"Something you said last week has been puzzling me."
"What would that be?"
"You said you were saving yourself. You mentioned sin, but you've told me you're agnostic. Why is that?"
"What was I saving myself for or why did I think self-pleasure was a sin?"
"My grandmother. She was very devout Catholic, and she instilled a bit of fear in all she did."
"Was she abusive?"
"No, just...devout. I always wanted to please her, and my cousins have all had premarital relations. I assumed masturbation fell under that sin banner. I wanted to make her happy, so I chose to wait."
"Until you were married?"
"That was the plan. At least I thought it was."
"He was the real reason I was waiting. I was saving myself for him."
Three days went by, and I didn't hear from Devon. I didn't have the nerve to call him, or email him, but I couldn't resist driving my his apartment late one night. Heidi's car wasn't there, and the light in his kitchen was on. Before I could stop myself, I made the turn into the drive.
I pulled into the quiet little complex and parked in the dark under a tree. My black Saturn disappeared like a ghost. Taking a deep breath, I smoothed down my dress, ran my fingers through my hair, and padded silently across the small parking lot to his door in my ballet flats. I had a fleeting thought that I had dressed for the occasion--nice and non-threatening if Heidi was there; easy to circumvent if she was not. I pushed that thought away and knocked lightly on his front door.
Devon opened the door on the first knock, like he was waiting for someone. My heart clenched tightly in my throat, I gazed into his dark brown eyes, smiling tentatively. "Hi, stranger," I said, forcing a note of humor in my shaky voice.
"Hi yourself," he said, "what's up?"
"Just passing through, going to the grocery store. Thought I'd stop by, see how you were doing." To make my lie complete, I had brought my grocery tote to the door with me.
He smiled. "You are a terrible liar, Andrea." The shadows under his eyes had grown longer since my mom's birthday party, and he hadn't shaved in about the same time frame. "Heidi's in Denver, visiting her sister. Want to come in?"
I stepped over the threshold to find a perfectly spotless apartment. Devon is not the neatest guy, so I turned to him, confused. "Who cleaned this place?"
"I did. Tonight's the first night I've felt calm since, well..you. It's good to see you."
"Why--why did Heidi go to Denver?"
"Her sister graduates from college on Saturday, so they're having a big shindig at her aunt's ranch. She's gone for about two weeks."
"Did you two resolve anything?" I had to know the answer. Not just for his sake, but my own. If they were reconciling, I should leave before I screwed it up more.
"Well, yes and no," he said, "Let's go sit down. We have to talk." I followed him into the living room on shaky knees and collapsed onto the end of the couch, furthest away from him. In the light of the TV, his eyes looked haunted. He snapped the TV off, and turned on the table lamp, facing me.
"So, what's up?" I said, trying for cheerful and falling flat. My hands were trembling, and I clenched them tightly in my lap. fingers laced together. The desire to touch him was overwhelming.
"Heidi and I have reached an understanding of sorts," Devon said, staring at the dark television set. "She has given me the next two weeks to decide whether I still want to get married to her, whether my love for her is stronger than my love for you."
"That's not exactly easy or fair on her part, is it?"
"She's going to call me before she leaves Denver to tell me what her flight number is. If I show up at the airport, we're getting married as planned. If I don't, she's calling off the wedding, and it's over. She'll move back to Denver."
"And you're okay with this?"
"I have to be. I have no other options." He looked at me and sighed, smiling a ghost of a smile. "You know me better than anyone, Andy," he said, "but what if she's my only shot?"
"Shot at what? Happiness? Normalcy?" I could feel the sharp sting of tears in the back of my throat, pricking my eyes.
"Both. The other night, I wasn't myself. It felt dangerous to be with you, to-to touch you like that. Like it was forbidden."
"Well, Dev," I said, hoarsely, my voice catching on my words, "whatever choice you make, I'll be there to support you. You know that."
"I know, Andy. And I don't want to lose you as a friend." His voice was tender, forgiving.
"So, then it's over? We're going back to the way it was?" My vision swimming, the tears spilling over before I could prevent them. I unclenched my hands and put my head in my hands, hoping he wouldn't see.
"I don't know what we're trying to get to between us!" He stood up, pacing, as silent tears coursed down my cheeks. "I can't stop thinking about you, about what we could be together, no matter how destructive, and Heidi knows it!" A strangled cry of frustration rent the air. He sat down heavily on the footstool in front of me, where he noticed the tears I had been trying to hide.
"Hey, don't cry," he said gently, "I'm not mad at you. Andy, please," he said, wiping the tears from my face. His fingertips seared a line across my cheek. Cupping my chin in his hands, his deep brown eyes meeting my watery grey ones. "I would never hurt you. I'm angry at myself."
"I know, Devon," I said, hiccuping slightly. "I'm angry at me, though."
"Because even though I know that we would never be able to be around each other, I can't stop wanting you now." I gently lowered his hands with my own and attempted a small smile. "And that's not fair to anyone involved."
