Life gains dimension when it is suddenly cut short. When you measure the time frame in hours and minutes every subtlety is enhanced. Aram savored each distinct detail of his life over the past week and now, as the time grew near, he contemplated action.
On a wooden bench in the park, he surveys his surroundings. Not constructed entirely of wood, the bench has cement end and center supports. Small exposed rocks surround the surface of the supports. Traversing this surface, Aram's fingers curl over the rocks and onto the cement in between as he gauges the width of the support, toying with the intricacies of its texture. He never appreciated texture before, but now, even the feel of the ground through his shoes brings him amazement.
Staring into the tall pine trees he remembers six, short days ago, when he truly came to understand the measure of himself:
"So you're sure? There is no other way?" Aram recalled asking. He sat on his hands in the uncomfortable chair, swaying a bit. He felt cold in the sterile office, its bright lights brought no warmth.
"No, for a time I had hoped for better, but it has worsened. We had hoped for a surgical option, but it's simply too late. It's beyond the point where anything I do can help," the man said, looking at Aram over his glasses. He toyed nervously with his pen making Aram wonder how often this man had this conversation before.
"Time?" Aram trembled. Was it just the cold office?
"A week, no more," and with a nervous smile, the man stood up to lead Aram to the door. As Aram rose, the man looked at his watch. He had already spent too much time.
Stepping outside the reception area Aram leaned against the wall as a darkness closed on him from the edge of his vision. He felt a spinning. Hands pressed to the wall for balance, he stood, taking deep breaths until the spinning slowly stopped. He felt the rough surface of the wallcovering and finding a pattern, he roughly measured the swirling texture. Measuring the pattern, he steadied himself, blinked once, twice and seeing his vision returning to normal he walked to the elevator.
The cool stainless steel panel was smooth except for the raised Braille at the up and down buttons. He ran his finger over the down button, estimating its diameter as he pressed it.
Moments later, stepping outside the building he felt a cooling breeze on his face. The slight wavering in the air, as it swirled in eddies around him made the hair on his arms rise, sensing the glorious movement of air around him. He was... free!
Free. Aram now ponders the word. Yes free. He had prepared himself for it all. For months he had known the outcome, he just didn't know when. Sure there had been hope, but he knew the inevitabilities, he knew nothing would change. After the initial shock outside the office, knowing he had but a week, he eased into the reality and became free.
He remembers, directly walking to the park, not bothering to call work and tell them anything. It didn't matter: "His last check?" Laughable and no one at work would care. He had enough money, and since he severed all ties months ago when he first found out, for all intents and purposes, he was now anonymous.
Smiling at the cliché, "for all intents and purposes," he knows he is now the faceless face in a crowd. Running his hands over the smooth wood surface of the seat, he considers the possibilities. The wood is smooth, except where some kids had carved gashes in the wood, initials here and there, just a chunk knifed out of the edge. Aram imagines the gash snagging on clothes, or perhaps causing a run in a stocking.
Ah, stockings. The thought of a run up the back of a woman's thigh sends a shiver through him. He pictures himself running a hand along the run, higher and higher up her leg. Closing his eyes he can almost feel the taut grain of nylon, or silk... imagine silk. Changing positions on the bench, he adjusts his crotch as he moves. In his heightened state of awareness this last week, his masturbatory sessions were unusually intense, but he needs a woman. Here, on what would be his last day, perhaps his last few hours, he wants a woman just one last time.
He considers a prostitute, what is there to loose? He doesn't need to worry about using a condom. At this point, sex has all the advantages and none of the consequences. He doesn't need to worry about disease, pregnancy, attachment or anything. But something about buying a woman isn't appealing and he doesn't need to: no consequence.
During the past week, he had considered possibilities. The joggers in the park, the well dressed ladies walking at the edge of the park, or the women with children at the playground. But, with so little time left, Aram realizes his opportunities are dwindling. Nearing the point of where he might need to follow a woman into a public restroom, or stalk her building, he reminds himself he has nothing to lose.
"You have a run in your stocking."
"Oh yes, I do. I think I caught it on the bench," she nervously replied.
"Too bad, were they expensive? They look expensive."
"No, not very..." trying to turn herself to conceal the run. "I... I..."
"My wife has the most expensive stockings. A run like that would set me back a bunch." Seeing her calm a bit, Aram continued. "I'm waiting on her and my daughter. We are going out to eat."
