DISCLAIMER: Bad Girls and all its characters are the property of Shed Productions. The author implies no ownership of these characters. They are used in the stories without permission, solely for entertainment and not for profit.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: When I originally got the idea some time ago and wrote this story with nameless characters, it was based partly on some real-life characters and partly on some inspiration from something I read many years ago. When I re-read it, I found that the characters of Nikki and Helen were extremely well suited for the storyline. Though they are slightly altered, the basic of their characters are still the same.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
She had needed a change in life. Turning 30 years old and breaking up with her girlfriend of almost 9 years had taken its toll, and she just needed to get away from her usual surroundings. So when she saw the advert for the job as a gravedigger and gardener at Larkhall Cemetery she just went for it. She had always been keen on working in gardens and being physical instead of a job behind a desk. She had co-owned a night club with her long term girlfriend Trish, and it had been a lot of fun in the beginning, even though it was hard work and a lot of late nights. The club had become highly successful, but it was no longer fun, only hard work and often behind a desk. Then things had started to go wrong in their personal relationship. They had slowly, but surely drifted apart and though they loved and cared for each other, they were no longer in love. But never the less finding Trish in bed with another woman and finding that she has been cheating on her for years was still hurting like Hell. And she had cried for the first time since her parents had thrown her out at the age of 16, when they discovered she was gay.
Starting on her new job two month ago had been good and her heart did not hurt so much anymore. In fact she had agreed with Trish on staying as a silent partner in the club (she could use the money) and to stay in touch as a friend. The latter she was not completely at ease with yet, but as time went by she seemed to get used to the thought. Her name was Nikki Wade and she was a tall, very good looking woman with short black hair and brown eyes. She often had a worried frown on her face, especially the last couple of years with all the trouble with Trish and the club, but when she finally laughed or smiled her whole face would lit up. Nikki was known for her temper, but after the break with Trish and the change of work, it somehow seemed to have been diffused. Or at least she would not go off like a rocket as often as she used to. I must have grown up and settled a bit, she thought and smiled to herself while raking all the leaves on the ground. She stopped raking and took the spade and went over to dig up some old bushes.
The churchyard had indeed been neglected by the former gravedigger and it looked very rough and unruly. She had worked very hard just to make it look a little bit acceptable, but there was still a lot of hard work to do. She stopped digging to wipe away the light sweat beads on her forehead with the back of her hand, which was covered in a rough glove. As she looked up she noticed the older woman walking with her dog towards the bench under the old oak tree. The woman sat herself on the bench, and the dog immediately sat on the ground by the bench looking up on its mistress. Nikki had noticed her coming there almost every day. In the beginning she did not think much of it, but as the woman kept coming to the churchyard with her dog and sitting on the same bench often in deep thoughts, it had puzzled her. She had watched her from a distance, but eventually one day she had walked by and smiled at her while asking about her dog. Nikki loved dogs and was awarded with a waging tail and a wet nose pulling into her hand. The woman had smiled back and told her that her dog was called Rover.
Nikki picked up some of her garden tools and walked towards the woman on the bench and the dog. She had by now made it her habit to walk by and say hello to the dog and to exchange a few words with the woman. Somehow she was very intrigued by her. The woman was in her mid sixties, but still very beautiful. She always wore some kind of grey wide overcoat, revealing nothing about her body, except that she was small-framed. Her dark blond shoulder-length hair had a few grey stripes, but what was the most striking about her were her smile and her eyes. When she smiled her eyes lit up, and when she frowned her eyes became darker. Nikki had noticed this and she could not help finding it very charming and the woman extremely attractive in spite of her age.
She had also managed to learn a little about her. Her name was Helen Stewart. She was married to a man called Sean Parr, but having been a professional career woman she had kept her own last name. She was born in Scotland, and her accent was very clearly recognised. She had been one of the youngest and first female prison governors, but resigned after a few years just to take on a very successful career at the Home office. But now she was retired and left with time to walk her dog and read all her old favourite books as well as new ones. They had started to talk a bit more after the first couple of weeks following their initial encounter. And though it seemed a bit strange in the beginning they now got along very well and talked about a lot of things, except any really personal stuff. Somehow they just unconsciously avoided anything too personal. Ms. Stewart had hardly talked about her past, except for the facts of her working life. Nor had she said much about her present life, except that she was married to Mr. Parr. Nikki had not talked about her past either. Normally she was very open and proud about being a lesbian, but somehow she could not make herself tell Ms. Stewart about her sexual preference. She was strangely afraid to scare her off. She enjoyed their meetings and small conversations so much, that she did not want to loose them. She was falling for the charms of Ms. Stewart, her soft laughter and accent doing funny things to her inner core. But she was not yet aware of the true nature or depth of those feelings.
