This chapter was actually written on April 17th 2013 and never published! Shame on me... In chapter 2, Amanda leaves our narrator alone in her apartment on their second date.
The first date (Bliss Prologue)
Letters : 20555 Words : 3933
Jerry, a real estate agent, has met a girl online and managed to get to her apartment after a wonderful meal at a restaurant. How will it end? (Note, there is no sexuality despite the premise)
After years of bad luck, I was finally getting somewhere. I had met a cute girl and after a nice supper in a restaurant of my choosing, she had agreed to bring me back to her apartment.
The tall apartment building looked nice but being new to the city, it was the first time I had seen it. It did surprise me at first that the elevator only had even numbered floors on it and thought that perhaps there were simply two elevators, one of odd floors and one for even floors.
I understood a little better when we entered her apartment and I saw the mezzanine: all apartments, she explained, were on two levels.
"Cool", was the only word I could get out as she removed her dark wool vest which had covered her elegant black little dress.
Instead of being wowed by her beauty however, I froze in fear when I realized that Amanda had been armed all night with a revolver in a concealed holster hidden by the vest. As far as I know, in New York City, it was illegal to own a revolver and to carry a concealed weapon.
For a moment, I could not see any way that this night could end well now. Was I about to get killed? Robbed?
In seconds, I reviewed how we met.
She had a profile on the dating for a little while and various comments had been left by other dates but, as she had explained at supper, none of them really interested her and it usually ended in the restaurant.
Was she a cold hearted killer and I was simply the first guy she brought home to kill?
I tried to remember our chit-chat and I realized that I didn't really know that much about her. We spoke of her dead husband, but all I knew was that he got shot, did she kill him? We spoke of vacation but even thought I shared what I did for a living, she didn't and I was in the mystery as to what she did for a living.
She did laugh a lot of my jokes and comments. She was delighted to hear that my ex-girlfriend was in another state and that I was the one who had left her. "You'd be surprised at how many guys are basically just trying to find another copy of the one that got away. It's annoying because if a girl agrees to date him anyway, he doesn't end up dating her, in his mind he is still dating his ex and anytime his new girlfriend will do something out of character it will push him away"
She was really curious as to how it ended and agreed that Lucy's immaturity had forced my hand.
For a girl about to kill me, she certainly was curious on my perception of what constitutes a couple and particularly impressed when I explained that love isn't an emotion, that it's a relationship.
"Most people see love as an emotion like anger or happiness. For them love happens or don't and you can fall in love and fall out of love. The way I see things, you can be attracted to someone or lose your attraction but love is the relationship that is built on top of that attraction. This means that even if the attraction is lost, for example, if the person you love is disfigured in an accident, you can still love her because of all of the investment you have put in the relationship. You have opened your heart and made efforts, emotional investment, to help that person and you don't want to lose that."
"So girls are just a pile of work to do for you ?", she laughed.
"Well, not just that, but don't you agree that many people take love for granted? If you find your soul mate, being in love will be easy and you will never fight but if you fight and are unhappy, it simply means you are with the wrong person? Well, I don't agree with that. People change over the years. Every one does on the road of life. Being in a couple means walking on that road hand in hand but sometimes even two persons in love will change in radically different ways which will have them need to adjust their relationship. Two soul mates from high school might have two different career goals and they will need to work together to find a way for their couple to work, even if they are so called soul-mates."
"Oh, I see it now.", she replied, "You mean that love is a little like life. It's fragile but you need to work hard to keep it. If you don't eat well or do exercise you won't live as long but if you live a sheltered life and never explore, you are just surviving, not really living."
"Yeah, that's kind of what I meant. Love, and life, are too important to just let happen. You need to take charge, you need to take care of it. It's like a fire. You need to feed it or it extinguishes, but if you don't take the time to appreciate it and only feed it non stop, it will consume you. You need to open your heart for your loved ones and build something bigger than just the initial attraction, but you also need to find fun and common interests. My girlfriend, whoever she is, will always be the most beautiful girl in the world because I care for her. I think about her. I spend time with her , so that when I see her, I see her physical beauty augmented by how well I think of her. She is special because of all of the attention and thoughts I gave her, and all of the attention and thoughts she gave me."
