I swear to God, I did not sacrifice a virgin, and I did not sell my soul to the devil.
Considering the fact that I am married — quite happily — to the most awe-inspiring woman you'll ever meet in your lifetime, your children's lifetimes or even your grandchildren's lifetimes, you may wonder what I did to land her.
The answer? Nothing. Zip, zilch, nada.
I was simply sitting on a barstool, a lonely 30-year-old man nursing the wounds of my latest relationship disaster over several mugs of beer and an occasional shot of tequila, when Stella Fontenot walked into my life.
She sat right down on the seat next to me and said, "You look like you could use some company."
I looked over and words failed me.
Now, I've seen a lot of beautiful women — hell, I've even dated a few — but Stella put them all in the shade. I mean, she was Playboy beautiful with a body to match.
She was easily six feet tall, with huge eyes of a mysterious dark color, a flowing mane of wavy jet-black hair, dusky skin that was absolutely perfect, lips that looked like they could suck a lemon through a garden hose and more curves than a mountain highway.
This woman had tits that hung just right on her chest, plump mounds with a tight pair of nipples that even a Wonderbra couldn't hide.
The thing was, she wasn't exactly flaunting any of this. She had on enough makeup to look like she knew what she was doing, but not so much that she looked cheap, and she was dressed in jeans and modest blouse that were snug, but not tight, and they weren't especially revealing...
Nevertheless, just the sight of her set my cock to throbbing, even though at the time, I thought I had no chance of even getting to first base with this goddess.
You see, I am not most women's definition of studly.
For one thing, there's my name. Norman. Not Norm, Norman,
Now what's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name Norman. That's right; you think of a nerd, with tape on their horn-rimmed glasses, white short-sleeved shirts with pocket protectors and all the sex appeal of a dead fish.
Never mind that I was at the time a cameraman for a local TV station, a job that has a fair amount of cachet, and that I am fairly well built in spite of my short stature (I'm 5-feet-7). I'm Norman, I'm smaller than average and, yes, I wear glasses (though not the horn-rimmed variety).
But Stella sat down next to me and started chatting me up like we were old friends.
And, heaven knows, I needed a friend right about then. I had just broken up with yet another girlfriend — check that, she'd just broken up with me. There is a difference.
I didn't have that big a problem hooking up with women, but I had a problem keeping them. I'm not sure why.
Oh, there have been some who had such emotional baggage that I ended up running screaming in the other direction. But others, women I thought I had good relationships with, would dump me, or cheat on me, then rub my nose in their deceit.
This last one had left me with the parting shot that I was boring. Boring? Me? A guy who's met rock stars and pro athletes, who's seen hotel fires and train wrecks, who's often summoned in the middle of the night to shoot storm damage?
I guess maybe it was because I prefer sitting at my apartment listening to music or watching TV to going out partying every night. My dad was like that, and I remember my mom worrying and sitting up until all hours of the night to see if he would pour himself home.
That was until the night when he didn't come home, and we were called to the county jail to learn that he'd been arrested for vehicular homicide after he was involved in a fatal car crash when he was driving home drunk. He served 12 years in prison for his crime, during which time Mom divorced him, and when he got out he just sort of drifted away.
Just because I haven't exactly followed in his footsteps doesn't mean I don't occasionally tie one on when the mood strikes me.
But I usually do my drinking — as I was the night I met Stella — at the pub a couple of blocks down the street from my apartment, where I can walk. And when I do go elsewhere, I always ride with someone who's not going to be drinking, or I simply don't drink. Simple as that.
At any rate, I had recently put 30 in my rearview mirror, and I was feeling rejected, with my social life in tatters. What I needed was a miracle. What I got was Stella Fontenot, and she's beyond a miracle.
In no time, we were talking animatedly as we worked on a parade of beers. I learned that she had just moved to the area, and — lo and behold — lived in a small house just five blocks from where I lived.
