When I was young, I was taught a number of religious principles that have stayed with me over the years. Most of my young life was guided by those religious ideals. I wasn't a zealot, but had accepted that way of life as my own. It was how I made my decisions in life and I led a wonderful childhood.
Of course, I'd had my scrapes as all kids do. There were times I picked the wrong friends and gave in to the peer pressure more than I should have. Overall, though, I was a good boy.
I had a difficult time understanding how sexuality fit into the religious views I'd learned. Perhaps some of that was because I hadn't learned much about religious sexuality at that time. I was always told it was something best saved for marriage and it was always implied that I would learn about it when the time came. Occasionally, I would hear that sexuality is a wonderful thing and that it is perfectly fine to explore the multiple facets of a couple's sexuality within the bonds of marriage.
The problem was that I wasn't married, but I was getting turned on by any number of things as a teenager. In that respect, I suppose I was a normal teen. It wouldn't take much to get me excited. Since I knew I wasn't supposed to turn to intercourse for a release of that pressure, I turned to masturbation. It was a very pleasurable way to satisfy those urges. Of course, I had those days when I felt guilty for masturbating, but when those sexual desires built within me to a crescendo, I would turn to that as a release.
With my friends, I would say things that would drip with sexual innuendo. I would tease and joke about sexuality, but didn't have any first-hand knowledge. I'd read books and learned a number of things that way. I knew more about sexuality than most of my friends, I believe, but mostly because I was willing to read.
For that, I was blessed by being born in a family that likes to read. My brother had quite a collection of books and magazines dedicated to the idea of sexuality. I think he didn't feel as bound by the religion as I did. For that matter, I think I may have been the only member of the family who felt bound by the ideals. My parents and siblings all seemed to be quite comfortable talking about sexuality and even trying things. They were far more open and comfortable discussing sexual topics than I. I don't know when my brother lost his virginity. My sister was a teen and obviously not seriously interested in waiting until marriage. She knew that it would feel good and decided to move forward with her experimentation.
As we ended our teen years in my congregation, we would be invited to participate in a religious retreat. The retreat takes place in several different locations, even sites outside of the United States. It lasts for a year, allowing the young adults to learn even more about their religion and how it fits into their lives and gives them the opportunity to concentrate on sharing their religion with others.
When I was a younger teen, I was undecided about participating in the retreat. It was an option, but not one I was seriously considering. When I saw how excited my friends were about the idea of going, however, that pushed me towards going, myself. I wanted to experience that sort of excitement in my life. Therefore, as the time approached for me to receive my invitation, I decided to fill out the application and submit my paperwork to be considered. I was both excited and nervous about it.
Up to that point, I had very little experience with women. I was terribly shy around cute girls and since I didn't have a lot of money, I didn't date much. I also worried about what it would feel like the next day to see a girl I'd dated at school. To avoid potentially negative feelings, I didn't ask them out. I just hung out with my group of friends and left it at that. I had kissed a few girls, but hadn't done more than light petting. I was truly inexperienced.
When my invitation arrived in the mail, I was a little surprised to see that I was invited to attend one of the international retreats. I was going to have the opportunity to learn Spanish and to spend my time in a Latin American country. That brought on a whole new set of fears. I had a lot of preconceived notions about what it would be like to live in Latin America, my thoughts always concentrating on tiny pueblos with dirt streets, houses made of tin siding with leaky roofs, and very low cleanliness standards. I worried about catching diseases and about crime.
Since my invitation was specifically for attending in Argentina, that is where I concentrated my research. I wanted to learn more about the country before I actually went down there. I learned that though it is located in Latin America, it isn't a third-world country. It's more second-world, if that level exists. Though they didn't allow importation, except in Tierra del Fuego, they seemed to have a higher standard of living than many Latin American countries. They elected their president, though much of the government organization was socialistic in nature. The country is known for its fine beef production and a high quantity of natural resources in the southern half of the country.
The more I learned about the country, the more excited I became about going there. It sounded far better than I'd originally feared and my desire to go grew with each passing day.
