I had been idly scanning the columns of the Saturday newspaper over breakfast and had come across an article with some pictures of a woman and a young guy.
“Look at what?” mum asked glancing up from her plate of cereal.
“I’ll read it to you.”
“If you must,” mum said, reaching out for a slice of toast.
“It says here, ‘Thirty three year old Josephine Taylor was sentenced to two years imprisonment for engaging in sexual intercourse with her son aged fourteen. Ms. Taylor is pregnant, her son being the father. The son who has been taken into State care says he loves her and they will get back together again when she comes out of prison.’ What do you make of that?”
“Is she married?”
I scanned the rest of the story.
“She was but the marriage broke up two years ago.”
Mum crunched on the slice and in a slightly toast muffled voice said, “Its bit hard on her being sent to prison when she’s pregnant.”
“What else could the judge do? All the stuff that’s in the news these days about incest, I suppose he didn’t want to appear to be too lenient.”
“Yes, you could be right…crunch.”
“You know mum, I think this is the first case of incest between a mother and son I’ve ever read about. It’s always about men and their daughters and usually seems to involve violence and abuse. Do you think it happens often between mothers and sons?”
“It doesn’t say. Perhaps they made it too obvious, or maybe the son told one of his mates, you know boasting, and word got around. Anyway, it seems neither of them denied it when they were questioned. Have a look at her picture.”
I handed the paper to mum who studied it for a few moments then said, “She’s quite nice looking, don’t you think.”
“Yes, and he looks older than fourteen. What do you think about it mum?”
“About those two…about incest.”
She brushed some crumbs from her housecoat and looked thoughtful.
“Well, it’s against the law, and the religious people say…”
“Yes, but what do you think?”
“It all depends.”
“Well, if it’s done in love…you know…if it’s…it’s between consenting adults – oh, but he isn’t an adult is he.”
She took another slice of toast and smeared some marmalade on it.
“You don’t seem to think it’s so bad.”
“Well look at the situation; it sounds like the two of them were on their own, she probably didn’t have a man around the place, and he’s at that stage in life where he…where he…you know.”
“Where he gets horny just thinking about a female?”
“Yes, but you needn’t put it so crudely.”
“Who do you think did the asking?”
“Crunch…crunch. Well, if I were to take a guess probably she did. Perhaps he fancied her and she could see he did and she…she…”
“Had the hots for him?”
“Yes, if you must put it that way. I read somewhere that sons often have fantasies about their mothers and…”
“Sigmund Freud,” I interrupted.
“All right Mr. University Bright Boy, if you say so; but what I was going to say was, mothers sometimes have…er… feelings about their sons…oh damn…”
“Crumbs down the inside of my housecoat, they’re scratchy.”
She stood up and started to try and shake the crumbs down and in the process the top of her housecoat opened a trifle to partially reveal her breasts.
She was right about sons fantasising about their mothers because this son had fantasised about his mother for some time. Nothing serious you understand, but when you love someone sexual thoughts can come into it quite uninvited – or at least you tell yourself they are uninvited.
Oddly our situation was a bit like that of Josephine Taylor and son, except it was the other way round – I mean, mum left dad when she caught him screwing the woman next door.
Mum saw me looking at her breasts and hastily covered them.
“What are you staring at, Ben?”
“I…er…nothing…I was just thinking.”
“That makes a change; so why don’t you think about doing the washing up while I start the vacuuming?”
“I thought we were having an interesting conversation.”
“What else is there to say? They were lovers and got caught and now she’s pregnant and…the silly woman she should have taken precautions.”
“Perhaps she wanted to have a baby with him.”
“Yes, and he should have kept his mouth shut and they’d still be enjoying each other; I’ll bet it was him who blabbed; it’s nearly always the men who have to boast about their sexual conquests.”
“I don’t,” I protested, and then tried to correct myself, “I mean, I wouldn’t.”
Mum laughed cynically and said, “You needn’t think I don’t know what you get up to Ben. You’ve been getting plenty of action with that widow.”
That shook me. “You know!”
“Of course I know; just about everybody in the street knows. You’ve been seen going into her place regularly – and don’t tell me you’re just dropping in for a cup of tea.”
I thought I’d been so devious about those visits, and I felt my face getting hot with embarrassment. I’d been enjoying the body of a forty five year old widow for some time. The only thing I didn’t like about it was she liked younger guys – lots of younger guys – so I had to take my turn on the roster.
“Yes, you can blush; I’ve had half the women in the street making comments to me; ‘Oh, doesn’t your Ben spend a lot of time with Mrs. Franklin?’ ‘It must be nice at her age to have young company, and so much of it.’ How do you think I feel, being told things like that?”
“Jealous bitches,” I muttered.
“What was that?”
“Then let’s get on with the work.”
Mother swished out of the room and shortly after I heard the howl of the vacuum cleaner. I rose and started the washing up.
I had some study work to do so when I’d finished in the kitchen I went to my room and tried to get on with it.