My breathing was becoming ragged and shallow as I looked at my red painted nails showing through Dave’s black hair. I pulled his mouth tighter against my bare breast. The sexual tension had built beyond any control on my part, but that’s exactly what I wanted to happen. I felt an orgasm building and Dave hadn’t even penetrated me, yet. This was the night I would prove my love for him. His tongue licked and caressed my nipple with practiced skills I’m sure had been learned from another woman. I couldn’t feel jealous, but thankful for her teaching him exactly what a woman loves. The tension finally broke with a scream and a moan from my lips. This was the first release of many Dave would bring me during the evening.
I took his hardness in my hand and guided him into me. It was the first time we had made love and I almost wished we hadn’t waited so long. After three months of teasing and promises I was allowing it to happen. He was a master and brought me to orgasmic bliss after orgasmic bliss before he allowed himself as much pleasure as I had experienced.
After our third love making session, Dave was spent and as hard as it was to admit, I was sore from all the exercise. I snuggled in Dave’s arms with my arm across his muscled chest and thought back to when we first met and why I had fallen so deeply in love with the man.
I had gone on break from my job as an attorney with a high-end corporate law firm in San Francisco. Finding an empty table at the local Starbucks was like finding a treasure worth thousands of dollars. I grabbed it and started to sip my coffee of the day. Yep, I’m one of those girls that like things simple, none of the fancy lattes for me.
Taking a sip of the steaming liquid, I opened a mystery novel I was reading by CJ Lyons, you know the ones, adventure, drama, and lots of romance. I was reading the sixth chapter when I heard the door open and in stepped the most gorgeous man I had ever seen. The first thing I noticed about him was his black hair and intense blue eyes. A warm glow spread from my stomach as I looked on with an obvious stare. It was all I could do to draw my eyes away to see what else I was missing with this man. His groomed three-day growth of beard only highlighted his full lips. He was dressed casually, a tweed jacket, a dress shirt, the top button undone, a perfectly pressed pair of brown slacks just touching his Bruno Maglly shoes. The man obviously knew how to dress and nothing was from Wal-Mart. My hands started to shake and I couldn’t draw my eyes from the man, which he noticed, smiling at me with the most perfect teeth I had ever seen. I hadn’t even noticed the smile until my eyes returned to his handsome face and then I felt the blush rise to my cheeks. I was so busted, but I had never had a man affect me this way. I smiled back and lowered my eyes, hoping that he hadn’t noticed how embarrassed I was. He had, but was enough of a gentleman not to mention it.
I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him and followed him with furtive glances as he waited for his order. Finally after what seemed like minutes I went back to my novel.
“May I sit here?” this gorgeous baritone voice asked.
Looking up, my face went red again. God, it was him and he was asking if he could sit at my table. My stomach churned and I felt numb all over, most of which he couldn’t see. My lack of speaking ability did show.
“Is someone sitting with you?” he asked, as I melted in his gaze.
“A, a, a, nno,” I answered, feeling as though I was some kind of spastic.
“Good, I was hoping you were alone,” he said, placing his drink on the table across from me, his voice doing things to me I only read about in romance novels.
Alone, he was hoping I was alone? ‘God, I can’t be that lucky,’ I thought.
“Interesting novel?” he asked.
“Yes,” I answered hesitantly. God, what’s wrong with me?
“What’s it about? I read quite a lot.”
“It’s about an ER doctor and a cop that fall in love.”
I can’t believe I just said that. The story is about drugs, murder, and revenge, and yet all I could answer was about the love they found.
“My favorite kind of stories,” he laughed.
“I doubt it,” I was finally able to answer in coherent terms.
“Do you come here often?”
“Only when I need a cup of coffee, which is about twice a day,” I laughed, as my nervousness seemed to disappear.
“You have a lovely laugh. I guess today was my lucky day then.”
“This is my first time here and I was lucky enough to find you.”
If he didn’t see me blushing, the man must be blind.
“Your first time? New to the area?”
“Kind of. The company I work for just opened our west coast operations and I came to make sure everything went smoothly.”
“And did it?”
“We just started moving, so there’s not much for anyone to screw up just yet. What about you, where do you work?”
“I work for a law firm in Embarcadero Center. I’m an attorney and work with one of the partners.”
“Law, God how I hated law. Studied it for four years at Columbia just to make my parents happy and couldn’t wait until I graduated. I never did try for the Bar, but I didn’t care. Four years was enough to waste as far as I was concerned.”
“You studied law for four years and let it go to waste?”
“Not really. I still use what I learned from school, but use it in a different way. I’m sorry, I’ve been rude. You don’t even know my name and here I am spilling all the family secrets to you. I’m Dave Brand,” he said extending his hand to mine.
“Emily Strong,” I replied, reaching for his hand. The weather had been dry and windy, which produces static electricity and the predictable results, a spark jumped between our fingers.
“Ouch,” I said.
“That must be a sign,” he laughed, as my petite hand disappeared in his.
His hand felt warm and inviting, not really soft, but not callused as if he had been working in construction. His grip was firm without being rude. I hated it when he let go and returned it to his beverage. My hand felt as though I had just removed my favorite glove.
I sat silently for what seemed to be hours. This man had so affected me that I was at a loss for words, which didn’t happen often. My girl friends constantly ask me if I ever shut up?
“Did I say something wrong?” he asked, stirring me from my thoughts.
“Oh no, just the opposite,” I replied, “It’s just that I don’t believe in signs.”
“What a shame. I was hoping the spark would allow you to say yes when I asked you out for dinner.”
“You don’t need a spark for me to say yes,” I flirted.
“Well then, what time can I pick you up tonight?”
“Of course, we both need to eat and I can’t think of anyone I would rather share a meal with than you.”
God, Dave was good. I had heard my share of pickup lines and most sounded so phony, but when he said the lines, it was as though he really meant what he was saying. It’s true, I was smitten and maybe that had something to do with how I believed his every word, but so what, I liked the man.
“Is seven okay?” I asked.
I removed one of my cards from my purse and wrote my home address and cell phone number on the back before handing it to him.
“Protect that with your life,” I giggled, like a little girl after meeting her first boyfriend at a summer dance. I could hardly believe the effect Dave was having on me.
I couldn’t think of a man who had made me feel the way I did. Men approaching me was something I’d dealt with on a daily basis. I’ve been told that I’m a very attractive woman, and had done some modeling to work my way through college. I tend to stray toward my Mexican heritage and my Russian genes sort of sculpted my face to make it exotic. I’ve been truly blessed. I have an athletic figure, keeping it that way by running five miles a day. I stand five foot six and I think it’s all legs. It certainly makes running much easier. I wear my hair long, halfway down my back, but the daily care I must give it is worth the effort. Most women I meet ask if it is hard to care for, and I just laugh and tell them it attracts men. My eyes are brown, almost black and large with lashes to die for. I almost never add false lashes, as they aren’t necessary. My lips are full and my nose petite.
I glanced at my watch and saw that I had exceeded my break by ten minutes, and yet, I didn’t care. God this man had screwed me up big time.
“Oh my God, I’m late. What should I wear?” I asked as I stood, taking my half finished coffee with me.
“Something casual, do you like Chinese?”
“Very much but I have to run. See you tonight, Dave,” I called, then ran as fast as my two-inch heels would allow. I was back in my office four minutes later.
The day seemed to drag. My boss and I were working on a brief concerning our client and a realty firm trying to break his lease so the property could be sold. The problem was that he had nine years to go on a ten-year lease and didn’t want to move.
