Love Story

It began with a rape.

Samsara sat still at the foot of the bed, beads of sweat trickling down his chest, he grabbed the blanket that laid by his side and in one swift movement wrapped it around himself. He was scared. She had chosen such a frightful phrase to begin her story with. And now she was pausing, dramatically, he assumed. Writer chicks, he thought. Sheesh. What didn’t help were the dim purple lights that shaded her dorm room, giving it a post-apocalyptic feel or that of the inside of a witch’s cauldron, and the tiny white bulbs that blinked as if in key. Feebly he asked “And?”
Laura’s face tightened. Samsara wondered if she was going to cry again. While he had wrapped his naked body tightly in a blanket, as if shielding himself from the frost of her bitter first line, she sat naked, in a yoga-like pose, the beads of sweat on her chest frozen as if adorning her cleavage with a pearl-like crown.
“He was my first boyfriend,” she began. “It started innocently, of course. We were 15. He was in the football team. I think someone dared him or maybe dared me but all of a sudden we were a couple. He was half black, with straight hair cut short. He always wore the same camo jacket, with a T-Shirt, jeans and New Balance shoes. I don’t know if he was poor or that was his choice of fashion. No one ever made fun of him so I guess he never realized. He was strong. That’s the main thing I remember about him. Strong like an ox. He could throw a grown man a couple feet away from him. And he could carry me as if I was a backpack with only one hard copy inside of it. He was strong, and maybe it was because of his strength that no one had ever told him no before. The first time we did it, in his parent’s bedroom while they had left for the night on a date night or something, I knew I didn’t want to do it. It had only been a week and I didn’t even know if I liked it or not. It was exciting, sure. It was my first time being someone’s girlfriend. It was my first time having a boyfriend, and all my knowledge about it came from manga and anime. This relationship had been nothing like manga though. There was no chance meeting where there’s a misunderstanding and we dislike each other. No meeting over and over again causing our perception of each other to change. No second chance encounter where one of us sees the other doing something kind or special or heartwarming. No growing emotions that kept being held back by tiny misunderstandings. No bashful confession where the confessee reveals that they’ve felt the same way all along. No tender night where the two lovers finally get naked and touch each other and hold each other and then slip into making love. No. Rather, it went like this: He invited me over telling me he wanted help with some homework. Once I was there he took me to his parent’s bedroom telling me it was his. He then told me that his parents would be gone the whole night. Tossed me on the bed. Got on top of me. Started kissing me with chapped lips that felt like sandpaper on mine. Greedily removed my clothes while pinning his whole body on top of mine so I couldn’t move. Grabbed my breasts tightly. Fingered my pussy a little. And then shoved his erect penis inside me without bothering to get me wet. It hurt. I couldn’t scream. It was the longest minute of my life.”
Samsara pushed the blanket closer to his chest. He wiped the sweat accumulating on his forehead and dried it on the blanket. He wondered if he should console her, reach out and hold her hand or something. The windows were all fogged up so he couldn’t see outside. Even the moon light was to weak to waft in.
Laura continued, “I didn’t know it was rape then. I was too afraid, or ashamed, to tell my dad. My mom lived in another state so I didn’t even think about her. I wanted to talk about it with my friends, but before I could get into any details they simply began gushing over how I was a woman now and how they couldn’t believe I had lost my virginity. All that, and my boyfriend’s nonchalant attitude made me feel like this was normal. Still, I knew I never wanted to be under him ever again.”
“Did you break up with him then?” Samsara asked, still holding her.
“No,” she replied. “We dated for a month or so after that. We did it two more times. But only in this abandoned shack at the edge of the high school. And only while standing. I didn’t enjoy it. At all. I didn’t feel any pleasure and I didn’t cum. When we did break up it was probably because he got bored of me. I never talked to him properly and when I did it was only to answer whatever question he was asking at the moment.”
Laura’s eyes grew a little musty. Samsara leapt towards her and held her as she sobbed a little. He looked around for a napkin or a towel but could only find the one he had used to wipe himself off earlier. She wiped her tears off on the blanket he still had wrapped around himself.
