The Angry One ch 1 to 3

This story is best when read on an ipad or iphone.

This is a novel. All characters are fictional.

Prelude

Hi, my name is Michael Hanson. I’m from the billionaire crowd. I’m the narrator and main character. In an attempt to recall the events accurately, I interviewed those involved, and got dreams, which were confirmed to be true.

Chapter 1 The Infamous Boat Party

During the summer following her second year in high school, Claire attended one of my boat parties. I invited friends from the local church and school activities to join me on the family boat for weekend gatherings. The yacht, which was about, was the largest boat in the local yacht club, spanning 70 feet and 4 floors. My folks had gone out of their way to make sure their son, me, could have his social life as long as they could monitor it, so spending a few million on a boat was one way to do this.  

Claire always made the list of invitees, since she was a member of the same church and high school. But this party and the events that followed changed both of us forever. Unfortunately, for Claire, the party and the next few years meant more pain, not answers. 

Here is her journal entry. She shared it with me later, much later. 

I (Claire) just returned from one of the most humiliating events of my life. Mom tried to comfort me, but I just need to be angry and perhaps cry a little. I can sum it up in one sentence. Michael Hanson is an asshole.  

Mom and dad have been reminding me of the incredible value of women on this planet, and they told me “the world is starting to acknowledge it.” I hope they’re right, but being a girl, or young woman in high school, it’s a bit hard to see it. My girlfriends and I are in our prime physically, sexually, and so on. We couldn’t be more beautiful and desirable than we are but we (most of my girlfriends) don’t really want to go around sucking guys, and having cheap sex. And none of us want to get pregnant or an STD at our age.   

This is my private journal, so I’m going to be honest. (her journal entry)

Why am I so depressed right now? In fact, tonight when I got home from what I’ll call the infamous Michael Hanson’s boat party, I’ve concluded he is the biggest asshole in school. He personally went out of his way to invite me to a boat party. No other girls got such a personalized invite — I asked around. Yet before I had a chance to talk with him for more than a minute, he snuck into a bedroom with this girl that nobody really likes — in fact, the guys call her Legs — and according to the stories, they enjoyed having oral sex together. I’ll admit she is a beauty, and sexy, etc, but I’m just as attractive, although not as experienced—thank God!! I can’t understand why he stares at me the way he stares – all the time -, invites me to his party, and then has sex with a girl that we all know he doesn’t really like or respect.   

Leg’s is part of the gold digger group. If the kid’s parents are rich, she’ll fuck. I’m not trying to be judgmental, but I‘ve heard plenty of stories about it.  

So why’m I so mad? Because I like Michael. I know we have a connection. I can feel it. So why does he treat me like trash? If that’s not the definition of an asshole, I don’t know what is.   

I know I don’t have the right to demand anything from him, in fact, we’ve never even been on an official date. But the way he looks at me from across a room or how he acts so nervous when we are standing near each other. It’s like we are supposed to be together but he doesn’t want to admit it.  

I know. It sounds like I’m a bit crazy. He is from the billionaire crowd and my father is only a lawyer. My father is world-famous and we have money, but not countless millions or more. The point is I’m from a really good family and I’m smart and gorgeous, so why does he treat me like I’m trash?  

Ok. I’m done venting.  

I’ll make a promise to myself and the world tonight. If there’s another explanation for why Michael treats me this way, I’ll share with the world my feelings and thoughts about it by sharing this journal entry. However, I know I’m right!!  

One more thing.  

Ok, time to get starry-eyed. On a few occasions, I imagined what life would be like if my parents worked more directly with the Hansons. That’s the formula for positive world change. My father has the impossible job. He defends human rights internationally, including women’s rights like rape victims. He often gets little support until mysterious donors show up. When I first started high school, a dream was birthed about working with dad, but more on that later.   

Back to Michael. Who is Michael?: he is a selfish, sex-crazed, little boy, who went out of his way to hurt one of the few girls around him who actually wants to get to know him. You know, build a friendship and perhaps more when the time is right in the future.  

My parents both have warned me to be safe even before I entered into high school. In fact, my mother shared with me how she learned that sex gets boring quick, especially if you don’t really like the guy you’re sleeping with.  

