Women in Autumn
by Tala Bar
Table of Contents
Chapter 3, part 1; part 2
appeared in issue 247.
|Chapter 5: Thursday|
“Women in Autumn” portrays the intertwining lives of three generations of women as they search for love and happiness, or at least understanding. It is the story of one woman’s discovery that she has been betrayed, and where that revelation takes her.
On Tuesday Lorry went north for his work and returned in the evening, and on Wednesday Anat spent her morning in meetings and was busy in her office in the afternoon, not free for a talk; only on Thursday Lorry managed to catch her free at noon, and the two went for a short talk at the area behind the plant.
“What is it, Anat? I heard you met my wife at your mother-in-law’s?” he asked, quiet rage rising in his heart.
She shook her head and bit into her sandwich. “What do you want? Ariela invited me with the children — I didn’t know your wife would be there. I didn’t even know they knew each other! And why shouldn’t Ariela invite her? It has nothing to do with me and I talked to her about nothing to do with you. Don’t think the world turns around you, Lorry!” She finished, her voice harsh.
He was not used to hearing such tone from her, and he began to fear she was getting away from him. Has she fallen for another man? he wondered. Lorry felt he was not ready to let Anat go.
He changed his tone and said softly, smiling, “Anatili, you know I love you, only you. It’s true I’m still tied to Tirza, but I would prefer my connection with you, not her.” He assumed a loving expression on his face, his eyes shining and his mouth pouting.
Anat felt the stir in her loins, the excitement in her breasts... But her body and feelings were completely under the rule of her mind, and she knew some day she was going to give up her physical pleasure for her peace of mind. Lorry’s behavior only hastened the coming of that day, because it was not Tirza’s needs that interested her but her own!
“Lorry, honey,” she said sweetly, stretched her hand and caressed his shiny hair. “Let’s not make a scene before the whole world, all right? Come to me in the evening and we’ll talk. Until then don’t come again to my office unless on office business.” She kissed his cheek and went back in the direction of the office, not listening to his pleading.
He looked long after her, as usual impressed with the way she swung her hips — he was sure she did it on purpose, to show her power over him. That knowledge, however, did not prevent the lust waking in his body, the wish to grab her ass and...
* * *
At the ‘Friends’ petshop Tirza was taking care of a hamster brought in by a boy of ten; his parents had forced him to take the animal to be checked, when they did not like its behavior. Tirza did not know much about hamsters’ illnesses, but she knew enough to realize it looked neglected. “What’s your name?” she asked the boy.
“Nir,” he answered.
“And the hamster’s?”
“It has no name.”
“I don’t know. What does it need a name for?”
“Do you talk to it?”
“It’s not going to understand me is it?” the boy protested.
“Who gave it to you? Did you ask for a hamster?”
“No, Aunt Ruhama decided I needed one. I would rather she bought me a robot! Like the one that can walk and has eyes that can light up!”
Tirza felt the rage rising inside her. A hamster to replace a robot! What do these people think, really?
“Look Nir, leave the hamster here and I’ll take care of it — it’s sick, you see, and you can’t take it home. Now, if you really want it back, learn how to take care of an animal and treat it as a living friend and not as a toy robot. Then come back in a week and we’ll talk. But if you don’t, then don’t come back; we’ll look after it here. What do you say?”
The kid’s eyes shone as he looked at her. “Really, you’ll look after it? I don’t need to feed it any more, or clean its cage and play with it?”
“No, you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to.”
“Yippee!” Nir cried and burst out of the shop.
“I don’t suppose we’ll ever see him again,” Isaac commented.
“I don’t think so,” Tirza shook her head.
When she went back home at the end of the day, Lorry was not there. These days, he rarely got home before eight, and she did not really know where he was or what he was doing wherever he was. He was not out of town, because he had not taken the car, but otherwise? She put on her coat and went out to roam the streets, as she sometimes did it when she knew he would not be home; but she did not usually do it when he was supposed to come back at any minute.
* * *
That evening, Lorry was at Anat’s home, never ceasing his asking and begging. Anat did not trouble to drive him away; she would make her own arrangements, and she was not going to suit herself to other people’s ideas. Her idea was to part from Lorry when winter came, when she would prefer to stay home out of the cold, and not go gallivanting with a lover. That was what she had been doing for some years, since she had begun her relationships with married men; she had no intention of making special arrangements with Lorry.
He had shared the family meal, and now was lounging in the living room, while Anat went into the children’s room, to prepare Oren for bed. Itai was going to play the computer for a time on his own. Anat had brought them up with a strong though just hand, allowed them stable and clear boundaries, as the psychologist would have it.
When Anat came back to the living room, she found Lorry zapping through the television channels. “Aren’t you going home?” she asked directly.
“Come. Before I go, I must touch you as I haven’t done the whole day.” She sat down on the couch by his side, and he started playing with his hands on her body. She was stirred almost at once, but her mind was not in it. They had never done it with the kids at home. She was not afraid one of them would come in — they did not roam the house at night, but she could feel their presence, which would spoil it for her even if she were in the right mood.
“You’ll have to get used to it, Lorry,” she said harshly, removing his hands from her body.
“Get used to it? What are you saying? Don’t you want me any more? Or don’t you want it?” His voice was angry, unusual in her company.
“Don’t shout, the children are here!” she chided.
“I’m not shouting,” he cried, whispering. “But I’d like to know what is happening.”
“Nothing is happening at home, you at least should understand that,” she answered in a harsh voice and rose from the couch. “Come, you have to go, it’s late. And what are you going to tell Tirza?”
“Tirza? Do you know her?”
“Don’t you remember I met her at Ariela’s?”
“That interfering bitch! Why did she invite you and her at the same time? And how does she know her?”
“I have no idea. But don’t forget Ariela knows nothing about you, or us.”
“And I don’t want her to know. At least, not until...”
“You know... But never mind now. You’re right, I must go home, to Tirzali. Who knows what she’s thinking? I never know what she thinks!”
“Don’t you love her any more?” Anat asked, curious, as she watched him putting his coat on. It did not matter to her, but she wouldn’t mind knowing.
“What? I don’t know... I think I do but it’s so complicated with her, you know... With you it’s so good and simple!”
“Good and simple, ha?” she repeated, cynically. At last, she was learning something about the man she had enjoyed for long months.
When Tirza came back from her roaming, Lorry was already at the apartment. It looked as if he had just come in, because he was still in his coat, putting on the heating gas.
“Where have you been? I worried about you! You should not go out at night on your own, you don’t know what might happen!” he chided.
“And what about you? Where have you been? Don’t you think I sometimes worry about you too? I went out to look for you!” she replied with an unusual snide.
“Look for me?” he laughed. “And where would you find me?”
“I wish I knew!” she answered darkly.
“You don’t suspect me, Tirzali, do you?” he came up to her, helped her remove her coat and hugged her. He kissed her lips and started working on her body. If not Anat, at least he could relieve himself with his wife. She was submissive, had never rejected him even when she was not enthusiastic. As if she knew that if she just gave him a reason, he would leave her completely. This time, however, he managed to stir her, and she cooperated in a way that put his body and mind at ease.
Copyright © 2007 by Tala Bar