"Mr. Reid," a shy, yet determined, voice said from behind me.
I turned around while my mind told me to just keep walking away. I wasn't supposed to have returned for at least three more hours, but my date went south quickly after spending about fifteen minutes with the psychotic woman. So, here I was, in a very peculiar situation. I had walked in the front door about ten minutes earlier, and found that the babysitter I'd hired to watch my six-year-old son didn't seem to be anywhere. I looked around, and found only Andy (aforementioned son) sleeping in his room upstairs. After passing the bathroom twice, I realized on my third pass that the light was on. I wasn't even thinking that anyone was in there, just that somebody had forgotten to turn off the light. I opened the door, my hand moving toward the light switch, when I caught the babysitter, Ellie, doing something private. You might take that to mean she was answering nature's call, but that wasn't quite what I meant. To spell it out plainly, she was diddling herself on the toilet!
So here we were, with me walking toward the front door, quite dumbstruck, explaining that I would no longer need her services, but not giving her the real reason why.
"Mr. Reid, please," she followed, her face no doubt scarlet from being so humiliated, "I don't usually do that while I'm babysitting! Just give me another chance!"
"I'm sorry, Ellie," my heart slammed in my chest from the sheer excitement of what I'd only seen for an instant. But that instant had drastically changed the way I saw the babysitter I'd hired only a week ago, once the school year had ended. She had babysat for one of my neighbors, which was how I had come to hire her. Now, instead of the shy, innocent, blonde-headed eighteen-year-old girl I had hired, there was this woman with long, thick, luxuriant blonde hair that spilled down to the small of her back, a smooth, femininely sculpted face with a pert nose, bright, greenish-gray eyes, a smallish mouth with a set of moist, plump lips that begged for attention, and a graceful, delicate neck.
As if that wasn't enough, her body, which had apparently begun to develop early, held such potential that I was certain that she was routinely followed around school by scores of teenage punks whose hormones were in full chaos. Her breasts, though not abundant, were perky and rife with possibilities. They strained against her shirt proudly. Her waist, while not narrow enough that I could wrap my hands completely around them, were narrower than her hips, which swirled out about half-an inch past her waist. I hadn't yet really seen her butt, not in this new sense of perception, but if her hips were any indication, I would be plenty impressed if I saw it. She stood about 5'6", a good four inches shorter than me, but her smooth, firm legs seemed to stretch down forever, from her thighs, to her shapely calves, to her slender ankles, ending with her dainty feet encased in a pair of white, lace-up shoes.
Only eleven minutes ago, I had seen her with her red denim, mid-thigh shorts around those slender ankles, her white cotton panties ensnared at her calves, and a small thatch of blonde pubic hair leading to where her fingers were so industriously prodding and probing. Now that so-brief image played unceasingly in my mind, the widening of her eyes, the way her moist lips formed an 'o' to frame her smallish mouth, and the way her body had tensed up, startled and mortified. Now this young woman was trailing me, still pleading for me to stop, and why, so she could explain herself? I'd seen enough to figure out exactly what she was doing by herself in the upstairs bathroom. If I were to let her remain Andy's babysitter, every time I looked at her, I would see that image, and though I had been single for nearly a year, I couldn't be willing to resort to anything so twisted as sexual thoughts of a woman nearly twelve years my junior. Hell, I scorned other men for their affairs with women that much younger than them!
But her panicked begging won out, and I slowed down, coming to a grudging stop just before the foyer. Finally, I turned to face her, a little apologetic, but in no way surprised to see twin tracks of tears under her eyes.
"Mr. Reid, I'm so sorry," her voice quavered and her words rushed forth, "I don't know what the heck came over me, it's just that my boyfriend and I started fooling around a few weeks ago, but he's so ignorant, never does anything to make it feel good for me, that's why I haven't gone all the way, because I'm sure he'd be so horrible and ruin my first time, and I was so...you know, that I just had to take care of myself, and I checked six times to make sure Andy was asleep before I... you know, and...and..."
She seemed to replay what she had just blurted out, and she looked like she might faint, she was so mortified.
"I... uh," I stumbled awkwardly, "Well, I guess maybe I reacted a bit harshly, but... You've got to understand, seeing what I saw, that really changes things."