“I didn’t understand it. I had wanted to fall in love. I know, I know, I was 15 and that’s too young to think about love but tell that to a 15 year old. I guess I was sick of coming home to an empty house. Dad worked till late in the night, and since the house was at the edge of the suburbs behind it was only trees and after dusk strange noises enveloped the place as if screaming out how lonely I was. I wanted a boyfriend because I didn’t really have anything in common with my friends and I always was the one who replied the least in the group chats. I wanted a boyfriend who could help make the lonely nights less so. We could’ve have texted or talked on the phone until my dad came home and I could then have a happy face for him to see instead of the quiet girl who always pretended to be asleep.” She trailed off and fell silent as she gazed at Samsara’s face, studying the concerned look on it, and smiled. “The rest of the year then passed by in a flash. I slowly stopped hanging out with most, actually all, of my friends. I was alone. And then in my senior year I met Joe.”
“Joe changed everything.” Samsara moved back a little. He let go of her and the blanket slipped a little. He still held it close, covering his crotch, and nodded at her to continue. “Joe was a kid who lived in my neighborhood. He was 19. I was 16. I didn’t know if he had graduated, dropped out of college, or was just aimlessly spending his days driving around town. I caught his eye when he saw me trying to parallel park, alone. He’d been staring from a little distance away, cigarette in his mouth, and after hearing me swear, loudly, for the millionth time, he walked over and offered to teach me how to drive.”
“There was something really charming about him, but in a sly way, like a fox. When he drove he always seemed to be looking at everywhere but ahead. He still faced front, mind you, but you could sense his eyes scanning the entire neighborhood in a panoramic way as he drove. There was a sense of confidence he exuded when he drove that wasn’t really present when he as out of the car. Out of the car he walked with a little hunchback, still scanning side to side instead of looking ahead, but while in the car it might have seemed omnipresent and quite powerful outside of it it just seemed a bit paranoid. That sense of confidence only existed in the car, and that’s why we only fucked in his car.”
“Wait, what?” Samsara interjected, his eyes wide with bewilderment. The sweat that had again formulated on his forehead now dripped into both his eyes and stung him. He wiped them furiously. Laura kissed him as he did so and called him cute. “This isn’t a typical love story,” she said. I haven’t seen any love yet, thought Samsara.
“Yes, we only fucked in the car, but that confidence he had permeated throughout the backseat. I never told him about my ex-boyfriend and what had happened, but it was almost like he had sensed something was broken within me. After we did it for the first time he kept asking me ‘Did you cum? Did you cum?’ As if his entire existence depended on it. I told him no, and then he made it his mission to make me cum. ‘I’ll be your teacher, I’ll show you the ropes,’ he sang. To be honest with you, I can honestly say that the next year of my life, with him, largely revolved around him dropping me off to school, picking me up when it ended, driving around town with his right hand firmly grabbing my left thigh, and then finding a quiet place where we could park the car and fuck.”
Here she paused and reacher for her bottle of water. Samsara grabbed it for her and watched as she drank it slowly. Watching her throat bulge a little as she swallowed. She passed the bottle to him and he put it on the floor. He was mesmerized by her story but found it hard to decipher if she was telling it to him as a sort of catharsis or if she found some perverse joy in it. Above the rhythm of the white bulbs changed and they went from blinking to cascading from left to right.
“Joe taught me many things. He taught me different positions, I’m actually surprised we could do some of them in that cramped back seat of his, how to use toys, how to find pleasure in choking each other, and how to fuck till the edge of his orgasm, stop and then start again. Throughout it all I never came, and that frustrated him more and more each...”
“Wait a second,” Samsara interrupted, “Toys? What do you mean toys?”
Laura smiled a crooked smile that showed her right canine and got up. She jiggled as she moved from the bed to her closet. Samsara grew a little excited as he watched her naked body bathed with the purple light. She opened the closet and moved some towels around and brought out a box. She set the box on the floor, in front of the bed, and opened it. Samsara’s eyes widened again, sweat dripped down, stung him, and he wiped them while he also led out a shriek at what he saw. Inside the box where three vibrators, a riding crop, a flogging whip and a butt plug. “We should try some of these after I finish my story,” she said. Samsara nodded slowly and turned around as she plopped back to where she’d sat before.
“Anyway, as I was saying, my inability to orgasm frustrated him more and more with each passing day. Towards the end of my senior year we started to fight because of it. He called me a broken woman, said something must be wrong with me, and that I was trying to destroy his manhood. It got to the point that I had to ask my dad to get involved. One night, after a very heated argument Joe slapped me outside of my house. I was furious. I spit at his face and ran inside. My dad saw me holding my cheek, red like a tomato, and without a word grabbed a baseball bat and sprinted outside. I just fell on the couch and listened to the sounds of glass smashing and Joe screaming my name. After 15 minutes my dad walked back inside, went to the kitchen, and threw me an ice pack. He then went upstairs and locked his door. I never saw Joe again.”
