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Archive-name: SpecMome/giright.txt

Archive-author: Michael Kalen Smith

Archive-title: Getting It Right

                               (A Beginning)

   Back in the Kennedy era, it wasn't easy for a 17-year-old male, going

to a good school in an upper-middle-class suburb, to lose his virginity. 

Not without having to pay.  Kids these days,... God, listen to the old

geezer!  Kids in the '90s who haven't fucked on the second date probably

figure they've screwed up (so to speak).  And that may have been the

case in L.A. or Greenwich Village when I was a teenager -- but certainly

not on the north side of San Antonio.

   That decade held world-changing surprises for all of us, but at its

beginning things still moved slowly and cautiously.  Call me a fogy, but

teenagers in the '60s and '70s gained sexual liberation at the cost of


   The Locker Room Liars Club used the classic baseball metaphors in

describing their alleged successes on dates.  "First base" meant the

girl had allowed you to squeeze her tits (through an armored bra) and/or

stroke her thighs (through a dress and petticoats); "second base" meant

removing the bra and petticoats and getting your hands on the girl

herself.  "Third base" was getting her panties off (and probably a

garter belt, in that pre-pantyhose era) and soaking your fingers in

nectar; this was as much a cause for rejoicing as a three-bagger out on

the diamond.

   A "home run," of course, meant replacing your fingers with your cock

-- and while the guys all talked like they were Babe Ruth, I doubted any

of them had actually scored.

   For myself, I was reasonably good-looking, reasonably smart,

reasonably athletic, and had a reasonable amount of pocket money to

lavish on a date.  So I had a lot of bases to my credit, but under 'HR'

on the scoreboard I was '0' for at least a dozen powerhouse swings.  And

it sure wasn't for lack of playing the game.

   Part of the problem was my practical restriction to "nice" girls ...

and nice girls didn't fuck.  No girl worth liking would allow such a

thing.  The "bad" girls were already hooked up with the bad guys, the

ones who hung around the school auto body shop in the afternoon.  They

were lightweights by '90s pistol-packing standards, but we referred to

them as "hoods" and we didn't encroach on their women.

   Then, quite magically, everything changed in September 1961, the

first week of my senior year.  We had "open" summer school, which you

don't see much anymore: You could take virtually any of your solids for

first-time credit, not just to repeat courses you'd flunked.  I'd had

most of my math, science, and language courses -- all of which I had

trouble with -- during the summers, so I could concentrate on a single

tough subject for six weeks, pass it, and get it out of the way.

   By my senior year, I had two open periods in my schedule.  One of

them was spent in the Journalism office, where I worked as Features

Editor on the school paper; I often worked there late after school, I

loved writing so much.  The other period I worked in the library or in

the language lab; we actually had the first such lab in San Antonio,

reel-to-reel wet carrels and all.

   On Thursday of that first week, I was sitting behind the check-out

desk in the library, saying 'Hi' to friends who had come to work on the

first round of themes and book reports, when a girl whom I hadn't seen

before came up to ask for directions.  That meant she was almost

certainly a new student and I noted that the American Lit book under her

arm was for senior English.  She was quite attractive and, in between

stamping book cards, I watched her moving in and out of the stacks in

search of her topic.

   Then it got kinda busy and I lost track of her.  When the rush died

down, I walked around the large room, discretely peering down the

aisles, but she'd already gone.  And she hadn't checked out anything so

I didn't know her name.

   The first school dance of the year was that Friday.  I went stag

since it was essentially a social mixer to kick off the year and I

wasn't dating anyone in particular.  Tommy Thompson, my chemistry lab

partner the previous year and a perfectly nice guy, brought a casual

date, a pretty brunette who had recently moved in a few houses down from


   You guessed it: The girl from the library the day before.  Fate

works.  He introduced her to me as Mary McAllister, and I basically

stole her from him that night.  It wasn't intentional, I swear.

   Mary had moved down from Dallas that summer because her father was

the new head of the biology department at Trinity.  I knew Tommy lived

up in the Heights, off Cambridge Oval, so I could make a good guess at

Mary's social and economic status (the area was all big Victorians on

large lots, the kind of houses that sell in the mid-six figures these


   I asked Tommy would he mind if I asked his date for a dance; he

laughed and told us to go ahead.  He'd only asked Mary as a neighborly

gesture so she wouldn't have to come by herself.  So Mary and I danced

during the slow dances and talked during the fast ones.  Each time

through the cycle, our dancing became slower and closer and our talk

warmer and deeper.  And I had the opportunity to catalog her more


   Her hair was down in waves and curls around her shoulders and it

smelled wonderful.  She wore a crew-neck cashmere sweater, pleated wool

skirt, and black suede loafers, just like 80% of the other girls in the

gym.  And her pearls emphasized her long neck.  But what captured me was

her face.  Her eyes were large and luminous brown with slightly arched

eyebrows that made her appear always a bit surprised.  Her lips were a

bit more full than average, soft and very red, even without lipstick.

   We ended up out in the gym parking lot, leaning side by side against

somebody's fender and holding hands.  I was smitten.  We eventually

realized, from the growing emptiness of the parking lot, that the dance

was ending and so was the evening.  We went in search of Tommy and found

him drinking a coke and gossiping amiably with two other guys.  We took

him aside and apologized abjectly -- me for absconding with his date,

Mary for deserting him.

   He took it all in good humor; he had seen us deep in conversation and

holding hands, and apparently decided to cast himself as unintentional

Cupid.  He'd gone off and found plenty of other girls who were delighted

to dance with him.  As I said: a nice guy.  Mary had come with Tommy,

however, and it was Tommy who took her home.  We had unwritten rules

about things like that.

   I spent most of Saturday and Sunday mooning over Mary.  I had already

asked if I could see her again, like that weekend, but she was committed

(regretfully, it seemed) to some kind of family get-together.  We had

agreed to meet at lunch on Monday, though, since we both ate following

Third Period.

   Lunch was a 45-minute hustle, but I beat my own best time that day

getting to the cafeteria.  Even so, Mary had gotten there first and had

staked out one end of a table off to the side of the big, noisy room --

the side that was, by general agreement, reserved for seniors,

especially couples who always ate together.  I took her choice of

seating as a signal.

   The way her eyes lit up when she spotted me in the jockeying lunch

crowd ... well, I never forgot it.  Her hair was pulled back in a

ponytail that bobbed as she smiled and waved to me.  God, she even had

cute ears.

   There was technically a rule about public displays of affection on

school grounds, but it was only enforced occasionally, when a couple

lost control of themselves.  Small infractions like holding hands below

the corner of the lunch table were winked at.  We didn't do much eating

-- just held hands, talked, and exchanged a number of long, searching

gazes.  Several of the guys I hung around with noticed my preoccupation,

naturally, and they grilled me without mercy at my locker that

afternoon.  I didn't say a word -- just grinned like an idiot.

   We met after school, of course.  Mary lived too far in the wrong

direction for me to walk her home and get home myself before supper, but

we were able to spend half an hour sitting under a tree at the edge of

the softball field behind the Band Hall.  And I worked up the nerve to

touch her hair, to wind the end of that bouncy ponytail around my

finger.  She blushed, but she liked it, and that gave me a tingly


   We met somewhere, for a little while, every day that week.  Twice, I

walked her home anyway and the heck with supper (which got me a look of

disbelief from my mother).  And Friday night we went out on our first

real date.

   As an "only child" since my older sister's marriage a couple years

before, I had no trouble borrowing the family car, and I hurried home

from school to hose it down in the driveway and vacuum out the inside

(which got me a look of disbelief from my *father*).