Finally, the day arrived when I was to report for the retreat. We reported to a training center where we were taught language skills for a few weeks prior to traveling to our destination. From that moment on, my life was in the hands of the church's retreat organizers. I breathed, ate, slept, and played by their guidelines. I learned as much Spanish as I could, concentrating my efforts wholly on the project. I take pride in my learning skills and so did my best to learn as much of the language as I could. Luckily, one of my instructors had also attended the retreat in Argentina so I could learn the dialect I'd be speaking down there. The rules were many, but easy to follow if you put yourself in the right frame of mind.
One of those rules was limited interaction between members of the opposite sex. Granted, we had to interact since we were in classes together, but we weren't to date and were to limit our touching to handshakes or the like and it would be best if we didn't delve into our personal lives with each other. Since I had made the mental shift to a religious point of view, that rule wasn't too difficult to follow. However, I am not very good at keeping my personal feelings in check or to avoid talking about personal stuff with women. I ended up getting a crush on one of the girls in my class. I had also allowed myself to form a strong bond with another of the girls. Once I shared the idea that I had a crush, things started to change between me and the girls. They started to treat me a little differently, trying to increase the emotional distance between us so that they weren't distracted from the reason for the retreat. It was tough on me, but I threw myself into the language and was able to get through okay.
I'd never been on a longer flight in my life than the one down to Buenos Aires. We stopped in Los Angeles to visit the Argentine Consulate so we could get our passports stamped with the visa. The next day, we flew to Mexico City for a two-hour layover, followed by a flight to Lima, Peru, where we stopped again in the middle of the night. Our next leg of the journey took us to Buenos Aires, where we arrived in mid-morning. A taxi ride over to another, smaller airport, had us boarding another flight that took us to Bahía Blanca, the center for the retreat.
By the time we got off the last plane, we were exhausted. It's not entirely easy to sleep on a plane so nobody got a good night's sleep in a few days. We were excited to be there, but I wanted to rest and eat a good meal. Luckily, that was what was planned for that night. We met with the retreat director and had dinner together as a welcome. We even slept in a normal bed that night.
During our welcome visit, we found out that we were going to spend portions of the retreat in other cities. That would give us the opportunity to truly experience the culture and to immerse ourselves in the language. We would have other retreat members with us to help us with our religious learning and growth, but we weren't going to spend the year all together in one area.
My first area was in Tierra del Fuego ... the bottom of the civilized world. I was excited to be going to such a well-known place, but it meant that I'd have to spend the next day on another plane.
The plane stopped in several cities on the way south, which just extended my trip. By the time I arrived in Tierra del Fuego, I was ready to sleep for days. Unfortunately, that's not how the retreat works. You get to start right into the work immediately. I just had time to drop off my luggage at the apartment before we were off to work. Actually, "work" was lunch with a local family. We were served noodles with a red sauce and some meat. It was quite tasty and helped solidify what I'd learned in my earlier research: much of the country has an Italian influence. It was my first opportunity to try my language skills with native Spanish speakers. They were incredibly polite and spoke clearly so that I could understand what they were saying. I was pleased to find that I could understand most of the conversation without having to resort to the pocket dictionary I'd brought with me. We did spend some time talking about religion with the family as well, which was the purpose of the retreat, after all.
For the next couple of months, I stayed in that apartment, learning more language and concentrating on religion. I read a lot of religious books while I was there, really getting involved in learning as much as I could.
One day, our phone rang and we found out that I was being transferred. Apparently, one of the members of the retreat was found kissing a girl and it was decided that he should be moved to a remote location. Since I was learning quickly, they decided that I was ready to move and we did a location swap. He came down to take my place and I went to his.
To be honest, I was disappointed. I was enjoying my first location so much. The other retreat members were incredible people and the language was coming along nicely. I had plenty of time to do my studies and was very happy there. I don't handle change all that well and this was my first transfer since I'd arrived so it was a big deal to me. I promptly got sick. The weather had turned cold and my low spirits dropped the effectiveness of my immune system and a cold just grabbed hold of me and didn't let go. I spent a couple of weeks in bed, too tired to get out and do much work. I did get more time to read, though.
As they say, idle minds are the devil's workshop. All of that time to think left me wondering if I'd made the right decision to come to the retreat. I wondered what I was missing out on at home. There seemed to be so many things that would be more enjoyable. It was a very dark time for me, but one of the retreat director's assistants talked to me on the phone and convinced me to stick it out a couple more weeks. During that time, I came to realize that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing by staying there and I was able to recommit to finishing out the retreat.