Samsara grabbed her face and plunged into her lips. He could control himself no longer. He’d had a throbbing erection for a while now. He threw the blanket on the floor and jumped on top of her. The quickness of his movement surprised her and a terrified look appeared on her face. Samsara quickly jumped back. “Are you okay?” he asked, his voice quieter than a whisper. “I’m fine,” she replied, and then with a smile, she said, “that just reminded me of something in the past.”
I’m such an idiot, thought Samsara, and got off the bed. The room was hot like a sauna so he moved towards the fogged up window so he could prop it open a little. “It’s really okay,” Laura said, her voice tinged with concern. “I know you’re not like that. It’s just, some memories never leave you know.” That tinge of concern touched Samsara to his soul. After propping the window slightly open he walked slowly to Laura and slid beside her. He wrapped his arms around her and asked her if the story was over. “No,” she replied. “Now I have to tell you about my college boyfriend.”
“I met him during my freshman year. I’ll tell you straight up that there is nothing special, interesting or terrifying about him or this part of the story. We were in the same social circle. I joined a sorority the moment I started college because my mom wanted me to. It was the same one she had been in when she was my age. At this point my mom had moved back to St. Cloud. Dad was happy with his new boyfriend and Mom had remarried. I had hoped for some new siblings but both dad and mom didn’t want any more kids. I loved my dad’s boyfriend, Gavin, but hated my stepfather.” Before Samsara could ask why, as if she had sensed the question, Laura continued, “One treated me like an adult, I mean for god’s sake I was in college now, and the other treated me like some kid who had to be told what to do. I was glad to have started living on campus because the one month I spent at mom’s before school started was hell. Dad and Gavin had gone to Ciudad Juarez because Gavin wrote for this magazine and he’d heard there was some sort of mystery there and dad decided to tag along. At mom’s house I was treated like a kid, literally. My stepfather made a chore chart for me and made sure I ticked it off everyday. My god, the man printed out an excel sheet with 15 chores for me to do every fucking day. It’d be easy enough if he wasn’t a total OCD neat freak. It was hell.” Samsara winced at the exaggeration. “Anyway, I was glad to be living on campus and was glad to be in college. I found a good group of friends. You’ve met one of them, Tori. And I met Eli through that group.”
“Eli was a total man child. I knew that from the start but it was one of those things that you realized only after you’d been far too invested in the relationship. All he talked about was sports and video games. Whenever I showed him a book I was reading or any of my poems he would get such a dumb look on his face and say ‘oh, that’s cool.’ It honestly made me want to cry.”
“You were with him for three years though,” Samsara said.
“Three years of my life wasted.”
“What was so bad about him?”
“It was nothing bad really. It was just the little things. He refused to wear a condom. Whenever we went out he was always on his phone. He would play videogames all the time. He was unsure about his major but made no attempts to change it or try to become interested in them. He just seemed like he was floating through college aimlessly.”
“What was his major?”
“Construction management or something. I forget.”
“Anyway, there was a time when his apartment got so messy and he refused to clean it. Well, not refuse, but just put it off over and over again day after day that I finally grew fed up and cleaned it for him. All the while he played video games.”
“Wow, you’re a good girlfriend.”
At this statement Laura blushed. She reached to kiss Samsara as his eyes gave off a look of concern. He segued back to the conversation.
“So, there was nothing terrible about him? At all?”
“Nothing terrible,” she replied.
“He didn’t cheat or anything like that?”
She let out out a bray of a laugh.
“He wished he could cheat. Every party we’d go to he’d get belligerently drunk and flirt with any woman that he met. It bothered me at first but soon enough watching his piss poor attempts I felt nothing but pity for him. He’d crawl back to me, at the end, and I felt such power over him. Honestly, I think that’s why I stayed with him so long.”
She answered my next question, Samsara thought.
“So, why did you break up with him?”
“He made a move on Tori, and her boyfriend found out and beat him to an inch of his life. Her boyfriend is in the navy. I, of course, took Tori and her boyfriend’s side and he dumped me because he said I ‘betrayed’ him. Honestly, I’m better off without him.”
She looked at Samsara again and blushed. She reached for a kiss again, and this time he kissed her back. She was smiling now. As if her story had ended with a triumph.
He kissed her without passion. Something felt off. He didn’t feel the same surge of emotion, to reach out and caress her, as he did mere moments ago. Maybe another story would help?
