I never thought this little tale would stretch out this long! 25, tops, but 40?!?! When I was back at PART 1, 40 sounded so faraway. I never thought I would see 40 so soon, but here it is, and now that I am at 40, 60 seems like an eternity away.
And so, without further ado, I will introduce today's post with the quintessential 70's double entendre:
I'd Like To Make It With You
Hey have you ever tried
Really reaching out for the other side?
I may be climbing on rainbows
But baby, here goes...
Dreams are for those who sleep
Life is for us to keep
And if you're wondering what this song is leading to
I'd like to make it with you
I really think that we could make it, girl
Though you don't know me well
With every little thing only time will tell
If you believe the things that I do
Then we'll see it through
Life can be short or long
Love can be right or wrong
And if I chose the one I'd like to help me through
I'd like to make it with . . .
Now, on with the show
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Once I had Rick's full attention, I realized that this was my moment to tell him what I had been thinking for months. I had a strange, eerie sense of calm; no panic attack, no embarassment, no freezing. I found myself clearing my throat and preparing to calmly tell him all that I had been thinking, all that I had been wondering, and most importantly, how important he had become to me.
He sat calmly across from me, relaxed in his recliner, elbows on his armrests, fingers laced together and resting just below his chest. He seemed completely open to me, in no hurry whatsoever, and there wasn't a sound in the house except his grandfather clock on his mantle, which was actually soothing, somehow.
OK, here was my chance. Without knowing exactly how it would come out, I just started.
"Rick, I . . ."
But the words failed me.
I stopped myself, and with a little nod of positive encouragement for myself, I steeled myself and took a deep breath to begin again.
"Are you ok? Are you going to tell me something bad?" Rick asked, looking a bit worried, but more curious than anything.
I smiled, and assured him, "No, nothing bad. Nothing bad at all. Just bad at telling, that's all."
He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. "Well, only one way to tell it - spit it out," he declared. "If you're telling the truth, you don't have to worry about HOW it comes out." I smiled inwardly. Spoken like a true cop. I wondered momentarily how many people he had ever interrogated. Was he the good cop, or the bad cop? I wondered all of this as he sat there, expectantly looking at me. With a little shake of my head, I cleared all of the distractions and got back to the matter at hand.
Of course he was right. I was struggling with what to say because I was busy sanitizing and spinning it, struggling to present it in a pleasing, palatable way. It dawned on me that I did that alot, too. It was also dawning on me that I was beginning to look like a freak, sitting there silently, having these thoughts, having already requested his attention for a conversation.
Enough. ENOUGH. Out with it. And so, I just started talking, raw words, fresh thoughts, unsanitized, unscripted.
"Thank you. I have never felt the way you make me feel. You have been kind to me, you have opened your home to me. Thank you for being my dance partner. I can't tell you how happy being with you has made me. I have enjoyed everything about you." I finally managed to get out.
"Are you leaving?" he asked, not quite sure where the conversation was heading. When I smiled and nodded no, he smiled and continued, "OK, that sounded like a goodbye, so I wasn't sure."
"Yeah, neither am I." I continued. "But it has been eating at me for a few months, now. I wanted you to know how much I care about you, and I hope that me telling you that doesn't make you feel any differently about our friendship. The last thing I would ever want is for you to be uncomfortable around me. Your friendship has meant the world to me, and I just wanted you to know . . ." I floundered. To fill the agonizing silence, I kept talking, rambling, really. "Please don't think that I expect you to feel the same. I don't. I just wanted you to know that I felt this way." I was doing a miserable job, and I was beating around the bush.
"So, are you saying that you are in LOVE with me?" Rick asked me, straight shot. So much for embarassment. I hung my head, my cheeks burning hot, wanting to drop through the floor into the center of the earth. Why had I started this? This was absolute misery. Rising up from my seat, I swallowed hard and said, "Yeah, I guess I am. I'm sorry." I was determined to get out of there as fast as possible. What had I done?
He sat there, looking dumbstruck. It was obvious that I had completely blindsided him. "All these months, you felt like this, and you never let on, you never said a word." I ruefully nodded that yes, that was exactly what I had done. He continued, "Well, first of all, I couldn't be MORE flattered . . ." Oh, shit. Kiss of death. My cue to leave.
"Well, I am glad that you feel that way. Hope you had a nice birthday," I said, as sort of a parting statement as I made my way toward his door. He stood, finally, and walked with me through the den towards the door.
"Now wait a second. You just dumped all of this, and now you want to bolt out the door. Why are you leaving? Have I upset you?" he asked, and rightly so. What had he ever done to me to deserve this drama and bullshit, except be his kind and handsome self? "You know that I am still hoping to reconcile with my wife, I've been pretty vocal about that. So I haven't allowed myself to think about being with anyone else. The truth is, I couldn't have more respect for you. I enjoy your company, too. I mean, who knows? Maybe things are supposed to happen this way, it might be wonderful."
No, no, no, no. I didn't want this. He was talking himself into the possibility. He embraced me in a warm hug, and murmured "Thank you for my present," into my ear, kissing my cheek. I felt a lump in my throat as I whispered, "You're welcome," and kissed his jaw softly, hugging him close to me. Feeling my lips on his skin, he instinctively turned his face toward me and our lips met in a soft, warm, slow, lingering kiss. I was still battling my shellshock and nerves; I was there, but I wasn't. I was numb from the acute embarassment I had felt earlier, and as our lips parted, I was a bit relieved. Now I could go.