She took my hand and I realized that not only I had impressed her enough for at least a second date, but that she was willing to take the same road with me.
But here we were, back at her apartment and she had just removed the gun from its holster. I closed my eyes for a second to cringe but I heard a small metallic thump which made me open them back again. The gun was now in a drawer in the small cabinet next to the door.
Confused, I simply asked her what she does for a living exactly, wondering why she needed to carry a gun to a first date.
"I am a police officer. A lieutenant, in charge of social affairs. I deal with street gangs and the homeless as well as youth offenders."
She continued: "Have you seen the cops with the orange band on their right arm which says: "Urban brigade ?"
I thought hard and realized that I had indeed!
"These are my guys.", she said as she began unzipping her dress, revealing she had decided not to wear either a bra or panties.
"At first, it was hard to have them on the street. We are trying not to be too repressive and people rejected us"
I took the cue and began removing my shirt and soon enough, both us of were naked in her kitchen, having a drink. Wine for me, orange juice for her. "I always have wine for guests but I prefer to remain sober. Perhaps it's a professional habit after dealing with so many alcoholics."
"Hey, I don't judge. I don't drink a lot myself. Had I known, I would have taken an orange juice too. I said yes to the wine because you offered it and wanted to be polite."
"Oh" , she said, blushing a little.
Wait, are you having a hard time following my story? Are you will stuck on the fact that we casually undressed in her living room and are now casually drinking naked in her kitchen?
Perhaps I should have explained that Amanda and I met on a naturist dating site, a site where nudists try to find dates.
For girls it's rather easy: there are a lot of single nudist men or rather, as she had explained to me, a lot of nudist men in a couple with a non-nudist girlfriend who are discreetly looking to change their girlfriend without willing to leave their current one out of fear of being alone.
For men however, it's a nightmare because of the rare number of single girls interested in nudism. I know, I have been there and couldn't even believe my luck when Amanda answered my message.
We had talked about a lot of superficial things at the restaurant and even shared some deep profound ideas. I had talked about my job and both of us had exchanged about our past relationship, since I had found odd.
So, the only non-sensitive subject left that really was on the table was her own job, since I had only just heard about it.
We must have discussed about being a police officer for close to an hour. She didn't so much talk about it as we exchanged on the subject. She was positively surprised that I was able to hold my own on a conversation about police responsibilities in areas other than those "parodied" (her word) on network television.
She talked about paperwork, possibly the biggest pain in the ass of any police officer as well as the need to testify at trials of arrests done two, three and sometimes even four years earlier, with hundreds of other similar arrests done in the mean time.
If for a second you mix two of your cases, you are discredited and the criminal gets to walk. Not always, but often enough to make you resent the court room.
She did talk to me at great lengths on their attempts to reduce drug usage, but with new designer drugs it was harder and harder to do.
The new one, "Bliss", is slowly replacing in New York City all of the other extreme drugs like crystal meth or even crack and is even harder to intervene against because it changes form on a weekly basis.
Sometimes they find a white powder version sold as if it was cocaine, other times they find it as pills sold as ecstasy. They've yet to find actual crystals to replace meth, but they busted a dealer selling it as the "new crystal meth in powder form".
What worries the NYPD the most is that it seems to be originating from New York itself or at least, to be smuggled in via a new even more discrete method unheard of yet.
After a while, a comfortable silence installed itself as I sipped on my last drops of wine and she simply played with her glass without breaking eye contact.
"You haven't checked me out"
"What do you mean?"
"The few times I did bring a so called naturist man home and we undressed to talk, they couldn't stop looking at my breasts giving me the impression that it was the first time they even saw a naked women. You didn't look"
"Well Amanda, I'd lie if I said I didn't peek once or twice while we undressed, but I really am a naturist. I know to look into the eyes of the person I am talking to."
