It was the morning after my thirtieth birthday party. I’d got up, and started collecting dishes, glasses and ashtrays for the dishwasher. No one else was awake yet.
But a bedroom door opened, and Emilia Vivian emerged, in a manga tee-shirt that hung almost to her knees. Emilia was a doctor, a glowing light-brown woman with large, almost black eyes and an extraordinarily sweet face framed by medium-length black hair. She was small but contoured. She lifted weights.
Emilia was embarrassed to find me, and uncertain of her welcome. Last night she’d performed the party’s most spectacular piece of bad behaviour, launching a screaming attack on her best friend, accusing her of fucking her last boyfriend, of pretending to be sweet but always undermining her and some other girl on girl offences.
It’d been the least fun part of the evening, but I’d already forgiven her because the outburst had been so out of character, and because, only a few minutes later, Emilia had fallen asleep in that same friend’s arms. Wine sometimes solves the problems that it creates.
But Emilia was hung over, embarrassed and ashamed, so I hugged her. I let her go when she winced. But she emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later, having dealt with her bladder and her head, and wrestled her way back into the hug. “I’m really sorry, Jaime. I don’t know what … Well, I’m sorry.”
“Ah, love, it’s okay. You’d had a bit of wine. And … you probably had reasons.” I found myself hugging Emilia with one arm while reaching down to squeeze her ass with my other hand. Affectionately, you know. We had history, Emilia and I. In the years I’d been with a girl called Susie, we’d sometimes talked and gazed earnestly into each other’s eyes, and we’d once almost had sex.
I’d had my penis partly inside her when conscience, hers more than mine, finally won. It’s quite a late stage to worry about fidelity, but we’d stopped and separated. I’d felt noble, though I doubted Susie would’ve admired it. So Emilia and I were intimates, without having had sex. Or not exactly sex.
Emilia rubbed my chest with her forehead. “No, I didn’t have reasons. Not good ones.”
“Well, okay, but I still know you’re a wee love. You’ve got years of credit with me; you can’t blow it in one evening.” Emilia smiled up at me. “And I still don’t think it came from nowhere.” More smiles.
A nice man was being nice to her. And the ass-squeezing was probably a great comfort in her time of self-recrimination.
Then information from that bottom-squeezing hand swamped my brain. I added, “Though … if you ever do anything like that again, Emilia, I’ll put you over my knee.”