Back in 2005 I wrote a story about a young girl breaking both wrists, and having to be looked after by her younger brother (Broken Bones). Three years later, by a sick coincidence, my wife fell on the ice and did exactly the same thing, and I had to look after her for six weeks. So there are two stories, one fiction and the other real life, of loving people looking after each other in time of need. Then I wondered what it would be like if two people who hated each other got forced into the same situation..
Peter, James, Julie and Anne had all worked at STDZ Solutions, a small company which was involved in all sorts of computer programming. Peter and James had been at university together and had started at the company as soon as they graduated, having been recommended by one of their professors. Anne had joined later, having prolonged her stay at University to get her Masters degree. The three had worked together on some very advanced programming, and had soon got to the stage of being able to read each others’ minds when it came to any problem at work. James became very close to Anne socially, but Peter never really liked her, though he had huge respect for her technical ability. Somehow they didn’t hit it off, and, they rarely had any contact outside work.
The two men were alike in many ways, physically and academically,though Peter was always a little more serious than James. However, Anne and Julie were very different. Whereas Anne was academically brilliant, Julie was not at all gifted, though she was very bright in a very practical way. She had joined the company directly from school at 16 as a typist, but she soon showed that she was very quick at picking up a lot more sophisticated computer use than just word processing. She became very adapt at preparing customer presentations, spread sheets, graphics and so on, and when this was not required she became competent at routine programming and de-bugging.
Julie and Anne were also very different physically. Anne was tall and dark haired, slim and with an aura of class about her, usually very conservatively dressed. Julie was a natural blonde, and was not very tall and on the verge of being plump, and she habitually wore clothes with the neckline just a little low and the skirt hem just a little high. She was what my mother would have called “just a bit common”.
Soon after they started working together, they went out with a group from the company to celebrate the completion of a difficult order, which had resulted in them getting a handsome bonus. Unusually for him, Peter had rather too much to drink, mainly because James had been slipping double vodkas into his beer, and, as they were near to Julie’s flat, James helped him in and dumped him on Julie’s bed. They left him there while they continued celebrating, but, eventually the party ended and Julie went back to her flat, where Peter was still in a bit of a stupor. She stripped off and put on pyjamas, rolled him over and slipped in beside him. Eventually he woke, to find that she had opened his zip and was gently caressing his cock. It wasn’t long before, despite his fragile state, he was sporting a fine erection and she wasted no time in climbing aboard. Of course, he wasn’t wearing a condom and she wasn’t on the pill, and, as luck would have, it he impregnated her straight away.
When Julie told him that she was pregnant, Peter offered to marry her. They had slept together several times and found that they enjoyed each others’ company, especially the sex at which she was very proficient, so they decided that living together would be acceptable. In any case, Peter was a little old fashioned and strongly believed that children needed a stable married environment. They married quite quickly, before the bulge was beginning to show, which at least kept Julie’s mother happy. However, on their honeymoon, their car was rammed by a drunk and, although neither was seriously injured – unlike the drunk, who was killed – Julie miscarried and the baby was lost.
At about the same time as Peter and Julie got together, James and Anne had begun to date seriously, and they were married soon after Peter and Julie returned from their ill fated honeymoon, saddened by the loss of the baby, but compensated by a large insurance payout.
The company was prospering, and had secured several major contracts and it attracted the attention of a large American outfit. Although STDZ was run as though it was a cooperative, it was in fact owned by two brothers, and, when they were made a ridiculously large offer by the Americans, they accepted it, albeit with some regrets at saying goodbye to what they had built up from nothing. Unfortunately for the employees, the new outfit intended to move all the work offshore, and would only offer jobs in Eastern Europe or the Far East. One or two people accepted, but most refused, including our four friends. Fortunately for them, they had very well tied up contracts, and, as a result, they had to be bought canlı bahis out with handsome pay-offs.
