Chapter Five

Wendy and I went out on a few more dates after that. And then some more. Before I knew it four months had passed.

The two of us had no issues being intimate but I think what she liked the most was how I never pushed her. Hell I didn’t touch her breasts until the two-month mark. Not because she didn’t want me to; sometimes she was so insistent that I lay a hand on her that it made me back off. On more than one occasion I left the room- only if we happened to be at her place, that is.

One day we were sitting around quietly. I was reading, she was on her computer. She spins around in her desk chair and says, “Ya know Johnny,” this is how I knew she would be complaining about something- she started all her complaints with ‘ya know’ followed by the persons name.

“Sometimes I wonder if you’re really into women. Or me, at least.”
“What do you mean ‘or me?’ Who else is there?”
“I don’t know, is there?”
“I’m confused.”
“We’re dating aren’t we? I mean we made it official last month, if memory serves.”
“Impeccable memory.”
“No need to be sarcastic. Anyway, if we’re official why do you always seem so hesitant to put your hands on me?”
“I had no idea constant physical contact was a requirement.”
“Its not.”
“So what’s the problem, if there is one?”
“You don’t touch me Johnny, that’s the problem. When a man neglects to put his hands on a woman he’s involved with that woman will start to think you’re getting it from someone else.”
“Getting what?”
“Excuse me?”
“You said ‘getting it from someone else.’ What do you mean?”
“Is this a serious question?”
“Did you detect sarcasm?”

The room grew quiet. Her room, in her apartment on the east side of Manhattan. Not hers actually; she lives with her mother and three dogs. One of the dogs likes me. The other two want to rip my throat out the instant I step through the door. I don’t know why.

“What are we talking about?”
“Are you cheating on me?”

I blankly stared at her face. In her eyes I could tell it was a genuine question. He tone dripped with doubt. Her eyes began to tear at the corners. She began to pace from foot to foot. Women are a complicated species.

“No, Wendy, I’m not cheating on you. When I met you I wasn’t even remotely interested in speaking to women.”
“Women can sense when a man is unavailable.”
“Okay…?”
“You may not realize this but you’re quite a catch for someone three years younger than myself. Normally I don’t date younger men.”
“That’s understandable. According to theories women mature faster than men, which coincides with their desire to mate with men older than themselves because they would have more in common with one another.”
“That’s the theory, at least. You have an air about you that seems far beyond your years. It’s wonderful to be around sometimes.”
“The ‘sometimes’ refers to your confusion on why I don’t touch you I presume?”

She shook her head. I took her hands in mine. Her skin is delicate, seemed fragile. It could be manifested from her current vulnerable state. Or just genetics; he mothers hands are the same. She looked me in the eyes.

“I’m not cheating on you. I’m still trying to figure out what having a girlfriend means. I find myself forgetting we’re together when I wake up in the morning because I’m not used to having to care for someone other than my family or friends. But that doesn’t mean I go out searching for another woman. That’s the last thing on my mind. I wasn’t even searching for you; we just happened to stumble into each other.”

She looked at me for a moment, took her hands away and then said “I don’t know if I should be reassured, or insulted.”
My eyebrows curled in confusion. “Why would you be insulted?”
“You just admitted to occasionally forgetting that we’re together, which means my existence completely slips your mind. How long have you felt this way?”
“I hardly think that matters.”
“How long?”
“Since the day we met. I forgot about you once I left. My friends gave me grief because I didn’t ask for your number. I brushed the idea off completely.”

Her mouth was a slow-opening gape of surprise. “You unbelievable bastard.”

Wendy then walked out of the room but quickly returned remembering it was in fact her room and not mine. “Get out!”
I grabbed my things and left without a word. What could I say? I didn’t think I had done anything wrong. Women want honesty; that’s what I’ve always heard. Seems like they can’t handle it, though.

Oddly enough, three days after this conversation Wendy and I had sex for the first time. She didn’t know it was my first but when I confessed the news she kept insisting I’ve had lots of practice and that no virgin could move my body the way I did. Whatever that means.

Then another conversation of my possibly cheating on her came up again. It was back at her place. I didn’t allow the conversation to go further than “why are you with me, Johnny?”

From the tone in her voice I could tell no matter what I said it would either be the wrong answer, or I would have to reiterate. This is according to what Ralph has mentioned about his past experiences:

“No matter what you say to a woman she’ll think you’re lying, even if she knows its the truth. Women are programmed with self-doubt when it comes to relationships. Nobody knows why; it’s forever shrouded in mystery.”

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