Part 9 of 12
My affair with Justine had lasted long enough, I told myself. She had been taunting me, she had dragged me far too deep into her bizarre world, weaving ever more confounding tales around me, trapping me in a web of half-truths
and outright nonsense.
I had wasted weeks trying to woo her and many frustrating nights listening to her
stories and still – still she had never granted me the relief of an orgasm. On top of that, we had hardly made any progress with my writing. All of a sudden my life seemed stagnant and pointless.
I was walking along Amsterdam Avenue, pondering, when I suddenly saw a marvelous young woman making her way with sprightly steps along the sidewalk at the other side of the street. I was just about to tell myself that the world was full of wonderful beauty and that there were millions of fascinating things and
beautiful people to discover when I realized the young woman who had caught my attention was none other than my own girlfriend Tess.
How could I have neglected her?! What was wrong with me? Which man would not kill to be with such a wonderful girl? I stared at her in admiration: those long, beautiful legs; those golden locks; that firm stride, her lightly bouncing bosom... would the other men on the street who stared at her believe that those breasts did not even require a bra to stay upright like that?
I ran through the traffic – miraculously avoiding being scooped by a Landrover – towards my girl. When I came closer I began to realize why it had taken me a few seconds to recognize her: she was dressed in a way that was completely out of character. Never had I seen her wear stiletto heels, nor a red leather miniskirt and certainly not a see-through blouse. What was going on?
'Hey babe!' I said, as I reached her.
'Oh, hey...' My arrival did not seem to cause her much pleasure.
'Tess,,' I spoke, 'I'm glad to see you, but...''
'Why are you dressed like this?'
'Why not? It works, doesn't it?
'What do you mean?'
'Well, suddenly you nearly kill yourself to get to me... I guess you finally enjoy seeing me again.'
'Ah, come on babe, don't say that... you know I love you.'
'Do you? I haven't noticed it in the slightest lately,' she hissed.
'You are right... I've not been there for you. I've been aloof... immersed in my stories, forgetting the most important thing in my life. I've been an idiot.... come with me babe: let's go to a nice restaurant, let's get drunk. Let's be together.'
She came with me, though hesitantly. We had a most uncomfortable meal during which Tess hardly spoke a word. It was only in the whiskey bar, after several shots of Laphroaig (a brand-name I will forever associate with Tess' comment that it was the closest phonetic spelling could get to transcribing the sound she makes when she gags on semen), that she began to loosen up.
She told me some things about her work and she even made a couple of jokes. And just when I thought things were clearing up, I suddenly saw tears welling up in her eyes. She began to speak with a broken voice:
'I'm being unfair to you. It's not all your fault Basilio... You have been neglecting our relationship lately, but my behavior today... I did not know how to handle myself when I saw you... you were right about my outfit... I mean... you're not the bad one here... I'm... I have not been...'
Her sobbing became so heavy that is was impossible for her to continue her rambling monologue.
Cold sweat broke through my pores as I began to guess what she could possibly be aiming at. Surely it was bad...she had slept with someone else, that was a given... but how bad was it? Why was she out on the streets dressed like a prostitute? Whatever she had done, I had been disloyal to her, so had no right to judge her.
'Tell me baby, just tell me, whatever it is, I love you,' I spoke softly.
She looked up to me with her tear-soaked eyes. Her face was full of blurred mascara.
'Okay,' she whispered, 'a very strange thing happened to me... with a very strange woman.'
'You have been with a woman?' I said.
'You have cheated on me with a woman?'
'I have... I'm really sorry.'
I wanted to laugh. I wanted to say 'is that all?!' It was the least bad thing she could have told me... it was nowhere nearly as bad as any of the dreadful scenarios that had been unfolding in my mind. You can call me sexist, old-fashioned – sure, I might be, but I was relieved.
I'm just not very big on other men sticking their dick into my girl – unfair as that might be, considering what I had been doing. More alcohol loosened her lips and the story flooded out.
During one of the long days in which I had been out doing my research, Tess had ended up in a bar near Broadway. She was normally not prone to drinking in the middle of the day, – especially not on her own! - but boredom and frustration had begun to change her. While Tess sat there a smartly dressed businesswoman had approached her and asked if the seat next to her right was free. “All the seats are free,” Tess had told the woman disinterestedly.
