Sara woke Monday morning feeling content, joy swelling behind her ribcage like a balloon. Her legs were entwined in Rebecca's, their nude bodies pressed together, Rebecca's arm draping over her from behind. She had slept surprisingly well, and waking up with the warmth of another person beside her was a lovely sensation, one she hadn't experienced in a long time. But no matter how pleasant she felt, something inside her resisted the possibility of happiness; some part of her disputed her worthiness. Shaking off the negative thoughts she disentangling herself from Rebecca, showered quickly, got dressed as quietly as possible, and left for work, leaving Rebecca still dreaming in bed.
Driving to work, she couldn't get her mind off of Rebecca. The smell of her hair, the softness of her skin, the gentle way her lips would hover millimeters from a kiss, the taste of her mouth, everything about last night replayed itself on the movie screen of her memory. She was lost in reverie, couldn't help but think of Rebecca. She nearly missed her exit from the highway, so distant was her mind from the task at hand. It was maddening to be so caught up in another person. It was infuriating, exasperating. It was wonderful.
At work she floated inside her own head, memories of Rebecca mysteriously replaced by thoughts of her family like pools of mud dragging at her feet, pulling her down into near depression. Filled with self-loathing, detesting herself for finding the gentleness her family would never know, she knew she didn't deserve what Rebecca gave. She knew it was meant for someone else, someone worthy who could return the love Rebecca showed. She couldn't allow that to happen again, not after last night, not just the two of them, embracing, gentle kisses showered upon her; she had to reject the affection she knew she didn't merit.
She managed to keep her mind on work for a few brief hours as people came in and went out of her office making various requests, taking papers from her desk and leaving others behind. She watched it all with a detachment she couldn't understand. It was as if it were happening to someone else. Thoughts of her worthlessness and insignificance brought her down further. This was worse than normal; usually she recovered from her visit to her parents' graves by the next morning. The fact that it was going on for so long was worrisome. Could it be because of the attention she had received from Rebecca? Could it be that she felt so unworthy, so contemptible that she was making it worse in her own head? All the thinking was starting to get to her. She needed to distract herself. I need a drink. I need something to get me out of this funk, at least for a little while. She left work twenty minutes early and headed to Quinn's, an Irish pub a couple miles from her apartment..� .� .
About seven o'clock Monday night, after two hours of drinking, a good buzz clouding her mind, Sara started talking to a guy at Quinn's she'd seen there a few times before. His name was Evan, and he worked construction. He was toned and tanned with dark hair and average looks, and in no time small talk and restrained flirting led to the backseat of his Cadillac Eldorado.
The sex was almost violent. There was no foreplay, no gentleness, no kissing. Sara unbuckled his belt, pulled down his pants and boxers, hiked up her skirt, and straddled him. She was wet after only a few moments of his erection rubbing against her through the silk of her panties and, pulling her panties out of the way, she eased down onto his shaft quickly, getting straight to it. She didn't want to associate with him, she just wanted the release he could give her, wanted to complete her act for the day and get it over with. She didn't deserve to enjoy this.
Sara rode him hard, as if she were trying to erase the tenderness of last night from her memory with the sheer force of her body slamming against his, punishing herself for some unknown transgression with this immoral encounter, taking the callous fucking she deserved to amend for the gentleness Rebecca had shown her. His hand wandered over her body, mostly through her clothes as neither of them had gotten undressed. She let him paw at her, fondling her nipples through the fabric of her shirt, running his hands under her skirt and over her bare ass, holding onto her hips, hands almost reaching all the way around her tiny waist. She remained silent throughout, avoiding eye contact, using his body to satisfy the want that drove her as if he were an inanimate object, no more than a sex toy to be used then put away when her needs were fulfilled. Under the harsh parking lot lighting she stared out the back window at a brick wall as she climaxed, then continued crashing atop him until he came. No one had walked by.
She paused for a moment, resting her arms on the top of the backseat, his cock still deep inside her. He kissed her neck, the only part of her torso that was bare. She recoiled at the softness of his lips, pulling up off of him and getting out of the car. She stood in the parking lot, adjusting her skirt, one hand on the still open car door.
