A Backward GlanceChapter 14
Turns out there was good reason why our "date" had to be on Friday. I didn't find out about it right away. Ruby stayed away from me while Frank was home. I tried to stay away from her the rest of the time.
The job Frank had in mind for me was with a landscaping company. I think he was looking for something that appealed to him; I applied for that job, but then I applied for a job I saw in the newspaper, too, with a construction company.
Thursday night, at the supper table, Frank said, "I have a convention this weekend, up north. I'm planning on leaving right from the office tomorrow night. Do you two think you can manage to get along by yourselves for a couple of days?"
Ruby smiled that smile of hers. "Of course we can. Can't we, Wendell?"
I didn't say anything.
"I'll be back on Sunday. If you don't hear anything about those jobs, Wendell, before I get back, we'll go on Monday and check on them. OK?"
He hesitated. "I'm one of the speakers. I really have to be there."
I nodded. "OK."
He hesitated again. "I have this feeling that I shouldn't be leaving right now. I don't know why."
Ruby leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. "We'll be fine. We'll miss you, but we'll be right here when you get back. You should go and have fun."
Frank grinned. "OK. I'm just being silly."
He hesitated Friday morning, too, before leaving for his office. "Wendell…..will you be all right? I know you've had some things bothering you lately."
I wanted to tell him to stay home. The words came up in my throat; I almost said them. But he'd wanna know why. And what could I say? 'Don't go, 'cause I don't wanna end up naked with your wife?' Uh-huh. I could imagine what kinda reaction that'd get.
If I coulda just figured out exactly how I felt about the whole thing, it'd be a whole lot easier. Frank was an OK guy. I didn't wanna do anything bad to him. I was beginning to kinda like him a little. And I think it's wrong for married people to play around on the outside. If you don't wanna be married, then don't get married. Married or not married, just decide and then do that. You know?
But I did wanna end up naked with his wife. Whenever she was around, my body went into overdrive. If she touched me, my brain went into neutral. I tried to stay outta her way. I tried not to think about her. Just couldn't do it and I couldn't figure just why.
Maybe if we went ahead and did it once, that would take care of it. Maybe if we spent the afternoon in bed, then that'd be enough, and I'd be able to sleep at night.
I guess I'da been surprised if it worked out like that, but I figured it was worth a shot. Since I couldn't stay away from her, anyway.
"I'll be fine," I said.
Frank said, "I'll be back on Sunday. I can take Monday off if we need to, if anything comes up……."
Ruby said, "You worry too much. Go and enjoy yourself. Maybe Wendell and I will think of something to do to have some fun, just the two of us, while you're gone."
Ruby had balls. Or maybe she just didn't care. It apparently reassured Frank, and he got in his car, and drove down the street. I felt bad, like I was never gonna see him again.
"Well, honey," Ruby said, "Can you think of something fun to do?"
When I didn't say anything, she laughed. "Oh, come on. Surely you can think of something. How about a game of pinochle? That sound like fun?" She was having a good time. Enjoying herself.
She stood up, and walked around behind me. When she put an arm around my neck, and turned my chin back toward her with the other hand, I knew why she liked to be behind me. It was so I couldn't reach her, couldn't hold her, and she could do what she wanted, and stop when she wanted, and what I wanted didn't matter.
It was a long kiss. Long and deep, and I was so hot by the end of it, I wouldn'ta been surprised to see smoke coming outta my clothes. I had my hand in her hair. She pulled my fingers loose, and stepped back. I watched her leave the room and go up the stairs, and she didn't look back once.
I figured I was supposed to follow her. So I did that. She'd gone down to her and Frank's bedroom, and the door was closed. I stopped outside the door, took a deep breath, and tried the knob.
The door was locked. Of course.
I thought maybe she was waiting for me to ask what the matter was, to ask to come in, maybe she wanted me to beg. I don't know. I didn't do any of those things. I stood outside the door for a few minutes, listening to her laugh. She started to say something to me through the door, but I didn't stay to listen.………………………..
Fifteen-year-olds lay around a lot thinking about stuff. I know I did. I lay on top of my bed till the middle of the afternoon, with my door shut. I was pissed again, or at least I was trying to be, so I didn't feel like such a fool. Thinking, thinking, stoking the fire in my gut, trying to crowd out the pain in my chest.
Ruby could go fuck herself. And that's what I was gonna tell her if she had the guts to so much as look at me wrong. I'd tell her where to go, and she'd be surprised, and then I'd push her out the door, and slam it shut, and then she'd be the one standing on the outside, asking to come in. Piss on her.
Wasn't gonna play with me anymore and get away with it. She thought she was dealing with a kid, but if she tried anything funny again, she'd find out. I wasn't putting up with that shit from now on.
And she wasn't gonna make me leave. If I wanted to stay here, I'd stay, and she could like it or lump it. Piss on her.
Now, if I could just get the picture of her bare breasts out of my mind…….………………..
Knocked on my door, once, twice, and then she pushed it open.
"Wendell, honey, what have you been doing in here all day? It'll be suppertime soon. We haven't done anything fun yet." She looked like the cat, you know, like the one with the canary? I guess I was the canary. Maybe that's what she thought. She'd find out.
