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Dark Places

Chapter 1

Mike Fear walked along one of the many fields in the beautiful countryside of Blagdon in Somerset. He would normally be enjoying the peace and tranquillity that the walk would offer but this morning his mind was neither tranquil nor at peace. One thought was circling through his mind “what have I done?” Mike was full of regret, but what had he done that was troubling his mind and making him experience these feelings of regret?

Mike for his forty-seven years was still considered a very hand-some and youthful looking man. He had still kept his chestnut brown hair, which despite his age showed little grey. He had also retained his youthful smile; which still shone out when he was happy and smiling and with the smile came his blue eyes, which sparkled like little gemstones. He also kept a bit of dark stubble on his chin, which he kept for no other reason than he just liked it. With all his charms he still attracted a lot of attention from women, who loved his eyes, smile and general physique as a very distinguished sort of man. Mike did of course love the attention that he got, however he was happily married to his lovely wife, Elaine and had been for the last 25 years. Married life had not always run smoothly for the couple. There had never been any affairs, just the usual money worries and general day-to-day things that had resulted in arguments but these were few and far between and once they had happened the couple could not stay angry with each other for long. The couple both adored each other and that was a feeling that neither of them wanted to lose. The couple had been blessed with two children, Becky and Oliver, to whom they both adored. They were both young adults now and were both at various universities so Mike and Elaine saw little of them apart from the odd visit but they received plenty of telephone calls home, which more than made up for their absences.

Both Mike and Elaine worked, Mike worked full time in a Finance department dealing with incoming payments, whilst Elaine worked part time as an assistant in a vets. She had been full time before she had her children but liked being part time and having time to be with her friends. They were a comfortable couple with no money worries and had already paid off their mortgage.

Mike for all his charms had a problem in that he often had dark moments. Moments where he would be so depressed he could not be held accounted for some things he had done. He had never once hurt Elaine, either in words or physically but now things had changed and he really did not have any idea what lay ahead in his future now. He had not meant to hurt her. He loved her so much and always wanted to love her until his dying days but all he could feel now was that his world was falling apart and his dreams being shattered.

As well as his dark moments Mike was what could have been described as a bit of a loner. The few friends he had, had been there for a number of years and so knew the true Mike and how he had a generous, kind heart and who would do anything to help people in need but now he was the one in need.

He had to speak to Elaine but she had left hours ago and would not answer any of his text messages or calls and he hated the feeling that he would never speak to her again. He missed the soft sound of her voice but all he was left with was his thoughts.

Mike loved his life with his wife. They still enjoyed their lovemaking. It was still passionate, like the first time they had met. He liked remembering that first time that they had met; he was instantly attracted to her. He had never been a man for being intimate and making love to a woman on their first date. He enjoyed the thrill of the chase and then his passion would take over, but he had made love to Elaine on their first meeting and though both were reluctant to admit what had happened, there had been no regrets from either party. The night they had shared together had made them know that something special lay ahead and they certainly were the perfect couple and would always be inseparable, everyone who knew them expressed the same opinion of the couple. They had their own interests and did their own things, but were always and would always be in love with each other so why had Mike’s world with Elaine fallen apart last night?

Mike returned back from his walk to the marital cottage but he could not relax, because everything reminded him of Elaine. There were too many mementos to be able to forget her and that was something he never wanted to do and also there was too much quiet surrounding him. Elaine was not the noisiest person when she was around but Mike loved his heart and mind being with her and sharing their own home together made him even more proud.

Mike knew he would never be able to sleep tonight, especially not upstairs in the room and bed that he had shared with Elaine, only yesterday morning. He could not think clearly enough at the moment but knew that everything in his life was ruined.

His mind kept going back to what had happened. All Mike had wanted to do last night was to make passionate love to his wife; there was nothing wrong in that. He still felt like a teenager again when he lay with his wife and they still shared pleasurable intimate moments together, something in which they took great pleasure in and he had never been rough with her, instead he gently made her feel like a princess, which is what she would always be to him, his princess.

Unfortunately, last night Mike never took in when his wife said ‘not tonight’, which was definitely out of character for him. He had drunk half a bottle of whisky but being drunk was not an excuse for what had happened between him and Elaine. He was full of regret, not only from being drunk, something which he had never done in front of his wife before but what he had done to her?

