tagNovels and NovellasThe Wanderings of Amy Ch. 13

The Wanderings of Amy Ch. 13


Chapter 13 – Paul

Amy's relationship with Robert had changed radically by the beginning of her second year of college. Amy was now Robert's equal, and his friend. She still approached him for advice when she felt that she needed it, but as a friend, not as a surrogate daughter. She still felt a deep respect for him and cared for him deeply. He had saved her life. He had guided her into the path where she was now. Most importantly, in no way did he attempt to exploit her vulnerability when she stayed with him, nor in the months that followed. Amy now was glad that there had never been a hint of sex between herself and Robert. The infatuation she had felt for him at the beginning ended long ago and she could settle down to enjoy her friendship with him. Robert now respected Amy as an adult and as a friend, listened to her opinions, and was genuinely curious as to what she thought about various topics.

Amy now felt silly about the jealousy she had felt when Suzanne first started going out with Robert. Amy now understood what they saw in each other. Perhaps on the surface they had nothing in common, not age, not interests, not manner of dressing, not career paths. But deeper down, their lives were indeed the same. Suzanne and Robert had both lived hard, lonely lives, shaped by personal tragedy and dysfunctional relationships. They had the same drive, the same sense of belief in themselves, and now a shared belief in each other. Suzanne's eyes reflected a deep contentment in her life. Robert seemed so much more relaxed whenever Amy saw him.

Amy's life continued to be filled with Burnside's work during the depth of the Spring semester. There were the endless quizzes, the multiple-chapter reading assignments, the harsh questioning in class. Most of Amy's classmates were terrified of Burnside, her acidic comments, her harsh grading, her endless supply of red ink. By the end of February, over half of the students had dropped out of both classes. Amy remained among the survivors.

Burnside seemed to call on Amy more in class than on most of the other students. Often if another student did not know the answer, Amy ended up being the second student Burnside called upon. Amy realized that Burnside expected her to shoot back the correct answer, no matter what.

Burnside was particularly hard on anything Amy wrote. Red ink invariably stained anything returned to Amy that had passed in front of Burnside's eyes. Anyone seeing Amy's papers would have thought that Burnside totally hated her, but that was not the case at all. Amy almost had a feeling that Burnside had something in mind for her for the future, but could not imagine what that could be.

The increased pressure on Amy pushed her to study all that much harder. Amy's character was undergoing a transformation as a result of the challenge being thrust upon her. She was becoming harder, more driven, more determined. In the same way that her body had become trim and hardened by a year of working out, Amy's spirit strengthened as a result of the experiences she was having in college.

Amy reflected that the vacillating high school girl who took off with Courtney on that road trip almost two years ago was long gone, as was the emotional wreck picked up six months later by Robert at the police station. Amy reflected that had she and Courtney known each other now, their relationship would have been very different that it had been in high school. There was no way now that Amy would have let Courtney push her around. Probably they would not have gotten along at all.


Amy experienced yet another change in her life during the spring semester. Since the beginning of the semester she had noticed a male classmate glancing over at her every so often during class. He was fairly good-looking, and had a nice expression. He never missed the chance to catch a glimpse of Amy, especially when Burnside called on her to answer questions. Amy noticed that when Burnside called on him, he always seemed prepared as well as she was. Gradually Amy realized that he was interested in her and had set a goal of trying to impress her the only way he knew how, by being prepared in Burnside's class.

Two days after the Mardi Gras party, Amy's classmate did something unheard of in Burnside's class, he raised his hand and challenged her opinion about the development of Latin America. Several Latin American political theorists of the Dependency School had a totally different perspective on the region's development than the model Burnside was promoting, he pointed out. Burnside patiently listened, then pointed out.

"Well, Paul, don't forget, your authors are Marxist, and approaching this from a political and social perspective, not an economic one. Which do you think is correct?"

"Dr. Burnside, the Latin Americans will argue that social and political conditions set the pattern of economic development, while you are arguing the opposite."

"That's right. And there's where the fundamental difference lies in our fields."

