Back Door Woman Ch. 06bypjstewart50©
He swallowed, hard. Swallowed down the evil, the pain, the bitterness. Forced them down into his throat, on down through his digestive system, and beyond--down to his center. Keeping them there. Hoarding them. When they threatened to escape, which was infrequently, he did what he had to do.
If anyone had seen him, and a few did, they would not be able to give an accurate report later. Nondescript, they'd say. Average. Ball cap. Dark glasses. Didn't get a good look.
Today, he said to himself over and over. And this thought tore a hole in the ugly part of his heart, kept it bleeding. Lunch-time halls near-empty. She'd be in her office, that book-filled, scent-filled office. There in her heels, the high ones, the hair done-up on top.
End of the hall. Left side. Office door slightly ajar. He swiftly eased in, quietly closed the door. There. There on the ladder with her hands on a book. Two steps up. The dress was not tight, but the fabric, soft and thin, clung to her curves. Blue. Some kind of blue. The dress. And he knew. Knew there was nakedness beneath the thinness. The rump just below eye-level, eyes that now blinked, coldly, like some deep-oceaned beast's. Part it, part it, part it. The rump. Huge desk partially blocking his access to it. The rump. To her. Side-step.
She smiled at the thought of lending the well-loved book to one of her students. The young lady had expressed quite an interest in Dostoevsky. Crime and Punishment. She loved it when she could help a student by lending books--sharing the wealth, sharing the experience. She steadied herself as she felt a sudden dizziness and glanced below, her gaze resting for a mere second on her smiling face reflected in the small mirror two shelves down. Her vanity mirror, her colleagues teasingly called it. The mirror into which she quickly looked before leaving her office and heading for class. Her head again raised and she hummed lightly as she finally spotted the desired book and reached to pull it down.
She'd not had time to turn fully around when he roughly grabbed her. His left arm went up and in front of her, left hand clamped backward over her right shoulder, the underside of his forearm tightly holding her diagonally across the chest like a fierce beauty-pageant sash.
The right hand came around and in between her upper thighs, grabbing her right one. His fingers dug into the soft flesh through the dress's fabric as he assured a steady grip. In a blink she was lifted away from the ladder, held like a prized pig, her feet, well, the left foot anyway, kicking backward in protest, the sharp heel finding his flesh at least once. Evidence of the contact came in the form of a grunt and a sharp tightening of the grip around her body, enough to make her cough up air and gasp.
Goddammit, he thought. Fuckin' shin. Probably bleeding. Goddammit that hurts.
Unceremoniously, in a dizzying move, he whirled himself, her with him, around to the left away from the desk. Somehow, before her left foot could again inflict pain, she found herself facing the front of her desk, held straight up, staring at her empty chair and the rows and rows of books held in the cases forming an L-shape around two walls of the small room. Books that didn't, couldn't, help her now. So many words. Crime and Punishment. War and Peace. Crime. Peace. So many. Words. Useless in the face of the force now invading the room. Her room. Her space. Space. And what of that space. The one within.
He slammed the blue dress down on the desk. Pretty blue. He hated blue. Hated color. The world was grey.
Flung forcefully down, her body was now mashed from the head to just below the waist into the desk's surface. As the wiry left arm slipped from beneath her the other joined it as the hands scooped up both of her wrists and jerked them first behind her, then up. The left hand held the struggling wrists, clamping them between her shoulder blades. The clenched hand, fingertips dug into her skin, jammed both her wrists and her body down.
Take that, he thought. Hope it hurts like the shin. And with that thought, the pressure increased between her shoulder bones and the air escaped her again. Beach balls came to his mind. Squashing air out of beach balls after a day in the sand.
The right hand returned its grip on the inner thigh, a grip now loosened since the left hand did its job so well. It traveled now down the outer right thigh, down to the hem of the dress, then shot its way between her legs, legs beginning to close around his arm.
No. No, he thought. You will not shut yourself to me. The pointed toe of his right boot kicked her right leg out to the side and held it there, held her open for his assault. Her left leg scrambled to close on his arm once again, but it was thwarted and pinioned as its sister-leg only seconds before. Ahhh. Now. Spread wide for me. Hold wide.