Mike had not really been in a state of mind to hear what Elaine had said to him and he certainly was not really conscious of what he was doing when he had undressed her; undressing was not really the word for it, as that suggested that it had been a special moment and part of the intimate pleasure. Instead he had become a crazed animal tearing her clothes off before ripping his own clothes off. Why he had restrained her hands with his belt? That was something that he would never know and was definitely out of character. After all, they enjoyed beautiful love making without the need for anything to help them along but the beautiful love making was not happening last night, as he put himself inside her and was releasing his desire for her with all the strength he had in his body, where his gentleness to her on that occasion went he would never know, and it was something which he did not want to have to think about but he did know that the fleeting thought had made him want to be sick.

He had been enjoying what was happening, even though it was wrong and he was oblivious to the cries of ‘stop it’, ‘leave me alone’ and ‘what are you doing’? He shuddered at those thoughts. He was drunk but had still clearly heard every word that she had said but could not or would not stop. Why had he suddenly turned into a maniac and acted that way? The fact she had said ‘no’ should have meant something to him but it seemed to fall on deaf ears that evening and the reality was telling him he had been a bad man.

The lovemaking and passion was all within marriage but it was still unlawful sex, she had said no and so what he had done was rape his wife. He did not mean to. That sounded weak and pathetic but he really never did intend to rape Elaine; it was something that just happened. He had behaved like a crazed animal and he was quite aware that his world had now fallen apart. He would be made to pay, he knew that and he could not blame Elaine for her decision if she decided to go to the police and report what he had done but even knowing this did not make the situation any better. He knew he would have to pay for this in more ways than one.

When things were finally over, Mike simply finished the act, turned over and fell asleep. What a coward he had been. By the time he had awoke this morning, he was still hazy via the drink but he knew that Elaine was not lying next to him all warm and comfortable, like they normally would be and from the coldness of the bed, it was apparent that she had not slept there for a number of hours but then was that any surprise? Elaine probably was in the thoughts that she never wanted to see him or be in the same room as him again and who could blame her after what had commenced?

Mike got out of bed but was in no mind to undertake his daily shower or to get dressed properly. He needed a quick toilet break and then definitely needed a strong coffee after what he had drunk the evening before and he needed to try and clear his pounding head. He entered the kitchen, which was quiet, there were signs that Elaine had left the cottage; that was clear but there was no note saying “I’ll be back soon”, and in the bottom of his heart he knew she never would be “back soon”.

He always started his morning off with a cup of coffee and Elaine liked it when he entered the kitchen in just his shorts, showing off his still fit body. The sight always made Elaine proud of the man she had met and married and how much just this action made her happy and turned on and she would always welcome him with a tender and warm kiss but there was no Elaine to greet him this morning, just the coldness of his heart and the kitchen and that made him feel very sad and upset.

Mike made his coffee, as strong and sweet as he could stomach it. He sat down at the breakfast bar and decided that he needed to stop drinking whiskey, he loved the taste of it and it was his comfort when he had had a stressful day at work but half a bottle of anything was not good in one night and he had to be honest that the sight of whiskey would always remind him of what he had done.

He drained the coffee as quick as he could as he hated strong coffee, but it was much needed and he started to sober up quicker and it was then that it dawned on him that following that one foolish incident last night, he had lost everything that was good in his world. He could not face that and did not know in his heart whether he could or would be prepared to spend the rest of his days full of regret and without his loving wife by his side.

He could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. His world had fallen apart and all he could think of was ‘Elaine, Elaine, Elaine’, he loved her and missed her so much already. Would there be light at the end of the tunnel for Mike?

Mike was in such a depressed and dark state that he went up to the bathroom, found what tablets he could in the bathroom cabinet. He was in such a state he did not know what half of them were but he did not care, they were what he needed to get out of this state. He plopped each one slowly in the full glass of water and mixed them together before he drank it. Whatever darkness his mind was in, he would always remember the foul taste of that mixture that he created but he did not care, his prayers would be answered. He was waiting now for the concoction to work and his troubles would be over, he had nothing to live for. Part of his mind said he did have things to live for, but what did he really have to live for? He wanted to live for Elaine but would he get her back? He would get her back!

Whatever happened May 24th 2014 would be a date that both Mike and Elaine would be trying to forget for the rest of their lives but would they be able to move on and forget it?

Chapter 2

Next morning Elaine awoke at her friend Charlotte’s house, where she had spent the night. Charlotte at this moment in time knew nothing about the ordeal that Elaine had been through. Charlotte however, was already aware that something had happened to her friend because she was pale and very clearly unhappy and troubled. Her normal happy smile had been replaced by an unhappy frown and when Charlotte had opened the door to Elaine last night she was in floods of tears. Elaine was unable to say anything so because of the late hour Charlotte put her to bed in the spare room and left her to try and sleep but sleep would be far from Elaine’s mind. Her thoughts were full of what happened to her, even if she did not want to admit it. Charlotte did not understand that she would be the first person who would be told what Mike had done to her friend.

