Oh no…not another ‘wee bit o’ seasonal fluff’!!!??? After All…

Oh no…not another ‘wee bit o’ seasonal fluff’!!!???

art.pngAfter All…
By Kelly Blake

I sat in the bay window atop the built in cabinet watching…watching and waiting…for him. After all…it was a cozy spot to be sure. The silk drapes closed off all but the very center through which I could enter and exit without any disturbance. The windows were decorated with lace curtains that had an intricate pattern resembling tiny Celtic knots. May had tatted them herself. Such was her way.

He said he would need to make his run soon but he didn’t expect it to be this quickly. So when he called me and said he was running, some three days ago, I had to quickly formulate a plan to see him. Well…you see…it’s like this… The ladies didn’t care too much for my…friend? They believed that his somewhat dubious and checkered past was beneath me. Cait really didn’t take to the idea at all; not at all.

I felt differently, of course. After all…I was given a second chance. I believed that everyone deserves at least one second chance…if not more. However Cait was quite firm in her opinions and only cold hard logic, or her heart’s soft and weak spot for May, could sway her mind. My only hope was to perhaps play upon any soft and weak spot her heart might have for me.
Owen wasn’t going to stay longer than perhaps a few hours. His run was to be one of great desperation but, after all, aren’t all runs made in great desperation. He would need to disappear for a while as far away from Boston as possible. He knew enough not to come here other than for a quick stop over. Not even his uncle knew of our…relationship? Anyway, not even his uncle would think of looking here; at Cait and May’s home. Nor would he even dare.

But I still had the problem of Owen being allowed to even step foot on our lawn, let alone enter our home. I tried appealing to Cait’s logic…in my own illogical way. ‘He would only be here for a few hours’; ‘it would be rude to refuse him’; ‘what’s the harm in just seeing him for a little while?’ And so forth. Nothing seemed to budge Cait’s strong willed mind even a millimeter; nuh…thing!
Nothing, that is, until I got the call from Owen that he was leaving Boston on the twenty-third; only one day’s time. He said he was virtually leaving in the midst of a snow storm that promised to become a blizzard at any moment. I very hesitantly told him that I couldn’t get Cait’s approval and, surprisingly, he understood. Although everybody feared Cait’s brother, Owen actually respected him. But his respect of Sean Paddy, Cait’s nefarious older brother, meant that Owen would keep Cait and anybody under Cait’s roof, and that included me, terminus circumscripto.

Now I was going out of my mind. He was the one and only person, other than my sisters, I wanted to see from Boston. After all…Owen had accepted me as I was…before my…rebirth? In retrospect, that was such an amazing and powerful thing to be able to do. He looked me right in the eyes and said; “You’re a guy?”

I know it was difficult to tell. My hair was long and in a ponytail. I hadn’t begun to develop a beard, or any bodily hair for that matter, my voice hadn’t begun to change, my features were still…well…not like that of a fourteen, almost fifteen, year old boy. Even my mode of dress was ambiguous or certainly androgynous at the least. I wore my older sister’s hand me downs; at least the ones that were gender neutral. So really anyone could make that mistake…and often did.
But that didn’t seem to matter to Owen; at least not at that time. His words are forever burned into my mind.

“…makes no matter to me.”

He smiled at me as he spoke. I didn’t understand then why he made me feel so…tingly? I knew part of it was his voice. It was so very deep and resonant. And I knew that part of the reason was his gorgeous baby blue eyes. Owen could smile with his eyes the way my father did. I guess that he was so much like my father in so many ways that I could do little else but desire him.
I remember the first time Owen touched me. He simply put his big hand upon my shoulder when he was guiding me out to door of the bar where his uncle had an office. His grip was firm and yet very gentle. And he pulled me close to his body as though he was protecting me from…from the entire world. I could feel his body heat and his aroma was devastating. I was momentarily dazed and entranced.

