A New and Delicate Balance Ch. 03byangiquesophie©
Cynthia sipped her juice.
"What will you do now?" she asked.
Her face showed concern. I had called Cynthia to talk about what I had planned. It had taken me a long time to decide calling her at all. We sat in a small deli close to the Park. In the street the first wet snow was chased by the wind. It was a Saturday afternoon.
"I have met with an attorney. It was awful, unreal. I would never have thought I'd look for a divorce. Not with Elaine. It felt cheap."
My throat was thick. She touched my hand.
"It is all right," she said. I shook my head.
"The guy was all business," I went on. "I guess they don't care, it's what they do for a living. Seen one, seen all. As we have separate accounts and as I don't care about the house, it is all just paperwork. Unless she fights it."
Cynthia looked up sharply. Not easy to fool her. She must have heard the lingering in my last words. As if I'd hope Elaine would fight it. It would take a hopelessly romantic fool to hope that, wouldn't it?
I jabbed a fork into the salad. Poor innocent salad.
"Cynthia," I said. "Why didn't she use my love and shield herself with it? Why did she never ask for my help? She says she loves me but she never did. What love is that?"
She said nothing, just nibbled on her vegetarian something. Then she looked up.
"You can't drop her just like that, Eric. You know that."
A flash of heat flared up in my chest. It was indignity, I guess.
"I can do whatever I goddamn please, Cynthia! SHE dumped ME!"
She never flinched.
"You know that is nonsense, Eric. She never dumped you. She'd never even be able to. She can't go on without you."
"Last time I saw her she perfectly well could," I retorted, trying my best at sarcasm. "She went on and on and on!"
There was disapproval in her eyes.
"You know better than that, Eric. She'll be gone within a year if you leave her."
"Are you blackmailing me, Cynthia?" I asked, amazed at the calmness of my voice. Inside I was in turmoil. Claws seemed to grab at my soul, pulling me down.
"Of course I am," she said. "I won't let you kill her. Not you, not anybody."
I gaped at her. She was on fire.
"You love her, Cynthia. You really love her."
She sank back in her chair, her chubby fingers wriggling. Suddenly there were tears in her eyes.
"Yes," she said in a new, very low voice. "I fell in love with her when I was 12. I never stopped loving her, even after she dumped me for you. I followed her like a puppy, a fat sweet little puppy."
My hand crawled over the table in search of hers.
"I did not know, Cynthia. I feel so sorry. I knew you and she were more than just friends, even after we married. I did not know it was so much more for you."
"She laughs at me and my silly love," Cynthia said. She sounded sad. "But I still love her. Once in a long while she allows me to eat her out. I never say no. She likes to have it done after she has fucked someone and still has some sperm inside her. She says it feels better that way."
The silence was awkward. I could not look at her. Then she suddenly chuckled.
"Look at us!" she exclaimed. "Both in love with the same woman. And the one she loves wants a divorce. Is that fair, Eric? Tell me: is that fair?"
I watched her for a bit. Her hand felt cold.
"What about this, Cyn. Would you share her with half the male population of New York City? Would you love her that much? And then say it was fair?"
She looked away. She never answered.
The divorce papers were delivered at Elaine's home. She tore them up in front of the man who delivered them. I heard she had been very calm and composed. She said that she would not even start to think about reading those papers until I talked with her.
The attorney asked me what I planned to do. I asked him what the consequences would be of not divorcing Elaine. He said, as there were no children and the house was not an issue, the only consequence would be that I could not marry again.
Nothing was as far from my mind as remarrying. I told him to put the whole thing in the refrigerator. I'd be back when things changed. He smiled and showed me out. But not before he handed me a considerable bill.
I was at a loss what to do. As I walked through the snow I sucked in the tiny dancing flakes, blowing out huge clouds of steam. Central Park in the snow had been our favourite adventure, Elaine's and mine. The sensuous white clad hills. The muffled silence. The chill on our cheeks.
I would have to leave this city. Too many cruel memories. But where to go? I loved this town, always had. And my profession was here. True, there were agencies in other big cities. Chicago, Atlanta, even the Twin Cities. Maybe Seattle? Dammit, could I get farther away?
But yes, I could not stay. She was here, in every stone and every tree. And of course she herself was here, never ready to let me go. I sometimes suspected her to stalk me, but I could not prove that. Probably just a silly case of paranoia.