   We were just going to go to a movie at the Olmos, with vague plans

for a hamburger after, but I was more nervous than I had been as a

freshman going out on my first high school date.  Mary could see I was

trying to do everything just right, just for her, and she seemed

flattered by the careful attention.  When I held her hand in the

theater, she squeezed it a little and laid her other hand on my arm. 

After that, I had *no* idea what was happening on the screen.

   Afterward, we walked up the block and split a big steak sandwich and

onion rings at the Nighthawk.  I know it all sounds pretty tame -- but

when Mary motioned for me to open my mouth and fed me an onion ring that

she herself had personally selected ... well, it was the best onion ring

I'd ever eaten.  That's romance for you.

   Back in the car, I hesitated before turning the ignition and asked

Mary if she'd like to go and see Eisenhauer Road.  She kind of smiled

and gazed at me thoughtfully, and then said "Okay, let's go take a

look."  It was obvious someone had already told her about our "legal"

parking territory.

   Eisenhauer Road was out on the very edge of town, out beyond

MacArthur Park, almost in the country.  Now it's in the middle of an

expensive housing development, but then it consisted of two straight and

narrow lanes edged by pasture.  Along one side was a wide gravel

shoulder overhung by big oak trees.  And not a street light for three


   The students at my high school had an informal arrangement with the

police patrols.  We could park on that gravel shoulder without being

hassled as long as (1) we didn't park too close together, (2) we stayed

in the car with the doors locked, (3) we didn't honk the horn and annoy

people, and (4) the patrol car that passed once or twice an hour could

see bodies above the lower edges of the windows.  In return, there were

no assaults or bottle-throwing and the patrol officers -- most of whom

were only in their early 20s -- effectively protected us from


   Parents, of course, weren't supposed to know about Eisenhauer Road,

but I'm sure most of them did.  They didn't say anything because they

knew their kids were going to go parking *somewhere*, and this was the

best option around.  Girls knew they could go there and be as safe as

they wanted to be.  It was a good deal all round.

   Driving slowly down the dark road, watching for a vacant spot, I

wondered if I was doomed to disappointment.  Then Mary pointed and said

"There!"  A big Olds I recognized as belonging to Roger Simak (to his

older brother in the Marine Corps, actually) had turned on its lights

and was pulling out.  Roger stuck his arm out the window and waved a

thumbs-up as I pulled in to take his place.

   I cut the engine and turned off the lights -- and suddenly it was

dark and very quiet.  Somehow, stupidly, I had forgotten about that. 

With my hands still on the wheel, I turned my head to look at Mary, and

my brain seized up.

   She was sitting quietly, gazing through the windshield at the shadow

patterns the oaks made on the hood.  Neither of us moved a muscle for

maybe thirty seconds.  Then she glanced in my direction and cranked her

window down an inch, so we could hear the cicadas.

   "I was looking at your profile in the dark," I said.  Which was true,

but I was mostly trying to cover my fumble-mindedness.  "I think you're

beautiful, Mary."  That got me a soft smile.  As my eyes adjusted to the

dimness, I saw that -- true to the game -- she was waiting for me to

make the first move.  Then she would decide how to respond to it.  Nice

girls didn't make the first move.

   I fooled her, though: I didn't *make* a move, or not much of one. 

Actually, I was nervous as hell.  I was already breathing faster than

usual.  There were all kinds of things I could imagine experiencing with

Mary, but I was afraid to attempt any of them for fear of rejection. 

This wasn't just some girl I wanted to wrestle with.  Mary was

different, special, and I didn't want to mess things up.  In later years

I read Sun Tzu: Never fight a battle unless you know you'll win.

   Mary breathed a little sigh, perhaps of exasperation.  "What's the

matter, Mike?"

   "You scare me a little," I replied candidly.  "Or, I guess *I* scare

me.  You're so pretty, Mary,... I'm afraid to touch you."  She looked at

me a little oddly; this probably wasn't the kind of thing she was used

to hearing back in Dallas.

   "Don't you even want to kiss me?"

   I moved hastily from behind the wheel and turned to face her.  "Oh,

yes,... very much."  She leaned her head back against the car seat and

tilted her face toward me.  In the body language of the time, that meant

'Do it, you idiot'.

   I leaned over carefully and kissed her cheek, then the corner of her

mouth, then her lips.  She kissed me back, which was what it took to

unfreeze my brain.  I slipped my arm around her shoulders and she leaned

closer and put one hand on my shoulder.  I took it slow, trying to be

very gentle and romantic.  I knew how to kiss, having deliberately honed

my technique: Romantic, respectful, and (usually) no tongue-play on the

first date.  But kissing Mary was very different, somehow.  In

retrospect, that was the night I fell in love for the first time.

   We only stayed out there an hour or so.  Mary had to be home by

midnight and I didn't want to push my luck; I knew already this was the

beginning of a unique relationship.

   Over the next few months, things really blossomed for us.  We spent

most of every weekend together, went to every football game together,

went for long walks in Brackenridge Park -- anyplace where we could hold

hands and neck.  We also spent a lot of time on her front porch glider,

since her parents wouldn't let her go out on week nights.  I stuck notes

through the slots in her locker and found replies in mine with tiny

hearts drawn neatly around the edges.  We spent hours on the phone, in

those days before call-waiting, which annoyed the hell out of both sets

of parents.

   After about a month, I overcame my fear of rejection; I told Mary one

evening, very earnestly, that I loved her.  I'd never said that to a

girl before.  She kissed me but didn't reply.  Two days later, she left

me a note: She'd been thinking about my declaration and examining her

own feelings, and had concluded that she loved me, too.  I carried the

note in my wallet until it was illegible tatters.

   For her birthday at the end of October, I gave Mary a modest pearl

ring -- not too expensive and not too personal a gift, so neither her

parents nor mine could object.  She understood that her acceptance of it

meant we were going steady; I was already regarding it as one step short

of an engagement ring.

   We went out driving and parking regularly after that and my hormones

were in full gallop.  Mary had very sensitive breasts and when I

squeezed them and sucked avidly on her nipples, she moaned and shivered. 

She liked to ride around with her back leaning against my shoulder so I

could slip my hand down the front of her blouse and play with her tits

as I drove.  As I rolled and pinched her nipples between my thumb and

forefinger she pushed her feet rhythmically against the passenger door.

   It's a mark of my own woeful inexperience that it took so long for me

to realize that sweet Mary was nearly as horny as I was ... and that it

embarrassed her.  Girls were supposed to submit (within limits) to a

boy's passion, not contribute their own.

   I began making territorial assumptions.  Mary would resist my

advances beyond a certain point and get angry; I'd apologize and we'd

make up -- until the next time.

   That "certain point" kept moving, though.  As an unofficial Christmas

present, Mary stuffed her panties in her purse and allowed my hands full

access to her cunt.  She also handled my cock for the first time --

something only a couple of girls had done before.  The feel of her soft

hands on me was almost more than I could bear.

   I really did love Mary; I convinced both of us, anyway.  But I lusted

for her, too, and that began to get in the way.  We also started to

argue a lot.  Our friends, in fact, joked that when we were together,

all we did was argue -- and when we were apart, all we did was talk

about each other.  Things were beginning to unravel, though I hadn't

realized it yet.

   Our dates now were just a pretense to get out to Eisenhauer Road as

quickly as possible.  We spent long hours passionately making out and

very little time cuddling or talking ... or listening.  But that was

what you did with someone you loved, wasn't it?

   I began pressuring Mary to "go all the way," which she adamantly

refused to consider.  You know: "If you loved me..."  It was a

reprehensible tactic and it made her cry more than once.  Then I'd be

miserable and ashamed and I'd beg her forgiveness, and we'd be okay

again, for a week or two.  It was like being on drugs, I guess: I was

high on Mary and no matter how much she gave me, I wanted more.

