Loving The Girl In Pinkbyjavawarrior©
There's not much left to say when the girl sitting across from you declines a glass of the finest wine because it would be un-Christian. The matter of two souls in this vast expanding universe possibly finding each other like sparrows in a hurricane – it all comes to a screeching halt. For me, anyway.
It's not the wine, though. Some girls don't eat meat, some do. Of course, I prefer the ones who do, but it's no skin off my back if she can't eat the seasoned, cooked flesh off of the bones of a dead animal. Yet it is not these things that tell me this meeting is doomed.
She's still smiling at something I said three minutes ago, but she has no idea that I have already reached a conclusion about our meeting. I look at her as a writer looks at a blank page which yearns to be filled. I don't know if I'm about to write a short story, or the next great American novel. Both would satisfy me in different ways, and I would feel great for having finished either.
But she is not interested in short stories at all. She looks at me like a potential mate for life, and looks me up and down discreetly, judging me silently while nibbling on her toast. She is interested only in picking another lobster with whom to crawl across an ocean floor for eternity.
We will continue to sit in judgment of each other until at last we decide if we are leaving on the same ship for a journey that can only be made once in a lifetime. But should we come to another fork in the road and discover that our paths do, in fact, diverge, why shouldn't we be able to look upon our time together with pride? Would you rather cast aside with disappointment and despair each seashell that is empty until you find the one that's not? To go from relationship to relationship and see only failure at the end of each one... is it any way to live? And where is this guarantee that the one that pleases you will in fact fill you completely till the end of your days?
Perhaps I'm over-thinking it. She becomes quieter throughout the evening as she senses my growing detachment. Perhaps she has come to the same conclusion for opposite reasons. At last, she asks, "Is it because I'm a Christian?"
She's smarter than I thought.
"No," I say.
"Then why can't you look me in the eyes? Am I not attractive?"
"I don't think we're right for each other. That's all. You're very sweet, but you want something else that I can't offer."
"You mean commitment?"
"I don't mind relationships, but not long term ones."
"You mean marriage? You think I want to marry you?"
"Eventually you will."
"How would you know if I will want to marry you?"
"It's not about will you or won't you. If you won't want to marry me, you won't want anything. I respect that, but it's not my bag."
She shifted in her seat and her eyes darted about anxiously, as if she was looking for something to say to keep things going, but had nothing to say. I watched her as she let it all sink in, and at this point – far past any care for the purpose of the date itself – I was just curious to see how she would respond. Could she? I've already made my position and moved on, and I'm just waiting for the check at this point. Still, I don't want this to be a wasted evening.
"So what is it? Is it sex?"
I did not expect her to go there, and I couldn't tell if she was just angry with me for being so apparently shallow, or if she genuinely wanted to know. I humored her with my honesty, and found my honesty to be a key ingredient in what turned out to be a very interesting experiment.
"Yes. I mean, it's not first on my list, but I think it's important."
"If it's so important, why don't you save it for the right person?"
"I do. I just don't marry them, and there are many more than just one right person."
"But that makes every girl you sleep with worth less."
"Says you!" Now she's gonna get it. "You haven't slept with the girls I have, so how would you know? I've known them better than they knew themselves, and I'm a better man for having known them. If I should want to know you in an intimate way, I might be a better man for having done so. You would be a better woman, too. Don't act like sex is some icing on the cake and then turn around and call it important."
She had no idea what to think about sex, and she knew it. She had an idea based on a vague understanding of some religious ideology, but did she really know what it meant to know a person through and through? Could she bring herself to know someone in this way and accept that he needn't be the only one?
"You really don't think you can know someone without it?" She asked.
"Absolutely not," I answered.
"So... what kinds of things do you learn about someone that you... have sex with?"
