The Examination Ch. 05byvargas111©
Although this story is somewhat self contained, it basically ties up loose ends from earlier stories, of the "Examination" series. So far as I know my own mind, it will be the last of the "Examination" stories (although a wave of adulation could turn my head). If you have not read the others, you will probably want to postpone this one until you have read, preferably in order, "The Examination," "On Further Examination," "Wonder Woman's Examination," and "Examination of a NAG".
Personal Examination by Homer Vargas
Dr. James Bock moped about the clinic, making everyone feel even worse than they did anyway. All the women had loved Janet. Long after she withdrew from the practice to bear and care for her and James's four children, she remained a mother hen to the women of clinic staff. No one could understand why Janet allowed herself to become obese; it seemed beyond even James's ability to control. Thin before her first pregnancy, she added more and more weight as James Jr., Clive, Sophia, and Susana arrived in quick succession. With increasing weight came less activity leading to still more weight gain.
A heart attack, unexpected, massive, definitive had taken her. James's sadness affected Amaka most of all. As her culture and human feeling directed, she had stepped in to see to James's and Janet's children. The house Mamma kept for her and her brood was small, but Mamma's heart was large and she smothered the little orphans with affection. They would be OK. It was James that worried Amaka.
The relation between a man and woman is mysterious, Amaka thought. "Good" marriages sometimes are hell from the inside. Men and women cling to partners that "everyone" knows are wrong for them, bound by love, desire, custom, who knows what? Amaka did not pretend to know what had gone on between James and Janet. I was another universe from the one she and James inhabited. In theirs, James was her master, as he was Janet's, but they were also friends, business partners, lovers and parents of her children. Amaka felt herself married to James even though he had gone home to Janet every night and was married to neither. James made love to Amaka at the office frequently, usually more than once daily, more frequently, Amaka believed, than he made love to Janet, especially after she grew fat. In a way it was like the culture of her childhood homeland in which James had Janet as his Senior wife and she was his Junior. wife. The passion had gone from his relationship with Janet, only love, duty, or whatever it was that bound him, lingered.
Amaka was, therefore, surprised that Janet's death had so devastated James. Only with immense will did he attend to clients, leaving Amaka to do virtually all of the seduction and conditioning of the women who continued to be sent to the clinic in increasing numbers. Certainly it affected their love making. The joy, the passion on the infrequent occasions was gone. Amaka felt James had transferred to her the obligatory sex he had with his deceased partner.
James stopped having sex with the other women of the clinic completely. It hurt them all, but especially Suzie and Megan, the youngest women who needed it the most. Amaka made a few adjustments in James's conditioning of them so that they could at least find some release in sex with each other, but she could not erase their desire for James himself.
This could not go on. It would not be easy. She might not succeed. But she had to try.
When James halfheartedly suggested sex with her in the office the next Friday evening, Amaka for the first time said no. She waited to see if he would take her. If he wished, he could fill her with an overpowering desire that would make refusal unthinkable. He could make her body move at his pleasure even if her mind remained unconvinced. His did neither, but only looked at her, puzzled.
"Pick me up at my house Saturday night at 8:00, darling. I've made plans for dinner. It's rather formal." Again Amaka waited to see if he would go along. If he didn't want to, he could just make her forget all about the arrangements. She had guessed right.
"OK. Why not?" James grinned almost shyly. It was the first smile of any kind Amaka had seen since Janet's death.
Saturday was a busy day. A lot was riding on this night, the happiness not only of her and James, but of many others. James could make many things right, or, if she failed, leave dozens of people, himself included, in misery. Amaka was glad she was a woman. She had the insight and, she hoped, the charms to make it happen.
Amaka had concluded that James felt guilty about Janet's death, but perhaps even more about her life. He had used his powers, not maliciously, but irresponsibly. He had only just stumbled onto his strange ability when he met Janet. She was the first woman whose life he had remade. Although Janet must have loved James over and above his power over her and though she had lived for the children she had given him, her life had been wrenched too far from her own goals. James probably never thought he would fall in love with the woman whose life he had turned upside down. James could give her unbelievable pleasure, but he could not make her totally happy. Now he never could.
