I leaned back in my oversized Lazy Boy, clasping my hands behind my head, legs hanging out straight on the footrest. The football game was playing on a tiny screen on the far wall, my head turned to the side – watching her.
Her back was to me.
She had on a pair of faded jeans, pockets hanging down. She was wearing a little red top, stretching her arms high in the air.
Her little top lifting up high, flaring out. Her thin waist rising from those jeans, holding tight around her hips. Standing there on one leg, then the other shifting her weight, tipping her hips one way and then the other. I could tell by the way the fabric moved, the crease down her backside, she had nothing on underneath. Those jeans riding so low I could see her butt crack at the top, and those cute little dimples above each ass cheek. Oh…..those tiny hips.
So slow, relaxed. Her blonde hair in this lions mane falling down the center of her back, resting between her shoulder blades.
turning, arms dropping back through her hair, the scent of fruit shampoo and powder. The bottom of her top curving up exposing her tummy, her navel pierced demurely. A little steel stud sticking straight up from the flesh there. The way those jeans plunged even lower at the front, the V in her top, held by just three little buttons. Not a goddam thing underneath.
And she does it again…..str——etch…….arms high, yawning wide, arms out. “Oh God,” she lilts. “The turkey makes me soooooo tired.” Her fingers reaching, held out as if she were about to catch something.. I can see her trembling, she stretches so hard.
My little artist. My little angel.
I am vacantly smiling. Enjoying the show as all men my age do when their 24 year-old niece steps into the room and stretches for you. Head laying to the side, light beer buzz, legs akimbo, just laying there in my Lazy Boy.
Her top lifting high, higher, and I can just see her ribs, her small breasts, god the weight of them. Thoughts of…..her jeans, god how I love those jeans. Her hip bones forming this perfect frame, her little tummy. Her navel is a good three inches above the waist, and curving low, so low I can literally see the hint of her mound, that bone that rises out between her hips, the one you bump…. bump hard when you’re……
There should be some hairs there I am thinking. Something. I look more closely, scanning her mid-riff. Nothing. Bare, soft white flesh. A little snap and two inches of zipper in blue denim bunching between her legs. I close my eyes, can feel a little sweat on my brow.
“Tired Uncle Paul?” That lilt in her voice again. I keep my eyes closed.
“Hmmmm. Yes, think I’ll nap now Eva.”
Me: Hi sweet. Thanks again for coming. Did you have a nice time?
Eva: Yes, it was nice.
Me: It was all very pleasant. Did you like the turkey?
Eva: Yes, it was good.
Me: Mmhhmm. Did you have enough to eat?
Eva: Yes. I had too much to eat. Made me sleepy. I napped up in your room. Giggles.
Me: You did?!? And I napped on that Lazy Boy. I have a crick in my neck. Did you get to see the cat?
Eva: (Giggles) Oh my favorite puss pus. Yes. She’s so cee-ute!
Me: *chuckles* You didn’t have to eat today did you?
Eva: ……..uh, uh.
Me: I ate next to nothing today. To full.
Me: Mmhhmm …….. I just thought I’d give you a call. See how you were doing. I don’t get to see you that much these days, or your mom. Miss me from when I lived there?
Eva: Mmmm, yeah, I guess so. Long time ago now.
Me: So what’s new? How’s the pets? Your zoo is more quiet huh? Did you like the pajamas I got you? Have you worn them?
Eva: Yes, I did. They were nice. Silk.
Me: And do they fit?
Eva: Well, they were a little loose, larger than…. I can just tie the string tight and it stays on fine. Not totally obscene I guess….
Me: Oh well, you can just grow into them. That’s what I figured.
Me: Your mom asked me how much I had to drink … I only had three beers. I wasn’t trashed. That’s what she thought? She said I was falling over. If I’m falling over its just that I can’t walk anymore. Too old.
Me: anyway, mmhhmm, it was nice talking to you.
Eva: I think I gotta go.
Me: You can call me sometime. Mmhhmm. Bye!
I hung up the phone and stared.
Fuck. It’s passing. I needed to say something. My hands were trembling. I pressed a glass of scotch to my lips. The tips of my fingers were numb.
I couldn’t stop thinking about her. It had been better for quite some time, but seeing her yesterday. Everything flooding back. I shouldn’t have called. I wanted to pick up the phone and dial her number again, tell her I shouldn’t of called.
