As long as he could remember, Leon had never liked to be among unknown people. He had never liked parties too much; he had never liked to go to the cinema – closed in such a tigh space with nowhere to run – or to the disco.
But there was an exception to the rule: concerts. In his life, Leon had spent more time on a guitar than on anything else. He loved music and he was well aware of the appeal that live music had on him. Every time he went to a concert, he could feel again all those lost emotions from the time when he was the one on the stage, playing the guitar and singing with his former rock band.
That’s why his friends had never problems convincing him to tag along with them and as such, that night, he had tagged along again. He had felt a little uncomfortable on the line to buy the tickets, but once inside the club he had soon felt at home.
The Base Club had been built a couple of years before in the basement of a historical building in the centre of the small city. It was not too big, but it has quickly become renown in the city for the strict selection required to play on that stage. Only Indie groups working for small, local labels were allowed to play there, and as soon as they became famous their chances to play in the “Big See”, as everyone was referring to the club, were nil.
That night it was the turn of a band that had been slowly but steadily growing in the heart of citizens: The Crest and Beyond. As a matter of facts, an acquaintance of him was playing as the drummer of the band and Leon was curious to listen to his performance.
As interested as he was in the band and music, his friends weren’t. Tim and Sean were looking around for girls, as they always did in such situations, not caring about the music that for them, was just accessory. They knew already most of the girls in the city, but they were always trying to hit on the few, new ones coming from nearby towns, and they had no time to lose: as soon as the concert started, they would have had no easy chance to speak with anybody.
Not that Leon wasn’t interested in girls: he was a healthy man in his early forties, and had been single for way too long. But to meet the right woman when the choice in the city was so limited, seemed to be an insurmountable obstacle.
He went to the bar and bought a drink. Holding and sipping a glass of Vodka Lemon while looking at the goods on sale at the band kiosk was always a good way to pass the time before a concert. He looked at all the items on sale: their new EP, cups, wallets with the logo of the band: a stylized, split wave crest with something that could be a sun, or a star, half hidden behind. There was even men and women underwear with the logo in the front and the back, something he thought was really kitsch.
At least the t-shirts were pretty, though, and seemed to be well made: the logo had been carved in the middle of the chest, using some black-transparent synthetic fabric to stick out from the t-shirt black cotton. The two girls selling the goods were actually wearing those t-shirts over a white, low-cut singlet, and the effect was quite nice, especially for the boys who could have a glimpse of their prominent breasts, he thought.
Suddenly, the lights faded out and the attention was caught by the illuminated stage. He left the glass on a table and walked to get closer to the stage. As always, he had bought nothing – he thought.
There was no trace of Tim and Sean. Either they had gotten lucky with some girl or, more likely, they were somewhere getting drunk: they were really not interested in the music as much as Leon was.
The concert started: the band sounded good. Notes and chords filled the atmosphere with joy; the drums had a good vibe and the singer was clearly the leader of the group: the timbre of his voice was strange enough to sound characteristic and his movements good enough for the crowd to feel involved.
Leon didn’t know any particular song but one – their most famous – and when the band started playing it, the whole crowd began to dance and jump as they sang the refrain over and over.
He didn’t like to be in the crowd, but the atmosphere was so nice that he simply became part of it. Everyone was dancing, moshing without caring about hitting each other. He hadn’t drunk so much, but still, his head was spinning with excitement.
And as he threw his head back and forth, as he moshed in the crowd hitting all those strangers that were, in that moment, connected to him by the music, he lifted his head and their eyes met from afar, for a brief moment.
She was crazily moshing. She was sweat, hot and beautiful.
And as he shyly looked away he remembered a name: Susan.
After a couple of seconds, Leon dared to look in her direction again. Susan: why did he think about that name? Did he really know that girl? He couldn’t recall.
He looked at her from afar. The floor just below the stage seemed to be her natural environment: she danced, jumped, threw her head and body back and forth, right and left careless of the bruises she was surely gaining with her performance.
There, among the other people, with the loud music feeling her to the core, the girl was evidently in her element.
A push from the side remembered him he was still in the middle of the chaos, and the song had not come to an end. Then he got caught again by the rhythm, the music, the moshing, and he forgot about the girl on the other side of the hall.
When the concert finished, Leon took some time to try to find his two friends, without success. Tim and Sean had disappeared somewhere, and the only thing it seemed he could do was waiting for them. Tim, in fact, was the one with the car. He hoped he wasn’t sleeping somewhere drunk, or worse, stoned.
After a couple of minutes wandering, he decided the best place to wait for them was the bar. They would have come back there, especially if they were still hunting for girls.
He ordered another Vodka Lemon, sat on a barstool and turned around to face the slowly emptying hall. The Big See was going to be open until late night, but after the concert had finished, most of the people had decided to leave.
Sitting on what seemed to be a speaker just below the stage, he noticed the girl he had seen before. Again, the name “Susan” blazed in his mind, and again he found no evidence of her in his memories.
The girl had her face buried in her palms. He couldn’t say if she was crying or sleeping. She wasn’t moving, though. Was it because of the alcohol’s help or was it just out of curiosity, Leon courageously covered the distance that separated them until he stood right before her. The low lights and the artificial smoke still hanging in the air still wouldn’t allow him to see her properly. He coughed, and when he got no response from the girl he tried to speak.
“Hey, are you OK?”
Again, the girl didn’t move. He poked her shoulder with a finger, asking again.
“Hey, Susan, are you OK?”
At the name, the girl lifted her head, tilted it just a little to the left and looked up to him. In her eyes, Leon could see she was trying to recognize him.
“I’m OK, thanks. Do we know each other?”
Leon realized he had called her ‘Susan’, without actually knowing if it was her real name.
“No, sorry, I thought I knew you, but I must have gotten the wrong person. By the way, I’m Leon, do you need any help?”
“Nooo, I don’t… wait,” her eyes illuminated when she heard his name, as she remembered who he was. “Leon? Leon Peeeensh?” She said with the voice of someone who had drunk a little too much.
This time it was his turn to be dumbfounded. She had definitely said “Pence”: how could that girl know his name, too? But it took just a couple of seconds for his memories to arise. It was her voice: he remembered it perfectly. Susan, the girl who used to live on the same floor as him, during his last college year. They had been at parties together with other college mates, and they had spoken each other a couple of times. How could she remember his surname? He wondered.
