I fell in love when I was nineteen years old.
Artistic love. The kind that feels like it will last forever. The kind that gets talked about in sappy movies and, my then personal favorite, vampire flicks. Everyone wanted it but no one could get it. Love like that didn't grow on trees and even if someone was willing to believe that human beings didn't have souls, they were willing to embrace the sort of connection that I'm talking about.
I was a brooding kid. I started learning guitar when I was eight years old. By the time I was sixteen, I swore that I was going to be the next shredding metal god. Touring the world, making millions, etc, etc. It was looking good too until Nirvana came out and fucked it all up. Grunge killed my dream of glam rock superstardom and it was back to the drawing board.
High school wrapped up, I went to college, fucked that up and dropped out...I had nothing going on except for the fact that I was pretty damn good at my instrument. Faced with getting a job or finding a paying band, I picked the latter. My dreams weren't completely shattered, they just had to evolve with the way music was going. Since I liked to shower and be clean, I steered clear of grunge and headed straight for something that I never thought I would be into.
Funk rock band looking for lead bassist and rhythm guitarist. Weird...but okay, I was willing to take the bait. Since lead guitar in the sense that I understood it was butchered by Teen Spirit, I figured that rhythm guitar would be just fine. And I had to know what a lead bassist was. Turns out, I'd never answer the latter question but at the tender age of eighteen, I was quickly indoctrinated into a new band.
Things were freakin' awesome right off the bat. I didn't initially like the music but it opened me up to a realm of possibilities. Instead of just listening to screeching guitar and insane vocals, I got into some stuff that I had never even heard of. In a short month, I was improving upon the original writing of the songs and between myself and the singer, we were both driven to succeed.
The drummer, however, was not. He dropped out due to some problems with drugs and that left us with a guitar, a microphone and a keyboard. Now, the songs were all written on that keyboard, including the drums (the drummer would just learn them later). This meant that when he wasn't available, we could still practice and by God did we practice a lot. Between that, video games and board games, we were always working on something.
But here we were, ground to a halt by the lack of a drummer...we had long given up on a bass player. We were sitting around eating lunch when I had an epiphany.
When I was in high school, I was a geek. I played a vampire Live Action role playing game and that had exposed me to the world of goth music. I barely knew what the hell it was but there was one thing that I did know: very few of those bands had live drummers. They used sequences for that. So I threw out the suggestion: why don't we just call ourselves a goth band?
Our first outing as a goth band was not exactly what you'd think of when you describe goth music. We were no Bauhaus or Switchblade Symphony. We were the happier side of the Cure. It took a second outing to really embrace the darker side of our music and create something that was truly a goth music experience.
We were ready to perform at this point but we refused to do it with two people. We needed a backup singer at the very least, preferably someone who was willing to run the keyboard to start and stop sequences for us. There were several that tried out and even played live with us but it wasn't until The One showed up that we were truly the band we were meant to be.
That's when I was nineteen and that's when I fell in love.
Up until then, I had dated people. They were high school crushes and mistakes. Nothing real, nothing meaningful, nothing that I could even claim prepared me for a real affair. At nineteen, with only a band for my commitment, I could really find out what it meant to be hit hard with an affection that cut straight through all the bullshit and nailed the soul.
Young love like that goes all in. There's no ante, there's simply shoving the chips in the middle of the table. Figuring that anything so powerful must be able to last forever, why not sacrifice it all? Wear the heart on the sleeve and see what happens. I remember it all so clearly. It started out innocently. I wasn't particularly shy but I wasn't outgoing. She was giving me a ride home when we made a choice to...do something else.
Her background was classical music. She came to the band to actually PLAY the keyboard. She picked the parts that she should be able to do while the sequences were going and that was her role. We all hit it off too, a talented trio of people coming together with diverse backgrounds. It was idyllic really. But because her background was so vastly different than mine, I introduced her to my inspirations.
Not the super heavy stuff, the progressive stuff. Rush, Dream Theater, etc. In our courting phase, she was even interested. That's when the hooks were buried deep. For whatever reason, we ended up at her place thirty miles from where I lived. She was lying on the couch and I was on the floor right below her. Together, from midnight until three in the morning, we stared at a plastic bag and made up what it was shaped like as if it were a cloud in a clear spring sky.
She turned over and told me good night. I grumped about it and she peeked over the side of the couch. Our eyes met. "What's wrong?" she asked. "Not tired?"