"It's a refreshing news.". She turned her head to look under the table. "And you are not sporting a massive erection, proving you understand the current context."
"Oh, sorry.", she was the one blushing now. "I have a game I used to play with my girl friends when we were having a sleep over. I think it's time we try to get to know each other better. Follow me!"
She led me upstairs to the mezzanine where the living room with her television was installed as well as a separate room with her bedroom.
She got under the covers and asked me to get on the other side. I was confused as to what was going on, but as soon as we were in, she turned off the light and there we were, naked in her bed in partial darkness.
Don't worry, we weren't touching each other, but I kept wondering what I was supposed to do so I waited on my side. I wasn't going to be the one to initiate touching in her bed. If she wanted for us to take it to another level, I'd make myself available, but I wouldn't press the issue.
She finally broke the silence after letting me hesitate for a few minutes. "Here is the deal. You start with something you haven't told me yet and which would make you look bad in my eyes. Perhaps something you are ashamed of or a bad habit you have. I won't judge and in exchange, I'll tell you something nice about me I haven't told you yet. We repeat the process, but this time, I start with something which makes me look bad and you reply with something nice."
I was stunned, what was I supposed to say? I decided to open with something from my job, it was simple.
"Ok, last summer, I sold a house to a nice couple who visibly couldn't afford it but I needed the commission and I had warned them a few times to stay within their means. I felt bad about it, but I hadn't made a transaction in over a month. Is that the kind of things you want to hear?"
She laughed a little. "Well, I had something more personal in mind, but I guess it will do. Fine, I'll pick something from my job too."
"Something which will make me fell better about you, right ?"
"Right. Oh, I know, I have never abused my powers as a cop. I never used my badge to get free donuts or move ahead of a queue, like others cops do. I see my badge as a responsibility not as a free ticket"
"That is indeed impressive. So now you bring me down?", I replied.
"Yeah. I'll go personal. I never do the dishes in the evening. I pile everything in the sink and only take care of it the next morning, after breakfast"
I decided to stay on the subject. "Well, I never do the dishes at home: I have a dishwasher!".
She laughed some more, and added that she had one too, but it had been broken for months.
"I thought it was my time to say something negative", I added.
"You just told me you were negligent on your appliance repairs"
She burst out laughing, making me wonder who had the glass of wine. I really like her laugh. It's simple, cute, not exuberant or annoying.
"You still need to tell me something I won't like", she added.
"I can wear the same jeans for weeks in a row without washing them when I am not meeting a client".
She turned accusatory: "And you call me negligent!!", she laughed again. I was beginning to really like her.
She replied: "Well, take it like you want, but I fall in love quickly and when I do, it's for good. That's why I loved your talk at the restaurant. When I start dating someone, I do what it takes to make it last."
"That is something I am glad to hear Amanda. I really believe in what I said. I am happy that you feel the same way."
"But there is a catch. Do you remember how I said that I hated guys who compared me with their ex? Well, the bad news with me is that I am still head over heels in love with Harry, my husband. I often wake up looking for him and sometimes can start crying when I remember why he is not by my side."
She began shedding tears and I got closer to her and in a purely non sexual friendly way simply hugged her, making sure not to have too much of our bodies touched each other.
I said: "Harry was taking abruptly away from you. I would find it weird if you still didn't have feelings for him."
"Thank you for understanding."
I gave my good news while still hugging her.
"The good news from me however, is that I have absolutely zero feelings toward my ex. I don't so much hate her as I am completely indifferent toward her. I rarely even think about her. We are completely done."
"Let's stop for now Jerry. Let's just pause in his hug and stay silent. I like the silence. I like you. I like being with you in silence."
Time went by and gradually, she slowly good closer to me, and as she did, the frontier between was is just two adults spending time together and the beginning of an intimacy got unclear.
