Eric Barnett, a neighbor who lives two doors down from me, comes over and sits beside me. We have known each other since kindergarten and were play partners when we were young. As he grew older, Eric ran around with a fast crowd and dated girls with reputations for being wild.
“Gosh Sue,” says Eric, “I can’t believe you’re drinking. That’s not like you.”
Buzzed from my quick intake of alcohol, I reply, “Eric, it’s my first time. I was just curious, and it feels really strange but rather nice.”
“Your family would be upset at your drinking. Maybe you shouldn’t drink any more.”
“Well, I don’t plan on informing them.”
I’m laughing as Steve calls to me from across the pit.
“Sue! Do you want another drink?”
Eric waves his arms in the air. “No, she does not!”
I know I’m feeling the effects of the drink. All I can think about is going to the park and looking up at the sky. I know I have to clear my head a little more before I can go home. I do fine standing up, but I feel buzzed, which feels good. I walk a few steps and feel like I’m still functioning okay.
“Well, I’ll see you all at homecoming tomorrow.”
As I leave the back yard and move toward the sidewalk, Eric comes up behind me.
“Sue,” he says, “let me walk you home, please?”
“I’m going to stop at the park. I want to look at the sky.”
“Can I come along? I just want to keep you safe and make sure you get home tonight.”
I am still buzzed, so walking takes effort. At the park I sit down at the edge of the brook, and Eric sits beside me. He had quite a few drinks at the party, and I can tell that he is buzzed, too.
“You know, Sue,” he says, “I’m shocked that you drank tonight. You’re always so straight.”
“Well,” I reply, “I was curious. I didn’t drink because it’s the party thing to do, I drank because of the mystique. I’ve always wanted to know what it felt like.”
I am lying flat on the ground looking up. Eric sits looking down at me. “What else are you curious about, Sue?”
“Shhh,” I say. “Listen to the crickets. Listen.”
Eric stretches out on his side, still looking at me. “You’ve lost weight. You’re so nicely shaped now. I remember the little girl who played with me was a chubby kid.”
“Well, I didn’t really diet. I just started taking better care of myself and the weight came off.”
“I see you with Gary Waltham a lot. Is he your boyfriend?”
“We’ve been dating for about a year. Sometimes I think he’s my boyfriend, and other times I think we’re just great friends.”
“Have you had sex with him yet?”
Feeling impaired, I am not at all shocked by his question.
“Why haven’t you two been sexual?”
“Well, I feel sexual when I’m with him, but we’re both pretty responsible. We’re going away to different colleges, and our lives might go in different directions. I think we just don’t want to take that step. It could complicate things.”
I am experiencing the full impact of the alcohol, and my head feels light and carefree. Unguarded and blithe, I feel seduced by the sky, the night breeze, and the man looking down upon me, asking me about my sexuality. I have no fears or apprehensions and instead am stimulated by everything. I feel goose bumps; every hair dances with heightened sensation from the cool breeze. My thoughts are filled with sexual imagery. It is a new kind of freedom I never knew existed, the freedom of enjoying a moment when my conscious programming can’t hold me captive. My mind no longer processes anything, and my body is tantalized by everything. I am so free from myself that I have no idea I am at the pinnacle of vulnerability.
Lying beside me, Eric is quiet now, though I can hear him breathing. I am slowly losing myself to this moment. What could possibly happen? I have no thoughts of anything or anyone else. I sit up and look at him.
“What are you thinking about?” I ask.
“Ummm, about you being here beside me. About how I would like to kiss you and touch you.” His words excite me, and when he sits up and looks at me he sees that my silence is an invitation. Slowly, he begins kissing me. His kiss is soft but so electrifying. I feel the lustful longing in both of us. Losing ourselves in the freedom of our lost inhibitions, we lunge into a kissing embrace. As he kisses me intensely again and again, I feel my body responding to him. He kisses on my face softly, and then his lips brush my ear. He rubs his cheek along my neck and then gently kisses my cleavage. Heat from his breath penetrates through my clothing as he kisses my breasts. His hand softly cups my breast. I so want to feel his hand on the flesh of my breast, not through my clothing. Kissing me, he slowly unbuttons my blouse. He unhooks my bra, and when my breasts are freed he gently touches them. It’s unbelievable. My body consents to every electrifying touch. My breathing is out of rhythm, driven by endless crescendos of sexual sensations. My body dances inside. I feel an incredible inward contraction and rushing moisture.
Kissing me, Eric moves across and over me. Suddenly, I feel his undeniable arousal. It is a stark awakening. At once I become panicked. Reality floods back into my thoughts: what have I gotten myself into?
ALWAYS ENOUGH by L. K. Craft can be purchased in the Authorsden Bookstore for LESS . . .
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