Burnside discussed the discrepancies of development models for a few minutes, then returned to her class topic. She did not shoot Paul down for challenging her. She acknowledged the difference of opinions between fields, and accepted it.

Paul seemed like a decent enough guy, and at least smart enough to come to class armed with information different from what Burnside had. Amy decided to at least give him the chance to get to know her. The next time he glanced over, she smiled at him. There, she thought, that should do it.

Sure enough, after class he approached her. He was unsure what to say, having come this far. Amy pushed him again with a smile. He would have to make the next move. He paused, then nervously plunged ahead.

"What do you think about Burnside's opinions about Latin America's dependency on the US? I was wondering, because in my Central American history class we're looking at dependency theories which are almost the opposite of what Burnside is saying." Amy smiled internally. Obviously Paul was not a master at pick-up lines. Somehow that comforted her.

"I haven't taken the Political Science requirement yet." responded Amy. "I'd be interested in hearing what you picked up from your other class." With that she opened the door for an invitation to lunch.

It was an absurd posturing between two people who really simply wanted to say "I find you attractive. I want to know you better." But it was an opening between Amy and Paul, which was what mattered.

The next step was a pizza at the Student Center. That part was easier, once the excuse to get together had been pushed out of the way. The class topic lasted a total of 30 seconds. Amy and Paul began to share things about themselves, to get to know each other.

Since the beginning of the semester, Paul Glisan had noticed Amy in class. She was pretty, but that was not why he was attracted to her. Paul saw something special in Amy. He liked her intelligence and drive. He liked her honesty and sincerity, which was evident in the way she spoke and carried herself. He badly wanted her.

Amy wanted to find out as much about Paul as she could during this first lunch. He was a political science major and interested in journalism. He was a year younger than Amy, about to turn 19, whereas she was about to turn 20. In many ways he seemed older than the age on his driver's license. He spoke French and had traveled in Europe as a high school exchange student. Amy quickly found out he was opinionated, coming from a working class community suffering from massive lay-offs. He challenged the neo-liberalism currently in vogue in the US, using political science as his back-up.

Amy saw in Paul a person with the strength of character to state an opinion in class, knowing his professor would not agree. Paul was not loud or obnoxious, he was not rude or abrasive. Nor was he a flake or a wimp. He was handsome, but in a quiet, unassuming way. He was not much taller than Robert. His short brown hair and conservative appearance contrasted with his non-conformist views about the US and its political system.

Amy had her second class to go to, but agreed to meet Paul later to work out in the gym. They spotted each other on the bench press and made observations about each other's routine.

They both had to study that night, but agreed to meet for dinner the following evening. He took her out to a fairly nice seafood restaurant. They discussed politics a little, and a little about their lives in high school. Paul talked at length about his hometown and how his experiences in high school affected his outlook on life. He was bitter about the effect the factory closings had on his family and his friends. He learned to sympathize with the unemployed of Europe and Latin America, and saw the world as a whole as a result of what he witnessed in high school. Political Science gave him the tools with which he could begin to understand what had happened to his town, his family, and so many others around the world in similar situations. Amy realized that the bitterness he felt over the fate of his community had focused him at an early age, which in turn had forged a solid character. He lacked the shallowness of most of his classmates.

They spent the next few weeks slowly taking their time to know each other. They went to movies and out to eat, to art galleries and for hikes along Lake Michigan. They met every day to workout together in the university gym. One night they even went bowling. It was clear that Paul wanted her, but he never brought up the subject of sex. Amy was grateful for that. She wanted to go slow this time. She wanted to know the person with whom she would have her next sexual relationship. She realized that was what Paul wanted as well.

This relationship was a new experience for Amy. In high school she usually had sex on the first date. Sometimes she had been so drunk that she did not remember whether or not she had sex, or if so, with whom. Some of the guys with whom she hung out in high school now reminded her of animals, worried about mounting as many of their classmates as possible, and not thinking about anything else. Amy now was disgusted with herself for having gone along with that. She realized how lucky she had been never to have contracted venereal disease or to have become pregnant.

