You’re probably wondering, at this point, what Chris gets out of our relationship sexually. No matter how much of a boy scout he is, no guy wants to spend 100% of sexy time pleasuring his girlfriend. So here’s the deal with that:
I keep it above the belt. He lies in bed, and I go at his specific erogenous zones: namely, his nipples, his neck, and his earlobes.
The neck can be problematic. The first time I started sucking at his neck, I got a little overzealous and left behind a hickey. Not just a hickey, but a massive bruise—the kind I used to get in high school, when kissing was mostly all I did. Chris pretty much wanted to kill me when he looked in the mirror and saw it. “Are you kidding me, Samantha?” he cried. “I have to go to work this way, you know!”
“Tell them you fell,” I suggested.
“On my neck??”
(For the record, it was gone within a week, and he does not look bad in turtlenecks.)
In any case, since that experience, I’ve taken it easy on the neck and focused more on the earlobes and nipples. Chris is always so composed, so it’s especially fun to make him squirm when I suck on one of those extra-sensitive spots. As I make circles around his nipple, his eyes water, his breathing quickens, and he gasps with pleasure. “Samantha,” he breathes. “Oh God, I love you so much.”
I have a lot of stamina, and to be honest, it’s so hot, I could go at his nipples and chest for hours. But at some point, he’ll squeeze his eyes shut, let out one loud gasp, and then squeeze my body close to his, and I know he’s done. “Holy shit,” he sighs as I climb into the nook under his arm. “You are fucking amazing at that.”
Is he just saying that or am I actually amazing? I have no idea, and it would probably be a little rude for me to start questioning him about it. I do find the whole thing so much sexier than the average girl probably does, so maybe I really am amazing. Nipple orgasms could be my special talent. Maybe I should put it on my resume.
Chris and I have been spending more and more nights together. We’re at that point in our relationship where it’s annoying that we’re not living together, because one of us has to be schlepping our clothes around like a nomad. Usually I’m the nomad, because my apartment isn’t entirely accessible, so it’s just easier to spend the night at his place. I finally bought myself a second toothbrush for his bathroom when I got sick of brushing with my index finger.
I love spending the night in bed with Chris. I love that feeling of lying next to him, knowing I can just stay there, that neither one of us is going to have to run out at any point. I love cuddling up next to his warm body during the night. Even his snoring is almost hypnotic to me. It’s this soft, rhythmic sound that serves as a reminder that the man I love is next to me.
Chris isn’t big on sleeping naked, which is fine because neither am I. He generally wears an undershirt and boxers to sleep in. Chris is unbearably sexy in an undershirt. The fabric is thin enough that I can see he has a gut that’s out of proportion to how slim he is. I’m guessing it’s because those muscles in his lower abdomen don’t exist anymore. Some girls might find that belly to be a turn-off, but not this girl. Sometimes I think it’s the thing I like best about him.
Sometimes when we’re lying in bed together, I’ll slip my hand under his shirt so that I can feel the bare skin of his abdomen under my fingers. But I’ve consistently noticed that when I get below a certain line on his chest, his whole body seems to tense up.
“What’s wrong?” I finally ask him one day when my hand is on his belly and he’s acting like he’s going to have a stroke.
“Nothing,” he says, although at that moment, he grabs my wrist and moves my hand about six inches north.
“Why do you keep doing that?” I ask.
My eyes meet his. He isn’t wearing his glasses and I can’t help but think how nice his eyes are. “It’s just weird,” he says, “when you touch me somewhere I can’t feel. I don’t like it.”
“I thought you had some sensation?” He was never entirely clear on this. Of course, I’m embarrassed to press him for details, and he never, ever offers them on his own.
“Not really,” he says.
I place my hand back down on his stomach and he tenses again. Of course, his abdomen doesn’t tense, because I’m pretty sure it can’t. “Can you feel this at all?”
He shakes his head no.
I move my hand up a little. “How about here?”
Again, he shakes his head. Finally, when I reach his sternum, he nods that he can feel me. I feel brave at the moment, so I ask, “What about your legs? Can you feel them at all?”
“Hardly,” he says. “Occasionally I can get the sensation that someone is touching me and I can tell you which leg, but that’s about it.”
“Can you move them at all?” I ask.
“No,” he says. He sighs and shakes his head at me. “Look, do we have to talk about this?”
“Sorry,” I say, and I quickly move my hand to a place where I know he can feel. I would think that Chris has been a paraplegic long enough that it shouldn’t bother him to talk about it, but I guess not.
“No, I’m sorry,” he says, sighing again. He puts his arm around me and pulls my body close to his. “Sometimes I just worry that if you learn too much, you might… I don’t know, get freaked out. It’s stupid.”
