While the next part of The Plan is in the re-editing stage, I thought I'd share a story that my wife wrote not long before I started The Plan. It was a large undertaking, the kind that just grows as you write. I'm sure she'd want your comments, so please feel free to post them, positive or negative. She takes criticism pretty well. :)
Note: This is quite the slow-moving story where the action happens later. Enjoy.
A Dream Within A Dream (Madly in Love)
His name was Danny. During my short time at Williamson High I had already come to realize that he was considered strange. He was always alone; everyone avoided him like the plague. He wafted through each day as if a ghost, appearing only when absolutely required. He was dark, mysterious and obviously troubled, like crack cocaine for a teenage girl with a maternal complex. I thought he was beautiful.
I sat behind him in fourth period English. I remember loving that class, but not because of the teacher or curriculum. I wasn’t even particularly skilled in English, but it gave me the chance to be close to him. I would watch his every move, trying to make heads or tails of what was so magnetic about this boy.
On this particular day, I was entranced. I can’t even recall the topic that we were discussing. I sat, unabashedly staring at his back. His hair was thick, dark and wavy. It just brushed the collar of his starched uniform shirt. This of course was too long to conform to the dress code at the conservative private school, but he refused to change it, telling any teacher that complained where to shove their opinion on barber shops. It was one of those rare days when he did not wear his blazer, I loved those days. This allowed me to admire the curve of his neck, descending into broad shoulders and then a solid trim back. A prickling heat began in my panties as I fantasized about rubbing those shoulders and caressing that back.
I crossed my legs beneath my pleated skirt, squeezing the stimulated area and giving myself a little thrill. I must have been smiling stupidly, obviously lost in a daydream, because just then the teacher called on me.
“Ummm… Miss Strauss, perhaps you can elaborate further on the idea?” Mr. Veret’s voice dripped with sarcasm.
“Huh?” I looked up, turning crimson with indignity.
“Very good opinion Miss Strauss.” The asshole gestured to me, a shit eating grin on his face.
The classroom erupted in a deluge of hilarity. I wanted to crawl under the seat, jump out a window, anything to save me this humiliation. Everyone was laughing at my foible, everyone except Danny that is.
He remained seated, facing forward. His state of mind betrayed only by a slight tensing in his shoulders. Very suddenly, he threw his head back and raised his hand stick straight in the air.
“Yes Mr. Bernard?” Mr.Veret was trying to keep his cool, but was now tugging at his shirt collar in a telltale sign of anxiety.
Every teacher knew that when Danny Bernard bothered to raise his hand to say something, trouble was not far behind.
“I have something to say.” Danny stated calmly.
“Well, why don’t you favor us with your wisdom Mr. Bernard?” The teacher niggled.
That was a mistake.
Very suddenly Danny stood up and spread his arms, in an ironic mirroring of the teachers posture. “Well boys and girls… You see all of Shakespeare’s work can be boiled down into one simple little recipe. Sex, Copulation, Fucking you may call it.”
One of the blonde cheerleaders sitting in the corner pursed her face at him in disgust before returning to filing her nails.
“Mr. Bernard! That’s hardly…”
“Hardly what Sir?” Danny projected. “Appropriate? You know what I find inappropriate SIR? Someone who isn’t even educated enough to know that he doesn’t understand what he’s teaching; trying to teach this tripe to naïve little idiots like my respected peers over there.
He pointed directly at the group of Jocks and Cheerleaders that habitually gathered in the back corner of the room. Blondie stouched out loud this time, I couldn’t repress a giggle.
He glanced at me briefly before continuing. “Hamlet is not under some Devine influence when he sees his father’s ghost. He’s suffering from a syphilis induced hallucination. He couldn’t keep his cock out of the Whores at the local brothel, just like most noblemen in those days. That’s the truth and Shakespeare would have known it. That’s why he’s a genius and you, my dear Sir, are not!”
I cringed as Mr. Veret turned every color in the rainbow, his mouth opening and closing as if he didn’t even have words to describe his rage.
“Out!” He croaked.
“My pleasure sir.” Danny smiled wryly. “I’m sure the office has my usual seat all prepared. Should I make you a reservation?”
“Out!” Mr. Veret screamed, turning purple with fury.
The rest of that period was pretty much a blur.
Later that day I was rummaging through my messy locker, trying to find my Biology textbook. It was wedged at the back, stuck between a binder and an old Tupperware container. Not wanting to bother pulling everything out, I was yanking on it desperately. My Bio homework was due the next day.
Suddenly, a huge uproar broke out around me. Students were jumping up and down, screaming something unintelligible through the messy din. I squeezed my eyes shut to listen. As the mob came closer I could just make out the ruckus.
“The juice is loose!” They bellowed.
Of course it was the football team and their supporters. It took a moment to dawn on me, but then I realized what was going on. The OJ Simpson and Nichole Brown trial must have come to an end. It had been the main headline for the past year or so and he got off, as I knew he would. Back then, people with money simply didn’t go to Jail.
I rolled my eyes in disgust and resumed my struggle with the rogue textbook.
“Idiots!” A hiss came from behind my left shoulder.
I glanced back to see Danny standing there, within arms reach. He was squeezing his shoulders together in an attempt to make himself as small as possible. He obviously didn’t want to get mauled by the crowd.
“Stand by the lockers.” I smiled helpfully.
“Huh?” He couldn’t hear me over the sound of the pubescent posse.
“Stand by the lockers!” I yelled.
I felt somewhat awkward as he stood next to me, stick straight and silently glaring at the crowd. I thought that I should say something.
“Thanks.” I said.
He looked at me like I was some kind of alien. “For what?”
“Earlier, in class; you know… Shakespeare… Syphilis?” I tried, smiling even harder and raising my eyebrows in an attempt to at least illicit a grin from him.
“It was nothing.” He intoned blankly.
“No really, you totally saved my butt there.” My stomach flip flopped as I tentatively touched his arm in a friendly gesture.
He immediately shrugged away. I was happy that by this time the crowd had dissipated so that no one saw my rejection.
“I didn’t do it for you.” He stated plainly, then flung his black back pack over one shoulder and began to walk away.
I wasn’t hurt so much as angry that he would treat me that way, especially after I had tried so hard to connect with him.
“I don’t get you Danny Bernard!” I yelled after him sternly.
He turned to face me, but kept walking backward. “Nobody does.”
The corners of his full mouth turned down as he pivoted and resumed his path to the front doors of the school.
My heart fluttered as I realized that I had finally spoken to him. I sighed and fell back against my locker. Now I was thoroughly addicted to the mystery. I would go where no one else dare to tread. I would unravel the truth behind the mask of Danny Bernard.
The next day was business as usual. I had not slept well the night before. I tossed and turned for hours wondering what to do about Danny. Finally I was so exhausted that I decided to do nothing. I simply sat behind him in fourth period English, staring at the back of his head.
When the bell rang, my best friends Chrystal, Penny and Sam showed up at my locker as was habitual. Chrystal and Penny were twittering about what they were going to eat for lunch.
Sam took one look at me and said, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” I lied.
“Ok well I’m starving.” Sam said, throwing her long blonde hair over her shoulder.
“You know what guys.” I addressed the group in general. “I’m tired, I’m just gonna skip the afternoon.”
“You ok?” Chrystal and Penny asked in unison.
It was hard not to giggle as the two girls looked exactly the same, light brown hair, blue eyes and full figured, except that Chrystal was nearly six feet tall and Penny was not much more than four foot eight. It was like watching some weird version of tweedle dee and tweedle dum. They even made the same facial expression.
“Yeah. I’m just gonna go home and rest.” I said, suppressing a grin.
“You don’t want to hang out first?” Penny asked, her blue eyes squinted in concern.
“No thanks.” I really didn’t.
I watched them walk toward the cafeteria, Chrystal and Penny still twittering away and Sam glancing back at me imploringly.
I packed up my bag and decided to head for home. I quickly stopped by the nurses’ office and told her that I had period cramps and had to go. She wrote me the requisite note and I dropped it at the main office before heading out the back door. I didn’t want to run into anyone and no one came out in the back at lunchtime.
As I crossed through the back lawn of the campus I breathed in the fresh air and allowed the sun to shine on my face. It was closer for me to walk if I cut through the park anyhow and I needed the relaxation. To my surprise, halfway to the main road I saw a dark figure seated at the base of a weeping willow.
I squinted as I approached. It was Danny. He was sitting spread out on his school blazer, reading what appeared to be an ancient, decrepit, leather bound book and chewing on a sandwich.
I took a deep breath and steeled my courage. I approached him quietly.
I was practically standing over him before I said, “Hi.”
He looked up, a grimace on his face, obviously annoyed. He placed the bookmark in his book and laid it on his lap. He cocked his head and pursed his mouth, dark eyes blazing.
“Do what you came here to do and then fuck off so I can enjoy my lunch in peace.” He accused, his well balanced features distorted with anger.
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand.” I said, biting my lip to keep calm.
“Pretty bitches like you don’t come around me unless it’s to get a kick out of making fun, so go ahead.” He explained.
“You think I’m pretty?” Was my only reply, I suddenly couldn’t think of anything else.
He was taken aback by my reaction; he simply stared at me stunned. I decided to take my chance while I had it. I threw my backpack down next to him and plopped myself on it.
I could feel the heat of his body as I bent over, “What are you reading?”
“You really don’t take a hint do you?” He said, but his expression was already softening.
My breath became sharp at how beautiful his face really was when he was relaxed. He had clear skin and heavy eyebrows, but they were groomed. His dark eyes were bright and intelligent, his nose well shaped and proportionate. His lips were full and pink; I had the sudden urge to kiss him, but stopped myself.
“Well I was never that smart.” I chided. “And bitches like me don’t care about personal space.”
His hard exterior cracked and he laughed. Not a huge belly laugh, but more like a chortle. I giggled along with him. Before long we were both smiling.
“The Cask of Amontillado.” He said.
“Huh?” I was confused.
“It’s what I’m reading.” He began to chuckle at my expense again.
“Oh!” I replied, still having no idea what he was talking about.
My expression obviously gave me away because he felt the need to explain. “It’s by Edgar Allen Poe. It’s a short story.”
“Who’s Edgar Allen Poe?” I enquired dumbly.
“You are one strange girl Alexis.” He smiled.
I was shocked that he knew my name, but replied, “Alex please, and don’t laugh, I’m sure you haven’t heard of every author on the planet.”
“I’m sure I haven’t either”, he chided, “But Poe is classic. The telltale heart… The Raven… you’ve really never heard of him?”
“I guess my parents are really overpaying for this place huh?” I made fun of myself.
“Looks like it. I’ll tell you, if you want to learn anything of value you better teach yourself Alex.” He was serious.
The sound of him speaking my name made me weak in the knees, I took another deep breath. “What’s it about?”
“What’s what about?” Now he was the one confused.
“The Cask of whatever…” I clarified.
“Of Amontillado,” he corrected. “Are you really interested?” He looked skeptical.
“Yes.” And I was interested. I wanted to know everything about him, really get in his head.
“Well it’s kind of twisted.” He spoke with such passion for the work, “This duke guy kills his friend in the most terrible way. The really fucked up part is that he kills him for a mere insult! It’s so ironic because he lures him to his death by promising him his favorite wine.”
“Wow that is interesting.” I meant it. “I always thought that classics were boring.”
“Are you kidding? Poe is the real master of horror! Forget all of this contemporary garbage.” He was so animated and excited that it was infectious.
“I think I’m going to read it.” I said.
“You can borrow this.” He thrust the ancient looking tome into my lap.
