I first met her when I arrived for a staff meeting, three days before the start of the new school year. We arrived at the door to the conference room at the same time and our eyes met. Hers were a beautiful shade of green, catlike, the kind of eyes that you could drown in. She smiled as we both reached for the doorknob, a radiant, friendly smile.
"Hi," she said, her hand halting in its quest, as did mine. "You must be the new third grade teacher."
"That I am," I replied, my eyes surreptitiously taking in her form. She was quite attractive, of that there was no mistaking. Her hair was a light shade of blonde, her lips full and very alluring. She had the kind of face that radiated innocence. Her body was well formed and soft looking, with pert breasts that poked out from the sleeveless blouse she wore in a most mouth watering way. "I'm Tom Baker."
"Amy Darling," she said, her smile flashing again. "I'm one of the kindergarten teachers."
She held out her right hand to me and I shook it. As I did, my eyes dropped to her left hand, taking a quick glance at the ring finger there. It was bare of a wedding or engagement ring. This perked up my interest immediately. Having been divorced for just over two years now, I had not been in a serious relationship, or even a not-so-serious relationship for well over eight months. Here, right before me on my first day, was a potential prospect. I gave her my own smile.
"It's very nice to meet you," I told her. "I don't know many people here yet. This seems like a very nice school."
"It's great here," she assured me. "The principal is nice, the kids are mostly from middle class families and well behaved. You came from Edison, right?"
"Oh yes," I said, a hint of dramatic weariness in my tone. Thomas Edison Elementary, my last assignment, was in the very worst neighborhood that the Heritage Unified School District covered. A year there was like five years elsewhere. "How did you know that?"
"You're friends with Greg Rollins, aren't you?" she asked. "He was telling me about you the other day. He said you were desperate to get out of Edison."
"Yes, Greg's been a great help getting my transfer approved," I said. "And he's right. I was getting pretty fried at Edison. It'll be nice to teach somewhere where most of the kids don't have parents with prison records."
"I hear horror stories about the inner city schools," she almost whispered. "I don't know how people can teach there."
"The stories are true, I assure you. Have you been here long?"
"About three years," she said. "I think I just might stay my career here. Trust me. You're gonna love it."
I looked directly into her eyes, letting a flirtatious light come into mine. "I'm sure I will," I told her.
She smiled in return and I felt the first stirrings of a connection between us. As we entered the meeting I felt a warm glow. Several times, while the principal welcomed us to the school year and went over some new policies and procedures we would be expected to follow, I glanced over at her. Twice she returned my gaze and smiled. The warm glow increased. Yes, there was definitely a connection there.
Greg Rollins had been one of my classmates at CSUH and we had been friends ever since. Both of us had decided to use our college degrees not to pursue riches or fame but to get teaching credentials and take on the challenge of elementary school education. We both taught third grade, which is perhaps the most favored grade to teach in our profession. The kids in third grade are old enough to have learned manners but young enough not to have reached the rebellion stage. Greg had been at Winthrop Marks Elementary in the fashionable suburb of Whispering Oaks since his first year. He had connections on the school board you see. Greg was one of those guys who had connections for everything. It was after a drunken night in a bar the previous year that he'd offered to use his connections to secure a transfer to Marks for me. I'd been just drunk enough to take him up on his offer. And now, true to his word, here I was, the newest member of the faculty in a position that it might have otherwise taken me another six or seven years to achieve on my own.
Greg and I went out for a beer after the meeting that first day, to a nearby pub with a friendly atmosphere. As we sat down to drink our brew I marveled at the fact that I wouldn't have dared walk into any drinking establishment within ten square miles of Edison.
"It looks like you caught the eye of our little Miss Darling," Greg told me as we sipped and listened to modern rock coming from the jukebox. "She was making goo-goo eyes at you all through the meeting."
"I noticed that," I said, still thinking of that innocent face, that soft body. "What's the story with her? She single or what?"
He chuckled, shaking his head a little. "Oh, she's single all right," he said. "And for very good reason."