The woman then offered Tess a drink. 'I thought: is she for real?!' Tess said while making circles with the ice cube in her whiskey glass. 'She was at least twenty years older and so blatantly coming on to me. I had never seen anything like it. And then, I don't know what was going really, everything seemed to get really blurry really fast. Part of it must have been the alcohol: as you know I'm not used to drinking in the middle of the day. But still, it was really weird, it seemed that, while talking to this woman, ehm, baby?'
'I'm not sure how to put this...'
'Don't worry, I can handle it.'
'Well, it was as if she put some sort of spell over me. I began to feel entranced.'
'Did she spike your drink?'
'I don't think so. I wasn't losing any motor functions and I can clearly remember what happened.'
'Good... you did have me worried there for a moment.'
'Yes, well, I am worried, because this woman has... I'm afraid, Basilio, I'm afraid!'
'Afraid of what?'
'Of her! She did something to me... it's hard to explain.'
'Just continue the story where you were. You were in the bar, next to this woman. When did you know for sure that she wanted something from you?'
'I just told you, Basilio, it was clear from the moment she appeared.'
'She was hitting on you.'
'Blatantly! We talked about trivial things, but she looked straight into my eyes, grinned mischievously and licked her lips. It was intimidating.'
'If you felt intimidated, why didn't you leave?'
'Well, to be honest, I was also fascinated... curious.... and aroused.'
'Did a woman ever make you feel like that before?'
'No, no, not at all. This was totally new.'
'Then I understand that you didn't leave,' I laughed.
As a matter of fact, I was also starting to get aroused. I wanted Tess to tell me more about this mysterious businesswoman; what she looked like, what she smelled like... I wanted to know the minutest details, though I had to restrain myself because asking those questions at that moment could so inappropriate as to arouse suspicion.
'So, I guess I'm telling you the story now, there's no turning back,' Tess sighed ('yes please! Tell everything!' I thought). 'At some point the woman,'
'Sorry to interrupt you,' I said, 'does this woman have a name?'
'Yes, she's called Juliette.'
'You pronounce it in a French way,' I spoke softly.
'Yes, I think she is French.'
'That is bizarre...' I stammered.
'Why would that fact be any more bizarre than any of the other bits of the story I've been telling you?' Tess asked.
'Oh, I mean, it's bizarre, all of it is really strange. The story...' I gulped.
Thank God Tess seemed too much concerned with her own predicament to notice my faux pas.
'Well, okay, so, to cut a long story short: at some point, Juliette put her right hand on my thigh, leaned forward – while still staring straight into my eyes with those intense green eyes of hers – and whispered: “come to the ladies with me.”
'And you did?'
'I'm really sorry!'
'I have to admit I'm getting pretty aroused actually.'
'But I cheated on you!
'Yes, you did, but it's a very sexy story. Please tell me more.'
'You are shameless!'
'So are you...'
Tess blushed. 'You are right,' she said, 'okay, I'll tell more – you dirty man.'
'Just tell me.'
'The ladies' bathroom was large, clean and full of mirrors. After I had entered, Juliette barred the door with a chair that she had brought from the area between the bar and the bathrooms. She told me to strip naked.'
'What? You hadn't even kissed, you hadn't done anything yet...'
'No, we hadn't.'
'But you stripped naked... bare naked.'
'I did. I felt vulnerable and insecure... completely at her mercy. It was extremely intense... My heart was pounding and I was so... wet. Juliette, still fully dressed, came up to me and kissed me. She was a very good kisser, her tongue was making me lose it completely. She put her hand between my legs and made me come.'
'And she was still dressed?'
'Yes... when I came I nearly fainted and rested in her arms for a while. After we had kissed a bit more I said: “it's unfair, I haven't seen your body.”
Juliette gave me a business card and said: “You will. Call me.”
Then she left the bathroom. When I had dressed and returned to the bar, my bill had been paid and Juliette was gone.
Floris is a Dutch illustrator, storyboard and comic artist based in Amsterdam.
Follow him on Instagram @florispieterse
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