After a couple of months in that location, I received another transfer. This time, I was moved out to a small town with cobble-stone streets. It was an amazing location, filled with wonderful people. The retreat members with me were top-notch, which really helped me concentrate on my studies and to enjoy the location. We met some incredible people there. I learned a bit more about myself while I was there and grew a lot.
One of the people I met was incredibly beautiful. She'd been in beauty pageants and still had that look about her. Of course, when I saw her, she wasn't all made up as if for a pageant. Still, you could definitely see the beauty she had naturally. More than once, while we sat around talking, my thoughts would turn to her body and what it would be like to fully experience it. It was about that time that sexual thoughts started to come back into my mind regularly. I found myself fantasizing about girls back home as well as some of the beautiful women around me. Though I had managed to stop masturbating through my training and my first two retreat locations, I could feel the desires build and returned to an occasional masturbation session while my thoughts began to wander down hedonistic paths. I had to surreptitiously work it into my daily routine so as not to rouse suspicion among my fellow retreat participants. It was easiest to do it while I was in the bathroom, preparing for the day. That was when I was most likely to have some time to myself. Unfortunately, it wasn't much time so I had to train myself to take care of things quickly. Once you're trained to cum quickly, it can be tricky to reverse that trend later, much to my consternation.
When transfers came around again, I found an unexpected invitation arriving. I was invited to work in the retreat office. I had thought that only the best of the best were invited to assist with the office work and I felt like I was far from that. I was so caught up in my own work and growth and wasn't as involved in working on being the best. I began to wonder if maybe I was better than I thought I was. As they say, pride goeth before the fall.
Arriving in the office, I found it a most interesting contrast to being out in the cities. We weren't as focused on the religious growth in the office as we were while we were out and about. That was the biggest change for me. I'm really good at office work, though, and threw myself into it. I am good at organization and numbers, which landed me in the position of financial secretary. The work was easy for me, but fulfilling enough to make me feel good about myself and what I could do to help others. It also left me free time to contemplate and to read, working some on my personal growth.
One of the benefits of working in the office is that I had the opportunity to bid farewell to all of the retreat members finishing up their time as well as welcome all the new retreat members. It was my task to introduce them to the financial workings of the retreat, helping them know how they were to receive funds during their time there and letting them get to know me so they were comfortable coming to me with any financial issues. It's important that those attending the retreat have few worldly worries so they can concentrate on their religious growth. I was there to make sure that happened.
Each time new attendees' paperwork would arrive, we had the chance to look through the stack and see what we were getting. We weren't screening them, but just familiarizing ourselves with their names and faces. One such group of attendees included a young woman from Argentina. She was absolutely beautiful and I couldn't help but wonder why she was focusing so much on being religious when she could be out thoroughly enjoying life. I am sure she had a number of guys interested in her. There was no doubt in my mind of that.
When Susan arrived, I found her picture didn't quite do her justice. She was stunning and I immediately started to get feelings for her. I suppose it was the lust within me, growing beyond my ability to control, but I definitely wished I could be with her. I went through my usual spiel, explaining what was happening in the area and how it all worked. She had an easy smile that spread to her eyes, making them sparkle, which only served to send jolts of desire through my body. I managed to say what I needed to say, but my thoughts weren't concentrating on the words.
She had brown hair and almost golden eyes. Her skin was tanned from her Latin heritage. Her breasts were about the size of pears, which was just the way I liked them. She was petite like I like, too.
When she left, I took some time to myself in the bathroom to relieve the pressure that was building in my balls. Thinking about her terrific body and that sparkling smile in her eyes was all it took for me to reach orgasm quickly. It was an incredible release and didn't really dissipate all of the feelings for her. I kept thinking about her for days.
Susan was stationed in the same town as the office, so I had the opportunity to see her on an occasional basis. Each time, my mind shot to thoughts of being intimate with her. To my consternation, she started to have feelings for one of my office coworkers. Jealousy jumped all over me, making me start to resent that she was there. I still found her attractive and still fantasized about her, but was hurt that she'd like someone else. Those feelings festered within me for a while, until I was able to recognize once again that I was at the retreat and that I should have been concentrating more on my relationship with God and my fellow man than with sexuality. Eventually, I was able to make the jealousy abate and could just enjoy being there.