"Nope," I replied, petulant.
"Did you want to do something else?"
Our hands were so close...our fingers touched. That electric sensation of physical contact was enough to cause my heart to throb painfully in my chest. This was a restrained feeling made more painful by the fact that we were denying one another simply because that's what social convention suggested—a social convention that we criticized with our work.
I leaned up and was so close, I could feel her breath on my cheek. Our eyes were still engaged, our fingers still just barely touching. Eternity passed...a few seconds passed and our lips finally met. Soft and chaste at first, escalating wildly. Tongues probed...met...danced. We stood awkwardly, unwilling to stop kissing to get out of that living room and into the bedroom.
The covers were a mess, everything askew. We collapsed on a bundle of blankets, urging each other's clothes off. She was tall, lithe, her breasts small but sensitive. She trimmed her abdomen but an amber bush topped her sweet, wet folds. Her long fingers were cold when they thrust down my pants, gripping my member tightly, possessively.
I entered her at her urging. Her legs parted and she pressed her heels against the backs of my thighs. I pressed into her, sliding deep and bare. We continued to kiss, moans vibrating our lips. Her nails bit into my shoulders. I had never experienced a rapture like that, a sexual exploration built on burgeoning love instead of wanton lust.
Every thrust sent a spark into my eyes like a nerve being tweaked but only in the most pleasurable way. We were both getting close. She put her hand between us, grinding her clit hard with three of her fingers. I felt her body stiffen, all the muscles tighten. Her face contorted, brows furrowed mouth wide...her breath held. Just watching that sent me over the edge.
I came just seconds before she did, slamming into her four more times before I was completely spent. We were loud, shouting our excitement in a way that I never had before. Our nudity mingled, sweat slickened skin against skin. I held her tightly, still entwined. It was three twenty in the morning.
A few minutes of napping later, I was woken up by her hand holding my cock. I opened my eyes and the first thing I saw was her smile, a lascivious expression that made me want her more desperately than I could possibly explain. I was stiffening in her grip and leaned to kiss her but she shook her head, shoving me on my back.
I watched her stoop over me, massaging my balls with one hand as her lips descended over the head of my penis. I watched in utter fascination as she licked the tip, tasting a bit of both of us before taking me fully into her mouth. Her tongue was initially cold but my heat warmed her. She adjusted herself so that we could look into each other's eyes, staring with wide eyes as she sucked me off in one of the most intimate acts two people could engage in.
If my heart had gone wild before, it felt like it would run its course over this. Her lips were soft but the suction was hard, a contrast that made it hard not to twitch or thrust my hips up to meet her. I wanted to leave her in control, let her enjoy the lead and take us wherever she wanted to go. All I could do was look into her eyes and will myself to last. My release was boiling up but she seemed to know that and when she stopped, I let out a long breath I didn't know I was holding.
"Your turn," she muttered, lying next to me and spreading her legs expectantly. "If you don't mind."
I didn't have any words for it. I lifted myself up and tried to ignore my throbbing cock, dipping my head toward her hot vagina. I could smell us on her, my cum and her juices. They mingled nicely and when I touched her clit with my tongue, I could instantly taste the salty nectar we had both created.
She arched her back as I casually licked her, tracing the lines of her folds with the tip of my tongue. I reached between her legs with a finger and probed inside her, massaging the inside of her wall with one finger. She panted, spreading her legs further apart. She reached down, tilting to the side and encouraged my finger to explore another place.
I changed tact, licking a little harder while I massaged her asshole. This drove her crazy and she started tossing her head side to side, crying out. I felt her tense again but this time it was all the more intense. Every ounce of my will was focused on her and I could tell she knew it. When she let go, when she met her rapture, she thrashed with every part of her body but her hips.
It was amazing. For a moment, I felt like a divine being capable of bringing her a pleasure that literally shook her to her core. The second the afterglow ended, she grabbed me and urged me back into her. It was like coming home after a long day's work and I went at it with a kind of gusto that should have been impossible.
Thirty minutes, forty minutes, her on top, me on top, her on her knees...we made love like porn stars and my endurance was made all the more impressive by my near miss and the earlier bit.
When I finally lost it, I was standing next to the bed, her ankles on my shoulders. It was sudden. One minute I was fine, the next I had thought about everything we had done and was right there. I shouted it out, an unnecessary warning especially considering that she must've felt me stiffen, growing in her. I shot my load deep inside her again, and this time, I barely made it back on to the bed.
