Copyright© 2017 by Unca D
Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 4 - After breaking up with his girlfriend Margeaux, Carter finds himself pursued by her pixie-like roommate Valerie. She maneuvers him into inviting her on what he regards as a pity date. To his surprise they click and rapidly go from classmates to friends to lovers. Then, Margeaux drops a bombshell on him with information about Valerie he would have rather not heard.
Carter’s cell ringing roused him. He picked it up and answered the call. “Hello?”
“Carter -- it’s Margeaux. You have to come over here right away. It’s Valerie.”
“Valerie?” He sat up in bed and swung his feet to the floor. “What’s wrong?”
“She’s hysterical. I’m in her room with my arm around her. She’s shaking like a leaf, crying and asking for you.”
“I’ll be there as soon as I can,” he said. “I’ll text you when I’m in the lobby.”
“Thanks, Carter. Hurry.”
He cancelled the call and began dressing.
His roommate stirred. “Carter -- what the fuck?”
“Margeaux called. Valerie needs me.”
“I dunno. I’ll find out when I get there.”
“What time is it?”
“Ten past one.”
“Jesus frickin’ Christ,” Leon exclaimed, “this is what you get for dating a crazy girl.”
Carter locked his door behind him and sprinted across the upper campus to Whalen. He stepped into the lobby and sent a text to Margeaux’s number. Im here
Shortly he saw a reply. Thank God on my way
He paced in the lobby until he saw Margeaux in a robe over a floor-length gown headed his way. “Carter,” she said, “thanks for coming. Does this have to do with the pills I found?”
“I don’t know yet.”
“Did she tell you what the pills are for?” Margeaux asked.
“Yes, and I swore an oath of confidentiality. If you want to know, I suggest you make friends with her. She might take you into her confidence. I can’t say anything.”
“You’re a good guy, Carter. I know that from when we dated. I give you credit -- you put up with my bullshit. This is in a different league.”
“Then, let’s go up and see what it is,” he said.
Carter followed Margeaux into their unit and into Valerie’s bedroom where he spotted her in a fetal position on her bed, whimpering. She wore a mid-thigh length sleep tee. “Valerie,” he said.
“Carter!” she wailed. “You came!”
Carter turned to Margeaux. “I’ll take it from here.”
“Right.” Margeaux closed the door behind her.
He sat on her bed and held her on his lap. She clutched him and sobbed. “You’re still trembling,” he said. “Try to calm down and tell me what happened.”
“The voices,” she said between sobs, “they’re back.”
“Are you hearing voices now?”
“No,” she said, sniffling. “Not now.”
He caressed her face and looked into her eyes, bloodshot from crying. “I promised to get you help if you needed it. If you’re not hearing voices now, then whatever you experienced is over. I’m here and I won’t let you hurt yourself or anybody else. Okay?”
She nodded. “Okay,”
“That’s it. Calm down.” He reached for the box of facial tissues and used one to daub her face. “Feeling better?”
She nodded again. “Better. Carter -- I am so scared.”
“Like I said. Whatever it was, it’s over. You’ll be fine and you can call your doctor in the morning. Okay?”
“Can you tell me about it?”
She grabbed a tissue and blew her nose. “I told you that I hear the voices when I’m drifting to sleep but that what they’re saying isn’t anything I can understand. And I told you I don’t remember details when I wake up.”
“I remember,” he said as he caressed her back.
“Tonight, I understood what they were saying and I remember the details. This is how it started the first time -- I heard voices as I fell asleep. Then, slowly, they grew more pernicious and eventually I heard them all the time. I’m so scared that it’s starting over again.”
“Do you remember anything else?”
She rolled her eyes in thought. “It’s ... it’s slipping away from me. I remember vaguely being in a room ... There was a man I didn’t recognize ... and a talking statue.”
“Did you have visual hallucinations before when you were hearing voices?” he asked.
Valerie shook her head. “No. I only heard things.”
“I’m not a psychiatrist, but what you’re describing sounds to me more like a bad dream.”
“A dream? I never remember dreams.”
“Maybe with the right conditions and the right part of your sleep cycle...”
“Maybe it was just a dream.”
“Are you okay, now?”
“I’m better. Carter -- can you stay?”
“I can stay. Is it okay if I tell Margeaux that you’re okay? I’ll be right back.”
Carter stepped out of Valerie’s bedroom and saw Margeaux pacing in the common lounge. “Well?” she asked.