"Oh? What is it? Is she a bitch or something?"
"No, she's not a bitch. She's actually one of the sweetest, nicest, most even tempered women you'll ever meet."
"Then what's the problem?"
He took a sip of his beer and looked at me pointedly. "The problem is that she doesn't give it up."
I shrugged. "So she's hard to get into. All you have to do is put in a little work."
"No, you don't understand," he said. "I mean she doesn't give it up at all. Ever. To anyone. She's a virgin."
I looked at him suspiciously. "A virgin?" I said. "You've got to be shitting me."
"No shit," he said. "She's religious. Goes to church every Sunday and Wednesday night. She took six months off last year so she could go on a missionary assignment and bring the word of The Lord to some natives in Brazil. And she most assuredly is not going to let anyone inside her heavenly gates until they walk down the aisle with her. Believe me. Many have tried. Miss Darling has herself a perfect record."
"How do you know all this?" I asked, unable to believe that a beautiful woman in her late twenties, no matter how religious, could possibly be a virgin. I mean after all, she'd gone to college, right? How could one go through four years of college without getting laid at least once?
"It's common knowledge, my man," he told me. "Ask anyone. Hell, ask her, she'll tell you. She's saving herself for her husband. She has dated most of the single teachers here, she's dated some of the divorced professionals whose kids go to the school, she's dated one of our assistant principals and even a member of the school board. All of them have said she's a sweetheart, the ideal woman, but they've all broken up with her because she won't do anything more than kiss them goodnight. And we're talking after the tenth, twentieth, hundredth date here. Hell, one of the divorced guys she dated was a doctor, a fucking doctor, and she wouldn't give it up to him."
"A doctor couldn't score with her?" I said in fearful awe. "My God."
"So unless you're into terminal frustration, I'd leave her alone. She's good to have as a friend, she's a great kindergarten teacher, and she's always tops in fundraising for the PTA drive, but she's a lousy girlfriend."
The school year began and I found most of my expectations of what teaching at Marks would be like were met quite nicely. For the most part my kids were polite and well-mannered eight and nine year olds, their parents were helpful, naïve professionals, and the problem families were the exception instead of the rule. I was accepted quite readily as a member of the faculty, most of whom were like a close knit family to each other. And of course as I made more friends, particularly among the male teachers, I received multiple independent confirmations of Miss Darling's status as resident churchgoing virgin. The tales of sexual frustration at her hands were told to me by those that had personally experienced it and those who had witnessed it. The furthest anyone had ever gotten with her had been Jack Balentine, who taught sixth grade. After five solid months of dating her he had progressed to the point where he was able to occasionally, when things became really heated between them, fondle her breast through her shirt.
"It's the softest, most squeezable tit I've ever had the privilege of putting my hand on," he told me as we played racquetball one afternoon in late September. "And she's really a lovable, sweet girl. The kind you're proud to take home to meet your mother. But finally I just couldn't take it anymore. All those nights of blue balls just got too much for me. It got to where I was thinking of asking her to marry me just so I could bang her. That's when I knew it was time to get out."
I commiserated with him and with the others who told me their sad tales of sexual frustration. And I made a vow to myself that I would not become involved with her in any manner beyond simple friendship. Though I was certainly not the sort of man who expected to get laid just because I took a woman out for dinner once or twice, neither was I the sort who was prepared to maintain an extended, monogamous relationship with a woman that did not include sex until the marriage vows were spoken. I was, after all, a healthy, virile man in my early thirties. I needed to get laid once in a while. And I sure as shit wasn't ready to get married again after the hell of a marriage that I had left behind. Such thoughts did not even bear contemplation.
