[Continued from part 1, here]
I waited, wondering how the story was going to progress. Far too soon, there was a half-hearted knock on my hotel room door. I opened it. Molly stood there, tears glistening in her lovely eyes again. I stood aside, and she came in, and fell onto the bed, face down. I waited.
After more than a minute, she said: “He didn’t even open the door.”
I processed that, and sympathized with her disappointment, saying a comforting phrase as such.
“He probably knew it was me, and didn’t want to see me again,” she said.
“Perhaps,” I acknowledged. “But, how do we know he was in there?”
“I heard voices, and laughter.”
“Could he have had the television on, and perhaps have left, or been in the bathroom or in the shower, or out on the patio?”
She was aghast. “Wow, I didn’t even consider those possibilities. I’m so ready to be rejected that it doesn’t take much for me to just assume that I’m unwelcome.”
I sympathized, and said so. “Shall we call him?” I asked.
“That is a good idea, yes.” She seemed hopeful again, and reached for the phone. I was about to suggest she first plan out the dialog and translate her natural enthusiasm and openness into the sort of bland presentation that was more likely to be palatable to typical people, but just as I was about to say, “wait …” she was already dialing his room number, and a couple of seconds later, she spoke: “Hello, it’s Molly. My false eyelashes are fine now, and I’d like to come say good night.”
I could hear his voice from where I was sitting: “Listen, Molly, I have a guest here, and I really want to focus on her, so we should just say good night now.”
Her face fell, “I’m sorry … I didn’t know … I’m sorry … good night,” and she hung up.
“Well, that’s that,” she said. “He has someone else. Wow, that didn’t take long.”
I winced. “Ouch,” I said.
She nodded. “Gawd, this hurts. Nazareth summed it up well, in their Love Hurts lyrics. I mean … what I feel for him is not even love, and even so, this rejection already hurts so much. Imagine if I’d actually loved him and knew he was in there with someone else, whom he liked so much more than me. It’d be excruciating.”
She sat on the bed, slumped. Then a horrible thought crossed her mind, and she slowly said, “For example, the guy on whom I have a crush might just be in bed with Mary Lou right now. Come to thing of it, he probably is.” Her shoulders slumped more.
I came over and sat down next to her. I held out my arms comfortingly. She shot me a pained look, and just remained sitting there. I remained in position, and kept my arms open, smiling gently and waiting. Eventually she sighed and leaned toward me. I wrapped my arms around her, and she pressed her face against my upper chest. Finally, she put her arms around me too, and after a minute or two, I could feel her warm tears against my skin.
The pain of many years seemed to finally hit her all at once. She held on, crying bitterly in frustration, embarrassment and shame for a long time. I held on, and slowly rocked her. At some point she pulled away, and she looked down at the mess she’d made as her tears, and more, had run down my chest and made a large wet area at the neckline of my evening gown. She tried to pull away more, apologizing for making a mess but she was having a hard time articulating.
“It’s fine. I needed to wash it anyway. Don’t worry about it. Come here,” I said, and slightly applied pressure, pulling her toward me again. She hesitated and then gave in. “You are probably way overdue for processing some sadness,” I said gently, holding her in a comforting embrace. “Sadness and more,” I added.
“More, yes,” came a muffled reply. “I feel so embarrassed, so ashamed. I’m such a failure. I mean, not in life, but in this … I’m basically trying to give sex away and I still can’t get anyone to be interested. I feel so deeply undesirable. I wanted a boyfriend and never did end up having one. Then, I thought: well. at least I can experience having sex. And even there, I can’t get anyone interested.”
I said nothing, just squeezed her a little more tightly for a few seconds.
“Not anyone I care to seduce, anyway. I assume if I stood on Hollywood Boulevard holding a ‘free sex’ sign, even I could finally find someone who wants to have sex with me, but I was hoping for less desperate measures.”
I smiled. She didn’t speak for a long time, and finally said, “I haven’t been held like this, in years — actually, never as an adult. I feel so … comforted. And it’s more than just you holding me. I feel that you understand me. Actually, I feel like you’re the only one who does.” She thought for a while. “I mean, my parents care very much but it’s almost like someone caring for a fragile, exotic pet. With you it’s different. You care, but you also seem to understand me. But there’s something about how you deal with me … and it’s different than how anyone else deals with me. I can’t quite figure it out.”
I gave her another squeeze, and waited.
“Wait, I think I got it. Don’t talk, please. I really want to figure this out.” She was quiet for another minute or so. Finally, she announced: “I’ve got it. You don’t look down on me. Others always treat me like they feel sorry for me, like they’re shaking their heads patronizingly at my latest folly or concern. You don’t do that. You’ve seen me in the most embarrassing situations and yet you don’t treat me as if I’m weak or stupid, even though I feel like that about myself. It’s almost like you think I deserve to be taken .. that’s it. That’s the essence of it. You’re the one person who really takes me seriously.”