Before we jumped over the abyss, Amanda simply left the bed in a hurry and proposed that we went swimming.
Still stunned from our moment of silent contemplation, I simply asked : "Swimming?"
She took two white towels from her closet and dragged me back to her living room, pulling my hand and forcing me to follow her to a door in the back of the mezzanine.
Once the door was opened, I quickly noticed that we were in a corridor and that each of the doors had an apartment number. Many of the locks had keypads on them, including hers.
I was rather ashamed to be nude in the common area of the apartment but Amanda seemed confident. Perhaps she knew we wouldn't see anyone this late in the evening.
We reached and elevator and I realized that all of the floor numbers were odd. Amanda pressed on Basement #1 and soon enough we reached an underground pool where a single naked older man was doing laps.
"What is this place?"
"It's the common pool"
"Are we allowed to be naked?"
"Yeah, it's a naturist building."
"Geez, for a real estate agent, you don't know much"
"Well, it's the first I heard of it."
"Each apartment is on two floors. In the even numbered levels, you need to wear clothes in the corridors. On the odd numbered ones, you can't. The common areas like the pool, the roof and the restaurant on the 17th floor are only for naturists."
"That's cool. I didn't know there was a building like that"
"It's newly built. I heard about it via our non-landed naturist club. Well, my non-landed club now.", she added, with sadness in her voice.
I simply put my right hand on her shoulder and offered my left hand for completing with a hug. She misunderstood my move and gave me the towels instead.
I didn't mind but I felt disoriented for a few seconds as to why I now had both towels in my hand.
"The pool wasn't completed yet when Harry died. It took me a while to even try it and then felt ridiculous because the water is perfect."
She walked to the side of the pool and just jumped in it. I placed the towels on a chair and slowly entered the water using the stairs.
"oh, so you're the cautious type. You don't jump to enter the water".
We swam a little, talked a little more and even had a small discussion with Eddy once he had finished his laps.
We didn't talk about much, either just between the two of us or with Eddie. She talked about the building, Eddie talked about the water and I talked about my past naturist experiences either just with Amanda or with a curious Eddie who was happy to hear about camp grounds he didn't know yet.
Eddie left and an hour later, it was our turn to exit the water but we made a stop to the sauna without bothering to use the towels instead of immediately returning to her apartment.
After a few minutes in the steam, Amanda got closer and a few minutes after that, when both of us had had time to dry of all of the pool water and gotten wet with sweat, we shared our first kiss.
If you aren't a naturist, you might have twisted ideas of how it went simply because we were nude, but it wasn't a horny sexual kiss. It was simply a passionate kiss where our lips touched and where hands of both partners were laid in innocent parts of our bodies.
I had one of my hands on one of her knees with the other on the wall behind her neck. She placed a hand on my hairy chest with the other holding my arm which was laid behind her.
I wouldn't say it was entirely innocent as it was filled with desire but it wasn't a sexual prelude. It wasn't a lustful kiss: it was a loving kiss.
It did create a small physical change in my body which prompted Amanda to break our kiss, confirming that this was just a first date and not the actual beginning of a relationship.
We did walk hand in hand back to her place, but despite warm exchanges of words and intense discussions with our eyes, I was promptly dressed back in front of her main door without further complications.
Amanda, still nude, asked me if she would see me again to which I replied: "I sincerely hope so".
I got a full hug in which she pressed herself against me hard enough to force me to lean against her door , leading to our second kiss.
This time however, it was clearly a kiss goodnight and it lead to our parting of ways.
The drive home was silent. I couldn't bear to open the radio out of fear of forgetting the sound of her voice.
Clutched in my right hand was the piece of paper on which she had previously written her phone number. It was already entered in my cell phone, but this piece of paper had her own delicate writing on it and possibly still held part of her flowery perfume.
I didn't want to sound desperate, but I would still call the next day against all advices to wait a little. Amanda was a keeper and I didn't really have her yet.
Soon but not yet.