But long term…I was ensnared. Those precious few moments didn’t merely remain etched within my mind; they grew to be the only moments I’d ever think about whenever I’d think about guys. After all…anyone I met since that day, that is any guy, would have to measure up to my idea of Owen as I remembered him; an impossible task at the very least.
And anytime I’d be measuring anyone, the standard would balloon out to even greater and more impossible proportions as time passed by. After all…I couldn’t help this from happening. Indeed I encouraged it. The e-mails he’d send me were like heavenly messages from some distant deity to his creation here on earth. I basked in every word and in every part of a word. There was never enough written to soothe my inner aching; my endless longing.

I’m sure he felt the same. Our letters often related the most miniscule events of the day. We’d write anything to attempt to keep the long distance communication from falling short and not fulfilling that special inner hunger for more.

I felt great angst and even pain at what was not written and what was written between the lines that he dare not disclose or expose. I’m sure he felt the same about some of my e-mails. Fear kept me from saying what was truly in my heart. I dreaded writing something too…mushy and too lovelorn? I wasn’t even sure that what I felt was love. That feeling could have just as easily been infatuation or, worse yet, simply projections from my wanting mind and soul.

But I’m sure he felt the same way about me. He would flirt with me and I would luxuriate in every word. And then sometimes, he would be more moody and write me about what he was really feeling at the time. I was sort of able to sense his moods after a while. And I’m sure he could sense mine as well. Sometimes I would be angry or frightened or frustrated and he would reply with something encouraging and uplifting.

Sometimes, after the first few exchanges, I would write and tell him about my monsters…you know…the ones that hide in the closet and under the bed; those that exist only in the deepest and darkest recesses of one’s mind. They’re only the memories of the horrors from a past, but not too distant, life; the one he helped me to escape from.

My biggest fear was if he’d be able…or available…or even want to deal with my baggage. Sometimes those bags, truly more like old fashion steamer trunks, were simply too heavy for me to carry by myself. Thankfully I had two women who would take the time, who had the interest and the love, to help me. But would he?

Would I be good enough for him? I mean it’s not like he didn’t have a few streamer trunks of his own. I knew about that; maybe not the gory and sordid details, but enough to know that he had his monsters as well. Could I deal with that?
I never had any doubts about him in the real world. Owen lived on his own. He’d been doing that since he was sixteen. He had a job and earned good money; although any money was good money to me. He actually had guys working for him. He was self-sufficient and able to navigate what was out there in the real world; the world of very mean streets. After all…on the streets he was at the top of the food chain.

I now lived in a bubble; sheltered, protected, cared for, and loved. I couldn’t do what he was so capable at; that ‘living in the real world’ thingy. I would, if anything, probably hold him back. I feared being so clingy that he could no longer breathe and live his life. I feared I would stifle him.

And then there was my past; my non-existing childhood. All I knew was hatred and anger and pain…and fear. I was always afraid; always in fear. If I didn’t get beaten up in school, or on the way home, then I would be beaten at home. There was no place that was safe for me.

That’s why I clung to the ladies so desperately. After all…they kept me safe; free from harm. The few friends I’d made tended to do the same. Maybe they sensed my fears, or recognized my fears in themselves? I was always so suspicious of anyone’s motives. After all…it had been too long a time since anyone did something nice for me simply to be nice; except for the ladies.
Now that I had begun to accept those niceties without feeling any obligation to the doers, does that mean I could do the same with Owen? I wanted to for sure. But even in my acceptance of the nice things the ladies do and buy and give to me, I felt a very special obligation; I must be perfect. But at least I have a grasp of what perfect might mean to them. I have none at all of what that would mean to Owen; not yet anyway.

The notion occurred to me that…perhaps…if I stated my case to Cait in terms of an obligation, I might stand a chance at seeing Owen. In fact I did owe him at least the courtesy of seeing him. I told the ladies that indeed if it wasn’t for him, I might not have been…saved? He not only bought me my ticket, he not only wouldn’t take my money for it, he not only added (unbeknownst to me) to my funds, but he made sure I got on board the plane safely and wanted to know that I arrived safely.

