A novel of meeting first love.
When I first met her I was at the bottom. I was so desperaqtely alone and homesick that I could barely function. I had been dumped by my girlfriend a few months before. I had just moved out of the dorms because I could not stand the noise of the band barracks and was living alone for the first time in my life. That combined with a totally new area made me a miserable wretch.
I must have looked pretty miserable to Aunt Ruth when she invited me over for supper. Even though I was looking forward to her cooking; Air Force food left something to be desired and my own cooking was in the "developmental stage". I had recently burned macaroni and cheese. Ruth's cooking was legendary but since she was my Grandmother's siter, her invitation could not be ignored. Still, part of me dreaded the visit.
I knocked on the door fo the small brick ranch house with an immaculately manicured lawn. Uncle Truman ushered me in the house as if he had sprung from behind the door at the sound of my rapping. . He was a quiet, kindly man with a bald head and a pleasant face. He always made me smile unexpectedly. Something about Truman kept you at ease and on the edge of a laugh. He wore overalls like he had been farming but he had not. I suspect he wore them not out of a sense of style but because they kept him from having to pull up his pants all the time after sliding off of his round middle. He also constantly busied himself in the garden or garage and dirt was evident on his clothes.
Aunt Ruth was busy in the kitchen and she welcomed me in without actually coming out to see me as if silently telling me to come to her in the kitchen. Both she and her sister had that way about them. They could command you to do things without you realizing it. She could also overtly command you to do things which not hesitate to if you did not pick up the hint. So I trudged from the living room past the table set for supper with four place settings. I was greeted warmly by Ruth and as my eyes took in her kitchen and all the smells and sights associated with it, I was drawn to the other person standing there.
"Greg" Ruth said formally "I'd like to introduce you to Connie. Connie, this is Greg."
I reached out instinctively to shake her hand and only then realized that she had a prosthesis where her right arm would be. I hesitated briefly and Connie extended her left hand to shake. I took it gratefully as I muttered "pleased to meet you."
Connie was beautiful like a field of wildflowers or a deer grazing in a meadow. She was not the kind of beauty that was in a magazine or walking a runway. Instead it was simple and perfect in its imperfection. She had a twinkle in her brown eyes that gave away a hint of wildness and suggested that she could be counted on to crack a joke or join in the laughter at a pratfall (intended or not). Her face and hair framed her eyes like a double matte on a work of art. They seemed to have one purpose, to lead you back to her eyes.
I glanced down at her body and found it to be breathtaking in its simple beauty. Her body was perfection and I never gave her prosthesis a second though. It seemed so perfect on her. She seemed to be a perfect mix of yin and yang. She looked both the angle and the imp, both perfect and imperfect, both funny and serious, sexy and shy, sultry and chaste. I found myself staring for much too long.
Ruth ushered us all to the table for supper saying something about Connie having to go to practice. I barely spoke but stared impolitely throughout the dinner and when Connie spoke I rushed out a reply and giggled at my own awkwardness. She seemed not to notice. Her eyes locked on mine and the spell was complete. Dinner was over before I realized it and in a fury of picking up dishes she was gone. I had missed my opportunity. I was crushed at my failure. I had met a wonderful creature that I could scarcely dream to be with and had failed to even ask for her phone number. I cursed myself as I helped pick up the plates. As i started to help with the dishes, Truman said he wanted to show me an invention that would bring worms to the surface without digging. I joined him behind the garage for a secret smoke, each of us lost in our thoughts.
"What do you think of her?" Ruth asked me, shaking me out of my thoughts.
"She's wonderful" I told her as the words began to rush out. "I would give anything to be able to go out with someone like her."
"Why don't you ask her?" Ruth said.
"I didn't even get her number" I murmured dejectedly.
