Andrea & I

byespeteroh©

"A bubble bath, have you ever had one?"

"No I but just for you I'll start a new trend." I responded smiling.

"I insist that you allow me to have my way," she ran her hand down my back and caressed me. I shivered. She smiled with great pleasure at this, pulled me out of the bed by the hand and led me into her bathroom. Soon the tub was full and the bubble solution applied. I was totally within her power, she knew it and she relished it.

Andrea brought out an enormous sponge. It looked like the same sponge I washed my car with. I told her this and she laughed. She dipped the sponge into the water and then rubbed my chest, my stomach and finally my legs. The sponge was far softer than my car sponge and felt so good I was becoming quite aroused after I had thought I was far too drained to feel much of anything for quite a while.

Again we made love more passionately than we had ever before. We were like a couple who were going to be apart for sometime and were feverishly pushing their passion to heights they'd never visited before. When I said good night to Andrea that night she gave me a particular long and deeply loving kiss.

"Good night Andrea. I'll see you later in the week. I'll miss you." I said as I very reluctantly left.

"Good-bye," was all she said. I looked behind me several times as I walked away. Andrea looked stunningly beautiful in her wispy white nightgown. I turned the corner and returned home. I was lost in my thoughts of her.

When Friday came I decided I needed to see Andrea that afternoon. As soon as I could, which was 4:30, I left work and took the Red Line down to Porter Square. I ran up the escalated and then proceeded down Mass. Ave. to Chauncy street and number 10 where she lived. Just as I was to climb the steps to her apartment house I noticed that they were made of concrete and not the wood I remembered. Undaunted I climbed them and went to open the door, locked. I rang the bell for apartment #2. I rang it again and shortly there appeared a woman before me who looked to be in her 70s.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I must have rung the wrong doorbell, I was trying to get someone else."

"Who?" she asked.

"Who." I replied quizzically.

"Yes who? I've lived here for 40 years and know everyone here."

"Her name is Andrea," it was at that point I realized I did not know her last name.

"Well, there's no Andrea living here."

I was astonished by her words.

"Well, maybe you know her by a different name, I don't know." I was grasping.

"Is she about your age?"

"Why yes, she is"

"Then I can guarantee you she doesn't live here. There is no one under the age of 65 living here."

"Well, this is 10 Chauncy Street isn't it?" I asked.

"Chauncy Street? No, this is Creighton Street. Can't you read? Chauncy Street is up by Harvard." She said with her deep Boston accent.

I was dumbfounded. I was lost. I could only mumble the words, "I'm sorry to have bothered you."

I think I heard her reply, "Yeah, sure you are."

I walked slowly down the street and noticed that sign did indeed say Creighton Street. I could not understand how I could have been so mistaken. I slowly walked down Mass. Ave. towards Harvard Square. It wasn't long before I found myself at the corner of Chauncy Street much to my surprise. I paused considering the advisability of going down the street but my own curiosity took over and down it I went. I found myself standing in front of the house I had known and there upon the side of the house was the number 10.

Almost as if I were being pulled by an unseen force I walked up the steps and pushed the bell. I only had to wait a few seconds when a young woman who amazingly resembled Andrea opened the door. I stood there speechless for a few moments.

Finally the woman asked, "What is it that you want?"

Her words pulled me from my stupor and I responded, "I am looking for a friend of mine named . . ."

I was unable to finished before she said, "I'm Andrea. Now, what may I do for you?" I was completely stunned hearing her call herself Andrea. Still, she was not my Andrea. That I knew for sure. I couldn't speak again for several moments so she asked, "Are you all right."

"Yes. No. I don't know. I'm very confused. I'm looking for a woman named," I paused before saying the name, "well, that doesn't matter it's just that you look a lot like her but the woman I am looking for is not you."

"Yes, and you are doing a pretty good job of confusing me as well," she said somewhat annoyed at me. I could easily understand her feeling that and I tried to quickly recover myself before she closed the door on me without answering some of the questions I felt I needed to ask. I knew I had lots of questions however they were slow in coming to me. I stood there looking at the ground. "Well, why don't you go home and think this over and maybe you'll be able to figure it out." She began to close the door as she said that.

"No! Wait a minute please," I begged her. I had no idea what I was going to say next but she hesitated and pulled the door all the way open once again.

"Yes?" She asked waiting for my next question. I was still having trouble thinking of one.

"This is 10 Chauncy Street?" I asked stalling for time.

"Yes, you can see it is," she said growing ever more impatient with me.

"Well, don't you see, that's it!" I said as if I had discovered the obvious answer.

"What are you talking about?" she asked me once again showing her annoyance with me.

"I know for a fact that Andrea lived at 10 Chauncy Street."

"Well, this is 10 Chauncy Street and you've already stated that this is not where you had known her so I don't understand."

