Aunt And Nephew

Sandra Swarts was accompanied by her two teen aged daughters, Elizabeth and Tanya Pong, offspring of her first marriage, a marriage that left her, at the age of twenty-one years, sexually dissatisfied. She mentally prepared for the weekend as she drove to her mother’s party to be held at Roodeplaat Dam while her two daughters aged thirteen and eleven sat in the backseat of the Honda.

Her mother, of course, would want to know why her companion for the past five months, had not come to the party with her. She expected him, as usual, much as she disapproved of her daughter’s latest lover. Johanna Swarts would be satisfied by nothing less than the attendance of her entire family at the party, but Sandra and her partner had reached the point of breaking up after their five-month long affair and she didn’t want her mother to know about this latest mess until it was necessary.

Only a dermatologist could have come close to guessing Sandra’s age, and only in a bright light. She knew, without vanity, that she looked as if she were in her early twenties. But if she were seen next to her daughters? The difference between being far and away the prettiest thirty-one-year-old woman in Eersterust and being a normally pretty fifteen-year-old girl is encompassed in just one word: youth. And youth, authentic, heartbreaking, flushed youth, was the only thing she could no longer attain.

Sandra had always been a great beauty – but as far as men and women were concerned, and her concerns had always begun and ended with both sexes – being beautiful was what made them approach her.

Sandra had been at her teen aged prime in the mid-1970s and she had kept a seventies look stubbornly and instinctively, without any of the thoughtful premeditation with which Charmaine, Mary-Ann and Nelly, her sisters, approached their appearances.

She was five feet nine and her black hair hung long and straight to her shoulders. Shorter strands of hair were encouraged to fall over one eye or even into her mouth, to be casually puffed away in charming impatience. Her eyes, bright and brown, were always heavily fringed in frank layers of black mascara; her small, fine nose and tiny, delicate nostrils had the charm of a child’s. Her mouth was dainty yet deeply curved and it pouted in an enchantingly infantile way above her well-formed chin. Her skin was so perfectly pink and white that it gave her the quality of a very expensive doll who had been dressed as a hippie by accident rather than design.

Sandra always wore tight, low-slung jeans or the shortest of mini-skirts with close-fitting vests that were cut to deliberately reveal the exquisitely feminine curve of her belly and the dimple of her belly button. She had dozens of pairs of pointy-toed Western boots in every kind of leather, a closet full of lavishly decorated cowgirl jackets, and pounds of silver and turquoise jewelry.

Rounded, appetizing, tiny-waisted, a lush little tidbit of a female with delectable breasts and bottom, Sandra could still display every inch of her slender and rigorously trained body. Her midriff, her inner thighs and her upper arms, those places where skin texture first changes as the tightness of youth is lost, were still in splendid shape. She had worked for that body, taking everything nature had given her and maintaining it with daily exercise classes and a strict diet, as vigilant as an obsessive curator of rare manuscripts.

She knew, for Sandra was shrewd, that she dressed right on the borderline of bad taste. She produced herself in the wild thing spirit of the girls in the ads for Guess?, except that she didn’t reveal glimpses of her lingerie since she never wore any.

It would, of course, have been simplicity itself to slide gracefully into a way of dressing that was fashionable, suitable and yet youthful, but youthful wasn’t young. Young was Sandra’s operative word. Young meant men and women, constantly available men and women, light-hearted men and women too young to have ever considered that one-day they might find themselves on the verge of middle-age. Everything she put on her back, every hair on her head, every flesh coat of mascara, was intended to signal to these men and women that she was fuckable.

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