"Please don't fire me," she begged, "I really need this job. I promise I'll try to... uh, control myself better."
Nothing good could come of this, I knew, but I just didn't have the heart to send her away, and doubted I'd be able to unless it meant that Andy was being neglected or, God forbid, placed in harm's way.
"Okay, fine, you get a second chance. I know, at your age, you're gonna feel some intense urges. I'm not that old that I don't understand that. At my job, it happens a lot for me. I just find different outlets to distract myself, do you know what I mean?"
She nodded, feeling already awkward about all this, but suddenly she had this glint in her eyes that hadn't been there a minute ago. I didn't try to read into this new look.
"I know," she admitted, "For me, it's all this pressure from my friends. Most of them have gone a lot further than I have with... that, and it's like they expect me to do it too. And there's always a few guys who are cute, but they're so... I don't know, immature comes to mind. I just can't stand them. Then, like I was saying, about my boyfriend and all that, well... it was just too much for me to stand. I'll try harder, Mr. Reid."
I nodded, "Yeah, okay. Well...um... I haven't felt this awkward with a person for quite a while. I know I'm probably not someone you'd normally talk to about your peer-pressure and stuff like that, but now... if there's anything you need to talk about, don't think twice about telling me about it. I had to deal with that stuff too in high school. Hell, being a jock made it that much more trouble. It kind of made me want to join the chess team or something."
Ellie smiled shyly, "Yeah...you know I'm on the chess team, right?"
It was my turn to get red-faced, "Shit... I'm sorry, I didn't mean anything by it."
She shrugged, "It's okay. That's the sad truth. Even us chess geeks are dealing with all that pressure. It's just not fair. That's the only reason I agreed to be his boyfriend. I figured that if I just do it and get it over with so they'll leave me alone."
"Wow..." I blinked, "That's a sucky way of looking at your first time. It's supposed to be something special, not a deed you do just to get it out of the way."
I went into the kitchen, with Ellie following close behind. I was feeling quite dry-mouthed, so I figured a drink was just the thing for that. I offered Ellie a drink, and when she nodded, I handed her a bottle of Coke. She opened it and drank deeply, her throat muscles working expediently in her slender neck. I peeled my eyes from her with some effort, busying myself with my own drink.
"I watched this movie once, when I was eleven," she confessed, "It was a pretty corny romance movie, so completely unreal, but I got all starry-eyed when I saw the love scene. It was PG, so they didn't show anything but them moving around under the sheet, but that's what got me curious. I could never ask my dad about sex or anything, I'd be too embarrassed, and I couldn't even bring the subject up with my mother. I tried that once, and got such a heated lecture about my virtue and how I must wait until I'm married that I thought she was a nun or something."
"Yeah, parents are rarely any good about that subject," I agreed.
"So," she continued, "I started trying to find stuff about it in the library, but they seem to want to pretend that sex doesn't even exist. I tried looking it up on the internet, and got hit with so many pop-ups that I thought I'd mess up the computer. The only learning material I had was my friends and a few porn magazines they had, which, as you can guess, isn't much to work with."
"So..." I had reservations about bringing up current events, but I figured if I'd offered to be that person she could talk to, I shouldn't be stingy, "How did you learn... you know, what you were doing earlier?"
Just like that, her face went red again, and she found something interesting to look at in the patterns of the linoleum floor, "Um...I don't want you to think I'm some crazy pervert."
"I don't," I assured her, "I know exactly how normal all of this is. I mean, if you don't want to tell me, you don't have to. I know this is pretty personal stuff."
She shrugged, "I've already told you so much personal stuff... I guess I might as well... 'tell the truth and shame the devil,' my mother always says. I was at my friend Tracy's house one night, and we were talking about stuff she and her boyfriend did. She told me that her boyfriend likes to watch her...um... while she... masturbates. I'd... you know, touched, but I had no idea what I was doing. I told her this, and she insisted on showing me. It wasn't enough to just explain it, she had to demonstrate."
My next thought was out of my mouth before I could catch it, "With you?"