“Oh I couldn’t! It looks valuable.” I resisted.
“Valuable shmaluable!” He said, “Just promise me you’ll read it.”
“Ok, I promise.” I was putting the book away as the bell rang.
He stood up and headed back toward the school.
“It was nice talking to you Danny.” I yelled after him.
“It was, wasn’t it?” He smiled and walked away.
I read Poe from cover to cover that night. I’m still a fan.
The next day I ditched my friends at lunch time again. I snuck out the small back door of the school and realized that the weather was not favorable. Rain drizzled lightly almost like mist. It delicately coated the grass and other flora giving off the unique fresh scent that only an early spring rain can. Danny could not be sitting out in this weather, he would get drenched after a while despite the mildness of the precipitation.
I looked down at my Mary-Jane clad feet, disappointed as I had absolutely no idea where he would go if not for the sad old willow hidden behind our school. I of course wanted desperately to see him, but it was more than that. I was excited by the new literature that he had introduced me to and was itching to talk to him about it. I began to realize what had attracted me to Danny. Of course he was as fine a specimen of a testosterone laden teenager as any other, but that was not all. Behind his dark good looks was a brain to match.
I peered out into the mist, hopeful yet realistically not expecting for him to be there. I got the surprise of my life. Strung between the willow and a nearby birch was a large poncho. Beneath it, Danny sat reading and eating just as he had been yesterday. This was the definition of him; he defied even Mother Nature herself.
I took a breath and began to jog toward him. I of course was soggy by the time I reached his resting place.
He looked up at me and smirked. “Well get under here you crazy girl, you’re going to catch pneumonia!”
I obliged immediately. “I didn’t think I’d find you here.” I gasped, my breath ragged from the exertion of running over.
“I’m always here.” He stated plainly.
“I see you come prepared.” I smiled, wringing out my damp hair and gesturing to the makeshift shelter.
“Always.” He replied.
“You’re determined also.” I chided, nudging him gently on the shoulder.
“This is the only time in my day that I get to relax.” He sighed, “I guard it jealously.”
“Then I feel privileged to spend it with you.” I smiled, but my words were serious.
“Anyone who has a taste for good literature is fine by me.” He gestured that I should come closer.
I sat with my hip just barely touching his and immediately felt a flush in my cheeks and panties. I was delighted and surprised when he pulled something out of his bag. It was a sandwich, wrapped in parchment paper.
“Here” He thrust the package at me. “I knew you would be back today. I made you lunch.”
“You did what?” I was genuinely shocked.
“Made you lunch.” He said slowly as if he were talking to a toddler. “You didn’t eat yesterday and by the look of it, you don’t eat much at all. I figured you would be back today to discuss the book I lent you, Poe is addictive.” He winked knowingly.
I blushed furiously. “Thanks Danny.”
I took the sandwich and bit into it delicately. It was delicious. I had never tasted quite that combination before. I realized then that I was starving and began to wolf it down.
“Woo mabe dis?” I asked through a full mouth.
Danny’s eyes lit up and he laughed. He laughed so hard that he held his ribs in an apparent attempt to keep his internal organs from escaping.
“How demure.” He sniggered.
I swallowed, “Shut up! It’s good.”
“It’s prosciutto, goat cheese and sundried tomatoes.” He smiled, satisfied with himself.
I cocked my head in amazement. None of those things sounded like anything that I would have actually eaten, but it was addictive.
“Wow. There’s a lot more to you than meets the eye Mister. How did you get so sophisticated?” I asked.
“I have this theory, that I’ve lived a thousand lives before this one.” He looked deadly serious. “I’ve never fit in with my so called peers. This particular recipe I learned from my neighbor. He’s sixty years old and from Italy, we have the most stimulating conversations about art and architecture.”
“Do you have a lot of older friends?” I asked, almost aghast at his lack of social understanding.
“They’re all older.” He admitted. “Well except you of course. So about Poe…”
My heart fluttered. He considered me a friend? Wow, I had made more headway than I thought.
“Oh it was great…” I began.
From that day on we had the same routine. Rain or shine we would meet beneath that old willow tree. He’d bring me lunch and we would discuss topics that blew my immature mind. We’d discuss literature, art history, natural history, even space time and ancient civilizations. I couldn’t wait for that one hour a day that I could spend with him. They enriched my life tremendously.
It had gotten to the point where I had blown my friends off so often that they had stopped even coming to my locker. They’d shoot me dirty looks in the halls and only speak to me when necessary. I didn’t care though. Spending time with Danny was worth it. I had surpassed them intellectually anyhow, I found their company banal and asinine.
In all that time, over a month, our relationship had not progressed past this stage. I didn’t go to his house, he didn’t come to mine. We didn’t hang out on the weekends and we never, ever got physical. I don’t know if it was because I was afraid to make the first move, but there seemed to be this unspoken rule between us. He did not seem open to anything other than this one hour a day friendship and though I was dying to kiss and caress him, I didn’t want to push it, in fear of losing him altogether.
Then one day, he wasn’t in English class. He wasn’t at our usual meeting spot either. For the first time in a long time, I wandered the halls of school not knowing what to do with myself. I finally settled on sitting under the ancient willow and reading, alone.
The next day was a Thursday, he didn’t show up again. When I saw he was absent on Friday I became desperate.
I knew where he lived; any proper teenage girl obsessed with a boy knows where he lives so she can pass by and moon at his window. Though I had never dared go there before, I was determined to find out what had happened to Danny.
The moment the final bell rang, I flew from the building and headed up Arbor Drive. Danny lived in the more ritzy part of town. Though my neighborhood was nothing to be ashamed of and we had a lovely five bedroom house, the houses on Arbor were virtually mansions. They sat, far apart, nestled on beautifully landscaped rolling hills, each peering down as if its own entity. The gardeners had already begun to work on the vast lots and gardens that surrounded each estate and the smell of fresh cut grass was everywhere.
I couldn’t help but relax as the mid-May sun warmed my body and the sound of birds chirping calmed my mind. This part of town was like stepping into a fairy tale. I approached the immense stone house and my breath caught in my throat. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all. Who would answer the door? Would he even be home? I seriously considered turning around and running for the hills, but my feet rooted to the spot.
Step by step I forced myself past the immense topiaries that flanked the antique cobblestone walkway. The draw to find out what had happened to my now best friend overwhelmed any trepidation in my heart. I stiffly climbed the few stone steps and steeled myself as I rang the doorbell.
I listened intently and heard a shuffling coming from inside. A moment later, a pretty middle aged woman answered the door. She looked haggard, tired and unkempt as if she had been through a battle, but nonetheless was stunning with her curly auburn hair and well shaped features.
“Yes Dear?” She said breathlessly.
Something about her was familiar. It took me a moment to realize that she reminded me of Danny. She must be his Mother, I thought.
“Ummm, Mrs. Bernard?” I took a chance.
“Yes?” She said, more impatiently this time.
“I um was wondering…” all confidence had left me. “Well you see, Danny and I are friends and I was wondering where he was and…”
“Danny’s been sick dear; you’ll have to come back another time.” She cut me off.
“Oh is he okay?” I tried.
“Yes yes, now run along.” She practically pushed me out the door.
As she was about to close it, I heard a loud holler coming from what seemed like upstairs. “Alex? Alex is that you?!?!”
“Go now please!” Mrs. Bernard said harshly.
It was too late; Danny was already bounding down the stairs. He was fully dressed including a light windbreaker for the subtle chill in the air, a bag swung from his right hand. He looked manic, almost crazed.
“Out of my way Mother.” He glared at her.
“Danny, you know you can’t…”
He cut her off by physically pushing her aside. He grabbed my arm, and began heading down the stone steps, slamming the heavy door in his mothers face.
I looked at him, fear in my eyes. I had never seen him so riled up except that day in English class.
“Danny, what the…?”
“Please Alexis, don’t ask me any questions. Just get me the Fuck out of here, I beg you.” His face was a mask of desperation.
What could I do but abide him? I didn’t know exactly what was going on, but my immature intuition niggled at me. I felt that we should not be in a public place. My parents were both in high powered jobs and often did not come home until after I had gone to bed, so I knew that my place would be empty. I’d take him there and I’d figure out what the heck was going on.
He was silent for the entire walk, but halfway to my house he took my hand. He held fast to it as if I were a helium balloon and would float away if he let go. Though I was confused and a little scared due to the circumstances, I couldn’t help but smile secretly at this turn of events.
He only surrendered his grip when we got to my front door so I could fish my keys out of my messy purse. I entered first and he followed behind me.
Suddenly he broke the silence. “I like your house.”
“It’s nothing like yours.” I said quietly, as if afraid to scare him.
“No it’s better. There’s love in this house. It’s so lived in.” His face fell and his eyes began to shimmer as he said this.
This time it was I who took his hand and gently led him to the living room.
“Sit down; I’ll be right back Danny.” I delicately removed his jacket and pushed him to the sofa.
He let me do this with no resistance; it was almost as if he were broken. I went to the kitchen and put the kettle on for tea. A good cup of chamomile always made me feel better and I was a loss for anything else to do to comfort him. As I steeped the teabag in a large mug I could hear Danny weeping softly in the other room.
I approached tentatively with the steaming cup. He must have heard me coming because he was already mopping his red eyes as I entered the room.
“Here, drink this, it’ll help.” I whispered.
He took the beverage and smiled weakly. “Thanks Alex.”
He took a long sip and sighed as I sat next to him on the well worn, cushy surface.
“What’s wrong sweetie?” I asked, my voice cracking in empathy for him.
“Everything.” He hissed miserably. “I can’t believe this is happening again.”
“What Danny? You can tell me anything, I promise.” I rubbed his arm and shoulder soothingly.
I had been burning for this kind of contact with him and it was as beautiful as I had imagined feeling him under my fingers, but I was also overwhelmed with sadness for his state.
“My parents think I’m sick. They locked me in the house, they wouldn’t let me out. They’re forcing me to take these awful pills. I don’t know what to do. You’re the only one I can trust. ” He dropped his head.
“Sick?” I asked, worried.
“You know… Sick!” He pointed at his temple.
“You mean crazy?” I squeaked before I could stop myself.
“Yeah crazy.” He frowned.
I could visibly see him shutting down, turning off. I knew I was losing him to his own thoughts.
“Well they’re the ones who are crazy Danny. You’re perfect.” I said, taking his hand again.
“No I’m not sweetie.” He whispered.
I was shocked as he had never used any pet name for me before.
“Why not?” I was insistent.
“I’ve distanced myself from everyone. I’m all alone in my fucked up head Al. My own mother doesn’t even love me, no one does. How could they the way I act?” He started to tear up again.
I swallowed hard and braced myself. I felt that this was my chance, it was now or never.
“I love you.” I admitted.
“Yeah right.” He gazed at me with a crooked smile.
“No Danny, you don’t understand!” I insisted. “I really love you. A lot… and I have for a while now.”
As if to prove that I wasn’t lying, I flung myself into his arms. My hands went to the back of his neck and up into his dark curls. I closed my eyes and pressed my lips to his. They were soft and malleable beneath my inexperienced mouth. This was my first ‘real’ kiss and I was almost in disbelief that I had found the guts to be so forward.
At first he did nothing, just sat there stunned. Before long however I felt his lips responding to mine, gently pressing against me. His hands traced through my hair, and fluttered over my back. They came to rest on the small of my back before his arms enveloped me entirely, lifting me onto his lap. Now I had definitely never been in this position before and was stunned beyond belief that I wasn’t frozen with fear. Something about Danny just made me feel so comfortable, so adventurous, so… something. I sighed as months of emotion were released into our embrace.
