Scene 2

1900 hours.

 

− Do you have a light?

− How old are you?

− I’m 18.

− No, you’re not.

− Do you have a light, or not?

I fish in my pockets, locate my Zippo, and light the cigarette for the school girl. She takes a deep drag, trying to look expert. But she hacks a little on the exhale. She studies the closed storefronts across the street from the bus stop as if reading a book.

− I always see you here on Sunday mornings. Where do you go? she says without looking at me.

I study her from the corner of my eye. A girl with East Asian features. Long, black, slightly wavy hair. Tall, thin body. A black blazer with the emblem of a Catholic school over her white blouse. Marble skinned naked legs under a dark green pleated tartan skirt that she has hitched up so it ends mid-thigh. White bobby socks, black pumps. Over her shoulder, she carries a small black leather book bag. Her white face is that of an innocent child, but the knowledge and desire of a woman is spreading on it like a tan.

− Bus man’s holiday.

− What?

− I’m a bus driver. On Sundays, I don’t know what to do with myself. So I ride the bus. Crazy, isn’t it?

− Um, yeah.

− Where are you headed in your school uniform on a Sunday?

− Sunday School. The nuns are very strict. We review the Catechism and prepare for a life with the Lord.

− I bet you have to make that skirt longer again before you go through those doors.

The girl scowls.

− Just kidding, I quickly add.

− What does your wife think about you wandering around on Sundays?

− I’m not married.

− You seem lonely.

− I’m not. During the week, I meet so many people. Even though they’re just with me for a few minutes, I feel like I’ve made a difference in their lives, carried their souls for a few stops.

− Do you believe in souls?

I laugh.

− Not enough to come to church!

− Youngsook.

The girl holds out her small white hand. I take it in my paw.

− John.

− I don’t feel like going to Sunday School.

− The nuns will be mad.

− Fuck ‘em.

− Youngsook!

It’s the girl’s turn to laugh.

− Wanna take a walk? she says.

She smiles at me in a friendly, innocent way. Oh God, help me!

− ‘Kay.

We walk through the streets. Families walking to church. Elderly gardeners fiddling with their xeriscape yards.

− Do you have a boyfriend?

− Nah. The boys at school are all monkeys.

− They’ll grow up.

− How old are you?

− Thirty.

− Really?

− How old did you think I was?

− Forty.

− Thanks.

She smiles at me.

− Please don’t be hurt.

− Do I look that old?

I’m sort of pudgy and pasty-faced. My dirty blond curly hair is receding from my forehead. I don’t really walk, I roll. A lumbering gait, like Barney the Dinosaur, even though I’m not that fat. My eyes are dull, and I wear a permanent scowl on my face.

− You look like a man who has gone through a lot.

− Not experiencing anything has aged me.

− You’re still young inside.

− I wish.

− Let’s go in there.

She looks at a motel on a desolate stretch of Central Avenue. We cross the street. My heart is pounding.

− Stay out of sight, I tell her.

I walk to the office window. Bullet proof glass with a slit over the counter. Inside, I see a calendar with a Hindu goddess on the wall and a lamp with a garish red and pink lampshade. The smell of curry wafts through the slot. I push the buzzer. A portly 50-something dark-skinned woman in a sari appears. I write the the name, John Alvarez, and make up an address in Bottom Line Metropolis. I don’t have the heart to ask about the hourly rate. I go to the room. It smells of cigarette smoke. Ancient wall-to-wall carpeting with cigarette burns. Heavy curtains. The plastic water cups are wrapped in plastic. There is no shower curtain, no remote for the T.V. There is a pair of headsets, though. Youngsook comes in and closes the door.

− Did anybody see you?

− Who cares?

− I care! You’re jailbait.

− Do you want me to leave?

− I’ve never done anything like this before.

− What are we doing?

I unwrap the plastic from the cups and pour water. I hand one of the cups to the girl.

− Please stay.  I turn on the tube. Youngsook takes off her jacket and hangs it up in the closet. I steal glances at her. She has small breasts. I can see her white bra under her blouse. She is so thin! As soon as she catches my eye, I focus on the T.V. It’s on the Home Shopping Network. A couple of middle aged women are getting very excited about a fake pearl necklace with giant pearls that look like marbles. I plop down on the bed and sit back against the bed rest. Youngsook sits down on the side of the bed and watches the T.V. After several minutes of agonizing and sweaty palms, I inch over to her and smell her hair. It smells like Pantene. I wrap my arm around her midriff. She puts her little hand on my forearm. Then she pulls away from me and stands up, facing me. I kneel up on the bed, painfully. I reach into my pants and fold up my throbbing penis. I stand up and rest my hands on her shoulders. I’m a good head taller than her. She looks up at me, with fear and desire in her eyes. My hands brush down her arms. I unbutton her blouse and she pulls it off. A plain white bra. I hug her and fumble with the clip for a long time. Youngsook giggles, reaches behind her, unclasps it, and slips out of it. It falls to the floor.

She has small breasts with oversize nipples a rich red brown like the earth. I paw her breasts, massage them. I can hear her breathing. She closes her eyes and puts her hands on my hands. She reaches down and takes off her shoes and socks. Then she takes off my t-shirt. I slip out of my boxy tennis shoes. She undoes my belt, unbuttons my jeans, unzips the fly. She pulls my jeans down around my ankles and I step out of them. My penis is pointing straight at her in my boxers. I put my hand over my crotch. She licks her lips nervously. I hug her and run my hands over her shoulder blades, the small of her back, her narrow waist. I crouch down in front of her and massage her skinny legs, massage one foot at a time. I work my way up. I stand close to her, close enough that our panting intermingles, and I massage her thigh. I run my hand up, lifting her skirt with it. I feel her plain cotton panties. I pull them down and she steps out of them. Plain white. I push her down on the bed, she lies on her back straight like a board.