A shock of cold hit my neck. I swirled around. From behind a tree came a second snowball. I ducked, grabbed a handful of snow to knead into a ball. I made a half circle to see who was there. I only saw part of a dark coat. I threw the ball and rushed the tree before he or she could throw a new one.
When I was almost there, someone ran away from the tree and into the deep snow. It was a woman. I followed, grabbing some loose snow as I ran. She wore a fur hat and a big scarf that I vaguely remembered.
I reached her and soaped her face from behind with a large scoop of snow. She squealed and laughed. Then she sank to her knees and fell into the snow. I grabbed her shoulder and turned her around.
"Elaine!" I panted, out of breath.
Her face was flushed, her eyes shone. I just stood there, panting. My fingers tingled with the melting snow.
"Goddammit, Elaine," I said. "Can't you leave me alone?"
She sat up, wiping the snow from her coat and hair.
"Hi, Eric," she said, reaching out with her hand. I pulled her up, but stepped back when she tried to hug me.
"I mean it, Elaine."
"Won't you buy a shivering girl a cup of hot cocoa?" she said, ignoring my remark.
I shrugged and started to walk. She followed me.
"The pavilion is over there!" she said and pointed.
A moment later she hugged her mug of steaming cocoa with her hands. She looked adorable. And she smiled like the cat that caught the canary.
I hadn't said a word all the time.
"How are you, Eric?" she asked. I just huffed.
"Don't you like the Park in the snow? It was always our favourite time and place, remember?"
"What do you want, Elaine?"
She just looked, her eyes clouded by the cocoa's steam.
"You know what I want, Eric. And I know you want it too."
"You are totally wrong, Elaine."
"I have stopped seeing other men, Eric."
I looked at her. Her face shone with eagerness. Like a little girl with a big colourful present.
"Since when?" I asked.
"Since this!" she said triumphantly, pointing at her wrist. There were still a few pink traces where she had cut herself.
"Fuck you, Elaine. I hope you choke on that cock-licking, treacherous tongue of yours. Get the fuck out of my life, you damn lying bitch!"
I turned and walked away. Tears blurred my vision. My God, what had I done to deserve this?
I heard her feet in the snow right behind me. She called me and asked me to stop. I walked faster. Then she reached me and pulled at my sleeve.
"Stop!" she panted. And when I didn't she ran in front of me and started walking backwards.
"It is true, Eric. I swear it! Please come back to me. I'll fight for us. Help me fight, Eric. We can do it. We can fight for our love!"
Her words were delivered with huge clouds of panted steam.
I stretched my arms and pushed her, almost making her fall. I kept pushing and pushing her with every step I took.
The words left my mouth through clenched teeth.
"Stop your fucking lies, you dirty whore. I saw you! I goddamn saw you fucking four cocks in the middle of your living room. I saw you howl like a she-wolf, slamming your traitor's ass into a fat black cock, while you took another one all the way down your filthy throat. Stop this goddamn lying, Elaine. You still had the bandages around your wrists, for Christ's sake. Remember? The wrists you cut because you LOVED me...Stop it now, Elaine. Get away from me! Lie to me one more time and I'll kill you! I promise I'll fucking kill you!!"
I pushed her aside, ignoring her ashen face. My hands were clenched into fists. I stabbed them deep down into my pockets, to keep them out of harm's way.
New York in winter can be hell. But when I arrived in Chicago I knew that hell has stages, this one being decidedly worse. I saw people needing ropes to navigate the iced and snowy sidewalks and not be blown away. There was a storm howling down Lake Michigan. It threw a million needles at me. All cars huddled inside white dunes. The cheerful weatherman said they'd stay that way for a while.
I came to Chicago to talk with the head of the Chicago office of the same company I worked for in New York. They were at one of the higher floors of the Hancock building. At least my view would improve.
I planned on staying two days, but O'Hare had been closed right after I landed. Might take me a week to get back.
The shops were all lit up for the holidays. They had this Magnificent Mile. It should be something, but I couldn't get there. I was staying at the Hilton. I would have to get a cheaper room if this would go on. I was watching the Malayan weather forecast on my hotel room TV. Not much snow there.