   Everyone, including us, assumed that she and I would go to the senior

prom together.  I'm not sure I ever explicitly asked her; I only

remember inquiring what kind of flowers I should get for her corsage.

   Neither of us thought very highly of orchids, so she ended up with

bright yellow roses.  I found myself holding my breath, watching her

come down the stairs in her strapless ball gown.  She was absolutely,

breathtakingly beautiful and I fell in love all over again.

   I beamed at everyone when I walked into the hotel ballroom with Mary

on my arm.  She was gorgeous and I was as solicitous as I had been that

first week in September.  We spent the evening dancing and exchanging

melting gazes.  Without doubt, one of the most memorable and romantic

evenings of my life.  And then I went and messed it up.

   Everyone else went to "Earl Abel's" after the prom and then to one of

the several parties that lasted all night.  Mary and I ended up at a

house party being hosted by a guy I didn't know very well, a friend of a

friend.  I wasn't a drinker, nor was Mary, but there was booze available

so we entered into the spirit.  It didn't take much to demolish my

resolves of good behavior and Mary's defenses.  And it didn't dawn on me

until much later that she might be as frustrated as I was at holding the

line on sex.

   Whatever the motivations, we found ourselves in a temporarily private

upstairs bedroom, behind a locked door.  Mary let me unzip the back of

her gown and she pushed it down to her waist herself.  I had never seen

her entirely naked from the waist up and her display was incredibly

exciting for both of us.

   We lay down side by side on the bed and her gown crackled and rustled

as I worked my hands under it and up her legs.  She raised her hips so I

could remove her petticoats and her panties.  This was going to be it, I


   My tux trousers were unzipped and Mary was slowly masturbating me as

we kissed very deeply.  I stroked her clit and she responded with little

jerking movements and squeezed my cock tighter.  And we held the kiss as

I began to maneuver my way on top of her.  I don't think it was until I

took back my rigid cock and settled myself between her wide-spread knees

that Mary really comprehended what was about to happen.  She got a

panicky look and struggled to push me off.

   "No, Mike, we can't!"  She didn't strike at me, though, or yell, so I

put it down to stage fright or denial 'for the record'.

   "Sure we can, Sweetheart.  No one's going to bother us here.  We love

each other, don't we?"  She continued to push at me as I got my virgin

cock into her virgin pussy on the second lunge, and gasped in momentary

pain.  A few tears showed at the corners of her eyes.

   "No,... no,..." she whimpered and her head swung back and forth.  On

my third or fourth shaky stroke, though, she stopped struggling and even

raised her knees against my ribs.  She began breathing harder and just

as she seemed to accept what I regarded as inevitable,... well, I came. 

I had been in her less than sixty seconds and it was over.

   I pulled out, leaving a sticky trail across her leg, and tried to

kiss her again, but Mary turned her face away.  I couldn't get her to

look at me at all.

     She got up from the bed, the top of her gown still flapping

loosely, and took some tissues from a box on the bedside table.  She

tossed the box to me without a word and then turned her back while she

cleaned herself up.  I wiped enough semen off myself so as not to stain

the tux and when I looked up again, Mary had her top back in place and

her undergarments back on.

   I got up, pulled on my jacket, and tried to put my arms around her

but she easily evaded me and grabbed up her clutch purse.  Then she

looked at me for the first time in five minutes, a very unhappy look,

and said evenly "Take me home, please."

   It was not a pleasant drive.  Mary sat miles away, over against the

passenger door, and all the way back to her house I kept telling her I

loved her and asking what I had done.  Hadn't she wanted to make love as

much as I had?  That only got me a stony stare and deeper silence.  When

we pulled up to the curb in front of her house, I turned off the engine

and set the brake, and turned to face her.

   "Mary, please -- for God's sake, *talk* to me!  You know I love you. 

You must have known this was going to happen--"

   "You keep *saying* you love me, but I don't think you really do," she

said.  There was bitterness in her voice.  "I trusted you to stop before

you went that far."

   That didn't sound quite fair.  "I wasn't there by myself, you know. 

And you seemed to be enjoying it."

   She looked down guiltily.  "You think only boys get those feelings? 

That's why I had to trust you."

   I didn't know how to respond to that and I was hurt by her

accusations.  I got out and went around to her side of the car but she'd

already opened the door and was climbing out.  It stung even more that

she hadn't waited for me to open her door for her (as I always did),

especially on such a formal date.  I walked up the flagstone path and

climbed the porch steps.

   When the evening began, I had expected we'd sit a little while on the

glider and talk about what a wonderful time we'd had at our senior prom. 

What actually happened was that Mary said, very politely, "Thanks for

taking me to the prom, Mike," and gave me a brief, almost ceremonial

kiss.  Then I was standing on the porch by myself.  I've never felt so

awful in my life, before or since -- except for two weeks later.

   When I saw Mary in the hall Monday morning, she smiled and greeted

me, but not very enthusiastically.  This rift wasn't going to go away. 

I spent all that day and most of the next writing a long note to her --

a combination love letter, apology, and plea for understanding and

reconciliation.  I've always communicated much more easily on paper than

in person.  I stuffed it in her locker on Wednesday morning and crossed

my fingers.

   And it worked.  Wednesday evening, I called Mary for the first time

in four days.  The conversation boiled down to her accepting my abject

apology and agreeing to give us another chance, and my promise that

things would be different.  We made a date for Saturday night -- the

last weekend before the early senior finals.

   It went pretty well, considering my nervousness.  I took her out for

a bite and then we came back and strolled for blocks around her

neighborhood, talking things out, agreeing that we were both to blame

for what had happened on prom night, and that we would both be more

aware of each other's feelings.  By the time we arrived back at her

front porch, we were holding hands and exchanging warm smiles.  Then we

sat on the steps and I got anxious again.  I squeezed her hand.

   "Mary, may I kiss you...?"

   "You'd better!"  Then she beat me to it by leaning over and kissing

me first.  We went into a clinch and sobbed quietly on each other's


   That should have been the end of our crisis.  I thought I had learned

my lesson and I tried very hard to behave myself around Mary for the two

weeks that remained until graduation.  We only went out to Eisenhauer

Road once more and that was mostly a replay of our first couple of

visits: Much hugging and passionate kissing, but only casual contact

below the shoulders.

   The next Wednesday was the last day of school for graduating seniors. 

We received our yearbooks and sat on the floor in the halls, leaning

against the walls, so we could pass the books hand-to-hand and sign our

pictures and write little messages and the traditional verses to our

friends.  Later, when we had a chance at privacy, I filled half a page

in Mary's yearbook with my hopes.  Her inscription in my book was much

more restrained.

   On Thursday afternoon we came back to pick up our caps and gowns for

Friday night's Commencement.  Mary and I posed in them in front of the

school while a friend took our picture; she wouldn't hold my hand.

   Looking at that photo now -- oh yes, I still have it -- looking at it

from a distance of thirty years, the sleepless worry lines on her pretty

face are obvious.  Why didn't I see them then?

   Commencement was held in the Japanese Tea Garden at Brackenridge

Park.  A nice setting, but the ceremony itself was as boring as I had

feared -- except for the part where they handed me my fake diploma

scroll; that was fun.

   Afterward, in the congratulatory crowd, Mary excused herself from her

family and motioned to me from across the expanse of folding chairs.  I

made my excuses to my folks for a few minutes and went to join her.

   "Congratulations!" I said and tried to give her a quick kiss.

   She turned her head away and said flatly, "We have to talk."  Her

expression hoisted all my anxiety flags.  There were a dozen all-night

graduation parties scheduled and I asked her hesitantly which she wanted

to go to first.

