Chocolate Kisses 2: Pearl Ch. 02bycalibeachgirl©
copyright @ calibeachgirl
all rights reserved, 2011
Chapter 2 - Late September, 1941
On Thursday morning, the eighteenth the sun rose to bathe the island in bright rainbows and the light fell across Jim's face.
"Ohhhh," Jim moaned, pulling his pillow over his head. "Damn, baby, you've got to talk to those girls of yours to be quiet in the morning." He felt a hangover pounding but had nothing to drink the night before. As a matter of fact, he hadn't had anything to drink since the first girl was born. Why he felt that way, though, he had no idea, whatsoever. Getting older, he thought, wasn't as much fun as he thought. "My head is killing me."
Damn! His head hurt... try and hide it, he thought. Bethany has enough to worry about without adding that to... the drums beating in his head were pounding a rhythm that made his brain scream.
Bethany rolled over and onto him, one warm thigh on each side of his face and taking one finger to her lips, slowly put it into her mouth. Withdrawing it, she took the wetness to his nose and flicked it.
"My girls? Like you weren't there at some point in making them?" She looked at her wedding ring. The nick was still there from that night, a constant reminder of what she had done to him and her vow to never do it again. That was the worst time of her life. Thank God, she prayed each evening, she came to her senses, even if it took several weeks before she had returned to their bedroom.
Thank God, he thought, she was changing the subject. "Well, I'll admit to being there at some point. How do I know you didn't have one of your boyfriends over?" Hmmm... maybe that wasn't the smartest thing to say, considering what had become a very intimidating, bothering situation. For a moment, he wondered if there was a hint of truth in his jest. He was becoming very, very insecure in the bedroom. How worse it was going to be, he had no idea but it made him more nervous than flying into von Richthofen's Circus.
"You sorry, old man," she laughed, "if that was the case, I'd have thrown you out of my bed long ago." She looked carefully at his face, looking for some reaction to her last statement. She saw something flash across his face, something uneasy. Why would he be uneasy? He was the only one she had ever loved, would ever love, could ever love. There was no one else. It was only a joke... maybe, not such a smart one, she realized. Something was bothering him. She knew from his actions in and out of bed. If something was bothering him, it was bothering her even more and she didn't even know what it was.
Her hand reached under the covers, eliciting a much different moan as her fingers grasped him, attempting to bring him to hardness.
"Sorry old man? Sometimes, I... Kick me out of your bed? Never! Ha." Think fast, Ewart, he thought to himself, think fast! His head quickly disappeared under the covers and within a few moments, he had Bethany moaning totally out of control as she writhed on the bed, grabbing the sheets and tearing them loose from the bed.
Her knees bent higher as he grabbed her ankles and pushed them forward. God, that felt so good, she thought, push harder, please, push harder... "ahhhhhhhhhhh... damn, Jimmy, don't you dare stop now."
Bethany's back arched clear of the mattress as she humped against his face two, three, four times and then started to relax but then, as he continued probing and kissing, started once more, this time much louder.
Her strong movements caused him to lose his grip on her silky smooth legs and she quickly wrapped her thighs over his shoulders and around his neck.
She lost track how many times she had peaked because he never let her come down enough to tell the difference from one to another.
When Bethany's knees finally lay flat, he rolled over and lay on his back, breathing hard and reached for her hand. God, he wished she'd get there faster...
As her own breathing slowed, she turned her head to the left and smiled at her husband. "Thank you..." was all she could say. Jesus Christ, 'thanks' is all I can say? After all that? What the hell is the matter with me? OK, time to make him feel good, now.
Jim lay there, staring at the ceiling. Yesterday afternoon, he was hard as a rock, at least for a while and knew he should be as hard as a rock now. When he started kissing his wife, he was... and then it went away. Not right away, but after more than fifteen minutes waiting until he was sure she was completely satisfied, he felt himself slipping away. Maybe, maybe he waited too long to love her... that was it, he hoped, maybe that was it.
It was happening more often than not, now... erratic and inconsistent, to be sure, but still present.
