Is This It?byijay©
The morning felt gloomy; though it shouldn't come as a surprise to me considering I feel this way almost every morning. I have such a pessimistic view of life that I don't think anything could ever cheer me up. My mornings in the hospital—yes, I'm a doctor—always follow the same bore some route -- come in by 8.00 am, do my rounds with nurse Jennifer on tow. I always ask my patients the same questions and I always give them the same re-assurances.
I live a very boring life. The hospital is mostly my whole life, yet, I'm not happy there. I live alone in my small 3 bed room duplex. Any form of commitment scares the shit out of me. I am not committed neither do I want to be. I have a standing arrangement with my neighbor, who comes around every Tuesdays and Fridays to fuck my brains out after doing some joint -- just plain sex, no strings. My neighbor Richard is not totally turn-head handsome, but he is neat; which is exactly what really matters to me. The sex is not exactly great but I usually manage to get off which helps a lot in reducing the stress.
I live a shitty life. I spend most of my time at the hospital. When I do get home late in the evening, I smoke till I get blurry eyed, and then fell into bed and toss around till morning. I don't know what is wrong with me. I feel that I am going gradually insane, rolling down the hill. I even went to see a couple of therapists for awhile, but, I had to stop whenever they started getting too close.
Presently, I concluded my rounds and entered the doctors' lounge. I went straight to the coffee maker and brewed a cup for myself. I turned around and nodded to a few of my colleagues around before taking a seat. Immediately I sat, the door opens and in walks Dr. Bette Grandfield. She waltzed in and bestowed a radiant smile on everyone in the room before grabbing her own coffee.
I sat sipping my coffee, watching Dr. Grandfield chatting up the guys. I watch them silently, almost jealously at the ease with which she could rapport with them. As the guys start leaving, one after the other, Dr. Grandfield turn and start walking towards me. When she got to me, she mumbled something and sat down. I turned my head in her direction and she gave me a radiant smile. She had an easy take on life and why wouldn't she? She is just pure blond with matching blue eyes, a very beautiful face and body to rhyme. And she is tall too but I am an inch taller than her, which will make her 5: 10". So, I'm guessing she should be happy because like me, she is not saddled with a skin color that left you hanging -- too white to pass for black and not white enough to belong there, either. All through school, all my black friends never really trusted me. They all viewed me as an outsider and a traitor among them because they believed I can easily claim to be white if any problem arises. It got so bad I decided to stay on my own and that's how I have been since, which is the least of my problems.
I turned away from Dr. Grandfield and concentrate on my coffee.
"How is your morning so far?" she asks.
She has a very deep voice which can still go deeper if she reduced her voice to a whisper which I have seen her done a few times while trying to calm a patient. I don't know why she keeps doing this. This is the third week in a row. She should know by now that I am not interested in chatting with her.
"It went fine," I mumbled at her.
This is how she usually starts her banter and she doesn't stop until I walk out on her. As she chattered on, the room empties out until its remaining just us. I was thinking of a polite way to make my exit without seeming rude.
I felt a chill ran through my body. I turned to look at her. This is the first time she is using my name and it felt nice to hear it after such a long time away from home. Even my neighbor Richard calls me "Dr. Brown".
"Yes?'' I answered with one raised brow.
"Why are you so unhappy?" She asked, looking me square in the face.
I blinked at her. Talk of surprises. I thought of evading the question but the stare she fixed on me shows she is prepared, but I still had to try.
"You heard me" she said as she cocked her head to one side still staring at me.
"And who told you I am unhappy?" I shot back with a little attitude.
"Nadia, even a blind man can sense the sadness in you. You always keep to yourself; you hardly
talk to anyone except on professional level. Since I've been here, I hardly seen you smile. I don't even know if you know how to. What is it? What is wrong? Tell me."
As she talked, she reached out a hand and touched mine still grasping my mug. I started feeling sorry for myself. I looked at her again. I very much wanted to open up to her. She seems like somebody that will understand, but I can't trust her. I find it quite hard to trust, I just want to run from her.
"I am not unhappy", I told her softly still looking at my hands.
