The first time I came to Dr Grace’s office I was brought here by my husband, Henry, largely against my will. He’d taken my arm as I’d alighted the carriage outside of the fabric store and held it, quite tightly I might add, as he all but marched me to a squat building at the end of the bustling street.
Once inside, he’d explained to the doctor in hushed tones that I’d become somewhat difficult of late, and he blushed when he confessed that, because the idea of beating me offended his principles, he was having trouble bringing me back into line. The two men had whispered and gestured, peering at me over the rims of their spectacles, their foreheads wrinkled into disapproving frowns as they pondered over what should be done with me.
Dr Grace had given me a tight-lipped look and diagnosed me without even crossing the room. My treatment was decided, I was ushered into a room at the back of the office and there my life had changed.
Today marks my third visit to Dr Grace’s office in as many weeks. Now, as they had then, a small gathering of painted ladies smirk at me from outside of a curtained building across the road. That first time I’d been confused as to why they found my visit to the doctor amusing. The second time I’d had to fan the pinkness from my cheeks. But this time? This time I lower my gaze, trying to conceal a smile of my own. I know now what they’d known all along.
I’m half certain Mr Potts rolls his eyes at me as I nod towards his desk and take a seat. Hands folded in my lap, I stare ahead, sitting as prettily as Henry would expect. In just a few moments, Dr Grace appears through a side door. Liver spotted hand held out to my husband, he shakes his head at me. They mumble a few words, one labelling the treatment ineffective and the other assuring him that, given time, my histrionics will abate.
Dr Grace motions for me to rise and I cross the room, slip through the rear door and take a steadying breath. Sitting in a chair at the side of a low table is Dr Grace Jr. Where his father is Henry’s age, the younger Grace is closer to mine. Laughter has yet to crease his eyes, no frost has touched his hair. He raises an eyebrow when he sees me but, as expected, says nothing.
Taking my arm as men his age are wont to do, Dr Grace guides me to the table. He supports my head as I lie back, pulls my skirts to just below my knees. A whispered word in his son’s ear and then he is gone.
My days are filled with the sounds of children arguing, dogs barking, and Henry complaining. But here all is quiet. Because it’s so quiet, Dr Grace Jr’s breathing seems loud. Steady, measured, calm. Listening to it relaxes my mind, even as anticipation makes my body ever tenser.
As he did last time, the young Grace makes me wait. Unlike the last two times, I watch him. He doesn’t look at me and I don’t expect him to. He has a job to do and the man does it well. So well, I’m happy to misbehave, to defy Henry, to yell at the maids and throw myself upon my bed and weep. Henry believes that I need this treatment but he’s wrong. I don’t need it, I want it.
When my skirts rustle, I hold my breath. This is it! The time has come. Dr Grace Jr’s hands press against the insides of my thighs, pushing until they’re adequately parted. I expect the shock of initial contact to make me jump but it doesn’t come yet.
Instead, he kneads my thighs with his thumbs, pressing in hard until the muscles protest. From there his thumbs move higher, tracing the soft skin where my thighs meet my body, pushing my furred lips together and stroking up and down.
A quick flash of some emotion I don’t recognise passes over his face and I wonder if the wetness he’s coaxing from between my lips displeases him. I can feel his fingers moving more freely because of my fluids. The pleasantness of it makes me force my back against the table in order to raise my hips higher. He looks at me then. Just briefly. Half a smile and then his fingers edge over my lips and burrow between.
It wasn’t like this last time. Then he’d placed two fingers against a very responsive spot and circled them until…until… But this time I feel him everywhere. Pulling my lips apart by splaying his fingers, flicking their tips over my sensitive spot, using his fingers in the same way Henry uses his penis. Inside of me, two of them, rotating slowly. Pressing, then thrusting, then slipping out so his entire hand can cup all of me tightly.
I’m shocked when I feel his other hand skimming my ankle. I know that, with both of his arms now beneath my skirts they’re lifting higher and higher, almost high enough for him to see. Dr Grace Jr uses one hand to pull my lips apart, one finger slowly rubbing at my sweet spot, while the fingers of the other slide back inside of me.
Henry hasn’t ever seen what he must be able to see. I haven’t even seen it. I had no idea that it could be used for anything more than urination and providing Henry with a release and children, but the young doctor has shown me otherwise.
He falls into a rhythm, massaging an ache that gets deeper and tighter the longer it goes on. I can’t stop myself from moving. With him, against him, trying to get him in deeper, whimpering for him to rub faster. My eyelids flutter open and shut and I see flashes of him. Lips pressed together in effort, eyes half closed, sweat beading his brow. Tendons strain in his arms, he gives his weight to the table so abruptly it moves.
And then I’m falling, holding onto his arm, gasping, crying out to the Lord. A spread of warmth informs me that I’ve urinated on him, as I did last time, and his quiet laugh assures me that he doesn’t mind at all.
As I lie quietly, smiling up at him as he towels his forearm, I have a thought. Maybe it isn’t me who needs to see him next time. Maybe Henry should come in my stead. After all, he is the one who wants me to behave and I can honestly say that, if he could learn to touch me like this, there would be no bounds to the good girl I would become. But if not, well… I’ll always have young Dr Grace.