The Cure Ch. 05

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“LOVE. The big ‘L’ word. Had I actually told her that I loved her?! Was I nuts? Without a doubt I was attracted to her. She was a beautiful, intelligent, and financially stable woman who was just awakening to her sexually. But what the fuck could I offer her?

Seven years younger than her. No college degree. No plans for the future except to stay in the military, for the moment.” The questions surged through my brain as I lay looking up at the ceiling. “And yet, she said she loved me first. Could it really be true, or was she just overcome by what the two of us have been doing?”

I rolled over and stared at her laying next to me. God, she was so beautiful. Blonde hair, gray-green eyes, a slightly turned up nose. And a body that most men lusted to get their hands on and most women envied. I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t even notice that she was looking back at me.

“Morning.”

“Hey.”

“What’s the matter?”

“What makes you think there’s a problem?”

She lifted her head, bracing it in her hand, her eyes locking with mine. “Because in the couple of days we’ve been together I’ve come to know certain little things about you. Like how your eyebrows crinkle when something it bothering you.”

I flopped back down on the bed, staring at the ceiling once again. “They do not!”

“Yes they do,” she whispered as she leaned over and kissed my forehead. “So what’s wrong?” she continued as she lay her head on my shoulder, cuddling her body against mine.

“Listen, Gail. I …”

“Oh – oh, that’s not good.”

“What?”

“You called me by my first name. You’ve NEVER done that before.”

“I don’t know. I’ve been laying here since I woke up trying to figure out how we’re gonna make this work. I mean, our age differences, the differences in our backgrounds, the economics, future prospects, they just seem to be too much!”

“The only question I have for you is do you love me?” she asked, softly.

“I … I think so. But even then I’m not sure,” I said and instantly felt her pull away slightly. “I know I feel something for you. Something unlike anything I’ve ever felt before but I’m not sure what love is supposed to feel like. Remember, I’m the guy who didn’t even have a girlfriend in high school.” I hesitated before continuing. “The best way I can explain it is that when I’m with you I feel whole and complete and when we were apart for just those couple of hours the other day I felt … mmmm … lost and empty. Does that sound crazy?”

She shifted closer, pressing against me. “I think that’s a pretty good description of love. I mean, there are other kinds of love. There is physical love, like when you look at a person and feel your heart race because of the way they look. There is sexual love, because of … well, that one’s pretty self-explanatory. There’s spiritual love, which is usually based on similar religious beliefs and then there’s the kind of love that binds two people together. Sometimes for a day, sometimes for a week, or a month, or a life-time. Some people call it being soul-mates.”

“So which are we?”

“Hmmmm … let’s see. I’m pretty sure we both find each other attractive,” she said as she ran the fingernail of her index finger across my naked chest. “And as for sex, well … let’s just say I’ve never had a lover who made me feel the way you do.”

“Yeah, we’re gonna have to talk about that too.”

“What?”

“Lovers, plural. Somehow I had the feeling that you’d only been with your high school boyfriend and your ex.”

“Yeah, I guess we should talk about. Maybe later.”

Just the way she said it told me there was pain attached to the memories.

“As for the spiritual stuff, we really haven’t talked about that but I have a feeling we’re not too far apart. And as for the other … I feel the same way. Just the idea of being without you scares the shit out of me! I never knew what it meant to be so committed to someone and especially in such as short period of time. It’s like you’re a half of me that I didn’t know I was missing but now that I’ve found you I can’t do without it.”

Inside, I knew she was right. But I still doubted my ability to make her happy. “But what about the other stuff? What are people gonna say when they see us together? ‘Look at the older woman with her boy-toy.’ And what about Jen? She’s probably not going to be too happy when she learns about us. And then there’s the financial stuff. It’s very doubtful I’ll ever be able to provide enough money for you to enjoy this kind of life-style. Is it really something you’d be willing to give up?”

She lay there quietly but I could tell she was thinking about what I’d said. “The first part is easy. It’s just gonna depend on how we act together. If we act as equals then that’s how people we see us. And if they don’t … too bad. Regarding Jen, I think, given enough time, she’ll understand. She knows what her father did to me and I know she wants me to be happy. And I’m definitely happy when I’m with you. That leaves the money. I admit I like having it. It makes things a whole lot bursa eskort easier BUT I think we can work around that too.”

“How?”

