“The Thing”

My Sweetest Mistake

“Can I keep this?” I asked the receptionist behind the counter, grinning. With feigned sternness she replied, “No sir, it’s for patients only so that they can fill out the forms.” “I’m just kidding,” I said with a smile, “It’s nice to know that you’re honest.” It had been a while since I had flirted with a woman since the divorce, especially one so young and beautiful. The ball point pen with a flower on the cap had goaded me on. In a word, she was charming. “Would you like to schedule an appointment today?” Surprised by her nervousness I was taken aback and hesitated before answering. “No, I’m just here for my annual exam, but now that you mention it I think I could be getting sick again soon.” Ugh, had it been that long since I had last done this? To my utter amazement she squared her shoulders confidently. Slowly turning the pages of her appointment book, she did her best to seem detached. “I can pencil you in for next week if you like?”, no longer meeting my gaze. Wow, I thought, was this beautiful creature actually giving me a shot? Now I was the one who was nervous. “Lets see,” she said slowly, ‘I can fit you in next Friday at one o’clock,” looking back up at me sternly. “I’ll have to check my schedule” I lied, “but tentatively I’ll say yes.” Speaking even slower now, deliberately mouthing each word she said, “Mister Brown for Friday at one o’clock, now you’re in my book.” A look of satisfaction as she slowly raised her eyes to meet mine. “Then it’s a date.” I said with a wink. She then abruptly rose and left her desk. Unsure if I had blown it with my antique skills, I sat down and waited to be seen. When I looked back at the desk, she was gone.

After the Doc and I were done, I sat back down to wait for my ride. The room was empty now. Ten minutes pass and a group of young women come through the front door. All were nicely dressed and excitedly talking with each other, apparently on their way to a function. I tried my best to ignore them, where was that ride of mine? It was then that I saw her.

She emerged from the back room and hurriedly rounded the front desk, a flash of exquisite beauty. Flowing long blonde hair perfectly coiffed, a white satin blouse tastefully flowing around her ample breasts, a delicate gold necklace glinting in the light, pleated black slacks betraying perfectly round buttocks and black patent leather high heeled gladiator sandals. Toes were painted bright red and her feet were absolutely perfect, almost as if not real. I was stunned and had stopped breathing, unable to look away. Was this the young woman that I had been talking to just an hour before?

The Thing approached the group of young women like an alpha leading her pack. Regal, confident, statuesque and flawless. Having greeted each one excitedly she then abruptly straightened herself and turned in my direction. Yes, it was her, the woman I had just been talking to behind the desk. Her face was unmistakable but her body was strictly out of Vogue magazine, and that’s exactly what she did. She posed for me, filling my eyes with the full power of her beauty. She was glorious, a mythical Goddess come to life.

It was all I could do not to run to her and caress her, I was amazed at the impulse to do so. I resisted. The gaggle of young women began heading towards the door, talking excitedly as they did. The group had actually gotten outside of the door before realizing they were one short. Now outside, the women began to count one another with alarm. Realising that their friend had remained in the building they rushed back inside to retrieve her, never having looked at me once. It was almost comical to see them gather around her, bewildered as to why she was just standing still. “Heather, come on. Come on Heather, lets go. Heather, what’s wrong??” Finally “Heather” reluctantly gave into them and reanimated, a slight look of disappointment with a hint of frustration on her face, departeing in a huff. She had never looked directly at me but is that a worthy excuse? I kicked myself for not giving into her invitation, concerned that I had damaged her esteem. It had been so long since dating that I had become a novice again, unable to read the signals. It had been twenty three years since I had been in college and this was after all, a post graduate UC Berkeley Optometry clinic.

