The Lost Hostess

My girlfriend has the best breasts. They’re firm, yet yielding, and no matter how much I try I can’t hold all of one in a hand.
She comes to my apartment pretty often and she walks around in her underpants, no top, and her breasts bounce a little when she gets excited or reaches for something. If she was in a zoo I’d go to that zoo and I’d sit on a bench and stare at her through the glass forever.
I love her body – and she’s nice, too. She does all these weird little things, like, I work on Sundays, so on Mondays she calls me up and tells me whether the show I missed the day before was good or not so I won’t get disappointed. She’ll watch those shows, even if she’s not psyched on them herself, just to know what’s up with me.
And she’s a tough one with a ball – my balls, too, haha! But no, what I mean is, she plays volleyball and she’s crazy at it, her team adores her, but she says it’s all about teamwork, that’s what she always says, and then she grins and her freckles remind me of something innocent.
She’s sexy, too. Her ideas are far-reaching, from getting freaky with kitchen utensils to playing around with hot and cold, and I’m so in. If she was a pool I’d wanna step back a bit so I could have a good sprint before I jumped into her, as far out into the water as I could get, and just sink to the bottom.
But sometimes she wants something her body and I don’t want. I don’t know if she knows, but her breasts certainly don’t want to go see the art museum today, they fall perfectly into my hands, and her ass is so big and bad and I grab it but can’t hold all of it, which is so great.
Her body and I want something different than she and sometimes I wish she’d let herself go and let her body be here, all encompassing.

The alarm goes off. I wake up, roll out of bed, go empty my bladder and put toasts in the roaster. I read in one of my books while I wait. Sheets rub against skin in the corner. I look over at the bed. She’s stretching and smiles at me. I’m hard immediately and return my concentration to the book. We don’t have time for that right now – we have her mothers’ birthday.
She comes over and puts her hands on my still-bare chest.
“Hey,” I mumble. She writhes around my book and kisses me, puts the book away and drags me back to bed. “Baby, we don’t have –“ But her pillowy lips swallow my words.

Caught in a fishnet of legs I lie with my head on her stomach. In a few moments we’ll have to get up but for now I just want to savor it.
It’s a good, long moment and it fills me like coca cola on a hot summer day. A deep breath cleanses my chest. I wait for her to get up.
And wait.
“Honey,” I joke, “isn’t today your mothers’ birthday?”
I lift my head. Eyes closed she lays with her face turned towards the ceiling with a smile on her lips.
“Let’s shower.” I unwrap myself and go to the bathroom where I wash my stomach sticky-free. She’s slow today so it’s my duty to get us out of this apartment. Too bad. Showering together is, like, one of the best things.
I’m drying off and thinking about something Martin from work said at the pub two days ago and I laugh. Most of the time sales people are pretty ridiculous but sometimes they’re just so spot on.
I put on clothes and go back to the living room. She’s still in bed, looking at the ceiling.
“You’ve got the present?”
She doesn’t reply.
I throw myself on the bed next to her and bite her cheek. “This silent thing was kind of cute at first but would you answer me now?”
Nothing.
I run my hand softly up along her ribs, which is something she declares “a horror beyond reality” because it’s ticklish as hell. She doesn’t move. I know what struggle she’s going through to keep it in.
“Come on,” I say and kiss her. I open her mouth with my tongue and she responds. “Okay,” I sigh and pull away. “Let’s go.”
She finally reacts. Goes to the shower, puts on clothes, but her hair is a mess and the dress is wrinkled and poorly picked. Sure, she’s a little off today, but this look is sexy on her.
I grab the car key and pull her with me.

She forgot the present. On the way home I ask her how she could forget and she just shrugs. She’s not been saying anything the entire day and it’s freaking me out. Is she angry? Did I do something? Maybe I was too loud last night when I was up listening to music. I had my headphones on but maybe I sang, I dunno.
She goes to the bed when we come home and she takes the dress off and sits on the edge of the bed. Her eyes beckon me. My breath is shallow. Never has she had sex with me when she was angry, so my stomach is so full of joy it’s hard to describe. She must be preoccupied with something else, but she needs me to relax her and I’m happy to help.
She wants me, her arms coming up around me and trying to crush me against her chest. Her breasts press against me and she pushes my face to them. I lick a nipple and she moans. I bite, giving the smallest amount of pressure. Her legs close on my back and she whispers for me to go on, please. I bite again, harder, and she gets so wet. She usually doesn’t want to bite, but now her teeth dig into my shoulder, my cheek, my nipples and I work up the courage to ask her if she wants to do anal. It’s not so bad if she rejects the idea – she has before, and she always laughs it off. But she’s been so warm, so curious. I want it so bad, so hard, and I wonder –

