I'm a transplant. Back in the early nineties when the Soviet Union was in the process of breaking up into its component countries, Latvia, my homeland was standing at the front of the line for independence. Before that struggle was concluded, however, my family was able to immigrate and we wound up here in Oregon, USA. My dad's a civil engineer and was fortunate enough to land a position with a large company. He made a good living but he was often out of town on business trips. My mom wasn't thrilled about his traveling so much but she loved the relative luxury it afforded us.
I was nearly fourteen at the time and had studied English at my school in Riga. Not that I was smoothly fluent, mind you, but I could get by and I learned quickly. While I absorbed most of American English quickly after we arrived, like most newcomers, I sometimes struggled with idioms and slang. This is the story of how a linguistic misunderstanding led to my losing my virginity.
Football (you call it soccer in this country) was second nature to me because I had been playing since I could run. I guess I was considered quite a find at the high school I attended. Soccer doesn't have the social clout that American football has but I was still looked upon as a legitimate 'jock' by my classmates. At fifteen, I was large for my age, six feet even and about a hundred seventy pounds. I often worked out in the weight room after school so, while I wasn't muscle-bound by any means, I looked very fit.
During halftime of our first game of the season, I was lying on the grass soaking up the warm spring sunshine when I overheard a conversation between two of my teammates. What I heard was so odd that I found myself eavesdropping because I recognized the name of the person they were gossiping about. She was a woman that lived just down the street from me. One guy was telling the other that he had been doing some yard work for her and that while he was mowing her lawn, he passed by where she was sun bathing on the patio and saw her beaver.
Well, it struck me as strange that anyone would actually have a thirty or forty-pound rodent as a pet. What was even stranger is the way these two guys were behaving as they talked about it. They were snickering and punching each other on the shoulder. One accused the other of making it up while the other swore it was true and said it was the 'most awesome' beaver he had ever seen. I was about to butt in and ask about it when we were called back onto the field for the second half. By the end of the game, I had completely forgotten all about it and headed home.
Mom was making some progress with her English but, of course it's much more difficult for grown-ups than it is for kids. So at dinner that evening I asked her in Russian if she knew anything about Mrs. Conroy having a beaver as a pet. She laughed and told me not to be so silly; who would keep such an animal in their house? I figured she was probably right and that the two guys at the game were full of beans, but I had already decided to go to Mrs. Conroy's house and ask her about it. I'd seen beavers in the zoo but, since they had been so prized for their luxurious fur in the 1800's, I wanted to see one close up and touch it if she did, in fact, have one. I'd met her a few times before and she seemed very nice so I felt sure she wouldn't mind showing it to me if I asked.
The next Saturday morning, I got my room cleaned up and the lawn mowed early so I could have the rest of the day to myself to get in some trail riding on my mountain bike. On the way out of town and fashionably decked out in my new spandex, I made a stop at Mrs. Conroy's house. Her car was in the drive so I dropped my bike on the lawn and rang her doorbell. I heard her yell through the house "Come around to the back!"
I found her on her patio potting some flowers. Mrs. Conroy was a widow whose husband had been a police officer killed in the line of duty during a narcotics raid a few years earlier. I sometimes wondered why she had never remarried; she was a very attractive woman in her mid-thirties. That was her business, of course, and none of mine. Maybe she just got used to living alone and decided she liked it.
"Well, good morning, Levi. Looks like your headed for the bike trails. How's your mom?"
"She's just fine, Mrs. Conroy. Those are pretty flowers."
"Yeah, geraniums. They don't smell very good but they sure look nice scattered around the patio. Is this just a social call or can I help you with something?"
"I just have a question, Mrs. Conroy. Howard, one of the guys on my soccer team said he does some lawn work for you."
"Yes, Howard. He did some work for me once but I don't think I'll ask him to do any more. He's kind of unreliable and I find him pretty childish. Would you be interested in helping me out from time to time?"
"Uh, sure, I'd be happy to but that's not what I was going to ask you. I heard him talking to another guy a few days ago and he said something seeing your beaver. I was wondering if that was true and, if it was, could I see it."
Mrs. Conroy's eyes flew wide open and she turned bright red. She put her fists on her hips and, leaning forward quite aggressively, said, "Levi! How could you ask me such a thing?"
Startled by her reaction, I backed up a couple of steps. Apparently I had done something terribly wrong but I had no idea what. "Did I say something offensive, Mrs. Conroy? If I did, I'm very sorry. If you had a beaver, I just wanted to pet it to feel what it's fur felt like. I didn't mean to be rude."
She studied me with a puzzled expression on her face for several seconds and then broke into a fit of laughter that doubled her over holding her sides. She laughed so hard she had to sit down in a patio chair, motioning for me to do the same. After a couple of minutes, she finally got control of herself and said, "I'm sorry, Levi, you didn't do anything wrong. I think we've both been victimized by good old American slang. Your English is so good that I sometimes forget that you hail from another country. Would you like some iced tea?"
"Yes, please, if you have some already made. Please don't go out of your way." I still didn't understand about the beaver but I guessed she would explain it in her own time. When she returned from her kitchen with a tray holding the pitcher of iced tea and two glasses, she got kind of a strange look on her face as she looked me up and down like she was doing an appraisal. I distinctly saw her eyes fix on my crotch for a couple of seconds. It was my turn to blush because spandex tends to reveal all.