"Pshaw" Ruth replied. She picked up the telephone and made a call as I listened, then another and another. She tracked Connie down like a private investigator and in moments had someone running to get Connie out of play practice to come to the phone. I marveled at how Ruth was able to get so many people to do her bidding without asking any questions as to why she might want to speak to Connie or anything. Before I knew it she handed me the phone.
"Umm Connie?" I asked needlessly. "Umm would you like to go out with me?"
"Yeah?" I answered to her response incredulous at my luck and handed the phone back to Ruth.
"Friday night?" She asked Connie. "OK, he'll pick you up at your Mom and Dad's at six."
I blushed at my lack of composure and inattention to detail as Ruth began to draw me a map to Connie's house. "Don't be late." She directed "And be a gentleman, this is a sweet girl and her Mom and Dad know your Mom and Dad so don't be crude. Bring her flowers." She ordered as I mentally listed all of her instructions.
Before I knew it, Friday night arrived and I was nervously following Ruth's map to Connie's house. As I pulled up to her front porch and steeled myself for meeting the parents, she rushed out of the house and flung open my car door. I barely had time to rescue the flowers from the passenger seat before she was inside, slamming the door shut and urging me to leave.
I put the car in gear and handed her the flowers with a mumbled "These are for you."
Connie took the bouquet of blue carnations and marveled at them as if they were the most precious thing she had ever received. She found the card and read it aloud "These flowers looked blue, so I thought I would show them something beautiful."
She seemed genuinely moved by a gesture that I was sure was lame and overdone. She began to talk. It was nearly thirty minutes to the theater and I began to marvel at her ability to talk without appearing to breath. I was also thankful. I was still dumbstruck by her beauty and felt very awkward. She filled was most certainly would have been some awkward silence. I got to hear her voice as it tinkled with laughter and she passionately relayed the details of her life. I loved every moment she shared.
Soon we were at the theater. I hesitated on where to sit but Connie chose the back row against the wall in the darkest corner. I assumed that she did not like to be seen in public, especially with a stranger. I was wrong.
As the movie trailer began Connie turned and looked at me with a look in her eyes that was completely unmistakable - sheer desire. She leaned towards me and parted her lips. I kissed her softly at first and uncertain but then I became lost in it. Soon I lost track of all time and space as our kiss grew a life of its own. It was soft at times and gentle, then hard and needy, passionate then comforting, we connected in that kiss in a way that I was certain no one had ever felt before. Certainly, my own eighteen years of experience were unprepared for the kiss. We did not pet or tug at our clothes as sometimes happens in a kiss that leads to more sexual acts. This one was enough on its own. We shifted only to enable the kiss to remain unbroken and to allow our limbs to move but the kiss remained strong and grew in its intensity.
We kissed in different acts like an intricate kiss play. Act one was discovery where we tried various things and learned each other's mouths, lips and tongues. Act two was raw emotion where we did not seem to consciously control the kiss, rather it controlled us. Moans escaped our lips in Act two prompting some heads to turn then look away hastily. Act three was the most intense. Our passion rose in Act three making us long to be somewhere else. Somewhere free of the confines of the theater, and the seats, and our clothes. We kissed passionately pressing our lips together so hard they would be sore for days after. Our tongues danced in our mouths and our breaths were shared. Every nerve in my body was alive with passion and desire. I no longer cared about the movie. And as I decided to get up and leave, the movie ended. We had kissed through an entire movie and not seen a single scene.
We rushed out of the theater and got in my car as I drove hastily to my trailer. Our passion rekindled somewhat as we took off our clothes. But gone were the urgency and the overwhelming need. We made love softly and gently, caressing and giving to one another our gifts of ourselves. Until at last our passion spent we held one another in the darkness.
I looked to Connie to see any signs of regret as I realized what we had done. But her face glowed with the same emotions I felt: satisfaction, warmth, comfort, and… love. I knew then, that I had fallen for this woman as inexplicable as it was. Somewhere in the kiss I had given her my soul and she would hold onto it forever. While she held it I would never be lonely again.