The girl in front of him, anyway, wasn’t the introvert, simple girl that used – like him – to be literally dragged to those parties. The once blonde, thin girl wasn’t that thin anymore, and her hair was in a strange shade of light blue. Her face was slightly rounder, but her eyes and lips were the same as before: happy, and yet in a way melancholic. Just, he had never seen her wearing makeup before, and right now she was almost unrecognizable because of it. It felt like knowing and not-knowing her at the same time.
She stood up and had to support herself on the arm that Leon promptly gave her, not to fall down again.
“I… looking fo’ a friend. What ‘boutyou?”
She wasn’t actually in the state she could explain herself properly, he had understood that already, so Leon proposed to move to somewhere where she could sit.
“And I bet you couldn’t find them. But they’ll not find you either if you sit in the shadows… let’s go sit by the bar, will you?”
She didn’t answer but didn’t oppose any resistance when he tried to pull her across the hall. They eventually arrived close to the bar, and she managed to sit on a barstool.
“A coke, please, with lemon and ice,” he asked the barman. He had read somewhere that coke was helpful in such situations, but he wasn’t actually sure about it. He had never been drunk in his entire life. Apart from that only time, years before, when he had ended up throwing up everything he had drunk -w and supposedly eaten in- the previous twelve hours. And at the time, there was no coke around to help him.
Susan sipped the cold coke slowly. She didn’t speak for some minutes, as her mind cleared, and didn’t even looked away from the glass she was holding with what seemed to Leon like an incredible effort.
“T-t-thanksh,” she said at some point. At least, Leon thought, she was aware of her situation.
“So, who are you waiting for?”
Strangely, since she was actually someone he already knew, he found easy to speak with her.
“My… my two friends,” she managed to say, with difficulty.
“I see. Well, I’m sure they’ll eventually find you if you stay here at the bar. And I can keep you company if you don’t mind. I’m actually stuck here too because my friends disappeared and… well, they are the one with the car keys.”
He laughed, thinking it was somehow funny, but the girl probably didn’t get it. An awkward silence fell between them until he changed the subject.
“Anyway, how could you even recall my surname? I also saw you as you were dancing before, and I recalled your name but… I couldn’t recognize you properly. And yet you even remember my surname, after so many years?”
“I… Hooow cou’d I foogget the man I looosht my virginity to?”
Leon had to make a huge effort not to burst in a loud laugh in front of her. She was absolutely not herself, and she didn’t know what she was speaking about. He would for sure remember if he had fucked that woman. Especially if she was a virgin at the time: he had never been with any virgin and he had often, secretly, hoped to try one.
She had emptied the glass already, and as the barman passed by, she stopped him and asked for a Cuba Libre. Leon was quick to correct her order.
“I think another coke would be just fine, please,” he said referring to the barman, then continued to speak to Susan. “Only coke for you, from now on, OK?”
“Oh, yeshh… I’m shhhhure it ish a fuuuuuulfilling night, if I get ooooonly cock, right?”
Leon didn’t laugh at her joke. He had never liked girls with the habit of getting drunk, and he wasn’t liking this girl’s behaviour either. He was actually feeling a little embarrassed being there, kind of forced to stay at her side. He looked around, hoping nobody was seeing them. The hall, anyway, was almost empty and the few people remaining were either drunk too, or technicians working to dismantle the stage.
He decided not to say a thing anymore and quietly waited for his friends to arrive, occasionally checking his smartphone for either trying to contact them – or feigning to.
It took them around an hour to arrive. Leon was still there, looking after Susan without actually speaking to her. Even if in the meantime she had clearly gotten better: she could already sit on the barstool without risking to fall down, indeed.
To his utter surprise, anyway, his friends didn’t arrive alone. They were walking side by side with a girl each, holding their hands as if they were already intimate, and smiling so much they either had drunk a lot or had managed to actually do something with those girls. Or maybe both, Leon thought.
When they arrived at the bar, anyway, there was another surprise waiting for him. The two girls were actually the two friends Susan had been waiting for all the time.
“Hi Susan,” one of the girls said, referring to her, “Happy to see you’re having fun too! Sorry we had you waiting…”
“Actually-” Tim started – but was soon interrupted by the girl next to him, that continued speaking.
“Think you could bring him home? We are going to still… ehm… hang out with them for some time. So maybe you could give him a lift?” The second girl intervened.
It was clear to Leon, that his friends had hit the jackpot that night and had no intention of letting the chance escape under their nose. They had for sure spoke already about how to get rid of Leon and, probably after having seen him and Susan at the bar from afar, they had decided to take advantage of the situation.
Leon was speechless, and Sean seemed to notice his uncertainty because he dragged him away, before whispering in his ears.
“Hey man, you ain’t gonna ruin our night, right? You’ll manage it, and who knows you may get lucky and get laid too. She’s a pretty girl!” He said, nudging Leon with his elbow while nodding to Susan, still sitting on the barstool.
She was discussing with one of her friends too but, after a while, they stopped talking and separated. Susan seemed disappointed, while the friend speaking with her seemed to be exasperated. The other girl was already slowly walking away as if she had decided long before what was going to happen.
The two couples indeed left the hall like that. Hand-in-hand, laughing and flirting. Leon could imagine how their night was going to end and, in some way, envied them. He hadn’t gone there to flirt, but for a change that would have been good to try.
And yet he was there, stuck with a girl he could have probably liked, but not in her current state.
Leon didn’t live too far from the club. Walking a couple of kilometres in the city was not going to be an issue, and it wouldn’t even be the first time he’d do it. On the other hand, he didn’t feel like leaving the girl alone. It was late night already, the hall was going to close soon, and Susan – even if not completely drunk anymore – was not fit to drive him home, or to drive herself home either.
He sighed, as he understood what he had to do.
“Hey,” he said, touching her gently on her shoulder to catch her attention, “Susan, what do you think if I drive you home? You understand you can’t drive, right?”
She looked at me. In that moment, the main lights of the hall turned on, and Leon looked at her hair, light blonde as they had always used to be. He smiled: he must have been drunk too – he thought – not to notice the blue was due to the hall lights.
She seemed to forget what was going to say – as if her priorities had suddenly changed.
“Am I still in such a state, that I make you laugh?”
“Wha… No, of course, no, please, I wasn’t laughing at you. Hey… it’s not a problem, let’s go out and get some fresh air, then we’ll see…”
He realized he had no way out of it, with a girl in such state, so decided to change the topic. They didn’t speak much, anyway, as they got their jackets at the wardrobe and went out in the chilly night.