It was only then that Cait understood why seeing him was so important to me. Cait, being who she is, wanted to give me the six hundred and some odd dollars to repay him. I took her money but I did tell her that he probably wouldn’t accept it. I would mention the money every so often in my correspondences but Owen would make light of the matter and tell me not to ‘worry about it’.
Life is so very strange. For years all I knew were the worst kind of people; horrid monsters who would do monstrous things to me. And now, all I knew were people who couldn’t do enough for me. And what did I do to be so served in either fashion? After all…was I that much different now?

And so, there I sat safe and sound in the little ‘cubby hole’ of my own concoction, waiting for the unknown to once again return into my life. Cait thought he might arrive on Christmas Day or even the day after that. But to everyone’s surprise, most of all mine, Owen seemed to be flying down the highway at an unprecedented rate of speed. He called to say that he was just in Daytona; DAYTONA!!!
That, of course, changed everything. He would be at our home in about three to three and a half hours. I had to dress. I had to get ready. I had to tell the ladies of course. Though Cait was an atheist and May a pagan, they couldn’t refuse to shelter a guest, my invited guest, for anything less than overnight and at least the next day. Where else would he stay on Christmas Eve and Day? Cait was not happy about the turn of events…to say the least.

I showered taking extra time to be sure every little nook and cranny of my body was cleansed completely. I did my hair whilst my body was still wrapped in a towel. I recalled every little move, every step of the process I had learned from May as I blew dry my hair. Just so much of the untangling fluid sprayed in just such a motion as I ran my comb through my hair.

I stood before the bathroom mirror and began to do my face. ‘Keep it light’ I kept thinking to myself. I went for a ‘monochrome’ look. My green eyes really stood out with opposing colors so I went for the color match to my hair. My shade was nearly the same as May’s; strawberry blond. So I went with a shade of orange that had a bit more brown to it, almost a light golden-rust color, for my eye shadow. A touch of the same just beneath my lashes on my lower lid really added to the accent. I did two coats of dark brown mascara nearly perfectly. My lipstick shade closely matched my hair color and just a bit of lip gloss completed me.

Then to dress… I wore my favorite bra and panty set I had gotten with May. The set was a very pale yellow decorated with white lace and delicate pink ribbons. The ribbons decorated the center of the bra between the padded cups. The same ribbons appeared on the sides of the panty and gave the impression of tying the front and rear pieces together.

After half a dozen try-ons of different skirts and blouses, I finally chose a pale pastel green wrap skirt that fell to mid-calf. The sweep of the hem was quite wide so that if I chose to sit with my legs akimbo, I would have no problem of my motion being too restricted. I chose a simple white sleeveless pull over cotton top that could be worn pulled down over the waist of the skirt.

I decided upon wearing my emerald green antique glass bead earrings; both the studs and the drops. The matching necklace stood out rather well against the white top. I had a number of gold wire hoop bracelets that I decorated both my wrists with. Of course the ring Owen had given me on my fifteenth birthday never left the third finger of my right hand; its crown turned up toward my heart.
I inspected myself several times in both my bathroom mirror and the full length mirror hanging on the back of my closet door. After all…I had to look perfect. There were only two things left to don. I quickly grabbed a pair of knee high white cotton socks from my dresser drawer. After pulling them up my legs and just over my knees, they undoubtedly would slip down to just beneath my knees, I slipped my feet into a pair of apple green skimmers; almost a color match for my skirt.

I was now ready to go to my ‘overlook’ position in the bay window. I grabbed a text book and a plastic cup with a top which I filled with chilled water and went to the bay window. I was now ready for…hopefully…what was to come; my dear Owen.

I remember May calling my name and waking me out of my…my little day dream world. It must have been around eight in the evening and the twins were abed. She had to call me several times before I finally stuck my head out from behind the drapery and responded. After all…my dream world was all encompassing.

May came to me wearing her evening robe. She always fed the twins just prior to them falling asleep in her arms. I was always amazing how she could breast feed them both at the same time. Her face was always so aglow afterward as if the sensual experience of tending to her young was a sort of orgasm for her maternal soul.

