Chapter Four

Eli’s First Date

Eli?” Mayme beckons. Eli immediately turns his head back toward Mayme. As their eyes meet she continues, “Ordinarily, I would never want to have this discussion with a man on a first meeting Eli but, I have this intuitive feeling about you, Lancelot wise. Now, since you are leaving tomorrow it brings urgency to the impartation of your opinions on this matter. Simply put, I need to know what makes you tick. Is it ok if we have a conversation about …” Mayme pauses for a moment; I think looking for a better word but finds none then delivers, “…sex?”

Eli is relieved as he realizes he has passed muster so far or she would not be bringing up sex. “Mayme, the more we are together the more I want you to know me in and out.”

“Okay then. It has always been my conviction that on the subject of sex, a woman would never get a truthful answer from a man. How do I know you will answer honestly?”

“Well from your point of view that is a tough one. If I am a liar, I will say I’m telling the truth and if I’m always truthful, I will say the same thing. We should have already introduced ourselves, but, better late than never. What is your full name?”

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“Mayme Myrna Richards,” Mayme proudly proclaims.

“Mayme Myrna,” Eli repeats as if to contemplate their rhythm. “That’s a pretty combination. Okay Mayme, I am going to look right in those beautiful dark brown eyes and I want you to look into mine. When you get a lock and feel you could see through to my soul let me know.” With that said, Eli leans over the table and she responds similarly until their noses are inches apart. They stare into each other’s eyes. They are so close that Mayme’s eyes have to move one side to the other as she focuses on Eli’s left, then right eye repeatedly. I can’t believe how long Mayme can stare without blinking. It must have been two minutes. It is so intense that I feel as if she is looking right through Eli’s eyes into mine. If Eli would be bluffing, Mayme was certainly calling it.

“Okay I am locked,” she finally proclaims while maintaining her piercing stare. “Have your say. Do not circumlocute. Be concise and precise in your words.” She has obviously determined that she would discover a lie were it to come from Eli’s lips.

Eli, in a firm and steady voice, demands, “Do you now trust me absolutely, Mayme?”

“I trust I will detect any falsehood, Eli,” she modifies while preserving her lock on Eli.

“Mayme Myrna Richards! I, Elijah Dillon Bailey, will never ever lie to you. Not now, not ever.” Eli, pleased with his efforts to gain Mayme’s trust, breaks his gaze and proudly leans back on his bench. “Will that suffice?”

“Unequivocally, Elijah Dillon Bailey. I do trust you,” Mayme replies with an equally unyielding tone.

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“Okay, Mayme Myrna Richards, proceed with your interrogation.” Eli chuckles with a smile as he finds it funny that now they repeatedly call each other by their full names.

Mayme continues as she takes on a very serious demeanor, “Eli, my experience with boys when I was younger, and now young men, has been that they are totally driven by sexual aspiration. Every time I have been with a guy it always leads to the same thing. I can tell that every action taken, from the asking out, to the small talk, to the eating, to the movie or whatever, is driven by the same obsession. The only motivating force there is to guys is sex. From beginning to end there is one objective. Oddly, I haven’t perceived that from you...,” she gives pause as she reserves her skepticism, “…yet. How have you coped with that urge? Are you saying you have never had that urge?”

“Mayme,” Eli complains, “now you are making me tell you secrets. I did take an oath, so, yes I did fool around a little with a girl when I was about fifteen. I never dated Sharon so I didn’t consider her my girlfriend. On a warm summer day we found each other by chance in a secluded wooded spot across the Volga from my house. I guess you could call it a sexually awakening for both of us. We met there a few times that summer. We didn’t have sex but explored each other’s bodies.”

“So you do have those urges!”

“If you are thinking that is on my mind now you are wrong. After those occasions with Sharon I became depressed because I had ignored my conscience. Now this part relates back to observing my parents’ relationship. My mother and father have a very deep bond. They are so happy together. When you see them together the fulfillment they provide each other is so obvious. In private they are very affectionate,

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so I am sure their urges are satisfying to both body and soul. They exhibit true love, compassion, companionship,” Eli pauses after each of the following words while he searches for the correct adjectives, “trust,... contentment,... commitment,... and selflessness toward each other. I have seen the relationships of my friends’ parents. No one has that, at least not to the extent they have. For this reason when my father gives me advice I take it to heart. He could see I was troubled after the events with Sharon so he wheedled what was going on out of me. He told me that nature has created sexual desire to ensure procreation, which of course I knew but he always has to start at the basic. I had to listen to the whole thing.”

Eli has paused so Mayme requests, “Well then, Eli, I deserve no less. I want the whole thing”

“You mean the way my father delivered it?”

Mayme says emphatically, “Why not?”

Hesitantly Eli retorts, “Well because it is a bit lengthy and much of it was to the obvious. So I will abbreviate some. He went on something like, ‘All the animals on earth have primal sexual urges. Fulfilling those urges is very pleasurable to the body which ensures that their species will continue. But in addition to those same primal urges, God has given humans a soul and the gift of free will. The only way to have a life whose outcome will be pleasurable to your soul is to exert complete control over those urges. Gratification of the soul is completely different from that of the body.’ That was about it.” There was much more but Eli doesn’t want to talk for an hour about his father.

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“That is an insightful dissertation by your father and I agree with him.” Then she admonishes, “But we have wafted from the topic of your urge control.”

“I’m sorry, you’re right. I do have those urges but I also have complete self-control. You wanted complete honesty so here it comes. When I look at you, my first thought isn’t that I want to have sex with you. My first thought is, could you be my partner in life? I know, for me to find fulfillment, I need to emulate my parents and could you be the woman with whom I could build that relationship. I no longer have any desire for primal sex, by that I mean sex that is only fulfilling to the physical me. Because of my desire to fulfill my life in the long term, I guess you could say I have a puritan ethic when it comes to sex.” Eli pauses for a few moments and Mayme remains silent just staring back at him. Then without giving any thought he blurts, “Now, to get back to you, I get the impression you have been dissatisfied with your dating experiences.” For a moment he thought maybe he shouldn’t go here, but then he decided it was a fair enough question since she had asked him. He continues, “Have you had numerous dates?”

“I believe that is your gentlemanly way to ask how experienced I am, and after your confessions it is an equitable query. When I was a teen, I also had similar experiences to yours. I never went all the way either, but boys are always groping and it didn’t take me too long to realize that successful groping from the boy’s point of view didn’t lead to any more fruitful relationships for me than when I didn’t give in. But I haven’t given up on dating because I am still searching. Yes, I have been out on many dates but I have never had a second date with the same guy. It would seem I am on a quest for Lancelot. The first

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date is only to see if I have found him. Lancelot hasn’t shown his face...” There is a silent pause while Mayme studies Eli, “...until tonight. You and I are not that much different Eli. I need one date to see if I have found my mate. You skip that step by using some sixth sense for mate detection. After that, it appears that neither of us is in interested in initiating a relationship with anyone but our soul mate. So, I guess what I am saying is, you are the only guy I have met that I would be willing to date more than once. And we aren’t even out on an official date now. We are exactly where you have been with every girl in your life. We just arrived at the same place and now we are sitting together.”

Eli confesses, “A couple hours ago I had no reason to stay but now I wish I wasn’t leaving tomorrow. I would certainly like to start dating you now.” They both stare into each other’s eyes for a few moments then Eli continues, “We still have a few hours. Mayme, would you please spend the rest of this evening with me? Now, if you accept, this will be our first official date.”

“Splendid Eli, I accept. I will go out with you, but with a condition.”

“What is the condition?”

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