All problems forgotten for the moment, we stayed like this for what seemed like hours, stroking each other and tentatively tasting each other’s lips. I was practically breathing in the experience, the firm softness of his kiss, the warmth of his arms around me, the clean smell of his shirt, the sound of his quiet moans. I wanted to burn every sensual detail into my memory.
It was he who broke the kiss first. He gently played with my long, dark, wavy hair as he looked deeply into my eyes, which always glowed green, rather than their usual chestnut when I was emotional. I could feel his gaze boring into me as if he were trying to see through my pupils into my brain.
“Al.” He breathed. “I’d love nothing more than for this to happen between us, but you don’t know what you’re getting into. Honey I care too much about you to drag you into this. You’ve been my best friend, sometimes the only thing that keeps me sane, but…”
“It’s too late Dan.” I sat up straight, but didn’t disengage my gaze from his. “I’m in. I’m dragged. Whatever you want to call it! I’m in love with you and have been since before we even spoke.”
It was only for a millisecond, but I saw the shock register on his face, his eyes widened.
“Whatever it is we can handle it together.” I continued.
“Alex, the truth is that I really do have some emotional problems, serious ones. I’ll probably need treatment for the rest of my life and I just had a relapse. It’s…..” He looked like he was searching for the right words. “Difficult.”
He turned his hands palm up revealing bandages around his wrists. A small pinpoint of blood peeked through the cottony white material on one side. All sorts of thoughts went through my mind. Finally I settled on one. I could have lost him and that was the scariest thing of all.
I pulled one wrist to my mouth and gently kissed the bandage there. Then I repeated it on the other side. His expression was disbelief. I knew that he could not fathom someone loving him unconditionally and that made my heart ache for him.
I stood and took his large hands in mine, pulling him from the couch. “Then I’ll take care of your emotions too.”
I led him up the stairs, he did not resist. I pulled him into my room and closed the door behind us. I kissed him, briefly and gently, then pushed him to the bed. He gaped at me as I began to slowly and seductively unbutton my starched white shirt.
“I’ve never done this before and I want my first time to be with you.” I cooed. “I don’t see any reason to wait any longer.”
“Um Alex… What are you doing? I can’t… I mean we shouldn’t.” He waved his hands in front of him, looking more like he was trying to convince himself than me.
“Why not?” I asked as the last button came loose and I let the shirt drop to the floor, revealing my lacy white bra.
“Umm… wow you’re hot… I mean that we should wait.” He stuttered desperately, turning crimson and crossing his legs.
“Won’t this make you feel better?” I enquired throatily, undoing my pleated skirt and exposing the matching panties.
I felt powerful, seeing the effect that my lace clad body was having on the object of my affection. He was totally entranced, eyes flitting over every inch of me. I felt that I had the ability to cure him just with a touch and touch him I did.
I straddled his lap, pressing my ass into his thighs. I lifted his tee shirt over his head, exposing his firm torso. Knowing only what I had seen on TV I pressed my breasts to his chest, the lacy fabric scraped his skin.
“Alex.” He heaved; even now his arms were coming around me, his body unable to stop from responding. “You should know that this is not my first…”
I pressed my finger to his lips, stopping the sentence before it could be released into the ether. “Then teach me.”
I had completely broken down his resolve. He grabbed the back of my head and kissed me desperately. Parting my lips with his, he poked his tongue into my mouth. It gently stroked mine and I went mad. I started grinding my hips, rubbing my now aching crotch against his thigh.
“MMMMM Baby.” He breathed; ruggedly lifting and placing me face up on the bed.
As he took control of the situation, my confidence wavered. I must have stiffened, because he stopped immediately and looked at me, concerned.
“We don’t have to.” He smiled. “I’d be happy just to hold you.”
“I’d love nothing more than for you to hold me, but I feel… I’m… so…” I strained to think of an appropriate term, “Hot.”
“I can help you with that sweetie.” He smirked, “And you don’t have to do anything in return, until you’re ready of course. I’ll even leave my pants on.”
I started to protest, not thinking this fair to him, but he didn’t give me a chance to finish my sentiment. In a flash he had expertly removed my bra and thrown it on the floor.
“Beautiful.” He intoned as my generous breasts bounced free.
He placed his body over mine, barely holding his own weight off of me. He kissed my eyes, then my nose and mouth. I felt the deliciousness of his warm skin glide over my tightening nipples. I couldn’t suppress a shiver as he proceeded down my neck.
“Mmmmm. You smell beautiful too.” He commented.
He traced his tongue down and in between my tingling breasts. My breath was coming in short spurts by now. I could scarcely believe that this was happening. I’d never even dreamed that he would be doing… whatever it was he was doing.
He drew ever tightening circles around my breast until his tongue encircled my nipple. He flicked it and I moaned out loud. No one had ever touched me this way before and it was special to say the least. I could feel my feminine juices soaking my panties, making them stick to me. Then he drew the nipple into his mouth and sucked gently. I was in heaven.
He repeated his handy work on the other side then smiled up at me. I was breathing so hard, I felt that I would burst if he didn’t do… do… something, but I didn’t know what. I nodded reassuringly, hoping that he would proceed, not wanting this to end.
He slid back up my body and pressed his lips to mine again. I anticipated the end of this play as I thought that he was finished. I gasped in surprise when he slid his soft hand under the waistband of my panties. I could feel him probing gently, slowly exploring my center. His fingers slid effortlessly over all of the folds and crevices, aided by the abundance of Aphrodite’s elixir emanating from my spasming hole. He gently stroked something at the apex of my womanhood and I groaned throatily. It felt like he could stroke and manipulate my entire body from that one special spot.
“MMMMM. You’re ready.” He announced naughtily.
Ready for what I didn’t know, but I couldn’t wait to find out. He got on his knees and pulled at my panties, slipping them over my hips and down. I thought about protesting, but wasn’t really in the mood to do the ‘ladylike’ thing. He gently spread my legs and inspected what was between them.
“It’s so cute.” He commented.
I wasn’t sure if that was a compliment or not so I closed my legs slightly in self consciousness. He shook his head and pried them open again, keeping his hands on my knees. He kissed a trail down the inside of my thigh, finally stopping at the crease where it met my quivering mound. Then he tasted me.
My head popped up. “What are you doing? I pee from there!” I was incredulous.
“That’s not all it can do baby. Lie back and enjoy. Don’t worry, you taste beautiful too.” He winked.
I decided to comply. His tongue traced first one set of labia, then the other. I moaned and cooed appreciatively. Then he swirled his tongue around my opening, which had never… ever been touched before, not even by me. It felt weird, but good too. I moaned louder. Then he slid his tongue up to the apex and began manipulating that little spot that had felt so good earlier.
My back arched involuntarily and I cried out, vaguely glad that the house was empty, but not caring that much. At first it felt like he was tickling me, but then the sensations transformed into wonderful warmth that radiated up my stomach and down to my shuddering knees. He slid his hands up my belly to my breasts and gently squeezed the little rosebuds there.
It was like a dam burst. Fireworks exploded in my brain and abdomen at the same time. I threw my head from side to side, bucking my hips and pulling at his hair, trying to smash his face further into my honey pot.
“AHHH! AHHHH! OHHH! OHHH! GOD I LOVE YOU!” I cried.
Then all was still. I felt such a sense of relief and relaxation. He lay down next to me and pulled me into the crux of his arm. I kissed his chest, overwhelmed that he was willing to do something so special for me without expecting anything in return. I stared a little guiltily at the bulge in his jeans, but did nothing about it. I held him tight around the waist and snuggled closer as he ran his fingers through my hair.
“I love you too Alexis.” He whispered.
Then it hit me, the sandwiches, the talks, sharing his time with me. It was his way. He had always given unselfishly to me and would continue to do so.
I kissed his face, then his mouth, noting the interesting taste that remained on his lips. I realized that I must have been tasting my ‘down there’ and was surprised that it didn’t gross me out.
“Where did you learn that?” I sighed.
“Well you see baby, that’s a long story.”
We lay in the afterglow, his fingers gently tracing fluttery lines over my sensitive back.
“I have time.” I whispered, snuggling even closer and burying my head in his spice scented arm.
“Are you sure that you want to hear about this?” He was very hesitant.
“Yes!” I whined, poking him in the side.
“Ok! Ok! Well… You know that my family has money right?” He began, obviously delaying the meaty part of the story.
“Obviously.” My voice dripped with sarcasm.
“Ever since I could remember we had this one maid. Her name was Maria. Mom had already left my birthfather and married Greg. He adopted me, but we’ve never been close.” He continued.
“And?” I urged impatiently.
“And they were away a lot of the time, so Maria took care of me. She cooked my meals and picked me up from school and all that stuff. It started really innocently. When I was young, maybe five, she was giving me a bath.” He breathed.
“Yes?” I was on the edge of my seat.
“Well she washed my down below areas, a lot. It felt good; I didn’t feel that anything was wrong with it. It just seemed normal. This continued until I was old enough to bathe myself.” He was turning crimson.
“Oh my. You were molested?” I felt bad for him.
“Believe it or not, I never looked at it that way. I look back on Maria with only fondness.” He sighed.
I cocked my head in disbelief, searching his face for any anguish. I found none. “Continue.”
“The summer that I turned fourteen I had a major testosterone surge. I grew a full foot, put on about thirty pounds of muscle and all that stuff. Not to mention that I was in my room beating off constantly.”
I was the one who blushed.
“Often I would think of Maria and our special bath time. She was still with us, but I started to look at her differently. I now admired the curve of her breast beneath her apron, the widening of her hips under her uniform skirt. I could see her looking at me the same way.” He admitted.
“What happened?” I was awestruck.
“One night she came into my room. My parents were away again and the house was empty, which is why I believe she chose that particular night. She was much older than me, but only in her late thirties and very attractive. She was in good shape from all of the manual work she did around the house. She was dressed, not in her uniform, but in a flowing silk nightgown. I could see almost every detail of her body underneath. The puff of her engorged nipples, the dark triangle of hair between her shapely legs…” He was lost in the memory.
I have to admit, that I was getting hot again. I was also listening intently for details, hoping to learn what he liked. “Did she do what I think she did?” I gasped.
“We did what you think we did.” He corrected me. “It was the most depraved night of my life! She slid her gown off her shoulders and down to the floor. I watched her, frozen with trepidation and excitement as she got between my sheets. She took me in her hand like she used to, but it was different. Though I was still young, I had the body of a man and I responded like one. I took to it like a duck to water. Being fourteen, I of course went straight for her breasts. I fondled them and kissed her all over, her little moans of pleasure spurring me on. She pleased me orally and taught me how to do the same to her. We tried this in every position possible. I must have shot about four times just with the oral play. We cuddled and kissed, just like regular lovers, despite the inappropriateness of the situation. When I was ready again, I expected more of the same, but instead she straddled me. It was the first time I’d ever been inside a woman, enveloped by another human being. I don’t really care how
weird it was, it was special. I ran my hands all over her body, watching her in the moonlight as she majestically rode my throbbing… You ok?” He stopped suddenly.
I hadn’t realized how excited his little reverie had made me. I was breathing hard and rubbing against him as he told the story. “Yeah, sorry.” I blushed and put some space between us.
“You sure? Do you want me to stop?” He looked concerned.
“No, I just got carried away. You’re so good at telling stories.” I smiled.
He smiled back at me. “Oh, little Miss innocent getting turned on by my dirty stories huh?” He teased.
“Shut up!” I whacked him hard on the arm.