Most of James clients were probably happier for his interventions in their lives, but there were a few who had also suffered from James's use of his powers. Amaka suspected that Janet's death had reminded James of his culpability in those cases, too. He needed to face what he had done, but he had to get beyond it without hating himself. That was her task.
The element of surprise would be important. Fortunately, James knew Amaka only as a beautiful, if exotic, black woman who had fallen somewhat accidentally into his power. Typically for a man, he had not been too curious about the woman who had shared her body with him for the last four years. It was time he learned some things.
"I want him to fall in love me, Mamma," Amaka explained.
"He already loves you, child."
"That's what he thinks, too, but not totally. I want it all. Give me juju, Mamma."
"It's dangerous girl. Juju can make you evil and manipulative."
"No, Mamma. Just give me the good juju"
"Juju isn't good or bad, Amaka. It draws its power from what is in your heart. If your motives are even a little bad, the juju will turn evil and that evil will be multiplied many fold."
"I have to try, Mamma."
"Oh, Amaka! Are you sure?"
"I'm sure, Mamma."
"Amaka you are my first born daughter. I can't believe anything bad of you. If you want to use juju, I will do as you say."
Mamma went to the corner and pulled a key from her bosom to unlock the ancient chest. Carefully she withdrew several small carved wooden objects. Amaka knew what she had to do and had brought out candles, arranging them in an ellipse with a mat in the center. Amaka stripped and lay naked, perfectly still on the mat, waiting. Mamma went round the ring of candles, lighting each and repeating a chant. Then she danced around the circle of burning tapers, rolling her ample hips and singing softly, before stepping across the invisible threshold. With great precision, Mamma passed one and another of the idols over Amaka's body. The final one she passed three times around each breast and three times around Amaka's mound, intoning the age-old ritual. When she finished Amaka was deeply entranced.
Mamma smiled down at her sleeping daughter, the mother of her four grandchildren, still her little girl. "Time to get up, honey. Let's do something with that hair. You need some practical juju, too."
It hurt when Mamma knotted her hair into scores of tight plaits. Into each she wove in a piece or two of tinsel. It was a five hour job, but when she finished, both women were pleased with the results. Amaka went to her bath and soaked a long while, allowing the oils and unguents to be absorbed by her soft skin. When she emerged, she shown.
Naked, Amaka went to her closet and removed a garment from a back shelf where it had remained for years, awaiting such an occasion. The noble fabric responded to the touch of an iron and became as new. Amaka slipped on a diaphanous blue brassiere and a pair of navy thong panties and began to dress. Carefully she wound the Ukmoh around her shapely hips and drew the top in the same fabric over her breasts and shoulders. It took several adjustments to get the scalloped hem even with her ankle bones as Mamma had taught her. Mamma helped coil the matching Ubaletu around her shining black plaits and fluffed it until it added four or five inches to her height. Amaka examined herself in the mirror approvingly while Mamma looked on with pride. The craft of five hundred generations of African women had perfected this look. She would be irresistible
Mamma opened the door for James and ushered him to the living room to wait. Perhaps she was unaware of the psychology of making a man a little impatient before Amaka made a dramatic entrance. James was just slightly startled when Amaka greeted him from the doorway, "Good evening, darling."
James was stunned. Amaka had been working for him over four years. He had been fucking her exactly as long, although they had been making love for a shorter period. He had seen her daily. He had seen her in cute mini skirts, in elegant tailored suits, in the short, sexy smocks she wore around the office, in hot pants and bikinis, and of course in nothing at all. Now as looked at her as if he had never seen her before. Never.
Could this be the woman he worked with every day? Standing before him was a princess or a queen. An empress or a goddess! James could not take his eyes off the vision that had addressed him. Speech was impossible. His eyes caressed her from head to foot. The garment she wore was a deep yet somehow brilliant blue, a blue of sky that can only be seen from high mountains at twilight. Unsurprisingly, in that crepuscular background, gold studs and inlays sparkled like the first stars in the firmament when the sum has not yet yielded his dominion to night. A headdress of the same resplendent cloth adorned her head. The light caught and thrown back by the inlays made it a diadem.
