The Writer and The Word (03)byAdrian Leverkuhn©
Sumner walked up from the T and crossed over busy streets and walked past the magazine stands lining Harvard Square as he made his way slowly to the dormitory. He felt as though the future he had come to understand, his future, had evaporated into the airs surrounding the old woman's hallucinatory gestures. He drifted across Harvard Yard feeling as though he was being carried along in the aimless air currents of this warm summer's evening. He looked at all the old buildings, the milestones of so many lives and careers etched across this almost ancient landscape, and he missed them already. He felt dead, that tomorrow he would only be someone else's memory. No reason to follow those broken dreams, he thought to himself, if everywhere he went he murdered those he loved. Had he really been so thoughtless as to wind his way through life so carelessly, taking other people's feelings with such callous disregard, and with such little account of his impact on their feelings?
As he walked through the campus he wondered what his future would look like, but it felt empty. Even as he now knew he was toxic to people, he missed the one voice he had come to love so quickly. So, he came to his dormitory and walked up the old steps flanked by ivy covered red brick, and made his way down the long hall toward his room.
As he drew closer to the door to his room, there in the dim light he saw a figure sitting by his door. Very few people were in the dorm over summer; just a few attending summer session, so he was surprised to see anyone at all in the hallway this hour of the evening. Coming closer to his door, the figure stood.
There in the light was Angela White.
As he came to her, and saw her face radiantly glowing in the ancient air of the old dormitory, he felt that tightness in his chest that grew in the presence of her beauty. Her shining eyes sustained him, made the world make sense for a few precious moments, then his doubts returned, and he fell to the ground before her, fell into a ragged heap of tears. He curled up into a trembling ball of infantile fear as his sorrow and grief overcame him.
As Angela watched Sumner's face as he had drawn near, she saw all the sorrow another human can endure etched there in corrosive agony. She watched helplessly as he fell, listened as his tears took form in the space between them. She felt his soul's call as he lay there, and as she fell to his side, she felt the gentle hands of destiny shaping her body to comfort the wounded soul of her mate.
Angela White had never understood anything as perfectly as the love she now felt for Sumner Welles. As she lay there in the mists of time beside him, holding him, she drew him to her bosom, and was, she knew, prepared to lay there with him until time stopped.
She stood with him, walked with him into his room, and helped him to his bed. He tried to talk, but she quieted him, told him that they would have all the time in the world to talk. She pulled off his shoes, his trousers and socks, and unbuttoned his shirt. She pulled down his boxers, then took off her skirt and blouse, and she laid beside him on the bed. She pulled a small blanket up over them, and kissed him on the mouth. She held him as he fell asleep, and continued to look at him for what felt like hours, until sleep finally came for her.
As the dim light of morning came into the room, Angela woke when she felt Sumner's erection between her cheeks. She heard him snoring gently, and smiled as she realized he was responding to her warmth, and not making a move, but she spread her legs a bit and reached between her legs until she felt the head of his penis. She took him in her hand and rubbed the tip of his cock against the petals of her vagina until she could feel her warmth flowing, then she arched her back until she felt him entering her. She heard his breathing, and it still sounded as though he was sleeping, and she continued to move against him ever so gently, barely thrusting his cock in and out of her vagina.
She felt her response building - she was so softly rubbing her clitoris as she moved against him - and soon she was shuddering in her release. Then she felt his hands on her shoulder, then a kiss on the back of her neck, and she felt him thrusting into her with gentle urgency. Her orgasm simply extended it's hold on her, and she continued to shudder and convulse as it kept building and releasing. Then he rolled her over onto her back, and he moved on top her, positioned himself between her legs. He brought her ankles to his shoulders, lifted her vagina higher, then pierced her with his need. He drove himself in as deeply as he could, then began to thrust into her with deep, rapid thrusts.