The question was very interesting, and I'd never had to answer it before. And from her! I saw her in my mind's eye turning her chin up to the subject, clinging confidently to her beliefs and changing the subject. The Amy that I knew would have accepted my position and regarded me from here on out as nothing more than a 'sinner' in need of saving. She would continue her line of questioning, but not as one who was interested in learning. But she did not do this.
She twirled her unfinished pasta, waiting for my answer. Her eyes were narrow and curious, but still a bit judgmental.
"Well, you learn how much she really loves herself, and how confident she is. You might learn that she's not so shy or passive, or you might find that she appears dominant to everyone who knows her but is in fact very insecure. When you learn these things about someone during sex, you both realize that there is no need for walls or barriers. It's just pure love. Sometimes sex can be very therapeutic, and two people can learn and grow by working through the psychological and emotional pain with the love of another. It's not always roses, but that's mostly been my experience."
I could see the wires short-circuiting in her brain. She was deeply troubled by what I was saying, and her eyes began to water despite her efforts to maintain composure. I decided not to press, so I waited for her to speak.
I began to think of this meeting as fruitful after all, because I could tell that wherever this conversation went from here, I felt closer to her already. We were still miles apart ideologically, but she was actually opening up.
"I don't know what to say." These were the most truthful words she had spoken up to that point, by far. She dropped her fork to the plate with a clink and rubbed her eyes. She made less of an effort to hold back her sobs, but was not a total mess.
"I know you're right..." she began. "I just... I want to believe that love can last, you know? I mean, why is it so hard to find it? Why does sex have to be first? Can't you just know? And how can I... it can't be like that..."
She wasn't making much sense, but I could feel her. I sort of felt bad that I was causing her to break down like this, so I tried to comfort her.
"Well, you could still find him. Don't lose hope."
She dismissed this and became sour. It was not what she wanted to hear. "So how soon before you want it? Sex, I mean. A day? Two days? A week?" She had moved from denial to anger.
"I don't know, it depends."
"On lots of things. What kind of person she is, how open she is... I don't know. I guess it depends mostly how close we feel."
"How many girls have you had sex with?"
"How many do you think?" I was really eager to know the answer to this.
"I don't know. 20? 30?"
"Six." Her jaw dropped. She had me pegged for a playboy, but she had a lot to learn.
"And were you... satisfied with them?"
"All but one," I answered truthfully.
"I thought she wanted what I wanted – to know me intimately – but she only wanted to use me. For sex."
Her eyes softened in sympathy. "What happened?"
She had turned the tables on me, but I decided to continue with my honesty and see where it went. "We worked together at a movie theater and we really liked each other. At least, I thought she liked me because of how nice she was to me and how strongly she put herself out there for me. We never went out on a date or anything, but one night she came into the theater while I was off and watching a movie. There weren't very many people in the theater, so we had sex there in the seats. At first I thought it was very exciting – like a dream come true – but it didn't feel like that for long. When it was over, she got up and walked away without saying anything. I felt pretty bad about the whole thing – just didn't feel good at all."
For the last part of my story, it became difficult to maintain the plutonic delivery of my words. I became too aware of who I was telling this story to and of the personal nature of this vulnerable moment in my life. Afterwards, I could hardly even believe I just told it to her.
"What do you say we finish up here and go for a walk? There's a park around the corner." I still didn't quite know where things would go from here, but I knew I wanted to stretch out the evening with her if I could.
The park reminded me of how different I expected she was from me. I would see happy couples everywhere and guess how healthy their sex lives are, and all the while a girl like Amy would be drawn to the presence of the kids and the dog, thinking innocently about the family she wants to start. She was no doubt getting a different look at everything tonight.
She surely looked at this evening as an experiment as well. After all, our date came about as something of an accident. I hadn't yet met her when I attended her church for the first time. My roommate played keyboard in the praise band, and I promised I would come see him play. Unbeknownst to me, he had a thing for Amy and had been leaving secret admirer messages on her car for months.