The week passed and I grew anxious, would Heather still be as receptive as before or was she now displeased? Having time to think about our little encounter, I could not help but now feel somewhat paternal. It happened quite frequently back then, young women flirting with me, as I did not look my age. Something about her though, had been different. There was a curious vulnerability there that did not befit a beauty such as hers, almost as if she were in need of something, something that even she could not identify. A friend disguised as a lover perhaps? Heather invaded my thoughts the entire rest of the week. Were there also “issues” involved? I determined to be kind and gentle no matter her demeanor, the risk of being friend zoned no longer a consideration.

“Well hello there, is it Heather?” I pretended.” “What a pretty name for such a beautiful girl, has it already been a week since I was here?” “Good afternoon sir, do you have an appointment today?” Heather responded coldly. “Yes I do ma’am,” I teased “I’ve been looking forward to it all week.” “And what is your name sir?” the punishment continued. Feigning being hurt I grabbed my chest and said, “Forgotten so soon? Oh well, the pretty ones always do. My name is Eldon Brown, very pleased to meet you H-E-A-T-H-E-R” I chided with nothing to lose. Now silently glaring, Heather restrained a hot response. “Please take a seat and I’ll call you when the doctor is ready.” Heather said curtly. “Thank you Heather and I just wanted to tell you that last Friday I thought that you were very beautiful, you took my breath away.” For the first time her tone softened. Paid the required compliment she could now afford to be generous, I hoped. “Yes I really do like you Heather, really, I do…” I silently wished I could just say. “Please have a seat and I’ll call you when it’s time.” Heather said cooly. Continuing the game, it was now my turn to be polite and indifferent. “Thank you ma’am, I’ll be right over there.” pointing to the obscurest corner of the room. I then went to exile myself and wait for her to confirm that I was all alone sitting there.

As I quietly sat I waited for her to look at me, as soon as she did and then looked away I got up and sneaked over to the door. A young Polynesian security guard sat posted and I started to chat her up. I made a point of being loud enough for Heather to hear, making sure my back was to her across the room. The Poly girl was really nice and the conversation was easy, I like island folks and their culture, I genuinely forgot where I was at. No sooner than we began to be friends do I hear Heather’s gentle voice immediately behind me, somehow on top of me, she seemed to be purring. “Mr. Brown, Mr. Brown, the doctor is ready for you now.” She gently cooed. So soft and loving was her tone that my stomach was instantly filled with butterflies. When I turned around to face her it was like seeing her for the very first time. I just stood there speechless, gaping in awe, like a movie scene. Heather’s hair was somehow magically flowing about her face, eyes softly batting welcome, her skin had a radiant glow and her voice was as soft as the lightest cloud. Slowly she put her head down, turned and very slowly, deliberately, led me back across the room, every step an earthquake of confidence.

She knew I was in lockstep right behind her, if she had walked off a cliff I would happily have followed. It seemed for all the world like a wedding march and I was helplessly connected to her by leash. Everyone seemed to be staring, Heather never looked back. She led me into a short hallway and to a tiny examination room where she stopped by the open door. Instinctively I proceeded inside and sat down, facing her. There was this warm unusually comfortable feeling that began to fill the room, it was as though we had known each other forever.

Heather now standing in the doorway still clutching her clipboard, slowly entered the room and gently closed the door behind her. She had a slight frown on her face as if deep in thought. “I feel like I know you from somewhere, have we met before, Mr. Brown?”, she quietly asked. “I’ve got the same feeling too.” I responded. “It’s like you’re totally familiar to me for some reason, like we used to be good friends or something.” “Somehow I feel we were close in the past.” Heather still frowning and clutching her clipboard to her chest, begins to inch closer to me, almost as if she isn’t aware of what she’s doing. Attempting to lighten things a bit I begin to nonsensically babble, “Maybe we’ve been to the same parties (ridiculous) or know some of the same people?” “Surely we’ve bumped into each other around town, Berkeley is such a tiny place…”

Heather continues slowly advancing. I’m nervous now, not only because of the weird but wonderful kismet happening between us, but more so out of concern for her. Heather was clearly in a daze and I began to feel protective. Was she just coming out of a breakup? I’ve seen girls do strange things from heartbreak before. Or was this feeling we were both sharing a sign that we were meant to be more? My mind raced but time for thinking had ran out, she was now standing directly between my parted legs looking down on me, clipboard still clutched to her chest. At once I felt her body heat and smelled the delicate aroma of her perfume. Without thinking I lifted my arms and gently wrapped them around the back of her thighs, pulling her to me. I don’t know why I did it to this day, so unlike me, but it felt so right, so perfectly natural.

