There was a soft tapping on my shoulder. At first I thought it was my wife, then I remembered it was late Monday afternoon and the tapping was coming from someone else. I rolled over; it was Varina Jefferson, wife and part owner of the Antique shop where I’d bought some furniture. She was smiling at me.
“Wake up sleepy head,” she whispered, “it’s after 4:00 p.m. My husband will soon be back, and I have to reopen the shop.”
I half leapt off the old sofa, “Varina ... I ... we...”
“Not now sweetie. You jump in the shower, can’t have you going home to momma all steamy now can we?”
“No, not now. I’ve got to get out front before my husband gets back. After you get dried and dressed just slip out the back door. See you Thursday ... don’t forget.” Without giving me a chance to reply she closed the backroom door and slipped out to their storefront.
‘Oh Jesus, ‘ I thought, ‘what have I gotten myself into?’ All I wanted was to surprise my wife with something for her birthday. Marsha, my wife, loves antiques, and the Jefferson’s shop had just what I wanted, an old set of chairs, actually a love seat and two chairs, they looked to be hundreds of years old.
I had to admit, Varina was something else; maybe 5’2”, short black hair, dark complexion, probably around forty, great smell. She’d lured me right in. This was just my second visit to their shop. Last week I’d come in and found two chairs. Varina told me about a matching love seat. She said they had it at another location, a small warehouse. She was so, how do I say it, so seductive. Those eyes, those black oh so alluring eyes. She’d smiled at me. She’d walked me to their backroom to see a photograph, and within seconds I was against the sofa, then on an old twin bed. I don’t know whether to say I was seduced or raped; she’d gotten my shirt and pants off, and was riding me before I knew what hit me. That’s a lie. I knew. I was stupid. What’s the old adage, “a man doesn’t have enough blood to feed both heads; it’s either one or the other.”
Afterwards I got the chairs and loaded them in my Ford Explorer, but she said the loveseat needed some sort of additional repair and I should come back again. So I came back. The loveseat still wasn’t ready. She got me a second time. Now I’m supposed to come back again Thursday!
I can’t do this! Varina thinks she’s got a playmate! Still, if I don’t come back Thursday I won’t have the loveseat. But if I do come back?
What am I going to do? I’m a happily married man. I’m Catholic. I love my wife. Why Marsha and I; we have four kids! I’ve been as faithful as an old dog, at least until ... Now what? I’ve got to get home!
The drive was long and tedious; first out of the city where the Jefferson’s shop was located, then down the freeway, up to the Interstate, and last, Route Twelve to our development and home. I had a lot of on my mind. What was I going to do? I just knew; sooner or later Marsha would suspect something. I felt terrible!
What’s wrong with me? I’m a good guy. I’ve got a great wife, a bunch of fantastic kids. Marsha’s just the best!
Marsha has always been a one of a kind girl. I’ll say I didn’t just meet Marsha and fell in love, I found her; it had been quite by accident. I almost had to coerce her into agreeing to see me. Marsha was raised in the strictest sense of the word Catholic. One of a family of six siblings Marsha had opted for a life of religious service. When I first lucked into her she’d already been welcomed into one of the region’s ‘Orders’. She was already into her two year candidacy. If I’d been a couple months later she’d would’ve been a novitiate. I never would have had a chance then.
I happened upon her one day by the dumbest of dumb luck. Good luck? Bad luck? No the greatest of good luck! Thinking back; what a marvelous lucky coincidence. No, a true act of God. I got a phone number. I don’t even remember who gave it to me. I was twenty-one and still in college. I made the call. We talked; we telephoned back and forth. She sounded really nice, sweet, innocent, not my style at all. Yeah, well I was a Romeo; no I really was. I prided myself on how many I could and had already talked into the sack. This one sounded like easy meat.
I recall her saying she’d just gotten out of high school and was preparing for a life of service; to me back then, considering who I was, that meant something like maybe she wanted to be a prostitute. We agreed to meet at a round-about at the end of a bus line near where she lived. I drove over, saw her, and had doubts almost right away. I pulled up, honked the horn, got out and opened the passenger side door. She slid in. As soon as I got in and got a good look I knew this was a fucking mistake, a big mistake. She had a fucking hare lip!