Elaine forced herself not to scream out loud but she had her first flash back of the sordid night. She could clearly see Mike’s face and all that he was doing to her. She had hoped that her rape would not affect her mentally but she knew that flash backs would be something she would have to cope with until her trauma died down a little. Elaine just hoped that the way she was feeling would soon leave her be as it was she felt cheap and dirty. She could easily have jumped into the shower and scrubbed herself clean until she bled but a voice in the back of her mind told her she should not take a shower yet.

At breakfast time Elaine was sat at Charlotte’s kitchen table staring into a mug of tea. She was not thinking about anything in particular. She was scared by the flash back she had experienced last night. She was angry about the incident and she was also frightened but what came with that was regret. However, what did she have to be regretful about? She had not done anything wrong; it was her that had been done wrong against and she was not prepared for Mike to ruin her life any more than he had already. However much she confessed to loving Mike, her world with him had ended and there would be no turning back with their relationship now. That in her mind was well and truly over and she knew she would have to consider the one thing she had never thought would happen to her and Mike in that they would part and be divorced.

Elaine was snapped out of her thoughts with the door opening and a cheery ‘Morning Elaine’. Charlotte knew that Elaine would not be cheery. She would be surprised if Elaine had slept a wink last night as she was so upset before she went to bed. She needed to be there for Elaine and would reassure her that she was going to be there for her but first of all she would need to know what had upset her so much.

Of course, there was another person who should have been there for Elaine in her hour of need but he was the one which had put her into the situation she was currently in so there was no chance of getting any comfort from that person.

‘Oh sweetie’ said Charlotte concerned for her best friend. She had been friends with Elaine since nursery school, so they cared for each other over the years and would continue to do so until their dying days. They were destined to be friends forever.

‘I hate seeing my best friend so upset like she was last night and by the looks of it is still this morning. You are so white and pale that I nearly mistook you for a ghost’. Charlotte meant the comment as joke but what she had said made Elaine begin to cry again.

‘Oh. I am so sorry. You are my best friend in the whole world. I did not mean to say that’ said Charlotte comforting Elaine.

Charlotte hated seeing her friend so upset and said ‘honey, what has brought all this on?’

Elaine remained quiet. She wanted to tell Charlotte all but she was just so scared of how she was feeling and she did not really know if she could put into words what had happened to her.

‘There is no pressure but when you are ready and need to talk, you know you can tell me anything in the strictest confidence’.

Elaine smiled a little to which Charlotte gave Elaine a big warm hug, which soothed her a little. The hug helped her quite a lot but the hug alone could not wipe away her tears or the thoughts that were in her head and she certainly could not wipe away the pain that she was feeling.

Yes this was hard and Elaine wanted to confess all and pour her heart out to Charlotte but she was too upset and ashamed, however, she knew that Charlotte would not judge so between tears she opened her heart to her.

‘Something happened last night as you can guess and I am afraid it concerns Mike. No he is not ill or in hospital but something happened which as a man I am sure he will deny but happen it did. It was so horrible and unlike him and I am ashamed to say what I have to but there is no point beating around the bush. Mike raped me last night’.

Charlotte was shocked by what she had just heard. No wonder Elaine was so upset. Elaine felt much clearer now that she had gotten over one of the hardest parts of her ordeal and so told her the full story of what had taken place.

Charlotte simply listened and did not interrupt what Elaine was saying and again was even more shocked knowing the full details of the trauma that her best friend was facing.

‘What made him do that?’ Charlotte asked.

‘I wish I knew. He was drunk, which was the first thing I was surprised to see as he has never been drunk in front of me before. That is no excuse for what he did but the second thing was how unlike Mike the actions were. It was like he was a crazed animal or certainly someone who had been possessed. My hardest thing to do when it was over was tell myself not to have a shower. All I want to do is wash him and the shame away. Instead I had to get away so did and that is when I turned up on your doorstep.

Charlotte was so shocked by what Elaine had confessed to her and she was agreeing how unlike it was for Mike to do something like that to her best friend. There had never been evidence of violence before so why now? That would be something Elaine would be thinking too.

The ever rational Charlotte responded by commenting, ‘I know you probably do not want to think about this, but, have you thought what you are going to do next?’

What am I going to do next?” thought Elaine.

Her mind was in shock and grave turmoil but she knew what she had to do next, even if it was something that she did not want to have to. How could you face having to tell someone you did not know what had happened to her? It was good to be able to talk to her best friend about everything but a stranger was different; that part scared her. She knew the rape needed to be reported but she was so scared to think of doing it. She was not scared of Mike; he had proven he was a coward. No, she was scared because of what lay ahead for her, especially as she had already guessed it would not be an easy path to take.

