This evening Bartholomew came over for dinner and a “lesson.” It went better than expected. I think this young man is exactly what’s needed for Operation Happily Ever After...
* * *
Bartholomew arrived at Gerald's house with flowers in his hand just as it was getting dark outside. Per The Nanny's instructions, he entered through the back gate. The last time Bartholomew was at Gerald's house he left through the same gate after burning down the pool cabana. Bartholomew was excited about his evening with The Nanny, but entering Gerald's property gave him a chill – a sense of dread.
To Bartholomew's surprise, where the charred blackened shell of a cabana used to be now stood a modest size cottage with a pool on one side and gardens on the other three. In the fading sunlight, it looked heavenly. This was now the home of The Nanny, who Bartholomew could see through the kitchen window pulling something out of the oven. He could not imagine a more perfect domestic scene than this: a beautiful simple house, a beautiful woman, and amazing food. (The Nanny had picked up very quickly on Bartholomew's taste in food and... him.)
“No, no, no,” Bartholomew said to himself. “Stop it! I might have burned this house down last time I was here, but I deserve happiness. I want a girlfriend and someone to spend my life with. I deserve to be here – even if everything else is so much...more than me.” Eyeing Gerald's house, a grand mansion to which another wing was added since he had last seen it, Bartholomew's heart crumpled one more time before he shored it up and went to knock on the cottage door.
Before his knuckles could touch the vinyl-encased fiberboard, it opened, and there stood Kyle the pool boy. “Dude, long time, chyah,” said Kyle.
“What are you doing here?” asked Bartholomew somewhat confused and irate. Memories of finding Kyle and Geraldine, who he was then dating, in nothing but towels in the darkened cabana swirled through his mind.
“Inventory, hehe,” said Kyle. “Pool season starts soon. Just checking on stuff, Dude.” Seeing the flowers in Bartholomew's hand, Kyle asked, “What are you doing?”
“I came to see The Nanny,” said Bartholomew.
“Wrong door,” said Kyle. “Her door's over there. This is pool storage, chyah.”
Bartholomew felt relieved that Kyle hadn't actually been in The Nanny's house. “Thanks,” said Bartholomew and headed to The Nanny's door.
“Dude, you should've stuck with Geraldine. The Nanny's weird. She's too perfect and she knows it. Geraldine was cool, chyah,” said Kyle as he left.
Bartholomew knocked on an old wooden door. While waiting, he thought what's wrong with perfection? True, Geraldine wanted to be with him. She liked how kind and polite he was and she certainly was up for having sex, maybe every night – or more. Maybe even a lot more. But The Nanny was beautiful, and she wanted to be with Bartholomew, too. She wasn't as driven to have sex, but Bartholomew figured he didn't really need sex several times a day. Maybe just once a day would be okay.
The Nanny opened the door. “Hi Bartholomew! Come on in.”
Bartholomew walked into a house that seemed to be very old with dark wooden beams, plaster walls, antique furniture and handmade rugs. This surprised him since he knew the house was less than a year old.
“Do you like my stuff?” asked The Nanny. “I have collected it over the years and take it with me whenever I get a new job.”
“Haven't you been a nanny for Gerald's kids for six or seven years?” asked Bartholomew.
“Six years, eight months.”
“You're not that old. What other nanny gigs have you had?”
“Oh, a few more. But let's not talk about that. Guess what I made for dinner?” Not waiting for Bartholomew to answer she said, “Corn on the cob, green beans, marinated lamb and kale chips.”
“Kale chips?” asked Bartholomew.
“Yes, it’s a new recipe I learned. I think you’ll like them.”
Bartholomew and The Nanny had a perfectly wonderful meal full of good food and good conversation. For dessert, a wild berry torte with real whipped cream, The Nanny put on some coffee and suggested they retire to the living room.
They escorted each other and their desserts to a big comfortable upholstered couch with maple legs. The coffee table was also made of maple and held magazines, a few chotzkes and a condiment dish full of chocolates.
“Oh, this light is too bright. We need candles. Bartholomew, could you grab me the matches on the windowsill behind you?”
At this, Bartholomew became a bit nervous. “Do we need candles?” Memories swirled in his head again. This time it was of Geraldine asking him to retrieve some matches from a windowsill in the cabana. It was one of those matches that started the cabana on fire.
“Don't be silly. I promise you, you will be happier with candles,” said The Nanny.
Bartholomew found the matches and handed them to her. She lit five candles and placed them on tables around the couch. They turned their attention to the very tasty tortes and conversed while eating.
“So, how are your garden plans coming?” asked The Nanny as she ate her last bite.
“Oh, very well. Topping, Charlotte, Ned and Claire are all going to garden with me and so are Uncle Jeffrey and Aunt Josephine. I am very excited.”
