Music has been my salvation, music has also been a catalyst for my mischief and the force behind some of the trouble that I have gotten myself into... Do you ever hear certain songs that take you right back to an exact moment in time? I know I do, and I did today. It was all about Z. It's been ten years, and still the memory of Z can make me sweat.
Z knew that I was a pianist, as well as that I enjoyed singing. He could sing a fire into your soul himself with that voice of his. He's one of those memories I really shouldn't write about, but I can't quite help myself.
We worked the 2nd shift together. I always admired him, but never in a million years thought that something would come of it. But music knew... music wanted me to crash into reckless abandon, so it took the wheel.
At this printing company, I worked with a couple of other women on this 2nd shift-we were all typesetters, typesetting for mostly medical journals and other magazines. Directly behind our cubicles was a sliding window to one of the darkroom areas where proofs were made. Sometimes Z would go into that room when he had work to do there, and he would slide the glass window open and sing. At first, I never thought anything about it. He was just a very outgoing man with a glimmering smile. As the months went on though, I began "doting" on his appearances at the window and looking forward to every face-to-face interaction that we had. Eventually, it became the highlight of my day. When I got to see him, or talk to him at work I would be overjoyed. On days when he would take off for some reason, I could barely function.
He was the reason I got dressed up, perfumed and perfected my make-up. He was the smile behind my eyes that nobody could quite put their finger on (even if anyone ever wondered to themselves, which they may have-but I just didn't care). I always made a point to primp in front of him, or touch up my cologne even when I was doing it for a date... he would just watch me, gleaming.
But as I said, I never suspected... I thought he was just being friendly, and always really cool with me, but he was suppressing the same feelings that I was. Sometimes, he would even leave me cute little notes on my chair when I was away from my desk... something like "Where is that beautiful smile that you hold so well?" with little smiley faces. I still have them all. If I wasn't smiling at the time, his notes surely ignited my entire face. I began to find any little odd jobs that I could that would take me closer to his work area. I would even take some of their electronic trapping work in my spare time, making sure that he had to 'cross-train' me.
It must have happened that gradually, but it still struck me like a bolt of lightening. One night at work, he came over to me while I was doing some customer proofs. He began by making the usual small talk, and then an enormous smile stretched across his face.
In a lighthearted playful tone he said, "I know a secret. Someone at work is quite 'enchanted' with you." (Enchanted he said... Is he joking? He must be just trying to give me a hard time as he and some others commonly used to harass me about this very 'strange' fellow in our office that made me very uneasy. That must be who he's trying to tell me about).
I grin, "Who is it?? Tell me."
"He doesn't want you to know, I'm not supposed to tell." he replied, still smiling.
My blood was rushing quickly through my body like it always did whenever he was this close to me. Secretly, I wish he could have been the one but given the circumstances and just my own lack of self-esteem I knew it wasn't him. It couldn't be.
He repeatedly taunted, "Someone's enchanted with you; someone has a crush on you."
Driving me crazy, I had to know... "Come on!! Tell me please! I have to know. Unless you're lying."
He refused, and then the work night continued on as he would glance at me from across the department from his cubicle, and grin a devilish grin. Oh how I wished he would come back and talk to me more.
A bit later, he creeped up behind me once again, but I could feel the heat and knew he was there. Nevertheless, I acted surprised to see him.
Once again he said, "I know somebody who is really enchanted with you." (he kept using the word Enchanted, and it only made me more flushed every time) I was beginning to wonder if there was anybody at all, or he was just pulling my leg. I had to force it out of him. I gave my 'poutiest' look, and begged him to let the cat out of the bag.
Finally, he moved closer, brushing my arm and whispered, "...it's me... I am so enchanted with you."
Gleaming from ear to ear, I looked into his eyes and said nervously, "I feel the same way."
What was I supposed to do now? I had no idea. What was he going to do now that he had confessed it, and knew that I felt the same way? Nervous as Hell, but I was elated. I can't quite remember how it came about, but I somehow managed to use "music" as an excuse to lure him over to my apartment.
He knew I loved to hear him sing for me, and I had my keyboard at home so I said, "I'd love for you to come over and practice some songs with me sometime. I could play and we can do a duet or something." He smiled coyly as if it was an obvious ploy to get time together... He may not yet have even entertained the thought that he would actually go that far. I wonder about that in retrospect. Maybe he was just going to tell me he admired me and go on, living a clean life with his family (That's right I said family. I'm not proud of that by any means, and I was never a home wrecker. It just happened).
However, he took the bait and asked when I wanted to get together and play music. I told him anytime he would like to, and if I remember correctly we tentatively planned to do this the very next night.
My stomach was controlled by sheer nervousness all night and all day the next day. You can imagine how meticulously I prepared myself and how good I wanted to look for him. It was the longest shift ever. Overcome with electricity every time he would come near me, I asked "Are we still on for practice tonight?"