The four had a brainstorming session to decide whether there was any way they could set up a new company in the same line of business, but the settlement included a clause preventing them from doing so for a three year period. Then Julie, who was very good at reading contracts and looking for loopholes, pointed out that, while the restriction specifically prevented them from working together in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, it didn’t have any comparable clause regarding working outside the UK.
The others quickly took up the point. There was no restriction on them bidding for British business as long as they worked from overseas. Then followed a long discussion about where they might go. The previous year they had spent two weeks all together staying at a gite in France, and Anne reminded them that the British owners had talked about selling up. This would make an ideal location, comprising two houses adjacent to each other, not too far from rail and air links and with a good broadband connection, essential for the way they intended to work.
James was delegated to contact the owners to see if they were willing to sell, and to negotiate a price. Fortunately, he was able to get a good offer, and they all went out to recheck the place and ensure that it was as suitable as they remembered. After a bit of negotiating, a deal was done, and, unlike most French housing transactions, the formalities were arranged quickly, and, in a surprisingly short time they were installed in the two houses, their internet connections were up and running and they were ready for business.
They had used the time between the offer of redundancy and their departure date to talk to all the contacts that they had made over the years and had got enough offers of work to keep them busy for some time, and, as soon as they were established with all the appropriate formalities arranged with the French tax authorities and health care sorted out, Peter and Anne started work on a couple of firm orders, while James and Julie concentrated on preparing presentations for new business, travelling to several potential clients in Britain and France.
They soon settled into the routine of their new life, trying to integrate as much as they could with their French neighbours, helped by the fact that Peter, James and Anne were quite proficient at French, having taken it at A level, while Julie managed quite well without having much in the way of grammar. However, one down side of the relationship was that Peter and Anne were inevitably thrown together much more even when they were not working, and, although they had no problems at work, they became even more antagonistic on a social level. Quite simply, they didn’t like each other, though both were careful not to make it too obvious to their respective partners.
After nearly two years they had become well established in their line of business, and had got to the stage of being able to pick and chose the work that they did. When one major contract was nearing completion, the customer requested a technical presentation at their establishment to liaise with their staff and ensure that the programmes under submission would interface with the existing software. As Peter and Anne had done all the basic programming, it was decided that they should visit the customer in London. The only conversation between the two was regarding their work, and when they weren’t talking about work – they just weren’t talking. Even with this strained atmosphere they managed to present a united and apparently amicable front to the customer.
They visit lasted three days, and it was with considerable relief that they returned to France. However, the pleasure was short lived. When Peter got to his front door he was surprised to find it locked, and when he unlocked and went inside he immediately sensed that something was wrong, especially as it was very cold. He looked around, and saw an envelope on the table, and when he opened it he could hardly believe his eyes. It was a letter from Julie telling him that she had left him to go and live with James, and that she would be wanting a divorce. She said she would be ringing him to discuss details.
Peter had only just taken in the words, when the front door crashed open and Anne stormed in. Normally, she was very ladylike and rarely swore, and then only minor words, so he was more than startled by her words.
‘What the fuck is happening? James says he has gone off with your little tart. I always thought she was a nymphomaniac slut, and I suppose you couldn’t fuck her often enough to keep her ravenous cunt satisfied. What the fuck happens now.’
‘Well, for starters I’m going to put the heating on so I don’t suffer from hypothermia.’
He went to switch on the boiler, came back and plugged in a fan heater.
‘First of all, let’s get over the civilities. I bahis siteleri assume that you are too bloody frigid to give James the sex he wanted, but I don’t really care. They’ve gone, and your demonstration of foul language might make you feel better, but, much as I dislike you, it would be a good idea if we try to be rational and consider our little predicament in a slightly calmer manner. First thing, I don’t want Julie back, I’ve no intention of being shit on twice from that plump bottom. How do you feel about James.’
‘If I could lay hands on him just now he wouldn’t ever screw Julie or anyone else come to that, and I can’t imagine I’ll ever want him back.’