James scarcely heard as Mamma told the elegant couple to have fun, that the children would be fine and ushered them out. As she closed the door, she said silent prayer to Ussa, et Fillis, and the Holy Spirit.
Amaka took James's arm and allowed him to escort her to the car, open the door for her, and see that she was seated. Hardly daring to look at his beautiful companion, James was heading in the direction of the city before he remembered to ask where they were going. Amaka told him to drive to the river front. James was puzzled, knowing there were no restaurants in that area. Nevertheless, he let Amaka direct him to park and lead him to the wharf.
A long ramp led to a brightly lighted deck of a dinner cruse ship. Amaka had timed their arrival well and only minutes later the vessel weighed anchor and eased into the deeper waters of mid river, quickly leaving behind the built-up parts of the city. Cocktails and canapes soon gave way to a full dinner with dozens of other couples.
James and Amaka didn't talk much over dinner; James because he couldn't; Amaka because it wasn't necessary. As he gazed at her, holding her hand, not able to get his fill of looking, the words and images of the classic music video came back to him. Like Whitney Houston, Amaka could say, "I'm every woman; it's all in me." It was an epiphany; it was time to dance.
The band struck up a Latin beat and James and Amaka took center stage on the floor. As the combo pumped out the Salsas and Meringues of Carlos Vives and Niche, James marveled at his partner. Of course her dancing was superb. But Amaka put a wiggle in her hips and a subtle contortion into the movements of her belly that reminded everyone of the Afro-Caribbean origins of this music.
The panting couples were taking a break from hard driving techno-rock when the ship reached its southernmost point and swung round, allowing those on both sides to view the long incline up on the Virginia side towards Mt. Vernon, brilliantly illuminated for the benefit of the dinner dancers.
On the way back, the orchestra wisely switched to ballads of the `60s and `70s that put everyone in a mellower mood. As the liner pulled to within sight of the Washington Monument, the music had drifted farther back to Hoagie Carmichael and Cole Porter. James was holding Amaka very close and they swayed, almost asleep in each other's arms, to the magical old lyrics.
It was well past midnight when the last of the happy couples descended the gangplank, most looking more at each other than at where they were going. James thought Amaka had never felt softer, had never fit more perfectly into his arms, as if she had always been there. If, that is, the world had even *existed* before this moment. Was this not the first night of a newly created Earth, a terrestrial paradise that might be lost, but never again equaled? James dreaded for this night to end. Reluctantly he pointed the car toward Amaka's house in upper Northeast.
"Not that way, darling," she smiled.
James looked at the lovely woman at his side, not knowing how to believe his good fortune. He started to ask her something, but Amaka stopped his lips with a kiss.
"Home, James," she ordered.
Amaka seemed to have no shyness, walking into the stately home James had shared with Janet. Without having to ask, she led James to the bedroom. She allowed him to watch as she removed the Ubaletu and shook her plaits free. He stared in fascination as she untied the Ukmoh and let it drop to the floor. He didn't have to wait long before she shed the bra and panties and began undressing him.
They made love. James had believed he had made love to Amaka many times. He now realized that he had been wrong. They had only had loving, tender sex. It had been wonderful sex, but nothing like this. "James, James, oh my love, Oh James, James" Amaka sobbed between orgasms.
James could only repeat her name like a mantra, "Amaka, Amaka, Amaka, Amaka" his voice, too, broken with feeling as he thrust himself deep into the woman clinging to him. "One flesh." The old Biblical phrase flashed into James's mind. It had always struck him as material and crude. Now he knew it was but a literal description of what his and Amaka's bodies sought -- coupling, joining, fusion, a melting together, a perfect union.
A terrible tenderness came over James as he felt Amaka drift off to sleep. She lay cradled in his arms, so perfectly trusting, snuggling closer as her breathing grew soft. Did any man deserve this trust; did he; could he earn it? He never wanted her to leave his side. As James drowsily held the now sleeping woman, he realized that not only had he and Amaka never made love before, they had never slept together. "Sleep together." It was much so much more than a euphemism for having sex. It was a totally different way of making love, one in which the elbows and the backs of the legs, the knees and the shoulder blades, could participate for hour after hour, long after the genitals no longer touched.
