Afternoon FootsiebyVincent E©
I have had to give the whole question of whether or not a man and a woman can be just friends a great deal of consideration. If there is an attraction, even a slight one, by either him or her the whole issue of restricting the nature of the relationship to that of a platonic friendship can become a great philosophical struggle. If one presses too hard to move the rapport between a man and a woman in the direction of a romantic coupling one risks not only failing to fulfill his amorous desire but also jeopardizing the existing friendship. You would not want to lose everything simply for taking the chance that she has similar romantic feelings for you. Then again, as the poets would say, nothing ventured – nothing gained; by not attempting to move the relationship towards a coupling one might be missing out on the love of a lifetime.
What I did not know, and what I had to learn from experience, is that there is a middling ground: a third option that I had not considered, and one that I still to this day struggle to understand. There seems to be a sort of relationship limbo that resides somewhere between passionate love and friendly companionship where sexual attraction wraps itself around your neck like a noose. Then you get hanged. You spend the rest of the relationship with your feet dancing below you in the fruitless effort to regain your footing. The truth is, and this is what hit me the hardest, once you have unsuccessfully pressed the relationship in a romantic or sexual direction you can never return to the previous state of affairs. However, you do not get the sex either.
I hope you are enjoying a hearty chuckle right now. I know I would if I were you reading this. I would be sitting there in front of the screen reading all of this philosophical rambling, realizing that some poor chump tried to take the plunge only to find out that there was no water in the pool. Well, the joke is on you, smartass. There was water in the pool. In fact it was the pool full of water that put me in this whole fiasco in the first place.
The pool I am speaking of belonged to my uncle, and it rested in the back yard of his home. He was away for two weeks on vacation. Knowing him as I do, he was probably chasing after some drunken college girls who were looking for an excuse to give it up to a graying father figure. While he was away he lent me the run of his house; it was a welcome change of environment from the crowded apartment building I lived in. All I had to do was keep the place tidy, make sure that the plants were watered, and promise not to burn it to the ground. It was a simple job for a simple person.
I had invited my friend Claire - that is if the word friend is still the appropriate term – over to my uncle's house one summer Saturday afternoon for a little cool relaxation poolside. I knew that she would be looking for somewhere to suntan, and thought that she too would appreciate the relative solitude and quiet of a private pool. Crowded beaches, scant parking, and kids running around and raising seven kinds of hell were as unappealing to her as they were to me. Besides, I was in the mood for some pleasant female companionship.
Claire accepted the invitation, naturally enough, and arrived late-morning in her little blue Volvo. She stepped out of the car wearing a pair of wedge sandals, tan safari shorts, a light blue short sleeve blouse, and a big smile. She also had on a pair of Versace sunglasses.
Just as a side note, what is it about women in sunglasses that is so sexy? I find that if a woman is either covering her eyes with them or just resting them over her forehead I get equally aroused. Well, she aroused me.
There was no greeting kiss or hug, merely a familiar, "Hi Vincent," as she reached into the back seat of her car and pulled out a beach bag loaded with her necessaries.
"Ugh," she said, "traffic is terrible today. I can't believe it's a weekend."
"Yeah, it must be beach traffic. Everyone's going in the same direction on a day like this. They say it's going to go up to around ninety."
"As long as it doesn't get too humid," she said. "I hate the humidity."
"Probably not." I replied. "Don't worry. We could always go inside and turn on the AC if it gets unbearable. We've got all the comforts of home here."
"I'm not going inside. How would I work on my tan?"
We walked through the house and out to the backyard. Claire set herself up on the stone deck that surrounds the pool. She draped a large beach towel over one of the wooden Adirondack loungers, then she took out her sundry warm weather day items from her bag and set them on a table next to the lounger: suntan lotion, lip balm, a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses as a backup, a book she had been reading, a little FM radio with a headset, and a pack of cigarettes. I wished she would quit smoking.
"Hey, no smoking out here," I said.
"We're outside. It'll be okay."
"No. He's got a strict rule: no cancer sticks inside or out. He doesn't want any butts or ashes around, and I'm not going to screw things up."
