by Michael Faulkner
The pilot has just announced that the plane would be making its final approach for landing. That's when Lance who is sitting in first class, smiles as he recalls the conversation with his boy Rodney. He told Rodney that he had to fly home to Cleveland, Ohio due to a death in the family. Rodney then presented Lance with the challenge and induction in to the retro-sexual club.
"The what," Lance demanded clarification.
"Man, I'm saying this is the perfect opportunity for a retro-sexual to get his ultimate groove on."
"And what exactly does that mean?"
"A retro-sexual every five to ten years, goes through his little black book and remakes the rounds with the women he's had sex with. For those who are able and willing, we hook up again for as long as it's still good. The best part is, there are no strings attached."
"You honestly do this?"
"Damn straight. You'd be surprised how many women out there are sexually deprived and are looking for a little action."
Rodney asks, "What are you laughing about?"
"At you saying 'sexually deprived'."
"Whatever man; but you going home for this funeral after, what twelve years is a retro-sexual's dream come true. You have a shot at your first love, your first time lover, your high school sweetheart; you could hit the ultimate trifecta in one trip. And I want to hear all about it when you get back."
"And what if these women are married, with children?"
"Oh, you get double points for them!"
As outrageous as the idea was to Lance, the thought of the possibility of having sex with some of his old girlfriends did give him a rise.
First Time Lover
Quite naturally, Lance stayed with his parents while he was in town. He regrets his decision after the first night of having to listen to his mother's nagging at him for not coming home sooner. "Why did it have to take your aunt Ester to die for you to come home? I suppose I ought to be grateful that it ain't my own funeral." Lance's mother taunted. The nagging worked enough on Lance's conscious that he decides to stay for a week longer than he originally had planned.
The day of his aunt's funeral, wearing his Armani suit and Salvatore Ferragamo shoes, Lance takes a walk through the neighborhood where he grew up. The neighborhood has changed quite a bit. There are vacant lots where houses once stood. Some of the old houses have new aluminum siding to give them a face lift. One house in particular that caught Lance's attention is that of Amanda Tate's family.
Amanda was fifteen when she babysat Lance, who was eleven. Actually, Lance was a latchkey kid at that age, but his parents asked if Amanda would check in on him until they got home from work. At fifteen, Amanda was well developed for her age and all the pubescent boys in the area wanted a piece of her, including Lance. While standing in front of her house, Lance recalls how Amanda became his first time lover.
The very first time sex act between them was a little unnatural. Lance smiles recalling masturbating to high school cheerleading photos of Amanda. The photos were in a yearbook he stole from Amanda's house. There was one photo where she was being tossed in the air and a shot of her tight cheerleading shorts gave a clear imprint of what lied between her legs.
It was during one of Lance's unnatural acts that Amanda walked in the house unannounced. Lance forgot to lock the side door. At the last moment, Lance runs and hides in a closet with his pants down around his ankles. Amanda finds the yearbook which had been missing from her house lying open on the floor next to a jar of Vaseline petroleum jelly. She covers her mouth to keep from laughing out loud once she realizes what was happening.
"Lance!" Amanda calls out. "Lance, where are you?"
"I'm hiding." Lance answers, not thinking that silence would have been more prudent.
Amanda opens the closet door to Lance's hiding place where he literally stood scared stiff and being held in his hand. "Well, what do we have here?" she asks.
"I wasn't doing nothing" Lance in defensively offers.
"It looks like you weren't finish doing something. Come out here."
Lance obeyed. Amanda took Lance by his free hand and escorted him in to the room where he had been. She instructed him to have a seat while she locked the doors to the house. Once she returned, Amanda relieved Lance of his fear and embarrassment and surprisingly of his sexual tension. Afterwards, she went and got a soapy washcloth and cleaned him off, just like a responsible babysitter would. The combination of his youth, the warmth of the washcloth and Amanda's personal handling of him; revitalized a stiffness between Lance's legs and an embarrassing blush to his face. Amanda smiled at him, letting him know that she was flattered.
Whether it was frottage or masturbatory; the unnatural sex between the Lance and Amanda continued.
"Lance - Lance Taylor is that chu?" Amanda calls out of a second floor bedroom window.
"Hey Amanda." Lance recognizes the face.
"Look at chu boy. Hold on, let me put sompthin' on and I'll be right down."
As soon as the front door to the house opens, Lance sees enough to know that Amanda is no longer the physically athletic cheerleader he once sexually pined over as a boy. The "something" Amanda put on is a short robe made of thinly material that barely covers her now womanly body. What once were muscle toned legs is now pillars of massive soft flesh, but still strong. Hanging on to the hem of the intimate apparel garment, to keep its balance is Amanda's 15 month-old baby; the youngest of her three children.
