Tuesday, December 11, 2007

At 21, Part 6


1992


We’re the happy couple. Ervin and Elisa. She dumped her fiancé and made it official with me. Finally, after months of struggle, I’ve gotten what I wanted. Elisa all to myself. No more secrets. No more lies. No more Elisa fucking some other guy on the weekends. Now, I get to fuck her seven days a week, should I so desire. And I don’t have to worry about having sloppy-seconds. I have to admit, though, that there was a certain thrill when our love was clandestine. An electricity in our secret sex. It was hot. Stolen moments. The risk of it all. The exhilaration one gets when making another man’s girlfriend come, repeatedly. The pride I felt in knowing that I made Elisa come more often than he did. Like it was some sick sexual contest. Like someone was keeping score. Okay, Dirk fucked Elisa three times over the weekend and made her come twice. Ervin fucked Elisa four times during the week and made her come six times. Ervin wins!

Elisa will never admit it, but I know she enjoyed making love to two different men, taking turns. I know it wasn’t easy for her to dump Dirk, and I’m sure the day she finally ended their relationship was very painful. But Elisa had many months with two men satisfying her sexual needs. I wanted to prove that I was the right man for her, so I performed every sexual feat I’d ever seen in movies or read in books on her. And Elisa was up for it all, usually after a few beers. Her boyfriend was at a great disadvantage during the competition. Because he didn’t know that there even was a competition. But fuck him. I won and he lost.

I won the prize. Even when it looked bleak, when Elisa accepted Dirk’s marriage proposal, I never gave up on the girl I love. I wanted Elisa. Had to have her. So I won her heart, with a perfect combination of affection, romance, humor, and messy, uninhibited sex. Also, I was just promoted to assistant manager at Pizza Tent, so I’m Elisa’s boss now and she kind of has to do whatever I say.

Now, we’re normal. We’re dating. I’m an assistant manager at Pizza Tent, making a decent wage, with a wonderful chance for future growth with the company. Pizza Tent’s regional manager says he sees great potential in me, says I’m a fine young man, a great asset to the company. Elisa is a cashier, but hopes to one day become a waitress. Neither of us know what we want to do with our lives. We’re just living in the moment. Selling pizza. I’ve always wanted to do something creative, maybe writing, maybe taking pictures, maybe something in the movie industry. But I could just stay with Pizza Tent and someday have the chance to run my very own store. Sure, it might not be the most glamorous career I could envision for myself, but a Pizza Tent head manager makes over thirty thousand dollars a year. That would be enough for Elisa and me to support a few babies, buy a small house and a car. A modest, good life. But a life with Elisa. The girl I love. I could live with that. Who needs college? Who needs glamour? Isn’t love enough?

I have Pizza Tent. I have Elisa. All the pizza I can eat. All the Elisa I can eat.

What more could a guy ask for?

But...

Since the moment our relationship became official, I’ve had an uneasiness in my gut. A gentle, persistent spasm. A shred of doubt? I don’t know. Like I have to now be perfect. The best boyfriend ever. One slip-up and I could lose her. I feel like she will cheat on me if I am not wonderful. Even if I am wonderful, she might cheat on me anyway. Damn it. It’s a lot of work to be the boyfriend of a sexy, sexual girl. Men are always looking as she walks past. The problem with Elisa is, sometimes she looks back. She once laughed and told me that she’s cheated on every boyfriend she’s ever had. Those words haunt me. Mock me. What did I expect? Look at how our relationship began. She didn’t even hesitate to fuck me while she was seeing another guy. Fuck me without a condom. Wasn’t really a problem at the time. Now it feels like it might be a bit of a problem.

Maybe Dave was right when he said, "Erv, I’m telling you...ugly chicks are the way to go. They’re loyal. You date a hot, model-type chick and other guys always want to fuck her. You date a nasty-looking, dirty fucking skank, no one else will ever want her, so she’s all yours. No worries. Plus, ugly chicks swallow, and that’s been proven, like, scientifically."

The philosophy of Dave.

Thanks, brother.

When I first met Elisa, I assumed I had no shot. She had a boyfriend. A surly, unseen boyfriend. She’s a beautiful girl. I’m decent-looking, I guess, nothing extraordinary. Just a regular guy. Not hideous, certainly, but no male model, either. No shot, right? Still, I tried. I flirted just for the hell of it. Elisa flirted back. I pushed, she pulled. All very innocent, I thought. We started hugging each other at hello and goodbye. Her hand would fall on my knee while we sat talking, her fingers then beginning a gentle caress. Soon came the kisses on the cheek. Sexual banter. Longer, stronger hugs. Kisses on the cheek that began grazing the lips. Then quick pecks on the mouth. I thought that was as far as it would go. Until one night when her tongue slid deep into my mouth. On New Year’s Eve. As we said goodbye in the parking lot. As she left to go spend the holiday with her boyfriend. She kissed me, passionately, lovingly, smiled deviously as my eyes went wide with surprise, then Elisa went off to spend a romantic night with her boyfriend, ushering in the new year. I remember, just after the kiss happened, on that wonderful December 31st, I walked back to the make-table in a daze and said to Manny, "Elisa just stuck her tongue down my throat." He laughed and smacked my back hard, said, "Well, if you don’t start fucking her immediately, I’m gonna have to do it. That girl is looking to play." Wanting to score one for pale Caucasians everywhere, I went for it; handsome, dark-skinned, mysterious guys like Manny always get laid, but Elisa had chosen me, unspectacular me, and I wasn’t going to let the opportunity slip away.