Heather didn’t flinch, no reaction to my touch at all, she just stared down intensely looking at me as if I were a math problem. We just stared into each other’s eyes, her looking down at me, me looking up at her, no words spoken, my arms gently wrapped around her legs. I could have stayed there with her forever. What on earth was happening here? The truth was more than I could have imagined.

In every person’s life there come moments when all of the stars align and the powers of the universe connect. Heather and I were having one of those moments together.

Faintly in the distance as if a million miles away, I hear voices approaching. Heather doesn’t move at all. Very concerned for her sake now, I gently begin to pat the back of her knees and plead with her to snap out of it. “Heather, sweetie, someone’s coming sweetheart, we need to be proper doll. Come on sweetheart, come on.” As if in a replay with her friends a week before, she reluctantly concedes and slowly backs away, showing none of the urgency that I do. She doesn’t take her eyes off me until the door opens.

Thankfully the doctor was teaching that day and was busy explaining some complicated thing or the other to a group of students, no one pays us any attention. Still a little panicked, I watch Heather exit the room, I never hear a word the doctor says. All I can think about is what the heck is going on? Clearly the girl is troubled about something but then I felt the same thing too. I’ve learned the hard way to trust my gut and right now it was telling me that Heather and I had some connection that needed to be explored. I resolve to get her number before leaving.

After the exam I returned to the front lobby where Heather is busy at her desk with another patient. As soon as she was alone I approached her as though nothing out of the ordinary had happened, she was furtive and embarrassed. I try coming up with something as fast as I can. “Heather, I can’t bare the thought of waiting until my next exam to see you again, can I take you on a date? We’ll have fun, can do anything you want. Throw bread to the birds, give nuts to the squirrels. Just talk if you like. Waddu say?” “Well, I don’t have a boyfriend right now so I guess it would be Ok, I don’t know my work schedule yet so you’ll have to call me” she dubiously replies. Writing with the same flower pen that started it all she puts her number on a post it note and hands it to me cautiously. At this point I’m wondering what I’m getting myself into.

I do the three day thing and then give her a call, trying desperately to control my nerves. She is important to me.

HER: “Hello?” Heather answers, sounding different than I remember.

ME: “Hello Heather, this is Eldon from the Optometry clinic. Ready to go have some fun?” I asked lamely.

HER: “Oh, hello Eldon, thank you for calling me. It would be nice to relax for awhile and take a break from studying, I’ve got a test coming up and need a break. What did you have in mind?”

ME: “There’s this comedy club called Giggles that I’ve been wanting to try out in the City, they have a show at eight. Big name comics drop in from time to time. Wanna go?”

HER: “Ooh, that does sound like fun, my sister is in from out of town, is it OK if she tags along.”

ME: “Sure!” I said, relieved, “I think I may even have a friend she might like if she’s available.”

HER: Laughing now,”I don’t think her husband would like that very much (another female voice mutters in the background) but I’ll tell her to ask him”, both women now laughing.

ME: “No, that’s alright, I don’t want to be responsible for wrecking any homes. It would be a pleasure to have your sister join us, especially if she looks like you.”

HER: A burst of cackling laughter, “Yeah, if you mean a three hundred pound version of me! Ouch! You’re mean!

Heather gave me her address and I reserved an UBER for eight pm. Her sister was very nice and almost as pretty. We ended up having a wonderful time together with Heather and I talking long into the night. At five in the morning I bid goodnight, a hug and quick peck on the lips, an absolutely perfect first date. I couldn’t wait to see her again. My concerns had been completely unfounded, at least for all I knew then.

