My beautiful daughter walked in, bright and cheery, to spend her Saturday morning cleaning and to cook me an evening meal, with enough for leftovers for lunch the next day. She'd been doing that each week for the last year, ever since her Mum died.
I really valued the help. My wife had looked after me really well all our lives, but I was all thumbs and no skills when it came to looking after myself.
Sometimes my daughter Tracey would spend so much time house-cleaning, that she would spend the night in her old room, and go back home to her husband and kids the next day.
"I've brought you some lunch, today, Dad" she said as she walked past me into the kitchen. "You didn't have very much in the fridge when I popped in on Thursday."
How did she always manage to look like a magazine-cover model, before, during and after cleaning all day? It was remarkable. Having such a beautiful face and figure helped, I suppose. She was just like her Mum used to be, radiantly beautiful.
Tracey made us a pot of coffee and brought out two cups. She said "Let's drink this in our Talking-Spot, Dad."
As Tracey was growing up, we happened to have several deep and meaningful conversations on the verandah, in the corner overlooking the meadows, the long path, and the creek in the distance. From then on we would purposely go to that corner whenever we needed to talk about something of importance, frequently to do with the family relationships.
My sons had all grown and left home, and my wife was no longer alive, so I guessed Tracey, the youngest, wanted to talk about her relationship with me. Maybe she was going to stop coming each week. That was understandable. She had a family of her own now, and they probably all needed her even more than I did.
I sat down while Tracey poured the coffee. I said "What's up?"
"You know, Dad, that computer you gave me for my last birthday has really opened me up to a lot of new ideas about life. New ways of looking at things. I've been meeting new people on-line whose lives are very different from ours."
"Yes. By the way, if it's not too personal, how long has it been since you last had sex?"
I nearly choked, and almost spilled my coffee. "What do you want to know that for?"
"Oh, I'm sorry Dad" Tracey said, patting me on the back. "If you don't want to tell me, you needn't."
"I had it about once a year or so before your mother got sick. Why do you ask?"
"Well, as you know, I want to do my best to look after you. I just wanted to make sure you weren't feeling sexually frustrated, without Mum around."
"Well, to be honest with you, darling, I was sexually frustrated even when she was around!"
"Oh dear. We have to think of something to do about that" said my daughter.
"Oh I don't think we can do much. I wouldn't want do it with anyone I didn't really love, no matter how frustrated I am."
Tracey got out her note-book and a biro. She always carried a pink note-book with little hearts and flowers on it, for writing down what I needed - food, cleaning liquids, toiletries and so on.
She wrote, saying "Okay, let's see. Someone you love very much. Preferably someone young and pretty, am I right?"
"Well yes, but..."
"Someone, say, about my age, am I right?"
"Well sure, that would be ideal, but I don't see how..."
"And of course she'd have to love you too. Okay, that's the project I'll work on next. I'll think about that all week, and I suggest you do the same."
My daughter tore off the page and handed it to me. "Now I'd better get to work."
She went inside to start cleaning up, carrying the empty cups with her. I looked at the list.
PROBLEM: Sexual relationship needed.
1. Must be someone you love.
2. Someone young and pretty.
3. Someone my age.
4. Someone who loves you too!
PLAN: Think about this.
Signed, your very loving daughter,
My immediate reaction was "How in hell are we going to find someone like that!"
For a brief moment, a thought crossed the back of my mind. "Could Tracey be hinting that... No, no, that's impossible! She wouldn't..."
Then I remembered. She had said she had opened up to new ideas, new ways. Could she mean...
I went inside with the list. I was puzzled. I began "Ah, honey! Do you mean... er... that is, I was wondering..."
"Um.. Er... Oh never mind!"
Tracey touched my arm. "Dad! It's alright. It's alright. I really love you, you know? I want to help you all I can, in whichever way works best. Tell you what, instead of scrubbing the floor today, I might give you a massage instead. Wouldn't that be nice?"
"Oh, that would be lovely darling. Okay!" I said.
She had massaged ber Mum a few times, years ago. I said "Do you want me to lie down, somewhere?"
"I just happen to have a folding massage table in the back of my car, and a bottle of really nice massage oil, Dad. I'll get them."