He removed his condom, trying to keep from getting a mess on the seats, and then touched her arm lightly, trying to get her attention.
"Can I call you?" His voice was calm, but held a certain hopeful quality.
"You don't want to call me." It was a statement, fact, not opinion. She still couldn't look at him.
"You don't want me to call you?" Turning it around on her, asking questions, forcing her to answer.
She didn't want to take the time to explain to him that he was just Number Four out of over one thousand, that she just needed to fuck him in his backseat, that he was a conquest, her punishment, part of her plan. She didn't know what to tell him. No would be easiest, but she also didn't want to hurt his feelings.
"Why?" He sounded defeated. He paused, his eyes searching the inside of the car for inspiration, for a reason why this beautiful woman would want to fuck him madly and then never talk to him again. "You faked it. I wasn't any good."
"No." At least she could clear that up. "I came."
"Please." He wasn't begging, wasn't even really putting much effort into it, but the matter of fact tone, the truth that he really wanted to see her again sank in. "Please let me call you."
"Look, I can't..." she paused. Can't what? Can't get involved with someone? Can't have any kind of feelings for anyone? They had talked for over an hour; she enjoyed his conversation, his sense of humor, the way the corners of his eyes crinkled up when he laughed. He wasn't boyfriend material, but he'd make a decent friend. She had to tell him something, anything to save him from feeling the way she did, worthless. "It's just bad timing."
He paused for a moment, then a thought struck him. "Are you married?"
"No," she said it with a note if finality. "I'm not involved with anyone right now."
"Okay." He sounded defeated.
Sara didn't know what to say. She was used to guys walking away with a clear conscience after a casual fuck. The only ones who ever wanted to call her again just wanted to fuck again, that was all. She took a step away from the car towards her own, but his voice made her pause.
"Can I tell you something?" There was heat in his voice, as if he detected her deceit, but couldn't determine its cause or reason.
Sara turned slightly to let him know he got her attention, but still couldn't make eye contact. She felt grimy, soiled, like an oil stain on the parking lot that couldn't be removed.
"I thought we made a connection, hit it off. Something about you felt right. I couldn't believe a woman like you would even talk to me, but it felt like everything was going right." He took a deep breath and then continued. "I don't sleep with a lot of women. I'm not that kind of guy. I almost said no when you suggested this, but something about you..."
Sara started to say something, but only got a syllable out before he was waving her to silence.
"Sorry. Please, just let me finish." He paused again, rising from the seat, extracting himself from the back of the car while Sara stood silently before him. "I just thought we connected. There was something in your eyes, something between your words. I heard it, even though you didn't say it."
Sara felt a turning in the pit of her stomach. Her flirtation hooked a good man, she reeled him in, rode him to satisfaction, and now was trying to leave him without a look back, without giving him a chance. But a chance at what? Trying to date a woman who was going to fuck anything that moved, who needed more sex than any one person could provide? Wasn't that just as unfair?
"Tell me I was wrong, and I won't say another word." He stood by the car just two steps from Sara, as if he were afraid to come any closer, afraid to risk any more than he had already.
Sara stood silent and still. She didn't know what to say. He was right, there had been a connection. Not love or anything that intense, but a definite attraction. Not the kind of fascination that makes you want to spend every moment with a person, but a keen interest. Not an instant closeness like she had felt with Trevor, but a sense of familiarity, as if she knew he would make a good friend or was someone she would want to know.
Fuck it, she thought. She reached into her purse and pulled out a pen and her card. She quickly jotted her number on the back of the card, the number at her apartment, not her cell, and handed it to him. As their fingers brushed, she finally looked into his eyes. There was a sparkle there, a glint of something beyond the moment, some expectation or hidden hope of which he wouldn't speak, but which lay dormant behind his smile.
She didn't even have to try to smile at him, the look in his eyes forced it from her. She almost laughed then, grinning like a fool in a dark parking lot, giving a total stranger her phone number after a completely meaningless fuck in his backseat. What an idiot I am, she thought.
His hand remained in contact with hers for a moment longer than was necessary, then she turned, walked to her car, got in without a word and drove away.