I pick up the receiver and press ‘past calls’ – stare at her number. Then turn it off again, and lay it on the table.
It was her cell phone number. SHE gave it to me. Told me acıbadem escort to call.
Where was she?
God I miss her.
That’s where this story begins.
I think back.
The pain I felt at 18 was unbelievably. Memories of throwing myself down onto my bed, just crying, crying my eyes out. Tears in the corner of my eyes always, hair in my mouth sobbing sadness. Literally tangling around my arms.
I was so sad……Amazingly I don’t feel any of it now, it’s gone. Has it vanished from the room completely? From my life? Is it gone for good? I feel normal now.
The only window to that stain in my life – that time – was Uncle Paul, my moms brother. He came to live with us for awhile, going through his own private hell I guess. Of which I know so little because I was in such a black hole, could only see in – not out. I remember nothing else. Well, that’s not true. But now…..I don’t know. He still calls. He calls too often.
I let him, and then…..It’s like I am sitting in the room with myself. Me then, before. THAT person.
I don’t know. I try to be normal with him, but…..
Eva walks over to her desk and pulls open the bottom drawer. There are portfolios zipped shut leaning against the wall. Projects for new clients. Her apartment is just three months old now, signed a lease without any co-signer. First time in her life, a sort of steady boyfriend, a sense of her own now without the need.
Just those phone calls……
The drawer slides open, and tugging away at a pile of clean panties, there at the bottom, a little dog eared notebook. Pink stickers and pen marks, a chewed corner. Tear stains. There is a hole punched through the back.
Eva opens the book slowly, reading randomly:
‘What the fuck is happening to me? Why the fuck is my life so in pieces….. I am waiting, always waiting! I literally felt myself leave my body today, just like I was absent, gone. I thought it was supposed to be different when I graduated. That college was supposed to be this wonderful time in my life. But I am indifferent, so alone and then…..fucking assholes, everyone all over, all around me. Fucking assholes. I’m just so trapped, this room, home. I can’t breathe. I don’t want to go out.’
Another page: ‘I just want to SLEEEEEEEEEP forever.’
Another: ‘I have this PAINFUL craving to be loved right now. Please. The idea of sleeping alone makes me sick, I feel like I’m going to throw up. I can’t breath, my chest is so tight. I can’t stop crying. I am so alone right now, and there is no one to call. No one to talk to . I am utterly alone. My walls are so close, its dark and silent. I am sinking in a tomb. I want to feel, but I can’t. The floor is concrete, there might as well be bars….how can it feel like this?????’
A few more pages:
‘I’m so cold. My hands are blue.’
‘I don’t think he loves me.. Not a shit, the shit… I can’t tell anymore. I used to know, could feel the love, something. I didn’t need this. I WANTED to believe. And now, I need need need all the time, and no one is there for me. I am sooooooo alone. I can’t stop thinking about him?? My heart shivers every time I go through my saved voice mails and hear his voice. Play them again…..’
‘I have to let him go… but the right thing and the easy things are often intensely difficult. I don’t know that I’m ready to let go of someone who holds so much significance to me. But……he doesn’t give two shits……..I am, just what he called me. A needy stupid bitch.’
That’s where the story begins.
Paul arrived carrying nothing but one suitcase. I didn’t give two thoughts, simply said hi and ran up to my room. He would be staying in the basement. There was a story that his girlfriend had kicked him out of his house, something like that. My mom alluding that he had hit on his girlfriends best friend while they were having problems. I sort of distantly listened, I think after everything that’s all I know. I remember thinking, ‘So….another asshole.’ Graduation was just a month prior, I was signed up for college, and it was then the darkness set in. I would never see my ‘friends’ again. We cried and said our goodbyes, and then, everyone left. Gone. And it was then, I started to keep a journal. We were this weird wounded family.
But there was something about Paul, his ‘situation.’ It was the same, we were cut adrift. Hurting, or I thought that anyway. The same really, and………
Mom was gone all the time, making ends meet; and when she did listen all I got was a list of platitudes, expectations. Didn’t she realize I was tired, sad, didn’t she know? Couldn’t she sense ANYTHING. But her life was hard too for reasons I also knew nothing about. He would pay some rent and that helped.
I can remember our first conversation. The way he listened. He sat down by me in the living room, the house was silent. I was staring out…….vacant like. I can imagine how I was.
“You like graduating?”
“S’ok.” ataşehir escort He leaned closer. “I don’t know. It’s weird, lots of my friends are gone. Sort of….lonely.” I shrugged.
