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I began this story for the Literotica Halloween contest of 2017, but it changed very much along the way. We do what we have to do. If it doesn’t seem to adhere to the theme please let me know & I’ll resubmit as a regular story.
Mandatory Masturbatory Disclaimer: This story is more literary than erotica. It finishes before you will, likely. I apologize. I’m an artist. I didn’t want things to be this way, but this is what had to be. It’s not you, it’s me. But at least foreplay through the first page…then if you want to bail, blessings.
Also, I want to dedicate this to Areala-chan & ChloeTzang, both of whom encouraged me (through their works) to write for Literotica.com, by teaching me that nothing is truly erotic if you don’t fully expose yourself within it.
With an effort of will I opened my lids and gazed out across the floor. The triangle of sunlight had moved maybe two feet beyond my last compass reading. But that was practically a half-day from where it was when I found myself coming to rest here. The late day sun had moved well-past my face now, a blessing, though I felt in some strange way forsaken.
The carpet hairs were twinkling where the sun hit them. I appreciated the effect, much like I might appreciate a children’s play or a holiday parade. Simplistically beautiful, and fulfilling in its way. A moment’s entertainment, but not something that could possibly matter. Not now. With my face on the floor and the incessant clicking of the wall clock calling me away from everything I really longed for.
I let my attention take the picture in for maybe a moment more and closed myself off from it again. And, hoping against hope, against everything again, forever.
The chiming tone of the doorbell was a stab of pain, a tiny meteorite impacting my little world. I squinted in response, pulling my knees up into my belly, recoiling in fear and dread. Gripping my lids tight I earnestly prayed for safety, security. With an unfamiliar effort I began to pull my arms up slowly, in seemingly futile advances, until I could wrap them around my face, my head, scraping my finger nails tightly into balled fists into my hair. This helped, as the next ding seemed somewhat muffled, less jarring, less violent.
‘I can wait this out,’ I thought. And I believed it. All that mattered was to not give in to caring about it. Not care who was there, not care why they were intruding into my world, not care about whatever it was they wanted to get or take from me that drove them to assail the walls of my home and try to force me out to do battle. They wouldn’t just break in, right? That’s a rule people have to follow, isn’t it? I mean the lock on a door isn’t a walled gate or anything…but it’s there, right? It’s a symbol at least. A symbol that says if you break into this door you have declared yourself a…what? A marauder? ‘No! Stop this!,’ I reprimanded. ‘Don’t keep getting lost in fantasies,’ I chastised. ‘That time is over. That never helped.’ There were no rules, no symbols, no marauders. People just do whatever they want to do. And they do it all over you.
Tears began to well in my eyes. ‘Please. No, please, please. Not today. Not right now. Don’t you see? Don’t you see me? I’m done here, right? I’m done. I quit. I’m done. You win, okay? I give up. Just let me go…please? Just let me…. Please. Please. I am begging you. Just let me go. I give up.’
Doonk Doonk Doonk Doonk Doonk Doonk Doonk! I cowed in submission as the window-pane reverberated at every strike, and I tightened myself like a turtle into my shell. My breathing had quickened, though, my breasts heaving with fear and adrenaline as I steeled myself for the inevitable. The next merciless labor the universe was yet going to heave into my pointless existence.
Focusing on my breaths, squinting against the strain, I lifted my head. The front door seemed monumentally far away, the musky, chemical smell of the carpet so familiar and close. A blurred shadow outlined against the blinds in the foyer. ‘Leave me alone,’ I pleaded to nobody but myself. I began to move.
Sitting slowly up, it felt like a dream. Like a hung-over awakening in a room which only dimly came to memory. Outside the wide living-room window the sun was setting behind the neighbor’s house, casting a low, muffled light around me. ‘How long have I lain here?’ I wondered. Hours, I realized, judging by the light. ‘Shit.’ I stared across at the darkened windows of the house next to mine. ‘This is not good, Olivia. This is bad.’ I looked down at my worn t-shirt and pajama bottoms. ‘And I’m not sure how we get out of this one’.
