I felt like a stalker as I sat in the car, parked across the street from her house, waiting for her visitor to leave. I'd arrived in town late in the morning and took the extra time to scope out my surroundings. It'd taken many hours to get to where I was, and it was rather unlike me to undertake such a journey on the spur of the moment. However, there'd been a sense of determination the closer I got that what I was doing was the right thing, and that she'd appreciate it in the end. I only hoped I wasn't mistaken.
She had initially contacted me. I received a private message from her, saying how she really enjoyed my writing. I wrote back to her with thanks and a little personal note, as I do every piece of feedback I get, and instead of that being that, I got a response in return. This prompted another answer from me, and another from her. Before long, we were good friends. We had no idea what the other looked like, but we knew we liked who we were. I wasn't gilding the lily when it came to personal facts, and I could tell she was being truthful with me, too. It was that openness that endeared ourselves to one another, and suddenly, we'd fallen in love. It was a strange kind of love, because we both knew there was a long physical distance between us, and that it'd be unlikely that distance would be traversed, although we fantasized about it more than once. Nevertheless, we meant more to one another than we ever dreamed possible.
Finally, we actually did manage to get a glimpse of what we each looked like, and we liked that as much as we liked each other's minds. We felt we did it the way all relationships should actually be done: learn who the other person is first, then worry about appearance.
As it was, I'd checked in at her work (Yes, I knew her workplace: further stalker shit, eh?) and found out that she had the day off. Therefore, I took the car farthest up in the driveway to be hers, and the one behind it, a visitor, wishing her well on her day.
I'd made a few plans along the way, asking some questions when I got into the area, and making the arrangements when I learned which suited my plan.
And now I sat and waited. I'd changed into a coat and tie at a gas station, and bought a single red rose, feeling that a bouquet would be too garish. I didn't know from wine, so I didn't bother attempting to get anything in that vein.
As I watched the house, it dawned on me that I hadn't bothered to get myself a place to stay the night. I had to get back on the road before noon the next day, but I felt like a dumbass when I realized I'd have to attempt to get a room after whatever happened, happened.
Finally, I saw a tall, young, good-looking guy emerge from the front door of the small house. From the vague descriptions I'd received in some of our correspondences, I assumed this was her son.
Suddenly, my heart felt like it was attached to a jackhammer. I felt sweat bead on my forehead and my mouth get dry as I saw the young man get into his car and drive away. Muscling my way through the onslaught of nerves, I grabbed my flower and got out of the car.
'Fuck, ' I thought. 'What if she's freaked out by this? What if I've just made an incredible journey only to find out she's going to be weirded out by the fact I'm here? Have I just screwed up whatever we might have with this unannounced appearance on her doorstep?'
Thousands of second guesses flowed through my mind in a split second as I stood there, trying to find the guts to walk the distance to the house and discover just what her reaction would be. After maybe a minute — which seemed like hours — I threw caution to the wind, quelled the indecision that raged through me and started walking.
In only a handful of seconds, I stood before her door, my heart pounding even harder. I hoped I'd be able to find my voice as I reached up a knuckle and knocked, my brain so befuddled that I missed the fact there was a doorbell.
It seemed an interminable wait once I lowered my hand, but I heard movement inside, and I saw the knob turn, and then the door began to open.
Oh my god. There she was. I'd only seen a face shot before. This was her in full, in the flesh. She wore comfortable clothes, jeans and a shirt. Her feet were bare, her dark hair tied back out of the way. She'd just been taking it easy, as she deserved. She looked every bit as good as I'd imagined. I wanted to sweep her up and kiss her madly, but I was sure that would freak her out. At the moment, by the blank expression her face held, I could tell she had no inkling who I was.
Finally, I got over my initial astonishment that I was actually in her presence and held the rose out in both hands.
"Happy Birthday, Laurie." I think I managed a smile as I said it.