Putting her plate on the coffee table and then moving closer to Bartholomew, The Nanny said, “That's great. Is there room for one more?”
“Absolutely,” said Bartholomew as he put down his plate and moved closer to The Nanny. At the same time, they both moved to kiss each other. As they pulled their faces away they stared into each other's eyes. Bartholomew put his arm around The Nanny and they kissed again. This time they kissed much longer. They kissed several more times – each kiss becoming longer and more passionate. Bartholomew wanted to put his hand on The Nanny's breast but wanted to be polite and wait for a signal from her. Instead, he cradled her head in his hand and then began to stroke her hair while they kissed.
“Ohhh,” said The Nanny, “that feels so good. Keep stroking my hair and patting my head. Oh, that drives me crazy!”
Bartholomew didn't mind stroking her hair, but he felt a little funny when he patted her head. But The Nanny's groans indicated that, as silly as Bartholomew felt, he was on the right track. The Nanny unexpectedly pushed Bartholomew backward on to the couch. His leg kicked out and knocked over something on the coffee table. Bartholomew went rigid. He could see a candle rolling to the edge of the table, wax spilling on a magazine. The candle fell aflame onto a handmade floor rug. He was about to yell out, “NO, STOP, GERALDINE! THERE'S A FIRE!” but the candle landed on its tip and went out immediately.
“Are you okay?” asked The Nanny.
Bartholomew took one more glance at the candle and saw that it was indeed out. All of his muscles relaxed and he smiled. He was not with Geraldine. Things were not necessarily going to be a disaster. “Yeah, I'm great,” he said and kissed her again with renewed passion.
With The Nanny lying on top of him, Bartholomew was rubbing her back while they continued kissing. He slowly pulled her shirt out of her pants and began to rub his hands up and down on her skin. The Nanny stopped kissing Bartholomew, arched her back and groaned some more.
“Oh, that feels so good, Bartholomew. You know just how to touch me, mmmm,” said The Nanny. “Could you put your hand down my pants and rub my butt? That would feel so good, mmmm.”
Bartholomew gladly did as he was told.
The Nanny groaned more and rubbed her body on Bartholomew as he lay underneath. “Yesssss, could you rub me just above the end of my spine?” asked The Nanny. “Like, imagine if I had a tail. Rub where it would meet my back and my butt, mmmm.”
Batholomew could have found the spot with out such an odd description. But he was happy to make her happy and to have her on top of him, making his body feel good, too. Rubbing this new spot made The Nanny wriggle. She arched her back even more and could hardly control herself. She breathed heavily and placed her hands on Bartholomew's bosoms and began massaging them while riding on him. This felt very good to Bartholomew, until he smelled burning coffee. Then the beeping started. Loud long beeps of a smoke alarm filled the air and Bartholomew's head. The Nanny ignored them for a moment, continuing to ride Bartholomew who had an urge to yell out, “STOP! THERE'S A FIRE! WE CAN'T DO THIS!” But before he could yell out, The Nanny left the couch and went to the kitchen. She turned off the coffee maker and put the coffee pot in the sink. She then waved a towel in front of the alarm until the smoke dissipated enough for the loud beeping to stop.
Bartholomew lay there and laughed. A calm pervaded his body. It was not going to be a disaster. He could be with someone he wanted without it ending up weird. What a relief.
The Nanny returned, and seeing Bartholomew smiling, happy and relaxed she said, “Now, where were we before that rude interruption?” As she sat down on the couch she removed her sweater. The Nanny grabbed Bartholomew's hands and pulled him on top of her as she lay back. He rubbed his hands across her skin. Her skin was so white and warm that it seemed to glow, as if the light of the universe was just underneath it. Bartholomew felt almost blinded by its beauty. He also felt her bra and a breast that lay underneath it.
Bartholomew kissed her neck, her forehead, her ears and her lips. He moved down on her body and kissed her clavicles and then began to kiss her breasts. As he did this, he moved his hand down to her stomach and gently rubbed it.
“Ohhhh, ohhhh, that feels so good,” said The Nanny.
Bartholomew focused on kissing and rubbing her breasts more and stopped rubbing her stomach.
“No, no, don't stop rubbing my stomach. Oh, that feels so good. Could you stop kissing my breasts and just rub my stomach, mmmm?”
Bartholomew stopped everything for a moment. He would much rather keep focusing on her breasts. He thought twice before he started rubbing her stomach again. If that was what she wanted, he would do it. But he also started to wonder when he would get what he wanted.
The Nanny unzipped her pants and asked Bartholomew to rub lower – but not too low. She also liked it when he rubbed her ribs with his fingertips. As Bartholomew rubbed her stomach, her moans became louder and involuntary. The Nanny grabbed his hands and said, “Stop. Stop. Oh, that drives me wild. We should stop here. This is our first time being intimate, we should stop here.”