The banging continued again, more muted this time against the door. Some part of my old self rose to the occasion, and muscles complaining I brought myself unsteadily to my feet. On uncertain legs I made my way through the foyer to the güvenilir bahis door. I quickly scoured my brain in an attempt to anticipate the ordeal to come. Had I ordered anything online recently that might need a signature? Oh shit, was it Halloween already? That was tomorrow surely, if I remembered right. And the porch light wasn’t on, so that was like a signal right? A Sorry, We’re Closed sign of some sort…?
In a sudden panic of ego I began to run my fingers through my hair, rubbed my eyes and slapped my cheeks several times. Coughing once and breathing deeply twice, I widened my eyes and readied myself for the unknown.
‘I’m normal,’ I marshalled myself. ‘I’m happy, and I’m strong.’ I gripped the doorknob with hesitancy. ‘And I’m sane. Just like everybody else.’
‘Oh fuck me.’
“I’m so sorry to bother you like this!” Steffie practically exploded through the crack of my doorway. “But Kevin and the kids are out all night and I saw your car and figured…” she hesitated only a bare instant as she looked up into my face. “I mean I thought this seemed like a good time to come by.” Her lilting tone may have trailed-off at the end, but it was hard to be sure. Everything trails-off at the end, by definition.
‘Oh sure,’ I managed to croak out. Because that’s an okay thing to say…right? ‘No problem, Steffie.’ Yeah, yeah I can do this. I’ve done it most of my whole life. ‘What’s up?’
The lively young woman gazed up at me with a delighted, impossibly sincere grin. She seemed for all the world like a kind of elven vixen, or maybe a mythical siren in pixie form. Every move of her form, every gesture in her face, I mused, seemed to flow like waves over a sea of careless energy.
“Ok, here’s the thing…” Her eyes flashed unabashedly even in the uncertainty of her words. “Alright, I’m just gonna be honest. I was at my house, and Kevin and the kids were out, and I thought about you….” There was something almost theatrical about her presence, yet never forced or affected. “So I figured I’d swing on over and ask you to….” I realized she was barefoot. Then noted I was barefoot too, but didn’t seem to pull it off as well. “…come out and get ice cream with me over at The Cone Brothers!”
‘Umm…’. I turned my head to stare non-committedly at the door-frame. I sought some excuse to let me slide sideways out of this situation. I became self-consciously aware that I was hiding behind the half-opened door, aware that normal people should invite a neighbor in, or at least step outside to meet them. Aware that while there was still a dwindling shade of sunlight bathing the stoop from outside, there wasn’t a single light on in my house and that by opening the door to her fully she would realize that.
‘…I am…kinda wrapped up in stuff right now.’ I cringed inside, feeling I lacked the energy to either lie outright or bare myself truthfully. ‘Stuff I…I mean stuff I need to work on. To do,’ I added hastily.
“Oh yeah,” she said almost happily, “yeah, I totally understand!” She paused, and for a brief moment I felt I might have closed her off, but then her face refreshed and she moved in toward me a step further. “But here’s the thing…I really, really want some ice cream. And I don’t really get to have it when Kevin’s around, because he can’t, he’s intolerant. So I thought of you…”. She was so unbelievable genuine, sincere. How could anyone be this confident? “…and I realized this was my chance, and…well…. Shit! I want ice cream. With you. Please get ice cream with me!”
A half-hearted laugh came out despite itself, and for a moment I did an internal check-in to see if there was any chance I might want to eat anything, even ice cream. But my stomach felt like a literal walnut, dry and hard. And the thought of going out in public, of committing myself to spend time out there, with this lively sprite of a woman, made my chest begin to tighten inside like a walnut as well.
‘Oh. Steffie, I would do that, I really would. But I haven’t really showered…’. Since when? Seriously Olivia, when did you last shower? Why don’t you tell her that little factoid, when you can figure it out. ‘So I’m not up to…it right now. Maybe we should—’
“Hey could I come in.”
Everything in me shut down. My mind became a sudden void of all the million things that seemed to rattle around in it incessantly. I sucked air slowly through open lips.
“I know I’m being rude, or you know…over-assertive as Kevin likes to say, but…well, if its ok with you, I’d just really like to come in. Just for five, ten minutes tops. Just ’cause I….I mean just ’cause I like you.” She didn’t apologize, even with her eyes. “I know we haven’t spent a ton of time together, but you know…I mean you know when you know you like someone right away, huh?”
