I hadn’t seen Narmada since her wedding two years ago. I sorely missed her at first. Now I suffered a dull ache only a few times a week when her memory floated like a ghost from the closets in my mind.
Narmada was my daughter’s best friend. I watched her grow up. Over the years, we developed a very close relationship which seemed to be more than father daughter, more than teacher student. We weren’t lovers, but our relationship was more meaningful than a one night stand or short affair. It was precious to me and, I hoped, to her.
She was engaged at the time my marriage fell apart. It was then we drifted apart, each caught in our own worlds. I missed her more than she knew, more than I knew before I saw her today.
I hadn’t been to the Oberoi mall in six months. Why I was drawn there that Saturday, I don’t know. Whatever the reason, I was wandering toward the Oxford bookstore. I saw her and my heart skipped a beat.
She was more beautiful than ever as she slowly pushed the stroller past dresses on sale in the windows. Her hair was its natural colour again, black, not the brassy blonde streaks she wore in college. It went well with her colouring and her big brown eyes. Her figure was delightful, lush yet tight, with a narrow waist.
I hurried to catch up with her. When I touched her arm, she spun to see who was there. She looked shocked, then flushed as she grinned at me.
“Arnav Uncle! Oh, Arnav Uncle, I’m so happy to see you!”
We hugged, holding on for dear life. I’d be happy if we never stopped. When I held her hand as we separated, she squeezed mine in obvious pleasure.
“It’s wonderful to see you again. I’ve missed you so much,” I said.
She gave a half-smile, but there was sadness in her eyes.
“Your daughter’s beautiful. What’s her name?”
“Anushka. I call her Anu.”
“I know you and Bhaskar must be proud.”
A tear came to her eye. Her face fell as she looked away.
“Bhaskar and I are divorced, Arnav Uncle. It was final last month.”
“I’d heard there were problems. I’m so sorry. What happened?”
Her eyes locked onto me, questioning, searching, wondering.
“It’s a long story,” she warned.
“I’ve got all the time in the world. Let me buy you lunch.”
“I’d like that.”
We went to a quiet restaurant in the mall where I asked for a private table. Narmada held Jenny closely as she fished in the big tote bag for a bottle.
“I’ve been nursing, but in public… ”
Her head jerked toward me. She gave me the first real smile I’d seen today. She has a warm and innocent, but very sexy, smile. She needed to do it more frequently.
“Okay, what are you thinking?” Narmada said, eyeing me suspiciously.
“Just an old joke. Nursing reminded me of it.”
“I need a good laugh. Good lord, Arnav Uncle, we know each other well enough to tell dirty jokes.”
I told her the old one about why mother’s milk is better to take on picnics. Stays fresh. Better for you. Comes in such a cute container. She laughed politely. It wasn’t a good joke, but it broke the tension. Jenny took her bottle as we ordered lunch. Her little eyes were closed, her fists clenched in tiny balls. She sucked hungrily on the cold rubber substitute for her mother’s own warm nipple.
“Okay, tell me your story,” I said.
There was a long pause as she stared at me.
“It’s very important to be totally honest with you. I’m not sure why I feel that way.”
“I know why.”
“Because you know how important you are to me, how much I care for you. And you know you can trust me.”
She smiled warmly as her hand touched mine. She looked away. When she looked at me again, her eyes were full of tears.
“Arnav Uncle… Arnav Uncle, I committed adultery.”
Tears began to fall. She struggled to hold Jenny and the bottle in one hand as she searched for a tissue. I gave her my handkerchief. She dabbed quickly reddening eyes with the soft tip of the cloth.
“Narmada, you don’t have to tell me.”
“I want to tell you. I want you to know everything. He… he asked me to do it. I thought I was making him happy.”
The story flowed from her in a torrent of words punctuated by sobs. It was a story like many others: a woman trying to please her man by giving him control of her sexuality; her man not knowing what he wanted of her or himself; his intoxication with the power her love gave him; setting limits beyond what was desired; limits tested and surpassed; knowledge gained of what actually was wanted, but that knowledge coming too late. The events which shatter the trust… the foundation… of a marriage had already occurred.
Yes, she volunteered, they both enjoyed the sexual part. She liked the attention of different men. He liked the variety of multiple women. But he wondered if she was enjoying others without his knowledge and permission. Broken trust.
“I didn’t do it, Arnav Uncle. You must believe me. You must! I never had another man without him telling me to do it.”
She was honest with me, terribly honest. Her eyes begged me to forgive her, to forgive and make the pain go away. There was nothing to forgive. When I told her that, she sagged and tears began anew. Different tears this time. Tears of relief washing away guilt.
The waitress gave me a nasty look as she asked Narmada if she needed anything.
“Should I call security, ma’am?” she asked.
Narmada shook her head no as she blotted tears. She continued her story around bites of salad. We ate the meal without tasting it, having it as a reason to sit and talk to each other. I reassured and comforted her. My caring was self-evident, if evidence was needed after the years of our relationship.