"Yes you are. I've never seen anyone sadder". She reached out a hand towards me and I instinctively jerked back. I hate to be touched when I'm not prepared for it. But notwithstanding my jerking back, she stretched out her hand and touched my face tenderly. And that did it; I snapped.
"And who made you the judge over me? How dare you sit there and think you know me just because your life is perfect? What do you know about my life? Who gave you the right?" I said standing.
I know I am shouting but I couldn't stop. I am so angry I thought I could hit her. From the look on her face, I know she is shocked by my outburst, but I feel so rage. I couldn't remember the last time I felt so enraged --probably before I entered medical school.
"I am not judging you, Nadia. I just want to..." she tried to explain standing too.
"Oh shut up! You want to understand why I am so sad? Ok, I will tell you --do you know how it feels to grow up not knowing where you belong; whether you are black or white? No one group willing to accept you because of fear of the other? To grow up, not having a single friend? To be all alone in the whole world?'' I paused to take a breather.
I could feel the hot tears on my cheeks, but, now I couldn't care less. I just wanted the load off my chest now that I have someone to download them on. I could feel myself shaking all over.
"Do you still want to understand?" I gushed out expelling a shaky breath. She had a sad look on her face which infuriated me even more.
"Nadia..." she started.
"Don't call me that! Don't ever call me that!" I shouted at her, all the while poking a finger in her soft chest.
I whirled around to leave. I felt her grab my arm and flipped me around to face her again. I looked into her eyes, surprised at her strength and an instant later, I felt her lips on mine. She has very soft lips and for an instant, I lost all sense of reasoning and returned the kiss with careless abandon while clinging on her like a life- line.
The kiss lasted for a minute, then, I pushed her off. I could feel my legs shaking. I feel like I will crumble to the floor, but I still manage to look her boldly in the face.
"I am so sorry. I...I ... I'm ... I don't know..." she began.
"Stay away from me", I said in ice cold voice and started walking away from her. I wanted to run but forced myself to take one step at a time until I exited.
All through the week and the next, I managed to avoid Dr. Grandfield as best as I could. I rarely enter the doctors' lounge for morning coffee anymore for fear of meeting her there. Up till now, I could hardly make sense of the kiss. It left me weak- kneed and scared the hell out of me. I have never kissed another girl before, hell! I never even had a friend to kiss and I know that if I hadn't been raped at seventeen, I could still probably be a virgin. That's how great my life is.
3 weeks after my encounter with Dr. Grandfield, I've managed to put the incident behind me and continued with my boring routine.
Friday night saw me sitting on my couch smoking myself to stupor while waiting for my neighbor to come for our standing appointment. I wonder why he is late today. I am on my 15th stick when the door bell rang. I got up and staggered to the door and flung it open thinking it is Richard, but lo! There she stood, Dr. Grandfield in all her glory. My heart accelerated from beating to jumping in my chest as I eyed her suspiciously.
"May I come in?" she asked softly.
"Why?" I asked blocking the door way
"I feel I owe you an apology and I need to explain something to you," she said.
I stepped back a little and she brushed past me and I felt the chill again. I gingerly followed her into my sitting room and sat down across from her. I sit patiently waiting for her to say something. Rather she sat quietly staring at her hands. Minutes later, she looked up to me and smiled.
"Can I have something to drink?" she asked.
"Coffee?" I offered.
She nodded and gave me a tiny smile. I walked into my kitchen and got out a goblet and poured a white wine into it. There is no way I am brewing my de-caffeinated coffee for her. I carried the wine into the sitting room and watch her watch me as I sip from it before handing it to her. She took it and held it, making no attempt to drink it. She looked up at me and I stared down at her daring her to complain.
"Thank you," she said instead
I nodded and went back to my seat.
"I'm sorry about what happened. I shouldn't have drilled you like that. I'm still ashamed at the way I attacked you. I've never done anything like that in my life before, just that you look so cute when you are angry."
As she said that, she stopped and looked at me. I continued staring at her silently. Maybe she is waiting for me to say something. As I didn't do anything, she continued.
"I know it's not an excuse. I very much want to understand you, though I set out doing that on the wrong foot but you're very beautiful to spend your life alone, you need someone in your life."