"You're my best friend, have been since we were practically babies. This relationship would ruin that and hurt other people. I can't face that...but I can't imagine a life without you in it at all."
"I can't either, Andy," he said. "Which is why this is so hard."
"I should go." I stood up, hastily wiping the tear tracks off of my face. "I really do have to go grocery shopping." Turning on Devon, I walked toward the door. My hand was on the knob when I heard his voice behind me, almost like a whisper.
"Andrea, don't leave." I turned around to find him inches from me, gazing at me with a fire in his eyes. "Stay, please."
It wasn't a request. He leaned forward, lips catching mine, urging, insistent. He lifted me up off of the floor in his arms, sending my shoes falling to the floor. I wrapped my arms around his head, my legs around his waist, undone. Devon carried me to the bedroom, kissing, whispering forgotten nicknames and endearments into my ears. He laid me down gently, hands exploring my body as I caressed and kissed every part of him I could reach.
He slid his hands up my sides, removing my dress quickly, without pretense. His mouth caught mine over and over, tongue delving deep into my throat, all warnings of loss and danger forgotten in that second. I pulled his tee shirt off of his head, exposing his finely muscled chest and sending goosebumps along his exposed arms. His hands found my breasts through the thin lace of my bra, sending a heat straight through me to my toes, making me moan.
Devon kissed me again, as I took my bra off, throwing it to the floor to join our other clothes. He kissed my neck and my throat as I unbuttoned his pants and reached inside, finding the thick shaft. He groaned against my neck, sending chills down my spine. Pushing me back on the bed, he slid his pants and boxer off, standing naked at the foot of the bed, his erection visible in the semidarkness. He climbed back on to the bed, tugging my panties off with his teeth and throwing them away into the darkened room. His tongue found my core, and I moaned and clenched the sheets as waves of pure desire flodded me.
He kissed a trail up my stomach, encircling each tight nipple with his tongue, making me moan his name. Devon reached my face, and I pulled him close, kissing him deeply, hedless of the voices in my head. I parted my legs for him, feeling the pain of entry give way to the heat of passion as he rode me gently, his speed increasing in time with my arching spine. Just when I thought I would die of passion, he climaxed, taking me with him.
The intensity of his orgasm, coupled with mine, made me bite his shoulder and call out "Devon!" as he thrust his last into me. I could feel his breath hot on my neck, mixing with the tears I did not realize I was shedding. Yet, I wasn't satisfied. My mouth found his again, kissing him softly, lips swollen, while I stroked his hair, his back, his chest. I could feel him stiffen inside me as I licked each one of his small, tight nipples lightly. My body was responding to his with slow, lazy hip circles. He traced the lines of my tousled blonde hair against my cheek, kissing me along my jawline and finally reclaiming my mouth. Suddenly, he rolled me over so that I was astride him, his hands cupping my breasts, toying with the sensitive nipples, arching his back as he drove his shaft deep into me. I climaxed almost instantly, but Devon wasn't done with me, nor I with him. That entire night, we made love three more times, each time more intense than the last, until we could no longer hide from sleep.
We awoke with the sunrise and showered in silence, exploring each other gently as we washed. Our bodies were sore, bruised, and utterly worn out. He stood behind me as I combed my hair, kissing my shoulders and neck. We cuddled on the couch in silence, his chin resting on my head, cradling me in his arms. We spoke little until it was time to go. I knew what had to happen, so I lingered as long as I could, finally realizing that I would be late seeing my parents off if I stayed much longer.
"Devon," I said, standing up. I kissed him lightly on the lips. "Good-bye." His whole body tensed, feeling the change in the room. He knew what was coming, and was as helpless as I was to stop it. It had to be done. "I think we should call this what it was--a farewell. I know you love Heidi, and I can't bear to cause you any more pain."
"But, Andy--" he said as I reached the doorway. I cut him off as I shouldered my purse and slid into my shoes.
"Devon, get married. Have babies with Heidi. She can give you what you always wanted--a family, stability, lasting love and companionship. You know I can't." I walked out the door, just as he reached the doorway. I turned to face him. His eyes were sad, almost haunted. He didn't say a word, just stared at me with those hollow eyes.
"I love you, Devon. Be happy." I blew him a kiss and walked to my car, not looking back. I knew if he came after me, kissed me, even said my name, I would be lost. I reached into my purse and turned off my phone so that he couldn't call. My eyes were tearing up again, and I didn't want him to know that this was tearing me apart. The next morning, I boarded a plane for Chicago.
"So, you never spoke to him again after that?"
"Not until I was supposed to come home from Chicago."
"Did Heidi and he get married?"
"Yes, as planned. My parents went, said Devon looked the happiest they'd seen him."
"I didn't know what to say to him. I'm afraid I made a mess of it all."
"We'll pick it up here next week."
06 May 2008
"Something you said last week has been puzzling me."