He took her stockinged foot into his mouth, bit her toes, kissed her arch, all while fucking her relentlessly. She seemed to be lost in a perpetual orgasm, and he heard warm wet sounds coming from their union. He stroked away harder, felt his orgasm building, and he stopped. He lay down beside her on his back, and he pulled her on top. She reached down and found his cock, and grabbed it frantically, guiding it home toward her petals. She sat down on his cock fiercely as she felt his hands on her breast, and she moved her hips against his thrusts until she felt yet another orgasm building from deep within her womb. As she lost herself within the limitless waves of her orgasm, she felt Sumner thrusting harder, felt the head of his cock twitching inside her, then was surprised as she felt his cock spurting deep inside her womb.
She collapsed on him, bit his neck gently, and whispered into his ear, "Sum, I love you. I don't want to spend another moment of my life without you." She continued to rock away on top of him, and she felt him growing again inside of her. She lifted and lowered her loins on his cock as it strained and grew, and they were both borne again into the rapids of their lovemaking. Angela's back arched and her blond hair whirled above them like storm-whipped trees. She moved to the rhythm of the ancient music that consumed them both in the torrid flames of their desire, and she swayed as his fire grew within her. She felt his rod turn to steel, and when she did she lifted herself from his cock and placed it against the rosebud of her anus, and she sat down once again, let the music consume them again.
He felt the difference immediately, the tightness was exquisite, the gripping force of her sphincter held his cock firmly as he thrust into her and she thrust against him. Within seconds of the unexpected assault, he felt his orgasm build rapidly and explode into her bowels. She was thrashing about wildly as he did, lost in her own orgasm.
Like limbs of trees moving to stillness after the passing of a storm, their frenzy subsiding, Angela and Sumner receded into themselves, reaching out yet drawing inward, spiraling down from release to drifting currents of pleasure, all lost in the simultaneous decay of their fire. Finally their arms intertwined, and they fell into sleep's deep arms. All was right with their world.
Diane Westhoven lay on her back, her eyes still looking passively out the window at the lavender gray bricks across the little courtyard outside. Trees cast shadows across the walls, which she thought odd, as it was nighttime. She was inert to the world, appeared lost to the reality of motion.
Yet her eyes betrayed little of the activity that flashed through her mind. She saw the moonshadowed trees dancing on he wall outside her window, but her mind's eye was focused most sharply on the image of Sumner Welles. She fought through the confines of her world-view, the constraints that dictated her response to his words. She heard his words, that in a way he loved her, and she viscerally felt the lie at the center of his declaration. Yet she knew Sumner wasn't a liar, that there was a core of truth within the young man that guided his every thought and deed. Why had he said that; what had he really meant?
Diane fought through waves of self-interest, impulses that told her to accept his declaration, and she would recede into the comfort of fantasies that sprang up from the fertile soil of her imagination. She would travel the byways of some unknown time and place where she and Sumner walked along white sands under gently swaying palm trees, holding hands, saying sweet things to one another as warm breezes danced through her hair. And every time she felt her hair dancing in the breeze, the brutal dishonesty of the delusion would drive the warmth from her heart and the sand from between her toes, and she would rattle back towards the truth of her circumstance. She would crash back from the world of what might have been to what very truly was.
She felt the raw pain of the stump that now graced the end of her left arm, and she saw that stump in her mind as the talisman of her new life, the symbol of her rebirth. She had cut herself away from her old life, the life of fantasy and delusion, where she had experienced love through the eyes of her heroines, felt life through the second hand illusions that were her fantasies, and the pain of her wound drew her to the truth. Her pain drew her to the reality that she had in word and deed found love, that she had felt love in the presence of another this past week.
As she receded from the warmth of her delusion, she thought of the little girl, Nancy Greenbaum, so lost yet so precious, and she would melt as she thought of her eyes looking up at her as they'd made love. She'd never felt love with women in the past; women had been playthings, parts of dramas and scenes used as accessories in her sojourns during the many meaningless encounters she'd had with men over the years. But suddenly, with Nancy, everything had been different.