"Okay, okay," she withdrew from any argument by conceding. "Besides, I need to quit anyway."
The conversation was normal friendly, I-know-you-so-well-that-I already-know-the-answers- to-half-the-questions-but- I'm-asking-them-anyway- to-be-polite questions that we all ask each other in the course of our friendships. Mind you, the sexual tension part of this story had not yet begun.
The truth is that I had always had some sexual feelings for Claire, but I attribute that to my being a normal, well-adjusted, red-blooded American male with a pulse. She is, after all, an attractive woman. She is the kind of woman who is used to drawing attention from men, and who has learned to deal with it as she has matured. So it is only normal that I would often look at this very attractive woman and say to myself, "Self, that is a very attractive woman. I'd sure like to get something going on with that." In the vernacular of the streets, she's all that and a bag of chips.
"Vincent, do you have any water? Can I have a bottle?" she asked.
"Sure, do you want any juice or a soda?" I replied.
"No, it's too early for soda. Just some water would be fine."
I went inside to retrieve a few bottles of water from the refrigerator. I took a bucket from the drinks cabinet (seriously, who still has a drinks cabinet these days?) and filled it with ice. Then I grabbed a pair of large plastic cups from the kitchen. When I walked out of the back door to the house, Claire was sitting Indian style on her chosen lounge chair reading her book. I gave her a bottle and placed the ice bucket on the table with her sundry bag items.
"Thank-you," she said.
She twisted the cap off of the bottle and took a long sip of water.
"Here, I brought some cups," I said.
"Seriously, here. Drink like a civilized human being."
"I like drinking from the bottle."
"Do you have any idea of where those bottles have been? Do you have any idea who has been handling them? The guy who screwed on the caps probably didn't even wash his hands. Here, use a cup. I brought some ice, it'll keep your drink cold."
"The caps are put on by machines, dumb-dumb," she explained.
"Still, what about the guy with the sweaty palms and body odor who put them in the truck, or on the shelf of the store?" I said as I twisted the cap off a bottle and poured the water into a cup full of ice. "I'm not putting my mouth on anything that I don't know where it's been."
"You drink beer straight from the bottle," she challenged me.
"Yes, but that's different. The alcohol kills the germs."
"What about soda bottles?" she asked.
"Well now you're just being difficult. If I wanted to have a silly conversation I would have invited over some of my clown friends."
"All your friends are clowns," she said.
"Does that include you?" I asked.
"Shut up and go find a radio; mine isn't working. I want to listen to some music."
You can see that it was all friendly banter between two pals. Meaningless arguing over the minutiae of daily life that we all engage in with those with whom we have developed well-rounded and fulfilling interpersonal interactions. It was a day like any other. It should have played out like any other day except for one thing – I am an idiot.
I got the radio. We listened to it. She read her book. We talked about whatever topic came up. It was a normal conversation.
It makes for boring reading now, but please bear with me. I am trying to create the setting. That doesn't happen very much in these stories, and I am trying to raise the bar a little. If you have read this far you might as well stick around. Most of the readers who were hoping that I would walk out with the bottles of water and see Claire in her teensy thong all oiled up and prancing around in a pair of six inch stilettos only to have me jump on her and start fucking her from behind as her triple D size breasts bounced around her chest have already clicked the back button on their browsers in utter frustration that this is not some suck and fuck fable. Besides, her breasts are not size triple D. I don't know what her cup size is exactly.
But I digress. Breast size has nothing to do with this story.
Suffice it to say that late morning turned into afternoon. We continued having a normal time, and had a light lunch consisting mainly of fruit and salads because that is what happened to be in the refrigerator. Claire lay in her lounger soaking up some sun while I slipped into the pool and began swimming some laps. Here is where my trouble started.
Every couple of laps of the pool I would stop at the shallow end and lean on the side of the pool looking over in Claire's direction. By now she had put her book down and was laying idle in the large plastic lounge chair listening to the radio and half ignoring anything that I was saying to her. At times I thought that she had drifted off to sleep, but then she would move around to adjust her position or put on some added suntan lotion. Soon I just stopped to look at her, swim a few more laps, and then spend more time looking at her.
