I was drawn to her the first moment I saw her. Not the one you or someone else might pick, but I often see as others may not. I see people, especially women, as a whole package first, like seeing a work of art for the first time in person. You take in the room and the lighting and it draws you to the point of focus, a framed masterpiece of intricate and painfully detailed textures. And only as you draw closer can you truly appreciate the work and sacrifice and suffering and pure pleasure that is the result before you. You don't concentrate on the flaws or the points of genius placed on the canvas because it becomes something so much more than just the sum of paint and cloth and labor. Sometimes when you see one, its almost as if you are affected directly by the artist's angst or ecstasy, and you can, for a moment, be enhanced by the experience. Rather like being lifted from the mundane plane of existence to lofty heights of joy and appreciation.
So it was when she entered the room.
I had gone back to college after a hiatus to start a family, and was having a very difficult time juggling job and home and school. The job and the home life were both miserable but I had high hopes for education and it got me out of the house two nights a week.
I sat, that first evening, in the middle of the last row, watching the other students enter, check their schedules to make sure this was the right room, and find an optimum place to sit. People fill a room like the gas does in a chemistry textbook illustration. Maintaining a discrete distance from those already seated and filling an "empty" space. By class time, there were a dozen and a half of us, pretty evenly spaced through the room of more than thirty desks. Our instructor entered and unpacked. A small frail appearing woman in her fifties with large round glasses framing bright green eyes that twinkled when she laughed yet could issue a steely gaze when disapproving. She was pleasant and steeped in English Literature and hoped in her heart of hearts that somewhere in just one of her extended evenings, a future Hemmingway sat. None of her students had such expectations, this being another necessary credit obstacle on the path to a certificate of some kind. She was writing her name and the class title on the board behind her desk when the sun came up the second time that day.
The miracle was, I figured, no one seemed to notice but me. This dawn of a woman entered the room and with her brought life and laughter and light. With a grace possessed only of angels and prima ballerinas, she danced into the room and sat right down in the desk beside mine just as if I had dreamed it. She smiled at me and whispered, "Hi. What did I miss?"
It was then I remembered to breathe.
She turned her attention to the instructor and the semester began with a whimper.
I won't go on here about the mundane details of my miserable life then. To do so would only belabor a past best forgotten. The bright spots of that autumn were centered on my classes, those two nights a week when I was someone besides a wage slave or a piece of furniture. We would meet almost by habit, before class in the Student Union and walk to class together. Those crisp evenings in her company spent walking across the campus discussing great ideas and imaginations or sitting and sipping bad coffee were an intellectual oasis in a desert of inanity.
She was just an inch or so shorter than me and not slim. She was feminine but not effeminate. She was, as the Germans say, zaftig. She had a fine figure that was ill concealed by drab and baggy clothes and a smile that brightened the darkest of days. I admire strong women and she had that will of her own. She too was going to school against the will of a spouse, struggling for the hard earned shreds of individuality that others in control seem so desperate to strip from us. She was pretty without much makeup, and had an ability to be so plain you'd not notice her twice in a crowd. She moved with an efficiency of motion that belied her apparent and very well proportioned mass. Her dark hair draped sensuously over her darker eyes like a brunette Veronica Lake when she wanted to be a tease. I was so thoroughly smitten, it was all I could do to suppress the adolescent urge to blush and giggle around her, yet she engaged readily in conversation and was appreciative of my obvious affection. We teased and flirted and kept the whole thing at arms' length well into November.
As fate would have it, we paired together to produce a term project, a slide show with music. It had to be an exercise in propaganda of some type and it had to be at least five minutes long. We spent long hours together taking slides and sorting slides and copying lyrics and timing the slide changes to the music. We did all this with a manual projector and a turntable. Vinyl records, remember?
Once, I was looking over her shoulder with the scent of her hair filling my nostrils and our hands touched in the briefest of moments. We both jumped as if from an electric shock. I could feel my face burning and noticed with no small satisfaction the rising rosiness in her cheeks. For a century or more we stayed there, the room circling us, the universe spinning by and taking no notice of us at all.
