Friday, February 18, 2011
Miranda's story continues. If you haven't been following along, you may want to start at the beginning.
* * *
The marriage classes were a joke. They’d been living together for over two years. Did the church really think they were still virgins? It was all Miranda could do to keep from laughing at some of the questions the other couples asked. How does someone reach their mid-twenties and still remain so naive?
She had to remind herself that just because she’d never enjoyed the luxury of innocence, didn’t mean that others hadn’t.
At the back of the small room, she fidgeted on the hard plastic chair, her arms folded across her chest. She didn’t want to take the stupid classes, but Gregg insisted they marry in the Catholic church, so she played along. She drew the line at going to confession the week before the wedding. She’d already been down that path and wasn’t about to travel it again. Besides, as far as she was concerned, she could confess directly to the source.
Whispered conversations halted as the guest speaker entered the cramped room. A bald, paunched man stood before them and announced his lecture.
“We’ll be talking about divorce today.”
Miranda rolled her eyes. She’d spent the last four weeks listening to discussions on communication between spouses, insight on raising children within the parameters of the church and—the best one, she thought—a lecture on the Rhythm Method of birth control with a distinct undercurrent of abstinence. And now they wanted to tell us how to pack it all in, she thought. Fucking hypocrites.
Gregg took her hand as they walked back to the car after class. He cupped her ass as he reached around to open the door. She grinned, knowing the outcome of that subtle gesture. For some obscure reason, the marriage classes were the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Gregg had barely set the lock on the front door of the house before Miranda was pawing at him, tugging off his shirt, undoing his jeans. He spun her around, pressed her against the door, trailed moist kisses across her throat. Heat shot through her and she clung to him.
“Upstairs. Now.” The words panted out, barely audible.
They raced up the stairs, tugging at clothing, and stumbled into the bedroom. She fell back on the bed, her hair splayed out, skirt hiked up her thighs. He hovered over her, the gleam in his eyes a mixture of love and desire.
“I can’t get enough of you.”
He bent down, pressed his lips against hers. Soft, at first, then more urgent, demanding. He clasped her hands, their fingers interlocked, and pulled her arms over her head, pressed her into the mattress.
He nuzzled her neck. “I want you.”
She wasn’t with him anymore. In that instant, when he thrust her hands up and stole the power from her, she snapped back to fifteen, with Darryl, who forced, took and broke. She couldn’t see Gregg at all, she could only see Darryl, whose face then morphed into her grandfather’s, his wrinkled face leering and laughing, alcohol-sodden breath washing over her.
“Off!” She shoved at Gregg. “Get off me!”
“What the fuck?!” Gregg rolled off the bed, hiked up his jeans, leaving them undone. He ran his fingers through his hair. “Jesus, Rand!”
Miranda pushed her skirt down, wrapped her open blouse across her chest and curled up on the bed. “I’m sorry.” She pressed her face into the duvet, fought for composure but it wouldn’t come. She’d never had a flashback before, at least not during sex.
“You’re sorry? Sorry?! You can’t just stop it like that.”
No, she thought, she couldn’t stop it. Never could. Never would. She was a fool to think otherwise.
“I have to tell you something.” Curled into a tight ball, staring at the pile of decorative pillows at the head of the bed, she told Gregg everything. Drained of all emotion, her voice raspy, she was surprised to feel better having let it all out. She remembered one of the guest speakers at the marriage class had said communication was paramount, that it would be their salvation. He was right. She could move forward now, knowing she had someone to lean on.
After a long silence, Gregg finally spoke. “I can’t deal with this right now.” Miranda closed her eyes as the bedroom door clicked shut.
Later, she’d wonder whether she would have bared her soul if she knew he’d twist it against her.
Miranda's story continues...