"Yep! I didn't come unprepared!" she said with a twinkle in her eye.
"I didn't know you had a massage table!" I said.
"I didn't! I bought it on the way here. Just for you Dad! You need a female touch, I think. It's a long time since someone gave you a loving touch, isn't it."
What a lovely idea. But what did she have in mind, I wondered. The list she had written had me puzzled. Was it a hint? It sure sounded like one!
She went to her car and came in with the massage table and oil. We unfolded it and set it up. Then she went to her room, and came out in her cotton bathrobe. She adjusted it, revealing her side, which was completely bare. She had nothing on underneath, probably for more freedom of movement.
I got undressed and started to climb onto the massage table. "Just a minute Dad!"
"Dad, your whole body needs to be touched. Would you feel comfortable about removing those as well?"
"Oh. Yes. Righto" I said, and slid my underpants down.
I lay down on my front. For the next hour, my daughter worked her way around my body, relaxing all my muscles, soothing tension in muscles I never knew I had.
When I was on my back, she left a towel on my front, leaving my genitals covered. She shifted the towel about so that she could massage just above and below them.
At the end of the massage she said "There's one more part that needs touch, Dad. I want you to tell me if you find it invasive or embarrassing, and I'll stop, okay?"
Then she lifted the towel, slid her hand underneath, and placed her hand softly on my genitals. It felt beautiful! They had never been touched by a female hand before. And because it was my daughter, we were both feeling love and intimacy together.
Strangely enough, I also felt an innocence, though it's hard to know why, exactly.
Tracey said softly "How is that, for you, Dad? Can you cope with this?"
I couldn't help blurting out "It's lovely!" sounding more like a child than an adult.
"Good. You're done" said Tracey, giving me a friendly pat on my thigh. "Now I want you to lie there for a few minutes, exploring any nice feelings and thoughts, and don't get up until you feel ready to.
I lay there glowing with happiness. I had been worried about what her list meant. I was relieved that nothing sexually confronting happened, but perhaps just slightly disappointed as well. But I was softly glowing with love, and maybe that's what I really needed.
Later, when I got up, she was sitting in our special Talking-Spot with a pot of coffee. As it was a hot summer's night, she was still wearing her robe. "Ah! Dad. How are you feeling now?"
I sat down with her and she poured me a hot cup. "Glowing!" I said. "Thanks so much!"
"You're welcome. I think we should do that every week for a while."
I asked "About your list. Where on earth are we going to find someone like that, someone who fills all those requirements."
"I'm already working on it, Dad!" Tracey said with a soft smile. "It might be easier than you think. She could be just around the corner." Then she looked down, smiling to herself and blushing.
After dinner, Tracey rang her husband to say that she would be staying the night. She had sometimes stayed the night in the past, when there was a lot of housework, and her husband, a very kind, supportive man, was always happy to help out by taking care of everything at home. You could
always tell from the way they spoke to each other that they were very deeply in love.
Instead of watching TV, my daughter and I spent the evening chatting, mostly about her childhood experiences. It was 'Dad, remember when this happened?' all evening! We both had a lot of fun reliving old memories.
At around bedtime she said "Dad, remember when I used to get into bed with you and Mum? It used to be so comforting. I remember you saying it was really nice for you too."
My daughter continued "I used to snuggle up to you and feel safe, and you used to feel really loved, didn't you!"
"Ah yes" I said "I remember those times well. I felt then what I felt after the massage, glowing with love."
"Tell you what. Tonight, let's keep the energy of the massage going. I'll lie next to you again and we can just lie there, bathing in each other's love, just like we used to. I think it would do us both good."
I had a tiny concern in the back of my mind that it was inappropriate because she was now an adult, but she was enthusiastic, and we had just been talking about her childhood, and we had just been saying how nice it was. Our entire evening had brought the precious memories flooding
back. So I said yes.
It wasn't all that long ago, I thought to myself as I got into bed, that she was last in my bed. Was it only ten years ago? Eight? I couldn't remember. Now here she was, in her nightie, getting in again.
The same familiar smile, the same familiar love in her eyes.
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