I made out with a few guys so far and one of the guys, who was kind of like my boyfriend last year, took off my bra and played with my nipples a little. On more than one occasion we did more than that but I felt like I was acting. I wasn’t that into it or him. Anything the first time has a certain excitement, but having some guy you don’t know real well rubbing your boobs, leads to a few more questions, like “When he goes down and slips off my panties, then what?” It all feels good at the time, but like I said, it can get boring quick. If you do go further and you don’t trust each other, if feels really cheap.   

I tried to imagine a guy slipping off my panties, going all the way, and in the end calling me by a nickname I’d hate to have, like Legs. I know Legs experienced this.  

After I felt the cold shoulder from Michael and left the boat party, I considered having sex with one of his friends, kind of for revenge. I knew if I did, Michael would hear about it. But mom’s words of encouragement sent me in another direction. She said, “If a boy doesn’t like you, move on, and be safe. Revenge is not revenge if you do something you’ll regret. True revenge is when you move on and make choices that make you a stronger person, and then you forget about the person who hurt you.” I like mom’s idea.    

The boy I considered having sex with has often told me how hot I am. He even kissed me a few times, but I didn’t have the heart to tell ‘m that he was a bad kisser. The worst is he forgot to compliment me for my other attributes, like how smart I am and what great parents I have. Michael has offered these compliments on many occasions. Maybe that is why I have a place in my heart for him. He knows what to say. I just wish he’d keep his compliments to himself until he was ready to ask me on a date.  

I promised myself I’d only write a paragraph or 2. I guess I really needed to vent. 

The end.  

After Claire wrote these words, she got naked, took a shower, and stood before her mirror, admiring how beautiful she is. She tried to picture herself surrounded by her girlfriends at a sleepover or on a date with someone special, but Michael’s image kept coming to her.  

She finally fell asleep feeling tired and betrayed by her own emotions.

Chapter 2 — Michael meets the hypnotist

After a few weeks passed, my mother, who is my protector and greatest admirer, noticed a behavioral change in me. It was the summer before my senior year and she deduced that I was not the same happy young man. She suspected the rumors about me having sex with this girl named Legs were true, so she gave a trusted friend a call. His name is Timothy. He is a hypnotist although he prefers the title life empowerment coach.

I am just under 6 feet and athletic, so I walk with a strut and have gorgeous curly black hair. However, I arrived with a heavy heart. I probably looked like an injured animal as I limped into his house. I forced a smile and my handshake was limp. My gaze was mostly at the floor because of the deep shame I felt.

!!

The setting for the meeting was Timothy’s home. For purposes of discretion, having informal meetings at his house worked well. The library on the first floor was a common design. It was decorated like a therapist’s office, with a reclining single-person chair for the client, multiple plants in a variety of locations, and aromatherapy scenting the air.

Timothy ushered me into the library, leaving my mom behind. We entered the room, and he patted me on the back while pointing to a chair. The chair was a recliner with a leg and armrests, so all I needed was a blanket. Without asking, Timothy handed me one. Soon, I was snug.

One great thing about my relationship with my mom is she tells me what’s going on. I knew why I was at the meeting and I knew this meeting would remain between Tim and me, unless I requested otherwise. As usual, I felt secure. However, I was not ready to talk about the boat party. If Timothy had asked me at that moment, “When will you be ready?” I would have said, “Just not now — or just not today.”

Timothy was no stranger to me. We had met at family gatherings. Probably by plan, we had had many good conversations about a variety of topics — nothing of a personal nature — over the years. Often, during the chats or after, I figured I would find myself in his office in the future, so. . . .

This was my first official consultation, face to face, in Timothy’s private study. The only question on my mind was, “Who’ll start the conversation?” Usual, the one who starts first controls, so I decided to see how talented he was — I let him start.

“Michael, you know why you’re here, so can I ask you a question or two?”

“Yeah. I know why we’re here. I know my mom probably knows more than most moms know about their sons. I know she keeps tabs. She knows about the girls. She must. We’ve faced threats of kidnappings in the past and things like that. My folks have eyes and ears everywhere —.”

“Good. Apparently you’ve experienced a traumatic event recently. Your mother noticed a behavioral change. And you’re not surprised by this, right?”

“Yes. I know my mother is in tune with me — I think more than my dad.” I paused. A feeling of betrayal rushed over me, then ambivalence. “I don’t feel too comfortable sharing with you about my personal life or my opinion of my folks because I don’t want you to judge me—or them. I mean, can’t I have times when I feel depressed without being analyzed?”

