Lessons in Love Ch. 02byCheleste©
This is another excerpt from the story I wrote called "The Stranger At The Well".
Rachel gave birth to a son, and she and Donald rejoiced in all they had accomplished together.
Zachary grew stronger and more alert day by day, as Rachel adjusted to their new life as a family of three.
She took a length of fabric and wound it around her back and over her shoulder, securing the baby close to her breast and tieing it around her waist. Now she could return to some of her less strenuous chores with Zachary slumped cozily against her.
She felt better to be working again, and found herself busier than she could remember ever being before Zachary had come. How could one small baby multiply her chores so?
Nevertheless, feeding him six to eight times a day, as well as washing his diapers, clothes, and blankets, and sewing new things for him all brought the days to a close much faster than she expected.
But she liked the work. She felt productive and worthwhile again. And now she had something to fill the hours while Donald was out working in the fields.
These thoughts filled her mind as she rubbed diapers on the washboard propped in the tub one summer afternoon. Suddenly, several tears spilled over her cheeks and dropped invisibly into the water sloshing over her hands.
Then why wasn't she happy?
She felt confused: hungry for something, but she didn't know what...Angry, even; yet not at Zachary, or Donald...Angry at the house; angry at the sun for shining and the rain for watering the crops and making them grow; angry at the corn for filling the husks and the peas for filling their pods; angry that the goat's udder grew heavy and the chickens were hungry! - Angry that all these things took Donald's attention and used up his energy!
She looked down at her fingers, and discovered she had rubbed them raw in the midst of her churning thoughts.
She sighed sharply, and sagged with forced compliance. It didn't do any good to resist nature. Working the land made long days, and that's just the way it was.
Donald came in, then, and Rachel wiped her cheeks brusquely with her wet hands.
He stepped up behind her and kissed her neck. She turned around and smiled at him.
"Hi," she said, unsuccessfully hiding the shakiness in her voice.
Donald frowned kindly and asked, "What's wrong?"
"I don't know," Rachel answered, averting her eyes.
"Come now, tell me," Donald coaxed.
"I don't know," Rachel answered. "Everything is fine. I'm feeling stronger, I have a beautiful baby and a husband who works hard to take care of me, I'm back to work..." she burst into tears. "My life is wonderful!" she blubbered.
Donald looked searchingly at her face, frowning to see the thoughts behind it.
"No it's not. You need something. What is it?"
She looked at him then.
"Well," she said. "I just - I just don't feel like you love me. I know you do. But I don't feel like it any more. It's like Zachary's using up my body, and - and there's none left for you. And it's ugly and fat, and, and - you don't want me any more!" Rachel burst into tears again.
Donald's eyes suddenly brightened.
"So, that's the problem," he deduced, moving his hand gently up to her neck and stroking her hair.
"Rachel, I knew you needed some time to heal after the baby, and I didn't want to hurt you. You know what?"
Rachel looked at him attentively.
"Some days out there," he motioned toward the door. "I wanted you so badly, I practically bruised the goat milking her. I beat the clods of dirt in the garden so hard, they flew in all directions!
"But I didn't want to pressure you. I guess I just quit touching you for fear it would make it harder. Rachel, if you only knew how hard I've been trying not to love you too much! Do you know what I mean?"
Rachel smiled through her tears then.
"Yes," she replied. "But would you please love me again till I can't stand it? I'd like to die from your love if I could. Make me miserable!"
Donald laughed then, scooped her up in his arms, and glanced at Zachary.
"He's asleep," he reassured, carrying her to the bed.
Donald leaned down and kissed Rachel hungrily, moving sensually over her mouth, which responded with equal voracity. He pulled her dress off with a jerk, nearly tearing the buttons, and she thrust her hands beneath his cotton shirt, lifting it to pull him against her full bared breasts.
Her parched body drank in his touch; luxuriated in the feeling of his skin against hers like the earth soaking up the rain after a long summer drought. He rained kisses over her neck and shoulders in a gentle shower.
Then it turned hot and humid as thunderclouds of desire began to roll through her, powerful and unrelenting. She kissed him again and again, urgently molding the muscles of his well-defined back.
Torrents of longing swept over her, drawing her deeper into the swirling tide building beneath them. She opened her mouth wide, taking him in with ravenous lips and tongue. She had never felt so hungry in all her life as she felt at this moment for Donald, and she strained against his body, pressing as if she could go through it.
"My God, Rachel!" Donald gasped, as she yanked the tie loose and pulled his trousers down. She felt more completely his than ever before, and though he had intended to restrain his ardor for her sake, he found his hardened body moving against hers with an insistence that was divorced from ration or mind.
Recklessly, Rachel pressed him inside her, thrusting against him. Somewhere in the back of her consciousness, she was aware of a dull ache inside, but the spasms of pleasure coursing through her drowned it out as cries not unlike those she had uttered at Zachary's birth tore through her throat and filled the tiny cottage.
Donald's muscles constricted as if to capture her cries, bringing them into his own body, and then releasing them again in long, guttural moans as tears spilled out of his eyes, dropping unashamedly onto Rachel below him.
His sobs continued to rock their bodies, still joined together, for many minutes. Rachel's eyes became moist as well.
As the fog lifted and her mind began to clear, she suddenly realized that something dark and fearful had left her in those moments. The exorcism left her feeling very calm, and very wise. Donald had felt it too. His tears continued to flow as he hugged her to him.
"Never again..." he whispered in a muffled voice against her hair. "Never again..."
"No," she shook her head. "No more; no more..."
"...No more fear; no more doubt; no more pain..." Donald continued for her.
Then they fell silent, waiting for their breathing to even out.
Rachel closed her eyes and gave herself over to the welcoming oblivion of sleep; and Donald rolled off her to sleep also while the afternoon sun warmed their tiny apartment.
* * * *
When Zachary's pleading cries filled the little room, Rachel awoke quickly and with a clear head, and took him to her breast willingly. She felt as if her whole world had been washed clean, and everything was sparkling. She could think without confusion; feel without pain; plan without fear.
Donald noticed the difference immediately, and in the days to come. It was as if in that one afternoon, she had turned from a girl into a woman. She made love passionately now, with intent and understanding, and often as initiator.
And not only was the change evident in bed, but in every other station of her office as well: her work was purposeful; her mothering was confident; her homemaking was warm and nurturing. For the first time since he had arrived, Donald felt that Rachel was taking care of him, rather than the reverse.
He began to see her cognisant of the strength she had always possessed: self-aware. And he gave thanks for the healing power of love.