She was wearing a black bikini. It was not a thong; it was not overly revealing. It was a simple black French cut bikini that makes me hard just to think of her in it. I got hard looking at her wearing what amounts to underwear. I gave myself a couple of gentle squeezes down there then took another few laps of the pool.
"Hey Claire, you really should come in. The water is fine." I tried to tempt her into the water for no other reason than I was tired of swimming alone. Also, I wanted to see her get her black bikini wet.
"I don't like to swim," she said.
"Well, you don't have to swim. You can just, ya know, float around."
She looked over at me briefly and then turned her face back into the sun.
"There aren't any floats," she retorted.
"I can get you one."
"Well, then go ahead and get me one."
My uncle kept a stash of vinyl inflatable rafts in the pool closet along with other necessary items such as chlorine, ph tests, and beer. I took one of the rafts from the closet and tore off the covering. After unfolding the raft I began blowing into the nipple to inflate it. I blew, and blew, and blew fruitlessly.
"Having any luck over there, dumb-dumb?" she asked sarcastically.
"These frigging things are impossible to blow up," I gasped.
"Just as well." She shifted her legs.
I was determined to get the damn raft inflated. It had less to do with a desire to see Claire in the water than with my determination not to be undermined by a mindless piece of hollow vinyl. There was a bicycle pump in the garage, so I got it, connected a small plastic funnel to the nozzle, and got the raft inflated in moments. I walked back to the pool and tossed the raft into the water.
"There you go, Claire. Go take a float."
"Thank-you," she said.
Claire got up from the lounger and stepped into the water.
"Oh, it's cool," she remarked.
"You'll adjust," I replied.
She got onto the raft gingerly then lay back and relaxed. I dove into the water from the deep end and swam over towards her.
"Go turn up the radio so I can hear it better," she said.
"Your kind of commanding today. Do you want anything else?"
"No. Just please turn up the radio. I like this station."
I exited the water, cranked the radio a few notches, and then dove back into the water and waded over towards her. I waded close to her raft and stood between her and the sun casting a shadow on her face.
"You're in my sun," she complained.
"Just trying to make sure your lovely skin doesn't prune," I countered.
"Thanks, but get out of the way."
I stepped aside and let the sun shine down upon her. It was moments like that when I started feeling something stir inside me. Here was my friend, my pretty tanned friend, floating around absorbing the sun like a bronze goddess. Part of me wanted to reach out and caress every inch of her warm body from head to toe. Part of me wanted to slide my manhood inside her and ride her as she lay on the raft. Mostly, I just wanted to kiss her; that was a far more realistic goal.
I dove into the deep end of the pool and swam underwater to her. Swimming under her raft, I turned to look at her from under the water and got a shark's eye view of her outline silhouetted against the sun. I surfaced gracefully at the side of her head.
"Hello," I said quietly.
"Don't splash me," she replied.
"You're really being friendly today."
"Just don't splash me."
"I wouldn't dream of it."
I submerged and swam underneath her body again. I came up just at the deep end of the water and looked at her rotating slowly as the water current carried her raft towards me. I submerged again and swam beneath her body a few more times, each time turning to look at her silhouette.
"You're drifting perilously close to the deep end," I whispered in her ear after emerging from the water.
"Then pull me over to the shallow end, but don't splash me."
"I've got it already; you don't want to be splashed," I explained as I gently tugged on her raft and brought it to a wall at the shallow end.
I quietly dove into the water to swim back and forth under her body once again. I was trying to tease her. I once read somewhere that women enjoyed being teased. Of course I read that in a book about giving proper cunnilungus, and all I was doing here was swimming under a close friend's body. In hindsight, I think the parallels were simply not present at the time. Again, this whole sexual attraction to a friend thing is problematic under the best of circumstances.
I was hard the whole time I was swimming beneath Claire. In my head it may have been some psychological alternative for being beneath her in a more intimate manner, or it may have simply been the twelve-year old in me dealing with an attraction to a pretty girl in an immature way.
"Why are you doing that?" she asked.
"Swimming under me."
"I have to."
"What do you mean you have to?" she asked further.