“Ummmmm … I guess we could put it away for the future. You know, to use as an emergency fund. Or even put it aside for our kids …” she faltered and blushed.

“Yeah, we haven’t talked about that either. Do you want kids? How many? Can you have …?” I stopped realizing I might have gone too far and was treading on ground where even angels feared to go.

This time the silence seemed to last forever and when she did break it, her voice was so soft I could barely hear it. “Yes, I want children. If possible I’d like two. A boy and a girl. I know that sounds cliché but what can I say? As for having children … I’ve already had one. A little boy.”

“What?!” I sat upright in bed.

She continued to lay there, her arm resting over her eyes as if to avoid looking at me. “Are you sure you really wanna know? It’s not pretty.”

“Yes.”

She took a deep breath, and exhaled before beginning. “I was 14 years old when these started to grow.” She ran the back of her hand over her breasts. “Pretty soon every boy, and some men, in my neighborhood wanted to spend time with me. My parents, especially my dad, were pretty conservative and were very … I guess you’d say ‘protective’, especially since I was their only daughter.”

“The hard part for me was when I heard my girlfriends talk about going out on dates, kissing boys, and that kinda stuff. I felt like I was being locked up in a convent. Then, just after I turned 16, I went through a ‘rebellious stage’. For me, that meant I’d change into a tight sweater or blouse as soon as I got to school, or I’d stand by the window at night and let some of the neighborhood boys watch me undress. Ultimately, my parents heard about my ‘loose behavior’ and decided to send me off to a religious camp for the summer. Big mistake.”

She stopped and took another deep breath before continuing. “That’s where I hooked-up with Steven. He went to the same high school and church so we already knew each other. He was almost 18 and seemed soooo grown up. It didn’t hurt that he was the cutest guy there either. Almost right away we started hanging out together. You know, the usual stuff: Swimming, hiking, horseback riding. Then we started sneaking off together.”

“In the beginning, it was just a little kissing but pretty soon the kisses got more and more passionate. It was all new to me. My body felt like it was on fire, my nipples got hard, and my pussy tingled so bad I’d have to sneak off to the bathroom to take care of myself afterwards. My mistake was telling him. Two weeks before camp was over, we went for a walk and we started kissing just like we normally did. But this time he started playing with my tits. Rockets went off in my head and it was like an electrical surge was running from my tits right down between my legs. I thought, “This must be what love feels like.” Within minutes, our clothes were off and he was kneeling between my legs. That’s when everything fell apart. He got so excited he came all over me. Needless to say, things were pretty awkward, and we went our separate ways. Of course, everyone noticed and I’m pretty sure he told some of his friends that we had ‘done it’ because of the way they looked at me. But I didn’t care, I was in love.

“Anyway, things pretty much returned to normal after we got back to school except Steven and I would sneak off together whenever we could. About a month after school started, we slipped off to his brother’s apartment, but I think I already told you about that, and I became a ‘woman’. A month later, I found out I was pregnant. My dad went through the roof, screaming and yelling about what a whore I was …”

“So that’s why you got so upset last night when we were playing?”

“Yeah. Anyway, my parents sent me off to my aunt’s house and I stayed there until the baby was born. I barely got a chance to see him before they scurried him out of the delivery area. They had me put him up for adoption and then come back home. The problem is, everyone knew. My girlfriends wouldn’t talk to me and the boys kept trying to get ‘the easy girl’ to go out with them. After graduation, I left town and went to college half-way across the country to get away from it all. What I hadn’t thought about was that I was carrying the guilt and shame inside of me.”

“When I got to college, I got the reputation of being a ‘party girl’. You know the type. Go to a party Friday night, get drunk, ‘Slam-bam-thank you, ma’am’, and it was over. The weird thing is it was always ‘Missionary’. It was like none of them knew anything else. That went on for the first two years I was in school. Then I had to start paying attention to classes so I could graduate and my party days ended. I guess I was just lucky I didn’t get pregnant again. When I graduated from college I got a job and a little while later I met Jen’s dad. So, now you know the story of the slut that knows nothing,” she ended, tears gliding down her cheeks.

I bursa escort bayan wrapped my arms around her, protectively, and pulled her closer. Slowly, her tears disappeared and were replaced by the slow, even sound of her breathing as she slept. I stayed a little while longer before slipping from bed, putting on my jogging shorts, and heading downstairs.

