Konrad's Memoirs, ch 1
I cannot really call this a chronology of my life as it is not detailed enough to deserve that title. Rather, these are memorable moments, plucked out of rich history of a man, who now frail and old, can barely see the scribbles written by a liver spotted hand, trembling in disease that will be the end of me very soon, I fear. My wife Sophia, another cause of distress throughout my long life is kind enough to leave the house almost every afternoon, visiting friends and a few family members who have not moved away, allowing me blissful peace and quiet to save the last few memoirs, which are rapidly escaping my rotting brain, one by one erasing the names from well known faces, which creep inside my head each day.
We are rapidly approaching the twentieth century, preceded by a mass of new inventions, which are to ease our everyday lives. I am too old to enjoy most of them, if any at all. I can only watch from afar, smile in amazement and sometimes in wicked sarcasm, reminisce on ‘good old days', which inevitably sends my grandchildren and great-grandchildren running away in horror, trying desperately to avoid the old man's tales, while being polite enough not to laugh in my face.
That is all that I represent now, an old man with a shuffling gait, decaying brain who continuously keeps forgetting the names of the loved ones, confusing the dates and places, telling the stories, which in their own minds are probably pure invention, or at least, minor occurrences blown out of proportion by whatever reason I have left.
But I have not always been a useless and pathetic creature, unable to hold my farts from the public and completely incompetent to care for myself. Good sixty years ago, I was a young man too, quite dashing I must say, although you might think that yet another exaggeration.
I enjoyed life with my childhood friends and later with acquaintances from the University. I too, strolled through the streets of Hamburg with a jolly step, beautiful ladies on my arms, hurrying towards new adventures with anticipation of a fool.
My father finally got tired of unending trouble with fiancés and husbands of the ladies I liked to spend time with. Constant hushed conversations in his study, which inevitably ended in raised voices and fists being pounded against his desk, while he promised he would have a word with me and sort things out have tested his patience one too many times. He had given me an ultimatum. ‘Calm down and get married or move out of Hamburg to one of the numerous country houses our family owned, most of which were in a desperate need of repair, its previous inhabitants being evicted for non-payment. I chose marriage.
I married quite young, I believe, in my early twenties I was hardly more than a child myself and life with Sophia was never easy, although she was a loving mother to our four children. She never understood my great passion for life and everything that it had to offer. She has never found pleasure in arts and literature, which were an inevitable part of my interests, or for that matter anything that I found beautiful or good, earned nothing more than a sniff from her. Sometimes I believed that she defied me out of pure spite alone, always seeking the negative in everything. These days, having spent good sixty years with her, I simply believe that she has been born a miserable soul and that is how she will die, too.
Our wedding night was an indication of what our married life would be. She barely allowed me to glance at her body, well wrapped in heavy nightclothes, complete with a thick robe and nightcap, making her look more grandmotherly than a blushing bride as I wished her to be. My kisses disgusted her, my prying hands terrified her and after what she thought was a full intercourse, I left her in bed, crying in horror, while I retrieved to my own room to finish in frustration what I could not do with her.
I could count the times we had slept in the same bed over a span of a year on the fingers of one hand. Each time, she would sob inconsolably, no matter how gentle I tried to be, and it is a true miracle that she gave me four children in four years. It seemed that every time we spent the night together as husband and wife, she got pregnant.
I did not distress about it much, though. I never really loved Sophia, although I was proud of her delicate beauty when we first married. As much as I promised my father I would change my ways, I soon changed my mind instead. I was a frequent visitor of the brothel in Hannestrasse, where Madame Frieda, a small and robust, peasant-looking woman from the north was more than happy to please each customer by coupling him with an appropriate girl, who worked for her. Besides, it seemed that being a married man, women perceived me differently and despite still being more than willing to lay down with me, they no longer obsessed over me and my fortune, which I had saved by obliging my father. No man had ever knocked on his door again and demanded that he deals with me.