   "I remember the *last* party we went to," she said grimly.  I was

stunned.  I thought we'd put that behind us.  "I'm late," she whispered


   "What?"  I had no idea what she was talking about.

   "I'm two weeks late on my period," she said.

   Oh, shit.  She was pregnant.  We were only eighteen and I'd knocked

up the girl I was in love with.  My parents would kill me.  Her parents

would kill me again.  I certainly wasn't so stupid as to think I could

support a wife and child on what little I could earn working in a

supermarket or whatever.  But this was Mary.

   "If I'm responsible--" I began.

   She turned on me with a hiss.  "Of *course* you're responsible!  How

many guys do you think I've *been* with?!"  I thought she was going to

burst into tears and slug me, and I put up my hands in a placating


   "No, no -- I was going to say 'If I'm responsible, then I'm

responsible'.  I love you, Mary.  I hope you don't think I was going to

ditch you, run off or something...."

   "Oh...  No, I guess I didn't think that."  Her anger receded into the

background and she went back to being merely tired, unhappy, and afraid. 

"What are we going to do, then?  What am *I* going to do?"

   "I don't know yet.  Give me a chance to think."

   "Okay, but you'd better make it fast.  I have to know whether to

start looking for a job for the next six months, because we're going to

need money.  And whether or not we're staying in San Antonio, or moving

to Austin, or what."

   God, another complication.  I had already been accepted at UT for the

fall while Mary was committed to going to Trinity, her father's school. 

Seventy miles hadn't seemed far to travel to see each other on weekends. 

Now that whole future was in doubt.

   I suppose my abstracted expression gave Mary the wrong idea because

she grabbed my arm suddenly.  Her nails hurt.  "You *are* going to marry

me, aren't you?  If I'm pregnant?"  She managed to look aggressive and

defensive at the same time.

   I stared back at her in disbelief.  "Mary, I love you.  I *love* you. 

Haven't I said I want to marry you?  I just didn't expect it to happen

like this."  No, I sure didn't.

   I didn't have much to celebrate that evening.  My parents were

puzzled that I wasn't planning to go to any of the parties and they kept

asking prying questions, so I left the house after all.  But I didn't

party.  I just drove aimlessly around the north side of town, tailed

closely by guilt and despair, trying to figure out what to do.

   I didn't want to get married.  That is, I *wanted* to marry her --

but not yet and not like this.  We'd either starve or be forced to go to

our parents for financial support, and I wasn't sure which was worse.  I

finally went home after my folks had turned in and I lay in bed most of

the night with my eyes wide open.

   I got up the next morning tired and drawn and sat on the porch for

hours, becoming more and more depressed.  I didn't call Mary at all that

Saturday because I had nothing to say, yet.

   Sunday afternoon, Mary called me.  "I've started," she said with

unnatural calm.

   "You what?"  God, I was dense.

   "I started my period, just a little while ago.  Why don't you ever


   The surge of relief left me weak in the knees and I had to sit down. 

"Thank God," I said softly.  "Mary, I'm so sorry you had to go through


   "Not as sorry as I am," she replied, still very calmly.  "I don't

think we should see each other anymore."

   "But, Mary--"  She cut me off.

   "I've made up my mind, Mike.  Don't call me, don't try to see me. 

Not ever again."

   "But I love you, Mary...."  I could hear the despondency in my own


   "No," she said coldly, "you don't."

   "Please, don't do this--"

   "It's over, Mike.  I'm sorry, but it is.  Goodbye."  And the line

went dead.  I sat and stared at the receiver, shocked by the finality of

it, until the off-hook beeping started.

   I was seriously depressed for weeks.  I felt I didn't want to live,

not cut off like this.  If I'd really had a suicidal streak, I

undoubtedly would have killed myself.

   But I didn't, of course.  I sobered considerably that summer.  Losing

the girl I loved had the odd effect of maturing me, cold turkey.  I had

gone to the brink and peered over, and now I became much more cautious. 

And I did a lot of ruminating about the past year.

   A few days before I left for freshman orientation at UT, I sat down

and wrote Mary a calm, composed letter, apologizing for my behavior and

the emotional strain I had caused her -- not just for the pregnancy

scare but for everything.  I wished her the best in the future and hoped

she'd at least keep some of the good memories of our months together. 

She'd be in my thoughts and I hoped she wouldn't hate me.  I didn't

plead or grovel and I didn't throw myself on her mercy.  I accepted that

our relationship was dead.

   I didn't receive a reply, but I didn't expect to.  But making a

gentlemanly final exit made the whole thing easier to accept.

   I did manage to keep track of Mary for a few years, though.  A close

girlfriend of hers who attended UT for a year before dropping out told

me she had sobbed for most of a day after receiving that last letter. 

That made me feel much better -- not out of revenge, but because it

meant she *had* loved me, for awhile.  She had to have felt something,

to feel its loss.  There really *had* been two people in that

relationship, before I killed it.

   Other people we both knew updated me on Mary at intervals.  She was

married the year she graduated from Trinity, to a guy from Chicago.  She

had a son a couple years later.  And a couple years after that, she got

divorced.  Thereafter, she worked in a law office in Houston, the name

of which I discovered quite by accident.

   My last indirect contact with Mary was on her thirtieth birthday,

when I had thirty long-stemmed yellow roses delivered to her at work.  I

included no card but I was pretty sure she would know who had sent them. 

It was like a last apology.

                                 *  *  *  *  *

                                (A Middle)

   So I went up to Austin and waded through the history and political

science curriculum.  I certainly wasn't a monk my first two years, but

I'd gotten a couple of small scholarships and I worked hard to maintain

my GPA.  I discovered my element in the academic arena and I did much

better than I had in high school.

   I spent the first year and half of the second in a dorm, which was

okay, but I never really took to forced communal living.  Around

Christmas of my sophomore year, two friends took me aside one evening

and made me a proposition.  They had found a three-bedroom apartment not

too far from campus and they were looking for a third roommate to share

the expenses.  The had discussed the possibilities for several days and

I was their first choice.  Both of them were good students, neither was

addicted to wild parties, and the money was considerably less than I was

paying for room and board in the dorm.  The term was ending so I agreed

and cleared the arrangement with my folks (I was still under 21).  By

New Year's Eve, I was moved in.

   Gary and Ed, my new roomies, valued their privacy as much as I did

and we got along fine, each with his own room to escape to.  I was a

much better cook than either of them, though I taught them the basics. 

On the other hand, they didn't mind housework and I hated it, so the

chores divided up pretty evenly.  As it turned out, the three of us

shared quarters for 2-1/2 years until graduation with a minimum of

squabbling, and we parted good friends.  We all live in different parts

of the country now but we still keep in touch.

   Ed was from Baton Rouge and didn't know many girls in Austin, but

Gary, who was from Fort Worth, was luckier: His high school sweetheart

had also chosen UT.  She was a blonde, bouncy little drama major named

Sherry (I know: "Gary and Sherry," like a bad song) and she was careful

not to intrude when she came over to see Gary.  She was cheerful and

pleasant and pretty, and Ed and I quickly accepted her frequent

presence.  She never stayed overnight, though.

   Sometimes I'd come home and hear muffled sounds of bedsprings and

passionate moaning from behind Gary's closed bedroom door.  I'd go on

about my business and when they emerged, Sherry would pat me on the arm

in greeting and I'd give her a big smile in return, and no one would

mention the bedroom.  She was a sweet girl, very much in love with Gary,

and Ed and I silently envied them both.