“Where’s your car?”
Maybe, Leon though, the best tactic was to act as if the fact he was going to drive her home, had already been decided. She didn’t complain, though, and she grabbed his arm as they walked through the parking lot until they reached her car.
He opened the passenger door of the small, red Mazda 2, and waited for Susan to sit on her seat, then entered on the driver’s side.
“So, what’s the address?”
Leon knew that Susan wasn’t completely drunk anymore already. He had seen his friends in such a state more times he could count, he knew how it worked. And yet she wasn’t speaking much. But she promptly answered his question, and after a couple of seconds, they were already driving in the empty, dark street of the town.
“I’m feeling cold,” it was the first thing she said.
“Are you feeling well? It’s not that cold tonight,” Leon said, actually worrying a little, and doing so he instinctively grabbed her hand to feel it. She was, indeed, very cold, but as soon as he realized what he was doing he hurried to retract his hand and continued to drive, keeping silent.
It was only a couple of minutes afterwards that, as he lay his hand on the gear stick again, he felt her hand over his, and after he had finished shifting the gear she simply brought it to rest on her leg, covered by her own.
“You are warm… it feels good.”
Leon wondered if she was referring to the feeling of his warm hand under her cold one, or over her naked leg.
Susan lived in a town nearby and it took no more than twenty minutes to get there.
When the GPS notified their arrival, they were in an area composed mostly of small, two-storey, colourful townhouses. Her one seemed to be a shade of orange but Leon wondered if it wasn’t actually pink. The low, warm yellow lamps on the street – the only source of illumination around – could be playing tricks to his vision as had happened at the Big See that night already. A green front yard separated the entire strip of townhouses from the street. Each house had its own decorations: trees, bushes, flowers. Susan’s one had two lines of roses adorning the sides of the path leading to the door.
“It’s here, right?” He said turning to Susan, and only then he realized she had fallen deeply asleep. Indeed, it was long since he had retracted his hand from her naked leg, and there had been no word between them since.
“Hey, Susan?” He tried again, poking at her shoulder, but got no response. He sighed, wondering how he was supposed to wake her up.
“Suuuusaaaaan…” He tried again, raising his voice. And again, he got no answer.
He needed to snap, he needed to get rid of some stress. While his two friends were supposedly somewhere fucking two – if not nice at least pretty – girls, he was stuck with the drunk one, now sleeping like a log in her car.
He exited the car, closed the door behind his back and swore again, this time shouting his frustration to the moon.
“FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUUUUUUCK!”
The chilly air helped him to relax, anyway. He lighted up a cigarette and leant on the car, pensive, as his previously racing heart calmed down. He knew himself pretty well: there was no way he could have left that girl in the car all night. He had to wake her up or, at the very least, to manage to get her home.
First, he covered the few meters that separated the sidewalk from the door and rang the bell.
No answer. Indeed, excluding the lights on the porch, the house was pitch black, as if nobody was there. But as it was late night, it may have been that everyone else was sleeping.
He tried to ring again, and again.
The more the time passed, the more he realized he had only two options: staying for the rest of the night in the car with her, or try to pull her inside, somehow. The latter seemed the most attractive, especially due to the cold that was, by then, gripping his bones.
He entered the car and, inside, looked for her bag until he found it, then – even if he knew it wasn’t something a man would be supposed to do – he rummaged inside until he found what seemed to be the keys to her door. He went all the way to the porch again, unlocked and opened the door a crack before coming back to the car and opening the passenger’s door.
“Hey, Susan! Hey! Wake up, please! You have to help me here… try to walk at least!”
Only when he pulled her up and outside, she woke up as much to be able to stand – if hugging him and half sleeping on his shoulder can be considered standing, indeed.
Like that, he managed to drag her all the way to her house and inside. When he closed the door behind them, he took some time to touch the wall in search for the light switch. When he finally found it and turned on the light, he was happy to see he had switched on only a low, dim light, that wasn’t hurting his eyes too much.
The first thing he saw, was his objective: the sofa. In was on the left of a wide room that spanned across almost the entire ground floor. On the right a red kitchen, a glass table and a door that probably led to a bathroom or little warehouse. On the right, the sofa was placed in front of a TV stool on the side of which there was a little, brick fireplace.
Apart from two little, tiled squares around the entrance and the fireplace, the rest of the house floor was in some dark, shade of wood. In front of him, on the other side of the room, wooden stairs led to the first floor where – he thought – he had no intention to go.
Leon dragged her all the way to the L-shaped sofa and laid her onto it. Susan, though, seemed to have no intention of removing her arms from around his neck. As such, as he lowered his head to completely lay her on the sofa, he found himself unable to keep balance and fell over her.
It felt, actually, more as if she had purposely dragged him down to her. He barely managed, with all his will, to rest his elbows on the side of her head not to squish her with his full body weight.
For a moment, he became overly conscious of her body. Her soft breasts were firmly pressed against his chest, her skirt had shifted so high that his leg between hers touched only naked, smooth skin. And even if he couldn’t say he liked that woman, when – still her eyes closed – she grabbed his head and pulled it towards him, he opposed no resistance to her kiss. Their lips met in a sort of dreamy déjà-vu, their tongues swirled together, their kisses became passionate as her hands that quickly roamed down between their bodies to grab his already hard manhood.
Leon, indeed, was a man. He had gotten excited, more by the situation itself – home alone in the house of a lightly dressed girl he used to know – than by the girl itself, though. As she was now, she had nothing but the mere passion of a drunk girl to give him, and he wasn’t the kind of man to take advantage of the situation.
It was difficult, yes, but he managed to push her back, to interrupt their kiss, to grab her hands and put them aside before he reached the point of non-return.
By her face, he could see she was disappointed. But it didn’t last long: as if everything had been only a dream for her, she lay back on the sofa and her expression relaxed once more.
Leon sat on the side of the L shape and tried to catch his breath. Susan, now, looked asleep again. He took out his phone and called the taxi company, decided to leave.
“Good morning… Yes… I need a taxi as soon as possible… The address is-”
“Pleashh… shhtay heeeere with me…”
Leon startled when he felt a hand touching his leg, and turned to face Susan. She was lying on the side now and her eyes were open. She was definitely aware of him, and more than drunk her voice just sounded deeply asleep, now.
