Lying there, spread out like a butterfly, I watched her, watching you. Staring at her soft, pale curves, my mind swam from her femininity. I was rigid with arousal and this voyeuristic need that I never understood.
Her lips moved as she spoke to you, but her words did not reach my ears. Instead, the luscious, wet sound of her fingers between her thighs filled my head. Dipping and stroking in a rhythm that would commit itself to my memory. Along with the sighs and sweet, intoxicating moans that made me touch myself every time I heard them through the wall. Even in the early morning hours when she woke.
By daylight, she was so composed. Almost inhuman in her perfection. Sleek blond waves held back in beaded barrettes or enamelled chopsticks she bought on Etsy. Soft and flawless makeup. Jewelry and dresses reminiscent of another, more sophisticated time in history. And heels, all of those little, kitten heels.
But then, at night, when the heels came off, she became something very different.
When my father met her, she’d been a history teacher at my high school. My history teacher. And, as pretty as she was, no one liked her. She was so uptight and aloof, never getting personal with anyone. But he saw her. Right through her. Had her blushing and giggling ten minutes into that parent teacher conference. And they were married three months later.
He was tough on me. At fifteen, I never had time to think about girls because I was focused like a laser. I was writing cell-phone apps at ten, and had moved onto robotics by thirteen. The world was one giant opportunity to me. And, being my fathers son, I saw it all spread out before me like one great Monopoly game.
Natalie changed everything for both of us.
She cooked us roast chicken for dinner the night my father proposed. They had only been on six dates.
Watching tears slip down the cheeks of this emotionless mannequin of a woman was surreal. She’d told me just a week before that electronics where nothing if I didn’t know where they came from. She’d just given me a D on a World History exam, and I was arguing the necessity of such knowledge. But I sat at her desk feeling like I was arguing with one of my robots. She was unbudgeable.
As he slid the ring on her finger, she wiped her cheeks with her napkin, then looked at me, forehead drawn into a map I’d never once seen before. My heart hammered in my chest as she stood up and came over to me. Ingrained manners forced me to my feet as she rose, and I glanced toward my father who stood and watched her with an expression I’d only seen in movies and on television. For all of it sweetness, it was the most awkward moment of my life, granting permission to my father to be married.
My mother left when I was a baby, and had never attempted to have a relationship. But I did not want a mother. I had settled into an easy routine with my father, and he was all I needed. But I didn’t begrudge him his needs. My own had become impossible to ignore.
My lips formed the questions that my brain didn’t. And the vision of her swam before me, looking like a young girl instead of the woman I thought I knew. My father looked younger too, having shaved off his graying beard and smiling constantly.
Monday morning, she’d been back to normal, except for sharp moments when she’d steal concerned glances my direction. As our worlds combined and the wedding was planned, those sharp moments turned into something very different for me. And probably wrong.
On their wedding day, she wore a beautiful vintage style dress. Layers of sheer white fabric with hundreds of white silk butterflies sewn all over it’s surface. I’d walked in on her fixing her stockings, after which she straightened my tie and kissed me on the cheek. It only took 30 seconds to solve the problem in my pants in the restroom before I had to walk her down the aisle. As she held onto my bicep through my jacket, and her fingers stroked tiny circles there, the problem tried to return. But thankfully, giving her away to the pending nuptials chased it away.
For six months, my life was something completely alien to me. She made hot breakfast and we rarely ate take out. She let go of my father’s housekeeper and took up all the cleaning, laundry and shopping duties herself. The massive, lush penthouse my father had bought when I was small suddenly seemed tiny. She was everywhere. Everywhere. On every surface and pillow, even in my own sheets.
She thought I hated her at first, because I didn’t want to be around her. But as she helped me with Calculus one evening, something my father had never been able to do, she glanced down at my lap and understood. I would’ve thought the multiple showers every day would have given it away.
She doted on us both, finding purpose in making a home, and as the summer months approached, my father told her to put in her notice at school. He wanted her home. Their whispered conversations in the kitchen where they thought I couldn’t hear or wasn’t paying attention replayed in my head every single night. His lust for her was clear and he’d have her wherever he wanted. I pretended to watch Big Bang Theory every morning as they stood together behind the island in the kitchen and his hands wandered over her body, giving her countless, silent orgasms.
They never thought about the fact that I could see their reflection in the screen of my open, but powerless laptop. They turned me into a voyeur. Which was sick. But it was her. And I couldn’t get enough. So I didn’t care.
But then, one week before my seventeenth birthday, he died.
And she was stuck with me.
My mind turned into a black hole of guilt and excitement. I had her to myself. But only because of the loss of the man who’d made me into who I was. The darkness was deep, and locking myself inside it felt like the only option.
She tried so hard to break though. To be a mother. But I screamed at her repeatedly that she wasn’t. She didn’t understand. Neither did I. We should’ve grieved together. But I just kept shutting her out. Until I didn’t.
It was a wet day in late August. The schedule of my senior year had been planned out the previous spring. Splitting time between college courses, my remaining high school credits, chess club and working on the programming for my robot in my spare time. Nine days in, and it all felt utterly pointless.
She sat on my bed, coaxing me from beneath the duvet. She tried to say something, but as I sat up, her eyes which were already red rimmed swelled with tears. My arms came around her by instinct, and we held onto each other until she fell asleep.
My fingertips stroked her cheeks and lips as my body responded to her closeness. I left her to sleep in my bed feeling repulsive for my arousal. But the next morning, she woke me on the sofa with the softest kiss on my forehead and whispers that we’d get through it together.
She changed bedrooms, leaving the Master Bedroom for the ghost of my father’s memory, in lieu of the den next to my room. I’m sure she realized I could hear her every night. Crying herself to sleep.
Until the crying stopped, and something different started.
Jobless and alone, she had hours to fill every day. She took care of me. Amazing meals, clean clothes, lovely apartment, homework and trips all over Chicago whenever we wanted. But the laptop became an appendage after a while. I’d walk in to whispered goodbyes and hear her taking pictures in the bathroom. She started wearing her dresses again, instead of yoga pants and robes. She had color in her cheeks. Her eyes sparkled with life.
And she giggled at my dumb jokes.
Once I figured out who you were, I understood why you hadn’t come around. And instead of calling her out on it, I watched. I realized she was sexier when she was in love. And my own personal porn catalog just got better and hotter. Dildos and vibes and sexy strappy nighties and butt plugs. Even the spanking you’d begged her to give herself. The situation was more uncomfortable than ever, but I was so addicted to her. And you, really. Because of what you made her into.
Now three days before my eighteenth birthday, I wondered if anything would change. But in that moment, I didn’t care. I watched my little forbidden fruit as she played with her perfect, pink pussy, plugged to the hilt and writhing beneath her own fingers. The laptop on the mattress between her thighs, and her eyes focused… On me?
I stroked myself slowly, standing naked in her open doorway.
Waiting for her to come.
So I could go.