"If I swim on the surface I'd splash you," I explained as I crept closer to her head. "And you don't want to be splashed."
"Stop it." She had a slightly commanding tone in her voice. She felt justified in giving me an order to cease and desist an act she found annoying. She never turned away from the sun; she kept her eyes closed behind her Versace sunglasses.
I stopped swimming and remained mostly submerged by her head. I didn't know if she sensed me close by. If she did, she did not give any notice to my presence. I was quiet. I looked at her shoulder, and the rise in her chest. I was getting an arousing view of her cleavage. After a few minutes I felt like a peeping pervert, so I submerged once more and swam all the way to the deep end of the pool. Resting at the wall, I gave myself a few discreet strokes inside my swimming trunks.
Truth be told, I had masturbated many times to the fantasy of conquering Claire's maidenhead. I know that is a fancy way of saying I fantasized to the thought of fucking her senseless, but then again this is a friend I am talking about, not some drunken tramp I spotted in a bar. Let's have some respect here, people.
I was hard, I was getting hornier, and I was getting a feeling in my chest that someone was squeezing my heart. She was beautiful, she was sexy, and she was also beginning to act like a selfish bitch, which she has a tendency to do. That pisses me off. I invited her over for some afternoon relaxation, and while I never realistically expected any sex – that never happens – she could have bee a little more polite about being my guest. Then again I was probably being an asshole, something that I have a tendency to do and that probably pisses her off. Life is a two-way street after all.
I submerged and submarined my way over to her again, this time intent on either annoying her or at least getting a little something-something. Know what I mean? I swam the length of the pool, came up for air, and then waded my way over to her to seize her raft by the corner.
"You're drifting again," I said.
"Don't splash me," she replied.
"I haven't splashed you yet."
"Don't," she repeated.
"I'm not going to splash you," I paused. "I'm going to kiss you."
"No," she replied.
"Then I'm going to splash you."
"No, you're not."
"Yes I am," I teased.
"Don't splash me. I don't like being splashed."
"Yeah, I gathered that from the way you told me not to splash you like about a million times."
"Good," she said.
"But I am going to kiss you," I teased her.
"No you're not."
"Come on. Let me kiss you, just once."
"Please," I whined.
"Pretty please," I whined again.
"No." Her resolve was strong. She never turned to face me. She merely dismissed my appeals for some slight affection and continued sunning herself. It was turning me on.
"Come on," I begged. "Pretty please with sugar on top."
"Pretty please with a cherry inside."
"No," she said more firmly.
Pretty please with chocolate sauce all around. You've got to like that."
"Just let me kiss your cheek," I asked.
"Just a little peck on the cheek. Please."
"Please, please, please."
"Just let me kiss your shoulder then."
"Your elbow. Let me kiss your elbow."
"No, you're not kissing me."
"Yes I am," I said smiling. However, she could not see my smile, as she never looked at me. Bizarrely enough, all this rejection was getting me hot.
"No you're not."
"Let me kiss your wrist."
"The back of your hand," I continued to negotiate.
"No," she continued to refuse.
"Let me kiss your belly button."
"No!" she exclaimed. I might have hit a tender spot. Maybe there was some significance to a belly button kiss of which I had not been aware.
"No. Now stop it," she rebuked me.
"Let me kiss you. Let me kiss some part of you. Just a finger."
The fact that I was continually asking her permission to press my lips against some part of her exposed flesh only to be denied once and again paints a pretty graphic picture of a man begging for affection. Pretty pathetic, isn't it? The fact that I had to kneel in the shallow end of the pool in order to line up my head with hers added the perfect symbolism. I was literally on my knees begging for affection.
"Come on, just a little kiss," I implored.
"No," she replied sternly, again.
I let it rest for a few minutes. I submerged, but did not swim under her body. I sat on the bottom of the pool as long as I could hold my breath, about a thirty count, and then surfaced. She paid no attention to me. I submerged again, this time for a forty count. Still she paid no notice as I surfaced. I submerged once more, this time for a forty-three count. I surfaced and quietly slid over to her side. In a moment of nerve, I kissed the back of her hand as it rested at the edge of the raft.