"How old are you Levi?"
"Fifteen. I'll be sixteen next month."
"Hmm, you're a very handsome young man."
"Thank you, Mrs. Conroy. And you're a very attractive lady."
"How nice of you to say so. Look, Levi, could I ask your help with something?
"Sure, Mrs. Conroy. Anything at all."
"Could you come over this evening, say about seven? I'd like to talk to you about something and I'll explain about this whole 'beaver' thing."
"I'll check with my mom, but I'm sure it won't be a problem. Can you tell me what it's about?"
"I'll explain when you get here."
I finished my iced tea and left for my bike ride. It was a good workout with lots of hills and a couple of tumbles so, by the time I got home that afternoon, I looked like I'd been in a battle and lost. A hot shower was a high priority.
Like all teens, I was somewhat vain about my body and found myself posing and flexing my muscles in front of the mirror in the bathroom before I had my shower. I remembered Mrs. Conroy appraising my 'equipment' and saying she thought I was handsome. I'd be telling a lie if I said I didn't fantasize about having sex with her sometimes when I was enjoying a good wank but I wasn't obsessed with her. I mean I fantasize about lots of girls. I didn't think my penis was anything spectacular but a couple of guys had made remarks about its length in the school locker room. I remember one guy commented that he didn't think Europeans were circumcised. I explained that, since my mom and dad were practicing Jews, it was a required religious rite.
After our dinner, I told my mom about Mrs. Conroy asking me to come to her house to talk to her about something and said I didn't know what time I would be home. She patted my shoulder and said, "You be nice to her, Levi, and do like she ask you. She has much sadness in past and we should do what we can to make more pleasant her life."
"Don't worry, Mom. I'll call you if I'm going to be late."
Mrs. Conroy opened the door for me before I could even ring the bell; she must have seen me crossing the lawn. "Hi, Levi. Come in." She was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt that really showed off her lovely figure. Not what guys refer to as 'stacked' but slim, trim and fit looking with very nice curves in all the right places.
"Hi, Mrs. Conroy. What is it you wanted to see me about?"
"First, I'd like you to call me Sarah. I'd like us to be friends and Mrs. Conroy is much too formal. Second, take a chair and relax; we have plenty of time. Would you like something to drink, some wine or a beer?"
"I don't care that much for beer, but I like some kinds of wines."
"I bet you'd probably like a nice sauterne." She poured two glasses and handed me one. It was sweeter than I expected but I really liked it. "Thanks, Mrs. – er – Sarah. This is good."
"Glad you like it. So, Levi, if we're going to be friends, we should know more about each other. Tell me about growing up in Latvia and how you like living in the good old USA."
I was a little slow and self-conscious about getting into my life story but, by the time I was on my second glass of wine, I was becoming a regular chatterbox. It occurred to me that I was hogging the conversation so I steered it back to her. She told me about her husband, the narc detective, and how devastated she was when he was killed. The insurance had paid off their house with quite a bit left over. She made a living now by writing articles and stories for several different publications. The conversation drifted on and, before I knew it, nine o'clock had rolled around. I told Sarah I needed to call my mom if I was going to be much later.
"Do you have to be in by a certain time, Levi?"
"No, but I don't want her to wait up for me if it's going to be a while."
She said, "All sons should be so considerate," and, very much to my surprise, she leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.
When Mom answered, I told her I didn't know how late I'd be but that I had my key so she should just lock up and go to bed.
I think Sarah could see that I was feeling the effects of that second glass of wine. "You're not used to drinking are you?" she asked with an impish little grin. "Would you like me to make some tea?"
"Is it that obvious? You're right, I never have more than one glass at dinner. Maybe some tea would be a good idea." I was starting to feel kind of flush and warm.
"You wait here and I'll be right back." She went to the kitchen to put on water for the tea and then headed down the hallway to what I assumed was the restroom. When she came back through a few minutes later, she was wearing a full-length, pale blue satin robe. "Just thought I'd get a little more comfortable." She continued into the kitchen to get the tea. When she set the two mugs on the coffee table, she bent over directly in front of me giving me an unobstructed view of her breasts. I must have been staring because when I looked up at her face, she was smiling at me. I don't know how many shades of red I turned but I think it was all of them.
"Please don't be embarrassed, Levi. Do you like my breasts?"
"Oh yes, Sarah." I rasped out in a tremulous voice. "They're beautiful. Your beautiful." The crotch of my jeans began to feel very confining. Was what I thought was happening really happening?
She walked around the room turning down the lights until all that was left was a soft amber glow. Sitting next to me on the couch, she took one of my hands in hers and asked, "Would you like to know about the beaver now?"
Talk about a mood breaker! My rising hopes had just been splashed with a bucket of cold water. "Um, well, yeah, I guess." At that point, I wouldn't have cared if the damned beaver had waddled into the room singing God Bless America!
"What do you know about beavers, Levi?"
"Not much, I guess. Just that they're large rodents that live in ponds and build dams and eat wood. Oh, and that their pelts were used to make hats back in the 1800's."