"I went to the location I had last seen her, which is now 10 Creighton Street. The woman I knew lived at 10 Chauncy Street, or so I thought, but now it's 10 Creighton Street. Please, if it weren't that you look so much like Andrea I wouldn't be trying so desperately to figure this whole thing out. I could see the expression on her face had changed dramatically although I did not know why. "I'm sorry," I said finally giving into the idea of being defeated, "I know I sound crazy and I really don't want to scare you so maybe I had best go as you suggested. Thank you for your time." I said that and quickly turned to leave.

"No, wait a minute," she said to me surprising me.

"Yes?" I asked hoping for a miracle.

"Oh, you must mean grammy Andrea. I was named after her."

"Grammy Andrea? I don't understand."

"She was my grandmother, of course. I don't understand how you could possibly have known her though. I loved her dearly. We were very close. But she died a few weeks ago. I miss her a lot. It's funny." Then she suddenly stopped speaking and gazed off as if she were remembering something.

"What's funny," I asked.

"Well, when she was dying, the day she died actually, she took my hand and told me that I should not worry. She told me that the man I would marry is just around the corner. Before I could ask her what she meant by that she slipped into unconsciousness and died so I don't know."

"Well, I'll tell you. This all sounds a bit too crazy for me." I said regaining my senses.

"I think I know what you mean. But what do you mean?" she asked but before I could answer she said, "Oh I'm sorry, please, come in and sit down." I walked through the door and followed her left into the living room. We sat facing each other. "Let me show you something," Andrea said before I could continue. She went to a desk in the room, opened a draw and pulled out what appeared to be a picture. She handed me the picture.

"This is a picture of you," I said.

"It does look like me doesn't it?" she asked.

"Of course it does," I said looking at the picture.

"Well it's not. That is a picture of Grammy but everyone says how we look exactly alike. But I think there are a lot of differences."

"I would agree with you but they aren't that noticeable," I said. I looked at the picture again and then turned it over as people often do. There in beautiful handwriting was written "Andrea Creighton 1910."

"Your last name is Creighton?" I asked.

"Yes, why?" she asked.

"If I told you I think you'd surely think me a crazy man."

"Try me. I think you'll find me to be pretty open minded."

I believed her and told her the story of how Andrea and I met and how we became lovers and how her house had been on Creighton Street.

"What date did you first meet her?" she asked.

I thought her question a bit odd. I told her and it was then I saw her sink into her chair.

"That is the day Grammy died," she said slowly in a hollow voice.

"So you believe me?" I asked.

"I don't know. I don't disbelieve you but you've got to admit it's a hard story to believe."

"Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. I was afraid you would think me crazy."

"No, I don't think you're crazy but I would like to hear some more details of what you knew of Grammy," she paused and then said, "or what you think you knew about her."

I felt she was challenging me however I quickly decided that was a good thing. So I told her everything I knew. It was 9:30 when I finished which means I must have talked for at least 3 hours.

"Well, that's it," I said.

"I want to talk to you some more about this but it's getting late. Can you come back tomorrow? It's Saturday but I don't have anything planned." She said.

"Certainly. What time is good?" I asked.

"How about 10."

"I'll be here." With that I got up and made my way to the door. Andrea followed.

"I'm going to call my mother tonight and ask her about some of these things. I need some, some reassurance that you are not some sort of con artist or something."

"That's fair," I said. That evening I ran the day's events over and over again in my head but couldn't make any more sense of them.

I thought I'd never get to sleep that night. I was very anxious to see Andrea again. I fell asleep and awoke the next morning at 7:30. I went through my morning rituals and timed my departure to arrive at Andrea's house just prior to 10. At 9:55 I was in front of her house and decided that a mere 5 minutes would make no difference so I went on up and rang the bell. Andrea answered and ushered me into the living room. That was the first time I noticed how much it looked like another living room I'd been in.

"I couldn't help but notice how much this living room reminds me of the living room your Grandmother Andrea had. It's almost as if it were identical." I said. I still found it odd referring to her grandmother as the woman I had been with and yet what other explanation could there have been.

"If you assume it was Grammy which I'm not. Grammy liked this room very much. It was her favorite. Well, except for possibly one other room and that's a family secret, if you know what I mean. Grammy was a liberated woman long before the phrase was coined. I have a few questions for you. I just want to be sure you are genuine." I wasn't quite certain what she meant by that however I was not about to argue with her either.

"This woman you met, how old was she and what did she look like?"

"Well, she said she was 24 I think and she looked like you as I have said before ." In fact, I would say you were she except for some minor differences."

"Oh? And what might they be."

"Well your hair is shorter and your, ummmmm, errrr.." I was stumbling to say what I needed.

"Go ahead, tell me."

"I don't want to offend you," I responded.

"Don't worry, I'm not easily offended and I truly doubt you will," she said strongly.

I took in a deep breath and they said quickly, "Well, your breasts are smaller." I am certain I blushed many colors. I beat myself up a bit over why I felt I had to mention that. Andrea smiled and settled back into her chair. "That was like Grammy. She was a rather large woman in that respect. So, what else." I was pleasantly surprised at how non-plussed she had responded to my statement.