May wrapped her supple arms around me and kissed the top of my head as she slowly rocked me. After all…I was simply another of her children and she sought to comfort me knowing how the tension of the moment was playing upon me. She cooed to me telling me how totally enthralling I looked and how he wouldn’t be able to resist me.

I hugged her in return and fought back the tears that wanted to flow. I told her that I that I loved her…her and Cait. I so wanted to be a young child again…a baby. I wanted my ‘rebirth’ to have occurred earlier…and with them. How wonderful it would have been to spend those years with Cait and May and not merely a year and a few months that had passed thus far.

Oh my God…’he won’t be able to resist’ me…that’s what May said. What happens if that becomes true? What happens if indeed he does not only accept me, but wants me; wants me in the way a man wants a woman…and more. What if he really did want to spend the rest of his life with me; have me for his wife? What would I do then? I spent so much time worrying about him accepting me that I never considered what I would do if indeed he did.

After all…I knew how to sexually satisfy guys. I knew what made them happy. I knew at too young an age how to do that. Guys are easy that way. I had no doubt, that if he accepted me truly, I could satisfy him. But it was the other ways that couples, successful couples, relate to one another that scared me. Did I have that in me? Could I please him in the most important way? Was I capable of being a life mate to Owen? Could I be May to his Cait?

I thought that what I felt toward him, for him, was love…or at least infatuation. But how long does that really last; a week, a month, a year? And what happens when the infatuation is gone? What happens a year or two down the road when all that remains is who and what we truly are?

I can’t say that I hadn’t thought about…dreamed about…having him naked and me alongside of him. I can’t say I hadn’t dreamed about taking him in my mouth…and elsewhere. I can’t say that I hadn’t dreamt of afterward laying side by side, or even atop of him with his very strong arms around me.

After all…that was really the moment I sought; that peaceful calm that occurs when two lovers come together and consummate their total beings in one another. I sought that feeling of being one with, and in, another person. I thought of it as being kind of a communion. Would I ever have that with Owen…would I ever have that at all…or is it all simply make believe; a fantasy thought up by people lacking truly meaningful relationships in their own lives.

I brought a book into my little sanctuary hoping to read a bit and stay ahead of my school work. But I would read a few pages and suddenly realize that I hadn’t understood a single thing. My mind was so preoccupied that I didn’t even take in the pictures I was staring at. I kept looking up and out the window and down the darkened street for any sign of a car approaching.

And every time a car approached, I’d suddenly sit up straight and press my nose against the window pane hoping that it was him. And every time a car passed by without even slowing down, my heart sank a just a little more. Oh my God…what happens if he gets into an accident? How would I ever hear about it? Or what if breaks down? There were so many things could happen that would keep him from me.

Cait stopped at the window to wish me a good night. She hugged and kissed me and I returned her affections in kind. Whilst still holding me by my shoulders she gazed into my eyes with a very maternal smile. She gently admonished me.
“No sleeping in the same bed with our…” Cait gazed off into the imaginary distance for a moment. “…guest.” She said turning her head back to face me.

I assured her that I wouldn’t. Although I felt a slight annoyance with Cait’s statement, I kept in mind that all she was trying to do is protect me whether I needed protection or not. But she was no different with her own than with me; and I accepted what she said as that. After all…it was nice to have others actually worried about me.

Sometime after Cait went up to be with May, I left my little cubbyhole to relieve myself. As I gazed at myself in the mirror after washing my hands, I shook my head and giggled softly. ‘Now I know why they call it a crush’ I thought. Indeed…I felt crushed. I have thought of little else but Owen for so long; that is when I wasn’t too preoccupied with some other task at hand.

The worst time was when I got into bed. I couldn’t get my mind to settle down enough to sleep. All I could do was think about him. And oh what lavish and lascivious dreams I had. I mean it’s not like I got a stiffy or anything. I mean…even when I could it was very rare and now, after ‘the mones’ for over a year, stiffies were simply a bizarre memory of my past life self.