"Hi Rover, how are you today" Nikki gently ruffled the hair on the dogs head and was greeted with a happy bark. She gave him a biscuit and stroked the back of his coat. "And how are you today Ms. Stewart?" "Well enough, thank you", came the reply followed by a wide smile that brought the light to those beautiful green eyes. "And how are you doing, Nikki? Still struggling with the old bushes?". "Oh yes, they are as stubborn as I, but I think I will win in the end. Nothing is as stubborn as I". Nikki had a huge grin on her face. "Oh, I don't know about that. I used to be pretty stubborn myself. Still am, I suppose." Helen said with that endearing smile of hers and a twinkle in her eyes. Nikki felt her stomach do funny things and her thoughts wandering off in daydreams. Pulling herself together she started a conversation about the new plans she had for the renovation of the churchyard.
They meet and talked like this the every day during the late summer and the autumn. Their conversations were light hearted and very pleasant for both of them. They had a similar taste in books and they have leant each other some of their favourite books. Ms. Stewart had leant Nikki "Sophie's world" and "Romeo and Juliet". During their conversations about the latter, Nikki had by accident said that Juliet and Juliet were more her cup of tea. If Ms. Stewart was surprised or had anything against lesbians she did not show it, much to Nikki's relief. She simply asked Nikki how long that she had known and how she could be sure? "Like you are sure, if you are?" Nikki jokingly said. "I am not interested in women, not that way" came Ms. Stewart's reply with a small smile. "You don't know what you have missed". Nikki said with a wide grin. They laughed at this and changed the subject in silent agreement.
October was coming to an end, and one day when Nikki as usual made her way towards Ms. Stewart on the bench she noticed that she did not look very happy. Nor did she seem to notice Nikki approaching. Even Rover seemed a bit subdued, though he noticed Nikki and wagged his tail a little bit in acknowledgment. She seated herself on the bench beside Ms. Stewart, took a deep breath and asked in a silent and concerned voice "What is the matter?" No reply came, until Ms. Stewart suddenly said: "He cheated on me and then left me." Nikki did not need to ask who, she had already guessed who, and she was inwardly seething on behalf of Ms. Stewart. "He has apparently been cheating on me for years with a younger woman, and now he has left me for her." Her voice was calm, but strangely detached from herself and not with its usual strength and amount of accent. She suddenly looked very old and vulnerable, a bit greyish in the face with lifeless eyes and not the usual warm smile. Without a warning she totally dissolved into tears. Nikki instinctively put her arm around the older woman in an attempt to comfort her. She kept silent and allowed her to cry, her own heart reaching out to her and her temper almost on the brink of exploding because of the situation that bastard had put her in.
"Let me take you home", she managed to say quietly and helping the older woman move away from the bench. She got her and the dog into her truck. She got the address and drove silently to the house of Helen Stewart. She helped her inside and guided her to sit on the couch in the living room. Ms. Stewart had not uttered a single word since whispering her address and she kept staring into the empty space in front of her without really seeing anything. Nikki searched for the kitchen and found it in the rear of the house. She rummaged around and managed to make some coffee. When she returned to the living room, Ms. Stewart was still seated in the same position as before. Nikki gently placed a cup of coffee in front of her and placed herself on the couch beside Ms. Stewart. "Do you want to talk about it?" She said, not really expecting an answer.
"I used to dream about having a family and kids." Helen spoke quietly and very softly. "Well, I had my fair share of boyfriends and potential husbands, but somehow my career took far too much of my time. Suddenly the years passed by and eventually I gave up any hope of being married and having kids." A sudden sadness clouded her voice and there was no mistake that she was sad about not having any kids. "Then I meet Sean. I was 45 years old. He was very charming and almost 20 years younger than me. I guess I was really flattered by his attention and smooth words. Of course it was too late for having children, but I could still get married and have someone looking after me, when I got older. Perhaps it was a bit selfish to think that way, but at the time I needed some security and stability in my life and he provided that." She trailed off letting her words sink into silence. It was like Helen talked to herself and not to somebody else. Nikki did not dare ask any questions or make any wry comments, afraid to disturb Helen in her thoughts and speech.