“Ouch!” He joked.
“Finish the damn story.” I frowned at him.
“Ok.” He smirked. “We made love. We kept this up regularly for the better part of a year, but then Mom and Greg found out and sent her away. They still think that she is the reason why I’m a sicko.”
“Did they catch you?” I asked, horrified at his potential embarrassment.
“No.” Suddenly he looked sad.
“What happened sweetie?” I brushed his hair away from his face in a comforting maternal gesture.
“They sent me to therapy.” He said evasively.
“No! How did they find out?” I persisted.
“I don’t want to lie to you Alex.” He breathed.
“So don’t.” I said sternly, sitting up in bed and pulling the sheets up to cover my nakedness.
“She got pregnant.” He said flatly.
“Preg…??? Oh my gosh Danny! What did she do?” I asked flustered.
“She didn’t do anything. My parents paid for her to have her own place back in Spain. They’re still supporting her and my son.” He looked down, afraid to see my reaction. “We’re not supposed to have any contact, that was the deal, but she sends me a picture every six months or so. That’s the only reason that I know he exists.”
“Oh honey. I’m sorry!” I threw my arms around him.
He looked at me shocked. “You’re not freaked?”
“No, it’s in your past. It explains a lot actually.” I said.
“Like what?” He looked defensive.
“Like why you’re so much more mature than everyone else. Why you keep to yourself. Why you’re so interesting when everyone else is so banal.” I said cheerfully.
“Oh!” He sighed, his tires deflating. “I thought you were going to say something else.”
“You thought that I was going to say that it explains why you have your emotional problems?” I mumbled, glancing briefly at his wrists.
“Yeah.” He admitted, looking ashamed of himself. “I should have realized that you would know me better than that.”
The truth is that I didn’t know any better, but I could read his body language like a book. I simply didn’t bring it up because I knew that he didn’t want me to. I sat, looking at him, just waiting for him to resume speaking.
“The truth is Alex, that when I turned sixteen I started to have these problems. I couldn’t control my moods, one minute I’d be high as a kite, the next I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed. It’s chemical, I can’t control it. My parents like to blame Maria, because they can’t deal with the fact that I’m just not perfect. If anything, they’re the ones who make it worse. My Mom acts like a money whore, marrying a slime ball like that just for a beautiful house on a hill! How am I ever supposed to forgive people who would keep my own Son from me Al?” Tears were welling up in his eyes.
“I understand sweetie.” I cooed as I rocked him back and forth in my arms. “Why don’t you stay here tonight? We could catch a movie, eat a lot of junk. You know, be seventeen. I think you need that.”
“What about your parents?” He asked, concerned.
“They won’t be home before midnight and will probably be out of the house before we wake up. Dad might even be away, I’m not sure. So what do you say? Maybe we could even try that oral thing you were talking about.” I said batting my eyes.
“Well it has been a long time, how could I turn down an offer like that.” He smiled and kissed me on the forehead.
We ordered a pizza and watched some cheesy horror movie. It was boring as hell, but it gave me plenty of opportunities to pretend that I was scared and snuggle closer to Danny on the couch. He totally knew that I was faking it, but said nothing. I think we both needed the contact after the day we’d had.
We continued to talk as he helped me clean up. I learned a lot about him and revealed things that I’d never spoken to another soul. It only took a few hours, but we were as close as two people could be by the time we headed up the stairs to bed.
Danny started to head for the guestroom. I pulled him by the elbow, redirecting him toward my room.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea Alex.” He resisted.
“You promised.” I pouted.
“Promised what?” He asked incredulous.
“To teach me.” I smiled, pulled him into the room and closed the door.
This time he didn’t resist. He knew I was a woman on a mission. He sat on the bed, looking at me expectantly. He was cool as a cucumber. I hated him in that moment as I could barely keep my knees from shaking.
“What do I do now?” I asked dumbly.
“What do you want to do?” He answered lustily, scooting back on the bed and patting the space next to him.
He laid back, hands behind his head, grinning scandalously. He let me take complete control, experimenting in whatever way I pleased. He was very patient with my fumbling around; I had never been intimate with a man’s body and had little confidence.
I looked down at him for a moment, his soft, accepting face. I realized that I wanted to make him feel good; as good as he had made me feel earlier. My heart filled with affection as I bent down to kiss him. I climbed on top of him and put all my weight across his body. We kissed and nuzzled and whispered affectionate things to each other as he stroked my pajama clad backside. Once I felt calm about this, I sat up, straddling his pelvis and pulled his shirt over his head again.
His hands came up my sides and flung the soft cotton of my tank top off of my bare chest. He cupped my breasts and began to rub them gently, never removing his gaze from my face. I traced lines up and down his torso, even stopping to lightly pinch his nipples. I could tell that he liked it because he closed his eyes and moaned. I could also feel his jeans straining under me. I bent and kissed his ear, then his neck and then planted a trail of kisses down his front until I reached his belt buckle. He was smiling and moaning aloud by this time.
I looked up at him for reassurance. He opened his eyes at the cessation of my activity. He smiled and nodded. “It’s ok if you want to.” He whispered.
I did want to. Curiosity was overwhelming any trepidation. I reached out and carefully undid his belt buckle, then his button and finally the zipper that was hiding what I was so curious about. I pulled at the dark denim pants and he lifted his butt to aid in their removal.
The jeans cast aside; he lay there in only his boxer briefs. Every curve, angle and rippling muscle was sexy and beautiful, everything I had hoped for. The outline of his excited sex was clearly visible through the material. It was larger than I expected and I gasped.
“Not as cute as yours eh?” He joked, but his voice was throaty with lust.
“It’s just a little… ummm… intimidating.” I admitted.
“Remember, you only have to do what you want to do.” He winked.
He sat up and removed my pajama pants, as if to make us even. It’s funny because it worked. I didn’t think it fair that I should be naked and he shouldn’t. I slowly and gently removed the cottony fabric from his hips. As it descended, the root of his organ came into view. It was thick and surrounded by soft curly hair.
That wasn’t so scary, so I proceeded. His full manhood popped into view, large and proud.
“It is cute.” I giggled, “It kinda looks like he’s pouting.”
Danny couldn’t suppress a laugh at my reaction. However, his laugh turned to sighs of pleasure as I held my breath and took his swollen member in my hand. I squeezed and rubbed it inquisitively. It was unlike anything else I had ever felt. It was hard and soft at the same time, sturdy, firm, yet malleable. The skin was unbelievably smooth and it felt quite nice beneath my inexperienced touch.
I started to rub it up and down. It became firmer as his sighs turned to moans of gratitude. How interesting this alien thing was that I was handling. I was amazed by the effect that my stroking was having.
“What do I do now?” I enquired excitedly.
“Really?” He asked flabbergasted. “You want me to tell you what I like? I thought you were joking.”
“Nope.” I gave him a sideways grin.
“Well I like it to be kissed and licked. It’s especially nice around the head.” He breathed.
I looked at him dumbly. I had no idea what a ‘head’ was.
“The little bulb at the top.” He encouraged.
So I did what he asked. At first I kissed it. It was warm and throbbing beneath my lips. Then I tentatively stuck out my tongue and ran it around the expanding red bulge. He tasted good; a little salty and a little sweet.
He threw his head back onto the pillow and moaned. “Ah, that’s good.”
I began a kissing and licking frenzy, covering every inch of his still expanding manhood. He moaned and groaned and moved his hips. I felt proud of myself, but realized that I was missing something. There had been a lot of locker room talk about blowjobs and I knew that you were supposed to suck on it. I was at a loss.
There was a pearly white dab of thick liquid accumulating at the top of his bulge. I studied it inquisitively for a moment, then ran my tongue over it and scooped it into my mouth. It was tart and salty at the same time. I found it delightful and told him so. He lost his mind.
“Baby put it in your mouth.” He begged.
That was the missing piece! I opened my mouth as wide as it would go and placed my lips around the head. I sucked on it like it was a straw. This earned me louder moans and more bucking of his hips. His cock nudged further into my mouth and I realized that he wanted me to take more of it. I pushed my mouth down as far as it would comfortably go, then added suction on my way up. His reaction told me that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to do.
“Oh yeah, that’s it.” He panted.
I did this a couple of more times, before he reached for me. Scared that he was going to grab my hair and try to jam his organ all the way down my throat I disengaged immediately.
“Get over here you sexy vixen.” He breathed, before sitting up and pulling my head toward his for a kiss.
I was the one moaning in pleasure at just the touch of his lips. Quite quickly he lay down and flipped me over. He positioned my dripping pussy over his mouth and began to eat it with gusto. His raging cock was staring me straight in the face, so I took the hint.
I resumed my work from before and he moaned into my virgin pussy. It wasn’t long before we were both grunting and straining, pushing into each other. He pressed his face even deeper into my center and began to go faster. I could feel my own orgasm build as the head of his prick expanded yet again, forcing my lips even further apart.
I went faster, assuming that he was coming close to his own orgasm. The idea of him feeling as good as I did earlier, pushed me over the edge and I slammed my ass down hard onto his face. He groaned once more, went stiff and then the most interesting thing happened. Something hot and sticky squirted into my mouth. It tasted just like the pearly stuff from before, but there was a lot more of it. I swallowed quickly, not knowing what else to do and was glad of it, because it was followed by a second, third and fourth squirt.
I discovered that I really liked the taste and sucked on his deflating cock to get the rest out. He giggled and pushed me aside.
“That tickles.” He mock scolded.
I fell into his arms and breathed deeply. I was very relaxed and drowsy by this point. My jaw was also a little sore.
“That was great Alex.” He sighed. “Are you sure you never did that before?”
“Scouts honor.” I yawned.
I snuggled closer to him and before long was drifting off to sleep. In my blissful state I had forgotten one crucial detail. The next morning was Saturday.
I woke abruptly to my door banging open. I shot up in bed, trying to cover us, but it was too late. Mom stood there, her blonde hair in a frizz, mouth agape.
“Oh my!” She exclaimed wide eyed and slammed the door.
Danny awoke at the sound of the door closing. “What the…?”
“Darling? May I see you outside for a moment?” Mom whispered through the closed portal.
Realization dawned on Danny’s face. Several emotions passed his features quickly. First came shock, then guilt, then shame. He finally settled on pouting at me apologetically and shrugging his shoulders.
“It’ll be ok, just get dressed.” I hissed, already pulling on my own pajamas.
I crept out the door, opening it just wide enough to allow myself passage. Mom stood, against the wall, green eyes blazing and arms crossed. I knew I was in trouble; there was no way out of it so I decided that honesty would be the best policy. If I came clean I may be able to leave the house by senior prom, next year.
“Mom… I’m… Ummmm…” I blathered, tears already gathering at the corners of my eyes.
“My room!” Mom intoned harshly.
I followed her in, dragging my feet and mopping at my eyes. The one thing I could not stand was letting my parents down. I wanted them to trust me. I needed their confidence to boost my own wavering, teenage self esteem.
Mom gently closed the door to her bedroom. I breathed a sigh of relief that Dad had already started his day and was not in earshot.
“Alexis! Are you crazy?” She hissed.
I couldn’t think of a response. “No.” I whimpered.
“What were you thinking? Having that man in your room?” She continued her barrage of accusations. “You were both… both… NAKED!” She whispered the last word as if it were dirty.
I cocked my head at her. “Man?” I enquired.
“Yes, the nude one, in your bed with you?” She glared at me.
“Mom. It wasn’t what it looked like…” I tried to explain, but she cut me off.
