It was difficult for me to comprehend that only now, June 21, 2012, was the official start of summer.
It just seemed that summer would have started several weeks ago, especially on that day in early June when Julie North had shown up on Venice Beach, as if out of nowhere. And yet, the summer was only beginning just now, despite the amazing past three weeks I had spent with Julie.
However, these weeks were winding down, as Julie had finally booked a flight out of LAX: July 9, 2012. I did not want to believe that she was actually going to leave, but she was. Her internship in Paris was starting in August and she had much preparation to do before then. I understood. Leaving the country for who knew how long was a big deal. Yet, it was going to take some getting used to, as Julie had become somewhat of a staple in my apartment, and she had even offered to help me pay for the month's rent, despite the fact that, being a recent college graduate, she was just about completely broke. She had taken on a temp job at one of the local offices to earn some cash, and while she received more than minimum wage, her earnings were not great. However, the one positive to this job was that we were finally on the same page with our schedules, and she was being paid weekly.
Meanwhile, the roommate hunt was not going so well. While there were plenty of applicants, it was hard to find someone who got along really well with me. It was the weirdest thing. I was normally not one to be so picky, but I suppose living with Julie had given me this idea that I needed to find someone to live with whom I would definitely get along with, and her input was not helping this development at all. "You have to get along with them," Julie would say, "And you both need to be able to handle each other's shit."
"What shit do I have Julie?" I asked, "I mean, I leave the toilet seat down every night and you know it."
"That isn't what I meant," said Julie, "I didn't really mean it as anything really."
"Ok," I said, "What bugs you about my apartment?"
"Nothing," said Julie, "Although you could do the dishes a little more often, although I've seen much worse."
We were currently in the kitchen, so I looked at the dishes, which had been sitting in the sink for about four days now. "Well," I said, "Why don't you do them?"
"It isn't my apartment, and I've been working a lot more hours than you have lately."
"That's an excuse and you know it."
"Is it really?"
"Oh c'mon! You do most of the cooking!"
"Exactly my point! And you enjoy my cooking, so rather than make a woman do all the work like a sexist pig, why don't take your share of the load?"
"I have a better idea," I said, "Why don't we do them together?"
She thought for a moment, with a look on her face that seemed to be horrified of the idea of doing dishes with me. However, this odd look soon straightened up and she came to her senses. "Sure," she said, "Could be a lot of fun if we do this together actually."
"Good," I said as I headed towards the sink, "Let's get started."
She began to pile the dishes from one side of the sink onto the other, and when she had emptied it, she plugged in the drain and began to run some hot water and dish soap. As the bubbles rose higher and higher into thick foam, she transferred some of the more disgusting dishes to the sink so that they could soak. "Here," I offered, "Let me help you out. Hand me that one dish. It doesn't need to be soaked."
"Ok," she said as she pulled the dish out and flung it into my hands. Unfortunately, she flung a generous amount of foam onto my shirt in the process. I sighed at her lack of dexterity. "Oh my gosh!" she cried as soon she realized what she had done, "I cannot believe I just did that! I'm so sorry!"
"It's alright," I said as I plotted my revenge, "It's just soap."
We worked quickly, and within twenty minutes all of the dishes were tucked safely into the dishwasher and it was humming softly as it cleaned them. "Well," Julie sighed as I silently made my move, "Thank goodness for…ahhh!"
I had gathered some of the leftover foam from the kitchen sink, and now it was plopped in Julie's hair. "That's what you get for getting me earlier!" I laughed.
"What the—?"Julie started, "But that's not fair Alistair! It was only an accident!"
"That's what you'd like me to believe," I smiled.
"Well, it's the truth! But you blew it so now, it's on!"
She hurled some foam into my hair, and my attempt to block it failed. Before either of us knew it, we were making more foam in the sink and continuing our playful little fight. As unsanitary as dish foam may be, we were both obviously having a blast with our fight. Before long, Julie had gotten me right in the mouth, and it was time for me to share my pain with her. I grabbed her by her waist, which was now as soaked as my own, and kissed her passionately. I did not want to feel like I was leading her on, but to be honest, even though I did not foresee a future for Julie and myself, I did, at least for this single moment, know that she was what I wanted, even with her overly paranoid personality and dyed-brown hair. "What a way to kick off the summer!" I exclaimed as I threw off her blouse, "But now it's time to clean up."
She tore my own shirt off, and then simply held her body up against mine. We both had wet and dewy skin, complete with goosebumps from the chilly water. And yet, it felt rather amazing. "This is perfect," Julie whispered, "But I know what would be even better. Let's go to the shower."