The rest of the retreat was as it should have been. I finished my time in the office and then went back out into another city. I had grown enough by that point to fully understand my religion and my feelings about how it fit into my life. I had become one of the trainers at that point and was out there to help the newer retreat members learn as I had. It was an amazing experience, opening my heart to my fellow man. I had learned about myself enough and was starting to alter my focus, turning to those around me. I didn't see Susan again for the rest of the retreat. She and I weren't stationed in the same cities and so our paths didn't cross and she left my mind.
When I got home, the culture shock I felt was far greater than when I'd arrived in Argentina. I think it was because we expect things to be different when we go to a foreign country so we're not surprised when they are. When we get home, however, we expect it all to feel normal, forgetting that our sense of normal has changed while we're gone. One of the funniest things to occur for me was when I naturally expected stores to close at around noon until 3 p.m. because of the siesta. I had to account for that for the whole time I was in Argentina so it had become normal for me. It was almost a shock to come home and see stores staying open throughout the day.
I enrolled in college and started attending classes regularly. Though I was majoring in engineering, I took enough classes outside of my major to help me become more rounded. One of the classes I took was a social dance class. I absolutely love music and had found that dancing was one of the most fun things I could do. An added bonus was that I could spend so much time in very close proximity to a number of attractive, young women. I found myself getting little crushes on many of the girls in my classes. It was so easy for me to get feelings for them as they moved so sensually with me on the dance floor. They all seemed to have sparkling personalities that seemed like just what I wanted in a mate.
Once again, I found myself fantasizing about the young women around me. I could easily picture them dancing in erotic ways and that fed a number of my masturbation sessions. I can still envision some of them as they moved on the floor and how attractive they were to me then.
I started dating one of those young women. There was something about her that was an attraction to me, in spite of the aspects of her personality that repelled me. Our dating period was like a small roller-coaster ride. There were times of great joy and times of incredible frustration. I took things really slowly with her, feeling that was the right way to do it. It took a month before I held her hand and a few more weeks before our first kiss. It felt romantic to take it slow. As time moved on, we got more and more serious about our relationship. I kept taking it further and further, wondering what it would be like to have sex with her. I did rather enjoy making out, but that would often lead to my having to masturbate later to release the pressure building up inside of me. Over time, we tried more things, always keeping it shy of intercourse. As a matter of fact, we didn't even try oral sex. We did try petting and I found it incredibly exciting to do it. She would get so wet, which would turn me on a lot. I loved how excited she would get and yearned for the time when it would be right to slide my cock into her.
We had some tough times and I began to seriously wonder if I was making the right choice to be with her. I felt bad, though, that I had done so many intimate things with her before we were married and felt like I needed to marry her because she was no longer pure and wouldn't be able to get a man that wanted a pure woman. Since I was the one to make her impure, I needed to be the one to see it through. Since then, I've learned that is not the right way to go about selecting a wife. However, that was what I was thinking then.
We got married on a sunny morning. The ceremony was small, with only about 50 people attending. As with most couples on their wedding day, we were caught up in the activities and not really concerned about anything else. After we opened our presents that afternoon, my dad told us that he'd rented a motel room for us there so we could stay alone for that night before heading back up to school. We went over to the motel and checked in, then went to the room. That was when I lost my virginity. Looking back on it, I realize that we did it because it's what people do. We didn't build up to it enough, weren't really hot for each other, weren't super excited. We were tired and did what everyone does ... we had sex on our wedding day. It was something of a disappointment. There wasn't anything extra special about it. I didn't feel the heavens opened and angels singing. I didn't even feel extra special about the woman I was with.
We were together for the next six years. Sometimes, we had a lot of fun. The one day that we had sex seven times is still fairly fresh in my mind. I didn't have an orgasm until the seventh time, but she had one or two each time. I loved it that I could make her cum, that I was a good enough lover to get the job done.
