Forbidden Youth

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
When you fall in love with something you covet so dearly it can only end in tragedy. This isn't a love story. It's not even a story of death. It is the story of age and sadness and tragedy and how these things shape us to go insane.

Submitted: July 22, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 22, 2012




He rarely took his children on vacation but after the messy divorce he felt obligated to buy them expensive items and impress them with beautiful hotel rooms and fancy cars. She was the one who truly persuaded him, wrapping her tanned arms around his neck and whispering sweetness into his ears like droplets of sugary dew.

“We can teach them to be like us,” she had smiled peacefully and closed her eyes, absorbing this fairytale notion of a normal family vacationing in Southern France. She had never had that, and although she rarely spoke of her own childhood, he had deducted that having a father figure was unfamiliar to her. Their age gap was clearly a cause of this. “They will get sand in their hair and we will take them swimming, or maybe we will get a yacht and live on it like pirates.”

She was young, and ferociously beautiful. Her beauty was almost harsh, yet when she slept she looked so peaceful, like Sleeping Beauty. Her youthful nature and harsh untainted splendor was corrupting, and at times she said things that made him wince in embarrassment. He did not love her any more or less, and he knew that the friends who had chosen his ex-wife over him would discuss his new lover endlessly, spitting furiously in disgust, and this only added to his secret contempt of being with her.

Being with her was unlike anything he had ever experienced. He was a brain surgeon, you see, and although one might think that a brain surgeon might have enough on his plate, he disagreed. She filled his life with so much color and flavor, her body always moving and yearning for freedom like a daffodil twirling violently in a spring wind. Some of her ideas were far fetched but he would never snub them, for she rebuilt the fire that was slowly whittling down within him. He was a growingly old man, and when once his locks of hair shone like the mane of a lion it was now dull, lackluster and grey. He was tired of women, tired of their ordeals and notions; he would rather succumb to her wishes then fight against them. 

It was a rainy afternoon in London when a hired driver parked outside the airport where they were waiting. He was nervous, and the sudden urge for a cigarette itched up his side and so he moved closer to an elderly woman billowing smoke out like a chimney. She took his hand into hers and etched a heart in his palm with her nails, this soothed him and he was once again at ease. The children emerged from the dark limousine and waved at him, gathering up their designer luggage before making their way over.

“This is Annabelle and this is Spencer,” he thrust his children towards her and she welcomed them with open arms, wrapping her arms around them and letting her scent engulf their nostrils.

“Oh hello, hello!” She exclaimed, animated as usual. The children gave her a baffled look, for she was wearing a flowery chiffon tunic dress, which barely reached her knees, and her nipples were hard and pointy through the sheer fabric. Spencer, who was older than Annabelle, averted her eyes in discomfort but Annabelle drank in her gaiety without any remorse for prying. “I am very excited to be coming on this vacation, oh yes indeed, have you ever been to Southern France children? It is simply lovely this time of year, oh yes, I’m surprised that your father hasn’t taken you before!”

“They never took us on vacation,” Spencer replied, a cool look in her eyes, “Mama and Papa liked their privacy.”

The journey was awkward, and upon their arrived in Nice, Spencer had decided she did not like her father’s new girlfriend. By the time they made it to Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, Annabelle had decided she did not like her either. Yet she was oblivious to the children’s evident abhor, and so was he. Their eyes were glazed, as ones are when in love, they looked at the tiled red roofs and colorful villas and marveled at the winding streets and the port full of expensive yachts.

When he pulled the car through the looming stone gate, even the children were in awe. It was as if a painter had dabbled his paintbrush in the lightest grey and pink and covered the walls in a mural of lilac, with soaring white columns on both ends and a paved courtyard that stretched to the adjacent garage. There was a balcony on the second floor and pale blue shutters on every window. The manicured garden was neatly clipped with smooth white stones leading around the house and into it’s back garden. The door was already open, and a housekeeper stood smiling in the frame, the foyer filled with light behind her.

“Oh!” She exclaimed, stumbling out of the car once he parked. “This is just marvelous and beautiful. It is marvelously beautiful!”

He clumsily wrapped his arms around Spencer and Annabelle, “so, what do you think?”

His children looked up at him, they were dumbfounded. Their father’s eyes were searching, hungry, seeking approval for this luxury home, his mesmerizing girlfriend and fabulous lifestyle. They realized very quickly that in order to please their father they must act pleased as well.

“It’s marvelously beautiful,” Annabelle smiled and her father beamed back. “Yes, yes it is.”

The children made way to the rooms and she grabbed him by the hand, leading him to the bedroom. “Now?” He asked. “Now! Now! There is never a wrong time to make love.” She replied.

When he was finished, she lay on his chest and looked out at the sea. “Are you happy, my dear?” She asked quietly, letting the words softly settle into the silence.

“I am not happy,” he watched as her beauty faded almost instantly, her forehead wrinkled and she puckered her lips. She became ugly when she was sad he realized, but he had never seen her sad. “I am content, my love, and that is something to be happy about. For happiness is fleeting and I’d rather be content with you for the rest of my life than happy.”

“Oh! You speak in such nonsense. I am happy, I am as happy as I could be and I feel like a ship about to take sail on the sea of happiness. Is that silly? It sounds silly but that is how I am and I am not sorry for it.”

