October 8, 2021

Book 5/12

By aarondkey

He had nothing to lose.

Only, he suddenly thought, his dreams. He knew from experience that reality would not match his expectations. Still even a quarter of his expectations would satisfy him and it was hard to turn back now, so close, closer than he had ever been before.

Timonthy shuddered as he remembered that peaceful moment, standing in the very same spot he stood in now.  

He struggled to understand why religion tended to think of physical love as an evil. To him it seemed the most beautiful, almost religious, experience that two consenting adults could share. He had a feeling that he was missing some obvious point: that he devoted his life to a foolish dream because of a lack of clarity. He hoped it was just that religion did not want to lose followers whose lives were so pleasurable they no longer needed the comfort of angry gods.

He knew there were good reasons for not being promiscuous. He had a constant fear of disease which he tried to control with sensible precautions but sex itself…..? He did not understand the horror, the distaste that the thought of it could provoke. But then he ruefully acknowledged that on the whole life was better if you knew nothing of anyone else’s sex life: especially people who you wanted to be with and weren’t.

He also knew quite clearly that at the moment of decision he would be happy to risk disease and death for a few moments of comforting pleasure and even more worrying he knew that that risk would increase his enjoyment. This seemed to support religion’s view that the desire for sex was an evil, like an addiction, if it could subvert common sense and even the survival instinct.

He shook his head and moved to the kitchen to make a coffee. He was not tired but boredom was making his eyelids heavy. There was an open jar of instant which he sniffed at, shook to check it was still useable. He made a coffee. After a sip he shook his head. It had been so many years since he had drunk an instant coffee. He had forgotten how disgusting it was although it could just be the way he made it. He took a biscuit to take away the taste and made his way back to the study.

He opened doors and drawers at random looking for something interesting to read. There was a pile of paper in a drawer which looked like scrap but on the back of a few of the sheets there seemed to be a story. He only had loose and unconnected pages but he started to read. He changed his opinion of Stolid slightly as he read, not favourably. He had never realised that he was into… well, was it science fiction.. or fantasy..? Something that was not sensible and rational at any rate. He came to the end of the scraps he was reading with a sense of disappointment. He wished there had been more. Not because he liked that sort of story but because reading it he felt he was connecting with Stolid in a way he had never managed before and it was relieving his boredom.

He looked at the shelves in the study hopefully and realised that he was not going to find something to satisfy him there, not because there was not a good choice. There were mostly classics but also modern books, children’s books, crime writers, thrillers, history, medicine and a small section on car maintenance. It was just that his mind was too on edge to sit down with a good book. He got out his phone and began to play games: solitaire for a little while, scrabble and Sudoku. That occupied an hour or so until his eyelids began to drop again. He wondered how Paris was getting on trying to sleep. It would be ironic if she was lying in bed staring at the ceiling in the dark desperate to sleep while he was down here desperate to keep awake.

In the end he dragged the office chair out of the study and positioned it by the front door. He was fairly confident that the route to the back door was blocked as they had bolted the back gates.

He sat in the chair reclining back into its uncertain arms with a sense of defeat. He made sure that the alarm on his phone was set for three o clock and then he allowed himself to drift in and out of day dreams. He was suddenly jolted awake by the sound of a key scratching against the lock. He stood up as quietly as he could and stood to the side of the door. His heartbeat sounded overwhelming to his ears but the steady exploration of the door continued without a pause.

He heard the key finally find the hole and waited breathless. The door opened. There was a delay as if the person outside was gathering together something before entering and then they walked in. They were inches away from him