Soon after marrying Sophia, I started working in my father's import and export firm, dealing with ship cargos that sailed in and out of the Hamburg harbor. After my father's death, my best friend Johann became a partner in business. Johann's wife Herminna was equivalent of my Sophia and we had much in common. We'd prowl the bars and whorehouses together, always covering up for each other. He was like a brother to me.
Every summer Johann and his family left Hamburg and headed for their summerhouse in the country, something Johann absolutely hated. It was funny to see him trying to find an excuse good enough, which would weasel him out of two months of absolute hell in peace and quiet as well as isolation with Herminna and his children. Unlike me you see, Johann had no money of his own, he married into it and had to do a lot to please his wife or the money flow would stop. That meant he had to spare at least two months a year for holidays away from his beloved Hamburg and its hedonistic life.
As Johann and his family were leaving, I religiously promised him that I would keep a careful watch on his house in Hamburg, which was now deserted of all servants and cooks, undoubtedly grateful for a break from the screaming children and never satisfied Herminna. The only person left was Liselotte, a young country girl whose duties in Johann's house were to clean, cook, do laundry, look after the children and be a personal maid to Herminna.
Liselotte, or Lottie as the children lovingly called her was barely out of childhood herself. She was an eighteen-year old girl from the south of Germany, who like so many country youths had to leave her home to earn living and hopefully send some extra money to her family, which was struggling with harsh life, high taxes and an absurdly large number of children.
Lottie had always struck me as a bit slow; not stupid by any means; just very careful and considerate of her own actions, taking more time to think about each task that she was presented with than it had taken to actually perform it. She was short and plump, with long, blond, always braided hair. Her cheeks shone with continuous redness of health, as if she had just stepped in from the freezing cold. She had big, sky blue eyes and soft, full lips, which sometimes puckered in puzzlement, as if tempting a kiss. She did not posses classic beauty, but did have an air of charm about her. Many a times I started asking Johann about Lottie, never quite finishing the question. If Johann was friendlier with his maid than he should have been, I did not want to know.
She was left in the house to keep it tidy, accept mail and packages and generally keep an eye on everything, making sure that Johann's family and the rest of the servants returned to a clean and orderly home at the end of the summer. Among many conquests, to this day, Lottie remains my favorite.
I was offered free reign of Johann's study for the period of time when he was absent, which I accepted gladly, as my own home resembled a zoo rather than a place where one might be able to concentrate on ever increasingly demanding work that our mutual business delivered.
For about a week after Johann left Hamburg I actually did make an effort to work in my own house, but eventually things started getting out of hand and I could not find the time nor energy to deal with screaming children, nagging wife and a pile of paperwork, which seemed to duplicate itself daily. To make matters worse, Sophia had decided that at this particular time she would see to the fall clothing for the children and at any given time our house was full of seamstresses and tailors, children scurrying about, trying to avoid them and hiding in closets or under my desk, with Sophia stomping around, demanding that children stop being silly at this very moment!
It was on a warm Saturday morning that I finally decided to make good on Johann's offer and head to his house. I actually looked forward to a little peace and quiet, which would, if nothing else, offer me a few hours of blissful napping on the ottoman in his study without rude interruptions that were constant occurrences in my own home.
I paused at the front door of Johann's house and announced myself by the use of a heavy gargoyle knocker. I felt silly doing this, as normally I would simply enter. The thought that I might startle Lottie made me reconsider and act a gentleman. After I had knocked three or four times and nobody had come to open the door, I let myself in, carefully peering from side to side, wondering if Lottie was in the house at all. I walked through the big hallway, poked my head in the lounge, the dining area, even the kitchen but there was no sign of anybody.
I shrugged and headed towards Johann's study. As I was passing the library, which was preceding my destination, I heard muffled conversation and giggles made by two different voices, one of which I recognized as Lottie's. The heavy, wooden library door was closed, which struck me as odd. Why would anybody want to keep the doors closed in an empty house?
I paused and pressed the side of my face against the door, carefully listening to the commotion beyond. I heard giggles mixed with smacking sounds. I hesitated for a moment, considering on what I should do. Obviously, Lottie had someone in there, perhaps a boyfriend. Should I interfere? The realization that this was my friend's home and Lottie was only a servant, who would not be allowed such liberties gave me the courage to open the door.
