Tuesday, April 05, 2005

"Maybe she's just got gas....."

Saturday, March 12, 2005, 1:30pm
Steph's house

"So, where are you taking me on our first date?" Steph says, coming up behind me as I sit at her kitchen table and draping her arms over my shoulders.

"Our first no-sex date?"


"What haven't we done yet?"


"I know!" I say. "Skiing!"

"Ahh, good call, Steve! I haven't been in years!"

"Me neither!"


White Cliffs Ski Area, intermediate slope

"How the hell do you stop on these things?" Steph says through chattering teeth, sliding uneasily past me on her skis. It's surprisingly cold and snowy up here, much worse than it was at home.

"I'll tell you as soon as I find out."

She falls. A kid helps her get up. He can't be any more than nine or ten.

"You gotta bend your knees," he says, helpfully. "Bend 'em like this!" He squats so that his butt is almost touching the snowy ground, then straightens up a bit and zooms past us.

I don't like falling while I ski, so I'm very cautious the whole time and don't try anything risky, like exceeding 5 miles per hour.

The only thing that gets me is the chair lift. It's actually tough for me to get up out of it with my skis on, and time after time I fall while doing it. And of course, the chair lift operator has to stop the whole thing while I clambor back to my feet, Bambi-style.

We are getting on the chair lift for the 8th or 9th time when Steph turns to the people in line behind us. "Hope you're not in a hurry," she says.

We ski down the slope again. "Let's go inside," Steph says at the bottom.

Her eyes squint against the fierce winds; her lips are pale and quivering.

We pull off our ski gear and find a loveseat next to a roaring fire. She brings her knees to her chest and presses tightly against me. "I'm so cold," she says.

I rub my right hand against her shins.

"Thank you for treating today," she says.

"Don't worry about it! I just want you to have a good time."

"I like this part better than the skiing part," she says, smiling up at me.

She gets up. "I'm gonna go to the ladies' room. Do you need anything?"

"Yeah. Couple rolls of toilet paper."

She smirks. "Just for that, I'm not getting you any coffee!"

"Cream and sugar!" I call out to her as she walks off.

"Nasty out there, isn't it?" A voice says to my right.

There's a guy sitting on the couch to my right, about six feet tall and thin, with spiky brown hair. He reminds me of Kevin Bacon. He's wearing flannel and jeans and looks very... comfortable.

"Yeah, cold," I say.

"Much better in here," he says, admiring the large brown beams in the ceiling. "I love this place."

"It's nice to come in to from out there, that's for sure," I say, gesturing with my head toward a picture window.

"That your girlfriend?" he says, nodding towards the ladies room.


"Mine's in there too," he says, rolling his eyes.

"Girlfriend or wife?"


"Oh, cool. When's the wedding?"

"Next month. We're just trying to get away for a couple of days."

"That's good."

A tall brunette walks over to him and plops down on the couch. "Hey babe. This is... I didn't get your name."

"Steve." I shake his hand.

"I'm Brian, and this is Susan."

Steph comes back with two coffees and sits next to me. I introduce her.

We talk for hours. It turns out Brian is an engineer and Susan teaches first grade. They have been dating for almost five years.

I look down at my watch and it's almost 8:30.

"We have a hot tub back at the hotel. You guys wanna come join us?"

"We don't have bathing suits," says Steph.

Besides, Steph and I go in my hot tub all the time, and we ALWAYS end up fucking afterwards. It's a guaranteed way to get each other horny, and of course, our new agreement is less than a day old.

"I guess we don't know each other well enough for skinny dipping yet, huh?" Brian laughs.

"How about if we just have a few drinks in the bar?"


We follow them to the hotel and park in an underground lot. The lot is a mess, with slushy, sloppy snow everywhere.

We talk until midnight. I'm starting to get tired. I haven't had much to drink because my stomach is still bothering me, but Steph is pretty loaded. Brian and Susan are, too.

"We probably ought to go," I say.

I look out a window to the parking lot. "Damn! It's still a mess out there."

"They didn't plow yet?"

"Nope. Looks like it's starting to freeze now, too. Why don't we get a room?" I say to Steph.

"No way!" Brian says. "Stay with us! We have an extra bed!"

"Forget it!" Steph says. "This is supposed to be a romantic getaway for you two! Before your wedding! I already feel like we're interfering!"

"Steph, you guys are so awesome," Susan says. "We have loved talking to you all night long! It's fine!"

Steph looks at me. I nod.


Sunday, March 13, 2:00am
Marriott Hotel, room 1233

A funny thing about me when I sleep: If you jostle me, or if there's a loud noise, I might wake up, but if I do, I won't remember the elbow in my ribs or the sound of the glass breaking.

My eyes open. I look around briefly and remember that I am in a hotel room with our new friends. What woke me up?

My eyes slide slowly to the bed next to us.

"Mmmmmmmmmmm," I hear Susan say.