‘Emma, we need to talk.’ He did not sound as angry as I thought he was! A wave of relief moved across my body as I slowly approached him. Did he know? Could he have guessed? I had no idea how to act or what to say. I didn’t want to offend him or say anything that could possibly endanger the fragile connection we had established. I was finding myself falling for this man and I didn’t even know how to behave around him without triggering some unhealed wound from the past. I desperately wanted him to see me as different from all the others. All those shallow people who judged him prematurely, before they even got the chance to get to know the person who was sitting in the wheelchair. Yes, he couldn’t use his legs but from the moment I saw him for the first time at the lecture hall, it had never occurred to me to think of him as disabled. The discomfort I felt when I was around him wasn’t due to the fact he was paraplegic, but rather to the intensity of the feelings and sensations he invoked in me. Feelings that I couldn’t yet understand myself.
I stepped towards him, stopping right in front of him. I would have given anything to be able to slide back into his lap and kiss him senseless. But I held back and braced myself for whatever was coming next. I was finding it hard to read him so wasn’t sure what he would say to me. I only hoped he wouldn’t send me away as though nothing happened. I would not be able to handle it. Seeing him almost every day at university and pretending there hadn’t been anything between us. So I held my breath as he continued.
‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you. I know this was unexpected for you and believe me, I never intended to go so far. I hope my behavior just now hasn’t offended you by any way.’, Oh no, he was going to blow me off, pretend that nothing happened and just move on! The pain in my chest area became intolerable. I must have shown some discomfort outwardly for he quickly pushed himself forward and took both my hands into his. ‘Emma, what is it?! Are you OK? I told you I am really sorry about what just happened. I cannot turn back time and change events but I can promise you that I will do everything I can to help you with your studies and make sure you feel comfortable here. I perhaps misread your response to my advances and if you do not wish to see me ever again, I would respect your wish. If you decide to inform the department of what just happened, I will understand. I know I shouldn’t have acted so out of control and I will face all the consequences for my actions, I promise you.’
I was speechless for a few moments and could not find the strength to move away or to remove my hands, he was gripping me tight without realizing, I thought. And I liked it. A lot. I needed time to recover from the shock and the massive relief that followed. So he didn’t want to deny what happened! And he wouldn’t shut me out, at least from what he was saying. I almost lost balance when I realized I had been holding in my breath for the entire duration of his speech. All I could do was stare at him, unable to express the tremendous joy I was feeling. He wanted this! Otherwise he wouldn’t have said all those things.
I guess I delayed my answer for he got this really concerned look on his face, his eyes trying to penetrate me, to read my mind and figure out what was going on in there. I couldn’t stand the thought of causing him discomfort or any suffering, so I smiled quickly. A small, shy, insecure smile. It was still hard for me to believe that this man- this amazing guy- wanted me. He could have women with much more experience than me. Ones who were established and had a career. So why me? Did he want to simply have fun? The last thought caused me tremendous pain and I quickly chased it away by choosing to instead focus on the beautiful amber eyes in front of me, who were right now gazing at me as though I were the only person in the world who mattered. My heart completely melted. Right in this moment I would have agreed to anything he would have requested from me. I would have given myself to him freely, regardless whether he chose to see me as a casual fling, or someone he wanted to share his life with. I would have eagerly taken both.
‘Emma, please talk to me. I’m beginning to think something is really wrong. I didn’t misunderstand your reaction to my advances earlier on, did I? Emma, just say something, for God’s sake! You are scaring me. Did I do something to hurt you? Please, if that’s the case, just …’ I interrupted him before he could go on, eager to put an end to this torture that we both seemed to be going through simultaneously. ‘No, no, of course not! I’m sorry I just needed some time to gather my thoughts. Of course I wanted it as much as you did. This was… Well, it was unexpected but I participated voluntarily and in equal measure. I just… err, I just had no idea you felt this way about me, that’s all.’