She had struggled with the finality of Sumner's words on the airplane last week, struggled with the incomprehensible nature of her need for him, and just as suddenly the girl had appeared in her life, on her doorstep, and just as suddenly had worked her way into Diane's heart. And as suddenly as she'd felt love for Nancy, her motives had come into focus. Nancy hadn't wanted to meet her to know her or love her, she'd been Sumner's friend, and she wanted to protect her friend. She'd wanted to inflict pain, and had been willing to go to any length to do so. Yet, even as Diane understood this, she had allowed the girl deeper and deeper into her heart; she had known that Sumner was the delusion and Nancy was her reality, and her love. The knowledge of this love, coming on the heels of her fall from Sumner, had fractured her sense of self. She had drifted deeper into the wounds that the impossibility of the affair inflicted. She had, she now realized laying in the moon-bathed room, fallen in love with a teenaged girl, and she was destitute under the impact of that knowledge.
As she lay there, drifting, one thought kept bursting to the fore. Where was Nancy Greenbaum? Why wouldn't anyone tell her anything about Nancy Greenbaum?
Sumner and Angela were at Boston's Logan Airport just after noon, both of them with tickets to London on the mid-afternoon flight.
They had slept until just before the sun came up, then made love with a passion that took them both by surprise. As Sumner had tossed about in the turmoil of his climax, he had declared his love to Angela for all eternity, had declared his intent to spend every waking moment of his life with her. He had thrown his soul on her mercy, and she had embraced him with all her heart could extend. She had told him then, in no uncertain terms, that she knew she loved him, had found that out the hard way - by questioning his motives and not listening to her heart. She said it was a mistake she would never make again.
But she had tossed out a rather big surprise: she had declared her absolute resolve to never live in the United States, to never become an American citizen, and to not have any child of hers raised in America.
Sumner had been confused at that; how did their love equate with where they would live. But he had listened to her, to her abhorrence of the Bush presidency and his foreign policy, of Bush's reckless disdain for responsible environmental policies, and for the globalization of corporate management for which he stood; while he didn't agree with all she said, he understood her point of view. Hell, he had thought, almost every professor at Harvard espoused the same views, as did just about every responsible newspaper in the country.
The simple fact of the matter was that the Welles family represented just about every so-called evil she was standing up against. Sumner had never taken any position on these facts about his family and its activities. He had never considered himself evil, at least not until he had thought about his role in Diane Westhoven's near suicide, and now he wasn't too sure that he would consider his role evil. An indiscreet show of emotion, perhaps, and a reckless disregard to take into account that Nancy Greenbaum might have indeed fixated on him, however founded in delusion that fixation might have been. And was he too rough in his verbal address to Ms Westhoven while on flight 481? Had she not enquired quite explicitly that she wanted Sumner to give his soul to her. Beyond the mere sophomoric emotional content of her pathetic enquiry, she had in a way been serious: she went through life demolishing other's lives with her need to sadistically dominate men the central feature of her life and "literature".She hated men, but had yet to grasp that central feature of her life.
Had she tried to commit suicide as a means of inflicting pain on Sumner? Was she really that twisted? And what about that psychiatrist, that Susan Katz? Why had she been so angry at him? Sumner wondered what she felt about men, and thought that she was probably a lesbian as well.
As Sumner followed these random threads of thought, he returned to Angela their beside him in his dormitory bed. He thought his country was indeed in crisis, but it was his country. He told her he would consider moving to London, but only after spending more time there. He really wasn't prepared to consider leaving America behind. Hers was a troubling declaration.
He had called his father, advised him that he was off to London for a visit, and Bennett Welles had listened with a wry grin on his face. Perhaps he would have done the same when he had been younger, he thought. He was almost certain that his son would marry the girl within the week, perhaps in London. Best get on to the ambassador about that, he thought, and smooth the way for them if he could.
Nancy Greenbaum had slept through most of the past two days, and she had come to only to find herself in restraints with her mouth dry and foul tasting. She felt disoriented, almost drunk, and quickly came to the conclusion that she had been sedated. In fact, she had been heavily sedated, and in consequence had little awareness of what had gone on around her, or how long she had been out of it. As she became progressively more aware of her surroundings, she was released from the restraints and helped into the bathroom by a floor nurse, where she bathed - holding her head under the hot water for what felt like an eternity, letting the hot water course over her neck.
