Two weeks later, I called Jen. I had been calling Christine every other day, but she never returned my calls. I started to get worried when Jen said she hadn’t heard from Christine either; from what Jen had told me, Christine definitely wasn’t the type to do what the three of us had done a few nights ago, and I was afraid that she was experiencing some severe regrets. I wanted to do something to rectify the situation, but I really didn’t know where to start.
That night as I sat in my apartment pondering this very subject, my phone rang, and it was Christine. She had one of those voices that made everything better. Her voice reached down into my soul and extinguished all of the anxiety I had ever had about anything. She had a voice that could sooth a rabid dog, calm a rampaging elephant. I didn’t stand a chance. She didn’t have much to say. "Don’t talk," she began, "if you are serious about wanting to see me again, pick me up tomorrow night at 8. We are going out. If you agree, say yes." I was a bit taken aback by her directness, but as the theme of this month already seemed to be “John Dominated by Asian Girls,” I quickly answered "yes." She said "Good. Dress like an adult. You’re taking me to Nova Terra. If you ever, EVER want to experience what you experienced two weeks ago again, you’re going to have to show me that you can treat me like a lady. I say this because, despite my first impression, that is what I am. Is that clear?" Again, I acquiesced. "I’ll be there at 8." As she hung up on me, I pondered this new turn of events; it seemed she wanted a date, a real romantic date. I spent the next 24 hours planning ways to romance the shit out of her.
I showed up at her dorm on Livingston promptly at 8 pm in my big Black Mustang, and opened the door for her. She looked absolutely ravishing in a gold and white dress with matching white heels that appeared to be Monolos and a white Chanel bag. This girl really knew how to dress--a trait that I appreciated. She smiled as I held the door for her, "I see you got my point, thank you sir.” As she went to sit down, she noticed the dozen roses on the passenger seat and picked them up. I closed the door and ran around to my side, thanking God that she looked before plopping her ass down on the big bundle of thorns sitting there. That would have been decidedly un-romantic. I got in and gunned the engine; horsepower impresses everyone, men and women. She fidgeted a little from the vibration, "The flowers are nice, if a little generic. At least they’re fresh." I could tell she wasn’t grading tonight on a curve, I’d have to be on my "A" game if I ever planned to get in her pants again. "So," I started, "what made you decide to give me a chance?" She gazed out the window and said, "I was a little ashamed of what I did with you and Jen; like I said, I really am not that kind of girl. But I have come to the decision that that kind of girl is inside of me somewhere, and you brought her out of me. And I liked it." As she said the last part, she looked at me and smiled a small smile, which made me feel all warm inside, like when you have the first shot of whiskey for the evening. "Who you saw that night was not me, not really. I usually am very picky about who I date, and I decided that you have to win me, earn the chance to be with me on a regular basis. You see what some of the perks are to being with me. I am not usually so forward, but I think the time to be coy has passed. You made the effort to call, so I think you have shown that you may be serious about wanting to see me. I had to know for sure."
As she spoke I was pleased to see she was starting to blush. "Yes, I did want to see you. I wanted to see you that night and the next morning and every minute between then and now." I was gushing, definitely not my usual style; the cool, smooth seducer I usually am, was nowhere to be found. I found myself surprisingly emotionally naked before this woman. Fortunately, we pulled up to Nova Terra before I could embarrass myself further.
The valet opened Christine’s door and gave her a look that sparked a rarely felt emotion in me: jealousy. Sure, people stare at the women I date, they’re all model quality, but I usually don’t care. But that night, for some reason, I felt this powerful urge to not have him staring at my girl. I shot the valet a look that inferred a swift and blindingly painful demise if he even thought about looking at my date that way again. I had a lot of those looks; they come in handy when one is a superhero. He got my meaning immediately, and shuffled off to park my car. I ran over and opened the door for Christine, "Sorry, I just had to take care of something." She looked at me and giggled, “Yeah, I saw that. Try not to murder the bartender if he looks at me funny, OK?"
She was right; I was coming off like a hyper-testosteroned 16 year-old football jock protecting his cheerleader girlfriend. But damn, she looked fine tonight. Christine held my arm as I ordered a table for two, and we went to the bar to wait. I ordered a Malibu Bay Breeze for her (when ordering for women, you can’t go wrong with a Bay Breeze or vodka/cran) and a gin and tonic for myself. "How did you know I like Bay Breezes?" she asked. "I don’t know, lucky guess. So I didn’t mention it yet, but you look absolutely gorgeous." She took a sip of her drink and replied "First of all, thank you, and second of all, if I’m so gorgeous, why haven’t you noticed me before? Two weeks ago wasn’t the first time we had met you know." “That can’t be right,” I thought. I studied her face and searched my memory. Slowly my mind found several images of her from my past : When Jen first caught my eye, Christine was right next to her. And she was also a physical therapist for the football team! I had seen her lots of times at practice, why had I never noticed before?
