I just got a letter from Lisa. It’s been seven years. She is out of college now, working. We haven’t see one another for at least three years, maybe four. We have, our lives have become ordinary. But she wrote this to me, an answer to my wanting to see her again. I will share this. Somehow this letter from her explains everything.
You asked me what I would do if you came out here to stay a week with me? To just show up at my door, surprise me, meet my friends. Hang out.
What would I do?
I thought about this on the drive home today. We both say I would be nervous, but it's much more than that. I would be a complete mess of nerves. VERY shy, VERY unsure, and ultimately, VERY uncomfortable because of my nervousness. Self conscious. And excited. I think I could manage dinner and a movie with you now, if you ever did come to visit, and more than that I would have to wait and see. It has been a long long time, things change. We have written a lot. This thread between us. But still . . . I might just pass out or toss my cookies at the dinner table. Hahahaha. I'm joking, but I'm also serious. I have a very weak stomach sometimes, it's kind of gotten worse over time, no matter how mellow I get, or how I learn to deal with situations mentally, my stomach does flip flops. I think that I would want to talk to you a lot, just have a normal conversation, but with voices, not letters. I think that would be so wonderful. Squeeze my eyes shut and give you a big hug. And of course I imagine I want to jump your bones. But I can't promise anything. I could be just as likely to do the passing out or tossing cookies as the jumping of your bones. Just thinking about it gives me butterflies.
I do feel needed, but I don't want you to feel blue. I understand it, I feel that way too. I think of you often, blue myself, and I know you miss me too. But I don't want you to feel blue. I want you to think of me and smile.
I love to think about us, before, of being all yours. The weeks of 'lessons' you telling me I had nothing to learn. Me saying . . . oh god, the things I said. Hee Hee Hee. I am laughing evilly again because I love the idea right now of you coming out here. And you know I would dress up anyway you wanted, for you, for our night out. I know how you like panties. O . . . I am getting dizzy thinking about it... At least, I think it's from thinking about it.
My boyfriend and I? You have very little reason to be jealous of him. He does get to hug me, kiss me, fuck me, whatever now and he doesn't do it often enough. He is rarely affectionate with me in those ways. He doesn't lust after me. I think he finds me attractive, but he is not overcome with lust for me. Sigh. Like I said, I'm a hopeless romantic. What WE have together is something I do not have with him. It is SPECIAL. Wanton lust. I loved how you looked at me. The time we had WAS
Tell you what - how about I fly out sometime and we can spend a weekend together with you, just us, a day in bed. I have this crazy desire to Paint You! There is such a part of me that wants to see you out there. Would Mandy mind? Evil laugh again.
As far as your offer, whatever you say my love, I will do. But I am too terrified to say it in full seriousness right now. Give me time. I know you are and will. And you know, when I say things like I want to be TAUGHT, that I am still CURIOUS, it's that I want to be explored, I want to be shown the kind of pleasure my body is capable of giving. I have not really had that, and I want so badly to be shown that, feel that again. Be mastered. Broken down, put back together into something better. I am so silly. That is what I mean: Dissolved, disheveled, naked in your bed. Completely out of control of my own body. Out of my mind. Not self conscious and shy.
How much do I love you? And what do we have? You ask that with so much pain in your letter. How much? So much my heart right now is swelling up and I think it's going to pop right out of my chest. So much, I am often surprised to find myself smiling, because I'm lost in the thought of you. So much that I would keep the secret of us forever if I had to, not EVER meet if it were guaranteed somehow that all this would never end. I need you here in my life in some form, be it email or real live flesh. I could just sit here, anywhere, close my eyes and think of you, think of us in our little room. Think about it at work while I'm shuffling paper from this pile to that pile and get all swollen, hot and wet. Hold my thighs together tight. Lick my lips. Yum. I can think of it for hours. So, in a way, you are already here.
And I want to scream it to the world, but I can't. I have to hide it here, deep inside...
So I guess I am what you say - human. Your pearl that is hidden away. It's fun to be human. I realize now that not many people are.
