Author's note: My thanks to Copperbutterfly for her editing expertise. My arthritic fingers tend to hit keys other than those I intended and she, thankfully, keeps me on the 'straight and narrow.'
I had to go through one railcar and into the next before I saw her. I had spotted her three weeks before for the first time, traveling on the same commuter route as me in the afternoon, sometimes the same in the morning although we often seemed to take different trains early.
In some ways, she was unremarkable. She always seemed to carry a book and when she found a place to sit, by herself if one was available, she immediately immersed herself in her book, never drawing attention to herself. Yet, because of my interest in certain 'types' of ladies, I had spotted her and the more I saw of her, the more my interest was piqued.
Some men ignored such women. She was, by some standards, large, sometimes referred to as a big beautiful woman, or BBW. You could see the disdain in the eyes of some men as they roved over her and passed to others. Not me. She had the form that stirred my blood every time I laid eyes on her. She had curves where a woman should have curves. Even though she generally wore bulky clothing, I could tell that she had large breasts and a big, well-rounded bottom. Her waist wasn't as thin as some — thanks goodness! I preferred the sexiness of a woman I could cuddle up to and not worry about possibly breaking her bones — or stabbing myself to death on some protrusion.
She wasn't a classic beauty — again thank goodness! She was pretty... no, she was beautiful. She had shoulder length brunette hair that curled on the tops of her shoulders and framed her face. That face seemed more beautiful, more delightful every time I saw her. Her eyes were large brown pools that seemed to take in everything around her. But it was her full, ruby red lips that most drew my attention. I thought — I imagined — that they were the most sensual lips on earth... and in my mind they were. When she looked at anyone, especially at me, she gave me a smile that seemed to convey a tremendous range of emotions... or was that all in my mind too?
Perhaps some men thought she was less desirable because of her age. I estimated that she was between 45 and 50 and many men looked for the younger woman. Not me. I was probably ten to 15 years older than she was, so I was in a dilemma. She was the kind of woman I always desire and she was, without a doubt, the most beautiful woman I had seen in a very long time. Yet because of my age — and let's face it; I wasn't the sexiest man around town either — the odds of ever developing a relationship with her were slim and none... and Slim was walking out the door. (That's a joke!)
Ever since I had first spotted her, I noticed that she walked from our station up the hill the same direction I went but, after a few blocks, she turned one way and I went the other. Two or three times a week, she would stop in the little coffee shop in the next block for a solitary cup of coffee and a quiet meal while she continued to read her book.
I had gotten into the habit of following her into the coffee shop and finding a place near her. I would order a meal and coffee so that I didn't have to go to the lonely quiet of my home and try to stir up something to eat. While she read, I daydreamed about making love to her. Sure, sometimes it was a purely sexual thing but most of the time my dreams were about making slow, tender love with her.
This Friday, after the usual commute from the city center, I followed her off the train, savoring the soft fragrance of her gentle perfume as she slowly passed by me on the way to the car's exit doors. I fell in line just a few people behind her and watched almost entranced as she started up the street. I wasn't disappointed when she turned into the coffee shop; I hadn't looked forward to the loneliness of the house that evening. Of course I followed her in.
As it turned out, the only available table was right across the aisle from the one at which she had been seated. The hostess showed me to the small empty table and I found myself seated facing her directly. For me, it was the ideal situation but I was afraid I would make her uncomfortable.
Midway through my meal, I glanced up at the woman and our eyes met for the first time. "Hello," I said, noncommittally.
"Hi," she replied. "Don't you ride the 6:15? I think I've seen you on the train."
"Yes, I normally catch that one. I've noticed you also."
"So... we must live in the same area, huh?"
"Yes, I believe so. I'm on Davenport Street, just a couple of blocks off the boulevard."
"Funny. I'm just east of the boulevard on Lancaster Street."
"I'm Ed, by the way. Edward, actually but I don't like people to call me that."