“Oh my god, you’re one of the team trainers aren’t you?” She nodded and took another sip of her drink. "For the last three years, I’ve even worked on you from time to time, even though you never seemed to get hurt. In fact, I don’t think I even once…" "Oh look, our table is ready," I interrupted. I tried to fake injuries every now and then in order to hide my secret identity, but the physical therapists would definitely be able to know for sure whether I was hurt or not. In any case, I thought it a good idea to cover up a lie with some well-timed but damaging truth. I stalled for time, pulling out her chair for her, and looking over the menus. Eventually I said, "To be honest, I never noticed you; you weren’t my type of girl." I quickly added, "You aren’t a slut, and you have class. Most of my time here, I have been chasing the easy girls, the shallow girls, the ones who I absolutely know that I can sleep with without a problem. But you were not and are not that type of girl. I knew just from glancing at you that you were intelligent, that you had class, and that you carried yourself with a certain amount of respect. I was not used to girls like you, and I had no idea how to even approach a girl… woman such as yourself.”
Her eyes perked up a little and she said with a smile, "So what you’re saying is that I was too good for you?" Relieved that I had lessened the tension, I said "Yes, that’s exactly what I mean. I’ve never been with a respectable woman before, and I had no idea how to even begin to try and romance one." I guess that was an acceptable answer, because Christine visibly relaxed, but then quickly looked me right in the eye and said "Do you know how to romance a respectable woman now?" To be honest, it was a question I had been asking myself since yesterday. Her large brown eyes transfixed me. They were amazingly elegant and alluring, shining with strength and intelligence; I couldn’t bullshit this woman if my life was on the line. I didn’t want her to know that I doubted myself though, so with all of the fake confidence I could muster, I said "That’s for you to decide, now isn’t it? But I think the answer will be yes."
Dinner went uneventfully, and we both seemed to enjoy the conversation. Turns out that she isn’t a certified physical therapist yet, but that’s what her eventual goal is. Right now she’s just doing what she can to get experience for when she applies to grad school.
The more we talked, the more beautiful she became. I gave her all of the signs that I was paying attention, being a good listener is very important to women, but all the time I was cursing myself for not noticing her sooner. Until that moment, I hadn’t realized just how wonderful it could be to have an actual real conversation with a girl for the purpose of learning information, and not just to talk her into having sex with me. I was learning that a woman could actually be more than a sex object. Look, I’m a 20 year-old male, don’t judge me--it takes most guys decades to figure out that women are good for more than just sex.
I did all of the gentlemanly things: I ordered for her, I didn’t eat like a huge ravenous monster, I put my napkin in my lap, kept my elbows off of the table, in short, I tried to show her that I wasn’t raised by wild pigs. It seemed to impress her, because I am certain that she noticed. I don’t think that I used the right fork for my salad, but I don’t think she was grading that closely… I hope.
When we were finished eating, they cleared a space for dancing and started to play some salsa. "Oh," I said, "do you like to dance?" Without waiting for an answer, I dragged her to the dance floor." “But Johnny, I don’t know how to salsa, I’m really not that great a dancer." "It’s OK babe," I said, "just follow my lead."
I took her by the waist and pulled her close to me. I guided Christine across the floor effortlessly; she wasn’t as bad as she said she was. Either that, or she was an incredibly fast learner. When I spun her, she spun, when I dipped her, she dipped. I had never achieved such synergy with someone the first time dancing such a complicated dance. She was light on her feet and very comfortable in her own skin. After a few songs she started to anticipate where I was going, and our bodies moved as one. The more we danced, little beads of sweat began to form on her chest and trickle down her breasts; an incredibly erotic sight. In fact, the whole thing was turning me on a lot considering that her ass wasn't grinding against my crotch like most of the stripper wanna-be's I danced with. I couldn’t tell how she was feeling, she was concentrating too hard on keeping up with me. She looked like she was having fun, and the closer we became the more I would touch her. It was the most subtle seduction I had ever attempted.
A caress there, a brush here, and every now and then my hand would graze her breast or drift across her stomach, lingering every so briefly on her curvaceous hips. To my surprise, I noticed that it actually seemed to be working. By bits and degrees she seemed to be getting turned on. Christine's breath came faster and faster, and it wasn’t from the dancing. Who knew that not being an overbearing jerk could actually win you a woman; more importantly, who knew I had the ability to not be an overbearing jerk? This girl was teaching me more about myself in one night than I had learned in the last year. As I was lost in revelry, I hadn’t noticed that my body was on auto-pilot, and was running Christine ragged. I gathered her up and took her back to the bar. "I’m sorry," I said, “I get kind of carried away when I’m dancing. You are great by the way, you really underestimate yourself." I ordered her water, which she drank immediately. "I don’t know, I felt like you were doing all of the work."