Love, Your Pink little Pearl
This is a hard story to write. Every moment is burned into my memory. I also have to warn you, this story is long. Probably too long. It cant be helped.
I can not identify exactly why or at what point what happened happened. The cause. If I knew, it never would have happened at all. But that was just it, there were no markers along the way. Rather, it was a series of gradual turns, so how does one say here or here? When I really think about it, the point of beginning was well before THIS story begins.
I remember that at some point, long ago, Lisa began to stay with our grandparents in the summer for three months at a time. For three months I never saw her. We were very close, and it had a profound impact on me; I believe that somehow that pattern of her presence and absence and presence year after year - the sadness and longing while she was gone, the joy and attachment I felt when she returned inserted the initial speck of dust into my soul.
Call it Desire.
Like a sting. Awaiting a trigger. That is when this story begins. Like a mosquito bite they say 'Don't Scratch, it'll make it worse.' But it itches and you scratch.
And it gets worse just like they say
That is the beginning.
(Oh and no character in this story is ever under the age of 18. We are all adults here.)
I had been attending Seminary, working on my pastoral degree with a counseling minor. My ultimate goal was to be a pastor. I was almost done and had even begun my second year interning. My sister, Lisa, was in her last year of high school with only six months left before graduating. We had just celebrated her 18th birthday. She obviously still lived at home with our parents, who are very conservative, very strict, very religious. We shared their values, but not with quite the same intensity. More mercy, less justice, is how I describe it. But we are all very close. I lived just a mile away from my parents home, and my school was less than half a mile from Lisa's highschool.
So we saw each other often. First, because I went to mom and dad's house for meals quite a bit, and second because Lisa would stop by my house when she walked home from school just to say hi.
Its funny the order I am telling this story.
I am also married. I married the first girl I kissed.
I am already trembling as I write this all down.
"Lord, Thank you for this meal you have provided us. Thank you for bringing us all together this evening, and for blessing us as you have. Lord we pray for all those suffering in the world, for the hungry and those without a home. Please provide for those without, and let us be thankful for what we have. Amen."
We sat around the table and held hands as we prayed.
I was sitting next to my sister Lisa, my wife Mandy was across the table, and my mom and dad sat at each end of the table. These were our regular places. Tonight Mandy fixed the meal and we were all sitting in the little dining area of our apartment. We lived in a two story apartment, all the common rooms on the first floor and a small bedroom on the second floor, with a door that went down the back to the outside from a small deck area.
Lisa was very quiet, which was not really like her. She was seated next to me in her cotton dress, buttoned to the top. She always wore dresses, down to her knees, blues, blacks and greys. Her hair was long, dark. She had hazel eyes, downcast tonight, just picking at her food. I was sensitive to things like that, I noticed the needs of others.
Later that evening, while dishes were being cleared and everyone was settling down in the living room to watch some TV, I caught a moment with Lisa.
She looked at me, averting her gaze.
"What is it? You seem down."
She simply shook her head no, as she said quietly, "Been thinking about some things. That's all."
"You can tell me."
There was a silent pause before she shook her head no.
"I better not."
The encounter with my sister the night before had me vexed. My sister and I were very close and I could not imagine what could be wrong. I was imagining her dealing with some relationship issues, perhaps with someone she should not be - we had rules about dating non-Christians. Or, it could be something else. But what? Something worse. She was a quiet girl, shy, but not around us, not with me. She had this wonderful soft voice, full of life and a mischievous glint in her eye. Like she was always figuring things out. She threw her head back when she laughed.
I had heard there was someone at the high school she was maybe interested in. I kept wondering, thinking about it. Worrying. I talked to her some again about it. Reminding her I had taken counseling classes, that I could help. She knew I was a good listener, but declining to share each time, and seeming more down as the days passed.
Lisa hinted a little more one afternoon when she stopped by the house. A tidbit. A clue.
"It's about something I did, or....am doing."
"Sis. This is important. You need to talk about it," I said as she pressed her hands together. My fears were being confirmed. What I was thinking about. I continued, "I won't tell a soul. This is just between us."
