A Double Life
As soon as he was out the front door Joellen dressed in a new outfit. She didn’t have time to wash her hair again or put on makeup or jewelry or perfume or anything else except the essentials. Then she tore out of the house and had to run back because she forgot to lock the door behind her. She screeched out of the subdivision and raced across town, counting seconds, watching the digital minutes tick by on her dashboard. She arrived at the Motel Six half an hour late and pulled into a spot right in front of the room where North had said he would wait.
One tap on the door and he yanked it open. She practically fell into the room breathless and collapsed onto the first bed.
“Oh,” she sighed. “I thought I’d never make it in time.”
“Where have you been? I started to get worried. Did something happen?” he asked, sitting down next to her and taking her hand, raising it to his lips in a preamble to foreplay. He took her index finger into his mouth and ran it between his lips like a Popsicle.
At that moment Joellen realized for the first time that she didn’t know what to tell him. His hand moved to her waist and then down to her thigh.
“You’re wet down here,” he said, pulling her toward him. “Did you go swimming and forget about me?” It was a ridiculous question. It made no sense to Joellen. He kissed her neck and nuzzled her.
“I was . . . ” she stopped, because he was kissing her on the mouth now and his hands had begun unbuttoning the blouse and the sweater she had changed into when she realized she had been in such a hurry she had forgotten to put on a bra, and then she realized her bra was still on the kitchen floor somewhere and the washer was full of sheets and that rug.
“What?” he asked as his hand reached her breast. “You didn’t wear a bra. Good girl,” he said and fondled her breast.
As it turned out she didn’t have to think up any answer right then because he was busy taking off the rest of her clothes and then his. He pulled back the covers and sheet and climbed into bed, patting the spot next to him. She slid in and he dropped the covers and moved on top of her, spreading her legs with his knee and placing himself between her thighs. He raised his body over hers and as he felt to see if she was ready, he breathed in deeply and something stopped him. Something unconscious, elemental, almost animal. He was about to enter her when he stopped. Looking at her closely, he examined her face carefully.
“What is it?” she asked.
“That’s what I’d like to know,” he answered her. “What is it?”
“I don’t know what you mean,” she said. She grabbed the backs of his thighs and pulled him toward her. “Don’t stop now,” she whispered.
He rolled off of her and lay on his side next to her and placed his hand between her thighs. He began rubbing her slowly, rhythmically.