I’m drinking coffee. I seriously need some fucking coffee and I wish it was more sour so it would be less enjoyable as I’m drinking it by the bucket, which perhaps I deserve. I feel dirty and clean at the same time.
Her back stares at me. She was supposed to go to class but didn’t. She usually loves this class – it’s something about fermentation and biofuel – but it’s like she’s sick. I let her lie there because sometimes a person just needs rest.
I work from home today and my boss calls me because there’s some stuff with a rendition of the 3D prints of the new train station. I work on it for a while and by lunch time I’ve figured it out and decide to honor my dedication with foodstuffs.
“Hungry, babe?” I ask.
She mumbles something.
“Huh?”
“Mmyah.”
“’Kay. Are you all right? Was I too rough with you yesterday?”
“’M fine.”
I roast some whole wheat bread and make sunny-side-ups. I also pour a glass of OJ for her. I always tease her that we shouldn’t have it ‘cause the sugar’s what makes her so hyper, but today she needs sugar.
She comes up to eat and she looks tired but in a hot way. Like, a disheveled person on their first day of vacation after a hard time on the job. Her hair is all over the place and when she eats it’s in small bites and she chews for a long time, chew, chew, chew.
I stop eating and look at her, just look, and I know I want to touch her, not just touch.
She senses it, looks up and smiles.
Minutes later we’re fucking on the bed and her breasts are so nice and I think this should go on forever, this is how life is supposed to be lived.

She’s not been out of the apartment for five days and I’m afraid to call her doctor or the hospital. What if they blame me for not reacting sooner? What if it’s nothing and they tell me to go fuck myself.
She doesn’t say much and her day consists of sleeping, going to the bathroom, eating and fucking. But even the fucking is lifeless. She’s still the same, warm, soft, wet, but something’s missing. I tried bringing in the hot wax and the ice but while she didn’t reject it she also didn’t absorb it.
“What’s happened?” I keep asking her. I ask her that several times a day now. I just want her to say something. I long for one of her silly jokes. Where is she? “I want you back,” I mumble. “Please talk.”

In the night she screams.
I’m up and she’s in my arms and she thrashes, her eyes opened wide and she looks at something I can’t see and she just screams and cries and screams. I hold her and want to tell her it’s going to be all right but what do I know? I’m just a schmuck trying to save a basketball with tape but the air is already out.
The neighbor bangs on our door, asks if everything’s all right, and she stops screaming. I tell them I’ve got it under control.
We sleep together, tight, my arms around her, and I want to press her into my chest. Keep her there forever.

When I wake up she looks at me with her brown eyes. I kiss her dark lips and she smiles.
It’s like the sun after two years of ashes after a volcano erupts, and I realize that’s an extreme analogue, because that would entail, like, the end of the world, but that’s how I feel. I kiss her and she crawls on top of me and rides me to heaven.
Afterwards we eat breakfast.
“No bacon today?” I ask her as she pours cereal.
“I feel like some sugar is in order,” she says in her candid voice and I’m like, fuck-it-if-she-eats-crab-it’s-so-good-to-have-her-back. (But why do I even have cereal? It’s kid’s food and I never eat it. I had no idea I had it stored away. Maybe my dad left it one of the times he was over here without me noticing. Like an easter egg or something. Dad! I’m 27!)
I drop her off at class. She has all her things – it’s time she gets back to her college dorm. I drive to work, whistling.
Three days later I see her again and she’s in a dress. It’s a neat one, with laces, but simple. There’s nothing very special about it. (Usually she’d wear a bright scarf or pin something on it.) I think it enhances how beautiful she is in and of herself.
We go out. Some of my friends are waiting for us and Alice wants to see her so bad.
The night dances by and in the morning we say goodbye and my beloved yawns. I tell her to just go ahead, I’ll catch up, and say goodbye to my friends.
“You had fun?” I say to Alice.
She shrugs. “I think maybe she was tired.”
“Yeah, she’s had some rough days.” I don’t like the way she nods and walks off with the others. Like, yeah, whatever, who cares. I care.

