Brown Eyes Ch. 02byKarennaC©
The sun streaming through the hotel room window woke me. Damn it. I'd only been sleeping for five hours. But being up till almost three in the morning had been worth it. It had given me time to spend with Javier.
Javier. I replayed the previous night in my mind, trying to relive every detail, from our first meeting, to our first kiss, to his fingering me in the bar parking lot. And our fucking in the bed I now lay in alone, though it had been cut short by the return of my roommate. Javier had said he wanted to see me again. I hoped that was true; I wanted us to have a chance to finish what we'd been doing before Allen returned.
But I doubted it would happen. What could Javier possibly see in me? "Beautiful" wasn't a word usually used to describe a man, but it was an apt description for him. His smooth brown skin, muscular build, deep brown eyes... Just the memory got to me. And this man had spent the entire party with me; shy, okay-looking me. It was like something out of a dream, or a fairy tale. I'd been Cinderella the night before in my short, sexy dress, and he'd completed the picture by playing my handsome prince. Surely it would just be a one-night thing. Fairy tales always ended after the prince showed up.
I turned over and looked over at the other bed where Allen, the guy whose room I'd crashed in for the night, had slept. His eyes were open. "Good morning," he said. "I take it you had a good night?"
"Yeah, until someone interrupted it," I teased.
"I told you and Javier I'd leave you alone for a while longer."
"It's okay. It's your room, and I really appreciate you letting me stay." I sat up and stretched. "Are you sure you don't want me to chip in for the room?"
"Yeah, it's fine. It didn't cost that much. Are you going to breakfast with the others?"
"Yeah. Are you?"
"Yeah, if they ever wake up. I think they said around ten, right?"
"I don't know. But if it's not till ten, it's going to be a while. It's just after eight."
"Good, because I need a shower." He got out of bed and took some clothes out of his overnight bag. "I have first dibs."
"Sure," I said. "It's your room."
He shut himself in the bathroom. I got up. My little black, sparkly dress was on top of my bag, proving that I hadn't completely dreamed the night before. I carefully tucked it into the side pocket of the bag and took out the clean shorts and T-shirt I'd packed, then sat on my bed to wait for Allen to get out of the shower.
The rose Javier had given me was on my nightstand. It had faded overnight; the small vial of water it was in was empty. Hopefully I could put more water in it and make the rose last until I got home. I planned on keeping that rose as long as possible. It would be a reminder of one of the best nights I'd had in my life.
Allen was out of the shower quickly. "Nice flower," he said.
"Thanks. Javier gave it to me."
"I figured. When are you going to see him again?"
"I don't know."
"Guess you should call him and find out."
I would have, if I'd thought to get his phone number. Damn it, how could I have been so stupid? Then again, he hadn't asked for mine either. "I'll see him in the chat room," I said. "Right now, I need a shower."
I went into the bathroom and turned on the water as hot as I could stand. While I washed, I imagined Javier's hands on me, his fingers penetrating me as they'd done the night before. I slipped my own fingers where I wished his were, but didn't feel like I could take the time to make myself come. I was afraid Allen would wonder what was taking me so long.
I finished showering and got dressed. Allen was sitting on his bed watching TV when I came out of the bathroom. "Deirdre called a few minutes ago," he said. "Most people are getting ready to go to breakfast. They're just trying to figure out where."
"Maybe next time, they'll pick a hotel with a restaurant," I said.
"I think everyone likes this hotel."
True. It was where people stayed after almost all of the chat room meet and greets. But it was a nuisance trying to find somewhere to eat when there was no restaurant anywhere nearby, especially when one wasn't familiar with the area.
A little while later, a caravan of cars left the hotel and headed into the nearby city to find a place to eat. We ended up at a chain restaurant, where we were told we'd have to wait while they set up an area big enough to hold the twenty or so of us who'd decided to go out for breakfast. We took over the small waiting area. "Girl, how did things end up with Truetouch last night?" Deirdre asked me.
"Good, I think," I replied. "He said something about seeing me again, but I didn't even get his phone number, or think to give him mine, so..."
"So you'll see him in chat and give him your IM or something," Deirdre said. "He really seemed to be into you. I know you'll see him again."
"I hope you're right." I felt a goofy smile take over my face. "He's so nice. And so hot! I can't believe he was interested in me."