Ha, if only he knew.
“Anyway, you have a right to be curious,” he says. “So… ask me anything you want. What do you want to know?”
It’s sort of like releasing a menstruating woman in a chocolate factory. I’m so scared that now that he’s given me license to ask whatever I want, maybe I’ll go too far. What if I ask an inappropriate question, and he realizes the truth about me? No, I’ve got to control myself.
“That’s all right,” I force myself to say. “I don’t have any questions.”
“Really?” Chris looks like a mixture of surprised and relieved.
“Yeah.” I shrug. “I mean, none of this is that important anyway. Right?”
Chris nods, although I sense that he knows I’m lying.
My parents live about an hour and a half drive from me, so my mother comes to visit me maybe every other month. I've always been fairly close with my mother. When I was growing up, we always gossiped about boys I liked, and I know her top five list of hottest actors. (Number one is Robert DeNiro.) Granted, she doesn't know I'm a devotee, which seems like a big deal, but until now, there really hasn't been much to say about that.
But ever since Chris came into my life, there's been a bit of a distance between my mother and me. I just can't seem to tell her about him. I can't. My brother Tom kept his promise about not telling them, which is great in some ways... but part of me wishes he would have told them so that I'd be off the hook. As things get more and more serious with Chris, I can't imagine keeping him from them much longer.
After Mom finds a parking spot, I meet her at my building. Right away, I notice that her blue eyes look worried. Of course, my mother always looks a little bit worried. Worrying is her specialty. Right now, her biggest worry is that her daughter is thirty and unmarried. It’s really making her unhappy.
However, the last time we talked, I told her in no uncertain terms that these days, thirty years old is not considered an old maid. And I told her that if she nagged me about it anymore, I was going to be pretty pissed off. Still, I’m impressed she manages not to mention my love life for the first fifteen minutes we’re together.
"What's his name?" Mom asks me, as we sit in her favorite Greek diner in the city. She says this is the only place that can make a decent moussaka, as if she's any great connoisseur of Greek cuisine. She was born and raised in New England by Irish-Catholic parents.
"Whose name?" I ask innocently, taking a sip of my Coke Zero. That's a bonus of this diner for me: they have Coke Zero, which inexplicably tastes way better than Diet Coke. Why is that anyway?
"You're humming under your breath," Mom points out. "You always do that when you're seeing someone new."
"I do?" That's news to me.
She nods. My mother notices the most bizarre things about me. Like she says she can always tell when I'm getting sick because my lips turn vivid red. "So let's hear, Sam," she says. "If you're never going to give me grandchildren, I think you at least owe me some details about your beaus."
I play with the paper napkin in front of me. "His name is Chris."
Mom clasps her hands to her chest in relief. "I knew there was a boyfriend. So... how long has this been going on, young lady?"
"About six months," I admit.
She gasps at me. "You kept this from me for six months? How could you?"
I shrug. I introduced Patrick after about a month, so admittedly, this is pretty weird behavior for me.
"So it's pretty serious then?" she asks.
I want to say yes, but I can't get the words out. "Maybe," I finally say.
"Well, I hope it is," Mom says. "At your age, you shouldn't be with a man that long if you don't think it's serious."
At my age. Like I'm freaking a hundred.
"So what does he do?" Mom asks.
"He does in-store tech support for Apple," I say.
"Oh," Mom says. She doesn't sound super impressed. Patrick, by the way, was a lawyer.
"He's looking for work in electrical engineering though," I say. "This is just a temporary gig for him."
"Do you have a photo?" she asks.
I do have some photos of Chris on my phone, but a lot of them show that he's in a wheelchair. And... well... I don't know if I'm ready to make that confession to my mother. After all, what if this doesn't work out and then I date another wheeler? That could get a little dicey. So I shake my head no.
"No photos?" She looks shocked. "Is he ugly?"
"No!" I say. That, at least, is a true statement. "I just... I don't know. We're too busy enjoying the moment to take photos."
"Says the girl who took five hundred photos at her parents' anniversary dinner," Mom says, sounding a little skeptical. "Okay, fine. What does he look like then? Is he tall or short?"
"Um. Above average, I guess." From lying next to Chris in bed, I'd guess his height to be an even six feet, but strangely enough, I always felt weird asking him.
"Fat or thin?"
"On the thinner side."
"How old is he?"
Mom squints at me, trying to read my face. "He's not married, is he?"
"Mom!" I cry. "Of course not."
"Well," she says. "You're hiding something from me. If he were a nice, normal guy, I think you'd have mentioned him by now. Or you'd at least be willing to show me one of your photos of him."