She had walked to the apartment today on her way home. It was 3:00 in the afternoon. Mandy worked till 6:00 and I had afternoons free to study.
She sat down, holding her knees tight together, her skirt flapping over the ends of her knees. She was tugging the fabric down and over calves.
"This year has just been a really hard year for me. REALLY hard." She began to hug her knees a little, bending over, looking down.
"Twelfth grade can be hard. A lot changes." I was nodding my head. Agreeing.
"I worry, am worrying so much, about so many things, college, and being an adult and...." She looked away. I was confused now.
"Is it someone you are dating?"
She shook her head no. A sense of relief released inside me. We were to be virgins until married, in every sense of the word.
"What? Just say . . .something, anything . . . you can tell me."
"Well.... I.....Its just. I have been filled with these feelings, overwhelming feelings." Her hand was placed on her stomach and she pressed, looking toward me. Her cheeks flushed. She was looking away again, "And I can't help it." She got up and walked to window and as she stood there said quietly, "I have been Masturbating." Then turning to me, met my eyes. "There, I said it."
I didn't know what to think.
Or what to say. That was a sin. A sexual sin, a sin of fantasy and fantasy was almost the same as what I had been worrying about, but. . . it was enough. But, then for me - this was my sister. Don't cast stones. I knew I masturbated, did at times. Kept it hidden, to myself. I resisted. Very seldom. But.....
Do I share that? How do we have this conversation? How . . . with my sister? It was easier being married. Do I say that? No.
All that came out was, "You . . . masturbate?"
"Yes." She came back over, sat down. And the flow of words, quiet, almost whispers, "A lot. I get this . . . urge, this burning sensation, these feelings. Longings, temptations. Fantasies. There is nothing to do. When I am nervous, and . . ." She looked at me, eyes glistening.
I felt myself grow warm, as I looked into her innocent eyes - a picture of her, these images, I was spinning. I was looking at her swaying around, her thin fingers. Her hazel eyes looking into mine just then.
"I've had a lot on my mind, for a long time." She was up again, pacing, "It's not easy to confess. Matthew, you can not say anything to anyone. Not even Mandy. But . . .I have no one I can talk to. But you."
I agreed. "This is good. A start. You need to control yourself then."
There was a pause, and as she stood looking out the window, she spoke in an even voice. "Matthew. I just want to LOSE control. My whole life has been . . . control. Be this. Be that. I'm too wound up. I'm going crazy inside when what I need is to go crazy outside. In six months I will be graduating and I will be an adult and . . . I haven't even kissed a boy."
"You are waiting, though - right?" I stammered, surprised by her words. "This is stress you are feeling, just stress."
"No." She was about to say something before she continued, "Yes. You are right. I can't even imagine kissing . . . anyone. But . . . so, that is what I do, I imagine I am..without, doing it." She looked back at me, I listened, not believing what I heard. She was always somehow 'accepting' of the Truth of moral behavior. Never questioning. But a look now in her eyes, of something more, could I ever have suspected such thoughts. This was not a part of her at all, not the Lisa I knew.
This idea of wanting to lose control, it was not good. I did not like hearing it. But I did not want to be judgmental, not yet anyway. I needed to hear her out, I said I would. But still . . .
She continued, "I believe you when you say you think it's stress, but . . . ever since last summer I feel like this different person is emerging inside, wanting . . . more. I don't know, something. More. I don't even know what. It can be so horrible. I've had to come to terms with my true feelings, and it's just awful to think that I may never be close to anyone."
"What are you saying? Sure you will. You need to meet someone, a boy, a . . .Christian boy. Just be more outgoing, talk to people more, in group settings, like you do with mom and dad, with me. You have such a great sense of humor . . .and . . ."
"I mean, that's just it isn't it, I am SHY Matthew. Too shy. I will NEVER meet anyone, anyone I would care for. Truly. If I went out on a date I would probably toss my cookies. So I guess what I'm saying is, where were you back then when I needed this advice?"
I was beginning to say more, but she talked over me.