“What are you going to do now?” I asked.
Her eyes burned into me: searching, probing, questioning eyes. There was a message in them, a message she was afraid to say. When her eyes finally dropped from mine, we sat in awkward silence. There was much I wanted to say, too, but I wrestled my own fears, fighting for the sheer guts to say what I desperately wished to say.
“I don’t know. I’m living with my parents, but… ”
“You need a sugar daddy,” blurted out of me.
My mind was racing and I felt like an idiot. Why did I say that? Why couldn’t I just say what was in my heart?
“Oh?” Her eyebrows arched quizzically, her lips twitched in a restrained grin.
“Yes. You need a considerate older man who’d treat a wonderful young woman with all the kindness she deserves. He’s in love…”
My heart pounded. I turned bright red. I’d no intention of saying that. It just popped out.
“Narmada, I… ”
She started laughing. It was a hearty laugh with her eyes watering. Others in the restaurant turned and stared at her. She fought to restrain herself, gasping for air between giggles. Our waitress returned, eyeing me suspiciously. Narmada assured her everything was okay and she left us alone again.
“Where would I find such a loving older man?” Narmada asked, still restraining her laughter.
“Narmada, I didn’t mean to come on to you.”
“That’s too bad. I’d have liked it if you had.”
Aren’t we humans an amazing complex of emotions juxtapositioned to stifle what should be easy communication? I held tightly to one level of our relationship because I feared her rejection if I revealed my own deep desires. Yet my desire was so great the words had leapt from my subconscious.
She put her hand over mine, squeezing gently. Her eyes twinkled as she handed me her pocket appointment calendar.
“The divorce was final on the twenty-fourth. Look on that date.”
She watched me, her eyes bright and alive, as I looked. The notation said: “Divorce final. Quit putting it off. He’s the one. Call him!” Him was underlined three times.
Puzzled, I returned the calendar to her, but she pushed it back toward me.
“Keep looking back.”
Each day had a notation, “call him,” and it was sometimes emphasized with underlines or smiley faces. Back and back through the days, I went. Finally, I reached the page she wanted me to see.
“Call Arnav Uncle.”
“I’m crazy about you, Arnav Uncle. I thought about you many times when I was married to Bhaskar. He suffered in the comparison. After we separated, I realized you returned over and over to my thoughts. Those thoughts were good thoughts, Arnav Uncle, loving thoughts, caring thoughts. I decided to wait until the divorce was final to call you. I’ve picked up the phone countless times. I didn’t know how to begin.”
“Narmada, you’re very special to me.”
“You’re very special to me, too, Arnav Uncle.”
We held hands across the table, lost in each other, relishing the silence and touch. As lovers have done since men and women were created, we were seeing each other in new ways, creating fantasies, one for the other, building on our own desires for the future. Jenny’s cry broke our reverie.
“You haven’t seen the changes I made to the house. Why don’t you come over tonight? We could have dinner.”
I got that fabulous smile of hers again: that sexy, warm, innocent, smile.
“I have some etchings to show you.”
Her eyes danced, alive with love and a gentle playfulness.
“Etchings? How wonderful! I love etchings. I’ve wanted to see your etchings for a long time, Arnav Uncle.”
I held Anushka as Narmada repacked the stroller. I was at that awkward age: still wanting children; too young for grandchildren; my own already grown. Narmada watched me from the corner of her eye.
“I want more children. One or two, anyway.”
She said it so softly I could have ignored it. Instead, I looked at her and smiled. We held hands as we walked to her car. Silence enveloped us as we searched each other’s faces. We kissed, a long, loving, kiss. She flashed that smile at me as she sat down.
“See you at seven, sugar daddy,” she teased.
When I opened the door that night, Narmada was wearing a white blouse with long, puffed sleeves. It had five buttons with the top two unfastened. A gold chain with a small diamond hung around her neck. She wore a tight, mid-thigh, black skirt, nude stockings and black pumps. Her makeup was discreet and lightly applied. Her hair was soft on her shoulders. There was a hint of perfume.
Even after forty years spent living with women, I’m amazed how a woman can combine clothes, accessories and attitude to create a specific message. The message I received was: I’m a beautiful and sexual woman off limits to all men, but one.
She took my breath away and I rudely stared at her. She gave me a wicked smile and slowly turned.
“Do I look good enough to be invited in?”
“Always,” I answered as I pulled her into the house and kissed her.
We visited, sipping a light drink, spending precious time being together again. She changed directions when she gave me a wanton smile and took my hand in hers. She kissed my palm, nibbling at the base of my hand, as her eyes held mine.
“I’ve never had a sugar daddy before. What’s a girl suppose to do?”
“The girl’s doing great,” I replied as I leaned forward to kiss her again.
In that instant before our lips met, as she was moving towards me, a picture flashed from my subconscious. Our relationship had been non-sexual, if that means we didn’t pursue the desire in both of us. One day that had changed, adding the sexual realm to a special friendship.