“Sorry, could you wait in line for a moment?” He said on the phone, then covered the microphone with a hand and looked at Susan.
“Are you awake? Do you know who I am?” He asked.
“Of couuursh… Leon! Pleassh… shhtay here, don’t leeve… aga-”
He looked relieved. She was indeed asking him, Leon, and the problem was that, being that the case, he had no reason to say no to an old friend. She may have needed him during the night, moreover, so in the end, he decided to stay there.
“Sorry for having you wait, please cancel my reservation for now. I’ll call again in the morning, thanks.”
He hung up the call and looked at Susan. She had closed her eyes again, but she was faintly smiling and she had made some space for him to sit at her side, with his legs stretched on the protuberance forming the L shape of the sofa.
The night had been long and tiring for both. Leon lay there by her side and soon fell asleep, too.
Leon and Susan slept only for a couple of hours.
When he woke up, due to the fact he had drunk quite a lot at the club too, he absolutely needed to pee. During the night, though, they had both changed position and the result was Susan’s head resting on his lap. She had probably snuggled up to him to get some warmth, as he had completely forgotten about looking for a blanket the night before and the morning was, indeed, as chilly as the night had been.
He looked down at her: ruined makeup all over her face, black eye bags and her lips slightly opening and closing as she slightly snored. Nobody would have liked a girl like that, and yet it was in this moment that she was the prettiest, for him. As she slept, she was the same girl he had met years before, with the same tender and a little nerdy face.
As nice as it was to look at her, though, he really needed to go to the toilet. He placed a palm below her head to prevent it falling on the sofa too hard, then slid to the side, out of her grasp, before gently laying her head on the soft textile again.
He’d managed to win freedom. He quietly stood up and checked on the door he had noticed the evening before near the kitchen, under the wooden stairs, but unfortunately, that was only a small warehouse. He looked around wondering what to do and decided to venture upstairs. Step by step, slowly to prevent the creaking of the wooden steps to become too loud, he reached the floor above.
To his utter surprise, the top floor was very small. On the right of the small corridor, there was an open door leading to a room with a double bed. On the left, two closed doors that, once he had opened them, revealed to lead to the bathroom and to the toilet.
“Bingo!” He thought.
Once he finished doing his business, he retraced his way back to the ground floor and sat back on the sofa, close to Susan’s face. He fetched his smartphone and looked at the time: it was past eight in the morning. Luckily, he was living alone too and had no need to go home.
Susan began moving as if she started to wake up, and he looked at her, again. She was trying, without success, to open her eyes but the result was just a thin slit between her eyelids that lasted only a few instant before disappearing again, her eyes unable to adapt quickly to the morning light that was filtering through the shutters nobody had remembered to shut.
“Mmmm… I need to pee too… why can’t you go and do that for me?”
This time, he laughed out loud enough. She fetched a small, squared sofa cushions and pulled it over her face, to cover her eyes, then continued.
“Don’t laugh. You should go and pee for me, so I can just stay here and sleep for the rest of the day, waiting for this headache to disappear.”
Leon thought that Susan had definitely changed, in those years they have been apart. Before, she would have never even tried to joke about something as intimate as her need to go to the toilet. On this regard, though, he preferred her now.
“I can’t pee for you but I can drag you upstairs. Do you need help?”
“Will you help me to undress to?” She said, her face still hidden by the small pillow.
Leon was shocked for an instant but didn’t show it to her.
“We know each other well enough… Guess I can help you, if you need.”
“You are right, we know well enough, Leon,” she said, mischievously smiling.
Susan stood up and waited until he stood up too, before grabbing his arm and leaning against him. They walked all the way to the top floor and, when Leon opened the toilet door and moved to accompany her inside, she pushed him out, laughing.
“Do you really think I need help? I’m fine, I’m fine,” she said closing the door, “or you want to see me naked that much?”
Leon didn’t know what to say or do, so he just waited a minute or so before the door opened and she grabbed his arm again. Once downstairs, Susan was the one pulling him back to the sofa.
“So, we had no sex last night?” She said out of the blue, and Leon thought she may have just checked in the toilet if there was any evidence of it inside her.
“No, we didn’t-”
“I was joking… Just joking, Leon. I was well aware of everything,” she interrupted him, “and when I say everything, I mean really everything.”
She definitely remembered what had happened.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t want to take advantage of you.”
“You didn’t take advantage of me.”
“But you were drunk.”
“What if I simply wanted it?”
“I couldn’t be sure, Susan.”
She shifted her body next to his. They were sitting so close that, looking down, he could see her cleavage and her breasts squished in the low-cut shirt that she was still wearing since the night before.
“And are you sure, now?” She said, closing the small gap that separated their lips.
Her kiss was tender, playful and yet passionate. Her tongue looked for his, her lips bit his, her nose rubbed his one looking for the contact she had longed for.
The passion they had felt for a moment the evening before kicked back, and she pushed Leon down on the sofa then crawled over him. Kiss after kiss, Susan rubbed her entire body against his. Her breast popped out of the t-shirt, her skirt was pulled up when she spread her legs to sit astride of him.
She began to moan in his mouth, as she rubbed her pussy on his cock that had already become rock hard inside his pants. Then she shifted her weight a little up to give him her breasts to kiss.
Leon wasn’t that sure, though, about the whole situation.
He had never been the kind of guy to have sex at all cost: he wanted emotional sharing, he wanted to feel something for the girl he was going to have sex with and – unluckily – he wasn’t feeling anything for that girl but sympathy due to the old days spent together and the way she had been drunk the night before. She was pretty, there may have been something, but she was being too pushy for him, and he didn’t like it.
He pushed her a little aside, afar from their kiss.
“I’m sorry, Susan, I can’t.”
“What? You can’t have sex with me? I’m telling you I’m absolutely in myself, I want to do it…”
“But I don’t,” was his awkward, too straight answer. Leon was beginning to feel bad about her insistence: he wanted to go away, he wanted to get rid of that girl. There was something inexplicable in his behaviour, and yet he was feeling it was the right thing to do.
She straightened up, looking down into his eyes until she realized he really meant it. And then disappointment and angriness took place of the lust and happiness that had been in her eyes till that moment
“You… You gonna abandon me again?” She said as the rage became visible in the red of her face.
“Go, away,” she added in a quiet tone, which felt like the calm before the storm.
“GO AWAY! GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!”