‘I know what you are going to say, Charlotte. I need to go to the police and report what Mike did to me but I am so scared. I am not scared of him but what if they do not believe me? Or worse Mike makes up some lies and tries to pin this on me?’ Elaine was in tears again.

After more comforting, Charlotte said ‘I am afraid sweetie that is something that only you can decide but in marriage or not, what Mike did to you was violate your rights, and his own, by raping you. Now the choices I can see are you make him pay for the rest of his life, or you leave this unreported and you pay for what Mike did to you for the rest of your life. It is your decision and only you can make it, but whatever you decide I will be right here for you’.

Elaine remained quiet for a while. Mike definitely needed to act the responsible adult in this situation and he needed to be taught a lesson for what he had done and how wrong it had been, as if he did not know already.

She finally said ‘I know I need to make him pay. I love Mike so much and always will, and that will always hurt and tear my heart apart but I cannot let him get off on this one. I need to go to the police, but I need you to come with me, Charlotte’.

‘Of course I will silly. You know I will’

‘Do you realise that I will never be able to trust another man again? If you had said that Mike and I would part, I would have laughed very loudly and said you were being silly and that we were inseparable. It is not just that. It is naturally the thought of trusting any other man to look at me, never mind touching me. How can I ever move on in the future if I feel that violated?’ that was something Charlotte could not offer an answer to. Unfortunately, this is one of the many things that someone who had suffered rape would be feeling. It would pass with time and she would trust men again but part of the healing process was allowing this time to recover and trust again.

Elaine had finished her tea and got dressed and was now walking with Charlotte along Bath Road, which would eventually lead to Church Street, where Blagdon Police Station was situated. It was now or never otherwise she would never be able to do this. It was not something she wanted to do but she needed to be able to correct Mike on this one and show him that he had been wrong. She knew he would be realising what he had done was wrong but it could not just end there and have everything perfect again as if nothing had ever happened. She certainly could never look him in the eye again, never mind share intimate moments with him. She did not feel hate or repulse for him but more pity.

Charlotte and Elaine got to the door of the police station. It took quite a length of time before Elaine could prepare herself to enter. She was shaking and very nervous, and in tears again. She hated what had happened to her and she knew what she needed to do but she was so scared that she vomited in the street, simply because of the fear of the unknown. She had never had a criminal record or any reason to be at a police station, this was her first time and it was not something that she thought she would ever do or could do.

‘Oh poor you’, commented Charlotte when her friend was feeling less nauseous. ‘I, know you are scared and frightened but I am here for you’. Charlotte could only offer Elaine words of comfort and her support; the two things Elaine would need lots of in this situation.

Charlotte led Elaine into the police station. Once they were at the front desk, they were greeted by Officer Ray Bradley, the Community Police Officer for Blagdon and the surrounding areas.

‘Good morning ladies. How can I be of assistance to you?’

Elaine had frozen and was unable to speak so Charlotte spoke for her. ‘I am Charlotte and I am with my friend, Elaine Fear and we have come to report her rape by her husband’.

Those words ‘rape by her husband’, shook Elaine, she felt and knew what Mike had done to her but hearing those words ‘rape by her husband’, just made the whole incident too much to take in and she started to shed more tears.

‘I am sorry to hear that Mrs Fear. You can be assured that you will receive our care in this matter and I am the local officer that you can contact when you require anything’.

Elaine was too confused by everything to be able to speak. All that was going through her mind was, “why me?” “What if I am not believed?” and “what is going to happen?”

‘Now I know this is all going to be very upsetting for you but we will need to take a statement so even if it seems something irrelevant please promise to be trusting of me and that you will be honest about everything that has happened to you and I am afraid I have to advise you by law that anything you say can and may be used in evidence in court against Mr Fear, do you understand?’

Elaine understood and continued to listen to what else Officer Bradley had to say to her. He advised her to talk to Victim Support whose specially-trained volunteers could provide information, practical help and emotional support. She was also informed that if the case went to court, they would be there to help her cope with the experience.

He also explained that she could either be referred to a sexual assault referral centre (SARC) who would work with her and the police, health services and other voluntary organisations set up to focus on any support needs. The centre would be the place with facilities for forensic examination to collect physical evidence, which would include having access to the clothes she was wearing at the time of the attack, having a medical examination and helping to prepare making statements.

