Web Site: Vicky Bowker Jeter
Books by Vicky Bowker Jeter
Sandra was cleaning out their bedroom closet one evening, early in the Fall, when two issues of "Swinging Singles" magazine slipped of the shelf from beneath her husbands hunting boots. Sandra knew that there were periods when Jeff could discover sensuality in almost anything, from watching her dice vegetables to taking out the trash, especially when he was bored. She
was used to coming across an occasional "Playboy." But something about these struck an extra-ordinary nerve. Maybe it was the careless intimacy of the amateur photos; maybe it was the addresses and contacts that accompanied each picture. She approached Jeff in the livingroom.
"What are you doing with these?" she asked, raising an eyebrow in disdain.
Jeff's response was charged with curious fascination. "I picked those up the other day to kill time while I'm waiting to hear about pending job prospects. It's sorta like you watchin' Soaps." He took the magazines from her and slid more comfortably into his chair to review the more eye-widening entries he had marked. "Can you believe there are people who actually Meet this way?" The gears of Jeff's imagination fired sparks of possibility in his tone.
"mmmHmmm." Giggling to herself at what absurdity the light of honesty would shed on Jeff's beam of boundless intrigue, Sandra turned away from him with the grace of a kitten on a picket fence and disappeard into their bedroom. She emerged, camera in hand, donned in a most alluring red silk teddie, laced in black. Stretching silently across the top of the T.V. console, she offered Jeff the camera. "I've been saving this for a special occassion. Do you think we'll need more light?"
Catching sight of her, Jeff's gaze did a luxurious double take over the length of his wife's body, then settled on the soft, intent expression of her face. The prospect of being pressed to honor the bidding of countless men for his wife's affections inspired the swelling of pride, tempered by the close guard of descretion in his chest. Smiling within, he decided to call her bluff. Taking the camera, Jeff brought Sandra into perfect focus through the lens. Sandra squealed with giddiness and sprang from the camera's view into Jeff's lap.
They laughed and teased each other, and considered the people in those pictures for a while.
Just as Sandra moved to get up, her attention fell on two women, about her age, tangled in heated embrace. What could a woman possibly get from another woman that she could not get from a man? She played the thought
out in her mind. There was a feathery sense within her that in finding a compassionate space for their feelings she might better understand herself.
Still, the thoughts could not begin to embrace the sensations, and it seemed impossible to sincerely understand. She put the magazines away making a subconscious note of exactly where they were.
Sandra and Jeff had been married for five years. They had worked for the first four years, hour for hour, hand in hand to put the $10,000 down payment on their first permanent home. As a year past, it became a warm and inviting base around which they could build their lives, right down to the pansy beds in the window boxes. The pitter-patter of tiny feet was just beginning to echo in the hall of Sandra's hopes.
Then, with the recession, the trucking company where Jeff worked as a maintainence supervisor eliminated his position. He had not found a new opportunity suitable to his needs in four months. Unemployment seemed to spawn a rash of additional difficulties, including Jeff's incessant boredom, that Sandra had never dreamed of. Their car insurance shot up and the car broke down resulting from an unfortunate encounter Sandra had with a fire hydrant. An exterminator cheerily warned Jeff of signs that the foundation of their house could be cracking while he was signing an estimate for the eradication of a "mild infestation of termites."
Still they shared a rewarding sense of companionship in the life between them. Co-operative communication was their golden key. No matter what had gone on through each day, they would take time at night to share intimate thoughts, creating an intense and lasting bond.
"Sometimes I get the feeling the two of us are really one person; you say so much of what I feel." Jeff would often tell her.
They were cuddled under the covers one night after making slow, passionate love. Jeff was serene, but Sandra knew he wasn't satisfied. She gazed at him through the darkness with a question in her eyes. Jeff cuddled her closer and whispered, "What's it like for you?"
"Hmmm. You know when you're walking on the beach barefoot, how wild and uncontrollable it feels as the sand escapes from under your feet?"
"When you love me, it draws me away from myself and into you--like the sand beneath warm ocean waves. As our rhythm intensifies, your body--your strength completely engulfs and surrounds me; I want you to have everything that I am. It's a gift of possession."
Jeff felt suddenly and unexpectedly vulnerable. "Take me, take me," he chuckled low in his chest.
"Jeff, please don't make this sound like some 'surrender and dominance'
fantasy. If I really felt I was being dominated, we could give each other nothing."
"I'm not makin fun of you, Sandy. I wish it was something more like that for me sometimes, but it's not."
"Can you describe it?"
"Sometimes it's like wanting to fly a kite on a beautiful day. As long as I'm running with it, it feels powerful, like I'm ascending towards a magnificent freedom. When the string is all out, every muscle in me is drawn so taut; for a fleeting moment I am absolutely soaring. Then the wind dies, and it's over. There's no glide--like I hit a vacuum."
" 'Sometimes' are mostly when you're bored, huh?"
"I guess so. I'm not sure. I only know that I want something, and it frustrates me."
Sandy squeezed him and snuggled the covers up under her chin as the Autumn wind whistled and moaned 'round the corners of the house.
The next morning a sneer of contempt greeted the unsuspecting woman on the opposisng side of Sandra's lookingglass. There were better uses for a feather-duster than what it seemed she could do with her hair. Her "newest" dress she had worn at least ten times. "You're slipping up like the deadly end of a hangman's noose, Sandra Lynn." She shook her head with a sigh. On the kitchen counter that morning Sandra found a check made out for the deductible on their car insurance that Jeff left her to take to their agent. She stuffed it into the deepest pocket in her purse and went out shopping instead.
