This one is quite a different approach for me. I hope you like it.
I have been in love once in my life. I mean real love; the kind that makes your palms sweat and your stomach dance in circles. You can’t eat, you can’t sleep and your brain turns to mush. If you can manage to think at all, your only thought is of that person. Their eyes, their hair, their face are all engraved on the back of your eyelids like an afterimage. Your dreams are only of them and when you wake; your life is a nightmare till you see them again. I was in love like that once. It lasted about a year. Well, actually I still lover her, it’s just that she was only around for about three months.
She was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. Her hair was so black that you could almost see your reflection. Those deep, green eyes reached right in, grabbed your soul and squeezed till you couldn’t breath. Her skin was the softest I have ever felt, and her lips were beyond sweet. When she gently reached out and touched me I would tingle all over, especially in that special, private place between my thighs.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a lesbian, I mean not really. Yes I have had an affair or two with another woman along the way, but they were only vain attempts to re-capture that feeling. Not just that tingly feeling between the legs, but that completely-helpless-totally-dependent-really-alive feeling. God I miss her.
She literally knocked me off my feet the first time I saw her. I was rounding the corner from Fifth Street onto Belliard when she ran right into me and knocked me on my butt. Now I am a rather thin woman, so it doesn’t take much for me to be pushed around. My husband likes to call me Skelletor. I like to think of myself as wiry. Jenny was not a big woman either, it’s just that I wasn’t prepared for the blow and she was in a hurry so when we hit something had to give. Little did I know at the time, what really gave was my heart.
“Oh my God.” She said as I hit the ground. The sound of her voice echoed in my ears. At first I thought it was from the impact, but latter I realized it was just her. “Are you alright?” Jenny bent down to help me up and I looked straight down her shirt. I instantly realized why men are always looking down woman’s shirts. Her breasts were smooth and firm. She wore a lacey bra that just barely hid her nipples, and exposed the milky white of her un-tanned flesh. I felt my heart begin to pound as I looked at her. “Are you alright?” The sound of her voice brought me around and I shook my head.
“Yes, yes. I’m fine.” I said in a weak voice as I took her hand. I have never felt anything as soft as that hand as she helped me to my feet.
“I am so sorry. I didn’t see you there.”
“It’s O.K.” I said as I dusted my self off.
“I feel terrible. Are you sure you are alright.” She took hold of my hand and looked deep into my eyes.
“Just a bit shaken,” I said, “and I will probably have a nice bruise on my butt.” She began to giggle, and my heart sunk deeper into my chest.
I took a glance down the length of her body without realizing it. She wore a short skirt that came down about midway on her calf. Her legs were exquisite. They were firm and tight. I imagined that she must do a lot of running to keep those legs in shape. “Can I buy you a cup of coffee?” She was saying as I moved my gaze back up her body, stopping briefly to take in her breasts again. She had a sly smile on her face as if she knew my secret thoughts before I did. Ken, my husband, wasn’t due home for some time, so I had nowhere I had to be. Besides, I was caught in her spell and would have said yes to just about anything at that point. “Sure, I guess that would be fine.”
“Great!” I realized that she hadn’t let go of my hand as she began to shake it introducing herself. “My name is Jenny.” It was the most wonderful name I had ever heard. “I know a great spot on the next bock.”
“I’m Lori.” I told her in a weak, shy voice.
“Nice to meet you.” She turned and began walking up Belliard. I hesitated for just an instant, then trotted up next to her like a lost child.
The coffee shop was in the middle of the next block. I had passed it many times but never been inside. I was never one for sitting drinking coffee when there were things to do. When you are a wife and mother there are always things to do. The place was about what I had expected. Squeaky clean, almost sterile. There were several round tables set about the room and a young woman moved from table to table, taking orders or re-filling cups. Jenny picked a table towards the back of the shop and sat down. The young woman came over and took our order. “So, do you live around here?” Jenny asked after the girl had left. I told her where I lived and a little about my life. For some reason I didn’t tell her about Ken. I let her do most of the talking while I let the sound of her voice pour over me like a warm blanket.
We sat in the coffee shop, chatting like old friends, for several hours. We talked about nothing of any consequence but I felt as thought it were the most important conversation I had ever had. It seemed to me the most innocent of things when we exchanged phone numbers. I mean after all it was another woman, there was nothing wrong with that. After the coffee shop I went home and started dinner for Ken and the kids. I found it quite simple to fit back into the routine. The kids would be home by three, Ken by five-thirty. Dinner, then homework and, if I was lucky, time for a nice evening movie. I set about my chores with the full intent of getting back to my normal life. Still I couldn’t help thinking about Jenny. Images of her breasts kept jumping into my mind at the oddest of times. I went through the rest of the night on auto pilot. Years of carefully planned routine had taught me how to get through the evening’s chores despite the distractions. I could cook a meal, correct homework and “please” my husband all while sick, pregnant, or just plain not giving a shit. That night however, I did it all with a private smile on my face. My kids and my husband didn’t notice of course. The kids were too busy with their video games or gossiping about who wore what to last week’s dance. Ken was back in his office as soon as his last bite was in his mouth. He kept telling me it was for our good. If he was going to get ahead he had to put in the time. No matter that he had missed most of the kid’s milestones, several of my birthdays, not to mention the anniversaries he swore he was going to make up to me one day. After the dishes were done I settled into my chair, book in hand, ready to relax for the night. My eyes saw the words but my brain made no connection to the them. My thoughts were only of her. The soft touch of her hand. The warmth of her voice. The gentle raising and lowering of her breasts with each breath. Why was I so fixated on her breasts? I suppose some shrink somewhere would say it was a way of me trying to reconnect with my mother or some such garbage. All I know is that they were beautiful. The freckles drew my eyes with every beat of her heart. It was then that it hit me. Oh dear God how could I have been so stupid?? I had spent almost the whole time staring at her breasts. I dropped my book with the realization that she had to have noticed. What must she think of me now? She would never call now. My euphoria quickly crumbled as I sat back in my chair. Oh well, I thought, it is for the best. I mean, could I really have gone through with it? Was she even thinking the same thing? The risks were tremendous and it was much better that I stay in my routine where I was safe, bored but safe.
