tagIllustratedA Woman's Story of Love Ch. 64

A Woman's Story of Love Ch. 64


A woman's story of love in one hundred episodes

Part 64.

"The Real Thing" (E)

"We can meet. It doesn't have to be anything special. Just to talk, you know?" He looked at me, asking for approval of something beyond the words, then again around the room.

Because this is a diary I do my best to reconstruct the conversation.

I gave a non-response to Brody's overture, suggesting with my smile it didn't deserve one, that I assumed he had to be joking to say something so stupid.

I paused, tilted my head- not averting my eye- as if to see him better that way- refused to be intimidated. Since Brody had affirmed Will was his connection to the party, I said, "Maybe you can spread some light."

"On what?"

"What's going on." My eyes went toward Will with guests on the other side of the room.

"Oh, about him?"

"He's been with Josephine a long time, hasn't he?"


"Why is he talking about- you know, other women?"

"I guess you don't know."

"About him and Josephine?"

"About her."

"What about her?"

"She's a good person," Brody said.


He looked at me. This was his turn to pause, consider his response. He seemed to wonder how much to reveal. Will was my husband's brother, after all.

"I know they had problems," I said to help.

Brody had a mouthful ready to spurt.

"Will describes her as someone who comes home from work and complains about people there. She repeats things they said that she didn't like, imitates and, according to him, sounds worse than they did, because of her tone- 'ugly' he called it. 'What a miserable way to live.' Dredging up bad stuff every day. That's a quote, by the way. But he doesn't tell her to stop because it would only make things worse between them. She doesn't take criticism well."

"How do you know?"

"He's told me, and I've seen it."

"Can you give me an example?"

"She said one woman at her job can only talk about her children. 'She has no brain" was how she put it."

"Maybe Josephine wants children."

Brody went on.

"And Will says he wants to ask her, 'Why did you marry me if you don't like sex?' He's decided she's a lesbian."

Listening to the scorn heaped on Josephine by two guys, I saw unfairness. And hearing that Will considered her a lesbian sparked a feeling in me of unity. I also like women.

"Why do they stay together?" I asked.

"People stay with each other for a lot of reasons," Brody said.

I thought of Mitchell, who broke up with his former girlfriend Pam long after their romance had run its course.

He saw my protest.

"She's not a bad person, just high-strung."

"I like Josephine."

"So do I."

"So they have some sort of arrangement? (were agreed they could see other people)?"

Brody shrugged, turning the question back to me.

I doubted that was the case. People even in failing relationships seldom accept their partners finding outside fulfillment. Pam didn't give Mitchell freedom at the end of theirs. Our affair hurt her.

"How about you and your man?" Brody asked. He knew Mitchell's name (only) but seemed not to want to say it.

I let the question pass with a smile.

"You're with someone?" I followed his lead, made him the subject of interrogation.

"I don't go in for longterm stuff."


He explained, "I'm on the road too much. Whoever I was with couldn't take that. Also, it's just not my style." He smiled readily, the happy musician, free.

"So you only have one-night stands?"

"Sometimes it's more than that."


"I want to thank you, by the way," Brody said, from out of nowhere.


"I came to this party reluctantly. When I arrived I thought, 'Oh, I'm here with these people and have to stay so many hours.'" He laughed.

"But talking with you made me glad I'd come. You changed how I see things, maybe even my view of the world."

He spoke as if we were coworkers, brought together by change rather than preference, two people who'd been through a hard work day that was ultimately rewarding, even exhilarating.

"We haven't talked so long or seriously," I pointed out.

"That's just how tonight looks to me."

He looked at my breasts like they were pillows he wanted to knead. They're not that big, but that's how he looked.

"And now I'll have to go home alone again." Brody gave a mock-self-pitying laugh that acknowledged he'd chosen his life and liked it. I tried to picture the apartment where he lived, guessed it was a fun place to be.

Silence resumed, with a force of its own.

Next thing I knew his face loomed in front of mine. He'd drawn it close. There seemed nothing left to do. Words had run out.

I felt stuck on a bridge. Which way to go? Beneath water glitters, struck so strongly by sun it seems to seethe or to breathe. Maybe Brody imagined something so dramatic between my legs.

A fire to stoke.

"I'm a real person, not a fantasy," I wanted to remind him but couldn't have gotten through the statement without laughing.

"I'm sorry I'm not like the person you're dreaming about," I said.

He looked here and there around my face, made a comic show of scrutinizing.

"That's okay,"

Packing as much as possible into those last moments.

"Your skin is even finer." He looked like he was about to touch my eyebrows.

"And your mouth is a really cute shape."

Where was Mitchell? Right here.

"You have to listen to this!"


"Will's started again about- what's her name- Saki! We need you there, your input."

Brody grinned at him from the couch.

"Because she knows."

"That's right."

Mitchell seemed not to have heard any of the talk between us.

My legs had been tucked beneath me for how many minutes but hadn't tightened. I'm limber. Before unfolding them, I leaned forward, stretching my back, curving and then letting it sway side to side.

Over a month had passed since I pulled a calf muscle in dance practice and sometimes it still hurt. There was a twinge as I rose. I stopped, bent forward, let it pass, leg still dragged on the couch surface.

There Brody was, in front of me again, getting ready to catch?

I smiled crookedly, shook my head, to show help wasn't necessary lifted a hand palm out, the other still on the couch for support. I felt more like a lion than a person, paws pressed down.

"I really like your top," Brody said in a whisper before we parted company. Mitchell missed that too. He'd already turned around to rejoin the other guests plumbing his brother for details of his infatuation.

But it turned out Mitchell had noticed after all, something at least.