I pondered this, and smiled. “I do,” I agreed.
She was quiet for a few more seconds, and then said: “Maybe you’re right. Maybe we do have similar mental wiring that’s different than that of typical people. ” She pondered this for a minute or so. “I used to feel alone, even when there were people around, even tonight at the Fiesta. People were having fun, but somehow I felt … disconnected from them.”
“Maybe sex with your friend in room 905 would have felt the same way, to you.”
“I see what you mean, about connectedness,” she said. “How do you connect, I mean, really connect?”
“I offer to take girls up to my room when their false eyelashes are having issues. That’s the only way I ever met someone with whom I feel this sense of connectedness,” I said, playfully.
“Wait, you don’t have anyone either?”
“I do, now. You’re here.”
“But, before me.”
“I have a guy friend with whom the sexual attractiveness factor is mutually zero. He’s also my roommate, and I think he has mental wiring like mine. We’re friends and we communicate well intellectually, which is great, but it’s not an emotionally intimate connection too. For example, I’ve never hugged him like I’m hugging you.”
I shook my head. “Some people came closer than most but … no.”
“Wow, that’s a lonely life,” she blurted out.
I smiled and then she added, “as is mine, I just realized. Wow. I’m glad we found each other.” She held onto me for a minute or two longer.
“Now I’m afraid of losing you,” she confessed. “Perhaps you and I are better than typical people. Perhaps we’re not. But, we’re certainly different from typical people, yet alike as to each other. When we talk or hold each other, like this, there’s understanding and true connectedness, and comfort. I feel like I’ve known you for a long time. Is that ridiculous?”
“Well, the degree of mutual understanding we have accomplished … that would have taken typical people a long time, so maybe that’s why, yes?”
She nodded. “Why are we so different from them? Why do they take so long?”
“You and I open up, and share our thoughts and feelings enthusiastically. So it’s like a 100-miles-per-hour road with no stop signs or red lights, just green lights all the way. Things can move quickly.”
“They can indeed, wow. It’s such a relief to open up like this. Normally, I don’t, because …” she hesitated.
“… how you naturally are, so spontaneous, open and benevolent, that ends up with you being ridiculed and ostracized, and you get your feelings hurt, by typical people?”
“All the time,” she confessed.
“I plan to be around for a long time, reminding you, but if something happens to me, it’s crucially important that you’re clear that if everyone in the world were like you, it’d be a so much nicer place. Can we agree on that?”
“Well …” she thought about it. Then: “I see your point, and yes. The only problem is that typical people can’t deal with my openness and enthusiasm but inherently there’s nothing wrong with how I am — even though I always felt there was, and it’s totally alien to me to now have to get used to me being not just OK but better than OK. It’s almost like I have to relearn that it’s OK to pee in someone’s swimming pool, and more than OK, it’s actually good. I mean … it’ll take me some time to get used to all this. But, yes, I follow the logic. And I hope nothing happens to you.” She gave me a squeeze.
She was quiet, and then drew back slightly, and as she pulled out of my arms, she took one of my hands in each of hers, and held them in an intimate gesture, and said: “I just realized I know hardly anything about you. Where do I find you? How do I get to spend more time with you? What’s your name? And … I mean this nicely, but … what are you? I can’t quite figure out if you’re a boy or a girl. You seem to be a mixture. I mean, it’s a sexy mixture — you sort of remind me of Prince, who’s androgynous too — but … anyway, please tell me about yourself.”
I did. I told her my name and explained that I’m a trans girl, and what that means. I explained that I did escorting only part-time, and normally I worked as a software engineer, mostly from my condo near the Marina. She absorbed it all, and then told me her full name, and more about her life situation.
Soon, we were talking about my escorting work. I explained how I enjoyed the excitement and feeling of empowerment that came with having sex with a stranger who wanted me. “Based on your agenda tonight, I probably don’t have to explain that,” I added.
She nodded pensively, and said: “I do ‘get’ that. I was so intent on losing my virginity tonight. First, I tried to tell CJ — the guy on whom I have a crush — that I am crazy about him. Or should I say, was crazy about him? Suddenly he seems so far away, and so … two-dimensional.” She thought about it for a while, then added: “Tonight, my hope was to seduce him. It would have made this the perfect night, for me. But, he was — is — such a jackass and he took it all the wrong way and I just decided that I’m wasting my life away, and I need to stop doing so. So, I figured that if he wasn’t going to take my virginity then I’d visit this musician guy tonight, for that purpose instead. I was totally okay with that.”