My eyes took in the scene before the couple managed to stop doing what I had been listening to only moments ago. Lottie's companion was sitting in a high chair, Lottie in his lap with her arm around his shoulders, the other hand gently caressing his cheek. Her skirts were hiked up to where I could freely see her knees and white meaty thighs, all the way to her underclothes. The man's hand was thrust up between her legs, most of it veiled from my view by her garments.
When they realized an intruder was present in the room, they both jumped off the chair, Lottie almost falling over in haste to hide her actions. Her pink cheeks have now turned deep red. I was amused, almost to the point of bursting into a roar of laughter, but managed to keep a strict expression on my face.
I noticed that who I thought was a man was really just a boy, probably younger than Lottie herself. He was a skinny chap in ragged clothes and even from the distance I noted that he smelled of horse manure. No doubt a stable boy at one of the well-to-do neighboring houses. Unlike Lottie, his face had lost all of its color; he was white as a sheet and for a moment I was afraid that he would pass out.
"What is all this?" I asked at the same time as Lottie yelled in panic: "Herr Konrad!" Now it looked as if she was the one closer to unconsciousness.
"What is all this, Lottie?" I repeated patiently, though it was obvious that neither of them was in a state to give me a coherent answer.
"Who are you?" I turned to the boy and his eyes flew wide open in fear.
"This is my….ah,…" tried Lottie. She turned towards him for help, which was obviously not coming. "This is my boyfriend," she uttered finally. The young man simply nodded.
"Does he have a name?" I asked, aware that my lips were stretching into a smile even though I was doing my best to try and hide it.
"Sebastian!" answered both at the same time.
"Well, Sebastian,…." I began, but didn't know what else to say. This was not my house after all, even if I did feel responsibility of keeping it in order.
"Is Herminna aware that Sebastian here is spending an afternoon in her house, when no doubt, you both should be going on about your business?" Lottie bit on her lower lip and shook her head.
"Johann?" I asked again and noticed that Lottie's eyes were welling up with tears, her chin trembling and her lips furiously working as if searching for an answer.
"I see," I said and walked over to the window, which I only just noticed had been covered by heavy curtains, keeping out the warmth of the sun and protecting the two lovers from prying eyes. I opened them up and turned back towards the couple, standing in the middle of the room like a heap of misfortune, blinking at the intrusion of the afternoon brightness.
"Well, Sebastian," I said and slowly walked towards them. "I think it's time for you to leave." The young man sighed in relief and vigorously nodded his head in consent. Without uttering a word to either of us, he turned around and almost ran out of the room. Lottie and I simply stood still, listening to his footsteps becoming quieter, followed by a creaking of the front door opening and slamming shut. It was a fairly loud sound and I was surprised that neither of the two had heard me knocking or entering.
At first I didn't know what to say to the girl, but when I noticed her discomfort and even fear, I found that it pleased me to see her in this state. I stood staring at her, not saying anything, not moving.
Lottie kept chewing on her lower lip, her face flushed, obviously on the brink of tears.
"Herr Konrad," she finally whined and I shook my head as if disappointed over what I had just witnessed.
"I have not had any lunch yet, Lottie. Would you bring me some cheese and bread, please?" I asked, the previous bout of laughter still tickling my throat.
"Yes, of course," she exclaimed as if grateful for this change of topic. She almost ran out of the room towards the kitchen. I shook my head and smiled. Foolish girl! Herminna would have skinned her alive if she ever had the slightest idea of what took place in her house. Just like Sophia, I didn't believe she was ever involved in any kind of cuddling of this nature. Sitting in a boy's lap, indeed!
I remembered the sight of the beautiful thighs that I was treated to a little while ago and as if able to see through the wall, I shot a look to where the kitchen area was, hearing Lottie browsing through cupboards, banging the plates and silverware, by the loud sounds of it all, obviously still upset.