"Amazing..." she muttered. "I've never made love that long."
We cuddled up. Dawn had come and gone. It was nine in the morning. We slept.
The next day and a half was spent in various stages of undress. We ate take out and explored each other's bodies. We showered together and made out. I soaped her body as if she were a goddess deserving of worship and she returned the favor. We sat in silence and stared into each other's eyes, we made quiet love that didn't terminate in orgasm. We allowed physical love to develop into something else, something that only profound familiarity can create.
When we emerged back into the world, everyone was happy for us. We were the perfect couple in their minds. Talented, successful, gorgeous, fun...I wasn't the brooding asshole that I had been. I was vibrant and full of life. Everything seemed so easy at that point. All we had to do was be together and the world would give up its secrets. I was under the notion that my life would mirror my parent's and that I had met the one person I was supposed to be with young. That we'd be together forever.
I even had strange notions of children, all kept to myself. I was afraid of sounding obsessive or that I was going to fast but it wouldn't have mattered. She was just as into me. We moved in together not even two months after that first experience. There was a matter of a previous boyfriend but that drama was nothing compared to what we shared. We found each other, souls meant to be and that said something.
At the age of twenty one, after two years of dating, we were married. At the time, the best day of my life. The singer from the band was my best man, my best friend. It was a great time and we honeymooned and carried on like young married people are supposed to. This is when a series of stupid mistakes were made, one after another.
One: we moved in with her parents to save money. I didn't get along with her mother and that was a pretty big problem.
Two: we quit the band to focus on our 'future'. That was our commonality and we cast it aside.
Third: our sex life dwindled to absolutely nothing.
Fourth: I took a shitty job 2 hours away, regretted it every day and finally left her when I couldn't take it anymore.
I didn't know what love was anymore. I mean, I still cared for her very deeply but it was so different. We had drifted apart I figured. How was that possible, I have better theories now than I did then but the truth of the matter was something a lot more sinister.
She pursued me. She wanted to get back together and fix things. This was facilitated by our old friend the singer from the band we quit. He helped us mend our relationship but there were some things we had to do. The first of them was that we got our own place outside the purview of her parents. We needed to escape that stupidity. The second was that we had to mend that commonality thing.
We started our own band but her heart wasn't in it. An old friend of mine joined us and we were doing okay but not great. Whenever we'd have a disagreement, she'd bring back up the fact that I had left her once. That was going to be a rift that we couldn't get past and there were only so many times that I could apologize.
About this time, two years into our marriage, our friend the singer was going through a divorce. He had been there for us so I was there for him. I did a lot for that guy up to and including an invitation to stay at our house—we had plenty of space. His relationship was truly over and he was so miserable about it, it was becoming impossible to talk to him.
I told a fib that I thought might get through to him. I told him that my wife and I argued all the time but we always got through it. We didn't argue all the time...I'd say we fought very little but my lie worked and he opened up and thought we had some commonality. I was able to get him to be less morose and whiney. He stepped up and seemed like he was getting better.
I went back to my day job.
While I was away, he talked to my wife. He brought up the fact that it was sad that she and I always argued. Now, I'm not entirely sure what they talked about beyond that one fact coming out but what happened next left me with a lot of suspicions. She confronted me about it that night and it was the biggest fight we ever had. This time, she left me and I was totally stunned.
Funny thing...my good friend, the best man at my wedding...was nowhere to be found.
I called her at her family's house.
Nope, not there.
I called her at her friend's house.
Nope, not there.
I called everywhere I could think of.
Nowhere to be found.
Same with my friend.
When I found out what happened, it was too late. There's no coming back from that kind of betrayal. She and he...I don't know specifically what they did in the days between her leaving me and later but even with the short dalliance that we enjoyed, they were an item and I was the odd one out. They were together, I was alone. I put them together and the only real question that never got answered to me was simple:
Did she use me to get to him? Was I the interim male used to stay close to the objective?
I could ask a thousand questions but the ending remains the same. I was cast out of our trio so they could be together. When I was with her, it was inclusive. Now, exclusive. Now, over...lost...gone.
Betrayal could never be so well defined as all that. Falling in love was never so sweet again. Passionate moments spent lacked the same conviction. Everything had to be guarded. No more heart on the sleeve. No more all in. No more believing in the power of spiritual connection. Not with friends. Not with lovers. Not with anyone.