Unlikely Romance

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I was just lying there beside her, holding my head in my hand, my arm bent at the elbow. Annie was sleeping on her side, facing away from me. The low light from the lamp on the nightstand illuminated her long, lean body, and the shadows danced over her as she breathed. Annie’s long legs were not quite fully extended, but were bent a little at the knees. Her beautiful ass and naked back were tantalizingly close and still a little sweaty, almost begging me to caress them.

What was this beautiful, young woman doing in my bed? I could scarcely believe it myself. Did I just make love to this amazing woman? Or am I all alone and merely having a wonderful dream?

As I lay there watching her, I thought back to the lucky events that led to our meeting. We met on-line, for god’s sake!

I was bored and avoiding doing some work, as usual. To idle away the time, I like to chat, but none of my on-line friends were available. My list of friends isn’t that long. I’m not a person that amasses a huge list of friends and then ignores most of them. Everyone on my list is a person I care about, and who also cares about me, even if it’s only for conversation. If I meet someone interesting, I’m happy to add them to my friend’s list, but if we rarely or never talk, well, I simply delete them.

So on this occasion I went fishing for conversation. I never really initiate a conversation with anyone under 35. Well, hardly ever. On this particular evening, the pickings were slim in my usual 35-50 age group, so I ventured into the under-35 age group. That’s how I cam upon Annie. We seemed to hit it off right away. I’m a sucker for smart and funny women and Annie was clearly both. She’s in her early 30’s, but wise beyond her years. We chatted for maybe an hour or so, but I felt as if I had known her all my life. And that’s odd because I’m nearly 20 years older than she is. I found myself opening up to her, telling her things I had kept hidden from most of my older friends. We talked about anything and everything. Intimate things. My almost sexless marriage. Her troubled infatuation with a married man, a man she had loved in silence for many years.

After a few conversations we exchanged pictures. She was so interesting as a person, I really didn’t care what she looked like, and because I was older, I wasn’t really pushing to trade pictures. But eventually it seemed like the natural thing to do. She sent me hers first and, after seeing her gorgeous face, I almost didn’t send her mine. But a deal’s a deal, so I did. She politely said thanks, and I was relieved that she didn’t break off the friendship then and there. Oh, I’m not hideous by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m realistic enough to know that I’m not necessarily the type that would attract such a beautiful woman. But, to Annie’s credit, she seems to put more importance on what’s inside than on what’s outside, so the friendship flourished.

In a certain sense, we came to depend on one another. She could vent to me. I could complain to her. We began making arrangements to phone each other from time to time, and those conversations were as long and varied and intimate as our correspondence and chatting.

Although our conversations were often very intimate they were never intimate in a personal way. We talked about intimate things, especially things happening in our lives, but not in the context of each other. We never had phone sex or cyber sex or anything like that. Our relationship was one of friendship. Well, that’s not entirely true. I was totally smitten with Annie. I told her I had a crush on her (but that it was benign), and I sometimes flirted shamelessly. She seemed to like it, but never really reciprocated. I knew that I probably wasn’t her type so I was content to just be really good friends. A big brother, perhaps.

One day we were talking on the phone and I mentioned that my wife was going away for a week to visit my daughter and I’d be “batching” it.

“Oh, what a coincidence!” Annie said. “I’m planning on visiting a friend in Detroit during that time. Maybe we could get together for dinner or something. It would be fun to finally meet the guy I’ve been talking to these past months.”

I was thunderstruck! It would be wonderful to meet Annie. I liked everything about her. “I’d love to,” I replied. “I didn’t know you had a friend in this area.”

“Well, I still have some secrets that I keep from you, you know. Besides, you’re a friend, too, aren’t you?”

So we agreed to meet when she was in town.

I was beside myself with anticipation. Could I meet Annie without making a fool of myself? Although she had seen pictures of me, would she be disappointed with me in the flesh? What did it matter, I rationalized. We were just friends. I was acting like a teen-ager. I danced around the room knowing that Annie wanted to meet me.

The day before Annie was to arrive in Detroit, she called me.

“I’m not sure my friend can meet me at the airport. Would you be able to pick me up?”

“Sure, no problem,” I said, trying to mask my excitement. “I’ll be there.”

Arriving at the airport about an hour early, I paced back in forth in the terminal, as close to the place from which she would eventually emerge. I looked at my watch about every 3 minutes, I was so anxious for her arrival.

Finally, her flight arrived and the passengers began pouring out of the gate area. I stood on tip-toes trying to catch sight of her. Then I saw her long blonde hair, bobbing as she walked along. She caught sight of me and smiled, and hurried toward me. We hugged hello, and I grabbed her bag.

“Well, where to, Annie?” I asked as we got into my car.

“I’m pretty sure my friend isn’t home yet,” she said. “Why don’t you and I go to dinner. I’m famished.”

“I know just the place,” I said, happy to have more time with her.

We went to Carl’s Chop House, one of the best spots in the area and a place I hoped would impress Annie. I was hoping to stretch the evening out as long as possible before I had to drop her off at her friend’s place, but the dinner just flew by. We ate and laughed and drank and laughed some more. It was the most wonderful meal of my life.

Annie asked to see where I teach so I took her to the University. I parked on campus and we walked arm-in-arm through the moonlight as I showed her the campus. It was a little dark and you really couldn’t see much, but I tried to describe things in as much detail as possible.

“Now show me where you live,” Annie said as we walked back to the car.

“What about your friend?” I asked.

“Oh, I’m having fun here with you,” she replied. “We have lots of time.”

So I took Annie home and showed her my office and library and the pictures of my kids and family.

Annie looked so good. I was struggling with my feelings for her, fighting back the urge to take her into my arms and kiss her.

Plopping down on the couch, Annie kicked off her shoes. “Ahh, that feels better.”

Sitting down beside her, I said, “Annie, it’s so good to finally meet you.”

She patted my knee, and said, “Yes, it is, isn’t it?”

“Your friend must be wondering where you are.”

Laughing, Annie cried, “Oh, you’re too much! Haven’t you realized that you’re the friend I came to see.”

I sat there with a stunned look on my face.

Leaning forward, Annie kissed me sweetly on the lips. “Mmmm, that was better than I imagined it would be,” she cooed.

“But, but I’m not your type.”

“Who said so?”

“Well, you never gave me any indication that you liked me in this way.”

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