"Don't start," another friend of mine warned. "You need to give up this putting yourself down bullshit. Don't you deserve someone like him?"
"Yeah, I guess."
"Yeah, you do," Deirdre said firmly. "You two were so cute together last night. And what happened after you left the afterparty, hmm?"
I laughed. "Coitus interruptus."
"Oh, you're kidding!" the other woman said. "That stinks. Allen couldn't stay away, huh?"
"It wasn't his fault. It was his room; he had every right to be there."
"I was joking, Adrienne."
After an hour, we were finally seated. It took another half hour for our orders to be taken, and when the food finally came, there were several errors. We entertained ourselves by grumbling about the poor service and making fun of the manager who kept literally running in and out of the room, trying to correct mistakes and keep us happy. And flirting with Deirdre.
When we finished eating, I followed someone to the highway and headed home. It was a two and a half hour drive, plenty of time to replay the night with Javier over and over again. It surprised me how happy I felt thinking about him. Despite insisting to myself that last night had been a one-time thing, I found my mind wandering to thoughts of seeing him again, of where things might go with him.
Yeah, right. I shut my mind off. Things wouldn't go anywhere with Javier, just like they hadn't gone anywhere with any of the guys I'd had dates with. Some of those guys had become good friends, but nothing more; others had pretty much disappeared from my life. The chat site definitely wasn't a place to look for long-term relationships, and since Javier belonged to it, he almost certainly wasn't looking for a relationship. Or for anything ongoing. Added to that was the distance; he'd said he lived about an hour from the meet and greet, and I lived two and a half hours in the other direction. Even if we wanted to see each other again, it would be almost impossible.
That was better. Give myself reasons to think nothing good would happen, just like I always did. Why did I do this to myself? The previous night with Javier had been wonderful; even if we didn't see each other again, I'd have the memory of that night. And that memory made me feel good. "There's no need to make yourself feel like shit," I said out loud. "Enough other people have done that to you over the years. Let yourself enjoy what happened last night. Relax and see what comes next."
I turned up my car radio and spent the rest of the drive singing along with songs I only half knew. My voice wasn't the greatest and I had to fudge a lot of the lyrics, but at least it kept me from going down the negativity path.
I finally arrived home. I put the rose, still alive but wilted, in a vase and turned on my computer. I hadn't been kidding the night before when I'd told Javier I spent way too much time in the chat room. Some days it seemed like all I did was chat and eat. Since it was summer, I wasn't working much; after leaving my ex-husband seven months earlier, I'd gotten a job as a teacher's aide at a local high school, but of course that job didn't continue through the summer. I was spending a few weeks teaching younger children with multiple disabilities, but that job was only twenty hours a week. Fortunately, I didn't have many expenses. I was managing, barely, to keep my bills paid and have extra money for fun. But without a full-time job to keep me busy, and with my only friends being the people in the chat room, I spent most of my waking hours there.
I checked my email, then went into chat. I hadn't even had a chance to type my usual "Hello, everyone" when I saw "(((((OutofCuriosity)))))."
I smiled when I saw the handle of the typist. "(((((Truetouch)))))," I replied.
"How was your trip home?" he typed.
"Long," I replied. "I just got here."
"You would have been there sooner if they hadn't screwed up at the restaurant," typed Deirdre, who was also in the room.
"Yeah, let's not eat there again," I responded.
I said hi to the others who greeted me, and joined in the chatter about the previous night's party, but my attention was mainly on Javier. And his seemed to be primarily on me. "Did you enjoy last night?" he asked.
"Very much," I replied.
"What made it so enjoyable?"
"Yeah, Curiosity, tell us," someone else typed. "We want to hear all about it."
"Some things are private," I replied.
"But what made it so enjoyable?" Javier repeated.
I laughed as I typed, "Some sexy man who spent all night by my side."
"Oh, really?" Javier responded. "Anyone I know?"
"That's a possibility."
"Ah, so it's someone who bought you a rose and went to the parking lot with you?"
I couldn't believe he'd typed that. Some of the partiers must have seen us leave the bar for the parking lot, but that didn't mean I wanted everyone to know. "Yeah," I typed.
"Ooh, the parking lot?" another friend typed. "And what happened there?"