Unfortunately, she made some changes in her personality and lifestyle that were incompatible with our marriage and the religion we had shared. We ended up getting a divorce soon after we left the town we'd lived in together for 5 years.
Luckily, I had friends. I tend to befriend women more than men and my new city was no different. Las Vegas has many delights for anyone willing to get out and enjoy them. I was still religious at heart, but had started to lose the desire to participate in the outward demonstrations of the faith. I began to look around at my coworkers and their friends, wondering if any of them might be available to play. I was starting to wish that I'd experimented more in my teen years and that I had more sexual experience.
I met one girl that was a lot of fun. She was bright, which is always appealing to me, and pretty. There are still a number of songs and ideas that always bring her to mind. She started to get feelings for me, responding to the attention I'd been giving her. She would hang out at my place regularly and we'd share much of ourselves with one another. The biggest obstacle to getting physically intimate with her was that she had a boyfriend. I'd heard it said that just because there's a goalie, doesn't mean you can't score, but I still felt funny encroaching on another man's territory.
She didn't seem to have that same feeling, though. She was giving me plenty of signs that she was interested in me.
I can't remember when she broke up with her boyfriend. I do remember our first kiss, though. We had just had lunch together and when we got into the car and were buckling up our seatbelts, I leaned over and kissed her. I wasn't too worried about all the little things (was it too strong, not strong enough, too wet, etc.), I just wanted to kiss her and I did. It felt really good to finally have my lips on hers.
After that, we started to do more and more together. She did a strip tease for me, dancing to a Shaggy song with a good beat. I was definitely impressed with the way she moved. I loved it that her pubic hair was nicely trimmed and knew that I would love to enjoy what she had there. We played a little truth or dare together, enjoying one another's bodies. I can remember sliding my hand down her pants while we were snuggling watching a movie. She was so very wet and felt so good as my fingers danced over her lips then slid inside. The hooded way her eyes looked as she reached forward to kiss me is an image that is forever burned into my mind.
Another time, I slid a mandarin orange slice between her pussy lips and sucked it from her. That's one of my favorite tricks. I understand it feels really good to feel the cold fruit inside then have it sucked out. With another woman, I tried pieces of honeydew melon. It had been in the fridge so it was plenty cold. That was really exciting to use that and led to us taking a shower together.
Unfortunately, she found another guy and we never did have sex together. We played around a few times, but never had intercourse.
With another woman, I explored the idea of light bondage. I tied her to the bed with scarves, which she really enjoyed. I bought some velcro cuffs and used those another time. They weren't as pleasurable for her, but it was nice to have her tied down so that I could have my way with her. I found that I much preferred tying to being tied. One time, when I had her tied to the bed, I pulled out one of my sheath knives and began to run the cold steel of the blade over her body. At first, she tensed up, seemingly worried about what I was going to do to her. Soon, though, she relaxed into it and seemed to like the feeling of such cold, hard steel touching her hot skin. Occasionally, I would run the point along her skin so she would feel a little closer to the edge of being hurt, increasing the excitement and tension. That was an enjoyable experience for both of us.
It was during my time with the bondage girl that I learned just how much I like to perform oral sex on a woman. There's a feeling of power and control to it. I like the taste and feel of a wet pussy with my tongue sliding around the lips and up to tease the clit. I love the way a woman moans and writhes on the bed beneath my tongue. My favorite is just after a shower, when she's still a little wet and standing in a towel, to come up and tease her, turning her on, then having her lie back while I eat to my heart's content. If she runs her fingers through my hair, occasionally pulling me tighter against her, that's just icing on the cake. It seems like a wonderful way to ensure that she has at least one orgasm during the experience of being with me.
You see, I still had that issue where I came quickly. Perhaps it was the training I'd given myself during masturbation, but it seemed like I couldn't last nearly as long as I'd hear other guys lasting. I found that a good tongue can sometimes make up for the lack of staying power.