Carter nodded toward the door to her bedroom. Margeaux led him inside and closed the door. Her room was a mirror image of Valerie’s. “She’s okay,” he said. “I think she had a bad dream.”
“It must’ve been one helluva bad one,” Margeaux replied. “She had me scared.”
“It was a real night terror, I think exacerbated by her anxiety over her studies and over her medical condition. Midterms are coming up after all.”
“What exactly is her medical condition?”
Carter held up his hands. “You need to ask her. My lips are sealed. I’m going to spend the night with her and we’ll see how she feels in the morning. I have an eight o’clock lab I need to get to.”
“Understood. Thanks for coming over.”
“Thanks for being a good roommate,” he said and hugged her.
Carter returned to Valerie’s room. He began undressing to his boxers. “What did you tell her?” Valerie asked.
“I told her you’re okay and it was probably a night terror coupled to a bad dream.”
“God, I hope she doesn’t think I’m loopy for being so upset over a stupid dream.”
“Valerie -- Margeaux is a sweet, charitable girl. She’d make a good friend for you. She’s smart and she has good empathy.”
“Like you, do” Valerie interjected.
“And, like you. Open up to her -- I think you’ll be rewarded.”
“You still love her, don’t you,” Valerie replied.
“I’m fond of her. I don’t love her and I’ve never loved anyone with the depth I love you.”
Carter joined her in bed. She snuggled against him and he caressed her back through her nightshirt. “Feels good,” she said. “I don’t know if I can get back to sleep.”
“Try. I’ll rub your back if it helps.”
She sat up and lifted her sleepshirt over her head and flung it on the floor. Then, she cuddled against him again, clutching him tight. “I like feeling my skin against yours.”
“I like that, too,” he said and stroked her back. “I like feeling your legs against mine.”
“If it wasn’t so late...”
“Now, now,” he said. “Go to sleep. I’ll be here if the voices return.”
“Okay ... Backrub feels good ... mmm...”
“I have my phone alarm set for seven. I have an eight o’clock lab to get to.”
“I have to be up early, too.”
“Then, let’s try to sleep.”
Fighting his own drowsiness Carter stroked her back until he felt her muscles relax and her breathing become slow and regular. Muscles in her legs twitched against his. He drew in a breath and released it as a sigh of relief. Then, he closed his eyes and let slumber spread over him.
The sound of his phone jolted him awake. Carter silenced the alarm and climbed out of Valerie’s bed. She sat up and stretched. “Good morning,” he said. “How are you feeling?”
“Surprisingly good, considering. Oh, Carter -- I always sleep better in your arms.”
“Did you hear any more voices?”
“Only the usual whispers and mumbles when I drifted off. I think you’re right. It was only a dream. How do I look? Is my face puffy from last night?”
“A little, but it’ll probably dissipate during the day. Do you work tonight?”
“I have a pretty full schedule today,” he said. “What about tomorrow?”
“I’m off tomorrow ... and it’s Friday.”
“We can have dinner together. Halloween is coming up so maybe we take a walk into town and look at the decorations.”
“I’d like that.”
“You’ll call your doctor today?”
“When I get a chance. I’ll probably get her answering service and have to wait for a call back.”
Valerie stepped out of bed. They embraced and kissed. “I love you,” he said.
“Oh, I know you do. I love you, too. Thanks for coming.”
“Any time,” he replied.
Carter pulled his clothes on and headed across campus to his room to shower. Leon spotted him. “So I’m assuming that wasn’t a one A.M. booty call.”
“When your girlfriend says she needs you, you go to her. It’s what you do.”
Carter sat in a classroom when he felt his phone vibrate. He slipped it out of his pocket and saw a text from Valerie. Call me when you can
He thumbed a reply. K
The bell rang and he stepped into the corridor. Finding an empty classroom he sat at a desk and took out his phone to send a text. Now a good time?
The reply came back. yes
Carter initiated a call to Valerie’s number. She answered. “Hi, Carter. I talked to my doctor.”
“What did she say?”
“I described what I experienced and I told her you thought it was only a bad dream. She thinks most likely you’re right. She said I’d have to start having persistent symptoms before she’d recommend changing my medication. She’s also happy I have a friend to look out for me.”
“Like I said -- any time.”
“She wanted to put my mind at ease and she said we can discuss this in detail at my next appointment.”
“How often do you see her?”