My girlfriend is different. Her breasts and her ass are just as full. She’s not gone down or up in weight, I know that, but she’s softer. Not physically. I can’t explain it, but an edge is gone.
“We should talk about your illness,” I say.
“What illness?” she asks and laughs. It’s a clean spring-water laugh and I’ve never heard it like that before.
“You were sick last week, remember?”
She shrugs. “Some off days. Nothing more.” She touches my cheek and we gaze into each others’ eyes.
“You just seem different,” I say.
“I’m me.”
“You sure?”
She nods and smiles.
We’re quiet. I wait for her to say something, one of her quirky remarks.
“But one day maybe I’ll wake up and you’ve become an alien,” I say when she doesn’t come up with anything.
Her eyes flicker. Confusion and worry. “What?” she asks.
“You’re definitely not all right.” I take her hands. “What’s wrong? Don’t hold anything back.”
Her eyes roll back then and her neck makes this crack to the side so I think her neck is broken. I grab her and hold her in place while she shakes.

For a day or so I think she’s back to her zombie-like demure but then she gets up and walks around. I watch her from my desk.
“Do you have any tampons left?” she asks.
I show her. She’s alone in the bathroom and I know it’s wrong and gross but I stand with my ear to the door listening for any sign of a fall.
Door opens, I jump back.
Her eyes twitch.
“Sorry. You seemed so weird.”
“Yeah?” She gets her stuff. “I’m going back to school. Lots of homework, you know.”
I want to grab her and hold her fast but she’s out the door before I can make a decision. Somewhere inside I think I’m crying but it doesn’t make any sense. Nothing makes any sense.
It’s a Saturday but I try to work. My thoughts drift. Should I call her parents? Have they noticed the difference? What of her friends?
I write a message to her best friend and the bestie replies she’s not heard from my GF for three weeks except for a few, contorted messages.
I drive over to my girlfriend’s dorm and find her slaving over one of her many biology books. She lets me in and goes straight back to the table. I go sit on her bed. Fumble with my fingers.
“Uh, honey –“
“Is there something important because if there isn’t I’ve really got to study.” The words come out whipping fast.
“Uh, yeah, I do have something important … I talked to Denise and she says you’ve been impossible to get a hold on.”
“Obviously that doesn’t apply to you, so why do you care? I’m with you, right, so don’t complain.” She looks at me with this annoyed glare in her eyes, like ‘wtf is wrong with you, you bipolar freak’. (Well, that’s how I read it.)
“It’s just … you love Denise. She cares about you, too. You have a lot of fun. And the other day, with Alice –“
“Fuck Alice.”
“Hey –“
“No, seriously. So I’m supposed to become besties with your casually female friend now?”
“Casually female?” I mumble. “Are you jealous?”
“No! Jealous of Alice? No. But you’ve gotta admit, you have a lot of female friends.”
“Like four,” I say. “And they’re friends. I love you.”
She snorts and rolls her eyes. “Then let me work.”
“Not when I’m not sure you’re okay. That we’re okay.”
“We would be okay – and I would definitely be okay – if you left me alone right now.”
It’s like a blizzard in here.
“Throw me a bone. What did I do?”
“That’s ridiculous.” She turns back to her book. “Like you always have to have done something for me to wanna be alone.”
“No, I … Why are you taking everything the wrong way? I want to help.”
“You’re not helping. You’re never helping.”
I take a deep, steadying breath because this, this is just – “Bullshit! I am a good boyfriend.”
“You are?”
“Yeah.”
“What makes you even a half decent one?”
I’m speechless because if she doesn’t know, how can I tell her?
“Like that time when you had a fight with your brother and you came over to me and declared you never wanted to go home again and I made you call him on Skype and we patched things up? Like when I go get coffee because I know you’re coming over, and I get that really expensive kind? Those are just off the top of my head, but I don’t keep a score. I do that because I care about you.”
I can’t help it, though. I pour it out. Spew it on her like vomit.
All the times I’ve held her, all the times she felt lonely, all the times she was happy and wanted to share and the times she couldn’t bear my problems and I kept it to myself that my grandfather had forgotten my name and now it’s too late to tell.
There’s a pen in her hand and she swings it back and forth, tap-tap-tap.