   In mid-December of my junior year, almost exactly a year since the

three of us had set up housekeeping, Sherry took me aside one afternoon

and asked with elaborate casualness if I might be interested in meeting

a friend of hers who had just transferred from Texas Wesleyan.  Ed had

begun dating a certain special girl regularly by then, and I think

Sherry felt it was her responsibility to see that I wasn't left out.  I

was flattered, certainly, but I'd become cautious about women and it was

a habit I didn't intend to break.  I dated often enough, though only on

a purely social basis, and I enjoyed the occasional sweaty make-out

session with a girl at a party, but there was very little emotional

involvement.  The last thing I wanted was entanglements.

   Sherry was so earnest, I suggested she bring her friend to the

pre-Christmas open-house we were planning the next weekend.  That way,

if it didn't work out, her friend would have the party as fallback

entertainment.  Had I known what I was getting into, I might have

chickened out.

   I was bedding down a case of Lone Star in the ice-filled bathtub the

evening of the open-house when Sherry turned up with her friend in tow. 

She didn't seem to think it odd, making introductions in the bathroom,

and Rose and I hit it off immediately.  She was a compact little

brunette with sultry dark eyes and almost too much makeup, and lots of

tan.  She favored tight blouses and short skirts, which was okay with


   Rose glanced around at the tile and the hand towels and laughed. 

"First time I ever had a date in the john," she said, and her eyes

twinkled conspiratorially, making it a shared joke.

   About a third of our small apartment complex was older students and

another third was young faculty, so most of the tenants were having

open-door parties.  I pulled on my Christmas sweater, the one with

reindeer all over it (my mother's idea), and Rose and I went out to make

the rounds of the parties while Gary and Ed and their girlfriends held

down the fort for awhile at our place.  She was the perfect date for

such an occasion: Pretty and charming, friendly and outgoing, and

apparently capable of drinking anyone under the table.  We had a great


   After three or four hours of conviviality, we found ourselves back at

the apartment; Gary and Ed headed out with their dates and I wasn't

about to start on the litter until morning, if then.  I was a bit

unfocused, being unaccustomed to so much beer in so short a time.  I was

too gassed to drive but I could walk and talk if I took it slow.  Once I

sat down on the couch it seemed easier to stay there.  And when Rose

plopped down on my lap and kicked off her shoes, it seemed easier to

keep her there, too.

   I had nothing specific in mind when I gave her a friendly squeeze and

kissed her briefly on the neck.  I liked her and it seemed like the

thing to do.  Rose hooked her arm around my shoulder and studied my face

thoughtfully for a moment.  Then she leaned in and kissed me, long,

hard, and deep.  I hadn't been kissed with that much initiative since-- 

Well, since Mary.

   Then she put her lips close to my ear and said softly, "I really like

you, Mike.  Let's go in the bedroom and fuck."

   The seconds passed while I digested that.  It was a week short of

1965, but the Sixties hadn't really arrived in Texas, wouldn't for

several years yet, and I had never heard a suggestion like that from a

girl.  I must have been staring at her in disbelief, because Rose sort

of shrugged and said "Well, if you don't want to, that's okay..."

   At which point I said something suave like "No, let's do it!"  A bad


   I don't know whether it was the beer, or the fact that I hadn't

gotten laid since I started college, or just general nervousness, but it

turned into a long evening.  When we got to my bedroom and shut the

door, I fumbled badly trying to take off Rose's blouse and skirt and she

had to finish.  I couldn't manage her bra at all.  Then she had to help

me out of my own clothes.  I was barely sober enough to be aware that I

was embarrassing myself badly.

   The next mental snapshot on that roll is of me, sucking Rose's lavish

tits and trying desperately to will myself into an erection.  We both

were doing a lot of moaning, but for different reasons.  She was very

understanding, though, and did a class job of sucking on my cock until I

was stiff enough to be useful to her.

   Then she climbed on top of me and stuffed my bewildered cock into her

cunt.  I squeezed her large, jiggling breasts and I squeezed her smooth,

muscular ass.  I squeezed every part of her I could reach.  Perhaps I

was still astonished at suddenly being completely naked and in bed with

a very sexy girl only a few hours after we'd met.  And perhaps I'm too

much of a romantic to get very worked up without foreplay.

   It ended after ten or fifteen minutes with Rose masturbating herself

to a climax while the head of my cowardly cock sat lodged just inside

her, as if it had dozed off.  When she finished her series of little

shudders, she slid off me and lay propped up on her elbow.

   She stroked my hair and said, not unkindly, "Don't worry about it,

honey.  You're just tired and you had a little too much to drink

tonight.  It happens to all guys once in awhile."  It was too much.  I

was frustrated, mortified, horny, and half-drunk -- and now she was

offering me a convenient excuse, like tossing a life preserver.

   "Don't be so fuckin' *nice* about it, for chrissake!"

   She snatched her hand back.  "Well, pardon *me* all to hell!"  She

hopped off the bed and began snatching up clothes from the floor.  She

was seriously annoyed.

   On the third try, I managed to sit upright.  Rose had her underwear

on and was yanking her skirt up over her hips.  "Please," I begged, "I

didn't mean that.  I'm sorry, Rose."  She was shrugging into her blouse

and moving toward the bedroom door, a stormy look on her face.

   "Rose, *please* come back, just for a minute!  I have to explain..." 

She glanced at me and, I suppose, saw the misery scrawled all over my

face.  She hesitated and then came back and sat on the edge of the bed

just beyond my reach while she put on her shoes.

   "I'm sorry, Rose, I had no right to be ugly when you've been so

terrific."  I was a little more composed and she sat quietly and waited

for me to continue.  So I gave her the two-minute version -- that she

was only the second girl I'd ever really had sex with, and what had

happened the first time with Mary, and why I had become unreasonably


   "Rose, if you'd gotten mad at me for conking out on you, I probably

could have handled it.  But you were so understanding about

everything,...  I just couldn't deal with it.  I'm sorry -- God, I'm so

sorry.  I seem to say that a lot to women I get involved with," I added,

and I heard the bitterness in my own voice.

   She gave me that thoughtful look again and scooted closer.  She held

my hand and her tacit acceptance of my apology almost brought me to

tears.  I guess it showed.

   "Want to try it again?" she asked softly.  "From the top?  I can even

stay the night if you think you want me to."  I almost accepted but I

knew I couldn't.  I squeezed her fingers.

   "I don't think you'd better," I replied, with an attempt at a wry

smile.  "I'm afraid all I'm good for right now is self-pity.  But you

don't know how much I needed to hear you say that."

   "Okay; I really do understand."  She leaned over and kissed me very

gently.  "I hope you find her some day."  I must have looked blank. 

"The right girl," she added.  She stood, touched my cheek for a moment,

and then slipped out.  I heard the apartment door click shut a moment


   I lay on my side staring into the dark and wondering what it was

about me that attracted disastrous relationships.

   I don't know why it didn't occur to me earlier, but the first time I

saw Sherry after the Christmas holidays, I suddenly remembered that Rose

was a friend of hers.  Oh, God, I thought -- what stories were making

the rounds now?

   But Sherry grinned at me and said "Rose tells me you two really hit

it off at the open house."  I waited for the other shoe to drop.  "She

didn't give me any details,... but she *did* say you were *very*

interesting in bed...."  She gave me a friendly leer and I silently

thanked Rose for her discretion.

   "Rose is quite a girl," I agreed, with what I hoped was a mysterious


   I didn't call her, but I bumped into Rose on campus a couple weeks

later.  She was in animated conversation with a tall young man in a

basketball letter sweater (she came up to the Longhorn on the front),

but when I gave her a little wave she put him on hold and detoured in my

direction with a big smile.

   "How you doing?"  She seemed genuinely interested.

