Show Me Who You Are

“You’re not real to me. Not yet.”
 I feel the shame swell in the folds of my lap and avert my eyes. Instantly all the work, the planning, the dreaming that I had put into this dinner for two in my cramped apartment (the laundry basket hidden in a closet) evaporates. Mike and I are the same age but oceans apart. He seems more comfortable in his own skin; more settled. I imagine his apartment, perhaps not much larger than mine but calmer, restrained.
 I try to remain nonchalant, “Really? Tell me more.”
 He doesn’t bite, “There’s not much more to it. Not yet,” Then he shows mercy, “It was a lovely dinner, really. Thank you.” A pause; then, “You’re beautiful.” The folds of my lap glow.
 “But tell me something interesting.”
 “What would you like to know?”
 “Who you are — in private. When it’s just you.”
 I’m aware that my facial expression changes to that of a tingling schoolgirl and I unsuccessfully try to moderate it.
 He sits back in his chair which creaks under the force of his back muscles.
 “Or better yet, show me.”
 When I look away he smiles warmly. I look back to find his face open and welcoming. I smile back. He remains motionless; reassuring and warm, “Take your time, there’s no hurry.”
 After an eternity I muster the courage to get up from the seat and move towards him. He pushes his chair back and it creaks again, raising it up on its back legs. I don’t care whether the chair holds or crumbles it’s just furniture, dead wood, I am alive. I stand in front of him and inch my way to between his knees. Then, without looking over my shoulder, I push the cutlery and plates on the table back to make space for myself and shuffle my bum onto the cold wood. My legs relax as my right hand comes to rest on my knee. He remains motionless; reassuring and warm.
 Slowly, infinitesimally my fingers, as if by their own will, traces a path up my leg towards my lap now swollen with a rush of blood. He senses my hesitance, “You can close your eyes if you want to, it’s safe.”
 My hand finds its way in between my legs to my pubic bone. My intention is to tease but he urges me on, “Pull your panties aside.” When the the cool air touches my skin I inhale audibly, he greets me with silence.
 “I’m not wet yet,” I say.
 “That’s ok, there’s enough time.”
 I circle my clit with my index finger before parting my vulva and letting it glide into the soft crevice. He allows me to do this without interruption and, soon I am ready to slip a first finger inside myself while my thumb settles on my clit. I imagine his gaze on my pussy and instinctively let the smallest amount of light into my eyes. Instead I find his eyes on mine, his facial expression patiently neutral. My index finger slips deep into me along the curve it knows so well. My eyes remain open, fixed on his.
 “Can you fit two more fingers?”
 I nod and oblige and my mouth falls open as my muscles relax into the warmth and I no longer try to control my breathing as I frown with concentration. Again he allows me the space to be with and to remain within my body without interruption and my fingers slide into and out of my cunt with the languid motion of a nymph entering a crystal pool. 
 Time passes in silence before he speaks again, “Jenny, slide your whole hand inside you. I know you can.” For the first time I’m shaken, confronted by a possibility that I’ve never contemplated, “I can’t.”
 “You can. Try.”
 The spell is broken by my own doubt and I start to withdraw my fingers but he halts me, “No.” I freeze.
 “Do it. Your whole hand. I know you can.”
 My eyes questions his.
 “I can see that you’re afraid,” he continues, “and that’s ok. It’s ok to be afraid. But you have to do it.”
 I feel a tremor in my lower arm, the manifestation of an unspoken fear that has taken root in my spine.
 His voice becomes practical, “Where do you keep your lubricant?” Again I am jolted back into the reality of the moment and my fingers slip out of me but he remains calm and repeats the question. I answer and direct him to the drawer of my bedside table. He instructs me to stay where I am and gets up. I listen to his footsteps as he leaves from the kitchen and, for a moment, I think of running away, of running and hiding in a dark corner until he leaves. But somehow, in an unknowable way, an unseen force keeps me in place on the table until he returns. Without speaking he sits down, uncaps the tube, takes my hand and applies cold lubricant to my fingers and hand and wrist. All I can do is to stare at him in disbelief. When he returns my hand to me he does not have to speak and I know that I will do as he wants.
 Again my fingers find my clit, parts my vulva and slide into the warmth of my pussy. He reaches out for my hand to reposition the fingers, “Wrap your fingers around your thumb, like this.” My eyes look down between my legs where his hands are shaping mine and they are filled with fear which he does not see but which I know he knows is there. My free hand and arm trembles. “You have to fold your hand as tightly as possible,” he continues, “Your wrist as well. Once it’s inside you can relax it.”
 The fear races up my spine but I do as he says. My fingers work their way into my vagina, stretching the skin at its opening past discomfort and towards pain. His eyes and mine remain fixed on my hand, now inside me up to where the thumb joins the palm. I stop pushing and look into his face, no longer concerned with whatever he might see in my eyes. I wince and search for relief in his face. Please release me, tell me that this is enough. But his face remains only calm and open and patient.
 “One more push,” he whispers. I inhale sharply and then do as he wants but the pain becomes searing and my face contorts and I again stop. He waits for my breathing to calm somewhat before speaking again, “Grit your teeth,” he says, “Do it. Bite down and focus. One more push.” I screw my eyes shut and grit my teeth and moan in despair as my arm again tries to force my hand into my pussy but the searing pain of skin stretched to the point of tearing overcomes me and I stop and break down into sobs and collapse forward into his arms as my fingers slide out of my vagina and it retreats in defeat. He holds me and allows me to cry until I can recover and raise myself up again.
 He smiles into my eyes, “There you are. You’re amazing. Now I can see you.”

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