The sun seemed so inviting, I sat on the patio thinking about all the things she’d just shared with me. “Does it really make any difference? Those things are what made her the person she is now. The person you love.” And for the first time, I felt it WAS the right thing and we could work out any problems we had as long as we did it together.

I guess I dozed off because the next thing I knew she was standing behind me, lightly touching my shoulder.

“Hey.”

“Hey,” I replied taking her hand in mine and kissing the back of it.

“When I woke up and you weren’t there I thought you’d left.”

“Come here.” I patted a spot next to me on the lounge.

She sat down almost reluctantly. “Is this gonna be one of those ‘Dear Jane’ moments?”

“No. This is gonna be one of those ‘I Love You’ moments.”

Shock, relief, and excitement seemed to cover her face all at once. “Really?”

“Really.”

“Even after what I just told you?”

“BECAUSE of what you just told me.”

“I don’t understand.”

“It’s kinda simple. In every relationship, new or old, partners have a tendency to keep some of their deepest, darkest secrets from each other. They either do it on purpose or just because they haven’t been asked. Today, you shared those secrets with me.”

Instantly, she leaned forward and buried her head against my shoulder, the tears once again rolling down her cheeks.

“So what now?” she mumbled.

“We go on.”

“Where?”

The pat answer would be, “Anywhere we want,” but I guess time will tell.

“Can I make a suggestion?”

“Sure.”

“Take me to bed.”

I sat there for a moment thinking about what she’s just said before replying. “Anywhere but there.”

“WHY?! I thought you said everything is okay.” She jerked herself upright and stared at me.

“I did and it is.”

“Then why?”

“I know I’m gonna sound like some arm-chair ‘shrink’ but hear me out before you say anything.”

She moved to the other lounge and sat there, her arms across her chest, protectively. “Okay, I’m listening.”

“I’ve been sitting here for the last couple of hours thinking about what you told me and here’s what I think. First, it wasn’t your fault that you started to develop so young. It’s just Mother Nature doing her thing.”

“I didn’t say anything about feeling guilty.”

“Yeah … but you did, didn’t you? Thought maybe it was your fault that all the men around you were attracted to you.”

“I guess so.”

“Second, you were ‘Daddy’s little girl’ from what you told me. So, of course, he was gonna be protective. The problem is, the more protective your parents got the more stifled you felt. So you rebelled. Doesn’t every kid at about that age? Unfortunately, your parents went to the extreme. By shipping you off to camp you felt as if they were ashamed of you. Am I right or wrong?”

“Right.” she answered as she dropped her arms and leaned forward.

“And maybe you felt that they didn’t understand you or love you anymore?”

“Right again.”

“That’s when you met your ‘dream-boat’. He was older and ‘loved’ you. And maybe somewhere in your mind he took the place of your parents?”

“I dunno, maybe?”

“So you got knocked up. Have you seen the statistics about how many young women under the age of 18 give birth every year?”

“No.”

“I have. It was part of my Sex-ed class. Almost 2%. Imagine, 2 girls out of every 100. That means there was probably one or even two other girls in your school that were pregnant at the same time you were.”

She didn’t say anything but I knew what she was thinking.

“And so your parents shipped you off again. But this time I’m not so sure it was for your benefit as much as theirs. It might have been that they didn’t know how to handle the situation or maybe they were afraid of how it was gonna effect their reputation. It doesn’t really matter. After you gave birth, they have you come back thinking they’re gonna be able to stuff you back inside their stereotypic, ‘perfect world’, as their virginal little girl. It didn’t work. Too much had happened.”

I could see the tears were now streaming down her cheeks but knew I needed to finish what I’d started. “So, off to college you go. By this time your father has called you a whore and your parents have gotten rid of you twice because you’ve embarrassed them, so ‘what the fuck’? You start playing the role you now think you deserve. You become the ‘Easy girl’, ‘Party girl’, whatever, and you have a new ‘boyfriend’ almost every week.”

“How did you get so smart?”

“I’m not. I just remember how I felt. Gotta remember it wasn’t that long ago for me.”

“Then görükle escort along comes Jen’s father. He’s more mature than any of the guys you’ve been with in the past. He shows some interest in you and says he loves you. And ‘Ta-da’ in one swift move you’re married and have become the ‘prim and proper’ wife that your parents wanted you to be. It doesn’t matter that he’s a lying, cheating SOB. All that matters is that now you fit the mold everyone told you that you had to fit into. How close am I?”