“What it looked like Alex,” She seethed, “was that you were having sex with some college guy under my roof. Behind my back! How long has this been going on?”
“Not long.” I was afraid of speaking more than a couple of words at a time, she was in a rage.
“Alex! What about your future? What about college? Do you really want to get knocked up in your junior year? Oh this is entirely my fault, I should be home more.” She sat on the edge of her bed deflated, berating herself quietly. “God knows what you get up to during all of those hours that you spend alone.”
I felt for her, I really did, but I was still afraid for my own skin. I gingerly sat next to her, barely allowing my butt to touch the edge of her bed.
“Mom?” I began, terrified of poking an already angry bear. “It really isn’t what you think.” I was biting my lip to keep from bursting into tears.
She just looked at me, defeated and suddenly tired. I’d never before noticed the fine lines around her mouth, the dark bags under her eyes had never been so pronounced. In that moment I felt terrible for having worried her, she was obviously overstressed as it was.
“Mommy I’m sorry.” I began to weep openly.
Her face softened. “Me too baby. I’m sorry I freaked, it’s just that you’re so important to me.”
I took a deep breath and started to explain myself while I knew she was receptive. “Danny’s not in college Mom, he’s my age, he just looks older. Also we didn’t have sex… Well I’m actually not sure if what we did is called sex, but we didn’t have intercourse.” I tried. “He’s a friend and he needed company and…”
She was grinning at me, her eyes twinkling. I knew this look well. It was the look that said, ‘Oh my cute baby girl is so lost in this world without me.’
“Honey,” she breathed, “friends don’t sleep nude together in the same bed and friends don’t have ‘almost sex’ or whatever you did. It’s obvious that you and this boy have… feelings… mature feelings. I’m just worried that your development has not yet caught up to those feelings. He seems delightful, really and was appropriately contrite, but…”
“But?” I was hanging on her every word, terrified that she would forbid me from ever seeing Danny again. Maybe even have dad kick him out of the house, which would be awkward to say the least.
“So he really didn’t… you know… put his thing in your...?”
“No!” I cut her off mortified.
She breathed a sigh of relief. “And you’re ok? You’re not hurt or confused? Do you have any questions for me?”
“Maybe later.” I stared at my pedicure, blushing furiously.
“Ok, well here’s the plan.” Mom stated, coming back to her commanding self. “Later, we are going to have a long, long, long talk about the birds and bees. You have to know how to protect yourself should you and Danny actually… umm… you know…?” Now Mom was blushing too. “But for the moment, you’re going to invite him down for breakfast. Introduce him to Daddy as your friend and make sure that he thinks that Danny slept in the guest room. Tell him that they’re spraying his house for termites or something and needed a place to stay. Regardless of the circumstances, he’s our guest and I’d prefer if I got to know him a little.”
“Are you sure Mom?” I was uncomfortable with this idea to say the least. “He can just sneak out. I mean Daddy will know; I could never lie to him.”
“Let me take care of Daddy.” She winked. “Now run along and stay out of trouble until I at least have time to fry some eggs.”
I returned to my room and briefed Danny on the ruse. He felt really sketchy about it, but agreed to take part for my sake. I bounded down the stairs, told him to count to fifty then follow.
Dad was in his usual chair, drinking his coffee and reading the newspaper. This was his Saturday routine and he never strayed from it.
“Hi Daddy!” I bounced in, trying to look as innocent as possible.
He looked up from his paper. “Good morning princess, you look especially cheerful today.” He cocked an eyebrow at me accusingly.
“I just slept really well.” I shot him a sugar coated grin, gazing at Mom for help.
Just then, Danny came sauntering into the room. He looked at me, mom and then dad, he swallowed hard.
“Oh! Good morning Danny dear!” Mom swooped in to save the day. “I trust you slept well. Sometimes the mattress in the guestroom can be awfully lumpy.” She was cool as a summer breeze.
This made me wonder how often she lied to Dad. She was sure good at it. Dad just looked at the awkward situation skeptically.
“Oh, Steven. You’re so forgetful lately!” Mom chided, smooth as silk. “I told you about this arrangement weeks ago. Danny’s house is being exterminated and he had to stay overnight. He’s one of Lexis’s school friends.”
“Oh yes, now I remember!” Dad said, covering what he obviously thought to be a pretty serious lapse in memory. “Have a seat Son, right over there.” Dad pointed to the chair that was usually across from mine.
“Thank you Sir.” Danny intoned, his cool exterior holding strong.
I sighed in relief then took my usual place at the table.
“So, Dan is it?” Dad started rather formally. “What is it that you do again?”
“I go to school.” He said blatantly, “With Alex.”
“Oh yes.” Dad said. “You just look so mature.”
I sat silently as the interrogation continued. Dad asked all of the usual questions. He wanted to know everything about Danny. Where was he from? What was his cultural background? Did he drive and if so did he ever drive me anywhere? Did he drink or use drugs? You name it, dad asked. I’m pretty sure that he knew that Danny and I were more than friends, but I was content to keep up with the ruse for as long as he was. I threw in a comment here and there, praying for mom to finish cooking breakfast before Dad came to the subject of mental health. I had already noted that Danny was guarding his bandaged wrists carefully, not wanting anyone to notice.
“Coffee!” I stood up exuberantly. “Does anyone want coffee?”
“I’ll have some.” Danny smiled, his eyes betraying his feelings for me.
I glared at him, letting him know that he was giving away what everyone else already knew anyway.
“Anyone else?” I tried to keep it together.
“I’ll have a refill princess.” Dad said, absently shoving his cup in my direction, more interested with his game of twenty questions.
I could tell that he was just waiting for Danny to screw up, but he didn’t. All in all, he really was a good guy, despite his problem, so he answered most questions easily.
After what seemed like an eternity, Mom finally laid breakfast out on the table. She had really gone all out, Eggs and bacon, bagels with cream cheese and that fishy thing that I could never remember the name of. I was too nervous to eat much, so I took a bagel and put it on my plate, then nursed my coffee.
Everyone else seemed to have voracious appetites. It wasn’t long before Danny had charmed the pants off of everyone and we were all joking and laughing. Dad even asked him to stay a little longer to work on the deck. To my dismay, Danny agreed. They’d be alone out there, who knows what would come out, but I held my tongue.
After breakfast, I had retreated to my room. Mom followed soon after and we had ‘the talk’. I was mortified, having to listen to her explain the details of various forms of birth control and the dangers of sexually transmitted infections. My mouth was so dry the entire time that I could barely swallow. I drew the line when she wanted to talk about details, like her first time and what happened. She looked disappointed, but understood. I agreed to go see her gynecologist to discuss the birth control pill.
She left my room and I relaxed for the first time that day. I could hear muted conversation and banging coming from the backyard. I decided to keep hidden for a while. I opened a book and before long I had drifted off.
I don’t remember what time it was when Dad shook me awake, but I’ll never forget his panic stricken expression.
“Huh?” I grunted, still half asleep.
“Princess, you’re friend, there is something wrong with him I’m afraid.” Dad’s eyes were wide.
I bolted upright. “What do you mean?”
“One minute we were getting along like peas and carrots,” Dad’s voice quivered. “Then he got really quiet and mumbly. Before long he was laughing like a fiend, as if he had told himself a really funny joke, but then he couldn’t stop. He just got louder and louder and more… frenzied. Then he ran into the bathroom.”
I didn’t know what to say. I stared at dad, my face reflecting his terror back at him.
“Lexi, what’s wrong with him? You have to tell me honey. He’s locked himself in and won’t answer. He’s been in there for two hours!” Dad was becoming desperate.
“I dunno.” I whispered. “Let me try to talk to him.”
I indicated for Dad to stay put as I made my way down the hall. My body language clearly stated that I wanted no interference from him. As I approached the door, my knees started to quiver, but I spoke from the diaphragm, hoping to keep my voice confident.
“Danny?” I tried quietly.
There was no response.
“Daniel Bernard you answer me right now!” I don’t know where I got the guts to yell at him that way, but it worked.
The bathroom door opened a crack, “Alex?” His voice was weak. “Are you alone?”
“Yes, now let me in!” I said strictly.
He did as I said with no argument. My breath caught in my throat at the spectacle before me, I slammed the door behind me and locked it quickly. Danny was sitting in the tub, clad only in his underpants. He had a razor in his hand and blood was flowing freely from three parallel cuts on his chest.
“Danny!” I gasped, kneeling beside him. “What did you do?”
“I’m so sorry Al!” He whimpered, “I had to.”
“Why?” I pleaded, gently touching his bare arm.
“It’s the only way!” He mumbled, then repeated it a few times. He seemed hysterical to me.
“Danny, look at me!” I grabbed his face hard and forced him to look into my eyes. “WHY… DID… YOU… DO… THIS…?”
“It’s the only way to get this feeling,” he pounded his chest in frustration, “the hurt that’s in here. It’s the only way to get it out.”
“I understand.” I really didn’t, but instinctively knew to play along. “Danny, give me the blade and we’ll get you cleaned up, no one has to know.” I said softly and deliberately.
I grabbed a washcloth from beneath the sink and soaked it in tepid water. I knelt back beside him and began to mop at his chest softly. He dropped the blood slickened blade on the side of the tub and began to sob openly. I quickly tossed it up into the sink out of arms reach.
“I’m so sorry Alex!” He moaned. “I’m such an asshole; I don’t deserve a beautiful person like you.” He stroked my hair, not realizing that he was streaking it with blood.
“Of course you do sweetheart.” I whispered, my legs shaking in fear.
“No! No! I DON’T!” He shouted. “I can’t believe I did this! Not at you’re place, in front of you and you’re parents. They’ll hate me; they won’t let us see each other. I can’t lose you Al, I can’t bear it. I’m sooooooo sorry. I should have known better than to believe…” He couldn’t choke out the rest of the sentence through his sorrow.
His chest was clean enough for me to hold him. I rocked him back and forth as his body shook with despair.
It seemed like an eternity before I could gather enough courage to open my mouth again. “Honey, when was the last time that you took your medication?”
“I don’t know.” He admitted.
“Where is it, I’ll get it for you.” I offered.
“No!” He bellowed. “I told you that I don’t want to take that shit anymore! You don’t understand!” He pushed me away violently, my butt landed hard on the floor.
By this point there was desperate banging on the door. My parents knew that this was not good. He looked at what he had done and dissolved into new fits of tears. To this day I don’t know where I got the courage to do it, but I stood up and headed for the door.
My parents were both standing there, one a paler shade of white than the other.
“Oh my god, what happened to you?” Mom screeched, indicating my blood stained hair and clothing.
“It’s not my blood mom. Please there’s something terribly wrong with Danny. Mommy, please sit with him and watch him. I have to call his mother.” I was in shock, which made me appear quite calm in that moment.
She nodded and I headed for my room, Dad followed behind me, but I shooed him away. I rifled through Danny’s backpack until I found his datebook. It had his home phone number on it. I could hear soft whispers and the sound of mom cooing soothingly to Danny coming from down the hall.
I picked up the phone and hesitantly dialed the number.
“Hello?” A woman’s voice answered.
“Mrs. Bernard?” I asked.
“Yes?” She sounded alarmed immediately, almost as if she recognized the tone of one scared by a bad episode with her disturbed son.
“It’s Alexis. I’m so sorry about yesterday and I should have called sooner, but there’s something really wrong with Danny…”
It couldn’t have been more than half an hour before she arrived in her brand new sports car. She tumbled out of it, half dressed, hair and makeup disheveled. I stood on our front stoop, sick to my stomach. Dad stood behind me, practically holding me upright. Mom was still upstairs, coddling poor Danny.