"I am not even sure that I was in love with him. I loved him, yes, but I guess I was never in love with him. But it still hurts like Hell to realise that he has been cheating on me. And that he has decided to leave me for her , that cheap tart!" The last sentence was almost spat into the silent room with a voice trembling with anger that also darkened her eyes. "I know what you are going through, but it will be bet " Nikki started to say, but before she could finish her statement Helen jumped up from the couch, and her voice rang out with an almost violent rage "How dare you? Who do you think you are? Some bloody psychoanalyst who knows it all? Christ, I am a 65 year old woman, who has been thrown away like an old glove of no use by that bastard of a cheating husband. Do you hear me? An 65 year old woman with no future or hope of ever being truly loved and to grow old with somebody. How could you possible know, what I am going through?" Her accent was evident in every word and her eyes flashing daggers. Nikki felt her temper boil because of the sudden and very harsh verbal assault.
"You have no right to talk to me like that. I care about you!" Nikki said forcefully. "And as an explanation, not that I really owe you any, I know exactly what you are going through. My girlfriend of nine years cheated on me for years." With that she stormed out of the house slamming the door in the process.
A week had passed by without Helen Stewart coming to the churchyard. Though righteous in her anger at the way she was spoken to, Nikki could not help but to worry about her. She had used a lot of time thinking about Helen and at one moment during one of her sleepless nights, it had hit her with a mind blowing and almost scaring force. The reason why she had been both so concerned and so enraged with her was simple, yet so complicated. She was falling in love, big time, with Ms. Helen Stewart a woman almost 35 years older than herself. That was shit. But she could not fight it. The more she thought about it the more she was absolutely certain. She had never felt anything like this before. Her hopes of seeing just the tiniest glimpse of her sitting there on the bench under the oak tree could provoke such intense fluttering of her heart that it was almost painful. Her stomach doing funny flips whenever she would smile at her with that endearing smile of hers. Then there were those beautiful eyes so clearly filled with the expressions mirroring the emotions of happiness, sadness, laughter, anger, passion and perhaps even desire and lust, Nikki wondered. She was thinking about this woman every waking moment and she dreamt of her in the nights. She felt her presence in every thing she did. She knew that this was the one kind of love she had wanted all her life. But someone must have a cruel sense of humour sending her the love of her life in the body of an old woman, she mused. However, she did not really care about the outer appearance of the subject of her love, since she felt such a strong connection with this woman on every level that she ached for her. She had debated with herself whether or not to make contact with Helen. So far she had kept herself from doing so, her pride telling her that Helen should be the one to apologize. But for how long could she keep her cool?
Not unlike Nikki, Helen had had some similar thoughts. She had been stunned by Nikki's passionate revelation that she cared about her. She was also stunned by the hot temper which she had never encountered before nor being on the receiving end of. It all rattled her. She had definitely enjoyed their many conversations and had begun to feel a powerful connection with this intriguing and apparently passionate woman. It was like they instinctively knew what the other person was thinking and feeling. It was unsettling, but at the same time it felt so right and comforting. She also had this strong, but for her rather unwanted physical attraction to Nikki. She had had some highly disturbing thoughts of this well-looking young woman. Long forgotten dreams and desires found their way to her mind. Dreams and desires that she definitely would not like to acknowledge nor act upon. But they kept creeping to the surface of her consciousness. Whenever she closed her eyes, she could see Nikki standing there in front of her wearing working clothes. Her short black hair ruffled making her look so immensely gorgeous, and with those dark brown eyes like a puppy. Her heart beat increased just when thinking about her. How can it be? Since when have I found another woman attractive? For Gods sake I am straight, and I do not fancy other women. I am far too old for that kind of silly things, she kept telling herself. Especially not a woman who could be my daughter according to her age, she tried to reason, but somehow she did not feel totally convinced. There was something about this woman that made Helen longing for her.
Nikki worked hard on the last couple of bushes. When she was finished digging them up, her next plan could be launched, new rosebushes and hedges of box tree placed in straight lines and neat patterns. She had worked hard and with deep concentration, so she had not heard the woman coming up behind her. Yet she suddenly felt a very familiar presence and stopped digging, slowly turning around to face a rather tired and worn looking Helen.
