Chapter Twenty – Autumn

by Christine Wild

I was sitting across from him at dinner. We had not spoken a word in the last 30 minutes. He was on his phone, looking up cars that he could never buy. I was twirling my fingers, looking out of the window onto the street. It was a quiet night. The wind was moving the leafs around and you could tell it was about to be fall. I gazed onto the street, watching passersby walk their dogs and live their own lives.

Fingers running through my hair.

I shiver. I look at him still sitting silently, ever so distant. We are doing well. He looks up and smiles at me, and I can see the love in his eyes. It has just been a while since we have had the occasion to be intimate. Something always comes up. We ate too much, the dishes need to be done, he needs to finish that excel sheet for work. Wait, do I have enough change to do a load of laundry when we get home?

The humidity of a tongue, gliding on the side of my neck, as fingers run down my chest, past my stomach, nearing my zipper. Long, passionate kisses in the dark, making me wet.

Why am I thinking about this right now. Look the food is here. It is an ordinary steak, with some mashed potatoes, laid out in an overstated and overpriced plate. His eyes glisten over this and I am only happy that it means I will not have to do any dishes tonight. How is this my life?

My eyes and hands mapping out his abs, I cannot believe what is happening. I only met him 4 hours ago, and here he is in my bed at 5.30 am. My hands are undressing him, performing the sort of par-court that I was only discovering.

Don’t get me wrong, this routine makes me very happy most of the time. The way he says “Welcome home!” when I come in through the door, after a rough day. Liam is one of the few people who make me smile nowadays. He holds me and the voices in my head suddenly silence. For some reason however, my insides wonder if his are the last parts that I will get to know.

The man in my bed is handsome and rugged at the same time. I can feel his passion inside of me, grabbing at my gut and pulling me towards him. He is the most handsome creature I have ever had the pleasure of putting my hands on. His hair is dark and soft, to match those perfect green eyes of his. And there he is naked, in my bed, beside me, intruding my privacy in glorious ways. He picked me. He has been getting to know me for the past four hours, looking into my eyes. The desire he was projecting made me feel like I was the only thing he had ever wanted.

That night happened what seems like a lifetime ago. He was one of my first real one night stands, whom I would only run into for a split second years later, one memorable Saint Patrick’s day. All I can think about is him kissing me, touching my breasts, feeling his growing self through the denim, on my aubergine leather love-seat. Years later, I would watch him on TV and find fan pages riddled with shirtless screenshots of him. That may be why I am thinking of that night, the night the handsome actor picked me out of all of the girls at the club.

***

I walked into the club with my Serbian friends, ready to sing out loud and dance all night. The last thing I had on my mind was picking someone up. It often works like that, doesn’t it? When you least expect it, there he is, picking up his coat at the end of the night. I was joking with the coat-check lady, and he laughed. After a few quick words, I proceeded to head outside and light a cigarette while I waited for the rest of my entourage. I thought how funny it was that he was taller than I had expected. Granted I had caught him staring at me from across the bar a few times, and since it was a Serbian party, he would have been standing between 6’5 ft guys. Suddenly, there he was again, right in front of me. “I need your number.”

– Hum, excuse me, I don’t just give away my number to strangers, just like that.
– Yes, but you see, I have to drop my friends off at home now, I was the DD tonight, but I need to see you again.
– Well, if fate has it, you just might…
– I’m not taking that chance, I need to see you again.
– Is that so?
Christine! Let’s go!!!!!
– So, what do you say?
– Oh fine, here you go. The ball is in your court. Bye, now!

Luckily I was able to contain my friends’ inquisition rather easily, and soon I was home.

*1 new text message*

I need to see you.
Well, maybe you will. You got home alright?
Yes, where do you live?

Okay, I’m curious about this guy but am I really going to tell a stranger where I live?

On campus, and you? Why do you ask?
I told you, I need to see you! Downtown, btw. 😉
Now?!?
Yes, now, if you’ll have me.

Ok, ok. That is a bit forward, even for me. What I am going to say? Am I really going to invite this man to come over? It’s 2.30am! By the time he gets here, it will be at least 3, and that is a clear invitation. What if I actually do not like him? What if this is all just the attraction of the unknown? Oh what the hell, let’s see where this goes.

He knocked at my door and my heart was pounding. He was standing there wearing ripped jeans, a white V-necked T-shirt and black chucks. Now I realize this is cliché after the whole “50 Shades” thing, but I promise you that is what he was wearing that night. He sat on my couch and I offered him a drink, thanking the heavens that my room-mate had not drunk all my wine. He just sat there, and talked. I was so comfortable that I put my legs over his – after all it was a very small love-seat. He stopped talking, and went in for the kill. He leaned in, staring me in the eyes and kissed me softly, but intently. I was never a big fan of dry-humping. Yet that night I felt a passion I had not found since Joe. I remember being extremely aroused, and my knees being very chafed the next day.

I find it interesting how I also remember clinging to him, like to my other handsome nightly hobbies, as if to cheat intimacy, trick my brain’s chemistry with flesh and proximity. The actor was handsome, sweet, gentle and caring, yet a stranger. I would never know where his intentions came from. He would never know that I did not orgasm. We were just strangers, passing time, faking it all, most likely because loneliness is terrifying on a summer night. I remember this feeling, the addiction to the thrill of getting that penis to enter me. I know that feeling all too well, convincing myself that I was getting to know others, creating connections, when in fact it was all just pretend.

Liam may not jump me in dark alleys (yet). He may not make my knees chafed with desire. I have not had sex in two weeks, and though I may be slightly worried about it for the sake of our relationship not even being old yet, I do not feel that unstoppable need to mount and be mounted. I know that what we have is true intimacy. I know that he picked me and not for a night. I know that we have and will share countless nights of passion, whatever shape passion takes these days. It is an interesting transition for me, and I wonder where the thrill comes from. I wonder what the future has in store for us. That uncertainty is somehow more terrifying than the one I had been used to in my single years. Back then, it was only uncertain who would be the next stranger. That, I could deal with. Now, anything can happen. There is a certain magic to knowing someone is ready for anything, with you.