Sex. Junior managed to change my entire perception of the word. Our night together was more satisfying that anything I had ever experienced. It felt more right than anything I had ever done. A part of me, after a night with Junior, understood why Mama enjoyed it enough to need two men-- although I could never fathom doing it with anyone but Junior, or wanting to.
“I love you.” Junior whispered as he fell onto the bed beside me, glistening with sweat. I pulled the covers over my shaking body, let out a quivering sigh, and looked at him. The perfect man. The best concoction of strength, gentleness, love, caution, warmth, and ease that nature ever created. I studied his face, tanned from a summer by the shore. Those eyes that looked at me and saw beauty, golden brown with flecks of gold. Those lips, the first lips that ever met mine and the last ones that ever would. I loved this man. I was sure of it. He was my first and my last. He was mine.
“Thank you.” I whispered back.
“For loving you?” he asked with a half smile.
“No, for making love to me.”
“Well in that case, thank you.” Junior kissed me gently, and we basked in the afterglow of what would be the first of many sleepless sweaty nights.
“Well?” Perceptive Penny always knew when something was up. We were lying on the beach while Junior played Frisbee with a weekender.
“Well, what?” I blushed, rolling over on my stomach.
“You just look a little different today, that’s all. I wondered if you had consummated the relationship.” Penny winked through her giant sunglasses.
“Oh Penny,” I laughed. “You’re crazy!”
“Am I?” Penny thumped me and left it at that.
I watched Junior catch the Frisbee and toss it to the little blonde headed boy in a SpongeBob bathing suit. I imagined him frolicking on the beach with our children and smiled. I wished that Mama could have met Junior, and I couldn’t wait for Father to. We would have to arrange that.
I didn’t know quite where to start with Father… Did I mention his letter? Did I apologize for hating him? Did I start fresh? How could I? We couldn’t pick up where we left off before I started hating him. We couldn’t go back to that, because it was so far from the places that life had led me. I didn’t have answers.
“Do you think Father still loves me?” I asked Penny.
“Oh sure he does.”
“Why would he?” I hoped it wasn’t too late.
“Addy, a Father never stops loving his little girl. The sun rose and set in you for him, and it still does. He loves you.” she sounded convincing, but I still wasn’t convinced. I hoped she was right, but feared that she wasn’t. I had done a lot of mean things to him through the years. Many hateful words had crossed my lips in his direction. Between my bitterness, and Mama’s request for an open marriage, Robert Banks was probably hurting more than I had ever imagined.
I needed to go to him and decided that as soon as my car arrived, I would take Junior home to meet my Father. I wanted Father to see that my faith in “mankind” was restored, and that my love for him was on the mend. If I could have snapped my fingers and fixed things with Father I would have, but unfortunately it was going to take some work.
I wasn’t going back to Boston. My life had found happiness here, and I was going to live at the beach house. I might not have a job, but I was ready to write happy endings again. Maybe, if I could find the words, I would even write about Mama. I still adored her, mistakes and all. She would always be my heart.
“Addy! Catch!” Junior let go of the yellow plastic disc and it soared right into my hands. I stood up, ran out into the sand, and joined in. I was finally living, after twenty eight years of passing through life, I was now taking part in it. Thanks to Penny’s support, Mama’s letters, and Junior's love, I was finally alive.