"Do you live nearby?"
She dropped a package. A sign? Like the dropped handkerchief of old movies.
"Here, I'll get it," Aram said, picking up the package and reaching it out to her. The rough cardboard box felt light in his hands, he gauged its length, width and height. She paused. Aram smiled and she reached for the package. Just as she lifted the package out of his open right hand, he grabbed her wrist with his left, pulling her tight against him. Her packages tumbled to the ground as she gasped.
Grabbing her hair with his other hand, Aram whispered intently, "Don't scream."
Terrified, she nodded.
"Yes, that's better. You have a run in your stocking," he whispered as his hand slowly traced the run up her thigh. "Were they expensive?" His hand slid higher.
He shook her! "Were they expensive?"
"Yes, yes, very expensive," she whispered as Aram felt the seam of her panties. The change in fabric texture was exquisite. The taut roughness suddenly faded into softness in his hands.
"That's better," palming her ass and squeezing. The infinite softness excited him as he felt his hardness throbbing in his pants. The juxtaposition thrilled him: hard and soft, the texture, the sensation.
She whimpered. He looked inquisitively into her eyes. "You're hurting me," she moaned. He eased his grip on her wrist. He could see a color blooming on her skin.
"Is that better?"
She nodded. Her tears streaked her makeup; her hair, now disheveled, fell over her face. He moved his hand from her ass to pull the hair back and then slid it down to her breast. Squeezing, he marveled at the feel of it: firm and yet soft. He cupped his hand, wondering of the size of her breast, how he could measure it. He wanted to see them, feel them both, but he didn't dare release her arm.
His hand slid down her front over the rough knit cotton blouse and downward to her thighs. Fumbling, he tried to unhook her garter, but gave up after a moment. He grabbed her panties and pulled them aside. Oh, the touch, how the soft, soft hair, curled around his fingers...
Hearing a car horn he looks up from the bench, and sees her at the bus stop. The woman with long curling hair in a medium length skirt and stockings stands waiting for the bus. He squints, but can't tell if the stockings have a run. Checking his watch, he realizes his bus should be coming along soon.
Carefully standing up, he feels the tightness around his chest. A bit warm for his jacket, he leaves it zipped up tight as he walks to the bus stop, counting fifty-four paces. Aram leans against one of the support columns of the small shelter. The woman stood near the curb, watching the bus approach: number 18 – Southside.
As the bus pulls to a stop Aram leans forward watching her legs as she moves, ready to follow her. Though not his bus, if the stocking has a run he will follow, changing his plans only slightly. As she climbs the steps he notices the sheer stockings are flawless. Disappointed he backs away from the bus and sits down in the shelter.
In a few moments another bus approaches: Number 25 –Westside, his bus. Getting up, he notices a jogger come running up from behind and climb onto the bus. Her straight blonde hair is tied back in a pony tail that bounces off her light jacket with each step. Wearing bright orange jogging shorts, she exposes almost the full length of her legs. Aram, carefully, walks to the bus and gingerly climbs aboard.
Once inside, he pas his fare and counts fourteen paces, each step a practiced length. He stops, finds a nearby empty seat and sits down. The jogger smiles and nods from across the aisle. Her light hair seems odd here, where most women were dark. He wonders if she is American; that would be good. Feeling his pants slide over the worn vinyl of his seat, he puts his right hand in his coat pocket.
...Her hair was tied back, away from her face. He reached down and pulled the elastic waistband on her shorts down. They slipped off easily. He then grabbed her panties and worked them down past her thighs. She stood motionless, tears pouring down her face.
"Step out of them," he growled. As she stepped out of her shorts and panties, he unhooked his belt, while maintaining a firm grip on her wrist. He opened his pants and let them fall to his knees. He worked his underwear over himself and then leaned toward her. He felt the intense need coursing him, and pressed to her...
The squeak of the bus' brakes as it stops at a light startles him. Looking back to the jogger, he smiles. She casually smiles back, then looks outside. Aram squeezes his fist once and feels the spring release press on his thumb. He holds it tightly.
He pressed her hard against the wall, spreading her legs. The moist sensation of her thrilled him as he leaned his weight and pressed. She cried out as her lips parted and his cock slid into...
Relaxing his thumb the spring release opens.
...as he entered her, convulsing in the sensation, the softness, his hardness and the incredible flash of light...
Soon the eerie sirens and flashing lights approach.