“I agree Michael. The good news is you don’t have to say anything, and I promise I will not judge you. My job is to listen and to help you sort out the confusion. But I want you to know, I’ve heard it all. Everything you say will be held in confidence. I will not tell your parents and you can’t say anything that’ll surprise me. I also know your parents love you more than you can grasp right now.”

Timothy paused, so I waved him on. I knew he had his scripts, so it was better to give him time and say them.

“Parents do make mistakes, and your parents are no exception to this rule, but you’ll learn the power of forgiveness if you haven’t learned it already. Forgiving our folks when they hurt us is one of the most empowering choices we can make.”

I smiled at these comments but remained still in my chair, and avoided eye contact.

“Michael, your mother is your biggest fan and your parents have both been through similar experiences. Trust me, they shared a few stories over the years.”

“I know. They’re open about sex and break-ups, and topics like that.”
“Michael, I’ll make you deal.”
We made eye contact.
“Ok.”
“I’ll ask a few questions and you can either answer or not answer.” I nodded.
“Tell me how it feels that mom and dad control everything you want to do?”
I knew the question would come, but I still inhaled and exhaled louder than I thought I would.
“Yeah. That’s a big question.”

I leaned a little more in his direction. That feeling that says “your safe” was growing. A mood change was apparent. My smile got bigger and my body loosened up. It didn’t take long before I was ready to say a little more about the infamous boat party. I didn’t give the details but I said enough for a trained ear to know that there was more to the story.

“Michael, did you have sex with a girl and it was confusing.”

I was expecting the question, but my body flinched so I broke eye contact. Even though I sort of planned this event, it bothers me when I can’t stop the unconscious knee-jerk responses like this one. Timothy noticed my jerk, so he continued.

“Maybe you are feeling guilty about it?”

I leaned forward, feeling the need to protect myself while knowing all these gestures were unconscious.
“But why Um Timothy? I mean, why would you say that?”
“Sorry Michael to get you off guard, but what you are experiencing is common and predictable.”

I exhaled, noticeably; disappointed that I had allowed my guard to drop so quickly.

“Yeah, but I didn’t really enjoy it. I mean the sex with Legs. That’s a nickname we call her. She’s totally hot and I should feel proud she wanted to have sex with me. We don’t talk anymore, now. I feel like a jerk. I’m starting to wonder if maybe I’m bisexual. . .or something.”

“Let’s consider that possibility.”

I nodded. My legs were shaking more, and I knew the only way to stop them was to say more.

“Tell me about the girl you had sex with. Did you do it only because you felt pressured, or did her beauty catch your attention?”

“I think I did, I mean, I thought she was hot, beautiful, but when it was over, I felt like something was wrong, missing. It was, I don’t know. I tasted her. You know, I licked her vagina. Kissed her lips. They were both wet and nice. I’d been. . you know. . with a few other girls, but something about this event. . I don’t know. I’d had a little whiskey before. It’s like I wanted something more. Something better.”

“Do you mean like a penis?”

“That’s the point. I don’t know. I thought about that. I have a few gay friends from school, but I can’t really imagine having sex with them.”
“Why?”

“I don’t know! I hold feelings back sometimes—often really. After all, I know my parents are always watching. It feels like mom is gonna jump out of a closet, wherever I am, and tell me that kissing this girl or — whatever — is wrong. It drives me crazy! No freedom. I hate it — And you can make yourself useful and tell them that!”

“I will. Promise — agreed?” I nodded.

“Tell me more.”

I let out a deep exhale. My posture went from somewhat confident to its time to end this stupid talk. My manly physique took shape and I was ready to say only enough to justify ending the meeting.

“Ok Timothy, let’s get real. There are days I’m so so angry at my parents. I can talk to my mom about some stuff, but my dad is like fu”””ing brick wall. I say stuff and I don’t know if he even hears me. God dammit, I’m his son. He has a job to listen and say something. Does he approve? Does he not approve? — So. . . sometimes I get confused about what I think I want. One day it’s this and the next day it’s that. Um— You know my family. I really have no limits. I can have almost anything I want.”

Timothy noticed my intonation shift. I know this because his head titled and his eye brow followed.

Oh shit! Cats out of the bag.

“Michael, what do you mean by almost anything.”