My boss wasn’t happy that I was fourteen minutes late returning from break but he would get over it and what would he do, fire me? I was much too knowledgeable to be easily replaced and he knew it, so I bowed my head humbly and mumbled, “Sorry.”
As hard as I tried, I couldn’t keep Dave from entering my head as I researched various cases pertaining to ours. Five couldn’t come soon enough.
Five came and I caught the Muni to Hyde Street, exited the bus and walked the rest of the way home. Living in an apartment two blocks from the crookedest street in the world had its advantages. Views and location. Luckily I’d found the apartment on a down swing of the market or I wouldn’t be able to afford the location. Sliding my key into the lock in the wood and glass door I turned the cylinder and pushed the heavy door open, stepping inside. My heels clicked all the way across the tile floor. My neighbor told me they had replaced the carpet with the beige tile one month before I moved in. I almost wish they hadn’t as the noise seemed to alert everyone in the building that Emily was home.
I took the elevator to the fourth floor and walked to my apartment in the rear. There were four apartments on each floor, two in front of the building and two in the rear. The advantage of living in the rear was a view of Coit Tower and North Beach. Living in front gave you a view of the park across the street and the romantic cable cars passing by every fifteen minutes. The neighbors in front said they got used to the sound, but I think they would have been more than happy to exchange apartments.
It was five forty five when I closed the front door and I had no idea of what to wear. Making a frantic dash to my bedroom I threw open my closet door and started to throw casual clothing on the bed, skirts, blouse and sweaters. Even a few dresses found their way to the pile. Now I could try to figure out what to wear that Dave would be impressed with.
Dave had said to wear something casual. Casual to one person is slovenly to another, and I wasn’t going to take a chance of blowing our first date by not looking well put together. Trying different combinations was taking way more time than I thought and when I finally settled on a nice skirt and sweater, it was six thirty and I hadn’t even showered. Why was it so important for me to make an impression on this man I hardly knew? He was just a man. I had dated lots of men, so why was this one so different?
I ran the water in the shower, wrapped my hair in a towel and stepped in for a quick rinse. Ten minutes later I was dry and wondering why I had picked the sheerest sexiest bra and panty set I owned. Dave would never see them, yet they were my choice.
Removing the towel from my hair, I brushed it out. Tic tock, tic tock, the clock seemed to move at an incredible pace. It was five minutes to seven and I still had my makeup to do. I couldn’t believe I wasted forty-five minutes trying to find something to wear. ‘Dress casually he said, so why am I trying so hard to impress him?’ I oiled my legs, slid on my skirt and pulled the sweater over my head, mussing my hair.
“Shit,” I swore. I didn’t have time for this.
It was exactly seven when my intercom buzzed. ‘God he’s here and I’m not ready, shit, shit, shit. He’s going to think I’m some sort of flake.’
I pushed the talk button and said, “Yes?”
“Hi Emily, it’s Dave,” he said brightly.
‘I know who it is for God’s sake, and I’m not ready.’ I felt a rivulet of sweat trickle down my back as nervousness reared its ugly head.
“Come in Dave, I’m in 4C. I still have to put my makeup on so I’ll leave the door unlocked. Just let yourself in,” I said, pushing the lock button on the intercom unit.
Running to the front door, I unlocked it, made sure it would open from outside and returned to my bedroom. Sitting in front of my dressing table I wondered what to do with my makeup. ‘Casual the man said, yeah right,’ I thought and began to put on the war paint.
“Emily, I’m here,” I heard Dave call.
“I’ll be out in a minute. Help yourself to a drink in the refrigerator, there’s some beer in there, or juice if you’d like,” I answered.
It was ten minutes before I finished painting myself. It would have taken much less time, but the false lashes that I NEVER wear took forever to get right. I was definitely going casual, right.
‘Shoes, which shoes do I wear?’ In my haste to get ready I had forgotten to coordinate my shoes with what I was wearing. My skirt was a light grey and the sweater was charcoal grey and the only heels I had that looked good would be the charcoal grey pumps tucked in the rear of the closet. I had bought them as a joke with my girlfriends and swore I would never wear them. They were beautiful and very sexy, but four and a half inch heels will do that. The main reason I swore to never wear them was the comfort factor. Comfort was a word missing from the dictionary when they made these heels. I had tried them on at the store and found them to fit very nicely, so cha-ching! $350.00 dollars later I carried them from the store. The first and last time I wore them was when the girls and I went out dancing and CFM heels seemed like a good idea. I couldn’t have been more wrong because a half of an hour into our evening I had to remove the torture devices and dance bare footed. That was the night I’d learned feet swell. Needless to say the shoes had never touched my feet again, until tonight.
I entered the living room and saw Dave’s mouth turn to a hundred watt smile as his eyes wandered from my head to my toes and back up again. He obviously liked what he saw and his reaction was worth wearing the torturous heels.
“Wow, you look great,” he stammered.
“You look pretty nice yourself,” I smiled.
He did look nice, better than nice. When we first met at Starbucks his alarming good looks had made a ball of putty out of me. Yes I knew he was handsome, make that very handsome and had made me see him as one large work of art. Now with my brain under some control I was able to really look at him. I was able to notice little things I had missed the first time I saw him, like the tiny scar marring his fabulous face. It was just below his eye and the groomed growth of beard almost hid it. I wondered how he got it; I’d have to ask. I knew he was tall, but not having a way to gauge his height I had only guessed. Now with the heels and standing next to him he towered over me. He had to be at least six foot two. His clothes fit him perfectly and made me wonder if he had them tailored? His clothes were casual, but so put together that they looked almost formal.
“Are you ready to go?” he asked, his voice sent shivers down my back.
“Yes, let me get my purse.”
I removed my purse from the coat hook on the stand next to the door. Having put my things in it earlier, I was ready to go. Dave opened the door for me and closed it behind me.
“I’ll lock it for you,” he said holding his hand out for the key. ‘Good manners,’ I thought.
After locking the door and escorting me down the elevator we exited into the street. A chilled breeze grazed my legs and caused me to shiver slightly. Maybe I should have worn hose, but I loved showing off my bare legs when ever possible.
“Parking’s really tough in this neighborhood,” he said with a concerned look on his face. “I had to park two blocks away. Would you like me to get the car for you?”
I had chosen to dress as I had and as much as it pained me, I wasn’t going to look like some kind of wuss on our first date. I clenched my jaw firmly and said, “I’ll be fine, let’s go.”
Dumb, dumb, dumb, I was almost in tears by the time we reached Dave’s rental car. Opening the door for me I sighed when my weight left my feet and turned into the car.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“It’s these shoes. I wore them just for you, and they haven’t broken in yet. I’ll be fine.”
‘Broken in yet? These are shoes that will never break in. Who am I trying to kid, Dave or me?’
“Do you have any preferences?” he asked.
“No, where ever you want to take me is fine.”
“Since this is my first time in San Francisco I asked one of my fellow workers where I should go and he recommended China First on Clement Street. I already put the address in the navigation system, so hopefully we won’t get lost.”
“I’m in your hands, oh great pathfinder,” I giggled.
“Good luck with that. If it weren’t for GPS, I’d have died somewhere in the middle of a forest I was stupid enough to get lost in,” he laughed.
Dave’s laugh was free and open, making my heartbeat faster. Never had anyone affected me the way he did.
We made small talk as the guidance system directed us to the avenues. Finding the restaurant was easy, but finding parking was another matter. Dave circled the blocks searching for a place to park and finally another car pulled out in front of us. Unfortunately the parking spot was two blocks from the restaurant and it wasn’t like we had several options of choice so Dave pulled in.
“Sorry I couldn’t find something closer,” he said.
“It’s okay, you tried,” I answered.