She had exploded. And Leon, taken aback from the sudden change in her attitude, got a little scared. He took his phone, he put on his shoes and opened the door.
Behind him, Susan was still hissing at him all her resentment.
“I hate you. I hate you, I hate you, I FUCKING HATE YOU. You liar, you damned liar. Get out, get away from me and never, ever show yourself in front of me, again.”
When the door shut on his back, Leon knew the time to call a taxi had come.
During the entire journey home and once Leon finally got there, he couldn’t hide a sense of uneasiness about what had happened. He would have never expected that a girl could react like that for a refusal that was all but definite. He just didn’t feel like having sex with her, in that moment. Her reaction had been completely out of any, acceptable range.
Could have he done anything wrong, to upset her? He replayed back the entire evening at the concert, in his memories: how he had seen her dancing, how he had approached her after the concert, how he had helped her. There was nothing he could think of that could justify such reaction. On the other hand, he would have expected some kind of gratitude.
In the end, he thought, he had probably just never known that girl well enough to discover this part of her personality. Or maybe, she had just changed too much since the days he used to like her.
Disappointed, sad, he reached home and fell back on his bed again. It was Saturday, he had all the time he needed to sleep.
That sense of strange melancholy, though, persevered. As the time passed, he thought of reasons she may have been angry for. Maybe it was because he had refused her two times in a row? Considering the night, if she was really conscious at the time… that could be a suitable – but still not justifying the outburst – reason. Or maybe because she had forced herself to be what she wasn’t, to be bold with him, to kiss him, but in reality, she was still the girl he used to know? He had no way to tell.
The only thing he could do was try and call her, but he hadn’t got her phone. He could have asked his friends to ask their girlfriends… but he wasn’t very keen to speak about such personal matters with them. Going there, at her apartment, was not something alluring.
One day passed. Then two, then a week and another, and the memory of that night with Susan simply faded away. Leon came back to his usual living and with it the nights out with his friends – on those occasions when they actually managed to drag him out.
Every time they went for concerts at the Big See, though, he would think of her. Too often Leon would abruptly turn his head to focus on a girl that, from afar, looked like Susan. But there was no trace of her.
For a couple of times, he had even tried, to ask Sean and Tim about the two girls they had gone out with, so he could ask them Susan’s contact, but both of his friends seemed reluctant to talk about it. Maybe, he had thought, that night hadn’t gone as planned for them, too.
Weeks passed, and Leon was starting to completely forget about Susan. He had never been the type of man to linger on such matters for too long, anyway.
One day, then, Tim and Sean invited him to go to the Big See for a gig. As always, he gladly followed, but strangely that evening when he reached Sean’s house to pick them up with his car, there was no trace of Tim.
“Where’s Tim?” He asked.
“Dunno, he said he gonna come later, nut’n more!”
Tim coming by himself, by car, it meant he wasn’t going to drink much. It was very strange, it smelled fishy.
Once there, Leon and Sean spent some time at the Big See bar, waiting for him until it was almost time for the show to begin. And at that time, they saw Tim arriving.
He wasn’t alone.
With him, there was one of the two girls that were with Susan the fated night. Leon couldn’t recall her name, though, but it was the one that had looked nicer, to him.
“Hi guys, remember her?” He introduced them again, “Leon, Rory. Rory, Leon.”
Leon was shocked, as the memories of that night kicked him back, but Sean was more than that. He was almost angry, and you could see it from the rush of blood that had coloured his face. Rory, probably understanding there was something wrong, didn’t reach out her hand either to Sean or to Leon. Luckily, though, Sean didn’t speak, and Tim continued.
“We met again the other day in the city centre and… well, we decided to come to this gig together, since she likes this band!”
Tim seemed very, very happy, and Rory seemed to be at ease too. Leon thought that maybe the cause of their previous night not ending up well, could have been Sean. Everything matched: the tense atmosphere that had been between them in the weeks after that night, the fact they didn’t want to speak about it. Yes, likely Sean had messed it up: especially when he was drunk, indeed, he wasn’t a master of gallantry.
The gig was going to start soon and apart Rory and Tim that were whispering each other seemingly flirty words, no one spoke. Sean had evidently hoped to spend the evening hunting for girls with Tim, and Tim had planned it differently without telling him. Nothing was left to say, and Leon forecasted a couple of weeks of pouting to come, again.
Then the people started to gather on the floor under the stage and so they followed the mass. Sean was first, Rory and Tim right next to him and, behind, Leon was following. Suddenly, Rory left Tim’s arm and stopped, waiting for Leon to reach her.
Leon looked at her. She was short, but very pretty indeed, and now that she was smiling she seemed to be a good girl too. When she started speaking, though, that smile lost all its appeal, and was revealed for what it really was: nothing more than a façade, a mask she worn in public.
“I was hoping to see you, and I’m happy you are here. You’re a chicken. You’re a bastard. You are a dickless shithead that takes advantage of good girls and gives them false hopes.”
Leon stared at her, speechless. The sudden outburst had gotten him completely defensless.
“I’m not sorry. And I really, really needed to say it. You deserve it, you fucking idiot!”
Then Rory turned around and run back to Tim. Leon stopped, as all the memories of that night flowed in his mind. And yet, again, he was sure he hadn’t done anything to deserve that treatment. He got angry and fastened his walk to reach them again. He grabbed Rory by an arm and pulled her back. Tim of course, turned around ready to fight. The fact it was Leon, harassing his girlfriend, was the only thing that saved him. But it was not going to work for long.
“What the fuck are you doing, man?” He asked, and Rory’s expression was questioning the same: it was clear there was nothing else to discuss, anymore.
“Susan insulted me, you insulted me, and yet I don’t think that not-wanting to fuck a girl is that FUCKING SERIOUS!” His voice was loud, and some people around them turned around. His grip on Rory’s wrist, though, didn’t falter.
“Leave me alone, I have nothing to do with this,” she said as she tried to wiggle out of his grasp.
“Hey man, leave her alone, fuck!” Tim was getting nervous too.
“I just need to speak with you five minutes. Only five minutes, please!” Leon said, pleading the girl, as he had understood already he was not going to get anything by fighting. And she must have seen the uncertainty in his eyes because she stopped to pull, and spoke with Tim.
“Wait here, I’ll be back in five minutes.”