I went limp again knowing my secret was about to come out. Timothy saw it. The question had triggered an emotion, an unconscious desire in me. My face flushed red. I stared at the ceiling and then directly at Timothy. Out of nowhere, my confidence had returned. I didn’t want to hide my feelings, I wanted to tell the whole world what I’d been stuffing down.

“I, um— Tim. . . Keep asking questions.”
“Is there a shortlist of girls you really like at your school?”
“Yes,” Both shame and happiness rushed over my body. “Especially one.”

“Michael, close your eyes again. I want you to picture that one girl.”
I pulled the blanket over my body, getting as cozy as I could.

I hear a muffled cry coming from me. I hated this feeling, crying. “It is a sign of weakness,” I often remind myself.

“Ok.”

For another 30 minutes or so, with Timothy’s guidance, I entered into a deep trance state and began experiencing the joy of being in love. I had repressed my feelings because I knew it was not the right time to go and have the one talk with the one girl I really liked: Claire.

The fact that I liked her so much seemed to make little sense logically. But that is what this story is about.

When the hypnosis session was finished, Timothy offered me a series of recordings. These are the type you can listen to on youtube. They are typically called “hypnosis or meditation tracks.” He also gave me a link to his website where I could find plenty more.

My joy returned and I became playful. The conversation had shifted to Claire. I described how she made me feel when we were close and how her playing hard to get somehow fueled my desire for her. I ended the session by admitting that I was “under Claire’s spell,” so only one real concern was left.

“Timothy, how can I keep my distance from her until my parents allow me to date her?”

He offered agreement with my conclusion.

“I mean I can’t avoid her totally. I mean, when I go to social functions, she’ll be there. When I close my eyes, I see her smile. I can even smell her perfume and hear her laugh for days after a party. I know it’s only my imagination, but it drives me crazy. Sometimes, I really feel stupid about it. Like I said, I don’t even know her that well.”

“Michael, if you could choose 1 event or thought that is making this so painful, what would it be?”

I cringed.
“I don’t know. ” I knew the answer, but I was embarrassed.
Timothy decided to take a risk.
“Your attraction and feelings my boy — we call it the law of attraction.”
“What?”

I had heard this term before, but it was too abstract.

“Ok. Um. . . Tim, let me answer the question about a recent event. As I told you before, when I went to the boat party, I know it must have hurt her when I had sex with Legs. She left the party early and I went home that night feeling absolutely terrible. When I realized how badly I had hurt her, I think my mom picked up on it because my eyes were red from rubbing them for a day or two. I was really angry at myself.”

“The good news is my boy when you do have that meeting with Claire in the future, none of this’ll matter.”

“What if the meeting isn’t for a whole year or more?”
“Doesn’t matter.”
“Really!?”
“Trust me.”

A little small talk ensued for a few more minutes, then we both stood up and headed towards the door. While exiting, Timothy placed his hand on my shoulder, gave it a gentle squeeze, and offered his final words.

“Michael, let’s say the meeting with Claire happens during your last year at university. You’ll still need to wait two or three years for her to finish and pursue her goals — career.”

“I know.”
“What you should be concerned with is how life likes to interrupt our nicely laid plays.”
“What do you mean?”
“Your parents will discourage marriage until after you have graduated and are settled in the family business — you need to find how you fit in. So even if you do have a great first date, sometime during the university years, an event or series of events will interrupt your beautiful plans.”

As I heard these words, I reminded myself that he was a hypnotist and is a master at planting thoughts in people’s heads. The problem was his words made me uneasy. I call it the “eerie feeling.”

He also liked using the word interrupt.

Timothy and I joined my mother in the hallway, near the front door. It was the perfect timing for her to ask her final rhetorical question.

“I hate to interrupt you, boys.”
Timothy turned to look at her.
“Joanna, we had a great meeting.”

“Timothy my dear, will Michael survive?”

My mother was my biggest fan. Her tone, which was filled with slight laughter, revealed she was well aware of what was happening to me. I’m sure the question was spoken for my sake. Both of these marvelous people knew I had already fallen in love and it was the perfect situation.

“Joanna, Michael’ll pass this test. I’ll give him what he needs. He has an important life ahead of him and he must find the right woman who’ll be strong and grow with him and put up with a little — crap. You’re raising a world changer Joanna. His wife must be ready for a rocky road.”