‘Emma, look. I know things got out of control but you have no idea how glad I am this happened. If I had to endure another day of seeing you so close and yet so far away, I would have lost my mind. I wasn’t sure about your feelings, however, although I could tell you were somewhat interested. I just... I just didn’t dare to hope you could respond to my feelings. But God, I am so happy you did!’, as he was saying this a broad smile spread across his face. He was truly beautiful. I could not, for the life of me, take my eyes off this man. Nor could I make myself believe what I was experiencing was indeed happening. I was afraid I might wake up and this would be just a dream. I had to pinch myself! Instead I bent down and kissed him. Deep. I poured all my passion and unspoken desire into that kiss. I think he could feel that as he responded by grabbing me by the waste and pulling me down onto his lap again. This time around we remained with our clothes on, but our lips stayed connected for what felt like hours. I couldn’t get enough of his smell, of his taste. All my senses were filled with him fully and completely, to the point that I no longer knew where I was. Having his arms wrapped around me, pressing me hard against him, as though I was his only life supply, felt exhilarating. His breathing became more labored and quick, his tongue demanding, claiming me. The kiss deepened and became much more possessive than during our first lovemaking. I could feel he was aroused. I was sitting on his lap sideways and could feel his penis pressing against my thigh. He wasn’t as hard as when we made out previously, but the way he was devouring my mouth left no doubt in me that that he was majorly turned on.
The knock on the door came unexpectedly for the both of us. Our stay in heaven came to an abrupt end.
I didn’t expect a knock on the door. Damn! I didn’t expect anyone today, which is why I found my concern growing with each new sound coming from outside my office. I was still majorly turned on. The delicious scent of her filling my nostrils was intoxicating. The warmth of her warm, soft body pressing hard against mine left me breathless. I didn’t want this to stop. But I very well knew it had to, unless we wanted to both risk being caught making out in my own office! During teaching hours!
I knew I liked her enough already, so I didn’t mind losing my job over it. But she was so young, with her entire future and career prospects ahead of her. I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the mirror if I ruined this for her. So I gently moved her away from me and straightened my shirt. She looked winded and embarrassed. God she was delicious! The firm desire to pull her back onto my lap and devour her pink swollen lips gripped me. It was with superhuman effort that I managed to drag my eyes away from her and push myself towards the door. The knocking sounds had intensified in the meantime and I heard the voice of one of my colleagues shouting my name.
‘Green, are you all right man!? I’ve been looking for you everywhere, Janine told me you must be in your office. Are you OK?’, that was Hugh, one of the first people I made friends with upon arriving at the university. He was a nice guy, always trying to be helpful, which just drove me mad. It took me almost a month to make him understand I was pretty capable of managing on my own. Fortunately, once he got the message, he was quite pleasant to be around. We became friends pretty quickly and he always made sure to watch out for me, only without intruding too much or interfering with my independence. So what did he want now? I better find out and send him away before he could figure out what was really going on. I mean, I didn’t expect him to go straight to the dean or anything, but I wanted to keep this thing between Emma and I private. At least for now, until I could figure out how to proceed with her. It was way too soon for the both of us to go public, considering we hardly knew each other. God, how I wished we could continue the conversation we had started before Hugh managed to ruin everything. I wanted- no I NEEDED- her to trust me. To know how I felt about her, about us. If there could actually be ‘us’. By the way her body responded to me, I could tell she wanted to go into it. But whether she wanted it as much as I did, that was still up in the air… I could really see myself with this girl. She was charming, sweet and considerate. I loved how she looked at me and smiled at me, how she blushed when I complimented her, how her body reacted to my touch. I could lose myself completely in her essence and never want to come back to the outside world.
Unfortunately, the outside world was now making its presence known in the most irritating way. I had to speak to Hugh, otherwise the guy might decide something’s wrong and try to break into my office. That would be a disaster, seeing that Emma was still trying to regain her composure. One quick glance over her told me all I wanted to know- she was not ready to face any third parties right now, but what made my heart jump and skip a beat was what I saw on her face. I could read this expression and I’m pretty sure I was right- she was just as affected by me as I was by her! It made me smile with overwhelming relief, which made her in return shoot a confused look in my direction. Soon. We needed to talk and we would, just after I send Hugh away.
I straightened up, gestured to Emma to move away from the door, so that Hugh wouldn’t be able to see her as I opened it. I wasn’t planning on letting him in at all. No way was I do this to her- cause her this embarrassment. Of course we could always explain the situation by simply saying she came over to ask me about the lecture material. But I just didn’t want to risk it. So as soon as she got securely out of viewing range, I opened the door just enough so I could see Hugh and discover what he was after. ‘Hey, man, no I’m good, why-what’s up?’ I tried to sound as normal as possible, which took me some effort given the circumstances.