She took a deep breath, and continued: “Anyway, that was such a colossally embarrassing experience that I feel totally turned off now. I guess I’ll just become an old maid and end up with a stove and several cats when I’m old. I mean, I do buy your point that, as you did, I could learn the social dynamics of typical people and eventually bond with them to some extent but there would always be missing intimacy. And you’re right, that connectedness really is part of what I always assumed would be there, as part of sex – and if not, it’d feel pretty hollow to me. So I can either work extra hard and maybe eventually be able to give my virginity away, and end up with an emotionally disappointing experience. That doesn’t bode well for my future sex life.”
“I see your point, but as long as you’re realistic in your expectations, there’s a lot to be said for being bent over and used sexually by a guy in a primal way as if he’s just bought you at a slave auction or dragged you into his cave. I mean, there’s not much emotional bonding there but … it IS sometimes hot. For me, anyway. I’m good at seducing guys. I could teach you. ”
“Really?!” she said, her interest piqued. I looked her up and down. She bit her lower lip, pondering all this.
“Your eagerness is very sexy,” I observed. “To me, anyway.”
The mood in the room had changed in the last minute or so. We both felt it.
“As to where I go for sex with emotional intimacy …” she said, and looked at me questioningly, demurely yet pointedly too. Her lips were slightly apart. She moistened them with a flick of her tongue. She sat up more squarely, and leaned back slightly, pushing her shoulders back and down, and pushing her chest out. She flicked her hair and inclined her head slightly, and looked at me with a peculiar kind of calculating look.
I was breathing unusually fast. I said: “I take back what I said. I don’t think there’s anything I can teach you as to being supremely seductive. If the guy in room 905 saw you now, and actually paid attention for at least long enough to actually observe you, I can’t imagine how he could resist.”
“Yes, but he wouldn’t actually pay attention. He’d be too busy telling me to go away.”
I nodded. “His loss,” I said. I looked at her, and realized I was biting my lower lip, too. I also sat up more upright, with my back arched. We were looking at each other.
“I wonder who gets to say it first,” I said aloud.
She took a deep breath. I could see that her mind was racing. We both felt an intense mutual attraction.
“You’re not doing this because you’re feeling sorry for me,” she observed.
“I’m interested in you, personally, sexually,” I replied. “As in, here and now.”
She didn’t move her face, but her eyes moved to one side as if she were lost in thought, looking at an object that had been in her peripheral vision. Then, she looked at me directly and intensely.
“You mean, you get to take my virginity tonight,” she said bluntly. I flicked my hair, and nodded slowly. Our eyes rested on each other for several seconds, and our lips were slightly open. Then, she looked down. Something had ruined her mood. She said, quietly, “I really don’t have a lot of money on me, and I have hardly anything in my bank account. I have maybe a hundred dollars to my name. I don’t know what you charge but … it’s probably more than that.”
I pulled her hands toward me, and she looked up into my eyes, warily. I explained: “Molly, with you, it’s personal. I like you as an individual. This has nothing to do with business. No money changes hands between us as such, now or ever. I like you and with every passing minute, you’re growing on me more yet.”
Her eyes widened. She smiled, then smiled broadly.
I continued: “But, there is one reason why I might say no. I feel very closely connected to you. If you and I end up in bed, I’m sure I’ll emotionally get wrapped up in you and I’ll want to see you again and again, socially and sexually. So I’m not saying that I expect you to make an infinite commitment, but I’m asking you if this is just a one-night stand for you, because if yes then I will probably end up pining after you for a very, very long time. While I can still think straight and say no, I’d rather say no for that reason — and only for that reason. I might never find another ‘you’ and if, after tonight, I never see you again, I’d miss you very much, perhaps for many years, and perhaps for the rest of my life.”
She processed this for several seconds. She blinked several times, and her eyes teared up. She swallowed hard. Her voice thick, she said: “I would love to have this be ongoing too. I just didn’t realize that’s what you wanted. It is so refreshing to be able to candidly and openly say that I like you, without fearing that I might overwhelm or alienate you I can just sit here, emotionally naked, and say ‘I like you and I want you in my life.'”
“I’m delighted, but since I’m at risk for some serious heartbreak, can we give the premise a shakedown?”
“You know, typical people don’t talk like that,” she smiled, suddenly confident and at ease. “Yes, go ahead.”
“Well, not to be ungrateful, but don’t you still have feelings for CJ?”
She thought about it. “Yes, I do. Pity, mostly — and a little bit of disgust, at him. Also, some shame in myself for having focused on him.”
