She is already in my bed, body deep beneath the covers, stark hair against the pillow, interested eyes watching me. I undress down to skin.
I look at her, smile, and turn off the lamp. I have to ask her something but I don’t want her to see the bashful, yet, “I’m up to something” look on my face. I want my playful embarrassment, my nerve, my, “I’m going to ask you a question but if you tell me, “No” I’m going to figure out how to get around it–face” to be concealed.
But she sees me. And it’s (I think) one of the things she loves about me, my cunning innocence. To some it may come across as pure manipulation in the raw, but she knows better. She understands that it’s just who I am: a sincere charmer. And this is how we work. She’s charmed but not unarmed, she knows exactly how I operate and it seems, for now, to amuse her. And in this way she tells me “You’re so pretty.” When I’m playing naïve. And she tells me, “You pretend not to know how to do things. But you just choose not to.” Oh how this tickles me so. She lets me get away with things without really letting me get away with anything. And I can’t think of anything sexier.
I slink into bed next to her knowing full well that I’m about to deal a new game, hands reaching for her thigh, my body on-top, hands moving her knee to make room for mine. We are situated. I snuggle in for a second before I start combing through her hair, touching her face, I pause and say, “ I need to ask you something,” and let out a nervous little laugh. She smirks, unsurprised. “Let’s have it?”
My heart rate has increased, breath, a little shallow, I begin, “ So you know I’m a writer, right?” (As if this is something she may have forgotten.) Her eyes flicker, she’s on to me. “We’ve been dating for more than eight months and I’ve been very quiet about you, but it is time. I write about my life and you’re a big part of it. I want to write about you.” I’ve made her uncomfortable. Her hands are touching her face, it’s a dead give away. I’m squirming now, almost giggling, satisfied that I’ve made her nervous, yet also anxious that she might pronounce an absolute, “No!” So I wait, petting her, staring with my pleading eyes. But I’m impatient, “It won’t really be about you, it’s always about me.”
She growls, and then sort of sighs and moves around under me. “Do I get first rights?” I blink, not wanting that for a second. She recants. “Just write it. I don’t want to censor you.” I try soothing her, “I promise it’s about me, but you’re in the story. I don’t want to write about you without your permission?” But it’s a lie, oh I do, I want to write about her and she knows it. “ I won’t write about anything too personal. I’ll be respectful,” I say, as I flash her a hopeful look.
My standard for what’s personal tends to be a bit more lax, by definition, than others.
She says again, “Just write. I trust you. I’m not comfortable but I know I don’t really have a choice.” Grumbling she says, “You’ll just do it anyway calling it’ “Fiction.” I love her for this. She lets me be who I am and knows that I’ll do what I want (and with her, never have to apologize later,) which is why she has won my affection.
I laugh at her grumpiness with me, and the way she gives in, I kiss her round lips and smile, pleased with myself for a job well done. I roll off of her and onto my back, feeling like a couple of teenagers sticky from awkward sex. I am both proud of my performance and feel as though we had just consummated something very special.
It’s official, we’re going steady. I just wrote about her.