This time it was Rory to pull Leon across the hall so fast, as if she wanted to finish that business as soon as possible, until they reached the small hall at the entrance of the Big See, just close to the wardrobes. It was dark, there, and the only thing Leon could clearly see was the occasional glitter of a light in her eyes.
“I’ll not take back what I said. You deceived her, and when she thought you were hers again, you fucking leave her alone like that?”
“What the… What the fuck are you saying? I didn’t deceive anyone, I was the one blocking her advances towards me when she was drunk, and then because I simply didn’t feel like it! What the hell is wrong with that? What the hell is wrong with all of you?”
“You’re really a gutless rabbit, Leon, if you think a girl can let you into her apartment without ulterior motives. Or you think a girl can forget a man she’d been in love for years, even when he is such a coward he ran away after taking his virginity?”
“Oooohh FUCK, RORY! Fuck, fuck and fuck AGAIN!” Leon had gotten angry. What had Susan told her friends? Was she really that drunk, the night they had met, to think he had taken advantage of her? No. It was impossible. He remembered Susan had even checked her pussy in the morning, in her own toilet.
”A-G-A-I-N with this story about her virginity? That’s BULLSHIT, that’s simple BULLSHIT! I didn’t even touch her! And moreover, if I had really fucked a virgin, especially a cute one like her, I’d fucking know it! I’d never, ever reached the point I couldn’t remember what I did. Never, in my entire FUCKING LIFE!”
Never, he thought.
“You’re a loser. You’re a huge, fucking loser and I’m sick of you,” Rory yelled and then turned around and left him there, standing alone, with the seed of doubt slowly growing inside him.
Never, he repeated to himself. Apart from that one time. Slowly, flashes of memories began coming back. That one time he had gotten drunk, so drunk he had forgotten most of what had happened.
It was the night of his graduation’s party, the last night he had spent in the college dormitory, likely the last night he had seen Susan before moving out, the morning after.
He had indeed talked with her, that time. He had indeed flirted with her. He had maybe even kissed her, but he couldn’t be sure of that: everything about that night had always been a mix between dreams and reality. And yet, now that the doubt had made his way inside his brain, he had to know the truth. Because if it was as he thought, he had at least some excuses to pay.
Leon run to the hall, where the concert had already begun. The bass and the drums shouting out of the speakers suddenly roared inside him so much that he almost lost balance.
The singer was shouting all his rage in the microphone and the people moshing under the stage hit him with the force of a tornado. But in the eye of the storm, he found the person he was looking for. Everyone around them was shouting the refrain with all their might.
[And if I tell you,
that I love you]
Once again, he grabbed her wrist and pulled Rory towards him, this time to speak in her ear.
“I know what happened. I know it. I’m sorry. I need to tell her, now. Would you give me her number?” He said, shouting as he tried to push away the people that were coming at them.
In her eyes, he could still see a hint of angriness. And yet when she looked away, before reaching back to his ear to shout him her answer, there was a hint of pity.
[Don’t believe me,
Fuck, don’t trust me]
“She’s gone. She left today. I said you are a loser: you lost her,” then she tried to leave him, again, but his grip on her wrist kept her there.
“What did you say? She left?”
Those words had hit him like a truck. If it was as he had just realized, he may have made a huge mistake.
[And if I tell you,
that I hate you]
“LEAVE-ME-ALONE!” Rory shouted pulling her hand away, trying to overcome the mass of people singing around them.
[Don’t believe me,
Fuck, come back to me]
But even with the music playing so loud, Leon heard her. He had no time to answer, though, because if he still had a chance, every second passing was taking that chance away from him.
He ran to his car and, with a new determination in his eyes, left.
It was time to be true to his name.
It was time to be a lion.
His car had never felt so slow, like that night.
The sky was already dark, and the dispersed clouds covered the thin sickle that was left of the moon. The sparse lights along the road blurred away as he speeded in the short stretch of highway that connected the two cities. Leon’s foot was so deeply pressed on the accelerator, that after some time it became numb.
When he got to her address, though – and it took some time for him to remember the exact street -, her house was as dark as the night. No lights, no trace of anyone being there.
It wasn’t despair, what he felt. It was something in-between sadness, melancholy and resignation. The awareness of all those past and future memories he had just lost.
In that moment he knew that he really was a loser – as Rory had called him -, he knew he had lost his chance to meet Susan for the last time. And when he realized he was going to be hated by that girl for the rest of his life, when he understood there was no chance to speak with her anymore, he felt tired.
He sat down on the sidewalk, crossed his legs with his back resting on the front wheel of his car, and fetched a cigarette from his pocket. Then, once the smell of tobacco had already whetted that need of nicotine that he rarely felt, he looked for the lighter in his jacket and realized it wasn’t there.
“AAAAAAHHHHH!” He shouted, venting up his frustration. He hoped the neighbours didn’t recognize his voice from the previous time, and the simple, silly thought relaxed it enough to clear his mind.
There was no way he had lost his lighter, the only thing that could prevent him to cross the borderline to madness, in that night. He stood up, opened the car’s door and frantically looked inside. On the seats, on the carpets, in the small spaces between the seats and the doors, without success.
A chill on his back reminded him the sweatshirt he was wearing had always been too short for him. He exited the car and sat down again with his back against the front wheel, then tilted his head back on the hood, closed his eyes and sighed.
Apart from the noise of the breeze moving the leaves on the trees, the night was silent.
“So, what were you looking for?”
This time, he didn’t jump. The voice seemed to come from the distance, and it took some moments for him to realize he was so tired he had dozed off and he was already in a state of half-consciousness. But he knew that voice: even without the drunken accent, he knew without opening his eyes that the person speaking to him was no less than Susan.
Well, there was no need to play, no need to dance around it.
For a moment Susan didn’t answer, and Leon wondered if he had just imagined it, if he was speaking alone, or if he had really fallen asleep and he was dreaming of her.
“In your car?” She asked.
If Susan had indeed seen him searching in his car, she must have looked at him from afar for quite some time, he thought.
“I was also looking for the lighter. I needed nicotine as a cheap substitute for this conversation. Should I open my eyes to see you’re not really here?”
“No, keep them closed, I feel better that way.”
Leon hadn’t expected such an answer. It was the perfect answer he would have gotten in a dream or a hallucination of someone won by the tiredness as him.
When he felt the girl sitting by his side, leaning her back against his car and her shoulder against his, he thought there was no way a dream could feel that real.
“What are you doing here?” She asked.
“What are you doing here,” Leon replied.