She laughed softly. "Good to meet you, Ed. I'm Maria."
We finished our meals exchanging small talk about the weather and our work. It turns out that we both had jobs in the financial district, although they were somewhat different. When we both got up to leave, I asked if she would mind if I walked with her.
"No, I wouldn't mind. I would enjoy the company."
We walked slowly the remainder of the way until we had to part directions. We chatted easily and I found myself very comfortable in the presence of this beautiful woman. She seemed to like my sort of wry humor and giggled softly several times. I noticed the faint fragrance of her perfume seemed to go right to the top of my head and make me want to sweep her into my arms and smoother her with kisses.
Ah, discretion being the better part of valor, I settled for saying, "I hope to see you again really soon, Maria. It has been very pleasant talking with you."
She flashed me a fleeting look that I couldn't quite ascertain, but it quickly changed into a smile. "Ed... would you mind if I called you Eddie? I have enjoyed this walk very much. I'll look forward to seeing you again.
That evening my mind was filled with visions of the sweet and wonderful lady that I had finally met. She was just as fantastic to talk to as I had imagined in my dreams. As the night turned late and I readied myself for bed, I have to admit that my thoughts turned to more intimate pursuits. I knew the odds of my relationship with Maria were vastly against my ever becoming intimate with her... but in my dreams, I held her in my arms as I drifted off to sleep. In my dreams, she had yielded her charms to me and we had made wild, passionate love. Ah, such sweet dreams...
The weekend passed slowly but pleasantly as I thought about Maria. I couldn't seem to make my mind concentrate on anything else, even my favorite football team when their game came on the TV. By Sunday night, I realized that I had really squandered the entire weekend thinking about her.
I was disappointed Monday morning when I realized that she was not at the station for the same train as mine. I worked my way through a daze, barely able to concentrate on my work. I had to struggle to finish my last transaction of the day and hurry to catch the 6:15. I made it just as the doors began to close.
Turning to walk through the cars, I looked for a place to sit but mostly I looked for Maria. I didn't realize how much I wanted to see her until I spotted her near the back of the second car and breathed a sigh of relief. She was already reading her book but the seat beside her was vacant and when I bent over to ask if I could sit with her, her fabulous smile changed my entire outlook. She moved her purse and a shopping bag, making room for me to sit beside her.
"It's good to see you again," Maria said softly.
"Very good to see you, too," I replied. "How was your day?"
"Oh, nothing special. How about yours?"
"About the same," I chortled. "I looked forward to this more than my work."
"Oh? Why is that?" she asked.
"Because... I... well, I like your company," I said, wearing my feelings on my sleeve.
"Well, thank you. I enjoyed yours as well."
"Are you planning to stop at the diner tonight?"
"Well... I could. Would you like to have dinner with me?"
"I'd love to!"
I asked Maria about family and she surprised me when she said that she was married; I'd not seen any sign of that.
"Don't be surprised," she said. "It is just a marriage of convenience. For the last three years, he does his thing and I do mine. We still live in the same house just because that is easier than trying to divide everything up."
"Oh, so there's no sex involved?"
"Oh, honey, there hasn't been any sex for three years and not very much even before that. My husband was never very adventurous. His idea of a good time was to climb on, pump away for a couple of minutes and then go right to sleep. He never could understand why I was so frustrated."
"Oh, my goodness! That's criminal!"
"Why? I guess I just didn't turn him on. We were lucky enough that we had a daughter together but she's been about the only common ground we've had for a long time now. The daughter has since had three boys and three girls that both my husband and I love dearly. But we don't really have much else to keep us together. How about you?"
"Well, it's been rather lonely for me since my wife left me over twelve years ago. We had three children, all of whom were grown and on their own. She decided that we didn't have much to keep us together so she moved out."
"And you still live alone?" Maria asked.
"Uh, huh. Gets pretty lonely."
.... There is more of this story ...