This is the second half of a short story born from experiences several of my friends suffered through. How you chose to read is up to you, but reading the first half will help this make more sense.
The story and characters are fictitious, but the circumstances are real. No one under 18 is involved in any sex in this story. In fact, fair warning, there’s not much sex at all. This is just a romance between two people who find each other in an unusual way.
Thanks to all the readers who have supported me. Comments are always welcomed to help me improve as I develop my new favorite hobby.
Special thanks to NoraFares who has honored me with her proofreading skills and valuable advice. If you find errors, they’re my fault. They probably crept in when I made changes after Nora’s proofreading. If you love good writing, check out stories by NoraFares.
The following days were terrific. My mood was flying high. Blake’s hugs of greeting kept getting longer and stronger. It wasn’t long until the hugs included a kiss on the cheek.
Saturday that same week, Blake spent the day with me. We talked, we walked to the Chowder House, strolled the beach, sat on the sand and watched the water, and just enjoyed the day. As we returned to my condo, our conversation took an interesting turn.
“Steve, do you attend church?”
“I used to, but I haven’t looked hard enough for a church in this area where I think I’d feel comfortable. Do you attend?”
“I did in St. Louis, but I haven’t found one here either.”
“Why don’t we do a web search back at my condo and see if there’s one that looks interesting. If we find one, we can go together tomorrow.”
“I’d like that.”
We found one not too far away and agreed to attend in the morning. I’d pick her up at her place with coffee and scones ready to go.
I had never been to her place, so I drove her home that night for the first time. I met her roommates and Blake’s description was quickly confirmed. I barely got to learn their names before they offered a five-some, I assume to include Blake. They didn’t like my response when I told them to grow up. At least they stopped bothering Blake and me.
Blake was ashamed to show me her room, but she did. It was about 10 feet by 10 feet with a closet-sized bathroom. The only furniture was an air mattress. Her clothes were either hung on an open rack or arranged in her open suitcases on the floor.
I drove home and knew that I’d eventually ask her to move into my guest suite. But that was not something to push for yet.
In the morning we attended a church and really liked it. On the drive home, we decided we’d go together every week. It felt good to be back in the company of fellow believers where I had a shot at making friends with folks on my wavelength.
Blake had a highly appropriate question.
“I wonder why I stayed away from the church once I moved here. It would have been the most natural thing to do to get immersed in the community.”
“You read my mind. I was thinking the same thing. I get a sense that the events in my life made me uncomfortable in church when it should have been just the opposite. If I think about it, somehow I felt guilty as if I had done something wrong, and I didn’t want folks in the church to see me that way. Plus, to be completely honest, I was mad at God for what I’d been through.”
Blake’s face lit up. “Oh, my Lord! That’s it. That’s exactly it. I let that ass make me feel guilty about everything when it was his fault, and I blamed God for not pulling me out to safety.”
“When I think about it now, I can calmly understand and accept that we can’t have both free will and someone directing every move in our lives as if we’re puppets.”
We both recognized the breakthrough in our recovery.
“I’m ready. Can we talk about details after lunch?”
“Yeah. I’m ready too. Only one thing I request—no—make it two.”
“The first is obvious. We’re not going to fix each other’s past, so we should only listen and support.”
“Yeah. Unless there’s a question. But no suggested fixes. What’s the other?”
“That we hold each other the whole time. If I look into your eyes and see your agony, or if I’m sharing my past, I don’t think I’ll make it two minutes without losing control of my emotions. I want to share this with you, and maybe we both can start to move forward.”
We stopped at the Chowder House and ate lightly, both knowing the afternoon would be difficult. Our collective mood was subdued but we each had a deep sense of resolution that we would be finally dealing with the things that made us wounded ducks.
We finished lunch, drove to my condo, and entered hand-in-hand.
“Steve, do you have a set of sweats or something I can change into. I think I’ll need something more comfortable than this dress.”
“Sure. Let’s find something in my room, and you can change in my guest room while I find something comfortable for me too.”
