I'm shy. I've been shy all my life, every one of my 28 years, terminally shy. Does it piss me off? Sure, at times, but what am I supposed to do? Read a book? Take courses? It doesn't work that way: knowledge isn't going to get me out of it. Nothing will. Or so I thought — before I met Beth.
I saw her a few times in the cafeteria at work before I actually met her. Like every other girl in the place I didn't pay any attention to her, why would I? I knew I wasn't going to talk to her; knew that at the slightest provocation, even a slight movement in my direction, I'd bolt for my cubicle in the Accounts Department.
But there was something different about her. For one, she was always alone, and for another, every time I noticed her she was looking at me.
I didn't know what to make of it: no one ever looked at me. But this girl did. I tried to ignore her at first and I succeeded for awhile, but then I found myself searching for her, surreptitiously of course, when I walked from the cafeteria checkout to a table and every time I caught sight of her she was hunched over her tray following me with her eyes, always with the same look on her face. What that look meant I had no idea, but there was no doubt that she was blocking out everything around her and she was looking only at me.
I didn't know her name, who she was or even what department she worked in. All I knew was what I could see. She was plump, with very heavy breasts and a plain but pretty face. That's it.
Then I found out she was about 5'5" because she was standing at my bus stop after work one Friday night. She had a small red overnight bag in her hand which was on her lap when I walked past her on the bus. She got out at my stop. I know this because as I left from the middle door she left from the front door and I had to pass her for the five minute walk to my apartment.
By definition, shy people tend not to be curious but it was all I could do not to look back to see where she was going. But later when I approached my apartment building I almost jumped out of my skin when I saw her reflection in the glass door. She was standing behind me, waiting as I fumbled with the key, and when I opened the door she passed right by me and walked to the centre of the small foyer where she turned and waited for me. "I want to talk to you," she said, "I'll follow you to your apartment."
I was frozen to the floor, wanting to flee but I couldn't move my feet.
"What number?" she asked, as she took my arm and forced me towards the elevators.
"432," I mumbled, not smart enough to lie.
We waited for the elevator in silence and she said nothing on the ride up, nor the walk to the door. Inside, she put her overnight bag on the floor by the door and went into the living room and sat on the couch. I was trapped; it was all I could do not to panic, to just start running.
She looked at me sternly, it scared me. "May I have some tea?"
"I don't have any." I never drink tea.
Relieved, I moved to a cupboard, pulled out my only bottle of red which I quickly opened and poured into my only wine glass. My hand was shaking when I handed it to her but she might not have noticed because she was looking at me with the same look I had seen so many times in the cafeteria.
I retreated to the entrance by the kitchen and stood awkwardly in silence.
"I'd like it if you would have a glass with me, Peter."
I turned and obediently did as requested and when I returned to the edge of the living room she directed me to sit down in the chair opposite her.
I did and sipped nervously from the tumbler and waited, like I was waiting for a job interview or the test results for some dreadful disease. But she didn't say anything, not until I had almost finished my wine.
"I brought some things in that bag," she pointed. "I'm going to stay the weekend with you."
I looked at her for the first time, stunned by her words.
"May I have some more wine?"
I quickly left my chair, got the bottle from the kitchen and placed it on the edge of the coffee table in front of her.
"Would you pour it for me? And have some more yourself."
I did as directed, wondering what this was about — and when she would leave. I sat down and waited for an explanation.
She must have seen my shaking hand this time because she said, "I don't want to upset you, Peter. I want to get to know you. That's why I've come here. How else can I get to know you? You're more comfortable here than anywhere else, so I thought this is the best place to do it."
"But you can't stay here."
"I can and I will, I brought my things. I'll stay for the weekend."
"There's no room."
"There's lot of room, so it's settled. I'm staying," she stood up and walked across the room and picked up her bag. "I'm going to change. I'll be right back."
My options tumbled out in a blur: I could call the police; I could physically push her out the door; I could leave myself; I could ... what? What could I do? I could do nothing. Could she just walk into my place and stay? Is that possible? What does she want?