She stopped again; waiting .She is probably right about me being beautiful -- I have a fair skin, almost white but not quite, with big brown eyes which is the only thing my black father ever gave me. My nose is well defined and pointed, sitting proudly on my oval face guarded by high cheek bones. My paternal grandma once described me as having a proud face -- which is her way of telling me I'm pretty; considering what she believes about not telling children of their beauty. I know I still look okay after all these years, although I don't care how I look anymore.
"Are you giving me the silent treatment?" she asked. I almost laughed, except I have forgotten how to.
"No," I said shaking my head.
"You said you grew up alone, you never had any friends, but I see a huge wall you fenced around yourself which you refuse to let down for anybody to cross and come close to you." She continued.
"Dr. Grandfield, you don't know anything about my life." I told her quietly.
I don't want a repeat of what happened the last time at the hospital. So, I am working real hard to be calm and control my voice.
"Then, make me know. I've known you for a while now, yet, you are still being so formal with me. Why can't you open...?"
"I think you should leave," I said cutting her off.
She blinked at me several times as it dawned on her that I want her out. Yet, she sat there staring me in the eyes for a while.
"Why?" she asked still making no attempt to get up.
"I don't have time for your idle banter," I said with a straight face.
"Does my presence here distract you?" she asked.
And that did it. I lost it again. What is she trying to prove? Just because I didn't press' sexual harassment' charges on her, she thinks she can do anything? I jumped up from my seat and crossed over to her .I am so angry I couldn't see where I'm going. When I got to her, I grab her hand and pulled her up, knocking the wine out of her hand. I watched her as in a slow motion, holding my breath, but she didn't flinch as the liquid splashed and ran down her chest soaking her pink shirt. I started backing us towards the front door, pulling her along with me. I backed us into the centre table and we went flying. I can feel myself hanging in the air and then I hit the floor on my butt and Dr. Grandfield landed on top of me hard, knocking the breath from my lungs as she pins me to the floor.
Her body feels so soft against mine. I could feel her breathe on my face and the tantalizing smell of her perfume. It feels so good to have her on top of me. She started getting up from me but I pulled her down on top of me again. Her blue eyes stared into my brown ones. Then, she leaned down and took my mouth into hers. This time, I wanted her to and couldn't deny it. I let all my inhibitions down and opened my mouth to her. She drew my tongue into her mouth and started caressing it with her own tongue.
She is a very good kisser; she does all sorts of things with her mouth and tongue. And since I hadn't had much practice in kissing and sex in general, all I could do is to open myself to her and be a willing student. I especially love the way she breathes as she kisses me, almost as if she is choking. She ran her hands all over me, stopping on my breasts, she pinched my nipples and I moaned breaking the kiss. I opened my eyes and pulled away from her. She leaned up a little and looked at me with hooded eyes filled with passion.
"My name is Bette," she said touching my face lovingly.
"I know," I croaked at her.
"I want to hear you say it,'' she continued caressing my face.
I cleared my throat and tried again.
"Bette," I said and she smiled
"Isn't that so easy, Nadia?" She asks.
"Yes, Bette," I replied.
As I looked up at her, she bent down and kissed my forehead tenderly.
"What is happening?" I asked her confused.
"Nothing, just relax and do whatever you feel like." She said caressing my face.
"I still want to kiss you," I respond.
"Then you can." She said and smiled down at me.
I reached up and started pulling her towards me. As our lips touched, my door bell went off. We both jumped at the sound.
"Fuck!" I swore into her mouth. She gave me a quick kiss and got up from my body.
As she stood, she looked down her body and touched the wet wine stain on her blouse.
"I'm sorry about that." I mumbled as I got up from the floor, my t—shirt is wet too.
I wobbled to the door and opened it to my neighbor, Richard. We stood whispering by the door for a long while. He couldn't understand why I couldn't discharge who ever I was with to honor our long standing appointment. I kept explaining to him, over and over again, until I got fed up and shut the door on his face.
"Hope I'm not keeping you from anything?" Bette said as I walked back to the sitting room.
I shook my head 'no' and mumbled my excuse as I walked past her down the hall to my bedroom. I pulled the door close and slid off my wet t- shirt. I got a new one from the drawer and pulled it on. I also pulled another one for Bette so she could change out of her wet shirt. I entered the living room and thrust the t-shirt at her; without taking it from me, Bette, pulled off her wet blouse.