But I would get an amazing trembling throughout my body and I would touch the mortal remains of my boy junk. Electricity would to shoot through my body at those moments and I knew it was my crushing on Owen that was causing those wonderful sensations. I would touch myself pretending, fantasizing it was his hands, his fingers, his…lips. Oh my God…my mind would swirl with thoughts of passion and lust.

I repaired my makeup where I had done a bit of damage wiping my tears too forcefully and refreshed my lipstick. I put a cold damp wash cloth to my forehead to try and clear my head of all the random thoughts that kept coming. I took a deep breathe, and, being satisfied with the image I now saw in the mirror, I went back to my cubbyhole and perched upon the cushioned top of the cabinets again.

I simply stared out the window into the darkness and at the houses across the street illuminated by their outside night lights. I would watch an occasional late evening dog walker pass by. I waved to one woman I knew from down the street and she waved back. I can’t imagine how I must have looked to somebody who saw me sitting in the window looking out at the world.
I clutched one of the throw pillows to me and drew my knees up as I rested my chin atop the pillow. I was actually beginning to nod out when I heard this rumbling that sounded like a truck. The sound was becoming louder by the moment and I couldn’t image what kind of vehicle would make such a noise.

Suddenly a bright electric blue car drove slowly past the house. It was kind of strange looking because the rear of the car seemed to be higher than the front. There was also a scoop thingy sticking up through the hood? I pressed my nose up against the glass to try and get a better look as it slowly passed on by. I swear the entire house shook from the vibrations coming from that car’s engine.
Once it passed by, I sat back down and once again rested my fore head upon my knees. I was beginning to despair when I thought I heard that car again. I lifted up my head to see that it was very slowly backing up the street toward our home. This time I got onto my knees and once again pressed my nose to the glass as the rear of the car came back into view.

As I kneeled against the glass I cupped my hands to block out any back light from the gap in the drapery, I once again peered out onto the street. Without the back lighting I could almost see into the car but all I could discern was a white tee shirt that the driver was wearing.

I was about to sit back down when suddenly the car stopped for a moment. Then suddenly the driver began to drive it up our driveway. Dare I speak it? Dare I even think it? He was here. My Owen had arrived!

I hopped down off of the cabinet top and quickly slipped my feet into the pair of apple green skimmers on the floor. My entire body, my entire being, shook with excitement. I was actually at a loss of what to do. I nervously looked around me and even spun around. I had no idea of what I was looking for or even what I expected to find.

The rumbling of the car’s engine became slightly louder as Owen, hopefully Owen, slowly pulled further up toward the house. I quickly straightened out my skirt and pulled down my top as I hurriedly went to the bathroom to check myself once more in the mirror.
As I exited the bathroom I heard the engine stop and a door opening. I went to the front door just as I heard the car door close. I opened the front door and stepped out onto the veranda just as Owen bounded up the slate topped path toward the steps. We both froze as if we suddenly hit a solid wall. We stared at one another of one very long moment.

I felt as though I was in some sort of dream or trance. I stared into his very tired looking, but otherwise gorgeous face. His eyes were so reddened from the drive. I suppose he was gazing as intently at me because his mouth was opened as if he was in shock. I guess mine was as well. After all…I just didn’t know what to expect. Then he smiled.

“I can’t believe your…you. Kerrie…?”

Oh my God…that smile of his was…orgasmic? My heart simply melted and I felt tears welling up and my entire body quite noticeably trembled. I actually wet myself ever so slightly but in truth I think I actually had a minor moment of amazing ecstasy. I was so glad I had the presence of mind whilst dressing to have placed a panty liner where it belonged.

I was so very…overwhelmed…that all I could do was nod my head. My own opened mouth also broke into a very wide smile. I knew this was the moment I had dreaded, and longed for. All of these months of writing and dreaming and fantasizing were about to reap whatever we had sown with our e-mails.

“You’re more…” Owen shook his head slowly as if he was clearing some psychic fog from his mind. “You’re more beautiful than even your pictures could…” Owen’s voice trailed off as he straightened up a bit and hooked his thumbs into the waist band of his jeans. “You look so grown…so unbelievable.”