   "I'll get by," I replied.  "I talked to Sherry; I wanted to thank


   She glanced down and looked at me through her mascara.  "No problem. 

You *are* a nice guy, even though we, um, had a problem that night." 

She glanced back at the basketball player, who was waiting patiently. 

"I've been getting acquainted with Dave, over there, and I'm meeting a

lot of other people, too."  What she meant was that her free time was

taken for the foreseeable future.

   "Well, I'm glad your transfer to UT is working out so well."  Which

meant I understood and I wouldn't pester her for dates, trying to prove

myself to her.  She smiled again, patted me on the arm, and went back to

her tall friend.  I saw her occasionally, around campus or with Sherry,

and we exchanged greetings, but we never had another date.  I have no

idea what happened to her after we graduated.

                                 *  *  *  *  *

                                 (An End)

   The remainder of that year was pretty dismal and so was summer

vacation.  My grades continued high but my spirits were extremely low. 

It was hard to work up any enthusiasm for the job I had taken on as an

R.A., even thought the poly sci prof I was doing research for seemed

very pleased with my labors.  He assured me that if I chose to pursue

graduate work at UT, he would give me a strong recommendation for a T.A.

position.  That was nice to hear, but I really had no idea what I was

going to do after graduation the following May.  Especially with a

degree in history.

   Then, the first week in August 1965 -- the first Saturday: that's

important -- I was in the Barker Center digging through some archival

materials (one of the privileges of being an R.A.), when I heard the

muffled thud of books toppling off a loaded book truck a few aisles

over.  This was followed by a subdued female voice indulging in some

unladylike language.  I went around the end stack to see what had

happened and found a young woman kneeling on the dusty floor, gathering

up an armload of bound journals; it looked like she had turned the

corner too quickly and the truck had overbalanced.

   From above and behind, all I saw was very dark brown hair, almost

black, above rather wide shoulders, and the back of a denim skirt and

western-style shirt.  She was muttering under her breath.

   "Can I help you with this?" I asked.

   She looked up a bit startled.  Her eyes were large and soft brown and

her lips were sensual.  She had the kind of creamy complexion that

appears in magazine cosmetics ads.  Pretty but not gorgeous, no extra

weight but not slender, either.  Somehow very competent-seeming, despite

her present chore.

   I didn't wait for an answer but hunkered down beside her and started

gathering up the rest of the volumes and putting them rapidly in order.

   She laughed and said "You've done this before."  Her voice was

melodious but sort of no-nonsense.

   "I've been working in libraries, on and off, since junior high."  I

smiled back at her.  "You wouldn't believe how many book trucks I've

crashed."  We both stood up and dusted off our hands.  "Your knees," I

said with a nod.

   "What?"  She looked down at the two gray patches on the front of her

skirt.  "Oh, rats.  I gotta get an apron if they keep me up here.  I've

been clerking part-time in Technical Services over in the main library. 

They lent me out as a page for the last part of the summer and I'm still

getting the hang of it."

   "Well, I'm around here a lot.  Feel free to ask an old library hand." 

I don't why, but I hesitated.  "I'm Mike, by the way."

   "Jean," she said and flashed me a smile so brilliant, I blinked. 

Then I went back to my carrel and she went back to her shelving.

   The Barker closed early on weekends in the summer and when they

chased me out that evening I ran into Jean again on the outside steps. 

We both said "Hi" ... and then one of those rare events occurred that

make you seriously consider the existence of fate, or predestination, or

guardian angels.  Without thinking about what I was doing, I said "Can I

give you a lift?"

   She smiled but said "No, that's okay" I'm just over in Jester."

   "Doesn't sound very exciting in the summer..."

   "No, but it's *quiet*.  Lots of vacant room and no waiting for a

washer."  Jester Center is the largest single dormitory in the country;

nowadays, it has its own ZIP code and includes *two* voting precincts. 

It's also overcrowded most of the time.

   She sighed a bit theatrically and added "I just have to round up some

friends to go out for a hamburger."

   Yes -- I'd forgotten.  The dorm cafeterias didn't operate on weekends

in the summer, either.  If you weren't headed home, or out on a date,

you had to find your own meals.  We walked another few yards toward the

parking lot; Jester stood two blocks beyond.  I made up my mind very


   "Listen,... I usually only eat one meal on Saturday, and I was

planning on going over to the Colorado Cafe for a chicken-fried steak. 

Would you like to join me?"

   An air of caution descended.  "I, uh--  I'm afraid I don't go on

dates on the spur of the moment, with guys I've just met."  She seemed

tempted, though.

   "Well, we can do it Dutch, if you'd rather.  Then it wouldn't be a

date.  And I don't like eating alone."  That was a bare-faced lie.  Give

me a plate of food and a book and I didn't care if I was in the middle

of the Gobi.  I could sense the struggle in her mind.

   "Uh, well,...  Sure, okay -- but I pay my own way!"

   "Fine.  You can buy *me* supper if you want."  And I grinned like an

idiot and she grinned back.  It was only the second or third time in my

life that I had even tried to pick up a girl.

   I unlocked the passenger side of my little faded-red VW and did some

more fast thinking as I went around to the driver's side.  As I climbed

in, I said "Would you mind if we stopped at my place?"  Her eyebrows

rose a fraction.  "I mean, just for a moment," I added hastily.  "If you

wouldn't mind waiting."  I indicated the three shoeboxes of note cards

in the back seat.  "It's more than my life's worth if I lost all the

citation cards to Dr. Gardner's book!  I don't want to leave them in the

car."  She nodded and seemed appeased.  I was relieved she hadn't

thought I was trying to lure her up to see my etchings.  And then I

wondered why it seemed to matter so much.

   I parked at the curb outside our building, hopped out, and pushed the

seat forward so I could grab the card boxes.  "Be right back," I said

and hurried inside.  I dumped the boxes on my bed and hollered "Gary? 


   Gary voice came from the kitchen.  "Yeah?"  I skidded around the

corner and he stopped trying to unstick the ice tray in the freezer

compartment and sort of stared at me.

   "Man, am I glad you're here!  Have you got $10 you can spare until I

can write a check on Monday?"  That was the real reason I had to run by

the apartment: I only had a dollar and change in my pocket.

   "Well, yeah..."  He started digging his wallet out of his pocket. 

"What happened?  Your car break down?"

   "No!  I got a date!  Unexpectedly!  No money!"  That bounced his

eyebrows *way* up.  He extracted his last two fives and stuck them in my

shirt pocket with a broad smile.

   "As long as it's in a good cause...."  And I was out the door again.

   It was the most pleasant meal I'd had in months.  Neither of us had

to get back anywhere in a hurry so we took our time, enjoyed the food,

nursed our iced tea, and got acquainted.  I learned that Jean was also a

senior, that she came from Sherman (which explained why she preferred to

stay in Austin for the summer), that she was a biochem major with

medical ambitions, and that she was the oldest of three kids.

   She also made it known, subtly, that she wasnt seeing anyone in

particular.  In fact, she turned out to be something of a loner who

didn't date much at all.  That part sounded familiar.

   Over the last four years, I had learned how to be a good listener;

for one thing, it kept me from having to explain myself.  But Jean was

-- or seemed -- genuinely interested in whatever I had to say.  After a

while, I was startled to find myself pouring all my personal problems

with girls into her sympathetic ear.  At that realization I stopped and

apologized, but she waved that away and asked a couple of perceptive and

leading questions and got me started again.  Jean would have made a good


   When it was finally time to leave, I asked if she would please let me

pick up the check.  She gave in gracefully.  It seemed she had decided

we were on a date after all.