Yes, I planned on leaving the Big Apple. It tore my heart out, or at least what was left of it. But there was no way I could stay there. Maybe I was getting paranoid, but at that time I kept seeing men who looked at me funny. I avoided all circles I frequented before. It made my world pretty tiny. So, if I had to start all over anyway, why not elsewhere?
Even Cynthia was ignoring me. Elaine must have told her quite a tear-jerking story about our last meeting in the Park. Ah well, you see, things would get better now, in a way. Where before there was pain, by now you'd just find a big hole. I might rent it out and make some money out of it. It had a great view into my heart's Ground Zero.
Damn, had I become sorry for myself.
Why not look at the bright side for once. The little talk in the Park had put an end to the constant flow of emails, text messages and voicemails. I almost missed them. Not really.
I thought maybe I should go down and see if the bar was open. I mean, why not? There was no car to worry about, I could crawl back to my bed. Wouldn't hurt anyone but my credit card. And, who knew, there might be someone to talk to. To really open my mouth and let out some sound. Just like I did at least three hours ago.
They do have a nice bar at the Hilton. Comfortable stools. You must be quite drunk to fall off them. And they seem to have been designed for MacDonald's regulars, nice and roomy. There also was a forest of Christmas trees, bristling with tinsel.
I started with a beer, just to get my parched throat oiled. Apart of me there were two other early patrons. From the looks of them they were middle-aged businessmen. They rather well filled out their stools.
I chased the beer with a few others. The bar got fuller, mostly with hotel guests. They did not dare go elsewhere, afraid they might not be able to return later that night. I had talked with the fat businessmen, but they only seemed to have business talk. And talking about the weather was a rather worn subject by now.
So I went to the men's room to get rid of the beers. When I returned a woman had taken the stool next to me. I am bad at estimating women's ages. Got me in trouble at times. But I'd say she was about my age, maybe the other side of 30. She looked great from the back. Slim frame, a wealth of chestnut hair. Lovely ass on the leather seat. Tight skirt under a fashionably cut business jacket.
I stood beside my stool, thinking up nice words to greet her. She smiled a lovely smile in my direction. Damn, she looked far too good to be this close. And yet she felt comfortable.
She informed if maybe her stool was mine. I stumbled through half the alphabet to assure her it was all hers. I just begged her to leave the one next to it to me. She waved her consent in a regal manner and with a throaty chuckle. I asked her what she'd like to drink.
Her name was Irene and she was from New York, stranded in a similar way as I was.
I never used to look at a lady's fingers to see if she might be married. This time it was the first thing I did. And she was. She grinned as she caught me at it. I blushed and she grinned even more.
"No real danger there," she said. "The accompanying ring is right now in Namibia, Africa and has no plans ever to return. Just a matter of time and lawyers. I might hang on to it, though. It has a way of holding sniffing dogs at bay. Only the really brave keep trying."
She had a very musical laugh.
I told her I was from New York too, visiting the Chicago branch of the ad agency I worked for. She knew the agency well, she said. She used to work with them in a former job. Right now she was one of the many marketing directors of a huge multinational. She was here for a meeting at a plant close to Chicago.
I got the impression that by that time she felt like me: yearning to get this small talk behind us. So we both had a scotch to speed things up. And it worked. She had a great sense of humour and a favourable opinion on everything I liked.
An hour later we had dinner in the crowded restaurant.
Another hour later I unclasped her bra and sucked on a very aroused nipple. She had lovely tits on a soft, curvy body. And they must have been very sensitive. She moaned and panted as soon as I touched them.
My head buzzed not just from the drinks. Ever since seeing her in the bar I was highly excited, both physical and otherwise. She was witty, sweet and very, very comfortable to talk to. There were a thousand things we seemed to have in common. And when the bill came, it had just been the most natural thing to walk her up to her room and not stop after the long and tender kiss outside her door.
It was a thrill to be inside a warm embrace again. To relax and just kiss every inch of a soft, open body. She was very vocal, but hardly with words. She moaned and made funny little groans as my tongue reached her deep belly button. She pushed me lower until I found a wet and puffy slit. It welcomed my tongue with greedy little bumps and grinds.
I licked her and sucked on her clit until she suddenly clenched me between her thighs. She came with high-pitched screams. I pushed her legs apart and gasped for air. Then I rose to find her face and kiss her open mouth. We just hugged and waited for her to come down from her high.