Fortunately my shoes were beginning to loosen on my feet, not a lot, but they felt better during another marathon walk. The neighborhood where we were is known as China Town west and I couldn’t help thinking about the poor Chinese women who had bound their feet many centuries ago and the price paid for beauty.
“Here we are,” he said and opened the front door of the restaurant for me.
Looking around I saw a small fish tank with goldfish between the entry and the dining area. To the right was a low wall and then several small tables in front of the outside window. Larger tables then continued on my right to the rear of the restaurant. There was an aisle way between those tables and another grouping of tables to the left of the aisle. In the rear was a wall of aquariums filled with fish, crabs, shrimp, and other seafood waiting to be thrown into a sizzling wok.
Mostly the place was filled with Chinese people, which is a good sign as to the quality of the food.
“How many?” the hostess/waitress asked.
“Two,” Dave answered.
“It be about ten minutes,” she answered in broken English.
The right hand wall was covered with white boards, each with dishes not found in the menu we opened to see what we might order. Much of it was written in Chinese but I think most was translated into English. My eyes grew little wider as I read what was being offered. Pork intestines, frogs, and not just the legs, I wanted to scream, but knew I would be making a fool of myself in front of the man who was trying to impress me.
“Quite a colorful menu,” he said motioning to the wall, with a chuckle.
“Ewww, I don’t know how anyone could eat some of those things.”
“Watch the Travel channel sometime. You’d be surprised what people eat and think are delicacies. It makes pork intestines seem like a fine steak.”
“It’s funny, but I really never ate much Chinese food except for what they have at Panda Express. I’m more of an Italian cuisine kind of girl.”
“We can leave if you’d like?”
“No way, Buster. I walked two blocks to get here and my feet won’t let me leave without eating a little chow mein first.”
The hostess returned and showed us to a table tucked in a corner. It was one for four people, but most of the tables in the restaurant were round and could easily hold ten.
We sat, the hostess laid two menus in front of us and walked away.
“What would you like?” Dave asked.
“I don’t know. Why don’t you order for us?” I replied.
“Are you sure you trust me?”
“Its just food, Dave. It’s not like you asked me to your room,” I laughed.
“Point well taken. My friend made some suggestions, and don’t worry, we won’t be eating any frogs or turtles.”
Our waiter came to our table placed a pitcher of tea down and asked, “Are you ready?”
“My friend told me to order chicken wings with salt and pepper, pork chow mein, Hong Kong style, Mongolian beef and Chinese broccoli with Chinese sausage, and rice.”
The waiter repeated our order took our menus and left the table.
“I’m sorry, did you want soup?” Dave asked.
“I’m fine. I don’t eat that much and it sounds as though you ordered just the right amount.”
Dave poured a cup of tea and placed it in front of me.
“So, tell me what you do at your law firm.”
“I’m the attorney that does most of the work while my boss schmooze’s the client. You know, research cases and do what ever needs to be done to make him look good. What about you? You must be pretty important to have to come all the way out here from, God I don’t even know where you’re coming from, no that doesn’t sound right, what city, that’s what I meant.”
“Atlanta. The firm I work for is one of the largest advertising companies in Georgia. I’m sorry, but I’ve misled you. I’m the CEO and expanding to the west coast has been a dream of mine for years. Its finally happening and I
want to be sure my baby gets off the ground with no problems.”
“You’re the CEO?”
“Guilty as charged. I’m the majority stockholder. I started the company seven years ago and it’s grown every year, even during this recession. We went public just last year and I want to be sure it doesn’t take a dive like some of the social networking sites have recently.”
Our waiter returned with a plate of chicken wings smothered in garlic and sliced jalapeno peppers. Next came a bowl of rice, the broccoli and then the other two dishes.
“Do you have a fork?” I asked, blushing slightly. I could imagine what the waiter was thinking, tourists.
He returned with two forks and placed the on the table between us. This wasn’t a restaurant where etiquette was observed. We bring it; you eat it, and if you want anything more, go somewhere else.
I took my first succulent bite of the chicken wings. I didn’t have to worry about chopsticks or forks as my fingers worked just fine. I had to admit they were the best wings I had ever eaten.
“Give me your plate and I’ll dish everything up for you,” Dave said.
“Thanks,” I replied and handed him my plate.
Watching as he place a little of each dish on my plate, I was taken back by the dexterity with which he handled his chopsticks. Chopsticks were a skill I had never conquered but was willing to learn if Dave was willing to teach me.
“How do you do that so easily?” I asked.
“I spent time in Japan last year wooing a client, and had to learn, or believe it or not, lose the client. The Japanese are very conservative when it comes to custom and one is using chopsticks. Would you like me to teach you how to do it?”
“I’d love that.”
Dave handed my plate back to me and came around behind me, reached around my shoulders and took my hand in his. My stomach flip-flopped at his touch. He carefully placed to chopsticks between my fingers and moved the sticks to the plate. He helped me lift a piece of beef from the plate and let go of my hand. I didn’t move and stared at the chopsticks and the morsel of food between them.
“Now, lift them slowly to your mouth and take a bite.”
I moved slowly until I was halfway to my mouth and then the sticks crossed sending the beef across the table onto the floor.
“Oh God,” I stammered.
Dave began to laugh. “I’m sorry, but you should have seen the expression on your face., It was priceless.”
I felt my face turning red with embarrassment and thought about what I had just done. I pictured the beef flying from the table and couldn’t help myself. I started to laugh. My sides were hurting by the time I finally gained control of myself.
“I think I’d better stick to the fork,” I giggled.
”You might be right. This is no place to learn a new skill, although I’m sure the people in here see what you did everyday.”
“And I thought I was so sophisticated.”
“Don’t feel bad. The first time I tried sticks I practically threw a piece of fish at the man hosting the dinner I had attended. Luckily he was faster than the fish,” he laughed.
I laughed too. Dave was a wonderful date and we had become quite comfortable with each other.
Dave walked me to my door at the end of the evening. He held his hand out for me to take and pull myself from the car. He didn’t let go when I stood next to him. His hand was warm and felt special as we walked to my door.
“I had a wonderful time, Dave,” I said, as we turned to look at each other.
“I did too. Would I be too forward to ask if you’re busy this Saturday night? I’d really like to take you somewhere special, and then maybe a club afterward?”
“I’d like that. Call me and let me know what to wear.”
We stood and looked in each other’s eyes, each wondering if it would be too forward to kiss the other goodnight. I made the decision for us, and pulled him down and kissed him on the cheek.
“Good night Dave.”
He turned walked away and was gone. I felt empty.
Dave called the next day and told me he had reservations at Gary Danco. I knew I would have to dress very nicely as this is one of the best restaurants in San Francisco.
I remembered the date as being very special and romantic. After dinner we went to Yoshi’s on Fillmore, but by this time I was so infatuated with Dave I don’t remember whom we saw. What I did remember was looking in his eyes like a lovesick puppy, studying the deep blue of his eyes, his lovely lashes and his lips. Oh how I wanted to kiss those lips. I wouldn’t be denied when he brought me home. Our fist kiss was tentative, but the second, WOW is all I can say. Other men had kissed me, but this was different. We shared a special connection and it only grew over the next three months.
One date did come to mind which would influence what I was going to tell Dave after the bliss of our love making had settled and left me able to speak in coherent thoughts.
That date was two months after our first date. We had been seeing each other with increasing regularity. Our conversations had grown to the point where we almost told each other that we loved each other. It was obvious that we did, at the very least I did but knowing and saying you do are two different matters. If I were to profess my love, would it drive him away from me? I wasn’t sure, so I didn’t say anything, hoping Dave would say something first.