   Taking Jean back to the dorm, I drove more slowly than usual because

I enjoyed her company (and her sympathy) enormously and I was reluctant

for the evening to end.  But we got there and I parked and walked her

into the lobby.  I was torn between wanting to kiss her goodnight (would

she expect me to?) and wanting to avoid the stupidities for which, in my

own mind, I was infamous.

   But there was no problem after all.  Jean climbed the first step of

the stairs, which put us on about the same level, and laid one hand on

my shoulder.  And we flowed into a graceful, warm, quiet kiss as easily

as breathing.  It was friendly, in a way, rather than passionate;

undemanding rather than urgent.  It made me feel so good about myself,

about us, I actually had to tell her so.

   "That was nice," I said softly, touching my forehead to hers.

   "Yes," she whispered.  "It was.  And it's been a wonderful evening. 

Mike, I'd like to see you again, soon.  I hope you'll call me."

   "I'll call, I promise."  There was an itch behind my eyeballs ... my

imprisoned emotions trying to escape.  I stood at the foot of the stairs

and watched until Jean reached the switchback landing, where she paused

and gave me a little wave.

   My friends tell me I think about things too much.  It's probably

true.  All the old cautions echoed in my mind on the drive home.  My

feelings for Mary had centered on romantic passions -- the "fire that

burns twice as hot."  It was still painful to think about Mary and I

tried to avoid that corner of my memories.  With Rose, it had been

mostly bad timing.  I regretted acting like an immature fool with her,

but she was a nice person and there was no guilt attached,... or not


   Jean was completely unlike the other two women in my life.  She was

calm and unflappable, not a blazing sex bomb.  She inspired emotional

intimacy and trust, not Romeo-and-Juliet passions.  I had no idea

whether the seed we seemed to have planted would germinate, but I

discovered I really wanted to explore the possibilities.  From past

experience alone, that realization should have set off alarm bells of

anxiety, but I felt only a relaxed optimism.  Good, very good.

   I took Jean to the movies, and out to Lake Travis, and to

Fredericksburg for Texas German food.  We held hands when we walked and

as the summer wound down we kissed more frequently and spontaneously. 

There was no sense of pressure in any of it, no promises or declarations

or demands.  I never felt the need to impress her.  It was as if each of

us was the missing piece in the other's jigsaw puzzle.

   I knew I was gradually falling in love and I welcomed it with an open

heart.  That also surprised me.  Nevertheless, I was reluctant to say

anything overt to Jean because I didn't want to tempt fate again.

   Labor Day came and went and Jean and I saw a little less of each

other as classwork piled up.  She was wading through advanced cytology

and I was sorting out the Peace Party Convention of 1864.  Probably a

good thing because it slowed the pace of what was becoming a courtship

and it gave us more time to find out about each other.

   The remarkable thing was how little sexual contact we actually had. 

We necked like teenagers in high school, dueling with our tongues,

stroking cheeks, breathing warmly into an available ear.  A few times, I

gently squeezed her breast during a lengthy kiss or ran my hand over her

flared hips and across her firm ass, but it was always a caress, not

foreplay.  So we moved slowly, but we kept moving.

   By the end of October, my inner thoughts about Jean had shifted from

"if we..." to "when we..." and I knew it was time to find out how she

really felt about me before I got in any deeper.  Naturally, she beat me

to it.

   It was the first Friday of December and thousands of fall term papers

had just been turned in.  Jean and I had agreed, regretfully, that

school work took priority -- especially this late in the game.  For two

weeks, we had seen each other only briefly each day, and then it was off

to the library or back home to a hot typewriter.  It seemed like a very

long time just then.  Finals would be coming up shortly, but we were

both doing well and we had set this weekend aside for ourselves.

   It was a little unsettling to discover just how much I *had* missed

her, so I invited her over for a big, homemade Saturday morning

breakfast, complete with biscuits and gravy.  She turned up about 10:00.

   She inhaled deeply as she came in and dropped her purse on the couch. 

(Breakfast is one of the things I do best.)  "Mmmmmmm...  One of the few

things I miss about living at home!" she said and smacked her lips.  We

kept busy for an hour with eggs and sausage patties and hash browns and

real biscuits and buckets of cream gravy.

   "If you're going to feed me like this all the time, I'd better start

letting out my seams!" she said as I refilled her coffee cup.

   We stacked all the dishes and skillets in the sink for later and

moved into the living room.  "I just realized I haven't a peep from your

roommates," Jean said.  "Still asleep?"

   "No, Gary-and-Sherry drove up to Fort Worth yesterday after classes,

and Ed is off in the Hill Country somewhere for the weekend."  Which was

why I had suggested she come over, of course.

   Jean caught me off guard, though.  "There's something I want to ask

your advice about, Mike.  Uh, we're friends, aren't we?"

   Friends?  Yeah, at least.  She sat in the more reputable of our two

armchairs and I sprawled on the couch.  "Of course we are.  What's the


   "Well,..."  She was studying her nails and glancing at me out of the

corner of her eye.  "I've met this guy who I like a lot..."

   Oh, God.  Now what?  The breakfast began to congeal in my gut.

   "He's very nice," she went on, not meeting my eye at all, now.  "In

fact,... I think I'm in love with him."  I felt cold.  "But he hasn't

said how he feels about me.  How do you think I should approach him?"

   My stomach was filled with hardening clay but I looked down at my own

hands and said "Just ask him, I guess."  Why did this keep happening to

me?  I was desperately in love with this girl, a fact that was only now

sinking in.  I was so shocked by the abruptness of events, I didn't

realize for a moment that Jean had gotten up and moved to the arm of the

couch.  Then I felt her warm hand curl around the back of my neck.

   "Michael," she asked softly, "do you love me?  Or what?"

   I looked up at her with my mouth open.  Then I grabbed her around the

waist and pulled her onto my lap.  I hugged her so tightly she wheezed

and I buried my face in her neck.

   "Sweetheart, I could *kill* you for doing that to me,... if I didn't

love you so much!"

   I hung onto her and she clung to me and neither of us moved very much

for several minutes.  Then I loosened my hold just enough to be able to

kiss her, and it was a demanding, aggressive kiss -- not like me at all. 

But she responded just as insistently until our mouths felt bruised.

   When we came up for air, she said "I'm sorry I had to do that, Mike,

but I didn't know how else to ask.  And I love *you* so much!"  And we

disappeared into another smoldering kiss.  She was stretched out

crosswise across my lap, convenient to my wandering hands which were

making up for lost time.

   She was wearing light wool slacks and a plaid cotton shirt with

buttons down the front.  I undid the first few buttons before she pushed

my hand out of the way and nearly ripped the rest of them off getting

her shirt open and pushed back.  She was almost frantic, fumbling her

arms out of the sleeves, and her unmistakable passion quickened my

pulse.  Then the front closure of her bra popped open, and it was off

and on the floor.

   Then she was up and sitting astride my knees, back arched, her

breasts on display to my hungry gaze.  Jean's tits were a little larger

than average but were balanced by her broader-than-usual shoulders;

otherwise, they were unremarkable ... but they were *hers* and I adored

them.  I massaged and squeezed them for a few minutes and her

respiration increased.  When I rolled her lengthening nipples between

thumb and forefinger, she hissed in between her teeth and moaned "Oh,

God--  Suck on them, please!  Mike, suck on my tits!  Put your mouth on


   When I pulled her closer and inhaled her breast, she locked her hands

behind my head and tried to draw me into her.  Small tremors traveled up

and down her body and my own arousal increased.

   Then she was off my lap again and hurriedly unhooking her slacks and

pushing them to the floor.  Her socks and panties followed.  She stood

naked before me, eyes glowing.  I was still completely dressed and my

newly-confirmed love was displaying her body for my viewing pleasure. 