The last thing James remembered before going to sleep was Amaka's hair tickling his nose. He could have flicked it aside, but decided he would rather just fold her more tightly into the crook of his body. The first thing he saw in the next morning was Amaka's smiling face. Compared to this moment, he had never been happy before. Tears filled his eyes. "I love you so much, Amaka."
"And I love you," she replied. "You are a good man, James, worthy of a woman's love. You must believe that and not keep torturing yourself over Janet."
"But I ..." Amaka stifled his protest with a kiss.
"Whatever you did, Love, is done. Janet left you four children whom she loved above anything. The best thing you can do is give them their daddy back. Look,"
Amaka clapped her hands and two by two the children filed in. Amaka's children, being used to constant coming and goings since they were babies, were more outgoing than Janet's. Ifi led James Jr. by the hand even though he was several months her senior. Efe tugged at the shy Clive. Little Jerome and Sophia were already best friends and playmates and followed their brothers and sisters in without coaxing. Mamma entered last holding the babies, Leroy and Susana.
As James looked from one to the other, he was consumed by love for them all. He knew that he had to remake a life for them as well as for the wonderful creature lying at his side.
"They're all *here*" James stated, somewhat foolishly, but Amaka understood what he meant.
"Of course, darling. Mamma brought them last night. This is their home. It's our home. They have a wonderful Mamma, but they need a mother and a father."
It took a few days to work out the sleeping arrangements and a routine to get everyone bathed and fed in the mornings and still permit James and Amaka to get to the clinic by 10:00 AM or so. The nature of the practice changed. James and Amaka became even more equal partners. Now they never took a client just because his or her partner wanted a subservient sex maniac. They interviewed the couple carefully and made the adjustments necessary, usually to both.
Amaka did not need to tell James what to do about the ex-clients. Over many weeks and months he made calls, tracking down people and getting them into the clinic for business, but within a year things were falling into place.
It had not been easy to locate Kathy Black. James was appalled at finding her in a housing project struggling to support six children by four different men. When they heard her story, however, Kate and Bill Jenkins of NAP (National Association of People) had no trouble deciding they wanted Kathy to head up their legal staff. Kathy was surprised how old Bill Atturbury had changed and after making him court her assiduously for several months agreed to marry him.
Bill Atturbury could have been their grandfather, but Pauline, Carlitos, Chun and Chan , and Malcolm Jr. couldn't have been more delighted. He read them stories, and played horsy, and could make an elephant sound that never failed to set them giggling hilariously. This was so much more fun than running a conglomerate that Bill turned his remaining interests over to Trent. He took Pauline and Carlitos to pre-school and even found changing the diapers of Susana and Martin Luther hugely satisfying.
As much as he adored these children, however, Bill begged Kathy to let him get her pregnant so they could have a baby of their own. Kathy told him he must be out of his mind. It could have been cause for a row, but they loved each other too much to argue over numbers. Eventually Kathy compromised on three.
When James called, Angelica supposed that he had decided it was time to give her another child. She was puzzled when, instead, he asked her to send Robert to the clinic for another visit. Wonderful "after sales service," she laughed to herself in the days and nights that followed. Angelica loved the “improvements” in Robert. He was as sweet as ever, but seemed somehow more imaginative in his lovemaking. He no longer just waited around to please his ever-horny wife, but took more initiative, fucking her at times and in places that Angelica wouldn't have thought of. Angelica would have to thank James personally when she saw him next.
Another motive for seeing James intervened. "What's going on, James? I've missed my period." Angelica demanded, more than a little annoyed.
"Do you need to ask what that means?" James replied, amused.
"It's not funny, James" Angelica snapped. "Why treat me like that? I never deny you. I enjoy letting you get me pregnant. There was no reason to get me down to the clinic, impregnate me and then make me forget the whole thing!"