Elaine could not take everything else in but she was also informed that once these had been completed, the investigation would move onto the attacker and as to whether he would be arrested and charged. If he was taken to court, their Witness Support team would be there to cope with the experience.

From the things that she had been told, Elaine agreed to Victim Support and within half an hour was assigned a case worker, Nicki and together they would go to the SARC centre in Bristol which was the nearest to Blagdon.

Elaine wanted to be accompanied by Charlotte to the support centre but had agreed to attend with just Nicki. The journey to the centre was the worst of her life but she had complied with everything that was required of her. She knew that by doing this that she could start to sort this mess out but there were things she did not know which concerned Mike and his welfare.

Later that evening, one of Officer Bradley’s colleagues rang the doorbell of Mike and Elaine’s marital home and waited, and waited and waited. After ten minutes he called into the station to ask when Elaine had last seen her husband. Her simple answer was after the rape when she walked out and as far as she was concerned her husband would be at home gloating about what he had done. She did not mean to be so harsh but she really did not care where Mike was, not until he was facing charges, that is.

Officer Bradley’s colleague PC Smith was concerned by the lack of answering the door and called for back-up officers to be sent. When they arrived, they broke the lock to the front door and started a search for Mike. It was a while before they entered the bathroom and found him lying on the floor unconscious. Upon checking Mike’s pulse they discovered that he had a one, although it was very weak but he was still alive; only just.

The next call was to the ambulance service so that Mike could be taken to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, which was almost forty minutes to get to but would be the nearest accident and emergency hospital and despite the journey, Mike would be in safe hands and in his condition would know very little about the journey he was about to make.

PC Smith made another call to Officer Bradley, this time to inform him of what had happened to Mike and whether at this stage they should contact Elaine to inform her of the news and both agreed that even though she was distressed from the rape she needed to be aware of what Mike’s situation was, as she was still married and therefore next of kin, despite the events that had led her to come in contact with the police.

When Elaine had been contacted by PC Smith, she finished the call and sobbed. She could not take in what she had heard. What a mess. She was hurt and humiliated after the rape and was very angry towards Mike and what he had done to her. Her husband was fighting for his life in hospital but that had been a selfish act too, trying to commit suicide…the coward’s way out. No matter what he had done though, he was still a part of her life for the moment and that confused and upset her even more and she had no idea of what she would do for the best.

Her decision of what to do was a tough one and it was only her that could decide what the action to take would be. What would she decide?

Chapter 3

Elaine was distraught. She knew that Mike had hurt her but now he was hurting too. Her hurt might have been raw following what Mike had done to her but his pain was much worse. Elaine knew that Mike deeply loved her and could never see his life without her but to attempt to take your own life because of parting with a loved one could be considered selfish and it put her in even more of a dilemma. Should she go to the hospital and see him? Or should she try and forget what had happened? She would never be that heartless towards him but it would be a long time before she forgot what had happened. Would she be seen heartless if she really could not face up to seeing him?

Elaine picked up the telephone and dialled Charlotte’s number. She would know what to do in this situation and more importantly she would simply be there when Elaine needed her most and now was yet another of those needs.

When the rings were answered, Elaine said ‘hello Charlotte. It is Elaine and I need to talk to you.’

‘Oh hello, Elaine. You know you can always call me when you need to talk so what is wrong?’

Elaine was starting to get upset but managed to speak.

‘It is Mike. He is in Frenchhay Hospital in Bristol and he is fighting for his life’.

There was a slight pause before Charlotte could comment on what she had been told.

‘What is Mike doing in hospital and why is he fighting for his life?’

‘I had a call from PC Smith informing me that as one of Officer Bradley’s colleagues, he wanted to make a visit to Mike to tell him what had happened so far with me reporting the rape and when he got there, there was no answer. He did call me to ask me when I had last seen Mike so obviously I told him that he was probably at home gloating but when I had the second call from PC Smith, he told me he called for back-up officers and made a search of the house. They eventually found Mike in the bathroom unconscious and that he had a pulse but it was very weak and he was only just alive. Mike basically tried to take his own life over losing me’, the line went quiet apart from sobs from Elaine.

Charlotte was genuinely shocked at what she had been told. ‘Oh Elaine, what are you going to do? Are you going to see him?’

‘I don’t know Charlotte. I really don’t know. I hope this does not sound heartless but I cannot face seeing him but I probably will’.

‘I totally understand what a dilemma this must be and I will let you decide and if you decide that you wish to visit him just pop round and I will drive you there OK?’

‘Thank you Charlotte. I will have a think and come back to you’.