We were walking on Chestnut Street having just eaten dinner. Our arms were wrapped around each other and we shared kisses as we walked.
There was a scuffle ahead of us. Three drunken men had bumped another man from behind, causing him to fall to the sidewalk.
“Out of the way, Fag,” one of the men said, much louder than was necessary.
“Yeah,” one of the others said.
I felt Dave go tense. He turned to me and said, “Wait here and if you feel threatened, go in that bar,” pointing to a bar we had just passed.
I watched with fear as Dave walked to the group of men and said, “You owe this man an apology.”
The men looked at Dave and sneered, “This ain’t no man. He’s nothing but a Fag.”
“He’s a man like you and me. His sexual preferences are none of your business or mine, and even if it was you should mind your own business.”
“Fuck you buddy,” the tallest of the men said.
The mouth stood about five-eleven, was about thirty-five, and had let his football build deteriorate into fat. His gut hung over his jeans, diminishing the size of his chest. His arms were well muscled, but he looked slow, which is what he was.
Dave surveyed the three men and decided to act first. When you’re in a fight against superior odds, the best way is to even those odds. Dave slammed his fist into the man’s nose. I heard a sickening sound as blood sprayed in every direction. The man went down grabbing his nose, moaning. His friends looked at Dave and decided they didn’t want any part of him.
“Hey man, we’re cool,” the shorter of the two, said, holding up his hands in a surrendering gesture.
The man they had attacked had rolled from the sidewalk and was resting against the wall in a seated position.
“Apologize to the man,” Dave said, pointing toward the man against the wall.
“We’re sorry, mister,” Shorty said.
The man nodded his acceptance. Dave reached down and pulled the gay man to his feet.
“Thank you,” he said. “I don’t know what would have happened if you hadn’t come along.”
“I have a pretty good idea. Those guys were Neanderthals, and I’m glad I was here to help.”
“I don’t know how to ever thank you.”
“You don’t have to. Enjoy the rest of your evening.”
Dave turned and walked slowly back to me. The man with the bloody nose was just moving into a sitting position. He hadn’t stopped moaning since Dave hit him.
“I’m sorry,” Dave said when he returned to me. “But I hate it when assholes like that bully someone just because they’re gay. Scum like that piss me off and I just had to do something.”
“You did the right thing,” I said, and pulled him into a scorching kiss. I couldn’t have been more proud of the man I had fallen in love with.
“I hated for you to see me fighting like that.”
“You did it for the right reasons. It shows what kind of man you are.”
“Any one would have done the same thing.”
“They wouldn’t have, especially after they heard the word Fag. Most guys wouldn’t get within twenty feet of someone like that.”
“Well, I don’t feel that way. I just don’t understand what those thugs problem was. That man hadn’t hurt anyone.”
“Some people just can’t let their prejudices go. I’m so happy you’re not that way. What you did made me love you even more than I did already.”
‘Oh my God, I just let slip my true feelings for this man. Hopefully what I said won’t drive him away.’
Reading Dave’s thoughts was impossible. When he finally started to smile and take me in his arms, I knew our relationship was going to be okay.
“And I love you, Emily Strong,” and our lips met. His tongue slid into my mouth and I melted to his touch. God I wanted to bed this man, but my confession of love would be enough for one night. The night we would consummate our relationship would occur a month later.
Dave was sleeping and barely stirred when I snuggled closer to him. His breathing was slow and relaxed. My thoughts went back to earlier in the day when I knew this was the night I would do everything in my power to seduce this wonderful man I loved.
Dave had made plans for dinner and a quiet cocktail after at the Top of The Mark. The bar is one of the most romantic places in San Francisco. Dinner was going to be at Boulevard. I wondered what Dave did or whom he knew. Reservations at some of the restaurants we dined at needed to be placed three months ahead, and Boulevard was one of those.
I prepared by going to my favorite salon. I wanted my hair to be perfect and my hair stylist didn’t disappoint. My nails were done at the same time, as I didn’t want to take a chance of not being perfect.
Dave was picking me up at six. We would have a cocktail before at a trendy new restaurant south of Market.
I had spent the previous day shopping for a new dress. Most of the clothes I wear are sophisticated and a little flirty, but nothing that went over the line toward outright sexy. Sophisticated wasn’t what I wanted the next night, so I went on a shopping spree I hoped would leave no question as to my motives when Dave picked me up.
I found a beautiful electric blue dress at Nordstrom’s that didn’t even try to reach mid-thigh. I never wore dresses or skirts as short as this, not because I don’t have nice legs, but I do have a sense of modesty. I found CFM heels that matched the dress, so I was set. The unfortunate part of all this was that it set me back fifteen hundred dollars. Handing my credit card to the cashier I realized I hadn’t bought a negligee yet. I seriously hoped bedding Dave was worth it.
I was ready five minutes before six and Dave rang to doorbell exactly at six. I buzzed him in and waited for him to knock on my front door.
“Hi,” I said when he reached the door.
Dave stepped in and his jaw dropped when he saw me. He tried to say hello, but nothing more than a grunt passed his lips.
“See something you like?” I asked.
“My God Em, you’re gorgeous.”
“Thank you,” I replied.
“Are you ready to go?”
“Let me get a wrap,” I said, reaching into my coat closet and grabbing a wrap for my shoulders. I felt my dress lift on my legs when I did, knowing Dave’s eye were boring a hole as he watched.
Dave escorted me from my apartment down to the street. His hand and arm had found their way around my waist. There was a taxi waiting for us when we reached the street.
“I thought it would be best if we took a cab. Looking at those heels I’m sure you’d hate to walk anywhere too far.”
“Believe it or not, they’re much more comfortable than the torture devices I wore on our first date.”
“You’re absolutely stunning,” Dave said.
He opened the rear door for me and took my hand to help me as I lowered myself to sit. I couldn’t help noticing my dress sliding up my legs as I sat on the seat. Dave noticed too, and the slight smile he had on his lips told me he appreciated what he was looking at. I reached with my left hand and tried to pull my dress lower and was rewarded with an inch of modesty restored. Dave blushed as he saw my discomfort. ‘Good or bad, it was my decision to wear something so sexy, so I shouldn’t feel violated by his stares.’ To be truthful I liked the effect I was having on Dave because I knew where this evening was leading and by the time Dave brought me home, he would know too.
We arrived at a new restaurant near San Francisco Center, behind the old Mint. This would be a short stop before we continued to dinner.
We were seated by the hostess at a small table near the bar. Dave was very attentive and his chivalry was having an effect of me. Every day Dave and I had been together, just being with him made me tremble with delight. I think it was after the first month I found that I had fallen in love with the man. He was in my every thought and I had been reprimanded for losing concentration more than once during my workday. I only hoped I was having the same effect on Dave, however his attentiveness spoke volumes about his feelings for me.
Our waiter took our orders and returned several minutes later with our drinks, a Cosmo for me and a Manhattan for Dave.
“I hope you don’t mind me staring at you tonight, Emily. You are absolutely spectacular. What brought this change?”
“You’ll find out later,” I teased.
Dave choked slightly on his drink.
“How’s work been?” he asked, trying to lighten the sexual tension that radiated from our table.
“It’s fine, I’ve been working on a really big lawsuit where a supplier of steel didn’t follow the specifications. Unfortunately a bridge collapsed because of it and two people were killed. We think the inspectors were paid off to look the other way. It’s become a very interesting case.”
“I wish my job was like that. Once you learn the ropes, its pretty boring, except for the money part,” he laughed.
“I’d put up with the boring part if I made more money.”
“You’re paid well aren’t you?”