"Hi, I was worried about you", she said matter of factly resting her hand on the spade. Helen looked up on the taller woman with a slight frown and said "I am very sorry for speaking like that to you. You did not deserve a speech like that. I was way out of order." "I am sorry too for walking off like that" Nikki said honestly in a soft voice. Helen took a deep breath, still frowning and looking a bit worried "Look, I should not have gone off like that in the first place. It was just My whole world was collapsing around me. I thought, I would grow old in security knowing that I had a husband who would take care of me. It may sound strange to you that I, a strong independent career woman, would think that way. But having spent a lot of time thinking about and to some extent regretting a couple of the choices I have made in my youth that was what I wanted. I guess, I was and still am afraid to grow old being totally alone." Nikki felt a strong urge so reach out and hold her in her arms, but she just stood there looking at this small, vulnerable looking woman in that big grey overcoat. "Still friends?" She finally asked with a small smile. "Yes, please" Helen replied in relief with one of those gorgeous smiles that made Nikki's heart beat a lot faster than usual.
They settled quietly back into their usual habit of meeting and talking under the oak tree. They both seemed quite happy about it. But each of them was often left in deep thoughts about the other afterwards. They were both so unsure of themselves and about where their relationship was going, not daring to pursue the questions they so desperately wanted to ask, being afraid of the answers.
Nikki one day noticed that Helen looked extremely sad. "Hey, don't let it get to you" Nikki said putting her arm around her, giving her a comforting hug. "He has asked for a divorce". Helens voice almost broke and a single tear ran down her cheek. "I know, I should not be crying over that bastard, but it somehow makes it all so final. It is the end. What do I have to look forward to now? Most of my life is behind me. Where do I find someone who would care about an old lonely lady?" She looked and sounded so lost. "Listen, you are still a very, very beautiful lady", Nikki said slowly emphasizing every word, "and I cannot imagine that nobody would be interested in you. You are very charming, witty, clever and sexy." The last word slipped out before she could stop it. A puzzled look appeared on Helen's face, but was gone as quickly as it showed.
Acknowledging her mistake Nikki continued in a low, but very intense voice. "Yes, I find you very attractive as in sexy, and I do care about you If you will let me " Letting her words sink into Helen's mind she leaned closer towards her hovering just a few inches from her face and finally closing the distance between them, kissing Helen ever so gently on the lips. Meeting no resistance and believing that Helen kissed her back, she intensified the kiss, but was suddenly rather forcefully pushed away. "Oh, God, I'm so sorry, I shouldn't have done that." She said hastily pushing her hand through her hair in a desperate gesture. "No, you shouldn't" Helen said standing abruptly from the bench and almost running away with tears running down over her face, her fingers pressed against her lips, leaving Nikki in deep despair.
Oh my God, what have I done? The very same thought ran through both of their minds, unknown to the other.
Nikki was still feeling the overwhelming desire for this older, but still immensely beautiful woman. She knew exactly what her feelings for this woman were really like. She knew the nature of the emotions and how much she wanted her in every way, not only mentally but also physical, and she accepted them. Being a lesbian they did not really surprise her, but she also knew that it was not very likely to ever happen. And now she had obviously totally blown it. Way to go, Wade. Now you have really fucked up big time, she said to herself letting her tears fall freely.
Helen had hurried home in a daze of very mixed emotions. She had been totally taken by surprise by the kiss and the intensity of the moment. It had stirred something inside her that she had believed to be well hidden. And she had totally shocked herself by actually kissing Nikki back for a short moment and enjoying the feeling of the soft lips of the other woman, even wanting so much more to happen. No, it cannot be true. I must be insane. She kept repeating to herself like a mantra. But deep down she knew that the kiss and the feelings it provoked inside her were much closer to the real truth than she was willing to admit. She actually wanted this woman, even though she was so much younger than herself. She felt her heart beat faster and became flushed by the thoughts of what they had shared. It was a very unusual way for her to feel, but never the less also very real.
Almost two weeks passed by with no daily meeting much to Nikki's utter despair. She really wanted to make things right between them. It would soon be Christmas so Nikki decided being, desperate to talk to Helen, to drive by her house in the pretence of bringing her a Christmas present. She gathered a bundle of hay for the birds tying it up with a red ribbon, bought some wine, collected some flowers from the greenhouse, straightened her clothes and drove to Helen's house. She remembered the address from the time she had given her that lift home.
