Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Perverse Act of Gentility

Continuing to catalogue old writings, here is another of the 2004 Shayna series. Again, in deference to my younger self, editing was kept to a minimum. Therefore, judge lightly ;) Related post: "The Wave"

A Perverse Act of Gentility

Martin leaned in toward Shayna.

The scene was a common one in the months that followed their introduction. Shayna found comfort and excitement in Martin’s company, ping-ponging opinions about movies, politics, South Park. Martin was pleasantly knowledgeable, funny, and one of Shayna’s few friends at school with whom she felt she could be her true quirky self.

Mostly, they convened at his apartment, smoked pot or drank cheap wine, and watched a movie. Shayna would courteously depart some nights more quickly than others, if Martin had, as he usually did, edged toward her during the course of the movie. On other nights, Shayna would repeat into Martin’s contorted pleading eyes that she loved his company, but wasn’t interested in anything romantic with anyone at the time.

Of course, this wasn’t entirely true, but to say she found his breath odorsome, his teeth overlarge, and his physique lacking would certainly have led to an irreparable rift in their friendship, and leave her quite alone again.

This night however, Martin was not content with her excuses.

“Don’t you find me attractive?” he demanded when she pulled away.

“It’s not that,” Shayna defended, weakened by the cheap wine, most of which had emptied itself down her throat, not his. “You know that I just don’t want anything romantic with anyone right now. I love spending time with you; we have a great time. Why does it have to be different?”

“Because I like you! Because for months we’ve sat on this couch, and I’ve wanted to kiss you, and I’ve respected you enough not to.”

“Well, I appreciate your chivalry, Martin,” she attempted without sarcasm, “but that doesn’t change how I feel. It would change our friendship, and I really don’t want to see that happen.” The topic was tiresome to her--the bent truths, white lies; it drained her – is this all men wanted from her?

The look of pure, fulfilled joy on his sleeping face sickened her. She crept from his bed at the first slant of light, forgetting her rings on his desktop, and blinked into the street.

No, she hadn’t kissed Martin out of force, but rather out of exhaustion, to be rid of the topic. He'd placed his hands so gently on her body, skimming her parts.

And she was angry.

She'd compromised herself, and wanted the weight of it to be congruous with the act. If he’d ground into her, panting with lust, she’d have understood. She could easily let her pall of cheap, whoring disgust fall into an eerie abyss of disregard--it was a feeling she was familiar with.

But he hadn’t. He'd brushed over her lovingly, admiringly. And she hated him for it. For prolonging her shame with each slow touch. For distorting the act into a caricature of true feeling.

Arms folded tight against her, Shayna stalked home in humiliation and disgust for the man who’d held her like an angel. 

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