‘Hey, I was just passing by and wanted to check up on you, see how you were doing. We are going to have a meeting with the Dean this week and I just wanted to let you know it was re-scheduled for tomorrow.’ He seemed like he wanted to come in so I quickly made up an excuse about being on my computer and using earphones, hoping this would be a good enough excuse to calm him down and hopefully get him to leave. Hugh didn’t seem to buy it at first and almost made an effort to enter and pass me by as he stepped inside. However, I was faster and pushed my chair forward, almost running his feet over in the process. I think he got the message then as he raised his palms up in an obvious gesture of surrender.’ Hey, sorry man, I didn’t mean to pry on you. It’s just that normally you’re pretty quick to answer so I got a bit concerned. Anyway, I think I better be on my way now, seeing all is good.’
‘Yeah, all is good, no need to worry. Thanks for being so thoughtful, next time I will leave my door open while I’m using the headphones. ‘, I hoped this would make him leave finally, which it did, although as I was closing the door behind him I could tell his curiosity hadn’t been sated.
Now, I could finally return to Emma and our conversation. But just as I was doing that, my heart stopped. All the elation from the joy I felt minutes ago evaporated, as I watched the girl whom I had started to develop feelings for picked up her bag off the floor and got ready to pass me by as she was leaving the room.
I needed to get out of there. Fast. Maybe he was thinking he made a huge mistake and was going to say so. I wasn’t planning on being around when this happened. So I figured, while he was talking to this Hugh guy, that I would try and sneak out as soon as I could. I didn’t want to hear him reject me. It would hurt too much. He said that he wanted to try this but the way he was acting now, when his colleague was here, spoke otherwise. Maybe he found the entire situation too embarrassing. I mean, I was his student for Christ’s sake! He obviously did not want us to be seen together or for anyone of his friends to know about me. And if this didn’t hurt badly enough, the way he shot a look in my direction as Hugh attempted to enter into the room, spoke volumes.
Professor Green had no intention of ever going public with me and the sooner I got this into my head, the better. It was best to end it now anyways, before one of us caught feelings. I mean, not that I expected him to ever profess his undying love for me or anything. OK, there was a tiny morsel of hope deep within me that perhaps gave me the courage to come into his office and let him make love to me. But I wasn’t going to let it destroy my already fragile sense of self. My dignity would have shattered completely if I let this man utter the words I was totally expecting him to. So I figured I’ll take my chances and leave right now, while I still could, with my head kept high. I wasn’t going to allow him to humiliate me or hurt me. I know I was stupid enough already to think he could possibly want something more. I did show interest so I guess he took the offer. I cannot blame him for this. Maybe perhaps he got swept in the moment and gave me reason to hope. Looking at him now- his obvious embarrassment at being caught here with me, in this compromising situation, brought me back to reality. How could I even imagine for a second things could actually work out between us. Our worlds were different. He was established- and I, well I was still figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. Not to mention I was only in this country to study and would have to quite possibly leave here, once I finished my education.
No, the more I thought about this, the more it became obvious we were doomed. Nothing serious could possibly come out of this. And I was better off leaving him now, before he had the chance to enter my heart fully and thus cause way more damage. So I picked my bag, straightened myself and summoned all the strength and courage I could muster. A clean cut now would save us both much pain down the road. At least for me. I wasn’t sure about him and right now I didn’t even want to know. It would cause too much harm. I was resolved to save my heart or at least whatever was left of it. Wait! Did I just think that? Oh no, no, no, no! This cannot happen! I weren’t in love with him already, was I!?
My head hurt from all the mind chatter and I sprang into action. I plastered my most uncaring face I could manage and attempted a quick escape. I almost thought he would let me go, to spare himself further embarrassment. Not that I needed explanations or anything. I was pretty clear on what had just taken place. It wasn’t as though he took my virginity or anything. And he was nice to me all throughout. So I cannot blame him for anything. I was just as eager a participant as he was. Gosh, at one point I practically offered myself to him!
My face red, I hurried around him, hoping I could just go past him quickly. Just as I was passing him by and almost reaching the door, almost feeling the relief of having averted a heartbreaking scenario, I felt his hand grip my forearm: ‘Wait! Hold on, we were going to talk I believe.” Oh no, so he wants to make this even more embarrassing than it already was?! I pressed my lips together and braced myself. I didn’t want to pull my arm out and just run away. He would not only think of me as an easy girl, but also a coward. No way I was going to stoop so low in his eyes! And so I stopped in my tracks and looked down at him. What an irony that this man, even sitting down below me, was still in control of the dynamics between us. To someone looking at us from a distance, it might have seemed as though I could walk away easily and he wouldn’t have any power to stop him. However, the strength with which he was gripping at me suggested something different.