The problem was, she was not that easy to just dismiss as merely a friend. Something clicked between the two of us, of that there was no doubt. That moment of electricity we experienced at our first meeting was only the beginning. We saw each other every workday and my infatuation with her grew until it was almost an obsession. Part of it was her physical attractiveness. She was no supermodel, no movie star, but all the same she was a very attractive woman, one that just radiated simple magnificence. She looked like the personification of the proverbial girl next door, of the glowing church girl and Girl Scout who had grown up into an all-American beauty. The faculty dress code at Marks was fairly liberal and during those hot early-Autumn months I would see her dressed in shorts and frilly blouses, in knee-length skirts that showed off her tanned legs. I would see the swell of those perfect breasts, see that radiant smile, and I would ache with wanting for her.
Apart from the physical attraction I felt for her there was an emotional one as well. As I had been told time and time again, Amy Darling was a warm, caring, sweetheart of a woman. She was intelligent and could hold a decent conversation. She was fun to be around. We began having lunch together in the faculty cafeteria and it was quite plain that she was attracted to me as well. Her flirtations were gentle, never bawdy or crude, but they were there and I knew by the second week in September that if I asked her out she would gladly accept.
I held out until mid-October before I finally caved and asked her to a movie. By then our mutual affection for each other was common knowledge among the rest of the faculty and they were all poised to watch another poor slob take his turn at the alter of frustration. I had no illusions that I was going to be the one to finally make her break her vow of pre-marital chastity, had no thoughts that my prowess as a lover was going to push her over the edge into the land of sexual bliss. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into by taking this first step and I wondered even as I was taking it just what the hell I was doing. I was not going to marry her so she was not going to do anything more than kiss me. Period. But I couldn't help myself. I wanted to spend more time with her than just our lunch periods and breaks at the school. I wanted to get to know her better, to talk to her outside the school. I felt compelled in some way I'd never experienced before.
She accepted my date, as I had known she would, and we made our plans. We found we were both wanting to see a new science fiction flick that had just been released a few weeks before and so on a Friday night I picked her up at her small apartment in Lemon Hill and we drove to the multiplex. We had a wonderful time and the only physical contact I had with her was when she touched my shoulder halfway through the movie to ask me a question about the plot. Even that simple touch was enough to send chills of desire through my body. At the end of the date, as I walked her to her door, she thanked me politely and told me what a good time she had had. She slipped inside a moment later, after one last goodbye. She never gave me an opportunity to give her a good night kiss.
That date led to another and then yet another. We went to dinner at a nice restaurant. We went to a play in downtown Heritage. Both times I enjoyed her company greatly and was reasonably sure that she enjoyed mine. The most I got for physical affection was a slight squeeze on the hand just before she stepped in her door on date number three. I went home that night, as I had on the previous dates, and masturbated while thinking about her soft body against mine.
We dated for nearly a month before I finally kissed her. I invited her over to my house for a home-cooked dinner. I grilled us a couple of nice steaks and we shared a bottle of wine. Afterward, we sat together on my couch and watched a movie on my DVD player. It was a love story, one of the ones men hate but the women fawn over. About halfway through, during one of the more touching scenes, I put my arm around her shoulders, pulling her against me. For the first time I felt that body touching mine. It was thrilling and it gave me a charge of sexual and emotional excitement unlike anything I'd felt since I was a teenager experiencing female affection for the first time. Granted it was only my arm around her shoulders, my leg in contact with hers, her hair touching my shoulder, but I could now feel that soft flesh, could smell the exciting scent of her shampoo. She snuggled into me and we sat contentedly that way for the rest of the movie. When the credits started to roll she turned her face up to me. Our lips came together, a soft touch of flesh against flesh, just a little more than a sisterly kiss in the mechanics but something quite exceptional in the execution.
And that was it. She hummed a little as our lips parted and snuggled back into me. I did not try to repeat the kiss. I simply enjoyed the feel of her against me while she was still there.
"I like being with you," she said softly, turning her face up to look at me once again. This time her expression was serious.
"I like being with you too," I said.
"We're getting to the point where I think we should have a little talk though," she said. "Before things go any further."
"Okay," I said slowly, already having a good idea of what she was going to say.
"I won't pretend you haven't heard the stories about me," she said. "And you don't have to pretend that you haven't heard them as well."
"The stories," she confirmed. "You know what I'm talking about."
