I was enchanted with Lena (we’ll call her Lena) from the day we met. Lena was a bartender with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry who only wore black. She was born in Siberia and had run away to the US in a giant fur coat and high heels and never looked back, yet longed for home. She told me that she had “escaped” her third husband who was involved in organized crime. And everyone who ever met her wanted to protect her.
Lena was one of those women who was born knowing how to flirt; her gaze and her laughter were intoxicating. There was a piano in the back room of the bar, and she played it beautifully. She moved with grace and purpose. I flirted with her all the time, just like the other bar flies; she knew I was into her, but I figured I didn’t have a chance, especially given that she identified as being straight. Over time, we became friends and spent time together outside of the bar.
Lena worked every night without fail (at two different bars) to send money home to her teenage son; she never got a break, and I wanted to give her one. I told her to take off work one night in February when the Joffrey Ballet was doing a production of Romeo and Juliet; I didn’t tell her what my plans were – just that I wanted to take her out. She said that there was no way her boss would let her have the evening off, so I went to her boss and talked to him myself (luckily, she viewed this as a Dobler act rather than a Dahmer act). He said that she worked too hard and that he would be very happy to give her a free night; he even offered to drive us downtown!
It turned out to be a brilliant evening — we had a four-course dinner and a bottle of wine, walked to the ballet (where she cried because she said it was the first time she had really felt anything since emigrating to the States nine years earlier), then went out to a bar and danced all night. We took a taxi back to my place and I drove her home, dropping her at her doorstep. I didn’t make a move, because like I said — I didn’t think I had a chance.
Lena’s birthday came six weeks later. She was working, of course, so I brought her flowers at the bar and spent the night there with her other friends until she got off work, after which we went somewhere else and kept drinking. By the end of the night, Lena’s two friends were three sheets to the wind, and I was pretty sober, so I offered to drive them all home. After I dropped her second friend off and started up the road to drop off Lena, she suddenly leaned over and planted her lips on mine! “Come home with me,” she said in a husky voice. My heart started pounding. “Ar- are you su-sure?” I stammered, blushing hard. Yes, she said, and started kissing me. I pulled the car over to slide my fingers into her hair and kiss her back. She touched me all the way to her house, and it was the LONGEST DRIVE.
After what seemed like forever, we finally arrived to her basement apartment — no heat, no furniture, and a curtain in the doorway. It was literally a basement in someone’s house where she was renting out a room with a bed in it where she could sleep between shifts. She turned on a bare bulb so we could find our way into her room, then turned it back out, so we were left with just a little light from the streetlamps making their way through the basement windows. She took off both of our coats and dropped them carelessly to the ground before aggressively removing the rest of my clothes and biting my shoulders, my stomach, my thighs. Hard. She took off her shirt and her bra; I could barely see the outline of her breasts as they swung above mine, but I could definitely feel her nipples on my suddenly warming skin. I reached out to touch her, and she pinned my wrists behind my head. I had wanted this woman for so long; this wasn’t at all what my fantasies about her were like… but it was achingly hot. She spread my legs and buried her face into me, telling me I couldn’t touch her. I obeyed. I moaned. She said she wanted to drink me. I moaned harder. She slid her fingers into me; I arched my back, clenched my fists behind my head, and asked her to kiss me. I could taste myself on her tongue, and I craned my neck up to keep kissing her while taking breaks to beg her not to stop fucking me.
When her wrist just couldn’t move anymore, she fell over in bed next to me and spread out her arms and legs. I propped myself up above her and started kissing her breasts, but she stopped me. I asked her why; she said it was because she was ashamed of her body after giving birth and didn’t want me to see or touch her. “Then… why did you want me to come home with you?” I asked. “I’ve never been with a woman before,” she said, lighting a cigarette. “I was curious.”
We talked for a bit and fell asleep, limbs entangled under a massive amount of blankets. I woke up just after the sun rose in the morning, put my clothes back on, kissed her on the cheek, and let myself out into the cold light. The next time I saw her, we smiled a secret smile and left it at that. We remained good friends and continued to spend a lot of time together, but we never mentioned that night again.