“Well enough, but it’s like anything. You could always earn a little more, and I almost broke the bank paying for this bit of cloth and shoes I’m wearing tonight.”
“What ever you paid was worth it. You’re stop traffic gorgeous tonight. I’m a lucky man to have found a woman as smart and pretty as you.”
I blushed as the waiter placed our drinks on the table.
The rest of the evening passed in a veil of love and romance. Dave had never been so attentive as he was tonight. We both knew at the end of the last sip of the cocktail at the Top of The Mark where this would lead.
“Would you like to come back to my place for a cup of coffee?” I asked demurely.
“I’d like nothing better,” was his answer.
Our passion ran amok on the cab ride back to my apartment. The driver smiled and winked at Dave when he dropped us off. Dave’s tip was more than the fare for the ride.
“Thanks man,” the driver said. “ Wish it was me instead of you,” indicating me with a glance.
“I’m the luckiest man in the world.”
“That you are,” the driver said and drove off into the night.
As soon as my front door closed our passion returned with nothing to stop the inevitable, which led to me holding the man I love in bed, him sleeping and me remembering our wonderful night together.
I felt a stirring and realized I had also fallen asleep. My arms were still wrapped around the man I loved. My eyes opened and Dave was staring at me.
“You know, you’re beautiful when you sleep,” he said.
“I’m sure you say that to all the girls,” I laughed softly.
“No, you’re the first.”
He lowered his lips to mine and kissed me deeply, stirring every thought of him to the deepest recesses of my soul. The lust of the previous evening made my skin tingle and it wasn’t long before Dave and I made love again.
Dave softened and finally fell out of me, leaving me feeling empty. I frowned slightly.
“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” he asked.
“I miss you,” I said with an evil smirk, looking down at the empty space between my legs.
“Give me a little while and we can take care of that.” He laughed and kissed me lightly on the lips.
“I love you, Dave,” I said and pulled him close.
“And I love you too, Emily.”
“Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure. Why would you ask such a thing?”
“Because I want to be sure you really love me, not a ‘sure I love you’ because we just made love kind of thing.”
“Is there a difference?”
“I’m just kidding you, I know the difference.”
“Do you? Will you feel this way fifty years from now when I’m old and my breasts sag to my stomach?”
“Fifty years? I don’t think we talked about marriage yet?”
“That’s not the point Dave, the point is would you love me no matter what, sagging boobs and all?”
“Of course I would. I fell in love with the woman inside of that incredible body, not those perky breasts I love so much,” he laughed.
I couldn’t help smiling at his silliness, but chose to continue.
“I’m being serious Dave.” I giggled. “Will you love me, really love me no matter what?”
“You know I will Em, I don’t know what you’re getting at?”
“What I’m getting at is being truthful with the one you love and there’s something I have to tell you before our relationship goes any farther. I’ve known you for three months and I’ve fallen deeply in love with you, a man so open and so loving that I want to be as open and truthful with you.”
“You have been. I doubt there’s anything I don’t know about you.”
“There is, Dave, and what I’m about to tell you is as difficult as anything I’ve ever done. I’ve seen how you hate prejudice and how easily you protected that gay man when we were out. I was so proud to be with you.”
“It was the right thing to do. We’re all human beings and all I did was protect him from a bunch of jerks. What’s this leading to?”
“Dave, I was born with a birth defect, which was corrected eight years ago. I’ve always been the girl you made love with tonight, except I was born with a penis.”
Dave’s eyes opened a little wider than normal and then his face turned into a scowl.
“What, you’re a man?”
“Of course not, what we just did proves that,” I said uneasily.
“You’re a fucking man! Jesus Christ, I don’t fucking believe it,” he said, pulling away from me.
“Dave,” I said reaching toward his arm.
“Don’t fucking touch me, you fraud, you fucking bitch,” Dave was yelling now.
Now tears filled my eyes and ran down my cheeks. It took several seconds before I could speak.
“You told me you loved me? You told me you hated prejudice, were those all lies?”
“You don’t understand. I thought you were a woman.”
“I am a woman. I’ve always been a woman, ever since I was born.”
“You aren’t a woman, you’re a freak!” he shouted, and jumped from the bed.
“How can you say that? What happened to the understanding man I fell in love with?”
“That man found out the woman he loved was a man.”
“But that night with the gay man?”
“What about it?”
“You, you said you hated people like the men who attacked him.”
“Yes I did, but it wasn’t happening to me! There is a difference, Emily, or should I call you something else, Edward or Johnny maybe.”
“You’re being cruel Dave. Please there’s no need for that.”
“No need? Fuck you Emily, I’m out of here.”
“You hypocrite. You tell me you love me, tell me you hate prejudice, make love to me and now this? You bastard, go, get out Dave, and get out of my life.”
I dissolved in tears, falling onto my pillow. I didn’t hear Dave leave and I could have cared less. I had been such a fool. Foolishly I had fallen in love with him and believed his lies, but that’s what my life had been, nothing but lies. I had actually deluded myself into believing I was like any other girl, one who could live a normal life, fall in love, marry and, and, what? I had been so naïve and now felt disgust as the result of our lovemaking dampened my legs.
I showered, hoping to take away the pain of rejection and to clean the mess Dave had left inside of me. This had to be the worst day of my life. Pulling the showerhead down I sprayed inside of me washing the disgusting mess down the drain. Thirty minutes later I exited the shower only because the water was becoming chilled.
Drying my body, I lay on the bed and let my mind drift to how I had gotten here in the first place.
I’ve always been a girl. There was never a doubt in my mind as to that fact. I’m also on the upper end of IQ quotients. School had always been a walk in the park for me, acing every test I took. My parents were very liberal and living in San Francisco and were big time Democrats. My Dad had his own commercial insurance firm and my Mom spent her time getting involved with every minority group she could. ‘It helps with fund raising for the party,’ she would say.
They felt I should have my own computer by the time I was seven and I should have my privacy and pretty much left me alone to explore the Web. Not that I minded, but if they had taken a greater interest in what I was finding, they might have pulled the plug on what I found.
It was during my tenth year that I found TG web pages and saw I wasn’t the only person in the wrong body. I read incessantly about surgery and hormones and how a boy could become a girl. The most disturbing thing though, was having to wait until I was eighteen to do anything about my problem.
I was eleven when my tonsils became inflamed. They hurt to high heaven, but they were the answer to a prayer.
“Mom, my tonsils hurt,” I whined as I dressed to go to school.
“Let me see,” she answered, “Open your mouth.”
Mom peered inside my mouth hemming and hawing, pretending she knew what she was looking at.
“They look swollen, I’ll call Dr. Winslow,” she said.
“Dr. Winslow? I thought he would be dead by now,” I laughed.
“That’s not funny, Charles. Dr. Winslow was my doctor and yours from the day you were born. I think I’ll keep you home from school. Change into your PJs and get back in bed.”
‘Yes! No school!’ The only downside was going to see Dr. Winslow. He really was a nice man, but seemed to not be there all the time. Oh well.
A few minutes later Mom returned to my room and informed me that I had an appointment at two in the afternoon, oh joy.
At two thirty I sat on the examination table with my shirt off and Dr. Winslow pressing my tongue down with a stick.
“Mmmhmm, yes your tonsils are a bit inflamed. I’m going to prescribe some antibiotic to clear the problem. You’ll feel like new in a few days.” Dr. Winslow opened a drawer, pulled his prescription tablet from it and wrote the script.
Tearing the page from the tablet he said,” I’ll give this to your mother while you get dressed,” and left the room.
I looked at the tablet and knew what I would do. I ripped six pages from it and put them in my pocket, put my shirt back on and went to join my mother.