Months later, she’s finally mine. And her kiss feels just as nice as it did on New Year’s Eve. Her touch still makes me shiver. She’s my first true love. Before Elisa, I’d had sex with exactly two girls. Elisa was the third. (Although there was another girl who touched my penis briefly but didn’t finish the job.)

I’m thinking of all this as I make a startling discovery while sitting on the floor of her bedroom. As I read a page of Elisa’s diary that brings me to tears.

Holy fucking shit.

She’s in the shower, cleaning off the mess we made together. The mess she so graciously allowed me to deposit on her breasts. I’m holding her diary in my hands. It’s a thin book. With few entries. Elisa does not document her life in great detail. She’s not a writer of any merit. Just a few random notes and lists. Skimming through the pages, I came across a list that hit me like a punch to the gut. The list. Elisa’s list of sexual partners. Elisa’s long list of sexual partners.

I can’t even look at it. I have to turn away. The diary is open and on my lap. The list of names calling out to me. But I won’t look. I’m staring up at the ceiling. The dirty, cobwebbed ceiling. I take a deep breath and slowly move my head. My eyes. I look. The list could change everything. It could ruin our relationship. But how bad could it be? Maybe it’s not as bad as I think.

I see my name. Number fifty-three. I’m the fifty-third person she’s had sex with. Elisa is twenty years old. Fifty-three is bad enough. The real problem is that the list goes up to fifty-five. Many of the names I recognize from high school. Kids we went to school with. Her ex-boyfriend’s name. Her first boyfriend back in Arkansas. At least ten of the names have no last name attached. Also, Elisa is a big fan of multiple question marks: Jessie ??? Paul ??? And sometimes in lieu of a last name she has a location: Mike (from the bowling alley). Don (from Radio Shack). Daryl (from the gas station). I see the names of a few black guys I knew from school. An Asian guy. Jocks. Band geeks. Theater guys. A guy who later committed suicide. Names. So many fucking names. I think It’s official: my girlfriend is a slut.

"What are you looking at?" Elisa asks as she walks into the room. She has a small towel wrapped around her tits, the thin brown cotton extending only to the bottom of her bellybutton, leaving her trimmed triangle of pubic hair still visible. "What’s wrong? You look pale."

I try to speak, but nothing come out. I inhale and smell the pure scent of Elisa. The scent of freshly-scrubbed, natural flesh.

She glances down, sees her diary in my lap, opened to the incriminating pages, then pulls it violently from me. "How fucking dare you look at my personal stuff? You’re an asshole! You had no right!"

"Fifty-five, Elisa?" I say, looking up at her, as if begging for something I know she can’t give me. "You’ve fucked fifty-five guys?"

She leans down and smacks me hard across the face. Harder than I’ve ever been smacked. My teeth vibrate. My ears hum. My skin burns.

"Look at me!" She grabs my face with her right hand, squeezes, and forces me to look her in the eyes.

"I’m sorry," I say. "I shouldn’t have looked. I was sitting here being bored and I opened the book without even thinking about it."

"Are you happy now? Now that you’ve seen it? Does it make you feel better? Are you fucking happy now?" She’s shouting, spitting. I’m on the floor and she’s standing over me, her naked sex inches from my mouth.

"No, no I’m not happy. Let me ask you a question. The last two guys on the list. The ones you fucked after we started hooking up. Who the fuck are they? Are you cheating on me already?"

She lights a cigarette. Sits down on the bed and crosses her legs. "Those two guys were months ago. Right around the time you and me started messing around. It was before I knew I loved you. I was unhappy with my boyfriend, and I was just looking for something different Those two guys were random, one-time things. Didn’t mean anything."

I sit down next to her on the bed and squeeze her hand. "Swear that you’ll never cheat on me, Elisa. Swear it."

She smiles. Kisses my lips. Caresses my tingling face. "I swear. Once I committed to being your girlfriend, I gave up all other men. That’s it, Ervin. The list is done. I’m with you and that’s all I need. Sure, I cheated on Dirk a few times, with you and some other guys, but I wasn’t happy then. I’m happy now."

I hold her tight against me. Tell her I’m sorry for having peeked. Tell her it’s all okay. But it’s not. Not nearly. Not even close. The number will always be in my head. Fifty-five. We sit in silence for several minutes.

She sucks hard on her cigarette and it glows hot orange. "I used to sleep with a lot of guys. It was my way of feeling wanted. A lot of girls do that. And, I mean, I also like sex. It feels good to come. To have a guy’s body rubbing against me. So what? I’m not a whore anymore, Ervin."

"But you used to be?"

She gives a noncommital click of the tongue. "And what if I was a whore? What if I was the biggest fucking whore in South Jersey? What if I was a dirty slut? Would you hate me?"