He lay there, staring at the ceiling hoping she hadn't been paying as close attention as he had. Each time, he begged off, saying he just wanted to please her, that was enough, he tried to convince her... and, himself.
Bethany fell back asleep, still holding his hand, dreaming of making love to him like that first romantic night so many years ago, the night she gave him her virginity and love and he gave her a new wonderful life.
He lay there, staring at the ceiling until he finally couldn't stand it any longer and had to get up. Time to see the doctor, he realized, sadly, and see what's going on with him. He wasn't THAT old, was he? Jesus, they've only been married ten years. Forty-five wasn't too old, was it?
He lay there, staring at the ceiling, worried for the first time since he met Bethany about something like this. She was only in her early thirties and once they had started sleeping together, Bethany Rose discovered a voracious sexual appetite. He was worried... worried that he soon wasn't going to be enough for her. He didn't know what he would do if it came to that. He knew she loved him but this was something else, entirely. Could she separate sex from love in her mind? What would he do if it came to that?
He lay there, staring at the ceiling, worrying as every husband had done at one time or another: What was his wife doing when he wasn't around?
Later that morning, Jim brought the dishes over and started setting the table. He stopped and looked at the table and then went outside to fill a vase with flowers. Bethany was still asleep and he decided to just let her stay in bed. He had a lot of thinking to do. In an almost mindless daze, he continued walking back and forth from the china closet to the table. He was startled by the soft sound of a woman's footsteps padding across the hardwood floor.
Think, think, think... he felt like Winnie the Pooh. Oh, bother.
"Jimmy... why didn't you wake me, sweetheart?" Bethany put her good arm around her husband and pulled his head down for a deep kiss. As her tongue slipped between his lips, her hand slowly reached down and caressed him, causing him to become incredibly aroused. My God, she thought, he's hard as a rock!
"Forget the dishes, Jimmy, you still have unfinished work in the bedroom." She reached around his waist and walked him back to the bedroom, but before she could return from washing in the bathroom, he had lost his erection and had left the room in frustrating shame.
By her birthday Friday morning, Bethany knew there had been a disturbing change in her husband. While he brought her to an incredible number of orgasms orally, for some reason he was no longer really having sex with her... hadn't, really, she thought, for several weeks. It had been sporadic and then, nothing at all. She couldn't even remember when the last time was. Oh, my God, she realized, she couldn't even remember.
Yesterday he seemed to lose interest. After orally pleasuring her, he didn't complete the act of love, again. She missed him roughly filling her, gently teasing her, giving himself to her completely as she felt his heat erupt deep insider her.
And when she brought him back to the bedroom yesterday, by the time she returned from the bathroom he had left her alone. What was happening to them? She was scared. What was happening to their marriage? She was frightened. What was happening to their love? She was terrified. No, they still loved each other, of that she was sure of.
She thought of all the small, loving things he did for her... how could he not love her?
She found herself looking into their bedroom mirror, running her hands over her breasts, lifting them a little, watching the back of her legs as she clenched her muscles.
She traced the lines radiating from her eyes and lips and touched the hair he said he adored. It somehow lost its springy curls and frizzed up against her head due to the humidity. Did he still love it? Yes, she knew he did... But, did he love someone else, too?
She stared at her nose. While not as wide as it could have been, it still was different from white women. Why did it bother her now?
Little did she realize what she thought of as imperfections, he thought of as character. What she thought of as wrinkles, he thought of as beauty. Every time she spoke to him, he felt he was with an angel... a chocolate angel, but an angel just the same.
This was becoming a horrifying birthday. How could she think that? What madness did she have running wild in her subconscious?
She put on a pair of high heels and walked around the room, naked... wondering what he saw when he was with her. Bethany sadly felt she was getting old and no longer arousing him as she had done during their ten years of marriage... or, at least as she thought she had.
How had she let herself go, Bethany asked herself, pleading for an answer that was hard to understand. Over the years, especially after the two girls, she acknowledged gaining some weight. It had sneaked up on her over the years, a little here, a little there... and here she was, only 33 and yet feeling so, so much older.
Bethany ran into the bathroom and stood on the scale, something she admitted she hadn't done in such a long time. She and her sister had taken to wearing loose, forgiving sarongs and they always fit.