And that's what I asked her when she came back into the living.
She stood in the middle of the room, "I want to get to know you, I've told you that."
That just didn't make any sense but when I looked up at her to try to read her face, to try to understand what she really wanted, I almost ran for the door. She had on a very short blue skirt and a light yellow blouse through which I could easily see her huge red bra.
"Do you like it?" She was smiling at me, turning a little to the left and right as fashion models do, then, before I could engage my legs to flee, she came over and kneeled beside my chair — no more than a foot from me. "I'll make a deal with you, Peter," I heard her, of course, but I couldn't look at her. "I'm going to stay the weekend with you. I'll go home Sunday night after dinner and, if you want, after that, you will never hear from me again. Ever. I promise. But I would really, really like it if you would give me a chance to get to know you and for you to get to know me. What have you got to lose? I'll do the cooking and I'll clean your house if you want, all you have to do is talk to me." She stood up. "I'll make supper."
I get panic attacks, regularly. Not bad ones, just a shortness of breath and an urgent need to run. I was getting one now. But it passed quickly. I didn't want to flee. I wanted to stay and I knew, deep down, I wanted her to stay, too. I masturbate, regularly, and for the past few months every time I did I thought of her — she is the only girl who has ever looked at me.
But that didn't mean I could move. I couldn't. I was terrified to get up; I was terrified to be near her and I guess she sensed that because she came back into the room and bent down and kissed me on the head. "I'm going to be good for you, Peter, really, really good for you," and she placed her hand on my cheek and gently pulled me into her breasts before walking back into the kitchen.
And I went there too, 20 minutes later when she called me. The food was on the table — I don't know what it was, even though I was staring at it. I couldn't look at her. "Why," I said, "I don't understand why you're doing this."
She squeezed my arm, "I was being honest with you, Peter, absolutely honest. I really want to get to know you and I really want you to get to know me. That's why I'm here." She hesitated for a moment, "But there's more." I risked a quick look at her before turning back to the plate. "I like you. I like the way you look, I like the way you move and I really like that you're so shy." She hesitated again. "Do you know why?"
I didn't look at her, "No. That's what I've been saying."
"Really shy people don't meet people. So if I make you get to know me I might have a chance with you. And I want that. I've asked about you, quietly, but lots of time. You're really really smart, really good at your job and you can be really successful. But you need someone to help you deal with your shyness. I can do that — I'm not shy at all." If she was waiting for a reaction I was too scared to give her one, so she continued. "In return, maybe I can get you to like me as much as I like you and if you do ... well, girls like me don't often get a chance to get guys like you."
"What do you mean girls like you ..."
"Look at me." I didn't, I just got as far as her chest before turning back to the plate. "I'm not very good looking, nowhere near as good looking as you and I'm just a clerk, not in management like you. Girls like me, plain and homely, we get passed up every time. I don't want to be passed up. Not by you. That's why I'm here. I know it's sort of wrong to do what I'm doing — forcing myself on you, but if I didn't you'd never even talk to me, would you?"
I didn't say anything.
"Look, I may be a little plain on the outside, but I'm really hot on the inside and I want you to see that in me." She squeezed my arm again. "I think we can be a great team, Peter and I'm going to do everything I can to try to make it happen." She stood up and kissed me on the head before sitting down again, "Now eat your veggies, they're good for you."
I didn't think about her words, they didn't make any sense to me, but there was no doubt she meant them. Well, no, I did think about one word she used: hot, 'I'm really hot inside' — that gave me a hard-on.
She was patient with me. She asked me questions about myself, waited patiently for my answer, often giving a little insight about herself and always making sure my tumbler was full. When the bottle was empty, she asked if I had another. When I said I didn't, she got up, went down the hall and came back with a bottle, which she handed me without comment.
It was awkward at first, of course. I had never had a conversation with a woman but pretty soon I was enjoying it. We weren't really talking about me; we were talking about things and when, after we had finished the meal, she got up to go into the living room, I followed without thinking and we carried on in there, drinking wine and just talking.
