PART 3 of 3
It is best to say I love you, boldly. Enjoy the final part of What Is This. Thank you for stopping by.
“I WANT TO MAKE love to you,” Laurence said.
Ann recoiled and squinted in disbelief. What did he say? He was respectful all day. She was appalled at his shocking statement. He had been setting her up all day for this disgusting despicable moment. It was some sort of pent-up anger to get even with her for something. Almost forty years and he has waited for this. What a pathetic excuse for a human being.
“I see how you’re looking at me,” he said. “I know this comes as a shock to you. But I…” She stood up and turned to leave. “Please, just hear me out. You’ll see I’m not a bad person. My intentions are admirable. I promise.” She walked away. “Please. Just give me a chance to explain. Please.”
She stopped and turned around and walked boldly back to him. “If you think for one minute that I’ll be intimidated or made to feel embarrassed or ridiculed by you for something that happened when you were eleven, I can assure you you’re wrong. I won’t be. Whatever sick adolescent game you’re playing, you’ll have to finish it on your own. Have a—”
“Just hear me out,” he said, calmly. “If you just hear me out you’ll see I’m not that way.” She stood there. “Will you sit back down with me? Please.” She hesitated and, against her better judgment, sat at the far end of the bench. Not near him like before. “Just hear me out.”
“Go ahead,” she said. “I’m waiting for the joke to end.”
“It’s not a joke,” he said. “It’s real. I’ve wanted to make love to you since the day I met you. But the day I met you, since I was only eleven, making love then would have only consisted of us holding hands. Today, with me being older, it would…consist of…a little more.”
She stared at him while he was talking. His words were not capturing her attention. His body language was. His eyes shifted left to right. He was nervous. Sweat was forming on his forehead. His hands fidgeted. He cheeks were slightly red. He was serious. This was not some well-thought-out revenge plan. He was…Was he serious?
“Anyway, when I saw you I—”
Her mouth dropped open and she shook her head. Then she laughed, loudly. “Oh, Laurence,” she said. He did not expect her to laugh at him. “Do you know what you’re doing?” He said he was apparently humiliating himself. “No.” She laughed again. “I’m sorry for laughing. I’m not laughing at you.” He told her it felt like it. “I’m not. I apologize for getting angry and saying those awful things to you. It’s just…” She exhaled. “What you’re doing is classic.”
“You mean pouring my heart out and having you cut it to bits?” he asked.
“No, absolutely not,” she said. “It’s sweet what you’re doing. But, it’s misguided.” He looked her. “Can’t you see it? Look closely and you will. You’re a smart man.”
“I guess I’m not that smart, because I’m missing it,” he said.
”You’re looking back at yesteryears,” she said. “Or, in this case, it’s safe to say yester-decades.” He leaned back. Although he pretended not to know what she was saying, he did know. “You trust me.” He said he did. “Close your eyes and don’t open them until I tell you.” He looked at her. “Seriously, you trust me don’t you?” He told her he did. “I’m not going to sneak off and leave you here. Close your eyes.” He closed them. “Take a deep breath and exhale.” He did it. “Do it again.” He did it. “One more time.” He did it. “Keep your eyes closed. Now think back to what I looked like when you were eleven. You see me?” He told her yes. “That’s who you want to make love to. That’s your crush. Now open your eyes.” He did. “Look at my face.” He stared at her face. “I’m not that woman. I’m a different woman. Keep looking at me and tell me what you see.”
“I see the woman that I desperately want to make love to,” he said. “I see the woman that stole my heart and has had it for so long that if she wanted to keep I’d let her. That’s what I see.”
“Laurence,” she said, shaking her head. “You’re infatuated with the past. That’s all. You’re not in love with me. You don’t want to make love to me. And when you think rationally about this you’ll see I’m right.”
“I have thought about it,” he said. “I’ve thought about it every day of my life since I was eleven. I’ve hoped and wished for this day. And if you say no, I’ll leave a broken man. I’ll leave. But I’ll be forever broken.”
“A bit dramatic wouldn’t you say?” she asked.
“It’s the truth,” he said. She looked away from him. “Can you say you didn’t enjoy our day together? You didn’t enjoy our time? If you say no, then I’ll listen.”
“Enjoying one another doesn’t mean—”
“Let me kiss you,” he said. She jerked backwards and stared at him. “No one’s here but us. Let me kiss you.” Her mouth opened to speak but words would not come out. “Let me kiss you. What could it hurt? Why not explore and see if there isn’t something there? Something scratching and clawing to get out.”
“There’s nothing clawing to get out,” she said.
“Let’s see,” he whispered. “Let’s see. Let me kiss you. One time. One goodbye kiss. What could it hurt?”
She looked away from him and back and away and back. He quietly enjoyed watching her. No one said anything for a couple of minutes.
Looking straight ahead, she said, “Laurence.” She paused. His heart raced. “What if we…do this…and regret it. Kiss, I mean.” She turned and looked at him with an expression that he had not seen. Her eyes were different. “This is truly crazy.”
“Then be crazy with me for thirty seconds,” he said. She was flabbergasted that she was even considering it. Her heart and mind were beyond this confusing twisted up state that younger people experienced. “Thirty seconds. That’s all I ask.”
He stood up and reached for her hand. She kept her hands in her lap. “Thirty seconds,” he said. His hand was still out. She sighed and reached out and took it and stood up. He pulled her toward him. She looked around. It was a small park. Anyone could walk up on them. “Thirty seconds,” he whispered.
She looked around and was turning back to him. “This is nonsen—”
He leaned in and kissed her and held his lips on hers. He then moved back a few inches and looked at her. She looked at his chest. She was five six. He was five eleven. He leaned down and kissed her passionately. He held her firmer this time. She was not hugging him back. He deepened the kiss. He felt her hugging him. They continued to kiss and held each other tightly.
Slowly she let go of him and stepped away. He quietly looked at her.
“Now what?” he asked.
“You know I introduced you to ten people today,” she said. “I told them your full name. Laurence Williams. That’s what I told them. Just in case anything happened to me, they would know you were probably the last person to be with me.” She turned and walked away.
“What does that mean?” he asked.
She stopped and turned around. “I’m going home, Laurence,” she said and stared at him. Then she turned away and continued walking. His face felt heavy. His heart hurt. What just happened? What did he do? Was he too aggressive?
She stopped walking but did not turn around. “If you follow me, I won’t object,” she said. Laurence was not sure what he had heard. “But, I’m going home now.”
He realized what she had said. He had to force himself to be quiet. He began walking to his car. He was parked behind her.
He walked about ten feet behind her. She was in control now as far as he cared.
She got into her car and tried to turn off her thoughts. So what if did not make sense. No one had pursued her like this young man had. Not in her entire life. She had never been pursued like that. She laughed and started her engine and pulled away from the curb. She glanced into her rearview mirror. He was following her. She giggled, felt foolish, and giggled again.
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