"Listen, a gang of us are going to HoJo's after the dance for breakfast. Are you in?"
"Sure, why not?" Sandy responded. She didn't really care one way or the other, but since she had ridden to Country Connections with Ginger, she felt obligated to go, or Ginny would have to drive out of her way to drop Sandy off at her apartment first.
The band was starting up again, and within a few minutes, Mark was back asking if she wanted to dance again. She nodded agreement; the chances of being heard over the music were pretty slim. They moved out among the other dancers, and this time she felt a little more comfortable. Maybe it was the beer, or maybe it was Mark, but she actually was having a good time. They danced several times, and chatted some during the band's next break. She learned he was divorced, an accountant, and the non-custodial father of a 14-year-old girl named Mandy.
Sandy had another beer while they were chatting, and when the music started up again, she finished her drink and followed Mark back out onto the dance floor. She was feeling more relaxed and comfortable, mostly because she was really enjoying dancing. The effects of the beer were minimal, because she was eating cheese and crackers, dancing, and perspiring in the summer evening's warmth.
When the band played its final number, Mark did what most men do: he offered to drive a drunken lady home. She was normally silly and giggly when sober, so he was assuming she was quite inebriated at this point, when she was barely buzzed. On impulse, she agreed and whispered to Ginger that she would see her at HoJo's. Ginny had already invited three people along with her, so she had no problem with Sandy making other arrangements.
Mark walked her to his car, and opened the door on the passenger side for her. Once he was seated behind the wheel and had started the engine, they left the parking lot and pulled out onto the highway. Country C0nnections was not yet out of sight when he turned to her and with amazing originality said, "Your place or mine?"
"How about Howard Johnson's" she countered. He was not delighted, but to HoJo's they went. Over English muffins and steaming cups of coffee, he tried the intellectual approach.
"One hundred years from now, what's it going to matter if you and I went to bed tonight?" He removed his glasses--apparently, Mark was in the habit of removing his glasses when making a pitch.
"You may be right, Mark,” Sandy said. “One hundred years from now, probably no one will care. But I care, now, tonight, and I am saying, no, I don't want to sleep with you." With a man like Mark, who was quick to get right to the point, there was no sense beating around the bush.
"But, I'll tell you: It would be over in seconds the first time," Mark went on. "I'd spend the next 20 minutes apologizing, and then. . ."
"No way, Mark."
He paid the check, left a tip for the waitress, and they went outside. Again, he opened the passenger door for her, walked around the vehicle, and climbed in on the driver's side behind the wheel. Mark was not to be easily discouraged. He started the engine, then turned and grabbed her. He planted a kiss on Sandy that so caught her by surprise that his tongue was getting acquainted with her tonsils before she knew what hit her. Then he released her, expertly backed the car out of the parking space and drove out onto the avenue, while she sat there with her mouth hanging open like an idiot.
"Where do you live," he asked, as if what had just happened was not at all out of the ordinary, and perhaps it wasn't, for him. It was for her, however. She had not been 'soul kissed' to that extent in some time--perhaps years!--and it was NOT unpleasant.
Sandy gave him directions to Pinewoods, the new apartment complex where she lived, and he immediately knew where they were going. On the way, he pulled the car into the parking lot of the Wise Potato Chip factory, and took her in his arms. Once again, he kissed her breathless, then without a word, drove back out to the street in the direction of Pinewoods. When they arrived at the complex, he parked the car outside her apartment and embraced her again. It had been a long, lonely summer for Sandy, and a lonely year before that. Even though she was not that attracted to Mark, she did enjoy his attention. He was not insistent; when she resisted his attempts at groping, he did not push.
"How about inviting me in for a couple of minutes," he asked when his tongue wasn't trying to follow the shortest internal path to her navel.
"No way," she responded when she could speak again. By this time, he was breathing heavily, and she found it necessary to suppress a giggle. It seemed so ridiculous the he should be sexually aroused when she was totally unmoved. After a few more attempts to gain entry to her apartment, and thereby her thighs, he gave up with a sigh and said goodnight. All in all, he was a pretty good sport. Some men might not have accepted defeat as good-naturedly.
In retrospect, she felt a little strange. Seldom before had she been kissed so passionately; yet it was as if she was standing back and watching it all happen to someone else. His kisses had no effect on her. She enjoyed them, as she might enjoy having someone shampoo her hair. It was a passive experience. Sandy concluded that his defeat had less to do with lack of prowess on his part than to a lack of readiness on her part. She had heard the term reading readiness--maybe she lacked ‘bedding readiness!’
As she climbed into her bed alone that night, Sandy reviewed the evening's events in her mind. She had taken some big steps: she had stepped out of her comfort zone and actually attended a mixed social activity; she had danced with a man and let him drive her home, trusting her instincts that she would be safe; and, she had experienced her first kiss in years and enjoyed it. Maybe there was life after divorce after all!
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