"Stay with me." Rick said, looking intently into my eyes.
Oh shit. Again.
He was doing nothing to hide his intentions, and in that second I realized that he was not a man to be toyed with. He had made his position clear to me from Day 1, and I had chosen to pursue him anyway, and had practically thrown myself at him. He hadn't come to MY house; I had asked to come to his. I had upped the ante, and he had called. What would he think of me if I divulged this deep longing for him, and then shut him down? Would he think that it was all a lie, some kind of cruel trick on my part? Time to show my hand. I nodded yes, I would stay with him, and wordlessly, he turned from me, holding my hand and leading me back toward his bedroom.
Once there, he turned on a very small bedside lamp, undressed down to his boxers, and slid into bed. "Do you need to freshen up? The bathroom is right there," he indicated, pointing to a door right beside the bed. Freshen up? What did he mean? Not knowing what to say, and welcoming the chance for a timeout, I went into the bathroom and shut the door behind me. I turned on the water faucet and looked at myself in the mirror. His bathroom was fully tiled in aqua blue, and the flourescent bulb mixed with the tile's reflection gave me a sickly greenish pallor. Or maybe the situation was giving me a sickly greenish pallor. I squeezed a dab of his toothpaste onto my finger, and quickly swabbed my teeth and tongue, rinsing with a handful of water. No going back now, I told myself. I had made this bed, now I had to lie in it.
When I exited the bathroom, I saw him laying on his stomach there on the bed. I slipped off my jeans, but otherwise stayed dressed and sat beside him on the bed. I ran one hand lightly over his back, and he let out a little moan of approval. Feeling a bit pleased about that, I began to methodically massage his back. "Oh, it has been FOREVER since I have had my back rubbed," he confessed, as he groaned with pleasure. I had become pretty adept at backrubs when I was married - between his work at the fire department and Fed Ex, he stayed pretty sore, and he requested backrubs several times a week.
I was recalling all of that in my mind, absentmindedly continuing the massage, when suddenly, Rick rose up from the bed and turned over on his side facing me. "Come lay beside me," he said, and I laid down with him, cuddling my back up against his chest, spooning, feeling his kisses on the back of my neck. Feeling him all around me was heavenly, and I would have been content with this, just this. But I had struck a bargain for more, and I was being gently reminded of that fact with every urgent rub of his growing desire against the back of my thigh. "Take those clothes off," he said hoarsely, after he had grown weary of battling the buttons and hooks of my blouse and undergarments. Sitting up in the bed there beside him, I slipped off my blouse and bra, shyly looking his way as he propped himself up on one elbow, expectantly. He seemed not to be terribly impressed with the importance of the "moment of unveiling"; he quickly pulled me toward him and rolled on top of me, kissing me hard, crushing my lips with his.
With little ceremony or foreplay, he entered me, pretty roughly. This felt familiar, I thought, as I lay beneath him, enduring his too-deep, too-fast and too-rough penetration. I felt him kissing my neck, sucking and licking my skin and giving me little lovebites, but my mind was more focused on positioning my hips to minimize the pain of his incessant pounding. He held me tightly, his hips continuing to thrust away as he continued to bury his face in the hollow of my throat. "Is THIS what you wanted, hmm?" he asked me, again and again. It sounded angry to me. This was not remotely what I expected. There was no real way for me to participate; I was pinned to the bed. Without a sound or an indication that he had indeed finished, he rolled off of me and fell in a gasping heap there beside me. I lay there quietly beside him, listening to his breathing return to normal. Actually, it went from gasping to snoring. He was asleep. Dead to the world.
As quietly as I could, I extricated myself from him and dressed in the light of the tiny lamp. I looked down at him as he slept, his handsome face relaxed and enhanced by the shadows of the nightlight. I felt a mix of emotions for him, and after giving him a little kiss on the cheek, I left his house and drove home. It was one of those drives that you complete without even realizing that you WERE driving - when I got home, I had absolutely no idea how I had gotten there. My mind was completely full of recollections of the evening; snapshots of him, snippets of conversation that played over and over again in my head.
Dropping my keys and purse on the table, I wearily headed upstairs to bed. I began undressing as soon as I hit my bedroom door, and headed straight for the bathroom. Flipping on the light, I reached for my makeup remover and toothbrush, when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and let out a scream.
There, in the mirror, was a ring of black and blue hickies across my throat and down my breasts. Big, angry ones. They were shockingly dark in comparison to my pale skin - I had always had a very fair complexion, and it looked for all the world like I had been attacked by a pack of vampires. I stood there, not able to break the gaze. I leaned in close to the mirror, inspecting each one, cautiously touching them, not quite believing they were there.
How in the hell would I cover these? They were nearly up to my ears on both sides. How had I not felt this? I immediately deducted that this was my comeuppance for pushing things with Rick. I shouldn't have, I knew better, and I did it anyway. I led him to believe that we were only friends, and in a moment of weakness for him, when he was alone on his birthday, enjoying a beer or two, I invited myself over and laid myself at his feet.
I crawled into bed that night, ruefully aware that I was indeed laying in the bed I had made for myself.
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