− Try to relax.

− I’m trying.

− Is this your first time?

− Of course not! I’m straddling her. Her eyes fill with tears. She nods.

− I’ll be gentle.

I fold her skirt over her hips. Her black pubic hair sprouts from between her tightly clamped thighs.

−Spread your legs.

− I’m not ready.

I pull off my boxers. She eyeballs my erect penis.

− That’s pretty big. Too big.

− Not that big, I huff.

I lie down on top of her, my legs straddling hers. A walrus on a seal. My hands gently but firmly spread her legs. I kiss her. She’s a very bad kisser. She passively lets my tongue enter her mouth and worm around. My hand coils her hair and wraps it in a knot under her head. I massage her little breast, her ribcage, her flat belly. I kiss her breast, sucking on her nipple, I kiss her belly button, then dig my face into her pussy. But before I do, I look at it. Perfect and pink, a happy smile. As I mouthe her pussy, she moans loudly and aggressively, like Sigourney Weaver defending the child in Aliens. Her abdomen vibrates like an accordion. I dig my tongue into her and lick sloppily.

− Ah! ah! ah! She is out of control. Out of shame or pleasure, I don’t know. She tries to buck me, but I just pull her closer by the legs. My tongue pierces deep insider her, and she bucks again, then lies still. She is breathing very hard. She is very wet. I lie down on top of her and fold her legs up, knees bent. She instinctively wraps them around my waist. I jab at her, but miss the hole. Her hand finds my penis and guides it in. It is very tight. I start working it in.

− Ow!

− Shhhhh. It’s all right.

− For you, maybe, she whimpers.

− Do you want me to pull out?

− No.

I continue working it in, but I get in only a couple inches.

− Fuck!

I poke at the wall. She starts sobbing in pain.

− Do you want me to stop?

− No.

− I poke again, once, harder, and she screams. It slips all the way in and I can feel her cervix against the tip of my penis. I can feel my balls lying in a puddle of ooze.

− Aaaaagh!

− The worst part is over.

I thrust into her rhythmically. She is so tight, I’m in heaven. She tries to move with me but she can hardly move her painful limbs. Her face is a grimace of pain. I thrust faster, lost in pleasure, an animal, my urge is far greater than my compassion, I look into her face. Her pain turns me on even more. Tears roll down her cheeks. I lick a tear. The most delicious taste I’ve ever tasted. A mélange of salty, sweet, pain, sorrow, and bliss. I put my whole weight on her, I wrap my forearm under and around her shoulders so I can pull her body down to meet my penis with my every thrust, faster and faster.

− Oh, God!

I pull out at the last second and come on her belly. Oh, how I wanted to come inside her! I roll off her and hold her by my side.

− Oh, man, she says, pain and exhaustion and pleasure in her voice. She scoops up a gob of my cum from her belly with her index finger and puts it in her mouth. She grimaces.

− Yuck!

− Doesn’t taste good, does it?

− No!

− Imagine me coming in your mouth and you have to swallow it.

− Never!

− Next time, I’ll make you do that.

− If there is a next time, she says, holding her pussy like an open wound.

We lie together and fall asleep.

 

I wake up in the middle of the afternoon and look into her simple childish sleeping face. I stroke her hair and she opens her eyes.

− Do you know that you’re not real, Youngsook?

− What do you mean? she mutters sleepily.

− You’re just a computer program. And I’m just a software version of my real self. We’re in my fantasy. My name’s not John, either. My name’s Nate.

− Oh.

− How does it feel to be just a computer program, Youngsook?

− Not bad.

− I wish I could bring you with me into the real world.

− This is the real world, John.

− Nate.

− Whatever.

− Where do you go after I leave?

− I’m gonna go home to my mom and dad and my brother and sisters.

− No, you’re not. You’re gonna disappear until someone reactivates the program. Then some other guy is gonna do to you what I did to you, and you’re gonna be a virgin for him, too.

I hold up my hand, which had rubbed my balls. My fingers are dark red, wet, like clay after rain.

Youngsook’s face screws up, she’s about to cry.

− It’s not true! How can I be a virgin again?

− Come with me to the real world.

She cries. She sits up on the edge of the bed, hangs her head, and cries. I pull her close to me. Suddenly, I stand on the black marble floor of a lobby. I’m wearing a white bathrobe and slippers. A white woman in a blood red kimono sits behind the desk.

− I hope you had a pleasurable experience with us today, Mr. Daniels. Unfortunately, we had to cut your experience short. Your account is depleted.

− That’s impossible! I just got paid yesterday!

− Perhaps the funds transfer did not go through. You might want to check with your bank.

− Don’t worry about it.

− We also accept Visa and Discover.

I walk up to the desk and look around. There is no one else in the lobby, but I still talk softly.

− I know this is a strange question.

− How may I help you, Mr. Daniels?

− Has anyone ever taken a character they’ve met in a fantasy and brought ‘em into the real world?

− She’ll be waiting for you here every day, Mr. Daniels.

− Youngsook’s not a hooker. I don’t wanna pay for her every time, and she wouldn’t want that, either. She’s a good girl.

− Thank you for your patronage, Mr. Davis.

I stalk out the door.

 

I open my eyes. My bedroom, almost dark, lit only by my bedside lamp. I pull off the electrodes and let the headset fall to the floor. I have a headache, and I’m thirsty. Virtual water doesn’t quench. I’m sitting on top of dirty clothes in my easy chair. I feel a big gushy wet spot on a t-shirt between my legs. I stare at the wall, knowing sleep won’t come for a long, long time.

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