Her scream echoed through the otherwise empty house.
She had gained over twenty-five pounds. Oh, God, she whispered in her mind, oh, God, what have I done? No wonder he doesn't want to fuck me.
There, she thought, I said it... fuck me. I can't even get a mercy fuck from my own husband. How has my life come to this?
She collapsed on the bed, still undressed, and began to cry. Thank God no one was home to witness her despair and sadness.
Thinking about it, she realized he hadn't actually done her in... oh, God, how long? Two, three weeks for sure... the end of August?
Tears freely covered her face. Despite the heat she buried herself under the covers. She was still crying almost an hour later when Eliza came back into the house.
Eliza knocked on the bedroom door and then walked in. She found her younger sister lying on her side like a small child, one arm over her eyes, quietly sobbing.
"Honey, what's wrong? You can tell me..." Eliza reached out a hand to touch Bethany's hair and waited for her 'little' sister to calm down and speak to her.
Several minutes passed. Bethany moved her arm and opened her eyes. "Are we alone?"
"I think so, I'll go look." Eliza left the room and soon came back.
"No one's here except us, Bethany. What's bothering you?"
"I'm old and fat and Jim won't even fuck me and my hair is a mess. He's having an affair; I just know it. What am I going to do, Liza? What am I going to do?"
"What do you mean he's having an affair? Not Jim, surely not him." What madness is this? Eliza thought to herself. Oh, Jesus Christ, not this. Impossible... it had to be...
"It must be when he goes to Pearl for those meetings with the Navy... one of those women on Hotel Street... or somebody else, I don't know... maybe, one of the Filipina women around here." She started crying again.
"Bethany Rose, listen to me! Why on earth would you say something like that? He's worshipped the ground you walk on from the first day he saw you in Venice." Eliza moved over on the bed to look closely at her sister. She then realized that both she and her sister had indeed grown ten years older. Absently patting her own frizzed, graying hair, she grew nervous.
What if John felt that way? Why were we both worrying about that, now?
"What happened in here? What are you two doing at night? I can't help you if I don't know what's going on." She gave her sister a very concerned look.
Between sobs, Bethany slowly, carefully, told her sister how Jim would kiss her, massage her, touch her there, kiss her there, lick her there, arouse her and continue until she could orgasm no more... and then, he would hold her, spoon with her, but now, that was it.
"Haven't you spoken to him about it?"
"I'm afraid to. I don't know what's going on and I'm afraid to find out. What if he does have a lover and is saving it all for her?" Not her Jim... not after everything he had done for her... not after everything he had done for all of them... no, never... impossible.
Trust... distrust... fear...
"Just last month... yes, last month he was fucking me all night long and sometimes during the day when no one was home."
"Wait a minute. Wait a minute. John and I heard the two of you Wednesday afternoon. You don't fool me, you two were fucking like there was no tomorrow."
"No, we weren't. It was just him..." Bethany's voice disappeared. "...kissing me... you know, down there."
"Where is he, anyway?" Eliza thought it strange that Jim would be gone, especially after what happened in town. "Did he go to Pearl Harbor?"
"I don't know. Both he and John said they'd be back later and left." She started crying again. "They said something about going to a doctor."
By late afternoon, Bethany had spent most of her birthday wandering aimlessly through their trees, smelling the citrus scent. She took some of the leaves and rubbed them on her skin, spreading the smell over her arms and legs.
She came across one of the damn toads and gave it a wide berth, reminding herself to tell either Jim or John about it when she returned to the house, but now, she just wanted to be alone with her troubles.
She reached the small patio they had built their third year and sat down on the bench. She loved Jim with all her heart but couldn't help wondering what was happening...
The view toward the sea was incredible. She remembered that windy day they stood in almost this very spot and chose to make their home here. She looked out to the water, seeing the white crests of the waves approaching the beach. It was the same ocean, it was the same view but she was so different now.
She sighed. That he said he loved her was no surprise... he constantly demonstrated how important she was to his life.