Would Javier tell them what had really happened? My face flushed as I remembered leaning against his car, his fingers in my pussy. That was a memory I didn't want to share with anyone but Javier. "We got Truetouch's jacket," I typed quickly.
"Uh huh," Javier typed. "And someone got something else."
"Truetouch, what'd you give her?" Deirdre asked.
No way. He couldn't tell her. The entire room would see! Fortunately, all he said was, "Something she really liked."
Javier left the chat room a few minutes later. It wasn't until after he was gone that I realized I'd forgotten to ask for his IM name. And he hadn't asked for mine. Right. We'd see each other again. In the chat room only, it seemed.
I stayed in chat a while longer, watching the talk about the party and enjoying the compliments I got on my dress and my "date". Finally, though, I decided it was time to be productive. I left the computer and went to unpack from the weekend, then did some housework. That night, I returned to the chat room for a while, but to my disappointment, Javier wasn't there.
The next morning, I made the commute to my summer job with thoughts of Javier floating through my mind. What was it about him that made me think about him so much? It was like we'd formed an instant connection at the party; I'd definitely never been that attracted to someone on first sight before. And despite all my negative thoughts, I was sure I would see him again. If I felt such a strong attraction to him, he must have felt some kind of attraction to me, even if I couldn't understand why.
After work, I went home and immediately into the chat room. "(((((Curiosity)))))" was the first thing I saw.
A huge smile came to my face. "(((((Truetouch)))))," I typed. "Not working today?"
"Gave myself the day off," he said. "You?"
"Just got home from work."
"What do you do?"
"Special education. Right now, life skills class for 6-8 year olds."
I waited a moment, but Javier didn't reply. Then he typed again, "Curiosity, what do you do?"
He must have missed my answer. Not surprising; there were a lot of people in the chat room. Which gave me an idea. "Truetouch, I teach special ed," I typed. "You must not have seen my answer. Maybe we should talk on IM; less distracting."
I held my breath. For me, just asking for someone's IM was being forward. What if he didn't want to give it to me? He didn't answer for several seconds, and I was torn between thinking he didn't want to give me the information and thinking he'd missed my post. But then I saw, "Curiosity, good idea. Same name as here, with an "s" on the end."
"Truetouch, got it," I typed.
I opened my instant messenger service and added him. He accepted the addition almost immediately, and before I had a chance to type anything an IM window popped up. "Much easier to talk here," Javier typed.
"Yes, easier to keep track." I hesitated, not sure what to say next. "I had a good time Saturday."
"As did I."
It might have been easier to keep track of what each other was saying on IM than in the chat room, but it was much harder to think of anything to say. Finally I typed, "Thank you again for the rose."
"You're welcome. Do you still have it?"
"Yeah, it's on the stand in my front hall."
Great. This conversation wasn't going too far. At the party, when we hadn't been kissing, Javier had done much of the talking. Or we'd been around other people who were talking to us. Now, in a one on one conversation, I was at a complete loss as to what to say, and Javier wasn't helping. After a minute, he typed, "Are you there?"
"Yeah," I replied.
"You aren't talking."
"I can't think of anything to say."
"I make you tongue-tied, huh?"
I had to laugh at that. "Not tongue," I answered. "Typing fingers. You make me typing-finger-tied."
"LOL," he said.
After that, the conversation went more smoothly. We talked about our jobs; Javier was a clinical social worker and substance abuse counselor. We talked about mutual friends from the chat room, and I found out we'd both attended another party a few months earlier, at a hotel not far from the bar where Saturday's party had been. When he mentioned that party, I remembered seeing him there, though of course we hadn't spoken then. "We could have met sooner," I said.
"Yes, but at least we've met now," Javier typed. "Which reminds me. Are you free every weekend?"
"Yes, I am," I said.
"No. My marriage broke up before we had any."
"Then what would you think about coming to visit me next weekend? I'd like to see you again, and I'm free as well."
"No kids?" I asked.
"I don't have any. So I'll see you next weekend?"
I hadn't said that. I hadn't given him any answer. But I did want to see him; I was surprised by how much. "Yes, I'd like that," I typed.
"Where do you live?"
He typed an address. "Do you have GPS?"