“I remember graduating. It was hard. I didn’t like it, the change.” I didn’t respond. “What classes you taking?”
“I want to focus on art. My art…..I’m an artist.”
“Really? Your mom said you painted. So am I. What do you do?”
“I don’t know. Paint. Sculpt. Photography.”
“I’d like to see some of it. I could show you some of mine. I paint, oil paint.” He was smiling, but like an adult. Condescension. He continued, “Can I see something?”
“Uh, sure ok.” I got up, and no one ever really asked me like that before. I went to my room. Opened my plastic portfolio’s. Grabbed some stuff. He came in my room.
“Here.” I laid it out on the bed.
He paged through very slow, sometimes touching the paper with his finger. “Nice. I like this here.” He traced his finger along a line I had drawn. He said it again, “Nice. I like it. Your good.”
“Thanks.” Shrugging my shoulders. I smiled for the first time in awhile.
“Not many artists in the world anymore. It’s a lonely life,” he said. Lonely. I wanted to cry, I turned my head away. The tears. I don’t think he noticed, he continued, “This one, what’s this one about?”
I looked. Shit! That one’s in there?
“My boyfriend. I mean, it was my boyfriend, former boyfriend I should say.”
He had his shirt off, and his pants were open. Not showing anything, but suggestive. Forgot that one was in there. I blushed.
“Ohhhhh.” He met my eyes.
“No. Nothing. Nothing like that.” I could have let him think anything I guess. I continued, “It’s not like we were ever that intimate. We never did anything. Maybe a blowjob. He was, you know, just posing.” I was going to say he was an asshole…..
Paul was taken aback, he turned the page toward him, “Only a blowjob? Ok-ay.” He quickly closed the portfolio again. I liked the shock in his face, the effect that had on him. It was funny, and I didn’t add anything, let it linger just then. “What art classes you doing?”
“Sculpting and the Painting Figures when this quarter starts.”
I looked sideways at him Weird question.
I just looked away, said, “Probably, hadn’t thought about it. I just like painting people.”
“I like figures too, I liked doing……nudes. Still do now and then.” He was looking at me, I brushed some hair out of my eyes. It sort of creeped me out, but sort of didn’t at the same time. The way he looked at me, like we were painting each other. Really looking. We were artists.
Anyways he took a big interest in my art. I had a photography class too.
I looked at the phone for a while as it rang in my hand. It was him.
“Hi sweet. It’s me Paul.”
“Um, can I. I want to talk to you about something.”
I knew this conversation was coming. “Yeah.”
“Ummmm. We had some interesting moments didn’t we? And…… I was just wondering. You ok about that?”
I closed my eyes, remembering. That girl in the corner, I am thinking. “Sure. Fine.” I was uncomfortable already. That girl in the corner looking at me.
“I don’t know Paul. It was a different time in my life. Long time ago now. You helped out. That’s it. I think……That’s what I think.”
“I still think about it.”
“So do I.”
“Yeah……. But probably…..” I took a breath, “Probably not the way you are.”
” I wasn’t sure, you know. So, I was careful.”
“I tried to be……careful.”
“I just, I didn’t want to hurt you. I don’t think ever did. I don’t want to think I did or anything. It’s why I’m asking.”
“You were following me to class. Spying on me in the art room, that time I was posing. After we stopped…..” I didn’t continue.
Silence. “We talked about that. You said it was ok.”
“It was. It is. But, it’s all in the past. The past, ok? It was a different…..me.”
“I want to see you….see you again.”
“You saw me the other day.”
“I know what you mean.”
“I don’t think that’s possible.”
“Did you like our time together?”
“I’m not answering. I….don’t really know. Me now? Or me then?”
“Both I know you did. You had to. You were so sad when I first met you, you were happy when I left. It helped. I helped you. I did. Tell me I helped.”
He knew. “I ….” tears came to my eyes for some reason. The girl in the corner was standing.
“What was it? Didn’t I care for you? I listened.”
I held back my tears then, not even knowing why. “It was a long time ago. You…..I don’t know. I can’t do this now Paul…..Maybe. Yeah, but you helped a different person. It’s not me anymore. Just stop.”
“No. No I’m içerenköy escort not.” I was wiping a tear from off my face.
“You are. I’m sorry. I never wanted to hurt you. Please believe that.”
