He follows her from a distance, all the way through the busy
streets, until she has finished shopping. He waits out of sight until she
had loaded her shopping bag onto her bicycle which is parked against a
lamp-post. When she bends over to unlock the bicycle, he makes his
They are in a quiet place, in the far corner of a square inside the
pedestrian quarter. There is no-one within earshot.
After he has spoken to her, he looks at her and he thinks she will hit
him, or start screaming. But after a few seconds the startled look
flows out of her eyes. Instead she bores her bewildered gaze right into
‘You are sick,’ she says in an even voice. ‘Why would I do such a
But she does not move. He hands out the 50 euro bill, gently waving it
in her direction.
‘Why wouldn’t you.’
She looks at him very closely, measuring him, apparently no longer
appalled by his offer.
She is in her late thirties. He notices: pale complexion, freckles,
reddish hair cascading down to her shoulders. A firm body, tall; slender
thighs and hips. Not exactly pretty – just another housewife, quite
‘You are crazy,’ she adds, shifting her weight from one hip to the
other. She still has not run away.
‘It is all a matter of confidence,’ he argues, smiling sweetly. ‘You
can run away right now, cry blue murder, go to the police, turn me in,
you can - but you won’t.’
‘I don’t believe this is happening,’ the woman says. And now there is a
very slight hint of a smile in her eyes. He is well aware of it. ‘But
it is,’ he cuts in. ‘Do believe me.’ He stresses the do. He catches her
check her watch. She’s wearing three thin golden wristbands. There is a
wedding ring on her right ring finger. He is close enough to smell her:
a mere hint of sweet perfume, mixed with her more musky body odour. It’s
a very hot afternoon. She’s sweating. She has picked up her shopping
bag again, her eyes fixing him all the time.
‘I’ve got to be at the school gate at three,’ she says in a low voice.
He just hands her the money. Without a word they start walking back
towards the shops. Her blush is the fieriest red, deep into the deep V-cut
neckline of her t-shirt, where her breasts begin.
She has disappeared inside the lingerie shop. In a busy little tearoom
almost opposite, he waits for her return. He’s sitting in a
uncomfortable rattan chair, which creaks at every movement. As he fumbles for a
cigarette, he is surprised by his nervousness. This still could go very
wrong. Why wouldn’t she just run away with his 50 euros. Or call the
police. Or start shouting at him inside the tearoom once she returns.
When his cigarette has finished, he just keeps on crushing the stub in the
Then suddenly she returns and right now he must do his utmost to stay
in control, his heart bouncing. Shyly, hastily, she sits down opposite
to him. He orders two cappuccinos.
She looks at him, unsmiling. Waves a hand through her hair.
‘Why me?’ she asks. He finds himself looking at her breasts. The tight
t-shirt clearly reveals a lacy bra underneath. She must have beautiful
breasts, and quite big. A full C-cup, he guesses. In a way, they don’t
suit her. Then he shrugs, playing cool now.
‘Because you were there’
‘How often – do you do this?’
They drink their cappuccino. The little shiny plastic bag lies between
them as a mute witness.
You can buy quite a nice piece of underwear for 50 euros. He can’t
help wondering what would be her taste.
‘Do you like what you bought,’ he asks. Then her eyes dash at him like
‘None of your business.’
Briskly, she rises, snatching the little bag from the table. Her cotton
skirt swirls round her bare shiny suntanned thighs.
‘If you will excuse me.’
She’s off to the toilets. She hasn’t finished her coffee.
As soon as she returns she hands him the little bag displaying the
lingerie store’s logo.
‘Don’t look inside,’ she whispers, dropping her eyes. He doesn’t; he
knows what’s in it. She remains on her feet, in front of him. He sees her
hands shake. He fights down the urge to stroke her thigh, so close to
‘One more thing,’ he asks, looking up at her. ‘Please tell me your
‘Why would I?’ Her voice has turned husky.
‘Because...’ but he cannot think of a reasonable answer.
‘It’s Marieke,’ she says softly. ‘And now, don’t you ever try meeting
Then she turns on her heels, and in a whirl she is gone.
He drives his car into a underground parking lot and kills the motor.
He picks up the little plastic bag that has been sitting in the
passenger chair for too long. Her panties come out in a neatly folded small
package. He caresses the soft fabric and puts it to his face. Her scent is
so heavy it hits him like a blow on the nose: a raw, acid, pungent mix
of urine, musk, sweat, and vaginal secretion. In the gloomy light
inside the car he sees the stained gusset still glistening: only some ten
minutes ago this cotton lining was pressing hard against a woman’s
labia. He gently slides the panties inside a airtight ziplock bag. As he
starts the car his heart is beating so loud it almost deafens him. He
can’t wait to be home.
As she waits for her daughter outside the school gate, Marieke fights
the urge to touch herself. The new panties itch. The delicate satin
fabric has rode between her buttocks during the bicycle ride. She’s very
uncomfortable indeed. She is standing in the hot sun, in the midst of a
bunch of chattering mothers, and she’s well aware of her nipples
hardening, pushing up her t-shirt. And furthermore, as she moves her legs, she
discovers the panties are so wet that at first she’s afraid she’s peed
in them. Her head is throbbing. Slowly moving backwards she half turns
to the wall and furtively slides a hand under her skirt to rearrange
She lets her finger touch her own wetness. It slips between her swollen
labia very easily.
Marieke realizes her life will never be the same again.