She laughed, still embarrassed, brushing a lock of hair out of her face, "No, she did it to herself. It was kinda funny, actually. I'd never realized how uninhibited she was about this stuff. She didn't even hesitate, just got undressed and started right up. After that, she tried to get me to join in. I didn't want her to think I was a prude, so... I did. It was so weird, you know? It was like she didn't care if it was with me or her boyfriend, she was so sex-crazy that it didn't matter."
I figured that I didn't need to have her elaborate on that particular night, "I guess that's one way to learn things about yourself. Have you...ever had an orgasm?" What? Did I actually ask her what I heard myself ask? I was supposed to diffuse this whole subject, and instead I was starting to feel like I was trying to be her teacher or something!
She blushed once again and nodded, refusing to look me in the eye.
"And are you able to curb yourself that way?"
"Well... I thought it would, but I found that the more I do it, the more I want to do it. And my friends, especially Tracy, makes sex out to be so much fun that I can't help but wonder if I'm depriving myself of something more than just a private...session in my room. "
"And your mother tells you to wait until you're married? Yeah, most parents are like that, I guess."
"She's probably right, but just fooling around with my boyfriend, it all feels so... awkward, fumbling around, since he obviously knows about as much about it as I do. I may be wrong, but I really don't want my wedding night to be like that. It just doesn't seem so special then. And if the guy I marry does know more about it than me, I'd feel so stupid having him teach me stuff on my own wedding night."
I listened to her rationalize on a subject that is overblown and turned into a quest for the holy grail, wondering about exactly what Tracy had taught her on that night.
She continued, "It'd be nice, I think, to have some knowledge I could use so that the guy wouldn't think that maybe he had made some big mistake in marrying such an ignorant and fumbling girl."
"I can understand that, I think. It'd be like taking a test on something you've never learned."
"Exactly!" she grinned, and my heart turned over a little at the sight. She was so beautiful, a grown woman one minute, and just a woman-child the next.
"But in order to learn the right things to do, you'd have to find a guy who is knowledgeable in this subject."
"Yeah," she sighed irritated, "And you see my dilemma."
A thought had already begun forming in my head, and I quashed it with much moral force, only to have it sprout up again. I'm sure you can figure it out easily. Each time it sprouted back up, I felt like a pervert for allowing it to fester even for a brief second. I happened to glance at her, and damned if I didn't see that glint in her eyes, same as before!
"I'm not sure if I could be much help in that regard," I told her in an attempt to quash the thought in my head, and perhaps her own as well, "After all, I am divorced, so apparently I'm not much of an authority on the subject."
I watched with both relief and disappointment as that glint left her eyes, and she regained some semblance of common sense, "Yeah... anyway, since you're home, and Andy's asleep, I guess I should go home."
I cleared my throat, "Um... okay, so how much do I owe you for tonight?"
She blinked, "Oh, yeah... well, two hours since you came home early, so sixteen dollars."
I extracted a twenty from my wallet, and she admitted, "Oh, I don't have any change. If you want, you can pay me tomorrow."
"It's okay, take it. You do a good job watching Andy, and he hasn't run you off yet."
She began to reach for the twenty spot, hesitated, and then took it, "Thank you so much. And... thank you for talking to me. It's nice to be able to talk to someone without all that pressure being put on me."
"It's no problem," I shrugged, "I'm happy to help."
As you can probably imagine, going to sleep became a moot issue. And as you can also surmise, my thoughts were extremely focused and unwilling to shut off. I managed a broken pattern of dozing off at around four-thirty in the morning. A long shower didn't do much to wash the weariness from my head, and a couple mugs of coffee did only marginally better. Andy woke up around eight-forty and trudged into the living room to watch his Saturday cartoons.
"Morning, champ," I flopped down into my recliner with my third cup of coffee.
"Morning Dad," he responded automatically, his eyes never leaving the TV. He was a stickler about his cartoons.
I watched a few minutes of the cartoon, and then headed upstairs. On impulse, I stopped at the upstairs bathroom. That same image I'd gone over last night began playing on a loop in my head, the wide eyes, the surprise of catching her with her pants down, literally (except that she was wearing shorts, can't forget that), those shorts around her ankles, panties at her calves, such smooth-looking, firm legs spread apart. And then, with no surprise whatsoever, I was sporting an almost painful erection.