“Charles, Dr. Winslow confirmed your tonsils are inflamed. You’re to stay home for three days and you have to take your medicine twice a day. Let’s go now and we’ll fill the prescription on the way home. Thank you, Dr. Winslow,” Mom said.
“Be sure to bring Charles back in five days. I want to see how he’s doing.”
“Yes Dr.,” Mom replied.
We stopped at the pharmacy near our home and I ran the prescription to the pharmacist.
“My mom asked me to drop this off,” I said.
“It will be ready in one hour.”
I returned to the car and told Mom, “The medicine will be ready in an hour.”
“Let’s get you home then. I’ll pick it up later.”
Mom drove us home and I went back to bed. I really didn’t feel all that bad, but if I had to stay home from school for three day, then yahoo.”
I went to my room and changed out of my clothes. I removed the pages I had stolen from my pocket and wondered how I would use them. As I stated, I had spent several years researching transgendered web sites, even going so far as reading several medical journals. I was almost twelve and the thought of having my face explode with pimples made me sick. I also knew this was about the time girls started their puberty and I wanted more than anything to be like them.
I looked at the pages intently, noticing that Dr. Winslow wrote with a lot of pressure on the pen. Taking a pencil from my drawer I was able to darken the top page enough to see his signature and medical number, which I would need if I decided to continue with my plan. With practice I would be able to forge his name.
I had turned twelve and was poring over medical journals and anything else that would teach me how much hormone I would be able to take without damaging my body. Finally I had the knowledge to put my plan in action.
Removing the script pages from my secret hiding place in my desk, I wrote a prescription for myself. It was a low dosage of estrogen, knowing if the dose was too high I could damage my liver. Rather than go to our neighborhood pharmacy, I went to one of the chains near by.
Walking to the counter I said, “My mom asked me to drop this off and to ask how much it will be?”
The pharmacist didn’t even blink. It was obvious to her a twelve year old boy had no idea of what he was asking to be filled.
“Do you have insurance?” she asked.
“I’ll look it up, please wait.”
She returned a moment later and gave me the price and said it would be ready in an hour.
I walked around the neighborhood and felt myself growing uneasy as the guilt for what I just did hit me.
‘I must be crazy,’ I thought. ‘I know the police will be waiting for me when I return to pick up the prescription. What will my mother and father say when I’m charged with forgery and they have to bail me out of jail?’
My nerves had my hands shaking when I returned to pickup my order. I had brought more than enough cash to pay for the pills. My parents gave me twenty dollars a week, which I just saved in a box under my bed. I really didn’t have any close friends so there was no need to spend the cash.
When I went out with Mom and Dad they paid anyway so I’d saved most of the twenty dollars a week for several years.
Walking to the counter the pharmacist looked at me and smiled.
“Your prescription is ready,” she said. “I imagine this is for your mother. Is she going through menopause?”
“Of course you wouldn’t know. Does your mother have hot flashes?”
“I guess,” I said handing her the money.
“I gave you a break on the pills since you don’t have insurance. Tell your mom these will make her feel better.”
“Thank you, I will.”
I couldn’t get home fast enough. The answer to my prayers had been answered. I was going to become a girl.
Opening the bag I removed the bottle of pills. I was sure the dosage was correct but worried that I might have made a mistake. Deciding not to take a chance, I split a pill in half. My thought was to let my body get used to the hormones before I took a whole dosage. Splitting the pill I held half in my hand as excitement overwhelmed me. I started to shake as indecision wracked my brain. A small voice said, “Don’t do it.” The room closed in on me as indecision built around me. The tension was thick enough to cut with a knife. What I was about to do was so wrong in so many ways.
Placing the half on my desk I turned and walked away. I can’t do this thing. If I don’t I’ll turn into a man. I’ll be hairy and tall. I’m a girl, why would I want that? Returning to my desk I picked the half back up again and popped it in my mouth. My puberty had begun.
Needless to say taking the meds became easier each day. My morning ritual became the same with regard to taking the pills. Get out of bed, sit down to pee and then take the pill. After two weeks I increased the dosage to a whole pill, as I hadn’t had any bad reactions to the half I was already taking.
I wasn’t quite sure what I expected the hormones to do, but what they did to my body was pretty much what would happen to any other girl during puberty. I didn’t grow breasts, not yet anyway. I had read during my research that estrogen started growth in boys and girls with testosterone guiding the way that growth took place in boys.
After the first month I noticed my legs started aching at night. I mentioned it to my mother.
“Mom, my legs hurt,” I said one day.
“Down here,” I said pointing at my calves.
“Those are growing pains. You’re finally going to grow into a fine young man, like your father.”
“If they keep bothering you let me know. You’re a bit young to be starting puberty, but you never know with kids these days, what with all the things that are in our food. Did I tell you about the hormones in milk?”
“Yes Mom. I have to get ready for school,” I said, leaving the room.
Mom was on a committee, one of many, that was trying to make food not certified as Organic, to be outlawed in the State of California. This was latest and greatest which meant every breath was talking about the evils of big farming. Sometimes I wish mom would spend as much time with me as she did with her political causes.
Mom was right, they were growing pains. As the year progressed I grew from four foot six to five foot four. Over the next few years I would add another inch, making me five foot five when all was said and done.
My mother is five-one and my dad six-two, so I’m not really sure who I took after. I do know that I love my height
The growth that took place though did surprise me. Most was in my legs. My face became more feminine looking but the growth I didn’t expect took place in my hips. Apparently my pelvis was developing like the rest of my body. It was growing wider to accommodate the birth of a baby.
I was much taller than the rest of the boys at school, with the exception of two or three of them. The only difference was they gained width in their shoulders and I did on my hips. My legs were also longer than theirs.
I was just starting to add the fat layer that made women so soft looking and made their legs and butt so attractive to men. That didn’t change the fact that I had hips and keeping them from being discovered would become a problem. Looking in a mirror I could see the difference from a year earlier. My shape was obviously a girl’s shape. My waist was still small and my hips a bit larger than they should be on a boy. The fear of discovery invaded my every thought.
During my second year on hormones my body decided I was indeed a girl. It was time for breast development, and it didn’t fail to go all out. I went from a flat chest boy to a girl with very nice perky breasts in less than a year. To say this didn’t cause problems would be an understatement. Binding one’s chest everyday hurts, and the nicer my breasts became the more they hurt when I strangled them each morning.
My biggest concern was my uniform. It was becoming harder each day to conceal the fact that I was a girl. Mom had bought me longer trousers to accommodate my growth. Why she didn’t question the fit of my shirt and blazer is beyond me. My feet grew a little and I’m a size seven today. I had decided to let my hair grow, but it wasn’t allowed to go beyond my collar, per school rules. Even though I would wear my shapeless uniform, I’d still be addressed as Miss.
I would be entering high school the coming school term. Removing my clothes and unwrapping my breasts I stood in front of my full-length mirror. I looked carefully at the reflection that greeted me. My hair was still a boy’s cut although a bit long. Everything from there down said girl. My face had become very feminine; my chin was narrow and my nose petite. My now prominent breasts accented my narrow shoulders and I still didn’t own a bra, but had measured myself and was between B and C cup. They were no longer pointy, but rounded like a woman’s. My waist tapered in above widening hips and the legs that went on forever. The hormones I had taken had done their work in spades. There was no way I would be able to attend school as a boy, as there was no boy left. It was time for my parents to see what their son had been doing in his room.
Opening the door to my room I shouted, “Mom, I have to see you and Dad when you have a chance.”
“Your father isn’t home, but I’ll be right there.”
