Amelia and Joel - Modern Romance - San Francisco Story # 8, a short story by crankyvic. Date added: 2012-01-08. Times viewed: 1498.
- Please SEND FEEDBACK - Writers love hearing from you. You can view the Authors profile here
- Intro: BDSM, travel, Paris, art, sex, adultery, modern romance, scuba diving, Paris, A married woman embarks on a self discovery journey with a single man
I. The Beginning - Recalled
“Send me photos of you while you are on your trip”. He wrote.
Amelia got off her plane, first class, at Charles De Gaulle airport. She turned on her blackberry, and she saw Orange popped up. She knew that it was connected with the local wireless network and let out a sign of relief.
The last trip to Copenhagen, she couldn’t get her company issued Blackbery to work and nearly lost an account because she didn’t respond within 24 hours. She was not going to take any chances.
But the first email, sitting on top of all other emails was an email from him. Joel had written very little since they started seeing each other. “Seeing” being the operative word here, he was a single father, and she was a married woman with a son.
“Seeing” Joel was unexpected. Amelia thought that she was happy. She was happy with her new job working for this pharmaceutical company as a regional sales manager, she was happy with her situation, her marriage situation. Joel was an old friend she dug out of the Rolodex. They had a drink, actually, coffee, before they hooked up.
“Hooking up” was also unexpected. It happened so quickly and before she knew, she was already on a semi regular terms with Joel.
Joel worked as a senior executive at a large investment bank in San Francisco. He was in his mid 40s, but he had paid a lot of attention to his looks so he was looking more like someone who’s Amelia’s age. Amelia was 37. She had been married for the last 15 years, which resulted in a child who was coming up to be ten years old this year, a boy named Stefan.
Amelia thought of this entanglement with Joel leisurely as she flew to Paris. This would be her fifth trip to Paris this year; she had been going to a client to present the latest research on the drug her firm had developed. She watched the movie Midnight in Paris while she was on the plane.
It was a movie for first time American tourists going to Paris, she thought. So cliché, with all the usual suspects: champs-Elysees, Jadin du Luxembourg, Versailles. But that was an interesting premise, to have a past perfect scenario, and escape to the past because the past was always better than the present, that was a very Confucius way of looking at things, like her ancestors. Amelia was born in China but grew up in the U.S.
But there was a scene that reminded her of Joel, a scene of Salvador Dali. Joel explained to her about a painting, a painting by Salvador Dali once. And she remembered that night vividly, because the way he described a woman and man’s anatomy as if she was a medical school student and he was the professor. The way he said vagina, penis, and breasts, it was so clinical, it felt a sense of detachment, which she appreciated, because it felt natural, as things ought to be.
There was a sense of undercurrent that she found enticing, like a volcano that would erupt sometime, but you just couldn’t possibly predict when. Joel had a way of prolonging the mystery, prolonging the sexual tension. He did it with an air of intensity, yet so relaxed in such a way that she didn't know that she was going to be caught by this undercurrent.
It's very much like SCUBA. One moment you were diving in the calm sea, surrounded by colorful tropical fish, and another moment, you were swept away by this strong current, and you were drifting, further away from the anchor, and you found yourself struggling to regain that sense of direction, to swim against the current, to swim back to where you ought to be, so that you could be picked up by that boat that lowered you, the boat you were on. But sometimes you were so far out, you were left alone, you surfaced, to look around, only to find there was no familiar sighting, and your boat was nowhere in sight, and there was no one nearby. So you panicked, and you lower yourself again, and peddled really fast against the current, hoping to swim back to the anchor, back to your boat, so that you could return shore. But then, there was that sudden dread, and you realized that you were left at sea, all alone, all lost, your boat had long sailed away, abandoned you, and forgotten about you. You thought of the worst, which was you would be left to die. The tank of air would eventually be all used up, and you'd die, alone, eaten by fish, just like those horror movies.
Miraculously, another boat showed up, out of nowhere, as if its sole mission was to pick you up, and bring you to shore.
That was the experience Amelia had with Joel. She was adrift, swept away by the current; she was then picked up by Joel, who threw that new lifeline at her, so nonchalantly, yet purposely, as if he was waiting all along, and knew she needed to be rescued.
As it turned out, he needed her just as much. You see, Joel had been sailing all alone, drifting at sea. He thought that he had everything he needed: a 30-footer, water, shelter, fish, sun, and a nice book to read at sun down. Until he saw that lost diver, head bubbling above the seawater, was all worn out and gave up the will to live. The renewed hope that Amelia brought with her, when he pulled her out of the water, affected Joel as well. He initially thought it was because she was new to him, like a new instrument for him play with, and his interest would subside as time went on, but he thought wrong. It was more than that, the companionship, the sense of adventure, the sense of excitement, and the sense of livelihood, was invigorating to Joel. Amelia’s sudden appearance ruined Joel's normal routine, and she apologized for it, furiously and repeatedly, and offered to leave the moment they reached a shore, but he didn't seem to care. He in fact asked her to stay, for just a little longer, he said.