‘Right, let’s have a drink and something to eat, then sleep on it and decide on a plan of campaign tomorrow. And let’s keep our tempers under control if we want to make sure that we come out of this without total disaster. Our marriages have gone, we’ve still got careers and the rest of our lives in front of us, and we want to ensure that we don’t screw them up.’
‘OK, sorry for the outburst, it won’t happen again. I don’t much care for the sound of myself swearing, I’ll keep it under control in future.’
‘Just one more thing. We don’t like each other, but then we never have really and it hasn’t stopped us having a very successful business relationship, I’m willing to continue that for as long as it takes to get things sorted. What about you.’
‘It’s infuriating, but I enjoy working with someone I dislike, so I’m willing to give it a go.’
Next day they had a long strategy discussion and started the process that would enable them to recover from the apparent disaster. They were contacted by a solicitor working for the other two, who outlined the basis on which he hoped to sort out both the end of their marriages and the financial problems that would arise. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing they reached an agreement that left Peter and Anne with the business and the two houses with immediate payments and the balance to be paid over a two year period. They then began a period where they worked non stop, seven days a week, sixteen hours a day, and, after a year or so, there was light at the end of the tunnel – and it wasn’t an oncoming train. They could see that they should be able to pay off the other two well in advance of the agreed time – though they decided that they would hold back some payment till the latest moment, partly just to be difficult, but also to invest the balance and get a useful income from it.
All was going well until an unforeseen accident occurred. The weather had been exceptionally cold for the area, and overnight there had been a light fall of snow which had frozen. Peter was washing up his breakfast dishes at the sink in front of the window overlooking the front of Anne’s house, and he half noticed her leaving her doorway when he heard a loud cry and, when he looked up, he saw her spread-eagled on her back. He started to laugh, then, as he watched, he realised that she was having a job to get up, so he went out to see what the problem was.
‘I missed that, would you care to do it again.’ he said as he put out a hand to pull her up.
‘Don’t touch my hands, I think I’ve broken something.’
He realised that she was in real pain, so he lifted her up by her armpits and supported her into her house. She was shedding tears of pain and frustration.
‘Shit, shit, shit. I’ve done something major to both of my wrists. Hopefully it’s only a sprain, but it feels worse.’
‘All right, I’ll take you into the hospital and they’ll X-ray it for you. Keep your fingers crossed – if you can.’
Peter fetched her top coat, but she couldn’t get her arms in the sleeves, so she showed him where she kept a heavy cloak, and he put that round her, then, after getting his own coat, he took her out to his Range Rover and helped her get in, but, when she tried to put on the seat belt, she couldn’t, so he had to lean across her and plug it in for her. He drove the twenty miles to the hospital, helped her out of the car and into the A&E department. There she was directed to the X-ray department, and, after a short wait, they learned that she had broken not one wrist, but two, and they were directed back to the doctor who put both of her wrists in plaster.
‘You are lucky, I don’t need to immobilise the elbows, but you must try and keep the wrists supported as much as possible. I’m sorry I’ve had to take it over your fingers, but, if you move them, it’ll not heal properly. Come back in six weeks, and I’ll take it off.’
‘Six weeks! How can I manage with both hands out of action?’
‘Well, your husband will have to look after you.’
‘He’s not my husband, he’s just my business partner. I’m not letting him near me!’
‘OK, I’ll ring your doctor to see what he can arrange for you. Phone him when you get home and he’ll tell you what he can suggest. I’ll give you a prescription for pain killers, in case you feel the bahis şirketleri need.’
Peter helped her out and into the car. By then it had started snowing fairly heavily. Peter stopped at a pharmacy to get the painkillers, then drove home through what turned into a real blizzard, and the snow was laying heavily. The main road had been salted, but even so the snow was laying on it, and when he turned off onto the minor roads leading to their houses he had to engage the anti-skid selector on the Range Rover gearbox. The windscreen wipers were struggling to keep up with the snow, and Peter was quite relieved to arrive back home. He took Anne into his house, and immediately rang the local doctor. He put the phone on speaker mode so Anne could hear what was said, and it wasn’t good news. After Peter had explained the position, the doctor made the position quite clear.