The next few days turned into a week. Each day the hope of seeing her again faded. Reality settled back in. I didn’t give up without the semblance of a fight. Knowing that I couldn’t call her, I would never be able to go through with it, I wandered the streets hoping to see her. I passed that same corner at least a dozen times. A week ago I never new the little coffee house existed, now I was a regular. That at least was a change. If nothing else she had done that much for me at least. I now had a secret place all to myself. A place where I could go with my thoughts. No one there knew anything about me. I liked that. So I am sure you can imagine the shock I felt when the voice on the other end of the phone one Tuesday afternoon was her’s. My knees nearly buckled as she spoke.
“Lori, this is Jenny. We meet a bit ago when I bumped into you on the street, remember?” Remember? I would never forget that day the rest of my life.
“Of course I remember. How have you been?” Oh God I sounded desperate, or worse. My heart was beating so hard I was sure she could hear it over the phone.
“I’m so sorry I haven’t called. I had to go out of town on some business”.
“Oh don’t worry about it. I should have called you as well. I just got busy. You know how it is.” I couldn’t believe the words coming out of my mouth. I just got busy? What the hell was that?
“Oh I sure do. Hey are you up for some coffee? I mean if you have the time.”
My whole world stopped then. What was I going to do? If I said yes was I giving into something I wasn’t ready for? If I said no was I giving up on something that I had always wanted but never realized? What if she didn’t feel the same way? There were too many questions and not enough answers. “Sure, sounds good”. The words were out before I even realized it. I am not sure I would have taken them back if I could have.
We met at the coffee house nearly every day for the next month or so. The conversations gradually got deeper and more personal as time went on. We started out talking about shopping and what types of coffee were the best when you are sad and gradually moved up from there. It was towards the end of the month when we got around to relationships. I told her all about Ken and the kids, she told me all about the men in her life. There had been several but never one that had lasted for long. She spent most of her life in and out of relationships. Some sexual, some not. After college Jenny spent some time in Europe seeing the sights. The more we talked the more I fell in love with her. At first I wasn’t sure if it was with her or the life she represented that I loved. Then one Friday night, when the kids were headed to spend the night at friend’s houses and Ken was out of town for the weekend, she gently reached out and touched my hand. At that touch my heart stopped. I couldn’t breath. I felt as though I had caught fire in the deepest regions of my sole. She didn’t say a word. She just looked into my eyes and smiled a gentle smile. We made love that night. I lost myself completely to her. It had been years since I felt that good. The sight of her naked skin made me quiver. She was so firm, yet soft and feminine. The sound of our love making, the smell of her excitement transformed me into something I never thought I could be. When she left my bed Sunday morning I was completely new. I sat on the edge of the bed and watched her dress. She smiled her magic smile and all was right with my world.
The next few months went by in a whirlwind of sex, love, and hope. I began to form my plan for my freedom. I wasn’t sure how I would tell Ken but I knew I would. I was worried about what the kids, my friends, my parents would think. Still I knew I had to set myself free. I had to become who I was. I began to live for the first time in years. At least until Jenny cut the life from me in one swift blow.
She told me over coffee one afternoon in late September. I cried. She cried. We held each other and cried together. The doctors had given her only a few months to live. The cancer was inoperable. She had come into town to get away from her old world and the pain of the reality of what was to come. She knew I had fallen in love with her and didn’t want me to go to far. Jenny tried to convince me to go back to my life before I had met her. I smiled lightly at her and told her I would, only because it seemed that was what she wanted. I had no intention of going back now. My path was set.
I didn’t see her again until the funeral. Sitting in the back, alone, I learned much about the woman I loved so much that she never would have told me. I cried and fell deeper in love with her.
The divorce was final about six months after Jenny was buried. I never did tell Ken or the kids about her. As far as they know I was just not in love with him anymore. It happens. They lived with him while I took a small apartment on the east side of town. Ken and I are great friends. The kids have since graduated college. One now lives in Colorado and the other in New York City. We get together for the Holidays, birthdays and such, when we can. I have never had another relationship with any real meaning. Everything since has been an attempt to find her again in someone else’s eyes or voice. At night I hug my sheets close to me and pretend. I’m happiest in my dreams.