On the morning of my visit, she caught me looking at her a few times from several pews back and suspected it was me. Imagine my surprise when she began talking to me like a giddy schoolgirl after only having seen me once, and how puzzled I was that a good Christian girl like her would be flirting with an outsider like me. She was a remarkably sharp flirt for a girl who's probably never been to first base.
I revealed at last that I was not the secret admirer and she seemed to be more embarrassed than disappointed. I did not tell her that it was my roommate, because he had begun seeing someone and I didn't see the point. On a whim, I asked her to dinner. I regretted it almost as soon as I did so because I knew how it would turn out.
But now, as we stroll through the empty park and the cool evening breeze sweeps by us and makes her pink and white dress dance about playfully, I actually found myself attracted to her. I'm usually drawn to the promise of getting to know someone new, and she was new alright. She was like a rare and beautiful flower that I had never even paid attention to before. She was small with light blond hair and soft, milky white skin. When she spoke, her voice was so delicate and sweet that it brought you to your knees.
We found a small mound beneath a tree next to the duck pond. The ducks were very few this evening, but I wasn't really thinking about ducks anyway. Her dress only came down to several inches above the knee, and I noticed for the first time that evening as she sat stretched out that she had wonderful legs. She dangled a sandal on the end of one foot and it started to drive me crazy. Maybe she knew this.
"You said you used to be a Christian before," she said, finally. "What changed your mind?"
"People are capable of good things without labels."
"But it's not just a label. It's a choice and a lifestyle." Here we go.
"Call it what you want. No book written thousands of years ago is going to determine how I live my life now."
"How would you know if you were wrong? I mean, aren't you making up your own morality?"
"Aren't you?" She was stunned by this.
"What do you mean?"
I told her my view that the Bible can be made to justify anything you want, and that it is a poor substitute for the mind's ability to think rationally. I reminded her that even Jesus accused the Pharasees of missing the whole point of the law in the first place: to free you, not to bind you. I explained a lot of things to her, and after about an hour, her arguments no longer involved religion at all.
"That just sounds like a convoluted justification for having sex with anyone you want," she said, finally. She didn't sound like she even believed this.
"It would sound like that to you. Look at us, you and me. We are young, and tomorrow we may be in love. There is no telling what we may learn from each other, so why go into it with expectations? And as I told you already, I don't have sex with just anyone. Only the ones who want to know me and be known by me."
"I still don't see how you can expect me to feel special without being willing to spend the rest of your life with me. I mean, what am I to you? That's all I keep thinking."
"That's your call. I don't think you really believe that."
She looked at me, confused. I continued: "If you're like every other living, breathing human being on this planet, you want what I'm talking about. You feel it with every ounce of blood in your veins. You're probably feeling it right now, yet you deny yourself."
"You're wrong," she said, and stood up to walk over to the pond. I did not get up, I just watched her stop at the pond and stare into its tranquil waters.
She turned around when she realized I did not follow her, and she gave me another look of confusion.
"What?" I asked. She was starting to act very strange, but then it occurred to me what she was doing. She expected me to protest.
"Look," I started, "like I said, I don't think we're after the same thing here. You're a nice girl, but..."
"Do you want to kiss me?"
I did, badly.
"Because it would just be a kiss. I've seen this before, young lady. The girl who wants to string me along knowing what I want but denying me until at last, when she runs her emotional course with me, she tells me it won't work out. No, I won't do that."
I figured this would hurt her deeply, and make her feel unloved and undesired. But the thought of taking advantage just left too nasty a taste in my mouth.
"So it's make or break with you?"
A bit sad, she said, "I... I just can't. I'm sorry."
"Don't be. You're a smart, wonderful and beautiful girl. You keep looking and you'll find what you want someday."
She seemed to appreciate this, but was still noticeably upset. "Come on," I said, "I'll take you home."
