This story is not a "Stroke Story". This story is about adultery and emotions. So, if you want a stroke story, please save yourself the disappointment and back-page before reading any further.
This story in no way reflects my personal life. All the characters, and their behavior are purely fictional.
As always, this story is my property, and may not be used, quoted or published, fully or in part, anywhere, without my written permission.
I'd also like to thank andrewpeters for his help and editing.
I don't know why I ever moved to The City.
Short words, The City. Short, but big words for a big place, words with even bigger images of hopes and dreams with fame, fortune, and glamour waiting, only steps away for any beautiful and intelligent small town girl like me.
Oh, and let's not forget the romances, with dashing and debonair men, so tall and so handsome. Men with sophisticated elegance and charm, strong men with slim tight waists and hips, broad in shoulders, clever talented men with minds sharp and defined. Successful and powerful men, yet gentle, caring and understanding. Men, who know how to hold you just right, say and mean the right words, sweeping you off your feet. Men, who give you that warm tummy, butterfly feeling just by being near you. All of them waiting, anticipating someone like me to enter their lives. Yes, the city has them all.
Success? Why of course. The City has contracts galore, contracts from advertising agencies, modeling agencies and even travel agencies all just waiting. Success is just there, for a photographer with a uniquely feminine perspective and innovative artistic point of view. One, whose photos of even the most mundane, turns people and objects into works of art, a photographer just like me.
Working in the city and traveling abroad to exotic places in Europe, the Caribbean or even South America, on photo shoots or romantic getaways with some handsome lover, what life could be better?
No, this place just is not me.
I don't understand the city. In the summer, the over heated steel, glass and concrete structures bake you. It stinks of burnt cooking oil, sweat, and urine. In winter the concrete and steel is freezing cold, colder than anywhere else, a cold that bites deep. If the wind blows then the dirt, grime and garbage is picked up until, you can smell nothing else. If there is no wind then the smog presses the stench down into the city, and the air becomes so thick you can almost not breathe. The taste of the heavy humid putrid air even sticks to the roof of your mouth. The city is always and completely devoid of nature, even the infesting cockroaches and rats seem alien and foreign. Here, the smallest and lonely hovel of an apartment costs more than many pay, back in my small hometown, for the mortgage on their houses.
I don't understand the people living in the city. A city full of people, always hurrying, never having enough time to say a helpful friendly word, always pushing always shoving. No one knows you. No one cares about you, an empty city, though too full of people.
This city is a city ruled by men, but inhabited by women. This city is full of, businessmen contracting their love lives much similar to their business dealings, and women willing to be dealt with like commodities. How much intimacy must I give in return for a blowjob, a fuck, or anal sex? Do you add to my prestige if I take you to this party, to this restaurant? What price tag can I put on our relationship?
Every first meeting, every first date is always the same. First, come the negotiating and the assessment of value. Then comes the framing, and wording of the contract. Lastly, the relationship ends when either the contract is not fulfilled in full, or some other woman of greater value is found on the meat market. All in full legalese. All up front and business like.
Too often, we give ourselves away, hoping sex can and will replace intimacy and love. We kiss a frog, eager for a prince, only to find it hopping away a toad.
Most of all, I'm not the sensuous creature I once thought myself to be. I consider myself pretty. I have long slender legs. My breasts might not be large, but full and match my hips proportionally very well. My waist is slim. Therefore, I am neither fat nor skinny, but just right. My skin is soft, alabaster and without scar or blemish. I am not a brunette; my hair is black, but soft, smooth and straight even when long. I am Ashkenazim of Nordic and German decent. This shows in my face, my best feature, with high cheekbones, a delicate nose, and large brown eyes. My only disadvantage is my height. I am small and almost petite to an extreme, only 5' 3, everyone looks down to me, as if I were a child.
Yet, the city I live in judges beauty not only by grace, and figure, but also in names like Gucci, Fendi, Prada and Armani. Physical beauty and intellect are only parts of the equation.
I am only one of millions of pretty girls, living in this lonely city. I am only one of thousands of freelance photographers working every day for newspapers and magazines while filling in and living off of family photo events, biding time, waiting for that moment to be discovered.
Sitting in my favorite coffee shop, with a cup of my favorite coffee and one of my favorite cream bagels, I am not even aware of the blur of people around me, blending into the background, in the busy, noisy city.
I'm more worried about my next photo session, and the non-existent photo session after that. With too many family weddings, baptisms, bar mitzvahs or anniversaries, and no fame and fortune in sight for the last 6 years, I've been going nowhere and fast.
I was also wondering where my relationship with Bryan was going. Was this the real deal? Did he love me as much as I did him? As much as he said, he did? At least that part of my life was going great.
Sweet Bryan, even though we haven't been able to see each other much as I would like. He's always in a hurry, never staying over night, always showing up late for dates, a true big city executive, a meeting here, a meeting there, and a late night dinner party that just couldn't be avoided. I wish I could be part of it, but still, this did feel like the real deal with all the romance, intimacy, and tenderness a girl could want. The toe curling sex made it even so much better.
It was getting very, very easy to imagine a life with him, a life centered on him. In that life, I could give up so much for him, surrendering completely and entirely to him.
Even though he was 17 years older than I, we still had time. Time maybe for a baby, or maybe even two, time for a house and a family away from the city. Yes, I could willingly give up so much for him and consider myself happy in doing so.
We've been together for almost a year. Maybe we should move in together, even if we don't get married at first. We'd have so much more quality time; he wouldn't always be in such a hurry, always so over worked. We have so much going for us. I could make him a home and be there for him. I knew I could. Our life, our home, our love together would be so beautiful. I could taste it! I wanted our life together, more than anything I've ever wanted in my life.
Sipping my coffee, I chuckled in thought, "I kissed a frog, and he truly did turn into a prince." Who ever she was, the woman who divorced him was a stupid fool. He was everything any woman, especially me, could ever want in a man.
"Excuse me, are you Sara Blum?"
I looked up to see a mousy brownish haired blonde in her mid-forties standing in front of me. Her stylish hair and clothing spoke of money and class, skirt and jacket by Chloe, shoes and purse by Versace. However, her mannerisms and body language told me she was uncomfortable in her surroundings, reclusive and very much a shy housewife type. An English rose supplanted in an American metropolis made of concrete and steel. She looked and acted very nervous, almost afraid.
So, this was the woman who had called at the agency and requested an appointment outside of the office. Maybe I was in luck and could fill my appointment book after all. But, why the meeting outside of the office, why had she not left her name with the agent's secretary?
I didn't recognize her. Her face didn't ring any bells. Had I photographed anything for her before, or had someone recommended me to her?
Ugh, her nervousness, of course. Was she again one of those looking for a female photographer to take nude erotic pictures of her for a present to her husband, boyfriend, or lover?
There was a wedding ring on her finger; so hopefully, the pictures would be for her husband, and not a lover that her husband did not know about. I have had enough of angry husbands. One husband screaming and yelling at me because I had taken nude photos of his wife without his permission was enough for me. No, crazy overly possessive husbands, I want nothing to do with. He's your husband, not mine. So, you deal with him, not me, sister.
Also, hopefully, not any pornographic photo shoots. I don't do those. I take erotic art photos, but that's all. I am a professional photographer and do not want involvement in anyone's funny games. Please, I'd rather not.
.... There is more of this story ...