She had then been allowed to put on her regular street clothes, and was escorted to a physician's office. Her father was there, and he introduced her to a Dr Susan Katz. Nancy's father told her that he had pieced together many of the events leading up to Ms Westhoven's suicide attempt, but he had not understood why she had herself expressed suicidal thoughts. While she had voluntarily admitted herself for psychiatric review, that time was now almost up, and he wanted her to talk with Dr Katz about events and decide what she wanted to do. He told her that he loved her, and that he would be waiting outside.
Surprisingly, Dr Katz began talking to Nancy by updating her on the basics of Diane Westhoven's medical condition, and what she had learned after talking with her for several hours over almost three days. She hadn't had much to say about her attempt to undermine Diane emotionally; had she taken it as an expression of vast adolescent immaturity?
Then Dr Katz had asked her a question.
"Do you have any feelings for Diane, Nancy?"
Nancy was silent; she didn't know what dark shapes hid behind the question, what the implications of her actions might be.
"Nancy, I expect you feel some guilt over the consequences of your actions, you wouldn't be human if you didn't. But let me ask you, how do you think Diane feels about you?"
Nancy drew deep within herself, tried to hide from the reality of that question.
"Nancy, you have to talk with somebody about this. These feelings aren't going to just vanish, and the longer you hide from these questions, the more they are going to eat away at your soul. Would you like to talk to Diane?"
"God, no!" Nancy fairly screamed. She started to cry.
"So, tell me Nancy. Tell me how you think she feels about you?"
"She must hate me," Nancy managed to get out before her tears engulfed her completely. "She must fucking hate me . . ." she continued between racking, gulping sobs.
Dr Katz simply let Nancy express her grief, she let her cry. She watched the young girl all hunched up, bouncing up and down in her chair as her sobbing made her dance about like a puppet on a string. As Nancy's crying subsided, Dr Katz stood up and came over to her and put her hand on the girl's head. She stroked her head gently, told her that it would be alright soon, but that she had to trust someone, and that she cared.
Nancy pulled away from the physician, huddled back within herself, waiting for the gales within to subside, but they never seemed to . . .
"Nancy, I want you to come with me now."
"To see Diane."
"No way. No way . . ." Nancy barked out. She pulled into a ball.
The doctor stood there with her hand extended. "Come on, Nancy. This has to be done, and the sooner the better."
Nancy cringed at the hand before her face. She made no effort to move.
Dr Katz went to her telephone and called her secretary outside the office. "O.K., Penny, bring her down here."
"What, are you fucking crazy!?" screamed Nancy. "Didn't you listen, can't you understand fucking English?"
Dr Katz just stood there, between Nancy and the door. Afer a few minutes there was a light knocking, and Nancy's father was wheeling Diane Westhoven into the little office. He parked the wheel chair away from Nancy, and started to leave the room again.
"Daddy?" Nancy pleaded. "Daddy, what . . ."
"Listen to Dr Katz, Nance, you need to listen to what she has to say." He walked out of the room, and closed the door behind him.
Diane Westhoven looked at Nancy with a shyness she had not expected, with a tenderness in her heart she never knew existed. She saw the pain etched on the girls face, could plainly see the conflict boiling away there. She looked at Nancy, knew what she had to say.
"I'm not mad at you, Nancy."
"Oh, yeah? That's 'cause you don't know shit."
"Yes I do, Nancy. I know you developed feelings for Sumner, felt angry at how I treated him on the plane home from London, deservedly so, I would say. I think I know why you seduced me." Diane looked at Nancy, who was now raising her face from the depths of her private despair, and continued, "And I even know what you did in my home to save my life. You did, you know? You saved my life. The paramedics mentioned that in their report. Nancy," Diane said, "thank you for giving me my life back."
Nancy looked across the immeasurable gulf between Diane and herself, trying to measure the distance between two hearts, and was stunned to see on Diane's face the most surreal peace glowing there. No, that wasn't quite right, Nancy thought. She saw tenderness, acceptance, and love, and the realization that Diane felt these emotions sent her reeling under blows of guilt and gales of shame. "I didn't do anything," Nancy said.