Then I saw the slight flicker of an eyelash and the corners of her mouth lifted ever so lightly. In the next instant we were locked in an embrace of passion. Chaste in the beginning, I felt her lips open to me and her tongue flicker across mine. I licked her lips so very lightly and felt the tip of her tongue teasing mine. We danced like that until I faintly remembered again that I needed to breathe. I released her but she pressed her face to my chest and held me as if for life itself. She caught her breath in short gasps I could have mistaken for sobs, then her embrace relaxed somewhat.
She looked up at me and I realized what a small leap it would be to drown myself in those eyes. At the same instant I glimpsed that wellspring of affection, a cloud of sadness obscured the view.
"I really wanted to know what kissing you would be like," she whispered to me, "Now I do. It can't happen again, you know."
I nodded allright, but like Sascha in Dr. Zhivago, I didn't believe it for a second. But I did agree and apologized just enough to be polite. But my life would never be the same and I knew it. That night I dreamed of her.
We didn't act as if anything had changed to all those around us, after all it was a tiny secret to carry around like a precious stolen gem. One you can only admire in solitude. When we presented our project in class, we received an A plus and some accolades from those in the class. A success yes, but with one class left between us and forever, it was bittersweet at best. The silence between us weighed heavily on my shoulders and slowed my steps as we walked to her car after class. We didn't touch or kiss, but her smile spoke volumes to me.
But the Midwest Winter weather had one more trump to play.
The afternoon of the last class, a Thursday in mid-December, the gray sky began dropping snow. A large flaked, fluffy wet snow that seemed to melt as soon as it hit the ground. The few who showed up for class were surprised to find it cancelled, our final grades and a note from the instructor pinned to the board in the hall. We arrived to read it and leave, those few who had braved the worsening weather only to wander back into it. She and I arrived almost simultaneously, as was our habit, though from opposite directions. Reading the notice, I was saddened; this was my last chance of the year to get free, if only for a while, from the prison of my home life. And it was in all probability the last chance I would ever have to spend time with this wonderful woman. Frantically, I searched for scenarios where we could be together for the supposed duration of the class, so selfish was I where she was concerned. A bar maybe? A restaurant perhaps? Think!
I started to blurt out something about having a bite or a drink our last evening together when she hit me in the face with a sledgehammer.
Not literally, of course, but she drew close to me and said, wait, no, she _sang_, "Would you come home with me tonight?"
Her eyes were bright and rimmed with tears and I felt as if my answer could stem or release the flood barely contained behind them. Her cheeks turned a bright pink while she waited for me to learn to speak again. I nodded, I think. My head felt like it was full of helium and about to float away leaving me forever earthbound. I hugged her tightly and kissed her ear while I whispered, "Yes, yes, yes. Oh yes."
An interminable walk to my car through the blowing snow, several miles of packed streets and a lot of nervous anticipation later, we entered their apartment. Her husband was in Nevada with their two boys, some urgent family matter had demanded his presence. He would be home the following night. I learned all this and a lot more from the conversation in the car. She had never done anything like this before. She took her marriage seriously but there was something else she needed. The lyrics were different but the song was the same. Married at eighteen, two children before twenty, following a husband in the Army, trying to make a home, and learning how to be a woman at twenty-six. We agreed this was for us and us only, sex for the sake of pleasure, nothing would change, and no one would ever know. She closed the door behind me and turned on a small table lamp nearby. Taking my hand, she led me to the bedroom before we even removed our coats. The king size waterbed was unmade but otherwise the place was nearly spotless. It was the kind of thing that gets noticed for the incongruity more than anything else.