I really liked this girl, she seemed to have it all. She was drop dead gorgeous, smart, funny, playful, wise beyond her years and had exquisite taste. Later I was to learn that she had not a single tattoo on her flawless white skin, not so much as even a stretch mark. Something very unusual for a 1990 Gen. Y Millennial all of twenty four. Having performed gymnastics since the age of four, her physique was spectacular but not her best feature. Heather could at once go from being a perfectly mannered sophisticate to a silly playfull child effortlessly, she wasn’t afraid to look stupid and seemed to have no ego at all. A truly genuine person that I couldn’t fathom ever telling a lie unless it was to spare someones feelings, even then she would just remain silent. What had I found in this most exceptional of women?

I fell deeply in love with her, very hard indeed, I couldn’t even hide it and the more affection I gave the more she reciprocated. This couldn’t be real, could it? I started to get scared, Heather could really hurt me but gave no hint of doing that, except for her monthly disappearances that she refused to talk about and that I knew better than to push. After all, what did I have to complain about? She was every woman to me and I had cut all others free almost from the start. I only wanted Heather now, no other woman existed. Her sister and I became close, she warned me to be careful but she would say no more than that and to be honest, I really didn’t want to know. Everyone has secrets after all.

My pet name for her was “The Thing”, short for Pretty Young Thing. More of a bragging right for me and she didn’t seem to mind. She sometimes struck back by referring to me as her dirty old man which always made me laugh. I would then go into my best old geezer impression and chase her around the room, her squealing with delight. I would have asked for her hand but was afraid to rock the boat, there were still her nerve wracking monthly disappearances. I tried oh so hard to block them from my mind. The sun didn’t shine, birds did not sing and everything was dull gray when Heather wasn’t around. I died and was reborn, every single month.

“Babe, what do you think about this as a centerpiece for the table in the foyer?” Heather turned her head to ask. She had been enamored with a set of art glass pumpkins on display at her favorite consignment store in Berkeley named “Labels”. My girl had champagne taste on a box wine budget and this place kept her in Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Prada. “I think they would be fine but your naked butt would really bring me home a lot faster.” I replied, giving her a loud slap on the rump. Quickly turning to face me she glared and said, “you break it you buy it Mister Sir!” Heather then adopted a coy posture and quietly asked,”were you thinking about buying it?” My stomach began to knot. This was the one question I had been wrestling with from day one. “The terms of the lease have been so favorable that I honestly haven’t given it much thought.” Oh, was I going to pay for that one. A flash of hurt streaked across Heather’s face. “Well see how favorable they are from now on” her voice cracked, barely getting out the words as she rushed out of the store.

I caught up to her at the donut shop on the corner. “Heather, baby, you know I was only kidding sweetheart.” I pleaded. “I can’t imagine living without you babe, sweetie, but there is something I’ve been wanting to talk with you about.” It was now or never, the moment that I had waited for to finally breach the subject. We had agreed that each other was free to do as they pleased but it still bothered me, where the hell had she been disappearing to every month and more importantly, with whom? If I was going to fully commit to Heather I wanted to know everything, no more secrets. Heather began to cry. “I know Eldon, I haven’t been fair to you. I should have told you from the beginning but I was afraid that you would leave me if I did. I love you and I don’t want to lose you. If I tell you you have to promise not to leave me.” Her body was shaking with every sob now. “Heather, I love you too and if you don’t want to tell me then I guess I understand. Why don’t we just start over and forget about today, ok sweetheart?” I tried to appease. I then took her hand and pulled her to me, her sobs uncontrollable now. I felt about as low as I ever have, I had never seen her like this before. If only I could turn back time…

Back home now I did my best to console her, she just kind of moped around like a rag doll, finally crumpling onto the couch. “Would you like something to eat or drink babe?” I asked. “How about you get undressed and I’ll run you a bath, followed by one of those special massages you like so much? (cunnilingus happy ending)” No response, I start to worry. “That’s Ok sweetheart, I’ll take care of everything, you just lay there and know that I love you no matter what. I’m right here for you babe, not going anywhere. You just try and relax, Ok baby? Babe? Sweetie?” I look over my shoulder to see she’s fast asleep.

