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From first touch to sad ending breasts play their part.

It may have been the stars, or the sound of the sea that made that night special, but I don’t think so. I remember the Milky way with it’s millions of glittering dots strewn across the black night and every minute or two there’d be the dazzling streak of a shooting star, but all that was merely a backdrop for what happened. I was still in my late teens; we’d never been on holiday together before, never been so close for so long, so it was inevitable I guess — everyone does it but there has to be a first time.

We needed the darkness, needed to believe no one could see, though they must have guessed.

For us, for me anyway, it was a big thing, a thing no one tells you how to do. You can read about sex in books, with all the diagrams you could want. I’d had those insane lessons from our fusty, ancient, chemistry teacher. Why would a guy who rode to school on a pushbike with a handlebar basket and wore his pants over his shirt so the waist band showed, have any idea about sex? He was embarrassing and embarrassed, as were all the boys in our class in an all boys school.

The hell with the mechanics, no one told us how to touch a breast for the first time. No one even mentioned the magic of naked skin.
Maybe it’s better in the dark. In the blackest night with no more than a sliver of moon reflected on the flat calm sea, with adrenaline, and testosterone flooding my veins, it was all about touch.

I lay behind her on the firm sand, kissing her shoulders and neck, arms around her, hands on her belly and then, and then, and then, hugging close, tentatively, and so very gently, my hands rising under her breasts, the touch sending shivers through my fingers, doing who knows what to my breathing, as I waited in suspense in case my hands were slapped away. Waiting, hardly breathing, touching as light as a feather against skin so soft it was hard to believe.

Why are breasts so soft? So soft I marvelled at the feeling, like eating cream with my fingers. I caressed them, daring to be a little firmer so that I could feel their weight and still there was no cry of protest. She turned. In the dark I could feel her breath as she kissed me and those silken orbs touched my naked chest, pressed down, arousing sensations I’d never known. The shooting stars kept going—celestial fireworks just for us.

Lying on my back her lips were on mine and then off again as she rose inches above me and her nipples, firm but somehow tender and erect at the same time; tempted my flesh in ways I’d never know.

Breasts are a marvel. They set hormones loose, pulses racing, and yet they can do so much more. There are times when they feel like the best place of rest in the world, and yet they can unleash raging passions too. Of course I got used to them over the years, though they never lost their magic. Sometimes they needed help, sexy bras and corsets have their place, but another magic came with the babies.

A sunny afternoon, no shooting stars this time, after hours of tension there was a screaming kid; messy fluids, hospital smells, bright lights, every ounce of romance filtered away by the air conditioning; and among all that another moment of magic.
They brought the baby to her, let her hold him and put him to that same breast I’d fondled in the night those years ago.

I remember standing near the door, not quite stopping anyone from coming in, not exactly guarding the entrance but making the space a little more private. She sat up in bed, holding the baby to her breast, letting him suck and instead of romance and the groping uncertainty of sex there was serenity. A tranquil deep joy, the thought of which still takes me to an enchanted place.

Seeing that, being part of it, brought a moment of peace as magical as any under the stars or blankets. More rewarding in many ways and certainly as memorable and as much imbued with love.  If ever I doubted that breasts had a unique magic I knew it forever then.

Motherhood and breast feeding is wonderful but it also changes everything. It’s awesome to be part of but it does other things too. It puts something between the two of you that’s new and marvellous, but not the same. Three and later four and five of you instead of two. It’s deep and fulfilling but different, very different.

She changed too; changed her view of herself, wouldn’t dress up the same, saw herself differently, didn’t become immune to romance but laughed it off, made it seem less relevant and put herself down.

"Mutton dressed as lamb," she’d say. I hated that expression. I’d heard her mother say the same thing and those ideas are hard to shake. Two years and a hysterectomy after the last baby it all changed. Did the children feeding suck the magic out of her breasts? Did the surgeon take her confidence with her womb? I never thought so but she did. I couldn’t convince her that there was still magic in those breasts, in her body, in her. I was too familiar I guess, too easy to discount, too biased she thought.

"You would say that wouldn’t you," She’d say, convinced that I spoke from love rather than reality.

Her night school teacher on the other hand; an adulterous philanderer who was only interested in himself, glibly making promises he couldn’t keep; he could convince her because his voice came from lust not love. He didn’t keep his promises, but the damage he did was awful.

She told me later that she’d refused him at first, but lust can energise persistence. He kept it up, and protected from the possibility of pregnancy by her hysterectomy, she gave in and enjoyed it. I knew nothing about it when it started and her lack of precautions meant she brought home a virus for me. Luckily it was only mononucleosis; it could have been worse, but after I’d spent four months bedridden with high fevers her affair was solidified into other plans.

Breasts mattered as much in those troubled times, so visible, their curves a little less pert by then and maybe that’s why she was tempted, but seeing them every day was enough to remind me what I was losing.

It tore me apart when she told me, I could barely walk in a straight line for a week and lost a stone in a month. There are no words for that pain; why would anyone invent a way of describing something that would be so dreadful to read. It does diminish, but it stays there, dormant waiting to be nudged back into consciousness, forced to the surface by some trigger, often unintended, sometimes risked for a reason, like writing this

How he did it I don’t know, but he took her; took her for a few years until she saw through his selfish possessiveness, and by then I was left with the kids and an empty bed. Bringing up children without breasts is hard, especially when they are small. The comfort one person can give is so much less than two; one lap, one smile, one voice and no breasts.

When I put the three-year-old to bed at night she’d say, "It’s not nice when your mummy goes away," She didn’t say it every night, but often enough that thirty years later it still haunts me.

I could wipe away tears, speak soft words and be there, be constant, keep on keeping on, but I didn’t have breasts. I did my best but I could never cuddle the way she could. Breasts give comfort like nothing else; they have a magic all their own.

Even the worst hurt fades in time. I fought against my distress, hid my anger and forced myself to be better than I felt to make sure the kids kept contact with their mother. When my wife found another man, a decent man this time, I signed the divorce papers, convincing myself and the court that I could bring up my kids and be a single parent despite my lack of breasts.

Later—for those who have to have a happy ending—I found another love; a love with a different attraction, a mind full of wit and imagination; less tactile than breasts but still magic.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © This is a work of fiction, any resemblance to any person or place now or in the past is accidental.
The author, Whitebeard, asserts all copyright rights. No reproduction without permission is permitted.

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