I wasn't dreading the moment. Earlier on I knew I would be sleeping on the couch, so late in the evening when she got up, put the two glasses on the counter and walked down the hallway to the bathroom, I took a pillow from my bed, my sleeping bag from the closet and a box of kleenex from the hall closet. I was a little drunk, sure but I was excited, too. I had actually pulled off a conversation with a girl ... and the girl seemed to like me. I sat down on the couch, opened the new box of tissue and waited for the bathroom to be free. I couldn't wait to get to bed. I have never been so horny.
I had my underwear pushed down and my penis in my hand when the light flicked on in the kitchen and then she was there, black against the light. But not for long. When she leaned over to turn the living room lamp on I could see the full outline of her left breast and I almost spasmed into the kleenex resting on my belly.
"What are you doing?" She seemed to be annoyed.
"What?" I said, turning on my side, making sure I could press my hard-on into the couch if she came any closer.
"Why aren't you sleeping in your bed? There's lots of room."
When the light had come on I was afraid to look at her, but I did now and I think I gasped. She wore a white negligee. She looked like an angel. "No," I said, and I turned over, pressing my now almost spasming prick into the couch and squeezing my eyes shut against her image.
I didn't sleep that night. Not once. I masturbated. The first time, before she made it back to bedroom, but the other four times I did it slowly, very slowly, thinking about her, in her white flimsy negligee, in her sexy red bra but mostly when I thought of her I was in her arms and she was caressing me.
I was disappointed next morning when I saw her in the kitchen. She didn't have on the white negligee; she was wearing the same clothes she had worn to work yesterday.
But she was disappointed, too, she made that perfectly clear, "I wanted to sleep with you last night," she handed me a cup of coffee. "We don't have to do anything, but we're going to sleep together tonight. I want you to know that now." Then she kissed me lightly on the cheek. "I said I want us to get to know each other and I meant it."
I don't know why, probably because I had been fucking her in my thoughts for the past eight hours but just the sight of her this morning got me going again and I mumbled, "I want to get to know you, too."
She had turned away from me and was reaching for her coffee on the counter when I said this and she spun around, stunned. "You do?"
When I blushed, I could feel my whole body turn red but still I said, "You looked beautiful last night." She looked confused, I don't think she knew what I meant. "In your white nightie."
She didn't hesitate. She turned and left. I thought I had insulted her, made her mad, I even had a flash of fear that she might leave. I didn't know what to do. I was going to go after her to apologize but, as usual, I couldn't move and then in a few minutes she was there, in front of me, in her white negligee and she was looking at me, in the way she looks at me but now she said, "God, Peter, I just want you to want me."
I stood stupid, staring at her. I could see her big breasts were loose behind the thin white film. "I don't know what to do."
"I don't either but we can work it out." She took my hand and led me down the hall to the bedroom.
Shy fear. I knew everything there was to know about shy fear. This wasn't that, this was terror, gut-wrenching terror but her touch, her hand in mine and then her fingers undoing the buttons of my shirt — they felt so knowing, so confident, so reassuring that I accepted them, instinctively, as I might accept a helping hand from danger. And then there was that look. I don't know what it meant but it made me feel safe, it always made me feel safe.
When her hands clasped the waistband of my underwear I stopped her and she didn't object, she climbed onto the bed and brought me with her and I was lying beside her, feeling the heat through the white film between us and she slowly pressed me to her, pulling my chest into hers, my face into her neck and she held me tight, like in my mind she had held me tight all night.
And that's when it happened; a moment of utter clarity: for the first time in my life I realized I could be with somebody — I didn't need to be alone.
The moan that escaped my lips seemed almost mournful and I think she thought so to because she pushed gently away and looked down at me while she slowly moved her hand along my stomach and when it crawled beneath my underwear and touched my erection I turned into her, pressing myself deep into her soft, hot flesh and I emptied myself on her hand as I surrendered myself to her body, pushing myself into it like it was a cocoon and I felt so safe, so secure that in time I gave in to my exhaustion and fell asleep.
