The most beautiful girl in the whole room walked towards me.
“Hello,” she said.
I smiled and said, “Hello.”
“Where’s the bathroom?”
I pointed down the hall. When she came back she said, “Thanks.”
And I said, “No problem.”
She finished her dinner and paid for her meal. Underneath the corner of a wineglass, she left her business card with the note “Call Me,” scrawled on the back. She could have been a part time model. The card read plumber.
Mary and I ate pie, made from black berries we had picked in Index the day before. She had never met a man like me, masculine but sensitive too. She loved all the funny little stories I wrote about rock climbing. The next week we drove her pickup truck to the granite boulders in Icicle Canyon, where we scrambled up to the top of a chunk of rock. The sun set slowly as we kissed. It was nice.
“Remember hiking and how much fun that was? Well, this will be fun too, a moment we can share together.” Mary stroked my forearm. I was not ready. There was so much to worry about.
“It hurts you know. It damages my uterus. I might not be able to have babies.” I felt terrible and thought of the ways I could help her.
“I’m leaving tomorrow. The army sent me my draft papers. The front lines in Iraq need people like me. They need the strong and the brave. I may not come back.” She massaged my arms, and then traced swirling lines on the back of my hand then onto my bicep. My eyes started to water. She stood and I followed her to my room.
She pulled my pants down, and yanked off my underwear. I pulled my shirt down, trying to cover my nudity.
“It will feel real good. Trust me.” Mary pushed me onto the bed, wiggled out of her clothes and mounted me. She gyrated hysterically, screaming dirty things. Her cries crescendo until she shuddered. Then it was over. She crumpled onto me and fell asleep. I wanted to talk, to know what she thought, to hear her say she loved me. Her snoring kept me awake.
The next morning I saw a group of girls huddled around a small table at the coffee shop. They burst into laughter. I turned and saw Mary grabbing her crotch. She thrust her hips towards the ceiling and blew kisses into the air. I walked over.
“I thought you were going to Iraq.”
She threw her thumbs into the belt loops of her jeans and said, “Guess not honey.” Her friends laughed. She slapped hands with her friends, giving them high-fives, as they chuckled. The girls leered at me, licking their lips. I left the coffee shop.
“You worked hard bussing all the tables in the restaurant tonight. I noticed from my seat over in the other section,” she thrust her hand forward and gave mine a vigorous shake. “I’m Rachael. I work as a waitress down the street at Gustav’s. I know this is a little forward but I want you to call me sometime.” She grabbed a napkin and scribbled her number down. “We can talk about life in the service industry. Maybe we’ll have some things in common.”
I smiled. I wanted to talk to her too.
“Plus, I’ve heard about you.” She rubbed her palm along the small of my back. “I heard that, you know, that you love it.” Her hand slide further down and grabbed my ass. She winked at me as she left.