As I changed clothes, ataşehir escort bayan I remembered how I reacted to women in my life telling me about people that hurt or upset them. My mind always wanted to fix it and inflict revenge on the perpetrator with force 100 times greater than the crime they committed would have justified. I learned, though, that the female who was unloading her problems only wanted me to listen. So I tried to clear my mind, put away the weapons in my head that I’d use on her ex, and mentally reattach protruding appendages I’ve already ripped off of him in my mind. I knew what she’d have to say would upset me greatly. I owed it to her and myself to stay calm and appropriate.
We each came out to the living room wearing identical outfits—a pair of my dark blue sweat pants and a dark gray tee shirt. I came out first and when she entered the room, we laughed at our matching attire.
“This looks more like a slumber party,” Blake mentioned with a giggle.
“You make that outfit look great compared to me.”
“Oh, Stevie, you don’t look bad yourself.” She never called me Stevie before. Nobody ever has. I liked it coming from Blake.
“I thought the couch in here would be better than out on the porch. Is that okay?”
We found a comfortable position to start. Blake snuggled up against me and I held her tight to my side.
“I like this. I feel secure,” she noted with a warm sigh.
“Me too. You fit against me perfectly. So, how do we start?”
“I guess I should go first,” she said with determination.
“Well, I met Buck at my home church. I always thought he was sort of cute, but he didn’t seem that interested in me. He was eleven years older than me but still acted very much like a teenager. He was known as a bit of a black sheep, and for some reason, I thought that was sexy. Out of the blue one day at church, he asked me on a date.”
“How old were you?”
“Twenty three. I never really dated much before then and had never been with a man, if you know what I mean. So on a Friday, he took me to Burger King, then to a movie. Really upscale, right?”
“Big spender. I get the picture,” I chuckled.
“We hardly talked and barely touched all night. After the movie, we got in his pickup truck. Before he started it he just pulled me over and started frenching me. I never did that before, but I liked it even though he was kind of rough. Then he sat up and said we were going out the next day—a Saturday—and he’d pick me up at six. I figured, okay, and agreed. So, he picked me up the next day and took me to his apartment.”
“Did you expect that?”
“No. It was a one-room dump. We walked in and before the door was closed, he went right to frenching me again. I was really scared and inexperienced, but I have to admit it was arousing. Before I knew what was happening, he was feeling me up and pulling off my clothes. I started to panic but instead resigned myself that it was time for me to experience this. I’d like to say we made love, but basically, he screwed me roughly and it hurt like hell, but at least he got off quickly. Then he just took me home. He wore a condom, but I was sure it broke since I had stuff dripping out that I knew wasn’t mine.”
“After our so-called date, he ignored me again. A friend at church told me the truth. Buck had a bet with a guy that he could nail me. I was crushed that I lost my virginity on a bet to a slimeball. I confronted him and, his exact words were, ‘I did you a favor, you cow. No one else was going to do you.’ I couldn’t…”
Blake started crying a little so I held her tightly until she was ready to continue.
“… I couldn’t believe how cold and calloused he was. A few weeks later, as you may have guessed, I learned I was pregnant.”
She paused and asked me for a bottle of water before she continued. When I returned, she changed position to where she sat across my lap and put her arms around my neck while resting her head on my shoulder. I liked this position a lot more.
“I told my parents what happened and my dad went ballistic and started calling me a fat slut and other names a father should never use. Dad went to see Buck, who was much smaller than my dad, and he knocked him around a bit. Then dad called my uncle, his brother, who owned the contacting firm Buck worked for. They went to see Buck again and dragged him into our house where Buck was made to propose.”
“Yeah, but my dad didn’t need a gun. There was no talk of adoption or, for sure, abortion. Buck was going to be a reluctant dad. The wedding was very small and quick, and I moved into Buck’s dump of a bachelor pad. Funny enough, he softened up quite a bit and seemed to be choosing to grow up. I still wouldn’t say we ever made love, but we had some sex that was okay. Then…”
Blake started crying with some force. I just held her tighter and kissed her forehead to let the wave pass.
“Then, I lost the baby after seven months and had lots of escort kadıköy complications. The doctor said I would never be able to safely have children after that and he talked me into having my tubes tied.”
She was crying harder and I knew not to say anything, but I made it clear that I was there to support her. It took several minutes for her to calm herself enough to continue.
“Sorry. That news was the biggest blow I ever got.”
After a few more whimpers, she was able to go on.