Elaine’s mind was in even more turmoil. How much more heartache was she going to have to deal with? Mike had hurt her but he did not deserve to be lying alone in a hospital bed following a drugs overdose, which he had done because he could not bear to be without her. She could understand that but now Elaine had another thing in her head, first the rape and now Mike’s attempted suicide, could things get any worse for her?

Chapter 4

Elaine had, had another sleepless night but she had tossed and turned and decided that she would go and see Mike. She did not want the thought that he could die without them properly saying goodbye. Just because she had decided to see him in hospital, did not mean that she was prepared to forgive him or take him back.

Charlotte had driven Elaine to Frenchay Hospital, and now she was just sitting waiting with Charlotte for news of Mike. She should not really care what happened to him but despite what he had done to her Elaine still loved and cared for Mike and did not want to see him ill. She hated the waiting in hospital, though she had Charlotte by her side her thoughts were wandering. She hated just sitting around and waiting more than she hated hospitals. There were many things she disliked about hospitals and one of those was waiting for news of a loved one. Could Mike still be classed as a loved one? That seemed to be a question that was running around in her head and the question made her feel so alone, even though she was with her best friend. She really just wanted to know that Mike would be better again and then she could face the decision of what she should do next.

Finally a doctor approached Elaine and Charlotte and asked for Mrs Fear, which Elaine answered to, before asking ‘How is he?’

‘That is what I need to talk to you regarding and I would prefer we do this in my office in private, if you would like to follow me’.

Elaine obeyed and followed the doctor into his office. She could not help but think the worse, doctors only wanted to talk privately when there was something sensitive to discuss. However, she had now taken a seat and refused a drink. She did not want any of the pleasantries; she was just desperate to know how Mike was.

‘As you know Mike took an overdose and he was found fighting for his life. I hate having to depart this news but you may well have to face that fact that Mike may never recover from this. Of course, I could be wrong and with the course of time we will discover whether Mike is a fighter or not’.

Elaine was beside herself by news. ‘What do you mean if he is a fighter or not? He will not die though right?’

‘Unfortunately as I say this is something which is in Mike’s hands. He either chooses whether he survives or dies. I also have to ask a very personal question but I need to ask this so that we can determine Mike’s mental state. Was there anything which might suggest Mike would try to take his life’?

This was the moment that Elaine was dreading so it took her a while to reply to the doctor’s question, how could she address what Mike had done to her?

‘I have a very simple answer to that. I guess he was more remorseful than I thought he would be about something which he did against me. He was full of guilt and why? Let me tell you he raped his own wife; yes me, his wife. Naturally I left him and because he was so used to having me around, he could not face life alone so he did this’.

The doctor was naturally shocked by what he had heard. Attempted suicide was often a cry for help and he had seen and heard the effects which that caused and often after committing rape but it did not make it any easier to accept.

‘I cannot imagine how you feel but what happened, happened and I guess the only advice I can give is to consider whether you still love him or not and whether you can leave your husband in this state’.

Now Elaine was feeling guilty but what had she got to feel guilty about? And to the other statement of whether she still loved him or not, how could she deal with that one? Also she was very aware of the vows that she had made when she married Mike, ‘in sickness and in health’, the situation was both of those but what if she did stay around until Mike was better and he took it that she still wanted to be with him, despite the situation that made her leave in the first place? If she did that he would assume that he had been forgiven and that was something Elaine could not and would not do.

Everything was a mess and all because what should have been an intimate moment of passion between a man and wife had been shattered when things had progressed too far without consent.

Elaine was so dazed by all that had happened at the hospital that she could not recall the journey home. There were more questions in her head than she could answer.

Charlotte had made them both a drink before comforting her.

‘I know there must be a lot of thoughts in your head and as always whenever you need to talk I will be here. Only you can make the decisions you need to make but whatever I am definitely going nowhere.’

Charlotte was a really good friend to Elaine. She always knew how to make Elaine smile inside, even if she was not smiling on the outside.

‘Now I do not know how you will react to this one but how about we treat ourselves to a spa, some lunch and then invite a few friends out and go to Bristol and party? Live our youth again and go for a drink and dancing. You always used to love that. I know we are both older now and should have grown out of that but never does any harm to let your hair down once in a while, so what do you think?’.

Elaine liked the idea but was it too soon? She said this to Charlotte, who replied. ‘Only you know whether it is too soon or not for enjoying yourself but it would be a good night to forget all your troubles for one night and hey you might even meet a decent bloke.’

The only thing Elaine was not sure of about that conversation was the “hey you might even meet a decent bloke”. Mike had been a decent bloke for the many years she had known him until he showed the other side of him, the darker and no longer decent bloke side.