"Well as I live and breathe, look at chu. Don't chu look damn good." Amanda flatters him.
"Thanks. You look . . . good too." Not wanting to be rude, Lance offers what he could.
"You ain't got to lie to me. I know I look terrible. Having babies can do that to a woman. You men just do your thing and then you go. But hey, they still keep coming back for more though. So how you been Lance?"
The more they spoke, filling in the gap of the years' events, the less attractive Amanda appeared to Lance and the salacious memories of the past faded. It didn't matter that she is hardly covered and flashing bare breasts and thighs. Lance is feeling less of lust and more of sorrow for Amanda and her life. Fortunately, he has the excuse of the funeral to give for having to leave.
Lance promises to come back by, though he knows that he more than likely will not. "This time you can put it in," is Amanda's promise to Lance as he exits the house. After Lance is two doors down the street; Amanda on a mission, set out to clean her house in anticipation of his return. She starts in the bedroom.
High School Sweetheart
At the church, Lance and his mother's side of the family were seated on the front pew. The church is crowed with family, friends and the congregation. The choir has sung several hymns before Lance spots a familiar face in the soprano section. Her hair is cut and being worn at a shorter length than it was when they were in high school.
The new hairdo did not detract from Karen Milford's most attractive face. She hardly changed at all from the first time he saw her, so Lance thought. It was during a pep rally and the school's symphonic choir sung the school song. Lance was in the bleachers, but he spotted Karen on the front row of the soprano section. She was "the bomb" he thought, taking in her mixed heritage of black and white parents. With the precise aim of a practiced free throw shot, Lance had his sights on Karen. He shoots, he scores.
For a year and a half, Karen and Lance were boyfriend and girlfriend. They were the quintessential high school sweetheart couple. Lance was her escort to the Jack and Jill Cotillion. Karen was on the sidelines cheering Lance on at the state championship basketball game.
There was something extra for Lance that came with winning a game. Karen promised him hot sex with every win. It was an incentive that also made Lance the Most Valuable Player his senior year and First Team, All-State of Ohio.
Sitting in the pew and staring up at Karen, Lance loses focus of the ceremony and begins to shamefully reminisce of the most sexually active time in his life.
It was high school. To guys, good sex was defined by quantity not quality. For the year and a half they were together, Karen and Lance had sex whenever and wherever.
Karen's mother told her to keep a man happy is to keep a man satisfied. A man's needs for satisfaction were either for his hunger for food or thrive for sex. Heeding her mother's advice, Karen became a good cook in the kitchen and she served it up hot in the bedroom. She cooked Lance a full course meal before a game and if they won, she provided herself as dessert.
Lance remembers his senior year in high school, when he led the basketball team to an undefeated season. After each game, Karen made good on her promise of sex; sometimes before Lance could make it to the showers. At an away game in Akron, Karen managed to get on the team bus for the ride home. It was late and dark outside. On the dark bus, Lance enjoyed the bumpy ride to Cleveland with a no panties wearing Karen sitting on his lap most of the way.
So what could breakup a boy and a girl who seem to fit together so well? All Lance knew was when he went to visit Karen unannounced one Saturday afternoon; he happened upon a friend of a friend, named Tyrell, between her legs. Okay, Tyrell was sitting between her legs getting his hair braided at the time. Nonetheless that was enough to cause Lance to turn and storm away. When Lance got home he called Karen and they had a war of words over the phone, which resulted in the end of their relationship.
After the funeral service, Lance makes his way to stand before Karen.
"Lance. I'm sorry about your aunt."
"Thank you. So, how are you?"
"Fine," Karen offers with little show of emotion.
Lance senses that unlike Amanda, Karen is not impressed by his presences. If there were anyone of his past sexual partners with whom he would like to reengage, Karen would be at the top of the list. That is what is on Lance's mind as he stands looking over the sexy body he used to have free reign.
"So are you married, any kids?" Lance asks.
Keeping his friend Rodney's words in mind; Lance persists. "Are you happily married?"
"As a matter of fact I am. Well, let me say that I'm somewhat satisfied."
"What does that mean?"
Karen adjusts her stance to move closer to Lance, who takes the gesture to mean that she really wants to get close to him.
"What it means Lance; is that I am more sexually satisfied now than I ever was the entire time I was with you."
Immediately, Lance looks around to see who is within earshot of them.
"Yeah right," is all he could manage as a comeback.
"Oh, I'm quite serious Lance. Not once did you ever sexually satisfy me."
"Do you know what you're saying?"
"YES! You never gave me an orgasm."
"Shh, Karen; will you lower your voice. Now, you have got to be kidding. We were all over each other, and you acted like you enjoyed it."
"That's because I didn't know any better. What you called yourself doing felt good, but it should have felt great."