So sincere, so honest, how the fuck?
“So türkçe bahis I wanna just hang out for a few minutes or so. Then I’ll leave. I promise! I’d just really love to spend even a little bit of time with you, and this is as good a time as any, right?”
And just like that, somewhere in the middle of my being, a sleeping cat had just been stroked. It began to stretch itself, and mew, hoping for more.
‘Umm. Yeah. Okay.’ That sentence probably took more out of me than everything I’d done, or not done, the whole rest of the day. I let the door swing inward, and reached for the foyer light-switch. I hesitated, tensed inside, knowing what was next. The light from the small chandelier overhead was an explosion, a shock. I seemed to flinch everywhere at once. I felt like I’d just appeared on a stage, only there was no show, no rehearsals, no reason for me to be out here like this at all. I think they called this the Actor’s Nightmare.
I smiled apologetically at Steffie, and by way of introduction simply abandoned the door and moved, with what I hope wasn’t a shuffle, inside. I heard Steffie close the door, and then almost instantly she was at my side. Entering my living room her hand touched my arm. I couldn’t have been stunned more had she tasered me. The cat inside tensed, arched, growling low. The switch for the light lay on the wall to her other side, so with a brief direction ‘Can you just get that’ I pulled away and fled to the safety of the couch.
Recessed bulbs throughout the ceiling flooded my world. I was aware that everything in my living room was now exposed to her. A room I’d often been proud to show, comforted to live in, now felt like an indictment of me. Retreating to my customary spot on the futon couch, I steeled myself for what always came.
I flinched again inside.
“Olivia…holy shit, wow this is awesome!” I knew this room could have that effect on people. Curling my legs up under me, I stared at the carpet and waited, giving her time to make the rounds of my life.
Though this was an early suburban, cookie-cutter house, like most in this area, at one point not so long ago I’d gutted the work of those practical folks and made it my own. Stone and wood were the dominant themes, so the small, hand-built hearth, long-cold now, drew her in immediately. Every manner of colorful and course, sparkling and dull type of rock went into its façade. And it wasn’t hodge-podge or fanciful. Each and every piece had a place.
The furniture had a place as well, although there wasn’t much. I never did much entertaining, but there was a wide and inviting ’70’s era leather chair and footstool that resembled a kind of executive ‘nest’ for someone important enough to be uber-casual. I loved that one in spirit, but never really sat in it. A vintage wing-back chair in plush velvet blue mirrored it at the other side of the room. Everybody liked that, which is why I kept it. But in the middle, the only place I ever really felt comfortable resting, was the worn, familiar futon couch I’d trundled about since graduating college. The solidly-built frame was speckled with paint and showing wear, especially on the flat arms where countless drinks had sat. The cushion itself had worn various costumes over the years and become depressed in spots — most obviously the place where I spent most of my time. But it had been with me so long, moved with the movements of my life, and opened itself up to accept the bodies of so many friends, family and lovers who needed to stay with me a while. When I’d dipped into my grandfather’s inheritance to buy and renew this house, I’d never considered replacing it. It didn’t always feel comfortable, but it always felt right.
Still, what captured everyone’s interest, and was holding Steffie’s now as well, were the paintings. Every square inch of every open wall space held one, and a few others displayed themselves on easels about the floor. I’d painted always. Painted everything. And if something came out on the canvas, paper, wood, fabric or even corrugated metal, and it surprised me by what it had become, it was displayed here. And, sadly, almost nowhere else. This was my perennial gallery of myself, by myself, for myself. Mostly. But sometimes I opened it for viewing, such as this unanticipated showing.
“Wow.” Steffie was inching her way about, struggling to take it all in. “Holy…oohh.” It was always a flattering experience, and especially now as I was grateful not to be the less fascinating focus of her attention. “This is so cool!” Then after a moment “Aww, that feels sad.” Then “Oh I like these colors!” And “Hm.” Or “Hah! That’s great…”
Of course, everyone assumed at first that this was my collection of art, not a collection of my art. After a few moments they’d ask something about who did this one? or simply comment about how you have really good taste or simply I’ve güvenilir bahis siteleri always wanted to collect paintings like this, but I don’t know enough about art…
I felt a rumble threatening to come forth from my stomach. Had I eaten today? I mean I got out of bed this morning, right? I didn’t wake up on the couch…no that was yesterday. And then after that I’d heated water for tea. I looked toward the kitchen at the tea-pot, trying to stir some memory to steer me through what had—
“This is him, isn’t it?”