“I’m not sure,” she replied, a far-away tone in her voice.

“That’s why I don’t … no … can’t go to bed with you right now. I don’t wanna be just another piece in the puzzle.”

“So, what do you wanna be?”

“That’s gonna be up to you. I think you have all the pieces you need to finish that part of your life, you just need to figure out where everything fits.”

“And then?”

“We put the puzzle away and start over … the two of us.”

“Are you sure you’re only 22?” she laughed, softly.

“That’s what my birth certificate says.”

“And while I’m figuring this out … does that mean I’m gonna be suffering from ‘lack-‘o-nooky-nooky’?”

“I didn’t say that. A person can always work on two puzzles at the same time,” I said, jokingly. “But for right now, why don’t you go upstairs and get dressed and I’ll pack us a picnic lunch. Then we can take a walk on the beach.”

“I’d like that.”

A few moments later, the two of us were strolling down the beach, no specific destination in mind. She was walking in the surf, frequently looking down at the waves washing over her feet, while I stayed above the surf line. I wanted to give her the space she needed so she didn’t feel pressured.

Then, ever so slowly, she started to weave up to me, walk along side me for a bit, and then drift back to the surf. She did this over and over, each time seeming to spend more time at my side. Hours later, she whispered, “Put your arm around me, please.” I didn’t say a word as I slipped my arm around her waist. I’d already decided that she was the one leading us down this path and she needed to be the one to make the rules along the way. I was just there to support her if she needed it. It wasn’t until the sun started to set that she looked up and seemed to realize how long we’d been walking.

“Wow. We walked a long way.”

“Yep. Probably 8 or 9 miles.”

“How we gonna get home?”

“VISA card and a taxi,” I replied, pulling my ‘plastic’ from my pants pocket.

She laughed, light-heartedly. “Seems like you plan for everything.”

“My father always told me to plan for the worst and be happy when it didn’t happen.”

“Smart man.”

“I always thought so. How you feeling?”

“Better. A lot of what you said sounds like it could be true. I just never thought about it that way. What I do know is the only way I’m gonna get some things straightened out is if I call my parents. The last time I saw them was at my wedding.”

“Long time.”

“Yeah. Too long.”

And with that, things seemed to drop, at least for the moment. We flagged down a taxi and she snuggled up next to me for the 15-minute drive back to the beach house.

“I’m famished,” she giggled as she led me through the house towards the patio. “Do you still have that picnic lunch?”

“Yeah, though I’m not sure if it’s any good.”

“Let’s find out,” she finished as she skipped out into the evening air.

We threw a beach blanket on the patio and sat down, peeling open the backpack. The bread was stale, the cheese was soft enough to be a spread, and the wine was warm but it was probably one of the best meals we’d shared together. Afterwards, we stretched out on the blanket and stared up into the sky, feeling small in comparison to the rest of the universe.

“Can I ask you for a favor?” she whispered out of the darkness.

“Sure.”

“Take me to bed.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. I wanna start a new puzzle.”

We walked inside, hand-in-hand.

“Can you give me a few moments?”

“Sure. I’ll clean-up down here and then be up.”

“Thank you,” she whispered as she kissed my cheek.

I cleaned up and within a few moments, entered the bedroom.

“Over here,” she called out, softly.

She was standing by the window, her back towards me, a sheer, white peignoir rustling in the breeze of the open window as I quietly walked up behind her. She shivered when I wrapped my arms around her waist and drew her back against me.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, just … mmmmm … nervous, I guess.”

“Why?”

“All the walls are gone. After today there’s nothing left for me to hide behind.”

I gently took her hand and raised it to my lips and kissed her palm.

“How is it you always seem to know the right thing to say or do?”

“I dunno. Luck?”

“Don’t give me that. I told you about me, now it’s your turn.”

I looked over her shoulder at the waves rolling in as I slid back in time. “It started when I was 12 years old.”

“WHAT!?” she exclaimed as she tried to pull from my grasp.

“Shhhhhhh. It’s not what you think. When I was 12 my best friend’s father took off. One morning, he took the car, emptied the back account and just disappeared. Not that is was any great loss. He was a drunk and, from what we found out later, abused my friend’s mom.”

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