My breath caught in my throat. Her skin is perfect; smooth and supple, with the right color tan. Her breasts are medium sized and I can see the outline of her nipples through her bra. Her breasts rises and falls in rhythm with her breathing. Her stomach is flat and hard, I can see the muscles on her arms and torso as she stood facing me. She looked so much like an athlete that I wonder how her work- out schedule is. As I stood ogling her body, I felt a thug on my arm and looked down; Bette was trying to take the t-shirt from my hand.
"I could have loved nothing more than to stand here and let you eat me up with your eyes, but I'm so cold. So, please, can I have the shirt? Please?" she smiled sweetly at me.
"Of course." I answered stupidly as I released the shirt.
I felt the color rising to my face. I can't believe I am blushing like a teenager. Bette laughed and hit my arm jokingly.
"God, you are so gay!" she said still laughing.
"No, I am not." I replied turning away.
To preserve the little dignity I had left, I grabbed her discarded blouse and start heading to my spare room where my washer is.
"Where are you going?"
''To dump this into the washer. Why?" I asked back.
"You're going to wash it now? I can't go back home naked." She said.
"In this weather? You're planning to leave now?" I asked alarmed.
"It will probably lessen in an hour." She said shrugging
"It looks like it is worsening to me." I said and walked out.
As I stepped out of the room I saw her going towards the windows, probably to check the weather. It saddens me that she wished to leave tonight. I would've really loved it if she could stay over so I could explore this thing I found with her. This ... this feeling. I dump the blouse into the washer and poured in the detergent and hit the start button.
As I exited the room, the light flickered and went off. Everywhere became pitch black. I couldn't see. I can feel the panic rising within me. The demons are coming to get me—the three of them. I need to get to a light. I need to regain control. I can't lose it, no, not while she is here. I started walking towards where I believe is the direction of my sitting room, but I couldn't make it. My legs felt like leads and wouldn't move from the floor. I could feel their hands tearing my legs apart. Tears are pouring down my face and I could feel the darkness enveloping me. I need the light desperately. I need to be in control, maybe she can help. I am beginning to lose my breath. In a few minutes, I could be dead. No!
She answered. She must have felt the panic in my voice because in the next instant, she was kneeling beside me. She is holding a small light which I'm guessing must be coming from her cell- phone. It couldn't help me because the panic has already set in.
"What is it? Baby, answer me, did you hurt yourself?" she asked wiping the tears from my cheeks.
She ran the tiny light all over my body, probably checking for the wound. I can feel the confusion in her voice and I want to reassure her, but how can I do that when I'm being choked to death by those hands, while the other is dragging me to hell? I clung to her as tight as I could.
"Nadia, it's ok. Just relax."
"They... they...l...light...hurt...light..." I managed to choke out.
"Baby, nobody is hurting you? Just relax; the light will come back on. Just look at me baby. Look at me.'' She said softly cradling my head.
I could feel her soothing voice at the back of my mind and it made me feel a little safe. The attacks started immediately after the rape, then, later the nightmares. But the nightmares and the crawling sensation I get whenever I was touched, stopped later but I still have the attacks once in a while. But, I haven't had them since I finished medical school. This is the worst I've had though, and in her presence too. I've probably spooked her off.
"Nadia, baby look at me. Please." She pleaded with me, pointing the light to her face.
I could hear her voice over the war raging in my head. I managed to focus on her eyes and the understanding there. I felt happy that she is not feeling sorry for me.
"Good, baby you are doing great. Now take a deep breath. Do it with me."
We both took a deep breath and hold it in a little before releasing. When I expelled the breath, I felt a little better, so I took another one and another.
"See? Come." She smiled down at me as she got up.
She pulled me up and I fell against her because I'm still shaking very badly. She half carried and half dragged me into the sitting room. She dumped me into the couch and sat beside me wiping the sweat and tears from my face. I could still feel them circling around trying to grab a hold of me, so, I climbed into her laps and hugged her tight to myself. We sat like that for eternity, her hand stroking my back as she rocked me.