With that she was gone. It wasn't a matter of not letting her go. She moved so quickly that I almost wondered if I had imagined her. The taste of her lipstick and the smell of her perfume against my skin told me otherwise. I realized if I wanted more of her, I'd have to reel her in like a fish. Let her learn to trust me. That's what I thought then. Of course it's different now. Things happened.
"I know she can be so tempting when she wants to be, and then suddenly, just when you think you're there with her, she's gone!" He whispered from the other side of the table. There were several beer mugs spread like empty lives around us waiting to be filled. I nodded in understanding, wondering if he wanted to say more, but the distant look left his face and he turned his attention back to me.
I turned out the lights
then, my back to her, and went into the shower. She hadn't said a word the
whole time nor made any indication she wanted to come inside. She just watched.
"When did you begin to follow her?" He asked. We both were through drinking. The place was an all night bar and grill, so neither of us felt compelled to leave. I had his attention by now, if not his total belief.
I stepped back and nodded. I thought we were making something special, like she was ready now to share part of her, she had never shown anyone else. She made me feel ... like ... the two of us were alone in the world and everything was ours for the taking ... like now, there need be nothing between us. I could almost read her every nuance, her every gesture now ... as if we alone spoke a different language of pure feeling in our simple expressions together.
She slipped back into her jeans and blouse, not waiting for me to dress. I managed to pull on something, I forget what, and slipped out the window after her, not wanting to loose her in the night.
"Yes, I know..." His voice was so low I strained to make out the words. The sound of his voice was strangely hollow. "She gives you nothing to hold onto ... except the yearning ... and yet it can be so exciting it seems enough ... until you are without her."
I nodded my head slowly. "Her eyes told me when she would allow me to follow her, at first ... told me when it was time to enter her room ... when to take the small personal gifts she laid out for me ... the drawers open for me to choose what she would wear...
"It changed you, then?" He whispered, looking deep within himself. I smiled bitterly.
"It changed me so much I couldn't do a decent class. Some days she would come and sit in the front row ... tease me without a word and then leave ... I never knew when to expect her and never knew what she would do next ... always the tantalizing glance, the sweet surrender to her will, the warmth she aroused that lasted for hours with her ... and then the days of nothing but expectation. It started to show in my classes and I was called in by my supervisors. They asked if I needed some time off ... asked if I was sick ... I knew better than to say what was happening. They gave me a unpaid leave of absence for a month to get myself in order, and told me my job would be there when I came back, but I heard the hesitation in their voices as I left. I didn't care ... I thought it would give me more time with her.
Revised: March 6, 1999
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