But, even though he made her feel SO good, he seemed to lose interest after and then, this morning, he left the bedroom before she even came back from the shower. It hurt her heart and, she admitted to herself, her ego that he would just leave without even saying something... anything... to let her know what was on his mind.
Bethany wracked her brain... were there any signs of him straying? She didn't have a clue where to start looking other than following him every second of the day.
Her mouth was as dry as the month had been except for that day at the store. There had been no real rain for weeks and she, for some reason, missed the patter of the drops on the patio's metal roof.
She wished it would rain and wash away her fears. Bethany was ashamed of herself, doubting her husband's devotion and commitment. This was the tenth year of their marriage. She knew... she just knew with all her heart and soul, he loved her but that little nagging doubt refused to leave her mind and was driving her crazy.
Oh, God, the shame that filled her being was starting to hurt her head. How could she think of him doing something like that? Yes, she told herself, yes, it scared her, downright terrified her to think of her Jim with another woman...
She jumped up and ran down the hill to the house.
At the same time, Jim and John were at the Popukea Clinic, near Waimea Bay. Jim, for anything else, would have seen the doctors at Pearl, but for this...
"Well, there are a few things going on... Let's see...
"First, we're going to change your diet, some. Even though you both are in pretty good physical shape for men your age, you're not getting the same exercise you were before the territory shut down the tree project."
The doctor was surprisingly direct with his two patients, unlike some who would just say what people wanted to hear.
"Now, here's some changes you seriously need to do. Cut back on the fried foods. I know your wives can cook up a storm with all that southern style food but it's going to kill you if you continue eating like you're both twenty years old. I don't know how, but I'm sure it's doing something to you blood vessels. Remember what I just told you about how it works... all this fat is clogging it up and the blood's not getting through. I've seen enough patients to figure that much out. You'll end up with a stroke or heart attack.
"There's still so much we don't know about that but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
"Cut out the meat; eat fish instead. It's not like there aren't any around. I don't want either of you eating meat from here on out.
"Second, I think you're both suffering the effects of what happened in the market to your women, feeling inadequate, feeling impotent...
"You, John, Bethany was already hurt by the time you reacted... and you, James, you weren't even there and that's definitely got to affect you in the bedroom."
John was going to protest but realized he couldn't leave Jim out there by himself. Besides, what the doctor was making some sense to him even if he wasn't psychologist.
"The combination of these events, each on their own would be causing problems, are affecting you both. James, you especially since you weren't there and then the family tried to cover it up from you... and you, John, you feel bad because you were there and acted too late, according to your own code of ethics.
"You find a way past that and with this new diet you both should be fine.
"Our little town is crawling with sailors who have brought their own problems with them. They are the snakes in paradise, I'm afraid, and there's not a whole lot we can do about it."
The Chevrolet bounced into another muddy rut in the dirt road. Each time, Jim was sure that it would be the end of the poor car's suspension and they would be stranded God knows where along the coast. Maybe he should have borrowed a Jeep from the base... and yet, amazingly the old car kept going.
"Are you sure about this?" he asked, "I mean, you know..."
"What? Because he's Chinese or because he's mysterious?" John laughed. "Look, what the doc says about food is all well and good, but that's going to take time and you need something else right away."
"Ah, hell, I'm willing to do anything to fix this. I'm sorry, John, I'm just so damn embarrassed about all this and I don't have a clue to what she's been thinking, probably that I'm fooling around or don't love her anymore.
"Damn, just the other day, she was washing up to have a little fun with me and I just walked out while she was still in the shower. Jesus, that's no way to treat someone you love.
"I just can't find a way to talk about it with her. It hasn't been that long and still I know it's been too long. I was hoping it was only a real temporary thing but it doesn't seem to get better. I need to find out if I can fix this or not before I say anything but that's probably a big mistake and it's going to bite me in the ass. I just know it."
"Slow down a bit... OK, we're here. Let me do the talking." John left the car and disappeared down a stone pathway wending its way through the overgrowth. He eventually found his way into a clearing and faced a small, brightly painted red house with a large pond to its right. A blue and orange carp swam lazily under the lilies, leaving small ripples across the water. The implied calm belied his feelings about coming here.