Mrs. Bernard’s eyes flashed in fury as she approached. “Where is he?”
I felt the need to defend myself. “He’s upstairs. I tried to help him Mrs. Bernard. I didn’t know…”
“You’ve helped quite enough you little tramp, where is my Son?” She shot back.
I dissolved into tears. Dad was incredulous.
“You listen here lady!” He spoke each word as if it were a bullet fired from a gun. “My daughter is no tramp and she and Danny are friends, of course she wanted to help…”
“He doesn’t need that kind of help.” She spat looking at me like I was dirt. “I know how to deal with my kid!”
Just as the words left her lips, a white ambulance pulled up behind her decked out automobile. It was as if she had conjured it with her hateful words.
“Finally, it’s about time!” She gestured to the two men who hopped out of the vehicle. “He’s upstairs somewhere.”
I’ll never forget what happened next. The two orderlies, dressed in white flew into the house and up the stairs. There was a scuffle and mom shouted something. Before I could register what was going on, the two men were dragging Danny out the door, kicking and screaming.
He struggled madly against the two uniformed men as he looked at me, his eyes wild as a tiger on the prowl, “How could you do this to me? I loved you… you fuckin’ bitch! I can’t believe you did this! Why did you call her? Do you know what they’ll do to me in that place?”
I sobbed and watched helpless as they forcibly strapped him down to a gurney, binding his wrists, waist and ankles with thick leather straps. He fought tooth and nail the entire way. He screamed, one utterance more desperate and high pitched than the next.
Finally they loaded him into the ambulance and shut the doors, but the screams didn’t stop. The lights and sirens came to life as the vehicle backed out of the driveway.
“I hope you’re happy.” Danny’s mother shot at us accusingly before getting into her own automobile.
Grief-stricken, I collapsed into my father’s arms and wretched as I watched the ambulance peel down the street, the man I loved probably lost forever inside.
I moped around for weeks, lost and miserable. My previous life, which had not so long ago been satisfying, now felt empty in Danny’s absence. I went through all of the motions, going to school every morning and even hanging out with my old friends, but I was vacant most of the time. Thoughts of Danny seemed to take up a minimum of ninety percent of all my waking hours.
Chrystal, Penny and especially Sam welcomed me back with open arms, but things were not the same. They watched me tentatively each day as I dragged my tired feet around and picked at my lunch. Sam and I had always been the closest with the most in common, one day she caught me alone in the stairwell.
“What the hell is going on with you Alex?” She hissed at me, backing me against the concrete wall to block any possible escape.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” I shot back, flushing with fury.
“After watching you turn into a walking zombie for the past god knows how long, I don’t intend on giving you a choice.” She said sternly.
I began to cry. She softened and helped me over to the staircase. We sat side by side on the cold, dusty stairs in silence for what seemed like an eternity.
I finally squeaked out a response. “Danny.”
“Danny? Who the fuck is Danny?” She gazed at me perplexed.
“You know, Danny Bernard! Fourth period English?” I sniffled.
“The psycho?” She spat with disgust. “Did he do something to you? Oh, that guy is such a freak; I just knew he was trouble…” She ranted.
“This is why I didn’t want to tell you guys.” I whispered angrily.
“Tell us what?” She looked genuinely concerned.
“We were seeing each other; you know before his, um… accident.” I looked at her imploringly, begging her to understand my point of view. “I know he’s different, but Sam, I love him.”
Her jaw dropped open in shock, but she quickly covered that reaction and put on a more supportive visage. For the first time since everything had happened, I spilled my guts to another human being. I told her the whole story, including the part where Danny was dragged away to the Looney hatch. I confessed to having no idea where he was and crying myself to sleep nightly over him. I just couldn’t get this guy out from under my skin.
I had even gotten up the courage to call his house a few times, but each time I hung up before anyone could answer. After those horrible things that Mrs. Bernard had said to me I just couldn’t face her, not even over the phone.
Sam hugged me and I cried on her shoulder for a while. I made her promise not to breathe a word to Penny or Chrystal. She pinkie swore, so I knew she was serious. It still hurt, but sharing my burden provided a modicum of relief. I felt closer to Sam than I had in quite some time. That made the next few days go a little smoother.
I was sitting in the den, trying for the third time to understand my trig homework. Mom was in the kitchen making the umpteenth cup of tea for me that day. She seemed at a loss for anything else to do to provide me comfort.
The phone rang. I wanted to ignore it, but I just couldn’t. Something inside of me lurched at this particular ring; I knew that it was important. I answered at the same time as Mom; I heard our greeting in stereo.
“Hello?” It was hard to tell whose voice was more urgent.
“Alexis?” It was Danny’s Mom.
My stomach flipped, it felt like my heart was in my throat, but I forced out a response. “Yes?”
“Oh thank God!” She breathed. “Listen darling, I’m so sorry for the way that I acted, but I was angry you know.”
“Yes?” I intoned a little more shortly this time. What could this hideous woman want from me?
“Well, Honey, it’s Danny. He needs you. I didn’t want to bother you or your folks after my terrible behavior, but he just keeps getting worse.”
“Oh no!” I whined.
“He’s up at Glennfield Hospital and he won’t take his meds, he spits them on the floor. All he does is scream for you darling, over and over again.” She sounded desperate. “They’ve had no choice but to start him on electro-convulsive therapy.”
I heard Mom gasp on the other line. For the first time in my life I was glad that she was listening in on my phone call.
“What does he need me to do?” I asked, more co-operatively now.
“I know this is a lot to ask of you, but please if you could just come and see him, even for a little while? The doctors think it might help.” She pleaded.
“I… I… I don’t know Mrs. Bernard. I have to talk to my parents and I’m…”
“I understand sweetie, please just think about it.” Then the line went dead.
As I hung up the phone, numb from emotion, Mom hurried into the room.
I didn’t look at her, but asked, “Mommy, what’s electro-convulsive therapy?”
“Oh, sweetie!” She exclaimed sympathetically and sat down, putting her arm around me.
“What is it?” I insisted.
“It’s really bad honey. Not something that I think is good for Danny.” She evaded.
“What is it mother?” I was practically screaming.
“They’re delivering small amounts of electricity into Danny’s brain using a machine that’s attached to his head.” She conceded.
“What?” I was alarmed.
“They’re trying to help him.” She covered quickly. “It’s not as bad as it sounds.”
“So that’s why you look like someone just shot your puppy?” I accused sarcastically.
“Do you want me to drive you?” Was her only response.
The hospital looked perfectly charming from the outside. No one would have suspected the horrors that went on within its soft yellow brick walls. I pulled on the front door, Mom close at my back. The scent of antiseptic was what hit me first. I scrunched my nose and proceeded to the front desk, where a nurse sat behind a computer terminal.
“Danny Bernard, please?” I held myself around as a sudden shiver passed up my spine.
“Who are you? Mr. Bernard is taking few visitors.” She replied with all the apathy of someone who had worked in her field for far too long.
“I’m Alex…” I stammered. “I mean Alexis Strauss. Mrs. Bernard asked me to come.”
“Oh yes, please go down that hallway and ring the buzzer at the other end. Mr. Bernard is in a locked ward. They’ll let you in from there.” She smiled dismissively.
Every step toward the institutional looking door on the other end of the hall was like murder. I willed my legs to move, gripping my mother’s hand as if I were two again. She smiled at me reassuringly. I stuck out a trembling finger and pushed the small white button on the wall.
A very large, burly black orderly opened the door a moment later. He was dressed all in white and would have been imposing, except he had the kindest face I had ever seen.
“We’ve been expecting you Miss Strauss.” He smiled warmly.
“Thanks.” I croaked.
He must have noticed my hesitancy because he giggled and said, “Don’t worry, they don’t bite.”
He opened the door just wide enough to allow us passage and I stepped through. The first thing I heard was a woman’s voice screeching hysterically. I closed my eyes, trying to block it out in fear that I would run from the building. Then I noticed that there was a common room. My heart sunk for the people sitting in there, mostly clad in bathrobes and mumbling to themselves and/or drooling. The butterflies returned to my stomach, but I pressed on, following the friendly orderly.
We came to a dimmer, more sedate part of the ward and there, sitting in a chair, looking beside herself, sat Mrs. Bernard.
“Hello Susan!” My mother greeted her warmly. “How are you holding up?”
“Ok, I suppose.” Danny’s mother replied wiping at her dreary eyes. “I’m glad that you two are here.”
It occurred to me that Mom and ‘Susan’ must have struck up a friendship in the past few weeks. That meant that Mom was keeping tabs and didn’t tell me anything. That would explain why she was so quick to bring me here without an argument. She was guilty as sin! I would remember to be angry at her later, but for now, I just wanted to see Danny.
I looked at Mrs. Bernard questioningly and she pointed at the room directly across from her. Mom nodded at me encouragingly and indicated that she would stay out here. I was relieved as I didn’t know what shape Danny was in or what my reaction would be. All I knew was that I was burning to see him, regardless.
I opened the door quietly and gingerly stepped inside. Danny was lying on the bed, dressed in shapeless blue pajamas. His head lolled to one side of the propped up sterile white pillow. He was simply staring out the window, his eyes unblinking, a single tear dribbled from his left eye.
“Danny?” I whispered, approaching the bed.
He looked at me, eyes glazed. He squinted as if trying to place me, like an old friend that you don’t quite remember.
“Danny? It’s me sweetie, Alex?” I was almost begging him for recognition.
“Baby?” He mumbled through dry lips. “Al is that really you?”
“Yeah it’s me.” I cooed softly, sitting on the chair next to his bed and taking his hand.
“Al you have to get me out of here.” He pleaded incoherently. “They’re raping my brain, taking my memories…”
“Shhhhhhh” I soothed. Deep inside I wanted nothing more than to smash the window and take off with him, but in my heart I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do.
“They’re trying to help you honey. They said you won’t take your medication.” I said softly.
“Fuck them and fuck my medication.” He sat up suddenly, but wavered as if dizzy.
“Ok, ok Danny. We won’t talk about it. I’m here to see you anyway. I missed you.” I admitted.
“I missed you too.” He began to bawl.
I did the only thing that I could think of. I crawled into the small and sterile bed next to him and put my head on his chest. His arms went around me and I promised him that everything would be ok. I’m still not sure who I was trying to convince, him or myself, but it worked. He calmed down enough to be rational.
“I thought you hated me. I thought I’d never see you again. I asked for you and asked and begged to see you, but you didn’t come…” He sobbed.
“The doctors didn’t want you to have visitors.” I lied, knowing that revealing the fact that our Moms were plotting the entire time would only make things worse. “But I’m here now and I love you. That will never change.”
He kissed the top of my head and sighed in relief. Despite the horrific surroundings, embracing Danny still felt right and I realized that I really did love him, no matter what. I don’t know how long I was in there, but it must have been hours. We talked about everything, from what was going on at school to what books I had read. He dozed intermittently, which I expected since the orderly had explained that he was recovering from the anesthetic provided during his treatments for ‘bipolar disorder’ as he called it. Danny did not release his grip on me the entire time.
I didn’t even attempt to move until it grew dark outside and Mom popped her head in. She said that it was time to go. Danny protested weakly, but I promised him that I’d come back soon. He finally relented.
And so it went. Weeks passed into months and I visited Danny nearly every day. Sometimes we’d talk, sometimes I’d read to him and sometimes we even made out a little in his room, but one thing was constant. His state was deteriorating and there was nothing that I could do about it. His memory was slowly ebbing away along with his coordination and cognitive abilities. I begged him to take his medication so they could stop the treatments, but he would have none of it. He would just appeal to me, as he always did, to ‘get him the fuck out of here.’ Finally came the day that he disappeared entirely.