He kissed her affectionately and watched the wrinkles smooth away. He knew everything was all right again. “I am hungry, let’s go feed my children and swim in your sea of happiness.”

Her laugh was like music to his ears.

They spent their days letting the nectar of fruits drip down their chins and drinking expensive wines in expensive restaurants. He drove a sports car without a top and she would wear sunglasses and wrap a scarf around her head and sing to songs on the radio. The children spent a lot of time within the house, like ghosts lurking in the shadows waiting for their father and his pompadour’s return.

One day he joined her in the garden where she was sunbathing topless. Her eyes were closed and she was humming a tune familiar to his ears. He sat down on the plush lounge chair and looked out over the garden with its array of flowers in bloom and the glass veranda overlooking the sea. She had stopped humming and he turned to face her, aware that something was on her mind.

“I want to go to Cannes,” she said.

“What is there to do in Cannes?”
“I want to dress sexy and dance with you.”

He laughed, “and why can’t we do that here?”

“Because here is boring, and your children are rather boring dear. I want to have fun and here I feel old and stuffy like a stuffed animal hanging up on some old man’s mantelpiece.”

What a ridiculous thing to say, he thought, but he was tired and shook his head in dismay. “I can’t my dear. I am old myself and you give me enough fun as it is.”

“Well what about my fun!” She exclaimed and jumped up on her feet. Her lithe body turned and she stormed away from him. “You are not old you are just tired. And the more tired you become the more bored I get.”

He lit up a cigarette and pondered over this. Maybe he was tired but unlike her he did not want more. He was content.


The next day she did not speak to him. She spent the morning conspiring with his children and convincing them to go to Cannes. Although Spencer was only fourteen, apparently this was the prime age for a young girl to start her career as a seducing sphinx in expensive nightclubs. He watched her prancing around them in the kitchen, shaking her body in provocative ways and teaching them how to speak in a sultry voice. When he entered the air crackled with tension and the children looked guiltily at him before fleeing.

“You’ve been talking to my girls,” he turned his back to her and poured himself a glass of whiskey.

“Yes,” she shook her silky hair and wrapped a strand around her finger. “I’ve been talking to them and they are bored as well.”

He sighed. “Spencer and Annabelle are not going to go to Cannes. And neither are you, my dear. I am sorry for being old but I am also too old to argue. So that is the end of it.”

“Fine.” Her reply was unwarranted. She took the keys to his car and glided out of the room, letting her voice drift across the foyer, “I’m going out.” Before he could reply the door slammed and evidently that was the end of it.


He looked into the mirror and pulled at the flabby skin on his face, “I am old.”  His image did not say anything back. He was trapped in this frame, and although the surroundings did not change, his face did. The circles under his eyes were deepening and his lips were cracked as if from thirst, metaphorically speaking. There was no light in his eyes, he was dull and tired, she was right. He splashed some water on his neck and grasped the basin underneath him. “I am old wanting to be young again.”

When she finally returned the sun had set beneath the mountains. The muted sound of passing by cars and laughter echoed from beyond the walls of his domain. He lay on his bed and she slithered in like a serpent, the poison seeping from her mouth in the reeking form of alcohol. “Kiss me,” the serpent hissed, “kiss me please, my love.”

He twisted away from her but she latched onto his skin with her teeth. She let her tongue flick into his ear and wriggled down his chest before he could push her away. It felt nice and he was at once at ease. She did the familiar motions, wrapping herself around him and sneaking glances at his face, which was colored in ecstasy. He was so close but then he felt the pain. She had latched on, like a serpent clasping their teeth around its prey. The pain rushed through his body and he tried and tried again to force her away but the energy from him was draining. It was draining into her mouth and there was blood everywhere, so much blood but she wouldn’t stop sucking. The poison coursed through his veins, engulfing him in a crimson wave of venomous hatreds towards her. She was consuming him with such a rapturous vigor that he knew he was powerless in her grasp. He closed his eyes and let the water flow from his eyes. And it burned because it was the poison leaving his body. He realized he wasn’t crying because of the blinding pain but because for once he felt young. He felt young because pain was a remainder he could still feel and for this he rejoiced.


When he woke everything was as it had been before. His eyes were covered with a layer of sleep and he struggled to clear them before he saw her tanned body entangled in the sheets beside him. She had just woken, and the sun was in her face making her squint up at him.

“I had the strangest dream!” He laughed, looking down at her.

“What was it, my love?” She asked, resting her head on his meaty arm.

“You were killing me but it made me feel like I had found my youth again.”

Her laugh was like music to his ears and he was delighted to hear it, “what a silly notion! You are young and I am young, we are young together!”

They lay there silently and her last words filled the open air between them. He pondered over how lucky he was to have such a graceful and accepting lover, and how his children should listen more to her. When he heard her soft breath upon his chest he closed his own eyes and felt the sweetness of sleep embrace him like a tidal wave pulling him into the depths with his mermaid.

It was a bittersweet moment for he never woke again. He opened his eyes briefly, recognizing her face wrapped in malicious delirium and thought to himself: she really isn’t young or beautiful at all. And as the knife plunged further into his chest she hissed into his ear, “oh my dear old man, I hope you feel young again.”

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