The relationship with Paul was a new experience for Amy for another reason. Amy had the opportunity to have a boyfriend for the first time without facing Courtney's disapproval. Amy now was free to make her own choice concerning whom she would go out with, free from the slavery of peer pressure. Paul was so different from what Courtney considered desirable in a guy that Amy felt defiant dating him. Amy realized that her relationship with Paul was her final break from Courtney and her values. Courtney, for example, would have taken Bill over Paul in a heartbeat.

Paul and Amy started spending more time together working on Burnside's coursework, especially on the weekends. Amy still had Wendy help her with the equations, but Paul seemed to be better with understanding the actual theories.

Wendy was true to her word about spending the hours with Amy for her to understand the equations. Wendy spent most of her free time with Amy on weeknights, patiently guiding her through the formulas she needed for her new major.

The weekends were a different matter. Wendy seemed to be preoccupied with some very serious commitment and increasingly was gone Friday and Saturday nights. She was no longer available to go out for fun. Amy wondered about Wendy's absence, but now she was spending more and more time with Paul.

Increasingly, Amy looked forward to seeing him. The times they were apart seemed longer and longer for her, even when she was separated from him for just a few hours.

Slowly, Amy was falling in love.


Amy's 20th birthday came just before Spring Break. It was obvious that Amy would introduce Paul to her friends during her birthday party. Finally the time had come for Paul to learn more about Amy's past and her wanderings.

Amy first introduced Paul to Suzanne the night before her birthday. Amy smiled as she watched Suzanne's eyes scan Paul, contemplating his suitability as a model. Suzanne's mind never seemed to be able to quite leave her work.

They sat down for dinner, as Suzanne explained her life and what she did as a photographer. She hinted that she would like to have Paul pose for her. Amy gathered that under the right circumstances, he would be willing to model for her, judging from his interest in her work. After dinner Suzanne showed Paul her portfolio, including the pictures she took of Amy. Amy pulled out an extra copy of the workout book and presented it to Paul. Paul thumbed through the book, dumbfounded, then looked up at the photographer and her model. Amy smiled at him. There was one more thing that Paul needed to know. Amy pulled out the three portraits that Suzanne had taken of her last November in Detroit.

Paul studied the pictures for several minutes. They had a story, that much was clear. Paul looked at Amy, but said nothing. He knew that she would tell him when she was ready. He could wait.

Amy and Paul walked around her neighborhood while Suzanne cleaned up. They held hands. Finally Amy was ready to talk about herself.

"Paul, what do you think of those last portraits I showed you?"

"I don't know. I never saw someone look that upset in a picture before."

Amy paused. Finally she began "You know, Paul, two years ago I was very different from who I am now. You wouldn't have recognized me."

Paul stayed quiet, waiting for Amy to continue. Finally, Amy told him her story.

Amy concluded "I owe two people my life, my sense of direction: Robert, who literally saved me; and Suzanne, who taught me to see the world in a way totally differently than I had been used to. You'll meet Robert tomorrow. Whatever you think of him, remember one thing. He saved my life. I wouldn't be here without him."

When she finished, she looked into Paul's face. His expression had not changed. He cared for her as much now as he had before. Paul held both Amy's hands and pulled her to him. She threw her arms around him and buried her mouth into his. For a long time they stood on the dark sidewalk, holding each other, kissing passionately. Amy was wet. She pressed against Paul and could feel him stiffen under his pants.

They pulled apart a little. She smiled slightly and looked into his eyes. She said nothing, but in the darkness Paul clearly read the message in her face, "Paul, I'm ready. Thank you for waiting for me."


Suzanne conveniently had taken off before Amy and Paul returned to the apartment. As soon as the door closed behind her Amy took off her jacket and her shoes. She then started to strip Paul. Amy unbuttoned his shirt and loosened his pants. She pushed the clothes off him. His pants and underwear bunched up around his ankles. She ran her hands over his chest and down his legs. She moved her hands behind him and squeezed his bottom.