She ran from me at that point, tossing all of her remaining clothes off onto the living room floor and beckoning me to follow her, which I did without so much a thought. However, when I caught up to her, she had changed her plans and was now running a bath, complete with the bubbles and bath salts she had recently purchased. "I thought we should get the best of both worlds," she said smiling as she climbed into the mass of foam that had taken over the tub.
I refused to have sex with Julie while we were bathing, simply because I was not a man who liked to take risks when it came to protection, but there was undeniable affection during that bath. I sat behind her and she laid into my embrace, pleasure and warmth overcoming us in the steam. She went down on me twice beneath the water and foam, coming up only to breathe. It was an interesting sensation, feeling her tongue play with me underneath hot water, but I cannot say that I did not enjoy it.
Soon however, we had to begin something else, as our fingers had begun to prune with the time we had spent in the water, our skin soaking up as much as it could. So we turned on the shower and drained the tub. Julie had us wash our hair separately; apparently she had showered like this before to failed results. However, we did clean each other's bodies, and using a puffy pink loofah along all of Julie's curves was nearly as intoxicating as when she ran my washcloth over my own body, teasing me along the way.
And her touch was maddening in all of that steam. During several moments of that shower, we gave in to desire and kissed, and it seemed as though our lips were exchanging steam rather than spit as our tongues danced among our lips, which were now swollen and red. I do not know what my own lips made me look like to her, but she became more of a goddess to me with those lips that could only exist here, in the steam and warmth of a shower.
And before I could even grasp it, we were out of the bathroom and dried off, and I was on top of her, thrusting into her as though my life depended on it. It had been nearly an entire hour since we had finished the dishes, so the patience I had to use to build up towards this moment was much to bear. As our desires for one another flared and cooled, I could not help but think about how much I was going to miss her once these two weeks were done. It also depressed me to think that in essence, I only had about a week in reality, for surely one of these next two weeks would be locking Julie up into her feminine prison cell, not that I wanted to know about it of course. Still, I had to make the best out of the little time we had left, and so as I finished everything up for the night with Julie, I knew that I would have to resist sleep and stay up to talk to her instead. That way we could easily plan out the course of the next two weeks.
Julie was pretty pleased with the turn of events that the night had brought, and she seemed quite peachy about the fact that I was still awake. Smiling, she took my face in her tiny hands and pressed her lips softly to mine. "What are you thinking about?" she asked with a hint of mischief in her voice.
"Not much," I replied in almost a whisper, "I was just wondering what we should try to do over the next couple of weeks."
"What do you mean by that?" asked Julie.
"I mean that since we won't see each other for a good long while when you leave, we need to make the most out of the time we have left."
"Ok, I guess."
"Well, tell me then, what is your greatest sexual fantasy?"
"My greatest sexual fantasy?"
"Yes. Surely you have one."
"But what's the point Alistair? We have sex almost every night anyway so I see nothing to be gained from this."
"But there is something to be gained. I promised I would make things up for that first time, and so now I'm going to by succumbing to your every desire and whim."
"That seems so unlike you though."
"I'm a nice guy, Julie, so tell me, what is the greatest fantasy in your heart?"
She closed her eyes at this question, as she was trying to concentrate on what was the greatest fantasy she had, because I was sure that after twenty-two years, Julie had many fantasies in her mind that had yet to be fulfilled. She stirred a little as she thought, causing her long brown bangs to fall over her eyes, but at last she pushed them out of the way and set her gaze on me. "Well," she said, "I have always liked the idea of role-playing, so I think I would like to do something along those lines."
I faked a smile. I hated role-playing, or at least I had never liked it in the past. "That's got a lot of potential," I said, "So what would you like to be?"
"Well," said Julie, "I would like us to play two characters who are forbidden to be together, because that would intensify the drama."
"So what's the scene then?"
"It seems so stereotypical, but I think it might be fun to play the teacher and student game. So you'll be the sophisticated, intelligent, and mature high school math teacher while I'm the immature lovestruck student who gets called to your office one day, where we finally confess our undying love for one another."
"So where are you going with this?"
"After we have a nice passionate quickie in the office, we'll retreat to your bedroom where we can fulfill our desires with less fear, although you will have to maintain your professionalism as my teacher."
"I think I like this. Just make sure you dress the part because your wardrobe is pretty mature for your age and we have to go all out if we are going to do this."
"Well, that's pretty obvious, but I think we should any costume ideas to ourselves."