“Wow, okay,” I responded. “Next, how do I fit into your family dynamic? You might have to say: ‘Hi Mom and Dad, here’s my new girlfriend who also sort of looks like my boyfriend but don’t worry, the sex is great. She’s highly skilled, see, being a part time sex worker. Why, you might have even seen her at local hotels, in one of the lounges.'”
“I’m an adult. I get to choose whom I romance, and sleep with. And you’re a massive improvement over CJ … and the musician … and actually anyone else I know. Truth be told, though, I suspect my parents might just be relieved I finally found someone with whom I’m happy.”
“How about your friends?”
“Killer will go … I don’t know where. CJ … doesn’t matter. Val is getting married. Gina will go live her life. I’ll see her sometimes, but if she gets to meet you, she’ll love you. She’s very open-minded.”
I smiled, relieved. “How about your work?” I asked.
She responded by saying: “I graduate tomorrow… ” she glanced at the bedside clock, and said: “… technically, today, at the end of my four year degree in Fine Arts, which I enjoyed but which enables no specific gainful employment. I don’t have to be anywhere for a job. I don’t have one. I plan to keep living in LA and I’ll probably move into my parent’s garage.”
“Or, you could move in with me. If we continue to get along as well as I suspect we will, I’d love to have you living with me. I live in West LA, near the Marina. You might enjoy bicycling along the beach path, and exploring the area. It’s nicely elegant. And, I make enough money to pay the rent, solo. My roommate has wanted to buy a house in North LA County, and I wish him well but I don’t want to go along with that. So, come be my new roommate … and more.”
She seemed shocked. She smiled and nodded thoughtfully. “Wow, this really is becoming quite the happy picture, isn’t it?”
I nodded and smiled, too, and I added: “At least one part of a typical girl-girl dynamic, we do follow. A classic lesbian second date is when one girl moves in with the other.”
“I guess you being a girl does make me a lesbian, then. But you’re an unusual sort of girl, so maybe I’m an unusual sort of lesbian. Or, I’m bi since I was attracted to CJ too, and the guy tonight. Wow,” she said, pensively. Then, she frowned. “What if I’m bad at sex?”
“Then think of all the fun we’ll have, teaching you how to be better. Seriously, though, I’m not worried. You have enthusiasm. The rest … it works itself out.”
She smiled, relieved. Then, she frowned again. “What if you find me physically unattractive?”
“What, after you get mauled by a bear?”
“No, right now.”
“No risk of that. But I suppose I should undress and inspect you before we have sex,” I said, playfully.
“You should,” she responded in kind, relaxing and smiling. Then: “What if I’m a bad kisser?” she asked.
I smiled. I crawled toward the bedside lamp, and turned it off so that only one lamp was illuminating the room. It made the ambiance much more romantic. I pulled off my high-heeled shoes, and then took hers off too. I knelt upright on the bed, and reached down and moved my evening gown up until I could pull it off, over my head. Her eyes went to my breasts. “Wow,” she said.
I pointed to her as in: “Your turn.” She took a deep breath and stripped off her evening gown too. We were kneeling, facing each other, topless, me wearing just a black thong, while she was wearing sexy white cotton panties. She looked at me warily. I pointedly looked at her breasts, and smiled happily, then said: “You are hereby officially approved.”
She hesitated: “Are you sure? I don’t have large …”
“No, you don’t. And yet I find you very attractive. Do you find that hard to believe?”
I responded with: “I understand. You don’t fit the stereotypical-girl look. And yet, you’re attractive to me. So let me ask you: do I fit the stereotypical-girl look?”
She seemed startled, and shook her head.
“Do you find me attractive?”
“So, it’s possible to look non-stereotypical and yet be attractive, yes?”
She laughed, happily — as if an emotional weight had been lifted. “Yes!! Wow, where have you been all my life?”
“That’s how I feel about you, too.”
The mood in the room was becoming sexually tense again. We were kneeling upright on the bed, facing each other.
“I’ve never felt so naked, and yet so naturally at ease as such. I feel accepted, and more … appreciated, and more … cherished,” she said.
“You are cherished,” I responded. She sighed happily, and arched her back more yet. She looked delectably sexy.
“As to you being a bad kisser, I would suggest two objectives for kissing,” I said.
She looked at me questioningly.
“Experiencing sensation, and exploring,” I suggested.
She thought about it. “That simplifies it,” she said, and put her hands on my upper arms as she moved closer to me. She looked at me with half-closed eyes, radiating an enthusiasm that I, too, felt. Our lips met, initially barely touching. Then … more.
* * *
More than three hours later, at 4 a.m., we agreed to get some sleep. We set the bedside alarm for 8 a.m., and fell asleep in each other’s arms.