Once again, I was feeling the fool. I had thoroughly expected that Jake would join me when we arrived at my room, and I was completely thrown when he chastely kissed me and wished me goodnight. What the hell was that? It only occurred to me after I closed the door, that he might have been under the impression that I was drunk. He was a gentleman in that respect- always had been. But that left me in a conundrum. Did I suck it up and call? Or did I leave my pride intact and spend the night alone -although, if he was only acting on my behalf, then my pride wasn’t in jeopardy at all.
“Screw it. I’m calling,” I said aloud to no one.
I grabbed my phone and dialed before the fear could overwhelm me. It took a while for Jake to answer and I began to panic. He finally picked up, just as I was about to close my phone in fact, and I dispensed with the pleasantries, heading straight to the point.
“Umm, I have to be frank. This isn’t exactly the way I anticipated the evening would end. Can you, I mean will you, or rather, would you like to come down? To my room?” I asked, stumbling through my words, practically hyperventilating.
“Are you sure?” Thank god, he was being a gentleman after all.
I hung up the phone swiftly and raced around the room grabbing my silky black chemise and peignoir and heading off to the bathroom. It wasn’t my standard bedtime attire, by any stretch of the imagination, but I had come prepared. And anyway, it was a nice change from the flannel pants I wore at home with the boys. Along the way, I managed to place my ipod on its docking station and set it to shuffle. I needed music now, if only to calm my nerves. I figured I had about 5 good minutes before he would arrive at my door. By the time I heard his knock, I had managed to change out of my clothes, brush my teeth and fix my hair once more, the curls falling somewhat haphazardly around my shoulders. It wasn’t quite as put together as I would have liked, but it would have to do. I knew a moment of doubt as I reached out and grasped the handle of the door. I was well aware that I looked absurd. Well, it felt that way to me anyway. I briefly considered grabbing my flannels, but realized that there was no time to change, so, I turned the handle and waited for Jake to enter. He stood there on the threshold, staring down at me in surprise, as if I hadn’t seen him in ages, apparently neglecting to recall that he had just deposited me in my room mere minutes ago.
“Would you like to come in, Jake?” I asked, smiling meekly, twisting the door handle as I spoke. But he just continued to stand there, staring. I could hear the last strains of Grieg’s Solveig’s Song fading in the background and wished I had taken the damn thing off shuffle. Apparently, I need not have worried. The first few bars of the Cure’s “The Same Deep Water as You” began to play and suddenly I was transported. I literally needed to pinch myself in an effort to recognize that this wasn’t my old room and we weren’t twenty years old anymore. It was almost as if time had stopped all those years ago, and I had only just now noticed.
Evidently, Jake was moved by the music as well, because I suddenly found him propelled forward as he reached out to take my face in his hands. This time his kiss was not so chaste and his lips lingered over mine afterward. He pulled back slightly, so that our eyes could meet, my face still in his hands. “Are you planning to come in or was that enough for tonight?” I joked. He just smiled as he entered the room and shut the door behind him. My bravado began to fade, as once more, I felt panic set in. It suddenly occurred to me that there is a vast difference between knowing what you want and actually getting it. So, I just stood there, like a deer caught in headlights, unmoving as he turned toward me. The fear must have shown on my face because he gently took me in his arms and whispered, “Are you alright?” And suddenly, I was. “I am,” I said simply, as this time my lips went in search of his. At first they found his neck, so I kissed it, feeling the gratifying warmth of his hot skin. And then his lips were on mine again as we stood there by the bed, clinging to one another like two lost souls in sight of sanctuary. It seemed to me that we stood there for an eternity, as we sought to learn again the nuances of the other, but at last, I felt Jake’s hands pulling me down, as the bed and the room and the world fell away.