I was sort of glad Dad wasn’t home. Explaining their new daughter to Mom would be much easier than to my father. With Mom’s social outlook I prayed her liberal attitudes would spread into our home.
Mom opened the door and walked into my room all I had on were my boy’s briefs, which clung to my hips like hip hugging panties. She stopped and turned pale when she saw me. Up to this time I had never tried any makeup or worn women’s clothing. I had been tempted to try my mother’s, but changed my mind because I was taller than her and I didn’t want anything to point to the fact I was going through a girl’s puberty. I couldn’t risk putting her cloths back in the wrong place or they would tip her off to my new developments.
My parents love me, I’m sure of that fact, but for some reason they never spent much time with me. I felt as though I was an afterthought. My Dad was almost never home because he was busy making enough money to allow my mother her vices, politics and clothing. My mother’s closet looked like an ad for women’s clothing in a catalogue. Everything was in its place, ranging in style and color. It was freaky to see her clothes lined up perfectly from white to black in each style she owned. Nothing was out of place and I wasn’t about to touch any of them. Which brings me back to where my mother walked into my room.
Gaining control of herself she asked, “Charles what have you done?”
“What do you mean mother?”
The color returned to her face and then some. I wasn’t sure if she was angry or embarrassed that she hadn’t noticed my feminine growth before this.
“You’re … you’re a girl.”
“Yes mother, I have always been one.”
“But you’re a boy.”
“No, mother, I’m not. Do I look like a boy?”
“That’s not the point, Charles. You have a penis.”
“Yes I do, but it doesn’t make me a boy.”
“How did you do this to yourself?” she asked, becoming very uncomfortable looking at me.
“I just did. There are ways.”
“How could I have not known?”
“Mother you spend all your time with your causes. I hardly ever see you and I found a way to make my outside match what’s inside of me. It was time you know about your daughter because there’s no way I can go to school next year looking like this and try to pass as a boy. I just hope you are willing to accept me, Mother.”
I felt a chill and wasn’t sure if it was the cool air in my room or my mother’s gaze as she tried to analyze the picture of her son turned girl without her knowing.
She finally did something I had never seen her do. She began to cry.
I pulled a shirt on and went to her, wrapping my arms around her as the tears flowed. It didn’t take long before I joined her, tears flowing from both of our eyes.
“I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” Mom repeated.
“You didn’t do anything wrong,” I answered.
“Yes I did. I should have seen how you were hurting so badly inside.”
“Mom, it’s not your fault. I should have said something to you,” I blubbered.
“Honey, I was never home to give you a chance.”
“There were times I could have said something. Please don’t blame yourself, Mom.”
My mother held me tight finally guiding me back so she could look at me once again.
“You’re beautiful,” she said, wistfully.
“I’m not,” I blushed.
“You are. Do you have a girl’s name?”
“No. I just wanted to become a girl, and my name wasn’t important to me.”
“May I name you? A mother’s fondest dream is to name her daughter, and I’d like to give you the name I would have if you were born a girl.”
“I’d like that mother.”
She looked at me again, tears filling her eyes and said, “Emily Lynn.”
Clutching my pillow to my chest, tears ran from my eyes as I remembered that night. I never felt so loved as when my mother named me.
My father finally came home from work and I was afraid of what his reaction might be. At first he was shocked, seeing how much of a woman his son was. He didn’t falter though, and welcomed me with open arms. “I knew you weren’t becoming a man, but a beautiful woman. I just wondered how long it would take your mother to notice.”
From that day forward I was Emily Lynn Strong. The gift my parents gave me for my eighteenth birthday was surgery to rectify the defect I had at birth.
I was enrolled in high school as a girl, graduating with honors. My next step was the University of California, where I received a degree in business. After graduation I was accepted to Boalt School of Law and worked toward my law degree, passing the Bar as soon as I graduated.
I was recruited as soon as I passed the Bar. With a degree in business and licensed to practice law, I’d had my pick of several firms in downtown San Francisco, settling where I am today.
Dave wasn’t my first boyfriend, nor was he the first man I had sex with, but he was the one who’d bored deepest into my heart. I thought he was the one, but after his reaction to my physical history I felt used. How could I have been so wrong about a person? Letting my guard down and falling in love hadn’t been in my plans. I wanted to become a partner in the firm and I’d almost lost everything I had gained through hard work. My heart had driven me to a place I wanted so badly, being with a man that loved me, really loved me, no matter what. That love had affected my work as I acted like a lovesick teen.
My girl friends had told me when I fell in love I would see what they were talking about and I have to admit they were right. As badly as Dave had just hurt me, my whole being warmed and a thrill still shook me as I thought of him.
Thinking back, I’d never got involved with the men I dated. Sure, I’d notice if they were cute and I loved dating, but there was so little time with my studies. What free time I had was spent being a girl. If a man asked me on a date I’d usually go, and after several dates I would no longer see him again. There were four guys I did like, but didn’t love. I gave myself to them more to find out if I liked sex as a woman, (yes very much), than to show my feelings for them. Then came Dave.
The intense feelings I had for the man were feelings I didn’t think possible. Every sense and every nerve in my body stopped when he entered a room. As hard as I fought my feelings his eyes and wonderful scent completely turned me into Jell-O. There wasn’t a moment I didn’t think of him, his touch, his kisses, his warm smile, and those cute dimples on his cheeks when he smiled. I wanted nothing more than to sleep with him. I wanted to make love with him and not to just have sex like the others. Making love did nothing more than bring heartache to me. I’d been such a fool.
My thoughts wandered until I slept. My dreams were jagged and full of nightmares. I woke more than once in a sweat as demons controlled my every thought. Thank God it was Sunday when I woke. I would have had a hard time explaining my red eyes from crying.
I slept better Sunday night and looked my usual perky self when I dragged myself into work Monday morning.
I went for break and walked to my Starbucks. Reaching for the door handle my hands began to shake. My body froze as thoughts of Dave returned and our meeting at this exact business. I couldn’t move.
“Excuse me, are you okay?” a voice asked.
“No,” I answered, as I turned, tears streaming from my eyes and ran from the building.
Finding myself several blocks from Starbucks I lowered myself onto a window ledge in front of a clothing store. Pulling tissues from my purse I dabbed my eyes dry leaving black marks on the tissue. ‘God’, I thought, ‘I ruined my makeup’.
“Are you alright, sweetie?” a woman asked.
“I think so, except for my makeup.”
“Come with me, I work in this building and you’ll need some water and serious repair before you go anywhere, I’m Sandy, by the way.”
“Emily, and thank you.”
“You have no idea,” I replied.
“Oh, I think I do. My fiancé’ broke up with me a year ago and I still think about him and wonder what I did wrong?”
“Mine broke up with me Saturday night.”
“When were you going to get married?”
“I’m sorry, we weren’t engaged, it’s just that I finally gave myself to him and asked if he really loved me and, he lied. I’m so angry right now.”
The tears returned and Sandy held me, comforting me as we walked.
We rode to the ninth floor and exited the elevator, with her guiding me to the woman’s room.
Sandy wet a paper towel and wiped the mess from my face.
“There, now we can make you pretty again,” she said. “What do you do?”
“I’m an attorney.”
“Really? You should sue the bastard for doing this to you,” she laughed.
I couldn’t help myself. Sandy had an infectious laugh and had me giggling right along with her.
“I wish I could, but that’s not the kind of law I practice.”
“Well, keep it in mind. Maybe we can sue both of our men together and make it a two for one sale.” She continued to laugh.
“We could try. I think I’ll just forget about Dave and get on with my life. I’m sure I’ll find someone just as nice as he was.”