She nervously walked up to front door and pushed the doorbell. She heard some ruffling behind the door and a dog barking before the door slid open and Helen was standing right in front of her, looking very perplexed. "Nikki, what the f*ck are you doing here?" "Can I come in?" she asked rather sheepishly. Helen looked annoyed and had to bit her tongue to keep her temper, but she did not say anything and stepped aside to let Nikki enter. "I brought these things with me. It's for you. Merry Christmas" "Ehr, thank you" Helen still with an annoyed expression hesitated. "Would you like something to drink?" "A cup of coffee would be nice." Helen showed Nikki into the living room and went to make some coffee. She returned with two cups and found Nikki petting a happy Rover, who tried to get as close as possible to her. She could not help but finding the scene very adoring and some of her annoyance disappeared.
"Look, Helen, we need to talk." Nikki simply stated "Why have you been avoiding me?" Helen took a deep breath and answered with anger evident in her voice making her accent stronger. "You know, why I have been avoiding you." "No, why don't you tell me?" Nikki's temper was building in exasperation over Helen's obvious denial. "You had no right taking advantage of me." Helen said defensively. "Why don't you just admit that it is what you want too?" Nikki tried to calm down and make Helen see the truth. "For God's sake Nikki, it is impossible. I am straight and I am about 30 years older than you or even more " Helen said angrily emphasizing every word. "Why don't you get back with your girlfriend, anything, but don't waste your time on me." Helen had gotten up from the couch and stood by the window with her back to Nikki. She did not want to let her tears show.
"Helen, I have to admit this, I am totally and madly in love with you, no matter what you say. And there is nothing I can do about it." Nikki said in a soft and low voice. She stood from the couch and walked up standing close behind Helen, who felt her presence invoking electrifying warmth within her body. "But Nikki, even if I was to reciprocate your feelings it would be for no good. I can't offer you anything, not a future, not a life commitment. I can't offer you what you really need." Helen said quietly trying to reason with Nikki and herself tears running down her cheek as her voice trailed off. "What I need, is you " Nikki reached out, turned Helen around and stroked her cheek ever so gently brushing away the tears that had started to fall. Helen could not move or fight her true feelings anymore, even if she wanted to, when Nikki closed the space between them and placed a light and very soft kiss on her lips.
The lingering kiss seemed to last for an eternity, but when they finally broke apart and looked into each others eyes, there was not any doubt or denial between them. They wanted each other so badly that everything around them was of no significance. Nikki led Helen back to the couch. They kissed again, and this time the kiss deepened and passion flowed between their mouths. Nikki wrapped her arms protectively around the smaller woman and pulling into her in a gentle yet very tight hug. Helen's hands explored the back and neck of Nikki, her fingers pushing through the short hair and she moaned involuntary as the kiss became more and more passionate.
Nikki trailed the outline of Helen's body reaching her hips. She then trailed the curve from her chin over her neck and down on the front of her body reaching for the buttons in Helen's shirt. She swiftly and skilfully opened them one by one revealing a plain white cotton bra covering some very full breasts. She cupped them gently one at the time, and by squeezing them coursing Helen to gasp out. The shirt was soon pulled down and slid to the floor.
"Are you absolutely sure this is what you really want?" Nikki asked in a hoarse voice still a little insecure and searching for reassurance in Helen's eyes. "Because I am not sure I will be able to stop, if you don't say it now." "Don't stop." Helen simply said taking Nikki's hand and putting it back on her breast leaving her with no doubt. While they kissed again, Nikki's other hand found its way up on Helen's thigh pulling the skirt up on its way. She trailed the outlines of the thigh feeling the material of the stocking under her fingers. But wanting to feel the bare skin her hand went up further to the apex of the thigh and then finally connected with the apparent evidence of Helen's arousal, the heat and wetness of her core seeping through the thin cotton material that was the only barrier between Nikki's fingers and Helen's secret folds. Helen took a sharp intake of breath at the gentle touch of her hot centre. She had managed to pull off Nikki's sweater, t-shirt and bra, and she was marvelling over the younger woman's perfectly shaped body.