Joel realized that Amelia, the diver lost at sea, who was once adrift like he was, gave up at first, but then regained her hope, who was directionless like he was, was really whom he needed as well. With Amelia, he too, had a sense of bearing, a sense of purpose, and at last, he was no longer alone. As it turned out, Amelia, was also Joel’s lifeline.
III. Joel vs. Amelia's other men
He later joked that he lured her in. She wonder how much of it was the truth and how much of it was really a joke. He could read Amelia’s mind. At least that was how she felt. He got her, he was intense, detached, calm, affectionate, all wrapped into one. She liked that. That sense of detachment and intensity were what she needed. Not the predictable future as she was going to lead, for the rest of her life, until she was dead.
Joel was a very unusual man; she already knew there was more to Joel than meets the eye. He was very private, she had no idea that he was a father, until he told her so, at the coffee shop, even though they’d known each other for over a decade, and also she did not know that he was married, in a relationship or not, she still did not know. She didn’t ask either. She didn’t think she was entitled to his stories. It would not have mattered one way or another. He desired her, not the way her husband did, but the way a man who desired woman should, in a pure physical way, plus they were friends. They could revert back to being friends, as they once did, if things did not last, just like they once did, slipping back to friendship, with mutual respect, with detachment, with distance and time, they would be fine, as they once did.
Amelia had a few regrets in life. She never met a man who could have satisfied her sexually, who had the same level of appreciation of finer things in life, who wanted to fuck the way she wanted to be fucked. That was until Joel came along.
There was something very natural about the relationship. One that Amelia could not initially understand. She wrote in her journal about it. He was not, at the very least, the man she’d consider having affairs with. She had ventured out of her marriage, once, just once, with a man who lived a few states apart, also an old lover of a sort. He had demanded emotional attachment, and needed to understand her motive. He questioned everything she said, he became angry, volatile when he suspected her not being loyal to him. Even though she was. She thought that she could have loved him, not the traditional love, but the modern love.
It was silly, when you enter into an affair with a married person, jealousy should play no part in it. Amelia was advised of such principle when she conferred her relationship with Joel to her married, good friend, who knew her from years ago, who loved her once, as a lover, as a girlfriend. She knew that he would always carry torch for her, but she also knew that he was a safe bet to confine such things with, because she did not carry torch for him, she never really did. She liked the idealized him. He was someone whom she would have fun with but never really fall for. But she trusted him, because he adored and loved her as if she was the most precious thing. She knew he had the best interest in her. She didn’t really think he was smart enough for her.
For a man to be smart, it’s not just the education. He did alright, top notch school, as in the best school in this country, but he was not an intellectual, he was a good business man, but not smart in a way she liked.
She liked intellectuals, someone who thought deeply, read a lot, and could carry on a conversation about arts, books, music and finer things in life, like clothing, shoes, latest fashion in Paris. She liked someone who lived in Europe and spoke European language. And dear readers, you knew what she preferred. She preferred someone who spoke German. She wanted a good-looking, handsome man who was straight, but was also metrosexual, her ex, the guy she conferred with, was all that, but he was not an intellectual, and alas, he only spoke Italian. She needed that intellectual side of things to be excited about a man.
The man, whom she would call Sir, was like her ex, as well. Top-notch school, the best of the best, but not an intellectual, and he only spoke Spanish and French. She had told that man, Sir, that she needed that German connection. He thought that it was just a phase, he laughed at her. She thought he was not being serious about her desires. Spanish and French might be romantic, but it was German that made her feel the passion. It appealed her because of the kinky, sadist side of things that you’d often found in German porn. She liked the quiet exterior, restrained, proper ways, and the extreme opposite of it in the bedroom. She thrived on that. It was the stark contrast that made this relationship with Joel, exciting.
She wanted to be intellectually stimulated, someone who knew a lot, like her husband, also went to a top notch school, the best of the best, but also metrosexual, as in fashionable, physically fit and good looking. She wanted it all.
IV. It's always the quiet ones
Enter Joel. Joel was a peculiar man. He had never gotten mad at her. He was emotionless. He was very intellectual, a bit of a geeky almost. He was quiet, subdued, and polite. But he was aggressive in the bedroom. He loved her body. He thought she could be a porn star. He was sexually perverse; he dictated how she should behave in the bedroom. He did not make love to her. He fucked her. He wanted her to be submissive; he treated her like a whore, and just the way she wanted to be treated. But after sex, they cuddle like a normal couple, as if they had the most mundane sex ever. He was gentle, loving and caring. Such blatant disparity, so confusing, so unorthodox, so very “The Secretary”, and that brought Amelia weak to her knees.