“Talk to me,” I say when I’m done. “Like, really talk to me. Don’t scoff me, please.”
She closes her eyes. She’s thinking.
Her head rolls back, her mouth opens dead.
I frown. Sit there for a while. Reach out and push her head back up, but there’s nothing in those muscles and her head just falls back down again.
“Honey!” I grab her and shake her and want her to wake up. “Honey, come back. Please.”
Her eyes open and I feel like she sees me for the first time in a while. She cocks her head to the side.
“Are you all right? See, this is what I meant about being ill.”
She kisses me. Her hands lead my hands to her breasts. Her shirt unbuttons and I follow her warmth. We’re on her bed and if her roommate comes in she’ll see my ass and I’m just fine with that.
Afterwards we lie on the bed. We’re empty. I smile and pull her to my chest. Her arms lay down the side. I touch her hand, twist my fingers against hers. She doesn’t respond – she’s limp.
I poke her. Stroke her on the ribs.
Her face is serene and motionless – she’s sleeping beauty.
She looks up at the ceiling. What have I done?
This time I call an ambulance and tell her my girlfriend is out cold. They ask me what happened and I tell them I don’t know, but hurry.
While I wait I sit with her in my arms and just look at her eyes. Her body curls up around mine. It’s like her body still responds to me, not her mind. I feel very alone, but warm. One hand is on her breast. It’s still firm, yet yielding, but it’s no fun.
“Julia, could you come back?” I whisper. “It’d make me happy if you would. Your hair smells like you but that doesn’t help when you’re not there.”
“So when you said you wanted to gather a sample of my hair and have it compressed into a flask so you could always have the smell with you, you didn’t mean it?”
I freeze.
Her hand comes up between us, to my face, and pushes us apart.
She smiles at me.
“You … you’re back?”
“I’m glad you helped me with my brother,” she says, “and that you talked to Denise. I know all of that.” She touches my lips and whispers: “I know.”
“What happened?”
She frowns. “I think I was depossesed. And then possessed.”
I frown. My frown deepens; it’s practically a spear into my forehead.
I let her go. “That’s ridiculous. You could at least take responsibility for what a douchebag you’ve been.”
“A douchebag?” She rolls her eyes. “Whom of us has had sex these past four weeks without a regret?”
My face is hot and I don’t think that’s fair, since she offered, I mean, sometimes I couldn’t get her to do anything else. I had to put the food right in front of her! But I can’t say that, can I? She’ll snap my head right off.
She pulls up to sit against the wall. “I saw everything from somewhere else,” she says, “but I couldn’t do anything. You disappointed me, too. Why didn’t you call someone?”
“I did talk to Denise.”
“You should’ve had someone over. Called my doctor or something.”
“And he would’ve come to take care of a disoriented, young woman.” He grimaced. “As if he’d see there was something wrong with you. Only I did, because I know you so well.”
She laughs, but it is this high-pitched, steel laugh, nothing like the clear, spring-water laugh.
Now she cries. “You aren’t interested in anything but my body. I could be anyone. Which is why you let anyone come into my body.”
“That’s crazy talk.”
“Oh, yeah? But you didn’t think there was anything strange about me. Didn’t I seem like another person? ‘Cause that was what I was.”
My thoughts are a vase broken on the floor, glass pieces flung to all sides. I scatter around trying to gather something comprehensible.
“But you’re back now,” I say.
“Finally,” she whispers.
I kneel by the bed and put my head in her lap. To my relief she touches my hair. “I wanted you back so badly.”
“You’ll want me to go away again.”
“Then don’t go away this time. Be stubborn, like you usually are.”
“Maybe that’s it. I wasn’t stubborn enough and your will pulled me out of my own body.”
“What kind of voodoo have you been reading?” I ask without looking at her. But I’ve got chills.
“No voodoo,” she says.
There’s a knock on the door. It’s the ambulance people and though Julia seems all right now they still want her to come in, and I agree because this is all a little too much to handle.
“Great,” she says in the ambulance. “When everything’s all right you call them.”
“You’ve gotta admit it. You’re not right in the head.”
“Oh, but I never was to begin with,” she grins, “so what’s the point in changing it now?” and I can’t agree more.

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