"So what's yours Alistair?"
"What's my what?"
"Your fantasy. I want to know about it."
"Does it really matter all that much?"
"Yes! If my ideas have any importance, I'd like to try to please you myself."
"You wouldn't like it."
I thought for a few seconds, contemplating the best way to tell Julie just exactly what I wanted with her. "Well, it's pretty simple," I said, "I want to have my way with Julie North."
"I don't get it," Julie said with a quizzical look on her face, "If that's it than I have already fulfilled your fantasy."
"It's a little more complicated than that," I said, "Because I said Julie North, and I didn't mean you."
"I still don't understand," said Julie.
"I mean, you are you, but you aren't the you I remember, and that is my fantasy."
"So, if I've understood you correctly, then you mean to tell me that you want to sleep with a younger version of myself?"
"Bingo. 2002 version to be exact."
"But I was twelve."
"And you were also adorable. Brilliant blonde hair and cute thick sweaters over plain black skirts. That's exactly why I want to have a blast to the past with you!"
"Do you really think I was that cute when I was in middle school?"
"Definitely. You were the girl all the guys at church couldn't stop talking about, and yet none of us boneheads could ever actually muster up enough courage to go ahead and ask you out."
"I had no idea that's what you all thought of me."
"Ah, but we did. And yet, I'm glad I never asked you out."
"Because if I had, you probably wouldn't have trusted me to do all of the things that we've done together over the past few weeks."
"That is probably true, but it was silly of you regardless."
"And it is completely unimportant now because right now, the only things that really matter are you and me, because this is where we are in the present."
"You always got so mad at me for not living in the present right?"
"No, I was never mad at you, but you do tend to fail to focus on what is before you."
"I know I do, and that is what has made this summer quite a changing one for me."
I thought for a moment, wondering what I should say next. "Tell me something Julie," I said quickly, "Can you explain to me why exactly you decided to come here?"
"Why do you think I came here?" she asked me in response.
"Well," I said, "It just feels like you made this decision on a whim. You made this decision so quickly and I just can't grasp what your intentions were based upon it."
"Are you implying that you think I came here just for you then?"
"You aren't thick at all, are you?"
"On the contrary Alistair, I just don't always trust my judgment. Well, I will not deny that you were quite a deciding factor in my plan to travel out here, but you were not the only reason. I was born here Alistair. In a sense, I belong here more than you do and I had a life here once upon a time, a life which I like to touch bases on every once in awhile. And that was my true intention in coming here. I would have come here even if you were not here for me, and those are the guns I'm sticking to."
"I guess I can understand that. I just really don't want you to get hurt this time. You always do."
"Alistair, I know what I'm doing, and I'm not going to get hurt. Trust me, I'm bulletproof."
I was pretty sure that I believed her, but with Julie, one could never be sure. I knew that we were having a great summer with each other, but I was afraid that she would take everything the wrong way. Yet as I would one day discover, there was actually nothing I had to fear when it came to Julie's fears and emotions. Yes, she was still an emotional girl. She still was a hopeless romantic and she almost always wore her heart right on her sleeve for everyone to see. And yet, this time Julie was not going to be at my feet once the summer ended for us and she went away to Paris. No, instead I needed to worry about myself, and yet I did not even realize this yet. And so, I blindly assumed that she was the one whose heart needed to be protected, and as we decided to make the night more full of crazy and stupid passion-play, I blindly gave away yet a little more of my heart, thinking that the worst that could happen was for her to give me more of her own heart. This faux brunette was not in love with me, but I assumed that she was because once upon a time, she had been. And me, I was falling in love with her, even though I constantly told myself that Julie, despite the fact that I had known her for more than a decade, when we were young children, was no different than any of the other women I had ever been with.
It was crazy, but as Julie and I were together that night, my thoughts were turned away from myself and instead were focused completely on her. All I wanted at that moment was for her to feel joy in her life. She did deserve joy, for she was full of it herself and much of her life had been stressed by unfortunate circumstances and bitter emotions and tears. I knew that fulfilling one of her fantasies would probably not be enough to allow her great joy in her life, but at least I was willing to try. I did not understand myself at this moment, but seeing as it was Julie North, there were definitely stranger circumstances. I thought back in time that night once we finally decided that we needed to sleep. When I had been young, I had unsuccessfully sought her attention, so I wondered, when exactly did the tides really turn? When did Julie's ignorant eyes finally give me the time of day? I sighed as I pondered this, because I was unsure that Julie North even knew the answer to this question herself.