She dropped her coat and purse and gloves on the floor and embraced me fiercely. I returned the kiss, drawing my hands down her back and around her hips to settle cupping her cheeks with both palms. She seemed to melt into my arms and I trailed kisses across her cheek and neck, stopping briefly to nibble on her left ear lobe, an act that elicited a deep sigh. The sound of that sigh raced along my nerves, drawing my toes into a curl. Without speaking, we shed our clothes in a frantic, fevered attempt to rid ourselves of the obstructions to our passion.
She had left the lights off, the room being illuminated only by the dim glow from the lamp in the living room and the bathroom light through a partially open door. As she slid her panties down and stepped out of them, I could see her naked body in a kind of shadowy relief. It was magnificent. Hidden usually by layers of drab clothes in an attempt to appear housewifely, her translucent skin positively shone in the dimness. Perfect breasts with rosebud nipples stared back at me. Her waist narrowed briefly before blending its curves onto rounded hips. I could just see her smiling, seeing the obvious approval on my face. I continued to look for a long moment, as if finally meeting that long sought masterpiece in person and determined to drink it all in. We moved together slowly, not as if in a dream, but deliberately as if long planned. For me it was certainly long anticipated. In my feverish dreams and steamy fantasies, I had a confidence that was difficult to muster in the face of the reality. I kissed her and touched her and was grateful for the dimness hiding my burning face and my eager erection. We climbed into the bed giggling; I was drunk on the sight and the feel and the scent of her. Ever so slowly, I moved my hands across the new terrain, exploring this uncharted alabaster landscape in awe and wonder. The sensation of her presence overpowering my will, pulling me deeper into that bed we shared.
I gently pushed her over to lay her on her back, her head just missing one of the pillows. I kissed her forehead, her nose, her lips, her cheek, the other cheek, down her chin and along her neck. I drew long slippery lines and runic characters with my tongue. Across her shoulders and down both arms, kissing her palms and tasting fingers, across her chest just skimming her breasts, then returning to encircle each nipple and nibble it gently, taking each one in my mouth like a starving infant, then down around her navel in odd lazy circles, and past the pale lines that were her badges of childbirth to the delta of fur between her thighs, I wrote the manifesto of our passion and pain. Small intricate text and headlines of capital letters, cartoon figures and symbols of intensity and sincerity, a tract of faith and wonder, my finest work if pen were used instead of mouth.
My reward for this lexicon was the sighs and moans from deep within her, waxing in volume and pitch, reporting to me my progress and passing along encouragement.
I stopped at one point to kiss her feet and hold them aloft while I continued my declaration down her beautifully shaped legs, until twice more I arrived at the juncture of thigh and abdomen, that place of Venus and birth and most private desires. This time I stayed. I pressed my mouth to her nether lips repeatedly, rapidly, circling and centering, from top to bottom. My words grew longer, with smaller and more frequent characters. Her scent filled me and fed me, her wetness the fount of life itself and I burned with thirst for her. Finally burying my face in the darkness, seeking her sensitivity with the flicking tip of my tongue, I felt a tremor run the length of her legs and back again and her back arched up.
I pressed on, holding her round butt in both hands, letting my tongue telegraph my message of total desire and submission. I slid a finger inside just enough to search out and circle her spot, concentrating my oral attentions on her clitoris, now stiff and responsive under the tip of my tongue. Her breathing increased sharply and her thighs squeezed my head. She trembled violently and spasmed, her back arching up off the bed, taking my face with her. She cried out in pleasure to a personal deity whose name I didn't recognize. I licked furiously and rubbed with my fingertip for several more moments, enjoying thoroughly the thrashing and screaming of her climax. I withdrew when she finally subsided, feeling for a minute that smugness and satisfaction of raw success.
My face was soaked with our mixed wetness, and it seemed the room was filled with the pheromones and scent of animal attraction. I was drunk on it.
I rested there in silence for what seemed like mere seconds then she propped herself up on one elbow and placed a gentle hand on my chest and smiled at me. I wanted to say something smug or remarkably witty, but didn't want to be trite. Besides, I was still trying to catch my breath, which, by then, was crossing the county line and headed for the hills.
