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Subject: {ASSM} (Birth) A Fool Such As I (MF) ~ by DrSpin
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 09:10:03 -0500
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A Fool Such As I (MF)
by DrSpin (aka Neil Anthony)

---------------------------------------------------------
* The author welcomes comments and opinions from readers 
and is invariably motivated to respond. Write to:
drspin@newsguy.com or neil@ruthiesclub.com

* DrSpin's Standard Disclaimer: 
I write and you read, if you care to. That's all there is 
to it. Any reader who is offended should not have been here 
in the first place.
---------------------------------------------------------

Pardon me if I'm sentimental. It's been seventeen years, 
but there are things I can't forget. A small piece of you 
stays with your first girlfriend. It can't be reclaimed 
when you move on. That giddy thing. Old-fashioned head-
over-heels infatuation. The second and third times, and all 
the times after that, it's decreasingly intense. The first 
is the big one. I was just seventeen and she was a year 
younger. Sarah Bentley. We had one year together and we 
were total. If you had it like that at middle-age you'd 
have cardiac arrest. Sarah Bentley. Adolescent love, long 
gone but never forgotten.  

We broke up sadly and badly. I cried real big salty tears 
of emotion, I think for the first and last time in my life. 
We broke up in less than a fortnight, going from full-on 
to full-off. I got a job and moved away. I never saw her 
again.

But I cried. I remember the crying. It hurt bad. I was 
never so hurt again.

I cross the road and open the door to her office. She looks 
up at me, knows she knows me, and tries to put a name to 
the face. Her eyes widen. They were always so dark, close 
to black. "Paul Chapman," she says. "My God. Is it really 
you?"

Sarah Bentley. Sarah Brooks. Whatever. Still tall, still 
dark-haired and dark-eyed, not as slim. Not at all. A 
bigger woman seventeen years on. But still Sarah. I'd know 
her anywhere. 

"You're looking good," I say. "Still."

She tosses her hair, a gesture I remember from long ago. 
"Thank you," she says crisply, covering her awkwardness.

"Sarah Bentley," I say, almost reverently.

"Brooks," she says sharply. "I barely remember the Bentley 
girl."

"I remember her very well."

She looks at me with her dark eyes and there is a look of 
dull stone in them. Where are the hugs and kisses I had 
imagined? Isn't anybody nostalgic or sentimental any more?

* * *

Sarah Bentley was the only virgin I ever had. At the time 
I had her I was a virgin myself, vaguely educated about the 
deflowering of maidens in horror stories and gothic novels. 
Screams and agony. Pain like childbirth. Blood everywhere, 
in great dark-scarlet pools soaking through pristine white 
sheets, looking like a grisly murder scene. Medical books 
were worse. They talked about rupturing and tearing and 
breaching, words you would not associate with good and 
happy events.

I didn't believe this disturbing stuff. Logic dictated that 
if it were remotely so, no woman would ever surrender her 
maidenhead. Yet they did, in vast numbers and with apparent 
good cheer. Nevertheless, when it came to it, I was uneasy 
and hesitant.

The reality was unexpected. Hymen? What hymen? Maybe it was 
there for a second but how could I tell? I'd never been to 
that place before. It was certainly all very tight and 
compressed in there and I was concentrating fiercely. It 
was only when I was fully enclosed that I realised a 
maidenhead must have gone down somewhere along the way. No 
screaming. Not a whimper. Not even that hiss noise you make 
when you're warning the dentist he's hit a tender spot. I 
stole a quick nervous glance down under my armpit. No blood 
streaming down her thighs. No spreading red stain on the 
sheets. Hey, it was a breeze. I could stop worrying and 
begin to enjoy it.

Sex is so confusing when it's new. The basics are not an 
issue. It's like swallowing water; completely natural and 
instinctive. The engine fires up and the wheels turn and 
the pistons move up and down, in and out. The problem is 
that another person is involved. Whoops. What's happening? 
Where is she? That can't be right. It happened again. I 
think I ought to be in control of this but I'm not sure. I 
know I'm going to know when I get to the end of the street 
but what about her? Hell and britches, nobody warned me 
about this synchronisation thing. Whoa. Stop. Now she's 
looking at me, wondering what the fuck is happening. Wait, 
she knows as little as I do. Oh God. I'd just better get on 
with it. I don't think I can hold back much longer anyway.

The first one you've just got to get past. So it was with 
me and Sarah. After a stumbling start we were out there 
running smoothly in no time at all.

* * *

"You know," Sarah Brooks says, still looking at me with 
brooding eyes, "it took me a long time to get over you."

"Really?" I'm surprised by this. "My recollection is that 
you initiated the parting of the ways."

"You were disappearing over the horizon at the speed of 
light," she says. "Anyway, my mother insisted. I thought 
you knew that."

"Your mother. Yes. How is she?"

"Alive and well. My father's long dead. If you're in town 
long enough, she'd love to see you."

"Why would she want to see me? She hated my guts."

Sarah laughs, throwing her head back and tossing her hair. 
She still has that deep throaty laugh. "You goose," she 
says. "She adored you. She thought you unsuitable for me, 
that's all. Unstable. That's what she said."

"You shouldn't have told her what we were up to, Sarah."

"I didn't tell her. She knew. How could she not know? All I 
did was confirm it because I had no choice."

We ponder this, sizing each other up. The issue still 
rankles. Sarah had confessed our fevered sexual activity to 
her mother and it had been integral to our fortunes.

"Well," I say, "if your mother liked me so much, how come 
we didn't get married and live happily ever after?"

"Oh, that's easy, Paul. Because you were a cold-hearted 
bastard."

It's like the lash of a whip. I backtrack on the 
conversation but can't spot the cause. I can see the bruise 
in her eyes. 

"Sarah," I say gently. "I never wanted to break it off with 
you. Not for a moment. Granted I was due to go off and do 
things with my life. But I never wanted you out of it."

She turns her back on me. I watch and wait.

"I was only seventeen," she says. "So long ago. Let's leave 
it alone, Paul."

"I should go," I say, not because I want to go, but because 
I know she wants me to.

Her back is still turned against me. "Don't come back," she 
says.

I go, and I leave knowing there is a story I don't know. 
Something happened, way back then. After I left her and 
went away, something happened.

She's not going to tell me that story. I can read that much 
in her eyes. She's not Sarah Bentley. She's Sarah Brooks, 
married to someone else.

I shouldn't have come. I have a hole in my heart. I can 
feel the ache of it.
 
ENDS 

* DrSpin is at drspin@newsguy.com, or Neil Anthony at 
neil@ruthiesclub.com, or at http://www.ruthiesclub.com

-- 
Pursuant to the Berne Convention, this work is copyright with all rights
reserved by its author unless explicitly indicated.
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