"He strikes me as a fool," he said about Brody. "I'd avoid him."

Now you tell me, when he almost had my pants open and his hand sliding down my belly.

"How do you judge someone?" I asked.

"Well, I don't most of the of the time."

"But when you do?"

"The same way I judge myself, pretty much."

"Who judges-" I couldn't complete the sentence.


Mitchell looked at me bewildered, then got it.

"Who judges my judging?"

"Yes." I was playing again.

Mitchell smiled indulgently. That annoyed me. Playing is serious.

"I think he's a womanizer."

Is there anyone you don't think that about, I sometimes wanted to ask. Maybe he read the question from my silence.

"I've heard," he said softly.

"Who isn't?"

"What do you mean?"

"Is Will?"

"Is Will what?"

"A womanizer."

"Ha ha."

"You won't judge him?"

"Well, it would be different if he succeeded."

"You think it's funny?"

"Kind of."


"That he was going after a woman named Nut. And now Saki."

"Is my name also strange to you?"

"Come on."


"Your name is beautiful."

"Will has a woman with a name that's not funny."

"Josephine can laugh at herself, though. Good sense of humor."

"She needs more than that."

"To put up with Will. Yeah, I guess."

"Do you think he's serious when he talks about chasing women- on the side?"

"Let me get your opinion: You think he has a chance with Saki?"

Mitchell's intent, unwavering gaze communicated more interest in my answer to this question than to others.

"Ask her," I said.

"And Brody?" Mitchell challenged in turn.


"Will's friend."

"I know who-"

"Does he think he has a chance with you?"

Mitchell almost did blush here.

"What?" he said. "I'm joking."

"I know," I said quietly, my enthusiasm for play flagging to the same low level as Mitchell's before. 
"But does he?"

"You'd have to ask him."

"What did he want to talk to you about anyway?"


"Oh. Music!"

My answer didn't satisfy.

"He's a musician," I said.

"He's a fool."

"Maybe he's a fool with a gift."

"I know one he wants to give you."

"You don't worry he's hearing this?"

"What if he can?"

I looked around. Brody was not in the room at the moment, probably getting a refill in the kitchen.

Mitchell showed bravado without risking anything.

"Do you think he'll start a fight with me?"

"I don't think he's that kind of person."

"What kind is he?"

"You've already made your mind up."

"Ah, you're defending him."

Who was my husband? Mitchell. What a funny name!

Do you care? Does any of this matter? And if it doesn't, what does?

I looked around again, this time for Will. His story about love- feelings- for my friend Saki had piqued my curiosity too, of course, but I would have happily left it unsatisfied- listening would would feel like a betrayal of Josephine- I hadn't taken Brody's earlier description of her at face value. She's never impressed me as a complainer. I believe in solidarity among women. We've been fighting each other so long, and it serves men's interests. To free ourselves, we have to stop that. But now I too felt ready to hear Will talk and laugh with the others.

Have you ever felt pushed from all sides- something becomes serious that wasn't supposed to- pushed into something? I was ready to sit on the sofa beside Brody where he patted a place for me. I felt like a cat on a silk cushion and for the moment was happy to be one, not to have to think, to be petted until my tail rose. All right, Will, tell us about your feelings and leave me some privacy for mine. My thoughts flowed sweetly in a medium of silence.

Let Brody pet the texture of my top, my arms with his chubby fingers. Let the hair on the back of his hands graze. Yes, let's hear Will's dream of Saki, who he didn't know was at least fifty percent devoted to her own sex. Let the dissonant notes come one after another.

"I know why you like Josephine's name." Mitchell interrupted my reverie. "Because it's French. Derived from French."


I thought of him, my bottom in the net of his hands.

Mitchell couldn't have known about the text he'd sent or the phone call before it, but maybe the impression he'd left on me was apparent, as mine on Brody seemed to be.

At the party, Mitchell gave a talk, a sort of dramatic reading that made everyone laugh.

I also thought of the guy who'd tried to initiate chat a few weeks before, contacted me online, claimed we'd met there earlier. He sent code for me to type in order to join him in a different place. I was doing something at the time, looking elsewhere than my phone, and lost the message, and we lost each other. He too had piqued my curiosity- but not much; he was scary and anyway just words on a screen, a self-portrait appearing in time- that is, not real. This is unlikely, but he could even have been Mitchell, testing me or just enjoying himself or both.

Will's soliloquy was to be the focus of everyone's attention, but Brody's eyes had returned to my top, which he'd praised twice, once for the colors and more strongly for the surface, which he'd described with a word like "scintillating." I felt him looking (because he could, no one watching then) at the points of my breasts with open hunger, and I was almost glad to distract him with them, to have the rest of me to myself. I know I didn't want him but at the same time thought of the muscle cramp in my calf that returned now and then and wondered what his strong fingers could do for it. Okay?

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by Anonymous

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by oldmoose12/03/18

I love the Illustrations

I have to wonder why the people who criticize midorigreengrasses's postings continue to click on them. There's a simple solution that they seem to be overlooking.

Whether the illustrations connect tomore...

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by Anonymous12/03/18

Enough already....

Please stop posting these terrible stories. Completely agree with person below, starting to feel like spam now and not sure I can handle 36 more plus any extra chapters you throw in...

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by Anonymous12/02/18


The pictures do not do anything to illustrate or advance the story.
Are they there only to get the story into a category with limited submissions?
It is past time to terminate the story; 36 more storiesmore...

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by The_Crazy_One12/02/18

This is starting to feel like SPAM. Can you have all of your stories in one massive dump instead of a short one page story coming out every day?

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