He had thick black hair, blue eyes and a well-built figure. Bradley Butterfield was considered to be an eye-catcher. A handsome man, who shouldn’t have any difficulty to attract female attention and considering his age should have had plenty of sexual encounters by now.
Bradley Butterfield was well in his forties and never had had sex in his life. Yes, the geek still living with his mom, having his shirts ironed got away with it, but not handsome Bradley, running a farm on his own.
Concerning the loner there were many rumors circulating about his apparent nonexistent sex life. Bradley was living in the Australian outback within a close knit community, where everyone thought he knew everything about all the others. But there were quite a few things they didn’t know about Bradley. In people’s minds there was no plausible explanation, when a good looking man like him got this old without having had plenty of sex. What was wrong with the guy! Men are supposed to have plenty of sex with different women before settling down. Women on the other hand should start not quite as soon, but still start otherwise they would be called frigid and wouldn’t be able to fulfill their future husband’s wishes. They could have one or two sexual encounters before they got married. But a man simply couldn’t call himself a proper guy, if he hadn’t slept around.
So, what was wrong with Bradley Butterfield?
Bradley’s mom had died during childbirth. His dad and three brothers brought him up on their own. Although it could have been argued whether he had been brought up at all. Bradley’s dad detested the youngest son, blaming him for the terrible loss of his one and only love. He never had wanted a fourth child. Three had been more than enough. Bradley was an accident and according to his mom’s calculations never should have happened in the first place. This child had been cursed, having been send by the devil himself. It was him, who took his wife away.
Bradley’s father felt so ashamed of his son, that he denied his existence altogether, pretending that his wife had died of a rare disease instead of childbirth. The community didn’t quite know what to make of the story. Some speculated she might have died in childbirth, leaving a fourth child behind. But no one was sure. It was better not to challenge Mr. Butterfield. He had a reputation for being short-tempered. Especially since his wife had died. Walking down the streets, he appeared like a ticking time bomb best to be left alone.
Bradley for most of the time was locked away in his room, being the furthest as possible away from his dad. Meals were brought to him by his brothers, who apart from the oldest one tried to avoid him as much as possible. The father’s view of Bradley being send by the devil had rubbed off on to them. If Bradley’s dad wouldn’t have been a christian, he probably would have killed the baby right away. Sometimes in his dreams, the dad saw himself killing the son, who had brought so much misery in his life. It was best he never lay eyes on him again.
Being denied of an existence outside his own family, Bradley didn’t attend school. He barely had any contact to a living soul apart from his oldest brother Dave, who took pity on him and secretly taught him how to write and read. From time to time he would keep him company, telling him what was going on in the world.
Dave once had tried to talk to his dad. This wasn’t a life for Bradley. The oldest brother ended up in hospital with a broken arm and a few broken ribs. Strangely Bradley didn’t really seem to mind his fate and when the time had come he’d be old enough to finally leave his prison behind, David knew.
One night, Bradley’s father just dropped dead on the kitchen floor, having had too much drink. At the funeral people got to see Bradley, 17 years of age, for the first time. The two other brothers left soon after the funeral had taken place, wanting to leave their old life behind for good. Dave stayed with Bradley, introducing him slowly to the outside world, which felt so overwhelming to young Bradley.
It soon turned out, that he loved working the land and had quite a hand for it, even with so little experience. Bradley started to work with wood, creating quite mesmerizing, artful objects his brother sold at the market. He was too shy. Other people apart from his brother freaked him out. Especially women, he didn’t like the way they looked at him and they seemed so strange.
For several years, the two brothers had lived a somewhat happy and peaceful life together until Dave all of a sudden died, fainting on the kitchen floor. Doctors blamed it on his weak heart.
Bradley stayed in the house on his own, farming the land. He only mixed with people when he sold his wooden objects on the market, to keep him afloat. Bradley liked being on his own. It was the only way he knew to live his life.
After Dave’s death people had made an effort to integrate Bradley a bit more in the community. They soon had to admit, that it was hopeless and left him to his own devices.
Sometimes in his lonely nights Bradley dreamed about love. But he immediately reminded himself that he wasn’t good for women and that if he approached one of them he might end up killing her, just like he had killed his mother. He had been cursed. It was better not to think of such things.
Bradley didn’t know, but his life was about to change. It started when the men in the village had too much to drink and decided to find Bradley a woman to have sex with. Bets were running high this evening.
Would Bradley finally become a proper man? Many bet he wouldn’t.
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