"Oh God," she whispered. "Did I need that! Thank you, sweet Eric. Now please let me."
She put a finger to my lips when I started to answer. She clamped her lips around a nipple, nibbling on it with her teeth. Then she licked her way down my chest and belly.
I shuddered a sigh when I felt my hard, hard cock slip past her lips into a hot, weak world of swirling lava. I almost came there and then, but she expertly choked the base of my cock with her hands. Then she let the head pop out from between her lips and started sucking my balls while her slow hand stroked me.
God, I was so close. But I was not the one to control that. She was very good and careful and loving. She took her time and somehow kept me right below the edge of coming. Then she rose up to me, smiled into my eyes and said:
"Tell me, lover. Where would you want to come with me, this very first time?"
I kissed her hard, feeling her soft hand on my throbbing cock.
"Ride me, honey. Please take me inside you and ride me to heaven."
She grinned and licked my nose.
"Ooooh yes!", she hissed. "But first we have to be good and responsible lovers."
From seemingly nowhere she came up with a condom. She tore the wrapping open with her teeth and rolled the flimsy tube down the rigid flesh. "Mmmmm," she murmured, her finger tapping my covered mushroom. "Suits you well, honey. Now come with me."
She rose to her knees. She straddled me and sank slowly down on my proud, aching cock. It felt just amazing. The heat of her flesh sank down over me like a squeezing glove.
She slowly started to fuck. I stared up past her dancing titties and into her flushed face. She grinned. Then she moaned again, biting her lip. She gasped and neared her orgasm as fast as I did mine. She arched her back right when I came up to embrace her. I felt the hot semen shoot up from my balls. Bolts of energy flashed from my body into hers. They totally drained me.
"Where have you been all this time, Eric?" she whispered when her breath returned. Our two bodies lay entangled with sheets and blankets. The sheen of sweat slowly dried on my back, leaving a rash of goose bumps. I grabbed the closest tip of a blanket and wrapped us inside it.
"I'm here," I said.
What creatures are we? Is it our inbred need for survival? Or is it just appalling shallowness? I don't know and let me tell you: I don't care.
That night in Chicago was like the switch of a light bulb. It took me from darkest gloom to dazzling brightness. One moment I was staring at a dying beer in the desperate squeeze of my hands, the next moment Irene and I slipped and slid like children on the frozen streets of a city that overnight had become our capital of the world.
Christmas lights dazzled our moonstruck eyes. We laughed silly at the most kitschy of holiday rubbish and shared a huge mug of hot mulled wine. It was so sweet that we could almost hear the enamel crack on our teeth.
Those two days before O'Hare opened again were a haze, a blur of memories. We were in and out of bed. In and out of showers. In and out of each other. We even occasionally found the time to eat.
Irene told about her life. I told about mine. She cried with me. I laughed with her. Then we had to leave. Her plane was due earlier than mine. We kissed until they almost closed the gate on her.
It ought to have been a shock to be alone again. But somehow it never seemed to reach me. There was an invisible glow around me. The halls of the airport were filled with angry and frustrated people. All they wanted was leave, but flights needed reshuffling and more often than not things went wrong. It added up to one huge nervous ball of tension.
But I did not care. I floated around in a bubble of pink perfume, smiling at all and nobody. I was treated to dark and angry responses, but I just chuckled. I wished them all a great journey.
In New York the snow was still there in patches and dirty heaps along the curbs. For me it might as well have been May. I even found myself whistling as I entered my apartment.
A small mountain of mail had to be pushed away to get in. Amongst a lot of bills and ads lay a creamy envelope. It had the seal of a law firm on it. I tore it open and found the concept of divorce papers.
I sat down with a thud as I read them. There was nothing there that had not been in the papers I had made up. I remember having this thought about wasted money.
There also was a slip of lilac paper. It gave me a start, as I knew it was from Elaine's private stationary. Her handwriting was as bold and unfaltering as ever.
"Sweet Eric," she wrote.
I have been an awful, selfish monster. Of course I need not tell you that. Or Cynthia, for that matter.
I must have been crazy to think that I could just follow the cravings of my cunt without hurting your feelings. I guess I have never been a loving or even caring person. I insisted on having my pleasures, I felt I had a right to them. I even felt that I had a right to your love and understanding.