My eyes followed my arm until reaching his fingers which were clamped around my wrist now. He pulled at me slightly and not expecting the tug, I easily lost my balance, landing right back where this all started- in his lap. My bag dropped to the floor with a sound and I had to wrap my arms around his neck in order to keep us both from falling along with it. For a brief moment our gazes locked, our foreheads pressing against one another. He was looking me straight in the eye. And I couldn’t look away even though I wanted to, badly. We stayed like this for what seemed like eternity. Him gripping my waste, pressing me against him, breathing into my slightly open mouth. My arms still wrapped around his shoulders, I could feel his muscles tensing, as he fought to keep us both upright. His ability to balance was impressive. I felt so safe in his arms. Like this was home and I was never supposed to leave ever again.
However, the spell was broken as the pain from earlier resurfaced. I remembered what I had been telling myself just a few moments earlier and shifted my eyes away from his. I couldn’t bare look at him. This man, who was gorgeous. Who had been kind and considerate to me. Who did not reject my clumsy lovemaking but rather embraced my essence. How could I open up to him, how could I allow myself to be vulnerable enough in order to admit how I felt? I wanted to tell him, I NEEDED to tell him! I was just about to mouth all of this out when he spoke; ‘Emma, I know you were probably not expecting this when you came here at this university. I want you to know that I am fully aware of the fact that you are young and beautiful. You could have any guy you wanted! I know that! And god help me, I wish I could just let you go. I wish I could let you walk out of this room right now and just be happy you gifted me the experience to be with you. God, I wish I were that unselfish! But I am not, Emma! I cannot! I would not let you leave me, not like this. ‘
I was speechless at first, too surprised by what he was saying to me to even be able to respond or form a coherent thought. When I finally managed to open my mouth to speak, he cut me off and continued:’ Please, hear me out first. Before you make your mind about us, just hear what I wish to say to you. Then you will be free to go wherever you like, once you’ve heard my offer and declined it. But I beg of you, please listen to it first. Take your time before making final decisions. I need you to hear this and I promise you- if after you still want to leave and never speak to me again, I would let you go. I give you my word. I will not try to stop you or attempt to change your mind. I promise I will accept your decision whatever it may be.”
He looked so determined, so desperate, that I just wanted to relieve us both and gave him a quick nod to continue. I had no idea what he meant by all of this or what the offer he mentioned was about. But I knew by now I cared about him way more than I had realized. And so I held my breath and concentrated on his next words.
‘I want you to listen to me now and not interrupt until I have finished, OK?’ Another quick nod from me and he continued.’ I know that a guy like me would never have a chance with a girl like you. ‘
He shot me a quick look but before I could read his expression, he started talking again.
‘I know that I should just be happy you came into my life and allowed me to be near you. God, I couldn’t believe my lucky star when you came to my office today. I did not dare hope you would take me up on my offer. But when you did, I started hoping – not, craving, more. And you just showed up here looking more beautiful than I ever remembered you during class, and to top it all off- you seemed to reciprocate my advances! So, like the utter write-off of a man that I am, I jumped the opportunity to be able to have you near me. And when you, beyond all expectations, didn’t deny me, I couldn’t stop myself. I was desperate to have you, Emma. I am ashamed of what I did and my lack of self-control. But you have to understand – when you’re around, I lose my ability to think straight. All I can really think of is how I would love to kiss you, to hold you, to enter you and make you mine.’
He was almost trembling now and slight perspiration had begun to form across his forehead. He sounded pained, as though the words hurt him as he was uttering them. The look that he gave me when he stopped for a brief moment to catch his breath was one of pure torture. And hope. He almost had a crazed look to him, so conflicted between the two. I craved to put an end to his suffering and shout ‘yes!’ to whatever he wanted from me- I didn’t know what this would be exactly but I had the feeling he was about to ask me to become…what, his girlfriend? I would have said yes right away, but he looked like he needed to talk more, so I bit my bottom lip to stop myself from blurting it out loud and let him continue. What he said next, however, made my newly sprung happiness shrink back into the desperation I felt before we started this conversation.
I wasn’t sure how to break it to her. I wasn’t even sure if she would let me finish my sentence before she slapped me and walked away and out of my life for good. So I just gripped her waste tighter, took one final deep breath and promised myself that once this was over and she had given me an answer- whatever it may be- I would never again allow myself to stoop so low ever again. There was something about this girl that made my blood race in my veins. She made me feel more alive than I could ever remember.