She looked like she'd been slapped. Who the hell was this stranger, and how the hell did he know it was her birthday? I could see it etched clearly on her face. Then I saw the wheels click into place, and wonder and incredulity replaced it all.
"No way! Allan?" Her voice was deep and musical. It was just perfect. I'd been half afraid she'd have a voice that'd set my teeth on edge - not that it'd have mattered - but the rich alto fell pleasantly on my ears.
Holding the rose in one hand, I spread my hands in a placating gesture. "Mea culpa."
Elation bubbled out of Laurie. She practically leaped at me, her arms snapping around my neck and hugging me tight. "I can't believe you're here! This is the best birthday present anybody could have got me!"
"It's a pretty good present for me, too," I admitted. "It isn't every day somebody who means as much to me as you do turns fifty."
She lifted her head and looked me in the eyes, her look suddenly serious, though there was a playful glint in her eye. "Oh sure, ruin it by reminding me."
I gazed back into those pretty blue eyes of hers and replied, "Does it look like it matters in the least to me? Twenty, fifty, I don't care. The number could be a hundred and I'd still feel the same about you."
"A hundred? Boy, you sure know how to rack up the points there, bud," she said. Still, that glint told me she was so tickled by my being there that I could say just about anything and it wouldn't matter.
"Y'know, I really want to kiss you, but I don't know what the neighbors would think," Laurie continued. "Not that I really care what the neighbors think, but still, it'd probably be good to come inside."
It was obvious she was reluctant to let me go. She hated the idea of removing herself from me as much as I did. Still, if a kiss was going to rile the neighbors, my carrying her, clinging to me like a koala bear, would probably elicit a similar reaction. Then again, if there were any nosy neighbors watching what was going on, they probably already had plenty of gossip to keep them going.
Finally, Laurie let me go long enough to get us both in the house. When she turned, I got a terrific view of her glorious backside and I watched it eagerly all the way in. With the door closed, we stood for a tense moment, staring at each other, until like two opposite magnetic poles, we slammed together in a passionate kiss.
My body responded immediately. Laurie was everything my fantasies had made her out to be, and that realization was incredible. I desperately wanted to take this further right away, but I had plans, and while I don't often make plans, when I do, I like to follow them if at all possible. Besides, some semblance of control was probably a good thing. At least that's what I kept telling myself. Then again, we were both adults, well beyond the age of consent, so why did it really matter what we did?
Eventually, we both came up for air. I'm sure our faces were mirror images of incredulity and delight. I could hardly get enough of admiring this person I'd fantasized over for so long, having to fill in so many gaps myself. For several seconds, we just looked at one another, our minds each trying to come up with something witty or profound, but still so dumbfounded at our present situation, that they simply remained blank.
Then, that inexorable pull drew us back together. This kiss was a little less frenzied, but no less passionate. It was impossible to tell to tell how long we stood there like that, locked in that embrace, but neither felt an urgent need to let go.
After a while, though, let go we did. We stood there, panting for a minute or so before either of us found a voice.
"Uh ... hi," Laurie finally got out.
"Hi," I replied, but didn't continue.
There was a pause. Then suddenly, we both burst out laughing at the absurdity of that little exchange, given what had already transpired. When the laughter started to die down, I reached out and pulled her in close to me again, this time a bit more gently. Laurie snuggled up against my body and stayed there for a moment before saying, "I'm not dreaming, am I?"
I responded, "If you are, so am I, because I'm dreaming that I just got done kissing you for like, the last five minutes, and now I have you in my arms, warm and close."
"In that case, I hope I'm in a coma, 'cause I don't want it to stop."
I stepped back a little bit, holding Laurie out so I could see her face. "You better not be in a coma. I've got plans for you tonight."
Laurie grinned. "What kind of plans?"
"Well, a nice dinner, for sure. After that, it's kind of up in the air. I said I planned. I didn't say I planned real well."
Laurie chuckled, then looked me up and down. "Judging by what you have on, I'm sort of underdressed for what you've got planned, huh?"
.... There is more of this story ...