The key moment in my life happened when I was traveling around Europe. I was living in Copenhagen and studying at the university there. My first time in another country. Another way of life. A new culture to explore. I won’t go into all the details suffice to say that I had a busy social life, lots of friends, including casual boyfriends, and was loving every minute of it. It was my first time far away from home and family – I’m a small town girl – and I loved the freedom of being young and not having to answer to anyone.
I’ve always been quite adventurous. I was a bit of a tomboy as a little girl and I loved to explore the woods behind my grand-parents’ house on my own. Nothing bad ever happened there and I knew it never would. Maybe I was lucky. Maybe I’m a little naive too but I’ve never been easy to scare. Part of me believes the universe is essentially good and, as my dad used to say, “I trust everything will work out fine.” My parents were hippies. My dad was a deadhead who loved the Grateful Dead and had an optimism that was untrammeled by time or defeat. I think I have a lot of that too. I was also a prize winning athlete and gymnast at college, did a lot of training and was very fit. I thought I could handle myself. People often said I was bossy. I was very competitive and loved to win. In bed I was usually the active domineering type. I was assertive and knew what I wanted. Or thought I did. Anyway, I was young, free and grabbing life by the balls and making it very much my own.
As I say, I loved to explore. Sometimes I would take the train from Copenhagen and travel to other European cities. You could get cheap monthly tickets and sleep on the train and wake up in the morning in somewhere like Rome, Paris or Berlin and the city was all yours for the discovering. I liked to stay for few days in a cheap pension and then move on. Often I would just sleep on the trains and keep moving. I’d catch the night train to Vienna or where ever I felt like going – sometimes just on a whim. I used to go with friends of course but the most interesting experiences I ever had were on my own.
So, one time I was taking an Intercity from Le Havre in the north of France to Paris. It was morning and the train was full of commuters and office workers. I was sitting at a table seat next to the window. There was a table between the seats which faced opposite each other. At one station two girls got on and were chatting in French – a language I can communicate the essentials in but can only understand if it is spoken to me very slowly. One of them had a copy of Marie Claire and was occasionally showing pages or photos to the other girl who was sitting opposite, next to me.
I understood they were commenting on the models in the magazine. The conversation went on for some time and I didn’t take much notice. It was summer and the French countryside was rolling past the window full of gorgeous shades of orange and yellow. However, occasionally, she would lift up a photo of some leggy blonde in a bikini and they would loudly make a remark or say something that I couldn’t understand. I didn’t really give it any importance until, very loudly and very demonstrably, she made a kind of whooping noise and held the magazine up for her friend to see. She made a gesture with her mouth to her friend – a kind of kiss with her tongue licking her lips.
I couldn’t help but turn and look at the photo she was showing her friend. However, as I did so, she looked straight at me and stared right into my eyes. There was a hint of an amused smile but her eyes were very penetrating. Blue. Deep blue. She was a little older than me – late 20s I would guess – and had the grace and poise that some French women seem to be born with. It was a self-assured stare. Transfixing, almost hypnotic. It seemed to last quite a long time. I didn’t know what to say – and if I had known, I wouldn’t have known how to say it in French anyway.
Then her eyes descended and she was quite plainly looking at my breasts. It was summer and I was only wearing light clothes – cut-off shorts and a white sleeveless top. No bra. And she seemed to be looking right through my top. I felt exposed, embarrassed and a little shocked but I was hooked by her eyes. I could feel her steady gaze locked onto me. It was like a physical presence touching me. My breasts felt warm and tingly and my nipples were hardening. I’m sure she could tell. She made the same gesture with her mouth that she had made while looking at the photos. But this time more slowly. She then coolly raised her eyes and looked straight at mine. Her look was incisive, very piercing. She seemed to prick my flesh, enter and penetrate me. There was something imperious about her. Like she had every right to appraise me and deem some use for me.
She seemed to be within me, controlling me. Had she hypnotized me? My senses seemed heightened and I felt euphoric. Waves of pleasure rose from between my thighs and brushed softly through my breasts like the softest of breezes on a summer day. I felt hot now. My nipples were erect and I could feel them brushing against my top. The soft fabric seemed to caress them. An invisible force clasped them and drew them to it. To her. I was confronted by a power that held me trapped. But I wanted it to hold me. To embrace me. To raise me higher. I was surrendering to something I had never experienced before. Whatever it was. Whatever she had – it had captured me and held me. I was spellbound.
I don’t know how long it lasted. I lost sense of time and myself in it. Then I felt a hand brush against my shorts. It was her friend. She softly caressed my thigh and gently moved up… I was wet… and her hand gently pressed me there. Involuntarily and quite audibly, I cried out.
The train pulled into Paris Saint-Lazare and people started getting up and making ready to leave. Not a word was spoken between us. They left and I just sat there for a few moments trying to understand exactly what had happened. I felt like an empty shell. I felt tired but utterly calm. Without shame.
I looked over and they had left the copy of Marie-Claire on the table. I glanced at the cover. There in the bottom right hand corner someone had written a telephone number…
Continue 2. “You only get one chance”