"I want to see you too", Nikki whispered in a husky tone breathing hot air on Helen, who could not help feeling a bit self-conscious about being naked in front of this gorgeous woman, but the remnant of her clothes was quickly removed from her body. As she stepped out of the last piece of underwear, she looked apprehensively on Nikki's face searching for her reaction. But she did not have to worry. Nikki was absolutely mesmerized by the vision in front of her. Though marked by the passing years, time had been very good to Helen, leaving her with spotless skin, very full breast, a soft curved belly and round hips all in perfect proportions, all very inviting and touchable. She had always kept fit, and not having any children had definitely been an advantage when it came to preserving her body. And all these wonders have been so well hidden under conventional suits and that big overcoat revealing nothing, Nikki marvelled.
Nikki quickly removed the rest of her own close before pulling Helen back into a tight embrace their naked bodies touching in full length. Helen lay back on the couch with Nikki placed on top of her.
For a short moment Helen was jerked back to reality as a cold breeze swept over her naked body. She was lying there totally naked on her couch with another woman between her legs. What on earth am I doing? She thought, but as Nikki continued the gentle massage of her entire body with her own, all thoughts of doubt or awkwardness were soon totally blown away.
Everything just seemed so right and perfectly natural. All her conscious thoughts were no longer functioning. Just the instinct and the reaction of her body were of value to her, and only the heat of the moment was present in her mind. The attention of Nikki's hands all over her body was almost too much for her. Nothing had prepared her for the feelings ignited by Nikki. Her body tingled all over, and she knew for sure that nothing or nobody had ever given her such a profound physical sensation, nor have she ever felt such emotional connection with anybody in her entire life. Not even once.
As they kissed Nikki started to grind herself on Helens centre automatically causing Helen to open her legs wider and arching up against her. The intensity in their passion grew and their breath became ragged with the building orgasm in both their bodies. As they slipped over the edge in unison, they were taken not only by the enormous physical release of the pended sexual tension but just as much or even more by the intensity of the emotional connection between them. They had to acknowledge it and found the wonders of their lovemaking being an absolutely mind blowing experience. They lay quietly in each others arms holding on to each other for dear life, totally drained with tears rolling down their faces, not of sadness but of sheer happiness. Each marvelled at the other and at their feelings for one another.
"You are amazing" Helen voice shivered lightly as she gazed at Nikki with wonder while stroking her hair away from her forehead. "So are you. And I love you so much." Nikki said kissing her gently. "I love you too, darling" Helen hesitated with a frown "but I just failed to see how you could ever find me attractive and how you could possible be in love with me?" "I fell in love with you from the first day I saw you, but I was scared you wouldn't believe in me, so I had to hide it." Nikki tried to explain while tears were filling her eyes again. "I truly admit that I do have difficulties believing it, but what we have just shared had finally and totally opened my senses and heart to you." Helen said in an intense tone holding Nikki very tight and giving her a kiss. Suddenly they both shivered, realising they were totally naked and it was not exactly summer anymore, the temperature being far below zero outside. They quickly moved to the bedroom and snuggled up under the duvet. "I don't know what the future will bring, but I know that I would very much like to spend what little I have left with you If you will let me ." Helens voice dropped as tears were building in her eyes and her raw emotions taking over, but she soon regained control of her voice. "I can't imagine anything else now. And even if you say no, I do not regret what we have shared today. It is not going to be easy to have a relationship, I mean what will people think, but I will honestly try to make it work. Will you do that too?" Helen asked with hesitation still afraid that it was all just a wonderful dream. "There is nothing else I want to do. I love you so very much, and I don't care about anything else. People can say or think what they want. I want you no matter what." Nikki's voice was low, but intense as she looked deeply into Helen's eyes. "Just promise you will trust me and believe what I have just said no matter what happens And never stop loving me . If you wouldn't love me anymore, my heart would surely break leaving me with nothing to live for " Helen looked back on Nikki with love written all over her face and shining from her green eyes "I promise." And with another lingering kiss they held on even tighter to each other and sealed their newborn relationship.
She let her fingers trail over the inscription on the tombstone. "Till we meet on the other side" A single tear rolled down her cheek. She slowly stood from the grave where she had been kneeling. She was still a very beautiful woman in spite of her 53 year, tall, fit and with nice silvery stripes in her short black hair. But somehow she did not radiate the same amount of self-confidence and happiness as usual, her shoulders slightly slumping as being under the pressure of the entire world. It had been a year now since the love of her life had passed away. They had known it would not last forever, but it had still been terrible to loose her. She dried the tears that kept creeping into her eyes and returned to her work on that very same churchyard where they had met for the first time so many years ago, the bench under old oak tree still being there.