Three fingers violently rammed into her sacred space and roughly sawed time to some unheard rhythm. Unheard but felt. The body beneath him tensed and jerked. Jerked but was silent. Harder down he shoved with the left hand on the back. Farther up with the fingers of the right. Feel me. Know that I am here. Her head twitched as up inside her he spread his fingers wide, but he slammed hard on her wrists, expunging his pain.
Her face was turned to the right, left cheek resting near the edge of the desk. She had tried to lift her head, but was rewarded with a rib-bruising thrust of the hand in her back. What did she see? Focus. The spine of Madame Bovary. Oh, god. But she had no spine. Emma Bovary. Have I sunk to that? To Emma Bovary? Where was the boat-shaped bed? No, no. Surely this meant more than that. More than that surely.
Mechanically she took stock of her physical position. Breasts smashed to the desk, the items strewn on its surface now gouging her flesh. Familiar objects. Staple-puller under the front of her right shoulder. Her favorite writing pen lengthwise along her left-side ribs. Familiar objects. Like the fingers, also gouging her flesh, but on the inside.
She could have closed her eyes to it all. But they remained open. Open and aware. Yes, yes. There it was. She could feel it. The large desktop calendar beneath her. Left nipple near Friday, though upside down. Friday, not the nipple. Yes. Annual physical with Dr. Winslow on Friday. Right nipple? Where? About Sunday, she thought. Yes. Right nipple at least as far as Sunday. And what of that Sunday? Sunday last? Had she foreseen what would happen between then and Friday? What would happen today? Now?
Her mind struggled to bring the whirling thoughts to bay, but Yeats had his way.
A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By his dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.
The bile flowed up and then down to his fingers. He could feel it, the bile, feel it corrupting them, the fingers, feel it as he shoved it into her, defiled her. He wanted her to feel it, feel his bile. His stabs grew more powerful. He watched as her eyes got larger, but did not close. He drove his upper body down on top of hers, his chin digging into her upturned ear as he pinned her savagely to the hard surface.
How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
How can anybody, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?
Could I have known she thought. Would it have mattered. Would it have changed anything. And she felt the strange heart. Thudding there. Yes, punish me, she thought.
Too close. Too close, he thought. Felt her heartbeat. Felt her invitation. Abruptly, he stood again, continuing her assault, his absolution.
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?
And who's to know but Leda whether or not she smiled an inward smile when the swan who'd cooked her goose flew away.
There is a certain kind of power in submission, she thought.
She thought. Not Leda. Well, maybe Leda did, too, but who'd ever know for sure. But Leda. Maybe Zeus.
Zeus he could've been, so near her core. Without warning, the fingers sucked out of her cavity as he roughly withdrew them, their absence leaving her both distraught and relieved.
The bile would not stay put. It churned within and begged egress. The now sloppy-wet right hand came to rest on the hair piled on her head. The fingers curled into it like tiny snakes, slithered in, then yanked her head back, left hand still stifling the flesh below. I am not through he thought. Not through with you. But he did not know who was the you.
And her mind wandered to it. The first time like this. In the barn in Montana. She was frightened the first time. Truly. Later she understood. But not the first. He'd shoved her, face down, hard onto a square bale of hay, the bale held together like magic with twisted baling wire. One of the twisted ends stabbed into her soft flesh under her right breast, bled, healed, sort of. It left a tiny scar, a scar she somewhat proudly bore to this day.
The needle-like straw had punished her skin, poking and scratching as the man she thought she knew but didn't assaulted her from behind, his hand wrapped around her hair, pulling up her head as it did now. He rode her for a long time. Not just in her mind. It wasn't seemingly. It really was a very long time. And it led nowhere. The ride. It didn't even lead to his physical release. He simply pumped into her for so long that he eventually had nothing with which to pump any longer. She'd been apprehensive for days after this. Frightened that she'd misjudged him far more than she thought imaginable. But something made her wait. Stay. Stay until she knew. So long ago.
You, he thought as he looked at the blue. He picked her up roughly by her hair and the captive wrists, making her utter the first sound he'd heard. He lifted her, swinging her body near the door, slammed her into the side of the bookcase along the wall forming the shorter length of the sideways "L."