“Yeah…I guess…” I hunched my shoulders and blushed what I felt was a new shade of red; maybe vermillion? I simply couldn’t think of a single word to say. I was so overcome with all of the emotions within me rising.

“Uhhh…” Owen rubbed his hand over his amazing blue-black hair and grinned shyly. “Do you mind…?”

He never finished his sentence because I simply leaped at him with my arms flung out. I don’t know what possessed me but thankfully he caught me before me feet ever touched the ground. My arms went around his neck and I hugged him as hard as I could. I buried my face into his amazing shoulders and let my tears flow. Florida…the land of water resistant makeup…praise the spirits.

Owen held me firmly around my waist and I managed to wrap my legs around him. Thank the Spirits for wide sweep wrap skirts. His hand went beneath my butt cheek and so he held me; his face buried into my neck. I could feel the tears coming from his eyes. They burned through the fog in my mind.

I felt us moving a step or two and then Owen sat down on the top step with his feet firmly planted on the ground. I was in his lap and it felt so amazing and natural as if that’s where I was always meant to be. He cleared his throat as his strong arms held me to him.
“You smell like heaven.”

‘Thank you Guerlain’ I thought and giggled and smiled.

“Mmmm…” I purred. I was drunk on his aroma; so very strong after who knows how long he was in his car.
I don’t know how long we sat like that. I do know that both Cait and May eventually came down and peered out through the cut glass windows of the front door. I briefly looked up at them and smiled. Cait stared back emotionlessly but there were tears in May’s eyes. At that moment I knew whatever might transpire in the days to come…all would be well.

At some point in time I took Owen by the hand…mine disappeared into his…and I led him into the house. I gazed up at him, into those amazing powder blue eyes, and asked if he was hungry or thirsty.

“Well…I could use a shower and about twelve hours of sleep.” His deep voice made my entire body resonate. “But…” he laughed. “I’d settle on just some sleep. I had about two or so hours of rest somewhere around…Fayetteville?”

“You mean you drove straight here?” Oh my God…that would be about…?

“Yeah…” he laughed. “…twenty-six hours or so. It wasn’t bad once I got passed Washington.”

“How long can you stay?”

“Not long…” Owen’s mood radically changed. He became very somber and…well…he looked off and became just a bit distant. “I need to go west. I’m not sure where yet but I had to leave the neighborhood for sure.”

“Okay…we don’t need to speak of that now.” After all...we would have at least a wee bit of time for that.

I took him by his hand again and led him into the living room area. I remembered Cait’s very stern admonition. I led him to the long beige colored sofa and bade him rest upon it. He kicked off his shoes and stretched out upon it. I even put throw cushions under his head. After all…I was the hostess.

“We have a place for you upstairs…but for now…”

I giggled as I climbed atop him and settled against his side. I didn’t need to finish my thought. I don’t think it was more than a few minutes before I heard Owen softly snoring; more like the purring of a really big cat; a few minutes after that I too was asleep.
I awoke briefly in the middle of the night to find that someone had covered us with a blanket. I gazed up at Owen and his face looked so…peaceful. After all of my trepidation and worrying and going through all shades of conniptions, I finally knew in my heart of hearts that our tale had only begun. What a wonderful Christmas gift indeed.

http://bigclosetr.us/topshelf/fiction/17740/after-all

Coda…

This tale is kind of like what came first…the chicken or the egg? Drea and I have known each other for more than five years. We met on another web site (Crystal’s site…R.I.P.) and we both came to this site as a result of our meeting. We often discussed many personal and intimate details of our lives and more than some of what we discussed became tales, or poems, or some other sort of written work.

I remember quite vividly when Drea posted “After All…” on Big Closet and the effect it had upon me. Drea has very graciously permitted me to use her artwork and title because…after all…what is family for? This tale is kind of modestly, blinkingly, and sort of slightly autobiographically oriented…sort of… I’ve included the link to Drea’s amazing poem and encourage all to have a look at it. I am sure that there are elements in the poem that touch more than a few of us.

And anyway...who couldn't use just a wee bit of sentimentality at this time of year. After all...it is Christmas.



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