My senses argued, railed at me to keep on walking and just forget it, head on forward to my room, get dressed, and get on with my day. There was no way I could be her mentor, not for that. She should learn from someone else, someone closer to her own age, not a divorced man with a six-year-old son. What would Andy say if he just happened to stroll on in while I was playing teacher with his babysitter? This was quite a rational argument, and obviously the right one. I opened the door to the upstairs bathroom and turned on the light, for an instant seeing Ellie there on the closed toilet, fingers meticulously busy bringing her to a self-stimulating orgasm. I stared at the toilet lid on which she'd sat, wondering perversely if she'd leaked any of her juices onto the lid. She wouldn't have thought to wipe them off, as she was busy yanking her panties and shorts up to chase after me.
"Good God!" I hissed suddenly after taking a step closer to the toilet, "Are you that damn depraved?"
That seemed to shake some sense into me. I flicked the switch and shut the door, rushing to my room with my obvious erection to point the way.
It was a picturesque Saturday, complete with small patches of puffy, white clouds, a piercingly blue sky, noisy birds in flight, neighbors walking dogs, a group of little girls drawing on a driveway with sidewalk chalk, the smell of fresh air, fresh grass clippings, and burning charcoal briquettes preparing to scorch some burgers or steaks. A few kids rolled by on bicycles, hooting and laughing, the essence of boyhood freedom. I encouraged Andy to get dressed, with promises of teaching him how to throw a Frisbee. He raced upstairs to his room.
It was slow going, teaching him how to curl the disc, when to let go, and how to catch it. I floated a few passes his way, but he couldn't seem to capture it. I encouraged him, telling him that he was doing pretty good for his first time with a Frisbee. He seemed heartened by that. We went out to lunch at a pretty snazzy burger place with over a dozen types of burgers, some of the best seasoned fries I'd ever tasted, and milkshakes so thick you could flip the cup and not lose a drop. We indulged, and I felt no guilt about that, considering the next few weeks he'd spend at his mother's place in California. No doubt she'd have him eating tofu burgers and soy fries. I don't agree with parents who let their kids eat until their weight balloons out of control, but I also don't believe in depriving my son of some of the simple delights of childhood. He could act like an adult and make grown-up decisions when it was his time to, but I refused to force it on him. Let children be children.
We finished our lunches and walked around town, window shopping here and there, gawking at everything. As we passed a clothing store for women, Andy looked up at me.
"Daddy, do you still love mommy?"
It happened here and there, often enough for me to wonder just how his perceptions could be se sharp, that he could seem so...wise.
"Well," I allowed, "I guess in a way, I'll always love your mother. We're just too different for us to be happy together."
"You mean because you're a boy and she's a girl?"
"Sometimes, yes, but mostly because the things she wants are different than the things I want."
"Oh," he tugged on his upper lip in a gesture of deep thought, seemingly too deep for a little kid.
"I want you to know," I got his attention, "Your mother and me splitting up was in no way your fault. There were problems even before you were born. We both love you."
"Okay, Daddy," he smiled, "Hey, can we rent a movie?"
The next morning, I felt a dark depression setting in as I saw Andy's mother 's Dodge Charger pull into my driveway. She got out, came up to me, and asked where Andy was.
"Hello, how are you?" I rolled my eyes, "Sure, I'm doing good, glad you asked."
"Can it," she replied coolly, "Where's Andy?"
As if on cue, Andy came outside with his cartoon-themed rolling suitcase.
"Hi, Mommy," he smiled.
"Are you ready to go?" Lori asked, almost completely ignoring me.
Andy nodded, "Sure, Mommy."
She stared at Andy for a few seconds, and then turned to me, "Have you been feeding him junk again? You know I hate that. He's got to eat healthier, not binging on chips and soda and greasy burgers."
Not really able to help myself, I joked, "It's only the finest lard and grease for our boy."
"Great," she threw her hands up in the air, "Sure, just make a big joke of it, and we'll see how you're joking when he dies at twenty-five of a heart attack. Is that what you're after?"
"Lori, don't you dare lecture me about our son's health. You'll end up malnourishing him with your endless tofu and bean sprout recipes. He needs meat just as much as he needs greens."
"You know," she shut me off completely, "I have better things to do than listen to your jabbering. I know what's best for my son, thank you very much."