There was another woman who was married, but was definitely interested in me. She even started exploring my religion so that she could prove to me that she was the woman for me. Her marriage was on the rocks with them occasionally separating to explore other avenues. There was one time, during one of their periods of separation, that she asked me over to help her fix a broken piece of furniture in her house. After fixing it up so that it was working again, we sat around talking about the way life was going. We ended up kissing, our tongues dancing out to explore each other's mouth. It was a very exciting experience for me and I started to get quite hard. She noticed and did something I didn't expect. She reached down and undid my pants, freeing my erection into the open. I was incredibly surprised, then, to feel her lower her head and suck me in to the hilt. Her mouth was magical. It enveloped my penis with warmth and wetness, seeming to convulse around my cock with each tiny movement she did. There was no way I was going to last long with that sort of treatment. With previous blowjobs I'd received, the woman wasn't at all excited about semen and would hate to have it in her mouth, so I warned this woman that I was going to cum. She let go long enough to say, "go ahead," then dove back down on my cock. I was shocked, but also pleased. When my orgasm hit, it was strong and I shot my seed deep into her mouth. She continued to suck on me, drawing each and every drop out of me. It felt incredible! She stopped sucking before I was ready, but she was amazing with her mouth.
She and I would get together occasionally. She really liked the way I would suck on her nipples. I like to nip and bite a little and she liked it rough, so we were a good match. She wanted me to, one day, get really rough with her and spank her hard. We never got around to that before she moved away. She did give me a few more blowjobs, always sucking down my semen with gusto and one time I gave her a series of orgasms with my fingers that carried her along a wave of pleasure for hours afterwards.
Once again, we didn't have intercourse. I'm still not sure what it was that kept me from just jumping at the chances I'd been given.
One day, about ten years after my divorce, I received an e-mail and was quite surprised to see the author's name. It was Susan from the retreat. She had found me through another guy who was down there with us and wanted to see if it was really me. We started to chat on a regular basis.
She had married an American and was living in the US now. I have no idea how it started, but we ended up talking about sex. I'm sure it was something I said, though. I ended up sharing how much I enjoy sexual things and she responded that she, too, was quite interested in sex and all it had to offer. I shared my story website with her and she enjoyed what I'd written. She told me that it really turned her on to read my stories, which made me very happy. That was, after all, the reason I wrote the stories. I wanted to make women wet and full of desire.
After a few weeks of chatting online, she called me. She was having some questions about her marriage and wanted to get my feelings on the matter. I was so happy to hear her voice again after so many years. We started talking in Spanish, but I was having a hard time hearing what she was saying so it was tough for me to understand it all. Plus, once we got talking about the reason for the call, it was easier to talk in English. I gave her the best advice I could give, hoping that she would be happy. Later, she told me that she'd followed my advice and that things were much better once she was able to clear the air with her husband.
I found I was still quite attracted to her, though this time it was limited to what we said in our chats and e-mails and the pictures I'd seen of her. She was still a very beautiful woman and I began to dream about her. I dreamed we were together and that we held each other tightly, flirting with one another and doing our best to make sure we could stay together. I started to imagine what it would be like to spread her legs and slide down so that I could lick her pussy from top to bottom and back again. I started to wonder what it would be like to have her cumming with my mouth sucking hard on her clit and my finger sliding around inside of her, massaging her g-spot. My masturbation sessions began again in earnest, releasing all the tension that was building inside of me because of my fantasies of her.
She seemed excited by thoughts of being with me, too. The fact that I was a sexual being brought her mind around to what it might be like to be with me. When I sent her nude pictures of me, she was very pleased with what she found and her fantasies started to pick up, too. She masturbated to images of me, her thoughts straying to what it would be like to have me between her legs, pleasuring her. She came many times to thoughts of me. When she told me that, my heart beat quickly and my breath caught. It turned me on so much that I had to go stroke myself right away.
As luck would have it, my job sent me to her city occasionally. I started watching for opportunities to make the trip back there and finally one came up. They like to perform training for the various levels in our company and there was a training session that summer. With nervous excitement, I prepared for my trip back east. The training was no big deal, but meeting Susan again after all these years was what had me on edge. I imagined a hundred and one different scenarios that might occur when I got there. Some of them, of course, led to me stroking myself to amazing orgasms. Others just made me nervous, my heart beating fast as my body tried to respond appropriately to the imagined stimuli.
Finally the day of my trip arrived. I had a friend take me to the airport. She was curious why I seemed to nervous and I played it off as if it was just another trip, but that I wasn't sure about the potential changes in my work environment due to the training.
