The phone rang several times, but I didn’t answer. It wouldn’t be Candy’s boyfriend. He knew her schedule, and he’d be at work now in any case. It could only be Craig.
I’d stopped crying, but was still lying on my bed and staring at the ceiling when Candy came home from her shift.
“Well,” she said as she passed my door, “you under the weather today? That must have been some night.” From her own room, she shouted, “But Bernie got Lucille to come in to do your shift. She needs the money as much as you do.”
Moments later, wearing just her bra and panties, she appeared at my door. “You’re quiet all of a sudden. Everything okay? Craig problems?”
I started to sob again. “Yeah…Craig problems.”
“You didn’t break up already, did you? Was he really too good to be true?”
“He’s a fucking pervert!”
She came and sat on the side of my bed. “Did he hurt you?” Her voice was gentle and motherly.
I shook my head. “No. Everything went perfectly. At the opera, he made me feel like a queen. I met and talked with all kinds of important people. RoseAnn Perez, the redneck girl from Bitumen, Illinois, making chitchat with lawyers and politicians! After, we went back to his apartment and made love, twice. And it was so late, I stayed over.”
“I’m glad you stayed over. My boyfriend was happy, not having to be quiet for your sake. But I don’t understand. You had a perfect date with a double scoop of sex on top, and here you are, bawling on your bed.”
“He went down on me both times.”
“Mmm,” said Candy, raising her eyebrows. “How awful! No wonder your heart’s broken. But tell me, is it contagious? Can my boyfriend catch it somehow?”
“It was wonderful, until I discovered that all he was doing was acting out some dirty pictures he got from Denmark or someplace. They were all bursa escort about men going down on women or being tortured by women.”
“Really? He told you that?”
I shook my head again. “No. I went snooping. Now I wish I hadn’t. He doesn’t want me after all. He just wants a cunt to shove his face against while he thinks about those pictures. I should have stayed with Mike!”
Candy was silent. She slipped onto the bed and lay beside me with her lips close to my ear, and took my wrist in her hand. She whispered, “And because of some pictures, Craig is worse than the man who made you suck his cock every day for four years? And never once tried to make it good for you?”
Having dumped my heart onto Candy, I was able to stop sobbing, and wiped my face with my free hand. “Well, maybe not as bad as Mike. But I feel all dirty inside. I feel used.”
“I think the girl needs some perspective here. Tell me if I’ve got the story straight: An attractive man pursues you for weeks, dresses you up like a fashion model, takes you to meet his friends and important people, and then makes unselfish love to you. And let me guess—you were floating on Cloud Nine this morning until you decided to go snooping. Does that just about sum it up?”
She reached to my face and blotted a stray tear with a finger, but I said nothing.
She rolled off my bed and said, “I think you’re fucking insane.”
I looked at her, alarmed or pissed, or both.
“Every man keeps porn around. You showed me some of Mike’s, didn’t you?”
“His porn was hateful. There’s nothing sexy about women sucking off men and getting jizz sprayed all over their faces. I think men who take those pictures actually hate women. And so do the men who look at them.”
“What’s your point?” I wanted to be angry at Candy, bursa escort bayan but she was telling the truth. And she was on my side, as she’d been all our lives.
She leaned on the doorframe and crossed her ankles. “So what kind of porn would a man keep if he actually loved and adored women? If he worshiped them like goddesses? What if he got turned on most by making a woman come, instead of just emptying his balls into you and then rolling over to sleep? Like Mike, for instance.”
“I guess. But what about the women who were whipping men? Does that come from a man who loves women?”
She sighed deeply. “Rosie, I’m just saying, why don’t you try to see this stuff in the most upbeat way, instead of imagining the worst. Give him the benefit of the doubt. You can be his greatest fantasy come to life, and he can be yours.”
My brain whirled. “I don’t know…”
“Look at it from his point of view,” she said. “He’s been whacking off to pictures of beautiful women for ages. He’s so obsessed he wants to kneel down and worship them. One day, in walks this tall, black-haired woman. Even while he was polishing the carrot, he’s never imagined anyone so beautiful. And then, miracle of miracles, she’s actually interested in him! Can you imagine how Craig must feel? He’s maybe thinking that God answers prayers after all.”
I pursed my lips and stared at the ceiling.
“If there’s things about him that upset you, you can make him change, you know.”
“How can I do that? Men don’t change.”
“Not often, but I’ll bet you’re the best thing that ever happened to him. I’ll bet he lies awake nights thinking about you, jerks off thinking about you, and then dreams about you when he finally goes to sleep. If the porn really bugs you, tell him to dump it. You know he will. But the best thing is escort bursa to not mention it at all. Just forget it.”
I still stared at the ceiling. “I guess.”
“But if you do decide to dump him, introduce him to me before you do, okay?”
I laughed at last. “You bitch! You’d do that, too!” I tossed a pillow as she ducked out of the room.
* * *
Around suppertime, the phone rang. I ignored it, but Candy picked it up. “Craig? Hi, this is Candy. You know, RoseAnn’s friend, the chubby brunette from Bernie’s?” She listened a moment and said, “Yeah, I’m that girl. I’ll see if Her Highness is receiving callers.” She waved the receiver at me as I shook my head. But she persisted until I finally got up and went into the hall.
“Hi,” he said. “I called earlier. Is everything okay?”
“Yes. Everything’s fine,” I said.
“You don’t sound fine. What’s the matter?”
“It’s nothing. Why did you call?”
“Why did I call? What kind of question is that? I wanted to hear your voice. It makes me feel good. Did you sleep okay?”
“I slept fine.” Against my will, his soft voice made my muscles relax and my breathing grow deeper and regular.
“It looked like you left in a hurry. The door was unlocked, and you left the key and the taxi fare.”
“I guess I was flustered. Sorry. Is everything okay?”
“Everything’s fine. No one broke in or anything.”
“Thanks for leaving coffee all ready for me, but you should have woke me up.”
“You looked so peaceful and beautiful sleeping in my bed. I couldn’t bring myself to disturb you.”
“You’re making me blush.”
He laughed. “It shouldn’t embarrass you if it’s true. I called to see if you wanted to get some coffee tomorrow lunchtime.”
I thought about Candy’s words for a long moment. “I’d like that,” I said at last.
“I wanted to talk about your scholarship, too,” he said
“I thought this other counselor was looking after me…”
“Something different than that.”
“Now I’ve got to find out. Why don’t I come to the campus?”