It was a morning in May, a lot like the one on which we first met. I stepped into the room and he didn’t even respond. He wasn’t even aware that anyone had entered. He simply stared at the white ceiling tiles, unmoving. I tried to bring him around, but he was too far gone. I cried and appealed to Stan, the friendly orderly to do something for him, but Stan simply stared at his shoes.
The next day I tried again, and this time Danny did acknowledge my existence.
I smiled at him and he said, “Who are you pretty girl?”
“Just a friend.” I replied, swallowing tears.
“Oh.” He smiled back, his eyes devoid of any emotion.
I left and didn’t turn back. I couldn’t take the pain of losing him in that way. I grieved him as if he had died, but when college came around, I had no choice but to move on without him.
I didn’t go to college far from home, but by the time my eighteenth birthday rolled around I was desperate to get out of the house. Sam and I decided to share an apartment just off campus. It was relatively small with two bedrooms and only one bathroom, but clean and brightly lit. It was in a great little spot on the ground level of a U shaped building, with a communal garden in the center. I could drink my morning coffee and gaze through the sliding double doors upon a sun drenched plethora of multicolored flowers. Though I had to wait tables in addition to my heavy course load in order to afford the rent, the essence of freedom was worth it. Danny had never left my thoughts, but life just seemed to chug along without him.
On most days I would fall into class at nine am, still drowsy and in a foul mood. My multidisciplinary degree required a lot of class time as well as homework. I’d have about an hour to eat, shower and change before I was off to work at the campus’s favorite watering hole, McAndrews. It was more of a bar that served food than a restaurant really, but I loved my co-workers and my boss was a generous guy. I fluttered around like a butterfly on speed, filling orders for six hours, came home and collapsed into bed.
Needless to say, I had a less than stellar social life. In fact, I had not been on one date, not for lack of the opportunity. I had filled out quite nicely in the chest and behind by that point and my slim waist, long dark hair and hazel eyes attracted quite a bit of attention. The problem was that I hadn’t yet found a guy that I deemed worthy of my very, very, very limited time. I didn’t mean to do it, but I compared every one of them to Danny. None of them even held a candle.
One drizzly afternoon, I rushed home from a lecture that had run late. I bounded through the door, hair plastered down to my forehead, shaking my shoes in the mudroom. Surprisingly, Sam was home for a change, we had not been seeing much of each other by that point because she didn’t have the same standards of dating as I did. I often joked that we should install a revolving door.
“Hey sweetie, you look like a wet puppy.” She niggled, smiling.
“Well it’s raining cats and dogs out there.” I joked back. “What are you doing home?”
“Studying.” She sulked, “But Mike is coming by later.”
“Which Mike?” I asked, not in jest, but honestly wondering.
“Ken doll Mike.” She smiled evilly.
“Ah!” I winked knowingly, “I’m glad that I have to work tonight.”
I barely had enough time to shove some chef Boyardee in the microwave and slug it down before it was time to leave. Gotta love that freshman diet. I rushed to change into my uniform, a short black skirt and white button up shirt. I glanced at myself in the mirror, not liking what I saw. I really did look like a wet dog and pale to boot. I decided to just tie my unruly hair up and bound out again. So I wasn’t at my hottest, I’d get fewer tips this evening, big deal. At least I wouldn’t be late.
“Have fun!” I called to Sam in that singsong way I had when I was making fun of her.
“You too!” I heard her reply, but it was muffled. I was already halfway to my car.
When I stepped into McAndrews I breathed a sigh of relief that it was not busy on this particular evening. I was in a bad mood and needed an easy shift. I walked around in a funk, taking orders and not bothering to make eye contact.
By the time I got to table twelve, I didn’t even bother looking up from my bill pad.
“What can I get for you?” I asked apathetically.
“I’ll have a cheese burger and fries.” A masculine voice came back.
“Anything to drink with that?” I asked, still not looking up.
“I don’t drink.”
Something about the arrogance of his statement was so familiar. For the first time, I glanced up at the mystery customer. There sat a truly beautiful specimen on the male persuasion. He had dark, calculatedly messy hair and piercing eyes.
Something about his features, his soft expression… “Danny?” I exclaimed, suddenly wishing that I had taken the time to fix myself up more.
The man that sat before me was larger and more fit, his dark sweater barely stretched over his large arms, but I was positive that it was him before he even had a chance to answer.
“Yes?” He looked at me perplexed. “Do I know you?”
“Yeah.” All of the excitement left my voice. “We went to high school together. It’s no big thing, I just saw you around sometimes.” I lied.
“Oh.” He looked confused, but dismissive.
I turned away and let a tear or two escape my eyes on my way back to the kitchen. I dropped the order and went about my business; however I was unable to stop myself from glancing over at Danny often. He sat all alone as he always had, reading a book and ignoring everything else going on around him. My heart fluttered every time I looked over, but the disappointment was overwhelming. The Danny I knew would never order something as boring as a burger and fries. The Danny I knew wouldn’t have been so dismissive toward me. The Danny I knew would remember who I was and what we had meant to each other.
I started to cry again, but this time someone noticed. Angie, my co worker, touched my shoulder gently.
“You ok hun?” She enquired.
I had never bothered to speak to Angie much, but she was an attractive redhead, about ten years older than me. When I thought about it, all I really knew about Angie was that she was a single mother who worked there to support her kid. In that moment, with her being so nice to me, I felt terrible for not having befriended the woman. It made me cry more.
“No.” I sobbed.
“What is it honey?” Her green eyes flashed with maternal concern.
“I just have my period.” I lied quickly to cover up my tracks.
“Take fifteen honey, I’ll cover your tables ok?” She smiled, obviously not believing a word that was coming from my mouth.
I nodded my thanks and headed out the back door. I breathed in the chilly air that had been left behind by the earlier rain. It calmed my nerves, but not enough. I couldn’t get the events of the past few minutes out of my head. I pondered them as I stood among the dumpsters and castoff refuse from the restaurant kitchen. I pulled my ‘emergency smoke’ from my apron and lit it. I took a satisfying drag and felt my body relax. It wasn’t so bad I rationalized; at least it was the only bad habit that I’d picked up at college.
I was able to take a few more glorious lungfuls before the back door banged open. It was Angie.
“Hey hun, I’m sorry to interrupt your break.” She frowned, obviously disapproving of my dubious habit.
I cocked my head at her, just wanting her to say whatever it was she had to and leave again.
“Well, it’s the gentleman at table twelve. He insists on seeing you.” She fidgeted with the strings of her apron nervously.
A thousand emotions went through me at once, elation, glee, fear, trepidation, hope, but above all the desire to have him somehow, magically, recognize me after all memory of our relationship had been zapped from his neurons.
“I’ll be right in.” I said more shortly than intended and stamped out my half smoked cig.
Angie looked offended, but said nothing. I felt bad and made a mental note to show her a gesture of kindness and friendship when I was in better form. I followed her back through the kitchen to the main dining room, where she branched off to fill some drink orders.
I felt like a gawky high school girl again as I approached the table, with many of the same emotions that I had experienced on that first afternoon that I brazenly sat next to Danny under the old willow tree. My stomach was flipping, my mouth was dry, yet I was unmistakably drawn to him.
“You wanted to see me, sir?” I asked politely.
“Yes.” He said calmly. “And please call me Danny.”
“Ok Danny.” I replied. “I don’t mean to be rude, but I am in the middle of a shift and… is there anything that I can do for you?”
“Yes.” He stated plainly.
His one word, glib answers had always gotten my panties in a bunch. “What would that be?” I asked testily.
“Sit down please.” As if sensing my anger, he smiled and waved a hand at the bench in front of him.
I knew I shouldn’t have, but I sat. “How can I help you?”
He squinted at me and grimaced as if it were taking great effort for him to focus. He rubbed his temples in frustration.
“You just look so familiar.” He admitted, “But I can’t place you.”
“Well, like I said we were in the same English class in High School.” I replied dryly, but inside my tummy butterflies were dancing.
“That must be it, I’m sorry to have bothered you…” He glanced at my name tag, “Alexis.”
I could see it, a spark of recognition behind his eyes, but he said nothing.
“No problem.” I said shortly and walked away from my second chance that evening to reconnect with Danny.
I berated myself the entire next day. I cursed my lack of courage and weak character. I should have just told him who I was, or spoken to him longer or something more than just handing him his check and smiling dumbly. Who knew where he was or if I would ever see him again…
By the time I arrived at work I had accepted my fate. Danny was gone and I was destined to be alone forever. Then, to my surprise, just like magic, he showed up.
He ate there that night and every night that week. Each time he sat at my table and each time we talked a little more. Every evening I learned a little something about his life now and I revealed something about me, hoping to jog his memory.
He was a student at the college, but had enrolled midyear due to some ‘personal problems’. I chose not to reveal that I knew exactly what he was referring to. He lived on campus, was an English literature major and single. I have to admit that I was relieved to hear that last part.
By Thursday, I realized that he lit up when I arrived to take his order. It occurred to me that he may just be coming in to McAndrews every night to see me, so I told him so in a joking way. He also freely admitted to that. He said that I was the prettiest girl he had seen in some time and the ‘view’ was worth the price of the food. Good old Danny. I joked and flirted back. By Friday we were fully fledged friends again.
It wasn’t what I had hoped for, but it was a start. He stayed past closing time and helped me clean up. My mouth watered every time I saw his muscles ripple with the effort of his work. The fantasy of us one day making love had never left my mind and his mere presence re-ignited my lust for him. Everyone had left, but we sat at his usual booth and talked late into the night. Just like in the old days, we discussed every possible topic, including the existence of God and the greenhouse effect. The fact that half of what he told me I had already heard… well I kept that to myself.
When the sun came up, he announced that it was time to walk me home. I didn’t want to tell him that I had a car and there was no need to walk, I wanted to spend more time with him.
The grass was covered with dew and a chill was present on the morning air. I had not brought a jacket and was shivering by the time we had gone a block and a half. He pulled off his own jacket and put it around my shoulders, smiling sweetly and rubbing my arms for warmth. I got the familiar warm, fuzzy feeling that I always did when Danny did something sweet for me. To me, it felt like nothing had changed, which made it extremely difficult to hold back my feelings for him.
If I showed him how I felt I’d appear crazy, having only known him for five days, from his perspective anyhow. I felt that I was bursting on the inside, wanting to touch him, hold him, kiss him, tell him that I loved him. Just when I felt I could take no more, he gently took my hand.
He frankly looked a little shocked that I didn’t pull away, but I could tell that it felt familiar to him as well, unsettlingly so, because we finished the remainder of the walk in silence.
“This is me.” I pointed in the direction of my door as we arrived at my apartment building.
“Ok.” He relinquished my hand, a look of disappointment on his beautiful face. “Hey, I know we just met, but there’s something about you Alex. Do you want to get together sometime and…?”
“Do you want to… umm… come in?” I interrupted nervously, opening the door. I didn’t want to have to wait for a second date.
He stared behind me, into my apartment, as if he’d seen a ghost.
“Ah… I’d love to but I have to umm…” He pointed awkwardly toward the street.
“Ok.” I whispered, looking down to remove his jacket.
By the time I looked up, he was gone.
I turned to see what had spooked him. It was the old picture of he and I that I habitually kept on the hall table. Oh I’d done it now; he knew I had been lying.
“Shit!” I breathed.