He replied with a smile, "Oh yes. We're still on."
My roommate happened to be out of town, as she had a job interview in Michigan. So she was to be gone for a few days. I had the place to myself.
We got off work that night, around 11:00 p.m. as usual, and he agreed to follow me in his car to my apartment (which was only about 2 minutes away from our job). We get out of the car, go in and sit down. Just for ambiance and the fact that I love scented candles, I light a couple of them and we sit on the couch. We're making small talk, and I finally say "Well, my keyboard is in my bedroom, wanna get started?"
He says, "Sure, alright."
So we go down the short hallway to my bedroom. I'm still thinking somewhat innocently and very serious about playing songs and singing with Z, so I turn on the keyboard and ask him if he has any requests. I was completely oblivious to what might have been going through his mind at the mere idea that he was no longer at work with me but rather in my bedroom. Does that strike guys funny? You tell me.
So we begin to play a song or two, and we're trying to get on the same page to sing them together, figuring out the girl parts. The first one I decided to play was "Tonight I Celebrate My Love" by Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson. He was such a talented singer, his voice sent waves of heat over me. I looked up and he was looking at me, there was an awkward pause. He said, "Let's go into the Living room for a bit." I agreed, so we went back into the living room, and he sat on the love seat, and I sat on the other end... not extremely close.
He's looking at me with those piercing hazel eyes as I attempt to make conversation about trivial subjects. Anything I can think of to break the nervous feeling I had and the chemical warfare that was going on between us. He carried on the conversation with me, but then came the mother of all gigantic awkward silences. We couldn't say another word, we could only sit there staring at each other... Such an intense gaze his eyes seemed to be devouring me.
All of a sudden he broke the silence, "I... I feel like... Uh... I want... I want to kiss you."
I look back at him, maintaining constant eye contact as he stammered the words out. I'm not sure if it was bravery or blatant stupidity that caused me to have no fear. The nervousness had passed, now there were only thoughts of what I wanted and it was him. I looked deeply into his eyes and said "...So? Kiss me then."
Time slowed down just like in the movies as we inched closer to one another, and closer until finally our lips met and became instant soul mates. It was the most electric "first kiss" I had ever had. We stopped, I moved slightly backwards and we met eyes as if to question "Is it o.k.? Is this really happening?" In an instant, he moved forward and grabbed me, kissing me harder this time, swaying me backwards... I met him head-on.
"Let's go in your room." he whispered heatedly.
He grabs my hand and I follow him back to my room, and with the keyboard now far, far from our minds, we are now sitting on the end of my bed. He picks up right where he left off, devouring my lips and without any hesitation lays me back on my bed. We are now in full "make-out mode", and I've gone completely weak like putty in his hands. Nobody ever warned me that I could feel that way, and it hit me like a Mack truck. Waves of pure ecstasy, the real kind that two people create when A + B = X to the third power! (That's right, you really do find a use for algebra in real life-lol!).
I didn't want it to end, at that moment I was feeling reckless and had no thoughts in my mind about wanting him to stop. Briefly I wondered how long he could stay so I interrupted the kiss and asked without thinking, "Are you in a hurry?"
I worded it totally wrong, so he suddenly thinks that I think he's moving way too fast, and he just stops. "Oh my god, I'm so sorry."
"What??" I ask.
"You must think I'm crazy, this is all too fast. Oh my god."
(What? Why would he think--Oh man! How stupid could I be?? Why couldn't I just keep my mouth shut??)
"Nooo!! I didn't mean that at all! I just wanted to know how long you could stay with me! I swear! Don't stop." I declare.
But the spell had been broken, and he had come back to reality feeling bad about his overtures, and convinced I thought he was moving too fast-despite my explaining that I merely wanted to know how long I could have him for.
"I am so sorry" he continued to apologize.
"Please stop apologizing! I should have just kept MY mouth shut!" I proclaim. "I truly wanted as much as you did for this to happen."
At this point, he wouldn't even sit back down with me. He was standing in the hallway now. "I really better get going, it's getting late." he said.
"Oh... are you sure you have to go right now?" I ask with a demure, hopeful glance.
"Yeah, I probably should."
I walk with him into the living room, and we embrace. He takes my face in his hands, and leans down kissing me once more. We share a warm, full-bodied hug before he walks out the door.
"I'll see you tomorrow." Z says as he walks through the yard to his car, which is parked alongside the curve in front of my apartment.
I wave and smile, watch him drive away. Then I locked the door once he was out of sight. This was going to be one hell of a sleepless night.
(The story continues! Click below to continue)
Read Butterflies and Zebras and Moonbeams - Part II
Read Butterflies and Zebras and Moonbeams - Part III
Read Butterflies and Zebras and Moonbeams - Part IV
Read Butterflies and Zebras and Moonbeams - Five (Conclusion)