“I’m sure you will Emily. You’re much too pretty to become a Nun.”
“That’ll never happen. Thank you for your help and concern Sandy. I’d like to see you again. I’ll buy us dinner as a way to say thank you for all you did for me.”
“That’s not necessary. Let me give you my card and you can call any time. I think we could become good friends.”
Sandy gave me her card with the name of the firm she works for. There was no job description, just her name and phone number.
“I’ll call, and thanks again.”
I returned to work, but not before buying a takeout coffee from Peet’s . It would be some time before I entered a Starbuck’s again.
I threw myself into my work. All work and no play make Emily a dull girl, but I didn’t care. It was helping me get over the jerk that lost the best thing he ever had.
It was a Wednesday three and a half weeks after our breakup when the phone rang at work.
There was a pause before he spoke, “Emily, it’s Dave.”
I felt my stomach lurch and my face flushed. God I couldn’t believe this man still had that effect on me.
“What do you want Dave? Call to gloat?” I asked, as anger replaced my romantic feelings.
I stood and walked to my office door, closing it so my conversation would remain private.
“No, I called to apologize to you for what I did.”
“And what was that?” I asked. I could feel him squirming over the telephone.
“Leaving like I did.”
I was silent for several seconds before I answered him.
“Apology accepted, now leave me alone.”
“Wait Em, please.”
“Why should I. You hurt me, Dave. You hurt me like no one has ever hurt me before. I’ve gotten on with my life and don’t cry every night anymore.”
“Please Em, I need to see you again.”
“You want to see me? Puhlease, you can’t seriously think I’d even consider that and don’t call me Em, my name is Emily.”
“But, but, I love you, really love you.”
“You should have thought about that before you walked out of my life, David. I never want to see you again.”
‘But,” I heard his voice whine as I lowered the phone to its cradle. My tears dropped onto my desk, staining the paper brief I had been reading. How could he do this to me?
Friday the first bouquet came, red roses, two dozen with a card I read and deposited in the trash along with the roses, thinking, ‘If that bastard thinks flowers will get me back, he’s sorrowfully mistaken.’
Monday more flowers and into the trash they went.
“Miss Strong, if you don’t want them, I’ll take them. They’ll brighten my desk,” Kelli, my assistant said.
“They’re yours and anymore that show up,” I growled.
And show up they did, every day that week and into the next.
I knew who was sending them and I didn’t want anything to do with them. Friday was a different matter. A courier came to the office with a card and a small package.
“These are for Emily Strong. I’m to deliver them personally,” he said.
Kelli informed me of the delivery and said, “ You have to sign for it.”
The courier came into my office and placed the package on my desk.
“Sign here,” he said, pointing at the next empty place on his sheet. Signing my name, he left and I turned to the package. I pulled the brown paper from it and unwrapped the cardboard box within. Opening the box I saw a card and a jewelry box protected with bubble wrap.
The card was in an embossed envelope sealed with wax. Dave’s initials were pressed into the wax, DB. Opening the card with shaking hands I read the following:
Dearest Emily, This will be the last time I will contact you if you won’t accept my apology. Before you make a decision, please read the rest of this card. When I met you, you did things to me I didn’t think a woman would ever do. Do you believe in love at first sight? I didn’t either, but you proved me wrong. I was in love the minute I saw you reading your novel, and yes I remember what it was. I remember everything about you. When I ran off that night, I was shocked at what you had told me, but even more shocked at my reaction. That wasn’t the Dave Brand who fell in love with Emily Strong. My life has become a living Hell without you and I’m on my knees begging for your forgiveness, Love Dave.
I lowered the card to my desk, trying to keep tears from falling once again. Removing the jewelry box from the carton I opened it. It contained a pair of diamond earring studs, each at least a caret and a half. I picked the card up and held it to my chest and let the tears flow. What was I going to do? I had finally come to terms with a life without Dave and now he did this to me. I promised myself I would never speak to him again, but I owed him at least parting words after the gift he had sent to me. I picked up the phone and put in his number.
“Dave Brand,” he said.
“Dave, it’s Emily. I got your gift.”
“Thank God, I was afraid you wouldn’t call.”
“I won’t lead you on, Dave, but we need to talk,” I said in neutral tones.
“It’s a start. When can we meet?”
“Tonight would be fine, say seven at that little bar on Chestnut you took me to.”
“I’ll see you there, Emily, and please, think about what I wrote in the card I sent.”
I lowered the phone and dried my eyes. My life was becoming such a rollercoaster. This time though I was in control.
I entered the tavern at five minutes past seven. I wanted Dave to sweat a little and apparently he had.
“I thought maybe you changed your mind,” he said. There wasn’t the irritation I expected in his voice, but worry.
“I didn’t, although the thought did cross my mind.”
“May I get you something?”
“A club soda with lime would be fine.”
I wasn’t going to drink any alcohol tonight. What we were going to discuss was best done with a clear head. If Dave wanted to drink, that was fine with me, but I wasn’t going to make any blunders because I wasn’t sober. Dave returned with my drink.
“You’re not wearing my gift,” he stated, looking at my ears.
“I thought it best that I didn’t until we settle what we are going to do from this day forward.”
“What would you like to do?” he asked.
I hated that he couldn’t make a decision for himself. Dave wasn’t being fair to me, if I said no I was an uncaring bitch, and if I said yes I was a woman without a spine.
“If you really want to know, Dave, the easiest thing would be for me to stand and leave right now, but I promised myself I would listen to what you had to say.”
“The only thing I can say to you is that I love you. I love you with all my heart and would like to spend the rest of my life with you.”
‘Whoa, wait a minute, did Dave just propose to me? No, no, no, I can’t do this. I definitely don’t want this man to break my heart again.’
“Dave, I think it’s a little premature for me to decide to spend the rest of my life with you. If I decide to see you again, we’re going to take it slow, and you’re not going to bed me again unless we’re married, for that I can be sure.”
“Emily, I’ll do anything you say, if you’ll just give me a chance to prove myself to you that I wasn’t the man who walked out on you.”
“I’ll say this for you, you’re persistent, but if we’re to date each other there will be rules.”
“Emily, I already told you, I’d do anything to win you back. I’ll do anything you say.”
I reached across the table and took Dave’s hands in mine. The familiar warmth filled me as it did before.
“Dave, there is only one thing we won’t talk about ever again after tonight. It’s very important that you know who I am and I’m not a man who decided to change his sex. I was born a girl unfortunate enough to have been born with a penis. The only puberty I had was going from a girl to becoming a woman. I never ejaculated from my penis or from anywhere else. It was just an unfortunate piece of flesh I had removed when I turned eighteen. Yes, I had a woman’s part constructed, and you seemed very happy using it. My breasts are natural as is everything else about me. You see, Dave, I’m a woman who had a birth defect that I had corrected. If you can’t live with that, then we’re through here. If you can, then we might have a chance to get back together.”
Dave squeezed my hand and said, “Emily, I love you, every inch of you. Would you do me the honor of joining me for dinner tomorrow night?”
“I’d be honored.”
One year later.
“Mother, would you please hurry and finish buttoning my dress?” I asked, franticly.
“Honey, there are sixty buttons on the back of your dress and if your fiancé’ can’t wait, then too bad,” my mother said.
“But father is waiting to walk me down the aisle,” I whined.
“Yes he is and he couldn’t be prouder of his daughter late or not.”
“Mom, you know how I am about being on time?”
“I do, but you only marry once, and if you can’t be a few minutes late to your wedding, then too bad,” she giggled.
I looked in the mirror at the blushing bride and thought, ‘She really is a lucky girl.’
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