I sat up. "I guess you're here for that 'date'."
She smiled. "Well, you know what, I've been thinking about that, and I think maybe I'm not in the mood for it today. Maybe we should wait until tomorrow."
I knew it. I knew it was gonna be something like that. She was planning on doing this to me maybe forever, if she could get away with it. She was always laughing at me, probably she laughed a lot more when I wasn't around.
Her dress was cut sorta low, I could see the flesh at the tops of her breasts quiver when she talked; and the skirt hung close around her hips. High heels, gloves, and a cute little hat perched on top of her head, everything in a purpley-red color. Looked like she was going somewhere.
She was beautiful.
I stood up.
"You know, things like this always improve with anticipation. Really, you'll thank me for curbing your impetuosity. And in the meantime, we can enjoy the, umm, appetizers."
I pulled my shirt off and walked up to her, where she was standing, by the door. I couldn't say any of the things I'd been thinking of. I'd thought of throwing her out of my room when she came in (and I'd known that she would), and slamming the door after her, but now that she was here, I didn't wanna do that anymore. That wasn't what I wanted to do at all.
"You know you're a very attractive boy, but you're so serious all the time." She smirked. "I'm going out for a little while. I'll see you when I get back." She reached out a hand and touched my nipple with a gloved index finger. "Maybe we won't wait until tomorrow. Maybe when I get back……"
Yeah, right. I reached around her and pushed the door shut. It didn't have a latch, but it didn't matter. She got the message.
"Wendell, you're sweet, but you're not paying attention." She heaved a big sigh. "I suppose you're angry with me again." She pouted for a second, and then kissed me, a short peck, on the lips. "We can talk about it when I get back."
I didn't think about Frank at all. I didn't think about right or wrong. I didn't actually think of very much of anything. My head was full of her perfume, not just the kind from a bottle, and my gut was aching, along with the rest of me, like I was hungry, like I was starving. I had to have her.
She turned around, to open the door…..and I put my hand on it. Held it shut. "Enough," I said. "No more teasing." She turned and faced me again. I was glad to see she didn't look worried. Made it easier to do what I wanted. If she'd looked worried or scared, I woulda had to let her go…….
When my arm went around her waist, and pulled her as close as I could, she said, "You're really not listening to me, are you?" When I pulled her dress off her shoulder, down her arm, till I could see what I wanted to see, she said, "I don't think you understand." When I covered her breast with my hand, and licked the soft spot just under her ear, she shivered and said, "Wendell---"
I tightened my arm around her waist and lifted her just off the floor. Walked us over to the bed. Put her down on it, pushed her back; on my hands and knees over her……
"You've got the wrong idea about us, Wendell. You need to loosen up and stop being so solemn all the time. This isn't the way it's supposed to go. It's supposed to be fun." That's what she said. But she put her gloved hand on my face, caressed my cheek with her thumb.
In a way, I guess I made her do it……
I woulda stopped. It was pretty hard to know when Ruby meant what she said, but if she told me to stop and I thought she meant it, I woulda. I wouldn'ta liked it, I woulda probably been madder'n hell, 'cause I was already pretty pissed, but I woulda stopped.
She didn't say no. She didn't say stop. Like I said, she didn't look scared. I can't imagine Ruby looking scared. She didn't try to push me away. She didn't say yes, either, but I felt like if she really didn't want it, she woulda said so. You know?
I didn't kiss her, I put my hand under her skirt and settled down half on top of her. She had underwear on today. I moved it aside and went looking, kinda, with my fingers. I knew what I was looking for---she'd let me know when I found it.
She didn't try to grab my hand, didn't try to move away from it at all. She looked slightly amused. "It's a game, Wendell, that's all. Nothing to be so serious about. I suppose you think---"
Her eyes shut suddenly and she made the kinda noise a woman makes when you surprise her with pleasure. She arched her back, wrapped her arms around my neck…….another noise.
I guess I found it.
I pulled one of her hands down to my belt buckle, kissed her while she worked on it. She kissed me back. After I was ready and she was, too, just before she opened for me to fill up the place my fingers had been, she looked up at me with half-closed eyes, and I thought she was gonna say something, but her eyes closed all the way, and she didn't.
"A game, huh?" I said. "Looks like I win." Neither of us said much after that.
The first one was pretty quick. Not more than a couple minutes before she made another one of those noises that don't have a name……this one the one women make when they feel like yelling, but they don't wanna; kinda strangled, you know? And then she clenched around me, and her back came up off the bed, lifting me up with her, and that was it for me, too.
I'd spent days and weeks thinking about Ruby; imagining what she'd feel like, how she'd taste, dreaming about having her naked underneath me. And here we were. Well, almost. She still had her dress on and I still had my pants on. But you know what? It was just about as good as I figured it'd be. Pretty damn close.
I don't know how long it was before I could breathe right again. She was looking at me when I opened my eyes.
"Well," she said. Sounded funny. Like maybe she wasn't breathing quite right herself yet. "That was……a surprise…….Wendell……..but now I've got things to do." And she smiled that lazy half smile, pushed against my shoulder a little. Like she thought I was gonna let her just get up and walk away. Like she thought we were done.
The second one took a whole lot longer.