"Well, I guess if I can say that then I can say this. She and I were having an affair."

"Oh, you are married then?" she queried.

"No, but she was and she did think I was. Although, to be honest, I sometimes thought she knew otherwise."

I looked up and noticed Andrea was almost pale. "What is wrong? Are you sick?"

"No, I'll be fine. You know, I never asked you your first name. I don't even know your last name."

"Well, it's....."

"Stop! Don't say it."

"Why not?"

"Please, just bear with me. I am going to say a name and you tell me if it is yours okay?"

"Sure, why not."

"David."

"Why yes, that's my first name but how did you know?" I asked quite astounded.

"And your last name is Stevens, right?"

I was totally flustered by her statement. "Well, yes, it is, but how do you know."

"Oh my God it can't be true," was all she could say. She repeated herself several times.

"What can't be true? What are you talking about?" I asked in a very confused state.

"Here, I'll show you," Andrea went to a china closet that had three drawers in it. She opened the top draw and pulled out what was obviously a photo album. She sat beside me on the sofa and open the album. It was filled with old pictures.

"Here," she said after having flipped through a few pages and pointed to one picture, "this is a picture of my grandmother as taken when she was 24. The photographer is unknown. This is Porter Square as you can see and grandpa always said that only poor people went there, so he didn't take it.

"I remembered taking a number of pictures of Andrea in and around Porter Square but she was certainly not dressed as this woman." I said.

"Rumor had it that she had a lover and she'd meet him there and go to a house she had rented on Chauncy Street. That house burned down in 1910 and another was built in its place. That house was a twin to this. After grandpa died Grammy talked more openly about those days. She told us she thought grandpa had a lot of lovers but she refused to go into it so we'll never know. She said for her part she'd had only one lover but that he was the one true love of her life. She would say no more about him except for his name, David Stevens and now I have a David Stevens on my couch who is looking for an Andrea. I think I'm going crazy," she said quite breathlessly.

I sat there astounded at what I had heard and seen and refused to believe that there was any linkage. My problem was that it was easier to prove the linkage than disprove it and that almost unnerved me.

"No," I said, "I don't think you are going crazy at all. I'm sure there is a logical explanation for all of this. There has to be. There's no way I could have made love to your grandmother!" Before I could retract the words they were out there. I could only think that I had blown it again.

"So what you're saying is that you were Grammy's lover?" Andrea asked in disbelief.

"No, no, I wasn't. I couldn't have been. The woman I love is 24 years old and I've just confused streets or something and I just happened to go to another house where an Andrea lives," I said it but I didn't believe it.

"A house that coincidentally is the address you were looking for, where a woman named Andrea lives who looks remarkably like the woman you are looking for? Do you really believe that?" she asked. Her statement scared me. Even as I repeated it to myself I could hear how preposterous it sounded. I didn't know what to do or say next.

I paused and then said very quietly, "No." I paused again and continued, "How can this be explained?"

"I don't know," Andrea said, "and I, the great scientist, am supposed to be good at explaining phenomena."

"What kind of scientist are you," I asked.

"I'm an astronomer for Harvard's observatory. I am supposed to be pragmatic and well grounded and now I am being asked to believe in ghosts. Oh lord."

Well, what do we do now?" I asked. "I'm at a total loss."

"Shall we go have some brunch and talk about it over coffee and whatever?"

"Sounds like an excellent idea to me," I said.

We actually got a lot accomplished that day and we did set up another meeting and then another meeting after that. I was really enjoying Andrea's company especially the memories it brought back to me. I told her how much I enjoyed being with her. It seemed things were working out in one way but I still had this mystery to contend with.

"Andrea, being with you is like being with your grandmother," I said again one day after a very enjoyable dinner.

"What made you say that?" she asked.

"Because you do. Everything you do, the way you talk, your gestures and even the way you walk reminds me of her."

"So you're saying you still believe you were with my grandmother," she queried.

I thought about what I had said for a few seconds and then replied, "I guess so. I guess that's the only answer there is."

"Well, there is one more question. Why did it happen?"

"Good question and I really don't think we're going to be able to answer that one," I said quite assuredly.

"I'm not so sure," she said.

I wanted to respond but I felt like I was losing touch with reality. So instead I said, "You know Andrea, I really love being with you and I'd like to date you on a regular basis."

"I really like you too David and I'd like to date you. In fact, I thought we already were. That is also the answer."

"To what?" I asked.

"The why question."

"I don't understand."

"I think grammy wanted to bring us together. David, you are the first person I've dated since high school. I didn't believe I would ever enjoy myself with anyone but you have shown me to be wrong and thank God you have." Andrea was smiling broadly as she said that.

Well, the rest is movie ending material and as you could guess we got married, had kids and lived quite happily. I moved into that house near Harvard Square and sometimes at night I'll swear I see Andrea smiling at me, that is, Grandmother Andrea.

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