At that moment, I'm rescued by the waitress bringing our food. I got a grilled chicken sandwich, although my stomach is doing flip flops and I can't imagine how I'll eat it. I look over at my mother, who seems pleased with her moussaka. Maybe even pleased enough to swallow my lies.
"I'm not hiding anything," I say.
"So you say, Sam," Mom says. She starts in on her food, effectively letting me off the hook. But the truth is, I'm not off the hook. If my relationship with Chris continues, she's going to have to meet him eventually. And it's just going to be worse that I didn't tell her.
My mother tries to finagle her way into meeting Chris, but I manage to shoo her back to her car soon after lunch, reminding her how bad traffic will be if she waits until rush hour. And she hates driving in the dark. So really, she has no choice but to leave.
Still, my mother can be a little sneaky, so I’m half worried she’s going to decide to stick around and surprise me. For that reason, I wait until she’s called me back on her landline at home to tell me she made the return trip safely. Then I call Chris to come over.
When Chris arrives, he looks miserable. I climb onto his lap and put my arms around his shoulders. “I hate my job,” he groans.
“I spent an hour today trying to show this woman how to use her iPhone,” he says. “An hour. It took me thirty minutes to explain to her the difference between a text message and an email. How is it possible not to know that? I swear, Samantha, I wanted to shoot myself.”
“My poor sweetie,” I say, snuggling closer to him. “Have you heard back from any of those jobs that you applied for…?”
He shakes his head and I see that he doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. It sucks that it’s taking him so long to find a new job he likes, but I know he’ll find something eventually. I mean, he’s really smart and his resume is great. I wonder though if it hurts his chances of being hired that he’s disabled. I could see how it might help and I could see how it might hurt.
I stand up off Chris’s lap and start massaging his shoulders. “Does this help?”
“Oh, yeah…” he murmurs.
I keep rubbing his shoulders, loving the feel of the tight, lean muscles in his upper arms, back and neck. I unbutton the first two buttons of his shirt so I can get down into his collar, so my fingers can knead his skin directly. I really love giving him massages.
“You are the best, Samantha,” he breathes.
“God, yes.” He turns his head and smiles up at me. “You are, by far, the best thing in my life right now.”
I feel like it would be lame to say the same to him, but it’s actually true. Even though I love my job and I love my friends, Chris is still the best thing in my life.
“I’m going to go get a beer,” he says. “You still got some of that six-pack I brought last week?”
I nod. “Help yourself.”
Chris wheels over to my fridge and braces himself against the counter as he pulls open the door. He scans the contents briefly before pulling out a can of Budweiser. He looks up at me with a grin. “Samantha. Did you order a lemon meringue pie for lunch?”
He’s referring to the slice of pie that my mother ordered at the diner, then didn’t touch. She always does that. She thinks I’m too skinny, so she orders extra food, hoping I’ll eat it. I finally agreed to take the pie home, just to appease her. “That’s just my mother’s,” I explain.
The smile disappears from Chris’s face. “Your mother was here today?”
Chris has a really hurt look on his face. The thing is, he asked me recently about meeting my parents. I made up some excuse about how they hardly ever come to the city, and it’s a pain in the neck to go out to Connecticut. And now I’ve been totally caught in a lie. As usual.
I almost wish he’d yell at me instead of just sitting there, looking hurt. I know I’ve got to try to fix this, but my first instinct is to tell more lies. “She was only here for like an hour,” I explain. “She was just passing through and it was just a last minute thing.”
Chris looks at me like he knows I’m lying. “Oh,” he says.
“Really,” I say.
“I believe you,” he says. And now we’re even, because we’re both lying.
“What’s so great about meeting my parents anyway?” I sigh.
He shrugs. “I don’t know. I love you, so… I want to meet your parents. Is that weird?”
Way to turn up the guilt, honey.
“And I want you to meet my parents too,” he says. “Actually, they’re coming in to town next week, and they’d like to take us to dinner.”
“You told your parents about me?” I don’t know why this surprises me so much. We’ve been dating a long time. But then again, I’ve noticed men tend to wait a long time before telling their parents about their girlfriends. I think our parents may believe that Tom’s never been on a date.
“Of course. I told them months ago,” he says. He raises his eyebrows. “Did you tell your parents about me?”
“Yes, of course,” I say. Which is technically true.
He looks relieved by my answer and I don’t have the heart to tell him that I left out something so important in my description of him.
“Next time my mother is in town,” I say, “I promise I’ll invite you along. I swear.”
As he smiles at me, I secretly pray that Mom won’t decide to come to town for several more months.
To be continued....