Paul was hard, but he was content for the moment to simply enjoy Amy's hands on his body. In a way it thrilled him to be naked and Amy still fully dressed, his bare skin pressed against Amy's coarse clothing. He drew her face to his and kissed her passionately. He stepped out of his clothes and threw his arms around her. He buried his mouth in her neck, enjoying the feel of her skin on his lips and the faint smell of the shampoo in her hair. Amy ran her hand between his thighs. She lightly touched his balls to tease him and ran her hand though his pubic hair. She avoided touching his penis. She wanted to tease him, drive him wild with excitement. He kissed her neck hard, pushing his face past the back of her sweater.

Finally he moved his hands to the buttons of Amy's sweater. His nervous fingers struggled with the buttons and finally undid them. Amy's sweater fell to the floor. Paul's attention was drawn to Amy's chest. He kissed her throat and moved down her chest, burying his face between Amy's small breasts. He gently kissed each of her nipples. Amy gasped with pleasure and excitement. Paul kissed Amy's stomach and returned his attention to her breasts. She ran her fingers through his hair and over his shoulders.

Finally Paul unbuttoned Amy's jeans. She pushed the course denim past her hips to her knees. He kissed the fronts and the insides of her thighs. Sweat ran down Amy's face. She was incredibly wet between her legs. It was the first time anyone had touched her there for over a year and a half, discounting her tormenting of Bill, whom Amy considered barely human.

In this moment, in spite of the physical sensations pulsating through her body, Amy realized something else. It was the first time in her life that Amy had been touched there by someone who loved her.

Paul pushed Amy's jeans and underwear past her calves and over her ankles. Amy stepped out of her clothes and now was as naked as Paul. Paul knelt in front of her. He grabbed her bottom with his hands and pressed her legs into his face. He slipped his face between Amy's thighs and gently kissed the tender skin near Amy's vagina. Amy squeaked with pleasure and anticipation.

Suddenly Paul placed his arms under Amy's back and knees and picked her up. She threw her arms around his shoulders as he carried her to her room. He gently placed her on her bed. She rolled on her stomach as Paul kissed her neck and shoulders. He ran his kisses and hands down her back and over her bottom. Feeling Paul's hands and kisses on her bottom drove Amy wild with excitement. She thrust up, exposing herself completely to him. Gently he ran his hands over her bottom and between her thighs. He teased her labia and finally ran his fingers over her clitoris. Amy was so excited she could barely breathe.

The sight of Amy's body, the feel of her soft skin and firm muscles underneath, and smell of Amy's arousal excited Paul in a way he had never experienced. Amy was only the second woman with whom Paul would have sex. She was far more loving and passionate than his first girlfriend had been. Paul was no virgin, but Amy was about to open up a world of pleasure and passion to him that he had only fantasized about before.

He gently rolled Amy on her back and returned to kissing and touching her breasts. Slowly he moved his caresses down her stomach and between her legs. She spread wide for him. Gently he kissed her labia and moved his tongue over her clitoris. Amy groaned in delight. Paul could barely stand it, he was so aroused himself.

He entered her and began thrusting. At first he tried to be gentle, but quickly instinct and passion took over. He thrust hard and fast. Amy squealed with delight. Her breath came out in uneven gasps. She had two orgasms, one right after the other. Paul released into her, but continued thrusting, desperate to make this as pleasurable as possible for Amy. They were both drenched in sweat by the time they were done.

Amy and Paul held each other closely, desperately, when they finished, afraid to let each other go. They were covered in sweat and smelled of sex. Paul gently brushed a wet strand of Amy's hair out of her eyes and stared at her with and intensity that almost frightened her.

Amy, who had experienced sex so much in high school, suddenly felt like she was a virgin, having had sex for the very first time. In a way Amy was very much a virgin. This was the first time that she had been intimate with someone who actually loved her, and she actually loved, as opposed to the drunken mating she had been used to in her past. This was the first time for Amy that her sex and her love were focused on the same person. It was the first time in her life that she saw the true possibilities of sex, of the real pleasure it could bring if experienced with the right person.

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