“No it’s not that. You cared about me then, that’s all. It’s touching somehow that anyone would care, then. Now. I don’t know. I was very vulnerable, and I think all my boundaries were messed up, and I let you get very close. And……I needed you to be. It’s hard to explain. In some wacky weird way, it was right. There is a part of you that is very close to me, even now. But too close.”
“I just want to see you. See you…..like I did, like you used let me. Just Talk. Tell you how beautiful you are.”
“I don’t know if I can explain this. It would hurt. Hurt too much. Expose too much.”
“You wouldn’t hurt me.”
“Me! I would hurt me.”
“I could paint you. You could pose.”
“Is this just about my body? Cause if……”
“No. No. No. It’s not that at all. Did….did you ever want more from me?”
“Ha! Than YOUR body?”
“What? What do you mean?”
“Were you attracted to me? Did you ever think that maybe, while I was you know, listening to you, holding you, touching……”
I could feel his hands. “Let me think about it.”
“I’m glad we talked. I Love you……you know.”
Eva pulled the silk tie tightly around her, took a deep swallow of wine.
It was dark, beyond dark. The kind of blackness you cannot see through, and I heard some sort of whooshing sound, a rustle.
“Yes,” I said looking out from my bed. “Is someone there?”
Reaching across I turned on a side light. I was laying in a little basement room, one full bed, no pictures on the wall. One wall was painted concrete block, there were no windows, and there standing in the corner before me was Eva. Not even a clock. The only time she ever entered this room with the light on.
“What is it?”
“Nothing.” She looked away, smearing tears. I had seen that before, she was so emotional. “It’s only, just, I don’t want to be alone right now. Can I sit here a little while Uncle Paul?”
“Sure. Sure.” I pulled up my cover and with my hand smoothed a little spot. She settled herself at the end of the bed. Eva was wearing a thin fabric top, it looked red but it may have been pink, it looked silk. The light was low. She had on a pair of matching bottoms, loose, creating a space between her top and bottoms which would peek in and out of view. Her thin legs are dangling over the side of the bed, her knees together, hands in her lap looking down. Her hair was a mess, everywhere, but she looked cute that way. Like a lost little girl in a Victorian novel. Such blonde hair.
She’s nodding. “You probably notice, there’s a lot of times I’m not.” Tears rising, she is wiping her cheeks with her hand. I am silent. “I am having a hard time lately, and I just, just don’t know what it is.” Tears again. “I just don’t want to be alone right now.”
“You’re not alone. I’m here. Every day, no where else for me to go right now.” I sigh and look around, this room looked like the wreck of my life. I reach out and touch her hand, she doesn’t move it at all. I lay my fingers over hers.
“You want to talk about it?”
She shakes her head. “I….could I just. It’s late I know. You can say no. Can I just get in bed with you? For a little while.”
My eyes wide, and she is standing again. I look around, “Sure. Sure.” I lift the cover to my left and feel her slip in to the bed, light as a feather. The mattress barely moves.
“Thanks,” as she rolls away from me, curling into this little ball.
I turn off the light and in the blackness she backs herself up so her back is touching my chest, and her head is right in the crook of my arm. I am wearing a pair of boxers, what I sleep in, and now am finding myself stroking Eva’s hair, thinking how the hell did she get here.
She is warm, so warm in my arms, pressing herself to me. Her hair is soft and it is pitch black without light to show off the blonde tresses. I can hear her breathing. She smells of sweet perfume. I have one arm extending under her, and my other just stroking her hair.
After awhile she breathes, “You probably think I’m crazy.”
I pause, then say, “Well, yeah.”
She giggles. “Well, maybe I am.”
I say, “It runs in the family. Don’t worry. I felt the same way when I was your age.”
“You’ll survive. It gets better.” Silence, and I add, “You wear silk.”
“Your pyjamas, they’re silk. Real silk. I can tell.” I run my hand over her shoulder and feel her leaning against me as she looks back. “My favorite fabric.” I continue to caress her shoulder over the silk fabric, and just tip my fingers over the edge of her sleeve and feel the bare skin of her arm. Stilling my thoughts. The feel of her skin, the warmth of her body and my body is responding, naturally. No controlling that. It has been a long time.
I can feel her hair on my cheek, and the smell of her. I am laying there, breathing her in, taking her in with every sense I have. Shampoo, sweet perfumes and oils. She moves around a bit and lets me close my arms around her. I hold her close. This IS what she wants. Simply be held. I can do that.