“Once a month. While I’m here, we have Skype appointments. When I’m at home, I see her in person. My prescription can’t be refilled so she needs to fax a new one to the pharmacy here. I did convince her to write a backstop prescription in case she was out of town when I needed a refill. That way I have a reserve supply.”
“I’m glad you’re getting therapy, Valerie.”
“Doctor Corliss is like a second mom to me. I do feel foolish for making such a scene over a dream. I can’t believe the panic I felt.”
“You felt what you felt,” he replied. “I believe your feelings are your own and no one has any business criticizing them. You’re not foolish -- you’re someone who has stared into the abyss before being pulled to safety. You have no desire to get even close to the brink again.”
“You’re so understanding, Carter. I still feel foolish, though.”
“I don’t think anybody’s going to hold it against you. I won’t and I doubt Margeaux will either. I’ll bet Jess and Maria didn’t even know about it. Your room shares a wall with Margeaux’s, but on the other side is the bathroom.”
“I know -- the walls are like cardboard in that dorm.”
“I have one more class to get to and then some project work. Are we still on for tomorrow?”
“Of course. Let’s meet in the quad cafeteria at five.”
“It’s a date. See you then.” He ended the call and sprinted to his next class.
Carter headed up a flight of stairs to the quad cafeteria. He saw Valerie standing by the entrance wearing a sweater, her denim skirt and navy knee socks. She spotted him and ran to him. They embraced and she lifted up on her toes to kiss his lips. “You seem in good spirits,” he remarked.
“Oh, I am. Doctor Sorensen posted grades for our projects. I got an A.”
“Good for you.”
“There were three As. Does your student number end in 875?”
“You got an A, too!”
Carter pumped his fist. “Yes! Let me guess -- the third A goes to Ivan.”
Carter escorted her through the line and to the checkout station where their IDs were scanned. They found a table in the corner and sat facing each other. Valerie scooped a forkful of the stew they served as the main entree. “I had a nice talk with Margeaux today,” she said. “We had lunch together. She seemed awkward and nervous at first so I started with something we had in common.”
“What’s that?” he asked.
“You. I thanked her for calling and having you come. She said she knew you’d come -- that you always came for her when the two of you were dating. Then, she told me why you two broke up.”
“Then, she told me the why behind the why. I assume you know, too.”
“God, Carter -- I feel so sorry for her enduring what she did. If that had happened to me, I doubt I’d ever trust any man ... at least, not intimately. It’s horrible.”
“I know,” he replied. “The one thing that would make be homicidal is something like that happening to someone I cared for. She was fourteen -- and the guys involved never were prosecuted.”
“It’s a scandal, Carter. I can’t believe ... well, actually I can. Well ... After she shared that, I felt obligated to tell her my story. You’re right -- she is empathetic and she told me I shouldn’t feel bad about what happened. We ended up understanding each other better, and I think she could be a good friend.”
“I told you she could be.”
“She does think highly of you, Carter. Now, I do believe that she came to you out of concern. Frankly, I’m glad she did. I truly had intended to tell you about my condition on my own, but I kept procrastinating. Maybe I was afraid it would scare you away. When you came to me the other night I knew I was in good hands because you knew about my condition. It was a real comfort. Now I have two friends who know. Doctor Corliss says support from family and friends is important in treating what I have.”
“So, are you feeling good about yourself?” he asked.
She gave him her wide, pixie-face smile. “I’m feeling really good about myself.”
“Are you done with dinner?”
“As soon as I finish my soda.”
“We should look at the various frat houses,” he said. “It’s the annual Inter-Fraternity Council Halloween contest. We can vote at the union on which Greek’s decorations are the best.”
Carter stood with Valerie at a table in the student union. A line of large jars were on the table, each labeled with one of the fraternity’s letters. “So, you vote by putting money in the jars?” she asked.
“That’s right. Whichever frat earns the most, wins.”
“What do they win?” she asked.
“Bragging rights, mainly. The proceeds all go to charity.”
“Which house did you like best?”
“I hate to admit it, but I liked Gamma Nu.”
“Goonies?” she replied, aghast. “I refuse to vote for them on general principles.”
“They were the best.”
“You vote for them and I’ll never kiss you again.”
“Never?” he asked.
“Well ... I’ll forgive you if you match my vote.”
“Which house did you like?” he asked.
“I liked Triangle.”