"I can't believe you're saying this."
"But it's okay. Thanks to you; I found out what I was missing. Remember when you came over and I was braiding Tyrell's hair? That day I had my first orgasm."
"Karen, listen . . ."
"No, I want you to know. After you called and we had that fight and you broke up with me, Tyrell was still there. We smoked a couple of joints. One thing led to another and he blew my wig back. I think I actually cried afterwards. At first I thought it was the weed, but he did it again and again and again, without us getting high first."
Though they are in the house of God, Karen is showing Lance no mercy. The best that he can do to end this most uncommon assault is to turn and walk away. But before he can get far enough, there is more to come.
"Oh honey, you remember Lance don't you, from high school?" Karen takes her final stab at Lance as she hangs her hand in the elbow crook of Tyrell's, her husband.
During the ride home, Lance quietly sits in the back of his father's Oldsmobile. His mother makes out the dejected and solemn look on his face. She is surprised that he is taking his aunt's passing in this way. Ironically, in an attempt to help soothe her son's troubled mind she offers him some conversation.
"Honey, I saw you talking to that Karen woman at church."
"I know that I shouldn't speak evil 'bout no one, especially today; but I never liked her."
"Daisy!" John Taylor interjects, while driving.
"Well, it'd be different if I wasn't telling the truth. Ever since she hurt Lance back then, I ain't ever cared for her. Now she messin' around on that nice Deacon Tyrell."
"Now don't be spread rumors Daisy."
"It's not a rumor. The shame of it is everybody knows it but it. It's a shame when a woman ain't satisfied."
"That's enough Daisy."
At the house, Lance's father has gone to bed early. Without his interference, his mom continues talking to her son.
"By the way; that hussy from down the street left a message on the answering machine for you; something about you coming over. Don't chu go sniffin' around that ally cat. Next thing you know, she'll be claimin' one of those kids is yours."
"Ma, I would just be visiting with my old babysitter."
"Yeah, like I don't know what y'all was doing back then."
"What are you talking about?"
"I ain't blind, cripple nor crazy. That girl was fast back then and she ain't changed none; and she got three kids by a different man to show for it. Now you know who I did like, that Danielle Simpson. Or is it Dotson now? I don't know if she changed her name back . . ."
Just the mention of Danielle's name gives Lance pause of mind and heart. Undeniably, he remembers her as his first love ever. Yet, she was more than his first love; she was a lot of firsts for Lance. Danielle gave him his first passionate kiss. She gave him his first jazz album of the music he now loves. She was the first woman he spent the night with and she was the first woman to whom he said the words "I love you".
Danielle did change her name back to her maiden name, after divorcing her ex-husband and restaurant business partner David Dotson. His mother adds; "You know she still calls me and comes by to see me. I don't know why you didn't marry that girl." Lance can't answer what he hopes is a rhetorical question. He just sits back on the couch with a fixed smile, reminiscing to himself.
Lance went to work for Sears in their hardware department during his junior year at John Carroll University. The manager of the hardware department introduced Lance to the house-ware's sales associate Danielle. From that first meeting, the two young adults knew there was something special between them.
For Lance, the sign of Danielle being someone special came as an unsuspected lump in his throat climbed from his heart. A lump in his throat instead of in his pants, in a physical reaction to a woman was another first for Lance. It was her delicate beauty and quiet spirit that moved him in such a way he had not known before.
Danielle became flush with guilt after meeting the handsome young man. Her guilt was due to the fact that she had a boyfriend. Still, she became moist and warm that embarrassed her.
Lance wasn't seriously dating anyone while in college, but he had female companionship when he wanted them. In time Lance and Danielle became platonic co-worker friends, taking breaks together to confide in one another. It was Danielle who needed Lance's shoulder to cry on first, when her boyfriend cheated on her and got another girl pregnant. It was tough for her to deal with because she was faithful girlfriend despite the temptation of Lance.
Her only fault was that she gave more to being a good employee than she did being a good girlfriend. And Lance told her as much. At first Danielle lashed out at him, before admitting that he was right. She held on to the frosty attitude until the next time Lance cracked a seductive smile at her.
As a piece offering, Danielle bought Lance the Grover Washington Jr. album "Winelight". On the album is the romantic hit "Just the Two of Us" sung by Bill Withers. She loved jazz and she was hoping that Lance would too. He didn't love jazz at first; like his feelings for Danielle after eight months, Lance grew to love the music and her as well.
It was the blizzard of '83 that virtually shut down the city by lake. The streets and roads of Cleveland were impassible by automobile. Instead of remaining stranded at the store with the other evening shift employees, Lance and Danielle borrowed some boots and parkas from sporting goods and walked five miles to his parent's house.
