spot in front of my building, but as soon as I made my way
upstairs, the walls seemed to close in on me. I didn’t want to
spend the rest of my life alone. Maybe this was my last chance. I
needed to talk, to share my experience with someone, anyone, but my
mind was blank. I had already told Parker that I would end this
craziness, and I had kept so much of the truth from Sandy. I didn’t
know how to talk this through with another person. I tried to
imagine calling my mother and saying, ‘Hi, Mom. Met a guy who wants
control over my body and, well, I just might be considering it.’ Yeah that would fly really well. But … I needed to speak to someone .
I picked up the phone and dialed my mother’s number.
My gut wrenched as I heard the first ring. I couldn’t even hang up.
My last hope was that the answering machine would pick up and save
me from my own disgrace.
“ Jane, is that you?” she said. The dreaded tone
was already in her voice.
Ah crap, I thought. “Yes it’s me, Mom.” I
already regretted my impulse.
“ Well it’s about time. I thought we were going
for the all-time record, but I think you are shy a couple of days.
Want to call back then?” I could hear her lighting a cigarette and
“ Have you ever considered, Mother, that I
postpone calling you so I won’t have to deal with crap like
“ Are you cursing at me Jane? I will hang up
this phone!” she yelled.
“ Look, can we start over? I called to find out
how you are and talk to you about something.”
“ I’m fine, as always. I would like it much
better if my only child would come and see me now and
“ Did you check out the programs at the local
center like you said you—?”
“ What do you want to talk about, Jane?” she
said, cutting me off.
“ Well, I met a man and he wants us to move in
“ Jane, that’s truly wonderful. I had thought
you were destined to be alone. I mean, all these years and no
“ Mother you make it sound like I’ve never been
in a relationship before.”
“ Have you ever lived with a boyfriend or
preferably a husband? The answer is no. So forgive me if I’m a
little surprised. Is he attractive? Does he make good money? Will
you finally get your dream wedding?”
“ How about, does he love me and make me happy?
What about those questions?”
“ Well, does he?”
“ Oh well, yes, but …” I hesitated. I figured
saying he scares me but also fucks me superbly wouldn’t go over
well. I knew there was no way she could handle it.
“ But ….”
“ But I’m not sure if I’m ready to give up my
“ Well, dear, then don’t. Move in with him and
keep your place. Then if things don’t work out you can move back.
It’s good in this day and age for a woman to have her own security.
Men can’t always be the answer.”
“ Thanks for the words of encouragement. I’m
going to go, Mom. I’ll call you soon.”
“ I hope so, Jane, but I won’t stay up at night
Just another useless
knocking-my-head-against-the-wall conversation with my mother. I
had missed my run and felt it. And so, emotionally exhausted, I
went straight to bed.
Tomorrow … I would decide tomorrow.
I arrived on time at the new apartment to discover
movers hauling boxes and furniture and a man attaching something to
the ceiling. I didn’t know what to do and just stood in the doorway
until Luke noticed me at around 9:10 a.m.
“ You’re late,” he said as strutted past me and
then looked back.
“ No, I’m not late, it’s just I didn’t know
He turned to face me. “Rule Number Seven. You will be
naked in our apartment always. What part of ‘always’ don’t you
understand? Good to see you, by the way,” he said, smiling. He came
forward with a kiss and a hug. “Now strip and just know you owe me
again. This time twenty but we can worry about that later.”
“ Where do I go when I’ve undressed,” I