Standing over her I can’t help but think how blessed I am to be in her life. What does she see in me? Not only that but what kind of a fool am I to even pose the question? I’m happier than I ever thought I could be. Spaghetti in my arms, I lift her off the couch and take her to bed being careful not to wake her. God how I love watching her sleep, especially when she wakes up so that I can quickly say “I love you Heather” before she closes her eyes again. Fully undressed, the only way we sleep, I slip into bed with her and wrap my arms around her, gently rocking her back and forth until her snoring is loud enough to vibrate the windows. Slowly, very gently, I kiss every square inch of her drooling face, over and over again.

Heather awoke with a start, all panicked and wild eyed. “Eldon!” she cried out. “Shhh, shhh, shhh, shhh, it’s OK, it’s OK, I’m right here babe, go back to sleep sweetie.” I squeezed her very tightly while quickly rubbing and patting her back, vigorously rocking her back and forth on her side once more. As soon as she looked at me Heather closed her eyes and resumed snoring again.

Morning came with Heather pulling me on top of her, lifting her legs to initiate sex but then just held onto me once I was inside her. Admittedly, I wasn’t really in the mood so much as just wanting to be with her, we needed to talk and nothing would be right until that happened. “”What’s wrong sweetheart?” knowing full well the answer. Heather began softly sobbing.

“I love you Eldon, this isn’t fair to you” she said through tears. “You’ve been so kind to me and I haven’t been honest with you.” My stomach started knotting again. “Whatever it is babe, we can get through it. If you need more time that’s fine with me, I just don’t want you walking out of my life. Please don’t do that, Ok baby?” This calmed her down. “Ok, ok, I promise, I promise” she said softly. Then, with the need to be as close to each other as a man and woman could be, we slowly finished what had been started. We didn’t leave the bedroom until next morning came.

“Good morning baby, I’ve made your favorites for breakfast. Nothing is too good for you, love of my life” I said as I placed the covered serving tray beside her. With the flourish of a Maitre D I lifted the dome to reveal whole wheat pancakes with a smiley face of strawberries and whipped cream, a blueberry smoothie, two cheese omelets and vanilla bourbon custard based ice cream made the weekend before and a single red rose laid tastefully across the side. “Oh, you’ve got me so spoiled baby, where else am I going to be treated like this?” Heather complained. “And don’t forget, I still owe you that massage you fell asleep on the other night, as soon as you’re finished with breakfast. Boy am I going to give you a happy ending.” Heather looked up at me with a mouth full of eggs and smiled. I loved watching her facial expressions through her pubic hair. Breakfast, massage, unexpected nap before and after happy ending concluded, now it was time to talk.

“Before you tell me whatever it is that you think you just have to tell me, ” I teased “let’s just get one thing straight, you mine bitch, you ain’t goin nowhere without me. So whatever this big secret is just spill it out cause we got a whole lotta fuckin to get back to, doggystyle!” Heather just rolled her eyes, a touch of sadness on her face. “Just be patient with me because this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do and I’m really scared right now, Ok?” She said. ” I feel like throwing up.” Alright sweetie, just relax and take your time.” I replied. “Eldon, I’m an Escort for wealthy men, it’s how I pay for college.” I felt like I had been kicked in the gut. Silence filled the room. My throat tightened and waves of nausea started rolling through my stomach. Involuntarily I rose to my feet and started heading for the door.