“So,” he asked, “how did you and Tori meet?”
“Oh, that’s another sad story. I’ll tell you that later. I want to end on a good note, babe.”
“Oh please,” Samsara pleaded, trying to squeeze some tears out of his eyes, squinting. “You’ve told me about all your lovers but didn’t you once tell me that Tori was your true soul mate.”
“Well if you put it that way. Ok.” Samsara tried to hold back a smile.
“I met her at the Women’s center where I went to pick up some free condoms so I could bully Eli into wearing them. She was sitting in a chair at the corner, near the tall plants, as if trying to hide behind them. I could see her eyes were red and I don’t know why but I felt compelled to go talk to her, comfort her.
‘Hi’, I said. ‘My name’s Laura.’
‘Hi,’ she replied. ‘Do you work here?’
‘No. But I can sit here and wait with you if you want.’ She stared at me for a while.
‘I’d like that,’ she said.
I sat with her for a while. She didn’t talk. She just stared at the ground and tapped her right foot. Over and over again. I didn’t say anything. She leaned in closer as time went by. Someone called out her name and she walked inside an office. She looked back at me and waved bye, with the sweetest look on her face.”
“And?” Samsara asked. He could feel that surge of excitement building again. He stopped a moment to think about how absurd that was, perverse even. Laura continued.
“I ran into Tori a couple days later. She still seemed a little shook up. If she’d just waved or smiled and walked past me that would’ve been that, but she stopped and said hi. We lingered for a moment or two and then I asked her if she was doing anything. I was free. Would she like to join me for some coffee? She said ok.”
Samsara no longer questioned the pressure building inside of him. Before he realized it, his hand was stroking Laura’s thighs. He toned down the sexualness and dialed it back to a light brush.
“During coffee she slowly began to tell me about her boyfriend, well, now ex-boyfriend, who had been paranoid about her talking to this one guy, a friend of hers, not even a friend, a classmate of hers, and had slapped her, pushed onto the bed and had forced himself on her. After he was done she raced out of his dorm, ran to hers and went straight to the shower. ‘I was in there for hours,’ she said. ‘I still couldn’t scrub off how dirty I felt.’ This was a couple months ago, and she had long since stopped seeing the guy. After the whole episode, she began cutting herself with glass shards. A friend of hers, after seeing those scars on her arms, had confronted her about it, then had advised her to go to the Women’s center so they could help her press charges. I said that that was the right thing to do. She agreed. We both sat in silence for a while, and compelled by some strange force I decided to tell her the story of my high school boyfriend as well.”
Laura began sobbing again. Samsara wrapped his arms around her again and gave her a deep kiss. He stared at her eyes and told her how beautiful they were. “That poem you recited in class the other day,” he asked, “the one about the girl with diamonds in her arms, was that about Tori?” Yes, she replied. Wow, he said, and kissed her again.
The cold air seeping in from when Samsara had cracked open the window had now cooled down the whole room. Too cool, perhaps. Samsara dragged the blanket up and covered both him and Laura. Then he kissed her eyes and wiped the remnants of her soft tears away. He kissed her nose and her cheeks. Then he kissed her lips. He pushed his tongue gently inside her mouth and caressed her tongue as she did his as well. His hands, wild hands, moved up and around her body, touching and pinching and grabbing everything. He slowly moved on top of her as she opened her legs, inviting him in. As he entered, he made sure to look her in the eyes and along with the rhythm kissed her as well. The white bulbs above stopped cascading and soon fell into darkness as they fell into each other.

Samsara woke up in the deep of the night. 3 a.m. He checked to see if Laura was asleep. Like a rock. He carefully untwined himself from her arms and swiftly put his clothes on. After that was done he grabbed his jacket and checked for his phone. It was still recording. He stopped the recording and saved it as Laura’s Love Story. He put his shoes on and slowly slid out the door. As he walked the hallway he kept looking back, making sure she wasn’t following him. He stepped into the elevator and pressed the button for the first floor. While the elevator descended, he took his phone out and blocked Laura from all of his social media and his contacts. She’ll make a nice story, he thought to himself, putting his headphones on and pressing play to the recording. If you’d seen him then what would you have noticed first? The bulge in his pants or the twisted smile on his face?

Short story by Sameen
Read 35 times
Written on 2022-06-23 at 10:35

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I found this compelling. Laura's character is carefully drawn, believable. The ending was a surprise.