‘It’s like this, Monsieur. Normally I could arrange for the district nurse and an auxiliary to call, or, if that wouldn’t work, she could go into the local rest home and be looked after there. However, we have two problems. One, the rest home is jam packed with old people who have slipped and broken limbs, and, two, until this snow clears there’s no chance that anyone can get to you, and the forecast is that it won’t clear for several days. I can’t even arrange a helicopter because it’s too busy with accidents, or at least it would be if it could fly in these conditions. I realise that this will be highly embarrassing for you, but I have no other suggestion to make except that you should look after the lady. I’m very sorry, and, when the weather improves, I’ll see if we can arrange something more satisfactory.’
There was a long silence after he rang off. They just looked at each other, till finally Anne spoke.
‘What can I do. I’m completely useless, with my fingers plastered. I suppose if you would cut the plaster back far enough to free them, I could manage.’
‘Great idea. You heard what the man said – if they aren’t immobilised the wrists won’t heal properly, and you’ll be out of action for even longer, never mind the risk of permanent damage. I’m afraid I’m just going to have to look after you.’
‘What do you suppose you are going to do!’
‘Feed you like a baby, give you drinks with a straw, hold a hankie when your nose runs, clean your teeth, take your knickers off when you want a pee, wipe your arse after you’ve had a shit, and, assuming you don’t want to live in an unwashed state, wash you and change your clothes. As I’ve no intention of going to and fro between houses you’ll have to live here, and, as you know, I’ve got both the spare rooms stripped so you’ll have to share my bed – and don’t bother to say it, I have no wish to do anything other than sleep with you, you needn’t worry on that score.’
‘You think you’re going to do that?’
‘Got any other suggestions? Oh, I forgot another little task. If you start the curse…I assume you’ve not gone through the menopause…so I’ll have to deal with that little detail.’
Anne’s face had been aghast as he detailed his potential duties, but, when the realisation sunk in that he would be having to be dealing with blood soaked tampons in her vagina, the tears started to roll down her cheeks. Peter waited a few moments, then got a tissue and mopped her tears and held it so she could blow her nose.
‘I’m sorry about that, your last proposal was just a bit much. Don’t worry, I shan’t do it again. I’ve got to ask, since you dislike me as much as I dislike you, why on earth should you say you’ll look after me?’
‘All sorts of reasons. One is that there is a French law that requires you to go to the aid of someone in need of physical help, though I’m not sure they had this in mind. Another is that I’ll have my hands all over you, and I can imagine how you’ll hate that. Then there is the thought that, if you’re here we can find a way of getting you working, and I need you to keep up with the orders. And then, for what it’s worth, is the fact that I’m a paid up member of the human race, and, as such, I can’t just abandon you to starve in your own shit and filth. Does that answer your question?’
‘Yes, I guess it does. Now, on a brighter note, I’m busting for a pee. I should have asked the nurse at the hospital to help me, but it didn’t occur to me, so I’m afraid it’s your first chance to nurse me.’
Peter followed her into the bathroom, where she stood in front of him with her back to the toilet. He stepped forward and undid the button on the waist of her jeans, then pulled the zip down. He took the waistband in both hands and slowly pulled it down to her knees, uncovering her thighs topped by a plain white and very unsexy knickers.
‘Now for the great unveiling.’ she said, as he took hold of the elastic at her waist and pulled down, showing him a dark triangle of curly hair, through which the top of her vulva cleft could just be seen. She sat down on the seat.
‘I’ll go while you’re doing that. Give me a shout when you are ready.’
‘Don’t bother, unless the sound of urine hitting the pan bothers you. I guess this will be one of the least of my embarrassing moments over the next few days.’