‘I would love to do what you said but the meet a decent bloke is not in my cards at the moment. I would find it hard to be friendly and trusting of a man since my ordeal’.

‘That is understandable. It will be a good night and I do not know about you but I am looking forward to it already so let’s party…party…party’.

Chapter 5

It was now June 7th and two weeks since Elaine had been raped. She was feeling vulnerable and of course still upset after her attack but she was enjoying herself and felt relaxed whilst she was sipping her cup of tea. What a great day she had had so far. She had spent a very relaxing morning whiling away the hours in a luxury spa, which was followed by the most relaxing and beneficial massage.

Now Elaine and Charlotte were just finishing drinks after a very special lunch. Elaine was relaxed and full.

‘It is really good to see you smiling’, commented Charlotte seeing the change in Elaine.

‘I am so glad that you suggested this day so far. I am having a lovely time and it is thank you to my forever best friend’.

‘There is more to come. I have invited Laura and Emma who I know you have not seen for quite some time so we are going to meet up in about an hour at The Plume of Feathers, have a chat and a little starter drink before we head off to Bristol for a few more drinks and then the party begins’.

Elaine was so relaxed and happy. There was nothing in her mind worrying her and that was a good feeling. Mike was still in hospital following his overdose but for one night she was going to forget him and what had happened. This was her and Charlotte’s night to let their hair down and she intended to enjoy the evening, as she had with her morning and afternoon so far.

The hour soon passed by and Elaine and Charlotte were having drinks with Laura and Emma. There was much chatting, catching up and merriment. Laura and Emma were school friends alongside Charlotte of Elaine’s but since she had met Mike and had her children, time had drifted them apart so it was definitely good to catch up again.

It was already seven in the evening by the time Elaine, Charlotte, Laura and Emma were getting into a cab towards Bristol City Centre and their party night. It was only around thirty minutes to Bristol from Blagdon and by taxi was the most comfortable way of getting there at night.

The taxi arrived and soon the girly party decided on having a few more drinks in the Java Bar. Neither of the girls had been to this venue before but once they walked through the door they liked what they saw.

The Java Club they discovered was intended for the more mature client so they would be guaranteed a stylish and quality night out without the fear of being approached by students.

‘Well this is nice’, commented Charlotte sipping her cocktail, which she found amazing before raising a toast to Elaine, Laura and Emma.

‘To us’, they all joined in with the clinking of their glasses.

The bar was modern, very relaxed and had really nice and friendly staff. It also had lots of seating but Charlotte was more than ready to party, even Elaine was livelier and ready for the further part of the evening.

‘Who is ready for party, party, party, then?’ beamed, Charlotte excitedly.

The dance floor was situated at the rear of the bar so the party all headed that way and were immediately impressed with what they saw. The dance floor was like something from the eighties with flashing red squares and another fairly sized bar at the back. There were also seated booths surrounding the stunning dance floor.

What really made the venue come to life was the regular dj, which ensured there would be lots of music and lots of dancing on the dance floor.

Elaine was having so much fun that she had forgotten what the time was and she was having such a great time that she did not care and did not want this evening to end.

Elaine, Charlotte, Emma and Laura were dancing when Charlotte suddenly whispered in Elaine’s ear something.

‘See that guy in the black suit and white shirt?’ Charlotte discreetly indicated where the man was dancing, before continuing.

‘I cannot help but notice he keeps watching you. I know what you said but I think you are in there and what is there to lose? We are on a night out so let us forget that you are married to Mike and what he did and pretend for this evening that you are a single lady’.

Elaine would normally not be sure but all thoughts of Mike in hospital had slipped her thoughts and yes Charlotte was right she was not going to spoil this evening with thoughts of him.

Elaine excused herself for a visit to the ladies and on her return she sat back at the booth and watched her partying girlfriends whilst they continued to dance. Elaine was alone and enjoying the rest, when Elaine saw out of the corner of her eye a person taking a seat next to her.

‘Hi. I have been watching you all evening and I am very impressed with what I see’.

Elaine blushed a little. It had been a long time since she had received this sort of attention from a man since she had married Mike. She had to admit that this guy was very good looking; not just good looking but drop dead gorgeous and he had a deep but smooth and well-spoken voice, and that and his eyes had won her over. She had to admit she was always attracted to a man’s smile or eyes and these were nice eyes.

‘Silly me’, commented the man. ‘I have not introduced myself properly. I am Steve and you are?’

‘Hi Steve. I am Elaine’.

Elaine glanced over to where Charlotte and the group were still dancing. She guessed she wanted to know what Charlotte thought, even though Charlotte had clocked the man watching her. Charlotte winked to say ‘go girl’.