Her hand traced an imaginary line down my chest until she took my erection and gripped it in her cool pale fingers. I could feel my response to her touch electrifying my very being. It was my turn to lie there and be administered to. Still smiling, she slid down in the bed until her head rested on my hip. There, she held and stroked me slowly, as if examining it closely. It throbbed involuntarily in her hand and she giggled softly. Slowly then, she raised her head over me and kissed the end, licked it in several circles, then eased it into her warm wet mouth. I grabbed fistfuls of sheets and held on. Her hand moving up and down on the shaft, her mouth enclosing the head, she worked it with relish, driving me to the very brink of oblivion and back repeatedly. Several times, she paused for a moment, suspended in the thin air above me, and lowered her mouth until I disappeared into her, her lips pressed to my stomach. Each time, she held it there for a second then I could feel her tense and back away quickly. I was rapidly reaching a point of no control. I took her shoulders into my hands and lifted her off me. She looked puzzled, but I drew her to me and we kissed again. This kiss was so totally unlike our first, my face covered with her wetness, her lips tasting of me, our mouths and our hearts and our souls each open to the others' probing tongues.
I rolled us over and slid between her legs, our bodies fitting together as if finely machined and measured. She drew her legs up responsively and I eased inside her until fully engulfed by her. I held that moment as long as I could, until my body rebelled and began its instinctive dance, thrusting and pushing us closer together than we already were. I could feel her muscles respond to the probing inside her, squeezing and spasming with a frequency that matched perfectly the timing of my thrusts. Soon, we were like a wild thing, our bodies moving together in a violent unison. We traveled across then up the bed until her head compressed a pillow to the headboard. Her legs were now up on my shoulders and we bucked and danced and thrashed wildly to the beat of an invisible drummer inside us, dancing to a score unreadable by mere humans, yet performed flawlessly. We called to each other across the chasm that separates every being from another and tearfully answered. Each touch, every throb, all the miniscule sensations meant to send the same message, the totality of being, if only for the briefest of seconds, to be one instead of two.
I was like a mindless thing, driven by desire and passion and internal chemicals of raw lust. Then I felt her stiffen again and her legs shook. She took in a sharp breath and cried out, then again, and yet again. She bucked wildly and I felt her closing around me, spasm after spasm of release. I could not keep my own climax back any longer and I spilled into her, my fists clenching the sheets in tights clumps. That electric fire of passion coursed through my body in a tide of total pleasure. I jerked and shook to a stop at last, collapsing on her roughly, then rolled to one side, breathless. She giggled almost hysterically, rolling over and back with her face pressed into a pillow, her joyous laughter spilling out and her body shaking with it.
I must have passed out for a few seconds, because the next thing I was aware of, she was returning from the bathroom with a warm washcloth and began to clean my legs and genitals with it. She was smiling and humming softly, something that vaguely resembled a lullaby. Sitting cross-legged there in the dimness, she looked like a goddess, the earthly avatar of wanton passion itself. We laughed together half-heartedly and expressed our awe and wonder at the experience we had shared. I was gratified to learn I had given her her first oral climax and her first multiple climax in the same evening ever. She laughed as she confessed this to me, almost as if embarrassed by it. I made it seem everyday, but I knew how cold the world really is and just how rare and precious moments like these are.
Thirty minutes later, my face thoroughly scrubbed and the sheets in the washer, she dressed enough to walk me to my car, now covered with snow, and stood with me in the cold while I cleaned the windows enough to drive. We kissed again there in the night, snow falling and blowing around us. This kiss very much like the first except now with all that had happened between us and with the stark realization of finality at hand. I ached inside to reach out and take her again, to run away and keep her with me, to explain logically and reasonably why this should be so, but no words came. Just the fleeting pressure of her lips on mine fading into the cold night air as she disappeared into the apartment and I climbed into the car, shivering and alone.