Bartholomew stopped because he thought it was polite to stop when a woman says to stop. The Nanny zipped up her pants and sat up. She put on her sweater and kissed Bartholomew again. Bartholomew kissed her back.
“You seem a bit sad,” said The Nanny.
“Well, I'm a bit frustrated,” said Bartholomew. “I would have liked to continue what we were doing. If you’re uncomfortable, I can honor that, but I still want to be on this couch making-out with you and having you rub me where I like it, too.”
“Oh, Bartholomew, that will come. But you can understand where I am coming from, can't you?”
“Well, yes. I can understand if you don't want to become more vulnerable. I am not expecting going all the way tonight, but a little more rubbing and a little more sharing of our private parts would have been nice.”
“Oh, Bartholomew. I am afraid you don't understand,” said The Nanny with a look of concern in her eyes. “I was as vulnerable as I can be. The act of sex isn't what does it for some women. For some, sex is just a recreation or a way of being close, but what really turns them on is when a man doesn't strive to have sex – when a man strokes her hair and holds her close instead of always seeking intercourse. That's when a woman really knows that a man loves her, not just what he can do with her. Do you understand?”
Bartholomew looked away at the flame of a candle. He thought it was much more fun with a woman who wanted to have sex first and then figure out all the emotional stuff later. But then again, nothing burned down this time. Maybe he was better off approaching things this way.
“After all,” said The Nanny, “once you’re in a long-term relationship it's not like you are having sex all the time – I think a couple times a week if you're lucky.”
“What?” asked Bartholomew feeling like his dreams had been dashed upon the rocks.
“And besides, there are other people to think about,” said The Nanny.
Bartholomew was about to ask what she meant by that when The Nanny said, “I really like you Bartholomew. I think you are the right person. The time will come when you will be completely satisfied. But, to get there, we need to work out a few things, learn a few things from each other. Trust me, I have your best interests in mind, too. When can I see you again?”
“Uh, how about Tuesday night? Do you want to come to my place for dinner?”
“Hey, there is a great band I want to go see. They're called The Dionne's. Can we do that?” asked The Nanny.
“Sure, I love them,” said Bartholomew. “Does picking you up at seven work?”
“Yeah,” said The Nanny as she got up and walked Bartholomew to the door. “Seven is perfect.”
They kissed a few more times – and then some more. Bartholomew didn't want to let go of her.
“Good night,” she said.
“Good night,” replied Bartholomew and walked out the door.
As Bartholomew strolled through Gerald's back yard he wondered how an experience could be so satisfying and yet so unsatisfying at the same time. It just made Bartholomew want more. He wasn't paying attention as he reached the back gate and almost ran smack into Xavier. Immediately, Khua moved forward and pushed Bartholomew out of the way and was ready to punch him. Even in the moonlight Bartholomew could tell that Khua's face was bruised and his knuckles were bloody. But then Xavier recognized Bartholomew and told Khua to stop.
“What are you doing in my yard, Bart?” sneered Xavier.
“Just visiting The Nanny,” said Bartholomew.
“You’re not dating her now, too, are you? I guess not, the house didn't burn down,” sneered Xavier as he moved to stand in front of Bartholomew.
“I'm really sorry about the cabana. I didn't mean for it to catch on fire.”
“How come you're always apologizing for messing up my stuff? You burn down my cabana, you break my gun, you drop my stocking and you touched... it. What did you fuck up tonight? Ooooh, maybe tonight you did...”
“Xavier!” a voice rang out into the night air. “Let Bartholomew go home in peace. He was here visiting me. It has nothing to do with you. Now leave him be,” said The Nanny.
“You got her protecting you now, too?” said Xavier in a voice low enough that The Nanny couldn't hear. He continued, “If I ever catch you messing with any of my stuff again, I'm going to take care of you. This island’s not big enough for the two of us, so leave my stuff alone.”
“What island is that?” asked Mo.
“Shut up,” said Xavier.
“Yeah, like, what island you talking about?” asked Khua.
“Shut up! Both of you.” Xavier turned back to Bartholomew. “Like I said, leave my stuff alone or you'll see what happens when The Nanny isn't around to protect you.”
Xavier turned to leave and Khua and Mo followed him. The Nanny waited to see that the boys would leave Bartholomew alone and then waved goodnight to Bartholomew. He waved goodnight back.
* * *
Even though everything went really well tonight, Diary, I do have a concern about this one. I am wondering if he will survive long enough! Until tomorrow.
* * * * *
The Nanny Diary is the 24th story in The Book of Bartholomew. The story is written by Mark Granlund and illustrated by Justin Terlecki.
Bartholomew becomes an unsuspecting participant in The Nanny's Operation Happily Ever After. Will Bartholomew fulfill The Nanny's odd requests around intimacy? Could this possibly make anyone happy ever after?
You can see the full-color flipbook version of this story here.