Whenever he went for a walk they were there.
The two women were always together, perhaps two sisters, or daughter and mother.
Oh, yes! We always walk along here, by the side of the fields, and you always walk along here too. We've seen you so many times, always when we walk along here.
The younger one was called Tasti and she called the other one Mummie – they were always together. They were always together with me when we went for a walk – we could not ignore each other.
We have lived here together for five years. We are happy here together. We are very much together.
Not true! I discovered that Tasti worked in a bank, my bank.
How's your Mother?
She laughed. Oh, she's at home, as usual, waiting for me to come back.
Why do you laugh?
Mummie is not my Mother. I thought you knew that. My name is not really Tasti. We like to be together and she calls me Tasti and I call her Mummie.
I liked to walk and talk with the two of them, they liked it too, we were together.
Oh, no! We are not interested in men. We don't like men, no really not.
Why don't we like men? Oh, three reasons. Men always talk about sport. Men always talk about cars. Men go to the pub and come back and...
No! We don't want to talk about that, no really not.
We are not interested in men. We don't like men, no really not.
But I'm a man and you talk to me.
Yes, but you don't talk about cars or sport and you don't do the other thing – we don't think you do the other thing.
But I do go to the pub sometimes. I don't understand.
We don't think you do the other thing. We don't want to talk about it. Would you like to come to our place for a coffee?
I sat on their sofa and they told me about the other thing. I was not surprised that they didn't like men.
Mummie helped me a lot. That is one reason why we are together. She helped me get a divorce. He always went to the pub and hit me when he came back. I was always black and blue. I couldn't keep a job. I was always off work. You can't work when your eyes are so bruised that you can't see. You can't work when your face is running with blood.
Don't be upset! I'm crying. I'm crying because I can remember the pain. But I am not sad. I am happy. I am happy because it is all over long ago. I am happy because I can tell you this, tell a man about it. You can listen to this. You are a listener. You help me by listening. You are a listener, aren't you?
Mummie told me that she too had been through the same experience. Violent men. Violent marriage. Violent breakup. Violent move.
No, he can't get me here. He's in jail. He can't find me here. Five years ago we left that town. We live here together. No one knows where we live. We are together. You are the only person we know in this town.
They sat on my sofa and Tasti told me everything about her husband, ex-husband that is. It wasn't pretty. But I had no choice, I had to listen. Tasti had no choice, she had to tell me.
Why did I listen to all of that? As I said, it wasn't pretty. Perhaps I am a listener. Perhaps I fancied Tasti. Perhaps I fancied Mummie. I can listen and if it helps, why not. I realised that I would have no luck with Tasti or with Mummie, only with both of them – they were together.
No, no, no! We're sleeping in your bed. We're sure that it is nice and big. We are too tired to walk home.
I explained that I had no nighties for them and that I slept naked. I found the two very long shirts that reach my knees, the ones that I wear when working in the garden in winter.
Oh, you do have a nice big bed. You have had lots of girlfriends and you have not hit that many of them.
I don't hit people!
A strange voice whispered in my head, “But men always hit women!”
It was good to have a woman in my bed again. Perhaps two are better. The two of them wrapped themselves together and slept. They smelled nice.
I woke later in the night, they were wrapped round me.
I woke later in the night, Tasti was screaming.
You are going to hit me. Please don't hit me. You lied. You want to hit me. You're going to hit me.
She screamed and screamed and screamed. What could I do? I wanted to hold her, calm her. Bad idea. Mummie slept through the noise. I woke her.
Mummie knew what to do. This had happened before.
I made them breakfast. We sat around drinking coffee. Suddenly Tasti got up and hit me. She hit me and screamed as she had screamed in the night.
Mummie knew what to do. This had happened before.
What was going on? I mean what was going wrong with me? It was obvious that Tasti had problems – no wonder if the story about her marriage was true. But what was wrong with me? I should have told them to leave, get out of my life, as a male I was no help to them. But no! I felt the opposite. I wanted Tasti – badly.
Mummie! Just leave her alone! Let her hit me if she wants to. I can take it. I don't want her to hit me, but let her be.
Tasti! Mummie! I'm going back to bed. You can come and hit me if you like. You can do what you like with me. But I won't hit you. Never!