As I pulled from the curb even now I can remember wondering, ‘how the fuck do I get out of this?’ We didn’t get far; my awkwardness, and her self-consciousness took control. She asked if I could pull over. I did, she jumped from the car and started walking, then scuttling along, sort of scampering in that awkward way girls in long coats do. My first reaction was relief, but then there was something else ... regret, remorse, guilt? I jumped from the car, almost getting my driver’s side door torn off by another motorist. I ran to the sidewalk and yelled, “Hey! Wait up,” she was running by then.
I was faster. I caught her and grabbed her by the shoulders, very crudely I turned her around, and, in a voice that somehow had gotten an octave too high, I yelped, “Hey wait ... what?” Shit, she was crying. I didn’t know what to do so I pulled her in and hugged her. I can still recall thinking as I squeezed her very skinny body close, ‘shit she’s flat as a board!’ I remember, she squirmed, but I held on. I folded the palm of my right hand to the back of her head and she grew still, rigidly so. She was so small!
That was our first contact and thinking back; it was over fifteen years ago. Since that first sighting it was one of the craziest courtships imaginable. I couldn’t explain it then, can’t now; there was something there, something, or someone, I needed, I had to have.
I hungered, I stalked, I chased, and I pleaded. She had parents, oh brother did she have parents? She had four older brothers, an older sister, grandparents, a whole extended family, and they were all passionately protective. Not in my wildest imagination would I have ever dreamed. It took me months, it was a long grueling campaign, but I did finally get her to the altar. That’s a whole crazy different story, and I don’t want to think about it, not now. My stomach’s all twisted in knots; I’ve broken my most solemn vow. She’ll know. She’ll figure it out. I know she will. She’ll see it. I’m toast. God I’ve been a fool!
I got home. I pulled in the garage and checked to make sure no one looked under the tarp where I’d hidden the chairs. I warned Marsha not to look, but the kids ... well a child’s curiosity. I fiddled with the tarp a little, and then stepped up to go in the house.
We have an attached garage connected to the main house through the laundry room, then a small foyer, and then the kitchen. I heard Marsha; she was quietly singing; it sounded like something by ABBA. Something smelled good, spaghetti, maybe lasagna. The house was warm, homey, just like always – the way a home, a real home should be.
Marsha turned to me as I walked in. She was holding a plate of her home-made lasagna. She looked beautiful; brown culottes, white apron tied off with a bow in the back, button up beige blouse, hair up in a ponytail, tiny hands, delicate little fingers, clear nail polish.
Marsha seldom wore makeup; didn’t need it. Long lashes framed luscious green eyes, bright red hair encircled a perfect heart shaped face. Lips pursed as she trilled, last trace of the cleft all but invisible, at least to me.
“Almost ready. Salad’s on the table. Garlic bread’s just coming out,” she placed the tray of lasagna on the counter and tip toed up for a kiss.
I reached down for her. No perfume, no deodorant, just soap and Marsha. She’s so tiny, even with her up as far as she could go I still had to lean way down for my nightly kiss. Not quite close enough to fully embrace I caught a glimpse of two tiny, perfect, pear shaped mounds through soft fabric. Dark aureoles, two firm nipples whispered – touch me, kiss me. I felt an emerging tumescence, a tad sore, guilt, I had to look away, “Something smells good,” I said.
“Just had a shower,” she said.
I blanched. She could tell? No, she meant she had a shower. I grinned, “No the food.”
She stepped back, “You fool. I meant me. And remember. I taped our show the other night. After dinner we’ll get the kids in bed and curl up and watch it.”
The heat was off! She reached for the food, but I grabbed her hands and spun her around twisting her arms behind her back. What I saw; luminous green eyes, darting lashes, quarter karat emerald studs on flawless lobes - my last year’s Christmas gift, long thin neck, necklace, gold crucifix, tiny breasts, firm nipples struggling against thinly woven cotton, “I need another,” I leaned in, “I need a kiss.”
She leaned up, warm soft lips lightly fluttered against mine, soft fingers brushed the back of my neck, eyes filled with love trapped my soul, then, “Let go of my arms. You’re hurting me.”
I kissed her again.
She said again, “Let go!”
I let go, “You’re such a squirrel.”
.... There is more of this story ...