“I figured Buck saw his chance to get out from under his commitment to me. Dad and my uncle wouldn’t allow it, so we stayed together. I tried to find a way to love him, and I thought at some points we may have had something. But there wasn’t going to be any romance stories written about us.
I need a bathroom break.”
She ran off for a minute. When she came back she sat on my lap again but facing the other direction.
“Sorry, that’s better. So, where was I? Oh, yeah. Buck and I stayed married, and for a few years, I thought it may work out. I got a job as a marketing assistant in a company nearby, and we moved to a slightly better small apartment. Buck actually seemed almost content, and he was nicer to me during that period than at any other time. But slowly, he started calling me degrading names, telling me I was ugly and fat, couldn’t even give him children…awful, hurtful things. I saw evidence that he was fooling around. Eventually, he didn’t care that I knew and started bringing women to our apartment. Soon he went even further and had multiple girls or some of his friends with girls and they just held sex parties. He tried to force me to take part and I refused.”
“I guess your dad and uncle were still forcing you to stay together?”
“Forcing Buck more than me, but I didn’t think I had a choice. Plus, three years ago my dad died, so that point of pressure was resolved. But the sex parties were getting out of hand. Buck’s friends kept trying to get me to take part, but Buck told them things like, ‘she’s the most beautiful cow in the county,’ or ‘I ran out of bags to put over her beautiful pig face,’ and a long list of other…”
Her tears returned. I couldn’t help saying what was on my mind. “Now I know why my words upset you. He used the word ‘beautiful’ against you.”
“Yeah. Anyway, my uncle died last year, so Buck figured he could dump me now. He said he was tied down to me long enough, and he wanted to enjoy his ‘midlife crisis.’ I found out he had three kids with three different bimbos he’d been with. I pity those kids. Anyway, he destroyed any friendships I had. My mother really wanted nothing to do with me and I felt little for her. I was treated like the town whore at church. I was going to leave anyway when his divorce papers came. So, I signed and I left. And you know the rest.”
I hugged her more tightly so she could feel that I cared and understood. “Just let me hold you. You’re safe here.”
Blake softly cried, but I had a sense that she felt some comfort in having unloaded her past. Something she said kept resounding in my brain. Midlife crisis. Nancy kept saying something similar. Certainly, I’ve heard the term before. Buck just seemed to be a life-long shmuck. Until her announcement of departure, Nancy was, by all appearances, a respectable and devoted wife and mother. But midlife seemed to be the tipping point for both of them and their actions.
I felt Blake resting limply in my arms as she slept having exhausted herself. I carried her into the guest room and covered her so she could rest. I laughed to myself. If I could carry her, she was not heavy or overweight. I would guess she weighed less than 135 pounds. I watched her sleeping and couldn’t help but to think that Buck was a fool throwing away this amazing woman. She really was beautiful.
If I didn’t know it before, I knew it then—I was falling for Blake. Nancy was the old story, and Blake would take her place in my heart. I was angry as hell at Nancy, but if I was honest with myself, love doesn’t just stop. A few short weeks ago at the deepest point of my loneliness, I actually feared that it may have been possible to be tempted to return. Blake closed that door and locked it for good.
My thoughts were rushing to conclusions too fast. I knew I wanted Blake. I was fairly sure she felt the same, but I didn’t know for sure. Either way, even if Blake walked away from me right now, I knew Nancy would never get back in. It wasn’t just the anger driving me anymore. My heart deserved better than Nancy.
Blake healed me of the disease called Nancy.
Dinner time was drawing near. I planned ahead to make cedar plank salmon, roasted fingerling potatoes with onions and garlic, and grilled asparagus. I began preparations while Blake napped and I enjoyed the family-feel of the condo. A huge smile took over my face, because now, at this moment, it felt like home.
It wasn’t too long before Blake walked into the kitchen rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
“How did I get into the bedroom?”
“I maltepe escort carried you.”
“You’ll bust a hernia that way.”
“Contrary to your belief, my friend, you don’t weigh that much. Do you feel better?”
“Yes. I feel refreshed. I feel… I feel like a weight has been lifted. And, you make me feel safe, Steve.”
She hugged me from behind. “Thank you for hearing me. It made me feel exposed, and yet you kept me very secure.”