I walked over to the high chair that was occupied by the odd couple at the time of my entrance and sat down. I was aware that all my good intentions of having some work done in Johann's study were shot to dust. I could feel my loins stirring, my mind was not ready for any serious business of accounting today.
When Lottie returned to the library, carrying a large plate overflowing with an absurd amount of cheese, olives, green grapes and cubed bread, she seemed startled to see me sitting in the high chair. She paused at the door for a moment and I motioned with my hand for her to come closer.
She approached carefully, tightly gripping the plate with both hands.
"Herr Konrad," she started again and I nodded encouragingly, as if all my attention was on wisdom that was about to spill out of her mouth. To my satisfaction, that made her swallow anything that was on her mind and blush again.
I reached for the plate and placed it in my lap. "Do you think that what you did was right?" I asked dreamily, staring at her skirts, trying to picture her heavy thighs.
"Oh, no!" she exclaimed. "I'm so sorry, Herr Konrad!" she added and her face cringed as if she was about to burst in tears. "I will never do it again, Herr Konrad. I promise!" I nodded.
"So, they have no idea about Sebastian?" I asked and she shook her head, a tear slowly finding its way down her plump cheek.
"Oh, come now!" I said and lifted the plate out of my lap with one hand, the other reaching for her arm, as she stood close enough for me to be able to touch her. I grabbed her wrist and pulled her towards me. "Come, sit down," I said, tilting my head towards where the plate had been resting a moment ago.
To my utter surprise, without any resistance she followed my gentle pull and carefully sat in my lap. I was never the one to mess around with the house help, but it was not uncommon for servant girls to indulge their masters in more ways then one. For a moment I wondered if she had ever sat in Johann's lap.
She was sobbing openly now, obviously terrified that I would get her fired in disgrace.
"Oh, Lottie," I whispered and wrapped my arm around her back. I put the plate in her lap and took a piece of carefully diced cheese, lifting it to her lips. She opened her mouth and I slid it in. As soon as my fingers were free of food, they brushed against her cheek, wiping away the tears.
"I won't tell, Lottie." She looked at me sadly and I winked at her. "You don't tell on me, and I won't tell on you!" Stupid thing to say but I really didn't want her crying.
However, she continued sobbing while I fed her cheese and grapes as if she was a little starving bird, dependant on the kindness of a stranger.
"Tell you what," I said finally after she crudely wiped her nose with the back of her hand, my eyebrows rising in amusement. "If I can have a little kiss, you can be sure I won't tell. Because then, you really could tell on me. You could tell Herminna that I was kissing you, too, and that wouldn't be right, would it?"
For a moment, her face was full of wonder. Wouldn't be right that I kissed her, or wouldn't be right that she told on me? I didn't worry about the misunderstanding. All I wanted was to feel those soft lips on mine. She was almost half my age, but that did not stop my lust for her beautiful body. I truly thought one kiss was all I would be satisfied with.
"Come on, then," I said. "One little kiss, Lottie."
She remained still, looking deep into my eyes as if afraid that at any moment I would jump up and laugh at her naiveté or maybe explode in fury over her stupidity to believe I would lower myself to the level of necking with a servant.
Gently, I nudged her in the back and lifted my face. She put her hand over my shoulders just as I had seen her do with Sebastian and ever so slowly leaned towards me, touching rather than pressing her lips against mine.
I was right! Her lips were warm and soft as butter, sweet and intoxicating like wine. Before I could respond to her kiss she pulled away.
"Wait," I said and pushed her gently off me, still keeping my hand on her back. I stood up and put the plate on the small round table that stood a couple of steps away. I returned to the chair, sat down and pulled her back into my lap. "Let's do this properly," I said wrapping my free hand around the front of her body, resting my fingers on her hip.
"I don't know, Herr Konrad," she said uncertainly. She blushed again and for one short moment I caught a glimpse of Lottie that was always hidden underneath shyness and pretense of idiocy. She was a woman, not simply a girl. She had a body of a woman, large breasts rising and falling in the rhythm of her heavy breathing.