‘So what brings a beautiful lady to a more mature bar?’ asked Steve.

‘Just wanted a little fun’, in further thoughts this sounded a little wrong. It was the sort of phrase she knew that could be read as a come on but Elaine had said it. Secretly she was enjoying the attention, which she was receiving. It had been a long time since she had attracted this sort of attention from the opposite sex and she had to admit she liked it.

‘I thought so. I do not want to seem forward but would you like me to be part of your fun?’

Elaine was flattered but said nothing. Then it all happened so fast. Steve leant close to kiss her. She did not flip out, not quite. In fact she was flattered that he felt that way. Before he could make further contact Elaine decided that she must confess the truth that Steve should know before it was too late.

When Steve had heard the story he said. ‘Oh. My dear. What a very silly man to do that to you. I can see why you were cautious when I tried to kiss you but I am not like that I want to be able to protect you and love you’.

Funny that was the sort of thing that Mike had said when they had first met but there was something Elaine liked very much about Steve. He seemed different in some other way to how Mike had first come across.

Elaine following her attack was obviously very cautious with another man but another part of her was enjoying the situation she was in.

It was not long before Steve tried the kiss again. This time Elaine answered his every call. He stroked parts of her and she him, both were oblivious to the fact that they were in a nightclub part of the bar. They were one with each other and very comfortable with the way they both felt. Elaine was relaxing with every touch and surprisingly she did not have the urge to scream out to leave her alone, something, which surprised and pleased her.

‘Oooh, look at her’ commented Charlotte to Laura and Emma, glancing at what was happening between Elaine and Steve.

Time was getting on. Elaine and Steve swapped numbers and promised to look up each other again before final kisses and goodbyes

Steve had something to say to Elaine before they parted.

‘I, so want you Elaine. I want you more than you can imagine and nothing would please me more if we could go further but I understand you probably find it hard to be able to get close to another man, especially one you have only just met and more so soon after what happened to you’.

Elaine really liked Steve and she was pleased that he understood how she was feeling and that he did not think she was putting her emotions to him on; leading him on with no intention of anything that might happen between them.

‘I would love to be alone with you too but I need to gain confidence of trusting a man in the bedroom again. Just do not be disappointed with just kisses; the rest if we stay together will come naturally’.

Steve kissed Elaine’s hair and whispered. ‘I want nothing more than an intimate night together but I have had fun meeting you and I want you to believe that not all men are like Mike. Why should I be disappointed with just kisses? This is the start of a good thing and as you said things will come naturally and I am prepared to wait for you however long it takes’.

Elaine and Steve finally parted and she returned to her friends, where Charlotte was immediately gushing.

‘Oh my, God. You were not sure you wanted to meet a nice bloke like I suggested but wow you did and that man likes you a lot. You can tell me all about it in the cab home’.

In the cab Elaine was sat next to Charlotte, getting the first degree of meeting Steve.

‘So did you get his number then?’ asked Charlotte.

‘I sure did’, answered Elaine showing Charlotte the slip of paper with Steve’s phone number on it.

‘Will you see him again?’

‘He so wants to. I had to confess to him when he went in for the first kiss about what Mike did to me and why if I did take things with Steve further he would have to be patient with me and he understood’.

Charlotte just smiled. She was so happy to see her friend smiling and happy again. She was pleased that she had planned this night and it would not be the last.

Elaine and Charlotte arrived at Charlotte’s home before she said to Elaine ‘I know you have nowhere to stay for a while so you are staying with me. Charlotte showed her to what would be her room for a while and after a brief chat they said goodnight to each other before retiring to bed. Elaine and Charlotte were tired but happy with the day that they had had.

Elaine made herself comfortable in bed with a smile on her face. It felt so good to be able to smile again. The whole day from the spa, lunch, numerous drinks and the partying had been the best day of her life for quite a while and then there was meeting Steve. What would happen with Steve? Her thoughts stopped there as she had nodded off into a happy sleep. A happy sleep; where she might just dream of a handsome man.


Dark Places

One regretful night leads Mike and Elaine Fear to take stock of their lives. They were a loving couple but soon have to take stock of their lives, Elaine wants to move on but Mike suffers dark moments and so experiences dark places. Elaine falls in love with a new man, Steve but can she be truly happy with him? This is a story of a trust that should never have been broken but when it was it led to consequences for both parties involved, including dark thoughts, pregnancies, engagements and being true to themselves…..would there be any light from the dark places?

  • Author: Wendy Walker
  • Published: 2015-09-27 18:20:07
  • Words: 8973
Dark Places Dark Places