“I just came back to get a last thing. And I was the first to ask: what are you doing here?”
“I told you, I was looking for you.”
The answer, though, seemed not to convince her.
Leon waited again, trying to find the right words to say it, retracing all the different scenarios he had played in his head in the car only a couple of minutes before. Nothing fitted the current situation but just… saying it.
“For what?” Her answer was so fast, Leon thought she had had it ready all along.
He would have liked for Susan to stop asking questions, and yet this time he knew what he had to say.
“For being such a stupid, coward, virgin-taker.”
She burst out laughing. Leon felt her skin rubbing his own arm as her short breath took some time to get back to normal before she continued.
“Virgin-taker? I never even heard that term! But yes, you’ve been at least two, of the three adjectives you used. You’ll have to figure out which ones by yourself.”
Even if he had gone there with the sole purpose of explaining the situation, her words felt like a ray of hope. The girl sitting by his side, now, was the same Susan he used to know and like.
“Will I have the time?” He asked.
“Who knows? You may still get your chance.”
“Even if every time we meet I fuck everything up?”
His voice trembled with uncertainty. He had just realized – while saying it – that it was the simple truth.
“Even if,” she said, then took a cigarette from the packet that was poking out of Leon’s pocket and, with uncertain movement, lighten it up.
Leon enjoyed that casual contact, without thinking he had initially wanted to smoke too. She inhaled the cigarette’s smoke and coughed hard.
“Guess this is not the day I start smoking,” she said putting out the cigarette. Then she stood up, grabbed his hand, and pulled him towards the house.
When he opened his eyes he saw her blonde air dancing in the breeze and, for a moment, the silhouette of the Susan he had met in the dormitory overlapped with the girl that was guiding him, now.
“Let’s go get that last thing, together,” she said.
When Leon closed the door behind his back, she took his hands and pulled him to her. Their faces were so close they could breathe each other; their noses touching, screaming the need they had to experience each other again, already anticipating what was going to happen.
Susan had still to turn on the lights and in the semi-darkness, more than seeing, he could feel her. Their lips met in a slow, uncertain kiss that betrayed some lingering uneasiness in their hearts. But as they bit and tasted each other, as they got used to their scents and to the taste of their kisses, their lips disclosed to let their passion roam free.
Leon began caressing her back, her ass and her breasts, but soon she had a moment of hesitation and interrupted their kiss. Her voice was sweet, almost embarrassed when she whispered in his hear.
“I want to see you. I need to see you are real… and sober, this time.”
Even if the atmosphere had suddenly turned so serious, Leon managed to lighten it up giving her a kiss on the neck.
“I’m very sober, and I never wanted a woman more than I want you, in this moment,” he whispered back, and that – and a light moan his kiss had triggered – was enough for her to relax.
Susan reached the switches and turned the light on. It was the same, dim light that Leon had turned on weeks before when he had managed to drag her inside her house. When his eyes adapted to the light he barely recognized the place, though. Everything was in order, and yet the house was clearly uninhabited now. There was no trace of life, no things left on the shelves, no blankets thrown on the sofa, no plants decorating the corners. No life.
He didn’t have time to linger on the sadness that was growing back inside him as he was hit by the reality of Susan leaving, though, because she grabbed his hand and dragged him to the sofa, were she lay before pulling him over her, as she had done – Leon had thought unconsciously – the first time he had been there.
“This time, you’re not going to stop me.”
Even if she had been the one saying it, Leon had just thought the same: he wasn’t going to stop. And although he had come to her place only to ask for forgiveness – in the beginning – the few minutes they had spent speaking outside had shown him that Susan was, indeed, a girl he could have fancied.
He kissed her neck, taking his time to savour her scent, her taste, licking and biting her soft, smooth skin all the way to her earlobe, then back on her neck, her cheek, and the contour of her lips. She had begun to breathe heavier, and Leon could feel her breast pushing on his own chest. Their tongues met and the passion that had been calculated up to that point, exploded.
She pushed him away only for the time necessary to grab the side of her shirt and pull it over her head, then she pulled herself up on her elbows to invite Leon to unhook her bra, as they started kissing again, enraptured by the need to do something they were meant to do.
Once Susan’s bra fell down, Leon pushed her back to lay on the sofa and looked down. Her breast was marvellous: round, smooth, with small areolas and nipples. They were the best tits he had ever seen, for sure. The few kilograms she had gained over the years and he had thought were somehow spoiling her appearance, were instead giving her sexiness an edge.
He lowered his head to her breasts and began fondling her tits, kissing her skin, licking around her areolas and titillating her nipples that were already standing, waiting to be cuddled. Her moans filled the silence of the empty house, as Leon feasted on that gift of nature, sucking her nipples inside of his mouth, biting them, enjoying everything as if it was the first time. As it felt, indeed, for him.
When Susan lifted her hips and kicked her skirt and panties down on the floor, Leon knew what she wanted. He continued fondling her breast, and his kisses slid down to her stomach, her belly, her mound. He felt the slight grazing of short, untrimmed hair: neither of them had, indeed, planned that encounter, and he didn’t care, anyway. Then Leon felt a hand on his head, gently pushing him down, as she spread her legs. She didn’t want to wait anymore.
He knelt on the floor and looked at Susan as she sat on the sofa, completely naked, looking at him with lust. Then he looked down at her pussy, her glittering lips slightly apart, her needy clitoris already standing, waiting to be teased.
His hands slid on the inner side of her legs, then he caressed the shape of her lips with his thumbs, squeezing them a little, looking at the trail of juices that was already coming out of her. The moans, her laboured breath and the way she writhed under his touch, were telling him it was time to please her. And yet, Leon was enjoying that moment. He was enjoying the look of the girl he – now – wanted to make his.
She must have noticed his sight was lingering on her – or maybe it was because she saw the awe on his face, as he stared – because she couldn’t restrain a light laugh, and said:
“So, you really don’t remember it?”
He was so immersed in his admiration that her words reached him only after a couple of seconds.
“No, and I wonder how could I forget such beauty.”
She smiled, this time with an accomplice smirk, taken aback from the strange compliment.
“Well, look at it as much as you want, and carve it in your memories,” she said, as he started to massage her outer lips again, this time sliding his thumbs on her slit, up and down, teasing her inner lips and her clit.