You will know that I am here, he silently commanded. Remember. The right hand and left hand met again in the middle of her back, separating her wrists. Up, way up over her head, near the top of the bookcase. Stretch her out. Hang her. The left hand trapped the wrists together and the right reached down to his fly. Release. Release it and put it to its use.
Her fingertips alone escaped his grip. Free, they curled over the top edge of the bookcase and held on tight. The grip provided her a false sense of independence, of freedom from his force.
The left cheek was still plastered to a wooden surface, only a different one. She suddenly laughed inside. No, no. Don't let him hear. But inside. Only one position in the entire room he could move to and be reflected in the vanity mirror. Not full on. But more than profile. And he'd chosen it. There was a Zeus. Maybe he wanted to be seen. But she doubted it. If he had, he wouldn't hide behind her back. Chicken shit. Tortured one. And she watched his every reflected move, watched as if it happened to someone else, to the other her, the her of long ago.
The right hand again went to the hem of the dress, pulled it up. The right leg went to the inside of hers and pushed it out. Knees bent, for both leverage and alignment, his right hand shoved his now-erect bile into her. Her body pinioned now, his right hand jammed lengthwise between the hard wooden surface and her pelvic bones, her feet leaving the floor as he stood, his body now to its full height. He held her brutally. Did not allow her to move. Not allow her the cushion of movement to soften the hammering blows.
She was crudely restrained. And so he began his slow and deliberate battering. And her feet dangled, toe-tips of the high-heels barely scraped the carpet's surface, forward and back, forward and back.
He established a three-point attack. He rammed into her up to the hilt, then performed a perfunctory stabbing movement at the top to penetrate to her heart, then he pulled out to near the rim of the head of his hardness. In time, the three movements synchronized with their individual thoughts. In to the hilt, "de-," extra shove, "-serve," out to the rim, "this," she thought. In to the hilt, "go," extra shove, "to," out to the rim, "hell," he thought. And they kept up this dangerous game, each in their own world.
And, oh, she thought. The reflection in the mirrored glass!
She saw clearly his face. Saw it devoid of emotion--stoic, methodic, plunging out its cry into her being. Knew this had nothing to do with sex, nothing to do with physical release. Felt him moan into her with each stab.
Only she knew, he thought, the meaning of this lurid dance. Only she understood. Lost to anyone else. Misinterpreted. Deciphered wrongly as sexual aggression, or worse. But not her.
She heard the cry. Had known it long.
And this was it. Well, a large part, she thought. Why she put up with him. Why she struggled and won. Endured the separation, the indignity of being the never-seen-one, the backdoor woman. Oh, no. Don't lay that on him. You chose it. You chose it. And you're sick, she thought to herself of herself. Need help. You live for these visits. No. Exist. Exist until these visits and then you live for the moments they last. Are alive. No. Surely I'm not that sick, she rationalized. No. And nausea, the nausea of self-revelation, heaved through her body, making her shudder inside more than his heaving in and out of her from behind.
He knowingly bruised her. Punishing her for things others had done. Punishing her for what she was and he was not. Punishing her for his own weakness and her strength, her weakness and his force. Punishing her because he knew he could. Punishing himself as he did it.
And she continued to scan the face, the reflected one. Still, it held no emotion. Nothing. Passivity. Passive aggression. But she knew when he was about to be released. Knew not by his face, but by feel. He did not feel it, but she did. That which was burying itself deep within her, the stiffened bile, shuddered, pulsed, strove to end its own oppression. But not he. He continued to pound, but the bile was let loose in spite of him. Let loose inside her. She prayed. For her. For him. Thy kingdom come, and he did, thy will be done, and it was, on earth as it is in my sacred space.
He was aware of a difference. What was it? Oh, yes. It was over. Over now. Purged. Exonerated. And her? She was different, too. Not limp before him. Unyielding, not soft. Heedless of this perception, he pressed against her. Gently now.
You're disgusting, she thought. Her. Not him. You know it, admit it, how this somehow is right. Deserved. And she felt ashamed. Not embarrassed. Ashamed. Slut. Not ashamed in front of him. But herself. How can you look in that mirror when he's gone. You allow him. Want him to do this to you. And she finally closed her eyes. In disgust.