The sound was at first the most pathetic wail of “wah” I had ever heard followed by the most heartbroken unrestrained balling. Heather started to cry the way a small child would, not crying but actually balling, just like a little kid. For all the world she was wailing just like a little kid and I was instantly shattered, pounced upon with the deepest of guilt and compassion. When I turned to look back at her I wasn’t prepared for the sight I saw. There was my Heather sitting in the middle of the bed naked, mouth wide open just balling her eyes out, the tears were literally jumping out of her eyes in huge drops like rain. I’ve never felt so sorry for anyone in my life. “You promised you wouldn’t leave me waaaa!” Heather cried between breathless sobs, completely broken. Stunned I just stood there gawking, not believing the raw emotion and complete lack of composure I was witnessing. Finally, I came to my senses and rushed to take her in my arms, feeling so guilty that I had done this to something so pure and innocent. She had told me the truth at the risk of losing everything and I had utterly let her down. What a piece of shit I was.

“You said you wouldn’t leave me” Heather said again as I held her. Choked up myself now, I struggled to console her. Since coming back to hold her she had quieted down a bit. “I’m not leaving you Heather…” but before I could get another word out she loudly sobbed “yes you are!” “No I’m not, I’m still here aren’t I? You just caught me by surprise is all.” I begin rocking her and wiping her tears away until she quieted down. My shoulder was completely soaked with her tears. Once she settles I get her some tissue and a glass of water, she shakely drinks it down and then blows her nose. Finished, she buries her head in my chest exhausted and soon falls asleep in my arms. Periodically she wakes through the night to snuggle and whimper. I sincerely wish I had never forced the issue.

Morning came and I again prepare her breakfast, rubbing her back and buttocks to wake her. As soon as she woke up and looked at me a huge tear rolled down her cheek, she then violently grabbed hold of me spilling food all over the bed. “Ok, ok sweetheart, that’s Ok, you don’t have to cry over spilled eggs, I’ll just make some more.” Heather then pushed off of me and lightly punched my shoulder exclaiming “you hurt my feelings!” with a pouting bottom lip. A wave of relief washes over me. “Then this means I can still have the pussy, right?” Heather fires back “You ass, and you better not be fuckin anybody else either because we’re getting married, do you hear me?” She seemed very serious. “When, Tomorrow, after we have lots and lots of dirty sex?” I facetiously asked, playfully pulling on her leg. “No,” she said sternly to my surprise, “today, we go down to the courthouse today and fill out the application for a Certificate Of Marriage. Then we go to the campus free clinic for blood tests and on friday’s they hold ceremonies with a Justice of The Piece.” The little Manx had it all figured out. “We could just go to Vegas but you got married to Beverly there so I would rather we do it here. Later we can have a big ceremony for the rest of my family and yours. Oh, and baby, I went off birth control a month ago and I’m late. Congratulations daddy, you are going to be a father. By the way, you need to start working more because I am now retired.” I just sat there looking at her stunned.

All I could manage was “you’re pregnant? Are you sure it’s mine?” to which she flatly responded, “I stopped taking clients almost as soon as we met, that’s been eight months ago. We’ve spent almost every waking moment in bed with no protection, what do you think?” I had to admit it was a stupid question. Not a day had gone by that we hadn’t made passionate love at least three times a day with the norm being five times a day. Our record had been eight times in a single day for an entire three day weekend, never left the bed. We were quite literally joined at the hips. “You mean I’m going to be a father?” to which she replied “Duh, that’s kind of what happens when you keep your young fertile girlfriend on her back all the time, filled with your manhood and injecting her full of your seed. Yeah, your name is Baby Daddy from now on and our love child will be named Mocha” she teased. “Awe, don’t be sad daddy, here, come get some more of what got you into all this mess. Come on, you know you love it.” Heather laid back and spread her legs wide apart while reaching for me with both arms. When I didn’t move fast enough she quickly jumped up and put me in her mouth. Soon, everything was back to normal.

Holding her now on our front porch while watching our son and daughter play in the grass, I think I probably made the right decision to stay.


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