“I’ll put a dollar in the Goonie jar ... and I’ll match whoever you think is second-best.”
“I’ll put two in Triangle’s ... and so will you. Their decorations definitely were better than the Goonie’s.”
“Think what you like, but Gamma Nu won hands down.” Carter stuffed two singles into the Triangle jar. “Want anything from the snack bar?” he asked.
“I’m good. I need to watch my calories. The meds I’m on can make me gain weight.”
“With all the walking here, you do get your exercise.”
Holding hands they started the hike back to the upper campus. “I’ve been reading up on schizophrenia,” he said. “I’ve read every article I can lay my hands on ... symptoms, causes, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment ... I think you are getting excellent care.”
“Thanks for giving Doctor Corliss the benefit of the doubt,” she replied. “I think having the right doctor is as important as having the right meds.”
“When we get to your room, there’s a video I want you to see.”
“Oh? What is it? I hope it’s not some simulation of symptoms.”
“No, it isn’t. I did watch some of those, however. I watched a couple videos made by actual patients re-creating the voices they hear.”
“I have been there, Carter. I heard voices imploring me not to take my meds. It’s as if they knew the drugs would silence them.”
“Which they did,” he replied. “It’s as if the darkest aspect of your id is given a voice -- very disturbing.”
“To the voices add paranoia, delusions and soul-crushing depression ... Believe me -- I could a tale unfold whose lightest word would harrow up thy soul.”
“Hamlet,” he replied. “That’s a quote I remember along with, When troubles come they come not single spies but in battalions.”
“How about, I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.”
“Let’s hope for nothing but southerly winds for us,” he remarked.
“I do appreciate you trying to understand what I went through,” she said. “I really do.”
“The better I understand you the better I can love you,” he replied. “The video I want you to see is just a little thing I found -- only a couple minutes long.”
They stopped at Carter’s room so he could pick up his overnight duffel and then headed to Whalen. They reached her unit and headed into her bedroom. Valerie slipped her sweater over her head. Underneath she wore a cotton blouse.
They embraced and kissed. Carter parted her long bangs. “You do have a forehead under these,” he remarked and kissed her there.
“What is this video you mentioned?” she asked.
He took out his phone and manipulated the screen. “This ... It’s a rotating plastic mask of the sort you can buy in a Halloween store. The video hasn’t been manipulated in any way -- no CGI tricks or anything. What’s interesting is that schizophrenics and healthy people see two different things when it rotates around so you’re looking at the back of the mask.”
They watched the screen as the mask rotated from front to back. “OH!” Valerie gasped. “It looked like the mask turned inside-out! That’s freaky.”
“So, you didn’t see it as hollow?”
“I can see it’s hollow as it turns from a side-view. When I’m looking straight at it...”
Carter paused the video. “Like now...”
“Now it looks like it’s solid, or like it’s inside out. What does it look like to you?”
“The same way it looks to you.”
“But, you said someone with schizophrenia sees something different than a normal person.”
“It’s an optical illusion, probably due to how our brains process visual information, especially faces. There is no way a normal brain can see the back of the mask as hollow. However, a schizophrenic is immune to the illusion and will see it as hollow.”
“But -- I don’t see it as hollow.”
“That means you’re not schizophrenic -- the meds you’re on do such a good job of reversing your symptoms. They don’t make you feel normal -- they make you be normal. By the way, supposedly if you’re drunk or stoned, you’re immune to the illusion also, and see the mask as hollow.”
“You were trying to scare me,” she said.
“No, I wasn’t.”
“You led me to believe I’d see something different than you.”
“That was your interpretation. I was trying to describe the video in neutral terms so as not to bias you.”
“Play it again,” she said and he complied. “That is freaky.”
“But, normal. Do you understand what this means, Valerie?”
“What do you think it means?”
“I think it means you worry too much about a relapse. I think the drugs are working better than even you realize.” Carter slipped his phone in his pocket.
“I’ll bring this up with Doctor Corliss at our next session. Whether or not you were trying to scare me -- you scared me.”
“Well, Halloween is coming up. Scaring is part of the season.” He embraced her. “Forgive me?”
“I can’t stay angry with you for long.” She kissed his lips. “Margeaux told me she has no objection to you spending weekends here. She did ask that we not be so noisy.”
Carter touched her upturned, pixie nose. “You’re the one who needs to quiet down. I hardly make any noise.”
“You do make the bed creak.”