She smiled. “Yes Timothy. After I met Richard, there were plenty of storms, but. . .” She then leaned in, kissed Timothy on the cheek, and departed.

The whole way home, I was relieved that I no longer was bothered by the infamous boat party memories, but I couldn’t help shaking a little when my folks used the word interruption in the proper context. It provoked an eerie feeling in me.


Chapter 3 Linda

Some people call it the subconscious mind and others call it the unconscious mind. Both names work. As a high school student, when I heard words like these while attending my parents’ parties, it was all too abstract for me.  

****   

My father chose West Point from a shortlist of reasons. One was discipline. Another was the discretionary flexibility it offered for families who qualified.   

I had thrived for three glorious years and was set to graduate from West Point with a BA in Engineering Psychology. Graduation was planned for May of the following year and my return to Michigan was set for June or later. My schedule was busy, so I only planned to visit Michigan once or twice during this year. To no one’s surprise, I chose the Christmas holiday, 6 months before graduation.   

I kept up with my friends from Michigan by watching their posts on social media, but I was kindly ordered to not post on social media. instead, I only watched. University life had changed me. My major was a facade. Don’t get me wrong, I learned about both subjects, but it took only a fraction of my time. During his first two of years at university, I dated two young women informally. Since I hadn’t dated much in high school, I earned the nickname, the Shy One. This changed during university. I was a bit wild during these two years. I liked taking off bras and panties, but I wasn’t the type to go all the way during the weekend parties, as many described it. I’m guessing I felt this way because my parents’ warning about getting a girl pregnant anchored me well. 

And I quote my mother: “If you get a girl pregnant, we will diminish your role in the family company and so on.” I didn’t have the courage to ask what “and so on” meant.  

This threat or promise, you choose the word you like, never made sense to me because we had the power to fix any problem I created.  

After I left Michigan for university, I did not forget about Claire but I had no interest in a long-distance relationship. I wanted a girl I could snuggle with on Friday night and wake up next to on Saturday morning. I kept my sex life very private. I also let it slip during chats with my close group of friends that I worked with a personal life coach and hypnotist. To no one’s surprise, other friends in my small circle, all from extremely wealthy families, shared similar stories. Some even knew Timothy’s name.   

I had been angry with his parents for not letting me date Claire during high school, but I learned that holding onto grudges was a bad way to use my energy. So I focused on other girls and put the past behind me. Nothing stopped me from sending Claire a message or 2, but I didn’t see the point. Whenever I looked at her picture during my first year of university, I wanted to be close to her. Internet video calls were not enough. Instead, I started meeting girls that looked or acted like her. This helped a bit for a while. I knew my parents were watching, but I did feel more breathing room.  

During my third year at West Point, I made another promise to my parents regarding my dating life. There is a wonderful family tradition we call the waiting period. The tradition is simple enough. I was not allowed to get married or engaged during university. After I finished school with at least a BA, if I thought I had found my true love, before I entered into an engagement, he could share the waiting period tradition with her. The period of 6 months to 1 year was discretionary. During this time, couples were encouraged to date other people and not see each other romantically. This especially meant no sex.   

When my parents mentioned this, I smiled and said, “No problem.” I like this family tradition so much that I renamed it the one-year rule.  

During my third year, I got into a relationship with a young woman. Her name is Linda. She spent the weekends with me often at my off-campus house, but after we became more sexual, I often thought of other girls while Linda was working hard to please me. Physically, I couldn’t have asked for more, but she quickly lost the ability to create the special spark in me. During my senior year, I was happy to share with her my family’s tradition.  

!! senior year — timeline 

One morning, Linda began to do a focused mid-body crotch massage as I was waking up. She had perfected a hand and mouth method and added arousing eye contact with a giggle now and then. In the beginning and a month or two that followed, I leaned back in bed and thought: This must be what heaven is like. I had been mesmerized by her adorable everything. Months later, that had changed. The sex had gone from playful, new, and exciting, to WFT. 

So there I was. I heard the noises and felt the suction of a busy mouth, but I didn’t look down. I remember thinking, Does she really enjoy this or is she acting? On this particular occasion, I became honest with myself. “This is getting corny.”  Having no interest in continuing, it was time to change the mood. 

“Hey. I want to share with you a promise I made to my parents. Since we are getting serious, you should know about this.”  