She returned home that evening laden with a different kind of insurance.
Jeff suddenly started working just before Thanksgiving as a regional sales representative for a national computer hardware firm. The opportunity had
developed within a single day through the recommendation of a man that Jeff said was a friend from college, who would be his partner in the region.
Sandra was less pleased than she was surprised when she discovered that
Jeff had accepted the proposition before she realized he had even been made an offer. She glared at him, arms folded tightly at her chest, after a moments reflection on Jeff's "great news."
"What's with you?" Jeff quarried in peeved astonishment, feeling the unsettling heat from his wife's pacing form.
"What's with me???--Jeff, what in the Sam Hill is with you? Since when have either of us ever made this level of commitment without at least Telling each other first? I mean I want you to get a job as bad as you do, but I think this kind of change warrants at least a phone call."
Jeff backed away from her in uncharacteristic defense. "You know, it just seems like ever since I lost my job you're becoming more the enemy than my mate."
Anxiety struck Sandra's heart through the ringing of his words, and she felt both sorry, and angrier.
The position required that Jeff travel about ten days out of each month, which was an adjustment for both of them. But Sandra could gradually see the glow of fulfillment in Jeff, and she wanted that for him.
Then, on the first night of Winter, Sandra beheld a sight on Jeff's backside that would freeze in her memory. "Jeff! How in the hell did you get those scratches?"
"You can't FEEL it? They're terrible. It looks like a tiger attacked your ass!"
Concern was gradually overcome by suspicion within Sandra as an attempt at ignorance and an adequate explaination both failed her husband in the same hopeless instant. Jeff simply could not imagine what might have caused those wounds. With mounting trepidation Sandra extended her fingers, tipped with freshly manicured nails, and ran them down Jeff's arm under pressure.
Sandra confirmed her implication, tossing Three swingers' magazines out of the closet and on the bed. She sat next to them and braced herself. "Jeff. I swear, if you are steppin' out with some hottsy-tottsy lady on me, tell me now, or I will never be able to trust you again."
Jeff was overwhelmed with tenderness by his wife's distress and could not contain the imperceptible grin that showed in his eyes. He sat on the edge of the bed and lifted Sandra's chin to meet him. "No, Sandy. I am not stepping out with any lady on you. You are more than enough woman for me. Besides, I don't think I could stand it a day if I thought you were in bed with another man."
"That's true ." Sandra laughed nervously. They had always made a point to try not to expect of each other what they could not expect of themselves.
"Listen," Jeff went on, "when I get this thing figured out it'll seem so silly to us we'll be laughing about it with our grandchildren one day."
Sandra could not fathom what plausible explanation should arise over time that was not evident right then and there, but it was infinitely easier to lean into the earnestness of his suggestion than it was to face the alternatives.
When Sandra finally drifted off to sleep that night, Jeff gathered up the three magazines and took them out to the trash. He had not yet checked through the listings in the December issue, but his new partnership was working out splendidly; he felt he would not be needing them anymore, anyway. As he put the lid back down on the trash can, he looked up at the night sky and counted the brightest stars above him in silent relief. He did not know if he could have lied to her.
Over the course of the next two months the long-term effects of the changes in their lives gradually became undeniable in Sandra and Jeff's relationship. It was difficult to strike a new balance in handling their daily affairs and adjust to the intervals of time apart. The simple, intimate moments were slipping through their fingers. Sandra became irritated about her emotions and her physical needs. There were times when Jeff was away that she would lay awake at night and miss him so that her chest ached, and it seemed hard to breath. Yet, when he was there to hold her, there was a difference about him that she could not quite grasp, and she was not sure she wanted to.
The two had come together to cuddle up early one evening, in the dead of Winter. Moreso than Sandra, Jeff knew the distance that was coming between them, and he longed to show his wife the truth that he had been unable to tell her in words. He had found the right time. They kissed each other from head to foot, lavishing affections of all their frustrated desires.
When they moved together as one with Sandra beneath him, Jeff rolled them over. As Sandra wrapped her arms around him, maintaining their union, Jeff
clasped her to his chest and whispered, "Take me Sandy."
Sandra stopped and sat up, bewildered. Gently, Jeff took hold of Sandra's hands and manuvered them suggestively into the only place he had never wanted her before. Then the sight of those scratches avalanched in Sandra's mind, and she pulled her hands away from him, strickened with a twinge of foreboding.
Jeff sighed, and caressing her face he said, "I've experienced the gift, Sandy; now I want You to have possession."
Comprehension ebbed and flowed through Sandra, body and soul until she understood all too clearly his meaning. And she realized that no matter how she touched him physically, no matter how much of herself she poured into making love to him, she could never meet the fulfillment of this desire--She could not give Jeff the quality of feelings and sensations that He gave her. Speechless, Sandra rolled over to her side of the bed. The fridgid night air
sent a shudder up her spine, and she wondered how long she could stand knowing that her husband was in bed with another man.
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|Reviewed by m j hollingshead
|Reviewed by Priyanka Kapadia
|very well-written.even a person whose not been in a situation like that can relate so well to it. you write exceptionally well.|
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|powerful write, vicky! thanks for your review! email me; i sure would love to hear from you! you sound like my kinda' gal! fun and fancy free! :) love, your friend, karen lynn. (((HUGS))) :)|
|Reviewed by Larry Skahill
|wow - powerful
this was an awesome trip through a couple's mind
odd how relationships change