As with all relationships, there was no formula. Amelia did not expect this thing with Joel was going anywhere. They first met up, casually. They didn’t expect to be reconnecting physically. Then it just happened. It was unforeseen. She did not expect that Joel was a man who would be into the crazy bondage S&M stuff. He did. Amelia liked pain. In the bedroom, the pain was pleasurable. She enjoyed him calling her a good girl. As if she was still a girl. She’s a grown woman. He treated her like a girl as he guided her into unknown territories. She was terrified at first, yet aroused. It turned out that Joel wanted the same thing as she did, and he was experienced, and he knew what she want to dabble into, and he led the way.
It was always the quiet ones. Joel was quiet, pleasant, baby faced, soft spoken even. He was emotionally detached and removed. He understood what Amelia wanted and gave her what she always desired but was too afraid to ask from others, or was unable to obtain from other men.
It was always like that. It was never about the act of sex, it was always about how the sex felt to the individual. Everyone had different standards. Everyone had his or her own preferences. To find someone who could read your mind, to fulfill the deepest, darkest secrets and to be equally turned on, would be rare. Amelia found it in Joel.
There was always that “what if your husband finds out” question. The truth of the matter was that Amelia had not thought that far in advance.
Amelia sent photos to Joel as she went on her business trip, of herself. She sent him naked photos of her as well. She emailed him one-liners as she went about her days. They met up on occasion, when Joel was home, not traveling, not with his kid. They fucked. They fell asleep in each other’s arms. They barely ate, drink or talked. It was a world of secret, world of fantasy, world of two. This was a world of Amelia and Joel.
V. What is love
The way it would end, Amelia would imagine, was for her or for Joel to fall out of this pattern, this desperate longing would persist, until one pulled the plug, which, for now, no one wanted to. They had embarked on a journey where many had gone before. Many cheating hearts had marched down this path, where their lives would be augmented, where their emotions got tangled up, bundled up, and secrets would be kept and hushed. But such was life. When you had met that one person who knew your secret desires, and who was there to fulfill them, because you were able to fulfill theirs as well, it would make the world a balanced, peaceful place. It made two very unhappy people happy, satisfied, inspired, and even loved.
So when Joel said “I love you” the other night, in the middle of fucking, and Amelia remained silent, she was shocked but not surprised. Love came in different forms. She could love Joel. She thought to herself later on. She rarely used the word “I love you”, she never said it out of loud, unless it was an obligatory one with her husband of fifteen years, or a different kind of love with her soon to ten year old son. She never ever declared “I love you” to anyone in any relationships but in her own marriage, and that was the obligatory ones. Joel had never said “I love you” to her, before, when they dated over a decade ago. It would not be the first time Joel said something like that, he had called her “my love” once. If he had expected a reaction, he received none that night.
It would not be the same kind of love she held for her husband, or for her child, but it could be love nonetheless. Amelia felt that she belonged with Joel. In that instinctual, completely unexplainable way, she felt that for once, she had someone whom she could so easily be with, she would kiss, laugh, be adored, and be content with. She did not need to know everything about Joel, whether he was married, single, or involved with someone else. She didn’t care.
It would be that pure sense of love, love without expectations, love without jealousy, love with abandon, love with the only way she knew how to love. As a Scorpio, Amelia only knew how to love with her whole heart. One would know what love was until one had loved and lost. She might have never declared “love”, she knew what love and lost was. The way Amelia rationalized her behavior, was that as long as Joel assured her that he cared about her, and kept the communication going consistently, albeit brief, short one sentence in length communication, as long as she knew that Joe remained communicative, and still wanted her to be in his life as his lover, she would and could love Joel back.
It was just like that, a lover-turned-friend-turned-lover. Where would this road lead? Neither Amelia or Joel would know. But there was the age-old question: What was love? What was lust? What if lust did not have to turn into obsession? What if friendship stood the test of time above it all? What if everything could just coexist, as natural as the sun and the moon?
VI. Another kind of ending
There could very well be another sort of ending. An ending that did not result in any drama, or conflict, or any kind of betrayal or heartache for that matter. What if Amelia and Joel would continue the way they were, until end of the time? And no one would pass judgment and just leave them be?
That would be the ideal outcome of it all.
In that scenario, as Amelia wondered the street of Paris, recalling the book she once read titled "What French women know, about love, sex, and other matters of the heart and mind", She thought, I could really fall for Joel. I could love Joel, and care for him, be his constant, until he decided to leave me, and if he didn’t, I would love him until the end of the day.
- Use for below to send feedback to author - View the Authors profile here
- The following form will send feedback to the author about this short story, please enter your e-mail if you wish a reply (which is obviously at the authors own discretion)