It was four years ago. We’d been sitting close together on the couch as we talked. Without warning, she leapt against me. Her arms were around my neck, her body pressed hard against mine. Her tongue was hot, her kiss passionate. I reciprocated zestfully. When reality kicked in and I stopped, my hand was on her breast.
“Don’t stop, Arnav Uncle. I want you,” she had murmured. I didn’t listen to her, but to my conscience.
“I can’t, Narmada. This isn’t right. If I were your husband, would you want me playing around?” I asked. She came to her senses.
The incident made us both acutely aware of the change in our relationship. We worked to keep it platonic, but conversations became more intimate, looks more passionate, gazes more needy. There were little touches and awkward moments. In spite of the sexual tension, or maybe because of it, our non-sexual relationship ripened and grew, but nothing overtly sexual transpired.
Until now. Now she was against me again. This time she was twenty-two and we were both single. Leaning back, she turned a light red.
“What are you thinking?” I asked.
“Remember when I assaulted you on the couch. I wanted you so much, Arnav Uncle. I can’t believe I’m here in your arms.”
“I’m glad we waited, Narmada.”
“Your not making love to me then increased my respect for you… and my desire.”
“I don’t have to wait any longer.”
“Well, maybe a little longer,” I replied.
Her eyes flared with lust as she pushed her body against me, forcing her skirt up around her waist, revealing bright pink panties.
“Going to make me wait? I’ve waited a long time for you, Arnav Uncle. You don’t realize you were the center of attention in a young woman’s wild fantasies, but you were. You still are.”
She kissed me lustily, driving me back onto the couch as she squirmed on me.
“Going to make me beg for it?” she gasped between kisses.
She rubbed her pantied pussy against my too bound cock as she hastily unbuttoned my shirt.
“Tell me what you’re going to do to me, Arnav Uncle. Going to hold me down?”
She ripped my shirt out of my pants, groaning as she fell to suck my nipple. Up again, she yanked at my belt, ripping it open. She growled as she yanked my trousers off me, shoes and socks flying with them.
“What are you going to do to me, Arnav Uncle? Are you going to make me suck your cock!”
She yanked my boxers down. Greedily, she fell on my cock, taking it into her mouth. I wrapped my hand in her hair and pulled until she released him and lunged on me. I rolled her over, trapping her hands under her. She was surprised, her mouth forming a little O, her eyes wide.
“What are you going to do to me, Arnav Uncle?” she whispered lustily.
“All of those things and more,” I said, kissing her as I began to unbutton her blouse.
I freed gorgeous breasts. When I sucked her nipple, I tasted her milk. I kneaded her breast, forcing the milk into my mouth.
“Arnav Uncle, please, I need you in me,” she moaned, trying to get her arms from under her, trying to hurry me.
I kept her pinned, taking my time as I suckled her breast, kissed her mouth and neck, played with her body. Heat radiated from her as I leisurely stroked her through her panties. When my finger curled under the panties’ edge and slipped into her, I felt her orgasm approach. Her hips tightened as she thrust up against my hand.
“Arnav Uncle, oh, Jesus, Arnav Uncle, I. I… ohhhhh… ”
She gasped loudly, her mouth wide, eyes unfocused and dilated. I felt her relax.
“Wow,” she murmured. “That’s never happened before.”
“We sugar daddies know what we’re doing.” I said in a pompous, mocking tone.
“Show me more,” she replied.
I carried her to my bed. Her eyes were hot and needy, her expression passionate as I pulled the panties down her legs. I hesitated a moment to take in the sheer beauty of her lying naked on my bed.
“Come on, daddy,” she pleaded. “Give me that big lump of sugar.”
She was wild, dynamic, sweating and moaning under me. Later, in the quiet of my bedroom, she lay against me as we cooled, sweat covered and sticky. She transcended my fertile imagination. I wanted to do this with her every day of my life.
She cuddled against me, her leg over mine, her breast crushed against my chest.
“I love you,” she whispered. “I couldn’t say it then, back when I first knew it. I can say it now. I love you.”
“I love you, too. I have for years.”
She braced herself on her elbow as she peered into my face. Her smile lit the room.
“So? Am I your mistress now? Or your girlfriend? What do you call the woman of a sugar daddy?”
We kissed again. My cock twitched. Wickedly she stroked it.
“Do you want me to move in? That way you can come home to a hot, loving woman every night. What’s wrong? Did I say something wrong?”
“No. You’ve said nothing wrong. You’ve done everything right. Narmada, let’s talk about the future.”
I rolled her over, crushing her into the bed.
“I want to make a few things clear.”
“What?” she gasped apprehensively.
“You’ll never have another man. I’ll never ask you to do that… and you’ll never volunteer.”
“Yes, sir. I’d never think of doing it.”
“We’ll have two more children.”
Tears came to her eyes and her lower lip quivered.
“Yes, sir. Anything else?” she said as she lovingly stroked my face.
“Just one question. Will you marry me?”
“Yes. Oh, God, yes, yes, yes.”