"Of course not."

I don’t hate her. I could never hate her. Never. But I sense a change. The first crack in our perfect little love bubble.

I have a new name. I am now Fifty-three of Fifty-five.

I excuse myself to the bathroom. I cry. I’m not even sure why. I just cry. I let it all out. My mind wanders. How many of those men did she make wear rubbers? Is it true what they say about black men having big dicks? Does she even feel my modest pecker? Can I ever hope to please her? Fifty-five lovers and not one sexually transmitted disease? No way. I close my eyes and see my girlfriend in an orgy, fucking ten guys at once. Loving it. I open my eyes. This is bad.

I sit on the toilet and try to figure out how to shut off my brain. How to take out the information I’ve just learned.

Fifty-five. Damn.

I walk back into the bedroom and immediately ask, "How many of those guys you screwed were bigger than me?"

She throws a shoe at me. A high heel. A pointy high heel that takes a small chunk out of my ear. I touch my ear and transfer blood to my fingers. I rub my fingers together. Lick them.

Elisa says, "You are not going to sit here and ask me these questions. The subject is closed. I’m not going to talk about the cocks of all the men I fucked. Just drop it."

"Fine."

We sit in silence, and I’m left to my horrible thoughts. The thought of fifty-five guys having sex with my slut girlfriend. With their huge cocks. All of the men she’s been with other than me giving it to her in one marathon session. Of course it didn’t happen that way. She didn’t do every guy on the list at once. I’m sure the most men she had in one sitting was four or five. Fuck. I hate myself for thinking this way. Why am I like this? Why can’t I just get over it? Can I ever get over it? If I can’t, I might as well break-up with Elisa right now.

"Did you ever do a couple guys at once?" I blurt out. "Like, did you ever go into the boys’ locker room after a football game and say, ‘Have at it, boys!’ Come on, I need to know these things."

"Go home, Ervin. Get the fuck out of my house. You can come back when you’re not such an asshole."

"I’m sorry."

"Leave!" she says, pointing at her door.

"What’s the most guys you did in one day?"

She takes a deep breath. "If you ask me one more question, I swear to God I’m going to add number fifty-six to my list. Tonight. And I’ll make sure it’s someone you hate. If you continue to be a jerk, I will go out tonight and fuck all the guys you don’t like."

I shut my fat, stupid mouth. I’m quiet. I suffer in silence. Elisa takes off her towel and sits naked while painting her toenails. Paints the nails a lovely, glossy pink. After ten minutes, she looks up at me and says, "Oh, you’re still here. Why is that exactly?"

I leave.

5 comments:

Tessa Dare said...

Oh, of course she wanted you to read that. No girl with a lick of sense leaves her diary in plain sight of her boyfriend while she leaves the room to take a shower - unless she wants him to read it.

55 at the age of twenty. Wow.

Sasha Allgood said...

Wow. Um...wow. I'm stunned, as usual. This is so good. I don't know how to explain it. There is something so visceral in this. Your details paint stark pictures: the too small towel, the cobwebbed ceiling, pink toenails. I'm there, in the room, seeing, hearing, feeling a slice of life that leaves me reeling. Wow.

Ervin A. said...

Tessa:

You're right. No girl with a lick of sense would leave her diary in plain sight...but I'm not sure she had that lick of sense. Or maybe you're right. Who knows? She seemed pretty mad at the time. But maybe she wanted me to see it in her diary so she wouldn't actually have to talk about it. I read it, we argue, it's over. Hhhmm....

Sasha:

Yay, for Sasha! Just know that you completely put a smile on my face every time I read your comments. I was a little unsure about this chapter, about the way it turned out. Wasn't sure if it completely worked. But now I feel a little better about it. This part of the story, the Elisa part, is kind of meant to be that one great, awful, unforgettable, completely wrong but passionate love affair we all have but know can never last. That first great love that we'll never forget, regardless of all the bad stuff.


....Ervin....

CM said...

I just want to add that just because she was pretty mad doesn't mean she didn't intend for you to see it.

It was pretty much the perfect set up for her. She could let you know exactly where you stood, without having to say a word. And if you said anything about it, she could make you feel like a dick for reading her private stuff, whereas if she walked up to you and said, "I had 55 lovers," she'd never be able to conjure up any sort of righteous indignation.

Sorry, I'm pretty sure that this girl had all sorts of licks of sense. It just sounds like she's incredibly manipulative for the sake of manipulation.

Ervin A. said...

You're absolutely right, CM. I've thought about that day a lot, and I keep changing my mind as to her intentions. She did have a way of making me feel awful, though---whether I was right or wrong, she could always make me feel like every problem we had was my fault. She knew how to play me, for sure. But I certainly was not the perfect boyfriend, either. I was immature and sometimes kind of mean. But I think the failings of that relationship made my future relationships better, since I knew what mistakes not to make.

Oh, and one more thing. CM! Hi! I've missed you! :) And congratulations on your Golden Pen success with ABDUCTING OLIVER! I can't wait 'til you're all famous and stuff and I can tell people that I know you. Or, um, KIND OF know you.

...Ervin...