I was afraid to look at her at the same moment I made the comment about the family tradition because I didn’t know what unconscious gestures might pop out.  

I heard her mumble, “a huh” or something like that since her mouth was still busy.  

“We have a tradition in our family. When a couple is getting serious, they take 1 year off. If they still long for each other after 1 year’s time, they can get back together and begin an engagement.”  

Linda stopped. Her mouth dropped open, so I felt the weather change around my penis. It was like watching a really bad actress in a movie you don’t like. The noises and all the other stuff stopped as she took a seat on the bed. I felt her stare, so I finally offered eye contact. 

Looking at her was revealing. I knew the look; I knew all of her postures and tones. Her behavior was predictable.  

“So are asking me to marry you or breaking up with me?” Her intonation suggested the latter.   

After she said this, I realized how powerful this request was. A vivid memory came to me of how my mother had summed up this family tradition:  

There is a longing you feel when you are with the person you truly love. Once you are committed, being away for 6 months or a year will make you want them more. It’ll drive you crazy and you will fall more in love. Their absence will give you so much to look forward to. When you are back together, the past ll fade. We’ve all experienced cheap sex Michael. When we meet the person we are supposed to be with, you’ll be inseparable.  

Linda continued to stare at me. I’m guessing she thought perhaps I would respond to her rhetorical question. Trying to sound genuine, I lied a little to soothe the moment.  

“I love you —” for a second, her name slipped my mind. For a reason unknown to me, staring at her firmly bobbing boobs caused me temporary amnesia. Trying to regain eye contact, I glanced at my surroundings while pretending to change posture, “. . .but neither of us are ready to marry. I’ll be traveling back to my hometown for Christmas and after that, I will be away from the campus on a special project, so I figured being away from you for the holiday and a few months is a good test for our relationship.”   

As I spoke this, I was careful not to exhale too loudly in relief. I watched and noted everything about her. Ironically, I was probably more aware of her gestures and physiology than she was. I tried to feel bad that I didn’t get excited by her anymore sexually, but instead, my mind drifted towards Christmas and returning to my hometown. An inward warmth lit up my countenance as I thought of Claire.  

Still staring at Linda’s beautiful naked body, I found myself wondering how Claire’s body compared. I had no doubt Claire’s was as perfect, but the mystery of not seeing it had such power. Let me sum it up this lesson.  

The girls I dated and had sex with, wanted me to feel obligated. Linda had done a good job pleasuring me sexually, but any girl could offer that. I wanted to feel a connection beyond the cheap sex. My parents had this connection, and I envied them for it. The relationship between my folks wasn’t perfect but I was often impressed how they worked together towards common goals and how they seldom contradicted each other in their roles as my parents. One of the most common quotes was “Go ask your mother or father, depending on the topic.” Every once in a while I tested this rule.  

I enjoy strange emotional stability because of their consistency in maintaining their roles. I don’t often like the answers, but their agreement and the stability are addictive. 

I had heard the stories. Timothy even shared a few, of how both my parents had put up with a lot crap from each other while dating and during the early years of marriage, but it only made them stronger. One top priority was I wanted my folks to really like the woman I married. Since I couldn’t imagine Linda in this role, ending this relationship sooner compared with later, made the most sense.  

To no one’s surprise, Joanna (my mom), only invited Linda a few times to family gatherings. Each time seemed more cringe-worthy. Linda tried a little too hard to be the perfect girlfriend for their son. At one point, my mother even commented, “she is a beauty,” but didn’t say much more. I guess you can say my mother intended it as an insult. 

Linda broke eye contact after realizing the conversation was over. I almost laughed. Wearing only a very skimpy thong, she made her way off the bed and put on a shirt, but didn’t button it. Linda’s greatest tool for attracting me, her beautiful body, had lost its power. This was a freeing experience for me. I owed her nothing and she owed me nothing. Feeling that was so cool.  

She didn’t say anything once off the bed. Instead, she headed for the bathroom. In the beginning, I had watched her every move. I loved watching her climb off the bed, and stroll across the room while her hair, ass, and breasts bounced with her every step. This must be love,  I jokingly thought.  

After I mentioned the family tradition, everything changed within a minute or two. Humored by her lack of power over me, I pondered the question, Why can’t those sexual feelings last longer?  