Taking off in a plane has always been sort of magical for me. When the plane stops at the end of the runway, there's a build-up of excitement and you can hear the engines start to spin very quickly, building up incredible force on the plane, before the brakes are released and we start to roll down the runway. The passengers press back into their seats as the plane picks up speed, rumbling down the concrete path. Finally, the nose of the plane lifts off the ground and the air reacts as expected over the wings, pushing the plane upward a bit. The sound level immediately drops a little and then drops even further as the back wheels leave the security of Earth. The plane seems to leap skyward, pushed onward by the power in the engines. The passengers are no longer just pushed back in their seats, but down as well. Those who can, look out the window and watch the Earth fall away beneath them. It's an incredible feeling.
Before long, however, the plane settled into its normal cruising mode and we were on our way east. I settled back for the three-hour flight, trying to calm my heart and ease my tension over seeing Susan. The flight was far from extraordinary and we landed as expected and on time. Once the seatbelt sign had been turned off, we all unbuckled and stood, anxious to get our luggage and get to our final destinations. I trudged along with everyone else, glad to be back on solid ground and ready for what lay ahead.
Coming out of the airport, I walked over to wait for the shuttle to take me to pick up my rental car. I had done this a few times in this airport and was comfortable with the procedure. It was far more humid here than I was used to, but the temperature was nice so it wasn't uncomfortable standing there waiting. The shuttle driver was one of the pleasant ones so the ride was easy. As usual, picking up my rental car was simple and handled easily.
As I pulled out onto the highway in my sedan, my heart started to race again. Thoughts of Susan flashed through my mind and I knew it wasn't long before we would see each other again.
The airport is located in the far northeast corner of the city and my company's office and thus my hotel are in the south-central portion. Driving from one to the other seems to take forever, but I managed to get to the hotel without incident. I checked in then went up to my room and set my things down. I removed my shoes and lay down on the bed to rest for a few minutes.
About fifteen minutes later, I woke up refreshed from my unexpected nap. I must have been more tired than I expected. I had promised Susan I would call when I got in and so I found my cell phone and dialed her number.
"Hello? Are you here?" she asked when she answered. I could hear a little nervous excitement in her voice, too, mirroring what I was feeling.
"Yea. I'm in my hotel room now."
"Where are you staying?"
"I'm at the Marriott Suites, down off the 435," I responded.
It turned out she wasn't all that close to me, but close enough that she knew that part of town.
"Are you hungry?" she asked. "Would you like to go out and get some dinner?"
"That sounds terrific! What do you feel like?"
"In this town, you need to have barbecue!" she laughed. "I'll come pick you up and take you to the best place I know. I'll be there in about 20 minutes."
"Sounds terrific. I can't wait to see you again."
We hung up and I changed into something a little more classy than my traveling clothes. I put on a dash of cologne, hoping it was a scent she'd like. I tried watching a little TV, hoping to pass the time more quickly, but it just seemed to drag on forever. Finally, my phone buzzed and I saw it was her. I answered with a smile.
"Hey, you. Are you downstairs?"
"Yeah, I'm just pulling into the parking lot."
"I'll be down in a minute."
I grabbed a light coat, not knowing how far the temperature would drop once the sun went down, and headed to the elevator. I felt like I was walking on air, but also had a lot of nervous energy in me. As I reached the lobby and turned to the door, I saw her come walking through it. She was stunning. She had a light sun dress on that offset the color of her skin beautifully. Her hair was flowing in the breeze caused by the opening door and her eyes fairly sparkled, sending rays of excitement through me.
I grinned and stepped close to her, my arms extended for a warm hug. She sank into my arms with a smile that must have mirrored mine and we held each other tightly.
"It's so good to see you again after all these years," I said.
"You, too! It's been far too long since we were last together."
"It's helped a lot," I offered, "that we were able to chat online. That's brought us back together really well and now we finally get to hug and actually touch one another."
Did I detect a little extra glint in her eye as I said the word, touch?
We walked out to her car with our arms around one another. It felt so good to have her on my hip. It was very comfortable and my nervous feelings of before seemed to evaporate. The chemistry between us was one of natural acceptance and joy in each other's presence. No longer were we unsure about what would happen. We were living it.