"Of course you do," I offered my face to her, and her lips lowered onto mine. As soon as I felt their touch, I raised my hand that had been resting on her hip, covering her cheek, keeping her in firm grip. As she tried to pull away I kept her close, giving her little kisses as if she was a child, their smacking sounds making me want to laugh again.
The little resistance that she showed at first slowly dissipated and she remained still, her lips on mine, her hand now gripping my shoulder tight. Her hair gave away a clean smell of soap; her body was hot against mine. My tongue slipped between her lips, running over her small teeth, entering further to brush against her tongue.
"Oh!" she pulled away with force, eyes gleaming in astonishment.
"What?" I was genuinely surprised. This was going so well. Was this an act or did I really startle her?
"You don't like it when I put my tongue in your mouth?" I might have as well cursed like a sailor as she blushed again, vigorously shaking her head. "Come on," I said. "You do it to me."
This time she almost jumped out of my lap. Had I not anticipated this move, she would actually manage to get away.
"No!" she exclaimed.
"Why not?" I asked, pulling her face towards mine. "You've already kissed me, haven't you?" I whispered and my lips touched her again. I pressed her a kiss, letting my lips part hers, my tongue sliding inside her mouth, my eyes searching for hers. She kept them shut tight, but this time, she did not resist my attempt of exploring. True, she did not return the favor, but she did not jump up with a hysterical scream either.
I rolled my tongue around in her mouth, tasting her as if she was the sweetest of chocolates. I could feel my loins responding, my heart pounding hard. I ran my hand over her braid and gently pulled on it, finally separating myself from her.
"That wasn't so bad, was it?" I asked and she would not meet my eyes. She just kept staring in her lap, and I noted that her hand on my shoulder was still gripping tight. "You liked that, didn't you?" I asked and she shook her head. "Oh, yes you did!" I said, pulling her against me again.
When the kiss ended, I pushed her chin up with my fingers, making her look at me. "Sebastian doesn't kiss you like that?" I asked and if you would tell me that she could blush any deeper I would not have believed it, but she did.
My hand left her face and slid down her body towards her skirts, as I tried to hike them up some.
"Oh, no, no!" she cried, pushing them down as quickly as I was pushing them up.
"But I've already seen your legs," I said, her eyes popping wide open. "I just want to see them again. Please?" She shook her head.
"Please, Lottie? Just a little bit," I whispered. Soft tones of my voice seemed to work wonders on this girl and despite her hand still pushing against mine, her resistance seemed to weaken.
I pulled the skirts all the way up into her lap, openly admiring the beautiful soft skin of her white, meaty thighs. I squeezed her leg just above the knee, driving my hand higher up and squeezing again. She gasped, but did not try to push me away. Her breathing was now becoming heavy, yet shallow. "So beautiful," I said and meant it. I bowed my head onto her chest and landed a loud smack just above the rim of the dress, right on top of her full breast that seemed as if it was going to spill out at any moment. I could be mistaken, but I swear that I heard a soft moan escape her lips.
"You like that, don't you?" I asked and very predictably she blushed, shaking her head in denial. "I know you do," I was not going to be fooled. "You like it, I can smell it." I said and her puzzled look made me smile. "I can smell your cunt, Lottie, it's wet and hot, isn't it?"
Despite being short, she was a very strong girl and this time she caught me off guard as her hand left my shoulder and she pushed herself against my chest, out of her seat.
"That's disgusting!" she exclaimed. She stepped away but did not run out of the room. That was a good sign.
"What's disgusting about it, Lottie? That you smell of sex or that I made a remark about it?" This time I could not hold the laughter back any longer.
She stood a few feet away from me, her busty bosom rising in the rhythm of her breathing, shaking her head in astonishment over my audacity, too stunned for words. She carefully examined my face, trying to establish if I had been mocking her or simply amusing my own foolish mind with crudeness. Finally, she spun on her heels and staggered towards the door. "I will make you some coffee, Herr Konrad!" she snapped at me over her shoulder as her huge bottom rounded the corner out of my view.
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