" It's a dangerous situation - I know it - and I don't know that even if I were faced with a chance to do something like kiss someone, say, or . . . whatever." She was gradually lowering her voice now as she spoke, finally sitting down next to me. "I don't know if I'd have the courage, even, to do it. It's been so ground into me how wrong it all is. It's so much easier to fantasize. In my fantasies I can do anything . . . be as wild and seductive as I want, but in real life I'm much more shy, self conscious. I feel like two people. But then, what happens to me inside, what I need then. This physical need. It comes out."
"But god sees what is inside too. It is still sin. And it gets stronger because you are giving in to it!" I had to say it.
And she looked up at me, the horror in her eyes, getting up again. Tears welling in her eyes.
Through her tears she sputtered, "It's so awful, this...I don't know...It's awful but then, Matthew it IS nice too. It feels . . . "
She walked to the window again, holding the curtains in her fingers, stroking the fabric, as she looked out, " There is this guy at school, last spring. He seemed interested and I was excited to go back this year, talk to him, maybe I don't know. I hadn't seen him all summer. Thinking maybe I will have a boyfriend. You know. Maybe. And when we first met, it seemed almost like it used to be... could be, but then it changed. Suddenly. For no reason. What had I done? I don't know what to do NOW. He doesn't talk to me."
"How can he just ignore me? I felt so luminous, like I was glowing from the inside out, and he said he would call me in the summer. I felt that moment, just from being around him. I imagined the summer, what we could do. But. He never called. And that started my fantasies. Of US meeting. It's driving me nuts. I can't stand the feeling, and so I need to relieve myself. It gets better after, but then. Oh Matthew . . . it is every day now, TWICE a day now."
I had this moment, fleeting images, imagining her on her bed. Putting it away from myself immediately. A white blanket, her knees raised up beneath the fabric. Her skin. Her sex. Did she pull the covers over herself? Remove her clothes? Was it in the bathroom, the shower? I imagined her hands, looking at her slender fingers just then. Fingers pressed up inside. I closed my eyes. Putting it away each time.
She sat down by me again. I took her hand. Felt each of her small fingers, stroked the palm of her hand. "Lisa, I think, you need to stop. Trust me. Work on the problem, which is stress. It is." I pressed my eyes shut - putting it away again. As I continued, "The changes are coming and you were always one to think ahead, plan ahead. Now with so much changing it is overwhelming. But, you can get through it all. All of it. God is there for you, he will not tempt you beyond what you are able. This is a test. God is helping you grow. It sounds like stress. Like so much is going on and this diverts you. At this time of worry, Satan can only tempt. But God overcomes, overcomes all sin. All temptation. We can think about that, work on that, pray. Everything else then will take care of itself. In the meantime, Pray for forgiveness for strength. We do not worry for tomorrow. God feeds us, and clothes us like the lilies in the field." I was looking at her soft white hands. "You can read your bible and pray and ..."
After that conversation, I could not fully absorb all that Lisa had told me. But in another sense, I couldn't stop thinking about it. It absorbed me, drew me in. I couldn't stop thinking about her, her feelings. Her room. The vision of her, in MY imagination. This seed, and her words, 'That burning sensation'
I found myself thinking of her masturbating - 'every day, twice a day.'
I asked her again a few days later, "How is it going?"
"Ok. . . Oh, You mean . . . oh." She just looked away.
And I watched her walk off, her cheeks mottling. Eyes, liquid. I began to watch the way she moved. To see the smallness of her waist, her small delicate hands. The way she looked at you before turning her head, the way her hair fell across her cheek. Her clothes, the way the fabrics hung from her, loose so you could not make out a figure, but she had a figure, a fine narrow waist, full hips, long legs, dark hair, and beautiful lips. Full lips, not like my wife's . . .
I would press my eyes closed, shaking these thoughts from my mind. Put it away each time.
I had married Mandy two years before. We went to the same College, it was how we met. We liked each other very much, spent so much time together. We shared the same values, she wanted to be a pastors wife and I wanted to be a pastor. Our beliefs were very similar. We held hands, read the bible together. I remember the first time we kissed, how nice it was, her tight lips. I was a virgin and so was she. She was the first girl I had kissed.