"No, but I can look on one of the map sites. That's how I find my way to the bar for the parties."
"Okay. And here's my cell number." He typed it. "What's yours?"
I gave it to him. "You know, I wasn't sure I'd get to see you again," I said.
"I told you we'd get together again. Didn't you believe me?"
"I wasn't sure," I admitted.
"When I say something, believe it. Why wouldn't I see you again?"
"I don't know."
"You were thinking badly about yourself again, weren't you? You didn't think I'd want to see you?"
"You need to stop thinking that way. I have to go get some paperwork done for tomorrow, but I'll talk to you tomorrow night."
"Okay." Did he really have something to do, or was he cutting the conversation short because I'd gotten on his nerves?
"Sleep with the angels," he typed. "Adios."
"You too. Bye."
He signed out. I scrolled back and reread the entire conversation. Only four more days, and I'd get to see him again. Maybe five, if I went on Saturday. He hadn't specified, but we'd have plenty of time to sort that out if we talked the next night. No, not if. When.
* * *
Tuesday night, Javier IMed me and we chatted for a couple hours about ourselves, getting to know each other better. He'd grown up in Brooklyn, New York. He had been a male model, a Marine, and a New York City police officer before moving to Massachusetts and becoming a social worker. Compared to him, I felt like I'd had no life at all. Yet another reason to wonder why he was interested in me.
Being me, I forgot to ask Javier on Tuesday whether he wanted me to go to his place on Friday or Saturday. I didn't hear from him at all on Wednesday, and started worrying that we wouldn't get together after all. I told myself to shut up about that, though. Javier had told me to believe what he said. He said we were going to see each other that weekend, so I tried to believe it.
It was too easy for me to think the worst, though. I'd had years of practice in it. Years of put-downs and name-calling from my grandmother, who took care of me when I was young while my parents worked, and who I had to see occasionally as I got older because she lived a block away from me, and years of the same treatment from my peers, had taken a toll on my self-esteem. Add to that some incidents of sexual abuse, a rape in college, and an abusive marriage. I'd spent most of my life with my opinion of myself somewhere in the sewer.
In the past couple of years, I'd worked hard on changing that. Shortly after I left my husband, I'd made a friend who had helped me come to terms with a lot of the events in my past. I'd spent hours talking to him about what had happened to me, and he'd helped me find new ways to think. He had pretty much abandoned me when I'd joined the chat group and started meeting new people; he couldn't understand why I wanted to know "people like that". By then, though, I was stronger than I'd been any other time in my life. No one had caused me to question myself in a long time. Until I met Javier.
With no one to talk to on instant messenger, I went into the chat room. "OutofCuriosity, have you heard from Truetouch?" my friend Hannah asked.
"Yes, I talked to him last night," I replied. "Why?"
"Some of us are going bowling Saturday night. You guys should come. It's going to be fun."
Bowling? Somehow that didn't sound like something Javier would be interested in. I wouldn't have minded it, but I didn't want to commit myself to anything without talking to Javier first. "I'll ask him next time I hear from him," I typed.
"Okay. Just let me know and I'll give you directions."
I hung out in the chat room for a while longer, reading the conversations that were still going on about the party and watching people talk about the bowling proposition. It did sound like fun, and I always enjoyed seeing my friends, but it was up to Javier.
I stayed up later than I usually would have on a weeknight, hoping that I'd hear from Javier. At ten o'clock, I finally gave up and went to bed. Hopefully I'd hear from him the following day.
Thursday night, an unfamiliar number showed up on my cell. It took a minute for me to realize it was Javier's. I answered just before my voice mail would have kicked in. "Hello?"
Just the sound of his voice made me feel warm inside. "How are you?" I asked.
"Good, thank you. And you?"
Small talk. I'd never been much good at it, though since joining the chat room I'd improved. I wasn't much good at talking on the phone either, though. I had trouble following a conversation without visual input. I just hoped I'd be able to hear Javier; I always felt like an idiot when I had to ask someone to constantly repeat himself. "I'm good, thanks," I said. "My work week's over."
"Special education is a hard job."
"Yes. So is social work, I'd think."
"It is. Speaking of which, that's why I didn't call and wasn't online yesterday. I have a substance abuse group on Wednesday nights. I should have thought to tell you that Tuesday."