Again, her figure was trim, her complexion beautifully smooth and clear,

but I couldn't objectively say she was a traffic-stopper.  But she was

*Jean* and that made her the most desirable woman I could conceive of.

   "There's something else I should tell you," she said as she slipped

back across my thighs.  "I went on The Pill six weeks ago because I

suspected we'd be in bed by now.  I want you to make love to me,

Michael.  In fact, I'm not leaving here until I fuck you!"

   Her knees were spread and the aroma of her drifted upward and fired

my own furnace.  My hands slid up and down her thighs and moved around

to measure her ass.  She groaned a little and leaned against me.  I

slipped one hand between her legs from behind and brushed my fingertips

against her moist labia.  She had another fit of trembling.

   Then she was on her feet again, pulling me up.  "Come on, come on,

get your clothes off!  I *want* you!"  I unfastened and unzipped and she

quickly knelt and hauled my trousers down.  Her feverish hurry was

blinding me with lust.  My cock sprang out, hard and rigid, and her

mouth instantly fastened on it.

   What she lacked in polished technique, Jean made up for in ardor. 

Like me, she was an enthusiastic amateur at sex -- and, also like me,

she'd obviously had relatively little experience.  I found that

reassuring, even if it meant the blind leading the blind.

   She tried to take in all of my quivering cock and nearly choked when

it hit her throat.  I eased her head back a bit and she concentrated on

washing my penis with her tongue and manipulating my balls.  The

sensation was like nothing I had experienced before.  I had engaged in

oral sex, of course, but only for recreation.  This was a woman with

whom I had fallen in love and who loved me.  And I wasn't seventeen any


   I could feel the pressure building in my groin but I didn't want to

climax.  I gently retrieved my cock and pulled her to her feet.  Jean

was several inches shorter than me and when we wrapped ourselves up in

each other, standing there in the living room, she nuzzled under my chin

and nibbled at my throat.

   My cock was sandwiched between us, and when it twitched Jean wrapped

her hand around it and pulled and squeezed as we kissed.  I bent one

knee and she closed her thighs on it and humped a little.  She was so

unrestrained in her lust, now that we had declared ourselves, she was

producing more than the expected reaction in me.

   I trailed my fingers up and down her back and she shivered and

laughed under her breath.  "C'mon," I whispered, "we gotta find a bed --


   Making sure the door was locked (the first opportunity I'd had to see

to that), I turned to find Jean already disappearing into my room.  When

I hurried in after her, she was arranging herself on the bed for me,

knees spread, arms reaching, and a wanton grin on her face.  But things

were going so well I chose to take my time -- our time -- in this

delightful morning lovemaking.

   I went to the foot of the bed and started up toward Jean on my hands

and knees.  She leaned her head back and spread her legs wider,

expecting me to aim my cock straight at the target.  But I ambushed her,

dropping flat and covering her open pussy with my open mouth.  She

jumped a bit and squeaked in surprise, but she liked it.

   I spread her labia apart with my fingers and stuck my tongue into her

cunt like a spoon in a pot of jam, plowing through her juices from

bottom to top.  Her clitoris protruded from its hood and I moved my

tongue all around it and then sucked it in between my teeth.  Jean

jammed her hands under the pillow behind her head; her eyes went out of

focus and she was breathing in gulps.  Her candid reactions to my

advances were stimulating but I also felt completely at home, as though

we were old lovers rather than new ones.

   She also had my cock as hard and stiff as an iron pipe, and after a

few minutes of teasing her pussy with my tongue I climbed farther up her

body.  When I eased myself into her, she gave a loud, ragged gasp and

hung onto my neck as if we were about to be launched.

   Jean wasn't a screamer, a thrasher, or a talker, but there was no

doubt whatever that she loved what we were doing and was totally caught

up in it.  Sarah Bernhardt couldn't have faked a sexual experience so

intensely.  I was under no illusions that this terrific girl might be an

unfulfilled virgin, but I knew instinctively that her experience was at

least as limited as my own.  Maybe she reacted this way *every* time she

got laid; I didn't know and I didn't care.  The fact that *I* was able

to put her into orbit was more than enough.

   I moved in her erratically, unpredictably, and was rewarded with

little mews and gasps and catches in her breathing.  Her sexual flush

became bright scarlet.  Her hands clutched at my back and arms and I was

glad she wasn't a believer in long nails; she'd have drawn blood.  When

I settled into a galloping rhythm, she moved her legs higher, locking

her ankles so I could penetrate deeper.

   We reached the peak almost together and the release of my orgasm was

exquisite.  Jean held tightly to me for perhaps half a minute as she

shuddered through her own climax.  Then she relaxed and gave me a hug

filled with satisfaction and love.  And it dawned on me, quite suddenly,

that we had both been in control of events the entire time.  Every move

we had made had been an unspoken but mutual decision.  No pressure, no

anxiety, no worries about inadequacy.  Jean might not be a sex goddess,

but I wasn't exactly a hunk, either.

   I leaned back and studied her face, and saw only happiness, love, and

pride in one's partner -- exactly what I was feeling.

   As my cock shrank I slowly pulled out of her cunt,... and I found a

quiet pleasure in the momentary look of loss that appeared in her eyes. 

She really wanted me.  Me!

   I rolled off her and propped my head up on one elbow as she stretched

her legs and back muscles.  "Still love me?" I asked quietly and with a


   She seemed to examine my face minutely and then reached up to touch

my cheek.  "Oh, yes..."  No declamation, no poetry: Just "yes."  A

simple affirmation.  It sounded real and believable and truthful.  It

sounded wonderful.

   The next six months passed more quickly than I could believe.  Jean

came over to the apartment for at least an hour or two almost every

evening.  Any more than that and we were concerned that our grades might

suffer.  We were head over heels in love, but we were both still too

pragmatic to allow *that* to happen.

   Gary and Sherry and Ed took one look at the two of us together after

that weekend and smirked at each other -- our feelings were that

obvious.  We had sex only a couple of times a week; we knew we'd be

together a long time and so we tortured ourselves pleasurably with

semi-denial.  Jean didn't sleep over, though, for the same reason Sherry

didn't: It would have been an imposition on the other two guys in the

apartment.  And, not surprisingly, Jean and Sherry became good friends,

even though their other interests were so different.

   ...Such good friends, in fact, that Sherry was delighted to be Jean's

maid-of-honor when we were married in June, two weeks after graduation

and ten weeks before I began work on my M.A.

                                 *  *  *  *  *

   It's been 26 years now, and Jean and I are as much in love as we were

then.  It hasn't all been smooth sailing -- no real marriage ever is --

but our spats have never been serious and are usually resolved by a

competition to be the first to apologize.

   I'm a tenured full professor in American history and I love it. 

We'll never be wealthy but we're comfortable, and the life of the mind

(and the classroom) suits me.  Jean spent several years as a medical lab

technician,... and then as a supervisor when she discovered a talent for

scientific administration; now, she's in charge of the technical side of

the largest commercial medical lab in Texas -- earns more than I do, in

fact, and deserves every cent of it.

   Two of our three children are married and the youngest is engaged,

though she swears she'll wait until she graduates from UT to be married.

   Now that we have the house to ourselves again most evenings, we've

found time to reenact our first lovemaking on that old apartment couch;

the only difference is newer furniture.  We know each other so well

after a quarter-century, you'd think it would be difficult for either of

us to arouse the other as we used to.  But Jean still excites me ...

though I get winded more easily.


Copyright 1993 by Michael K. Smith. Copies may be made and posted

elsewhere for personal enjoyment, but all commercial rights are reserved.



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