Over the next month we saw each other twice a week. At meetings of the Camera club, after which we’d go back to her flat and talk and I would make love to her. And we went out on dates on the first two Fridays and then on the Saturday of the following week. I was head-over-heels in love with her, or lusted after her, or was compulsively obsessed by her. My feelings were so intense that I can’t really say what it was. But I do know that I thought of virtually nothing else but her. The taste of her kiss. The way her eyes sparkled when she laughed. How it felt to hold her in my arms, or even just to walk down the road holding her hand.
I lived to share my life with her. To spend every waking moment in her presence. I wanted to tell her everything about myself and learn everything about her. I wanted to totally possess her. And more important to be totally possessed by her. To live in the warmth of her love.
But yet, despite my best endeavours, every time I tried to implement my desires I ended up being frustrated. Every time I tried to talk to her about how I felt for her I became more confused. Every time I tried to get closer to her, I ended up feeling further away from her than ever. I was taking two steps back for every step I took forward.
I didn’t understand, nor could I control, my feelings for her. Neither did I understand what her feelings for me were. She seemed to be saying one thing and doing the complete opposite. I was hopelessly lost in a sea of conflicting desires and incomprehensible reactions, both from her and from myself.
I wanted to totally process her, yet I wanted her to be free. I wanted to be totally possessed by her, yet I wanted to remain free. I wanted to crush her in my arms with all my strength, yet I was afraid that even the lightest touch would mar the perfection of her skin. I wanted to make her love me, yet I didn’t want to coerce or trick her into loving me.
I was a mess. And I don’t think I made a very good impression on her. Yet every time I saw her I was hooked worse than before. And she continued to see me. She continued to kiss and hug me. She let me make love to her. She gave me enough encouragement to let me pretend that she could love me. To let me fool myself into thinking that she did.
Maybe she did. Maybe her love for me was more genuine than mine for her. Maybe we were both totally confused.
All three dates followed a similar pattern. I’d phone her place on the Wednesday or Thursday, but she’d not be in when I called. I’d leave a message and she’d phone me from work the next day, because by the time she got in she felt it was too late to call me back. We’d arrange to meet in O’Connell St. outside Easons at about a quarter past eight. I’d arrive about ten or fifteen minutes early. She’d arrive about ten or fifteen minutes late. I’d spent half hour fretting about whether or not she’d turn up, impatient to see her again. She’d arrive all bright and breezy and once again take my breath away with her beauty and grace.
We’d have a quick drink and go to a movie. Two light hearted Hollywood blockbusters and another French comedy. I’d have my arm around her during the film, smelling her perfume and feeling the heat of her body, while the hormones raced through my blood stream. Afterwards we’d go for a cup of coffee and then back to her place. Where we’d kiss and cuddle and I’d masturbate her. Then she’d ask me to leave and I’d end up even more frustrated and confused.
And in between all that we talked, about all sorts of things.
We talked about the movies we’d seen. And discovered that we liked the same things, though for completely different reasons. We talked about the best movies we’d ever seen and what we liked most about them. We liked the same movies. Though in one I’d particularly like the plot twist at the end, but she’d think it was the character development made it. And in another I’d think it was the stunning photography that made it, but she’d think it was the in-depth plot. We talked about the worst movies we’d seen and complained about the direction, or the inane script, or the pathetic jokes.
I told her all about my writing. How I was planning on being an international best-selling author. Told her that I gave up a good job, with an inflated salary, in a city of London merchant bank to write a SF novel. She didn’t believe me, but she was not alone. Most people can’t believe that I gave up a job earning the amount of money that I did in order to become what society calls unemployed.
I explained to her my passion for science fiction and computer games. And how I had to avoid games and book shops so I didn’t blow my life savings all in one go, rather than trying to use it to eke out a life until I got my big break. (I failed !)
She told me about her passion for tennis. And how she planned to work her way up the rankings of the club she’d just joined. That she loved the thrill of competition and was really quite a competitive person in all aspects of her life.
She described her work and told stories about the people she worked with. She loved making fun of her boss. Some of the things she told me made me glad that I no longer worked in a office. All that politics and back biting.
We talked about photography. Since we’d met in a camera club it was obviously something we had in common. She had just taken it up as a hobby and her enthusiasm reminded me of how I used to feel when I first caught the bug in my early teens. I tried to explain something of what I’d learnt over the years, but I felt as if I was patronising her so I stopped.
And all the while I was trying to persuade her that I really loved her. Holding back my passion, trying not to push her too hard, trying to build up her trust in me. Yet the taste and smell and feel of her in my arms marked the highlights of my relationship with her. I made love to her because I loved her. And I wanted nothing back, but what she could give me.
And yet I did. I wanted her to make love to me. It was natural enough that I should want to come as well. But more than that I wanted her to love me. I wanted her to worship me the way I worshipped her. I wanted her to desire me. I wanted her to make me whole.
But I also wanted to prove to her that I wanted more than carnal pleasure from her. I wanted to share my life with her. I wanted to go to sleep with her in my arms and wake up beside her. I wanted to eat with her. I wanted to live with her. I wanted to get to know everything there was to know about her. And I wanted her to know everything there was to know about me.
So I didn’t insist that she return the complement every time I made love to her. So I didn’t demand to know why she left me frustrated and alone at the end of every date. Firstly because I didn’t want to appear as if I was begging for it. Because I felt that if we were engaged in some sort of fucked up power struggle that she would have won a victory over me.
Secondly I didn’t want to acknowledge that it was that important to me. I didn’t want her to think I was ruled by my balls. And I didn’t want to admit to myself that I was just lusting after her. In some weird way I was proving to myself that I really loved her by not forcing her to do anything that she didn’t want to do.
And thirdly I didn’t want to appear as if I was blackmailing her, a sort of I’m not going to make love to you until you agree to make love to me. Because she might have called my bluff. And I wanted to make love to her so badly that I couldn’t risk not being able to.
So every night I made love to her and every night she sent me home frustrated. I didn’t even unzip my jeans to remind her that I was getting aroused and would have liked something done about it. Until on the forth date when I finally managed to ask her to return the complement.