She was going to be teaching French at the nearby university beginning with the fall semester. That made sense, as I soon learned, because she had grown up with the language as a child in Louisiana.
Her grandmother, in fact, still speaks French, and only uses her limited English when she goes to town, which isn't often any more.
I really am not sure why we clicked, but we did, and by the end of the evening, we were both screaming drunk and laughing insanely at each other's jokes. She may have been a Playboy beauty, but she had a buoyant personality, a fun-loving spirit and a wicked sense of humor.
She was also quite intelligent and well-read, and after a few minutes of commiserating with me over the breakup with my girlfriend, we discussed all manner of world events, as well as the intricacies of baseball and other sports as we watched the Red Sox play the Orioles on the TV that hung in the corner.
After closing time, I made her leave her car parked at the pub and offered to walk her home. We held each other more or less upright as we negotiated the seven blocks to her house.
By the time we got to her front porch, I had managed to sober up some, but not enough that it diminished my boldness.
Stella pulled me to her and gave me a sloppy kiss at her front door.
"I like you," she said. "You're a lossa fun, funny guy."
Then she giggled. Drunk as I was, my cock was showing definite interest, but I knew any attempt to fuck this goddess would end in disaster.
"Look, Stella," I said in a serious tone. "I had a great time tonight. Thanks for helping me out of my funk. I needed that. I'd like to take you out on a real date, if you're willing."
She looked at me with a funny expression, then nodded her head.
"I'd like that," she said. "I'd like that a lot."
She fumbled in her purse for a scrap of paper and a pen, then scribbled some numbers and handed it to me.
"Call me," she said.
Then she bent down again and kissed me on the cheek, before turning and walking to her door. Just before she shut it, she looked back at me and waved.
I think I floated the five blocks back to my apartment. But once inside, I felt the blues coming on me again.
What kind of a schmo did I think I was? Stella Fontenot had a look that screamed uptown. The kind of men I envisioned her dating were older men, men of wealth and prestige, tall men with cocky swaggers.
And the truth is, I was soon to learn that had indeed been the class of man she'd dated most of her adult life, but what I didn't know was that she'd been treated quite badly by a couple of them, especially the last one.
She'd fled that relationship and moved across the country in an attempt to forget about him and to find a new sort of life.
I guess we were just both in the right place at the right time.
I woke up hung over as hell the next morning. I had to work that afternoon and evening, so I puttered around the apartment, drinking tomato juice and popping aspirin, and after a shower, I felt presentable.
I came across Stella's number and I fondled it for several minutes, trying to decide if I had enough nerve to call her up and ask for a date.
Then, I figured, what the hell: nothing ventured, nothing gained. So I called, and was pleasantly surprised to hear her excited response, when I identified myself and asked if she remembered me from last night.
"Of course, I remember you, silly," she said breezily. "How could I forget?"
The gist of the conversation was that she agreed to go out with me after I got off work that night. It would be a late-night date, but after a few years in my job, I had learned where the hot spots are that cater to the true night owls.
To say Stella was stunning when I went to pick her up would be an understatement. She was wearing a clingy dress of a shimmery material, with a purple and black design. Like the night before, though, it wasn't especially revealing, with a skirt that reached her knees and very little scoop in front. She did, however, do her makeup quite exotically, with ruby lipstick.
We had a very nice dinner, and I soon realized to my amazement that Stella was sending out definite signals of interest in me. Clearly, she felt comfortable enough with me to start telling me a little about her past, how she had been a rich man's toy, and how she'd grown to hate being looked at as an object.
"I wouldn't be too hard on them," I said. "You are just about the sexiest, most beautiful woman I've ever seen, and it would be easy to simply look at you that way. Of course, I know better."
And I did. The previous evening, I'd seen the real Stella, the one that let her hair down and could laugh and tell raunchy jokes, then talk intelligently about the war in Iraq. I'd learned that there was a brain, and a pretty good one, underneath those raven tresses.
.... There is more of this story ...