So far away, he thought. Not near. Why? But no. She must feel hate. She hasn't relented, turned to me quickly as usually she does. Don't blame her, he considered. She was dry. Dry when I drove my fingers into her, he vividly recalled. Must've hurt like hell. But she didn't whimper. Didn't protest. And in seconds she'd been wet, wet as he'd ever felt her. He was somewhat sick, but the feeling subsided as the seconds happily skipped their way into the future.
She thought how disgusting she was to enjoy in some large measure his attack. He thought to himself how disgusting he was in some small part to enjoy it--this coarse treatment of her. So in their disgust of selves, not each other, they silently stood as close as hand in glove. And it was near palpable. His sickening disgust of what he'd just done, her sickening enjoyment of it, the disgust and enjoyment melding them together for full minutes, melding them through the awful attraction of these opposite forces.
As his body pressed softly to hers, she talked to herself. Talked of how revolting she was. Silently asked him how he could touch her, invade her, knowing her shame. But soon she gave it up.
Come back, he said silently to her. Come back. Then he, too, gave up.
Silence. Stillness. In silent stillness lay. Keeping their flocks by night. And his familiar lips touched her right ear, whispered the monosyallabic question, the only word uttered thus far.
She shook her head no.
"Two-thirty meeting," she whispered. "Home at four-thirty."
He released her, backed away, taking her flesh and most of her soul with him. And he was gone, the soft clicking of the door's latch signaling his departure.
And again Yeats snickered in her ear.
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?
But drop she did not. No. She stood clinging yet to the top edge of the bookcase, supplicating, asking it for strength, willing her legs to hold her upright.
Four-thirty-three. She pulled her car up to the streetside mailbox in front of her home and pulled open its little door. From out of the gaping black hole came envelopes of varying sizes, envelopes representing those who in some way vied for her attention, calling her, beckoning her from possible doom.
She pulled up into the drive. No rental car. No matter. Sometimes he used a cab. She exited the car, briefcase handle and letters tucked into her right hand. Handbag strap slung over the left shoulder and keys in the left fingers. She approached and reached the backdoor. Backdoor. Backdoor. Backdoor woman. She placed the key in the lock and turned it, turned it to either joy or despair.
She'd hoped, really thought, he'd be there. Usually, he was. But he was not this time. His presence painfully absent. The ring and baby fingers relaxed and the briefcase dropped. The keys and handbag fell. Only the connection with the outer world, the envelopes, stayed in her hands. She stood, motionless, breath slowly escaping her now tight lungs, lungs constricted with an indescribable aching. A blink of the eyelids. Another. A biting of the lips.
Remind me, she thought to herself, remind me again why I do this? But the reminder throbbed, constantly, as it had the last three hours, between her thighs. Physically, the mauling would be with her for days, a soreness slowly to fade like the smile of the Cheshire cat. But the real insides. The ones where wear and tear didn't so quickly subside, that was what she dreaded. Once again. Once again.
To the airport. The rental car's radio tuned to its last passenger's tastes. His eyes focused on the road. Intently, he strained to understand Kurt Cobain's honeyed words.
She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak
I've been locked inside your heart-shaped box for weeks
I've been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap
I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black
He slammed on the brakes. Idiot. Signal when you change lanes.
Meat-eating orchids forgive no one just yet
Cut myself on angel's hair and baby's breath
Broken hymen of your highness I'm left black
Throw down your umbilical noose so I can climb right back
In an isolated front-row first-class seat he gratefully swallowed the last bit of expensive pinot noir. His eyes closed and in seconds he slept, peacefully.
Her eyes on the floor beneath her, she repeated her mantra "Let it be." Finally raising her head, holding it high, she looked before her at the kitchen he'd bought, biting her lip again. Once. Twice. Another blink.
Robot-like, she made her way the few steps to the kitchen table, tossing the mail down and watching it scatter like falling dominoes. Hot liquid escaped the inner corners of her eyes and suddenly blurred her vision. She sank into the chair, leaning closer to make out the return addresses, the tears scorching her cheeks as they rolled down and softly splattered the nearest envelopes, obliterating that which only this morning had been so clear. The anguished tears were ceaseless, wracking her frame, driving her down--down onto, into, the floor.