’t believe how patient you’ve been with me – you’re very sweet, Ben.”

“So let’s do it honey,” I said, smiling and gently squeezing her hand.

“I… can’t,” she said.

My mind was working overtime, trying to think of all the reasons that she might have – abuse, rape, medical problems, anything that might explain her problem with me. I pulled her towards me, trying to comfort her.

“Natalie, my darling, whatever it is.. you can tell me”.

For the first time, she made eye contact, her eyes filled with tears, though she was not yet crying.

“It’s not what you think,” she repeated.

“I don’t know what I think, you need to tell me. Whatever it is won’t make any difference – I… I, well, I think I’m falling in love with you – if there’s a problem let’s work through it”.

There was a long silence. I hoped I hadn’t blown it by mentioning the ‘L’ word. It surprised me too, but seeing her sitting there in such a state, I felt an overwhelming tenderness and desire to help and protect her – love seemed to be the right word to describe it.

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