I had the entire weekend off. It proved to be way too much time to think and seemed like the longest weekend in history. I sat at the breakfast table Sunday morning, drinking coffee and reading the paper. It was a habit that I had taken from Dad of course. I was recovering from a twenty four hour crying jag.
I’d spent all Saturday in bed, eating ice cream, watching cheesy movies and bawling like a baby. It felt as if my heart had literally torn in two. I’d lost him for a third time and had no idea what to do about it. By Sunday however, I was disgusted with my miserable self and had decided to pull myself up by my bootstraps. I was a big girl; the damsel in distress routine was getting old.
The screen door was open to the garden and there was a fragrant warm breeze passing through the kitchen. My plan was to relax with my morning routine then go on a walking tour of the campus dorms, hoping to ‘run into’ Danny. I’d confess everything and ask him to forgive me for lying.
I had just gotten to the interesting part of the paper, the comics, when I heard a sound coming through the screen door.
A velvety, deep voice recited melodically,
“Take this kiss upon thy brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day
In a vision, or in none
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.”
I looked up, my jaw dropping in shock. There stood Danny, obstructed only by the thin mesh of the screen door. He was holding a dozen roses and smiling, a loving look on his face that I had not seen for the better part of two years. I walked toward him slowly, almost in a trance as he continued.
“I stand amid the roar
Of a surf tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! Yet how they creep
Through my fingers to then deep,
While I weep – While I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! Can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem”
I flung the door open, practically touching my nose to his.
“But a dream within a dream?” We recited the last line in unison.
“How did you?” I was in such awe at the perfection of the moment that I couldn’t actually formulate a question.
“I remember everything Al.” He whispered gently before brushing his lips against mine.
I pulled back slightly and stroked his face. “Even my favorite poem by Poe? How?”
“The entire time that I was coming to the restaurant,” he revealed, “I had this feeling that I couldn’t shake. From the first moment I saw you, something told me that you were important. My heart fluttered a little, I got excited. Then when we started to talk… I liked you. You were smart and funny and so… familiar. My gut just screamed that I knew you better than I remembered, but I ignored it, thinking that it was just because I was attracted to you.”
I smirked at him. “Still got it!”
“You most certainly do.” He grinned before continuing. “When I walked you home and saw the picture I knew it was true. I freaked, I just had to know. I went home that second and started to rifle through my old things, you know, from the hospital. And there it was the exact same picture that I saw in your hallway, packed away in a box. I sat in my parents’ attic, just staring at it and I had a memory. It was of us sitting under the willow tree and discussing the book I lent you. Then suddenly it all came crashing back, like a tidal wave. Our friendship, my breakdown, our… relationship, but most of all, the way you took care of me. I loved you more than anything and I screwed it up. Can you ever forgive me?”
“No, I screwed up!” I shot back guiltily. “When you couldn’t remember me, I just stopped coming. I should have tried harder, I should have pushed more!” Tears start to shed.
“No Al!” He took me by the shoulders and looked directly into my eyes. “You only stopped showing up when I did. No one blames you.”
“But how?” I asked dumbly.
“I just told you, I saw the picture…”
“No!” I was getting frustrated with my own inability to emote. “How did you get out? Get better?”
“It was a whole hell of a lot easier for them to get me to take my medication once I couldn’t even remember what they were for. It took some time for them to adjust the dose, but to my surprise, it eventually worked. The only problem is that by then, my memory was fried, scrambled really badly. I still struggle with it, though more and more comes back each day. Exercise helps a lot.” He explained. “They started me on a program as part of my rehabilitation and I’ve just kept going.”
“That explains the difference in appearance, but how could they have done that to you in the first place?” I frowned at him. “It’s shameful!”
“No it isn’t, because it brought me back to you.” He crooned softly as he pulled me close.
“I love you Danny, I never stopped…” I was whimpering and soaking his shirt with tears.
“I love you too baby, I’m so sorry that I’ve been away so long.”
“Me too.” I whispered.
He kissed the top of my head, then my eyes, my nose and finally my mouth. I let myself really feel that kiss. I leaned into it, getting swept away by the movements of his lush lips. My arms went around his waist and stroked his rippling back.
We parted, simply gazing into each other’s faces. I felt as if I had finally found something precious that had been lost. I was afraid to move for fear that it was all a cruel dream. Finally, he broke the silence.
“Will you allow me the honor of taking you out this afternoon?” His eyes were full of warmth as he handed me the flowers.
“No.” I stated plainly.
“Why?” He looked confused and hurt.
“Because I’d rather make it a dinner date.” I gave him a crooked smile.
He cocked his head inquisitively.
“There’s something I’ve been saving for you and I would like to spend some time this afternoon giving it to you.” I smiled broadly.
At first he looked even more puzzled, but then wide eyed understanding dawned on his face. “Really? You never… ever?”
“Nope.” I smiled, “I could never find anyone like you.”
I kissed him again and before I knew what was happening he swept me off my feet, as if I were a feather and headed into the house.
“Which one of these is yours?” He nodded toward the bedrooms.
I indicated the one on the right; he rushed in there and kicked the door closed behind us. He placed me gently back on my feet.
“I want to make love to you.” He said plainly. “I think we’ve both waited long enough.”
“Me too.” I smiled up at him. “As I said, I’ve waited for you for a long time.”
“We’ve gotta fix that.” He growled lustily, gently unbuttoning my pajama top, practically consuming me with his eyes.
I gasped as his smooth hands made their way inside my top, around my ribs and up to my breasts. I hadn’t been touched in this way for ages and it had definitely been missed. I reciprocated by running my own hands under his tee shirt, over his washboard belly and lightly pinching his nipples.
I mumbled my appreciation when he gingerly pulled his bad boy tee over his head. I threw my own pajama top to the floor and mashed my chest against his, kissing him deeply. The heat of his body was simply intoxicating as we embraced. As it always had with him, this moment felt perfect. There was no rush and furious ripping of clothes or jumbling of limbs. He made me feel as if I had all the time in the world and he would not become impatient. He always had this way of making me feel like it was all about me.
After what seemed like an eternity, I pushed him away teasingly and lay down on the bed. He made no move to join me, but simply enjoyed the show as I wiggled my pants over my hips. He smiled his appreciation as my fully mature body came into view.
“I didn’t think it was possible for you to be any more beautiful than I remembered.” He sighed.
“Come here you tease!” I chided him, opening my arms, inviting him into my embrace.
He slowly undid his jeans, eyes never leaving my body. He discarded them before settling down into my waiting arms. Feeling the entirety of his warm body on mine was pure bliss. Our tongues explored softly and gently as our hands tentatively explored each and every fold and tuck of flesh.
I groaned and threw my head back when his fingers found my clit, rubbing my slick juices in circles around it. I returned the favor by taking hold of his throbbing manhood and running my thumb around its crown. He moaned into my neck and began kissing it furiously. My first orgasm crashed over me so fast that my poor deprived body had no warning. I panted and moaned so loudly that I thanked God Sam had spent the weekend with Mike.
“I love you baby.” He whispered softly, once I had quieted down enough to hear.
He gently removed my hand from his rod and breathed in the scent of my hair. He held me close and made no move to do anything more. I ran my fingers through his hair and he whispered sweet nothings into my ear as my breathing slowed.
“I’m not the same naïve girl I once was.” I giggled. “I know that what just happened was not ‘making love’”
“I know.” He rubbed his hand across my belly. “I just don’t want to rush things with you. I believe you’re my soul mate Alex and it’s worth taking the time.”
My heart leapt at his declaration of eternal love, but at the same time I really wanted to have what I had waited so long for. I said nothing, but pulled him on top of me and began kissing him anew, hoping that he would get the message. He did.
He kissed me passionately and I could feel his fullness pressing into my pubic mound. He began to run the head of his hard cock between my slick lips and over my sensitive love nubbin. Little mewing sounds escaped my throat at this totally new sensation. He groaned throatily.
I had never had a man inside of me before and knew that it would most likely be uncomfortable at first, but I didn’t care. My lust fogged brain screamed that I simply must have him and sooner than later. There was no one in the world that I would rather have given myself to.
“I’m ready.” I panted.
“Are you sure about this?” He breathed, biting his lower lip with the strain of holding back.
“Yes!” I cried, not being able to wait any longer.
“If you want me to stop, just say so.” His words said one thing, but I could feel that his body was now in hyper drive. That was fine by me; I had no intention of stopping.
He positioned the head of his cock at my slick opening and pushed his hips forward, just a little as if testing. I could feel the resistance of my hymen in my own aching hole and rolled my eyes in frustration. He was so afraid of hurting me that this was going to take forever.
I grabbed his ass and dug my nails in. “Fuck Me!” I demanded, pulling his buttocks toward my hips hard.
I arched my back in pain as his impressive manhood shattered what was left of my virginity. He moaned with pleasure as his staff was engulfed by my slick, tight opening. I lifted my head and buried it in his taut shoulder so he would not see the pain in my face. I breathed in his unique aroma as he began to rock back and forth gently, attempting to get me accustomed to the new sensation. I bit his shoulder to suppress a cry of pleasure/pain overload.
“Whatever the lady desires.” He gave me a horny grin, and then started to pump his rock hard erection into me at full tilt.
All traces of pain vanished as I threw my head back once more. It’s hard to describe the feeling of having sex with someone that you love, but every nerve and emotion I had was on fire. I wanted to hug him, kiss him, rake my nails down his back, rip at his hair and tell him over and over again how much I loved him, all at the same time. And all of those things I did.
Suddenly he lifted off of me and I was afraid that I had hurt him. I frowned at him, terrified that he was going to pull out and stop. Instead he did something even more delightful. He lifted my legs and placed my ankles on his shoulders. He began to stroke slowly in and out of my eager pussy. It was as if a tiny little spot inside of me had exploded and sent shockwaves through my whole body. I cried out as waves of bliss claimed me completely.
I could feel Danny’s eyes on my face, my freely bouncing breasts and between my legs where we were joined. He was watching me like his own personal porno flick. That obviously turned us both on because I felt my second orgasm claim me, but this one was different. My pussy clamped down relentlessly on his piston as I groaned my climax. His ever increasing moans added to the eroticism of the whole adventure. Now that I realized how to use the muscles inside of my love tunnel I experimented. I squeezed his engorged member then let go, I pumped my muscles, milking his swollen cock. That move proved to be too much for my poor lover. He grabbed my hips, cried out and went stiff, his man meat twitching. Now even though I was a virgin, I was no fool, I knew the birds and bees and what him spending himself inside me might mean, but I didn’t care.
He finally relaxed, “Wow girl, you’re a wild one.” He bent to kiss me once more. “Are you sure you never did that before?”
“Hey!” I feigned offense and pushed him off me.
He landed on the bed laughing. I snuggled close to him, just as I had that one night that we spent together. I ran my fingers through his sparse chest hair and gently kissed his neck. His cock was already springing back to life, but we both ignored it, preferring to simply bask in the afterglow and our shared love.
“You’re really here aren’t you?” I asked, sounding uncertain.
“Always baby.” He gently stroked my back.
“Promise me you’ll still be here when I wake up.” I pleaded, feeling drowsy.
“For as long as you want me.” He soothed. “When you wake up I’ll be here and we can do whatever your little heart desires.”
“Good.” I sighed, “I think that we have a lot to discuss. There are some things that you should know about yourself.”
He grinned. “Only you would be thinking of helping me at a time like this. That’s how I know you’re the one.” He kissed my forehead.
“Promise me this isn’t a dream.” I said in a small voice.
He looked at me and smiled sweetly. “No baby, it’s a dream within a dream.”