"Oh, I was" I said, " when I dance with someone less experienced than me, I lead as much as possible as a reflex. When you learn more steps, I’ll be an afterthought. You’ll be the star of the dance floor, you know, assuming that we have a second date." She dabbed some sweat off of her head, around her neck, and then down her chest. I couldn’t help but stare every bit of the way. "Well, right now it’s looking like a distinct possibility. I’ve never danced like that before, and I want to do it again, after I’ve had some time to practice. I just wanna say thank you Johnny, I really like having new experiences like this." She hugged my arm and nuzzled against me like she always wanted to be right were she was right now; eliciting a strange emotional response from me something akin to what I’ve heard called "Love?" "Hm? What did you say?"
"Oh nothing, nothing. Hey why don’t we get out of here, I know somewhere we can go." We went to the door where my car was waiting. I quickly inspected it for scratches, and just for fun, shot the attendant yet another glance that I’m certain brought him to the edge of complete pants-wetting.. I looked at Christine to find that she was suppressing a smirk. “You like it when I scare people, don’t you?” She straightened her face out and lied “No, that is wrong, and you should stop... eventually..”
The valet attempted to open the door for her, but I looked him off and opened the door myself. This time I definitely saw her giggle. We took off down rt 18, speeding all the way. I didn’t have to worry about cops because my best friend Melissa radar-proofed my Mustang. Christine didn’t know that but she was surprisingly calm as I aggressively wove through the ever-present traffic in East Brunswick. "I hope the way I drive doesn’t bother you", I said full well knowing that I wanted to see how she’d take my driving, “I tend to speed." She reclined leisurely in my comfortable leather seat crossing her deliciously golden and toned legs, "No, actually I like it. It’s relaxing and exciting at the same time, like being in an action movie. Besides, I trust you." She likes the way I drive! I was giddy; very few girls could stand the way I drove when I drove the way I wanted to. The concept of a woman “trusting” me was quite foreign; I had no idea what a woman meant when she said she trusted a guy. I’d have to ask Melissa about that tomorrow. "Where are we going anyway? It’s the middle of the night and all the bars are closed. We already ate so we can’t be going to a diner." I could tell that all of the Bay Breezes were starting to kick in as her face took on a nice rosy red flush. She took her heels off and put her feet on my dashboard. Hm, cute toes.
"We are going to the beach.”
"Really", she said, "but it’s the middle of the night. People don’t go to the beach at night."
Twenty minutes later we were walking in the sand at Long Branch Beach. I carried her so that 1. she didn’t have to put her heels back on and 2. the alcohol really started hitting her on the way down and she was having trouble walking on sand. I sat us down on one of the dunes next to the water, and she sat in my lap. I held her close as we gazed out into the deep blue darkness of the Atlantic Ocean at night, and we just talked. We talked about everything; school, physical therapy (her job), sports (my job), money, our families, our past, our future… everything. I had never been on a date that lasted this long where I wasn’t having sex with the girl by now, and I did not care. Apparently there are types of gratifying intercourse other than sexual. I had never felt so relaxed and at ease in my life, and the feeling seemed to be mutual as I looked down and noticed she had fallen asleep in my lap like a little kitten. As I ran my fingers through her jet-black hair, I laid back and closed my eyes to enjoy the moment, to mark it down in permanent ink in my consciousness. It is moments like these that sustain me when life is literally exploding around me and everything is chaos and pain. These quiet times with people who really mean something to me, this is the meaning of life. Right now, my existence was summed up in this dream of a woman who slept like an Angel in my lap. I thought maybe 5 minutes had passed, but when I opened my eyes again the sun was up.
"Christine, Chris wake up, we fell asleep." She slowly came to and looked at the sun coming up over the waves. "Mmmm it’s beautiful." “Come on honey, it’s time to go home." I gathered her up again and carried her back to the car. She looked like a little Asian angel in my passenger seat, and it was hard for me to take my eyes off of her and focus on the road. When we got back to Livingston I gently nudged her awake. “Chris babe, you’re home.” I walked her to her door and suddenly realized that I was not automatically invited in. She looked up at me with her gorgeous brown eyes and said, “Johnny, I had a wonderful night. You are hereby invited to call me later today for a second date.” She smiled a smile brighter than the rapidly rising sun. “OK, that’s cool. But do I get a good night, er, good morning kiss?”
Her answer was not with words, but with the slowest, most seductive, gentle, kiss I had ever had, or have had since. It was deceptive, for somewhere in her kiss there was a hint of the Tiger I had experienced two weeks ago. I can’t imagine that was an accident, I think maybe she wanted to remind me what my reward for good behavior could be. "Good night Johnny.” I watched her as she walked up the stairs inside until she was out of sight. I focused on her walk; she had been out all night, I danced her ragged, then we slept on the beach, and she still managed to walk like a supermodel; in heels no less. I took a deep breath and headed back to my car, her kiss leaving me more hung-over than any vodka ever could. Her scent lingered in my car, and every time I inhaled thoughts of her filled my head yet again. That’s how my first lesson in dating a respectable girl went. I decided that if all of my lessons were going to be like this, then I would be her best student from now on.