Well, it’s Wednesday and time to add to our collaborative community story. Cathy gave us some ideas as we move forward, although we diverted a little.
We’re following a flashback of our main character, Samantha. The story thus far is on the blog under “Story.”
Here’s where we left off.
I didn’t want it to end…
The night ended, but our relationship didn’t. Instead it continued to grow throughout that summer. Chad and I spent a lot of time together and got to know each other a lot better. And he never wore off.
He saw me at my worst when I had a summer cold … and still said I was “beautiful.” He put up with my moods, gently turning my sour side into a sweeter one with just the right phrase or joke. He encouraged and challenged me every time we went out.
I must admit, by summer’s end, I was quite smitten with him. And it appeared to be mutual. After all, for most of the summer, where he was, I was. We went to the shore, and movies, and long drives, and parking on Garrett Mountain. We learned a lot about each other, but still knew our boundaries. Sure, there was plenty of holding hands and hugging and kissing and even a little fondling, but we both knew when to slow down. I think that’s what I loved about him — yes, I said loved. He listened patiently to my words and my heart. He gave me his prime time, not the leftovers. He praised me. He surprised me. He courted me. He treated me like a queen in front of other people.
I learned Chad was very focused on his career, both engineering and the Air Force. He would talk about how he could blend both after graduation. And he took his studies seriously. So I wasn’t sure where our relationship would go when school started.
It changed, but not all that much. Even though we went to school near each other in The Bronx, we lived in different states, so phone calls were expensive. Yet, he found a way to keep in “touch.” He would call to say, “I love you!” or “I was thinking about you!” or “I miss you!” He planned either a Friday or Saturday night date, usually in the City. He scheduled study dates either at the library or his place — and forced me to study! We went to ball games, museums and plays in the City, just long walks in Riverside Park or VanCortlandt Park.
My Mom invited him and his family to Thanksgiving Dinner and they accepted. It went well, except she managed to embarrass me over and over with her questions and her revelations about my childhood (“she was a cute baby; do you want to see some pictures?” … “she was shy and awkward” … “she was book smart but didn’t have much common sense”). Thankfully, Chad rescued me to meet up with Bernie and Jimmy.
In the middle of traffic he pulled the car over, took my hand and said, “You know, I love you. Every day I love you more. But I have to know if you feel the same way.”
“Yes! Yes! Without a doubt!” I screamed, grabbing his head in my hand and planting a long, deep kiss.
From that moment on, it was official. We were a couple. It seems Bernie and Jimmy were also a couple, although we were too engrossed in ourselves to even notice.
Not much changed as went through the rest of the school year. I knew we still had to get through his stint with the Air Force and I still had two more years of school, so we never talked about marriage. In fact, we never talked about getting engaged, either. But he would indulge my fantasies when we walked past a jewelry store or bridal shop, always with a big grin on his face.
I did stay at his apartment a couple times during the winter when the weather got bad and I slept in his bed … alone. He wouldn’t have it any other way. By February I started keeping some clothes at his place so I could get ready “properly” if we went into the City. During spring break, I went with Chad and his family to Florida. I was so proud to be his escort to a Military Ball just before his graduation and had tears of joy in my eyes as he walked up to receive his degree.
We only had a few weeks between graduation and his assignment at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Two weekends before he had to leave, I decided to cook him dinner, Chicken Chasseur, baked chicken breast in a tarragon mushroom sauce, with Glazed Carrots, Pommes Anna and French bread. I picked up a bottle of a nice Bordeaux. I made a Pumpkin and Pecan Cheesecake. Mom and Dad were out of town for the weekend visiting relatives in Delaware.
Chad was right on time, as usual. The table was set, but I was still in my sauce-stained apron with hints of flour dusting my hair. I lit the candles, told Chad to get comfortable, went in and freshened up, came back and served dinner. It was magical. The chicken was moist and tasty (I had never prepared an ENTIRE meal by myself) and the French bread was the perfect accompaniment for the sauce.
After dessert, we went to the couch to talk and cuddle. I don’t know if it was the intoxication of the wine or the realization this all was ending, but I wanted to go further than just kissing. As I started unbuttoning his shirt, he asked, “Are you sure about this?” to which I responded, “definitely” as I led his hand to the buttons on my blouse. This was new territory for both of us … skin on skin.
As I got up to take off my jeans, I reached out to him and led him to my bedroom. “Are you sure about this?” he asked again. “Definitely,” I responded. And there in my bed, we made love, both exploding in ecstasy. We both lay in each other’s arms for what seemed like hours. Eventually he rolled over and dozed off. I just kept staring at him, my head resting on my hand.
As the euphoria waned and the afterglow ebbed, though, second thoughts crept into my mind. I felt what we did was right, but my upbringing nagged my thoughts. “What did I do?” “What am I going to do?” “Why did I listen to him when he told me he loved me?” “He’s leaving next week.” “Is he going to leave me now?” “What did I do?”
And there I was, literally and figuratively stuck buck naked between the wall and a man. How did an in-control woman lose so much control…
There you go, readers. What’s next with Chad? Is this the beginning? Or is this the end?
All you have to do is put down your thoughts and get them to me. You can post your ideas as comments on the blog – but remember everyone will see them, so the “surprise” factor might get lost – or you can e-mail me directly at email@example.com. Each Wednesday I will continue the story on the blog, along with that week’s attribution and periodically update Reveille/Between the Lakes readers. The complete story thus far is available on the blog under “Story.”
I hope we can have some fun with this.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: I encourage you to be a healer and a restorer of dreams.