I forgot to watch her make her way to the bathroom. Instead, I stared down at her bra, which was laying next to the bed. A memory flashed again of the thrill when I first undid the rear bra clip and her nicely shaped breasts popped out in greeting. “Touch me, kiss me, rub me.” That moment, which was more than a year ago, had been magical. Today, the thrill was gone. 

The relationship had started reasonably well, but because I had been mostly tame sexually during high school, I decided to discover all of Linda rather quickly. I wasn’t sure when the magic disappeared, but I knew it was gone.  

After watching Linda’s perfect body flee from my sight, I got more excited about the power of this family tradition.  

Although Linda was not the first young woman I had dated or had casual sex with, she was the only one I invited back to Michigan and my hometown. In fairness, I sort of figured she would not meet with mom’s approval, but the only way to know was to make the invite. It all ended so well, I must say.  

I noticed I had been in a trance state, so I looked up. Linda had left the room. I glanced at my side table where a picture from a boat party in my hometown lay. It was one of my favorites because it captured Claire’s personality and reminded me of when life was easy. Life in my hometown was so much easier.  

During university, I had gone on classified missions, met generals and top U.S. and foreign government officials, and learned to use firearms and to fight. Learning kung fu and jujitsu was amazing. I had changed and my guess was, Claire had changed also, but not that much.  

According to social media, Claire was now seriously dating a young man named David, a real gentleman. With teary eyes, I took Claire off my list of possible women to pursue since social media offered a clear message: Claire had moved on. I had even gone out of my way to miss a party or two in Michigan where I would have seen her. It had been more than a year since we had seen each other and the distance seemed to make the parting easier.   

As I went in and out of this trance state, the word almost haunted me. My conversation with Timothy came back to me and it was vivid. Two things were certain. First, the word almost no longer applied to Claire. Second, I really didn’t care if she had an alleged boyfriend named David.

I literally slapped myself in the face and grunted, “Stop it. Let Claire get on with her life. She probably won’t even like who you are becoming. Little shy Michael is gone.” I tried to forth a smile.  

Just being near her, the one person I was forbidden to be with during high school, gave me such excitement. I longed to feel that desire again. I kept replaying Timothy’s question. “What do you mean, almost anything?” The one thing that was forbidden is no longer forbidden. 

I was so thankful when my unconscious let those words slip out during the meeting with Timothy. 

Claire had meant so much to me, but it was not logical. So what is the lesson? Often emotions are not logical. Claire was as beautiful as Linda. Although I had never seen Claire naked, surely she was comparable. I wanted to believe that force beyond me had the intention of bringing us together. I enjoyed thinking this way because I concluded that this force was smarter than me.  

If such a thing existed, I wanted to learn more about it. My folks and Timothy called this force many names. One was the law of attraction. I couldn’t hold this concept in my hand, so it was anything but clear in my mind, yet I loved how it seemed to be guiding me.  

My wandering mind came back to the room. Linda was in the bathroom, brushing her teeth and showering. I pulled out my iPad and had a look at social media. Claire enjoyed posting to social media. She published pictures of her and David in a variety of settings, including at the beach, on boats, and at romantic dinners. She loved to show off her life after high school. I still thought of her often and enjoyed looking at her smile. I was happy that she was happy, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wanted her to smile for me, not for David.   

While enjoying the pictures, I made a choice that surprised me. I will attend this year’s Christmas partyI’ll make a surprise entrance. Claire will be there. I will tell her I like her and then let things play out.  There was a little voice that whispered “No you won’t. You’ll cower out.” 

As I pondered this wonderful plan, in the midst of that stupid voice in the background, I smiled about how silly it was. I knew I would not stay on a script when I saw her and my nerves would get the worst of me.  

I shook himself, put the picture down, and waited for Linda to enter back into the room. It didn’t matter what she would say or would not say. I was thankful for two things. My relationship with Linda was over and Claire was not married — not even engaged. After all, the words dating or serious dating mean nothing. Hell, the title engaged doesn’t mean too much either. 

If I am expected to take any term seriously, it’s the word “engaged.” If they use this word, I want to know the date of the wedding, how much money they have already spent, and if she is already showing a baby bump before the wedding. If none of this is happening, then any other words mean nothing, so someone like me has the right (at least in my opinion) to interrupt. 

After thinking these bold thoughts for an hour or more, on and off, I got that gut feeling again that said, “No you won’t. You’ll cower out.”

!! end