"I guess I do," I reluctantly admitted.
"They're true," she said quietly. "I've never... been with a man before. And I don't have any intention of being with one until I'm married.
"I see," I said, unsure what the proper response was in such a situation.
"I know you think that makes me horribly old fashioned and prudish, and maybe it does, but I was brought up in a very religious family. I was raised to believe that sex before marriage is a sin, that it's wrong."
"And I believe that it's a sin. I believe that it's wrong to give yourself to a man without benefit of marriage. Do you understand that too?"
"Yes," I said.
"I know everyone else does it, but that doesn't make it right. I won't compromise my beliefs. That's what I wanted you to know. I've found that the sooner I get that upfront when I get a new boyfriend—because that's kind of what you are now, right?"
"I guess I am," I told her.
She smiled, her radiant, innocent smile. "I guess you are too. But anyway, the sooner I get that up front, the fewer problems it creates later. I like you very much, Tom. I think we fit together very well. You're funny and I like being with you and spending time with you. I think that maybe we can make things work together, you know?"
"Yes, I feel the same way," I admitted.
"But I just want you to know now... now that we've kissed, that we won't be doing... well... anything else together. Physically that is. I'm saving... that part of myself for my future husband, whoever that might be. I've heard all of the arguments as to why I should sleep with someone and none of them phase me. It won't be happening. Not unless we're married. Not that I'm trying to get you to marry me or anything, it's just that our physical relationship will not go any further right now. Am I making sense?"
"Yes, Amy," I said. "You're making sense."
She stiffened a little against me, her emotions becoming harder. "So... so if you think that you can't... you know... handle that, we should probably just stop seeing each other now. I won't have any hard feelings for you and I'll still be your friend, but it would best to end what's going on between us now, before we get any closer to each other, if that's going to be a big problem."
I didn't answer her for a moment. I could tell, just by the tone of her voice, just by the way I'd gotten to know her over the past few months, that there was no compromising with her position. I also had the testimony of many others that had gone before me. I knew that I should just do what she was suggesting and call an end to this relationship before it went any further. Our goals were incompatible. I was not looking to get married and she was. I was looking for a woman that I could spend time with and who would help me relieve the sexual build-up that was raging inside of me. She was willing to do the former but not the latter. There really was no good reason to continue on the path we were on. But I articulated none of these thoughts to her. Instead, I said, "Why don't you stay for a little while longer? I like sitting with you like this."
Her smile was the biggest, most loving one yet. She snuggled back into me and we sat there for the next hour, watching TV and just enjoying the closeness. When she left my house that evening we shared one more kiss, another brief but powerful one.
We continued to see each other as the school year wound onward. We would talk during each school day and we would usually go out somewhere either on Friday or Saturday night. We saw movies and went to parties. We went skiing at the Lake Tahoe resorts once the snow started to fall up there. In most ways she was the perfect girlfriend. I genuinely enjoyed her company and she enjoyed mine. I could talk to her about almost anything; my hopes, my dreams, my failures. She similarly opened her heart to me, telling me of her past frustrations as a result of her religious views and upbringing. I even brought her to my parents' house to meet them. My mother declared her to be a "very nice girl", her ultimate praise.
But by the time December rolled around I well understood why every other man she had dated broke up with her. She was so desirable yet unobtainable. Being close to her on dates, at school, she was affectionate enough to let me feel the soft touch of her against me from time to time. She would give spontaneous hugs, which would allow her breasts to push against my chest. We would walk hand and hand when we were out together. We would briefly kiss on occasion during or after our dates, little pecks on the lips. Through all of this I could feel sexual desire radiating off of her, could tell that she wanted more than she was offering. But her resolve remained firm. So far our tongues hadn't even touched. We hadn't even had enough contact for me to develop a good case of blue balls. But God how I wanted her. I could picture her naked body perfectly in my mind. Hers was the only image I could jack-off to and I did it a lot, at least once a day. But as I did so it was with the knowledge that I was never going to really have her. Never.