Lance's mother had a crock pot of hot beef stew waiting for her son and his friend when they arrived. The stew warmed their insides. Lance took Danielle's feet in his hands and rubbed them until the circulation returned. The heat from the fireplace could have done the same, but she preferred the touch of a man's warm strong hands.
Mama and daddy Taylor went to bed, leaving the young ones downstairs talking. In which they did until 3:00 in the morning. Danielle shared with Lance that she was being groomed to be an assistant department manager at Sears. One day she wanted to own and operate her own business. So she saw the training and experience at Sears as a stepping stone to that dream.
Retail wasn't the life for Lance. He wanted to work in corporate America, wearing pinstripe suits and power ties. Majoring in finance and ranking in the top of his senior class, he had his eyes on top accounting firms and banks. New York and Chicago would be his home.
By the time their dreams had been shared the flames went out in the fireplace, the couple were on the couch keeping each other warm underneath a blanket. On the Quiet Storm hour of the radio the one hit slow jam wonder Frederick, was singing "Gentle (Calling Your Name)". It became their song. Meanwhile, Lance's roaming hands found their way beneath Danielle's blouse to free her from her bra. Not to be outdone, Danielle showed that she was not to simply be the object of his pleasure. They took their groping as far as they dared without being disrespecting. What sent Lance over the edge was Danielle's artisan kissing ability.
She kissed softly, with elusiveness when she sensed Lance becoming focused. It kept him off balance and having to chase after her lips. She kissed his eyes, his face and his throat. As soon as she sensed his frustration, then and only then would she would reward him with a full mouth kiss and by allowing him to penetrate her mouth with his tongue. The two kissed until they don't remember falling asleep. By morning, the two young luster's were sleeping on opposite ends of the couch. Their scandalous early morning activity would have gone undetected if it had not been for the passion bite on the Lance's neck.
The 80's were decades away from formally recognizing the concept of "friends with benefits", so Lance and Danielle began secretively dating. They had to keep their relationship quiet from their coworkers, because employee fraternization was frowned upon. With Danielle entering the management training program, there was a clear line that would soon be drawn between the two lovers. In the interim, that didn't stop them from meeting in stairwells and stockrooms, to satisfy their sexual impulse. The demand and schedule of the job for Danielle and school for Lance began to keep them from spending time together.
Still, they were there for one another when it mattered. When Danielle was accepted in to Sears' management program, Lance and his family took her out for a congratulatory dinner. It was Danielle that Lance called to come to his parent's home when the express envelope package arrived from New York. The envelope contained an offer of apprenticeship from Chase Manhattan Bank, which included a five figure starting salary once he completed the program. The news for both of them was expressed best by Frankie Beverly and Maze's song "Joy and Pain".
Lance quite naturally accepted the offer; but without thinking of the consequences of what moving to New York would mean to the relationship with Danielle. He thought she would quit her job and follow him. Danielle had no intentions of giving up the business career track she had begun. So the emotionally painful day came when they had to say goodbye. Before boarding the plane, Lance told Danielle, "I love you".
Sure, they made plans and promises to stay in touch. Online internet services such as CompuServe and Prodigy had yet to catch on for electronic mailing. AOL was in its fledgling development stage. There just wasn't enough time for either Lance or Danielle to write or call one another.
Danielle kept in touch with Lance's mother, updating her with details of her life, hoping that she would pass it on to her son when they spoke. Danielle explained to his mother why she didn't follow Lance to New York; by telling her how she was a prime candidate to take advantage of the affirmative action and equal opportunity programs of the time. She skipped over the position of assistant manager to department head. Before leaving Sears to support her new husband's dream to open a restaurant, Danielle became the District Manager of northeast Ohio.
In New York, Lance had become the poster boy on the fast track of the black urban professional. His hiring helped Chase Manhattan meet a quota for affirmative action, but his proficiency in performing his job helped them meet and improve upon their financial bottom line numbers. The fast pace of the Big Apple, quickly made him forget about the classic slow love he left behind.
"Now she's the one that I think was nice for you. Are you listening to me?" Lance's mother asks.
"Yes ma'am. So what's the name of this restaurant that Danielle runs?"
"I'm taking you and dad out for dinner."
Lance made reservations for three at the fine dining Pastels restaurant. After they were seated, Lance asks to speak with the owner. Danielle comes out from her office in the back, ready to appease an unhappy customer. When she reaches their table and recognizes the faces of Lance's parents, she then knows the man sitting with them is none other than her once love. Lance stands from his seat to extend his hand to shake that of the seemingly agelessly attractive lady who stands before him. A long ago familiar lump climbs in his throat as he waits for her to take his hand. Danielle pushes his hand aside, to rather enjoy the comforting warm embrace of his arms. As he holds her closely and tight, she wonders what it would be like to have sex with this man after twelve years.