The walk to the car was an awkward and painful one. So much distance existed between us and it felt palpable, like the strong magnetic bond I had developed for her was being held at bay by the crushing resistance of an iron bar against my chest. Our conversation had led to such personal places that we had already felt connected, and that we would have to end it here was such a grave disappointment.
Never had I felt such a strong desire to be intimate with someone as I did with her. She was so unique in that regard because of how high the stakes would have been for her. For me it was special, but for her it was a thing that would have brought me closer than any man has ever been to her. She was a virgin, after all, and for her to let me in like that would have been the most incredible love-making experience of my life.
I opened the door for her and she smiled. Her smile proved to me that we could not be friends after this, because she liked me too much. When I got in and started up the car and hit the road back to her place, I set my arm down on the armrest and found her arm there. The happy accident made me instantly hard, and I moved it immediately. I looked over to see her reaction and it was a mix of thanks and regret. She longed for me, I could tell, but she clearly just wanted to get home before she made a mistake.
When we got to her place, I decided to leave the car running to indicate my readiness to get out of there. She sat for a moment without looking at me, and then turned. She wanted me to make my move, but what I told her then was still true: I didn't see it working out.
"Are we going to see each other again?" she finally asked.
"I don't think so." She looked hurt. And every moment that I didn't follow this up with something was a moment she spent fighting her urge to run away while she still could.
"Do you want to come in?"
"I don't know." I was still unconvinced that she really wanted it, and I was determined not to take advantage of her. But then she did something I didn't expect.
She kissed me.
Her kiss was a deeply felt one, and I already knew the passion she had for me. Something in our evening together convinced her not to let me go, but I still didn't know if she truly wanted to open up to me all the way. And truth be told, for the first time as I got to play with the dainty little tongue of this sweet Christian girl, I was ready to see just how far she would take it. I might be setting myself up for failure, but her kiss was so sweet and I wanted it too damn badly. She was a smart cookie to kiss me the way she did, because it worked.
When we separated and locked eyes, she said, "I don't know if I'm ready to go all the way, but maybe we could...?"
"We don't have to, you know. I don't want you to do anything just because you don't want to let me go."
"No, I want to. So much of what you've said tonight... I don't know, maybe I'll regret it later, but... I never thought I would feel this close to someone so quickly."
At that, I turned the engine off and stepped out to open her door. I took her by the hand and didn't let go until we got to her front door. "This place looks pretty big," I remarked as she looked for her keys.
"It's my parents' house. I mean, they don't live here, just me. They're letting me stay here while I go to school."
Crosses, Bible verses and little spiritual knick-knacks were all over the place and popped out to me as soon as I entered. She even had a notebook next to her Bible on the coffee table that had the words 'Devotional' on the front. It hardly seemed real that I had made it this far with this girl. The thought that she would be shaming herself in the eyes of her God gave me a bitter feeling as I started to have second thoughts.
She had gone to get us each a glass of juice, and when she came back, I leveled with her. "I'm not so sure this is a good idea."
"I thought I was the one that was supposed to be nervous here." She was being remarkably up beat.
"I just... I don't want to be the reason you did something you'll regret later."
If ever she was nervous to be with me, it seemed that line made her more confident than ever. She awww-ed and said, "you really are sweet." She put her drink down and walked to me, wrapped her arms around me and drew my lips her hers once again. This time, I held her back. My hands drifted down to her butt, but she didn't seem to mind. It was enough to wipe all of my doubts from my mind. It was on.
She took me upstairs after giving me a brief tour of the house. She still clung to her desire to prolong the fun as much as possible, and I let her. The anticipation was incredible.
She told me about her family pictures on the wall, the stuffed animals in her room that she's never gotten rid of since she was a little girl, and finally sat down on the bed next to me. When our conversation was hitting its natural breaking point and our bodies touched at the hip, I took her by the neck and pulled her lips to mine once again.
When I placed my hand on her leg she jumped. She seemed frustrated by her own skittishness, and I realized I was going to have to be very gentle.