Last night I sat under the eaves of blooming fuchsia crepe myrtles with my friends, drinking bottles of Prosecco and smoking bummed American Spirits. My leg pressed against the jeans-clad leg of my voluptuous girlfriend with the beautiful mouth and my other friend sat next to her, her creamy breasts on display with a beaded necklace nestled strategically in her cleavage. Our friend whose birthday it was made the rounds with her 20 other friends and popped in every so often to check in with the three of us.
“When’s your date supposed to get here, Hy?” asked the birthday girl, her lip gloss shining in the evening sun.
“9:30. I don’t know why I keep inviting these dudes to our functions. Please forgive me. I’m such an asshole!” I smiled and she laughed.
“Hy, you work it! We love watching you in action. You have such a way with men,” my big-bosomed friend added.
“Seriously, Hy. It’s like watching a master. You are so welcoming with everyone.”
The birthday girl bent down and hugged me and wished me luck and sashayed over to another group of her friends. The two friends beside me asked me about the new guy. “His name is Drake, he’s 32, he’s cute. We texted all night last night. I’m worried about two things: 1, he doesn’t drink and if he’s in recovery or something I don’t know how that’d work with me, and 2, he’s looking to cuddle. That’s something that happens loooong after fucking. I didn’t cuddle with The Neighbor for months!”
As the sun fell behind the industrial warehouses tattooed with graffiti and the strings of little white lights began to come on I got more nervous. At 9:20 he texted to say he’d be there in 15 minutes. When he arrived he’s wearing a black t-shirt a size too big, jeans, and a black baseball cap. He’s ruggedly handsome and broad-shouldered. I stood up and gave him a hug and in the second before my chin was on his shoulder I saw the approving look in his eye, my spaghetti strap sun dress clung to my curves as if it was made for me, its sheerness a tease.
He immediately introduced himself to my friends, asked everyone what they were drinking and disappeared back into the bar. My friends and I avoided any knowing eye contact and instead carried on with the other guests. When Drake returned, the picnic table seating had changed again and when he saw an opening across from me he took it. Soon we were talking, just the two of us, and he suggested we go to our own table. I obliged, curious and engaged.
We talked for a long time. He asked me about my marriage, told me about his, he asked about my tattoo, he paid me compliment after compliment just to watch me cringe and blush. He explained he stopped drinking 5 years ago because he finally realized it wasn’t a good fit for him. That, and that first round of court-ordered rehab sort of got him to thinking. “I tried to do it casually, but learned I can’t. I’m the guy drinking apple juice at a gig.”
“You’re a Sam Malone,” I observed.
“Totally!! Sam’s my hero!” I laughed at his disclosure. I doubted seriously he was the Lothario Sam was. If anything, of the two of us I am Sam Malone.
After my friends left we remained. The energy under the trees shifted then. “I want to kiss you,” he said guilelessly.
I leaned across the table and met his lips, his dark blond five o’clock shadow rough on my skin. His mouth was pliant, yet firm. I liked it, but searched for passion. I felt none. I sat back on my bottom and smiled at him. He said he liked my kisses, so I leaned back over the tabletop for another. Again, no spark. Where’s the motherfucking spark? I thought.
When it was time to go he hesitated. He didn’t want me to drive home. I was buzzed, but assured him I was fine to drive home. He wrestled with himself for a minute or two; I insisted he wasn’t responsible for me and that I’d be fine. I was a little impressed by him, actually.
He walked me to my car and I was careful to not wobble in my high-heeled wedges on the cobblestone sidewalk lest he think it was the alcohol. At my car, bathed in yellow light from the street lamps, he pulled me into his arms and kissed me again. His hands roamed along my body and he groaned approval; my hands skimmed his trim, muscular sides and gripped his shoulders.
We made plans to go out on Friday. He insisted. I will see if there’s a spark then.
I drove home with the windows down and music blasting, a smile on my lips, confusion in my heart. Like my fickle feelings the downtown skyline slipped by and the highway emptied ahead of me and all I could think of was my bed. It was 1 am.
I climbed the 40 steps and texted TN that we might need him to sub at our softball game tonight and in my warm and fuzzy state of mind I jokingly added “WHY ARENT YOU UP??” He’s a night owl and I am droll at 1 am.
Inside my apartment I lit some incense, peeled off my dress, kicked off my shoes, and made a sandwich standing in only my underwear. I crawled into bed and flipped open my laptop to watch Master Chef. I was about to learn which two have to go to the elimination challenge when my front door vibrated with a pounding KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. It was 2 in the fucking morning.
I walked uninhibited to the front door, my breasts jiggling as I went. I cracked the door and hid my body behind it. TN is standing there in only his shorts. “What are you doing here?” I asked.
“You said you needed a sub for tomorrow. I thought we could talk about it.”
“Ok, whatever,” and I straightened up and pulled the door wide to expose my state of undress. Wordlessly I walked back to my bedroom and got back under the covers. He followed.
He told me about his night and we chatted about the game. He picked up a ball Peyton had left in my room and began kicking it around. He lost control and crunched my blinds. I scolded him and we laughed. He showed me some Bahamavention commercials on YouTube and I struggled to keep my breasts covered as we lolled around on the bed giggling.
“Why are you doing that?” he wondered and tugged on the covers exposing them again. I rolled to my side clutching the sheets to my breasts.
“Because. You don’t get to see them anymore.” An odd statement considering I’d answered the door in my panties, but a true statement nonetheless. I wasn’t going to just lay there on display for him to gaze at and not touch. I felt like a pea in a pod that had just been pulled open.
“That’s ridiculous,” he answered and before I knew it his hand was stinging on my flank. Fuck, it felt so good. I screamed into my pillow and my body tensed. “Wow,” he whispered as he traced the blooming redness with a finger. “You can see my fingers!” I got up to look in the mirror. His hand was clearly visible, the heat heavy and throbbing.
And because I wanted more I wrapped myself once more in my coverlet to disrupt the flow. He got the message and said he had to go. I once more stood up and walked back to the front door and we bantered along the way. Our parting words were me telling him I wasn’t sure if we needed him tomorrow night because my team doesn’t communicate well and he replied, “Sounds like me. I’m not good at communicating, either.” The door shut behind him then and I shook my head. The man communicates all the goddamned time, he just doesn’t realize it.