“This is that guy, I dunno…your partner, whatever, that’s the word now, right? The really good-looking one who used to live here for a while.”
I tried to look over at Steffie, but I didn’t have the strength to bring my gaze above her feet.
“When did you paint this?”
With an effort I lifted my eyes up to the painting, though it hardly mattered. It was a boudoir scene in which a man stood half-reclining along a window seat, in the casual remnants of a sleek dress-suit and trousers. He was barefoot as well, some part of me noted, the very essence of unaffected class. His head was cocked sideways against the glass, as he gazed considerately down on the almost emaciated, bared form of a faceless female in the foreground. This gaunt figure had no identity, the head not showing on the canvas. I hoped it would stay that way.
I grabbed a couch pillow absently, pulled it toward me. This was a mistake. Letting this woman in was a huge mistake, but now I didn’t know how I was going to—
“‘Cause I mean, you know, this looks like a ‘good-bye’ painting.”
I tucked the pillow up into my center, gripping it tightly against me.
“So that’s you at the bottom, right? And not to get weird or anything, but…wow… sooo sexy.” I entwined my ankles awkwardly around each other in a way I had long been training myself not to keep doing. “And your friend here. God! He’s so beautiful, so elegant.” Could I just leave? Just flee into my bedroom and shut the door? Why can’t we just do things like that?
“But…hey Olivia!” She swirled about to look at me. “You know how when you look at the Mona Lisa, and you know it’s supposed to be incredible and beautiful and all. But then all you can think is that she’s actually just kinda average. But then there’s that lippy-smile thing, and it’s actually really cute and snarky and fun, so you think, I dunno, yeah I guess I see it….”
Something about Steffie’s over-the-top sincerity pulled me back in. I released my grip on the pillow a little, and tilted my face toward her.
“So anyway, your friend here. He’s pretty much the opposite of that.”
A tiny huff of a laugh burst from me, but I immediately caught it back with a tight grin.
“Oh shit! So no! I’m not trying…shit, I’m not trying to….” Steffie crossed airily to the opposite side of the couch and plopped casually down. “Okay so.” She grasped a quick breath. “So Olivia. This is just kinda what I do, I…I say stuff. That comes to my mind. And then it’s out. And I never regret saying it, but…sometime I regret how people hear it.” Her face winced in mock pain.
‘Yeah, no it’s fine Steffie.’ Still smiling in spite of myself, I rubbed at my forehead and eyes with both hands. I was starting to think I enjoyed her company. She seemed strangely easy to be with, so effortlessly doing all the work.
“And I was totally being fucking honest when I said, I like you. I mean I feel like I like you.” I forced a smile to myself as I hugged the pillow tighter again. “So thanks for letting me come in.”
A moment passed. But it felt nice.
“And seriously,” she leaned in, “when did you paint that?”
Another moment passed. Less nice.
“You painted it right after you fell in love with him, didn’t you!?!” She almost bounced in her seat like a game show winner. “You did! Oh fuck,” she grasped her hand with her mouth, trying to contain herself. With effort she was trying to rein in all the things she wanted to say. “I’m so sorry! I’m such a cunt! But I could totally see it!” I stared fully at her for perhaps the first time this evening. She was doing such a horrible job of atonement that I wanted to grab her hands and laugh with her.
“Because you knew!” she sputtered, grasping hands now to her surprised lips. “You knew when you painted that! Don’t you see?” She sprung from the couch and crossed again to the portrait. “It’s all there. Oh my god. You’re so amazing. It’s so sad.” Now Steffie looked on me with what I could only perceive as a strangely delightful pity. “You knew he was going to leave you. Didn’t you?”
She turned back to the painting. I struggled to understand her meaning.
“You’d just given yourself to him. Entirely. Even though you already knew….”
Anger stirred in me. I glanced about for something to throw at her, something I wasn’t actually going to. This was a mistake. It’s always a mistake.
Then turning to face me again she pressed one hand to her mouth, the other between her breasts.
“Oh, you poor thing. You poor, poor thing.”
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