“But if you… continue… like this…” Her breath became heavier, “I’m going to get crazy… and then,” she said as she slid her hands down her stomach and began caressing her mound in front of his eyes, “I’ll not respond to my own actions anymore, Leon… My dear Leon… ”
Another moan, louder, when one of her fingers reached her clit and began massaging it. And then, Leon’s tongue reached her lips and slid between them, then up until it reached her clit. At first, he licked and sucked her finger that was already wet with her honey. Then he pushed her hand aside and wrapped her clit in his lips. He sucked that small, puffy button, enjoying the way Susan reacted. Slowly, as she became more aware of that man pleasing her, as she got back the trust in him that she had once had, she relaxed.
Leon couldn’t know if that was her true self or not, but he was sure she was at ease… so at ease that, after a while, she began talking in a way it seemed she had become unable to keep her thoughts for herself.
“Mmm… Leon… Yes… it feels so good!” She incited him. “I dreamt… I dreamt of you licking my pussy, of your mouth wrapped around my clit, of your fingers inside me… please, stick your fingers inside me…”
So saying, she was raising her hips and spreading her legs, inviting him inside. Leon slid a fingertip into her. She was so wet that it felt as if she sucked him in. One finger, a second one, slowly pushing them inside of her pussy until he reached so deep he could barely see them. And then, he lowered his head again on her clit and began licking it with passion, sucking it, blowing it in and out of his lips while he teased it with his teeth and tongue.
Leon was in awe. He had never tasted a woman like her. Her loud moans felt natural, and because of that, overly exciting. Her body writhed in pleasure when she began fondling her own breasts, asking him for more.
“Please, Leon, deeper, harder… suck me, lick me… mmm….please… mghh.”
Her orgasm was approaching, and Susan was losing control over herself. Her thighs tightened, her muscles tensed and, suddenly, the pleasure she needed to release exploded.
Leon felt her legs wrapping his head, her hips pushing upwards, her whole body arched as the orgasm reached its peak. Then, when the last wave of pleasure faded away, she relaxed and fell back on the sofa, her legs still spread but totally relaxed, as her expression was. It was clear she had enjoyed it. Leon felt proud of himself.
But he didn’t stop. He continued to cuddle her pussy, licking it with tender laps that covered all its length, grabbing all the juices that had poured out of her, trying to avoid her clitoris for a while, even if he wanted to suck it so much, again.
Susan didn’t complain, though, and so he continued to cuddle her like that for a while, with his fingertips just grazing her inner lips and his tongue caressing her skin. Then, when she noticed her breath had become heavier again and he knew she was ready to continue, he stood up.
Her hands reached instantly to his crotch, to feel it, to tease him. And as she explored his shape, Leon unbuttoned his trousers and pulled them down, together with his boxers. His cock, hard from all the playing, sprung out.
Susan looked at it with admiration, and smiled.
“Such joy! Did it get bigger over the years?” She teased him, but it was clear she was happy to finally see it, because as soon as he kicked away his own clothes, she sat on the border of the sofa, wrapped his cock in her hands and lowered her head on it.
He felt her mouth wrapping his tip, her wet, tender tongue lapping it, her lips teasing his shaft all the way, up and down, occasionally licking his balls and her hands continuously massaging him, without pause.
Leon had to gather all his self-control to restrain his orgasm to explode in her mouth. How could he had ever forgotten a girl like that? He wondered. He had never received such passionate oral sex, in his entire life. It felt as if that girl had not desired anything but his cock, for her entire life.
“Please, stop… Susan… it’s too good…” He said, and again her smile welcomed him, telling him everything was ok.
“You know you can cum in my mouth,” and she lowered her head again on his cock, without waiting for an answer, wrapping his shaft and pushing her head down until his tip grazed her throat.
“I have other plans. So you mind?” He said pushing her head away again. He was really on the edge, he needed a small break.
“Ooh, such a gentleman, in this age? I guess I should be glad, and go with the flow…”
And that saying she stood up and, never losing eye contact with him, sat astride of him on the sofa.
Leon grabbed her breasts and soon brought a nipple to his mouth. He felt her fingers around his cock, the wetness of her pussy lips meeting his tip, and her weight when she pushed down her body on him, taking his entire length inside her.
“Ooh, Leon, it does feel so big… it feels so good!”
Leon was completely caught in the heat of the moment. He was sucking her nipples alternatively, biting them, licking every inch of her body he could reach, kissing her chest, her neck, her mouth, as she jumped up and down on him.
He grabbed her ass with both hands, giving her the right rhythm for him to resist the most. But the touch of her firm ass, of her smooth, sexy skin, nearly gave him on the verge of cumming.
It was Susan to give him the final push, though. She looked into his eyes and as her hips frantically moved up and down on his cock, she managed to speak.
“Would you cum inside me, Leon? Please… cum inside me…”
It was all he needed. He could not have resisted more.
He tensed, pushed his cock inside her stopping all the way inside, and then he felt it: her muscles gripping his cock again, her breath broken, her head reclined with her eyes closed as another orgasm suddenly hit her. He released his first spurt of cum inside her like that, without being able to discern which of the pleasure he was experiencing was part of his orgasm and which was part of hers.
They had become one.
Only later, when the passion had faded away and they had simply the desire to hug each other lying on the sofa; when the sound of their breath was enough to reassure both of them that they had been together for real, Susan spoke.
“I can’t stay here, you know. I’ll leave tomorrow morning.”
Leon had thought she would have gotten more emotional, at the time of their departure.
“Will you come back?” He thought, and yet she seemed to understand.
“Eventually, when this project end. Do you think there’s a chance for us?” She said.
“I don’t know. I need to get used to you again, or maybe I need to get used to myself. Or simply to the fact we are not always on the same wavelength. When I met you a few weeks ago, I couldn’t recognize you: we have grown, and we have grown apart.”
They were harsh, too rational words, and the silence that followed had the sound of thousands of unasked questions.
“But we can try. After all, even the perfect musical instrument needs to be properly tuned when playing with others.”
He smiled, hugging her, and she lifted her head from his chest to be able to meet his lips in a quick, tender kiss.
“Not every tune needs to be played in perfect pitch.”
Then she rolled over his body. She felt so light, Leon thought when she sat on him and started kissing him again with renewed passion.
“We’ve got the whole night and I don’t want you to forget about me again, while I’ll be away.”
Then her kisses moved from his lips to his neck, then his chest and down to his stomach and beyond.
“Let’s make some new memories.”
*** End ***