They have had almost 22 good years together. She turned the solid gold ring on her left hand with affection, and a soft smile appeared on her face. Not many would even have that long. Even though the last year had been very difficult for both of them, with Helen having a stroke from which she had never really recovered before passing away. Nikki still missed her terrible, especially during the long, silent and lonely nights when she could not sleep, feeling nothing but the emptiness beside her in the bed and inside her soul as well. But a genuine smile crossed her face when she thought about their life together. It had not been all smooth sailing, but they had crossed the bridges and dealt with the problems as they came along. Based on unquestionable trust, love and restraining their both hot tempers they had managed and survived all the rocky paths.
Not everybody had been appreciatively about their relationship. But luckily their close friends were very supportive and only a few had looked upon them with real concern, most of them loosing the doubts when seeing the two together, the love and affection shown in every gesture and look shared between them. Helen's long time friend Claire had been the most positive of their friends. She had never seen Helen quite so happy and carefree, and it warmed her heart that her friend was finally so truly and deeply in love with someone. Also Nikki's surrogate mother Barbara had been pleased for her, even though she had been a bit shocked at first to find that the object for Nikki's love and soul-mate was a woman about 10 years older than herself. The local landlady and Nikki's good friend Yvonne had been a bit taken aback too, but she had stood up and given them the much needed support, when other people of the local community had been a bit too unfriendly and making snide comments about them. Karen, a former colleague and good friend of Helen's had looked upon the unlike pair with concern, but she had finally given into the fact that they were very much in love.
They had even started a family, though it had been a bit more problematic than Nikki had imagined with Helen actually being the major obstacle. She had not wanted to start a family not knowing how long she could be with it and also worrying about the reaction of other people to the idea. But knowing exactly that they were only together on borrowed time Nikki had so desperately wanted to have something to remember Helen by. So she wanted to have her child. A child that would look exactly like Helen was her biggest wish. Helen had been very sceptical about the whole idea, being unsure how to make that work. But eventually she had given in to Nikki's heartfelt pleas and very convincing arguments, not really being able to deny her anything and secretly being quite thrilled by the idea of finally having children, even though it would obviously not be her who got pregnant.
The result of the IVF treatment had appeared after some strenuous month of visits to the fertility clinic and hormonal stress as the consequence of the medical treatments for both of them. Nikki had finally gotten pregnant and after nine months of morning sickness, cursing the strange eating habits and mourning the loss of her cigarettes, the pleasure of red wine and the occasional drink, she had given birth to a small girl, who in the years to come, had turned out to be the spitting image of Helen, from the green eyes and dark blond hair to the way of speaking, moving, behaving and frowning when not getting things her way, so much that it at times had been quite unnerving for both of them. Four years after their family had an addition with a little boy, with black hair and brown eyes and the same frown and hot temper as Nikki, to the pure amusement of Helen and mock despair of Nikki. The children grew up in a very loving environment with the two mommies looking after their every need. Though it had been quite difficult at times, it had worked out with the help, support and understanding from their friends. Nikki still worked as a gravedigger and gardener at the Larkhall Cementary and was away most of the day. But Helen being retired from working life would look after the children and their new puppy during the day. Sadly Rover had passed away just after their son was born, but the new dog looked a lot like Rover, actually being one of his puppies. Helen, the children and the dog came every day to the churchyard and Nikki would walk over to them by the oak tree and sit for a while chatting with them.
To most people the happy family would just look like a grandmother with her daughter or rather daughter in law and grandchildren. But if they were looking closer at the two women, they would have seen all the loving gazes flowing between them and sometimes their hands would gently hold on to each other with fingers entangling. The love and obvious passion between them never stopped, and it never ceased to amaze them how a single touch or look could so easily ignite the response of physical need in both of them. It was always there, but they could not really act upon it when Helen got seriously ill. But the affection, compassion and love between them were still as strong as ever, perhaps even stronger knowing that their time together was up all too soon.
Both children were sent of to university by now, actually the same university. So it was a very empty house Nikki would return to in the evenings. Only their forth dog was now keeping her company, and even he seemed to notice the emptiness. "Well, boy, it is only me, you and our memories now. Let's go home" Nikki said ruffling his coat while getting into the truck for the drive home.
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