I turned to face her. “Your past is so different from mine. Your strength makes me look weak in comparison to what you’ve survived.”
“I don’t know if I’d describe myself as strong. Until I met you I was settling on being invisible. Who knew that meeting an odd duck would be such a good thing?”
“Well, you walking Princess down my street resulted in me finding a cherished friend.”
“Oh, speaking of which—I better take Princess out.”
“I’ll have dinner on by the time you return.”
The veggies were done and the fish was a minute away from perfection. I plated everything just as my two guests came back in. Blake had brought some food for Princess, so all hungry mouths were attended to.
After dinner, we sat on the couch and cuddled some more.
“I’m so full,” Blake moaned. “That was fantastic. You can cook for me anytime.”
“I enjoy it, for sure. But I’m no Iron Chef.”
“Are you up to telling me your story?”
I knew Blake felt more than obligated to hear my saga, and she was anxious to help me recover. I was concerned it would be too much for one day. Plus, she didn’t know it, but Blake already helped me recover. I needed the anger to fade so I could exist. I felt ready to find my new purpose—something to make getting up every day worthwhile.
“You’ve had a long and emotional day. Why don’t I save my story for tomorrow night? Besides, sitting here with you makes me feel like nothing in the past matters.”
“Very much so. Blake, you’ve become very special to me and have helped me more than you realize.” I held her tighter.
“So, is this you hitting on me?”
“Maybe.” I smiled. “Are you surprised to hear that I find you irresistible?”
“You’re pretty transparent, Steve.”
“So I’ve been told. But can you really be interested in an old grouch like me?”
She looked at me with a sparkle in her eyes. “How should I answer?”
She found the perfect way as her lips tenderly met mine and our hidden passions revealed themselves. After a few moments, she pulled back and flashed a huge grin. “Does that sufficiently answer your question?”
“I need a much longer answer.”
Our mouths met like two magnets coming together. I felt her affection flow through me as our lips parted and our tongues met with intensity. I was in a state of ecstasy. Nothing else mattered but this moment. The past was insignificant, and the future was uncertain. But that moment I craved exactly what Blake was giving me. She transmitted the strength of her feelings through her furiously probing tongue, while I returned my emotions with similar fervor.
When our mouths finally parted we both held each other’s cheeks as our noses and foreheads met. Simultaneously, we both exclaimed, “Wow.” Giggling, we simultaneously said, “Jinx.”
“So now, do you have your answer, sir?”
“I sense the beautiful woman likes me,” I replied.
“Beautiful?” She pretended to be upset.
“Yes,” I insisted. “Very beautiful.”
She moved back onto my lap and we made out like teenagers. Somehow, I doubted Buck taught her to kiss this well. She was a natural when her emotions supported her actions. Words were not necessary for this conversation. We were bonding, and it was hotter than anything I’d ever experienced. I was acutely aware that her passion was awakening my sleeping soldier, the presence of which didn’t escape her notice since she was sitting on my lap. She pulled back with the cutest smile I’ve ever seen.
“Oh, I think someone else likes me.”
“I hope you take it as a compliment. Every pleasant nerve in my body is screaming approval of you in my arms and demanding that you never leave them.”
“It’s always a compliment to be proudly saluted,” she smirked.
For the rest of the night, we barely spoke. It’s hard to talk when someone’s tongue is in your mouth. For hours we shared the lingering flavors of our excellent dinner and looked into each other’s eyes enabling our souls to silently speak. I felt the connection growing stronger, and I watched it growing in her as well.
Lips were sore and tongues were cramping as we settled into a warm embrace. Blake broke the blissful silence.
“Steve, does this mean you and I are now an ‘us?’ It feels that way.”
“I hope so. But there are things that scare me.”
“About me?” Blake seemed to start getting upset and defensive.
“No, no, no. I absolutely adore you and there’s no one else I’d rather be sitting with.”
“So, what scares you?”
“We both are victims of our recent pasts.” I moved us so we could look into each other’s eyes. “Blake, not more than a few hours after we started to talk during your walks, I couldn’t get you out of my mind. The hours until I next saw you were filled with hope, but also anxiety. As we started getting to know each other, I knew I loved you as a good friend.”