My face was pressed into her enormously soft breasts and she was lightly caressing my hair when I awoke. It surprised me how child-like I felt, it was as if this was a familiar place for me, a warm place where I felt absolutely safe.
I must have stirred because she pulled away and looked at me, the same look, but now she smiled and gave me a light kiss on the lips and as she did, she slipped her fingers under my underwear again and gently took hold of my penis and she stroked it as she pressed her lips into mine until my groan.
This time she didn't let me snuggle into her. Instead, she bounded off the bed and disappeared down the hall but was back within a minute, standing at the foot of the bed where she leaned over, quickly removed my underwear and began cleaning me with a wet warm face cloth. "You're beautiful, Peter," she was concentrating on her task, "you're absolutely beautiful," then she sat beside me and gently stroked me again, taking my balls in her hand and fondling them.
In the afternoon she took me for a walk in the park and we stopped for groceries on the way home and some wine which we sipped while I watched her cook.
"Do you masturbate, Peter?" She was busy chopping, "I do. I do all the time. I didn't, not really, not before I saw you, but ever since then ..." Now she looked back at me and smiled, "well." She turned and began chopping again but soon gave it up and turned back to me, leaning back against the counter. When we got home she had changed into her short skirt, sheer yellow blouse and red bra and she looked lovely. "Everything changed for me that first day I saw you. I just started to think about you all the time. I couldn't stop." She smiled, "And I don't want to stop. I love thinking about you — love how I feel when I think about you." She looked totally relaxed, she could have been talking about the weather. "What do you think, Peter?"
She folded her arms over her breasts, "I don't know about anything."
"I don't know what to think."
She smiled, "It's hard for you isn't it? A shy guy like you. But I hope as you get to know me you'll talk to me about the things you're thinking, I really want to know them, I really want to know how I can make you happy."
That made me sad. I didn't know why at first but I thought about it all evening as she talked but I finally figured it out when we went to bed: she may want me but I couldn't see anything I had to give her.
I saw her in the cafeteria on Monday, but only out of the corner of my eye. I didn't know what to do, what to say to her so I avoided her and ate out the rest of the week, hating myself that I was so weak and hating that I would be alone all weekend.
But she was sitting on her red overnight bag beside my apartment door when I returned home on Friday night. She stood up when she saw me and picked up her bag. She wasn't smiling, she seemed nervous, "You didn't tell me not to come. I'll leave if you want me to, like I promised."
She had me so confused I didn't know if I was glad to see her or not but I let her in and when I did she dropped her bag and headed directly for the cupboard, "Do you still have the wine I bought last weekend?"
The weekend was a repeate of the previous weekend: she cooked, did most of the talking, a little cleaning, she took me for a walk, to a bookstore, the market and wine store. And she fondled me and cleaned me and fondled me again as I pressed into her soft, hot body. I walked her to the bus stop on Sunday night, just as I had the previous Sunday but this time, when I returned home I found a book on my bed, a how to guide: how to have meaningful sex.
I didn't go to work on Monday. I couldn't face her. The book was quite clear about people like me: we are shameful, self-centred, selfish, inconsiderate ... and the list went on. I re-read the book I had been up all night reading; re-reading the sections about bringing pleasure to the other — and how to do it. Then I went online: I had a lot to learn.
I stayed away from the cafeteria again all week, until Friday when I waited for her to finish her lunch and walk to the elevators. "Will you come this weekend," I whispered to her from behind her back. When she turned and smiled I turned away.
She got on the bus before I did and I smiled at her as I passed her, the red bag on her lap and I walked behind her most of the way to my place, passing her only at the end so I could unlock the door. As usual, we didn't speak until we got in my apartment and even then it took awhile because as soon as the door shut I grabbed her, awkwardly because she sure didn't expect it, and I hugged her, pressing my body into hers as I pulled her body into mine and I felt my fear melt away in her heat.
And she was pulling at me, too and pushing her face into my chest so it was a little difficult to push her away, but I did and still not saying anything, I took her hand and walked her to my bedroom where I fell on the bed with her in my arms.